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Howard B. Owens's blog

November 20, 2019 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, news, notify.

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         Daniel Wolfe

Press release:

On Monday, Nov. 18 at approximately 1:18 p.m., the Genesee County Dispatch Center received a domestic call at 209 Liberty St.

The caller reported that an intoxicated male struck a female and the male was in possession of a sword. It was also reported that the female was able to escape the residence.

Officers from the Batavia Police Department arrived on scene and encountered the male, who had barricaded himself inside the residence. The female was located and found safe at a neighbor’s home.

The suspect, who remained inside the house, began shooting at officers with a BB rifle.

Immediately, the Batavia Police Department set up a perimeter around the residence and neighbors were told to shelter in place. The Batavia City School District was informed of the incident so appropriate measures could be taken to ensure the safety of the students, including students attending the Jackson Primary School, located a few blocks away.

Batavia Police negotiators were called to the scene along with the Batavia Police Emergency Response Team (ERT), the New York State Police, and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office / K-9 Unit and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation K-9 Unit.

Negotiators were able to make verbal contact with the suspect who was identified as Daniel Wolfe, 45, who resided at 209 Liberty St. in the upstairs apartment. Wolfe repeatedly told negotiators that he wanted officers to kill him. He refused officers' commands to come out of the house.  

The Genesee County Sheriff’s K-9 handler attempted to send "Frankie" inside to safely take Wolfe into custody. Wolfe then attempted to slash Frankie with a knife, and the handler pulled Frankie back to safety.

Wolfe continued to tell officers throughout the incident that he wanted officers to kill him, and he threatened to shoot officers.

Several options were tried to get Wolfe to surrender that included the launching of chemical agents into the residence and the use of robots/drones to determine where he was in the residence. Other negotiating and swat teams were called in to assist.

After approximately 20 hours, Wolfe exited the residence and surrendered to Detective Sargent Kevin Czora of the Batavia Police Department.

Wolfe was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for injuries he sustained during the incident. These injuries were self-inflicted. All officers on the scene and civilians in the neighborhood were unharmed during this incident.

Wolfe was later released from Strong hospital, at which time he was arrested by Batavia Police Department on charges of first-degree criminal contempt, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, menacing, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd.

Wolfe was arraigned in Batavia City Court on Nov. 19 and is being held without bail at the Genesee County Jail.  He will reappear in Batavia City Court at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Nov. 21). Additional charges are pending.

The Batavia Police Department would like to thank: the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office; Orleans County SWAT; New York State Police troopers; negotiators; drone unit; K-9 unit; and SORT teams; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation K-9 Unit; Monroe County Crisis Negotiating Team; Genesee County Emergency Management; Genesee County Dispatch Center; City of Batavia Fire Department; Mercy EMS; and the numerous citizens who supported the efforts, both on the scene and in the days following this incident.

Photos: Top photo: still from the video shot yesterday of Wolfe and Det. Kevin Czora and an unidentified plainclothes State Trooper slowly walking Wolfe from the apartment where he had been barricaded to a waiting ambulance. Bottom photo, still from a previously unreleased portion of the video where Wolfe turned to look down the street, and pulled back slightly, as Czora and the trooper tried to coax him into the ambulance.

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November 20, 2019 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, notify, muckdogs.

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Major League Baseball should not end its affiliation with the Batavia Muckdogs, or any of the other 41 minor league teams reportedly on the chopping block without sitting down and listening to local community leaders and minor league executives, Sen. Charles Schumer said during a telephone press conference with Upstate news media today.

"This plan presents some real potential problems for New York State," Schumer said. "We don't know how real it is, but the newspaper reports are very disconcerting. So I am calling today on the MLB and Minor League Baseball to sit down and talk with the community leaders and with team owners to ensure that all the relevant parties can provide feedback and propose constructive solutions before any final decisions are made."

The proposal to eliminate or demote 42 minor league teams is potentially an issue for members of Congress to take up because Major League Baseball enjoys an exemption from the Sherman Anti-Trust Act based on a ruling by the Supreme Court in 1922. Congress has the power to overturn that exemption.

Responding to a question from The Batavian, Schumer declined to comment on how he might respond to any proposal to lift the exemption.

"As for the antitrust exemption, we all know it exists," Schumer said. "Let's see what Major League Baseball has to say. Let's see how quickly and willingly and cooperatively they are willing to sit down with us before we comment on that particular proposal."

The current proposal -- as leaked to The New York Times -- would move 42 teams currently affiliated with major league teams to an independent "Dream League." Schumer acknowledged that it's unclear what MLB means by a "Dream League."

