Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

news

May 23, 2016 - 5:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, news, beauty pageants, Milestones.

(Submitted photos.)

Alexander High School graduate Fleur Remington (Class of 2013) was crowned Miss New York State in Syracuse on Sunday after winning the Sunburst Beauty Pageant there on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Genesee County native grew up in the Bethany hamlet of Linden and will be attending her second semester at SUNY Brockport this fall, where she will continue her studies as a Biology major, with a minor in Forensic Science.

As pageants go, she's pretty new to the scene. She competed with young women who've been participating in them since kindergarten. Remington's first beauty competition was at age 18 when she was a freshman at Genesee Community College. It was the Miss New York USA Pageant. She won a local title for Sunburst in Watertown in 2014 then tied for fourth place at the Sunburst Miss New York State last year.

Those experiences allowed her to gain some useful experience and knowlege.

In Saturday's pageant, she also won Photogenic categories A and B, Swimwear, Top Model Look and Model Search, and was second runner-up in Casual Wear. 

"I cried, to be honest," she said of being named Miss New York State. "It was so surreal for me. I worked so hard and I was competing with girls who've been doing this since age 5. It doesn't feel real yet."

Now that she's won a state crown, she will compete in July for the Florida-based Sunburst Pageant's International crown, which is sort of a misnomer: "It's called the International Pageant, but only girls from the U.S. compete."

When proof of talent is called for, she has the gift of song.

"I can sing," she said. "I've been singing since I took chorus in fourth grade. I was the only soprano to make all-county chorus every year from sixth through 12th grade."

In fact, Remington will perform at a USO show in Rochester on the 4th of July. She hasn't decided what song she'll perform yet.

Her minute in that bit of limelight comes at the behest of beauty pageant maven Mary Therese Friel, a native (born in 1960) and current resident of Pittsford who won the titles Miss New York USA and Miss USA. She later modeled and opened her own agency and now trains pageant participants.

Friel is credited with teaching her about the world of pageants. And Remington's experiences to date have helped her to become, as she puts it, "a professional young woman."

"I represent myself, my hometown, my family, and Genesee County," Remington said. "I want everyone to see me, and them, as part of a great community."

Besides making lasting friendships with her peers, she has gained self confidence by taking part in pageants. She tries her best, she said, and knows that with persistance and work she can achieve her goals.

And when she's ready to start a career, she has known since age 10 what she wants to do -- work in a crime lab. The gross things that those scientists get to study and investigate absolutely fascinate Miss Fleur Remington.

May 23, 2016 - 4:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Airport, news.

A plane that made an emergency landing on East Saile Drive on Thursday afternoon was in a mishap on the runway of the Genesee County Airport moments before and caused possibly as much as $20,000 damage, according to County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.

Hens does not yet have actual estimates to fix the damage yet, but he's figuring it will be at least $15,000 and possibly as much as $20,000.

The county will seek reimbursement from the pilot's insurance carrier, Hens said.

The name of the pilot is not yet available, but Hens said he is apparently inexperienced and was performing touch-and-go practice at the airport when his plane veered off the runway for some reason.

The plane struck a light, a guidance sign, more lights and another guidance sign. There were very visible wheel marks in the grass along the south side of the runway, to the pilot's left, The marks go for at least 500 feet after the last sign was struck and then the pilot took off again, but he was losing fuel fast from a puncture in one of his tanks.

"It's pure speculation on my part as to why he took off again," Hens said. "It's almost like a hit-and-run or maybe he panicked and pulled up on the throttle, but when you're driving a car and hit something, you don't usually speed up."

The FAA is investigating the accident.

Losing fuel as fast as he was, he was unable to maintain altitude and was forced to find a place to land quickly.

"How he managed to not hit any power lines or the fence and still land on Saile Drive is beyond me," Hens said.

May 23, 2016 - 12:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal rescue, lost pets, Oakfield, news.

Submitted photo of little lost Akira. 

This is a photo of "Akira," a small Japanese breed of hunting dog called shibu inu. She disappearred from her home on Albion Road in Oakfield on Saturday. The family and especially the grandchildren are heartbroken.

