Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors

batavia

February 7, 2016 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A caller believes as many as eight people are trying to break into her residence on Dellinger Avenue.

She reports at least some of them having baseball bats.

Batavia PD just arrived on scene.

A deputy reports some sort of "commotion" on the Walnut Street bridge.

A suspect may have left in a gold van.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: Police are searching for a suspect.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: A second suspect is described as a Jamaican and wearing a red t-shirt.

February 7, 2016 - 3:00pm

The 20th Annual Betty Ellison Memorial “Strike Out” for Crossroads House Bowling Tournament will kick off Friday night, February 12th at 6:00 pm at the Mancuso Bowling Center. Rick Mancuso and Mike Sputore teamed up with organizers Cindy and Tara Lowder to make this the biggest tournament yet. This year we are offering an extra Friday night shift, live bands, more raffle prizes and as always at Mancuso’s, a top notch bowling experience. 

The Betty Ellison Memorial Tournament is the oldest running annual fundraiser for Crossroads House. The first two tournaments took place before the house opened it's doors in 1998 and was instrumental in funding the launch of this area’s only 24 hour Comfort Care Home for the dying. 

Shifts are available: Friday February 12th at 6:00 pm Friday, February 19th at 6:00 pm Saturday, February 20th at 3:00 pm & 6:00 pm
Sunday, February 21st at 1:00 pm

5 person teams are $100. Registration forms are available at Crossroads House: 11 Liberty St., Mancuso Bowling Center: 214 E. Main St. or online at www.crossroadshouse.com where you can pay securely with PayPal.

In addition to the bowling will be live bands at T.F. Browns. On Friday night February 12th, M.A.C. will perform at T.F. Browns starting at 10:00pm and the following Friday the 19th, Savage Cabbage will play. Both bands will be available for a $2.00 cover charge with proceeds going to Crossroads House.

Sign up to bowl or just come out on either Friday night for great music, drinks and food.
For more information call Cindy (585) 993‐0584 or Tara (585) 409‐0136

February 5, 2016 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, batavia, crime.
mug_danielkuczka16.jpg
     Daniel Kuczka

A 73-year-old man faces criminal charges following an incident during student mass at St. Joe's this morning, after the man allegedly took a student by his arm who was in line for Holy Communion and led him through it and then back to his seat in a pew.

Police did not indicate what the man's motivation might have been or what statements he may have made while inside the church, but said the man has no prior relationship with the church nor the student involved in the incident.

Daniel S. Kuczka, 73, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal trespass, 3rd.

According to police, Kuczka entered the church during a private Mass for students of St. Joe's and Notre Dame. He made "inappropriate" comments to staff and was asked to leave.

During Communion, Kuczka reportedly returned to the Mass and grabbed a juvenile who was in line, saying, "Come with me."

Police were called and when patrols arrived, Kuczka was taken into custody without incident.

Police say that investigators found there was no attempt by Kuczka to remove the student from the service.

February 5, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, batavia, business.

dandebwbta75.jpg

Submitted story:

WBTA Radio, Genesee County's only locally owned commercial radio station, marks its 75th year of broadcasting this Saturday.

The station went on the air at 7 a.m.,  Thursday, Feb 6, 1941. It has been licensed as WBTA since its inception.

The first voice on the air was that of the “genial” Jerry Flynn who opened the program, “Rise and Shine,” according to an article published in the Daily News. Flynn became better known later as a sports announcer. The station's studios and offices were located on the second floor of 90 Main St. in Batavia where they remained until 1957.

WBTA studios moved several times over the years. Its next location was 22 Seaver Place, now the JCPenney store's loading dock. For several years the station occupied the second floor and later the first floor of 413 Main St. at the corner of Harvester Avenue. The station moved to 113 Main St. in 2004 when it was purchased by its present owner, HPL Communications, Inc., owned by Daniel and Debrah Fischer.

As the studios and offices moved, the station's transmission and tower site has remained on Creek Road in the Town of Batavia. In the early years, an engineer was required to be at the transmission site whenever the station was on the air. Technical improvements in the late 1950s allowed the station to be remote controlled from the studio.

The station was originally owned by three Batavia residents: Joseph Ryan, of Union Street; Edward P. Atwitter, of East Main Street and Edmund R. Gamble, of Vernon Avenue. Gamble also served as the general manager.

