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October 29, 2015 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, walmart, crime, elba, Oakfield.

Tony R. Judd, 26, of Akron, is charged with petit larceny. While employed at Walmart, Judd allegedly stole $550 in cash from a register over a five-day period.

Cailee Amber Neiss, 21, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Neiss allegedly slashed the tires on a car parked at a location on Lewiston Road, Batavia, on Monday.

Homer Jay Bush, 34, of Orchard Street, Oakfield, is charged with two counts harassment, 2nd. Bush allegedly hit two people during a domestic dispute at a residence on Bridge Road, Elba, at 9:44 p.m. Saturday.

Brad Michael Prinzi, 34, of Batavia Elba Townline Road, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding, operating without a motor vehicle inspection certificate and inadequate plate lamp. Prinzi was stopped at 12:27 a.m. Oct. 20 on Townline Road, Bergen, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Walter B. Hale, 38, of Oakfield, is charged with harassment, 2nd,and endangering the welfare of a child. Hale was allegedly involved in a verbal argument that became physical in front of his children. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Jessica A. Valvano-Hoag, 20, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Valvano-Hoag allegedly stole $70 in makeup from Walmart.

October 28, 2015 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, NY-ALERT.

Press release:

Today, the City pf Batavia is conducting a test of NY-ALERT, the state's All Hazards Alert and Notification System.

This Web-based portal allows State agencies, county and local governments, emergency service agencies and institutions of higher learning to provide emergency alerting information and private notifications to defined audiences. Road closures, fire and police activity, evacuation notices, and other emergency notifications are some examples of how the City of Batavia may use NY-ALERT.

NY-ALERT is FREE and subscription based. The City of Batavia encourages members of the community to register on the NY ALERT Web site at Your e-mail address will be your identifier. When you register, you can list multiple devices from which you will receive alerts and notifications.

Most alerts are issued locally by Genesee County or the City of Batavia. Local officials determine when to issue an alert and what devices to send alerts to. You may receive information on all the devices you registered, or just one. Each emergency is different; therefor, each alert will be tailored to meet the notification needs of the incident.

If you do not have access to the worldwide Web, you can still sign up for NY-ALERT by calling 1-888- 697-6972.

October 28, 2015 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A utility pole is snapped and down in over the roadway along with wires at 64 Clinton St.

City fire is responding.

UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: The street will be temporarily closed near the incident. The wires are "still hot and there is concern they could start arcing."

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.: Power is out at Clinton Street and East Main.

October 28, 2015 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

A Batavia resident says he and a friend were attacked over the weekend in the area of Swan Street and East Main Street by an unknown group of assailants, and police have confirmed there is an ongoing criminal investigation as a result of a complaint received early Sunday morning.

The local resident who shared his story in an e-mail to The Batavian said his friend required "emergency jaw surgery" after the attack, which he said occurred around 3 a.m., Sunday.

Det. Todd Crossett said at this time, investigators have little more to go on than a general description of the suspects.

The description provided to The Batavian is that of several young black men in the age range of 17 to early 20s.

The victim who contacted The Batavian said he was at a costume party when he volunteered to make a run to 7-Eleven for more snacks. 

"Upon walking back from 7-Eleven, I was approached by a young African-American male asking for a cigarette," he said. "When I shuffled the pizzas I was carrying to reach into my pocket to oblige him, he physically attacked me."

Several other individuals then joined in the attack.

"They struck me multiple times in my head and face, shot me in my face with an airsoft pistol, and kicked me while I was on the ground in the middle of the road," he said. "They demanded that I empty my pockets, which were already empty because I was wearing a Halloween costume and I had spent the money I brought on the cheap 7-Eleven pizzas that were littered in the middle of Main Street."

Unable to get money from the victim, the group ran off, he said.

He returned to the party and told his friend what happened.

The friend "ran off to look for them and report them to the police," he said.

He found them, along with two more individuals, who attacked him "in a more violent manner before two friends could join him."

That second victim was taken to UMMC, where he underwent jaw surgery, the first victim said in his e-mail.

He said he e-mailed The Batavian about the incident because, "It would be great if the attackers could be brought to justice, but at the very least citizens of Batavia could better avoid becoming victims of a similar attack if they are on the lookout."

Anybody with information that may assist in the investigation can contact Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350 or through the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

October 27, 2015 - 5:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Police Facility, batavia.

To hear council members describe it, the feedback they're getting from constituents on the proposed new police station on South Swan Street is akin to the decibel level in a library reading room. 

In other words, if the public has anything to say about it, they're not saying it to members of the Batavia City Council.

