Skip to main content


BND United hockey player honored by the Wayne D. Foster Foundation

By Press Release

Press Release:

Submitted photo of Ivan Milovidov.

Countless awards, plaques, trophies, jerseys, and team photos lined the stage during this year’s annual hockey banquet at the Batavia High School auditorium on April 14. 

The 2023-2024 BND United hockey season brought much to celebrate and while the many accolades are not surprising for a team led by accomplished coaches and comprised of highly talented players, the true force behind their achievement is not found within every team.  

This year’s team was special, and their unity resulted in an extraordinary season. The appreciation of the sport along with the love between coaches and teammates filled the auditorium and was expressed in the numerous tear-filled and humorous stories shared on the stage. 

The overwhelming feeling of comradery and family appears to be the true force behind their Championship season, and, together, they have created memories and a devotion that will forever connect them. This season’s story is one of hard work, talent, support, encouragement, respect, and selflessness. 

BND United junior, Ivan Milovidov, described as a top-ranked hockey player and a fantastic young man, played a significant role in the team’s unification, strength, and overall success. 

If you had the opportunity to watch Ivan on the ice, you witnessed something special. Ivan is an extremely gifted hockey player with character and leadership qualities that are equally impressive. 

Among the many honors presented during the banquet was the WDF (Wisdom, Determination, Fortitude) Award, granted annually to a deserving BND United hockey player in remembrance of Wayne D. Foster.  

The Wayne D. Foster Foundation Inc. carefully selects a young player who best displays Wayne’s goodwill, courage, and integrity. The honoree is considered based on their work ethic, wisdom, determination, courage, how they interact and care for others, and their unselfish play.  

Through observations and in speaking with coaches, parents, and players, it was clear that Ivan was the perfect choice, making it a great privilege for the foundation, represented by Wayne’s grandson, Chase Pangrazio, to present Ivan with this year’s WDF scholarship and trophy.

The Wayne D. Foster Foundation is proud to recognize Ivan and the BND United hockey program. We wish to extend our congratulations to Ivan and the 2023-2024 BND United coaching staff and team for an outstanding season.

GCC receives recognition as fourth best community college in NYS

By Press Release
Submitted photo courtesy of Genesee Community College.

Press Release:

EDsmart, a prominent education research organization, recently unveiled its annual assessment of New York State's top community colleges for 2024, spotlighting institutions that excel across various criteria including economic value, affordability, student satisfaction, and academic achievement. 

This ranking, informed by a composite score derived from essential metrics such as post-attendance salary, net price, retention, and four-year graduation rates, offers a comprehensive overview of each college's performance.

Among these institutions, Genesee Community College secured an impressive fourth position in the rankings. With a composite score of 96.6 out of 100 reflecting excellence across economic, affordability, satisfaction, and academic domains, Genesee Community College stands as a leader in educational quality and student success.

This noteworthy recognition underscores the dedication of Genesee Community College's faculty and staff to delivering outstanding learning experiences. By prioritizing academic excellence and cultivating a supportive educational environment, the college has rightfully earned its place among New York State's top community colleges.

Law and Order: Batavia man accused of stealing tip jar from store as well as credit cards from cars

By Howard B. Owens
Jennifer Shaffer
Matthew Bader

Matthew O'Neal Bader, 41, of Batavia, and Jennifer M. Shaffer, 41, of Batavia, are each facing several charges. Bader is charged with two counts of petit larceny, burglary, and identity theft, two counts of grand larceny, two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of personal identification, and conspiracy. Shaffer is charged with identity theft, criminal possession of stolen property, and conspiracy. Bader is accused of stealing the tip jar from Southside Deli (no time or date provided). He is accused of stealing credit cards from vehicles in two separate incidents (no locations, dates, or times provided) and using the cards at several local businesses.  Shafer has been charged with one of the incidents. Bader also had a warrant for his arrest out of South Carolina.  He was arraigned as a fugitive justice and ordered held in the Genesee County Jail. Shafer's release status is unknown. Bader was also arrested by the Sheriff's Office and charged with identity theft 3rd and criminal possession of stolen property 4th. Bader is accused of using a stolen credit card in the Town of Batavia.

Cody Bush

Cody A. Bush, 38, of Batavia, is charged with attempted assault 2nd, aggravated family offense, unlawful imprisonment 1st, assault 3rd, and obstructing governmental administration 2nd. Bush was arrested April 1 following an investigation into an incident reported on Feb. 25. He is accused of hitting another person numerous times during a disturbance at a residence on Columbia Avenue. He is accused of refusing to let the victim leave a second-floor room, causing the victim to jump out of the window to get away from him, resulting in a serious physical injury. Bush was arraigned in City Court and jailed.

