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Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 10:20 am

Batavia Downs accepting entries for the $50,000 Kane Memorial Pace

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Each year Batavia Downs signature event is the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial invitational pace. The race has played host to some of the biggest names in harness racing. It is named for the former chairman of the board of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, owner of Batavia Downs Gaming.

The six-million-dollar man, Foiled Again, won the race twice in 2009 and 2013 and Aracache Hanover set the all-time track record of 1:51.1 with his victory in 2011.

This year’s edition will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, and the condition sheet has already been released so that any interested horsemen can enter their horses as early as today.

Besides the $50,000 Kane Memorial Pace, there are many other premium racing opportunities that night, including the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Open trot, $10,000 horses and geldings Open pace, $10,000 filly and mares Open pace and $7,500 mares Open trot. The box for all races for that night closes at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct.15.

Entries can be made and inquiries can be placed by calling Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6161.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:58 am

Riley Norton of Batavia makes the Dean's List at Mercyhurst University

post by Billie Owens in Milestones

Riley Norton, of Batavia, is one of 524 Dean's List recipients for the 2013-2014 academic year at Mercyhurst University.

The Dean's List is computed annually after summer term, which marks the end of the academic year. It is based on the completion of a minimum of 24 credits with a cumulative index of at least 3.6 out of a possible 4.0 each term.

"I salute all of our Dean's List recipients for the dedication and commitment necessary to achieve this goal," said Mercyhurst President Thomas Gamble, Ph.D. "This is truly an outstanding accomplishment."

Mercyhurst University, founded in 1926 by the Sisters of Mercy, is a fully accredited, four-year, Catholic comprehensive institution in Erie, Pa. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors and concentrations as well as unique post-baccalaureate, advanced certificate and eight master's degree programs.

In 2013, the university introduced its first doctoral program in archaeology. In addition, Mercyhurst provides certificate and associate degree offerings at branch campuses in North East, Corry and the Booker T. Washington Center. Learn more at www.mercyhurst.edu.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

Free health screening offered to men and women in Genesee County

post by Billie Owens in Cancer Services Partnership, health, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Services Partnership will provide free health screenings to Genesee County residents who meet specific age criteria residents of Genesee County -- women between the ages of 40-64 and men aged 50-64 with no insurance or high deductibles.

The screening will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct.29, at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia. Appointments are necessary for some of the screenings.

For women age 40-64, nurse midwife Cecilia Stearns, MSN, will perform women’s health screenings, including pap smears, pelvic exams and clinical breast exams.

Urologist William Guthinger, MD, will provide prostate screenings to men age 50-64. Additional services available at the event include mammography, total cholesterol and take-home colorectal cancer screening kits.

All screenings will be provided at no charge. Funds are available for follow-up care, if necessary.

Please call United Memorial’s Healthy Living Department to schedule an appointment at (585)344-5331. Light refreshments, health information and free giveaways will also be available.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

GCC's Global Education Committee plans series of events about Brazil

post by Billie Owens in announcements, brazil, GCC

Press release:

From the 2014 FIFA World Cup to the 2016 Summer Olympics, the first ever to be held in South America, Brazil has become accustomed to the limelight. The local community will have a chance to learn more about the world's fifth largest country through a series of events planned this academic year at Genesee Community College by the College's Global Education Committee.

"We selected Brazil because our students will be hearing a lot about Brazil. We have students from Brazil. It's a beautiful country and an important player in the global economy," said Committee Member Nina Mortellaro.

Events begin with a lecture by GCC History Professor Charles Scruggs. "Brazil: Beyond Supermodels, Samba and Soccer" is set for Tuesday, Oct. 14, 12:30-2 p.m. in Room T102 of the Conable Technology Building on GCC's Batavia campus. The event is FREE and open to the public.

"In the past decade we have witnessed a surge in the global stature of Brazil," Scruggs said. "What accounts for this stunning transformation? What challenges linger as the world's fifth largest country attempts to carve out a new role for itself in the 21st Century?"

