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Pitching and hitting carry Batavia to Rotary crown

By Howard B. Owens

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Batavia High School beat Attica 10-4 in the championship game of the Rotary Tournament on Saturday evening at Dwyer Stadium.

Earlier in the day, Batavia advanced behind the one-hit pitching of Hunter Mazur as Batavia beat Oakfield-Alabama, 7-0.

Jake Humes was the winning pitcher in the nightcap. Humes pitched 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball before giving up four runs and three hits with two outs in the sixth inning

Tournament MVP was Batavia’s Griffin Della Penna, who went 4 for 7 with five RBIs over the tournament's two games.

Attica advanced to the final by beating Notre Dame 17-1 in a game shortened to five innings. Sam Cusmano picked up the win for Attica.

Thanks to Paul Spiotta for providing the information for the recaps of the games.

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Garage fire reported on Walker Road, Darien

By Howard B. Owens

A garage fire is reported at 2468 Walker Road, Darien.

The garage is near a residence.

Darien fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:38 a.m.: Alexander fire and Corfu fire dispatched. Law enforcement on scene reports light smoke showing.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m.: There are three 20-gallon propane tanks on the second floor of the structure and three or four five-gallon gas tanks on the first floor.

UPDATE 10:44 a.m.: Alexander fire can continue non-emergency and Corfu can stand by in their fire hall.

UPDATE 11:03 a.m.: Fire is out. Now doing overhaul.

Genesee Region USBC inducts three into Hall of Fame, honors bowling season champions

By Mike Pettinella

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BOWLING HALL OF FAMERS: From left, Bill Draper of Livonia, Dennis Englert of Nunda and Jan King of Dansville are the newest members of the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame.

The Genesee Region USBC celebrated a successful 2017-18 bowling season on Saturday night by inducting three people into its Hall of Fame and recognizing association leaders, tournament champions and scholarship recipient.

More than 100 people gathered together at Batavia Downs Gaming for the local bowling association's awards banquet, an annual event that also saw GRUSBC President Tom Fluker hand the leadership baton to fellow Batavian Gary Kuchler.

Fluker had served on the GRUSBC board for nine years, the last six as president -- and was instrumental in expanding the association's youth, awards and scholarship programs.

Kuchler will begin his term as president on Aug. 1.

Three incumbent directors were re-elected to the board -- Patricia Fuller of Medina, Steve Krna of Alexander and Sharon Willet of Dalton.

Dennis Englert of Nunda and Jan King of Dansville were inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Meritorious Service category while Bill Draper of Livonia was enshrined in the Achievement Veteran category.

Englert was a longtime bowling manager at Letchworth Pines and an avid bowler, who suffered a life-altering brain injury when pushed to the floor by an irate patron at Letchworth Pines in January 2015. At last night's dinner, he was surrounded by friends and family, including his wife, Eunice, who worked with him for many years at Letchworth Pines.

King's induction also was witnessed by several family members and friends, while Draper was accompanied by his wife, Gail, and longtime bowling buddy, Doug Johnston. 

"I'm truly humbled," Draper said. "When I was a little guy, I never thought that I would make it here. I'm very honored."

Sam Miller of Le Roy, a standout bowler in the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia and in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League, was selected to receive the Barbara Krieley Memorial Scholarship, a $1,000 award for his scholastic and bowling accomplishments. He will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall.

Association leaders in league play this season were honored as well, including Curtis Foss of Medina, who tied a GRUSBC record by averaging 242 in a league at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Other 2017-18 adult leaders were Brian Cline of Williamsville, who set an association record with an 858 series; Jackie Jurinich of Medina, 298 game, and Caycee Landers of Brockport, 223 average and 782 series.

In youth bowling, Brody Brown of Medina, had the high game (289) and series (759) and Alex Allis of Medina had the high average (209) for the boys, while Haylee Thornley of Batavia had the high series (646) and Julia Menzie of Bergen had the high game (266) and average (176) for the girls.

The GRUSBC gave away $1,600 through its annual "grand prize drawing" of names of bowlers who earned entries into the drawing through their high scores in league play throughout the season.

Winners of $500 prizes were Janet McDonald of Corfu, Diane Hurlburt of Warsaw and Brian Green of Batavia. Four others won $25 each.

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SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: GRUSBC President Tom Fluker congratulates Sam Miller of Le Roy as the association's scholarship recipient for 2017-18.

