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Oakfield-Alabama overcomes illness and turnovers

By Brian Hillabush

 The Oakfield-Alabama football team didn't start a lot of the usual names because of a flu that kept several players out of practice this week.

They also didn't do a very good job of keeping the ball from hitting the ground.

But the Hornets did just enough to beat host Attica 35-20 Friday night.

It was senior night for the Blue Devils and a couple of seniors gave the squad a very quick lead. Andy Ruddock busted off a 21-yard run and Nate Berry hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass from junior Brandon Rollins to get things going, just 1 1/2 minutes into the contest.

O-A blocked the extra point.

The Hornets didn't take very long to answer as Tim Smith returned the kickoff 34 yards and Josh Athoe made his mark.

Athoe hasn't played in any high school game since getting injured at the start of last baseball season, but got the start at fullback in this game.

The 6-foot-2, 185 pound junior busted off an 11-yard run that set up his 12-yard touchdown run, with the Jon Fisher giving Oakfield-Alabama a lead that would never go away.

Ruddock ripped off a 30-yarder on Attica's next drive, but Chris Williams sacked Rollins to kill a drive and force a punt.

The Blue Devil defense did its job by stopping the Hornets on a fourth-and-2, but the offense fumbled the ball away on the first play of the next drive.

Athoe kicked off the second quarter with a 9-yard TD run, giving O-A a 14-6 advantage.

The Hornets got the ball back after an Attica punt and moved the ball through the air, with A.J. Kehlenbeck hooking up with Noah Seward and Tyler Tamblin on passes before finding Brad Riner with a 4-yard touchdown pass with just 17 seconds left in the half.

Tim Smith - who finished with 162 rushing yards on 20 carries - started the second half scoring with a 20-yard TD run.

Attica then started making a comeback.

Rollins hooked up with Shawn Dupuis on a 44-yard pass that moved the ball all the way down to the O-A 1, where Rollins scored on a keeper. The conversion pass failed and Oakfield-Alabama led 28-12.

Just seconds ticked off the clock before Kyler Dabolt popped the ball out of an O-A runners hands and Berry picked it up, scampering 62 yards for a score. Rollins ran in the conversion and Attica had cut O-A's lead to 28-20 near the end of the third period.

And then Smith stepped up again. Last week he earned Class C Offensive Player of the Week in a win over Notre Dame, and he stepped up with the big play this week.

The senior busted through the line and busted off a 52-yard run. He scored a couple of plays later from eight yards out.

As Attica tried to drive, Kehlenbeck had a big interception to kill a much-needed opportunity. 

The Hornets fumbled the ball away again, and had a couple of penalties that put the Blue Devils into great position to score.

On a third-and-goal from the Oakfield-Alabama 11, Seward picked off a pass to wrap up the victory.

Athoe rushed for 83 yards on 16 attempts and Riner gained 110 yards on 24 carries. Kehlenbeck completed 5-of-6 pass attempts for 50 yards.

 Attica falls to 3-2 while O-A improves to 5-0 and will be hosting currently unbeaten Pembroke next Friday night.


Batavia football now above .500

By Brian Hillabush

Dan Geiger has been working to build Batavia's football team for three seasons.

The Blue Devils were a losing program when he stepped in and  finally, Batavia has a record above .500 because they traveled all the way to Penn Yan Friday night and picked up a convincing 32-13 victory.

"I feel like we are still in an uphill battle," Geiger said. "We are Batavia; nothing comes easy to us. We have to work for everything we get."

I've personally been saying Rob Williams has deserved to win Class B Offensive Player of the Week for a few weeks now, and there is no way he can't win it this week. There aren't many performances that get bigger than this one.

The senior rushed the ball 22 times for 267 yards and two touchdowns while catching two passes for 29 yards. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, one for 90 yards and another that was 94 yards.

"If he doesn't win it this week, they just aren't going to give it to him" Geiger said.


For good measure, Williams intercepted a pass on a two-point conversion attempt.

