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June 24, 2016 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

If you lost a large hydraulic piece of machinery within the past 24 hours, please call Batavia PD.

Such a piece of machinery was found on Liberty Street near School Street and is believed to have fallen off a truck.

The equipment is described as "newer." 

To stake your claim, call Officer Marc Lawrence at (585) 345-6350.

June 24, 2016 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.

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This is Jack. Jack is a brown and white Jack Russell terrier. Jack is missing.

He recently had medical treatment for an injury on his neck. He has a staple in his neck, so he wasn't wearing his collar when he went missing Wednesday. He also has two staples in his paw.

Jack is missing from the area of Oak Street and Montclair Avenue in Batavia.

If you can help, call Nathan Stoll at (585) 749-8525 or (585) 356-2965.

June 24, 2016 - 2:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, fire services, news.

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Information and photos submitted by Glenn Adams.

Yesterday morning, City fire along with a group of volunteers from other departments in the county, participated in water rescue training at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia.

The boat and motor and gear were purchased with a grant from Homeland Security.

The first two shots include Ryan Hendershott of the Bethany department and DJ Pollock.

CORRECTION: Only members of City fire participated. Hendershott is a city firefighter and a Bethany volunteer.

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June 24, 2016 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, batavia, City Schools.

There is an allocation of $2.1 million available for Batavia City Schools for technology upgrades, according to a state official who contacted The Batavian on Thursday about a previous story on local Smart Schools grants.

"As soon as the district is ready to submit a plan, the money is their for them," said Morris Peters, public information officer for New York State Division of the Budget.

Superintendent Chris Dailey confirmed the district intends to file a plan in the fall.

"There is no time limit on the money so it does not need to be spent immediately," Dailey said. "We plan to use the remainder to replace devices down the road (2-3 years) as part of our replacement cycle."

The district didn't receive an allocation as part of grant announcements in May, and Dailey said previously, the district decided not to file its plan prior to the June allocation deadline.

Instead, the district used current available funds for its immediate purchases, and made those purchases through BOCES.

Peters said the state had asked the city school district to make changes to its May plan submission, which is why there wasn't an allocation of grant money at that time.

CLARIFICATIONS: We need to include the fact that the district will be upgrading the security camera systems by the fall.

The district submitted its first plan March 29. Corrections were requested April 4 and submitted that same time. This district did not receive funding in May and a minor correction was requested for the next funding round in June. At that time, the district decided to go forward with its own funding and BOCES because the state committee would not meet in time for the district to move forward and meet its own Sept. 1 deadline for implementation.

"If they had met in late April/early May, we would have been OK for ordering," Dailey said. "They did not meet until after our last available date to meet our needs for the fall." 

June 24, 2016 - 12:35pm

The Genesee County AmeriCorps Program, in collaboration with the Genesee County and Batavia Youth bureaus, is planning the annual Safe Summer Children’s Carnival.

It is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, July 28, from 10:15 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Falleti Ice Arena, 22 Evans St., in Batavia. One dollar buys a ticket to play 10 games, and children can win “funny money” to redeem for prizes.

Entertainment by “Charlie and Checkers” is scheduled from 10:15-11 a.m. and the games will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a 30-minute lunch break. Folks from the community should plan to bring a bagged lunch or plan to leave for lunch.

There will also be several community agency booths. There will be a grand prize which consists of two Darien Lake Theme Park Admission Tickets that can be won by visiting the booths.

For more information on the carnival please contact, Cara at the Genesee County Youth Bureau at 344-3960.

June 24, 2016 - 12:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, road repairs.

REVISED press release from the City's Bureau of Maintenance:

Please be aware that all motorists using South Main Street within the City of Batavia from Oak Street Extension west to the City Line will experience road closures on Monday, June 27 and Tuesday, June 28, between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Roadwork involving the paving of the roadway will begin on the east end and progress west to River Street.

Roadwork involving the paving of the roadway will begin on the west end and progress east to Dewey Avenue. Upon completion of this segment, the portion of South Main Street between Dewey Avenue and the roundabout will follow.

Upon completion of this segment, the portion of South Main Street between River Street and west city line will follow. It is anticipated it will take two days to complete this work.

While work is being performed in these areas, the roadway will be closed to all through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence/ property but should plan accordingly for delays.

All residents within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the day.

This is weather dependent work.  If work is postponed it shall progress next work day.

