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The Batavian now has obituaries

By Howard B. Owens

One of the most requested additional features we get for The Batavian is obituaries. But we can only publish obituaries if funeral directors submit the notices.

The H.E. Turner & Company, Inc. family of funeral homes became one of The Batavian's newest sponsors this week and will now post obituaries for people who have passed when one of their homes -- H.E. Turner in Batavia and Bergen, Bohm-Calarco-Smith in Batavia, and Burdett & Sanford in Oakfield -- handle the arrangements.

If you do not find the obituary for your loved one, please notify the funeral director handling arrangements for your friend or family member and ask him to contact The Batavian about posting the obituary on the Web site.

Award-winning series on farm labor now available in a book

By Howard B. Owens

Tom Rivers is a reporter of boundless energy. He's run in marathons and worked day-long shifts in local farm fields.

Now he's published a book.

The Batavia Daily News staff writer wrote an award-winning series 2008 about his laborious research into just want it takes to work at local farms in Western New York. Those articles are the basis of Farm Hands: Hard work and hard lessons from Western New York fields.

"Books have a little more permanence," Rivers said. "You can read about the titans of industry, such as Dean Richmond, in books, but there aren't a lot of books about the people doing the work. I just think the farmworkers make a great contribution to our community. They deserve the recognition (of being in a book)."

The stories of Tom's days and nights in the fields of Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties picking apples and chopping and throwing cabbage give the reader a great sense of just how hard farm work is.

Although he knew it would be challenging, Rivers said he was surprised by how taxing it really is. And it takes training, experience and dedication to ensure that the produce isn't damaged before it's delivered to market.

"There's this feeling that we can just throw anybody into farm work, but not just anybody can do this," Rivers said. "Buyers could reject 40 tons of cabbage if it's not just perfect, if the heads are bruised. There's more pressure on the workers than there is in my job or in most people's jobs. They have to aim for perfection."

The book contains additional material not included in the original newspaper series, Rivers said.

Rivers self-published the book and had it printed at Hodgkins Printing in the Harvester Center.

The full-color book came out looking great, Rivers said. Daily News Publisher Tom Turnbull didn't hesitate to give Rivers permission, without fee, to reprint his own articles as well as the color photos that ran with the series.

"I like that it says, 'Printed in Batavia,' but I don't feel like I was working with a second-rate company," Rivers said. "They were great over there."

The book is for sale locally at the Holland Land Office Museum and Present Tense Books on Washington Avenue.

Sam Pontillo reportedly working on deal to reopen family pizzeria

By Howard B. Owens

A bit of confirmation of rumors that Sam Pontillo is working on a deal to reopen the legendary pizzeria on East Main Street came out of the Genesee County Economic Development Center today.

Pontillo's potential landlord, BP Properties out of Rochester, was granted a $6,875 property-tax exemption by the GCEDC.

GCEDC officials said BP Properties and Sam Pontillo are trying to secure refinancing on $500,000 in debt left over from the previous operation.

(via WBTA)


Batavia woman wanted following drug raids in Erie County in custody

By Howard B. Owens

A Batavia woman wanted connection with alleged drug dealing at two strip clubs in Erie County has been arrested.

Cynthia Sims, 25, was initially considered a fugitive following the FBI investigation, but Sims was reportedly taken into custody yesterday.

Twenty-five other suspects have also been charged in connection with the investigation.

The exact charges against Sims have not been released yet.

(via WBTA)

Pittsford Fire advised to return for hose it left behind

By Howard B. Owens

A Pittsford firetruck that was apparently in Genesee County for repairs seems to have lost a long stretch of four-inch fire hose on West Saile Drive.

Monroe County dispatch was contacted in order to notify the firetruck driver so the crew can return and retrieve the hose.

Meanwhile, a county official is watching over the hose to ensure it's safe retrieval.

UPDATE  1:10 p.m: OK, it wasn't a Pittsford Fire crew that was with the truck -- the truck is still out for repairs. The hose apparently fell off while a mechanic took it out for a test drive.

