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September 26, 2018 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

For the first time since 2007, the August unemployment rate for Genesee County is below 4 percent, hitting 3.5 percent this August.

The rate hasn't been that low or lower since 2000 when it was 3.4 percent in August.

Genesee County's unemployment rate hasn't been as low as 3.5 percent in any month since May 2001.

The rate in August 2017 was 4.2 percent.

The total labor force for Genesee County in August was 30,400 with 1,100 people out of work and actively looking for work.

In August 2001, there were 31,900 people in Genesee County in the labor force with 1,200 looking for work.

New York State's unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, down from 4.9 percent a year ago. The national unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, down from 4.5 percent a year ago.

Nationally, the economy has added jobs for 95 straight months.

September 26, 2018 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.



September 26, 2018 - 9:40am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, crime, scanner.

An assault is reported at Tim Hortons at 20 Main St. in the city. Police are on scene. Mercy medics are called to respond in non-emergency mode.

September 25, 2018 - 11:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, batavia.

An electrical fire in the wall is reported at 4020 S. Main Street Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding; a first responder on scene reports smoke is showing in the residence; the sole occupant is out of the building. The location is between Fairway Drive and the city limit. The Fast Team out of the city is called for mutual aid to the town for the possible house fire. South Main Street Road is to be shut down at Fairway Drive.

UPDATE 11:07 p.m.: South Main is shut down at Fairway. The city's third platoon is called to headquarters to stand by because firefighters are deployed on South Main Street Road for the possible house fire.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: National Grid has been notified, as per command's request.

UPDATE 11:22 p.m.: The fire is out. The city's Fast Team has been released. Town of Batavia fire remains on scene to do overhaul and investigate the blaze.

September 25, 2018 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy fire district, Le Roy, news, Le Roy Ambulance.

Press release:

Recent articles in the local media announced a proposal to create an ambulance district to provide emergency medical service to residents in the Town and Village of Le Roy.

One point in an article is misleading. The statement that funding to support this ambulance service would be arrived at by an increase in the “fire tax” is not correct.

The Le Roy Fire District is not in any way involved in the raising of funds or a tax increase in support of this effort. The Fire District is the only agency that can raise “fire tax.” The article states otherwise.

The Fire District is not opposed to, or in favor of, the formation of this entity. The Fire District relies heavily on professional and well trained EMS service and transport services and works daily in harmony with the Le Roy Ambulance Service ambulance and EMS personnel.

Publisher's Note: It was NOT The Batavian that incorrectly reported an increase in the "fire tax." Our coverage explicitly stated there is a proposal to create a separate ambulance district in Le Roy.

September 25, 2018 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
  Constantine Murrell

A 35-year-old parolee from Rochester was charged robbery in the second degree after allegedly carjacking a sedan this morning and leading police on a chase through city streets that reached 65 mph.

The suspect, identified as Constantine D. Murrell, reportedly threatened a 76-year-old woman at the Kwik Fill at Jackson and Ellicott streets and took her car from her. 

The woman was not hurt but did call emergency dispatch immediately.

Officers Frank Klimjack and Kyle Krtanik spotted a vehicle matching the description of the stolen car on Liberty Street and used their patrol cars' emergency lights to signal for it to stop. The driver is accused of not stopping and instead fleeing at a high rate of speed.

The chase came to an end when the stolen vehicle struck another car at Redfield Parkway and Richmond Avenue, which cause it to careen into a tree and the recently installed sign at the entrance of VA Medical Center.

The car then caught on fire.

Batavia Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire and Murrell was taken into custody without further incident. 

He is also charged with unlawful fleeing a police officer, 3rd, and several traffic violations.

Police report that besides the damage to the car, the sign at the VA Center was significantly damaged.

No injuries were reported.

Murrell was ordered held without bail.

Assisting Batavia PD were State Police, the Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office, City fire, and Public Works.

(Initial Report)

September 25, 2018 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Youth Bureau, news, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has secured $20,000 for the Genesee County Youth Bureau and $10,000 for the City of Batavia Youth Bureau.

“Our youth have unlimited potential to succeed, and this state investment will turn that potential into reality,” Ranzenhofer said. “As your State Senator, my commitment to the future of our children is unwavering. I’m proud to deliver on that commitment.”

