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June 16, 2021 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, news, schools, education.

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With field trips canceled this school year because of COVID restrictions, the staff at Jackson Primary today organized a "Field Day" for the students.

Besides a visit for Deputy Andrew Mullen with K-9 "Frankie" and City Fire, activities for the kids include carnival games, dance, rock painting, parachute, and moving-up certificates.

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June 16, 2021 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, animal rescue, pet abuse, wildlife, batavia, Bethany.

An animal control officer headed to Bethany for a complaint that some ducks may be inadequately sheltered, is asked to stop at Walmart first. A caller says there's a dog tied to a cart corral in the last aisle in front of the grocery entrance.

There's an empty bowl by the dog and a sign that says "Do Not Pet."

UPDATE 3:17 p.m.: A couple of deputies are heading to Walmart to assist the animal control officers who says a female whom she detained at the vehicle wants to leave. The female then got in the vehicle and started to leave "even though I told her not to," says the officer, but now the driver has stopped.

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: Deputies are on scene.

UPDATE 3:29 p.m.: After speaking with the driver, all officers have cleared the scene. The animal control officer is continuing to the Bethany complaint, which is in the 10,000 block of Silver Road.

June 16, 2021 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, City Schools, batavia, notify.

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At a time when politics sometimes obscure the good work people do, Superintendent Anibal Soler "took stock" Monday night of all the things parents students, staff, administrators and school board members accomplished during the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of his regular superintendent's update, Soler ran through a list of positive things that have taken place in the district since the pandemic rolled into Genesee County 15 months ago.

"Sometimes we get lost in the current events, the news articles, this whole thing we can’t really control, people question our integrity, our commitment to kids because we may not be extreme about masks or anything of that nature," Soler said to open his remarks.

In no particular order, he said:

  • Though the district didn't have to, schools reopened 10 weeks ago to full, in-class learning five days a week. "We could have taken the easy route," Soler said.
  • The school board approved a budget with zero impact to taxpayers in "a very tough year."
  • The district fed 150,000 meals to district families.
  • The district installed 200 WiFi hotspots so students without internet access can study at home.
  • "Parents were subject to constant, evolving guidance from the state and an ever-changing approach to learning from us," Soler said. "We know this hasn't been an easy year. They've stayed committed to us, committed to their kids, and their kids have been resilient. They rarely complain about any of the things we ask them to do." He added, "I want to thank our parents for always encouraging their kids to be resilient but I also want to thank our kids for stepping up and doing everything we asked like social distancing in the cafeteria, sitting at desks the whole time, you've got to walk with your mask on, one person at a time in the bathroom, a variety of things."
  • The district provided at-home technology to pre-K students so students didn't need to bring technology back and forth from home to school.
  • The district opened a brand-new playground at Jackson School "during a pandemic," he noted.
  • Students in Special Education were coming to school campuses five days a week from the start of the pandemic.
  • Plans are in place for a prom and graduation.

It hasn't been an easy year but the best barometer for how the district has performed, he said, is what the kids say.

"Most of them say we did a pretty good job with what we had to work with," Soler said.

"This is a very politically divided time," he added. "If we stay grounded on what we do for children we can never go wrong."

At the start of his update, Soler announced that two principals in the district have taken new jobs elsewhere.

Ashley John Grillo will be leaving Batavia Middle School to become principal of the Junior-Senior HS in Byron-Bergen.

Amanda Cook is leaving John Kennedy to become director of curriculum in Pavilion.

Nate Korzelius will become interim principal at BMS. Soler said Korzelius will work on integrating high-school-credit courses into the offerings at BMS and that the change will open more opportunities for those students who participate to start Genesee Community College studies while in high school.

June 15, 2021 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Peter Cecere, batavia, schools, education, news, notify.

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Citing increased work and personal commitments, Peter Cecere has resigned his seat on the Batavia City School District Board of Trustees.

Board President Alice Ann Benedict read Cecere's resignation letter before the board voted unanimously to accept his resignation.

Cecere said he came to the decision after many hours of deep thought.

"These many years I have been involved have been very, very rewarding," Cecere said. "It seems like 2013 was just a few minutes ago. I have enjoyed serving the parents, teachers, and administrators of this vibrant community. But most importantly I have enjoyed being an advocate for the incredible children of this district."

