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Police Blotter: Wednesday, June 18

By Philip Anselmo

Wednesday:

  • 1:19pm, 7 Wood St., larceny
  • 1:34pm, MacArthur Drive, criminal mischief
  • 5:26pm, 412 E. Main St., accident
  • 5:55pm, 51 Montclair Ave., harassment
  • 6:49pm, 412 E. Main St., larceny
  • 10:16pm, 19 Holland Ave., harassment
  • 11:10pm, 500 E. Main St., trespass

Note: We don't include noise complaints, domestic disputes and routine police business.

News roundup: Muckdogs draw a crowd, a loss

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Wednesday):

  • Conehead the Vendor was on hand to distribute beer and snacks to the crowd of 1,298 who showed up for the Muckdogs' home opener last night that started with rain, ended with a loss, but was nonetheless chock full of good cheer. Nor was he the only one. Officials from the Rochester Red Wings were there to get things in gear for the new season. And John Mozeliak, general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, even came out to speak before the game. Reporter Brian Hillabush has a pair of great articles on today's front page covering the home opener. Check them out.
  • Batavia's Town Board will host a public hearing on July 16 to get comment on the town's proposed contribution of $225,000 for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.
  • An article on the front page covers Council's planned discussion on the relocation of the city's youth football program that was covered in detail by The Batavian earlier today.
  • Today's opinion page features a column by Tom Rivers about Tim Russert, the Buffalo native and host of Meet the Press, who died suddenly last week. Rivers found that as much as Russert was in the national spotlight, he still had time for small-town, small-press America. It's a great column. Worth a read.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

On the Agenda (City Council): Moving youth football

By Philip Anselmo

Batavia's City Council will meet Monday to tend to a pair of budget amendments regarding the consolidation study, most of which is funded by a state grant. Also on the agenda is a 2.75 percent wage increase for City Manager Jason Molino following the completion of Molino's annual review which was completed earlier in the week. (Council President Charlie Mallow first announced the results of the review on The Batavian this past Monday.)

Monday's big discussion is likely to be over the relocation of the youth football program, which has for years now been situated in the outfield of Dwyer Stadium. Officials from the Rochester Red Wings told Council about a month ago that if they wish to keep youth football at the stadium, the damage done to the field will mean costly annual maintenance to get the turf back in shape for the Muckdogs season.

Molino has recommended two potential locations to host youth football: Austin Park or Kibbe Park. Both would require an initial investment from taxpayers, though moving the field to Kibbe Park would mean much more.

This (above) is what the layour would look like if it were situated at Austin Park at a cost of $19,444. In a letter to Council, Molino said Austin Park would be the better fit.

As seen in the diagram, the field can easily be placed east to west in the open space of the park. There can be a user agreement developed between the City and youth football for access and use of the concession stand and bathrooms during the season. New bleachers can be purchased, but can also be used for other events during different times throughout the year. Parking is adequate...

Molino dismissed the idea of transferring the bleachers from Dwyer Stadium every year at a cost of about $6,000. The cost for new permanent bleachers for Austin Park would be about $13,000. Several trees on the east side of the park would have to be removed, and a scoreboard will have to be installed.

[The] Rochester Red Wings ... have offered to assist by holding a silent auction night for baseball paraphernalia at the Dwyer Stadium with all proceeds going towards the purchase of the new scoreboard ($4,000). They are also willing to assist with other fund raising efforts in conjunction with youth football.

As for relocating to Kibbe Park, the cost would be about $61,000 and would include the building of a concession stand and other facilities already located at Austin Park. The layout for Kibbe Park can be viewed below.

The meeting will be at 7:00pm on the second floor of City Hall. You can download the agenda for the business meeting.

Note: Mallow said at the last meeting that Council would discuss at this coming meeting the policy regarding Council members communication with city staff. There was no mention of this topic on the agenda.

Muckdogs lose home opener

By Philip Anselmo

You could have said the night started ominous. Sure, the fans were there, diehard and decked in team merch, blankets tucked under their arms. They entered Dwyer Stadium under an arc of balloons — and Muckdog management even saw fit to roll out the red carpet, or at least a pair of shaggy red-colored rugs.

Then came the rain.