The state funding will help support a safe afterschool environment and structured educational programs that provide youth with homework help, tutoring, skill building, and recreational activities.

“Our programs are making a difference by motivating young people to develop a sense of responsibility and contribute to their communities. This funding will be a major boost for our initiatives. I applaud Senator Ranzenhofer for being such a strong supporter of our youth in Genesee County,” said Executive Director for Genesee County & City of Batavia Youth Bureaus Jocelyn Sikorski. 

The funding is part of the 2018-19 State Budget. The funding is administered by the New York State Education Department.

September 25, 2018 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, Oakfield, Alabama, OACS Alumni Hall of Fame.

The Oakfield-Alabama Central School Alumni Hall of Fame has three new inductees this year: Mark Boyce ('76), David Reed ('97), and Brett Willmott ('91). They will be feted at an awards dinner later this year.

Here are their then-and-now pictures, provided by OACS, and biographies, written by former English teacher and football Coach Bill Bostwick.

Mark Boyce -- Class of '76

Life at the forefront of development in the digital business world highlights Mark Boyce’s selection to the Hall.

While earning a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, Mark found time to participate in the all-male a cappella group the Colgate 13, singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl XIII and performing at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

Earning his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Mark began his career by helping to start the Personal Computing Division at IBM.

This was followed by formulating strategy that helped Anixter International become a global leader in Network and Security Solutions, Electrical and Electronic Solutions, and Utility Power Solutions.

Following his time at Anixter, Mark founded his own Internet company, shepherding yesmail.com’s successful IPO and acquisition.

He currently serves as president and CEO of Scribe Inc., a leading healthcare solution provider.

In this position, Mark helps Scribe assist more than 50,000 healthcare professionals navigate the difficult world of health care records.

In addition to his business duties, Mark serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Dean College in Franklin, Mass., and works behind the scenes to aid multiple charities.

Mark’s life and career exemplify the OACS motto, "Learn Today for Tomorrow."



David Reed -- Class of '97

A life of serving others has provided David Reed’s path to the Hall of Fame.

A master's degree graduate of SUNY College at Fredonia, Dave began his teaching career at Lincoln Charter School in Lincolnton, N.C., in 2005.

In 2012 he moved on to Kings Mountain Intermediate School.

Despite his youth, Dave garnered the local Teacher of the Year Award in 2014, following that up with earning that distinction in 2016 for the entire county.

This opened the door to attendance at the highly selective Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta.

Dave also initiated the nationally recognized All-Pro Dads program in Kings Mountain, taking the  enrollment from 30 participants in its first year to more than 200.

Dave also gives to his community by participating in the Carolina Panthers’ Black and Blue Crew entertainment squad and the Charlotte Hornets’ Swarm Squad.

Dave embodies the motto, "I touch the future, I teach."




Brett Willmott -- Class of '91

Speed, strength and endurance are the linchpins of Brett Willmott’s run to the Hall.

Brett graduated from SUNY College at Plattsburgh where he participated in cross-country and track, captaining the latter squad in his senior campaign.

He began his college coaching career at his alma mater in 1996, serving as assistant cross-country and track coach and mentoring the1998 NCAA Division III hurdles champion.

During his three-year tenure, Plattsburgh athletes set a total of 48 school records while garnering multiple conference championships.

Brett became head cross-country/track and field/strength and conditioning coach at SUNY College at New Paltz in 1999.

During his four-year stint at New Paltz Brett coached multiple SUNYAC champions, 14 SUNYAC All-Academic selections and eight Academic All-Americas.

His success continued after returning to Plattsburgh in the same position in 2003. At this time he added strength and conditioning duties with the U.S. Olympic Skeleton team based in Lake Placid.

The year 2007 saw a move to Division I University of Vermont with continued individual and team success.

Brett has recently undertaken the enhancement of cross-country and track at SUNY College at Oneonta.

These achievements have been augmented by multiple instances of community outreach in the form of strength and conditioning clinics for young people.

Brett’s life reflects the values of service and education fostered during his years at OACS.

September 25, 2018 - 2:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, corfu, GC Department of Social Services.

