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May 5, 2016 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eastown Plaza, Eastown Beverage, batavia, business.


The expansion of Paul Parise's Eastown Beverage, which includes more space for his redemption center, coincides with that redemption center becoming the last privately owned, independent one in town.

Rob's on Ellicott Street, where Parise got his start more than a dozen years ago, closed last month. The nonprofit ARC operates a redemption center on East Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia, and Tops Market chain also has one.

This spring, Parise has expanded his redemption center into space, formerly a detail shop, next to his beer store. 

The new redemption center is bigger and Parise promises it will always be the cleanest around with the fastest service.

At the same time, Parise has been able to add more coolers -- now 24 doors -- to the beer shop and he's increased the number of craft beers he carries, and unlike a lot of shops, everything he sells is refrigerated.

The shops are located at 563 E. Main St., Batavia.

Eastown Beverage is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; Thursday through Saturday to 9 p.m.; and from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The redemption center is open 9 to 4:30, except Saturdays when it closes at 4, and its closed on Sundays.




May 5, 2016 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, Pavilion, news.


If you've ever driven into Pavilion on Route 63, you've surely seen this old barn.

May 5, 2016 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, schools, education, fire services, dwi drill.


Pavilion High School hosted its annual DWI drill for seniors in advance of the prom to remind students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

The drill simulates a fatal DWI accident with the cooperation of the Pavilion Fire Department and Sheriff's Office. Mercy EMS, the coroner and volunteers from Bethany and Wyoming also participated.











May 5, 2016 - 9:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education.

Press release:

The deadline for Genesee County graduating seniors wishing to apply for the William F. Brown Jr. Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by The Jerome Foundation, is May 20.

The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a deserving high school senior residing in and graduating from a school in Genesee County whose intention is to pursue at least a four-year degree in the fields of Journalism, Communications or Public Relations (in print, radio, television or digital media).

William F. Brown Jr. was a noted Batavia author, broadcaster and journalist, and a charter member of The Jerome Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that distributes funds to benefit United Memorial Medical Center and other health-related purposes. He passed away on Nov. 29, 2014.

Brown also was president of the board of directors of the former St. Jerome Hospital and a trustee emeritus of The Jerome Foundation.

A committee of directors from the foundation will judge the scholarship applicants based upon academic merit, creative accomplishment, community service and leadership.

Applications are available at guidance offices at the nine Genesee County high schools or by contacting Martha Spinnegan, administrative assistant for The Jerome Foundation, at [email protected].

The completed application must be mailed to The Jerome Foundation, P.O. Box 249, Batavia, NY, 14020, and postmarked by May 20 to be considered.


May 4, 2016 - 12:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Habitat for Humanity, batavia, news.


A neighbor on South Main Pearl Street is obviously grateful for Habitat for Humanity's restoration of a house two doors down.

The house is nearly complete and the family that will move in is in escrow on the purchase. A dedication is expected May 21.

Habitat currently has another project in progress on State Street.


May 4, 2016 - 12:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Thomas Rocket Car, batavia, news.


Dick McClurg continues to make progress on the restoration of the Thomas Rocket Car, the one-of-kind prototype designed by Batavian Charles Thomas and built in a garage at Main and Oak in 1938.

By the end of the month, McClug expects to have the driver side fender re-fabricated, in place, with the entire driver's side primed. If that timetable sticks, then he'll load the car on a trailer for the Memorial Day Parade through the City, weather permitting.

Since our last visit, McClurg as fabricated new motor mounts and inner fenders as well as repaired the rear driver's side fender.

The work has given McClurg a renewed respect for Thomas, he said, noting that getting the one fender right was tough work, but Thomas and Norman Richardson had to get all the fenders right and get them to match perfectly, all by hand.

"I wish I could have met him," McClurg said.

Once the restoration is complete, the car will be donated to the city, and at that point, it will be able to make its own way down Main Street in a parade, rather than on a trailer.

For previous coverage, click here.



May 4, 2016 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

The Richmond Memorial Library budget was approved by voters yesterday with 219 yes votes to 46 voting no.

The proposed budget includes a spending increase of $23,945.

