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May 23, 2020 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
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      Anthony Welch

Anthony J. "Science" Welch, 39, of Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, after allegedly being found in possession of crack cocaine following a traffic stop by the Local Drug Task Force.

The charge is premised on the allegation that the amount of the narcotic in Welch's possession indicates he intended to sell it.

Welch was a passenger in a car driven by Steven R. Colombo, 33, of Batavia, who was allegedly driving while his privilege was suspended.

Another passenger, Amy L. Coulson, 33, of Batavia, was also arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

Following the traffic stop, Welch and Coulson were taken to the Genesee County Jail and based on a search warrant they were searched. Welch was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine that he tried to hide during the traffic stop. 

Welch was also charged with tampering with physical evidence, promoting prison contraband, and criminally using drug paraphernalia.  

Colombo was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd.

Following arraignment, Welch was released under supervision of Genesee Justice and Coulson and Colombo were released on appearance tickets. 

The Task Force was assisted by Batavia PD, Corrections Officers, and the District Attorney's Office.

May 23, 2020 - 1:21pm

 June Haegele)

June Haegele, a longtime nurse for the VA Western New York Health Care System, received the Florence Nightingale Award on May 12 at the Batavia VA Community Living Center (CLC) for her dedication to keeping local veterans healthy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“It's an honor to be working with the veterans at the VA,” Haegele said. “And it was quite a surprise and a very appreciated honor for the staff to actually recognize me in that way.”

The Batavia VA has reported two positive COVID-19 cases, and Genesee County has experienced more than 170 confirmed cases throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Because nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19, Haegele’s work to prevent disease transmission earned her this award for exceptional nurses.

Named after Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, this international honor is given to medical workers who reflect Nightingale’s achievements and legacy in infection and disease treatment. May 12 marked the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth and the final day of National Nurses Week 2020. Nightingale awards are intended to highlight local nurses like Haegele who positively represent the nursing profession. 

“2020 is considered the Year of the Nurse in medical communities,” said Terry McGuire, public affairs specialist for the VA Western New York Health Care System. “To honor that, they [the Batavia VA] came up with this particular award. June was recognized for helping out with controlling infection, especially during this COVID crisis that we find ourselves in.”

Haegele was named the first recipient of the Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award, which is a new recognition at the Batavia VA that is modeled after the worldwide Nightingale honor. The Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award is expected to be given annually to local nursing professionals.

Surrounded by nurse managers during the nursing supervisor’s morning report, Haegele was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a lamp, which is symbolic of how Nightingale was the “Lady with the Lamp” while taking care of her patients in the 1850s.

“They just told me to come down to the morning meeting, and they surprised me with an award because I've been actually working very hard lately,” Haegele said. “The staff have been very supportive, and we've been working great as a team getting through what we're currently going through.” 

Haegele, who is a lifelong Batavia resident and graduate of Batavia High School, has served at the Batavia VA Medical Center for more than three decades. With the support of VA scholarships, she earned higher-education nursing degrees at Genesee Community College and Keuka College.

Haegele specializes in occupational health and infection prevention. She has recently been making rounds at the Batavia CLC on an hourly basis researching, mentoring and presenting policy and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In the beginning, especially, things were changing hour by hour, day by day,” Haegele said. “You had to constantly be researching for any changes so you could keep everyone aware of the current recommendations. And I spent a lot of time educating and supporting the staff and ensuring that we were doing the right thing based on what they [the CDC] were recommending.”

The rapidly changing conditions of the public health crisis have meant that Haegel spends an extensive amount of time adapting safe infection control practices to ensure local VA residents and staff are isolated from the disease. According to a VA newsletter about the award, Haegele has contributed to the zero mortality rate at the Batavia facility.

“The nurses are responding with a united front in that residents are safe and provided a continuation of outstanding nursing care and using maximum safeguards for infection prevention,” said Evange Conley, public affairs officer for the VA Western New York Health Care System, via email.

