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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Seasonal Yard Waste Station hours set, plus leaf pickup tentatively starts Oct. 20

post by Billie Owens in yard waste station

Press release:

Effective Monday, Oct. 20, the seasonal Yard Waste Station hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Also, leaf pick-up will tentatively start on Oct. 20.

The Yard Waste Station will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, Oct. 27. Seasonal hours will resume on Friday, Nov. 28.

The station will remain open through Dec. 6, weather permitting.

Residents are encouraged to bring yard waste debris to the Yard Waste Station.

Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm

City's GOP Fall Fundraiser was a success, Republicans urged to get involved

post by Billie Owens in announcements, GOP, politics

Press release:

The City of Batavia Republican Committee held its annual Fall Fundraiser at Terry Hills on Tuesday Oct. 14.

Chairman Bob Bialkowski opened the event and made the introductions.

The event was well attended with Congressman Collins, Senator Razenhofer, Assemblyman Hawley, Legislators Cianfrini and Clattenburg and the six city Republican Councilmen.

Congressman Collins gave an update on the present state of affairs in Washington. Assemblyman Hawley spoke about activities and legislation in Albany.

There was a raffle with many prizes given away.

Any Republicans interested in serving on the committee or running for office please contact Chairman Bialkowski at [email protected] or Tel: 343-4471.

Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Batavia Downs to remember two ladies of the sport

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

On Friday, Oct. 17, Batavia Downs will look back and honor the careers of two longtime female trainers who plied their trade on the Western New York circuit for many years. Mary Ann Sarama-Luce and Brenda Ohol will have races named in their honor and presentations made with their families in the winner’s circle as the local horsemen pay their respects and remember their careers at Batavia Downs.

Mary Ann Sarama-Luce passed away in July of 2011 at 73 years of age after a long battle with leukemia. She ended her driving career in 1990 with 109 wins and $201,435 in earnings. At that point she started training full time and continued to do so until her passing. As a conditioner she sent 107 horses to the winner’s circle whose efforts earned $334,835. Some of the top horses Sarama-Luce trained included Gold Bandit N, Top Dog Alex, Top Dog Nicholas, Easy L Bar and Guy Lee Debbie.

After her passing, her son Carl and husband Richard have carried on with her stable.

“Harness racing was her number-one priority and passion” her daughter Lynette McGiveron said. “Her horses were the driving force behind her battle to recover. Even in her final days she worried more about her horses than herself.”

McGiveron continued “A passion of Mary Ann's was to have her mares bred and to raise the foals to race. She named them after her kids and grandchildren and had planned on doing so until every child and grandchild was named. The last foal to be born on her farm was "Top Dog Morgan" named after her grandson. Unfortunately Mary Ann never got to see it in person. He was born the night she went into the hospital for her final stay.”

Bruce Tubin, president of the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association, described Mary Ann as “A fierce competitor both as a trainer and a driver.”

After the fifth race, named the Mary Ann Sarama-Luce Memorial Trot, we will remember a great mother, person, horseman and friend to so many in Western New York.

Brenda Ohol died in August of 2013 after a long battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

She was born in Batavia and raised in Akron, New York, and was around horses her entire life. She was always in the barn with her father Ron Lederhouse who campaigned his own stable for many years and then as an adult, married Mike Ohol who was an established trainer/driver on the Western New York circuit.

During her 22-year training career she sent 691 winners to post and amassed earnings of $2.85 million. Her most prolific year came in 2009 when she had 1,018 starters with 79 winners, 91 seconds and 122 thirds along with $396,953 in monies won. Some of her best known horses included Little Man Cam, Adelia’s Prince, Honeybee Hershey, Fundy Breeze, Collier St. Bobby and Sunray Kash.

She left a legacy of women in racing behind as her daughter Courtney and granddaughter Brittney are now currently active full time trainers at Batavia. Ohol’s sister Lisa Lederhouse is an accomplished trainer as well.

Bruce Tubin, president of the western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association, said “Brenda was a hands-on, hardworking trainer who left us way too soon.”

Jim Mulcahy, treasurer of the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association said “Brenda always had a nice stable of horses that were always competitive. She was one of the top female conditioners on this circuit.”

After the seventh race, named the Brenda Ohol Memorial Pace, we will remember our other great mother, person, horseman and friend to everyone who raced on this circuit.