Due to skin allergies, she was not wearing a collar at the time she disappeared.

Her loved ones say she resembles a fox in size and appearance. Sometimes the shibu inu is translated as "little brushwood dog." Adult females typically weigh about 18 pounds. It is an agile, independent breed. The Japanese breed standard says it exhibits: "A spirited boldness, a good nature, and an unaffected forthrightness, which together yield dignity and natural beauty."

In the photo above, Akira is waiting patiently for her master to get in the car and take her on an adventure -- traveling anyplace in the car is an adventure. Here she's thinking "C'mon, what's the hold up? I can't believe you can't find your sunglasses. You just had them on your head two minutes ago. ARGH! People!"

Anyone with information is asked to call Matt at (585) 704-9400.

May 23, 2016 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, schools, education, news.

dsc_0728.jpg

Sebastian Maroundit, a Sudanese Lost Boy who came to the United States as a refugee, spoke with students at Le Roy High School this morning.  

He is the cofounder of Building Minds in South Sudan along with his cousin Mathon Noi.

This was the school's final PRIDE assembly of the year.

Born in the rural Village of Mayen-Abun in Twic County, South Sudan, cousins Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi were less than 10 years old when war came to their village and separated them from their families. They escaped to Ethiopia only to experience war again within four years. In 1991, they escaped from Ethiopia and spent a year walking across the hot desert to a refugee camp in Kenya. In this camp, both were educated through the eighth grade. In 2001, Sebastian and Mathon were selected as two of the 3,800 who would resettle in the United States. Mathon recently graduated from Niagara University majoring in Accounting, while Sebastian is pursuing his Business Degree.  

In the summer of 2007, they both returned to their village. Though Sebastian lost his father during the war and Mathon lost his mother, they were reunited with their surviving parents after 18 years apart. They were dismayed to find their village in poor condition, with no roads or clean water. The children of the village were being taught under a large tree, because the school had been destroyed.

Since that visit, they have been passionately committed to helping rebuild hope in their village by building a school to provide a basic education for the children. Their efforts have raised thousands of dollars through BMISS and built a new school that now serves more than 800 children. They have begun to build a second, eight-room all-girls school in Majok Keen, four miles from the Ajong Primary School. Three hundred girls are already signed up and it is projected that it will also house 800 girls.

The school's Rotary Interact Student Club organized the event and also made a donation to the BMISS at the end of the event. The Interact students will sell paper bricks the rest of the week in lunches to students or staff for $1 to raise more money to give to the organization. The sold bricks will be hung as a visual reminder about the support.

Photos and info submitted by Principal Tim McArdle.

dsc_0734.jpg

dsc_0738.jpg

dsc_0733.jpg

May 23, 2016 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's School, batavia, schools, education, animals, pets, news.

stjoesimg_1793.jpg

Students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades of the Saint Joseph School in Batavia, all members of the National Junior Honor Society, collected useful items and monetary contributions for the PAWS Animal Shelter in Albion over the course of two weeks. All SJS students and their families donated pet items, pet food, cleaning supplies, and money to the fundraiser. Friday, the NJHS members delivered more than 300 items and $150 to PAWS.

Info and photo submitted by Alicia Palmer.

May 23, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, batavia, music, entertainment, arts, news.

choralemovies2016.png

Press release:

As we watch our favorite films, it is often the music that brings to life what we see on the screen. A soundtrack can tug at your heartstrings, incite a fit of giggles, bring tears to your eyes, or put you on the edge of your seat. Ric Jones, musical director of the Genesee Chorale, has created a performance that takes those moments off the screen and brings them to a live audience.

The Genesee Chorale invites the community to "Meet Me at the Movies"! This performance will feature a multimedia presentation of movie clips followed by a live performance of featured songs by individual singers, small ensembles, and the entire 60-member Genesee Chorale.

Song selections will come from some of your favorite movies, including "Grease," "The Bodyguard," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," and many more. This performance will also feature the Genesee Children’s Chorus, directed by founder Heather Lovelace. The Children’s Chorus will be performing songs from "The Sound of Music" and Disney Pixar’s "Brave."

