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May 14, 2019 - 6:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in van detta stadium, batavia, news, notify, City Schools, Batavia HS.


The stands are up, the turf is in and it looks like the Batavia Blue Devils will indeed have a new stadium in time for fall football as workers tighten bolts and sew up seams in coming days before the oval track around the field is installed.

The new stadium, replacing the 70-year-old Van Detta Stadium, is part of a $27 million district-wide capital improvement project approved by voters two years ago that includes upgrades at all three school sites.






May 14, 2019 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, notify.

In recent years, the number of seasonal deputies working during concerts at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center has increased from 10 to 15 and in 2019, 20.

It's not just that there are more concerts at Darien Lake, or the addition of concerts at Batavia Downs has increased demand, Sheriff William Sheron said at yesterday's Public Service Committee meeting. The Sheriff just needs a bigger pool of qualified deputies to draw from to ensure adequate staffing for each event.

There's no additional cost for the county since the cost is offset by fees paid by the concert venue for security on show nights.

Sheron said he wants more officers deputized for concerts because none of the men and women who work the shows on a part-time basis are able to make every show.

"This will give us a bigger pool to draw from," Sheron said.

Seasonal deputies must be sworn peace officers and must live in Genesee County. They can be current or retired Batavia PD or Le Roy PD officers, or retired from the Sheriff's Office or State Police.

Regardless of current or former affiliation, they are sworn in as deputies for their seasonal duty and wear Sheriff's deputies' uniforms.

The Sheriff's Office currently has five deputies going through training and expects five more to start training in the fall to replace deputies who have retired. The retirements have left the Sheriff's Office a bit short staffed, which will mean a little more demand for seasonal deputies at Darien Lake.  

Those who retired from the Sheriff's Office can also help with traffic control since they already have training for the duty at the park.

Deputies also assist with traffic control during concerts at Batavia Downs while Batavia PD handles security inside the venue.

The Sheriff is gearing up for 20 to 25 concerts at Darien Lake and another 10 at Batavia Downs. Concerts also return to the Ridge NY in Le Roy, but Sheron acknowledged there is seldom a need for a law enforcement presence at those shows.

"Each concert venue brings a different client of patrons," Sheron said. "Some of those individuals get rowdy at times and we have issues, but on the other hand we have many concerts where we don't have any difficulties at all; but you still need a police presence."

The Public Service Committee voted unanimously to send the recommendation to the full Legislature for approval.

May 14, 2019 - 4:40pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee Region USBC, Batavia Downs Gaming.


"Have Mercy, on the people in the street; help them find a way to get back on their feet.

"Have Mercy, on those who would be free; free to work in hope, living peacefully. Oh, have mercy, have mercy on us all; have mercy on us all."

With those words from his song, "Mercy," Canadian rocker Carl Dixon set the tone as the keynote speaker on Saturday night at the Genesee Region USBC bowling association annual banquet at Batavia Downs Gaming.

While not a standout bowler (although he did say that he used to bowl while growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) – Dixon "struck" a chord with the 90 people in attendance as he shared his road to musical success and the details of a 2008 car accident in Australia, a horrific event that dramatically changed his outlook on life.

Dixon said he was born to perform in front of people, playing piano at the age of 3 and drums and guitar a few years later. He got hooked on rock and roll after buying a 45 of The Guess Who’s "Laughing" and "Undun," and eventually became the lead singer of the legendary group in the 1990s (when Burton Cummings took time off from touring).

His singing, playing and songwriting ability led to fame in Canada as a member of April Wine and Coney Hatch, and he said he was about to join The Guess Who again prior to the late night head-on collision while he was in Australia attempting to patch up problems with his wife at that time and his daughters.

Distraught over his inability to connect with his loved ones, Carl said he forgot that Australians drive on the opposite side of a two-lane country highway and his small car strayed into the other lane and into the path of a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

The force of the crash left him with multiple fractures, a brain injury, lacerated liver and the loss of his right eye.

Although he said he doesn’t remember the accident, the way he described it left no doubt of the severity of the collision.

“He (the other driver) came up at an angle and because he was so much bigger than my car, he came up over the top of the roof of my car and kept going after crushing all down on top of me,” he said. “I just had time, we figure, to get my arm in front of my teeth, which is why I still have my teeth, but the undercarriage of the car going over me, hit this side of my head and tore it all up.”

