Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


July 12, 2022 - 12:23pm
posted by Press Release in york road, Pavilion, infrastructure, news.

Press release:

Effectively immediately, we are closing York Road, between Perry Street and South Street for a culvert replacement.  It will not be open for local traffic or emergency vehicles.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.: York Road has reopened.

June 6, 2022 - 6:47pm
posted by Press Release in pavilion hs, Pavilion, news.


The Pavilion Hall of Fame inducted three new members on Friday: Jack McGee, a veteran of WWII, Diane Davis Torcello, a banker and community activist, and TJ Majors, a NASCAR spotter.

The family of McGee received a U.S. flag, which had been flown over the Pentagon. Torcello shared stories of her work and volunteer contributions.  Majors was unable to attend because of a NASCAR race the next day, but a video showing him work was shared with the audience, which included students from sixth through 12th grade.

The Pavilion Central School Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 2013. It recognizes outstanding PCS alumni who have achieved distinction in their lives and chosen fields after high school through significant contributions to their career, community, or through personal achievements, providing incentives for current and future students.

Below, are biographies provided by the Hall of Fame committee:

TJ Majors
TJ Majors was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in East Bethany and attended Pavilion schools, graduating in 1999.  He developed an interest in racing at a young age as both his father and grandfather had successful racing careers in Pennsylvania. By the time he was in high school he became very involved in online racing.  He was very successful and competed at a high level.  During this time, he met aspiring NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr.  The two chatted online, and this led to a friendship.  During final exams in his senior year, Dale Jr. was scheduled to do a test at Watkins Glen racetrack, so he invited TJ to come down and watch the test.  The test was during final exams in June, so after taking a morning exam, TJ headed to Watkins Glen and spent the day with Dale, Jr.  TJ was disappointed a few days later,  when he missed the Watkins Glen race, which Dale Jr. won,  in order to attend his Pavilion High School graduation!

The two developed a friendship and when TJ mentioned that he wanted to try to go racing for real, Dale helped him purchase a Cups Light car, which he raced in Western New York and Ontario, Canada.  After a couple of years of racing in that series, TJ decided to move to North Carolina.  Dale and another friend made the trip to Pavilion to gather TJ and his belongings and move him to the south. TJ’s friendship with Dale Jr. continued to grow, and after working for a few race teams, in 2007 TJ became Dale Jr.’s spotter. ​

In NASCAR racing, the spotter has a very important job.  They are usually situated on the roof of the grandstand and are continuously on the radio with the driver to tell them where all the cars are around them.  They are racing at up to 200 miles per hour in vehicles with very limited visibility.  A spotter is probably the third most important person on a NASCAR team, behind the driver and the crew chief.  The position would be comparable to being an Offensive or Defensive Coordinator on an NFL team. TJ has the skill, confidence, patience, and concentration necessary to keep his driver out of trouble for a 3 to 4-hour race. One mistake by him, and his driver, as well as many others, could end up in a wreck.​

TJ continued as a spotter until Dale Jr.’s retirement in 2017 winning 9 races including the Daytona 500 together.  For the 2018 season, TJ was hired by Penske Racing to be the spotter for Joey Logano. Over the next four years, they won 9 races and the 2019 NASCAR Championship.  For the 2022 Season, TJ has moved to the RFK Racing Team and is spotting for another of his best friends, Brad Keslowski. He also spots for NASCAR’s Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan and in the Xfinity driver Brandon Brown.

TJ is considered one of, if not the best spotter in the business, and it is rare that he is not mentioned at least once in a NASCAR race broadcast.  Over the years, he also spotted for several other drivers in various series including Danica Patrick.

In addition to his work as a spotter, TJ hosts one of the top-rated NASCAR podcasts called “Door, Bumper, Clear”. It is part of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media, and usually airs on the Monday after a race. TJ periodically refers to his roots in Pavilion and remains a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan.

PFC Jack McGee
Born in 1921, Jack, along with his parents and six siblings, moved from Perry, NY to Pearl Creek in 1931.   He attended Covington Center School until it closed in 1938 and consolidated with Pavilion Central School, from which Jack graduated in 1940.

Jack was an active student throughout junior and senior high.  He excelled academically, regularly making the honor roll.  During high school, he was a member of the student council, participated in the drama club and ran track.  Jack was a member of the Future Farmers of America and worked at several area family farms while attending school.  His senior photo in the high school year book read “I am slow of study but quick at play.”  Jack’s name on the honor roll, however, suggests that he may have been too modest about his academic abilities.

After working a short time in Buffalo, Jack was inducted into the Army in 1943.   Upon completing infantry training, he was sent to France in June 1944.   There, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, the legendary “Thunderbirds”, with whom he served as a machine gunner.    The exploits of the 3rd Battalion are chronicled in the book “The Liberator,” which later became a popular television mini-series. 

Jack’s unit courageously fought the German Nazis in central France and southern Germany through 1944 and 1945.   In January 1945, during a period of record low temperatures, his unit fought a major battle with an elite German SS Division in northeastern France.  Known as “Operation Nordwind,” it marked the final major offensive of Hitler’s army.  

