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Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Batavia PD grow moustaches and raise money for Genesee Cancer Assistance

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD

Nineteen members of the Batavia PD participated in "Movember," during the month of November in recognition of prostate cancer month. Department members grew moustaches and raised $500 for Genesee Cancer Assistance. A handful of officers still have their moustaches including, above, sgt. Dan Coffey, officer Frank Klimjack and officer Jason Davis.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 7:05 am

Batavia drama club marks 100th year of theater at school with Shakespeare

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, Batavia HS, theater

Theater-in-the-round, Shakespeare, celebrating 100 years of live stage performances at your school. These are all heady things to take on for a group of young thespians, but the Batavia High School Drama Club is pulling it all together nicely, says advisor Caryn Burke.

It was actually a student who suggested the club perform Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" this year after noticing the comedy was the first public stage performance by BHS students in 1914. Though none of the students had much experience with Shakespeare, they've all taken to it like sprites to pixie dust.

Burke admits she was a little apprehensive once it was settled that they would perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The first step was for them just to get through a reading of the play.

"A lot of them had no idea how to read or even comprehend Shakespeare," Burke said. "Once they got it, they just ran with it. Once they understood what the show was and what all the dialogue meant and they had a good understanding of it they just took it from there."

The version the students will perform this Friday and Saturday is an adaption suitable for a high school performance by Ken Womble. None of the language is changed and the plot and themes remain the same, Burke said. It's just a slightly abridged version.

Even so, taking on Shakespeare, especially in the theater-in-the-round format Burke prefers for the winter show could be a bit daunting. She says the club has been able to remain focused on its primary goals.

"It's supposed to be fun," Burke said. "It's supposed to be educational, but there's a time and place for Shakespeare and that's not always necessarily in a high school drama club. The kids rose to the challenge."

The lead cast is Ross Chua, Andrea Gilebarto, Chelsea Jensen, Evan Bellavia, Lauren Dunn, Cara Ranalli, Alex Mott and Nick Piedmont.

Show times Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 each and only available at the door. Seating is limited to 100 patrons.

Monday, December 1, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Dedicated student in Culinary Arts Program at BOCES in Batavia victim of fatal crash

post by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, BOCES, Culinary Arts

The 18-year-old resident of Attica, Dominic Maksymik, who died Sunday night after his vehicle crossed the center line on Route 98 in Bennington, was a student in Batavia, part of the BOCES Culinary Arts Program.

From the 13WHAM story:

Ask anyone who knew him, Maksymik was a driven young man who had a passion for cooking.

"Like many students who come to BOCES, it gave him a way to express himself," explained Chef Nathan Koscielski, Maksymik's culinary teacher at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in Batavia. "Dom just loved cooking that was one of the great things about him. It didn't matter what we were cooking, he was going to be passionate about it. If we were making mashed potatoes, it was going to be the best mashed potatoes he could make."

Maksymik's ambition to be the best chef showed in his work. Koscielski credits Maksymik's abilities to helping their culinary school win the American Culinary Federation Culinary Cup for the last two years. They beat out other BOCES programs and area colleges.

13WHAM is an official news partner of The Batavian.

Previously: 

Monday, December 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Sponsored Post: BID - Christmas in the City & Holiday Parade is Friday December 5!

The Holiday Parade on Main Street, 6:30 to 7 p.m.

  • Photos with Santa -- 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Stores & restaurants offering specials and entertainment -- 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Horse & wagon rides -- 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Trolley rides to the Wonderland of Trees at the Holland Land Office Museum -- 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Batavia Concert Band in Batavia City Centre -- 6 p.m.

Sponsors: PLATINUM: Alpina Foods, Java Farm Supply. GOLD: Empire Tractor, Batavia Daily News, Genesee Valley Pennysaver, Tompkins Bank of Castile, & Tompkins Insurance, Turnbull Heating & Air, WBTA Radio. SILVER: Fidelis Care NY, Freed Maxick CPAs, Holland Land Office Museum, Muller Quaker Foods, Oshlag Saleh & Earl, R.A. Haitz Co., T-Shirts Etc., The Batavian, Valle Jewelers & United Memorial Medical Center.

Another event brought to you by: Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District.
(585) 344-0900. 
For more information, visit us online at: CLICK HERE.

Monday, December 1, 2014 at 11:59 am

Former WBTA owner and local writer William F. Brown passes at age 91

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, wbta

A local legend in news media and stalwart contributor to Batavia community groups, William F. Brown Jr., 91, passed away Saturday at Rochester General Hospital after a brief illness.

