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April 28, 2018 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, batavia, news, notify, business.

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Pastor Marty Macdonald was an evangelist for Downtown Batavia at the Business Improvement District's annual meeting and awards breakfast in the Generation Center on Friday morning.

Macdonald, pastor of City Church and the keynote speaker Friday, delivered a sermon on the virtues and values of Batavia, his belief in its potential, and his encouragement for Downtown's business owners to remain steadfast in their commitment to growth and community.

“This is the greatest city on the face of the Earth,” Macdonald said. “I really believe that. We as leaders are commissioned to make incredible decisions, not just once in a lifetime but every single day because we are presented with the call to make the future around us great. And not just for five, 10 or 15 years. We are called to change generations yet to come.”

He said he is overjoyed to see the success he sees coming Batavia's way and encouraged business owners not to gripe about the problems they might see but embrace what is going right.

"I’m thankful when I pull into the parking lot next to our building and I can’t find a place to park," Macdonald said. "I remember there was a time you could have thrown a bowling ball in any direction and not hit anything. Now people are upset because they’ve got to walk a little bit. Come on, we need to walk more anyways."

Instead of listening to the few lingering negative voices in the community who badmouth everything they see, Macdonald said we all should aim higher.

"I know I’m not talking to anybody in this room who talks about things that can’t be done," Macdonald said. "I’m talking to people who are can-do people here. Instead of saying what cannot be done or listening to the two or three voices in the community that seem to have the largest megaphone built into their mouths, let’s decide to live at a higher level than we’ve ever lived before. Let’s commit our attitude to be changed in order to go higher and go further than we have ever gone before."

After comparing and contrasting two birds of the desert -- the vulture that feeds only on dead things and the hummingbird that seeks beautiful flowers and spreads life -- Macdonald said, "Can I encourage you today to start thinking like a hummingbird, to start thinking like that one who is looking for life, looking things that are living, instead of focusing on something that is dead. I just want to throw this out here, and I don’t mean to insult anybody, but urban renewal is over. It’s dead. It’s gone. Yes, we learn from yesterday but we can’t stay stuck in yesterday if we are going to move on to a great future."

Adding, "In my church, everyone would say, ‘Amen’ right now."

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Jon Mager, co-owner of the newly established Eli Fish Brewing Company, along with Matt Gray and Matt Boyd, delivered the opening remarks, talking about how the new restaurant, brewery, and restaurant incubator came to be.

"We all grew up in Batavia," Mager said. "We’re all very familiar with the area. We recognize that Downtown has been hurting for quite a few years. Over the years we, unfortunately, saw many restaurants and retail stores leave Downtown or close up completely. We admit we looked other places. We saw places with lower rent, lower operating costs, and lower construction costs over the entire project."

But they picked the former Newberry building for several reasons, including (the fact that) its surrounded by parking; Jackson Square is a hidden gem; there is ample traffic passing past the location; the current Downtown businesses are "awesome," and they are all nostalgic and love old buildings.

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City Council President Eugene Jankowski talked about the benefits of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the process of the city winning the $10 million prize.

He recalled that while making a presentation in Albany, a slideshow of pictures was on a screen behind him when serendipity struck.

"I was talking about how I was walking to school and I remember the smell of those wet, demolished bricks and seeing this once beautiful downtown just rumble down," Jankowski said. "I remember that smell and I was telling the story, and unbeknownst to me, the picture came up of urban renewal and a pile of wet bricks. Jason (Molino) told me that afterward and I thought maybe the timing is right on this one."

Jankowski expressed his appreciation for Downtown's local business owners.

"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for investing your time and your hard-earned money in our Downtown and in our City," Jankowski said. "I know it’s a risk and I know sometimes it’s not always easy, but I as a Batavian really appreciate driving down Main Street and seeing all the traffic."

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Jeff Gillard was named a Volunteer of the Year.

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Derek Kane was named a Volunteer of the Year.

