Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Howard B. Owens's blog

July 13, 2016 - 5:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, crime, meth, news.

An Oakfield resident who was reportedly a high-ranking member of the Hells Angels has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for his part in a methamphetamine distribution ring.

James Heney "Mitch" McAuley Jr., 67, also will be barred from associating with members of the Hells Angels for five years upon his release from prison.

McAuley had previously entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Federal investigators say McAuley, a vice president of the Rochester chapter of the Hells Angels, was a leader role in a distribution ring that obtained meth from a source in California and had it shipped to New York for sale in Rochester.

The operation continued from at least 2002 through July 2010, with McAuley running it even after he was taken into custody on a racketeering charge in 2007.

Richard W. Mar, 64, president of the Monterey chapter of the Hells Angels, provided the McAuley and his co-conspirators with the meth.

The co-conspirators included: McAuley's wife, Donna Boon, 50; Richard Riedman, 42, of Webster; Gordon Montgomery, 57, of Batavia; Jeffrey A. Tyler, 51, of Rochester; and Paul Griffin, 62, of Blasdell. 

All have also entered guilty pleas to various related charges. 

Boon received three years probation and 12 months of home incarceration. 

Monterey chaper President Mar is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 16.

Authorities also tied McAuley to a baseball attack on a patron in a Rochester bar and a subsequent attempt to cover up the crime.

Robert W. "Bugsy" Moran, 61, of Rochester, entered a guilty plea in February to conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. 

Gina Tata, 52, of Rochester, pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the conspiracy and was given three years probation.

Timothy M. Stone, 36, of Gates, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

July 13, 2016 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, Harvester Center.

plantfirejuly1320162.jpg 

A grass fire is reported behind 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, which is the Harvester Center.

City fire is responding.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: There is a report of flames coming through the roof of U.S. Chrome. There is black smoke in the area.

UPDATE(s)(By Billie) 2:19 p.m.: The fire may be in a building or buildings behind GCASA; possibly 21-22 Masse Place. The city's first platoon is called to stand by in fire headquarters.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The fire is out. It did not get inside a structure. It was contained to grassy brush behind buildings on Masse Place.

UPDATE 2:34 p.m.: Tony Strollo, who works at Pinnacle Manufacturing Co. on Harvester Avenue, said he saw a grass fire about 12 square feet, and 12-feet high, approaching the building and he and plant manager Kelly Boyle used fire extinguishers to try and keep the blaze from reaching the building. "It was a big wall of fire," Strollo said. They went through seven extinguishers, keeping the flames at bay until the city fire crew could knock it down.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Pinnacle CEO Diana Kastenbaum said she's concerned about first responders' ability to access the area, which is overgrown with weeds, grass and shrubs. "I saw police had come down Main Street first and then I saw the fire trucks at the corner because they couldn't get in here. Nobody can really get to it. This area should be cleared. I just think this is very bad. You can see how dry the grass is and how hot it is today." She called the property owner posthaste and aims to get him to clear the brush and haul it away in the interest of public safety.

UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: Chief at the scene, Capt. Craig Williams, says the initial investigation indicates sparks from Pinnacle Manufacturing Company's molten aluminum shop flew out open windows onto the grass, igniting the blaze.

UPDATE 5 p.m. (by Howard): Workers were able to see out the open windows and there were no people in the area, so cigarettes are not suspected. 

Because of the molten metal, firefighters had to be careful to keep water away from the building, setting up their lines to push the fire away from the structure. If water hits the molten aluminum it could potentially cause an explosion. Williams said firefighters were already well aware of that danger at this location. Williams said flames were at least 12 feet in the air and just a foot from the building when crews arrived.  

The biggest difficulty in fighting the fire was finding it. One truck went down Harvester and the other down Swan. Once they located the exact location, they were able to quickly put it out without damage to the structure. 

Code Enforcement Officer Ron Panek said the city will be looking at a possible code violation issue because of weeds exceeding 10 inches in height within 100 feet of the building. Kastenbaum said she has already placed a call to the property's owner raising her concerns.

The fire was in a pile of organic debris covering a mound of dirt. It covered about a 30 by 30 area, Williams said. 

plantfirejuly1320162-2.jpg

plantfirejuly1320162-3.jpg

July 13, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, crime, batavia, news.
mugannovidarren2016.jpg
     Darren Annovi

Darren Annovi, the 42-year-old resident of 400 Towers in Batavia, who is accused of placing his live cat in an oven and baking it to death, must undergo a forensic mental health evaluation, Judge Robert Balbick ruled today at Annovi's arraignment in City Court.

