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December 29, 2020 - 1:25pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, Attica Lions Club, news, Christmas 2020.

Press release:

The Attica Lions Club has been busy despite the troubling interruptions we have faced with COVID–19. At last month's board meeting, the Board of Directors decided to make the tough decision that it was in the best interest of the club to cancel the Attica Lions’ Club annual Christmas Party.

In lieu of the annual Christmas party, we brainstormed a unique option to our members. Instead of putting the $50 that we normally use to buy our own dinners to our annual Christmas Party, we would offer an option to our members to donate this $50 (or a denomination of any value they wanted) and put it into a Christmas fund. With this fund we would buy as many $50 gift certificates as we could to a local restaurant in Attica and distribute them to local families in need during this difficult year.

The Christmas fund got to just over $2,000 and allowed the Attica Lions Club to buy 40 gift certificates from The Prospector in Attica.

Another tradition at the Attica Lions Club Christmas Party was to bring a toy to the party that would be donated to the Attica School’s toy drive. Without a 2020 Christmas party, we almost decided not to do it, but we decided to make Harding’s Attica Furniture a drop-off spot for anyone wishing to donate a toy.

An overwhelming amount of gifts and toys were dropped off throughout December to Harding’s. Matthew Struzik, a teacher from Attica Central School, helped create gift baskets for 32 families in which the gift certificates mentioned above were also added to help out these families even more. Some larger families got two gift certificates.

The Attica Lions Club would like to thank its members and the Attica Central School for the help in setting this all up. This really is what the season and our club is all about.

We are always looking to add new members. If you are interested in joining the Attica Lions Club, please contact Pete Mark at (585) 547-2372 or by emailing him at: [email protected]

You can volunteer as much or as little as you have time for. In addition to doing great events like the one mentioned above, the Attica Lions Club also does events like trash pick-up on local highways, puts up flags around the Village of Attica on select holidays, hosts the Attica GermanFest, sells food at the Attica Concerts in the Park on Wednesday, and so much more!

December 29, 2020 - 1:03pm

Press release:

During today’s legislative session, the Assembly Minority presented amendments intended to curtail the governor’s expanded authorities and provide greater balance and accountability in the “COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act” (A.11181). The Assembly Majority rejected each proposal. 

Earlier this month, members of the Assembly Minority wrote to conference leaders, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, urging lawmakers to rein in Gov. Cuomo’s unilateral powers as soon as the Legislature reconvenes. Despite 10 months of expanded authority and laws created by executive order rather than the legislative process, the Assembly Majority declined to take action.

“Our constituents deserve to have their voices heard in our government, and I am saddened the Majority has decided to deprive New Yorkers of their representation in state government by allowing the Governor’s unnecessary executive authority to persist,” Assemblyman Steve Hawley said. “This authority has long outlived its usefulness, and at this point a return to normal, constitutional governance is overdue.”

In addition, the Assembly Minority offered amendments to add protections for small businesses and small landlords also suffering losses as a result of the COVID-19 economic collapse. The “COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act” creates a hardship declaration that effectively ends residential eviction and foreclosure proceedings until May 1. Members of the Assembly Minority proposed the same protections provided to residential tenants be offered to small landlords and businesses as a way to alleviate financial pressures and allow thousands of job creators and individuals to begin their recovery.

    The three amendments proposed today intended to:

  • Restore legislative checks and balances for emergency declarations exceeding 45 days and ensure judicial due process rights for any actions that affect fundamental constitutional rights (A.10546, Goodell).

  • Provide the same protections extended to residential tenants in A.11181 to small businesses also facing mortgage and tax foreclosures. Also extend foreclosure protections to small landlords who are not covered by the bill in chief.

  • Require hardship declarations to include a statement, under penalty of perjury, that tenants have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing, and to make timely partial payments that are as close to full payments as their circumstances permit.

December 29, 2020 - 12:40pm
posted by Press Release in news, city of batavia.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is requesting proposals from qualified agencies to provide Afterschool Programming/Youth Services and Summer Recreation Program for eligible youth from the City of Batavia for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

To be considered, the City must receive the proposal in the City Manager’s Office by close of business Jan. 15.