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The Genesee Valley PennySaver, celebrating its 70th year in business, was named a Business of the Year. Pictured are Manual Karem, PennySaver ad manager, owner Steve Harrison, BID Director Beth Kemp, BID Board President Steve Krna, and Beth Walker, a sales associate with the PennySaver.

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Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, celebrating its 100th anniversary, was a Business of the Year. Pictured are Buzz Masse, Mark Masse, Joyce Masse, Cathy Roche, Michael Mugler, John Roche, and Krna and Kemp from the BID.

April 27, 2018 - 10:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, news.

Several minutes ago a deputy, who could be heard while running, reported to dispatchers that he was involved in a foot pursuit in an area north of Swamp Road in Bergen.

A short time later he reported he was "15" (meaning an arrest has been made) with the subject.

Backup units are in route but no other deputies were with him at the time of the pursuit.

The deputy reports he is about 100 yards into the farm field with the suspect in custody.

There is no indication of why the suspect has been arrested or what preceded the foot chase.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: The deputy is conducting a field sobriety test.

April 27, 2018 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander Central Schools, Alexander, news, notify.

This afternoon, the Alexander Central School District released a statement to the community addressing concerns raised by parents in the district about school safety issues and how the Code of Conduct is enforced and implemented.

The statement also notifies the community that the district had already set aside money in the proposed 2018-19 school budget to hire a School Resource Officer (SRO).

The budget vote is May 15 and the district will hold a public hearing on the budget proposal next Wednesday, May 2.

Sheriff William Sheron has made it a priority to convince all local school districts to hire SROs.

"I'm very happy they made this decision," Sheron said. "It has been my position SROs should be in every school. There is no price we can put on our children's lives. I'm thrilled about the budget proposal and now we will let the voters decide."

The statement comes two days after publication of a story by The Batavian covering concerns raised by parents at two school board meetings about issues of concern.

Dear Alexander Community,

Student safety and well-being are top priorities at Alexander Central School District. Our work each day focuses on creating the conditions for students to thrive. We are committed to ensuring all of our students walk through their school days in a safe, structured, and caring environment as they strive to grow as confident, contributing learners. That commitment is our mission and drives our goals as a District.

Alexander is a wonderful community filled with caring families and remarkable children. The District provides outstanding opportunities in the classroom, in athletics, in the arts, and in clubs/organizations for all of our students. Our District is a great place for children to learn every day. Our community cares. Central to who we are as a community is our unwavering commitment to all of our students. As a District, we welcome feedback from students, parents, and community members on all matters relating to how we are meeting the needs of our students and how the District is functioning in alignment with our mission and our goals. When a student, parent, or community member reaches out to our teachers, administrators, and Board members, the concerns shared are taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate.

Recently, District administrators and our Board of Education have heard from parents regarding their concerns about the District’s commitment to student safety and well-being as well as how the District is applying the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct provides a framework for our disciplinary processes when student conduct does not meet the expectations outlined in the Code. It is important to keep in mind that the details of any situation that may result in disciplinary consequences are complex, specific, and confidential. The District is not free to share the details related to specific student discipline or consequences - especially with parents and community members who are not the parent of the child involved. In fact, the District is legally bound to keep all of these matters confidential. We take that obligation seriously. Be assured, however, the fact that the District cannot provide the community with details relating to specific disciplinary consequences does not mean that the District is not taking action nor does it mean the District is not upholding the Code of Conduct. We work diligently to investigate all situations in which a student’s conduct is alleged to violate the Code and impose consequences consistent with our findings.

In responding to recent concerns expressed by parents and community members, the District’s unwavering commitment to confidentiality has put it at a bit of a disadvantage, particularly because others are not bound by the same legal requirements regarding confidentiality. In fact, some community members have questioned the District’s commitment to confidentiality and have even suggested the District was acting improperly by not sharing details of certain situations involving the District’s students. Our legal obligation and moral commitment to confidentiality should not be construed as the District being non-transparent or non-responsive. We are merely doing what we are legally and ethically obligated to do. While District administrators and our Board of Education are not at liberty to share the details of every situation that is brought to our attention, please know that does not mean that we are not committed to student safety and well-being. As a community, we must remember our commitment to each other and to our students, even when we disagree or question certain disciplinary consequences.