Which is why the council is going to invite the public to a meeting Nov. 23 where feedback and input will be invited on the proposed $10-million investment in a new building to house police officers and the activities that support their public safety role.

"If only two or three people show up, that also sends a message," said Councilman Eugene Jankowski. "If people are upset, they'll probably show up. If they don't show up, that's almost acceptance. There is a thought, silence is acceptance. If they remain silent and see that path we're going (on), I only have to assume that they're happy about it."

The proposal for the location of a new police station came from a council-appointed task force that studied a dozen or so options, gathered financial data, considered the topography, traffic patterns, security and proximity to city activity before arriving at the plot of land on South Swan where the Wiard Plow Factory once stood as the best available location.

The entire process and final selection has been broadly publicized in local media, but apparently, to council members, that hasn't prompted a lot of public feedback.

Jankowski first raised the concern during Monday's meeting that before spending $10 million there should be some sort of process for the public to weigh in on the decision, and since it isn't the kind of matter that goes to a public vote, the council unanimously backed the idea of a public meeting.

City Manager said the meeting will be publicized just as if it is an official public hearing, though it isn't that, either.  

Councilwoman Kathy Briggs argued in favor of moving the process forward as quickly as possible rather than, once again, "kicking the can down the road."

"It's time to put up or shut up," Briggs said.

"Then I'll shut up," snapped Councilwoman Rosemary Christian.

Christian expressed reservations about backing a new police station because paying for the bond might require an extra 2-cents per thousand in property tax and Christian doesn't believe Batavia residents can handle any further taxation.

She also expressed concern about potential runaway costs.

"What if we get into this and it costs $20 million instead of $10 million?" Christian asked.

Molino explained that the bulk of the costs -- material and labor -- is pretty easy to calculate before construction starts, so it's hard to fathom that kind of runaway expenditure. The one unknown expense for the South Swan property is environmental cleanup, but there will be a detailed assessment done before the city acquires the property, so that cost should be known before the project receives final approval.

How the project will be paid for remains an open question. The council is eager for Molino to explore grant options, though grant opportunities are limited for this sort of project. To the degree bonds are required, they will be issued at a time when existing bonds are being paid down and paid off, freeing up cash flow to help finance this project. Molino also floated the idea of fashioning a unique arrangement that would involve a private developer owning the property and the building and leasing it to the city, which could save taxpayer money, avoid any interest payments and give the city the option to buy the property at the end of a 30-year term, or build a new station if needed.

Some council members expressed concern that a lease could saddle a future council with a tough decision about how to deal with a police station situation.

Whatever options the council should consider, Jankowski said he would like to hear what city residents think, and he hopes some voices will be heard at the Monday, Nov. 23, meeting.

"If they want us to move in a certain direction, like, say, merging with the Sheriff's Department, the public needs to express that opinion now and then that's something we will explore," Jankowski said. "Rignt now, I'm hearing silence. We're moving toward a new building. I'm hearing silence, so I would assume we're going in the right direction."

October 27, 2015 - 2:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports.

Basketball is upon us. The NBA kicks off its season tonight, college games are just a couple of weeks away and the high school season won't be far behind. For boys in grades one through six, it's time to plan for the winter season.

Eligible boys in the Batavia City schools can sign up for a mini-camp proceeding the league play season. The camp runs Nov. 7 through Dec. 12 at John Kennedy.

For boys participating in league play, there is a $70 sign-up fee.

To register, download and complete this form (PDF), which also has more information about the camp and league play.

October 27, 2015 - 12:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at West Main and River streets. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

October 27, 2015 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in zombie properties, batavia, steve hawley.

Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia):

“I am proud to announce that Gov. Cuomo today signed into law legislation that will provide a property-tax exemption for residents who purchase and renovate dilapidated homes and zombie properties," Assemblyman Steve Hawley said. "This ensures that renovation costs do not exceed property values for homeowners and provide an incentive for residents to purchase these abandoned properties and revitalize our communities.

"This is a revolutionary program that has the potential to work in other cities and is the first of its kind in Batavia. Zombie properties have plagued our city for several years dating back to the housing collapse of 2007. This law will increase the number of properties on the tax rolls, thereby reducing our tax burden and increasing property values.

"My colleagues and I in the Assembly and Senate worked diligently at the end of session to pass this bill through both houses and I applaud the governor’s efforts to make this bill a reality for Batavia.”

October 26, 2015 - 7:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Halloween.
Press release:

The Batavia Police Department would like to remind all parents, grandparents or guardians of the following Halloween Safety Tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable time.

