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January 2, 2020 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.

A 27-year-old Batavia man was sentenced to a minimum of two years prison on charges stemming from an incident in September where he menaced a police officer with a knife.

Morgan Cox Jr. had previously entered a guilty plea to counts of menacing a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon.

Judge Charles Zambito sentenced him today to two years in prison on the menacing charge and one and a third to three years on the weapons charge. He will serve at least one and a half years on parole upon his release.

Cox made no statement in court. Zambito said the defendant's actions were "totally pointless" and said Cox's actions were fueled by an addiction to drugs.

Zambito referred to another dangerous incident that Cox was involved in, saying “People came with baseball bats because they know how you are,” stressing that Cox needed to address his addiction.

(Via our news partner, WBTA.)

January 2, 2020 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Stafford, news.

A possible chimney fire is reported at 8783 Prole Road, Stafford.

Stafford fire dispatch.

UPDATE 9:13 a.m.: A second alarm: Bethany, Alexander, Le Roy, Town of Batavia, and Mercy EMS requested to the scene. The fire is still reported as a chimney fire.

UPDATE 9:18 a.m.: This is now a working structure fire.

UPDATE 9:48 a.m.: Fire is knocked down; doing overhaul.

UPDATE 9:55 a.m.: The fire itself was mainly contained to the fireplace and a couch next to it. But there was heavy smoke damage throughout the house and "multiple pets were lost," said Stafford Fire Chief Matt Hendershott.

January 2, 2020 - 9:04am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, GCASA.

Today’s society invites people to gamble.

Casinos are at every turn.

Lotteries are run by state governments.

Sports betting is a click of the mouse away.

Getting in on the horse-racing action is as easy as turning on the TV.

Bombarded by messages such as “a dollar and a dream,” it’s no wonder that, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling, an estimated 2 million Americans are pathological gamblers and another 4 to 6 million people would be considered problem gamblers – those whose gambling affects their everyday lives.

In New York State, an Office of Addiction Services and Supports’ survey revealed that more than 700,000 adults struggle with a gambling problem. That’s 5 percent of the adult population.

“Just like an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they (problem gamblers) can’t stop,” said Tony Alisankus, BS, CASAC II SAP, who oversees a problem gambling treatment at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. "It’s a disease that changes the neurochemistry of the brain; similar to cocaine, amphetamines or opioids.”

Also known as compulsive gambling or gambling disorder, gambling addiction is an impulse-control illness. A compulsive gambler can’t control the impulse to gamble, despite the negative consequences for that person or his or her family.

Alisankus called it “the hidden disease” because people don’t want to address it.

“And it’s not just slot machines, horses or card games,” he said. “The compulsion can show up in stock trading, lottery tickets and online gambling.

Gambling disorder (the current terminology per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is defined as persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.

Some of the signs of gambling disorder are as follows:

-- Need to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement;

-- Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop gambling;

-- Often gambles when feeling distressed or anxious;

-- Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling;

-- Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling.

Gambling disorder can seriously affect a person’s personal well-being, employment situation and family life, Alisankus said. Fortunately, however, there is hope and help for the problem gambler.

“Like all addictions, gambling is a treatable disease,” said Alisankus, who has provided substance abuse counseling for more than 30 years and has recently attained certification in gambling disorders. “With treatment and follow-through, people can remain in remission.”

The program at GCASA offers various methods of evidence-based treatment, including Dialectal Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (skills-based therapies for patients to find a better way to think and cope) and Motivational Interviewing.

It also offers treatment for family members affected by the loved one’s disorder, referrals to Gambler’s Anonymous, GAMANON and not-for-profit credit/financial counseling.

Alisankus said the initial step for the problem gambler in either Genesee or Orleans County – or for someone who may be at risk of escalating his or her gambling activities – is to call GCASA at 585-343-1124 to set up an assessment appointment (those take place on Mondays at 4 p.m. in Batavia).

Should a potential patient have transportation issues or can’t meet at that time, procedures are in place for a special appointment to be made – either in Batavia or at the Albion clinic.

From there, Alisankus will use standardized criteria to assess the patient’s level of gambling disorder, which could vary from mild to moderate to severe to persistent to episodic.

