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December 31, 2008 - 1:44pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, fire, emergency.

City of Batavia fire crews responded to a call at 21 Liberty Street, Ficarella's Pizzeria, this morning at 11:15am, according to Captain Craig Williams. Callers reported a smell of smoke inside the building. When firefighters arrived on the scene they saw smoke inside and smelled wood burning.

A fire was quickly located in the attic and extinguished by the personnel on scene. Crews were on scene for about an hour. No injuries were reported.

A malfunctioning neon sign caused the fire. Damage is estimated at $2,500.

December 30, 2008 - 8:37pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, Notre Dame.

The Batavia boys basketball team won the Batavia Lions Club Championship for the fifth consecutive year, and did it in convincing fashion. The Blue Devils thumped Notre Dame 59-33.

Andrew Hoy earned MVP honors, following in his older brother's footsteps, by scoring 43 points in the tournament, which easily made him the highest scorer in the tournament.

After four straight Blue Devil championships, this was a tournament where many area fans figured the Fighting Irish had a serious chance.

And ND came out red hot.

Batavia had a 4-0 lead before Greg Barr scored five consecutive points to put Notre Dame ahead 5-4.

Matt Thompson hit a 3-pointer and then added another bucket and the Fighting Irish had a quick 10-4 lead.

Marcus Hoy hit one of two free throw attempts with an Andrew Hoy 3-pointer tossed in the mix to get Batavia within a point.

Marcus and Adam Pettinella scored back-to-back buckets and the Blue Devils had a 13-10 lead after the opening period of play.

Batavia went on a tear in the second quarter and opened up a huge halftime lead.

Pettinella had five points, Andrew scored six and Rob Hoy pitched in five as the Blue Devils were up 34-17 at intermission.

Joe Schlossel had eight quick points in the third quarter and Andrew Hoy added eight points in the third quarter to give Batavia a 52-26 third quarter lead.

Notre Dame coach Mike Rapone received his first technical foul in three years near the end of the third period when he asked an official "How do you play 24 minutes against Batavia and not get a foul shot?". It was his first technical foul call since he received one against Prattsburgh a few years back.

Batavia did attempt just two free throw attempts over the first three quarters.

But in the end, it was the effort of Andrew Hoy and a ton of support from his supporting cast that gave the Blue Devils the trophy.

Schlossel finished with eight points and eight rebounds with Marcus Hoy getting eight points with five dimes. Pettinella had seven points.

Batavia's defense did an excellent job of limiting Notre Dame star Kevin Francis, who scored nine points and did make the all-tournament team. Vinny Zambito was held to three points, but made the all-tournament squad based on his 18-point opening round performance.

Thompson had eight points.

Rob Hoy made the all-tournament team with five points and Marcus made it for his scoring and passing efforts. Andrew, of course, was the MVP after making the all-tournament team as a freshman last season.

 Albion defeated Perry 53-39 in the consolation game, with Russell Craft leading the way with 19 points. He made the all-tournament team.

Notre Dame won the jayvee tournament, beating Batavia 62-43 in the finals. Perry beat Albion in the consolation game 61-49.





December 30, 2008 - 11:46am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, fire department, fire, emergency.

Two adults, whose names have not been released, were treated for smoke inhalation early this morning after a fire broke out inside their apartment at Walden Estates at 337 Bank Street in the city of Batavia.

City fire crews report that the fire was contained to the first-floor dining room of the two-story frame house around 3:36 am. Firefighters were on scene for just under two hours battling the fire which caused heavy smoke damage to the first and second floors.

No one else was reported injured. Details of the cause of the fire are under investigation.

December 29, 2008 - 7:51pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

 It never really wound up being much of a game.

The defending Lions Club Champion Batavia Blue Devils dominated Albion 76-40 in the opening round, with Andrew Hoy having a fantastic game. The sophomore - who was on the all-tournament team last year - kicked off this year's tournament with a 24-point, seven rebound performance. Hoy nailed five 3-pointers.