A key issue at the arraignment was whether to release Annovi on bail or on his own recognizance. Typically, a person with no criminal record and a high score on the bail evaluation would be a sure bet to be released without bail, and since state guidelines don't take into account the nature of the criminal charge, but Balbick was concerned about the last sentence in the bail evaluation.

He said that it indicated Annovi might a danger to the community. 

That assessment reportedly came from corrections officers at the jail and Assistant Public Defender Lisa Kroemer suggested that since they weren't trained mental health professionals, maybe that shouldn't weigh heavily in the bail hearing.

She thought an evaluation by a professional would be appropriate.

Bail is supposed to be based on the likelihood the defendant will appear for his next court date, but Balbick said he thought it reasonable to consider Annovi's mental health state since that, too, could be a factor in whether he would appear as ordered.

Annovi is charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

He is scheduled to next appear in City Court at 9:30 a.m., July 21.

Previously: 400 Towers resident jailed without bail for allegedly killing his cat by burning it alive in hot oven

July 13, 2016 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair, fair, batavia, news, agriculture.

gcfairparade2016.jpg

gcfairparade2016-2.jpg

gcfairparade2016-3.jpg

gcfairparade2016-4.jpg

gcfairparade2016-5.jpg

gcfairparade2016-6.jpg

gcfairparade2016-7.jpg

gcfairparade2016-8.jpg

gcfairparade2016-9.jpg

gcfairparade2016-10.jpg

gcfairparade2016-11.jpg

gcfairparade2016-12.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

July 13, 2016 - 8:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC, Stafford, Stafford Country Club, sports, golf.

img_1277.jpg

Press release:

The 40th Annual Genesee ARC Golf, Tennis & Bocce Tournament at Stafford Country Club held this past Monday was dedicated in memory of Ralph Houseknecht, a longtime tournament supporter, disability advocate and friend of ARC who passed away earlier this year.

Prior to the start of golf, ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski said “Ralph spent much of his life helping Genesee ARC and the people we serve, most notably as the first local businessman to offer community employment opportunities to individuals with intellectual disabilities, when he ran Pepsi of Batavia.”

She encouraged the 120 golfers including five Houseknecht children and three grandsons to play in Ralph’s honor and enjoy the game as he did.

In golf play, coming out on top was Zach Fuller who shot a 72, followed by Mark State with 77, and a tie for third with Paul Barton and Tom Burgess, both shooting 79. Low gross honors for women went to Francesca Fuller with an 88.

In the low net category, Jim Gibson came in with a 65 followed by Chuck Graney, 66, and Bill Wassink, 67. Katie Houseknecht Berger had a low net score of 67 for women.

In the blind bogey competition, Alan Saskowski and John Ottaviano matched the blind bogey number drawn of 72.

There were several contests on the course including the longest drive on 7, Jesse Luxon and closest-to-the-line on 15, Al Leaton. In the closest-to-the-pin contests, Mike Davison won a golf bag, courtesy of C.H. Wright on 8 (3’9”); Bruce Partridge, Donnie Miller and Mark Houseknecht won cash prizes on 12 and Katie Houseknecht Berger won a Schwinn bicycle, donated by Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle in the top prize on 14.

The hole-in-one contest on 8 was sponsored by Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Unfortunately, no one shot an ace to drive away with a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sport.

In bocce, the first-place team was Yvonne Branton, Jane Scott, Kathy Zeliff and Chris Fix.

Top score in tennis went to Steve Clemm. First-place team honors went to Phil McNulty and Marjorie Fulmer and second-place team went to Hollis Upson and Jim Fulmer.

Gold sponsors of the event were Turnbull Heating & Air-Conditioning, The Bonadio Group, Graham Corporation, MTE Turf Equipment Solutions/Tom & Lynn Houseknecht, Crickler Vending and Relph Benefit Advisors. Silver sponsors were: The Daily News, Oakfield Family Medical Care, Alpina Foods, Erie and Niagara Insurance Association, In Memory of Ralph Houseknecht, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Tops Friendly Markets, Bessey Tools, Parkview Health Services, Genesee Valley PennySaver, Rochester Regional Health/United Memorial Medical Center, One Group and The Insurance Center.

