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Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Possible chimney fire reported on Pike Road, Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, fire

A possible chimney fire is reported at 2991 Pike Road, Alexander.

Fire units dispatched from Alexander, Town of Batavia and East Pembroke.

UPDATE 6:07 p.m.: I wasn't able to follow the conclusion of this call, but units went back in service shortly after the alarm went out.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm

GCC president delivers first 'state of the college' address

post by Howard B. Owens in GCC, James Sunser

Emphasizing all GCC has accomplished but noting there is work to be done in order to maintain a focus on excellence, President Jim Sunser delivered his first "state of the college" speech in the Stuart Steiner Auditorium on Thursday morning.

"You've heard me say I believe that all of us together are smarter than any one of us alone, and we have to talk with each other and work together if we are going to continue to be a great college," Sunser  said. "I encourage you all to bring your thoughts and ideas to those you are with with every day and help us make GCC an even greater place in 2012 and beyond."

Sunser said the college will continue working on a strategic plan, using data gathered from a strategic assessment to help inform planning and "support solid decision making" about the future.

He said the new executive VP of planning and institutional effectiveness will work with senior leadership to review practices and procedures to ensure they support access to learning.

The college will continuing to develop online opportunities.

A new student code of conduct is also being developed.

"This standardized code will serve students by providing clearer understanding of the expectations we have for them as members of this academic community," Sunser said.

A committee is also working on a complete facilities master plan that will set the course for the next five years and beyond for capital fund raising, facilities upgrades and environmental sustainability projects.

Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Five local Nazareth College students make the Deans' List

post by Billie Owens in bergen, corfu, Le Roy, Milestones, south byron, Stafford

Nazareth College is proud to announce the following students have earned Deans' List honors for the Fall 2011 semester:

  • Kate Miano, of Corfu, who is studying Psychology


  • Meagan Lamendola, of Stafford, who is studying Business Administration


  • Karisa Kobel, of Bergen, who is studying Health Sciences


  • Brogan O'Halloran, of Le Roy, who is studying Music Therapy


  • Colleen Swinton, of South Byron, who is studying Health Sciences

A student's grade-point average must be at least 3.5 or above, and they must complete 12 credit hours of graded work that semester in order to be included on the list.

Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester. It offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management.

Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 9:51 am

Today's Deals: Alli's, Ficarella's, Present Tense, Spirits, and more!

post by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day

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 $10.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Greg'ry's Bakery, 13 North Lake Road, Bergen, NY: The bakery offers a variety of the finest cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and so much more. Each treat is made the same as it has been for decades and baked right here. Come in and sample some for yourself! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entire family. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facial, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have $20 gift certificates for $10.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.


Note: if you've never purchased Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and processclick here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 2:10 am

State health officials discuss outbreak of tics in Le Roy, but say they can't share the cause

In a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss an unusual outbreak of tics among female students at Le Roy High School, a state health official steadfastly refused to reveal the cause of the outbreak.

Citing not just HIPPA as a reason for keeping the diagnosis of 11 girls private, Dr. Gregory Young said that as a matter of principle he didn't want to see the girls "labeled" by what their doctor has found.

Young, from the NYS Department of Health, said the cause (or causes) isn't related to the environment; it isn't anything a person "catches"; it doesn't come from exposure to something, or from anything ingested. Nor does the cause stem from prescribed drugs or illicit drugs.

State health officials know what is behind the outbreak, but Young would not disclose it. Yet he tried to reassure parents that it's safe to send their children to school.

In all, according to Young -- though some in the audience disputed the number -- at least 11 girls have come down with the "tic manifestations" (Young cautioned against calling it a syndrome). 

The doctor's explanation, and a stone barrier he put up regarding the cause, didn't go over well with parents or students.

James Dupont Jr. spoke passionately about the need for officials to be more forthcoming about what physicians have found. Dupont complained that although Young said the cause has been diagnosed, nobody's told him what caused his daughter to develop tics.

After he spoke, he went into hallway and was mobbed by reporters.

"We all have to respect that (keeping medical information private), but I tell you what, if my daughter had a diagnosis and I knew that, as a parent, I would tell you -- because I’m not a doctor and I don’t care about HIPPA," Dupont said. "I care about getting these kids better or finding what’s causing it so it doesn’t get any worse."

Later, from the back of the auditorium, Dupont called out Young on his repeated insistance that a diagnosis has been completed for the 11 students. 