Christopher D. Bisig, 37, of Batavia, is charged with sex offender failure to report internet identifiers within 10 days. Bisig, a Level 3 sex offender, is accused of failing to register two internet identifiers on social media sites. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held.

Robert L. Drennen, Sr., 42, of Batavia, was arrested on a warrant on April 5. Drennen was initially charged on Sept. 6 with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. He was issued appearance tickets and released. He allegedly failed to appear in court. He was arraigned in  City Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Marcus A. King, 22, of Webster, was arrested on March 27 on a warrant. King was initially arrested on Nov. 6 on a charge of harassment 2nd after allegedly striking another person in the face during a fight on Pearl Street. The warrant was issued after he allegedly failed to appear in court. King was arraigned in City Court and released. 

Evan J. Vanskiver, 32, of Hamlin, was arrested on March 27 and charged with bail jumping 2nd. Vanskiver is accused of failing to appear in court on a prior charge. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

Jennifer L. Elmore, 52, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Elmore is accused of repeatedly standing outside a person's house, yelling at the person, and writing profanities on the sidewalk in front of the person's residence with the intention to alarm or seriously annoy the person. She was issued an appearance ticket. Elmore was arrested on March 26 and issued an appearance ticket.

Jennifer K. Freeman, 40, of Batavia, was arrested on April 6 on three bench warrants. Freeman is accused of failure to appear in court as ordered. She was arraigned and released.

Kathryn Lorrayne Reinard, 29, of Whitetail Run Drive, Pensacola, Fla., is charged with criminal trespass 2nd. Reinard is accused of entering and remaining in a dwelling without permission in Pembroke at 3:30 p.m. on April 5. Reinard was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released.

Matthew Glenn Raffel, 20, of Selden Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, no tail lamps, and no headlamps. Raffel was stopped at 11:37 p.m. on March 22 on East Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Carlos Ortiz Speed. Raffel was issued an appearance ticket.

Terrance Lee Falk, 25, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Falk is accused of fighting with another person at the Genesee County Jail at 6:55 p.m. on April 6. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Donald John Cecere, Jr., 66, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd, and speeding. Cecere was stopped at 11:53 p.m. on April 4 on West Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Jacob Kipler.

David B. Eck Jr., 31, of Bunnel Street, Attica, is charged with tampering with physical evidence and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Ashley J. Rzemek, 29, of Cambridge Court, Lancaster, is charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th.  On April 2, deputies were dispatched to the Target parking lot to investigate a report of two people slumped over in a vehicle. Eck is accused of possessing cocaine, fentanyl and suboxone. Rzemek are accused of possessing cocaine. Eck is accused of swallowing a suspected narcotic in an attempt to conceal it. Both suspects were released on appearance tickets.

Donald Ryan, 40, of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, and failure to signal; Brandi Hough, 28, of Bank Street Road, is charged with tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, Elba; and, Eddie Miles, 52, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. A vehicle reportedly driven by Ryan on Park Road, Batavia, was stopped by a deputy for an alleged traffic violation on April 5. They were allegedly found in possession of narcotics. Ryan and Hough allegedly tried to conceal drug paraphernalia.

Jose Antonio Morales, 46, of Marrow Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI, moving from lane unsafely, and driving left of pavement markings. Morales was reportedly involved in a motor vehicle accident on Perry Road, Pavilion, at 5:49 p.m. on April 8. Morales was charged following an investigation by Deputy Alexander Hadsall. He was arraigned and released.

Joel Morales-Cruz, 49, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .8 or greater, circumventing an interlock device, aggravated unlicensed operation, and failure to stop at a stop sign.  Morales-Cruz was stopped at 2:36 a.m. on April 7 on Park Road, Batavia, by Deputy Jeremiah Gechell. He is accused of driving drunk with a prior DWI conviction. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Joseph Jonathan Kuzma, 44, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, aggravated unlicensed operation, speeding, unlicensed driver, and no inspection certificate. Kuzma was stopped at 7:51 p.m. on April 9 on Buffalo Road, Bergen, by Deputy Zachary Hoy. Kuzma was released on an appearance ticket.