Press release from the GC Department of Social Services:

Edwin Stancliff, 39, of Corfu, was sentenced to a five-month intermittent jail term in Batavia Town Court on Monday, Sept. 24, after pleading guilty to one count of petit larceny.

Stancliff was originally charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree and offering a false instrument in the first degree in June 2017 after an investigation by the Genesee County Department of Social Services revealed he had failed to report his receipt of NYS Disability.

He subsequently received $1,933.21 in assistance benefits to which he was not entitled.

Stancliff accepted the plea deal to the reduced charge of petit larceny and was sentenced to the five-month intermittent jail term, was disqualified from receiving cash assistance and Food Stamp (SNAP) benefits and has made full restitution to the Genesee County Department of Social Services.

Anyone wishing to report suspected cases of Welfare Fraud in Genesee County can contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigation Unit at (585) 344-2580, ext. 6417 or 6416.

September 25, 2018 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in assemblyman steve hawley, business, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he has received an 88 percent rating from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and a 91 percent from The Business Council of New York State Inc. based on a number of key votes during this year’s legislative session.

Hawley’s rating puts him in an elite tier of pro-small business Assembly Members compared to many lawmakers from New York City who received failing grades. Votes on various topics pertaining to business were evaluated including taxes, regulations, compensation and labor issues.

“As a small-business owner and operator for much of my life, I know firsthand how important it is to cultivate an environment where entrepreneurs are cherished and jobs are created without costly tax incentives,” Hawley said.

“New York has far too long been known as anti-business, and that reputation has forced too many of our small businesses and larger companies to leave the state, costing us revenue, jobs and stalling economic growth. I am honored to be considered one of the state’s top pro-business legislators once again and look forward to making New York truly open for business."

September 25, 2018 - 1:23pm

From our news partner, WBTA:

Nathaniel D. Wilson Jr. of Batavia appeared in Genesee County Court this morning for sentencing on a second-degree murder conviction.

Wilson, 31, was caught on police surveillance footage stabbing Terry Toote to death on Central Avenue in the city on May 17th.

Wilson previously accepted a plea deal in August on an Alford basis (meaning he didn't admit guilt but concedes a jury would likely find him guilty), thereby avoiding a potentially harsher sentence than he could have received if his case went to trial. 

The sentencing proceedings started with several denied requests to have reports and recommendations from Wilson’s past stricken from the record by defense attorney Frederick Rarick.

There were a number of Toote’s family members in the courtroom where District Attorney Lawrence Friedman invited several relatives to make presentence statements.

Toote’s cousins Michelle and Oliver Little said Terry “was all about family” and that he leaves behind an 18-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

Toote’s cousin Dwayne addressed Nathaniel directly saying “Nate come waltzing in here like you don’t care. You got to wake up.” Adding that “You took away from our family and you took away from your family. You’re not going to be there for your kids.”

The victim’s sister Tinisha was less reserved in her presentencing statement, loudly proclaiming to Wilson “Nate Wilson I hate you. You took my m***** f****** little brother.” Toote said “I want to jump over there and whup your ass.” Adding “Come in here smiling, s*** pisses me off.”

Wilson said before being sentenced that he never meant to kill that man and that he was sorry for what he had done.

Judge Charles Zambito detailed the incident caught on the police pole-cam and said Wilson made the choice to stab Terry Toote in the heart after he had already fallen to the ground during the altercation.

Zambito deemed Wilson a danger to the community and sentenced him to a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life.

September 25, 2018 - 1:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in UMMC, batavia, news, scanner.

The Batavia City Fire Department's third platoon is called to stand by in headquarters. City firefighters are working an unspecified chemical spill at UMMC.

September 25, 2018 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy, Pavilion.

Angela M. McIntyre, 46, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with: uninspected motor vehicle; driving while intoxicated -- impaired by drugs -- first offense; and criminal possession of a controlled substance (unspecified). McIntyre was arrested at 10:52 a.m. on Sept. 14 on East Main Street in Batavia following an investigation at Eastown Plaza. She was released to Genesee Justice and is due in City Court Sept. 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Kyle Krtanik.

