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March 16, 2016 - 9:15am


The Monsignor Kirby Council #325 Knights of Columbus will be holding their semiannual pancake breakfast this Sunday at Resurrection Parish (St. Mary's Worship Site) at 18 Ellicott St. in Batavia from 8-11 a.m.

This is open to the public and costs $5 adults, $3 for children age 4 to 12; kids under 3 eat free. All-you-can-eat pancakes, breakfast includes sausage, eggs, juice, coffee, tea, milk.  

There will be basket raffles from many local businesses and also a 50/50 drawing. Tickets can be purchased at the door and all proceeds will support local Catholic schools education.

Pictured above from left are co-chairman Joe Gerace, Grand Knight Brad Rogers and co-chairman Steve Ognibene.

March 16, 2016 - 6:41am
posted by Billie Owens in Village of Corfu, news.

Here are voting results for the Village of Corfu.

Total Voters: 79

Number of votes for two Trustee positions:

Arthur Ianni – Democrat:                                         40 votes

Kenneth Lauer – Republican:                               56 votes

Joseph “Biggs” Johnson – Republican            66 votes

(Bold print indicates the two nominees elected to the Trustee positions.)

March 16, 2016 - 6:37am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Middle School, news.

(Submitted photo of Ashley John Grillo.)

Press release:

After an extensive search that attracted nearly 40 qualified candidates, the Batavia City School District is pleased to announce that Mr. Ashley John Grillo has accepted the position as principal for Batavia Middle School, and will replace current principal Sandy Griffin who is retiring. Grillo will begin on July 1.

“When I saw the posting, and saw that the job was in Batavia, where I had enjoyed living for a few years, and for a position at the Middle School, which is a student population that I love working with, I knew I had to look at this opportunity,” he explained to staff, students, and parents who attended one of the two Meet & Greet sessions held at the Middle School for the final pair of job candidates.

A Holley native, Grillo earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Education from Nazareth College of Rochester, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY Brockport.

He began his career in his hometown, teaching middle school science for seven years, then working as a “teacher on special assignment” for two years at Holley’s Middle School/High School. For the past four years, he has been the assistant principal at their elementary school.

Describing his core values, Grillo said he is dedicated to: collaboration and teamwork for building a dynamic learning environment; using data to inform and evaluate decisions; maintaining high standards for staff and students in setting expectations and achieving goals; and to equality as it applies to respecting diversity and providing opportunities for all learners to reach their potential.

During the meeting, in addition to emphasizing that he particularly enjoys working with the middle school age group, Grillo noted that the student demographics in Holley and Batavia are similar. He believes his extensive work and commitment to PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports), his familiarity with, as well as his commitment to collaboration and excellence combine to make a very good fit with the needs and vision for Batavia Middle School.

March 16, 2016 - 4:35am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

We believe the Emergency Response Team has been dispatched to the area of State Street at Douglas Street after a report of a barricaded male subject. Law enforcement has established a perimeter.

We think the call may have started when two people were involved in what was described as a domestic situation on State Street, and subsequently one of the subjects barricaded himself inside a residence. Mercy medics and city fire are staging at State and Douglas.

Now emergency dispatch has switched to a secure law enforcement channel.

UPDATE 5:22 a.m.: A man who lives on State Street north of Douglas Street barricaded himself with a knife on the second floor of his residence. A tactical officer outfitted in full camoflage, armed with an assault rifle was stationed at the scene outside the house. A male neighbor family member was contacted to try and talk the subject into surrendering, which he did. The suspect was taken into custody a short time ago and officers are clearing the scene and opening the streets near the house, which had been shut down. Mercy medics and city fire are back in service.

UPDATE 6:15 a.m. (from news partner WBTA): Det. Sgt. Todd Crossett said law enforcement responded to a domestic incident at 252 State St. An officer was let in the front door by one of two brothers who had been arguing. The second brother approached the officer wielding a large kitchen knife and the officer said he felt very threatened. The brother who let the officer inside stepped between the knife-wielding brother and the officer; the officer and the brother had no other recourse but to retreat. "This could have ended very badly," Crossett said. "The officer showed great restraint." The knife-wielding brother went upstairs and refused to communicate with officers. The ERT was activated. Family members arrived at the scene. The subject was talked into coming downstairs, which he did but then retreated. He was coaxed down a second time and walked toward the front door and was then tased and taken into custody. Statements are being taken and an investigation is under way. It has not been determined if charges will be filed.

