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September 14, 2016 - 10:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

The turnout was low, lower than expected, in a pair of primary elections held yesterday that if not for some prior planning from the county's election commissioners could have cost county taxpayers $17,000.

Four people voted in the Reform Party primary for the 61st State Senate District, and all four votes went to incumbent Michael Ranzenhofer, who apparently was facing a write-in challenger, but there were no write-in votes in Genesee County.

In the Working Families primary for the same race, the Democrat's nominee Tom Loughran defeated Andrea Liszka 1-0.

All of the voting was carried out at the Elections Office in County Building #1. If Commissioners Dick Siebert and Lorie Longhany hadn't devised a new policy for small elections, the balloting would have been held at locations in each of the county's towns. By setting up one polling location, the county was able to hold the primaries at essentially no cost.

In explaining the plan a week ago to county legislators, Siebert said the turnout was expected to be only 15 to 16 voters.

"That might be a high estimate," Longhany said.

September 13, 2016 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy, Pavilion, news.

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Thomas Wood, 1st assistant chief for Le Roy Fire Department, a former chief and longtime volunteer with the company, can't remember a time when his department was called on to respond to back-to-back fires.

It didn't help that it was a fairly hot day and the second fire was fought from atop a metal roof.

His brother, Bill Wood, also a former chief, described the rooftop as "unbearably hot."

"That's why we called in Brockport and Avon and used the City's Fast Team as a regular fire unit," Wood said. "Most of our guys had already fought one fire. We were calling in extra units. Our guys were dropping from the heat."

The first fire was reported on Starr Road, Pavilion, at about 1:50 p.m. It involved a six-unit apartment complex and a quick response by Pavilion and Le Roy firefighters helped contain the fire to a single apartment.

The fire appears to have started in the kitchen area, according to Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger. The cause remains under investigation.

Nobody was home at the time the fire was reported and residents in two other units were evacuated, including one who was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom and awoken by Deputy Chris Parker.

A dog may have perished in the fire, though several other pets were rescued.

The second fire, at a plastics factory on Lent Avenue, Le Roy, was reported about 3:10 p.m.

Most of Le Roy's equipment hadn't even cleared the Pavilion scene yet.

The Lent Avenue fire was sparked by a welder making repairs to the roof of the factory.

The fire burned about 40 feet down, Wood said. It produced quite a bit of smoke, but little flame.

"It's just an odd to have two, like hit that quick, and have to use so many people," Wood said.

There's no damage estimate available yet for either fire.

Bergen, Stafford and Caledonia also responded to the Lent Avenue fire.

The response to Pavilion also included Stafford, Bethany and Alexander along with the Office of Emergency Management.

Town of Batavia was asked to stand in at Stafford's fire hall.

Previously: 

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September 13, 2016 - 3:35pm

The third annual Ride to Remember and Basket Raffle, presented by the Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network Inc., will take place Saturday, Sept. 17, starting at the Oakfield Alabama Baptist Church.

The church is located at 2210 Judge Road in Oakfield.

Ticket sales for the Basket Raffle will take place from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and the raffle starts at 12:30.

All proceeds will benefit the network and the "Remembering Love in a Heartbeat" Project.

Here is the story of Jennifer and Bruce Pritchett -- bereaved parents of Helen Lois (Jan. 4-13, 2012):

Five years ago, we were expecting our second child when we found out that our daughter, Helen, had a terminal condition. Through a series of counselors, we were given the Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network’s (WNYPBN) contact information. This organization provided our family with much support. One of the most treasured items we have of our daughter is a recorded heartbeat from our sonogram appointment. The WNYPBN provided us with the recordable sound box that we took to our appointment & we were able to record her heartbeat. We then made a stuffed animal with the heartbeat device inside. 

The purpose of this ride is to support the programs of the WNYPBN, especially the new program, “Remembering Love in a Heartbeat.” This program will provide families facing a similar situation the opportunity to have their baby’s heartbeat recorded and placed in a bear or bunny so they will always be able to hear their precious baby’s heart beat...another beautiful memory.

The Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network Inc. (WNYPBN) is an organization comprised of bereaved parents and healthcare professionals who promote standards of bereavement intervention through educational support, community programs and referral services for bereaved parents. The Network serves all eight counties of WNY and is run completely on donations and volunteers. The Mission is to assist the community in meeting the needs of people facing perinatal death:  the death of a baby due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, or early infant death.

For more information visit: www.wnypbn.org

September 13, 2016 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

Smoke is coming from the roof of a structure at 15 Lent Ave., the site of Le Roy Plastics, in Le Roy. Le Roy Fire Department is called along with Bergen and the city's Fast Team. The city's first platoon is called to fire headquarters. Sparks from welding are said to be the cause of the smoke, or possible fire.

UPDATE 3:36 p.m.: A Mercy ambulance is requested to the scene in non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: Firefighters say the metal roof is unbearably hot. The city's Fast Team has been on scene about 15 minutes and will now be deployed to relieve the volunteer firefighters for a respite.

September 13, 2016 - 3:00pm

WOW! This Custom Built Rural Ranch situated on over 20 acres has it all. Conveniently located w/ less than an hour commute to both Buffalo and Rochester Metro. Open, flowing floor plan leads to florida room & large deck overlooking private rear park-like lot. Perfect combination of cleared & wooded land complete with trails, offers premier hunting in the region. Full walkout basement w/ 10 foot ceilings could be converted to additional living space. Master Suite offers stand-up shower, jacuzzi tub, his and hers closets w/ expansive walk-in. Full attic, central air, house generator and more! Click here to view the full listing. Call Bob Kwandrans  at Zambito Realtors today 585-590-0767 to view this property.

September 13, 2016 - 2:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, cornell extension, fall gala, news, Announcements.

Press release:

Genesee County Master Gardeners will be hosting their annual Fall Garden Gala from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 17, at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, 420 E. Main St. in Batavia.

There will be a plant sale featuring hardy perennials, house plants and local field grown mums. Fall is a good time to plant many perennials as they will have several months to grow a strong root system. There will also be a Chance Basket Auction, free soil pH testing and plenty of gardening advice from Master Gardeners.

There will be a “Flower Arrangements from the Garden” demonstration at 11 o'clock. Learn how to artfully arrange fresh flowers from your garden. A variety of fresh flower arrangements created by Master Gardeners will also be available for sale.

Don’t miss your chance to pick up some great plants for your garden! Plant sale starts promptly at 10. No early birds please. Due to the drought, the number of plants we have to offer this fall may be limited. The Chance Auction drawing will begin at 12:30 p.m.

For more information contact Brandie Schultz at CCE of Genesee County, (585) 343-3040, ext. 101, stop by the Extension office at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia, or visit our new CCE website http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/gardening or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CCEofGenesee.

September 13, 2016 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Oakfield, batavia.

Andrew C. Webster, 23, of Martin Road, Akron, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment. Webster was arrested at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 on West Main Street Road, Batavia, after allegedly punching and pushing a female acquaintance and damaging her property. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on his own recognizance. The judge issued an order of protection and Webster is to have no contact with the alleged victim. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster, assisted by Deputy Christopher Erion.