Jon Hoyt Bush, Sr., 64, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal trespass 3rd, driving while impaired by drugs, controlled substance not in original container, and unsafe turn. Bush was stopped at 4:05 p.m. on Feb. 25 on Beaver Meadow Road, Bryon. He was arrested on April 13 following an investigation by Deputy Zachary Hoy.  He was issued an appearance ticket.

Jessica Jane Warning, 27, of Boston State Road, Boston, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, running a red light, unsafe lane change, and drinking alcohol or using cannabis in a motor vehicle on a highway. Warning was stopped at 1:30 a.m. on April 14 on Main Road, Batavia, by Deputy Jacob Kiplar. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Four friends, multiple stories, in Four the Record at Main St. 56 Theater this weekend

By Howard B. Owens
batavia players four the record
Sarah Hill
Photo by Howard Owens

Four friends who have a lot to say, and they say it through song -- sharing their stories, their ups and their downs, and their secrets -- is the motif that makes Four the Record, a cabaret show, an entertaining show at Main St. 56 Theater this weekend.

The four-person cast features four Harvie Award winners: Deacon Smith, Jocelyn Coburn (not available for photos), Sarah Hill and Sophie Houseman.

The show opens on Friday at 7:30 p.m., with performances on Saturday at 7:30 and on Sunday at 2 p.m.

To purchase tickets, click HERE.

batavia players four the record
Sarah Hill and Deacon Smith.
Photo by Howard Owens
batavia players four the record
Sophie Houseman
Photo by Howard Owens
batavia players four the record
Sarah Hill 
Photo by Howard Owens
batavia players four the record
Deacon Smith
Photo by Howard Owens
batavia players four the record
Sophie Houseman
Photo by Howard Owens
batavia players four the record
Sophie Houseman
Photo by Howard Owens

Retiring optician looking to get Batavians framed before closing up shop

By Howard B. Owens
classic optical closeout

Even as he heads off into retirement after 40 years in business, Bob Chiarmonte wants to ensure that many of the 1,500 backstock of eyeglass frames he has go to his former customers and other local residents before sending them to auction.

Chiarmonte is offering the remainder of his inventory of eyeglass frames for $10 to $25 per frame, which can be filled with prescription lenses by any optometrist shop. That's a good bit less costly than the typical retail price of $100 to $150, Chiarmonte said.

Chiarmonte is keeping the shop open into sometime next week in order to sell as many frames as possible. He's also selling all of his store fixtures -- and if there's an  optometrist looking for examination gear, he's got that, too.

Classic Optical is located at 44 Batavia City Centre, Batavia. 

Previously: Optician sets his sights on family, travel in retirement after nearly 40 years

Photos by Howard Owens

classic optical closeout

Photo: Woodchuck poses for photo op

By Staff Writer
Submitted photo from Jason Smith during his peaceful Sunday morning run through St. Joseph’s Cemetery, and a woodchuck popped his head out to say good morning.

Empire State Development to receive partner of the year award at GCEDC annual meeting

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) has announced that the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) will receive its Economic Development Partner of the Year award at the GCEDC’s annual meeting.

“In just the last few years, Genesee County has experienced some of the largest economic development projects in our history, including over $1 billion in investment at the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) by Plug Power and Edwards Vacuum as well as the recent expansion announced by HP Hood in the Genesee Agri-Business Park,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. 

“This is a long-deserved recognition and one we are proud to make because, with the collaboration and partnership of ESD, these and many other projects have brought great careers and investments to Genesee County.” 

Jeff Janiszewski, ESD Senior Vice President, Strategic Business Development/Global NY, will accept the award as well as provide the keynote address.

“Under the leadership of New York Governor Kathy Hochul and ESD President and CEO Hope Knight we are proud of our work in using our resources to bring private sector investment and jobs to the Rochester and Finger Lakes region, including Genesee County and in particular at STAMP,” said Janiszewski. 

“I look forward to speaking to the attendees at the GCEDC Annual Meeting about our strategic approach not only regarding our investment decisions in Genesee County but in counties, cities, towns, and villages across New York State.”

The annual meeting will be held on Friday, April 26 at Batavia Downs. Approximately 250 business, government, community, and economic development leaders are expected to attend. To register for the GCEDC annual meeting, visit the event’s website or contact the GCEDC at

Holland Land Office Museum announces May events

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the next edition of its Guest Speaker Series. On Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m., we welcome Buffalo author John Zach as he shares his latest book, "Built to Burn: The Cleveland Hill School Fire." Admission is $5 or $3 for museum members. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or if you plan to attend.

