Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

notify

July 24, 2017 - 5:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

A second arrest has been made in the case of a man who was hospitalized with serious injuries after being knifed and beaten in the area of 318 E. Main St., Batavia, at about 1 a.m. on July 18.

Anthony Spencer Jr., 26, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with gang assault and first-degree assault. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court on July 20 and then jailed without bail. He is due in City Court on Tuesday (July 25). A photo is not yet available from the Batavia Police Department of the suspect.

Batavia PD investigators took less than a day to identify the first suspect arrested in the case -- 30-year-old JW Hardy III, of 216 Liberty St., Batavia. He was jailed without bail and is charged with assault in the first degree and gang assault, 1st.

Under NYS Penal Code, the charge of gang assault does not mean that the person charged is a member of an organized, ongoing, criminal enterprise. It does mean that the police suspect was aided by two or more other people in perpetrating an attack that caused serious physical injury.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Batavia Police Department Detective Bureau at (585) 345-6350 or the Confidential Tip Line at (585) 345-6370.

For previous coverage, see: Arrest made in knifing on East Main Street, Batavia

July 24, 2017 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, news, notify.
mug_scottreeb.png
       Scott Reed

After hearing his victim call him a monster and a disgusting and sick person, Scott Reed cried as he told Judge Robert Zambito in Genesee County Court this morning that he's come to realize there is nobody to blame but himself for his 10-year course of sexual abuse of a girl in Elba.

Reed came to that realization only after undergoing psychological therapy. 

When he was first arrested, and in his first meetings with officials, he blamed his victim for approaching him first.

She would have been less than 11 years old at the time.

"This is all my fault," Reed said. "No matter how I slice and dice it, it all comes back to me. I did this."

In the process, he's destroyed his marriage and broken up his family, according to statements from Reed and attorney Benjamin Bonarigo.

Zambito heard from his victim through a videotape that had been supplied to the court and to the defense prior to today's hearing.

The victim detailed her years of abuse by Reed and, though she said she knew her request for a harsh sentence wouldn't change the outcome of the case, she said Reed should get a year in prison for each of the 10 years he abused her.

The 51-year-old defendant came into court in faded blue jeans, a short-sleeved white dress shirt, and dark tie. He read a written statement and started to sob some as he recalled how he came to realize that he was totally responsible for his own actions and the damage it caused. 

"I hope she can get the help she needs and go on with her life," Reed said.

He entered a guilty plea in April to a course of sexual conduct with a sentence cap of six months in jail and 10 years probation, which is exactly what Zambito did.

Mindful of Reed's long-standing employment that he could lose if sent to jail for six months, and the need for Reed to continue providing financially for his family, Zambito said he couldn't justify a weekend incarceration arrangement or shorter term.

"I can't overlook that this went on for 10 years," Zambito said.

The judge said he hoped, given Reed's reputation as a productive employee, that his job will be waiting for him when he gets out or that he will be able to find suitable employment.

Reed was arrested in May 2016 along with his wife Deborah S. Reed, 52, of Elba. Deborah Reed eventually entered a guilty plea in Elba Town Court to endangering the welfare of a child.

Arrested at the same time in Wyoming County was Reed's son Jonathan M. Reed, 23, who was charged with several counts of second-degree rape, second-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child in the Town of Perry, and with second-degree rape, third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act in the Town of Lancaster. 

Jonathan Reed eventually entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

July 24, 2017 - 4:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
armstrongjeremymug2017.jpg
   Jeremy Armstrong

A trial date has been set for Jeremy R. "Boog" Armstrong, 26, of Batavia, who faces six felony counts, including attempted murder, for an alleged assault on a person on Jackson Street in December.

Armstrong is accused of shooting the victim.

The defendant, who is being held without bail, will have until Aug. 21 to decide whether to accept a plea deal rather than go to trial on Nov. 13.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman has not publicly disclosed any potential plea offer.

Under a separate indictment, Armstrong is also facing drug charges. Unless there is a plea, Armstrong could go to trial on those charges Nov. 27.

