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February 28, 2021 - 8:00am
posted by David Reilly in nostalgia, history, batavia, news.

When folks get older and nostalgia sets in, one strong memory is of the pets they had when they were kids. Dogs and cats of course were the favorites, but rabbits, horses and even pigs were popular, too, especially in rural areas like Batavia.

People of a certain age (ie: elderly) might recall Richard Nixon's famous career saving speech about his dog “Checkers.” Elvis Presley had an infamous monkey he called “Scatter” whose shenanigans were renowned among the singer's entourage. Later in the '90s the Clintons' cat “Socks” seemed to get as much media time as Bill and Hillary.

My family only had a few furry housemates as I was growing up.

My dad loved dogs and had a number of them when he was a young man, including a couple giant Saint Bernards. But my mom was reluctant. She had a traumatic memory of a family dog biting someone and being dispatched in a gruesome way so I think that limited our number.

But, I still recall our pets fondly and humorously for their companionship and animal antics.

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Before I turned 10 when we lived on Thomas Avenue we got a male cat. Because he was a dark gray color we named him “Smokey.” That moniker didn't last long though. My mother kept tripping over him as he plopped down wherever it suited him and you'd hear her exasperated cry of, “Move you stupid cat!” So, very quickly he became "Stupid."

Although he was mostly an outdoor cat which normally doesn't bode well for the feline lifespan, Stupid stayed with us through two years on Ellicott Avenue and then moved to North Spruce Street, too.

He loved living at North Spruce because in the '50s and '60s our house was surrounded by woods. Woods that were full of mice, birds, moles, and were just generally akin to a giant cat grocery store. We would find carcasses of Stupid's dinners on our porches and patio.

As if he didn't have enough free grub at his literal disposal, for some reason my mother also fed him like a king. She'd send me to a grocery store (I think A&P) on the south side of Main Street between Liberty and Center streets to buy him fresh chicken kidneys, which she would then cook for him. Talk about spoiled.

Although mostly an outdoor cat, Stupid didn't care for cold weather and would grace us with his indoor presence in the winter. One time he was outside, but then we heard him crying at the basement door into the kitchen. When we opened the door, out he came.

“Hey, I thought the cat was outdoors,” my mom said. “How in the world did he get in the cellar?”

Upon investigation we found a broken basement window. Stupid had huge seven-toed front paws that looked like snowshoes and the only thing we could figure was that he batted on the window until it broke. We could never prove it, but the window wasn't broken before. How else could it happen?

Eventually, as sometimes happens with outdoor cats, Stupid disappeared. Whether something happened to him or he just took his aging self off to die in peace we never knew. I think at some point I considered making some kind of wooden marker in his memory, but etching R. I. P Stupid seemed... well... stupid.

Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow

When I was middle school to early high school age we briefly had a black and white rabbit. I do not recall where we got him or why.

His name was Herman and I'm unclear on why I called him that. Although I'm almost certain it wasn't for Hermann Göring, the head of the German Luftwaffe (Air Force) during World War II.

Herman's brief time with us was spent in a hutch outside the back door.

My job was to line his pen with straw, feed him, and clean out the bunny manure. His food was some kind of brown pellets, which to be honest looked about the same coming out as they did going in. We also gave him lettuce and other leafy vegetables. It was always a mystery to me how he could seemingly turn a pound of food into two pounds of poop.

Herman came to an inglorious end one winter night from unknown causes. I went to feed him in the morning and he was frozen stiff. I guess if we wrote an obituary, we could've said no bunny compared to him.

(Above, Skippy, Dave and Jim at Godfrey's Pond in the 1970s.)

Shaggy Dog Story

When I was in high school, one day my grandmother stopped by for a visit and she had a box with something covered up inside.

“I brought you a present,” she said with a big smile. When something moved in the box my mother had the opposite of a smile. “Uh oh,” she muttered.

"Skippy" the dog had arrived.

I don't remember specifics, but knowing my mother it must have taken a lot of begging and whining by my two younger brothers to get mom to say we could keep him. Being in high school I was (in my own mind) too cool to get excited about a dog. I had sports and girls to think about.