He said his right arm was pulled out of its socket and was torn into pieces. The impact crushed the side of his head, cheekbones and eye socket. He also had a C-7 fracture of his spine; both legs were badly broken and had many other internal injuries. All told, he had sustained 50 injuries in the space of just two seconds.

“There are a number of factors while I’m still able to stand here tonight and talk at all,” he said, mentioning that he, 49 at the time, was in peak physical condition (he played hockey three times a week right up to the accident) and was a non-smoker and a light drinker.

“My cardiovascular system was able to at least keep things pumping and get me through the crisis on that level,” he said. “Apparently I was still able to form sentences when people first came along, and this is the miraculous part: I’d like to say I must have had a whole squadron of angels watching over me that night.”

Within minutes, on what was a lonely stretch of road at the time of the crash, Carl said that several cars came upon the scene to offer assistance.

As he reflects upon it, Carl said he “takes heart from the many people who have said that God had more for you to do in this world; your work on Earth wasn’t done yet. That’s why you got through that night and the (ensuing) days.”

He said that during his recovery years, things still did not go well with his marriage and he longed for someone to come into his life to share his journey. In 2013, he said he met that person – his wife, Helen, an Australian, who accompanied him at the dinner.

Today, Carl continues to perform, touring with a couple different bands. He said he is booked to return to Batavia Downs on July 5 as part of its concert series and will be performing a tribute to The Guess Who next February at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda.

He left his audience with some of the principles that he now lives by.

“Love and connection gets us through everything that life throws at us … and it’s not something that we should turn our backs on ever,” he said. “We should stick together and believe in each other. And when things get tough, we have it in us – our thoughts are the most powerful force in the universe. We can turn our best thoughts toward the problem, and not beat ourselves up.”

"Believe in positive things, turn your energy toward the belief that I’ll get through this. I’ll tell you one thing, after what I’ve been through, anything now – well, I can always say, ‘I’ve seen worse.’ ”

Photo at top -- Carl Dixon speaking at Genesee Region USBC annual banquet Saturday night. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

May 14, 2019 - 4:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Rotary Club of Batavia, news.

Rotary Club of Batavia group photo by Kevin Carlson of Carlson’s Studio.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Rotary Club of Batavia is celebrating its 100th anniversary and to mark its centennial, the club hosted a gala at Batavia Downs on Friday, May 10, to celebrate its accomplishments and energize for more projects that benefit the community.  

As an organization designed to instill values of community service and professional development, Rotary was founded in 1905 in Chicago. In 1919 the Batavia Rotary Club was chartered with 25 members who pledged to the organization's motto of "Service above Self." 

Now, 100 years later, that commitment remains strong.  The 75 men and women of Batavia Rotary seek to serve others through local community projects and international partnerships.

Rotarians are committed to service, and we're not afraid to dream big and set bold goals, said Laurie Mastin, the current president.

Locally, the Batavia Rotary has contributed more than $700,000 to charitable causes in the Genesee community in the last 20 years. Additionally, it provides $18,000 in scholarships to local college students each year.

On a worldwide scale, Rotary began a fight against polio in 1979 and has reduced that crippling disease to only two countries -- down from 125 in 1988. And we won't stop until we're done and polio is eradicated. Batavia Rotary continues to financially support that campaign and has contributed more than $150,000 over the years to eliminate polio from the Earth. 

In the words of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, "We believe we can change the world one life at a time."

Photos below by Paul Figlow for Figlow Productions.

May 14, 2019 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, animals.

CSX has called dispatchers to report horses near the tracks at Wilkinson Road, Batavia.

A dispatcher has contacted several residents in the area who are known to have horses and the ones contacted say their horses are safe.

A trooper has been dispatched to another residence where dispatchers have been unable to make contact.

May 14, 2019 - 3:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, notify, news, batavia.

James R. Calaci, 36, (above photo) of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; unlicensed operator; speeding; using a portable handheld device. Calaci was arrested on Liberty Street at 12:12 p.m. on May 9 following a traffic stop. He was allegedly using a portable handheld device while driving and he was speeding. He was found to be operating a motor vehicle while his NYS driver's license had 46 active suspensions. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed on unspecified bail. He is due in City Court on May 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Jason Solomon Wood, 40, of Woodstock Gardens, Batavia, is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal contempt. On March 11 at 3:49 a.m., the GC Sheriff's Office received a complaint of a violation of an order of protection. Following an investigation, it is alleged that Wood intentionally violated an order of protection out of Family Court by contacting the protected party several times via text messaging. Woods was arrested and arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed in lieu of unspecified cash bail. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy David Moore.