Before the vote, Cecere thanked his fellow board members for their friendship during his time on the board and said increased work commitments along with his desire to spend more time coaching soccer contributed to his decision to resign.

He said he felt to remain on the board he needed to give it his full commitment and with these changes in his life, that was no longer possible.

Photo: Screen capture from video of last night's meeting. Superintendent Anibal Soler presented Cecere with a certificate and a framed collection of drawings of the district schools.

June 15, 2021 - 3:58pm

Image: A first-place Graphic Arts creation, grades 10 to 12, by Michelle Jefferson from Dansville Central Schools called "Neon Lights."

Submitted image and press release:

The DIGIES is an annual digital media conference and festival run by the School Library Service, a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

The mission of The DIGIES is to strengthen the digital media continuum between Pre-K-12 schools, higher education and professional institutions. The DIGIES recognizes student potential in an annual festival format and draws student entries from throughout the region and the Upstate New York area.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this in-person awards’ ceremony was canceled. Emilee Williamson and Andrea Fetterly, library technologies’ specialists, coordinate this conference. Fetterly said despite the pandemic, this year’s festival drew a number of entries.

“We are excited to celebrate the amazing creativity and skill demonstrated by the participants in this year's DIGIES festival," Fetterly said. "Despite a much different school year with remote learning and other extraordinary circumstances, students continue to achieve great success."

Congratulations to these imaginative students!

Audio

Seventh-ninth Grades

  • First Place: Gadge Savastano -- "Irregular Time" -- Mount Morris Central School
  • Second Place: Harper Antonucci -- "Right Side Up" -- Geneseo Central School

10th-12th Grades

  • First Place: Matt Sullivan -- "The Digies Beat" -- Wildwood Education Center GST BOCES
  • Second Place: Desinee Woodworth -- "Fade Out" -- Dansville Central School
  • Third Place: Benjamin Scoins, Devon Vaughn, Ainsley Czechowicz -- "Shooting for a Cure" -- Pembroke Central School

Graphic Arts

Pre-K-third Grades

  • FIRST PLACE: Aiden Palmer -- "Aiden Catches the Rainbow" -- Pavilion Central School

Fourth-sixth Grades

  • First Place: Mrs. Sylor’s 5th Grade Class -- "Class Portrait" -- Livonia Central School
  • Second Place: Madelyn Burnett -- "Burning Bush" -- Southwestern Central School
  • Second Place: Avery Boor -- "Stitch Digital Drawing" -- Avon Central School
  • Third Place: Evie Walters -- "Comfortable Cat" -- Livonia Central School
  • Third Place: Zuli Mayer -- "Shy Smile" -- Lancaster William Street Central School

Seventh-ninth Grades

  • First Place: Aniya Ellsworth -- "Digital Mosaic" -- Eden Middle/High School
  • Second Place: Gregory Martin -- "Virtual Gallery" -- Rush-Henrietta Central School
  • Third Place: Parker Baldwin -- "Virtual Gallery" -- Rush-Henrietta Central School

10th-12th Grades

  • First Place: Michelle Jefferson -- "Neon Lights" -- Dansville Central School
  • Second Place: Anna Wojtas – "Bridge" -- Brockport Central School
  • Third Place: DezaRay Burley -- "New World" -- Wildwood Education Center GST BOCES

Interactive

Pre-K-third Grades

  • First Place: Mrs. Leanord’s first-grade class (Ace Friday, Brianna Gilmore, Kylie Greenway, Tyler Hanvey, Evelyn Holmes, Isabella Jackson, Aubrie Jordan, Michaela MacPherson, Kate Rehberg, Gavin Rubert, Atticus Salogar, Luna Santangelo and Frankie Tirabassi) – "Animal Adaptations" – Avon Central School
  • Second Place: Caydence Chappius, Maggie Driscoll, Adelyn Duryea, Callaghan George, Reed Jaros, Charlie Chesnes, Ruby Kyle, Nora Lane, Kenna MacPherson, Conlan McLaughlin, Emma Moran, Donivan Welch, Isabella Tumminelli, Jeremiah Jordan) – "Animal Habitats" – Avon Central School
  • Third Place: Morgan Arber, Briella Bailey, Brooke Clinton, Logan Gaczynski, Evan Hill, Madelyn Hindle, Malcolm Lincourt, Annalisa Murphy, Connor O'Dea, Emily Oyler, Patrick Powers, Layla Price, Kaiden Kellman – "Habitats" – Avon Central School

