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June 22, 2019 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, east pembroke, batavia, rescue, Tonawanda Creek.
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Two people were rescued today in the Tonawanda Creek after their canoe overturned and became jammed against a log, which they managed to grab onto until help arrived.

East Pembroke Fire, Town of Batavia Fire, and Gary Patnode, head of the county's rope rescue team, responded.

Volunteer firefighters were able to get ropes to John R. Young, 24, of Basom, and Kaleigh Kasteli, 20, of Beaver Falls, Pa., along with life vests -- which they put over their own life vests -- and pull them safely to shore.

Both Young and Kasteli were examined by medics with Mercy EMS and released from care at the scene.

State Police also assisted at the scene.

(Initial Post

June 22, 2019 - 4:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, animal abuse, animal rescue.

A caller reports a dog has been locked in a car for more than an hour in the rear parking lot of UMMC. The caller did not know the model of the vehicle, but said it has out-of-state license plates. An animal control officer is responding.

June 22, 2019 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Creek, batavia, news.

Two people are reportedly stuck on a tree trunk-- uninjured -- after their canoe flipped while they were paddling through the Tonawanda Creek in the area of 3507 S. Main Street Road, Batavia.

East Pembroke fire and Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: The caller tells dispatchers the people stranded don't want to swim to shore because of the current in the creek.

UPDATE(S)(By Billie) 4:42 p.m.: A safety rope will be put in place downstream, in case initial efforts fail to bring them in. The caller said the canoers can be accsssed through their back yard. A firefighter says those stranded are easily accessible even without a rope. Another says there's an island in the middle of the creek but the water is fairly swift and high.

UPDATE 4:43 p.m.: A firefighter says he's near them, and they are 20 feet away.

UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: The general area of where they are is Route 5 and Kelsey Road.

UPDATE 4:51 p.m.: Some of the rescuers are going up the road to find a better location to place a secondary safety line across the waterway, possibly behind a trailer park.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m.: A rescuer on the north bank of the creek says "I don't think we're going to be able to get a line all the way over." There is some confusion, "possibly a language barrier," regarding others who may have also been in the water with the stranded canoers. The rescuers want to be sure there is not another party stranded somewhere. There are four or five kayaks that were also in the water with the canoe and those people are at the bridge at Route 5 and Wortendyke and are heading to their vehicles. They also reported speaking with the two stranded canoers and said they, too, experienced a language barrier, which they attribute to them being stuck in the water.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: Mercy medics are called to evaluate the folks who were stuck in the water. They are safely out. The location on South Main Street is between Wortendyke Road and Lovers Lane Road.

UPDATE 5:22 p.m.: All Town of Batavia units are told they can go back in service. East Pembroke command says they will be packing up and leaving the scene in a couple minutes.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m.: The two stranded canoers were evaluated by Mercy medics and released.

UPDATE: Click here for follow up information and a video of the rescue.

June 22, 2019 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Baby Boomers, the '60s, Vietnam vets, history, batavia, nostalgia.

Anne Marie Starowitz, right, and her friend Cathy in July 1968.

Submitted photos and story by Anne Marie Starowitz:

By definition, a Baby Boomer is a person born during a period of time in which there is a marked rise in a population's birthrate: a person born during a baby boom; especially -- a person born in the United States following the end of World War II (usually considered to be in the years from 1946 to 1964).

That is the Webster's Dictionary definition. But it doesn’t adequately define a Baby Boomer.

I am a Baby Boomer along with my high school and college graduating classes of 1968 and 1972. There are a lot of us and our memories growing up during that time are very special.

We grew up in a world that was so different from the one our grandchildren are growing up in. We all heard about going home when the street lights came on, houses with the doors unlocked, and just playing outside.

In the summer we slept out in tents, caught fireflies, and swam at the community pool.

A telephone was attached to the wall. If you were lucky, you would have a long cord so you could stretch the cord into a closet or another room. There was no call waiting and rare was the household with an answering machine.

Fast forward to today's smartphone and see how technology has changed.

I loved the music of the '60s. A few had their very own transistor (AM) radio. You could walk around with it but the reception was usually terrible.

