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August 22, 2016 - 9:22am

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Country star Brad Paisley joins members of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office prior to his recent show at Darien Lake with a Badge of Honor bracelet in support of WNY's fallen members of law enforcement and their families. 

Pictured with Paisley are Sgt. Tom Sanfratello, Deputy Brad Mazur and Sgt. Greg Walker, who is the chapter president for the Badge of Honor Association.

The association provides support for families whose loved ones in law enforcement passed in the line of duty and assists officers seriously injured in the line of duty. 

The bracelets can be purchased on the association's website.

Photo courtesy the Badge of Honor Association.

August 22, 2016 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, oakfield fd, news, fire services.

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Press release:

The Oakfield Honor Guard returned Saturday, Aug. 20, from training with the staff of Sgt. Kenneth Newton, the 37th  Colors Sergeant of the President’s Own Color Guard at Marine Barracks “8th and I” in Washington, D.C.  The Guard trained in flag etiquette and drilled in ceremonial marching and maneuvering techniques.

“The knowledge that we received was certainly second to none,” 2nd Assistant Chief Randy McIntire said. “From the very beginning, Lance Corporal James Shay and his staff, made our visit a priority. Just being in the presence of these Marines was a great privilege. It seemed that every Marine, from Lance Corporal to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller, knew that the Oakfield Fire Department’s Honor Guard was ‘on deck’ and they were truly pleased to provide this training opportunity to us.”

The Honor Guard, consisting of Jeffery McIntire (lieutenant and former staff sergeant in the Marine Corps), Sean Downing and Randy McIntire (assistant chiefs), Casey Arnold, Tyler Hamm and Nate Klos (firefighters), also traveled to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to experience the changing of the guard. At the completion of the change, the Guard was afforded the privilege of interviewing Staff Sgt. Massey, 3rd Relief Commander, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He spoke of the dedication and commitment of the Tomb Guards and answered many questions.

On completion of Friday’s training, the Oakfield Fire Department Honor Guard’s Lt. Jeffery McIntire presented a plaque thanking the Marine Barracks Color Guard Platoon for the opportunity to train with them and Chief McIntire read and presented a letter of thanks from the Village of Oakfield’s Mayor, Jason Armbrewster. Both of these items were gratefully accepted by Sgt. Newton on behalf of the Commandant and an invitation for the Honor Guard to return in the future was extended. Oakfield Fire Department T-shirts and patches were presented to members of the training staff.

The Honor Guard was treated with VIP passes to the Commandant’s Friday Evening Parade. The evening started in the presence of veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, each a guest of a Marine stationed at the Barracks. VIP seating was provided at mid-field for the parade. The “President's Own” Marine Band, the Commandant’s Color Guard, and Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and the post’s A and B companies of approximately 200 Marines including the Silent Drill Platoon performed a number of patriotic musical pieces and demonstrated precision military drill. 

The Oakfield Fire Dept. Honor Guard is working toward the capability of assisting Genesee County fire departments in providing dignified services should a line of duty death occur. The Honor Guard formed following the Chief of EMS and firefighter Barry Miller’s death in the line of duty.

“We are grateful to our department for financially sponsoring our trip. We are thankful for donations made by H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, M&S Tactical Solutions and First Choice Travel,” Assistant Chief Sean Downing said. “Support from the Village of Oakfield and the Town of Oakfield was also appreciated.”

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August 22, 2016 - 7:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Notes on updates and fixes:

  • By request, users can now click a link to sign out of their account.
  • Bug fix: If users were not signed in, when they clicked the orange "Buy Now" button, they would get an error. We now tell users they need to be registered and signed in with links to help with that process.
  • Bug fix: When people requested a new password, they were not receiving that e-mail. That, too, appears to be fixed now. This will generate a new password for you. We do not yet have a way for you to view your registration and update your own password (this will be available at some point).
  • If you still encounter technical issues, email [email protected] Please be as specific as possible about the error you encountered or difficulty you had.

