Local Matters

Community Sponsors


October 13, 2016 - 9:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, schools, education.


Yesterday was "Make a Difference Day" for Batavia High School seniors, who volunteered around the community in various projects. 

Places where seniors volunteered included the Batavia Agri-Business Child Development Center, Batavia Peace Garden, Crossroads House, the Genesee County Nursing Home, Genesee County Park & Forest, the Youth Bureau, GO ART!, Habitat for Humanity and the YWCA.

Info and photos from Tom Redband.



October 13, 2016 - 8:47am
posted by Genesee Chamber... in Le Roy, Pully's Farm Market, news, business.

On a foggy morning earlier this week, we paid a visit to Pully’s Farm Market, located at 8160 Lake Road (Route 19) in Le Roy. It’s just one mile off the New York State Thruway. In the fall months, “Pully’s” is a major destination for visitors looking for autumn fun and decorations. There is so much to love about this place! We’ll let the pictures show why Pully’s is worth the journey.















Visit www.VisitGeneseeNY.com to learn more...

October 12, 2016 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

On the day his trial was to start this week, a 56-year-old Batavia man accused of menacing a police officer instead entered a guilty plea to one of the two counts against him.

Bill Thomas, of State Street, was arrested in March after an early morning standoff with the Emergency Response Team.

He pled guilty today to criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, a Class D felony, satisfying both counts returned against him by a grand jury. 

There is no condition on sentencing. The maximum possible penalty is two and a third to seven years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Nov. 15.

He is being held in the Genesee County Jail.

October 12, 2016 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, news.

mug_joelshort.jpgA Canisteo man who was arrested at the Kingdom Bound festival in Darien after an investigation into a complaint that he engaged in oral sex with a teenage boy entered a guilty plea in Genesee County Court today to a single count of criminal sex act in the third degree.

The maximum possible penalty for the Class E felony is four years in prison, but Joel Bert Shorts, 55, reached a plea deal with the District Attorney's Office that will likely mean 10 years probation. He will also become a registered sex offender in the State of New York.

Shorts reportedly attended Kingdom Bound at Darien Lake Theme Park as part of a religious group as a chaperone.

No details about the victim have been released, but in court today, while discussing a stay away order of protection, Shorts' attorney warned him that even if the victim makes contact with him, he is not to respond to any message.

Shorts, dressed in a white polo shirt and gray slacks, was reminded a few times to speak up while the judge asked him a series of questions about his plea, and while the judge asked the questions designed to ensure he was mentally alert and aware enough to enter a plea, Shorts started to choke up briefly.

Sentencing, and a SORA hearing (to determine his sex offender status), was set for 9:30 a.m., Jan. 10.

October 12, 2016 - 3:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, corfu, batavia, pembroke.

Danielle Riley McMinn, 22, of South Cranberry Boulevard, North Port, Fla., is charged with: DWI; unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, 3rd; reckless driving, failure to keep right; and moving from lane unsafely. McMinn was stopped by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies shortly after midnight on Oct. 12 on R. Stephen Hawley Drive when she allegedly failed to keep right. She then allegedly fled from deputies in her vehicle, leading deputies on a short pursuit. The pursuit came to an end when McMinn crashed her vehicle at the intersection of R. Stephen Hawley Drive and Bank Street Road in the Town of Batavia. She was subsequently arrested and jailed on $500 cash or $2,000 bond. She is to reappear in Town of Batavia Court at a later date. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Benjamin James Marien, 24, of Meadowbrook Terrace, Corfu, is charged with: operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or higher; DWI; speed in excess of 55 mph; and failure to keep right on a two-lane road. On Oct. 12 at 12:54 a.m., Marien was arrested following a traffic stop on Genesee Street in Pembroke. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Pembroke Court and is due there on Nov. 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer.

Matthew R. McQuillen, 33, of 38 Lathrop Ave. in Le Roy, was arrested on Oct. 10 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that at 4 p.m. on Oct. 8 McQuillen stole a DVD from a store located on West Avenue in Le Roy. McQuillen was released on an appearance ticket to appear in Le Roy Town Court on a later date.

Shawn Richard Porter Cuyler, 18, of Vendome Drive, Gates, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 8:53 a.m. on Oct. 11, the subject was pulled over on the side of the road on Oak Orchard Road in Batavia because his passenger had gotten out to retrieve glasses that fell from the vehicle. The subject allegedly possessed several smoking devices containing marijuana, along with two bottles containing marijuana. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker, assisted by City of Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack.

October 12, 2016 - 2:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, Announcements, fashion, style.

