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Notre Dame beats Alexander 4-1 in softball

By Howard B. Owens

Notre Dame pulled out the close league matchup over Alexander behind the pitching of senior Loretta Sorochty.  

Sorochty pitched a complete game, giving up just 3 hits, no earned runs and striking out 18 batters.  

Emily Pietrzykowski pitched a strong game for Alexander as well, going the distance and only giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, striking out 3 batters.

Offensively for ND, Sorochty helped her cause with two hits and two RBIs. Katie Landers added two hits and a run scored. Mia Treleaven (double), Anna Panepento and Amelia Sorochty each contributed a hit, with Treleaven and A. Sorochty each adding a run scored. Sofia Falleti added a sac fly RBI, while Clairissa Milliman added a run scored.

"Tonight was a good test against a very strong Alexander squad," said Coach Otis Thomas. "I'm proud of the way the girls battled the entire game and can't say enough about our ace Loretta.  Our bats were a little cold, but Loretta kept us in the game until we could score a few insurance runs.  We have to put this one behind us and prepare for a tough league game vs Lyndonville on Friday." 

Submitted by Matt Landers, ND scorekeeper.

Alexander resident wins Wings Over Batavia VIP tickets from The Batavian at the Home Show

By Howard B. Owens
air show tickets winner
Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, and Sandra Wolfley, winner of the Wings Over Batavia prize drawing, at the Genesee County Home Show.
Photo by Lisa Ace.

Alexander resident Sandra Wolfley won The Batavian's prize drawing Sunday at the Genesee County Home Show, which was on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia.

Wolfley won a pair of VIP Pilot's Lounge Tickets for the Wings Over Batavia Air Show, set for Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at the Genesee County Airport.

There were more than 160 people in the contest, which required home show attendees to fill out an entry form and stamp it with The Batavian's logo.

Thanks to Wings Over Batavia for partnering with us on this promotion.

Elba rallies in the seventh to beat Alexander 10-4 in Girls Softball

By Howard B. Owens
elba alexander softball

Elba beat Alexander 10-4 in Girls Softball on Wednesday.

Adi Norton had three hits and an RBI. Brianna Totten had two RBIs.

Brea Smith fanned five Trojans.

The Lancers were down 4-1 going into the top of the seventh inning and scored nine runs.

Photos by Kristin Smith.

elba alexander softball
elba alexander softball
elba alexander softball

Photos: eclipse beauty and fun in Alexander

By Joanne Beck
North of Alexander by Barbara Eddy
Looking north from Alexander, Barbara Eddy captured this scene of the eclipse, which she found to be "beautiful." 
Sam Bobo
Sam Bobo, grandson of Barbara Eddy, has some fun during the darkness of the total solar eclipse on Monday afternoon.
Photo submitted by Barbara Eddy


Alexander GOP looking for candidates to fill town board seat left vacant by death of Sanfratello

By Press Release

Press release:

The Town of Alexander Republican Committee is deeply saddened by the loss of our committee member, Thomas Sanfratello.  

Tom started as a Republican Committee member for District #1 and never said "no" as further positions became available.  He didn't hesitate to make himself available when a position became open on the Town Board and then, most recently, a representative to the Genesee County Republican Committee.  Tom's knowledge of civil and town law and his strong commitment to the residents of the town of Alexander made him an exceptional addition to the Board.  He will be sadly missed by all.

Due to New York State Board of Election laws, the Alexander Republican Committee has to act quickly to submit a replacement for Council member Sanfratello.  That candidate will become the Republican candidate in the November 2024 General Election.  The Alexander Republican Committee will have a meeting on Thursday, March 21st, 2024, at 7 p.m. at the Alexander Town Hall.  Any Town of Alexander registered Republican who is interested in becoming endorsed by our Committee for the position of Council member, please contact Chairperson Barbara Eddy at 585-507-9930.  

More than 300 people celebrate Genesee County agriculture at annual dinner in Alexander

By Staff Writer
genesee county ag dinner
The Cupicha family, Cupicha Family Farm, Soil and Water's Conservation Farm of the Year.
Photo by Philip Casper.