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.
August 22, 2016 - 7:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A motor-vehicle accident with unknown injuries is reported on Oak Street at Burke Drive.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 7:47 a.m.: Single vehicle. One patient, who will be a sign-off.

August 21, 2016 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

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A Rochester resident who was apparently thrown from his vehicle in an accident last night on Clinton Street Road is listed in fair condition this evening at Erie County Medical Center, where he was taken by Mercy Flight after being found laying in the roadway.

While the accident remains under investigation, the Sheriff's Office reports that Derek E. Wilcox will be charged with DWI. Other charges are pending and the Sheriff's Office alleges that speed was a contributing factor to the crash.

Wilcox was reportedly eastbound on Clinton Street Road at 10:09 p.m. when his vehicle traveled off the north shoulder hitting a sign, a large tree and a junction box as it overturned in the embankment along the roadway and struck another tree.

The first people on scene called 9-1-1 and reported a pedestrian who had been struck by a car was lying the road.

First responders quickly determined that it was the driver, and not a pedestrian, who was on the pavement of Route 33.

A mobile home was damaged by debris from the accident. 

The accident was investigated by Sgt. Jason Saile and Deputy Micheal Lute. Town of Batavia fire, Batavia PD and State Police assisted at the scene.

(Initial Report)

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August 20, 2016 - 10:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A car has reportedly hit a pedestrian in the area of 5210 Clinton Street Road.

A man is reportedly down in the road.

There's a second call on Clinton Street Road in the same vicinity for a car into a house.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 10:43 p.m.: The person reported in the road was the driver of the car. He was apparently thrown from the car after it left the roadway, while heading north, striking a mobile home, a couple of trees and rolling over in the ravine along the west shoulder. The driver was taken by Mercy EMS to the airport. He will be transported by Mercy Flight to ECMC. His injuries appear to be serious. Route 33 is being shut down now at East Avenue. NOTE: We're withholding photos that clearly show the vehicle involved until the morning, by which time we should have the press release from the Sheriff's Office with more details.

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August 19, 2016 - 10:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, news.

An accident with possible injuries is reported on Lockport Road at Quaker Hill Road, Elba.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS responding.

August 19, 2016 - 10:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Cancer Assistance, sports, golf, news.

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Genesee Cancer Assistance held its annual golf tournament fundraiser at Batavia County Club today and with the support of numerous volunteers, the nonprofit hosted a couple hundred golfers and bocce ball players.

One of the features of the tournament this year was a floating green challenge -- a small green floating in the middle of a lake. If a golfer could land a ball on the green -- at $5 a try, he or she could win a new driver. If nobody made it, each entrant would have a chance to win through a drawing. No word on who the winner was yet.

Joe Gerace, a stalwart among Genesee Cancer Assistance volunteers, insisted on working the tournament, as he usually does, as a marshal. He's pictured below with Peter Guppenberger, who came within feet of hitting the floating green with his shot above.

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August 19, 2016 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, employment, economy.

There were a reported 23,900 jobs in Genesee County in July, according to the NYS Department of Labor. That figure is 100 jobs below the number of a year ago in July.

Overall, New York added 131,000 jobs year over year. The Buffalo area added 4,400 jobs and Rochester added 700 jobs.

The region's unemployment rates for July have not yet been released.

At the start of the recession in 2008, the July report for Genesee County tallied 24,600. That number fell as low as 23,000 in 2013.

Goods-producing jobs in Genesee County held steady year over year, but service-producing jobs in the county fell from 19,900 to 19,800. Government jobs also fell from 5,500 to 5,400. Education and Health Services gained 100 jobs, going from 2,700 to 2,800.

In the past week, a handful of local business owners have told The Batavian they are finding it hard to find qualified candidates for open positions.

August 19, 2016 - 8:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, Sponsored Post, 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.
August 18, 2016 - 9:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A car has struck the Burger King building at 230 W. Main St., Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

City of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:14 p.m.: Law enforcement on scene reports no injuries.  

August 18, 2016 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, fire, news.