  • If you plan on going door to door make sure you are properly supervised by a parent or responsible adult.
  • Do not go to homes where the porch lights are off.
  • Use a flashlight to let drivers see you, and see where you are going.
  • To avoid tripping or injury don't wear costumes that are loose fitting and too long.
  • Don't wear masks that obscure your vision, make up is a good alternative to masks.
  • Wear reflective, bright colors to be seen by drivers after dark.
  • Walk on the sidewalks, or as near to the curb as possible if there are no sidewalks
  • Observe safety rules when crossing or walking on the streets, and stay clear of traffic.
  • Parents should inspect any treats before you eat them.
  • The Batavia Police HIGHLY RECOMMEND as an alternative to going door to door, attend one of the Halloween events sponsored by local businesses.
  • Choose costumes that are marked flame retardant.
  • Make props such as magic wands and swords out of cardboard, rather than metal or wood.
  • Give and accept wrapped or packaged candy only.
  • Go out in daylight and carry a flashlight in case of delay.
  • Have children stay within their neighborhood; only visit homes you know.
  • All “Trick or Treating” shall be completed by 9 p.m.


Any further questions please contact officer Marc W. Lawrence.

Batavia Police Department:
Dispatch – (585) 345-6350
Confidential Tip Line – (585) 345-6370
Report Suspicious Activity - drug-or-criminal-activity

October 26, 2015 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Press release:

Chicago--The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) is pleased to announce that the City of Batavia, NY, has received the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2014/15 budget.

The award represents a significant achievement by the City of Batavia. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award. The award was presented yesterday to City Manager Jason Molino whose leadership in budgeting has resulted in an increasingly improved bond rating and financial position for the City of Batavia.

City Council President Brooks Hawley said, “This is an important accomplishment for the City of Batavia. It marks a high point in our efforts over the past decade to make our budgeting process effective, efficient and transparent. I commend the City Council, Manager and Staff for setting and accomplishing such high expectations for our City.”

For budgets beginning in 2013, 1,424 participants received the Award; although Batavia marks one of only three cities in New York among the recipients. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

“We will continue to strive to excel in our budgeting process” commented Lisa Neary, deputy director of Finance for the City who shared project management with Assistant City Manager Gretchen DiFante. “It’s important that the taxpayers are assured of our commitment to excellence and transparency in budgeting.”

The Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of more than 18,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. It provides top quality publications, training programs, services, and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management.

The association is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in Washington, D.C. The GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

October 26, 2015 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, alexander, corfu, bergen.

Tesla Renee Greck, 23, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Greck was arrested after patrols responded to her residence on an unrelated matter. Officers Jame DeFreze and Marc Lawrence allegedly found living conditions there "deplorable." Greck's three children lived at the residence.

Clarence Arthur Johnson, 57, of Rose Road, Batavia, is charged with forcible touching and resisting arrest. Johnson is accused of touching the buttocks of a child at a location on Lewiston Road, Batavia. Following an interview, when Johnson learned he was going to be arrested, he allegedly resisted arrest verbally and physically. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Steven Erwin Crowell, 21, of Emily Court, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and drinking in a motor vehicle. Crowell's vehicle allegedly left the roadway and struck another vehicle at 1:41 a.m. Sunday on Trisha Lane, Bergen. The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Joshua Michael Pierce, 20, of Meadowbrook Terrace, Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. Pierce is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

A 16-year-old resident of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. The youth is accused of doing donuts in a vehicle on the soccer fields of Alexander School and damaging the fields. A 17-year-old resident of Pike Road, Batavia, was also charged.

Jared M. Wendt, 33, of County Road, Angelica, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and aggravated family offense. Wendt was allegedly involved in a domestic incident in the Town of Bethany on Oct. 17 that involved damage to a vehicle and a violation of an order of protection.

Adama William David Brown, 31, of Wilder Road, Warsaw, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, moving from lane unsafely and open container. Brown allegedly was driving when his vehicle stuck a parked car at GCC at 9:50 a.m. Oct. 22.

Samuel C. Longhini, 22, of South Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to use headlights. Longhini was stopped at 2:40 a.m. Oct. 20 on Alexander Road, Attica, by an Attica PD patrol.

Jordan Matthew Brown, 23, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Brown allegedly violated a stay away order of protection.

Kristen M. Meeder, 30, of Rose Road, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and three counts of falsifying business records. Meeder is accused of stealing from her employer.

Michael T. Phelps, 44, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Phelps was arrested following an investigation into a complaint of two males drinking alcohol in a vehicle on Harvester Avenue at 7:03 p.m. Oct. 21. The vehicle was located on North Spruce Street by Officer Christopher Lindsay and Phelps was arrested.

Brian K. Laird, 21, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant following a tip that he was located at a residence on State Street. Laird was jailed without bail.