Our District administrators and our Board of Education have used the recent feedback from members of the community as an opportunity to reflect on our practices. In fact, conversations we started last spring with the Sheriff’s office regarding the possibility of adding a school resource officer (SRO) at Alexander CSD were reinforced by our current community conversation about student safety. The addition of an SRO is part of our 2018-19 budget proposal. We continue to welcome feedback. Through feedback, we continue to grow as a District.

As always, thank you for your support as we work to create the conditions for all students to thrive. Even when we disagree and even when all of the details of every situation cannot be shared, we always have our love for our District and our commitment to our students in common. Let's continue to work together to make sure our community remains strong and that we continue to move the work of our District forward.

With thanks~
Dr. Catherine Huber

April 27, 2018 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in O'Lacy's Irish Pub, batavia, news, Richmond Memorial Library.

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Kent Ewell, owner of O'Lacy's Irish Pub, and Bob Conrad, director of the Richmond Memorial Library, during a fundraising event last night at O'Lacy's in Batavia.

Patrons who arrived early enough at O'Lacy's could purchase a Guinness glass and have it personally engraved and then enjoy a pint perfectly poured by an O'Lacy's bartender.

Proceeds from the sale of the glasses benefit the Richmond Memorial Library.

This is the third year for the event and it was the largest turnout ever. Ewell said O'Lacy's sold out of glasses and that more than $1,000 was raised for the library.

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April 27, 2018 - 3:57pm

Press release:

The recipients of the 2018 Law Day Observance & Criminal Justice Awards were announced at an annual dinner held at Batavia Country Club on Thursday, April 26.

Kiwanis Club President Matt Landers and Genesee County Bar Association President Peter Casey announced the honorees. The speaker at the dinner was the Honorable John Curran, Supreme Court Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

Kiwanis Criminal Justice Award

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.

The 2018 Award Recipients are:

Sergeant Bradley D. Mazur, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Mazur started his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 31, 1999, as a Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Road Patrol. As a Sergeant, Mazur's primary assignment is to supervise the counties local drug task force.

In his first year supervising the Task Force, they investigated a record number of cases since the Task Force was formed in 1989, for the sale and distribution of illegal drugs within Genesee County. These tireless investigations resulted in several arrests against those who use and sell drugs on the streets and neighborhoods of Genesee County.

Mazur, with his work in the Task Force, has proven to be a valuable source of information that assists in the apprehension and conviction of individuals involved in other felony crimes within Genesee County to include attempted murder, robbery, burglary and assaults.

He was also a Field Training Officer (FTO) in the Sheriff's Office, which is a valuable position that helps train our newest Deputies as they are coming out of the academy and learning how to handle calls for service. Many officers look to Mazur for guidance when dealing with difficult cases, especially when the cases involve drugs. With Sergeant Mazur's guidance, the Drug Task Force is already looking to have another banner year.

In 2002, Sergeant Mazur received the "Officer of the Year" Award and has received two Commendation Awards. Sergeant Mazur is most deserving of this award and recognition for his dedication and hard work toward protecting the citizens in Genesee County as a Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy. Sergeant Mazur was nominated for this award by Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

Sergeant Daniel J. Coffey, Batavia Police Department

Sergeant Coffey has been instrumental in creating quality law enforcement training for the City of Batavia Police Department and other agencies in the County. He is a general topics instructor, firearms instructor, taser instructor and chemical breath test instructor. He has developed or helped develop training protocols throughout the county that have ensured law enforcement officers are trained to the highest standard possible.