On Sunday, April 29, 1945, Jack’s battalion liberated 32,000 internees from the first and most infamous of Hitler’s Concentration Camps in Dachau, Germany.  Among those freed were a physician named Dr. Walter Heumann and his wife.  The Heumanns eventually made their way to the United States and settled in Pavilion.  In a world of totally unexpected connections, Dr. Heumann opened his practice on Rt. 63 -- directly across from the school. 

Unknown to Jack at the time, he had returned the favor of his PCS education by liberating an imprisoned doctor who would one day administer the annual physical to thousands of PCS students.  Out of all the medical exams he gave, there's no telling how many potentially life-threatening conditions “Doc” Heumannn may have detected and helped to resolve.

Unfortunately, Jack never returned to see how his service had so directly affected his own hometown.  In May 1945, shortly after the war in Europe ended, Jack was killed in an accident while still on duty in Germany.  PFC Jack McGee is buried in the American Battlefield Cemetery in Lorraine, France along with ten thousand other, brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who died in Europe during WWII.   His combat awards include the prestigious Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star Medal.  

Honoring PFC Jack McGee is a tribute to every courageous PCS alumnus who has ever served, or will one day do so.  Jack's admission to the PCS Hall of Fame is a symbol of honor, bravery, and sacrifice -- attributes that make members of the PCS community proud.

Diane Davis Torcello
Diane D. Torcello is Senior Vice President of Community Banking for Western New York at Tompkins Community Bank, a role she has held since 2013.  Diane’s primary focus is the management of the retail sector of the bank, developing operational procedures to ensure proper compliance, coordinating operations with related management functions, and overseeing the Bank’s 16 branches spread throughout Western New York. She resides in Pavilion with her husband, Ralph. They have two sons, two daughters in law, and three granddaughters.

Diane has more than thirty years of banking experience. Before being appointed to her current role at Tompkins, Diane was a Branch Manager for the market’s largest branch.  Prior to that, she held the positions of Regional and Branch Manager for Wyoming County Bank and The Pavilion State Bank, as well as serving as a Commercial and Mortgage lender.  She attended GCC, the Pennsylvania Banking Association School of Commercial Lending, The New York State Banker’s Consumer Lending School, and many other banking programs.

Diane is a proud Pavilion Central School graduate from the Class of 1980. While in high school she was class Vice President, a field hockey Genesee Region All-star, a cheerleading Section 5 Champion, and was involved in various student activities such as band, yearbook, and the school play.  Through these activities, Diane built the leadership skills she utilizes in her career today, empowering others and leading by example.

As an adult, Diane has been very active in the community.  Though Diane believes that her family, friends, and career are at the core of her success, she also considers her volunteerism to be one of her most significant personal accomplishments.  Some of the things she has been involved in are Parish Finance Committee, Religious Education, Children’ Home Committee, United Way, and the Genesee County Business Development Committee.  She is especially proud of her 14 years as a member of the Board of Trustees at Genesee Community College, two of those years serving as Chair. Her personal passion for education and professional development led her to chair the Presidential search committee to replace a long tenured president of the college.  She worked towards making GCC a welcoming place for traditional and nontraditional students and a place that provides state of the art facilities for community use.

A true team-player, Diane considers her most significant professional accomplishment to be her role in the professional development of others within Tompkins. Diane makes a conscious and consistent effort to ensure that she is mentoring others to help them reach their best professional potential. She feels the most pride at work when she can replace herself in a role with someone that she has mentored.

Diane’s efforts to better the community she cares about have not gone unnoticed. She was a 2016 Women in Business Award winner from the Batavia Daily News, a 2014 New York Community College Trustee’s Donald M Mawhinney Trustee Leadership Award recipient, and a 2000 40 Under 40 Buffalo Business Award winner from Buffalo Business First and has received many banking awards.

Diane feels the excellent education she received during her years at PCS provided the foundation for her success.   The faculty and staff served as role models and taught important lessons on how to be a productive and caring member of the community.​​

Submitted photos.








June 2, 2022 - 2:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, kinderfarmin', Pavilion, news, notify.


More than 600 kindergarten students from Genesee County, along with teachers, parents, and chaperones, visited Hildene Farms on Roanoke Road in Pavilion on Wednesday to experience a bit of farm life firsthand.

Cal Ayers-Tillotson, Hildene's co-owner, said she and her husband decided to host the event because with four kids of their own, and one in kindergarten, it would be a great way for them to visit their own farm.  She said she hopes it's a rewarding experience for the children.

"We hope they become more educated with farming in general," she said. "I think that people have become so far removed and I think it's great to just teach the kids where their food comes from."

Helping children understand the concept of where food comes from is a big part of the reason the Genesee County Farm Bureau sponsors the annual event -- which had a two-year hiatus during the pandemic -- said Natasha Stein Sutherland.

"This is important because dairy is the powerhouse of Genesee County," Sutherland said. "For every dollar we earned, we triple it back out into the community with every dollar we spend on our staff members, on our commodities we buy, and the milk hitting the grocery store shelves. Dairy is surrounding this county. It keeps it green. We need these kids to understand the dairy-to-table concept. This is such a connecting force for these kids who eventually someday will be consumers."












May 20, 2022 - 8:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, Announcements.

