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November 27, 2009 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Jason John Reed, 33, of 33 Sunset Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation and endangering the welfare of a child. Reed was stopped at 2:06 a.m. Thursday near 18 Coe Ave. in Oakfield by Deputy Jason Saile.

Tersa M. Kabel, 36, of Batavia was stopped by State Police on Route 33 in Bergen, Thursday at 11:29 a.m. and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and aggravated unlicensed operation.

Daniel P. Callahan, 25, of Batavia, is charged by State Police with unlawful possession of marijuana. Callahan was arrested this morning at 12:10 in Batavia.

November 27, 2009 - 10:53am
posted by daniel cherry in batavia, cherry picss, Black friday.

11-27-2009  thanksgivingblack friday cherry picss 055.JPG

This is Target at 7 am today.The tv we wanted to buy,was gone in 10 minutes after they opened.We went to office max.The line was to the back of the store at 8 am.

November 27, 2009 - 8:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire, walmart.

Black Friday shopping at Walmart was disrupted this morning by a small fire in the back of the store, according to County Legislator Jay Grasso, who was there shopping.

The entire store was evacuated, he said, with people leaving behind shopping carts of merchandise.

"It was orderly, but people were not happy," he said.

We have no further information available at this time.

November 26, 2009 - 7:08pm
posted by chris johnson in batavia, Announcements, donations.

does your family need a little help for christmas?
would you accept gently used items,clothing,toys?
if you answered yes,then the mayhem riders mc might be able to help you.
we are a family oriented motorcycle club,this is our second annual christmas toy and clothes drive.
if we can help you out even a little bit,please contact us.
also if anyone has anything to donate we also still need donations,please contact us.
visit our website to learn more about us.

we are also looking for a non profit to team up with to help the local area.

[email protected]


November 26, 2009 - 6:55pm
posted by daniel cherry in batavia, food, thanksgiving.

zzz11-26-2009  thanksgiving cherry picss 010.jpg

Happy thanksgiving from Dan and Boys.

November 26, 2009 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke.

Michael Todd Dibble, 18, of 1313 Indian Falls Road, Pembroke, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful dealing with fireworks. Dibble was stopped by Deputy Patrick Reeves in Pembroke for alleged traffic violations. During the investigation, Dibble was found to allegedly possess marijuana and fireworks.

Timothy P. Young, 47, of Batavia, was arrested by State Police at 8:45 p.m. and charged with unlawful imprisonment, criminal mischief, criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana, harassment, and two counts of acting in a manner to injure a child. He was jailed without bail. No further details were released.

November 25, 2009 - 10:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

bike_accident.jpgA 55-year-old Batavia man is in the hospital tonight after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on Center Street.

The unidentified victim was riding a three-wheel bicycle at about 5:52 p.m. on Center near School Street.

He was transported to the hospital via Mercy Flight and suffered internal injuries.

The vehicle that hit the cyclist was described as a dark colored, possibly black, older pickup truck. The driver fled the scene and may have turned south on Jackson Street from Ellicott Street.

Anybody with information about the accident are asked to call the Batavia Police at 345-6350.

Photo courtesy WBTA.

November 25, 2009 - 5:42pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, church, religion, thanksgiving.

The turkey juices sizzle in the oven. The mashed potatoes are being stirred in the pot. Gooey, delicious sweet potato casseroles melt in the oven, while pumpkin pies baked and cooled, sit, tempting us toward an early desert.

Like any other holiday, Thanksgiving has a large store of such images attached to it. And, like other holidays, it is generally considered a time for us to reflect on the important things in life. As such, it is a time when families gather together in fellowship and in celebration of their blessings.

The social and emotional benefits of Thanksgiving -- or at least the possibility of these benefits -- are pretty clear. Its benefits to the palate (if not always the digestive system) are also well known. But what about spiritual benefits? What are the religious leaders in our area telling their congregations about the Thanksgiving holiday, and what it means to their lives? Moreover, how do they deliver a message that can be repeated each year and yet continue to be relevant?

The following comments come from four Batavia pastors, each reflecting on what they perceive to be the relevance of Thanksgiving to the Christian life:

Pastor Allen Werk, St. Paul Lutheran Church and School:

"Thanksgiving is far more than just a day for a family banquet. It is not about how much food we can prepare and eat.