It isn't just Williams running the ball well as Anthony D'Aurizio had himself another big game, picking up 103 yards and a score on 16 carries.

The Blue Devils rushed for 398 yards on 42 carries as a team.

Joe Canzoneri connected on 4-of-9 passing attempts for 51 yards.

Teams have scored just 20 points - one TD on special teams last week - in the last two Batavia victories as the defense is starting to match the production of the offense.

Adam Hausfelder had nine tackles and a sack with Troy Ireland making eight stops and D'Aurizio recording seven tackles.

David DiSalvo had an interception.

"We are a young team," Geiger said. "We have seniors out there that are young to varsity football. There are details that they have had to learn and understand each week. In practice they are working harder and harder and Coach Gravante is doing a great job of breaking down teams. The kids are stepping up."

Batavia (3-2) will be at East Rochester/Gananda next Friday night.

Field of Dreams, Alexander, NY

By Howard B. Owens

When I told Hilly today that I was going to drive around Alexander, he told me I had to checkout Field of Dreams. 

What a great public sports complex.  I'm sure you all know about, but I couldn't resist doing a quick video. 

So, what are your memories of past glories at Field of Dreams?

Today's Daily News: Roll of Honor in Pavilion

By Howard B. Owens

More than 120 young men from Pavilion went off to war in the 1940s, and a proud town honored those soldiers with a plaque that hung in the high school for decades -- until it fell in such a state of disrepair that it was put in storage.

School board member Sarah Moag didn't forget about the Roll of Honor plaque, however, and one day she called on Stewart Whitney, a local woodworking hobbyist, to see if he could restore it.

He said he would give it a try.

Please be sure to pick up a copy of today's Daily News and see a picture of the stunningly restored Roll of Honor.

Writer Roger Muelig unravels the gripping narrative of the restoration project.

Also on the front page, Joanne Beck captures the magic of the moment -- when the sun came out just long enough yesterday -- for the dedication of a new nature trail at Genesee Community College. It's really a restoration of a trail that "seemed forgotten" after the 1970s/80s. There are 21 markers identifying plants along the trail.

We already linked in Regional Headlines to another front page story -- that Buffalo stations Channel 4 and 9 have been pulled from the cable lineup by Time Warner due to a contract dispute.

The County has named a new IT director -- Steve Zimmer, who has 30 years experience in the IT field, both in the private and public sector, and will earn $72,000 per year.

On the inside of the paper, one of the more interesting pieces that caught my eye was an op-ed column by Dan Radmacher, an editorial page editor in Roanoke, Va.  Radmacher writes, "Newspapers are vital to the functioning of democracy."

This is the typical arrogance of many newspaper people.

A free press -- broadcast, print and, now, online -- is essential to democracy. Ink on paper is just a delivery format. It does not magically imbue the words and pictures with any weightier meaning. In fact, the limited format does more to constrict information dissemination than help it.

Radmacher correctly points out that online newspaper sites have helped newspapers reach readers they might otherwise miss, but it's also true that newspaper web sites have contributed some to circulation declines over the past four years. Giving away all your newspaper content online is not a long-term winning strategy. Meanwhile, even the most successful newspaper web sites have not been able to generate enough revenue to support their current news operations. Many experts fear that the gulf between the newspaper model and the online model may be too wide for the typical print publication to survive the transition. If you're interested in this topic, read this post about Steve Smith, the former editor of the newspaper in Spokane, Wash. -- one of the real thought leaders of the industry -- and why he quit his newspaper this week. If you're a newspaper person, it's not a hopeful note.

However, because independent, thoughtful journalism is important to our nation, it is vital that we find a sustainable business model in online news. And that is why The Batavian exists. We see a bright future for online journalism and are thrilled to be a part of helping define what tomorrow's journalism will look like.

Of course, there's still a lot of life in print, and print does indeed remain an important part of sustaining a community, which is why we continue to encourage you to subscribe to the Batavia Daily News.

Rainbow in Batavia

By Brian Hillabush

 I was just leaving Genesee Community College after covering the Alexander/Notre Dame girls soccer game (coverage in sports).