Photos courtesy of Jim Burns.

March 15, 2016 - 11:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

A man was reportedly lying in the middle of the road at State and Willow streets, then picked up and taken into a nearby residence. It's not known which residence. Law enforcement, Mercy medics and city fire are on scene. Authorities are trying to locate the man and determine his status.

March 15, 2016 - 1:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, hlom, antique show & sale.

Press release:

The 11th Annual Batavia Antique Show & Sale to benefit the Holland Land Office Museum will be held this Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19, at Batavia Downs Gaming, located at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

Cost is $5 per person; children 12 and under get in free; parking is always free. Coupons are available at HLOM.

On Friday, the event runs from 5 to 8 p.m.; on Saturday, it runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Batavia Antique Show & Sale began in 2006 with only 12 local dealers at a small church. The show has since been established as one of the major events in Genesee County featuring dealers from all of Western New York, the Southern Tier, Central New York, and even out-of-state dealers!

All proceeds from the Batavia Antique Show & Sale benefit the educational and historical programs at HLOM. Whether you are a veteran antique hunter or a beginner looking to start collecting, the Batavia Antique Show & Sale is the right price, conveniently located, and there is something here for everyone!

For more information, call the Museum at 585-343-4727.

March 15, 2016 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, sports, news, gillam grant.

Registration is currently under way for Youth Recreation programs with the Gillam Grant Community Center in Bergen.

The Spring and Summer programs open for registration include youth softball, baseball and soccer. These program are open to any youth regardless of school district or town.

To register or to learn more please visit www.gillamgrant.org/register.aspx. For additional assistance contact their offices at (585) 494-1621.

March 15, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Bethany, batavia.

Kevin G. Viehdeffer, 55, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested March 7 at 6:30 p.m. following a complaint that he punched a staff member in the chest while being treated at the emergency room at UMMC. He is to appear in Batavia City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Brandon Michael-Eckerd Valdes, 27, of Burr Avenue, Binghampton, is charged with exposure of a person, second-degree harassment, obstruction and resisting arrest. He was arrested at 1:42 a.m. on March 12 after an incident that occurred a short time earlier on West Main Street, Batavia. He was jailed on $1,000 cash bail, or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Patrick D. Neaverth, 35, no permanent address, was arrested on March 13 at 6:54 p.m. and charged with first-degree criminal contempt, third-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree burglary. He allegedly damaged a glass door and entered a residence. He was jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Brian Phillip Smith, 56, of Ellicott Street Road, Bethany, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. He was arrested on March 14 following an investigation into an alleged domestic disturbance that occurred on Feb. 28. Smith was allegedly found in possession of a stun gun. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice and is to appear in Town of Bethany Court at a later date. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Chayse R. Brownlie, 19, of Maxon Road, Attica, is charged with DWI with a BAC of .08 or more, DWI, and no having no headlights. At about 3:05 a.m. on March 13, Brownlie was stopped on West Main Street in Batavia for driving without headlights. After further investigation, the driver was arrested for allegedly operating the vehicle while intoxicated. Brownlie is scheduled to appear in City Court at 9 a.m. on March 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Michael John Palvino, 25, of Stillmoon Crescent, Rochester, is charged with DWI with a BAC of .08 or greater, DWI, and speeding. He was stopped for allegedly speeding on Lewiston Road in Batavia at 1:01 p.m. on March 13. An investigation allegedly revealed he was intoxicated. He is to be in Batavia Town Court on April 7. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Sanfratello.

Brad L. Ohlson, 39, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. He was arrested March 12 at 5:15 p.m. following a verbal dispute wherein Ohlson allegedly used obscene language in the presence of several people, including multiple juveniles. He was jailed and bail set at $250. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Demetri C. Stewart, 23, of Lewis Place, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant and released after posting $100 bail. He is to appear in City Curt this afternoon on an unspecified charge stemming from an incident on Feb. 24 on West Main Street, Batavia. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

(Name redacted), 18, of Violet Lane, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The suspect was arrested on Donahue Road in Batavia following a traffic stop of a disabled vehicle. The suspect was allegedly found to possess a small amount of marijuana stored in the vehicle. The suspect was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on March 28. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer.

March 15, 2016 - 10:20am
posted by James Burns in batavia, John Kennedy School, fire, news.

There was a fire alarm at John Kenedy School around 10 a.m. this morning. Batavia Fire Department responded and shortly after their arrival the students were given the all clear to return to the building. 



