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May 26, 2022 - 6:51pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, concert, music, Batavia HS, notify, arts, entertainment.


What may otherwise seem to be a post-school musical concert, Willow Tree End-of-Year Celebration will have much more meaning for at least some of its participants and attendees, Kylie Tatarka says.

The Batavia High School senior will not only be performing in the event but also absorbing its implications.

“Definitely for me, I can definitely see this being a hard time for me, seeing an end and saying goodbye to a lot of people that I've spent years forging relationships with,” the 18-year-old said during an interview with The Batavian. “But I also think it's going to be something really sweet, and a really nice memory to hold on to that I otherwise wouldn't have.”

The Willow Tree celebration, performed by the school district’s Tri-M Music Honor Society, will feature vocal and instrumental numbers from 4 to 6 p.m. June 3 under the large willow tree in front of BHS, 260 State St., Batavia.

Tatarka has been a member of Tri-M, a nationally founded organization that means Modern Music Masters, for three years. Now as a senior, she is looking forward to continuing music with a performing arts scholarship while also hanging onto those memories from school, she said.

“I just really enjoyed music and I wanted to join something that would bring other people who really enjoy music as well,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of something that would show spirit and our love for music that other regular students who aren't a part of this would show.”

The concert is a culmination of that passion to enjoy and share a variety of musical styles — classical, musical theater, and then-contemporary of the 1960s. A soloist will perform Frank Sinatra’s My Way and ensembles will provide other tunes, aptly including “On the Willows” from Godspell.

TRi-M was founded locally in 1986. Group advisor Melzie Case, a music teacher at the middle school, and District Superintendent Jason Smith were members of the group, with Smith being one of those first-time inductees.

“If memory recalls accurately, I was a member of the inaugural Tri-M Society in the late 1980s,” he said. “I was honored to have been inducted and it was and is a wonderful way to recognize our talented music students at Batavia.”

For Case, it wasn’t just about the music, but about the other elements of becoming an adult.

“For me, it was very helpful in learning a lot of leadership skills and how to run a meeting, because I'm a part of a lot of groups and committees. I'm also on the board for the Genesee Symphony Orchestra,” Case said. “And so just getting those skills of writing an agenda and holding a meeting and voting was very helpful to me now as an adult, professionally.”

The idea for this novel year-end concert came about when a fellow senior suggested it to Tatarka. He wanted something that would “celebrate our end to Tri-M and becoming seniors and graduating this year, since there’s only two of us,” she said.

“We kind of just wanted something that we can show our talents, and also just have a celebration for everyone in the school along with Tri-M,” she said.

“Music has been in my family for years and it's something that has brought my siblings and I together a lot,” she said. “And it's also given me a second family that I can lean on when I can't lean on my actual family.”

The 24-member group will be performing throughout the two-hour period, and there will be an ice cream chill truck and a food truck from Center Street Smokehouse selling items from savory meals to sweet creamy desserts. Although the celebration is free, attendees may want to bring some money to enjoy a meal while listening to live entertainment, Case said. Everyone is encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

Tri-M was nationally founded in 1936 by Alexander Harley and his wife Frances. He was a band director and music department chairman in Illinois, and the group had a focus on music aptitude, academics and leadership skills. There are 2,100 chapters in all 50 states that involve more than 84,000 students.

Another key component is offering community service, which has been a tradition for the BHS chapter, Case said. The group has sprinkled doses of music at nonprofit agencies, businesses and special events, such as Christmas caroling throughout downtown.

Photo: The BHS Tri-M Music Honor Society provides some holiday vocals at the Coffee Hub. Photo submitted by Melzie Case.

May 26, 2022 - 6:30pm

Live music in May includes:

  • May 27th - PVNB
  • May 28th - Josh Hawkins

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May 26, 2022 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Jail, news, Sheriff's Office, notify.


It's been a long time coming and absolutely necessary, today's speakers said at a groundbreaking for the new $70 million, 184-bed Genesee County Jail off West Main Street Road, next to County Building #2.

