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November 27, 2018 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dri, Downtown Revitalization Initiative, downtown, news, batavia.

image004driarea_0.pngPress release:

The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) announced today that applications for a $600,000 Building Improvement Fund are available to all building owners within the Batavia Improvement District (BID) as part of Batavia’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

Batavia is “All In” to reshape its urban core by embracing and celebrating its rich entrepreneurial history, fostering cultural appreciation and creating vibrant places for all to enjoy.

In alignment with the Batavia Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Investment Strategy the city will seek to foster more arts, culture and entertainment; healthy living and wellness; and prosperity for all.

“As co-chair of the DRI Local Planning Committee I am pleased that this building improvement fund is moving forward, and building owners interested in making investment can receive assistance through the $600,000 fund,” said Eugene Jankowski, City Council president.

The Building Improvement Fund was recommended as a priority by the DRI Local Planning Committee and included in the Batavia DRI Investment Strategy. Filling vacant and underutilized structures has been a common goal across many of Batavia’s planning documents including the Brownfield Opportunity Area (2015), the City’s Comprehensive Plan (2016) and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Investment Strategy (2018).

“The DRI is an amazing economic development tool to improve Downtown Batavia, help new businesses start-up, and existing ones thrive,” said Marty Moore, City of Batavia manager. “I will be working hard to ensure that we continue to support our local businesses and building owners.”

“The DRI Local Planning Committee is committed to seeing the recommended projects move forward in downtown Batavia,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) and co-chair of the DRI Local Planning Committee. “These are exciting times for Batavia, and the County, with so many investments in transformational downtown projects.”

Building owners selected for grants will be awarded between $10,000 (minimum) up to $200,000 (maximum) in DRI grant funds, per building, not to exceed 60 percent of the total building renovation project cost.

The funding is on a building-by-building basis and “in-kind” match is not eligible. Costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant agreement are not eligible for reimbursement, and not eligible as a match.

“The fund has been established to provide grant funding for applicants to implement interior and exterior building improvements in Batavia’s BID. Buildings must be commercial and/or mixed-use structures, have a plan ready to implement and funding to cover the cost of the entire project up-front,” said Pier Cipollone, president of the Batavia Development Corporation.

Eligible activities including façade improvements, window/door repair and replacement, painting, masonry repair, awnings, building signs, exterior lighting, storefront upgrades, roofs, and interior upgrades (heating, plumbing, electrical, walls, floors). Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 18th.

Rachael Tabelski, director of Economic Development of the BDC said, “The BDC is looking forward to working with Downtown building owners, understanding their plans, and finding ways to advance improvements and renovations. With each new building that we save and repair there is an enormous social and economic impact on our City.”

Leanna DiRisio, interim director of the Downtown Batavia Improvement District said, “I look forward to working with BDC and the Downtown building owners as interim director. I am confident that the Building Improvement Fund is a great resource and will increase the momentum of downtown living, shopping and entertaining."

The BDC will host an information session about the Batavia DRI-Building Improvement Fund on Tuesday Dec. 18th at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. All building owners are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

Guidelines and the application can be found on the BDC website here.

November 27, 2018 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in CountryMax, business, batavia, news.

Press release:

CountryMax announces it will open a new Batavia store in 2019, in the former OfficeMax building located at 4160 Veterans Memorial Drive. The new Batavia location will become the 17th store operated by the local, Western New York family-owned business.

The 23,000-square-foot store will showcase multiple custom-built, wood-themed interior elements reflecting local history, as well as climate-controlled small pet rooms, a wild bird center, and more than 2,000 square feet of premium, healthy foods for dogs, cats, and pets of all shapes and sizes.

In addition to the massive selection of healthy pet options, the new location will feature a large selection of barn and stable feed and supplies, as well as an expansive lawn and garden offering for all seasons.

Additional features will include a “Scrub House” self-serve dog wash, special events room, and a custom-built wood lodge filled with homesteading products; beer, wine, cider, and cheese-making kits; housewares; gifts and novelty items.

CountryMax will be celebrating 35 years in 2019. It has grown by being known as the neighborhood store that can compete with competition both big and small, with prices and selection consumers have come to demand, as well as a customer service experience that goes above and beyond traditional expectations of today’s retail stores, such as their full carry-out service for purchases big and small.

“We were extremely disappointed when we shut our doors in our previous Batavia location because we knew that our customers in Batavia were so loyal in a location that did not fully showcase what we have developed our stores to be over the years,” said Brad Payne, director of sales. “Once we found the right opportunity, it was really just a decision on our part to give the Batavia community the 'true' CountryMax experience that we have been working on in our new locations.

"I think anyone who shopped with us in the past knows we have a huge, unique selection of products that fits the Batavia area, and they are going to be thrilled to see the amount of time, effort, and work that goes into creating the new CountryMax store experience.”

CountryMax, in business for more than 34 years, now operates 17 locations across New York State.

November 26, 2018 - 2:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Basom, batavia.

Daphne Sundown, of Basom, was arrested on Nov. 24 and charged with aggravated DWI -- with a BAC of .18 percent or greater, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Troopers responded to a report of a vehicle accident on Greiner Road at the intersection of Goodrich Road in Clarence. Investigation revealed that she rear-ended another vehicle that was stopped at the light. Sundown subsequently allegedly failed field sobriety tests. During a search a small amount of cocaine was found on Sundown and in the vehicle. She was released with a return court date in Clarence.

Isaiah P. Petty, 21, of Van Schoick Avenue, Albany, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and drinking alcohol in the motor vehicle on a highway. Petty was arrested at 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 24 on Main Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. Petty was issued an appearance ticket and is due in City of Batavia Court on Dec. 18. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon.

November 26, 2018 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia, crime, notify.
  Samuel Blackshear

The attorney for the teenager accused of shooting murderer Nathaniel Wilson in the leg on May 17 on Central Avenue reached an 11th-hour plea agreement with District Attorney Lawrence Friedman today, saving his client a trial on felony assault charges. 

Jury selection was scheduled to begin today for Samuel Blackshear, 17, who was indicted by a grand jury on counts of attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and two counts of criminal possession in the second degree.

Today, Blackshear entered a guilty plea to one count of criminal possession of a weapon with the understanding that he could be granted youthful offender status, which could mean probation or a 1 1/3 to four-year prison term, but if he isn't granted YO he faces at least three and a half years in state prison.

Whether Blackshear is declared a youthful offender will be entirely up to Judge Charles Zambito, who will issue his decision at Blackshear's sentencing at 2:30 p.m., Jan. 23, and Zambito, given the severity of the criminal possession of a weapon charge, can only reach that conclusion if he's convinced there were mitigating circumstances to justify Blackshear's possession of a loaded handgun.