Genesee County's agriculture community came together at the Alexander Fire Hall on Saturday for the Celebration of Ag Dinner, with more than 300 people in attendance.

This was the 20th year for the event.

The Cupicha Family Farm of Bethany was this year's Conservation Farm of the Year.

The award recognizes farms that are good stewards of the land.  

Third-generation farmer Mark Cupicha completed numerous projects to mitigate erosion and maintain the health of the soil on his 405-acre farm, which consists of steep and sloping land in the Black Creek and Little Tonawanda watersheds.

Cupicha couldn't thank Jared Elliot and the Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District team enough for helping maintain the health of his land, always answering his calls, and coming out to the field.

"If you take care of the soil, the soil takes care of you," said Cupicha.

The meal, prepared by Chef Tracy Burgio and her staff, consisted of beef, chicken, corn fritters, maple-glazed carrots, and roasted potatoes, most of which were donated by local farms in attendance. 

Representative Claudia Tenney, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, and Senator George Borrello were in attendance to extend their thanks to the Cupicha family farm for being great stewards of the land.

genesee county ag dinner
Appetizer cheese donated by Yancey's Fancy 
Photo by Philip Casper.
genesee county ag dinner
Photo by Philip Casper.
genesee county ag dinner
Photo by Philip Casper.
genesee county ag dinner
Photo by Philip Casper.
genesee county ag dinner
Jared Elliot, Senior Field Manager for the Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District, Mark Cupicha
Photo by Philip Casper.
ag dinner
genesee county ag dinner
Senator George Borello, Mark Cupicha 
Photo by Philip Casper.
ag dinner
Rep. Claudia Tenney, Mark Cupicha
Photo by Philip Casper

Law and Order: Batavia man accused of assaulting police officer during traffic stop

By Howard B. Owens
aaron fix
Aaron Fix

Aaron J. Fix, 50, of Batavia, is charged with assault 2nd, resisting arrest, criminal mischief 4th, and obstructing governmental administration 2nd. Fix is accused of interfering with the arrest of another person during a traffic stop on East Main Street, Batavia. When a deputy and Batavia patrol officer attempted to take Fix into custody, Fix allegedly resisted arrest and in the process, the officer was injured and a piece of the officer's equipment was damaged. Fix was arraigned and released.

Robert P. Tomaszewski, 56, of Batavia, is charged with DWI. A Batavia patrol officer stopped Tomaszewski on March 4 on River Street. He was issued an appearance ticket and released.

Alicia M. Lyons, 44, of Batavia, is charged with trespass. Lyons is accused of being at Kwik Fill on Mach 1 after being banned from the property. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Jeanna M. Hattaway, 44, of Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. She is also charged with obstructing government administration 2nd, resisting arrest, and criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Hattaway was located on March 4 walking on Tracy Avenue, When Batavia police officers attempted to take her into custody on the warrant. Hattaway allegedly ran from police but was caught a short distance away. Hattaway was also allegedly found in possession of methamphetamine at the time of her arrest. Hattaway was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $3,000 bail, $6,000 bond, or $12,000 partially secured bond.

Charles A. Reichert, 41, of Batavia, is charged with riding a bicycle on a sidewalk. Reichert was issued a ticket on Feb. 25 following a personal injury accident. Reichert is accused of riding on the sidewalk before riding into the path of a vehicle. 

Naquan J. Shepherd, 24, of Batavia, was arrested on a warrant issued by City Court. Shepherd was initially charged with harassment 2nd in January 2024. He was issued an appearance ticket. He is accused of failure to appear. Shepherd was arraigned and released.

Shane M. Ramos, 32, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Ramos is accused of shoving another person during a fight on Summit Street, Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Monique E. Hampson, 31, of Batavia, was arrested on March 4 on a warrant. Hampson was initially charged on Dec. 29 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle 2nd following a traffic stop on West Main Street. She is accused of failure to appear in court as ordered. Hampson was arraigned and released.

