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Nominations wanted for BHS Blue Devils Athletic Hall of Fame, deadline is May 16

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Nominees are sought for the Batavia Blue Devils Athletic Hall of Fame. Nomination deadline is May 16.

The purpose is to recognize players, coaches and administrators who have attained a high degree of success in Batavia High School Athletics.

To nominate an individual you should either fill out the nomination form located under Athletics/Hall of Fame at or contact the Batavia High School Athletic Office at (585) 343 - 2480, ext. 2003.


1.  The Hall of Fame will recognize outstanding athletes, coaches, administrators and significant contributors. These might include worthy booster club presidents, parent volunteers, team doctors and other individuals who have contributed significantly to our athletic program.

2.  Athletes will become eligible five years after graduation and coaches five years after retirement from coaching. The same time frame will be used for significant others.

3.  The nominee must have made an outstanding contribution to his or her sport. Typically this would be attaining All County or All State honors, all-time leading scorer, winning a state championship, etc.. The nominee must have exemplified character while representing Batavia Athletics and also in his/her lives following graduation. He/she must be a positive role model, worthy of being emulated by current and future students.

4.  A member must continue to be a positive role model or they may be removed.

Photo: Ribbon cutting for Eden

By Howard B. Owens


Eden, the new vegan food booth inside the Eli Fish Brewing Company restaurant at 111 E. Main St., Batavia, held a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting Sunday afternoon.

Eden is one of two new food establishments opening inside Eli Fish, as part of an initiative sponsored by the Batavia Development Corp. called FreshLAB. 

Owner Judy Hysek cuts with the ribbon Jim Turcer, left, the first paid customer, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull, Chris Hysek, Judy's husband, Tracy Burgio, representing FreshLAB, and David Balonek, Judy's father.

Photos: Rotary Club hosts second meat auction

By Howard B. Owens


The Batavia Rotary Club hosted its second annual meat auction Saturday night at the social hall of Ascension Parish on Swan Street in Batavia.

The event was sold out. Participants bought chances to win packages of meat, from hamburger to bacon and steaks to shrimp. Some tickets had more than one chance to win, with each prize often being available to more than one winner.










Batavia resident accused of selling crack cocaine

By Howard B. Owens
    Joshua Bachorski

Joshua G. Bachorski, 35, of South Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

The arrest comes as part of an investigation into the sale and possession of crack cocaine in and around the City of Batavia.

Bachorski is accused of selling a quantity of crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force in December. 

Members of the Drug Task Force arrested Bachorski on a sealed Grand Jury indictment warrant.

He was arraigned on the indictment in Genesee County Court and jailed on $20,000 bail or $30,000 bond.

The Drug Task Force was assisted by Sheriff's deputies and the District Attorney's Office.

Batavia man seriously injured in fatal crash in Lockport on Thursday

By Howard B. Owens

A driver who was seriously injured in a fatal accident in Lockport at 1:08 p.m. Thursday has been identified by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office as Brandon W. Loucks, 28, of Batavia.

Loucks is recovering from his injuries at ECMC, NCSO reports.

The other driver was identified as Brian S. Ralph, 44, of Lockport.

According to the NCSO report of the accident, Loucks's box truck was eastbound on Stone Road and crossed the center line and struck a westbound passenger car. 

Ralph was pronounced dead at the scene.

Loucks was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC.

The investigation is continuing and no charges have been released.

Law and Order: North Spruce resident accused of robbery in order of protection case

By Howard B. Owens
      Gary Burney

Gary David Burney, 37, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with robbery, 2nd, two counts of grand larceny, 4th, criminal contempt, 1st, criminal contempt, 2nd. Burney was allegedly located in the apartment of a person he is barred from contacting in any manner. He was arrested on a warrant stemming from a prior incident where he stole the keys, purse and vehicle of the person he was ordered not to contact. Burney was jailed without bail.

Jacob Jonathan Szumigala, 24, of Orchard Park Road, Oakfield, is charged with: DWI; vehicular assault, 2nd; aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st; speed not reasonable and prudent; consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle; violation of driving restrictions; driver's view obstructed; deposited refuse on a highway; and unsafe passing on left. Szumigala was charged following a three-vehicle, serious-injury accident on Main Street, Corfu, at 5:01 p.m. Thursday. (Previous report.)

Morgan L. Cox Sr., 50, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and aggravated family offense. Cox is accused of violating an order of protection.

Luis A. Ramos-Mecardo, 33, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Ramos-Mecardo was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 3:45 p.m. April 13 on Main Street, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Frankie McQueen, 27, of Broadway Road, Alden, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear in City Court and failure to adhere to terms of a prior sentence. 