Each year when Batavia wins the Lions Tournament, it always seems that a single player has a huge game.  We've seen players like Phil Santiago, Michael Chmielowiec and Mike Hoy all have huge games to win MVP in recent years, and Andrew is well on his way.

The Blue Devils were on a tear early, going on a 13-0 run near the end of the first quarter and early in the second. But the Purple Eagles got four straight points from Matt Monacelli with a few minutes left in the half and closed the gap.

Mike Lee hit a shot for Batavia at the buzzer to make it 33-18.

Eight different Blue Devils scored in the third quarter to open up a 62-32 advantage after three periods of play and there was no coming back from that.

Dakota Irvin scored 11 points, and point guard Marcus Hoy scored seven points and dished out 13 assists. Lee had nine rebounds.



Also: Batavia's jayvee team beat Albion 59-42 and Notre Dame downed Perry 61-51. The two Batavia squads will be in tomorrow's final.


December 29, 2008 - 11:03am
posted by Steve Ognibene in batavia, city, snow, parks, flood, wind.

It started actually Saturday as temperatures were rising in the upper 30's climbing to low 50's overnight.  We had received about 2+ feet of snow just in the last week and now it was melting very rapidly.  Today's high was in the upper 50's and the tonawanda creek was above flood stage of 9 feet and peaked around 11.4 feet according to the weather channel this morning.  It's now at a little over 12 feet and hopefully cresting soon.  Also during this time we had very high winds which were approx 35-45mph most of the day.  This morning there were gusts passing through around 50+ mph for about an hour.  As the day went on the city crews were on scene along with tree and power companies to help battle the flooding and tree damage due to high winds.  On every street I saw tree limbs, debris and even uprooting in some areas that had left much damage through the city.

Here are some pictures to share of areas around the city:

A tree fell hitting a house on east avenue and pulled utility wires.

Tree was uprooted on Lincoln Ave. damaging houses and a red SUV due to the 50+ mph winds.

Many side streets had flooding on the south side.  Ganson Ave, Elmwood and pictured here is Jackson Avenue.

Kibbie park or should I say Kibbie lake?  The winds were very high in the afternoon during this time.

The tonawanda creek filled up rapidly due to the fast melting of snow.  Here is a picture showing the River Street bridge with a vehicle coming across.

Look familiar?  Corner of Walnut and Law streets had major flooding.  A trucker was able to pass through heading south on Rt 98.

Let's hope the worst is over and we can recover a bit before heading into the New Year.

December 29, 2008 - 8:54am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, weather, flood, Tonawanda Creek.

The National Weather Service has cancelled the flood warning for Batavia:

The flood warning is cancelled for the Tonawanda Creek at Batavia. At 8am Monday the stage was 8.6 feet and falling. Flood stage is 9.0 feet. Forecast: The river fell below flood stage later this morning and will continue to fall to around 5.7 feet by Tuesday morning. Impact: At 10.0 feet, moderate flood. Minor to moderate flooding along the entire reach from Batavia to Tonawanda. Most focused in Alabama swamps, rapids, and northern Clarence and Amherst, and also in city of Batavia west of Main Street.

December 28, 2008 - 8:13pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, storm, flood, rain.

 I went around town for a while seeing what damage has been done. Some streets were closed down, trees obviously knocked over and very high flood waters ... some people don't even have back yards right now. There also a lot of homes in parts of town without power.

December 28, 2008 - 6:03pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, perry, sports, byron, Notre Dame, Albion.


Back in 1982, the Batavia Lions Club and Pete Arras decided putting together a basketball tournament would be a good idea to give some good basketball teams a chance to play on the court at Genesee Community College and make it possible for Batavia and Notre Dame to play each other.

Little could anybody have known, here we are in 2008 and the tournament is stronger than ever. It is also probably regarded as one of, if not, the best boys basketball holiday tournament in Section 5. There are typically around 2,000 people that attend the tournament at GCC every year.

