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Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 11:11 am

Photos: Batavia reads Gardner at the Pok-A-Dot

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, books, John Gardner, Literature, Pok-A-Dot

Members of the John Gardner Society gathered, as they do every October, for a reading of selections from the work of Batavia's own John Gardner.

Top photo: Bill Kauffman reading a portion of an essay about Gardner by Susan Thornton, who was Gardner's fiancée at time of his death.

Byron Hoot, who began attending the readings a few years ago, driving to Batavia annually from his home in Pennsylvania. 

Jim Gardner, John's brother

Leona Pastore and Terry Abrams

Bill Kauffman

Brian Paris reading

Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 8:45 am

Avon's elusive QB ends Alexander's football season

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, football, high school sports, sports

Above are three pictures that illustrate the problem Alexander faced Saturday in its Class DD Section V semi-final playoff game against Avon in Honeoye Falls.

The problem's name is Joe Sotak, the 155-pound, 5'9" stick of butter who led the Avon offense to a tally of 26 points over four quarters of whack-a-mole.

When Sotak could be caught, he proved impossible to hold.

The senior QB was seven for 10 passing for 96 yards and a TD. He also rushed for 147 yards and two TDs on 22 carries.

In the sequence above, Sotak pumps but doesn't throw as Rick Amico and Derrick Busch appear to be closing in for the sack. Sotak glided a step or two forward, causing Amico and Busch to whiff, then lofted a pass just over the heads of Tristan Aldinger and Cody Trzecieski to where only Avon's Zack Loomis could catch it as he stood on the three-yard line. Loomis needed only turn and take a couple of steps into the end zone.

The Trojans managed to cross the goal line once all afternoon, and that score didn't come until the 4th quarter.

A bad snap prevented Alexander from putting at least three on the board in the first half.

Final, 26-7.

Alexander finishes with a 5-3 record while Avon advances to face Clyde-Savannah in the Class DD final next week.

"It wasn't the result we were expecting tonight," said Head Coach Tim Sawyer. "We had a good week of preparation; however, Avon controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage. Avon played physical and fast tonight.

"Our overall body of work for the season has been quite good," he added. "We won some big games along the way. I hate to see the seniors go, but they have left their foot print on this program over the past two years."

Just before the end of the half, with the Trojans down 12-0, an Alexander player got a hand on Joe Sotak and nearly dragged him to the ground, but Sotak spun away and turned what looked like a certain sack into about a 30-yard gain, all the way down to the two-yard line. The gain, however, was negated by a block to the back foul later in Sotak's run.

Tristan Aldinger scores for Alexander

Tristan Aldinger with the ball

Jared Browne at QB

Action early in the second half

Jared Browne with a pass

Avon's star running back Brandon Mynter was mostly contained by the Alexander defense.

Head Coach Tim Sawyer

Alexander HS grad Matt Szymaski, home on leave from the Marines, attended Saturday's game.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

Le Roy upends Wayland-Cohocton 54-8

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

As it has all season, Le Roy dominated its opponent in the first round of sectional play Friday night, beating Wayland-Cohocton 54-8.

Tom Kelso scored four touchdowns to help power the Oatkan Knights' offensive. Kelso carried the ball 11 times and gained 90 yards.

QB Mike McMullen was 7 for 13 for 85 yards and a TD.

Nate Flint carried the ball 12 times for 66 yards and a TD, and Anthony Natrigo had 12 carries for 63 yards and a TD.

Nick Egeling also scored on the ground, gaining 22 yards on three carries. 

Photos by David Boyce.

Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

Blue Devils end postseason drought by crushing Pal-Mac 47-14

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, football, high school sports, sports

QB Greg Mruczek celebrated Batavia's first home sectional game in 18 years by tossing five touchdown passes, helping the Blue Devils crush Palmyra-Macedon 47-14.

It was pretty much a flawless performance for the junior who hit 13 receivers in 16 attempts for 227 yards without a reception.

Head Coach Brennan Briggs attributes Mruczek's success to hard work.