Press Release:

Kimberly Davis of Pavilion, NY, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Nazareth College with a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Psychology during the 95th Commencement ceremony on campus at the Golisano Training Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Nazareth College's academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y. challenges and supports 2,000 undergrads and 800 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life's work.



May 5, 2022 - 10:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dwi drill, Pavilion Fire, pavilion hs, Pavilion, news.


Pavilion High School Seniors were asked today to imagine what it would be like to do something that would change their lives and the lives of dozens and dozens of other people.

They were asked to imagine taking another life, however unintentionally, perhaps the life of a fellow classmate, by driving drunk.

Such a decision would not only cost them their driver's license along with thousands in fines and perhaps send them to prison; they would live for the rest of their lives with the knowledge that something they did ended the life of another human being.

That decision would also bring grief to the lives of the families of their victim, and perhaps victims, and hardships and disruptions to the lives of everybody else impacted by that decision.

That was the message today of a Senior Prom DWI Drill at Pavilion High School sponsored by Pavilion Volunteer Fire Department and helped by volunteers from Stafford, Bethany, Wyoming, and Elba, along with Mercy EMS, the Sheriff's Office, and Genesee County emergency dispatches.









-- more photos after the jump (click the headline) --

April 4, 2022 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion, batavia, news, notify.

Daniel W. Knauss is indicated on counts of assault on a police officer, a Class C violent felony, assault in the second degree, a Class D violent felony, criminal contempt in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, criminal contempt in the first degree, a Class E felony, resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor, and two counts of harassment in the second degree. Knauss is accused of assaulting and causing serious physical injury to Trooper Mark Catanzaro while the trooper was attempting to perform his lawful duties during an incident on Sept. 29, in the Town of Pavilion. Knauss is accused of violating an order of protection on Sept. 29 by striking a football out of the hands of a protected person. He is accused of intentionally attempting to prevent his arrest. 

Tarrence Y. Williams is indicted on counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony. Williams is accused of possession of cocaine with the intent to sell on Dec. 16 in the City of Batavia. He is accused of possessing preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug, cocaine, with a weight of an eighth of an ounce or more.

Tamaneek T. Perez-Smith is indicted on counts of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, felony DWI, felony driving while ability impaired by drugs, resisting arrest, harassment in the second degree, and circumvention of an interlock device. Perez-Smith is accused of driving a 2010 Dodge on Park Road in the Town of Batavia on Sept. 30, while knowing her license was revoked and of driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. She is accused of intentionally trying to prevent her arrest. He is accused of kicking Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush. She is accused of driving a vehicle without an interlock device as previously ordered by a court.

March 21, 2022 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, fire, news.


A car hauler loaded with new Dodge Chargers and Challengers caught fire and exploded in Pavilion at about 2 p.m. today.

Apparently, the truck's brakes overheated. 

The location was west of the tracks on Route 63.

Two of the chargers on top of the truck caught fire and one exploded. A third vehicle also caught fire.

Reported by Mark Jagodzinski, a senior at Pavilion Central School.


March 9, 2022 - 9:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Sports, Pavilion.



East Rochester's pesky defense managed to slow down what had been a hot Pavilion offense to start the game and the Bombers were able to pull away from the Golden Gophers for a 56-42 win in the Class C consolidation game tonight at Bloomfield High School.

The bombers converted multiple forced turnovers into points over the course of the game.

Pavilion's Lauren Kingsley led all scorers with 18 points while Samantha Lewis and Zarriah Eldridge both had 15 points for East Rochester.

For more photos from the game, click here.








March 8, 2022 - 12:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Sports, Pavilion.


Video Sponsor

Pavilion and York have become quite the area rivalry, especially in girls basketball.

On Monday night in Letchworth, it was on full display as fans filled the house and kept the noise level at maximum volume through nearly all 32 minutes of hoops to see which Class C champion will move forward in the postseason.

Last year it was York that prevented Pavilion from winning a second consecutive Section V title (Pavilion, the C2 champs this year now have two trophies from the past three seasons) after Pavilion beat York twice in the regular season.  This year, York prevailed in regular season play but on Monday, when it mattered most, the Gophers were golden, coming out on top 40-28.

They next play East Rochester to see which Class C team will represent Section V against Section VI in the Far West Regional championship game.  The game will be played Wednesday at Rush-Henrietta.

Tonight, Lauren Kingsley was dominant scoring 16 points.  Kylie Conway scored 10 points and Karlee Zinievich scored even.

March 7, 2022 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, bergen, Alexander, Pavilion, Bethany.

Cameron J. Sokolowski, 29, of Batavia, is charged with theft of services. Sokolowski is accused of refusing to pay cab fare at 10:03 a.m., Feb. 20.  It's alleged that Sokolowski accepted a ride from a taxi driver and when he reached his destination, went inside and refused to come back out and pay the driver. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Benito A. Gay, 33, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Gay is accused of stealing beer from the cooler at the Kwik Fill on Jackson Street, Batavia, at 8 p.m., Feb. 20. He allegedly took three beers and exited the store without paying for the beer. He was arrested and issued an appearance ticket.

Kenneth T. Marrocco, 29, of Batavia, is charged with burglary 2nd and criminal contempt 1st. Marrocco allegedly violated a stay-away order of protection by being inside the residence of the protected party at 1:54 p.m., Feb. 25, on Montclair Avenue. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $5,000 bail, $10,000 bond, or $20,000 partially secured bond.