Brown's lengthy career included owning and managing WBTA, writing for various area publications, authoring books as well as being the first chairman of the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame High School and serving as president of the Board of Directors for  St. Jerome's Hospital.

“The community has lost a talented broadcaster and WBTA has lost a dear friend," said Dan Fischer, current owner of WBTA. "Bill’s wit was razor sharp and his knowledge of Genesee County history was encyclopedic. During his stewardship of WBTA, Bill set a standard for public service and broadcast news. We honor his legacy by trying to continue that standard as best we can.”

Brown was born Oct. 25, 1923 in Batavia, the son of the late William F. Brown Sr. and Monica Sellinger Brown.  

He was a 1941 graduate of Batavia High School and a graduate of Canisius College. He also studied at Yale and Fordham universities and was an Army veteran of World War II where he worked for the Armed Forces Radio Service in Kokura, Japan.

After his military service, he was public relations director for Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway for several years before becoming co-owner and manager of WBTA Radio in 1968.  

At WBTA, he distinguished himself with daily outspoken editorials dealing with local issues and humorous vignettes about family life. He won 16 statewide “Best Editorial Awards” in his career from the New York State Broadcasters Association.  

He remained a member of the United States Harness Writers Association for more than 55 years. He served as secretary for several years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Besides his community work with Notre Dame and St. Jerome's, he was a trustee emeritus of the Jerome Foundation, a member of the Board of Catholic Education of the Diocese of Buffalo and lay chairman of the Bishop’s Lay Advisory Council. He was a lector and eucharistic minister at Resurrection Parish and a Knight of St. Gregory and a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

He was active in many local civic organizations throughout his life, including the Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus and the Elks. He was a lifelong member of Stafford Country Club.

His books on local history include a popular publication on the Linden Murders. He also wrote columns for the Batavia Daily News and was Genesee County correspondent for the Buffalo News at the time of his death.

Calling hours are 3 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, at H.E. Turner, 403 E. Main St., Batavia. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, 9:30 a.m. at Resurrection Parish, St. Joseph Church, 303 E. Main St.. Batavia. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery. The Knights of Columbus will hold a prayer service on Wednesday at 6:30 pm.

For the full obituary, click here.

Photo: From a Rotary lunch in 2012

Monday, December 1, 2014 at 10:45 am

Law and Order: Man arrested in lockdown incident Thursday also accused of selling drugs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, corfu, crime, pembroke, Stafford

Jonathan Cornelius Hoges, 32, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged wit criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th,, and endangering the welfare of a child. Hoges allegedly used what appeared to be a handgun and threatened to kill himself in front of his two young children in an incident reported at 2:47 p.m. Thursday at his residence on Ross Street. He was later taken into custody on Miller Avenue. At the time of his arrest, he was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine and packaging. He was jailed on $20,000 bail, or $40,000 bond. (Previous report)

Joseph A. Cafarelli, 48, of Hunters Gate Drive, Rochester, is charged with falsely reporting an incident to law enforcement. Cafarelli allegedly reported that his debit card had been stolen while at Batavia Downs Casino. An investigation revealed the incident allegedly did not occur. Cafarelli was jailed on $500 bail.

Melanie Rose Cantabrana, 22, of Maple Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Cantabrana is accused of stealing $680.51 in merchandise from Walmart.

Nancy June Brandon, 36, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. She was also charged with facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Brandon was a passenger in a vehicle stopped at 10:40 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Joseph Corona. The driver allegedly was unlicensed. Brandon was jailed on $400 bail, or $800 bond.

Latoya Yalanda Stanley, 26, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and unlicensed driver. Stanley was stopped for alleged traffic violations at 10:40 p.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona. Stanley also reportedly was wanted in the Town of Gates on a warrant on an unrelated matter.

Michael Andrew Balla, 39, of Hazlemere Avenue, Machias, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Balla allegedly damaged a garage door, valued at more than $250, at a location on Main Road, Stafford. Balla was jailed without bail.

Christopher Ryan Waite, 25, of Skye Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving while ability impaired by drugs and reckless driving. Following numerous calls of an erratic driver, Waite was stopped at 11:46 p.m. Friday on Route 262, Byron, by Deputy Matthew Butler. Additional charges are pending.

Julie L. Dutton, 19, of Manhattan Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Dutton was arrested after police were asked to check on the welfare of a person on Thomas Avenue. Dutton was allegedly found hiding in a shower by police officers inside the residence of a person allegedly protected from contact by Dutton through a court order. Dutton was jailed on $500 bail.

Samantha J. Armstrong, 21, of Hart Street, Batavia, turned herself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking citation for improper street parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Armstrong was released on $100 cash bail.

