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October 27, 2008 - 8:48pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, football, sports, pembroke, Notre Dame.

 With four teams still alive in the Section 5 playoffs, the Genesee Region League is having a heck of a postseason.

That was shown this week as four league players earned Player of the Week honors.

Notre Dame thumped Perry 56-0 in the Class D semifinals and got both the offensive and defensive POY.

Running back Mike Pratt rushed the ball nine times for 109 yards and three touchdowns and gets the offensive honor. Pratt is a 5-foot-9, 180-pound sophomore that led the Fighting Irish as the team rushed for 259 yards in the contest.

6-foot-1, 225-pound senior linebacker Craig Houseknecht had a sack on the opening Perry possession and finished the game with six solo tackles, six assists, the sack, a forced fumble and 1 1/2 tackles for losses of 26 yards to earn the defensive honor.

Pembroke beat Bishop Kearney 32-12 and 6-foot-5, 220-pound defensive end Ken Babcock was named the defensive POY. He had eight solo tackles, seven assists and knocked down a pass in the victory. Babcock also caught a touchdown pass in the win.

Attica's Dave Jennings was key in a historic 18-0 victory over East Rochester/Gananda this past weekend.

The 5-foot-10, 205-pound linebacker had nine tackles, a sack and an interception in the victory as the Blue Devils won a sectional football game for the second time ever.

Attica will be playing Bath in a semifinal game on Sunday while Oakfield-Alabama and Pembroke play each other in the semifinals on Saturday. Notre Dame gets to try to avenge last season's loss to Dundee in the finals on Saturday as well.

Snub alert: Oakfield-Alabama's Tim Smith rushed for 196 yards, had 331 all-purpose yards and scored six touchdowns in a 63-34 win over Dansville in a Class C game. How did he not get recognized?


October 27, 2008 - 8:25am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, charity, Salvation Army, Holidays.

As the holiday season fast approaches, the Salvation Army readies its legion of bell ringers for the ubiquitous Red Kettle Campaign. Volunteers are needed, and anyone in the community can sign up.

From the press release:

“We call upon all businesses, families, individuals, clubs, churches, unions and associations – including sororities, fraternities, schools, business and civic organizations – to consider scheduling some time to ring the bells,” said Major Leonard Boynton, officer-in-charge of The Salvation Army in Batavia.

“A successful campaign is especially critical this year,” said Boynton. “With the economic downturn, this winter is going to be very difficult for many struggling families. We are already experiencing increases in requests for assistance and we anticipate that the demand will continue."

“The appeal of the kettle campaign is that it is very personal. When we see someone at a kettle, we know this is our neighbor, someone who is willing to sacrifice a few hours for those less fortunate or those having a temporary crisis.”

Money raised during The Red Kettle Campaign is used throughout the year to provide services to families, individuals, children and senior citizens. Programs include: emergency family assistance, older adult luncheons & activities, and after school youth programs.

Any person or organization wishing to help may call the local Salvation Army at 343-6284 or The Red Kettle Center, anytime at 1-877-764-7259. Information and volunteer forms are also available on-line at www.redkettles.org.

The Red Kettle Campaign began in 1891 when a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area's poor. Kettles now are used around the world, including Korea, Japan, Chile and Europe. Everywhere, public contributions to the kettles enable The Salvation Army to bring the spirit of Christmas to people who would otherwise be forgotten - the aged and lonely, the ill, poor and disadvantaged, and inmates of jails and other institutions.

October 27, 2008 - 8:06am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, wbta, Le Roy.

Flu shots will be offered at the Presbyterian Church at Main and Clay streets in Le Roy from 10:00am to noon today, courtesy of the Genesee County Health Department.

In other news, leaf collection begins in Batavia today on River Street in the southside and Redfield Parkway in the north. Leaf piles need to be free of sticks and any other "foreign materials" and placed near the curb line in the street. Residents of Oak, Main and Ellicott streets should place their leaves in the space between the sidewalk and the street.

Batavia's City Council meets this evening at 7:00pm at City Hall.

October 25, 2008 - 5:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Holland Land Office Museum, Dean Richmond.

Richmond Tomb

Checking in at number 10 on the Holland Land Office Museum's ongoing list of 25 Things that Made Genesee County Famous is Dean Richmond.