Jennifer Cascell was elected to a five-year term on the library's board of trustees, filling a vacancy to be left by Dana Warren at the expiration of her term this June.

May 4, 2016 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, Darien, business.

Press release:

Darien Lake, Western New York’s largest theme park, opens this weekend for its 53rd season of family thrills and entertainment. This season guests will experience the new RipCurl Racer water ride, updated Ignite the Night laser show, and four free in-park concerts.

RipCurl Racer

Towering above the ground at 42 feet, six mat-riding competitors launch themselves headfirst into side-by-side tunnels and rocket through the twisting tunnels before accelerating into separate racing lanes. Riders then drop down the home stretch, enjoying speed, compression and zero gravity moments as they blast into a high-velocity finish. RipCurl Racer will begin taking riders on the water park’s opening day – May 21.

Ignite the Night Laser Show

Darien Lake’s Ignite the Night laser show has been upgraded to include full-color laser beams; extra pyrotechnics, and an all-new soundtrack. Ignite the Night, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, takes place every evening at 10:10 on the lawn at the Lakeside Amphitheater from May 20 to Sept. 4.

In-Park Concerts

The in-park concert series presented by Tops Friendly Markets are free with a Season Pass, a hotel/camping package or daily admission. The series will take place on the Performing Arts Center stage, with access to and from shows provided exclusively through the park. The concert series includes performances by Jacob Whitesides and Laura Marano on May 28, Rachel Platten on June 4, Sabrina Carpenter on June 25, and the latest addition Daya and Shawn Hook on July 2.

“We continue to improve and develop the park to provide exceptional value and extraordinary experiences for our guests,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe. “The new RipCurl Racer water ride and the stunning must-see laser show elements are as awe-inspiring and exhilarating as they are colorful. If you haven’t visited the park in a while, now’s the time to come out and see what’s hot and happening at Darien Lake.”

With park admission or season pass, guests receive unprecedented access to all in-park entertainment/concerts, special dive-in movies, special events, shows, and now more than 50 rides. A 2016 season pass has even greater value than ever before, paying for itself in less than two visits.

Season Pass holders will have front-row access to RipCurl Racer at Darien Lake’s Season Pass Preview Party on May 20 and receive a free souvenir mug, free tickets for friends and free parking. Restrictions apply, visit for more details.

May 4, 2016 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Cemetery, batavia cemetery association, batavia, news.


Press release:

Sometime between the middle of March and the middle of April this year, the Historic Batavia Cemetery was seriously vandalized. More than 50 headstones, some dating to the early 19th century, were overturned, broken or smashed, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

The Batavia Cemetery was established in 1823 and was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2002. Most of Batavia’s early settlers are buried at this site.

The Cemetery Association is a nonprofit organization and the funds available for this damage are limited. They are asking for donations to help reset and repair the damaged monuments. A GoFundMe page has been established under Historic Batavia Cemetery Repairs and may be found at

This board has worked very hard the past 25 years to restore and maintain the cemetery. This is a very devastating blow.

Under New York State Law, this amount of cemetery desecration is a felony offense. If anyone has information regarding this crime, they may contact Officer Cronmiller at Batavia City Police Department, 345-6350.

Any donations or information will be greatly appreciated.




May 4, 2016 - 10:44am

Live Nation's concert line up for 2016 at Darien Lake looks pretty much like it's set for the season.

Here it is:

  • Bad Company & Joe Walsh – Tuesday, June 7th
  • Miranda Lambert w/ Kip Moore & Brothers Osborne  – Thursday, June 23
  • Zac Brown Band – Sunday, July 3
  • 5 Seconds of Summer – Wednesday, July 6th
  • Vans Warped Tour – Thursday, July 14th
  • Toby Keith w/ Eric Paslay – Friday, July 15th
  • Disturbed w/ Breaking Benjamin – Sunday, July 24th
  • Josh Groban w/ Sarah McLachlan – Tuesday, July 26th
  • Heart & Joan Jett w/ Cheap Trick – Wednesday, July 27th
  • G-EAZY with Logic – Friday, July 29th
  • Darius Rucker with Dan + Shay and Michael Ray – Sunday, July 31st
  • Brad Paisley w/ Tyler Farr – Friday, Aug. 19th
  • Goo Goo Dolls w/ Collective Soul – Saturday, Aug. 20th
  • ZZ Top & Gregg Allman --Tuesday, Aug. 23
  • Blink-182 w/ A Day to Remember & All Time Low – Wednesday, Aug. 24th
  • Florida Georgia Line w/ Cole Swindell – Friday, Aug. 26th
  • Kidz Bop Kids Live! – Sunday, Aug. 28th
  • Def Leppard w/ REO Speedwagon & Tesla – Wednesday, Aug. 31st
  • Jason Aldean w/ Thomas Rhett & A Thousand Horses – Thursday, Sept. 22nd
May 4, 2016 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in liberty pumps, bergen, business.