"Thanksgiving is about expressing our gratitude to the source of all the things in life that we enjoy. It is a reminder to say thank you to the giver of all the wonderful gifts we so often take for granted.

"The Giver of all those good gifts in our lives, the Source of our blessings, is God our heavenly Father. Thanksgiving is a holiday that reminds us to thank our God for everything He does for us.

"'Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.'   James 1:17 (NIV)

"While it is good to take time to thank God for food and jobs and family and health, we also need to remember that God’s greatest gift was sending His Son Jesus to pay for our sins. Without Jesus’ death on the cross, we would be entirely cut off from this mighty and holy God. That salvation that Jesus has won for us is a gift that we would never be able to manufacture for ourselves. That is at the top of our list of blessings for which to say 'thank you' to God.

"God’s blessings to us span 365 days a year. We shouldn’t limit our thanks to one day a year. Remember to thank God often, daily, for all His love and blessings He abundantly pours into our lives."

Pastor Donald A. Shirk, Grace Baptist Church:

"What we as a congregation do at Thanksgiving is on the Tuesday evening (last night) before it, we have a special "Count Your Blessings" service. This evening is dedicated to folks sharing personal testimonies on how God has been good to them throughout the year.

"For the believer in Christ, Thanksgiving is not simply an annual event but a way of life. Paul put it this way in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, 'In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.' To help prompt, I use a PowerPoint slide with ideas that might help our church members in their sharing. Last night was an exceptional service with our people sharing for over an hour on the goodness of God in their lives."

Pastor Roula Alkhouri, First Presbyterian Church:

"Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for us to take the time to remember the bounty of God's Earth. Often times, we take it for granted that our climate is going to be okay and that we will have good conditions to grow food. So, this time is a time of reconnecting with and paying attention to God's creation. We are often negligent of other creatures in the world. We tend to focus on our individual needs for consumption. Thanksgiving is a great time to be mindful of our responsibility to care for the Earth. The gift of life is so precious, yet it is often taken for granted."

Pastor John Hatch, United Pentecostal Church:

"Usually we focus on what we all are thankful for in a special Thanksgiving Eve service through volunteer testimonies (under 5 minutes) by anyone in the congregation who desires to share and give thanks to God for various personal things they feel the Lord has done for them. This year we will also be focusing on Thanksgiving by celebrating communion to thank Jesus for all He has done for us by the price He paid on the cross for our sins; healing by the stripes on His back and the wonderful way He has forgiven us, saved us and worked in our lives."

November 25, 2009 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

As we wind into the holiday season, Batavia Police are reminding businesses that sell alcohol that it's illegal to sell wine, beer and liquor to people under 21 years of age.

There will be compliance checks during the holiday season, the Batavia Police Department announced this morning.

"The Batavia Police are reminding all establishments where alcohol is served or sold to remember to be carefully checking for the proper ID of the customer or consumer who is purchasing the alcohol," reads the police statement "The police along with the community’s goal is to deter underage persons from purchasing alcohol without proper identification."

Employees are encouraged to carefully check IDs.

They should also be on the look out for customers of legal age buying booze for minors. A common practice to look for, according to police, is a customer who buys a large amount of alcohol with small bills and then delivers the packages to a waiting car. Employees who observe such activity are encouraged to contact police.

November 25, 2009 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander.

mug_brittany_frey.jpgAn Alexander woman reportedly heard Sheriff's Deputies were looking for her at a house on Griswold Road, so rather than return that residence Sunday evening, she parked her car on Attica Road and ran off into the woods.

After her car was spotted on Attica Road, Sheriff's deputies searched the wooded area, but that's not where they found Brittany L. Frey.

The 19-year-old woman was allegedly hiding in an apartment in Northside Meadows in Batavia.

Frey, whose residence is listed as 9568 Alexander Road, Alexander, was wanted on a bench warrant for an alleged violation of probation.

After learning that Frey was at Northside Meadows, deputies responded to that location and reportedly saw Frey inside the apartment, but Frey allegedly refused to come to the door. Eventually, she did come out and was arrested.

Frey was jailed Sunday night without bail.

November 25, 2009 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander.