The name Richmond still plays a prominent role in Batavia. There is the library, of course, but there is also the impressive looking family tomb in the Batavia Cemetary on Harvester Avenue.

Too bad his grand old mansion was torn down by the school board (the school board!?) after the board purchased the building in 1966 and the failed in an attempt to annex the Richmond Library. Where the Greek Revival structure once stood (311 East Main St.) is ... a parking lot. (I think they call that progress.)

But back to dear old Dean.

Mr. Richmond, according to HOLM, was born in 1804 in Barnard, Vermont. He was the son of an entrepreneur, but was forced to make his own way in life at age 14, when his father died.  He turned his father's money-losing business into a profitable one, and eventually used his growing wealth to invest in the emerging railroad business.

Dean Richmond is best known in railroad circles as the first person in America to advocate the use of steel rails for the construction of railroads. An order was placed in England for the steel rails for a test run, but the tests were completed after Richmond died. The tests were successful and the steel industry grew out of the demand for the product by the railroad.

While Richmond was president of the New York Central, he demanded that all trains stop in Batavia. In 1866, the year of Richmond’s death, more than 3.7 million travelers rode on the train line. Not all of those people stopped in Batavia, but a fair share did, and because of Richmond, Batavia became a terminal and a gateway to the west.

Among the passengers who road through Batavia, according to Patrick Weissend, was Abraham Lincoln -- both on his way to assume the presidency in Washington, D.C., and his casket was carried through Genesee County when his body was returned to Springfield, Ill. In both cases, the name of the engine that transported Mr. Lincoln was the Dean Richmond.

The Buffalo History Works site quotes this passage about the train's pass through Batavia from the Buffalo Morning Express:

The funeral train was met at Batavia yesterday morning by the Committee from this city which included Honorable Millard Fillmore. The Committee left here at 6:00 o'clock Wednesday evening by a special car provided for their accommodation, passing the night at Batavia. At 5:00 o'clock yesterday morning, the funeral train arrived at that point, where it was received, as at every halting point along the line of its long, sad journey, by an immense concourse of people. The assemblage had begun with the very dawn, when the firing of the minute guns awoke the village from its slumbers and hastened the steps of pilgrims from the surrounding country flocking in. Before the train appeared, it had grown to the proportions of a city throng.

The multitude stood with their heads bowed, silent, sorrowful and reverent, paying that sincere homage to the dead which had everywhere been so memorable and remarkable. The pause of the train was but for ten minutes, during which the committee from Buffalo took their places in the car reserved for them. From thence to this city no halt on the journey was made but at every station and almost continuously the train passed between long lines of people, who had come to catch but a floating glimpse of what bore the remains of their beloved President; and everywhere they bowed, with uncovered heads, in afflicting bestowment of their little passing tribute of solemn reverence.

Here's something additional I just found: The wreckage of the Dean Richmond, a freighter on the Lake Erie that went down in a storm in 1893. Here's a 1872 article from the New York Times about a fire aboard the very same steamer. Actually, maybe those are not the same boats. This article says there were for Great Lakes steamers named the Dean Richmond -- all met similar fates.  The link contains a picture of the fourth one.

October 25, 2008 - 5:44pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is going to get another crack at Dundee, this time in the Section 5 Class D finals, after thumping Perry 56-0 Saturday at Don Quinn Field in East Rochester.

Dundee beat the Fighting Irish 18-13 last year and the two squads will be facing each other next Saturday at PAETEC Park. 

This Saturday's game was never a contest as the Yellowjackets couldn't move the ball or stop Notre Dame from getting into the end zone.

A Craig Houseknecht sack on the first offensive possession for Perry wound up forcing a three-and-out. Kevin Francis returned the punt 36 yards to the Perry 21 and just a couple of plays later, Mike Pratt ran it in from 15 yards out for the first score of the game.

Pratt then recovered a Perry fumble and a facemask penalty moved the ball deep into Yellowjacket territory. Nick Bochicchio tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Francis to finish off that drive.

Francis intercepted Perry quarterback James Devitt and the Fighting Irish were back at it again after the 25-yard return. Pratt scored from 14 yards out this time.

After the teams exchanged turnovers, Pratt broke a 40-yard run for a score to make it 28-0 near the end of the first quarter. He also had an interception in the final seconds of the first period.