Dupont asked parents in attendance whose daughters had developed tics to raise their hands. More than a half dozen adults raised their hands. Then Dupont asked how many had been told by their daughters' doctors what caused the tics. Several said they had not been given a diagnosis.

One parent spoke up and said he was told the cause was "conversion disorder."

Young said he couldn't respond to that comment.

Conversion disorder is a neurosis usually brought on difficulties in a person's life, according to Wikipedia. It is marked by numbness, blindness, paralysis or fits. Britannica.com lists tics as a manifestation of conversion disorder.

After more questioning about conversion disorder, Thomas Wallace, from the state's mental health office, said it isn't really a diagnosis. He said it can be a symptom of other issues and that it can be found in clusters of patients.

The number of patients is not out of line with national statistics for tic manifestations among a group of 500 youngsters (in fact, in a group of 500, there should be at least 20 children with tics, based on national statistics).

What is unusual, he said, is that all of the patients are girls (boys develop tics at a 4-1 ratio over girls, according to national statics, Young said) and that they all developed the manifestations at about the same time.

Several students got up to ask questions or speak out, including a girl who said her name was Jessica.

"You think it's unethical for you not to give us the cause," Jessica said. "I think it's wrong for you not to tell us."

"If you were one of the individuals involved, you might feel differently," Young shot back.

"We're friends with these people," Jessica said. "Half of them haven't even been diagnosed yet. You're not telling us the truth because you don't really know what's going on."

Young repeated that he feels uncomfortable sharing private medical information. Later, he spoke about how he's always hated bureaucrats and he realized he was being one, but he said he simply couldn't share private medical information.

The one commonality Young said he could share was that all of the girls showed a greater manifestation during times of stress.

It's not unusual, he said, for people to manifest tics in time of stress, and there are a lot of stress factors in a young person's life. All people deal with stress differently, but it's well documented that stress can cause a number of physical reactions.

One big stresser for kids today is social media.

"There's a lot that goes on in social media today that parents don't know about, that schools don't know about," said Young, noting that the community meeting coincides with the start of the school session, and the students susceptible to tics will be under a new round of stress.

Just announcing the meeting created stress for the students involved, he said, and parents should be prepared for an increase of tic activity as reports about the meeting hit the media.

Dupont and other parents afterward said they don't believe it all boils down to stress especially since, for some of the students, the tics don't seem to become less frequent when school is out (though one mother who spoke said her daughter didn't have tics over Christmas vacation).

Among Dupont's suggestions is that a parent support group be formed. Then, perhaps, parents could share more information and find commonalities among their daughters (not all of the girls know each other or necessarily had contact with each other prior to the tic manifestations arising).

Young agreed this would be a good idea and also said that in a closed group of just the parents involved, he could speak more freely about what physicians have found.

UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION: The mention of types of drugs above wasn't meant to exclude from the meaning, as it does, that designer drugs weren't investigated as a cause. They were and subsequently ruled out as a cause. PANDAS has been ruled out as a cause. HPV vaccine has also been ruled out as a cause, according to Dr. Young. ODD or ADHD can make a child more susceptible to tics, but that isn't a cause. One thing Young intimated is that there is no one cause for all the girls.

Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 12:39 am

Power out in the Evans, Maple Street area

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Power is out in the area of a semi-truck vs. power pole accident earlier today.

National Grid is not reporting the power outage on its website at this time.

Tonight, crews have been working on replacing the damaged pole.

About an hour ago, Batavia PD officers were discussing a power outage at Main and Ellicott streets.

The power around Maple and Evans streets went out about 11:25 p.m.

UPDATE 11:58  p.m.: Power has been restored. Batavia PD officers conducting traffic control on Main and Ellicott are back in service.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Potentially dangerous synthetic drugs readily available in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, drugs, synthetic drugs, synthetic marijuana

Christopher Dailey, then the principal of Batavia High School, remembers the first time school officials came across a student with a lip balm-like container of K2.

"He handed it over to me and said, 'It's OK, it's legal,' " Daily recalled. "I turned it over and read the back label. I said, 'Did you read this?'  He said he hadn't. He didn't know what it said. It read, 'NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.' "

While synthetic marijuana is a fairly recent issue for school officials to deal with in Batavia, Dailey emphasized it has not become a widespread problem. He characterized it as a "fad," but he also called it, "scary."