Interested parties can find the RFP on the City's website using this link, or request a copy by contacting the Manager's Office at 345-6333.

Rachael Tabelski
Interim City Manager

December 29, 2020 - 12:00pm

Commonly Asked Workers’ Compensation Questions:

Q. What is a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. A Workers’ Compensation claim is a legal action that occurs when you get hurt during the course of your employment. In New York State you cannot sue your employer. When you get hurt at work, the Workers’ Compensation system provides for lost time financial payments and medical treatment required as a result of your work-related injury.

Q. How do I know if I have a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. If you sustain an injury during the course of your employment, you should contact our office for a free case evaluation as soon as possible. We can help you determine if you have a Workers’ Compensation claim and assist you in filing the proper paperwork.

Q. How long do I have to file a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. You are required to report your injury to your employer within 30 days. There is also a two-year time limit to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board. Failure to adhere to these time limits can result in a denial of your claim.

Q. Is a Workers’ Compensation claim my only recourse if I am hurt at work?
A. In New York State, you cannot sue your employer. In some circumstances, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed in addition to a Workers’ Compensation claim. This includes, but is not limited to, injuries sustained in a work-related motor vehicle accident, constructions injuries, or injuries sustained at a location not owned by your employer. Our team of attorneys at Dolce Panepinto will assess your claim to ensure that every legal avenue available to you is pursued.

Q. How much does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney cost? 
A. Workers’ Compensation fees are generated on a contingent basis. This means that we only receive payment if we generate money in connection with your Workers’ Compensation claim. More information on contingent fees can be found here. Additionally, our attorneys can explain our attorney fees in greater detail.

Q. Do I need an attorney?
A. While an attorney is not required, it is strongly recommended that you retain an attorney. The Workers’ Compensation Law is complex, confusing, and often difficult to navigate. The insurance carrier will have an attorney fighting on their behalf, we recommend that you have an attorney fighting on your behalf. Having an attorney means ensuring your rights are protected, maximizing your benefits, and making sure your questions and concerns are addressed.

Dolce Panepinto works tirelessly to protect the rights of injured workers by making sure that those responsible are held accountable. If you or a family member are injured at work, or in your private life, contact us today for a free case evaluation at (585) 815-9003. For further questions regarding Workers' Compensation Law or to contact Dolce Panepinto: click here.

December 28, 2020 - 4:56pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, notify, coronavirus.

Press release:

Data Update – Including data since Thursday, Dec. 24th after 2 p.m.

Due to the increased numbers from the holiday weekend, we anticipate to have the data updated over the next couple of days in order for staff to make sure the date is properly vetted.

  • Genesee County received 101 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
  • One hundred and forty-eight of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Correction: Six recoveries have been retracted from today’s number as four previously reported are residents of the NYS Veterans Home at Batavia and two are residents of Le Roy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Persons reported recovered are community members only. 
  • Thirty-eight of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Three of the new positive cases are residents at Le Roy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. 
  • Three of the new positive cases are residents of Premier Genesee Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation.
  • Two of the new positive cases are residents of Genesee Senior Living. 
  • Two of the new positive cases are residents at the New York State Veterans Home – At Batavia. 
  • One of the new positive cases is a resident at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Batavia. 


  • Orleans County received 80 new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby) 
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre) 
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. 
  • Fourteen of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Seventy-eight of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Eighteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Nineteen of the new positives are inmates of the Orleans Correctional Facility.
December 28, 2020 - 2:24pm

will_burke_.jpgAlexander resident Will Burke said his life has been a whirlwind since an unexpected introduction to the sport of rugby six years ago.

“It has been a wild ride, man,” Burke offered – and it is bound to continue for at least another year as he embarks on his first season as a member of the Dallas Jackals, one of 13 franchises of the Major League Rugby professional league.

Burke, a four-year standout at the University of Buffalo, where he played under Coach Mike Hodgins of Batavia, is part of an elite group of American-born rugby players to make it to the pro ranks.

