Local Matters

Community Sponsors

news

August 31, 2016 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Emergency Dispatch, Steve Sharpe, news.

sharpawardaug2016.jpg

Photo, from left: Undersheriff Bill Sheron, Joseph Grube, Steve Sharpe and Sheriff Gary Maha.

Steve Sharpe, director of communications for the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, was honored yesterday with an industry award that recognizes his dedication to the profession and his job.

The PSAP (Public Safety Access Point) Finest Director of the Year award was selected by industry professionals from a national pool of nominees.

The award was sponsored by emergency communications company NICE and presented by Joseph Grube, director of public safety for Wilmac, another public safety company.

Grube said Sharp was selected based on his habits of lifelong learning, his self-motivation toward excellence, his involvement in several industry associations and groups and his advocacy for the 25 staff members who report to him in ensuring they have the best equipment and training.

“The public safety community is a better place because of people like Steve,” Grube said.

Sharp said the award really reflects what a great team he has around him, from the County Legislature that supports professional emergency communication, to the Sheriff's Office administration, to the dispatchers in the emergency dispatch center, nothing would be possible without their hard work and dedication, he said.

“I think the biggest thing people have got  to understand is it's about the team," Sharpe said. "It’s always going to be about the team. It’s the people you put in the right place. It’s about learning. I’ve had some pretty spectacular failures as a leader, and I’ve had some pretty spectacular failures here in this job, but my failures were mitigated by their strengths. It all comes back to team.”

August 31, 2016 - 1:56pm

willisnewaptaug2016.jpg

Willis Middleton moves into a new apartment in Batavia tomorrow, and the day before yesterday, he signed his lease and picked up his keys.

At first, he didn't think much of it. He went back to his room at the VA Center, in the Cazenovia Recovery Program, and sat down on his bed and started looking for a keychain.

"After I put all the keys on the chain, I just stared at it and I was like, dang these are my keys," Middleton said. "I mean, I’ve had that before, but it just means a whole lot more. I was just staring at those keys and I was like, ‘wow.’ It’s been a long road and I’m very appreciative of the people who helped me. It’s just a great feeling, it really is."

The ladies of the VFW Auxiliary Veness Strollo Post #1602 in Batavia were among those who helped Middleton get to this point, which comes after years of struggling with addiction, in and out of rehab programs, until he was finally brought to one that is making a difference.

One of the key benefits of the program, Middleton said that at the end of it, counselors make sure patients don't go back to the same community and the same life and same associates they were mired in before.

"Let’s be honest, we all do rehab really well," Middleton said. "We all go in and make these promises we’re going to do better, we’re going to do this and we’re going to do that, but then when it’s time to leave, we really didn’t have the resources, so basically we got threw back into that environment that we came from. Excuse my French, but snowballs stand a better chance in hell with that situation. But here, it gives you an opportunity to change everything, even your environment. I think that’s more important than anything, those resources and employment are more important than anything."

Middleton, originally from Cross, S.C., and most recently a resident of Durham, N.C., is getting a fresh start in Batavia.

He thinks that's wonderful.

"By the time this program came, it saved my life," Middleton said. "That’s really all I can say. It saved my life because I was thinking crazy, I was doing irrational things and, well, I ended up in the psych ward at the Durham VA. That was the beginning that put me on this road right here and I’ve been blessed to be on this road for so long, Thank God. I’ve been seeing all of these wonderful things that are happening to me now."

The VFW Auxillary is providing many of the necessities Middleton will need to get a good start in his new apartment. They've purchased for him, as they do many other veterans who have been through Cazenovia, a coffee pot, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, dishpans, a strainer, utensils, kitchen trash can, cleaning products, dish towels, oven mitts and potholders, sheets, blankets, a shower curtain, curtain rings, a wastebasket, toilet brush, plunger, towels, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, shaving products, alcohol-free mouthwash, curtains and furniture.

They ladies buy all that for multiple veterans with funds raised from Buddy Poppy sales, social events and raffles.

Middleton joined the Army when he was 17 and served four years. His problems, he said, started when he got out. He struggled with drugs and homelessness off and on, though he also had times of stability, but hit rock bottom in Durham.

