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July 28, 2015 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Union Avenue, batavia, infrastructure.


City crews are just finishing up water main repair work on Union Street. The leak location was just yards from a leak that occurred during the winter.

Water service was restored to the area about 2 p.m.

Union Avenue should reopen shortly.

July 28, 2015 - 10:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.


The first race of the 69th season at Batavia Downs turned into a coast-to-coast cruise by the #3 horse, Lima Playtime, with a career-best time of 2:00.4. Lima was driven by Rick Zeron and paid $4.20.

It should be both a fun and exciting racing season at the Downs, said Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer. There are special promotions throughout the season, but the remodoled gaming floor is also bringing in bigger crowds, which generates more revenue, which translates into bigger purses for harness racing. The bigger payouts will draw even higher quality horses to the track.

"Better horses make for better races and better wagering, and bigger pools means bigger winners," Hasenauer said.

The track is in great shape, Hasenauer said, which also helps draw drivers and trainers throughout the season.

"We already have a great reputation among trainers and owners as one of the best-manicured tracks in the industry," Hasenauer said.

Promotional highlights this season include Craft Beer Fridays, running into August, and Sunday wine tastings, and starting in August, Dollar Days, with dollar drafts and dollar hot dogs.

"People really like getting a good dollar hot dog or a cold draft beer at a decent price," Hasenauer said.




July 28, 2015 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia.


Spike is missing.

The tortoise belongs to a local family who's owned him for 16 years. He escaped from their yard around 2 p.m., Friday. A neighbor on Summit Street, trying to be helpful, thought Spike was a turtle and took him to the Tonawanda Creek behind the courthouse and released him. It's possible two kids who were there fishing took him home.

Family friend Mike Hilchey is fielding tips on Spike's whereabouts. He can be reached at (585) 344-0931.

July 28, 2015 - 6:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, batavia.

Press release:

There is a water main break on Union Street in front of Notre Dame High School, and a Water Department crew has responded to begin repairs. Water service on Union Street will be affected in this area, and water discoloration may be noticed in the surrounding areas. Union Street will be closed to traffic between Richmond Avenue and Soccio Street until repairs are complete.

July 27, 2015 - 5:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

An inexperienced jumpmaster has been blamed by Army investigators for the death of Sgt. Shaina Schmigel, the former Batavia resident who died in a training accident at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina on May 30, 2014.

The Army Times reports that the jumpmaster was performing his duties for the first time and was not current on his training.

The Times reports:

Schmigel’s equipment was misrouted so that, when exiting the plane, she became a “towed jumper.” While be being towed, the subsequent jumper exited the plane and Schmigel became entangled in his T-11 parachute. Schmigel reportedly died from fatal lacerations to the throat and a broken neck. The entire incident lasted three to four seconds, according to the report.

After Schmigel was hit by the second jumper, her body continued its decent with the parachute deployed properly. Nobody noticed anything was wrong until she was found unresponsive on the ground.

The information about the accident was obtained from the government through a Freedom of Information Request.

The jumpmaster, who was recommended for reassignment, also reportedly failed to attend a pre-jump briefing.

The investigators, however, found no criminal wrongdoing. The report contains a number of recommendations for improving paratrooper safety.

July 27, 2015 - 2:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today condemned the decision by the Fast-Food Wage Board to raise the minimum wage for all fast-food workers statewide to $15 per hour. Hawley said that non-elected bureaucrats making statewide labor policy is an irresponsible way to govern and sets a dangerous precedent that is wrong for New York State.

“As a small-business owner for over four decades, I am appalled at the governor’s handling of this situation,” Hawley said. “Allowing a group of non-elected officials to determine a major change in labor policy for New York’s fast-food industry sets a dangerous precedent of allowing bureaucrats, hand-picked by the governor, to make legislative decisions without debate or input from the Legislature.

"A sharp wage increase will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for consumers and the termination of many employees statewide as franchise owners adjust to deal with higher labor costs. The minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage and a more viable solution would be to create more sustainable, career-oriented jobs instead of providing an incentive against working hard to advance.”

July 27, 2015 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia's List, thebatavian, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

This morning we make a big change in how we handle classified ads and our local business directory. We've moved away from the sites handled by third party vendors and have gone 100-percent homegrown with a new site, Batavia's List.

Batavia's List replaces Shop Batavia, our real estate site and our jobs site.

Our goal was to create a very basic site that acts as a one-stop hub for all kinds of online commerce, from looking up a local business to putting items up for sale, and real estate listings, and job postings, and cars for sale and businesses with promotions and coupons -- all in one place, in one main feed that is easy to scroll through.

We'll also distribute the posts on Facebook (click here to LIKE Batavia's List on Facebook).

The new site also has an easy to use and free way for you to post your garage sales on a map and we've added a calendar of events (more on that to come in a future post). We'll add features as the site grows.

If you're ready to post something, e-mail me at [email protected] and I'll send you a coupon code for a free, introductory ad placement.

Local business owners should make sure their business is listed and the listing is up to date.

Members of The Batavian Club can post for free, and as an introductory offer, we've reduced the price of a Club membership by more than half, to $24.95. The membership includes unlimited free classifieds postings as well as $300 in gift certificates to local businesses, plus we're still offering free T-shirts to new members.