In the attempted murder case, also faces accounts of assault in the first degree, criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, criminal use of a firearm in the third degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

Armstrong and the victim reportedly knew each other.

According to sources, the victim suffered shoulder and chest wounds. He was treated first at UMMC and then transferred to ECMC.

After the incident, Armstrong allegedly fled the area and was located in March in East Hartford, Conn., and taken into custody without incident by East Hartford police.

July 24, 2017 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, bergen, news, notify.

creameryroadfirejuly2017.jpg

Seventeen fire companies from three counties -- Genesee, Orleans, and Monroe -- battled a house fire at 7735 Creamery Road, Bergen, that may have been sparked by a lightning strike.

Neighbors described one and possibly two wall-rattling lightning strikes and thunder claps in the neighborhood this morning followed by a brief power outage.

The call for smoke in the residence came in at 7:58 a.m. and the next call from a neighbor who reported flames.

Bergen Fire Chief Garrett Dean said the fact that flames were reported and that on a weekday morning, fewer volunteer firefighters are available, he immediately called for a second alarm.

The Bergen ladder truck was on scene first and quickly knocked down the blaze inside the rooms on the south side of the house, though the rooms appeared to be largely destroyed and Dean said the stairwell was heavily burned and firefighters couldn't use it to access the second floor. 

The difficulty firefighters faced was in the roof. The original house was built in 1850 (it looks like there were one, and possibly two additions), and the older portion is constructed in a way that makes it easier for smoke, heat, and fire to pass to different sections. The roof has been reroofed a couple of times, leading to an extra layer of plywood. Firefighters had a hard time getting to the fire in the roof and ventilating the roof.

The residents were not home when the fire was reported. Dean said there was no indication of pets in the house. No firefighters were injured during the fighting of the fire.

The cause has not been confirmed and we don't have an estimate of damage at this time.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the south end of the house, with the other two-thirds suffering only smoke and heat damage.

creameryroadfirejuly2017-2.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-3.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-4.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-5.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-6.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-8.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-9.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-10.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-11.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-12.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-13.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-14.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-15.jpg

creameryroadfirejuly2017-16.jpg

July 24, 2017 - 8:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, bergen, notify.

A house fire is reported at 7735 Creamery Road, Bergen.

Flames are showing

Bergen fire dispatched.

Second alarm going out.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 8:05 a.m.: The City's Fast Team is called to the scene along with mutual aid from Elba, Byron, Le Roy, South Byron and Stafford fire departments. The location is between Cross and North Lake roads.

UPDATE 8:07 a.m.: The second platoon is asked to report to City fire headquarters. A firefighter on scene confirms this is a fully involved structure fire. Two Churchville fire trucks are responding. Mumford is asked to fill in at a fire hall (not clear which one). The second platoon is asked to report to City fire headquarters. A neighbor on Creamery Road says no one is home.

UPDATE 8:15 a.m.: A crew from Le Roy is also asked to fill in at Bergen's fire hall.

UPDATE 8:19 a.m.: Caledonia is asked to stand by in their own quarters. Le Roy is called to the scene emergency mode. Chili's ladder truck out of its Company #2 is asked to fill in at Bergen's Fire Hall.

UPDATE 8:24 a.m.: Route 19 is being shut down at Creamery Road. Caledonia is now called to Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 8:51 a.m.: It's unconfirmed but there's some speculation that this fire was caused by a lightning strike. There are no flames showing at this time but smoke remains heavy. One Mercy ambulance is on scene for rehab and a Byron ambulance has been called in.

