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Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

First bicycle Ride to Remember benefiting the Perinatal Bereavement Network is Saturday

The premier bicycle Ride to Remember will be held this Saturday, Sept. 6, beginning and ending at Oakfield Alabama Baptist Church, located at 2210 Judge Road in Oakfield.

It benefits to Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network and the "Remembering Love in a Heartbeat" project.

There will be a family five mile fun bicycle ride and a 20-mile ride. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the ride begins at 10.

For more information and to register go to  http://www.wnypbn.org

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 11:15 am

Second annual Traditional Marital Arts Tournament set for Sept. 27 in BHS gym

post by Billie Owens in martial arts

Press release:

The 2nd Annual Traditional Martial Arts Association Tournament will be held at the Batavia High School Gym Saturday, Sept. 27th with eliminations starting at 10 a.m.

The Tournament will consist of Sparring (point fighting), Individual Kata (forms), Team Kata, Weapons Kata, Self Defense, and MMA Grappling.

Tournament organizers are Soke William Cavalier (Livonia Tatsu Do School), Hanshi Dick Borrell (Borrell’s Karate Academy, Batavia), and Renshi Fred Merica (Le Roy Karate & Self Defense Center). All three have been close associates and tournament/ clinic organizers for the past 35 years.

John Ferrar from Bedroc MMA in Rochester will be sponsoring the MMA Grappling portion of the tournament. John also teaches classes at Main Street Fitness in Le Roy.

Ages of competitors will start as young as 4 years old with no age limit. We have had competitors in the past well into their 70s. Divisions are broken down by skill level and age.

Spectators are welcome at $5 each and students at $4 each.

To see a flier go to www.fitness-martialarts.com and click the link at top of page “September 2014 TMAA Tournament - Download Flyer” or call 585-414-3181.

Anyone interested to help be a scorekeeper please call 585-414-3181 for more information; minimum age -- 15 years old.

Tournament sponsors are:

  • Northwoods Sporting Club / Le Roy
  • Scofield Rolloff Service/ Stafford
  • Ron and Sue Odessa/ Batavia
  • Chapin Manufacturing/ Batavia
  • LB Grand/ Le Roy
  • Sport of Kings Restaurant/ Batavia
  • Got To Go Electric/ Le Roy
  • Don Cameron/ Le Roy
  • Shepard Maxwell & Hale/ Batavia
  • Radley’s Auto/ Corfu
  • Le Roy Karate & Self Defense Center/ Le Roy
  • Borrell’s Karate Academy/ Batavia
  • Livonia Tatsu Do Karate/ Livonia
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Hospital CEO announces upcoming change in leadership

post by Billie Owens in UMMC

Press release:

Mark C. Schoell, CEO of United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, today announced that he plans to step down from his role as the organization’s highest administrator on Dec. 31. This is the expected completion date for the affiliation process between United Memorial and Rochester Regional Health System (RRHS). He has been with United Memorial for 10 years; serving as the president and CEO for the majority of his tenure.

Betty Lapp, chair of the United Memorial Medical Center Board of Directors said “Mark’s expertise in finance and extensive knowledge of the healthcare environment has led United Memorial to a position of strength.

“His strategic vision has allowed us to continue to provide quality, locally delivered healthcare for the residents of Genesee County. On behalf of the Board, I can say that we deeply appreciate and respect all that he has accomplished.”

Last December, Daniel P. Ireland assumed the role of president of United Memorial as part of a long-term succession planning initiative. He will continue as president and become the highest ranking administrator at United Memorial. The responsibilities of the CEO will be maintained by the Rochester Regional Health System following the merger with RRHS. Beginning in January, Schoell will continue to contribute to the long-term viability of United Memorial by assisting with system integration and strategic planning at the discretion of the Hospital president.

