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December 2, 2021 - 9:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, batavia, notify.

Press release:

Over the last few hours, it’s been brought to the attention of the Batavia City School District (BCSD) administration that reports of threats of violence at buildings in the district are circulating on social media.

BCSD is currently working closely with the Batavia Police Department, and out of an abundance of caution, BCSD has decided to close all buildings in the district tomorrow, Friday, December 3, while the Batavia Police Department continues its investigation into whether these threats are credible.

All after-school activities are also canceled for Friday, December 3.

BCSD will continue to update students, families, and staff as relevant information on the investigation becomes available. The safety of BCSD students and staff is the top priority, and the district is taking these allegations against our community very seriously. 

If any student or family has any information regarding the threats, we ask that you please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370. 
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December 2, 2021 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.
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Devon Wright

Devon Wright remains a fugitive, according to Chief Shawn Heubusch, Batavia.

Wright, who entered a guilty plea to multiple charges during a trial on Nov. 16, is wanted on two warrants.

The public's assistance is being sought in locating Wright.

Wright is accused of shoving two females on Nov. 27 while at a location on Central Avenue and of tampering with the property of one of the women by throwing it all over the residence.

He is also wanted for violating his terms of release following his guilty plea on counts of attempted criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, assault 3rd, attempted assault 1st, and criminal sexual act 4th.

The plea came during a rare two-defendant trial.  A jury would eventually find Wright's co-defendant, Jacob Sponaugle guilty of attempted murder, along with other changes, in connection with a shooting outside the Days Inn in Batavia in July 2020.

Anyone with information on Wright's whereabouts is asked to contact the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

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December 2, 2021 - 3:00pm
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December 2, 2021 - 2:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Dana Michael McGill, 61, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, driving while impaired by drugs, moving from lane unsafely, speeding, failure to obey traffic control device. On Aug. 8, at 2:29 a.m., on Townline Road, Byron, McGill allegedly failed to yield to the lawful command of a police officer and led deputies on a vehicle pursuit.  At the conclusion of the pursuit,  officers suspected he was driving under the influence of a drug and that he was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned in Byron Town Court and released on an appearance ticket.

Brian J. Miller, 40, of Ellicott Street Road, Bethany, is charged with criminal mischief 4th, obstructing governmental administration 2nd, and menacing 3rd. Miller was allegedly involved in a physical altercation with another person at a residence on Ellicott Street Road at 10:51 p.m., Wednesday. He allegedly fled the scene into a wooded area prior to the arrival of deputies. Deputy Andrew Mullen and K-9 "Frankie" were called to the scene and located Miller. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on his own recognizance.  Also assisting in the case were Sgt. Mathew Clor and Officer Peter Flanagan, Batavia PD.

Thomas James Leonard, 38, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with burglary 3rd and petit larceny. Leonard is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released.

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December 2, 2021 - 2:30pm




 

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December 1, 2021 - 5:49pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, genesee county, police, Genesee Justice.

Press Release:

Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is pleased to announce the appointment of Diana M. Prinzi to the position of Program Coordinator at Genesee Justice, a  division of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Mrs. Prinzi is a retired, 22-year veteran of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement where she held the positions of Detention Officer, Lead Detention Officer, Deputy Chief, Deportation Officer, Supervising Deportation Officer, and Assistant Field Office Director.

Mrs. Prinzi is a Batavia native and a 1986 graduate of Notre Dame High School. In 1990, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Criminal Justice, from SUNY Brockport. She resides in Genesee County with her husband, Samuel. Diana was recently hired in February of this year as a part-time Community Services/Victim Assistant at Genesee Justice.

"I am excited to have someone with such character and experience lead Genesee Justice and look forward to working with Diana. She will assume the duties of Program Coordinator as of January 3, 2022," stated Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr.

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December 1, 2021 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, Christmas, batavia, news.

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December 1, 2021 - 4:40pm
posted by Press Release in crime, batavia, news.