Coffey continues to improve himself as a trainer and police officer regulary attending training symposiums and leadership schools. Not only has Sgt. Coffey been an asset to the City of Batavia as a police officer but he also spends a lot of his "free time" volunteering for the Town of Batavia Fire Department and is an instructor for Genesee County Emergency Management.

He exemplifies what a public servant is and for that he should be recognized. Sergeant Coffey was nominated for this award by Chief Shawn Heubusch.

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award -- Oakfield-Alabama High School Mock Trial Team

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Oakfield-Alabama High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2018 GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament.

The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen." Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death 11 years ago.

The Oakfield-Alabama High School team members honored at the dinner include: Logan Cadieux, Noah Gray, Ryan Manges, Justina Pruski, Aiden Cornelius, John Igoe Jr., Nick Munger, Alison Woodward, Colin Graham, Dylan Maier, Derek Pruski, Josiah Yantz, Coach Peter Beuler, and Attorney Advisor Melissa Cianfrini.

Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program Kristie DeFreze and Genesee County Bar Association President Peter Casey presented the award.

April 27, 2018 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in construction, Stroh Road, bridge replacement, Alexander, news.

From County Highway Superintendent Timothy J. Hens:

The County has hired LC Whitford from Wellsville to replace the Stroh Road bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in the Town of Alexander.

The contractor plans on closing the bridge to traffic starting at approximately 7 a.m. on Monday, May 7th. The bridge will be closed for approximately six months while it is replaced.

There will be no detour posted during construction. Maplewood Road will remain open during construction.

April 27, 2018 - 3:23pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) will be hosting a special roundtable discussion in Batavia on May 3 with Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, called "ThinkDIFFERENTLY."

The discussion offers different perspectives on how our businesses, organizations and individuals can better treat our residents with special needs.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “I thank Assemblyman Hawley for embracing the ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ initiative we’ve found so successful in Dutchess County, and I hope communities throughout his district will continue to answer our call to action.

"Each New Yorker deserves to treated based upon their own unique abilities and potential, and we in Dutchess County seek to embrace all residents of all abilities. I thank the communities that have chosen to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY,’ and I look forward to seeing the trend continue throughout our state.”

The event will take place at the ARC of Genesee Orleans Community Center located at 38 Woodrow Road in Batavia beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 3. Residents who wish to attend are asked to please call Hawley’s district office ahead of time to register at (585) 589-5780.

“I am pleased to host this important roundtable discussion with County Executive Marc Molinaro, and I look forward to bringing in community stakeholders to talk about ways to foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our residents with special needs,” Hawley said.

“I am hopeful we can implement many of the ideas and solutions that are part of this program, and I am eager to have a productive discussion.”

Editor's Note, April 28: This story has been updated to correct the venue's address; it will take place at 38 Woodrow Road, Batavia, not on Walnut Street.

April 27, 2018 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, downtown, batavia.

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Staff from the Genesee County Economic Development Center hosted staff from Invest Buffalo Niagara and other interested local officials on a walking tour of Downtown Batavia yesterday afternoon.

Rachel Tabelski, marketing director for GCEDC, said Invest Buffalo Niagara is the marketing partner for GCEDC for all of its shovel-ready development sites.

"The tour helps make them more aware of the assets we have in our city," Tabelski said.

The tour started at Eli Fish Brewing Company, which Invest Buffalo Niagara visited last year just as construction was beginning. They then walked to the Old Courthouse for a proclamation ceremony. Next, they visited two of the potential DRI projects, the Masonic Temple and GO ART!.

The Invest Buffalo Niagara staff will use the information they gathered and the pictures they took to create digital media content that will be used to help market Batavia to businesses looking for site locations.

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April 27, 2018 - 3:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Charles Schumer, dairy farmers, agriculture, business, news, O-AT-KA.
Press release:
 
U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that he is working directly with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senator Tammy Baldwin(D-WI) to urge U.S. trade officials to secure a level playing field with Canadian producers during the renegotiation of the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
 
According to Schumer, in recent years, Canada has established dairy pricing policies and has maintained high tariffs that have effectively created a “Dairy Wall” stopping most U.S. dairy products from accessing Canadian markets and distorting global trade. Dairy farmers and producers, like O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative Inc. in Batavia, Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Cayuga County and dairy producers in Wisconsin, have been severely hurt by Canada’s manipulative trade practices and it will only get worse without action.
 