Morima Custodo, 27, of 65 Mead St., Rochester, is charged with harassment. Custodo was arrested yesterday following an alleged fight between employees at Allen Canning in Bergen. She is accused of grabbing the other employee's hair and pushing her head to the ground.

Matthew Thomas Holmes, 30, 14 W. Main St., Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant for allegedly failing to pay fines and restitution. Holmes was arrested following his release from Monroe County Jail.

Joseph Lee Shanley, 37, of 7199 Dublin Road, Bergen, is charged with harassment. Shanley is accused of threatening a person while using his mobile phone.

A 12-year-old boy from Bethany has been arrested by State Police and charged with sexual contact with an individual under 11 years old. No further details were released.

November 24, 2009 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, garbage.

Councilman Sam Barone's effort to push for a new fee system for garbage collection is stalled.

WBTA reports that the proposal went nowhere at last night's City Council meeting, and the issue has been delayed until the new council is in place at the first of the year.

Councilman Frank Ferrando said there is no public demand for changing the current method for paying for garbage collection, which is part of the city property tax.

Barone argues that a fee-based system would be more equitable, since under the current system the city's non-profit agencies that own their own buildings and land don't pay property tax. Those agencies get free garbage collection.

November 24, 2009 - 1:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Clinton Street Road.

Three men from Utica have been arrested and charged with burglary for allegedly breaking into apartments yesterday at 5219 Clinton St. Road, Batavia.

They reportedly broke into the apartments during the late morning hours and stole or damaged clothing and electronics.

Taken into custody were:

  • Rastafari A. Brown, 20, of 124 James St., Utica
  • Kayshawn Jones, 21, of 1556 Elm St., Utica
  • Sirdell L. Ruffin, 21, of Faxton St., Utica.

Each of the three men were charged with four counts of burglary in the second degree and jailed on $25,000 bail.

The case was investigated by Deputy John Duyssen, Deputy Bradley Mazur, Sgt. Gregory Walker, Investigator William Ferrando and Investigator Kristopher Kautz with assistance from the Batavia Police Department, the New York State Police and the District Attorney's office.

November 23, 2009 - 12:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, education.

A state audit of the Batavia City School District found that through apparent accounting errors, some employees have been overpaid and the district has tended to over estimate expenses and under estimate revenue, resulting in an operating surplus of $6 million.

"As a result, we identified $7.3 million which has been inappropriately placed in reserves but rather should be used to benefit taxpayers," the audit report states. "Had these practices not occurred, and had District officials complied with statutory limitations for retained fund balance, the excess could have been used for District operations, or to fund necessary reserves or to reduce the tax levy."

The district plans to take corrective action, according to both the report and a press release from the district.

Those were the only two nicks on the report, which district officials otherwise characterized as favorable audit.

"The audit report delivered to the Board of Education was very positive. No graft, corruption, or misappropriation of public funds was identified," district officials said in a press release.

Our audit compares very favorably to other school district audits across the state. Other districts have been cited for administrative actions without Board approval, weaknesses in internal controls and purchasing, District actions without voter approval.  We have not been cited for any of these issues.  This audit reflects the hard work that has been done in our District to ensure that the public can trust that the District officials and Board of Education take their fiduciary responsibility very seriously.

The payroll errors, as uncovered by The Division of Local Government and School Accountability of the Office of the State Comptroller of New York, amounted to $50,000 in "improper or unsupported payments." 

Auditors reviewed payroll records for 17 employees, and reported, "Ten employees, or 59 percent, were overpaid or received compensation which was not provided for in the applicable contracts or supported by sufficient documentation."

The district's press release:

The Comptroller’s report highlights several payroll findings, which appear to be overstated when the specific findings were investigated by District staff. The actual legitimate findings amount to less than one tenth of one percent of the total payroll processed over the two year period. There is always room for improvement and we are planning to take several steps to reduce any potential risk for error.

As for the surplus funds, the district says:

The essence of this comes down to the simple fact that the District budgets conservatively, never overestimating its potential revenues or underestimating its potential expenses. This practice allows for flexibility should an unforeseen financial hardship arise, but often results in legitimate surplus.  The District has used this surplus to maintain a stable tax levy and to fund authorized reserves.  Even though the Comptroller’s Report views this negatively, there appears to be an inherent contradiction since these accounts are promoted as providing many benefits to municipalities and their citizens (www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/lgmg/reserves.pdf).  No doubt conservative budgeting practices have allowed us to position ourselves to maintain our educational program even in difficult financial times without turning to tax increases.