Angie C. Maniace, 40, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd and criminal contempt 1st. Maniace is accused of violating an order of protection and striking the protected party at 7:35 p.m., March 2 at a location on Chandler Avenue, Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Laura R. Mroz, 32, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd and criminal contempt 1st. Morz is accused of violating an order of protection during a disturbance reported at 7:53 p.m., March 2. on Chandler Avenue, Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Julius L. Sanford, 29, of Buffalo, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument 2nd, failure to stop for a stop sign, unregistered motor vehicle, and uninsured motor vehicle. Sanford was stopped by a Batavia patrol officer on East Main Street, Batavia, at 1:14 a.m., Feb. 13. He was arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Derrick M. Williams, 32, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief 4th. Williams was arrested on a warrant stemming from an incident reported at 4:18 a.m., Sept. 25. He was arraigned in City Court and released.

Michelle D. Ulickey, 45, of Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Ulickey was allegedly found in possession of cocaine during a traffic stop by a Batavia patrol officer for allegedly driving with no headlights at 3:15 a.m., March 2, on East Main Street, Batavia. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Tonya M. Weber, 38, of Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Weber is charged with petit larceny in connection with an incident reported on Ellicott Street, Batavia, at 6:01 p.m., Dec. 7. Weber was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision.

Antwoine Kush, 19, of Rhulman Road, Lockport, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Kush allegedly violated a complete stay-away order of protection by contacting the protected party at 2 p.m., Jan. 8. Kush was issued an appearance ticket.

David Michael Milillo, 63, of Rochester, is charged with menacing 2nd. Miller is accused of displaying a pistol during a business transaction at 12:30 p.m., Sept. 2, at a location on Byron Holley Road, Byron, causing the victim to fear physical injury or death. Milillo was arrested following an investigation by Investigator Joseph Loftus and was issued an appearance ticket.

Nicholas Adam Pietrzykowski, 45, of East Road, Middlebury, is charged with DWAI/Drugs and criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Pietrzykowski was stopped at 7:25 p.m., July 25, on East Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun. He was arrested on March 3 following an investigation and issued an appearance ticket.

Thomas Patrick Moynihan, 47, of Alexander, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Moynihan allegedly violated a stay-away order on eight different locations. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Deanna Rae Lynn Couchman, 27, of Chili Avenue, Rochester, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to keep right, and failure to signal. Couchman was stopped at 3:12 a.m., March 5, on Route 33 in Bergen by Sgt. Mathew Clor. She was issued appearance tickets.

Andrew Luis Coffey, 33, of South Goodman Avenue, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property.  Coffey was allegedly found in possession of property previously reported stolen from Kohl's Department Store at 2:32 p.m., March 1. Coffey was issued an appearance ticket.

Jonah Ty Luplow, 19, of Pearl Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and failure to use designated lane. Luplow was stopped at 1:44 a.m., March 6, on Bank Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joshua Brabon. He was issued appearance tickets.

Amanda Beth Hopkins, 42, of Bethany, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, endangering the welfare of a child, and moving from lane unsafely. Hopkins was reportedly involved in accident at 5:15 p.m., Jan. 21, on Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion.  Her BAC was allegedly greater than .08. Their was allegedly a child in the vehicle. She was arrested on March 5 by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun.  Hopkins was issued an appearance ticket.

Sandra L. Berrios, 62, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Berrios was stopped by State Police at 10:58 p.m., March 5, in the Town of Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket. No other information released.

(Name redacted upon request), 20, of Byron, is charged with petit larceny. xxxx was arrested by State Police in the Town of Batavia for an incident reported at 1:30 p.m., March 2. He was released on an appearance ticket. No other information released.

Gerald L. Arnett, 49, of Rochester, is charged with felony DWI, felony aggravated DWI, and driving without an interlock device. Arnett was stopped by State Police at 3:54 p.m., Feb. 28, in the Town of Byron. There was allegedly a child in the vehicle. He was released on an appearance ticket. No other information released.

March 6, 2022 - 11:18am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Sports, Pavilion, basketball.


The Lady Gophers reclaimed the sectional title from two years ago with a 46-42 victory over Gananda yesterday afternoon at Rush Henrietta High School. 

Shea Amberger lead the way with 17 points and Laura Kingsley came up big in the fourth scoring at some key moments when the Gophers needed it most.

“Being down by seven in the first quarter was not the opening game plan, we were happy to be going in to the half up two”, said head coach Ben Schwenebraten. Our defensive effort in the second quarter was very good, which allowed us to regain the lead."

At the half Pavilion had a two-point lead 21-19.

Karlee Zinkievich scored two three-pointers on the night of which one in the third help give Pavilion a narrow lead going into the fourth.

“Each timeout in the fourth, we reemphasized their defensive effort and to play with confidence on offense. It was important to take care of the ball against the press so that we could get a good look at the basket.”

The Panthers Kaylee Marah scored eight in the fourth and 15 points in the game but was not enough to come close at the end.  Also, scoring was Nadia Martznick with 14 points.

This is the Gophers' second title in the last three seasons.

To view or purchase prints, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene









March 3, 2022 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, basketball, Sports.