Post time for the first race is 6:35 p.m.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

Governor makes yogurt official NY State snack, Ranzenhofer gives all credit to Byron-Bergen fourth-graders

post by Billie Owens in business, yogurt

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation making yogurt the official snack of New York, in advance of the second New York State Yogurt Summit being held today. The Summit will bring together industry experts to discuss how to further grow the yogurt business and continue creating new jobs. The Empire State is the top producer of yogurt in the nation, generating 741 million pounds of yogurt in 2013 alone.

"This designation is a fitting recognition of the importance of this state’s yogurt industry, which has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, making New York the top yogurt producer in the nation,” Governor Cuomo said. “We will continue to work with New York producers and dairy farmers to build upon this progress and further strengthen this critically important industry.”

The tremendous boon in Greek-style yogurt has been the catalyst for the dairy industry's revitalization in New York. The State produced 741 million pounds of yogurt in 2013, up from 695 million pounds in 2012, accounting for 15.7 percent of the total U.S. yogurt production. Additionally, dairy manufacturers in New York employed an estimated 9,478 people with total wages of $513 million in 2013, an increase from 7,749 jobs and $401 million in wages in 2010.

Designating yogurt as the official state snack will continue to raise public awareness of the economic and health benefits of yogurt and the dairy industry. The Yogurt Summit convened in 2012 resulted in a number of initiatives to eliminate barriers to business growth and help manufacturers continue to grow.

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer said, “Yogurt is now the official snack of New York State, and the fourth-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School deserve all of the credit. From initially suggesting the idea to traveling to the State Capitol earlier this year, these students deserve high marks for their efforts to get this legislation signed into law. I am pleased that the Governor has signed my bill into law.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm

November is National Novel and Nonfiction Writing Month, free GCC class offered Mondays

post by Billie Owens in announcements, GCC

Press release:

Join us at Genesee Community College every Monday afternoon in November for National Novel Writing Month and National Nonfiction Writing Month.

Those interested in honing there skills will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. on 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, and 11/24 in room B256 at the Batavia Campus, located at One College Road.

For more information, go to nanowrimo.org or contact:
JoNelle Toriseva, instructor of English
Office: B255
Phone: 343-0055, ext. 6627, e-mail [email protected]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm

BHS seniors will be busy Wednesday making a difference in the community

post by Billie Owens in announcements, BHS

Press release:

Tomorrow, Oct. 15th, is the 16th Annual Make a Difference Day. Batavia High School seniors (Class of 2015) will be among those throughout the area volunteering their time at local nonprofit agencies. Their participation is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There many ways to contribute, among them are:

  • Habitat for Humanity (2 McKinley Ave.) -- assisting with the construction of the new home site;
  • Batavia Business Improvement District -- cleaning up the streets of Downtown;
  • Genesee County Nursing Home -- running carnival games for the nursing home residents;
  • Batavia ABCD -- raking leaves and other outdoor work, then working in the classrooms with children;
  • NYS Veterans Home -- socializing with residents and participating in entertainment.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

City water service on Elm Street will be interrupted for repairs Wednesday

post by Billie Owens in batavia, public works notice

Press release:

A water valve will be replaced on Elm Street Wednesday, Oct. 15. This requires an interruption of water service while the work is completed. It is expected that water service will be shut off in the late morning and it will remain off for a few hours so the valve can be replaced.

The work may result in a temporary discoloration of water and low or no water pressure, in the surrounding area as well, until the work us completed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 8:02 am

Lucky Charm wins mares Open Trot, Kevin Cummings bags five at Batavia Downs

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

It was ability more than chance that saw Lucky Charm go gate to wire in the $7,500 mares Open trot at Batavia Downs on a special Monday afternoon (Oct. 13) Columbus Day matinee card at the Genesee County oval.

Kevin Cummings shook-up Lucky Charm off the gate and took an effortless lead around the first turn. From there the 8-year-old Malabar Man mare towed the field through a pedestrian half before picking up the tempo from there. After a :29.1 third quarter that saw Highway Cash (Doug Ackley) and Day Planner (Ray Fisher Jr.) advance into contention, Lucky Charm came home in :28.4 to fend off the three wide attack from her competition and win in 1:58.3. Day Planner was second and Highway Cash finished third.

It was the fourth win in 21 starts for Lucky Charm and brought her 2014 earnings up to $23,800 for owners Finish Line Investors and Johnny Yoder. Lucky Charm is trained by John Mungillo.

