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Cal-Mum picks up third Rotary Tournament title with 46-40 win over Pembroke

By Howard B. Owens
rotary tournament

For the third time in tournament history, Cal-Mum captured the Rotary Tournament crown on Thursday with a 46-40 win over Pembroke.

It's the first time the championship game did not include Batavia or Notre Dame (Notre Dame has won 15 times and Batavia has won nine, with Pavilion picking up the crown once).

For Cal-Mum, Halee Nickerson scored 14 points and was named tournament MVP. Shea Drazkowski scored 16 points.

For Pembroke, Peyton Liss scored 22 points.

Besides Nickerson, filling out the all-tournament team: 

  • Jaimin Macdonald, Batavia 
  • Nina Bartz, Notre Dame
  • Ava Amorese, Cal-Mum
  • Peyton Liss, Pembroke     
  • Elle Peterson, Pembroke

Drazkowski received the Ray Shirtz Award.

Photos by Tim Call.

rotary tournament
rotary tournament

Le Roy's Holly scored 27 against Perry

By Howard B. Owens
le roy basktball

Le Roy's Merritt Holly celebrated a birthday on Wednesday by scoring 28 points to lead the Knights to a 59-32 win over Perry.

Holly also had eight rebounds, two blocked shots, and a steal. She shot 13 of 16 from the field.

The Knights jumped out to a 17-0 lead to start the game before Perry scored late in the quarter.

Jean Agosto scored 10 points and Matthew Hockey scored 10 points.

 Le Roy improves to 6-2 while Perry falls to 0-7.

Photos and video by Carter Fix.

le roy basktball
le roy basktball
le roy basktball
le roy basktball
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Elba tops Lyndonville 81-31

By Howard B. Owens
elba basketball

Angelo Penna scored 27 points on Wednesday to spark an 81-31 Elba Lancers win over Lyndonville.

Kevin Marsceill scored 17 points, hitting five three-pointers, including four in the fourth quarter.

Also on Wednesday,

  • Pembroke beat Maryvale, 57 to 41. Tyson Totten scored 27 points and had 16 rebounds. Avery Ferreira scored 15 points and Jayden Bridge had nine rebounds.
  • Eastridge beat Batavia 70-49. Justin Smith scored 14 points for Batavia. Carter Mullen scored 10.

Photos by Debra Reilly.

elba basketball
elba basketball
elba basketball

Sponsored Post: Building Supply Auction happening at Bontrager Auction! Bid now

By Lisa Ace
Remote video URL
Want to get crackling on your dream project? Bontrager Real Estate & Auction Service has got your back with their online Building Supply Auction! Head to and start bidding on everything from swoon-worthy kitchen cabinets, lumber, flooring, and charming fixtures, to insulation, appliances, and even mattresses! And that's not all! With windows, doors, lighting, tiles, area rugs, and even fencing and decking up for grabs, you'll be in DIY heaven. But hurry, the auction ends on January 10th, so don't delay! View before you bid with live previews on Thursday, January 4, 2024, 1 pm - 3 pm; and Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 3 pm - 6 pm, at 8975 Wortendyke Rd., Batavia, NY 14020.

Prominent attorney accused of malpractice by Village of Alexander in wake of lawsuit loss

By Howard B. Owens
dominick building bufflao street alexander
A building at 3399 Buffalo St., Alexander, a former medical office, that has been the subject of a decade-long legal battle between the Village of Alexander and C&D Design, Build, Development, a Corfu-based business.
Photo by Howard Owens.

After an adverse ruling against the village of Alexander in a property condemnation case, the village and its code enforcement officer have filed a malpractice lawsuit against the Attica-based law firm and the lead attorney who handled the case.

The suit names as defendants Dadd, Nelson, Wilkinson & Wujcik, PLLC and attorney James M. Wujcik.

Wujcik, until last week, was county attorney for Genesee County.  He served one term, which is two years. 

County officials said the decision to replace Wujcik with Mark Boylan had nothing to do with the malpractice accusation.  

Neither Legislature Chair Shelley Stein nor County Manager Matt Landers revealed any concern about Wujcik's job performance.

At Wednesday's organization meeting of the County Legislature, all Stein said about Wujcik was that he decided to pursue other opportunities. In response to an email from The Batavian on Thursday, Stein said she knew nothing of any lawsuit naming Wujcik and had no further comment.

"I'll learn with your readers," she said.

The Batavian submitted a Freedom of Information request to Landers requesting any letter of resignation or any written notice of termination, and Landers said there was no responsive document. 

Landers said Wujcik had come to the end of a fixed two-year term. He did not resign and was "not encouraged to resign as his term was coming to a natural end."

The lawsuit was filed in August, and The Batavian learned of it after a person who did not include a return address on the envelope sent a copy to the publisher.

On Wednesday morning, The Batavian emailed a request for comment on the pending lawsuit to Wujcik at his law firm address and he has not responded.  

