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Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 12:08 am

Photo: Erin Sydney Welsh performs at City Slickers

post by Howard Owens in batavia, City Slickers, entertainment, music

Ken Mistler has been booking more live music into City Slickers. Friday night, Erin Sydney Welsh performed. While I was there, at least six people came up to me and said something along the lines of, "Doesn't she have a beautiful voice? Are you going to take her picture and post it on The Batavian?" Welsh does have a beautiful, strong, clear voice. She performed a variety of covers and original songs. Welsh is 18 and a senior at Clarence High School.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:37 am

GCEDC board approves Koolatron and Premiere Credit projects

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, Koolatron, Premiere Credit

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved applications for two projects at its April 3 meeting.

Mega Properties, Inc., (Koolatron) will implement a 20,000-square-foot expansion to its current facility in Gateway I Corporate Park in Batavia. The company was approved for a sales tax exemption of approximately $39,200, a mortgage tax exemption of approximately $6,250 and a property tax abatement of $144,648 based on incremental increase in assessed value. The planned capital investment will total an estimated $775,000 and is projected to create 5.5 new full-time equivalent jobs in three years after a certificate of occupancy is issued.

Mega Properties, Inc., is a Canadian company headquartered in Brantford, Ontario, with locations in the United Kingdom and the United States. The company began business with its flagship product line of 12-volt portable thermoelectric coolers and has expanded to manufacture, market and distribute a wide range of items through dealer/distributor network and the Internet. 

Premiere Credit was approved for a sales exemption of $32,000 to expand is call center in the City of Batavia. The capital investment of the expansion project is $400,000 and the company has pledged 25 additional jobs, bringing the facility’s total employment up to 150 full-time equivalent employees.

In 2012, capital expenditure of Premiere Credit was $350,000 with 100 pledged jobs. In 2013, capital expenditure was $325,000 with 50 additional jobs pledged, resulting in the creation of 134 positions at the Batavia location.

“Companies in our county keep expanding operations at their facilities due to the increasing success they’ve experienced with the business climate here. The growth of these companies will continue to positively contribute to our job creation efforts,” said Wally Hinchey, GCEDC board chairman.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Paul Battaglia named honorary chair of centennial celebration

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Batavia Centennial, Vibrant Batavia

Press release:

The City of Batavia is turning 100! The City of Batavia along with Vibrant Batavia have announced that they are forming the Centennial Celebration Committee to begin with the planning for the 2015 year birthday celebration.

An outline of events has already started to develop. The Centennial Committee will be the primary lead for an opening ceremony December 2014 and closing ceremony December 2015. In between, we will engage a variety of citizen groups to honor the businesses, people and history of Batavia since 1915. The committee has taken that concept and molded it into a yearlong list of ideas looking for partner organizations to assist. A large birthday cake, banners, Century Club New Year’s Eve party, legacy item installation, memorabilia and more are in the making.

Leadership has also been identified for the Centennial. After hours of deliberations, the Vibrant Batavia Committee identified numerous worthy candidates to lead the festivities as the Honorary Chairperson. The group considered women and men that have family lineage within the City, passion for the history of the community, leadership qualities, respect of the residents, school connections, business relationships, commanding presence and more.

Paul Battaglia, a longtime resident of Batavia, was selected. He is currently the managing director of Freed Maxick’s Batavia practice. Battaglia is involved in many different organizations, from Batavia Rotary to UMMC to the Business Education Alliance and thr Genesee County Economic Development Center. In 2005, Battaglia received the Community Builder’s Award from the Council of Community Services of New York State in recognition of exemplary charitable board leadership with nonprofits. Paul and his wife, Mary, were born, raised and have spent their entire lives in Batavia. They graduated from Batavia High School as did their four children. They live on Ellicott Avenue in the City.

“I was surprised by the request and feel privileged to accept this position as Honorary Chairman of the City’s Centennial celebration,” noted Battaglia. “I am flattered and excited to be a part of celebrating old and new traditions. I’m looking forward to lighting the fireworks in December and cutting the City’s birthday cake next summer!”

