Local Matters

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July 4, 2019 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, video, baseball.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs remain in first place despite dropping the final game of a three-game series with the State College Spikes, 6-4 on Wednesday.

The paid crowd was 2,314, the largest crowd to see a game in two years.

The Muckdogs came from behind to win in extra innings on Monday, won a 1-0 thriller Tuesday, but fell short Wednesday with the winning run at the plate to win the series, 2-1.

Batavia (11-7) maintains a half-game lead over Mahoning Valley and State College.

The Muckdogs managed five hits, as New York-Penn League batting leader Milton Smith II had hit, two RBIs and a run while Dustin Skelton, Nic Ready (RBI double), Albert Guaimaro (RBI) and Andrew Turner had hits.

Jackson Rose started for the Muckdogs striking out five in four-and two-thirds innings without giving up an earned run. Edison Suriel finished the fifth without giving up a run and Eli Villalobos took the loss, throwing four innings striking out two.

For State College, Jacob Schlesener was the winning pitcher with a dominant performance, striking out 12 in six innings. Logan Gragg picked up the save. 

David Pinsky had a big night at the plate for State College going 3-for-5 with a home run, double and three RBIs.

The team will play seven games in six days at Auburn and State College before returning home to play Lowell on Wednesday, July 10 as part of a three-game homestand (July 10, 11 and 12).

Hot dogs are just $1 on Wednesday and all Labatt's products are $2. Friday is Crafty Hour, all craft beers are $3.

All three games start at 7:05 p.m. and tickets are available at the Dwyer Stadium box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, online at muckdogs.com or call 585-483-3647.

July 4, 2019 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, pembroke, animal abuse, scanner.

A dog has reportedly been locked inside a brown Ford F-350 pickup truck for 45 minutes outside the restaurant at the Flying J Travel Plaza in Pembroke.

The plaza is located at 8484 Alleghany Road. An animal control officer is responding. It's 85 degrees outside.

July 4, 2019 - 4:16am
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, fire.
Video Sponsor

There's a house fire at 13 Hutchins St. and city fire crews are on scene. Oakfield Fire Department is en route to fill in at city fire headquarters.

UPDATE 4:30 a.m.: The fire is out. The second floor is gutted and one side of the structure was heavily damaged by smoke and flames, but it's still standing.

UPDATE 5:40 a.m. (by Howard): When firefighters arrived on scene, two people were trapped on the second floor. As crews were getting out of their trucks, one person jumped from the second-floor window and was seriously injured. The other person was rescued using a ladder. Both patients were transported to UMMC; the second person for evaluation of possible smoke inhalation. The Salvation Army has been requested to the scene to assist with the displacement of four households, five people total.

July 3, 2019 - 6:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, softball, stingers, little league, video.
Video Sponsor

At age 11, Karissa Kendall does something not many girls can claim -- she is a successful pitcher in both baseball and softball.

July 3, 2019 - 3:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Bellavia, batavia, news, Medal of Honor.

Press release:

The City of Batavia congratulates David Bellavia on the Medal of Honor. We are very proud of David for his bravery and heroism, and look forward to honoring him. Stay tuned for future plans.

July 3, 2019 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in STOP-DWI, news, FOURTH OF JULY.

Press release:

Genesee County STOP DWI Coordinator Matt Landers announced today that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving.

The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start today, July 3rd and will end on Sunday, July 7th.

The Fourth of July extended weekend is historically a deadly period for impaired driving. This year the 4th of July falls on a Thursday so we expect heavy traveling to begin on Wednesday, July 3rd and festivities to begin on July 4th and run through Sunday, July 7th.

Americans love to celebrate the Fourth of July with family, friends, food and fireworks, but all too often the festivities turn tragic on the nation's roads. The fact is this iconic American holiday is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk-driving crashes.

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem. The New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies will collaborate across the state and will be out in force in this coordinated effort to aggressively target those who put lives in danger.

The Fourth Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association. The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets Labor Day Weekend, Halloween and the national Holiday Season in December.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

You can help to make a difference by Having a Sober Plan! Download our mobile app – “Have a Plan” and you will always be able to find a safe ride home www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp

Impaired driving is completely preventable. All it takes is a little planning.

