An unexpected thunderstorm at about 1 p.m. on Saturday couldn't keep the Batavia Ramble and Arts Fest from rolling on, though it did put the music on pause for about an hour.
Paul Draper, one of the festival's organizers, said the music will continue throughout the day, pausing only for more thunder if it comes back.
Bands will continue to take the stage as scheduled, Draper said, just before his band, Shotgun Pauly, started its 2:20 p.m. scheduled set about 10 minutes late, giving him and his guys only 10 minutes to perform.
"We just keep an eye on it," Draper said. "We'll pause and pick up as the weather dictates. We can only plan so much, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to the weather."
He said plenty of people were sticking around, and the sun had come back out, so, he said, "I still think it's going to be a good day."
Le Roy Little League's 12U all-stars defeated Bolivar 10-0 after four innings due to mercy rule.
Le Roy opened up the game with six runs in the first inning. Matthew McCully and Eddie Lathan had two RBIs each in the first.
Drew Beachel went 2 and 2/3 innings allowing one hit and no runs while striking out six, walking none and tossing only 35 pitches.
In the third, Beachel and McCulley opened the inning with back-to-back home runs.
Le Roy had five total hits on the day: McCulley, two, Eddie Lathan, Ryan Crissy, and Drew Beachel each with one, and RBIs were recorded by Blake Biracree, Drew Beachel, Matthew McCulley, two, Eddie Lathan, three.
Scoring runs were Sammy Bogue, Drew Beachel, Matthew McCulley, two, Michael Warner, Ryker Vangalio, Ethan Rose, Eddie Lathan, two, and Dalton Luke.
Le Roy is now 2-0 in the Little League All-Stars series
The new bridge over Tonawanda Creek on South Lyon Street in Batavia looks beautiful, and it feels sturdy, but the thing motorists will like the most, perhaps, is that it accommodates two-way traffic.
"I want to remind people that it is, in fact, two lanes," said County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens. "You don't have to wait for a left turn left at the bridge. You don't have to wait for an oncoming car, nose and nose like used to happen on the old bridge. It's two lanes. It's just normal. Just go normal."
The new $2.9 million bridge, 95 percent funded by state and federal aid, replaces a bridge that had gotten so old it was no longer serviceable. That bridge was dedicated in 1957. There were substantial repairs in 1971, a deck replacement in 1980, a superstructure/truss replacement in 1986, and a decision to seek a replacement in 2007.
Now, in 2023, that old bridge is gone and completely replaced by a bridge that, as Hens noted, maintains the historical character of bridges that have been at the same location going back to 1910.
"I think the cool thing about this bridge is that we kind of recreated what was here with the truss," Hens said. "There was always a truss bridge here. I think everyone's pretty familiar with, obviously, making it two lanes is cool, but having the same character with the same-looking bridges, I also think is kind of neat."
The South Lyon Street Bridge opened this morning following a ribbon-cutting attended by both county and city officials.
The only real challenge in bridge construction, Hens said, was concern that crews might find historical artifacts, either Native American or related to the War of 1812.
"When Buffalo was burned to the ground by the British, a lot of the refugees and people that got displaced by (the fires) came to Batavia," Hens said. "There was like, I think, a typhoid outbreak, and they buried people in the creek bank, which is kind of an odd place to bury people. You're gonna contaminate the water, but that was years ago, and maybe they didn't know any better, but (the burial site is) somewhere here in the area of this bridge. We didn't find anything, so must not be that close."
Such a discovery could have greatly slowed the construction process.
This project was originally submitted for federal aid in 2007. The project was removed from the funding list in 2011, put back on in 2014 and delayed due to lack of funding until 2020.
The county awarded a contract for design during COVID and then had struggles with utility relocations, property acquisitions, DEC easements along the creek bank and other minor hurdles, according to a fact sheet released by the county.
The old bridge closed in 2021 after a DOT inspection. Construction started last fall and went through the winter, with the truss being set in late February.
Union Concrete out of West Seneca was the contractor, and Fisher Associates out of Rochester provided engineering and construction inspection.
For a 1986 Batavia High School grad who has lived in Batavia all of his life, it seemed only natural that Jim Ernst would celebrate his ownership of the city’s staple radio station Friday with a visit to a downtown bartender challenge and then to a concert at Batavia Downs.
After all, that was a large part of why the 54-year-old Batavia native and versed salesman wanted to take on WBTA’s airwaves: to serve and support the community at large.
“I love the community of Batavia, and I see this as an opportunity to make a difference and give back,” he said late Friday afternoon after signing official paperwork to transfer ownership of WBTA from Dan and Debbie Fischer to Ernst. “I grew up listening to WBTA, of course. And when I was a kid, I didn't like it much. But I used to listen to school closings, and I got hooked on it. The first time, in the old days when school would be canceled, the first place that would have it would be the radio. And then, as you get older, you start caring about the community and then listening. And by the time I was in my 30s, I started listening to it a lot.”
After high school graduation, Ernst went to Genesee Community College for business administration. He always had that dream of running his own business, he said, the first vision is a sports park with batting cages and such.