Police Beat: Batavia woman busted for alleged crack cocaine possession

By Howard B. Owens

Tammy L. Cicatello, 39, of 18 Pickthorn Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Cicatello was allegedly observed by a member of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force buying drugs while in a car in a parking lot of a Batavia business. Cicatello's car was stopped on Clinton Street Road and Drug Task Force members reportedly found two bags of crack cocaine and two crack pipes, along with some other drug paraphernalia. Cicatello was issued appearance tickets.

R.A. Aaron, 39, of 111 Liberty St., Apt. C, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Batavia Police officers responded to a report of a disturbance at the Green Wolf Tavern at 10:59 p.m., Thursday. While officers were on scene, Aaron allegedly continued to be belligerent and was shouting obscenities while in the parking lot. Aaron also allegedly pushed a police officer.

Brandon C. Dodd, 23, of 128 1/2 State St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dodd was arrested at 12:43 a.m., today, in Batavia. Dodd allegedly struck another man on the side of his head and also spat on him. Dodd was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Accidents from the state police blotter:

2:43 p.m., March 3, Cato Street, Pavilion, two vehicles; Driver 1: Corey R. Ryan, 20, Le Roy; Driver 2: Kathleen D. Kingsley, 51, of Pavilion. No injuries reported.

Today's Deals: Matty's, Center Street, Olivers, O'Lacy's and more

By Howard B. Owens

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY. Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.c

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sallome's Italian Deli, 40 Oak St., Batavia, NY: Wraps, subs, paninis and pasta as well as pizzas -- Sallome's offers a tasty variety of Italian deli items for eat-in or take-out.  We have $10 gift certificates for $5 each.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: The Batavian is able to offer a limited number of reduced-price haircuts for children under 12. Click Here for details of the offer and to purchase vouchers.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.


Weather: Spring is almost sprung. Almost.

By Howard B. Owens

Did you like the sun today? There's supposed to be more of that where that came from. In fact, the weekend should be quite nice, with highs in 40s and more sun.

Not to put a damper on things, but is predicting snow overnight in a week.

But in the meantime, pre-spring weather with highs in the 40s and sun, or partly cloudy, seems to be in our immediate future.

Pictures: From this evening, a barn on Lear Road. Below a tractor and old garage on Wilkenson Road.

Kindhearted Columbine girl 'challenges' Batavia youth

By Daniel Crofts

The place was Batavia High School's auditorium; the time, 8:15 a.m.; the date, Wednesday, March 3. The place filled up with the slowly increasing bustle of a high school assembly as students poured in from their home-rooms.

Outside the auditorium was a large banner with the words "I Accept Rachel's Challenge" written on the top. It was blank, except for just a few student signatures.

Fast forward about an hour -- the morning assembly was over; many of the students were moved to tears, and the speaker got a standing ovation...much to the amazement of BHS Principal Christopher Dailey.

"I don't remember anyone ever getting a standing ovation except the basketball coach right before he headed off to the state finals," Dailey said.

As for the banner...

by 6:30 p.m. it looked like this:




So what happened? Who or what was it that got these teens so moved, motivated, and pumped up?

The "who" was Derek Kilgore, a representative of the internationally acclaimed project, "Rachel's Challenge."

Rachel's Challenge was founded by Darrell and Sandy Scott in honor of their daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colo., on April 20, 1999. Derek is a close personal friend of Rachel's family -- especially her father and her brother, Craig.

Rachel's friends and family members remember her as a very kind, carefree, compassionate and thoughtful person. Not long before she died, she wrote an essay called "My Ethics, My Codes of Life," in which she shared her outlook on life.

"I have this theory," Rachel wrote, "that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go."

During the last few years of her life, Rachel had some startling premonitions and was convinced of two things: that she would die at a young age, and that her life would somehow change the world.

After her death, Rachel's father dedicated himself to making sure that would happen. Since then, her story has impacted millions of people around the world.

Kilgore is one of many speakers personally trained by Darrell Scott to deliver Rachel's message to schools all around the country. Derek also gave a presentation at Batavia Middle School at 1:30 p.m., as well as a presentation for parents and community leaders at 6:30 p.m. at BHS.

Kilgore talks with BMS Principal Sandra Griffin about his work with Rachel's Challenge, which brings him to more than 90 schools per year.