Aaron L. Klein, 47, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 1:12 p.m. on Sept. 19 for violating a stay-away order of protection. Klein was allegedly caught hiding in the protected party's house within hours of being served with the stay-away order. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Jeremiah T. Jones, 45, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 1:40 p.m. on Sept. 17 on West Main Street, Batavia, after he violated a stay-away order of protection. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in city court on Oct. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

A 17-year-old who lives on Liberty Street in Batavia was arrested at 8:05 p.m. on Sept. 17 following a disturbance on Ross Street in the city wherein the youth is accused of punching another person in the face. The defendant was due in city court this afternoon to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Jeremy C. Goodell, 44, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, was arrested Sept. 21 on a bench warrant for failure to appear in city court. He had been charged with third-degree criminal mischief stemming from an incident that occurred at 444 W. Main St., Batavia. Following his arraignment, he was jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is due in coty court on Thursday (Sept. 27). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kyle Krtanik, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

David L. Newton, 59, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was apprehended by Tops market employees after allegedly being observed concealing several items on his person and exiting the store. He was arrested at 10:55 p.m. on Sept. 20 and released on an appearance ticket and is due in City Court on Oct. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Ronnie Joe Flinchum, 59, of Mill Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Sept. 21 on a Batavia City Court bench warrant for failure to appear. Flinchum was arraigned and jailed on $1,000 cash or bond. The defendant was due in city court this morning. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Julia L. Tombari, 24, of Roanoke Road, Pavilion, is charged with violation of probation. She was arrested on Sept. 24 on a bench warrant out of city court for violating probation. She was arraigned and jailed on $5,000 cash or bond and is due in city court on Thursday (Spet. 27). The case was handled by Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Isaiah J.A. Munroe, 28, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. On Sept. 22 at 6:19 p.m. while on a traffic stop on Bank Street in Batavia, Munroe was arrested for allegedly possessing marijuana. He was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket and is due in city court on Oct. 2 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Catherine Mucha, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

September 25, 2018 - 12:04pm

Public Health Column from the Genesee County Health Department:

Do you have small children or grandchildren? Are you pregnant and getting your older home ready for your new baby? Do you live in a house or send your children to a day care center built before 1978? Do you know the last time your child was tested for lead poisoning?

If you don’t know the answer to the last question, talk with your primary care provider or contact your local Health Department and ask about testing.

Lead is a metal that can harm children and adults when it gets into their bodies. Lead can be found in dust, air, water, soil, and in some products used in and around the home. Most homes built before 1978 have old lead paint, often under newer paint.

If paint peels, cracks, or is worn down, the chips and dust from the old lead paint can spread onto floors, windowsills and all around your home. Lead dust can then get onto children's hands and toys, and into their mouths.

Generally there are no signs or symptoms to help you know if your child has lead poisoning. A person with lead poisoning usually does not look or feel sick. The best way to find out if your child has lead poisoning is by testing.

The most common test is a quick blood test. It measures how much lead is in the bloodstream. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, the ability to pay attention, delayed development, and academic achievement.

New York State requires doctors to test all children with a blood lead test at age 1 year and again at age 2 years. At every well-child visit up to age 6, health care providers must ask parents about any contact their child might have had with lead.

If there's been a chance of contact, providers are required to test for lead again. Parents can ask their child's doctor or nurse if their child should get a lead test, and what the lead test results mean.

“Children under the age of 6 years old are at risk because they are growing so rapidly and because they tend to put their hands and/or other objects, which may be contaminated with lead dust, into their mouths,” said Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans Counties.

In addition to children, pregnant women should be tested for lead as well.

“Expectant mothers who live in an older home and are exposed to lead dust can inhale the particles and pass it on to their baby," Bedard said. "Your doctor should discuss proper prenatal care to reduce your exposure to lead during your pregnancy and how to prevent lead exposure to your baby once he/she is born.”

The good news is that you can protect your family from lead poisoning. Talk to your healthcare provider about potential lead sources in your house or anywhere your kids spend long periods of time, such as a daycare or a relative’s house.

Here are some ways to reduce or eliminate your exposure to lead/ lead dust:

Fix peeling lead paint and make home repairs safely.

  • Keep children away from peeling or chipped paint.

  • Before making repairs in a home built before 1978, call your local health department to learn how to work safely and keep dust levels down.

  • Children and pregnant women should stay away from repairs that disturb old paint, such as sanding and scraping. They should stay away until the    area is cleaned using wet cleaning methods and a HEPA vacuum (not dry sweeping).

