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September 29, 2008 - 11:56am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police.

Scott A. Manza, 48, of Le Roy, was charged with second-degree harassment Friday afternoon in Batavia, Genesee County sheriff's deputies. Manza is accused of slapping a mental health worker across the face during an interview.

Sabrina I. Hyde, 34, of 219 N. Spruce St., Apt. 5, Batavia, was charged with driving while intoxicated early Saturday morning, city police said. Hyde allegedly backed into another vehicle out front of her residence.

September 29, 2008 - 11:16am
posted by Philip Anselmo in VA, veterans, economics.

We received this press release from the VA Medical Center:

Veterans will have the opportunity to receive assistance filing a claim for the economic stimulus payment at VA Western New York Healthcare System, 3495 Bailey Avenue, Tuesday, September 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Wednesday, October 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the skills center, room 309A. Veterans who last year received disability compensation, pensions or survivor’s benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may be entitled to an economic stimulus payment of at least $300. To qualify, veterans must file a tax return for 2007, even if they aren’t normally required to file. Bring photo identification and pension, social security and/or service connected disability information.

For eligible veterans who do not normally file a tax return, information about claiming the economic stimulus payment is available in “Package 1040A-3,” available from IRS offices or on the Internet.

September 29, 2008 - 9:40am
posted by Philip Anselmo in history, video, Holland Land Office Museum.

Charles Rand lands at Number 14 in the Holland Land Office Museum's countdown of The Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous. Well, it turns out that The Batavian visited the museum a couple months back and put together a video with Museum Director Pat Weissend on that very subject

Don't forget to visit the museum Web site for even more on Rand and the other things that made Genesee County famous.

September 29, 2008 - 8:43am
posted by Philip Anselmo in VA.

Veterans care has rightfully got much attention over the past several years, especially after the news broke last year of the squalid conditions and patient neglect at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Not all the news about treatment of veterans is negative, however. In fact, congratulations are in order for the upstate VA medical Centers, including ours here in Batavia.

From the press release:

VA Healthcare Network Upstate New York, which comprises the Albany, Bath, Buffalo, Canandaigua and Syracuse VA Medical Centers and twenty-nine community based outpatient clinics, is the recipient of the 2008 Kenneth Kizer Quality Award.  The Kizer award is the most prestigious award bestowed by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for outstanding patient care results based on performance measures. The award is open to each of the 21 VA Networks and is based upon the Malcolm Baldrige criteria, the world's foremost standards for running an effective organization.


One of the most compelling aspects of VA Healthcare Network Upstate New York’s Kizer application was the ability of the Network to significantly surpass private sector performance for a wide array of patient satisfaction, cancer screening, heart disease and diabetes management and behavioral health measures. This award is a tribute to more than 6,000 employees who provide quality of care for veteran patients.

VA Healthcare Network Upstate New York was the recipient of this award in 1999, 2001 and 2003.

September 29, 2008 - 8:29am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, emergency, homes.

WBTA's Dan Fischer tells us that eligible Genesee County homeowners should expect to soon see a check from the state. The Middle Class STAR rebate checks start going out this week, and the county is at the top of the list. Rebate amounts should average about $445 for those whose household income is less than $90,000. Follow the link to find out more, to see if you should be expecting a check and find out when it's coming.

In other news, a 30-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman driving separately on Route 290 in Tonawanda were killed when their cars collided early Sunday morning. No cause of the crash has yet been determined. Tonawanda News reports that no names have been released by the police, but autopsies are scheduled for today and the police investigation into the crash continues.

September 28, 2008 - 10:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Jon Powers, Western New York, green.

The smartest thing I heard from Jon Powers during his campaign was about turning Western New York into a decent place to start new, green businesses.

I thought of that when reading Thomas Friedman's column today.

But that is not the point of this column. The point is, we don’t just need a bailout. We need a buildup. We need to get back to making stuff, based on real engineering not just financial engineering. We need to get back to a world where people are able to realize the American Dream — a house with a yard — because they have built something with their hands, not because they got a “liar loan” from an underregulated bank with no money down and nothing to pay for two years. The American Dream is an aspiration, not an entitlement.

In a green economy, we would rely less on credit from foreigners “and more on creativity from Americans,” argued Van Jones, president of Green for All, and author of the forthcoming “The Green Collar Economy.” “It’s time to stop borrowing and start building. America’s No. 1 resource is not oil or mortgages. Our No. 1 resource is our people. Let’s put people back to work — retrofitting and repowering America. ... You can’t base a national economy on credit cards. But you can base it on solar panels, wind turbines, smart biofuels and a massive program to weatherize every building and home in America.”