But Kilgore did not start things off the way his audience might have expected; instead of launching into the details of Columbine and Rachel's life, he made things personal for his listeners right away.

"How many of you have lost someone close to you?" he asked.

Almost everyone raised his/her hand.

"This assembly is dedicated to Rachel, of course," Kilgore continued, "but also to the people you've all cared about and lost."

With video footage, anecdotes and motivational speaking, Kilgore told students about Rachel's kindness toward others by drawing attention to specific examples, such as the time she intervened when a special-needs student named Adam was being bullied in the hallway.

"Rachel didn't just talk about making a positive difference in the world," he said. "She actually did things to help the people around her."

In Adam's case, Rachel's action made the difference between life and death.

"Adam was contemplating suicide," Kilgore said. "He knew exactly when, where and how he was going to take his own life. But after Rachel helped him, he changed his mind because this proved to him that there was someone who cared whether he lived or died."

To further illustrate the importance of individual actions and attitudes, Kilgore contrasted Rachel's with those of the Columbine shooters. Here are some examples:

One of the greatest influences in the lives of the Columbine shooters was Adolf Hitler; one of the greatest influences in Rachel's life was Anne Frank.

The Columbine shooters were racists, and one of their victims was a black student who they taunted with racial slurs before killing; Rachel, for her part, always tried to look for the best in everyone and avoid prejudice -- aka pre-judging someone based on how they look or act.

With anecdotes from the Scott family and others, some jokes and more video footage, Kilgore taught the BHS community all about Rachel's many acts of kindness and the attention her cause has gained around the world, including the recognition of Presidents Clinton and Bush as well as many celebrities.

The "challenge" to students was to follow Rachel's example in actively making a positive difference in their schools and communities (Kilgore made it clear that this was not because Rachel was "perfect," but because she had definite goals for her everyday life and never gave up on them).

So that's the gist of Rachel's Challenge. But more concretely, what exactly is the challenge students are to meet in their daily lives?

There are actually five challenges:

Look for the best in others
Again, Rachel always tried to do this. Kilgore said that we can always see the best or the worst in people depending on what we want to see.

Dare to dream
Rachel always talked about being famous and sensed that she would have a huge impact on the world. At age thirteen, she outlined her hands on her bedroom wall and, inside of the outline, wrote: "These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of people's hearts."

"She believed that even one small act of kindness could affect someone so deeply that they'll want to do it for someone else," Kilgore said, "and that this would start a ripple effect that would go around the world."

Kilgore concluded this section of the presentation by mentioning a recent Harvard study indicating that people who dream big end up being more successful and doing more to change the world.

Input determines output
Kilgore encouraged his listeners to pay attention to who and what their influences are, reminding them that the Columbine killers' minds were filled with negative influences.

After the Columbine tragedy, Craig Scott understood in a painful way the impact of the media on people's thoughts and actions. So he decided to become a film producer and to make movies and TV shows that inspire people and encourage positive thoughts and actions. He is now working on a feature film about his sister, which will be released in the next few years (Kilgore commented that this, in a way, makes Rachel's childhood dream of becoming a "famous actress" come true even after her death).

Little acts of kindness
One of the lessons to be learned from Rachel's Challenge is that the smallest acts of kindness can mean a lot, even if they seem insignificant.

Kilgore told the story of Rachel's outreach to Amber, a young girl who started attending Columbine High School after her mother was killed in a car accident. She was new to the school, and no one spoke to her or even looked her in the eye all day. Then, as she was sitting by herself at lunch, Rachel came over out of the blue and asked if she would like to sit with her and her friends.

"Amber later said that this had a huge impact on her," Kilgore said, "not because the act itself was so huge, but because she was going through a rough time and someone reached out to her and let her know that she cared."

Start your own chain reaction
Kilgore did not come to preach to anyone; he came to help inspire, encourage, and challenge people to want to make a difference and to start their own chain reactions.

One of the tools he left them with was F.O.R. (Friends of Rachel), a new club for interested students dedicated to specific ways of fostering an "atmosphere of kindness" in their school and community. The assembly was followed by an optional meeting for any students who wanted to share their feelings about the morning presentation and learn about how they can get involved in the project.

