Local Matters

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batavia

September 22, 2019 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, news, photo, batavia.

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Lisa Felicia sent over this picture she took at Genesee Community College on Friday of a pair of contrails crisscrossing for an interesting photographic composition.  

September 21, 2019 - 6:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in lost animals, animals, pets, batavia, news.

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Raelene and RoseMary Christian found this three-legged dog, apparently lost, on Williams Street in Batavia this evening.

Raelene can be reached at (585) 330-8869

UPDATE: Raelene informs us the owners had called police this morning and are picking up the dog.

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September 21, 2019 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in GLOW YMCA, news, batavia.

From the GLOW YMCA:

There are two new technology enhancements our members!

We’re excited to bring the GLOW YMCA right to your fingertips with our new website and FREE mobile app! Stay connected and access important information when you want it, where you want it—even on the go! 

The app includes the following features:

  • Group exercise schedules;
  • Pool & Gymnasium schedules;
  • Calendar reminders;
  • Program registrations
  • Facility hours and alerts/notifications;
  • Digital facility check-ins;
  • Apple wallet barcodes;
  • And more.

The mobile app is easy to use, completely free, and now available to download through the Apple and Android stores (make sure to type the GLOW YMCA when searching for the app).

In addition, stay connected and check out our new/ refreshed website by visiting www.glowymca.org.

The Batavia YMCA is located at 209 E. Main St.

September 21, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, scanner.

A caller on East Main Street in Batavia reports the padlock on his bicycle is broken and "he's insisting that police have the tools to remove it," says a dispatcher. "He won't take no for an answer."

Batavia police just arrived at his location.

September 21, 2019 - 11:27am

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Under ideal weather conditions, as part of a national campaign, there was a walk this morning in Batavia to end Alzheimer’s.

The event started and ended at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, which hosted the event. 

Individuals and families came together to rally around friends and relatives effected by the disease. They wore colorful shirts and carried flowers that signified how Alzheimer’s affected them or their loved ones. Purple, the predominate color, signified they had lost a loved one to the disease. 

Proceeds from the walk go to the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter so they can continue to provide supportive services and education at no cost, while raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and Association services all across the Genesee Valley.

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September 20, 2019 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Oliver, batavia, T.F. Brown's, football, buffalo bills, sports.

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The Buffalo Bills #1 draft pick, rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver, will be at T.F. Brown's Restaurant from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday (Sept. 24).

The first 100 kids age 12 and under will receive a free Ed Oliver commemorative T-shirt.

Photo: Rick Mancuso and Dominic Grazioplene.

September 20, 2019 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, crime, news, batavia.

A larceny of several coats is reported at Dick's Sporting Goods in Towne Center at Batavia. A black female and male reportedly left the store with the merchandise, got into an unknown make vehicle, and left the parking lot in an unknown direction of travel.

Law enforcement is responding. The store employees are trying to get more information from the customer who allegedly spotted the larceny.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m.: The getaway car is reportedly a black four-door sedan; another person allegedly was driving the vehicle -- so there are three people involved. No clothing descriptions provided.

September 20, 2019 - 1:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, Oakfield, batavia, Alabama.

Natalie Helen Brown, 25, of Weber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with: Driving while intoxicated, with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI; insufficient stop lamp; speeding in a 55-mph zone; and moving from lane unsafely. Brown was arrested at 1:45 a.m. this morning (Sept. 20) on Route 63 in Alabama following a traffic stop. She was released on appearance tickets and is due in Alabama Town Court on Oct. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jordan Alejandro, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Geoffrey Paul Jamele, 25, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, unlawful possession of marijuana, and having an obstructed driver's view. On Sept. 19 Jamele was arrested at 4:18 p.m. at Genesee Community College after a traffic stop on 1 College Road in the Town of Batavia. He allegedly possessed two THC oil cartridges (THC -- tetrahydrocannabinol -- is the principle psychoactive compound in marijuana.). He was issued an appearance ticket to be in Town of Batavia Court on Oct. 10. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy Mathew Clor.