July 3, 2019 - 3:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in United Way, news, 2019 campaign.

Press release:

The United Way of Genesee County announces its 2019 campaign total as $351,676. Through these donations, subsidies have been granted to 27 programs within Genesee County; to include numerous additional agencies who will receive funding via donor designations.

During the 2019 campaign celebration breakfast on June 28th, the following were honored for their dedication to the United Way:

  • Top Hat Award (for the highest workplace campaign) -- O-AT-KA Milk Products
  • Agency of the Year (for being the phoenix of agencies) – YWCA
  • Barber Conable Award (for exemplary commitment to the community) -- Genesee County Employees and Government
  • Volunteer of the Year (for her 13 years of unfaltering loyalty) -- Theresa DeMars

Acts of Valor awards were given to these Knights in Shining Armor, as they came to the aid of the United Way to find a solution for an immediate need that had been brought to the United Way’s attention:

  • Julie Gill from Home Depot
  • Gregory and Joan Post from Greg Post General Services
  • Jaylene Smith-Kilner from Habitat for Humanity
  • Tim Adams and Steven Foster from the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant

Liberty Pumps and the employees of Genesee County were the second and third highest workplace campaigns this year. Whereas, the late Rick Ensman and Bill and Barb Schreiber were the highest individual contributors.

The United Way of Genesee County is extremely grateful to all who participated in this year’s campaign. The lengthy list of workplace and individual donors is heartwarming and proves that so many are invested in the wellness of our community.

July 3, 2019 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in FOURTH OF JULY, news, assemblyman steve hawley.

A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on the  Fouth of July holiday:

“The Fourth of July, our nation’s birthday, is a crucial reminder of the day our founders declared us free from British rule and thus an independent and self-governing nation. Although a bold and unprecedented move by American colonialists, it paved the way for springs of freedom and self-determination to erupt all over the globe – ushering in a wave of democracy.

“Our founding fathers, the patriots who forged our nation through a crucible of revolution, knew that the will of men and women to live free, govern themselves and choose their own destiny was undeniable and worth any sacrifice they may endure.

“Contemporarily, Independence Day is a time when citizens come together unified as Americans to celebrate their freedom and enjoy the privileges that come under our nation’s governance. We spend time with friends and family, enjoy barbeques, fly our flags and, of course, watch fireworks. 

“Throughout this weekend’s celebrations let us not take for granted the tremendous sacrifices paid by our veterans to preserve America’s freedom and the countless service members deployed across the globe who will not be with their families this holiday. Please take time to thank a veteran or service member in your life this weekend for their role in protecting our nation.

“The fight for liberty and justice is never complete; and as Americans it is our duty to remember and cherish our independence. It is a day to celebrate our freedom, our country, our triumphs and to remember all those men and women who have served our nation and who have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of those ideals. 

“Although this holiday is a joyous occasion, I encourage everyone to stay safe and to celebrate responsibly with family and friends. Happy Independence Day!”

July 3, 2019 - 12:19pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, GO ART! Picnic in the Park, July 4th.

This year GO ART! has added classic family games to the event schedule at Picnic in the Park in Centennial Park in Batavia this 4th of July.

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle is helping with a hula hoop contest.

Roth Insurance is sponsoring the main event, the egg toss contest. The egg toss is open to adults and children over 13 years old. 

Keith Roth is providing a $50 prize to the winners of the egg toss. He says it will take "good hands" to win in this competition.

The contests will start at 2 p.m.

Pictured below is Libby practicing for the event.

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The Yngodess Shop is sponsoring the sack race, which is also set to start in the 2 o' clock hour. Owner Christine Crocker was in her shop giving tips on sack racing to all her customers that were interested. 

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Jessica at Whole Life Fitness must be feeling extra fit opening her larger new location and changing the name of the gym.

She is challenging EVERY child in Batavia under 13 years old to a tug of war against her and her crew.

She stresses that exercise and physical fitness is not only good for you but it is also fun. The tug-o-war will be at 3:45 p.m. and all children who participate will receive a prize. 

