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October 9, 2017 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County, preservation, news.

img_7887-001landmark.jpg

Press release:

The Landmark Society of Genesee County held its annual Preservation Awards and Recognition dinner on Saturday at the Batavia First United Methodist Church.  Three historic churches, three private homeowners, and one business were recognized.

Those in the photo above are, from left: Dave & Noreen Tillotson -- Pavilion homeowners; Dave Bateman-Batavia homeowner; Dorothy Lawrence & Betsy Abramson accepting for Corfu United Presbyterian Church; Dennis Mellander accepting for Le Roy St. Mark’s Episcopal Church; Bob Carlson accepting for East Bethany Presbyterian Church; Jennifer & Dean Eck -- Corfu homeowners, Sarah Farmer & Chris Grocki accepting for Farmer’s Creekside Tavern and Inn in Le Roy.

October 9, 2017 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the home page).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual purchaser must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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October 8, 2017 - 8:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, elba.

A two-vehicle accident with unknown injuries is reported in the area of 7624 Oak Orchard Road, Elba. That's near Lockport Road. One of the vehicles is on its side.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: Byron's ambulance requested to the scene.

UPDATE 8:28 p.m.: Mercy Flight is landing.

UPDATE 8:57 p.m.: Mercy Flight in route to Strong.

October 8, 2017 - 8:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A two-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported in the area of 7624 Lewiston Road, near Batavia Oakfield Townline Road.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding.

October 8, 2017 - 7:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants on: Tuesday, Oct. 10th, from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the general area south of Main Street and east of Jackson Street; on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 11th and 12th, in the general area north of Main Street and East of Bank Street.

Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

October 8, 2017 - 1:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, GCC, volleyball.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College volleyball team out-scored its last two oppositions by a combined 109-108, but could only muster one set win of five that included a 2-1 loss to Broome Community College and a playoff loss to Jefferson Community College at the Cara Bryant Tournament hosted by Onondaga Community College Oct. 6-7.

The Cougars dropped its playoff match to the Cannoneers with the first set going into extra points 24-26 and then dropped a close second set 22-25.

Heading into playoff competition, the Cougars rallied to split with Broome before dropping another close final set 13-15. The Hornets took the first 25-27 before the Cougars came on strong with a convincing 25-15 win.

The four teams Genesee faced over the two-day event entered the tournament with a collective 60-22 record with three of the four appearing in the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association D-III national polls at some point this season.

Genesee showed marked improvement against Jefferson after facing them the previous day and scoring 20 and 19 points. The Cougars also faced Monroe Oct. 6 with 18- and 17-point performances, respectively.

The team began play against undefeated host Onondaga and came close to taking the first set at 23-25.

Four players led in categories in two matches or more. Sha-Ony Obispa led the team in kills twice, Nao Maeda in assists twice, Tommi Rutherford in digs twice, and Lyndsey Rowland in blocks three times.

October 8, 2017 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, sports, soccer.

Press release:

The No. 3 Genesee Community College men's soccer team rallied twice to keep pace with No. 4 Herkimer in finishing with a 2-2 road tie in extending their unbeaten streak to nine games.

The Cougars then went on to win the post-game penalty kick competition 3-1 for seeding purposes.

Sam Hall converted a Charlie Livesey corner kick with about 20 seconds left in regulation to send the contest into extra sessions. Prior to that Glenn Holmes converted a penalty kick to knot the game at 1-1 after both teams played a scoreless first half.

David Ormiston out-dueled his counterpart in net with a double-digit save performance with 10. In addition, he was again sharper than the Generals' goalkeeper in allowing just one goal in the penalty-kick session.

Holmes and Hall scored again during the penalty kicks with Ryan Price getting the team's third goal. That's all the Cougars would need after Ormiston stopped Herkimer's fourth shooter and made it mathematically impossible for Herkimer to win the penalty kick shootout with both teams having only one shooter remaining.

Both teams finished with four corner kicks.

This was the fourth time this season that the Cougars have faced a team that has appeared in the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association polls with none of those teams able to beat Genesee. Of the four, Herkimer has appeared highest at No. 2.

October 7, 2017 - 8:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the home page).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual purchaser must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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October 7, 2017 - 6:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Stafford.

A car is reported off the road on Morganville Rosd near Randell Rosd, Stafford. 

Unknown injuries. 