"When I got here at first started learning about myself, it wasn’t a pretty picture at all," Middleton said. "It was kind of ugly, to be honest, but the more I stayed the course, the more it just was so obvious that if I didn’t want to die in my addiction, I knew that I had to change. I just had to get down and dirty and do it.

"This program has meant a lot to me," he added.

Photo: Pictured with Middleton are Jean Dolph, Daphne Cross and Judy Cooper, of the VFW Auxiliary Veness Strollo Post #1602.

August 31, 2016 - 12:32pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in pickleball, sports, YMCA, batavia, steve ognibene's blog, news.

098a3062.1.jpg

(Photos by Steve Ognibene. Story by Phil Coburn.)

Pickleball you say? If you’re wondering what this is, it’s a relatively new sport activity in Batavia! It’s lots of fun, easy to learn, and is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. 

The game is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong, and is played over a net that is 2 inches lower than a tennis net. The court is 20 feet x 44 feet, about half the size of a tennis court. The ball is a perforated plastic ball similar to a whiffle ball, and the paddles are wood or composite material.

The game is adaptable to all ages from youth to seniors, and both male and female. Due to the smaller court and lighter ball, it requires much less running and has less impact on the knees, arms and shoulders than tennis.

Locally, it all started after Batavia residents Phil and Bonnie Coburn decided to travel in an RV across the United States in 2007. They had often said “What will we do if we can’t play tennis anymore?" Well, very quickly they saw some pickleball being played, and they became hooked! Upon returning to Batavia, they located a group in Ogden and played there for a couple years.

Then, after getting tired of driving 25 miles each way, they spoke to the people at the YMCA in Batavia in 2012, and they agreed to let them tape two courts in the gym. They got help from Dave Thomas in Rochester to do the layout, and he also gave them a portable net to use. They obtained grant money from the USAPA, and bought another portable net.

Thus, pickleball was born in Batavia with about six players participating.

About two years later, the gym floor was refinished, and the lines were painted on for a more permanent facility. At about the same time, Eric Volk lent a hand, and they worked with the Town of Batavia to have pickleball lines painted on the tennis courts at Kiwanis Park (replacing the tape which didn’t do too well in the elements), adding the first outside courts in the area.

This year, again with encouragement from Eric, the city, as part of the court renewal at Kibbe Park and Farrall Park, painted pickleball lines on the tennis courts, giving participants an additional five outdoor courts to play on in the area.

(At one of the newest lined courts at Kibbe Park, pictured below are some members of the Batavia Pickleball Club, from left are: Joann McCabe, Chloe Budenhagen, Becky Swanson, and founding members Bonnie and Phil Coburn.)

098a3073.1.jpg

The YMCA has been very supportive of this activity, and currently there is play scheduled in the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and Wednesday nights from 6:30-8 p.m.. Currently, every Saturday from 9:30-noon, players are welcome at Kibbe Park. Partners are not assigned, but use the "open" system of rotation for players waiting to play.

From the original six players, it has grown to around 30 fairly active players, and the ability level has definitely increased since those early days. There has been some discussion about holding a tournament next year for our local players, but there are no details available yet.

The club is always looking for additional players to try the sport, and to continue to help this activity gain momentum in Genesee County. Pickleball has become part of Physical Education in many schools, and is played in many parks and recreational facilities across the country. The Batavia YMCA has set the cost for non-Y members at $30 for a 10-play pass, $49 for a 7-week unlimited pass, or a $5 "drop-in" pass. No fee for Saturday play.

098a3064.1.jpg

098a3070.1.jpg

098a3055.1.jpg

August 30, 2016 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, news.

In keeping with his plea deal, David O'Connor, 55, was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in state prision for using .22-caliber rifle to shoot out the window of a deputy's patrol car while the deputy was sitting in it during a traffic stop in Byron.

O'Connor's appearance in County Court was brief. Other than telling Interim Judge Michael Pietruszka, "No thank you, your honor," when asked if he'd like to make a statement, O'Connor said nothing.

