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May 23, 2018 - 11:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia.

A disturbance was reported on Central Avenue several minutes ago involving a large number of people. 

After police arrived on scene a dispatcher informed deputies and troopers that Batavia PD required assistance at Central and Pringle. 

Immediately following that call there was a disturbance reported on Jackson Street. 

Immediately after that, there was a disturbance reported at Thorpe and Watson. Troopers report that group has dispersed. 

UPDATE 11:51 p.m.: It sounds like two people in custody and another detained.

UPDATE 11:53 p.m.: Just a note, there were at least three prior disturbance calls to the Jackson/Central area today. One seemed to involve mother's arguing and another, shortly before the disturbance on Central, was reported as a male and female fighting.

UPDATE 12:47 a.m.: Report of a male/female disturbance at Central and Pringle.

May 23, 2018 - 7:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, notify, news.

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milesarrestfirejan82017.jpgUnder a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office, Eddie Lee "Pops" Miles pled guilty to three felonies this afternoon in Genesee County Court. They were culled from multiple charges in three Grand Jury indictments.

In addition, he accepted a number of conditions and terms and in return, two cases pending in Batavia City Court from last year will be dismissed. He was arrested in August for allegedly putting his arm around the neck of another person and charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and/or blood flow; and he allegedly injected his dog with an unknown purple liquid, garnering a charge of torturing or injuring an animal in violation of Agriculture and Markets law.

Also in 2017, he was arrested on a warrant for allegedly selling crack cocaine on two occasions to an agent of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. Then on Jan. 7, he used a couch to barricade himself in an apartment at 20 Washington Ave., then set it on fire.

After a standoff, because Miles had allegedly threatened to shoot police officers, Miles exited the burning apartment through a back window and refused to come down from a roof, before agreeing to climb down a ladder.

He has been in Genesee County Jail since then without bail.

Today the 47-year-old Batavia native, who has a GED, made a factual admission of guilt on count three of Indictment 6074:

  • Third-degree arson, a Class C felony. Prison is mandatory. The minimum is one to three years; The max is 5-15 years.

He made a factual admission of guilt on count one of Indictment 6036:

  • Third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, a Class B felony, but if sentenced to the maximum prison term, becomes a Class C felony. He agreed to pay $160 restitution at the time of sentencing. The minimum is five and a half years, with one to two years of post-release supervision; the maximum is nine years with three years of post-release supervision.

He made a factual admission of guilt on count one of Indictment 6015:

  • Second-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, a Class E felony, for taking a 2000 Mercury Sable and operating it in the City of Batavia on May 18, 2017, without the owner's permission. This would garner an indeterminant sentence of one and a third to four years. He also had to admit to the Special Information filed by the District Attorney in the case wherein he acknowledged having been convicted of the same crime in the Town of Pembroke within the last 10 years. 

He will remain in custody until his sentencing, which is set for 2 p.m. on June 22, on the first two counts cited above. Those will run concurrently.

Sentencing on the count in Indictment 6015 is delayed until Aug. 13, pending the submission to the court of blood-test results.

As a condition of his plea agreement regarding the count in Indictment 6015, he must be tested for blood-borne pathogens; why was not explained. Failure to do so will result in voiding the plea agreement and subjecting him to maximum sentence guidelines and/or consecutive sentencing.

Miles has a prior felony conviction but it was 20 or more years ago, therefore for sentencing purposes, he will not be considered a second felony offender.

Judge Charles Zambito ordered a pre-sentencing report.

Henceforth, Miles cannot own or possess firearms. An order of protection was issued for a female victim until May 23, 2019.

Two blondes sat in sandaled feet in the front row of the gallery this afternoon and they smiled at Miles when he entered the courtroom in shackles, wearing an orange jumpsuit. His hair was combed neatly and tied in a little graying ponytail in back. The older of the two women mouthed something nice as he was led away.

May 23, 2018 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Central Avenue, notify.

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     Nathaniel Wilson
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  Samuel Blackshear
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Jennifer Urvizu-Hanlon

Thursday's incident on Central Avenue that left one man dead of a knife attack and another man wounded by a gunshot may have stemmed from a series of confrontations between two groups of people over prior days, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman indicated during a press conference in the Genesee County Court building this afternoon.