“Mark Schoell is a transformative leader and as a result of his vision and guidance, United Memorial will join the Rochester Regional Healthcare System from a position of strength, becoming what we see as the Western hub of our system.” said Mark Clement, CEO of RRHS. “I look forward to collaborating with him on system integration. And knowing the strong and capable team Mark has built, I am confident that the transition will be smooth and effective as we work together to expand access and build a continuum of the highest quality care throughout this entire region.”

Schoell is a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA) and a graduate of Canisius College (Buffalo) with a bachelor of science degree in Accounting and earned his master of science degree in Business Administration from St. Bonaventure University (Olean). He has more than 35 years of experience in healthcare administration and finance. He has been the chair of the Western New York Healthcare Association and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of directors for Lake Plains Community Care Network, Healthcare Professionals Insurance Company, and Mercy Flight of Western New York. He is a member of Batavia Rotary and resides with his wife, Peg, in Orchard Park.

United Memorial’s accomplishments under Schoell’s leadership are innumerable. They began with the creation of a stable financial position where revenues have grown by more than 70 percent -- from $46 million in 2004 to approximately $80 million in 2013; and funds available for reinvestment into the organization after expenses have remained positive, allowing the investment of more than $75 million into local capital improvements.

Developing a master facilities plan in 2005, United Memorial made many advances in improving the physical plant. At the hospital, patient rooms were updated, both wings of the fourth floor Maternity Unit and the Pharmacy Department were completely renovated. Heating, electrical and air-handling systems were upgraded and to improve patient access; employee parking was moved off campus. From 2007-2009, the underutilized former St. Jerome Hospital campus was transformed into a vibrant outpatient healthcare center that includes affordable senior housing, occupational medicine, and urgent care services. One of the largest and most impactful projects included the 44,000-square-foot, $20 million surgical expansion project completed at the hospital in 2010. Unusual for a small community hospital, United Memorial has some of the most modern and up-to-date surgical suites in Western New York.

United Memorial’s strategic planning process guided the creation of several new services and recruitment of primary care providers and physician specialists to our region. New services include the Hospitalist program, Urgent Care, Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, The Sleep and Wellness Center, Pain Management, Joint Replacement Center of Excellence, Community Pharmacy, Stroke Center and the Cancer and Infusion Center.  Women’s Care was extended into Orleans County and many new physician specialists have joined the Medical Staff; which has nearly doubled in the past ten years. In 2013, United Memorial became a teaching facility offering a Residency Program in Family Medicine and serves as a rural clinical rotation site for students completing their medical degrees.

As he was building, renovating and recruiting, Schoell kept a strong focus on improving quality of care through diligent quality measurement and patient outcomes by implementing best practices. United Memorial has been recognized for surgical care improvement measures, laboratory testing, communication with primary care physicians, our work with the Safe Haven program, and infant immunization, testing and breastfeeding. To maintain this momentum of quality improvement, Schoell fostered collaborative initiatives in stroke care, pathology, cardiology, urology, and oncology with larger recognized institutions. And, as national healthcare reform became a reality, he and the Board of Directors had the vision to investigate partnership opportunities with healthcare systems in order to protect local services.

United Memorial Medical Center has experienced a metamorphosis under the leadership of Mark Schoell, and “Quality care right at home,” has become our organization’s promise to the community.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Transformer blows up at Darien Lake Theme Park trapping semi driver in his cab

post by Billie Owens in Darien

A transformer exploded off the Darien Lake Theme Park employee road and Sumner Road. All the wires connected to it are down. Some of them are strewn across a semi-truck in the parking lot. The driver is not injured, nor are others. The trucker cannot exit the cab. National Grid says it will send in a repair crew right away. Darien fire is responding.

UPDATE 1:25 p.m.: National Grid estimates its crew will be there in "one zero." (10 minutes)

UPDATE 1:36 p.m.: National Grid is on scene.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Car lands on its roof in Thruway accident near Batavia exit, unknown injuries

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A motor vehicle accident is reported on the Thruway by the Batavia exit, mile marker 390.1. The car is on its roof. Unknown injuries. Town of Batavia fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE 12:56 p.m.: The mile marker is now said to be eastbound 385.5.