Scruggs will explore these questions and more, drawing on a range of historical, sociological, economic and political research.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, the Global Education Committee presents Sankofa African Dance and Drum Ensemble from SUNY Brockport. With choreography expressing elements of both African and Brazilian culture, Sankofa brings essences of the past into the present. The members represent the rich cultural heritage of Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas and Africa.

Sankofa will perform from 12:30 – 2 p.m. in the Forum on the GCC Batavia Campus. Light refreshments will be served.

The Committee is also planning an authentic Carnaval da Brazil to be held in February. The event will include arts, music, food tastings and more including a demonstration of capoeira (pronounced kap-way-ra), a Brazilian martial art combining dance, acrobatics and music. Students from Academia com Expressão of Rochester will show their skill.

In addition, GCC Faculty will present an "Experience Brazil" travel log in March, sharing their personal insights from visits to the country.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:25 am

To increase awareness of domestic violence, YWCA wants you to wear purple when watching or attending sporting events

post by Billie Owens in domestic violencd, YWCA

Press release:

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in response to recent incidents involving professional athletes and domestic violence, the YWCA of Genesee County will “go purple” during the month of October.

The campaign “Go Purple With YWCA,” will help raise awareness about the prevalence of violence against women. In addition, YWCA will host its signature initiative, Week Without Violence, from Oct. 13 - 17, to mobilize people in communities across the United States to take action against all forms of violence, wherever it occurs.

"In addition to our annual Stiletto & Sneaker Walk, which was Oct. 2, we now look forward to going purple in an even bigger way," Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. "I challenge everyone to wear purple in support of domestic violence awareness, snap a picture of it and post to Facebook or send it to us. While it's so true that there's safety in numbers, we need to remember the numbers one in four and how crucial it is to stop domestic violence altogether."

The YWCA is one of the largest providers of domestic violence services in the United States with more than 200 local YWCA associations in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Each year, the organization provides hundreds of thousands of women and families with programs and services for both survivors and perpetrators, including emergency shelter, crisis hotlines, counseling, educational programs, prevention training, support groups, and abuse intervention. The YWCA also provides domestic violence training to businesses, law enforcement, and medical personnel across the nation.

Throughout October, YWCA of Genesee County encourages supporters to “join our team” and wear purple when watching or attending sports events to raise awareness, and share their photos on social media. In addition, we encourage supporters to change their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to our Go Purple jersey during football games on Sundays and Mondays, to show solidarity with domestic violence victims and survivors. This virtual jersey features the phrase “1 in 4,” to represent the number of women that will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. To learn more about the “Go Purple With YWCA” campaign, visit www.ywca.org/gopurple.

Batavia-based YWCA offers Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services that include advocacy, court accompaniment, access to free legal services, safe housing and, currently in development, the You Engaging Success program that will connect victims to community professionals for the necessary training, education and motivation to stop the cycle of abuse.

There will also be a panel, "Dressing for Distress," featuring ordinary women who have gone through extraordinary things. Despite horrific circumstances these women got through it all with faith, strength and courage. Join them for an evening of sharing hope. It's set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Stuart Steiner Theatre.

For more information about any of YW's programs, call (585) 343-5808 or go to www.ywcagenesee.org.

About the YWCA

The YWCA is a voice for every woman. For over a century, the YWCA has spoken out and taken action on behalf of women and girls. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. More than 2 million people participate each year in YWCA programs at more than 1,200 locations across the U.S. For more information, visit: http://www.ywca.org.

Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm

What The Sheik, Fireyourguns dead heat in Batavia Downs feature

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Fireyourguns and What The Shiek tie for win, just ahead of Western Alumni.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

The Saturday night (Oct. 4) Open pace at Batavia Downs provided one of the most exciting finishes racing fans have seen at the oldest lighted harness track in North America this year. The top three horses finished a neck apart and when the photo was examined, What The Sheik and Fireyourguns tripped the light at the exact same time.

When the race got under way, Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) took an early lead as What The Sheik (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) got away fourth and sixth, respectively. The order stayed unchanged to the half when Fireyourguns pulled from the rear and flushed What The Sheik for live cover. That outer flow made minimal progress pacing toward the three-quarters as Western Alumni was sitting on a two-length lead. At the top of the lane it appeared as if the leader was home free, but when Fireyourguns tipped three-wide he prompted What The Sheik to pace on and the pair hit the wire in tandem just a head in front of Western Alumni, who hung on for third. The mile was timed in 1:56.1.