The 6-foot-1, 255-pound former high school football player and wrestler is expected to anchor the Jackals’ front line as a tighthead prop, a position that calls for serious strength and power.

“I’m currently working with John Opfer (owner/director of Proformance Sports Training), who trains NFL players and college prospects that are going into the NFL draft, and will be doing that until I leave for preseason camp (next month),” said Burke, 24, a 2014 graduate of Alexander Central School.

Burke’s first regular season game is scheduled for March 20 in Los Angeles against the LA Giltinis, like Dallas, a 2021 expansion team.

The league has television contracts with CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports, and all games are available for viewing on ESPN+, a streaming subscription service.

Burke, a son of Nelson and Edie Burke, said he has received quite a few lumps since taking up the sport in his freshman year at UB.

“No major injuries but I broke my nose three times and I’ve dislocated about every one of my fingers and broken a couple,” he said. “And I separated my shoulder once in college, but as far as semi-professional and professional, I’ve not. It’s probably the most physical sport, in my opinion, for a contact sport next to wrestling or mixed martial arts.”

The physicality is no more pronounced than at the front of the scrum or lineout, as it is called, where all of the 15 players from both teams assemble in what resembles a pushing-and-shoving match to advance the ball.

“My main job is to anchor down the scrum against the opposing team – win the scrum or secure the ball if it’s our scrum,” he said. “It has changed over the years, and now the props are the most physical guys on the field. They’re in charge of making a lot of tackles and taking hard lines.”

Burke said he didn’t know much about the sport as he entered UB, but that all changed one day when he was walking through the student union.

“A guy came up to me and asked me if I was on the football team, and I said no. And he said why don’t you come out and try to play rugby. I kind of debated about it a little bit and I remember calling my brother, and asking him if he thought this is worth my time,” he recalled.

He decided to attend a practice session and kept coming back. After a few weeks, he was in Hodgins’ starting lineup and playing in a game against the Army team at West Point.

“I think I played 15 minutes and the next game I played a whole half (40 minutes) and by the third game, I was starting,” he said. “And I haven’t looked back from there.”

Burke played rugby all four years at UB, where he was captain of the squad for two of the seasons. He earned honorable mention for All-Conference in Rugby East and also was selected for the All-Conference Rugby East first team.

From there, he traveled to play some exhibition games as MLR attempted to organize into a full-fledge pro league, and also competed with the Buffalo Rugby Club, helping the team to a national ranking of seventh in Men’s D2 rugby.

He then was invited to play for a junior team in Ireland, but ran into visa issues and abruptly had to return to the states.

“I had to be sent home, leaving 90 percent of my stuff there,” he said. “I had a Republic of Ireland visa but was staying in Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK.”

Devastated over the turn of events, Burke regrouped and caught on with the MLR’s Rugby United New York team during its training camp as a “trial player” (the equivalent of a walk-on).

“I spent the rest of my savings on an Airbnb as one of 11 trial players (at the camp) in Staten Island,” he said. “I was the only one to get a contract.”

Burke played well in the first two games of the 2020 MLR season that was shortened due to COVID-19. As a free agent, he then decided to sign a one-year contract with the Dallas team.

He said his rookie deal calls for a salary of $30,000 plus the team covers his living expenses. He said he hopes to prove himself this season and be able to sign a contract the following year with a substantial raise.

He said he chose Dallas because of the area’s commitment to expanding the sport.

“There were other teams interested but Dallas has a big focus on promoting American rugby and American rugby players,” he said. “Most of the teams have junior clubs -- developmental teams to support the major league teams.”

MLR requires that about 80 to 85 percent of the players have to be foreigners, Burke said, which makes it tough for American-born players to make it.

“The truth is that it is really hard for American guys to get that far, but it’s starting to happen with the developmental teams that look for Americans that can play rugby,” he explained, adding that the foreign players (from the United Kingdom and Ireland, for example) are experienced and raise the quality of competition.

Burke said he loves the sport “because of the culture and camaraderie that didn’t match any team sport I played before.”