After the outbreak of World War II, several members of the station's staff left for military service including Gamble.

The next local owner of WBTA was William F. Brown. Brown was best known for his regular editorials on local issues. He won 16 Best Editorial awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association.

Brown expanded the station's news coverage, which was apparent in the 1971 coverage of the Attica Prison Revolt.

In February 2004, the Fischers' formed HPL Communications, purchased WBTA and moved to Genesee County.

New digital studios were built and WBTA moved to its present location at the corner of Main and Center streets, which became the name of the station's morning talk show, “Main & Center.”

From 1977 to 2000, WBTA operated an FM station that was licensed to Attica, NY. The station was sold and became WLOF, which beams Catholic programming into the Buffalo area.

Under HPL, the station launched another FM station in 2014. It is licensed under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) translator rules and allows WBTA to broadcast in stereo at 100.1 Mhz. The station also streams 100 percent of its programming on the Internet at WBTAi.com and via mobile devices with custom apps for Android and iPhone systems.

“We are proud of WBTA's legacy of service to Batavia and Genesee County,” Fischer said. "As a licensee of a broadcast station, we pledge to the FCC to 'serve the public interest, convenience and necessity as a public trustee.' ”

WBTA is known in the industry as a “heritage” station, Fischer added, “our listeners have grown up with us.” Over the years we have reported individual milestones: births, anniversaries and obituaries. In times of war, the station has reported on service of local men and women in uniform.

The station has broadcast hundreds of local sporting events and have followed area high school teams to regional and state championships. WBTA has been the broadcast voice of Batavia's professional baseball team, the Muckdogs.

Through affiliations with national news organizations such as ABC Radio, WBTA has provided coverage of the most notable events of the 20th and 21st centuries including the Pearl Harbor attack, the assassinations of the 1960s, wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, the manned moon landing and the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Radio broadcasting has certainly undergone significant changes over the past 75 years and will continue to change and evolve over the next 75 years,” Fischer said, “but I believe its basic commitment to serving the public interest will never change.”

Photo by Howard Owens. Pictured, Dan and Debbie Fischer.

February 5, 2016 - 3:00pm

Our biggest sale of the year - 50-75% OFF - 4 Hours Only! Suits, sportcoats, slacks, shirts, ties, hats, caps, scarves, gloves, outerwear & more! 

February 5, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union, crime, batavia, business.

Press release:

Attention Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union Members: We have been made aware this morning, Friday, Feb. 5, that an automated call is being made to members and non-members saying that TVFCU needs their card information. This is a scam and you should hang up the phone immediately.

Please do not enter any information during these phone calls! TVFCU will never call and ask for your card number or any other private information. 

If you have given your card information during the phone call and you are a TVFCU member please call us at (585) 343-5627.  

If you are a non-TVFCU member please contact your own financial institution. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Officials at the Le Roy Federal Credit Union contacted us to report many of their members are reporting the same scam. "We've been getting many calls and walk-ins from members stating that they have been receiving these calls as well. We also advise to NEVER give out card/account numbers over the phone. If they have questions, they may call us at (585) 768-7207," says Kimberly Antinore, Member Services, Le Roy Federal Credit Union.

February 5, 2016 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

CIty fire and Mercy EMS are dispatched to Oak Street and North Lyon for a woman in labor reportedly delivering a baby.

UPDATE 10:07 a.m.: A police officer on scene reports the baby has been delivered.

UPDATE 10:15 a.m.: "ER go ahead." "In route with a mother and baby -- delivered in the field -- baby's fine, mom's fine. We'll see you in 10." "You're clear."

UPDATE 10:27a.m.: Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack said the baby's father made the delivery prior to his arrival on scene. They are all at UMMC now.

February 4, 2016 - 6:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, washington avenue sewer.

The City will host an informational meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, regarding the planned sewer reconstruction on Washington Avenue.

The project will go from Jefferson to Ross Street and include a small section on State Street north of Lewis Place. The project is scheduled for this summer and will replace the sewer line and include replacement of some water services. 

The "open house" meeting will be held in the Council Boardroom on the second floor at Batavia City Hall.

City staff will be available to review plans, discuss the project, listen to concerns and answer any questions you may have.