Besides Batavia, teams listed as candidates to lose a major league affiliation are Binghamton, Auburn and Staten Island. Three New York teams -- the Tri-City Valleycats, Hudson Valley Renegades and Brooklyn Cyclones -- would be promoted to AA leagues. That proposal, Schumer noted, would mean the end of the New York Penn League, founded in Batavia 80 years ago.

Complicating matters for Batavia is that the Muckdogs are now owned by the New York Penn League.

For decades, the Muckdogs were owned by the community, run by the Genesee County Baseball Club with a volunteer board of directors. The team has been perpetually for sale for several years. If it ever were sold, some of the proceeds would be returned to the GCBC.  

Club President Brian Paris said last night that any proceeds from the sale would be used for the community's benefit.

So the Muckdogs are, in the true financial sense of the word, a community asset.

Attempts to reach Ben Hayes, NYPL president, to try and clarify how the MLB proposal might affect this community asset have been unsuccessful.

Schumer said the first order of business is getting MLB to listen to the concerns of the communities affected by this proposal. He is seeking a meeting with MLB Commissioner Rob Manafort, whom Schumer hopes will understand the concerns of Upstate communities because he's originally from Rome. 

Loss of the NYPL would be especially devastating for baseball fans in Upstate New York, Schumer said. The Dream League, whatever that might be, Schumer said, might be a sufficient attraction to make professional baseball viable in Upstate.

"The New York Penn League short-season schedule has been ideal for New York baseball fans," Schumer said. "The games get started in mid-June after the colder spring weather; They last through the hot summer months when baseball's at its best, in my opinion."

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has also weighed into the debate defending baseball in Batavia, stating, "If you’re in Batavia or anywhere nearby, you love the Muckdogs. I’ve been to many of their games. I’ve thrown out opening pitches. My husband and I slip in there at least once or twice a year to catch a game, so it’s part of the identity of the community and especially these small towns. I mean Batavia has a lot going for it, but part of it is being associated with a Minor League Baseball team."

Photo: File photo by Jim Burns.

November 19, 2019 - 5:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, baseball, sports, notify.

It's early in the negotiations and officials with Minor League Baseball are working hard to save all the minor league ball clubs from the chopping block, a spokesman for Minor League Baseball said this evening.

"The game of baseball is just as important to Batavia and Auburn as it is in Charlotte or Indianapolis," said Jeff Lantz. "We want to see baseball grow and thrive and be a part of all of our communities."

He said it's unfortunate that word leaked that Major League Baseball floated a proposal to eliminate some minor league teams, and even more unfortunate that this week a list of teams MLB is proposing to be cut was leaked. Both Batavia and Auburn were on a list of New York Penn League clubs that could be scrapped if MLB is successful in reducing the number of minor league teams from 160 to 120.

"That's not good for anybody," Lantz said. "It's not good for Minor League Baseball. It's not good for the fans, and it's not good for the fans of Batavia and Auburn."

He said it's early in the process and MLB and its officials are meeting this week to negotiate. They'll meet again at the Winter Meetings in a couple of weeks to try and hammer out a deal.

"We'll find out their (MLB's) concerns," Lantz said. "I don't think there are any concerns that can't be addressed through negotiations and finding out the best way to go."

Asked if MLB holds all the cards, Lantz said, obviously, the Appalachian League (of) MLB owns all the franchises and can do with them as they please, but the rest of the teams have separate owners so their status does become a point of negotiation.

The Batavia Muckdogs are owned by the New York Penn League now, but the team's former owner, a community group -- Genesee County Baseball Club -- would receive a part of the proceeds if NYPL ever sold the club. If the club were sold and moved, members of the club have floated the idea of using the funds to start a baseball team in one of the leagues that provides summer baseball for college-level players.

Lantz referred questions about the team's ownership status and how that might play out in these negotiations to league president Ben Hayes.

The Batavian has been unable to reach Hayes although we've tried for the past couple of weeks.

General Manager Brendan Kelly said he was not authorized to talk about the status of the minor league clubs. We were also unable this evening to reach club President Brian Paris.

That said, Lantz confirmed, there will be a 2020 season for the Muckdogs in Batavia. The current contract between MiLB and MLB runs until Sept. 15, 2020.

"The good news is, that gives us 11 months to try to negotiate a deal," Lantz said.

Lantz said one thing that is helping the cause of Minor League Baseball is politicians speaking out to help save the teams in the communities they represent. He cited specifically a member of Congress from Massachusetts who got more than 100 other members of Congress to sign a petition to send to MLB asking MLB to protect these teams.

