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Deep Blue Pool & Spa celebrates 20 years of fun to Batavia-area residents

By Howard B. Owens
deep blue pool and spa 20th
Deep Blue Pool & Spa: Dominick Camelio, partner; Rich Pfreedom, service tech; Cory Bater, service tech; and Brian Bater, partner.
Photo by Howard Owens.

When you want to take a dip in a pool or grill hot dogs, rain isn't your friend.

But a bit of precipitation didn't dampen the spirits on Saturday of Dominick Comelio and Brian Bater, who were celebrating the 20th anniversary of their business, Deep Blue Pool and Spa, located at 4152 W Main Street Road, Batavia (Valu Plaza).

Bater said it's been a good business, especially in Batavia.

"I started working for Danny Dugan at Denny's Pool World in 1984," Bater said. "He was kind of my mentor. Along the way, Dominick and I started a service business called BNR Pool Service. We opened that around 1990. We did all the service work for 15 years, and then we decided to go into the retail side of it. Now, we continue to have a large service department, and we also do the retail side."

The first location was in Warsaw, and within two years, Comelio and Bater moved their location in Batavia. In 2010, they decided to expand and opened a store in Henrietta.

"We decided (a couple of years later) it was too much for us," Bater said. "We wanted to consolidate back down and focus on the Batavia region and our customer base here."

Camelio said he's enjoyed the pool business.

"It's fun, it's exciting. There's always something new to work on and make people happy," Camelio said.

deep blue pool and spa 20th
Grace Campbell and Kyle Bater
Photo by Howard Owens.

Mattel donates four cases of Hot Wheels cars to local law enforcement in honor of Sgt. Sanfratello

By Press Release
hot wheels sanfratello donation
Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger; Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, CID Chief Deputy Joseph Graff; Director of Emergency Communications Frank Riccobono, retired Emergency Services Dispatcher Lynn Riccobono; Sergeant Kyle Krzemien, Genesee Justice Program Coordinator Diana Prinzi, Justice for Children Advocacy Center Program Coordinator Trisha Reynolds, Undersheriff Bradley Mazur; Corfu Police Officer Tommy LaBelle; Le Roy Police Officer Jordan Wolcott.
Submitted Photo.

Press release:

Genesee County Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello passed away in the line of duty on March 10, 2024. While he will be remembered for his many contributions to the Sheriff’s Office and the Genesee County community, everyone may not be aware that he was also known for his love of Hot Wheels die-cast cars. 

Shortly after Sergeant Sanfratello’s passing, retired Emergency Services Dispatcher Lynn Riccobono wanted to do something to honor Tommy. Riccobono, who worked her entire career at the Sheriff’s Office with Sergeant Sanfratello, knew that he kept Hot Wheels cars in his office drawer and would give them to children who came into the Sheriff’s Office.  Riccobono reached out to Mattel, Inc. (the manufacturer of the Hot Wheels cars) and told them Sergeant Sanfratello’s story.  Mattel, Inc. responded by graciously shipping four cases of Hot Wheels cars along with their condolences for the loss of Sergeant Sanfratello.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is sharing this donation with other Genesee County police agencies, Genesee Justice, and the Justice for Children Advocacy Center to distribute the cars to children they interact with in Sergeant Sanfratello’s honor.

hot wheels sanfratello donation
Submitted Photo.
hot wheels sanfratello donation
Submitted Photo.

Sponsored Post: Join the Early Access Pass today and receive a $50 T.F. Brown's gift card

By Sponsored Post
Early Access Pass

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Use the promo code BROWNS1050 and get an additional $10 off.

Members of Early Access Pass help support local journalism and get early access (currently, four hours) to select stories published by The Batavian.

Batavia girls threepeat as Section V champions in Track and Field

By Press Release
batavia girls track and field

Press release:

The Batavia Girls track team proved their dominance once again.  After wrapping up an undefeated regular season in Monroe county competition (5-0) and winning three local track invitational meets (Attica Invite, Alexander Invite, Batavia Invite), Batavia scored 185 points at the class B1 sectional championships to win the title for the third consecutive year.  Batavia was led by the following stellar performances...

Campbell Riley dominated on the track winning the 2000m Steeple (7:31.01), winning the 800m (2:21.81), getting 2nd in the 1500m (5:05.73) and then anchoring the winning 4x400m relay team along with teammates Jadyn Boyce, Ava Anderson, and Karizma Wescott.