If the case had gone to trial, O'Connor could have been looking at a 40-year-to-life sentence, if the jury had convicted him.

"On the other hand, if he had only been convicted of reckless endangerment first (degree), the maximum would have been seven years," said District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

The plea deal also includes five years post-release supervision.

Outside of court, Friedman said O'Connor had been drinking the day of the shooting and that he made some anti-law enforcement remarks when deputies entered his room on the second floor of the Byron Hotel.

O'Connor reportedly told authorities that he had been aiming at the tires of the patrol vehicle while Deputy Andrew Hale sat in it.

This case is one of a few recently with weapons involved, where local law enforcement has exercised restraint in the face of potential dire consequences. In this case, after Hale's window was shot out, the only thing officers knew at first was that there was a man on the second floor of a building with a rifle. Yet, they managed to take him into custody without more gun fire.

"I'm glad to say that in this county, we've had a number of incidents where the police have shown admirable and appropriate restraint in situations like that," Friedman said. 

August 30, 2016 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Big Tree Glen, batavia, affordable housing, news.

Press release:

The United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) and Conifer Realty, LLC, joined by local officials and community leaders, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning for a 56-unit apartment community in Batavia. 

Big Tree Glen, located at 3727 W. Main St. Road, offers seven high-quality, two-story buildings featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes for working families earning 60 percent or less of Genesee County’s area median income (“AMI”). Rents range from $569-$916 per month (with a 12-month lease). Apartments range in size from 725 square feet to 1,200 square feet.

James S. Rubin, commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said, “Big Tree Glen offers families access to one of the highest-performing districts in Western New York, and is in close proximity to jobs, shopping and services. Affordable housing developments like Big Tree Glen provide greater options and opportunities for residents, and make New York a better place to live and work.”

Daniel P. Ireland, BSN, MBA, FACHE, president for UMMC, said, “Rochester Regional Health Memorial Medical Center supports Big Tree Glen affordable housing. Safe, reliable housing is a major component of healthier communities and this initiative aligns with our vision of leading the evolution of health care to enable every member of the communities we serve to enjoy a better, healthier life. We are excited to see this project develop and reach the completion of this phase.”

Tim Fournier, chairman and CEO of Conifer Realty stated, “Conifer could not accomplish what it has in the affordable housing industry in New York State for the past 40 years without the unwavering support of our state and nonprofit partners, like Rochester Regional’s United Memorial Medical Center.” He added, “Big Tree Glen is evidence that the public-private partnerships and collaborative team efforts yield vital, brand new, affordable homes for so many in Batavia.”

Conifer Realty, LLC, was the developer, the total development costs are in excess of $12 million. Permanent financing sources for the apartment community include a $1,220,000 loan from Community Preservation Corporation; $3,200,000 loan from Bank of America; $382,135 loan from New York State Housing Trust Fund; $7,289,751 Federal Tax Credit Equity from Red Stone Equity Partners; and Bank of America provided a $6,300,000 construction loan.

Conifer is a nationally ranked, full-service real estate company specializing in the development, construction, management and ownership of high-quality, affordable housing communities.

August 30, 2016 - 2:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, byron, news.

Robert James Moulthrop, 48, Mechanic Street, Byron, is charged with: driving with a BAC of .08 percent or higher; DWI; aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd; and unlawful operation of an ATV on a public highway. At 8:18 p.m. on Aug. 27, the defendant was arrested on Byron Holley Road in Byron for allegedly driving while intoxicated. The arrest came after an investigation into a traffic offenses complaint of a dirt bike racing up and down Route 237 in the Town of Byron. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy Chad Cummings.

Corey D. Wilson, 20, of Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 2 a.m. on Aug. 28, Batavia police conducted a traffic stop on Oak Street for a speed violation. A vehicle search was conducted and patrols found two male occupants allegedly in possession of two bags of marijuana. Wilson was issued an appearance ticket and he was also cited for the speed violation. Wilson is due in City Court on Sept. 13. The case was investigated by Batavia PoliceOfficer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Maliq N. Douglas, 19, of New Jersey Avenue, Brooklyn, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Douglas was arrested at 2 a.m. on Aug. 28 on Oak Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. A vehicle search was conducted and patrols found two male occupants allegedly in possession of two bags of marijuana. Douglas was processed and released with an appearance ticket to City Court on Sept. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

August 29, 2016 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in p.w. minor, business, batavia, news.

pwminoraugu292017-4.jpg

About 3,900 pairs of shoes are rolling down a highway tonight in the back of a semi-trailer bound for Louisiana.

