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September 15, 2019 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, video, batavia, Kmart.
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During last night's Sire Stakes at Batavia Downs, Western OTB President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek said another company is under contract to purchase the former Kmart location on Lewiston Road, which sits across Park Road from the southern end of the race track.

Western OTB had been interested in acquiring the property to convert into a multi-use facility -- concerts, sporting events, convention center.

Wojtaszek said WOTB doesn't know the name of the potential purchasers, which is conducting due diligence on the acquisition now, but if the deal does not go through, he said, Batavia Downs has been assured it can bid again.

If the deal does go through, Wojtaszek said the purchaser is a company Batavia Downs can work with.

September 15, 2019 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Old Courthouse, batavia, news.


After I finished up at Batavia Downs last night (video coming), I opened an email from Brian Graz suggesting a photo of the full moon.

Well, we already had a great one from Jim Burns Friday but thinking about it on the way I home, I wondered what the moon might look like behind the Upton Monument.

Well, the top of the monument wasn't sufficiently illuminated at that time of night to properly expose in a shot with the moon in it (at least not with the equipment I had with me) but it did work out pretty well to get a shot of the moon and the Old Courthouse cupola.

September 15, 2019 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adam Miller Toys & Bicycles, batavia, business.


John Roche at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle did something a little different yesterday: He held a garage sale.

The team at Adam Miller hauled out of storage all the bikes that had been left for repair and never picked up or were trade-ins on new bikes, along with bike parts and accessories, and put the items in the store's parking lot and hung price tags on them.

There were vintage bikes, racing bikes, mountain bikes, and bikes that will probably get you from here to there without being much to look at. Roche said he might make the garage sale an annual event.

September 15, 2019 - 1:29pm

Family, friends and the local community got together Saturday for the second annual “Fight WITH Ike” Euchre Tournament & Raffle at the Excelsior Hook & Ladder Co. in Le Roy.

The benefit was held in honor of Batavia local Ike Styer.

Ike is battling stage 4 brain cancer known as glioblastoma and has been unable to work while undergoing several treatments to fight this aggressive disease.

In addition to the everlasting support of his loving wife, Jen, and young children, Chastin and Hailey, he has community support.

To make a donation to help his family at this critical time, here's the link to his GoFundMe page. Of his fundraising team's $25,000 goal, $8,115 has been raised so far.

To follow more about Ike’s journey, visit the “Fight WITH Ike” Facebook page.

(Photos courtesy of Lisa Ace.)

September 15, 2019 - 12:51pm
Video Sponsor

Elba residents Dan Starowitz and Brian Shuknecht got started in lumberjack competitions while in college. Yesterday, along with their friend Nick Agoglia, they put on a demonstration of a competition at Cedar Street Sales and Rentals in Batavia.

September 14, 2019 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, football, video.
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September 14, 2019 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, batavia, Batavia HS, football, van detta stadium.



A big night, a big crowd, a big win but the Batavia Blue Devils also suffered a big loss in the second quarter when Joshua Barber went down with an ankle injury.

The senior 230-pound lineman and linebacker is likely out for the rest of the regular season, at a minimum. 

"When you lose a player of that caliber, with that leadership, with that physical presence, it's a shot at the heart of the team," Head Coach Brennan Briggs said after the game.

He praised his team for the way they pulled together and fought through adversity after Barber was helped off the field with his leg in a splint. 

Batavia, Section V's #1 ranked team, beat the #2 team, and always a tough opponent, Livonia, 19-6.

"We know they're always going to be tough," Briggs said. "I'm proud of our guys. Our defense played great, and our offense, you know, obviously we didn't put up 50 points like everyone always expects, but at the end of the day, these are the games that you want to be in to test the character of your team."

Alex Rood at QB, Terrez Smith and Cody Burns in the backfield, carried the team offensively.