September 20, 2019 - 11:49am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, scanner, news, batavia, downtown batavia public market.

A larceny of tomatoes from a stand at the Downtown Batavia Public Market is reported.

A caller to dispatch reports the alleged tomato nabber is driving a silver SUV that is now in the drive-thru at Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union, adjacent to the outdoor market on Alva Place. Batavia police responding.

UPDATE 11:52 a.m.: It is said that the complainant is "not interested in pursuing (charges); they just want him advised that he's not welcome back here."

September 19, 2019 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
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      Wesley Thigpen

While coming to terms with entering a guilty plea to a sexual abuse charge, Wesley Thigpen told his attorney the statements attributed to a young girl were "(expletive) lies" after hearing the evidence the people would present against Thigpen if the case went to trial.

Thigpen was entering his plea on an Alford basis, which means that he pleads guilty without admitting the accusations against him are true.

The defendant himself told Judge Charles Zambito, "it's a strategic decision."

By accepting a plea deal, Thigpen guarantees he will spend no more than four years in prison, instead of more than a decade if he were convicted at trial of sexual abuse in the first degree, two counts of burglary, and criminal contempt in the first degree.

As part of the Alford plea process, First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini summarized the case that would be made against Thigpen if he turned down the plea offer and went to trial on the sexual abuse charge.

According to Cianfrini, Thigpen was alone with a girl less than 13 years old in her room when he engaged in a series of sexually related actions, including but not limited to showing her pictures on his phone of body parts.

Cianfrini said in a recorded interview later, Thigpen admitted that he had been alone with the girl and that she may have somehow gotten access to his mobile phone.

Throughout the legal process of this case, Thigpen has denied the sexual abuse allegations while admitting to the criminal contempt charge.

Today, Thigpen did plead guilty to criminal contempt after Zambito recited the specific actions of Thigpen's that led to the charge. Thigpen slapped food out of the hands of a person who was the subject of an order of protection and raised a fist as if threatening to hit that person.

Dressed in jail orange, Thigpen wasn't afraid to speak up for himself during the proceedings. Bright and articulate, Thigpen made it clear why he was pleading guilty and on key points asked Zambito to clarify the law and the terms of the deal.

He conferred more than once with his attorney Mark Lewis about the charges and the plea deal, most of the time speaking in hushed tones. But after Cianfrini recited the evidence against him, he spoke with Lewis in a more agitated manner, raising his voice slightly at one point to call the statements against him a lie.

At that point, Zambito explained very clearly that he understood that Thigpen wasn't admitting to the allegations but pleading guilty because he accepted the fact he was at substantial risk of being found guilty at trial and facing a potentially harsher prison term.

Thigpen also spoke up for himself when it came time to discuss his bail status while awaiting sentencing. He argued for lower bail because he has several financial matters to clear up, including taking care of penalities for use of his 401(K) during these proceedings to support his family, as well as collecting his final paycheck from his former employer.

Lewis said before his arrest, Thigpen, a lifelong Batavia resident, worked for five years at a major corporation in Genesee County.

Despite all this, Zambito kept his bail at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond while he awaits sentencing.

September 19, 2019 - 1:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, steve hawley, patriot trip, batavia.

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This morning, for the 12th time in as many years, a group of veterans departed with Assemblyman Steve Hawley from the parking lot of Batavia Downs for Hawley's annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C.  

The veterans will visit historic monuments in Washington.

Pictured with Hawley are Jim Freas, of Medina, and George Bakeman, of Albion.

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September 19, 2019 - 1:25pm

UPDATED Sept. 19, 1:23 p.m.: The following event is postponed. A new date will be announced once the parties' availablity is confirmed.

Ithaca Beer Co. and Batavia Downs announced today they will launch the sale of the new Thurmanator Beer at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19th at the 34 Rush Sports Bar.