Everyone was talking about it. You couldn't not. Not with those low-hanging clouds that looked as thick as continents rolling slowly past. When one of them finally broke at about 6:30pm, everyone who wasn't under cover got a good soaking. Concession boys scrambled to get the condiment carts under the eaves. Managers called out for more hands on deck to roll tarp over the field. Ladies held seat cushions over their heads.

But it passed. Soon it was pretty much over. Fans got down to the business of watching baseball, and the Batavia Muckdogs and the Auburn Doubledays got down to the business of playing it.

Well, they lost. Batavia went down 1-6 against Auburn. Oh well. Now they'll take it to Auburn for the third and final game of the series tomorrow night down two games to none.

Don't forget to tune it to WBTA for the play-by-play.

Video: Meet the Chief of Police

By Philip Anselmo

Batavia's new Police Chief Randy Baker sat down with us earlier today to talk about his time with the city — he's a 27-year veteran of the department — and his plans for the future. The Batavian reported on Baker's appointment a little over a week ago.

Police Blotter: Monday, June 16 and Tuesday, June 17

By Philip Anselmo

Monday:

  • 9:26am, 73 Union St., arson
  • 3:50pm, 303 E. Main St., harassment
  • 5:41pm, 390 W. Main St., accident
  • 6:04pm, 12 Oak St., harassment
  • 6:36pm, 18 Thorpe St. (Apt: Upper), harassment
  • 10:34pm, East Main Street, accident

Tuesday:

  • 2:51am, 19 Holland Ave., criminal mischief
  • 7:08am, Ellicott Street, accident
  • 11:21am, 8315 Park Road, larceny
  • 11:49am, Washington Avenue, accident
  • 12:12pm, 2 Summit St., accident
  • 12:33pm, 209 E. Main St., larceny
  • 1:24pm, 260 State St., larceny
  • 2:58pm, 355 W. Main St., accident
  • 3:10pm, 1 State St., harassment
  • 3:18pm, 303 E. Main St., accident
  • 6:06pm, 20 Porter Ave. (Apt: Lower), larceny
  • 7:16pm, 629 E. Main St., accident
  • 8:02pm, 390 W. Main St., larceny

Note: We don't include noise complaints, domestic disputes and routine police business.

News roundup: Maximum sentence for the Pillowcase Burglar

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Wednesday):

  • Thomas A. Aquino, the Rochester man who recently admitted that he was the notorious Pillowcase Burglar of the 1980s, received the 15-year maximum sentence for one count of second-degree burglary. Judge Robert C. Noonan told Aquino in court that it would be "a dereliction of my duty to impose anything less than the maximum sentence." Reporter Scott DeSmit put together a great article on the sentencing.
  • Really, a fantastic front page put together by the Daily News today. In addition to DeSmit's article about the Pillowcase Burglar, you can find a photograph by Mark Gutman in which a pair of cyclists wait at the corner of Main and Oak streets in the midst of last night's power outage. One of them exhales a cloud of cigarette smoke, illuminated by a pair of headlights that glow intense yet puny in the pitch black night. There's also an article about the City Council's review of City Manager Jason Molino that appeared on The Batavian yesterday, and an on-the-ball article by Tom Rivers who was out assessing the damage done to local crops as a result of Monday's hail storms.
  • Democratic Congressional candidate Jack Davis stopped at the VA Medical Center in Batavia Tuesday vowing that he would support a bill in Washington that would "expand and improve health care services for female veterans." Check out the article by reporter Roger Muehlig for more about Davis's visit and female veterans. It's well done.
  • Eighteen-year-old Batavian, Richard J. Peters II, could face up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a 4-year-old Wyoming girl. Peters will be sentenced at Wyoming County Court on September 11.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

About Royal Rangers

By Royal Rangers

Royal Rangers is a Christian boys scouting group that is held at the Batavia Assembly of God on Wednesday at 700pm-830pm.  The boys work on merits and advancements and there is an emphasis on the bible, to earn the top award, The Gold Medal of Achievement.  There are groups for K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.  This program has been around since 1962 and is an international organization.  We have many activities planned throughout the year.  We go camping at least 5 times a year, we have father and son events and many other fun activities. We also go to leadership camps for the boys to help them be able to take charge of the classes.   If you have any questions please call the church at 343-8521.  You can also visit the State web site for Royal Rangers at http://nyroyalrangers.org/

In our group we have many families who can not afford to go to the campouts and leadership camps.  The leadership camp costs $100.00 and most of the families can not afford it.  Some local business, organizations and people have seen the benfits of advesting into the boys of this community and have helped pay the cost for the boys to go to the leadership camps.  PetMart, Kiwanis Clup, First Choice Travel, the Batavia Police Benevolent Association, the Deputy Sheriff;s Association, the Batavia Fire Fighters Union, and Viola Hale all have invested in the boys of this community.  Thank you so very much.

