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December 9, 2008 - 2:09pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, auto dealers, genesee county, credit crisis.

Over the next few days, we will take a closer look at the credit market here in Genesee County. Much has been made in the mainstream national media about the "credit freeze" now faced from businesses across the board. Banks aren't lending to other banks, which, in turn, aren't lending to the clients, be they consumers or producers. Everyone, we're told, is feeling the pinch, and lending is rare, if and when it's happening at all. We hope to find out how true that is here in our own region by chatting with those in the know, the sources and go-betweens of those supposedly hard-to-get loans: the auto dealers, the bankers, real estate agents and restaurateurs.

In today's contribution, we will hear from a pair of auto dealers on the availability—and unavailability—of loans in the county...

Harry Zigrossi owns the Zigrossi auto dealership on East Main Street in Batavia. We spoke with him by phone last week.

"It was a very weak November," he said. "There has been a dramatic slowdown in the percentage of approvals... Banks are very tight. Less people are seeking out vehicles."

Zigrossi attributes the slowdown to two factors: Doubt that a consumer would even be approved for a loan, and, if they are approved, worry that the interest rate will be high, if not excessive.

Yes, there are alternatives to financing through the dealership, Zigrossi admits. There are credit unions, local banks. "We have lending institutions," he said. "There are places to apply, but the likelihood of approvals at desirable rates has diminished."

As an example of the tightening credit lines, Zigrossi cites GMAC Financial Services, the financing arm of the GMC dealers. Zigrossi deals in Pontiac, Buick and GMC autos, and acquires much of the funding for his customers through GMAC.

"Their minimum score for approval is 700," he said. "That's pretty selective in my opinion. A couple months ago, approval was based on credit worthiness. There was no set number in the past. ... GMAC's position is: 'We lost several hundred million (dollars) last year. We have very limited funds.'"

You could call it the trickle down economics of the credit crisis. GMAC has a tough time getting its loans—"their ability to borrow is limited," as Zigrossi puts it—so anyone seeking loans from GMAC will have a tough time, as well. It's simple math: you've got so many people seeking loans via so many lines of credit. If the lines of credit are diminished, as Zigrossi indicates, but the same number of people are seeking loans... there's just not enough to go around.

Ken Barrett cites such logic as a reason why some folks may not even bother applying for a loan. Barrett owns Ken Barrett Chevrolet-Cadillac on West Main Street in Batavia.

"We haven't, at this point, had much difficulty, if any, arranging financing for our customers," said Barrett by phone last week. "What I can't really qualify is if there are a cadre of customers that are self-excluding themselves. In other words, based on what they hear in the news media, they're not even going through the process. But I don't have any empirical evidence to say if that's the case. It's more of a gut feel."

In a recent article that ran in the Daily News on the possibility of an auto industry bailout, Barrett was quoted: "I don't think business conditions in Genesee County reflect what we're hearing in the national media. Of all the business people I've talked to, not one has said their business is really bad."

Barrett said that the people of Western New York are the reason business is doing well, as he sees it. We've got smart, responsible consumers.

"In Genesee County, people pay their bills," he said. "Maybe because of the way we're brought up, we dont live excessively beyond our means as other parts of the country may be experiencing. As a community, we pay our bills."

But consumers are only one half of the equation in Barret's estimate. He's also quick to talk up his business practices as one good reason why his dealership is not "having much difficulty" in the midst of this recession.

"We've never aggresively targeted sub-prime activities," said Barrett. "Some dealers really developed that business. Now they're seeing a precipitous slide in their business."

However optimistic a note Barrett might ring for the local auto dealers, the situation doesn't look so rosy elsewhere in the country. From a New York Times article, by Clifford Krauss:

In October alone, 20,000 employees of auto dealerships lost their jobs nationwide, more than half of those who were newly unemployed in the retail trade, according to the Labor Department... And now the credit market—the lifeblood of any car dealership—is frozen.

More than merely a question of credit, however, Krauss hones in on the cultural value of the "small town" dealership, and the further consequences hinted at by the loss of jobs and the tightening of credit. Barrett is right to tout best business practices as a key to remaining financially solvent. But it's not all business...

