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August 12, 2016 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, accident, news.

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A 67-year-old Holley man apparently suffered a medical emergency while driving through Le Roy at 4 a.m., Thursday, causing a series of accidents that led to a utility pole being knocked down and heavy damage to construction trailers at Wolcott Street School.

Douglas M. Howe was reportedly eastbound on East Main Street when he attempted a three-point turn in a 10-wheeler in the area of 57 E. Main St.

Le Roy PD reports that Howe drove the truck over the curb and broke some large branches off a tree in front of that residence.

He then proceeded west for a short distance and his truck went up over the curb in front of 44 E. Main St. The truck struck and snapped a utility pole and crashed into a cobblestone wall.

Howe then apparently backed the truck up and proceeded west on East Main Street. He then drove the truck up over the curb in front of Wolcott Street School. The truck continued south where it struck two construction trailers near the main entrance to the school. The trailers suffered heavy damage and were pushed into the school building, which suffered minor damage.

Howe was transported to UMMC by Le Roy Ambulance for treatment of minor injuries and medical evaluation.

No charges are anticipated at this time. 

Assisting at the scene was the Sheriff's Office and State Police and Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department.

Photos provided by Le Roy PD.

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August 12, 2016 - 7:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
August 11, 2016 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

UPDATED at 5:50 p.m.

While the cause of death has yet to be determined, two people who were found dead in the Batavia Cemetery (not St. Joe's as previously reported) were stuck by lightning, a medical examiner has determined.

The deceased are identified as Richard Garlock, 34, and Jenna Macleod, 32.

Batavia PD was dispatched to the cemetery at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, to check on two people who were found deceased in the cemetery.

Both Garlock and Macleod are people who are familiar to police, but investigators are not really sure why they might have been in a back corner of the Batavia Cemetery at 2:30 a.m. during a lightning storm.

"(They could have been there) to watch the storm roll in and they got hit by lightning," Det. Todd Crossett said. "It's probably that simple. It really could be. It was a spectacular storm. The lightning was just incredible."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has technology that 95 percent of the time can detect a lightning strike within 600 feet of the exact location where it contacted the ground. 

NOAA has confirmed a lightning strike in the area of the Batavia Cemetery during Wednesday morning's storm.

The Erie County ME determined Garlock and Macleod had injuries consistent with being struck by lightning. 

They were found under a large tree.

"A fence wasn’t too far away," Crossett said. "I’ve seen where fence gets struck, but there’s a root underground. It will travel through the root and pop up someplace else.  Underneath the tree, there are lots of roots that come to the surface, so the tree could have got struck, traveled down the tree, came up through a root and they got the electricity that way. It could have been that, or they could have taken a direct hit. With all that, I don’t think we’ll know how it actually happened. All we can say is, they did get hit with lightning."

There are no burn marks on the tree or other objects. There are also no signs of trauma, though the victims did have some injuries investigators came to believe were consistent with a lightning strike.

There is also no visible evidence, such as paraphernalia in the area, of drug use, though early in the investigation detectives did look into that possibility.

“Why else would you be in the back corner of the cemetery?" Crossett said. "Why is that? I can tell you the detectives who were there and the lead investigator who was there, we were completely open (to any possibility). We didn't rule anything out and we didn't rule anything in."

The cause of death is pending while the Erie County M.E. completes a toxicology report, which could take up to two months.

August 11, 2016 - 12:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Bowling, Mike Pettinella, thebatavian, news, business.

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For nearly a decade, local journalist and bowling expert Mike Pettinella has produced a bi-weekly bowling column for the local print newspaper, but on Sept. 1, Pettinella’s column moves into the 21st Century, going all digital.

Pettinella has agreed to move the column, Pin Points, to the region’s most popular source for online news, The Batavian.

With the reach of The Batavian, the Wyoming County Free Press and promotional help from WBTA AM/FM and the online-only news sites in Orleans and Livingston counties, Pettinella’s Pin Points will reach a bigger audience than ever.

“We’re honored that Mike has chosen The Batavian for his column’s new home,” said Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian. “Mike has a large and loyal following of bowling enthusiasts, so combine that with the popularity of The Batavian and it’s a move that is great for bowlers in the area and the sponsors who have long supported Pin Points.”

Pettinella is a Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame bowler and writer who has written professionally about the sport of bowling continuously since 1977, when he began employment as Sports Editor of The Batavia Daily News.

