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January 9, 2019 - 11:54am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, teen city, city youth bureau, Announcements.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Youth Bureau and the Genesee County YMCA invites all 6th through 12thgrade students in the City of Batavia to submit a logo design that will be used with the opening of Teen City.

The contest guidelines are as follows:

  • Contestants must be enrolled as a 6th– 12thgrader who resides within the City of Batavia or attends Batavia City School District, St. Joseph Catholic School, Notre Dame High School or GVEP.
  • Poster should be no larger than 9”x12” and must leave the bottom 2 inches blank.
  • Artists should include Teen City in the logo design.
  • Artwork should be submitted in portrait (vertical) orientation.
  • Each submission should be the original student’s work.
  • Each entry must include the artist’s full name, address, phone number, grade, age and school on the back of the poster.
  • Designs can be in any medium, including computer-generated. They should be clear and concise, easy to read.

Entries must be received in person or by mail by 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28. Submissions can be sent to the Batavia Youth Bureau, Attn: Teen City Logo Contest, 12 MacArthur Drive, Batavia, NY 14020.

The winning logo will be used for all signage of Teen City and on staff shirts. The winner will be recognized at the Teen City Kick-off Event in 2019.  For more information contact the Batavia Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

January 9, 2019 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, animals, outdoors.


Here's something you don't see every day: A ring-necked pheasant in the city.

Joanne Fleming spotted the bird by Pizza Hut yesterday afternoon.

January 8, 2019 - 5:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

This story is based on audio provided at the courthouse by WBTA's Alex Feig.

Batavia High School student Antwan Odom appeared in Genesee County Court this morning for his arraignment on an indictment filed by the Grand Jury stemming from a summertime fight with his classmate and neighbor, Ray Leach. 

Odom's attorney Frank Housh waived a reading of the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of his client on charges of attempted assault, 1st, a Class C felony, and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, a Class A misdemeanor.

Odom, 18, allegedly cut Leach during an Aug. 4 altercation on Ross Street.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman indicated the prosecution was ready for trial and motion hearings were scheduled.

Judge Charles Zambito continued bail at $15,000 cash / $30,000 bond without objection.

A temporary order of protection barring Odom from contact with Leach was also continued, however the defense contested that the order should be altered as he claimed it was being used by Batavia High School to prevent Odom from attending.

Housh claims his client’s education is suffering due to practices of BHS and the Batavia City School District, which has in essence expelled Odom, who he says is "falling far behind" in his studies despite being assigned a tutor and attending BOCES.

"He's not getting a good education," Housh said. "And this is happening only because the (school) district has made the determination to protect Ray Leach and punish my client."

Speaking with reporters after today's court proceedings, the defense attorney said he received a letter on behalf of his client from the district explaining that because of the serious nature of the charges, Odom could no longer attend BHS. Leach continues his studies at the high school unabated.

A reply letter pointed out that certain hearings, such as a superintendent's hearing, have to be held before an expulsion can be ordered, with Housh citing #3214 of the NYS Education Law.

Subsequently, Housh received another letter from the school district's attorney, which changed the justification of Odom's ouster to the fact that an order of protection is in place.

"It is extraordinarily rare for a school district to say because there is a stay away order, you can no longer be educated, you have to be expelled," Housh said, noting that he has practiced law 25 years and handled lots of students' cases in many districts.

"What almost always happens is the court makes a determination that the two of them have to stay away from each other at school, so both of them (can get) an education. ... They don't take one student and deny them an education."

The fact that a tutor has been assigned to Odom and he can attend BOCES is not the same as being able to attend the school he has gone to for the last three years; there's no parity, according to Housh.

Judge Zambito said he would consider Housh's argument if it is put in writing, which Housh will do when he files motions in the case. The next court appearance for Odom is sometime in March.

January 8, 2019 - 3:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Police Department announced today it has recovered the white 1998 Dodge RAM 2500 diesel (NYREG 65962JX). The vehicle was located at the old sand wash on Cedar Street and has been returned to the business.

Anyone with information in reference to the case may contact Detective Eric Hill at 585-345-6373 or the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online at here.