The DA's Office announced the indictments of three individuals allegedly involved.

The confrontations appear to have been personal in nature and not gang or drug related, Friedman said.

"There had been confrontations I believe prior to this, maybe some physical violence between people prior to this or threats," Friedman said. "And, as I say, it just seemed to be a situation that was brewing between these groups."

He described the conflict as personal in nature but had no information to elaborate on regarding what may have led to the deadly encounter on Central between Nathaniel D. Wilson Jr., Samuel Blackshear, and Terry J. Toote.

The 30-year-old Wilson is accused of stabbing Toote, 41, to death and has been indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury on counts of murder in the second degree, which carries a maximum prison term of 25 years to life, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.

The man who allegedly shot Wilson in the leg, 17-year-old Blackshear, is indicted on counts of attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and two counts of criminal possession in the second degree.

Blackshear is facing up to 15 years in prison.

The woman who is accused of handing over her handgun, which she was licensed to carry, 48-year-old Jennifer Urvizu-Hanlon, owner of the La Mexicana store in the Valu Plaza, is indicted on two charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

The indictment accuses her of being an accessory to Blackshear's possession of the loaded firearm.

She is facing up to 15 years in prison.

Wilson's indictment also includes the district attorney's Special Information, which is a listing of Wilson's prior convictions. They are:

  • Attempted criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd. He possessed a weapon in the Genesee County Jail on May 18, 2016.
  • Attempted to knowingly make or possess dangerous contraband in prison, 1st. He possessed contraband in prison in Washington County on Sept. 10, 2010.
  • Escape, 3rd. He escaped custody in the Town of Le Roy on Dec. 5, 2005.
  • Menacing, 3rd. He menaced an individual Feb. 22, 2006, in the City of Batavia.
  • Burglary, 3rd. He broke into a building Oct. 17, 2005.
  • Attempted assault, 2nd. He attempted to stab another person Oct. 17, 2005. (See previous story)

All three defendants are being held without bail. They will be arraigned in County Court on June 5.

Friedman said he does not anticipate any further arrests related to this specific incident. 

There were numerous people present at the incident, perhaps more than a dozen, Friedman said, but he said he doesn't know what brought them there, though there had been people hanging out in the area for hours before the attack, or how long those involved were at that location prior to the stabbing.

Friedman commended the work of the law enforcement agencies involved, particularly the Batavia PD and Sheriff's Office, whose detectives had numerous people to interview to help prepare for the presentation of the case to the grand jury.

Top photo: District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, First Assistant DA Melissa Cianfrini, Batavia PD Chief Shawn Heubusch.

May 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, schools, education.

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This year's Class of 2018 fundraiser that allowed seniors to paint their own personal parking spaces at Batavia High School was a huge hit, the Board of Education was told Tuesday night, and representatives of the junior class pitched the board on continuing the project next year but with some additional features.

The juniors would like next year's seniors to pay $20 per space and allow juniors (who previously could only reserve an unpainted space) to paint theirs for $30.

They would also like to come up with an employee of the month space that is painted by students as well as sell reserved spaces for teachers, at higher prices, that would be painted by students.

The 2018 class raised more than $700 with its project and there were no problems reported in the student parking lot throughout the year.

There were 35 spaces painted and another 19 spaces reserved.

"It is probably one of the easiest fundraisers that the officers have ever had to do," said senior Mikey Lullo. "We would call it a very big success."

The proposal for the 2018-19 project was presented by Madison Dedman and Brianna Bromley.

Based on feedback from the 2018 class, they would start to start painting in July, get five days instead of two to complete the painting, and be able to paint at night when it's cooler.

The board will vote on the proposal at its next meeting.

May 23, 2018 - 5:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, business, BID.
Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) Board elected new officers for the 2018-2019 term.

New executive board is made up of Board President Jennifer Gray, Board Vice President Leanna DiRisio, Board Treasurer Kristine Duran, and Board Secretary Lisa Casey.

