Online News. Community Views.

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


April 15, 2018 - 5:20pm
posted by The Batavian in thebatavian, news.


A news photo by Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, has been selected by the National Press Photographers Association as the best spot-news photo in the nation for the month of January.

The photo, of Eddie Miles in handcuffs being taken from the scene of an apartment fire on Washington Avenue he is accused of starting, was previously selected as the NPPA's best spot-news photo in the New York/International Region.

The NPPA divides its membership among several regions and photographers are invited to submit photos in regional monthly contests for spot news, general news, sports, features, and other categories. The regional winners are eventually judged in a national contest.

Over the past five years, Owens has had several pictures selected for first, second, or third place in spot news and general news.

He isn't the only Batavia-based news photographer who competes in the contest. Mark Gutman of the Batavia Daily News, is also a frequent entrant. He's won several awards from NPPA and in January captured three third-place awards in sports feature, sports action, and general news. Many of Gutman's awarding-winning shots, which includes prizes from the Associated Press, can be seen on his website.

In an era of fewer local news outlets and smaller photography staffs at newspapers around the country, Genesee County is one of the few news markets in the nation with still-news photojournalists working at competing news organizations.

The photojournalism of Owens is also featured in the current edition of News Photographer Magazine, a publication of the NPPA. A photo he took in October of the Wilson High School Football Team pushing against a school bus that had become stuck on a sidewalk was printed across two pages in a section at the front of the magazine called "Opening Shots." The picture was the region's winner in October for spot news. It took second place nationally that month.

UPDATE: I completely missed this at the times the awards were announced -- the two shots Mark Gutman had for sports feature and sports action that took third place in the regional competition actually moved up to second place in the national competition -- so for January, he had two-second place shots nationally.


March 6, 2018 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This afternoon Billie and I will board a plane headed to Los Angeles.

This is not a pleasant trip.

On Feb. 22, Charles Raymond Sutherland, Billie's youngest son, age 35, died following a heroin overdose in Ventura.

We will hold a memorial service for him in Ventura on Thursday.

In all, Billie and I will spend four days in Ventura before driving over to Bakersfield to visit my dad.

While we're away, we will receive help with the site from Mike Pettinella, Jim Burns, Steve Ognibene, Maria Pericozzi, Alecia Kaus, and our news partner WBTA. We will do our usual work that we can do remotely; however, honestly, we might not be as focused at times on this trip as we have been on previous trips.

January 1, 2018 - 9:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

To purchase prints, click here.

December 11, 2017 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

The Batavian is available in a fast, easy-to-use app for iOS and Android devices.  Download it today.



December 8, 2017 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This is a notice for people who submit calendar items.

We were using a vendor calendar on Batavia's List ( and it was necessary to Batavia's List to submit calendar items.  As a cost-saving measure, we've canceled that vendor contract.  We're going back to just the calendar that is part of's content management system.  To submit calendar items, use the "add event" link under the calendar on the right-hand side of the page.

For those who submitted calendar feeds for us to import, we are still importing those feeds.

As an alternative, you're also welcome to email calendar items to [email protected].

For users of the calendar, people who just view it, you won't notice any change on The Batavian, but there is no longer a calendar on

December 1, 2017 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

Thank you to everybody who stopped by the WBTA/The Batavian Christmas Party at the WBTA Studios at Main and Center this evening during Christmas in the City. We had a great time.

Thank you for Dibble Family Center for the fantastic chili and grilled cheese sandwiches we served our guests.

As we announced beforehand, anybody who stopped by and showed us that they had downloaded The Batavian's app on their smartphone or tablet could enter a drawing to win $100.

Many people tonight downloaded it right on the spot.

In all, we had 60 entries.

The winner is: Amy Swanson, of Stafford.

If you haven't downloaded the app yet, please do so:

December 1, 2017 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, Christmas in the City, downtown, batavia, news.

Downtown Batavia will be filled with holiday cheer and family fun tonight as local merchants host Christmas in the City.

Main Street, from Ellicott Street to Liberty Street, will be closed to vehicle traffic starting at 7 p.m. in preparation for the Christmas in the City parade at 8:15 p.m.

The festivities start at 5 p.m. and include horse and buggy rides, music, crafts, food, and other family-oriented activities.

Stop by the WBTA studios at Main and Center for a Christmas Party co-hosted by WBTA and The Batavian. Bring your smartphone or tablet, show the staff of The Batavian our mobile app installed on your device and you can enter a drawing for a $100 prize (no purchase necessary). We’re serving chili and grilled cheese catered by Dibble Family Center. 

Download our app.

November 30, 2017 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

You can now get instant access to news from The Batavian on your smartphone or tablet.

Download our app.

Come to Christmas in the City tomorrow, stop by our partners at WBTA's studios at Main and Center between 5 and 9 p.m., show us the app on your device and you will be eligible to enter a drawing for a $100 prize.

November 28, 2017 - 7:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, downtown, Christmas in the City, batavia.

