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November 9, 2009 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road.

A pickup truck has reportedly gone off the road in the area of 2964 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road.

The truck is reportedly in a swamp area.

No report on injuries.

Mercy EMS and Town of Batavia Fire responding.

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November 9, 2009 - 2:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Summit Street.

A pedestrian has been hit by a dump truck in the area of 29 Summit St., Batavia.

The initial report had people trying to help her get up.

Mercy EMS and Batavia Fire and Police are responding.

UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: The person struck was not walking, but on a bicycle.

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November 8, 2009 - 9:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, North Spruce Street.

Engine 12 and Ladder 15 are responding to a reported car fire at 20 N. Spruce St., Batavia.

The car is reportedly close to a structure.

UPDATE 9:20 p.m.: Engine 12 on scene. "Smoke showing."

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November 8, 2009 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, lewiston road.

A police official has confirmed that a body found near the Blockbuster location on Lewiston Road was an apparent suicide (see update below).

The victim was identified as James Maher, 27, a VA Home resident.

His family, from Mechanicville, was notified.

The official could answer no further questions and said the police department is planning a press release for Monday morning.

His body was apparently found in some shrubs near the business.

UPDATE 6:54 p.m.: Det. Pat Corona of the Batavia Police Department called a little while ago to emphasize that the police have not yet determined the cause of Mr. Maher's death. While suicide has not been ruled out, a "by the numbers" investigation has yet to arrive at a conclusive determination. There was no obvious signs of trauma, Det. Corona said. Within days, some initial facts will be available from the medical examiner, but it will take weeks (as usual) for toxicology reports to come back.

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November 8, 2009 - 6:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, lewiston road.

We've learned from multiple sources -- though there is yet no official confirmation -- that a body was found about 10:15 p.m. outside the Blockbuster store on Lewiston Road in Batavia.

The City of Batavia Police Department has not yet released a statement about the discovery and there is no information available at this time about the condition of the body or exactly where it was located.

Our news partner WBTA has attempted to learn more information about the discovery.

Here's one e-mail account we received at 11: 52 p.m. about the situation:

I was just at Sportos and was told that there was a body found behind  Blockbuster. There was police going to the scene at about 10:15. A news van  is present right now with about 3 police cars. This was confirmed by a  Trooper going into the restaurant. He could tell us no more.

November 7, 2009 - 11:22am

Genesee County will soon be home to the first shovel-ready agri-business industrial park in New York, according to Chad Zambito, spokesman for the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

GCEDC breaks ground on the project Tuesday and expects the first tenant to start building a $15 million food-processing facility in the spring.

"These are expensive ventures and private developers aren't willing to do it because of the cost that’s needed up front and the long-term return, so it’s something we have to do and we need everybody’s participation to make it happen," Zambito told WBTA.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Kennedy Building of the Genesee County Fair Grounds.

The 200-acre park is located between state routes 5 and 63 in Batavia and sits in close proximity to O-AT-KA Milk Products. 

At full build-out, the park is expected to provide 1,200 jobs in Genesee County and generate $2 billion in revenue over 25 years.

The first tenant, a Canadian-based food processor, will hire 100 people to work at its facility.

When the infrastructure installation is complete, the site will contain nearly 200 acres  serviced by industrial-class electric, gas and rail. The park is dedicated to agri-business applications including food and bio-fuels processing and is owned by a unique public/private partnership.

It also has access to 6 million gallons of aquifer water daily, ideal for food production applications, and sits in an Empire Zone.
The GCEDC, along with its real estate affiliate the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation and an affiliate of Farm Credit of WNY share ownership of the park.

It was largely made possible by a state grant recently approved by Empire State Development and a matching grant from Genesee County. The GCEDC, Town of Batavia, National Grid and National Fuel are also providing funding. 

Phase 1 construction, being completed by Zoladz Construction Company Inc. of Alden, NY, will include water, sewer and roadway base installation. 

November 6, 2009 - 9:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, State Street.

Dispatcher: "You're going to love this one: At State Street and Washington, a couple pulled up to the intersection and stopped at the stop sign. A dog ran out and run under the car and now refuses to come out."

I'm not making this up.

November 6, 2009 - 7:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, roundabout, John Gardner, Oak Street.


Work crews were planting plants in the middle of the Oak Street Roundabout today, which reminded me of a few conversations I've had around town recently -- what to put in the middle of the roundabout? Mere plants won't do.

There should be something important and meaningful there.

And in thinking about it -- it's Batavia, it's Oak Street -- what would be more meaningful and appropriate than a statue of John Gardner, and perhaps the word "LOVE"?

So there's a suggestion: Let's get a committee together, raise some money and make it a little shrine to Batavia's most famous literary figure.

