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September 19, 2017 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Downtown Revitalization Initiative, news, notify.

Local officials are being invited to Batavia City Hall at 1:30 p.m. Thursday where Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make an announcement.

What Cuomo will announce is not revealed in the invitation, but the City of Batavia did submit an application to Cuomo's office for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative contest, which carries a $10 million award for one municipality in each of the state's economic development regions.

While winners have been announced in other regions, the winner of the contest in the Finger Lakes region has not yet been announced.

Local officials cannot discuss the reason for Cuomo's visit.

September 18, 2017 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Robert E. Wright, 35, no permanent address, is charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, criminal possession of a narcotic/drug with intent to sell, criminal possession of a narcotic/drug, unregistered motor vehicle, driving without insurance, aggravated unlicensed operation and two counts of unsafe tires.  Wright was arrested following a complaint at 8:46 a.m. Saturday in the area of 563 E. Main St., Batavia, of a man slumped over the steering wheel of a car. At the scene, Wright led officers on a brief foot pursuit. He was also wanted by the Department of Corrections. Wright was ordered held without bail.

Tonya M. Cragg, 38, of Church Street, Tioga, Pa., is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Cragg was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance at 8:46 a.m. Saturday in the area of 563 E. Main St., Batavia. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Carla Faye Ewell, 59, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and inadequate headlamps. Ewell was stopped at 12:40 a.m. Sept. 9 on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Earl R. Benson, 51, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and driving on the wrong side of the median. Benson was stopped at 9:56 p.m. Sept. 8 on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Madison Alyssa Scheurlein, 19, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Scheurlein allegedly stole two items from Kohl's valued at $72.

September 18, 2017 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A larceny of cologne just occurred at the Rite Aid on West Main Street Road, Batavia. The suspect fled the store and left in a vehicle, unknown type or description, but possibly black in color. Unknown direction of travel.

The suspect is described as a white male, 6' tall, wearing tan shorts and top and "Adidas flip-flops." Store personnel say they have the theft on video. Law enforcement is responding. 

September 18, 2017 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, batavia.

Press release:

Batavia varsity basketball Coach Buddy Brasky will hold a Basketball Mini-Camp at the Batavia High School gym this fall. This Mini-Camp is for boys in grades 8-12.

The camp will start Thursday, Oct. 5 and run from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates: Oct. 5, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30, and Nov. 2.

This program is for the experienced and serious player only!!!  The program will emphasize offensive skill development. Cost for the program is $95.    For more information call Buddy Brasky at 585-356-4050 or email [email protected]   


September 18, 2017 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, HomeCare & Hospice, news, Announcements.

From information provided by HomeCare & Hospice: 

Help HomeCare & Hospice Foundation Inc. raise funds for area patients and families by participating in its inaugural October Fest on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The event, sponsored by Overhead Door of Batavia, National Fuel, and Stan’s Harley-Davidson, will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. in the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs. It is located at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

The October Fest will include 25+ vendors for beer, wine, and food tasting, live harness racing, a cash bar, DJ, 50/50 drawing, and more than $2,000 worth of basket raffle prizes! With the purchase of a $25 pre-sale ticket or $30 at the door, you will receive $10 of free play, food, wine and beer sampling vouchers, and a sandwich or bratwurst.

You must be 21 years of age or older to register for and be admitted to the event. Please bring a valid ID the day of the event.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the HomeCare & Hospice in Batavia, located at 29 Liberty St., or the Warsaw office at 450 N. Main St. You can also purchase tickets at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (8276 Park Road, Batavia), Big Pauly’s Pizza (314 Ellicott St., Batavia), or online at HomeCare-Hospice.org/October-Fest.

Special discounted tickets for designated drivers are available for $15. Discounts are also available at the Batavia Downs Hotel for the night of the event. If you are interested, please call the Batavia Downs Hotel at (585) 815-7000 and mention HomeCare & Hospice.

HomeCare & Hospice is also seeking volunteers to help during the event. If you would like to find out more about volunteering or to pre-register for the October Fest, please call Nick O’Keefe at (800) 719-7129 or email him at [email protected].

