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March 27, 2019 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Oakfield-Alabama School District, music, cabaret.

From Oakfield-Alabama Central School District:

The Oakfield-Alabama Music Department will be presenting a “Cabaret” concert tonight, March 27, as part of the Music In Our Schools Month initiative.

Performing groups will include Middle School Band and Chorus, Sr. High Band and Chorus, Swing Choir, and Jazz Ensemble. Numerous small ensembles and student soloists will be featured as well.

The atmosphere for this event will be energetic yet casual and will be highlighted with music ranging from cinematic to jazz to contemporary hits. The concert starts at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium with reception to follow.

Suggested donation for admission is $5 for adults, $1 for students. Proceeds go to the Music Department Boosters.

The school is located at 7001 Lewiston Road in Oakfield.

March 27, 2019 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, fire, news.

A brush fire 100 feet from a house is reported in Le Roy at 8751 W. Bergen Road. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding. The location is between Quinlan Road and Lake Street Road.

UPDATE 1:27 p.m.: Bergen's brush truck is called to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 1:56 p.m.: Fire is out.

March 27, 2019 - 11:26am
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, news, batavia.

Batavia cops are on the lookout for a loose chicken in the vicinity of 111 Washington Ave. in the city. The caller to dispatch is the owner, who says it made its escape this morning.

UPDATE 1:39 p.m.: "Rooster secured at 127 South Swan," a dispatcher tells a patrol, now en route to that location. The officer says he'll try to speak with the person who captured the fowl.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: No word yet on how the rooster got across busy East Main Street and continued in a southeasterly direction, a trek totaling about a mile -- which Google Maps says is a four-minute drive. Here's a map of the driving route(s); but of course it's most likely the bird hoofed it.

March 26, 2019 - 6:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central Schools, music education, news.
Press release:
The NAMM Foundation has designated Le Roy Central School District as one of the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education in the nation.
This designation by the foundation for the National Association of Music Merchants is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Le Roy is one of 623 districts in the United States receiving the prestigious award in 2019.
Congratulations to the Le Roy music teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community leaders on this distinguished designation!
Le Roy has received this designation 13 out of the last 14 years and continues to thrive in providing music education through many opportunities throughout the district. The program supports 320 students in chorus and 190 students in band throughout our district offering vocal and instrumental performance ensembles for students in grades 4-12 as well as a competitive marching band.
Annually, the program produces a 6th grade musical and a Jr.-Sr. High musical. In the classroom, general music and a variety of Sr. High electives are also offered each year.   
"On behalf of the Board of Education and the entire Le Roy Central School District, we are extremely proud to be recognized again as a 2019 Best Communities for Music Education. This prestigious honor signifies the continued dedication and passion our teachers and students have each day to excel in music education. Congratulations to our administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community for setting high expectations in order to achieve this tremendous accomplishment!" 
Merritt Holly -- Le Roy Superintendent   
"Wolcott Street School is proud to congratulate and celebrate our wonderful students, staff, and parents for earning "lucky number 13" - Best Community for Music Education! Our K-12 program works tirelessly to provide an exceptional learning experience for ALL students. We are privileged for this wonderful distinction for another consecutive year." 
Carol Messura -- Wolcott Street School Principal  
"We are so proud of our music students and staff who year in and year out produce high-level performances on our stages, in the pit, in competition, and on the field across many places throughout the region. Our program is so successful because of the dedicated teachers, families, and our community who continue to offer so many opportunities for our students. We thank our students for their commitment and willingness to perform at such a high level. We are a small school that continues to produce big results, and our music program is one of the many special aspects of being an Oatkan Knight!" 
Tim McArdle -- Jr.-Sr. High School Principal  
"We are honored to receive this wonderful designation for a 13th year, which casts a national spotlight on what all of us in the Le Roy community already knew; that the parents, teachers, school administrators, board of education, and members of this community work together tirelessly to provide a multitude of first rate musical outlets, educational opportunities, and experiences for the growth and benefit of our students. Thank you NAMM Foundation for this recognition!" 
Matt Nordhausen -- Le Roy Music Department Chair  
For more information, click here.
March 26, 2019 - 6:03pm

From the city's Bureau of Maintenance:

The Law Street Yard Waste Station will open for the season on Monday, April 1st, for City residents.