May 14, 2019 - 9:45am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in Batavia Concert Band, music, entertainment, news, batavia.


It was 1924, a world-renowned musician had a dream of creating a band in Batavia. Angelo Colarusso, a famous conductor and baritone player, formed the first Batavia Boys’ Concert Band as the conductor and instrumental instructor.

Over the next two years, the band was reorganized and called the American Legion Band. Edward Sullivan conducted the band until 1933 and was followed by conductor Angelo Zimmarino.

During World War II the group disbanded and restarted in the late '40s under the direction of Gordon Cox. Daniel Martino and Joseph Puccio were original boys' band members and continued to play through the early 1980s.  

During this time the band consisted of only 15 to 20 professional musicians. Over the next 10 years, the band expanded to include qualified adults who enjoyed playing and added advanced high school and college music students. Now the band had 40 to 50 participants.

In the '90s, the band consisted of several music teachers throughout Genesee County, several adult amateurs, and students from area high schools and colleges. The Batavia Concert Band always welcomed community musicians to join the band.

Today the Batavia Concert Band is proud to have an equal number of men and women that includes players with ages that range from advanced high school players in their teens to musicians who have enjoyed playing for 50 to 60 or more years.

Instruments that make up the band are saxophones, French horns, trumpets, baritones, tubas, flutes, trombones, and percussion.   

Members of the band learn from each other. The main objective of the Batavia Concert Band is to bring quality live band music to an appreciative audience. The band’s goal has always been to give free concerts to the public in an outdoor family-oriented atmosphere and it remains the same today.

The Batavia Concert Band programs have varied. To name a few; Civil War Concert, Music from Around the World, Italian-American Night, Irish Folk Song Suite, Marches, Jazz, Show Tunes, Plays the Pops, Polka Fest, Baseball Hotdogs & Apple Pie, Sock Hop & Cruise Night, and Swing’s the Thing.

Every band needs an excellent conductor. Returning for his seventh season as conductor is John Dailey, Instrumental Music teacher at Lyndonville Central School.

Other conductors that have led the Batavia Concert Band are, in alphabetical order: Roger Bolton, Phil Briatico, Wayne Burlison, Frank Dow, Donna Flood, Jane Haggett, Gordon Hardy, Neil Hardwick, Ken Hay, Kevin McLaud, Josh Pacino, John Ranalli, Derek Reiss, Don Rogers, Mike Rudnicki, and Skip Taylor. 

The Batavia Concert Band’s main financial support is provided by a variety of sponsors. Their main sponsor is, in part, funds from the Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered locally by GO ART! In the past, local service organizations and local businesses have supported the Batavia Concert Band.

The Batavia Concert Band also offers a scholarship to a high school graduate. Preference is given to a student majoring in Music Education or a Music major, and they must also demonstrate a commitment to community bands and music.

Every Wednesday, beginning June 26  through Aug. 7, the Batavia Concert Band will be performing at 7 p.m. in Centennial Park. They will also be at the Picnic in the Park at 11 a.m. on July 4th.

This organization has purchased their own chairs and a trailer to haul them and their equipment. If you see a musician in a green shirt with the logo Batavia Concert Band, you are looking at a musician who has dedicated his or her talent to giving you a night of music.

During the summer if you are driving down Ellicott Avenue or Richmond Avenue and you hear beautiful band music coming from Centennial Park and notice many lawn chairs on the grass, you can thank the music teachers from the area and the very talented high school and college students who are performing for your pleasure.   

They hope to keep band music alive and to continue to generate interest in band music, inspire children to study music, and encourage students and adults to continue playing, and in doing so the band will have accomplished its worthwhile goal.

Lots has changed over the years, but the Batavia Concert Band has remained a wonderful addition to the music community of Batavia. Hope to see you at Music in the Park!

Photo: File photo.

May 13, 2019 - 11:40pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia.


Ann Marie Suttell, Maney and Donna Neth, Crossroads House and The Batavian were in the spotlight tonight as Batavia City Council presented four yearly awards at the outset of its Business Meeting at City Centre Council Chambers.

Suttell was honored as the Volunteer of the Year for her “dedication, commitment, and outstanding effort” as a member of the St. Joseph’s School Board of Directors, where she chairs the budget and finance committees, and as the president of the Michael Napoleon Memorial Foundation since the organization’s inception in 2007.