That original tournament featured Batavia, Notre Dame, a very good Byron-Bergen squad and Albion. (The photo above is the original photo of the coaches).

With the Fighting Irish and Bees hooking up late in the previous season, so that was a great way to start the tourney. The two squads played in February with B-B winning 51-48. 

The opening round rematch was a stunner, with Byron-Bergen knocking off Notre Dame 54-43. Albion knocked off Batavia 62-45 

The Bees went on to claim the first Batavia Lions Club championship with 35-30 win over Albion, with Bill Ferris claiming the MVP trophy.

Ferris was also the MVP in the second year as the Bees routed ND 47-30 and then Batavia 80-43.

Notre Dame was the favorite when they matched up with B-B in the finals in the tournament's third year, but it was again the Bees claiming the title with a 52-48 victory. Notre Dame's Jim Pursel was actually the MVP of that tournament, mostly because of his 29 point effort in the opening round win over Albion.

History was made in 1985 when Batavia and Notre Dame finally had a chance to play each other in the finals. With ND playing in the Genesee Region League and Batavia in the Monroe County League, these teams never get a shot to go against each other.

Tournament MVP Ron Nenni dropped in 20 points and the Fighting Irish toppled Batavia 65-52.

The tournament has seen many changes in participants over the years, with teams like Oakfield-Alabama, Attica, John Marshall, Nichols, Bishop Timon, Perry, Williamsville North, Akron, Pembroke, Le Roy, Caledonia-Mumford, Iroquois and Alexander all having experienced playing in the classic tournament.

Despite not winning until 1989, Batavia leads the tournament with wins with 13. The Blue Devils have won the last four titles, and seven of eight. Timon knocked Batavia off in overtime in the opening round of the 2003 tournament and then toppled Notre Dame 48-44 in the finals.

Byron-Bergen - which hasn't played in the tournament since 1994 is tied with Notre Dame for  second in tournament titles with five. 

Perry has won two championships and Timon has the other.

There have been some special performances over the years. The most recent was by Batavia's Michael Chmielowiec - a senior at the University of Rochester - who set the single game scoring record with 40 points against Bishop Timon in 2004. He also owns the tournament scoring mark with 64 points.

There have been four other 30-plus point performances: Tom McCulley of Notre Dame dropped in 38 in 1991, Batavia's Phil Santiago scored 35 points in 2002, PJ Leavy of Batavia had 33 in 1995 and Notre Dame's Tim Wascott had 32 in 2002.

Leavy had 57 points in that 95 tournament, Albion's Ernie McDonald had 49 total points in 1983 and Batavia's Rick Lundy had 48 in 1997.

This year's tournament features the same four teams that have been in the last three tournaments. Batavia opens up against Albion at 7 p.m. Monday night, with Notre Dame and Perry following at 8:45 p.m.

The consolation game is at 7 p.m. Tuesday with the finals at 8:45 p.m.

Admission is only $2, includes a program with rosters and money raised helps the Lions Club to provide scholarships to local students.

If you are interested in checking out basically the entire history of the tournament, check out this link on Flickr for over 80 photos and stories from tournaments in the past.

Here is a link to the entire history of the tournament, with the scores for every opening round, consolation and championship game as well as MVP of that year's tournament.

Also, feel free to share past memories if you've played or watched memorable tournaments.

Also, here is the video from this year's team at the Lions Club dinner introducing the teams.

(most clips in the post and flickr gallery are used with permission from The Daily News)

December 28, 2008 - 11:11am
posted by Michael S. Cole in batavia, thebatavian.

Good Morning Batavia,

I sit here at my trusty computer this morning mulling over the "new look" Batavian website with nothing but "awe".