So even if Jon Powers ain't the 26th District, why can't WNY be a leader in creating new green businesses? Does it take a congress rep to make that happen, or just visionary entrepreneurs?

September 28, 2008 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in main street.

I've walked past this sign many times and never noticed what Darrick did.

September 27, 2008 - 4:55pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports, Notre Dame, oakfield-alabama.

 The Oakfield-Alabama football team has had the luxury of giving the backups plenty of playing time in the first three weeks of the season.

Not so much on Saturday as the Hornets had their first test of the season in Notre Dame, not passing until the second half. O-A held off a late charge and won 28-6.

Tim Smith actually returned the opening kickoff just over 50 yards to the Notre Dame 29-yard line. Notre Dame's Craig Houseknecht sacked A.J. Kehlenbeck on a pass attempt, but a couple of mid-distance runs moved the ball down to the 2-yard line.

This was where the first half tone was set.

Oakfield-Alabama fumbled the ball away and Cam McDonald fell on it to give the Fighting Irish possession. 

After Kevin Schildwaster popped a 53-yard run, O-A had a sack and fumble that was recovered by Noah Seward.

Notre Dame's defense stiffened up and caused a three-and-out, then ND started moving the ball as Nick Bochicchio found Kevin Francis on a 24-yard pass.

At this point the Irish fans were thinking upset, while the O-A fans were starting to sweat with a 0-0 score after a period of play.

But the Hornets stopped ND's offense and forced a punt. Then Notre Dame returned the favor and made O-A punt.

With just a few minutes left in the first half, Smith took over.

He killed a Notre Dame drive with an interception, had a 24-yard run and then scored on a 6-yarder to make the score 7-0 at the half.

Notre Dame received the second half kickoff and was moving the ball. Bochicchio hooked up with Francis on a 16-yard pass, that was moved to the O-A 28-yard line because of a late hit penalty.

This time the Fighting Irish tried a halfback option that was intercepted by Smith at the 4 and returned to the 40.

Smith capped off this drive with a 21-yard TD run.

Oakfield-Alabama took firm control of the game after a Notre Dame punt when Smith broke a 31-yard run on a fourth-and-1. He scored just moments into the fourth quarter on an 8-yard run.

A Seward sack put Notre Dame into a fourth-and-very long deep in its own territory, so Matt Thompson had to come on and punt.

Smith had a 20-yard return and the Hornets started a drive at the ND 26.

Jason Stanley finished off the O-A scoring with a 21-yard run.

With just five minutes left, Bochicchio got hot.

He had completions to Francis, Schildwaster and Gianni Zambito before hitting Mike Pratt on a swing pass that he took 25 yards for a touchdown.

Derek Hicks blocked the extra point attempt.

The onside kick attempt was recovered by Cody Proefrock and ND was still alive with 3:41 left on the clock.

But a couple of plays into the drive, Hicks picked off a pass to put an end to the game.

Notre Dame falls to 2-2 and will play at Holley Friday nights as the Hawks are going to rent lights for their homecoming game.

Smith - who rushed for 185 yards on 25 carries - and the Hornets improve to 4-0 and move on to play in Attica next week for the Blue Devils' homecoming game. Then comes the annual game with Pembroke that always has Genesee Region League title implications.


September 27, 2008 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee.

Chris LeeAlan Bedenko reports that Republican Chris Lee has canceled two debates and has yet to commit to four others. His campaign seems to be showing a disinterest in answering questions.

Of seven proposed debates, Lee has pulled out of two debates he had previously committed to and seems unwilling or unable to fit another four into his schedule. Lee has dodged debates at SUNY Geneseo, RNews and a candidate forum sponsored by the AARP, which has over 100,000 members in the district.

Question for Alan: You say seven, but list that he's canceled two and not committed to four. That's six. What about the seventh? Also, you list three events above (if I read your sentence correctly) that Lee has either avoided or declined (not clear on which). Can you clarify, please?

Lee also appears unwilling to explain his positions to voters who have contacted him directly. Recently a non-partisan group was unable to get answers from Lee on important issues such as trade, health care and jobs despite repeated requests by phone, e-mail and a personal visit to his campaign headquarters.

