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September 30, 2016 - 3:00pm


The 8th Annual Musical Memories concert will be held on Saturday October 8th at The City Church, 210 East Main St. Batavia. Each year the St. Joe’s Brass Ensemble hosts this amazing night of music to benefit Crossroads House. Highlighting some of the region’s top instrumental musical talent, the Musical Memories evening is always one to remember. This year the St Joe’s Reunion Ensemble and The Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Drum Corps are celebrating 85 years of entertaining at local, regional and national venues. 

The City Church provides an acoustically stunning setting in the historic former Mancuso Theater. This year the show will be opened by The Batavia Jazz Ensemble. Other bands appearing will be The Hamburg Kingsman Drum Corps, Parkside Avenue Brass and The Hit Men along with The St Joe’s Reunion Ensemble and Alumni Drum Corps. The concert is always a night of great fun and wonderful entertainment. There will 50/50 and Mega Raffles as well so come on out and enjoy a great evening of entertainment for a great cause.
 
Doors open at 6:00 PM and the show starts promptly at 7:00. Advance sale tickets of $5.00 General seating and $10.00 Preferred seating can be purchased at TF Browns, Roxy’s Music Store, Valle Jewelers, The Prospector Restaurant in Attica and Crossroads House. Tickets can also be purchased securely online at https://dailynewstickets.com/e/crossroads-house-presents-musical-memories/tickets

Ticket holders will also get discounts at our ticket partners: Center Street Smoke House, T.F. Brown's, Main Street Pizza Company and Big Pauly’s Pizza. We’ll see you on the 8th!

September 30, 2016 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department has become aware of the reports of people reporting suspicious activity involving people allegedly dressed as clowns. These reports are similar to those other police departments in the area have received.

At this time the City Police have responded to a handful of such complaints and all have turned out to be false or unfounded. The Police Department is working closely with the City of Batavia School District in regards to reports that were made to the District. At this time there is no credible information that leads to any credible threat.

The public is asked, as always, to report any suspicious activity they may see or hear, but do not attempt to detain or interfere with anyone based on the way they are dressed or appear. The public is further reminded that making certain false allegations could be criminal in nature and all investigations into such events shall be taken seriously. 

September 29, 2016 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

One of the six Cuban nationals who operated out of Batavia and Lockport to run a massive credit card fraud operation was sentenced today to 12 months in federal prison for his part in the scam.

Yasser Carrillo Chartrand, 24, who previously pled guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, was also ordered to pay $13,786 in restitution. 

Previously convicted co-conspirators were Eduardo Hernandez Quinones, Claudia Diaz Diaz, Yaily Santurio Milian, Jose Valdivia Quinones and Misael Toledo Rios, all citizens of Cuba.

Chartrand and his cohorts acquired the credit card numbers of real people, including at least two Genesee County residents, from online databases of stolen data and by using card skimmers placed on gas station credit card readers. They then created new, authentic-looking credit cards, which they used in stores throughout the Western New York region.

Investigation of the case began with a complaint to State Police in Batavia of fraudulent credit card transactions. The case expanded from there to include law enforcement in other jurisdictions and federal investigators.

A home on Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road that was used as a base of operation by the group was raided in January 2015.

Previously: Group of Cubans running massive credit card fraud ring had base in Batavia

September 29, 2016 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, creepy clown, news.

Seen a creepy clown hanging around the City of Batavia? There have been reports...

"A neighborhood kid thought he saw a clown in a vacant lot," said Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence. "(Subsequently) A neighbor observed an open window in a residence on Central Avenue."

But the child did not actaully see anyone inside or entering the residence.

"Have there been any other reports of clowns in the city?" an officer asked Lawrence.

"There've been a couple, all unfounded," Lawrence replied.

September 29, 2016 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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This week, the Batavia High School Girls Tennis Team capped a nine-match winning streak with a Division IV championship, the team's third, and now enter sectional play as the #2 seed in Class B. They next play Wednesday, vs. Aquinas, #7 seed, at home.

September 28, 2016 - 8:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in ILGE, anger management, news, Announcements, batavia.

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) will be holding a series of FREE anger management workshops at its 113 Main St. office in Batavia, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning Oct. 11th. Those who attend will be shown practical steps: to learn to manage anger; to stop violence and the threat of violence; to develop self-control over thoughts and actions; and to receive support and feedback from others in the workshops.