Kevin Schildwaster had a 6-yard TD, Bochicchio tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Rick Lair and R.J. Marchese dove in from 1-yard out and the score was 49-0 at halftime.

Notre Dame called off the dogs in the second half and everybody got into the game. The only score after the break was a Schildwaster 12-yard run.

The Fighting Irish out-rushed the Yellowjackets 259-31 and were led by Pratt, who gained 109 yards with the three scores on just nine carries.

Schildwaster ran the ball 11 times for 58 yards and two TDs and Marchese had three touches for 25 yards and a score.

Perry ends up 4-4 while the Fighting Irish improve to 6-2 and advance to the finals.

October 24, 2008 - 10:45pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports.

 The Batavia football team thought it found something about Geneva that would give them an advantage last week, but apparently the Panthers were the ones that got the information in the regular season finale.

Top seeded Geneva put an end to No. 8 Batavia's season in convincing fashion, winning the Class B opener 41-6.

Last week, the Panthers had success throwing the ball and this week they did it with the run game.

Shamar Bridges rushed for 118 yards with three touchdowns and quarterback Bobby Martin added 102 yards and a score on 12 attempts. He also completed 8-of-14 pass attempts for 85 yards and a TD.

Rob Williams had the only Batavia touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Blue Devils fall to 3-5 and are eliminated from the playoffs.

October 24, 2008 - 10:25am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Announcements, city council, committees.

City residents have been notified. Batavia is taking applications for positions on several of its boards and committees. We received a press release yesterday detailing the openings and the requirements for each volunteer position.

  • Cable TV Advisory Board: There is one opening.
  • Historic Preservation Commission: There is one opening. Any architects, historians, residents of a historic district or residents that have demonstrated a significant interest in the commitment to the field of historic preservation are encouraged to apply.
  • Planning & Development Committee: There are three openings and one opening for an alternate member. Residents from Wards 2, 4, and 6 are needed.
  • Zoning Board of Appeals: There are two openings. At least one resident from Ward 2 and 5 are needed. 

If you're interested or you want more information, contact City Clerk Heidi J. Parker at (585) 343-9221. You can also download an application from the city's Web site. Applications must be submitted to the clerk no later than November 21.

October 24, 2008 - 8:42am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, wbta.

WBTA's Dan Fischer reports this morning that a worker at the Alliance Energy power plant in Batavia was injured last night when he became trapped under a garage door. The man has not been unidentified, but Fischer reports that he was working alone when he became trapped and used his cell phone to call for help. He was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital after being freed by Batavia fire crews. His injuries were thought to be serious, but he has since been examined and found to be "OK."

October 23, 2008 - 9:25pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, football, Le Roy, sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Notre Dame.

 All of the high school football previews are set in sports. Here's the list of playoff games with links.

Batavia at Geneva

Attica at ER/Gananda

South Seneca/Romulus at Le Roy

Dansville at Oakfield-Alabama

Bishop Kearney at Pembroke

Perry vs. Notre Dame, at East Rochester

Pool Play roundup


And just in case you missed it earlier in the week, here are the Genesee Region League all-stars.

October 23, 2008 - 9:06pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports, Notre Dame.

 Perry (4-3) vs. Notre Dame (5-2)

3 p.m. Saturday, at East Rochester

Surprise, surprise. 

While everybody was looking forward to seeing post season rivals Notre Dame and C.G. Finney playing each other in the semifinals, Perry knocked off Finney and gets a crack at the Fighting Irish.

The Yellowjackets knocked off Finney 32-22 in the first round and are now playing the Cinderella role in this playoff.

James Devitt rushed the ball 19 times in that game for 124 yards and Zane Hendrickson pitched in 70 yards as Perry seems to be playing its best football of the season. The Yellowjackets started off 0-2 and have won 4-of-5 games since.

Notre Dame is playing some real solid football right now and is coming off a 55-6 conquering of DeSales. The Fighting Irish rushed for 313 yards in the game and were led by Kevin Schildwaster's 12 carries for 131 yards.

Schildwaster keeps getting better every week it seems and now has 617 yards and eight touchdowns. He's assisted in the backfield by Mike Pratt, who has 506 yards on the ground.

Notre Dame has been involved in a pair of blowouts over the last two weekends and have gotten a lot of experience for other runners, like Greg Barr, Beau Richter, Gianni Zambito and Jon Corona.