“Rugby is unlike any other team sport in the world, you truly need all 15 men on the pitch working together to find success. It is a shoulder to shoulder sport with no room for arrogant and cocky players,” he said.

Hodgins said Burke has put in the time and effort to be successful as a professional.

“Will is positioned at the front of the scrum, where bulk and strength are needed,” said Hodgins, who has coached at UB for 11 years and also coaches varsity rugby at McQuaid High School in Rochester. “He definitely has a bright future as long as he stays healthy.”

Burke said his goals include competing on the world stage.

“There’s a chance to go and play for the national team in the next World Cup or the following World Cup – that’s every four years. So, that would be another thing and another pay raise if I can eventually prove myself in this league and then I could make the World Cup team and play for my country,” he said.

The next Rugby World Cup tournament is set for 2023 in France.

December 28, 2020 - 1:51pm
posted by Press Release in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.25, up 3 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.57. The New York State average is $2.32 – up 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.70.

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.25 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.27 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.29 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.30 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.37 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.29 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.36 (up 3 cents since last week)

Two factors have contributed to driving up prices at the pump: rising crude oil prices and tightening supply. The domestic price of crude (WTI) has been steadily rising since November, reaching levels not seen since February, before stay-at-home guidance was introduced across the country. Prices began to rise last month alongside vaccination news and have only increased with it becoming available.

Reports from the Energy Information Administration show that U.S. gasoline supply levels are healthy, but could tighten in weeks ahead amid refinery consolidations in the northwest and maintenance in the upper Midwest.

Even with holiday demand increasing, overall demand still remains at an extremely low level. AAA believes this factor will impact gas prices, pushing them cheaper in January.

From GasBuddy:

"Average gasoline prices continue to move higher in most areas as retail gas prices continue to follow the rising price of crude oil which remains near the highest level since COVID-19 began in March," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"Seasonal factors have sat in the backseat compared to a modest recovery in demand and a healthy dose of optimism that a COVID-19 vaccine will bring normal demand levels in the coming year. For now, it's not the best news for motorists as I expect gas prices may continue their ascent, but while it won't last forever, it's likely a sign of what's to come in 2021 -- higher prices.

The year ahead will be likely marked by recovery in the pandemic and rising demand, and for motorists interested in what's coming to the pump GasBuddy will be releasing our 2021 Fuel Price Outlook in the days ahead, which will hopefully give motorists some idea of what to plan for in terms of pain at the pump."

December 28, 2020 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, alexander, batavia.

Brodes J. Gibson, 59, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Gibson was arrested on an unrelated incident by Medina PD and later turned over to Batavia PD on a City of Batavia Court arrest warrant. The local charges stem from a domestic incident at 3 a.m. Oct. 20 at a lower apartment on Bank Street in the city. Gibson allegedly stabbed a person with a knife. Following arraignment, he was jailed without bail. He was due back in court on Dec. 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Christopher A. Sewar, 34, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested Dec. 19 after an investigation into an incident at 3:38 p.m. Dec. 19 at an upper apartment on Maple Street in Batavia. It is alleged that he violated a court order and burglarized a residence. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail. Bail status not provided. He is due back in court on Jan. 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Samuel Freeman, assisted by Officer Wesley Rissinger.

Aaron Michael Hatt, 24, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with: operating a motor vehile while impaired by drugs; driving while impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree; unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle; vehicle at a standstill on a public highway. Hatt was arrested at 9:22 a.m. on Dec. 24 on Old Creek Road in Alexander after an investigation of a vehicle parked in the roadway with a male slumped over the wheel. He was issued tickets and is due in Alexander Town Court on Feb. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Jason W. Wolf, 44, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with: insufficient turn signal; consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle; refusal to take a breath test; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree; and unlicensed operator. Wolf was arrested at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 20 on Elm Street in Batavia. The arrest was made after a complaint about an allegedly intoxicated driver on East Main Street. The vehicle was located and a traffic violation was allegedly observed. Wolf was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail. Bail status not provided. He was due to return to city court on Dec. 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Wesley Rissinger.