Please, plan accordingly and contact the Bureau of Maintenance with any questions.

Thank you for your cooperation in advance.

June 24, 2016 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Guadalupe Hernandez (AKA Guadalupe Hernandez II, AKA Guadalupe Hernandez III) is indicted for the crime of bail jumping in the second degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that Hernandez, having been released from custody or allowed to remain at liberty by order of the Genesee County Court, either upon bail or upon his own recognizance, on the condition that he was subsequently appear in connection with a felony charge against him, did not appear personally on the required date of Feb. 14, 2012, or voluntarily within 30 days thereafter.

Shentelle C. Gagnon is indicted for petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Gagnon is accused of stealing property from Walmart in Batavia on Jan. 23. In count two, she is accused of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony. On Jan. 23, she allegedly knowlingly and unlawfully introduced dangerous contraband into a detention facility -- the Genesee County Jail. In count three, Gagnon is accused of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 24, she stole property witha value in excess of $1,000 from Walmart in Batavia. In count four, Gagnon is accused of another count of petit larceny. It is alleged that on April 25, she stole property from Walmart in Batavia. In count five, she is accused of a third count of petit larceny, for allegedly stealing property from Walmart in Batavia on April 30.

Donald R. Rock is indicted for driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. On March 5, in the Town of Batavia, is is alleged that Rock drove a 2004 Chevrolet on Kelsey Road while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of driving while intoxicated per se, as a Class E felony, for having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In Special Informatiopn filed with the indictment by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Rock is accused of having been convicted of felony driving while intoxicated on Aug. 23, 2007, in Genesee County Court, which is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in this indictment.

June 23, 2016 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, pembroke, batavia.

Alissa Ashley Fodge, 26, of Clifton Avenue, Batavia, is charged with first-degree introduction of dangerous contraband into prison, a Class D felony. At 3:20 p.m. on June 22, Fodge was arrested for allegedly promoting prison contraband. Correction Officer Jenna Barber allegedly found a crack pipe in Fodge's purse while Fodge was being processed into the jail. She was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and jailed on $2,500 bail. Fodge is due in Batavia City Court on June 29. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Laverne Denicco Brown, 43, of Albert Drive, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, unlicensed operator, driver's view obstructed and obstructed plate. At 11:08 a.m. on June 21, Brown was stopped on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke for vehicle and traffic violations. Her driver's license was found to be revoked and she had 22 scoffs/suspensions and 19 suspensions on 10 dates. She was arrested and released and is due in Town of Pembroke Court on July 12. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Jason Fredrick Cecchini, 41, of Fruit Avenue, Medina, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driver's view obstructed, and obstructed/covered plate. He was stopped at 1:17 p.m. on June 21 on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke for vehicle and traffic violations. Cecchini was subsequently allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana. The defendant was issued a traffic summons and an appearance ticket for July 14 in Town of Pembroke Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Shelly Marie Dutton, 44, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 5:51 p.m. on June 22 following a shoplifting complaint alleging that she stole a tool from a department store on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia. She was released with an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court on July 11. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl.

Zachary David Lloyd Duigan, 21, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested at 5:51 p.m. on June 22 following a shoplifting complaint alleging that he stole a tool from a department store on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia. He was released with an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court on July 11. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl.

June 23, 2016 - 2:45pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, batavia, Attica.

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Charlene Mess was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for the death of her husband Douglas Mess. The sentence was handed down in Wyoming County Court this morning, 14 months after Doug’s body was found stabbed, shot and buried in a manure pile on the farm the couple owned and worked in Attica.

On April 21, 2015, Charlene was charged with: murder in the second degree, a Class A felony; criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, a Class B felony; assault in the first degree, a Class B felony; assault in the second degree, a Class D felony; tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a Class E felony; and making a punishable false written statement, a Class A misdemeanor.

On April 28, she pled guilty to manslaughter in the first degree.

Charlene stood, with the help of Assistant Public Defender Greg Kilburn, when asked if she would like to speak before the judge imposed her sentence.

She stood mute.

District Attorney Donald O’Geen reflected on the point, saying that that “reflects the nature of her mind.”

“In a murder case, you don’t ever expect anyone to not at least have remorse, or show some sort of compassion,” O’Geen said. “She refuses to acknowledge what she did. She couldn’t even say she was sorry to the family.”