More than one-third of the student population showed up. Kilgore was very impressed with the BHS community's response to Rachel's Challenge.

"I go to a ton of schools every year, and this is definitely one of those schools where I see a lot of potential."

As the morning assembly came to a close, he made things personal again. He asked everyone to close their eyes and think of the people closest to them.

"In the next few days, go up to them and tell them how you feel. Let them know how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them."

In closing, here are some comments from students on how Rachel's Challenge affected them personally:

"What most affected me was when they showed what her dad wrote on her coffin," one girl said, tearfully. "It showed how much love he had for her, and it reminded me of my own dad."

Here is what Rachel's dad wrote: "Your life was so full and meaningful and your death will not be in vain. I love you so much -- my sweet Rachel."

"This presentation really impacted me, because my friend killed herself," another girl said. "What Rachel wrote, I believe in. I want to take Rachel's Challenge."

After these two students spoke at the gathering after the assembly, about a dozen more starting coming up to the stage. Others followed, sometimes several at a time, to share their thoughts and feelings:

"I was touched by Rachel's poetry. I actually write poetry, but I've always been too afraid to share it with anybody. But I think I might do it now."

"This whole presentation made me cry," one of the male students said. "I want to make a difference in the world showing kindness."

"I'm one of those people who shuts everybody out because I'm afraid to show my feelings. This made me want to change that."

"I'm one of those people who's judged people because of how they look and act. Sometimes I do it just to be funny. And I just want to say that if I've ever done or said anything to hurt anyone, I am so sorry. The truth is I love everybody in this school and I would give my life for any one of you."

After hearing all the students speak, Kilgore had this to say:

"It's a really big thing to come up on stage and say all those things and express these kinds of feelings in front of your peers. Now it's time to put those feelings into action."


At the BMS assembly, Kilgore offered the students similar but more age-appropriate goals:

Treat others the way you want to be treated

Dream big

Appreciate everyone, mock no one

The power of positive gossip

Forgive and be forgiven

"This is one of the best assemblies we've had," said Lucille DiSanto, one of the BMS teachers who was passing out tissues to some tearful students. "He really got their attention."

One of the parents who attended the evening session had this to say:

"It was great. It gives us something we can take beyond the classrooms and into the business world."

For more information about this project and to ask a speaker to come to your school, visit the Rachel's Challenge website.

Rapone makes Section V history as Notre Dame rolls to playoff victory

By Howard B. Owens

The first thing Mike Rapone wanted to do after Notre Dame notched a Section V playoff victory Wednesday night in Gainsville was find his daughter.

They embraced at center court and fans, friends and family gathered round.

When the Rapones moved over closer to a sign bearing the numbers 546, Mike Rapone looked up at the crowd, still holding his daughter close, and for a second, the emotion of the moment was clear in his eyes and a quivering lip.

With a 60-41 victory over Arkport, the Fighting Irish clinched the final spot in the Section V Class D1 championship, and Mike Rapone became the all-time wins leader in Section V boys basketball.

"(The record) means a lot to me because it means so much to the people I coached over the years," Rapone said. "So many of them are here tonight. They’re the ones who won the games. I’m the coach. You steer the ship, but they’re the sailors. They do all of the hard work."

The 56-year-old Rapone has a shot at victory number 547 in the Blue Cross Arena at 11:45 a.m., Saturday, when the Irish face Fillmore.

A win Saturday would give Notre Dame its eighth Section V title under Rapone. The Irish have also notched two New York State championships, in 1992 and 2001.

Starting forward, senior Tom Rapone, said victory meant a lot to the team and to him personally.

"I’m so happy to be able to get it for my uncle," Rapone said. "He’s done so much for me in basketball. I always dreamed of playing for him in high school. The fact that I was able to help break the record for him as the last Rapone to come through Notre Dame High School, it’s just an amazing feeling."

Despite the lopsided total at the end, Arkport didn't make it easy for the Irish to get the win for Rapone. While the Irish led from start to finish, Arkport pulled close near the end of the half, and again near the end of the 3rd Quarter. Too many missed shots in the 4th quarter, though, allowed Notre Dame to pull well ahead.