December 27, 2020 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, news, fire.

A possible chimney fire or furnace problem is reported at 1173 Gabbey Road, Pembroke.

Pembroke fire, Indian Falls fire, and City of Batavia's FAST team is dispatched.

UPDATE 10:41 p.m.: The caller at the residence contacted a commander at City fire and informed the commander that sparks and/or flames could be seen coming out of the top of the chimney. A service provider had advised the caller that the company would check on the chimney tomorrow. The commander advised the caller to evacuate. The Indian Falls chief is asking City fire to continue nonemergency. The residence is being evacuated per the emergency dispatcher.

UPDATE 10:45 p.m.: Chief on scene reports nothing showing.

UPDATE 10:47 p.m.: City fire can go back in service. No fire.

December 27, 2020 - 7:14pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

Batavians Paul Spiotta and Kyle Kraus flirted with 300 games this week, reaching 10 strikes in a row before being stopped despite putting the ball in the 1-3 pocket on the 11th delivery.

Competing against each other in the Turnbull Heating Triples League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, both right-handers rolled 289 games -- with the 63-year-old Spiotta's coming in the third game to cap a league-high 775 series and the 35-year-old Kraus' coming in the first game en route to a 694 series.

Spiotta (who posted 238-248 in the first two games) was stymied by a stubborn 7-pin while Kraus (who finished with 231-174) left a 4-pin.

Also in the league, Chris Bailey of Le Roy finished with a 273 game for a 736 series.

Note: The three-person team league has an opening for one team when it begins its second half on Jan. 5. Call Mancuso's at 343-1319 for details. 

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region USBC, Rodney Jopson kept the hot hand with 277--741 in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, where he is aveaging 231, and Tony Sprague made it two straight 700 series with a 750 effort in the T.F. Brown's Adult-Child League at Mancuso's.

For a list of high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.


The 67th GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Perry Bowling Center.

Squad times for the singles tournament are 12:30 and 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday, with the semifinals and finals to follow.

Entry fee is $55 and first place, based on 72 entries, is $800. To enter, contact Mike Pettinella at (585) 861-0404 or by email at: [email protected].

December 27, 2020 - 4:32pm
posted by James Burns in news, batavia, winter, sledding.


All day long sledders of all ages enjoyed being out in Centennial Park. The winter fun and tradition continues. 

Photos by Jim Burns.






December 27, 2020 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in birds, outdoors, news, corfu.


A reader from Corfu submitted this photo.

December 27, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by David Reilly in batavia, history, nostalgia, wintertime, news.

Growing up in Batavia in the 1950s provided kids with a lots of opportunities for winter outdoor fun. There were a couple reasons for this: first, there was a lot more snow to play in.

The average temperature in this area has risen almost a degree and a half in the last 50 years and the average low temperature has gone up double that amount. Even though we receive more winter precipitation, a lot of it falls as rain. You can't really build a rainman or have a rainball war.

Secondly, there are a lot more indoor electronic entertainment options now. I'm not gonna go all grumpy old guy (although I sometimes am him) and criticize kids for phones, video games, etc.. It's just a different time.

All Bundled Up

Back then in order to make it through a snowy cold outdoors day, kids had to dress warmly. This involved a lot of bulky clothes and some help from your mother. I have mentioned the movie “A Christmas Story" in my reminiscences before, but if you picture Ralphie's little brother Randy having so many clothes on that his arms wouldn't stay down, that describes us perfectly.

A bittersweet memory for me is that in 1997 my mother had a heart attack. The doctor told us that it was fatal and she only had a short time to live. As I sat trying to comfort her, I asked, “Mom, what's your favorite memory from when we were kids?” She replied, “ I think it has to be you guys (I had two younger brothers) going out to play in the snow.”

Sledding And Skating

Until age 10 I lived on Thomas and Ellicott avenues, so sledding at the State (Street) Park (now known as Centennial Park) was one of our winter activities. It was a pretty short walk there with our wooden Flexible Flyer sleds and we'd stay there all afternoon until our hands were frozen into our mittens.