Driver Kevin Cummings was on fire Monday, with five wins, three seconds and a third out of the 11 races he was in. He scored with Love Me Do ($5), Donegal Jim ($2.10), Lucky Charm ($5.60), Emmys Junior Grin ($7) and Serendipitious ($2.50).

The “Race for the Cannoli’s,” which is held annually on Columbus Day at Batavia Downs and pits drivers of Italian-American descent against each other, was won by Rock C. Vinci aboard Windsong Destroyer in 1:58.2. The 10-year-old won by a length over Evening Shadows (Mike Caprio) after getting a perfect two-hole trip.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 15) with post time set for 6:35.

Monday, October 13, 2014 at 11:09 am

Law and Order: Batavia man accused of rifling through truck tool box on Ellicott Street, possessing pot

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime, Le Roy

Eric James Flowers, 27, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with aggrevated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 2nd, reckless driving, trespass, speeding in a 55 MPH zone, trespass, and moving from lane unsafely. On Oct. 12 at about 5:50 p.m., Flowers was allegedly observed driving a white pickup truck at a high rate of speed. He allegedly changed lanes unsafely and turned into a residence on Judge Road in Alabama, almost striking a child in the driveway. He then allegedly jumped out of the truck and ran into a field behind the residence, hiding there until being located by the resident. Next, he allegedly ran further into the field before being taken into custody by Sheriff's deputies and booked on the listed charges. The incident was investigated by deputy Joseph Loftus.

Richard D. Ryan, 38, of Lehigh Avenue, Batavia, is charged with attempted petit larceny, trespass, and unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested after allegedly being caught going through a tool box in the bed of a pickup truck in a driveway on Ellicott Street. Subsequently, he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana. He was jailed in lieu of $500 bail. The incident was investigated by officer James DeFreze, assisted by officer Nedim Catovic.

Morgan L. Cox Jr., 22, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, and first-degree coercion. He was arrested following an incident where he allegedly threatened someone with a knife. He was jailed in lieu of $2,500 bail.

Russell R. Miles, 46, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. He was arrested on Oct. 10 after allegedly arriving at the residence of a person protected by a temporary stay away order issued the same day. The court order set specific times for him, with a police escort, to retrieve his property. He was allegedly at the residence after the court-ordered times and without a police escort in violation of the court order. Thus he was arrested and jailed without bail. The incident was investigated by officer Jamie Givens, assisted by officer James DeFreze.

Alicia May Lyons, 34, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. She was arrested Saturday afternoon on Bank Street after allegedly being told repeatedly to leave the property, leaving, then returning. She is to appear in court on Oct. 28. The incident was investigated by officer Nedim Catovic.

John Bruce Pritchard, 36, of South Main Street, Warsaw, is charged with petit larceny. He was allegedly observed stealing merchandise valued at $84.68 from Walmart on Oct. 12. He was issued at appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia Town Court at a later date. The incident was investigated by Sheriff's deputy Chad Minuto.

Rebecca E. Mulholland, 23, of Lake Street, Le Roy, was arrested Oct. 1 on a bench warrant in Le Roy and transported to Batavia PD headquarters. A judge then released her on her own recognizance pending her next court appearance. The incident was investigated by officer Peter Flanagan.

Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 11:37 am

Western Alumni posts seasonal mark winning Downs feature

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

Western Alumni with driver Jim McNeight

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

After being victorious in the first Open pace of the season at Batavia Downs on July 26, Western Alumni hasn't visited the winners circle since. But that drought came to an end on Saturday night (Oct. 11) when he put on a powerful performance in winning the $9,250 pacing feature at the Downs.

Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) left sharp and took the lead before Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) brushed by to unseat him at the quarter. The rest of the field stayed single file to the half before Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) came off the wood and started motoring.

As the group went up the backside, Peenie (Mickey Holliday) pulled underneath Fireyourguns and went backward, causing Fireyourguns to tip three-deep. Then around the far turn the top two broke away from the field and it appeared obvious the race was going to one of them. Western Alumni tipped and out-dueled Best Ears to the wire, winning in a sparkling 1:53.2. The time was a seasonal mark for Western Alumni. Best Ears hung on for second and What The Sheik brushed home to be third.

It was the seventh win in 30 starts for Western Alumni ($13.80) and pushed his 2014 earnings to $61,517 for owner North Creek Racing, LLC. The 6-year-old son of Western Hanover is trained by Jerry Nugent Jr.

