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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

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 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 3:52 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 3:05 pm

22nd Annual Halloween Parade in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, events, Halloween

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.

Event Date and Time

October 26, 2014 - 12:45pm - 2:00pm
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