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May 25, 2020 - 6:00am

Last August my longtime friend and Marine veteran of Vietnam, Jim Heatherman, wrote an article for The Batavian lamenting that he had not really gotten to know two of our Notre Dame High School Class of 1964 classmates who died in Southeast Asia.

He also expressed sadness that, as with all war casualties, the death of Thomas Welker and Daniel Bermingham caused tremendous grief to their families and prevented them from having and raising families of their own.

Jim's article inspired another of our classmates to take the impetus to try to have a plaque memorializing Tom and Dan placed in the front lobby of Notre Dame. However, Jim lives in Oklahoma and combined with the COVID-19 situation, the completion of the project has been delayed.

Last fall Jim and I got together in Batavia and located Dan Bermingham's grave in St. Joseph Cemetery on Harvester Avenue. As we paid our respects, we agreed that the next time Jim came to the area we would go to Attica where Tom was from and find his grave at St. Vincent Cemetery, too.

So, knowing that the plaque was on the back burner, as this Memorial Day approached, I wanted to finally make a long-delayed gesture from the N. D. Class of '64 to remember our fallen classmates. I ordered a Navy flag for Dan, (inset photo left) who was a “Seabee” -- sailors in Naval Construction Battalions.

Even though Tom was also in the Navy, I got a Marine flag for him. Tom was a Navy Corpsman assigned to a Marine Unit when he was killed. Jim had related to me that there is no one held in higher esteem by their Marine comrades than a Navy Corpsman, who are always know as “Doc." Jim had wanted to honor Tom (inset photo right) with a Marine flag, and since he couldn't be here, I wanted to carry out his wish.

As I drove from Rochester to Attica and then Batavia on Saturday, a plethora of thoughts flooded my mind. 1964 was 56 years ago and I unfortunately didn't remember very much about Tom and Dan.

As Jim was training to go to Vietnam as a Marine Lieutenant and I was was entering my senior year of college (we both went to St. John Fisher), Tom and Dan were dying within three weeks of each other in a faraway land.

In 2002 I visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. -- The Wall -- and found their names, and I have seen their plaques at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester in Highland Park South, Rochester.

But, was I being hypocritical for not paying attention to their grave sites until this weekend, 52 years later?

I texted Jim about that very thought and his reply was, “I think that as a teenager you spend 80 percent of your life not knowing or appreciating what is really important. Then, hopefully, as you get older you do appreciate those things and try your best to make amends. I don't think it's ever too late to do the right thing.”

So on behalf of Vietnam veteran Jim Heatherman and the Notre Dame Class of 1964, rest in peace Tom Welker and Dan Bermingham and thank you for your service.

May 24, 2020 - 10:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, news, scanner.

A large unknown-type fire is reported at 57 Ellicott Ave. in the city. City fire is responding.

UPDATE 10:11 p.m.: City ladder 15 is on scene "with a small bonfire."

May 24, 2020 - 8:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, Bethany, batavia.


Photo submitted by Dan Street from East Bethany.


Photo submitted by Lisa Ace from Batavia. Taken in Le Roy.


Photo by Josh Wallace, Le Roy.

May 24, 2020 - 12:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, scanner, batavia.

A car and pedestrian accident is reported on West Main Street in Batavia in front of That Taco Place, 4160 W. Main St.

Town of Batavia Fire Department and Marcy medics are responding. Callers to dispatch report there are possibly children injured who are in the vehicle.

The location is between Colonial Boulevard and West Main Street.

UPDATE 12:42 p.m.: There were no pedestrians involved. This was a two-car accident. One driver appears uninjured. A female driving the other car is being transported to UMMC for evaluation. Unknown if children who were her passengers sustained any injuries.

May 24, 2020 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian Church, religion, church, batavia.

Message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

May 24, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in nostalgia, news, batavia.

(Editor's note: Southsider Anne Marie Starowitz reflects on life in her native City of Batavia this Memorial Day Weekend...)

Turning 70 to me has been filled with so many different memories and emotions. First, where did the time go and then the realization that I am 70. Turning a year older this year was different. First of all, we are quarantined and there is a lot of time to reminisce.

As I was going on one of my morning walks on Ross Street, I’m taken back to my early years of walking with my brothers to the Red and White Store on Ross Street pulling a wagon filled with empty pop bottles. We are trying to figure out how to split 22 cents three ways without killing each other. Back then you could pick candy from the penny candy box.