“Built to Burn,” tells the story of the tragic 1954 Cleveland Hill school fire in Cheektowaga, the worst school fire in New York State History. Fifteen children died, sixteen were burned, many critically. Three adults were also injured, one with life-threatening injuries. The cause of the flash fire was never officially blamed on one particular person. The book, however, suggests and tells otherwise. The narrative captures the lives of many of the survivors including one youngster who would later rub elbows with Elvis Presley, Paul Simon, and Art Garfunkel and be inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. The release of my book coincides with 70 years marking the fire, on March 31."

"This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by GO ART!"

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the next edition of its Concert Series on Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. Bart Dentino will be playing an acoustic selection of music that will include original compositions and songs by such artists as James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, The Beatles, and others. Bart was twice selected Best Performer and Best Vocalist of the Year by Freetime Magazine. It was the first time in the magazine’s history an artist was selected in two individual categories. Admission is $5 or $4 for museum members. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or if you would like to attend.

"This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by GO ART!"

Join us at the Holland Land Office Museum for the next edition of our Trivia Night @ the Museum on Thursday, May 8 at 7 p.m. In honor of the end of World War II in Europe, our topic will be the 1940s sometimes called "The Flying Forties." Admission is $5 or $3 for museum members. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or if you would like to attend.

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to present the next edition of our Guest Speaker Series. On Wednesday, May 15 at 6 p.m., the museum welcomes Derrick Pratt of the Erie Canal Museum. We will be presenting "The Center of It All: Baseball on the Erie Canal."

"Discover the Erie Canal’s many connections to the earliest days of professional baseball, told through the stories of some of the game’s biggest stars and others long forgotten." Admission is $5 or $3 for museum members. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or if you would like to attend. 

"This project is made possible with funds from the statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by GO ART!"

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the next edition of our Java with Joe E. series on Thursday, May 23 at 9 a.m. We welcome back Genesee County Historian Michael Eula as he shares snippets from his new book on the history of Genesee County "Historic Chronicles of Genesee County." Copies of the book will be available for $24.99, and Michael will be signing copies. Admission is free with coffee and pastries.

"The dramatic events of American history have left an indelible mark on the life and culture of New York's Genesee County. The Cold War threat of nuclear destruction led to local preparedness drills in the 1950s, and Genesee classrooms and homes were not spared. Social movements, the Great Depression and New Deal-era policies reshaped how residents viewed the role of government in county life. Genesee women led the charge for women's suffrage in the twentieth century and helped forge new opportunities for female roles in work and public life. Historian Michael J. Eula presents a variety of historical essays from throughout Genesee County's past and shows how the nation's story unfolded from Batavia to Bergen."

Java with Joe E. is sponsored by Pub Hub Coffee for 2024.

Leadership Genesee discovers the abundance of Genesee County arts & culture

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Leadership Genesee 2024 participants hear from Kathy White about what it takes to present a live performance at Main St. 56 Theater, home of the Batavia Players.

By Peggy Marone LG ‘02, Director

Press Release:

How many times have you driven in downtown Batavia and never noticed there are more than 20 murals between Jackson, Ellicott, and Bank Streets? The Leadership Genesee (LG) Class of 2024 discovered them during a ‘scavenger hunt’ activity on March 27, LG Arts & Culture Day.

One participant shared, “The scavenger hunt allowed us to really observe the murals. How often I drive by these murals and don’t really notice the detail or the extent of artwork on display. Some of the murals I have never seen or noticed (like the one on the fire hydrant). Art can be made anywhere!”

Leadership Genesee Our Arts & Culture Day works to raise awareness about arts initiatives and activities in Genesee County and reveal some of our cultural history and traditions. “This month's topic really encouraged me to think about my personal background and heritage. Our community is so diverse!” said one participant.

The group met at Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (Go Art!) for the morning hearing from Gregory Hallock LG ’18, Executive Director, about how the organization has grown over the past several years. The organization is dedicated to developing the cultural life in Genesee and Orleans Counties by facilitating the creation, presentation, and experience of art, heritage, and traditions. The facility has a dance studio, podcast studio, displayed art, open mic sessions, Tavern 2.o.1 as well as offering community events. The class had the opportunity to tour the facility and participate in a Bollywood Dance session.