The shoes are being donated to flood victims in the Baton Rouge area by p.w. minor.

CEO Pete Zeliff said he decided to make the donation just as a way to give back.

"Nothing more than that," he said.

"We partnered with a program called Soles for Souls through the National Shoe Retailers Association," Zeliff said. "They paid to send the truck and pay the freight and we specified that they go to Louisiana."

Most of the shoes on the 27 pallets loaded onto the truck this afternoon were manufactured in China and were being sold as closeouts, but Zeliff said he decided it would be better to donate them to flood victims.

Over the past several months, p.w. minor has moved production out of China with the goal of making all of the company's shoes in Batavia.

"We'll be making 500 pair a day by the end of this year and 1,000 pair a day by next August," Zeliff said.

Much of the ramp-up in production is made possible by a bevy of new machines that automate much of the shoe production process.

Zeliff said with a robot and another automated machine in place, the plant is already 20-percent automated. Nine more machines arrived within the past week and are being put into service.

The jobs of one of the machines in production can perform is to rough up the leather on the shoe so the glue binds better when the sole is attached.

"We went from five minutes to rough a pair of shoes to last week to Denise did a six-pair rack in 40 seconds," Zeliff said.

It's been his goal to move all of the company's shoe production back to Batavia since he and a partner rescued the business just before it was shut down, but the process has taken longer than expected.

"It will take three years from the time we invested in the assets of this company," Zeliff said. "It’s not as quick as I would have liked it to have been, but it’s still a pretty good accomplishment, I feel."

Below, photo provided by Pete Zeliff of his granddaughter, Nicole, with a country star Keith Urban and his band new pair of p.w. minor shoes. Zeliff took his family to see Urban at his show in Camden, N.J.

minor_keithurban.jpg

August 29, 2016 - 5:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, GO ART!, mike killelea, watercolors, news, Announcements.

Batavia Society of Artists is hosting artist Mike Killelea from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13th, at Go-Art/Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia He will be doing a watercolor demonstration along with journaling.

The cost is $3 for non-members. All are welcome!

August 29, 2016 - 5:31pm

Sleds of Stafford Snowmobile Club will host its 10th annual Vintage Snowmobile/Outdoor Show on Sunday, Sept. 18, at BW's Restaurant / DC Meadows Golf Course in Pavilion.

It is located at 11070 Perry Road. The show starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.. It will feature new and used equipment, accessories and trailers. The entrance fee to the show is $3 per person. Door prizes will be announced at 2 p.m.

There will be refreshments available for purchase as well as breakfast and lunch.

Tickets ($5 donation) for Progressive 50/50 raffle and steak dinner will be available at the show and the winner will be drawn at the steak dinner.

This nonprofit, all-volunteer organization is also selling trophy sponsorships to help pay for the show's trophies. They are $35. 

Sleds of Stafford members will be on hand for club membership renewals. Also, a GC DMV rep will be available from noon to 3 p.m. for registration renewals.

For more information, contact Kelly Cordell at 356-9150.

August 29, 2016 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia, Darien.

Robert T. Hoffman, 37, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Aug. 27 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: one count of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor; unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor; endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor; and criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor. Hoffman was arrested following a complaint of a domestic incident that occurred in the early hours of the morning. During the altercation Hoffman allegedly held the victim against their will refusing to let them leave, at one point the victim was held by their throat obstructing their ability to breath. Hoffman also prevented the victim from calling 9-1-1, preventing them from requesting emergency assistance. All this took place in front of a child under the age of 17. Hoffman was arraigned and jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Hoffman is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on Sept. 6.

