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April 1, 2023 - 5:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, thebatavian, Winter Storm Elliott.


The Batavian was awarded first place for Best Online Breaking News coverage on Saturday by the New York Press Association for its coverage of Winter Storm Elliott.

The stories of the storm that led to the award were written by Howard Owens and Joanne Beck.

The primary stories considered for the award were: 

Second place in the Online Breaking News category went to the Albany Times Union for a deputy-involved shootout, and third place went to the Queens Chronicle for Winter Storm Elliott coverage.

To see all of The Batavian's coverage of Winter Storm Elliott and its aftermath, click here.

April 1, 2023 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian, batavia, Easter, news.


The Easter Bunny, an easter egg hunt, and a buffet breakfast -- Easter was celebrated today at Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

Photos by Howard Owens.





April 1, 2023 - 3:17pm


Oakfield-Alabama held a fundraiser for cancer research at Roswell Cancer Institute in Buffalo with its Bald for Bucks event in the high gym on Friday.

Top photo: Colton Ketchum, talking with Zach Watts from My Cut Barbershop in Batavia, was the first batter up to get his impressive curly red locks shaved off, which he said he did so he and a friend could participate together. 

The My Cut crew focusing on Colton includes Ray Williams, Connor Hyde-Hamilton, and Victor Thomas (in back).

This is the first time Oakfield-Alabama hosted the event since 2018.

Besides the crew from My Cut, barbers from Canzoneri’s and stylists from Jagged Edges participated in the event.

Photos by Howard Owens.




Gavin Snyder raised the most money, $1,050, among all the students who participated.


Jackson Burndett


D.J. Anthony, from Buffalo, kept the crowded lively during the event.



Alaina Williams gets sparkle strands in her hair from a stylist with Jagged Edges.

March 31, 2023 - 8:18pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Easter Bunny, Batavia City School District.


The Easter Bunny made an early visit Friday to children at Robert Morris School in Batavia as part of his busy holiday rounds throughout the area. He posed, chatted with, and got hugs from the kids, and saw the creative crafts that the youngsters made, during their afternoon time together. 




Photos submitted by Batavia City School District.

March 31, 2023 - 7:26pm
posted by Press Release in wade bianco, Notre Dame, batavia, news.


Press release:

The Board of Trustees of Notre Dame High School has announced that after eight years of dedicated leadership, Principal Wade Bianco will retire from the school in the summer of 2023.

Bianco retires after over 40 years in education. He joined Notre Dame in 2015.

“Mr. Bianco has dedicated his 40-year career to the success of students,” said James Sutherland, President of The Board of Trustees.  “He led our school with passion and commitment and made countless contributions to the school’s vibrancy and success.” 

Bianco’s many accomplishments have resulted in impacts that will endure well past his retirement and will continue to strengthen the school and community. The Board of Trustees reports the following as just some of the many highlights of Mr. Bianco’s tenure:

  • Continued Notre Dame’s Number 1 ranking in the GLOW Region by Buffalo Business First Magazine, a streak that lasted 18 consecutive years.
  • Continued Notre Dame’s excellent graduation rate and college placement rate.
  • Maintained Notre Dame’s presence by drawing students from across Western New York; enrollment currently includes students from 21 different school districts.
  • Managed the complete renovation of the school campus, including state-of-the-art technology throughout the building.
  • Guided Notre Dame through the COVID pandemic as a school that remained open for in-person instruction every day, allowable by New York State.
  • Oversaw the addition of Notre Dame Junior High (7th and 8th grades), which has been a driving force in the recent increase in enrollment.
  • Developed relationships with major donors that allowed for continued campus improvements, while preserving the Notre Dame High School Endowment.
  • Supported excellence in athletics and fine arts, while continuing the strong Catholic tradition of Notre Dame High School.

“Mr. Bianco will be missed immensely, but his inimitable spirit will continue to inspire the students he served,” said Sutherland.  
A succession planning process will be conducted over the next weeks to help The Board of Trustees identify the best candidate to serve as principal upon Bianco’s retirement. Those qualified individuals with interest in the role can send their resumes to: [email protected]

Photo: File photo by Steve Ognibene.

March 31, 2023 - 7:22pm
posted by Press Release in crime, news, batavia.


Press release:

The Batavia Police Department is investigating a larceny that occurred at United Memorial Medical Center on 3/24/2023.  The victim's stolen credit card was used shortly thereafter at our local Target.  The two individuals pictured are the ones suspected of using the stolen credit card.  If anyone has information leading to the identification of these individuals, please contact Officer Andrew Mruczek at (585) 345-6350.  


March 31, 2023 - 6:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Tech Academy, news.


A program at the WNY Tech Academy, housed in Byron-Bergen High School, is called Einstein Days, but the relative focus of the program isn't on mass and energy. It's on how to get ahead in the business world.

"Many of our pathways have a business focus," said Catherine Bennett, principal of the academy. "Among our pathways are marketing and social media, accounting, and entrepreneurship. One of the things that we like to do here is, we like students to participate in developing the skills that they're learning in those pathways. This is a kind of marketing and social media twist, but they're all participating no matter what their pathway."