Rood had 90 yards on 17 carries and scored a touchdown. Smith scored on a four-yard run and Burns on a breakaway 56 dash to the end zone.

It was Batavia's first came on their new artificial turf field in the new Daniel A. Van Detta Stadium, which was dedicated before the game with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by about two dozen of Van Detta's relatives.

"t's great," Briggs said. "I'm happy for the kids. I'm really happy for the community. I think that I didn't even really turn around and look at the crowd but I'm assuming it was a pretty good crowd up there. I'm just happy for everybody, honestly.

"You know everybody's been driving by, waiting for the opening of this and these guys had a lot of pressure on them just because of the amount of people here and the media and everything and they handled it well.

"For these young high school kids to come out here and play a gritty game and come out with a win, especially without one of their big-time leaders, it's a testament to their character."

Photos by Jim Burns.

NOTE: We'll have a video posted later today about the game and the opening of the new stadium.












September 13, 2019 - 8:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia, news, scanner.

City fire is called to respond to the report of a large bonfire at 243 S. Swan St.

September 13, 2019 - 6:30pm

Open House Alert, This Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.  2 Naramore Drive, Batavia. Talk about a transformation! Check out this great 4 bedroom, 2 full-bath home with nothing to do but enjoy your life!

This home has been fully remodeled with all new hardwood flooring, 2 brand-new baths, modernized kitchen with all new appliances. Open and spacious kitchen/dining/living room perfect for entertaining and featuring an extra large island with pretty quartz countertop! Bedrooms are all very spacious with plenty of closet space.

There is oversized family room in lower level for all your rec room fun. There is also an awesome sunny and bright bonus room with lots of windows overlooking private back yard which has in ground swimming pool and plenty of privacy for all your summer fun!

This home is large bright and cheerful and ready for lots of energy! Easy to see! Click here for more information or call Lynn Bezon today at Reliant Real Estate, call 344-HOME (4663).

September 13, 2019 - 4:45pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, full moon.


(Moon pictured above from Sept. 12. Photo by Jim Burns.)

Look up to the sky tonight to see a rare Friday the 13th full moon.

Why is a full moon on Friday the 13th a big deal? It’s not unless you are among the 10 percent of Americans who say they are superstitious.

Sometime in the Middle Ages, Friday the 13th started being considered unlucky. The origin of this is traced to the 13 Apostles and the Last Supper being on Friday. Any 13 on a Friday was considered unlucky.

The full moon has been associated with superstition and mystical happenings in many cultures. The full moon has been accused of many things like, making people crazy and turning them into warewolves.

If you are of the 10 percent claiming to be superstitious, fear not the full moon on Friday the 13th. Technically the moon will not be completely full this month until after midnight, making the official moon full in the early hours of the 14th. 

If you are in the 90 percent of Americans who do not consider themselves superstitious, check the moon out tonight anyway.

The moon rises at 6:40 p.m .and sets at 5:02 a.m.

Tonight's weather is expected to be a little breezy and mostly cloudy, but the moon will be big and bright when the clouds do part.

September 13, 2019 - 2:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Oakfield.

Michael S. Colombo, 39, of Batavia, is charged with second-degree assault on an officer/firefighter/EMT. On Sept. 1, Mercy medics were transporting Colombo to Wyoming County Community Hospital when he allegedly became combative in the ambulance. He is accused of punching both EMTs in the face with a closed fist, causing injuries. He was later taken into custody and allegedly found to have an active arrest warrant for two counts of second-degree assault by the Batavia Police Department and the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office. Colombo is accused of head butting a Batavia Police officer during the exchange of custody, but he did not injure the officer. Colombo was arraigned in Warsaw Town Court and put in Wyoming County Jail on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. He is due to return to Warsaw Town Court on Sept. 16. The case was handled by WC Deputy Nowack and Deputy Houghton.

