Local Matters

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June 17, 2019 - 12:10pm
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.



June 16, 2019 - 2:00pm

From Young Audiences of WNY:

Arts Partners for Learning (APL) is pleased to announce that Western New York schools are eligible to apply for APL creative learning programs, which will occur between September and June 2020.

Programs include performances, workshops, residencies, and field trips with cultural organizations that make use of the arts as a text to achieve Common Core State Standard benchmarks at any grade level.

Eligible schools must be located in one of the eight counties of Western New York, including Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming.

Up to 90 percent of residency program costs will be covered for selected schools thanks to funding from Fund for the Arts.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to early applicants.

Applications can be found here.

To learn more about APL, click here.

June 16, 2019 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, video.
Video Sponsor

For the first time, we spotted a deer in our backyard at about 11 a.m., eating some birdseed that had fallen to the ground (at least it wasn't my roses). We live on the Southside, just off Jackson Street.


June 16, 2019 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pratt road bridge, Pratt Road, batavia, infrastructure, video, news.
Video Sponsor

Genesee County is replacing the bridge over the Tonawanda Creek at Pratt Road in Batavia. The $1.6 million project is 95 percent federally funded.

June 15, 2019 - 4:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, news, notify, Le Roy, batavia, bergen.

Guillermo J. Torres-Acevedo is indicted for the crime of second-degree rape, a Class D violent felony. He is an adult accused of engaging is sexual intercourse with a person under 15 years old sometime during October at or near the County Meadows Manufactured Home Community in the Town of Batavia. In count two, he is accused of the same crime during September or October, on a different occasion. In count three, he is accused of the same crime in October while in the parking lot of a hotel in the Town of Batavia. In count four, he is accused of the same crime sometime between Nov. 25 and 26 in the Town of Batavia. In counts five, six and seven he is accused of criminal sexual act in the second degree, also a Class D violent felony, for allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct with a person under age 15 sometime during October or November in the Town of Batavia on three different occasions. In count eight, Torres-Acevedo is accused of another count of criminal sexual act in the second degree, for allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct with a person under age 15 sometime between Nov. 25 and 26 in the Town of Batavia. In count nine, the defendant is accused of second-degree kidnapping, a Class B violent felony, for allegedly abducting a person in the Town of Bergen on Nov. 29. In count 10, he is accused of second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor, for intentionally disobeying a court order of protection to stay away from the victim. In count 11, the defendant is indicted for endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of child less than 17. In count 12, Torres-Acevedo is indicted for the crime of first-degree custodial interference, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count 12 that on Nov. 29, the defendant unlawfully took a child from her lawful custodian and removed her from the state. In count 13, he is accused of unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly taking a 2012 Dodge Journey without the owner's consent.

Darius L. Jones is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 22 in the City of Batavia that Jones knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with the intent to sell it.

Marquise L. Lee and Derek E. Wilcox are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on March 27 in the City of Batavia that they knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with the intent to sell it.

Christopher L. Burns is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 16 in the Town of Le Roy that he drove a 2014 Fiat on Route 5 while intoxicated. In count two, burns is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Burns is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Sept. 24, 2012 in County of Monroe Court and that conviction is within 10 previous to the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Shah L. Zajic is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 27 in the Town of Le Roy that Zajic drove a 2012 Toyota on Route 19 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Zajic is accused of having been convicted of the crime of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Feb. 14, 2017, in City of Batavia Court and that conviction is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

June 15, 2019 - 4:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, news, accidents.

A two-vehicle accident in which one vehicle rolled over is reported at Sumner Road and County Line Road in Darien. A first responder reports minor injuries and two of the patients are children. Darien fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: A vehicle is in the middle of the intersection; traffic control will be needed.

June 15, 2019 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports, Vic Ready, batavia, video.
Video Sponsor

Nic Ready, who recently graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where President Donald Trump singled him out and called him up to the stage -- made his professional baseball debut with the Muckdogs on Friday night.

Ready, from Poway, Calif. (San Diego County) is the son of Randy Ready, a former major league player whose career included a stint with the San Diego Padres.

Click here for a game report and video.

June 15, 2019 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, video, notify.
Video Sponsor

The 2019 season for the Batavia Muckdogs got off to the right start with 1,700 fans in attendance and a 2-0 win over the Auburn Doubledays.