I remember playing kickball in our front yard every day. In the summer, the park program was the place to be. Everyone had their favorite park that was usually located in your own neighborhood. Of course, the highlight was the park parade.

The Memorial Day parade was always a really special event. There would be the fire trucks, Little League players, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts walking down Main Street. There would be convertibles with our veterans that served in the early wars.

I always remember the Army tanks and jeeps going down Main Street and the feeling it brought seeing them. You also couldn’t wait for the Mighty St. Joseph Drum & Bugle Corps marching down the street.

It wouldn’t be Memorial Day if we didn’t go to the cemetery and walk to every gravestone that belonged to a relative. I would see my aunt and uncles, cousins standing by our grandfather's and grandmother's graves.

In the mid '60s there were tennis court dances and, in the winter, there was ice skating on the tennis courts. Also, in the summer the local churches would hold their annual lawn fete. We always looked forward to them. A Baby Boomer could drink at 18 and the lawn fetes had the best beer tents.

My memories were filled with a time of change. It seemed every generation was associated with a war. My uncle John was in the Korean War; my father in World War II; we were associated with the Vietnam War.

I remember being in college and there was the talk of classmates being drafted. That changed many lives as my college classmates said goodbye to their boyfriends and husbands.

There were protests against the war and I remember marching down Main Street in Buffalo. We wore bracelets of soldiers who were POWs (prisoners of war) or were MIA (missing in action) from the Vietnam War. We never understood why we were over there, and most of all we never understood when our vets were not honored or remembered like the other war veterans once they returned home.

My father told all of us how difficult it was growing up when he did. How many jobs he did and the best story was about the long walk to school in the snow and rain every day and going home for lunch.

Today this Baby Boomer treasures those memories along with my memories growing up during a much slower time, filled with our music, the Beatles, our dances -- the Twist, the Jerk, the Mashed Potato, the Pony, the Swim, the Boogaloo, Watusi and more.

(To view a YouTube compilation of '60s dances, click here.)

I tried to tell our daughters what it was like back then and now I see our daughters telling their children what it was like, their music, the fashion, and the war associated with them growing up.

Technology has changed our world and our children and their children.

All I really remember as a Baby Boomer was we didn't use the word "bored" because we really weren't bored.

Our music was played on a hi-fi system and we actually danced to a band in high school that just might have been your brother’s band.

I wouldn’t change a thing growing up as a Baby Boomer except honoring our Vietnam vets more.

Please share your Baby Boomer memories. They just might be similar to mine.

June 22, 2019 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in ride for roswell, pembroke fire, pembroke, news.


Pembroke Fire Department is holding its annual boot drive today while conducting traffic control at Route 5 and Lake Road in Pembroke for the Ride for Roswell. All proceeds will be donated to the Ride for Roswell.

"The fire department is urging everyone traveling today to use extra caution to give the riders the right of way," a firefighter said.

Submitted photo.

June 22, 2019 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, music, arts, entertainment, news.


Survivor opened the 2019 concert season at Batavia Downs on Friday night.

Here's the lineup for the rest of the summer:

  • June 28 -- Queensrÿche
  • July 5 -- Kim Mitchell
  • July 12 -- Journey Former Lead Vocalist Steve Augeri
  • July 19 -- Gin Blossoms
  • July 26 -- Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  • Aug. 2 -- Tanya Tucker
  • Aug. 9 -- Theory Of A Deadman




June 22, 2019 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, news, batavia.


Here's a couple of sunset photos from yesterday taken at Oak and Main looking down West Main Street, Batavia.


June 22, 2019 - 9:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson Square, news, downtown, batavia, music, arts, entertainment.


The annual Jackson Square Friday Night Concerts series opened last night with Genesee Ted.

The line up for the rest of the season:

  • June 28 – The Skycats
  • July 5 – It’s My Party
  • July 7 – Downtown Batavia Music Ramble Festival -- Bands & Times for The Ramble will be announced soon!
  • July 12 – Old Hippies
  • July 19 – Red Creek
  • July 26 – Mitty & the Followers
  • Aug. 2 – Ohms Band
  • Aug. 9 – The Ghost Riders






June 22, 2019 - 7:21am
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, news, scanner.

A railroad employee reports a "large herd of cattle" near the railroad crossing at Molasses Hill Road in Alexander. The caller said they "appear to be unfenced." A deputy is responding.