I recall that over toward the west end of the park hill there was a tree that for some reason had a raised earthen circle around its base. It wasn't that high, but everyone tried to start from it to get a little extra boost in speed.

In 1957 we moved to North Spruce Street and had a lot more yard room to make snow forts and have snowball wars. Also, in the late '50s and through the '60s we got a LOT of snow.

Like most kids then, we did get ice skates for a Christmas present one year. I never did enough skating to be any good at it, but I do remember going to a rink at Williams Park on Pearl Street. One time my friend Charlie's older teenage sister who could drive dropped us off and agreed to be back at a certain time. Well, she was a teenager so she was late. Very late. By the time she got there we were on the verge of crying because our feet were so cold. I think Charlie blistered her ears pretty good as we drove home to thaw out.

On Jan. 15th 1994 I went to the coldest game in Buffalo Bills' history, a playoff game against the (then) Los Angeles Raiders with a wind chill of -32 degrees. My feet did not get as cold as that day skating in Batavia. Mostly because I was prepared with three pairs of socks and felt-lined boots. Also, because a teenage girl didn't go necking with her boyfriend and leave me there.

When we moved to North Spruce we were the last house on the east side of the street. A couple years later someone began constructing a house on the lot to our north.

Something got delayed and the basement walls were poured, but then it was left open and water got in there. We discovered by climbing down a wooden ladder that there was a sheet of ice there when the water froze. So one winter before it was closed in, we'd go down there and play hockey. Well, hockey as played by several kids who really couldn't skate on a rink about 25-yards long.

Snowball Shenanigans

Snowball wars were usually fun unless you caught one in the face. When we lived on North Spruce Street we used to go to East Main Street and bombard semi-trucks. On the north side of Main between North Spruce and Eastown Plaza there was a hill with apartment buildings on top (I'm not sure how long the hill has been gone, but I only noticed it recently). We'd go up there at night and launch our icy missles at the rear part of the trucks as they lumbered by.

While living on Thomas or Ellicott avenues my younger brother Dan and I used to take hikes out State Street Road to the airport and back. In the cold weather Mom would pack us some sandwiches and a thermos of chicken noodle soup to fortify us on our journey.

One time though snowballs got us in trouble. We got the less-than-brilliant idea to throw them at cars on the New York State Thruway from the State Street Bridge. A State Trooper saw us, turned on his flashing lights, pulled over, and came up the embankment after us. We were too terrified to run (we were probably 9 and 6 years old) and appropriately froze to the spot.

The trooper gave us a good chewing out and told us if he caught us endangering drivers like that again he'd put us in his car and take us to our house. He ordered us to be sure to tell our parents what we had done, but I can't remember if we actually did or not. That might have been one of those cases like climbing the water tower when you told them years later -- when there was no chance of punishment.

Getting the Boot

Another memorable winter incident happened on Cedar Street. My aunts Kate and Peg lived by the sand wash (now DeWitt Recreation Area) and one snowy day my brother and I had been playing somewhere past there by either the Peanut or Lehigh Valley railroad tracks.

On the way home I decided to take us on a shortcut by skirting the icy edge of one of the ponds. Suddenly, my boot sank into the snow and water started coming up around it. I was overcome by fear since us kids had heard that those ponds were hundreds of feet deep. I pulled and tugged, but my booted foot was stuck solidly.

Dan started toward me to help, but I yelled at him to get back fearing the extra weight. I yanked my leg one more time and my leg came free but the boot stayed entrenched in the slush.

I scrambled up the bank onto solid ground (under the snow), but momentarily debated in my mind whether to try to get the boot. I had seriously pictured the ice giving way and me sinking underneath so it wasn't much of a choice. I was getting the heck out of there.

I began running as fast as I could with only a wet sock on my foot through the cold and snow to our aunts' with little brother tagging behind.

As I was running, already my devious kid mind, while glad to be alive, was thinking of a way to get out of trouble. We had been warned many times to stay away from those ponds.