Skippy was a full-blown mutt. You really couldn't distinguish any breed that he was descended from and it would be fair to say that he wasn't going to be entered in any dog shows. To paraphrase an old saying, he was a dog that only his family could love.

Back in the '60s and '70s there were no leash laws. So Skippy (and just about every dog in Batavia) was free to roam around town. As he got older, and since he wasn't neutered, this resulted in some dicey situations.

As I have mentioned in some of my previous stories, I had two unmarried aunts who lived together in the long time Reilly family home on Cedar Street. Sometimes when my brothers and I would walk there from North Spruce we'd take the dog along.

Well, I guess he enjoyed Aunt Kate's and Peg's company(or maybe they gave him treats) because we'd sometimes get a call saying he was lying on their porch.

That doesn't sound like a big deal until you realize he had to cross East Avenue, go through the Eastway Plaza parking lot, navigate East Main Street (routes 5 and 33) and go over the Erie Railroad tracks to get there.

My dad would go pick him up in the car and bring him home while we'd wonder how many close calls he had on his adventure.

Another of his favorite destinations was a farm somewhere to the east out Clinton Street Road. We'd get a call from the irate farmer telling us that Skippy was out there ,” … trying to get at his female dog.” Once again dad would have to go fetch him home, but also take scolding from the rightfully upset owner.

After a few of those incidents Skippy the randy canine had to be tied up for his own protection. We did wonder how many of his progeny were spread across Genesee County though.

Because for most of his life he was allowed to run free, Skippy often got into and ate things that weren't exactly approved by The American Kennel Club. This would result in trips to the veterinarian for intestinal disorders.

One time, perhaps to save us money on medication, the vet told mom to, “...give him a clove of garlic and that should clean him out.”

I don't recall if this treatment cured the dog but about two hours later we had to evacuate our house. If they had haz-mat teams back then I'm not sure even their sophisticated breathing apparatus would have been enough to handle the noxious fumes.

But, generally, Skippy was a good dog and after my brother Dan and I left for college and beyond he became dad's closest buddy. When the fateful day came and he had to be put down, my youngest brother Jim says that was one of the few times he ever saw dad cry.

At various times through adulthood I had a number of friendly cats and one beloved dog. But, it's still enjoyable from time to time to think back on those pets we had in our childhood.

Top photo: Dave Reilly in 2014 with his pal Deuce.

Below: James Reilly Sr. in 1939 -- a young man with his best friend.

Photos courtesy of Dave Reilly.

February 28, 2021 - 7:47am

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With COVID-19 crowd restrictions, the Genesee Sno Packers Bikini Rally in Oakfield had a full-blown charity event raising close to $30,000 for The Pink Fund.

The Pink Fund is an organization that provides money to help patients with breast cancer. Donations can still be made here.

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February 25, 2021 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A head-on collision, unknown injuries, is reported on East Main Street, Batavia, in the area of Will's Carpet One.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:47 p.m.: No injuries. At the same time this call came in, Batavia PD was also making a traffic stop on Ellicott Street and the driver fled the scene on foot. There was a search of the area, including the K-9 officer. 

UPDATE 7:53 p.m.: This incident started with a report of an erratic operator and while patrols where responding they received a report of a head-on collision involving the vehicle. The driver of the truck that was struck was uninjured. The other driver was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy EMS for treatment of minor injuries. The investigation is ongoing, including whether the driver who crossed the center line was operating under the influence. He will at least likely be charged with traffic violations, said Sgt. Mitch Cowen.

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February 25, 2021 - 6:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in live stream, Batavia HS, hockey, batavia.

LIVE: Ice Devils vs. Spencerport. Livestream via Batavia High School Athletics.

February 25, 2021 - 5:10pm
posted by Press Release in City Schools, batavia, Batavia PD, news.

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Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department, in partnership with the City of Batavia School District (BCSD), is proud to announce the addition of Officer Miah Stevens as the newest School Resource Officer (SRO). Officer Stevens is replacing retiring Officer Jason Davis who has held the post for the last two years and has served the City for 20+ years as a police officer.