It was the sixth win of the year for What The Sheik ($2.90) who is trained by Gerry Sarama for owner Mike Torcello and the 12th win of the year for Fireyourguns ($2.50) who is trained by Terence McClory who owns the horse with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.

A pair of drivers accounted for seven of the 12 winners during the night. Jim McNeight recorded a grand slam with Maradona ($9.50), Hopskipanajump ($8.70), The Maniac ($4.20) and Flight Crew ($19.40) and Jim Morrill Jr. had a three-bagger with Unicorn Hanover ($20.00), What The Sheik ($2.90) and Muncie ($4.30). It was a natural hat trick that occurred in races six, seven and eight for driver Morrill, trainer Gerry Sarama and owner Mike Torcello.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 8) at 6:35 and kicks off the Downs new racing schedule of Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, all with a 6:35 post time.

Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Justgottogetthere takes top trot at Batavia Downs, Jim Morrill Jr. pilots five winners

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Justgottogetthere with driver Jim NcNeight

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

The winds of change blew through Western New York Friday night (Oct. 3) and the rain fell along with the temperature. But the inclement conditions did not dampen the performance of Justgottogetthere as he won the $9,250 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs.

The short field of six got even shorter after Live Jazz (John Cummings Jr.) made a break leaving in the first turn. That left Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) a clear path to the front. But co-favorite Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.) who left right behind the leader was trotting side-by-side with him, giving Serious George (Kevin Cummings) a perfect garden spot trip. After hitting the half in :58 flat, the parking ticket took its toll and Armed Dangerously started to falter. That left Justgottogetthere a gapped leader waiting for a bid from the pocket-sitting Serious George. That challenge came down the lane but it was too little, too late. Justgottogetthere got there by a diminishing one-length lead to win in 1:58.3. Serious George was second and a late closing Keystone Bernard was third.

It was the second win in 10 starts for Justgottogetthere ($4.80) and boosted his 2014 earnings to $20,815 for owners Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC. The lightly raced 5-year-old son of Valley Victor is trained by Jerry Nugent Jr.

Jim Morrill Jr. was on hand Friday to put on another driving clinic. He rendezvoused with owners five times in the Purple Haze winners circle as he scored with Medicine Ed ($7.30), Release The Terror ($6.10), Missmaximus ($7.00), The Bronx Bumper ($7.50) and Story Book ($5.30). Morrill is currently second in North America among all drivers for percentage, sporting a gaudy .401 UDR. And on the strength of the night's performance, he drew even closer to the top-spot.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Oct. 4) at 6:35. The Pick-6 carry-over pool has grown to $2,296 and will be up for grabs starting with race seven.

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Grand Jury indicts woman for allegedly driving while on drugs, causing serious physical injury to another person

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Grand Jury

Sarah E. Saile is accused of driving while ability impaired by drugs, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on Feb. 4 she operated a 1998 Ford with a Florida license plate on Oak Orchard Road in the Town of Batavia while her ability to do so was impaired by drugs. In count two of the indictment, she is accused of second-degree assault for allegedly recklessly causing serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument -- a motor vehicle. In count three, Saile is accused of second-degree vehicular assault for allegedly operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and, as a result of this impairment, she operated the vehicle in a manner that caused serious physical injury to a person.

Keanon S. Williams is indicted for the crime of second-degree strangulation, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 31 in the City of Batavia, Williams, with the intent to impede normal breathing or blood circulation of another person, applied pressure on the throat or neck of a person. This alleged action caused stupor, loss of consciousness for any period of time, or other physical injury to the person.

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Controlled burn now out of control on Prole Road, Stafford

post by Billie Owens in fire, Stafford

A controlled burn is reportedly now out of control at 8547 Prole Road. Stafford Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 2:14 p.m.: A tanker from South Byron is called to the scene. The location is south of Horseshoe Lake Road.

UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: Fire knocked down. Crews are picking up.