Wujcik and the firm have retained legal counsel, The Batavian was told by a source, but those attorneys have yet to file a response to the lawsuit, and no hearing date has yet been set for an initial appearance by both parties in the Supreme Court.

Alleged malpractice suit
The plaintiffs are the village of Alexander and Daniel J. Lang.  Lang is the code enforcement officer for the Town of Batavia, which has an inter-municipal agreement with Alexander (as well as other towns and villages in the county) to provide code enforcement services.

Until April 2023, Dadd, Nelson, Wilkinson & Wujcik provided municipal legal services to the village of Alexander.

In November 2015, Corfu-based developer and property management firm C&D Design, Build, Development, filed suit against the village and Lang alleging that a building owned by the firm at 3399 Buffalo St. had been improperly condemned in September 2013.

The village, under terms of its agreement with its law firm, selected Wujcik as a lead attorney to handle its defense, a position he held throughout most of the legal battle, which is now entering its 11th year. 

The village dismissed the law firm and Wujcik sometime after Genesee County Supreme Court Justice Diane Y. Devlin issued a summary judgment in favor of C&D Design and its owner Gary Dominick, also a principal in the development firm Dominick & Daughters.

The village's lawsuit against Wujcik and his firm states that Alexander and Lang stand to incur significant monetary damages as a result of the summary judgment, which the suit blames on Wujcik's handling of the case after a previous ruling in favor of the village was overturned by an appeals court.

The potential monetary losses, which have yet to be decided by the court, will not be covered by insurance, according to the suit.

The suit alleges that Wujcik:

  • failed to preserve and protect the rights of the village and Lang through the C&D proceedings;
  • failed to respond to discovery demands;
  • failed to oppose discovery motions, resulting in sanctions;
  • failed to adhere to two separate orders directing the village and Lang to provide complete responses without objection to those discovery demands;
  • failed to appeal the summary judgment in a timely manner;
  • failed to raise appropriate legally viable affirmative defenses; and
  • failed to communicate with the village and Lang to keep them informed of developments in the case. 

"But for the defendants' (Wujcik and his firm) legal malpractice, plaintiffs (village and Lang) would have successfully defended the underlying lawsuit," the lawsuit against the Attica-based law firm states. "Plantiffs' actions with respect to C&D's property at issue in the underlying lawsuit were motivated only to address complaints regarding life and safety at the property owned by C&D. All of the plaintiff's actions were in compliance with the New York State Uniform Code. Plaintiffs' actions afford C&D due process with respect to actions taken by plaintiffs in the Zoning Board of Appeals and through an Article 78 proceeding. C&D did not avail itself of the opportunity to challenge plaintiffs' conduct prior to the commencement of the underlying lawsuit."

The suit states that because of the alleged malpractice, Devlin found in favor of C&D on Aug. 18, 2022, in a summary judgment (no trial) on its claim that its due process rights were violated and awarded C&D legal fees and expenses and ordered a hearing to determine the amount of C&D's damages. 

"After entry of the Aug. 22, 2022 order, defendants failed to timely file a notice of appeal with respect to that judgment and failed to inform plaintiffs of the adverse judgment," the suit states. "Instead, defendants filed a frivolous motion to reargue on plaintiffs' behalf that had no chance of success because it was not the proper vehicle to challenge the court's ruling."

Foul odor
Events leading up to the "underlying case" began in the late summer of 2013 when at least two employees of Dr. Mary Obear, who operated a clinic in C&D's building, complained of foul odors in the building and were diagnosed with a respiratory illness. 

According to court documents, the building was constructed according to Obear's specifications in 2012 and received a certificate of occupancy signed by Karl Bender, the village's code enforcement officer at the time.

In response to the complaints about the odor and ailments, according to Lang's statements in court records, Lang was granted access to the building on Sept. 4 by its legal occupants and commenced a visual inspection. Court documents state he discovered 37 code violations during that visit and that, coupled with the reported odors and illnesses, he condemned the building on Sept. 9, 2013, requiring Obear to immediately close the clinic.

The building was posted as condemned over the next two years, so at this point, Dominick filed a lawsuit alleging that the village condemnation was unnecessary and violated the law and his Constitutional rights.

He claimed that village leaders had a history of retaliating against citizens who complained about village actions and that he had been vocally critical of village decisions more than a decade earlier, suggesting that the condemnation of his building was an act of retaliation. 

On Sept. 24, 2015, the village delivered to Dominick a list of 80 alleged code violations. Dominick's attorneys characterized the list as a vague recitation of code sections without listing specific violations, but some of the violations listed are specific. 

The letter, which is part of the court record, states that the main beam for the structure does not meet NYS uniform code requirements, the foundation system is not built as designed, the floor joists have been cut, notched, sawed, and are not in compliance with code, that there was seepage through the wood foundation, which was not constructed in accordance with the design, and that Lang viewed unapproved methods of construction through the structure.