On our walk home, we would decide what we would do today.

Would we go on the raft we built at the end of our street that actually floated? We thought the water the raft was on was a lake but it actually was an area that accumulated water after a long winter but was deep enough to float our homemade raft. Would we sleep out tonight and catch fireflies? Such an innocent time.

Grade school and high school were a little different ride. I compare it to a roller-coaster ride going up the first incline, the excitement of what was to come. That included walking all over Batavia, taking ballroom dancing, swimming at the New Pool, ice skating on the tennis courts in the winter and dancing on the blacktop in the summer. I can’t forget the Park Program.

I am almost to the highest point of the ride as many of us go off to college. In returning, the ride is broken down. I come back to Batavia and our Main Street is gone along with all those wonderful memories. I learned the meaning of what a wrecking ball could physically and mentally destroy. Now our country was in a war -- way over yonder in Viet Nam -- that would take the Baby Boomers into a turbulent time.

So now the roller-coaster slowly starts up another incline and many of us are married and blessed with children. Maybe we bought a new house and began a new job. Our house cost $26,000 and gas was $1.50 a gallon in the '70s.

The ride continues steadily as we sat through soccer games, dance recitals, football games and musical concerts.

We loved watching our children grow up. We all have boxes with hundreds of pictures recording that time in our lives. I wish mine were in scrapbooks.

Now our children have grown up, gone off to college, new opportunities prevail for them and we are now bystanders watching our children leave the nest. I’m still on that ride with my life going up and down.

At this time many of us are thinking of retiring and what to do with our golden years.

Approaching 70 was a time to reflect on what I have done with my life and where I am to go from here. Turning 70 and living though a pandemic makes me realize that turning 70 has been a very exciting and wonderful ride. I’m not ready to get off the roller-coaster just yet.

May 23, 2020 - 6:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Emergency childcare, news, GLOW YMCA, Phase 1, coronavirus, batavia.


Emergency Childcare is available for parents who are going back to work after the coronavirus lockdown. It is a safe, full-day childcare option.

Registration is now open for residents of Genesee County with children ages 4 to 12 who have at least one parent or guardian returning to work in the Phase 1 reopening of New York

The program begins Tuesday, May 26th, and runs through Friday, June 26th (camp begins the week after on June 29th).

Times /Days

Monday – Friday

7 a.m. to 6 p.m.


YMCA, 209 E. Main St., Batavia


Members $20/day, Non-members $40/day

To Register

Visit the Y's website at glowymca.org click on the “Emergency Childcare Information” button to download our registration packet or email Childcare Director Charitie Bruning for a registration packet:   [email protected]

Once you have completed the packet, please send back to Charitie Bruning at: [email protected]

Minimizing Risks

  • Programming will operate with social cistancing & Centers for Disease Control Recommended Guidelines.
  • Staff will be required to wear face masks or shields during all hours of program, students will not.
  • If desired: parents are welcome to provide their children with personal protective equipment -- PPE. Parents are encouraged to send a mask for outdoor walks.
  • Staff and participants will be temperature checked daily.
  • Cleaning checklists and sanitization will be completed throughout the day, overnight and as needed.
  • Increased handwashing will take place especially after gym, outdoor activities and when social distancing is not possible.

What to Bring

  • Sneakers
  • Water Bottle
  • Books (optional)
  • School Work/Technology

To prevent cross-contamination, parents are asked to provide the following:

  • Notebook
  • Pencil Box
  • Writing Utensils
  • Crayons/Colored Pencils/Markers
  • Glue Stick or Bottle Scissors
  • Breakfast/Lunch (optional since free meals are provided by Batavia City School District)

Commitment to Education

With YMCA network access to the Batavia City School District, students will have the ability to complete required school work, classroom meetings, etc. during Emergency Care.

Parents must provide the necessary technology and school work.

Please note: YMCA Staff are not school tutors and may not have specific subject expertise.

Youth Development

We are committed to implementing activities that allow safe social interactions, re-establishing routine, preventing learning loss, and fostering positive peer-to-peer interaction.

May 23, 2020 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
      Anthony Welch

Anthony J. "Science" Welch, 39, of Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, after allegedly being found in possession of crack cocaine following a traffic stop by the Local Drug Task Force.

The charge is premised on the allegation that the amount of the narcotic in Welch's possession indicates he intended to sell it.

Welch was a passenger in a car driven by Steven R. Colombo, 33, of Batavia, who was allegedly driving while his privilege was suspended.