For previous coverage, click here.

January 7, 2019 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, business.

(Above: suspects involved in the weekend burglaries.)

Submitted photos and press release from the Batavia Police Department:

The Batavia Police Department is investigating several burglaries which occurred at different local businesses over the weekend.

The areas where the burglaries took place are Ellicott Street and Jackson Street, Harvester Avenue, Swan Street, Center Street, Apollo Drive and Liberty Street.

The suspects broke windows or kicked in doors to gain entry. Items were taken at some of the businesses but not all. The suspects stole a white 1998 Dodge RAM 2500 diesel (NYREG 65962JX) from one of the businesses and may be operating the vehicle.

Attached are photos of the suspects from one local business and the actual stolen vehicle. It is recommended that business owners remove all cash/valuables prior to closing.

The Batavia Police Department is requesting business owners and citizens to look out for suspicious persons. Please notify the police department IMMEDIATELY if suspicious activities are observed so investigative actions can be taken. 

Anyone with information in reference to the case may contact Detective Eric Hill at 585-345-6373 or the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online here.

No other information will be released on the burglaries at this time due to the ongoing investigations.

(Below: Ellicott and Liberty streets - south.)

(Bottom: Ellicott and Liberty streets - east.)

January 7, 2019 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Bethany, Stafford, bergen, Le Roy, elba.

Mark Daniel Tooley, 35, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, (inset photo, above) is charged with: first-degree sexual abuse; acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17; and first-degree criminal sex act. On Jan. 4, Tooley was arrested on a sealed Grand Jury indictment for allegedly having sexual contact with a victim under the age of 13 on Main Road in Stafford at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24. He was arraigned by Judge Charles Zambito and put in jail with bail set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond. He is to reappear in Genesee County Court at a later date. The investigation was handled by Youth Officer Tim Wescott and Youth Officer Howard Carlson.

Nicholas G. Williams, 42, of 3810 W. Main Street Road, Lot 7, Batavia is charged with: felony burglary, 2nd, misdemeanor attempted petit larceny; and felony criminal contempt, 1st. A reported disturbance on Nov. 26 on Lake Street in the Village of Le Roy led to an investigation of Williams. It is alleged that Williams knowingly entered and/or unlawfully remained inside a residence on Lake Street in Le Roy with the intent of committing the crime of petit larceny. Williams is accused of attempting to steal a laptop computer from inside the residence when he was interrupted and fled the scene. Williams was charged with felony criminal contempt in the first degree because it is alleged that a protected person, whom the court ordered him to have no contact with, lived at the residence. Williams was convicted of a prior criminal contempt within the preceding five years. Williams was located in the Genesee County Jail where he was confined due to an alleged parole violation. Williams was arrested on Dec. 12 for the Le Roy charges and arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court and jailed without bail due to multiple prior felony convictions.

Kevin Pietrzykowski, 63, of Stafford (inset photo, left), was arrested by troopers on Jan. 4 for directing a laser at an aircraft, 2nd, which is a misdemeanor. On Jan. 3, troopers responded to the Town of Bergen for a call received from Rochester Airport Air Traffic Control Office on behalf of the National Guard Air Wing for a military helicopter being directed by a laser during night training. According to a spokesman for Troop A in Batavia, the second time the laser was directed at the aircraft, the helicopter pilot put a spotlight on the area it originated from, which helped troopers patrolling the area to find the suspect. Multiple interviews resulted in the arrest of Pietrzykowski on Clinton Street Road, Stafford. Pietrykowski was issued an appearance ticket for the Town of Stafford Court in February.

Kevin James Compton, 57, of Clipnock Road, Bethany, is charged with: criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree; two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment; two counts of unlawful imprisonment; and two counts of second-degree menacing. Compton was arrested following a domestic incident which occurred at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 on Clipnock Road. It is alleged that Compton threatened two people with a pistol. He was arraigned in Bethany Town Court on Jan. 6 and jailed in lieu of $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond. He is due back in court on Jan. 15. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Howard Wilson, assisted by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Ernest Dee Lane, 60, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault. Lane was arrested on Jan. 3 for an incident which occurred at 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 1 on Ellicott Street. He allegedly injured another person during a physical altercation. He is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Cody J. Wenner, 28, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree harassment. Wenner was arrested Jan. 3 for an incident which occurred at 12:57 a.m. on Jan. 1 on Walnut Street. Wenner allegedly pushed a juvenile to the ground during an altercation. He was released on his own recognizance following arraignment in Batavia City Court. He was due back in City Court on Jan. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

January 7, 2019 - 12:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, news, batavia.