"Due to the conditions present during our visit, we deemed the condition of the structure unsafe," the letter states. "Due to the lack of required documentation provided for this structure and the contractor not following the submitted plans, I am also in question of all structural elements of the building not in the submitted drawings that we cannot visually inspect."

The letter asked that prior to anyone undertaking any repairs on the building, that a full structural analysis and evaluation by a licensed engineer be completed.

As for the odor complaints, Dominick hired Lozier Environmental Consulting, Inc. to conduct fungal air sampling.  The consultant determined there was mold in the building, but the spore concentration in the occupied areas of the building was within acceptable air quality standards.  However, the same inspector found penicillium/aspergillus spores in the basement at levels that are considered unsafe. The consultant recommended several actions to remediate the issue.

In one of his answers to court filings, Lang seemingly cited this report as support for the condemnation, but attorneys for Dominick note that the report was completed after the condemnation. It also did not support condemnation, they asserted, because air quality in the occupied part of the building was found to be within acceptable limits.

C&D vs. Alexander lawsuit
In late 2016, the attorney for C&D filed an amended complaint that focused on trespass (alleging Lang entered the premises without permission), nuisance, inverse condemnation, tortious interference, and violation of civil rights.

The complaint was amended again on Jan. 22, 2018, seeking damages for violations of Dominick's civil rights under the First, Fifth, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and violations of the state Constitution.

The suit claimed that Dominick's rights to due process were violated because he was not afforded the right to a hearing on the "taking" of his property by the government. 

Dominick's attorneys claimed in multiple filings that C&D was entitled to either a hearing before the building was condemned, or in the case where immediate condemnation is a matter of imminent public safety (which the attorneys said was not the case), a hearing after condemnation.

Wujcik argued that Dominick foreclosed a hearing at the village level when he retained an attorney who ordered Lang to have no further communication with his client, indicating pending legal action. He also argued that C&D chose to forego its right to an Article 78 proceeding and instead chose to file a lawsuit. In either case, any lack of due process, according to Wujcik, was at C&D's doing, not due to conduct by the village nor Lang.

In an eight-page order issued on Dec. 18, 2018, Judge Emilio Colaiacovo dismissed C&D's entire case.

Colaiacovo found that Lang operated within the scope of his legal duties as a code enforcement officer, with a reasonable belief that the building on Buffalo Street was a threat to public safety, and that Lang acted without political motivation and his actions were not arbitrary. 

"Defendants have provided ample documentation justifying their decision to placard the property,' Colaiacovo wrote. "While they may have disagreed with the decision or the reasons offered by Lang, the plaintiff has not demonstrated any egregious municipal misconduct. The record is bereft of any 'political concerns' that prompted the determination of the village or its building inspector. While arguably, the plaintiff may be able to show that the defendants misinterpreted the village or state building code, that in and of itself does not constitute egregious official conduct motivated by the color of politics."

Overturned on appeal
Attorneys for C&D appealed the decision, and on Aug. 25, 2020, the Appellate Division of the Fourth Department, Supreme Court of the State of New York, overturned Colaiacovo's decision.

"Initially, we agree with the plaintiff that the court erred in converting the defendants' motion to dismiss to one for summary judgment," the appellate justices wrote. "The court did not provide 'adequate notice to the parties that it was doing so, nor did defendants and plaintiff otherwise receive adequate notice by 'submitting facts and arguments clearly indicating that they were deliberately charting a summary judgment course."

The ruling was not entirely favorable to C&D, however, with the court finding that the court properly denied the plaintiff's motion because the plaintiff failed to establish that it is entitled as a matter of law to the relief it sought as part of the suit -- removal of the placard on the building declaring it condemned.

The case was returned to Genesee County Supreme Court for further proceedings, which eventually led to the summary judgment by Devlin in favor of C&D.

According to a notice posted in a window at 3399 Buffalo St., Alexander, Dominick has been granted a permit to convert the former medical office building into four apartment units.

First the paperwork, then the footwork and eventually Water District 5

By Joanne Beck
bethany water tanker nov. 2023
2023 File Photo of a Bethany resident filling up his water tote due to severe drought and dry residential wells, a situation that hasn't changed as we head into 2024. 
Photo by Howard Owens

Declaring a State of Emergency hasn’t produced a miracle in terms of water for the dehydrated town of Bethany, Supervisor Carl Hyde Jr. says, but it has established the seriousness of what town residents are facing for their future needs.

“It lets the state and federal officials know the dire situation we are in, and when we file paperwork for Water District 5, that it is expedited,” Hyde said to The Batavian Thursday. “The DHES (Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services) is looking to figure out what else they can do to help out the residents. And when it comes time to review the paperwork, we have priority.”

As the declaration stated, there are 100 residential properties and two large farms without water due to empty wells. All of them are having to travel to fill water totes on a regular basis to meet their needs, including one farm that requires 60,000 gallons a day to sustain its operation. 

“That means having drivers and trucks, some are paying to have it hauled, and the fuel expense,” he said. “There’s a lot of money tied up in this.”