The program at GCASA is free to all those seeking help.

Additional support is available through the Western Problem Gambling Resource Center in Buffalo, which has a working relationship with GCASA.

Disclosure: Story by Mike Pettinella, GCASA publicist.

January 2, 2020 - 8:47am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Alexander, Le Roy, Pavilion.

Lisa Marie Fox, 48, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with third-degree menacing. Fox was arrested at 12:08 p.m. on Dec. 24 on Oak Street in Batavia following a road rage incident. It is alleged that she "displayed an object in a way to appear as to have a knife while engaged in a verbal dispute with another person." The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

James F. Perry, 34, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Perry was arrested after a domestic incident. It is alleged that he damaged the front door to a female's apartment at 8:48 p.m. on Dec. 27 on State Street in Batavia "in full violation of an order of protection." Perry was located walking on Washington Avenue. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Miah Stevens.

Randy K. Wilmet, 43, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful  imprisonment. He was arrested at 9:46 p.m. Dec. 26 on Bank Street after allegedly preventing a person from leaving their residence. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court on Jan. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Victor Trejo, 32, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; speed not reasonable and prudent; and DWI with a BAC of .18 percent or higher. At 3:07 a.m. on Dec. 19, Trejo was arrested following a property damage accident on Ellicott Street Road in Pavilion. He was given appearance tickets and is due in Pavilion Town Court on Jan. 14. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Swimline, assisted by Deputy Jenna Ferrando.

Lillian A. Doll, 25, of Buffalo (no address provided), is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI -- first offense; and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration. Doll was arrested at 12:23 a.m. on Dec. 29 after an investigation on Alleghany Road in Pembroke after the vehicle she was driving ran out of fuel. She is issued an appearance ticket and is due in Pembroke Town Court on Jan. 16. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein.

Karen E. Scott, 51, of Thurston Road, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree and speeding. At 2:48 a.m. on Dec. 29, Scott was allegedly observed driving in excess of the posted 30 mph speed limit on Main Street in Batavia. A traffic stop was conducted and it was determined that Scott possessed a revoked non-driver ID, with 10 or more scoffs on 10 or more dates. She was issued an appearance ticket and released on her own recognizance. She is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 15. The case was handled by Batavia City Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Adam Tucker.

Shawn Philip Stevens, 42, of York Road, Le Roy, is charged with disobeying a mandate. At 2:53 a.m. on Dec. 23, Stevens was arrested after the investigation of a suspicious condition. He allegedly violated a court order of protection. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Elba Town Court on Jan. 22. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Swimline, assisted by Deputy James Stack.

Thomas James Leonard, 36, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: falsifying business records in the first degree; petit larceny; and sixth-degree conspiracy. He was arrested at 5:08 p.m on Dec. 30 following a larceny complaint at Walmart in Batavia. Leonard was processed at the Genesee County Jail and issued an appearance ticket and is due on Town of Batavia Court on Jan. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Krzemien, assisted by Deputy Joshua Brabon. While being processed at the jail, Leonard allegedly introduced contraband at the facility. He is therefore also charged with promoting prison contraband in the second degree. He is due in Batavia City Court to answer that charged on Jan. 7. Deputies Krzemien and Brabon handled that case, too.

Michelle Lynne May, 45, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with sixth-degree conspiracy and petit larceny. On Dec. 30, following a larceny complaint at Walmart in Batavia, May was arrested at 4:57 p.m. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on Jan. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

January 2, 2020 - 8:24am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling.

Just reported:

Matt Slocum of Perry finished in second place in the annual Mike and Ruth Rose scratch tournament at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes in Rochester on New Year's Day.

"Strapper" (as he is known) lost by one pin to PBA member Jason Sterner, 212-211, in the title match, but still earned $1,000 for his efforts.

Sterner won $2,000, while Rochester's Dave Werner placed third for $500 and Buffalo's Pete Maduri was fourth for $350.

The tournament drew 250 entrants.

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For many years, Genesee Region USBC Director Jerry Davis has performed lane inspections as required by the United States Bowling Congress.