Haegele said that she is passionate about working with veterans and that it was meaningful to her to be the first recipient of the Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award. She said she thinks the award is beneficial for staff members at the Batavia VA because it boosts morale and acknowledges their perseverance amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don't think any of us ever expected something like this to happen,” Haegele said. “It's been difficult to deal with this, but, on a very positive side, I just see a lot of great teamwork and collaboration. And it's stressful, but people are supporting each other. So it's really brought us together to do a good job based on the challenge that we're facing right now.”

Photo at top: June Haegele, left, received the first Batavia Community Living Center Florence Nightingale Award from Associate Chief Nurse Kathleen Padlick, right, on May 12 at the Batavia VA. Haegele earned the award for her hard work during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo credit: June Haegele)

May 23, 2020 - 12:35pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, coronavirus, free face masks.

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Masks obtained by the Genesee County Emergency Management Office, to help stop the spread of coronavirus, were distributed for free by the City of Batavia to members of the public on from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 21st and again today, May 23rd.

Today's distribution was behind the City of Batavia Police Station on Main Street.

A constant line of cars took advantage of the free offering of masks and hand sanitizer. Some motorists took masks for friends that were not able to drive or leave their house. 

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May 22, 2020 - 5:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, scanner.

A disturbance is reported in the parking lot at BJ's Wholesale Club plaza. A caller to dispatch reports that a person keyed her car and now the two parties are arguing. No word on how it all began. Law enforcement is on scene. The location is 8330 Lewiston Road, Batavia.

May 22, 2020 - 4:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A car vs. pedestrian accident with injuries occurred at 144 State St. The location is between Park and Richmond avenues in the city. City fire, Mercy medics and police are on scene.

May 22, 2020 - 1:59pm

Press release:

During these unprecedented times, the United Way of Genesee County (UWGC) has secured numerous grants and donations, which are being used throughout the county for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

The UWGC matched a crisis grant from National Grid and awarded mini grants to nine agencies in Genesee County who are supplying resources and services to the community.

Additionally, event sponsors for the cancelled 2020 Day of Caring requested their monies be used where needed the most and not be returned. These funds have been added to the donations received from individuals and small businesses and more grant awards will be made.

This week the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo awarded from the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund to the United Way of Genesee County $25,000 to distribute to entities who are supplying the community with resources and critical services.

The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund was created by the philanthropic community to support nonprofits addressing immediate needs in response to the COVID-19 crisis in the eight counties of Western New York.

Recognizing that a lot of the burden of the response is falling on community-based and grassroots organizations, the Fund created a microgrant program to rapidly deploy resources to small urban and rural organizations that provide hands-on assistance to community members.

Intermediary organizations in each county that are recognized as trusted voices and partners identified the microgrant recipients for awards that typically range from $500 - $2,500. 

The following nonprofits will receive funding from this gracious gift:

  • The Salvation Army of Batavia
  • City Church Community Food Pantry
  • North Bergen Presbyterian Church Community Food Pantry
  • Pavilion United Methodist Church Community Food Pantry
  • Project Stork Baby Pantry
  • Care-A-Van Ministries
  • Le Roy Community Kitchen
  • Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern
  • GLOW YMCA 
  • YWCA of Genesee County
  • ABCD: Agri-Business Center
  • Community Action of Genesee and Orleans
  • CASA for Children

The newest funding received is an award of $1,000 from the Kiwanis Club of Batavia to purchase food for the UWGC’s weekend food program, the Backpack Program.

The United Way of Genesee County is overwhelmed with gratitude for each and every gracious donor who has stepped up and said "I want to help."

Accompanying the gratitude for donors is the abundance of gratitude for each volunteer who has worked food distributions, picked up donations, ran food drives and so much more.

Together we do make Genesee County stronger.

For those who would love to support the efforts of the United Way of Genesee County, please contact Executive Director Tammy Hathaway at (585) 343-8141 or email:   [email protected]

May 22, 2020 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia.

D'Andre J. Cramer, 21, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree coercion and third-degree assault. Cramer was arrested at 10:46 p.m. on May 7 after a domestic incident on Dellinger Avenue. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and is due in Batavia City Court on June 5th. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Michael R. Ostrander, 55, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and third-degree menacing. Ostrander was arrested following an incident in the 400 block of East Main Street, Batavia, at 10 p.m. on May 18. It is alleged that he touched a person and threatened another. He is due in Batavia City Court on June 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Adam Tucker, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Jamar T. Shipp, 31, of Niagara Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with aggravated harassment. Shipp was arrested on May 19 after an investigation and arraigned at 4:07 p.m. in Batavia City Court. It is alleged that at 5:21 p.m. on May 9 during a phone call that Shipp threatened to physically harm a female. He was released on his own recognizance and is due to return to city court on July 1. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Alex Roberts.