A rainbow showed up as the rain slowed, starting from one side of the college and ending out back beyond the soccer fields and past the thruway. 

I snapped a couple of shots.




Video: Meet Finn the Police Dog

By Philip Anselmo

Many thanks to Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Thompson for taking the time to introduce me—and by extension, all of you—to the newest member of the county force: Finn, the Czech Shepherd. Finn was purchased by the force through donated funds to help mostly on search missions, whether that means he's looking for a criminal hiding in a building or a bag of pot strapped under a Lexus. Take a look:

News roundup: New businesses in town

By Philip Anselmo

Most of the stories on the front page of today's Daily News were already featured on The Batavian this morning. We featured a full post on the court settlement between former priest Simon Howson and the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York. We also included in our early morning roundup two stories picked up from WBTA about the awarding of a $3 million grant to United Memorial Medical Center and the demolition of a downtown block in Le Roy.

We did not yet report that a state committee has begun the search for a private operator to take over the ownership of the state School for the Blind in Batavia. Scott DeSmit reports that "two private entities ... may be qualified to operate the school: Perkins School for the Blind in Masachusetts and The Center for Discovery in Monticello." Other operators may also be interested, and state legislature approval will be required before any move toward privatatization can go forward.

In other news, two new businesses are on their way to the town of Batavia: one to the new shopping center and another on West Main Street Road. Peebles, the national clothing retailer, will host its grand opening on November 13 at its location in the Batavia Shopping Center on Veterans Memorial Drive. Other businesses expected to move into the plaza include: "Cato, a women's and girls' cothing store; GameStop, a video game retailer, and a Shoe Show shoe store." Also planning on an opening by the end of the year is a KFC/Long John Silver's, which is set to open its doors at its West Main Street Road location by Christmas.

As for non-retail construction, an apartment complex set to go in "next door to East Town Plaza" got its approval from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Joanne Beck writes:

The state-funded project is to be 43,000 square feet of a parking lot, two entrances (one for emergency vehicles) and 40 one-bedroom apartments. The units will predominantly be for clients of DePaul, a Rochester-based not-for-profit group that specializes in assisted living programs to help people who have mental illness, are in recovery from chemical addiction and/or live with a developmental disability.

Art enthusiasts and crafters in Genesee and Orleans counties will be happy to learn that galleries and studios throughout both counties will be open to the public this weekend. Genesee gets its turn Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Orleans will have a go at the same times Sunday. Pick up your free map and brochure listing of all participating studios at GO ART! at 201 E. Main St., Batavia.

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

Another look at the Extension

By Philip Anselmo

Many of us drive by the Cornell Cooperative Extension every day without knowing much about what goes on inside. They've got something to do with gardening. Most of us know that much. So, in the hopes of reintroducing to Genesee County what Beverly Mancuso calls our "best known secret," I sat down with Bev this morning to find out just what goes on at the extension. Here's what I learned...

"We want to focus on what no one else is doing and what we could do the best," says Bev.

That means agriculture education, which is probably priority number one for the extension. Back in the day, the Farm Bureau and the extension were one and the same, but they split off. Farm Bureau now handles all the lobbying for the agriculture community, while the extension takes care of education. They do it all, from vegetable growing to dairy production and everything in between, whether they're working hands-on with farmers or with students.

For students, the incubation program and Dairy Day are the two biggest draws. The incubation program is exactly how it sounds: incubators are brought into schools so the students can watch eggs hatch and learn about it. Dairy Day is targeted at the younger grade schoolers. For one day, they're bused out to a farm to learn everything that goes on, first-hand and up close.

Aside from working with school students, the extension also offers several courses for adults and families, most of which are free to the public. Unfortunately, not too many people are taking advantage, Bev tells me.

One of the extension's most valuable programs is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is an eight week course on how to eat better by buying smarter and more healthy foods. Anyone who wants to take this course can register at TOPS Market in Batavia. All you have to do is fill out a registration card and drop it in the box near the produce section.