The BID Board welcomed five new board members this year that were announced at the BID’s Annual Meeting in April. The new members to include: Wesley Bedford, Joann Baiocco, Marc Johnson, Rick Mancuso and Tina Rose.

The newly elected officers represent the first female President and Vice President to serve on the BID Board since its origination in 1998. 

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit here.

May 23, 2018 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in art, schools, education, news, batavia, City Schools.

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The Board of Education meeting Tuesday night included a department review from Amanda Antonucci, art teacher at Batavia High School.

Antonucci shared the art accomplishments and progress for Jackson, John Kennedy, Batavia Middle and Batavia High schools.

At the elementary level, first- and second-graders held their annual monster swap. The first-graders draw monsters and the second-graders re-draw them. She said the project is so popular the teachers are thinking of expanding it for next year to include middle school students, who will make monster sculptures from the drawings.

Jackson just held its annual Fine Arts Night, which gives the students a chance to see their art displayed as if in a gallery.

The middle school was engaged in several cross-curriculum projects, including students drawing their portraits with adjectives describing themselves instead of regular lines. They also looked at cells under a microscope and painted pictures of what they saw.

Once again, this year, on May 30 and 31, the middle school will hold its Human Rights Heroes project.

At the high school level, there were two new electives, both very popular: Digital Photography and Graphic Design.

The students also had a number of electives to choose from, including Drawing, Printmaking, Studio Design, Portfolio, and Sculpture.

"We have great electives," Antonucci said. "For a school our size, it is really outstanding. I really appreciate it."

One of the guest artists who visited the school this year was a 1969 graduate of BHS who is a sculptor.

A popular new activity was mARTch Madness. Antonucci said in March, all the kids can talk about is basketball so the teachers set up a bracket of 16 contemporary artists and the students discussed and debated their work.

"There was a lot of great commentary and discussion," Antonucci said. "We're going to do this forever now because it was such a big hit."

She encouraged her students to enter work into a 6x6 show in Rochester. Antonucci herself entered a solo show featuring portraits she painted of students; and she and student Sophia Dinehart entered a show just for an art teacher and an art student to share a gallery space.

BHS will host its Art Appreciation Night May 30.

Below are photos of student-created and painted murals that are being completed in the hallway of the district administration building.

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May 23, 2018 - 9:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, education, schools.

The Board of Education for City Schools handed out their monthly awards to start last night's meeting. Below are pictures of the winners with write-ups supplied by the school district.

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Valle Jewelers invited Mrs. Torrey’s first-grade classroom to their store to further their study of gemstones and minerals in their History of the Earth Unit.

Students were able to see equipment discussed in lessons that jewelers use, find their birthstones and look at them under a microscope!

This was a hands-on way for first graders to learn and we appreciate Valle Jewelers for opening their doors to our students.  What a great experience for them! 

Photo: Stephen Valle, Pat Burk, Carrie Lawrence and her daughter, Sophia.

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Jaheim Dana had a rocky start to his high school career and did not earn enough credits to progress to the 10th grade. He struggled academically, lacked motivation, and even talked about dropping out of high school.

When students have to repeat the ninth grade, we often see them lose their desire to graduate, and we struggle to get them back on track to graduate on time. This was not the case with Jaheim.

Over the last year, we have seen him make an incredible transformation! He has passed every class, is planning to study Auto Technology at BOCES in his senior year, and is right on track to graduate in 2019 with his class.

He plans to enter the military after graduation. Mrs. Garner is continually impressed with Jaheim's ability to shut out negative peer pressure and keep his eye on his goal of graduation.

We are so proud of his accomplishments at BHS and can't wait to see him walk the stage next June!

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Lauren Leone is an extremely self-motivated, hard-working, and flexible graduating senior who can be depended upon to get a job done and done well.

At the beginning of this school year, she took the initiative to follow up on my invitation (given at the end of her junior year) to do some writing for the District’s A+ Community Newsletter.

She then proceeded to contribute a quality article, on time, for each issue. In addition, she was flexible in what she wrote about, giving equal care to a topic she generated on her own or one that was suggested to her. Throughout the year, she could be counted on to deliver what was needed by the deadline of when it was needed.