Aunt Kate's face turned white as I came bursting through the door possibly crying (although mostly fake I think) and blurting out a story about how I made a mistake and my boot got stuck in some water and I had to run miles (maybe a quarter of a mile) through the snow in my sock and that I'd never go near there in the winter again, and so on.

I don't think I ever saw Aunt Kate wear anything but what she called a “house dress” and she was certainly not an “outdoorsy” person, but she took Dan and went and retrieved my boot. I don't think I ever asked how, but she lectured me at length about going near the water. I don't think she ratted me out to my parents though.

Driveway Duties

At some point in the late '50s, not too long after we moved to North Spruce Street, my dad had to have surgery, so at age 11 or 12 I became responsible for shoveling the driveway. As I mentioned earlier, we got a lot of snow those winters and it was a constant battle for a kid to keep that passage cleaned out.

We had not added a garage onto the house yet, so fortunately for me my mom would park close to the street so I wouldn't have to shovel too far. I remember that she would give me the keys to start the car up and I would take breaks in there. We probably had something like a 1956 Pontiac and I'd listen to The Tommy Shannon show on WKBW radio with The Rebels playing “Wild Weekend."

Drifting Away

In the rear of our ranch-style house on North Spruce Street we had a picture window in the living room. I can recall several winters where my brother and I were sent out to shovel the windblown snow away from it so we could see out. Also, I remember drifts in the front that went up almost to the level of the rain gutters.

I would be remiss if I wrote about memories of snow in Batavia without mentioning the blizzards of 1966 (one of my previous stories was about my adventures during that epic event) and 1977. So many Batavians recall being stranded for days, getting groceries by snowmobile, and cars being buried in the piles of snow until spring.

Judging by the large number of former Batavians who have moved to Florida and other Southern environs, not everyone shares my fondness for winter nostalgia. However, I still enjoy the change of seasons in Upstate New York, but will admit that I wouldn't complain if it only snowed on Christmas Eve and Day (which it rarely does). Nonetheless, sometimes in the winter I'll “drift” off to sleep thinking of my kid days in snowy Batavia, New York.

Top photo: Dave Reilly (left) with brothers Jim and Dan 1960.

Middle two color images: Before and after photos of little Dave when a sled ride went bad.

Bottom two photos: Two views of the back of 122 N. Spruce St., Batavia, circa early 1960s.

Photos courtesy of Dave Reilly.

December 26, 2020 - 11:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, news, accidents, scanner.

A motor-vehicle accident involving a tree, with one person sustaining a possible leg and neck injury, is reported in Le Roy on Griswold Road, just west of Route 19. The patient is conscious and alert. Le Roy Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. First responders report roads are icy.

UPDATE 11:15 p.m.: Chief on scene reports the patient is out of the vehicle.

UPDATE 11:17 p.m.: The Le Roy assignment is back in service.

December 26, 2020 - 5:44pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The American Legion Auxiliary, Unit #734 of Attica, has been busy with this year’s holiday project “Sweats for Our Vets."  

With the generous donations of the organizations of the Harder O’Donnell Post #734; American Legion Auxiliary, A.V.M.A., American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and the assistance of local Attica business owner, Robert Cusmano of Mugs and More, the project quickly came together.  

A donation of 76 zip-up hooded sweatshirts were given to every patient of the Batavia V.A. Medical Center in their gift bags on Christmas morning. 

Also donated by the Auxiliary, was a 55” television for the Veterans Recreation Room. This donation was made in memory of Auxiliary Past President Leilani Spring, who passed away earlier this year.

We would like to thank Volunteer Services Personnel Cindy Baker and Nicholas LaMarca of the Batavia V.A.M.C. for their assistance with our holiday project “Sweats for Our Vets."

A few members of each organization met on Dec. 8th at the V.A.M.C. to deliver the sweatshirts and television.

The vets were delighted and surprised!

American Legion Auxiliary Unit #734

Harder O’Donnell Post

83 Market St., Attica

Top photo from left: Auxiliary members -- Tammy Soemann, Barbara Eddy, Kathy Roberts, Kate Kellner; Commander Robert Wood; Adjutant Keith Almeter; and S.A.L. members Ralph Eddy and Mike Almeter.