The auto dealers are not just businesses, of course. Most of them are deeply rooted in their communities, and each is a slice of Americana—their big flags flying, their radio advertisements compelling attention and their Little League sponsorships and other charity helping to improve the lives of local people.

What about you? Have you tried to purchase a car recently and been declined? Approved? Has the ostensible credit freeze iced your chances at getting a loan? How would you feel about the loss of a longtime local dealership: Just another business that couldn't make it? Or much more than that?

After all, no one ever sings: "Drove a Hyundai to the levy..."

December 9, 2008 - 12:56pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Announcements, veterans, VA Medical Center.

From the VA Western New York:

David J. West, FACHE has been named Interim Medical Center Director at VA Western New York Healthcare System effective December 7.  VA Western New York Healthcare System includes medical centers in Buffalo, Batavia and seven community based out patient clinics located in Niagara Falls, Lockport, Dunkirk, Jamestown, Lackawanna, Olean, and Warsaw.  Mr. West has been the Medical Center Director at the Bath VA Medical Center since April 29, 2007.

Prior to being appointed Director for the Bath VA, Mr. West served as Associate Director at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center, and began his career with VA in1987 at the Washington DC VA Medical Center.

At VA WNYHS, he will oversee over 1,690 employees serving over 40,000 veterans during the period until a new director is appointed.  He succeeds James P. Cody who has served as interim director since August and Michael S. Finegan who recently was promoted to network director, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  “It’s an opportunity for me to work with a dedicated staff in Western NY serving our nation’s heroes,” West said.

Mr. West served in the U.S. Army from 1973 to 1978. He holds a Master of Science degree in Health Services Administration from the College of St. Frances in Joliet, Illinois and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

December 9, 2008 - 12:28pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, crime, Daily News, city council, police, sheriff, Albion, scams.

Joanne Beck covered last night's meeting of the Batavia City Council in a pair of articles in today's Daily News. Both stories—a parking ban on Oak Street and a discussion on changing the city's system for payment of trash collection—were featured on WBTA this morning. The Batavian referenced both articles in our morning news roundup.


Genesee County sheriff's deputies are looking into a string of complaints about a contractor not providing services that were paid for in advance. Lakeside Home Beautification, operated by Martin A. Miller, is based in Stafford. One homeowner, Jennifer Taberski, told Scott DeSmit that she paid Miller $3,800 to fix their roof in June. Nothing has yet been done, and her money was never returned, she claims. "He basically kidnapped my money," she said. Another homeowner was recently refunded their $1,750 after Miller allegedly failed to repair a roof.

DeSmit reports:

Miller, 48, served two one-year jail terms from a criminal case in Wyoming County.

He pleaded guilty in 2002 to four counts of petit larceny for scheming people out of more than $12,000.

Sheriff's deputies are encouraging anyone with information about Miller, or anyone looking to make a complaint, to contact them at (585) 343-5000.


In other news, Virginia Kropf put together a folksy piece on five Albion families who got together Monday for a reunion of their golden retrivers, all of which—unbeknownst to the owners—came from the same Valentine's Day litter. Interesting.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

December 8, 2008 - 11:08pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, perry, sports, Notre Dame, Albion.

 

The annual Lions Club dinner for senior players and coaches that are participating in the Lions Club Basketball Tournament was Monday night.

It is always one of the my favorite nights of the year, and is in fact the ninth one I've attended. It is always fun to sit down with area players and enjoy a a nice meal and talk hoops. 

You also can't put a price on the look on the kid's faces when the Lions members sing the Lions song.

Batavia won the championship last year with a 63-34 win over Notre Dame in the finals, giving the Blue Devils four straight, and seven of the last eight championships.

Two players from the all-tournament team return to play in this year's tournament as Batavia's Andrew Hoy and Notre Dame's Kevin Francis will be leading their respective squads.