Ava Wierda continued her dominance in the throws by winning both Shot (33 feet 8.25inches) and Disc (118feet)

Ava Anderson won the 400 hurdles (68.86) and placed 2nd in the 100m hurdles (17.5).

Madeline Smith won the 100 hurdles (15.74) and placed 6th in the 400m hurdles (73.58)

Karizma Wescott won the 400m (58.81), was on the winning 4x4 mentioned above as well as the winning 4x1 relay team along with teammates Ady O'Donnell, Ella Radley, and Ella Shamp. (49.59)

Ella Shamp also placed 2nd in LJ (16'6.5"), 3rd in HJ (4-10), and 5th in the 200m (27.06).

Anna Varland won the pentathlon for the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW scoring 2445 points!

Jaimin MacDonald placed 2nd in the shot (32'6")

The 4x8 relay team consisting of Jadyn Boyce, Mallory Boyce, Helaina Staley, and Maddie Bellamy placed 2nd with a time of 10:29.83.

Full scores and results can be found here.

I am extremely proud of this group of girls for their hard work and dedication throughout the spring.  Many of them are juggling multiple commitments but have always found the time to put in the work that they need to in order to achieve this goal.  I am especially happy for our group of seniors (Jadyn Boyce, Anna Varland, Isa Walsh, Kaelee Kelso, Sophie Moore, and Ella Radley) many of whom have been on the team since they were in 7th or 8th grade and have been instrumental in returning this team to its current state of success.  As a direct result of their mental and physical toughness and their leadership, they end their career as 3-time sectional champs!!!!

Driver cited in serious injury accident at Jackson and Ellicott

By Howard B. Owens
ellicott accident may 2024
File photo by Howard Owens

The driver of a 2012 Ford Focus involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer on May 17 at Ellicott Street and Jackson Street in Batavia, has a received traffic citation following an investigation by Batavia PD.

Emma Durnham, 24, of Avon, was cited for allegedly passing a red traffic light. 

Durham and a passenger, not identified by police, were seriously injured in the accident, but both have been released from the hospital and are expected to make full recoveries, according to police.

The truck driver, Michael Johnson, 48, of North Tonawanda, was not cited and was not injured in the collision.

The accident was reported at 9:30 p.m. on May 17, and Batavia PD, along with City Fire, Oakfield Fire, Town of Batavia Fire, and Mercy EMS. Due to a shortage or of ambulances at the time, volunteer crews from Byron and Darien responded to the city to assist with other calls.

The Ford Focus was reportedly southbound on Jackson Street and allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Ellicott Street and was struck by a southbound tractor-trailer (note: Jackson runs north and south, Ellicott Street (Route 63 is considered a north-south road).

The Ford Focus came to rest in the gas lane (but did not strike a pump) of the Kwik Fill at 99 Jackson St., and firefighters had to extricate both occupants.

The Sheriff's Office Crash Management Team assisted with the accident investigation.

Previously: Tractor-trailer vs. car accident reported at Jackson and Ellicott, Batavia

Batavia boys win eighth sectional title in Track and Field

By Staff Writer
batavia track team
Submitted photo.

The Batavia Boys Track and Field team won its eighth sectional championship on Friday with 148.5 points in the Class B1 division, beating out Honeoye Falls/Lima, the runner-up with 131 points.

Batavia's scores include:

  • Parris Price:  1st 110 Hurdles (15.25), 4th 200m (23.34)
  • Cameron Garofalo: 1st 800m (2:00.11), 2nd 3000m Steeple (10:48.24), 3rd 1600m (4:35.09)
  • Sheldon Siverling:  1st Shot Put (56-6), 1st Discus (154-10)
  • Grant Gahagan: 1st High Jump (5-10)
  • Justin Smith: 2nd Discus (139-4), 3rd Place High Jump (5-8)
  • Jamari Irvin:  2nd Pentathlon (2591 points)
  • Da'Von Gallo Williams - 3rd place Long Jump (20-2.45)
  • Mekhi Fortes:  3rd Shot Put (49-6)
  • Karvel Martino:  4th Shot Put (46-7.75)
  • Tym Murrell:  4th Pentathlon (2275 points)
  • Isaac Varland:  4th Discus (133-7)
  • Donavin Solis:  5th 1600m (4:47.44), 5th 3200m (10:36.31)
  • Brian Calderon: 5th Shot Put (44-3.5)
  • Emmanuel Richardson:  5th HIgh Jump (5-8)
  • Cooper Konieczny:  5th 400 Hurdles (1:02.40)
  • Brock Warren: 6th Pentathlon  (2234 points)
  • Nate Kinsey:  6th 3200m (10:51.4)
  • Kahler Evans: 6th 3000m Steeple (11:19.89)

