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Batavia defeats Monroe 28-6 with team effort

By Howard Owens

The Batavia Blue Devils improved to 3-0 on the 2022 season with a 28-6 win at home on Thursday night against Monroe.

Javin McFollins was 7-10 behind center for 88 yards and a TD.

Cole Grazioplane made that 27-yard TD reception.

Cam McClinic scored once on 10 carries for 73 yards.

Garret Schmidt had 10 tackles.

To view or purchase prints, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

Former Le Roy resident pleads guilty in welfare fraud case

By Press Release

Press release from Department of Social Services:

Kristin Forte, 34, formerly of Le Roy, was sentenced to a 1-year conditional discharge after pleading guilty to one count of Disorderly Conduct in Batavia Town Court on July 26, 2022.

Forte was originally charged with eight counts of  1st degree offering a false instrument for filing, five counts of 2nd-degree forgery and one count of 3rd degree grand larceny after an investigation by the Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigations Unit revealed that she failed to correctly report her income and forged signatures of her employers.  She subsequently received $3,767 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.

Forte has made full restitution of $3,767 to the Department of Social Services.  She will also be disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year.

Anyone wishing to report suspected cases of Welfare Fraud in Genesee County can contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigations Unit at (585) 344-2580, ext 6417 or 6541

Corfu hosting third annual Fall Festival on Oct.1

By Press Release

Press release:

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Village of Corfu will host its 3rd annual Autumn in the Village festival.

Event organizer and Deputy Mayor Mikel Doktor says this will be the biggest event yet.

There will be dozens of vendors and hand-selling fall-related crafts, pumpkins and local produce, art demonstrations, a street magician, cider and doughnuts, kids activities,  cosplayers and more.

DJ Biggs will be spinning tunes throughout the event and there will be special appearances by the Corfu Community Band and the Pembroke HS Pep Band.

Local food trucks will be on hand as well as local distillers.

The event will take place outside of the Pembroke Intermediate school at 58 Alleghany St.  Event parking is across the street.

The Corfu Presbyterian Church will be holding its annual chowder sale and basket raffle.

The Corfu Grange will be serving up treats as well.

The event runs from noon until 5 pm.

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens from 2020

Children in Oakfield learn about making music from members of GSO

By Howard B. Owens

Members of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra were in Oakfield on Thursday evening to talk with children about the instruments they play and how music is made.

The orchestra members, along with conductor and music director Shade Zajac, explained their instruments, the sounds they made, playing examples, and how the instruments are played and how they might fit into a piece of music.

Participating were Holly Hudson, Nicole Zajac (top photo), Shade Zajac, and Claudia Deibold.

The event was sponsored by the Haxton Memorial Library and held at the Oakfield Government and Community Center.

Sponsored Post: Help Oliver's Candies celebrate 90th birthday on September 17th

By Lisa Ace


Oliver's Candies is celebrating 90 years in business! We will have food vendors (The Red Osier, Los Compadre's, Pub Hub Coffee), face paintings, kid's games, bounce house, wine tasting with Autumn Moon Winery, State Troopers, Genesee County Sheriff with K9 Unit, the Batavia Animal Shelter, table raffles and 50/50! Proceeds from our table and 50/50 raffles will be donated to the Batavia Animal Shelter! Click here for more information on the day's events.

*The first 150 in-store purchases will receive a FREE Oliver's Swag Bag*.

Top Donors:

  • Sweet Lee's Bakery
  • Sweet Life Country Store
  • Bounce House Of Batavia
  • Red Osier
  • Eli Fish
  • Batavia Downs
  • Liberty Pumps
  • Center Street Smoke House
  • Autumn Moon Winery
  • Wright Beverage

Video: Meet and Greet with Sen. George Borrello

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor .pane-node-body img {background: none !important; border: 0 !important; margin: 0 !important; padding: unset !important; padding-left: 1px !important } broadstreet.zone(69076)

State Sen. George Borello is a small business owner from Chautauqua County. He has represented the 57th State Senate district for three years.  In 2023, the 57th District will include Genesee County.  On Wednesday, Charles Men's Shop hosted a meet and greet for Borello and he spoke for a few minutes with The Batavian.

Photo: Lost dog on Wortendyke Road

By Howard B. Owens

This dog is apparently lost in the area of Route 33, near the corner of Wortendyke Road, Batavia.

The reader who submitted the picture said Sheriff's deputies were unable to catch it last night and it's still loose in the area this morning. 

