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August 1, 2010 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, byron, Heritage Festival.


Saturday, Bryon celebrated its annual Heritage Festival. I missed the parade, but stopped by for a bit of the classic car show and picnic, which included music (while I was there) from the band Brick.

More pictures after the jump:

August 1, 2010 - 1:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Harvester Avenue.


Ken Merrick has restored a classic name to his business -- Uncle Tony's is now The Harvester, a variation of a name on the bar for 17 years before it became Uncle Tony's.

Merrick said since he was switching from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, and would have to re-apply for his liquor license, and since Uncle Tony's no longer served food, it seemed like the right time to make the switch.

Merrick has owned the business for 36 years on Harvester Avenue, operating it originally as the Harvester Hotel.

"My customers that go way back said, 'We still all call it the Harvester,'" Merrick said. "They told me, 'Why don't you call it the Harvester?'"  I said, "OK, but I'm not calling it the Harvester Hotel."

August 1, 2010 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, Darien, Colby Road.


I first spotted this barn on Colby Road in Darien on a late afternoon last week. The sun was on the wrong side of it (the west) to get a good shot, so I planned on coming back. Did that yesterday.

August 1, 2010 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Blogs.

A lot of people think, "Oh, it's capitalism -- if Walmart or Target can sell stuff cheaper than the local small business, well, that's just capitalism."

But what if those big businesses are getting advantages not available to the locally owned shop -- is it really fair competition?

The New Rules Project says that American corporations are sheltering profits in overseas locations, saving themselves as much as $34 billion in annual taxes.

Those are tax dodges not available to the mom-and-pop shop.

August 1, 2010 - 1:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Darien.


(Pictured above are Kathy Schenck and her son.)

The little store on the corner of Harper and Route 20 in Darien is closing, though a new store, completely remodeled, will be re-opened at a later date by a new owner.

Jerry and Kathy Schenck operated 3 Buck's Country Store for 34 years, opening in the fall of 1976.

Jerry has MS and is staying at the Veteran's Hospital in Batavia. Three members of his unit in Vietnam recently rode their motorcycles from different parts of the country to have a reunion at the store.

Kathy said, "I'm really going to miss the people. We watched so many people grow up. They did so many good things for us."

August 1, 2010 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, agriculture, alexander, Dodgeson Road.


The Alexander Steam Show will have another classic piece of farm equipment to display this year. The Hegge family, which has farmed on Dodgeson Road since about 1930, is donating a 1950s era combine built by Massey-Harris.

Above, Matt Meyers operates a Massy-Harris tractor owned by his father, Vinnie Meyers, as the combine is turned over for the first time since sometime in the 1970s.

Rob Hegge is making the donation, but his son Lee was on hand Saturday to help the Meyers get the combine out of storage.

I stopped on Dodgeson Road to take a picture of the Hegge barn and the group noticed me out by the road and we talked a bit, so I went over and introduced myself, which is how I came across these two classic, Batavia-built, examples grand old farm equipment.

Lee let me wander around a bit and take a few more pictures.


August 1, 2010 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.


Press Release:

Batavia, NY - 2009 Batavia Downs Casino Horse of the Year Arm And A Leg started the 2010 campaign where he left off last season, back in the winner's circle, when he won the featured $9,000 Preferred Pace on Saturday night.

Put right on the lead by regular driver Kevin Cummings, Arm And A Leg made every pole a winning one but first had to withstand a serious challenge in deep stretch from the pocket sitter, Low And Right (Ray Fisher, Jr.), en route to a neck score in 1:55.4. Scotts Rolls Royce (Troy Boring) rode the rail to be third.

The victory was the 42nd of Arm And A Leg's career and raised his lifetime earnings to more than $267,000. He’s a 7-year-old altered son of Nobleland Sam. Stacy Keene does the training for Mark Zakubik.

The New York Sire stakes season gets underway on Monday night at the Downs. Six divisions of 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers headline the 12- race program. Post time is 6:40 p.m. Racing programs are free of charge on-line at .

July 31, 2010 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

The Sheriff's Office announced the following arrests stemming from the Kings of Leon concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Charles M. Christensen, 40, of Admiral Road. Buffalo is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting with security while being escorted out of the concert venue.