Download: Full Audit Report (PDF)

November 23, 2009 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, pembroke.

Wayne R. Freeman, 33, of 8545 East Ave., Gasport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree. Freeman was also reportedly cited for "multiple" equipment violations ("too many to list," states the Sheriff's Office report). Freeman was reportedly driving on Route 77 in Pembroke when Deputy Kevin McCarthy spotted his vehicle with an alleged broken tail light. Upon stopping Freeman, McCarthy discovered that Freeman's license was previously revoked for a prior DWI conviction and that Freeman was allegedly violating the terms of his conditional release. McCarthy then determined that Freeman was allegedly driving drunk. Freeman was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Peter B. Burton, 51, 360 Seward St., Rochester, was arrested and charged on a warrant for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in connection with an incident on May 22. In its press release, Batavia Police did not specify the nature of the alleged incident. Burton was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Nicole M. DellaPenna, 23, of 3842 Rose Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal possession of a controlled substance. DellaPenna was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and cocaine during an investigation of a suspicious vehicle parked on Farwell Drive.

William J. Cassidy, 28, of 107 State St., upper, Batavia, is charged with loitering. Cassidy allegedly refused to leave the area of 20 Center St. after being asked to do so by police.

James Joseph Laudico, 19, of 1055 Sliker Road, Pembroke, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Laudico was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle stopped for an alleged traffic violation by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Reeves reportedly found marijuana in Laudico's left front pants pocket.

Kaitlyn Ann Kelly, 22, of 4079 Connecticut Ave., Island Park, is charged with petit larceny. Kelly allegedly stole $53.49 in merchandise from Target.

Allison Irene Thomas, 19, of 15 Robert Quigley Road, Scottsville, is charged wih petit larceny. Thomas allegedly stole $78.47 in merchandise from Target.

Ramon Cortes-Vasquez, 60, of Elba, was arrested by State Police in Elba on Friday at 2:42 p.m. on an unspecified arrest warrant. The State Police blotter item classifies the case as "immigration." It also says it is not a criminal investigation. The arrest took place at State Route 98 and Mechanic Street. Cortes-Vasquez was held without bail.

November 21, 2009 - 12:01am
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Batavia Middle School, theater, schools.

The cast of "The Mysterious Case of the Missing Ring" (photo by Daniel Crofts)




“Romance, blooming like a lotus in the springtime…”

Entire cast in unison: “What?!?”

“Just kidding.”

There you have it — the opening lines of “The Mysterious Case of the Missing Ring," the latest play put on by the Drama Club at Batavia Middle School. The first performance took place last night.

The show was directed by Matthew Mayne, English/Drama teacher at Batavia High School, and starred 22 BMS students (grades 6-8) in a variety of comedic roles.

From a stage play written by Janie Downey Maxwell, “Missing Ring” centers around a Queen — played by 7th grader Mica Pitcher — who has lost her royal ring and hires several competing teams of detectives to find it. All of the detectives — from the pratfall-prone, tap-dancing Oliver (Blake Carter) to the nervous, germaphobic Kat (Spencer Hubbard) — prove to be hysterically incompetent.

Mayne, who is certainly no stranger to local theater (see article about his recent Thornton Wilder production at http://tinyurl.com/yknj4bu), began work on the production of "Missing Ring" in late September. He took Maxwell’s play and made of it an opportunity for everyone involved to bring his/her own ideas to the performance.

"We added a lot to this,” Mayne said. “I added some characters that weren’t in the original script. That’s good for me as a director, because then the story has more characters to work with. And it’s good for the kids, because there are more roles available and they can add their own personal touches to the overall performance.”

Additionally, there were numerous jokes and humorous bits that were not in the script.  Mayne said the students “came up with a lot of ideas and put so much of their own unique humor into it.”

In so doing, they drew plentiful laughter from the audience.

Thursday night’s performance was well performed and well received, but the production was far from easy. Because of his extracurricular duties at BHS, Mayne could only devote three days a week to rehearsals. So with a total of only 20 rehearsals, the cast had to exercise a great deal of dedication in order to make the play work.