Blackshear did not have a license to possess a handgun and at 17; he's too young to obtain a license to possess a loaded handgun.

His attorney, James Hinman, of Webster, will argue, he said, that there was justification, the mitigating circumstances necessary for Zambito to reach that conclusion.

Outside of court, Hinman explained that the video obtained from the pole camera placed by Batavia PD on Central Avenue just a day before the incident shows Wilson stabbing 41-year-old Terry J. Toote twice (Friedman said Toote was only stabbed once), killing him, and after dropping the knife, Wilson picks it up, walks into the middle of Central Avenue and starts approaching three other people in the street.

Toote, according to Hinman, is Blackshear's uncle. Friedman said he doesn't believe that is accurate.

"The video clearly shows (Wilson) threatening those other three people with that knife," Hinman said. "That is clearly, to me, a circumstance under which using deadly physical force to defend someone else is permitted under the law."

If the case had gone to trial, Hinman was expected to argue that Blackshear was justified in shooting Wilson but that only would have been a defense on the assault charge and the criminal possession of a weapon with intent to harm another person charge.

As Friedman explained after the hearing, "As you heard the defense attorney say, they were going to raise a justification defense, defense of yourself for others, and that would address the attempted assault first, the assault second, and also the one weapon possession charge that requires intent to use unlawfully, because if you are justified in the use then it wouldn't be unlawful use. But he realized that there was no defense to the possession of a loaded firearm outside of your home or place of business."

Wilson and Blackshear were two of the three defendants taken into custody after the May 17 incident. Also arrested was Jennifer Urvizu-Hanlon, 48, a Batavia businesswoman who owned a Mexican grocery store in the Valu Plaza.

Urvizu-Hanlon is accused of giving her licensed handgun to Blackshear at the Central Avenue scene.

She is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, both Class C violent felonies.

Her attorney, Christian Kennedy, has indicated at previous court appearances on her behalf that he also intends to raise the justification defense if the case goes to trial.

Hinman thinks that in defending his client he could easily have convinced a jury that Blackshear was justified in shooting Wilson.

"All I would really need to have done is play the video, identify who Mr. Wilson is, who's Sammy, and that should have been the end of it," Hinman said.

Friedman said what Blackshear pled guilty to was actually one of the more serious charges of the indictment. 

"It's a Class C violent felony," Friedman said.

If Blackshear fails to abide by the terms of his release on bail while awaiting sentencing he could lose his chance for youthful offender status and the maximum prison term for the charge is 15 years in prison.

Friedman said he couldn't discuss whether at this point whether he will support, oppose, or be neutral on Blackshear's application for youthful offender status.

So far, Friedman said, he's satisfied with the outcomes of the prosecutions in the Central Avenue cases.

"We have taken care of two of the three defendants and I obviously feel they were appropriate dispositions," Friedman said. "As you know Nathaniel Wilson pled guilty to murder and got 20 to life."

CORRECTIONS: We corrected the sentencing options for Blackshear to include that he may still receive a prison sentence even if declared a Youthful Offender and that if YO is not granted the minimum term is 3 1/2 years.  We corrected the first name for Terry Toote. While Mr. Hinman said that Mr. Toote was stabbed twice, Mr. Friedman says he was only stabbed once. On two occasions, Mr. Hinman has referred to Mr. Toote and Mr. Blackshear's uncle, Mr. Friedman said he doesn't believe that's accurate.


November 24, 2018 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, football, news, notify.



What if Ethan Biscaro wasn't injured in the first quarter Saturday of Batavia's Class B state championship football game at the Carrier Dome?

Could Batavia have maintained its early lead, its early momentum, and held off Joseph Girard and the Glens Falls Indians, instead of losing 55-32?

We'll never know.

Biscaro's injury certainly isn't the only reason Batavia lost. The Blue Devils made their mistakes and missed their opportunities but, truth be told, Girard is one heck of a quarterback.

To whatever degree last week's game against Skaneateles and their athletic QB Patrick Hackler prepared the Blue Devils to face an athletic, strong-armed QB, it wasn't enough. Hackler was good but he wasn't Joseph Girard III good.

Experienced sportswriters in the press box were raving about Girard by the fourth quarter, the best high school quarterback they've ever seen, some of them said.

Girard showed arm strength, touch, accuracy, and savvy on the field, as well as strength and quickness that enabled to him to turn what looked like sacks for lost yards into gains, into first downs, and even into touchdowns. 

For example, with Batavia leading 14-0 in the second quarter, Girard, from Batavia's 19-yard line, tries a keeper to his right and finds the path cutoff and he appears pinned in a corner near the sideline but he swings out wide into his own backfield and starts running toward the far side with Cam White in pursuit. Just as it appears White would snag his jersey, somehow Girard steps ahead of him and now has the entire defense beat on the far side of the field. He scores to give Glen Falls its first six points.

"He is a great football player, obviously a division one athlete," said Batavia Coach Brennan Briggs. "We had our opportunities, I think, and you know, he was very difficult to get a hold of. We simulated all we can in practice but at the end of the day, you have got to come up your make plays."

While officially, Girard gained only 15 yards on the ground on 15 carries, with two TDs, he was 10-18 passing for 314 yards and two TDs on passes.

All this and it was still a big game for Ray Leach, who for the third game in a row gained more than 400 yards, this time picking up 410 yards on 30 carries. He scored three touchdowns and he was clearly exhausted in the second half and playing on sheer determination.

"He's just a tough kid, he loves football," Briggs said. "He wanted to be out here so he did whatever it took to be out here."

With 1,645 yards over the final four games, Leach ends the year with 2,826 rushing yards, breaking the season Section V record of Hornell's Austin Dwyer, 2,826 yards, set in 2009.

A former Blue Devil who played for Batavia last year when the team opened the season in the Carrier Dome said a factor in that game was the heat on the field. As the game wears on the Dome warms up.

Ironically, the Carrier Dome is not air-conditioned.

Leach said he and his teammates were feeling the heat.

"The temperature was a little different than we've been playing and we had to get used to the heat," Leach said. "It's definitely a big adjustment. We're a little tired. I just had to rely on my line and keep on the ball hard."

Leach could be seen at one point in the third quarter with his hands on his knees. The sign of a winded athlete. Still, Leach went on to break off a couple of long runs in the second half, including an 80-yard touchdown run that avoided contact with every Glens Falls player on the field.