UPDATE 10:02 a.m.: Bergen Fire Chief Garrett Dean said the initial call came in to dispatch at 7:58 a.m. and it was reported that smoke was spewing from a vent at the top of the house. A second call reported flames coming from a window. The first crews to arrive on scene quickly knocked down exterior flames and then focused on the interior. Balloon construction, Dean said, along with some remodeling made fighting the blaze challenging. Stairways "were compromised" so firefighters used ladders to fight the fire in the second story. They had a difficult time ventilating the thick roof, which they found had half-inch plywood on top of three-quarter-inch plywood, leaving a thin airspace for smoke to seep in. Dean said most of the fire damage was contained to the south end of the structure; there is smoke and heat damage on the north end of the second floor; the first floor is mostly OK. No pets were known to be on the property and none were found. No one was injured, but due to the humidity, Dean said three ambulances were called in for rehabing firefighters. Power is off, so is gas. Dean said he hasn't talked to investigators and did not know what caused the fire, whether it was lightning or what. Dean said because volunteer fire companies have manpower issues during workdays, many companies were called to the scene early to the working structure fire. A total of 17 companies responded from Genesee, Monroe and Orleans counties. 

July 23, 2017 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect until 4:45 p.m. with wind gusts up to 60 mph and quarter size hail through parts of the county.

The storm is coming in from the southwest and will mostly hit the southern part of the county, according to the National Weather Service.

Minor damage is possible along with localized power outages.

There is an apparently unrelated power outage now in the Narramore Drive area. Some 100 customers are without power. Power is expected to be restored by 5:30 p.m.

UPDATE 4:18 p.m.: Flash flood warning in effect until 7:15 p.m.

July 21, 2017 - 8:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Pavilion, news, notify.

These are photos from the accident scene discovered after-the-fact in Pavilion this afternoon. A deceased male victim, who is not from Genesee County, was found inside the wreckage.

It remains unknown when the accident occurred. The Genesee County Sheriff's Office expects to put out a press release on the incident later. The family has already been notified.

UPDATE 9:50 p.m.: The victim is identified as Gregory A. Walters, 29, of Marilla. The cause of the accident remains under investigation. The accident was reported at 2:58 p.m. The time of the accident remains unknown. The accident investigation is being conducted by Deputy Ryan DeLong, Deputy Richard Schildwaster and Investigator Chad Minuto. Assisting at the scene were State Police, Pavilion fire, Mercy EMS, Coroner Tom Douglas.

July 21, 2017 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
suspectvegajuly21217.jpg
         Steven Vega

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department is reporting the suspect has been identified as Steven Vega, 25 years old, from Rochester. Vega is currently in the custody of RPD for a separate incident.

Vega’s arrest is pending and he will be arraigned in Batavia City Court. Vega is a New York State Parole absconder.

The Batavia Police Department would like to thank the Rochester Police Department and the Batavia community for all of their assistance and tips that led to the identification of this suspect.

UPDATE: Vega was also a suspect in a bank robbery in Rochester in 2015.

July 21, 2017 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair, 4-H, agriculture, news, notify.

4hauction2017.jpg

Among the grand champions auctioning off their livestock last night at the Genesee County Fair's annual 4-H auction was Morgan Hofeins, of Attica (top photo), and Hudson Weber (second photo).

4hauction2017-2.jpg

4hauction2017-3.jpg

4hauction2017-4.jpg

4hauction2017-5.jpg

4hauction2017-6.jpg

4hauction2017-7.jpg

4hauction2017-8.jpg

4hauction2017-9.jpg

4hauction2017-10.jpg

4hauction2017-11.jpg

4hauction2017-12.jpg

July 20, 2017 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

bank_of_america_robbery_03july2017.jpg

Police are looking for a white male with a tattoo on his neck in connection with a robbery at 3:58 p.m. of the Bank of America branch at 100 Main St., Batavia.

The suspect was wearing a white Yankee's hat with a flat brim, a blue hooded sweatshirt, and jeans.  

He fled on foot, northbound on Bank Street, before patrols arrived.

There were no weapons displayed. There was no threat of a weapon. There were no injuries.

Investigators are asking for the public's assistance in identifying the suspect.

Police are not releasing further information at this time.

To contact Batavia PD, call (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

(Initial Report)

bank_of_america_robbery_01july2017.jpg

bank_of_america_robbery_02july2017.jpg

July 20, 2017 - 5:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

The Bank of America branch in Downtown Batavia was robbed at about 4 p.m. today.

No weapon was displayed nor was use of one threatened. 

Batavia PD will release more information later. 