Several arrests made at Darien Lake concert last night

By Philip Anselmo

Genesee County sheriff's deputies were kept busy at the Dave Matthews Band concert at Darien Lake last night. In addition to charges of trespass for three young men who allegedly got into the concert without paying for tickets, the arrests reported by deputies this morning include:

  • Deena A. Pantlin, 21, of 143 Liberty St. (Apt: A2) in Batavia, was charged with disorderly conduct, though no details were given.
  • Two young men from Cheektowaga, 22-year-old Christopher R. Jagielo and 20-year-old Colby M. Stanton, were charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. They were accused of wearing stolen Darien Lake Performing Arts Center shirts to gain access to secured areas in the venue.
  • Two men from Batavia and another from Churchville face more serious charges of seond-degree gang assault, a felony. Steven R. Colombo, 21, of 8 Ellicott St. (Apt: Lower), and Gerald Z.L.A. Watts, 27, of 10 Fisher Park, both from Batavia, along with James M. Giman, 28, of Churchville, were accused of injuring someone in a fight after the concert. All three were sent to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail. Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle reported that the injured man was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Note: All of the above arrests were reported in published releases from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

News roundup: Lights out

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

  • About 7,000 National Grid customers in Genesee County lost their power around 9:00pm last night. A failure in the Batavia substation on Franklin Street was blamed for the outage that darkened city streets and left about 5,800 residents in Batavia and some 1,000 others in Alexander, Pembroke and Elba without their electricity until some time after midnight. (Some information for this brief was obtained from the Democrat & Chronicle.)

 

Video: Chainsaw Artist Rick Pratt

By Philip Anselmo

The Batavian was fortunate enough to meet up with Rick Pratt last Friday at the scene of his latest project, here in Batavia. Rick is a chainsaw artist from Corfu. You may have seen one of his most prominent works here in the city right on Main Street — the wizard carved out of a tree trunk.  Well, last week, Rick was back on Main Street, a little further down, past the Gravel Pit, working on a sculpture of a bald eagle in flight. He still had yet to finish up the detailing of the piece, but that didn't stop us from getting some great footage of Rick in action with the "smaller" chainsaw.

For more about Rick or to see some photographs of his other work, please visit his Web site.

Come on out for the Muckdogs... and we'll see you there!

By Philip Anselmo

Peanuts, knuckleballs, the smell of freshly mown turf, double plays, soda pop, stadium bleachers, rally caps... and The Batavian — all fine reasons to come out for the Muckdogs home opener Wednesday at Dwyer Stadium. I will be there an hour shy of game time at about six o'clock, proud to pull up table and chair at the home of the hometown legends.

Come by and say hello. Don't be shy. I'll try not to be.

News roundup: UMMC records $3.4 million profit

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Tuesday):

  • United Memorial Medical Center reported a $3.4 million profit for 2007, its fourth straight year in the black, according to President and CEO Mark Schoell. For more facts and figures check out the article by Paul Mrozek.
  • Agricultural reporter Tom Rivers has an interesting piece on the front page about the not-to-friendly named 'armyworms' and their threat to local wheat harvests.
  • I had some trouble working out the details of an article about the Genesee County Public Defender's Office that could lose "hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funds." Reporter Paul Mrozek writes that in order to receive the state funding, the county "must spend at least one dollar more for the two programs than it did in the previous budget year." It seems strange, but apparently the state is demanding that the office spend more money in order to receive more money. What's more strange is that the threshold is measured by a single dollar.
  • The town of Batavia dedicated a new guardrail erected at a curve in Stegman Road near Route 5 last night. That curve was the site of an accident that injured one friend and killed another nine years ago. After much petitioning by one of the accident victims, Jamie Beedham of Oakfield, the town finally put up the guardrail two weeks ago. "My goal is if the guardrail can save one life, I will have been successful," she told reporter Kristen Kotz.
  • Among the items on the Batavia Town Board agenda for its meeting Wednesday is a potential contribution of $225,000 by the town to aid the development of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park that is planned to go up near the fairgrounds. You can download the complete meeting agenda by clicking here.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