UPDATE 12:59: The driver is out; minor injuries. Mercy medics on scene and a Sheriff's deputy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Tickets go on sale Friday for the Taste of Fall Wine Walk

post by Billie Owens in BID, taste of fall wine walk

Press release:

Tickets go on sale this Friday for the the Annual Taste of Fall Wine Walk. It will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, with more than 15 stores and businesses participating.

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District presents this very popular event, which sold out last year within the first two weeks.

"Bring Your Feet Downtown For The Taste Of The Grape!"

Wine Walk tickets are $20/person and include tastings, a commemorative wine glass, and discounted items at some stores and snacks.

Registration (4 to 6 p.m.) is at GO ART!, 201 E. Main St..

Be safe. Bring along a designated driver: Cost $5/person, includes everything except wine.

New this year are V.I.P. Wine Walk tickets. Cost: $30/person and includes all of the regular ticket benefits plus early admittance at 3 p.m. and a special wine accessory gift.

Tickets go on sale Sept. 5th at these Downtown locations: Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, 8 Center St.; T-Shirts Etc., 111 Main St.; Valle Jewelers, 21 Jackson St.; and The YNGodess Shop, 73 Main St.

Only a limited number of tickets are available. Must be 21 years old to participate.

http://www.DowntownBataviaNY.com (585-344-0900

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 11:32 am

Meet the county's new historian at HLOM's annual Chicken-n-Biscuit Luncheon

post by Billie Owens in announcements, hlom

The annual Chicken-n-Biscuit Luncheon will be presented by the Holland Land Office Museum on Tuesday, Sept. 23rd at noon at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia.

Meet the new Genesee County Historian, Michael Eula, who will speak on “Genesee County, the Holland Land Company, and the fabric of American History."

Tickets are $10 per person for lunch catered by the D&R Depot Restaurant & Catering. Please call the Holland Land Office Museum for tickets and more information at 585-343-472. Everyone is welcome.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 11:23 am

Drew Monti wins annual Batavia Downs bike race

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, bike race, sports

Drew Monti edges out the competition at annual driver's bike race at Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

What has been the tradition on Labor Day at Batavia Downs since 1979, a renewal of the annual driver’s bike race took place on Monday (Sept. 1) with a full field of eight local reinsmen lining up to compete.

Among the contestants were two-time winner Denny Bucceri and last year’s winner Mickey Holliday. But it was newcomer Drew Monti who got the job done at the wire.

The starting car picked up the field at the top of the far turn and let them go at the head of the stretch for the one-eighth mile dash. As the pack got away from the gate, the bunched group began to break apart and Holliday found himself in a familiar spot; in front. But Monti was gaining momentum from sixth on the far outside. As they approached the wire, Holliday had a two-length open lead but Monti was flying down the track. Just before the finish, Holliday appeared to lose his rhythm and slowed just enough for the now motoring Monti to fly by him to win the race by a head.

After the race, the bikes were given away via random drawing to eight lucky fans from all who correctly selected Monti to win before the event.

Also on Monday afternoon, driver Kevin Cummings had a hot hand, winning five races on the card. He piloted Cheshire Cat ($4.60), Tsunami Dream ($6.20), Union Man Hanover ($2.70), Mr. Casual ($6.70) and The Manipulator ($14.40) to the winners circle. Dave McNeight III was right behind him with a driving triple steering Jon Win ($4.40), Kisses N Kicks ($3.30) and Tip N Go ($3.90) to victory.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Today's Deals: Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, Alli's Cones & Dogs, Spirits, and more!

