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January 22, 2017 - 5:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news.

downtownfogjan222017.jpg

We have heavy fog throughout the county today and it's continuing this evening and into tomorrow morning.

There's a winter storm watch in place for Monroe County from Monday night into Tuesday, but so far it looks like this storm will miss Genesee County.

January 21, 2017 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, pete zeliff.

A small plane on the runway of Howell-Livingston County Airport in Michigan waiting to take off confirmed for Pete Zeliff what his instruments and in-flight communications were telling him: it was safe to land.

As soon as his wheels touched down, he knew he wouldn't be able to stop. He immediately took the speed brakes up, put the flaps out and brought the power up to try and take off again, but before his wheels left the runway, his Cessna 525C Citation turned 90 degrees and he began sliding sideways. He managed to get the plane pointed straight again, but by then he was nearly out of runway.

"I thought, well, I'm just along for the ride now," Zeliff said in an interview with The Batavian this morning.

He said he remembers hitting a fence and a ditch but doesn't remember anything else until he found himself hanging upside down in his harness in the plane. He managed to get himself out and was walking around the plane when emergency responders arrived.

Federal Aviation Administration officials told him he walked to the ambulance himself, but he said the next thing he remembers is coming to in the ambulance and being told they were about 10 or 15 minutes from the hospital.

"I thought when I got to hospital I felt pretty good," Zeliff said. "I didn’t think I had any of the injuries I have. I thought I would be checked out, they would sign me off and send me home."

He suffered a fractured spine in two places, two broken ribs, and a cracked sternum. His doctors told him he's got about 10 weeks of recovery ahead of him, but then he should be fine with no lasting issues.

Zeliff, owner of p.w. minor, along with other local business interests, returned to Batavia two days ago and actually went into the office yesterday for a couple of hours, but said he will be on a light work schedule for the next few weeks.

As for the landing, he said his radar, "next rad" and the weather reports for the airport were rain with a ceiling of 6,000 feet and good visibility. He said he canceled his IRF (instrument flight rules) about five miles out from the airport. 

"There's an airplane at the end of the runway waiting to take off," Zeliff said. "I assumed there was ice, OK, but I didn't think it would be bad because of that little plane."

He's been interviewed by an investigator with the FAA and was informed yesterday there would be no FAA action in response to the accident.

"They said I did everything right," Zeliff said. "They actually said they wish more pilots would fly like I do."

The plane is a total loss. Its wings were sheared off, catching on fire at that point, well away from the upside-down fuselage. 

News video from the accident scene made the crash look pretty scary.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't have time to get scared," Zeliff said. "The whole episode probably took only 10 or 15 seconds. It's hard to tell right now, but I know I didn't have a lot of time to make decisions."

Previously: Local businessman Pete Zeliff OK after plane crash in Michigan

January 20, 2017 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs, the Single-A Affiliate of the Miami Marlins, have announced their manager and coaching staff for the 2017 season. This year’s squad will be led by Manager Mike Jacobs, Pitching Coach Jason Erickson, Hitting Coach Rigoberto Silverio, Coach TJ Gamba, and Athletic Trainer Eric Reigelsberger.

Mike Jacobs, a former Marlins first baseman from 2006-08, returns to the Marlins organization for his first stint as a professional coach and manager of Batavia. Jacobs was drafted in the 28th round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft by the New York Mets. He made his MLB debut with the Mets on Aug. 21, 2005, hitting a three-run pinch-hit home run against Washington in his first MLB at-bat. He was then acquired by the Marlins on Nov. 23, 2005, along with Yusmeiro Petit in exchange for Carlos Delgado. Jacobs enjoyed a seven-year MLB career and an 18-year professional career. Jacobs resides in Chula Vista, Calif., with his wife, Vanessa, and four daughters: Havana, Isabella, Sophia and Juliana.

Jason Erickson begins his first season with the Marlins organization as pitching coach of Batavia, following nearly four years in the Player Development department with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Erickson was selected by Pittsburgh in the 24th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Washington and went to play three seasons in the Pirates’ Minor League system. He finished with a 15-10 record and 3.94 ERA in 81 games (31 starts) over the three-year span.

