Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Howard B. Owens's blog

May 21, 2012 - 11:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A caller at 10 or 12 Clay St., Le Roy, reports the smoke detector going off in the lower apartment and smoke in the hallway upstairs.

Le Roy fire and ambulance dispatched.

The first chief on scene reports nothing showing.

UPDATE 11:59 p.m.: Burnt food. Le Roy firefighters will ventilate. Bergen's ladder, which was also dispatched, is put back in service.

View Larger Map

May 21, 2012 - 11:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, alexander, Stafford.

During the storm this afternoon, it seemed like a good time to drive around and look for pictures. 

Above, a farm on Brown Road.

Gilhooly Road

The view from Brookville Road

Brookville Road

Also on Brookville Road

Stafford Country Club

Prole Road

May 21, 2012 - 10:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, creek road.

Driving down Creek Road this evening, I saw something head of me in the road. As I got closer, I thought it might be a turtle and just about that time, a car coming from the opposite direction was stopping.

John Volpe jumped out of the car and scooped up the snapping turtle and carried it over to the side of the road.

Volpe then called his father and told him about the turtle, which he said had a slight deformity in its shell and might be a female.

He told his dad his location and said he would wait for him.

Volpe explained to me that he and his father often rescue turtles. He said they would take the turtle home, ensure she (or he) is healthy. If healthy, and a female, they would hold her until she laid her eggs, then release her back into the wild, then raise the babies.

"Turtles mean a lot to us," Volpe said, who is Native American.

When his father arrived, Mary Volpe jumped out of the minivan and grabbed the turtle's shell from behind and carried it over to a plastic carry-all.

May 21, 2012 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba, Landmark Society of Genesee County.

We're a bit tardy in publishing this, but last week the Landmark Society of Genesee County gave out its annual awards in drawing contest, which is open to fourth-graders from throughout the county.

The first-place winner was Esmeralda O'Campo, center, from Elba Central School for her relief artwork of 4899 Ford Road, Elba. She receive $50, a framed certificate and a copy of the book "The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County."

The second-place winner was Isabella Riner, left, from Elba Central School for her mixed media artwork of 39 S. Main St., Elba.

The third-place winner was Gabrielle Root from St. Joseph School for her mixed media artwork of the E.N. Rowell House in Batavia.

Second- and third-place winners received $25, a framed certificate, and a copy of "The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County."

Honorable mentions were Trinity Aponte, Lauryn Engle, Morgan Harrington, Trevor Matthison, Adryona Miller, and Harmony Parker.

The guest judges this year were Sharon and Don Burkel, of Batavia. Sharon Burkel is an architectural historian and currently serves on the City of Batavia Historic Preservation Commission. Don Burkel is the Executive Director of the Batavia Business Improvement District (BID). Both are members of the Landmark Society. 

May 21, 2012 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in USDA, kathy hochul.

Press release:

Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (NY-26) hosted a call with Dallas Tonsager, the under secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) to discuss major upcoming projects in rural communities across the 26th District. 

“It is vital that Western New York receive the support necessary to continue the agricultural and rural development that helps keep us healthy and competitive,” Hochul said. “USDA Rural Development recognizes the importance of investing in our region, and they see the assets of our rural communities. I spoke with Under Secretary Tonsager today to encourage further investments, such as the urgent need for rural broadband access for our small towns and farmers. I am confident the USDA will continue to direct resources into our local communities."

"This is an exciting time for rural America and USDA Rural Development is assisting communities across the country," said Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager. "We look forward to continuing our work with Congresswoman Hochul to create jobs and economic development for the people of Western New York."

Tonsager was appointed as under secretary for Rural Development and sworn into office in May of 2009. Tonsager has more than 35 years of agricultural, business, cooperative, and financial experience through his work as a farmer, businessman, and community, state and national leader.

May 21, 2012 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, Tonawanda Creek.

A group of geese were behind Settler's -- as there often is -- and keeping cool in the Tonawanda this afternoon.

The temperature today is 76 degrees with humidity at 56 percent.

Thunderstorms are expected between 6 and 8 p.m.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the 80s by Wednesday with lots of sun.

May 21, 2012 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals.

A North Spruce Street resident sent in this picture of a pair of ducks that found the family pool behind their house quite inviting this morning.

May 21, 2012 - 1:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

I stopped by the Ag Park this afternoon just to see how construction is coming along -- Haskell has made some visible progress on the Pepsi/Muller Project Wave plant.