Terry Abrams LG ’07, Curator/ Collections Manager, Niagara County Historical Society, shared information about The Tonawanda Seneca Nation, our neighbors in Genesee County. Terry spoke of Seneca's history and culture and how their values remain strong and intact. Language, song, art, dance, and sports are all vital aspects of Seneca culture. 

After a tour of Main St. 56 Theater and learning about the initiatives from Batavia Players to bring additional live theater to Genesee County and offer options to kids for theater camps, the group visited The Harve in the Harvester Center. The Harve is a 7,000-square-foot hidden gem of art and music! Nestled within The Harvester Center with its entrance just through Pub Coffee Hub this vibrant venue is a haven for creativity and entertainment.

After sharing stories of their cultural heritage, the group participated in a drum circle led by Jackie Swaby, Executive Director of the Arts Council for Wyoming County. Jackie not only shared her expertise in drumming but the background and significance of drumming. The group ended the day by participating in activities to create their own stories through art. 

Leadership Genesee is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, an employer, and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities, and provides equal program and employment opportunities. 

For more information, visit LG’s website at; “like” LG on Facebook at; or contact Program Director Peggy Marone at (585) 343-3040, ext. 118 or

Submitted photo of members of the LG Class of 2024 pose in front of the downtown Batavia mural they discovered during the scavenger hunt activity.

Batavia slams Pittsford-Sutherland on way to 10-4 win on the road

By Staff Writer
Cole Grazioplene hits a three run RBI in the third ignites Devils towards win.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Cole Grazioplene hits a three-run RBI double.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Batavia piled on the runs against Pittsford-Sutherland on Monday behind a strong outing by pitcher Bronx Bucholz for a 10-4 win.

Bucholz notched a complete-game victory, going evening innings, giving up only four hits and whiffing five batters.

The Blue Devils were two 2-0 after two winnings.  In the third, Evan Alexander doubled, followed by walk to Maggio Bucholze. Carter Mullen laid down a bunt and beat out the throw to load the bases. Col Grazioplene cleared the bases with a double. Dane Dombrowski followed with an RBI single, giving Batavia a 4-2 lead.

Pittsford-Sutherland tied the game in the fourth inning. 

In the seventh, Grazioplene reached on a single. Ryan Fazio singled. Then Dombrowski singles to load the bases. Mekhi Fortes, in the clean-up spot, did just that with a grand slam over the leftfield fence.  

Jameson Motkyka also hit a bomb on the next pitch.


  • Mekhi Fortes  2-3, RBI Single, grand slam, five RBIs
  • Cole Grazioplene 3-4 ,double, two RBIs two Runs scored
  • Dane Dombrowski 3-4, RBI, run scored
  • Evan Alexander 2-4, two doubles
  • Jameson Motyka 1-4, HR
The Blue Devils are now 2-4 (2-1 in league play). They play Sutherland again at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Dwyer Stadium.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Photos by Steve Ognibene

Field clean up at MacArthur Park is this weekend for upcoming baseball season

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Batavia Youth Baseball League is hosting a Field Clean Up to get ready for the upcoming baseball season. 

Any local families registered to play this season or community volunteers interested in helping can show up at MacArthur Park on Denio Street, Batavia this coming weekend. 

Come help on either Friday, April 19 from 4 – 6 p.m. or Saturday, April 20 from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

During Field Clean-Up times, the Batavia Youth Baseball League will also be taking any donations of used baseball equipment for youth in need this season. The league will also be offering youth baseball pants to players who need pants for upcoming practices.

Photos: Genesee County Home Show 2024

By Howard B. Owens
Genesee County Home Show 2024

These are photos from Saturday's Genesee County Home Show, which the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce hosted and organized.

The final day of the home show is Sunday (today), and it runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday's show was well attended, and about a dozen new vendors, plus many of the usual locally owned home improvement-related vendors, were on the floor of the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena.

Photos by Howard Owens.

Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024
Genesee County Home Show 2024

Tickets now on sale for GCC's 43rd annual fashion show 'A Night at the Cinema'

By Press Release
Photo of GCC's 2023 Fashion Show, courtesy of Genesee Community College.

Press Release:

Lights, Camera, Fashion! Get ready to experience glamour, style, and cinematic magic as GCC's fashion program presents its 43rd annual fashion show "A Night at the Cinema," an immersive journey through the silver screen's most iconic moments and timeless fashion inspirations. 

Set to take place on Saturday, May 4 at 6 p.m. at the Richard C. Call Arena on GCC's Batavia Campus, this exclusive event promises to be a testament to the creativity and talent of GCC's fashion students.