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 11:26 am

Collins earns NRA endorsement, A rating for defense of Second Amendment

post by Billie Owens in chris collins

Press release:

Today, Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY) announced he earned the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and received an A Rating from the organization.

"Western New Yorkers' Second Amendment Rights have been under constant assault by President Obama and Governor Cuomo. I have fought every day to stand up to their unconstitutional assault on our freedoms, and I am humbled to receive the endorsement of the NRA," Congressman Collins said.

In addition to receiving the NRA’s official endorsement, Congressman Collins earned an A grade from the group. He has also been a staunch supporter of Second Amendment Rights and has sponsored legislation to protect gun owners, including H.R. 3933, the Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2014.

“My father taught me the lessons of responsible gun ownership and I know that is a story shared by many NY-27 residents and gun owners all across America. I want that opportunity to be available to future generations, which is why I will continue to support New Yorkers’ fundamental right to bear arms.”

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 11:09 am

Batavia Downs changes its racing schedule

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Batavia Downs has announced its new fall schedule which will be effective starting next week. Live racing will be conducted three nights a week on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights through Dec. 6 with a 6:35 post time. The one exception to that will be on Columbus Day, Oct. 13, when the final matinee of the year will be held at 1:15 p.m.

Batavia Downs is also offering some great wagering opportunities this weekend when growing carry-over pools are once again available on Friday. The pick-5 pool is at $532 and the pick-6 carry-over is $1,972. The pick-5 is a .50 minimum bet and runs from race five through race nine. The pick-6 is a minimum $2 wager and runs from race seven to race 12.

Then on Saturday night, harness racing bingo will make its return by popular demand. America’s oldest lighted harness track will feature this promotion and put $750 in gaming free-plays and betting vouchers up for grabs for those attending that night who play.

The first 25 people that get regular bingo win $10 gaming free-plays. The first three people to get letter “X” win $100 wagering vouchers and first person to get full-board bingo wins a $200 wagering voucher. The entire amount of the vouchers must be wagered on Batavia Downs races.

Bingo is free to play and racing fans can pick up their bingo card starting at 5 p.m. at Players Club located on the gaming floor.

In addition, Sahlen’s hot dogs, sodas and draft beer will be available for just $1 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

For a complete list of events and promotions please visit <http://www.bataviadownsgaming.com>

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 10:54 am

Law and Order: Batavia woman accused of driving while impaired by drugs

post by Billie Owens in byron, crime

Patricia Ann Wheeler, 54, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with failure to keep right, driving left of pavement markings, and operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, first offense. At 6:07 Thursday evening, Wheeler was arrested on these charges and it is alleged that she operated a motor vehicle on a public highway while her ability to do so was impaired by drugs. She is to appear in Batavia Town Court on Nov. 20. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Joseph Corona.

Rachel Leigh Zepp, 20, of Northfield Gate, Pittsford, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21, failure to obey a traffic control device, and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway. At 12:31 a.m. last night, it is alleged that Zepp was found in possession of these items during a traffic stop, prompted by alleged observed violations of vehicle and traffic laws. She is to appear in Byron Town Court on Oct. 27. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Joseph Corona.

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 10:38 am

Missing teen found safe in North Carolina, crimes of harboring and transporting under investigation

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

Emily Staschak, the runaway 14-year-old from Batavia, has been located safe and sound, according to Batavia PD Det. Richard Schauf.

In an update to the media today, he said tips from the public, who became aware of the missing teen via media coverage, helped locate the girl.

She was found at a relative's home in North Carolina on Thursday night and arrangements have been made to bring her home.

"An investigation into the local harboring of the child and the adults responsible for transporting the child out of NY State is ongoing," Schauf said, "for the crime of endangering the welfare of a child and any federal laws that are applicable."