Pre-registration by Oct. 4 is required!

This workshop will be co-facilitated by Debra McKnight and Jim Strollo who bring experience and perspective to the endeavor. McKnight is a New York State certified Peer Specialist who has a degree in Human Services and holds a Mental Health First Aid Certificate. She is trained to provide help to people experiencing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. Strollo has a master's degree in Psychology and is a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). He has conducted the Impaired Driver Program in Wyoming County for the past 26 years. Strollo is retired from the NYS Department of Corrections after a career of 25 years in counseling inmates. Together, they will create a welcoming and supportive environment.

Among the specific topics to be addressed are: an overview of group anger management treatment; a conceptual framework for understanding the events and cues that can produce anger; helping group members develop a plan for controlling anger; how to change the aggression dycle; the A-B-C-D model of cognitive restructuring and thought stopping; alternatives for expressing anger through assertiveness training and the conflict resolution model; how past learning can Influence present behavior in family situations; reinforcing learned concepts; graduation and the awarding of Certificates of Completion.

Independent Living serves people with disabilities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Participants must attend all 12 workshops to earn their certificates. You can receive more information, and sign up for the workshops, by contacting Jim Strollo at (585) 815-8501, ext. 410, or by email at [email protected].

September 28, 2016 - 8:36pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) will be holding a pair of focus groups on the concerns of LGBTQ individuals with disabilities.

Have your voice heard! This is a call for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) and living with a disability (i.e. physical, sensory, mental health, or co-occurring disability) to take part in a focus group and to be heard about current services, programs -- or lack of services -- to help define your needs as a person with a disability living in our communities.

Besides taking a step to have truly appropriate services considered, participants will receive a light meal on the day of the focus group. The first group will meet beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, for a maximum of two to three hours, at the ILGR office, 113 Main St., Suite 5, just west of Center Street, in Batavia. Materials will be offered in accessible formats, if needed.

Space is limited to 20 people and the first LGBTQ individuals to apply will participate. Please register soon! The second focus group will be scheduled subsequent to the first as need be.

For more information, and to sign up, call Donna Becker, at (858) 815-8501, ext. 114, or email [email protected] with the subject line of “Focus Group." Please RSVP by Oct. 14. We look forward to your feedback to help us learn the services you are receiving and/or need.

The Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies offers an expanding array of inclusive and affirming services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

September 28, 2016 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

Craig None McKenzie Jr., 19, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested at 9:15 p.m. on Sept. 27 after he was allegedly caught stealing from a department store on Veterans Memorial Drive. He was released on an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Batavia Court on Oct. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

Rahmel Hakeem Thompson, 18, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested at 9:15 p.m. on Sept. 27 after he was allegedly caught stealing from a department store on Veterans Memorial Drive. He was released on an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Batavia Court on Oct. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

September 28, 2016 - 3:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in GOP, Genesee County Republican Party, batavia, news.
Press release:
 
A “soft” opening of the Genesee County Republican Political Headquarters will occur at noon on Thursday, Sept. 29th, followed by an official “Grand Opening” at 10 a.m. on Saturday Oct. 1st. The headquarters is located at 440 Ellicott St. in Batavia, formerly FoxProwl comics and collectibles store at the corner of Ellicott and Otis streets.
 
Genesee County Republican Chairman Dick Siebert and the following invited guests are scheduled to be at the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on Saturday:
 
Mary Slisz -- State Supreme Court Justice 
Chris Collins -- U.S. Congressman
Michael Ranzenhofer -- New York State Senator
Steve Hawley -- New York Assemblyman
Scott German -- Genesee County Treasurer
William Sheron -- Genesee County Undersheriff
Charles Zambito -- Genesee County Court Judge
Don Coleman -- Genesee County Coroner
Karen Lang -- Genesee County Coroner
 
September 28, 2016 - 8:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A 400 Towers resident admitted in County Court yesterday that he placed a live cat in his apartment's oven and baked it to death.

If the case had gone to trial 42-year-old Darren Annovi could have faced a maximum sentence of two years in county jail, but with the plea deal his sentence will be capped at five years probation and six months in jail.