“You admitted to killing Douglas Mess, the father of your three children,” said Judge Michael Mohun during sentencing. “You caused his death with a gunshot wound to the head. You took him, trussed by rope, to a manure pile and buried him. Law enforcement was told you had no knowledge of his whereabouts...The death of Douglas Mess resonates with the community...with the children that lost their father. The court sentences you to 25 years in prison with five years post-release supervision for the death of Douglas Mess.”

Her face bore an expressionless mask, which a curtain of lomg white hair partially obscured. She walked in with shackles secured around her ankles tethered by chains to the handcuffs around her wrists. In the rows of seats behind her, the hushed murmurs of family and friends of Doug rippled throughout the courtroom in tense anticipation. 

Those affected by the death of the 52-year-old farmer were given an opportunity to address the court prior to sentencing. Laura Scott, Douglas’s older sister, took to the podium.

“The day I got the call, my gut instinct was ‘What did she do?’ But I told myself not to jump to conclusions,” Scott said. “Doug was a good man, a good-hearted and easy-going person. He wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially his sons. It’s been a rough year. They lost their father to a murder and the most difficult part was that their mother did it.

“You had an opportunity to save Doug’s life after you hit him with the pitchfork. You didn’t have to shoot him.”

Scott went on to tell the court about Charlene’s “fits of rage” and “viciousness” toward her sons. 

“I have heard more about the abuse you inflicted on my brother after his murder. Doug would never hit you. Your upbringing made you into the hateful monster that you are. You have no guilt to what you have done. It is horrifying what you’ve done. My brother said you were unfaithful and you had the nerve to be mad?

“I miss my brother’s humor...his bear hugs. I wish he told me, his big sister, the pain that was going on in his life. You are a danger to your sons. I wish you were locked away forever. I ask that you (the court) impose the maximum sentence.”

Thomas Stroud, a good friend to Doug, spoke next.

“The question that has haunted me for the past year is why? Why was it necessary to take his life? Why take a father, brother, uncle, coworker, neighbor...a dear and loyal friend? He gave some much of himself to others. You took so much from so many. Only Charlene and God really knows what happened that night in the barn, everyone else is left with the results, and the boys are left with the financial and emotional impact put on (them) by their own mother.

“Doug’s murder affected both the family and the community,” Stroud said. “Someday Charlene will stand before another judge and she will have to ask God for His mercy and grace. She needs to ask for forgiveness.”

Charlene sat at the defense table with her head hung down, silent, blank, seemingly showing no impact of what Stroud and Scott had to say.

“She definitely loved her animals, so much so that she killed her husband,” O’Geen said. “Shortly before his death, Doug was looking into filing for divorce. He was sick of her alcoholism, her abuse, her lack of help on the farm. The divorce would have caused her to lose her animals and she couldn’t take that.”

The DA went on to outline the events of the evening of April 19, 2015:

Charlene Mess struck Doug three times in the chest with a pitchfork. All of his injuries were incurred while he was alive. She wasn’t in any danger. After he was knocked unconscious, she went to the house, got her gun, put bullets in the gun, went back out into the barn, placed the gun to the back of Doug’s head and shot him. 

She then bound his hands and tied his feet together, she dragged him out of the barn with one of their tractors. She then moved the body with a skidster to the manure pile and buried him. She knew that manure would decompose a body quick. She wanted him to decompose quick so no one would find him. After burying him, she continued on with her chores. Next, she created and fostered a missing persons story.

She went to bed, got up the next day and went about her chores. 

Their son Doug called 9-1-1 April 20 to report his father missing after he failed to show up for work. 

At the same moment she was being interviewed by State Troopers, the whole family was worried about Doug. She was telling the troopers....she said Doug had received a call from his employer Baskin’s Livestock (April 19), left the house and got back around 5 p.m.. She said she was doing her chores and thought Doug was in the lower barn. She went into the house to do some work, came back out to continue milking then went to bed. She had said Doug had not gotten home yet. 

She got up the next morning (April 20) and went about her day. She let the ruse play out for hours while everyone was out looking for him. She didn’t think anyone would find him. He was found – dead, buried in a pile of manure.

“Her behavior from the beginning has been a complete acting job,” O’Geen said. “She faked the childlike behavior. She faked the shaking. She faked it when she was interviewed by two different psychologists. In the probation report, it states that the act was calculated and planned and recommended the maximum sentence of 25 years. The defendant had difficulty putting animals down, yet she had no issue with taking a human life. The District Attorney’s Office asked for a 25-year sentence for the cold, calculated killing of Douglas Mess.”