City police are responding to the area of 100-200 Washington Ave. for a woman a caller says "is freaking out because her car has a dead battery." The caller is no longer in the area. "Copy the freak-out," says an officer who will be responding.

UPDATE 12:44 p.m.: The officer tells a dispatcher "I have a female and two small children in my vehicle so they can stay warm until triple A gets here."

January 7, 2019 - 12:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, news, batavia.

A caller complained to dispatch that a female was smoking a cigarette inside a black Dodge Caravan while an infant was in the vehicle. The vehicle, which is registered to an owner who lives in Clarence Center, was last seen near the Peking Buffet and left BJs Wholesale shopping plaza in an unknown direction of travel. Law enforcement is responding.

January 7, 2019 - 12:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents, news.

A three-vehicle accident is reported at Ellicott and Jackson, near Angotti Beverages. One driver is injured. City police and fire are on scene and Mercy medics are responding. Two flatbeds will be needed for tows.

UPDATE 12:13 p.m.: Two additional patients are reported. Mercy medics are on scene. Reports that a pedestrian was struck proved false.

UPDATE 12:39 p.m.: An 85-year-old female patient is transported to UMMC for evaluation.

January 7, 2019 - 12:00pm

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January 6, 2019 - 6:33am
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported on the westbound Thruway near mile marker 389.7. One person is trapped inside. Road conditions are "possibly very icy." The location is just east of the State Street Road overpass. Town of Batavia Fire Department, Mercy medics and law enforcement are responding. 

UPDATE 6:36 a.m.: "Town command you've got lots of debris in the roadway." There are actually two vehicles off the roadway; on the east and west side of the Thruway at the State Street Road overpass. There are two patients.

UPDATE 6:42 a.m.: Alexander's ambulance is also requested to the scene.

UPDATE 6:49 a.m.: The trapped patient is extricated.

UPDATE 6:52 a.m.: A second Mercy rig is heading to the scene; Alexander is canceled.

UPDATE 7:10 a.m.: A patient is being transported to Erie County Medical Center.

UPDATE 7:14 a.m.: A second patient is being transported to ECMC.

UPDATE 7:18 a.m.: A 22-year-old male has lacerations and a 25-year-old male is complaining of lower back pain; both are being transported to UMMC. The Town of Batavia assignment is back in service.

January 6, 2019 - 5:19am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A fryer on fire is reported inside Burger King on West Main Street in Batavia. City fire just arrived on scene.

UPDATE 5:21 a.m.: "There was never any fire...we'll be clearing the scene," says city command.

January 4, 2019 - 11:53pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, rotary tournament, basketball, batavia, Batavia HS, notify.


ROTARY CLUB CHAMPIONS: The Batavia High School Varsity Girls Basketball Team with Rotary Club Tournament trophy, from left, Bella Houseknecht, Kennedy Kolb, Meghan Houseknecht, Ryann Stefaniak, Emma Krolczyk, Jenae Colkey, Bryn Wormley, Mackenzie Reigle, Tess Barone and Haylee Thornley.

It was only fitting that senior Meghan Houseknecht dropped in the winning basket in Batavia High’s exciting 59-57 victory over Wellsville in tonight’s championship game of 30th annual Rotary Club Tournament at Genesee Community College.

Houseknecht was a freshman in the Lady Devils’ basketball program in January of 2016 when her father, well-known Batavia businessman Michael Houseknecht, died at the much-too-young age of 38.

With her mother, sister, grandparents, relatives and friends looking on during the closing moments of a hard-fought battle, Houseknecht, a 6-foot center, gathered in a pass from tourney MVP sophomore guard Bryn Wormley and laid the ball over the rim and through the hoop with :06 on the clock.