Einstein Days are held twice a month at the school, and today's program asked students to work in teams to develop a sales pitch to a group of judges on a plan to best market the tech academy to students in area schools.

The students have to come up with a plan, build a visual presentation, and select speakers to make the pitch.  A professor from Genesee Community College coached them on public speaking.

"They researched everything there is that was available to them about the Tech Academy, their own experiences about how they were recruited," Bennett said. "Every team formulated a different idea."

The team in the photos is comprised of Dave Tetrault from Cal-Mum, Kendra Sanders from Batavia, Cameron Caroccio from Geneseo, Benjamin Taromind from Avon, and Jeremiah Cicatelli from Byron-Bergen.

"What I want them to get out of this is developing skills, confidence, public speaking, teamwork, collaboration, all the things that will make them valuable workers," said Bennett.



March 31, 2023 - 5:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, oakfield-alabama, news.

The Oakfield-Alabama community is continuing to offer support to the family of Andy Merkel, whose lifelong service to his community inspired friendship and admiration.

The Basom resident passed away unexpectedly on March 21 at age 38. He had three children.  He was a baseball coach, dog trainer, volunteer firefighter and emergency dispatcher.

The Oakfield-Alabama Little League is holding a prize raffle with a grand prize of a lifetime NYS Hunting and Fishing license or $500 cash.  Other prizes include an autographed Thurman Thomas Football, free pizza, cornhole boards and membership in the Oakfield Rod and Gun Club.  Tickets are $20 with the drawing to be held May 27 at the Alabama Hotel. To contact the league, click here. There are tickets available at Elba Central School, the Alabama Hotel, from board members, and the board meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at The Goose.

A charity basketball game, with all proceeds benefiting the Merkel family, is set for April 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Oakfield-Alabama High School.  The game will be played between the O-A faculty and deputy sheriffs. Tickets are $2 for students and $3 for adults.

A GoFundMe campaign has reached its target goal of $30,000 and is still accepting donations.

To read Andrew Merkel's obituary, click here.

Merkel was laid to rest on Monday. 

The top photo below is from the Sheriff's Office. The other photos are reader-submitted.





March 31, 2023 - 2:38pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, news.


A stalled semi-truck at around 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon had traffic tied up at Main and Ellicott in Batavia.

March 31, 2023 - 11:35am
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, news, schools.


Press release:

Karson Crocker has long hair. Almost 14 inches. Sometimes he gets mistaken for a girl. Sometimes he has trouble fitting it all inside his football helmet. But he’s not ready to cut it -- yet. He has a little more work to do.

In the summer of 2020, the then Byron-Bergen second-grade student watched a video online of a young girl who had lost her hair during cancer treatment. She was upset because of her appearance and how she was being treated by her peers. Crocker was sad for the girl and, after discussing it with his mom, decided to grow out his own hair long enough to make a wig for a child.

Almost three years later, Crocker has a shiny, blonde mane of hair. Now in fourth grade, he shared his plans to donate his hair with his classmates through a brief presentation explaining his project and how he became interested.

“I’m donating because I saw a video that inspired me,” said Crocker. “I’ve been growing my hair for three years.”

“Kids can lose their hair for a lot of different reasons,” said Crocker’s teacher Janna Carney. “Karson’s hair will help to make wigs so that they can have hair. It’s pretty special.”

“I like the words ‘good cause’”, said one of his classmates. After the presentation, the class discussed it and agreed that Crocker’s project is an admirable cause.

In a couple more inches, Crocker’s hair will go to Wigs for Kids, a not-for-profit organization that provides free wigs to children 18 and under who have lost their hair due to a medical condition or treatment.

“A new wig for a child can cost from $3-5,000,” said Jeanne Hurt, a fundraising and development specialist with Wigs for Kids. “Our organization uses human hair and monetary donations to provide wigs for children at no cost.”

Along with his hair, Crocker is raising $1,800 to sponsor the wig. This money will go toward the actual creation of the wig and delivery to a child experiencing medical-related baldness.

“Karson has a heart of gold to spend so much time and energy to help another child feel happier,” said Hurt. “Maybe he can help inspire others to donate their hair as well.”

“Are you going to do it again?” asked Crocker’s classmate.
After this donation, Crocker plans to grow his hair out again, and by 2026 could be ready to help another child.

March 31, 2023 Contact: Gretchen Spittler Byron-Bergen Communications Specialist (585) 794-6340

To learn more about Crocker’s hair donation journey and fundraising effort, click here.

Submitted photos.


March 31, 2023 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C - Batavia) joined fellow legislators today in the presentation of new school safety proposals they hope to implement statewide. Following a statewide tour with input from several education professionals, mental health professionals, parents, law enforcement officials and the public, the Assembly Minority Task Force on School Safety & Security is offering changes to increase law enforcement’s presence in schools, better address mental health in schools and harden infrastructure at schools.

“We’ve seen too often, both in this state and nationwide, that our children are the primary victims of school attacks, yet we haven’t had a comprehensive response plan until now,” Hawley said. “My colleagues in the task force have done extensive research and collaborated with dozens of professionals across multiple disciplines to help find ways to fill in the cracks and look after our children better, and their proposals are all entrancing. I am fully committed to investigating and implementing these proposals to ensure our kids are safe as they do their work.”