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ASSOCIATION LEADERS: Curtis Foss of Medina posted the GRUSBC's high league average of 242 while Haylee Thornley of Batavia led all girl youth bowlers with a 646 series.

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TRAVEL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Members of the Rose Garden Bowl team from Bergen, which won the Genesee Region Youth Travel League this season, are, from left, Madelynn Pimm, Brooke Jarkiewicz and Devon Zinter. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Photos: Mad Hatter Tea Party for Adults at GO ART!

By Howard B. Owens

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There was more than just tea in some of the cups at the Mad Hatter Tea Party for adults this evening at GO ART! The party featured Vivian Darling -- Drag Queen Extraordinaire, from Rochester.

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Candidate for District 61 wants to help reform Albany

By Howard B. Owens

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There are too many Republican votes in the State Senate that are holding back important reforms that will move New York forward and Joan Elizabeth Seamans would like to replace one of them.

She's got her eye on the District 61 seat currently occupied by Michael Ranzenhofer.

"It is time that we (Democrats) get another vote in that Senate so we can have sensible laws and things that benefit our community," Seamans told a group of activist women gathered for a political workshop at the Dibble Family Center in Batavia.

"We have high taxes. It's a Republican problem and I'm going to tell you why. As long as we keep having corporate welfare and sending money downstate to luxury developers and not investing in our people we have a problem."

Seamans said she is one of nine children from her family and that they grew up poor. At 13, she had to start earning her own money to buy clothes for school. She has been in business for herself her whole life and has served in various political and civic groups.

The issues she raised today included early voting, the opioid epidemic, health care (she favors single payer), criminal justice reform, and bail reform.

She said New York needs sensible gun laws and criticized Ranzenhofer for voting against bipartisan legislation that would bar people convicted of domestic violence from possessing guns.

"This is is what sensible gun reform is," she said, "yet my opponent voted against this legislation. His no vote is obscene and demonstrates a voting record that is not only out of touch but it is anti-woman."

The biggest reform Albany must tackle, she said, is campaign finance, particularly the LLC loophole, which enables large donors to establish multiple limited liability corporations to make donations to political candidates at the $60,000 limit for each.

She said a "luxury developer" downstate has donated $100,000 to Ranzenhofer.

"That corporation has received hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks," she said, and then added, "This is why we need campaign finance reform, because we have corporations supporting candidates who give tax breaks to the wealthiest down state when we when we need those resources back here in Western New York."

Photos: Grand opening for car wash in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

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The Auto Wash Car Wash on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia is holding a three-day grand opening celebration. Today, staff served hot dogs and hamburgers and offered half-price car washes. Tomorrow, Mother's Day, Auto Wash is offering mothers half-price on basic car washes from 10 to 2 p.m.

Top photo, manager Zach Letta and regional manager Greg Farkas.

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Photos: Mad Hatter Tea Party for kids at GO ART!

By Howard B. Owens

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There was a Mad Hatter Tea Party for kids today at GO ART! with sweet and savory snacks and, of course, tea. The children also got to play games, such as musical chairs.

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Accident with injuries in front of Settler's on West Main

By Howard B. Owens

An accident with injuries is reported at 353 W. Main St., Batavia, in front of Settler's Restaurant.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 11:28 a.m.: Fender bender. No injuries; The parties involved are sign-offs.

Photos: Literary reading at Moon Java

By Howard B. Owens

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Bryon Hoot, a poet from Pennsylvania who visits Batavia often for literary events, reads some of his poetry at Moon Java this evening for the debut event for The Visual Truth Theater Ensemble, a literary group organized by Eric Zwieg.

Zwieg, Julian Tuast, and Cole Rogers also read from their work. Richard Beatty was the emcee for the reading.

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Richard Beatty

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Cole Rogers 

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Collins honors service of Vietnam Veterans at ceremony in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

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Hal Mitchell, a Vietnam Veteran who served in the Air Force, receives a certificate and service pin from Rep. Chris Collins in a ceremony at Batavia City Hall today.

Here's a press release about the event:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today hosted a Vietnam War Commemoration Event in Batavia honoring more than 50 Vietnam Era veterans and distributed commemorative lapel pins from The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. This event was part of a national effort to recognize and thank Vietnam Veterans during the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

“As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, the memory is vivid in the minds of these outstanding individuals,” Collins said. “What our nation experienced during that time is unlike any other war, and we hold these Veterans in a very special regard.