The station will be open from noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday until November when open hours change to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The station will also be closed on May 27th -- Memorial Day, July 4th -- Independence Day, Sept. 2nd -- Labor Day, and Nov. 28th -- Thanksgiving. The station will close for the season in early December.

City residents may bring yard waste material (grass, leaves and limbs) to the Law Street Yard Waste Station as there is no spring curbside pickup of these materials.

The following items cannot be accepted at the station: tree stumps, building materials, rock, fill (soil and stone) other debris.

Yard waste shall be free of trash (paper, plastic, bottles, cans...etc.), as this material cannot be processed.

Use Law Street entrance to enter and exit the City Yard Waste Station only.

March 26, 2019 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, schools, education, news.


Members of the Pembroke Dragon's volleyball team traveled yesterday to Buffalo to serve homemade desserts to the women and children seeking temporary shelter at the Buffalo City Mission.

They were inspired by Social Studies teacher Greg Kinal, who often volunteers at the mission and is sometimes joined by students.

The volleyball team was looking for a volunteer project so asked Kinal if they could serve at the mission. They made the desserts.

Coach Morgan Wagner said she was proud of her team.

"The athletes in our program are always thinking of others," Wagner said. "They are the kindest and most generous young ladies and teammates. I am very fortunate to work with these quality character student-athletes

"Their parents even got involved by assisting in the baking of the goodies we delivered. We are truly blessed here at Pembroke to be apart of a community that so selflessly loves and serves others."

The mission is always in need of donations so if anybody in the community wishes to pitch in and help, contact Kinal at the high school.

Photos courtesy Pembroke High School.



March 26, 2019 - 2:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in CTE Culinary Club, batavia, news, Pop-Up Dinner.

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center’s Culinary Club will host a Pop-Up Dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 8. It is open to the public.

This three-course dinner will be held in the Culinary Arts Dining Room at the Batavia CTE Center, located at 8250 State Street Road.

Tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased at the Batavia CTE Center.

Chef Tracy Burgio is the Culinary Arts instructor at the Batavia CTE Center. She noted how events like these give student real-world experiences as the event is student driven.

“The students have researched menu possibilities in order to plan the menu," Burgio said. "They will prepare and cook all the entrees and also serve our customers. Everyone works together as a team to create a memorable, pleasant experience for our patrons."

Any questions may be directed to Chef Burgio at (585) 344-7795 or [email protected].

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

It is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services providing shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

March 26, 2019 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Byron-Bergen FFA, agriculture, news.

Press release:

On Saturday, March 16, the Western Regional Sub State Leadership Development Event came to Byron-Bergen High School. Despite the Byron-Bergen chapter of the Future Farmers of America only being in its second year, they hosted chapters from all over Western New York State at the prestigious event.

“The visiting students were winners from their District events coming to compete at the next level,” says Byron-Bergen Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Jeff Parnapy. “They came from the Finger Lakes to Lake Erie to the Pennsylvania border. It was a wonderful networking experience for our local FFA members and an honor to be selected as the host District.”

Byron-Bergen FFA members volunteered throughout the day running the event and acting as ambassadors for the local community.

Visiting students completed in Prepared Public Speaking, Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Employment Skills, Agricultural Issues Forum, and more.

Judges included experts in their field from throughout Genesee County, as well as Byron-Bergen Superintendent Mickey Edwards, who judged the Employment Skills competition.

March 26, 2019 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, FEMA, Community Rating System, flood insurance.

Press release:

The City of Batavia has received notification from FEMA’s NFIP/CRS program that it has met the recertification requirements for its continued participation in the Community Rating System (CRS). According to Fire Chief and CRS coordinator Stefano Napolitano, the City will maintain its current Level 7 rating.

