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January 15, 2016 - 11:07am

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) at its Jan. 14 board meeting authorized the transfer of a PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) agreement to Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) as a result of the sale of the former Muller Quaker Dairy plant in Batavia. The PILOT agreement will be in effect for the remainder of 2016.

A key provision of the PILOT that will be transferred to DFA is a $300,000 payment from DFA for water and waste water/sewer infrastructure sustainability to the town of Batavia and the assumption of fire district fees.

“We are extremely pleased that Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to purchase the manufacturing facility in the Genesee Agri-Business Park,” said Paul Battaglia, chairman of the Board of Directors of the GCEDC. “I think it shows that DFA is a company with a great deal of integrity as well as a commitment to our community.”

“This is another great example of how all of our public and private partners in the economic growth and sustainability model we embraced over the last 10 years continue to excel in making sure our taxpayers and water/sewer customers are well served and able to rely on stable rates in the face of unpredictable events,” said Gregory H. Post, supervisor of the Town of Batavia.

“The efforts made on behalf of the Town of Batavia and the region by Steve Hyde and the staff at GCEDC and the extraordinary investment in our Town by DFA during the transfer of PILOT agreement allow us to continue to offer and provide the infrastructure and support necessary to efficiently serve our community’s ever growing needs. We stand ready, willing and able to assist the new owners and offer thanks to all involved in this negotiation.”

It is expected that within the next few months that DFA will present its plans for operating the manufacturing facility and submit its own application for assistance at the appropriate time.

“We expect many, if not all of the jobs lost from the plant’s closure last month to be restored, but that is going to take some time as DFA prepares its plans,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO, GCEDC. “We remain committed to assisting the DFA in this transition to ensure the plant will continue operations as one of the region’s largest agricultural food production facilities, as well as serve as a major economic driver in the region.”

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by more than 14,000 members on more than 8,000 farms in 48 states. DFA is also one of the county’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products.

January 15, 2016 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, business.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department has received multiple complaints of fraudulent posts on social media (Craigslist, Facebook, and other similar Web sites) claiming to be John Gerace, a realtor of RealityUSA with property “for rent.” The postings are requesting a $700 deposit in exchange for keys to the residence. The only contact information on the postings is for [email protected].

The Batavia Police Department with the assistance of John Gerace, would like to remind the community not to give money upfront for a rental apartment without first walking through the apartment and signing a lease agreement. This is a reoccurring issue. If you feel have been part of this scam please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 to report the incident.

Previously: Real estate agent turns the tables on craigslist scammer

January 14, 2016 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC, business, batavia.

Press release:

Genesee ARC is moving ahead with plans to close down one section of its recycling operation and work with individuals employed there to find new positions.

The change affects the sorting line at the recycling center where as many as 14 people work each week. In the restructuring, the individuals with disabilities employed at the transfer station, on the trash and recycling routes, redemption center and Genesee Data Management will maintain their jobs.

“We will still be picking up recyclables from our curbside trash customers and accepting them at our transfer station,” Executive Director Donna Saskowski said.

Cardboard will still be sorted and bundled at the plant but all other recyclable materials will be collected and shipped to larger facilities with automated sorting.

“The cost of operating the line has increased over time and the prices we were able to secure for the baled recyclables have decreased considerably over the past 18 months, resulting in an untenable financial situation,” the director said.

Key employment services staff will be working with the individuals to assist them with job placement through the NYS Office of People with Developmental Disabilities and Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR). A job at ARC’s Sheltered Work Center on Walnut Street is not an option due to State regulations, effective July 2014, prohibiting the acceptance of any new (or returning) work center placements.

Genesee ARC was the sole trash and recycling contractor for residents of the City of Batavia, from 1983 to 2013. The nonprofit began offering private trash collection and recycling services after a decision by city council to opt out of the trash business altogether, leaving residents to find their own local provider. This created its own set of challenges as Genesee ARC for the first time had to develop pricing, options and an entire new system to bill for the services. And, while a few new providers sprang up overnight, Genesee ARC has a majority of City of Batavia residents as its customer base for curbside trash and recycling. A large percentage of city residents also take advantage Genesee ARC’s transfer station services.