Hawley himself is also pushing his legislation (A.2023), which will help recruit more retired experienced law enforcement officers to serve as school resource officers by increasing the outside income cap from $30,000 to $50,000. To combat the cost of employing these officers, a high percentage of it will be eligible for reimbursement by the state.

“New York’s children are amazing, achieving trailblazers. They deserve all the opportunities to succeed in a safe and protected environment. We can provide that to them here and now,” Hawley concluded. The Assemblyman’s further comments can be viewed here.

March 30, 2023 - 3:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Oakfield, news.


A house fire is reported at 3134 Lockport Road, Oakfield.

Smoke and flames showing.

Oakfield Fire with mutual aid from Elba Fire responding.

UPDATE 3:56 p.m.: Town of Batavia's Ladder 22 requested to the scene.

UPDATE 4:33 p.m. by  Joanne Beck: A quick response from Oakfield fire helped contain the small fire to the exterior of the house. The origin of the fire may have been a chimney. Response came from Oakfield and Elba fire departments. Both are clearing the scene, and Batavia ladder 22 was canceled before it arrived on scene.

Photo by Howard Owens.

March 30, 2023 - 3:00pm
posted by Press Release in spiritual connections, religion, news.

Arbor House, 350 Bank St., Batavia. We are a community of believers and disciples of Jesus Christ. Arbor House was founded to be a place of safety, refreshment, and renewal for all. Each week we gather to hear the spoken Word, eat from the Lord’s Table, and enjoy fellowship with all who come. If you have been hurt by a church before we want to be the place where you can find healing and hope. All are welcome! Service will be in person on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and available live stream on Facebook. (350 Bank Street Road, Batavia, NY) For more information about Arbor House visit arborhousefmc.com.

Ascension Parish -- Roman Catholic Community, Batavia. We are open for Mass in the Church on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. Daily Mass Mondays at 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Confession time is Saturdays from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. in Church. Please join us for our Sunday streaming Mass online at 10 a.m. We invite everyone to join us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ascensionromancatholiccommunity. Please follow us on Facebook for any Mass time changes. Our webpage: www.ascensionrcc.com.

Batavia First Baptist Church, 306 E. Main St., Pastor David Weidman, where "Christ the Center, Love for All" is very evident to all who enter. We invite you to our Full Gospel Sunday services at 10 a.m.; prayer and Bible study on Wednesdays from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.; Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., please come and browse in our beautifully renovated "Thrift Shoppe." You'll find many bargains, including $2, $6, and $10 bags sales on all unmarked clothing. You can also enjoy a light lunch at Lydia's Kitchen while you shop. Questions? Email:  [email protected]. Call us at (585) 343-9002.

Batavia First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia, invites you to join us for in-person worship on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. (Arise-relaxed with band music) or 10:45 a.m. (Sanctuary -liturgical and organ) or on Livestream via Facebook Live for both times at: https://fpcbatavia.org/  or https://www.facebook.com/fpcbatavia/videos/.

Batavia First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Road, Batavia. Our mission & vision statement:  “To be disciples, we must listen, learn, lead and love our way to God.”  Reverend Wayne Mort leads our worship service every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the church sanctuary. You can also find the service on Facebook.  And we invite you to learn more about Batavia First UMC by visiting our website at www.BataviaFirstumc.com.

Byron Presbyterian Church, 6293 W. Main St., Byron. Palm Sunday Worship/Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. Coffee Hour after service. Interim Pastor, Rev. Michael Fry. Scripture Reading: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 and Matthew 21:1-11. Message: “Who Is This?” This week, choir led by Elizabeth Weber, Organist Emeritus. All are welcome!

Calvary Baptist Church of Le Roy, 8703 Lake Street Road, Le Roy.  If you do not already have a church that you attend regularly, we would like to invite you to give Calvary Baptist Church a try.  It would be a pleasure to have you join us for worship and fellowship on a Sunday morning or at one of our other mid-week events. As a multi-generational congregation that enjoys our time together, our Sunday worship service typically includes singing a mix of both traditional and contemporary songs and hymns, a children’s message and a sermon from the Word of God. Our Sunday worship service begins at 10:15 a.m.

City Church, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, is open for Sunday morning services at 8:30 and 10 a.m., and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to join us for worship and a message. We also have a noon Sunday service at our St. Anthony's location at 114 Liberty St. in Batavia. You can also connect with us online, through our Facebook page, or our YouTube channel.

