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May 18, 2019 - 2:37pm

An invitation from Bob Bialkowski, Batavia City councilman at large:

This is an invitation to all members of the community to participate in this year’s Batavia Memorial Day parade on Memorial Day Monday May 27th.

The City of Batavia is sponsoring the parade and we are looking forward to another great turnout.

The parade will kick off at 9:45 a.m from the Eastown Plaza on East Main Street and end at the Alva Place parking lot downtown. People can then attend the Veterans Memorial Service at the Memorial site across the street at the Jerome Center.

Any veterans wishing to participate in the parade can just show up at 9:15. Veterans needing a ride in the parade please contact me.

Any groups wishing to participate please let us know as all are welcome. Please keep the theme of respect to all our veteran and first responders.

Let’s show our support to our veterans and first responders! Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy our annual parade.

Thank you,

Bob Bialkowski

585 409-3624

May 18, 2019 - 1:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A one-vehicile accident with minor injuries is reported at Route 63 and Batavia Stafford Townloine Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 2 p.m.: A second ambulance is called to the scene and a first responder reports there are three patients.

UPDATE 2:06 p.m.: The second ambulance is cancelled; two patients are sign-offs.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: One person was transported to UMMC.

May 18, 2019 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia, scanner.

A caller reporters that two men are lying in the grass near Blondie's Sip 'n' Dip on East Main Street Road, Batavia, and they were hitting themselves.

Now they've stopped and are just lying in the grass.

A deputy has been dispatched.

May 17, 2019 - 5:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, news, arts, entertainment, batavia.

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Janet Root opened her art show of fabric art Thursday night at GO ART! called "Innovations." The show runs through July 6 in the main gallery.

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During the show openings, Thursday, Valerie Antonetty and Katie Elia served as guest bartenders with their tips benefitting GO ART!

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A mixed-media show by Lydia Zwierzyanski and Megan Peters (not available for photos) also opened Thursday.

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In the bar, there is now a member's art show on display, including work by David Burke (top painting).

May 17, 2019 - 5:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, artists, John Hodgins, notify.

Photo of John Hodgins in February 2005 with an en plein air painting of his, courtesy of his daughter Joyce Dwyer.

Beloved local artist, Batavia businessman and former county legislator John Jay Hodgins died this morning. He was 87.

Born in Basom on Dec. 12, 1931 to Ora and Velma Hodgins, he grew up to become a printer, sign painter and entrepreneur who founded Batavia Press, Hodgins Printing, Hodgins Engraving, papersigns.com, and John’s Studio.

Hodgins also served his community -- eight years on the Batavia City Council and eight years on the Genesee County Legislature. He was a former member of the Oakfield Lions Club, a director at the Richmond Memorial Library, and a director of the Genesee County Baseball Club.

A longtime member of Batavia Society of Artists, he had been its treasurer and president, and had many shows of his work locally. He taught local students to paint and draw, and held art workshops in Maine and Florida. He authored and published four books, hiked most of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, ran four marathons, and was a big fan of the Batavia Muckdogs baseball team.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years Mary T. (Paul) Hodgins, six children, 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

As a young man, Hodgins supported his family by delivering milk and baked goods, then he went to work in the printing business, starting as a compositor.

He worked at the Orleans Republican-American, Medina Daily Journal and the Buffalo Evening News before launching his own small printing operation from his barn in Basom in 1957. An initial investment of $500 bought a hand-operated letterpress, a few cabinets of lead type and a manual paper cutter.

The nascent business was moved to Batavia in 1961 and husband and wife worked side by side to grow it. Batavia Press, located at 30 Seaver Place, thrived and in 1971 an offer was made to buy it and the Hodgins accepted the offer. They subsequently started Hodgins Printing and sold only by mail order to out-of-town customers.

But within a year, the new owners of the Batavia Press failed and Hodgins Printing returned to serving the business community in Genesee County. In 1983, son Robert Hodgins started Hodgins Engraving, a printing die-making service for printers nationwide.

To meet the need for a local commercial printer serving Western New York, Batavia Press was reestablished. The family's second and third generation now manages the operations of: Hodgins Printing Co. and John's Studio -- in the Harvester Center -- and Batavia Press and Hodgins Engraving on West Main Street. There is also an online company, papersigns.com

John Hodgins retired in 1985.

Beyond his success as an ambitious businessman, John was a lifelong lover of all things art. He produced a prodigious amount of distinctive, unique and colorful creations.

His interest in drawing was first piqued in elementary school when his fifth-grade teacher asked him to draw a knight on a horse.