“We’ve been looking forward to this special release for some time," said James Sapienza, head of Brand Development for Ithaca Beer Co. “The Thurmanator beer is an easy-drinking lager we hope will score big with hardcore Buffalo football fans, as well as those seeking a refreshing and crisp, light golden lager with a subtle sweetness and restrained hop character that lends a gentle floral quality and clean finish.”

The public event will include an appearance by the beer’s namesake, Buffalo Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas, and sampling from many of Ithaca’s line of products while attendees enjoy the Thursday Night Football game on the big screens.

Batavia Downs is located at 8315 Park Road in the City of Batavia.

About Ithaca Beer Co.

Begun in 1998 in a small renovated retail store just outside of Ithaca, the original space had a small seven barrel brewhouse, a modest tasting bar and sold full growlers to go as well as homebrew supplies.

Today, Ithaca Beer brews about 25,000 barrels of beer per year and features both 50 and five barrel pilot brew houses. In addition to a state-of-the-art brewing facility, Ithaca Beer has fully automated packaging capabilities for bottling, canning and kegging.

Ithaca Beer distributes beer to 54 wholesalers in 14 states in the Northeast from New England in the East to Ohio in the West and Virginia and North Carolina to the South.

September 19, 2019 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
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     David McClary

A Rochester resident has been arrested and accused of dealing crack cocaine in the City of Batavia.

David C. McClary, 29, of Mt. Hope Avenue, Rochester, was arrested in Monroe County after a warrant was issued for his arrest based on evidence developed through an investigation by the Local Drug Task Force.

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

McClary allegedly sold crack cocaine to an agent of the task force on two separate occasions. 

He was arraigned in Genesee County Court and jailed on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond.

The task force was assisted by Batavia PD, uniformed deputies, and the District Attorney's Office.

September 19, 2019 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
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    Scott Hodgins     Kara Sass   Heywood Wellington

Three people were arrested earlier this week after a drug raid on a Batavia residence West Main Street Road by the Batavia Emergency Response Team and the Local Drug Task Force.

The raid was the result of an investigation into narcotics trafficking in the area.

Arrested were:

  • Scott E. Hodgins, 55, of West Main Street Road, Batavia. Hodgins is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd; criminal possession of a weapon, 4th; criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th; criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd; and unlawful possession of marijuana. Hodgins was ordered held without bail.
  • Kara B. Sass, 25, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of marijuana. She was jailed on $10,000 bail.
  • Heywood E. Wellington, 23, of Winterroth Street, Rochester, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd; criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th; criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd; and unlawful possession of marijuana. Wellington was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

The District Attorney's Office assisted in the investigation.

September 18, 2019 - 8:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

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A car fire is reported at 11 Garfield Ave., Batavia.

The car is in a garage.

The garage is not attached to a house.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: A second alarm is sounded. Alexander's Fast Team requested to the scene. Town of Batavia to stand by in headquarters.

UPDATE 8:42 p.m.: Town of Batavia now requested to the scene.

UPDATE 1:25 a.m.: Photo by Frank Capuano added. I shot video at the scene a little later. It's taking forever, for some reason, to upload to YouTube. I'm going to bed and will add the video in the morning.

Video Sponsor
September 18, 2019 - 2:07pm

Press release:

Don’t know where to donate those still-like-new clothes you or your children have grown out of? Community Action of Orleans & Genesee gladly accepts your new and gently used clothing.

With a new school year started, and cold weather just around the corner, we are in need of warm-weather clothing and winter coats. Children’s clothing and coats of all sizes are especially needed.  

Please donate your gently used items to us, to be given to a child or adult in need.  

We happily accept clean items without stains or holes, please no broken zippers. We also accept sneakers, shoes, and boots in good condition.  

Please drop donations off at 5073 Clinton Street Road in Batavia Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Receipts given for tax purposes.

Please call 585-343-7798 with any questions.

Thank you for your caring and consideration of our community in need.