Ben Hayes, the president of the New York-Penn League, the current owners of the franchise, said he's pleased with the improvements made by General Manager Brendan Kelly, Groundskeeper Cooper Thomson, and the rest of the staff during the offseason.  

Over the offseason, the league signed a three-year lease agreement for Dwyer Stadium and Hayes isn't talking like a league leader who wants to leave Batavia.

"We've been here since 1939," Hayes said. "Batavia means a lot to the New York-Penn League and there's been a lot of rumors and all that kind of stuff generated by people who are scared that the club's going to leave. But it's still here."

To keep the team here, though, the team needs community support. 

"The facility is a good facility at this point in time to play professional baseball," Hayes said. "We do need people to come and we need businesses to support the operations so that we can pay our bills, pay the bus company to transport us around, hotels -- all the different things that come along with a professional baseball team."

The team itself looks good. Several college-age players, some top prospects, lots of talent.

In centerfield this year is one of the Miami Marlins' Top 50 prospects, Milton Smith Jr., who hit .361 last year in rookie ball. He went 1-3 on opening night.

Dalvy Rosario, another top prospect, his first two hits in the league. He also stole a base and was caught stealing.

Peyton Burdick, a third-round draft pick from Batavia -- Batavia, Ohio -- started in right field and got his first two professional hits.

Nic Ready, from Poway, Calif. (San Diego County), an Air Force Academy grad (see separate video), and son of former major leaguer Randy Ready (San Diego Padres, among other teams, and for the previous three seasons, he managed in the Marlins system), started at third base. His first professional hit was a double and he scored a run.

Starting pitcher Remey Reed, a 2016 sixth-round pick from Plano, Texas, who spent part of the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Batavia, gave up only one hit over five frames to pick up the win. Cason Sherrod notched the save.

June 15, 2019 - 3:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Alabama.

Douglas Scott Sprague accepted a plea deal in Genesee County Court Friday afternoon on a charge of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony.

He admitted to intentionally violating a court order of protection on April 9 in Alabama. He was previously convicted of second-degree criminal contempt in October of 2014 in Town of Oakfield Court for violating an order of protection.

The 53-year-old native of McDonough, who finished the 11th grade of high school, is considered a second felony offender for sentencing purposes.

Judge Charles Zambito ordered a presentencing report and an order of protection for one year for the victim.

Bail is continued at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond for Sprague, who appeared in court with his head shaved, with a goatee, and wearing orange jail clothes to waive the indictment against him.

Sentencing is scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, July 24.

June 15, 2019 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at 10 Otis St. in the city, between Sumner and Ellicott streets. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

June 15, 2019 - 12:58pm

Submitted photo and press release:

June is National Dairy Month! Recently, Genesee County Dairy Promotion held its annual coronation at Genesee Community College. The 2019 Court includes six Dairy Maids and six Dairy Ambassadors.

The State Address was given by Beth Keene, who encouraged the girls to learn and teach others about the Dairy Industry and the importance of sharing their own dairy stories. NYS Alternate Dairy Princess, Alyssa Roorda, spoke about Dairy Promotion activities across New York State.

Congratulations to the new Genesee County Dairy Promotion Team!

The girls are anxious to help out at dairy events. Contact Emily at (585) 201-3494, for more information. 

Pictured -- Back row, from left: Maggie Winspear, Georgia Luft, Noelia Ventura, Miah Werth, NYS Alternate Dairy Princess Alyssa Roorda, Carolyn Sybertz, Amelia Brewer, and Jillian Brewer. Front row, from left: Annalise Sybertz, Chloe Lamb, Claire Lamb, and Caroline Luft.

June 15, 2019 - 12:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, Girls Scouts, Daisy for a Day.

Press release:

Girl Scouts of Western New York invites the community to attend its FREE Daisy for a Day events! Girl Scouts is a year-round experience. Girl Scouts develop a strong sense of self, display positive values, seek challenges, and solve problems in their communities.

Girls entering kindergarten and first grade in the fall and their families will discover what it means to be a Girl Scout, how to get involved, and enjoy fun activities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 29th.

In Genesee County, the Daisy for a Day event will take place at the Dibble Family Center, located at 4120 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

RSVP at gswny.org or call 1.888.837.6410.

Girl Scouts takes the potential of girls, combines it with robust skill-building programming, and adds caring adult mentors and strong female role models. From building robots, rock climbing at camp, running a cookie business, to service projects at local food banks and animal shelters, a Girl Scout has an exciting array of choices to suit her interests at every age. 