Press release:

U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Matthew Barber, 53, of Batavia, NY, who was convicted of possession of child pornography and violating supervised release, was sentenced to serve 147 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron J. Mango and Michael DiGiacomo, who handled the case, stated that in April 2007, Barber was convicted on a federal charge of possessing child pornography and sentenced to serve 74 months in prison and five years’ supervised release. Barber’s supervised release was revoked on July 5, 2017, after he was unsuccessfully discharged from sex offender treatment. As a result of this violation, Barber was sentenced to six months in prison and five years of supervised release.

On May 20, 2020, Barber was found in possession of and using a cell phone and a USB device to view child pornography. A forensic examination of the cell phone and USB device recovered over 1,000 images and 200 videos of child pornography on the two devices. Barber was subsequently charged and convicted of possession of child pornography. 

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief Brian Gould; the Batavia Police Department, under the direction of Chief Shawn Heubusch; and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci.

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December 1, 2021 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
wrightdevondec2021.jpg
Devon Wright

Devon Wright, who entered a guilty plea to multiple charges during a trial on Nov. 16, is wanted by Batavia PD on two warrants and police are seeking the public's assistance in locating the fugitive.

Wright is accused of shoving two females on Nov. 27 while at a location on Central Avenue and of tampering with the property of one of the women by throwing it all over the residence.

He is also wanted for violating his terms of release following his guilty plea on counts of attempted criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, assault 3rd, attempted assault 1st, and criminal sexual act 4th.

The plea came during a rare two-defendant trial.  A jury would eventually find Wright's co-defendant, Jacob Sponaugle guilty of attempted murder, along with other changes, in connection with a shooting outside the Days Inn in Batavia in July 2020.

Anyone with information on Wright's whereabouts is asked to contact the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

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December 1, 2021 - 2:00pm


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December 1, 2021 - 8:49am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in Edna Gruber, batavia, news, history.

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In 1926 a young woman purchased Batavia's Central Hotel.  She renamed it the Palace Hotel.  The red brick structure was located just south of the New York Central Railroad tracks.  The hotel consisted of three floors.  The main living space for the family was five rooms on the first floor, with nine bedrooms on the second floor and six unused bedrooms on the third floor.  The stately hotel would soon be known as Edna's or the 'house of ill repute.' No one knows how Edna got into prostitution, but there is mention that she was raped at a young age.  She was determined never to allow another woman to go through that violent, humiliating experience.

Edna Geyer was born on July 28, 1882, into a poor family in Buffalo, NY. By the age of 13, she began working in a barroom scrubbing floors. At the age of 15, Edna married Joseph Gruber and had a daughter, Florence in 1901.

In 1935 Edna's daughter Florence died in an accidental fire in Sandusky, Ohio. The death of her daughter was traumatic for Edna. Florence had two children, William and Edna, ages five and three. They moved into the Palace Hotel to live with their grandma, the infamous Edna, upon their mother's death. 

It was difficult for young Edna to lose her mother, move to Batavia and live with her grandmother.  When young Edna's father Charles returned to Batavia to find his wife and children, Grandma Edna took him to the cemetery and pointed to her daughter Florence's headstone.  When Charles wanted to take his children back with him, Edna had him beaten and implied that if he didn't leave town now, then he never would. 

Edna was a powerful woman.  She had connections and was not afraid to use them. As a result, Charles seldom saw his children, except when Edna went to prison for a year for "operating a disorderly house." At that time, Edna asked Charles to come to Batavia and run the Palace Hotel until she returned.

Edna, as the grandmother, was obsessively clean and neat.  She maintained an immaculate house, scrubbing the kitchen floor and bleaching the sidewalk every single day.  She was not your stereotypical madam or your demonstrative loving grandma.  She was an alcoholic and would be drunk for days on end.  As a petite woman of 5 feet stature, she raised her grandchildren with very high morals.  Her grandchildren were completely separate from Edna's prostitution business. Her grandchildren said, "She tried very hard to save us from hurt. She didn't care if people respected her, but they had to respect her grandchildren." The children were never told what went on at the Palace Hotel.