But ND might go away from the run a little bit in this game because the East Rochester field has turf.

Nick Bochicchio has proven to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league and has the ultimate weapon on his side in receiver Kevin Francis. He's probably the fastest player in the Genesee Region League and if Bochicchio can get him the ball in space; he's gone.

Francis returned a punt for a touchdown last week and caught 27 passes for 337 yards and five TDs during the regular season. He added a touchdown reception in the playoff opener.

Notre Dame received an honorable mention in the state rankings this week and would advance to the finals next weekend against the winner of the Dundee/Geneseo game with a victory.

October 23, 2008 - 2:06pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports, geneva.

 Batavia (3-4) at Geneva (6-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Those Batavia football players that didn't believe they had a chance to beat Geneva before last week's regular season finale, now are believing the upset is possible.

It may sound funny, but that is because of the second half effort of a 40-12 loss. Now the eighth-seeded Batavia squad will try to upset the top-seed.

The Blue Devils found something in the Panther defense that coach Dan Geiger believes they can exploit. Geneva is a powerhouse and is ranked No. 3 in the state in Class B.

But it was clear after the homecoming loss last Friday, Batavia's players believe a victory is possible.

Oh yeah, a healthy Rob Williams will help.

Williams injured his hip in Week 6 and was initially not expected to play last week, but saw very limited action in the first Geneva game. And he didn't do much.

But he's close to 100-percent and will make a big difference rushing the football, returning kicks and covering the super-athletic Geneva receivers.

Williams will probably go over 1,000 yards rushing for the year in this game, which would be the second Batavia back to do so.

Anthony D'Aurizio had 24 carries for 183 yards last week and now has 1,009 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.

The key to this game will be to obviously run the football, which the Blue did with success in the second half last week.

Batavia will also have to slow down the passing attack of Geneva as the Panthers receivers were wide open last week.

DeAnze Williams, Junior Collins and Derrious Thomas were all separating from the coverage with ease last week and quarterback Bobby Martin had no problem finding them at-will.

The secondary has to stick with those guys.

A victory in this game would be HUGE for the Batavia program and could set up the Blue Devils for a shot to shock the world and win a sectional title.

October 22, 2008 - 7:31pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, Le Roy, sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Notre Dame.

I am getting a jump on my previews for tomorrow and just saw something that made me crack a little smile.

 The newest version of the New York State Sportswriters Association state rankings came out today and our area teams are doing very well.

Le Roy moved up from fourth to third in Class C after demolishing Hornell last week and Oakfield-Alabama made the jump from No. 10 to No. 8.

Pembroke had not been ranked all season long and was getting an honorable mention before losing to O-A in Week 6, but fell off the board after that. The Dragons are making their first appearance on the official top 20 list at No. 17 this week.

Notre Dame received its first honorable mention this week in Class D after thumping DeSales last week.

It is nice to see the state is giving props to teams from our area. Now hopefully our local teams can prove them right.

October 22, 2008 - 5:37pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, community, video, Neighborhoods.

Heroes come in all sizes—some under four feet tall. And whoever said a damsel in distress couldn't be a beagle in peril? This particular hero is named Alex Smith, and he's 7-years-old, and he saved the life of his dog, Sasha, and it happened like this...

Alex was hanging out on the driveway at his father's home in Batavia when Sasha burst out out of the shrubbery above him and nearly hung herself there on her leash. (You see, that part of the driveway is sunken down below the yard where Sasha was chained up). As soon as the dog started squealing, Alex wasted no time and ran underneath her, pushing the dog up as high as he could hold her—not bad considering the dog is almost as big as he is. He got her high enough for the leash to loosen so Sasha could breathe. Then Alex was the one who set to squealing, shouting for his grandfather to come out and help Sasha before Alex ran out of strength. His sister Ashley was the first to hear and came to the rescue of brother and dog. We'll let her tell the rest of the story...

October 22, 2008 - 7:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, wbta.

Among WBTA's top stories this morning:

The city begins its annual leaf pick up Monday, Oct. 27. The pick up will end Dec. 5. The city asks that piles be free of sticks and foreign objects, and that cars be parked in a manner not to block access to the pile.