Jessalyn A. Gates, 24, of Seneca Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Employees of McDonald's reported a possible drunken driver in the parking lot at 1 a.m. Oct. 22. Following an investigation by Officer Chad Richards, Gates was arrested.

Amy M. Carpenter, 40, of Exchange Street, Attica, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, refusal to take breath test and inadequate stop lights. Carpenter was stopped at 2:43 a.m. Oct. 18 on State Street by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

October 25, 2015 - 7:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Gardner, John Gardner Society, Literature, batavia, Pok-A-Dot.


Batavia's literary legend John Gardner was honored Saturday night by the John Gardner Society with the annual reading from passages of his work at his favorite restaurant, the Pok-A-Dot.









October 25, 2015 - 7:39am


The Batavia Cemetery Association hosted its annual ghost walk last night, with local actors playing the roles of historic figures who are buried in (with the exception of William Morgan) the cemetery on Harvester Avenue.


Gen. John Martindale, played by Derek Maxfield.


Philemon Tracy, played Tim Buckman.


Mary Elizabeth Wood, played by Anne Marie Starowitz.


Dean and Mary Richmond, played by Charley and Connie Boyd.


Patrick Weissend as Joseph Ellicott.

October 24, 2015 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

An accident with minor injuries is reported 5264 Clinton Street Road at the intersection of Seven Springs Road. Town of Batavia fire is responding and Bethany's ambulance.

October 24, 2015 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club.

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia are serving pancakes this morning at the Community Center of ARC on Woodward Road, Batavia. The annual fundraiser continues until 2 p.m.





October 24, 2015 - 7:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.


Jim Nigro remembers well the night the Batavia Blue Devils scored 63 points. In was 1962 and he was a freshman on the squad that squared off against a team from the Syracuse area. The fans came into town with banners and shouting about beating the farmers, and the Blue Devils buried them 63-20.

The 2015 Blue Devils came two points shy Friday night of tying that school record in a 61-0 victory over Midlakes in the first round of the Section V Class B playoffs.

Batavia advances to the semi-finals against Hornell at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, at Cal-Mum.

QB Greg Mruczek was a perfect 10 for 10 passing for 144 yards and three touchdowns.  Dominick Mogavero ran for 79 yards and two TDs on four carries. Ryan Hogan had three TD receptions, gaining 60 yards. Malachi Chenault caught four passes for 44 yards.  Ray Leach gained 97 yards, returning two punts for touchdowns. John Garlock and Cody Dioguardi each scored. Terren Lovria and Leach had seven tackles, Mogavero six and Trenton McGraw, six with two sacks.








To purchase prints of photos, click here.

October 23, 2015 - 6:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.


Dave and Robyn Tufts held an open house today in the former WBTA building on East Main Street that they are renovating into apartments and office space.  The restoration preserves and enhances the mid-century modern architecture and when completed will contain four apartments and office space. The exterior and one apartment are completed and a second apartment will be done soon. The downstairs office space is build-to-suit ready for a tenant.

Previously: Local developer announces plans to restore and preserve Mid-century building in city's central corridor



October 23, 2015 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Empire Tractor, batavia, business.


Pete Colantonio, of Empire Tractor, goes over some of the controls of a New Holland Skid Loader with Pete Kingston, of Geneseo, during Empire Tractor's Skid Loader Rodeo.

The most skilled entrants can win prizes.

The rodeo involves driving the skid loader through a timed obstacle course.

Empire Tractor, on East Main Street Road, Batavia, is hosting the event through this afternoon and then again tomorrow starting at 9 a.m.

Lunch is being served both days.




October 23, 2015 - 8:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Buffalo Federal Detention Facility.

Kayode Ayodeji Animashaun, 30, no address provided, is charged with strangulation, 2nd. Animashaun is a detainee at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center on Federal Drive, Batavia, and was allegedly involved in an altercation with another detainee, which was reported Oct. 12. Animashaun allegedly struck the victim and placed the victim in a choke hold causing injury. Animashaun is scheduled to appear in Town of Batavia Court Nov. 30.

October 22, 2015 - 5:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, missing cat, pets, animal rescue.

This little feline funny face is "Kitler." He was last seen Oct. 12 around the North Spruce Apartments, his home in the City of Batavia. He is very skittish and spooks easily.

If he's in a captive space, please keep him there and contact his mom. If you see him, try to keep an eye on him and contact his mom. He's a big boy. He weighs just over 20 pounds. Zounds! Please help get him home!

Jeanine Messinger is desperately hoping that someone will recognize him. Please call 585-455-0560 if you can help.


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