July 20, 2017 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

A strong thunderstorm is blowing in from Canada and is expected to hit Genesee County this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm system is located along a line extending 12 miles and is moving east at 55 mph.

Winds in excess of 40 mph are possible.

The storm system may gain in intensity. 

UPDATE 12:27 p.m.: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued.

July 20, 2017 - 11:24am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in batavia, news, notify.

22008278_1499175598.6228.jpg

(Photo provided by Jake Pietrzykowski via GoFundMe.)

Jeremy Pietrzykowski thought he could save a little money if he repaired his own barn roof. That is what he was doing July 1 at his barn at 8953 Alexander Road, Batavia, when a gust of wind kicked up, caused him to lose his footing, and he fell 20 feet to the ground.

He landed on his side. Town of Batavia Fire was called, Mercy EMS and soon Mercy Flight was dispatched to the scene. He was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital, where doctors discovered he had cracked vertebra, a punctured lung, broken ribs, and deep bruises.  

“It was the most pain I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Pietrzykowski said. “I thought I was going to die.”

On July 2, Pietrzykowski underwent spinal fusion surgery, to fuse five vertebrae together, to eventually heal as one solid bone.

“I’ve been sleeping in the chair,” Pietrzykowski said.  “I can’t help out with anything.”

Pietrzykowski grew up in Batavia and has lived here his entire life. He loves to be outdoors and enjoys running marathons. He had hoped to qualify for the Boston Marathon this year but had to scratch that plan.

“I love to run,” Pietrzykowski said. “I’ve run 13 marathons in Boston and New York [City], and others.”

As a hardworking father of three, Pietrzykowski has spent more than 20 years working for UPS. He is on a five-pound weight lifting restriction.

“I’m normally the guy that doesn’t stop moving and now I can’t do anything,” Pietrzykowski said. “I can walk around a little bit, but as far as the kids, I can’t pick them up.”

Pietrzykowski’s brother started a GoFundMe page, located here asking for donations to help get him back on his feet and support his family. His mother-in-law has been staying with him to help take care of the kids, but he said things have not been easy.

“She’s stepped right up and helped us out tremendously,” Pietrzykowski said.

His doctors said his recovery should be three to four months.

“There is always a light at the end of the tunnel,” Pietrzykowski said. “I’ll get back to where I need to be, it’s just going to be a long road.”

July 19, 2017 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, City Schools, schools, education, notify.

img_1165bhs.jpg

Seniors at Batavia High School this year will not only be afforded the privilege of reserved parking spaces in the student lot, they will be able to paint their designated spot with just about any design they like.

Overall, board members for the City School District loved the idea, presented by the executive council of the Class of 2018, but requested some modifications from the original idea before approving it.

"With a personalized parking spot, the students are able to reserve their spots and then express their individuality, which is really meaningful as maturing young adults," said student Mikey Lullo.

The students said there would be three options for students. The first costs the student nothing -- they get an assigned spot that will remain black asphalt throughout the year. The second option allows them to reserve a spot for $10, but they can't personalize it. The sweet spot, painted and personalized, would be $15.

The project is a fundraiser for the Class of 2018.

The original proposal would make all options available to all students who drive to school and students paying $15 would be able to select three possible spots, which would then be assigned randomly from those choices.

Because it's the first year, the board thought painted spots should be reserved for seniors and all spots should be selected at random.

"I love this kind of stuff," Board Member Peter Cecere said. "I think the finished product looks amazing."

Then he raised concerns about how slots would be selected.

"While I'd like to give everybody at least one of their top three choices, that's just not going to work," Cecere said. "Inevitably you're going to have a kid complaining because 'hey this kid's got this and I paid the same amount of money.' "

Trustee Shawna Murphy wondered if the privilege might be tied to academic performance or attendance, but the feeling was that would add another level of complication. She also expressed concern that in this climate, the painted slots would look dingy over the course of the year.

The students said they researched schools in similar climates and found with the right paint, it hasn't been a problem. They also said the paint acts as a sealant, which helps protect the surface of the parking lot.

