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December 3, 2016 - 8:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, winterfest.










December 3, 2016 - 10:03am


Hundreds of people lined Main Street in Downtown Batavia on Friday night for the Christmas parade that was the highlight of a successful Christmas in the City for 2016.

Many businesses opened their doors for activities and food to celebrate the annual event.

To view photos and purchase prints click here:  steveognibenephotography.com



One of the many floats in the annual parade.


Bradley Winslow, local musician.


10-year-old Ryan Cox getting his face painted sponsored by T-Shirts Etc.


Batavia Concert Band


Students and staff from Batavia City School District singing carols at the Holland Land Office Museum.

December 2, 2016 - 5:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A corrections officer working at the Genesee County Jail is being accused of having consensual sex with a female inmate, leading to his arrest and firing by the Sheriff.

Michael E. Glow, 36, of Batavia, is charged with rape in the third degree.

Though the sexual act was deemed consensual, under New York law, a person in custody is deemed incapable of giving consent when the partner is an employee of the corrections facility.

The incident allegedly occurred while Glow was supervising a work detail at a location in the City of Batavia on April 17.

The Sheriff's Office initiated an investigation recently after learning of the alleged sexual contact.

Glow, who worked at the jail for five years, was terminated by Sheriff Gary Maha when he was charged with the Class E felony.

Following arraignment in City Court, Glow was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

December 2, 2016 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.


Press release:

The Starowitz family visited the Genesee County Sheriff's Office yesterday bringing with them 100 bags of candy to show their appreciation and support for law enforcement and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Emma, James, Elizabeth and Collin (ages 10 to 5) have aunts and uncles who are officers in Virginia, and they made bags for them during a recent visit.

"The children decided they wanted to also let their local law enforcement know how much they appreciate what they do and for keeping them safe," said their mother, Sherry.

Each bag was put together by the children and a creative thank you note was attached.


December 2, 2016 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

Press release:

Work on constructing next year's school budget has begun and volunteers are being sought for the Budget Ambassador Program, initiated in 1996 as a way to increase communication with the community about the District's financial plan.

Ambassadors are residents of the Batavia City School District (BCSD) who volunteer and commit to serve on a committee, which meets with Superintendent Christopher Dailey and Business Administrator Scott Rozanski for three (3) two-and-a-half (2.5) hour evening sessions on Feb. 1, 8 and 15, with an alternate “snow date” scheduled for March 1.

Ambassadors review the preliminary 2017-2018 budget as developed by the administration within the parameters established by the Board of Education, and recommend to the Board any modifications they would like to see. The recommendations, while highly valued, are advisory rather than binding as the Board develops the Proposed Budget to be brought to voters. Ambassadors also agree to explain their work to any interested community member.

Persons interested in serving must notify the District in writing by Jan. 5. The letter of interest should include name, address, email address and daytime phone number and be addressed to BCSD Superintendent Christopher Dailey and the BCSD Board of Education at the District Administration Offices, 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020.

The letters will be reviewed, with official appointments scheduled to be made at the Board of Education meeting on Jan. 10.

December 2, 2016 - 11:14am


Press release:

On Friday, Dec. 2, funeral directors Justin Calarco-Smith, Joshua Smith and Steven Johnson of the H.E. Turner & Co., Bohm-Calarco-Smith, and Burdett & Sanford Funeral Homes were honored to present a check in the amount of $1,000 to Jim Neider and Tom Cecere of the Joint Veterans Honor Guard of Genesee County. 

This donation was made in the names of the 31 area veterans who the funeral home group was privileged to arrange funeral services for in the past year. 

The Joint Veterans Honor Guard is a dedicated group of volunteers comprised of veterans from across our county. They provide funeral honors to our fallen. The honors include a color guard, the playing of TAPS, and a firing squad. This year, they have rendered honors to more than 60 fallen veterans throughout Genesee County.

One of only a handful of such organizations statewide, Genesee County is extremely fortunate to have selfless volunteers who are at the ready in a moment’s notice.  They stand, without complaint, in the heat, cold, wind, snow and rain to pay final tribute to their comrades. 

“We are humbled by the members of our community who selflessly served this great nation. Additionally, we consider it a privilege to care for our veterans and their families when called upon,” said Funeral Director Justin Calarco-Smith, who along Joshua Smith, Randy McIntire, James Smith and Steven Johnson operate H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Homes in Batavia and Bergen, Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home in Batavia, and the Burdett & Sanford Funeral Home in Oakfield.