post by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, NY. A retail and special-order bakery and cafe located in Downtown Batavia inside Seymour Place. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, it offers fresh artisan bread like baguettes, sourdough and rye starting at noon. The custom cakes are out of this world with 3D characters or gorgeous wedding cakes to suit any budget. For all your sweet treats, we have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Sweet Pea’s Cupcakery Café, 23 Jackson St., Batavia, NY. We are a full-service Cupcake Bakery and Café. Now serving fresh-baked artisan pizza on Friday nights! We offer soft-serve ice cream, too! Treat yourself to a variety of baked goods, mainly varieties of specialty and traditional scratch-made cupcakes, as well as other bakery items like cookies and brownies. We also serve a variety of hot and cold beverages. Check out our location, or place an order for parties, gatherings or any other reasons you can think of to enjoy some cupcakes. We have a $10 gift card for $6.

$$$  Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Spirits

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew

Alli's Cones & Dogs

Sweet Ecstasy

Sweet Pea's Cupcakery Cafe

 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Law and Order: Le Roy man accused of illegal entry into neighbor's apartment

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

Thomas A. Gorrow III, 23, of 59 Mill St., rear apt., Le Roy, was arrested based on a complaint from last evening (9/1/2014) that he allegedly unlawfully entered a neighbor’s apartment and while inside damaged both a stove and a window. Gorrow was initially taken into custody by the Le Roy Police Department under section 9.41 of the Mental Hygiene Law and transported by ambulance to a hospital for evaluation, but allegedly left the hospital without the medical staff’s knowledge and/or permission. Gorrow was located at work and arrested by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count each of burglary, 2nd, a Class C felony, and criminal mischief, 3rd, a Class E felony. Gorrow was arraigned before the Hon. D. Sehm of the Le Roy Town Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

Roberto Varona-Gonzalez, 57, of Clifford Avenue, Rochester, is charged with evading or defeating cigarette tax. It is alleged that he possessed 31 cartons of cigarettes or 6,200 cigarettes following a traffic stop on Bank Street Road in the Town of Byron. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Byron Town Court at 5 p.m. on Sept. 22.

Thomas A. Webb, 54, of Gifford Street, Syracuse, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. He was arrested on the charges after allegedly cashing a forged check at a bank. The investigation was  conducted in coordination with the Le Roy Police Department. Webb was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put then put into Genesee County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. He is set to appear back in court at 11 a.m. on Sept. 11.

Joshua Lee Baltz, 38, of West Main Street, Batavia, is accused of first-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested for allegedly making phone calls from the county jail on Aug. 30 to a protected person, in violation of a stay-away order of protection.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Back porch reported to be on fire on Ross Street in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

The back porch of the residence at 249 Ross St. is reportedly on fire. The blaze was called in to dispatch by a neighbor who is unsure if the house is occupied. City fire just arrived and there's no smoke showing.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: Command reports smoke is showing from the rear of the wood frame structure.

UPDATE 1:51 p.m.: Command says the fire is in a wall and is "out of control."

UPDATE 1:52 p.m.: Dispatch has made contact with the homeowner who returning home now.

UPDATE 2:09 p.m.: Fire is out. Firefighters are picking up and preparing to leave the scene.

UPDATE (by Howard): An alert neighbor and quick response by City Fire is probably what saved this house. Damage to the back porch, railing, eaves and smoke damage along the back of the house, showing it was minutes, if not seconds, from spreading extensively before it was put out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 12:52 pm

GC Youth Court recruiting new members

post by Billie Owens in youth court

Press release:

Calling all eighth- through 11th-graders, the Genesee County Youth Court is recruiting new members! Applications are due by the middle of September to 2 Bank St., Batavia.

Youth Court is a voluntary alternative for young people who face disciplinary action through school or law enforcement. Youth who are referred admit to the charge and appear before a court of their peers. Three youth judges listen to both sides of the issue and determine an appropriate disposition.

The goal of youth court is to improve youth citizenship skills and decrease problematic behavior.

Youth Court members learn about the judicial process and law enforcement; develop group decision making, leadership and public speaking skills; participate in all roles of the courtroom -- judge, prosecution, defense and bailiff.

County eighth- through 11th-graders who are interested can go online to download an application from the Web site <http://www.co.genesee.ny.us> where you will find a link on the Youth Bureau page.