Lucia C. Esquilin, 27, of West Avenue, Buffalo, is charged disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting with security while being escorted from the concert venue.

Maria C. Esquilin, 26, of West Avenue. Buffalo, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly throwing a security headset radio into the bushes during an altercation with concert security.

Joanna M. Esquilin, 24, of West Avenue. Buffalo, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting with security while being escorted from the concert venue.

Nicholas J. Falanga, 22, of Ellsworth Road. Palmyra, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing marijuana.

(name redacted upon request), 22, of Voorhees Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing marijuana.

April R. Bauer, 22, of W. Third Street, Oswego, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing marijuana.

Brian C. Nice, 21, of Sagamore Drive, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing marijuana.

The following people were issued citations for alleged underage drinking:

Alexander T. Pavone, 19, of Chestnut Crescent, Rochester
Kelsey L. Atwater, 19, of Kernwood Drive, Rochester
Connor J. Hourihan, 20, of Hartford Avenue, Buffalo
John F. Conklin, 20, of Shelly Road, Livonia
Cory T. Brogan, 20, of Close Hollow Drive, Hamlin
Michael R. Andino, 18, of Murray Street, Mt. Morris
Paul K. Hessel, 19, of Seamen Road, Middleport
Elizabeth D. Greeley, 19, of Lincoln Street, Norwood, Mass.
Britt M. Kostraba, 20, of Fisher Hill Road, Canandaigua
Maggie M. Morrissey, 20, of Creek Road, Rochester
Jessica Y. Davila, 18, of Cross Hill Road, Monroe, Conn.
Stephanie R. Zambito, 19, Lorna Court, Tonawanda
Bryan D. Rowland-Fierro, 18 of N. Grove Street, East Aurora
Julie A. Buss, 20, of Woodland Road, Brackney, Pa.
Gretchen R. Buss, 19, of Woodland Road, Brackney, Pa.

July 31, 2010 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.


Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY – It was beautiful evening for harness racing in Western New York as pacers, trotters, and a sizeable crowd gathered for the first Friday of the meet. Patrons enjoyed a 12-race card with two feature races: the eighth race on the card, a Preferred Trot, with a purse of $9,000 and the eleventh, an Open Trot, with a purse of $7,800.

Trotting to victory in Friday's $9,000 feature was Yonkers invader Heaven And Hall with Ray Fisher Jr. at the lines, doing the mile in 1:59.4. Mighty Looker and Kevin Cummings were in for the place, while Hello Carlo with Jack Flanigen made the $152 trifecta. The fractions were 28.4, 58.4, and 1:29.3, respectively. The early stages of the mile was all Hello Carlo and Jack Flanigen who took on all comers but the race was won at the half when the veteran Fisher Jr. was able to find the 2-hole with Heaven and Hall and they simply bided their time in the pocket until angling out at the top of the stretch to score a one-length win. Kevin Cummings and Mighty Looker threatened along the passing lane but had to settle for second. Heaven and Hall is a 7-year-old gelding by Angus Hall. Mark Ford of Campbell Hall owns him and Steven Weaver is the trainer. The winning price of the eighth race was $5.10.

Flamenco Dancer and Tom Agosti got up at the wire in the 11th race by a head, in this evening’s second featured trot. The time of the mile was 2:00.1. Welding Spark D with Jack Flanigen in the sulky landed the exacta, while Jim and Jim Mc Neight were in for the show. The race unfolded with Welding Spark D taking over command at the ¾ mark and opened up 2 at head stretch but a persistent Flamenco Dancer was able to wear him down and score the narrow win. Flamenco Dancer is a 5-year-old bay mare by Tejano. Benjamin Drongosky of Snyder, NY owns her. Alex Giuliani is the trainer. The winning price was $11.20.

Pick-6 is Hit
Thanks to five winning chalks the pick-6 was hit for the first time this season returning $395. The Saturday night pick-6 pool remains guaranteed at $1,000. The pick-6 wager begins in the 7th race.