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) from Wisconsin has also been a leader on lowering Canada’s dairy trade barriers, working closely with Senator Schumer.
 
“With Speaker Ryan’s and Senator Baldwin’s help, we now have a real opportunity to churn the tide and hopefully fix the unfair Canadian dairy trade barriers that have plagued dairy farmers and producers from the Finger-Lakes to Central New York to Wisconsin,” said Senate Democratic Leader Schumer.
 
“Our hardworking New York dairy farmers and producers across Upstate New York are the most competitive in the world, but they depend on stable and fair rules to compete in a global economy, to sell their dairy products, expand their business and create new local jobs – and right now, for dairy, Canada is erecting unfair barriers and not playing by the rules and the current NAFTA renegotiation must be used to rectify that.”
 
Schumer explained Canada has an unfair advantage over New York dairy farmers and producers. In addition to Canada’s 270 percent tariff on milk, a program called the “Class 7” pricing program, a market-distorting supply management system, has caused severe pain to New York dairy producers since it came into force last year.
 
In fact, Canada has used the Class 7 program to triple its milk powder exports in the past year by creating excess milk production capacity within Canada, then dumping the resulting milk powder onto world markets. To further prove this dumping exists, Schumer added that Canada’s dairy farmers are some of the highest paid in the world, yet Canadian dairy companies are still able to be among the lowest cost sellers of Class 7 products globally.
 
As U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade officials are closing in on a deal to revamp North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Schumer said working with Senator Baldwin and Speaker Ryan – who represents many dairy farmers and producers in their own state, represents a real opportunity to finally dismantle Canada’s market-distorting policies and ensure a level playing field for American dairy farmers and producers.
 
Schumer continued: “As trade officials near a deal to renegotiate NAFTA – a bipartisan issue President Trump, Senator Baldwin, Speaker Ryan and I agree on – we must make it a top priority to begin reversing restrictive dairy pricing policies in Canada that are hurting our dairy producers at their core, and now is a real opportunity to do just that.”
 
Schumer said that he has directly stressed the importance of securing meaningful changes in our dairy trade relationship with Canada to past and current administration officials, including President Trump, current United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton, and the U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft -- who have all committed to address this issue.
April 27, 2018 - 3:00pm


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147 Pearl St., Batavia: Superbly maintained 3 bedroom, bath and a half home with not one ounce of anything to do! This home is no flip -- completely gutted and remodeled within the last 5 years beautifully done and tastefully decorated. Roof full tear off 4 yrs. ago, furnace 5 yrs.

Beautiful cherry cabinetry with granite countertops all stainless appliances to stay plus washer/dryer! Nice formal dining/extra large living room area with cozy gas fireplace-great for entertaining. Upstairs bath fully gutted with super convenient upstairs laundry area and three large bedrooms. All new carpeting throughout as well!

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April 27, 2018 - 2:57pm

Press release:

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, Genesee County law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

Bring your pills for disposal to:

Pembroke Town Hall, Route 5 at Route 77 Pembroke

    -- received by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies

Batavia Police Department Headquarters, 10 W. Main St., Batavia

    – received by Batavia Police Officers

Le Roy Police Department Headquarters, 3 W. Main St., Le Roy

   – received by Le Roy Police Officers

Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites—liquids and needles or other sharps will not be accepted. The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety, health and environmental hazards.

April 27, 2018 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Liberty Street, infrastructure, batavia, news.

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Work crews are getting busy with infrastructure projects in Batavia, starting with a new sidewalk on Liberty Street from East Main Street to Cherry Street.

New sidewalks will also be replaced on Washington Avenue from Ross Street to Bank Street, and on Tracy Avenue from Washington Avenue to North Street.