Rigoberto Silverio returns to Batavia, following a one-year stint as hitting coach for the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Silverio served as Batavia’s hitting coach from 2014-15. The 2017 campaign marks his ninth year in the Marlins organization. Prior to his time with the Muckdogs, Silverio spent two seasons as a coach for Jupiter (2012-13). He spent his first three seasons with the organization as a coach for the Jamestown Jammers. In five seasons in the Marlins farm system, the former infielder was a career .243 hitter in 225 games.

TJ Gamba will return for his second season as a coach for Batavia. He also played for Batavia during the 1986 season. Gamba grew up in Auburn and went onto to play baseball at Ithaca College. He was drafted in the 22nd round of the 1986 MLB June Amateur Draft by the Cleveland Indians and played in the Indians organization for three seasons. He later coached Auburn High School and led the Maroons to the 2010 Section III, Class AA championship.

Eric Reigelsberger returns for his third season as athletic trainer for Batavia. He joined the Marlins organization after two years at Wichita State University, where he served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the baseball and cross-country teams. He also completed athletic training internships with the New York Mets and the St. Louis Rams. Reigelsberger received his Master of Education in Sport Management at Wichita State University and his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Central Methodist University. He resides in Wichita, Kan.

January 20, 2017 - 10:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, land use, planning, news, Alabama, batavia, byron, elba, Oakfield, and Pembroke..

Press release:

A state-mandated 30-day public review period has begun for Agricultural Districts No. 2 in the towns of Alabama, Batavia, Byron, Elba, Oakfield and Pembroke.

The Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board announced that Agricultural District No. 2 will embark on its eight-year review with a 30-day public review period beginning on Jan. 26.

As with every eight-year review, landowners with lands in the district under review will be asked to complete a worksheet where they will be given the option to enroll or withdraw property from the district. Only entire parcels can be included or excluded.

Landowners will receive the worksheet, along with a letter, informational brochure, and map of the current district boundaries in the next couple of days. Each landowner will have until Friday, Feb. 24th of this year to mail the worksheets to the Department of Planning in the envelopes provided. This deadline also coincides with the deadline for the Annual Enrollment Period, which allows for inclusion of predominantly viable agricultural land to any of the County’s Agricultural Districts pending review by the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board. In addition, nearby landowners that are receiving Agricultural Tax Assessments and are not part of the Agricultural Districts Program will be mailed a letter and form inviting them to join the program.

During this 30-day period, a map of the District will be on file and open to the public in the office of the Genesee County Clerk and at the Genesee County Department of Planning.Any municipality whose territory encompasses the above Agricultural District, any State Agency or any landowner within or adjacent to the District, may propose a modification of the District during this period. The District and any proposed modification will be submitted to the Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board for review. Consequently, a public hearing on the District and any proposed modifications will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, at the Genesee County Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.

At the conclusion of this review, the Genesee County Legislature will vote on any modifications to the District and send the proper materials to the State Department of Agriculture and Markets for recertification. The public is encouraged to attend all open meetings.

By enrolling land in the Agricultural Districts Program, participating farmers can receive relief from nuisance claims and certain forms of local regulation. Enrollment is free and voluntary. For a free informational brochure, please contact the Genesee County Department of Planning. Phone: (585) 815-7901; fax: (585) 345-3062; email: [email protected] Visit us on the Web at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/planning.

January 20, 2017 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Darien.

Julia L. Tombari, 22, of Highland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Tombari was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance not prescribed to her along with packaging and other drug paraphernalia by Officer Arick Perkins at 2:45 p.m., Friday, at a residence on Highland Avenue. 

Melissa R. Piazza, 27, of Jackson Square, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th. Piazza is accused of using a stolen credit card to make purchases at the Kwik Fill, 99 Jackson St., Batavia. She was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Kevin E. Dolison, 21, of Meadow Drive, Geneseo, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dolison was arrested on a warrant stemming for an alleged incident reported at 7:04 p.m., Nov. 30, at a residence on South Main Street, Batavia, where Dolison allegedly struck another person. Dolison posted bail and was released.

Carolyn L. Magoffin, 33, of Colby Road, Darien, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear for a scheduled court date. Magoffin posted $500 bail and was released.

Falicia N. Tuczai, 26, of Prospect Avenue, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Tuczai allegedly entered property at 7:16 p.m., Thursday, on South Main Street, Batavia, after being previously told by police not to enter the property.

