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November 12, 2011 - 11:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, Pavilion, cross-country.

Updated Sunday, 11:02 a.m.

Liz Valento, Pavilion, and Jeffrey Antolos, Notre Dame, were given a big welcome home tonight at Route 20 and Route 19, Pavilion, as they returned from the state cross-country championship.

Liz and Jeffrey won their respective races to claim state titles in Verona on Saturday.

Friends, family and volunteer firefighters turned out to greet them and the Pavilion Volunteer Fire Department escorted them down the remainder of Route 19 to Pavilion.

Prints of these three photos can be purchased by clicking here.

Andrew Fisher, left, Notre Dame; Liz Valento, Pavilion; Jeffery Antolos, Notre Dame; Ethan Richardson, Pavilion.

Photos and captions below submitted by Bare Antolos.

ND's Jeffrey Antolos entered the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill HS football stadium for the final 150 yards of the Class D State Championship race about a half step behind Eldred HS's Alex Campenalla. But as they sprinted to the finish, Jeffrey was able to pass and hold off his opponent to win the first-ever Individual State Championship for Notre Dame HS! Jeffrey's 1.5-second victory was the narrowest margin of the four Boys' State Championship races of the day.

After battling with many runners who pushed her to stay in the lead over the first two miles of the championship race, Liz was able to pull away and win by a 24-second margin to win Pavilion's first-ever individual state championship.

Rain and snow on Friday, combined with seven earlier races, turned many sections of the course into a muddy mess that challenged the girls to maintain their footing and keep up their speed to finish a memorable day in Verona.

More pictures and information after the jump (click on the headline above to see the others).

November 12, 2011 - 10:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, veterans, hlom.

A couple of years ago Jay Lazarony and his family were touring the Holland Land Office Museum and came across a display of quilts and learned about HLOM's quilt group. They came up with the idea of a quilt honoring veterans with ties to Genesee County.

Today at the museum, that quilt was dedicated.

There are currently 211 names on the quilt and 58 more will be added.

Names were included based on the requests of family members of veterans and patches were filled on a first-come-first-served basis, Lazarony said.

"We thought this was a good way to honor those who served and sacrificed," Lazarony said.

November 12, 2011 - 10:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in War Memorial.

Veterans from throughout Genesee County gathered today at the future site of a new Genesee County War Memorial at the corner of Bank and Washington to bury the name plaques from the former war memorial.

The former memorial was outside of United Memorial Medical Center and was removed to make room for the hospital's new surgical wing.

War dead from Genesee County were honored with their names on the memorial.

The new memorial will also contain the names of military personnel who lost their lives in America's wars.

If you can't view the slide show, click here.

To purchase print copies of these photos, click here

November 12, 2011 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Notice from the City of Batavia Fire Department:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be conducting hydrant maintenance flow testing on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 14 and 15 in the southwest  quadrant of the city.

This area includes Franklin, West Main, South Main, South Lyon, Orleans, Madison, Adams, River, Meadowcrest, Pearl, Walnut, Law, Chestnut, Jackson, Maple and Court streets.

Water in these areas may become discolored during the testing. If your water appears to be affected, run water in a bath tub or outside hose outlet until it clears. Refrain from doing any laundry until your water clears.

November 12, 2011 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A resident of Woodstock Gardens was assaulted overnight and seriously injured after three people allegedly entered the apartment illegally.

Charged with the assault in the first degree was Christopher Preedom, 18, of 21 Holland Ave., Batavia.

Preedom was also charged with burglary, 1st, along with Kevin Andrews, 19, and Timothy Andrews, 21, both of 144 Bank St., Batavia.

The victim was treated at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Preedom, Kevin Andrews and Timothy Andrews were located by police within minutes of incident being reported.

All three were jailed without bail.

November 12, 2011 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion.

When a Pavilion resident of York Road returned home about 4 p.m., Friday, he found a light-colored minivan parked in his driveway and unknown man sitting in the driver's seat.

As he pulled into the driveway, the van took off.

The homeowner followed the van and called police.

Troopers and Sheriff's deputies from Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston counties converged on the area. The State Police also brought in their helicopter to assist in the pursuit.