Drew Monti, Shawn McDonough and Jim McNeight all scored driving doubles on the night.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a special Columbus Day matinee card on Monday (Oct. 13) with a 1:15 post time.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm

GO ART! presents annual awards tonight, four are from Genesee County

post by Billie Owens in GO ART!

Press release:

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council presents its 14th Annual Community Arts Awards Gala and Auction tonight. The event applauds the efforts of seven who have contributed significantly to art and culture in the Genesee-Orleans Region.

Nominations were sought from the public for individuals, organizations or businesses representing all facets of our artistic and cultural community. The festivities will take place at Terry Hills Golf and Banquet Facility, 5122 Clinton Street Road (Route 33), Batavia beginning at 6 p.m. This year’s Genesee County honorees are:

Community Arts Awards

Vincent Pastore

Vincent “Vinny” Pastore is a lifelong Batavian with well-established roots through family and friends in the Genesee County area. Vinny is an accomplished musician – he started playing violin at the age of 6 and now plays multiple instruments, such as violin, guitar, mandolin, piano, horns and more. He has played with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Youth Orchestra and has performed internationally. At the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music, Vinny earned a bachelor degree's in Violin Performance and played at the Lincoln Center in New York City with the Hartford College Orchestra. He has been concert master of the Avon Orchestra, conducted by Lisa Toth, and in 2004 he went to Italy with a music festival and played with the Genesee Orchestra and Choir, performing Donazetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore.

In addition, Vinny has been a member of many local rock bands since high school, from bluegrass to heavy metal. In 1997, he was in a band “OZ Willis” along with his three nephews, and he currently plays in three bands: the Old Hippies (which are providing the evening’s entertainment), The Sky Cats and The LPs. He has written many original songs, composed them himself and played all the instruments, then recorded and mastered the songs. He also plays in a jazz duo for local nursing homes. Vinny’s unique musical talents allow him to join in and play with other bands in the spur of the moment, such as on a vacation in Key West and at his niece’s wedding in California. In his “spare time,” Vinny enjoys sharing his love of music, experience and expertise by teaching students of differing levels of ability at Roxy’s Music Store in Batavia.
Richmond Memorial Library

Celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year, the Richmond Memorial Library (RML) is being honored for its continuous and significant role in providing quality arts and cultural programming to the community. According to their nomination, “Their service is multigenerational and the breadth of their cultural sphere goes well beyond the boundaries of books and the traditional perceptions of a library.” As a member of the 1958-chartered NIOGA System (Niagara, Orleans, Genesee), RML brings the fruits of this collaborative relationship to residents with access to a larger collection and improved information services. Beyond the focus on the literary arts, however, RML offers programs such as Reel Discussions, Saturday Morning Family Movies, Genealogy assistance and Arts and Crafts Classes. They also present musical events for all ages, such Bart and Kevin, Celtic Music, The Tin Dipper, Genesee Chorale, a cappella groups, and Batavia’s young soprano Brittany Mruczek.

The RML Gallery Room hosts changing monthly exhibits by local artists and arts/cultural groups, including a student art show every March and biannual shows by the Batavia Society of Artists. They frequently collaborate with other area organizations on cultural programs, such as holding a Mystery Dinnery Theater at the library with Batavia Players and the presentation of a series of programs and a traveling exhibit “A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965” with partners GO ART!, Temple Emanu-El and Roxy’s Music Store. The popular “Tale for Three Counties” was the brainchild of the RML – an area-wide "one book" project for Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties in Western New York State, presented by the 19 public libraries in these counties, Genesee Community College, The Daily News, and Genesee Valley Educational Partnerships School Library System. Richmond Memorial Library, which formally began in 1889, has been committed to the cultural enrichment of the lives of those in the Genesee region for 125 years and counting.

GO ART! Board of Directors Special Recognition Award

Bill Hayes, Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning

The GO ART! Board of Directors is delighted to be presenting this award to Bill Hayes, president/owner of Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning & Commercial Refrigeration in recognition of his patronage and generous support of arts and cultural programs and community service. Bill Hayes is a Rochester native and a graduate of John Marshall High School. A United States Navy veteran, Bill enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering Technology degree specializing in Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Solar Design at Alfred State College. He was recruited upon graduation to work in Boulder, Co.; he and his wife, JoAnn, moved back to the Buffalo area where he worked for a mechanical contractor in Buffalo for eight years. After the owner passed away in 1989, Bill met Roy Turnbull on an incentive trip to the Caribbean Islands. As fate would have it, Roy approached Bill two years later to purchase his business in February 1991. More than 23 years later, Turnbull HVAC has grown to serve over seven counties and employ an average of 25 employees throughout the year.