Submitted photo and press release:

His style is authentic and colorful. His fashion is Emmy Award-winning. His books have influenced followers all over the world to adopt his unique approach, and on Wednesday, Oct. 26, he will return to Genesee Community College as part of the Fashion Business Program's Fashion Speaker Series to give a presentation that will show exactly why he is a sought after authority on fashion and color in the media.

David Zyla, who spoke as part of the Series in 2014, has collaborated with some of the most recognizable faces of contemporary culture, including Neil Patrick Harris, Hillary Clinton, Susan Lucci, Tom Hanks, Carol Burnett, Amber Rose and Kelsey Grammar. A believer that "every person has the right to feel empowered and look fantastic," Zyla's lifelong passion is helping people discover their individual palette of flattering colors and unique style – the best version of themselves – through private and group style consultations all over the world.

Zyla started his Seventh Avenue evening wear label, which was featured at New York's Fashion Week and sold by luxury retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel, at the age of 22. By 2001, he had already earned a reputation as a tastemaker with strong ties to the global fashion community and was recruited by ABC to reinvigorate the visual quality of its daytime programming. David has held position of head costume designer for various long-running television shows, including ABC's "All My Children" (2010 Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design Emmy Award), "General Hospital," and Lifetime's "Devious Maids."

A guest speaker, panelist and lecturer on the transformative power of color and its application to wardrobe, home and lifestyle, Zyla is known for his engaging, educational and fun presentations on fashion. He has been profiled in People magazine and The New Yorker, and featured in publications including Life & Style, More Magazine, Real Simple, Women's Wear Daily, The Huffington Post, USA Today, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Traditional Home, and more. David often serves as a teacher and guest lecturer at major design institutions, museums, and schools, including New York University, Hofstra University, SCAD, LIM, Otterbein College and UC Davis. He is a faculty member at Marymount Manhattan College where he teaches a regular course on Fashion, History and Society.

Don't miss David Zyla at GCC on Oct. 26 in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building at the GCC Batavia Campus as part of the Fashion Business Program Speaker Series. The event is free and open to the public, however, seating will be limited. Those wishing to attend can RSVP by calling (585) 345-6830.

For more information on David Zyla, including services and contact information, visit his website at www.davidzyla.com

October 12, 2016 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in landmark society, news, preservation.

Press release:

The Landmark Society of Genesee County will hold its annual Preservation Awards Dinner on Oct. 15 at The First Presbyterian Church of Le Roy at 7 Clay St. Catered by the church (which is also an honoree), the dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and the awards presentation will follow (at approximately 7 p.m.).  The cost is $18 per person. Reservations can be made by emailing [email protected]

Six buildings in Genesee County will be recognized this year:


Gregg & Debbie McAllister

21 Ross St.


Tender Loving Care

Classical Revival


Garth & Amy Swanson

6209 Main Road





David & Robyn Tufts

4857 Ellicott St. Road, Batavia


438 E. Main St.


Adaptive Re-use

Mid-Century Modern


Chris & Michelle Krtanik


4835 Linden Road

East Bethany



Eclectic Style

First Presbyterian Church of Le Roy

Pastor David Pepper

Historian Ann Ver Hague

7 Clay St.

Tender Loving Care


Colonial Revival

Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant

Amanda Owczarczak, Owner


1227 Gilmore Road



Tender Loving Care

Log Cabin


“This year’s honorees beautifully represent the architectural variety we enjoy across the county,” said Lucine Kauffman, Landmark Society president and chair of the awards committee. 

The buildings being recognized on Saturday include one church, two commercial properties, and three private homes.

“We are fortunate that Genesee County has such a rich, long history and that some of the physical markers of the people who have made our local history so rich still remain standing today.” 

All of the owners of the buildings being recognized have one thing in common. In addition to all of their hard work, creative vision and patience, they have passion.  They have restored, replaced, reused, and revived their properties. And in every case it was a labor of love.

By investing in their historic properties, these award winners have invested in their neighborhoods and communities.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County is a nonprofit, volunteer operated organization. Since 1965, The Landmark Society has encouraged local communities and individuals to work together to preserve our architectural heritage.

October 12, 2016 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in south byron, news, micheal ranzenhofer.


Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced $100,000 in state funding to offset a part of the total cost of a new fire truck for the South Byron Volunteer Fire Company.

“The South Byron Volunteer Fire Company plays a vital role in our community, and I am committed to securing the necessary resources so that our volunteer firefighters are able to get the job done,” Ranzenhofer said. “Today’s announced state investment will help to preserve the life-saving services our firefighters provide to residents.”