“This donation will allow us to continue to honor and serve Genesee County’s veterans in the manner they deserve for a long time to come,” said Jim Neider, commander of the Honor Guard.

The funeral homes plan to honor the veterans they care for annually by making similar donations to a local veterans organization each year.

Photo: Steven Johnson, Tom Cecere, Joshua Smith, Jim Neider and Justin Calarco-Smith.

December 2, 2016 - 10:33am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, town of batavia, comprehensive plan.

A public informational meeting on the Town of Batavia’s updated Comprehensive Plan is scheduled for 7 p.m. next Wednesday (Dec. 7) at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road.

Residents, business owners and landowners are invited to attend the two-hour session, which will focus on the Town’s vision of a “regional, rural and resilient” community.

The Comprehensive Plan is a document meant to guide Town decisions over the next 15 to 20 years relating to land use and zoning, natural resource conservation, business and economic development, transportation and other infrastructure, agriculture and farmland, and community services.

The Comprehensive Plan will update the Town’s current plan, which was adopted in 2009. It incorporates key findings and recommendations from several plans and studies that have been completed over the past several years.

These include plans for agriculture and farmland, transportation, recreation and economic development. The Comprehensive Plan will also help to implement the goals and policies of Green Genesee/ Smart Genesee, which identified key natural assets and presents strategies to leverage these resources for conservation, recreation, economic development and quality of life.

In addition to maps, statistics and analysis of existing conditions and trends, the Plan includes a Land Use Plan that shows appropriate locations for agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, conservation, recreation and mixed-use development, and projected build-out over the next 15 years.

The Plan sets goals and recommends actions that the Town can take to:

-- encourage a balance of development types and mixed uses in appropriate areas;
-- conserve natural resources and limit flood damage;
-- retain high-quality farmland and support the agricultural economy;
-- enhance recreational opportunities for residents;
-- continue to grow the tax base with commercial and industrial development, while supporting existing businesses;
-- enhance residential quality of life and accommodate a mix of housing types to meet the needs of people who work in and near the Town, as well as seniors and families;
-- improve transportation connections and extend transportation facilities to meet community needs;
-- manage development and Town expenditures in a fiscally responsible manner.

Those interested can “drop in” any time to learn about the Plan and ask questions of Town representatives and consultants. The formal presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m.

December 2, 2016 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, Pavilion, news.

Joseph Dwayne Powell, 49, of Telephone Road, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, promoting prison contraband, 2nd, unlawful possession of marijuana and insufficient tail lamp. Powell was stopped at 9:10 p.m. Sept. 16 on Black Street Road, Pavilion, by Deputy Ryan DeLong. Powell was transported to the Genesee County Jail for processing and was allegedly found in possession of marijuana inside the jail.

Kevin Michael Horn, 49, of Conway Road, Bethany, is charged with trespassing. Horn allegedly walked onto posted property on Molasses Hill Road, Bethany.

December 2, 2016 - 8:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, news.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved applications for assistance from TJ Sheehan and Empire Pipeline at the agency’s Dec. 1 meeting.

TJ Sheehan, a Massachusetts-based wholesaler, is proposing to convert a former 37,500-square-foot Cargill facility in Alexander to a refrigerated beverage distribution center. The total capital investment of the project is approximately $1.678 million and it will create nine new jobs. For every dollar of public benefit there is a $20.40 return into the local economy. The incentive amount is $230,878.

The board also accepted an application and set a public hearing for a request for assistance from Yancey’s Fancy, in which the company will invest $5.5 million to expand and renovate the original Kutter's Cheese facility on Main Street in Pembroke from 6,000 square feet to 34,000 square feet. The expansion is expected to create up to 15 full-time jobs. For every one dollar of public benefit, the company is investing $117 into the local economy in Genesee County. 

In 2014-15, Yancey’s Fancy invested more than $20 million and built a 112,000-square-foot facility at the Buffalo East Technology Park, which created new 50 jobs.

“We are very excited to be supporting these exciting expansion projects which will inject significant capital investment and create 24 new jobs,” said GCEDC Chairman Paul Battaglia. “The agency is finishing the year on a very strong note.”

Empire Pipeline owns and operates a compressor station and pipeline in the Town of Oakfield and is seeking a new 15-year fixed PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes). All taxing jurisdictions have consented to the new PILOT structure. The project payments will enable water infrastructure installation as part of the Genesee County Phase II improvements, some of which will support the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP) project in the Town of Alabama.