Corfu United Presbyterian Church 63 Alleghany Road, Corfu. Corfu United Presbyterian Church welcomes all visitors to come worship with us Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. in person or via our Facebook livestream led by Pastor Evan Wildhack. Our mission at CUPC is to connect with Christ, connect with others, and connect others with Christ. Children's Sunday school is held on the first Sunday of the month. Weekly Bible study is held Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. This Lent, CUPC is launching a new worship and sermon series, "Seeking: Honest Questions for Deeper Faith." Pastor Evan will provide an introduction to the series at the end of worship on Sunday, Feb. 12, and as part of the Ash Wednesday service. The church will mark the beginning of the season with an Ash Wednesday service at 7 p.m. on February 22. This is a special service where attendees acknowledge their sin and express their reliance on God's saving grace. Additionally, beginning on Wednesday, March 1, at 6 p.m., during the month of March, Pastor Evan will lead a small group centered around the Lenten theme of Seeking. Each week, attendees will delve into the week's theme through discussion and by exploring various spiritual practices, such as lectio divina, visio divina, and poetry writing. If you're interested in participating, please contact the church office via email or phone. CUPC's food pantry is open on the third Saturday of the month from 9 to 10 a.m. Contact the church office by phone at (585) 599-6414 or via email at [email protected] Office hours are Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cornerstone Church of East Pembroke, part of American Baptist Churches USA, 2583 Main Road, East Pembroke. Our Sunday service is at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Glenn Bloom preaching. Bible Study is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. We are a small church and welcome new members; we are following social distancing rules and masks must be worn. (585) 762-8721

East Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5735 Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany. Our Sunday morning worship service is held at 10:30 a.m. and led by Rev. Dr. Shiela McCullough. Visitors are always welcome. You can find out more information on our Facebook page or by emailing us at [email protected].

Elba First Baptist Church, 31 S. Main St., Elba, is open for the main service in person at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. For more information about our church go to www.fbcelba.net. The pastor is Michael Davis. Email: [email protected] / Phone (585) 757-2722

Emmanuel Baptist Church, 190 Oak St., Batavia. Join us for services in person or livestreamed via Facebook and EBCBatavia.com. Be part of the family today and join in the blessings of Jesus in your life!

EverPresent Church, 4 Batavia City Centre, Batavia. We welcome you to come to experience the Holy Spirit in a fresh way. Jesus wants to set you free from your bondages. Our regular weekly services are 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. 

Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St., Palm Sunday Morning Worship begins at 9:30 a.m. There are classes for children ages nursery – 5th grade during the 9:30 hour. The service is live-streamed at www.gracebatavia.org. or view it on our Facebook page: Grace Baptist. KidZone (1st grade – 5th) and Grace Student Ministries (youth group 6th -12th grade) meet from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The Good Friday Service is on April 7th at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Indian Falls Methodist Church, 7908 Alleghany Road, Corfu. Reverend Karen McCaffery will hold a Worship Service inside the church sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays. Or join our service via Facebook Live or on YouTube by searching for IFUMC TechTeam. Weekly Online Bible Study and Prayer Services are held on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. via Facebook Live on “Pastor McCaffery's” page.

Le Roy First Presbyterian Church7 Clay St., Le Roy. Sunday morning in-person worship at 10 a.m. followed by coffee fellowship. We are an open and accepting church of all people.

Morganville United Church of Christ, 8466 Morganville Stafford. We’d love to meet you! It’s warm in here—physically and emotionally.  Please join us and our "God is still speaking" church at 10 a.m. Sunday as Pastor James Morasco shares his sermon, "Calming Your Storms." Coffee hour and fellowship will follow the service. Please mark your calendars for our Ham and Scalloped Potatoes Dinner on Saturday, March 25. Tickets: call (585) 757-2257. Our church is located at 8466 Morganville Road.  Friend us on Facebook! or better yet, visit us Sunday!

North Bergen Presbyterian Church, 7068 N. Bergen Road, Bergen, is open for in-person services at 9:45 a.m Sundays. The phone is (585) 494-1255.

North Darien Bible Church, 9768 Simonds Road, Corfu. We are open! Sunday worship service begins at 10 a.m. Children's Church classes are available for children ages birth through sixth grade, including a classroom for children with special needs. For more information, visit our website. You can also watch LIVE on our Facebook or YouTube channel. Join us from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of every month for our free community closet, full of clothing, coats, and shoes for all. (585) 547-9646.

Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road (North Campus), Batavia. "Did Jesus really say...?" The teachings of Jesus are timeless, instructive, and life-changing. But what did Jesus say? In this new message series, we're going to work our way through the gospel of John, looking specifically at the "Red Letters" - the words of Jesus (which are in red ink in some Bibles).  We hope you'll join us for this series and find out what Jesus wants us to know, from His own words. Join us Saturday at 6 p.m., and Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11 a.m., 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia. For more information about Northgate Free Methodist Church and to watch our services online go to northgatefmc.com or facebook.com/northgatefmc

Our Lady of Mercy & St. Brigid parishes, Lake Street, Le Roy. All Masses are livestreamed Saturday at 4:30 p.m.; Sunday mornings at 7:15, 9 and 10:45 a.m. Daily Masses are livestreamed at 7:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m. Saturday. View on YouTube and Facebook. Visit Fr. Scott’s parish website.

Resurrection Parish (St. Mary and St. Joseph churches in Batavia). Services livestreaming at 5:30 p.m. every Saturday from St. Mary's Church via Facebook, or view the livestreaming Mass on YouTube by searching for Resurrection RC Parish or visit the parish website. In-person Masses are 4 p.m. Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church; and at St. Mary's Church at 7:30 and 9:15 a.m. Sunday.