Be sure to come out tonight, for the Batavia Downs Casino and New York Sire Stakes Glass Giveaway! The first 750 patrons to swipe their Player’s Club Cards beginning at 5 PM will receive a ticket that is redeemable for a free glass after the 7th race! The 64th season is underway at America’s Oldest Lighted Harness Track. Enjoy take every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evening. Post time is 6:40. Racing fans wishing to dine in the Clubhouse should call 585-343-3750 to make a reservation.

Photo courtesy Paul White.

July 31, 2010 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

On a day when the Batavia Muckdogs picked up an important fifth-straight win in a tight Pinckney Division race, the team learned another strong arm is on its way.

Seth Blair, a first-round supplemental draft pick for the St. Louis Cardinals has agreed to terms and will report to Batavia. Blair, 21, was the 46th player taken overall in the June draft.

He was 12-1 in 18 starts this season at Arizona State University with a 3.64 ERA. He struck out 108 batters and walked 29. He won the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year award.

The Muckdogs, who have been hot in July, picking up 15 wins, are one game behind Williamsport and tied with Jamestown for second place in the Pinckney Division.

The Jammers play the Muckdogs at Dwyer tonight, 7:05 game time, and then the teams travel to Jamestown tomorrow for a twi-nite double header.

Last night, the Muckdogs kept their win streak going by scoring two runs in the 10th inning (after giving up a run in the top of the 10th) to pull out an 8-7 victory over Auburn.

Outfielder Jon Edwards, who's in his fourth stint with Batavia and has struggled since a strong 2008 campaign (helping the Muckdogs win the NY-Penn League championship), had a big night Friday, hitting a home run and driving in three runs.

Joey Bergman had two hits and three RBIs while first-year pro Victor Sanchez, playing first base, had four hits and scored three times (hitting ahead of Edwards and Bergman). Nick Longmire had two hits.

The final run of the game came on a wild pitch allowing Mike O'Neill to score from third.

July 31, 2010 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, education.

mug_stuart_steiner.jpgStuart Steiner, Ed.D, longtime president of Genesee Community College, is retiring.

Steiner, who has overseen much of the growth of the college, served for 35 years. He was the college's third president and began his career at the college in 1968 as Dean of Students.

When Steiner first went to work for GCC, the college was located on West Main Street Road in what is now known as County Building #2. In 1972, GCC moved to its present location and Steiner oversaw its expansion into the multi-dimensional campus it is today.

At a recent board meeting, trustees remarked on the most recent successes of GCC -- a new Med-Tech building on campus, record enrollment and outstanding academic achievement, and Steiner said he realized now would be an appropriate time for him to step down.

Steiner said he plans to stay in the area and has no specific plans for retirement, except to spend more time with his grandchildren.

"Our academic programs, and our faculty and staff, are outstanding," he said. "We now have over 100 recipients of the SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. Enrollment is healthy, this year hitting record-high numbers in the fall, spring and summer sessions, and projected to grow again next year.

"Our financial situation is strong, and our facilities are in very good shape. We completed all of the targeted new construction and renovation projects that we planned ... I believe that Genesee is very well-poised for the future, and I am very comfortable leaving the challenges of leadership to a new president."

Full press release after the jump:

July 30, 2010 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, Stafford.


When I got my new camera, one of the first barns I went out and photographed was on Griswold Road in Stafford.  

I was actually never really satisfied with the results, so I've been looking for a chance to try it again. Yesterday, with clouds in the sky and bales of hay on the ground, it seemed like a good time to give it another try. These two pictures are the result.

And after the jump, two other previously photographed subjects.


July 30, 2010 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee ARC.


Genesee ARC sponsored what it dubbed a "Ginormous" garage sale at its new Woodrow Road community center. By the time I got there, the crowd had pretty much thinned out, but Trilateral Commissioner Sandy Konfederath said they had a big crowd this morning and the sale went well.

NOTE: The sale continues Saturday, July 31. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

July 30, 2010 - 12:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, pembroke, Le Roy.

mug_homer.jpgDavid D. Homer (photo), 40, of 7 North St., Le Roy, is charged with disseminating indecent material to minors, 2nd, a Class E felony. Homer is accused of sending indecent photographs of himself using a mobile phone to a 17-year-old person. He was arraigned and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

Erik P. Roth, 40, of 7595 Bank St. Road, Elba, has been indicted by the Genesee Grand Jury on three felonies and two misdemeanors. Roth is charged with two counts of sexual abuse 1st, course sexual conduct against a child, 2nd, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Roth is accused of having sexual contact with a child under 11 years old. The alleged crimes occurred in Elba between November 2004 and March 2006.