“The last time the Chorale performed 'Meet Me at the Movies!' the event sold out,” Jones said. “The community’s response was overwhelming and we have so much great music to choose from in films, we couldn’t resist doing a second performance!”

This exciting event will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, at Northgate Free Methodist Church, North Campus. It is located at 8160 Bank Street Road in Batavia.

Refreshments will be available for purchase by concertgoers at the concession stand. Presale tickets cost $8 and can be purchased from any Chorale member or online at www.geneseechorale.com. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10.

May 23, 2016 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in IAFF Local 896, batavia, MDA, City Fire, news.

898fillboot2016.jpeg

Members of the Batavia City Firefighters from IAFF Local 896 will fan out across the streets with boots in hand for this year’s drive on Friday, June 3rd.

Batavia’s Fill the Boot drive is organized by firefighter Chris Morasco. 

“In 2015, our members with the generous help of the community were able to raise $7,523 for the MDA! We are going to try our best to top the $10,000 mark for this great cause," Morasco said.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Main Street and Court Street and at Ellicott Street and Court Street.

Pictured with city firefighters are Patti Arroyo and her daughter Zoey.

They are a local family that has been touched by the MDA directly. They met with firefighters to explain how the MDA has helped them. 

"It was a great opportunity to put a face to the cause and see that our efforts are truly making a difference and changing lives," Morasco said.

May 22, 2016 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Habitat for Humanity, batavia, news.

pearlstreethabitatmay212016-2.jpg

It was a long journey for James and Jessica Maskell and their two young children, Bailey and Sophie, to finally get to the day where they could move into their new home on Pearl Street.

The journey started long before the Maskells even knew they would get a home through Habitat for Humanity, when City Manager Jason Molino guided Habitat's Jessica Maguire-Tomidy and P.J. Riner through the house and Riner argued against Habitat taking on the project. 

The house was such a mess, but according to Riner's account, Molino pressed the issue and Maguire-Tomidy agreed they should give it a try.

"The city is instrumental in its vision in developing these homes and these neighborhoods," Riner said. "Jason has brought that vision to fruition here in this home. He walked us through and I said, 'no.' I think it was the first time I ever said no to a house. This house looked terrible, but after we got started on this house, we found there was much here to be saved."

He said the house has a great floor plan, had a solid structure and turned out to be worth saving.

"I actually like doing these rehabs more than the new builds," he said. "These houses have more character and more space."

The long journey included hundreds of hours of volunteer labor from people throughout the community and students from RIT and thousands of dollars in donated material from area businesses.

"We after week, they show up when it's raining, it's snowing, it's cold, it's hot and they do the hard and very important work of building the actual house," Maguire-Tomidy said.

James Maskell said he and his wife were so grateful to all the volunteers and the donors that made their new home possible.  

"We really didn't expect this to happen," Maskell said. "When we first signed up, we thought, why not give it a chance, and now, here we are."

Like all new Habitat homeowners, James and Jessica also pitched in on the rehab effort as their down payment on their mortgage.

"When we hand over a project like this that's complete, we feel like we've made a difference not only the in lives of the family but in the community we live in, Maguire-Tomidy said.

pearlstreethabitatmay212016.jpg

May 22, 2016 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Somebody vandalized and stole items from a growing community memorial at 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, the site of Friday's fire that claimed the lives of 2-year-old twins Michael J. Gard and Micah G. Gard.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating the crime and are asking for the public's assistance in identifying the perpetrator.

Stolen were a decorative fire extinguisher, a teddy bear and a white cross, approximately two feet high.

The cross and teddy bear were placed there Saturday by Richard Frazier, who said the cross had been a temporary marker on his grandmother's grave and the teddy bear had belonged to his grandmother.

Other memorial items were located strewn along the shoulder of State Street Road, indicating the person or persons responsible for the theft departed on foot south, toward the City of Batavia.

There was a memorial service at the site last night and the theft was discovered this morning.

Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: The Sheriff's Office released the following statement:

The family reports that the cross and teddy bear have been returned to the memorial. They were taken by another family member to add some additional decoration and were not, in fact, stolen. The affected family is satisfied with these circumstances and consider the matter resolved, and is grateful for the assistance of the public in this matter.

Previously:

May 22, 2016 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, thruway, news.

A brush fire reported along the Thruway in the area of mile marker 390, on the eastbound side.

Dispatchers say they've received numerous calls with size estimates ranging from two feet by two feet up to 20 feet wide.

East Pembroke fire is responding.

UPDATE 10:17 a.m.: A retired trooper who lives in the area has told dispatchers that the only thing he is seeing is a large tractor kicking up dust.

UPDATE 10:20 a.m.: A chief on scene says there was a small fire, but it's out. Somebody put it out with a fire extinguisher.

May 21, 2016 - 10:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama, news.

alabamaarraignmentmay212016b.jpg

The man and woman accused of attempted robbery at the Smoke Rings Smokeshop early Friday morning were arrested today in Johnstown based on a tipster who saw a picture of the male suspect online.

They were arraigned in Alabama Town Court this evening, each on one count of attempted robbery in the second degree, and both were ordered held without bail pending court appearances at 2 p.m., Thursday, June 2.

Charged were Jeremy J. Reynolds, 34, of Johnstown, and Mitsydawn Souza, 26, of St. Johnsville.

Sitting in court awaiting their arraignment before Justice John Tauscher, Reynolds and Souza discussed the case and Souza made several statements about her own personal situation.

They spoke openly, even after Tauscher advised them that everything they said in the courtroom was being digitally recorded by an audio recorder and a video recorder and that their statements could be used as evidence against them.

Souza cried during the entire conversation and made declarations to a deputy about how she couldn't read the court documents, that she had learning disabilities and mental and physical health problems. Reynolds read portions of the documents to her.

She cried several times that she had never been arrested before, that she had never been in any kind of trouble.

"I've never even stolen a candy bar before," she said. "Now I'm in so much trouble."

When Reynolds read the part of the charge that said they demanded nothing, she said, "I didn't demand anything," and he said, "I didn't demand anything either."

She said, "you told me you just wanted to scare a friend," and he said he didn't tell her that, but that he intended to get shot.

When he was arraigned, he interrupted Tauscher several times, trying Tauscher's patience. Once he said he needed a court-appointed attorney, Tauscher said the arraignment was over, and Reynolds said he wanted to proceed with the arraignment. Tauscher said once he asked for an attorney, the arraignment was over.

Reynolds wanted to know if he could get bail, but Tauscher said that because Reynolds allegedly has two prior felony convictions, he couldn't grant bail in any amount even if the D.A. wasn't requesting Reynolds be held without bail.

Reynolds walked into court carrying his crutches and with his left leg in a cast. He was apparently injured in the scuffle at the smoke shop.

Both Reynolds and Souza were provided with witness statements of the two smoke shop employees who were working when they reportedly entered the store.

As Reynold's read the statement, he told Souza that one statement didn't say the same thing as a statement he claimed to have read earlier. He said he had seen another statement and the person making the statement, "said I had blond hair and blue eyes."

He asked Tauscher if he could get a copy of that statement and Tauscher told him that was an issue to take up with his attorney.

The two store employees, one a Batavia resident and the other an Alabama resident, provided deputies with mostly similar statements about the events that started at 2:42 a.m., Friday.

Two people, both wearing camouflage entered the store, with the man carrying a rifle that may have looked like an M-16, and the woman carrying a pistol. They pointed the guns at one clerk (the other was in a back room) and yelled, "freeze mother (bleep)" (the same term of endearment Reynolds directed at a photographer this evening outside the courthouse).

The couple pushed the first clerk into a back room and tied his hands with zip ties. Then the second clerk came up behind the male suspect and grabbed him and a fight ensued. The red wig he was wearing fell off and the gun he was carrying dropped to the ground, at which point both clerks realized the gun was a fake.