February 4, 2016 - 6:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Summit Street, batavia, public works, tree removal.

Press release from Matt Worth, director of the City's Department of Public Works:

The City has begun tree removal work on Summit Street in advance of the reconstruction project to be completed this summer.

This work will result in the removal of approximately 30 tree on Summit Street, which need to be removed as they conflict with new utilities, sidewalks or curb lines to be installed, or they are in a deteriorated condition.

This work may result in some short-term delays to the traveling public on Summit Street until the removals are complete, which is expected to take a couple of weeks.

The reconstruction of Summit Street includes the installation of approximately 60 new trees as part of the landscaping work to be completed as part of this project.

February 4, 2016 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pathway to prosperity, business, bdc, GCEDC.

A plan hatched by the City, the Batavia Development Corp. and the Genesee County Economic Development Center to redirect some money generated by economic development into brownfield area cleanup received the support Wednesday of the county's Ways and Means Committee.

The committee approval means the proposal will be voted on by the full County Legislature at its next meeting.

The plan, unique in the state, called Batavia Pathway to Prosperity, will create a fund from PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) payments that can be used for environmental clean up on properties within the city's brownfield opportunity area, a 366-acre designation covering the city's core.

A PILOT provides a business undertaking local economic development (creating jobs, increasing the tax base, adding to local economic growth) with a break in taxes for the increase in assessed value on the property being developed. Typically, if a business puts a new building on vacant land or adds onto an existing building, the assessed value of the property will increase, which means higher property taxes paid to the city (town or village), school district and county. A PILOT reduces those taxes in exchange for payments to the taxing jurisdictions. The payments could be in the range of 70 percent of what the increase in taxes would have been without the PILOT. The property owner still pays 100 percent of the taxes on the original assessed value. PILOTs typically run for 10 years on a graduated scale, with property taxes due increasing every two years over the life of the PILOT.

The new program would redirect half of the PILOT payments from projects in the city to an investment fund (a PIF) that would be available to property owners in the future who wish to redevelopment brownfield properties and need assistance with the environmental cleanup.

"This creates a fund that gives the BDC and the EDC working together and providing collective oversight the opportunity to look at broad range investment opportunities," said Steve Hyde, CEO of the GCEDC. "(The projects) still have to be for the public good, but (the property owner) can turn around and maybe do some creative financing type of things to really move some property and get them redeveloped and start to heal the poverty and blight down in our core."

Marianne Clattenberg, now a legislator but a former City Council president, said the city has needed something like this for a long time, but had other problems to solve first before something forward-looking could be brought to the table.

"We knew going in we could never do this by ourselves, that we needed partners and we needed to have everybody on board and engaged to bring the city back to where it needs to be," Clattenberg said. 

County Manager Jay Gsell said a program like this could spark a renaissance in the city.

"The need is unique and this is the kind of structural financing that gives the adroitness necessary to having this kind of money available," Gsell said.

The committee also approved a city plan to provide tax relief on so-called zombie properties. The program would provide a PILOT-like tax abatement on the increase in assessed value of a home that is currently vacant and has been vacant for some time that a person buys, renovates and then lives in. While the abatement isn't available to an investor who buys a zombie house, fixes it up and then rents it out, the abatement could be available to the next owner if that same investor fixes it up and then sells it to an owner-occupant. 

There are 50 to 60 such zombie properties in the city, not all of which can be saved, but some retain some value and could be renovated. The property must be single family, or converted to a single-family residence.

Hyde said the two programs together are the sort of thing that can spur economic development in the city's core and attract the Millennials who will be taking jobs at STAMP (Alabama's Science and Technology Manufacturing Park) to the city.

February 4, 2016 - 12:00pm

Genesee County real estate investor meeting to be held at the Clarion Hotel on Park Road in Batavia on Thursday, Feb. 11th. Networking begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by an hour-long informational class at 7 p.m. The class topics will include: "how to analyze properties for real estate investing" and "the five R's of real estate investing." This class is geared toward current or potential landlords and real estate investors, or anyone in the real estate field looking to network. For more information or questions, please call 585-576-5618.

February 4, 2016 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, business, batavia.

Renovation work on the future home of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau could begin in early spring, said Chamber President Tom Turnbull.