Another passenger, Amy L. Coulson, 33, of Batavia, was also arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

Following the traffic stop, Welch and Coulson were taken to the Genesee County Jail and based on a search warrant they were searched. Welch was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine that he tried to hide during the traffic stop. 

Welch was also charged with tampering with physical evidence, promoting prison contraband, and criminally using drug paraphernalia.  

Colombo was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd.

Following arraignment, Welch was released under supervision of Genesee Justice and Coulson and Colombo were released on appearance tickets. 

The Task Force was assisted by Batavia PD, Corrections Officers, and the District Attorney's Office.

May 23, 2020 - 1:21pm

 June Haegele)

June Haegele, a longtime nurse for the VA Western New York Health Care System, received the Florence Nightingale Award on May 12 at the Batavia VA Community Living Center (CLC) for her dedication to keeping local veterans healthy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“It's an honor to be working with the veterans at the VA,” Haegele said. “And it was quite a surprise and a very appreciated honor for the staff to actually recognize me in that way.”

The Batavia VA has reported two positive COVID-19 cases, and Genesee County has experienced more than 170 confirmed cases throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Because nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19, Haegele’s work to prevent disease transmission earned her this award for exceptional nurses.

Named after Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, this international honor is given to medical workers who reflect Nightingale’s achievements and legacy in infection and disease treatment. May 12 marked the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth and the final day of National Nurses Week 2020. Nightingale awards are intended to highlight local nurses like Haegele who positively represent the nursing profession. 

“2020 is considered the Year of the Nurse in medical communities,” said Terry McGuire, public affairs specialist for the VA Western New York Health Care System. “To honor that, they [the Batavia VA] came up with this particular award. June was recognized for helping out with controlling infection, especially during this COVID crisis that we find ourselves in.”

Haegele was named the first recipient of the Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award, which is a new recognition at the Batavia VA that is modeled after the worldwide Nightingale honor. The Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award is expected to be given annually to local nursing professionals.

Surrounded by nurse managers during the nursing supervisor’s morning report, Haegele was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a lamp, which is symbolic of how Nightingale was the “Lady with the Lamp” while taking care of her patients in the 1850s.

“They just told me to come down to the morning meeting, and they surprised me with an award because I've been actually working very hard lately,” Haegele said. “The staff have been very supportive, and we've been working great as a team getting through what we're currently going through.” 

Haegele, who is a lifelong Batavia resident and graduate of Batavia High School, has served at the Batavia VA Medical Center for more than three decades. With the support of VA scholarships, she earned higher-education nursing degrees at Genesee Community College and Keuka College.

Haegele specializes in occupational health and infection prevention. She has recently been making rounds at the Batavia CLC on an hourly basis researching, mentoring and presenting policy and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In the beginning, especially, things were changing hour by hour, day by day,” Haegele said. “You had to constantly be researching for any changes so you could keep everyone aware of the current recommendations. And I spent a lot of time educating and supporting the staff and ensuring that we were doing the right thing based on what they [the CDC] were recommending.”

The rapidly changing conditions of the public health crisis have meant that Haegel spends an extensive amount of time adapting safe infection control practices to ensure local VA residents and staff are isolated from the disease. According to a VA newsletter about the award, Haegele has contributed to the zero mortality rate at the Batavia facility.

“The nurses are responding with a united front in that residents are safe and provided a continuation of outstanding nursing care and using maximum safeguards for infection prevention,” said Evange Conley, public affairs officer for the VA Western New York Health Care System, via email.

Haegele said that she is passionate about working with veterans and that it was meaningful to her to be the first recipient of the Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award. She said she thinks the award is beneficial for staff members at the Batavia VA because it boosts morale and acknowledges their perseverance amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don't think any of us ever expected something like this to happen,” Haegele said. “It's been difficult to deal with this, but, on a very positive side, I just see a lot of great teamwork and collaboration. And it's stressful, but people are supporting each other. So it's really brought us together to do a good job based on the challenge that we're facing right now.”

Photo at top: June Haegele, left, received the first Batavia Community Living Center Florence Nightingale Award from Associate Chief Nurse Kathleen Padlick, right, on May 12 at the Batavia VA. Haegele earned the award for her hard work during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo credit: June Haegele)

May 23, 2020 - 12:35pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, coronavirus, free face masks.