"Believe it or not, discussions on the replacement of the current jail, the Genesee County Jail, date back over 50 years," Sheriff William Sheron said during the ceremony Thursday. "When I began my career with the Sheriff's Office in 1977, they had plans on the table to build the new jail. There are many reasons that didn't come to fruition, but with persistence by former Sheriff (Gary) Maha and myself, we finally got to today."

The current jail was built in 1902 with additions in 1985.  And while it has met its purpose for more than 120 years, the current jail is no longer adequate to meet the county's needs nor meet the health and safety standards required by the State of New York.

"The lack of housing space, overcrowding, inmate classification limitations, the inability to house females, and the inability to meet the needs of the inmates, incarcerated individuals, are just some of the daily obstacles that our correction officers and leadership face. We must remember that the county jail is a vital component in providing for the safety and security of the residents of Genesee County," Sheron said.

"We are building a modern secure facility," the sheriff said. "It will allow for the ability to expand essential programs that will assist in preparing incarcerated individuals for their re-entry into society. This facility will also allow us to improve mental health, substance abuse programs, and medical services. It will also increase our holding cell capacity to assist other police agencies here in Genesee County. Equally important is that the facility will drastically improve the working conditions for the correction officers and the jail employees that operate this facility 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

Shelley Stein, chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature, credited the persistence and work of a number of people in getting the new jail to the groundbreaking stage, including Maha and Sheron, along with former County Manager Jay Gsell, the volunteer transition team, along with all the other county staff involved.

"This site will address the long-planned improvements in the county's responsibility to care for its inmates, provide for good working conditions for our corrections officers and to house our female incarcerated individuals in their home counties," Stein said.

County Manager Matt Landers, whose work on the jail includes the years he was assistant to Gsell, said the Legislature has pursued a methodical and conscientious path to plan and design a responsible and efficient jail that will meet the needs of the community for the next 100 years.

In the wake of bail reform and the pause in construction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the county took the time to complete a second study on the capacity of a new jail and what was needed in a new facility, Landers said.

"The results were the same as the first, which gave us in the county renewed confidence that we were building the right-sized jail for this community," Landers said. "The fact is one of the responsibilities of county government is to maintain a safe and functional jail. In constructing this new facility, Genesee County is fulfilling its obligations."

Photos by Howard Owens


Sheriff William Sheron


Legislator Shelley Stein

May 26, 2022 - 3:57pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, news, law day.

Press release:

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia is pleased to once again to honor several members of our local law enforcement community.  The Club has a long history of recognizing outstanding contributions by members of the police and criminal justice system in keeping our community safe.  

This year the Kiwanis Club of Batavia will recognize members of the Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, Genesee Justice, and the Oakfield Town Court during a noontime luncheon held Wednesday, June 1 at Go Art.

May 26, 2022 - 3:46pm
posted by Press Release in patriot trip, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.


Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is announcing the resumption of his Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., taking place from Sept. 15 to 18, where veterans and their family members are hosted on a tour throughout the area to visit many historical sites and landmarks erected to pay tribute to their service to America. This year’s trip will feature stops at war memorials and other notable locations throughout the DC area, including the Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials. The trip also stops in Gettysburg.

Participation in the trip is open to all military veterans and their family members and will cost between $400-500 per person. Those interested in participating in this year’s trip are encouraged to reach out to Assemblyman Hawley’s district office at 585-589-5780 for more details.

“Every year, taking veterans to the memorials built to honor their service is one of the most fulfilling experiences I partake in, and I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to do it again this year,” said Hawley. “Our veterans are the reason we are able to peacefully enjoy all this country has to offer, so it’s been my honor to take them to see some of the most awe-inspiring, historical places in our nation over the years.”

Submitted photo: Hawley stands alongside veterans at the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. during the 12th Patriot Trip in 2019.

May 26, 2022 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Ambulance, news.


Bruce Scofield, owner of Scofield Rolloff, presented a check for $3,825 to the Le Roy Ambulance Service to assist the agency with its effort to raise money to purchase a new ambulance.

The funds were proceeds from a scrap metal drive two weeks ago. 

