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Attica's Ruddock Player of the Week

By Brian Hillabush

 Well, it took three weeks but a local football player was finally named Section 5 Player of the Week.

Attica's Andy Ruddock rushed for 193 yards on 18 carries as the Blue Devils beat Elba/Byron-Bergen 40-6 Friday night and he earned the offensive honor for Class B.

Ruddock also had a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Attica is 2-1 and will be playing at Barker this Saturday.

Downtown Coupon Book

By Philip Anselmo

If you're looking to save a few bucks, learn yoga and taekwondo or get some free grub, you may want to search out the Downtown Batavia Coupon Book. It looks like this:

Inside, you'll find deals for a free cup of java at Main Street Coffee, a week of classes at Cain's Taekwondo, a session of tai chi at Blue Pearl Yoga, $35 off a pair of glasses at Optique, and much much more. The booklets of coupons include more than 30 downtown businesses and cost $2 each. You can find them at these locations:

Adam Miller Toy & Bike, Angotti Beverage,  Carlson’s Studio, Charles Men’s Shop, Christiano Cellular, Continental School of Beauty, Grugnale’s, House of K, Main Street Coffee, Marchese Computer, Optique, The Cutting Shack, The Spa at Artemis, Valle Jewelers and Washington Towers.

Information from the Batavia Business Improvement District.

On the Beat: Got the wrong house?

By Philip Anselmo

Christopher R. Waite, 19, of Oakfield, was charged with third-degree criminal trespass Monday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Waite is accused of entering a home on S. Pearl St. without the owner's permission. Deputies did not say why or how Waite entered the property.

Lincoln A. DeCoursey, 30, of Pavilion, was charged with a felony count of driving while intoxicated Monday, deputies said. DeCoursey was stopped and ticketed with speeding on Route 5 in the town of Stafford when deputies found him allegedly under the influence.

Timothy R. Howard, of Lockport, was charged with a felony count of third-degree criminal possession of marijuana Friday, state police said. Howard was allegedly found with nearly 11 ounces of marijuana following a traffic stop on Dysinger Road in the town of Lockport.

Theresa E. Silliman, 40, of 3207 Pratt Road, Batavia, was charged with second-degree harassment Thursday, deputies said. Silliman is accused of slapping another woman across the face during a verbal argument.

News roundup: Faulty decorations may have caused fire in South Byron

By Philip Anselmo

WBTA's Dan Fischer reports this morning that "faulty Halloween decorations" may have caused the fire that ripped through a South Byron home yesterday morning. Fire officials said yesterday that the home may be a total loss, estimating the damage at more than $50,000 already. No one was home at the time of the blaze at the property owned by Anthony Frongetta. A pet dog died in the fire.

Interview with coordinator of DWI Victim Impact Panel

By Howard B. Owens

Found on YouTube, two-video interview with Mike Laycock the VIP coordinator of the DWI Victim Impact Panel.

NOTE: If you are your community group do a video like this and want to share it with the community, you can upload your video to YouTube and then create your own blog post on The Batavian.


Proposed trail would connect Byron and Churchville

By Howard B. Owens

The town of Riga and the village of Churchville have developmed a comprehensive plan for the communities' future. That wouldn't be of much interest locally, accept for this bit from the D&C story:

One interesting proposal is the development of a trail system along the Westshore Railroad right of way. Riga and Churchville have teamed with Monroe County and Byron and Bergen in Genesee County in a joint effort to secure funding for a feasibility study. The new trail would begin at the western townline of Byron and end in the central business district of Churchville. The money for the study is coming from the Genesee Transportation Council, a regional organization that oversees the administration and funding of all federal aid transportation projects.

New trails are good.

Graham Corp. board member donates $1 million to Rochester art gallery

By Howard B. Owens

Helen H. Berkeley, the widow of Frederick D. Berkeley III, the former CEO of Batavia-based Graham Corp. (AMEX: GHM) has donated $1 million to the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.

The donation is intended to transform the gallery's antiquities collection into a showcase of Near and Middle Eastern treasures.

"I've traveled a lot in the Middle East," said Berkeley, former president of the museum's Gallery Council, a volunteer fundraising organization. "You could call me a frustrated archaeologist. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to help with this gallery."