Sen. Charles Schumer has come out strongly in favor of keeping ball clubs in Batavia and Auburn.

“America’s favorite pastime should not become part of Upstate New York’s past," Schumer said. "It’s no secret that New York’s minor league teams are institutions within their communities, which is why I implore MLB to reconsider any such plans and will be reaching out to them directly to advocate for our New York teams."

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who along with her husband, Bill, is a big fan of the Muckdogs and has attended several games over the years, also sent out a couple of Tweets in support of protecting minor league teams in New York. In one, Hochul wrote, "Foul ball!? @MLB - please say this isn’t so. As the birthplace of baseball and home to the Baseball Hall of Fame, these teams are big economic drivers for our small towns and part of New York’s identity & culture."

UPDATE 8:25 p.m.: Genesee County Baseball Club President Brian Paris said he's had no conversations at this point with Ben Hayes or Minor League Baseball about the future of the Batavia Muckdogs, though he is mindful of the fact that the club has a financial stake in the outcome of negotiations. He noted that Major League Baseball enjoys an antitrust exemption, which could limit the leverage of ball club owners but, citing a Baseball America article, noted that terminating as many as 40 franchises could jeopardize baseball's always tenuous hold on its exemption (which is authorized by Congress). If the Muckdogs are ever sold, Paris noted, it's the intention of the club's board of directors that any proceeds from a sale (about half the value of the club, less operational losses sustained by the NYPL since the league took over) would be used to the benefit the community.

November 19, 2019 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Liberty Street, batavia, crime, video.
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At 8:42 a.m., after barricading himself in his apartment for 20 hours while SWAT teams swarmed around his residence, a Batavia man was finally coaxed out of his dwelling by a detective who managed to gain his trust over the course of the ordeal.

The resident, whose name has not yet been released, was gently escorted by Det. Kevin Czora and a plainclothes state trooper to a waiting ambulance five houses down the block, just north of Cherry Street.

Assistant Chief Todd Crossett said the man is facing criminal charges and his name and the exact nature of the charges will be released later today.

The Batavian captured exclusive video of the subject being escorted from the house and down Liberty Street.

November 19, 2019 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia, notify.
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This is video from the standoff on Liberty Street with footage from yesterday afternoon through early this morning.

We will post a second video later that shows the end of the standoff, including exclusive shots of the suspect being led away by Det. Kevin Czora.

The photos below are by Jim Burns.

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November 18, 2019 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

With the majority of the weighted vote, county chairs across NY-27 have expressed their readiness to secure Nate McMurray as the candidate to run on the Democratic line when the Governor calls the special election to replace Chris Collins. He has earned support from the Democratic chairs of Niagara, Wyoming, Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Ontario and Livingston counties. These committees carry a combined total of 51 percent of the weighted vote for the nomination.
 
Committees across the district have gained members in record numbers after McMurray’s run in 2018 - with committees more than doubling their membership in majority-Republican counties.
 
“I am tremendously proud to earn the support of these Democratic leaders across Western New York," McMurray said. "The strength of our Democratic Party is the power in all its communities, urban, suburban and rural. As I've traveled the backroads and small towns of these counties for the past two years, I know that families are struggling and looking for new leadership on the issues they care about most – ending corruption, expanding healthcare, lowering taxes for middle-class families, and bringing back good jobs. Together, we can bring true representation for this region to Congress and I am ready to be the fighter our families, farmers and small businesses need."
 
“Nate did well in Niagara County last year against a strong political machine and has a lot of grassroots support throughout much of the county," said Niagara County Democratic Committee Chair Jason Zona. " As county chair, I support him in a special election run, and I anticipate the members of our county committee will do so as well when we convene in the near future."
 
"When Nate McMurray ran in NY-27 in 2018, he came within less than a percentage point of victory," said Wyoming County Democratic Committee Chair Cynthia Appleton. "But along with this, he did something else, something magical. He energized the rural counties. He created a movement on the ground that hasn't gone away. Nate asked them all to ‘Fight Like Hell’, they did, and will again. I'm proud to endorse him for a special election in NY-27."
 
“The Monroe County Democratic Committee is proud to join Nate to finish the fight he began in 2018 for the 27th Congressional District," said Monroe County Democratic Committee Chair Brittaney Wells. "We are confident he will fight for the hard-working people of the district who have long been without a voice. Nate will restore integrity to the office and ensure his constituents are heard."
 
Genesee Democratic County Committee Chair Michael Plitt said, “Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year. Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message. Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve.”
 