Accepting the check were Chief Christopher Scopano and LAS Vice President Christopher Stella.

Le Roy Ambulance has raised $18,000 so far.

May 26, 2022 - 3:36pm
posted by Press Release in Announcements.

Press release:

Students have been named Presidential Scholars for the Spring 2022 semester at Clarkson University.

Colby Martin Leggo of Bergen, NY, a junior majoring in electrical engineering, was named a Presidential Scholar for the Spring 2022 semester at Clarkson University.

Jacob Perez Gangi of Elba, NY, a senior majoring in civil engineering, was named a Presidential Scholar for the Spring 2022 semester at Clarkson University.

Presidential Scholars must achieve a minimum 3.80 grade-point average and carry at least 14 credit hours.

As a private, national research university, Clarkson is a leader in technological education and sustainable economic development through teaching, scholarship, research and innovation. We ignite personal connections across academic fields and industries to create the entrepreneurial mindset, knowledge and intellectual curiosity needed to innovate world-relevant solutions and cultivate the leaders of tomorrow. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the New York Capital Region, Beacon, N.Y., and New York City, Clarkson educates 4,300 students across 95 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, the arts, education, sciences and health professions. Our alumni earn salaries that are among the top 2.5% in the nation and realize accelerated career growth. One in five already leads as a CEO, senior executive or owner of a company.

May 26, 2022 - 3:35pm
posted by Press Release in Darien, Announcements.

Press release:

Maria Fontaine of Darien Center, NY was named to the Cazenovia College Dean's List for the Spring 2022 semester. Those named to the Dean's List have achieved a 3.5 or better grade point average.

Cazenovia College is an independent, co-educational college near Syracuse, N.Y., offering graduate and bachelor degree programs in the liberal arts and professional studies in an exceptional community environment, with academic and co-curricular programs devoted to developing leaders in their fields. Cazenovia has been named a "Best College" by U.S. News & World Report for seventeen consecutive years and has also been recognized by Money and Washington Monthly as a best value institution. For more information, visit www.cazenovia.edu.

May 26, 2022 - 3:34pm
posted by Press Release in Announcements.

Press release:

The following local students have been named to the Dean's List for the Spring 2022 semester at Clarkson University:

Lucy R Coniber of Corfu, NY, a freshman majoring in biology

Evan Hunter Dusky of Basom, NY, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering

Paige Elizabeth Haile of Batavia, NY, a junior majoring in biology

Dean's List students must achieve a minimum 3.25 grade-point average and also carry at least 14 credit hours.

As a private, national research university, Clarkson is a leader in technological education and sustainable economic development through teaching, scholarship, research and innovation. We ignite personal connections across academic fields and industries to create the entrepreneurial mindset, knowledge and intellectual curiosity needed to innovate world-relevant solutions and cultivate the leaders of tomorrow. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the New York Capital Region, Beacon, N.Y., and New York City, Clarkson educates 4,300 students across 95 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, the arts, education, sciences and health professions. Our alumni earn salaries that are among the top 2.5% in the nation and realize accelerated career growth. One in five already leads as a CEO, senior executive or owner of a company.

May 26, 2022 - 3:31pm
posted by Press Release in STOP-DWI, news, crime.

Press release:

The Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator announced today that Genesee County law enforcement agencies, including the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will be participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.

The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign will start Thursday, May 27, 2022 and will continue thru Tuesday, May 31, 2022.  Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel holidays and marks the official start of summer.  New York State Police, County Sheriffs, municipal law enforcement agencies, and local STOP-DWI programs will be collaborating in force across the state in an effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related injuries and deaths.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have made great strides in reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers.

You can make a difference by having a sober plan to get a safe ride because impaired driving is completely preventable – all it takes is a little planning.  Visit www.stopdwi.org for more information. 

May 26, 2022 - 3:30pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, batavia, news.