“This was a very tough decision for our leadership and Board of Directors,” Saskowski shared.  “We will do everything we can to help secure new job placements – this is a priority.”

January 13, 2016 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, John Gerace.

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It's hard to find good houses for rent in Batavia and John Gerace, a local real estate agent, believes some guy in Nigeria found a nice little scam for himself to take advantage of that fact.

Since Gerace, in a manner of speaking, was a target of the scam, he decided to have a little fun last week at the scammer's expense. 

He posed as a prospective renter and went so far as to con the guy into thinking he sent him $700 via Western Union.

The scammer has been using Gerace's name with his fake rental listings on craigslist, and Gerace made no attempt to hide his identity in his e-mails, phone message or text messages.  

Still, the scammer persisted until he caught onto the ruse, then cut off communication with a Nigerian profanity and ditched his burner phone.

"They wouldn't be doing this if people weren't sending them money," Gerace sad.

Sadly, people probably are sending fake rental agents money, though Gerace has no direct knowledge of that happening, and law enforcement is largely powerless to do anything about it.  

It's one of the dangers of free online classifieds. It's easy for anybody to post anything, though craigslist does warn people not to wire money for housing rentals.

The Nigerian has been using Gerace's listings, all houses that are actually for sale, not for rent, as rental posts on craigslist. The scammer lifts the photos, property description and address out of the for-sale listing and posts them to craigslist. To help further entice the fish, he makes it sound like a great opportunity -- a below-market-value rent of $700, including utilities and pets are allowed.

The act was pretty sophisticated, too. The Nigerian e-mailed prospective renters an application and told a woeful tale of why he and his family needed to rent their beloved house in Batavia.

"I decided to rent out the property due to our transfer to (Black Creek, WI) on a Missionary Work by my church here, so we are renting it out since we need someone to take good care of the property on our absent," the Nigerian writes. "Don't be surprise if you find the home with another site and deference price, I have plan to rent it through Real estate before, but they are not serious simply because they have a lot of house to lease out and they added some money to the rent while there commission is not fair."

When Gerace posed as a potential renter, he told an even sadder tale to the Nigerian.

"I am very excited about the home you have for rent in Batavia located at 18 Oak St.," Gerace sent in a text message. "I have been looking for 3 months for a place for me and my 2 disabled children. My wife was killed in an auto accident when we were driving on the thruway and my 2 children were seriously injured and now need specialized treatments which can only be done here in Batavia by a very close medical center. This home is in a perfect location for us to seek treatments. I am a minister at our local church and I work 2 other jobs to pay all my bills. I am very clean and would take very good care of your home."

Gerace was incredulous that the Nigerian responded and continued with the scam.

So when an agreement was reached, Gerace told the man he sent, as instructed, the $700 via Western Union. He provided a fake transfer ID number. Over the next several hours, the man apparently made several trips to the Western Union office, exchanging messages about the missing money with Gerace along the way, before he realized he himself had been scammed.

The final message from the Nigerian was two words. Gerace translated it. It wasn't nice.

Throughout this ongoing scam, Gerace has been contacted by people who have seen the listings and either didn't realize they were fake or weren't quite sure.  

One home buyer -- Gerace represented the seller, not the buyer -- flew off the handle when his wife found the house they were purchasing for $225,000 in a craigslist listing under Gerace's name.

"He f-bombed me," Gerace said. "What are you doing trying to rent our place when we have an accepted purchase offer!"

Gerace explained it was a scam.

" 'Come on,' " he said, " '$700 a month on a 2,500-square-foot home, including utilities?' I said, "If it sounds too good to be true, it's too good to be true."

Gerace wanted to share his story in the off chance people might read it and get that message.

If it sounds too good to be true, it's too good to be true.

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January 13, 2016 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Basom, Alabama, batavia, Pavilion.

Terrance D. Bauer, 54, of Church Street, Basom, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. The Local Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Bauer's residence and allegedly found cocaine and marijuana and various smoking devices and scales. Bauer was issued an appearance ticket.