Officer Stevens is a 2013 graduate of Pembroke High School, she went on to attend Genesee Community College and SUNY Brockport majoring in Criminal Justice. Officer Stevens has previously worked for the YMCA – Batavia as a children’s swim instructor and lifeguard, City of Batavia – Bureau of Maintenance as a summer laborer and the City of Batavia School District as a teacher’s aide. 

“First, I want to thank Officer Davis for his hard work, commitment and dedication to our district and our school community. He has been an invaluable member of our BCSD family and we wish him well as he enters retirement.” said Anibal Soler, superintendent of the BCSD.

“The role of a School Resource Officer is important in our work supporting our students and families. We are grateful and excited to continue our strong partnership with Batavia Police Department and we welcome the addition of our new School Resource Officer Miah Stevens.” 

“I know she will bring new energy, commitment and perspective to our school community. I look forward to the example she will set for many of our female students and I know she will continue the amazing work started by those before her. Welcome to Batavia City Schools Officer Stevens.” 

The City of Batavia Police Department established the SRO program with the BCSD in 2019 and has had a successful partnership. The SRO delivers DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) training, is a resource to connect staff and students to community services, and is a liaison between the District and the criminal justice process.

“I wish to express my appreciation to Officer Davis for his service to the residents of the City of Batavia for the past 20 + years and congratulate Officer Stevens in her new role," said Chief Shawn Heubusch. "I look forward to a continued partnership with the BDSD to ensure a safe environment for youth in Batavia. I welcome all residents to join me in congratulating Officer Stevens as she transitions into her new role.” 

The City of Batavia Police Department’s main priority is to ensure the safety and security of those that live, work and play in the City.  BPD’s mission is to provide comprehensive, effective police services that exceed the expectation of the citizens in a timely and responsive manner.

Photo: Officer Jason Davis, Officer Miah Stevens, Superintendent Anibal Soler

February 25, 2021 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, batavia, news, notify, ice.

Officials with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) don't see things the way a group of activists in the area do when it comes how detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility are being treated in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Activists say the conditions have led to two detainees going on a hunger strike. An ICE spokesman confirmed that as of Feb. 18, there were two individuals on a hunger strike. It's unclear if that's still the case. One person familiar with the facility indicated one of the hunger strikers may have been returned to Canada.

Representatives of Justice for Migrant Families of WNY, which is based in Buffalo, claimed during a press conference on Tuesday that during the recent COVID-19 outbreak, COVID-positive patients have been kept in solitary confinment, that conditions in the facility are unsafe and represent a health threat to the Genesee County community, particularly since, in their view, detainees are being held purely for violations of immigration laws.

ICE officials dispute these allegations.

JMF played two recordings of men they said were detainees at the facility who were on hunger strike.

One man identified himself as Raul (no last name provided).

"I am doing this because I suffer from depression almost every night and I throw up and that's why I'm doing this," Raul said. "I have PTSD. I suffer a lot. And that is why I am doing this."

He added, "I want them to release me. I cannot hold on being here longer. I don't know. I suffer a lot from depression and I am afraid that I will get infected with the virus because I have heard there are a lot of infected people here."

We asked Jennifer Connor, executive director of the organization, if anybody from the group had spoken to Raul and warned him that not getting proper nutrition could weaken his immune system and potentially put him at greater risk, and she said, "The hunger strikers are putting their health at risk. They certainly are, and no one undertakes that lightly.

"It is something that people have resorted to when they are truly desperate. It's a real cry for help. They are essentially saying, 'if if you do not hear me, if you do not end this suffering, then I am going to risk my life to make my voice heard.' So I don't think people take that risk lightly."

A spokesman for ICE said facility personnel closely monitor detainees on hunger strike:

In general, ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference. ICE does not retaliate in any way against hunger strikers. ICE explains the negative health effects of not eating to our detainees. For their health and safety, ICE closely monitors the food and water intake of those detainees identified as being on a hunger strike.