It was challenging to grow up in the Palace Hotel.  Other children ostracized young Edna. If Edna thought her granddaughter was being shunned by her classmates, she had no trouble calling the family and asking the parents if their child had a problem walking to school with her granddaughter.  Just hearing the threat in her voice was enough to instill fear in her granddaughter's classmates.  Ultimately, Edna wanted to save young Edna and Bill from hurt.

Edna was a shrewd businesswoman.  When the earnings from the Palace were divided, she took fifty percent of the profits for herself, and 50 percent went to the girls to be shared with their pimps.

Young Edna and her brother, Bill's lives, were a contradiction.  On the one hand, Grandma Edna was very generous with gifts, but on the other hand, she had young Edna work on the muck to earn money for school clothes.

The Edna the public knew was different from the madam. Edna's generosity to children in the area was legendary.   In the 20s, Edna noticed three young girls living near the New York Central railroad in squalor.  She took the girls home, cleaned them up, fed them, found homes for the older children, and adopted the youngest.

Rather than Edna the madam from Jackson Street, you heard stories about Edna taking care of the less fortunate.  At Christmastime, she would spend hundreds of dollars on toys for children at the Children's Home, the local orphanage in Batavia.  She was known for purchasing communion dresses and suits for needy children of the neighborhood. She told sales clerks at Thomas and Dwyer to be on the lookout for children walking to school barefoot.  She would ask that they be fitted for shoes, and then she would pay the bill.  Edna would send men into McAlpine and Barton in need of a warm suit, and again, the clerks would fit that person and send the invoice to Edna.  She also bought uniforms for the police and fire departments.

Yes, Edna had politicians in her back pocket and probably was connected to the Mafia. She knew how to outsmart the local police and could be very strict and often cold. However, most stories about her described her generosity. She believed that you did not hurt someone who was already down but rather should help them. 

Edna died in 1953. Her granddaughter, young Edna, found her in their living room slumped over a chair.  The Palace Hotel was left to Edna and her brother Bill.  Today the building has been sided and made into apartments.  If only the walls could talk!

Photographs are courtesy of Edna's Gruber's Family and the Holland Land Office Museum.

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November 30, 2021 - 9:39pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, Notre Dame, news.

Press Release:

Notre Dame High School is having a virtual fundraiser, the second Ca$h for Christmas Reverse Raffle, with a chance to win up to $10,000! This fundraiser was very successful and popular last year so we are doing it again. 

Notre Dame Events Coordinator, Kathy Antinore, says “ticket sales are going well as everyone could use $10,000 right before Christmas.”

The Notre Dame Foundation raises funds to use for financial aid and scholarships for students. Those needs are greater now than ever. The object of a “Reverse” raffle is to be the last number drawn. That lucky person wins $10,000. Between the immense need and the great cash prize, the school is hoping to sell 1,000 tickets.

Tickets are $25 each and there are 20 chances to win at least your money back plus two $1,000 prizes. The drawing for the last 5 numbers will be “Live” on the Notre Dame Facebook page on Thursday, December 16th .

More information can be found on the school’s Facebook page and website www.ndhsbatavia.com.

Interested in purchasing tickets, please contact Notre Dame at (585)343-2783 or email Events Coordinator, Kathy Antinore, at [email protected].

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November 30, 2021 - 9:27pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, news, business, genesee county.

Press Relase:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider a final resolution for a proposed $4.5 million financial investment by Valiant Real Estate USA Inc. for a bus operations facility in the town of Batavia at its board meeting on Thursday, December 2, 2021.

The 20,000 sq. ft. facility would include office space, training space, repair areas and storage in order to support school districts and school bus operators across Genesee County. The project would include infrastructure to support future utilization of electric/clean energy vehicles and related initiatives.

The facility would be located on Saile Drive in the town of Batavia. Over the next three years Valiant Real Estate USA Inc. plans to create up to 19 new jobs and 12 part-time jobs. 

The GCEDC Board also will hear an initial resolution to consider the purchase of a vacant 142,000 sq. ft building in the city of Batavia by Mega Properties Inc., which plans to develop the building into a warehouse distribution facility. 

