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April 1, 2021 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ellicott Street, covid-19, coronavirus.

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For a few small businesses, COVID-19 has meant the end of the line. The owners just weren't able to outlast coronavirus pandemic restrictions and people staying home. For Christine and Cassandra Wroblewski, a mother and daughter team (Cassandra pictured), the lack of income options after losing their jobs meant it was time to start a business.

Together, they've opened the Junk Drawer at 238 Ellicott St. Batavia.

"I bought my first pallet (of merchandise) and flipped it and made double my money (selling on eBay)," Christine said. "Then I bought another one. Then my house began to look like a hoarder's.  (Cassandra) wasn't working so I was like, 'You want to open a store?' and this place was available. This was all because of COVID."

Cassandra agrees, starting their own business together seemed like the obvious thing to do.

"Everything was just cluttering her house up and she's like, 'Hey, open up the store!' Cassandra said. "I'm like, 'OK, it's better than being at home.' "

The store specializes in selling remainders -- items that were overstock for some other store and are available wholesale at very low prices.  

A customer in the store yesterday afternoon who was loading up her basket on shampoos, soaps and lotions, said the Junk Drawer has become her place to go because the prices are so much lower than other discount stores in the city. 

Cassandra is an artist and a crafter, so items she and her mother-in-law crochet along with her paintings are also for sale in the store.

"We have beauty products; we have toys; we have anything you can imagine and our inventory is always changing," Cassandra said.

April 1, 2021 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news, weather.

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C.M. Barons shared this photo of snow falling on this spring garden in Bergen this afternoon.

April 1, 2021 - 12:44pm

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National restaurant chain Chipotle, founded in Denver in 1993, has its eye on Towne Center at Batavia for a new location according to a special use permit application filed on its behalf by COR Development Company, owners of the plaza.

The building is the former location Metro Mattress in the same structure as Game Stop and Five Guys.

If approved, the location would be modified to include a drive-thru and outdoor seating.

Chipotle, with more than 2,000 locations nationwide, specializes in Mexican-style cuisine and especially known for its build-your-own burrito bar. 

The application for a special use permit and site plan review will be heard this month by the County Planning Board before being sent to the Town of Batavia Planning Board.

Neither COR nor Chipotle, at least so far, have filed an application with Genesee County Economic Development Center for any tax abatements.

April 1, 2021 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Easter Bunny, Easter, batavia, news.

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Melissa Sacheli spotted the Easter Bunny hopping through Batavia yesterday at the corner of Bank Street and North Street.

April 1, 2021 - 10:50am
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.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
March 31, 2021 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, sports.

There's a change of plans for Batavia football on Friday night, with the Blue Devils getting a guaranteed win, making the team, 3-0, because of a Geneva forfeit.

Head Coach Brennan Briggs said Geneva will be unable to field enough players for the game.

So, Batavia will play Burgard, a team from Buffalo, at 6:30 at Van Detta Stadium.  

The game does not count as part of the regular season but, Briggs said, "it gives the kids a chance to play."

March 31, 2021 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news, notify.

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The community is pulling together, rallying around a family of six that was burned out of their home at 37 Maple St., Batavia, yesterday morning.

There are a few donation and fundraising efforts that have started since news of the fire hit local news home pages yesterday.

A new store, the Junk Drawer, at 238 Ellicott St., is accepting item donations for the family, and Ally Scofield has set up a GoFundMe page for the family.  

Items that can be dropped off at the Junk Drawer include clothing items for boys age 3- to 6-months and age 10 to 12. Size 14 and 16 women's pants, 2x-3x women's shirts, men's 32 and 34 pants, women's 12-15 pants, and women's large shirts. They also need personal items such as shampoo, soap, etc.

The GoFundMe campaign has set a goal of raising $5,000 and has already exceeded $3,000.

The family had lived at the residence for three years but did not have renter's insurance. They lost seven pets and all of their personal belongings and household items.

Top photo: City Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano comforts Bentley Sherman, who lived at the residence with his mother and grandmother.

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March 31, 2021 - 2:16pm
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.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
March 30, 2021 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, notify, batavia.
Video Sponsor

A family lost all personal belongings as well as three dogs and six cats in a house fire this morning at 37 Maple St., Batavia.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"A neighbor said a fire and I was going, just 20 different things going on, I didn't know what was going on," said Marlene Hartford about the start of the fire.  

She lived at the house, she said, with her daughter, son-in-law (who wasn't home at the time), and two grandchildren.  

Hartford said the family, which had lived on Maple Street for three years, did not have renter's insurance. Chief Stefano Napolitano said Red Cross will provide temporary shelter, clothing and food.

Press release:

At 10:38 a.m. on March 30, the City of Batavia Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire located at 37 Maple St. The first arriving fire units were on scene at 10:40 a.m.