January 20, 2017 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.

founddogimg_4777.jpg

This friendly pouch was found on Ellicott Street this morning. No collar or tags. Kristin Bates took him to work at Remedy Staffing and he's there now.

"He is a sweet boy, who is clearly used to being in a home," Kristin said.

She can be reached at (585) 993-6336.

UPDATE: Dog and family have been reunited.

January 19, 2017 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, batavia, news, business.

chamberribbon2017img_0429.jpg

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its arrival in a new home, with a new tourism center, on Park Road, Town of Batavia, today, with a ribbon cutting.

While the upstairs offices are a modern and comfortable place for chamber employees to work, it's the downstairs visitors center that is the star of the renovated building.

Chamber President Tom Turnbull noted its close proximity to the Thruway and the nearby hotels, which by the end of the year will have a total of 1,000 guest rooms between them.

"It will now be our job to encourage these visitors to our county to explore deeper into the county to shop, eat and enjoy many of the fine services available," Turnbull said.

The move was appropriate, said Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature, because tourism dollars are important to the health of our local economy.

"Many people either forget, or they may not be aware, what a significant impact tourism has on our local economy," Cianfrini said. "Aside from the money people spend on their food and their fuel and their lodging, they also contribute significantly to our sales tax and our bed tax revenues. The Chamber has done a fantastic job of promoting tourism in Genesee County."

chamberribbon2017.jpg

Tom Turnbull

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Ray Cianfrini

January 19, 2017 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, football, sports.

The Batavia Blue Devils have been selected to play a game the opening weekend of the high school football season in the Carrier Dome Classic, an annual event that brings in football teams from all over the state, Head Coach Brennan Briggs said this morning.

The exact time and date of the game -- either Sept. 1 or Sept 2 -- has not been determined yet, nor has an opponent for the Blue Devils been selected yet. It will likely be a Class B or Class A team out of Section IV, Briggs said.

Batavia was selected after Briggs applied for a slot in the classic a year ago.

"I'm excited for the kids," Briggs said. "It should be a blast. It's exciting for them."

The Carrier Dome Classic also puts the Batavia program on a bigger statewide stage, Briggs said. It will give people from all over the state a chance to see what Batavia football is all about.

Many of this year's team members were able to play a regional championship game in 2016 in New Era in Buffalo, home of the Buffalo Bills, so a game in the Carrier Dome is another nice highlight to their high school football careers.

"There are not too many times you get a chance to play both at New Era and the Carrier Dome," Briggs said. "It's pretty sweet."

The Carrier Dome also hosts the state championships, so Briggs said, that yes, indeed, at some point during the year he can use "get back to the Carrier Dome" to help motivate his team. It might inspire the players to dream big.

But the 2017 season is going present challenges each week, Briggs said. Besides what will certainly be a tough opponent in week one, week two is a home game against perennial Monroe County powerhouse Aquinas. The whole schedule for the three-peat Section V champions is likely to be stacked with tough opponents, Briggs said. Honeoye Falls-Lima has been moved to Class B and schools such as Geneva, Hornell and Livonia are always tough.  

"It will be a stacked deck," Briggs said.

January 18, 2017 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

Possible injuries are reported in a two-car crash in the area of 3757 Pearl Street Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding

UPDATE 6:33 p.m.: One of the engines responding is told to come in non-emergency.

UPDATE 6:36 p.m.: Engine 20 can go back in service.

January 18, 2017 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Terrance Johnson appeared for sentencing in Genesee County Court this afternoon on a robbery conviction.

Johnson was arrested last May for first-degree robbery after being released from a four-month term in the Genesee County Jail for a gang assault in Batavia.

Neither the district attorney nor Johnson’s defense took the opportunity to speak before sentencing; however, Johnson took the chance to casually express that he was “happy to get this out of the way,” but never taking responsibility or expressing an apology to the victim for his actions.

Johnson was smiling for most of the appearance, glancing and mouthing things to members of the gallery and even laughed to himself several times.

He was sentenced to two years in state prison to be followed by three years post-release supervision and was issued orders of protection for two individuals.

Via our news partner, WBTA.

January 18, 2017 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Pathway to Prosperity, GCEDC, batavia, news.