Press release:

Liberty Pumps hosted hundreds of visitors for their 2016 Open House held on April 27.  The event was planned with two separate segments, one for family and friends of employees and one for the community.

The company welcomed visitors to show the completion of the recent three-phase expansion which nearly doubled the size of the facility.  In total, the expansion added over 123,000 sq. ft. to the corporate operation in Bergen, NY.  New additions included manufacturing areas, engineering lab and test facilities, as well as a new training center.

Attendees were treated to a tour of the facility, product demonstrations and a presentation and dedication of the new facility by Charlie Cook, President and CEO.

May 3, 2016 - 12:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GIS Map, genesee county, Elections, news.

Genesee County is rolling out a new interactive mapping system and over time, they can add new features to aid with information discovery and search.

One of the first new services unveiled is an interactive elections map.

To use the map, there is an icon in the upper right that looks like a stack of papers.  Click on it. If you click on the link, then, for either of the major parties, it will reveal a legend for what the colors of the map mean. Since Donald Trump swept the county in the latest primary election, that color coding isn't terribly revealing, but if you look at the Democrats, you can see which precincts went for Hillary Clinton and which for Bernie Sanders.

Erin Pence, with the Genesee County Planning Department, said there will be detailed map of national, state and local elections available after the November vote, with layers appropriate to each election.

The standard countywide GIS map is available by clicking here. It still provides several layers or current and historical data about the county, enough to get lost in for hours for the curious.

May 3, 2016 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

Press release:

On April 22, the Batavia Police Department held its annual Awards Luncheon to honor members of the Department that have gone “above and beyond."

The following were recipients of various awards:

Service Awards – given to members of the Department for years of service

  • 5 Years of Service: Sgt. Matt Lutey
  • 10 Years of Service: Sgt. Chris Camp, Sgt. Eric Bolles
  • 15 Years of Service, 25 Years of Service: Detective Thad Mart, Officer Frank Klimjack, Officer Darryle Streeter

Citizen Commendation -- This award is presented to any person (or corporation) who is not a member of the department but who has materially aided the department or its officers in some way. This includes assistance in the solution of crime or the apprehension of criminals, aiding an officer in the field in a critical situation, and cooperation with or assistance to the department as a whole in any aspect of the department’s administration or operations.

Walmart of Batavia received this year’s award for sponsoring Genesee County’s first ever Shop-with-a-Cop event held this past December. Walmart donated the gift cards used during the event and also supplied refreshments and snacks during the event. The event gives underprivileged children across the county an opportunity to purchase a gift or gifts for Christmas.

Certificate of Commendation – the following members received Certificates of Commendation:

  • Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk – for rendering aid to victims of a house fire, Dec. 20, 2015 at 5 Thomas Ave.
  • Detective Rich Schauf, Detective Kevin Czora, Officer Chad Richard and Officer Mitch Cowen – for assisting a citizen on Holland Avenue, April 17, 2015.
  • Officer Kevin DeFelice and Officer Marc Lawrence – for actions taken to locate and recover a vehicle that was reported stolen from the Village of Le Roy and apprehend the subject responsible for the theft, Jan. 8, 2015.
  • Officer Jason Davis – for action taken to assist a citizen in need of immediate medical care, Sept. 15, 2015.
  • Parking Enforcement Officer James Sheflin – for action taken to assist patrol officers in locate a subject in need of medical attention, April 1, 2015.