The turning point, if there was one, may have been Biscaro's injury. Batavia went on to score on that drive, thanks to a 46-yard pass from Leach to Taiyo Iburi-Bethel on the first play after Biscaro left the field. But that didn't reveal how unsettled the offense would become without Biscaro.

That score gave Batavia a 14-0 lead but it was clear how much things changed on the next Blue Devils' possession, which began with a successful onside kick. The play calling was slow and a combination of Leach and Alex Rood in the backfield lacked the tempo and organization of a Biscaro-led offense.

The Blue Devils were unable to convert that opportunity into points on the board and with Glens Falls scoring on its next possession, momentum seems to have shifted in the Indians favor.

Briggs said losing Biscaro hurt on both sides of the ball.

"He's a huge part of our offense and our defense so there's no question about it, that hurt a lot but, hey, I'm the football coach and you've got to figure out how to get it done and I didn't do that."

Biscaro did take the field to start the second half but Batavia was still unable to get back in rhythm, and after taking another hit that sent him to the turf in pain, Biscaro was once again lifted from the game.

Briggs tried a few different looks with the offense with Biscaro out -- Leach along in the backfield, Leach at QB with Rood at running back, Rood taking the snaps, along with reverses, flea-flickers, end-arounds, and the offense wasn't able to execute consistently.

One of Batavia's touchdowns in the fourth quarter came after a pass to Andrew Francis bounced off his hands, into the air and toward the end zone. Iburi-Bethel grabbed the pop-up fly, turn, ran and scored.

That and Leach's 80-yard run where among the few bright spots for the Batavia offense without Biscaro.

Briggs blamed himself, not the dropped passes, the fumbled snaps, the miscommunication on the field.

"We ran a lot of wildcat stuff with Ray but obviously everybody's keying on him," Briggs said. "He's not a pure passer back there so we tried to do a few different things. But you know, it didn't totally work out but again we've got to get some stops and you know maybe I should have been a little better prepared for that."

Iburi-Bethel finished with four catches for 82 yards and a TD. Leach had one reception for a 28-yard TD. Biscaro was 5-6 passing for 70 yards and TD.

Besides Girard's heroics for Glens Falls, Trent Girard, one of six Girard cousins in the game, caught seven passes for 183 yards and a TD. David Barclay had two catches for 93 yards and a TD. Aalijah Sampson carried the ball 23 times for 135 yards and four touchdowns.

Batavia had 538 yards and 25:37 time of possession while Glens Falls had 464 total yards and 19:25 time of possession.

For Batavia, Cam White, Joseph Martinucci and Alex Rood all recorded sacks.

Joshua Barber had eight tackles. 

Photos by Jim Burns.














For more pictures, click here.

November 24, 2018 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, news, batavia, Batavia HS, notify.


We're just a couple of minutes from kickoff at the Carrier Dome in the Class B state championship game between the Batavia Blue Devils and the Glens Falls Indians.

We spoke with a former Batavia player before the game who played in last season's opener at the Carrier Dome and he said on that September day it got hot inside the dome. Something to watch for this game -- whether the colder November weather helps keep it cooler in here or if it gets hot and then the effect that has on players. Ironically, the Carrier Dome is not air-conditioned. 

Other keys: Can the Blue Devils keep Indians QB Joseph Girard III in the pocket? And if they can, pressure him while the secondary maintains coverage? Turnovers good be key in a potentially high-scoring game.  

On the Batavia side, it's likely all about Ray Leach, who has gained more than 1,200 yards and scored 22 touchdowns in the last three games. Even if Glens Falls slows Leach, Batavia still has weapons in Ethan Biscaro, Alex Rood and Taiyo Iburi-Bethel.

It looks like Batavia comes into the game with the bigger line on offense and defense.

Check back shortly for updates or tune in to WBTA for the broadcast or WBTAi.com for the live stream.


Opening kickoff to Batavia is out of the back of the end zone. Batavia starts on the 20-yard line. Leach on the first play, six-yard gain. Leach gets the first down on the next play. On the third play, Leach turns the corner and carries the ball to the Indians 23-yard line, with the last 15 yards gained coming while dragging defenders with him. Leach gains just two on his next carry. Holding penalty. First and 20. Pass to Taiyo Iburi-Bethal for a five-yard game. Leach out wide, pass from Biscaro, he gains 10 before an Indian defender grabs his jersey. Leach drags him five yards and then breaks the tackle. Leach breaks two more tackles and scores. Extra point missed. 6-0 Batavia.

Batavia kickoff out of bounds. Glens Falls starts on its 35. Joseph Girard passes on the first play. Dropped by Trent Girard on the far side. Joseph Girard barely backs it to the line of scrimmage after being held in the pocket and trying to run up the middle. Girard sweeps right and on the run heaves the ball far downfield and the pass is incomplete. Andrew Francis with good coverage. Glens Falls punts. No return.

Batavia starts on its own 26. Leach up the middle on the first play. Two-yard gain. Leach has nowhere to go on the second-down play. He barely makes it back to the line of scrimmage. Biscaro on a long pass to Iburi-Bethel. Complete at the 50-yard line. Iburi-Bethel on an end of round, nine-yard gain. Biscaro from shotgun, fakes a pass to a wideout and then darts up the middle for a three-yard game. First down. Biscaro from the shotgun sacked on a blitz. Second and 16. Biscaro on a keeper, collapses before he reaches the line, untouched and is on the field being tended to by a trainer.

Biscaro limps off the field. He was holding his knee. Third and 17. Leach takes over at QB. Snap to Leach and Leach heaves a high-arching pass intended for Andrew Francis, bounces off his hands and Iburi-Bethel picks the ball out of the air and streaks into the end zone. Touchdown. Leach scores on the two-point conversion. 14-0 Batavia.

Batavia recovers an onside kick at the Glens Falls' 45 yard line. Leach starts at QB and runs off the snap for a three-yard game. Timeout Batavia with 2:47 left in the quarter.

Leach at QB, and he hands the ball to Rood, who gains three yards. Leach back at QB. He drops the snap, recovers, breaks a tackle and sweeps to the nearside and gets back to the line of scrimmage. Fourth and 4. Leach on direct snap, sweeps right and gets six yards. Empty backfield, snap to Leach, runs left and gains three. Clock under 20 seconds, direct snap to Leach who tries running to his right and is tripped up in the backfield and flags fly. Holding on Batavia, 10-yard penalty. That's how the quarter ends. 14-0 Batavia.