He will be sentenced Nov. 29.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said he believed there was strong evidence against Annovi and that is presumably why he agreed to plead guilty, but he wouldn't discuss any possible statements Annovi may have made and didn't know why Annovi killed the cat.

"I don't think there is any rational explanation for why (he did it)," Friedman said.

Wendy Castleman, with Volunteers for Animals, who assisted in the investigation by paying for the cat's autopsy, said outside of court that she thought Annovi should be barred from ever owning pets again.

Friedman said he recommended to her that she contact the probation department prior to Annovi's sentencing and suggest that as a sentencing option, but that any such prohibition of pet ownership could not extend beyond the term of Annovi's probation.

Typically, county jail sentences can't be longer than a year; otherwise. inmates are sent to a state prison, but the Ag and Market Law this case was prosecuted under allows for a two-year maximum county sentence.

Annovi is out on bail of $5,000 bail.

Our news partner, WBTA, provided information for this story.

September 27, 2016 - 3:00pm

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September 27, 2016 - 10:10am
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, crime.

Dylan L. Snyder, 18, of Exchange Street, Attica, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested on Sept. 26 following an investigation into a physical altercation which occurred at 5:20 p.m. Aug. 28 on Trumbull Parkway, Batavia. Snyder allegedly punched another individual. He was issued an appearance ticket for Oct. 4 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Cheryl M. Lyons, 50, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second degree harassment -- physical contact. At 4:45 a.m. on Sept. 24 she was arrested after allegedly shoving another family member during a domestic incident. She was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance and was due in court on Sept. 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Jorge Rodriquez Martinez, 33, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and trespass. He was arrested at 1:32 a.m. on Sept. 20 after allegedly stealing a 30-pack of beer from a convenience store on East Main Street, Batavia. This allegedly occurred after he had been told he was not allowed on the property. Martinez was issued an appearance ticket this afternoon in City Court. He was subsequently transported and turned over to Gates PD on an outstanding warrant in their jurisdiction. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Stephen John Turkasz, 26, of Brookhaven Lane, Lancaster, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested at 8 p.m. on Sept. 23 after a domestic incident in which he allegedly kicked and damaged a small fence. He was taken to jail for prints and photographs and then issued a computer-generated appearance ticket for City Court on Oct. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Patrick T. Vanbortle, 22, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear after an appearance ticket was issued. He was found hiding in his basement and arrested at 12:35 a.m. on Sept. 24 on a Batavia City Court arrest warrant for failure to appear after an appearance ticket was served upon him for a separate charge on Sept. 11. He was released on an appearance ticket per Judge Balbick via a phone call at 1:25 a.m. on Sept. 24. Vanbortle is scheduled to be in City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Richard E. Stafford, 75, of Orange Grove Drive, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested at 1:29 p.m. on Sept 23 on a bench warrant for failure to appear in court on a charge of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. He was released on his own recognizance and is due in City Court on Oct. 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

September 27, 2016 - 8:35am

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To help expand and extend what Batavia City schools can offer students, a group of community supporters have come together to form the Batavia City School District Foundation, a nonprofit that will raise money within the community to assist with scholarships, grants for innovative classroom initiatives, sports and recognition awards for those who help city schools.

The foundation held its kickoff event last night at Carter's Restaurant.

"In the Batavia City School District, we do a very good job with the budget and the funds we have," said Leslie Johnson, foundation chair. "The tax base is slightly sluggish, but does that impede our progress? Fortunately, no, but it limits where we can go with that as far as what is required and a few steps beyond. We would like to go further."

During opening remarks, Superintendent Chris Dailey said among the opportunities he envisions is the ability for teachers to come up with innovative ideas or discover pieces of equipment that might be useful in the classroom and then, outside of the normal budget cycle, apply for grants to try out those ideas. If they work, then perhaps they can be incorporated into the next budget.

"We want to be on the cutting edge, not the bleeding edge when it comes to innovation," Dailey said. 

With a 95-percent graduation rate and many creative programs and demonstrated success in academics, arts, and athletics, the district is already among the best in the region, Daily said. The foundation and community support can help make it one of the best in the nation, he said.

The foundation will also provide scholarships for students who want to further their education and provide recognition awards for those who provide exceptional aid to the district in fulfilling its mission.

