Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Timothy Walton's blog

June 1, 2015 - 4:32am
Rex Ryan and company are headed to Batavia Monday. This time golfing will be part of the 2015 OTA spring training for the team, according to ESPN.  Ryan, who is in his first year as head coach of the Buffalo Bills, will alot the tournament as the fourth of ten team OTA's.  The tournament is set for this morning and will include Jim Kelly, former Bills Hall Of Fame quarterback, for the first time since 2013. He was unable to attend last year, due to cancer treatment.  The tournament, which is in its 29th year, features celebrities and athletes from all over. Past golfers have included former Dolphins Hall Of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, Former Buffalo Bills Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas, ESPN Broadcaster Chris "Boomer" Berman, actor Alec Baldwin, several other past and present Bills players and many others. The tournament raises money for Kelly's charity, Kelly For Kids, which serves disabled and disadvantaged youth in western New York.
August 22, 2013 - 6:13pm
posted by Timothy Walton in Barack Obama, genesee county, photo.

Earlier today, the motorcade of President Barack Obama passed through Genesee County. These photos, submitted by Jordan Difilippo, show the motorcade passing through Genesee County on the Thruway. The photos were taken from Keiffer Road in Pembroke.

A helicopter was first to pass by, followed by New York State Troopers, Genesee County Sheriffs, several law enforcement motorcycles, then more State Troopers, Secret Service SUVs, the President's bus, more Secret Service SUVs, two other buses, more State Troopers, more motorcycles and then more State Troopers in the back. 

August 22, 2013 - 5:50pm
posted by Timothy Walton in accident, motorcycle, donations.

Friends and family of Ashley Stilwell, have set up a donation campaign to help raise money for medical expenses incurred after she was severley injured in a motorcycle accident earlier this month. The accident, claimed the life of her boyfriend, 19 year old Derek Sheldon. 

Stillwell was airlifted to the hospital 

Anyone interested in donating can through this link: 


The site reads: "After a broken back, pelvic bone, many other injuries, and multiple surgeries, Ashley will live. her loving and kind spirit is here with us today, as strong as ever. Any donation to help Ashley and her family pay for her extensive medical expenses will be greatly appreciated"

August 22, 2013 - 4:23pm
posted by Timothy Walton in Barack Obama, genesee county, photo.

Earlier today, the motorcade of President Barack Obama passed through Genesee County. These photos, submitted by Jordan Difilippo, show the motorcade on the I-90 headed towards Buffalo. The photos were taken from Keiffer Rd in Pembroke. The exact route was not made clear, but it's rumored he took the I-490 to the I-90.

A helicopter was first to pass by, followed by New York State Troopers, Genesee County Sheriffs, several law enforcement motorcycles, then more State Troopers, Secret Service SUVs, the President's bus, Secret Service SUVs two other buses, more State Troopers, more motorcycles and then more State Troopers in the back. 

July 27, 2013 - 6:16pm
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, business, photo, Ken Mistler, City Slickers.

MTV reality star Chris "CT" Tamburello (left) was at City Slickers Friday night making a guest appearance. He is pictured with City Slickers owner Ken Mistler. CT is known for his role on several MTV television shows including Real World: Paris, The Challenge, Road Rules, and the most current, Rivals, which is currently running on MTV. 

July 20, 2013 - 3:23pm
posted by Timothy Walton in accident, buffalo bills, Livingston County, Memorial, NBA, Dustin Zito.

If you have been on twitter lately, chances are you have seen the abundance of tweets using the hashtag #RondoForCMstrong (RajonRondo for Cal-Mum Strong). The tweet, started in Cal-Mum to honor one of the recent victims of the tragic car accident, that killed three young adults and injured two others is trending in the Buffalo and Rochester area. 

Emily Peterson, 17, passed away yesterday at Strong Memorial and was the third victim of the crash. Peterson along with the other accident victims were returning home after volunteering for a summer school program at BOCES in Batavia.