Jennifer N. Wilson, 36, of Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass 2nd, obstructing governmental administration 2nd, and resisting arrest. Wilson is accused of being inside a residence on Otis Street and then resisting arrest. She was arraigned and released.

Jonathan M. Falk, 25, of Batavia, was arrested on Feb. 26 on a warrant. He and another person allegedly stole merchandise from Seven-Eleven. Falk was initially charged with petit larceny and conspiracy 6th. He is accused of failure to appear in court as ordered. He was arraigned and released. 

Bryce D. Klehn, 18, of Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Klehn is accused of throwing a lit firework on March 2 onto the porch of a residence on Montclair Avenue. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Erica M. Esten, 36, of Oakfield, is charged with harassment 2nd. Esten is accused of hitting another person in the face in a parking lot on East Main Street, Batavia, on March 2. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Starzha Monae Hilliard, 25, of Webster Manor Avenue, Rochester, is charged with falsifying business records 1st. Hilliard is accused of providing false personal information to deputies and corrections officers after being arrested on unrelated offenses and then signing official fingerprint documents under the false identity. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Tabatha Ann Torcello, 58, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and moving from lane unsafely. Torcello was charged after an investigation into an incident reported at 7:17 a.m. on Nov. 30.  At that time, deputies responded to a report of a car in a ditch off Route 98 in Alexander. She was arrested recently and issued an appearance ticket.

George Samuel Luce, 54, of Gildden Road, Holly, is charged with strangulation 2nd and assault 3rd. Luce is accused of chocking and punching a woman during an incident at a hotel on Park Road, Batavia, at 10:42 a.m. on March 6.

Joseph Thomas Jablonski, 59, of Clifton Avenue, Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation 1st, unregistered motor vehicle, and vehicle with improper license plates. Jablonski was stopped at 3:29 a.m. on March 7 on Clinton Street by Sgt. Mathew Clor. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Arnold Bryan Colopy, 66, of Knowlesville Road, Alabama, is charged with torturing or injuring animals/failure to provide substance. Colopy is accused of keeping two dogs in "deplorable" conditions. Following a report at 4:11 p.m. on March 7, Deputy Alexander Hardsall allegedly found two dogs without any food or water. Colopy was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released.

Michael Andrew Hahn, 44, of Lewiston Road, Alabama, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, aggravated unlicensed operator, unregistered motor vehicle, and uninspected motor vehicle. Hahn was stopped by Deputy Carlos Ortiz Speed at 3:43 a.m. on March 4 on Buffalo Road, Bergen. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Jacqueline Raj Garrett, 44, of Park Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Garret is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart at 2:50 p.m. on March 8. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Byron-Bergen wins history-making Section V title

By Howard B. Owens
byron bergen alexander section v title game

Saturday's win at Blue Cross Arena by Byron-Bergen over Alexander was more than the Bees claiming the Class C2 title.

It was also history.

It was the school's first Section V championship in boys' basketball.  The last basketball title for the Bees came 40 years ago for the girls, and Roxanne Noeth, this year's boys coach, was a star on that girls team, so Noeth has the distinction of being the only person with a piece of both of Byron-Bergen's basketball titles.

And as far as any school official knows, any Section V official knows, and by consensus of all the media covering the game -- Noeth is also the first woman in Section V history to coach a boys' team to a championship title.

One Section V official said there have been other women coaches in Boys Basketball but he doesn't believe any of them ever won a championship.

Being the first woman coach to win a boys' title is "cool," Noeth said.

"But I'm just excited for my alma mater, Byron-Bergen, because I know a lot of great players have played here and they've never achieved this level of success. I just think it's really super cool."

About wining the first boys title, she added, "It's pretty incredible. Like, no doubt, pretty incredible. I don't know. Like I said, I graduated from there. I know a lot of great players that have played there, including Ricky Palermo sitting there and his brother Jimmy. It's just, it's just amazing. Like, it's surreal."

Palermo was excited to see his former team win its first championship, and led by his friend, Roxanne.

"This is just amazing," Palermo said. "There are a lot of years that we came within one point to getting this far, and now we made it. It's just incredible to be part of this. They worked hard all year, and it paid off. Roxanne does a great job."