Elizabeth Michelle Grattan, 26, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Grattan is accused of shoplifting from Kohl's Department Store, allegedly stealing merchandise valued at $99. Grattan was jailed on $1,000 bail.

A 16-year-old from Pavilion is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. The youth was allegedly involved in an altercation at Pavilion Central School, punching another person in the face, resulting in minor injuries and a broken phone.

January 13, 2016 - 10:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia.

A 78-year-old Le Roy resident has been issued traffic citations stemming from a pedestrian accident Saturday night that claimed the life of a Batavia resident at Main and Bank streets.

Robert Christner was cited for failure to yield right-of-way to a blind or visually impaired person in a crosswalk and expired NYS inspection.

While the investigation is continuing, police investigators have concluded that Joseph Ogozaly, 58, who was legally blind, was crossing Main Street northbound on the west side of Bank Street with the light and had the right of way when he was allegedly struck by Christner's black pickup truck.

Christner was on Main Street, westbound, and was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

January 12, 2016 - 3:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in gymnastics, sports, Le Roy, batavia, byron, pembroke, Oakfield.

Submitted photo and press release:

The MCA Gymnastics competitive team, the Brockport Junior Eagles, competed at the 21st Annual Winter Graffiti Meet in Niagara Falls on Jan. 9th and 10th. There were 325 gymnasts that competed at this meet and many were from Genesee County. This was the third meet of the season and the girls are off to a great start.

The Level 3 gymnasts placed 2nd as a team and had several top finishers. In the child age 9 division, Genna Klein, of Oakfield, placed 6th on Vault, 1st on bars with a 9.25, 2nd on beam with a 9.025, 2nd on floor with a 9.475 and 1st all around with a 36.85.

In the level 3 senior division, Haylie Leitten, of Alexander, placed 3rd on vault with a 9.25, 2nd on bars with a 9.20, 1st on beam with a 9.425, 1st on floor with a 9.8 and 1st all around with a 37.675. Anna Logsdon, of Le Roy, placed 2nd on vault with a 9.4, 1st on bars with a 9.375, 7th on beam, 7th on floor, and 3rd all around with 36.625. Robin Scroger, of Batavia, placed 6th on vault, 7th on bars, 3rd on beam with a 9.0, 3rd on floor with a 9.45 and 4th all around with a 36.175. Abrianna Gabriel, of Batavia, placed 9th on vault, 5th on bars, 6th on beam, 5th on floor and 6th all around with a 35.825. Elizabeth Sorensen, of Le Roy, placed 4th on beam, 8th on floor and 7th all around with a 35.425.

The Level 4 gymnasts placed 2nd as a team and also had several top finishers. In the child ages 6-9 division, Victoria Rogoyski, of Churchville, placed 5th on vault, 6th on bars, 9th on beam, 9th on floor and 8th all around with a 33.55.

In the Level 4 child age 10 division, Kassidy Tully, of Brockport, placed 4th on vault, 1st on bars with a 9.425, 3rd on beam with a 9.225, 1st on floor with a 9.45 and 1st all around with a 36.55. Sydney Konieczny, of Batavia, placed 9th on vault, 3rd on bars with 8.4, 5th on beam, 4th on floor and 5th all around with a 34.45.

In the level 4 Junior/Senior 11 and up age division Alexis Potter, of Brockport, placed 8th on vault, 4th on bars, 4th on beam, 1st on floor with a 9.2 and 3rd all around with a 35.55. Cameron Parker, of Pembroke, placed 15th all around.

Level 6 gymnasts Carli Kirkwood, of Byron, placed 10th on bars and Autumn Mathisen, of Byron, placed 9th on beam. Level 7 gymnast Sara Cottone, of Le Roy, placed 6th on vault, 2nd on bars with a 9.075, 10th on beam, 8th on floor and 8th all around with 35.725.

January 12, 2016 - 1:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, Centennial Park.

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It's cleared now, but about a half hour ago, Batavia got hit by a snow squall that reduced visibility. It was hard to see even more than a few trees deep into Centennial Park.