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy fire involvement on the southeast corner of the home, extending from the first floor to the attic. Responding crews made an aggressive, coordinated exterior and interior attack and were able to confine and contain the fire to the interior of the home. The situation was called under control by on-scene fire command at 11:21 a.m.

Due to the intensity of the fire, the home received significant heat damage throughout, along with smoke and water damage. Additionally, three dogs and six cats perished in the fire. 

At this time the City of Batavia’s Fire Investigation team with assistance from the City of Batavia Police Department’s Detective Bureau is investigating the fire to determine the origin and cause.

City fire was assisted at the scene by Mercy EMS, City of Batavia Police Department’s road patrol and Detective Bureau, City of Batavia Bureau of Inspection, Bureau of Maintenance and Water Department, along with the Town of Batavia and Darien fire departments, with additional support provided by the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch, National Fuel and National Grid.

(Initial Post)

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City Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano comforts Bentley Sherman, who lived at the residence with his mother and grandmother.

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March 29, 2021 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, news, notify.

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For 29 years in the Florida Keys, a Genesee County girl was known only as "Valentine Jane Doe."

She had been raped and murdered on Valentine's Day, 1991, her body found the next day by a group of windsurfers walking on a path near a beach. Investigators noted two things about her: she had no tan lines suggesting she was from the north and hadn't been in Florida long, and she had a small heart-shaped tattoo with the word "love" in it.

Over the summer, using DNA matching with relatives, she was at long last identified as Wanda Deann Kirkum, who was 18 at the time of her murder. Wanda was born in Hornell but had spent most of her life in Genesee County going to schools in Pavilion, Batavia and Oakfield.

For those 29 years, her remains were stored in a Florida Social Services vault but recently her ashes were returned to her closest living relative, first cousin Brenda Chartraw.

Chartraw said she and Wanda were close as children and now, after her cousin being known only as a Jane Doe for so many years, Chartraw wants to make sure her name is memorialized with a proper burial in a final resting place and headstone. Kirkum will be lain to rest at a cemetery in Oakfield.

The headstone is being donated by Oakley Monuments of Batavia but Chartraw is asking for the community's help with the rest of the fundraising. She has set up a gofundme.com page and is holding a basket raffle at the Caryville Inn in Oakfield this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets will be drawn at 4 p.m.

Wanda ran away from home when she was 18. Chartraw said Wanda was physically and sexually abused by her father and mother. Her parents, who are both now dead, apparently had no interest in finding her and did not file a missing person's report.

The family believed, Chartraw said, that Wanda wanted to start a new life and had believed that she had done so, without suspecting that she had been killed.

Chartraw said the case of the Valentine Jane Doe was kept top-of-mind within the Monroe County (Florida) Sheriff's Office by the dispatcher who first took the call of Kirkum's body being found by the windsurfers. The case was featured on national television shows but no leads were ever uncovered until this past year.

One of the detectives working the case uploaded Kirkum's DNA to a genealogy site -- using a technique pioneered in California in the Golden State Killer case -- to identify a fourth cousin of Wanda's. With that match, detectives found another family member and acquired a DNA sample to confirm the match.  

Using DNA, detectives also identified Kirkum's killer, Robert Lynn Bradley, who was 31 at the time of his murder in Texas the year after he killed Kirkum.  

NOTE: Family members say that Kirkum never gave birth to a child, as suggested in the video.

March 29, 2021 - 10:02am
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.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
March 28, 2021 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, football.

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  • Oakfield-Alabama/Elba beat Geneseo/Mount Morris 42-18. Ty Mott rushed for 243 yards on 25 carries and scored five times. Bodie Hyde was 4-5 passing for 111 yards and one TD. Zach Howard had 50 yards receiving and scored a touchdown. Peyton Yasses had seven tackles and one sack. Mott, seven tackles and one sack; C.J. Gottler, six tackles, two sacks; Dontrell Jenkins, five tackles, one fumble recovery; Howard, six tackles.
  • Batavia beat Wayne Central 48-30. Terrez Smith gained 155 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns. He also had a 75-yard punt return for a TD. Jesse Reinhardt, 8-12 passing for 200 yards and three TDs. Alex Hale caught two TD passes and had a total of 57 reception yards. Tyler Budziniack caught two passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. 
  • Pembroke beat South Seneca 36-6.
  • Le Roy beat Attica 20-0. Alex Penepento was 8-14 passing for 74 yards and a TD. He also ran for 62 yards on 12 attempts and scored at TD. Jack Tonzi gained 10 yards on three carries and scored a TD. Nate Andrews caught a TD pass as one of his two receptions for 24 yards. Adam Riesewick had three receptions for 27 yards. Zach Vanderhoof had nine tackles and three sacks.
  • Notre Dame lost to Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen 16-8. Collin McCulley was 9-20 passing for 63 yards. He also ran three times for 32 yards and a TD. Dylan Warner rushed 11 times for 46 yards. Mark Sanders had five receptions for 59 yards. On defense, Vin DiRisio, Cody Henry and Warner each made 10 tackles while McCulley had nine.
  • Alexander lost to Avon 21-0. For coverage, click here.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here and here.