“I am so pleased to support Nate in the upcoming special election," said Orleans County Democratic County Committee Chair Jeanne Crane. "He has visited Orleans County many times and is very aware of what our small county faces every day...few jobs, lack of affordable housing, and high taxes. We need NATE!”
 
“We need a fighter like Nate McMurray in Congress,” said Ontario Democratic Chair John Hurley. “He had record turnout here in 2018, and we are ready to build on it in 2020. Nate has traveled across our county, meeting with people and hearing their stories. From combatting the opioid crisis to creating jobs, Nate is the leader we can count on to deliver for us.”
 
“Given how close Nate came in 2018, we are thrilled to have him running for us this cycle," said Livingston Democratic County Committee Chair Judith Hunter. "It’s been too long since the people of NY-27 have had a representative that puts service over self, and people over politics. We are delighted to support him again."

November 18, 2019 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.60, down 2 cents since last week. One year ago, the price was $2.63. The New York State average is $2.69 – down 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.87. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.65 (no change since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.62 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.66 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.66 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.63 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.58 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.66 (up 1 cent since last week)

After decreasing for several weeks, stock levels are bouncing back. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) now says that total domestic stocks of gasoline grew by 1.9 million barrels – that’s lower than last year at this time, but enough to bring gas prices down slightly over the weekend.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, oil prices increased by 95 cents to settle at $57.72, up slightly (48 cents) from the previous week.

Crude prices have slowly been on the rise due to increased optimism that China and the United States – the world’s two largest crude consumers – are continuing to resolve ongoing trade tensions that sparked market fears that global crude demand would suffer as a result of increased tariffs between both countries. Crude inventories are up alleviating pressure on pump prices.

November 18, 2019 - 10:26am
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.
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November 17, 2019 - 4:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 8-man football, football, video, oakfield-alabama, elba.
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The Aggies won't get a chance to officially defend their 8-Man Football state championship because the other sections in the state dropped out of the competition, but with a convincing 60-34 win over Maple Grove in the Section V championship at St. John Fisher College, they left little doubt who is #1.

Ty Mott, who gained 202 yards, scored three touchdowns and intercepted two passes, was the game's most valuable player. 

Colton Dillon was the offensive player of the game. He rushed for 296 yards, giving him 1,473 yards on the season. He scored four times.

The defensive player of the game was Dylan Rykert who had eight tackles giving him 81 on the season. He also had two sacks. CJ Gottler had three sacks. Dillion had nine tackles.

The Batavian's coverage is the only Section V Athletics-authorized local coverage of the 8-Man championship.

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

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November 16, 2019 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, Notre Dame, video.
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The Fighting Irish dominated Section V Class D all season but when it came time to meet the Section XI champs, and defending state champions, Clymer/Sherman/Panama, Notre Dame found themselves facing a tough opponent.

While Notre Dame was able to pick up yards on offense -- 328 total yards -- scoring points proved difficult while the Wolfpack had little difficulty crossing into the end zone. 

The final score was 47-14.

The Irish were without Head Coach Joe Zambito, who was ejected during the Class D sectional last week because of a personal foul by one of his personnel on the sideline. By rule, he had to sit out the next game.

Sophomore Colin McCulley took most of the snaps from center and put on an impressive performance, going 15-26 passing for 176 yards.

Jed Reese rushed for 84 yards on 17 carries. Gabe Macdonald scored a TD on 10 rushes for 21 hards and had four receptions for 33 yards. Mark Sanders had two receptions for 77 yards and a TD.

The Wolfpack had 332 total yards on offense. 

Macdonald had 10 tackles, Anthony Zambito, eight, Sanders, seven, Cody Henry, six, and Reese, five.

November 16, 2019 - 3:31pm
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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November 14, 2019 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, video, batavia.
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November 14, 2019 - 2:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jail, news, notify, batavia.

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Now that a new 40-year sales tax agreement is in place, the County Legislature is ready to move forward with designing and building a new jail on land next to County Building #2.

Assistant County Manager Matt Landers presented an anticipated budget for the new facility with an anticipated expense of $60,000,000 at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday night.

The proposed jail will hold 184 beds in four pods, giving the jail staff space to keep separate jail populations for men and women as well as threat level, mental health issues, or substance abuse issues.

The location is off West Main Street Road in Batavia. 

The actual construction costs are an estimated $49,763,323 million: with more than $2 million in expense for design; $2 million for furnishings; $1.2 million for bonds and insurance payments; $1.2 million for a construction manager; more than $1 million in additional expenses for planning and development; plus $1.8 million set aside for unexpected costs.