The County Legislature meets tonight, and besides the proposed tax increase of 4.2 percent from County Manager Jay Gsell, also on the agenda: State Senator Mary Lou Rath will honor Ricky Palermo for working to raise awarness of spinal cord injuries.

Be sure to tune into WBTA throughout the day for news updates.

October 21, 2008 - 8:25pm
posted by DOUGLAS MCCLURG in batavia.

October 21, 2008 - 5:54pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, football, sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Notre Dame.


 No surprise here.

The Oakfield-Alabama football rolled to a perfect 7-0 season and captured the Genesee Region League title, and nine players from that squad were named to the GR all-star team Monday night.

Coach John Dowd was named Coach of the Year as well for delivering the first undefeated regular season for the Hornets since 1986.

O-A has rushed for a whopping 2,242 yards as a team during the regular season. Week 7 counts as non-league games because the Class D teams were already in the playoffs.

That being said, two of the three running backs on the squad and three offensive lineman lead the way.

6-foot-3, 275-pound Chris Williams was a unanimous choice at guard and 6-foot-1, 275-pound center Craig Campbell also was a key on the best offensive line in the league. Both were all-state selections two years ago, with Williams making all-stars for a third-straight year.

5-foot-8, 200-pound tackle Derek Hicks also made the all-star squad.

The O-A offensive line opened many holes for Tim Smith and Brad Riner, who both earned all-star recognition as seniors.

Smith led the Hornets in rushing with 771 yards and 11 touchdowns through six games, then rested in the final game of the season against Holley. He was the offensive Player of the Week for Class C in Week 4.

Riner, a fullback, picked up 639 yards and 10 scores this season, including a three TD game in the final game of the season.

Noah Seward had 29 tackles, an interception and four sacks and Tyler Kowalczyk had 2.5 sacks, an interception and 23 tackles. Both made the all-star team as defensive linemen.

It is Seward's second all-star nod.

Linebacker John Koenig had 17 tackles and two fumble recoveries and is joined byA.J. Kehlenbeck - one of only two juniors - on the all-star squad. Kehlenbeck had three interceptions and 17 tackles.

The Hornets are ranked No. 10 in the state for Class C and open up the Section 5 playoffs with a home game against Dansville Friday night.





Pembroke ended the year one point away from the league title after its only loss came to Oakfield-Alabama, 25-24, in Week 6.

Quarterback David Kleckler had a stellar year and leads the group of seven Dragons to make the team.

Kleckler completed 30-of-56 attempts for 651 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. He also rushed for 301 yards and two touchdowns.

Andrew Wright made the team as a wide receiver, but could have been selected as a running back. He gained 774 yards on the ground and got into the end zone 10 times, while catching 13 passes for 340 yards and three TDs.

He also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a TD, a 58-yard punt return for a score and returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Tight end Ken Babcock caught 15 passes for 275 yards with five touchdowns and made the team because of his big-play ability in the red zone. He is a two-time all-star.

Graham Jensen is 5-foot-11, 210-pounds and made the team as a guard while 6-foot-2, 235-pound Matt Klotzbach is an all-star defensive lineman.

Jensen had 42 tackles on defense and Klotzbach had 45 stops with a sack.

Josh Hanel - a 5-foot-10, 200-pounder - was selected as a linebacker and safety Mike Dibble was selected as a defensive back.

Hanel had 45 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery and Dibble made 62 tackles. Dibble also rushed for 522 yards and eight touchdowns.

It is the second all-star appearance for both Babcock and Jensen.

Pembroke opens up the Class C playoffs with Bishop Kearney on Saturday.



Notre Dame gets four all-star selections after going 4-2 in the regular season. The Fighting Irish are 5-2 and playing Perry on Saturday at East Rochester in the Class D semifinals.

Kevin Francis made the squad for the second straight year as a wide receiver. He caught 27 passes for 337 yards with five touchdowns in six regular season games.

Francis returned five kickoffs for 145 yards and nine punts for 142 yards and a touchdown.

Craig Houseknecht is a 6-foot-2, 235-pound senior and made the team as a guard while Rick Lair makes it as a linebacker.

Lair had 41 tackles and 34 assists with two forced fumbles and eight tackles for a loss.

Matt Thompson is only a junior but garners all-star recognition for the second time as a kicker/punter.