When John moved to Batavia, he became acquainted with the masterful Roy Mason, a nature-loving watercolorist known for his sporting and wildlife landscapes. Years later, he spent three summers in Maine under the tutelage of famed watercolorist Edgar A. Whitney, best known for his coastline art.

In the mid-1980s, John and fellow Batavia artist Don Grieger started painting en plein air, French for outdoors painting. The practice was not widely popular as it is today. In a kind of spoof of a Canadian group of plein air painters in the early 20th century called "The Group of Seven," the duo called themselves "The Group of Two."

Inevitably, more artists came along and thus "The All Weather Gang" was born. They still get together some Saturday mornings for breakfast at a local diner before heading out to paint scenic vistas, usually in Genesee, Wyoming or Livingston counties, irrespective of the clime. Among their favorites places to paint are creeks: the Tonawanda, the Little Tonawanda, and Oatka.

"You get the feel of the place more when you're outdoors," Grieger said, "rather than painting from a photograph."

Just as he was mentored by quality artists, Hodgins was a mentor to young people.

Among those who learned a thing or two from him is Mark Fanara, who took drawing and painting lessons from Hodgins as a second-grader. Fanara won awards for his art in high school and while studying at SUNY Brockport, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He has been a tattooist since 2005 and opened High Voltage Tattoo in Batavia in 2006.

Another mentee is Batavia native Bill Mancuso, assistant professor of Art and chair of the Department of Art and Design at Ohio Northern University. He curated an exhibit last fall about the All Weather Gang at ONU's Elzay Gallery and wrote a book for the exhibit about the All Weather Gang and its members past and present.

Mancuso is working on a biography/retrospective about John Hodgins.

"I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today without John Hodgins and Don Grieger," Mancuso said. "John was generous. He lived a big, full life. ... John painted ordinary things and made them extraordinary -- Gardner's Barn, the Pok-A-Dot. He saw beauty in everyday things, the way they really are; not like scary museum Art with a capital A."

His appreciation for the unpretentiousness of small-town life was writ large.

Asked about his inspirations for artwork, Hodgins once said he tried to be original and do something different, regardless of the medium he chose. He could be inspired by something as mundane as sneakers, as common as milkweed, and as mythical as flying pigs. He put his special imprimatur on them all.

For John Hodgins full obituary, click here

(Below is a file photo of John Hodgins' "News Stand" which The Batavian acquired in December of 2009.)

May 16, 2019 - 5:42pm

Photo of Tate Fonda with her parents, Tina and Dwayne Fonda Sr.

Submitted photo and press release:

BATAVIA -- Tate Fonda, a sophomore at Batavia High School, will be a Delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Lowell, Mass., June 23-25.

The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields.

The purpose of this event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be physicians or medical scientists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

Tate's nomination letter was signed by Dr. Mario Capecchi, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the Science Director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. Tate will represent Batavia High School based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

During the three-day Congress, Tate will join students from across the country and hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research; be given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school; witness stories told by patients who are living medical miracles; be inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies; and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future in medicine and medical technology.

“This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, founder, National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. “Focused, bright and determined students like Tate Fonda are our future and she deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give her.”

The Academy offers free services and programs to students who want to be physicians or go into medical science. Some of the services and programs the Academy offers are: online social networks through which future doctors and medical scientists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by physicians and medical students; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance, and much more.

The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists was founded on the belief that we must identify prospective medical talent at the earliest possible age and help these students acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of this vital career.

Based in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Boston, the Academy was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address the need for more physicians and medical scientists by working to identify, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to the service of humanity in these careers.

For more information visit www.FutureDocs.com or call 617-307-7425.

May 16, 2019 - 5:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.
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      Robert Taft

A 45-year-old resident of State Street in Batavia has been arrested, accused of selling crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force.

Robert O. Taft is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Taft is accused of selling crack to an agent on two separate occasions.

He was arraigned on the charges by Judge Charles Zambito and ordered held without bail.

Task Force members were assisted by Batavia PD, Sheriff's deputies, and the District Attorney's Office.

May 16, 2019 - 3:00pm


New Listing: 5 Holmes Ave., Batavia. Here's one to see! This mid-century modern home is superbly built, lovingly maintained, and well cared for. The layout to this almost 2,400-square-foot home is spacious and well planned.

There's a spot/space for everything and everyone!

The lower family room area with wet bar and sliding doors opens to sweet backyard, a beautiful and bright front living room that really out does itself, leading to formal dining area with gorgeous built in hutch. Kitchen is large and more cupboards then most use these days. Upper level offers three large bedrooms, two with beautiful hardwood floors and an oversized master bedroom with half bath and large walk-in cedar closet.