A big part of the credit for the championship should also go to Braedyn Chambry, who dominated not just on Saturday, but throughout the season, and in the process, becoming the school's career scoring leader.

He was excited to be part of the historic moment.

"Just winning sectionals alone is really awesome because we're going to be remembered forever at the school as the first team ever to do it, but also, we have the first girl coach ever to do it. It means so much, especially with our team. We've been a family since third grade, working together as a family to get here. It means so much more to win with people you love."

Many of the players on the Bees are also the same athletes who carried Byron-Bergen to a shot at a state championship in soccer this fall, including Chambry.

Noeth said that success taught her players that they could persevere. 

"They've got that winning attitude," Noeth said. "They knew that if they got down throughout their soccer season, that there's just no quit in them. They were always gonna go as hard as they could. They were gonna play for each other. And they were just gonna do all the things if they had to, whatever it took to make sure they came out on top. So really proud of them in that respect."

Chambry said there is s a core group of athletes in Byron-Bergen who have been together since they were children, and they know they can count on each other.

"No matter what we do, we're doing it together, in sports or out of sports, our little group, we love each other, we take care of each other," Chambry said. "We work hard with each other. We sweat with each other, and we want to win together. It's all that matters to us."

Alexander Head Coach Jalen Smith
The other storyline of the game was the return of Jalen Smith to Blue Cross Arena. Smith led the Batavia Blue Devils in 2013 to a Section V title by scoring 25 points at Blue Cross, then was part of the team with Justin Washington and Jeff Redband, who was a first-year varsity player, that won a Far West Regional game on a Redband buzzer beater in the same venue, giving the Blue Devils a shot at a state title. Batavia lost to Watervliet, led by two D1 recruits at guard, in the state semifinal in Glens Falls, 60-53.

This year, Smith made his high school head coach debut with the Alexander Trojans, taking over a program that had been 6-14 last season and leading it to a 19-5 record and sectional title shot this season.

"It was something we honestly talked about in the summer and the hope that we can maybe get here," Smith said. "It was really just unbelievable to see this group get to Blue Cross. I've been talking to them all week about my experiences here. The wins and the losses that come with it, how hard you really have to play to win one of these games. I think they really answered the call. And I just think we came up short a little bit in some areas."

Smith said he was well aware of the Trojans' past struggles when he agreed to take the job, but he knew the talent on the team and thought he could win with the players already on the roster.

"When we took over this program, I knew what came with it," Smith said. "I knew some of the players from the summer and spring ball. And actually, we had these expectations early. We bring energy. We really try to bring the best out to each player. And we knew we had size. We knew we had athleticism and scoring, so we knew we really had a chance with this group."

Smith played for one of Section V's most legendary coaches, and as a JV coach was for a time part of Buddy Brasky's program at BHS as a coach, and he said Brasky has been a huge influence on him.

"Everything you see that I do is basically Buddy Brasky from the defense to my mannerisms, that passion," Smith said. "It's funny because I get the quote that I'm like a younger Brasky. I take everything from him. That's someone I've always looked up to and someone who I will continue to learn from."

Noeth praised Smith's success in turning around the Alexander program and said she knew going into the game, the two teams were mirror versions of each other.

"We both have a dominant big man," Noeth said. "We have good guard play. I knew their guards were a little more scoring-oriented than ours, but we just had to play one possession. We just got to beat them on one possession, and then we're all right. So, I mean, even when we give up a lead, and we go down, (the team) just never loses faith. And that's what you want."

Smith said he coaches Chambly in summer league and thought he had a good game plan to slow him down, but he's hard to beat.

"I we knew what he was going to bring," Smith said. "We had a good answer for him. It's just he won the matchup today. So, I give him credit."

Chambry scored 24 points for the Bees. Colin Martin scored 14 points. Brody Baubie and Brendan Pimm each scored six points.

For the Trojans, Kingston Woods scored 22 points, and Trenton Woods scored 12.

