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December 31, 2018 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, top posts, news.

Most viewed stories of 2018:

Here are the 10 stories I wrote during 2018 that I like the best:

From all of us at The Batavian, Happy New Year. Thank you, readers and sponsors, for your support of our effort to provide news coverage of our community. Billie and I are grateful for the opportunity and pleasure of living here and being able to do what we love, which is local community news.

November 17, 2018 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Billie and I will be away from the scanners for the next 24 hours.

We're driving down to Binghamton for Batavia High School's football state championship semi-final game.

The game is today at 3 p.m. and you can listen to it live on WBTA.

October 10, 2018 - 12:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

It's time for the annual Local Independent Online News Publishers' conference in Chicago (an organization I helped start) so this afternoon I'm catching a flight to O'Hare.

I'll return Sunday.

Billie will be holding down the fort and we have some stories in the pipeline and will continue coverage of our community, though I'll be busy and won't be around to cover events.

September 24, 2018 - 8:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

We've always had a policy of disclosing when things going on in our lives might disrupt news coverage, even when those events are medical in nature.

This is one of those times.

Since August of last year, I've had afib and this morning I'll be admitted to Unity Hospital in Rochester where, after some tests and if those tests go well, doctors will administer a medication that may correct it. The potential side effects of the medication require that I remain in the hospital where I can be monitored for at least three days.

So, until perhaps Thursday morning, I won't be in town. Billie will be here monitoring the scanner as usual. We have some coverage lined up. I'm expecting some documents that will enable me to write a couple of stories while I'm in the hospital and I can do any other stories that come up that don't require me to travel, but I won't be available for breaking news or event coverage. We'll do our best to get these covered through other means while I'm gone.

August 19, 2018 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Billie and I are heading out of town for four days. We celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday.

We're going to take as much time off as we can, work as little as possible. There are some news stories coming in but we won't have a scanner with us.

I won't post Deal of the Day while away. I may or may not do polls. We'll see.

August 3, 2018 - 12:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, thebatavian, wbta, news, arts, entertainment.

Tomorrow starting at 6 p.m. the place to be is GO ART!, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, where the night's guest bartenders will be Howard Owens of The Batavian and Chris Kalin of WBTA.

Billed as a competition, our goal is to raise as much money as possible for local arts, so come, be merry, enjoy a few drinks, leave tips on the bar.

June 15, 2018 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Billie and I will be out of town for the rest of the afternoon ... hopefully, all is quiet and we don't miss anything.

May 2, 2018 - 3:31pm
posted by James Burns in news, thebatavian, batavia, business.


The Batavian celebrated 10 years of delivering news and support to local businesses at Eli Fish Brewing Company in Batavia yesterday.

Sharon White, above, representing Assemblyman Steve Hawley, delivered an Assembly Citation recognizing The Batavian for 10 years of service to the community. 

Michael Kracker, representing Rep. Chis Collins, delivered a copy of Congressional Record for May 1 commemorating The Batavian's 10 years in business and recognizing the efforts of Publisher Howard Owens and Editor Billie Owens for their commitment in preserving the First Amendment.

Jay Grasso, representing State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, delivered a Legislative Resolution, which was read into the State Senate record yesterday, marking The Batavian's 10th anniversary.

A letter from Sen. Charles E. Schumer congratulating the publisher and editor of The Batavian on the 10th anniversary of their local news business was also received before the event.

It reads, in part: "I applaud you both for the leap of faith you took back in 2009 when you moved to Batavia and garnered the support of local businesses in order to keep this news outlet alive. Thanks to your efforts, The Batavian remains a go-to source for local news and is supported by more than 150 local businesses."

Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and publisher of the Batavia Daily News when The Batavian first startedserved as emcee Tuesday afternoon. He noted how there was an intense rivalry between himself and Howard Owens in the beginning, but now they often work together as friends with the shared mission of promoting local business in Genesee County.

Also in attendance, Dan and Debbie Fischer, owners of WBTA radio. WBTA is an official news partner with The Batavian and has been a partner and friend to The Batavian from the beginning.