This rating will enable those residents and business owners in the City's Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) to continue to receive 15-percent discounts on their flood insurance premiums, while those outside the SFHA will receive an additional 5-percent discount on top of already reduced rates.

In addition to the financial benefit, the CRS aids in improving community flood mitigation efforts.

These include: better informed citizens; enhanced public safety, reducing potential damage to property and public infrastructure; avoidance of economic disruption; and protection of the environment. In addition, implementing some CRS activities, such as floodplain management planning can assist a community qualify for certain Federal assistance programs.

This recertification maintains the groundwork previously laid out by City management and continues to be an integral part of the City’s comprehensive strategy to improve neighborhoods and the value of City properties.

Chief Napolitano acknowledged that there was a tremendous amount of work to recertify and maintain the Level 7 rating and he wanted to acknowledge the efforts of all members of the CRS recertification team, which included himself along with, Fire Department Capt. Bob Fix, Floodplain Manager Ron Panek, Inspection Bureau secretary Meg Chilano and confidential secretary Lisa Casey. Napolitano also wanted to acknowledge Erin Pence from the Genesee County Planning Department, who assisted the recertification process with mapping services.

Eugene Jankowski Jr., Council president, said, “I would like to acknowledge a job well done to Fire Chief Napolitano and his team. The CRS recertification is a critical component to manage the high cost of flood insurance for our residents in the flood zone."

Lastly, Napolitano points out that the annual CRS recertification process is an ongoing and continual one. Throughout the year, there will be activities which are vital to maintaining the City's current level, but also involve researching the readiness and ability to move beyond a Level 7.

March 26, 2019 - 2:02pm

Press release:

Earth Day is your chance to give back to your community and take care of the Earth! Join us at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia for the 19th annual Earth Day Celebration and help with park cleanup from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 20.

Let's celebrate Earth Day early (it's actually Monday, April 22) and help keep the park beautiful and the habitat safe and healthy for wildlife.

Leanr to make cool things from recycled materials and enjoy a naturalist-guided hike to discover the natural wonders in the park.

Enjot wild ganes, free fun and more.

Service groups, students, 4-H'ers and Scouts can earn community service hours and meet badge requirements.

Don't miss a special presentation by theBuffalo Zoomobile from 2 to 3 p.m., weather permitting!

Special thanks to the Genesee Finger Lakes Cahpter of the Air & Waste Management Association for their generous support of this Earth Day celebration.

Meet at Pavilion 2 for all activities. DeWitt Recreation Area is located at 115 Cedar St. in the City of Batavia.

This event and all activities are free and open to all. Please preregister for activities by calling (585) 344-1122.

Here's the day's schedule of activities:

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Park Cleanup Projects
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Recycled Crafts
  • 12 to 1 p.m. -- Wild Planet Games
  • 1 to 2 p.m. -- Wild Planet Guided Hike
  • 2 to 3 p.m. (weather permitting) -- Special Guest: World Safari by the Buffalo Zoomobile -- Meet fascinating animals from all different places on planet Earth!
March 26, 2019 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, byron.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries and entrapment is reported at Route 237 and Cockram Road, Byron.

Traffic is blocked.

Dispatchers are checking the availability of Mercy Flight.

Byron and South Byron fire departments dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 12:16 p.m.: Chief on scene, "negative on entrapment." Minor facial lacerations. No need for Mercy Flight.

March 26, 2019 - 11:15am


A change in federal tax law in 2017 could help attract Downstate investors to Upstate communities such as Batavia and the Batavia Development Corporation is planning on pursuing those dollars for economic development in wards three and six.

The new tax law allows investors who have realized profits from prior investments, known as capital gains, to defer and reduce capital gains taxes on those profits if they invest those gains in economically distressed neighborhoods.

Wards three and six -- which contain the City Centre mall and the Harvester Center, among other distressed properties -- were previously designated Opportunity Zones by the City of Batavia and would be eligible to attract investment under the terms of the revised Federal Tax Code.