The suspect vehicle was stopped on Route 246 in Covington. 

Arrested were Alexis Santiago, 34, of Columbus Avenue, Mt. Morris, and Roman E. Esparza, 22, of South Main Street, Batavia.

Santiago and Esparza were both charged with burglary, 2nd, and jailed on $100,000 bail each.

The two men may be suspects in a series of other burglaries in a three-county area.

As the suspects fled the York Road residence, the men tossed items from the window of the minivan that were allegedly stolen from the house they had just left. The York Road homeowner later identified the items as his. 

Once stopped, Santiago and Esparza were arrested without incident and the van was seized pending investigators receiving a search warrant for the van and its contents.

The case remains under investigation and, because the two men may be suspects in other burglaries, the Sheriff's Office is asking that anybody who might have information that could aid the investigation to call (585) 343-5000. For tips in Livingston or Wyoming counties, callers should contact their local Sheriff departments.

Photos: Top, Esparza; bottom, Santiago.

November 11, 2011 - 7:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A semi-trailer has been stopped on West Main Street Road in front of Hodgins Engraving after a citizen reported the truck was driving into oncoming traffic, forcing cars off the road.

It has no or obscured license plates.

November 11, 2011 - 6:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion.

Two burglary suspects are in custody in Pavilion after a manhunt by multiple law enforcement agencies and use of the State Police helicopter.

The call started late this afternoon when York Road residents came home and found the suspects in their driveway.

The door to their house may have been kicked in.

Details are incomplete at this time.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is handling the case.

Area residents report seeing multiple Sheriff's and trooper cars in the area as well as use of the State Police helicopter.

Area barns and garages were searched during the manhunt.

Details have not yet been released on how or where the suspects were caught.

One area resident said there has been a series of burglaries in the area recently. That hasn't been confirmed with law enforcement and it's unknown if this case is related to previous cases.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

November 11, 2011 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Veterans Day.

Veterans from throughout Genesee County gathered today at Jerome Center at the corner of Washington and Bank for an annual Veterans Day service.

November 11, 2011 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget.

More than a dozen veterans made sure their voices were heard Thursday at the public hearing on the proposed 2012 Genesee County budget.

Repeatedly, veterans stepped to the podium and pleaded with the legislature to ensure the next veterans services officer is properly trained.

"Besides the force reduction through attrition, thousands and thousands of servicemen are about to become veterans," said Ernie Luskey, noting the plans to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afganistan in the next couple of years.

Those veterans will have their benefits jeopardized if there isn't a properly trained, credentialed and accredited veterans service officer working for the county, each speaker said.

"There are just too many laws, rules and regulations for a veterans services officer to pick up on the fly," Luskey said. "He has to be trained."

After the meeting, County Manager Jay Gsell said the new veterans services officer will be trained.

Hal Kreter retires from the job in August (he and his wife plan to move to Twentynine Palms in California). Gsell said his replacement will be hired in July or earlier and there are training classes available in August and September.

There is money in the social services budget to accomodate the training, Gsell said.

Gsell said there are other changes coming in the proposed budget, most significantly, the tax rate is going to be reduced.

Adjustments have already been made to reduce the rate from the originally proposed rate of $9.95 per $1,000 of assessed value to $9.92.

Gsell said the direction he is getting from the legislature is to reduce it further -- to $9.85 per thousand. The current rate is $9.82.

The county is struggling with cuts to local programs while seeing state-mandated costs -- particularly pension contributions and Medicaid expenses -- skyrocket.

Taken together, the increases in those two programs push the expenditure beyond what the county could generate in property tax revenue, if the legislature raised taxes as much as it could under the recently enacted 2-percent property tax levy cap.

Medicaid alone costs the county more than 42 percent of county's tax levy, or $10 million.

Gsell said New York is one of only three states in the union that makes local taxpayers shoulder any part of Medicaid expenses, all while also providing recipients with a "Maserati" level of numerous services, and with less oversight.

"Medicaid is the entitlement with no ceiling and minimal controls as far as case management and disease management and health-living metrics are concerned," Gsell said. 