Bowling has been a major part of Pettinella’s career since 1992, when he took the managerial position at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia. After an 11-year stint there, he was hired by the Empire State USBC Association as its manager in 2010, and continues to serve as association manager of the New York State USBC, a position he has held since 2011.

Earlier this month, Pettinella accepted the position as association manager of the Genesee Region USBC, which services league and tournament bowlers in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties. He also covers local government in Genesee County and other local news for The Batavian.

His bowling columns have appeared in the Daily News and the Genesee Valley PennySaver, and he has also had articles published in several bowling publications, including Spares & Strikes and the CNY Striker. For the past nine years, his Pin Points column on The Bowling Page was a regular feature of The Batavia Daily News.

Pettinella has been involved in bowling since the late 1960s, and rolled a certified 300 game as a high school junior in 1971.

A former collegiate standout bowler, he has a high series of 816, has four Batavia Bowling Association/GRUSBC Senior Masters titles, and anchored the Turnbull Heating team to the NYS Open Championships title in 2010. Last season, he rolled two 300 games at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Mike and his wife, Wendy, have four grown daughters and five grandchildren.

August 11, 2016 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Police are investigating the discovery yesterday afternoon of two bodies in the St. Joseph Batavia Cemetery in Batavia.

Sources say the bodies of a man and a woman were found in the cemetery and they had apparently died of a drug overdose.

The police are expected to release more details later today.

UPDATE 11:05 a.m.: While the investigation is ongoing, a lightning strike has not been ruled out as the cause of death. There was evidence at the scene to suggest that as a possibility. Investigators are waiting for more information from the medical examiner. 

UPDATE: Batavia has released information. New story here.

August 11, 2016 - 7:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

In a rally yesterday in Wilmington, N.C., Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump insinuated that “Second Amendment people,” take violent action against Hillary Clinton if they disliked her Supreme Court nomination. This remark came after Trump made claims that Clinton believes in abolishing the Second Amendment and would nominate a judge who would do so.

This isn’t the only time Trump and his supporters have advocated violence against Secretary Clinton as chants of “lock her up” pervade at all of his rallies.

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic candidate for NY­27, says, “The amount of violence Mr. Trump incites seems to know no bounds. Trump’s remarks were not only hateful, but insulting as he reduced gun owners to no better than murderers.

"I'm sure Chris Collins is waiting in the wings for his next appearance on the networks and cable today to tell us how the liberal media and Democrats have once again misconstrued Mr. Trump’s statements. However, this is no joking matter and blatant threats, such as this, should be taken seriously.”

August 10, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Canvas, batavia, arts, murals, downtown, news.

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Nicole Brill says she loves Batavia, she loves City Church and she loves color, so as part of the City Canvas art trail project, she's painting a mural of a stained-glass window on the side of the Generation Center.

Brill is a graphic designer for City Church, so she often works with Brian Kemp, co-owner of T-Shirts Etc. on projects and Brill said it was Kemp who approached her about participating in the mural project.

There are four murals planned for downtown this summer. Two of the three on the side of the Mancuso Bowling Center are already completed, Brill is working on hers and another one is planned for the northeast corner of Main St. Pizza Co.'s building.

"Pastor Marty (Macdonald) didn't ask what I was doing," Brill said. "He said do it and do it big."

Macdonald, pictured below with Brill, happened by while we were talking with Brill and said he couldn't be prouder of Brill's participation in the project.

The art trail project will create a trail map for downtown visitors and it will include existing murals, such as those in Jackson Square by Vinny DelPlato, and the fire hydrants painted by artists two summers ago.

Kemp said he was able to reach out to artists in the community whose work isn't as often seen locally and get them to participate this year. The project is funded through a grant from GO ART!.

"I want to see creativity and color really shine here," Brill said. "And I love that I get to use it as part of my ministry at City Church."

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August 10, 2016 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
August 10, 2016 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, schools, education, Milestones.

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Press release:

Batavia High School graduates Ryan Dibble and Jonathan Barber each earned a Batavia City Schools Custodial Association and Gui’s Lumber Scholarship.  Both received a $750 gift certificate for Gui’s Lumber to go toward the tools and materials they will need to start college this September. Both are attending Alfred State College – Ryan is in the Heavy Equipment, Truck, and Diesel Technician program, and Jonathan is in the Building Trades: Building Construction program. The BCSD Custodial Association began the tradition in 2002 of providing scholarships to deserving seniors who are pursuing studies in a skilled trade, and was joined by Gui’s Lumber in Batavia a few years later.

“We want to do something to enhance students’ careers and help them advance in their chosen field,” explained John Suttell of the Custodial Association.