Lack of precipitation has taken the blame for the severe drought in the area, and with little rain and snow yet to come, wells have not recharged and “we still have people that are running out of water,” Hyde said.

There have been a few bright spots in this section of Bethany desert: a state water tanker was sent to the town for a month so that citizens could get their water totes filled at town hall; private donations generously supplied residents with several pallets of bottled drinking water; and a second attempt for a state grant to shore up funding for Water District 5 was approved at the end of 2023. 

Right now, it’s full steam ahead with the legalities for the water district, Hyde said. Since the original budget and related funding fell through due to COVID issues, a new budget and paperwork need to be drafted, and another public hearing will have to be scheduled, he said.

“The water district is still moving forward. We’re waiting to hear from the town’s attorney about the public hearing … that should be in the next two to three weeks. Because of the budget overrun, we have to take it back to the residents,” he said. “We have the full funding for the project, (the residents’) cost doesn’t go up, we have to make them aware of where we’re at in the process of doing the legal stuff.”

Reflections of healthy living in downtown Batavia

By Joanne Beck
batavia healthy living center
Photo by Howard Owens

Rows of glass windows are being installed as part of what officials have described as the open-air feel of the new Healthy Living building in downtown Batavia.

The site that will merge Healthy Living programs with YMCA received some hoopla in a beam-signing celebration at the end of November, and crews have been working towards sealing up the exterior in preparation for inside work on the 78,000-square-foot facility.

Once completed, there will be a children’s Adventure Room, indoor playground, intergenerational room filled with interactive games, a large upstairs track, a swimming pool equipped with underwater benches for swim lessons, a splash pad, and wheelchair and walk-in access.

There will also be universal pre-kindergarten, morning daycare, and after-school classrooms, plus supervised childcare with options, expanded hours, and universal standards to bring everything to beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act code, officials have said. 

The medical and wellness facility is to include state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a teaching kitchen, 22 exam rooms and two medical procedure rooms for primary care, telemedicine appointments, behavioral health and crisis intervention support, cancer prevention, chronic illness, and community education services. 

The new campus is to be completed by sometime this fall.

Tenney releases 2023 legislative highlights

By Press Release

Press Release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) released her 2023 Year End Report today, which highlights her office's legislative and constituent services accomplishments throughout the past year.

“Our office hit the ground running this year, starting off the 118th Congress by introducing 54 bills, cosponsoring 324 pieces of legislation, and returning over $13,000,000 in benefits back to our community,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “It has been an honor to represent New York's 24th Congressional District for an entire year now, and I remain as dedicated as ever to serving our community. I am eager to continue working on your behalf to deliver lasting results to our sprawling district and restore transparency and accountability in Congress. I encourage you to read our report, and as always, please contact my office with any questions. We are here to assist you.”

Read the full report here and view highlights from each section below: 

Constituent Services

  • Returned over $13,000,000 in earned benefits
  • Closed over 1,500 constituent cases
  • Hosted 20 Mobile Office Hours
  • Organized nine seminar sessions with federal partners
  • ​​Announced $9,266,122.72 in federal grants and awards for NY-24

Accessibility and Transparency

  • Explained more than 500 votes publicly on the website
  • Launched three advisory committees, including the Agriculture Advisory Committee, the Service Academy Review Committee, and the Second Amendment Advisory Committee.
  • Replied to more than 43,000 messages from 28,000 constituents
  • Attended 285 community events
  • Hosted three Farm Bill Roundtable Listening events
  • Released seven detailed legislative plans

Delivering Results for NY-24

Hawley says 2024 to be 'one of the most consequential years'

By Press Release

Press Release:

A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C-Batavia) on the Beginning of Session “2024 is shaping up to be one of the most consequential years in our state’s long history. Throughout my time in the Assembly, I’ve fought every day to protect Western New York’s way of life from downstate special interests. During this year’s session, I’m committed to continuing to push for common sense policies that bring down costs, increase public safety, and lower taxes.”

Starting here, starting now: Harvie nominations are plentiful from packed 2023 lineup

By Joanne Beck
Teressa Hirsch
One of the angriest of the "12 Angry Jurors," Teressa Hirsch earned a nomination for Lead Actress in a Play for her unflinching character.
File Photo by Howard Owens

As another year begins to fade away in the hopefulness of a new one, there’s still room for a look back at the best and brightest theatrical performances as the Batavia Players present the 2024 Gala: Starting Here, Starting Now!

The premise is simple enough. Pat Burk says: it’s a new year, the first time for the awards show in a brand new theater, and with all but three of a dozen new shows negotiated for the 2024 season.

“Starting Here, Starting Now is a song written for a musical, it’s not really well known, but it’s about, this is the beginning of our new year, it’s about things being new. It’s just a nice kind of event, and people can see the seating and the style in the theater and how things are presented there. And it’s just kind of a cool event,” Burk said during an interview with The Batavian. “We’re pretty close to being completed, and all of our shows will be presented in the same venue with all new equipment. It’s just going to be a great year for us.”