Stafford Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched  

 

October 6, 2017 - 10:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, business, news.

cuomobataviaoct62017.jpg

Batavia didn't win the steak knives.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a crowd gathered at City Centre for the announcement of who won the Finger Lakes region competition for the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative contest that there would be more than one winner this year, and getting second or third place isn't so bad.

"Now everyone likes to win first place," Cuomo said. "I understand it, you know, first is first. But second place, $8 million is a lot of money. And if it wasn't for the fact that we had offered a $10 million first place, people would have been very, very happy with $8 million because it's a big win. $6 million is a big win. We have a fourth-place winner, which gets a set of steak knives. That's not so great. But second place, $8 million is great, really great."

Batavia didn't get the $8 million, either. Nor the $6 million. Batavia received the grand prize, $10 million.

And when Cuomo announced that, more than 100 community members gathered for the announcement burst into a standing ovation.

Empire State Development Director Howard Zemsky said the award was well deserved.

"You did a great job on your plan," Zemsky told the crowd. "You understand downtown revitalization. You understand all of the components that have worked down through the years from historic preservation, the workforce initiative, the innovation initiative. You know exactly where your future lies."

The next step in the process is for the state to form a steering committee that will decide how to allocate the funds. City Manager Jason Molino said based on what he's seen taking place in other regions, the committee will include local people with a diverse set of backgrounds and interests.

"You're going to see folks that touch on all elements, whether it's arts and culture, whether it's business, whether there is small business or larger business," Molino said. "I think the state will, as they have in all the other regions, get a good cross-section of good decision makers that can really process and can take some of the planning and move forward."

Julie Pacatte, economic development coordinator for Batavia Development Corp., said the goal is to make Downtown Batavia a more livable and vibrant community for residents and business owners.

"The way we believe it should be spent is arts, culture, entertainment and make it a truly livable downtown," Pacatte said. "So, housing, entertainment dining, arts, walkability, all of those things we've talked about for a number of years. They should be able to bring it all together in Downtown."

BDC President Pier Cipollone said the award will also help the agency fulfill its agenda to help small businesses.

"We need to make downtown a destination," Cipollone said. "I'm a big proponent of clustering. We need to get shops, we need to get restaurants, we need to get bars, we need...These things will cause people to come downtown and then walk around and create the foot traffic that all the businesses need."

Molino said the award is a confirmation the city has been on the right track the past few years in trying to turn around the local economic climate.

"The past decade has been an interesting roller coaster for this community," Molino said. "Perseverance comes to mind as to what they've been able to endure and to grow by ... new leaps and bounds. It's a relief to see everyone's hard work come together. We're excited about what this means -- what's the next chapter of the community? What's the next chapter for the city and in our lives?"

In his speech, Cuomo told the story of how his administration has embraced economic development in the state and attempted to turn around decades of economic neglect, from bringing Robert Duffy into the administration to appointing Zemsky as head of ESD.

"For a lot of decades we just ignored it," Cuomo said. "We denied it. Or we didn't care enough about it. And so we said we are actually going to come in and do something about it and turn it around."

But in a way, Cuomo said, Batavia was already ahead of the curve.

"Actually, the first turnaround and recognition was in many ways done in Batavia," Cuomo said. "Johnston Harvester moved out, and that was the big employer back in the '50s. Part of the manufacturing phase-out, right? Buffalo loses steel. And Rochester loses Kodak. And Batavia loses Johnston Harvester. And in the old building, you started a business incubator.

"I don't know if it was called a business incubator there, but the thought was 'We have to change economies. We're no longer manufacturing. We lost this big employer. We have to get to the economy of tomorrow. And it's going to start by bringing in small businesses and feeding them and growing them and helping them incubating them into bigger businesses -- literally in the same building.' That was ahead of its time by 50 years."

The recognition is great for Batavia, Pacatte said.

"I think what we've been doing has been working and it caught the attention of the state government and their ideas seem to be in alignment with where we're at," she said. "It just caught fire. Another ten million dollars really just propels us forward."

cuomobataviaoct62017-2.jpg

Empire State Development Director​ Howard Zemsky

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cuomobataviaoct62017-4.jpg

The Batavia High School Band and cheerleaders (not pictured) were outside City Hall to welcome the governor to Batavia.