Photos by Jennifer DiQuattro.

byron bergen alexander section v title game
byron bergen alexander section v title game
byron bergen alexander section v title game
byron bergen alexander section v title game
byron bergen alexander section v title game
byron bergen alexander section v title game
byron bergen alexander section v title game
byron bergen alexander section v title game
byron bergen alexander section v title game

Barn destroyed in early morning fire in Alexander

By Howard B. Owens
alexander barn fire

A hay fire was reported inside a barn at 10216 Alexander Road, Alexander, at 1:18 a.m. on Friday, and the barn was quickly fully involved.

Alexander Fire responded along with Elba, Town of Batavia, City of Batavia FAST Team, Corfu, Attica, East Pembroke, Le Roy, Oakfield, Bethany, Darien, and the Office of Emergency Management.  Barre was on standby for Elba. Wyoming County Correctional assisted at the scene. 

The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation, according to Alexander Deputy Chief Nathan Fix.

No animals were involved and no injuries were reported.

The location is Blumer Dairy.

Alexander cleared the scene at 9:10 a.m.

Photos submitted by Deputy Chief Nathan Fix/Alexander Fire.

alexander barn fire
alexander barn fire
alexander barn fire

Trojans to take stage at Blue Cross Arena for Class C2 final on Saturday

By Howard B. Owens
alexander basketball

The Alexander Trojans, seeded #2 in Class C2 is heading to Blue Cross Arena on Saturday to via for a sectional championship after beating Bolivar-Richburg on Tuesday 52-49.

The Trojans will face #1 seed Byron-Bergen.

Game time is noon.

Dylan Pohl scored 26 points for Alexander. Trent Woods scored 16.

Photos by Brennan Bezon.

alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball

Alexander Varsity Riflery team competed at the 2024 CMP 3PAR championships

By Press Release
Alexander riflery 0
From (left to right): Abigail Russel, Harrison McPhee, Charlotte Saraceni, Morgan Kidder, Devin Bubel
Submitted photo.

Press Release:

Members of the Alexander Varsity Riflery Team, sponsored by the Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post 332 Batavia, competed at the 2024 CMP 3PAR Championships held at the American Legion Post 787 in Cicero on Feb. 18.

The team was led by Devin Bubel, placing 21st overall with a score of 502, followed by Morgan Kidder (35th) with a score of 464.

8th graders, Morgan Kidder and Harrison McPhee were awarded medals in age group 3. McPhee placed 3rd in the kneeling position, while Kidder placed 2nd in prone, kneeling, and overall.

Rounding out the team were Charlotte Saraceni and Abigail Russel, placing 38th and 42nd, respectively.

While the American Legion season has ended, Bubel, Kidder, and Alexander teammate Katelyn Green will be competing in the NYS High School Championships being held in Orchard Park on March 2.

Alexander riflery 1
Photo of Harrison McPhee and Morgan Kidder
Submitted photo.
Alexander riflery 2
Submitted photo.
Alexander riflery3
Submitted photo.

Alexander picks up first-round win in Girls Basketball

By Staff Writer
alexander basketball

Alexander beat Wheatland-Chile 45-25 on Tuesday the Class C2 first-round sectional playoff in Girls Basketball. 

Alyssa Kramer scored 17 points for the Trojans. Hayden Bezon scored 11 and Holly Bykowski scored 8.

Alexander is the #5 seed and next plays #5 seed Cal-Mum on Friday at Alexander in the Class C2 quarterfinal. Game time is 6 p.m.

Photos by Brennan Bezon.

alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball

Pembroke and Alexander win the Genesee Regional Cheerleading Championship

By Joanne Beck
Genesee Region

Led by Coaches Alison Diskin and Kayla Heinlein, Pembroke celebrates a third straight win for Division I  during this year's Genesee Regional Cheerleading Championship Saturday evening. Alexander won Division II.  Pembroke also included the winner of Ronald McDonald House All-Star, Ashley Johnson, shown below. 
Submitted Photos

Ashley Johnson

14 local students named to University at Buffalo's fall 2023 dean's list

By Press Release

Press Release:

The University at Buffalo has named 4,017 students to the fall 2023 dean's list.