What makes SNAP worthwhile? Well, for folks who complain about the high cost of doctor bills or obesity or how they can't afford to eat healthy, these courses will teach you the fundamentals on such things as food safety and portion size. You can learn how to eat better on your budget.

Speaking of your budget. The extension offers a trio of what they call "empowering" programs: one on how to save on energy costs, another on credit and debt management and a third on how to put together a spending plan to better make your ends meet.

All of these programs are free, folks. Now I can't understand why people wouldn't be taking advantage of this. I understand that we're pressed for time and money. But these programs could help you better manage both of those.

"At the end of the day, it's all about trying to make the community better," says Bev.

Classes on how to eat better and how to better manage a tight budget are sure to help out, as long as folks take advantage. It's easy to do people: visit the extension's Web site, or give them a call (343-3040), send them an e-mail or stop by at 420 E. Main St. They're happy to help out.

Oh, we almost forgot: as we said at the beginning, the extension is also about gardening. Perhaps their most popular course is the twelve-week master gardener program. This one isn't free. It costs about $250. But for folks with a desire to green their thumb, it's a great way to get some in-depth knowledge of gardening.

You may have seen the work of the extension's master gardener graduates around the county. Once they've gone through the program, many of them volunteer some time back to the extension by sprucing up gardens at sites such as the VA Medical Center or the School for the Blind.

Hopefully, that will help people get to know a little more about Genesee County's best known secret. Check back with The Batavian in the coming weeks and months as we plan to work more closely with the extension and 4-H to get up the news and happenings of our next generation.

News roundup: Demolition in Le Roy

By Philip Anselmo

The Masonic Temple and several buildings around it on Main Street in downtown Le Roy have been demolished, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. In all, eight buildings have come down, leaving a large swath of downtown vacant until construction begins on the Walgreen's that will be taking their place. Fischer connected with Le Roy's police chief, Chris Heywood, who spoke about the "new view of Lake Street."

In other news, the "credit crunch" spawned by the subprime housing crisis may be having an effect on Main Street atfer all. Fischer reports that at Genesee Community College, students may have a harder time procuring private loans. Apparently, "fewer and fewer banks are offering the loans." Most students, however, fund their tuition—and I speak out of experience here—via federal loans and grants. Now, as far as I know, those federal loans have not become harder to come across. Financial aid director at the college, Joe Bailey, told Fischer that the private loans are not as popular as the federal loans, but it's the only "means of paying tuition" for some students. How many? What percentage? "Some" never gets us anywhere when we're talking statistics, and we always seem to be talking statistics.

No matter how dire the "credit crunch," the state always seems to have money to give away. This time it's $3 million going to United Memorial Medical Center to help fund its $20 million "surgical expansion project" and add two more operating rooms at the hospital.

Episcopal Diocese settles suit with former Batavia priest

By Howard B. Owens

WBKW in Buffalo reports that Simon Howson's lawsuit against the Episcopal Diocese of Wester New York (story with video) has been settled.

Howson was a priest at St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia in 2004 when he was accused of stealing and dismissed.  He claimed his firing was retaliation for him making a sexual harrassment claim against another priest.

Howson says he is finally publicly exonerated and the diocese is apologizing. "The bishop has stepped up and he's going to apologize in writing for what happened to Simon Howson." said attorney Andrew Fleming.

"You asked me how I feel," said Howson. "Numb. Numb." Howson filed a same sex discrimination and retaliation suit claiming Bishop Michael Garrison removed him from the church after he complained, that an admitted homosexual Episcopalian priest, now serving in Massachusetts, was sexually harassing him with unwanted advances. Howson is heterosexual. "Simon is a man of God. This was very difficult for him in a sense that this was very challenging to his faith journey." said Fleming.

Here's the Buffalo News story.

Week 5 football previews in sports

By Brian Hillabush

 All of the Week 5 High School football previews are located in the sports section now. I'd like to hear what The Batavian readers think about these games, so please pick games that you are interested in and post comments and predictions after the preview story.