Her friends and family took to twitter in an attempt to get her favorite athlete, Rajon Rondo, of the Boston Celtics, to tweet for her. Many have also reached out to ESPN, NBA and other athletes to help get the tweet trending nationwide.

To the friends and family it means alot, a friend said.

"We all thought that it could never happen and never would have but its just taken off to something so unbelievable." said Seth Meyers, a friend of Emily. "Rondo was Emily's favorite player. I can't even explain how many times she talked about him and supported him."

Since the tweets began, Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo, has not only seen the tweet, but dedicated a tweet to it as well. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson, MTV and VH1 reality star Dustin Zito and many other residents and businesses throughout WNY have also joined in the trend.

December 23, 2012 - 8:20pm
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, business, Tim Walton, City Slickers.

City Slickers was the place to be Friday night as DJ Macy Paradise, national recording artist Ya Boy (YB the Rockstar) and Bills players Stevie Johnson, Kelvin Sheppard and Aaron Williams made an appearance and put on a show.

The event was organized by local entrepreneur and promoter Tim Walton and was sponsored by DirecTV/ IR Systems, PantSaggin.com,TheBatavian, and Next Level Fitness. 

Above: Dj Macy Paradise with Buffalo hip-hop artist GiG5.

Above: National recording artist Ya Boy performs "Stevie Johnson (Bills Anthem)."

Above: Stevie Johnson poses for a photo with Bills fan James Stading.

Photos by Micheline V. 

December 13, 2012 - 11:12am
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, business, Ken Mistler, Next Level Fitness, City Slickers.

'Tis the time of giving and Ken Mistler and his wife Andrea are in the spirit. The Mistlers' recently won $200 for winning the downtown window display contest. The display, located inside the former Carr's building was sponsored by both Next Level Fitness and City Slickers Bar & Grill.

"I want to thank the downtown (improvement) district and all the judges for choosing our window." Ken Mistler said. "We know there are families out there having a hard time and we want to be able to give back to them and give them a little something extra this holiday season."

If you know someone that is deserving please e-mail [email protected] with the name of the person and a brief description of why you think they are deserving. Also be sure to include your contact info as well as their's. You can't nominate yourself.

All nominations must be submitted by Dec. 20th. Winnings will be donated in the form of a Save-A-Lot gift card.

"I'm going to review the nominations  and will decide on the most deserving family or families." Mistler said. "I may give one gift card for the full amount or I may give a few."

August 23, 2012 - 4:43pm
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, business, City Slickers.

It's not everyday, you see someone driving in downtown Batavia on their lawnmower. Today, was not like everyday as someone rode thiers to either First Niagara Bank or City Slickers in the early afternoon. 

(Photo by Ken Mistler)

August 16, 2012 - 11:56am
posted by Timothy Walton in pembroke, cancer, Austin's Army.

"You never really think that cancer could reach your child," Jamie Wasieleski said.

For her, it's become more than just a thought. It's become a reality. Her son, 18-year-old Austin Heinemen, was recently diagnosed with it.

A 2012 graduate of Pembroke, he has always been a healthy kid, into sports, dirt-biking and active all year round, and was unexpectedly diagnosed with a desmoplastic small round cell tumor also known as DSRCT.

It's a rare form of childhood cancer that predominantly strikes boys and young adults. DSRCT is a soft-tissue sarcoma that is aggressive and primarily develops in the abdomen.

Treatment for DSRCT is extensive.

"He has been through six intensive chemotherapy sessions that last four days every three weeks," Wasieleski told us. "The chemo kills everything, good and bad, so between chemo sessions he's at Roswell with anything from a cut on the finger, which leads to a pretty nasty infection, to pneumonia."

On the bright side, the chemo has made a difference and as a result of the PET and CAT scans, the tumors are shrinking.

