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September 6, 2016 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, news.

A deputy has been dispatched to the Mount Rest Cemetery in Bergen, Route 262 and Route 19, to investigate a complaint of damage to headstones.

September 6, 2016 - 11:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, DeWitt Recreation Area.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department has been investigating the discovery of a deceased male in the sand wash at DeWitt park. The City of Batavia Police Department is issuing a clarification in the timeline of the originally reported events.

The timeline is as follows:

  • 08:54HRS: Fisherman discovers deceased male, contacts Genesee County Dispatch Center 09:03HRS: Officers arrive on scene
  • 10:30HRS: Genesee County Coroner Douglas pronounces time of death
  • 11:13HRS: City of Batavia Fire Department and Batavia Police Department Detectives perform water recovery

Cause of death is still under investigation. The Batavia Police Department will not be releasing the identification of the deceased male until the next of kin has been notified. The Batavia Police Department will update the media with any new information as it becomes available. 

September 6, 2016 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, animals, pets.

The city's animal control officer has been dispatched to an address on Union Street where a caller reports that a dog is tied up outside every day and barks all day.

"The caller has had enough," the dispatcher told the officer.

A second caller, who heard the dispatch, says he believes the dog is on Woodrow.

September 6, 2016 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

An accident with injuries is reported at Lockport Road and Albion Road, Oakfield.

Oakfield fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.: Oakfield Fire Police on location. Both lanes blocked.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: Minor injuries.

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.: Units back in service.

September 6, 2016 - 9:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in liberty pumps, bergen, business.

We came across this time-lapse video on YouTube of the construction of the new wing at Liberty Pumps.

September 6, 2016 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, business, batavia, news.

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Rummaging around in the radio station's transmitter site on Creek Road a couple of years ago, WBTA's owner Dan Fischer found the old stainless steel call letters that once adorned the second-floor exterior of 90 Main Street, the radio station's first home 75 years ago.

When the radio station moved to Cedar Place some years later, so did the letters, but whenever the station's studios moved again, the letters were shuffled off to storage at the transmitter building and forgotten until Fischer uncovered them.

As part of a remodeling project at the station's current location at Main and Center, Fischer had the letters polished up and Jeff Gillard designed and built a mounting system that off-set the letters two inches from the wall and back lit them with LED lights.

The long hallway like area at the front of the office has always been a hard area to decorate, Fischer said. It was just a long blank wall and a few small pictures really did not do the space justice. The call letters are a perfect fit.

"They’re obviously a showpiece, a conversation piece, they bring back the history of the station, they’re 75 years old, and when you think of that, and most those years, they were outside, I think they held up pretty well," Fischer said.

September 6, 2016 - 8:17am
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.
September 5, 2016 - 6:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, Labor Day Parade, parade, news.

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To purchase prints, click here.

P.S.: I'm not adopting any of the dogs Volunteers for Animals brought to the parade today. Promise.

Here's some drone footage shared by Timothy Wojkowski.
September 5, 2016 - 2:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, DeWitt Recreation Area.

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It likely will be days before we know how a man whose body was found partially submerged in the lake at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia died.

A fisherman first noticed the body some time after 6 a.m., which is when the Cedar Street park opened, and he notified a member of the park maintenance staff.

Batavia PD was notified at 8:54 a.m.

Officer Marc Lawrence, who briefed media earlier this afternoon at DeWitt, said he couldn't speculate on why there was a delay between the body being spotted and police being contacted.

Lawrence said there is no information available indicating the age or race of the deceased.

The body was found at the far end of the lake from the main entrance, in the northeast corner, on the other side of the land bridge that has been exposed by the drought.

As of early this afternoon, a scuba-diving team was still searching the lake for any potential evidence that might be connected to the incident.

At this time, the investigation is being handled as a criminal investigation, pending new information that might indicate otherwise.

There have been two recent missing person reports in the area, but there's no information at this time connecting those reports to this incident, Lawrence said.

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September 5, 2016 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion, news.

A three-vehicle accident is reported at the intersection of Route 63 and Route 20, Pavilion.

Injuries are reported.