The woman ran from the store, and the clerk with his hands tied, tried to chase her, and during the chase managed to free himself.

The woman got away and he returned to find the male suspect hitting the other clerk in the head with the butt end of the fake M-16. He put the suspect in a choke hold, then when he was indicating he couldn't breathe, the other clerk told him to let him go.

They wrestled him into a chair.

He jumped up and ran into a window. One account says the window broke, the other says he bounced off it. After getting him back in the chair, the suspect again bolted for the window. This time, he made it partially out the window and the two men held him dangling by his legs. The suspect, they said, produced a knife and tried to cut them, so they let him go.

One of the clerks tried to chase the suspect, but he ran into the woods and got away.

When Reynolds and Sousa were discussing the statements, Sousa said investigators had shown her a video of the alleged attempted robbery, but Reynolds said he hadn't seen the video.

"It shows that I did it," she said.

May 21, 2016 - 4:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news, State Street Road.

An autopsy conducted this morning on the twin 2-year-olds who died last night in a fire at 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, indicate the boys died of smoke inhalation.

The Sheriff's Office also announced investigators believe the children were home alone at the time.

Last night witnesses, including the landlord, said the mother is believed to have left the house to go to the store for milk.

The boys are identified as Michael J. Gard and Micah G. Gard. The name of the mother has not been released.

The fire was reported at 9:59 p.m. when a resident of the upstairs apartment returned home and saw smoke and flames coming from the rear of the structure.

The boys were in a first-floor bedroom at the back of the house.

The Sheriff's Office said deputies were the first on scene but were unable to enter the structure because of heat and flames.

Firefighters arrived soon afternoon, knocked back the fire quickly, and located the boys, who were already deceased. 

The cause of the fire has not been determined and the investigation is ongoing.

The investigation is being conducted by the Office of Emergency Management, Town of Batavia Fire Department and the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office reports that more information will be released as it becomes available.

Previously:

May 21, 2016 - 3:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve, hawley, farmworkers rights, agriculture, business, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined Assemblyman Bill Nojay (R,C) and a coalition of lawmakers speaking out against the governor’s decision to not fight a lawsuit relating to the unionization of farmers. The governor’s decision to not defend the complaint, filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union in the State Supreme Court, effectively endorses unionization of farmworkers in New York State, a policy that those in the agriculture community say is not wanted or necessary. In fact, due to the individual climate and environmental concerns of each state affecting their growing season, the federal government specifically excluded farmworkers from the National Labor Relations Act in 1935.

“As the former owner of our family-owned farm, former Genesee County Farm Bureau President and having served on the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee since I was elected in 2006, I can attest to the daily struggles of our farm community. The governor’s decision to support unionized farm labor, coupled with a $15 an hour minimum wage, will be absolutely devastating to Western New York’s agriculture industry,” Hawley said.

“For decades our communities have been crushed by the state’s economic policies and the unionization of farmers will only push our family farms closer to the brink,” said Nojay. “Throughout his tenure Gov. Cuomo has demonstrated a total lack of respect for Upstate’s economy by repeatedly pushing policies, from GMO labeling to the $15 minimum wage, that have had a disastrous effect on our family farms and agricultural communities. The efforts by these wealthy labor unions will not only kill businesses and family farms but continue the exodus of Upstate families to less economically oppressed regions of the country. Agriculture is the foundation of our state’s entire economy and we must give our farming families and communities the attention and support they deserve.”

“Here in Western New York, farmers work extremely hard to develop positive and long-lasting relationships with their farm hands and seasonal workers. Unionization would only add another level of bureaucracy to a system that is not broken, and further complicate the ability of our state’s small family farms to succeed,” said Assemblywoman and Minority Leader Pro Tempore Jane Corwin (R,I,C-Clarence).

Assemblyman Marc Butler (R,C-Newport) said, “Leave it to New York City politicians to get it all wrong about agriculture and family farmers. Gov. Cuomo and others like him have done much to vilify the family farmer. Not only have he and the Assembly Majority increased the minimum wage and operating costs for these important rural job providers, now the governor is joining special interest groups that are trying to force family farms into unionized shops. I will work diligently to block any efforts from the governor or anyone else who tries to impose a New York City progressive agenda on our upstate family farmers.”