If this weren’t enough, a number of students became ill during the course of production and had to quit the play. There was even a last-minute cancellation the night before the performance, forcing one of the cast members to learn new lines overnight.

“I’m amazed at how much the kids care about the show,” Mayne said. “They really pulled themselves together.”

The play also featured set designs made by BMS teacher Lucille DiSanto and BMS students Riley Cole, Megan Draper and Kayla Gannon.

“Missing Ring” will have one more performance, this time intended exclusively for BMS students, faculty and staff; this will take place during the school day Monday.

November 20, 2009 - 8:09am

Jason, Sonara, Charles.jpg

The Christian Students United Group of GCC came out tonight with Care-A-Van Ministries for our monthly visit to the college dorms. Pictured above is Jason and Charles f rom the CSU group with Sonara, who is a member of the GCC Cougars Women Basketball team.

We knocked on all 95 dorm rooms and offered cookies and prayer. Sonara's prayer request was that the team do well on their upcoming game this Saturday.

All students in the rooms were also given a personal invitation to attend the weekly meetings that the Christian Students United group has every Tuesday at 12:30 in room T122. This is a great time to share pizza and fellowship together.

There were many prayer requests this evening. The students are very thankful for the monthly visits , prayers and treats.

A special thanks to Jason, Alan and Charles from CSU for coming out with us tonight.

Go lady Cougars! Good luck Saturday!

GCC 009.jpg

November 19, 2009 - 1:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

Paul Ryan Tenney, who admitted back in September that he stole more than $106,000 from his employer, Elcon, Inc., has still not been sentenced for his crime.

He remains in jail without bail. This afternoon, Judge Robert Noonan gave the 39-year-old Tenney until Dec. 8 to find and secure financing for an in-patient drug-addiction treatment program. If he fails, the judge said he may be forced to "warehouse" Tenney in prison.

The one-time high school athletic star claims he's already completed an in-patient program as required. Trouble is, no one can find any proof of it. His attorney, Gary Horton, said he has no documentation, other than the statements of Tenney's friends and relatives.

Noonan said Tenney was stonewalling, and expressed a great deal of frustration with this case.

"I've tried to figure out how to wake you up to take charge of your life," Noonan said. "You've shown no backbone."

He said Tenney needs to stop making excuses and relying on his relatives for help.

"I could sentence you to five years in prison, but you'd just be five years older," Noonan said.

Tenney's criminal record certainly justifies doing that, the judge said, but numerous people in the community have vouched for Tenney and say he can be redeemed. He just needs to show the judge he is willing make the effort.

November 18, 2009 - 11:07pm
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, elba, Care-A-Van Ministries.

elba scouts 012.jpg

  Paul Ohlson, Founder of Care-A-Van and Robin Walters, PR Director gather with the scouts.

elba scouts 011.jpg

The Cub Scout Pack 17 of Elba held a local "fun" raiser this evening at the Elba Firemans Recreation Hall.  Local families were entertained by Jeff Musial and Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics. The admissison was a non perishable food item.

The scouts combined this evening's food  admissions with their local Scouting for Food drive. All donations were then presented to Care-A-Van Ministries to help feed the local people. They also held a 50/50 and presented the proceeds to Care-A-Van.

My understanding is that over the summer the scouts had raised funds that they used to be able to present this fun evening to all families at no charge.

We thank Cub Master Chris Chadbourne scouts and their leaders and all those families that donated to help feed the local families that are in need. You truly have blessed many!

elba scouts 006.jpg

This young man was brave!


elba scouts 007.jpg

There was quite a crowd!

elba scouts 017.jpg

Packing the food up

elba scouts 019.jpg

Putting it on the bus

elba scouts 018.jpg

This young scout helped load the bus as well

elba scouts 020.jpg

Kids enjoy time on the bus.

Thanks again and more photos of this event can be seen on our Facebook!

Come join us there! 

November 18, 2009 - 10:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, hlom.


I happened to stop by the Holland Land Office Museum today and found a number of trees already ready for Saturday's opening of the Wonderland of Trees. Several local organizations and businesses already have their trees in place and decorated.

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