Basement has poured walls, an extra shower stall, should someone need it, and loads of storage space. Garage has been used for workshop/puttering area!

Call Lynn Bezon today, 585-344-HOME or click here for more information on this listing.

May 16, 2019 - 8:40am

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Brewers and beer lovers from throughout Western New York will converge on Eli Fish Brewing Co. in Batavia this Sunday for the conclusion of Farm-to-Pint Week, a regional event organized by the Buffalo-Niagara Brewers Association.

The event is called a "tap takeover." Brewers from the association who used ingredients grown on Western New York farms will take over the taps with their own beers (Eli Fish will have four of its own beers on tap) from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public.

The association bills the week as a chance to celebrate the regional brewers and growers who work together to produce some incredible handcrafted beers.

Earlier this week there were events at Resurgence Brewing in Buffalo, Food Truck Tuesday in Buffalo, and tomorrow 42 North Brewing Co. in East Aurora hosts "Full Circle Fest 2019."

The tap takeover event was previously hosted by a brewery in Hamburg, so Eli's brewmasters Adam Burnett and Jon Mager (top photo) said it's a real honor that the association decided to host the event in Batavia this year.

"We think it’s pretty cool that when we offered to host it they didn’t flinch," Burnett said. "I think that speaks to the inclusiveness, that we’re part of the real scene of the Buffalo-Niagara Brewers Association only in our second year. I know a lot more brewers are well established so it’s a sign of respect to be included."

May 15, 2019 - 5:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Joseph Ellicott, hlom, batavia, history, news.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce our newest acquisition of a land deed for the Holland Land Company dated June 30, 1813 acquired at auction at Bontrager Real Estate & Auction Service.

The deed is signed by members of the Holland Land Company and Joseph Ellicott. It represents a well-preserved example of the documentation that was created to expedite the early settlement of Western New York.

The land listed on the document is a lot within present day Newstead in Erie County. The purchaser, a John Voak, bought 120 acres of land for $359.19, an average of $2.99 per acre.

Though the land is in Erie County today, the deed lists the area to be in Niagara County, as the sale occurred before Niagara County was split in 1821.

The deed is currently on display at the museum (131 W. Main St., Batavia) in our Land Office Room exhibit, with other items connected to the Holland Land Company.

May 15, 2019 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, DMV Office, county clerk's office.

Press release:

In an effort to better serve our loyal customers, the Genesee County Motor Vehicle Office (“DMV”) and the Office of the Genesee County Clerk announce the imposition of summer hours.

Starting Tuesday, May 28, and ending Aug. 31, these offices will open to the public at 8 a.m. The DMV will close to the public at the normal closing time of 4 p.m., but will continue to serve any customers in the lobby until 4:30 p.m., and the Clerk’s Office will close at 4:30 p.m.

This change is in response to the high volume of traffic we have experienced in the mornings with customers seeking to complete their transactions before work. It is our hope that this change will prove more convenient to our residents and will help alleviate wait times. Normal operating hours will resume on Sept. 1.

As always, we appreciate the opportunity to serve the public, and thank you for your continued support in renewing locally and keeping your tax dollars in Genesee County.

May 15, 2019 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County SCOPE, news, batavia, calvary baptist church.

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The membership of Genesee County SCOPE donated a defibrillator to Pastor Bruce Balduf and the Calvary Baptist Church in Batavia during its monthly meeting last night.

The group, which regularly meets at the Galloway Road church, decided to make the donation after a member collapsed during a meeting and members realized that a place were groups of people regularly gather would be a good place to have a defibrillator installed.

"We appreciate you getting this for us," Balduf said. "Now after I preach a particularly stirring message we can revive everybody," which got a laugh from the members. "I don't have to worry about them collapsing in the aisle."

Photo: Legislator John Deleo, who assisted in securing the defibrillator, member Carl Hyde Jr., and Pastor Bruce Balduf.

SCOPE is the acronym for Shooters Committee on Political Education, a civil rights organization focused on the protection and preservation of the right of firearms ownership as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 14, 2019 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

Kirsten Brinkman, Batavia High School Class of 2017, was named to the 2019 Spring dean's list at the University of South Carolina with a 3.625 GPA.

She is studying for a bachelor’s degree with a double major of Criminology/Criminal Justice and Sociology.

Her parents are Rodney and Sabrina Brinkman, formerly of Batavia, and she is the granddaughter of Janet Brinkman and the late Donald Brinkman, also of Batavia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: File photo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos by Jim Burns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Batavia Muckdogs:

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

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

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

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

About the Muckdogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The move is expected to be completed in August.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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