The 27th annual tournament will be held Dec. 29-30 at Genesee Community College. Batavia will play Albion on the 29th at 7 p.m. with Notre Dame and Perry playing at 8:45 p.m.

The consolation game is on the 30th at 7 p.m., followed by the championships at 8:45 p.m.

The jayvee tournament will be held at Notre Dame with Batavia and Albion playing at 1 p.m. on the 29th and Notre Dame playing Perry right after. The consolation game is on the 30th at 1 p.m. with the finals to follow at 2:45 p.m.

The Batavian will have the biggest preview in the history of the tournament the week of the games.

Here are some video highlights and interviews from Monday's dinner.

December 8, 2008 - 3:04pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, downtown, Harvester Center.

Last week, we asked readers to consider what one project Batavia should pursue if the funding were in the bag, no strings attached. Batavia's City Council President Charlie Mallow called for the resurrection of the city's old plans for reconstruction of the Masse-Harvester industrial complex downtown. We were curious to hear more of these plans, so we sought further information. Here's what we've found out so far.

Let's start with the graphic, shall we...

This swank boulevard would be the view from the ground in the midst of the "Industrial Powerhouse Square," otherwise known as the "Swan Masse Village" in Batavia's Central Corridor between Harvester and Swann streets downtown.

From the original project proposal:

Overall, the goal in this project area was to rejuvenate the Swan Masse Village, as it once was a renowned downtown industrial hub and “business incubator.” The plan introduces separate structures of mixed-use light industrial, commercial and housing with an urban appeal and vibrancy that consists of lighting, pavement enhancements, pedestrian pathways, open space and streetscape amenities. Central to the development was keeping the powerhouse intact for two important reasons: 1) to keep costs down by retaining the boiler system for the nearby structures that rely upon it, and 2) to strengthen the image as an industrial center as well as maintain the historical integrity and sense of place.

This "downtown hub" of mixed-use structures, tree-lined avenues and "streetscape amenities" would rise from the ashes—or in this case the demolished rubble—of some 40 acres of vacant land and crumbling infrastructure. It would look something like this:

We've been informed that the Genesee County Economic Development Corp. is looking into potential state grants totalling some $2.7 million that would be used for the city's Central Corridor. Other grant opportunities are being researched by the city, as well. Whether or not anything like this plan for the Swan Masse Village would be part of those plans remains to be seen.

What do you think? Would this be a wise way to remake the city's Central Corridor? Would it provide the spark to send Batavia into its renaissance? Do we need more? Less?

Click here to download the plans.

December 8, 2008 - 2:11pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Daily News, city council, roads, Oak Street.

Last month, the state Department of Transportation came to the Batavia City Council with a proposal to transform Oak Street from four lanes to three and use the center lane for turns only, according to the Daily News. At least one Oak Street resident, Carol Grasso, plans to oppose that proposal because it would mean that vehicles would no longer be able to park on the street. (Parking is currently allowed, save between the hours of 7:00 to 9:00am and 4:00 to 6:00pm.) Grasso will voice her disapproval of the project at this evening's Council meeting.


In other news, this year's Toys for Tots campaign has kicked off for the season. Wal-Mart in Batavia will host a collection this Saturday and Sunday. Other barrels will be out for collection at the Genesee County Career Center, the Batavia City Fire Department, HSBC Bank and Hospital Heart Rehab Center. Call Ed Weiss at (585) 343-8279 if you would like to donate or to find out how your business can host a collection barrel.


Crossroads House will remain closed temporarily for construction and to allow the home to potentially locate a new full-time director and better organize its internal management. Crossroads, a "comfort home for the terminally ill," is funded almost exclusively by public donations. The group hopes to be back open soon.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

December 8, 2008 - 12:39pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, fire, emergency, My T Acres.

No cause has yet been determined in the fire that tore through several barns at My T Acres on Lewiston Road in Batavia last week. Tim Yaeger, Genesee County Emergency Management coordinator, told us that he was still working to determine what led to the blaze, along with members of the fire department and several provate investigators.