'Gopher Gathering' draws families, school together

By Joanne Beck

Maddasin DuBois attended her first Gophers Open House Thursday. Though she had never thought much about these events, this year seemed different.

“My teachers kept talking about it,” said the new sixth-grader.

Her cousin, Alaina Rowe, went to see “my friends,” she said. They ate from one of the four food trucks, visited school booths, watched kids try to nail the target for a dunk tank and hung out at the Middle-Senior High School on Big Tree Road, Pavilion. Crystal DuBois, who is mom to both girls, said it was a first time for them. In the past, the girls hadn’t shown any interest, she said. But this year they all went and learned a thing or two.

“They have clubs and programs I didn’t know about, and maybe I can get them interested,” Crystal said.

The Gopher Gathering is Pavilion’s third annual open house, English teacher Rachel Kress said. Food trucks, games, informal meetings with teachers and Board of Education members, visiting a petting zoo hosted by Future Farmers of America and other activities filled the late afternoon until 7 p.m.

Ninth-grader Erin Andrews was one of several student volunteers to help out with the event. Erin had a face painting station set up for sparkle-adorned designs and temporary tattoos.

Sabrina Sanner, a newly hired music teacher, had never been to prior events and said it was a good idea. School districts often have events that bring families into the school classrooms for more formal types of interactions, she said. Pavilion's was out on the lawns, lined with tables, activities and information.

“I think it’s nice, it’s a better way to do an open house,” the 24-year-old said.

Next to her at the table was Eric Weaver, an art teacher. After all summer, this was "kind of like a reunion," he said.

“I think it’s a way for the community to get together,” he said. “This is kind of the first opportunity we’ve had to get together … and parents turn into supportive parents for their child’s education.”

He held up sign-up sheets with several student names on them indicating interest in art class. Aside from the general theme of meeting one another, there was another one: wearing the school colors of purple and gold. 

Groups of students sat talking on a nearby curb while others took turns trying to dunk Assistant Principal Charles Martelle in a tank of cold water. The school’s resource officer was on hand to talk to families and take photos for the bulletin board. Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies were there as well, in addition to about 75 faculty and staff, said Deb Barie, director of pupil personnel services.

“I think it’s a great way to have the whole family involved in the school,” she said. “They’re getting to know the teachers in a comfortable, safe setting. (Parents) can enjoy a night out with the kids. The student volunteers are showing off their extracurriculars to show what they do during the school day and outside of school.”

Top Photo: Pavilion Middle-High School students relax with some treats from food trucks during the annual Gopher Gathering at the school on Big Tree Road; Erin Andrews decorates a tattoo on first-grader Caroline Mead's hand; school faculty Eric Weaver and Sabrina Sanner share their passions for art and music, respectively, during the event Thursday; students take turns whipping the yellow ball at a dunk tank target in hopes of dropping Assistant Principal Charles Martelle into the water (some were successful); and photo above, school secretary Coreena Green, substitute teacher Jonathan Holland and Deb Barie, director of Pupil Personnel Services, meet families and hand out informational flyers. Photos by Joanne Beck.

Dog abuse case postponed after VFA letter received

By Joanne Beck

Cassandra Elmore’s case was set for 1:30 p.m. today, and one thing was fairly certain: she would show since she was recently arrested on a warrant and put in jail. She had failed to show up two times previously.

After several other cases were brought before Judge Thomas Burns Thursday in City Court, Elmore was brought in, handcuffed and wearing a neon yellow jumpsuit with Livingston County Jail stamped on the back.

While waiting for her case to be called, Elmore turned to talk with her mother, Lisa, about posting bail, and made a one-fingered gesture to someone else in the gallery area. She was being represented by Assistant Public Defender Jamie Welch.

Judge Burns said that some correspondence was received from Volunteers For Animals, and it, in essence, asked for a “possible resolution to this case,” given that Oddey, Elmore’s dog that overdosed, has been sitting at the county shelter for more than two months.

Burns proposed adjourning the case for a week and set her next appearance for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 22.

Welch and Assistant District Attorney Jenna Bauer agreed. Burns instructed Elmore that, if she was to make bail, she needed to show up for her court date. 

Elmore has missed two prior court dates after initially asking for more time to hire an attorney. Her original charge was three counts of injuring an animal after her dog was found to have overdosed on some type of narcotics.