Currently, Austin is waiting for his mother's health insurance to approve him to undergo surgery in New York City. He will have the tumors removed, and then will go through a 28 day stem cell trial. Following that, he will head to Washington, D.C., for another bone marrow trial.

"His father, myself and his three sisters have tested to see if we are a match and (we are) awaiting results," Wasieleski said. "If we are not, we will be looking for matches elsewhere."

The community support has been outpouring for Austin and he's got a whole army behind him fighting the battle.

" 'Austin's Army' was created to show Austin community support and how many people care about him," Wasieleski said. "At a time like this, community support is huge."

"All the help and support by the community is awesome and well deserving for him," says long-time friend Wyatt Chittenden. "With his recent diagnosis of cancer, it was heartfelt by everyone close to Austin because everyone knows how great of a person Heineman is. He always can put a smile on your face and give you a good laugh as well as always being there for people."

Austin's Army has done many fundraisers to help including a chicken barbecue, benefit gathering, piercing drive, and most recently a Facebook promotion at City Slickers.

Anyone interested, may join the army by making a donation to Austin and Austin's Army, through the Five Star Bank in Batavia.

Photo: Austin at one of his benefits with friend Kaela McMartin, who is one of the many members of Austin's Army.

August 12, 2012 - 3:46pm
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, City Slickers, WNY Round Up Rally, Hot Dog Cup.

City Slickers crowned Batavia's Chris Laird (bottom photo) the 2012 Hot Dog Cup champion after he beat out runner-up James Soccio (above), and the other contestants in the last seconds of the contest. Laird was able to down eight and a half of Nathan's brand hot dogs in the 10 minutes alotted.

Soccio, who was a close second, downed eight hot dogs. The annual cup was part of the WNY Round-Up Rally that took place all weekend. Contestants had to eat the dog and bun for it to count and were given a cup of water to dunk the bun if they chose. 

August 10, 2012 - 9:28am
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, downtown, motorcycle rally, WNY Round Up Rally.

School Street, along with Jackson Street will be closed for the weekend.

City workers have closed School Street, along with all of Jackson Street for today, Saturday and Sunday, in order to make room for motorcycles and street vendors participating in this weekend's Round Up Rally. The rally, which last year hosted more than 2,500 bikers, was moved downtown in order to increase the number of vendors and bikes who could attend. 

July 29, 2012 - 10:24pm
posted by Timothy Walton in live nation, Darient Lake, Cherry Hill Campground.

Darien Lake recently announced it's plan to build a fence along Sumner Road, which would close off access to the concert venue from Cherry Hill Campground, better known as "The Hill" and other nearby parking lots.

As of Aug. 17, pedestrian access to the Performing Arts Center will be restricted to passenger drop-off at a designated area near the main gate, or parking in the Darien Lake parking lots. According to a Darien Lake press release this prior week, General Manager Bob Montgomery stated that the plan, which would prohibit concer goers from walking into the venue, was designed to decrease the risk and eliminate those that are walking along the roadway, as well as decrease pre-and post-show alcohol consumption and traffic jams.

Although Darien Lake has stated that they have plenty of parking for all concert goers even on a sold out night, that doesn't seem to fit well for the hundreds of people that have been taking to "The Hill" for the past years and it was no different tonight as it was packed as patrons parked there for the Toby Keith concert.

"Nothing is going to change, we are just going to have to figure a way to get over there (to the venue) but we're still planning on parking up here" stated one concert goer. "We'll figure something out, none of my friends plan on parking anywhere else" stated another. "If anything we just won't go into the concert and we will just hang out up here." he added.

The presumed manager of "The Hill" stated that "we will still be open for camping and people will still park up here. They will all just have to bring a DD (designated driver) to drive up there (to the main entrance)." When asked whether they had any plans to set up a shuttle service or bus rides to curb driving she walked away without any comment.