Video Sponsor

Pavilion's girls basketball team will get a third straight shot at a Section V title on Saturday after a come-from-behind win against Kendall on Wednesday.

Kendall made it tough on the Golden Gophers in the first half of the Class C2 semifinal at Honeoye Falls/Lima. 

Pavilion jumped out to an early 6-0 lead but Kendall's aggressive defense along with Pavilion's cold shooting held the team down to only five points scored over more than a 10-minute span, giving Kendall a 19-9 lead at the half.

But the Gophers came out of the locker room ready to take charge in the second half.

In the end, Pavilion came out on top 44-40.

Karlee Zinkievich scored 21 points for Pavilion. Lauren Kingsley, 14, and four blocked shots. Shea Amberger, three points along with six assists and seven rebounds. Paige Landers, five points and six rebounds.

Elizabeth Snyder led Kendall in scoring with 17 points. She also had 12 rebounds.

February 27, 2022 - 1:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Sports, Pavilion.


The Golden Gophers beat Warsaw on Saturday to advance .. 

Pavilion's 46-23 victory was keyed by Lauren Kingsley's16 points and 11 for Karlee Zinkievich. Shea Amberger scorednine.

Pavilion (17-2), the #1 seed in C2, will play #4 Kendall (16-5) at 7:45 p.m., March 2, at a site to be determined in the sectional semifinal.











February 26, 2022 - 7:35am
posted by Steve Ognibene in pembroke, Pavilion, Sports, basketball.


Pembroke boys had an explosive second half to defeat Pavilion 68-45 in section five class C2 quarterfinal last evening.

  • Junior captain Cayden Pfalzer led Pembroke with 23 points
  • Guards Jon Suro scored 14 points including eight free throws and two three-pointers, Tyson Totten scored 13, Avery Ferreira scored 10 points.
  • Zack Tillotson scored five three-point buckets and three free throws for Pavilion.

Pembroke #3 seed now 15-6 will play #2 Oakfield-Alabama this Monday, at a time and site to be determined

To view or purchase prints, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene







February 21, 2022 - 8:30am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, notify, Pavilion, Pavilion Town Planning Board.

A special use permit request to change a piece of property from agricultural to utility solar use prompted many questions from Pavilion Town Planning Board during this month’s meeting.

Applicant NY CDG Genesee 4 LLC requested the permit for a 4.275-megawatt utility solar farm at 6464 Shepard Road, Pavilion. Code Enforcement Officer Matthew Mahaney said the project met solar law guidelines with the proposed size of just over 19 acres. The law caps it at 20 acres, he said during the meeting at Pavilion Town Hall.

Due to the enormous file size of documents sent online to board members, most of them weren’t able to open or review the project. Board Chairman Bill Fuest said he has plenty of questions, such as the height of the panels, how they are tilted, how the property will be maintained and the proximity of the solar farm to neighbors.

Those details weren’t covered in the initial plan anyway, Mahaney said. The request would require a public hearing, and he suggested that questions could be discussed at the next meeting in March, followed by a hearing. 

“I would prefer to have a session in March with the application team, and use April for a public forum,” Fuest said. 

Town Attorney Mark Boylan and the applicants are to be present at future meetings, and a public hearing will most likely be scheduled for April, board members agreed.

The Shepard Road property is owned by Suzanee and Douglas Waite, and Bogdan Dinu of BW Solar is also part of the application.

To view the site plan, click here (pdf).

February 16, 2022 - 5:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, news, notify.


A banking bureaucracy has left a historic home in Pavilion vacant for at least two years and now an outbuilding that fell into disrepair needs to be removed before it further damages property on a neighboring residence.

The Town of Pavilion Board will meet in an emergency session at 6 p.m., Friday, to consider and likely pass a resolution authorizing the town to hire a contractor to tear down the outbuilding. 

It's a sad situation, said Town Supervisor Rob LaPoint. 

"Everyone in town is frustrated about this," LaPoint said.

The former owners, Carol and Don Logan are both deceased, with Carol passing away in 2019. They had a reverse mortgage on the property and the bank has apparently been unwilling to take title to the property.

The Logan's children have, for some reason, been unable to get title to the property, so since Carol's death, the house and its barn and outbuilding have sat neglected and rotting in the elements.

"They (the children) love the buildings," said LaPoint, who remembers playing at the Logan property when he was a child. "If they had the ability to do something, I'm sure they would."

LaPoint believes either HUD or FHA is planning an eventual foreclosure on the property but it's unclear when that may happen.

There have been several parties interested in buying the property and rehabilitating it, including a daycare center, LaPoint said, but the bureaucracy of it all has prevented anybody from making a purchase offer. 

The town code gives the town authority to demolish buildings considered a public safety hazard or a hazard to the property of others. If it wasn't an emergency, there would be a waiting period for the rightful owner of the deteriorating structure to handle the demolition themselves but since this is an emergency situation, the town will be able to order the outbuilding's immediate demolition.

The cost of the demolition will be placed on the tax role of the property and an eventual new owner will be responsible for back taxes.

The Greek-revival house was built in 1825 and has three bedrooms.  It is 3,166 square feet.  The estimated full market value, according to Genesee County OARS, is $161,957.

Top Photo: Genesee County OARS photo.