ICE’s detention standards concerning hunger strikes may be reviewed here.

Raul claimed that detainees are not required to wear masks. The ICE spokesman said detainees are issued five masks upon entry and can request new masks as needed. They are required to wear them in common areas but not required to wear them in their own housing units.

Connor and Mary Rutigliano, a local resident who is a member of the Rochester Rapid Response Network, complained that contractors who work as guards at the facility as well as facility employees are not required to be tested for COVID-19.

Rutigliano expressed a lot of concern about employees coming and going from the facility as they could be asymtompatic carriers. 

"(Batavia) is the gateway between the Finger Lakes Region and Buffalo," she said. "So people moving through, stopping in Batavia. That's a huge issue for two big regions in our state."

A source familiar with the facility said ICE has no authrority under the law to require anybody to get tested or to receive a vaccine.

Connor and Rutigliano both complained about COVID-positive patients being kept in solitary confinement.

According to our source, there is no such thing as "solitary confinement" at the facility.  

When The Batavian toured the facility in 2018, we learned there are isolation rooms for people who might be infected with communicable diseases as well as rooms that can be used to isolate detainees involved in conflicts for a cooling off period. 

Detainees, however, are not cut off from the world as they would be in solitary confinment in a prison. They retain, for example, their iPads.  

The ICE spokesman said, "Individuals who are exposed to infectious illnesses are cohorted from non-affected detainees in accordance with CDC  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. Within these separate areas they are still free to walk about and engage with each other and staff."

Previously, The Batavian was told COVID-positive detainees were cohorted in two pods and not intermingled with non-COVID detainees.

The only solution to the problems outlined by the activists, Rutigliano said, is for the population of the facility to be reduced but the facility can house more than 600 detainees. The current population is 139, or 35 percent of its capacity, the ICE spokesman said.

A source familiar with the facility said more than 80 percent of the current population are people referred to immigration by state and federal courts because of criminal cases and the rest are held by order of the immigration court. ICE is not holding people at the facility on its own authority. Since the start of the pandemic, ICE has maintained a policy of releasing everybody who can safely be released, the source said.

February 25, 2021 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia.

Rajea S. Thomas is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 30 that Thomas, while at a residence on Thomas Avenue in the City of Batavia, violated an order of protection with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm a person protected by the order, by striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting the person to physical contact, or he threatened to do so. In count two, Rajea is accused of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor, by allegedly applying pressure to the neck or throat of the victim. In count three, the defendant is accused of attempted criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class B misdemeanor. It is alleged in count three that Rajea on that day prevented, or attempted to prevent, the victim from communicating a request for emergency assistance.

February 25, 2021 - 12:26pm

By Kathy Zipkin, president, Friends of Richmond Memorial Library

The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library are pleased to announce that they have added an extra “Every Day Sale” space at the library!

Until normal book sales can resume, books can be purchased from the shelf by the elevator or from the table in the Reading Room any time the library is open.  

Selections include romance, mysteries, science fiction, history, young adult, cookbooks and so much more!

Please bring a bag if you need one. Sadly, the library still cannot accept donations. Books are priced according to stickers and signage and can be paid with by cash or check.

All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Library. The Friends of the Library exist to support the mission and goals of the library, including direct support of most library programs. New Friends are always welcome -- become a member at the library today!

The library is open regular hours for limited services, including browsing and checking out materials, limited computer use, photocopying, faxing and placing holds on materials.

Please observe all signage and policies when you enter the library. Information about virtual programs can be found on our website.

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

February 25, 2021 - 7:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A car stuck a utility pole in the area of 3624 Batavia Oakfield Townline Road at 6:30 a.m.

There are no injuries.

A second car also reportedly hit the pole after it was down.

There are wires across the roadway so the Batavia Oakfield Townline Road is closed to through traffic until National Grid can respond and shut off power to the line.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS on scene.

February 24, 2021 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, accident.

A semi-truck has reportedly overturned at 5140 W. Ag Park Drive, Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

Town of Batavia fire is responding.