Katelyn M. Hall, 22, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested at 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 28 and charged with first-degree criminal contempt -- violation of an order of protection, physical contact. Hall allegedly pushed and struck another individual who was the protected party of an active order of protection. She was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and held on no bail. Hall was due in Batavia City Court earlier this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Alex Isaac, 27, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief -- damage to another's property exceeding $250. Isaac was arrested at 3:15 a.m. on Aug. 28 following an incident wherein he allegedly damaged headlights and taillights of a car belonging to another person on Hutchins Street. Isaac was located at an acquaintance's residence on Thorpe Street. Isaac was taken into custody without incident, issued an appearance ticket and released. Isaac is due in City Court on Aug. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Timothy J. Wood Sr., 27, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. He was arrested at 4:14 p.m. on Aug. 25 on South Main Street in Batavia after being located allegedly riding a bicycle that had been reported stolen earlier in the day. He was processed, released on an appearance ticket and is due in City Court on Sept. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Gina L. Avino, 41, of Haven Lane, Batavia, was arrested at 11:50 p.m. on Aug. 26 on Walnut Street, Batavia, after allegedly refusing to leave a residence despite being told to do so several times. Avino was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket and release. Avino is due in City Court on Sept. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Pater Flanagan, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Russell Scott Neureuther, 18, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. He was arrested at 7:39 p.m. on Aug. 26 following the investigation of a disorderly conduct complaint on Colby Road in the Town of Darien. Neureuther was allegedly found to be highly intoxicated by alcohol and walking in the road, obstructing traffic. He was arraigned and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $200 cash bail. He is due in Darien court on Sept. 6. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Sgt. Jason Saile, assisted by Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

David A. Stanton, 32, of Union Church Road, Franklin, is charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd; operating a motor vehicle with suspended registration; and operating a motor vehicle without insurance. At about 6:18 p.m. on Aug. 27, a Genesee County Sheriff's Office patrol reported that a vehicle with a suspended registration was traveling north on Ellicott Street Road toward the City of Batavia. Batavia police located the vehicle on Oak Street and confirmed the suspended registration and initiated a traffic stop. Stanton was found to be operating the vehicle with suspended registration and with no insurance in effect. He was arrested and paid $200 police bail and was issued traffic tickets. Stanton is scheduled to be in City Court on Sept. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

August 29, 2016 - 3:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, BHS.

Batavia High School will host a brief parent orientation for parents of incoming freshmen and transfer students new to the High School at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Parents will have the opportunity of meeting available staff and administration who will introduce parents to BHS policies, programs and expectations. All first-time BHS parents will find this informational session helpful in transitioning their child to the High School. This is also an opportunity for parents who once again have a student at BHS to learn about any new changes.

Link Crew Day 1 for Freshmen Students Only

Thursday, Sept. 1, @ 8 - 11:30 a.m.

Batavia High School will host a Link Crew Day 1 for freshmen students only on Thursday, Sept. 1st from 8 - 11:30 a.m. Incoming freshmen and pre-approved Link Leaders will be the only students attending school on this day.  Upperclassmen need not attend school on Sept. 1st as incoming freshmen will be participating in freshmen transition activities. Link Crew is based upon a simple concept: linking freshmen with successful upperclassmen. While creating a sense of comfort for incoming students, the Link Crew concept also addresses the attitudes of upperclassmen toward freshmen and respect for freshmen becomes the norm.  

Schools today are different than ever before, as are students, families and communities. The transition from middle school to high school is one of the most difficult ones young people face, expectations are greater and schools are larger. Research has shown that if a student makes it successfully through his/her first year of high school, he or she will have “made it,” and he/she can be expected to graduate. With this in mind, Link Crew has been developed as a program to help students make the transition with specific intervention and support from older peers. 

Link Crew Day 2 for Freshmen & Transfer Students Only

Wednesday, Sept. 7, @ 8 - 11:30 a.m.

Batavia High School will host a Link Crew Day 2 for freshmen and any transfer students new to Batavia High School on Wednesday, Sept. 7th from 8 - 11:30 a.m. These students will once again participate in various activities using the Link Crew transition program. Upperclassmen should not attend as freshmen and transfer students will get to do a walk-through of their schedule, meet their teachers, and will get acclimated to their lockers and lunch routines.   