Genesee County GIS Map image.


Google Street View image.

January 31, 2022 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Oakfield, Le Roy, Pavilion, bergen.
Matthew Zakrzewski

Matthew Zakrzewski, 42, of Batavia, is charged with arson 3rd and criminal mischief 3rd. Zakrzewski, already in custody on unrelated charges, was arrested on new charges stemming from an incident reported at 9:30 p.m., Jan 16, on Bank Street, Batavia. He was jailed on nominal bail. Previously: Batavia man accused of setting fire in Washington Towers, stealing a bike

Laura Lee Pacer, 36, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Pacer is accused of harassing a neighbor at 10 a.m., Jan. 24, on Jackson Street. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Bleyke Z. Culver, 25, is charged with harassment 2nd. Culver is accused of hitting another person in the face during a fight on Pringle Avenue at 5:31 p.m., Jan. 11. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Heather Nicole Holbrook, 36, of Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Holbrook is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart in Batavia at 3:49 p.m., Jan. 28.  She was released on an appearance ticket.

Michael David Hazzard, 31, of Morgan Road, Scottsville, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd, driving with an open alcohol container. Hazzard was stopped at 4:11 a.m., Jan. 23, on Dublin Road, Bergen, following a complaint of a disturbance by Deputy Trevor Sherwood.

Joshua M. Bratcher, 31, of Pavilion, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs. Bratcher was stopped at 5:24 p.m., Jan. 30, by State Police in the Town of Bergen. He was issued an appearance ticket. No further information released.

Alonzo A. Dillard, 29, of Medina, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Dillard was stopped at 2:46 a.m., Jan. 30, by State Police in the Town of Alabama. He was issued an appearance ticket.  No further information released.

Jordan E. Brodie, 32, of Le Roy, is charged with possession of sexual performance of a child. Brodie was arrested in connection with an investigation that started on Jan. 13, 2020 by State Police. He was arrested on Jan. 29 and released on an appearance ticket.  No further details released.

Bobbi M. Bane, 45, of Batavia, is charged with welfare fraud 3rd and three counts of filing a false instrument 1st. Bane was arrested by State Police in connection with an investigation that began Jan. 25 in the Town of Albion.

John M. Toal, 46, of Oakfield, and Andrea L. Osborne, 37, of Oakfield, are charged with petit larceny.  Toal and Osborne were arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 4 p.m., Jan. 28, in Albion. They were issued appearance tickets. No further details released.

Kenneth Harris, 26, of Tonawanda, is charged with two counts of grand larceny 4th. Harris was arrested in Cheektowaga by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 10:24 a.m., Oct. 23 in the City of Batavia. No further details released.

Jordan R. Rose, 21, of Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt  1st. Rose was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 3:10 p.m., Jan. 25, in the Town of Royalton. He was ordered held. No further details released.

January 28, 2022 - 9:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Pavilion.

A 24-year-old male has reportedly suffered a leg injury in a snowmobile accident in an area off Route 20 in Pavilion.

The location is near Texaco Town and the patient is said to be near the roadway.

Pavilion Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Mercy Flight is on ground standby.

January 27, 2022 - 10:21am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Pavilion, planning and land use, campgrounds.
Video Sponsor

A standing-room-only crowd pitted supporters against the opposition Wednesday evening during a proposed campground hearing at Pavilion Town Hall.

Applicant Jesse Coots has been working with the town’s Planning Board to address a litany of requirements in order for Lokee-Hikee Campgrounds to be environmentally sound and neighbor-friendly. The Pavilion project to be situated on a 110-acre parcel on Perry Road still raises many concerns, speaker and Pavilion resident Mike Fisher said. 

He directly addressed the group of about 50 attendees first.

“Not one of you folks lives near this. Their home is not right next to this thing. They're not going to be affected by the noise, the light, sound, the smell, the traffic, and litter, with a bunch of transient people coming in and out of this place,” Fisher said. “We're going to have diminished property value. I think the board's number one job is to protect the neighborhood. This has been going on since 2020. And every time the plan changes, every single time. That speaks volumes.”

Planning Board Chairman Bill Fuest said that the process includes answering questions and meeting requirements. Engineers, town, county, and state entities have done their “due diligence” to thoroughly vet the project to ensure it complies with zoning and codes, he said. 

During her presentation on the project, Sara Gilbert, president of Pinewoods Engineering, laid out the scope of the project and offered assurance that setbacks and other utilities would align with local and state codes. A septic system, public electric and gas, two recently drilled wells, and stormwater management are in the plan, as well as wetland consultants to work with the Department of Environmental Conservation to have no negative impact on the property’s wetlands, Gilbert said. 

Only 24 percent of the total acreage is being mapped out for development, she said, and the application includes an eventual plot for 145 campsites. 

“It's going to be located on a beautiful piece of land. The applicants would love to have it landscaped with facilities that fit well within the community. It will include a registration building that will have a camp store and food facilities, a pool, pavilion, picnic areas, public restrooms, all-black sky-compliant lighting, and a recreational plan,” she said. “We've also been required to hire an archaeologist and investigate the site to make sure we're not having any negative impacts on historic resources and that also has been cleared by an appropriate state department. We've had a geotechnical engineer on-site, reviewing the soils with us making sure that they're adequate for a septic system, and making sure there aren't any downstream impacts. We've had a landscape architect on the team helping us design plantings and buffering. We have licensed land surveyors, multiple engineers, architects, and development consultant firms who are all part of the team that has helped us get to this point.”