The sidewalk replacement is part of the state's "Healthy Schools Corridor" project and is funded by 75-percent state and federal grants and 25 percent by the city under the Transportation Alternatives Program.

The width of the sidewalks is increasing to five feet.

Roman Construction, from Tonawanda, won the sidewalk contract with a bid of $721,566.

Other city projects planned this year include milling/paving on South Liberty, Liberty, East Avenue, Vine Street, Swan Street, and Clinton Street, paid for by federal, state, and city funding. The council is expected to award a bid for this contract on at its next business meeting.

City crews will handling paving of Trumbull Parkway, Lehigh Avenue, Eleanor Place and Margaret Place.

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April 27, 2018 - 7:20am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Batavia High School, sports, boys baseball, news.

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Batavia High School Boys Baseball Team celebrates a big fourth inning, six-run lead to beat visiting Greece Olympia by a score of 9-1 at Genesee Community College, Batavia, Thursday afternoon.

Senior Jordyn Schmidt (pictured below) picked up the win on the mound allowing two hits, one run and six strikeouts for the Blue Devils.

Brandon Betances, Chandler Baker and Andrew Frances got hits for Batavia as the Devils remain undefeated with three wins and are 3-1 overall on the year.

Next game will be home on Saturday vs. Pittsford Sutherland at GCC.

For more game photos click here.

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April 26, 2018 - 11:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in lynching, Matthew Bullock, batavia, news.

matthewbullockbatavia_0.jpgToday a new memorial to the victims of lynching from throughout the country was dedicated in Montgomery, Ala.

In recognition of the dedication of the memorial, this is the story of a family who once lived in Batavia and lost a son to a lynching in North Carolina while another son fled for his life to Canada with a brief visit to Batavia on his way further north.

Rev. William Bullock, a father of 13 children, moved here with his family from Virginia in 1908. He bought a house for $500 and later sold it to Mary Quaslafaro for $3,200 and moved to Macon, N.C., with 12 of his 13 children.

While living in Batavia, he did odd jobs and cleaned offices. During his sojourn in Batavia, he and his family also lived at 103 Jackson St. and 26 Jefferson. When it came time to move, he told the Batavia Daily News that,  "I have all courtesies and respect for the people of Batavia." 

His sons included Plummer Bullock and Matthew Bullock.

According to an account from the March 1922 issue of The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP, Plummer and Matthew ran into trouble in January 1921 in a store in Norlina, N.C. 

Plummer paid for better-grade apples, according to the account, and a white youth attempted to give him rotten apples. Plummer protested and when he "stoutly maintained he should receive what he paid for" a dispute arose. 

As he left the store, people in the store threatened to beat him for daring to talk back to a white man.

That afternoon there was considerable discussion around town, according to The Crisis, about what happened that grew with each telling. 

Soon, there was talk of lynching Plummer.

William Bullock, according to the magazine article, was a respected minister in town. He asked the Sheriff to lock up his son for safekeeping.

Within a few hours, a mob formed and when meeting a group of black youths as they tried to make their way to the jail, a fight ensued. Several people on both sides were injured.

Later that night, the mob reformed and stormed the jail, seized Plummer and another man held at the jail, and lynched them both. 

They then went looking for Matthew Bullock.

Matthew Bullock fled. He was next spotted in Batavia and became the subject of stories in the Batavia Daily News.

The Feb. 3, 1921 story about his arrival in town includes:

Bullock said that about two weeks ago his brother, Plummer Bullock, a 17-year-old boy, was lynched by a mob which afterward riddled his body with bullets. Plummer got into an argument with a white storekeeper over 10 cents worth of apples which the boy had purchased and wanted to return. The argument started a race riot and Bullock, who was working on a farm, began his flight to the North without learning whether anything happened to the other members of his family. Including himself, there were 12 children in the family.