The chamber completed the purchase of the property at 8276 Park Road, Batavia, on Friday.

A request for construction bids on the project should go out in the next couple of weeks.

The chamber anticipates spending $900,000 on the project, which involves totally renovating and reconfiguring the building into office and meeting space suitable to the needs of the chamber and tourism bureau.

The location was selected in a large part because of its proximity to the Batavia exit for the Thruway and the concentration of hotels in the area.

The chamber purchased the building for $275,000.

The cost will be reduced a bit because of significant donation to the project by U.S. Gypsum.

Ray Dunlevy, a Gypsum executive in Oakfield and a member of the Chamber's board, came forward and said Gypsum would donate all of the drywall for renovation.

Nearly every current wall will come down inside the building, and new walls will go up, so it's a significant contribution to the project.

Turnbull really doesn't know the exact value of the donation. He said maybe $4,000 to $6,000.

"Everyone I talk to, and I'm not a contractor, says, 'that's worth thousands of dollars,' " Turnbull said.

The project's architect, Ed Smart, has been in touch with the general manager for Gypsum in Oakfield, Jim Perry, and Turnbull said Perry's message to Smart was, "Just tell us what you need."

The drywall is manufactured in Aliquippa, Pa.

Turnbull said nobody asked Gypsum for a donation. Dunlevy spoke up at a meeting and made the offer.

"It shows what a good community partner they are, just stepping up," Turnbull said. "They volunteered it and it's wonderful. It's going to help the project quite a bit."

File photo.

February 4, 2016 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia.

Jackie Ann Duepenngieser, 32, of Page Road, Perry, is charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, driving without an ignition interlock device, unregistered motor vehicle and unlicensed operator. Duepenngieser was stopped at 6:23 p.m. Wednesday on Griswold Circle, Le Roy, by Deputy Michael Lute. Duepenngieser was allegedly found in possession of a scheduled nartocitc that was not prescribed to her along with a quantity of cocaine and heroin. Duepenngieser was jailed on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond.

James Russell Kosiorek, 23, of Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Kosiorek allegedly stole a DVD player from Kmart.

February 3, 2016 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, annual recognition awards.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is currently seeking nominations for the following annual recognition awards:

  • Community Volunteer of the Year
  • Homeowner of the Year
  • Business of the Year

These recognition awards will be presented by City Council at a future City Council Business Meeting.

Nomination forms are available on the City Web site: www.batavianewyork.com under the home page of the Web site or they can be picked up at the City Manager’s Office or requested by phone at (585) 345-6333.

Nominations will be accepted through March 1. Please submit your nominations to Lisa Casey by e-mail at [email protected], by fax (585) 343-8182 or by mailing at the address below.

If there are any questions, please contact:

Office of the City Manager

One Batavia City Centre

Batavia, New York 14020

Phone: (585) 345-6330

Fax: (585) 343-8182 

February 3, 2016 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, fashion show, batavia.

Press release:

Community members of all ages should save the date for Genesee Community College's 35th Annual Fashion Show scheduled for Saturday, April 30. This year's show is entitled "Fashion Is..." and will represent an edgy, reinvented program that features the work, energy and creative endeavors of students in both the Fashion Merchandising Management and the Fashion Design programs at GCC.

The theme, "Fashion Is..." gives students the opportunity to not only express their creativity and own personal styles, but touches on how fashion influences every aspect of our culture -- from clothing designs released on Parisian runways to the latest cars unveiled in Detroit, from today's thematic weddings to presidential campaigns.

GCC students want the people of Western New York to appreciate the significant role fashion plays in our culture and its multibillion dollar impact on business throughout the world. A short slide show video created by GCC sophomore Lauren Countryman illustrates the opportunities and ideas and the endless possibilities of today's fashion industry.

"Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It is movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we'd like to be," according to the character Blair Waldorf, from "Gossip Girl."

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the program, the event continues to offer two complete shows scheduled on April 30 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the William W. Stuart Forum of GCC's Batavia Campus. Tickets for the show are available for $5 in advance or $7 at the door and can be purchased by calling 585-345-6830. Advance tickets are strongly recommended.