Rachael Tabelski, BDC director, asked the City Council on Monday night to approve at its next business meeting a resolution that would allow the BDC to invest $20,000 in setting up a Batavia Opportunity Zone investment vehicle.  

"These wards are distressed and would benefit from both large and small investment projects," Tabelski said.

The goal is to attract $5 million in investment funds. Tabelski said there are already potential investors Downstate who have expressed an interest in such investments.

Urban Vantage LLC, a Buffalo-based urban planning firm, would assist, including financially, in setting up the investment package.

The $20,000 would come from BDC's revolving loan fund, which has a current balance of $319,000.

At its next business meeting, the City Council will also be asked to approve a resolution that would allow the revolving loan fund, first established with Federal grants in 1997, to start assisting small businesses in Batavia with cash grants (in addition to continuing revolving grants).

Tabelski told the council that the purpose of the fund is to get money into the hands of local businesses to help spur economic development and the fund isn't accomplishing that goal if the money isn't being put to use.

The $20,000 initial investment would be used for legal preparation of the investment vehicle, listing and marketing the project, along with filing and accounting fees.

"We're setting this up so we are on the map as a proactive community taking advantage of a new federal tax law that is allowing investment into low-income census tracks and to show investors and developers that we're serious about moving our sites forward and creating our own fund as a city," Tabelski said.

There's much about how the new investments will work that hasn't yet been determined by the Treasury Department. The final guidelines should be released in a few weeks.

In general, the idea is if an investor has capital gains, the investor can move those funds to an opportunity zone investment fund and defer any capital gains tax until 2026. After five years, the basis of their taxable gains would be reduced by 10 percent. For example, if an investor had $100,000 in capital gains and invested those gains in an opportunity zone, the investor would owe taxes only $90,000 of those gains. After 10 years, the basis would be reduced another 5 percent.

Also, after 10 years, the investor would not owe any taxes on any additional gains on their opportunity zone investments. In other words, if that investor put $100,000 into an opportunity zone and at the end of 10 years, exited the investment and got back $150,000, there would be no capital gains tax on that additional $50,000 realized from the investment.

"It's really designed to attract investment in projects that have a high likelihood of appreciation," said Richard Rogers, a principal in Urban Vantage.

Tabelski first met Rogers and his partner Travis Gordon during the Downtown Revitalization Initiative process, when they represented Ken Mistler on the Carrs Reborn project. They worked together on developing a plan to create the opportunity zones under the tax code revisions.

Tabelski and Gordon both said Batavia could be attractive to investors not just because of a break on capital gains tax but also because of other credits available, such as historic building tax credits, new market tax credits, and the availability of PILOTs (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) on building improvements.

"This is a marketable location for people from places like Downstate to put the money into to actually get a good return on their investment as well," Gordon said.

The BDC-initiated fund will focus on real estate investment but there's no reason private investors can't establish their own funds to support business startups and expansions. So long as the business is based in designated opportunity zones, investors would be eligible, potentially, for the same tax breaks on capital gains.

There are some guidelines yet to come yet, however, that will either expand or limit those opportunities. For example, initially, the tax code would have required at least 50 percent of a business's revenue to come from within the opportunity zone.

That would seriously limit, as Rogers noted, a new firm's ability to scale, which would make a much less attractive investment for venture capital.

Tabelski said there is already an investment fund established in Buffalo that might be interested in projects in Batavia.

Photo: Rachel Tabelski presenting the project to the City Council on Monday, accompanied by Richard Rogers and Travis Gordon.



March 25, 2019 - 5:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in warrants, news, batavia.

The following people are wanted on warrants issued out of Batavia City Court. If you have any information on the whereabouts of these subjects, please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350.

Do not make any attempt to apprehend these individuals on your own.