Krysia Mager, a City of Batavia resident, has been named as the Centennial Committee chairperson. She is a marketing business partner at Tompkins Bank of Castile and is very active in the community. Mager previously served on the Batavia Business Improvement District committees and board of directors. She is also involved with the Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards ceremony. Krysia and her husband, Jonathan, have two daughters, Emersyn and Evelyn.

“I am very honored to represent our community as the Chairperson for this prestigious event,” Mager said. “I am really looking forward to working with the wonderful volunteers in our community to make this Centennial Celebration something to be remembered for another hundred years.”

The Centennial Committee will meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month at City Hall at 8:30 a.m. All interested participants should fill out a City of Batavia Committee/Board Volunteer Application that can be found on the city Web site (http://www.batavianewyork.com/sites/bataviany/files/file/file/committee_...).

Please complete the application and send any ideas, thoughts and or suggestions for this upcoming event to centennial@vibrantbatavia.com.

Vibrant Batavia is a community network organized to celebrate the past, build on the present and to create a more vibrant future. The volunteers work side-by-side with the City of Batavia, NeighborWorks® Rochester and the business community to strategically improve the City's neighborhoods and to promote a livable community of choice.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Photos: Ag Teacher of the Year award presented to Christine Bow

post by Howard Owens in batavia, agriculture, education, Jackson School, schools

At Jackson School today, Christine Bow received her official certificate and recognition for being named 2014 New York Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year from Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Above, Bow shares her bouquet of flowers with some of her students.

Barb Sturm, Cornell Cooperative Extension, handed out seeds to teachers to give to their students. Above, Bill Calandra collects seed packets for his class.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Photos: Third Annual Fine Arts Festival at GCC

post by Howard Owens in arts, batavia, entertainment, Fine Arts Festival, GCC

GCC hosted its third annual Fine Arts Festival this afternoon, allowing students and area residents to try their hands at various artistic endeavors, including drawing, painting, origami, printmaking, and weaving.

Above, DiDi Martin draws a portrait of Chelsea Burkhartzmeyer.

Betty and Frank McGlaysson learn origami with instructor Kyoko Roszmann.

Jenny Spychalski.

Below, chainsaw sculptors Rick and Dustin Pratt and an owl they created form a tree stump.

While on campus, we also visited the Roz Steiner Gallery and took in the student art show.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

After 65 years in Batavia, Boyles Motors keeps on trucking

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Boyles Motors, business

Boyles Motors has survived for 65 years because of faith and family, says Eva Fanara.

Fanara, who turns 91 years old next week, still works four days a week as a receptionist in the family business at the corner of Oak Orchard Road and West Saile Drive, Batavia.

"Oh, I'm just baggage now," Fanara said. "I'm just here to make sure they behave."

Her grandson, Jimmy Fanara, said Eva is really the foundation of the trucking parts, service and sales business.

As you would imagine, a lot has changed for Boyles Motors over seven decades, and the times haven't always been easy, but the Fanaras have stayed together and kept the business humming like a well-tuned engine even when the road got rough.

"Our customers know who we are," Eva said. "We've worked hard and we just keep working at it."

Eva's late husband, Vincent, was a regional sales manager for International trucks when the recently married couple moved from Buffalo to Batavia in 1949.

Two successful muck farmers, Roy Rowcliff and Bill Stuart, wanted to buy Boyles Motors after one of the original owners had a nervous breakdown. They asked Vincent Fanara to run the business for them.

At the time, Boyles was located on West Main Street, about where McDonald's is now. The dealership mostly sold light trucks and the International Scout along with some heavy trucks.

After the deaths of Rowcliff and Stuart, Vincent Fanara, a World War II vet, acquired the business.

"We just kept the name, Boyles Motors," Eva said. "We were known as Boyles Motors from here to California, so why change it?"

As the business grew, so did the family. The Fanara's had three boys, James, Paul and John. As the boys grew older, Eva pursued her career in teaching.

In 1971, the dealership moved to its present location, with a bigger emphasis on bigger trucks, though light trucks and Scouts were still part of the sales mix.