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The 41st annual Picnic in the Park runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Thursday July 4th. For more information click here.

July 3, 2019 - 12:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in GLOW YMCA, Corporate Cup, volunteers, batavia, news.

Don’t have a team, but want to run in the Corporate Cup on Thursday, Aug. 1st.

Join the Y’s Team -- GLOW YMCA.

Register for the race at:www.glowcorporatecup.com

Interested in volunteering? 

We are looking for members like you to help us with: setup, traffic control, food and cleanup (*Must be over the age of 18 for traffic control.)

Time: 5-8 p.m.

Contact: Rachel Hale at [email protected]

July 2, 2019 - 9:13pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, antwan odom, crime, news, notify.

Defense attorney Frank Housh’s motion for the disqualification of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman from the Antwan Odom assault case was denied, but the attorneys’ gag order was lifted today during oral arguments.

Housh is the defense attorney for Antwan Odom, the Batavia High School athlete charged with cutting Ray Leach with a knife during an alleged argument Aug. 4. Odom is accused of committing assault in the first degree, which carries a prison term of five to 25 years.

In May, Odom turned down Friedman’s offer to for him plead guilty to second-degree assault. The plea would be unconditional and expose Odom to a potential maximum sentence of seven years.

Housh did not feel there was enough of a guarantee from the court that Odom could be tried as a youthful offender and avoid a lengthy prison term, so his client declined the plea offer.

Friedman also filed an order to show cause (a little memorandum asking the judge to take action) in May requesting a gag order on both attorneys after Housh made statements to local reporters that Friedman considered a violation of professional conduct standards.

Friedman also filed an ethical grievance complaint with the state bar.

In response, Housh filed a motion to disqualify Friedman and assign a different prosecutor from an adjacent county to Odom's case. Housh said this motion was to protect his client from prejudice due to conflict of interest since, as he said he sees it, Friedman is prosecuting both him and his client.

Housh said that when Odom chose to not accept Friedman’s plea deal, both he and his client were attacked. He fears that Friedman’s assignment to this case may lower the public’s confidence in the justice system.

Housh said the grievance caused him to retain counsel and assume that every action he took for Odom would be used as evidence against him. Housh said he now represents his client in an unusual manner, such as consulting his personal attorney before consulting with his own client.

Housh insisted he wants to represent Odom but fears he will have to withdraw from the case due to personal, professional and financial costs. He said that his client’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel cannot be upheld if he is protecting himself from legal action. Odom's family and friends nodded their heads in agreement as Housh spoke.

Friedman explicitly opposed the motion. He said there is no merit to Housh’s argument and described it as “nothing short of ludicrous.” He maintained that Housh violated the rules of professional conduct, so it is not logical for the court to remove Friedman as the prosecutor when he was trying to uphold fair trial rights. 

Judge Charles Zambito rendered the decision that the district attorney did not demonstrate prejudice nor a conflict of interest and did not act in bad faith when he filed the grievance against Housh. So, the motion for disqualification of Friedman was denied.

In lifting the gag order, Zambito said that neither attorney opposed the gag order but that the local media did contact him to oppose the gag order based on First Amendment/free press grounds.

The Batavian filed a memo with the court objecting to the gag order, using material provided by the Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press. 

Zambito lifted the gag order on the attorneys today.

Judge Zambito reminded the attorneys of the rules of professional conduct regarding extrajudicial statements to the media.

Friedman asked for a deadline for Housh to notify the court of his decision to continue to represent Odom. Zambito did not set a deadline because he trusts Housh will alert the court of any changes as soon as possible.

“With me or somebody else, my client is going to try his case," Housh said outside of court. "We believe strongly that the jury is going to see that this is a clear case of justification. My client was not the first aggressor.

“I think the judge is confident the lawyers understood their obligations. I don’t think I did anything wrong by explaining to the press what my motion was. The judge just wants the case to proceed to trial, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Housh added. 

Odom’s trial is slated to begin Aug. 5 in Genesee County Court.

July 2, 2019 - 6:32pm
posted by Lauren Leone in Darien, news, crime, notify, fatal hit-and-run, jennifer serrano.