The Batavian and WBTA, local news partners for Genesee County, are hosting a Christmas party Friday evening during Christmas in the City at WBTA's studios at Main and Center.

Stop by between 5 and 9 p.m. and you could get a chance to win $100. Show us The Batavian's mobile app on your smartphone or tablet and you will be eligible to enter the drawing (no purchase necessary).

We will provide snacks catered by the Dibble Family Center.

  • To download The Batavian's app for iOS, click here.
  • To download The Batavian's app for Android, click here.
November 27, 2017 - 12:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

At long last, the Android version of the mobile app for The Batavian is now available in the Google Play Store.

This is essentially the same version as the iOS version (available here) though we changed the subscription scheme a bit, making it three tier. There are no additional benefits to the higher tiers. It's just a matter of how much you're willing to contribute to help support local news. Stories are free for the first six hours after publication (these are changes that will be included in the next update of the iOS version).

If you have issues or want to provide feedback after you download the app, email me at [email protected].

There is not a vendor product. It's not a generic, open-source project. It's homegrown. I wrote the code for this myself and will continue to add onto it and hopefully improve it as time permits.

The app is suitable for Android-powered smartphones and tablets with an operating system of 5.0 or later.

Download the Android version of The Batavian app by clicking here.

October 26, 2017 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Download our new app for iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod) to easily access the latest local news wherever you are. Get notifications for breaking and other important news.


September 26, 2017 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

In the first day of its availability, more than 100 people have downloaded our new app for iPhone and iPad. Now it's your turn.

To learn more about the app, click here.

September 25, 2017 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

Today, The Batavian is releasing its new mobile app for the iOS platform (iPhones and iPads). You can download it through this link from your iOS device.

This is a completely homegrown app. I decided two years ago I could no longer ignore mobile publishing.

My initial impulse was to try and raise money for development, but as that started looking really difficult, I weighed that difficulty (and spending a lot of time with an uncertain outcome) against just writing all the code myself. The actual code writing started 18 months ago. First I built all the backend (server stuff) to support the app (building the Deal of the Day program was a "getting my feet wet again in programming" exercise), then eight months ago I started building the actual app.

It was every bit as hard as I anticipated, which is why I had avoided the idea for years, especially going through two eye surgeries and now a dislocated knee.  

The future of news is mobile. It makes a lot of sense. People with smartphones and tablets always have the world with them, including their local community, and they like to check in frequently to find out what's going on. On the other hand, local news on mobile is still a specialty product, a niche. I think the website is going to be our dominant news and business promotion platform for several years yet, but I also don't want to lose out to mobile when it becomes a bigger part of how people access local news.

The people interested in mobile news, studies show, want fast, smooth access to check the latest headlines. The Batavian's new mobile app is designed to meet that need for those people looking for a fast and convenient mobile news experience. We've streamlined news delivery and what we ask in return is that those who use the app regularly pay just $2 a month for a subscription.

We also use the app to help promote local businesses. Our local business directory is featured on the app. The directory is now only a framework for the long-term goal of creating a model for business-promotion-as-a-service for mobile and social networking, to bring local readers and local businesses together in a friendly, safe and mutually beneficial environment.

For those on Android: I don't expect to have the Android version of the app completed anytime soon. I'm guessing three months or a little longer. Most of the code that makes the iOS app is the same for Android as it is for iOS, but there are some significant differences to work through. I have some other business tasks to attend to while continuing to cover local news, so my available time for coding is limited.

Download the iOS app.

August 1, 2017 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

You might have noticed I've not had a byline on the site the past three days.

Friday evening while hitting golf balls, while in my back swing, I felt a pop in my left knee and fell to the ground in pain. Billie took me to the emergency room. It looks like a slight tear to the meniscus and fluid on the knee. Since then, it's been really tough to walk. I'm stuck at home and can't get up stairs.

Billie just moved my computer downstairs so I can start doing some work again.

Hopefully, I'll be back to normal in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, it's going to be hard for me to get out and cover things. We've got a cast of freelancers to help with coverage, but my work will be confined to what I can do without leaving the house.

We like to keep people informed of things going on that affect the normal flow of coverage, so that's the story in this case.

June 17, 2017 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This evening, Billie and I catch a plane for Los Angeles. We'll visit Bakersfield, Ventura and San Diego over the next eight days, seeing family and friends.

We return the morning of June 26.

While we're gone, we'll do our best to keep up with the site.

Covering news for us will be our intern Maria Pericozzi, reporter Mike Pettinella, and photographers Jim Burns and Steve Ognibene.

We also, as always, appreciate your help. We're always grateful for readers who send us pictures or news tips. If something is going on that you think other readers might like to know about, email me (preferred) at [email protected] or text (585) 260-6970 (don't count on me seeing Facebook messages).

Note to Deal of the Day buyers: We're not going to post any deals today or tomorrow, but I will try to get a daily post up through the week. However, deals won't be shipped out in the mail until June 27, a week from Tuesday.

January 5, 2017 - 1:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, thebatavian.

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.
January 1, 2017 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.



Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2017 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