Second and 19 for Batavia to start the second quarter. Leach takes the snap, long pass intercepted by Girard and he's tackled on the seven-yard line. Girard misses a pass two passes and then scrambling, nearly sacked in the end zone, on the run throws a long pass to Davi Barclay, complete at Batavia's 33-yard line. Handoff to Aalijah Sampson runs left and carries the ball to the 19-yard line for a first down. Sampson gets handoff again, carries the ball to the four-yard line. First and goal. Girard fakes the handoff and tries to run off tackle and stopped at the line of scrimmage. Batavia's defense again blocks up the middle of the line and Sampson stopped for a one-yard loss. Third down. Sampson rolls out to his right and is pursued. Cam White is on his tail and he reverses direction and as White reaches for him he seems to just take an extra step and eludes White, runs to far sideline, down the line, and into the end zone. Touchdown The extra point is blocked by Andrew Francis. 14-6, Batavia still leads.

Kick to Leach on the five-yard line. He returns it to Batavia's 27. Rood is QB on the first possession. Hands off to Leach for a two-yard gain. Incomplete pass from Rood. Intended for Iburi-Bethel. Rood takes the snap, drops back and feigns pass and then decides to run. Two-yard gain. Batavia will punt on 4th and 7. No return. Glens Falls takes over on its 29.

First and 10, Sampson on the carry for four yards. Girard hits Trent Girard the Indians have first and 10 at the 48-yard line. Girard with a completion to Sampson, nine-yard gain. Girard with plenty of time in the pocket, long pass intended for David Barclay but it falls beyond his diving reach. Girard rolls out, forced to turn back toward the right side and is tackled from behind for a loss by Josh Barber of a yard. Fourth and one. Timeout. There is 5:20 left in the half. Girard has to scramble and his pursued through the backfield, he runs right, gets the first down and cuts back to the middle past nearly every Batavia defender. Before he reaches the end zone with a Batavia player close, he dives and looks like he gets the ball over the line but a ref 15 yards away rules him down at the one-yard line. Sampson scores on the next play and then runs the ball in for the two-point conversion. 14-14.

There is 4:55 left in the half. The kickoff goes out the back of the end zone. Batavia's ball on its own 20. Leach drops the handoff and recovers his own fumble on the 17-yard line. Second and 13. Leach up the middle, finds a hole, cuts to his left, gets a good block and finds open field. He stumbles and recovers, three Indians pursuing him, he heads toward the sideline and outruns a lone defender for a score. That's an 83-yard TD run. Timeout before the extra point. Leach on the carry for a two-point try and he's stuffed at the line. 20-14, Batavia leads.

Batavia again tries an onside kick. The Indians get first and 10 from their own 49-yard line. Girard with a pass to Sampson, complete. Leach tries to shove him out of bounds but he stays on his feet and finds some space. He's tackled at about the 10-yard line. Sampson with the carry to the three-yard line. Sampson with the ball again and sweeps to the left, tackled at the one-yard line. Sampson up the middle for the score. Extra point is good for a 21-20 lead for the Indians. The first time all season Batavia has trailed.

According to our photographer on the sideline, Jim Burns, Ethan Biscaro is being taken by his parents for medical treatment. He's out for the remainder of the game.

Batavia takes over on the 20. Leach breaks free for again to the 38-yard line. Leach with the next carry for a five-yard gain. 2:06 left. Batavia has no timeouts left. On a flea-flicker, Leach throws down to the 20, intended for Iburi-Biscaro, incomplete. Leach with the carry. No gain. Flag on the play. Illegal formation declined. Fourth and three, Batavia will punt. Line-drive punt with a favorable Batavia punt. A 47-yard punt, ball down on the five-yard line.

Sampson on the carry from the five, three-yard gain. Girard is sacked, bringing up third and 17 but Glens Falls lets the clock run out on the half.

The half ends with Glens Falls leading 21-20.

During half-time, Ethan Biscaro was warming up. Apparently, in consultation with his parents, the decision has been made to let him play in the second half.

Batavia's kickoff to start the second half goes to Girard at the 20 who brings it back to the Indians 38, first and 10. Movement by Batavia on the line. Flag. Five-yard penalty. First and five. Girard drops back to pass and seems to have plenty of time to pass and then faces pressure and heads toward the far side and steps out of bounds for a short game. Pass for a first down, ball on the Indians 48. Girard rolls out and throws across the middle of the field to Trent Girard, complete to Batavia's 30. Sampson tripped up in the backfield by Batavia, second and 13. Girard drops deep, scrambles and just before reaching the line, throws a bullet at the knees of a receiver who drops it. Girard begins in the shotgun, scrambles, long pass to the far side, pass broken up by Iburi-Bethel. Fourth and 13. Girard's pass into the end zone, complete for a touchdown to Barclay. Francis wants an offense pass interference flag but doesn't get it. Extra point good. 28-20, Glens Falls.

Batavia starts on its own 20. Biscaro is at QB. Handoff to Leach, five-yard gain. Leach stopped at the line. Pass wide to Iburi-Bethel on the nearside, gain to the 33, making it first and 10. Leach up the middle, five-yard gain. Leach bottled up at the line, but gets two yards before being pushed back. Biscaro has Iburi-Bethel wide open down the middle with a pass to the 35 but Iburi-Bethel drops the pass. Batavia in punt formation. High deep punt by Francis. Glens Falls gets the ball on their own 21.

First play, Sampson dropped for a loss. Girard with a bullet to Trent Girard at the first-down marker on the far side. First down. Girard sacked by Iburi-Bethel. Two-yard loss. Girard on the run finds Trent Girard wide open on the 30. Rood makes a shoe-string tackle on the seven-yard line to save a touchdown. Sampson up the middle. Batavia claims a fumble but doesn't get the call. Ball on the two. Sampson again dropped for a loss. Ball on the three. Third and goal with 4:01 left in the third. Girard rolls right with two defenders in pursuit, on the two-yard line, they lunge at him and he sidesteps the tackle attempt and scores. Extra point is good. 35-20. 

Iburi-Bethel with the return. Batavia's ball on the 33-yard line, first and 10. Leach with the carry, out to the 39. Leach breaks two tackles on the way to the Indian's 42-yard line. First and 10. Leach with the ball, picks his way to the 29. First and 10. Leach off the left side, gain of three. Leach looking tired. A blitzer gets past him and sacks Biscaro, there is a fumble but Biscaro recovers. Biscaro passes to Zack Anderson back to the original line of scrimmage. Fourth and 10. Biscaro sacked. He drops the ball. The fumble is recovered by a Batavia lineman and Biscaro is again down on the turf but limps off the field. Glens Falls takes over on downs on their own 37.

Indians call timeout after lining up in formation. Five seconds left in the third quarter.