The new fire truck will replace a 20-year-old 1996 Front Line Engine. The average lifespan of a fire engine is 20 years.

“As a small fire company, we have a small budget with limited resources. Without this state funding, we would have been unable to cover the total cost of a new fire truck. We are so grateful that Senator Ranzenhofer is helping us to reach our goal,” said South Byron Volunteer Fire Company President Dean L. Bates. 

October 12, 2016 - 9:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news.

Village of Oakfield Mayor Jason Armbrewster wanted to open the discussion about the future of village government at last night's village board meeting, but with two board members who didn't attend the meeting and one vacant seat on the board, he didn't have the necessary quorum to open the meeting.

Only one community member even showed up for the meeting.

Absent trustees were Dave Boyle and John Igor.

Armbrewster said that Igor contacted him in advance of the meeting and said he had a family matter that would prevent him from making the meeting, but Armbrewster said he didn't hear from Boyle at all.  

The mayor even went to Boyle's house shortly after the meeting's scheduled start time of 5 p.m. to see if he was home.

After he got back, he received a text from a third party who said Boyle was on vacation.

The lack of a quorum, which also delays the ability of the village to pay all of its bills, will spur Armbrewster to appoint somebody to fill the vacant board seat, which he had planned to leave open until the next election.

Armbrewster would liked to have rescheduled the meeting to Thursday night, but it wouldn't be possible to meet print newspaper deadlines for a public notice (a problem that wouldn't be an issue if the State Legislature would bring state law into the 21st century regarding public notices and allow online publication).

The trustees will try to meet again at 5 p.m., Monday.

Armbrewster was clearly frustrated because he thinks the trustees should start the discussion on possible dissolution of village government, not because he's dead set on pursuing that course, but because he thinks facts should be gathered and discussions held to see if dissolution is really in the best interest of village residents.

"There is talk in other communities about doing this and if I get asked that question, then I don't have an answer, because we don't have the data," Armbrewster said.

UPDATE: The meeting time for Monday's meeting has been changed to 7:30 p.m. Armbrewster said the time change is intended to encourage greater attendance and participation. "I encourage every resident to show up to give their input because I work for them," he said.

October 12, 2016 - 9:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

A National Grid worker has called dispatch to report he's been locked in the basement of a home on Liberty Street by a resident apparently upset that he went down there to shut off the power.

Batavia PD responding.

October 11, 2016 - 9:14pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council, Batavia Development Corp..

City Council tonight (Oct. 11) unanimously passed a resolution supporting the redevelopment of Ellicott Station, a move that officials of the Batavia Development Corp. hope spurs Empire State Development to act favorably and quickly on the BDC's request for $2.4 million in grant funding for the project.

"We intend to send this resolution to the agencies (ESD and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council) to show more support and solidarity," BDC Coordinator Julie Pacatte said.

Pacatte was referring to the collaboration among the City of Batavia, Genesee County, Batavia City School District and Genesee County Economic Development Center, which joined together to commit a percentage of payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS) to a unique program known as Batavia Pathway to Prosperity.

BPP and anticipated capital grants from the ESD -- $1.9 million through the Consolidated Funding Application and another $500,000 from Restore NY -- have paved the way for Savarino Companies of Buffalo to commit to investing millions of dollars into turning the former Santy's Tire Sales and Soccio & Della Penna construction firm site on Ellicott Street into a vibrant entertainment/office/apartment complex.

The resolution is meant to "reiterate the importance of this $17 million investment in a highly distressed area of the city experiencing 32 percent poverty and nearly 7 percent unemployment," Pacatte said. "We urge New York State to enable us to implement the plan in which they sponsored."

The Ellicott Station project is listed as a Five-Year Pipeline Initiative by the FLREDC within its 2016 progress report and recommended priority projects, which focus on mixed-use development, poverty levels and leveraging private investment.

Pier Cipollone, a BDC board member and former City Councilman, said that "closing the gap" in funding by obtaining these grants must happen before Savarino Companies can put its plan into action.

"If we can get moving on this, then we can turn some of these other sites around," he said, noting that the BDC has identified four other areas in the city (City Centre Mall, United Memorial Medical Center/YMCA corridor, Creek Park behind Falleti Ice Arena and the Harvester Center) for redevelopment.

The four-page resolution traces the city's now seven-year effort to revitalize Batavia's Brownfield Opportunity Area. It emphasizes that both of these grants are "necessary to advance the Phase I component (envirnmental assessment, cleanup, engineering costs, etc.) of the Ellicott Station project and will be matched by substantial private equity investment and significant local resources through the BPP program."

