Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Howard B. Owens's blog

June 18, 2021 - 12:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, video, pembroke.

A volunteer dive team attached with the Alden Volunteer Fire Department located the body of 18-year-old Jacob C. Minnick, of Lockport, in the churning waters below Indian Falls at 5:51 p.m. on Thursday.

Minnick had apparently gone to the falls with a group of friends to jump off the rocks into the water and after one jump shortly before 4 p.m. he resurfaced briefly and wasn't seen again.

His friends tried searching for him themselves before first responders from Pembroke, Indian Falls, and the Sheriff's Office arrived.

The City of Batavia's Fast Water Team was dispatched to assist in the search and team members were in the water for about an hour before the dive team was able to deploy. It took a diver about 11 minutes to locate Minnick's body. Coroner Karen Lang declared him dead at the scene.

Also assisting at the scene were Emergency Management and Corfu fire.

Previously: Juvenile who jumped in Indian Falls has not been seen coming to the surface, rescue units responding

June 17, 2021 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in McAlpine Road, indian falls, pembroke, news.

img_0906sunset.jpg

Photo by JoAnne Meiser of yesterday's sunset at McAlpine Road in Indian Falls.

June 17, 2021 - 12:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, 'A Field of Thanks', st. james, batavia.

Glenn Adams, of Bethany, produced this video of Sunday's "A Field of Thanks" ceremony at St. James Episcopal Church.

Previously: 

June 17, 2021 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Darien.

Photo removed at the request of the homeowner who owns the camera.

The family of a dog that was struck by a car and killed on Harper Road in Darien yesterday is looking for the public's assistance in identifying the hit-and-run driver.

The dog belonged to the daughter of Heidi DeAngelo. The daughter saw a blue sedan, possibly the one in the photo above (perhaps a Chevy Impala) strike the dog. The photo comes from a neighbor's security camera. The driver did not stop, according to DeAngelo.

A complaint has been filed with the Sheriff's Office.

"We are really hoping someone out there will see it and either feel guilty and confess, or knows the person who hit him," Heidi DeAngelo said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 345-3000.

June 17, 2021 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, baseball, sports.

Press release: 

Inconsistency throughout the first two weeks of the season for the Muckdogs has created a roller coaster of high and low points. With Monday night’s walk-off, 6-5 exhibition win in the rearview, Batavia dropped to a 5-7 record after losing two straight.

On Tuesday against the Pioneers, a two-RBI triple by Charlie Szykowny in the opening frame created an early 2-0 lead. That lead stayed intact till the bottom of the third inning as the Pios put seven runs on the scoreboard on just five hits.

After adding two more runs for good measure to make the score 9-2 with four innings in the books, Batavia would score a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth to make it a 9-6 ballgame. First baseman Joe Georger was a large part of the Muckdogs' success, tallying three hits and scoring two runs at the bottom of the order.

Georger and extra hitter Trey Bacon consistently getting on base created the opportunity for guys at the top of the lineup like Cameron Conley, Spencer Marcus and Abner Benitez to drive them in. Reliever Tyler Prospero had a great appearance for Batavia as Dathon McGrath could only go two and a third in the start. Prospero ran out of gas in the seventh with Chris Erickson smacking an RBI triple, while Kyle O’Neill would allow another to go up 11-6.

As they have shown repeatedly, the Dogs are a resilient group of guys that are determined till the very end. A spot that they found themselves in less than 24 hours before, down five runs with Bacon leading off the inning with a hit by pitch against pitcher David Ferguson. Benitez would walk on four pitches, and Marcus would have his second hit of the night to have the bases loaded with one out.

Charlie Szykowny battled against Ferguson to allow another walk that made the score 11-7. Coming to the plate was the game-tying run in Daniel Burroway would up to that point was 0-3 for the night but hit the ball hard all over the yard. Burroway laced a ball up the middle that was snagged by Pioneer shortstop Donovan Montgomery for the second out, and Montgomery stepped on second to complete the game-ending double play.

A situation that brought back flashbacks to Friday night’s 7-6 loss to Geneva as Blair Frederick hit a line-drive double play that ended Batavia’s comeback hopes just a few days before. The Muckdogs still hold the 3-2 season series against the Pios (not counting Monday’s exhibition win) as Elmira found themselves just a half-game back of first place.

Shifting gears into another challenging game on the road at Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park Wednesday night, as the Muckdogs were still looking for their first win against the Jamestown Tarp Skunks. For the second straight night, Batavia got ahead early as Daniel Burroway score both Marcus and Benitez. However, a common theme for the Dogs is not capitalizing by adding to their lead with the bases loaded and giving their lead right back to the opponent.