Defense Attorney Public Defender Greg Killburn asked the court to look at the whole of Charlene’s life. 

“She has worked hard all her life. She’s a law-abiding, hard-working woman. But below the surface there was tension building. Months before the incident she told her doctor that she felt like she was going to explode. The evidence doesn’t show that it (the murder) was planned...that day, the pressure just exploded. We ask that you impose a sentence that represents her life as a whole and ask for the court’s mercy.”

When Mohun handed down the sentence he offered no mercy. An audible sound of gratitude emanated from the courtroom. He told Charlene she took away “a father, a brother, friend and a community member.”

“The sentence was what we had hoped for,” O’Geen said. “It was a horrific crime. Charlene went through extensive measures to hide the body intentionally to get rid of it quickly. When he couldn’t defend himself, she got the gun. The coroner’s report states that the gun was in close contact with his head. She claimed it happened because Doug grabbed her. There was no evidence to suggest violence from him.

"Yes, they may have argued about her alcoholism and not doing her job, but there is nothing to suggest that Doug was violent toward Charlene. The evidence shows that he was abused by her. He wanted out of an abusive relationship. Based on the evidence, the one constant was with animals. It’s interesting that animals were more important than a human life.”

See related: Charlene Mess admits to killing her husband Douglas Mess

UPDATE 7:20 p.m.: In a statement released by the DA's Office, O'Geen said, "I want to thank the members of the New York State Police, especially the major crime unit, for leading this investigation; along with assistance from members of the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office, the Attica Fire Department, Wyoming County Emergency Management, the Coroner’s Office and the many others who helped bring the Mess family justice in this case. 

"In cases like this, collaboration of resources and cross-agency cooperation is key to the final result. This sentence will not bring Doug back to his family but at least it will keep his killer away from society for a very long time. The family will now go forward remembering Doug as a hardworking, gentle and kind man who was always there for his family and community. I wish them all strength during this difficult time.” 

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June 23, 2016 - 2:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, batavia, news, downtown, business.

Members of the Batavia Improvement District were informed yesterday in a memo from Executive Director Laurie Oltramari, that the BID Board of Directors has voted to oppose a plan to change the rules for how the BID operates.

City Manager Jason Molino has proposed to City Council that the city adopt a district plan for the BID, which in the past has been drafted by the BID board and then approved by the council, and require that BID comply with the state's Freedom of Information Law and Open Meetings Law.

Oltramari said the BID has already turned in a budget for 2016 that is compliant with the state's General Municipal Law.  

The whole issue of the BID's budget is what precipitated the city's recent actions, but Oltramari told BID members that it was the responsibility of the city manager to ensure property owners in the Downtown tax district were charged the appropriate tax rate, not the BID's.

"The City wants to implement compliance of the debt limits within the General Municipal Law, something that has been known to the City Manager for several years," Oltramari said in her memo to members. "In addition, the City levied the 2016 assessment knowing that there was a compliance issue, collected the BID assessment, and is retained the funds without any authority to withhold funds that are due and owing to the BID."

BID members are people who either own property in the Downtown district or operate businesses in the district.

Oltramari invited BID members to visit her office at 200 E. Main St., Batavia, on Monday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to discuss these issues, or to make an appointment with her for a conversation.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the city's proposed changes at 7 p.m., Monday.

The proposal would also require the BID to comply with the state's open government law, but Oltramari said director's meetings are already transparent and open for its members.

"The BID board is opposed to the City of Batavia adopting a local law imposing such as it conflicts with state law and our meetings are already open to the BID membership," Oltramari said. "For the City to implement such is creating new law for the City of Batavia, setting new precedent within NY State and discriminating against a not-for-profit corporation."

June 23, 2016 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, batavia, news.

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At least it was a beautiful night for baseball at Dwyer Stadium on Wednesday, even if the play on the field was a bit ugly.

The Batavia Muckdogs dropped their 2016 home opener 11-1 to State College, falling to an 0-6 start. But fans shouldn't be too discouraged. Today's roster of youngsters has yet to be supplemented by Miami Marlin draft picks. The season should get progressively better, as they usually do under Muckdog's manager Angel Espada.