She, as well as representatives of the other honorees, accepted a plaque from City Council.

“This is for excellence in volunteerism … you’re a true example of going above and beyond,” said Council Member Kathy Briggs, reading from the proclamation.

The Neths were recognized as Homeowner of the Year for displaying “community spirit and community pride” while refurbishing and impeccably maintaining their home on Osterhout Avenue.

Council Member Adam Tabelski spoke of how they share baked goods and produce with their neighbors, while always “welcoming others and reaching out to help.”

Crossroads House was established 21 years ago as a comfort care home for the dying and has provided services to 485 residents since – all at no charge to the families. It was recognized as the Not-for-Profit of the Year.

“(Founder) Kathy Panepento had an idea and she followed through with it,” Council Member Robert Bialkowski said. “And they have done it with no government funding or subsidies … they do it all on their own. The City is proud to acknowledge Crossroads House.”

Director Jeff Allen, board members Jo Anne Patri and Jackie Swinarski and volunteers Jim Gardner, Trudy Miller and Emily Crawford accepted the award.

The Batavian, owned by Howard and Billie Owens, was honored as Business of the Year for its dedication to covering community news and events in an accurate, professional and timely fashion. The couple started the online news outlet 10 years ago and has worked tirelessly to expand its reach in the community.

The Owens, along with graphic designer Lisa Ace, contributing writer Mike Pettinella and photographer Jim Burns were on hand during the presentation by Council Member Patti Pacino.

In a separate presentation, City Police commended Aubrey Towner, a member of the department's Explorer Post, for her "quick thinking and decisive action" in assisting a 3-year-old child and the child's father following a car-pedestrian accident in Rochester on April 18.

Towner, a Batavia High School student, came to the aid of the youth and then the father while making sure first responders were on their way.

"Aubrey is a model Explorer, one who exemplifies our program," Det. Matthew Wojtaszczyk said. "She's our star."

Photos by Jim Burns.

Top photo: Councilmember Adam Tabelski presents the award to Maney and Donna Neth.


Ann Marie Suttell receives her award from Council Member Kathy Briggs.


Council Member Bob Bialkowski presenting the award to the Crossroads House. Jeff Allen, director, left; Jim Gardner, volunteer; Emily Crawford, volunteer; Trudy Miller, volunteer; Jo Anne Patri, board member/volunteer; Jackie Swinarski, board member/volunteer.


Council Member Patti Pacino presents the award to The Batavian. Howard Owens, publisher, left, Billie Owens, editor, Lisa Ace, ad coordinator, and writer Mike Pettinella.


Det. Matthew Wojtaszczyk, Officer Mark Lawrence, Aubrey Towner, Rita Towner, Darren Towner, and Council President Eugene Jankowski.

May 13, 2019 - 10:00pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council, GCASA.

While it doesn’t have any legal right to stop the sale of property, City Council is keeping its collective finger on the pulse of the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse’s proposed offer to purchase the former North Pole Restaurant at 241-243 South Swan St. and use it as a social outlet for recovering addicts.

And at least four Council members publicly stated their opposition to the potential sale tonight following comments from two neighborhood residents during its monthly meeting at City Centre Council Chambers.

“I would not support it,” said Council Member Paul Viele, as colleague Kathy Briggs nodded in agreement, to applause.

Moments later, Council Member Rose Mary Christian and President Eugene Jankowski also stated that they were against it. Christian brought the issue to a public forum last month at a town hall meeting at 400 Towers.

“We’re going to do everything we can to stop this,” Christian said, despite word from City Attorney George Van Nest that, at this point, “there is not a role for Council to play” in this matter.

Van Nest said that Council is “not in the business to stop a project because it may be unpopular.” He advised that it needs to play out to see if any rezoning or variance issues would materialize, and those would be handled by the proper committees (Batavia Planning & Development or Zoning Board of Appeals).

City Manager Martin Moore said that GCASA Executive Director John Bennett told him that the building, which for many years served as the St. Nicholas Social Club, would be repurposed as a “retreat or private getaway” for those recovering from substance abuse.

“Still, we have to as a City take a look at it,” Moore said, noting that the area currently is zone as R-2 Residential. “The city attorney and Department of Public Works Superintendent (Matt Worth) are requesting information regarding the use.”

Moore said the specifics of the project weren’t spelled out, and that he is pursuing a written determination to be given to City Council and to be shared with the public.