Trent Girard with a reception for a first down.

End of the third, 35-20, Glens Falls over Batavia.

Girard loses three on a keeper. On the next play, Girard again eludes the rush but his pass falls incomplete. Girard finds Trent Girard 10-yards out, who is wide open and with no defenders behind, touchdown. Extra point is good. 42-20.

OBSERVATION: Girard is a much better QB than what Batavia saw in Patrick Hackler last week, and Hackler is very good. Girard has a better touch, can also throw bullets, throw down the field on the run without under-throwing his targets, and is very hard to contain or catch in the backfield.

On first and 10 at the 15, direct snap to Leach, who eludes all tackles and carries the ball to the 50 before stepping out of bounds. Leach on the next carry, three-yard gain. Iburi-Bethel on the end-around, big gain out to the 30. Leach, direct snap, hands it off to Iburi-Bethel who breaks a tackle in the backfield and gains a couple of yards. Leach on direct snap runs to the outside and gets enough yardage for the first down but flag on the field. Holding on Batavia. Rood in the shotgun, pump fakes, looks downfield. Iburi-Bethel is wide open. The pass is on the numbers. He drops the ball. Third and 12 with 8:47 to go. Rood swings right, pursued by Terrell Bonner-Welch who hits him from behind. Rood lost the ball but he appears to have been down. There is a penalty against Batavia. 4th and 19. Rood drops back, in the grasp of a defender, he spins and tosses the ball down the middle of the field and finds Daemon Konieczny but well short of a first down. Glens Falls takes over on downs at their own 42.

Girard is sacked for an 11-yard loss. Girard sacked again, ball now on the 21. Glens Falls will punt.

With 6:12 left, down 42-20, Batavia starts on its own 43. Leach runs left, picks up about 10 where he breaks a tackle, and he changes direction heading toward the far sideline, picks up a couple of blockers and steps out of bounds at the 21. Leach with the ball, heads to his left and finds nothing but open field to the end zone. Touchdown. Two-point try fails, 42-26 Glens Falls.

Batavia tries an onside kick but a whistle blows at the line of scrimmage. Illegal motion. Batavia will kick again from the 35. The kick fails to travel 10 yards before going out of bounds at the 40. Five-yard penalty on Batavia, first and 10 from Batavia's 35. 

Sampson with the carry for four yards. Sampson with a 25-yard carry but a flag on the play. Block below the waist, 10-yard penalty on the Indians. Sampson again, big gain, to the 22. First down. Great backfield tackle on Sampson sweeping to the left, loss of two. Sampson breaks a tackle and finds some space but Iburi-Bethel catches him and comes over his back, hanging on, trying to strip the ball, and Sampson shakes him off and scores. Extra point is no good, 48-26 Glens Falls.

Time left, 3:44.

Rood at QB, hands off to Leach, sweeping left and a five-yard gain. Ball on the 25. Batavia tries a tricky play, with snap to Rood, hand off to Leach, pitch to Iburi-Bethel who heaves the ball downfield well beyond any receivers or defenders. Rood scrambles stops, turns to throw just pass the line, and lineman T.J. Guy intercepts giving Glens Falls the ball on Batavia's 16.

Sampson on the sweep to the left. Nobody touches him. Touchdown. Extra point makes it 55-26. There was a late flag on Sampson run, a personal foul that will be enforced on the kickoff.

Glens Falls kicking off from Batavia's 45. The kick skips through the end zone.

First play from the 20, Leach with the ball, untouched through the line, all the way to the end zone for an 80-yard TD. Leach stopped on the two-point try. 55-32, Glens Falls.  

Leach is exhausted.

Penalty on Batavia's kick. Try again from the 35. And another penalty. Encouragement. Ball on the 30. After two failed onside attempts, deep kick to Sampson who bobbles the ball but recovers, and carries the ball to Glens Falls 41-yard line. Sampson with the carry, six-yard game. Sampson with a first-down carry. Sampson, no gain. Less than a minute to play. Time will expire with Glens Falls up 55-32.


Here's the hardware they're playing for.

November 24, 2018 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, batavia water tower, history.

By Dave Reilly

Teenagers have most likely been doing risky adventures since ancient times. It's their way of rebelling and trying new things.

Prehistoric teens might having taken dad's newly invented wheel for a joyride down the highest sand dune. Or they could have covered some cave paintings with graffiti.

In the '50s and '60s in Batavia, drag racing on the Creek Road or jumping off the Walnut Street Bridge into Tonawanda Creek were things kids would do that parents certainly wouldn't have been happy about if they had known.

One of the rites of passage into daring teenhood that my friends and I did was climb the Batavia Water Tower on Ellicott Street.

If you lived or worked in Batavia between 1939 and 2003 you would have seen the Water Tower jutting above the city skyline. Located on Ellicott Street behind the E. N. Rowell Box Factory and Engine House #1 of the City Fire Department, it was on the bank of Tonawanda Creek and very near to downtown.

Built in 1938-39 as a project for W. P. A. (the Works Progress Administration was renamed the Work Projects Administration) at a cost of $175,000 ($3 million in today's money) the tower was short-term insurance in the event of a break in the city's water supply.

Just shy of 200 feet high (17 stories) it was believed at the time of its construction to be the tallest water tower in the United States. The blinking red lights on top were to alert low-flying aircraft. It held 1.5 million gallons, or 13 million pounds, of water.

In 1983 it was repainted at a cost of $89,000. In 2003, the 65-year-old rusting structure was no longer needed and was disassembled and taken down at a cost of $114,000.

From the day it was finished, the Batavia Water Tower must have been a challenge to the teenage ego, or maybe even to younger youths; in 1952 four boys between the ages of 10 and 14 were discovered up there by police in broad daylight. They told police they wanted to see Lake Erie, but were disappointed that they couldn't even see Lake Ontario.

For my friends and me it was akin to Flick in “A Christmas Story” accepting the “double dog dare” and sticking his tongue on a frozen flagpole. None of us really wanted to go up the tower. But, in the code of teens, none of us could get out of climbing it if someone else did without severe repercussions to our reputation. In other words, we'd rather be scared than called chicken.

I don't know about the others, but I had to block out my fear of heights, which I still have to this day. Not exactly as bad as Indiana Jones and snakes, but worse than flying on a commercial airline.

At least we weren't brazen enough to climb in the daytime. That would have resulted in a ride in a patrol car immediately. Plus, half the fun was getting away with it and not telling your parents until you were 40.