This was no small feat for someone who was also busy with so, so many other activities and responsibilities as a class officer, athlete, volunteer extraordinaire, as well as a dedicated student taking many demanding classes, including college-level courses, all while maintaining a grade-point average that puts her at the very top of her class.

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Riley Gonzalez works hard every day. He sets a great example of how other classmates should be and act.

He has been on GREEN or ABOVE every single month this year. This is over 130 days of EXCELLENT BEHAVIOR. Over 130 days of being respectful, responsible, safe and following all of the Whole Brain Teaching rules (following directions quickly, raising hand for permission to speak, participate, and leave seat, making smart choices, and making your teachers happy.)

Riley follows all of these, as well as being a polite, caring individual. We are proud to recognize his efforts.

May 22, 2018 - 9:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller reports three youths approached him and tried a strong-arm robbery.

He may have a knife or he may have a baseball bat.

The youths apparently did not get anything from him.

The caller is unfamiliar with where he is and dispatchers are trying to clarify so they can direct officers to the location. He was eventually located on Summit Street.

He described the youths as black males, two wearing red shirts, one with a dog on a chain.

UPDATE 9:39 p.m.: The description is now two black males and one white male with a dog. They are believed eastbound from Summit Street. An officer who responded reports being with two individuals.

 

May 22, 2018 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kevin Feary, art, news, notify, Premier Genesee, batavia.

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It was a bigger project than he anticipated but artist Kevin Feary said he got a lot of enjoyment out of meeting a group of residents of the Premier Genesee Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Batavia so he could paint their portraits.

"The original plan was 'I'm going to be able to do this in three or four months,' " Feary said. "Well, that was a joke because I couldn't."

He expected each portrait to take just a few hours. Some of them took 20 hours to complete and that didn't include the time spent getting to know his subjects.

"I came in to meet them, got to know them, even interviewed them, say a little bit, took some notes, because it is really good to know as much as you can about somebody to get their likeness," Feary said. "I think for me it's even more important to know something about you than to just look at you and try to paint your shapes. I know that I can get it to look like you, but I think that if I knew more about you I can get the essence of you."

When Feary isn't painting, and besides this project, he has carried on with his other art projects. He lives in Batavia and works in construction.

The idea for the project came to Feary while working on a committee at GO ART! to evaluate Ripple Grant applications. He said he found some of the ideas in the applications pretty mediocre and he thought he could do better and one day he told Heather Grant, staff at GO ART!, that maybe he should paint portraits of residents at the nursing home.

Then he kind of forgot about the idea until one day Heather Grant called him and asked if he wanted to apply for a Ripple Grant himself to paint those portraits. He hesitated.

"I thought, 'am I ready for this?' Is this something I can really actually go do?' "

Then he said yes and asked about the deadline.

"Tomorrow."

"I don't know how it goes with most artists but for me, I'm not the flamboyant Picasso, 'I am the greatest,' " he said. "I second guess myself all the time. So I didn't want to say yes I could do something that I didn't know if I could pull off. So I said, 'Well, OK, yeah, I'll apply.' "

When Feary started on the project, staff directed him to the memory unit.

"I came in a couple of times without even thinking about painting," Feary said. "(I came in) just to get to know some people. I remember coming in and Cindy -- I don't remember her last name -- was the aide there. This woman had a heart of gold. You could see a great patience in her. There is a lot to learn just from watching her and the residents. They all seemed pretty happy. I mean, they really seemed happy.

"I would go in one day and play crazy (eights) with them," he continued. "That was the big game that we played and then maybe have a snack. They would figure out who I was going to paint and then I would come in the next day and they would be a huge table playing crazy eights and I would be in the next room over and somebody was in a chair while I painted."

When he started meeting with residents of the nursing home, some at first were eager to get their portrait painted. Some changed their minds when it came right down to it. And some were wary of the whole idea altogether.

"It's amazing that some of them were, you know, afraid, or apprehensive at least, to have this done for whatever the reasons are," Feary said.

The project got interrupted when Feary had to take a break for medical reasons. When he got back, the first portrait he did wasn't of the person he was scheduled to paint because she changed her mind.