Wash dust off hands, toys, bottles, windows and floors.

  • Wash your child's hands and face after play, before meals, and before bed.

  • Wash toys, stuffed animals, pacifiers and bottles with soap and water often.

  • Mop floors often, and use damp paper towels to clean window wells and sills.

Be careful not to bring lead home on clothes, toys, or jewelry.

Keep lead out of your food and tap water.

Serve foods that have calcium, iron, and vitamin C.

​Lead is in some children's jewelry, toys, keys, and old furniture. Sign up for children's product recall alerts at www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.

Some jobs and hobbies can involve contact with lead. These include: painting, plumbing, construction, car repair, or working with firearms, stained glass or pottery.

To lower lead dust, change work clothes before going home; take shoes off at your door; wash work or hobby clothes separately; wash face, hands and uncovered skin before going home.

  • Let tap water run for one minute before using it, if it hasn't been run for a few hours. Town and well water could have lead from old plumbing.

  • Only use cold tap water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula. Boiling your water does not get rid of lead.

  • Use lead-free dishes. Don't serve or store food in pewter, crystal, or cracked pottery.

These foods help keep lead from being stored in your child's body:

  • Foods with calcium: milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and green, leafy vegetables.

  • Foods with iron: beans, lean meat, fortified cereal and peanut butter.

  • Foods with vitamin C: oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, tomatoes, green peppers.

For information about Health Department services contact: Genesee County Health Department at 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.

September 25, 2018 - 12:00pm

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! You have a right to safe workplace. Federal laws state that your employer must provide a work area with no known health or safety hazards. You also have the right to: 

  • Be protected from toxic chemicals
  • Request an OSHA inspection, and talk with the inspector
  • Be trained in a language you understand
  • Work on machines that meet safety regulations
  •  See copies of the workplace injury and illness log
  •  Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace
  •  Be provided required safety gear, including but not limited to: Hardhat, gloves and harness
  •  Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records If you or someone you know has been injured or fallen ill due to unsafe work conditions. 

Call Dolce Panepinto at 716-852-1888 immediately. We understand how life-altering a work injury can be, and we are here to help.


September 25, 2018 - 11:44am
posted by Billie Owens in Boy Scouts, batavia, troop 6006, news.

Photo: Thomas Ognibene, right, of Batavia Boy Scout Troop 6006, lights the Eagle Candle during his Eagle Scout initiation ceremony on Sunday. His father, Steve Ognibene is standing behind him. Photos courtesy of Rick Franclemont.


Here's the text of the speech that Thomas Ognibene, of Batavia, gave after being designated an Eagle Scout on Sunday:

"Wow, this is great. It is amazing how much support (I get) from family and friends that are here today. I’d like to go over some highlights of my Boy Scout journey.

First of all, I’d like to give thanks to the First United Methodist Church for supporting our troop and two years ago when we had our 100 year celebration. That was a milestone that not many troops accomplish.

Starting six years ago, back in March of 2012, Mr. and Mrs. Bartz introduced me to Scouting at a Cub Scout meeting by the invite of Shane Moak and Pack 69. And with the help of Mr. Crowley, those leaders gave me a base foundation, to get me quickly to cross over to become a Boy Scout within one month while I was in fifth grade.

When I came into Troop 69, I met Evan Bartz who became my friend and today this friendship continued through Scouts and school. We went to Brown Sea, which is a great experience, which every incoming Scout should attend right away their first summer camp. Along my journey I had to make a transition from Troop 69 to Troop 6. I felt like I needed to get a new direction in Scouting and when I did it was the help of the leaders that are here today.

When I came to Troop 6006, Dylan Scroger was the Senior Patrol Leader, under his leadership along with the new boys who welcomed me in, I began my next phase of Scouting. With there teaching and direction, I earned Second Class.

The biggest challenge I had to overcome in Scouting was one of the requirements for my next upcoming rank, First Class, and that was to successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. I had many challenges leading up to this and with the help of Mr. Mountain, Mr Geiger, and Mr. Jess Markel who came to my assistance, after many months of training going back and forth in the pool, practicing the breaststroke and resting backstroke, I was able to complete the BSA swimmer test and since then I have been a great swimmer ever since and achieved First Class Scout.