February 24, 2021 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Oakfield, byron, bergen.

Johnathan Falk, 22, of Batavia (no address provided) (inset photo right), was arrested Feb. 17 by Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies on two warrants stemming from previous arrests. In January 2020 he was arrested for petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, in the Town of Warsaw then released as the charge did not qualify for bail reform. He was arrested later that month for criminal possession of a controlled subject in the fifth degree, a Class D felony, and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony. Again he was released since the offenses did not qualify for bail. In June, Falk was arrested for two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, both Class A-II felonies. He was released from custody again. The defendant was indicted on the felony charges in August; he never appeared in court and warrants were issued out of Wyoming County Court and Town of Warsaw Court. When he was arrested earlier this month, he was additionally charged with third-degree bail jumping, a Class A misdemeanor. Falk was arraigned in Warsaw Town Court and put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of bail (unspecified). Falk is due back in Wyoming County Court at a later date. Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted with locating and arresting Falk. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley McGinnis, assisted by Deputy Aaron Chase.

Steven Luigi Maltese, 51, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, is charged with third-degree menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. At 4:05 p.m. on Feb. 19, deputies responded to the 4000 block of South Main Street in the Town of Batavia for a reported domestic incident. After an investigation, Maltese was arrested for allegedly threatening a female victim in the presence of a juvenile during a domestic dispute. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court and is due back there on April 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre.

Benjamin J. Lathan, 20, and Brandon C. Lewis, 20, both of Bergen (no addresses provided) were arrested Feb. 21 by State Police out of the Amity Barracks and charged with petit larceny and trespass. Troopers investigating the January theft of three trail cameras from a property on Streeter Brook Road in the Town of Genesee allegedly determined both men were involved in the theft of the cameras. Both were arrested and released with appearance tickets for Genesee Town Court, where they are due to appear in March.

Will R. Thompson, 21, of Byron (no address provided), was arrested on Feb. 14 by a Wyoming County Sheriff's deputy and charged with having an uninspected motor vehicle and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. At 3:22 p.m. that day Deputy Austin Harding was patrolling northbound on South Main Street in the Village of Perry, when he observed a gray pickup truck southbound with a 2020 inspection sticker on the front windshield. Harding conducted a traffic stop near Camp Road and a DMV data check found the inspection sticker expired Nov. 30 and that Thompson's license was suspended twice for failure to answer a summons in the Town of Hastings Court on Feb. 8. Thompson was proceseed roadside, then released with an appearance ticket to appear in Village of Perry Court at a later date.

Antonio Diego Dames, 45, of Farnsworth Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon marijuana in the fourth degree. At 2:29 p.m. on Feb. 22, Genesee County Sheriffs deputies responded to a residence on Farnsworth Avenue in the Village of Oakfield to assist the county Probatation Department. After an investigation, Dames was arrested for allegedly possessing more than two ounces of marijuana. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Oakfield Town Court on April 5. The case was handled by Deputy Erik Andre. CORRECTION: This item initially, and mistakenly, used the word "weapon" instead of "marijuana" in the criminal charge. The Batavian regrets the error.

February 24, 2021 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stefano Napolitano, livestream, video, City Fire, batavia.
Video Sponsor

 Interview with City Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano

February 24, 2021 - 12:19pm
posted by Press Release in sports, baseball, muckdogs, batavia, Diamond Dance Team.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs are proud to announce that there will be in-stadium entertainment this year as Le Beau Salon presents the Diamond Dance Team!

The Diamond Dance Team will be featured during the breaks in the ball game showing off their dance routines and keeping the crowd entertained with their abilities. The dance team has been a part of CAN-USA Sports baseball in Elmira and it is a tradition that has been passed down year after year. 

CAN-USA Sports owners Robbie and Nellie Nichols are quick to tell the story: “We want young people to be engaged at the ball park and giving them an opportunity to be a part of this historic franchise will be a great way to do that. The Diamond Dance Team will not only be an avenue for dancers to showcase their talent, but it will also allow parents and family members to see their loved ones perform in front of people in a unique environment.”