Set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Main St. 56 Theater in downtown Batavia, the gala is a party celebration of the Players’ “very successful 2023 season” with hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, basket raffles, select performances and — drum roll, please — a presentation of the 2023 Harvie Awards to a slate of deserving performers in this past year’s lineup of shows.

There will be several recap performances and highlights of plays and musicals from the past season, along with a discussion about why people were nominated and ultimately chosen for each award. 

Directors from each of the shows submitted nominations, and four additional directors contributed reviews for the final selections, Burk said. Beyond a nod of recognition for the talent up on stage is a moment to pause and reflect and reminisce about the seven musicals and four play productions put forth in a span of 12 months, he said. 

This will be the first time since COVID — will it ever be forgotten? — for a full-blown awards show. The last one was for the 2019 awards, and it was right smack in the middle of a St. Patrick’s holiday that health department officials came in to shut down the event on those first bleak days of the pandemic, he said.

“And they came in nicely, and we said, ‘Can we at least finish, or can we get the food out of here?’ And they said we had to close up. I remember they allowed us to do takeout containers for the corned beef and cabbage,” he said. 

Does that feel like a million years ago now, or yesterday?

“A million years ago, because we were also in the process of just starting the demolition of the new theater. And that literally started that January 1, and we were just so looking forward to, within two years, we’d be out of Harvester and into our new theater. And obviously, none of that happened,” he said. “So, we’re in the new theater … it’s so deserved. It’s been a long time coming.”

And in that vein, the theater is starting here, starting now, with its 2024 season that kicks off with a concert, “Pushin’ Time,” with duo Eric Carlin and Deanna Spiotta Carlin on Jan. 19. Other confirmed shows include “The Little Mermaid Jr.," “Pygmalion,” and one that Burk is thrilled to have secured for May, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita.”

As for the remainder of the lineup, that will be revealed, except for those three shows still in negotiations, during this weekend's gala. Attendees may want to spiff up for the affair if they like and absorb a medley of productions while supporting the arts and artists who make it happen.

Admission is a $30 donation. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged at

Award nominations went to the following:

Lead actor in a play

Stephen VanValkenburg - Almost Maine

Steven Coburn - Antony & Cleopatra

Steven Coburn - 12 Angry Jurors

Anthony Haitz - One Act Plays/The Bear

Seth Coburn - One Act Plays/Mr. Icky

Lead actress in a play

Jacqueline Morrison - Almost Maine

Emily Crawford - Antony & Cleopatra

Teressa Hirsch - 12 Angry Jurors

Teressa Hirsch - One act plays/Verbatim

Supporting actor in a play

Elijah Van Epps - Almost Maine

Shaun Coburn - Almost Maine

Elijah Van Epps - Antony & Cleopatra

James Barcomb - 12 Angry Jurors

James Barcomb - One act plays/The Bear

Supporting actress in a play

Kendra Morrison - Almost Maine

Cynthia Nelson - Almost Maine

Cynthia Nelson - Antony & Cleopatra

Dorothy Gerhart - 12 Angry Jurors

Dorothy Gerhart - One act plays/Verbatim

Featured actor in a play

Richard Ferris - Almost Maine

Lawrence Rowswell - Antony & Cleopatra

James Barcomb - Antony & Cleopatra

Anthony Haitz - 12 Angry Jurors

Shakeem Walcott - One act plays/Mr. Icky

Featured actress in a play

Sophie Houseman - Almost Maine

Maia Zerillo - Almost Maine

Erin Stamp - Antony & Cleopatra

Shellene Bailey - Antony & Cleopatra

Mary Eckstein - 12 Angry Jurors

Sophie Crandall - One act plays/Mr. Icky

Leading male performance in a musical

Marc Sapareto - Opposites Attract

Phil Berry - Drowsy Chaperone

Marc Sapareto - Do Not Sing List

Marc Sapareto - Cry Baby

Kevin Partridge - A Christmas Carol

Leading female performance in a musical

Sarah Hill - Opposites Attract

Kristin Gelia - Drowsy Chaperone

Maia Zerillo - Do Not Sing List

Maia Zerillo - Cry Baby

Jennifer Dunn - A Christmas Carol

Supporting male performance in a musical

Seth Coburn - Opposites Attract

Sam Bowman - Drowsy Chaperone

Qasim Huzair - Drowsy Chaperone

Deacon Smith - Do Not Sing List

Deacon Smith - Cry Baby

Andy Hamm - A Christmas Carol

Supporting female performance in a musical

Jocelyn Coburn - Opposites Attract

Sophie Houseman - Drowsy Chaperone

Kendra Morrison - Do Not Sing List

Paige Sikorski - Cry Baby

Rose Mosher - Cry Baby

Amanda Melissa Taylor - A Christmas Carol

Featured male performance in a musical

Cass Dzielski - Opposites Attract

Anthony Haitz - Drowsy Chaperone

Steven Coburn - Drowsy Chaperone

Elijah Van Epps - Do Not Sing List

Paul Daniszewski - Cry Baby

William Zerillo - A Christmas Carol

Featured female performance in a musical

Teressa Hirsch - Opposites Attract

Amy-Catherine - Cunningham Drowsy Chaperone

Beth Knopf - Drowsy Chaperone

Kristin Gelia - Do Not Sing List

Samantha Jane Balbi -Cry Baby

Kylea Wright - Cry Baby

Dorothy Gerhart - A Christmas Carol

Youth performance

Peyton Woeller -Do Not Sing List

Quinn Boardman - All Shook Up

Peyton Sikorski - All Shook Up

Peyton Woeller - Cry Baby

Sophie Crandall - A Christmas Carol

Lilah Mordell - A Christmas Carol

Child performance

Annalie Crandall - All Shook Up

Sylar Kuenzi - All Shook Up

Adam Jursted - Cry Baby

Xavier Deschamps - A Christmas Carol

Liam Taylor - A Christmas Carol

Charlotte Reddin - A Christmas Carol

Best musical performance ensemble

Move Towards the Darkness - Opposites Attract

I Do, I Do in the Sky - Drowsy Chaperone

Cell Block Tango -Do Not Sing List

You Bet Your Ass - Cry Baby

In December - A Christmas Carol

Best musical performance solo

Jacqueline Morrison - Three Days Without Breathing/Opposites Attract

Sophie Houseman - As We Stumble Along/Drowsy Chaperone

Cass Dzielski - Run Away With Me/Do Not Sing List

Paige Sikorski - Screwloose/Cry Baby

Deacon Smith - Hallelujah/A Christmas Carol

Deacon Smith Cry Baby
Deacon Smith has been nominated for Supporting Male Performance in a Musical for his role in "Cry Baby."
File Photo by Howard Owens
Cry Baby with Peyton Woeller
"Do Not Sing List " featured Peyton Woeller, front in plaid, who has been nominated for the Youth Performance category for his role. 
File Photo by Nick Serrata
Steven Coburn, nominated in 12 Angry Jurors.
Photo by Howard Owens.
The Bear Batavia Players
James Barcomb, nominated in One Act Plays/The Bear.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Sponsored Post: Great double - not many like this on the market!! Call Reliant today

By Lisa Ace

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City Fire honors past firefighters with "push in" ceremony for new Engine 12

By Howard B. Owens
batavia city fire pushing in ceremony engine 12
City of Batavia firefighters push in the new Engine 12 in a ceremony officially putting it in service at the Fire Hall on Evans Street, Batavia, on Wednesday.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Back in the day, explained City Fire Chief Josh Graham, fire engines were horse-drawn, and since horses couldn't back up well, firefighters, when they returned the wagon to the hall, pushed it into its bay.

With the arrival of combustion engines, it became a tradition, Graham said, for firefighters to push in the new engine into the hall as part of a ceremony putting it into service.

"I was kind of shocked to find out a lot of the firefighters had never heard of a pushing ceremony, and I thought it was a pretty common knowledge thing, but it's just kind of paying tribute to the past firefighters," Graham said.

So that is what Batavia's firefighters did at the fire headquarters on Evans Street in Batavia on Wednesday. They pushed in the new Engine 12, which the city purchased for nearly $800,000.  Most of that was financed through a low-interest loan from the United States Department of Agriculture. The city paid about $100,000 up front from its capital reserve fund.

Graham characterized the new apparatus as one of the best pieces of firefighting equipment he's come across in his career, praising the committee of firefighters and officers who came up with the specifications and design for Engine 12.

"The committee did a lot to think through the entire process on what was best for us and our needs and the city's needs," Graham said. "The way they laid it out, decided to go with a side mount pump, giving more room, the way they put the equipment, how they put the ladders on there. I mean, everything from top to bottom, even the lights that signify how full the tank is. They thought through everything. And it turned out extremely well. I couldn't be more pleased with it."

Capt. Jamie Call headed up the committee and said they were impressed with the manufacturer, Spartan, and are glad they selected that company to put the engine together according to their specifications.  It means, among other things, faster delivery time.

"Their turnaround time is very short compared to some other brands right now," Call said. "I mean, it was a little less than a year. Now some of these other brands out there, they're out to 48 months to get delivery. This went really well."

He said the committee was comprised of members from all four of the department's four platoons and that a lot of thought did go into designing an engine that would meet the needs of the city for the next couple of decades.

"We are so very proud of what it is," Call said. "I'm very happy that we could all be part of this and have this great vehicle."

batavia city fire pushing in ceremony engine 12
City of Batavia firefighters push in the new Engine 12 in a ceremony officially putting it in service at the Fire Hall on Evans Street, Batavia, on Wednesday.
Photo by Howard Owens.
batavia city fire pushing in ceremony engine 12
Chaplin Dave Erhart blesses the new Engine 12 and the men and women who will serve on it.
Photo by Howard Owens.
batavia city fire pushing in ceremony engine 12
The old Engine 12, after 22 years of service, is out of service, and once City Council approves it as surplus, it will be put up for auction, said Chief Josh Graham. Potential buyers include overseas fire companies, farmers, and entrepreneurs with ideas for creative uses. 
Photo by Howard Owens.