Scary is the same word used by local law enforcement and others familiar with a variety of chemicals and compounds being marketed most often as "incense" with clear instructions saying "not for human consumption."

Some of the compounds are available in Batavia retail stores, though Dailey said students interviewed by school officials indicate the chemicals are being purchased most often on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

The compounds fall under the general description of synthetic marijuana, synthetic cocaine and synthetic meth. Commercially, the chemical agents are known as Spice and K2 for synthetic marijuana and Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky and Bliss for synthetic cocaine and meth.

All of the compounds are currently legal and unregulated in New York. You must be 18 years old to buy a pack of cigarettes, but there is no age restriction on Spice or K2.

Synthetic cocaine and meth are more commonly referred to as "bath salts."

While the chemicals are meant to simulate the highs of marijuana or cocaine, they have been known to cause sever reactions, from seizures, rapid heart rates, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, suicidal tendencies and psychosis.

There's some speculation locally that synthetic marijuana or "bath salts" are related to the outbreak of tics among teenage girls in Le Roy. When The Batavian asked Dr. Jonathan Mink about a possible connection Tuesday, he immediately shifted to a discussion of stimulants such as cocaine and said the dosage of cocaine needed to cause tics would be significant and manifest other symptoms.

Wednesday, we asked Dr. Mink to clarify whether synthetic drugs could cause tics and he said it's not a subject he has studied and lacked sufficient expertise to offer an opinion on it.

Jeremy Almeter, owner of Glass Roots on Center Street, said he gets people coming into his shop two or three times a day asking for Spice or K2. They leave disappointed.

"I won't sell it," Almeter said.

Walk into Glass Roots and it's like stepping into a time machine, back into 1960's Haight-Ashbury counterculture, but Almeter said he's seen too many problems caused by fake drugs and doesn't want his business associated with the chemicals at all.

"It just blows my mind that people would use that stuff," Almeter said. "It says right on the label, 'not for human consumption.' A lot of kids seem to think, 'it's legal so it's OK,' but actually the things that are legal are more harmful that what's illegal, specifically marijuana."

Almeter believes the spread of synthetic drugs bolsters the case for legalizing marijuana, a natural substance with effects that are known and generally not harmful. Marijuana could also more easily be controlled, whereas with synthetic drugs, they get re-engineered every time a substance gets outlawed.

In Rochester, a couple of hookah shops have opened where anybody can go in and smoke K2 or bath salts, but Almeter said he wants to offer an alternative.

Recently, he opened his own hookah room, but only offers tobacco-free, all-natural aromatics. Nothing he offers will get a person high. The idea is to sit around and enjoy some pleasant aromas and pleasant conversation.

The Laughing Buddha on Ellicott Street in Batavia advertises on its Facebook page that it sells "incense."

Premium Blend Spice & Incense, We wholesale it as well, Guaranteed best prices around on your favorite kinds such as Hammer Head, White Rhino & Grim Reefer.

Displayed in the store today were dozens of packages of White Rhino behind a glass counter.

The owner of the shop is Jay Lang, who also owns Batavia Cab Co., and at one time, Lang mentioned on Facebook that customers could have products from Laughing Buddha delivered right to their door by a cab driver. 

Today, Lang said he discontinued the practice after considering the legal implications.

"What we carry is legal and we sell it as incense," Lang said. "It's lab tested and DEA compliant. Every package comes with a warning label."

Lang said that if a customer indicates they are using the substances for anything other than incense, they are "cut off." He said he won't knowingly sell the substances to anybody he believes is consuming it.

The synthetic drugs have also been displayed on the counters of other Batavia retailers in recent months.

The use of synthetic weed in area high schools is more prevalent than school officials believe, Almeter suggested.

Dailey, who is now assistant superintendent for the Batavia City School District, said there have been times when kids came to school under the influence of fake marijuana. When it happens, he said, parents are contacted and generally the parents take the student straight to a doctor.

Because it's legal, "there's a limit on how much we can do," Dailey said. "We're as proactive as we possibly can be and we work closely with police on monitoring it and we discuss the dangers in our health classes."

For local law enforcement, the main time synthetic drugs become a legal issue is when people drive under the influence of the drugs, which is a crime.

A volunteer firefighter was recently arrested. He originally offered himself as an interview subject for this story, but later didn't show up for his interview appointment. In a pre-interview conversation, he said the arrest didn't go over well with his superiors and it opened his eyes to the dangers of fake marijuana.