Jamestown took the lead in the bottom half after a two-run bomb from extra hitter Luke Turner off Nathan Hinkley to go up 3-2. In the fourth, they added a trio of runs as DiMaggio Cazaras, Justin Bowers, and Justin Bailey all came around to score in the fourth.

Down 6-2 catcher Mitch Fleming got ahold of a fastball and drove it over the left-field wall for a two-run homer for his first of the season to cut the deficit to two. In the middle innings for Batavia, they continued to hit line drives and put the ball in play, but gold glove plays by Cazaras in left field, Bailey in right, Danny Hosley at third, and Haiden Hunt in center ensured that Jamestown kept their lead safe.

In the bottom of the sixth, AJ Winger retired the first two batters of the inning before allowing a walk to Bowers and a single to shortstop Chase Carlson. The next man up, Justin Bailey, hit a ball to Szykowny that was thrown to Georger at first, and a great pick was made to get the final out of the inning.

The only problem was the base umpire called Bailey safe at first base, allowing the inning to continue. Hunt on the first pitch he saw, hit a two-RBI single, followed by Mark Tucker, also driving in two runners.

With one call dictating a four-run swing for Jamestown, Batavia had more work to do with the bats as Benitez hit a towering solo shot over the 342-foot foul pole in right field to make it a 10-5 game. Outfielder Trevor Dean had himself a great day at the plate with two doubles and an RBI single in the seventh to make it a four-run game.

Matt Henson came and shut the door in the ninth for the Tarp Skunks, solidifying a two-game losing streak for the Muckdogs heading into a home-and-home series against the Niagara Power. Batavia beat the Power in their first meeting last Saturday 10-5 at Sal Maglie Stadium.

A home game at Dwyer Stadium today will be the Muckdogs first since Monday’s exhibition game. Niagara will then host Batavia on Friday for a 6 p.m. Friday start, with the Dogs then having three straight games at home throughout the weekend.

First pitch against the Power will be at 7:05 tonight -- Thirsty Thursday!

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

June 17, 2021 - 11:32am
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]
June 16, 2021 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, news, schools, education.

img_4398.jpg

With field trips canceled this school year because of COVID-19 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.

img_4395.jpg

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

solerjune2021.jpg

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 16, 2021 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, fire, news.

housefirehorse.jpg

A house attached to a barn that caught fire at a quarter horse farm in Le Roy on Monday has been declared a total loss, according to Joshua Pfendler, first assistant chief for Le Roy Fire Department.

Pfendler said some personal items and a few photographers were saved from the front of the house.

He noted that at the time he spoke with local media on Monday, the house, which had a firewall between the barn and the living quarters, appeared to be in much better shape than it actually was.

Previously: Barn fire reported on Warsaw Road, Le Roy

June 16, 2021 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, sports, softball.

img_2607elba.jpg

The Elba Lancers softball team came into the post-season as the #6 seed in the Class D2 Section V tournament and put together a string of wins carrying them to the championship game yesterday against Friendship.

Nice run but it came to an end with a 10-0 loss.

The Lancers finish the season with a record of 7-11.

Photos by Debra Reilly.

img_2413elba.jpg

img_2438elba.jpg

img_2565elba.jpg

img_2573elba.jpg

img_2603elba.jpg

June 16, 2021 - 8:41am
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]
June 15, 2021 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Peter Cecere, batavia, schools, education, news, notify.

cecereresign2021.jpg

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 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county flag, genesee county, video, alexander.
Video Sponsor

The county flag designed by Riley Wall, an Alexander student, could be in the running to become the official county flag, Planning Director Felipe Oltamari revealed after a ceremony yesterday recognizing Riley's winning design in the youth art competition.

The winner of the adult design competition, which hasn't been announced yet, was expected to become the new official county flag but "a lot of people have said they really like this one better, it's really grown on me," Oltamari said. "It's really grown on me. We'll see what the Legislature decides."

The flag designed by Riley flew outside the Genesee County Courthouse yesterday in an honor that culminated with a proclamation presented to Riley but Legislator Gary Maha.

Riley designed the flag, she said, to reflect the county's agricultural roots and the diversity of the county's residents. It depicts an ear of corn and two hands reaching to grasp it, one white and the other brown.  

As it turned out, planning department staff and Oltamari's mother ended up making the flag -- cutting the patterns, sewing the pieces together -- in short order after the flag company originally hired to create the flag wasn't able to complete the order in time to fly yesterday.  