Also supporting the event were 16 golf sponsors, four tennis sponsors, eight bocce sponsors and six Friend of ARC Tournament sponsors. Door Prizes, silent and Chinese auction items were donated by dozens of area businesses. The 2016 cart sponsors were Manning Napier, Orcon Industries and Philadelphia Insurance.

A total of 120 golfers, 12 tennis players and 32 bocce players participated in the annual event that raises money to benefit programs and service for people with disabilities served by Genesee ARC. The winner of the $1,000 cash drawing was Ron Brueckner with ticket number 11966. The ticket seller was Deb Hinze of Batavia. The ARC/Lullo Memorial tournament is named in memory of Danny Lullo. Mr. Lullo was a local businessman who came up with the idea to hold a tournament to benefit Genesee ARC programs and services for people with disabilities in our community.

The Genesee ARC/Lullo Memorial Tournament is the longest-running charity event held at the local private club.

bocce_photo.jpg

July 13, 2016 - 12:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, news.

A 2006 Honda Civic, color gray, reportedly hit a utility pole in the Village of Corfu and then fled the scene.

Deputies are responding.

July 13, 2016 - 12:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pokemon Go, games, batavia, news.

pokemongojuly122016-2.jpg

pokemongymhlom.png
     The gym at HLOM

See the people walking around town staring at their phones? You may have seen more of them these past few days. It's easy to assume they're checking a social media account or texting. That assumption is likely incorrect in each and every case.

Actually, nearly every one of those people you see, usually in twos or threes, with noses down, eyes locked on their smartphone screens, are playing a game, a game that gets people off the couch, out of the house, onto the street and doing something Luddites often complain people don't do in the always-connect age: talking with each other.

The game is Pokemon Go, a version of the iconic Pokemon game updated for the era of smartphones.

What all these people are looking at is a virtual world superimposed on the real world, a world you can't see unless you download the app and create an account. They are seeing a world populated by the likes of wartortlesbutterfrees and caterpie, hunting for pokespots and gyms, building their strength and resources for their team to battle for control of those gyms.

"I've had it since Friday night," said Michael Snyder, of Batavia. "I saw my brother running to get a Pokemon over by Kelsey Road and he said, 'you gotta get this game.' He said, 'It's so much fun,' and it is. It motivates me to get outside and it's so much fun."

Pokemon started in the 1990s as a card game and players traded cards much like baseball cards. In 2006, the first video game was made for GameBoy and the Pokemon franchise has been one of Nintendo's most popular games every since, but Nintendo had largely ignored the mobile market until the release of Pokemon Go.

Since then, Pokemon Go is the most downloaded app (more than 7.5 million downloads) in both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. Nintendo's stock has gained $7.5 billion in market value in two days. Even though the game is a free download, in-app purchases have reportedly generated more than $14 million in revenue (Google and Nintendo reportedly invested $30 million in developing the game).

The game uses technology first built for another social playing game developed by a former Google employee and leverages data from Google Earth. 

When you download the game, you design your avatar and then see your avatar standing on a map of your real-life community. The location of your avatar corresponds with your actual physical location. If you're at home, your avatar is on the map where your house should be (buildings are not shown). If you get out and walk about, then your avatar walks along the street and turns as you turn.

If you happen upon a Pokemon, then you try to flick a white and red ball at it to capture it. Sometimes you miss, sometimes you snare it and then it escapes, and sometimes you get to keep it.

The first goal of Pokemon is to "catch 'em all." (Link: How to play Pokemon Go.)

pokemonzubat.png
     Time to catch a Zubat.

The more you capture the more you can do with the game. You move up levels, your Pokemon can evolve and you incubate the eggs you acquire pokestops so you get more Pokemon. At level five, you can join a team. The teams are Instinct (yellow), Mystic (blue) and Valor (red). Once you're on a team, you can capture a gym for your team and train in a gym and defend your gym. The stronger and more evolved your Pokemon, the better your chances of capturing a gym and holding a gym from attacks by other teams.

"I've been playing Pokemon since I was a kid," said Luis Ortiz, of Batavia. "Even as a kid, you would wish something like this would come out and it finally has."

The game is popular, people say because it gets you outside and you meet people and make new friends.

Ortiz was at the Peace Garden Tuesday afternoon, as were about a dozen other people. That used to never happen on a typical  day, even one as sunny and pleasant as Tuesday, but that crowd was nothing like the one several people said was there on Monday night (or we witnessed on Tuesday night). As many as 30 people were in the garden at one time.