St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia. Join us on Sundays at 9 a.m. on zoom, 10 a.m. in the church building, and on Facebook Live. Links and the bulletin can be found on our website: https://www.sjecbataviany.org/

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1 E. Main St., Le Roy, is open for in-person services at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Communion will be offered to people in their seats and will only include bread. We welcome you to join us -- either in person or online. For more information, visit our website.

St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, 18 W. Main St., Corfu. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday at 5 p.m., Sunday at 8:30 a.m. at the Corfu Church Site; and at 11 a.m. Sunday at the East Pembroke Church site, 8656 Church St., East Pembroke. Weekday Masses are celebrated on: Monday and Friday at 8 a.m. in Corfu, and Thursday at 8 a.m. in East Pembroke; on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Corfu followed by Adoration. Corfu Masses are also available for viewing on our YouTube channel. All information is on the church website and on Facebook. Email:  [email protected] (585) 599-4833

St. Padre Pio Parish, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. in the Oakfield Church Site, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield. Weekday Masses are celebrated Monday 6 p.m. in Elba (Our Lady of Fatima Church, 65 S. Main St.); Tuesday at 8 a.m. in Elba; Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Oakfield; Thursday at 8 a.m. in Oakfield; Friday at 8 a.m. in Oakfield.

St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6188 Main Road, Stafford. In-person service, including Holy Communion, is at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings. All  Are Welcome. 

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Batavia, 31 Washington Ave, Batavia. This coming Sunday (April 2), we will celebrate Palm Sunday.  The sermon theme: “Grace for The Fearful,” is based on the scriptures from Luke 22:31-34. This week's sermon is part of a series of services for the Season of Lent "Amazing Grace"  Adult Bible Class meets Sundays at 8:30 a.m. Our service begins at 10 a.m. or can be viewed 'live' on Facebook. Our Youth class meets at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School children will attend the service through the children's sermon and will then go to their Sunday school rooms for their studies. Communion is part of the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays.  God continues to bless us richly as we focus on Him and His plans for our congregation and community.

The Church In Alexander, 10540 Main St., Alexander. Join us for Sunday Worship at 10 a.m. weekly. For more information, please visit our website at www.thechurchinalexander.com. We offer a Free Food Pantry for people in our community. Please call ahead if you need items from our pantry. For more information on programs and services, please contact us at (585) 591-1765 or by email at [email protected]com. Church office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:15-11:15 a.m.

Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 Main St. in Attica, worships at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays, and Darien United Methodist Church, 1951 Broadway (Route 20), Darien Center, worships at 9 a.m. on Sundays. For the Zoom connection, email [email protected] and request the link(s). Prayer requests may be left at Trinity's voicemail (585) 591-1549 or with Pastor Pam at (716) 560-0290.


"Spiritual Connections" -- The Batavian will post updates to connect people with their places of worship, religious services, fellowship opportunities, and/or spiritual advisors, etc. There is no charge for this service.

If you have information to announce, please email: [email protected]

March 30, 2023 - 2:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Alexander, Alabama, pembroke.

Kyle J. Schroeder, 26, of Clinton Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on four bench warrants issued by Batavia City Court on March 22 by Officer Wesley Rissinger. The bench warrants stem from four separate incidents.  Schroeder is accused of entering a residence on April 23 on Liberty Street, Batavia, and stealing a pack of cigarettes. He was arrested on April 24 and issued an appearance ticket. Schroeder was arrested on April 29 and accused of driving while under the influence of drugs and of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. He was arraigned in City Court and released. Schroeder was arrested on Aug. 25 after patrols were dispatched to the rear of a business on East Main Street to check a report of a man "tweaking out."  After being identified, Schroeder was arrested on bench warrants for alleged failure to appear. He was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th after allegedly being found in possession of crack pipes and baggies. He was arraigned in City Court and released. Schroeder was arrested on Oct. 20 on a charge of criminal mischief while at court on another matter. Schroeder allegedly kicked and damaged an electrical lock box on the exterior of a business on Jackson Street so he could charge a mobile phone.  He was arraigned and released under supervision. On Jan. 28, Schroeder was arrested on multiple warrants related to the previous arrests.  Following his arrest on March 22, Schroeder was arraigned in Centralized Arraignment Court. His release status is unknown.

Christine M. Caplis, 42, of Clinton Street Roa, Batavia, is accused of failure to appear and was arrested on a bench warrant on March 23 by Officer Sam Freeman. Caplis was arrested after Freeman spotted her walking on Summit Street in Batavia. She is accused of failure to pay for services at a local restaurant on Nov. 5., 2021. She was arrested on six subsequent bench warrants related to the original charge. Arrest dates: Dec. 28, 2021, June 26, 2022, Aug. 13, 2022, Sept. 18, 2022, Oct. 7, 2022, and Feb. 18, 2023. Following her arrest on March 23, Caplis was arraigned in Centralized Arraignment Court, and her release status is unknown.

Marquis K. Saddler, 32, of Post Avenue, Rochester, is charged with tampering with evidence, criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance 4th, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and illegal turn signal. Saddler is accused of throwing a narcotic out of the driver's side window during a traffic stop on March 13 at an unspecified time on Naramore Drive. Saddler was arraigned in Centralized Arraignment Court and held in the Genesee County Jail.