October 6, 2017 - 6:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

smithbrandilargemug2017.jpg

A 37-year-old Dellinger Avenue resident is accused of smashing out the car window of a vehicle parked at a business, stealing the purse containing credit cards, debit cards, and checks and then using the items to make purchases at local stores.

Brandi M. Smith is accused of using the cards and checks to obtain goods while portraying herself as the victim.

She is charged with four counts identify theft 1st, four counts of forgery, three counts of identify theft 2nd, three counts of criminal possession of stolen property 4th, and one count of grand larceny 4th.

Smith was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

October 6, 2017 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, bergen.

A car has reportedly hit a tree in the yard of 7308 Maple Ave., Bergen.

There is airbag deployment, but it's believed to be minor injuries.

Bergen fire and ambulance dispatched.

October 6, 2017 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
armstrongjeremymug2017.jpg
Jeremy Armstrong

A 27-year-old Batavia man who shot and tried to kill another local resident got the prison term he bargained for when Judge Charles Zambito sent him to state prison for 15 years today.

Jeremy R. "Boog" Armstrong entered a guilty plea in August to attempted murder and a drug-dealing charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance. The two charges stemmed from separate crimes.

District Attorney Lawerence Friedman said through the process of arresting Armstrong and obtaining a conviction, it never came out why Armstrong tried to kill another man Dec. 2 while on Jackson Street in the City.

"Motive is not an element of the crime," Friedman said. "It wasn’t something we would have known if we tried the case, nor did we need to know."

If he hadn't accepted the plea deal in August, a conviction at trial could have resulted in a 37-year prison term.

The sentence also includes nine years on the drug-dealing conviction.

The sentence was in line with the terms of the plea deal.

October 6, 2017 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
mug_seanvickers2.jpg
        Sean Vickers

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman thought for sure he was going to have to retry the local case against convicted child molester Sean Vickers after an appeals court overturned four of his jury trial convictions from 2014.

Vickers was back in Genesee County Court today. He was originally scheduled for a hearing on who his trial attorney would be and to clarify whether Vickers would testify before a grand jury presentment on the evidence against him this coming Tuesday.

Instead, Vickers surprised Friedman by agreeing to a plea deal that would cap his potential prison term on the charges to 40 years.

In 2014, Judge Robert C. Noonan handed down a 107-year sentence after Vickers was convicted at trial on similar charges.

The plea deal Vickers accepted today is the same one he turned down before that trial.

Since then, he's been convicted of one count in Genesee County that carried a seven-year prison sentence and of sexual abuse charges in Niagara County that resulted in a 20-year sentence.

This afternoon, Vickers was arraigned on four counts of course of sexual conduct in the first degree. He entered a guilty to plea to two counts in satisfaction of all four charges.

The four charges covered acts against two different victims, and the two counts admitted to were for sexual acts against a child under age 13 in 2001 through 2002 in the City of Batavia.

If the case had been presented to a grand jury, Friedman would have asked the grand jury to return an indictment that included two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child in the first degree, a Class A2 felony, which would have carried a mandatory sentence of 15 to life or 25 to life.

The plea deal means the victims won't have to testify in a second Genesee County trial and the 48-year-old Vickers won't likely get out of prison before the start of the second half of the century.

October 6, 2017 - 2:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify, downtown.

The City of Batavia will receive a $10 million award from the State of New York as a regional winner in the 2017 Downtown Revitalization Initiative Contest.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement moments ago at City Centre.

Batavia is one of 10 regional winners around the state, beating out other applicants in the Finger Lakes region.

MORE T/K

October 6, 2017 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

mug_mar_holmes_nov2015.jpg

       Marlek Holmes

A sexual predator already serving 15 years in prison for his crimes against children is looking at possibly serving another seven years for assaulting fellow inmates in the Genesee County Jail and damaging jail property.

It took a jury three hours of deliberation after a three-day trial to find Marlek Holmes guilty on two counts of assault in the second degree and criminal mischief.

The potential sentence for Holmes:

  • Count 1: a determinate sentence of at least five years and as much as seven years on his conviction for a second-degree assault committed in the jail on June 5, 2016.
  • Count 2: a determinate sentence of at least five years and as much as seven years on his conviction for a second-degree assault committed in the jail on Oct. 30, 2016.
  • Count 3: an indeterminate sentence of at least one-and-a-half to three years and as much as two to four years on his conviction for third degree criminal mischief committed in the jail on Oct. 30, 2016.