November 6, 2009 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

National Fuel is being asked to respond to 232 State St., Batavia, for a ruptured gas line.

Fire crews were originally dispatched because of a report of natural gas in the area.

The pipe is outside the house, right by the basement.

Officials have been unable to contact the residents.

UPDATE 6:36 p.m.: Batavia Fire has managed to shut off the gas, awaiting National Fuel.

UPDATE 6:49 p.m.: Batavia Fire going back in service, National Fuel on scene.

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November 6, 2009 - 1:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, manor house.

A City of Batavia fire crew was just dispatched to the Manor House senior housing complex at 427 E. Main St.. They're on scene and report nothing visible.

UPDATE (2 p.m.): Fire fighters have returned to service. Apparently, it was a false alarm or an insignicant incident.

November 6, 2009 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Paul R. Tenney will spend tonight in jail, even though he was not sentenced today for admitting he stole more than $106,000 from Elcon, Inc..

Judge Robert Noonan agreed to postpone sentencing Tenney until he gets proof that Tenney attended an in-patient treatment program for substance abuse.

But there's no reason to let him go free since he apparently violated the terms of his pre-sentencing release. Plus, Tenney has purportedly trained his replacement at Elcon on its finance system, so his freedom is no longer warranted in that regard.

Elcon owner Edmend Leising told District Attorney Lawrence Friedman that Tenney wasn't all that cooperative. But the issue seems to be resolved.

"(Leising) is not asking for anything further at this point," Friedman said.

Attorney Gary Horton said he didn't understand Friedman's statement.

"He said he’s been at Elcon every day and trained the person hired to replace him," Horton said.

November 6, 2009 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Court officers this morning talked about two men -- the Paul G. Grazioplene who is a local businessman, involved in youth sports and various community activities and a friend to many community leaders, and the Paul G. Grazioplene who was allegedly abusive to police officers the night of his arrest on a DWI charge.

Judge Robert Noonan took both descriptions into account this morning when he sentenced Grazioplene, owner of Extreme Sports, to four months in jail and five years probation.

The 43-year-old Batavia resident will serve an initial 15-day stretch and then serve the remainder of his term intermittently, from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Wednesday every week until the four-month obligation is met.

He also was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.

"I've sentence dozens of felony DWI cases every year," Noonan said. "Only a small portion of people are as good as you are, and only a small portion of people are as bad as you are. You are entirely two different people. We have letters from important people, leaders in the community. Community leaders think you're an entirely different person than you were on the night of this incident and at other times prior in your life."

Always prior to sentencing, defendants are offered a chance to make a statement, but many times defendants either decline to make a statement or say a few quick words about how sorry they are. But Mr. Grazioplene spoke for several minutes of his embarrassment and regret for the burden he's placed on people who rely on him.

"These people depend on me and I can do this (reform his conduct)," Grazioplene said. "Now I'm backed up against a wall and it's like fourth down and forever for me. Give me a chance to prove to that I can do this, and I will."

Noonan expressed some skepticism that Grazioplene can get past his bad behavior, but thought he deserved enough of a chance not to be locked up for six-straight months as District Attorney Lawrence Friedman requested.

"I'm going to give you enough taste of jail that you've got time to think about it," Noonan said. "You've got a hurdle ahead of you and it's a high one. You just told me you’re sure you can make it over that hurdle. I’m not so sure."

November 6, 2009 - 8:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford, Alabama.

Kyle R. Thill, 20, of 1469 Lewiston Road, Alabama, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, speeding (going 53 in a 40 mph zone) and unlawful possession of marijuana. Thill was reportedly stopped by Deputy Patrick Reeves at 1:16 a.m. on Nov. 1 on Knowlesville Road in Alabama.

Michael Willard Mairrose, 20, of 4111 S. Main St. Road, Batavia, was picked up on a DWI warrant from Town of Stafford Court. He was jailed on $500 bail.

James Valentino Brown, 20, of 162 Peck St., Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana. Brown was allegedly found in possession of marijuana while at College Village. He was jailed on $250 bail.

Jeremy Scott Yantz, 29, of 214 Ellicott St., upper, Batavia, is charged with DWI. Yantz was taken into custody on a warrant stemming from a previous arrest.

November 5, 2009 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, health, Swine Flu, h1n1.


Rain, sleet and snow didn't keep several hundred people from trying to get flu vaccinations today at County Building Number 2 in the Town of Batavia.

At one point, the line snaked outside and around the side of the building. Seniors, parents and children were waiting two or more hours for either a shot of the seasonal flu vaccine or the H1N1 nasal mist.

A winter storm of sorts started not long after the clinic doors opened, and by then the line  already stretched well outside the building.