At Girl Scouts, girls get to lead their own adventure and team up with other girls in an all-girl environment to choose the exciting, hands-on activities that interest them most in important skill areas like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Outdoors, Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship. While a girl may be exposed to these subjects at school and in other places, at Girl Scouts she will experience them in a unique way that puts her on a path to a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. 

About Girl Scouts of Western New York

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) serves nearly 15,000 girls and 7,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction, including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The council’s administrative service centers are located in Batavia, Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls, and Rochester.

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls discover their personal best and prepare for a positive future, connect with others in an increasingly diverse world and take action to solve problems and improve their communities.

June 15, 2019 - 12:28pm

Above, Charles Malone, Cornell Extension senior resource educator, with 4-H ACES Club members and a 4-H Energy Bike.

Submitted photo and press release:

Would you like to take “healthy living” to the next level? 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) specialist Charles Malone, along with the Genesee County 4-H ACES Club, created delicious, healthy smoothies using pedal power.

The Energy Bike can help tackle obesity by promoting healthy eating and lifestyles among youth and families. Charles Malone estimated that 12 hours of pedaling would total just 12 cents on a family’s electricity bill.

We learned that using the 4-H Energy Bike connected to a blender and a little pedal-power, you can mix delicious smoothies as you pedal. You just fill the blender with fruit and juice, hop on the bike and pedal for a short amount of time, a minute later you have delicious fruit smoothies for everyone! 

We all know that the key to healthy living is doing regular exercise, eating healthy food full of fruit and veggies, and of course trying to reduce our personal carbon footprint on the planet and promote renewable energy.

Bringing pedal-powered activities to our 4-H Club, which focuses on science and robotics, promotes renewable energy, biking, healthy eating, and teamwork, and puts everyone in an open, happy, and receptive state, ready to interact and learn. It’s green energy in action!

Learning about the energy bike taught us how to use our own muscle power and instantly achieve a delicious, healthy fruit smoothie. We also learned how to reserve, pack, unpack and transport the 4-H Energy Bike.

New York State 4-H currently has several energy bikes to help promote a healthy living program. A smoothie challenge is a good way to promote fun, health, and teamwork altogether.

The energy bike helps promote healthy living and STEM. 4-H’ers can learn to talk to visitors both about the way energy moves from muscle to bike to blender as well as about fruit smoothies as a healthy snack alternative. 

New York State 4-H Foundation, New York State Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County are a partnered program promoting the Energy Bike to 4-H camps, local 4-H clubs, schools and community youth programs.

If you want to learn more about the 4-H Energy Bike program, and perhaps host a fun event, and for more information contact Charles Malone, senior resource educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Genesee County at: [email protected].

Photo by Alexandria Tarbell, 4-H ACES Club photographer.

June 14, 2019 - 8:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy.

There was a report of at least 10 people fighting in Le Roy at Craigie and Myrtle streets. Police responded and said parties were separated and he called for medics to respond to evaluate minor injuries.

June 14, 2019 - 6:45pm

From the Genesee County Health Department:

ALBANY -- The New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) representing the 58 local health departments in New York State applauds and congratulates Governor Cuomo, the New York State Assembly and Senate for repealing certain provisions relating to non-medical exemptions from vaccination.

They voted in favor of Assembly bill A2371 and Senate bill 2994-A and we are grateful for the leadership of Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz and Senator Brad Hoylman, who sponsored this legislation in their respective houses, and were champions behind its passage.

Governor Cuomo took swift action to sign this bill into law immediately following its passage in both houses, demonstrating a monumental commitment to public health policy and eliminating vaccine preventable disease in New York State.

A number of communities in New York State are now facing the health consequences of non-medical exemptions from vaccinations. These exemptions, while well-intended, brought about a resurgence of preventable communicable diseases, resulting in numerous and ongoing transmission of diseases in our communities.

Decades of scientific research underpin the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. The passage of this bill will strengthen herd immunity thereby protecting those individuals, who for medical reasons, are unable to receive vaccinations.

“As public health professionals, and as policymakers, we routinely weigh the ethical balance of protecting individual rights against protecting our communities at large.” said Daniel J. Stapleton, NYSACHO president and Public Health director in Niagara County.

“Both statute and case law have continually upheld that the weight of this choice must lean towards protecting the community at large when personal choice puts the lives of others at risk.”

