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February 8, 2017 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in art, history, news.


I've been in the county's history department a few times but never noticed this sculpture before.

It's by Giovanni-Battista Lombardi, an Italian sculptor who lived from 1823 to 1880.

The bust was originally the property of the Dean Richmond family, and the last family to live in the Richmond Mansion, Watts Richmond, sold it to C.C. Bradley Sr., who donated it the history department in 1978.

It's striking because the veil looks so natural from a slight distance, but step closer and you see it's also marble.

The technique was popularized by sculptor Rafaelle Monti (1818-1881).

Based on a Google search, Lombardi seems to have made several copies of this bust. This one is dated 1866. The Metropolitan Museum of Art lists one in its collection from 1869. Earlier versions seem to exist as well.

February 8, 2017 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, news.


The Genesee County History Department has received an interesting donation. It is a surveyor's transit that once belonged to Joseph W. Holmes.

Holmes was born in 1831 in Alabama and would eventually become the village engineer for Batavia. He became a preeminent engineer in Western New York, according to Michael Eula, director of the History Department. He was also an inventor, manufacturer and served one term representing Genesee County in the NYS Assembly.

He died in 1919.

The transit probably passed to his son, Glenn D. Holmes, also born in Alabama, in 1873, and a graduate of Batavia High School and Cornell University. He eventually became city engineer for Syracuse.

A resident of Hamilton discovered the transit along with some books that belonged to Glenn D. Holmes in his residence and made the donation to Genesee County. The transit is inscribed with the name of Joseph Holmes and "Batavia, NY."

It bears a striking resemblance to a transit Holmes used in a patent filing in 1883 for modifications and improvements to a transit for the purpose of better acquiring an accurate solar time. In an article on the evolution of the transit, Holmes is cited as one of several inventors who made modifications to the device during that era.

“This instrument is a wonderful example of the place that engineers held both in Western New York and indeed in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries," Eula said. "Engineers were really at the forefront of economic modernization that was taking place around the country."





In the collection of material donated was a sales receipt from Joseph W. Holmes.


February 8, 2017 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, schools, education, news.


The rollout of technology in the classroom is going faster than expected at Batavia City Schools, Director of Technology Jeffrey McKinney told the school board during its meeting on Tuesday evening at the Richmond Memorial Library.

There are now more than 2,100 Chromebooks distributed among students at the school, and with the delivery of Chromebooks to Jackson School, the rollout is six months ahead of schedule.

McKinney was joined during the presentation by teachers who are "tech mentors" for other teachers and staff members. They shared the various ways that Chromebooks and related software are being used to help drive learning and lesson plans.

High school Science teacher Bert Hall said he thinks the program is going really well and it's great to see.

“I would be remiss to say if I didn’t mention how proud I am to work for a community and a school district that cares so openly and so deeply about their students," Hall said.

Teacher John Mangefrida talked about how students are better able to organize their work on the Chromebooks.

"Where there was disorder, now there is order," he said.

Asked by a board member if parents can access their children's lesson plans and homework online, Mangefrida said they could. All it takes is for them to request access and they will be sent an email with instructions and a link.

The board member asked if that happens much, Mangefrida said it doesn't.

"The kids don't share that information," he said.

Jessica Korzelius and Cynthia Morgan shared their process for taking students through a lesson plan for a day, using Hyperdocs, which ends with a survey-like assessment that will help students gauge their own progress and give teachers feedback on how the lesson is working for the students.

“One of the best things about Hyperdocs is knowing that one of the hardest parts of our jobs is differentiating and making sure we reach all of our students and this really allows those who struggle to have extra support and those who can fly a little bit higher can do some more on their own," Korzelius said.

The district as also made tremendous progress on upgrading infrastructure and rolling out broadband, McKinney said.

"Everything is running at top speed," he said. "We have enough bandwidth right now for every teacher, student, parent, staff member to have eight devices on the network. ... We are flying as far as that goes."