When he heard at the end of November that the USBC would no longer compel local association personnel to conduct these annual check-ups, his first thought was one of relief – not surprising, considering that crawling onto the lanes and pin decks to make sure everything is level and within guidelines is quite strenuous.

What the USBC’s Equipment Specifications Committee has determined – after collecting and analyzing much data – is that the current lane inspection process is not working.

“Very few centers actually meet 100 percent of the current specifications,” said Andrew Cain, committee chairperson during a conference call with the media last month. “At the end of our analysis of the data, it is apparent that the current model does not work, and our stakeholders – local associations, proprietors and technical consultants -- are guiding us to a better program.”

That program is a “tiered center certification” plan that will be fully developed over the next year, with final details scheduled to be announced at the 2021 USBC Convention.

Until then, bowling centers will have a grace period for two years -- no inspections necessary and no fees for inspections due for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. After that, all lane inspections will be performed by a national USBC inspection team.

Noting that the change is “quite the paradigm shift for us,” Cain reported that the USBC:

-- Will enlist a team of paid national inspectors that will be accountable to the national governing body;
-- Will publish the centers’ tier ratings (for example, Tier I, Tier II, Tier III) to get this information directly into the hands of membership;
-- Will not force proprietors to make repairs, but are banking on the owners’ desire to want to make the necessary improvements;
-- Will work over the next year to formulate operational details and “will make it the best it can be” prior to the announcement at the 2021 USBC Convention.

Some of the questions that came up during the conference call, which also included USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy and other USBC officials, focused on whether local associations were going to be phased out and what went into the Equipment Specifications Committee’s decision.

Murphy said there is no truth to rumors that the USBC is looking to eliminate local associations.

“We value our local associations and always have,” Murphy said, adding that the USBC has been proving that by offering Association Leadership Academy training for local association leaders at no charge.

Danny Speranza, senior director with the USBC Equipment Specifications team, said that “spot checking” was conducted by the USBC at nearly 4,000 bowling centers covering 85,000 lane beds in 2018 and at 3,300 centers covering 70,000 lane beds in 2019.

The outcome was that the USBC found a large discrepancy from the data reported by the local associations – and that very few centers met all specifications.

It is unknown at this time whether a bowling center’s tier ratings will be tied into bowler average classifications (regular, classified or sport), but that is a probable assumption.

Most local associations have their own inspection tools, which cost hundreds of dollars, and now are wondering what to do with them. That’s a question that Davis asked in communication with other Genesee Region USBC officers and directors.

The USBC is offering a buyback program to offset some of the cost for inspection equipment purchased since 2017, but that doesn’t help the Genesee Region USBC, which bought its equipment several years ago.

So, probably the best answer to that question is to hold on to everything for now and have the tools available for local bowling center proprietors that may want to check their lanes on their own or take tape readings to measure the amount and placement of oil on their lanes.

TWO ‘FRIENDS OF BOWLING’ PASS AWAY ON CHRISTMAS

Two people who had a positive impact upon the local bowling scene for many years have passed away.

Carmella “Millie” (Mortellaro) McVay, 82, and Henry “Hank” Valerych, 92, left us on December 25th. It’s sort of ironic that they died on Christmas Day since they embodied such a “spirit of giving.”

Millie co-owned Joe’s Pro Shop & Trophies since 1975 (which is now operated by her son-in-law, Marty Hein). She always had a smile on her face and a plate of goodies on the table at the Ellicott Street store.

I remember fondly as she and her late daughter, Kathie, assisted the youth bowling program at Mancuso Bowling Center while I was the manager there, and worked tirelessly to churn out the trophies for all the participants.

She retired several years ago to a quiet yet active life, focusing on her loving family that included nine grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. And no matter where I would run into her, she always was ready to offer a hug and a good word.

Hank simply was the engine that powered the charitable giving arm of the Arc of Genesee Orleans, helping those with developmental disabilities by chairing the organization’s membership drive, and Bowl-A-Thon and bowling tournament.

An estimated half-million dollars were raised through Hank’s efforts, much of that through the Bowl-A-Thon. Like clockwork, Hank would travel to Mancuso’s and the other Genesee County bowling centers each year, explaining how the Bowl-A-Thon worked, signing the kids up, collecting the pledges and awarding the trophies to the top fundraisers.