Comments from council members and management came after David Fasano and Jack Chmielowiec, longtime Southside residents, voiced their strong opposition to the plan.

“These are court-ordered drug addicts and alcoholics (and they) force them onto our neighborhood,” Fasano said. “It’s not a good fit.”

Fasano said he was against it for two primary reasons – it puts addicts in a residential neighborhood and takes property off the tax rolls.

“GCASA is not a church; GCASA is a business,” he said. “With St. Anthony’s (Church on Liberty Street), it was already off the tax rolls when City Church bought it. They’ll be using our emergency services, DPW, city attorney … and we’re paying for that.”

Chmielowiec said he was “upset that it got this far without our neighborhood knowing about it” and was surprised that anyone would even consider the location with a school (Jackson School) two blocks away and a park (Farrall Park) “less than 200 paces away.”

He called negotiations a “sneaky kind of deal right from the get-go” and said he was “offended” that neighbors weren’t notified in advance.

Earlier reports indicate that GCASA received a state grant to fund the gathering place and had about a three-month window to complete the deal, and that the current owners of the property have accepted the agency’s offer.

May 13, 2019 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, accident, Le Roy, notify.


A woman has reportedly died following a head-on collision on Route 19 at North Street Road, Le Roy.

According to Chief Deputy Brian Frieday, a vehicle was southbound on Route 19 when it slowed to make a left turn on North Street Road. Another vehicle behind that car tried to pass on the west shoulder and that driver apparently lost control of her car causing it to cross back across the southbound lane and into the northbound lane where it struck a northbound SUV.

The driver of the car that was attempting the southbound pass was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the SUV was transported to Strong with non-life-threatening injuries.

The name of the victim has not been released pending family notifications.

The accident is still under investigation.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance responded to the scene and Route 19 was closed between Seldon Road and West Bergen Road. (At the intersection of the fatality, Randall Road is west of Route 19; and across Route 19 to the east, the same roadway becomes North Street Road.)

UPDATE: The Sheriff's Office reports that Bonnie B. Dean, 77, of Churchville, died as a result of the crash. The other driver was identified as Penne M. Vincent, 56, of Fairport. Vincent was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Dean was driving a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. Vincent was driving a 2013 GMC Terrain. According to the press release, Dean attempted to pass an uninvolved vehicle on the right, on the west shoulder and was unable to maintain control of the vehicle, causing it to cross into the northbound lane. The cause of the crash is under investigation by Chief Deputy Brian Frieday, Sgt. Andrew Hale, Sgt. James Deihl, Sgt. Jason Saile, Deputy Richard Schildwaster, Deputy Mat Clor, and Deputy Travis Demuth. Assisting at the scene were Le Roy Detective John Condidorio, and officers Gregory Kellogg and Stephen Cappotelli as well as Le Roy fire, Le Roy ambulance, and Mercy EMS.

Alecia Kaus/Video News Service contributed to this story. Photos by Alecia Kaus.


May 13, 2019 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in singers, national anthem, muckdogs, sports, batavia, news.

From Batavia Muckdogs:

BATAVIA – The Batavia Muckdogs are looking for the area’s best singers to perform the "Star-spangled Banner" prior to first pitch at Dwyer Stadium during our historic 80th season of professional baseball in Batavia.

The Muckdogs will hold open auditions at Dwyer Stadium from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23rd. The team encourages individuals and groups to visit and give their best performance for the opportunity perform before the crowd during one of our 38 home games.

Those wishing to tryout must keep their performance under 90 seconds while using a traditional style with minimal creative variation. Vocalists must be a cappella, although instrumental auditions are welcome.

Individuals and groups wishing to audition must fill out an application form upon arrival at Dwyer Stadium prior to the audition. Singers and their immediate families will receive complementary game tickets on the date of their performance. For questions, please contact the Muckdogs at 585-483- 3647.

About the Muckdogs

Recognized as the birthplace of the New-York Penn League and one of it’s founding franchises, 2019marks the 80th season of professional baseball in Batavia, NY. Operated by Batavia Muckdogs Inc., the Muckdogs are the Class A Short Season Affiliate of the Miami Marlins and the only professional sports franchise in Genesee County.

May 13, 2019 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in teen city, St. Anthony's, batavia, Youth Bureau, news, notify.