Bill is an avid and long-time supporter of a long list of local cultural organizations and events, including the GO ART! Picnic in the Park, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GCC Theater, Batavia Players, Encore Theatre Arts Shows, Genesee Ballet Repertoire Company, and many more, not to mention many other nonprofit organizations and service clubs. Bill has been a member of the Lions Club of Batavia since 1991, is a graduate of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2008, has served in the role of Jaycees Instructor through the Business Education Alliance and has participated on several local boards. He is a member of Northgate Free Methodist Church, where he has been a Senior Teen Leader, a marriage mentor and is currently on the Administrative Board and is a Delegate of the church. He sponsors the Roy Turnbull Memorial Award, a scholarship awarded annually to a student of the trades at GVEP. This past May, the Boy Scouts of America recognized Bill as their 2014 Distinguished Citizen Award for Genesee County.

Growing up in Batavia, both of Bill’s daughters were active in the arts playing violin in the Genesee Symphony Orchestra as well as in a String Trio together. They also were active in Batavia Players’ Summer Youth Theatre, church choirs, and other musical groups. Today, Christina is working as a dentist and Cassandra as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. He is recently a proud grandfather twice in a year’s time, with another expected in December.

Linda L. Blanchet Award

Kimberly Buczek, Ph.D

A native of Elba, Kimberly Buczek has recently achieved her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree at the prestigious Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and is pursuing a career combining performing and university level music education in the greater Cincinnati area. Kimberly specializes in opera, and continues to perform both locally and regionally while holding teaching positions at four different universities. She performed just this past summer with the Queen City Chamber Opera in the role of Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre. Buczek states that “music has been part of my life for as long as I can remember,” and that though there were limited performance options growing up in a small town, she is thankful in particular that Linda Blanchet gave her the opportunity to be involved in the Batavia Rotary shows from 1995-2000. She was also fortunate to receive a GO ART! Community Arts Award in 2001, the very first year of the awards, when she was only a senior in high school. She explains, “13 years have passed since receiving that award, and I can honestly say that the artistic experiences I had growing up in Western New York directly affected my artistic path and career choices.”

This is the second annual Linda L. Blanchet Award, which was established to provide financial support to a young artist in any discipline who endeavors to work in an artistic field after pursuing education at an institution of higher learning in the field of his/her chosen artistic discipline for the purpose of contributing to art and culture in the community. The award is intended for a current or former resident of Genesee or Orleans county who is pursuing a career in the arts locally, nationally or internationally. In addition to the award, the selected applicant receives $500. Kimberly Buczek, Ph.D, is being honored for both her academic and artistic accomplishments. Sample recordings and videos of her performances may be found on her Web site at www.kimberlybuczek.com <http://www.kimberlybuczek.com

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Two straight for Justgottogetthere in Batavia feature

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

Justgottogetthere with driver Jim McNeight

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

It was déjà vu all over again in the $9,250 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 10) when Justgottogetthere ($8) scored his second consecutive top-class triumph in convincing style.

Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) left quickly to take the lead before yielding to Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the quarter. The rest of the field watched in post-position order as these two stood pat to the three-quarters in 1:27.2. At that point Justgottogetthere pulled the pocket to challenge the leader and the duel began. The pair trotted as one around the far turn before Justgottogetthere gained the advantage and opened a little space before holding off a late charge from BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in 1:56.4. That was a new seasonal mark for Justgottogetthere. BZ Glide was second and Armed Dangerously hung on for third.

It was the second straight Open class victory for Justgottogetthere and the third win in 12 starts for the year. The purse pushed his 2014 earnings to $25,440 for owners Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing, LLC. The 5-year-old son of Valley Victor is trained by Jerry Nugent Jr.

The co-feature Open II trot went even faster than the headliner when Second Hand News (Kevin Cummings) led wire to wire to win by four lengths in 1:56 flat. Second Hand News ninth win of the year tied his seasonal mark and inflated his bank account to $52,455 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Kent Conshafter. Second Hand News is trained by Ron Van Wagoner.