Assemblyman and Chairman of the Assembly Minority Conference Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge), a former dairy farmer, said, “To say that this would be devastating to our farming industry would be an understatement. Over the years it has become very clear that advocates of unionizing farm workers, who predominantly have downstate interests, neither understand the relationship farmers have with their employees nor the negative repercussions this would have on our small family farmers. I have visited and spoke to many farm employees across the state – from Buffalo to the North Country, to the Southern Tier and Long Island.

"In those travels and to date, not one employee or farmer I have spoken to has expressed the need or desire for what is offered by unionizing their employees. With already tremendous expenses - including grain, feed, seed, equipment, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, property taxes, energy expenses, and transportation – compounded with the recent minimum wage increase, how are family farmers expected to survive?

"Unionized farm employees may make sense for states like California that have a year-round growing season, but not in New York. Let’s call it what it is: a money grab by organized labor and their political counterparts in state government to gain an extra 35,000-40,000 new members paying union dues. The government should not be telling family farmers how to operate, especially when its policies will lead to closures of those farms. When there are no farms left, what will be the cost of food and where will it come from?”

“Gov. Cuomo’s next chapter in his war on upstate seems to be financially crippling our family-owned farms. Farmers have just recently begun learning how to absorb a $12.50 minimum wage hike upstate and a cut to agriculture local assistance that New York City politicians slammed down their throats, and now they want to force union mandates on them,” said Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Troy).

May 21, 2016 - 3:25pm

Press release:

Oakfield resident and Childhood Cancer Hero, Brady Williams and his family, have been selected as Lemonade Days Hero Reps!

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation selected 36 families across the country as ambassadors for their national fundraiser in June. Each family symbolically represents the 36 children diagnosed with cancer daily in the United States. 

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer, has selected 36 families across the country to take a “stand” against childhood cancer as Lemonade Day Hero Reps during Alex’s Lemonade Days, June 10-12.

The 36 Lemonade Days Hero Reps symbolically represent the 36 children diagnosed with cancer every day in the United States. Each family has been personally impacted by childhood cancer and will spread awareness about the ongoing childhood cancer fight by sharing their personal journeys.

These 36 families show that childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group; socioeconomic class; or geographic region. As a part of their Lemonade Days Hero Family duties, the families will each hold a lemonade stand during Alex’s Lemonade Days, spread awareness of their initiatives to their communities and enlist community members to host their own stands.

Meet the Williams Family

“Brady is the best brother in the world,” says his brother, Eli.

Brady Williams, diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2009, is one in a set of triplets: Cara and Eli, ages 9. They also have a younger sister, Allison, age 7. The Williams family wants others to know that the impact of childhood cancer does not end when treatment ends. But Brady is optimistic saying, “Someday I will help make the world a better place!”

Alex’s Lemonade Days commemorates 8-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott’s challenge to help her raise $1 million for childhood cancer cures, one cup of lemonade at a time. With help from volunteers across the country, Alex reached her million dollar goal before losing her life to cancer in August 2004.

“Just like the Williams Family, our family knows firsthand just how personal the fight against childhood cancer is,” said Liz Scott, co-executive director of ALSF and Alex’s mom. “Our daughter would be honored to know that these 36 families will continue her legacy by literally taking a stand against childhood cancer and inspiring those in their community to come together toward finding cures.”

Now every year, volunteers are invited to host lemonade stands over the course of these three days in June to continue Alex’s mission and bring renewed attention to the fight against childhood cancer. Since 2004, more than 22,000 Lemonade Days stands have been held nationally, raising over $12 million. This year, the Foundation hopes to reach the 25,000th Lemonade Days stand.

Participants are encouraged to show support through social media utilizing #LemonadeDays on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more.

For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Days and to sign up to host a lemonade stand visit AlexsLemonadeDays.org.