Matthew W. Barber, 52, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a computer. Barber was arrested at 9:26 a.m. on May 21 after an investigation into an incident that occurred at 12:15 a.m. on May 19 in the 700 block of Ellicott Street, Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on June 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin.

Christopher Parker, 31, of Morse Place, Batavia, and Joshua Williams, 30, of Portland Avenue, Rochester, are charged with: unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree, a violation; criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree, also a violation; and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor. The duo was arrested by City of Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger and the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force after a traffic stop (location and time not provided) on May 21. They were issued appearance tickets and are due in City of Batavia Court on June 16.

May 22, 2020 - 12:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Emergency Order #11-2020, news.

Emergency Order #11-2020

I issue the following emergency order(s) for the period of May 27, 2020 through May 31, 2020. This order continues the following issued under Emergency Order #10, which was effective May 22, 2020.

Expect to see updates of this order as we receive changes to restrictions from the State of New York.

  1. All public parks within the City limits of the City of Batavia, New York remain open to public use from 7 a.m. to dusk. During the times that public parks are open, State of New York declared restrictions on congregating will be observed. In addition, all playground areas, basketball courts, picnic pavilions, splash pads, and other park facilities that are used for activities that constitute congregating are closed to public use. (These do not include tennis and pickle ball courts.)

As a reminder to the public, City emergency orders are required to be reissued every five days. In addition, the City of Batavia has a separate document titled Local State of Emergency Proclamation that is required, lasting up to 30 days. 

An outline of the Phase One partial reopening is available here.

Martin D. Moore, Ph.D.

Manager, City of Batavia

May 22, 2020 - 11:17am
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, scanner.

A criminal mischief complaint was called into the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center a few minutes ago. A man who lives on Walnut Street in the city says his neighbor purposely cut down shrubs, which the complainant claims are his, and that this sort of thing is an ongoing problem. City police just arrived.

May 22, 2020 - 6:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A scissor lift with a person inside has tipped over in the parking lot between the Tops mall and Batavia Downs.  

The location is a maintenance shop.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched. 

Mercy Flight on ground standby.

UPDATE 7:21 a.m.: The location was a maintenance area behind Batavia Downs. The patient was extricated and transported to Strong by Mercy EMS.

May 21, 2020 - 7:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Cedar Street, notify.

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While it's not unusual for recently constructed sidewalks to buckle in the heat, the number of faults in the sidewalk along Cedar Street since it was installed in 2013 is unusual, said City of Batavia Public Works Director Matt Worth.

It's also unexplainable. 

Worth -- wasn't appointed public works director until after the project was completed  -- indicated a combination of factors could cause the buckling, including the spacing of the joints, the nature of the subsurface, and the chemistry of the cement.  

The buckling is caused by the cement expanding in the heat of the sun beating down on the pavement.

It's been an issue ever since the project was completed, Worth said. While there are as many as six buckle points along the path now, eventually, the issue will resolve itself as repairs are made and pressure is relieved on the cement.

There's nothing to suggest, Worth said, that the contractor who installed the sidewalks, shares any liability.

City crews will repair the broken sections, he said, at a fraction of the cost of hiring a contractor to do the work.

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May 21, 2020 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gilliana's Diner, batavia, Jackson Street, news, restaurants, business, notify.

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The middle of an economic lockdown may not seem like the ideal time to open a new restaurant but when it's something you were planning and dreaming about before a global pandemic was announced, that's what you do as soon as you can.

Gilliana's Diner, on Jackson Street, in the former location of Sylvania's, opened yesterday.

"We're super excited," said Jill Antinore, who owns the new eatery with her husband Mark.