When teammate Kennedy Kolb broke up Wellsville’s last attempt to tie the game, Batavia had escaped with its seventh win in eight outings this season.

Batavia Coach Marty Hein relished taking the Rotary Club trophy but said he was doubly proud of the way his squad handled the adversity of losing three starters, including their top scorer, senior guard Ryann Stefaniak, who departed with her fifth foul at the 5:12 mark of the final quarter.

“Looking on the bench, we had a lead, I’m thinking we need defense,” Hein said. “ 'OK, Tess (Barone) go in'; Tess plays hardnosed defense and she did a nice job for us to finish the game. And Kennedy Kolb came through.

“I would have rather had Ryann and Kenzie (Reigle) in the game but it turned out that it was a nice win where everyone contributed down the line.”

He also spoke of the way Wormley has stepped up her game this season – “she’s blossoming and it’s fun to watch,” he said – and called Houseknecht’s late heroics “just rewards.”

“Remembering three years ago, it (her father’s passing) was heartbreaking,” he said. “Meg’s an awesome girl; I love her to death and it’s kind of fitting that she makes the shot to win the game.”

The game was close throughout as the teams were never separated by more than seven points.

Wellsville, now 7-2, was up by seven with two minutes left in the third quarter before Batavia ended the period on an 11-1 run with key hoops by Wormley, Reigle and Stefaniak.

Batavia grabbed its biggest lead, 48-43, on a basket by Wormley to open the fourth-quarter scoring, but Wellsville, which kept Batavia off balance with accurate long-distance shooting, pulled ahead 51-50 with 3:45 to play on a three-point shot by senior guard Taylor Adams.

Wellsville made it 53-50 on a pair of free throws by senior guard Jana Whitehouse, but Wormley responded with a three-pointer at the 2:55 mark to tie it at 53-53.

After a free throw by Wellsville’s freshman guard Marley Adams, Batavia scored four straight on a driving layup by sophomore guard Reigle and two foul shots by Wormley to take a 57-54 edge with 1:06 to play.

A pair of free throws by Adams on separate trips down the floor pulled Wellsville within a point and a free throw by senior guard Quincy Buckley with 15 seconds left made it 57-57.

Batavia inbounded the ball, with senior forward Jenae Colkey managing to escape pressure to get the ball to Wormley, who drove down the left side of the lane before lobbing it in to Houseknecht for the decisive bucket.

“The play was to get the ball to Bryn because she was the facilitator at the point in the game – the person who could either make the right pass or get into position to score,” Hein said.

Houseknecht said she was able to get free underneath by virtue of a screen from Kolb and was able to complete the play.

“When I cut through I saw I had a mismatch as the girl was shorter, and Bryn made a good pass to me,” she said. “I knew when I got the ball that I had to shoot it (right away), and fortunately it went in.”

Ironically, the basket was Houseknecht’s only two points of the game and touched off a wild celebration from the Batavia fans.

“All week we were super-excited to play in the tournament and then after winning on Wednesday (against Caledonia-Mumford) to play in the championship game,” Houseknecht said.

Stefaniak led the Batavia scoring with 19 points – five of them in the closing seconds of the first half to pull her team within two at 29-27 at intermission.

Wormley tallied 16 while Reigle and junior forward Emma Krolczyk, who both fouled out in the game’s closing minute, added 13 and nine points, respectively.

For Wellsville, Buckley led the way with 17 – including four three-point baskets -- and junior center Regan Marsh added 13. All told, Wellsville sank eight three-pointers.

We knew that they were an outside shooting team, we were worried more about Winehouse – and Buckley was popping them,” Hein said. “We knew what we were up against … We didn’t close out soon enough – they were popping.”

Stefaniak, Adams and Buckley made the all-tournament team along with Notre Dame’s Callie McCulley (ND defeated Cal-Mum in the consolation game) while Reigle earned the Sportsmanship Award.

 Photos by Thomas Ognibene. To view or purchase photos, click here.






January 4, 2019 - 7:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

City police are called to 46 Walnut St. for the report of a female with a dog bite. The dog is secured in a residence now.