As a Star Scout, one of my memorable moments was when Mr. Gaus had this great steak that he cooked and little did I know later on, when eating a third serving, that it was deer meat. Another moment was when my dad got real excited when Mr. Grover offered him a Paula’s Donut, and when he opened the box there was nothing in there! There are many humorous moments in Scouting that I will always cherish. Along these campouts, Mr. Gaus helped me with different merit badge requirements that later on helped me achieve Star Scout.

Over the years, I was heavily involved in the popcorn sales that benefited the counsel and helped raise money toward summer camps, going to the National Jamboree, and other activities. I’d like to thank my customers who supported me over the years and my dad, 'the popcorn kernel,' who took me door-to-door to sell popcorn.

As a Life Scout, three other boys from this troop and I attended the 2017 National Scout Jamboree held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.

In Scouting, as in life, adventure takes on many meanings: high adventure, learning, camaraderie, and simply being part of something bigger. 'Live Scouting’s Adventure' was the theme for the jamboree that year. The four of us met people from all over the country, activities we did consisted of patch trading, zip lining, mountain biking, shooting sports, scuba diving, and so much more.

The experiences we had will stick with us forever and we were able to share this with our troop at the end of the summer that year, and told the boys that It is worthwhile to attend if they wish to do so when the next jamboree is taking place.

About a year after the jamboree, I continued to work on requirements and merit badges for the rank of Eagle Scout, I had to plan, develop, and give leadership, to a service project. That’s when I first met with Mr. Jacobs, the buildings and grounds manager at John Kennedy School here in Batavia.

I came to him with a plan to expand the present memorial garden, which is behind the school where the bus loop is, that had two trees and a shrub already planted there. The garden was originally created in memory of Mike Houseknecht and the Raines teachers. In this current project, I expanded and enhanced the garden which included adding dirt, mulch, flowers, another shrub, a stone wall, a brickwork of pavers on the outside borders of the garden, and a small square paver area in front of the stone wall, which has a plaque in the middle of that area.

The garden is a symbol of remembrance to the people who have played an important role and dedicated their time to help the students at John Kennedy School. I’d like to thank my fellow scouts, adult leaders, and members of the community who came to donate their time, on that day of the project.

Before I conclude my speech, I would like to talk about someone who had a major impact on me through the scouting journey. During my time as Senior Patrol Leader, Webmaster, and other leadership positions that I held, this adult leader has given me the instruction, guidance, and advice throughout my time in the Boy Scouts.

What I have learned from him, has shaped me into becoming a better individual, scout, friend, and family member and will continue to throughout the rest of my life. This adult leader is most deserving of the mentor pin. I would now like to give the mentor pin to my Scoutmaster, Mr. Ron Bernard.

Once again, I would like to thank each and everyone of you for coming out today, and I hope your all enjoy the rest of today's ceremony."

From left, Scoutmaster Ron Bernard, Thomas Ognibene and Steve Ognibene.

Boy Scouts of America Troop 6006.

September 25, 2018 - 11:13am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, education, news.

Press release:

The Elba Central School District’s Board of Education has named three finalists for the district’s next Superintendent.

Michael Augello, Elba Central School District’s Board president, said he is pleased with the high-quality candidate pool and enthused about the potential the three finalists have to offer.

“Selecting the best superintendent for Elba Central is the Board’s top priority,” Augello said. “This was a difficult decision especially with the number of qualified candidates who applied. BOE has narrowed the search to three finalists. We look forward to the next round of interviews where the finalists meet with our various stakeholders.”

The three finalists are Jason Smith, Ned Dale and Matt Stroud.

Jason Smith

Smith currently serves as the superintendent of Schools for the Lyndonville Central School District, where he has served since 2011. Through his fiscal leadership, Smith has developed and secured the passage of eight district budget votes, and established a long-term reserve plan. Smith facilitated the development and implementation of long-term District and School strategic planning with diverse stakeholders. He also successfully negotiated four collective bargaining contracts and non-union employees’ contracts prior to agreements expiring. Smith led the implementation of a $10.6 million capital improvement project focused on security upgrades and energy efficiencies.