The planned move of the Youth Bureau to St. Anthony's on Liberty Street, Batavia, is on schedule and the new program should open in time for the school year this fall, said Jocelyn Sikorski in an interview last week.

Sikorski is the director of both the city's and the county's Youth Bureau and the combined program will move from its current location at 12 MacArthur Drive, Batavia, this summer.

The Youth Bureau will go from a 1,800-square-foot building to more than 11,000 square feet of available space, and from a location practically on the outskirts of the City to one near the center of the city and closer to the underserved youth population on the Southside.

St. Anthony's has already become an important youth activity spot thanks to its owner, City Church, and the work of Ryan Macdonald, who leads youth and community activities on Tuesday nights.

Teen City will offer after-school programs to youths age 9 to 16, including a classroom/tech room, recreation room, gaming room, cafeteria, kitchen and full gymnasium during program hours, which are set at 2:30 to 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday during the school year, and 1 to 6 p.m. during the summer.

"There are a lot of youth on the Southside who want those services, who are utilizing those services with Ryan on Tuesday nights, so we’re going to meet the needs of the community as they are and serve those kids who may not be coming to the youth center because of its current location," Sikorski.

The move is expected to be completed in August.

Teen City is a joint project of the Youth Bureau, St. Anthonys's/City Church, the YMCA, and United Way.

"It’s worked out well," Macdonald said. "We love the kids. We think the kids, for the most part, love us. We’re looking for the whole community to be involved.

"We can’t do it on our own and that’s the key takeaway," Macdonald added. "The YMCA is going to be involved the Youth Bureau, the City and the County, United Way is going to be involved. I think that’s an important takeaway because not one entity can do it all on their own. If we work together at it we can get a whole lot more done."

With 100 kids showing up every Tuesday at St. Anthony's, Sikorski said there is ample evidence there is demand for a program like Teen City that is easier for more kids in the city to reach.

With the help of the school district, transportation will be provided to kids who might find St. Anthony's too far away to walk or bike to.

"The other positive is we're modeling the school's behavior and rules with what we’re developing so there will be consistency for these kids," Sikorski "They will know what their expectations are. It’s not going to be any different.

"This will be supervised and structured and it will be a safe place for those kids to go," she added.

The former Youth Bureau building will be taken over by City Schools. Superintendent Chris Dailey said near-term plans are for the high school to use the front parking lot and the building for storage during the ongoing capital improvement project.

The community garden behind the Youth Bureau building will be able to expand into the basketball court area.

Macdonald said he sees this as a positive move for what City Church offers at St. Anthony's and the children of the community.  The Tuesday night programs themselves are expensive to run and only survive because of the generous support of sponsors. Now the children of the area will have more options and more support.

"We’ve all needed somebody to speak into our lives, to love us, to care for us at certain points, and not to say the parents aren’t doing that but we want to add to it," Macdonald said.


The Batavia Youth Bureau moved to the former community pool location in 1998 after the City sold the Bank Street location, which housed the youth bureau and senior services, to the County, which took over the Senior Center at that time. Now it's moving to St. Anthony's.

May 13, 2019 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Town of Le Roy, water, infrastructure, USDA, news.

Information from the USDA:

The Town of Le Roy is the recipient of an $89,000 loan and a $34,000 grant from the USDA's Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to build Water District #11.

According to today's announcement by the USDA, in Washington, D.C., this project will extend public water service to eight residential users in the town who currently do not have safe potable water. The announcement did not specify where Water District #11 to benefit eight households is located.

The investment will eliminate health concerns, lower costs and provide better water quality and quantity as well as fire protection.

Le Roy's project is one of 40 approved in 20 states intended to improve rural water infrastructure. The investments will benefit 111,000 rural Americans, according to USDA.

“These investments will have a far-reaching, positive impact on rural residents, businesses and communities,” said Joel Baxley, acting assistant secretary for Rural Development. “Improving water and wastewater infrastructure enhances quality of life, helps support economic development and ensures that rural areas have safe and abundant water supplies.”

USDA is investing $82 million through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural communities, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems. The projects must be in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

May 13, 2019 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in ILGR, news, Mental Health Awareness Month.

Press release:

A number of organizations that promote good mental health, such as Mental Health America (MHA), the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), have set aside May as Mental Health Awareness Month.  


The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has singled out a principal threat to good mental health as STRESS, defined as "our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event" or, "the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable

The causes of stress can vary widely, depending on an individual's sensitivities and life experiences, and some stress can even be beneficial, as when hormones, such as adrenalin, briefly cause a "fight or flight" response, so one can react quickly to dangerous situations.