Her gift is one of the largest that the museum has ever received from a single donor.


The future Berkeley Gallery of Ancient Art probably won't debut until November 2009, said chief curator Marjorie B. Searl. Most of the construction will take place next summer — new cabinetry, lighting, humidity controls and alterations to the ceiling and walls. The space already is heavily trafficked by Rochester students on field trips.

"We're looking to provide better interpretation for these ancient collections," said Searl. "In the new gallery, students will understand more about their significance. These user-friendly displays will be integrated into their school programming."

Helen H. Berkeley is a member of the Graham Corp. board of directors. 

Lowe's set to open next month

By Howard B. Owens

From the D&C:

Lowe's will open its sixth area store in Batavia, Genesee County, on Oct. 18.

The new home-improvement store, at 4180 Veteran's Memorial Drive, has 117,000 square feet of retail space, with an adjacent garden center.

September 22nd is Muckdogs Day!

By Philip Anselmo

It's official! City Council this evening proclaimed September 22, 2008: Muckdogs Day. The 2008 NY-Penn League champions have since dispersed, many of the young players heading to St. Louis for the Cardinals post-season training camp, so that means no go on a parade for this year. But plans are already in the works to hold a victory parade when the champs return to Batavia in June.

We'll be sure to pass along more info as it becomes available.

In other City Council news...

A public hearing has been set for October 14 to discuss a local law that would abolish the city's Board of Ethics. If the action goes through, the city will in future refer all "ethics issues" to the county's Board of Ethics.

Alice Kryzan's position on financial crisis and bail outs

By Howard B. Owens

We asked both canidates for the 26th Congressional District for their positions on the Wall Street bail outs.

First to respond is Alice Kryzan. Her campaign sent over the following press release:

Amherst, NY – The financial markets have undergone a severe shock in the last few days. Risky speculation in a deregulated market led to a crash, bringing calls from Washington to have government bail out financial institutions. But where have these same voices been while millions of hardworking Americans have suffered through their own financial crises, facing stagnating wages and fewer jobs with rising housing and energy costs?

As she has from the beginning of her campaign, Alice Kryzan, Democratic Congressional Candidate for NY-26, decried this  ‘same old same old politic’, calling for political leaders to start putting the people’s interests first;

“We don’t need oil lobbyists writing our energy policy, insurance companies making our medical decisions, or financial institutions taking huge risks and then asking Americans to foot the bill. We can’t have two more years of these failed Bush policies, two more years of fewer jobs, stagnated wages and work sent overseas. We need someone ready to help us realize our future, not cling to the knee-jerk deregulation rhetoric of the past.” 

Alice called on Congress to act quickly to stabilize the market in order to ensure hardworking Americans don’t lose their homes or other assets. But she also insisted that any legislation include accountability measures to improve financial regulation and ensure this disaster is not repeated. Furthermore, taxpayers should receive their fair share of any profits these companies make after being bailed out, CEO compensation should be limited, and Congress should give homeowners the assistance they need to protect their homes. And, of course, any efforts to stabilize the market should have independent oversight to ensure the job is done right.

Alice expressed disappointment that so many politicians refuse to grapple with the serious issues facing our country;

“People are tired of candidates who only offer platitudes and quick fixes. Whether it’s offshore drilling that increases oil companies’ profits without lowering gas prices or writing a blank check to the financial market to protect CEO’s record salaries, the public has had enough. We need people with real solutions who we can trust to go to Washington and get results.”

We left off the final paragraph, which characterizes Republican Chris Lee's position. We'll let Chris Lee speak for himself, if he chooses to do so.

News roundup: Get rid of your old prescription meds—safely

By Philip Anselmo

An "Unwanted Pill Collection" will be held on October 4, from 8:00am to noon at the Pavilion Fire Department on Route 19 for area residents to dispose of their old prescription drugs, according to the Daily News. Anyone from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties can come by to make use of the service. You don't even have to get out of your car. Drive up, drop off the pills, and continue on your way.