She failed to appear in court on Aug. 11 (when a friend reported a call from Elmore in the hospital) and Sept. 8 and was arrested in between, on Aug. 30 after a traffic stop. She was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstruction of governmental administration, aggravated unlicensed operation third, uninspected motor vehicle, and insufficient tail lamps.

After not showing in court on Sept. 8, a warrant was issued for her arrest, and Batavia Police Department caught up with her on Sept. 10 after a property dispute at 316 East Main St. called them to the scene. She was arrested on the spot.

In the meantime, while her case has been pending and continues to be postponed due to her being a no-show, Oddey awaits his fate at the shelter. He can’t be put up for adoption while it’s an open case.

Volunteers For Animals member Wendy Castleman said Thursday that the dog is doing well. She couldn't answer any questions pertaining to the correspondence because it's an open case, she said.

Future convenience store planned for Town of Batavia

By Joanne Beck

If you have driven past the former Clor’s building on West Main Street Road and thought you saw a sign that later disappeared, you’re not seeing things.

A sign for F&M Convenience store was briefly put on the front of 4169 West Main Street Rd. in the town of Batavia. The site, which sits on a triangular piece of property between Top’s Friendly Markets and Valu Plaza, has been leased, Town Building Inspector Daniel Lang said.

Unfortunately, Ali Musa, the renter, has not taken his business through the proper channels of the town planning board yet, Lang said. His business is set to go before the Town Planning Board next week. Meanwhile, the process has been explained to the new occupant at least a few times, Lang said, yet Musa put the sign up, then took it down as directed, followed by putting up blue and white lights around the front windows. Those have also been taken down.

Property owner Benderson Development is leasing the 1,737-square-foot building to Musa after an 18-month gap in occupants. Musa has also been stocking the future store, although some of his products may not pass town code, Lang said.

Cannabis sales are legal in the city, but not in the town, which vetoed an option for cannabis dispensaries. Apparently, Musa intends to sell related products at the convenience store.

A representative of Benderson Development was unable to provide any details about the renter's plans.

The site was built in 2004 and has served to house several various operations, most notably Clor’s Meat Market, which moved there in 2009. Longtime owner Chuck Gugel sold the business to Kathleen (Kate) Gonzalez in 2013, who closed it by the end of that year.

Other former occupants have been Pizza Joe’s and Georgie Porgies.

Photo: After an 18-month vacancy, the building at 4169 Main Street Rd., Batavia, has been leased for use as a convenience store, but has not been through the Town Planning Board process yet. Photo by Howard Owens.

County proclamation backs recovery, suicide prevention

By Mike Pettinella

The Genesee County Legislature on Wednesday afternoon threw its support behind the community’s cooperative efforts to help those with substance use disorder and to prevent suicides.

The legislature issued a proclamation acknowledging Sept. 4-10 as National Suicide Prevention Week and September 2022 as National Recovery Month – “when millions of people around the world join their voices to share a message of hope and healing.”

Representatives of Genesee County Mental Health Services, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Mental Health Association and Genesee County Suicide Prevention Coalition were on hand at the Old County Courthouse as Legislator Gregg Torrey, chair of the Human Services Committee, read the proclamation aloud.

In part, the decree states that county residents “have access to high quality prevention, support, rehabilitation, and treatment services that lead to recovery and a healthy lifestyle, and every day … people begin treatment at behavioral health services and community supports and begin the road to wellness and recovery.”

Furthermore, “Suicide Prevention Week and Recovery Month inspire millions of Americans to raise awareness, build resiliency, and find hope.”

Sue Gagne, a Suicide Prevention Coalition leader, said the proclamation “shines a light on the people who are considering suicide or battling addiction – who often feel very alone in their pain. And it shines a light on all who have lost a loved one to suicide or overdose, allowing them to feel seen.”

Photo: Taking part in the reading of the National Suicide Prevention Week and National Recovery Month proclamation are, from left, Legislator Gregg Torrey; Bob Riccobono, clinical director of Genesee County Mental Health Services; Cheryl Netter, Nickole Millette, Sue Gagne and Amy Kabel of GCASA; Diana Bucknam of the Mental Health Association and Genesee County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and Rachel Mieney, clinical social worker of Genesee County Mental Health Services. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

At 90, Oliver's Candies remains a 'sweet business' that continues to expand

By Howard B. Owens

Joe Oliver in 1939

If not for the Great Depression, Joseph Boyd Oliver may never have left his home in Pennsylvania for Rochester, and then wander into Batavia looking for work and finding instead an opportunity in the small town. 

