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Monday, February 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Two local students named to dean's list at Clarkson University

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Darien, Milestones

The following students were named to the dean's list for the Fall 2012 semester at Clarkson University.

Andrew T. Lichtenthal, of Batavia, a freshman majoring in Aeronautical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

Jacob D. Muench, of Darien, a sophomore majoring in Aeronautical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

Dean's list students must achieve a minimum 3.25 grade-point average and also carry at least 14 credit hours.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. ABC News and PayScale list Clarkson as one of 12 schools whose new graduates earn more than Harvard's. It's located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam.

Monday, February 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Two student named Presidential Scholars at Clarkson University

post by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, Milestones

The following students were named Presidential Scholars for the Fall 2012 semester at Clarkson University.

Patrick D. Flynn, of Batavia, a freshman majoring in Aeronautical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

Kaley M. Johnson, of Bergen, a senior majoring in Engineering and Management.

Presidential Scholars must achieve a minimum 3.80 grade-point average and carry at least 14 credit hours.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. ABC News and PayScale list Clarkson as one of 12 schools whose new graduates earn more than Harvard's. It's ocated just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam.

Monday, February 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm

BHS student nominated to represent New York at national media conference this summer

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones

Courtney Smith, of Batavia, a student at Batavia High School, has been nominated to represent New York as a National Youth Correspondent to the 2013 Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University. It will be held July 7-12 in Fairfax, Va.

Courtney has been awarded the opportunity to join a select group of 250 students from across the country to participate in an intensive week-long study of journalism and media. Smith was chosen based on academic accomplishments and a demonstrated interest and excellence in journalism and media studies.

National Youth Correspondents participate in hands-on, experiential learning through decision-making simulations that challenge them to solve problems and explore the creative, practical, and ethical tensions inherent in journalism and media. The experiential portion of the program is complemented by speakers who are well-known leaders in the media community.

Presenters include prominent journalists, CEOs of major media outlets, researchers, and recent college graduates successfully entering the field. Last year's conference included Hoda Kotb, Chuck Todd, Brian Lamb and Neil Leifer.

With distinguished faculty, guest speakers, and direct access to elite D.C. practitioners, the Washington Journalism and Media Conference offers aspiring journalists an unparalleled experience.

Monday, February 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Proposal to curtail sales tax exemptions could hamper job growth projects locally

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCEDC, taxes

A proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to curtail sales tax exemptions on new development and redevelopment projects could hurt such projects locally, according to City Manager Jason Molino and Steve Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

"Losing the ability to offer state portion of sales tax exemptions dilutes our financial assistance offerings at the local level," Hyde said. "That hurts since we remain the 49th most expensive state to do business in."

Nearly all projects that come to the Industrial Development Agency for assistance and the promise of job growth receive a sales tax exemption on building materials, plant expansion and/or new equipment.

The City of Batavia has been aggressively pursuing projects that redevelop commercial parts of the city -- called "brownfield redevelopment" -- and the loss of the sales tax exemption could be a setback for those plans.

While Molino is reserved in his judgement since the governor's budget is still in the early proposal phase, he said if the elimination of sales tax exemptions goes through, it won't be good for Batavia.

"I think it has the potential to negatively affect any economic development effort that would use sales tax exemptions as part of its model for development," Molino said.

Hyde said much of the redevelopment necessary in the city won't qualify for the state's "excelsior program," which provides tax credits for strategically targeted industries, so maintaining the sales tax exemption is critical.

"We can support some really exciting things developing in the city to the fullest extent possible," Hyde said.

The Buffalo News carried a story this morning about how the budget proposal will be a setback for redevelopment in Buffalo.

Hyde encouraged constituents to reach out to the governor's office and express concern about the proposal.

"This topic is important as community development projects will be negatively impacted considerably and those are the lifestyle projects important to our  residents," Hyde said.

Monday, February 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

Law and Order: Batavia man accused of possessing a controlled substance

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, pembroke

Shawn Robert Klineline, 30, of Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance not in original container. Klineline was stopped for alleged traffic violations at 12:59 a.m. Saturday by Deputy Patrick Reeves, and found allegedly in possession of a non-prescribed controlled substance not in its original container.

Jeffrey Russell Hamill, 34, of Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding (76 in a 55 mph zone). Hamill was stopped at 1:43 a.m. Saturday on Route 77, Pembroke, for allegedly speeding by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Justin Michael Beverly, 23, of Creamery Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement markings in a no-passing zone. Beverly was stopped at 1:37 a.m. Saturday on Warboys Road, Byron, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Gary Wayne Wornowski, 30, of East Aurora, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right, possession/consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and inadequate muffler. Wornowski was stopped at 11:30 p.m., Jan. 1, on Route 5 in Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.  Wornowski was recently issued a summons to appear in Town of Pembroke Court at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 28.