June 22, 2019 - 7:13am
posted by Billie Owens in news, Stafford, accidents.

A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported at 6412 East Bethany -- Le Roy Road. The vehicle landed in a ditch and is on fire. Stafford Fire Department, deputies and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 7:15 a.m.: The driver is out of a pickup truck that is well off the roadway, according to a first responder on scene. He is walking around; minor injuries. Smoke is coming from the pickup.

UPDATE 7:24 a.m.: A deputy says the truck is on its side, 50 feet off the roadway, down a 10-foot embankment. A flatbed tow is called.

June 21, 2019 - 7:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, video.
Video Sponsor

Jackson School in Batavia hosted two promotion ceremonies today. This video is from the 9 a.m. session.

June 21, 2019 - 5:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news.

A statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on the conclusion of the 2019 Legislative Session:

“While it is fair to say that radical left-wing forces used this year’s Legislature in favor of seemingly everyone but the law-abiding middle-class, end of session negotiations yielding a $100 million relief package for Lake Ontario flood victims, an expansion of the State and Municipal Facilities program to aid local governments, such as shoreline communities, and a reinstatement of our Extreme Winter Recovery Funds – used to repave and revamp damaged roads and highways.

“We fought diligently to expose the malfeasance behind the agenda of dDownstate politicians this year who pushed driver’s licenses for illegals, easing of marijuana laws and a slew of protections for criminals and those accused of crimes. 

“Despite these challenges, I am honored to have led the fight to protect our Gold Star families and ensure spouses and dependents of deceased military heroes receive the benefits they deserve. 

“I look forward to attending countless community events, meetings and functions this summer and fall – talking and listening to constituents and building a better understanding of their needs and desires to start 2020 off better than ever.”

June 21, 2019 - 5:13pm

Press release and submitted photos of Sue Meier and a couple examples of her photography:

Batavia Society of Artists is hosting photographer Sue Meier on Tuesday, July 9th, at Kiwanis Park in Batavia with a picnic at 6 p.m. and a demonstration afterward.

This event is FREE but you need to register by July 7th to reserve a spot. Please call Teresa Tamfer at 585-506-2465 or e-mail [email protected].

Meier is the owner and photographer of Photography by Susan Meier. Her home-based boutique photography studio is located in East Pembroke.

She has always be interested in photography since she was a teenager when she won her first camera in a coloring contest. Some genres that Meier has photographed are: weddings, high school seniors, families, kids, professional headshot, boudoir, babies and pets.

She enjoys putting her spin on her creative concept photography and images. She has created images with theme ideas such as; “Little Red Riding Hood,” feather, little bird, bird in nest, Venus, mermaids, flowers, Elizabethan, ultra-violet light, crazy, dinosaurs, “Harry Potter,” butterfly, mountain man, spider/web, dragon slayer and more!

Many of Meier’s images have been displayed, sold and even published in a book. Galleries and settings include: Todmorden Mills Gallery (Toronto), GO ART!, Image City (Rochester), Moon Java Cafe (Batavia), Richmond Memorial Library (Batavia), Genesee County Fair (Batavia), and Gallery 96 (Pittsford), and the Senior Center (Batavia).

She has been a member of the Batavia Photography Club for many years and has hosted and mentored the club members in many aspects of photography. The photo club invited her to show pictures from her recent trip to Hawaii.

Meier has competed in many club photo competitions and regional club competitions and is an award winning photographer. Sue has also taught classes in camera knowledge and photoshop. In her spare time, Sue photographs birds, bugs, flowers and landscapes.

She looks forward to meeting you and helping you learn more about photography!

June 21, 2019 - 4:52pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, news, notify, motorcycle safety.

The sound of lawn mowers and the smell of freshly cut grass are signs of summertime in Genesee County.

However, those familiar noises and scents can far too often mean motorcycle accidents if homeowners do not properly remove road hazards like grass clippings, leaves and gravel.

“The people most to suffer from these things when it comes to motor vehicles is the motorcyclist, specifically, in a corner,” said Jon DelVecchio, riding coach at Street Skills LLC motorcycling school in Rochester and author of "Cornering Confidence: The Formula for 100% Control in Curves."