Jim Morrill Jr. and Jim McNeight both scored driving triples while leading driver Kevin Cummings had a double.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Oct. 11) with 12 events starting at 6:35.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Laurie Napoleone named by Batavia Downs Gaming as Italian-American of the Year

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, columbus day, Italian-American

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming is pleased to announce that Laurie Napoleone is the historic racetrack’s recipient of its annual Italian-American of the Year award. Napoleone will receive her award on Oct. 13, Columbus Day, with a special trackside ceremony after the seventh race. Mr. Joe Gerace, the first recipient of this award, will act as Master Ceremony.

She’ll also be joined by other past award winners, Chuck Zambito, Ray Cianfrini, Joe Teresi, Charles Ruffino and Russ Romano.

Laurie (Pero) Napoleone is the wife of Mark Napoleone and the proud mother of four children, Mark Jr., Ashley, Christen, and her angel, Michael. She is the daughter of the late Charles and Marien Pero, and the sister of Charles, David and Adelyn Pero.

Laurie earned her bachelor of science in Nursing from Niagara University in 1982 and started working as a registered nurse after graduation at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. After her marriage to Mark in 1983, she returned to her hometown and began working at St. Jerome Hospital, where she stayed for 15 years. After playing a role in the initial stages of the merger between St. Jerome Hospital  and Genesee Memorial Hospital, she decided on a career change into a school setting.

She worked for the Batavia City Schools as a school nurse / teacher at Robert Morris Elementary School. She earned a master‘s in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2004. Laurie then took her love for healthcare as well as teaching, and is currently employed by the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. There she is an instructor in the Health Careers Academy, a program for high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare while gaining college credits.

Along with her husband, Laurie is the co-founder/member of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation. After the passing of their youngest son, Michael, at the age of 8 to Burkitt’s lymphoma, (an aggressive form of blood cancer) the Napoleones created a foundation in Michael’s memory. It  helps families facing the challenges of a pediatric cancer diagnosis, supports research efforts in pediatric blood cancers, and assists youth sports and youth activities in the community.

Laurie speaks on behalf of the foundation and is a strong advocate for the families; has lobbied in Washington for more support of research efforts; and is passionate about the Foundation’s mission.

In her free time, Laurie enjoys entertaining with family and friends, Zumba, and writing.

Batavia Downs Gaming is proud to honor Laurie Napoleone as its 2014 Italian-American of the Year.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Batavia Downs holds special Columbus Day matinee, honors Italian-American of the Year

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

A special matinee card of harness racing will be held on Columbus Day (Monday, Oct. 13) at Batavia Downs and the afternoon will do more than offer the finest racing in Western New York. A complete slate of activities to honor the Italian-American heritage that is so prevalent in Batavia starts at noon and runs through the last race.

When the 12-race card kicks off at 1:15, there are two special races to watch for that will honor some very special people.

The sixth race is the Italian-American driver’s race which is also known as “the dash for the cannolis.” All eight drivers in the race are of Italian descent and will vie for bragging rights for the coming year. Rock Vinci, Denny Bucceri, Andy Torre, Rich Mays, Mike Caprio, Paul Zambito Jr., John Mungillo and Drew Monti will go postward to vie for the coveted Italian pastry prize (as well as the purse money).

Then after the seventh race, Batavia Downs Gaming will honor their 2014 Italian-American of the Year, Laurie Napoleone. An instructor at the Health Careers Academy of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, Napoleone (along with her husband Mark) founded the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation in honor of their 8-year-old son who died of Burkitt’s lymphoma. The foundation is designed to help families facing the challenges of pediatric cancer and to assist youth sports and activities in the community.

For racing fans who attend the live card, there are plenty of food and beverage specials throughout the facility.

The clubhouse will feature their famous $9.95 chicken barbeque. And for every dinner purchased you will receive a voucher back for $5 of free-play in the casino. So it’s like getting your dinner for $4.95. This offer is good from noon to 3 p.m. and reservations are strongly recommended.

On the track apron you will find $1 draft beer, $1 Sahlen’s hot dogs and $1 sodas. All will be available from noon through the last race.

If you want to get your weekend started early, Batavia Downs Gaming is giving away a free trip to Las Vegas on tonight (Oct. 11) sponsored by Trade Winds Travel. That’s all you have to do is swipe your Player’s Club card once when you get there and you are automatically eligible to win. That's all you need to do to have a chance at this $950 vacation.