Fourth-sixth Grades

  • First Place: Julianna Lawson, Annabelle Bajus, Adeline Timothy – "All About Dogs" – Keshequa Central School
  • Second Place: Emerson Currin, Reese Koukides, Cora Weaver – "Snoop Pups" – Le Roy Central School
  • Third Place: Mrs. Dorey’s Fourth Grade Class – "Museum of Invention" – Livonia Central School

10th-12th Grades

  • First Place: Dylan Lewis – "Minecraft World" – Cassadaga Central School
  • Second Place: Anna Burkhartzmeyer, Madeline Cherwonik, Samuel Coyle, Patrick Farrell, Abigail Foley, Dia Gauthier, Eliza Gonzalez, Claire Gratto, Nicholas Nealon, Samantha Place, Laine Ramsay, Colby Reixinger, Natalie Smith, Leia Thibaut – "The Pandemic Publication" – Brockport Central School
  • Third Place – Sean Pies – "High Flyin Vinyl" – Batavia City School

Video

Pre-K-third Grades

  • First Place: Cooper Clark – "Jellyfish" – Livonia Central School
  • Second Place: James McMahon – "Commercial for an Electric Scooter" – Geneseo Central School
  • Third Place: Ethan McMahon – "Commercial for Roller Blades" – Geneseo Central School

Fourth-sixth Grades

  • First Place: Emilia McMahan – “Rainbow Bird” Claymation – Avon Central School
  • Second Place: Sunny Quinn, Lilianna Pragle – "How NOT to Wear a Mask" – Livonia Central School
  • Third Place: Halie Hassell – "Changing the World" – Le Roy Central School

Seventh-ninth Grades

  • First Place: Adam Dolph – "Insane Trick Shots" – Alexander Central School
  • Second Place: Anna Holt, Zoey Wallace, Chloe Hennings – "Roasty Toasty Toaster" – Alexander Central School
  • Third Place: Andrew Lindboom – "Travel Video Paris" – Southwestern Central School

10th-12th Grades

  • First Place: Jacob French – Cookie Jar – Geneseo Central School
  • Second Place: Ashlyn Kreiss – Two’s a Pair – Pittsford Sutherland Central School
  • Third Place: Charlotte Raith – Study Break – Pittsford Sutherland Central School

About the School Library Service

It is a program of the Genesee Valley BOCES. GV BOCES operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

June 15, 2021 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal rescue, pet abuse, news, batavia, scanner.

A dog is reportedly locked inside a red F-1 50 pickup truck in the parking lot of BJ's Wholesale Club at 8330 Lewiston Road, Batavia. An officer is responding.

June 14, 2021 - 5:04pm
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, baseball, sports, batavia.

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Press release:

Batavia rode their 10-5 win against the Niagara Power at Sal Maglie Stadium on Saturday to their second straight win as the Newark Pilots came to Dwyer. By no means was it a pretty game with two hits for the Dogs, but they were disciplined at the plate, drawing 11 total walks.

The Savanna Bananas' dancing first base Coach Maceo Harrison, a viral sensation on social media, also made an appearance for the fans at Dwyer. Harrison showed off his moves in the second, fourth and sixth innings.

Starting pitcher for Newark, Danny Owen, struggled with his location, hitting four batters in his two innings on the mound. Spencer Marcus had an RBI single in the first that scored leadoff hitter Caden Walton who was beamed three times in four at-bats.

Batavia stayed patient at the dish in the second inning, scoring three runs with no hits while stranding the bases loaded. The Muckdogs' other hits came in the bottom of the seventh after Abner Benitez had an RBI triple that also scored Walton.

Julian Pichardo picked up his second win of the 2021 season as the big right-hander from Coastal Alabama CC pitched seven scoreless innings for the Muckdogs. Pichardo only allowed two hits, striking out four Pilots batters and providing large cushions for relievers Kyle Kohlhafer and Nate Novia.