"It’s sectionals and no team is going to quit," said Tom Rapone. "We just came together as a team. We’ve got great chemistry. We know how to play as a team. We can turn it up fast. That’s all thanks to our coach. He’s taught us great things in practice. It’s all thanks to him. He’s an amazing coach."

Even when Arkport pulled within three points late in the 3rd quarter, coach Rapone said he felt his team knew it was going to win the game.

"I don’t think they ever lost their confidence that they were going to win," the coach said. "That’s the mark of a winner and that’s why they’re 19-1."

More pictures pictures after the jump.




Batavia woman sought by FBI in connection with alleged drug dealing in Erie County

By Howard B. Owens

A Batavia woman is reportedly wanted by the FBI in connection with an alleged heroin and cocaine ring being run inside two strip clubs in Erie County.

The FBI is encouraging anybody who knows the whereabouts of Cynthia Sims to call the police.

According to WGRZ, several law enforcement agencies were involved over the past year in investigating the alleged drug dealing at the clubs.

The clubs were identified as Rick's Tally Ho in Cheektowaga and 24k Gold in Hamburg.

WGRZ reports that the owners of the clubs say they had no idea that drug dealing was going on at their establishments.

Trial for accused burglar of Holland High Lift reset for June 14

By Billie Owens

Michael L. Jackson -- accused of burglary, grand larceny, criminal mischief and tampering with a witness -- was in Genesee County Court this afternoon after his attorney, Public Defender Gary Horton, requested a hearing to reschedule the trial.

On Sept. 3, Jackson posted a $10,000 bond and got out of jail. His trial was set for April 19. Because of a case-schedule conflict, Horton asked Judge Robert Noonan to reschedule Jackson's case.

The judge agreed to the request and it is now on the calendar for 9:30 a.m. on June 14. District Attorney Lawrence Friedman had no objections for the People. At trial, the People will be represented by Assistant District Attorney William Zickl.

The scruffy-looking, sleepy-eyed defendant sat alone in the gallery, wearing a striped, short-sleeve polo shirt and faded, baggy jeans with tattered hems. But he was well ahead of his appointed time. 

According to the Grand Jury indictment, Jackson is charged with a count of burglary in the third degree, two counts of grand larceny in the third degree, and two counts criminal mischief in the second degree. He's also charged with tampering with a witness in the fourth degree.

Now an Oakfield resident, he's accused breaking into Holland High Lift, 10033 East Road, Bethany. He allegedly stole a 42-inch Viewsonic flatscreen television, a Samsung 22-inch flatscreen television and a Sony digital camera. He also allegedly stole a 2005 Ford Supercab 250. Jackson also allegedly damaged an office window, a display case, light fixtures, drywall, a motorcycle, computer equipment and an overhead door. He also allegedly damaged the Ford truck.

Batavia 'wanted' suspect located in Florida

By Howard B. Owens

A man wanted by Batavia Police has been located in Florida and is in a Tampa-area jail awaiting extradition to New York.

A week ago, Batavia Police issued a "wanted" notice for Dajuandrick Gardner, 33, of Byron. Gardner is wanted for an alleged violation of parole.

U.S. Marshalls' took Gardner into custody on Monday.

No information has been released regarding the original charges against him.

When the police released the wanted information on Gardner, they also listed 18-year-old Jeremiah Williams as a wanted person on unrelated charges. Williams remains at large.

Special Service Recognition Award: The Batavia Area Jaycees

By Billie Owens

Last year was a very special benchmark for the Batavia Area Jaycees. It was their Diamond Anniversary.

On Saturday, the community service and social-networking group will receive the Special Service Recognition Award from the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

"The membership looks at it as a lifetime achievement for everyone who's ever been a Jaycee," said Steve Tufts, chairman of the Jaycees' 75th Anniversary Committee. "I think they are looking at the award as a nod from the chamber of commerce that they're doing some good stuff for the community."

Other committee members are Danielle Russell, Jodie Freese and Tara Pariso. Alumni who served on it are Bill Young, Ron Weiler, Bill Dougherty and Tom Ditzel.