Interviews of potential candidates will take place during early fall with the training to begin in October. For more information on the Genesee County Youth Court, please contact Chelsea Dillon at the Genesee County Youth Bureau, 344-3960.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 11:38 am

Two drivers injured in Batavia Downs accident

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

Press release:

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

An unfortunate chain-reaction mishap occurred at the start of the third race at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept.1) that sent two drivers to the hospital.

When the gate pulled away at the start of the race, driver Chris Long tried to go to the front with pacer Shakin In My Shoes from post five when the horse took a bad step and fell, throwing Long to the track. Following behind him was Shawn McDonough driving Police Car, who then appeared to run over Long, dumping McDonough out of his bike and to the track. Then while on the track, McDonough appeared to be run over by the sulky wheel of another trailing horse, Flight Crew driven by Jim McNeight.

At this point there were two drivers on the track, one horse down and another horse (McDonough’s) running loose without a driver. As horsemen and medical personnel ran to the aid of the fallen, the other drivers pulled out wide on the second lap to avoid the incident at the rail. However the loose horse did not follow suit and instead skirted the pylons, then jumped over the still down McDonough. The jump then caused that horse to fall himself.

The race was declared a “no contest” by the judges at the three-quarter pole and broadcast as such over the public address system by track announcer Joe Zambito who then immediately instructed the remaining drivers to pull up their horses before they finished the race. All wagers made on the race were refunded.

Shawn McDonough was transported to the Erie County Medical Center where he was examined and determined to have a slight concussion but no broken bones. Chris Long was taken to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia where he was found to have a collapsed lung and possible fractures to the ribs and hip. Both drivers remained in the hospital pending further examination.

Shakin In My Shoes and Police Car, the two horses that went down, both came out of the incident with only a couple minor abrasions.

McDonough is 23 years old and is a regular at Batavia Downs. He is one of the up and coming young drivers in the sport and in his short career has steered 395 winners that have earned over $2 million in purses. He was the leading dash driver at the Downs last year and is currently second for this meet.

Long is 46 and has been driving at Saratoga Raceway and Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts. He just started driving at Batavia Downs last week. During his career he has teamed 3,198 winners and amassed purses totaling over $9 million.

Any further updates will be released as they become available.

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Car vs. bicycle accident with injuries at Bank and Washington in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A car vs. bicycle accident with injuries is reported at Bank Street and Washington Avenue. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:42 p.m.: The assignment is back in service.

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

Muckdogs, Marlins extend affiliation agreement through 2016

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, sports

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs and Miami Marlins have announced a two-year extension of their Player Development Contract through at least the 2016 season. A joint announcement was made by Marlins Farm Director Brian Chattin and Brian Paris, President of the Genesee County Baseball Club, the not-for-profit that owns the Batavia Muckdogs Franchise.

“The Genesee County Baseball Club is pleased to announce that we will be extending our working relationship with the Miami Marlins for two more years," said Brian Paris, president of GCBC.

"The Marlins have proven to be a great organization that brings with them solid baseball experience and good people. They've been a first class organization to work with and we’re fortunate to have them as our affiliate in Batavia. On behalf of the entire community and the Genesee County Baseball Club, we are anxious to get started with another year of professional baseball in Batavia."

Naomi Silver, president and CEO of Red Wings Management, LLC, the company which has managed the Muckdogs since 2008, said “We’re very pleased to see the working relationship between Batavia and the Miami Marlins extended.

"The Marlins have done everything a Minor League franchise could hope for in an affiliation. They also understand how important small town Minor League Baseball is to the Batavia Community and they deserve a lot of credit for providing the baseball fans of Batavia with extremely talented young players."
 
Brian Chattin of the Marlins said "The Miami Marlins are very excited to continue with our affiliation with the Batavia Muckdogs. With its rich baseball history, supportive front office and loyal fan base, Batavia is an ideal place for our players and staff to call home each summer. The Marlins are proud to have Batavia as our player development partner and look forward to a long and productive partnership together."