December 26, 2020 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, pembroke, Pavilion.

Brent Joseph Graham, 32, of Sand Hill Road, Akron, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- with two previous convictions within 10 years; aggravated DWI -- a BAC of .18 percent or more -- with two previous convictions within 10 years; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; reckless driving; failure to reduce speed under special hazard; operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device as required; and operation in violation of restrictions. After a personal-injury accident on Main Road in the Town of Pembroke at 10:13 p.m. on Oct. 25, Graham was arrested. He was issued appearance tickets and is due back in Town of Pembroke Court on Jan. 21. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Krzemien, assisted by Sgt. Jason Saile. They were also assisted by the New York State Police, City of Batavia Fire Department Special Operations Water Rescue Team, Mercy EMS, and Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments.

Alyssa Jade Garrett, 22, of North Street, Geneseo, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; operating a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08 percent or more; and moving from lane unsafely. Garrett was arrested at 6:35 p.m. on Dec. 20 on Perry Road in the Town of Pavilion following a property-damage accident. She was released on appearance tickets and is due in Pavilion Town Court on Jan. 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

December 26, 2020 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, weather.


A pair of birds managed to make it to the seed in suet cake in the Batavia backyard of Jason Smith this morning despite several inches of snow overnight.

Send your snow-related photos to [email protected].

December 25, 2020 - 7:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, Darien, scanner.

A third-party caller reports a living room fire in a residence at 1781 Richley Road in Darien. Darien Fire Department and Ambulance Service are responding, along with Mercy medics. The location is between Colby and Harper roads.

UPDATE 6:58 p.m.: An engine and manpower from Corfu are called to respond as mutual aid.

UPDATE 7:04 p.m.: A chief on scene says units responding can continue in nonemergency mode as a precaution; a thermal-imaging camera will be deployed.

UPDATE 7:34 p.m.: The Darien and Corfu assignments are back in service.

December 25, 2020 - 1:06pm
posted by Press Release in NYS Veterans Home, batavia, news, painting.

Submitted photo and information from reader Joe Caruso:

My Dad was a resident at the NYS Veterans Home in Batavia and passed in 2017. I have an 11-year-old Granddaughter (top photo left) who donated 20 canvas paintings she spent endless hours painting.

She felt the residents would appreciate having them to display or hang in rooms. Her name is Sofia Falleti and she is a sixth-grade student at Saint Joseph Regional School in Batavia.

December 25, 2020 - 11:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Merry Christmas, news.

A police officer has reportedly pulled over Santa Claus somewhere in the city.

A dispatcher responded to the license check confirming the license for Santa Claus is valid and the license expires in October 2025.

No word on whether the registration and inspection on his sleigh are up to date.

Top Items on Batavia's List

The Genesee County Agricultural Society is seeking competitive bids from competent, licensed contractors, including MWBEs, for both, high-voltage and low-voltage electrical services, to be performed at the Genesee County Fairgrounds in Batavia, New York.

Fairgrounds Electrical Infrastructure Competitive Bid Request Batavia, N.Y. NOTICE: The Genesee County Agricultural Society is seeking competitive bids from competent, licensed contractors, including MWBEs, for both, high-voltage and low-voltage electrical services, to be performed at the Genesee County Fairgrounds in Batavia, New York. The work will entail replacing a main-gang switch with pole, replacing wiring, boxes, and lighting with high efficiency LED fixtures, and adding specialized ventilation equipment.

2 Open Positions: Treatment/Marketing Coordinator and Administrative Assistant

Two positions available: Treatment/Marketing Coordinator and Administrative Assistant for our Salmon Orthodontics team! Work experience in a dental environment is a plus as is a Marketing or Communications degree or work experience. The ideal candidate must be highly motivated, have a positive attitude and engaging personality. Excitement to help us create beautiful and confident smiles is a must. We are proud to offer highly competitive pay and benefits.




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