So, Feary just hung out for awhile and as he sat next to one of the residents, Cindy came up and asked her if she would like her portrait painted.

"She goes, 'how much is it going to cost?' " Feary recalled. Cindy told her it is free. "You don't have to pay anything," so the woman replys, "Can we start right now?"

Feary thought, "Great, I've already blown an hour."

After working on the portrait until it was nearly finished, it was time for him to leave, so he showed it to this woman.

Her disappointment was obvious.

"Well I'm just scornful," she said.

"I felt so bad," Feary said. "That's not why I'm here. I thought to myself, 'that's not what this is about. I can't let that happen again."

After that, Feary would only do a preliminary painting, just one color, while in the home, and then he would take a photo back to his studio and finish the portrait there.

Feary is an experienced, accomplished, award-winning artist, but that doesn't mean there still aren't things to learn and the nursing home project proved also to be a great learning experience. For those who view the portraits in the order he painted them, the progress in how he handled light is apparent.

That is one of the reasons Feary took on the project, to make and see that kind of progress.

Above, he's holding one of the final paintings, of Agnes, and nearly everybody picks it out as their favorite of the collection.

"The thing with her is I could see she was genuinely kind and she just had, you could just feel, the happiness about her," Feary said.

The idea for the project, as Feary said, popped into his head while judging Ripple Grants. That process could have sparked a lot of ideas, so when asked why portraits and the nursing home, Feary said, I don't know where it came from. I don't have a good answer for that."

He said he just thought it would be good for the residents of the nursing home.

"I know that a lot of these people don't get visitors," Feary said. "So I thought that I want to bring a little joy or happiness to these people. That was kind of the idea for the project. Then, also, for them to have a keepsake or the family to have a keepsake."

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Photos by Howard Owens except for bottom photo, which was submitted by Premier Genesee.

May 21, 2018 - 6:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, crime, notify.

Lionel J. Anderson Jr. got some bad news and some good news in Genesee County Court this morning. Judge Charles Zambito sentenced the 16-year-old to an indeterminate state prison sentence of one to three years. But the judge also vacated his felony conviction on attempted second-degree assault, a non-violent Class E felony, and granted him youthful offender status.

That means his record in this matter will be sealed.

The judge could have sentenced Lionel up to four years under the terms of a plea agreement in this case.

He has served 160 days so far; with good behavior, he could get out in a little over six months -- before the end of the year.

In making the decision, Zambito said it serves the interests of justice, protects the community, and gets Lionel some help.

The Oklahoma native will serve time for his role in an altercation on Highland Park, Batavia, on the evening of Nov. 28. His 13-year-old victim was slammed to the ground, face first, then struck in the face, twice; the injuries stemmed from contact with a "metal belt buckle and/or curb."

He has remained in custody since the incident; his bail was $25,000.

Since his last court appearance, in April, a pre-sentencing report was completed, and attorneys on both side as well as the judge had read it in preparation for today.

Before sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell told the court even though Lionel is young, he has amassed "a pile of history" in the last few months.

"He is in desparate need of services; he continues to use drugs; he behaves inappropriately at school," Finnell said. "He is a threat to society. He is a violent aggressor."

Thus, Finnell said the defendant should not be considered eligible for youthful offender status.

"It is fortunate that the victim in this case was not more harmed" as a result of Lionel's actions, Finnell said.

Public defender Michael Locicero said Lionel is utterly lacking in family support. No mention was made of his mother or her whereabouts. His father is incarcerated and his grandfather moved out of the area. He has been moved around a lot throughout his young life.

"He has had a tough go of it," Locicero said.

As for the altercation, Locicero noted that there were several individuals involved and Lionel "has taken responsibility for his part."

Locicero then asked the judge to consider granting his client youthful offender status and to sentence him to local jail or intermittant incarceration (weekends).

He cautioned Zambito that it would be "a mistake not to consider other factors" in Lionel's life that have shaped and influenced him.

When asked if he had anything to say on his own behalf, Lionel said clearly "No, sir." He was quiet and composed throughout the proceeding.