December 1, 2016 - 7:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Christmas in the City, downtown, batavia, news.


• Parade at 7 p.m.
• Holiday Musical Concert at The Mall - 6-7 p.m., by the Batavia Concert Band
• Ornament Making at 39 Jackson Street - 5-7 p.m., by Art Ah La Carte
• Homer’s Workshop, hosted by The Home Depot at 109 Main St.
• Face Painting, hosted by T-Shirts Etc.
• Vendors
• Horse & Buggy Ride/Chili at 8 Center Street, by Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle
• Shirt Coloring Workshop at 37 Center St., by T-Shirts Etc.
• Wonderland Of Trees -- Catch a bus from Save-A-Lot parking lot to the Holland Land Office Museum.
• Professional Pet Photos at 238 Ellicott St., by Amy’s Fluffy Friends
• Celtic Christmas at 201 E. Main St., by GO-ART!
• Pictures with Santa at 201 E. Main St., by GO-ART!
• Letter to Santa at 202 E. Main St., by Pollyanna & Dot & The Hidden Door
• Adult Tasting at 73 Main St., by The YNGodess Shop.
• Children’s Craft at 50 Batavia City Centre, by Hillside Children’s Center
• Live Nativity at 300 E. Main St., by First Presbyterian Church
• Video Gaming - Open Play at 214 E. Main St., by Game On
• Hair Tinsel at 99 Main St., by The Mane Attraction
• Basket Raffle at 2 School St., by The Bahama Bay Salon & Spa
December 1, 2016 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in James Pontillo, batavia, crime, news.

A local landlord appeared in County Court today to enter a not guilty plea to a four-count indictment that accuses him of falsifying records and stealing Section 8 rent money from the state.

The charges stem from a dispute, said his attorney Fred Rarick outside of court, between James Pontillo and officials in Genesee County (see statement at bottom of the story for clarification) over the proceeds from the estate of Jeanne Veronica Pontillo, the 25-year-old sister of James Pontillo who died in 2012 from a rare form of cancer.

“There’s a lot more to this than him going out and saying 'I’m going to rip off my estate,' " Rarick said.

Jeanne Pontillo was not an official business partner with James Pontillo, but she helped him with his real estate investment business, Rarick said.

“If you just look at the history of James and his sister, they worked together very well for many, many years," Rarick said. "I’ve known Jeanne and James and I saw the way they worked together. She did the office and James bought the properties and refurbished them. They had an incredible relationship.”

James Pontillo is Jeanne's sole heir. Her estate included her personal residence.

After her death, James continued to manage that property, even renting it out with, according to Rarick, the blessings of the County Treasurer's Office (see statement at bottom of the story for clarification)​.

Everything was above board, Rarick said.

James Pontillo even paid all of the taxes on his sister's property. He also paid all of the funeral expenses instead of waiting for the estate to do it, Rarick said.

“Because," Rarick said, "ultimately he said, ‘it’s all coming to me anyway.’ ”

There are other allegations related to the handling of the estate by the County, but documentation was not immediately available.

Most arraignments are uneventful but two issues came up during Pontillo's arraignment today: A dispute over whether Pontillo had previously violated his release under supervision contract and a really unusual dispute over an order of protection.

There was a prior allegation that Pontillo left the county without properly notifying Genesee Justice. He apparently went to Monroe County to deal with property he owns there. According to Rarick, the issue was amicably resolved because there was some question as to whether the proper message got to the proper person at Genesee Justice, but Pontillo had called Genesee Justice about his plans.

As for the order of protection, typically, a temporary order of protection is issued to a defendant barring contact or harassment by the defendant of the crime victim, persons making an allegation or key witnesses. 

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman tried to make just that point to Interim Judge Micheal Pietruszka today when a disagreement arose over an order barring Pontillo's contact with County Treasurer Scott German.

Pietruska asked Friedman if he anticipated any trouble and Friedman said he doesn't typically ask for orders of protection because he anticipates trouble, but because he wants to ensure there isn't a problem.

The request for an order left the territory of ordinary when Rarick noted that because of the ongoing estate case, Pontillo might have contact with German. Friedman said he wasn't aware of any example of anybody being arrested because they had contact with a person during normal court proceedings.

Pietruszka amended the order to ensure it didn't cover legal proceedings and Friedman expressed concern that the language was too vague.

At that point, Pietruszka plopped a big book of statutes on his desk and started thumbing through it and then read a passage covering the need to show cause for an order of protection. He then pressed Friedman to show cause.