February 8, 2017 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in scoreboard, sports.


Boys Basketball

  • Cal-Mum 65, Le Roy 58 FINAL/OT
  • Perry 70, Pavilion 41 FINAL
  • Akron 39, Lyndonville 38 FINAL

Girls Basketball

  • Oakfield 61, Alexander 49 FINAL
  • Elba 33, Kendall 17 FINAL
  • Notre Dame 38, Wheatland-Chili 33 FINAL
  • Byron-Bergen 59, Pembroke 41 FINAL
  • Attica 65, Holley 20 FINAL
  • Batavia 50, C.G. Finney 15 FINAL


  • Notre Dame 2, Geneseo 1 FINAL
  • Aquinas 8, Genesee Ice Devils 0 FINAL
February 8, 2017 - 8:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District is one of 433 school districts in the United States and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll.

To be included on the Honor Roll, Byron-Bergen had to demonstrate an increase in the number of students participating in the Advanced Placement (AP) program since 2014, as well as increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

“We are exceptionally proud of our students for taking advantage of the Advanced Placement courses available at our high school,” said Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “They recognize the importance of preparing for life after graduation, and are working hard towards their goals every day. I’d also like to thank our entire educational community for their commitment to AP and student success.”

National data from 2016 show that among black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. Byron-Bergen CSD is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.

“Congratulations to all the teachers and administrators in this district who have worked so tirelessly to both expand access to AP and to help students succeed on the AP exams,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s head of AP and Instruction. “These teachers and administrators are delivering real opportunity in their schools and classrooms, and students are rising to the challenge.”

Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.

In 2016, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admission process.

Inclusion on the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2014 to 2016, looking across 37 AP exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.

Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking exams; and increase or maintain the percentage of those students scoring 3+ on at least one AP exam;
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2016 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2014 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students earn a 3 or higher;
  • Achieve these outcomes among an AP student population in which 30 percent or more are underrepresented minority students (black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more are low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch).
February 8, 2017 - 8:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, 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.
February 7, 2017 - 5:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Marlet HolmesA Level 3 sex offender facing a possible life sentence on his latest charges of alleged sexual conduct with a child won't get a chance to make bail, Interim Judge Micheal Pietruszka ruled in Genesee County Court this morning.

Marlek Holmes is facing the possibility of four different jury trials on Grand Jury indictments containing 30 counts of various sex offenses, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said in County Court today.

There are six Grand Jury indictments, with two being incorporated into other indictments to create the possibility of four different trials on each set of charges.

"I haven't even thought about that yet," Friedman said when County Court Judge Charles Zambito asked him which case he will go forward with first if the 42-year-old Holmes doesn't accept a plea offer.

Friedman also revealed he hasn't even decided yet on what offer he might hand over to the attorney for Holmes, Gerard Roux.

A plea offer will be put into writing in the next few days, Friedman said, but Roux is about to leave on out-of-town travel so Holmes won't be back in court until 1:30 p.m., March 1.

At that time, Holmes will either be able to accept the plea offer or the first case will be set for trial.

If Holmes goes to trial and he is convicted, the registered sex offender is facing a potential sentence of life in prison.

The counts against Holmes include two Class A felonies in the last indictment -- predatory sexual assault and predatory sexual assault against a child -- Holmes could be sent to prison for the rest of his life.

In all, Holmes is charged with 11 counts related to alleged sex crimes between 2010 and 2015, plus there are also charges still pending stemming from two prior incidents where Holmes allegedly failed to register his correct street address as a registered sex offender.

Also in court today, also represented by Roux, was Marquis Saddler. The 26-year-old Saddler is facing felony burglary and assault charges for his alleged role in a home invasion attack in October on residents on Central Avenue, Batavia. Saddler's case was also continued until March 1 with the expectation that Friedman will have a plea offer ready before then for the consideration of Saddler and his attorney.