Health officials hope that by offering folks the opportunity to safely dispose of old medications—they will be burned in an incinerator—we can keep the drugs from tainting the water supply or getting into the hands of people who should not be taking them.

In other news, the county's Building and Grounds department will now be known as Facilities Management.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at

South Byron Fire Claims Dog

By Steve Ognibene

The fire broke out approx 8:30 am this morning after the couple left their home for work.  I spoke with Wendy Frongetta one of the owners of the home at 6323 East Main St. South Byron.  Wendy spoke of the loss of her Dog "Frank" he was the sweetest 7yr. old pit-bull that they loved who did not escape the fire.  Heavy fire damage claimed about 80 percent of the home.  No other injuries were reported and cause is yet to be determined pending investigation.  Many fire crews were on the scene putting out the blaze.

On the Beat: DWI patrol

By Philip Anselmo

Ten people were charged with driving while intoxicated following a state police "saturation patrol" that was set up after the Buffalo Bills game on Sunday. Another 34 traffic tickets were passed out. Those who were charged with DWI include:

  • Mark A. Nickerson, 26, of Dunkirk.
  • Jeremy R. Tanner, 22, of Turtlepoint, Penn.
  • Yebishawn L. Snyder, 33, of Salamanca.
  • Erin R. Close, 26, of Buffalo.
  • Carl A. Speck, 53, of Niagara Falls.
  • Lisa A. Knowlton, 53, of Grand Island.
  • Jason K. Kirchner, 26, of Niagara Falls.
  • Lawrence M. Haberer III, 52, of Stowe, Ohio.
  • Eric W. Kerwin, 32, of Strykersville.
  • Christie L. Novak, 33 of Boston, N.Y.

Above information was provided in a published release from the state police.

News roundup: Kirkup gets 5 to 15 years

By Philip Anselmo

WBTA's Dan Fischer spoke with the daughter of Robert Kirkup this morning following Kirkup's sentencing of 5 to 15 years in prison for killing his wife in Genesee County during a camping trip 16 years ago. Lawler asked the court to give her father the maximum sentence. You can hear why daughter Susan Lawler suspected all along that her father was responsible for the death of her mother, Janet Kirkup. Listen to the audio clip here.

Kirkup told the court that he regretted choking his wife to death and then burying her in a shallow grave in the town of Darien, which has not yet been found.

Kirkup was transferred to Genesee County in June following the resurrection of the investigation by a cold case team from California, where Kirkup was then located. In court on August 12, Kirkup said that he killed his wife in self defense.

Dan Fischer reports:

Susan Lawler said she will now turn her attention to finding her mother’s remains. Kirkup had three daughters. Susan was the only one to speak at this morning’s sentencing. His oldest daughter submitted a letter to the court supporting her father.

In other news, a house fire in South Byron required the efforts of six fire crews to battle the blaze that was still burning at noon today. No injuries were yet reported, according to Dan Fischer. Byron, South Byron, Bergen, Elba, Stafford and Le Roy departments responded to the fire at East Main Road at the corner of Mechanic Street.

Democrats run first spot against Lee

By Philip Anselmo

This television commercial, which we were told is already running during Buffalo newscasts, is the first "negative" spot to hit the airwaves since Alice Kryzan and Chris Lee emerged with their party's endorsement following the primaries. Democrat Kryzan is not referenced in the spot that attacks Republican Lee for employing workers in China. It's endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

News roundup: Stay out of the loop

By Philip Anselmo

Motorists dropping off students at Batavia High School are urged not to use the central bus loop, which is for buses only, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. There are safety concerns in allowing buses and passenger vehicles in the same area. If you are picking up or dropping off students, please use the "pick-up circle" near the band room.

City Council will meet tonight at 7:00pm in the Council chambers at City Hall.

Two children died in a house fire Sunday in the village of Fredonia. More details can be found in an article from the Jamestown Post-Journal.

In Medina, a school teacher was arrested and charged with official misconduct. Scott Ballard, 33, is accused of initiating relationships with two of his former students. More details can be found in an article from the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal.

Bringing back Nation and World

By Howard B. Owens

We tried this once before: A secton on the site for blog posts about issues in the nation/world outside of Genesee County.