"We haven't yet ruled anything out," said Yaeger. "It doesn't look suspicious. It was an accidental fire. But we don't have anything yet. We continue to work at it."


The following photos were submitted by Molly Riner, a member of the family that co-owns the farm. The first shows the view inside the main barn shortly after the fire broke out. Below that is the interior of the "gym" that sustained some damage in the blaze. Lastly, we see the main barn after it had become completely engulfed.

December 8, 2008 - 11:18am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, most viewed posts.

Most viewed posts for November:

• State says: Pontillo's Pizza in Batavia owes more than $112k in back taxes, by Philip Anselmo

• Democrats take control in Albany, by Philip Anselmo

• Genesee County Sheriff to Hunters: Be wary of straying on Indian land, by Philip Anselmo

• Pontillo's brothers may head to court, by Philip Anselmo

• A sad loss for the Section 5 football family, by Brian Hillabush

• The Little Mall of Horrors, by Daniel Jones

• Something huge on Main Street, by Philip Anselmo

• Batavia Daily News for Friday: Sam Pontillo tells his side, by Brian Hillabush

• Graham Corp. stocks take a hit, by Philip Anselmo

• Still no answers from Victorian Manor..., by Philip Anselmo

If you have a "favorite" post that maybe wasn't one of our most viewed for October, please add it in the comments section. This is a great way for folks to go back and check out what they may have missed. I was particularly proud of our coverage of Election Day.

December 7, 2008 - 3:43am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Notre Dame, hockey.

Dylan Versage had a pair of goals, including the game winner 7 1/2 minutes into the third period for Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish beat Immaculate Heart, 3-2, in the consolation game of the Radier Classic.

Jason Harasimowicz dished out three assists and Ivan Madafferi added a goal with a helper for Notre Dame (2-1).

Thomas Dehr had 21 saves.

The other local hockey team did not come away with a victory Saturday.

The Batavia hockey team fell to 1-2 with a 3-2 loss to Hilton.

Corey Gurski scored the game-winning goal at the 9:32 mark of the third period as Hilton improves to 3-0-1. 

Dan Kellman and Andrew Harris had the assists on the winning goal, with Harris and Collin Sawdy each getting a goal.

Pat Finnell  and Josh Moir had a goal each for the Blue Devils.

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Freshman Keri Soppe dropped in 20 points with three boards to earn tournament MVP as West Irondequoit downed Pembroke 48-36 in the finals of the Alden Tournament.

The Eagles had a seven minute long, 13-point run in the third quarter to pull away as Cecilia Sigrist pitched in seven points and 10 rebounds.

Danielle Smith led the way for the Dragons (1-1) with 10 points while all-tournament team selection Nicole Sharick pitched in eight points, 14 rebounds and three steals.

Kelsey Lewis had eight points with Natasha Powell and Katie Hackett pulling down seven boards apiece.

Irondequoit is 2-0.

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The Oakfield-Alabama boys basketball team captured the Barker Tournament title with a 64-46 drubbing of the host squad.

Tournament MVP Noah Seward had 20 points and 11 rebounds with Tim Smith adding 14 points and seven boards.

Brad Riner dished out eight dimes.

Ray Paul had 15 points for the Raiders (1-1). O-A is 2-0.

Eric VanWycke's 13 points and nine boards were not enough as Lyndonville lost to Holland 81-28 in the consolation game.

The other local boys team in action was Alexander, and the Trojans improved to 1-2 with a 50-47 win over Genesee Valley.

Kyle Woodruff scored 16 points and Jared Quinn pitched in 10.

December 7, 2008 - 2:58am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, elba.

 When Michelle Jordan found the ball in her hands in overtime at the Elba Tournament at Genesee Community College, instinct had to take over.

Had the junior forward thought about the importance of the shot she was about to take who knows what could have happened.

Instead, she let her natural basketball ability take over and banked it into the hoop, giving Batavia a 41-40 advantage with four seconds left to go in the extra session. The Blue Devils held on to the lead and won a fourth consecutive game, claiming the championship in front of an enthusiastic crowd at GCC.