The Muckdogs first took the field in 1998 and captured three division titles in 2008, 2010, and in what would be their final season of 2019. Batavia also brought a League title back to Dwyer Stadium in 2008. 

The Diamond Dance Team will be managed by KMS Dance Studio and tryout information will be available through KMS. 

Season Tickets are on sale now! You can call (607) 734-7825 or email [email protected] and reserve your spot at Dwyer Stadium for the first pitch and everyone that follows!

February 24, 2021 - 12:16pm

Press release:

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is hosting its first “Virtual Meat Raffle” on Saturday, March 13, and is seeking assistance from friends and the community to support this fundraising event.

In 2020, the foundation had to cancel all major fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now holding its first ever virtual event.

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit (501)(c)3 organization whose mission is threefold:

  1. It assists families undergoing the challenges of a pediatric cancer diagnosis.
  2. Provides funding to youth organizations through our grant program.
  3. Supports ongoing research efforts in pediatric blood cancers.

Your help is needed to continue to assist those in need and carry on this mission.

The Virtual Meat Raffle ticket packages are as follows:

Package #1 -- $50

  • 15 Rounds plus “Meat and Seafood Finale” (Three winners per round will win all items in round.)

Package #2 -- $90

  • 15 Rounds plus “Meat and Seafood Finale” (Three winners per round will win all items in round.) 

PLUS A CHANCE TO WIN 1 of 4 FABULOUS PRIZES:

  1. Coleman 3-burner “Wherever You Go” Grill with Utensils
  2. $100 worth of lottery tickets in a frame
  3. Yeti cooler filled with beverages
  4. Buffalo Bills Tailgate Chairs/ Cooler and Tumblers

Tickets can be purchased by mail to P.O. Box 267, Batavia, NY 14021-0267, [email protected], or through the website at www.michaelshope.org.

Thank you for “Lending a Hand for Hope” and supporting the mission of the Foundation.

Please contact any of the following contacts with questions, or ticket information. 

Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, (585) 861-0550

Laurie Napoleone, (585) 409-3275

Michelle Krantz, (716) 572-2955

February 24, 2021 - 12:14pm
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, sports, dance, cheer, KMS Dance Academy, batavia.

Press release:

CAN-USA Sports is proud to announce that a unique event is set for Sunday May 16th at Dwyer Stadium as KMS Dance Academy will present their Annual Dance and Cheer Showcase outdoors at Dwyer Stadium this year! 

KMS Dance Academy has been a staple in the community offering a wide range of dance classes from ages 2 through adult, including tot hip hop, baby ballerinas, and competitive level classes, by owner/director Erica Grazioplene, a local to Batavia with more than 25 years experience.

Grazioplene is very appreciative of the Muckdogs and CAN-USA Sports.

“I would like to thank Nellie and Robbie for helping me fulfill my promise to our dancers and families at KMS Dance Academy that we can have a show this year," she said. "I am so grateful and excited to work with them and the Muckdogs organization." 

This will be the first time the event will be held outside for the first time in the history of the showcase and also the first time the stadium will host another event outside of baseball as well. 

Robbie Nichols, owner of CAN-USA Sports, told media members “When we decided to come to Batavia we knew that there was a lot of possibilities to bring entertainment to this venue outside of just hosting baseball games. Bringing in a competition like this is just the first step of the process and we are excited to see more and more events come to Batavia and utilize this beautiful stadium as much as possible.”

Tickets are on sale now! You can call Erica Grazioplene at KMS Dance Academy at (585) 409-6875 and reserve your spot at Dwyer Stadium for this historic event Sunday May 16th!

February 23, 2021 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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    Jacob Sponaugle

A Batavia resident accused of attempted murder could be the first defendant to face an in-person trial in Genesee County since the start of the pandemic a year ago.

Jacob Sponaugle, 22, being held in the Genesee County Jail, made a virtual appearance today while the attorneys in the case informed Judge Charles Zambito they had no oral arguments to make in motions they've filed in the case.

Zambito will read their motion papers -- standard pretrial motions -- and issue a ruling in a few weeks.