There is a reported smell of burning plastic and smoke coming from the building at 7959 E. Main Street Road, Le Roy.

Le Roy fire and Bergen's ladder truck dispatched.

UPDATE 6:29 p.m.: City of Batavia's Fast Team, a tanker from Pavilion and Le Roy's ambulance requested to the scene for a possible structure fire.

UPDATE 6:33 p.m.: Assignment can be held to the equipment that is on the road.

UPDATE 6:36 p.m.: The Fast Team response is canceled. 

August 18, 2016 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joshua Dent, business, batavia, news.

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Joshua Dent, after a decade with Merrill Lynch, has joined the ranks of small business owners in Genesee County, becoming an independent investment advisor with an office in the First Choice Travel building at 3080 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

"A big reason for the move is it changes my role from working for somebody else like I have for 13 years now (he was with Edward Jones before Merrill Lynch) and I'm a small business owner just like a lot of my clients," Dent said.

As his own boss, Dent said he can offer more services to his clients, set his own fee structure and take on clients with smaller investments that larger agencies tend to avoid. He thinks that model, with all the small business people in Batavia, is a much better fit for the local community.

Dent has developed strong community ties since joining Merrill Lynch's branch in Batavia. He worked with his colleagues there organizing the GLOW Corporate Cup and serves on the board of the YMCA.

Eventually, he'll develop a new brand name for his firm, but he'll affiliate with Raymond James, to access that financial services firm's technology and resources; day-to-day operations and decisions will be entirely his own.

"I like having the ability to determine the clients I work with and the pricing of their assets under management," Dent said. "It offers a lot more flexibility. When you're the one who owns the business, you get to make those decisions and price things more appropriately. Sometimes with clients at other firms, you have to have high minimum fees or high minimum account values. Those things kind of go away when I'm calling the shots."

Dent's new office number is (585) 418-4163.

August 18, 2016 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Trail, batavia, news, micheal ranzenhofer.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced $250,000 in state funding to assist with the construction of the Ellicott Trail, the first pedestrian and bicycle trail within Genesee County.

The proposed 4.6-mile multi-modal pedestrian and bicyclist trail will provide a new route through the City and Town of Batavia, including off-road sections, to offer more efficient and safer options for travelers.

“I am pleased to have been able to secure funding for the Town and City of Batavia to construct the Ellicott Trail. The trail will connect major activity centers and commerce, while offering a new, safer way for residents to get around in the community,” Ranzenhofer said.

New off-road trail sections will improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists as they will not need to compete with vehicular traffic. In addition, the on-road sections will be signed and striped for bicyclists to alert motorists; crosswalks at key intersections will also be signed, and in some instances enhanced, to emphasize pedestrian crossings along the route.

"I’m extremely pleased with the efforts of the City and Town collaborators with the Senator’s office to help make this project a reality. This will be a first of its kind in Genesee County, and just the beginning of what will hopefully be a County-wide trail," said Town Supervisor Greg Post.

“This has been a collaborative effort from the beginning, and we are extremely pleased to have an asset like the Ellicott Trail come through the center of our City. The Ellicott Trail, once constructed, will be a permanent fixture that will bring commerce and recreational users to our County for years to come,” said City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr.

Ranzenhofer secured the funding through the State and Municipal Facilities Grant Program. Construction of the new trail is expected to start early next year and be completed by the end of 2017. The total cost of the project is $1.36 million.

In 2014, the Town of Batavia, in partnership with the City, received $1 million in federal funding, through the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP), to complete a 4.6-mile multi-modal pedestrian and bicyclist trail. The TEP program required a $341,500 local match to complete the project. Senator Ranzenhofer’s grant will be used to offset the local match.

August 18, 2016 - 8:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
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   Katelynn Higgs
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   Amber Jacznski 
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  Katherine Shannon
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   Michelle Preston

The Local Drug Task Force has announced the arrest of four Batavia residents on charges stemming from four separate investigations into the suspected criminal sale of narcotics.