At the end of the year, the students would be responsible for painting over, with black paint, the customized student spots.

While students who wish to personalize parking spots must get a sketch approved by school administrators, the council said they will also help watch over the parking lot.

Cecere expressed concern about vandalism and bullying associated with customized slots. The students hope security cameras and their vigilance will help tap down these issues.

"We're going to be there and we take it upon ourselves to monitor everything, us being the executive council," said Lauren Leone. "We are there to check everyone's paint and make sure it's being respectful."

Murphy asked how the council knew this was something they knew their fellow students wanted.

Lullo said the idea has been a big hit on social media.

"This has gone around multiple times and there has been positive feedback from pretty much the majority of the school who is on social media saying 'oh we wish we have this' and 'this would be so cool,' " Lullo said. "They said, 'this is so great, we want this.' So we kind of took it and ran with it."

Top Photo: Lauren Leone.  Bottom photo: Kiara Cherry, Amand Patel and Mikey Lullo.

img_1168bhs.jpg

Video about a similar program at a high school in Lebanon, Ind.

July 19, 2017 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, byron, notify.

Dwayne Bartholemau Spivey, 40, of Doran Street, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st. At 10:45 a.m. Sunday on Lake Street Road, Le Roy, Le Roy PD, State Police and the Sheriff's Office were conducting a joint traffic checkpoint. Officers reported observing a vehicle driven by Spivey stop prior to the checkpoint, with Spivey exiting the driver's side and changing seats with the passenger, making the passenger the driver when the vehicle arrived at the checkpoint. Upon investigation by Deputy Chad Cummings and Deputy Chris Erion, Spivey was found to have 25 suspensions over the course of two decades. The other occupant, the passenger who became the driver, had a valid license. Spivey was jailed without bail.

Jesse Dean Parsons, 33, of Swamp Road, Byron, is charged with promoting prison contraband. Parsons is accused of entering the Genesee County Jail on an unrelated charge with a known banned item.

July 19, 2017 - 9:04am

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Chicago concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Tuesday:

Jaqueline M. Walker, 48, of Wallace Drive, Grand Island, is charged with resisting arrest and two counts of harassment, 2nd, after allegedly kicking and striking several Live Nation security officers and then resisting arrest by kicking deputies while being taken into custody.

Mark P. Walker, 49, of Wallace Drive, Grand Island, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching a Live Nation security officer in the face.

July 18, 2017 - 9:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

jwhardyiiimug2017.jpg

UPDATED at 9:47 p.m.

Batavia PD investigators took less than a day to identify a suspect in a knife attack on a person overnight on East Main Street.

Arrested this afternoon was JW Hardy III, 30, of 216 Liberty St., Batavia.

He is charged with assault in the first degree and gang assault, 1st.

He was jailed without bail.

The investigation is ongoing.

Under NYS Penal Code, the charge of gang assault does not mean that the person charged is a member of an organized, ongoing, criminal enterprise. It does mean that the police suspect was aided by two or more other people in perpetrating an attack that caused serious physical injury.

Chief Shawn Heubusch said that right now police believe there was at least more than one person involved.

As for any possible actual gang membership for Hardy, Heubusch said, "There is no reason to believe he is involved in any organized criminal enterprise."

The attack was reported at 1 a.m. in the area of 318 E. Main St., Batavia.

Upon arrival, officers located a male victim who had a severe laceration to his upper arm, lying on the ground.

The victim was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital. He reportedly had serious injuries.

Based on evidence and witness statements at the scene, police said earlier today that the victim had been beaten and slashed with a knife by at least one person.

Police reported at the time of the release that one person was being questioned in connection with the attack.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Batavia Police Department Detective Bureau at (585) 345-6350 or the Confidential Tip Line at (585) 345-6370.

July 18, 2017 - 5:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, news, notify.

Investigators have leads to track down and a person of interest in a home invasion assault in Bethany three nights ago, according to Investigator Chris Parker, who is leading the case.

The 73-year-old victim is in stable condition at Strong Memorial Hospital after initially being transported to UMMC the night of the attack.