He scheduled an in-person appearance for Sponaugle at 9:30 a.m., April 12. The judge noted that it is likely -- since Sponaugle is being held in custody -- that of all the pending potential trial cases, his could be the first in County Court since the coronavirus outbreak.

April 12 will be the plea cut-off date for Sponaugle, though District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said after today's hearing that he has yet to make a plea offer in the case. He didn't indicate whether he would or not.

Sponaugle is accused of shooting a person entering the lobby of the Days Inn in Batavia in July.

He is also charged with: assault, 1st; criminal use of a firearm; aggravated criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd; criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd; and criminal sale of a firearm, 3rd.

Video below, coverage of the July 22 incident.

Video Sponsor
February 23, 2021 - 4:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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       Justin Gladney

A Batavia man is going to serve at least a year in prison for a violation of probation but his fate on rape charges remains pending.

While held in the Genesee County Jail, Justin T. Gladney, 30, appeared virtually in County Court today on his violation of probation conviction.

His appearance on his rape charges was continued until March 23, when all parties are expected to appear in person.

Nearly a year ago, Gladney admitted to a violation of probation and according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, he's subsequently been arrested on other charges. Those arrests, Friedman argued, meant Gladney had violated his sentencing cap offered to him for his guilty plea.

Instead of one to three years, Friedman said, he should get one and a third to four years.

Gladney was arrested locally in June 2020 and later in Monroe County.

His attorney, Marty Anderson, argued that Gladney is facing allegations from those arrests and hasn't been convicted. He asked for a one-year local sentence on the felony violation of probation conviction.

Gladney blamed his prior bad behavior on drug use and said he has been through treatment and is a changed man.

Judge Charles Zambito agreed with Friedman and sentenced Gladney to one and a third to four years in state prison.

Gladney is facing a criminal indictment on counts of first-degree rape, a Class B violent felony, third-degree rape, a Class D felony, and possession of a sexual performance by a child, a Class E felony.

A Class B violent felony carries a possible sentence of five to 25 years.

He is accused of a violent rape in early June on Lehigh Avenue, Batavia, of sexual intercourse while being older than 18 with a child 15 or less. 

Gladney remains in custody locally while his rape charges are pending.

February 22, 2021 - 1:50pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Chiropractor Noah Hoy, pictured above left, has been named as the Team Chiropractor of the Batavia Muckdogs for the 2021-2023 seasons.

Hoy says he's “excited to work for the 'dogs and help them perform at the highest level on the field."

The Batavia Muckdogs, owned by Robbie Nichols (above, right) are now part of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, which hosts D1 MLB prospects from across the country.

"I’ve been going to games since I was a little guy and it’s cool to know I’ll be working with a team I grew up with,” Hoy said. 

Games for the upcoming season are expected to begin at the end of May.

To keep track of all things Muckdogs, visit their new Facebook page.

Hoy is currently accepting patient appointments at Mazurkiewicz Family Chiropractic, located at 184 Washington Ave. in the City of Batavia.

February 22, 2021 - 1:28pm
posted by Press Release in Crossroads House Book Club, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Crossroads House Book Club is a new initiative in our mission as a comprehensive end-of-life resource in our community.

It is open to anyone and we look forward to serving you!

We will be discussing the first 15 short stories in the book “Dandelions Blooming in the Cracks of Sidewalks,” by Amita Lhamo.

In it, the author describes lessons she learned in difficult situations as a hospice chaplain. Her mix of poetry and storytelling makes this a captivating read!

Our event will take place on Monday, March 22 via Zoom from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Please RSVP by March 10th to [email protected] and the Zoom meeting instructions will be sent to you as we get closer to the date.

You can pick up a copy of the book on Amazon or from your retailer of choice.

Pull up a cozy chair, snuggle in with the dog or cat, and pour yourself a cup of whatever suits your fancy. We hope you’ll join the Crossroads House family and friends for this event!

February 20, 2021 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

img_0135smithcardinal.jpg

Photo submitted by Jason Smith.

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