March 15, 2016 - 6:20am
posted by WBTA News in darien lake resort, news.

News release:

The region’s largest seasonal employer is looking to fill 2,000 open positions across its operations, including amusement park, water park, lodging, entertainment, food, and retail departments. 

Darien Lake has already begun accepting applications for the upcoming season with some positions starting as early as April. The park will open for the 2016 season on May 7 with full, daily operations beginning June 20.

Darien Lake will be hosting an open job fair at the Park’s Lodge on the Lake Hotel on Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about the job fair visit www.darienlake.com/jobs.  

Interviews for the following positions will be held during the job fair: food service, park services, games, admissions, ride operations, lifeguards, rentals, warehouse, retail, hotel/campground, attractions, and security officers. 

“With another thrilling new ride and continued expansion at the park this season, we’re in need of even more energetic and fun-loving employees than ever before,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe. “We’re seeking friendly, ambitious applicants of all backgrounds who are interested in helping us create memorable experiences for our guests.” 

March 14, 2016 - 9:09pm
posted by WBTA News in batavia, city council, news.

Over the objections of three Batavia City Council members, a dozen city hall management employees will get a pay raise on April 1.

The objections came in the form of “no” votes on the 2016-2017 city budget and a separate resolution authorizing the 2.75-percent pay increase.

Voting against the budget and the pay raise for the managers, not covered by a union contract, were council members: Paul Viele, Ward 1; Kathy Briggs, Ward 5, and Rose Mary Christian, Ward 6.

Ward 4 Councilman Al McGinnis was absent from the meeting.

“I just couldn’t support the pay raise right now,” Viele said, “not that they don’t deserve it, but taxpayers deserve a raise, too. We’ll see what happens next year.”

Another resolution to increase the hourly rate of part-time and seasonal employees from $9 per hour to $9.31 was passed with Viele, Briggs and Christian voting no. Christian and Viele also voted no to a 3-percent increase in water rates.

The $16.3-million budget called for a tax levy of $5.1 million, which translate into a tax rate increase of .8 percent. The budget becomes effective on April 1.


March 14, 2016 - 7:30am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia, news.

Thomas Alan Alexander, 53, of Lake Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested on March 13 following the investigation of a harassment complaint on Lake Street Road in the Town of Le Roy. He allegedly slammed a female into a wall causing physical injury. He is to appear in Le Roy Town Court on March 28.

Nolan Robert Powless, 18, of East Center Street, Medina, is charged with: second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation; being an unlicensed operator; and having a plate lamp violation. He was arrested on a bench warrant out of Town of Batavia Court for allegedly failing to appear for court. The charges stem from a traffic stop on Jan. 12. He is scheduled to be in Town of Batavia Court on April 6.

March 14, 2016 - 7:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

For at least two weeks, I'm going to be unable to do much work.

Friday morning I was diagnosed with a detached retina in my right eye. I'm having surgery this morning. I get to spend the next week in a constant facedown position. It will be at least two, possibly three, weeks before I can return to work.

Billie is going to step up and provide more news coverage. Our corps of freelance contributors are also ready to pitch in, as is our news partner WBTA.

You can help, too: If you there is something going on you think others in the community will be interested in knowing about, email photos and information to [email protected].

Anything related to advertising support, contact Lisa Ace at [email protected].

I'll have access to e-mail. I'll forward anything work related to Billie or Lisa.

As for me, I'll be fine. It's not going to be fun, but I get to catch up on all the movies and documentaries on Netflix that I never have time to watch. There's also the NCAA tournament starting, which I usually can only watch portions of here and there.

March 14, 2016 - 5:39am
posted by WBTA News in Oakfield, crime, news.

Robbery this morning in the Village of Oakfield.
Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a robbery of the 7-11 Store in on Main Street in Oakfield.
Deputies say two masked men entered the store about 2:30 this morning.
They forced the store clerk into a back room and demanded the code for the cash register.
The two then scooped up cash and fled the building.
The clerk was not injured.
Deputies said the thugs displayed some type of object during the heist but did not describe it as a weapon.

March 13, 2016 - 6:27pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Easter, news.


Even the Easter Bunny needs helpers.

About two dozen of them gathered at the Le Roy Moose Family Center on Saturday morning, to prepare for the upcoming community Easter Egg Hunt.

The free event draws hundreds of children every year. But before the hunting, comes the stuffing.

And so about 6,600 multicolored plastic eggs were filled with candy on Saturday.