About HomeCare & Hospice

HomeCare & Hospice is a nonprofit organization serving a large population in Western New York. Our focus is on providing patient care as a person enters the later stages to end stage of life, and on alleviating the stress this can cause their families. We do this through providing care within the home and keeping hospital stays to a minimum. We operate on two levels – Providing licensed homecare services as well as hospice services.

To reach HomeCare & Hospice's administrative office in Olean, call (716) 372-5735.

September 18, 2017 - 12:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.

A former Batavia High School student is in her third day of a hunger strike to protest the way the University of Rochester has handled sexual harassment complaints against a professor in UR's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Lindsay Wrobel says she won't eat until Dr. Florian Jaeger is removed from the faculty.

Wrobel is not claiming that she was sexually harassed.

Jaeger is at the center of an EEOC complaint filed against the university

"Until Professor Jaeger is removed from the university, there’s going to be no trust among the student body," Wrobel said. 

Wrobel graduated from BHS in 2013 and was a Top 10 member of the class.

The sexual harassment allegations have roiled the campus for more than a year but became national news after a long story in Mother Jones. There's also been coverage in The New York Times and Nature.

The university conducted an investigation into the allegations and found no evidence that Jaeger violated its policy. After complaints that the investigation failed to consider all of the evidence or interview all witnesses, the findings were appealed and a dean in another department at UR investigated the appeal and upheld the findings of the original investigation. 

At least one faculty member has resigned in response to UR's handling of the case and others have alleged retaliation for their part in the accusations. The university also investigated these complaints and found no evidence of retaliation.

After seeing Wrobel not looking well, an anonymous person called 9-1-1 on her behalf, but Wrobel reportedly declined medical treatment.

Wrobel said her hunger strike is painful and scary but she intends to persist.

"I fully intend to do this until I’m hospitalized. I think what’s of primary importance is the students on this campus feeling safe. And as of right now, they don’t, and they won’t until Professor Jaeger is removed," Wrobel said. 

Our news partner 13WHAM has been following the story:

September 18, 2017 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

keybank2suspect2016_1_0.jpgThe man who robbed the Key Bank branch in Batavia at the end of last year and got away with $10,275 isn't expected to get out of prison before 2025.

Joel Zsebehazy, 33, an Iraq War veteran from Niagara Falls, was sentenced to three to six years in prison by Judge Charles Zambito in County Court this morning.

Attorney Lisa Kroemer, from the Public Defender's Office, requested a two-to-four-year prison term for her client after noting that Zsebehazy was on parole at the time of the robbery, so he now owes the state prison time before he can start serving a sentence on the Key Bank robbery. 

"Given that fact, he's going to be serving a lot of time anyway," Kroemer said.

Zsebehazy apologized for his actions.

"I realize there is no excuse to justify what I did," Zsebehazy said. "I know what I did was wrong. I knew when I went into the situation it was wrong. I know it negatively impacted more people than just myself."

He then apologized to the teller and the court for his crime.

After the robbery, Zsebehazy fled the state. He was eventually located in Lousiana and brought back to Batavia on the bank robbery charge. During his travels, Zsebehazy said, he started attending AA meetings and going to church and felt like he was getting his life back on track.

"I've been making progress in my life," Zsebehazy said. "I know that in no way excuses myself and I stand here ready to make amends in any way I can."

Zambito said he wasn't moved by either the fact that Zsebehazy will spend an even longer time in prison because he was on parole at the time of the robbery or that he was getting his life together. The fact is, Zambito said, he robbed a bank and had to be chased down in order to be brought to justice.

"To say that this has been an opportunity to start a new life by robbing a bank is something I find incredible," Zambito said.

Zambito said Zsebehazy had already received a substantial break on potential prison time when he was offered a plea deal that capped his sentence at three to six years.  To cut it any further wouldn't fit the crime, he said.

Zsebehazy was ordered to start making payments toward restitution while he's incarcerated. Kroemer tried to convince Zambito to delay restitution payments until Zsebehazy is out of prison because Zsebehazy will receive such a minimal allowance for toiletries, writing paper, and other personal items while in prison that any restitution payment would make it difficult for him to obtain necessities. 