July 26, 2015 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in walmart, batavia, crime.

Deputies have responded to Walmart to look for a shoplifting suspect who drives a black hatchback but may be hiding in the woods nearby the store.

The subject was reportedly trying to steal an air conditioner, and has been attempting the same heist several times this week, according to a dispatcher.

July 26, 2015 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, nature.


Pictures submitted by Dylan Brew of of a hummingbird clearwing moth spotted in Alexander. 


July 26, 2015 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.


Elba volunteer firefighters hosted a boot drive Saturday to benefit the local Boy Scouts to help them purchase a new gear trailer. The old trailer has a broken axle. Karl White, who supplied the photos, said the drive raised nearly half the cost of the trailer.




July 26, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in flowers, nature, Alabama.


There's a nice patch of yellow daisies that have popped up in a field near the intersection of Judge Road and Alleghany Road, Alabama.

July 26, 2015 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Harley Raffle, batavia, Town of Batavia Fire.


Doug Smith, of Batavia, won the Harley Raffle hosted by the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department. The photo above is of one of the $500 drawings.

The $500 winners: Eric Bruggman, Attica; Bill Lickfield, Hamburg; Chris Rockerfeller, Batavia; Kristina Lobello, Batavia.







To purchase prints, click here.

July 26, 2015 - 7:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in tractor pulls. genesee county fair.


A few highlights from yesterday's tractor pulls at the Genesee County Fair, along with a couple of closing livestock shots.











July 25, 2015 - 11:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien.

A one-vehicle roll over accident is reported in the area of 175 Genesee St., Darien. 

A person is believed to be trapped. 

Dispatchers are checking on the availability of Mercy Flight. One helicopter is already tied up on a medical call in Stafford. 

Darien fire and ambulance dispatched. 

UPDATE: No serious injuries reported.

July 25, 2015 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, byron heritage day.







July 25, 2015 - 7:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair.


Janice Spagnola works on a balloon sculpture in the exhibit hall at the Genesee County Fair during Saturday's events. Among the events was the annual Demolition Derby, which drew a capacity crowd.

Today at the fair -- tractor pulls.








To purchase prints, click here.

July 24, 2015 - 10:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Brandi Bruggman, art.


As we reported earlier, local artist Brandi Bruggman was invited to be featured at a show in New York City. Brandi sent us this picture and I asked her to write something up about her experience:

RAW Artist's event Glimpse at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan last night was met with a great success! Two live bands were followed by five fashion shows, live special FX makeup artists, and two floors of showcasing artists and photographers.

Brandi Bruggman, a local multimedia artist who was showcasing her fine art recapped the event in saying, "I had so much fun! My artwork was well received by a wide variety of people there. I made new friends, received a lot of responses, and sold some great artwork! It was an incredible first-time showcasing experience!"

Bruggman will continue to create fine artwork and ship it internationally. She currently has a full collection up for viewing for the summer inside West End Bagels in Clifton Park.

July 24, 2015 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

In response to last week’s shooting at a National Guard recruiting center in Tennessee, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is introducing new legislation that would improve security at these facilities in New York State. The bill will be cosponsored by state Senator Rob Ortt.

“There is nothing more important than securing public safety – especially the safety of the brave men and women who defend our nation and communities in the National Guard, military and emergency responders. We cannot allow what happened in Tennessee to be repeated here in New York and I am doing everything I can to ensure that those who protect us are safe here at home,” said Hawley, who is the Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee and recently hosted the committee’s chairman on a tour of facilities in Western New York.

The new legislation will establish a work group to examine and make recommendations on ways safety can be improved at National Guard recruitment centers in our state. The committee will have 13 members, including representatives from the state Division of Military Affairs, Commission on Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police, legislative committee chairs, and four members appointed by the governor, and two members appointed by each of the Assembly Speaker and Temporary President of the Senate.

Upon enactment of the legislation, the work group would have until Dec. 1, 2016 to submit its first periodic report to the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs, which would be empowered to implement any approved recommendations of the group.

July 24, 2015 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, pembroke, corfu.
  Hannah Dibble

A Pembroke woman who was reportedly behind the wheel of a 1997 Chevrolet Geo in February when it crossed Route 20 at Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, and was struck by a semi-truck has been indicted by a grand jury on a count of manslaughter in the second degree.

Hannah E. Dibble, 22, appeared in Genesee County Court today to be charged under the 11-count indictment, where she pled not guilty and was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Her friend, Alyson D. Krzanak, 18, of Corfu, died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Suffering serious physical injuries in the collision Feb. 21 were James Scherer, 21, Brandon Danser, 22, and Felecia J. Fazzio, 20.

Dibble was also indicted on counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular assault in the first degree, three counts of assault in the second degree, three counts of vehicular assault in the second degree, and two counts of DWI.

July 23, 2015 - 10:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair.


Good weather and lots to see and do highlighted Thursday night at the Genesee County Fair.

There were stock car races, the 4-H livestock auction, rides and games, and music and the talent show (which was over before I got there).

Top photo: Brendan Pimm with his sheep during the auction. Brendan donated the proceeds to the medical care to his friend Buddy Oderkirck, also in the ring.



Michael Ermantrout.


Mandy Ross



Taylor Augello





To purchase prints, click here.




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

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