Terry O'Neal Brock, 18, of Wellington Avenue, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, unlawful possession of marijuana, and speeding. Brock was stopped at 12:38 a.m. Sunday on Route 33, Batavia, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Jorden Elizabeth Prescott, 23, of Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and speeding. Prescott was stopped at 1:13 a.m. Saturday on Route 33, Bergen, by Deputy Howard Wilson.

Alexis R. Chavez, 19, of Pearl Street, Medina, is charged with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, unlawful possession of marijuana, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Chavez was stopped at 8:40 p.m. Friday on East Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Matthew Bailey.

Shequan M. Williams, 26, of Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Williams was stopped by State Police at 10:34 a.m. Sunday in the Village of Alexander.

Couple lost in the woods off Gilhooly Road, Alexander

By Howard B. Owens

An elderly couple is lost in the woods in an area off Gilhooly Road, Alexander, perhaps on their own property.

The female caller plots in an area south of the driveway at 4277 Gilhooly Road.

The man is 90 and the woman is 85. The man is tired from prolonged walking but apparently has no other medical condition.

Alexander fire is responding.

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.: Somebody has apparently reached the couple and he can carry the male out and the female will walk out.

Plane spots brush fire in Bethany

By Howard B. Owens

A pilot has called in an apparent brush fire in Bethany, near Ellicott Street Road and Paul Road, perhaps halfway to Bethany Center Road.

Law enforcement and Bethany fire chiefs are trying to confirm the location.

One small controlled burn was found in the area but the area is being checked further.

The plane was in contact with a Rochester tower in Monroe County, which relayed the information to Genesee County dispatch.

UPDATE 6:07 p.m.: A small controlled burn located at Route 63 and Clapsaddle. Still investigating.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m.: Residents burning sticks in their backyard were told to put the fire out, which they did. The Bethany assignment is back in service.

USDA undersecretary visits the Pok-A-Dot, expresses hope foreign markets will grow for farmers

By Howard B. Owens


When Rep. Chris Collins is in Batavia around noon and has time to stop for lunch, he usually makes that stop the Pok-A-Dot. Today, he had with him Greg Ibach, undersecretary/marketing and regulatory programs for the USDA (center). Joining them for lunch were Dana H. Coale, deputy administrator of the USDA, and Peter Fredericks, associate market administrator for the Northeast Market Area for the USDA.

They had just come from Wyoming County where Collins hosted a roundtable discussion for dairy farmers. They then toured the Rudgers Registered Jerseys Farm in Attica.

Before lunch was served, Ibach spoke with The Batavian about a few issues that concern local farmers.

Farmers across the nation are nervous about new protectionist trade policies but Ibach expressed optimism that things will work out favorably for agriculture.

"I’m a farmer from Central Nebraska," Ibach said. "My children and grandchildren are our fifth and six generations to grow up on our family farm. Through the years, as we’ve seen great growth opportunities for export agriculture, we always seem to hit up against phytosanitary barriers, quotas, or tariffs that have limited our true potential to grow agriculture markets. We, as farmers in the Midwest, have always asked the government to do something about those barriers and of export markets. This is administration is trying to do something about it."

He said he understands the anxiety and shares the anxiety, he said, but progress with KORUS (the free-trade agreement with South Korea) and the reports he is getting on NAFTA negotiations are positive for farmers.

"I’ve got to believe the world still wants to be consumers of U.S. products," Ibach said. "If they understand that the ticket to be able to continue to ship to us is that they expand our opportunities, I think we will be successful here and I think we’ll see even higher growth rate for agriculture commodities down the road. We may have to suffer a little bit here in the short term but we will get the benefits in the long term."

Many farmers have specific complaints about NAFTA but few want to see the agreement torn up. Locally, farmers complain about limits on the Canadian dairy and produce markets. Ibach said he understands those concerns and believes they are being addressed in negotiations.

"I'm confident we will reach an agreement that is better for everybody," Ibach said.

Another big concern for local farmers is immigration. They continue to struggle to find a sufficient and stable workforce.

Ibach said its a concern shared by farmers and ranchers across the nation, especially when it comes to temporary worker visas for employees who need to be on their farms year around.

"We're trying to work with Congress and the Department of Labor to understand those needs," Ibach said. "Secretary (Sonny) Perdue has a senior advisor who works on this issue every day. We’re trying to try to help find programs and adjustments that can be made to address agriculture worker concerns."

One of Ibach's areas of specialty is expanding ag markets to the rest of the world and he said he sees great opportunity in Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, India and Africa.