Thompson converted on 26-of-30 extra point attempts and had a season-long 35-yard field goal. He averaged 43.5 yards on kickoffs with 10 touchbacks while averaging 40.4 yards per punt, including four inside the 20.




Attica went 4-3 during the regular season and gets three all-stars.

Andy Ruddock earned offensive Player of the Week for Class B in Week 3 and is an all-star for the second time. He rushed for 936 yards with 10 touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 127 yards and a score.

Shawn Dupuis had 29 tackles with a fumble recovery and makes the team as a defensive back. He was the leading receiver for the Blue Devils, catching 26 passes for 530 yards and six touchdowns.

Kevin Gallinger was the defensive Player of the Week in Week 6 and had a huge year at linebacker. Gallinger had 54 tackles and an interception.


Barker went 1-5 and nearly shocked top-seed Clyde-Savannah in the Class D playoffs last week.

Defensive lineman Ray Paul makes the all-star squad with 33 tackles and a sack.


Honorable mentions: 

Alexander - Joe Aurrichio, Lucas Czechowski, Steve George, Jordan Leitten, Ryan Piechocki, Ryan Wilson.

Attica - Luke Pariso, Brandon Rollins.

Barker - Cody Blackley, Greg Brown, Rob Johnson, Josh Sonberg.

Elba/Byron-Bergen - Brent Crawford, Zach Green, Brandon Shuknecht, Cody Torpey.

Holley - Cory Blood, Guy Hills.

Notre Dame - Greg Barr, Nick Bochicchio, Eric Houseknecht, Kevin Schildwaster, Cam McDonald.

Oakfield-Alabama - Josh Athoe, Jon Fisher.

Pembroke - MIke Wells.

October 21, 2008 - 2:21pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports, golf, Notre Dame.

 Notre Dame junior Stephanie Lapple had a great showing this Monday at Ridgemont Country Club at the Section 5 Fall Golf Championships.

The guys play golf in the spring, but the girls play in the fall and she was the only Genesee Region League participant in the event. 

Lapple shot a 44 on the front 9 and a 46 on the back for a 90, which was good for a sixth place tie.

Penfield senior Sarah Tranelli fired an impressive 73 to win the event, which featured the top 28 female golfers in  Section 5.

October 21, 2008 - 9:00am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, crime, police, sheriff.

Batavia city police say that no charges have yet been filed, but they are talking with potential suspects in what was reported as a burglary Monday afternoon. An initial call came in shortly before 11:00am yesterday morning for a "burglary in progress" at 120 State Street in the city. A young male had been seen leaving the residence and was later spotted walking down the street with a young female.

Det. Richard Schauf said later in the afternoon that police were still looking for the male suspect.

"The person has not yet been found who was described at the scene," he said. "We're talking with anyone who has information. It was reported as a burglary to a home on State Street, but we're still determining if it is or not."

Several downtown businesses, at least one church and a school were burglarized over the past few months, including Dan's Tire, Ponderosa and Palace of Sweets in the mall. No information has yet become available that would link those crimes. Investigation continues.

Jeffrey T. Peyman, 19, of 5204 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, was charged with petit larceny and unlawful possession of a hypodermic needle Friday afternoon, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Peyman was picked up by deputies on an allegation of stealing from the K Mart store in Batavia.

Ritchie L. Kirkum Sr., 47, of Oakfield, was charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment, fourth-degree criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child last night, deputies said. Kirkum allegedly prevented an ex-girlfriend from leaving his residence and pushed her several times while she was holding a child. When she attempted to call 911, he then allegedly took her cell phone and threw it into the yard. Kirkum was also charged with second-degree harassment and sent to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail. A stay away Order of Protection was issued.

October 20, 2008 - 7:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics.

The Democrat & Chronicle writes about The Clarks, of Batavia -- a home divided by the presidential race.

That's where they hatched the plan to bisect the exterior of their home with yellow caution tape from the tippy-top of the third story, through the flower bed across the lawn and to the sidewalk. On the right side of the tape is a blue-and-white sign showing support for Clark's preferred Presidential candidate: Republican John McCain. On the left side, Lexi and Katherine's pick: Democrat Barack Obama.

"Lexi is very interested in politics this year and as a parent when you see your child express an interest in something you try to expose them to more and more of it," said Clark, a driver for Golden State Foods in Rochester. He wants to encourage Lexi's interest in politics, just as he does Woody's interest in aerospace and Katherine's interest in art.