There is no school for faculty and students on Monday, Sept. 5th in observance of Labor Day. Tuesday, Sept. 6th is a Superintendent’s Conference Day for all district faculty and staff. The morning of Wednesday, Sept. 7th is Link Crew Day 2 for freshmen and transfer students only.

The first day of classes for ALL BHS students is Thursday, Sept 8th.

Anyone with questions is asked to contact the BHS Counseling Center at 343-2480, ext. 2002.

August 29, 2016 - 7:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany, news.

A car has reportedly hit a tree at East Road and Raymond Road, Bethany.

The driver was able to get out of the vehicle and has a complaint of chest pain.

Bethany fire and Mercy EMS responding.

August 29, 2016 - 6:01am

098a3140.1.jpg

The fourth annual Wiener Dog Race held yesterday at Batavia Downs Gaming brought thousands of families to cheer, laugh and smile for a fun-filled afternoon of free entertainment.

Pictured above is Pablo, the winner of today’s race with owners Jon Wright and Adrienne Penders from Pavilion.

“This is the first race we have won in the three years of racing,” Adrienne said.

Last year Pablo came in second but shined in the final race.

More than 60 dogs participated in today’s race. There were nine heats of seven to eight dogs per race. 

Winners of each heat race are:

  1. #4 Skittles
  2. #5 Pablo
  3. #4 Minnie
  4. #6 Frank
  5. #3 Maximus
  6. #3 Ruby
  7. #7 Mickey Zoom
  8. #4 Piglet (who won the 2015 race)
  9. #2 Nibbles

Winners overall were: First Place -- Pablo, Second Place -- Nibbles; and Third Place -- Minnie. Each owner took home a winning free play certificate and various prizes.

098a3083.1.jpg

098a3101.1.jpg

img_8174.1.jpg

098a3119.1.jpg

August 28, 2016 - 4:20pm

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a severe thunderstorm warning until 4:45 p.m. today. The northwestern portion of Genesee County is included in this warning for Western New York. Oakfield is specifically cited in Genesee County.

Severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from near Lockport to near Pendleton, moving east at 40 mph.

Hazards include 60-mph wind gusts and nickel-size hail, which can damage roofs, siding and trees among other things. Large hail and damaging winds and continuous cloud-to-ground lighting is occurring with these storms. Torrential rainfall is also occurring with these storms and may lead to flash flooding. The storms have been producing more than one and a half inches of rain in less than one hour. Do not drive through flooded roadways.

Remember, if you are close enough to hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Move indoors immediately. For your protection, move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

August 27, 2016 - 3:55pm

Press release:

Area residents will be noticing some changes at the Arc of Genesee Orleans Transfer Station & Recycling Center over the next several weeks. Beginning Monday, Aug. 29, the facility, located at 3785 W. Main Street Road will be undergoing renovations to expand and improve service to the community.

Renovations will include a new building enclosure with service lane upgrades for the recycling, bottle redemption and secure document destruction service. During renovations, the Transfer Station is OPEN and will provide the same services but at a different location on the property for the next several weeks.

Customers are asked to follow the signs once turning into the property. The Transfer Station’s service and receiving area will be located near the back of the building.  Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesdays until 8 p.m.

Any questions feel free to contact Paul Saskowski, director of Operations, at 585-343-4203. 

August 27, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, housing rehab, home improvements, announcement.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is considering applying for Federal grant assistance to help income-eligible, owner-occupied, single-family homeowners with essential home improvements.

If you own a single-family home in need of repairs, please download the survey from the City’s “Useful Links” tab on the City’s homepage at www.batavianewyork.com. Click on Residential Rehabilitation Survey. Or you may pick up a survey in the City Manager’s office at City Hall.

Grant money would enable homeowners to make home repairs with grant and low-interest loan funding.

The City of Batavia is requesting your full cooperation to help us obtain housing rehabilitation grant funding. Please complete and mail in or drop off the surveys to the City Manager’s Office, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, New York, 14020.