The basket, which is captured on video below, was a once in a lifetime bounce and opportunity that Jordan capitalized on.

It was a back and forth battle through regulation that saw both teams use strong pressure defense to try and take control of the contest.

The Blue Devils had a 6-4 lead after one period of defensive play.

The Lancers got four points from Katie Newton in the second quarter and led 17-13 at the half.

The lead kept changing hands in the second half with Elba taking a two point lead on a Rachael Cook basket midway through the fourth quarter.

Batavia and Elba kept trading leads when the Lancers took a two point lead with just after a minute left on a Newton foul shot.

Brittany Mazurkiewicz tied the game at 33 with a pair of free throws with 18 seconds remaining.

Jaycee Shirk blocked a shot at the other end, Batavia turned the ball over, Elba missed a jumper and the Blue Devils missed a half court heave at the buzzer and the game went to overtime.

Cassie Engle gave the Lancers a lead with a bucket early in overtime and Shirk gave Batavia a one point lead with a basket and foul shot a little over a minute late.

Kristen Klein - who had another big game with eight points - made it a three point contest with a basket with 1:42 left in overtime.

Missy Call hit a free throw and Engle tied things up with a basket, with just under a minute left.

Mazurkiewicz hit one of two free throws before the Lancers took the lead back on a pair of Newton free throws. There was 18 seconds left in overtime at that point.

Mazurkiewicz missed a shot, that was tipped towards out of bounds on a rebound attempt by Elba's Sarah Schwartzmeyer. But Schwartzmeyer saved it before going out of bounds and tossed it back into the middle of the paint, where she hoped either Julie Marshall or Cook would grab it.

The pass went right into the hands of Jordan, just a few feet from the basket, and she put it right in to give Batavia a 41-40 lead with under five seconds left. The Lancers missed a shot at the buzzer, giving the Blue Devils their second straight tournament title early on in the season.

Chelsie Pangrazio (12 points) and Newton (8) joined Albion's Page Golden and Batavia's Shirk (9 points, 3 blocks) and Jordan (6 points) on the all-tournament team.

Mazurkiewicz scored 10 points and handed out five assists to earn her second straight tournament MVP award.

Elba is 1-1 and will host Kendall on Wednesday. Batavia is now 4-0 and will host Monroe County League powerhouse Pittsford Mendon on Tuesday.

December 7, 2008 - 1:04am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, community.

With the holiday fast approaching, I have found myself a total stranger in a new city.

I had the opportunity to attend Christmas in the City Friday night. The sidewalks were filled with shoppers, carolers and lots and lots of teens running around having a grand time. I was busy with Care-A-Van Ministries handing out delicioius brownies and hot chocolate. It was a fun filled evening.

I must say it was not easy finding the public restrooms in the mall among the crowd. Thank goodness for good ole reliable JC Penneys! I came home exhausted and chilled from standing on the streets.

This morning I got up and got ready to go to another event in the city. It was the Christmas gathering of the local  Aglow Women's chapter.

What is Aglow you ask?

What is Aglow? (taken from www.aglow.org)

• Aglow International is a transdenominational organization of Christian women that some Christian leaders call a “global movement”

• Aglow is established in 172 nations on 6 continents, all of which have indigenous women overseeing the work in their nations

• It is one of the largest international women's organizations, with over 4,600 fellowship groups in the U.S. and internationally.

• An estimated 200,000 women meet together each month through local Aglow fellowships--the heart of the organization

• More than 21,000 Aglow leaders worldwide minister in their communities

• An estimated 17 million people each year are ministered to through Aglow groups

• Aglow consists of small group studies, care (support) groups, retreats, and annual conferences

• Aglow women, through prayer and evangelism, offer practical gifts of clothing, food, housecleaning, and babysitting, as well as mentoring young women

• Aglow women impact their communities by reaching out to women in prison, in senior homes, inner city neighborhoods, and mental institutions; to single moms, working women, all beginning with the woman next door

• Aglow has experienced rapid growth in the past several years, including the nations of Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

• In Europe, Aglow is established in every major nation (40 nations)

• An active Aglow program in Europe called “Adopt-A-Nation” gives many of the Western European nations the opportunity to “adopt” other nations for support and/or prayer
 

It was a great meeting. The local group Remix performed.