The Muckdogs are one of seven affiliates in the Marlins’ player development system, along with the New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA/Pacific Coast League), Jacksonville Suns (AA/Southern League), Jupiter Hammerheads (Advanced A/Florida State League), Greensboro Grasshoppers (A/South Atlantic League), Dominican Summer League Marlins (Rookie) and Gulf Coast League Marlins (Rookie).

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 10:27 am

Ken Doll J upsets in NYSS action at Batavia Downs

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

Upset victor Ken Doll J breaks ahead with driver Aaron Byron.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

It was bombs-away at Batavia Downs Sunday (Aug. 31) when the heavily favored Major Dancer came up just short at the wire as 40-1 Ken Doll J pulled the surprise in a $39,900 division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Off the gate Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) took an uncontested lead around the turn and up the backside before the 1-2 Major Dancer (Jonathan Drury) rushed and took over the top as they hit the quarter in :27.1. After a pedestrian second split of :30.1, Table Talk (Jim Morrill Jr.) started the outer flow and Ken Doll J (Aaron Byron) followed in swift fashion.

Feeling the heat, Drury stepped on the gas and tried to pull away to the three-quarters with a :28 flat third panel. But the strategy was ineffective as the chasing pair continued to make up ground through the turn and into the stretch. From that point on it was a real horse race with a tiring Major Dancer coming back to Table Talk, who was outside of her and Ken Doll J, who was three-wide. When they hit the wire, Ken Doll J just got up in the final stride to win in 1:54 and light up the board. The winner paid $83.00.

Table Talk was second and Major Dancer hung on to be third.

This was the second win of the year for Ken Doll J (Bettor’s Delight-Normajeankillean) and also a seasonal mark. The victory brought her earnings up to $74,882 for owner Ken Jacobs. Ken Doll J is trained by Linda Toscano.

After the race, Byron said “Everything just worked out. I got a great trip and I didn't really have to do much to half. The filly was real good down the lane.”

Just Add Vodka pulls away to victory with driver Jim Morrill Jr.

In the first $39,900 division, Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the beneficiary of a patient steer and came away with a three-quarter length victory as a result.

Up Front Elizabeth (Mark MacDonald) flew off the wings and led the field through a quick and gapped :27 quarter in post-position order. The story remained the same to the half in :56.3 when Carlota Blue Chip (Jack Flanigen) pulled and tried to apply some heat. She was only able to get up to third on the outside before stalling with two other horses behind her at the three-quarters in 1:25.

When the outer flow faded around the last turn it allowed the rail-riding Barefoot Beauty (Jimmy Whittemore) to come off the pylons and that in turn left a spot for Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) to shoot up inside. At the head of the stretch, the bearing-out Up Front Elizabeth was in the middle with Barefoot Beauty to her right and Just Add Vodka to her left. The three battled to the wire with Just Add Vodka getting the advantage at the end to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2.

Barefoot Beauty was second and Up Front Elizabeth was third.

It was the third win of the year for the Julie Miller trained filly that also happened to be a new lifetime mark. The victory boosted the seasonal earnings of Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) to $94,233 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc., Steven Demeter, Herbert Burns III and Nahuel Agosti.

Morrill praised both the horse and trainer saying “I can't believe how much better she was today. Julie did a great job getting her ready.”

Spreester with driver Jason Bartlett

In the second $39,200 split, Spreester (Jason Bartlett) made quick work of a short field and two breaking horses to register a five-length romp in the fastest of the three divisions.

As the field went into the first turn, Delightful Dragon (Mark MacDonald) made an uncharacteristic break and watched as the rest of the field pulled away. Sky Artist (Kevin Cummings) was on the point but Medusa (Aaron Byron) was pushing the issue outside at the quarter in :26.4. But Medusa appeared to get foul-gaited and Byron took her back to the wood fourth. Then Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from second to challenge but also made a break before the half in :56.1.