City Managers Review Process

By Charlie Mallow
I wanted to release the fact that our City Manager's review process has been completed. The budgeted 2.75% increase in his salary will be on the next business agenda for Council to vote to release. I am not at liberty to discuss the details of this employee matter in public, due to employee confidentiality concerns.

I would like to express my thanks for the work our city manager has accomplished over the last year. We began this fiscal year with a projected tax increase over 34% and finished with an 8% increase. This year the City manager’s office helped secure well over $750,000 in grants, substantial reductions in city operating expenses, consolidated dispatch, negotiated several labor contracts beneficial to this city and reworked 7 municipal agreements for ambulance service. Increases in productivity and streamlining of city operations have effected all departments. City staff continues to excel under Jason’s leadership, all the while making due with less and still providing quality service for our residents. We are looking forward to successful outcomes for the many challenges that we have placed before our City Manager for this year. These include:·         A smooth transition to consolidated dispatch with the county.·         Determining how we can centralize booking with the county.·         Seeing tangible results with the consolidation study with the town.·         Continued improvements in the once faltering inspections department with an eye towards increasing productivity, streamlining and improving city codes. ·         Strong leadership in the reconstruction efforts taking place on Ellicott and Walnut Streets this year. ·         Oversight of the Ambulance service to ensure its viability.

 

Genesee County's Bounty: Honey, Zucchini, Popcorn and Meat

By Philip Anselmo

It's out! The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County released its Agri-Tourism Guide for 2008. The pamphlet can be downloaded from the Coop's Web site or picked up in person at its Main Street location near Masse Mall (look for the cow). It's got a colorful map to help you find the many fruit and vegetable farms, slaughterhouses, maple houses, orchards, greenhouses and popcorneries (is that a word, I don't know). Each gem is listed with an address and a brief description of just what you can find there.

I had a bowl of fantastic, organic, cold purple grapes last night, and let me tell you, there's nothing like fresh produce from your own hometown. Pavilion's got two acres of blueberries. Herbly Wonderful here in Batavia has lavender fields and greenhouses so sweet-smelling you have to keep from plucking the furry bits of thyme right off their stalk. Corfu's got cheddar to please. Looking to knit a scarf? LeRoy's got alpaca yarn aplenty.

Honestly, folks. You've got everything edible and touchible to get you through the summer — and when that's all over, hit up the wreath-makers and Christmas tree farms, also listed.

If you've got any questions, or you want to know just where to find those alpacas, stop by the Coop or get your own guide right now.

Buffalo native takes over as Vice President of Academic Affairs at GCC

By Philip Anselmo

From a press release issued by Genesee Community College, posted on ReadMedia:

When Buffalo native Eunice M. Bellinger was pursuing her college degree at Niagara University in the 1970s, she rounded out her academic schedule by attending classes at Genesee Community College in Batavia.

On August 4, after two and a half decades as a highly successful college professor and academic administrator in New York, Massachusetts, and abroad, Dr. Bellinger returns to Genesee as the College's new Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Bellinger replaces Dr. Claudia Moore, who is retiring this summer after nine years of service at Genesee.

During her time abroad, Bellinger taught in Great Britain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Stuart Steiner, President of the College, welcomed Dr. Bellinger. "She will bring an outstanding record of achievement and creativity to Genesee," Dr. Steiner said. "I look forward to working with her as we continue to build extraordinary academic programs and deepen our record of success and innovation."