Both Kohlhafer and Novia pitched an inning. They allowed one baserunner each but left them stranded on the basepaths.

Now sitting at 5-5 on the season, Batavia will play at home Monday night against the Elmira Pioneers in an exhibition game that will not count toward their official record.

The games can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

Top photo: Julian Pichardo #40 starting pitcher.

To view or purchase pictures, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene Photography.

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LAW Dance Studio

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Savanna Bananas' dancing first base Coach Maceo Harrison​ showing off some moves.

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George Parish age 96, World War II vet, of Alexander.

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June 14, 2021 - 4:08pm
posted by Press Release in sports, girls softball, Summer Camp 2021, batavia.

From Jim Fazio:

The 2021 summer camp for Girls Softball will be held at the Batavia High School Varsity softball field from 9 a.m. to noon on July 12th-14th. The 15th and 16th will be used as rain dates.

The camp is open to girls ages 8-17 (age 8 to upcoming senior in high school) from any town.

The camp will feature Batavia Varsity Softball Coach Jim Fazio, Cheektowaga Coach Kevin Walkowski, Batavia Varsity Assistant Coach and Athletes Edge Coach Brian Mruczek, Batavia JV Coach Jamie Masters, Batavia Modified Coach Toni PLatten, and Batavia Stingers Coach Stan Kaus.

The camp will focus on the fundamentals of the game including hitting, throwing, fielding, base running, and pitching.

A catcher (can be a friend, parent, etc.) must be provided for those taking part in the pitching lessons, which are 9:15-10 a.m. All players will be grouped according to age, ability, or both.

Cost of the camp is $50 and includes a camp T-shirt. Multiple kids from the same family will cost $45 per player.

Make checks payable to Batavia Softball Boosters and mail to: Jim Fazio, 5190 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020 Contact info: (585) 356-0901, email:  [email protected]

For an application to print out, click here.

For the required waiver form acknowleging student athlete's assumption of risk of physical injury, click here.

June 14, 2021 - 3:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in pet rescue, animals, news, batavia.

A kitten was reportedly briefly caught in the motor of a black sedan parked outside Petco off Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia. "It's doesn't appear to be injured," relays the dispatcher.

An officer was responding but the kitten has been freed and assistance is no longer needed. The sedan is hitched to a black trailer.

June 14, 2021 - 3:25pm
posted by Press Release in news, batavia, infrastructure.

From the city's Bureau of Maintenance:

North Spruce Street (East Avenue to North Street) and Farwell Drive (North Spruce Street to Trumbull Parkway) will be closed to all through traffic. This will occur on Tuesday, June 15 between the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the installation of stormwater facilities.

Residents and property owners within the closure may experience limited or delayed access to and from their residence. All throughout the roadwork, motorists are asked to seek an alternate route.

Thank you for your cooperation in advance.

June 14, 2021 - 3:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Oakfield, Darien.

Dean Matthew Conboy (inset photo, right), 56, of Harper Road, Darien, is charged with: two counts of attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer; two counts of menacing a police officer; unlawful imprisonment in the first degree; second-degree menacing; attempted assault in the second degree; three counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree; and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree. At 7:19 a.m. June 11 on Harper Road in Darien, Conboy was arrested after allegedly menacing a person with a butcher knife and attempting to cause physical injury, resulting in the victim barricading themselves in a bedroom. It is also alleged that the defendant attempted to cause serious physical injury to deputies and placed them in reasonable fear of physical injury and death as he grabbed and armed himself with a butcher knife while deputies struggled to take him into custody. After arraignment in Genesee County Court, Conboy was put in jail on $10,000 bail, $40,000 bond or $60,000 partially secured bond. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Deputy Robert Henning and Investigator Kevin Forsyth.

Kevin McCoy, 54, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. June 8 and charged with second-degree menacing and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. It is alleged that he threatened three people with a knife during an argument in a parking lot on East Main Street. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail without bail. McCoy was due back in court June 10.

Jason Jones, 50, was arrested at 6:30 p.m. June 3 on charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and unlawful possession of fireworks. The charges stem from an incident where Jones was being taken into custody on an unrelated matter. Officers allegedly found a collapsible baton and fireworks in Jones' vehicle. He was processed at Batavia Police Headquarters and arraigned in Batavia City Court. He was put in jail on $5,000 bail, $10,000 bond, or $20,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court July 1.