Life Saving Award – is awarded to any member of the department whose actions directly contribute to saving or significantly prolonging human life.

  • Officer Eric Foels – was the first officer on scene of an overnight structure fire at 5 Thomas Ave., after relaying to dispatchers that there were flames showing through the roof, he entered the building and began waking residents and ushering them to safety, furthering assisting by carrying an infant from the building to a neighbor’s house, Dec. 20, 2015.

Officer of the Year - Awarded to an officer annually for recognition as one who has consistently performed in an exemplary manner, is true to the ethics of the Batavia Police Department, and is highly deserving of the faith placed in him by the public.

  • Officer James DeFreze – Officer DeFreze was instrumental in organizing the first annual Shop-with-a-Cop program at Walmart and assisted with a great number of community events throughout the year, Officer DeFreze was further recognized by the YWCA for his assistance to victims of domestic violence. Officer DeFreze serves as one of the Department’s crisis negotiators and his skills were called upon several times during the past year.

All awardees were nominated by their peers and confirmed by a volunteer committee of various members of the Department.

Congratulations to all the recipients. 

May 3, 2016 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, news.

There was no forward movement in the murder case of Kyle Johnson today because the psychiatrist preparing a report on Johnson was unable to review a DVD provided by the defense on his computer.

Public Defender Jerry Ader expected the psychiatric exam report by today that might shed light on whether Johnson suffers from a mental defect or impairment.

The 53-year-old Johnson is accused of killing Norman D. "Don" Ball, of setting his own house on fire, and of attempting to kill a police officer and firefighter on Selden Road, Le Roy, on Dec. 1.

In order to assist the psychiatrist in viewing the DVD, Ader's office provided him today with a computer capable of playing the DVD.

Ader hopes the report will be available within a week and so a court appearance for Johnson was set for 11:30 a.m., May 10.

At some point after the report is available, there will be a hearing on several issues related to the case. Whether that includes a hearing on Johnson's mental state will be determined by Ader, but District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said at a prior court appearance that he expects Ader will seek a hearing on several evidentiary issues, including a photo lineup used with a witness, oral statements made in connection with the case, a video interview, and numerous statements made to corrections officers in the Genesee County Jail.

In other court cases today:

  • The case of Jason A. Armstrong Sr., accused of rape, was adjourned until Thursday. Today was the scheduled plea cut-off date for Armstrong, but Judge Michael Pietruszka agreed to continue the case two more days following a private conference with the attorneys.  Armstrong has been offered a plea bargain that would require him to plead guilty to assault, 2nd, and receive a five-year prison sentence followed by five years on parole.
  • Sara A. Howard, who previously entered a guilty plea to grand larceny, was scheduled to be sentenced today, but she didn't show up for court. Pietruszka read a letter from GCASA indicating that Howard has allegedly failed to comply with GCASA's instructions. He issued a warrant for her arrest. Howard was arrested earlier this year for stealing a Sony PlayStation valued at $300 after gaining entry to a family member's home on Jan. 8. Howard and an alleged accomplice also gained entry to another family's home and stole a .50-caliber CVA muzzleloader and a 12-gauge Mossberg Maverick valued at $700. Prior to her guilty plea locally, Howard allegedly committed a crime in Wyoming County but wasn't arrested until later. Howard's arrest was announced April 8. She faces multiple drug sales charges in Wyoming County.
May 3, 2016 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia, news.

Tiara Filbert, who led Batavia's Lady Blue Devils to the team's first Section V title has been recognized by the NYS Sportswriters Association as one of New York's best high school basketball players.

Filbert has been named to the All-State First Team.

The sportswriters select 14 teams plus honorable mentions in Class A and no other player from Section V made any of the top six teams. In all, six players from Section V Class A were honored.

In Class C, Pembroke's Aralyse Johnson received honorable mention. In Class D, Elba's Alex Reigle made fifth team.

May 3, 2016 - 8:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC, news.


Press release:

Genesee ARC’s 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting was held Friday night, just two days shy of the actual May 1, 1966 date that the agency was founded. Master of Ceremonies, WBTA's Dan Fischer, welcomed the 200 guests to Genesee ARC’s Community Center Forum.