"The entire continent (Africa) is projected to have quick, high growth," Ibach said. "At the same time, they have a lot of poverty. We're just starting to see a middle class emerge. With their agriculture, just with them trying to feed themselves, there is room for us to work with them on that and have them accept the technology out there as far as biotech to allow them to grow themselves as well as be customers of ours."

Here's a press release from the office of Chris Collins about the dairy roundtable:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today hosted USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach for a dairy roundtable in Wyoming County and tour of Rudgers Registered Jerseys Farm. Collins and Ibach discussed the 2018 Farm Bill, NAFTA negotiations, and other issues that impact local dairy farmers.

“With the release of the Farm Bill and ongoing NAFTA talks, it is my hope that our region’s dairy farmers will soon see some relief,” Collins said. “Agriculture is the backbone of our region’s economy and it is essential that we implement policies that help our farmers succeed. I thank Under Secretary Ibach for traveling to my district to talk about important issues that face Western New York dairy farmers.”

“As a fifth generation farmer myself, I appreciate the many ways that Rudgers and other Western New York dairies contribute to their communities and the region,” Ibach said.“The American dairy industry faces challenges from a number of directions. USDA will continue to listen and work hand-in-hand with producers of every size and our Congressional partners, like Congressman Collins.”

This week, the House Agriculture Committee favorably reported the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes important reforms to the Margin Protection Program (MPP). This program provides critical protections to dairy farmers as milk and feed prices fluctuate, and proposed changes will allow farmers to receive more coverage at less cost.

The Farm Bill also strengthens investment in trade promotion initiatives, designed to build upon our current agriculture exports. This week Collins sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging him to put an end to Canada’s Class 7 pricing program. As NAFTA negations continue, Collins pledged to work with the Trump administration to get rid of this program, which has created an unfair playing field and has essentially eliminated U.S. exports of certain dairy products. 

Additionally, Collins and Ibach discussed with farmers the unfair and complicated H-2A visa system that treats workers on certain types of farms different than it treats those on dairy farms. As a strong advocate for year-round legal work status, Collins and Ibach voiced commitment to finding solutions so dairy farmers can depend on a reliable and willing workforce.

Collins added: “I always enjoy meeting with our region’s dairy farmers and thank the Rudgers family for their hospitality and honest discussion about what we need to do to get this industry back on track. I look forward to continuing our work together on ways to strengthen and grow our dairy economy.”

Photos: Earth Day at DeWitt Recreation Area

By Howard B. Owens


The County's Parks Department hosted an annual Earth Day event at DeWitt Recreation area, which included events for children, a nature walk, park cleanup, and of course, plenty of people showed up to fish.

The lake is at near record-high levels, which is quite a turn around from about a year ago when you could walk on dry land out to the island.







Photo: A painting by Alexander native Noah North

By Howard B. Owens


This is a painting by Noah North of Oliver Vaughn, a resident of Darien who died at age 14 in 1833.

I stopped by to see it today at the Holland Land Office Museum because until a few days ago, I hadn't heard of North, who, it turns out, is a painter from Alexander of some minor national renown. His name has never come up before, at least in my presence, in any discussion of local artists.

The painting of Vaughn is one of North's earliest when he was still being trained by M.W. Hopkins, of Albion.

He is recognized among collectors and art historians as a folk portrait artist (also called "naive" or "primitive"). 

He relocated to Ohio where he continued to pursue his portrait career and then returned to WNY, married a woman from Darien, and settled in Mt. Morris, where he eventually adapted to the new medium of photography (working in daguerreotype).

Within the region, North's work can also be seen at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester and the Genesee Country Museum in Mumford. His work is also in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Folk Art, and the Shelbourne Museum in Vermont.

For the next four hours, one of his paintings is available on eBay for $9,000.

Photos: Annual open house at the Oakfield Historical Society

By Howard B. Owens


East Bethany resident Rick Hale holds up a scrimshaw horn he made himself, one of a few antique and reproduction pieces he brought to the Oakfield Historical Society's annual open house today to display. His collection included handmade rifle reproductions and 500-year-old powder horns (below).




Jim Ferris, of Alabama, demonstrates how a pioneer could have light any time as long as he had something to make into a wick and animal fat to render into an oil.