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Jennifer L. Serrano, 48, of Irving, was convicted this afternoon of vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting, driving while intoxicated, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle at the conclusion of her six-day trial.

After less than three hours of deliberation in Genesee County Court, jurors rendered a unanimous guilty verdict on all four counts.

Serrano stood trial for killing 18-year-old Connor Lynskey with her Jeep Wrangler last August as both individuals traveled along Sumner Road in Darien after a concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

The decision came shortly after the jury requested to review Deputy Robert Henning’s body camera footage, which captured Serrano participating in field sobriety tests and refusing an Alco-sensor test. This video appeared to be a deciding factor that helped refresh jurors' recollections of early evidence in the case and expedite their verdict.

Defense attorney Frank LoTempio spoke about his client’s disappointment upon receiving the verdict.

“We didn’t receive one decision in our favor," LoTempio said. "The cards were kind of stacked up against us. But, the jury rendered their verdict, and we live with that."

LoTempio said that the trial’s proximity to the July 4th holiday may have contributed to the quick verdict, and defense counsel may potentially appeal the case.

After his court victory, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman expressed his satisfaction with both the verdict and the case he presented to jurors. He commended the Lynskey family for seeking justice for Connor’s death.

“They’re strong people,” Friedman said of the Lynskeys. “They were here for every single court appearance no matter how minor it was. They made a six-hour round trip for every court appearance.”

“Even when the testimony or the evidence was certainly unpleasant for them, they were here," Friedman said. "I’m sure it was a very difficult thing, but it was obviously something that they needed to do. They got through it, and I’m sure that they’re glad that they were here."

Serrano faces a prison term of four and two-thirds to 14 years upon sentencing. Judge Charles Zambito adjourned the court awaiting Serrano’s sentencing at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 19 in Genesee County Court.

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Top photo: The mother of Connor Lynskey, Donna, leaving court after the verdict, with Lawrence Friedman. Bottom photo, his father, Michael Lynskey. Photos by Lauren Leone.

July 2, 2019 - 5:34pm

From the Volunteers For Animals:

Benny is in need of a barn home with no young children.

He is a cat that is accustomed to being outdoors and not picked up/handled.

He is negative for FIV/FeLV, up to date with vaccines and neutered.

There is no charge for an adoption fee and we ask that you confine him for a period of time until he has adjusted to his new surroundings.

If you are able to help out this guy, drop us an email at [email protected]

The Batavian communicated with Benny recently and he let us know he was eager to be on the prowl again, mousing, pouncing, stalking, and lounging outdoors in a warm, sunny spot. He's feeling a bit couped up at the Genesee County Animal Shelter, even though it's nice enough there.

He sure would like a new home where he can be his independent, unfettered self, alive and kickin'. Mice beware!

July 2, 2019 - 5:14pm

The Batavian file photo from 2018.

Press release:

The Batavia Blue Devils Youth Football Camp will be held on Monday and Tuesday, July 15-16, behind Batavia High School, located at 260 State St. in the City of Batavia.

Time is 9 to 11:30 a.m. both days.

Cost is $45. Cash or check (payable to: Blue Devils Touchdown Club).

It is for students entering grades one through eight in the fall.

Hosted by Head Coach Brennan Briggs and the BHS Football staff.

***Bring shorts, T-shirt, cleats and water bottle.

Mail payment and the following information to Brennan Briggs, 103 Oak St., Batavia  NY 14020 OR  to: Batavia Middle School, 96 Ross St., Batavia NY 14020, ATTEN: Brennan Briggs.

  • Name of Camper
  • Camper is entering Grade ___
  • Emergency Contact Name and Phone Number
  • T-shirt Size: ADULT ___ or YOUTH ___

Register by July 5 to guarantee correct T-shirt size.

The camp will feature relay races, flag football games at the end of each day; current BHS football players, as well as alumni will speak and work with campers; T-shirts distributed and pizza after Tuesday's camp.