Judge Zambito said the report by the probation department deemed the defendant to be at the greatest risk; he has nowhere to go, no home to go home to. He was on probation at the time of his criminal act and was not doing well -- well beforehand. He noted the youth's prior history involves violence.

But despite his run-in with authorities, including at school, law enforcement and Family Court, Zambito noted this was his first criminal conviction and that it stemmed from a verbal argument involving several people that escalated. 

"He was not the primary aggressor," Zambito said about the incident, as documented in the probation department report. "He came to the aid of a friend. Whether this was a 'youthful indescretion' (as argued by the defense counsel) is debatable."

Wielding a belt, not inherently a weapon, was unusual, the judge said.

"You need to get some counseling," in order to figure out why you behave as you do, Zambito told the teen.

The defendant is not to possess guns. He has to pay $325 in fees/fines but does not have to submit to the DNA database because of his newly minted youthful offender status.

An order of protection is place for the victim until May 21, 2026.

May 21, 2018 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mercy EMS, Mercy Flight, batavia, business, news.

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The dedication and ribbon cutting for the new Mercy EMS headquarters on Call Road, off of Route 98, in Batavia, was more than just a celebration of the new facility. It was an expression of gratitude for the Mercy Flight/EMS staff and chance to honor Mercy's cofounder, Doug Baker.

A plaque honoring Baker, pictured above, will be placed on the new building.

For his part, Baker thanked the Genesee County community for entrusting its emergency medical transport services to Mercy EMS and Mercy Flight.

"I'm here to you say thank you for the confidence and courtesy of the acceptance we've had in this community," Baker said. "From the governmental agencies, from the fire and the police, from the hospital, and from the whole community at large. And last but not least certainly the employees. We're very very lucky. Don't think we take it for granted. It's pretty special."

Mercy Flight became Baker's vision in 1981 and he, along with Sister Sheila Marie Walsh, Dr. Matthew Burke, and Dr. James Ehinger, came together to create Mercy Flight that year. It became the first helicopter emergency transport service in New York. The first helicopter based in Batavia was in 2006. In 2006, Mercy EMS became the designated ambulance service for the county.

Since then, the ambulance crew has operated from cramped quarters in the former St. Jerome's Hospital on Bank Street. The new facility not only gives them more space, it will offer better space for training and for eating and resting between calls, especially on long 12- and 24-hour shifts.

Bob Bausch, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature, was among those who congratulated Mercy Flight on its new facility.

"It's a true symbol of your commitment to the residents of Genesee County but more importantly thank you for what you offer day in day out," Bausch said. "You provided an exceptional level of service and this new facility will only enhance those services."

The dedication prayer was offered by Pastor Dan Dart, who noted Mercy EMS came to his aid once and he got to ride in "the whirlybird." He thanked the staff for their dedication to the health and safety of our community.

"Personally, then, on the receiving end, I say, 'Oh wow, I say thank you to all these folks for this building,' " Dart said. "It's going to help facilitate these folks to do the work that they do much more efficiently. It's a great, practical building -- all throughout, just amazing."

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Doug Baker

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Pastor Dan Dart.

May 21, 2018 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, UMMC, teddy bear & doll clinic, news.

Press release:

For more than 20 years the Teddy Bear & Doll Clinic has provided an innovative, hands-on opportunity to educate young children about what it’s like to visit a heath care professional when they’re sick or hurt — and to serve as a healthy reminder that there is nothing to fear. 

More than 200 children will transform their favorite doll or stuffed animal into a “patient” at United Memorial Medical Center's Cary Hall Auditorium on Wedesnday, May 23. The children take them through various hospital stations, resembling areas such as: registration, stitching, x-ray, respiratory therapy, emergency, laboratory services, and nutrition.

UMMC's Cary Hall Auditorium is located at 211 E. Main St., Batavia.

The morning attendees are preregistered preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first-graders. The second session from noon to 1:30 p.m. is open to the public.

This event is made possible by UMMC Healthy Living, Health Careers Academy, Mercy EMS, and UMMC volunteers.

May 21, 2018 - 1:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Concert Band, news, Announcements.