On a night that could, maybe, be the last home opener for one of the New York Penn-League's founding franchises (but that's true every year these days), the team tapped its rich history and its ties to the community by having Jerry Maley, a lifelong Batavia resident who made his professional debut with the local team in 1948, throw out the first pitch.

The Muckdogs try again tonight at Dwyer Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m. More good weather is expected.

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June 22, 2016 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools, schools, education, oakfield-alabamp, news.

The Batavia City School District remains committed to providing students and staff the best technology to advance the district's educational goals, said Superintendent Chris Dailey, even though Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Office decided to bypass the district technology grants as part of the governor's Smart Schools Bond Act.

The state is funding school districts throughout the state -- including Oakfield-Alabama, locally -- with a $2 billion bond for technology upgrades and Batavia did not receive funding in May.

The state just announced the release of another $43 million in funding for June, but BCSD did not apply, Dailey said, after being overlooked in May, deciding instead to use current available funds and make its purchases through BOCES to help reduce costs.

"Technology impacts all aspects of education and life," Dailey said. "We want our students to have the same access to the world as any of the more affluent NYS communities have. They will have access to the world and information like never before in Batavia. Technology will enhance the excellent education our staff provide our students. Our students will be better prepared to go into the world of work or college based on the commitment we are making."

Last month, the governor's office announced that O-A would receive $664,680 for its districtwide upgrades.

The school districts are planning increased Wi-Fi coverage at school facilities, laptops or tablet computers for all students, 3D printers, touchscreen monitors for classrooms and lesson materials.

No Genesee County school district was part of the June funding announcement. Another announcement of fund distribution is expected in July.

Previously:

June 22, 2016 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Le Roy, Pavilion.

Tera M. Williams, 43, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 8:32 p.m. on June 17 following an altercation on South Main Street in which she allegedly struck another female in the face. Williams was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on June 28. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Clay Austin Fisher, 18, of Junction Road, Pavilion, is charged with attempted assault in the second degree. At 11:10 a.m. on June 21, the defendant was arrested after allegedly attempting to strike the victim with a dangerous instrument during a domestic dispute. He was arraigned in Pavilion Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due in Pavilion Town Court on July 5. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Robert Henning, assisted by Deputy Bradley Mazur.

Christina M. Strang, 41, was arrested for aggravated driving while intoxicated and operator leaving the scene of a property damage accident after she allegedly hit a parked car on Garibaldi Avenue in Oakfield, moving it approximately 15 feet from its location. Strang failed the SFSTs administered to her after Troopers detected the odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from her. Strang was transported to SP Batavia where she registered a .19 percent BAC, over twice the legal limit. Strang is scheduled to appear in the Town of Oakfield Court on June 27.

Christopher W. Muhs, 20, was arrested for aggravated driving while intoxicated, speeding and failing to notify of address change after he was stopped on State Route 19 in the Town of Pavilion. Troopers detected the odor of alcohol emitting from his breath. Muhs failed the SFSTs and was placed under arrest. He was transported to SP Batavia where he registered a BAC of .32 percent, four times the legal limit. Muhs was issued an appearance ticket and uniform traffic tickets returnable to the Town of Pavilion Court on June 28.

Jennifer R. Murray, of 2178 W. Henrietta Road, Rochester, was cited for following too closely following a rear-end accident at 7:21 a.m. today at 7988 Route 19 in Le Roy. According to the police accident report, a 2008 Honda pickup truck was stopped on Route 19 in order to make a left turn onto North Road, when another vehicle that was directly behind it, went around the pickup on the west shoulder. Murray, who was southbound in a 2002 Subaru, did not see the stopped vehicle in time and rear-ended it, according to a witness. The accident report was made by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Loftus.

June 22, 2016 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, batavia, muckdogs.

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David Kleinbach shared this picture of three youths doing what kids have done for generations at professional baseball games, peeking through holes in the fence to watch the game.

The Batavia Muckdogs open their home schedule tonight at Dwyer Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.

June 22, 2016 - 3:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Le Roy, corfu, batavia, Alexander.

Students who have completed at least 12 credit hours and who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher qualify for the dean's list at Buffalo State. We are pleased to recognize the following students who attained this honor in the Spring 2016 semester.

Raelynn Moskal, of Alexander

Mary Boerschlein, of Batavia 

Jessica Molins, of Batavia

Melanie Case, of Batavia 

Timothy German, of Batavia 

Joseph Babcock, of Corfu 

Jessica Page, of Le Roy 

Buffalo State offers more than 160 undergraduate programs in the arts, sciences, professions, and education. Each year, more than 10,000 students choose Buffalo State for its broad range of academic programs, applied learning opportunities, affordable tuition, and its location in the heart of Buffalo's cultural corridor.