NYSACHO applauds New York State, for enacting this important public health policy into law, and in so doing will return us to a time where measles, and other vaccine-preventable diseases, are a footnote from the past and not a risk to our children’s and our futures.

June 14, 2019 - 6:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, army, veterans.

A statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley commemorating the founding of the Army.

“For nearly two and a half centuries the U.S. Army has courageously served our country. On June 14, 1775 the Continental Congress established the United Continental Army under the command of General George Washington to serve the United Colonies for a year.

“Today, we celebrate the 244th birthday of the Army and in doing so celebrate the heroic sacrifices of all the men and women who have served in defense of our freedom and liberty. Across the nation we recognize and honor the more than 1 million active members of the unified Army and the 180,000 Army soldiers and personnel deployed overseas.

“I am proud to have served in the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant, while always remembering my father, a World War Two veteran who fought as a member of Merrill’s Marauders in Burma.

“Loyalty, duty and selfless-service have characterized the Army since its inception. From the beaches of Normandy to the rolling hills of Afghanistan and Iraq, we bear in mind the brave men and women who have generously sacrificed so much for our country. In the spirit of solemn thanksgiving and praise, we wish a happy birthday to the U.S. Army.”

June 14, 2019 - 6:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, Flag Day, news.

A statement on Flag Day from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“Today’s annual celebration of Flag Day is a reminder of the traditions, history, pride and respect given to the nation's symbol, Old Glory. On June 14, 1777 the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution declaring the Stars and Stripes to be the official flag of the U.S. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson passed a decree officially marking June 14 as Flag Day. 

“The celebration of Flag Day is a historic reminder of the struggles and triumphs that have made our country what it is today. By honoring our flag, we direct our minds to the ideals and principles that undergird our nation and are reminded of the many rights and privileges bestowed upon us as American citizens.

“Our country is proud of our flag and the principles of freedom and democracy it stands for at home and all across the world. The celebration of Flag Day on June 14 has been a long and honorable tradition and I hope many of you will join me this year in honoring the American Flag by displaying one at your home to show your love and pride in our great nation.”

June 14, 2019 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia.

About a dozen family members and friends of murder victim Raymond Morgan were in Genesee County Court this afternoon when the man accused of killing him rejected a plea offer, opting instead to take the case to trial and face up to 25 years to life in prison.

Richard D. Hanes (inset photo, right), head shaved, constrained by shackles and wearing orange jail clothes, swiftly entered the courtroom when the side door swung wide open, and was told by a deputy to take a seat next to his attorney, Frederick Rarick.

The 36-year-old former Orleans County resident is accused of beating Morgan to death in his apartment at 111 Liberty St., Batavia, on July 24. He is charged with murder in the second degree, a Class A-1 felony, and has pled not guilty.

Under the plea offer, Hanes faced a minimum of 15 to 20 years in state prison.

Rarick told Judge Charles Zambito that he discussed the plea offer with his client and Hanes rejected it.

Zambito said today was the plea cut-off date and after today the offer would no longer be available and he asked Rarick if his client understood that. Rarick said he did.

Zambito also cited the "severe brutality" exhibited in this case and then set a trial date of Monday, July 22, with jury selection to begin the week before.

With the trial date set and the case dismissed, Morgan's loved ones abruptly stood and left the courtroom, causing a commotion as they did so. A couple of young women shouted out homophobic slurs and one said "Scumbag! Hope you get 25 years to life!"

A deputy quickly followed the group outside, telling them not to shout out.

One woman sobbed uncontrollably outside the courtroom as others tried to comfort her.

Investigators in the case have said the attack on Morgan was "exceptionally violent" and it happened "in an extremely short period of time." The motive, if there was one, was not clear, but detectives say they believe the attack was planned.

Hanes has been in custody since July 26, two days after the murder, on an alleged parole violation. He is being held at the Attica Correctional Facility.

In 2003, he was convicted in Orleans County of burglary, 3rd, attempted robbery, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. His parole on those charges expires Dec. 7.

In November, a Batavia police spokesman said Hanes was living at 5 Thorpe St., Batavia, a rooming house for clients of GCASA, at the time of Morgan's murder. (For previous story, click here.)

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman previously told The Batavian that there were witnesses in the area at the time of the murder who identified Hanes as the attacker. He said the people's case also includes scientific evidence, items of physical evidence, and surveillance video from various locations that follow Hane's path after the crime.