Also, all 3 relays finished in 2nd place

  • 4x100m (Zailen Griffin, Parris Price, Trevor Tryon, Isaac Varland) 44.41
  • 4x400m (Trevor Tryon, Parris Price, Isaac Varland, Cameron Garofalo (3:30.73)
  • 4x800m (Nate Kinsey, Grant Gahagan, E'Nhazje Carter, Donavin Solis (8:53.84) 

"This was a very tough and competitive meet, and Batavia Track and Field really rose to the occasion," said Coach Nick Burk. We had many personal best performances, and our athletes never gave up. We certainly represented our school positively and demonstrated resilience throughout the competition. I was also very glad that our relays performed so well, with many athletes needing to step up in order for us to win. Including Indoor and Outdoor track, this is our program's 44th Sectional championship."

For full results, click here.

Three Season Basketball Training Camp returns to elevate players' skills

By Press Release
brasky basketball camp
Coach Matt Shay providing shooting instruction during basketball camp in 2022.
FIle photo by Howard Owens.

Press Release:

Basketball enthusiasts seeking to enhance their skills and elevate their game are invited to participate in the annual Three Season Basketball Training Camp. Led by renowned coaches, the camp offers comprehensive instruction aimed at honing fundamental skills and tactical understanding.

Value & Repetition
Distinguished by its commitment to excellence, Three Season Basketball Training Camp provides campers with over 30 hours of intensive basketball instruction spread across a 5-week period. This extended duration allows for a focused approach to skill development, in contrast to the brief, condensed schedules typical of other camps, which often span only 3-4 consecutive days.

Dates and Cost
The camp will run from July 8 through August 9, offering participants an extensive opportunity to refine their abilities under expert guidance. Enrollment is $350, with a discounted rate of $175 available for additional siblings. Teams seeking group discounts are encouraged to contact Coach Brasky directly.

Directed by Coach Buddy Brasky
Under the tutelage of Coach Buddy Brasky, the Batavia basketball program has enjoyed a remarkable record of success over the past two decades. With 13 league titles, 6 sectional championships, and multiple appearances in the state semifinals, Coach Brasky's leadership has consistently propelled his teams to excellence. Recognized as Section V Coach of the Year on seven occasions, as well as earning numerous other coaching accolades, Coach Brasky's track record speaks volumes about his coaching prowess and commitment to player development.

Assistant Director: Coach Matt Shay
Coach Brasky is assisted by Coach Matt Shay, whose tenure at Pembroke High School has seen significant achievements, including multiple division titles and sectional final appearances. Coach Shay's dedication to his craft has been acknowledged through multiple Coach of the Year awards, reflecting his impact on the basketball landscape within the region.

Notable Camp Alumni
The Three Season Basketball Training Camp boasts an impressive roster of alumni who have gone on to achieve success both on and off the court. Among them are standout players like Tyson Totten, Cole Harding, Cayden Pfalzer, and Jeff Redband whose accomplishments serve as a testament to the camp's ability to nurture talent and foster growth.

Session Details
The camp is divided into two sessions catering to different age groups and skill levels:

  • Session 1 (Starts July 8): Boys entering 10th-12th grade
  • Session 2 (Starts July 9): Boys entering 7th-9th grade

Sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 12:30 pm, with an additional session on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for Session 1 and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Session 2.

For further updates and information, follow Three Season Basketball on Facebook @ThreeSeasonBasketball, contact Batavia High School at 585-356-4050, or click here for the flyer and registration form. Inquiries can also be directed via email to

Three Season Basketball Training Camp represents an unparalleled opportunity for aspiring basketball players to refine their skills, learn from accomplished coaches, and take their game to the next level. Join us this summer and embark on a journey of growth, excellence, and camaraderie on the court. 