Press release:

Are you interested in helping to ensure a 93-year-old Batavia tradition continues? Are you a lover of music and culture? If so, the Batavia Concert Band has the perfect opportunity!

There is currently one vacant seat on the Batavia Concert Band Board of Directors. In addition to being part of a community treasure, your responsibilities include collaborating with other directors and band staff to make each season of summer music possible in Centennial Park.

Would you like more information? Please contact General Manager Jason Smith at 585-590-0743.

May 21, 2018 - 11:53am
posted by Billie Owens in STA, batavia, united way day of caring, Announcements.

Photo of Student Transportation of America (STA) volunteers who helped out in the Genesee County 2018 United Way Day of Caring: Front row from left, Stephen Ognibene, Lori Beherns, Tonya Phillips; back row from left -- Ron Stingham, Sandra Fialkowski and Chris Clark.

Submitted photo and information from Doug Coupe, director of Communications, STA:

The local United Way in Genesee County kicked off their "Day of Caring" last Wednesday (May 16) and we had six volunteers from the bus service Student Transportation of America help out.

We have a small school bus terminal of 35 routes locally, had 31 trips yesterday going on, and our employees were still able to accomplish their part in the "Day of Caring."

They were able to help the Eagle Star House in Pembroke, which assists homeless veterans transition into living on their own again. We are so proud of these employees and residents of your community for being able to help out.

May 21, 2018 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, news, freshLAB, Eli Fish Brewing Company.

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Victor Figueroa's empanadas recipe was a big hit with the judges in the Foodie Challenge, propelling him toward winning one of two slots inside the FreshLAB restaurant incubator inside the recently opened Eli Fish Brewing Company.

Yesterday, The Wild Rican, Figueroa's Puerto Rican-flavored food stand, officially opened.

Pictured are Michael Scribner, Michelle Figueroa, Victor Figueroa, and Cristal Nunez.

May 21, 2018 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, corfu, bergen, notify, byron, alexander, Bethany.

Brooke L. Brumber, 18, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Brumber was arrested on a warrant. She allegedly entered a residence on Washington Avenue at 8:01 p.m. May 3 without permission after being told she was no longer welcome there.

Matthew James Cratsley, 42, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to report a change of address and failure to complete verification form. Cratsley allegedly moved and failed to notify the NYS Sex Offender Registry. He is also accused of failing to complete the annual registration form. 

Jonathan Peter Smith, 40, of Little Canada Road, East Bethany, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely, and failure to signal. Smith was stopped at 1:28 a.m. May 13 on Main Street, Batavia, by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Sammy Lee Domthongmivanh Jr., 29, of Halstead Road, Alexander, is charged with: DWI; driving with a BAC of .18 or greater; failure to keep right; moving from lane unsafely; failure to attach registration sticker to vehicle. Domthongmivanh was stopped at 11:49 p.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke, following a complaint of traffic offenses, by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Riecha B. Morris, 34, of Hawks Nest Circle, Greece, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. Morris was stopped at 9:33 a.m. Friday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Kevin DeFelice following a complaint of erratic operation.

David L. Castaneda Trejo, 19, of Byron, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd, and making a false written statement. Castaneda was arrested on an incident reported at 11:22 a.m. Sunday in the Town of Byron by State Police. No further details released.

Matthew J. Lamkin, 36, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Lamkin was arrested in connection with an incident reported at 11 p.m. Sunday in the Town of Batavia by State Police. No further details released.

Alexandria C. Pisarek, 25, of Corfu, is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child. Pisarek was arrested in connection with an incident reported at 11:50 a.m. May 9 in the Town of Bergen by State Police. No further details released.

May 21, 2018 - 8:00am
posted by Virginia Kropf in business, news, Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, batavia.

  

John Roche, who owns Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle with his wife, Cathy, stands behind the counter in his store at 8 Center St., Batavia, which is celebrating 100 years in business.

Carrying on a 100-year tradition of serving the public and providing quality customer service is not an easy task, but one which John Roche looks forward to every day.

Roche and his wife Cathy, of Corfu, are owners of Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, which is celebrating 100 years in business this year.

“I have the pleasure of going to work and playing all day,” said Roche, who bought the business in 2002.