And as for zoning, Gilbert said the project has been designed to “completely 100 percent comply” with town zoning codes.

Fisher was one of a half-dozen people who weren’t on board with Gilbert’s assurances. Carrie Page, who moved to Pavilion a year and a half ago, had three main reasons for opposing the campgrounds. 

“First and foremost is privacy and safety. When I think about safety, pulling out of my driveway, I'm just over the Knoll. It's quick, go. I gotta pull out and stay on the wrong side of the road before I can go over. So adding more traffic to Perry Road, based on where I live … that's a danger zone that you have,” Page said. “So I am concerned from a traffic standpoint. The well water is a concern, I have a pond in my front yard. You wouldn't think that I would run out of water, but I do.”

Although speaker Guy Laesser ended by asking Planning Board members who to call when he runs out of water, he did not lay out any specific reasons for why he was opposed to the project. He does not want a “city in the middle of the country,” and appeared to be angry that Coots has invested money into this venture.

“The town board has allowed Jesse and his family into this project to invest who knows how much money. It plays into Jesse’s favor to invest all that money into it,” Laesser said. “It’s going to affect our life and the way we live.”

Ray Butler, who said he’s against the plan, believes the project “does not meet the standards” of zoning and proper construction guidelines. 

“The project is not harmonious with the community,” he said. 

Setbacks of 140 to 150 feet are three times the required amount, Gilbert said. Camping spaces meet code requirements of being a minimum of 100 feet from any property lines, she said. 

There were also plenty of people that spoke up for the project. Citing a family-friendly venue, increased tax base, potential revenue from the additional shoppers in the area, increased job opportunities, outdoor recreational offerings of a pool and a pond, five or six miles of hiking trails, a disc golf course, and the fun of camping, Lokee-Hikee seemed like a great idea, they said.

“The more campgrounds we have, the better,” Alan Buchanan said. “We need to get our kids off video games. I think it’s a wonderful thing.”

Timothy Bartholomew spoke as a businessman. Traveling a lot for work has meant being able to compare Pavilion to other towns, he said. The increased business and revenue to come from the campground should seriously be considered, he said. 

“I see towns dying all over the place. The state’s picking from the county, the county’s picking from the town. Where’s the money coming from,” he said. “As a business owner, hopefully, everybody understands what this could mean.”

Brook Coniber knows Jesse and his wife Jolene Coots very well, she said. She spoke to their character and how this project could put Pavilion in the much-needed spotlight.

“People don’t know where we are,” she said. “They would never plan to bring anything to the community that would cause harm.” 

The applicants have been working with the town and completing an environmental review, site plan special use permit review, and building permit, Gilbert said. MRB Group, led by Project Manager Jonathan Hinman, has been representing the town of Pavilion.

“So we have, over the course of many months, been working with the board. We've been taking feedback from the board and from some of the neighbors that have spoken at those meetings. We've changed the buffering type planting to try to accommodate what's been requested to the greatest extent that we can,” Gilbert said. “And I would just like to close with saying the owners would really like to make this facility just a jewel of the community and a business that many generations of their family and the community family can really be proud to be associated with. We hope you'll agree that this project is good for the community and we hope you'll express your support to the board.”

There were 22 people signed up to speak, and because some of them may not have been able to voice all of their comments, Fuest motioned to officially continue the hearing and allow emailed comments to be sent in. The board agreed to keep the hearing open until the next board meeting on Feb. 16.

“We will read any additional input and take the next steps,” Fuest said, adding that “there’s a chance” the board could vote on the proposed plan during that meeting. 

As for the questions about any potential impact to area water supplies, Hinman said that is still under review by Genesee County Health Department.

January 24, 2022 - 11:09pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Pavilion, campground, Business, notify.
Video Sponsor

Give Jesse Coots a couple of hours and he will find plenty to say. The Pavilion native’s enthusiasm is infectious, whether it’s about his family, hot rod shop, or a new campground venture slated for later this year. 

The 45-year-old entrepreneur and his wife Jolene are eagerly mapping out their Lokee-Hikee Campgrounds project at 10156 Perry Rd., Pavilion. It seems rather easy to start daydreaming of packing up the camper as the Coots verbally paints a picture of their vision: friends, families, campfires, slowing down, relaxation, swimming, catching frogs, and taking scenic hikes in the great outdoors. The site’s tagline perhaps says it all: “We’ll leave the stars on for you.”

“We really live in a great area. We love Pavilion, it's where I'm originally from. I mean, we've lived here for 20 years. It's kind of where we really wanted to be,” Mr. Coots said during an interview with The Batavian Saturday at the family’s 1800s farmhouse. “We walked the property and it's perfect. It' in a great location, it's on a back road, but … there's a lot of main roads that run right by it. So it's a very accessible spot, and the land itself is perfect. It's really a great spot, it's got great terrain. So I'm really excited about it.”