If the state took over Medicaid costs, property taxes in the county could be reduced by about $3 per thousand.

"Contrary to what Gov. Cuomo has alleged himself or through his stalking horse, Lt. Gov. Duffy, we counties are not whining or asking to be 'subsidized,'" Gsell said.

"The state put counties in this unprecedented and unenviable position 30 or 40 years ago, with no local control or discretion to fund a benefit that the state and federal governments totally orchestrate. The state alone has the power to gradually and strategically extricate the counties from this fiscal morass."

Total proposed appropriations for 2012 are $142,098,429. That's up 1.10 percent from 2011.

Anticipated revenue for the fiscal year is $112,015,617. The deficit will need to be made up either through more cuts in spending or an increase in the property tax rate.

Gsell said cuts will be made and the rate increase will be lessened when the revised budget is brought forward on Nov. 21.

Top photo: County Manager Jay Gsell; inset, veteran Paul Gaylord; bottom, legislators Esther Leadley, Robert Radley and Hollis Upson.

November 11, 2011 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bill Cox.

Message from Councilman Bill Cox:

Residents and friends of the First Ward,

I would like to personally thank everyone for the support and friendship which you have given to me during the past four years as your councilman.

It was an honor and genuine pleasure to represent and assist you.

It was my sincere desire to continue to represent you. You made your decision on your next representative and I respect it. I called Kris Doeringer to offer my congratulations and to offer my support for a smooth transition. I also offered my support to him during his term if he would like to contact me for any reason. I am sure he will do an outstanding job of representing you.

We have a great city and a great ward. I wish each and everyone of you the very best in every way.

Bill Cox
Councilman – First Ward

November 11, 2011 - 9:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander.

The Sheriff's Office believes Wyatt Becker is in the Batavia area and knows law enforcement is looking for him but haven't yet pinpointed his location, according to warrant officer Eric Olson.

Olson is asking that anybody who has information on Becker's whereabouts to call (585) 343-0911.

Becker is wanted for alleged vehicular assault, DWI and felony violation of probation.

On Monday, Becker failed to appear for his arraignment in Genesee County Court on those charges. Previously, when Becker was in Alexander Town Court, after learning that he was going to jailed on $5,000 bail, Becker reportedly asked to use the restroom and never came back.

The assault and DWI charges stem from an Aug. 3 accident in which a person was seriously injured.

November 10, 2011 - 11:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Batavia Party House.

Michael Tomaszewski, right, marvels at the fact that he and business partner Dave Stupp have remained friends through seven and a half years of operating the Batavia Party House together.

Friends that go into business together often don't stay friends, Tomaszewski noted today.

The two businessmen were talking about a change in their partnership, one that will spell the end of the Batavia Party House as we know it.

While the partners will continue to operate a catering service together, the party house, after more than 40 years in business, is hosting its last party on Monday.

Both Tomaszewski and Stupp have stakes in other local businesses, and those have increasingly become a focus of their time and resources. Operating the  Batavia Party House -- located at 5762 E. Main St. Road,  Batavia -- has simply become something they no longer wish to do.

"Since we began this place together, our lives have gone in different directions," Tomaszewski said. "Dave has the pizza business (partner in Pauly's Pizza) and the deli (Northside Deli). I have the funeral business (Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral and Cremation Chapel), and those businesses are doing well."

Stupp and pizzeria partner Paul Bernardini recently expanded Pauly's Pizza into Clarence. Tomaszewski recently added a reception center next to his funeral home on West Main Street.

"We have other business interests now," Stupp added.

Stupp and Tomaszewski tried finding a buyer for the party house, which was founded in the 1970s by Tom and Bill Barber.

"This part of town is growing, with what's going on at the ag park  and Adams trucking coming in next door, we've had a lot of interest in the building," Stupp said. "But, nobody has come forward with an interest in the party house as a party house."

November 10, 2011 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Holland Land Office Museum, Christmas.

It's tinsel and baubles time at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Dozens of sponsors -- more than ever before -- are in the process of setting up their Christmas trees for the museum's popular, annual Wonderland of Trees.

It's the 10th year for the event, which is a major fundraiser for HLOM.