Genesee County Legislature appoints new attorney, reviews busy year ahead

By Joanne Beck
county leg swearing in 2023
Mark Boylan, on Wednesday evening in the Old County Courthouse, takes the oath of office as new county attorney, administered by County Clerk Michael Cianfrini. He was credited with having "years of experience in municipal law that will start his service off with continuity of knowledge in Genesee County," Legislature Chairwoman Rochelle "Shelley" Stein said.
Photo by Howard Owens.

County officials wished outgoing County Attorney Jim Wujcik “the best” after his two years of service and with the appointment of a new county attorney during the annual organizational meeting Wednesday at the Old County Courthouse. 

The Batavian had previously asked County Manager Matt Landers for confirmation that Wujcik was not going to be reappointed prior to the meeting, and whether it was related to other litigation matters, and Landers could only respond in generalities, he said.

“I wish Jim Wujcik all the best and thank him for his service to Genesee County; however, I can’t speak to appointments made by the Legislature or comment on litigation that may or may not impact an individual personally,” Landers said.

Legislature Chairwoman Shelley Stein, District 5, who was voted in by her fellow legislators as chair once again, also wished Wujcik, “who is pursuing other opportunities,” well. 

The full Legislature appointed longtime Le Roy attorney Mark Boylan as the new county attorney for the 2024-25 term. Boylan has been practicing for 30 years as a third-generation legal member of the family, beginning with his grandfather, the late Paul A. Boylan.

He was admitted to the Genesee County and New York State Bar Association in 1994.

“I think it’s a tremendous responsibility and a great honor, and I feel like I’ve been practicing for the last 30 years for this opportunity,” Boylan said to The Batavian after being officially sworn into the position. “I know they’ve got a lot on their plate, and I’m eager to help. I know there are multiple contracts up for review, broadband is an issue, the jail is absolutely a high priority, and everything the chairman mentioned will require my immediate attention.”

During the meeting, Stein read a self-crafted prayer customized for the group. She asked that they be filled with hope for peace and unity in the world, and “joy in our daily lives and activities,” while also asking for further blessings for the staff of Genesee County and its “purposeful public service and care of all our residents.” 

“Please watch over our families as we serve others,” she said.

Stein also expressed thanks for the steady leadership of Public Defender Jerry Ader, Legislature Clerk Lisa Casey and the new county attorney. As Boylan indicated, she also spoke of “unfinished goals to bring to fullness in 2024.”

Those goals include a broadband contract award, and the final completion of the new jail facility on Route 5 — “on time and under budget,” she said. There is also continued work to support emergency responders, funding Phase 3 of the ongoing water project, and “judicious use of opioid settlement funds that bring about measurable life improvements in our communities.”

“This is a great group of legislators who see the value of getting our goals accomplished, providing the highest value to our taxpayers and making sure the quality of life here in Genesee County meets and exceeds what our community desires, within our resources of course,” Stein said.

The Legislature also nominated another term for each, Marianne Clattenburg, District 8, as first Vice Chair and Gregg Torrey, District 6, as second Vice Chair, for 2024-25. The remaining legislators are Chad Klotzbach, District 1, Christian Yunker, District 2, Gordon Dibble, District 3, Brooks Hawley, District 4, John Deleo, District 7, Gary Maha, District 9.

county leg swearing in 2023
County Clerk Michael Cianfrini administers the oath of office to Rochelle Stein, reappointed chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature.
Photo by Howard Owens.
county leg swearing in 2023
Jerry Ader, reappointed as public defender for Genesee County.
Photo by Howard Owens.
county leg swearing in 2023
Lisa Casey, clerk to the Legislature.
Photo by Howard Owens.

GO Health reminds public to take action against radon, test kits available

By Press Release

Press Release:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month.

According to the EPA, an estimated 1 in 15 homes in the United States have high radon levels. “Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that seeps into your home through cracks in the foundation, walls and joints,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). 

“It can also be found in well water and dirt floors. Whether your home has a basement, sits on a slab, is old or brand-new, radon can build up and go undetected.”

Living in a home with high radon levels can be dangerous for your health. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and is estimated to cause 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. According to the EPA, because radon and tobacco smoke damage the lungs, high radon levels are especially dangerous for
people who smoke. The risk of lung cancer is 10 times higher than for non-smokers.

Here are a few things you can do to protect your home and family from radon during National Radon Action Month:

  • Test your home for radon. A limited number of test kits are available for Genesee County residents at no charge to them. Call the Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555. For residents outside of Genesee County, you can purchase a short-term test kit at your local hardware store.
  • Contact your local schools to encourage radon education in school.
  • Consider quitting smoking. Call the New York State Smoker’s Quitline at 1-866-697-8487 and talk to a Specialized Quit Coach today.