"This was an extraordinarily humbling evening and these Veterans have my deepest gratitude for their selfless service.”

In addition to the Vietnam War Commemoration, President Donald Trump officially designated each March 29th as National Vietnam War Veterans Day to honor and thank U.S. Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices.

Approximately 9 million Americans, 7 million living today, served in the military from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. More than 58,000 Americans died while serving during the Vietnam War era.

Collins added: “I was honored to meet so many remarkable men and women this evening and plan to host similar events around my district in the future.”

The Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin is available to any veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the period of Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

Veterans interested in attending future ceremonies should contact Congressman Collins district office at 716-634-2324 or visit chriscollins.house.gov.

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Michael Jones

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Alfred Rosemark

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Robert Gerke

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Gordon Crosby

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Wayne Eisenhauer

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Allen McFollins

Photos: Second grade Mother's Day party at St. Joe's

By Howard B. Owens

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Second graders in Ann Marie Starowitz's class at St. Joe's Elementary School threw a surprise Mother's Day party for their mothers today, which included reading short articles form their research projects, three songs, and presentation of gifts.

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Co-owner of Settler's, Billy Goats, dies at age 66

By Howard B. Owens

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Stylianos “Steve” Spryopoulos, co-owner of Settler's Restaurant, was found unresponsive on the floor of his neighboring business, Billy Goats, at 7 a.m. today and was later pronounced dead at the age of 66.

Spryopoulos and his wife, Rula, owned and operated Settler's with his son John. He opened Settler's in 1984 and expanded it to seat 150 people in 1995. He opened Billy Goats, a bar and grill, in late 2000.

The Settler's location was originally a Red Barn franchise, opening in 1966 and operated by Mike Bohn until he sold the location to Spryopoulos and a partner.

The restaurant was closed today. It will reopen at 5 a.m., Saturday.

Photo: File photo from Steve's 60th birthday party at Billy Goats.

Annual Youth Fishing Derby at Iroquois Wildlife Refuge is June 2, prizes and trophies to be given out

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is hosting the 27th annual Youth Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 2, from 9 to 11 a.m.

The derby is held during National Fishing and Boating Week at Ringneck Marsh on Iroquois NWR. Planned activities will begin at 8 a.m. and include a casting contest, migration maze game, and a fish dissection demonstration. Rods and reels will be available for children to borrow if needed.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Inc. who will be providing door prizes and trophies for the anglers with the three biggest fish in each age group (7 and under, 8-12, and 13-17).

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate, but no matter what Mother Nature delivers, it’s sure to be a fun fishy day! The fishing derby and all activities are free to the public.

Please contact Refuge staff at 948-5445, ext. 7037, or visit the website at here for further information.

Iroquois NWR is located midway between Buffalo and Rochester, NY, and is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. To get to Ringneck Marsh, take Highway 63 and turn east onto Oak Orchard Ridge Road. In less than 0.5 miles, you may park in the Ringneck Marsh Overlook Parking Lot.

Individuals with disabilities and any other person who may need special assistance to participate in this program should contact the Refuge at 948-5445 or at the Federal Relay No. 1-800-877-8339.

GCC is fine-tuning logistics for smooth 50th Commencement Ceremony on May 20

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Like a crescendo of a year-long concerto, Genesee Community College is fine-tuning all the logistics of its 50th Commencement Ceremony scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, in the new Richard C. Call Arena (RCCA), one of the last events of its multifaceted 50th Anniversary celebration.

More than 200 students are anticipated to walk across the stage after hearing Kristina M. Johnson, Ed.D., the new Chancellor of the State University of New York give the keynote address.

In addition to this being the College's 50th Commencement celebrated in a new facility, other unique aspects of this year's event are the 44 international students that will be graduating this year; 11 of those are from the island nation of Curacao.

GCC is also delighted that 10 students from area high schools will be completing their GCC degree requirements concurrently with their high school diplomas. These 10 graduates participated in the inaugural cohort of the College's STEM Program with the Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Office, which started back in 2012 when the students were in seventh grade.

Several other special opportunities are also going to be part of the event.

"Overall, this is a very exciting Commencement Ceremony for the College," GCC President James M. Sunser said. "So many wonderful opportunities are coming to fruition and all in the name and spirit of student success. This ceremony will be one to remember." 

The Commencement ceremony rehearsal will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 18, in the RCCA to prepare soon-to-be graduates for the procession.