“Motorcyclists and car drivers alike, we want nothing between our tire surface and the road surface," DelVecchio said. "That’s how we’re going to get the best traction really in any condition.”

Grass clippings in summer months are reportedly as slippery as winter ice on road surfaces. Yard waste that blows onto road pavement presents safety hazards to motorcyclists whose two-wheeled vehicles speed over the slick grass clippings.

Clearing grass clippings from roadways is not a choice; it is mandated by state and local law.

NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1219 prohibits any substance that is likely to cause injury from being placed on highways. If grass clippings from a lawn mower are either accidentally blown or intentionally deposited onto the pavement, homeowners are legally obligated to remove them immediately.

Also, City of Batavia Municipal Code 113-2 states “No person shall sweep, throw or deposit or cause to be swept, thrown or deposited any ashes, dirt, stone, brick, leaves, grass, weeds or any other debris … into any public place or upon any private property without the owner's permission within the city.” A violator of this law can be fined $250, face imprisonment up to 15 days or be sued civilly if their grass clippings cause a motorcycle accident.

Jesse Underwood is a motorcyclist from Holley who has been riding motorcycles for 40 years. He was shopping at Stan's Harley-Davidson dealership in Batavia on Thursday when asked about encounters with grass clippings while tooling around.

He said it is important enough to him that, if he sees a problem, he stops his motorcycle and informs homeowners of the dangers of grass clippings during his rides with other motorcyclists.

"Every time we go on a big ride, every time we see people blowing grass in the road, we stop and give them a brochure on the dangers of it," Underwood said.

When homeowners receive the information, they are often surprised.

"A lot of them didn't even realize what they were doing is wrong," Underwood said. "I explain to them that wet grass clippings in the road — it's like ice to a motorcycle.

"If you come up and you're on wet grass ... or you're coming into a blind curve, even if you're doing the speed limit and you hit the wet grass, you're going down."

Underwood said that there are already enough dangers, such as texting and driving, that threaten the safety of motorcyclists, so grass clippings just add to the road hazards.

To effectively dispose of yard waste, homeowners are encouraged to leave their grass clippings on their lawns. This solution benefits the environment because clippings act as a natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer and decrease the amount of store-bought fertilizer homeowners purchase. This option also saves time because grass clippings do not need to be bagged after each mowing.

“I would advise homeowners, as a person who rides a motorcycle, to just simply be aware that their grass clippings could cause real trouble for people who ride motorcycles,” DelVecchio said.

DelVecchio encourages homeowners to take preventative measures to clear the roads near their property. He also advises motorcyclists to receive both basic and advanced riding instruction through videos, books or training courses so they can navigate grass-covered roads.

Lost control of motorcycles can lead to injury and death among motorcyclists who cannot regain their traction on grass-covered streets. It only takes a few moments to clean up grass clippings if they blow into the road in order to keep motorcyclists safe.

June 21, 2019 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A six-vehicle pileup is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 389.7. Traffic is snarled.

Three ambulanes are on scene.

Town of Batavia Fire Department is there, too.

June 21, 2019 - 4:30pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, crime, news, notify.

Brandon Fogg agreed to a plea deal this afternoon in Genesee County Court after being charged with placing an individual at risk of serious injury or death -- in this case a Batavia police officer -- by displaying a BB gun on June 5.

The 32-year-old Batavia resident entered a guilty plea to first-degree menacing and faces one-and-a-third to four years in prison.

Batavia police officers first encountered Fogg after he trespassed at a location on Ellicott Street. Due to an illegal tire on Fogg’s vehicle as he drove away from the location, officers initiated a traffic stop.

According to police, Fogg attempted to flee the vehicle, but he was taken to the ground by Officer Darryle Streeter. Fogg then removed from his pocket what appeared to be a handgun during the struggle between himself and Streeter.  

A local citizen then came to the aid of Streeter by stepping on Fogg’s wrist, which caused him to drop the BB gun from his grasp. Streeter took Fogg into custody shortly afterward.

Judge Charles Zambito scheduled sentencing for 3:15 p.m. Aug. 1 at Genesee County Court.