To be able to view the events and happenings in my home town is just amazing.  I especially enjoy the video of the basketball games and comments. I can almost see myself, Jon Walton,Bill ,Randy, Gary,Sonny,Charlie, and the rest of the gang on the floor. It's too bad we didn't have the technology back then, it would be nice to see ourselves (then again maybe not!) The gym almost looks the same.

The view around town just astonished me. My congratulations goes out the staff of the Batavian for a job well done. Keep it comin'. I hope the folks in Batavia appreciate what you have done, and if not I sure do.

I look forward to more.

P.S. If there are any folks from the 1974 graduation class still in town, speak up!. Sign my guest book. Love to hear from ya.


December 28, 2008 - 2:45am
posted by Matt Scott in batavia.

I live on the west main street by McDonald's and I have to walk when the snow starts to fly. I am a little upset that the sidewalks have not been cleared down where I live.  The city cleared the sidewalks from the Sport of Kings to the east into downtown, but not to the west.  I have to and I have seen other people walking on the road, because of the sidewalk being waist deep with snow from the past couple storms.  Last year, they were cleared very quickly after a heavy snowfall.   What is the deal????  Also,  I have noticed that the side street sidewalks haven't been cleared either.   I would think that they should be cleared also even though the kids are not in school for the two weeks. 

Something to think about!!!!!

Ok Then,  I live in the Batavia Madows apartment complex.  So I don't have to clear the sidewalk that is in front.  The City did come down this far last year and cleared the sidewalks all during the winter months.

So, I think the city should do it again!!!!!!!!!

December 28, 2008 - 2:06am
posted by chris johnson in batavia, Announcements.

Mayhem Riders

we are a new motorcycle club in the batavia area,we have members from all over western new york.we currently have 18 members and we are growing everyday.we are accepting new members.this is our first year,we have 2 runs planned for 2009.on june 21 2009 -autumn run,to benefit the ronald mcdonald house in rochester.on july 18 2009 bikers for hope poker run to benefit the con kurr cancer foundation.please go to our website,to learn more about the club,and visit the links for these great charitys.we are also looking for volunteers for these events to man sign in tables and other dutys.we are also looking for donations for raffles at both these events.all of the proceeds go directly to these charitys and the money stays in this area to help our own.


[email protected]

[img_assist|nid=3717|title=mayhem logo|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=0|height=][img_assist|nid=3718|title=freedom isnt free|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=0|height=]

December 26, 2008 - 4:30pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

You may remember a story we did on the five former Batavia High players that are playing college basketball a few weeks back. I figured with the teams on Christmas break, now is a good time for an update.

 Michael Chmielowiec scored 19 points in the University of Rochester's final game before the Christmas break on Dec. 9. The former Batavia star and UofR senior helped his team beat Hobart 73-67.

Rochester is now 6-2 and Chmielowiec is averaging 20.3 points per game. He has been the leading scorer in all but one game this season.

Kevin Saunders scored 15 points and and had a team-high seven rebounds to lead his Fredonia basketball team to a 69-61 win over Medaille in Fredonia's final game before the break. The Blue Devils are 7-2 and is second on the team in scoring at 10.9 points per game.

Roberts Wesleyan recently knocked off two Division II schools at the Mercyhurst Classic. The Raiders are 8-2 and Anderson is averaging 5.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Geneseo is off to a 5-2 start and Mike Hoy is averaging 18 points per game as a freshman, scoring 2.1 points per game. He also has nine assists and six steals.

Adam Brasky and his KIng's College team went into the Christmas break with a 66-54 loss to Miseri. Brasky scored eight points in the game as the Monarchs fall to 4-5. Brasky is averaging 2.9 points per game and has dished out 13 assists this year.

December 24, 2008 - 2:06pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, city council, consolidation, town board.

We received the following letter from Batavia City Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian:

(SMSI) shared municipal services

(CGR) center for govermental research

(AIM) Aid Incentives Municipalitys

Our obligation is to our city and our taxes payers. AIM revenues would be approximately $650,000 In the first year and that would reduce the combined property tax levy of the city and town by 15% per year.  Only if the city and town are consolidated. That’s a win-win situation.