I happened to be on hand when some bedrock was blasted from the ground.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this sign warns that only Pepsi products are allowed in the construction area.

For those keeping score, it look like a majority of the vehicles in the employee parking lot had New York license plates.

Meanwhile, most of the work for the new Alpina plant is now taking place inside the new building. Alpina is on schedule to start producing yogurt in Batavia some time in August.

I didn't get a picture, but the Marktec building is completed.

May 21, 2012 - 9:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, byron, Darien, Le Roy.

Kelly A. Lucas, 41, of 62 Summit St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI. Lucas was reportedly involved in an ATV accident Friday night at a location just off Lake Street. Lucas reportedly lost control of the ATV and rolled it. She was arrested following an investigation by Le Roy PD. (Initial Report)

Joshua Andrew Robert Anstett, 18, of Caledonia, Ontario, Canada, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and possession or consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Anstett was charged following an investigation into an accident in the employee parking lot of Darien Lake Theme Park at 9:55 p.m., Saturday. Anstett is accused of driving over nine fence posts, striking three different chainlink fences and a set of wood stairs before he was stopped by Darien Lake security officers.

Christina Catherine Fiscus, 33, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Fiscus was stopped at 2:11 a.m., Sunday, on Route 262, Elba, by Sgt. Brian Frieday.

May 21, 2012 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Cub Scouts.

Cubscouts from the area gathered in Alexander on Saturday for their annual Cubmobile Race.

Twenty-six racers participated, ages 7 to 11, representing Alexander, Batavia, Elba, Holley and Kendall.

Winners were:

Tigers: 1st place- Garrett Heale, 2nd place- Max Schlaggel, 3rd place- Jacob Weaver
Wolf: 1st place- Frankie Warriner, 2nd place- Cody Windslow, 3rd place- Colby Kerry- Rhone
Bear: 1st place- KJ Biedlingmaier, 2nd place- David Peet
Webelo 1: 1st place- Grey Huntinton, 2nd place- Jayden Pieniaszek, 3rd place- Holden Brinkman
Webelo 2: 1st place- Mathew Grover, 2nd place- Evan Bartz, 3rd place- Zach Lovell

Information and photos submitted by Steve Ognibene

"Best Decorated Car" Jayden Pieniaszek

May 21, 2012 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, golf, Stafford, Stafford Country Club.

Below are the results of the Stafford Invitational held at the Stafford CC on May 18.

Rob Horak fires a 3-under par 69 to take first place in the individual event at Stafford CC. Michael O'Connor, Bill Lapple and Larry Peters tie with Eddie Suchora, Robert McIntosh and Joe Muscarella in the best 2 of 3 event with a 134.

Steve Bartkowski is WNYPGA Tournament Director.

Rob Horak, Ravenwood GC, 69
Dwayne Randall, Peek'N'Peak, 71
Tom Keenan, Dick's Sporting Goods, 72
Mark Kirk, Crag Burn GC, 72
Michael O'Connor, Kahkwa Club, 72
Kirk Stauffer, Pine Acres CC, 72

Michael O'Connor, Bill Lapple, Larry Peters, 134
Eddie Suchora, Robert McIntosh, Joe Muscarella, 134
Tom, Keenan, Robbie Sinclair, Ernest Truax, 138
Lon Nielsen, Don Gnann, Gregg Bryant, 138
Ryan Swanson, Alex Bianco, Jeff Pratt, 138
Jeff Urzetta, Matt Adonnino, John Lapple, 138
Jason Parker, Brian Sinclair, Bob Sinclair 138

May 19, 2012 - 8:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, Genesee ARC.

Genesee ARC’s Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony was held Friday night at the Clarion Hotel, Batavia. Community members, volunteers, clients and staff were recognized for their achievements and contributions to the local agency that serves people with disabilities and their families.

WBTA owners Dan and Deb Fischer received the Spirit of ARC Award. Their friend Jennifer helped present the award. Jennifer is the daughter of Dan and Deb’s dear friends, Mike and Laura. When Jennifer was born, it sparked Dan and Deb’s journey on the path of advocacy on behalf of all people with disabilities.

Community volunteer Jane Scott was the recipient of Genesee ARC’s Volunteer of the Year Award. A branch manager of Five Star Bank, Scott is an active a volunteer for many community organizations. At Genesee ARC, she is a member of the Finance and Personnel committees and was a cabinet member for ARC’s People Realizing Potential Capital Campaign. She will begin serving on the Genesee ARC Board of Directors in June.