He never pushed, but was very effective. His obituary said it best, “He was a quiet, gentle man, but a force for change, love and respect.”

Speaking for the bowling community, our heartfelt condolences to the families of Millie and Hank.

OAK ORCHARD TO HOST SCRATCH MEMORIAL THIS WEEKEND

Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw will attempt to defend his title this weekend as the 66th Genesee Region USBC Scratch Memorial Tournament unfolds at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Gray, 38, defeated Rich Wagner of Batavia in a battle of left-handers last year for the title at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo.

Also signed up to bowl is Kevin’s father, Kevin Sr. of Honeoye Falls, who placed first in the Christmas Eve (morning) tournament at Domm’s Bowling Center in Rochester. Kevin Sr. rolled 268 and 220 in qualifying and went on to win four matches for the $700 top prize.

Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron and Julianna Allis of Medina also cashed, with Allis’ earning going into her SMART scholarship account.

Qualifying squads are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday (and will be done before the Buffalo Bills game at 4:35 p.m.) and 10 a.m. on Sunday, with the semifinals and finals to follow. Re-entry is allowed.

The scratch singles event offers a $1,000 first prize (based on 80 entries) and features competition on two different oil patterns -- a 40-foot "Challenge" pattern during the qualifying rounds and a 45-foot "Challenge" pattern during the semifinals and finals.

The entry fee is $55. To enter, give me a call at 585-861-0404 or send an email to [email protected].

TOURNEYS SET FOR CALEDONIA, ALBION, LE ROY, MOUNT MORRIS

Raiders Lanes in Caledonia, Oak Orchard Bowl, Mount Morris Lanes and Le Roy Legion Lanes will be running tournaments this month.

-- The 6th annual Genesee Region USBC Adult-Junior Doubles handicap tournament will take place on Jan. 10-12 at Raider Lanes. Squad times are 7 p.m. on Jan. 10, noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 11 and noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 12. The entry fee is $45 per team. Competition will be held in two divisions -- 12 & under and 13 & over. Contact Tom Fluker at [email protected].

-- The 8th annual Scott Whittier Memorial 3-person handicap no-tap tournament is set for Saturday, Jan. 11 at Oak Orchard Bowl with squad times at 1, 3, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Entry fee is $60 per team and first place is $600. Call 585-589-6900 after 6 p.m. to sign up.

-- The 42nd annual Mount Morris Pepsi Open scratch singles tournament is scheduled for Jan. 17-19 with qualifying squads at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 17, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 19. Finals are set for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 19. Entry fee is $70 ($55 re-entry fee). Call 585-658-2540 to enter.

-- The Help-R-Heroes 4-person handicap no-tap tournament is slated for Jan. 24-26 at Legion Lanes, with squad times at 7 p.m. on Jan. 24, noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 25 and noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 26. First place, based on 40 teams, is $1,000 and the entry fee is $100 per team. Call 585-409-0459 to sign up.

January 2, 2020 - 7:50am
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, Arc GLOW, Rose Garden Bowlers, fundraiser.

Submitted photo and press release:

BERGEN -- Jillian Menzie (third from left top photo) accomplished quite a feat last year, raising more than $4,000 for Arc of Genesee Orleans with the support of her fellow bowlers. Her goal this year was to raise more.

She didn’t disappoint, turning in $5,077 in cash and an additional $845 in gifts and gift cards. She did this with the help of league bowler Megan Jarkiewicz, who was able to accompany her on many of her fundraising trips through 11 towns in three counties.  

Three other Rose Garden bowlers helped raise an additional $327.80 in the effort: Landon Kent ($102.80); John Gabalski ($125) and his brother Hugh Gabalski ($100), bringing the grand total raised in cash to $5,404.80!

“Counting all the gifts, Jillian led the effort to collect over $6,240.00 for the Arc of Genesee Orleans,” Arc Community Relations coordinator Sandy Konfederath said.  “The funds have been targeted to help with technology needs and art program for our new GO TO Hub center at 64 Walnut Street, Batavia."