Parker said he has interviewed someone who is not a suspect at this time, but truly a person of interest.

The crime was reported just before 9 p.m., Saturday at a residence in the Bethany Center Road, Paradise Road area of Bethany.

The victim called 9-1-1.  He told deputies on scene that he was asleep and the intruder woke him. He said he had been hit with an unknown object, which caused facial wounds, and sprayed with an unknown substance.

Parker did not discuss what might have been used to hit the victim, but that all indications are, whatever the victim was sprayed with was likely nothing more than water. There is no evidence to indicate it was any other substance.

"I can allay any public fears that there is a person or persons out there coming into people's homes and assaulting them," Parker said. "That is not the case here. This was not a random act."

People with information that might be helpful to the case can call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

July 18, 2017 - 5:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in HP Hood, GCEDC, batavia, business, news, notify.

johnkanebhphoodjuly2017.jpg

(Photo of HP Hood Chairman John A. Kaneb taken this afternoon at his company's new processing facility in Batavia's Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.)

With existing plants at capacity and demand growing, HP Hood was looking for a facility the company could get up and running quickly for long-shelf-life dairy and nondairy products, said its Chairman John A. Kaneb today in an exclusive interview with The Batavian at the company's new processing facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. 

The plant was built in 2012 for $206 million as a joint venture between PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group and became known as the Quaker Muller Dairy plant.

Now, it's the HP Hood plant, which Hood acquired June 30 from Dairy Farmers of America for $54 million.

Kaneb said Hood knows Upstate New York well -- with four existing plants -- and knew the area had a good supply of raw milk, so when the plant became available, Hood took a keen interest.

"This plant happens to be located fairly well for us -- not ideally -- but fairly well," Kaneb said.  "The availability of the plant, that overcame a lot of, let's say, whatever reluctance we would have because we have to do a lot of very expensive repurposing here. We're moving from a plant that was designed for mass production of lots of yogurt to two fluid products. So that there were some warts and such, but we're very happy to be here."

The staff at Genesee County Economic Development Center made the whole process easy, understood it needed to be expedited, and that added to Hood's interest in locating in Genesee County, Kaneb said.

"Your economic development people here are superb," Kaneb said. "I mean they really are good and they're knowledgeable and they're friendly to business. Hopefully, we will not disappoint them."

Scott Blake, senior vice president of operations for HP Hood, added that the GCEDC staff provided a wealth of information on the area, businesses, and people, which helped them get comfortable with the decision to open a plant here.

HP Hood has committed to creating 230 jobs at the plant. They will take on the original PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) agreement signed by Muller Quaker to receive $7 million in tax abatements over 10 years. The state is also providing a $2 million capital grant from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

If employment goals are met, Hood is also eligible for $5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. 

The 170-year-old, Lynnfield, Mass.-based company is adding 100,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space to the plant, which is already 363,000 square feet. After the expansion, with retooling the plant, and the purchase price, Hood will have sunk nearly $200 million into the new facility by the time it goes into production in early 2019.

There has been a rumor recently that the Hood plant could eventually employ 500 people. That's too far down the road to think about, Kaneb said, and he doesn't want to promise that level of growth. He believes they will hit the 230 employee target, but in the first priority is hiring 140 people over the next 12 months.

"I think we're we're confident that it will be reached, but I don't want to get into when we get to 230 or 250 or whatever," Kaneb said. "As far as going beyond that, I hope so. I will tell you that the only other situation that's halfway comparable to this is a greenfield plant we built from the ground up in Winchester, Virginia. We built that in basically 2000 to 2001. Today, 17 years later, here it is employing about 600 people. This plant has the acreage and, et cetera, et cetera, to do something like that, but that took 17 years."

(For photos of the Winchester plant, click here.)

Kaneb is a former Navy man. He graduated from Harvard in 1956, before joining the Navy, with a bachelor's degree in Economics. He acquired a controlling interest in Gulf Oil, tripled its sales to $4.5 billion, and got out of the business in 2005.

The Kaneb family acquired HP Hood in 1985.