Press release:

The “Batavia Pathway to Prosperity” (BP2), the program created through an inter-municipal agreement between the City of Batavia, Genesee County, the Batavia City School District, the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) and the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) was showcased at the annual conference of the New York State Economic Development Council in Albany on Jan. 18.

Batavia City Manager Jason Molino, GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde, GCEDC Vice President Chris Suozzi and GCEDC Marketing Director Rachel Tabelski participated in the presentation at the conference to economic development officials from across New York State.

BP2 was conceived to pool resources in order to invest in distressed areas in the City of Batavia. The BP2 program will be implemented though PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) increment financing (PIF), referred to as the “BP2 fund,” the first of its kind in New York State where all local taxing jurisdictions are participating. B2P is supported by the redirection of 50 percent of new project PILOT payments.  

“This was a great opportunity to showcase what is really a unique economic development partnership that we hope other cities like Batavia could implement in partnership with their respective economic development agencies,” Molino said. “The Batavia Development Corporation is playing a key role in leading economic development efforts for the city and as a liaison with the GCEDC and others involved in this partnership.”

“The B2P initiative demonstrates the continued collaboration between the public and private sectors in Genesee County,” said Julie Pacatte, B2P economic coordinator. “It’s extraordinary that all levels of government in Genesee County recognize the importance and priority for the economic well-being of the city of Batavia. It’s a partnership that has already shown early returns.”

The first project to be supported by the B2P program is the $15 million redevelopment of the Ellicott Station site in Batavia. The development will include mixed-use residential, office and retail spaces; a brewery; small beverage warehouse and hops processing facility; entertainment and event area; outside seating; and integration of the new Ellicott Trail pedestrian pathway. The development is expected to create up to approximately 60 – 120 new jobs and approximately 120 jobs during construction. The developer is Savarino Companies in Buffalo.

 “The B2P will help our agency market and attract investment to the most economically distressed areas of the city,” Hyde said. “Through the Ellicott Station development, we have a tangible project to demonstrate the benefits of the B2P program to others interested in development opportunities in Batavia and Genesee County.”

To learn more about the City of Batavia’s Brownfield Opportunity Area, visit www.bataviaopportunity.com.

January 18, 2017 - 11:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
mug_kosiorek2017.jpg
     Andrew Kosiorek

A Batavia man with no permanent residence has been arrested in connection with a burglary this week of the Rancho Viejo restaurant at 12 Ellicott St., Batavia.

Andrew Kosiorek, 44, has been charged with burglary, 2nd.

Police allege that Kosiorek broke into the business twice in the early morning hours of Saturday.

No information has been released on what if anything was stolen.

Kosiorek was arraigned in City Court and jailed without bail.

The investigation was handled by Det. Thad Mart.

January 18, 2017 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

The death of Kyeongseop Woodhams, the South Korean man living in Batavia whose body was found in the water at DeWitt Recreational Area in September, has been ruled a suicide.

Batavia PD released the result of the Erie County Medical Examiner's report this morning and said given the nature of the death it would not be offering further information or commenting on the case.

January 18, 2017 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Holland Purchase Historical Society & Holland Land Office Museum are proud to announce the hiring of the new full-time Executive Director, Ryan Duffy, formerly of Eden, New York.

Ryan received his BA in History from St. Bonaventure University. He received a master's degree in History from Bowling Green University and a Master's Certificate in Museum Studies from SUNY Buffalo State College. His museum experience will advance the quality of the Holland Land Office’s exhibits, collection and programs.

While at Bowling Green, he was the assistant editor of The Northwest Ohio History Journal. Publications include, “Trouble Along The Border: U.S. & Mexican Relations In The Nineteenth Century.”

Duffy worked at The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Museum in Buffalo, was a tour guide at Canal Side for Buffalo History Tours, and has been a substitute teacher at Eden Junior High and Bishop Timon /St. Jude High School.

As a volunteer, Ryan organized the collections for the Eden Town Historian and the Eden Historical Society and served as a board member on the Town of Eden Historic Review Board. His other interests include studying the American Civil War and the Gilded Age.

The Board of Directors looks forward to Ryan’s leadership and expertise taking Genesee County’s history museum into the future. A Meet & Greet will be announced and HLOM members and the community will be invited to meet the new director.

January 18, 2017 - 8:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Oakfield.