Alexander C. Schwartz, 27, of Harwin Drive, Rochester, was arrested on a bench warrant for failing to appear and is charged with bail jumping 3rd. Officer Kevin Defelice arrest Schwartz on March 22. Schwartz was transported from the Niagara County Jail to Batavia City Court, where he was arraigned and remanded to the Genesee County Jail in lieu of bail.  Schwartz was first arrested on Nov. 13 and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation 1st and speeding.

Jamie L. Broadbent, 40, of W Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Broadbent is accused of failure to appear on a grand larceny 4th charge. She was arrested Sept. 10 for allegedly stealing an electric bicycle. She was issued an appearance ticket and is accused of failing to appear as ordered to answer to the charge. She was arrested on the warrant by Office Megan Crossett on March 21.

James A. Reinhardt, 54, of South Lake Road, Corfu, is charged with aggravated DWI, failure to keep right, moving from lane unsafely, and failing to use designated lane. Reinhardt was stopped at 2:22 a.m. on March 18 on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer John Gombos. Reinhardt was issued an appearance ticket.

Joanne M. Robbins-Lockwood, 55, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and operating with no headlights. Robbins-Lockwood was stopped at 9:20 p.m. on March 17 on Ross Street, Batavia, by Officer John Gombos. She was issued an appearance ticket and released.

Johnney L. Shannon, 64, of Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled 7th. Shannon was stopped on Washington Avenue on March 19 by Officer John Gombos. Gombos requested the assistance of Officer Stephen Quider and K-9 Batu. Shannon was allegedly found in possession of several bags of narcotics inside the vehicle. Also arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled 7th was Loretta L. Baer, 51, of Wood Street, Batavia. Both were released on appearance tickets.

Haley M. Larnder, 23, of River Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled 7th. While arresting Larnder on a bench warrant, Officer Wesley Rissinger allegedly found Larnder in possession of a narcotic. Larnder was issued an appearance ticket and turned over to the Sheriff's Office on the warrant.

Michael S. Veihdeffer, 50, of South Royal Parkway, Lockport, is charged with DWI and equipment violations. Veihdeffer was stopped at 1:45 a.m. on March 19 on West Main Street Road by Officer Joseph Weglarski. He was issued an appearance ticket and released to a third party.

Curtis Middlebrooks, Jr., 33, of Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, is charged with harassment 2nd. Middlebrooks was arrested by Deputy Jonathan Dimming in connection with an incident reported at 6:55 p.m., March 18, on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama. No information was released on the nature of the incident. He was arraigned in Centralized Arraignment Court and released on his own recognizance.

Brian Carl Valyear, 18, of Alexander Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Valyear was arrested at 12:27 a.m., March 18, on Alexander Road, by Deputy Trevor Sherwood after Sherwood was dispatched to investigate a report of a vehicle blocking the roadway.  Valyear was released on an appearance ticket.

Jason Howard Freeman, 41, of South Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Freeman is accused of possessing narcotics when he was taken into custody on an unrelated charge on Nov. 2 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Weldon Jarreau Ervin, 31, is charged with assault 34d and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Ervin is accused of recklessly causing an injury to another person during a disturbance reported at 8:30 a.m., March 26, at a location on Alleghany Road, Pembroke. He also allegedly took the vehicle of another person without permission.  He was ordered to appear at a later date in Town of Pembroke Court.

Jason S. Hall, 33, of Medina, and Terry L. Depoty, 34, of Albion, are both charged with grand larceny 4th and criminal possession of stolen property 4th.  Hall and Depoty were arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported in the Town of Batavia at 11:20 a.m., March 29.  Hall was released on an appearance ticket and Depoty was ordered held in jail. The State Police did not release more information on the arrests.

Michael J. Mess, 30, of Alexander, is charged with grand larceny 3rd and insurance fraud. Mess was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 9:30 a.m. on March 15. He was released on his own recognizance. The State Police did not release any further information.

March 30, 2023 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A 30-year-old Batavia woman agreed to a plea deal this week stemming from welfare fraud-related chages.

Chandah Sundown entered a guilty plea in Batavia Town Court to one count of disorderly conduct.

The plea satisfies her arrest previously on charges of filing a false instrument in the first degree, 11 counts, and one count of grand larceny in the third degree

She was arrested for failing to report that the father of her children was also residing in their home and earning an income. 

Sundown was given a one-year conditional discharge and has made full restitution of $8,353.

The Genesee County Department of Social Services asks that anyone suspecting welfare fraud can report it by calling (585) 344-2580, ext. 6417 or 6547.  All calls are confidential.


March 30, 2023 - 1:13pm
posted by Press Release in Claudia Tenney, NY-24, agriculture, farm bill, news.


Press release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) today announced her upcoming Farm Bill Listening Tour to hear directly from constituents about issues impacting our agriculture industry in New York’s 24th District.

Every five years, Congress passes legislation that sets national agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry policies. This legislation is commonly called the “Farm Bill” and will be considered this year by Congress. Tenney is hosting a series of roundtables to hear directly from farmers and producers about issues facing the agriculture industry in New York’s 24th District.