February 7, 2017 - 5:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in scoreboard, sports.


Boys Basketball 

  • Byron-Bergen 67, Holley 40 FINAL
  • Pembroke 59, Oakfield 57 FINAL
  • Kendall 55, Wheatland-Chili 37 FINAL

Girls Basketball

  • Pavilion 50, Honeoye 36 FINAL
  • Lyndonville 51, Rochester Academy 50 FINAL

Shaking out Stats and Scores from Monday in HS Sports

February 7, 2017 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, sports.

We've not reported on the dismissal of Rick Rapone as head coach of the Le Roy boys varsity basketball, a story first reported by Batavia's Best, in part because we wanted to try and get a better idea of what happened.

We checked with sources and couldn't get even a hint of what might have happened and the school never replied to an email seeking comment or even confirmation.

Today, another news outlet threatened to boycott coverage of the Le Roy High School athletic program because reporters and editors there feel the school district hasn't been forthcoming with information and they expect the school to apologize for firing Rapone.

Though some might like us to join such a boycott, we are not going to engage in such theatrics. 

  • First, we don't know what happened, and we're never going to know. The school district or the school can't tell us and it's unrealistic to demand such disclosure from administrators;
  • Second, while I admire many coaches in our community, and Rick Rapone always treated me well, The Batavian doesn't cover sports to highlight coaches. We cover sports to highlight players. It's about the kids, not the coaches, and I believe that's how Rick Rapone would want it as well.  

So, we will continue to cover Le Roy athletics in the same manner and frequency we always have (which is to make it part of our rotation of coverage of trying to provide some coverage to all the schools with our limited resources).

NOTE: As a matter of transparency, I read the column in question at about 12:30. There's a timestamp on it now that it was last updated at about 1 p.m.,  I posted this just before 4 p.m., but, frankly, did not think at that time to check to see if the column had been altered. The threat to boycott coverage has been removed.

February 7, 2017 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, 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.
February 7, 2017 - 9:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

A freezing rain advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for Genesee County and is effect until 1 p.m.

An accumulation of ice on roadways and sidewalks of only a few hundredths of an inch will make for slippery conditions and caution is advised.

February 7, 2017 - 9:34am

Press release:

In celebration of Darien Lake Amphitheater’s 25th concert season, Live Nation, the amphitheater operator is partnering with Darien Lake Theme Park to offer an amazing deal to concert ticket buyers for this season. Each ticket purchased for a concert at the amphitheater will include complementary same-day admission into Darien Lake Theme Park. The offer will be valid for all tickets purchased for any concert at the amphitheater that occurs during the theme park’s operating schedule.

The 25th season lineup at Darien Lake Amphitheater is already shaping up to be one for fans of all types of music, including appearances by Luke Bryan, Green Day, Chicago & The Doobie Brothers, Train and many more to be announced in the coming months.

“This historic offer is a great way to honor the long history of the amphitheater, as well as its unique proximity to the theme park. This promotion is a great savings to the concert fan and thrill seeker alike – it truly is the deal of the summer,” said Jim Koplik, Live Nation president of Upstate New York and Connecticut.

In previous years, concertgoers wanting to enjoy a day at the Theme Park would have needed to purchase a combo ticket in advance or at the gate for a cost that has ranged from $9.99 to $19.99 plus fees.

“In celebration of our 25th season of concerts at Darien Lake, we’ve partnered with Live Nation to add some extraordinary value to the experience. Where else can you ride coasters all day and rock out all night with the greatest stars in the music industry?” said Chris Thorpe, general manager of Darien Lake Theme Park.

February 6, 2017 - 5:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S4159) to allow ride-sharing services in Upstate New York. State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“Thousands and thousands of residents, all across Upstate New York, have been demanding the expansion of transportation network companies beyond New York City. That is why I was proud to cosponsor and vote for legislation today to bring ride-sharing services to Western New York.”