Friedman said he didn't come prepared to argue that point because of the routine nature of an order of protection, so he didn't have the specifics in front of him, but there had been, he said, communication between Pontillo and German that would be of a concern.

Rarick then objected to the order, noting that the DA had failed to show cause. Pietruszka asked for the signed copy of the order back, said he was vacating it and ripped it up.

Pontillo was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.  

Previously: Landlord accused of falsely claiming to own a dwelling in Batavia (we've covered James Pontillo extensively over the years and this story contains links to most of that prior coverage).

Photo: File photo of James Pontillo at his property in Stafford.

UPDATE: 4:50 p.m.: We emailed Scott German to give him a chance to respond. Here is his statement:

I will not comment on pending litigation. This litigation has nothing to do with the county, other county officials, or county attorney’s. The only reason I am involved is because I am the county treasurer and according to NYS law, when surrogates court determines there is no one qualified to serve as administrator of an estate, the surrogate names the county treasurer; I don’t get a choice. Apparently, at the time, the court determined no one was qualified to serve and I was appointed.

December 1, 2016 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Marlet HolmesA Level 3 sex offender facing a possible life sentence on his latest charges of alleged sexual conduct with a child won't get a chance to make bail, Interim Judge Micheal Pietruszka ruled in Genesee County Court this morning.

The convicted sexual predator facing new sex crime charges now also stands accused of lashing out while at the Genesee County Jail and injuring another person and causing damage to county property.

Marlek E. Holmes was arraigned in County Court this morning on three sealed indictments.

The first indictment contained counts of assault in the second degree, a Class D violent felony, and criminal mischief in the third degree.

Holmes allegedly attacked another person while at the jail on Oct. 30 and also damaged a holding cell that day.

The other two indictments contain a total of 29 counts of criminal contempt for allegedly violating a restraining order by contacting another person.

Holmes, who is being held without bail, was escorted into the courtroom by a Sheriff's deputy.

Already a Level 3 sex offender, Holmes was arrested in late October on charges of two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, two counts of incest in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, rape in the third degree, criminal sexual abuse in the third degree and two counts of incest in the third degree.

December 1, 2016 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.

The Buffalo attorney who has been by the side of Jacquetta Simmons throughout most of the Batavia woman's court appearances since 2012 has apparently had enough.

After Simmons failed to appear in City Court yesterday to be sentenced on a harassment conviction, Ann Nichols asked to be taken off the case.

The judge told her to submit her request in writing.

Simmons made international news on Christmas Eve 2011 when she delivered a "roundhouse punch" to the face of an older cashier at Walmart.

The case eventually went to trial, Simmons was convicted and given a lengthy prison term by Judge Robert C. Noonan. That sentence was overturned by a higher court and Simmons was sent to jail for a year.

The harassment charge stems from an altercation with a woman at an event at a local nonprofit's meeting room.

A warrant had to be issued for Simmons arrest after that case. She was eventually located and arrested.

With her failure to appear yesterday, Simmons is again on the wanted list.

Via our news partner WBTA.

December 1, 2016 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, news.

Press release:

“After meeting with one of the governor’s top officials today in Albany, I was reassured that, through a collaborative effort between the governor’s office, the Majorities in both houses, the bill’s sponsors and the New York State Gaming Association, we would find a solution to the state’s outdated gaming laws and allow the Stafford Fire Department and tens of thousands of volunteers in our charities, service clubs, nonprofits, churches and schools to continue conducting their annual charity raffles.

“The governor’s office reiterated that they intend to help our local charities and fire departments and admit that the decision to veto the legislation was not an easy one. I am hopeful that we will resolve the situation sooner rather than later, and I will do everything in my power to make it so.”

December 1, 2016 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, K-9, news.


Oakfield-Alabama's Lego Robotics recently won a competition with their idea to assist a police dog with its work.

Their idea was a camera and speaker combination that would allow a K-9 officer to send the dog to a remote location and then be able to see what the dog saw and give the dog verbal commands. The communications device would also be used to talk with any victims or suspects found by the K-9.

The students called it the "Communi-K9" device.

The team now advances to the championship competition Dec. 11 at the University of Rochester.

Deputy Chris Erion provided the class with information about his job and his K-9, Destro.

Information and photo from team teacher Kim Maier via Chris Erion.

December 1, 2016 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, GCC.