Smith began his career in 1994 as a Social Studies teacher at Albion High School. Over the next 10 years, he became dean of students, and assistant principal at Albion Middle School. From 2004 until 2011, he served as secondary principal for grades 7-12, elementary principal and Pre-K-12 principal at the Elba Central School District. During this time, Smith attained graduation rates between 92 and 100 percent, and also planned and implemented teacher professional development.

Smith received a Bachelor of Arts in History from SUNY Geneseo and a Master of Science in Education from The College at Brockport. He earned a certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from The College at Brockport and also holds certifications in Social Studies 7-12 and as a School District Administrator.

Ned Dale

Dale currently serves as the principal of Cosgrove Middle School, Spencerport Central Schools, a position he has held since 2007. Dale began his career in education in 2000 as a school counselor/teacher leader at Spencerport High School. He continued his career at Spencerport Central Schools serving as the assistant principal of Cosgrove Middle School.

During his career at Spencerport Central Schools, Dale has developed three tiers of Response to Intervention in English Language Arts and Math in collaboration with other administrators and stakeholders.

Through his leadership, Cosgrove Middle School was designated as a School to Watch based upon the collaboration of the New York State Education Department, New York State Middle School Association and National Forum to Accelerate Middle Level Reform. As president of the Spencerport Administrators and Supervisors Association, Dale has successfully negotiated three 3-year contracts for the entire association. He also established an approved APPR plan for principals that was accepted by the New York State Education Department.

Dale earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. John Fisher College, and a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester. He completed the New York State Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego and holds permanent certifications in School Counseling, and as a School District Administrator.

Matt Stroud

Stroud is the principal of Alexander Elementary School, where he has served since 2007. As principal, Stroud oversees the hiring, evaluation and supervision of more than 50 instructional and support staff. He plans and leads staff development at both the Alexander elementary and high schools. During his tenure as principal, he serves as the administrative representative for the district’s APPR plan negotiations. He leads and or serves on multiple district-level committees including Teaching and Learning, APPR, and Response to Intervention. He oversees the budget preparation and monitoring including BOCES services for Alexander Elementary School. Stroud coordinated efforts for the creation of a national certified outdoor classroom.

Previously, he served as an English teacher at Letchworth Central School District from 2001 until 2007. During this time, he wrote and implemented New York State standards for grades 10-12 and created and taught three college-level courses. Stroud received the Teacher of the Year Award in 2005.  

Stroud earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Houghton College, and a Master of Arts in English from the College at Brockport. He also earned an Advanced Certificate in Educational Administration from The University of Rochester. Stroud holds permanent certifications in English 7-12 and as a School District Administrator.

The Next Step

The Board of Education will conduct the final round of interviews with the three candidates in early October at the Elba Central School District. The BOE expects to appoint the final candidate by Nov. 26.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, who is acting as search consultant, said the Board has developed and implemented a process that will help determine the best candidate.

 “This is a rigorous search process,” MacDonald said. “Finalists are interviewed by several stakeholder groups, and concludes with the Board meeting to make a final decision.”


The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

September 25, 2018 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake theme park, news.


Press release:

Darien Lake, a Six Flags Theme Park, will unleash the biggest and scariest Fright Fest® in park history. As part of the bone-chilling lineup, seven brand new nightmarish attractions leave no tombstone unturned to deliver what guests want most…an all-out terrifying experience.

This brand new event features three electrifying mazes and four dare-to-enter scare zones, along with hellish, roaming zombies around every corner. To take fright to the extreme, Darien Lake will add a sinister element to some of the theme park’s monster coasters by turning off the lights, leaving riders to face their fears in total darkness.

“Darien Lake is thrilled to bring top-level, terrifying thrills to our guests with an incredible lineup of truly frightening attractions and entertainment,” said Park President Chris Thorpe. “Fright Fest is the ultimate national Halloween event and we are excited to present our biggest and scariest event yet.”

New this Year, three haunted attractions (at an additional charge) incorporate state-of-the-art makeup, props, and special effects:

  • Hotel Terror: 7 Deadly Sins: Tour the horrific hotel where sinful guests are condemned to a life of suffering. Beware, they do not take kindly to visitors.
  • Jungle Apocalypse: Immerse into this forsaken island filled with ancient ruins, secrets and a tribe of worshippers looking for their next human sacrifice.
  • Camp Scumshine: Visit the winding paths of death and despair that once was Camp Sunshine. The Boogeyman is real and tonight he could be playing a little trick on YOU!