The opportunity: Turn a family tradition of making blanched peanuts into a business.

To blanch a peanut, you start with raw peanuts -- which Oliver obtained in Buffalo -- boil them in water for three minutes, then dip them in cold water before removing the red skin.  It's time-consuming, tedious work.

Batavians really went for the stark white peanuts, and Joseph and Edna Oliver found that they had started a real business with growth potential. So they looked for other ways to please the locals' unabated craving for snacks, adding peanut clusters to their repertoire and making their concoctions in their Montclair Avenue home.

"No, I had never made any candy before," Oliver said in a 1939 interview. "I learned it all the hard way. There were so many headaches with it, I couldn't begin to tell you what they were.  We just kept going, trying until we got what we wanted."

Blanched peanuts and peanut clusters were the beginning of Oliver's Candies, now in its 90th year. Oliver's will be having a birthday celebration Saturday at the store at 211 West Main St., Batavia.

Joe and Edna moved their business to that location in 1937, renting a house from Sheriff Forest Brown. They sold candy in the parlor and lived upstairs. Eventually, they bought the house and expanded the business until it took over the entire residence.

By the 1950s, Oliver's was selling candy in all 48 states.

Harold Oskamp acquired the business in 1960.  In 1977, he sold it to Dick Call, Bob Call, and Alvin Scroger, then owners of Genesee Farms. 

That ownership group sold Oliver's in 1998 to John Quincey, father of Jeremy Liles, the current owner.

When his parents asked Liles, whose background was in digital publishing, to get involved in the business, how could he say no? Of course, he couldn't.

"I mean, it's candy, it's retail, it's sweet business, really, you have no better words to pick there," Liles said.

Oliver's still makes candy the way Joe Oliver insisted it be made, Liles said -- real ingredients, the original recipes, no cutting corners, and as a result, the business has continued to grow.

Online ordering has given Oliver's a global reach. Liles has been able to expand the wholesale business since opening a plant in Elba, and that northern location also gives Oliver's a second storefront in the county.

It's no wonder that a business born in the Depression has weathered all kinds of economic storms, a world war, and even a pandemic.

"We're doing just fine. It's not like you don't have the generic brands of candy out there, Walmart, Tops, whatever. People's tastes have honed down. People want specialty coffees. They want specialty desserts. People are going to different places looking for these things," Liles said. "I think that's what's helping us tremendously because we are a specialty. We provide unique flavors. We make it fresh. It's made with butter and cream. We're not adding preservatives. It's not being shipped off to some warehouse and then sitting on a shelf forever. It comes from Elba, our factory six minutes up the road, and it's on our shelf ready for the customer."

One of the secrets of the success of Oliver's is employee loyalty.  From the time of Joe and Edna, employees have tended to stay with the company not just for years, but for decades. 

Bill Betteridge started with the business in its early days and made candy for 52 years. Ronald Drock, one of the former master candy makers, worked for Oliver's from the 1950s into the 1990s. The current master candy maker, Doug Pastecki, has been with Oliver's for 26 years.

In the top photo are long-time employees:

  • Diana Cutitta (started 1983) - store associate/cashier
  • Doug Pastecki (started 1995) - master candymaker
  • Anna Liles (started 1999) - giftware associate
  • Jeremy Liles (started 2001) - owner
  • Julie Heale (started 2002) - packing line worker
  • Mary Graham (started 2004) - enrober line worker
  • Megan Palone (started 2006) - general manager
  • Alec Frick (started 2014) - assistant candymaker

Not pictured is Beth Diegelman, hand dipper/decorator who started in1980).

"I guess, for the most part, my family, the families before us, we try to take care of the people who work for us. We're all a family. We try to treat everybody as a family. We're not a big corporate-backed store. We're just a locally owned business and, like anybody else, trying to survive each day," Liles said. "We had some great years of growth and we tried to take care of our employees during those times, and in turn, our employees take care of the business during tougher times, so it really becomes a complete family. Obviously, I couldn't do any of this without them. They are the backbone of this business."

Liles said he's proud to be at the helm of Oliver's as it marks 90 years in business, both for the stability such longevity represents, and the strength of the company to adapt to changing times.