Brittanee Justine Hooten, 27, of Gibson Street, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested following the investigation into a domestic incident that occurred on Gibson Street in the Village of Oakfield at 10:13 p.m. on Sept. 9. Hooten allegedly pushed another subject during the incident. She was arraigned in Village of Oakfield Court and was released on her own recognizance. She is due in Oakfield Town Court on Oct. 3. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Steven R. Colombo, 30, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested following a domestic incident at 2:09 a.m. today (Sept. 13) wherein he allegedly violated an order of protection. He was jailed without bail and is due back in court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Patrick Thomas Vanbortle, 22, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal nuisance. He was arrested at 12:17 a.m. on Sept. 11 following an investigation into a large party that occurred on South Swan Street a short time earlier. He was processed and issued an appearance ticket. He is due in City Court on Sept. 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Benjamin D. Tyson, 19, of Clifton Avenue, Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs -- first offense, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Tyson was arrested following the investigation into a civilian complaint of the erratic operation of a motor vehicle on Union Street in the City. Tyson was located in a deli parking lot and was issued three traffic tickets and one appearance ticket. He is due in City Court on Sept. 28. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Tiffany D. Norton, 41, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, was arrested Sept. 11 on a bench warrant after she failed to appear and pay a fine associated with a conviction for aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree. She was located by State Police while driving in the Village of Bergen and then turned over to BPD. She was put in jail on $250 bail and is due back in court Sept. 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Nathan Samuel Love, 23, of South Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested Sept. 11 on an outstanding bench warrant out of Batavia City Court. It stems from an incident on Feb. 27 on Ellicott Street, Batavia. He was taken to BPD Headquarters and processed and arraigned in City Court, then jailed on $100 bail. He was due to return to City Court on Sept. 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Richard E. Stafford, 75, of Orange Grove Drive, Batavia, turned himself in on an active bench warrant for failure to appear in Batavia City Court on a vehicle and traffic summons issued May 9 on East Main Street in Batavia. Stafford posted $500 cash bail and was ordered to return to City Court on Sept. 14 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack.

September 13, 2016 - 1:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Pavilion, news.

A six-unit apartment complex is reportedly on fire at 10980 Starr Road, Pavilion. Unknown if any occupants are inside. Pavilion and Le Roy fire departments are responding.

UPDATE 1:58 p.m.: An additional Le Roy engine and its ambulance service are requested to the working structure fire along with equipment from Stafford and Bethany.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m.: Stafford is asked to fill in at Pavilion's fire hall.

UPDATE 2:07 p.m.: All occupants are said to be out of the structure.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The pets are all accounted for except a small white dog, according to a resident on scene. It is unknown if the dog escaped.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: An official at the scene said the fire started in Apt. #6 but no one was home at the time. Two occupants in other units escaped. Sheriff's Deputy Chris Parker checked the building and found a person sleeping in an upstairs apartment and that person got out safely. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Bergen Fire Department is asked to standby in Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 3:37 p.m.: Town of Batavia Fire Department is asked to stand by for Stafford.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Le Roy 1st Assistant Fire Chief Tom Wood was the first chief on scene and took command. He said he saw one of the apartments fully involved and a lot of smoke. Sheriff's deputies were on scene when he arrived and helping to evacuate the building. Wood said Pavilion crews did a phenomenally fast job of knocking down the blaze, containing the fire damage to one unit. With all the smoke showing, it "could've taken the whole structure." Three other units were water damaged. Wood said no one, including firefigehters, suffered ill effects. He said five or six people were in the complex at the time the fire broke out, although no one was inside the unit where it began for as-yet-undetermined reasons.

September 13, 2016 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A collision between a bus and a motor vehicle is reported at Oak Street and Richmond Avenue. A first responder on scene confirms minor injuries. The bus was occupied by a driver and one passenger. The vehicle had two one occupants. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: The driver of a red car is being evaluated by medics following the collision. Law enforcement says it appears the driver rear-ended the bus, whose driver and single passenger were uninjured. The car driver is being cited for driving while intoxicated.

September 13, 2016 - 12:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, 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.
September 13, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ladder 15, City Fire, batavia, news.

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When I left Batavia High School, where the Genesee Symphony Orchestra was rehearsing last evening, I spotted Ladder 15 over at Dwyer Stadium, so I drove over and found firefighters there doing some training.

September 13, 2016 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GSO, news, music, entertainment.