However, when the stress is not short-lived, and persists over time or occurs repeatedly, leading to a nearly continuous state of "fight or flight," this can take a serous toll on one's body and mental health.

The potential avenues to stress-reduction are many, including: identifying the cause(s); making lifestyle changes; developing supportive relationships; adopting a healthy diet; engaging in mild physical exercise; moderating smoking and drinking; getting restful sleep; taking time for oneself; trying mindfulness meditation, and so forth.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is making its modest contribution by holding a Stress-Relieving Coloring Contest. A full-size version of the illustrated "Anchor of Hope" coloring page is available at their offices, 319 W. Main St. in Batavia.

Color the page and we will hang it in our lobby for the month. Enter your page in our Mental Health Month contest for a chance to win a gift basket full of items sure to BingoCard-betterrelieve stress.  

Another FREE stress-relieving activity, "Keep Calm and Bingo On," will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the ILGR Batavia office. Token prizes will go to those who indeed get to shout – calmly – BINGO!

ILGR in Batavia has moved into a news space; it's at 319 W. Main St. Batavia.

For more information, call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

May 13, 2019 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, darien lake amphitheater, Country music.

Photo of Chris Young by John Shearer.

Submitted photo and press release:

After launching his first arena headlining tour last year, multi-platinum entertainer Chris Young is excited to announce the “Raised On Country World Tour 2019.”

Sharing the same name as his new single, which name-checks his predecessors and country music icons Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Joe Diffie, George Strait, Alan Jackson and Hank Williams Jr., Chris Young will perform at Darien Lake Amphitheater on Friday, May 24.

The first leg of the tour will include more than 25 shows from coast-to-coast through September.

Markets include Charlotte, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Phoenix, San Diego and more. He’ll be joined by special guest Dylan Scott, who kicks off the show at 7:30, along with Chris Janson, who takes the stage at 8:15. Young follows at 9:30.*

Darien Lake Amphitheater is located at 9993 Alleghany Road in Darien Center.

To buy tickets, click here.

*Times subject to change.

Check out Young's name-dropping hit "Raised on Country" below.

May 13, 2019 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia's best businesses, Eli Fish Brewing Company.

Here is the second episode of Batavia's Best Businesses with Nici Johnson. This time we feature The Eli Fish Brewing Co.

We are producing this series in partnership with WBTA AM/FM.  To view our first episode, Charles Men's Shop, click here.

Local business owners interested in more information: Call Lorne Way or Jim Ernst at WBTA at (585) 344-1490.


May 13, 2019 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.86, down 4 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.87. The New York State average is $2.96 – down 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.83 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.88 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.89 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.89 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.90 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.87 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.96 (no change since last week)

During this time of year, switching to the more expensive summer blend gasoline, ongoing refinery maintenance, and healthy consumer demand all contribute to pump prices increasing. A decrease, even by 1 or 2 cents is unusual. Motorists should expect an upswing in prices as we get closer to Memorial Day.

As far as crude oil goes, at the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 4 cents to settle at $61.66. On the week, crude prices have moved lower because of global concerns around trade negotiations between the United States and China.

If total crude stocks continue to tighten, American motorists will likely see pump prices continue to increase this spring – alongside the global price of crude, as tightening supply amid robust global crude demand will increase the price per barrel of oil.

May 12, 2019 - 7:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in landmark society, preservation, news, byron, elba, batavia.


The Landmark Society of Genesee County presented its annual preservation awards Friday night at the First Presbyterian Church of Byron.

Photo: Matt Gray, partner, Eli Fish Brewing Co., Rev. James Renfrew, First Presbyterian Church, Jermey Liles, Oliver's Candies, and Bill and Lucine Kauffman.

Below, links to writeups and photos (or in the case of Eli Fish, a video) for each of the award winners:


Rev. Renfrew with the volunteers from the church who prepared and served Friday night's dinner at the church.

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CHILD CARE WORKER at Genesee County Department of Social Services to work with adolescent youth in a specialized foster care program or in a specialized prevention program, including evenings and weekends. Qualified applicants will minimally possess a high school diploma and clean driver’s license. Send resumes to: Genesee County Department of Social Services, 5130 East Main St. Rd., Suite 3, Batavia, NY 14020, Attn.: Commissioner.

LPN needed for Home Care

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