Photo's: Memorial Service at the Jerome Center in Batavia

By Staff Writer
A large attendance during the Memorial Service at the Jerome Center at Rochester Regional Health.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Barbara Coe leads prayer for everyone.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
The crowd participates during the National Anthem of the Memorial Service at the Jerome Center.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Batavia Concert plays some patriotic music during the Memorial Service.
Photo by Nick Serrata.

Photos: A rainy start to Batavia's Memorial Day parade

By Staff Writer
City of Batavia Police Department leads the way during the Batavia Memorial Day parade.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
American flag display as participants pass by during the parade.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Some of the crowd hide under the trees to stay dry during the parade.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
A member of the NYS Police Department drives his cruiser with a military veteran.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Some of the Batavia Muckdogs participated in the Batavia Memorial Day parade.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Both parade participants and parade-goers try to stay dry.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Batavia Fire Department walking in the parade.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Both parade participants and parade goers trying to stay dry.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Members of the Genesee County Spartans showed of their American pride during the Batavia Memorial Day parade.
Photo by Nick Serrata.

Photos: Alexander Memorial Day parade and ceremonies

By Staff Writer
alexander memorial day parade

Photos by Philip Casper

alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
alexander memorial day parade
As part of Memorial Day ceremonies in Alexander, the Alexander Volunteer Fire Department dedicated three new flag poles at the department's Rec Hall on Monday. The flag poles were erected as an Eagle Scout project for Nate Foss (kneeling, center).
Photo by Heidi McPhee

Photos: Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Genesee County Park

By Staff Writer
The local Veteran Honor Guard helps carry the salute during the ceremony.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
The color-guard gets ready for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Ray Cummings leads the prayer.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
Veterans and crowd participating in the National Anthem.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley delivers his speech.
Photo by Nick Serrata.

Photos: Memorial Day weekend ceremonies at WNY National Cemetery

By Staff Writer
vets cemetery memorial day
The National Anthem was sung by Amanda Werner.
Photo by Nick Serrata

On Saturday, area veterans gathered at the WNY National Veterans Cemetery in Pembroke to remember those who have served their country and have passed.

This was the third consecutive year for the Memorial Day weekend event.

For details on Monday's Memorial Day events, click here.

vets cemetery memorial day
Photo by Nick Serrata
vets cemetery memorial day
Rev. Robert Elkins leads the Invocation.
Photo by Nick Serrata
vets cemetery memorial day
Orleans County Honor Guard provides a salute.
Photo by Nick Serrata
vets cemetery memorial day
Audience participates in Pledge of Allegiance.
Photo by Nick Serrata.
vets cemetery memorial day
Photo by Nick Serrata.
vets cemetery memorial day
Photo by Nick Serrata.

Donation will help HLOM inform visitors of Revolutionary War patriots who settled Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens
DAR HLOM check presentation
Tyler Angora, HLOM curator receives a check from DAR member Robin Ettinger in front of a Revolutionary War drum.
Photo by Howard Owens.

The men from Genesee County who fought in the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the wars of the 20th Century are well represented in the Holland Land Office Museum.

The men who served the cause of freedom starting in 1776 are less well represented, and the HLOM, with the help of the Anna Ingalsbe Lovell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, hopes to provide visitors to the museum information on those men who fight for liberty and then helped settle Western New York.

On Saturday, DAR members presented Tyler Angora, HLOM curator, with a check for $700 -- a $500 grant from DAR and $200 from the local chapter -- to create a display honoring the patriots who settled present-day Genesee County and immediately contiguous towns.

"There are a lot of people buried here but why did they come here? What did they do to help found our county?" said DAR member Robin Ettinger. "This is what our project is about."

In the past, DAR members identified all the patriots who purchased property from the land office and those names are already listed in a book in the research room. There are also men who acquired land in the county before the Holland Land Office started selling plots. 

Western New York was not part of the colonies at the start of the Revolution.

The Senecas did not cede control of Western New York until the Treaty of the Big Tree in 1797. In the treaty, the Senecas agreed to establish residences on reservations in the territory and receive $100,000 (about $1.8 million today) for 3.75 million acres of land. 

The Holland Land Company participated in the negotiations after acquiring rights a portion of the territory from Robert Morris in 1792. 

Joseph Ellicott started surveying the land in 1798. Two years after Ellicott completed the survey, new settlers were able to buy plots of land in Genesee County (then, all of Western New York).

The project involved creating a slideshow of names and background information on the patriots to display on a flat-screen TV in the War Room.