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It was the first official rehearsal Monday night for S. Shade Zajac as the new conductor and musical director for the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

The season opens Oct. 16 with a concert at St. James Episcopal Church, Batavia. The concert will also feature winners from the GSO young artists competition, Jackie Hager, cello, and Jarod Yap, piano. The program includes: "Shortcut Home," Dana Willson; Concerto in D Minor, Lalo; Concerto in A Minor, Schumann; and "Scheherazade" by Rimsky-Korsako.

Tickets are on sale now through GeneseeSymphony.com

September 13, 2016 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets.

From our news partner, 13WHAM.

September 13, 2016 - 8:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.
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     Kyeongseop Woodhams

UPDATED 8:50 a.m.

The 25-year-old man from South Korea whose body was found in the lake at DeWitt Recreation Area on Labor Day went by the name locally of Kevin.

His maiden name was Kim.

According to Det. Todd Crossett, Kyeongseop Woodhams lived in Genesee County and his only family in the United States was his husband. He has not been identified.

His husband reported him as missing to the State Police sometime Saturday, according to Det. Todd Crossett.

The cause of death has not been determined. Investigators are waiting on the results of toxicology tests, which could take a couple of months.

Woodhams was identified first by a person at the scene when his body was found shortly before 9 a.m., Sept. 5. His identity was confirmed with his visa, according to Crossett.

There were items found at the scene, including fishing gear, but Crossett did not specify what other items might have been found. (CORRECTION: We missed the word "not" in the e-mail message from Crossett. We apologize for the error).

Crossett said Woodhams was last seen late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

Anybody with information that may assist in the investigation is asked to contact Crossett at (585) 345-6353.

September 13, 2016 - 6:07am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Oakfield, sports, xc, Cross Country, batavia, steve ognibene's blog.

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The seventh annual Dash in the Dark hosted at Oakfield-Alabama High School, where high school cross-country runners run their races at night under the lights, took place last Friday evening.

Thirty-four schools, more than 1,000 competitors from Section V and VI, and one from Pennsylvania, attended this year's event. 

It's pretty much the "Super Bowl" of cross-country, said Peter Beuler, Oakfield-Alabama-Elba head coach, because the runners start and finish under the football stadium lights and have construction light towers along the course as well to guide them. It's very unique and the kids love it.

The course is a fast, flat, grassy, 1,600-meter loop around the school grounds. Each leg will run two loops, starting and ending inside the football stadium.

Teams consist of three runners. Each school can enter three teams in the Gold Race (fastest race) and unlimited teams in the Blue Race.

Teams will be split up into two divisions depending on school size. 

Medals are awarded to the top 10 fastest individual times, both girls and boys, for both divisions.

Team trophies are given to the top three teams in both divisions in the Gold Race. 

Team awards go to the top three teams in the Blue Race, for both divisions and genders.

For final results go to: http://yellowjacketracing.com/results

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To purchase prints click here.

September 12, 2016 - 5:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city schools, news.

Press release:

Broad regional and national concern regarding institutional water quality prompted the Batavia City School District to voluntarily test the water in all of our school district buildings at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

While not a public water supply issue, as all public water supplies are subject to regular water quality testing, our district voluntarily took the proactive step of testing the water sources in each of our school buildings for lead concentrations as a precaution and out of abundance of care for our students and staff.

The District contracted with Leader Professional Services Inc., which collected multiple samples from locations in each building (for example, drinking fountains, kitchen sinks, classroom sinks, custodial closets, etc.).

The samples were then tested through a certified lab that follows protocols set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

We tested 353 fixtures throughout the District. Three fixtures did not meet the USEPA's guidelines. They are:

  1. A restroom wash sink at an outdoor bathroom at John Kennedy School;
  2. A classroom sink at the Robert Morris building in a room not currently used;
  3. A sink in the lunchroom at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Upon our receipt of these results, the affected sources were taken out of service and an investigation was implemented to correct these problems.

While we know that this information may cause some concern, the District has taken the necessary steps to address the situation and confirm the safety of water throughout the District. There is nothing that we take more seriously than the well-being of our students and staff.