Press release:

The Health and Physical Education department at Genesee Community College once again congratulates Wolcott Street School in Le Roy for winning the 2016 Play to Get Fit Challenge. Le Roy has captured the title three years in a row. This is the fifth year GCC has conducted the program.

The Genesee Play to Get Fit Program was created for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) region to effectively illustrate how many minutes young people spend engaged in physical activity outside of school. Children keep track through a specially designed "Play to Get Fit" calendar log. Walking, biking, running, skating, swimming, playing a sport, playing tag, playing on a swing set and other active, creative games are all eligible for active "credit." However, video fitness games using Wii or Xbox Kinect are not eligible.

Wolcott Street School in Le Roy came out on top with a total of 177,679 minutes of physical activity outside of school. Becky Dziekan, GCC's director of Health and Physical Education, presented Michael Humphrey, Physical Education teacher, with a plaque recognizing the school's achievement. Each student participant also received a certificate.

Dziekan recognized Tommy Condidorio (Le Roy), Jake Pangrazio (York) and Daniel DeBadts (Warsaw), who were the top three students in the GLOW region and recorded the highest amounts of physical activity. In addition, the top three students at each participating school districts were also recognized for their efforts. The other winning students at the participating schools include:

• Le Roy – 1st Tommy Condidorio; 2nd Xavien Walker; 3rd Adam Woodworth

• Arcade – 1st Taylor Rosier; 2nd Kennedy Whiting; 3rd Jared Day

• Batavia – 1st Damien Marucci, 2nd Dane Dombrowski; 3rd Maggio & Bronx Buchholz

• Warsaw – 1st Daniel DeBadts; 2nd Sophie Montesano; 3rd JJ Holmes

• York – 1st Jake Pangrazio; 2nd Kyan Tiede; 3rd Christian Ralston

• Pavilion – 1st Christopher Doody; 2nd Karley Waller; 3rd Case Cummins

• Perry – 1st Jayden Pritchard; 2nd Natalie Jaques; 3rd Nina Privitera

• Byron-Bergen – 1st Brody Baubie; 2nd Anna McLaughlin; 3rd Victoria Rogoyski

• Elba – 1st Ayden Esten; 2nd Noah Calarco-Smith; 3rd Tristan Snell

"Play to Get Fit continues to encourage kids to have fun and be active," Dziekan said. "The number of kids that participated and the number of active minutes that were recorded show that we once again accomplished our mission. Congratulations to Le Roy and all of the participants."

The Health and Physical Education program at Genesee Community College offers several areas of study. Transfer degree programs or associate of science (A.S.) degrees include: Physical Education Studies and Sport Management Studies. Career degree programs applied associate of science degrees (A.A.S.) include Fitness and Recreation Management, including the Golf Management Concentration through which passionate golfers can turn the sport into a career.

December 1, 2016 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in solar energy, GCC, education, batavia, news.

Press release:

With courses spanning the fields of accounting to veterinary technology, criminal justice to communications, sports management to supply chain management, healthcare to human services -- and many more, the spring 2017 semester at Genesee Community College offers something for everyone! Register now to ensure your seat! Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 17.

One of GCC's newest courses is Introduction to Solar Manufacturing (CHE193) taught by Brian Fraser, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry. The new course provides overview of the solar manufacturing industry including the latest technology, production and the growing market for the newest high-tech industry that promises to bring hundreds of new jobs to Western New York. Students will understand where and how the new local companies, Solar City and 1366 Technologies, fit within the solar industry and landscape. Through this course, students can explore if this may be a new career opportunity for them, and if so, the best pathway to pursue it.

"Anyone interested in solar energy and science will find this course very helpful. There will be enough information to help students appreciate careers in nanotechnology and other sciences, and understand the emerging developments in the solar industry. It is also a great general education elective with a focus on the future," Fraser said. "The hybrid format of the course also provides some flexibility with in-class and online requirements."

There is no prerequisite for CHE193, which meets Wednesdays from 1:25 – 2:45 p.m. at the Batavia campus starting Jan. 17 and running through May 13. Additionally, Professor Fraser will use a variety of freely accessible resources that include up-to-date information, rather than requiring purchase of a textbook.

GCC offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs, including more than 15 degrees that can be completed 100-percent online. Most degree and certificate programs feature online or hybrid courses and at least 50 percent of each program can be completed online without attending class at a campus center location. In addition, every course in GCC's Computer Information and Networking Technology program offers at least one section that uses the 360-degree learning model enabling students to learn anytime, anywhere and on any device. The instructors in these courses deliver two-way, interactive instruction in the classroom and/or online through personal computers, laptops, tablets and other smart communication devices. All course material is recorded and stored in the cloud, allowing students to review and revisit a class lecture for clarification.