January 4, 2019 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, batavia, elba, bergen, Basom.

Robert W. Redinger, 29, of Dublin Road, Bergen, is charged with: DWI -- combined drugs or alcohol; unlawful fleeing a police officer in the third degree; reckless driving; failure to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle; refusal to take a breath test; running a red light; moving from lane unsafely (four counts); speed in zone (four counts); unsafe start (two counts); failure to stop at stop sign (three counts); and unlawful possession of marijuana. Redinger was arrested at 2 a.m. on Dec. 29 on Harvester Avenue in Batavia after he allegedly refused to pull over for a traffic stop. He allegedly proceeded to lead police on a high-speed pursuit; his vehicle stopped as a result of him running out of gas. He was allegedly found to be intoxicated and then he was processed and arraigned in city court and put in jail. (Bail status is not mentioned.) The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Trace G. Brewer, 18, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree burglary, petit larceny and third-degree criminal trespass. Brewer was arrested at 8 a.m. on Dec. 30 on Montclair Avenue after he allegedly entered a shed and stole property. He is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Shah L Zajic, 42, of Batavia, was arrested in the early morning of Dec. 27 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: felony driving while intoxicated; felony aggravated driving while intoxicated with a BAC .18 percent or more; unlawful possession of marijuana; speed in zone; and failure to signal. At about 2:25 a.m. Dec. 27th, an officer assigned to DWI Crackdown Patrol observed a vehicle allegedly moving at a high rate of speed on Wolcott Street in the Village of Le Roy. A lawful traffic stop was initiated after the vehicle also failed to use a signal while making a turn. The operator was identified as Zajic. After a subsequent investigation it was allegedly found that Zajic was intoxicated. Zajic was taken into custody and processed without incident; arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court put in jail with bail set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. Zajic is due back in court on Jan. 22 to answer the charges.

Derrick L. Washington, 46, Roosevelt Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: DWI -- BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI -- first offense; speeding; unlicensed operator; aggravated unlicensed operation. On Dec. 31 at 11:20 p.m. on Liberty Street in Batavia, Washington was arrested on these charges following a traffic stop. After his arraignment in city court, he was jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Ranelle E. Reuben, 36, of Judge Road, Basom, is charged with: driving with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; following too closely; and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Reuben was arrested at 5:38 p.m. on Dec. 18 on West Main Street in Batavia. The defendant allegedly left the scene of a property damage accident after striking another vehicle and the defendant was allegedly intoxicated and operating the vehicle without a driver's license. Reuben was arraigned in city court and jailed without bail. Reuben was due in city court on Dec. 19. The case was handled Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Billie L. Harper, 41, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; unlawful possession of marijuana; driving while ability impaired by drugs; having a cracked front windshield. Harper was arrested at 9:07 a.m. on Dec. 23 on State Street in Batavia after a citizen's complaint of a subject slouched over the steering wheel of a vehicle. Batavia police responded and located Harper asleep in her vehicle at the intersection of Washington Avenue and State Street. After further investigation police allegedly found Harper to be impaired. The defendant is due in city court on Jan. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Matthew T. Ryan, 42, of Henskee Road, Alden, is charged with DWI -- common law and aggravated DWI -- with a BAC of .18 percent or more. Ryan was arrested at 6:44 p.m. on Dec. 21 on Walnut Street in Batavia following the investigation into a vehicle complaint. He was due in city court on Jan. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

George Michael Hodges, 28, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration in the second degree and harassment in the second degree. Hodges was arrested at 1:50 p.m. on Dec. 30 on Oak Street. It is alleged that he physically interfered with police while they were investigating a disturbance call on Oak Street. He was arraigned in city court and put in jail in lieu of $1,000 cash or bond. He was due in court on Dec. 31 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Ernest D. Lane, 60, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief. Lane was arrested at 6:40 a.m. on Jan. 1 for allegedly intentionally breaking property that belonged to a female acquaintance. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Adam James Gill, 30, of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 11 a.m. on Jan. 3 on Church Street in Elba following a visit from probation in the Town of Elba. He was arrested for allegedly being inside the residence and in the presence of a protected party. He was arraigned in Oakfield Town Court and put in jail with bail set at $500 cash or $1,000 bond. He is due in court again on Jan. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Henning.