I had to leave the meeing early to go and do street ministry with Care-A-Van. As I was leaving one of the ladies that was at the meeting met me at the door. She asked me if I had a place to go for Christmas day. She had heard that I was new here and was worried I would have no place to go for Christmas. Now how sweet is that? This woman opened up her heart and home to a total stranger.

How many of us welcome total strangers into our lives? From the time we were little, our parents warned us to stay away from strangers. Yes, we must proceed with caution but we also must remember to love others and share the joy of life with them.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas day, the birth of our Lord Jesus, here in the city of Batavia may we all look to share the love with total strangers.

I am thankful for the warm welcome I am getting from folks here in the city. I am going from being a total stranger to being a member of a new family!  A big family at that, the family of the city of Batavia. Halleluiah for those who have warm hearts and open them wide!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 6, 2008 - 6:28pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

The biggest question mark for the Batavia basketball team coming into the season was basically who would take care of the scoring duties that were held by Bryan Anderson and Mike Hoy last season.

Those questions were answered this weekend as the Blue Devils captured the title at the Olean Tournament, defeating two defending state champions in the process.

 Andrew Hoy scored 21 points in Saturday's 68-42 over defending Class B champion Olean, giving him 41 in the tournament. He was named the tourney MVP for his efforts.

"He needed to fill that role and he got off to a nice start this weekend," coach Buddy Brasky said. "He shot the ball well and I'm very pleased with that."

It was a solid defensive effort by Batavia as they held Olean's offense in check and led to points for the Blue Devil offense.

"We didn't play real well yesterday," Brasky said. "We watched film this morning and I showed them the film this morning and their mistakes. Our defense really sparked our offense today, that's what I'm most pleased about."

Point guard Marcus Hoy led the defensive effort and Brasky believes he could have been the MVP as easily as Andrew. Marcus had 10 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in the game, making the all-tournament team.

 Dakota Irvin had a huge opening tournament for Batavia and proved to be another scoring option and made the all-tournament team. He hit three 3-pointers in the first game to score nine points, then followed it up with three more trifectas and 11 points with five rebounds.

"He's important to us," Brasky said. "He gives us some length in there. He has long arms and is 6-foot-2ish. He gives us another scoring option."

Joe Schlossel had eight points with Robert Hoy and Josh Budlong pitching in seven apiece.

Batavia (2-0) will be at Mendon on Wednesday and will host Victor.

December 6, 2008 - 3:22am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, pembroke.

One defending state champion down, one to go.

Andrew Hoy scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter - seven of which came from the charity stripe - as the Batavia basketball team had a 19-8 advantage in the fourth quarter to beat defending Class C champion Maple Grove 61-49 in the opening round of the Olean Tournament.

The Blue Devils had a 42-41 lead at the end of the third quarter, but Maple Grove took a lead early in the final period before the big run.

Hoy also had nine rebounds and five assists in the game, with Robert Hoy pitching in 10 points and Marcus Hoy adding five.

Dakota Irvin hit three 3-pointers in scoring nine points and Adam Pettinella pitched in seven.

Batavia (1-0) will be playing Olean in the championship game Saturday night as the Huskies escaped Hornell 51-46 in the opening round.

Olean attempted 24 foul shots, while the Red Raiders did not attempt a single one. Jesse Champman scored 17 points while Ryan Crane added 12 for Olean.

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The Pembroke girls basketball team is moving on to the finals of the Alden Tournament after thumping the host squad 57-31.

Nicole Sharick had a huge game, popping in 13 points with 10 steals, four assists and six rebounds.

Katie Hackett and Danielle Smith had 10 points apiece, with Hackett getting five swipes. Natasha Powell grabbed eight rebounds.

The Dragons will play West Irondequoit in the finals at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Three area boys teams lost non-league contests Friday night.