While those thoughts percolated, he began to work on a Schwann truck selling food products and doing well, moving up to manager in Syracuse. That position was cut in 2009, and he returned to Batavia, where he was working in sales and met General Sales Manager Lorne Way. They struck up a conversation, and while Way was complaining about the lack of sales at the station, Ernst suggested that “you should just hire me.”
And that’s exactly what the manager did. Ernst joined WBTA in 2014 and never left.
“We’ve been ripping it up in sales,” he said. “Dan, Debbie, Lorne and me were the core. Around a year ago, Dan hinted around that he wanted someone from the station to buy it.”
While it may have seemed a more obvious fit for Way, who had 30 years with the company, he had plans to retire, so Ernst picked up that ball and made a pitch.
“I approached Dan a year ago now. Today was the signing. It went from a dream to reality; it almost seemed like, is it ever going to happen?” he said. “It was a euphoric moment.”
He’s been gradually preparing for this, taking business classes throughout the years and learning the ropes “as I go.” A big plus will be having Dan Fischer as an ongoing consultant.
Most of the programs will remain in place for now, with one major and significant exception, he said. Station staff member Nicole Johnson has been hired for the morning show, making her the first female to obtain that coveted role.
A trusted member of the WBTA team, Johnson has produced, worked the 10 to 2 shift, done live remotes at Batavia Downs and “always been there for things we need,” Ernst said. She will replace former morning announcer Chris Kalen, who has taken a promotion with SiriusXM.
The Fischers filed for the sale in February, and it became public on Feb. 21 when then-advertising executive Jim Ernst, aka Majic Tones LLC, purchased the station, officially titled HPL Communications, for $425,000.
Dan Fischer had said the couple was happy that the station was remaining in local hands and that Ernst was a familiar face around town and someone with no intentions to radically alter what listeners have grown accustomed to after so many years.
As for the music, “we might spice it up a bit,” Ernst said, but nothing major.
“We don’t want to lose the faith of the listeners we do have. We will enhance our sports coverage … for football, hockey, baseball, with a WBTA game of the week every week,” he said. “I’m learning as I go. I’ll use the next six months to learn and grow in the position.”
Ernst has a fiancee, Rachel, three children, five grandchildren and one Great Pyrenees who even got involved at the station during a naming contest. The winning name was slightly tweaked for Konzie.
On June 26, the Bergen Business and Civic Association handed a check for $2,000 to some of the Hickory Park Project committee members. These funds will go towards the purchase of trees for a tree-lined track that will grace the park this fall. The funds were donated thanks to money raised at the Bergen Park Festival that took place on June 10. The Hickory Park committee is thankful to have this beautiful gem in Bergen, and is thrilled to see it receive the upgrades it deserves!
The Batavia Rotary Club awarded eight Paul Harris Fellows during its annual awards night at Terry Hills Restaurant. Community supporters Todd Jantzi and Jerry Reinhart received the award along with current Rotarians Dave Metzler, Dan Fischer, Marlin Salmon, Donna and Paul Saskowski, and Jane Scott.
Paul Harris Fellows, named after the founder of Rotary, is given to a Rotarian or a member of the community that has made an outstanding contribution to the community and is the highest award given in Rotary.
Sixteen Rotarians were also recognized for perfect attendance of one year or more, led by Ed Leising with 38 years of perfect attendance.
Outgoing president John McGowan handed over the gavel to incoming president Susie Ott, who takes over on July 1 for the 2023-24 year.
Michael Morasco was presented with a plaque honoring him for 13 years of service to The Salvation Army in Batavia as a Social Services Caseworker. Mike came to The Salvation Army after retiring from a career at DSS. “Mike was a valuable asset and will be missed” stated Operations Manager Todd Rapp.
Join us at the Holland Land Office Museum for the next edition of our Trivia Night @ the Museum on Thursday, July 13, at 7 p.m. This month's topic is the Battle of Gettysburg, as it is the 160th anniversary of the battle this year. Admission is $5 or $3 for museum members. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 if you would like to attend.
The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the next edition of its Guest Speaker Series on Wednesday, July 19 at 7 p.m. Local reenactors Ed Brodbeck and David Kreutz will be portraying General Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln, in a dramatic retelling of the relationship the two leaders had during the Civil War. Admission is $5 or $3 for museum members. If you would like to attend, please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected]. “This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by GO ART!
Join us at the Holland Land Office Museum for the next edition of our Java with Joe E. morning presentation series on Thursday, July 27 at 9 a.m. The museum welcomes Genesee County Historian, Michael Eula, as he shares his new book "The National is Local: Genesee County, NY, 1802-Present" on the history of our county and the connection to national events. Admission is free with coffee and donuts. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected] if you would like to attend.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C-Batavia) is announcing this year’s Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., which will take place from September 21 to 24. During this time, veterans and their families will get a tour of the nation’s capital and its numerous monuments and landmarks that honor those who served. This year’s trip will feature stops at several notable locations in the D.C. area, including the WWII, Korean, and Vietnam War memorials and Arlington National Cemetery.