Things changed for Boyles Motors in 1973. Paul, then 19 and a student at Genesee Community College, was killed in a car accident.

Paul's death was hard on Vincent, Eva said.

"Vincent Fanara was having a hard time pulling it together here," Eva said. "He wanted to close. He didn't want to stay, but we had two other boys."

Eva decided to give up teaching and enter the business to help keep it going.

"I came in to meet the public," Eva said. "I'm a people person. I was no more an office person than the janitor of the place. I didn't know anything about the business. I was just going to go into permanent teaching at the time."

When Vincent died in 1987, James Fanara took over day-to-day operations.

"He had no choice," Eva said. "He had to do it."

In 1990, the Fanaras opened a second location with the encouragement of International in Jamestown. John Fanara runs that location along with Jimmy's brother Vincent.

Jimmy is in charge of parts and service at the Batavia location. His wife, Brandi, works at the store part time along with their daughter, Jenna. One of John's children helps in Jamestown.

The business also employs about 20 people.

At one time, Boyles employed a lot more people, Jimmy said, but the business has changed.

In the 1980s, International stopped making light trucks and the Scout. Then in the late 1990s, the company was sold to Navistar.

Around 2000, Navistar decided to eliminate many of its dealers across the country, so now Boyles is an affiliate dealership. It facilitates new truck sales still, but the new truck dealer for the region is in Rochester.

Jimmy said Boyles survives on parts and service and used truck sales as well as sales and service for Oshkosh snowplows and military equipment (primarily in Jamestown).

The company continues to thrive because of decades of providing great customer service, Jimmy said.

He recalled two stories about how the company strived to take care of its customers.

"We have a longtime customer in Elba and he told me once he needed an engine but at the time, he didn't have the money to pay for it," Jimmy said. "My grandfather said, 'pay me as you go,' and the farmer told me if not for that, he never would have made it."

Then there was the Elba farmer who sent a big bouquet of flowers to Eva when she was in the hospital once.

"He said when they were nothing, before they became the big farm they are today, he needed some parts, but he didn't have any money," Jimmy said. "She said, 'don't work about it.'  He paid her off, but he said that meant a lot to him at a time he needed it."

The family are members of Ascension Parish and attend St. Joe's. The children have attended, or attend, St. Joe's and Notre Dame. Eva goes to church every day.

She seems to have boundless energy and Jimmy said customers are often amazed to learn she's 90.

"They think she can't be older than 65," Jimmy said.

"Faith, family and work are my mottoes," said Eva, who just retired from delivering for Meals on Wheels after 50 years.

But she expressed no desire to quit her work at Boyle Motors any time soon.

"When you're working, you meet the young people and you know what's going on," Eva said.

Top photo: Brandi, Eva and Jimmy in a 1913 International that the original owners of Boyle Motors had left in one of their barns. It once served as the chariot for the Elba Onion Queen.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 8:39 am

Law and Order: BHS student accused of assault at school

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

A 17-year-old resident of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. The youth allegedly punched another student at Batavia High School. The victim required sutures for a laceration.

Bill Anton Thomas, 54, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to appear. Thomas was arraigned in City Court and released to a family member after paying the remainder of a fine from the original charge.

Justin David Cotter, 21, of Lehigh Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. He turned himself in at Batavia PD headquarters. Cotter posted $100 bail and was released.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Photo: Geese in flight at sunset, Oak Orchard Road, Batavia

post by Howard Owens in batavia

I've gotten a few messages over the past few days about bevy of swans landing in the area of West Saile Drive and Route 98 in the late afternoon. After the call came again this evening, with clear blue skies, I thought I'd try for a quick look. The swans were much too far out in the field for any lens I own to reach, but while I stood by the side of the road, all the geese took off from the flooded farm field, creating quite a sight.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Man indicted on 16 counts involving six children under 17

post by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Grand Jury, Le Roy

These are the latest indictments issued by the Genesee County Grand Jury.