Jeffery Michael Johnson, 33, of Forest Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and possession of a hypodermic instrument. At 5:53 p.m. June 10, Johnson was arrested on Forest Avenue following a home check by GC Probation and the Sheriff's Office. Allegedly, they found fentanyl and 13 hypodermic needles in the bedroom and in his vehicle. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Oakfield Town Court on July 12. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Gauthier.

Jason Jones, 50, was arrested by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post at 6:08 p.m. on June 3 on Dewey Avenue and charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He allegedly had contact with an individual with an active order of protection against him. Jones was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail in lieu of $500 bail. He is due back in court July 1.

Michael Lytle, 32, was arrested on June 8 and charged with second-degree menacing in connection with a disturbance that occurred at 10:43 a.m. June 4 on State Street, Batavia. It is alleged that Lytle displayed a pellet gun that was perceived to be a real firearm following a verbal dispute with the victim. He is due in Batavia City Court on June 27.

Christopher Taylor, 21, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested after a disturbance at 7:07 p.m. June 6 and arraigned in Batavia City Court. He was then released on his own recognizance and is to return to court June 24.

June 14, 2021 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NYS Veterans Home, batavia, veterans, news.

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Save Our Seniors and the SOS Air-Band serenaded residents of the NYS Veterans Home on Sunday with sounds of the 1950s as part of Flag Day Weekend.

The group was escorted to the event by The Rolling Patriots and the Patriot Guard Riders.

Photos by Lee Hoffman.

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June 13, 2021 - 6:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, scanner, drone.

A caller to dispatch who lives on Liberty Street complains that "a drone flew into her yard from the Jackson Street area." City police are responding.

June 13, 2021 - 4:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in juneteenth, batavia, Williams Park, news.

The Just Kings Social Club of Batavia will host its Second Annual Juneteenth on Saturday, June 19 from noon to 7 p.m. at Williams Park.

The event will include vendors, food, a talent show for ages 8 to 16 (with cash prizes), a bounce house, dunk tank, other fun and games, and live music. 

There will also be a guest speaker.

Live music performers include Ratiboy YN, Ray Williams, Mark Lee, Molotov Mall, King & Drizzy, Brenda Williams, Dolly Man & King Beans, Yikey Mikey, Shun-Della Williams, and Debbie.

Everybody is invited. The park is located at 101 Pearl St. in the City of Batavia.

Juneteenth is the traditional day to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.

The organizers are looking for more volunteers to help with the event and there is still space for vendors. All local businesses are welcome to participate. Volunteers get free food and drinks.

Those interested in volunteering, contact Brandon Armstrong on Facebook or at (585) 536-6576. Vendors can contact Lydia Bruce on Facebook or at (716) 573-3461.

June 13, 2021 - 3:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ABATE Genesee County NY, batavia, VA Hospital, veterans, news.

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Debbie Coon and Duane Coon talk with Fred Henry about his motorcycle outside the VA Hospital in Batavia.

Henry, from Indian Falls, who served 21 years in the Army, was one of a few dozen members of Genesee County ABATE who rode their bikes to the VA Center today to great the veterans there to help celebrate during Flag Day weekend.

Debbie reminded Duane, who served in the Navy from 1971 to 1975, that his motorcycle used to be the same color.

June 13, 2021 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia, news, scanner.

A large bonfire is reported in the city that is close to a house or garage in the area of 14 Raymond Ave. City fire and police are responding.

June 13, 2021 - 8:00am
posted by David Reilly in batavia, nostaglia, history, news.

My life in the teen years growing up in Batavia in the late 1950s and early 1960s was a mix of trying to please my parents and teachers while also attempting to be more independent. Of course, this is true of young teens pretty much anywhere at any time.

My friends and what they thought and did became all-consuming it seemed.

When I was 10 and going into the fifth grade, we moved from the Thomas/Ellicott Avenue area across town to North Spruce Street. After some begging and whining (and maybe some fake crying) my parents agreed to let me continue at St. Mary's School on Woodrow Road, even though it would involve solving some transportation issues.