"I was standing in the rain and snow out there a little while before and I was thinking, I'm going to get a flu shot to prevent getting sick and I'm going to get sick standing in line in the rain and the snow, so I wonder if it's really worth it," Walter Kershenski said. He also happens to be Stafford Town Clerk, and said he stood in line for more than two hours.

There were reports of people driving from Orleans, Monroe and even Chautauqua counties for the vaccinations, and apparently, nobody was being turned away for the free vaccines.

Interim Health Director Randy Garney said the Health Department was expecting to provide at least 500 doses of vaccine in two hours, but had received an extra shipment of seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccine just days ago.

"I figure, two hours, that's going to be about all we're going to be able to process, but we're going to keep the clinic open as long as there is a line," Garney said.

"With recent events that have taken place, we were expecting a large crowd," Garney said.

Rosemary Sero, of Oakfield, said all the reports of people getting sick with H1N1 and especially the death of a Pembroke student, has her feeling very cautious about taking care of her two young daughters.

"They're using a lot of hand sanitizer," she said. "They wash their hands a lot. I tell them not to touch their face."

November 5, 2009 - 9:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, health, Swine Flu, h1n1.

If you haven't received a flu shot yet, you can do so today at County Building Number 2 on W. Main St. Road, Town of Batavia.

The walk-in clinic will be open from 2 to 4 p.m..

Seasonal flu vaccine is available for people 19 and older, and H1N1 vaccine is available for people 2 to 24 years of age, and for people 25 to 59 who care for or live with infants.

Vaccine supplies are limited.

November 4, 2009 - 5:18pm
posted by Sara Burk-Balbi in batavia, Elections, Democrat, Sara Burk-Balbi.

Over these last few months, I have had the privilege of being a candidate for Batavia City Council at Large. I was not successful with that campaign but I came away with a deep appreciation for the City of Batavia and for those that want to serve it.   I want to start of by saying Thank You to all of my supporters here in the City of Batavia. I continue to be deeply humbled by your amazing support. I would also like to thank all of the candidates, both Republican and Democrat. You all did a great job and ran a wonderful campaign. My hat is off to each of you. Lastly, I have to thank my family and friend. I truly believe that I have the best family a person can ask for and the greatest friends.

November 4, 2009 - 9:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Charter Review.

Computer problems kept the votes from being tallied last night, but this morning the Board of Elections released unofficial numbers for the referendum on revising the City of Batavia Charter.

It passed, 748 to 503.

When I visited a couple of polling places last night, poll workers told me they heard from several people who had no idea what the revisions were. They hadn't seen the coverage, and more importantly, hadn't read the actual document.

It is kind of hard to find on the City's Web site, so here's a link to what you just approved (PDF).

November 3, 2009 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, genesee county, election.

Final Unofficial Numbers, posted 11:09 p.m.

Note: City Charter question not yet tallied and those numbers are not expected to be announced until tomorrow between 11 a.m. and noon.