"He competes every single snap," Briggs said. "He wants to get better. It's not about any of the coaches or anything like that. It's about Greg wanting the ball in his hands and putting in that time and putting in that effort, asking to watch extra film, asking about the defensive coverages."

It helps that he's got some weapons on the wings and in the backfield.

Offensively, the Blue Devils feature three wideouts each with more than six feet in height -- Ryan Hogan, Malachi Chenault and James Cryer -- and speed with Dominick Mogavero, Jarrett Lasket and Anthony Gallo.

Mruczek said the height and athleticism of his receivers makes his job easier.

"I can throw with a lot of confidence with those guys," Mruczek said. "There's a lot of height. I can throw up the ball and they're great athletes. I've got a lot of confidence they're going to make plays."

Cryer led the receiving corps with four caches for 77 yards and three touchdowns.

Mogavero anchored the running game Friday night. He rushed for 124 yards on 24 carries.

"He's the back who has to get some tough yards, but he's also deceiving with the vision that he has," Briggs said. "He finds some holes and gets some big, hard yards for us. Defensively, his nose is always in there. He's a tough kid, a hard-nosed kid. That's how wrestlers are. He's a wrestler and that's how wrestlers are built. Not a big kid, but we have a lot of kids who aren't big or many not have a ton of mass to them, but their hearts are pretty strong."

The Blue Devils will need to call on those big hearts, hard work and focus as they take a big step in the recent history of Batavia's football program -- a second-round playoff game, something that hasn't happened in about 20 years.

Next Saturday they'll face #3 ranked Penn Yan (6-2), coming off a 24-0 victory over Waterloo. 

Even with a record of 7-1, Briggs said the Blue Devils have yet to put together a complete, well-balanced game, but they're getting closer.

That is what it will take to advance.

"We need to tighten up the defense," Briggs said. "We need to be able to run the ball and throw the ball on a given night. We can't just rely on just the passing game or just the running game. We still have to put that all together for us to take that next step."

Top Photo: Cryer with a TD reception.

Trevor Sherwood, another of Batavia's tall receivers, uses his height for a reception in the third quarter.

Malachi Chenault goes up for the ball to haul in a TD reception in the first quarter.

Cryer with a long run after a reception for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Danny Williams scores on a running play.

The Batavia Cheerleaders introduced a new routine at halftime.

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Pok-A-Dot announces co-owner Joe Marone has died

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pok-A-Dot

Joe Marone, left in the file photo above, co-owner and co-founder of the Pok-A-Dot, has died, according to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page.

The picture is from the Pok-A-Dot's 60th anniversary party. On the right is co-owner Phil Pastore, with Pok-A-Dot regular James Pero.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Photos: Today's fall scenes around Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

On a beautiful fall day, I took a little time to drive around Batavia and see if I might be able to make any pictures.

The first two shots are from Richmond Avenue by the Blind School.

North Street.

Bottom three shots, one of my favorite, knarly old trees, on South Jackson.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Photos: Jackson School kindergarteners get visit from Batavia PD as thanks for thank you cards

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD, Jackson School

A few weeks ago, as a writing assignment, a pair of kindergarten classes at Jackson School decided to send cards and a "police survival kit" to Batavia PD officers.

Today, three officers in the department returned the favor by going to the school and showing off their police cars and answering questions about their jobs.

Participating officers were Kevin DeFelice, Mich Cowen and Felicia Degroot.

The police survival kit contained candy and gum.

"We decided to come down and show them we appreciated what they did for us and that we're here for them anytime they need us," DeFelice said.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Photos: Crates of onions on fields of muck

post by Howard B. Owens in mucklands

My father just left after a two-day visit to Batavia. Wednesday, we visited the Holland Land Office Museum, Oliver's and the Batavia Cemetery and then drove down to Letchworth State Park. Yesterday, I gave him a Genesee County ag tour that started at Post Farms, then the mucklands, then Mortellaro Brothers in Elba then Baskin Livestock in Bethany.  