So, we would sneak back there in the dead of night. The darker the better. First, there was a fence to climb over. “Danger” and “Warning” signs were posted on the fence, but that just made it more inviting. Then, you had to hoist yourself up to a spiral staircase, which wound around the core of the tower. That part was actually not bad as it had solid steps and handrails, so if you didn't look down it was bearable.

At the top of the spiral stairs was a circular walkway which went all the way around. This part also had a railing and I could handle it if I kept my back against the wall and didn't look over the side. Those who have a fear of heights will identify with the weak feeling I would get in my legs just watching one of my braver buddies look down over the railing.

I imagine there was a fine view of the surrounding area from there in the daytime, but all we could see were the lights of downtown and surrounding buildings like the Doehler-Jarvis plant, a tool-and-die company, just to the south. (It employed 1,500 people in its heyday and closed in 1981. The buildings were later razed to make way for parking around the ice-skating rink.)

The biggest challenge though was negotiating an arced ladder that had no handrail and which curved over the top and took you up to the lights on the apex of the structure.

With trembling hands, up we would go. Once we grabbed onto the lights flashing in our face like a drowning person to a piece of driftwood, we could relax for a few minutes and enjoy our conquest. We would light up a cigarette (another thing our parents would frown on even though most of them smoked, too) and gloat in our accomplishment.

One time, we had to snuff our smokes quickly and remain very silent as we observed a policeman on foot checking on the cars in Mancuso's used car lot just below the tower. We had to stay up there longer than usual while he completed his rounds and finally left. We undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief and tried to enjoy the moment without thinking about the trip back down.

Going back down that curved ladder was absolutely the hardest part for me. You could not negotiate the ladder going over the edge without looking down at least briefly. If that cop had still been there he could have probably heard my heart pounding.

Once back on the walkway, you could begin your descent of the spiral staircase. Holding tightly onto the railings, I would try to look straight out and not down.

As I got to the bottom of the stairway I would almost be running and then as I hopped onto the ground a huge feeling of relief would wash over me -- “I made it, I'm still alive!”

As I walked home, I would tell myself, “OK. That's it. I don't care what the guys say or how much grief they give me, I am never going up there again.” Of course, I did care, and the next time I'd go again. Except for the force of nature, I'm not sure there is anything more powerful than peer pressure.

It was more than 50 years ago, and I don't remember how many times I climbed the water tower. Certainly five or less. But, considering my fear of heights it's still a perverse badge of honor of my teen years.

When the Batavia Water Tower was being taken down in 2003, my dad was a resident of the New York State Veterans Home and I would go to Batavia twice a week to visit him. When the last of the tower was lying on the ground waiting to be taken away to scrapyards, I stopped by there and got as close as I could.

"Hah! You're not so high and mighty now are you?” I laughed.

But still every time I go out on a bridge or the balcony of a high story hotel room, I know that tower is laughing back at me.

Photos of the Batavia Water Tower courtesy of Judy Stiles at the Genesee County History Department.

Dave Reilly last wrote for The Batavian about a red football helmet he treasured as a boy growing up in Batavia.

November 23, 2018 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, poverty, education, batavia, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

Employment rates, government benefit program statistics, healthcare costs and starvation statistics are everywhere. While more than 14 percent of the population in New York State is living in poverty, the Global Education Committee (GEC) at Genesee Community College is doing more than facing the facts.

In the College's nearly full William W. Stuart Forum last week, the GEC hosted a very real simulation called "Disrupting Poverty" for students in Christine Belongia's Teacher Education and Adolescent Development classes, Karen Wicka's Criminal Justice classes and Kari Heidemann's and James Myers' Human Services classes.

The simulation was designed by Missouri's Community Action Poverty Simulation and facilitated by Juanita Henry, director of the Genesee Region Teacher Center and Pat Mullikin, director of the Tri-County Teacher Center.

"The simulation is not a game," Belongia, professor of Teacher Education and Humanities at GCC said. "It's an educational experience designed to heighten awareness, foster empathy and challenge assumptions surrounding issues of poverty."

The poverty simulation positions several different family units, being role-played by GCC's students, in the middle of a community typical of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans or Wyoming counties.

During the one-hour simulation, each of the family units must manage expenses, attend meetings and appointments, and struggle to meet the overwhelming needs of their family for one month, played out in a series of four 15-minute weeks. Each family unit is given detailed lists of bills that must be paid, restricted income statements and limited sources with the task of making hard choices to survive living in poverty.

As in any community, there are resources and organizations available to the simulated family units that they can choose to visit -- if they can afford transportation which was represented by having a paper "pass" bus ticket, cab voucher, or gas money for a friend or driver, all making the simulation even more realistic. More than a dozen different resources were represented in the simulation by role-playing GCC students.

At one desk, a bank offering loans and cashing checks; at another, a child care center with daycare expenses; and another with an employer offering jobs with specific shifts available. In addition, as in the real world, other desks held pawn shops, healthcare offices, pay-day advance agencies who charge high interest rates, and or course, homeless shelters and other resources for the severely destitute.

Throughout the simulation, students in the family units had to work together to plan and cover expenses, including food and shelter.

"If we buy these groceries today, how will we pay for daycare next week," one student asked his family unit. "My paycheck plus your Social Security check is only enough to cover rent and electricity this month."

The students in the family unit then researched their family situation and visited various organizations and resources to find ways to make ends meet.

"This simulation is powerful for our students," said Karen Kovach-Allen, Ph.D., dean of Human Communications & Behavior at GCC. "Some of them live in poverty in the real world and this simulation is practice for knowing what resources are available and what choices they have.

"For others, the simulation offers a unique glance into the lives of those living in poverty and perhaps leaves them with a little perspective, and an appreciation for what others might be going through."

This is the first time GCC students, faculty and staff have had a simulation experience on campus. The program is part of this year's Global Education, "Food and Cultural Identity" theme.

Beyond activities such as this, the Adult Educational Opportunity Center (AEOC) at GCC works to address issues of food insecurity on campus every day offering a variety of classes and raising awareness of available resources, including GCC's Food Pantry available to students year round.

November 22, 2018 - 11:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia VA Medical Center, volunteers, batavia, veterans, news.

Press release:

Join folks from the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 11 a.m. on Tuesday Nov. 27 to learn about volunteer opportunities at the Batavia VA Medical Center, located at 222 Richmond Ave. Information, a tour and light refreshments will be provided.

Enjoy a conversation during recreation activities, escort a patient within the facility, provide clerical support, drive veterans to medical appointments, and more.

Put your skills into purposeful action. Call Courtney Iburi, RSVP coordinator, at (585) 343-1611 with any questions or to RSVP. We will meet at the doors near the parking lot to the west.