“For someone who claims to want to make this campaign about the issues, he’s fallen short,” said spokesperson Anne Wadsworth. “Few policy positions, few statements, few debates. It’s hard for voters to have any idea what Chris Lee stands for.”

When The Batavian contacted Lee's campaign for his position on the Wall Street bail outs, we did not get a response. Still haven't.

September 26, 2008 - 11:57pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports, Alexander.

 The Alexander football team should probably ask for lights.

The Trojans won their first game of the season as they played under lights on a Friday night at home for the first time in over 20 years.

Alexander Central School rented lights for the game. The Trojans usually play their home games on Saturday afternoons.

Lucas Czechowski booted a 30-yard field goal with eight minutes left to give Alexander a 9-8 victory over Holley in a Genesee Region League contest.

"These juniors have been waiting," said Dave Radley, who won his first game as a head coach. "They work hard and every day is a challenge. They had three tough opponents to start and tonight we battled an evenly matched team. The good thing is that we seemed to be in better condition in the second half. Our defense stepped up and stopped them."

The defense held the Hawks on a fourth-and-2 before the drive that set up Czechowski's field goal and Jordan Leitten sealed the victory with an interception with 20 seconds left.

Ryan Piechowki had 16 solo tackles to go with his 48 yards rushing and Jay Schaefer gained 127 yards rushing.

Alexander is now 1-3 while Holley dips to 0-4.

September 26, 2008 - 11:46pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports, Le Roy.

 When the Le Roy football team played Canisteo-Greenwood last season, they were up 56-0 at the half.

A much improved Redskins team gave Le Roy a game for a while before the Oatkan Knights started putting up points in winning 36-0, giving the homecoming crowd an offensive and defensive show.

It was the 40th consecutive win at Hartwood Park for Le Roy, which last lost at home to Hornell, 7-0, in 1998.

C-G failed to move the ball down the field on its first drive of the game with a shotgun/option offense that was later making Le Roy defenders miss.

But the first drive didn't lead to much of anything.

Quarterback Mark Ahearn tried finding a receiver on the left side of the field, but Mike Humphrey - who led the state in interceptions last year - picked off the pass with a high vertical jump.

Le Roy quickly capitalized on the drive that started at the C-G 11 when Travis Fenstermaker scored on a 1-yard keeper.

This time, Canisteo-Greendwood moved the ball to midfield before the Le Roy defense forced a punt.

After Fenstermaker hooked up with Humphrey on a short pass, Andrew Alexander busted off a 46-yard touchdown run, giving Le Roy a 14-0 first quarter advantage.

The Redskins marched again, but Humphrey put the drive to an end with another interception. He returned this one from the Le Roy 15 to the 49.

Fenstermaker had a 16-yard run and found Humphrey on a 26 yard pass, setting up a 6-yard TD run for Alexander.

Le Roy faked the extra point on this one and Humphrey - who is also the holder - found John Schueing for the two point conversion.

The Oatkan Knights added one more score in the first half when Fenstermaker found Humphrey on a 20-yard TD pass. It was the sixth time this season the two have connected on touchdown passes.

Le Roy's only second half touchdown was a 1-yard touchdown run by John Casper.

Fenstermaker went 7-of-12 for 127 yards and Humphrey hauled in six receptions for 97 yards.

Alexander rushed for 152 yards and the two scores on 18 carries as Le Roy improves to 4-0 and prepares for a tough stretch.

The Oatkan Knights will face Avon, Caledonia-Mumford and Hornell to finish off the regular season.


September 26, 2008 - 11:15pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports.

 The Batavia football team is having a long, but great bus ride home from Midlakes.

That's because the Blue Devils scored 28 fast points and beat the host squad 41-7 Friday night.

"It would be a very long ride home without the W," Batavia coach Dan Geiger said. 

Vinny Pedro returned the opening kickoff 84 yards to start the ball rolling.

Midlakes then marched down to the Batavia 1-yard line, but fumbled the ball.

Rob Williams picked it up and took it to the house.

After Batavia got the ball back, Williams had the carry on Batavia's first offensive play of the game. He took it 55 yards for the score.

Again, Batavia got the ball back and Williams got another carry. He took this one 85 yards for the TD.

"The great this is that Rob ran behind Todd Logsdon and Adam Hausfelder on both plays," Geiger said. 

Anthony D'Aurizio had a touchdown run and Chip Chapman returned a fumble 40 yards for a score.

Williams finished the game with five rushes for 150 yards and two touchdowns with D'Aurizio gaining 91 yards with the score on just eight carries.