City Manager Jason Molino said that Savarino Companies will be responsible for about 70 percent of the project's total cost.

Pacatte, in a memo to Molino, wrote that Ellicott Station will create arouind 145 temporary construction jobs in which Savarino has committed to hiring some local unemployed workers. When finished, she noted, the project should result in 160 permanent jobs earning $6 million annually, while generating $500,000 in downtown consumer retail demand and $335,000 in sales tax annually.

She added that total assessed value will increase thirtyfold, and that values of properties within a half mile will improve by 10 to 15 percent.

Pacatte said that Savarino Companies has lined up some tenants and prospects, and she expects an announcement to be made in the near future.  

In other developments, Council:

-- Received word from Molino that the city was one of 76 municipalities to receive an "Operation Keep Our Home" grant available through a settlement by the state's Attorney General. Municipalities with at least 5,000 people and a minimum of 100 vacant homes were eligible for the program.

Molino said the $66,500 award will be used to combat "zombie" and vacant properties along several fronts -- the use of foreclosure prevention counselors, hiring an MBA graduate assistant to collect data on vacant homes in the city, working with agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, marketing, purchase of computer and software to keep track of properties, and to revise city codes relating to neighborhoods.

-- Authorized eight transfers from the city's assigned fund balance to the following dedicated reserve funds for future purchases, renovations, repairs and obligations -- police capital equipment, fire capital equipment, public works capital equipment, Dwyer Stadium, public facilities capital, capital sidewalk reconstruction, administrative services equipment and software, and employee benefit accrued liability.

-- Approved an agreement with Wells Fargo that allows the city to hire a contractor to demolish the single-family residence at 23 Columbia Ave., which has been vacant for quite some time and has numerous code violations, and then receive reimbursement from Wells Fargo for all costs associatied with the demolition (estimated to be around $25,000). 

"Preferably we would like them (banks) to demolish these types of homes rather than us, but in this instance this may be quicker," Molino said.

Molino said the condemed property on Columbia Avenue is "outside the ordinary" and this method could be used again to put pressure on lending institutions to meet their responsibilities.

-- Extended a contract with Environmental Solutions (U.S.) Ltd. to continue its removal of alum sludge from the Wastewater Treatment Plant off Pearl Street, action that adds $400,000 to the cost but still keeps the project under the original budgeted amount of $2.1 million.

-- Approved, by a 7-1 count, with Rose Mary Christian dissenting, a resolution to submit a request for a NYS Department of Transportation grant to construct sidewalks, high-visibility crosswalks and handicapped ramps in the areas of UMMC, downtown, Batavia school properties, NYS School for the Blind and Austin, Centennial and MacArthur parks. Council agreed to pay 25 percent (5 percent more than required) of the cost to better its chances of receiving funding.

Christian said she voted against it because the proposal did not include funding for any sidewalks in her Sixth Ward.

-- Voted in favor of a lease agreement with Dent Neurologic Institute at 35-39 City Centre for 1,122 square feet of space at $16.50 per square foot -- or $1,851.30 per month -- for a year, with two six-month renewal options.

Molino said the lease agreement would act as a "placeholder until we have an idea of bigger development of the mall."

Dent is using about a fourth of the total space at 35-39 City Centre, which recently was foreclosed upon by the city due to delinquent property taxes. Molino said Dent's lease payments will cover all of the city's costs related to taxes, insurances and maintenance of the property.

October 11, 2016 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news.

The trustees of the Village of Oakfield will discuss the future of village government at this evening's meeting at the Village Hall.

Among the options, dissolving the village.

Mayor Jason Armbrewster said any talk of dissolution is in the very earliest stages, but it thought it important to get the discussion going.

"Dissolution could have benefits for the residents of the village," Brewster said. "Or it might not, but we have to get the whole process going to find out."

It will be up to the village board this evening -- the meeting is at 5 p.m. -- to decide whether to table the idea or decide to look into hiring a consultant and find out how much that would cost.

Armbrewster approached the town board about the idea, which meant the first hint that anybody was thinking about dissolution appeared in the town board minutes.

That cause a bit of a stir in the village and Armbrewster thinks there's been a bit of an overreaction to the idea since there is no actual proposal for dissolution at this point, just talk, just the start of the idea of starting the process.

"It's not like, boom, we're going to dissolve," Armbrewster said.

October 11, 2016 - 7:48am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news.

League bowlers in Batavia and Bergen racked up some high scores during the week of Oct. 3, led by Jenn Bardol Hamilton's record-setting effort in the G&W Vending Triples League at Rose Garden Bowl.

To see the numbers, click on the Pin Points link at the top of this page, or by clicking here.