Jill said they purchased the restaurant Feb. 1 then the global health emergency hit and the County Health Department wasn't issuing health permits. They had to wait until the Health Department was able to give them the OK to open.

Opened for breakfast and lunch -- except on Friday when they offer a dinner menu -- Jill described the diner as "a breakfast place with Italian specialties."

Available for takeout now are typical breakfast items, such as bacon and eggs, and items such as "The Godfather," which is egg, provolone, Italian sausage, sweet or hot peppers; and "Italian eggs in Purgatory," which is two eggs poached in homemade tomato sauce, with cannellini beans, peppers and onions.

The lunch menu includes tripe, homemade meatballs, agrodolce, and parmesan chicken wings.

Hours are Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Friday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. The diner is closed on Wednesdays.

The phone number is (585) 201-7772.

May 21, 2020 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, batavia.

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City fire's Christine Marinaccio hands out masks to a family that stopped by the city's mask distribution point at the Fire Hall this afternoon. Councilman Bob Bialkowski, to her right, said the distribution started out with 100 cars lined up and there had been a steady stream of cars coming through the drive-thru distribution point.

The masks were acquired by Genesee County Emergency Management and provided to the city for distribution to residents.

More face coverings will be available to the general public Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Police Headquarters on West Main Street.

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City Manager Martin Moore.

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Resident Greg Bruggman gets stocked up with masks and hand sanitizer. 

May 21, 2020 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in restaurants, news, coronavirus, notify, batavia.

As the weather warms, several local restaurant owners, who have been operating under coronavirus lockdown conditions for two months, are looking to outdoor -- al fresco -- dining as a way to attract more customers while maintaining social distancing.

City Manager Martin Moore said he's interested in exploring the idea further. Currently, restaurants won't be able to reopen under the governor's plan for the post-lockdown economy until Phase Three. Moore said he would like to explore giving restaurants a way to serve more diners, besides curbside and delivery.

Several restaurants in Batavia -- Roman's, T.F. Brown's, Islands Hawaiian Grill, O'Lacy's Irish Pub, Center Street Smoke House, for example -- have patios. Settler's has a patio-like space in front of the restaurant and owner John Spyropoulous would like to put it to use. Main St. Pizza Co. has in the past offered seats and tables on the sidewalk and that might be an option for other locations, but with social distancing requirements, restaurants might be looking for more space.

That could mean adjoining or nearby city-owned parking lots or Jackson Square.

Moore said he would have to check with code enforcement about using city property for restaurant use.

Derek Geib, owner of Roman's, Bourbon and Burger Co., and The Coffee Press, is eager to offer outdoor dining. Roman's has an open patio and a patio with retractable windows. While Bourbon and Burger and The Coffee Press don't have patios -- though they can offer sidewalk dining -- both have easy access to Jackson Square. So do Eli Fish, Center Street and the newly opened Gilliana's, but Geib thinks all restaurants that want to participate should have access to diners in Jackson Square.

Matt Gray, the owner of Eli Fish, is also eager to see Jackson Square opened up to diners, with tables spaced at least six feet apart, of course. Gray also owns Alex's Place and he said if there was customer interest, he would explore creating a dining area in the restaurant's parking lot.

The rub for most restaurant owners, however, is the ability to serve alcohol, especially on city property. The would require both the state and the city to make allowances for alcohol service but the state did recognize the importance of alcohol sales to restaurants at the start of the lockdown. Restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol during the lockdown during curbside pickup and delivery.

Moore said if the state would allow it and there is no local law that prohibits it, he is open alcohol sales in Jackson Square or in a designated space in a city-owned parking lot.

“If they give us some kind of ability for our restaurants to have more customers, we’re definitely going to explore every angle to try and make that reality," Moore said.

On a statewide basis, the New York Restaurant Association is supporting outdoor dining and today issued this statement:

“As parts of the state have begun the reopening process and other regions are progressing towards that goal, the New York State Restaurant Association is urging the state to allow restaurants to reopen for outdoor dining during phase two. Just this week, outdoor dining was included in phase one in Connecticut’s reopening.

Additionally, we are formally asking for expanded outdoor dining capabilities, an emphasis on social distancing requirements over capacity limits, and allowing continued sales of alcohol to-go. Just about every restaurant in the state is teetering on the edge of financial hardship, and we need to do everything possible to keep them afloat.