The Hill, which a former employee disclosed makes an estimate of $6,000+ per concert, would presumably continue to market itself as a concert parking lot to avoid the high loss of revenue. It would be up to all those parking at "The Hill" to be responsible to find sober transportation from the location, to the main entrance of the concert venue, less than a mile away. Although some probably would make the right decision, we can only assume that there will be those that would take the risk driving under the influence given the extremely short distance required to drive.

May 1, 2012 - 4:30pm
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, obituaries, breast cancer.

Many people in the Batavia area are mourning after a well-known mother has passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. Forty-four-year-old Deborah J. Dancy, died Monday at her residence on Shepard Road.

Deb, who is the mother of Lindsey Penders and Nicole Dancy of Batavia, was well known in the Batavia area and school district and liked by both students, teachers, parents and athletes.

Deb was very involved with Batavia cheerleading events and became a friend to many in the area throughout her time. 

Many high school and college students, parents and teachers expressed their love for Deb on Facebook late Monday night and all day today.

One posted "You have touched so many hearts with your amazing strength" while another student added "So many hearts are broken today but God gained an amazing angel." Others posted the lone letters "YOLO" meaning "You Only Live Once" -- the phrase that Deb and many close to her used during her long courageous battle. 

Deb was born Nov. 19, 1967 in Warsaw, NY, the daughter of Richard and Donna McCaughey Ellis. Deborah was a graduate of York Central School. She was a secretary for Upstate Auto Transportation Corporation in Batavia.

Visitation will be held at the Rector-Hicks Funeral Home, 111 Main St. in Geneseo on Thursday, May 3, 2012 from 4-8 p.m.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, May 4, 2012 at 10 a.m. at St. Lucy's Church in Retsof with Walt Purtell officiating. Burial will be in Pleasant Valley Cemetery in York. 

Memorials may be made to the Highland Hospital Oncology Unit, 1000 South Ave. Box 67, Rochester, NY 14620.

Divine Chaos Tattoo in Rochester is planning a tattoo benefit for Deb and Pink Gorilla Tees & Graphics has printed T-shirts to benefit the family.

April 4, 2012 - 10:49pm

A day after The Laughing Buddha announced that it was willing to cooperate with officials, owner Jay Lang was served a notice from New York State Health Department, banning him from selling potpourri over the counter. 

Lang said Tuesday he had voluntarily removed his products from the shelf days earlier, but now he's not permitted to restock them, according to the notice. 

"The health department stopped in this morning and told us we couldn't sell our products anymore," Lang said. "They were very polite and we cooperated fully. We gave them samples of our products that they will be testing for the banned cannabinoids.

"I also spoke to Det. Crossett (Batavia PD) this morning and he informed me that this is a civil matter and not a criminal matter," Lang added.

If he were to restock, the state could fine him up to $1,000. 

Local health department officials confirmed that Lang gave them samples and that tests would be done, but could not tell us exactly what was being done or being tested for, since it was being handled at the state level and not county level.

Products that are being tested include the potpourri that sells under the name White Rhino, Hammer Head and Yum Yum. 

"If the tests come back in my favor, I can restock the shelves," Lang said. "If they come back against me, they will let me know what compounds need to be changed to make the products legal." 

Lang has fifteen days to present proof that his products do not constitute a danger to the health of the people of the State of New York.

Since The Batavian first started following the story, numerous news stations have also picked up on this local story. 

Previous coverage: 

Photo by Howard Owens

April 3, 2012 - 3:43pm

Last week the New York State Health Commissioner issued an order prohibiting products that fall under the umbrella heading of “synthetic cannabinoids” from being sold in the state. These are items sold as “incense” and not for human consumption yet are often smoked as a substitute for marijuana.

Jay Lang, owner of The Laughing Buddha in Batavia, and his attorney say they believe the ban violates two forms of retailers' constitutional rights, one of which falls under the category of interstate trading. 

"After the ban, health department officials stopped by 'The Buddha' but we had already pulled our products that were questionable," Lang said. "I called my attorney and the legal team of the distributors, we all believe that the ban violates the individual rights and the rights of the distributors."