Most of my friends still lived on the west side of town and at first, I didn't see as much of them except during school.

The exception was Charlie, my partner in shenanigans, whose parents built a big house on East Avenue. Their basement was so big at one time they considered putting a bowling alley down there. They also installed a fountain in their front yard, which featured spraying water that changed colors. Older teens used to park in front and make out until the police shooed them away.

So, Charlie was right down the street and then as we got more toward 12 or 13 years old my friends' and my parents allowed us further range on our bikes and the gang was back together again.

A huge kid advantage to living on North Spruce was having lots more outdoor room to play and horse around. At that time, we were the last house on the northeast side of the street. North Street ended at our corner. All around us were woods, which today is the Narramore and Allanview Drive area.

Charlie vs. Dave

We had a big back yard and Charlie and I would spend hours out there playing whiffle ball. He was the New York Yankees and I was the Milwaukee Braves. We'd designate certain areas for singles, doubles, triples and home runs and we'd play entire nine-inning games, even to the point of writing down lineups and batting orders.

We had some epic games and even a couple fights because Charlie was not a good loser.

In 1957 the Braves won the World Series and I got to lord that over Charlie, for a year at least. Back then the games were in the afternoon and one day, to my immense surprise and everlasting admiration, my mom let me be “sick” and stay home from school to watch the game on TV (in black and white of course)

The Braves moved to Atlanta in the '60s and I've not had a favorite baseball team since.

A number of years ago I started collecting 1957 Milwaukee Braves memorabilia and I now possess all the Topps baseball cards from that team as well as signed baseballs from the four Hall of Famers who played for them that year: Warren Spahn, Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, and Red Schoendienst.

Into the Woods

Our house became a popular gathering spot with my friends because what kid doesn't want a woods to mess around in? Especially in the summer, we'd spend a lot of time out there. We'd play chase and someone had built an awesome tree house and we'd actually have “wars” where we threw rocks at each other. My friend Ray got clonked in the head one time and as my mother bandaged him up her comment was, “You guys already have rocks in your head.”

Another nutty thing we'd do is light fires in the dry grass and then put them out just before they got too big. Anything for excitement, I guess. One time though we came home to find fire trucks out there. A kid down the street had started a fire, but it spread too fast and he panicked and ran away. Neighbors spotted the smoke. He got caught of course and his dad may or may not have lit a fire on his behind.

Fort Reilly

Right on the edge of the woods and our property we built a “fort."

Constructed of an old piece of plywood, some 2x4s, and a bunch of old sheets and bedspreads, it was place to hang out and sneak cigarettes.

Most of our parents smoked like chimneys, but it was "Do as I say, not as I do.”

We used to play poker for smokes, but most of the time the cigs we gambled with were ones we pilfered from our parents.

As we got a little older our parents agreed to let us occasionally “sleep out” in the fort. Of course, very little sleeping took place.

I was especially bad about being able to nod off. Usually, what happened was it would start to get light and I'd sneak off to the house and go to bed. My friends would wake up, see I was gone and just get on their bikes and go home. I deservedly took a lot of mocking over that.

A really bad incident that happened out there involved my younger brother Dan. I had already gone into the house (again) and was sound asleep.

Apparently, when the other guys woke up, they decided to start a fire in a pit we had dug. They couldn't get it going so little brother went in the garage to get some gas.

You can predict what happened next: the gas caught fire as he poured it and in trying to jump away, it spread to his face.

I woke up to screaming. I ran to the kitchen along with my parents and there was Dan with his head in the sink splashing cold water on his face.

My father, dressed in his nighttime attire of tank top undershirt and boxers, tried to go get dressed, but my mother literally pushed him out the door to go to the hospital. He was lucky to get his pants on.

Fortunately, although he was in pain for a few weeks and had some nasty looking scabs, Dan recovered fully with little or no scarring.

Our fort was decommissioned by General Mom Reilly and we had to find somewhere else to hide out.

Tanks for the Memories

One of the things we used to do on our overnight “fort” escapades was go wander around the streets.

We weren't really doing anything bad like vandalism, but rather just looking for some excitement. For example, if we saw car headlights coming at 1 in the morning, more than likely it was a police car on patrol. So, we'd dive into the bushes like we had escaped from prison. If it turned out not to be the cops, we were disappointed because it just wasn't as thrilling.