Pedro gained 75 yards on 15 attempts as Batavia picked up 336 yards and three TDs on 35 attempts as a team.

Hausfelder had nine tackles, Logsdon had eight and Devonte Rolle made four stops and intercepted a pass.

Batavia (2-2) will play Penn Yan next week.

September 26, 2008 - 3:28pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports, Le Roy.

 Just a reminder, we have two big local games tonight and I will be doing coverage of both.

Le Roy is looking to improve to 4-0 and get ready for a stretch of big games to end the regular season with a game against Canisteo-Greenwood at Hartwood Park.

I will be at this game with my camera and video camera to show you what the Oatkan Knights are all about.

Batavia is traveling to Midlakes and trying to even up at 2-2. Coach Dan Geiger will be calling me after the game and I will be relaying the details as soon as possible.

Make sure you check back to The Batavian tonight for the fastest, most in-depth coverage possible of these games.

September 26, 2008 - 1:20pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, Daily News, election.

Another great front page story in the Daily News today—I think that's three in a row, let's pop the champagne cork. This time, Roger Muehlig steps up to the plate with a tale of a house divided that nonetheless stands. The story is about Pearl Street resident Mark Clark, his three kids and their divisive political views. The two girls support Sen. Barak Obama for president. Father and son support Sen. John McCain.

The family has made a lot of fun of their opposing political views, so much so that they've run a strip of yellow tape down the outside façade of the house, capped off by the sign: "This House is Divided." Muehlig has a fine piece here. Check it out.

In other news:

  • Orleans County's Planning Board gave the "conditional" go-ahead to Albion for its proposed wind energy facilities law that will prohibit "large-scale wind energy conversion systems" in the town, but allow smaller installations no more than 120 feet tall.
  • It turns out the man arrested yesterday on charges of arson, Kevin J. Weber, previously served four years in prison on conviction of arson.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

September 26, 2008 - 9:52am
posted by Philip Anselmo in business, Albany, graham corp.

A state grant for $50,000 recently awarded to Batavia-based Graham Corp. will be used to certify the company with the International Organization for Standaridization, better known by its acronym: ISO. In particular, the funds will pay for the consultant who needs to be hired to guide the company through the standardization process and the subsequent training and development in the ISO procedures.

Dan Harvey, Graham's human resources director, said that the company is pursuing its "ISO-9000 quality system" certification. Such certification from the ISO essentially provides a stamp of approval for manufacturers that says the company and its products meet specifications accepted around the world.

"We're still in the process of meeting specifications," said Harvey. "We have not yet reached those. We're still doing some more training and development, and there are different milestones we're looking to acheive."

This kind of grant is called "an insutrial effectiveness grant," according to Stefanie Zakowicz, spokesperson for Empire State Development, the state economic development group that authorized the grant for Graham.

Said Zakowicz:

"The purpose of the grant is to pay consultant fees that provide technical and financial services to help a firm improve its productivity, efficiency and market share. It's only for New York State manufacturers that employ fewer than 500 workers, so small to mid-size. The more employees you have, the more you can get. In their case, at the time of application, they had 280 employees. Anything over 100, would make you eligible for up to $50,000."

Graham Corp. applied for the grant on June 17, of this year. They are on schedule to complete the project by the end of September.

September 26, 2008 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

Chris Lee, pulling language from the 1990s-era GOP play book, says up front, he approved this attack ad, which claims Kryzan wants to raise taxes $2,800.  I wonder where he gets those numbers?

I fairness, the Democrats already had an attack ad out.

So much for a campaign on the issues.

Instead of attacking each other, why don't they tell us how they're going to enable New York businesses to grow and create jobs, to improve living conditions and standards, to promote peace and stability?  I don't care if they don't like each other, or each other's parties. I want to know what they stand for, not against. Anybody can tear down. It takes a leader to build up. Instead of inciting fear, how about promoting hope?

September 26, 2008 - 8:13am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, business, Alabama.

Some 150 residents and officials of the town of Alabama got together last night to talk about a proposal that would allow a 1,300-acre manufacturing site to move into town at the intersection of Route 77 and Judge Road, according to WBTA's Chad Zambito. It seems no specific manufacturer has yet been named, though a feasibility study shows that a solar panel or flat display manufacturer might be the best fit. Nothing will get done, however, without state funding and the sanction of the town. Word is that any such large-scale manufacturer could bring "thousands" of jobs to the area.