Elba had a rough start, getting outscored 37-24 in the first half, then couldn't come back and lost to Albion 63-58.

Phil Ostroski led the Lancers with 24 points and seven boards as Elba dips to 1-1.

Brian Mitchell was amazing for Holley, but the Hawks lost to Greece Odyssey 61-55. Mitchell scored a game-high 29 points with 13 rebounds, but the Hawks fall to 0-2.

Le Roy could still be recovering from the football team's trip to the Far West Regionals and lost a road game at York, 63-55. Eric Valentino (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Jesse Galvin (12 points, 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles for York (1-1).

Mike Humphrey scored 21 points with Andrew Alexander getting 11 and Eric Stella following with 10 for the Oatkan Knights (0-1).

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The Notre Dame hockey team lost to Fayetteville-Manilius 6-1 in the opening round of the Fulton Tournament.

Brett Perfitt scored his first career goal for the Fighting Irish (1-1), and Thomas Dehr stopped 27 shots.

ND will play Immaculate Heart in the consolation game at Noon Saturday.

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Hillary Bates tied the game after a steal when she drained a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in regulation. Then Brynn Perfitt hit a pair of free throws for the deciding points in a 31-29 win for Oakfield-Alabama over Geneseo in the opening round of the Geneseo Tournament.

Perfitt scored a game-high 17 points for the Hornets (1-0).

The other local girls teams stuggled.

Le Roy lost to York 46-27 and Churchville-Chili crushed Byron-Bergen 70-43.

December 6, 2008 - 2:08am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, photo, mall, Christmas.

 

For more photos from Christmas in the city, look here.

 

December 5, 2008 - 8:05pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports.

 

This dog was spotted at Christmas in the City. Does anybody know who he belongs to?

There has been several reports of a lost dog recently, but this one doesn't match the description. 

December 5, 2008 - 4:33pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, police.

From the Batavia Police Department:

The Batavia Police Department is informing citizens that the phone numbers listed in the ‘The Talking Phone Book’, 2009-2010 for the Batavia Police Department are not accurate.

The proper numbers are as follows:

Emergencies: 911
Dispatch: 345-6350
Police Personnel: 345-6444
Confidential Tip Line: 345-6370

The Police Department suggests you clip this article from the newspaper or write the proper numbers down and  attach them to your copy of ‘The Talking Phone Book’ 2009-2010. Also refrigerator magnets are available at the Police Department 10 W. Main St. Batavia NY.

December 5, 2008 - 4:11pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, genesee county, history, Stafford, legend, lore, Devil's Rock.

As one legend has it, Satan, the Lord of Darkness, had somehow escaped from the underworld and was wreaking havoc upon the earth, surely committing dastardly acts of temptation and damnation and otherwise maligning the terrestrial souls of the time. Fortunately for us, "a patrol of angels nabbed him" and chained him to a massive rock a mile or two outside Batavia on what is now Route 5. Not to be done in, the Devil ran in circles around the rock, using the friction of the chain to break his bonds, which he did. For proof, one need only look at the rock which is worn down around its middle where the chain is supposed to have dug through the mineral. Once free of his bonds, the Devil escaped and, to our knowledge, has not been seen in these parts since.

Genesee County Historian Sue Conklin compiled information on this legend and others about the since-dubbed, Devil's Rock, from a pair of Daily News articles dating back to 1919 and 1950. This mysterious rock can still be seen, along with its mythic chain, about a hundred feet from the department of transportation site in Stafford. Both articles are in her book Supernatural Genesee, which can be purchased at the Holland Land Office Museum.

More scientific and less credulous minds explain the rock's shape as resulting from geological causes. A fascinating letter to the editor of the Daily News from 1919—included in Conklin's book—does just that. Its author, John Gillard, tells us that we need to "go back hundreds of thousands of years ago, to the Tertiary Era." Gillard then explains the rock as the result of glacial shifts at that time.

Yet another theory attributes the rock's origins to a fallen meteor.

What have you heard? Where do you think it came from?

December 5, 2008 - 12:25pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports, Cross Country.