If you have any questions please contact the City Manager’s office at 585-345-6330. 

August 27, 2016 - 3:14pm

Photo courtesy of Batavia Downs. Pictured is last year's winning wiener dog, "Piglet," and his owner, Heidi Kaiser.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The "Dog Days of Summer" at Batavia Downs means it's time for the annual Genesee Feeds Wiener Dog Races. That popular event is once again happening this Sunday afternoon (Aug. 28) with post time for the first Dachshund race scheduled for approximately 4:20 p.m. after the completion of the live 11-race live harness racing card.

Last year, Heidi Kaiser’s Dachshund, “Piglet,” made his third Downs appearance and cruised to a comfortable victory defeating nine other fleet-footed Wiener-racers in the championship final.

On Sunday, seven heats will be contested with each heat winner scoring a $25 free play voucher to Batavia Downs Gaming. The heat winners will then return for a championship race where the winning owner getting $100 in free play, second place finisher gets $75 in free play, and the third place finisher receives $50 in free play. The owners of the top three finishers will also get two complementary buffets in the Batavia Downs clubhouse.

All entrants will receive doggie bags for their athletes from the official sponsor of the Wiener Dog Races, Genesee Feeds of Batavia.

The Wiener Dog Races are one of the biggest promotions of the season at Batavia Downs and the main event of "Family Fun Day" at the races.

"Family Fun Day is one of my favorite live racing days,” said Director/General Manager of Live Racing, Todd Haight. “The kids always have a great time. You can bring the whole family out because there is something for everyone and you can eat, drink and enjoy everything going on for the entire afternoon and it costs next to nothing.”

Treat the kids to a fun, affordable day out with $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, soda, and snow cones and free pony rides from 2-4 p.m., sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep of Batavia. There will also be special appearances by Pringles The Clown, Mr. Scribbles, Jason the Juggler and other fun activities for kids of all ages. And everything is presented in a clean, safe environment where they can just enjoy themselves.

Admission and parking are free and live harness racing action begins at 1:15 p.m.

August 27, 2016 - 2:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, news.

kautzfamilyaug2016b.jpg

Over his 28 years in law enforcement, Kris Kautz has helped a lot of people and that's the best part of the job.

Mostly, it's about helping the victims of crime, mainly by finding the people who stole from them or harmed them or a member of their families.

But sometimes it's helping those same criminals get their lives turned around.

Now he's moving on to a job he thinks will be just as gratifying -- a security aide for Batavia City Schools.

"It’s a more laid-back position, obviously, but I’m looking forward to it, working with the kids and the school seems awesome," said Kautz, whose last day with the Sheriff's Office was Friday.

Kautz started with the department in 1988, three years after earning an associate degree in criminal justice at GCC.

"After I graduated, I realized to get those jobs, I would need to take exams," Kautz said. "That’s a good theory, I think. Do well on the exam and you should be a good candidate. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a very good test taker. I took many exams before I actually got a phone call. It was almost three full years before I got a job offer, and then, of course, I got three decent job offers within a month-and-a-half. Luckily, this job was one of them and it was really the job I was hoping for, so I accepted the position as a deputy."

Kautz was on road patrol for five years when he was promoted to investigator, the job he wanted all along.

He said he's been fortunate to stay in that position for 23 years, but now it's time to move on.

"You do reach a burnout factor," Kautz said. "I've probably reached the end of my shelf life. I'm not embarrassed to say that. I like to think I’ve done my part and it’s time to move on."

Leaving now isn't without its drawbacks. There are unsolved cases Kautz wishes were closed during his time in the investigator's office

"Those are kind of a sore spot," Kautz said. "Sometimes you know who you think did it, and you’re really close to solving it, but you just don’t have that extra piece."

Among the unsolved cases, Kautz worked are on is the Fickel murder.

"We worked long and hard on that for many, many months after that happened and unfortunately, the leads kind of started drying out and obvious we had another case load we needed to attend to," Kautz said. "It doesn’t get the attention we wish it would. We don’t have the luxury of having a quote-unquote 'homicide division' or 'burglary task force' or a 'sex crimes team.' "

Kautz leaves with cases pending, but there is a person of interest and some solid evidence that might one day hold up in court, but it will be up to other investigators to uncover the piece of evidence that wraps things up.