So with two of the three favorite guilty of miscues, Spreester, who had been sitting second through it all, pulled past the five-eighths, circled and cleared the leader before they hit the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. When she got back to the pylons, Bartlett popped the plugs and became a passenger as Spreester shifted gears and simply paced away from everybody. She hit the wire a five-length wrapped-up winner in 1:53.3. The winner paid $5.60 to her supporters.

Delightful Dragon recovered from the early break to be second and Sky Artist hung on for third.

This was the sixth win in 14 starts for Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) and the Paul Zabielski trained filly topped off her bank at $134,680. Spreester is owned by Kimberly Zabielski.

Bartlett commented “I really didn't want to sit in the two-hole but they kept blowing up around me. She just exploded down the lane.”

The results of today’s NYSS contests were important in the point’s standings leading into the Night of Champions finals. Spreester took over the top spot, Just Add Vodka moved from fifth to third and Ken Doll J vaulted herself from 12th to seventh.

There was also an Excelsior leg contested and was won by Expose who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:56.3. The winner paid $6.80. Expose is trained by Linda Toscano and is owned by Linwood Higgins, Stake Your Claim Stable, Brittany Farms and Val D’Or Farms.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered a four-win afternoon and Mark MacDonald scored a double.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs today (Sept. 1) with a special Labor Day matinee card slated to start at 1:15.

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

Car wreck on Broadway Road with minor injuries

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany

A motor vehicle accident is reported at 5563 Broadway Road. Injuries are minor. Bethany Fire Department is responding.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Best Ears made himself heard in Batavia Downs feature

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

Best Ears and driver Jack Flanigen

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

With an eighth of a mile to go, two lengths separated the seven horses that competed in Saturday night’s (Aug. 30) $9,500 Open pace at Batavia Downs and the final result came down to the wire. But when they crossed the line, Best Ears used his head as the margin of victory in the night’s feature race.

When the man said go in the seventh race, Big Unit (Kevin Cummings) bolted from post two and took an immediate lead off the gate. Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) left from the four hole and was parked, but methodically worked his way towards the leader through a :27.3 first quarter. After not being able to take control at the point, Flanigen tucked Best Ears in second behind the hard-rolling leader before the pack hit the half in 55.3.

Then Ready To Work (Jim McNeight) came barreling from behind to take his shot at the top. He led a dull outer flow to the three-quarters in 1:25 before actually drawing near the leader. As they started to bunch around the far turn, Burton Blue Chip (Lee Dahn) swung three-deep around Ready To Work and Best Ears was sitting cool in the pocket behind Big Unit. But Big Unit fell victim to his own fast pace at the head of the lane and started to fade. When they headed down the stretch, Ready To Work took over the lead before Best Ears found the passing lane and shot through in time to win by a head in 1:55. The post time favorite returned $3.40.

Ready To Work was second and Burton Blue Chip was third.

It was the sixth win in 29 starts for Best Ears who now has a total of $42,017 earned for 2014. The 5-year-old Shark Gesture gelding is trained by Frank Mastrodonato for owners Joe Amico and Joe Amico Jr.

Editor's Note: Racing is under way now, Aug. 31; it started at 1:15. The card features three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Grand Jury indictments: Man accused of second-degree assault for allegedly injuring victim with scalding water

post by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, byron, crime

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

James T. Saddler III is indicted on a charge of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 21 in the City of Batavia, with intent to cause physical injury to another person, he caused such injury by means of a dangerous instrument -- scalding water.

Ronnie R. Simpson is indicted on a charge of aggravated driving while ability impaired by drugs, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on March 29 in the Town of Byron Simpson drove a 2001 Chevrolet on Route 262 while his ability to do so was impaired by drugs and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger.

Kassandra R. Funk is indicted on a change of drving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 6 in the Town of Bergen Funk drove a 2006 Pontiac on North Bergen Road while in an intoxicated condition. In count two, she is accused of aggravated drving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 or more at the time.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Batavia Downs hosts New York Sire Stakes Sunday

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

On Sunday afternoon (Aug. 31) the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old pacing fillies come to town to compete for their cut of $119,000 in purses.