The first order of business presented and approved was the slate of Board Members and officers. Kevin Fischer, Jane Meier and Candie Pocock were reelected Board members. Newly named officers are: President, Jane Scott; Vice President, Deborah Riggi; Treasurer, Debrah Fischer and Secretary, Candie Pocock. The following individuals were named to the Nominating Committee: Ronald Cummings, Jane Meier, Deborah Riggi, Jane Scott, Scott Neff and Joseph Teresi.

Genesee ARC membership also approved the proposed bylaws of the Arc of Genesee Orleans. This action moved Genesee ARC one step closer to formally unifying with The Arc of Orleans County, a process expected to be finalized by October.

Donna Saskowski, who for the past year has served as executive director of each Chapter said this is a very exciting time.

“The Arc of Genesee Orleans will be based on the historic roots and strengths of our two current Chapters,” she said. Looking to the future, the executive director said, “This is not a loss of one or the other, but the combination of the very best aspects of each, with a legacy based in both counties.”

In reflecting on the past 50 years, Board Member and one of the founding fathers, Henry Valerych, took a look back and shared highlights of the past five decades. Becoming a Chapter and hiring an executive director were early highlights, even though the Chapter only carried a $5,000 bank balance at the time, he mused.

“The opening of a work center and the work center expansion project on Walnut Street provided so many opportunities,” he said.

Valerych also pegged the residential program and the opening of the Day Habilitation program as highlights.

“And here we are joining Orleans, positioning ourselves for the next 50 years,” said Valerych, who concluded by saying what a good feeling it is to know his involvement has helped countless families like his own.

Proclamations were presented by the City of Batavia, Genesee County, New York State Assembly and New York State Senate. Chris Catt, field director for Congressman Chris Collins, presented both a proclamation and flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol.

A number of individuals served by Genesee ARC were recognized with awards for marking milestone service years.

Twenty year service award recipients are: James Grudzien, Judy Chappell and Bill Cappiello.

Twenty five year honorees include: H. Peter Valerych, Denise Myers, Lisa Dioguardi, Tom Graney, Julie Hall, Patty Cullen, Charmaine Michel, Alisa Tracy, Tim Quinn, Larry Bates, Judy Barlow, Samantha Mangas, Suzann and Eric.

Thirty year award recipients are Robin Baltz, Margaret Molinaro and Mary and Marty was recognized for 35 years.

Finally, being recognized for 40 years of service on Friday were Joe Gear and Sam Fryer. Danny O’Grady is one of Genesee ARC’s longest served individuals, at 43 years and participated in a cake-cutting ceremony helping to mark this historic event.






May 3, 2016 - 8:26am

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider an expansion project for Alpina Foods, Inc., at its May 5 board meeting.

Alpina Foods, Inc., is planning to construct a 3,200-square-foot addition to its existing facility in Batavia to accommodate space for a new bottle-filling machine and packaging equipment for a new drinkable yogurt product.

The company’s investment will total more than $1.1 million in the drinkable yogurt line, resulting in the retention of 23 current full-time employees.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

May 2, 2016 - 11:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.


A man was spotting lying down on Ellicott Street at Swan Street by a passerby and he wasn't wearing any clothes.

Police, along with City fire and Mercy EMS, responded.

When police arrived, he was standing, talking to a truck driver, but he said nothing to police.

"At this point, we don't even know his name," said Sgt. Chris Camp.

There isn't enough information available to police at this point to say why he was in the roadway naked at 11:15 at night or how he got there.

He was transported to UMMC for evaluation.

May 2, 2016 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A hit-and-run accident is reported in the area of 232 Liberty St.

No injuries are reported.

The caller reports he was parked in his driveway when a black pickup truck driven by a female struck his vehicle.

He provided dispatchers with a partial plate.

The pickup is described as black in color, unknown direction of travel.

Police are responding.

May 2, 2016 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire, news.


Peter Yasses, 81, a 23-year veteran of the Batavia City Fire Department, was lain to rest today and his funeral procession was escorted from the J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home on Bogue Avenue to St. Joe's Cemetery by Ladder 15. Yasses passed away Wednesday. For his full obituary, click here.





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