Low Key, High Key …
That piece of land is 110 acres — and an estimated $250,000 investment so far — requiring a special use permit, engineering, land surveys, drilling for wells, securing town board approval and doing everything they can to ensure the site will be environmentally sound and neighbor-friendly, he said. 

Providing a fun, family-friendly campground has been a dream-in-the-works for the last five or six years, the couple said. They began scouting properties a few years ago, from Alexander and Batavia to Caledonia and found the ideal property practically in their own back yard.  But they were a step too late; it had already been purchased. Mr. Coots congratulated the new owner and admitted that it was a great parcel of land. 

Fate took a turn, and that owner changed his mind, notified the Coots, and put it back up for sale. There was no misstep this time, and the Coots became the proud owners of property that’s only three miles away from their home. 

Jesse and Jolene walked the property with some friends who are avid campers, and they gave a nod of approval. 

“They're like ‘you couldn't have picked a better piece of land,’” Mr. Coots said.

The first phase of the project is a section of 26 acres for about 80 campsites, a registration building, bathroom and shower facilities, a pool, and a stocked pond large enough for paddle boats, swimming, fishing, and skipping stones. There are also to be a host of jobs for people — especially youth —  to keep busy and gain work experience. The Coots want to provide that type of wholesome family experience for their three girls and the community. 

The special use permit has been a sticking point so far, as a prior hearing was rendered null and void after the board asked for the application to be completed again, Mr. Coots said. Another hearing has been set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Pavilion Town Hall, 1 Woodrow Drive, Pavilion. (See “What’s in a Plan?”)

The name Lokee-Hikee has a touch of Native American appearance in it that appeals to the nature-loving, outdoorsy Coots family. It also is a play on words to imply a sense of low key relaxation with high key fun, energy, and friendliness, he said. 

Mrs. Coots, the quieter one of the couple, created the logo of five trees representing the family, silhouetted against a sunrise with the tagline about the stars. She complements her husband by filling in the creative gaps. It was the three girls — Cricket, Trilly, and Souly, 14, 12, and 11, respectively —  who reminded their folks that they appreciate the seemingly small stuff. The girls texted mom and dad one morning and told them to look at the sunrise. Likewise, the girls have asked their parents to check out the stars on particular nights.

“I love that my kids know enough to look at the sunrise and go ‘this is beautiful.’ And it's the same with the stars,” Mr. Coots said. “It's like, that's what camping is about. And that's what we want to expose kids and people to, because it seems that in our fast pace in life, you forget to enjoy the stars.”

The girls shared their excitement for the project with reasons of meeting new people, getting to play outside and help out, and, no doubt, enjoying some chocolatey S'mores. 


Who are Jesse and Jolene Coots …
It was, no doubt, his zeal for car rebuilds and providing hospitality that helped Jesse’s Hardcore Happenings event to mushroom in size and importance. The gathering has been a longstanding yearly opportunity to show off one’s classic car, eat some picnic fare and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow hot rod lovers. 

He has owned and operated The Old Soul Hot Rod Shop for more than a dozen years next to his home in Pavilion. Rebuilding and working on 1930s to 1950s era vehicles has been a passion since he started doing it in high school. 

Mrs. Coots, 44, is a massage therapist with a plan to offer her services at the campground. The three girls, plus dogs Trixie and C.C. (for chocolate chip), some chickens, bunnies, fish and a rooster, round out the family homestead.

A glitch with the Planning Board aside, the Coots have been pleased with everyone they’ve encountered, from the Department of Environmental Conservation and Genesee County Health Department to well-drillers, topographical surveyors and Army Corps of Engineers.

“We have really gone through the steps of making sure we're doing everything right legally (with all entities involved). They have been fantastic to deal with. It's our engineering that our Town of Pavilion is obviously involved in, and wants to make sure we're doing everything right,” he said. “So we have the entire product. They've made us engineer everything. So we have hired (Engineer Sara Gilbert), and she has been heaven-sent.” 

This labor of love will come down to the Planning Board, he said, and whether board members want the land available for the Coots' dream-come-true campground.

“Of course we would like people to be able to come and, you know, if they want to buy a membership they can have coffee there, they can use the hiking trails … we plan on having disc golf and different things like that for people to do,” he said. “And we know we're going to have, obviously, a swing set and stuff for kids, and we'd like to be able to open that to the community to use.”

The Coots family has been charging forth with the plan despite a small handful of Perry Road area neighbors complaining with signs advocating for no campgrounds and a rumored petition being circulated against the project. 

Mr. Coots said that he and his engineer have ensured not only the recommended setbacks but increased that to be amply compliant. For example, the required minimum of 25-foot setbacks has been lengthened to 150 feet, he said. And there will be no Hardcore Happenings, live concerts, or loud parties allowed on the property, Coots said. 
“So that's kind of one of the reasons we went after the campground idea because it is a family and community kind of thing; we can all work together,” Mr. Coots said.

“We wanted a piece that was of large size …  so it could be wide open and free and not be intrusive on the neighbors and also not having our guests be crowded,” he said. “We can really spread it out and make it a beautiful place and let everybody have lots of freedom and space.”

Middle photo by Howard Owens. Jesse and Jolene Coots, shown here with daughters Cricket, Trilly, and Souly, pose outside of their Pavilion home. 


Photo courtesy Jesse Coots.

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break