Who can argue with a parent encouraging his children to stretch their own wings? It's great that he respects his children's' choices on these issues.

But, what caught my eye was that his reasons for supporting McCain are rather spurious.

"My biggest worry as a parent is taxes," said Clark, who shares custody of his three children with ex-wife Patti Burey of Batavia. "And as a parent raising three children, I want to make sure the future is bright for them and make sure they are well off."

McCain's temperament, experience and demeanor make him the best pick for the White House, he said.

McCain "will bring great leadership to Washington," Clark said. And, he said, McCain's conservative credentials mean he's the one who will slash spending, cut taxes and put America back on solid footing again.

Taxes? As the debate over "Not-Joe Not-The Plumber" the past few days has made clear, Obama's tax plan clearly favors people like Mr. Clark far more than McCain's.

McCain's temperament? The man known for his fits of pique and floor stomping displays of rage?  Did you watch the third debate, Mr. Clark?

Conservative? McCain thinks the government should solve problems, not get out the way.  There's very little about McCain's world view -- such as it is -- that is conservative.  He's just another Big Government Republican, more interested in Empire and Plutocracy than caring about your kids.

Not that Obama is any better -- he's not. But those are thee pretty bad reasons to support John McCain. 

And neither man will be able to do much of what they say they'll do, not with $10 trillion in debt, Iraq sucking another $10 billion out of the Treasury each month, Bin Laden still uncaught, a financial system in apparent chaos, energy concerns and rising unemployment.  The pie-in-the-sky promises of either McCain or Obama will be forgotten by Jan. 21.

But let's end on a positive note:

Once the election is over, however, the family plans to heal their partisan divide.

"All of our arguments are all in good fun and whoever wins the election will have the full support of everyone in this house," said Mark Clark. "We're planning on putting out new signs then."

October 20, 2008 - 4:38pm

I had to go to Tractor Supply Co. in Batavia, NY on Friday 10/17/08 to return a ball mount that didn't have a deep enough drop for my camper. 

When I pulled in, I looked to my left and there was a wagon and four absolutely beautiful large work horses with wonderful halters on.  Now, I am absolutely curious, but I have to make sure that I don't get sidetracked and that I make sure that I keep my focus. 

I went in and made the return, trying to rush to get back outside to investigate.  After what seems to be hours, I finally get back outside and I start walking towards these beautiful creatures that are contently huddling around an odd looking wagon. 

As I begin to look at one of the horses, I hear some rustling to my left.  A middle-aged man comes walking around and we make the make our introductions.  With making conversation, I was able to to collect some interesting information: the man's name is Bob; his horses are of Percheron breed; their names are Doc, Dolly, Joyce and Dee Dee; he travels with his horses and wagon; and he is currently packing up to head back west. 

After chatting with Bob, I noticed some spectators starting to show interest, so I figured I would take one more look at the horses and then go on my way.  As I am walking back to my vehicle, I figure that I should take some quick pictures of this unique situation.  Though I am not a professional photographer by any means, I grabbed my camera from my vehicle and took as many pictures as I could before they could leave.  I figured this would be a perfect addition for my calendar that I plan to make of various nature pictures I have taken over the years.  So, photo after photo, I am scurrying to always get that last picture before they can leave. 

As they begin to exit the parking lot and make their way left, across Rte. 5,  I rush to my vehicle and slowly drive ahead of them.  I pull over into the parking lot of a small welding business that is about 300 feet in front where they are currently traveling.  I jump out of my vehicle with my camera and started taking pictures of them coming at me on the main roadway.  It is neat to watch these four horses loyally and proudly pulling their friend and his wagon. 

As they begin to pass by me, I wave to Bob and tell him thank you.  Thank you for being you, thank you for caring and keeping these beautiful animals, thank you for being so courageous and unique to travel all over the American north east with them, and a much bigger thank you for providing and showing this neat phenomena to the world.  In response to my thanks, he gave a very kind gentleman's nod and replied, "Your welcome." 

I snapped a few more photos as they continued down the road and muttered to myself, with the utmost amount of satisfaction, "Right place.  Right time."

 (For more info, visit their website: www.wagonteamster.com)


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