It was almost happenstance that the family got into the dairy business, Kaneb said. The only way to grow the oil business was through acquisition, and with growth opportunities limited, they were sitting on excess capital that needed to be put to work. Hood was a great brand and as a native New Englander, Kaneb grew up drinking HP Hood milk. So did his children. But the company had fallen on hard times.

"(Hood) was a company with a great reputation and a great name," Kaneb said. "It was in some difficulty. In fact, a lot of difficulty. As we looked at we thought it might benefit from management that was highly motivated and with energy, et cetera. We thought we could bring some money to the table. We said, 'you know this isn't the business we know but it doesn't look like a complex business. It looks like a basic blocking and tackling business.' "

Since the acquisition, HP Hood has grown to $2 billion in annual sales and has opened new facilities around the Northeast and around the country, such as Virginia, California and Minnesota.

Hood’s portfolio includes its own brands and licensed products. The familiar names include Crowley Foods, Simply Smart Milk, Heluva Good!, Lactaid, Baileys Coffee Creamers, Hershey's Milk and Milkshakes, and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.

When the Kaneb family took over Hood, they replaced much of the management, though they also identified some bright young talent, such as Blake, Kaneb said. Since then, Hood's executive team has been stable.

"(Blake) is certainly one of those stars who could take on more responsibility," Kaneb said. "We found those who had the skills that have helped us build the company into what it is today," Kaneb said. "It's really common sense, frankly, having a true partnership with your employees. If you want to put a motto on it, how we as owners look at the business and the employees, is that 'You take care of us, we take care of you.' Very simple."

Kaneb said he thinks that approach has been good for the company and it's what potential employees can expect in Batavia.

"You take care of us, we take care of you," Kaneb repeated when asked about company culture. "I mean, do your job and do it well and then you'll find the company will appreciate it and take care of you. We prize low turnover and we have low turnover, I would say, very low turnover, at every level."

As for the kind of corporate citizen Hood will be in Batavia, Kaneb said getting involved in the community is something Hood will strive to do, but the first order of business is getting the plant into production.

"First of all, get our business set up," Kaneb said. "We need to get to the level of employees we need to get going. I would call that, from my Navy days, as the shakedown period. Then we can be open to being a reasonably active corporate citizen. I don't think it's a great idea for us to do anything but get ourselves comfortable here, with the employees we need, and get our production going and so on. That should be our sole activity for the foreseeable future."

July 18, 2017 - 7:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Dalton C. Kelley, 19, of Chase Park, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Kelly allegedly damaged garage windows and pushed or threatened to harm other individuals during a disturbance on Chase Park at 6:55 p.m., Saturday. Kelley was also charged with harassment, 2nd, for allegedly striking a person at the same location at 4:42 p.m., Sunday.

Matthew D. Novak, 28, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, criminal mischief, 3rd, and harassment, 2nd. Novak was arrested on a warrant stemming from an incident reported at 1:30 a.m., April 12. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Darazian W. Williams, 24, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Williams was arrested following a traffic stop at 6:30 p.m. July 9 on Law Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Melvin C. Tolbert-McDonald, 21, of Seward Street, Rochester, is charged with assault, 3rd, and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. Tolbert-McDonald is accused of striking another person several times and choking that person during a disturbance reported at 6:31 p.m. Saturday at a location on Pearl Street, Batavia.

Bonnie L. Cortright, 30, of Clinton Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass. Police responded at 11:15 p.m. to 122 Summit St., Batavia, for a report of people being inside a vacant home. Also charged were Sabrina Higgins, 22, and Thomas Preedom, 29. Preedom, a parolee, was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Casey J. Halsey, 37, of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Police responded to a report of a disturbance on Redfield Parkway at 4:34 a.m., Saturday. Halsey allegedly refused to leave a residence. He was jailed on $7,500 bail.

Willie Frank Irvin II, 35, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, is charged with DWI, speeding in zone, and tailgating. Irvin was stopped at 2:37 a.m. Sunday on East Main Street, by Officer Arick Perkins.

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 

Upcoming

Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button