The idea for the foundation started with School Board Chairman Pat Burk many years ago, and he suggested Johnson to Dailey as a champion of the idea. Johnson, Dailey said, turned out to be the perfect choice because she had the vision and the ability to see it through. Dailey said staff member Bobbi Norton was also instrumental in organizing the foundation.

Jim Owen, Batavia's most popular substitute teacher, pictured above with Johnson, was also recognized as one of the honorary chairs because of his early financial support of the foundation.

Johnson said the desire to create a philanthropic foundation for the school district has little to do with constraints on revenue by the property tax cap or any sense of revenue shortage, but a real desire to help fund the gap between how good the district is and how good it can be, and just offer more opportunities for students to grow, learn and achieve.

"We hope to appeal to people who are already spending money philanthropic dollars elsewhere, and we're saying, 'keep it at home where it can really make a difference for these kids,' " Johnson said.

September 26, 2016 - 8:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson Street, batavia, news.

There have been two loud explosive sounds in the area of Jackson Street, with reports putting it near Central Avenue or more to the south.

Dispatchers have received several calls with a dispatcher noting, "several callers said it didn't sound like gunshots, but they weren't sure what it was."

The calls are coming in from multiple streets in that area.

UPDATE 8:07 p.m.: It was fireworks. One of our neighbors actually saw the fireworks over some houses in the Central Avenue area.

September 26, 2016 - 11:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, elba, Oakfield, batavia, byron, Alabama, Alexander..

Somebody is stealing batteries from large trucks, buses, and heavy equipment and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office is looking for the public's help in identifying the culprit.

These are known as Type 31 batteries. They retail for as much as $300 and have resale and recycling value.

Investigators say the series of thefts seem confined to Genesee County, particularly in Elba, Oakfield, Batavia, Byron, Alabama and Alexander.

The Sheriff's Office has received more than a dozen complaints of such thefts, which occur overnight.

Anyone with information that may pertain to the case can call (585) 343-5000.

September 26, 2016 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in DIsabled American Veterans, chapin, batavia, business, news.

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Press release:

The ninth Annual Chapin Charity Golf Tournament was held on Aug. 13th at Terry Hills Golf Course with 204 golfers participating.  The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Transportation Group received $10,600 through funds raised from this year’s event.  The funds were raised with the support of businesses and individuals and have already been put to use as a down payment for a new vehicle for transporting disabled veterans to and from medical appointments.  

Next year’s event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 12. If anyone has any questions regarding the tournament or would like to recommend a deserving charity for next year please contact Norm Hubbard, tournament director 585-343-3140, ext. 3018, or email  [email protected], or contact Laurie Shepland, VP Human Resources 585-3140, ext. 3082 or email [email protected].

Statement from DAV:

DAV Chapter 166 is absolutely thankful to Chapin International for being chosen as the recipient of proceeds from the ninth Annual Chapin Charity Golf Tournament. Special thanks go to Jim Campbell, Chapin CEO, Laurie Shepland, Chapin VP Human Resources, and to Norm Hubbard, as tournament director. Norm's tireless efforts made the tournament an absolute success. 

The DAV, comprised of volunteers, transports veterans from their homes in Genesee and Wyoming counties, to medical appointments at the VA facilities in Batavia and Buffalo. DAV Chapter 166 is totally responsible for obtaining donated funds, which in turn are used to purchase their vehicles for veteran transport.

Without our volunteer service, hundreds of veterans would be unable to get to their medical appointments.  The veterans we transport range in age from the mid-20s (Iraq and Afghanistan) to 96 years old (WWII). We at DAV Chapter 166 are so proud of our veterans, and to the service that they gave to our country.

Any questions and/or donations for the DAV Chapter 166 Van Fund can be directed to Doug Titus, Hospital Service coordinator, 222 Richmond Ave., Batavia NY 14020, or call at (585) 297-1170.

September 25, 2016 - 10:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, batavia, Batavia Downs, news.

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Several hundred people were at Batavia Downs on Saturday night for the Batavia Rotary Club's annual Octoberfest.

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September 24, 2016 - 6:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

A caller complains to dispatch that two pickup trucks -- a white one and a red one -- are doing donuts in the parking lot and ball fields at Batavia High School and, subsequently, at a nearby elementary school. City Police are responding.

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