The cities growth is down -7% and the towns growth is up + 26.2% giving these figures that the burden is on mostly city taxpayers for Ambulance, police and fire services. The city and town both have recognized boundaries to be shifted for growth. We are faced with fiscal challenges all the time and now is the time to step up and make the necessary changes to be a viable one municipality.

We have been successful with water, city dispatch consolidation and economic efforts. Now is the time to move forward for shared services and consolidation of the ambulance, fire and police departments.  I can foresee other shared services in the future to engage fiscal responsibilities like town and city highway departments  and the animal control officer.

My goal is to create joint shared services with economic growth for a fiscal responsibility for all. Giving the State of the economy we must protect our communities with shared services to create a fordable standard of living.

                            Rose Mary Christian

December 23, 2008 - 7:06pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, Oakfield, Pavilion, Notre Dame, Alabama.

(shown in the photo is Batavia's Jaycee Shirk (left), Pavilion's Maddy Griep, O-A's Dani Sage and Notre Dame's Brittany Morelli)


The Batavia girls basketball Rotary Club Tournament is set for Jan. 5 and 7 at Genesee Community College.

The annual action-packed tournament features Batavia, Notre Dame, Oakfield-Alabama and Pavilion. 

Batavia opens up with Oakfield-Alabama at 6 p.m. in the opening round with Pavilion and Notre Dame following at about 7:45 p.m. The consolation and finals are at the same time on the 7th.

Batavia captured the title last year after dropping two games the previous season. The Blue Devils toppled O-A in the finals last year, 44-31, as Annie Palermo and Alyssa Tretter were the dominant players on the floor.

But we did see an emergence of current Batavia stars Jaycee Shirk and Brittany Mazurkiewiecz in the tournament, with Mazurkiewiecz scoring nine and Shirk adding eight.

This is the 20th year the Rotary Club Girls Basketball Tournament has been held.

December 23, 2008 - 8:51am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, schools, education, teaching, Gates, McDonald's.

Thirty-five-year-old Batavia resident Angela Rogers teaches at Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Gates. Earlier this week, Rogers was surprised with a teach award from McDonald's Family Restaurants. From the Democrat & Chronicle:

Rogers was awarded a plaque that the fast-food chain gives to honor one teacher locally in the six-county region each week.

At the school gathering, (Principal LeRoy) Greer said Rogers is a valuable teacher who he is happy to have in the district. She received the award in only her second year with the Gates Chili Central School District.

Rogers began her career teaching kindergarten in Buffalo, but eventually moved back to Genesee County "to be closer to family." Check out the complete article for more details, photos and to hear from Rogers about the honor of receiving the award.

December 23, 2008 - 8:26am

Hot Shots Coffee on Harvester Avenue has some great news for live music fans in Genesee County. From the release:

There is new hope for entertainment in Batavia. Other than at bars, there are not many concerts to speak of in our small city. Especially in the winter. On Saturday,January 24th, 6:30pm HOT SHOTS COFFEE at 56 Harvester ave. will be host to an alcohol free concert open to all ages. The Headlining band responsible for setting up the show, is Batavia's own RADIO RELAPSE, a modern rock coverband made up of the cream of Batavia's young talent. By young I mean mid 20's. There will also be an opening act t.b.a. RADIO RELAPSE is in support of seeing the local music scene flourish.  Entertainment is the spice of any city.

December 22, 2008 - 5:07pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, business, downtown, video.

We stopped by a few businesses in Batavia earlier today to see how they've been holding up amidst the brutal storms over the weekend and today. Whiteouts and incessant snow may have deterred a few shoppers, but for the most part, business has found its way here. That's especially the case at Stan's Harley Davidson, where the three employees who were able to make it in to work today—several were called and told they didn't have to come in—could barely keep up with the swell of shoppers cycling through. We would love to hear from other businesses around town. How did you fare?