She suggested that lack of money for these items is why some prisoners turn to "less than legal activity" in prison.

District Attorney Lawerence Friedman said Zsebehazy should start paying restitution immediately and that prison officials have a formula to take only a portion of a prisoner's money for restitution payments so they still can buy necessities from the prison store.

Zambito agreed.

Photo: file photo

September 17, 2017 - 3:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, child safety, news, Announcements.

A free check of child safety seats will be available at the City of Batavia's Fire Headquarters from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.

The location is 18 Evans St.

Nationally certified technicians will be on hand to answer questions, check product recalls and assist people with making sure their child safety seat is correctly installed.

For questions, please call the Fire Headquarters at 345-6375.

September 17, 2017 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

City firefighters are responding to 38 N. Lyon St. for the report of someone burning trash in the back yard. They are responding in non-emergency-mode.

September 16, 2017 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

The Batavia Blue Devils moved to 2-1 on the season with a 28-13 victory over Cardinal-O'Hara at Cardinal-O'Hara this afternoon.

Ray Leach rushed for 179 yards on 21 carries and scored a TD.

Chandler Baker gained 91 yards on the ground, scoring once, on nine carries. He was 7-10 passing for 33 yards.

On defense, John Kindig had seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Josh Barber had seven tackles and two interceptions, including one on Cardinal-O'Hara's two-yard line that he returned for a touchdown to close out the game.

Anthony Ray had six tackles.

September 16, 2017 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.

A complaint came in a few minutes ago of two dogs locked inside a red Volvo in the Walmart parking lot. An officer was called to respond; and susbsequently it was reported that a verbal argument was underway between shoppers and the dog's owner, who returned to the Volvo.

(The National Weather Service in Buffalo says it's 83 degrees outside, with 48-percent humidity.)

September 16, 2017 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Creek, batavia, news.


Craig Gillard sent in this picture of a couple of men fishing the Tonawanda Creek in Batavia this morning.

September 16, 2017 - 10:09am
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, photography.


(Photo credit Nicole Boyce)

With photography being more popular than ever, the Batavia Photography Club is about to start its 31st year. 

In those 31 years, the club has seen the change from film to digital and the definition of what a photographer is change dramatically. Today anyone with a cell phone can be considered a photographer. Cell phone photo art (picture below).


If you have a desire to create images, learn how to make better images, or just want to meet with others who like to do the same. You should make a point of getting to a Batavia Photo Club meeting. Anyone can attend up to two meetings a year, to attend more or enter the contests you need to be a member.


(Photo credit Sue Meier)

Our first meeting is a walking tour through DeWitt Recreation Area at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18. We are going to take a walking tour around the grounds. Please come on out and join us. Bring a smartphone or a camera or just come for the walk. We are meeting at the playground. Our walk guide Scott Neumann took the photo below at the park.


Most meetings are held at the Richmond Memorial Library.

For more information please join us on Facebook or on our website:



2017 - 2018 Batavia Photography Calendar

  • Sept. 18th -- Walk DeWitt Park and cell phone photography
  • Oct. 2 -- Table Top Photography
  • 16 -- Member critique -- Each member submits three or four images.(Digital OR/& prints)
  • 30 -- Extra Monday — Star Shoot
  • Nov. 6 -- Race car speaker
  • 20 -- Shoot & talk about exposure compensation, HDR exposure &  Photo
  • Presentation
  • Dec. 4 -- Member photo retouch show and tell (with image limit and time limit)
  • 18 -- Christmas dinner somewhere & walk around shoot
  • Jan. 15 -- Focus stacking (hands on?) & Develop Black and White
  • 29 -- Extra Monday — Possible fun day/field trip or studio day
  • Feb. 5 - Member critique - Each member submits three or four images (Digital OR/& prints)
  • 19 - Studio night at Sue’s
  • Mar. 5 - Hands on different Lenses uses and examples
  • 19 -- End of Year Competition
  • 31 -- Saturday Morning -- set up Richmond Library Exhibit
  • April 2 -- Gallary Show Reception Open House at Richmond Library
  • 16 -- Scavenger Hunt
  • May 7 -- End of Year Dinner -- Robert Williams Banquet Dinner


(Photo credit above Marcy Morgan)


(Photo creedit above Barbara Paserk)


(Photo credit above Christy Hibsch)


(Photo credit Jim Burns)

September 15, 2017 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chapin Manufacturing, batavia, business.