The potential $8.5 million financial investment by Mega Properties Inc. would retain nine full-time employees and the creation of up to 11 new jobs. The project would receive approximately $600,000 in property, sales, and mortgage tax exemptions. 

“There is a huge demand in the marketplace for operations and warehouse space not only regionally but across the nation,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “The dynamics of supply chain economics is impacting every industry sector and the need for more storage and distribution space is vital to future economic development.”

A public hearing regarding the Mega Properties Inc. plan will be held at 4 p.m., December 2 at the Town of Pembroke offices on 1145 Main Road in Pembroke.

The December 2, 2021, GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. at 99 Med-Tech Drive.

A livestream and on-demand recording of the meeting also will be available at www.gcedc.com.

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November 30, 2021 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
December 3, 2021 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

The BHS Drama Club presents three performances this weekend of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The play is a mystery adapted by Jon Jory.

Performances are at 7 p.m., Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the door. For advance tickets visit www.showtix4u.com (advance sales close one hour before the event).

The play is presented in the round on the stage of the Batavia HS auditorium.

November 30, 2021 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, BHS Drama Club, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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The BHS Drama Club presents three performances this weekend of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The play is a mystery adapted by Jon Jory.

Performances are at 7 p.m., Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the door. For advance tickets visit  https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/58348 (advance sales close one hour before the event).

The play is presented in the round on the stage of the Batavia HS auditorium.

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November 29, 2021 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

Devon A. Wright, 20, of Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.  Wright is accused of resisting arrest during an attempt by police officers to execute a bench warrant at 4:29 a.m., Nov. 16. (Later that day he entered a guilty plea to felony charges to avoid further proceedings in a criminal trial). Wright was issued an appearance ticket.

Arron J. McFollins, 42, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. McFollins is accused of twice violating a court order at 12:48 p.m., Oct. 27.  He was released on an appearance ticket.

Anthony S. Brooks, 31, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Brooks is accused of throwing a thermos at another person during an argument at a location on East Main Street, Batavia.  He was issued an appearance ticket.

Ricky Albanese, 54, of Hunt, is charged with grand larceny 3rd. Albanese is accused of working as an Amish furniture salesman while collecting Genesee County Mental Health disability payments.  During the time he was working in sales, he allegedly collected $38,684.18 in payments.  He was arrested on a warrant on Nov. 12 by Sheriff's Investigator Joseph Loftus. He was arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance.

Tyler Even Ryan Deleys, 28, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding, plate display violation, failure to obey traffic control device. Deleys was stopped at 1:18 a.m., Sunday, on West Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Austin Herbelein.

Scott Patrick Simmons, 25, of Brewster Street, Depew, is charged with burglary 3rd, criminal trespass 3rd, petit larceny, and false personation.  Simmons is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart at 4:07 p.m., Saturday.

Matthew M. Vanvorce, 33, of Vestal, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Vanvorce was stopped at 6:04 p.m. in the Town of Batavia by a State Police trooper.  He was issued an appearance ticket.

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November 29, 2021 - 3:06pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, faith, holiday.

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Press Release:

Batavia First United Methodist Church will hold its annual Cookie Walk & Vendor / Craft Sale on Saturday, December 11, 2021 from 10:00 am – 2:00pm.  The event will feature a large variety of homemade Christmas cookies for sale by the pound along with 35+ vendors and crafters with many interesting items for you or that special someone on your Christmas gift list.  There will be free pictures of the kids with Santa and the Kozy Korners Thrift Shop will be open.  Lunch will be available for takeout.  The church is located at 8221 Lewiston Road in Batavia.  For further information, call the church office at 585-343-4708.  Pictured are The Rev. Wayne A. Mort as Santa along with Children & Youth Coordinator Sandy Trimmer and Office Manager Anita Giles.

Photo provided by Diana German

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November 29, 2021 - 3:06pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, faith, holiday.
Event Date and Time: 
December 11, 2021 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
November 26, 2021 - 4:30pm

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November 26, 2021 - 12:00pm

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