Pictured left to right are Gui’s Lumber manager Scot Monachino, scholarship recipients Ryan Dibble and Jonathan Barber, and BCSD Custodial Association representative John Suttell.

August 10, 2016 - 9:41am

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The Batavia Society of Artists sponsored a Sketch Out/Paint Out event in Jackson Square on Wednesday evening, featuring cast members from the Batavia Players upcoming presentation of "Guys and Dolls."

The event gave local artists a chance to paint or draw characters from the famous musical.

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August 9, 2016 - 12:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

The 2016 New York-Penn League All-Star roster will include two players from Batavia. They will send infielder J.J. Gould and pitcher Shane Sawczak to the game to be held Tuesday, Aug. 16th at Dutchess Stadium, home of the Hudson Valley Renegades.

Gould, a 24th round pick in the 2016 draft, has played in 39 games for the Muckdogs this year and has been among the team leaders in hitting all season. Gould has 11 doubles, which is tied for fourth in the NY-Penn League, to go along with a .252 batting average, three home runs and 15 RBIs. Gould has been dominant versus left-handed pitching with a .386 batting average and .636 slugging percentage.

Shane Sawczak was selected in the 19th round of the 2016 draft out of Palm Beach State University. Appearing out of the bullpen in 12 games, the left-hander has a record of 1-1 and has racked up 20 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched. On the year, Sawczak has compiled an ERA of 1.69 and a WHIP 1.27.

Batavia currently holds the sixth place spot in the Pinckney Division with a record of 12-38. The Muckdogs sent five players to the 2012 All-Star game, four in 2013, four in 2014, and six players in 2015.

August 9, 2016 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Genesee County Airport, business.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $184,871 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Genesee County Airport, located in Batavia. The grant will assist the Genesee County Airport in funding the full reconstruction and rehabilitation of 3,400 feet of existing runway.

“Utilizing grant funding to support our local governments is a smart investment and a responsible use of federal tax dollars,” said Congressman Collins. “Investing in infrastructure projects like the Genesee County Airport’s runway rehabilitation will significantly improve the quality, efficiency and safety of its daily operations. These efforts will allow the Genesee County Airport to continue to grow and positively impact our local economy for years to come.”

“This important federal funding will help ensure the future of the Genesee County Airport,” said Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature.The grant will fund the full depth reconstruction of 3,400 feet of the existing runway 10/28 pavement that has reached the end of its useful life. We look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Collins to improve local transportation infrastructure and support job growth throughout Genesee County.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.

August 8, 2016 - 7:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement, Sponsored Post.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
August 8, 2016 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford Trading Post, Shell's Post, Stafford, business, news.

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Mitchell Bryan started working for Shell Mouery when he was 14. Now, at 24, he owns what used to be known as the Stafford Trading Post, but has renamed it Shell's Post in honor of his former boss, who passed away in March.

He said he thought the name change an appropriate way to honor Mouery's memory.

The business passed to Mouery's son, John Macan, who now lives in Texas, and Bryan and Macan worked out an arrangement for Bryan to take over the location.

"It took me one night to think about it," Bryan said. "The next day, I just went for it."

Bryan hasn't changed much about the business, which is a community drink and snack store and deli and pizza parlor.

"It's a rewarding business," Bryan said. "The customers are great, loyal customers, and you're doing something different every day, I'm not stuck in a cubicle. It’s fun. I just enjoy it."

August 8, 2016 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thruway, news.

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It's been more than an hour since a truck and trailer fire was reported on the Thruway in East Pembroke, but eastbound traffic is still backed up and moving at a crawl, according to a reader caught in the mess just west of Exit 48A.

The source is now much further east, but says it's still slow going.

A check of Thruway traffic cams show fairly clear lanes at exits 48A and 48.

The fire was originally reported to involve a truck hauling a horse trailer, but that was later changed to a travel trailer. 

The fire may have spread to grass along the shoulder of the Thruway.

East Pembroke fire responded.

August 8, 2016 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Bethany, Darien, Alabama.

Hakeem Ellsha Cunningham, 20, of Alleghany Road, Darien, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd. Cunningham allegedly grabbed the neck of a juvenile, causing her to have a hard time breathing, during an incident reported July 19.

Lance M. Mercado Sr., 26, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Mercardo is accused of shoplifting from Speedway. Surveillance cameras revealed Mercado allegedly placing merchandise in his pockets and leaving the store without paying for the items.