  • Katarina Luker of Alexander
  • Jake Pope of Alexander
  • Annie Slenker of Alexander
  • Aaron Bacon of Basom
  • Ryan Dillon of Batavia
  • Lydia Evans of Batavia
  • Evan Preston of Batavia
  • Morgan Reimer of Batavia
  • Cameron Carlson of Bergen
  • Richard Denson of Bergen
  • Tyler Sanders of Corfu
  • Jaiden Lefort of Darien Center
  • Cole Heaney of Le Roy
  • John Panepento of Le Roy

UB is New York State's flagship and the largest and most comprehensive institution in the State University of New York system.

"Announcing our dean's list is always an exciting moment," Ann Bisantz, dean of undergraduate education, says. "These students have worked hard and dedicated themselves to their studies and have demonstrated academic excellence in their pursuit of an undergraduate degree at UB."

UB named 4,017 students named to its fall 2023 dean's list.

To qualify for the dean's list, full-time undergraduate students must demonstrate academic excellence by earning a grade point average of at least 3.600 while completing a minimum of 15 or more UB credit hours, of which 12 are graded (A-F) credits. Students are named to the dean's list at the end of the fall and spring semesters.

SUNY GCC announces their fall 2023 president's list

By Press Release

Press Release:

198 students from Genesee Community College were named to the President's List. Students honored on the President's List have maintained full-time enrollment and earned a quality point index of 3.75 (roughly equivalent to an A) or better.

  • Phyllissa Mitzel of Alexander
  • Julia Lennon of Alexander
  • Kristian Natalizia of Alexander
  • Christian Haller of Alexander
  • Brendan Burgess of Batavia 
  • Rachel Gelabale of Batavia 
  • Alexandra Christopher of Batavia
  • Ryan Bowen of Batavia
  • Alexander Hunt of Batavia
  • Michelle Witherow of Batavia
  • Elizabeth Clark of Batavia 
  • Danielle Clark of Batavia
  • Allison Dent of Batavia
  • Christian DeSantis of Batavia 
  • Aden Chua of Batavia
  • Paul Daniszewski of Batavia
  • Duane Kross of Batavia
  • Ashley Hightower of Batavia 
  • Clara Wood of Batavia
  • Amanda Audelo of Batavia
  • Stacie Stein of Batavia 
  • Joseph Perl of Batavia 
  • Hailey Smith of Batavia
  • Blake Pahuta of Corfu 
  • Alec Skeet of Corfu 
  • Isabella Wheeler of Darien Center
  • Julia Yax of Darien Center 
  • Michael Miller of East Bethany 
  • Kyra Rhodes of Oakfield 
  • Heidi Burdick of Oakfield
  • Tyhler Wood of Oakfield
  • Kenneth Kline of Oakfield
  • Athena Mitchell of Oakfield 
  • Erica Scott of Stafford
  • Joan-Marie Gabalski of Byron 
  • Sean Whiting of Le Roy 
  • Mia Hampton of Le Roy 
  • Maverick Blachowicz of Le Roy 
  • Makayla Grant of Le Roy 
  • Willard Prevost of Le Roy 
  • Morgan Beverly of Le Roy 
  • Shaun Graham of Le Roy
  • Bryn Luckey of Le Roy 
  • Matthew Bolton of Le Roy 
  • Ian Kepple of Le Roy 
  • Colton Dziekan of Pavilion 
  • Dylan Wiedrich of Pavilion 
  • Lauren Russell of Pavilion
  • Alaina Rowe of Pavilion

Oakfield Girls top Alexander 39-29 in Genesee Region matchup

By Staff Writer
Looking for the rebound.  Two genesee County teams battling it out at Alexander High School.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Looking for the rebound.  Two Genesee County teams battle it out at Alexander High School.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Oakfield was held scoreless in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night, but was so dominant earlier in the game, including scoring 18 points in the third quarter, that they were able to hold onto a big lead and beat Alexander 39-29 in Girls Basketball.