***UPDATE JUNE 2: The Williams’ lemonade stand is from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 10, at Valle Jewelers, 21 Jackson St., Batavia.

May 21, 2016 - 3:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Stafford.

Madalyn Ryan Muntz, 30, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with making a punishable false written statement. The defendant was charged following an investigation in the Town of Stafford at 9:47 a.m. on May 10 wherein she allegedly provided the GC Sheriff's Office with a false statement regarding a larceny she claimed had occurred. She was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Stafford Town Court on June 9. The investigation was conducted by Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker, Deputy Chad Cummings, and Investigator Bradley Mazur.

Terry Michael Roth, 41, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Roth was arrested at 7:26 p.m. on May 18 following a report of shoplifting in progress at a store on Veterans Memorial Drive. Roth was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on May 23. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by a NYS Trooper.

A 17-year-old from Oakfield was arrested following an investigation into a larceny at Walmart which occurred at 7:42 p.m. on May 7. The youth was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on May 23. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

May 21, 2016 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mercy Grove, James Gomborone, Le Roy Rotary, Le Roy, news.

leroyrotarymay212016.jpg

A Friday evening fundraiser organized by the Le Roy Rotary Club was also the opening of a new events center at Mercy Grove, the former priests home on a large estate at 7758 E. Main Road.

Owner James Gomborone has been renovating the facility for months and was finally ready to give it a first public showing for the Rotary event.

Mercy Grove will be a location for upscale weddings, community events, corporate retreats, retirement parties and rehearsal dinners, said manager Barbie Gozelski.

By next year, renovations on the second floor should be completed, and those rooms will be guest rooms and serve as a possible setting for a bed and breakfast.  Cabins on the 53-acre property will serve, when renovated, as bridal suites or guest rooms. 

The facility is just across the road from the Le Roy Country Club, which Gomborone also owns.

"Graze to Raise" was hosted by Le Roy Rotary as a fundraiser for the R.E.A. Milne Scholarship Fund.

leroyrotarymay212016-2.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-3.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-4.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-5.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-6.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-7.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-8.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-9.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-10.jpg

leroyrotarymay212016-11.jpg

May 21, 2016 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

teddybearcrossmay212016.jpg

Richard Frazier places a cross with a bear and flowers next to a tree outside 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, where two little boys died in a fire last night.

Frazier, who has a 4-year-old daughter himself, doesn't know the family but said he was heartbroken by the tragedy.

"As a parent, I could not imagine what it would be like if something like this happened to my child," Frazier said. "It's just insane to think that we just live life every day, taking life for granted and at any point, it can all be done."

Investigators were on scene last night until nearly 4 a.m. and then went home to get some much-needed rest and to be able to return in the daylight. They started arriving again about noon. It will likely be several hours before their work is complete. Until this phase of the investigation is done, we're not likely to hear more about the potential cause of the fire and other circumstances surrounding last night's events.

The names of the children or mother have not yet been officially released.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.: Investigators have less than an hours work to do, but sources on scene say it is unlikely there will be any announcement today about the cause.  There is more work to do away from the scene and that could take a couple of days.  There should be a press release coming out this afternoon from the Sheriff's Office that will contain names.

UPDATE: Press release from the American Red Cross:

Volunteers from the American Red Cross responded to a fire on State Street Road in Batavia early Saturday morning, providing immediate emergency assistance for two adults and two children. Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing as needed, and Disaster Mental Health volunteers are available to help with the emotional aspect of disaster. Those affected will meet with caseworkers in the coming days to work on a longer-term recovery plan.

Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers Suzanne Kowalcyk and James McMoil responded to the scene of this fire. The Red Cross would like to express its sympathies to everyone affected by this tragedy.

May 21, 2016 - 3:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016.jpg

Two young children died in a house fire at 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, late Friday night, at a time when their mother was not home.

It's unclear if any adults were in the apartment at the time of the fire, said Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster, Sheriff's Office, which is leading the investigation into the fire.

The cause has yet to be determined, but it started in the bottom apartment in the back of the residence.