Pavilion Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: Callers have not indicated extent of injuries. A chief in route has requested Mercy Flight on a ground standby.

UPDATE 2:29 p.m.: Fire Police requested to the scene.

UPDATE 2:32 p.m.: A second ambulance requested to the scene, non-emergency.

September 5, 2016 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A motor vehicle accident with injuries is reported at 117 East Main St., Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 2:12 p.m.: Fire Police requested for traffic control.

UPDATE 2:24 p.m.: Patient extricated.

September 5, 2016 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Oak Street and Richmond Avenue.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:20 a.m.: No injuries. Police believe the driver of the sedan, heading west on Richmond, ran a red light.

September 4, 2016 - 1:53pm
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.
September 4, 2016 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Notre Dame, football, sports.

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The Alexander Trojans beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a Saturday night game played in Warsaw (because of renovations to Alexander's field) 45-15.

The Trojans scored all of their points in the first half and the Irish scored theirs in the second.

P.J. Brennan was 10 of 16 passing for 198 yards and three TDs and zero interceptions for Alexander. Derrick Busch caught three balls for 75 yards and two TDs. Dane Heberlein rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries and scored twice. Job Smith had 12 yards on three carries and scored. He also had two receptions for 26 yards and scored on a nine-yard TD pass. Chris McClinic caught two passes for 54 yards.

On defense, Eric Scharlau had three sacks and Zach Jasen had a sack and two tackles.

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To purchase prints, click here.

September 3, 2016 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sweet Pea's Cupcakery, batavia, business, news, Batavia PD.

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The day in the life of a police officer isn't always just about seeing bad people do bad things, they also see good people doing good things. And the folks at Sweet Pea's Cupcakery Cafe on Jackson Street wanted to provide a way for Batavia PD officers to reward the people they come across who do the little things to help make the community better. They made up "Random Act of Cupcake" cards for police officers to hand out to people they come across doing good things.

The cards read, "You've been caught doing good! Enjoy a free cupcake or cookie."

Pictured Lyndsey, from Sweet Pea's, and Officer Mitchell Cowen, who helped coordinate the effort with Batavia PD.

September 3, 2016 - 2:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, alexander, news.
      Nicholas Mruczek

The man who shot and killed an Alexander High School graduate last year entered a guilty plea and will serve at least 45 years in prison.

Zachary Ludwig was sentenced in West Chester, Pa., on Friday.

Ludwig admitted to buying an unregistered shotgun, cutting its barrel down to 12 inches and then luring Nichols Mruczek out of his apartment and firing the gun at point-blank range.

Ludwig was angry because Mruczek was in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

Reporter Michael P. Rellahan was in court Friday for the hearing and published a detailed account of the proceedings for the Phoenix Reporter. 

Mruczek's parents and brother spoke in court about the devastating loss their family suffered.

“He was one in a million,” said his mother, Dawn Werner, who had traveled from New York to attend the hearing, as had the others. “He had a smile that would light up a room, and he learned at a young age that if he flashed that smile he could melt your heart."

The prosecution consulted the family prior to the plea deal and Nick's brother Justin acknowledged that it would be impossible to fashion a deal that would bring his brother back.

“I wish I could honestly say and think that justice has been served but there is no amount of jail time that can bring back such a beautiful, fun-loving life like my brother’s," Justin said.

Nick's father, Pat Mruczek, recalled how he spoke to his son daily and his mobile phone has become a difficult reminder of what he's lost.

“My cell phone only reminds me of the death of my son," Pat Mruczek said. "How I hate my phone. If it was not for all the pictures (of Mruczek) I have on it I would have thrown it away long ago.

“A big part of my life is gone and I will never get that back,” he added.

Ludwig said he deeply regrets his crime.

“Every day I wish I could bring Mruczek back," Ludwig said. "I can never forgive myself for what I’ve done. I cannot apologize enough.

“I understand if you think I am a monster,” Ludwig added. “I’d have to agree with you.”

Ludwig, who could have received a life prison sentence if convicted by a jury, admitted to third-degree murder, which carried a maximum penalty of 20 to 40 years in prison. However, he was given a 45-90 year sentence because he also entered guilty pleas to attempted burglary, terroristic threats, prohibited offensive weapons, recklessly endangering another person and possession of instruments of a crime.