Lineup all set for American Warrior Concert at The Ridge NY June 1-2

By Billie Owens
Information from Tracy Lyons -- team leader, American Warrior Concert, Strength In Numbers Entertainment:
LE ROY -- The Ridge NY in Le Roy is hosting the second annual American Warrior Concert Friday and Saturday, June 1-2, and veterans and military (active and reserve) members get FREE general admission, along with children age 12 and under.
Veterans and military members (active and reserve) can also opt to upgrade and get half off of VIP tickets, if they wish.
General admission ticket prices for the public are: One Day -- $30; One Day VIP -- $60; Both Days -- $50; Both Days VIP -- $100. There is also a ticket service fee for all ticket purchases; all sales final.
American Warrior Concert (AWC) is known for its "Celebration of our Troops, Veterans and American Way of Life."

This event also donates to a nonprofit veterans' organization and this year's event beneficiary is WNY Heroes Inc. It provides veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity.
All ages are welcome at AWC. There will be a main stage, acoustic side stage, optional camping, VIP tent, craft beer, BBQ, vendor booths, and at least 28 bands/performers.
The concert is made possible by partnering with The Ridge NY and sponsorships from local businesses, including: Red Osier Landmark Restaurant; TJV Mechanical; CAM Construction; Oliver’s Candies; Livingston Associates; Batavia Legal Printing; Ken Barrett Cadillac Chevrolet; Stan's Harley Davidson; Genesee County SCOPE; Watson Guitars; Le Roy Hardware; Genesee Valley PennySaver; Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew; Orcon Industries; Crosby's Stores; Eye of Newt Tattoo; Steven Drexler Agency; Wilkins RV; Hawley Insurance; U.S. Gypsum Co.; Northwoods Sportsman Club; The Divine Tree; Andy's Pizzeria; and D&R Depot to name a few.

There will be bands from many genres of music, lots of local vendors and other organizations that serve our veterans.

An Honor Wall will be set up, with local submissions made by people wishing to honor their military friend/family heroes. With a $5 contribution, you can honor a vet. You provide pics and a bio of your vet honoree and they will post them online, and a physical wall with these displays will honor them at the concert site. To honor a vet this way, click here.

We hope to make this year's event bigger and better and would love to see more veterans come and enjoy our concert for free.
Veterans and military (active or reserve) click here to sign up for your free general admission show tickets.
To buy tickets, click here.
For camping info, click here. Campers receive two free general admission tickets; or they can upgrade and get 50 percent off VIP tickets.
For complete information online, visit Strength in Numbers Entertainment:
Here's the lineup:

SIDE STAGE (acoustic)



SIDE STAGE (acoustic)

For questions or additional information, contact Tracy Lyons with AWC via email or by phone: 585-409-3926; or contact Dan Clor, AWC founder, Strength in Numbers Entertainment via email or by phone 714-742-0204.

Busy day of learning at Fire Training Center

By Howard B. Owens


Nearly 100 firefighters and other emergency responders were at the Fire Training Center today to participate in four different classes to help them be better prepared for accident and fire responses.

Gary Hearn, regional emergency manager for Amtrak (bottom photo), taught a class on train passenger emergency response procedures.

There was advanced instruction for emergency medical technicians taking place in another classroom.

In still another classroom, the first day of two days of training sponsored by Tompkins Insurance on emergency vehicle operations.

And out in the back of the training center, the Firefighter II class spent eight hours learning about and practicing accident victim extrication.

"There can be severe damage, so they need to learn as many tricks as possible to get these folks out as quickly as possible," said Jim Bouton, deputy emergency coordinator.

The training center is often a busy place, Bouton said, but today was a little extra busy.

"Quite often the building is full but we’re out here on a back road and nobody sees us," Bouton said. "Sometimes, though we have a tremendous number of programs going on. Today we just happened to have every single classroom and training area filled."




Sponsored Post: Open House - Sunday - 66 Clinton Street, Batavia

By Lisa Ace

Just a real awesome ranch at City's edge! There is curb appeal galore with this large corner lot that has an adorable private back yard....stepping stones, pond, landscaped and cute storage shed with decked patio. Inside bright and airy with gorgeous hardwood floors throughout -- all freshly painted walls and woodwork.

This home features super-spacious bedrooms, dining area and living room with huge bay window and end wall that has pretty gas fireplace with lots of built in shelves for all your keepsakes! There is oversized side entrance/utility area with laundry and an absolutely HUGE attic area that will surprise you with all its room. Easily could be that hideaway space to hang out or just an abundance of storage space -- you choose!

This is truly an amazing patio home with no maintenance! Visit Lynn Bezon from Reliant Real Estate at the open house this Sunday from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or click here for more information on this listing.

Photos: CASA's Casino Night at Terry Hills

By Howard B. Owens


Genesee County's CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) hosted a casino night fundraiser at Terry Hills this evening. The advocacy program provides legal assistance to children in the court system due to neglect or abuse.

The event was sold out.











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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email
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