Bowling center proprietors/managers can have their high scores on The Batavian by sending an email to [email protected].

Watch for another Pin Points column by Mike Pettinella this Thursday.

October 11, 2016 - 6:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

The eight Democratic county chairs of New York's 27th Congressional District unite to denounce Donald Trump's demonstrated sexist and vulgar attitudes toward women and Rep. Chris Collins' continued support of Trump's candidacy in the face of blatant proof that Trump's attitudes are demeaning and derogatory toward 51 percent of this country and this district.

While Republican leaders and elected officials throughout the nation are abandoning Trump in droves, Chris Collins has asserted, "There is no change in my support of Mr. Trump as our nominee."

To be clear, Mr. Trump bragged about repeatedly committing sexual assault without consequence because he was a "star." That Collins did not join his colleagues who have concluded that Trump is unfit and unqualified to be president casts grave doubt on Collins' judgment and ability to represent all of the voters, especially the women, of the 27th District.

We hope that the many people offended by Mr. Collins' lack of spine in standing up to his party's nominee will join us in supporting Diana Kastenbaum for Congress.

Jeremy Zellner
Erie County Democratic Chair

Nick Forster
Niagara County Democratic Chair

Jeanne Crane
Orleans County Democratic Chair

Michael Plitt
Genesee County Democratic Chair

Cynthia Appleton
Wyoming County Democratic Chair

Judith Hunter
Livingston County Democratic Chair

Jamie Romeo
Monroe County Democratic Chair

John Hurley
Ontario County Democratic Chair

October 10, 2016 - 9:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, walmart, news.

A fire is reported in a lighting unit in the ceiling of Walmart on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia.

The unit is near the deli section of the store.

Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m.: It's an issue with a light ballast. Town of Batavia fire back in service.

October 10, 2016 - 6:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, crime, news.

A 26-year-old Le Roy resident was arrested today after allegedly failing to obey a police officer's orders when he was spotted in the area of the Le Roy Sewage Treatment Plant on Red Mill Road.

Zachary R. Reed, of Britt Road, Le Roy, is charged with one count of obstructing governmental administration.

Police responded to the plant at 2:28 p.m. to investigate a report of a man with a long gun at the facility.

A person with a gun was spotted going into the nearby woods and the police officer reportedly ordered him to come out of the woods with his hands up. According to Le Roy PD, the person did not comply with the order.

Other law enforcement agencies were summoned for backup, a K-9 patrol responded, and a perimeter was set up.

During the search, police officers obtained Reed's mobile number and called him. He agreed to come out of the woods, meeting officers on North Street, but he didn't have his gun with him.

After a search, the gun, a .22-caliber rifle, was located in an area of tall weeds.

Assisting Le Roy PD were the Sheriff's Office and State Police.

Reed was issued an appearance ticket.

(initial report)

October 10, 2016 - 6:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accidents, news.

A car has reportedly hit a building, the KFC, at 4216 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

There are no injuries reported and only minor damage, but there is a report of fluids leaking.

Town of Batavia fire responding.

October 10, 2016 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Foxprowl, news, Announcements, batavia.

Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl in Batavia, will talk about popular culture collectables beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Holland Land Office Museum, 131 W. Main S., Batavia.
These aren't your grandfather's collectables. Hume will give an overview of collectables, which got their start in comic books and movies like Super Man, Bat Man, the X Men, Godzilla, Star Wars and Ghostbusters. You'll learn what's trending and what's not and what you wish your mom had not thrown out years ago. Hume will bring along plenty of his favorite items to show off.
This free presentation is open to the public. We do serve refreshments!
Reservations would be helpful, but not required. Phone 343-4727.
To see weird and wonderful collectables and more, visit Foxprowl at 97 Main St. in Batavia.
October 10, 2016 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news.

A subject was spotted with a long gun near Red Mill Road, Le Roy, and the police were called.

The subject reportedly did not obey police commands and moved further into the woods.

Multiple law enforcement units, including a K-9 patrol, have been dispatched.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Local law enforcement has a person in custody.

October 10, 2016 - 1:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, bergen.

Blake Michael Toal, 18, of Old State Road, Covington, is charged with third degree criminal mischief. On Sept. 25, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office received a report of criminal mischief to a basketball backboard in the Village of Bergen Park. The deputy assigned to the Village of Bergen conducted a thorough investigation and numerous individuals were interviewed. The defendant was located and arrested and charged with the Class E felony. He was issued an appearance ticket and taken to jail for prints and photos. He is due in Town of Bergen Court at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Subscribe to



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

blue button