Michael Patrick Tanner, 18, of Hopkins Road, Getzville, is charged with unlawful dealing with fireworks. Tanner is accused of possessing illegal fireworks and shooting them from a car traveling on West Main Street Road, Batavia, at 11:48 p.m., Thursday. Tanner was reportedly later located in East Pembroke.

A 16-year-old resident of Maple Street, Batavia, has been charged with criminal mischief. The youth is accused of punching a hole in the wall of the Department of Social Services at about 8:30 a.m., Thursday. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed on $2,500 bail.

July 30, 2010 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

In second place, a game behind Williamsport, with a four-game winning streak and a 11-3 record so far in July, the Batavia Muckdogs return home tonight to face Auburn.

Fireworks will follow the game, which starts at 7:05.

The 22-16 Muckdogs beat Auburn (15-25) in Auburn last night, 8-3.

Hot-hitting Audris Perez doubled in three runs and Joey Bergman added two RBIs.

Fifth-round draft pick Nicholas Longmire is 6th in runs scored (27), 6th in triples (4), tied for second in home runs (7), tied for first in RBIs (36), 5th in total bases (74), 1st in slugging (.578)

Perez is third in RBIs with 31 and 6th batting average (.346).

The Muckdogs feature two starting pitchers among the league leaders in ERA (Justin Edwards, 2.04, and Nick McCully, 2.31). Edwards, in his second tour with Batavia, is 3-1 for the season.

Starter Andrew Moss, who tossed seven perfect innings earlier this month, has four wins, tying him for third in the league, with a 3.54 ERA. Edwards and Moss are tied for 10th in the league with 34 Ks each.

The Muckdogs take on Jamestown at Dwyer on Saturday, and then travel to Jamestown for a twi-night double-header against the Jammers, returning home Monday to face Mahoning Valley.

July 30, 2010 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

City Fire is responding to 7 Trumbull Parkway for a report of wires down.

Law enforcement is in route, too.

It's unknown if they are electrical.

UPDATE 10:55 a.m.: Telephone lines only. City Fire back in service.

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July 30, 2010 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kraving's offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

The Mane Attraction, 99 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Mane Attraction is a spa and salon offering pedicures, manicures, hair styling and massage. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

The Daily Grind, 85 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: For Batavia's finest coffee, smoothies, as well as fast and convenient breakfasts and lunches, stop into The Daily Grind. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Mane Attraction, 99 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Mane Attraction is a spa and salon offering pedicures, manicures, hair styling and massage. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Herbly Wonderful, 3701 Pearl St., Batavia, NY: Unique specialties for your home and garden, from floral arrangements, to heirloom vegetables, herbs, teas and spices. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

Herbly Wonderful

July 30, 2010 - 12:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

There is a rollover accident on Council House Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

There was initially a report of a serious injury and Mercy Flight was being dispatched.

There is also a report that a person has fled from the scene.

Alabama Fire and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE: A first responder says there is nobody in the vehicle.

July 29, 2010 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Darien.


A gas dryer is reportedly on fire at 1325 Broadway, Darien Center.

There is no structure fire at this time.

Darien Fire and Alexander Fire have been dispatched.

UPDATE 4:42 p.m.: It is now a structure fire. Corfu is also responding. Flames reported on the outside of the building.

UPDATE 4:48 p.m.: Broadway and Route 77 are being shut down. Batavia's Fast team is being dispatched.

UPDATE 6:18 p.m.: Firefighters continue to battle hotspots inside the house. The amount of smoking billowing from out of the attic has subsided substantially, but there's clearly still fire burning in the interior. In addition to Darien, Corfu and Alexander, companies from Alexander, Alden and Bennington are on scene. Route 5 remains closed, though 77 is open.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: All units back in service.

UPDATE: More pictures after the jump.



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