The store was started by Walter Davis in 1918 as a wheel goods store. In 1929, he built the building at 8 Center St., selling baby buggies, doll carriages, tricycles, bikes and pedal cars.

When Adam Miller purchased the business in 1946, he changed the name to Adam Miller Wheel Goods. In the mid 1950s, Miller erected a neon sign out front, which is still in use today. He continued to increase his line of merchandise, adding on to the building in the 1960s to accommodate a full-service repair shop and expanding to toys and hobbies.

Miller retired in 1970, turning the business over to his children, son Gary, and daughter and son-in-law Joyce and Buzz Masse. Gary and Buzz were both schoolteachers, and after school they were mechanics in the bike shop.

Adam Miller died in 2000 at the age of 90.

As for Roche, he has years of experience in the bicycle business. He started fixing bikes for his friends at age 13 in his parent’s garage. After graduation, he went to work for 13 years at a bicycle shop in Lancaster, before going into the wholesale bicycle business for a company in Cheektowaga.

When his company decided to move to New Jersey, Roche didn’t want to go with them. He got a job at Potter Lumber, but in the back of his mind, his retirement plan was to buy a bicycle shop.

While doing business with the Adam Miller store, Roche became friends with Miller’s children. When the Masses were ready to retire, after running the business for 25 years, they called Roche.

 “Joyce and Gary wanted someone who would keep their family’s tradition as a bike shop,” Roche said. “They called me and I took the opportunity.”

The bicycle business has gone crazy, with all different styles, Roche said. He has one model which is a three-wheel version, capable of being used as a hunting vehicle.

“It’s big enough you could put a deer on the back to drag it out of the woods,” Roche said. 

The store continues to be considered “the neatest store in town,” Roche said.

The bicycle repair shop is a big part of the business, with Michael Mugler as shop manager. He has been with Roche since day one, having worked with him for 20 years in the bicycle warehouse.

The Roche’s have three sons, all of whom have their own careers, but also an interest in bikes. They all worked in the store growing up. One has a bicycle collection on display in the store, and their middle son Shawn likes to tinker with bikes, and builds his own. They help out during special occasions, such as Christmas in the City.

Roche’s plans for the future include moving into online sales, while continuing to offer the favorite toys and games from past decades. 

Customers have been bringing in old toys and games, which Roche is displaying in the store windows. He invites anyone with any old toy to bring it in. 

The store will celebrate the 100th anniversary with two parties, a customer appreciation day on June 30 and another special event at Christmas time.

May 20, 2018 - 9:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller reports that two individuals drove up on motorcycles to his residence on Rose Road and assaulted his son.

No word on any injuries. 

They left the area approximately five minutes ago.

Law enforcement is responding.

May 20, 2018 - 4:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, education, Le Roy, batavia, byron, Pavilion, corfu, bergen.

Five Nazareth College undergraduate students who are from Genesee County earned their bachelor's degrees at the 91st Annual Commencement ceremony that took place at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on May 13.

  • Marissa Colantonio, of Batavia, graduated with a bachelor's degree in History with a minor in Political Science.
  • Savannah Gill, of Le Roy, graduated with a bachelor's degree in Music Education.
  • Hannah Green, of Byron, graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology.
  • Siena Pullinzi, of Batavia, graduated with a bachelor's degree in Studio Art.
  • Dakota Pursel, of Pavilion, graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Psychology.

In addition, three Genesee County students earned graduate degrees and were recognized at the May 13 Commencement. They are:

  • Sarah Gray, of Corfu, earned their Master of Science in Music Therapy.
  • Brittni Loewke, of Bergen, earned their Master of Social Work in Social Work.
  • Andrea Raphael, of Batavia, earned their Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.

Nazareth College's academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts.

The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in Pittsford, a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,000 undergrads and 800 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life's work.

May 20, 2018 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business, O'Lacy's, chamber of commerce.

There will be a Business After Hours networking opportunity at O'Lacy's Irish Pub from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, sponsored by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

O'Lacy's is located at 5 School St. in Downtown Batavia.

Light snacks will be served. Cash bar.

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