News roundup: Barn fire in Oakfield and saving money on state prisoners

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for these and other stories:

  • A "controlled" trash fire in Oakfield turned into a blaze and burned a storage barn to the ground yesterday. Ten volunteer fire crews responded, had the fire under control in about 20 minutes and saved a nearby pair of grain silos.
  • A new law enforcement program was announced yesterday that would allow female prisoners in Genesee County to be brought to Albion Correctional Facility for reception. Women senetenced to time in state prison formerly had to be taken to Westchester County for processing. Male inmates are also now allowed to be received at Auburn rather than Elmira. Both moves are expected to save the county about $10,000 per year, Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha said.
  • Hail storms ravaged the county and a good swath of western New York yesterday afternoon. Reports came in of nickel-sized hail out in Alabama. Dan Fischer with WBTA said the hail stones ranged in size from about as big as a penny to hefty golf ball chunks that dented cars and no doubt tore up some fresh srping gardens.

Police Blotter: Friday, June 13 to Sunday, June 15

By Philip Anselmo

Friday:

  • 9:22am, State St., criminal mischief
  • 12:04pm, 236 Vine St., aggravated harassment
  • 1:46pm, 226 W. Main St., accident
  • 5:37pm, 114 W. Main St., accident

Saturday:

  • 2:18am, 214 E. Main St., larceny
  • 2:03pm, 35 Clinton St., burglary
  • 2:24pm, Clinton St., accident
  • 2:42pm, 390 W. Main St., accident (vehicle and pedestrian)
  • 2:45pm, W. Main St., accident
  • 6:38pm, 8351 Lewiston Road, larceny
  • 7:12pm, Liberty St., harassment
  • 8:44pm, 20 N. Spruce St. (Apt: A3), larceny
  • 9:27pm, 20 Maple St., harassment
  • 11:35pm, 116 State St. (Apt: 4), larcent

Sunday:

  • 2:46am, 51 Montclair Ave., harassment
  • 4:34am, 123 Washington Ave. (Apt: Upper), menacing
  • 2:57pm, 437 E. Main St. (Apt: Lower), assault
  • 3:46pm, 412 E. Main St., accident
  • 5:47pm, 121 Liberty St., larceny
  • 8:38pm, 99 Jackson St., accident

Note: We don't include noise complaints, domestic disputes and routine police business.

Special Olympics Torch Run... and some tips on posting blogs

By Philip Anselmo

Quite a few of you over the past week or so have caught on that we here at The Batavian can help spread the word. Whether you want to talk politics, culture, volunteerism, crime or whatever, we're here to get it done. Most recently, I received an e-mail from Batavia Police Det. Todd Crossett about a law enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics. (You can see Det. Crossett here to the right — hint, he's the one guy in uniform.)

As more and more folks are figuring out the value in a community site that let's you say what you want to say, when you want to say it, I thought I would take a minute here to let you all know that you can take this into your own hands. I'm here to help get up a post if you have an event coming up or if you snapped some photographs at a torch run (see another from Det. Crossett below). But I would encourage folks to go ahead and submit your own photos and write your own posts. Directly. That way, you have complete control.

That being said, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure you're registered for the site. If you're ever having trouble with that initial step, don't hesitate to give me a call: (585) 802-3032.
  • Click the "Create content" link in the left-hand column.
  • Click the "Blog entry" link that pops up.
  • Write your text.
  • Submit your photograph or video.
  • For photos, simply click the little yellowish button in the Blog entry toolbar (above where you type) — the one that looks like a miniature mountainscape. Upload your photo, but please make sure the size is no bigger than about 480 pixels in width. If you need any help, let us know.
  • For video, make sure your video is on YouTube, then simply type in: "video:" and then the URL for the video and enclose that in brackets, like these: [ ].
  • When you're done, scroll to the bottom of the page and hit save. That's it.

Now that we've finished with that, here is another photograph sent to us from Det. Crossett, along with a brief explanation of just what this torch run was all about.

Det. Crossett: "On Wednesday, June 4, City of Batavia police officers and Genesee County Sheriff's Deputies participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The run started at the ARC day treatment facility in Elba and ran to the ARC facility on Walnut Street in the City of Batavia. When we left the day treatment facility Robin Eames, a client at day treatment, assisted in carrying the torch. Once the torch reached Walnut street, Kathy King, assisted in carrying the torch. Ths year the Royal Rangers, a boys scouting group donated the water for the run. Alexander Crossett rode his bicycle and represented the Royal Rangers on the run. This run is to bring awareness to the accomplishments of the participants in the Special Olympics."

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 tdean@batavianewyork.com. 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 https://www.co.genesee.ny.us
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