Press release:

On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. in the Richard C. Call Arena, the Genesee Community College's Fifth Annual Employees Serving Beyond Expectations ceremony formally honored the many outstanding achievements of GCC's faculty and staff. Among the highest honors were recognizing the recipients of the prestigious 2022 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence, which includes the following:

Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

~ Rachel A. Czechonski, Adjunct Instructor

Award for Excellence in Classified Service

~ Florence A. Radley, Financial Aid Clerk Typist

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

~ Karen K. Wicka, Esq., Criminal Justice Professor

Award for Excellence in Professional Service

~ Thomas W. Kinsey, Institutional Research and Planning Reporting Analyst

Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

~ Lina M. LaMattina, Ed. D., Director of Business Programs, Assistant Professor

"The past few years at Genesee Community College have been unlike any other years we have been through.," GCC's President James M. Sunser said. "Like our students, GCC faculty and staff have continually adapted to provide the best possible campus environment. For that reason, it is important for all of us to recognize our achievements in serving beyond expectations."

In addition to the SUNY Chancellors Awards, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony also recognized 31 employees with extensive years of service with benchmarks of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service to the College. The College also recognized individuals in seven unique categories of service known as the "Cougar Awards," which were awarded in the following areas:

Innovation Award - recognizes one who's implemented idea made a positive impact on GCC

~ Karlyn M. Backus, Registrar

Cougar Salute - honors a supervisor or manager consistently demonstrating GCC's core values

~ Shelitha W. Williams, Vice President for Student & Enrollment Services

Inclusive Excellence Award - commends a significant role in embracing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of the campus community

~ Madeline E. Reichler, Community, Equity & Diversity Specialist

Rookie of the Year Award - acknowledges the outstanding achievements of a new staff member

~ Allison McAdoo, Student Financial Services Advisor

Spirit and Community Award - celebrates exemplary school spirit

~ Deborah A. Erion, Student Success Coach

President's Award - distinguishes the efforts and services of an individual in support of the college's mission and strategic priorities

~ Macy A. Reyngoudt, Counselor

Teamwork Award - praises superior performance by a department or cross-functional team

~ Campus Safety - Erik L. Anderson, Alex C. Brownlie, David P. Childs, Gregg A. Evans, Edgardo Guzman, Randal J. Henning, Brenda D. Hoffman-Case, David J. Lester, Joseph D. Meacham, Elizabeth A. Mills, Allison R. Parente, Daniel J. Wendling, Hunter S. Webster, and Stephen P. Wise

The Cougar Award nominees were kept secret until the awards ceremony and recipients were named live during the event.

Seven retirees, who retired after September 1, 2021, were acknowledged by the President. They include: Ricky Bezon, Michele Bokman, Donna Ehrhart, Daniel Hoffman, Raymond Strzelecki, Gail Schnabl and Eileen Wekenmann.

Lastly, but no less important, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony recognizes the numerous accomplishments and contributions made by GCC's faculty and staff throughout the past academic year. The number and breadth of these achievements exemplify the quality and compassion that seems near-endemic across all departments and divisions at GCC. Thirty-nine members of GCC's staff, and many of them with multiple honors and recognitions, are listed under the general Awards category. From Athletic Director of the Year to professional association officers, to serving as a presenter or a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, from furthering their own education to membership on local community committees and boards, and even a costume designer-GCC employees are an active collection of top-notch professionals motivated by passion, patriotism and the idea of making the community a better place to live and work.

Photo: The 2022 SUNY Chancellor Award winners are Rachel A. Czechonski, Karen K. Wicka, Esq., Florence A. Radley, and Thomas W. Kinsey. Absent: Lina M. LaMattina, Ed. D. Photo, courtesy of GCC

May 26, 2022 - 1:53pm
posted by Press Release in Elections, news.

Press release:

June 28 Primary Election Information and Deadlines;

On June 28, there will be a primary election for Governor in both the Republican and Democratic parties. There will also be a primary election contest for Lt. Governor just on the Democratic line. Only Republicans and Democrats are eligible to participate, as NY State is a closed primary state.