December 22, 2008 - 4:03pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, alexander, Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame girls basketball team is scheduled to play at Wheatland-Chili today. But like every other team in the area, they are getting the day off due to the weather.

Scheduling conflicts are always a pain in the butt this time of year and right now coach Dave Pero's squad is not overly thrilled with missing out on this game.

Pero tried to reschedule the game for Tuesday with Wheatland-Chili coach Todd Grimes, but that wasn't possible.

The two are trying to set something up for Friday at this point and the Fighting Irish really need the game.

"This is awful," said Pero, whose team is just 2-1. "We haven't played two games in a week yet and we have no rhythm. We played Elba and we just weren't ready. We haven't played enough."

The Lancers beat Notre Dame 54-51 last Tuesday, Some area teams have played as many as eight games, but the Fighting Irish have played just three games, and with the Christmas break going on this week the team isn't even getting much practice time.

If the Wheatland-Chili game can't be rescheduled for Friday, that means Notre Dame will not take the court again until Monday, Dec 29 in the opening round of the Byron-Bergen Christmas Tournament. The consolation and finals are on Dec. 30.

The next games are at the Rotary Tournament on Jan. 5 and 7.

"We have the Christmas Tournament and then the Rotary Tournament coming up. I hope we are ready for it," Pero said.

Pero does think that there is some advantage to his team playing so few games so far in the fact that they Fighting Irish will be playing a lot of games late in the season, which will hopefully have them ready for sectionals.

But he is ready for his squad to get into some kind of rhythm right now.

"Somewhere down the road the teams that have played eight games will be having the same lull we are having right now," Pero said. "Our philosophy is that we want to be better at the end of the year. Hopefully that will pay off by us not playing games right now, but we want to get into a flow."

Notre Dame is not the only school that will probably not get to play its athletic contests. The Elba boys are supposed to be playing at Albion, but Elba is closed.

There are plenty of girls games on tap for tonight, including Alexander at Kendall and Medina at Lyndonville. But odds are, they won't be played either and will be made up at a later date.

December 22, 2008 - 3:11pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, genesee county, sports.

I am so thrilled with the email I received today about the St. Joseph's basketball team and the fact that our good friends at Mancuso Bowling Center have been posting bowling scores right to the site.

Now is a good time for me to just let everybody out there know that we are interested in all sports in the area. My expertise is high schools, and that is where I spend most of my time. But if you are the coach of a youth basketball team, run a bowling league or have a team that plays indoor soccer; we would love information on your teams.

I can work with you to directly post your results right on The Batavian, or if you are more comfortable, you can just e-mail them to me at brian (at) thebatavian (dot) com and I'd be more than happy to put them up for you.

While most traditional news organizations are going to give you the AP story on how the Buffalo Bills did or the high school scores, that isn't what we do with our sports at The Batavian.

We want to share as much information and as much in-depth type of stuff as possible because you can't get it anywhere else, and it is a lot of fun to see the type of stuff that isn't already on 5 different Web sites and/or newspapers.

So if you are a coach, in a bowling league or have a kid playing on a youth sports team, have somebody get ahold of me so that we can get these kids some recognition for their hard work on The Batavian.

December 22, 2008 - 2:47pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, Notre Dame, prattsburgh.

 Channel 13 has an excellent video talking about coaches Jim Burke of Prattsburgh and Mike Rapone of Notre Dame.

The two matched up against each other on Saturday, and we had some pretty solid coverage on The Batavian.

I would recommend checking out the two videos at the end of my post because I have the complete pregame presentation and interviews with both coaches about the great rivalry.

But if you are interested in this topic, make sure you check this story out. 

Another cool angle to this piece is that the anchor is Chuck Wade, who is the son of Batavia girls basketball coach Bill Wade and a Notre Dame grad.


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