Kishonti D. Williams, 27, of Batavia, was arrested at 8:58 a.m. on Sept. 9 following a traffic stop by Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies on Route 246 in the Town of Perry. Deputies stopped him after allegedly observing him attempting to pass another vehicle on the right side as it was heading northbound. He is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree. It is also alleged that he has 10 active suspensions on his driver's license. He is due in Town of Perry Court on Oct. 16. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel J. Kemp.

Sophie McGowan Cegielski, 18, of Pine Street, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. At 3:20 p.m. on Sept. 12, Cegielski was arrested at Oakfield-Alabama Central School on Lewiston Road in Oakfield. She is accused of stealing property out of another student's bag during after-school hours on Sept. 11. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Oakfield Town Court on Sept. 23. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore.

September 13, 2019 - 2:15pm

Information from a press release:

Along the Haunted History Trail of New York State, you will find the largest collection of haunted and Halloween events statewide.

Three sites on the trail are in Genesee County: the historic Seymour Place building at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia, home to GO ART!; Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany; and the Haunted Bergen House, built in 1858 and located at 6571 W. Sweden Road, Bergen.

More than 500 events -- from authentic ghost hunts and paranormal investigations to staged haunted houses and Halloween hayrides -- can be found on the Haunted History Trail's online event calendar, offered now through the end of October.

Ghost hunting is offered year-round in historic Palmyra and its William Phelps General Store, with special events in the fall.

Home to all things paranormal, 365 days a year, the Haunted History Trail features more than 90 authentically haunted locations across the state. These locations offer investigations, ghost hunts, guided tours, and other experiences that allow visitors to interact with the haunted side and seek out spirits during a dining experience, special event, or overnight stay.

But, during the "spooky season" in the time leading up to Halloween, the trail opens its offerings to all forms of haunted events -- from the serious spirits right down to the spirited pretenders.

"We see a lot of attention this time of year due to the season and the nature of our trail," says Kelly Rapone, administrator of the Haunted History Trail.

"People are seeking out opportunities to be scared -- whether that's on a guided tour that tells them about ghost sightings and the history behind them or experiencing a jump-scare as they go through a haunted house. We want to be their resource for all things haunted."

While many of the trail events lead up to Halloween as the major fall holiday, Sept. 28 also marks a holiday celebrated by select Haunted History Trail partners. It's "National Ghost Hunting Day," established in 2016, which "recognizes and celebrates the novice, curious and expert execution of ghost-hunting methods."

Several trail locations, including Palmyra's William Phelps General Store, East Bethany's Rolling Hills Asylum, and the Haunted Hinsdale House in Hinsdale, participate on that date in the "World's Largest Ghost Hunt" -- an international phenomenon that brings people together from across the globe to take part in a night of paranormal investigations.

Themes for the 2019 event will include historic preservation, celebrating haunted towns, and exploring cultural diversity within the ghost-hunting field around the world.

To learn more, visit the Haunted History Trail of New York State's website here.

To view the online trail brochure, click here.

About the Haunted History Trail of New York State

It is the only statewide ghost tourism initiative in the United States. It was created in 2013 by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with tourism promotion agencies across the state and with support provided by Empire State Development's I LOVE NEW YORK program under the Market NY initiative.

The Haunted History Trail of New York State features more than 90 haunted locations found within almost every region of New York State. Guided ghost tours, paranormal investigations, haunted dining and overnight stays are available on the trail, with many of the attractions tying back to New York's local history.

(Photo from Haunted History Trail of New York State website.)

September 13, 2019 - 1:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in marksmanship, sports, batavia, gun competitors.

Submitted photos and press release:

NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. -- Eugene Jankowski Jr. finished in third place Practical Division and fourth place overall at the 2019 Pennsylvania State 3 Gun Championship held Labor Day weekend at the Ontelaunee Rod & Gun Club in New Tripoli, Pa.

Jankowski worked through a rifle malfunction early in the match, adding a fraction of time that would later move him out of second place by a 10th of a second.