The bodies of the children, both age 2, were found in that same location.

Brewster said he couldn't say for sure if the mother left the children with an adult to supervise them, or if she left them alone while she went to the store.

"I don't know and we're going to get to the bottom of that," Brewster said. "That's why we're going to talk with the mother."

The mother was in no condition to be interviewed tonight, Brewster said.

The fire was reported just before 10 p.m. when the upstairs resident returned home and spotted the fire. He called 9-1-1.

Town of Batavia arrived on scene quickly and fire chiefs were told there was a possibility of people trapped in the residence, so Deputy Chief Dan Coffey said he quickly sounded a second alarm.

The back of the house was fully involved at that point. The first firefighters on scene made entry and located the deceased children.

Asked if the evidence was pointing toward a fire deliberately set or accidental, Brewster said investigators are leaning toward accidental.

"That's why we have fire service here, to investigate that," Brewster said. "Right now, I'm not sure. It doesn't look like anything other than that -- accidental -- that's why they are here and that's what their job is. They will go through and make a thorough investigation."

About 10 minutes after firefighters arrived on the scene, two women ran up to the house and had to be restrained as they tried to enter it. Over the course of the next half hour, more people arrived who seemed to be friends or family members and there were women wailing and yelling. Troopers, deputies and Batavia PD officers did their best to assist them.

The two apartments were occupied by members of the same family, and members of that family also lived in a neighboring house. At one point, neighbors thought three children died in the fire, but that third child was in the neighboring house, according to landlord Joe Burke.

"It's my understanding that the mother went out to get milk for her little kids," Burke said.

Yellow tape was put around the scene at one point during the night and criminal investigators were called in once the fire was out and entry was safe for them.

But both Coffey and Brewster said the appearance of a criminal investigation doesn't necessarily mean a crime is suspected.

"It's a crime scene until proven otherwise," Coffey said, who besides being a volunteer firefighter is a Batavia police officer. "Obviously, we have two fatalities, so we're erring on the side of cause. We're treating it as a crime until proven different, but that's not indicative of any sort of information that we know at this point. It is how we would normally handle a call like this."

The location is the same as a reported hit-and-run accident April 1 in which resident Brian Ace suffered injuries and had to be taken by Mercy Flight to an area hospital. Ace declined to press charges in that case.

Investigators, at this point, don't seem to believe there is any connection between that incident and the fire.

There were no fatal fires in the Town of Batavia Fire District from 2008 until this year. This is the second fatal fire for Town volunteers in less than a month. On April 30, a fire at a residence on Oak Orchard Road claimed the life of Roger Saile, age 90.

"Obviously, it's been a tough stretch for us," Coffey said. "This one, obviously, is going to hurt. Just two weeks ago, three weeks ago, we also had that other one, so we're going ot make sure that we take care of our members, but it's going to be a difficult time for us."

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-2.jpg

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-3.jpg

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-4.jpg

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-5.jpg

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-6.jpg

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-7.jpg

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-8.jpg

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-9.jpg

fatalfirestatestreetmay212016-10.jpg

May 21, 2016 - 2:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Police are looking for a vehicle, possibly a blue Honda, that fled the scene of a reported fight at 7-Eleven on East Main Street as soon as police arrived.

There may also be subjects who might have been involved walking on Elm Street.

The initial report was of five people fighting at the 7-Eleven.

May 20, 2016 - 10:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in fie, batavia, Oakfield, elba, Stafford, news.

A working house fire is reported at 8157 State Street Road. Town of Batavia, Stafford, Elba, Oakfield and Alexander volunteer fire departments are responding to the scene.

UPDATE 10:49 p.m.: Personnel from the NYSP, Batavia PD and GC Sheriff's Office are on scene, too.

UPDATE: Confirmed fatal fire.

UPDATE 12 a.m.: Town Code enforcement and a Water Department rep called to the scene.

UPDATE 1:30 a.m (by Howard): I've just returned from the scene. Two children, approximate ages 2 and 3, died in the fire. The mother was reportedly out of the house at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. We'll have a full report in a separate post later.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button