Each of the scene coordinators presents a line inspired by a genre of film. Whether you are enamored by rom-coms, intrigued by paranormal films, inspired by historical films, energized by sci-fi, captivated by the red carpet premiere, or mystified by fairytales and fantasy, you will find looks you love on the runway. From luxurious evening gowns to sleek, sophisticated suits, each garment has been meticulously designed to evoke the spirit of Hollywood. Merchandising students are also collaborating with local boutiques including Savers, Goodwill of Batavia, and Catwalk Consignments of Clarence to showcase a diverse range of styles and demonstrate the versatility of fashion through sustainable and thrift finds.

In addition to the breathtaking fashion showcase, "A Night at the Cinema" will feature immersive set designs and special surprises that promise to transport attendees to the golden age of cinema. With every detail curated to evoke the magic of the silver screen, guests will be immersed in a world where fashion and film converge in a display of artistry and elegance.

The GCC fashion program extends its gratitude to show sponsors Sage Rutty and Company, Inc., Cleaner Than Before and More Cleaning Services, and Whole Life Fitness for their unwavering commitment to fostering creativity and innovation in the fashion program. Their dedication to the students and community is deeply appreciated, and the College is honored to have them as partners in this spectacular event.

"I am incredibly excited for our students to showcase their talents and creativity through this year's fashion show," said GCC's Assistant Professor of Fashion Business Merchandising, Laura Taylor. "A Night at the Cinema" is a truly immersive production, featuring pre-show interviews, photo-ops with coordinators, and a post-show party and vendor market. Our students have put in a tremendous amount of work and effort to make this year's show, a truly unforgettable experience. We are immensely grateful to our generous sponsors whose support has made this event possible."

As it has in the past, the Fashion Show will include a vendor fair giving local businesses a chance to showcase their products and services. There are still a few tables available for additional vendors. Interested businesses should email Tables are only $25.

This year's fashion show offers exclusive sponsorship opportunities for businesses, organizations, and individuals interested in supporting the GCC fashion program. For more information, please contact Laura Taylor at Don't miss out on this exciting event, celebrating the timelessness of fashion and the talent of GCC's fashion students.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a red carpet paparazzi photo shoot, vendor fair, and complimentary concession stand. Following the show, attendees can enjoy a meet and greet with the designers and stylists.

Tickets are on sale now at General admission tickets are available for $10 and include access to the vendor fair, meet and greet, and a selfie photo spot. VIP tickets are available for $25 and include the same perks of general admission along with seating in the VIP area and a gift bag. 

General admission tickets will be available until May 4 at 6 a.m., and a limited number of walk-in general admission tickets will be available at the door for cash only. VIP tickets will be available through May 1. VIP tickets will not be available at the door.

For more information contact Vice President, Development, Admissions, and External Affairs Justin M. Johnston at (585) 345-6809, or via email:

GCC's Forum Players present Sondheim's 'Into the Woods'

By Press Release
Photo of Jasmine Wessel as Rapunzel, courtesy of Genesee Community College.

Press Release:

Join GCC's Forum Players as they present "Into the Woods" April 25 - 27 at 7 p.m. and April 28 at 2 p.m. at the Stuart Steiner Theatre. Featuring students from various majors at Genesee Community College, this production marks the return of musical theater to GCC after a multi-year hiatus. 

Tackling the complexities of Sondheim's classic tale, the cast embarks on the challenging journey of bringing his emotionally rich compositions and clever lyrics to life on stage, recognizing the difficulty and ultimate reward in mastering Sondheim's iconic music.

Into the Woods follows classic fairytale characters on an adventure to fulfill their deepest wishes. The Baker and his Wife want more than anything to have a child, Cinderella desires to attend the King's Festival, and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. 

When the Baker and his Wife realize their wish cannot come true because of a Witch's curse, they set out on a grand quest to break the spell. As their stories intertwine, they will all learn to be careful what they wish for. Even wishes don't come without consequences.

Lapine and Sondheim focused on the characters's individual quests in Act 1. The second act sees the characters dealing with the consequences of their actions and coming together as a community. One of Sondheim's most popular works, Into the Woods features exquisite music, whimsical settings, dark humor, and themes that will stay with the audience long after the curtain closes.