Forecasts show another band or two of lake effect snow heading our way this afternoon. The National Weather Service is Buffalo has a lake effect snow advisory in place until 10 p.m.

January 12, 2016 - 10:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Funeral arrangments have been announced for Joseph Ogozaly Jr., 58, of Batavia, who was struck and killed by a pickup truck Saturday night on Main Street, Batavia.

Ogozaly, a veteran of the Air Force, will be buried with military honors at 10 a.m. Friday at Grandview Cemetery.

Det. Rich Schauf said there is no new information available in the investigation into the accident that claimed Ogozaly's life.

The driver of the truck has not been charged and his name has not been released.

"We are still investigating the circumstances of the incident to determine the outcome," Schauf said.

For Ogozaly's full obituary, click here.

January 12, 2016 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.
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     Leonard Johnson
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     Duffy Starks

Leonard A. Johnson, 23, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Johnson is accused of selling crack cocaine to agents of the Local Drug Task Force on two separate occasions in 2015. Johnson was arrested on a warrant while at the County Courts Facility on an unrelated matter. He was arraigned in City Court and jailed on $25,000 bail.

Duffy Starks, 23, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Starks was arrested on a Grand Jury indictment warrant based on an investigation by the Local Drug Task Force into the sale of crack cocaine in and around the City of Batavia. Starks was jailed on $50,000 bail.

 

 

 

January 12, 2016 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.
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     Tylee Gaines

Tylee Demetrius "Love" Gaines, 37, of Waverly Place, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, unlawful possession of marijuana, two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation, obstructed view and unlicensed operator. Gaines was stopped on Ross Street at 4:30 p.m. Thursday by Officer Chad Richards. Gaines was stopped for an alleged obstructed view. He was allegedly found driving on a suspended license. Patrols allegedly detected the odor of marijuana. Gaines was arrested and transported to Batavia PD headquarters where he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and several small bags of crack cocaine. He was arraigned in City Court and jailed without bail.

Patrick D. Neaverth, 35, of Genesee Street, Buffalo, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Neaverth is accused of slapping a mobile phone out of a woman's hand and grabbing her by the arm and pulling her to the ground while at a residence on Kingsbury Avenue, Batavia, at 4 a.m. Monday. He was jailed on $250 bail.

Essence A. Williams, 18, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a second-degree harassment charge. Williams was jailed on $100 bail.

Rochelle V. Tomlin, 39, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with obligation of a parent or guardian. Tomlin was charged under Batavia Municipal Code after her child was allegedly found loitering on Porter Avenue at 2 a.m., past curfew.

Jolene M. Chenault, 33, of Highland Park, Batavia, turned herself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unauthorized operation, 3rd, charge. Chenault posted $200 police bail.

Jillian L. Lafond, 37, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test, open container and passing red light. Lafond was stopped in the area of 413 E. Main St., Batavia, at 9:56 p.m. Jan. 5 by Officer Chad Richards.

Joseph M. Furst, 55, of Richmond Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Furst was allegedly found in possession of a hypodermic needle and a glassine envelope containing a controlled substance at 9:45 p.m. Thursday at a location on Richmond Avenue by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Lance M. Mercado, 25, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Mercado is accused of shoplifting at Tops on Dec. 17.

Ward E. Royse, 40, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Royse is accused of shoplifting at Tops on Thursday.

Robert Lee Williams Jr., 25, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Williams was arrested following an alleged altercation at 3:21 p.m. Thursday during a basketball game at the YMCA. Williams allegedly struck another male.

Tracey L. Brewer, 50, of McKinley Avenue, Batavia, is charged with obligation of parent or guardian. Brewer was charged under Batavia Municipal Code after her child was allegedly found loitering on Liberty Street after curfew at 12:12 a.m. Saturday while police were in the area investigating a reported disturbance.

Roger James Farney III, 33, of Clayton Street, Batavia, is charged with driving under combined influence of drugs and alcohol, following too closely, moving from lane unsafely and expired inspection. Farney was stopped at 1:05 p.m. Jan. 5 on Pearl Street, Batavia, by Officer Jason Davis. A witness reported an erratic driver in the area. Farney was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Tyler Doreen Price, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear to complete community service. Price was arraigned and released on his own recognizance with instructions by Judge Robert C. Balbick to report to Genesee Justice for community service.