The garden has become Batavia's Pokemon hotspot because it contains two pokespots and there is a gym at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Pokespots are locations where you can fill your satchel with balls to capture Pokemon with, perhaps get eggs, and they are also places where you will find lots of Pokemon to a capture. The pokespots act as lures for Pokemon.

"The game gets people closer," Ortiz said. "We came out here last night another were about 25 to 30 people here walking up and down, saying, ‘Hi', so it’s really cool. It gets you outside and you get to do stuff."

Maximus Mantrow, from Greece, was driving his girlfriend past the garden this afternoon and she had her app open. They spotted the pokespots, the gym and several people in the garden, so they decided to stop.

"It’s cool," Mantrow said. "You meet a lot of cool people, you start talking, you make friends. It's fun."

pokemonstjoes.png
     St. Joe's

Montrow said he's always been a fan of Pokemon, but he wasn't planning on downloading the game until he did and now he's hooked.

"I was like 'I don’t know about this', but I was playing a little more and it’s got that addictive nature to it, you know," Montrow said. "You get this one and then you’re like, ‘oh, I can catch that one, too, and I can catch that’ and after that, you can evolve it into something else. It’s just a lot of fun."

Sarah and Sophie Matlow drove from Le Roy to Batavia this afternoon and were walking through Downtown (they didn't even know about the Peace Garden treasures yet) because there isn't that much Pokemon activity in Le Roy.

“I like Pokemon too much for a 17-year-old girl," said Sophie, a student at Le Roy High School, and Sarah, a student at Alfred State College, added, “and I just wanted to play it with her."

As we talked, a young man walked by and said, yes, he was playing, too, and added, "I just captured that gym," which is on East Main Street.

"Everyone is playing this game right now," Sarah said. "It’s crazy."

App user stats bear out the sense that Pokemon Go is wildly popular already. Besides being number one in the app stores, the average daily use of those who download it already exceeds all other social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

Besides the social benefits of Pokemon Go, users say they love the idea of going outside and actually walking around to play a video game. They recognize health benefits.

"I've read about people getting leg cramps because they’ve been playing Pokemon Go so much; so people, like, hate on it so much because it actually makes you move, but it’s great," Sophie said.

pokemonnightjuly122016-4.jpg

More of the story and more photos after the jump (click the headline or "read more" below):

July 12, 2016 - 7:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A two-car accident with unknown injuries is reported at South Main and River streets in the city.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 7:31 p.m.: There are no injuries.

July 12, 2016 - 12:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, byron, news.

A fast-moving field fire is reported in the area of Byron Holly Road and North Bergen Road, Byron.

There is reportedly fire equipment and a propane tank in the field.

Byron and South Byron dispatched.

Elba requested to the scene. Clarendon requested to the scene.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m.: The propane tank doesn't appear to be in any danger now.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Stafford's brush truck was requested and just arrived at the scene.

UPDATE 1:02 p.m.: Command reports the "fire is under control and out."

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: Overhauling underway. Mercy rig called to firefighters' rehab area, 6332 Byron Holley Road. One lane of traffic is closed by law enforcement.

UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: The assignment is back in service; all remaining units returning to quarters.

July 12, 2016 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, Oakfield.

An animal control officer has been dispatched to Sunrise Parkway in Oakfield, where a caller reports a cat may have been shot by a BB gun.

The caller does not have the cat.

No suspect information available.

UPDATE 11:53 a.m.: The animal control officer has spoken with the caller and provided advice on how to catch the cat. The officer had been unable to catch the cat to determine its injuries, if any.

July 12, 2016 - 8:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, batavia, business, news.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider projects for Freightliner & Western Star of Batavia, LLC, and CH4 Biogas (Genesee Biogas) at its July 14 board meeting.

Freightliner & Western Star of Batavia, LLC, is submitting an application in order to expand its operations, building a second location on State Street Road in the Town of Batavia. The project will include construction of a 30,000-square-foot warehouse and service center. The company will make a capital investment of approximately $4.35 million resulting in 30 full-time employees.

Ch4 Biogas (Genesee Biogas) plans to design, build and operate a biogas plant to support the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia, which will convert organic waste produced by agricultural and food processors into renewable energy. The project will include installation of top-of-the-line equipment and technology to help the Finger Lakes Region reach its sustainability goals. The company’s capital investment will total approximately $19.25 million and create six jobs.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 3:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

July 11, 2016 - 9:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported on East Main Street, Batavia, near the McDonald's.

Unknown injuries.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

A first responder says City Fire can respond non-emergency.