Caitlin Ryan scored 13 points for the Hornets and Alea Geoff scored eight. 

Hayden Bezon scored eight for the Trojans.

Also in Girls Basketball on Tuesday:

  • Elba beat Holley 58-31
  • Batavia 54, Franklin 21. Anna Varland scored 16 points. Julia Clark scored eight, and Addy O'Donnell scored eight. Isabella Walsh scored five points and had seven rebounds, six steals, and four blocked shots.
  • Notre Dame beat Attica, 56-27. Leading the Lady Irish was Sofia Falleti with 17 points, 3 steals and 6 blocks. Emma Sisson recorded a double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals. Gianna Falleti contributed 8 points, 3 steals and 5 rebounds. 
  • Pembroke beat Lyndonville 55-46.  Reagan Schneider had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Peyton Liss, 13 points. Jayden Hootman, 11 points and seven steals. Morgan Coniber, 10 points and 10 rebounds. Onolee Easterbrook, eight steals.

In Boys Basketball, Le Roy beat Batavia 65-51. Merritt Holly scored 21 points. Jake Higgins, 13 points. Jean Agosto, nine points and 13 rebounds.  No stats were provided for Batavia.

To view or purchase prints, click here.

Hayden Bezon in the paint looking to score.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Hayden Bezon in the paint, looking to score.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Rylee Denny ready to pass.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Rylee Denny ready to pass.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Emily Pietrzykowski driving to the hoop.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Emily Pietrzykowski driving to the hoop.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Allie Williams shooting for two.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Allie Williams shooting for two.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Piper Hyde trying to shoot under the hoop for two points.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Piper Hyde trying to shoot under the hoop for two points.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Boy Scouts earn credit, show support while taking in the 'Holiday'

By Joanne Beck
Bills Mafia Boy Scouts at Holiday Valley
Photo submitted by Ginger Miller

This is how Western New York celebrates MLK Day, Ginger Miller says.

"Cheering on the Bills from Holiday Valley," she said, of photos showing members of Boy Scout Troop 6650 of Alexander on the slopes Monday. There was no school since Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Pictured are Boy Scouts Vince, Xander and Quinntin supporting the Buffalo Bills, whose football game was postponed to Monday due to winter storms during the weekend. (They must have cheered extra loud: the Bills beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 to 17 in the playoff game.)

The guys were also earning credit toward the Snow Sports Merit Badge while having some chilly fun, Miller said.

Boy Scouts earn credit skiing
Photo submitted by Ginger Miller
Boy Scouts at holiday valley with kid facing front
Photo submitted by Ginger Miller

Law and Order: Driver accused of nearly striking deputy's vehicle at more than 100 mph

By Howard B. Owens

Alan James Warren, 31, of Fillmore, is charged with reckless endangerment 1st, aggravated unlicensed operation, felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd. Warren is accused of nearly striking a deputy's vehicle while driving in excess of 100 mph at 1:11 a.m. on Dec. 30 on I-490 in Le Roy. Warren was stopped by Deputy Zachary Hoy. He was held pending arraignment.

Rhonda J. Schirmer, 57, of Walnut Street, Batavia, Alyssa M. Rondon, 33, of East Main Street, Clifton Springs, and David R. Fallon, 41, of East Main Street, Clifton Springs, are charged with petit larceny, conspiracy 6th, and endangering the welfare of a child. Schirmer and Rondon are also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Schirmer, Rondon, and Fallon are accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart in the presence of a child. Schimer and Rondon were also allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance. All three suspects were processed at the Genesee County Jail and released on appearance tickets.

Timothy Delshawn Cobb, no age provided, of Butler Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with reckless endangerment 1st, unlawful fleeing from a police officer in a motor vehicle 3rd, reckless driving, aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd, and suspended registration. Cobb is accused of leading sheriff's deputies and Batavia police officers on a high-speed chase on the Thruway at 4:31 p.m. on Jan. 3. He was stopped by a successful deployment of spike strips by Corfu police. Cobb was held pending arraignment.