Previously: Alexander Central eighth-grader's Genesee County flag judged as the best in children's contest

June 14, 2021 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stumblin' inn, arts, entertainment, music, elba, news, notify.

stumblininnoct2018-4.jpg

Jim Goff, an icon of the local music scene for decades, passed away this weekend, according to an announcement by his family on The Stumblin' Inn's Facebook page.

Goff and his brother Stephen "Stork" Goff owned and operated the famous bar and music venue for nearly four decades, until a fire destroyed the 150-year-old building in Elba in July 2018.

Stork passed away in March.

An obituary about Jim Goff is not yet available.

According to his family's statement, Goff succumbed to cancer.

It reads, in part, "The Goff family has suffered so much loss this year but this one is the hardest to swallow. My dad was so incredibly kind, caring, compassionate, and selfless. He supported so many local bands and charities, he brought together so many friends and families, creating unforgettable memories for all of us."

Photos: File photos from a 2018 benefit for the Goffs

stumblininnoct2018.jpg

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

va_home_6-13-21-9.jpg

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.

va_home_6-13-21-4.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-6.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-14.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-16.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-7.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-10.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-11.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-12.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-13.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-5.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-17.jpg

va_home_6-13-21-1.jpg

June 14, 2021 - 1:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.08, up 3 cents in the past week. One year ago, the price was $2.10. The New York State average is $3.11 – up 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.22.

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $3.08 (up 6 cents since last Monday)
  • Buffalo -- $3.04 (up 3 cents since last Monday)
  • Ithaca -- $3.05 (up 2 cents change since last Monday)
  • Rochester -- $3.07 (up 4 cents since last Monday)
  • Rome -- $3.17 (up 2 cents since last Monday)
  • Syracuse -- $3.06 (up 2 cents since last Monday)
  • Watertown -- $3.15 (up 1 cent since last Monday)

Motorists are in for an unpleasant surprise at gas pumps this week as prices jumped across the region. Gas demand dropped following Memorial Day travel while total domestic gas stocks increased -- typically, lower gas demand amid growing stocks would help push pump prices down, but the increasing price of crude has pushed prices up instead. 

Last week, crude prices crossed the $70/bbl threshold, a point not seen since mid-October 2018. Crude prices have increased due to optimism that vaccine rollout will continue to help crude demand recover and after the U.S. Consumer Price Index showed that prices increased by 5 percent in May, compared to last year, a larger increase than expected.

The new report is fanning market concerns that inflation is driving prices higher. Weeks ago, analysts predicted that gas prices would drop by Father’s Day, but if domestic crude prices remain high, American drivers will likely continue to see pump prices fluctuate through the end of the month.

From GasBuddy:

"We've seen the national average gas price continue to inch higher as oil prices have reached $71 per barrel, the highest since 2018, as gasoline demand continues to rebound," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"Strong gasoline demand as states and cities reopen will likely continue to be a major factor keeping gas prices elevated even as oil production climbs in the months ahead.

"With most additional supply being gobbled up very quickly, gas prices will likely stay at elevated levels for the foreseeable future. Motorists can continue to fight the high gas prices by remembering to shop around each time they get below half a tank."

June 14, 2021 - 1:07pm
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]
June 14, 2021 - 7:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Le Roy.
Video Sponsor

A barn fire is reported at 9420 Warsaw Road, Le Roy.

There is heavy smoke and flame.

Le Roy fire, along with Bergen fire and the City of Batavia's Fast team is on scene.

Stafford and Pavilion also dispatched.

UPDATE(S) By Billie 8:13 a.m.: Alexander and Darien also requested for mutual aid. Town of Batavia is on scene and Elba is asked to fill in at the town's Station #2. Brockport is called to fill in at Le Roy's hall. The utilities have been shut off to the barn.

UPDATE 8:50 a.m.: This is a Quarter horse farm. No animals or people were injured. Horses were corralled safely. There was a riding arena inside the barn and lots of hay. Firefighters will be on scene for a while still extinguishing the smoldering hay. The residence abuts the barn and the fire did some damage to it but it was minimal because of a firewall between the structures.

UPDATE 9:13 a.m.: Wyoming Correctional Facility is contacted and asked to provide inmates to help pick up fire hoses. Command is initially told they are unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions. Command says they were told inmates would be available and asks dispatch to double-check. It is confirmed a correctional crew is available and will be brought in within the next two hours.

UPDATE 9:37 a.m.: Fire is contained. Doing overhaul.

UPDATE 10:04 a.m.: Wyoming Correctional en route.

UPDATE 10:28 a.m.: The Le Roy auxiliary is en route with refreshments.

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.

abatevetshome2021.jpg

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.

Pages

Calendar

S M T W T F S
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button