UPDATE 9:38 p.m.: Engine 11 clearing the scene. 

UPDATE 9:44 p.m.: Patient being transported to UMMC for evaluation.

July 11, 2016 - 7:18am

img_7089.jpg

Photos by Rich Engelbrecht of Journey, the Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday night.

img_7185.jpg

img_7153.jpg

img_6944.jpg

img_6761.jpg

img_6631.jpg

img_6542.jpg

img_6449.jpg

img_6243.jpg

img_6232.jpg

July 10, 2016 - 9:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A field fire is reported behind the former Gravel Pit on East Main Street Road, Town of Batavia.

The address is 5191 E. Main Street Road.

That's next property east of the Genesee Valley Ag Park.

Town of Batavia Fire Department responding.

UPDATE 10:02 p.m.: A resident on Haven Lane reported the possible fire. A chief is investigating.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m.: A responder reports, "the fire was visible from north Ag Park Road, leading into Cedar Street."

UPDATE 10:18 p.m.: The location is now given as 5056 E. Main Street Road, the Genesee County Fairgrounds. Stafford's tanker is requested to the scene, non-emergency.

July 10, 2016 - 3:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, byron, news.

A car has reportedly hit a utility pole at Warboys Road and South Byron Road, Byron.

Unknown injuries.

Byron and South Byron fire departments along with Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 4 p.m.: Southbound traffic being shut down.

July 10, 2016 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Save-A-Lot, batavia, news.

waltonweddingsavealotjuly102016.jpg

Tim and Sabrina Walton got married today in the same spot where they first met.

That would be in the produce section of the Save-A-Lot in Batavia.

Then, Tim was an assistant manager and Sabrina was a just-hired cashier.

“He just looked at me," Sabrina said of that first meeting. "He just gave me this look and not long after that he said he would marry me some day.”

Yes, Tim, said, he was smitten, but it was something more than that.

“I’d never seen anybody like her," Tim said. "It was just one of those feelings where you just know.” 

Judge Robert Balbick performed the ceremony.

The idea of getting married in the grocery store started out as a joke, Sabrina said, but Tim credits his father with promoting the idea that they should do a small, inexpensive service.

"He was the one who talked with us about doing something small and instead of spending thousands of dollars on a wedding, we could take that money and put that toward our family and still have it have meaning in what we did," Tim said.

Speaking a family, it's immediately a big one. Sabrina's four children are Dominick, 17, Cody, 14, Tyler, 12 and Emma, 11. Tim's two children are Caylin, 15, and Olivia, 11.

They recently moved into a six-bedroom house in the City of Batavia.

Sabrina now works at a local dental clinic and Tim is manager of the Save-A-Lot in Le Roy.

Tim said his bosses were gracious in the support of the idea.

Sabrina beamed and said, "We did it."

waltonweddingsavealotjuly102016-2.jpg

July 10, 2016 - 7:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake performing arts center, Darien, darien lake, crime, news.

The following person was arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Journey concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Anthony M. Stanton, 38, of Hayden Street, Buffalo, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

July 9, 2016 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pok-A-Dot, batavia, chris collins, NY-27, news.

collinsatdotjuly92016.jpg

Rep. Chris Collins was in town today for a meeting at the VFW and we caught up with him afterward at the Pok-A-Dot. Collins often stops at the Dot for breakfast, but hadn't tried the Dot's famous beef-on-weck before today*.

We asked Collins for his thoughts on the tragic events of the past week and what Congress might be able to do about events like these.

He said these are complex issues that, unfortunately, too many people want to politicize or try to solve with simplistic suggestions.

"If you’re going to talk about tragedies, the shootings, the murders, what we need to do is come together as a nation, address the root cause of our problems and hope people can come together," Collins said. "That doesn’t mean it's solved overnight, but that’s the direction we go, with a conversation together, identifying root causes, finding the solutions."

Collins, who is supporting Donald Trump for president, doesn't think the present administration is up to the task.

"The biggest problem we have is we have is a president who isn’t interested in that (finding common ground)," Collins said. "He politicizes every tragedy. He tries to make political points out of every tragedy, and in doing so he’s divided our country like it’s never been divided before."

Collins hopes the next administration will do better.

“The next president, whoever that is, has to bring our nation together," Collins said.

As for root causes, there are many, Collins said, such as mental health, terrorism and racism.