State sentencing guidelines require the combined sentence for the assault charged be served consecutively to his current 15-year sentence unless the court finds it would be "in the interest of justice" to make the sentence concurrent to the 15-year sentence. The criminal mischief sentence can be either concurrent or consecutive.

Holmes will be sentenced Jan. 2 at 9:30 a.m.

He's scheduled for a third trial on two pending Class D felony charges for allegedly violating the terms of his status as a registered sexual offender. For those charges he would not be considered a second felony offender because they are crimes under Corrections Law, not Penal Law.

Therefore, if convicted in the third trial, he would face an indeterminate sentence of at least one-and-a-third to four years, and as much as two-and-a-third to seven years on each count. Under NYS law, the sentences may run consecutively or concurrently to his other sentences.

October 6, 2017 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, batavia, news.

ywca5k2017.jpg

The YWCA hosted its annual Stiletto & Sneaker 5K yesterday at its facility on North Street in Batavia. The event was followed by its annual Harvest Supper.

Kevin Sheehan (photo) won the men's division of the race with a time of 18:27. Heather Burger won the women's division with a time of 24:39, but was no longer present for a photo when the trophies were handed out.

After the awards presentation, there was a color toss (bottom photo). The original schedule included a sky lantern lighting, but Director Jeanne Walton said it was canceled when the wind kicked up.

ywca5k2017-2.jpg

Color toss: Note, you can just catch the Wilson school bus starting to get stuck on the sidewalk in the background (see yesterday's story).

October 6, 2017 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for Triple O Mechanical in the Town of Bergen and 212 West Main Street Inc. in the City of Batavia at its Oct. 5 board meeting. The agency also accepted applications from Darien Lake and O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative.

Triple O will invest $400,000 to expand its existing facility from 6,960 square feet to 14,614 square feet, which will create one new job and retain 19 jobs. The company will receive sales and property tax exemptions totaling approximately $75,000. Triple O provides heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and electrical services for residential and commercial customers.

212 West Main Street Inc. is investing $895,000 for a new Arby’s Restaurant, which will include renovations of the interior and exterior of the existing building as well as the purchase of equipment. While a retail project, the 212 West Main Street project qualifies for incentives since it is located adjacent to a highly distressed area of the city. 212 West Main Street Inc. will receive sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions totaling approximately $66,500.  The new restaurant will create five new jobs.

An application for assistance was accepted by the GCEDC on behalf of Darien Lake Theme Park Resort for a new ride set to open in 2018. Darien Lake is seeking $360,000 in sales tax exemptions as part of a capital investment of $4.5 million. The project will help retain 398 jobs at one of the Buffalo Niagara and Finger Lakes regions most popular resorts.​

The GCEDC board also accepted an application from O-AT-KA for a $4.3 million capital investment for an approximate 20,000-square-foot expansion of the company’s plant on Ellicott Street. The company is requesting approximately $370,000 for sales tax and property tax exemptions.  The project will help retain 308 jobs in the Town and City of Batavia.

Since both O-AT-KA and Darien Lake are requesting incentives of more than $100,000, public hearings for both projects will be scheduled.

“Genesee County continues to see major business growth and investment in our existing companies,” said GCEDC Board Chair Paul Battaglia. “All of these projects send a positive message that Genesee County is open for business and a great place to grow.”

October 6, 2017 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news.

Press release:

Batavia High School seniors will participate in the 19th annual Make a Difference Day community service project Oct. 11 in various nonprofit agencies throughout the community.

Participating agencies include: All Babies Cherished, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Batavia Agri-Business Child Development, Batavia Business Improvement District, Batavia Housing Authority, Batavia Peace Garden, City of Batavia Youth Bureau, Crossroads House, Genesee County Parks, Genesee County Youth Bureau, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, Habitat for Humanity, Holland Land Office Museum, NYS Veterans Home, Premier Genesee, Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, United Memorial Medical Center, VA WNY Healthcare System of Batavia, YMCA, YWCA Children’s Center, YWCA of Genesee County.  

Batavia City Schools is dedicated to helping their more than 170 seniors learn and develop the importance of giving back to their own community while helping to foster civic responsibility. This is an integral part of their Batavia High School academic curriculum, and is a component of their graduation requirements.

October 6, 2017 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the home page).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual purchaser must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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