The 1934 charter meeting of the Batavia Junior Chamber of Commerce was held at the Hotel Richmond on Main Street. Membership was restricted to men aged 18 to 35, but the age span shifted to 21 through 39 once the national legal drinking age became 21. The local chapter incorporated in 1976 and changed its name to the Batavia Area Jaycees. Eight years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the national organization and all its affiliates could not ban women from membership.

"That year, the brainstorming power of our chapter effectively doubled," Tufts said.

From the beginning, the Jaycees were all about networking and developing leadership skills to better themselves and their communities. So for decades now, the club has groomed tomorrow's leaders, which is one of the unique aspects of the Jaycees. Some people think of it as a "stepping-stone organization."

"We recruit them, train them and ship them out," Tufts said. "When they leave, they're better at organizing things, running a project or serving on a board. They understand the basics of Roberts Rules of Order and parliamentary procedure."

The development of an individual's leadership skills includes learning to: think fast and speak extemporaneously; debate topics; improve writing and otherwise hone the abilities considered to be valuable assets, both on the job and in the public sector.

People in their 20s and 30s experience a lot of flux and changes in their lives, so the average length of a Jaycee membership is three years. If a member hits 40 and "ages out," he or she affectionately becomes "an exhausted rooster."

Over the years, many people have benefitted from their association with the Jaycees. Past Chamber of Commerce President Ray San Fratello is said to credit the group with helping him learn the skills to serve in that capacity. Chamber Executive Assistant Melissa A. George was once a Jaycee president. So was Kelly J. Bermingham, the chamber's director of membership and special events.

Each year, the Jaycees Board of Directors proposes a calendar of events to meet the needs of the membership and the community. Programming falls into one of four areas: management development, individual development, community development and membership services. Community volunteer activities are offered most.

Early projects were health related, including Adam Miller's Stamp Out Syphillis program in 1937, free polio and measles clinics and a blood bank. During World War II, the chapter displayed flags on Main Street, led campaigns on civic planning, Americanism, Boost Batavia, and established three shelters for hitchhiking servicemen.

In the '60s, the Jaycees "spearheaded the effort to establish Genesee Community College," according to the Special Recognition Award application. And later, they held several annual competitions, including the Miss Batavia Pageant and Outstanding Young Farmer program. They developed a blind trail and built a shelter at Genesee County Park and a shelter at DeWitt Park.

Projects overseen by the Batavia Area Jaycees today include the annual Labor Day 5K Run, and the Home, Garden & Trade Show, which is the group's largest fund-raiser. Their 57th annual show was held this past weekend.

"It's been our longest-standing project because the basic model works -- it's a temporary place where local businesses can see more people than they normally would (in a weekend) and develop leads and maybe even sell some products," Tufts said.

He views the show as, indirectly, the chapter's best community service project, even though it is held to raise money for the chapter. Putting the show together serves as a "catalyst to local businesses" because homes are typically a family's greatest tangible asset, so virtually everyone has some connection to a home show.

The chapter's awards are too numerous to list. Suffice it to say that there are dozens and dozens of them, many of which are displayed at its hall in the historic Batavia Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue.

"We call it our woodpile," Tufts said, of the plaques, trophies, certificates, ribbons, etc., lining the shelves.

The fact that the Batavia Area Jaycees have a home base sets them apart from all other chapters in the state. It is a business. The chapter's ever-changing membership has been confident enough in its fund-raising abilities to take on the associated costs -- rent, utilities, insurance -- of renting office and hall space.

And they have succeeded, in part, because of the size of this community, not in spite of it. The small- to medium-sized community is best suited to any club that really wants to make a difference.

"We've got enough feelers out there to know and sense what needs to be done, how we can help and what gaps need to be filled," Tufts said.

General membership meetings are held at the Jaycee Hall at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. The Jaycee Hotline is 343-5775.

Photo: Tara Pariso, Danielle Russell and Steve Tufts.

Police Beat: Girl charged with shoplifting at Kmart and Walmart

By Howard B. Owens

A 16-year-old Batavia girl is charged with two counts of petit larceny. She allegedly stole items from Walmart and Kmart. She was arrested at 9:31 p.m., Tuesday.