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March 28, 2021 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, football, sports.
Video Sponsor

Avon's defensive line proved to be just a bit larger than Alexander's offense could overcome in Saturday's game at Van Detta Stadium, so the Trojans were never able to sustain a drive and ended up losing 21-0.

QB Nick Kramer rushed for 92 yards on 17 carries. Six other Trojan backs combined for 78 yards. 

Devin Dean led the defense with 11 tackles. Jake Laney had five tackles.

The Trojans did manage to get the ball on four turnovers. Mav Bump and Jay Morrison each had an interception. Kramer forced two fumbles. One was recovered by Morrison and one was recovered by Connor Hollands.

March 28, 2021 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, pembroke, pembroke hs, sports, soccer.

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Press release:

We would like to take the time to congratulate Montana Dieter on signing a celebratory letter of intent to compete at Genesee Community College this fall.

Montana plans on joining the Lady Cougars Soccer team at GCC under the guidance of Coach Jeff Reyngoudt. During Montana’s time here at Pembroke Central School she has been a standout in both Soccer and Cheerleading.  

As a member of the Lady Dragons Soccer Team, Montana has been a four-year starter at forward since her freshmen year. During her tenure with the Lady Dragons, she has put together an impressive resume, which includes 26 goals and 18 assists. Montana plans to use her immense speed and shiftiness to continue her success at the next level.

While attending GCC, Montana plans on studying to become a Registered Nurse. Montana is extremely excited and honored to continue her career at the next level, competing for the Cougars. 

Coach April Meier said, “I would like to congratulate Montana for her success and accomplishments while on the Pembroke Varsity soccer team. I know she will go on to do great things with this opportunity to play soccer at GCC next fall. Montana is a highly talented athlete her combined qualities of speed athleticism, quick decision making and mind for game strategy make her a formidable and skilled offensive player. It gives me great pride and pleasure to see the athletes from our program pursuing the sports they love in college. Best of luck to Montana and the GCC Cougars in their upcoming fall 2021 season!”

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March 28, 2021 - 12:34pm
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.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
March 27, 2021 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in girl scouts, Troop 43091, byron, news.

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Members of Girl Scout Troop 43091 held a cookie sale in Byron this afternoon.

March 27, 2021 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, byron fire, byron, news.

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Members of the Byron Volunteer Fire Department held a boot drive in the hamlet this afternoon. With normal fundraising activities curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, the department conducted the boot drive to help raise money for air packs.
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March 27, 2021 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news, Easter.

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The Easter Bunny paid a visit to the Village of Bergen today where he and his helpers handed out Easter eggs and other treats in a socially distanced drive-thru Easter egg hunt.

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March 27, 2021 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, Easter, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

The Easter Bunny was on hand Thursday for a socially distanced Easter Parade at Jackson School.

March 26, 2021 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in mock trials, alexander, schools, education, news.

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Alice Calmes shared this information:

Typically the teams would start preparing in early December when the NYS BAR Association releases the case. However, due to Covid guidelines, the school didn't allow extracurricular activities to start until Feb 22.

At that time, the four returning members recruited four more members, assigned roles, and started working on opening and closing statements, questions for direct and cross, and memorizing affidavits.

The initial round of competitions for them started March 8th and they went 4-0 advancing straight to the semifinals due to a bye in the quarter-finals from being in first place at the end of the initial rounds. A win against Attica High School sent them to the finals against Oakfield-Alabama on Wednesday night.

Both matches were hard-fought, with Alexander beating Oakfield-Alabama in both.

Many of the students had to take a role on both the plaintiff and defense sides, which added to the difficulty of such a short preparation time.

The team consists of: senior -- Erin Hess, a first-year member; juniors -- Shawn Calmes, Katarina Luker, Imogene Plitt and Anna "Annie" Slenker -- all returning members, and Dana Morelli, a first-year member; and freshmen -- Olivia Burkhardt and Holly Bykowski, first-year members.

The team is led by Advisor -- Johnny Lucas, a History teacher at Alexander, and Jane Schmeider, their lawyer advisor.

Erin, Shawn, Katarina, Imogene and Annie are all doubling up on plaintiff and defense.

Photo submitted by Alice Calmes. Not all team members were available at the time this photo was taken and they won't be until after spring break. In the photo are Annie, Holly, Erin, Mr. Lucas, Shawn Calmes, Olivia, Katarina and Imogene (missing is Dana).

For previous mock trial coverage, click here.

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