Chapin sponsored a golf tournament Aug. 10 and raised $15,000 for Crossroads House. Today, members of the Chapin team presented a check to Jeff Allen, director of Crossroads House.

Photo: Jeff Allen, Ann Blake, Peg Patterson-Case, Debbie Zawadzki, Norm Hubbard and Chris Rumfola.

September 15, 2017 - 2:34pm

Press release:

The students of John Kennedy Intermediate School will host its inaugural community-wide My School Color Run on Saturday morning, Oct. 21, to raise money for their school. Check-in begins at 9 and the race starts at 10.

Cost is $25 for preregistration; $30 day of the event.

The My School Color Run is an untimed three-mile fun run for everyone in the community, of all ages and fitness abilities. Along the route, participants pass through vibrant color zones, making it a “colorful experience.”

Additionally, each pre-registered participant is provided with a single powder color packet that will be thrown in the air at the final color celebration at the finish line.

“Rather than sell goods, we want to engage the entire student body in a fitness initiative that aims to encourage a lifelong healthy way of living,” says run coordinator Courtney Marsh.

Participants who register by Oct. 2 will receive a T-shirt, race bib, and individual color packet.

You can sign up for the run by visiting www.JKISmscr.eventbrite.com or by completing a paper registration form.

Business sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact the event organizer (Courtney Marsh) for more information.

At a glance:
WHAT: My School Color Run for John Kennedy Intermediate School

WHEN: 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 21
WHERE: John Kennedy Intermediate School, 166 Vine St, Batavia

REGISTER: www.JKISmscr.eventbrite.com
CONTACT: Courtney Marsh – 585-343-2480, ext. 5000

September 15, 2017 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, wellness, suicide prevention, YWCA, batavia, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Genesee County presents:

Passion for a purpose! "How to Fill Your Personal Bucket" with guest speaker Sherry Crumity, YWCA Domestic Violence Support Services coordinator.

Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the YWCA of Genesee County, located at 301 North St., Batavia.

Join us as we learn tips on how to identify what drains your bucket, and the tools necessary to fill it up again.

Sherry Crumity is a Masters Level Clinical Mental Health counselor with 10 years experience working in therapeutic settings and 12 years experience working in not-for-profit and public school settings.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:30, program begins at 6.

There is limited seating, please register by Sept. 22 by calling the Care and Crisis Helpline at (585) 344-4400 or email [email protected]

Ladies Night is provided free of charge through the support of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Genesee County, the YWCA of Genesee County and Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee County.

September 15, 2017 - 11:16am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia, notify.



The executive director of the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse said a proposed 2,700-square foot addition to the agency's campus at 424 E. Main St. in Batavia is on a fast track to completion pending approval by the City Planning & Development Committee next week.

Speaking after Thursday night's Genesee County Planning Board meeting, where the site plan was recommended for approval without stipulations, John Bennett said the clinic could be "up and running in 14 months" and will be funded by an $820,000 Rapid Treament Expansion Grant from New York State.

Bennett attended the meeting with Raymond Murphy, project manager for Fontanese, Folts, Aubrecht, Ernst architects of Orchard Park. Murphy said they will take the plan before the City Planning & Development Committee on Sept. 19 and then prepare drawings for the building permit.

"We've talked to City Council and the Genesee County Legislature about this, expressing our view that it is much needed for the community," Bennett said, noting that the clinic would be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Monday through Saturday to dispense the medication to people battling opioid addiction. "And it is very private; that's one thing I like."

According to the American Addiction Centers website, a methadone clinic is a place where a person who is addicted to opioid-based drugs, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, can receive medication-based therapy. Patients receive methadone, or the brand name version known as Dolophine, which is an opioid analgesic. This treatment is often referred to as replacement therapy.

Bennett said the methadone is dispensed in liquid form, with each visit averaging about five minutes. He said it is a long-acting, safe medication that produces "little or no cravings."