At some point on one of these ventures we ended up on State Street by the National Guard Armory. Sitting there next to the building was a genuine military tank. It was not a World War II leftover like you would see in front of a V.F.W. or American Legion. I'm pretty sure it was a real working tank that they must have used for training purposes.

The unbelievable thing was that they left the tank unsecured.

We would climb up, open the hatch and go inside. We would look through the slit visors and I seem to recall a periscope we would play with. Hopefully, the guns weren't loaded or operational because I don't even want to think how that could have ended.

This was at the height of the “Cold War” so it seems odd that the National Guard wasn't concerned that some “Commies” might take the tank and topple the Upton Monument or something.

Today, there is a fence around the Armory and most likely lots of security cameras to identify any surreptitious anarchist types who might be up to no good. Not to mention goofy teenagers.

What put an end to these early teen hijinks? Three things: summer jobs, getting driving permits, and interest in girls. You can't really leave work at the hot dog stand at 2 a.m. and head over to climb around on an Army tank.

But teenage mistakes kept getting made.

On my very first real date with a girl I took her to see Alfred Hitchcock's “The Birds,” one of the scariest movies ever. I think it was a coincidence, but soon after that she moved out of state.

I guess it's a good thing to grow up and mature (although some never do). But those teen years certainly provided me with some good stories to tell when I got old.

June 12, 2021 - 10:01pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, LGBTQ+ Pride Month, GLOW OUT.

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Batavia celebrated Pride Month in a big way this weekend. Events started on Thursday and continue through Sunday. GLOW OUT in conjunction with GO ART! hosted today's festivities that included a parade, a Drag Show, and a baseball game of “Celebrities” vs. the Drag Queens.  

The Pride Parade celebrates individual freedom to be who you want to be without being bullied, repressed or ostracized for who you are. Many marching in today's parade were family members showing unity and support for loved ones and families who are part of the LGBTQ community. 

GLOW OUT is hoping to raise money to hire a part-time director to help the LGBTQ community connect to the resources they may need including financial, shelter, health, and moral support. 

For more information on or to donate to GLOW OUT please go to this website here.

For more pictures of today's events go to jimburns.org.

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June 12, 2021 - 9:27am
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, baseball, sports, batavia.

Press release:

At some points this season, it seems like the Muckdogs just haven’t been able to catch a break.

With the game hanging in the balance heading into the bottom of the ninth, Batavia trailed the Geneva Red Wings 7-5. Pinch hitter Caden Walton was beaned in the elbow on the first pitch he saw, and Cameron Conley also reached base after being walked on four pitches.

Abner Benitez kept his hitting streak alive as he laid down a bunt against southpaw reliever Ryan Gassler after first baseman Noah Reichman fielded the bunt and tried to get the lead runner Walton at third, but Walton reached before the throw.

Spencer Marcus stepped up to the plate down two runs with based loaded and no outs in what felt like a perfect scenario. Gassler hit Marcus in the foot with a breaking ball to cut the deficit to just one as the Muckdogs were in a prime position to win on Batavia Blue Devil Night.

Cleanup hitter Daniel Burroway struck out for the first out of the inning, but star outfielder/pitcher Blair Frederick was due up next in a great spot to have a walk-off in his first game as a Muckdog. In a 1-1 count, Frederick ripped a ball up the middle, and Gassler made an athletic play to catch the line drive and throw the ball over to third to complete the double play. And just like that, the game was over.

Batavia had the opportunity to cash in runners throughout the ballgame as well, leaving 12 runners left on base and the Muckdogs continue to struggle in that category. Starting Pitcher Nathan Hinkley was credited with the loss after going 5.2 innings, allowing 11 hits and six earned runs.

Catcher Joey Battaglia and third basemen Jerry Reinhart had great nights at the plate, scoring two runs apiece and having base hits in the three-run fourth inning for the Dogs.

The Muckdogs will now travel to Sal Maglie Stadium to square off against the Niagara Power for their first meeting of 2021. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Batavia will be back home for a 4:05 p.m. game Sunday against the Newark Pilots.

Today’s game can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

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