While sources in law enforcement said they haven't seen a lot of those kinds of arrests, driving under the influence of anything is dangerous.

"People have to understand that while legal, much like alcohol if you’re over 21, it can still be abused and misused and effect your ability to make decisions and operate a vehicle," said Sgt. Steve Mullen, head of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Mullen said that he and his agents are focused on investigating the sale of controlled substances such as crack cocaine and heroin, so it's hard for him to confirm that the use of synthetic drugs locally is on the rise.

But he also doesn't get why people use these substances.

"It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me," Mullen said. "It says right on the packages, 'not for human consumption,' so not from a law enforcement perspective, just personally, from a commonsense perspective, if it says 'don't consume,' then why would you consume it?"

UPDATE 10:57 p.m.: On Facebook, Jay Lang is complaining the article makes it sound like his shop sells bath salts. The article states what he's advertised as products in his store and the one product I observed in his store. Those products are not known as bath salts. While law enforcement officials have told me bath salts have been known to show up in the community, there is no specific retail outlet mentioned in this article that is believed to sell bath salts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Semi strikes utility pole on Evans Street

post by Billie Owens in batavia

Residents in the area of Evans and Maple streets in Batavia experienced a brief power outage after a big rig struck a utility pole. The pole was shapped in half and is hanging partially over the roadway.

Power was automatically rerouted. There are no wires down.

"Definitely needs the power company," said a responder. City fire and police are on scene.

UPDATE 4 p.m. (By Howard): Power went out in the neighborhood again at about 3:45 p.m. At the same time, The Batavian's office downtown lost its Internet connection (it was interrupted during the first power outage as well). The semi driver reportedly was trying to get around another car on Evans when he hit the pole. There is no damage to the truck. No injuries reported. City fire is going back in service. National Grid is on scene and a worker told city fire that it will take two hours to restore power.

UPDATE 4:12 p.m.: National Grid is going to try to reroute some power so that the north side of the accident scene gets power back within 45 minutes. This will restore power to the intersection of Main and Ellicott streets.

UPDATE 4:20 p.m.: A teller alarm went off at a downtown bank and a Batavia PD officer reported, "the power just came back on, so it could be related." The Batavian's phone service and Internet connection came back on at the same time. National Grid is reporting power is restored. It's unknown if this is a temporary or permanent fix. About 1,300 customers were affected by the outage.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: National Grid reports about 30 customers without power in the city with an estimated time for restoration of 5:15 p.m.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Youth Dodgeball League being formed by the Salvation Army

post by Billie Owens in announcements, dodgeball, Salvation Army, sports

A Dodgeball League for youth is being formed by the Salvation Army. It will be held on Saturdays beginning Feb. 4 at the Salvation Army Community Center, located at 529 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

Play for fourth- through sixth-graders will begin at 10 a.m.

Play for seventh- and eighth-graders will begin at 1 p.m.

Play for high-schoolers starts at 3 p.m.

Registration forms are available at the Salvation Army or by calling 343-6284 or email <[email protected]>.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Meeting scheduled to discuss Summit Street redesign

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Summit Street

Batavia residents, particularly on Summit Street, are invited to a public meeting from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, to provide input on reconstruction plans for the street.

The redesign and construction is a locally administered federal aid project scheduled for completion in 2015.

Erdman Anthony has been retained by the city to provide survey, field mapping and engineering services for the project.

Engineering studies are in progress.

According to a city press release, during the design process, comment and input from affected residents and businesses are "valuable and necessary elements for achieving a successful project."

The meeting will begin with a brief overview of the project and discussion will proceed in an open house format, allowing interaction with consultants from Erdman Anthony and city staff.

UPDATE: The meeting is being held at city hall.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Law and Order: Trio charged with trespass at College Village

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

David L. Andrews, 24, and Tyshawn T. Ferguson, 21, both of Holland Avenue, Batavia, along with Deylon A. Bovell, 20, of East Main Street, Batavia, are charged with trespass. Andrews, Ferguson and Bovell were allegedly found at College Village after being banned from the property.