Eric Keith Ricks, 38, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, driving on a suspended registration and driving without insurance. Ricks was stopped at 5:22 p.m. Jan. 11 on Swan Street, Batavia, by Officer Chad Richards. During the traffic stop, Ricks allegedly became confrontational with police and refused to obey verbal commands. He was then taken into custody without further incident.

Sadie D. Waala, 25, of Colonial Boulevard, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding and failure to yield right of way to an emergency vehicle. Waala was stopped at 2:25 a.m. Sunday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Dustin W. Bogue, 34, of Sunset Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with trespass, 2nd. Bogue is accused of refusing to leave a residence at 10:55 p.m., Sunday.

Timothy J. Wood Sr., 27, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wood allegedly struck another person during an argument reported at 5 p.m., Jan. 9.

Shane K. Borton, 44, of Chase Park, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Borton is accused of hitting another person during an argument, reported at 2:31 p.m., Friday.

James M. Spangler II, 40, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Spangler allegedly violated an order of protection by mailing a letter to the protected party.

Jonathan S. Cassidy, 45, of Highland Park, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear.

Rorbert L. Jordan, 70, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Jordan allegedly stole a King Size Reese's Cup from the Kwik Fill at 99 Jackson St. at 6:19 p.m., Jan. 1.

January 17, 2017 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Oakfield.

Adam L. Rumley, 26, of Batavia, is charged with aggravated DWI and multiple traffic violations. Rumley was stopped by State Police on the Thruway at 10:22 p.m., Sunday. He allegedly had a BAC of .22.

Linda Ann Martin, 64, of McKinley Avenue, Batavia, is charged with offering a false instrument for filing, 2nd. Martin is accused of claiming she did not make a bank transaction in August 2015.

Ryan James Emery, 19, of Main Street, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Emery was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for an equipment violation at 8:35 p.m., Saturday. He was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia by Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

January 16, 2017 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in aviation, pete zeliff, batavia, news.

File photo

UPDATED 8:50 p.m.

A plane owned by Zeliff Aviation skidded off a runway while trying to land at an airport in Livingston County, Mich., today and according to news reports from the area, the pilot suffered only minor injuries.

The pilot was Pete Zeliff, owner of p.w. minor and a member of the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors. Zeliff is avid about aviation and owns planes and a helicopter, which are located at the Genesee County Airport. He annually sponsors an aviation summer camp at the airport for young people.

According to patient information at the University of Michigan Hospital, Zeliff is undergoing treatment but has not been admitted. A source said he was being kept for observation but is OK.

According to reports, Zeliff was attempting to land a Cessna 525C Citation at Howell-Livingston County Airport just before noon. The plane was unable to stop on the runway and it crashed through a barrier and across a roadway. The wings were torn off and the fuselage came to rest upside down.

One of the witnesses and first on the scene was a local mayor, Nick Proctor, who said he talked with the pilot and was told Zeliff had not been alerted to icy conditions on the runway before attempting to land.

Zeliff is active in the community on several fronts and rescued p.w. minor from almost certain closure a couple of years ago. He's invested heavily in the company since, created dozens of new jobs, returned manufacturing from China, and is helping to get a new retail shoe store open downtown. He also developed a subdivision of homes on the east end of Town of Batavia off of Route 5 called Oakmont.

January 16, 2017 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Alabama, batavia, news, crime.

Jennifer Lynn Greck, 47, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Greck allegedly damaged a room door of a motel on West Main Street Road, Batavia, at 6:53 a.m. Saturday. The case was investigated by Deputy Jenna Ferrando.

Joshua Miguel Laureano, 26, of Cumberland Avenue, South Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving while on a mobile phone, aggravated unlicensed operation and unsafe tires. Laureano was stopped at 7:07 p.m. Saturday on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Hannah Marie Zuppa, 19, of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. Zuppa is accused of thefts from a location on Judge Road, Alabama.

January 16, 2017 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Zonta Club, Americorps, batavia, news.

mlkdayofservice2017.jpg

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, groups all over are engaging in MLK Day of Service activities, and in Batavia, Americorps and Zonta Club of Batavia came together in the Senior Center this morning to work on a couple of charitable projects.

Volunteers created birthing kits to be shipped to women in Africa and they created book bundles to give to needy children.

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