Early Voting There will be nine days of early voting beginning June 18 – June 26 at the ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Rd., Batavia, NY 14020. Schedule as follows:

Saturday, June 18            9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Sunday, June 19               9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Monday, June 20              9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Tuesday, June 21            12:00 PM—8:00 PM
Wednesday, June 22      12:00 PM—8:00 PM
Thursday, June 23            9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Friday, June 24                 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Saturday, June 25             9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Sunday, June 26               9:00 AM—5:00 PM

All polling sites will be open on June 28th from 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM. Check your poll-site at

or call Genesee County Board of Elections at (585) 815-7804

Absentee Ballot Information Call the Board of Elections to request an absentee ballot or use the NY State Portal; https://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/. The last day for the Board of Elections to receive an absentee ballot application is June 13. The last day to apply in person is June 27, and the ballot must be received at the poll site or Board of Elections no later than 9:00 p.m. on June 28. The last day to postmark the ballot is June 28, and the Board of Election must receive it by July 5.

Registration Deadlines June 3rd is the last day to register to be eligible to vote in the June 28 primary election. Registration forms can be found here; https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/elections/index.php.

If you have any questions, requests for registration forms, or absentee applications, please call Genesee County Board of Elections at (585) 815-7804 or visit our website -  https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/elections/index.php.

Election Workers, Please call the Board of Elections if you are interested in serving as an election worker. Paid training and competitive compensation are included in these crucial positions.

May 26, 2022 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke, batavia, thruway.

A car is off the roadway and into the trees on the Thruway near mile marker 395.5 in the eastbound direction of travel.

An occupant has a complaint of head pain. Extrication is needed.

Mercy Flight is on ground standby.

East Pembroke Fire along Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: A second accident is reported at mile marker 396.4 eastbound, involving two vehicles with a rollover.  East Pembroke and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 1:32 p.m.: Pembroke and Indian Falls dispatched to the second accident.  East Pembroke's chief at the first scene reports, "we're going to be at this one for some time with extrication."

UPDATE 2:01 p.m.: Pembroke and Indian Falls clearing the scene, holding all equipment in quarters.

May 26, 2022 - 12:56pm
posted by Press Release in bdc, batavia, Tammy Hathaway, news.

Press release:

The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) Board voted to hire Tammy Hathaway as the organization’s new director today at their May meeting.

Tammy has been well-known in the Batavia community as the Executive Director of the United Way of Genesee County. Her experiences in partnering with the City of Batavia including serving on the City’s Planning and Development Committee, currently is a member of the Batavia Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, previously was a member of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee and working with city management on the 485-r legislation exemption.

With a career history proficient in lending and grant administration, Tammy comes to the BDC with various skills to successfully collaborate with businesses to further the organization’s mission within the City of Batavia. She has a secure foothold in our community and has established strong core relationships throughout the City of Batavia and Genesee County.

“Tammy brings a wealth of knowledge and a passion for our community that will help advance the BDC’s mission to improve the quality of life in the City of Batavia through a number of economic development collaborations, programs, and initiatives,” said Lori Aratari, President of the BDC.  “We are very excited to welcome her and look forward to her leadership.”

“On behalf of the city we are excited to work with Tammy in this new position and have confidence that as a city resident, she understands the needs of both the business community and residents alike,” said Rachael J. Tabelski, City of Batavia City Manager.  “Tammy will be coming to the organization with a list of projects to finalize from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and a 2020 Main Street Grant awarded to the City. She will also be responsible for promoting development at the City’s Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) sites and assisting businesses with loans and grants.”

May 26, 2022 - 12:00pm

Join Our Team!

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is hiring a Marketing Assistant for the Tourism Department. 

Details here: https://visitgeneseeny.com/about/join-our-team

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to Sara Stockwell at [email protected] or mail to Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, 8276 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

May 26, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in COVID-19, news.

After an eight-week run of higher numbers of known COVID-19 case counts in Genesee County, the number of new positive tests reported dropped significantly over the past week.

There were 170 new positive tests reported for the seven days ending Tuesday. 

The previous week, there were 261 new positive tests reported.

May 26, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, news.