"Right now, the only Revolutionary War piece that we have is the drum (acquired by a prior, now defunct DAR chapter)," Angora said. "We do talk about it on tours and stuff, but people don't actually get to see the men; they don't get to see their history. Ryan (Duffy, HLOM director) and I don't personally have the time to do that (put the display together). We're running the entire museum. We've wanted to expand this because the rest of the War Room has all the veterans listed except this part."

He said the TV will show a slide show of the men sharing their stories and showing their connections to this county and how they built this county, Angora said.

"We've researched them and we found a lot of men who purchased large plots, multiple plots in certain sections," Angora said. "Once the land office was here, they started flooding into this area to start farming because it was wilderness and it was a good opportunity for those patriots to come and build their lives here."

DAR members concentrate a lot on history and geology because in order to become a member, you must document that you have an ancestor who was either a patriot or supported a patriot at home.

Most of the patriots were farmers, but they were also mill owners, tavern owners, and shopkeepers.

"There's a lot of farmers and they just came out this way and had to have that tenacity to -- especially the women -- to say let's go out there and build log cabin. So the whole focus is what these guys did, who they were in the war, and they came out here and settled our area."

Local youth fight back against ‘Big Tobacco’

By Press Release
Reality Check advocates Sophia Biniaszewski, Trinnity Whatle and Judith Newton use a selfie frame to tell Big Tobacco what they think about their products and marketing.
Submitted photo.

Press Release:

Last week, Abbi Leone and Judith Newton, both juniors at Batavia High School, as well as Attica High School ninth graders Sophia Biniaszewski and Trinnity Whatle, joined more than fifty youths and advocates from nine national organizations to protest Altria Group, Inc.’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. 

These advocates held a demonstration outside Altria’s Washington, D.C. office, while several youth activists had proxy tickets to directly address Altria’s executives and ask questions during the virtual shareholders’ meeting.

“I’m so proud of Abbi, Judith, Sophia, and Trinnity for fighting against the manipulative tactics the tobacco industry uses to target them,” said Brittany Bozzer, Youth Coordinator at Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming (TF-GOW). “Now that they have shared their voice in Washington, D.C., they plan to continue to address the challenges of tobacco use in their communities back home, as well as mobilize their peers to take action.” 

This year marks the ninth consecutive year that Mobilize Against Tobacco Lies (MATL), a collaborative of youth programs and national partners, gathered to expose and fight back against the tobacco giant’s lies.

Reality Check youth from across New York State rallied with a coalition of tobacco control youth programs and national partners including Dover Youth to Youth of New Hampshire, Wisconsin FACT, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Traditional Tobacco Voices, American Indian Cancer Foundation, Corporate Accountability, Counter Tools, Center for Black Health and Equity and Truth Initiative.

Altria and its Philip Morris subsidiary sell the number one most popular cigarette brand among kids, Marlboro, and its John Middleton subsidiary sells one of the most popular cigar brands among kids, Black and Mild. Altria has a long history of targeting kids and other vulnerable groups with its products and invested in Juul at the height of the youth e-cigarette epidemic. 

Altria claims to be “moving beyond smoking,” but the truth is that they make most of their revenue from cigarettes and fight real efforts to reduce smoking – such as bans on menthol cigarettes.

Despite Altria and the tobacco industry’s efforts, the United States has made great progress in reducing youth smoking. However, the latest government survey shows that 2.8 million U.S middle and high school students still use tobacco products, including 2.13 million who use e-cigarettes.

Reality Check is a teen-led, adult-run program that seeks to prevent and decrease tobacco use among young people throughout New York State.  

For more information about Reality Check, visit 

Top Items on Batavia's List

The City of Batavia is accepting applications for a Full-time Water Treatment Plant Operator/Trainee (Salary $23.65/hr.) This is a trainee position involving responsibility for learning the duties and routines in the operation and maintenance of a water treatment plant.  The work is performed under the immediate supervision of a qualified operator. Does on-the-job training to become qualified as an operator of a water treatment plant. Does related work as required. Applicant must be a graduate of a senior high school or possess a New York State high school equivalency diploma. Please submit a completed Civil Service Application to Human Resources, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020 or Background check, psychological assessment, physical and drug testing are required. Candidate must become a resident of Genesee County or any adjacent town to the County of Genesee within 6 months of the date of conclusion of the probationary period for the City of Batavia. EEO. Applications can be found at
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