Here is the list of games with links to the previews:

Batavia (2-2) at Penn Yan (1-3)

Notre Dame (2-2) at Holley (0-4)

Le Roy (4-0) at Avon (3-1)

Oakfield-Alabama (4-0) at Attica (3-1)

Alexander (1-3) at Elba/Byron-Bergen (1-3)

Pembroke (4-0) at Barker (1-3)

O-A's Tim Smith is Player of the Week

By Brian Hillabush

 This was a pretty easy call for the folks that pick the Players of the Week in Section 5.

Oakfield-Alabama's Tim Smith put up sick numbers against a solid opponent and because of that was named Class C Offensive Player of the Week.

He is the second local player in a row to earn the honor as Andy Ruddock won in Class B last week.

Smith's Hornets had a slim 7-0 lead at Notre Dame on Saturday and he blew up in the second half en route to a 28-6 win.

Smith gained 185 yards on the ground, picking up 25 carries. The number of carries alone is an amazing number in O-A's offensive system.

He had 79 punt return yards and intercepted two passes and returned them for 54 yards.

His 6-yard TD run in the second quarter put the Hornets on top before he added a 21-yard touchdown run and broke a 31-yarder on a fourth-and-1 that set up his 8-yard score.

Smith has 489 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

Kauffman dubbed 'patriot of Batavia' in review of new book

By Howard B. Owens

In the Charelston City Paper, Dylan Hales reviews Bill Kauffman's new book about Luther Martin, and refers to Kauffman as "the patriot of Batavia." 

I kind of like that better than Gore Vidal's "sage of Batavia."

It's a favorable review.

As Kauffman aptly notes, the Founders are often revered as the designers of a "federal compact," wary of the dangers of big government tyranny.

In fact, it was the "anti-Federalists" who were the true advocates of self-government, and Martin was their most spirited proponent.

One of the implied theses of the book is that history is written by the winners, and we are all worse off for it. Kauffman is at his best noting Martin's unfair treatment by Constitutional scholars and historians, who have for the most part regarded him as "the town drunk, the class bore, the motormouth."

Kauffman thoroughly debunks this as obtuse obstructionism. In fact, Martin was a relatively modest participant at the Constitutional Convention. His attachment to the Articles of Confederation was predicated on a reverence for local government as well as the illegality of the usurpation of power promoted by Hamilton, Madison and the gang.

I just started reading the book last night.  I'll probably post something about it after I finish it.  The book can be purchased at Present Tense, where last I heard, there were still autographed copies available.

News roundup: Fire house open house

By Philip Anselmo

An open house has been scheduled at the town of of Batavia Fire Hall, according to the Daily News. Folks are welcome to come down this Sunday, between 11:00am and 3:00pm, for free hot dogs and soda, and to pick up a free smoke detector and learn a little more about fire prevention. The Fire Hall is located at 8382 Lewiston Road in Batavia. (The Batavian put up a post yesterday with the news that the Le Roy Fire Department is doing much the same. An announcement on the department's Web site even offers to install the free smoke detector.)

News of the opening of Larry's Steakhouse, featured today on the front page, was announced here on The Batavian yesterday. You can also check out that post to download a full menu for the restaurant.

On the Beat: DWI in Pembroke

By Philip Anselmo

Edwin L. Stancliff, 29, of Florida, was charged with driving while intoxicated Tuesday in the town of Pembroke, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Stancliff crashed his vehicle on Route 5, damaging property, then fled the scene. He was also ticketed with unlicensed operation, moving from the lane unsafely and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

News roundup: Child safety seats

By Philip Anselmo

City police installed and inspected several child safety seats yesterday, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. Det. John Zola told Fischer that anyone can schedule an appointment to bring their safety seat into the department to have it installed properly. There are even a few new child safety seats that the department is willing to give parents who do not have one of their own. For parents who choose to install their own, Det. Zola has this advice: "check for recalls, fit the child to the seat and fit the seat to the vehicle."