November 22, 2018 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Church, batavia, news, thanksgiving.


Linda Stoiber and Peggy had plenty of pie to give out to guests of City Church this morning at the Generations Center on Center Street, Batavia, as part of the church's annual Thanksgiving Day feast for community members.

More than 250 people attended today's meal.

Below, Dennis Stoiber serves up some turkey.


November 22, 2018 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, Batavia HS, batavia, notify.


When you're a high school football player, it's something special to get to practice on Thanksgiving Day. It means only one thing. You're playing for a chance to win a state title.

The Batavia Blue Devils (12-0) held a walk-through practice this morning at the Batavia Middle School gym, rehearsing plays and defensive schemes in preparation for that championship match up with the Glens Falls Indians (10-2) at noon Saturday (Nov. 24) inside the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

"It was a special thing to practice on Thanksgiving and my father and I always talked about it, saying, 'wow, you know, think about it, some high school teams are practicing today,' " said Head Coach Brennen Briggs, son of Section V Hall of Fame Coach Jim Briggs. "It's finally us, so you know the hard work has paid off with all these guys and we're excited to get out there on Saturday."

Batavia got to the state final by outscoring the #1 ranked Skaneateles Lakers 54-49.

That game was the first time all season the Blue Devils faced a standout, strong-armed, athletic quarterback, in Patrick Hackler. As they turn their attention to the Indians, they're again facing a top-ranked QB, Joseph Girard III, who has a 63-percent completion rate on the season.

Again, he's big and athletic (he's all-time leading scorer in Basketball for Glens Falls, with 3,306 career points, and just signed a basketball scholarship with Syracuse).

He's also not the only member of the Girard family on the team. He's one of six cousins from a family with 75 years of athletic history in Glens Falls.

Briggs said facing Hackler and Skaneateles definately helped his team be better prepared to defend against Girard and the Indians.

"Obviously it's a very good football team over there," Briggs said. "You know we're game-planning for their quarterback and their skill positions. It's going to be a tough test for us. I think we'll be up for the challenge and you know we're hoping to get another good day of work in tomorrow."

The game plan for Batavia will come as no surprise to Glens Falls Head Coach Matt Shell: Give the ball to Ray Leach and make the Indians stop him.

So far in the postseason, every other opponent of the Blue Devils has found that impossible.

Leach has 1,223 yards rushing and has scored 22 touchdowns over the past three games, including eight touchdown performances against both Cheektowaga and Skaneateles (state playoff records). He was handed the ball 50 times against the Lakers. He set a new state record (breaking his previous week's record) with 474 yards rushing. His 50 points scored is a playoff record for New York.

Leach also intercepted a Hackler pass on defense, with Andrew Francis snagging another key interception to open the third quarter and allow Batavia to extend its lead by two touchdowns for the first time in the game.

The interceptions, perhaps, made the biggest difference and highlight a weakness for high school teams that live by the pass. Even the best high school quarterbacks are more prone to turnovers than top running backs.

Batavia's big line will be ready to pressure Girard and with Leach, Francis, and Taiyo Iburi-Bethel in the defensive secondary, the Blue Devils have the tools to disrupt the passing game.

"If we do what we do by taking care of the football, as we've done, then it should be pretty good for us," Briggs said. "I think that we've got some guys out there that are hungry to get the football once it's in the air so hopefully we can put some pressure on him, contain him, and create some turnovers."

At the end of today's practice, Briggs and his coaches told their players -- enjoy Thanksgiving with their families, be thankful for what they've got, recognize the unique position they're in -- a chance to play for a state championship, take care of themselves and be ready to go on Saturday. 

If you're not attending the game, you can listen to the WBTA broadcast (UPDATE: WBTA will stream the came on WBTAi.com) or check The Batavian for updates.






November 21, 2018 - 6:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
 Constantine Murrell

Carjacking suspect Constantine Murrell, 35, a parolee from Rochester, entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment today in Genesee County Court on counts of second-degree robbery and second-degree assault.

Murrell is accused of forcibly taking a car from a woman at the Kwik Fill, 99 Jackson St., Batavia, on Sept. 25.

He is also charged with reckless driving and unlawful fleeing a police officer.

After allegedly stealing the sedan, Murrell is accused leading police on a chase through city streets that reached 65 mph.

The chase came to an end when the stolen vehicle struck another car at Redfield Parkway and Richmond Avenue, which caused it to careen into a tree and the recently installed sign at the entrance of VA Medical Center.

The car then caught on fire.

The woman who had been driving the car was not physically injured.

Murrell was released from prison in April after serving an eight-year sentence for a 2010 kidnapping conviction in Rochester. He also has a previous drug conviction.

He reportedly told police after his arrest that he didn't know how he wound up in Batavia on Sept. 25. He said he had gotten into a truck with a man he didn't know in Rochester to do the drug K-2 and that the man left him in Batavia. He told police he panicked and just wanted to get back to Rochester.

“(I) couldn’t figure out how I would do it," Murrell is quoted in a court document as telling police. "I was at the gas station and saw an old lady in a white car at the gas pumps. I figured that it would be pretty easy to scare her and take her car.”

Judge Charles Zambito reaffirmed Murrell's bail status. He is being held without the possibility of bail. He will reappear in County Court on Jan. 23 for a hearing on pretrial motions.

There was no discussion of any potential plea offer.

The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM contributed to this story.

November 21, 2018 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, Le Roy, news, batavia.


Photos and article submitted by Anne Marie Starowitz.

I have been in a classroom since 1955. As a kindergarten student at the East School on Main Street in Batavia, I was evaluated by a checklist of questions: Could I tie my shoes, skip, and did I play well with others? We all know that has changed over the years.

My next memories were at St. Joseph’s Elementary School, where I learned Gregorian chant and how to diagram sentences. We didn’t have a gymnasium so recess was definitely my favorite subject because it was outside. We covered our books with brown grocery paper bags and the girls wore navy blue uniforms. In high school again, we wore blue uniforms.

Traditional teaching was the norm, a teacher at the front of the room lecturing and students taking notes. D’Youville College was different in the late ‘60s. First of all, very few students owned a typewriter; our papers were handwritten or if you were lucky your roommate had a typewriter.

You lined up in long lines to try to get the required courses for your major. It took weeks to get your grades in the mail. When I graduated the job, market was flooded; I was one of thousands who wanted to be teachers. The Vietnam War influenced many students to stay in college. 

I was so lucky to land my first job at the Wolcott Street School in Le Roy.  I finally had my own classroom. I was not the student anymore; I was the teacher. I had my stack of ditto masters and I was ready to create my worksheets. How lucky to have the hand-operated Ditto machine available to make my copies. As the children would say those dittoes smelled so good. 