The opening gala is 7 to 10:30 p.m., Nov. 18. It will include entertainment, hors d'ouevres and a raffle. Cost is $5 per person.

The children's gala is from noon to 4 p.m., Dec. 17. Cost is $5 per family.

The trees will be on public display from Nov. 18 through Jan. 3, with admission prices of $3 for adults, $1 for children, and free for children 5 and under.

November 9, 2011 - 9:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Sponsored Post, advertisement, contests.

Our Week 9 winner was Debbie Cooley, who was among nine people to correctly pick San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers as the QB (from among the choices) to throw four TDs. Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay, who played against the Chargers in Week 9, also tossed four TDs, but Rodgers was not among the 10 choices in the contest. Debbie was picked as the winner in a random drawing.

Debbie wins one large sub and one order of wings from Main St. Pizza Company. She has one week to claim her prize.

November 9, 2011 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

Announcement from the Town of Elba:

At the September meeting, the Elba Town Board voted unanimously to discontinue refuse and recycling collection service at the town transfer station at the end of the year. 

For more than a decade, the town transfer station has operated at an annual deficit. Revenues have not offset the operating expenses.    

Over the past few years, the town board has made attempts to decrease the expenses (decreasing the hours and negotiating to reduce the Dumpster service costs) and increase the revenues (increasing the fee per garbage bag and charging for “dump day”) to narrow the deficit gap, but the town budget can no longer afford to subsidize this service. 

Fewer than 100 Town of Elba households purchase garbage bag “punch-cards” every year. To help these town residents choose a refuse disposal service, we have obtained information from three area refuse collection businesses. 

Curbside pick-up:
• PSI: phone 585-599-3255
• Waste Management: phone 800-333-6590

Private Transfer Station:
• Scofield Transfer and Recycling in Stafford: phone 585-343-7373

More detailed information about the services each business offers is available on the “refuse disposal” page on the town’s website; the town clerk’s office Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed between 12-1 p.m.); and the town transfer station Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Additional information:

The last Saturday that the Town of Elba transfer station will be open for refuse collection is Dec. 17.

For your convenience, the transfer station will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26.

November 9, 2011 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, scams.

Press release:

Genesee County Clerk Don M. Read is advising the public of two scams that have been spreading across the state and have recently surfaced here in mailboxes and on computers. The first involves a letter offering to provide a copy of your deed and related property information and the second is an email that suggests you have an unanswered motor vehicle ticket.

Property owners may receive by mail or email a solicitation offering to do the research and secure a certified copy of the deed to your real estate for a fee of $87. Several years ago this approach made its way through the state with a price tag of $50. Before that the offer was for $35. You can very easily obtain either a plain photocopy of your deed for $2 or a certified copy for approximately $5 from the Genesee County Clerk’s Office. The actual cost could vary by $2 to 3, depending upon the length of your deed. If you would like a copy of your deed, you can write, call or stop by the County Clerk’s Office. It only takes a few minutes to obtain a copy. 

The company offering the so-called service on the letter which a local resident brought to our office is Record Retrieval Services of Albany, New York. They offer to provide you with a copy of the deed and a “Property Profile” for $87 if you respond by a specified date. The information in the supposed “Property Profile” (Tax Map Number, purchase date, sale amount, etc.) is readily available online. To access the information call the County Real Property Tax Office @ 585-344-2550, ext. 2225, or visit the website for real property data @ 

There is no charge for this information.

A second scam that has surfaced recently involves an email supposedly from the N.Y. State Department of Motor Vehicles or the New York State Police. Individuals will receive an email suggesting that they have an unpaid ticket for a motor vehicle violation, with the subject line indicating “Uniform Traffic Ticket.” Generally, the ticket is from a small community somewhere in New York State. In order to avoid suspension of your license you will need to open an attachment, enter a plea on a ticket form and return it to the town court that is identified.

Opening the attachment may very well expose your computer to a virus. The address of the town court is bogus and usually a post office box. Neither the Department of Motor Vehicles nor the New York State Police send out notifications of this sort by email. Your best course of action is to delete the email without even opening it, and certainly do not open the attachment. The State Police and DMV have requested that you not send the email to them.




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

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