"Without a doubt, GCC remains at the cutting edge of new teaching and learning opportunities," said Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, Ph.D.,  (Dr. RAM), dean of Math, Science and Career Education. "We hope anyone who is even remotely considering college education will contact us soon. There are so many great and affordable options."

No matter what industry or field, regardless of age and educational background, and irrespective of geography due to GCC's many online courses and seven campus locations -- this spring semester is the time to enroll in a course at GCC. The spring semester starts Tuesday, Jan. 17. To review the class schedule which features hundreds of courses, go to: http://www.genesee.edu/courses/schedule/

November 30, 2016 - 9:47pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Beat The Champ, sports.


To view more photos, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

For 24 years, Paul Peck covered the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres as part of his duties as a full-time sportscaster for Channel 4, in Buffalo.

For less than a year, the New Jersey native has been the play-by-play man for the "Beat The Champ" show, which has been resurrected on WBBZ-TV (MeTV) out of Buffalo (channel 67.1 over the air and cable 72 in Genesee County).

Peck said he has been overwhelmed by the response from the bowling community and the popularity of the show -- which features the best bowlers in the area in scratch singles (no handicap) competition.

"It has been an incredible experience," said Peck during a break in taping on Wednesday at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, where four shows to be aired in December were produced. "I've had more people come up to me and more feedback than I did in 25 years of covering the Bills."

Peck and company's appearance in Batavia continued the wave of success the show has been riding since about a dozen or so bowling centers in Western New York put up $6,000 each to be able to host qualifying rounds and the actual taping of the shows on a monthly basis.

He said he has found bowlers to be passionate about their sport, and has come to realize than many bowlers throughout the region remember the original "Beat The Champ" show hosted by Chuck Healy and then Van Miller on Channel 4 in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

"The show has a cool place in people's memories," said Peck, who left Channel 4 about four and a half years ago and now is a financial professional for AXA Advisors in Buffalo and sports personality for the University of Buffalo.

Peck said he was apprehensive at first about joining the show -- since he has a limited knowledge of bowling -- but noted that he has received much encouragement from longtime bowlers, including his co-host Sue Nawojski, of Buffalo, one of the finest women bowlers in New York State.

"Things have gone very well thus far, and my friend and mentor, Van Miller, would be proud to know that we have kept this tradition alive," he added.

John DiSciullo, WBBZ-TV promotion and production coordinator, said the show is getting very favorable ratings and, just as importantly, has "created an awareness of bowling that we haven't seen locally in a long time." He indicated that the show has been renewed for another season.

Mancuso Bowling Center proprietor Rick Mancuso said he opted in as a way to bring "something that is good for the bowling community .... and I think that has been accomplished."

He also said he was pleased that two Batavia bowlers qualified for the TV show -- Rich Wagner and Fred Gravanda.

"Both of them are great guys, at two different spectrums of their careers, Rich being a younger guy (33) and Fred (at 66), the old war horse," he said, acknowledging both their accomplishments over the years.

He said he is contemplating staying with the show for another year, but would like to see it expand.

"We would love to see the show move a bit more east and northeast of Batavia so we can attract a larger market," he said, referring to the Rochester area. "That would definitely affect us in a greater way."

"Beat The Champ" officials said they are looking into the possibility of going into other areas of the state.

Photo at top -- The on-air trio of Janelle Sabin, left, scorekeeper; and commentators Sue Nawojski and Paul Peck spent the day at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia on Wednesday for the taping of four "Beat The Champ" bowling shows, which will be broadcast on WBBZ-TV (MeTV) during the month of December. Click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page for more photos by Mike Pettinella, bowling columnist and reporter for The Batavian, the region's No. 1 source for online news.

November 30, 2016 - 7:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Alabama.

At least three cars are reportedly involved in an accident in the area of 1130 Lewiston Road, Alabama. 

There maybe injuries. 

There maybe a drunken driver involved. A vehicle may have left the scene.

Traffic lanes may be blocked. 

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE: There may be only two vehicles. One hit a tree and a passenger was left behind.

UPDATE 7:33 p.m.: Passenger is a sign off.

November 30, 2016 - 6:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A two-car accident with possible minor injuries is reported at Veterans Memorial Drive and Lewiston Road, Batavia. 

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched. 

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