 The Cortland cross country team recently captured the NCAA Division III championship, finishing tops out of 32 teams in the field at the D3 championships at Hanover College.

The coach of that squad is Steven Patrick, a Batavia High graduate. He has had a nice career at Cortland.

In the spring of 2008, Patrick was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Men's Outdoor Track and Field Division III Atlantic Region Coach of the Year. He guided Cortland to a second-place national finish along with a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) title and an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III runner-up finish.

 

December 5, 2008 - 11:26am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

The high school basketball season really gets into swing this weekend as area teams are playing in tournaments and against non-league opponents.

The biggest event of all is taking place all the way in Olean at the Olean Tip-off Tournament.

The Batavia boys will be taking on defending New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C champion Maple Grove in the opening round tonight. The Red Dragons beat Mechanicville 71-46 in the state finals last year and ended up with a 25-2 final record in winning the title.

Maple Grove is led by junior guard Chris Secky, who has already scored over 1,000 points in his varsity career.

If Batavia can get past Maple Grove, they will get the winner of the Olean/Hornell game in the finals tomorrow.

Hornell went 17-5 last season and lost to Freddie Thomas in the Section 5 Class BB semifinals last year. The Red Raiders are led by Kyle Murphy and Joe Mauro, who return after being reserves last season. All five starters from a year ago graduated.

Olean is the defending Class B state champion.

The Huskies beat Malverne 63-53 in those finals and return just one starter,  point guard Joe Palumbo. Olean finished 25-3 last season.

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There is also a nice set of non-league contests to be played Friday night as Holley hosts Greece Odyssey, Albion is at Elba and Le Roy is at York.

The Olean finals aren't the only big ones this weekend. 

Oakfield-Alabama will be playing Barker in the championship game at the Barker Tournament. The Hornets kicked off their season with a 60-51 win over Holland last night.

Lyndonville, which lost to Barker in the opening round, will be playing Barker in the consolation game.

The other game Saturday is Genesee Valley at Alexander as the Trojans look to get win No. 1 on the season.

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The Oakfield-Alabama girls will be playing in the Geneseo Tournament this weekend, with a game against the host squad tonight. 

Pembroke will be playing in the Alden Tournament this weekend.

The finals for both of those games will be Saturday night.

Le Roy will be hosting York, Holley is at Medina, Byron-Bergen is at Churchville-Chili and Warsaw is at Wheatland-Chili tonight in non-league games Friday night.

The big game of the weekend will take place Saturday night at Genesee Community College as Elba and Batavia will play in the finals of the Elba/GCC Tournament. Batavia beat Albion 39-29 and Elba downed Attica 56-23 in opening round games last night.

December 5, 2008 - 9:49am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, fire, emergency, My T Acres.

We received a press release this morning from the town of Batavia Fire Department with further details on yesterday's massive barn fire at My T Acres on Lewiston Road in Batavia. The Batavia crew reports that the fire, which started in the main barn of a three-barn complex, completely destroyed "the main barn and numerous pieces of farm equipment," which were stored inside. Both of the additional attached barns "received substantial heat, smoke and water damage."

We reported yesterday that only one firefighter sustained a minor injury, but he did not seek medical assistance. No livestock or other animals were housed in the farm complex. No one else was injured as a result of the fire.

Investigators are already on scene today looking to establish a cause and origin of the fire. No estimated dollar value of loss has yet been determined. The Batavian left a message this morning with the property owner, Nate Call, who was on scene with the insurance representative.

Mutual-aid fire departments were requested from the City of Batavia, Alexander, Elba, LeRoy, Oakfield and East Pembroke Fire Departments. Additional Fire units from Stafford, Albion, Attica, Indian Falls, Alabama, Barre and Corfu fire departments provided stand-by assistance.

The Town of Batavia Fire Department was also assisted at the scene by the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management, New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Genesee County Health Department, Genesee County Sheriff's Office, New York State Police and the Wyoming County Correctional Facility.

The following photographs of the wreckage were submitted by Steve Ognibene.

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