Donald Eugene Cameron, 52, of York Road, Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Cameron is accused of slapping another person in the head.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:03 am

Today's Deals: Bourbon & Burger Co., Greg'ry's, Kravings, and more!

post by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom, NY: A historic and legendary tavern and restaurant. The Alabama Hotel is famous for its fish fries, but also serves a variety of top-quality entrees, featuring Certified Angus Beef. Now with expanded hours. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Batavia Downs Grandstands Bar & Grille, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: A full menu, salad bar and drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Greg'ry's Bakery, 13 North Lake Road, Bergen, NY: The bakery offers a variety of the finest cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and so much more. Each treat is made the same as it has been for decades and baked right here. Come in and sample some for yourself! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kravings offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Palm Island Indoor Water Park, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY: The newest family fun center in Genesee County, featuring a hot tub, monsoon lagoon pool and play area, tipping buckets, water slides, arcade with 15 games and birthday party rooms. We have a pair of gift certificates worth $40 in merchandise or services for $20.

Rancho Viejo, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Traditional Mexican cuisine, from tacos and burritos to pollo norteno, Rancho Viejo brings a bit of "south of the border" to Batavia's restaurant scene. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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 $10.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's."  Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.


Note: if you've never purchased Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and processclick here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:26 am

Accident with injuries reported in the Village of Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba

An injury accident requiring extrication has been reported at North Main and Chapel streets in the Village of Elba.

Elba Fire Department on scene. Mercy EMS dispatched. Fire police called to deal with traffic.

A tractor-trailer is apparently involved.

UPDATE  7:29 a.m.: Mercy Flight requested to the scene. Landing zone at the recreation hall.

UPDATE 7:38 a.m.: Mercy Flight 5 has a three-minute ETA.

UPDATE 7:40 a.m.: Mercy Flight on the ground.

UPDATE 8:03 a.m.: Mercy Flight in the air, headed to Strong Memorial Hospital.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

YWCA aims to foster unity, community and good will for children on MLK Day

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, YWCA

The local YWCA will mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day next Monday by opening up day care at Robert Morris School (correction: YWCA, 301 North Street, Batavia, on Monday).

Typically, day care is closed on holidays, but YWCA Director Jeanne Walton said the Y is going to start changing that, and Monday's daycare will be a "very affordable" $20, she said, and will include 12 hours of care, breakfast, lunch and a snack.

Children not currently enrolled in day care are welcome to attend Monday, Walton said.

John Canale, center of the photo, will conduct a drum circle for the children, teaching them about the history of African hand drumming.

A second drum circle session will be held in the evening that anybody in the community can attend.

Walton said the Y wants the day to reflect unity, community spirit and good will.

“It’s all about fostering the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr.," Walton said. "We’re doing it in a slightly different fashion, but we feel this is something that is important for us to do.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Law and Order: Woman accused of making up story of stabbing

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime

April Marie Ground, 22, of Meadville Road, Alabama, is charged with falsely reporting an incident, 3rd. Ground allegedly reported to Deputy Eric Seppala at 2 a.m. Nov. 30, that she was stabbed in the face about an hour earlier by a black female in the parking lot of a Batavia retailer. On Dec. 8, Ground allegedly admitted to Investigator William Ferrando that the stabbing did not occur.

Jason Andrew Barnhart, 24, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th (value more than $1,000), burglary, 3rd, grand larceny (more than $1,000) and falsifying business documents. Barnhart was arrested following an investigation into a burglary and grand larceny reported at 3 p.m. Jan. 4 at a location on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia. Barnhart was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Kevin Bruce Martin, 28, of Route 98, Attica, is charged with petit larceny. Martin is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Expert to discuss tic outbreak in Le Roy at meeting scheduled Wednesday

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

With parents in Le Roy still concerned about what might have caused a small number of teenage girls to develop tics, the school district has announced a public meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, where officials from various health agencies will discuss what they know at this point.

It's unclear if any definitive findings will be shared at the meeting.

According to the district's website:

The District continues to work with medical specialists, the State and County Health Departments, and the County and State Office of Mental Health during this ongoing investigation. Representatives from these organizations will be sharing the latest details about the investigation with the community.

The meeting will be held in the Jr./Sr. high school auditorium.

Today, The Batavian spoke with Dr. Jonathan Mink, chief of child neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and co-chair of the scientific advisory board of the Tourette Syndrome Association.

Mink said while he's followed coverage of the situation in Le Roy, he hasn't been directly involved. He has spoken with colleagues who have patients among the group of students displaying the tics.

The tics -- involuntary muscle movements -- have led some media reports to categorize the situation as some sort of outbreak of Tourette Syndrome.

Mink said it's highly unlikely that it's Tourette's.