If you have an active warrant and want to avoid ending up on a WANTED list like this, the Batavia Police Department would be more than happy to assist you on resolving the warrant.

arlenacoxwarrantmug2019.jpg jeanineturnerwarrantmug2019.jpg martinrodgerswarrantmug2019.jpg
Arlena G. Cox, age 58
Charge(s): petit larceny
Jeanine L. Turner (AKA Calice), age 46 (2012 photo)
Charge(s): aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle 2nd degree
Martin J. Rodgers, age 35
Charge(s): sex offender failure to register a change of address


sarasmithwarrantmug2019.jpg terawilliamswarrantmug2019.jpg  
Sara J. Smith, age 33 (photo from 2012)
Charge(s): criminal mischief 4th degree
Tera M. Williams, age 45
Charge(s):  aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle 3rd degree and harassment 2nd degree
March 25, 2019 - 5:32pm

Above, 2019 fundraising participants.

Submitted photos and press release:

On Friday, March 22, the staff of Byron-Bergen Central Schools met Genesee County Sheriff’s Office personnel on the basketball court for their annual fundraiser.

While the Sheriff’s Department ultimately scored the most points, the evening’s true goal was to raise money and awareness of programs that support the local community. The Byron-Bergen Sports Boosters organized the game, which raised $2,165.

The proceeds were divided between two causes. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department received $500 to put toward the care and training of their new K-9 -- Frankie. Frankie joined the force after the passing of K-9 Destro.

“Destro was beloved among the Byron-Bergen students and the school community has proactively embraced Deputy Frankie,” said Genesee County Sheriff Deputy Matt Butler.

Butler participated in the game as part of the Sheriff’s Office team; he is also the Student Resource officer for Byron-Bergen Central Schools.

The remaining $1,665 was donated to the Batavia hospice Crossroads House. Crossroads House is a volunteer-run end-of-life care center providing a homelike setting for terminally ill residents of Genesee and Wyoming counties.

“The Byron-Bergen Sports Boosters put together such a great event to benefit both our home and the Genesee County Sheriff’s K-9 unit,” said Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen.

“We can carry out our mission because we operate in a generous community that appreciates the value of comfort care. Thank you to everyone who organized, participated and attended the Faculty/Sheriff’s Basketball Game.”

During breaks between quarters, fans enjoyed exhibition games between Gillam Grant Youth Basketball League teams, as well as a halftime three-point shootout, and a Sheriff’s Office K-9 demonstration.

Photo credits: Bob Brumsted.

Below: Gillam Grant Youth Basketball exhibition game.

Below: Byron-Bergen Superintendent Mickey Edwards takes a three-point shot during Friday's game.

Below: Halftime three-point shootout.

Below: GC Sheriff's Office demonstration with new K-9 Frankie.

Below: Courtside, fans enjoy the charity basketball game.

March 25, 2019 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia.

Juaquin E. Davis, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt -- physical contact; first degree criminal contempt -- with a previous conviction within five years; and second-degree burglary -- illegal entry to a dwelling. Davis was arrested on March 21 after an alleged domestic incident on Thomas Avenue in Batavia on March 18 against a person with a complete stay away order of protection. Davis was arraigned in Batavia City Court then jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail. He was due back in city court on March 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Henry L. Banks, 49, of Ross Street, Batavia, was arrested at 12:49 a.m. on March 24 on Ellicott Street in Batavia. He was stopped for a traffic violation and it was shown that a bench warrant for his arrest was issued by Batavia City Court. He was processed and arraigned in city court, then jailed in lieu of $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond. He was due back in city court this afternoon (March 25). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Aisha I. Culver, 20, of Thomas Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a Batavia City Court warrant March 17 after she failed to appear in court on a traffic summons. Culver had previously been charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree; operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration; and various other traffics infractions. She was released on her own recognizance. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Jordan R. Rose, 18, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with: criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree -- weight more than two ounces; and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Rose was arrested at 10:45 a.m. on March 22 following a search by the Probation Department of his residence. He was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia. Rose was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $1,500 cash or $2,000 bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

March 25, 2019 - 2:07pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Dick Cousins finally got the one he wanted -- a 300 game at his hometown Legion Lanes in Le Roy.