For more information about National Radon Action Month, visit: 

For more information about how to test your home or where to find a test kit, call the National Radon Hotline at 1-800-SOS-RADON (1-800-767-7236).

To learn more about radon, visit: For more information on GO Health programs and services, visit or call your respective health department at:

  • Genesee County: 585-344-2580 ext. 5555
  • Orleans County: 585-589-3278

Follow GO Health on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at GOHealthNY.

Cornell Cooperative Extension sets annual organizational meeting

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Board of Directors for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County will hold its Annual Organizational Meeting on Jan. 23, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at 420 E. Main St., Batavia. 

Election of officers, annual authorizations, and appointment of committees/chairs will be decided on at this meeting. For more information, please contact Yvonne Peck at or 585-343-3040 x123.

Genesee County Medical Society gives $25K to BCSD Foundation

By Press Release
Submitted photo of (left to right): Jennifer Wesp, Batavia High School Principal; John Jaeger, M.D., Genesee County Medical Society Treasurer; Mohammad Rumi, M.D. Genesee County Medical Society President; Zachary Korzelius, Batavia City School District Foundation President; Jason Smith, Superintendent, Batavia City School District.

Press Release:

On Wednesday, Jan. 3, the Genesee County Medical Society presented the Batavia City School District Foundation with a $25,000 donation to provide scholarships to Batavia High School seniors who plan to enter health sciences careers after graduation.

Founded in 1807, the Genesee County Medical Society “provides resources for physicians, including continuing medical education, practice and professional guidelines, legal support, and a patient referral service.” Due to changes in the healthcare landscape, going forward, the group will be administrated by the Erie County Medical Society and will no longer be exclusively serving the Genesee County community.

“After 217 years, I feel the weight of history. Thousands of physicians have worked in this area over these 200 years, and their mission and vision have always been the same: education, health awareness, and quality care,” said Dr. Mohammad Rumi, Genesee County Medical Society President. “We are happy to present this check as a donation to the Batavia City School District Foundation to administer this Genesee County Medical Society scholarship fund. The fund will award graduating seniors of Batavia High School, the most preeminent high school in this area, who plan to enter the health sciences field.”

“We thank the Genesee County Medical Society for this generous donation,” said Zachary Korzelius, President of the Batavia City School District Foundation. “While the Genesee County Medical Society may be closing its doors, this donation will continue to support the organization’s educational mission for years to come.”

More information for prospective applicants for the Genesee County Medical Society scholarship will be available via Tracy Grover at Batavia High School as part of the Batavia City School District Foundation’s regular scholarship process.

Pembroke beats Notre Dame 50-43 in first round of Rotary Tournament

By Howard B. Owens
pembroke notre dame rotary 2023

Pembroke will play for the Rotary Tournament championship on Thursday after knocking off Notre Dame in a first-round game on Tuesday, 50-43.

Elle Peterson scored 15 points, and had five assists and four rebounds to help lead the Dragons to the win in the Girls Basketball game.

Seneca Calderon scored 11 points and had four assists and five rebounds. Jaden Hootman scored seven points. Morgan Conibert scored six and blocked three shots. Regan Schneider grabbed seven rebounds while scoring four points.

For the Irish, Nina Bartz scored 15 points, Emma Sisson, 10, and Sofia Falleti, eight.

pembroke notre dame rotary 2023
pembroke notre dame rotary 2023
pembroke notre dame rotary 2023

Cal-Mum beats Batavia to move onto Rotary Tournament final

By Howard B. Owens
cal-mum batavia rotary 2023

Jasmin Macdonald's 19 points weren't enough to lift Batavia over Cal-Mum in Tuesday's opening game of the 2023 Rotary Tournament at GCC.

Batavia lost 52-54.

Isabella Walsh scored eight points, Anna Varland, six, and Violet Lopez, five.

Photos by Debra Reilly.

cal-mum batavia rotary 2023
cal-mum batavia rotary 2023
cal-mum batavia rotary 2023
cal-mum batavia rotary 2023

Movember campaign raises money for Genesee Cancer Assistance

By Press Release
batavia pd movember

Press Release:

The Batavia Police Department has closed out the Movember campaign for 2023. The department raised $1,700 for Genesee Cancer Assistance with 19 members participating. Pictured are a few members who participated in the campaign with leadership from Genesee Cancer Assistance. 

Genesee Cancer Assistance, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, co-founded in 1995 by Mrs. Dorothy Schlaggel & Mr. Russ Romano. Their shared desire was to create an organization through which cancer patients living in Genesee County could have access to financial aid and a variety of support services. Since its founding, Genesee Cancer Assistance has been able to assist thousands of individuals; helping hundreds of patients each year.  

The Movember Worldwide Campaign started in 2003 in Australia and has since grown. Movember was created to bring awareness to Men’s Health; specifically, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.

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