Masks obtained by the Genesee County Emergency Management Office, to help stop the spread of coronavirus, were distributed for free by the City of Batavia to members of the public on from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 21st and again today, May 23rd.

Today's distribution was behind the City of Batavia Police Station on Main Street.

A constant line of cars took advantage of the free offering of masks and hand sanitizer. Some motorists took masks for friends that were not able to drive or leave their house. 



May 22, 2020 - 5:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, scanner.

A disturbance is reported in the parking lot at BJ's Wholesale Club plaza. A caller to dispatch reports that a person keyed her car and now the two parties are arguing. No word on how it all began. Law enforcement is on scene. The location is 8330 Lewiston Road, Batavia.

May 22, 2020 - 4:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A car vs. pedestrian accident with injuries occurred at 144 State St. The location is between Park and Richmond avenues in the city. City fire, Mercy medics and police are on scene.

May 22, 2020 - 1:59pm

Press release:

During these unprecedented times, the United Way of Genesee County (UWGC) has secured numerous grants and donations, which are being used throughout the county for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

The UWGC matched a crisis grant from National Grid and awarded mini grants to nine agencies in Genesee County who are supplying resources and services to the community.

Additionally, event sponsors for the cancelled 2020 Day of Caring requested their monies be used where needed the most and not be returned. These funds have been added to the donations received from individuals and small businesses and more grant awards will be made.

This week the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo awarded from the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund to the United Way of Genesee County $25,000 to distribute to entities who are supplying the community with resources and critical services.

The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund was created by the philanthropic community to support nonprofits addressing immediate needs in response to the COVID-19 crisis in the eight counties of Western New York.

Recognizing that a lot of the burden of the response is falling on community-based and grassroots organizations, the Fund created a microgrant program to rapidly deploy resources to small urban and rural organizations that provide hands-on assistance to community members.

Intermediary organizations in each county that are recognized as trusted voices and partners identified the microgrant recipients for awards that typically range from $500 - $2,500. 

The following nonprofits will receive funding from this gracious gift:

  • The Salvation Army of Batavia
  • City Church Community Food Pantry
  • North Bergen Presbyterian Church Community Food Pantry
  • Pavilion United Methodist Church Community Food Pantry
  • Project Stork Baby Pantry
  • Care-A-Van Ministries
  • Le Roy Community Kitchen
  • Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern
  • YWCA of Genesee County
  • ABCD: Agri-Business Center
  • Community Action of Genesee and Orleans
  • CASA for Children

The newest funding received is an award of $1,000 from the Kiwanis Club of Batavia to purchase food for the UWGC’s weekend food program, the Backpack Program.

The United Way of Genesee County is overwhelmed with gratitude for each and every gracious donor who has stepped up and said "I want to help."

Accompanying the gratitude for donors is the abundance of gratitude for each volunteer who has worked food distributions, picked up donations, ran food drives and so much more.

Together we do make Genesee County stronger.

For those who would love to support the efforts of the United Way of Genesee County, please contact Executive Director Tammy Hathaway at (585) 343-8141 or email:   [email protected]

May 22, 2020 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia.

D'Andre J. Cramer, 21, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree coercion and third-degree assault. Cramer was arrested at 10:46 p.m. on May 7 after a domestic incident on Dellinger Avenue. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and is due in Batavia City Court on June 5th. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Michael R. Ostrander, 55, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and third-degree menacing. Ostrander was arrested following an incident in the 400 block of East Main Street, Batavia, at 10 p.m. on May 18. It is alleged that he touched a person and threatened another. He is due in Batavia City Court on June 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Adam Tucker, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Jamar T. Shipp, 31, of Niagara Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with aggravated harassment. Shipp was arrested on May 19 after an investigation and arraigned at 4:07 p.m. in Batavia City Court. It is alleged that at 5:21 p.m. on May 9 during a phone call that Shipp threatened to physically harm a female. He was released on his own recognizance and is due to return to city court on July 1. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Alex Roberts.

Matthew W. Barber, 52, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a computer. Barber was arrested at 9:26 a.m. on May 21 after an investigation into an incident that occurred at 12:15 a.m. on May 19 in the 700 block of Ellicott Street, Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on June 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin.

Christopher Parker, 31, of Morse Place, Batavia, and Joshua Williams, 30, of Portland Avenue, Rochester, are charged with: unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree, a violation; criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree, also a violation; and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor. The duo was arrested by City of Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger and the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force after a traffic stop (location and time not provided) on May 21. They were issued appearance tickets and are due in City of Batavia Court on June 16.