Lang, who recently moved his shop to 238 Ellicott St., claims he did not sell any of the banned items but voluntarily pulled any questionable items from his shelf last Thursday after hearing of the new mandate.

"I don't sell 'Spice' or bath salts," Lang said. "I never have. I sell potpourri. It's the same thing as if you go to your arts and crafts stores or your Big Box retailers. It's just that tattoo and head shops have been put under a microscope."

The items on the state's banned list include K2, Spice, Galaxy Gold, and Mr. Happy.

According to Lang, "Spice" was the trade name given to K2, that was banned more than a year ago. Since then, the distributors have made changes to their products in an attempt to legalize them again, he said.

Although some of the products have regained legal status, they still carry the label "Spice." He said that "Spice" is currently being used as the slang name given to the damiana leaf after it's been sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids. It only gets the "Spice" classification once it is sprayed.

"None of the products that I sell have been sprayed with any form of cannabinoids, which is why these products are still legal to be sold," Lang said.
"My attorney and the distributor's legal team have advised me to put my products back on the shelf, although for the time being, I am keeping them off (the shelf)."

Lang, who said he has NYS certified lab reports that classify his products as potpourri, has also put together a package to work with the health department and law enforcement regarding the products in question.

"I'm inviting the health department and law enforcement to inspect my questionable products," he said. "I have sample kits that I put together for them and I will even pay to have my products tested to prove that they do not contain any of the banned cannabinoids and that all they are is potpourri."

If law enforcement and the health department do not express interest in the testing and validating his products as legal potpourri, Lang plans to restock his shelves with the products.

March 11, 2011 - 2:21pm
posted by Timothy Walton in business, Sponsored Post, TopLine Shirt Co.

Business Owners: Interested in this type of ad? Contact Howard Owens at [email protected]

March 3, 2011 - 3:54pm
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, sports, Brian Hillabush.


The local sports world and many members of the Genesee County community mourn today after hearing of the unexpected passing of popular sportswriter, Brian Hillabush.

Hillabush, who spent nearly a decade at Batavia Daily News and some time at The Batavian, was found dead in his home Wednesday evening. No cause of death has been determined.

"I'm very shocked to hear about Brian and we will all certainly miss him," says Batavia Daily News managing editor Mark Graczyk. "He did great job as sports writer here. He always cared about people that he covered and will be missed by the people in the community.

"Brian loved and lived for sports, with his favorite teams being Duke, Yankees, and the Colts," said his girlfriend Aline Alibe Santos. "He loved his nephews and his family and had future plans to get married."

Hillabush had been attending Genesee Community College and was majoring in travel and tourism. 

"He was an energetic, well-liked student. You could tell from his days at the paper that he was interested in learning about the facts and finding out as much as he could about topics he liked." says GCC instructor Amy Slusser. "He took interest in local geography and hometown destinations and wanted to promote Batavia as a tourism destination."

Hillabush was well known for spending hours each week at sporting events and had a strong following in high school sports.

"He was very good at his job," says Batavia hockey coach Paul Pedersen. "He went the extra mile to cover the high school sports and was very passionate about the ones in the area, being that he was a local kid himself.

"He would go every day, game to game, and that was his life. It was awesome and the articles showed the time he put into each one of them. (Our) team went to states in 2002-2003 and he followed us to all the games that were way out of town. Him and (Mark) Gutman were stapled to us. Not every reporter does that. It was nice and made the kids feel special."

"Brian was passionate about how he represented, reported and worked with the local sports," stated Notre Dame Football coach and longtime friend Rick Mancuso. "He loved the kids he interacted with and he loved what he did.

"His passion was what set him apart from other people. He really was an advocate for high school sports.He worked very hard in everything he did and had a vision for how high school reporting should be."

Brian's work was appreciated by many and he was one of the few reporters that went out of his way to cover cheerleading as well.