Southern mobs are not satisfied with the killing of the person who aroused them, but seek to exterminate their victim's entire family, Bullock said. Although he was assured that he was among friends and that no harm would come to him in Batavia, the young man declared that he was not far enough away from his southern home and intended to keep on going. If the mob that killed his brother located him it would attempt to take his life, he claimed.

The newspaper continued to track attempts by Southern law enforcement to locate Matthew and reported Jan. 17, 1922, that Matthew was arrested in Canada. 

Two days later, the newspaper reported that local residents had started a fundraising campaign to assist Matthew Bullock, who was a veteran of World War I.

Soon, Matthew Bullock's story wasn't just known in Batavia. The legal fight over his extradition from Canada became international news, gripping the world's newspaper readers for the next four months.

The NAACP hired attorneys in Canada to represent Matthew Bullock. 

The U.S. State Department demanded an extradition. A hearing was held before Judge Snider in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Snider demanded that North Carolina produce witnesses to prove that Bullock was guilty of the crime charged and to disprove that the demand for extradition was a subterfuge to get Bullock back in the state's jurisdiction where he could be railroaded to jail and perhaps lynched. He adjourned the hearing for one week to give North Carolina an opportunity to produce witnesses.

"Bullock admitted freely that he fired several shots in defense of his life when attacked by the mob while the mob was on its way to the jail to lynch Plummer Bullock," The Crisis reported. "Under provisions of the treaty between Canada and the United States, shooting in the defense of ones life is not an extraditable office, while attempted murder is."

Governor Cameron Morrison of North Carolina refused to produce witnesses.

In The New York Times, Feb. 19, 1922, Morrison is quoted, while discussing the Bullock case, as saying, "People in some sections of the country do not seem to understand that so-called lynchings in the South are nothing more than the killing of a criminal by the friends and frequently outraged relatives of the victim of the prisoner's crime."

Snider refused the request to extradite Matthew Bullock and he was released.

On May 1, 1922, the Batavia Daily News reported that Bullock intended to go aboard to escape the reach of the KKK. Other reports said he would flee to England. 

According to family tree records on Ancestry.com, Matthew Bullock eventually returned to Warran, N.C., where he died Sept. 30, 1982.

Thank you to Michael Eula and Judy Stiles of the Genesee County History Department for their assistance with this story.

April 26, 2018 - 11:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Tech Academy, byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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A group of students in the WNY Tech Academy at Byron-Bergen High School can now be called entrepreneurs.

They've researched a business idea, wrote a business plan, built financial projections and stepped into their own version of the Shark Tank and walked out with a guaranteed $125,000 in financing for their planned business.

The business, Academy Greens, will grow spinach and tilapia in a greenhouse on the Byron-Bergen campus that will be equipped with an aquaponics system.

They will sell the spinach to the cafeteria at Byron-Bergen and to the culinary arts program at BOCES. 

"There is an unlimited opportunity for success and there is so much to learn within the business itself," said student Kyle Goloskey. "I'm excited about the project because we’re able to provide food for local schools and it’s organic so it’s a clean project we don’t have to worry about contamination."

The students haven't quite figured out what to do with the tilapia yet, and under questioning from the "sharks" during their hour-long pitch, acknowleged that they didn't account for the preparation costs associated with selling fish.

The "sharks" were: Genesee County Economic Development Center CEO Steve Hyde, who was asked to represent the vegetable-processing company Bonduelle, which has a plant in Oakfield, for the purpose of the pitch review; and Paul Gister, manager of customer and community management at National Grid; Michael Gardinier, VP of operations at Farm Fresh First; and Thomas Schulte, principal of the WNY Tech Academy.

Hyde said Bonduelle will make an in-kind contribution of coaching and food-processing expertise to assist the students with their startup. Gister and Gardinier said they will take back recommendations for funding to their bosses and board of directors.

At the end of the presentation, Schulte announced that the budget for the WNY Tech Academy, which is funded through grants, has been rewritten for next year to make $125,000 available for the project. Any financial contribution from National Grid or Farm Fresh will backfill the WNY Tech contribution.