Jeremy L. Lonnen, 24, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. No further details released.

Jennifer L. Allegue, 43, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with allowing child to violate city curfew. Allegue's child was allegedly found on Liberty Street after the 11 p.m. city curfew at 12:12 a.m. Saturday while police were investigating a reported disturbance in the area.

Steven Michael Dick, 24, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on two previous traffic violations. Dick was arraigned in City Court, entered a guilty plea, paid a fine and was released.

Teresa L. Jackson, 25, of Walter Smith Road, Catskill, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, uninspected motor vehicle, and inadequate tail lamps. Jackson was stopped at 1:41 a.m. Monday on Pearl Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

January 11, 2016 - 6:00pm
posted by Lisa Ace in Sponsored Post, advertisement, YMCA, batavia, ny.

YMCA Waives half its joining fee to jump start your January! Are you ready to shed those extra holiday pounds? Looking for a fresh start in 2016? Has cabin fever already started setting in? Join the Y during our membership campaign and save! Between 1/11/16 and 1/31/16 we will waive HALF the joining fee on any membership category. Up to $37.50 in savings!

YMCA Membership entitles you and your loved ones the chance to become part of an organization that believes in and promotes active and healthy lifestyles, progressive skill development, fair play, family, and character development. The YMCA is not just another gym. When you join the Y, you join a family and what’s more you join a place where people are looking for changes to their overall health. The Genesee County YMCA offers a wide array of programs and services to meet the interests and needs of the entire family from memberships for youth, college students, families and seniors. From swimming lessons and sports, to childcare and summer camping, there is truly something for everyone at the Genesee County YMCA. 

If you feel like you cannot afford a YMCA membership, it is the policy of the YMCA that no one is turned away due to an inability to pay. Financial assistance for membership and programs is available through the annual Strong Communities Campaign. The application process is easy and confidential. Please call or visit our member service desk to obtain an application. For more information on membership or programs offered at the Genesee County YMCA, please call (585)344­-1664 or log on to our Web site at www.glowymca.org

January 11, 2016 - 3:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, elba.

David Lavalle Andrews , 28, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested at 1 p.m. on Jan. 14 after allegedly failing to appear in Town of Batavia Court nearly two years ago after being released on bail. Andrews allegedly failed to turn himself in within 30 of a court appearance scheduled on Feb. 27, 2014. He is charged with third-degree bail jumping and is now in Genesee County jail. He was to appear in Batavia Town Court today. The case was handled by Deputy Thomas Sanfratello, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Edward Jordan White, 20, of Michigan Street, Lockport, is charged with second-degree bail jumping. He was arrested at 9 a.m. on Jan. 12 and put in Genesee County Jail for allegedly failing to appear in County Court on April 7, 2015, for a felony proceeding and then not turning himself in within 30 days of the court date. The case was handled by Deputy Thomas Sanfratello.

Dennis Wayne Narvaez, 34, of Bank Street Road, Elba, is charged with speeding (77 in a 55-mph zone), refusal to take breath test, driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI), and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Narvaez was arrested at 1:09 a.m. on Jan. 9 on Clinton Street Road in Stafford following a traffic stop. The case was handled by Deputy Kevin Forsyth, assisted by Deputy Howard Carlson.

A 16-year-old who lives on Porter Avenue in Batavia was arrested at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 and charged with petit larceny. The arrest was made following a complaint of shoplifting at Kohl's. A 14-year-old accomplice was also allegedly involved. The defendant was released with an appearance ticket. The case was handled by Deputy Matthew Fleming.

January 10, 2016 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia.

A car has hit a utility pole on Liberty Street. 

The street is unpassable because of a possible power line down in the roadway.

City fire is responding.

Also, unrelated, a low-hanging wire, unknown type, is reported on Batavia Elba Townline Road between State Street Road and Norton Road. Town of Batavia fire is responding.