Morgan was a 47-year-old Batavia native with a large, tight-knit family that includes five grandchildren and many friends.

June 14, 2019 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adams Welding, oakfield-alabama, news, schools, education, notify.


For Tim Adams, owner of Adams Welding and Manufacturing in Stafford, donating steel for a class project at Oakfield-Alabama High School is a chance to help students discover a possible career.

For the students, it's a chance to explore a trade and learn new skills.

For the Genesee County Fair, they'll receive new gate racks.

You might call it a win-win-win.

"Any chance kids have for an opportunity to learn a skill or an opportunity to if something is something they want to do in a future career, whether it be welding, electrical, plumbing, or carpentry, any kind of skilled trade, I don't see that as a bad thing," Adams said. "Perhaps they will fall in love with it and like it."

While not necessarily calling it a career just yet, Cierra Tiede said she went from being fearful of welding to really enjoying it.

"It was pretty cool," Tiede said. "I've done another welding projects before, but this was a bigger scale and it was cool to see it all come together in the end."

Instructor Todd Hofheins said it was a great project for the students to learn how to work together as a team, to divide up their labor, coordinate, and ensure all of the five racks are uniform in size and quality.

"The racks need to hold close to 2,000 pounds so they've got to be done properly," Hofheins said.

Without the donation of steel from Adams, the project wouldn't have been possible, Hofheins said.



June 14, 2019 - 4:41pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, business, Golden Coin, news, Blue Coral Swimwear.

Above, Jolene Morales, who does tailoring and alterations at Golden Coin Laundry & Dry Cleaning, in addition to sewing custom bathing suits.

Threads of the Batavia community are sewn into the eye-catching swimsuits flaunted on numerous fashion show stages.

The careful hand of Jolene Morales stitches custom swimwear items for models to wear at events as large as the Buffalo Fashion Show, Fashion Week of Rochester and Miami Swim Week.

For about two years, Morales has been a tailor for Golden Coin Laundry & Dry Cleaning in Batavia and a Batavia-based company called Blue Coral Swimwear. Her love of sewing, however, began when she was 10 years old.

“I’ve been doing this so long that this is what I’ve always done," Morales said. "This is my passion. When I’m not here, then I’m sewing at home.” 

Prior to running the tailoring and alterations department at Golden Coin, Morales sewed for PetSmart in Brockport, the P.W. Minor shoe manufacturer in Batavia and a wallet retailer in Nashville, Tenn. Morales has learned how to sew professionally through her work experiences, trial and error and collaborations with designers.

Morales joined Blue Coral Swimwear during her first year at Golden Coin because Callista Gifford-DeHart, the daughter of Golden Coin owner Margaret Gifford, is the founder and designer for Blue Coral. Gifford-DeHart started the company in 2014 in Delray Beach, Fla., and launched her first line the following year. 

Once clients, models and pageant contestants order their personalized swimsuits online, Gifford-DeHart sketches a look and sends the designs to Batavia. Morales then properly sizes the material, delicately cuts the fabric and sews the pieces together. After the labor-intensive two-week process, Gifford ships the finished products to customers nationwide.

“Between doing the bathing suits for [Blue Coral], I also do the regular tailoring," Morales said. "Right now, it’s wedding and prom season, so at one time I had six wedding gowns and five prom dresses."

“When I’m working on the bathing suits, it has to be one-on-one with just them because of the type of material it is. It’s not like working with normal material. It is very slippery, and it’s very high quality.”

The precision and detail of Morales’s tailoring do not go unnoticed. The outfits have received positive feedback from women of all body shapes who express their confidence and body positivity in the swimwear. Customers report “how much they love them, and how comfortable they are,” Gifford said.

Blue Coral launched in 2015 and expects demand for its swimwear to increase, which may lead to an expansion of the sewing department at Golden Coin. Since tailoring is becoming a lost art in Genesee County, Morales thinks it’s worthwhile to educate her children and other students about sewing and alterations.

A key to Morales’s success is that Blue Coral and its customers prefer hand-stitched products to mass-produced, factory manufactured swimwear.

The need for local expertise is the reason Morales is currently tailoring outfits for the 2020 season with the latest materials and threads. She is excited for her new pieces to debut at the Washington, D.C., Swim Week Fashion Show in late July.

To find out more about Blue Coral Swimwear and to shop, click here.

Below, an example of a custom-made swimsuit fashioned by master seamstress Julie Morales by Blue Coral Swimwear.




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