Katelynn M. Higgs, 31, of Grandview Terrace, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Higgins is accused of selling a quantity of oxycodone to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force. She was jailed without bail.

Amber L. Jacznski, 24, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Jacznski is accused of selling a quantity of fentanyl to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force. She was jailed without bail.

Katherine M. Shannon, 55, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Shannon is suspected of selling a quantity of oxycodone to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force. She was jailed without bail.

Michelle L. Preston, 50, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. Preston is accused of selling a quantity of crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force and was allegedly found in possession of marijuana at the time of her arrest. She was jailed without bail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 17, 2016 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Main St. Pizza Company, batavia, business, news, downtown.

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Ever since he opened Main St. Pizza Company on East Main Street 11 and a half years ago, Vic Marchese has wanted to serve pasta dishes featuring his mom's sauce and meatball recipes, but the small kitchen in the busy and crowded pizza shop just didn't give him room to grow his business that way.

Two months ago, at the end of a three-year planning and building process, Marchese was finally able to expand his restaurant, building a bigger kitchen and adding a new, large (75 seats) and attractive dining area.

And since then, the customers have been pouring in.

"I always knew we would do well because people always liked my mother’s sauce," Marchese said. "She just passed away four years ago. I wish she was here. She would really enjoy this. She would be out here, talking to everybody, and she would be involved here in the kitchen, I know she would."

The expansion helped Marchese fulfill a few dreams -- serving his mom's recipes, bringing Italian dining back to Batavia, double the number of diners his restaurant can serve at one time and providing a more upscale dining experience.

He designed the new dining room himself, with help from his wife and an interior designer who suggested the tabletops and upholstery on the long booth that sits under the custom-made Main Street sign on an interior wall, framed by two racks of wine. The wood and brick ambiance gives the restaurant a classic, urban feel.

"I wanted to build something that was over the top," Marchese said. "I wanted it to be the best restaurant Batavia could have, as good as anything in any big city."

Customers have told him, he said, that they feel like they're in a restaurant in Boston or Montreal when they're in his new dining room, or with the big meals, friendly atmosphere and good food, they feel like they're home. Both compliments apply.

"The best compliment anyone has ever said, people just thanked me for building this for them," Marchese said. "That says a lot right there. Food aside, pizza aside, spaghetti aside, people say the building is for them."

The homespun atmosphere is accentuated by a wall of photographs of local scenes, alongside shots of the family dog, Winston, and a couple of the restaurant's dishes. The local photographs are the work of Batavia residents Mark Gutman and Howard Owens.

Marchese is particularly proud of the 16-foot front window that opens easily when the weather is good, giving diners not just a view of downtown life on the sidewalk, but an open-air cafe feel, much like any big city bistro.  

Main St. now takes reservations, and that's not a bad idea on most nights, and tables by the window are the most requested by those callers making reservations.

While mom's sauce and meatballs anchor the new dining room's menu, much of the culinary creativity comes from Main St.'s new executive chef, Jason Ball, a native of Batavia who got his culinary degree from Erie County Community College and has been a sous chef and executive chef at several restaurants and hotels in the region. He was most recently sous chef at Orazio's in Clarence, where he was part of a team that won four Taste of Buffalo awards. He spent about 10 years at Orazio's with a break in the middle to be executive chef at Byrncliff in Varysburg.

Ball started hearing talk more than a year ago that Marchese wanted to meet with him and discuss an executive chef position and Ball's first reaction, he said, was "executive chef in a pizza shop? No way," but then once he sat down Marchese and understood his vision, he said he was sold on the idea.

"This is something special right here," Ball said. "I've long wanted to come back to my hometown and do something special and this is it. This is great. We said it would be great and we're doing it."

In preparing for the job, Ball took a family vacation in New York City and visited the bistros of Little Italy. He said he absorbed ideas and atmosphere, and during their planning, Marchese took Ball to Tony B's in Rochester and Marchese had a steak there and told Ball he'd like to include a steak on the menu for the new dining room.