June 21, 2019 - 3:08pm
Video Sponsor

Jeff Musial from Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics was at Jackson School on Thursday morning showing off some of the exotic live animals he keeps for educational purposes.

June 21, 2019 - 3:00pm

NEW LISTING: 6539 Miller Road Elba. Pride in ownership is what you will find with this country ranch!

Super solid and spacious 3 bedroom 2 and one half bath home in a super peaceful pretty location -- you will want to pull up a chair and enjoy the views:) There is nothing to do-everything is updated and meticulously maintained.

Public water quite literally installed as of the day of listing! Roof was a tear off in 2018 -- interior freshly neutrally painted-carpets look like they haven’t been stepped on!

Basement is full and huge -- great workshop space -- 2-car attached garage -- large deck overlooking peaceful wooded backyard and a great 24 x 32 barn for all the extras or the hobbyist. Just a really nice home! Click here for more information on this listing. List with us, call Reliant Real Estate today.

Click here for more information on 59 Pearl Street Road. 
Click here for more information on 7773 Macomber Road.

June 21, 2019 - 2:27pm

Renee Chapell with the RaSPy poster. Photo by Alexandria Tarbell, 4-H ACES Club Photographer.

By Renee Chapell – Genesee County 4H ACES Club:

Play Rock-Paper-Scissors against this robot and prepare to lose! One, two, three!

Anyone who’s ever played a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors knows that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you tie. That’s true if you’re playing against a human, but RaSPy will give you a challenge.

RaSPy is an autonomous robot that knows how to play rock-paper-scissors!

Come learn about building robots and challenge RaSPy to a round of Rock-Scissors-Paper. RaSPy, the challenging robot, will be debuting at Genesee County Fair July 13 – 20.

Can robots really beat me? They can indeed. With individually controllable motors and a bunch of sensors, RaSPy can play RPS just as quickly as you.

The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Idea Book delves into the complexities of the NXT programming language (NXT-G) and offers tips for designing and programming robots, using Bluetooth, creating an NXT remote control, troubleshooting, and much more.

The 4H ACES Club learned to build RaSPy from "The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Idea Book."

The team learned that with RaSPy, coding is as simple as clicking and dragging blocks. RaSPy the Robot makes learning about programming, electronics, and mechanical engineering a fun, challenging and engaging process. Sure, there are a ton of other robots made for kids, but RaSPy is amazingly special!

Stop by the Kennedy building and see RaSPy and see if you can beat him! We hope to see you at the fair!

June 21, 2019 - 2:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, American Legion, Boys State.

Submitted photo and press release:

The New York State American Legion Boys State program will be held June 27th to July 2nd at Morrisville State College, Morrisville.

The American Legion Boys State is a unique summertime educational program for boys entering their senior year of high school.

The program focuses on participation and personal experience in a model state, complete with governmental bodies and elected public officials. It is designed to mirror the structure and operation of state government while providing training in practical citizenship, leadership and character through a non-partisan lens. 

The American Legion Boys State program consists of classroom work, lectures and hands-on activities that promote learning by doing. Each participant is known as a “citizen” and becomes an integral part of the process assuming specific responsibilities as an elected or appointed official.

The American Legion Posts, local businesses, or other civic organizations pay the delegates' enrollment fees. 

The Genesee County American Legion Committee is proud to be sponsoring the following 2019 Boys State delegates:

  • Zachary Anderson -- Batavia High School
  • Zeshan Armstrong -- Batavia High School
  • Aiden Cornelius -- Oakfield-Alabama High School
  • Grantham Gilligan -- Le Roy High School
  • Zachary Hannon -- Byron Bergen High School
  • Jake Hill -- Le Roy High School
  • Ryan Manges -- Oakfield-Alabama High School
  • Alexander Pratz -- Oakfield-Alabama High School
  • Dylan Rykert -- Oakfield-Alabama High School
  • Gavin Schmidt -- Batavia High School
  • Cameron Smith -- Le Roy High School
  • Keith Szczepanski -- Notre Dame High School
  • Charles Urbanczyk -- Pavilion High School

About The American Legion 

The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with nearly 2 million members in 12,875 posts in communities across America. Chartered by Congress in 1919, The American Legion is committed to mentoring youth and sponsoring wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.




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