The cast includes Maya Webb as The Giant/The Narrator, Paul Daniszewski as The Baker, Ashlyn Puccio as The Baker's Wife, Isabella Wheeler as Cinderella, Qasim Huzair as Jack, Grace Wheeler as Little Red Riding Hood, Jeriko Suzette Nemeth as The Witch, Marc Sapareto as Cinderella's Prince / Wolf, Jasmine Wessel as Rapunzel, Chris Brown as Rapunzel's Prince, Chris Bush as Jack's Mother, Seth Coburn as the Mysterious Man, Cassidy Crawford as Cinderella's Stepmother, Rosie Carioti-Darling and Sienna Korytkowski as Cinderella's Stepsisters, Shakeem Walcott as Cinderella's Father, Lauren Ruch as Cinderella's Mother / Little Red's Granny, and Aden Chua as The Steward.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for GCC students and seniors. If you are a GCC Student or Employee, tickets are free. Tickets can be purchased at Contact with any questions.

Questions for the director? Contact Brodie McPherson at

Questions for the vocal director? Contact Lauren Picarro-Hoerbelt at

General questions can be answered by Jessica Skehan, Arts Center assistant, via email at or call (585) 343-0055 x6490

GCC announces Dr. James Sunser as 56th commencement speaker

By Press Release

Press Release:

Photo of Dr. James Sunser, courtesy of Genesee Community College.

Genesee Community College (GCC) proudly announces Dr. James Sunser, esteemed President of GCC, as the distinguished commencement speaker for the institution's 56th commencement ceremony. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 18 at 1 p.m. at GCC's Richard C. Call Arena.

Dr. Sunser's selection as commencement speaker marks a fitting tribute to his remarkable tenure of leadership and service to Genesee Community College. After more than 13 years at the helm, Dr. Sunser announced his intention to retire at the conclusion of the 2023-24 academic year. His retirement comes after a career characterized by unwavering commitment to student success and transformative initiatives.

"I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected as Genesee Community College's commencement speaker. It is a privilege to address such a vibrant community of learners as they embark on their next journey. I am thankful for the opportunity to inspire and celebrate the achievements of the class of 2024," said Dr. Sunser.

Under Dr. Sunser's stewardship, GCC witnessed significant milestones, including the development of the Richard C. Call Arena and the Student Success Center. These capital projects represented the largest fundraising efforts ever undertaken by the College, reinforcing Dr. Sunser's commitment to advancing educational opportunities for all students.

Moreover, Dr. Sunser provided exemplary leadership during the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring continuity of services while prioritizing the health and well-being of the campus community.

Prior to his tenure at GCC, Dr. Sunser held several senior-level positions at SUNY Onondaga Community College over a span of 22 years. His illustrious career also includes five years as an administrator at Syracuse University. Dr. Sunser's contributions extend beyond GCC; he currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education's Executive Committee, having previously served two terms as Chair in 2020 and 2021.

Genesee Community College extends a warm invitation to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader community to join in honoring Dr. Sunser at the 56th commencement ceremony. His address promises to inspire and resonate with graduates as they embark on their own paths of academic and personal fulfillment.

For more information contact Vice President, Admissions, Development, and External Affairs Justin Johnston at (585) 345-6809, or via email:

Jason Upton brings ministry of music to EverPresent Church on April 26

By Press Release
jason upton

Press release:

Jason Upton is a singer/songwriter with the heart of a pastor. 

Whether Jason is leading people in worship through singing or speaking, Jason does his best to carry the Father’s heart. 

His songs and his messages reflect a life fully lived in a relationship with God, family and friends. Jason and Key of David Ministries have several recordings available that document Jason and his band expressing the heart of God for His people through song, instrumental spontaneity and spoken word. 

Jason currently lives in Wisconsin with his wife Rachel and their children Samuel, Emma, Lucy and Oliver. 

Upton performs at 7 p.m. on April 26 at EverPresent Church, 4 Batavia City Centre, Batavia.

For more information about Jason Upton and Key of David Ministries, please visit

Seating is very limited, so secure your ticket today.

To purchase tickets, follow this link:

Health Department seeking information on dog that bit person in Centennial Park

By Press Release

Press release:

The Genesee County Health Department is seeking information about the location of a dog and its owner following a dog bite incident on Monday, April 1. The incident occurred at Centennial Park (151 State Street) in Batavia, NY. 

The owner was a middle-aged male with a reddish beard and black glasses. The dog involved in the incident was described as a black and tan German Shepard with a harness that was running loose in the park.   