Anyone with information about these persons is asked to contact Det. Schauf at 585-345-6312.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Two-car crash with minor injuries at car wash on Veterans Memorial Drive

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported in the parking lot of the Classt Chassis Car Wash on Veterans Memorial Drive. There may be a "medically induced" problem regarding one of the injuries. Town of Batavia and Mercy medics are responding.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Car crash with injuries on eastbound Thruway, East Pembroke fire responding

post by Billie Owens in accident, east pembroke

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 396.9. East Pembroke fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 2:32 p.m.: One person has a broken ankle.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Accident with injuries on Swamp Road, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen

An accident with injuries is reported at 7666 Swamp Road, Bergen, near or at the intersection with Jerico Road. It's a small dump truck vs. car. Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 11:02 am

Grand Jury: Two Bergen women accused of possessing more than 3K in stolen retail merchandise

post by Billie Owens in bergen, crime

These indictments were handed down from the Genesee County Grand Jury this week:

Joan A. Gliwski is accused of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that between August 2013 and January 2014 in the Town of Bergen she knowingly possessed stolen property with the intent to benefit herself or another person other than an owner or to impede the recovery by an owner. Moreover, the value of the property exceeded $3,000. The property was various merchandise stolen from seven retail stores.

Maria A. Gardiner is accused of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that between August 2013 and January 2014 in the Town of Bergen she knowingly possessed stolen property with the intent to benefit herself or another person other than an owner or to impede the recovery by an owner. Moreover, the value of the property exceeded $3,000. The property was various merchandise stolen from seven retail stores.

Brian R. Croakley is accused of driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 31, 2013, in the Town of Bergen, he operated a 2010 Dodge on Route 19 while in an intoxicated condition. In addition, he is indicted by way of Special Information of having been convicted in the Town of Bergen Court of driving while intoxicated as a misdemeanor on June 16, 2010. This conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the indictment.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Infrontigo Hanover swoops rivals in mares Open; Ronnie Wrenn Jr. wins five at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Infrontigo Hanover with driver Jim McNeight.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Timing is everything and driver Jim McNeight had his down to a science Wednesday night (Oct. 1) in winning the $8,500 mares Open pace feature at Batavia Downs with Infrontigo Hanover.

Going directly to the wood off the gate, McNeight settled Infrontigo Hanover in fourth while Taylor Rei (Aaron Byron) and Fiftyonefifty (Mike Whelan) played give-and-go to the quarter. When the dust settled at that post in :28.2, McNeight saw his chance and Infrontigo Hanover was quickly pulled at the three-eighths and took the lead before they hit the half.

From then on the only thing left to figure out was how fast and by how many? Infrontigo Hanover opened up a six-length lead going to the three-quarters in 1:25, then turned the corner and paced home uncontested to a wrapped-up three and one-half length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.2. The winner paid $9.10.

Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) closed sharply for second and Dontch Remember (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) finished third.

It was the fourth win in 28 starts for Infrontigo Hanover and raised her seasonal earnings to $34,844 for owners Summer Wind Stable of New York, Inc., and Bob Gruber. The 6-year-old Western Hanover mare is trained by Bob Gruber.

Second leading North American dash winning driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. was at the Downs Wednesday and pulled closer to leader Aaron Merriman as he came away with five winners on the card. He scored with Kill A Rockingbird ($28.60), Blissful Escape ($3.90), Delightful Syd ($5.80), Stonetag ($4.40) and Helena’s Hope ($3.30). Jim McNeight had the hat trick and Kevin Cummings doubled up.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 3) with post time at 6:35.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Burning tires said to be stinking up the air on Indian Falls Road

post by Billie Owens in fire, indian falls

Heavy black, stinky smoke is reported at 1641 Indian Falls Road. It is said to be caused by burning tires. Indian Falls Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE Thursday: The resident called and said this was a false report by another resident in the area. There were no tires burning.  It was just brush.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Sheriff's car involved in accident at Route 33 and Mill Road, Stafford

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Stafford

A Genesee County Sheriff's vehicle is involed in an accident at Route 33 and Mill Road, Stafford. Unknown injuries. Stafford fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE 5:19 p.m.: Fire command asked that medics proceed non-emergency; injuries are minor.

UPDATE 6:03 p.m.: The Sheriff's vehicle involved is unmarked, non-patrol vehicle.

UPDATE 6:28 p.m.: It appears, based on preliminary investigation, that the Sheriff's Office vehicle pulled into traffic and was struck by a southbound white SUV.  The driver of the SUV was taken to an area hospital by her husband with apparent minor injuries. The other driver was not injured.

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