New York’s 24th District is the largest agriculture and dairy district in the Northeast, producing dairy, beef, crops, wine, apples, and more. In addition, Wayne County ranks third in the nation for apple production.

“As your voice in Congress, it is essential that I hear directly from you about the issues facing our community,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “Our sprawling district, the largest agriculture-producing district in the Northeast, is home to so many hardworking farmers who feed our community, state, and nation. I am committed to hearing from them about their top priorities as we prepare for the consideration of the 2023 Farm Bill. I will always be a tenacious advocate for our region’s agriculture community.”

Please see the schedule below for upcoming roundtable sessions. Those interested in attending should use this link to RSVP. If you cannot attend an in-person session, you can also submit your views virtually using the same link above.

Western New York Farm Bill Roundtable
Tuesday, April 4th, 10 a.m. Old Courthouse
7 Main St., Batavia

Central NY & North Country Farm Bill Roundtable
Wednesday, April 5th, 10 a.m. Oswego County Legislative Chamber
46 E Bridge St., 4th Floor Oswego

Finger Lakes Farm Bill Roundtable
Thursday, April 6th, 10 a.m. Phelps Community Center
8 Banta St., #100, Phelps

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens.

March 30, 2023 - 8:10am


How do you get through a play with nearly 4,000 lines of script and requires just under double the amount of actors that you have?

“It’s a long play. We did a play review, we went line by line and chose what lines to keep and what we could cut,” Director Jane Burk said of the Shakespeare in Springtime debut production. “We cut a lot. One act has 13 scenes, act four has 15 or 16 scenes. We had to pick and choose what scenes to cut or combine.”

Not the glamorous side of theater, perhaps, but important all the same. Reviewing words to be spoken — William Shakespeare’s words, no less — is nothing to dismiss as an idle task. Burk has been trading off the director’s role for the Batavia Players Shakespeare in Springtime series every other year, and this time it's her turn.

The play is “Antony and Cleopatra,” the second longest of Shakespeare’s works, and set in late B.C. Considered part comedy, romance, and tragedy, it hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Batavia City Centre’s concourse.

Major characters are, of course, Mark Antony, a Roman general and one of the three joint leaders known as triumvirs who rule the Roman Republic after the assassination of Julius Caesar; Octavius Caesar, adopted son of Julius; Lepidus; Cleopatra, queen of Egypt who follows six Cleopatras before her; and Sextus Pompey, a rebel against the triumvirate and son of the late Pompey.

Mark Antony—one of the triumvirs of the Roman Republic, along with Octavius and Lepidus—has neglected his soldierly duties after being beguiled by Egypt's Queen, Cleopatra. He ignores Rome's domestic problems, including the fact that his third wife, Fulvia, rebelled against Octavius and then died.

Octavius calls Antony back to Rome from Alexandria to help him fight against Sextus Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas, three notorious pirates of the Mediterranean. At Alexandria, Cleopatra begs Antony not to go, and though he repeatedly affirms his deep passionate love for her, he eventually leaves.

The triumvirs meet in Rome, where Antony and Octavius put to rest, for now, their disagreements. Octavius' general, Agrippa, suggests that Antony should marry Octavius's sister, Octavia, in order to cement the friendly bond between the two men. Antony accepts. Antony's lieutenant Enobarbus, though, knows that Octavia can never satisfy him after Cleopatra. In a famous passage, he describes Cleopatra's charms: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale / Her infinite variety: other women cloy / The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry / Where most she satisfies."

Burk saw a stage production a “very, very, very long time ago,” she said and has gotten up to speed on the show and how she has wanted to put her own twist on it.

“So many things happened, basically, all within a relatively short time, that brought about the downfall of all of these people. And it was a tragedy, with the one exception of Octavius Caesar, who survived. There were military battles, there were sea battles that occurred in northern Egypt, in the Roman area of Italy, and throughout the area of the Eastern Mediterranean. I mean, historically, this was a very volatile period of time. Shakespeare was writing a play, so he made mention of many of these different activities that were happening and how they were reflected in the time period. But his main focus, because he was a playwright, was the actual personal relationship between Mark Antony and the other two members of the triumvirate,” Burk said. “And then, on the other hand, between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, who was a ruler and a queen in her own right. She lived from approximately 51 BC until she died by suicide in 30 BC. Mark Antony, he was a little bit older than her, his birth date was somewhere around the mid-80s, 82 or 83 BC. But his death was also by suicide in 30 BC, which was technically the end of the issue of the Roman dynasty, and of the Egyptian dynasty and how they related to each other, militarily and politically.

“Realistically, you could almost point the finger at what happened between Mark Antony and Cleopatra and their downfall. And what happened to the countries where they lived in that time period,” she said. “And the military issues that arose. That all played into that, that final thing of being left with one specific Emperor, who was Augustus Caesar, and the head of the Roman Empire.”

One-half of the City Centre stage will be dressed in traditional B.C. scenery and costuming and dialogue, while the other half will sport a contemporary look, she said. While the historic views may not seem relevant today, might they be?