Here's the breakdown of what will be taught for each position; all drills will be modified for age groups:

  • Quarterbacks -- Hand placement, 3-step, 5-step, footwork drills, throwing mechanics, and ball-handling drills;
  • Wide Receivers -- Stance, start, footwork drills, hand drills, route running;
  • Running Backs -- Stance, start, footwork drills, run blocking, pass blocking;
  • Offensive Line -- Stance, start, run-blocking drills, pass-blocking drills;
  • Linebackers -- Stance, start, footwork drills, tackling-form drills, run stopping, pass defending;
  • Defensive Backs -- Stance, start, footwork drills, man coverage, zone coverage, pass defending;
  • Defensive Line -- Stance, start, 1 v. 1 drills, speed and quickness off the ball.

The Batavia Blue Devils are the 2018 Far West Champions and 2018 State Finalists.​ They have been Section V Champions four out of the last five seasons.

July 2, 2019 - 1:09pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, batavia city school district, education, news.

Scott Bischoping, interim superintendent of Batavia City School District, was welcomed by trustees at the Board of Education Reorganizational Meeting this morning.

Bischoping previously served as deputy superintendent at Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES. Bischoping will step into the interim role as former Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey becomes the superintendent of Gates Chili Central School District.

In the interim, consultants and Board of Education members will conduct a six-month search for the best candidate for the permanent superintendent appointment.

In other action, the board:

  • Reappointed Pat Burk as board president for the 2019-20 academic year;
  • Swore in Pete Cecere for his three-year board term and reappointed Cecere as vice president;
  • Received their board committee and building assignments for the 2019-20 school year.

The next BCSD Board of Education meeting is at 6:30 p.m. July 16 in the BOE Conference Room.

July 2, 2019 - 8:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Lions Club, muckdogs, batavia.

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At the Muckdogs' game, the Batavia Lions Club held their annual bike giveaway. This year's winners were Emerson Mager, of Batavia, and Charlie Pratt, of Ware Shoals, S.C.

Photo by Krysia Mager.

July 2, 2019 - 7:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A two-vehicle accident with minor injuries is reported in front of 401 W. Main St., Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Top Items on Batavia's List

Kitchen & Bath Remodeler Needed

Kitchen & Bath Remodeler, looking for a person with the skill experience and desire to remodel Kitchens & Baths from start to finish, ideal candidate will also have experience in drywall, painting, tile and flooring installations. Please apply at Kreative Kitchens and Baths - 5582 E Main Street Rd Ste 6, Batavia (town), Genesee County, New York 14020

1 BEDROOM UPPER APT. CITY OF BATAVIA STEPS FROM ARC, AVAILABLE 7/1/19

ONE BEDROOM UPPER APT. , LARGE KITCHEN, INSIDE-APT. LAUNDRY HOOK-UPS, NEWER BATHROOM & KITCHEN, LARGE YARD, PRIVATE PARKING SPOT. $675/mo. includes Gas heat, Gas cooking, Water/sewer, Refrigerator, Stove, Trash collection, Lawn mowing. Electric is separate. Steps from ARC and convenient to City amenities. Security and good references required. No dogs sorry. Available July 1st. Call Mike Pullinzi 585-300-9111

Temporary Full-Time reporter position with The Batavian

Temporary Full-Time reporter position with The Batavian: The Batavian may be in a position later this summer to hire a full-time news reporter. This position will be grant funded for six months, if the grant is awarded. The goal of the position is to give publisher Howard Owens more time to work on revenue initiatives. If those initiatives are successful, this could become a permanent position. We are accepting applications now in case the position is funded. We will not interview candidates until and unless the position is funded.

Ad Sales at The Batavian

Ad Sales at The Batavian: The Batavian is looking for a person with a positive outlook and eagerness to succeed to sell promotional products to local businesses. The position will start with and primarily involve selling retail display advertising on thebatavian.com. We also have video products we’re developing and have an opportunity to partner with a nationally recognized social media promotion company to help local businesses get more out of their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, and YouTube.

LPN needed for Home Care

I'm looking for a dependable lpn or lpn's for family directed home care through Aurora Home Care. Day eight hour shift on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thurs. available for an easy-going incomplete quadriplegic.Saturday's open also. If interested please call: (585) 356--4098 $19.89 hr.

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