The health department would like to locate the dog as soon as possible to confirm that it is healthy. This would indicate that the rabies virus would not have been transmitted at the time of the bite. 

If you have information about the location of the dog and its owner, please contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

Richmond Library vote to include tax levy increase of $13.8K, two board seats

By Joanne Beck

A proposed budget of $1,696,912 for Richmond Memorial Library includes a property tax levy of $1,395,283, an increase of $13,814 for the 2024-25 school year, and goes up for vote on May 2.

The Batavian has sent several questions regarding the budget to Library Director Beth Paine, and will provide an updated article once responses are received. 

Paine said in the budget newsletter that she looks forward to upcoming programs and initiatives.

“As I look forward in 2024 and continuing into 2025, I see our continuing update projects for technology, a jam-packed Summer Reading Program, some brand new and innovative programs for all ages, like our new Minecraft Mondays that start on April 15, and some outdoor projects to enhance the beauty and use of space on the library’s property. And I am happy to report that even with all of these amazing updates, the Board of Trustees has been able to keep our budget increase to only 1%,” she said. “Our main goal is to not only provide Batavia residents with an open and free library to visit to check out a book, but also a community center where you can learn about everything from how to open an email account to how to create a journal, to getting help filing your taxes. We thank you for your consistent support and for allowing us to continue to serve you and the entire Batavia community.”

The budget is an increase of $15,753. One main question is about how the budget is outlined on the library’s website, but does not include the prospective tax rate increase to coincide with that $13,814 levy increase. How will this affect taxpayers?

The library has a robust race this year for the board, with three candidates running for two seats vacated by Board President Jessica Ecock Rotondo and Norm Argulsky. Those candidates are:

Christina Mortellaro

Christina Mortellaro is a native Batavian and lover of libraries. She is interested in becoming a Library Trustee because she firmly believes that public libraries are cornerstones of democracy, keepers of history, and providers of equitable access to information and space in a community.

Christina is the current Director of the TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center (AEOC) at SUNY Genesee Community College (GCC), a federally-funded college access program that supports adults who are low-income and potential first-generation students throughout Western New York. She holds an MSEd in Higher Education Administration from SUNY Brockport and a dual BA in English and Communication from SUNY Geneseo.

Prior to working as the director of AEOC, Christina was an Assistant Director and Student Advisor with the TRIO Upward Bound program at SUNY GCC, a similar program for high school students. Before working in higher education, Christina served two terms with Rochester Youth Year AmeriCorps VISTA, a different federally funded program working to alleviate the effects of poverty in Rochester, NY.

Christina currently serves as a Board Member At Large for the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education, Inc. (AEEE), a professional association that supports college access professionals at 125 colleges and universities in New York and New Jersey. She will transition to be AEEE’s Western New York Representative this fall.

Other current and relevant volunteer experience includes being a current volunteer with Richmond Memorial Library’s “Books Sandwiched In” committee, serving on the executive board of GCC’s Inclusive Excellence Committee, and being a former 13-year volunteer with HOBY Leadership.

In her spare time, Christina loves to spend time with family, friends, and the cats in her life. She loves to read, write, craft, travel, and support the arts.

Delipe Oltramari

Felipe Oltramari has been a resident of the City of Batavia for the past 17 years. Along with his wife, they have raised two daughters in Batavia. Felipe works as the Director of Planning for Genesee County and has been working for the department for over 20 years. Felipe graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo and received a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science, concentrating in Environmental and Community Land Planning, from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). He is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and accredited with the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNUa).

John Roach

John Roach is from Kenmore, in Erie County. He moved to Batavia in 1974, when he started working for New York State.

He retired from the New York State Department of Corrections as a Senior Counselor after 36 years, starting out as a Correction Officer at Attica. He also worked at the Wyoming, Orleans and Albion Correctional Facilities.

John is a Vietnam War Veteran who served as a Military Police Investigator. He then joined the US Army Reserve and retired after 32 total service as a Master Sergeant, working in Facility Management for the Division Engineer. Other positions in the Reserve were Nuclear Security, Drill Sergeant, Instructor, Training Evaluator and Division Engineer Office.

John was a volunteer with the local Boy Scouts for 29 years.

He served on the City of Batavia Charter Commission twice and on the Mall Operating Committee one term.

John believes in public libraries as a necessary part of a community and wants to help keep ours going.

The vote on May 2 will ask citizens to say yes or no to the tax levy of $1,395,283, and to vote for two out of the three candidates for a three-year term. 

Authentically Local