Anthony G. Milone, 52, of Transit Road, Depew, is charged with disorderly conduct. Milone allegedly stepped out in front of a vehicle on Summit Street, Batavia, blocking traffic, at 4:29 p.m., June 24.

Joseph M. Marsceill Sr., 46, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Marsceill allegedly failed to appear in court on a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. He was released on his own recognizance.

Deborah R. Blatt, 56, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Blatt allegedly struck a police officer while being escorted to an ambulance to be taken to an area hospital for evaluation.

Charles-Gus Thigpen Williams, 37, of Robinson Road, Lockport, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Williams allegedly tried to gain access to a residence on Liberty Street at 10:32 p.m., Aug. 2, where the person living there was protected by a complete stay away order. Williams was located and arrested Tuesday. He was jailed on $1,000 bail, or $2,000 bond.

Douglas S. Sprague, 49, of Bethany Center Road, East Bethany, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. Sprague allegedly attempted to resist arrest following a disturbance on Hutchins Place, Batavia, at 10:27 p.m., Friday.

Benjamin L. Brade, 24, of Denio Street, Batavia, is was arrested on a warrant. Brade allegedly failed to show up to serve a weekend jail term. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Paul P. Cronan, 35, of Main Street, Williamsville, is charged with harassment, 2nd, disorderly conduct and coercion, 2nd. Cronan was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 12:21 p.m., Sunday, at Dunkin' Donuts, Batavia. He was released to NYSP Clarence on unrelated charges.

Christian Richard Austin, 32, of Parce Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to stop at stop sign and driver's view obstructed. Austin was stopped at 12:21 p.m. Saturday on Route 77, Alabama, by Deputy Michael Lute.

August 8, 2016 - 10:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, schools, education, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program provides an opportunity for 4-year-old children, at no cost to their families, to be involved in developmentally appropriate educational classes that, following the school calendar, meet Monday through Friday during the regular school year.

In the Batavia City School District, the program is offered mornings and afternoons at Jackson Primary as well as mornings at two community satellite locations: the YMCA Preschool and Imagination Station Childcare and Preschool. Transportation is also available.

In addition, for a fee, the YMCA and Imagination Station offer “wrap around” child care programs for those who desire it. (Please note that the District will make every attempt to accommodate, but cannot guarantee, requests for placement in a specific location.)

Children who are residents of Batavia City School District and who are four (4) years of age on or before Dec. 1, 2016, are eligible.

Information/Registration packets, including the application, are available at the District Business Office in the administrative wing of Batavia High School (260 State St.), or by calling 343-2480, ext. 1002. They can also be downloaded from the District’s website (www.bataviacsd.org) by using the pull-down menu at the top of the page labeled “Parent,” or the Quick Link labeled “Parent Resources,” then clicking on the link for Universal Pre-K.

The application should be returned as soon as possible. 

August 8, 2016 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Botts-Fiorito Post #576, American Legion, Le Roy, news.

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Photos and info submitted by Jerry Diskin.

The American Legion post in Le Roy, Botts-Fiorito Post #576, conducted a flag disposal ceremony Sunday afternoon, burning flags that had been dropped off with the Legion and deemed no longer serviceable.

The ceremony was held at the Northwoods Sportsman Club on Gulf Road with the assistance of the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department. 

There were approximately 335 flags disposed of in the ceremony, including the giant flag that was replaced on the Orcon Industries building on Lake Road.

The ceremony was conducted by Post Commander Don Schafer. 

The ceremony is based on Public Law 344, passed by the 94th Congress in 1978:

"When the flag is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should not be cast aside or used in any way that might be viewed as disrespectful to the national colors, but should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning or by some other method in harmony with the reverence and respect we owe to the emblem representing our country.”

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August 7, 2016 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Empire State Antique Truck Show, Stafford, news.

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These photos are from yesterday's Empire State Antique Truck Show in Stafford (the event is continuing today) were submitted by Rob Radley.

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August 7, 2016 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

This is our third day of running out new Deal of the Day program.

Many people have already registered, which will make it easier to jump right in and buy today's deals. If you haven't registered (see the link below), you should, even if you aren't planning to purchase today. It will help you make a quicker purchase in the future.  Some deals do go fast.  The registration system makes it easier for you to know which items you are eligible to purchase within the four-month time frame.

You will still need to log into your PayPal account, or pay with a credit card through PayPal, to complete your purchase (we've always used PayPal for Deal of the Day, so if you think you haven't used it before to make a Deal of the Day purchase, you have).

Finally, this isn't the same registration used on The Batavian for comments and such.

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

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