Howard Owens spoke briefly and recognized the contributions of several people, including the Fischers and Turnbull, who have helped him and his wife over these past 10 years, including staff member Lisa Ace, who has been with the company for almost seven years and is critical to helping The Batavian serve local businesses.

The Batavian officially launched May 1, 2008, without an office in Batavia. The site was then owned by GateHouse Media. The editor was Philip Anselmo* and he camped out at Main Street Coffee every workday covering local news from his unofficial office. The location of Main Street Coffee is now Eli Fish Brewing Company.

On March 1, 2009, Howard and Billie became owners of The Batavian, sold their house in Pittsford and moved to a duplex on Maple Street in June of that year.

At the time, there were only about a half dozen online-only news sites in the nation. Today, there are more than 200 and The Batavian is among the most successful of the online-only ventures.

The Batavian and Howard Owens have received awards from the New York Press Association, the Inland Press Association, and the National Press Photographers Association. This news site also received the 2009 Innovative Enterprise of the Year Award from the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and the 2013 Spirit of Downtown award from the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District.

(*Former Batavian Editor Phillip Anselmo, always an excellent writer and top-notch journalist, went on to earn a master's degree in Comparative Literature at UC Irvine; he is now a Critical Theory graduate student in UC Irvine's School of Humanities. The Rochester native teaches a class in Comparative Literature at the Irvine, Calif., campus.)

Top photo by Jim Burns. Bottom two photos by Steve Ognibene.


Tom Turnbull with Howard Owens


Billie Owens, Bill Kauffman, Howard Owens

May 1, 2018 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, top posts, news.

Looking back on the first 10 years of The Batavian, here are the most viewed stories. First, by cumulative page views and second, each top story for each year.

Top 10 most viewed stories in 10 years

The most viewed posts in each year:

Reminder: We're celebrating our 10th anniversary today at 5:30 p.m. at Eli Fish Brewing Company (10 years ago, Main Street Coffee and our first "office").

April 30, 2018 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.


The Batavian is 10 years old tomorrow. You're invited to join us at 5:30 p.m. for a 10th Anniversary Celebration at Eli Fish Brewing Company.

Eli Fish is located at 111 Main St., Batavia. Ten years ago, that was the location of Main Street Coffee. When we were launching The Batavian, we didn't have an office, so Philip Anselmo (our editor then) and I, with the gracious permission of Rob Credi, camped out at Main Street Coffee all day. That was our first "office." So it's fun to return to that same location that is now a new business that is part of Batavia's revitalization.

April 15, 2018 - 5:20pm
posted by Press Release in thebatavian, news.


A news photo by Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, has been selected by the National Press Photographers Association as the best spot-news photo in the nation for the month of January.

The photo, of Eddie Miles in handcuffs being taken from the scene of an apartment fire on Washington Avenue he is accused of starting, was previously selected as the NPPA's best spot-news photo in the New York/International Region.

The NPPA divides its membership among several regions and photographers are invited to submit photos in regional monthly contests for spot news, general news, sports, features, and other categories. The regional winners are eventually judged in a national contest.

Over the past five years, Owens has had several pictures selected for first, second, or third place in spot news and general news.

He isn't the only Batavia-based news photographer who competes in the contest. Mark Gutman of the Batavia Daily News, is also a frequent entrant. He's won several awards from NPPA and in January captured three third-place awards in sports feature, sports action, and general news. Many of Gutman's awarding-winning shots, which includes prizes from the Associated Press, can be seen on his website.

In an era of fewer local news outlets and smaller photography staffs at newspapers around the country, Genesee County is one of the few news markets in the nation with still-news photojournalists working at competing news organizations.

The photojournalism of Owens is also featured in the current edition of News Photographer Magazine, a publication of the NPPA. A photo he took in October of the Wilson High School Football Team pushing against a school bus that had become stuck on a sidewalk was printed across two pages in a section at the front of the magazine called "Opening Shots." The picture was the region's winner in October for spot news. It took second place nationally that month.

