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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.

May 18, 2012 - 6:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, thruway, accidnt.

A one-vehicle rollover accident has been reported on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 386.

Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:41 a.m.: Very minor injuries. The location is just east of the Clinton Street Road overpass.

UPDATE 6:44 a.m.: Rescue 20 back in service. Engine 24 to the scene to secure the vehicle.

UPDATE 6:46 a.m.: At the request of the NYS Thruway Authority, Engine 24's response cancelled. Town of Batavia back in service.

May 17, 2012 - 9:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in yorkshire hall, pembroke announcements.

Press release:

For the past four years Yorkshire Hall, on Route 5 in Pembroke, has offered its popular "Tea Tasting Show" -- a combination of high tea, farcical comedy, and "delicious teatime foods" to bus tour companies and large groups.  The George Walker family, operators of Yorkshire Hall, would frequently receive inquiries from local individuals who wanted to attend.  Unfortunately," Walker explained, "it's not feasible to do the show for fewer than 25 guests.  That's why we're very excited to have a last minute opportunity for local tea and entertainment aficionados to see this show."

Walked said that a bus tour group attending Yorkshire Hall's Tea Tasting Show this Saturday has ended up with smaller than expected numbers, "and this means we can open the doors to local individuals or small groups who have always wanted to see this show."  The show, which beings at 2:30 p.m. and provides three separate tea services with special treats accompanying each tea, also includes comedy, songs, and a surprise gift for each guest at the end of the show.  Yorkshire Hall also contains a "Tea Treasures Table" of specialty teas and tea related gifts, which is only open during shows.

"We know this is very 'last minute,'" said Walker, "but we wanted to get the word out that local people who have begging for a chance to see this show have a unique opportunity on Saturday.  Reservations are required and information about the show is available by clicking on the "Tea Tasting" tab at, or by calling Yorkshire Hall at 716-474-4300.

May 17, 2012 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Le Roy, Duyssen Family Farm.

The early spring cold snap was a set back for some of the strawberry plants at Duyssen Family Farm in Le Roy.

The plants growing in the hoop houses, however, are coming on strong, according to John Duyssen. He expects strawberries ready for picking by Memorial Day.

The different growing cycles of the two groups of plants, however, should extend the amount of time strawberries are available at the farm.

The farm is located at 9187 Bater Road, Le Roy, and as soon as the strawberries are ripe, customers will be welcome to pick their own.


May 17, 2012 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Village of Le Roy residents are wondering why a security guard suddenly appeared at the Bank of America branch on Main Street.

Speculation centers around concern over protests against B of A, but those took place during the bank's shareholder's meeting May 9 and mostly in other parts of the country.

A spokesman for B of A said the bank doesn't discuss bank security.

May 17, 2012 - 5:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, alexander.

A Dumpster fire is reported at 4107 Broadway, Alexander.

Alexander Fire Department responding.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: A chief on scene says Alexander's engine can respond non-emergency. The fire is almost out.

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May 17, 2012 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A motorcycle accident with minor injuries is reported in the area of 1138 Lewiston Road, Alabama.

Alabama Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 5:05 p.m.: Patient being transported to UMMC.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: Alabama back in service.

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May 17, 2012 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, United Way, Genesee ARC, Day of Caring.

Yesterday, as part of the United Way Day of Caring, members of the Batavia Lions Club showed up at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycles and whipped 25 bikes into shape for local charities, including Genesee ARC. Near the end of the day, four clients of Genesee ARC showed up to pick up their new rides. Pictures are Hank, left, Amber, Tim and Andrew.

May 17, 2012 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Casino is marking its seventh anniversary with a weekend celebration that includes a Preakness party and prize drawings.

Batavia Downs Casino opened at 10 a.m. on May 18, 2005 with just 586 machines. Now open 20 hours a day with 640 machines on site, the facility’s growth has meant more jobs and more money given back to the counties and cities that the public benefit corporation serves. With a 27 million dollar expansion also set to start, the facility’s staff is looking forward to the future.

“We are pleased with not only where we are but also with what’s on the horizon,“ said Michael Nolan, chief operating officer of Batavia Downs Casino and Western Regional Off-Track Betting.

"As a partner in this community we’ve created jobs for this region and will look to create even more with this expansion. Our monetary distributions to the counties and cities that we serve will also increase.”

Further details can be found at

May 17, 2012 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

One person is complaining of back pain following a motor-vehicle accident at the intersection of Main and Bank streets, Batavia.

Batavia FIre Department and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:55 a.m.: City fire back in service.

May 16, 2012 - 9:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education.

GCC President Jim Sunser is going through his first budget process with the college and he told county legislators Wednesday that he would rather not, at this stage, be asking the county for more money.

But, he said, for the sake of maintaining the quality of the institution, the county needs to provide another $50,000 in funding.

The proposed $37 million budget also anticipates the first tuition increase in four years -- raising the price for full-time students by $75 per semester.

"Any new president in his first year as an administrator would enjoy having the luxury of coming to the legislature or the students in the community and saying we're not going to increase funding from any source," Sunser said.

"But I don't think that would be in the best interest of the institution or the students we serve. We're developing an extremely austere budget as it is. I think it's important to take a look at these adjustments so we can maintain the quality of the academic program and the student services we provide."

Sunser met with legislators during the Ways and Means Committee meeting, which GCC hosted in its board room.

Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock said of course the legislature would like to do everything it can to support the college, she isn't sure the money will be available to increase the county government's share of funding.

The county is looking at $1.8 million in increases in mandates expenses such as Medicaid, health care and pensions, which far exceeds any tax increase the county could enact without the State Legislature overriding the tax cap law.

Plus the county is looking at a multimillion bill to repair roads and bridges, some of which will soon be unsafe for autos to driver over.

"These are the things that are frustrating for legislators, because these are the kinds of initiatives we would like to support," Hancock said. "These are very difficult times."

Sunser said the $50,000 increase in the county's share of funding would still represent only about 5 percent of the county GCC's budget.

He said that given the fact that Genesee County's share is the lowest in the state for any single-sponsor community college, the county faces the possibility of losing control of the college without an increase in funding.

As a single-sponsor college, all of the trustees are local residents appointed by the legislator who have a keen understanding of the community's educational needs, Sunser said.

It's possible in the current economic environment that state officials will look at that 5 percent funding level and conclude the county has an outsized amount of authority over the college for the small size of the contribution.

"I want to make sure folks in Albany and else where understand how supportive Genesee County is of the college," Sunser said. "The legislature, the community and the board of trustees devote an inordinate amount of time supporting the college in all kinds of ways. That's a relationship I would like to maintain."

The budget includes 2.75-percent pay increase for faculty and staff, which is mandated by current union contracts.

While the county share of GCC's budget is the smallest in the state, GCC also keeps its budget lower than other community colleges, Sunser said. 

Typically, GCC professors earn less than they might at other nearby community colleges, and that has been a problem recently as the college has tried to get accreditation for its new veterinarian tech program.

The accreditation agency is concerned that while the college has qualified instructors now, the college is not paying salaries that are competitive enough to retain the faculty and then replace them if they leave, which would render students in the program without qualified teachers.

May 16, 2012 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets.

This morning, 3-year-old Kaylee took her rottweiler Koda for a walk on Chase Park, along with her mother Debbie. 




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

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