The 68-year-old right-hander laced them up as a substitute last Tuesday in the Le Roy Moose League and proceeded to roll 185-300-256--741 on lanes 1-2.

A retiree from Le Roy Machine, he has two other perfect games -- both coming about 20 years ago at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia and the former Cal Bowl in Caledonia.

Other high series for the week include:

-- Batavian Rich Wagner's 761 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday league at Mancuso's, where he is averaging a Genesee Region USBC-record 246 with one week remaining;

-- Brockport's Chris Bardol's 756 in the G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen;

-- Medina resident Curtis Foss' 290--743 in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

For a complete list of high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

March 25, 2019 - 2:01pm

Press release and submitted photos:

Byron-Bergen Central School District has named two alumni to its Hall of Fame for 2019. Kenneth Hay (Class of 1966) and Dennis DeVelder (Class of 2001) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Alumni Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people with positive adult role models and showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives.

This honor is in its 16th year and has become part of the school district culture. It is a permanent reminder to students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

The 2019 Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, in the Byron-Bergen High School Auditorium.

The two inductees will spend the day visiting with Byron-Bergen students and will be sharing how their school experience influenced their lives. The inductees will briefly speak to students and receive their Alumni Hall of Fame plaques during the school’s National Senior Honor Society induction ceremony.

Kenneth Hay – Class of 1966

While attending Byron-Bergen, Hay participated in Concert Band, Concert Choir, Yearbook Club, and Wrestling. After graduating high school, Hay received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Fredonia State College, after which he continued with graduate work at Fredonia, Brockport and Geneseo state colleges, and the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

He taught music at East Irondequoit, Alexander and Batavia school districts. He started working as Batavia City High School band director from 1982 until his retirement in 2003, being named Music Department chairman in 1991. Hay was instrumental in Batavia’s concert and marching bands, jazz ensemble, and the musical pit orchestra.

For many years, he organized the Pageant of Bands in Batavia to show the musical talents of high school bands. He directed the pit orchestra for Batavia Rotary Club productions for many years.

Hay served as president of the Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators’ Association and was a member of the New York State School Music Association. Accolades include Paul Harris Fellowship (awarded by the Rotary Club), University of Rochester’s Teaching in Secondary Schools Award (1995), and recognition by Warner School of Education as being a Teacher of Excellence (2003).

Hay shared his musical passion inspiring students to "make music, not just play music," and serves as a positive role model for the youth of Byron-Bergen.

Dennis DeVelder (Class of 2001)

While at Byron-Bergen, DeVelder participated in Baseball and Golf. After graduation, DeVelder worked for his family’s lawn care business until July 2008 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. After recovering from brain surgery, DeVelder began taking classes online at Monroe Community College. He eventually earned his associate degree and went on to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Finance at SUNY Brockport.

DeVelder was inducted into Tau Sigma Honor Society and underwent a second brain surgery prior to graduation in May 2012. Following radiation treatment in the summer of 2012, DeVelder was hired at The Villa of Hope, an organization that provides trauma-informed care for youth and families in Rochester. DeVelder remains employed there as a senior accountant.

He is passionate about raising money for cancer research at Wilmot Cancer Institute, co-chairing “The Coop Cup for Brain Cancer Research” (a golf tournament raising money for brain cancer research and a scholarship at Byron-Bergen in Clint Cooper’s name – another Byron-Bergen alumnus) and participating in the Annual Wilmot Warrior Walk with his family.

Living life to the fullest, DeVelder is an inspiration to the youth of Byron-Bergen.

March 25, 2019 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news, notify.


Nearly 500 people turned out at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon in support of Joe Trigillo, who is battling glioblastoma, a cancer that forms in a person's brain and is very difficult to eradicate.

Trigillo was diagnosed in January and has been through two rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment -- one for 33 days and another of 40 days -- and the fundraiser is intended to help Joe and his wife Kathy with any extra expenses.

Kathy said her husband was overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support.