June 22, 2016 - 2:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in road repair, batavia, news.

Press release from the City's Bureau of Maintenance:

Please be aware that all motorists using South Main Street within the City of Batavia from Oak Street Extension west to the City Line will experience road closures on Monday, June 27 and Tuesday, June 28, between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Roadwork involving the paving of the roadway will begin on the east end and progress west to River Street. Upon completion of this segment, the portion of South Main Street between River Street and west city line will follow. It is anticipated it will take two days to complete this work.

While work is being performed in these areas, the roadway will be closed to all through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence/ property but should plan accordingly for delays.

All residents within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the day.

This is weather dependent work.  If work is postponed it shall progress next work day.

Please, plan accordingly and contact the Bureau of Maintenance with any questions.

Thank you for your cooperation in advance.

June 22, 2016 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, batavia, muckdogs, news.

Batavia has a rich baseball history, and Bill Kauffman and Bill Dougherty, each in their own way, have written about that history. Last year, Dougherty released "A View from the Bleachers: Batavia Baseball," and Kauffman, whose latest book is "Poetry Night at the Ballpark," has used Batavia baseball in his books and essays to frame his love for a life lived at human scale where neighbors rub shoulders and crack wise between pitches.

In anticipation of at least one more Batavia Muckdogs baseball season, we sat down in the stands at Dwyer Stadium with Bill and Bill to talk baseball, writing and life in Batavia.  

Baseball in Batavia, at least professional baseball, is listed on the endangered species list, soon to join the dodo bird and the passenger pigeon on the list of treasures lost to history. We know we have the 2016 season, and we are pretty sure there will be a 2017 season, but beyond that, the profiteers in the commissioner's office of Ben J. Hayes can't wait to yank the franchise away from the league's ancestral home. 

It's a myth that the Muckdogs lack sufficient local fan support. While Batavia ranks dead last in total attendance, it's actually one of the more stoutly supported teams in the league, ranking eighth in per-capita attendance, drawing a healthy 6 percent of the city's population on an average game night.

"Baseball is one of the things that gives Batavia its character, its flavor, its savor," Kauffman said. "It keeps us from drifting into the great American nothingness that has consumed so much of this country. This is the birthplace of the New York-Penn League, and the league, unfortunately, is on this crazy madcap expansion where it stretches now from Burlington, Vermont to Morgantown, West Virginia. It’s insane. It's driven transportation and lodging costs way up and makes it very hard for small market teams to survive. If Batavia lost its franchise, I think the league would lose its heart and soul."

It's debatable, of course, whether the league still has any heart or soul, having some time ago crassly moved its headquarters out of New York to St. Petersburg, Fla.

Writers love baseball for the same reason some sports fans have drifted to faster-paced contests. It's the lulls between pitches, between hitters and between innings, that give baseball its grace, making it a game for fans with active minds and a gift for gab.

"There’s a lot of room in between things in baseball and the things that fill up that room are to me what make it a real special experience," Kauffman said.

Minor league baseball is its own special treat, says Dougherty, especially at this level, short-season Single A, where even the most experienced player hasn't even played 100 games yet of professional ball and many, when they first walk onto Dwyer's lush infield, haven't seen their first professional pitch.

"They come here, and they're not too polished, but as the season goes on you notice a definite improvement in overall play," Dougherty said. "They know what to do and some of the plays you would actually say, ‘that’s a major league play.’ I appreciate the ambiance and seeing the players develop right before your eyes.”

The name of Kauffman's book comes from a somewhat historical, or perhaps, ignominious night in Batavia baseball lore, the night and when he and Club President Brian Paris decided that rather than playing canned music -- which they both hate -- between innings, they and a few others would read poems about baseball.

"You can already tell, this was a horrible idea," Kauffman said.

After the few innings, Paris asked the fans, music or poetry? The cry of the fans -- decidedly not fans of Charles Bukowski and Marianne Moore -- filled the air, "music."

They read more poetry.

"The fact that it didn’t go over well, it was a Batavia thing," Kauffman said. "If it was San Francisco, people would go, ‘oh, that’s cool,’ but Batavia is unselfconscious and I like that."