“This trip is an excellent opportunity to honor not only our local veterans but also those who served before them,” said Hawley. “I am incredibly excited to host this event for another year. We owe our veterans a deep level of gratitude for all they have sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy in this country, so being able to take them to our nation’s capital to see these historic landmarks is truly an honor.”
This trip is open to all military veterans and their families. The cost will be between $450-$500 per person and includes travel, accommodations, admissions, meals, and even some souvenirs. Those who are interested in participating in this event should contact Hawley’s office at 585-589-5780 or email [email protected] for more details.
2023 Indian Falls Road, Corfu - OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY JULY 1, from 11am-1:00pm! Truly the most warm and inviting country home you will see! Immaculately kept this property has all quality upgrades and is no flip! All Anderson windows, radiant in floor heat(you will fall in love again this winter)upgraded 200 amp electrical service, fully gutted/remodeled kitchen with gorgeous tongue and groove ceiling and large pantry room with laundry is just the start! Inviting country kitchen has small breakfast nook as well as dining area for larger gatherings. Cozy wood burning stove and half bath downstairs for your guests makes this place great for entertaining as well as large family room with Cathedral ceiling and beautiful windows that lead out to wrap around deck with views of the prettiest backgrounds! Inviting 1st floor bedroom suite with closet everyone will be jealous of and newly renovated large&bright private bath that leads to its own deck with hot tub! A 2 bay shop built in 2016 with xtra tall covered carport ready for RV, gorgeous gardens, fruit trees and grapevines and fire pit area with charming waterfall makes this property a true homestead! Offers due July 5 @ 4:00.
The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the winner of the Inaugural Garth Swanson Memorial Scholarship.
Dawson Young of Batavia has been selected as the recipient of our $500 scholarship in memory of Garth Swanson, a former board member of the museum and beloved professor at Genesee Community College.
Dawson Young is a 2023 graduate of Batavia High School. Dawson was a member of the Link Crew, Model UN Club, National Art Honor Society, and CloseUp while in High School. He also has volunteered with Care-A-Van Ministries and City Church. Dawson also worked through the Summer Youth Employment Program at Genesee Regional Arts Council (GoART!) and at the museum.
Dawson will be attending GCC in the Fall to study History Education. There will be a recognition ceremony on Wednesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.
The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the opening of its next exhibit, “Memento Mori: The Historic Batavia Cemetery, 200 Years, 1823-2023”. The exhibit will be on display from Wednesday, July 5 through Saturday, November 4.
The exhibit details the 200-year history of the cemetery, the lives of some of the famous Batavians who are buried there, cemetery artifacts, as well as examples of how people have mourned the loss of their love through the past 200 years. The exhibit is done in collaboration with the Historic Batavia Cemetery Association.
There will be an opening night event for the exhibit on Wednesday, July 12 from 7 - 9 p.m. All are welcome to come and see this interesting exhibit on loss and commemoration in our community. Visitors can also see the rest of the museum after going through the new exhibit. Donations will be accepted by both organizations.
The Historic Batavia Cemetery Association will be hosting a series of three Victorian Teas throughout the summer at the Holland Land Office Museum. The teas will feature conversations with performers depicting famous residents of the cemetery.
They will be taking place on Sundays at 2 p.m.; July 23, Aug. 20, and Sept. 17.
July 23 will feature Joseph Ellicott, Rachel Ellicott Evans and William Morgan. August 20 will feature Dean & Mary Richmond and Eli Fish. September 17 will feature Albert Brisbane, General John Martindale, and Reverend John Yates.
Savory bites and sweet treats will be served during chats with famous figures of local history. Tickets are $25 or $20 for HLOM members, and can be purchased by calling the Holland Land Office Museum at 585-343-4727. Tickets are limited. The event is a fundraiser for the Historic Batavia Cemetery.
The Genesee County Highway Department is gearing up for an extensive culvert replacement project on South Street in the Village of Le Roy. This is a 100 percent state-funded project, and work will begin next week, necessitating the temporary closure of the road from July 5 until September 1.
Detours will be clearly marked to ensure traffic flow and use NYS Route 5, Asbury Road, and Harris Road. Please plan travel routes accordingly.
The initial focus will be relocating the water main to allow for a seamless replacement of the culvert. Simultaneously, the contracted team, comprised of engineering firm Lu Engineers and contractor L.C. Whitford, will start construction on the west side of the culvert. Their first task will involve building a temporary walkway to ensure continued access to the trail leading to Hartwood Park.
After several weeks of preparation, precast pieces can be delivered to the site. One of the key highlights of this project is the implementation of a state-of-the-art precast concrete box culvert. This modern solution promises enhanced durability and longevity, ensuring the safety and convenience of the community for years to come.
4 BEDROOM SINGLE FAMILY HOME. Walnut Street, Batavia Available 1/1/24. Three bedrooms upstairs, One bedroom 1st floor, (Possible 5th bedroom 1st floor), One bathroom, Dinning room, Laundry hook-ups in kitchen, large yard, full basement, parking for two cars. $1,100 includes weekly trash pickup 2 bags. HUD approved. Background check and good references required. Call 585-300-9111
Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to Crossroadshouse.com to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email [email protected]