"Unfortunately, the country is just not working together," Collins said. "We’re finger pointing. We’re pointing fingers where maybe they don’t belong and very simplistically and very shamefully, suggesting simplistic insulting solutions as if that’s the solution when it’s not. This is tough stuff, whether it’s mental health, whether there are racial issues or not in that police department or not or this individual situation or another. It’s not simplistic, broad-brush stuff. It’s hard work."

CORRECTION: An aide says I'm wrong about the beef-on-weck. All three of us, he said, had a beef-on-weck together on the day of the primary election in 2012 and they've been "hooked" ever since. 

Photos: Local businessman Louis Andolora snaps a picture of Collins to add to his "Cyber Pok-A-Dot" page and then poses for a picture with the congressman.

collinsatdotjuly92016-2.jpg

July 9, 2016 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crossroads house, batavia, news.

coneridejuly2016.jpg

More than 100 riders came through Batavia today, with a police escort, as part of the sixth Annual Jerry “Rat” Cone Memorial Run to Benefit Crossroads House.

The ride took them down Main Street, with a turn down a driveway that brought them around the Crossroads House and back onto Liberty Street.

coneridejuly2016-2.jpg

coneridejuly2016-3.jpg

July 9, 2016 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Wiss Hotel, wiss, Le Roy, news, Smokin' Eagle BBQ and Brew.

eaglewissawning2016.jpg

The journey for the old awning on the former Wiss Hotel to the Smokin' Eagle was a lot longer than a trip across the street and down the block. It involved a $1 auction purchase, some BOCES students, the chance discovering of a historic photo and a lost cat.

Once the decision was made to tear down the Wiss, the Eagle's co-owner, Jay Beaumont, asked Bob Lathan if the village could save the awning. Beaumont had some vague idea that he might want to install it somewhere on the Eagle building at some point.

Once saved, it was added to the Village's surplus property auction, and with no other buyers, Beaumont was able to purchase it for $1.

Then it sat in the DPW lot for eight months because the awning was in pretty bad shape and Beaumont had no real idea what to do with it or how to restore it. Then through a chance meeting with a BOCES official at his daughter's volleyball game, he found out there was a group of students at BOCES who would love to take on just such a restoration project.

Once those wheels were in motion, Beaumont began to wonder what words once appeared on the awning. There was blank spot for the sign, but no sign.

He called one of the building's former owners, Don Pangrazio, and he had no idea. The next day, Pangrazio saw a post on the website Le Roy Then and Now. It was of the Wiss in the 1930s and included the awning.

The sign read, "Tap Room."

Mystery solved.

And Beaumont acquired a copy of that photo. The photo now hangs on the wall of the Eagle, next to an enlargement of the portion of the hotel with the awning. 

When Beaumont got the enlargement back, he looked it over carefully just to see what he might see, and he saw a sign in the window that read "John Hepps."

About this time, Beaumont's cat went missing. He loves his cat and he was pretty upset. The cat went missing on Father's Day. He had us post about the missing cat on The Batavian and he put up fliers around Le Roy.

On Monday, July 4, still missing his cat, Beaumont went down the Eagle in the morning to hang the pictures. His partner Jon Marcello stopped by and Beaumont said, "hey, look at this," pointing the sign with "John Hepps" on it.

Marcello did a quick Google search and found he had been a contractor in Le Roy.

That evening, Beaumont gets a call from a woman, Rose Marie Betts, who thinks she found Beaumont's lost cat. Beaumont drove over to her house thinking, "this is another false lead."

But it wasn't.

Overjoyed, he took his cat home. She was home. She was safe and she was in good health.

"My couldn’t believe that cat came out of the woods that day," Beaumont said.

Beaumont drove back to Bett's house to give her a reward. She refused the money. He decided, well, maybe he could give her a gift certificate to the Eagle.

He told her he was co-owner of the Smokin' Eagle, "but before I could go any further, she goes, 'My grandfather used to own the Wiss and his name is John Hepps.' I was on a high with the cat, but that took me to the next level. My mouth dropped. I couldn’t believe it."

So Betts and her daughter, Christine, were guests of honor last night at the official unveiling of the restored owning inside the Eagle, which also served as the fourth anniversary of the business and a customer appreciation night.

Top photo: Jon Marcello pulls the string releasing the balloon-filled cover on the Wiss awning for its official unveiling.

eaglewissawning2016-2.jpg

Beaumont, with the mic, speaks after the unveiling.

eaglewissawning2016-3.jpg

Pages

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Upcoming

Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button