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: A car did NOT hit a utility pole on Liberty Street. A car snagged a utility line, either phone or data. Firefighters cut the line and are back in service.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Pembroke and Indian Falls are dispatched to Remsen Road, between Akron Road and Knapp Road, for low hanging wires. Unknown type of wires.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m.: It's a Time Warner line reports a chief. It will be cut. All units to remain in quarters. 

January 10, 2016 - 6:51am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

City fire crews are at a house on Clinton Street where they just extinguished a "a big porch fire." They are checking for extensions. A second platoon was asked to report to fire headquarters. Didn't hear the exact address. 

UPDATE 7:13 a.m.: Code enforcement requested to the scene. 

UPDATE 8:11 a.m.: Clinton Street assignment back in service. Estimated $2,500 damage. The cause was an overheated light fixture.

January 9, 2016 - 7:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, crime, batavia.

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A pedestrian was reportedly struck by a black pickup truck at the intersection of Bank and Main streets in Downtown Batavia a few minutes ago. The truck then reportedly went into the JC Penney parking lot at the mall before leaving there and turning left onto Washington Avenue. City fire, police and medics are responding.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: The pickup driver did not flee the scene, rather drove to a safe location nearby. A Mercy medic happened to get on scene soonest and said the patient was transported to a hospital before a determination was made as to medical condition.

UPDATE Sunday morning: The pedestrian succumbed to his injuries. The victim is identified as Joseph W. Ogozaly, 58, of Batavia. Following the accident, the patient was transported by Mercy EMS to a Mercy Flight landing zone and transported to Strong Memorial Hospital. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The investigation is ongoing and no charges against the driver have been placed at this time.

January 9, 2016 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia, Notre Dame.

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You can always count on a Dave Pero-coached Notre Dame team to provide opponents with a test, and that's what the Batavia Lady Blue Devils got Friday night in the finale of the Batavia Rotary Club Tournament at Genesee Community College, just when, perhaps, they needed it the most.

The contest was their first without Maddy McCulley, who had her high school career cut short with a knee injury Wednesday one game removed from scoring her 1,000th career point.

The team will carry on without McCulley, but the question that needed to be answered is would her teammates would pick up the slack?

They did.

Four players finished in double figures in scoring and Batavia beat Notre Dame 60-44.

The score may look lopsided, but the game wasn't. Notre Dame fought every minute, battling through Batavia's relentless press, finding ways to the basket at times, but also surrendering a few too many possessions.

The Irish finished the first half only five down and pulled within a point of the lead early in the third quarter. 

"When something like happens, what happened with Maddy, again my condolences, I feel terrible about it," Pero said. "I feel terrible about what happened to her, but they stepped up. The injury set her down, but the team, you could see it, they stepped up. Good teams do that and they're a good team."

Freshman Ryann Stefaniak scored 16, Tiara Filbert and Sam Cecere each had 13, and Taylor Stefaniak hit for 12.

It's the first time the Stefaniak sisters were both in double figures for the game, and that bodes well for the rest of the Lady Devils' season.

"We talked about in practice yesterday," Hein said. "I said 'Look, we're still a good basketball team; obviously, we're not the same team. We have to find a new identity as far as who is going to be doing some of those other things. Bottom line is, Maddy takes about 20 shots in a game. We can't all just look at Tiera and now expect her to shoot 40 of them.' "

Newly minted starter Elyse Snow will take up some of the slack, and Cecere will get a few more looks, but Taylor and Ryann need to add from 10 to 12 shots per game between them, Hein said.

"I turned to the two Stefaniak girls and said, 'Listen, it's really on you two,' " Hein said.

Taylor said she and Ryann are ready and she's proud of how they pulled through Friday.

"I feel like we both stepped up really well tonight," Taylor said. "(Ryann) stepped up her game a lot tonight, which we've needed her to do the whole season, but it helped a lot tonight. I think she did great."

Ryann was all over the court, tipping passes on defense, joining in double teams on ballhandlers, finding open lanes on offense and crashing the glass on rebounds, getting a couple of key putback baskets.