Construction will be funded by bonds, which will be paid back over 30 years by the sales tax revenue that has been shifted away from villages and towns as part of the new state-approved sales tax agreement.

Chairman Robert Bausch said that under this plan, there would be no need to raise property taxes to help pay for the jail.

Bausch also noted that the county's consultant initially projected, based on county inmate trends, that Genesee County would need a 215-bed facility but that a new bail reform law is expected to reduce the demand in the county for inmate beds.

However, there is room available on the proposed jail site to add two additional cell blocks if the need arises.

If sales tax revenue falls short in the coming years, Landers noted, there is other county debt that will retire and revenue now going to pay those expenses can be reallocated to the jail debt if necessary.

With the new jail, the county will be able to go from being a tenant in other agencies' facilities -- all female inmates are housed at other jails in the region -- to being a landlord for other counties, the state or the feds.

"Local counties, the federal government, the state, are all short of space right now," Bausch said.

Revenue from other jurisdictions will cover some of the jail's ongoing operating expenses.

Legislators Shelly Stein, Gary Maha, and Gregg Torrey all spoke in favor of proceeding with the proposal.

"I served on the new jail committee," Stein said. "The details were combed through, and it is my recommendation that we proceed with 184 beds ... To not hit property taxes," she added, "is a major win for what we've done together as a legislature."

The need for a jail is beyond dispute, Maha said. 

"I'm not fond of spending $60 million," Maha said but the current jail is in bad shape, is landlocked, and the state is demanding a new facility in compliance with state standards.

"This is the county's responsibility and we have to get a jail done, and we have to do it right," Maha said.

Torrey agreed with Maha and said, "we have one chance to do it right. We hired a consultant, and I think it's best to follow what they recommend we do."

Photo: Members of the legislature listen to incoming Legislator (not in frame) Christian Yunker on his thoughts about the new jail, which he also supports.

CORRECTION: The bonds will be paid back over 30 years, the maximum time period for bond payback under state law.

November 14, 2019 - 1:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Veterans Day, batavia, UMMC, video.
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At 9:27 p.m. on Veterans Day, Franklin Morales-Monterroso and Taylor Henry, who met while serving in the Navy, welcomed their first child into the world, Julian Michael Morales, at 8 pounds and 28 1/2 inches.

Julian is a Veterans Day baby, born at UMMC, to parents who are veterans and several family members who are veterans, including his grandmother, Tammy Henry, who gave birth to Taylor while serving in the Air Force.

November 14, 2019 - 12:52pm
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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November 12, 2019 - 8:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, news.

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Press release:

Leaders from Batavia Downs Gaming presented a check today to Western New York Make A Wish for revenue generated from the sale of koozies during this past summer’s concert series.

“Batavia Downs is happy to partner with Make A Wish," said Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of Batavia Downs. “We will expand on our partnership next year with a new chair rental program for our concert series where additional monies will be generated for Make A Wish.”

Revenues for koozie sales this summer were $4,000.

“We are thankful to Batavia Downs for the opportunity to sell koozies at this past year’s concert series,” said Ben Marchione, regional director of Western New York Make A Wish. “We were fortunate to meet so many families who have been touched by Make A Wish and we look forward to partnering with Batavia Downs on new projects next summer.”

The new chair rental program will begin with the first Rockin’ the Downs Concert series event slated for late June 2020.

Photo by Howard Owens. Pictured, Laura Nutty, co-coordinator, Development / Wishgranting Volunteer, Make a Wish Metro New York and Western,  Ben Marchione, regional director of Western New York Make A Wish, Henry Wojtaszek, president, and CEO of Batavia Downs.

November 12, 2019 - 8:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.

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Who knows what Stone has been up to for the past five weeks or so (we reported him missing Sept. 30) but over the weekend Stone returned home on his own. Owner Kathleen Dixson said he sure was tired when he got home but was happy to be back where he belongs.

November 12, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Thomas Rocket Car, batavia, video.
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While it's taking longer than the original estimated, work on restoring the Thomas Rocket Car continues, led by Dick McClurg at Old World Collision in Batavia.

The prototype car of the future was originally designed by Charles D. Thomas, born in Batavia in 1910, and built by Norm Richardson at a shop near Main and Oak. Once restored it will be on public display in Batavia at a location yet to be determined. It will also be available for parades and community events.

To complete the restoration, donations are still appreciated. Those wishing to make donations should contact Jeffrey Ackerman at Affordable Floor Covering, (585) 345-1108.

For previous coverage, click here.

November 12, 2019 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, video.
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