Hyde said he found the whole project exciting.

"Food is such a heartland for us," Hyde said. "We've got three industrial parks across the county that are being developed around food. On the entrepreneurial side, that is such a critical piece. We have the Med-Tech Center and the entrepreneurial zone for startups. That is an accelerator for businesses. Things like this help plant the seeds that spark things."

He praised the project-based learning experience.

Gardinier said the project is going to give the students a real hands-on experience in the world and in business that will benefit them when they start their careers. It is a bridge for them to connect their class work to the work environment.

And starting and running a business isn't easy, so the students will learn from the mistakes they make and the challenges they encounter.

"I fully expect them to hit problems," Gardinier said. "It’s important they get their network built around them. They’ve got some very key players with them now that have offered time and offered expertise to the project to help them get over those hurdles, so build your network and use it."

Noah Toal, 11th grade, said he likes the project because he gets to learn how businesses start and the sharks who asked challenging questions gave him an idea of what it takes to put a business together.

He plans to enter into accounting but might want to own his own business someday.

"I might think about starting my own business once I get out there more and start getting cash flow in, and I get more understanding of how this world goes," Noah said. 

The primary goal of the project, Schulte said, is to provide a learning experience and bring together the three disciplines of the tech academy -- food-processing technology, supply chain management, and accounting -- into a single effort.

"From very early on we tried to talk about ourselves as a startup company and how important for every person on our team, staff, students, to play a role in making it become what the vision of it was from the very beginning," Schulte said. "I think the greenhouse is just going to be another example of -- to make it work, we’ve got to work to make it work."

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April 26, 2018 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A bicyclist has been struck by a car at Jackson and Main, Batavia.

No word on how serious the injuries might be. 

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Also dispatched, City fire and Mercy EMS for a person who has fallen from a ladder extended to the second floor of a residence on Davis Avenue, Batavia.

UPDATE 6:33 p.m.: The victim of the accident on Jackson is complaining of shoulder pain.

April 26, 2018 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia, accident.

A tractor-trailer rollover accident is reported on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 389 in the eastbound lane.

No injuries are reported.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.: Assignment to the Thruway in service.

April 26, 2018 - 4:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Holland Land Office Museum, batavia, news.
From the Holland Land Office Museum:
 
It's finally starting to look like April weather, so hopefully May will keep it up! In May, the Holland Land Office Museum is going to be having some great events going on!
 
Thursday, May 10th
Every second Thursday of each month, starting with May 10th, the museum will be hosting a History Trivia & Team Challenge! Starting at 7 p.m., this event is only $3 per person and $2 for museum members. Please call for team pricing. Come on over and test your seemingly trivial knowledge against your friends. Drink and snack concessions will be available (not included in price of admission).
 
Saturday, May 12th
Each month we will be hosting a children's program from 10 a.m - 12 p.m. This event is for children ages 7-12. In May, the theme will be beautification. We will start off the day reading about different plants and soil. Then we will go outside and get our hands dirty planting flowers and other plants around the museum. This is a great way for children to get outside, enjoy the sun, and get their hands dirty! Each program is $5 per child and $4 museum members. Please R.S.V.P. to the museum by May 10th.
 
Thursday, May 17th
As part of our guest speaker series, we are welcome to present Earl McElfresh of McElfresh Map Company in Olean. He is going to speak on his map making process and the use of historical maps. Program will begin at 7 p.m., $3 per person and $2 for museum members. Please R.S.V.P. to the museum by Tuesday, May 15th.
 
Thursday, May 24th
We will be having our morning "Java with Joe E." from 9-10:30 a.m. for coffee, pastries and lively conversation about historical and cultural characters and events. In April, we discussed World War I and Genesee County's part in it. Join us in May for another lively historical discussion. 
 
Feel free to email or call the museum with any questions you may have and make sure to keep an eye on our website for any updates or news.

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