Another great deal being offered this evening is the “Match Play” quinella wager in the sixth race. For every two $5 quinella bets you make you will receive $10 worth of free-play on the gaming floor. So it’s like getting a free $10 wager.

The Columbus Day matinee will be the last afternoon card of racing for 2014. Our racing schedule for the remainder of the meet will be Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 6:35.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Academy Award winning documentarian to film Batavia anti-NYSAFE Act meeting on Monday

post by Billie Owens in Gun Control, NYSAFE Act

Press release:

A "Town Hall Meeting" to discuss the NYSAFE Act and issues concerning your liberties and freedom will be held beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13, at Calvary Baptist Church, located at 3515 Galloway Road in the Town of Batavia.

Academy Award winning documentary director Cynthia Wade is scheduled to send a film crew to this event as part of the research she is doing for a documentary on gun control in America. She has already filmed similar events in other parts of New York and other states.

The NYSAFE Act is stripping away your rights and the rights of your neighbors. Be part of history and let your voice be heard!

For more information, contact Bill Fox Sr., chapter chair for Genesee County SCOPE, at 356-4992.

Guest speakers will include:

  • Joe Mesler, Host
  • Tom Marrone, City of Poughkeepsie LEO/Oath Keeper
  • Don Reed, Genesee County Clerk
  • David DiPietro, NYS Assemblyman, 147th District
  • Bill Nojay, NYS Assemblyman, 133rd District
  • Tim Howard, Erie County Sheriff
  • Stephen Aldstadt, President SCOPE
  • Mattie Zarpentine, NY Revolution
  • Scott Zawierucha, First Amendment sign issue
  • Ben Wassell, SAFE Act victim
  • Joe Palumbo, The Albion Gun Shop
  • Paul Wojdan, SAFE Act victim
Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Bergen Business and Civic Recognition Dinner is Nov. 1, deadline to buy tickets is Oct. 24

post by Billie Owens in announcements, bergen, business

The Bergen Business and Civic Association Recognition Dinner is Saturday, Nov. 1, at Bohn's restaurant in the Town of Batavia.

This year’s honorees are Barry Miller, Jim Pascarella, Ken Milner, Alyson Tardy, Fred and Eunice Ely, Triple-O Mechanical and Bergen C Store.

The restaurant is located at 5256 Clinton St. Road. There will be a cash bar starting at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. You may contact Michele Smith (Bergen town clerk) at 494-1121 or Maria Rowland at 721-7721 for tickets.

There are a limited number of tickets; please purchase by Oct. 24th.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Candlelight guided ghost walk at Batavia Cemetery is Oct. 18

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Cemetery, events, Ghost Walk

Press release:

From 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18th, the Batavia Cemetery Association will host a candlelight guided ghost walk through the Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. The tours will feature the famous and infamous movers and shakers who shaped and influenced the City of Batavia.

The guided tour will bring guests to meet men and women of Batavia who, for various reasons, held great power and exerted great influence in their day, were victims of tragic events, or both.

Some of the ghosts who will tell their stories on the tour are: Philemon Tracy, one of the few Confederate officers buried in the North; Ruth, the unknown victim of a horrendous murder; Joseph Ellicott, a man of great power and great flaws; and William Morgan, the man who disappeared and was allegedly murdered before he could reveal the secrets of the Masons.

Tours begin at 7 p.m. and run every 15 minutes until 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes refreshments. Tickets are available at the gate the day of the event at Historic Batavia Cemetery, Harvester Avenue, Batavia. Reservations are suggested. Proceeds benefit the upkeep and restoration of the cemetery. For more information, or to make reservations, contact 343-0248.

Join us for some spooky fun!

Friday, October 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm

A dozen Batavia first responders get grant to equip them with kits to aid overdose victims

post by Billie Owens in batavia

Press release:

The New York Office of the Attorney General has awarded the Batavia Police Department with grant funds from the Community Overdose Prevention Program enabling select first responders from both the fire and police department to receive naloxone kits and training for administering the life-saving medication.

Also known as Narcan, naloxone is a medication administered by nasal spray to an individual who has overdosed on opioids (synthetic substances that mimic the narcotic effect of opium, from which heroin is derived). Naloxone works by temporarily reversing the effects of the opioid, whether illicit or prescription, allowing the individual to regain consciousness and resume normal breathing.