"Ryann is skinny as a rail," Hein said. "In most cases, I  think she's got a turtle shell on her back; she seems so slow at certain points and times. But on the offensive end, she's always kind of in the right spot. She's slashing, rebound here, rebound there. It was exciting to watch."

Filbert, the tournament's MVP, is still the leader of the team, and the shooter defenses will work hardest to stop, as Notre Dame did Friday, but Filbert is unruffled by the change in circumstances.

"I'm going to keep playing my game," Filbert said. "We all came in level-headed. We knew we had a goal we wanted to accomplish and we were able to do that. Losing Maddy is going to be a big adjustment because she helped us out tremendously on and off the court. But I know she's going to be there on the sideline and we know we have the players who are going to step up and help us out."

For Notre Dame, Becca Krenzer scored 15, Margaret Sutherland, 10, and Calli McCulley, eight.

Before the game, during introductions, Calli presented her cousin Maddy with a bouquet of flowers.

Pero said he was very proud of how his girls played, especially Sutherland, who is starting to come into her own as a scorer and floor leader, and considered the game a great learning lesson for the team, which won't see any opponents with Batavia's talent or depth in the rest of the GR or Class D.

"It was a good experience," Pero said. "We're not going to see teams this good where we're going."

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January 8, 2016 - 11:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

Funeral Services for Michael R. Houseknecht, a successful local businessman and devoted father, will be at 10 a.m., Tuesday, at St. Joseph’s Church, 303 E. Main St., Batavia.

The 38-year-old Houseknecht passed away unexpectedly early Thursday morning.

He leaves behind his wife of 15 years, Jennifer Anne Thornton Houseknecht, and the daughters he cherished, Meghan Elizabeth and Ella Grace.

Most recently, Houseknecht opened the House O' Laundry on West Main Street in Batavia. He also owned Statewide Machinery. He formerly owned Loose Ends Vending.

A 1995 graduate of Batavia High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in business from SUNY Brockport in 1999.

He is also survived by his mother Sheila Mitchell, of Batavia, and his father and stepmother Ralph (Buddy) Houseknecht Jr. and Katy Gorton Houseknecht, of Perry, as well as his paternal grandparents, Ralph and Agnes Houseknecht Sr., of Stafford.

Friends may call on Monday from 2 to 8 p.m. at the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 E. Main St., Batavia.

For his full obituary, click here.

Photo: File photo from the opening in November of House O' Laundry. Micheal Houseknecht with daughter Ella.

January 8, 2016 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education.

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Parents and other community members were invited to the library of Batavia High School last night to learn about how the City School District has been implementing technology in the classroom.

District officials shared how technology is being used and how they would like to improve the use of technology with the help of money from the Smart School Bond Act. The district is applying for $2.1 million in state grant money to upgrade the district's technology infrastructure and purchase technology equipment. 

It's an increase in attention on technology that the district has been preparing to implement for a couple of years, Superintendent Chris Dailey said.

One goal is to provide each high school student and eventually, students at the lower grades, with smart devices that connect to the Internet at school. Part of the money from the state will be used to improve the wi-fi infrastructure to support that level of always-on connectivity. 

"Go on any college campus right now, walk into a classroom or lecture hall, there's no pen and paper anymore," Daily said. "It's all utilizing a device. When you're going into most industries now, people are using these kinds of things. We're trying to put those kinds of devices into the hands of our students at a younger age so they're natives to it versus visiting the technology."

Whether a student comes out of high school bound for college or going straight into a career, the future belongs to those with the technology skills needed to compete in the digital age.

"This doesn't replace the instruction that's going on," Daily said. "We want to prepare students for the world that we don't know will exist in a couple of years, with jobs that are evolving as we speak at things like the STAMP project, or you look at what's going on in the incubators in the Rochester and Buffalo area with new businesses evolving all the time at the unviersities. We want to put our kids at an advantage so that when they come out they can walk into those jobs with some skills that other kinds may not have in our region."

Top photo: Mason Battaglia shows off a 3D printer. One of the things he was able to do with the printer was solve a problem for the marching band. The drummers needed glow-in-the-dark mallets, so Mason used the 3D printer to make them.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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