May 22, 2020 - 12:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Emergency Order #10-2020, news.

Emergency Order #10-2020

I issue the following emergency order(s) for the period of May 22, 2020 through May 26, 2020. This order continues the following issued under Emergency Order #9, which was effective May 17, 2020. One change to the order below -- removing tennis courts and pickle ball courts from the order.

  1. All public parks within the City limits of the City of Batavia, New York remain open to public use from 7 a.m. to dusk. During the times that public parks are open, State of New York declared restrictions on congregating will be observed. In addition, all playground areas, basketball courts, picnic pavilions, splash pads, and other park facilities that are used for activities that constitute congregating are closed to public use. 

As a reminder to the public, City emergency orders are required to be reissued every five days. In addition, the City of Batavia has a separate document titled Local State of Emergency Proclamation that is required, lasting up to 30 days. 

An outline of the Phase One partial reopening is available here.

Martin D. Moore, Ph.D.

Manager, City of Batavia

May 22, 2020 - 11:17am
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, scanner.

A criminal mischief complaint was called into the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center a few minutes ago. A man who lives on Walnut Street in the city says his neighbor purposely cut down shrubs, which the complainant claims are his, and that this sort of thing is an ongoing problem. City police just arrived.

May 22, 2020 - 6:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A scissor lift with a person inside has tipped over in the parking lot between the Tops mall and Batavia Downs.  

The location is a maintenance shop.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched. 

Mercy Flight on ground standby.

UPDATE 7:21 a.m.: The location was a maintenance area behind Batavia Downs. The patient was extricated and transported to Strong by Mercy EMS.

May 21, 2020 - 7:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Cedar Street, notify.


While it's not unusual for recently constructed sidewalks to buckle in the heat, the number of faults in the sidewalk along Cedar Street since it was installed in 2013 is unusual, said City of Batavia Public Works Director Matt Worth.

It's also unexplainable. 

Worth -- wasn't appointed public works director until after the project was completed  -- indicated a combination of factors could cause the buckling, including the spacing of the joints, the nature of the subsurface, and the chemistry of the cement.  

The buckling is caused by the cement expanding in the heat of the sun beating down on the pavement.

It's been an issue ever since the project was completed, Worth said. While there are as many as six buckle points along the path now, eventually, the issue will resolve itself as repairs are made and pressure is relieved on the cement.

There's nothing to suggest, Worth said, that the contractor who installed the sidewalks, shares any liability.

City crews will repair the broken sections, he said, at a fraction of the cost of hiring a contractor to do the work.



May 21, 2020 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gilliana's Diner, batavia, Jackson Street, news, restaurants, business, notify.


The middle of an economic lockdown may not seem like the ideal time to open a new restaurant but when it's something you were planning and dreaming about before a global pandemic was announced, that's what you do as soon as you can.

Gilliana's Diner, on Jackson Street, in the former location of Sylvania's, opened yesterday.

"We're super excited," said Jill Antinore, who owns the new eatery with her husband Mark.

Jill said they purchased the restaurant Feb. 1 then the global health emergency hit and the County Health Department wasn't issuing health permits. They had to wait until the Health Department was able to give them the OK to open.

Opened for breakfast and lunch -- except on Friday when they offer a dinner menu -- Jill described the diner as "a breakfast place with Italian specialties."

Available for takeout now are typical breakfast items, such as bacon and eggs, and items such as "The Godfather," which is egg, provolone, Italian sausage, sweet or hot peppers; and "Italian eggs in Purgatory," which is two eggs poached in homemade tomato sauce, with cannellini beans, peppers and onions.

The lunch menu includes tripe, homemade meatballs, agrodolce, and parmesan chicken wings.

Hours are Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Friday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. The diner is closed on Wednesdays.

The phone number is (585) 201-7772.

May 21, 2020 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, batavia.


City fire's Christine Marinaccio hands out masks to a family that stopped by the city's mask distribution point at the Fire Hall this afternoon. Councilman Bob Bialkowski, to her right, said the distribution started out with 100 cars lined up and there had been a steady stream of cars coming through the drive-thru distribution point.

The masks were acquired by Genesee County Emergency Management and provided to the city for distribution to residents.

More face coverings will be available to the general public Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Police Headquarters on West Main Street.


City Manager Martin Moore.


Resident Greg Bruggman gets stocked up with masks and hand sanitizer. 



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