WBTA Live Stream

Office   Votes Percent
County Clerk Don M. Read 4610  
District Attorney Lawrence Friedman 5077  
City - Vote for 1      
Genesee County Legislator District 7
(Wards 1 & 6)
Rose Mary Christian  361  
  Robert H. Radley  510  
Genesee County Legislator District 8 (Wards 2 & 3) Christopher M. Charvella  235  
  Hollis D. Upson  424  
Genesee County Legislator District 9 (Wards 4 & 5) Edward DeJaneiro, Jr  303  
City – Vote for 3      
Council at Large - City of Batavia Sara J. Balbi  637  
Council at Large - City of Batavia Phillip J. Ricci  730  
Council at Large - City of Batavia Julie Ann Wallace  547  
Council at Large - City of Batavia Timothy E. Buckley  1263  
Council at Large - City of Batavia Marianne Clattenburg  1275  
Council at Large - City of Batavia Frank C. Ferrando, Jr  1284  
Alabama - Vote for 1   Votes Percent
Legislator - District 1 Raymond F. Cianfrini    
Town Justice Patricia A. Buczek  229  
Town Council Janet I. Sage  188  
Town Council Terry Thompson  99  
Town Council William J. Cleveland  176  
Town Council Samuel G. Scarborough  172  
Alexander - Vote for 1   Votes Percent
Legislator – District 6 Esther G. Leadley  258  
Town Council William G. Hirsch  136  
Town Council William R. Franz  119  
Town of Batavia - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator – District 4 Mary Pat Hancock    
Supervisor  Gregory H. Post  447  
Town Clerk/Tax Collector  Teressa M. Morasco  476  
Town Council (Vote for 2) Daniel G. Underhill  437  
Town Council Patti A. Michalak  439  
Supt. Of Highways  Rodney W. Cook  415  
Bergen - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 2 Charles N. Zambito    
Supervisor     Donald S. Cunningham 191  
Town Justice Donald R. Kunego 180  
Town Council (Vote for 2) Rachael J. Millspaugh 188  
Town Council Joseph A. Nenni 175  
Bethany - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 6 Esther G. Leadley   258  
Town Justice Thomas McBride  151  
Town Council (Vote for 2) William Gick  113  
Town Council Susan Neer  132  
Byron - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 2 Charles N. Zambito    
Supervisor Robert A. Crnkovich  213  
Supervisor Thomas Felton  107  
Town Clerk Debra Buck-Leaton  310  
Town Justice Daniel DiMatteo  189  
Town Council (Vote for 2)  Jeffrey J. Thompson  248  
Town Council John Redick  178  
Supt. Of Highways  George Heins  264  
Darien - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 3 Annie M. Lawrence  514  
Town Clerk  Linda P. Graber  261  
Town Clerk  Alice E. Calmes  462  
Town Council (Vote for 2) Stephen J. Ferry  361  
Town Council Charles J. Flagg  291  
Town Council Jimmie E. Flaming  69  
Town Council Michael A. Plitt 307  
Town Council Christopher M. Nicastro  369  
Town Council-Unexpired Term Samuel E. Williams  229  
Town Council-Unexpired Term David D. Riker  380  
Elba -Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 2 Charles N. Zambito  245  
Town Supervisor Lucine Kauffman  155  
Town Council (Vote for 2) Andrew Wormuth  151  
Town Council Deborah Bell  142  
LeRoy -Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator – District 5 Jerome J. Grasso  945  
Town Justice Kermit Arrington  703  
Town Justice Darryl D. Sehm  662  
Town Council Thomas Stella   713  
Town Council Christine M. Smith  870  
Town Council Jay E. Whipple  592  
Town Council-Unexpired term  Jennifer AO Keys  422  
Town Council-Unexpired term  Kelly J. Lathan  860  
Oakfield - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 10 Raymond F. Cianfrini  163  
Supervisor     Kenneth Dodd    
Town Justice (Vote for 2) Thomas Graham  197  
Town Justice Dennis R. Beedham  338  
Town Counci l(Vote for 2) Carol L. Glor  166  
Town Council Michael Cianfrini  166  
Town Council-Unexpired term Tim Kabel  164  
Pavilion - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 6 Esther G. Leadley    
Town Justice John Welsh  132  
Town Council (Vote for 2) Linda Thompson  145  
Town Council Ronald O. Zarbo  128  
Pembroke - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 3 Annie M. Lawrence    
Town Justice Robert Alexander  544  
Town Council (Vote for 2) Thomas C. Schneider, Jr.  179  
Town Council Edward G. Arnold. Jr.  406  
Town Council Paul R. DiFiglia  187  
Town Council John J. Worth  416  
Stafford - Vote for 1   Votes Percentage
Legislator District 4 Mary Pat Hancock  691  
Town Clerk Walter Kershenski  571  
Town Council (Vote for 2) Ronald Panek  322  
Town Council Donald L. Mullen  292  
Town Council Michelle Mouery  272  
Supt. Of Highways  Steven Boldt  443  
Supt. Of Highways  James D. Pontillo  151  


November 3, 2009 - 10:54pm


The perenially popular fairy tale of "Cinderella" comes to life beginning 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the opening of the 61st annual Rotary Club of Batavia Musical.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic will also be performed Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 and there's a matinee at 2 on Sunday, Nov. 8.

The production is directed by Patrick D. Burk and takes place in the Batavia High School Auditorium, located at 260 State St., in the City of Batavia.

Tickets are $16, available online at <bataviarotary dot com> or at Hawley & Associates Insurance Center, 260 State St. in downtown Batavia, Lawley Genesee in Jefferson Square, or at the door.

More than 40 friends, students, associates, neighbors, citizens, Americans and so forth have put countless hours and great effort into bringing the community this enchanting story. Ditto dozens more in the orchestra and production crew.

It's very much a family show and little ones are welcome -- encouraged -- to come dressed in a befitting costume.

This stage performance of "Cinderella" is one-hour-45-minutes long and has a happy ending, but there's soooo much to keep you entertained until then!

"Once upon a time there was a young maiden named Cinderella, who lived with her wicked stepmother and two wicked stepsisters..."

You are cordially invited to come reimagine the magic, timeless tale of romance-against-the-odds. And invite someone you care about.

Both photos were taken during rehearsals and provided by the Batavia Rotary Club.


November 3, 2009 - 8:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, 400 Towers.


Everybody was in good spirits when  I stopped by 400 Towers this evening, just as the annual bake sale was wrapping up.

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