"I love doing this," Liles said. "It's exciting. It doesn't get boring. That's the cool part about it. There are always changes and obviously, in the environment around us, there are changes. Social media, for example, has really been a change. You have gotta be so careful with it. It can help you or it can tear you apart. But that's where, if we keep striving for customer service, then the reviews online will stay five stars, and that's the way we want it to be. I mean, it's all about quality products and quality service. That's why I don't want to outgrow our britches, per se. We need to keep it real."

'God's Good Grace' is bestowed upon All Babies Cherished Family Assistance Center

By Mike Pettinella

Thanks to the generosity of a longtime Genesee County entrepreneur, All Babies Cherished Family Assistance Center has its first “nesting place for women and children.”

That’s how Sue Sherman, ABC executive director, described the five-bedroom house at 441 Ellicott St. that is two doors down from the nonprofit agency’s office. It will serve as a temporary residence for women in need of assistance during their pregnancy.

The home was purchased by Gary Good, an Alexander native who now splits his time between Batavia and Florida, and donated to ABC. He said it will be ready to welcome pregnant women, including some who have already had children, in early 2023.

“We’re calling it God’s Good Grace,” said Good, who serves in a volunteer role on the agency’s Housing Committee. “The goal is to make it easier for women who do not have a place to stay to access the services provided by All Babies Cherished.”

Sherman said that around 35 to 40 percent of the women ABC serves are homeless.

“Many of them have no family support – in fact, an alarming number of young women have been trafficked by their own families.”

A Christ-centered organization, ABC provides a wide variety of parenting classes for moms, dads and grandparents, which, in turn, generates credits to the expectant mothers to receive necessities during pregnancy and for their infants, toddlers and young children.

“We also act as an advocate for the women, helping them to complete their education at all levels and to obtain skills to enter the workforce,” Sherman said. “Additionally, we work with other agencies to set up daycare for them.”

Sherman said ABC’s mission is to give women the tools to make something of their lives “despite the fact that many of them been told they will never amount to anything.”

“The number one reason that women have abortions is because of the poverty situation,” she said. “We’re thankful that Gary has seen the need for a residence such as this and was in a position to make this happen.”

FALL VENDOR FESTIVAL SCHEDULED

The All Babies Cherished Fall Vendor Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 5 at the City Centre Mall. Last year’s event drew 90 vendors and raised $4,000 for the agency.

Vendor registration forms are available by contacting Sherman at 344-5660 or by going to www.allbabiescherished.com or www.facebook.com/AllBabiesCherishedPregnancyCenter/.

Photo: Gary Good and Sue Sherman in front of the house at 441 Ellicott St. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

New music video from Claudia Hoyser with Genesee County color

By Howard B. Owens

Claudia Hoyser, who has made a couple of appearances in Genesee County, has a new video out that was partially filmed in Genesee County, in a field of crimson clover owned by CY Farms.

For record collectors, they will also recognize the Record Archive in Rochester as one of the video's settings.

Previously: 

Train strikes unoccupied car in Alexander

By Howard B. Owens

A train struck a vehicle parked parallel to train tracks, between the tracks, near Spring Road in Alexander this evening.

The vehicle was unoccupied.

An investigation is ongoing as to why the vehicle was parked at that location.

Photos by Philip Casper.

 

Sponsored Post: New listing from Reliant Real Estate: 6873 Norton Road, Elba

By Lisa Ace


6873 Norton Road, Elba.
 Truly a country classic homestead on picturesque 5 acre lot! This home offers everything that most people try to recreate - large room sizes, tall ceilings, wide planked wood flooring, HOMINESS, and good country living! There is first floor bedroom and full modernized bath and upstairs, has 4 large bedrooms and newly added second full bath. Country kitchen with tons of cupboards, large dining area that is the heart and center of this home. Oversized back entrance/mudroom and laundry area(every home needs!) All bedrooms are large and offer a lot of storage/closet space and two staircases will get you where you need to go in this almost 2200 sq. ft. home! Let's not forget to mention; this home is all mechanically up to date including newer windows, metal roof and new septic installed 2019! The yard is something that most would not notice cruising by, but is absolutely beautiful with pretty views of farmland and gardens with pretty stone steps and garden pathways-all the hard work has already been done for you AND you can sit on one of 3 different porches to enjoy it all! Last but not least don't forget about the gorgeous big red barn! Make sure to tell your country loving friends about this one!! Call Lynn Bezon at Relaint Real Estate today to see this lovely home. Call (585) 344-HOME (4663). Click here to view the full listing.

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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