Deborah Ann Butler, 42, of 5335 Egerton Road, Elba, is charged with issuing a bad check. Butler was picked up on a warrant on the charge.

Lynda Lee Snyder, 27, currently in state prison, is charged with criminal facilitation, 4th. Snyder allegedly allowed a person who had been ordered to stay away from her child to be in the residence and company of the child.

Kelly J. Rhim, 31, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Rhim was reportedly stopped by state police on the Thruway in Batavia at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 28.

Accidents from the state police blotter:

8:58 p.m., March 1, Route 98, Alexander, one vehicle: Driver 1: Joyce M. McNutt, 46, of Darien Center. No injuries reported.

6:05 a.m., March 1, Quaker Hill Road, Elba, one vehicle; Driver 1: Karen J. Vancott, 49, Albion. No injuries reported.

Building evacuated after smell of natural gas in Le Roy

By Howard B. Owens

One person so far has reported a headache in apparent connection to a natural gas smell at a building at 8020 E. Main Road, Le Roy.

The building has been evacuated.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance have been dispatched.

UPDATE 10:12 a.m.: An assistant fire chief reports no reading of gas inside the structure.

UPDATE 10:16 a.m.: Le Roy Fire is back in service.

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Fair and Equal Representation

By Jennifer Keys

We don’t think that everyone in the village of LeRoy is being represented fairly and equally. 

We are running for office for Village Trustee positions, because we believe in fair and equal representation.

We are concerned about a local law proposing that sidewalks be paid for by the adjacent landowner.  That’s unfair because: 1) not all people in LeRoy have sidewalks yet they have equal access to the existing sidewalks; 2) people who live on corner lots will be responsible for twice as much sidewalk as the average homeowner; 3) the law is discriminatory because the Village can come to homeowners demanding replacement of sidewalks without a reason why. 

Sidewalks are a community asset and should be paid for equally by the community.  On February 23, Senator Orrin Hatch, long-time member of the Senate Judicial Committee, said that it was unconstitutional to force someone to buy anything they don’t want to buy.  Furthermore, he said that if they get away with it, your rights are gone, and they can force you to do just about anything they want.

We agree with current Democratic Trustee Greg Rogers that we shouldn’t change the law and that we should fund the line item in the budget each year to repair and maintain the sidewalk system.

This is just one of our concerns about our community.  Please save these three dates:

·        Tuesday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Greens of LeRoy, 1 West Ave., for the Meet the Candidates Night, where you will be able to ask the

candidates questions;

·        Wednesday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the Village Hall to voice your opinion in the Public Hearing regarding the proposed sidewalk law;

·        Saturday, March 13 at 1:30 p.m. at Java’s on Main St. to meet us, your Democratic candidates.  Join us for coffee and cookies, and bring us your concerns about the Village of LeRoy, regardless of your party affiliation.


Jennifer Keys

Jim DeLooze

Batavia advances to finals after taking control against Hornell in second half

By Howard B. Owens

If you weren't biting your nails at the half on Tuesday night, you're not a Batavia Blue Devils fan.

At the half in Batavia's Section V semi-final playoff game against Hornell, the Blue Devils were in locked horns at 20-20.

Even though Hornell came into the tournament as the #5 seed in the division against Batavia's #1 standing, Hornell wasn't making it easy on Batavia.

Hornell came out of the locker room with an aggressive game plan that had Batavia a little bit flustered in the opening minutes of the match.

“We didn’t play very good at all in the first half – our shots weren’t falling and the presses got to us, particularly me," said Batavia's leading scorer, Andrew Hoy. "I didn’t really know how to break it at the time, but we figured it out at half time. Coach gave us a game plan and we came out in the second half and said we’re going to hold them to 13 points per quarter and we played defense. That’s what Batavia is built on, defense.”

The plan worked. Hornell was able to manage only three baskets in the second half and Batavia went on to win 51-34.

Hoy sank three three pointers and led Batavia (17-3) with 24 points.

Justin Washington and Co Co Irvin each added nine.

The Blue Devils advance to the Section V finals against Livonia on Friday night.

Thirty more pictures after the jump:

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