The only pictures I took yesterday were of crates of onions on the mucklands at Torrey Farms property. These, I thought worth sharing.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 4:29 pm

City receives $100K water rescue grant

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

Press release: 

With a $100,000 grant from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the City of Batavia Fire Department will help expand local emergency response teams and first responders throughout the County with equipment and training to reduce and respond to water emergencies.

The money will equip and train all first responders in Genesee County, to include 17 fire departments, five law enforcement agencies and three EMS agencies with water rescue awareness training and a basic water emergency response bag. Attica Fire and Police departments were also included with this grant.

In addition, this grant will also allow the City Fire Department to provide an annual water safety seminar for Genesee County residents to include topics such as: pool safety, open water safety, flooded road safety and what resources are available in Genesee County if you have an emergency.

“In our rural setting it is most likely that a police officer will arrive on location first,” said Lieutenant Bob Fix of the City Fire Department and Special Operations officer responsible for securing the grant. “With the basic kit and training supplied by this grant, an officer will be equipped with the knowledge and equipment to call for more advanced help and to try and effect a safe shore-based rescue.”

The City has been providing some level of water rescue protection for more than 50 years with minimal training and mostly donated equipment. Recent events in the City and Genesee County over the past several years have prompted more training and better equipment in order to provide adequate and safe response to residents.

City Fire Chief Jim Maxwell said, “We are pleased to have been awarded this grant through the New York State Homeland Security Program. These funds will be utilized by City Fire and Genesee County first responders to enhance water rescue response capabilities across the county. We would like thank the 24 area fire, EMS, and police agencies for their support of this initiative which will provide basic water rescue kits to emergency response vehicles throughout the county.”

All fire departments in Genesee County participate in the Genesee County Mutual Aid Plan. While the City of Batavia Fire Department will be the technician-level responders, it is important that local first responders throughout the county are trained and equipped for the initial response. A tiered-response partnership not only dramatically increases the capabilities countywide, but does it safely and effectively using manpower from throughout the county.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Batavia HS JV finishes 7-0 while varsity hosts sectional playoff game tonight

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, high school sports, sports

The Batavia Blue Devils JV team recorded another undefeated season with a victory yesterday evening over Le Roy, 29-16.

The varsity squad opens post season play tonight with a quarterfinals sectional playoff at home against Pal-Mac (3-4). Batavia enters sectionals with a 6-1 record and the #2 seed in Class B.

Le Roy, the #1 ranked Class C team in the state, opens sectional play with a home game against Wayland-Cohocton (2-5).

Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

Tomorrow in Class D, #6 seed Elba/Byron-Bergen (4-3) travels to Bath (6-1) for a 5 p.m. game against the #3 seed.  

In Class DD tomorrow, Alexander (5-2 and the #2 seed) plays Avon (5-2 and the #3 seed). The game is in Honeoye Falls at 4 p.m.

Reader submitted photo.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Today's Deals: Larry's Steakhouse, Bohn's, O'Lacy's Irish Pub, Pudgie's Lawn & Garden, and more!

post by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Stretch your body and soul with yoga. This offer is for a $20 gift certificate for the price of $5. Not good with any other discounts or offers. Excludes workshops.