Phillips a top assistant

By Brian Hillabush

There is further proof that being a solid role player for the Batavia High basketball team is a great place to start if you want to get into college coaching.

Last week we reported that Joe Zinni had recently accepted an assistant coaching position with Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball, and now Russ Phillips is moving up the ladder at his college alma-matter, SUNY Cortland. He will be serving as the top assistant to coach Tom Spanbauer this winter.

Phillips led Batavia's team on the floor as a point guard and that knowledge along with the work ethic it takes to play BHS coach Buddy Brasky's high-octane pressure defense has translated well into his coaching career.

 Phillips went right from his playing days to coaching when he started working as an assistant coach for the Batavia jayvee program in 2004. 

He picked up valuable experience as an assistant with both the jayvee and varsity squads at BHS for two years. During that time he also was the head coach for four different Rochester Area Players AAU teams. He also worked as a member of the Board of Directors for RAP where he was involved in planning AAU tournaments.

Phillips has also been Brasky's assistant coach for the Western Scholastic boys basketball teams at the Empire State Games for the past two summers.

At Cortland, he got his start in college coaching as a team manager during the 2006-2007 season, where he handled film work along with game and practice preparation.

He was promoted to student-assistant coach last year.

His work in assisting Spanbauer, scouting, coordinating practice and game day video along with breaking down statistics earned him the top assistant position.

Phillips appears to be on the fast-track to achieving his career goal of being a head basketball coach for a college team.

New restaurant will open on Main Street

By Philip Anselmo

Larry's Steakhouse is set to open this Thursday for lunch and dinner. Larry's is located at 60 Main Street, attached to the Genesee Country Mall, with front-door access on Main Street.

We stopped by the restaurant today to wish them well and find out more about what they've got to offer. You can download the complete menu here. We also asked owner Steve Mullen if he could describe the place in a single sentence. He told us: "It's a great new dining experience with a very affordable menu." They've got everything from Guinness artichoke dip to marinated Mahi Mahi.

It's not hard to guess that steak is the specialty. Steve recommends the everyday steak special: a 14 ounce NY Strip, with a cup of chili or soup de jour, a salad and a side for $17.99.

News roundup: Mercy Flight needs more money, food pantries need more food

By Philip Anselmo

Mercy Flight is asking Genesee County for an additional $5,000 next year to keep up with the steady increase in emergency transport calls coming out of the county, according to the Daily News. In the past decade, reports Paul Mrozek, calls for service have doubled while funding has seen only one increase, starting in 2006, from $10,000 to $15,000. Now, Mercy Flight is asking for $20,000 in 2009.

In other news, area food pantries are afraid that demand will soon outpace supply, leaving the cupboards empty. One pantry in Wyoming County reported a 350 percent increase in requests for food. The Salvation Army and area churches all accept donations. In particular, the Batavia pantry is in need of peanut butter, crackers, spaghetti sauce and pork and beans.

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

Top Items on Batavia's List

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Crossroads House is looking for a compassionate RN or LPN to provide dignified End-of-Life (EOL) Comfort Care to individuals who have received a three month or less prognosis. The Per-diem staff nurse must be able to work a minimum of one (24) hour shift per week. A shift consists of (5) hours in-house, (7:15 am to 12:15 pm), with the remaining (19) hours as on-call hours, working in-house as needed. Each per-diem staff nurse is required to work one (24) hour shift, one weekend day per month. This shift is split between being in-house and on-call, with the hours varying as needed. Must have a minimum of (1) year work experience, EOL experience preferred, training provided. If interested, please apply on-line at
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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying, located in Batavia NY, and is looking for a compassionate caregiver to provide personal care and emotional support to our dying residents, consistent with Comfort Care Philosophy. Must have prior caregiving experience. Licenses or certifications are not required. Must be able to work weekends, overnight shift is required. (11pm-8AM) Day and evening shifts are also available on weekdays and weekends. Must be able to work as a team member and independently. If interested, or have any questions, apply online at or email [email protected]
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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 [email protected]
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