Genesee County's unemployment rate of 2.8 percent in April is the lowest early spring rate on record and just a tick higher than the previous low of any time of year -- higher than reported in December when it was 2.7 percent.

A year ago in April, the rate was 4.6 percent. 

The pre-pandemic low for April was 3.1 percent in 2019.

The NYS Labor Department reports 29,500 Genesee County residents are in the labor force, up from 28,900 a year ago and two hundred workers more than a month earlier.

According to the reported data, there are 800 county residents looking for work.  A year ago, there were 1,300 residents listed as unemployed.

The labor department also reports 22,300 non-farm jobs in Genesee County, up from 21,500 in April a year ago.

There are 17,100 private sector jobs compared to 16,400 a year ago.  There are now 5,100 government jobs in the county, which is 100 more than a year ago.


May 26, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Press Release in batavia, news. Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation.

Press release:

The Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation Scholarship Awards Dinner will return on Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. after a two-year hiatus.

The Foundation is excited to be able to celebrate their heritage together again. It promises to be a wonderful evening of friendship, pride, and, of course, delicious Italian food.

The dinner will be hosted at Terry Hills Restaurant.

Tickets are $35.00 and may be purchased from board members and Ben’s Appliance, East Main St. Batavia. 

The Foundation will also have tickets available to purchase for our Fall 20/20 Raffle, supporting our Senior Scholarships.  Students who received Scholarships in 2020 and 2021 are invited to attend and will receive a complimentary dinner ticket and recognition.  Please contact Michele Fuller at (585) 750-6350.

The Foundation is pleased to honor our 2022 Outstanding Italian-American  Ray San Fratello at this year's awards.

Outstanding Italian-American 2022 - Ray  San Fratello
After graduation from Notre Dame High School, Ray earned a degree from Erie County Technical Institute and Buffalo State University with majors in Metallurgy, Chemistry and Psychology.

Ray was also a graduate of the University of Delaware, where he studied US Chamber Institutes for Organizational Management. He also completed the Dale Carnegie course.

Ray worked as the City of Batavia's Assistant Recreation Director and was the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce president. He also worked at the South Lake Chamber of Commerce in Clermont, Fla.

Ray was a member of St. Anthony’s Church, attended St. Anthony’s School
and attributes his strong faith in God for his accomplishments and desire to
volunteer and make a difference.

Ray performed community service in both New York and Florida.

In New York, Ray is a Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation member and was a former member of the St. Nicholas Social Club.

Ray’s community service in New York was extensive. It included: Batavia Area Jaycees, Notre Dame High School Foundation Board, Leadership Genesee Steering Committee, “Genesee 2000” Strategic Plan Task Force, Batavia Development Corp. Board of Directors, Director of City of Batavia Men’s Softball League, Girls Youth Fast Pitch Softball Coach, Boys Youth Hockey coach, Business Education Alliance Board of Directors, GLOW Counties-School to Work Program Board of Directors and Chamber Alliance of NYS Board of Directors.

In Florida, Ray’s community service continued with Blessed Sacrament Church, Habitat for Humanity, Little League, and United Chambers of Commerce.

Ray feels strongly it was growing up in Batavia in a neighborhood composed of large Italian and Polish close-knit families like his. The Italian and Polish cultures “that rooted us together, taught me the importance of family -- immediate as well as extended -- how to be resilient, believe in team spirit, and to realize and appreciate how much was given to us and how we need to pay that forward to keep the spirit of our parents and grandparents alive through the generations” that guided him through the years.

Alexandria Root
Alexandria Root, a senior at Hilton High School, daughter of Joel and Roxanne Root of Churchville.   Alexandria’s grandparents are Diane Beradini Martino and the late Carmine ( Jerry) Martino of Batavia. 

Alexandria plans to major in biology at Nazareth College with a minor in dance.   Her goal is to attend medical school and study Neurosurgery.

Alexandria has been awarded Academic Merit Honor Roll maintaining a GPA of 95 or above for four years of High School, the President's Education Award, Salutatory Honor Group, National Honor Society, and  Spanish Honor Society.  She participated in the International Club, the After School Book Club, and Environmental Club.