“This common-sense bill establishes an appropriate level of provisions to ensure suitable drivers and the safety of all passengers while excluding an excessive burden of taxes and workers compensation costs. More importantly, the proposal secures every dollar, collected by the state from ride-sharing services, for infrastructure improvements for our roads and bridges.”

“Overall, this new transportation service will help to create thousands of jobs, boost tourism spending, support local businesses and reduce drunk driving deaths. Now, the State Assembly is in the driver's seat, and it's time for the State Assembly to approve this legislation.”

February 6, 2017 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, news.


State Police are looking for this man to question regarding a larceny at Crocker's Ace Hardware on Route 19 in Le Roy.

The theft occurred sometime around 5:45 p.m., Thursday.

The subject was driving a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee/Dodge Durango type of vehicle and wearing a Bass Pro baseball hat.

Those with information to assist in the case can call Trooper Mark Catanzaro at the State Police Barracks in Batavia, (585) 343-2200


February 6, 2017 - 4:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in cheerleading, batavia, Batavia HS, news, sports.


Batavia High School senior Lexi Wahr took First Place in the individual routine competition this weekend at the Empire Cheer Competition. She competed against 15 other cheerleaders and had the highest all-around score. The individual routine is judged on jumps, dance and cheer.

Info and photo submitted.

February 6, 2017 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in city centre, City Centre Mall Association, batavia, news.

Both sides have agreed to drop their lawsuits against each other in the years-long battle over who is responsible for the condition of the roof over City Centre, City Manager Jason Molino told WBTA this afternoon.

The City Centre Mall Merchants Association is scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss a proposed settlement, according to a document acquired by WBTA.

The agreement will include an out-of-court settlement, Molino said, but he declined to reveal when the settlement will be made public.

The merchants have long maintained that the city is responsible for repairing the mall's leaky roof while the city has asserted that the mall association failed to keep up with routine maintenance. 

Via The Batavian's news partner, WBTA.

February 6, 2017 - 2:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.


Press release:

At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, the Byron-Bergen Central School District began a formal School Safety Audit. The purpose of this audit was to examine the overall safety within the district, and if needed, make recommendations for improvements. The safety audit used student and faculty surveys, a walk-through inspection using a 466-point inspection checklist that focused on both the exterior and interior of the buildings, and personal interviews with students, faculty, and administrators.

The school’s resource officer, Deputy Matt Butler, who was tasked with conducting the audit said, “School safety is the responsibility of everyone — faculty, students, parents, and the community. The audit is a proactive process that helps ensure that students achieve their learning potential within a safe and secure environment.”

Butler compiled the data and presented findings to school administrators and the Board of Education on Feb. 2. The report includes practical recommendations for expanding security, but found a high level of safety currently exists in the schools. It also shows a steady growth in attendance and decrease in infractions and disciplinary problems over the past three years.

Assisting with the audit were Byron-Bergen faculty, parents, local EMS personnel, a Byron-Bergen Board of Education member, and a representative from the mayor’s office at the Village of Bergen. “This was a great opportunity to get the community involved in our school district,” Butler said.

In recognition of the district’s appreciation, special certificates of thanks were awarded during the board meeting to: Scott Bradley, Michelle Caballero, Kim Carlson, Amanda Cook, Andrew Doll, John Durand, Mickey Edwards, Bob Fedele, Paula Hohn, Mike List, Jeff Parnapy, Vicky Shallenberger, Faline Tyler and Jay Wolcott.

Photo: Superintendent Mickey Edwards, BOE President Debbie List, Michelle Caballero, Deputy Matt Butler, John Durand, Mike List. In front are Kim Carlson, left, and Bob Fedele.

February 6, 2017 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Ramparts, sports, hockey.


Press release:

The Batavia Ramparts Squirt Travel Hockey Team won Bronze competing in the Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid this last weekend.

The team is made up of 9- and 10-year-olds from the Batavia area.