UPDATE: I completely missed this at the times the awards were announced -- the two shots Mark Gutman had for sports feature and sports action that took third place in the regional competition actually moved up to second place in the national competition -- so for January, he had two-second place shots nationally.


March 6, 2018 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This afternoon Billie and I will board a plane headed to Los Angeles.

This is not a pleasant trip.

On Feb. 22, Charles Raymond Sutherland, Billie's youngest son, age 35, died following a heroin overdose in Ventura.

We will hold a memorial service for him in Ventura on Thursday.

In all, Billie and I will spend four days in Ventura before driving over to Bakersfield to visit my dad.

While we're away, we will receive help with the site from Mike Pettinella, Jim Burns, Steve Ognibene, Maria Pericozzi, Alecia Kaus, and our news partner WBTA. We will do our usual work that we can do remotely; however, honestly, we might not be as focused at times on this trip as we have been on previous trips.

January 1, 2018 - 9:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

To purchase prints, click here.

December 11, 2017 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

The Batavian is available in a fast, easy-to-use app for iOS and Android devices.  Download it today.



December 8, 2017 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This is a notice for people who submit calendar items.

We were using a vendor calendar on Batavia's List (www.bataviaslist.com) and it was necessary to Batavia's List to submit calendar items.  As a cost-saving measure, we've canceled that vendor contract.  We're going back to just the calendar that is part of thebatavian.com's content management system.  To submit calendar items, use the "add event" link under the calendar on the right-hand side of the page.

For those who submitted calendar feeds for us to import, we are still importing those feeds.

As an alternative, you're also welcome to email calendar items to [email protected].

For users of the calendar, people who just view it, you won't notice any change on The Batavian, but there is no longer a calendar on bataviaslist.com.

December 1, 2017 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

Thank you to everybody who stopped by the WBTA/The Batavian Christmas Party at the WBTA Studios at Main and Center this evening during Christmas in the City. We had a great time.

Thank you for Dibble Family Center for the fantastic chili and grilled cheese sandwiches we served our guests.

As we announced beforehand, anybody who stopped by and showed us that they had downloaded The Batavian's app on their smartphone or tablet could enter a drawing to win $100.

Many people tonight downloaded it right on the spot.

In all, we had 60 entries.

The winner is: Amy Swanson, of Stafford.

If you haven't downloaded the app yet, please do so:

December 1, 2017 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, Christmas in the City, downtown, batavia, news.

Downtown Batavia will be filled with holiday cheer and family fun tonight as local merchants host Christmas in the City.

Main Street, from Ellicott Street to Liberty Street, will be closed to vehicle traffic starting at 7 p.m. in preparation for the Christmas in the City parade at 8:15 p.m.

The festivities start at 5 p.m. and include horse and buggy rides, music, crafts, food, and other family-oriented activities.

Stop by the WBTA studios at Main and Center for a Christmas Party co-hosted by WBTA and The Batavian. Bring your smartphone or tablet, show the staff of The Batavian our mobile app installed on your device and you can enter a drawing for a $100 prize (no purchase necessary). We’re serving chili and grilled cheese catered by Dibble Family Center. 

Download our app.

November 30, 2017 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

You can now get instant access to news from The Batavian on your smartphone or tablet.

Download our app.

Come to Christmas in the City tomorrow, stop by our partners at WBTA's studios at Main and Center between 5 and 9 p.m., show us the app on your device and you will be eligible to enter a drawing for a $100 prize.

November 28, 2017 - 7:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, downtown, Christmas in the City, batavia.

The Batavian and WBTA, local news partners for Genesee County, are hosting a Christmas party Friday evening during Christmas in the City at WBTA's studios at Main and Center.

Stop by between 5 and 9 p.m. and you could get a chance to win $100. Show us The Batavian's mobile app on your smartphone or tablet and you will be eligible to enter the drawing (no purchase necessary).

We will provide snacks catered by the Dibble Family Center.

  • To download The Batavian's app for iOS, click here.
  • To download The Batavian's app for Android, click here.
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