Sponsors for the production are currently being solicited and accepted. Business donations of $10 or personal donations of $5 are available. To extend appreciation, the business or personal name will be included in the souvenir program and the fashion show's Web site. If writing a check please make checks payable to GCCA. To schedule a time for pick up or to make special arrangements for your donation, please contact Cheryl Young, 585-345-6830.

February 3, 2016 - 3:00pm

Our biggest sale of the year - 50-75% OFF - 4 Hours Only! Suits, sportcoats, slacks, shirts, ties, hats, caps, scarves, gloves, outerwear & more! 

February 3, 2016 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pathway to prosperity, batavia, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

Officials from the City of Batavia and the Batavia Development Corporation will make a presentation to the Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) at the agency’s Feb. 4 board meeting. The GCEDC Board of Directors is considering entering into an inter-municipal agreement to assist with the funding of new development projects in the City of Batavia.

The presentation will include an overview of the “Batavia Pathway to Prosperity” (B2P) program and its role in leveraging economic development activity through a PILOT increment financing (PIF) initiative; strategies for redeveloping the Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) sites; attracting new employers and jobs; increasing property values; and, exploring key market opportunities in the City of Batavia.

In addition to the presentation, the board will consider the acceptance of an application to set a public hearing for Darien Lake Theme Park Resort’s 2016 Tourism Destination Project. Darien Lake’s new project includes a six-flume waterslide and a new roller coaster train.

The total request for incentives for the Darien Lake project is $189,200 in sales tax exemptions for the construction and equipping of the new rides and enhancements. The total capital investment for both park projects is approximately $2.8 million.

The GCEDC board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

February 3, 2016 - 8:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Oakfield, Stafford.

Bruce K. Ames, 49, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing, 3rd, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal solicitation and coercion, 1st. Ames was arrested as a result of an investigation into an incident reported at 3:05 a.m. Jan. 24 at 122 Bank St., Batavia. Police report, "A New York SAFE Act compliant rifle was found and held as a result of the investigation." Ames was ordered held without bail.

UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION: We've pulled the court documents on this case and spoke with police. While the original press release states Ames was arrested on a weapons charge and has this reference to the SAFE Act, the SAFE Act is entirely irrelevant to the case. The weapons charge comes from allegedly possessing a weapon with the intent to use it to cause death or injury. Ames allegedly threatened to fire his rifle through the floor of an apartment if his neighbor didn't come up, and kill him. That allegation is the basis of the solicitation, menacing and coercion charges. Ames reportedly possessed a Stag Arms 5.56-MM rifle, and though he claimed to have a 12-round magazine, there was no SAFE Act violation found.

Ryan M. Warner, 38, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Warner allegedly stole several boxes of Crest White Strips from the CVS on West Main Street. Warner was jailed on $2,000 bail or $4,000 bond.

Jacqueline Raj Garrett, 36, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to complete community service. Garrett was sentenced for aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Garrett was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Hector L. Gomez, 19, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with obstructed view, criminal possession of marijuana, 4th, and two counts of criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. During a traffic stop on Liberty Street, Batavia, officers reported detecting the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The stop was at 4:43 p.m. Thursday by Officer Chad Richards. Gomez allegedly had marijuana in several different containers in the vehicle.

Jerell J. Jones Sr., 27, of Watson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd. Jones is accused of using a knife during an altercation at 1:15 a.m. Oct. 11 at a location on East Main Street, Batavia. Jones was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Lamar I. Randall, 30, of South Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with false personation, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, driving without ignition interlock, unlicensed operator, failure to stop at stop sign. Randall was stopped at 1:47 a.m. Saturday on Garfield Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk. Randall was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Eric John Polle, 45, of Meadow Farms South, North Chili, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd. Polle was allegedly involved in an incident where he physically harassed another male at a location on Maple Avenue, Oakfield, at 4:18 p.m. on Jan. 27. Children were allegedly present at the time. He was jailed on $500 bail or $1,000 bond.

Douglas James Hanley, 25, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Hanley was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

February 3, 2016 - 7:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Liberty Street, batavia.

City fire is dispatched to a report of wires arcing on Liberty Street near Cherry Street, Batavia.

The power lines are attached to a house.

UPDATE 7:55 a.m.: City fire reports arcing prior to their arrival. "Everything is OK right now." National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 8:05 a.m.: National Grid on scene. 

Pages

Calendar

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

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

blue button