“And so there's a juxtaposition between how the two who are contemporary and are so not contemporary, are they contemporary? Are things that happened in the long ago time of Egypt, are they still relevant today? And those that have some impact on what is happening in the Roman place, and vice versa?” she said.

All of the action is on stage, and that means all of the action — actors and audience. There is seating for 60. Placing spectators around the stage at ground level with a split stage of time periods just would not have worked, Burk said.

And “lighting is very important.”

“It’s going up on one side while going down on the other,” she said. “It’s a truly amazing cast, I could not be more proud of them. I was so relieved to have them try out. We have an extraordinarily talented cast.”

The show is 2 1/2 hours, plus intermission, and debuts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and continues at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Main St. 56 Theater, Batavia City Centre. Enter through the purple door next to Batavia Family Dental.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, go HERE





Top Photo, left to right, Cynthia Nelson as Caesar, Shaun Coburn as Dollabella, James Barcomb as Lepidus and Jacqueline Morrison as Pompey; Erin Stamp as Menas and Elijah Van Epps as Enobarbus; Erin Stamp as Menas, Jacqueline Morrison as Pompey, Steve Coburn as Marc Antony, Shaun Coburn as Dollabella, Cynthia Nelson as Caesar, James Barcomb as Lepidus and Elijah Van Epps as Enobarbus; Steve Coburn as Marc Antony and Jaqueline Morrison as Pompey; and Kendra Morrison as Alexis, Emily Crawford as Cleopatra, Shellene Bailey as Charmian and Patrick Burk as Mardian. Photos by Howard Owens.

March 29, 2023 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in grand jury, crime, news.

Beth Ann Jeffers is indicted on two counts of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony, one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 4th degree, a Class C felony, and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor. Jeffers is accused of introducing or being in possession of dangerous contraband while in a criminal detention facility, namely the Genesee County Jail at 14 West Main St., Batavia. She is accused of being in possession of cocaine, Fentanyl, both with the intent to sell it. She is also accused of being in possession of Pregabalin.

March 29, 2023 - 11:00am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Lions Club, Batavia PD, batavia, news, Day of Caring.


Press release:

As the Batavia Lions Club continues to move past the pandemic, we are reconnecting with our partners from past projects.

For many years the Club had been working with the Batavia Police Department and Adam Millers to refurbish bikes that have been recovered by the BPD and get them into the hands of children and adults who can use them. To that end, Detectives James Defreze and Matthew Wojtaszczyk (pictured above with Lions President Diane Hawn) visited the Club to review how bikes might be recovered and be eligible for donation to the Lions Club.

Many bikes are recovered each year that are damaged beyond repair. Those bikes are disposed of. If owners can be found for the usable bikes, they will be returned. If there is no way to determine ownership, they can be donated to an organization like the Lions. In past years those bikes have been refurbished and distributed to organizations such as The Salvation Army and ARC.

The detectives do encourage people to register their bikes with the BPD so if they are recovered, the bikes can be returned to the owner.

A relaxed discussion followed on several issues that the BPD faces every day and the complexity of modern law enforcement. Detectives Defreze and Wojtaszczyk were relaxed and informative in the give-and-take with the Lions Club. The Club looks forward to re-establishing the bike program and working with BPD to serve the community.  

Top photo: Submitted.


File photo from 2014 Day of Caring outside Adam Miller Toys and Bicycles by Howard Owens, from front: John Huntzinger, Chuck Brenner, Bob Swanson, Tom Clark, Pier Chipollone, Dave Cuttia, John Roach and Van Scoy.

March 29, 2023 - 10:38am
posted by Press Release in derby day, Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, news.


Press release:

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is celebrating our Diamond Derby Day Gala. This is the Foundation’s 10th year hosting this amazing event, which has provided the resources to make great strides in our mission to “Lend a Hand for Hope”. We continue to assist families with the diagnosis of pediatric cancer, where we provide necessary financial assistance in the many challenges they face. We provide grants to youth organizations to help provide opportunities for youth in our communities. We support research in hopes to find a cure, but we are yet to reach the finish line.

With the support and generosity of our donors and event sponsors, we continue to stay strong in carrying out the mission of the Foundation. To date we have distributed these funds:

  • Family Assistance $632,675
  • Research Support $91,000
  • Youth Activities and Grants $68,000
  • Golisano Children’s Hospital $50,000
  • United Memorial Pediatric Unit $25,000

So, grab your best hat, your best outfit, and your best friends and come Win prizes, Place bids and Show your support in celebration of our Diamond Derby Day Gala. Please consider helping us with the event through sponsorship, donations, and/or prizes. Your generosity helps us to “Lend a Hand for Hope” to those in need.

Please join us for a fantastic evening, fabulous prizes, and heartfelt stories of our pediatric warriors. The event is being held at Terry Hills Golf Course & Banquet Facility in Batavia, NY on Saturday, May 6th, 2023, with post-time at 4PM.

For registration, tickets and sponsorships or for more information about the Gala, please go to our website: www.michaelshope.org , find us on Facebook or call 585-861-0550.

Come and enjoy a great night for a great cause!

Photo: File photo from 2018 Derby Day. By Howard Owens.

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