"We have been actively pursuing it and we’re just kind of crossing our fingers that maybe that one little piece of the puzzle we don’t have yet might show up one of these days," Kautz said.

(If you have information that might assist in the case, contact the Genesee County Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.)

Much has changed over 23 years in how investigators do their jobs. There is new technology and new techniques, but the basics remain the same -- gather evidence, safeguard it, ask questions, test answers and build a case.

"I'm not saying it (new technology) has made it easier to solve cases, but it's really solidified convictions," Kautz said. "When there is a fingerprint or DNA evidence at a crime scene, you can't dispute it. You have a hard time explaining that away when you're a defendant."

Too many cases, just by the nature of things, go unsolved, but when they are solved, it's a great feeling, he said, especially when you see the satisfaction on the faces of the victims.

"It’s all about the victims because when you come home after working a hard day, working an honest job, and come home and your door is kicked in and your TV and your family heirlooms are gone, you’re furious and it's devastating," Kautz said. "That’s where the cops come in and do their best to solve it and it’s very, very, very gratifying when you do solve it for them."

And sometimes, solving a crime helps another person improve their own lives, and that's a good feeling, too, Kautz said.

"People always say this is the best job in the world and I really think that," Kautz said. "You really have a chance to make a difference for people, in people’s lives, not only making it right for the victims but also maybe contributing to the improvement of some of the defendants' lives. Maybe getting arrested can often be a positive thing in the long run for somebody. They know they screwed up. They know they’ve got problems. They know they’ve got things they need to address. Sometimes getting arrested will be that last little push they need to really get their lives straightened out."

Photo: Kris Kautz with his family, wife Susan, and daughters Kelsey, Adeline and Ella.

August 27, 2016 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake performing arts center, Darien, crime, news.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Florida Georgia Line concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday:

Beth A. Kulp, 34, of York Street, Honeoye Falls, is charged with third-degree assault after allegedly punching another patron, knocking that patron unconscious.

(name redacted upon request) , 26, of Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, is charged with second-degree harassment and resisting arrest after allegedly pushing and kicking a deputy and then resisting arrest. xxxx was arraigned in Darien Court and put in jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Tyler A. Becker, 18, of Schader Road, Wayland, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting in the concert venue parking lot. Becker was arraigned in Darien Court and put in jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Mhari F, Fairgrieve, 19, of Highland Avenue, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, is charged with two counts of second-degree harassment after allegedly hitting and scratching two Live Nation employees. Fairgrieve was arraigned in Darien Court and released on $250 bail.

Cesare C. Caponcini, 21, of Rykert Street, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, is charged with second-degree harassment after allegedly hitting and scratching a Live Nation employee. Caponcini was arraigned in Darien Court and released on $250 bail.

Briana M. Szczech, 25, of Scenic Circle, Rochester, is charged with second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting and biting Live Nation security officers.

Robert J. Turnquist, 26, of Davis Road, Westfalls, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly climbing a fence into the VIP area and refusing to leave.

Samuel J. Eggleston, 20, of Delamater Road, Angola, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief after allegedly punching the rear window out of a car.

David C. Avayou, 51, of Buffalo Street, Hamburg, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Steven J. Nichy, 18, of Jessica Lane, Depew, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly climbing the fence to gain entry to the venue.

Janelle M. Clemmer, 34, of Zimmerman Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jeffrey S. Masters, 55, of Zimmerman Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Chadd T. Lee, 23, of Doran Lane, Lima, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Mariah K. Winsor, 20, of Route 6, Kane, Pa., is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jordan E. Demartino, 19, of Darlington Drive, Derby, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Sarah L. Lenegan, 21, of Lorfield Drive, Snyder, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

August 27, 2016 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A two-car accident is reported in the area of 112 W. Main St., Batavia.

One person suffered a possible neck injury.

City fre and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:52 a.m.: One patient transported to UMMC for evaluation.

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