Fortuna's Restaurant inside Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: Italian-style menu, drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, NY. A retail and special-order bakery and cafe located in Downtown Batavia inside Seymour Place. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, it offers fresh artisan bread like baguettes, sourdough and rye starting at noon. The custom cakes are out of this world with 3D characters or gorgeous wedding cakes to suit any budget. For all your sweet treats, we have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Jagged Edges Salon, 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, NY: Jagged Edges Salon is a walk-in and appointment salon for men, women and children. It is a fun, welcoming salon that offers all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, treatments, and facial waxing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St., Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Sweet Pea’s Cupcakery Café, 23 Jackson St., Batavia, NY. We are a full-service Cupcake Bakery and Café. Now serving fresh-baked artisan pizza on Friday nights! We offer soft-serve ice cream, too! Treat yourself to a variety of baked goods, mainly varieties of specialty and traditional scratch-made cupcakes, as well as other bakery items like cookies and brownies. We also serve a variety of hot and cold beverages. Check out our location, or place an order for parties, gatherings or any other reasons you can think of to enjoy some cupcakes. We have a $10 gift card for $6.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12. Valid only for lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pudgie's Lawn & Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Autumn is here and Pudgie’s has everything you need to enjoy the season -- sturdy mums in glorious colors, new Neanderthal fall bulbs, houseplant care products, organic gardening products, sprouting seeds and nutritious micro-greens. "Don't garden hard, garden smart!" Now selling Annin Flags, made in the USA, and taking orders for NFL and college football team flags. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: Dave's offers only locally purchased products, including Perry's hard ice cream in a wide variety of yummy flavors, with a wonderful assortment of toppings and homemade waffle cones. Different soft-serve flavors are offered weekly. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Scooter's Restaurant in Le Roy, 140 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Le Roy, NY: Come see us at Scooter's family restaurant with our friendly atmosphere and homestyle cooking! We offer classic American food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. We also offer a full take-out menu anytime. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

RULES:

[Last updated June 6, 2014. Subject to change without prior notice.]

A $1 PayPal service fee applies on items more than $10. The fee is 50 cents on items $10 and below.

Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase, unless it states otherwise. It is not valid with other offers, has no cash value, and does not include gratuities. Only one gift certificate per-merchant, per-household every SIX months. Gift certificates cannot be combined with other offers without prior approval of the merchant. Gift certificates bought separately cannot be combined for a single purchase. Individuals buying gift certificates must use their own personal PayPal account for the purchase. For hair salons, good for services only, not products.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. Unless other arrangements are made immediately after purchase, the gift certificate will mailed to the winner at his or her PayPal-provided postal address within two or three days of purchase.

SOLD OUT

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Man with pocketknife in State Street area leads to lock down at two local schools

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

The initial call sounded more serious than it turned out to be said Rob Yaeger, assistant chief, Batavia PD. 

Multiple law enforcement units responded 2:40 p.m. to Willow and State streets for the report of some sort of conflict involving a man with a knife.

The man reportedly ran west on Willow and went into a garage.

The knife turned out to be a pocketknife.

The incident also led to a lockdown at Batavia HS.  Students were kept inside the building for about 20 minutes.

The Lutheran school on Washington Avenue was also placed on lockdown, according to police.

Several Batavia patrol units responded along with Deputy Chris Erion and his K-9 Destro (seen above after Destro's work at the scene was done and he was rewarded with a little play time).

Batavia PD, Erion and Destro along with state troopers were just completing a planned exercise at the high school when the call to Willow Street came in, according to Principal Scott Wilson.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

22nd Annual Halloween Parade in the city is on Sunday

post by Billie Owens in batavia

Press release:

The 22nd Annual Halloween Parade will take place this Sunday, Oct. 26. Line will form starting at 12:45 p.m. on the west side of Genesee Country Mall/City Centre near Dan's Tires.

Small children MUST be accompanied by an adult. Wagons or sleds strongly recommended.

Parade begins at 1 o'clock. There is no rain date. Listen to WBTA for cancellations by 11:30 a.m.

The first 100 children 10 and under in costume only will receive a special free gift compliments of Oliver's Candies.

Pizza and lemonaide /orange soda for kids in costume only will be served at the end of the parade, compliments of Batavia's Original. Popcorn will be provided by Vibrant Batavia.

For more information call 345-6420.

The event is sponsored by The Batavia Area Jaycees, Batavia's Original, Oliver's Candies, Batavia Youth Bureau and Vibrant Batavia.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Alabama Fire Dept. hosts Fire Prevention Fun Night/Open House tonight

post by Billie Owens in Alabama

The Town of Alabama Volunteer Fire Department will host to the public a Fire Prevention Fun Night and Open House this evening, Oct. 24, from 6 to 8. It will be held at the Recreation Hall at 2230 Judge Road/Route 63, Alabama.

Free food and drinks, door prizes, obstacle course, Mercy Flight Helicopter will land. Wear a costume for a chance to win Smoke Alarms.

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