Tiesha Deon Doward, 32, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Doward was arrested at 12:38 p.m. on Dec. 31 following a shoplifting complaint at Tops Friendly Market in Batavia. Doward is accused of leaving the store with $99.69 worth of merchandise without paying for it. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Joshua J. Dibble, no permanent address, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Dibble was arrested on Jan. 1 on an active arrest warrant out of Batavia City Court charging him with petit larceny. It is alleged that Oct. 4 on West Main Street in Batavia that Dibble took a 12-pack of beer from a store without paying for it. Following his arrest on the warrant, he was arraigned and jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash or bond. He was due in court again on Jan. 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

January 3, 2019 - 7:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
     Sean Semprie

If Sean A. Semprie Jr., had just stuck around the Genesee County Courthouse one morning back in May he wouldn't be heading to state prison today.

Judge Charles Zambito was ready to cut Semprie a deal back then that would have meant some jail time followed by five years probation on drug peddling charges. But while Zambito conferred with Semprie's attorney, the 25-year-old told a court official he had to go out to his car. He never came back.

His attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader told Zambito it should count in Semprie's favor that he never left Genesee County, even with a warrant pending, that he knew eventually he would be caught, and that while it was a poor decision, he wanted to get a job and take care of his family, which he did, Ader said.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell said the "take care of his family" excuse rang a little hollow.

"The defendant had an opportunity here," Finnell said, adding later, "the fact that he's managed to stay away from being re-arrested is not an indication of his ability to behave lawfully. He says he had a job but there's no indication of what he's been doing (since May).

"Going back to 2008, there's been a bench warrant issued for him, he's had his probation revoked, that was in Monroe County on a burglary charge, and there was a warrant for his return here in 2017 (when Semprie was extricated from Maine on his drug dealing indictment)."

Given that history, and with a maximum available sentence, Finnell said, "He's done nothing to earn less than the maximum."

Semprie spoke politely but said he disagreed with the district attorney. He said he was sorry for the trouble he caused the court, but "everything he says about me was 10 years ago. I was a different person. Now I'm a man. I have a child. I did make poor choices. I mean, I'm sorry for what I did but I don't think I deserve five years."

Zambito said he didn't have a lot of confidence that Semprie is a man who abides by the rules.

"This is not the way to take care of your baby," Zambito said. "I guess the disturbing part is that you were here and after I tried to talk with your attorney, you left. Well, I guess that was a mistake on my part but what you did was a bigger mistake on your part."

Perhaps a three and a half year jail term followed by two years of parole will teach Semprie a lesson, Zambito said, adding, "I don't know."

Semprie still faces a bail jumping charge in Batavia City Court.

January 3, 2019 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, music, arts, entertainment.

Busking in Batavia is uncommon -- in fact, I've never seen it before and a couple of longtime residents I spoke to said they've never seen street musicians in the city before, so when I spotted Anthony Coco in front of Aldi yesterday evening, I had to stop and chat with him.

He wasn't too talkative, so no interview in the video. 

He said he's been in Batavia for three months. He's from Las Vegas. He's busking -- accepting donations while playing music -- because that's his only option to feed himself. He's lost his Social Security card and birth certificate so can't get help from any social services. He's been couch surfing since moving to Batavia.

Yes, "that would be the idea" to become a professional musician he said, but right now the best he can do is busk.

January 3, 2019 - 6:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.

Taking other people's cars and driving them drunk looks like too much of a habit for Robert C. Frank, from the view of Judge Charles Zambito, so in Genesee County Court today, Zambito decided to send Frank to prison for the first time in his life.

Frank, 39, a resident of Buffalo, has multiple felony DWI convictions, including two Class D felonies, but has received nothing more than jail time and probation on his previous convictions.

He admitted today that in June he took another person's 2008 Jeep and drove while intoxicated. 