Ball found a cut of Angus filet mignon that costs $20 per cut, which means it's $38 on the Main St. menu, but Ball described it as an amazing cut of meat, and since customers keep ordering at that price, it must be pretty good. Ball said the goal was to offer the best cut of steak in Batavia.

Marchese and Ball want everything to be first-rate, he said, so they only get the best ingredients, including cheese from Yancey's Fancy (for dessert, homemade ice cream from Oliver's Candies, to continue that local theme). 

Ball has the freedom to offer unique and creative specials every night, including some really special specials on weekends, such as this past weekend when the menu included an ahi tuna steak with vegetables and a jasmine rice.

The appetizers include the Winstonator (named after the Marchese family pet), which is comprised of two 10-ounce meatballs in mom's sauce with cheese, and Ball introduced his own take on Arancini, a Sicilian rice ball with asparagus, ricotta, various cheeses and a roasted tomato sauce and chive oil. 

It's quickly become one of the most popular items on the menu, Ball said.

"We want customers to have a great experience," Ball said. "I believe sitting down and enjoying a meal is an experience. Anybody at home can cook spaghetti and meatballs, but here we want it to be an experience. We want to it to be a top-notch-level service, an amazing atmosphere and great food like this town has never seen before. We’ve set our standards very high."

Marchese said he hopes people feel like they've had a real Italian dining experience after a meal at Main St., and not just because they had a pasta dish or a meatball.

"When you go to an Italian family’s house, you always eat well and you never leave hungry," Marchese said. "That’s what I want to emulate here. Our portions are always huge. I don’t want anybody to go away hungry. So far, it’s been good. People are leaving with doggie bags and I like that."

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Jason Ball

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August 17, 2016 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Gateway I, batavia.

Plans for a new 62-room hotel in the Gateway I Corporate Park off Route 98, north of the Thruway, continue to move through the approval process without a hitch.

Last night, the Town of Batavia Planning Board approved an environmental review assessment and the previous evening the Zoning Board of Appeals approved variances for the height of the building and signage. 

The proposed Fairfield Inn will be the second hotel built in the Gateway development within the past five years. In 2011, local hotel owners objected to the planned Holiday Inn Express in the park, but it was approved and built.

The Fairfield Inn will be owned by the Patel family from Erie, Pa., a family that already owns hotels in Batavia.

An attorney for Oakfield Hospitality, LLC, said the owners have marketing studies that show there is still a growing need for hotel rooms in the Batavia market.

The hotel needed a height variance because it will be four stories tall instead of three stories. There is also a plan for a free-standing sign of 147 square feet.

The project must still undergo a site plan review before final approval. The developers are also waiting for the DOT to approve a traffic study.

If there are no delays in the approval process, construction could begin within two months.

August 17, 2016 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, Sponsored Post, 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.
August 17, 2016 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tracy Avenue, batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Water Department will be making a repair on a broken water line on Tracy Avenue between Washington Avenue and North Street starting at 9 a.m. today. Tracy Avenue will be closed from Washington Avenue to North Street for all traffic. Please avoid Tracy Avenue until repairs are made. Water service may be interrupted on Tracy to make the repair.

August 16, 2016 - 7:01pm

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Shade Zajac makes his official debut Sunday as the full-time conductor of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra in a special performance being sponsored by the United Way at Mercy Grove in Le Roy.

Zajac previously conducted the orchestra last season as part of an audition process for the musical director's position with the GSO and was appointed by the GSO board earlier this year.

Mercy Grove is Genesee County's newest event facility and will be a beautiful setting for this special performance.

Tickets are $75 per person and proceeds benefit the United Way and the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Party attire is suggested. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. There will be hors d'oeuvres, grazing stations and a cash bar. The GSO performance, "Summer Serenade," begins at 4:45.  

Tickets are available through GSO's website, or at Bank of Castile in Batavia and Le Roy, Roxy's Music, the United Way and GO ART!

Photos are from Monday's rehearsal.

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