"It means the world to him," Kathy said. "Every time I bring it up he just starts to tear up and he can't believe the great outpouring of love that he's gotten."

Trigillo and members of the Trigillo's family have worked at Batavia Downs for decades, including both of Trigillo's parents. Trigillo has been a stalwart of the local bowling community his entire adult life and is a regular on the local golf tournament circuit.

"He's always been the social person," Kathy said. "He's the one that goes to the bowling tournaments. He's the one that goes to the golf tournaments. He loves to be with people. He never, ever says no because he loves to go out with other people and do things. He's just always happy to do that and he loves people."

The symptoms of glioblastoma can be non-specific and are different for individuals, depending on where in the brain the cancer starts and how it progresses. At the start of the bowling season, Trigillo didn't have his A-game going and he and Kathy took it as an early-season slump.

"You just think it's a slump but he wasn't getting out of the slump," Kathy said. "Still, we didn't think much of it other than he's in a slump."

The community sees Joe the competitor and may not perceive he has a softer side, Kathy said, but he can get emotional in private; however, when Joe started crying during Hallmark movies, Kathy sensed he was being more emotional than usual. Even so, she didn't suspect a serious issue.

But then one day DirecTV called and when Joe wanted to hand the phone off to his wife, he couldn't remember her name.

That weekend, walking across some pavement, Kathy noticed Joe was shuffling his feet. She started to suspect a mini-stroke. That Monday, Jan. 14, she called a doctor who told her to take Joe to the emergency room at UMMC.

"They immediately ordered an MRI after I told them the symptoms," Kathy said. "I think they must have known more than we did."

The MRI revealed two tumors in the lower left frontal lobe and Joe was taken by ambulance to Buffalo General Medical Center.

Once there, surgery was quickly ruled out for treatment.

"If they did surgery to remove the tumors, it was a high risk to cause the whole right side of his body to be paralyzed and he would not be able to speak," Kathy said.

From Buffalo General, Joe was sent to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is also in Buffalo.

The regime of chemo and radiation was rough, Kathy said. Joe was hospitalized a couple of times during the treatment, with treatment suspended once because of complications.

The typical prognosis for glioblastoma is a survival rate of 12 to 15 months. Kathy is hopeful Joe will get back to doing the things he loves this spring and summer.

They'll know more when they meet with doctors at Roswell again on April 14.

"We're hoping that we're going to fight this and that we're going to play golf this summer and we're going to be at the long end of that prognosis," Kathy said.




March 25, 2019 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.63, up 8 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.61. The New York State average is $2.70 – up 4 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.73. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.64 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.61 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.71 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.68 (up 1 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.69 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.67 (up 1 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.71 (up 3 cents since last week)

Gas prices have increased as demand continues to rise while total domestic stocks decrease. The latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that demand is much higher than last year at this time. As crude prices continue to rise, pump prices will likely follow suit as the country enters the spring and summer driving seasons. Motorists should expect higher gas prices through Memorial Day.

March 24, 2019 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in mammoth sale, St. Joe's, charity, news, batavia.

Get ready for the eye-poppin' big honkin' "Mega Mega Mammoth" sale at St. Joseph School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27.

Billed as Western New York's largest indoor garage sale, it will feature "tons of indoor and outdoor furniture," and "tens of thousands of items." (As someone said "It's like they've been saving up for it since the last Ice Age!")

Whether you're interested in antiques, arts and crafts, collectibles and vintage wares or you want to check out gobs of household goods, baby things, linens galore, kitschy stuff/whatnots and holiday doodads, righteously expect an elephantine selection. 

In a nutshell, a stupefying amount of merchandise will fill two gargantuan showrooms, a ginormous second floor and a billowing, bulging tent. 

To be abundantly clear, it will behoove bargain hunters to go to this behemoth bazaar at the corner of East Main and Summit streets in the City of Batavia next month.

Admission is free to this "quality sale" with low, low prices and basket raffles; hot dogs and hamburgers and will be available for sale, too.

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