Boy Scout Andrew Fischer, of Batavia, was presented with the Youth Spotlight Award. For his Eagle Scout project, Andrew and his team constructed seven wooden benches, weeded the bike path and planted small trees and shrubs along the path at Genesee ARC’s Hartshorn Road, Batavia residence.

Friend of ARC Awards were presented to:

Mike Sputore, for the many kindnesses he shows to ARC individuals at Mancuso Bowling Center, where he is the manager, and for his for his behind-the-scenes support of the Challenger sports program;

Loretta Stratton, in recognition of her advocacy and support of Genesee ARC programs, services and events;

Mike Strobel, a Rochester area folk singer and guitar player who has been entertaining individuals at the Genesee ARC Day Habilitation Center for nearly 15 years!

Individuals served by Genesee ARC and saff were also recognized for achievement and longevity. The Business Partner of the Year was Yancey’s Fancy, New York artisan cheese makers.

Geoff Redick, YNN reporter, was master of ceremonies.

Dan and Debbie Fischer, owners of WBTA, received the Spirit of ARC Award on Friday night at Genesee ARC's annual awards banquet.

Fischer and Felice families

Jane Scott

Mike Sputore, Loretta Stratton, Mike Strobel

Andrew Fischer

May 18, 2012 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Alabama.

A 40-year-old Batavia woman who bilked two elderly patients out of more than $308,000 faces up to seven years in prison and significant restitution after pleading guilty this morning to four felonies.

Heidi L. Schollard, 161 Bank St., Batavia, entered a guilty plea to three counts of grand larceny, 3rd. Each Class D felony carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, but under the plea deal, Schollard's sentences will be served concurrently.

She also entered a guilty plea to grand larceny, 4th, a Class E felony with a maximum sentence of four years.

Schollard is ordered to repay $265,131 to one elderly victim and $43,000 to another, plus $23,414 to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance and $2,485 to the Department of Labor.

Schollard was initially arrested in December 2010 for allegedly stealing about $250,000 from a Batavia resident.

She was out of jail during the proceedings in that case and was arrested again in March and accused of defrauding another elderly person. The alleged victim in this case is a resident of Alabama.

In both cases, Schollard was reportedly a caregiver for the victims.

Sentencing is set for 9 a.m., Aug. 9.

May 18, 2012 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The Sheriff's Office is looking for assistance in locating Paul J. Doctor. Doctor allegedly failed to comply with a release under supervision contract and an arrest warrant was issued by Genesee County Court related to two counts of burglary.

Warrant Officer Eric Olson asks that anyone with information that may assist in locating Doctor to call (585) 343-0911.

UPDATE:  Paul Doctor turned himself in May 21.

May 18, 2012 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke.

Pembroke, Indian Falls, Corfu and Darien fire departments all participated in a demonstration this morning at Pembroke Town Park for the benefit of the students at Pembroke High School of what happens at a serious motor-vehicle accident.

The demonstration recreates an accident scene in which four students on a prom night are seriously injured -- and one is killed -- because of drinking and driving, or inattention or speeding.

The demonstration is meant to remind students to drive safely on prom night.

Photos submitted by Toby Beahan.

UPDATE: Below are some pictures sent by Greg Brockway.

May 18, 2012 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

The Dwyer Stadium Box Office will open for the 2012 season at 9 a.m. Monday, May 21. Tickets for Opening Day and ALL regular season games for the 2012 season will be on sale. The box office will be open until 5 p.m.

Normal box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Season seat holders will be able to pick up their season tickets on Monday. Fans interested in season tickets can also stop by the stadium and pick out their seat for the 2012 season.

The Batavia Muckdogs, Genesee County’s only professional sports franchise, have also released their 2012 promotional schedule featuring fireworks, giveaways, special events, theme nights and daily promotions.

The fun will kick off three days prior to Opening Day with an exhibition game vs. the Newark Pilots of the Perfect Game League. The aim of this game is not only to get the players acquainted with the stadium but also to give fans the first opportunity to meet the team. Tickets for the exhibition game will be discounted off the already low box office prices and season tickets holders will receive a free ticket to that evening’s ball game.

The Muckdogs will again offer fans a daily menu of money-saving promotions available throughout the season.

Tuesday features a new addition to the lineup. This year, New York’s 529 College Savings Program presents Kids’ Tuesday Night Tickets. Every Tuesday home game, the first 50 kids accompanied by an adult will receive a free General Admission ticket.