September 18, 2019 - 11:45am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy.
         Eric Olverd

Eric James Olverd, 47, of Wallace Street, Batavia, (inset photo, right) is charged with: obstruction of governmental administration; resisting arrest; two counts of reckless endangerment; second-degree assault with injury to a victim over age 65; second-degree harassment; criminal mischief, and endangering the welfare of a child. Olverd was arrested at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15 on Wallace Street following a domestic incident. He was jailed in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. He was due in Batavia City Court on Sept. 17. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Sean Wilson.

Darrell Smith, 52, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault. Smith was arrested at 9:33 p.m. on Sept. 16 on Highland Park. He allegedly punched a person in the face, causing injury. Smith was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court on Oct. 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

John Joseph Saddler Jr., 32, of Orange Grove Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt in the second degree and disorderly conduct. At 1:44 p.m. on Sept. 17, Saddler was arrested while standing in front of Judge Robert Balbick in Batavia City Court after being warned not to use obscene language in the courtroom. He allegedly continued to use obscene language, causing a disruption in the courtroom. Saddler was arraigned in city court by Judge Durin Rogers then put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $2,000 cash bail. He is due back in city court at 1 p.m. this afternoon (Sept. 18). The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Saile.

Michael S. Carter, 33, of Eagle Harbor Road, Albion, is charged with operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more, driving while intoxicated and failure to keep right. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Carter at 2:37 a.m. on Sept. 7 on East Main Street in the City of Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket for this morning (Sept. 18) in Batavia City Court but held at the Genesee County Jail on a violation of parole warrant. Officer Arick Perkins assisted in the case.

Jacqueline R. Garrett, 40, of Church Street, Le Roy, is charged with illegal use of toxic vapors. Garrett was arrested after she was allegedly observed inhaling a toxic substance while in public at 11:53 a.m. on Sept. 16. The incident location is Eastown Plaza on East Main Street in the City of Batavia. She was processed at Batavia Police Department and released on an appearance ticket. She is due in Batavia City Court on Sept. 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

A 17-year-old male who lives in Batavia was arrested on Sept. 14 by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post and charged with second-degree harassment. At 6:46 p.m. on Sept. 9 on Ellicott Street in Batavia, the male allegedly had unwanted contact with a person. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Sept. 24. Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence assisted with the case.

Randy S. Turner, 63, of Burke Drive, Batavia, is charged with having a dog that was running at large. He was arrested following an investigation of a complaint that he allegedly allowed his family's dogs to run at large at 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 29 onto a neighbor's property on Burke Drive. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Sept. 24. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson.

Kakeen K. Ithna-Asheri, 59, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. The defendant was arrested at 12:34 p.m. on Sept. 15 after he allegedly stole a package of batteries from a store on East Main Street in Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket and was due in Batavia City Court on Sept. 17. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Steve B. Nesbitt, 34, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog. He was arrested at 1:44 p.m. on Sept. 16 on Holland Avenue, then released on an appearance ticket. He is due in Batavia City Court on Sept. 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Jesse Daniel Bowman, 27, of Vine Street, Batavia, turned himself at Batavia Police Department Sept. 15 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. He was arraigned at 10:39 a.m. in city court, then released on his own recognizance. He is due to return to court on Oct. 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

September 17, 2019 - 10:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, Artisan Boot & Shoe, p.w. minor, batavia.
Video Sponsor

Nearly a year ago, the former P.W. Minor factory on Treadeasy Avenue in Batavia quietly started producing high-end men's shoes again with a small work crew.

The new company, Artisan Boot & Shoe, is owned by Nicole Porter, the granddaughter of local businessman Pete Zeliff, who helped rescue P.W. Minor in 2014 from closure and operated the company for more than three years before selling the company and the factory to a group of investors.

That company couldn't make a go of it and Zeliff foreclosed on the property, the equipment, and inventory and after 150 years of business in Batavia, P.W. Minor ceased to exist.