Prior to the rehearsal, representatives from Carlson's Studio will be set up in Room H103 of the Call Arena to take individual graduation photographs. Graduates should be in cap and gown, and have payment for their photo package.

Graduates are encouraged to contact Carlson's Studio in advance at (585) 786-2871 or via email at carlsons@rochester.rr.com to inquire about photo packages and pricing. Families can also pre-order flowers and gifts for their graduate through this website https://www.thecommencementgroup.com/Genesee/.

Each GCC graduate received five tickets for guests to attend the ceremony inside the RCCA Fieldhouse as part of their commencement package. There are no additional tickets available.

On Commencement Sunday, guests with tickets can enter the Fieldhouse starting at 12 p.m. for general admission seating. All guests, regardless of age, will require a ticket to enter the Fieldhouse.

Additional seating for guests without tickets is available on a first come, first served basis in the Stuart Steiner Theatre where the ceremony will be broadcast on the Theatre screen. The doors of the Theatre will also open at 12 p.m.

For distant family and friends scattered around the world and unable to enjoy the event in Batavia, the entire Commencement Ceremony will be live-streamed with easy access from GCC's website or at this Web address: https://www.genesee.edu/home/event-streaming/.

Accessible seating accommodations are available in both the RCCA Fieldhouse for ticketed guests and non-ticketed guests in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. For details, please contact GCC's Office of Student Activities (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261, or via email at sa@genesee.edu before Friday, May 18, to make arrangements.

GCC's Child Care Center will be open for all graduates and guests for children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age to allow family and friends to focus on the ceremony. However, guests wishing to bring children to the commencement are required to have a ticket for each child regardless of age.

To sign up for FREE child care services, please contact Student Activities or call (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261, before Friday, May 18. The Child Care Center will open at 12 p.m. on Commencement Day.

Man who allegedly tried to steal vacuum cleaner from Target now in custody

By Billie Owens

A white male wearing a blue sweatshirt and khaki shorts fled Target on foot on Veterans Memorial Drive after a larceny in progress was reported. He was said to be by the dumpster behind Five Guys burger shop.

Law enforcement responded and he's now in custody.

He allegedly left the store with a $400 vacuum cleaner but dropped it and ran.

Schedule change announced for Rotary Baseball Tournament

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

The 20th Annual Batavia Rotary Club High School Tournament will take place tomorrow at Dwyer Stadium.

Due to the threat of rain, there has been a change in the schedule of games.

Attica will play Notre Dame in the first game at 1 p.m followed by Oakfield-Alabama vs. Batavia at 4 p.m. with the championship game scheduled to start at 7 p.m. There will be no consolation game.

Admission is $5 for an adult all-day pass and $2 for a student all-day pass. All proceeds from the tournament will help benefit Batavia Rotary Club charities.

Law and Order: Trio accused of drug possession following traffic stop

By Howard B. Owens

(name redacted upon request; defendant granted youthful offender status, 18, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminally using drug paraphernalia 2ndp and unlawful possession of marijuana. David C. Renteria, 18, of Bernd Road, Pavilion, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Eric J. Bratcher, 29, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia. On Wednesday, Batavia PD conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Pringle Avenue. Members of the Local Drug Task Force participated in the traffic stop and found the occupants allegedly possessed crack cocaine, oxycodone, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. xxxx was also issued traffic citations.

Laura Ann Fronczak, 35, of Lake Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, window tint violation, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Fronczak was stopped at 2:26 p.m. Wednesday on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Sponsored Post: The sunshine's bright at 147 Pearl Street! This one is a must-see

By Lisa Ace

New Price Alert: 147 Pearl St.! The sun shines brightly on 147 Pearl St.! This home is a MUST SEE! Superbly maintained 3 bedroom, bath and a half home with not one ounce of anything to do! This home is no flip -- completely gutted and remodeled within the last 5 years, beautifully done and tastefully decorated.

Roof full tear off 4 years ago, furnace 5 years -- Beautiful cherry cabinetry with granite countertops, all stainless appliances to stay, plus washer/dryer! Nice formal dining/extra-large living room area with cozy gas fireplace – great for entertaining. Upstairs bath fully gutted with super convenient upstairs laundry area and three large bedrooms. All new carpeting throughout as well!

The outside features an extra wide drive and a double lot with a nice back deck...Inexpensive utilities and no flood insurance. What more do you want?

Check it out! Call Lynn Bezon today at Reliant Real Estate or click here for more information on this listing.

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