September 12, 2016 - 4:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, genesee county chamber of commerce, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee has announced that the 2016 Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at The Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia (formerly The Clarion Hotel).

This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.

Please note that a brief write-up will qualify your nominee for consideration. Nominations are now being accepted for Business of the Year, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year, Agricultural Business of the Year, Innovative Enterprise of the Year, Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year.

Business nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee's membership, call the Chamber to verify).   

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, and can also be downloaded from the Chamber website at www.geneseeny.com

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY Dec. 30 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call Kelly J. Bermingham, director of Membership & Special Events, at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 26.

September 12, 2016 - 3:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Le Roy, Milestones.

Submitted photo of Franklin Davis, selected as the 2016 LeRoyan of the Year.

Press release:

Botts-Fiorito Post #576, American Legion, Le Roy, takes great pride and pleasure in announcing Franklin Davis as its selection for the 2016 “LeRoyan of the Year Award."

The community has benefitted in countless ways from his 85-year-long residence in Le Roy, and "Frank" has loved and been proud of his hometown always.

Although Frank was not an active serviceman, both of his parents as well as all three brothers were. He did serve in the National Guard prior to college. As a result, Frank has always held our country in highest esteem. Friends point out that he usually has two flags flying in his yard on any given day.

Frank started out after college with a florist business in Le Roy, and then went on to work for Jones Chemicals, eventually as Director of Sales. Frank’s family consists of his wife Martha, and five children Selby, Benson, Hugh, Andrew and Hannah.

He is a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church, having served on numerous committees, currently on the Church Maintenance Committee. He is an "over-50-year" member of the Le Roy Fire Department, as well as the Olive Branch Lodge #39 F&AM. Frank is also a member of the Oatka Hose Company as an active firefighter recently honored for more than 50 years of continuous service.

Frank has served on committees devoted to making Le Roy a better place to live, including the Planning Committee, a life member of the Le Roy Historical Society and the Le Roy Business Council. Frank served as President of the MacPelah Cemetery Board, and also served as the Disaster Chairmen of the Local Chapter of the American Red Cross. He was active in the Republican Committee for years. Frank was a member of the Le Roy Rotary as well.

There are two personal qualities that Frank possesses which stand out and make him a unique and exceptionally qualified person in terms of qualifying for this award. The first is his outstanding ability to be helpful in times of need or difficulty. Whether a friend has a need, or the community, an organization he belongs to or not, a family member, or a dog. In addition, is his best quality is his friendship. Frank makes friends and leaves a good impression wherever he goes. His cheerful demeanor makes others comfortable and he is the first to ask others how THEY are doing. He has many lifelong friends and makes new ones often.

The bottom line is that Frank Davis will be there for you, and he will be the best friend you have ever had (as long as you don’t mind his cigar once in a while).

The 48th annual Award Dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8th. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:45 p.m. at the American Legion, 53 W. Main St., Le Roy.

Tickets for this year’s Award Dinner are available at the American Legion. Cost is $20 per person.

September 12, 2016 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.
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     Kyeongseop Woodhams

The young man whose body was found on Labor Day in the lake at DeWitt Recreation Area has been identified by police as 25-year-old Kyeongseop Woodhams.

Woodhams is originally from South Korea and notification of the next of kin required the assistance of Sen. Charles Schumer's office.

The cause of death has not yet been determined and investigators are awaiting results from toxicology tests to see if that provides any clues.

There were no signs of trauma.

Investigators are asking that anybody who may have seen Woodhams between Sept. 3 and Sept. 5 to contact Det. Todd Crossett at (585) 345-6353.

The park opened at 6 a.m. on Labor Day and a fisherman discovered Woodham's body at 8:54 a.m. and immediately called police.

The body was partially submerged. 

A scuba team searched the area where the body was found, in the southeast corner of the lake, behind the land bridge created by historically low water levels, but investigators have not revealed if any items of interest were located.

No further information has been released about Woodhams.

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