While one-in-four to one-in-five children develop tics at some point in their young life, the tics usually end after a year or less. It's very unusual for teenagers to develop a new onset of tics, he said.

Less than .6 percent of children develop Tourette Syndrome, and almost never after becoming teens.

While it's possible that one or two teenage girls in Le Roy had Tourette's and developed more pronounced symptoms in high school, the chances of the six or seven girls who have reportedly developed the symptoms are incredibly slim.

Tourette Syndrome is also three or four times more likely to strike boys. It's an inherited disorder and not caused by environmental conditions.

At one time, some scientists speculated that strep infections could cause Tourette's, but new research has proven that isn't the case, Mink said.

It's also possible for other neurological disorders to cause tics, but based on what Mink knows about the situation, the symptoms of other underlying neurological problems are not present in these cases.

As for environmental causes, that isn't likely either, Mink said.

There just isn't much scientific evidence for environmental factors causing tics.

"It's extremely unlikely that anything in the air, in the water or in the food they've eaten is the cause of tics," Mink said.

As for something the students might have ingested, such as stimulants, Mink said such a cause is also unlikely. It would take significant dosage of any drug, prescribed or not, to cause tics and then other behavioral changes would be apparent.

Which leaves one other known cause of tics: Stress.

Mink said he doesn't want to leave the impression that he is characterizing the situation in any way involving the girls in Le Roy, but people have different ways of responding to stress -- some people sweat, some develop diseases, some heart conditions, and some develop tics.

If a teenager has a propensity toward tics, elevated stress could make them more pronounced.

A tic isn't a habit, Mink said, but it's like a habit in that a person susceptible to tics might take on the tics of another person when exposed to that person.

"A person gets exposed to those symptoms and they take on those symptoms," Mink said. "It may be that the stresses of everyday life and how these girls deal with stress (that is the cause)."

It's possible, he said, that one or two girls had Tourette Syndrome, the symptoms grew more pronounced and the other girls picked up the "habits" of the girls with Tourette's. Or maybe none of them have Tourette's, but the tics got passed along like habits nonetheless.

"I don't have reason to believe there is any kind of infection that would cause an outbreak like this," Mink said near the end of our conversation. "While the cause is unclear, there is no reason to think there is any kind of public health threat."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Batavia student earns scholarship to assist with criminal justice education

Press release:

Annually, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute awards a $250 scholarship to deserving students enrolled in criminal justice, police science or a similar program in each of the state’s community colleges and at SUNY Canton.

This year, three students enrolled in Criminal Justice at Genesee Community College received such a scholarship. They were nominated by GCC's Criminal Justice faculty. One of them attends college at the Batavia campus.

She is Edna M. Higgins, of Hutchins Street, Batavia.

In addition to a $250.00 check to further her education in Criminal Justice, she received a scholarship certificate from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute. These were presented to her by Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

GCC's marketing department earns awards

post by Billie Owens in GCC, Milestones

Press release:

Genesee Community College's Marketing Communications department was the recipient of two National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) District 1 Medallion awards.

GCC won a Gold Medallion of Excellence in the Social Marketing category, and a Silver Medallion of Excellence in the Postcard category. All aspects of the publications development, including copy writing, photography, video, and graphic design were completed in-house through the College's Marketing Communications office.

Winning in the Social Marketing category was "GCC Gets Social" social media campaign that included efforts in Facebook, Twitter, numerous Youtube videos, use of QR codes and other networking sites. The submission covered the background research, objectives, execution, results and evaluation of the campaign. This was the first time the college had entered a submission in the Social Marketing category.

To view GCC's Facebook page visit www.facebook.com/GeneseeCommunityCollege. The college can also be followed on Twitter by visiting www.twitter.com/sunygcc.

Winning in the Postcard category was the Genesee Center for the Arts Calendar of Events. The postcards are distributed to more than 3,000 community members at the beginning of each season to promote a wide array of art events occurring at Genesee Center for the Arts.

The direct mail piece showcases performing art events as well as gallery exhibitions and receptions using an assortment of collage-like techniques. From creative font applications to pastel and watercolor brush strokes, dynamic backgrounds, and replications of real artwork – various elements of the art season are blended together masterfully on each postcard to promote the coming semester's art exhibits, performing artists or plays.

(The Center for the Arts Calendar of Events previously won a Gold Medallion of Excellence at the 2010 NCMPR District I Medallion awards.)

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