The kits cost approximately $60 each, and Batavia has received a grant of $720 to purchase kits for 12 first responders.

In addition, the Community Overdose Prevention Program has dedicated $5 million in funds seized as crime proceeds from joint federal and state criminal investigations to fund the purchase of a naloxone kit for every sworn officer in the state that might encounter an acute opioid overdose in the line of duty.

While City of Batavia first responders have received the commitment from the Attorney General’s Office, the kits still need to be ordered and training needs to take place. Each kit consists of a zip bag or pouch containing: two vials of naloxone; two mucosal atomization devices for nasal administration; one pair of latex gloves; and a booklet on the use of naloxone.

Training on the use of the naloxone will be conducted by the City of Batavia Fire Department.

“We are fortunate to have had a number of individuals trained to both administer naloxone and train others to administer the drug,” said City of Batavia Fire Chief Jim Maxwell. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Batavia police to offer a service that has already seen more than 1,000 successful overdose reversals in New York State.”

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose, and nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers. When prescription medication is no longer available, individuals often turn to illicit drugs, such as heroin.

“While we are certainly not seeing the use of heroin at the epidemic proportions of many communities, heroin and other opioids are here in Batavia,” said City of Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch. “A key deterrent to opioid use, as with all drugs, is education and relentless attention.

“It’s difficult to keep up with trends among teens,” adds Heubusch, “but the ever-expanding choices among the synthetic drug market are something parents must pay attention to.”

According to Heubusch, one of the current top choices among teens is the drug "Cloud 9," an opioid that can be purchased over the Internet and looks just like an over-the-counter bottle of eye drops.

Batavia High School Principal Scott Wilson supports Chief Heubusch’s assessment of the strong need to educate the public on the constantly changing drug trends and ways to maintain vigilance. Wilson is holding a community roundtable designed to educate the community and provide information about the many resources available for both prevention and rehabilitation. The roundtable event, entitled “Community Awareness: Vaporizers, E-cigarettes and Their Use,” will take place at 6 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the Batavia High School Library.

“From a school administrator’s position, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and claim to be diligent about monitoring our kids’ activities and behaviors,” says Wilson, emphasizing that the school district wants to make sure all community members are armed with the most updated and accurate information available.

“I’ve had well-meaning parents share with me that they’ve purchased a vaporizer for their child, because they believe it’s safer than cigarettes,” Wilson said. “What parents don’t know is that the synthetic drugs that go into these vaporizers are very different. These drugs are not regulated and users face sometimes dire, unintended consequences.”

The Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) will bring samples of legally purchased -- but uncontrolled -- opioids to the roundtable and review the most effective preventative measures. The Batavia Police, Genesee County Sheriff and City of Batavia Fire Department will also be on hand to share information and answer questions.

“We’ve seen an increase in opiate addictions in both Genesee and Orleans counties; Providing our City police and fire professionals with the naloxone kits will save lives," said Pamela LaGrou, GCASA Communications/Development director, who has seen giant steps taken to respond to this increase all over the state.

LaGrou also places a strong emphasis on education: “heroin and other opioid drugs are easy accessible, relatively inexpensive and can be highly addictive.” LaGrou recommends the Web site www.combatheroin.ny.gov as one of the best sites available for public education. Links to that site can also be found at GCASA’s Web site at www.gcasa.net.

Friday, October 10, 2014 at 11:56 am

Law enforcement agencies remind people to lock vehicles to avoid thefts

post by Billie Owens in crime

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department and other law enforcement agencies throughout the county, have been receiving reports of unlocked vehicles being entered and property being taken. These incidents have occurred over the last several months.

We would like to remind citizens to secure their vehicle’s, and other valuable property, at all times to help prevent these types of larcenies from occurring.

Citizens with information pertaining to these incidents which have occurred in the City of Batavia, are asked to contact the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350. Information can also be provided by calling the Batavia Police Confidential Tip Line at 585-345-6370 or by accessing the Batavia Police Department’s Web site and making use of the Suspicious Activity reporting link.

Friday, October 10, 2014 at 3:20 am

Rollover accident on eastbound Thruway, Le Roy responding

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Le Roy

A rollover accident is reported on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 382.4. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 5:22 a.m.: Le Roy medics have just arrived at Strong Memorial Hospital with one patient.

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