Maranda Lena Button, undisclosed age, of Park Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th and aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd. Button was stopped at 10:38 p.m. on Dec. 31 on Park Road, Batavia, by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun for an alleged inoperable headlamp. She was allegedly found in possession of cocaine and driving on a suspended license.

Ronda Marie Kern, 42, of Alleghany Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, speed not reasonable, and moving from lane unsafely. Kern was reportedly involved in a crash on South Lake Road, Pembroke, at 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 29 and found hiding in the woods near the crash scene. She was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released.

John David Bissell, 60, of North Academy Street, Wyoming, is charged with driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, ATV violation of driving while intoxicated, moving from lane unsafely, and an ATV violation of uninsured operation.  Bissell was reportedly involved in an ATV accident at 1:05 a.m. on Dec. 31 on Telephone Road, Pavilion. Biseell was transported to the Genesee County Jail for processing and released on tickets.

Garrett A. Breister, 51, of Capen Road, Brockport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving while ability impaired by drugs and alcohol, moving from lane unsafely, and speed not reasonable. Breister was reported involved in a motor vehicle accident at 10:39 p.m. on Oct. 31 on North Lake Road, Bergen. Breister was arrested on Dec. 29 following an investigation by Deputy Jonathan Dimming. He was issued tickets and released.

Angel Manuel Canales, 34, of Long Pond Road, Greece, is charged with assault 3rd and harassment 2nd. Canales allegedly punched another patron in the head, knocking him out, while at Batavia Downs, on Dec. 17 at 12:20 a.m.  No release status listed.

Ebony Lauren Jenkins, 24, of Child Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd.  Jenkins is accused of violating a court order at 8:19 p.m. on Dec. 27 at a location in Bergen. Jenkins was held pending arraignment.

Skarlette P. Tellier-Wilcox, 19, of Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Tellier is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart at 4:43 p.m. on Dec. 29. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Theodle Hill, Jr., 54, of Church Street, Batavia, is charged with disobeying a court mandate. Hill is accused of violating an order of protection by speaking to the protected person while at a local store at 5:28 p.m. on Dec. 27. Hill was held pending arraignment.

Zackary Charles Putney, 27, of Route 98, of Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, stopping on a highway, failure to use four way flashers. Putney was charged after deputies Jacob Kipler and Austin Heberlein located a vehicle parked on Route 33 in the Town of Pembroke at 1:29 p.m. on Jan. 1. He was transported to the Genesee County Jail for processing and released.

Jonathan Will Dodson, Jr., of Chugg Road, Clarendon, is charged with criminal mischief 3rd. Dodson is accused of cutting the wires of an electrical harness of another person's vehicle at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 at a location on Byron Road, Byron. He was arraigned and ordered held on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond. 

Mary Jenieve Almanzar, 32, of Ada Place, Buffalo, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, aggravated unlicensed operation, uninspected motor vehicle, and inoperable brake lamp. Almanzar was stopped at 12:01 p.m. on Route 77 in Alabama, on Jan. 6 by Deputy James Stack. During the traffic stop, she was allegedly found in possession of buprenorphine-naloxone that was not prescribed to her. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Joseph Stewart, 69, of Route 19, Le Roy, is charged with harassment 2nd. Stewart is accused of striking another person across the face with a belt at a location on East Main Street, Batavia, at 8:55 a.m. on Jan. 3. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Ricky J. Smith, 33, of Lockport, is charged with two counts of sexual abuse 1st and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Smith was arrested by State Police in relation to an incident reported at noon on Oct. 26 in the Town of Darien. He was released on an appearance ticket. Troopers did not release more information.

Michael J. McCarthy, 35, of Corfu, is charged with menacing 3rd and acting in a manner injurious to a child. He was arrested by State Police in relation to an incident reported at 12:43 p.m. on Jan. 4 in the Town of Pembroke. McCarthy's bail status was not available. Troopers did not release more information.

Harold Jemison-Pointer, 30, of Buffalo, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Jemison-Pointer was stopped at 10:20 a.m. ON Jan. 1 in the Town of Le Roy by State Police. He was released on an appearance ticket.

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.

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