Kathleen R. Cramer, 49, of 4 South Lyon St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Cramer is accused of shoplifting from Dollar General.

Kenneth W. Cook III, 19, of 108 Oak St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Cook was allegedly observed with a person he is ordered not to contact. Cook was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Melissa G. Betances, 31, of 180 1/2 Pearl St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Betances is accused of sending text messages to a person protected from contact by court order.

Booker T. Ricks III, 41, of 7 Chestnut St., Apt. 1, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Ricks is accused of violating a stay away order of protection.

Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Batavia-based Grease Lightning announces Midwest expansion

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business

Press release:

Batavia-based Grease Lightning, founded and operated by local residents Ben and Jackie Thompson in 2009 have just launched their most ambitious expansion to date as 11 new locations opened January 15th -- seven in suburban St. Louis, three in Indiana and one in Illinois.

This brings their total number of fast lube and repair shops to 40 in five states. Grease Lightning’s Batavia-based shops are Grease Lightning at 4003 W. Main St. and Castrol Premium Lube Express at 50 Liberty St.

Grease Lightning’s shops have owner/operators at the local level and the company is interested in finding prospective owners to help grow what has been for the last three years the fastest-growing independent chain of fast lube locations in the U.S.A. The company also has car and truck rental, towing and detail operations.

Interested parties who would like to own a location should contact Ben Thompson by calling 716-649-9374. You can find the company on the Web at www.mygreaselightning.com.

Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Black smoke seen coming from Dumpster at Quality Inn

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

Black smoke is reported coming from a Dumpster at the Quality Inn, 8200 Park Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia fire responding.

A chief on scene confirms smoke from the Dumpster. It's about 50 feet from the building.

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: Town of Batavia back in service.


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Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Photos: Annual 'Snow Ball' at Williams Park

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Snow Ball, softball, sports

Two longtime rivals, the teams representing "Genesee Hardware" and "Pino Vincenzo" returned to annual "Snow Ball" battle Saturday in Williams Park.

The two teams started a tradition of playing a winter softball game as youths, and didn't play a match for about 20 years before returning to the park last year.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Bullet hole found in car parked at Walmart the night a shot was reportedly fired there

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, walmart

Bullet holes from a single shot were found in the engine compartment today of a car that was parked at Walmart the night of Jan. 22.

State Police investigators have been looking into the incident ever since the report was filed on it that evening.

Today, Investigator Andre Dunlap received a call after a local mechanic spotted a hole in the transmission of a car.

That was an unexpected twist in the case that so far has not led to an arrest.

Multiple law enforcement sources have said there may gang affiliations involved with the shooter and possible target and the shooting may be related to a prior incident months ago in the City of Batavia.

Dunlap said the owner of the car noticed the vehicle was not running right and that when the weather turned cold, the car wouldn't heat up.

The driver took the vehicle to a mechanic who had worked on the car previously and he put antifreeze in the radiator. The radiator immediately began to leak, so he replaced it.

When the owner got the car back, after a few days, it still didn't seem to run right and then it stopped working altogether.

This morning, the mechanic put the car on a lift and that's when he noticed the bullet hole in the transmission. Fortunately, he still had the old radiator and upon closer inspection, he found a bullet hole in the radiator, too.

There was also a hole in the compressor for the air conditioner.

But a thorough search of the engine compartment failed to turn up the actual bullet, and Dunlap suspects it fell to the ground at Walmart after hitting the transmission.

The investigation into the shot fired at Walmart is ongoing and no further information is available at this time.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Photos: Pre-Super Bowl football in Williams Park

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, Williams Park

When I drove over to Williams Park this afternoon, I expected to find a group of grown men playing softball in 19-degree weather. I didn't expect find a football game.

Dozens of Batavia residents were in the park today for a six-team tournament sponsored by Ri-Dan's Brewery on West Main Street Road, Batavia. One of the players told me putting the tournament together was kind of a last minute thing and he thinks there will be more winter football in the park.

To purchase prints, click here.

UPDATE: Tony Ray sent the following info: "The team who won the flag football tournament: Team Game Over won the finals 28-14 going 4-0 on the day. Players are Tony Ray, Andre Kinder, Derek Kinder, Dale Buck, Travis Schultz, Ryan Gugel, Aaron Gugel, Jared Hyatt, Ramon Andino, Casey Busenbark, Chaz Weese."

Photo submitted by Tony Ray:

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