Jillian’s family has been raising money for Arc of Genesee Orleans since Jillian’s father Jerry was a youth bowler, and Jillian’s grandmother, Ellen Menzie, ran the Rose Garden’s Youth bowling league and was a Bowl-A-Thon volunteer. Jillian logged 43 hours of volunteer time collecting donations this fall and winter, ensuring a strong finish, as she gets set to tackle the last semester of her senior year at Byron-Bergen.   

At BBCS, Jillian is the Student Council president, National Honor Society president, and is a member of band, elite choir (Singing Silhouettes) and is in this year’s school musical, “School House Rock.” She played Varsity soccer and is a member of Varsity Club, Spanish Club, Alliance for Equality Club, attends school board meetings and is the school mascot.

Outside of school, Jillian is involved in the “Young Life” youth group, has a 190 bowling average and holds down a part-time job at McDonald’s. She intends to pursue a career in teaching or nursing and plans to continue volunteering and helping people throughout her life.

“Megan and I have been working together for a few years on this fundraiser,” Jillian said. “My hope is that she’ll carry iton in the years to come."

Besides bowling, Megan, a sixth-grader at BBCS, also plays soccer and basketball. 

Jillian wishes to thank the league bowlers who participated and the community and businesses who generously supported the event!

January 2, 2020 - 7:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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January 1, 2020 - 6:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in North Road, Le Roy, news.

Press release:

Please be advised that North Road will be closed to traffic between Route 19 and Conlon Road on Thursday and Friday for the installation of a water transmission main across the roadway. The roadway will be COMPLETELY CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC -- including emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted during this time.

January 1, 2020 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, farm labor bill.

Press release:

A temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued by Federal Court Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo on Dec. 31 in U.S. District Court in Western New York. The TRO prohibits New York State from enforcing certain actions and imposing penalties upon farmers stemming from a new law scheduled to go into effect today.

It is important to note, the TRO does not impact the law or impact the wages of the vast majority of hourly employees working on New York farms and the payment of overtime, nor was it intended to.

The court action followed a lawsuit filed on Monday, Dec. 30 that would temporarily halt the implementation of the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act on Jan. 1. The suit was filed by the Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) and the New York State Vegetable Growers Association (NYSVGA) on behalf of the organizations' member farmers across the state, seeking clarity and to ensure they are in compliance with the law’s requirements.

The TRO specifically restrains the state government from enforcing the Act where such actions would impact the status, compensation, and hours of supervisors, family members, shareholders, and administrative and professional employees. The TRO will be in effect for several weeks. If a mutually agreeable settlement is not reached, a preliminary injunction hearing will be held on Jan. 24.

Brian Reeves, president of the New York State Vegetable Growers Association, and owner of Reeves Farms in Baldwinsville (Onondaga County), said, “The ruling in favor of the TRO is an important first step for ensuring the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practice Act is implemented fairly for all who work on farms in New York.

"We want to protect the rights of all who work on our farms and are so important to our success. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to correct the statute to better address the rights of all who work on our farms.”

Jon Greenwood, chair of the Northeast Dairy Producers Association and co-owner of Greenwood Dairy Farm in Canton (St. Lawrence County), said, “The narrow scope of the TRO ruling will allow us to continue to work with the state to improve language and definitions in the Act.

"Providing clarity to New York’s farms will help us protect our management teams while assuring family members and others employed on our farms are treated fairly. We look forward to working with the state and court to ensure that the interests of farmers, their families, and employees are represented in the new state law.”

January 1, 2020 - 8:28am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, GCASA, Recovery WOW.

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Amy Kabel, a Certified Peer Recovery Advocate at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, and boyfriend Thomas Claffey were among about 100 people who attended the Recovery WOW New Year's Eve party last night at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall in Batavia.

Participants brought in the new year with music, plenty of food, games and, of course, hats and noisemakers in an alcohol-free environment.

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Brandon Fogg, seated left, and Quinn Pritchard provide the hats as a young family checks in at the Recovery WOW event.

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Sue Gagne, center, Recovery WOW coordinator, had much to celebrate -- a new year, new decade and her birthday. Here she receives a birthday cupcake from Cheryl Netter, a member of the group's advisory committee, as DJ Scott Davis looks on.