Later that month, in October of 2018, Porter approached her father with a business plan to start a new shoe business. She acquired from him the equipment for Goodyear welted boots (which describes how the sole is welted and sewn to the top of the shoe) and hired 10 former P.W. Minor employees and took over the contracts with about a half-dozen shoe companies to continue making top-quality men's boots for them.

Porter said the company is growing, doing well financially, and she hopes the day will come when they can expand production, start making women's boots again, and perhaps launch their own boot or shoe brand.

The company leases space from Custom Vehicle Outfitters, which recently acquired the property from Zeliff in order to expand operations from its current location on Ganson Avenue. The company is currently remodeling the front of the building while Artisan Boot & Shoe operates in the factory space at the rear of the building.

September 17, 2019 - 3:15pm

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The Barber Conable Post Office Building in Batavia is 100 years old.

Construction of the post office began in 1916 with a $57,993 bid awarded to contractor George F. Rossell, of Rochester, according to the City of Batavia History book by Ruth M. McEvoy.

Because of World War I, Rossell had a hard time completing the project as he was beset by higher costs and construction supervisors who kept going off to war. He gave up in October 1917, voiding the contract.

Progress continued slowly under the supervision of E.D. Gray and it was finally ready for postal employees to relocate from a rented building on Jackson Street to their new headquarters.

The post office was built based on plans by John Taylor Knox, the former architect of the U.S. Treasury. He designed dozens of federal buildings during his career, including the post office in Buffalo and Niagara Falls

The cornerstone was laid in 1916 and bears the name of William G. McAdoo, who was Secretary of the Treasury, as "supervising architect."

A few post offices in other communities share common designs with our post office, including Live Oak, Fla., Fulton, Mo., and Menomonie, Wis.

The name of the post office was changed in 2004 by an act of Congress to the Barber Conable Post Office Building. Conable is a former congressman who represented our area and later became president of the World Bank.

Ironically, perhaps, according to McEvoy's book, the Batavia Daily News reported in 1970 that the area's congressman -- who would have been Conable at the time -- had promised the community a new post office building. "In 1990," McEvoy notes, "that promise had not been fulfilled."

When the post office first opened, it had a front porch area. It was enclosed in 1961.

The postmaster in 1919 was John F. Ryan. According to McEvoy, Ryan and his brother William opened a light shop at 79 Main St., Batavia, in 1898. In 1910, they installed an electrical device that opened and closed their shop windows automatically.

His daughter was Dr. Edith F. Ryan. She intended to open a practice in Philadelphia but war disrupted her plans. She opened an office on Jackson Street and was then appointed as a medical examiner for the school district. That helped her practice grow. She retired in 1957.

Batavia's first postmaster was James Brisbane, who handled postal duties through his general store. He eventually became a wealthy man and the current police headquarters is the former Brisbane mansion. His son Albert was a social reformer and his grandson was the famous journalist of the early 20th century, Arthur Brisbane, who is buried in the Historic Batavia Cemetery. Arthur was also Nellie Bly's editor. The Brisbane Family Papers (1819-1965) are in the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University.

The second postmaster was Ebenezer Cary followed by Trumbull Cary. The Cary Mansion, long destroyed, is commemorated by a historic marker on East Main Street.

In 1829, Simeon Cummings became postmaster. He also owned a harness shop in Batavia.

The next postmaster was William Seaver wrote what is perhaps the first history of Batavia in 1849. Another William Seaver, perhaps his son or possibly grandson, or maybe not related at all, took two pictures of Downtown Batavia that The Batavian previously published.

Following Seaver the postmaster was Levant B. Coates, who appears to have owned a drug store that was destroyed in a fire in 1833

Then came Frederick Follett, publisher of a local newspaper, Spirit of the Times, and the author of a book on the history of the press in Western New York.

The first woman postmaster was Elizabeth R. Erbland, who served from 1994 to 1998, followed by Catherine M. Maniace.

Today (top photo), current and former local postal employees gathered on the front steps of the building for a photo.

Do you know what else is 100 years old? The Upton Monument (watch the video).

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