The Batavia Muckdogs open their home schedule tonight at Dwyer Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.

June 21, 2016 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.
james_pontillo.jpg
      James Pontillo

James D. Pontillo, 48, of Griswold Road, Byron, is charged with offering for file a false instrument, 2nd, grand larceny, 4th, falsifying business records, 1st, and forgery, 2nd.

Pontillo, who is the recorded owner of nine pieces of property in the City of Batavia, is accused of falsely portraying himself as the owner of a multi-dwelling property in the city and of filing documents indicating he was the owner and of collecting benefits from the State of New York.

Following arraignment in City Court yesterday, Pontillo was released without bail.

Previously:

June 21, 2016 - 6:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
bradleybroadbent_bw_160_june2016.jpg
      Bradley J. Broadbent

A 36-year-old Hutchins Street resident with a long history local of drug-related arrests, most notoriously in 2012 when he got caught up in synthetic drug use, leading to bizarre behavior, has been arrested in two counties for allegedly selling heroin.

Bradley J. Broadbent is accused of selling heroin to a fellow inmate in the Genesee County Jail and of selling heroin to an agent of the Wyoming County Local Drug Task Force in Perry.

In Genesee County, Broadbent is facing charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and promoting prison contraband, 1st.

In Wyoming County, he is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the 4th and 5th degrees and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 4th and 5th degrees.

Also arrested with Broadbent in Batavia, following an investigation by the Local Drug Task Force, was Ryan M. Bobzin, 27, of West Bergen Road, Bergen. Bobzin is charged with promoting prison contraband, 1st, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. 

The transaction allegedly took place April 24 after both Broadbent and Bobzin were incarcerated on unrelated charges. Broadbent is accused of smuggling the heroin into the jail.

Both men were arraigned in City Court and Broadbent was ordered held on no bail and Bobzin was released on his own recognizance.

Broadbent was ordered held on $100,000 in Wyoming County, where he is currently incarcerated. 

In 2012, during the summer of bath salts in Batavia, Broadbent made the news for climbing on the roofs of houses on Hutchins Street after rampaging through a commercial building on Liberty Street.

Prior to his March 6, 2013 sentencing on convictions stemming from those events, Broadbent approached a reporter in the courtroom and talked about how he wanted to turn his life around and he apologized to the community for his behavior.

Later, during sentencing, he told Judge Robert C. Noonan, "I'm never going to be behind this table again, your honor."

He also told Noonan, "I've been in jail almost my whole life. I know with my record, saying I'm sincerely sorry is hard to take seriously, but I am sorry. This is the last time I'm ever going to be at this table, your honor, regardless of what you sentence me to."

Broadbent was convicted in a jury trial of misdemeanors and Noonan sentenced him to two one-year sentences to be served consecutively.

Noonan told Broadbent at the sentencing that he hoped he could turn his life around.

"You're a poster child for why bath salts had to be banned," Noonan said. "The evidence of your behavior in this trial was nothing short of bizarre, and not only in terms of what you did, but what you were able to do with almost superhuman feats while under the influence of those substances."

June 21, 2016 - 5:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Hampton Inn, batavia.

Hampton Inn Batavia has received a 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on the online TripAdvisor site over the past year.

To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

"We are proud to be recognized by TripAdvisor with a Certificate of Excellence Award," said General Manager, general manager of Hampton Inn Batavia. "This honor is a testament to our dedication to exceptional customer service.

"We appreciate our guests giving us excellent ratings on this site and helping us to achieve this recognition."

Located at 4360 Commerce Drive in Batavia, Hampton Inn Batavia offers amenities including On the House breakfast each morning and Hampton's On the Run(tm) Breakfast Bags, available Monday through Friday. Additionally, it provides free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour business center with complimentary
printing and a fitness center.

Each guestroom includes the brand's signature Clean and fresh Hampton bed. Designed as an extension of the guestroom, properties feature a Perfect Mix Lobby, with a variety of seating and lighting options for both leisure and business travelers.

Hampton by Hilton properties participate in Hilton HHonors, the only hotel loyalty program that allows members to earn Points & Miles on the same stay and No Blackout Dates on reward stays. HHonors members always get our lowest price with our Best Price Guarantee, along with Honors Points, digital check-in and no booking fees only when they book directly through Hilton.

To make reservations, visit www.hampton.com and to read more about Hampton by Hilton, visit www.news.hampton.com

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