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Volunteers George Netter, left, and Gary Brown kept the food choices coming as they worked in the kitchen.

Photos by Mike Pettinella, GCASA publicist.

January 1, 2020 - 6:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news.

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Photo submitted by Sue Carmichael of New Year's Eve fireworks in Le Roy last night.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2020 - 6:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke.

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A reader submitted this photo of a car off the road and into a creek in Corfu, off of Main Road near Back Street, at about 3 a.m.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments responded. 

The driver was reportedly not seriously hurt. No further information is available at this time.

December 31, 2019 - 3:07pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, City of Batavia Police Department.

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Retiring Det. Sgt. Kevin Czora said he had to continually pinch himself as he performed his day-to-day tasks as a member of the Batavia City Police Department.

“Every day for the last 20 years, when I would pull into the parking lot, I would still get those chills like ‘I can’t believe that I’m actually coming here right now to work.’ And I’m thankful that I never lost that feeling,” Czora said during brief comments earlier today at a retirement party at police headquarters on West Main Street.

Czora continued by encouraging his colleagues, many of whom were in attendance, with some simple advice:

“Take care of each other and take care of yourselves,” he said. “There’s a lot of stress and a lot of hard times that come with the job, so make sure you take care of each other and enjoy your job. Don’t let the negative attitudes get to you. Love what you do.”

A feeling of togetherness filled the second-floor meeting room where lunch and a special cake were provided.

An Amherst High School graduate, Czora completed a 20-year stint with the Batavia PD, with his last day today. He received a plaque from the department and a unique wooden flag from Steven Robinson, Genesee County emergency services dispatcher.

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said as soon as he met Czora in 2012, he realized that he would be someone he could count on.

“Right away I knew that Kevin was going to be a go-to guy. He was very knowledgeable and did not have any qualms about trying to do new things, try different techniques, different tactics,” Heubusch said. “Kevin has always been kind of an innovator when it comes to that.

Heubusch said Kevin displayed a positive attitude, and noted that the “professionalism and integrity that he brings to the department is bar none. He’s beyond reproach.”

Czora came to Batavia after working with the Federal Reserve as a protections officer.

“When I started here, I didn’t even know how to get to Batavia from the Buffalo area and knew nothing about the community or the department, or even the county,” he said. “Over the years, it has grown into my second home. I have a lot of passion not for just this department but for the community itself.”

He worked his way up from a police officer on the afternoon shift and then to the midnight shift. In time, he earned the rank of sergeant and then detective sergeant.

While he didn’t want to share any particular moments on the job, he did mention that the “camaraderie and the family atmosphere that this department creates has been the most memorable part of it.”

“There have been a number of situations, but as now-retired Detective Rich Schauf mentioned at his retirement, for every memory that you have, there’s a victim on the other side of it, and that’s something that you have to keep in mind and respect. So, even though I have some personal memories, I’m going to keep them personal.”

Czora resides in Amherst with his wife, Lisa, a school teacher, and their sons, Andrew, 20, who is in the Marines, and Evan, 18, who will be enlisting in the Army in July.

He said he has no immediate future plans, but will “take a little time off to recoup from the career, take a mental break and (eventually) I’ll find something to keep my hands busy.”

Czora said he plans to continue playing ice hockey (he’s been a goalie for the past 45 years) and will find time to do some boating.

Heubusch announced that Sgt. Matt Lutey will move into the detective sergeant position, replacing Czora, effective Jan. 7.

The chief said that Sgt. Chris Camp, a 12-year employee, will move into the Assistant Chief post, replacing Todd Crossett, who has accepted a police officer position with the VA Medical Center in Batavia. Camp also will be in charge of the emergency response team, and Officer Mitch Cowen will be promoted to sergeant on Jan. 31.

Photos from top -- Kevin Czora, right, and Chief Shawn Heubusch enjoy a story from retired Batavia Police Officer Pat Mooney at today's retirement party for Czora; Steve Robinson presents Czora with a commemorative flag; Czora and his fellow officers gather for a group picture. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

December 31, 2019 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

Billie are taking the rest of the day and most of tomorrow off. We'll be out of town.

Happy New Year! And thank you for being part of The Batavian Community.