Four additional scare zones around the park leave guests nowhere to hide and screaming to get out unscathed:

  • Passage of the Damned: Walk through the passage of the soulless keepers that ensure that no living enter the world of the dammed
  • Creep Show Freak Show: The area of rejected and demonic circus performers. This circus troop was banished to the outer world for their misdeeds during their mortal lives.
  • Voodoo Curse: Pass through a marshy inlet but be careful not to be enshrouded by those who have been cursed to roam these mucky waters. These swamp dwellers will unleash their voodoo magic and indulge in the fear of unsuspecting victims
  • Screampunk: People here have been experimented on by a delirious inventor who thought it would be a brilliant idea to mechanize mankind

Big Top Freaks is headlining the entertainment with a nightly show that is NOT for the faint of heart. Freaks showcases four entertainers that specialize in dangerous, scarring, grotesque, and hard-to-watch feats of physical endurance. Additional frightful entertainment includes:

  • Direct from Las Vegas, Zamora the Torture King will cause most to shield their eyes as he subjects his body to numerous skewers being thrust into his arms, face and neck.
  • The Great Throwdini, internationally known as ‘The World's Fastest and Most Accurate Knife Thrower’, will subject his human target to multiple razor sharp knives thrown at dizzying speeds avoiding body parts by only a few inches. 
  • Red Stuart is the oldest sideshow entertainer, oldest sword swallower and holds nine world records for his craft. Armed with nothing more than a kilt and a microphone, he will swallow swords of increasing length, swallows a car axle, and tops it off with swallowing multiple swords at once.
  • Ziggy Artist of Oddities will perform his own signature blend of modern extreme fire eating as well as treat his head like a block of wood by driving a large nail right into his cranium. 

For the little monsters, a Trick or Treat Trail and Halloween crafts round out the activities during the day.

Fright Fest Operating Hours and Days:

  • 6 to 11 p.m. Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26
  • 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27
  • 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 8

For more information on Darien Lake’s Fright Fest, visit website at www.darienlake.com.

Darien Lake 2019 Season Passes are currently on sale. For a limited time, purchase four or more Darien Lake Season Passes and receive a free upgrade to GOLD on each Pass. GOLD Passes include free Parking Passes and extra Bring a Friend Free days. Additional Season Pass perks include admission to all Six Flags-branded theme parks, park admission to Fright Fest plus all of 2019 which includes more than 100 days of thrills. Season Passes can be purchased online at darienlake.com.

September 25, 2018 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs and Miami Marlins have announced a two-year extension to their Player Development Contract (PDC). The previous agreement expired following the 2018 season. With this affiliation extension, Miami Marlins Prospects will continue their development in Batavia through the 2020 season.

“After an improved season on the field, we are excited for the future of the Miami Marlins and are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the extension of our Player Development Contract for the next two seasons,” said Batavia’s Dave Chase. “As we continue our affiliation with the Marlins, we’re focused on further enhancing the ballpark and creating a first-class experience for Marlins prospects and our loyal fans." 

The Miami Marlins and Batavia Muckdogs original affiliation agreement began in the 2013 season. In the six seasons since arriving in Batavia, there have been 12 former Muckdogs to make their Major League debut.

“This extension allows our future Major Leaguers to continue their development in Batavia against top-level competition in the New York-Penn League,” said Miami Marlins Director of Player Development Dick Scott.


Top Items on Batavia's List

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Patient centered, quality oriented orthodontic practice seeking part-time Orthodontic Assistant. Must be able to travel between offices and possess exemplary communication skills. Training available. Send resume to: Salmon Orthodontics, 5A Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020.

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This is a large 1 bedroom upper apartment with separate entrance available now. Brand new carpet, all new paint, linoleum, sink/counter, vanity and more. Looking for a great tenant with good references, location is perfect for commuting to Rochester. Rent is $700 includes heat, water, sewer and trash, tenant is responsible for electric. No dogs are allowed, great backyard that backs up to the creek. Call 585-343-3755 for more information and to set up a time for a showing.

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

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