Since he's had prior DWI convictions within the past 10 years, that made the DWI in Batavia a felony. It could have been a Class D felony but District Attorney Lawrence Friedman offered a plea agreement to a Class E felony for DWI and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

"He has two previous Class D felony DWIs," Friedman told Zambito. "He received a consideration being able to plead to a Class E but on the basis of additional charges of attempted grand larceny (in Erie County), and based on his history, he should receive no further consideration."

Friedman asked for a one and a half to four year prison term. 

While, according to Zambito, Frank thought he had permission to drive his sister's 2008 Jeep, he can't really be certain that's the case, and while he realizes that Frank has never been placed into treatment for drinking, given his history a community-based sentence (jail time plus probation, which would include treatment) didn't seem appropriate.

Zambito sent Frank to prison for one to three years.

January 3, 2019 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, batavia, news, Culinary Arts.
GO ART!'s Culinary Classes are back!
Every second Thursday Chef Tracy Burgio will be leading culinary classes at the Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia. Classes start at 6 p.m. and generally last two hours.
Tavern 2.o.1 will be open!
Don't delay, register today. Classes have already begun to fill up. Only eight seats available per class!
Cost for EACH CLASS is $45 per person for GO ART! members and $50 per person for non-members.
  • Jan. 10 -- Ricotta Cheese
  • Feb. 14 -- (V-Day) Chocolate Truffles
  • March 14 -- Irish Soda Bread
  • April 11 -- Carrot Cake
  • May 9 -- Handmade Fresh Pasta
  • June 13 -- Summer Risotto
January 3, 2019 - 1:40pm

Press release:

St. Joseph School in Batavia announces its upcoming Open House and plans for National Catholic Schools Week 2019.

The theme this year is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” The theme encompasses several concepts that are at the heart of a Catholic education. There is no better way to invest in a child’s future — or the future of our world.

St. Joe's is located at 2 Summit St. in the City of Batavia.

Sunday, Jan. 27th -- Open House
An Open House for prospective families will be held from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. We will be kicking off the week with “The Great St. Joe’s Slime Off!” from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

Monday, Jan. 28th -- Lunch and Bingo/Theme Day/The Great Kindness Challenge/ 8th Grade Robotics Tournament

Parents are invited to join their children for lunch and to play bingo afterward. Grades K-4 will enjoy lunch and play bingo from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. and grades 5- 8 will follow from 12:15-1:15 p.m. We will be kicking off a kindness challenge with an assembly for all students at 8:30 a.m. in the cafeteria. The 8th grade will have a robotics competition at 1:30 p.m. in the gym. This will be a “theme dress-down day.” Each class will decide on a different theme.

Tuesday, Jan. 29th -- Movie at Batavia Showtime

We will be walking to Batavia Showtime to see a movie (TBD) at 9 a.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 30st -- Bowling/Ice Skating

Students in grades K-2 will be walking to Mancuso Bowling Center to bowl from 9 -11 a.m. Students in grades 3-5 will be walking to Mancuso Bowling Center to bowl from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Students in grades 6-8 will walk to Falleti Ice Arena to skate from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. A pizza lunch will be provided for all students before they leave.

Thursday, Jan. 31st -- House Activities/Pajama Day

Students will participate in a number of activities in their “houses” including Zumba, Minute to Win It games, technology challenges, team building activities, engineering projects, a scavenger hunt, and a kindness challenge. This is a non-uniform day and students may come to school dressed in their pajamas.

Friday, Feb. 1st -- 7 & 8 Grade Basketball Game/Jump Rope for Heart/Just Dance Craze

All grades will attend mass at 8:30 a.m. At 1 p.m. we will have our annual 7th and 8th grade exhibition basketball game in the gym. Students in grade 6 will be in attendance to cheer these students on. Grades 3-5 will have the choice to participate in a Just Dance Craze or attend the 7/8 grade basketball game. Grades Pre-K-2 will participate in Jump Rope for Heart (sponsored by the American Heart Association) activities in the cafeteria.

Please note: Grades 3-8 will participate in Jump Rope for Heart activities throughout the week. Donations are being collected in the cafeteria and the class with the most money raised will receive a prize.


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