Marino M. Marasciulo III is indicted on 16 criminal counts, including third-degree rape, all alleged to have occurred in the Town of Bergen. In late January or early February, 2013, this adult over the age of 21, allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a person under 17, a Class E felony. In count two, the defendant is accused of allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct with a person under 17, also a Class E felony. In count three of the indictment, the defendant is accused of forcible touching, a Class A misdemeanor. In or about July 2012, for intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, Marasciulo allegedly forcibly touched the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire. In count four, Marasciulo is accused of a Class A misdemeanor, in or about July 2012, for allegedly knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less that 17 or directed or authorized such child to engage in an occupation involving substantial risk of danger to her life or health. In count five, the defendant is accused of the same conduct as in count four but in April or May 2013 and with a second child under 17. In counts six and seven (Summer of 2012), eight (Summer of 2012 -- May 2013) and nine (late January or early February 2013) the defendant is accused of the same conduct but with a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth child, respectively. The remaining seven counts, all Class A misdemeanors, are for unlawfully dealing with a child for allegedly providing alcohol to a person or persons under 21.

Shadow S. Jonathan is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony, for allegedly intending to cause, and causing, physical injury to another person or a third person by means of a dangerous instrument, a wooden beam, on Sept. 13 in the Town of Alabama. On the same date, the defendant is also accused of attempted assault in the second degree, a Class E felony, for allegedly intending to cause physical injury and attempting to cause such injury by means of a dangerous instrument, a metal stake.

Nicole M. Dellapenna is indicted for second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony, for allegedly intending to cause physical injury to another person, causing injury to the person or a third person by means of a dangerous instrument, a knife, in the Town of Le Roy of Aug. 24. She is accused of criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly possessing a dagger or dangerous knife or other dangerous instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another.

Matthew A. Beccue is indicted for allegedly driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. On Nov. 22 in the City of Batavia, he drove a 1994 Chevrolet in the parking lot of a gas station and on Route 63 and on Liberty Street all while allegedly intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated driving while intoxicated, also a Class E felony, for allegedly have a BAC of .18 or more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 9:17 am

Law and Order: Registered sex offender turns himself in on change of address charge

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Pavilion

Wayne D. Potter, 30, of Batavia, is charged with failure to notify of change of address and offering a false instrument for filing. Potter is a registered level 2 sex offender. He allegedly failed to register a change of address and turned himself in after learning police were looking for him. Potter was jailed without bail.

Stephen A. Lewis II, 33, of 14 Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Lewis is accused of damaging the door of another tenant at 14 Highland Park, Batavia, with a shovel. Lewis was jailed on $1,000 bail.

James Rocco Soccio, 32, of Ross Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant stemming from an unregistered motor vehicle charge. Soccio posted bail and was released.

James J. Preedom, 29, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Preedom is accused of pushing another person during an alleged incident reported at 3:30 a.m., Monday. Preedom also allegedly broke a chair and damaged a wall.

Jeffrey W. Kuyal, 22, of 839 Chili Ave., lot J147, Churchville, is charged with petit larceny; Jazmin L. Kuyal, 25, of 66 Lake Street, Le Roy, is harassment, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. Jeffrey was arrested by Le Roy PD for allegedly shoplifting from a village business. As he was being led from the store by a police officer, Jazmin allegedly struck Jeffrey in front of police. Police say Jeffrey and Jazmin are cousins. When a police officer attempted to arrest Jazmin, Jazmin allegedly struggled with the officer and became combative, refusing to get into the patrol vehicle. Jazmin was also found to have a warrant out of Orleans County. Jazmin was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Mark Anthony Cicero, 45, of Dolbeer Street, Perry, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle and failure to obey traffic device. Cicero was stopped at 12:20 a.m. on Perry Road, Pavilion, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Randy J. Rowe, 32, of Rochester, was arrested as a fugitive and is also charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Rowe was arrested in the Town of Batavia on Monday by State Police. No further details released.

NOTE: The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is now posting a list of people with outstanding warrants. The list can be found on the county Web site under NEW Warrants. For the current list, click here (PDF).

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