The roster of helpers once again included Marlene McMahon — who has participated every Easter season for 20 years — as well as representatives of the Moose, Le Roy Business Council, Knights of Columbus, American Legion and Rotary Club of Le Roy; and students from Le Roy and Notre Dame high schools.

Oatka Fish and Game Club and Northwoods Sportsman Club helped pay for candy. Nearly 20,000 pieces were placed in the eggs.

The Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 26 and will include an appearance by the Easter Bunny, hot dogs, prizes and more. The event is for children 12 and under, who are divided by age group.

There is no charge. Everything — from eggs and candy, to food and labor — is provided by volunteers.

“They make it happen,” said Bob Bennett, president of the Business Council, which coordinates the event.


Marlene McMahon has helped prepare for Le Roy's Easter Egg Hunt ever year for 20 years.


March 13, 2016 - 1:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Town of Batavia Fire, fire services, batavia, news.


Patrick Spear received the Firefighter of the Year award from Deputy Chief Dan Coffey on Saturday night during the Town of Batavia Fire Department's annual banquet at the Clarion Hotel.

The department responded to 317 calls in 2015. An average of 10.8 volunteers responded to each call and total man hours spent on calls exceeded 25,000. The volunteers also attended 76 training sessions.

"I think those are some pretty impressive numbers when you think about how we all have jobs, we all have families, we all have other obligations to attend to," Coffey said. "I truly want to give you guys a round of applause. We wouldn't be successful without that dedication."


Gary Diegelman​ was recognized for his 40 years of service to the department.


William Zipfel was recognized for his 45 years of service to the department.


March 13, 2016 - 11:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, news, Pavilion.


Doug Yeomans took this picture. It's of the metal dragon sculpture on Transit Road in Bethany, Pavilion sunrise, yesterday morning.

CORRECTION: A reader, admittedly being nitpicky, wrote to say this dragon actually sits on the Pavilion side of Transit Road, not the Bethany side.


March 12, 2016 - 8:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, east pembroke, news.


A person is reportedly lost in the woods and may be suffering from hypothermia in the area of 3094 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Town of Batavia. East Pembroke Fire Department (it's in their fire district) is on scene, along with Sheriff's deputies, and Alexander fire's Gator is called to respond along with Mercy medics. The person is on the south side of a creek. Mercy Flight is on standby.

UPDATE 938 p.m.: Two men were in a raft on the creek when one fell in the water and became submerged. The other man tried to help him out of the water using an oar/paddle, but this proved difficult and he called for help. The guy who fell in the water was transported to the hospital for evaluation. The other was a sign off.


March 12, 2016 - 8:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, crime, news.

Le Roy Police officers have detained two white males estimated to be about 18 years old in connection with a criminal mischief complaint about a half hour ago. A caller reported that two teenaged boys on BMX-style bikes rode by a business on Myrtle Main Street and threw rocks, which broke a window. The suspects were apprehended on Main Street within minutes and are said to be well known to local law enforcement. Authorities have contacted a representative of Municipal Solutions, a management consulting service in the Village, to make the person aware of damages. One of the youths is wanted by Attica PD, which has been contacted and a meeting is being arranged for them to pick up that person.

UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION: The two teens were juveniles and will not be charged criminally.  The incident occurred on Main Street, not Myrtle. There was no warrant and there was no meet up with Attica PD.

March 12, 2016 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in UMMC, flu, batavia, news.

Press release:

With the continued increase in the number of influenza cases at United Memorial Medical Center and in the community, the Hospital will be strictly following established visitor guidelines and implementing restrictions in order to safeguard the health of our patients.

Effective March 10, patients at United Memorial will be allowed only two (2) visitors at one time. No visitors under the age of 14 years will be allowed. Individuals with a sore throat, runny nose, fever, or other influenza type symptoms should not visit patients.

As an organization we understand the importance of loved ones and friends in the healing process. Exceptions to the visitor policy must be approved by the unit manager or nursing supervisor prior to the visitor’s arrival at the hospital. These restrictions have been put into place to protect those with weakened or fragile immune systems and those who care for them, from harm during the influenza outbreak.

Everyone should remember to use appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to prevent the spread of influenza. Symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, cough or nasal congestion. Individuals with fever over 100.5˚F and any of the symptoms listed are urged to stay home, seek medical advice as necessary and limit the number of people exposed. Individuals with influenza are contagious for 24 hours prior to exhibiting symptoms.

The hospital is located at 127 North St. in the City of Batavia.

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