That brings up a serious question: What would thousands of jobs, which I interpret to mean thousands of new people, mean for a town that hasn't even cracked the 2,000 mark in population? Doesn't that mean a new town? Also, how does that work? Recruiting for thousands of jobs? Are there stipulations that jobs must first come from the region? How is that possible? What other benefit would such a manufacturer have for a rural community? Would this mean the transition to more suburban living in Alabama?

Lots of questions here. Don't know if the Alabamans are already asking or not. Anyone know?

In other news, we reported yesterday on an article from the Daily News about the shady goings-on at a pair of area Pizza Hut restaurants. Today, the official word is out: Pizza Hut restaurants in Albion, Amherst, Medina, Alden, East Aurora, Grand Island and Aurora have all been closed. Zambito reports that the owners cite poor performance as the reason for closing the shops—why else would they, right—and say that they will open new locations "under the Wing Street Chicken Theme," whatever the heck that means.

September 26, 2008 - 7:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, sports, Dave Wellenzohn.

Bob DiCesare's column today for the Buffalo News is about Dave Wellenzohn, the job he did for the Batavia Muckdogs and his quest for another position with a minor league baseball team.

“The minute Rochester came in they pretty much stripped me of all authority, which was fine,” he said. “It made financial sense to run it out of Rochester. But I was still the GM. I handled all the baseball ops and I was pretty much the face of the team. I had my radio show and all that so that was good for me because I knew I was pretty much putting together my resume for the next job.”

Wellenzohn promised himself that he wouldn’t let his state of limbo undermine his passion for the sport. He got on the field before Batavia home games, microphone in hand, and worked to stir up the crowd. He drove seven hours to Lowell, Mass. for the Muckdogs semifinal playoff opener, then turned around after the three-hour game and drove straight back to Batavia. No wonder the team’s booster club stepped outside the box and named him its Fan of the Year. It was just another strange occurrence in the most unorthodox of seasons with the grand ending still waiting to be written.

September 25, 2008 - 8:12pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports, soccer.

 Brighton's defenders made things difficult for the Batavia boys soccer team Thursday.

The Blue Devils had a few chances to score, but fell behind early and wound up getting shutout 2-0 in the Monroe County League game.

The Barons attacked early and had a shot to score 13 minutes in when a shot hit the crossbar atop the net. They took the 1-0 advantage just moments later when Sean Rose got one past Batavia keeper Jordan Brown.

Brighton kept the pressure high early in the first half, with Batavia's defense making some key stops, including a penalty kick attempted just after the goal was scored.

The Blue Devils had their best chance to score in the final six minutes of the opening half.

With about 5 1/2 minutes remaining, Batavia had a corner kick.

Brighton goalie Jake Bonar stopped two difficult shot attempts and a third went sailing over the net.

The Barons had a corner with less than a minute left before the break, but never got a shot off.

The momentum that Batavia had built near the end of the first half vanished fast at the start of the second half as Michael Patchen scored off a pass by Joe Shapiro at the 42 minute mark

Batavia had a few chances to score, but not many quality opportunities because of the Brighton defenders. Bonar had 11 saves for the Barons, who are 2-3 in the league and 3-7 overall.

Brown made nine saves for Batavia, which drops to 0-4 in the league and 4-6 overall.




September 25, 2008 - 4:32pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police.

Kevin Weber, 37, of Vine St., Apt 3, Batavia, was arrested and charged with third-degree arson, city police said today. That arrest followed witness reports that Weber was responsible for a fire Monday at a storage shed at 25 Vine St. that caused minor damage to the structure. Police and fire personnel had responded to the scene of the fire Monday night, although upon their arrival the fire was already extinguished. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire. Weber was sent to Genesee County Jail without bail.

City police reported that 56 traffic tickets were issued during an enforcement patrol on Law, Oak and Ellicot Streets and Richmond Avenue during the month of September.

From the press release:

The tickets were issued for equipment violations, failure to wear seat belts, as well as suspended registrations and licenses. One fugitive from justice from Homeland Security was detained as a result of the operation.

Two separate operations focusing on commercial traffic were conducted. Officers issued 36 tickets with 6 commercial vehicles being removed from the highway due to safety concerns.

Det. Richard Schauf supplied this additional information about the fugitive arrest:

"As a result of one of the cars stopped during the operation a license check revealed that the person was wanted by Homeland Security. The division of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took custody of the individual and transported to their facility."


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