They include; Owen Bentley, Bronx Buchholz, Chase Cummings, Francesco Falleti, Jake Hutchins, Brady Johnson, Andrew Jursted, Orion Lama, Jameson Motyka, Sammy Pies, Evan Schwerthoffer, Anna Stevens, Justin Valyear, Noah Whitcombe and Mac Wormley.

The team is coached by Jeff Whitcombe, Pete Stevens and Chad Valyear.

On Friday, Feb. 3rd Batavia played the Tupper Lake Lumberjacks and won 9 to 2.

On Saturday, Feb. 4th Batavia played two games, the first one was against the Saugerties Mustangs and they tied 4 to 4. The second game of the day was against Sara Placid, which was also played to a tie of 2 to 2.

On Sunday, Batavia played the Cortland Flames and won 14 to 0.

The Batavia Ramparts completed round robin play and ended up tied for second place but lost the tiebreaker and ended in third place which set them up to play the fourth-place team in the Bronze Medal game. Batavia faced off against the Oswego Buccaneers and won 4 to 2, clinching the Bronze Medal for the weekend.

The Ramparts ended the weekend undefeated with a record of 3-0-2.



February 6, 2017 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Matthew Derrick will be released from jail today, likely to receive credit for time served, and not have to return if he can stay out of trouble.

At a lengthy hearing today, Derrick, whose case was delayed Dec. 7 so he could be evaluated for the mental competency to understand court proceedings, entered a guilty plea to attempted criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd.

As part of the plea deal, Derrick is eligible for what's called a shock probation sentence, which means no more than six months in jail and five years probation, instead of the 1-4 year prison term Derrick would face if he took the case to trial.

The charge stems from an incident in October when Derrick threatened people with a corkscrew, and made statements about cutting them open and killing them.

One witness, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, said Derrick had a knife, and while a corkscrew was recovered from the scene, no knife was found at the time of Derrick's arrest.

Derrick entered his plea under terms known as an Alford plea. In other words, Derrick did not admit to the facts of the case, just that the evidence was sufficient that he faced a high probability of being found guilty by a jury.

The likely sentence for Derrick, Judge Charles Zambito indicated, is four months, if Derrick stays out of trouble while under supervision of Genesee Justice; however, since Derrick has already been in jail for just two days shy of four months, Friedman agreed to modify to plea deal to subtract those two days from the sentence.

When Derrick last appeared in court, he seemed not to understand the court proceedings and Lisa Kroemer, with the public defender's office, explained the proceedings to him.  Then interim Judge Micheal Pietruszka expressed concern about Derrick's ability to understand his instructions. He ordered Derrick to undergo a mental competency evaluation.

Two doctors examined Derrick and both found him mentally competent enough to understand the proceedings. Zambito accepted the report after both Friedman and Kroemer waived a hearing on the topic.

In court today, Derrick answered most of Zambito's questions promptly, with a clear, "Yes, your honor." He expressed confusion about a couple of points but quickly said he understood once the issues were rephrased. Zambito was very careful throughout the proceeding to ensure Derrick understood exactly what he was agreeing to and what rights, such as the right to appeal, he was waiving.

There was discussion about how to handle three orders of protection. One or more of the people covered by the orders live in the same apartment building as Derrick and his wife. Derrick will live with his grandmother in Le Roy until suitable language for the orders is worked out.

February 6, 2017 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in city centre, City Centre Mall Association, batavia, news.

A lawsuit over the state of the dilapidated City Centre mall that began in 2008 may be nearing a settlement according to a source who provided information to WBTA.

The document is a notice for members of the City Centre Merchants Association to hold a special meeting tomorrow to discuss a possible settlement with the City of Batavia.

A vote on the possible settlement would reportedly come at a meeting on another date.

City Councilmembers have told reporters that there has been discussion behind closed doors about a possible resolution.

Via our news partner, WBTA.





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