I wanted to be a hands-on teacher. My first year in third grade the Social Studies curriculum was learning about the regions of the world. The first area I had to teach was the deserts of the world. So, I brought in sand, bought every possible cactus plant I could find and prepared a display on a long table. We did a mural with a map to go behind the table. The children created a papier-mâché camel. They were so engaged.

I wanted the children to feel what it was like to live in a desert. I turned the thermostat in the classroom to about 85 degrees. I did not know my thermostat controlled the 12 classrooms on my floor. I bet those kids (and the other teachers) never forgot the lesson on deserts! I was lucky that I was given the opportunity to try new things. I always believed if you were excited to be a teacher, your students would be excited to learn.


When I taught in Batavia I again worked with a wonderful principal, Andy Steck. He supported my teaching style. He accompanied my class to New York City and always supported my trips to Albany. I retired in 2007 and for the next 11 years I continued to teach. I borrowed teachers’ classrooms who were ill or at a meeting. In 2017, I changed from a substitute teacher back to a classroom teacher.   This time I am very happy to be on the faculty of St. Joseph School as their second-grade teacher.

My life has come full circle.

Times have changed and with the passing years many programs have come and gone. Technology has impacted the way we teach and how the children learn. Nevertheless, the teachers are the same as they were back in my day, 46 years ago when I was a first-year teacher: Teachers are in the classrooms for one reason, the children!

Ann Marie Starowitz is author "Back in the Day: Snapshots of Local History,The Way I see It!." The book is in its final printing and is available at 20-percent off the original price at the Holland Land Office Museum bookstore.


November 21, 2018 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Yngodess Shop, news, downtown, batavia.


As part of "Shop Small Saturday" in Downtown Batavia this weekend, The Yngodess Shop is hosting a benefit for the Sheriff's Office K-9 Fund and to honor the memory of "Destro," the dog who worked patrol with Deputy Chris Erion for five years before dying in early October.

The Sheriff's Office has identified a possible replacement for Destro but is also planning on acquiring a second dog and training a new handler, and funds raised through this event will help with the effort.

Yngodness owner Chris Crocker said the event at her shop Saturday will include tastings and specials to share.

Erion will be at the shop from 5 to 7 p.m. for a meet-and-greet.

"Please stop by and show your support for this great cause," Crocker said.

Photo courtesy the Sheriff's Office.

November 21, 2018 - 3:26pm

Press release:

Northgate Free Methodist Church invites the community to a "Vintage Christmas" event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8th.

Enjoy a festive Christmas tractor hayride through our community prayer walk, complete with carols and a retelling of the Christmas story. Come roast marshmallows around our bonfire, eat s’mores, drink hot chocolate, while the children are invited to create ornaments for the tree.

There will be a brief devotional, presented at 6 p.m., to ready our hearts and minds for the Christmas season, accompanied by a spectacular tree lighting. This is a free event, open to all ages, come and go as you please.

Northgate Free Methodist Church is located at 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia. For more information, contact the Northgate office at (585)343-4011 or email [email protected]

November 21, 2018 - 3:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia academy, thanksgiving, news, batavia.

Above, Rachel Slobert, Batavia Academy principal, celebrates being first to be successfully pied.

Submitted photos and press release:

Every fall, Batavia Academy students enjoy a special Thanksgiving dinner. This year, students worked together to raise funds for this luncheon by collecting cans and bottles, and offering a pizza sale as well as an in-school snack cart sale. New this year, the students organized a Pie the Face event.  

Students and staff paid to throw a whipped cream pie in the face of Batavia Academy teachers, administrators and campus administrators. This was the first time such an event was held and it was a great success!

Much laughter and many cheers occurred as Batavia Academy teachers and staff, along with Rachel Slobert, Batavia Academy principal; Jon Sanfratello, executive principal of the Batavia Campus; and Chad Cummings, school resource officer of the Batavia Campus, took their turns getting "pied."

“This was a great fundraiser that raised $120 for our Thanksgiving dinner. We hope to make it an annual event,” said Rachel Slobert, as she carefully wiped whipped cream from her face.

About Batavia Academy

The Batavia Academy is an alternative education program that provides a small, nurturing environment, which gives each student the maximum amount of attention necessary to improve academic and social skills.

Programs have been specifically designed to provide an educational option for students from our component school districts in grades 7-12 whose needs are not met by our traditional secondary schools. Teachers assist students in attaining a high school diploma through maintaining the same academic requirements as home schools.

The Batavia Academy is set on the Genesee Valley Education Partnership campus located in Batavia.

The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services providing shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

Below: Chad Cummings, Batavia Campus school resource officer, gets a pie in the face. Nice mustache!

Below: It's a direct hit! Jon Sanfratello, Batavia Campus executive principal, gets a pie smash.

November 21, 2018 - 2:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, 4-H, byron, batavia.
Submitted photo: New Clever Clovers 4-H Club – Byron.


Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Program is looking to grow more local clubs. Want to start your own local 4-H club but don’t know where to start? You can start a 4-H Club in five easy steps!

  1. Complete the 4-H Volunteer Application Packet
  2. Attend an orientation meeting with 4-H Staff
  3. Enroll five youth members in your club (ages 5 to 18)
  4. Have members choose a club name
  5. Plan a club meeting schedule with parents and youth

The meeting times, locations, and topics are up to the club leader(s). If you are interested in becoming a leader and forming a new club, please contact Brandie or Jessica at the 4-H Office for more information. Call 585-343-3040 or email [email protected]

November 21, 2018 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia, veterans.

Submitted photos and press release:

CVMA 19-6 Broken Arrow chapter donated $1000 in gift cards to the VA PTSD Residential Programs on Monday (Nov. 19) at the Batavia VA. The gift cards to Walmart, Tops and Target will be used to enhance programming for veterans while at the facility.

It gives us so much joy to able to give back with all the help from the folks that contribute to “Vets helping Vets," an organizer said.

Thanks again to all our supporters!

About CMVA
The nonprofit Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association is a group of combat veterans who joined together to form a brotherhood of men and women who have in common the trials of serving in defense of our country and the love of riding.
The association is comprised of combat veterans, supporters, and auxiliary members who share a love of riding motorcycles. Its mission is to support and defend those who have defended our country and our freedoms.
The Western New York Chapter is based in Akron.
Below, from left, are: Andy McCann, Patrick McCann, Chad Liggetto, Brian Fitzgerald and Nick Pilozzi.


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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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