Approximately 144 competitors from Pennsylvania and the surrounding states completed eight challenging stages of fire during the two-day match.

Three gun competitors systematically used a handgun, rifle and shotgun to shoot a variety of targets from multiple positions during each of the eight courses of fire.

“Using the three different firearms feels like you’re shooting three different matches at the same time," Jankowski said. "It’s full of action and the clock is ticking.”

Jankowski is president of the Batavia City Council and a retired Batavia police lieutenant.

September 13, 2019 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, roadwork.

From the city Bureau of Maintenance:


Temporary road closures planned Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 16-17 in the City of Batavia are delayed.The new dates are Tuesday, Sept.17 and Wednesday, Sept. 18:

These road closures will now occur on Tuesday:

  • Florence Avenue -- Between Cedar Street and Howard Street.
  • Carolwood Drive – Between Garden Drive and end of road.
  • Belvedere Lane – Naramore Drive to Naramore Drive.
  • Woodcrest Drive – Between house #2 and #15.

The following roadwork is now planned for Wednesday:

  • Union Street –Between Richmond Avenue and Oak Street. This impacts residents that live on Union Square limiting access. Any work not completed Tuesday is also going to be completed.

Residents will be notified by the company performing the work, Suit Kote, of the actual work schedule via fliers delivered door to door on the impacted streets a day in advance.

Residents of impacted areas are asked not to park on these streets while the work is ongoing and to park on adjacent side streets if possible.

This work is weather dependent and if delayed due to wet conditions the work will resume the next business day.

Contact the Bureau of Maintenance and ask to speak to the Superintendent at 585-345-6400, opt. 1, if you have any questions.

September 13, 2019 - 12:05pm

Press release:

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 13, 2019 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in van detta stadium, batavia, video, Batavia HS.
Video Sponsor

The new Daniel A. Van Detta Stadium officially opens tonight with a game between Batavia and Livonia at 7 o'clock.

There will be a ribbon cutting at 6:30 p.m. and the public is invited.

September 12, 2019 - 6:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

From Alecia Kaus/Video News Service:

Malik I. Ayala, 27, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was to be sentenced on this afternoon (Sept. 12) in Genesee County Court, but he did not show up.

Public defender Jerry Ader told the court he could not appear today because he was admitted to an inpatient treatment program called Reflections at the Eastern Niagara Health System in Lockport.

The program is a chemical dependency treatment program available to adults ages 18 and over to help them recover from dependence on alcohol or other drugs. The program provides short-term treatment services.

Ader asked Judge Charles Zambito for an adjournment.

Ayala will remain at the inpatient facility until Oct. 2nd.

Ayala has already accepted a plea deal and pled guilty to a charge of third-degree burglary, a class D felony.

He was picked up on Nov. 15 in connection with a string of burglaries in Genesee County after Investigator Chris Parker with the Sheriff’s Office identified a vehicle that was wanted in connection with the burglaries.

The vehicle was being operated by TeeSean T. Ayala, 20, Malik’s brother.

After the vehicle turned into a driveway at 317 Washington Ave., a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol was thrown from the vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office says TeeSean Ayala was in possession of a stolen handgun that had a defaced serial number in the vehicle during the traffic stop.

TeeSean Ayala, 20, of Batavia, was sentenced in Genesee County Court to five years in prison and five years post-release supervision last month. TeeSean pled guilty to one count of criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, which satisfies seven other residential burglary charges dating back to 2015.

Due to Malik I. Ayala’s criminal history, First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini opposed the adjournment today.

“We feel he is a second felony offender, prison is mandatory, we are opposed to this adjournment,” Cianfrini said.

Judge Zambito explained that there was no commitment on sentencing and that Ayala was not recommended for the inpatient treatment.

“The fact (is) that he is in treatment; we will adjourn until afterwards,” Zambito said.

The new sentencing schedule is 9:15 a.m. Oct. 3.

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