The 23-year-old Ludwig was offered the plea deal, and the chance to some day get out of prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Michelle Frei, because of his contrition, lack of prior criminal record and relatively young age.

September 3, 2016 - 1:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, batavia, business, news.

Laurie Oltramari, executive director of the Batavia Improvement District, turned in her letter of resignation this week.

BID president Victor Gautieri confirmed the resignation and said the board would meet in the coming week to decide what to do next. 

Oltramari led the organization for a year. 

Gautieri declined further comment.

September 3, 2016 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, football, sports.

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Le Roy fell 60-32 to Bath in its season opener in Bath.

Photos by David Boyce. For more photos from the game, click here.

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September 3, 2016 - 12:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, batavia, Batavia HS.

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The Batavia Blue Devils, 2016 edition, quietly took apart Greece Olympia/Odyssey on Woodward Field on Friday night to the point that the Spartans seems to have lost their fight by the third quarter.

It's as if the team that has won two consecutive Section V titles hasn't missed a beat. In fact, the win was the 20th straight for the program against a Section V opponent.

The final score was 39-0.

"I'm very pleased because going into the game I wasn't sure what we had," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs. "I wasn't sure how we would respond to things and how we were going to go when we got hit in the mouth. But these guys came out and proved that they bought in and they’re a tough group of kids and we’ve got some playmakers out there. I’m very excited for what they can do from here."

This edition slots Jerry Reinhart and QB1 and, Ray Leach and Codie Dioguardi in the backfield, Chandler Baker, Andrew Mruczek and Eric Davis at wideouts and a defense that includes Baker, Mruczek, Taiyo Iburi-Bethel, Anthony Ray and Jzon Richardson.

Those are not names that popped up in many headlines over the past two championship seasons, but they're all players poised to make an impact, if one game is any indication, in 2016.

Reinhart certainly has a lot of confidence in his teammates.

"Everybody asked me, they all asked me, 'how are you guys going to be this year?' and I was like, 'come to the first game and find out,' " Reinhart said. "I was very positive about our team. In the off-season, I thought we were going do great."

Briggs is impressed with the quiet leadership Reinhart has brought to the team, replacing Andrew Mruczek's older brother, Greg, at quarterback.

"Greg was more rah-rah and everything and great about it," Briggs said. "Jerry is more reserved, but he goes out there and gets the job done. He's a leader. He's a great leader. You saw, he made some big plays. He's not afraid to tuck it and run and he kept us together. I'm proud of him. He did a great job."

Friday was also a chance for Andrew to move out from under the shadow of his older brother, and in a big way, and significantly with a key interception in the first quarter.

"I think the biggest turning point in that game was Andrew Mruczek's interception," Briggs said. "They had a drive going, I think 10-plus plays, and we always say a nine-plus play drive is devastating for a defense and we were starting to feel it and all the sudden, number 21 comes in and makes a huge play for us. I’m happy for him because he’s been a trooper and he’s been working his butt off and he’s just silently been doing it."

Mruczek exemplifies the quiet confidence that characterizes the team.

"I think people are going to realize, Batavia football is here to stay and we're going to keep working hard every day," Mruczek said.

The offense was good, the defense was good, but special teams really stepped it up Friday night.

Richardson, a linebacker on defense, handles kickoffs, extra points and field goals. On kickoffs Friday, he consistently put the ball past the 10-yard line, and with defenders hustling down the field, the Spartans were routinely starting drives with their backs to the wall.

"That is so big for our team," Briggs said. "From the standpoint of having just great energy and momentum, they did a fantastic job for us and special teams cannot be overlooked because field position is huge in football games."

Briggs praised the work of special teams coach Ben Buchholz in motivating the players and getting each to do their part to plug holes and cut lanes, and John Garlock has been applying those lessons well, Briggs said.

"Johnny Garlock has been doing it for us for three years and he goes down like a missile," Briggs said. "He’s long snapper on punts and the first guy down there and on kickoff coverage, he makes the plays."

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To purchase prints, click here.

September 3, 2016 - 8:36am
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.

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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

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