It didn't get a lot of traction, but then I didn't configure it right and it was hard to post to and leave comments.

But we've done some political posts recently that have gotten a good deal of attention, so I thought -- let's see if we can do it better this time.

There is once again a "Nation and World" tab on the top navigation.  First post: About Barack Obama's foreign policy.

If you want to post something in that category, tag your post "nation and world" and it will show up on that page as soon as you save the post.

We used to do some headline aggregation on the home page of nation, world and political headlines. It doesn't seem to have been missed since we dropped it, but we might give the same idea a try on the "Nation and World" page, but this time the headlines will appear mixed in with posts.  I'll do a couple shortly so you can see what I mean.

Why would a locally focused site include such non-local news and commentary.  Well, three reasons:

  • The Batavian readers have shown some interest;
  • Studies/survey's show that people who are interested in local news are almost always interested in non-local news, also;
  • When we say "Online News. Community Views." we mean that we think when people sharing the same community are interested in what fellow community members think on a broad range of topics.

Graham Corp. receives $50,000 grant from state

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia-based Graham Corp. (AMEX: GHM) received a $50,000 grant from the Empire Development board this week, according to a press release.

No word on the grant will be used. We'll see what we can find out Monday.

The grant was part of $67 million package of funds handed out by the agency. The funds are intended to spur economic growth.

Other area grants include:

  • One Aid to Localities grant, totaling $150,000, to World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara for salaries and wages associated with outreach and service efforts in the twelve-county Western New York and the Finger Lakes region
  • $50,000 to the Livingston County Agricultural Society and Fair
  • $50,000 for Erie County Industrial Development Agency (Erie County)
  • $25,600 for Qualicoat Inc. (Monroe County)

Graham was recently named one of Business Week's top 100 small companies. In Q2 2008, Graham reported $27.5 million in revenue and a 20 percent net profit margin. Graham employs 281 people. It's stock currently trades at $69.63.

Defensive game turns into offensive show for Dragons

By Brian Hillabush

 Holley's defense was solid in the first half. Pembroke's was throughout the game.

That meant the Dragons picked up a solid 41-0 victory in Holley Saturday afternoon, holding the Hawks to just 56 total yards of offense.

While Pembroke started slow, a multitude of players put up solid numbers.

Mike Dibble rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries and Josh Phillips gained 56 on seven rushes.

Andrew Wright had another huge day, rushing the ball 10 times for 118 yards and catching a pair of passes for 55 yards.

Quarterback David Kleckler ended up going 4-of-10 for 104 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 28 yards.

The Holley defense had done a good job of holding the Dragons in check early on the opening drive, but the first score of the game came on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Kleckler to Wright on a fourth-and-15.

Holley punted the ball away, then managed to force Pembroke to do the same thing.

Guy Hills picked up a rushing first down for the Hawks and then Mike Pernicano picked up 25  yards on a rush, but the play was called back on a holding call. The Hawks wound up attempting a punt, which was blocked.

The Dragons started at the Holley 20 and Wright went for 15 yards and Kleckler scored from five yards out, giving Pembroke a 13-0 first quarter advantage.

Wright broke off a 25-yard run early in the second quarter before Ken Babcock made the play of the game a few plays later, hauling in a 25-yard TD pass.


Babcock actually caught another touchdown pass in the first half, but it was called back due to offensive pass interference.

With the Pembroke defense shutting down the Holley offense, the Hawks were almost able to get a score near the end of the half because of their defense.

Hills intercepted a pass near midfield with 39 seconds left, allowing Kyle Steadman to get a 10-yard run. Unfortunately, time ran out on the Holley offense.

Wright had a 15-yard touchdown run and Phelps added one from six yards out to give Pembroke a 34-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Dragons did add a final score midway through the fourth quarter.

Backup quarterback Andy Gabbey found Dibble on a screen and he took it in for a 9-yard touchdown pass.

The Dragons improve to 3-0 and will be hosting Elba/Byron-Bergen (1-2) next Saturday.

Holley falls to 0-3, but is showing signs of life, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

They will be at Alexander (0-3) next Saturday in a matchup of teams looking to win for the first time this season.




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