The group is highlighted by Major Dancer (Art Major-Two Steppin’ Sally), who is currently the fourth highest money earning 3-year-old pacing filly in North America with $201,644 in the bank. She is a seven-time winner in 12 attempts and has only finished out of the money once this year. She won the $46,248 Town Pro stake at Mohawk Raceway earlier this year in her lifetime best time of 1:51.2 as well as an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs in 1:51.4. She finished second in the $244,875 final to Precocious Beauty in a 1:51.1 mile.

Major Dancer will be driven by Jonathan Drury for trainer Casie Coleman. She is listed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the third $39,900 NYSS division carded as the eighth race that also features A La Notte Hanover driven by Matt Kakaley and Table Talk with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines.

A La Notte Hanover (Art Major-All Night Long) starts for the powerful Ron Burke stable and is a two-time winner in 2014. She won her last outing at Yonkers in NYSS action with an impressive 1:55 wire-to-wire victory that brought her bankroll up to $87,733 for the year. She also competed in the Empire Breeders Classic and finished close despite having a lot of traffic to deal with in both of those races.

Table Talk (Bettor’s Delight-Place At The Table) took an early seasons mark of 1:51.4 at Mohawk and has competed in the $420,900 Fan Hanover Stake and $212,150 Mistletoe Shallee where she paced back-to-back 1:49 miles for driver Tim Tetrick. She has been plagued with some bad posts and a breaking issue of late but looks to be in a good spot here for trainer Brad Dalious.

In the first $39,900 division carded as the fourth race, Ron Burke and Julie Miller have the one-two punch going to post. Burke sends out Jaded Dream and Miller counters with Just Add Vodka.

Jaded Dream (If I Can Dream-Jaded Gal) put forth a handy effort at Yonkers in her last, winning a NYSS leg there in 1:54.4. It <http://54.4.it/> was a welcome sight after a series of poor post draws and the resulting tough trips. She has three wins in 13 starts and $62,586 in the bank. Matt Kakaley is back in the bike behind her for the first time since June 18.

Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) only has two wins this year but has been consistently in the money; 13 out of 16 starts and that made her $74,283 for the year. Her mark of 1:55.3 was at Monticello but she has paced considerably faster than that in defeat on several occasions. Jim Morrill Jr. who has driven her several times over the summer gets the assignment.

The second $39,200 division which goes as the seventh race has three very tough competitors going post-ward and looks to be the most closely contested event. It features the first, second and fourth leading points leaders for this sex and gait in the NYSS this year.

Blush Hanover (Art Major-Brissonte Hanover) currently tops the leader board and comes into this race sporting five 2014 wins for trainer Linda Toscano. She finished a strong third in the Empire Breeders Classic final after a very rough parked-out trip. She has a 1:52 mark at the Meadowlands and has only failed to hit the board once out of 14 starts this year. Her $168,831 in earnings is tops in this field and she looks to add to that total in here with Jim Morrill Jr. at the helm.

Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) is second in points despite also having recorded five victories. This filly can race on the front or from behind and that versatility makes her a formidable foe. Her $115,080 in earnings is also second highest in the field and driver Jason Bartlett who has driven this filly twice before with winning outcomes, opted to driver her today for trainer Paul Zabielski after having been down to steer two horses in this same race.

Medusa (Bettor’s Delight-Mythical) ranks fourth in points among the group but is not that far behind the leaders. She has seven wins in 14 starts and $102,723 stashed away. The Paul Kelley trainee has a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at Vernon Downs and also had two good efforts in the Empire Breeders Classic races. Tioga Downs regular Aaron Byron gets the drive tonight from Tim Tetrick who had been at the lines for her last three starts.

Post time for Sunday's races is 1:15.

Batavia Downs also has a special Labor Day matinee 12-race card on tap for Monday (Sept. 1) with a 1:15 post.

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