"The first person to always cover our acomplishments was Brian," says former Batavia cheerleading captain Jamie Turman. "As a cheerleader it wasn't often that you would be in the limelight, but Brian always made our winnings known to our community.

"He understood that even though we were cheerleaders, we were proud of what we had done and what we had acomplished. He was amazing in the sense that he made all althelets feel great about what they had done no matter how big or small. He even took the time to talk to us and to learn about cheerleading to try and put himself in our shoes."

Hillabush's vision for high school sports started with a focus on the Genesee Region but quickly expanded to all of Section V. He played a major role in the lauch of SectionVTalksback.com, which is an online high school sports forum that allows athletes from all over the section to interact and chat about their sports.

"He had a great vision in kicking off probably one of the most succesful high school sports sites that exists in SectionVTalksback. He really did a great job at what he did. He will be missed by many," added Mancuso.

Friends may call on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. at H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 E. Main St., Batavia, where services will follow at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. Burial will be in Grand View Cemetery, Batavia.

March 2, 2011 - 5:09pm
posted by Timothy Walton in music, darien lake.

A big stage perfomance is what some only dream of. For 'A Summer Scene', that dream could come true this summer, as they have a chance to make the cut to perform on stage at the Van's Warped Tour.

In January 2010, Tim Mieney, Jimmy and Shane Causyn and Jake Bliss formed the band that now is in need of your votes to get on the big stage. The tour is set to make its local appearence at Darien Lake on July 12th and with your votes A Summer Scene may be on the list.

To vote click here, create an account and then you can vote everyday to help them win the performance.

Press Release from the band:

"The band came together in January of 2010. Jimmy, Jake and Shane had been writing together for a couple months and they asked Tim to take a listen to some of the material they had come up with. It started out as nothing serious but after a few practices we all realized that we had something special and what started out as a casual jam band turned into something very important to all of us."

"We love writing music from personal experience because if we've experienced something then chances are someone else has too. And if we can help someone in any way with the music we write then that right there is a dream come true for us. We can't thank everyone enough for how much support they give us and how much everyone helps this band. Be on the lookout for our new four song EP coming out around late April!"

February 14, 2011 - 2:39am
posted by Timothy Walton in notre dame high school, sports.

For the second time this year, hockey fans filled the Falleti Ice Arena for the cross-town matchup between the Ice Devils and the Fighting Irish. The Devils were out for revenge after losing the first matchup and succeeded, upsetting the Irish 4-2.

"It felt great to beat a really good team going into sectional play," said Batavia senior captain Tim Finnell. "Now we have momentum to build off of."

The Irish got on the board first as Tyler Kessler set up Brett Perfitt in front of the net, where he put the puck past Batavia goaltender Adam Kurek.

Freshman Rich Francis then put Batavia on the board to even the game at 1-1. Joe Saraceni was credited with the assist.

Conor Holvey beat ND goalie Tom Dehr for his first of two goals to give Batavia the lead off an assist from Trevor Powers.

Zach Blew and Dylan Versage set up Josh Johnson to tie the game for the second time at two goals each to end the 2nd period.

Heading into the 3rd period tied 2-2 was a familiar scenario for both teams. Last time the two teams faced off it was the same situation, and Notre Dame made the most of the 3rd period by scoring 4 goals to win 6-2.

"Last game we got too hyped up going into the 3rd and we came out flat. When a couple bounces went their way we started to hang our heads because things weren't going our way," says Batavia forward Josh Marr. "This time we stayed calm and knew what had to be done in order to win this game...we had no room to take any shifts off."

Finnell led Batavia into the final period as Holvey and Trevor Schimley set him up to beat Dehr right side.

Holvey sealed the win for the Ice Devils, netting an empty net goal as the buzzer sounded to end the score 4-2.

Both Kurek and Dehr made 17 saves for their respective teams.




Copyright © 2008-2017 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