Deborah R. Blatt, 53, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Blatt is accused of verbally harassing and annoying a neighbor. 

Terrence D. Johnson, 19, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic citation. Johnson posted bail and was released.

Nicholas J. Mungillo, 20, of Union Square, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession alcohol under age 21. Mungillo was allegedly found intoxicated following the report of a fight in the area of Jackson Street and Watson Street at 3:46 a.m. on Sunday. Also charged was Michael A. Canzoneri, 19, of Edgewood Drive, Batavia.

Anya R. Rambuski, 44, of Birchwood Drive, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a DWAI charge.

Ronald M. Markek, 34, of Corfu, is charged with felony DWI. Markek was stopped at 10:13 p.m. Friday on Route 63 Batavia, by State Police. Markek was jailed on bail.

Lori J. Marchese, 55, of Corfu, is charged felony DWAI. Marchese was stopped at 5:22 p.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke, by State Police.

Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Car wreck with injuries in West Main Street Road, Batavia

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents, east pembroke

A wreck involving at least two vehicles is reported at 3238 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia. The location is just west of Wortendyke Road. Law enforcement on scene requested two ambulances. East Pembroke fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 6:07 p.m.: One person was taken to UMMC. East Pembroke is back in service.

Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Hawleys host WNY brewers at malthouse open house

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, business, NY Craft Malt

Ted and Patricia Hawley hosted several dozen beer lovers at their malt house on the Hawley Farm on Bank Street Road today.

The open house was a chance to invite people to come in and try some of the craft beers that have started using malt from NY Craft Malt.

Breweries serving samples today included Fairport Brewing, Community Beer Works, Resurgence and Big Ditch. The brewers are all from WNY.

Ted Hawley said business is good. The company is selling all the malt it makes.

Previously:

Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Water main break reported on Oak Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure, Oak Street

There is a water main break on Oak Street near Park Road, according to Matt Worth, superintendent of Water and Wastewater. Residents on Oak Street and Union Street north to the city line are effected. Crews are on site beginning repairs.

Friday, November 28, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Hoops Preview: Blue Devils looking to players with buckets of potential help score points

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

The Blue Devils will be a team in search of points when the squad hits the hardwood Dec. 10.

We know senior Jeff Redband can hit buckets full of baskets, but we'll have to see who is going to help him out.

It could be Jerrett Laskett, who showed a deft touch at times coming off the bench last season as a sixth man. Or Malachi Chenault, a big man in the front court who has been working on his offense. There's also Alex Canty, who was MVP of the JV team last year. Jake Schrider is developing well as a young big man. Ryan Hogan returns from a sojourn in Brockport and has shown potential. Trevor Sherwood is athletic and will compete for time at point guard. Greg Mruczek is a returning starter. Freshman TeeSean Ayala seems unstoppable from three-point range in practices and scrimmage, but he's yet unproven in a varsity game that counts.

"We've got a lot of returners," said Head Coach Buddy Brasky. "We've got experience and good leadership.  We'll be a pretty good defensive team, but time will tell how good we are offensively."

The team is getting a bit of a late start following the football team's team run in the post season. Among the starters, only Redband didn't play a fall sport and is in "good basketball shape," Brasky said.  There's some rust to scrape off with some of the other players, but "they're working hard at it," the coach said.

The team will look foremost to Laskett to replace the points of graduate Justice Fagan, but he showed flashes last year of scoring ability.

"When he gets it going, he can really get it going," Brasky said.

Chenault is a junior who is looking more athletic coming into the season and Brasky said he worked reallly hard at developing his offensive post presence over the summer.

Then there is Ayala (top photo with Brasky in the background), who can hit 10 or 12 three pointers in a row in practice and scored six times from beyond the arch in a scrimmage the other day.  He's just a freshman. He seems to have the touch, but there's still a lot he needs to learn about basketball, especially in Brasky's defensive scheme.

"We're trying to bring him along slowly, but he's got a skill that's hard to teach and hard to find," Brasky said. "He can really shoot the three."

Even with this looming question mark -- who will the consistent scorers be -- Brasky is feeling good enough about his squad to think a league title or even sectional title isn't out of the question.

"I'm pretty optimistic, but it's going to take some hard work and we're going to have to find some kids who can score a little bit to help Jeff out with the scoring load," Brasky said. "You know, last year everybody boxed-and-oned him and triangle-and-twoed with him and Justice. We need other guys to put the ball in the basket so it doesn't have to do it all himself."

Jeff Redband shooting.

Malachi Chenault with a slam.

Jerrett Laskett.

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