Her volunteer hours consist of being an altar server at her church, St. Vincent DePaul, and has assisted in children’s liturgy for 8th thru 10th graders.  She was involved in the Best Buddies program.  She is presently running the library at the family services division at Monroe County Probation, Dancing for a Cause with churches and special events, assisting at her dance studio, and classroom assistant at Village Elementary School.

Alexandria's values were acquired in an Italian-American household.

“I have a strong work ethic and desire to succeed in all aspects of my life," she said. "I have witnessed my family working incredibly hard to live a fulfilling life."

Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith, son of Jason and Lori Smith, Grandson of Mary Calarco-Smith and James Smith. 

A senior at Batavia High School, Smith will be attending Nazareth College in the Fall of 2022.  He is enrolled in the physical therapy program at Nazareth College. 

Matthew desires to work at an outpatient clinic and remain local, helping his community after graduation.

Matthew has been actively volunteering in the Batavia community, delivering for Meals on Wheels, and the Link Crew, and teaching second-grade students at Resurrection parish in preparation for Reconciliation.  Matthew also checks in on neighbors to see if they need any assistance.   He volunteered for Make a Difference Day at the local Habitat for Humanity house.

Smith was accepted into the National Honor Society 2019 to present, is vice president of that group, student government from 2019 to present as a class representative.  Matthew has been on the High Honor Roll for four consecutive years, maintaining a 95 percent overall average.

Matt is a member of the varsity program at BHS, which includes cross country, indoor track, golf, and track and field.  A member of Ski Club and Tri-M. He also participates in the Batavia High School Band and Pit Orchestra.

Matthew’s love for his Italian Heritage is proven in his statement, “Growing up Italian is nothing but incredible! I could not imagine not spending as much time with my family as I do!”

Lucia Sprague
Lucia Sprague, a senior at Notre Dame High School, Batavia, ranks 3rd in her class.

Lisa Sprague, Lucia’s mother’s Italian Heritage, is a long line of Rapone’s and Pangrazio’s. They are residents of LeRoy.

 Because of Lucia’s passion for art, she has applied to Colgate University to continue her education as a film/media major

She is a member of the National Honor Society and the College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program.  

Lucia has been recognized for leadership at the HOBY Hugh O’Brien Youth conference and the Genesee County Youth Bureau Conference.  She received the Computing Medal of Honor from RIT, Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award, St. Michael’s College Book Award in Academic  Achievement And Social Conference, and U of R Leadership Award.

She has participated in varsity cheerleading, varsity swimming, Student Senate, Genesee County Envirothon Team, chorus, school plays, and Yearbook Club.    Also, she participated in DECA-Region 10 Winner, State Medalist Apparel & Accessories Marketing.

Lucia volunteers for Our Lady of Mercy Parish for various church activities, is a Paulo Busti Cultural Foundation newsletter distributer, and rakes leaves at the local cemetery.

Lucia’s thought of her Italian Heritage is a remembrance from youth when she recalls her family dancing the Tarantella. She said, “I know why my family looked so happy, it was a representation of our culture and everything we’ve learned about our family throughout our lives."

May 25, 2022 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama.


The Hornets went into their Class C sectional quarterfinals game against Cuba-Rushford today with their hitting shoes on.

The final score in their favor was 21-1.

Oakfield-Alabama knocked out 19 hits in the lopsided victory.

Aiden Warner had four hits and scored three times. Brayden Smith knocked in five runs on three hits and scored three times.  Kyle Porter also collected three hits along wth two RBIs and two runs scored.

Notching two hits each were Bodie Hyde, Cooper Colantonio, Gaige Armbrewster, and David Schnaufer.

Porter picked up the win.  He threw for 3 1/3 innings giving up one unearned run, no hits, walking four and striking out eight.

O-A plays Warsaw next.

In other sectional baseball games:

  • Norte Dame beat York 4-0 to advance in Class C.
  • Alexander lost to Letchworth 6-1 in Class C.
  • Batavia beat Geneva 16-2 in Class B.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.






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