There will be some coverage posted while we're gone and we have people who can help us if anything comes up while we're gone.

But one thing that would help us in the future maintain coverage when we go away is your financial support.  Please click the "Support" button below and help us get to a position where we can hire more help.  Local news can't survive without reader support so we're asking for you to support The Batavian.

December 31, 2019 - 9:18am
posted by Billie Owens in East Pembroke Fire District, Announcements.

Here is the Fire Commissioner Meeting Schedule for 2020 in the East Pembroke Fire District. Meetings will take place at 7 p.m. at the district officer, 8655 Barrett Drive, East Pembroke.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 7
  • Tuesday, Feb. 11
  • Tuesday, March 10
  • Tuesday, April 14
  • Tuesday, May 12
  • Tuesday, June 9
  • Tuesday, July 14
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9
  • Thursday, Dec. 30

William R. Joyce, Secretary, East Pembroke Fire District

December 31, 2019 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Attica, batavia, video.
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Attica gave Batavia a game in the large-school championship of the Pete Arras Lions Tournament at Genesee Community College.

A strategy of ball control -- often running the shot clock down to just seconds -- and a defense that kept the Batavia Blue Devils' high-powered offense from running away with the game meant the visitors had a chance up until their final possession.  

In the end, Batavia defended its crown, securing a 53-51 victory.

Camden White, who scored 21 points, many of them off his eight offensive rebounds (he had 11 total rebounds) was named the tournament MVP.

Zach Gilebarto, who missed the first game of the tournament due to an injury, scored 14 points, hitting four three-pointers. Stone Siverling scored 12 points.

For Attica, Frankie Bisceglie scored 15 points and Tyler Myer hit four three-pointers for 12 points. Ayden Goll scored eight points.

Producing a video of a basketball game is a lot of work. We would like to do more. Help us do more become a supporter today. Click the button below.

December 31, 2019 - 8:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, elba, Notre Dame.

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The small-school championship game of the Pete Arras Lions Tournament came down to the final play as Elba beat Notre Dame 64-62.

Colton Dillion (top photo) was tournament MVP after scoring 22 points in the finale.

Collin O'Holloran scored 16 points. Caleb Scoten hit three three-point baskets for nine points.

For Notre Dame, Gabe Macdonald scored 19 points. Cody Henry and Colin McCulley scored 15 points each with McCulley hitting three three-point shots.

Photos by Philip Casper.

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December 31, 2019 - 8:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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December 30, 2019 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, thebatavian, news.

In the fall of 2018, I made the decision to take video seriously as an online-publishing medium and began working at learning how to make better videos and upgrading the equipment we needed to do it.

This year was our first full year of producing video at a serious pace. We published nearly 500 videos in 2019. Here are five favorites.

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When David Bellavia asked me to travel to Washington, D.C., in June to attend a ceremony at the White House where he would receive the Medal of Honor, I was stunned by the invitation. This was the greatest honor of my journalism career.

I was the only working media from Genesee County on the guest list and was the only photojournalist present when Bellavia received a private tour of the Lincoln Memorial and the only photojournalist in the East Room after the ceremony. These are days I'll never forget. I think the video came out pretty well, too.

One morning in August, a friend told me about this event involving hot rods in Le Roy and since I was going to be in Le Roy anyway that I day, I decided to stop by. I had no idea what I was in for. For years, the Hardcore Happening has been one of the hidden jewels of Genesee County. It was fun to be there and it was fun to make this video.

"For the Loved and Loving: The Story of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument" was my first true effort at making a documentary. It was truly a labor of love and took months. To me, it's The Batavian's gift to the community, a document of a key part of local history.

I always enjoy meeting the members of the Batavia Muckdogs. They're often great guys but Milton Smith was something special. He's "Tony Gwynn nice" and was a joy to interview. I hope he has a long and successful career.

We published dozens of music videos in 2019. The performance at the Smokin' Eagle of Deep Blue playing "Born in Chicago" is one of the ones where everything worked -- clean audio and good visuals.

Thank you for your support of The Batavian in 2019 but there's one thing more you can do for us to help us bring you more news and more video. Become a supporter by clicking the button below.

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