“To do our part, NYSRA, our members, and all restaurants in the state will continue to follow stringent sanitation practices to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff. That’s the promise that we’re making to our guests, who we can’t wait to serve again.”

May 21, 2020 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, bergen.

Press release:

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Guillermo Torres-Acevedo, 23, of Batavia, who was convicted of enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity, was sentenced to serve 84 months in prison (7 years) and 10 years supervised release by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, who handled the case, stated that on Nov. 25, 2018, the defendant, then a 22-year-old man, had sexual relations with the victim, a 14-year-old girl. Torres-Acevedo was arrested the following day for, among other charges, rape in violation of New York Penal Law.

Following his arrest, the defendant persuaded the victim to travel with him out of state to continue their relationship. On Nov. 29, 2018, Torres-Acevedo picked up the victim from school in Genesee County and drove her to Pennsylvania, where they had sexual intercourse. Under Pennsylvania law, that constituted the crime of statutory sexual assault.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton; the Pennsylvania State Police, under the direction of Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert. 

PreviouslyBatavia man pleads guilty to rape in Amber Alert case

May 21, 2020 - 5:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in golf, sports, batavia country club, batavia.

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A Batavia Country Club today, Dave Barone, an avid golfer for nearly 60 years, sank his first hole-in-one.

The perfect shot came on the 178-yard 17th hole. Barone was swinging a 4 hybrid.

He finished the round at 79 strokes.  

In his foursome were Rod Allen, Johnny Lowe, and Doug Cecere.

Photo and info submitted by Doug Cecere.

May 21, 2020 - 2:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, Le Roy.

POTSDAM -- The State University of New York at Potsdam will recognize nearly 900 candidates for graduation with a special virtual Commencement celebration at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 23.

The SUNY Potsdam Class of 2020 will be honored in an online ceremony and watch party on the traditional Commencement day, until the College is able to safely hold an in-person event honoring all of this year's bachelor's and master's graduates at a later date.

The graduates include:

  • Lily Hamill, of Batavia, who is graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature/Writing and Middle/Secondary English Education.
  • Hannah Rosicka, of Le Roy, who is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and International Studies.

During Commencement, SUNY Potsdam honors students who have either earned their degree or are eligible to graduate during that calendar year. To learn more about Commencement at SUNY Potsdam, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/commencement.

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence.

The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit http://www.potsdam.edu.

May 21, 2020 - 2:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, Oakfield, Pavilion.

Nazareth College students named five Genesee County stundets to the Spring 2020 dean's list.

They are:

  • Kaitlin Ange, of Batavia
  • Kimberly Davis, of Pavilion
  • Chelsea Jensen, of Batavia
  • Lauren Reding, of Oakfield
  • Ryann Stefaniak, of Batavia

A student's grade-point average must be at least 3.5 or above, and they must complete 12 credit hours of graded work that semester in order to be included on the dean's list at Nazareth

Nazareth College's academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts.

The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester challenges and supports 2,000 undergrads and 800 graduate students.

Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life's work.

May 20, 2020 - 6:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, news, batavia.

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Retired dispatcher, who started his career with Batavia Police Department 30 years ago today, was honored by members of the force for his service to the department and continued support of its mission.

Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

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May 20, 2020 - 5:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

BEXLEY, OHIO -- Capital University is pleased to announce Natalie Rogers, of Batavia, was named to the Provost's List for the spring 2020 semester.

To be named to the Provost's List, full-time, degree-seeking students must have achieved a grade-point average of at least 3.70.

Located in the Columbus, Ohio, neighborhood of Bexley, Capital University is a private, four-year undergraduate institution and graduate school. Capital prepares students for meaningful lives and purposeful careers through a relevant liberal arts core curriculum and deep professional programs.

Influenced by its Lutheran heritage, Capital places great emphasis on the free and open exchange of ideas, seeking out diverse perspectives, active participation in society, leadership and service. With a focus on rigor and experiential learning, the University capitalizes on its size, location, and heritage to develop the whole person, both inside and outside the classroom.

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