Other drugs used to treat this type of addiction include suboxone, vivitrol and naltrexone.

The new clinic, which will be attached to the back of the existing treatment/prevention facility, will be able to provide services for up to 150 people at any given time, Bennett said. It also will result in the hiring of 10 to 12 more employees, including nurses, medical director, counselors and support staff.

GCASA has treated more than 1,200 people for opioid addiction since 2006, Bennett said, adding that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 65,000 people will die due to opioids in the coming year.

At top, architect's renderings showing the GCASA campus, with the proposed addition in red in lower drawing.

September 15, 2017 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in p.w. minor, batavia, business, news.

P.W. Minor is doing what businesses do periodically, said owner Pete Zeliff this morning -- reorganizing. 

While the company's reputation was built on its orthopedic shoe line, rebuilding the brand and the business in that market is proving difficult, Zeliff said. Meanwhile, the "white label" shoe business is growing and shows promise for more growth.

"White label" means making shoes on the specifications and under the brands of other shoe companies.

Last week, the company laid off eight employees and more cuts are possible, Zeliff said, based on how things go in the coming months.

"We're cutting costs," Zeliff said. "Sales are down. Revenue is down. I can only keep writing checks out of my own pocket for so long. It's ridiculous to keep doing it."

Zeliff said many of P.W. Minor's former customers dropped the shoe line during the company's previous ownership and winning them back has proven tough. Many of those customers have gotten used to buying shoes made in China and seem willing to accept buying a new pair of shoes twice a year instead one pair every two years of a better quality shoe.

And those orders come in two and three shoes at a time, which make them more expensive to produce.

With "white label" contracts, P.W. Minor is able to produce larger runs of particular shoes at higher margins.

It can take 18 months, though, to land a new white label contract. That's how long it took P.W. Minor to go from introduction through samples to production for K-Swiss.

Zeliff said there are more white label deals coming. There's one company P.W. Minor has been working with for 20 months which will likely place an order soon. Another potential contract could mean increasing production by 40,000 to 50,000 pairs of shoes a year.

Before the recent layoffs, the factory was producing 180 pairs of shoes a day, sometimes 200 pairs. Since the layoffs, the factory has hit a production target of 200 pairs a day consistently.

"I think it opened some people's eyes," Zeliff said. "I've told them there will probably be more layoffs in the near future. Now all the production picks up. Nobody wants to be the guys getting laid off."

The 150-year-old company was about to close in 2014 when Zeliff and then partner Andrew Young stepped in saved it. Zeliff has been focused on revamping the business since, bringing in top marketers and designers and investing in new equipment.

In 2015, the company ended all production in China, bringing those jobs back to Batavia, with assistance from New York.

The other part of the P.W. Minor showing promise is the Abram Boots line and Batavia Boot & Shoe Company collection, introduced last fall. Both brands are showing sales growth, especially the boots, he said.

"I think we're on a good path," Zeliff said. "Has there been some pain? Yeah, but I've been sticking 200 grand into the business each month to keep it going and I don't know anybody else in this town who would keep on doing that."

September 15, 2017 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART, batavia, news, arts, entertainment.


Wyoming County writer and photographer Barbara Knight was on hand Thursday night at GO ART! for an artist's reception featuring her photos of Ireland. Knight has worked for 25 years as a writer and photographer and she traveled to Ireland in April. The photos on display at GO ART! capture the beauty and grandeur of what she saw during her visit.

GO ART! also opened its latest member show, "Guilty Pleasure."


Alex Segouia, of Avon, with his painting, "Lust." 


Lydia Zwierzynski with "Dreams of Fortune." 


Top picture, "West of the Fields" by Kevin Hammon, and "The Fishing Shack" by Julie Lambert.

September 14, 2017 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Region Independent Living Center, batavia, news.


Independent Living of the Genesee Region held a fundraiser at Batavia Country Club yesterday, A Taste of Independence.

More than a dozen businesses participated, among them Red Osier, T.F. Brown's, Amber Lantern and D&R Depot.

Independent Living provides assistance to people with permanent or temporary disabilities and funds raised through the event will be used to support those services.






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