The Family Four Pack will take place on every Wednesday during the 2012 season and is presented by M&T Bank. Fans can purchase four general admission tickets, four hot dogs, four 12 oz. sodas and a 2012 program for only $30, a savings of $14.

On Thursday nights, The Williams Law Firm will once again sponsor our Kids Eat Free promotion. At every Thursday home game, the first 100 kids 12 & under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, soda and snack item.

Fireworks will again light up the sky after every Friday night game at Dwyer Stadium, as well as on the annual Independence Day celebration on July 4th.

Every Saturday will feature a pre-game concert in the concourse. These “Rock the Ballpark” events are presented by Tim Horton’s of Batavia and New Buffalo Impact with Papa and Mama Root, an oldies rock 'n' roll tribute band, and original music recording artists. All performances begin at 6 p.m. and are weather permitting.

At Sunday home games, kids can run the bases with Homer after the game courtesy of Denny’s of Batavia. Every child that runs the bases will receive a coupon for a free Kids Meal at Denny’s.

Other games of note on the 2012 promotional schedule include:

  • Opening Day/Magnet Schedule Giveaway                            Monday, June 18th
  • Muckdogs Car Decal Giveaway                                             Wednesday, June 27th
  • Prostate Cancer Awareness Day                                           Saturday, June 30th  
  • Independence Day Celebration Fireworks                            Wednesday, July 4th
  • Classic Rock band “The Strikeouts” pregame concert          Sunday, July 8th                      
  • Bark in the Park                                                                    Saturday, July 21st   
  • Synch Backpack Giveaway -- Friday, July 27th 
  • In Plain View pregame concert (Gates open at 5:30 p.m.)      Friday, August 10th
  • Team Photo Giveaway                                                          Saturday, August 11th 
  • Genesee Valley Penny Saver Giveaway                               Tuesday, August 21st 
  • 15th Anniversary Poster Giveaway                                        Sunday, September 2nd

Fireworks Nights will be as follows: June 22nd, July 4th, July 6th, July 20th, July 27th, August 10th, and August 24th.

The Muckdogs open their 2012 home schedule on Monday, June 18th vs. the Auburn Doubledays at 7:05 p.m. For a complete 2012 promotional schedule, go to or call the Muckdogs office at (585) 343-5454. Muckdogs season tickets, coupon books, ticket packages and individual tickets are all on sale.

May 18, 2012 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Jonathan E. Garcia, 19, of 101 State St., upper, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful imprisonment, and Sandra L. Fry, 41, of 101 State St., upper, Batavia, is charged with criminal nuisance, 2nd. The charges stem from an investigation into the whereabouts of a missing 14-year-old girl. Garcia is accused of forcibly preventing the victim from leaving his apartment. Fry, his mother, is accused of maintaining a place where persons gather for the purpose of engaging in criminal conduct. Both were arraigned in city court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

Rae C. Cook, 23, of 121 Liberty St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Cook is accused of striking a protected person several times during an altercation May 5. Cook was arraigned in city court and jailed on $5,000 bail.

May 18, 2012 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, Oakfield, outdoors, nature.

Mike and Laura were doing a little yard clean up when Mike went to grab a fallen tree branch. It stopped when he spotted a bunny hiding in the wedding bells. Laura ran in, grabbed her camera, attached a long lens and was able to snap this shot before the bunny hopped away.

May 18, 2012 - 8:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee ARC.

Press release:

John Weber and his Genesee ARC family care provider, Lynda Domnissey, experienced memories of a lifetime during a May 13 concert in Boston featuring The Go-Go’s. They had VIP tickets for the Wilbur Theater show, but Domnissey said, “This was over the top!” 

“We met everyone from all of the roadies, right up to Belinda Carlisle and the rest of the band,” she added, saying it’s something they will never forget!

John has been a part of Domnissey’s family care home for the past eight years.

“My husband, Mike Grosshans, and I love music and so does John,” she said.

John summed it up with, “The Go-Go’s are AWESOME!”

Group members took the time to pose for photos and sign John’s self-advocacy backpack 

The Go-Go’s formed in Los Angeles in 1978. Their hits include "Our Lips are Sealed," "We Got the Beat" and "Vacation."

Pictured above: John Weber (seated); with Gina Schock, drummer; Belinda Carlisle, singer; Charlotte Caffey, guitar; Jane Weidlin, guitar; Lynda Domnissey and Kathy Valentine, base guitar.




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

blue button