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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

Today's Deals: Clor's, Oliver's, Present Tense, The Mane Attraction, 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.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for five weeks of yoga, three classes for $15.

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.

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.)

Jagged Edges Salon, 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, NY: Jagged Edges Salon is a walk-in and appointment salon for men, women and children. It is a fun, welcoming salon that offers all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, treatments, and facial waxing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. 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.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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.

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Fall is here and Pudgie’s has everything you need, from mums to mulch and fertilizer. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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. 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." 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.

SOLD OUT

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

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Law and Order: Inmate accused of assaulting another inmate in Genesee County Jail

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, byron, crime, elba, Genesee County Jail, Oakfield

Kurt Hamilton Hawkins Jr., 18, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd. Hawkins, an inmate at the Genesee County Jail, is accused of assaulting another inmate at 4:26 p.m., Thursday. The alleged victim was treated at ECMC where he was held overnight for observation.

Sandra Louis Chilano, 51, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with petit larceny. Chilano is accused of stealing $100 while employed at Alexander Deli as a clerk.

Ryan Christopher Riggi, 16, of Ridge Road, Lyndonville, was arrested on a warrant issued by Batavia City Drug Court. Riggi was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Samual Christopher Dilcher, 28, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dilcher was arrested following a complaint of harassment at 2:10 a.m., Sunday on Park Road in Batavia.

Samual Christopher Dilcher, 28, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, is charged with criminal mischief 4th. Dilcher is accused of smashing the driver-side window out of a pickup truck during an argument at a location on Park Road, Batavia. He is is also charged with trespass. Dilcher was allegedly involved in an incident Nov. 20 in the Batavia Downs parking lot. Upon further investigation Deputy Joseph Graff came to believe that Dilcher had been previously banned from Batavia Downs property.

Christopher Jordan Rhodes, 41, of Transit Road, Wyoming, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI and failure to keep right. Rhodes was stopped at 2:01 a.m., Sunday, on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Brian Frieday.

Zachary Michael Rebert, 20, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Rebert is accused of getting into a domestic dispute with a woman, pushing her several times and then taking her car without her consent. Rebert was jailed on $5,000 bail.

John Edward Bird, 70, of Barrville Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to stop at a stop sign, moving from lane unsafely and driving left of pavement markings. Bird was stopped at 9:43 P.M., Saturday, on Chapel Road, Byron, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Two-car accident at Batavia-Elba TL Road

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accident, elbs

A two-car accident is reported at Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. Seven people are reportedly in one of the vehicles. Mercy medics and fire personnel are responding to the scene.

UPDATE 8:07 p.m.: Several minutes ago, two more ambulances were dispatched. The roadway is blocked. One vehicle is completely disabled.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm

School district's 10-year-old policy on religious observance suddenly new(s)

post by Howard B. Owens in education, schools

UPDATED 10:45 p.m.

If you caught Channel 8 (the Fox affiliate in Rochester) newscast tonight, you might think Batavia City Schools have just declared war on Christmas.

The on-air report explicitly accused the district of "canceling Christmas."

That's not quite accurate.

The report was based on a memo provided to district personnel last week reminding them of school policy on religious expression.

The district has had such a policy for more than 20 years, according to senior district Board Member Patrick Burk.

Superintendent Margaret Puzio said the memo was nothing out of the ordinary and is something that goes out to district staff about this time every year.

The memo is based on a policy last drafted in 2001. The policy is crafted to strike a balance between the No Child Left Behind Act (ensuring a nondiscrimination policy regarding prayer in schools), and previous legal cases based on the First Amendment.

The district's board adopted a policy prohibiting sectarian religious observance, but also ensured that individual teacher and student expressions of faith are protected.

“If I want to wear a shirt that says ‘Merry Christmas,’ I can do that," said Puzio following a district board meeting Monday night.

News 8 reported on its six o'clock broadcast:

A local school district is banning the phrase "Merry Christmas." Parents in Batavia are outraged about the new policy, which also prohibits Christmas and Hanukkah decoration in the classroom.

Parents were not notified about the new policy. 

The story quotes one parent, Lucy Hudson, and claims several teachers were upset about the policy.

When The Batavian spoke to teachers Monday evening, the teachers waiting for the school board meeting to start said they were previously aware of the policy, but thought the recent memo was meant to reinforce the religiously neutral requirements.

Prior to Monday night's school board meeting, Puzio provided The Batavian with the 10-year-old policy, and said she would speak with The Batavian after the meeting (the original version of this story was posted prior to that interview).

The policy states any school activity should neither advance nor inhibit religion, and that students should be afforded the opportunity to learn about cultural and religious traditions, respecting the beliefs of all students.

Music at a school or public event, for example, should teach musical concepts, to convey historical and cultural content or to create aesthetic experience in a setting that emphasizes artistic expression and educational value, not to promote or celebrate a religious faith.

The policy requires that the district "vigorously publicize and disseminate" the policy.

An attached, undated memo, provides further clarification on teaching religion in schools.

It reads:

"Religious symbols, such as Christmas trees, angels, menorahs, etc., should only be used as part of a unit of instruction on various world religions, not as decoration in the classroom or school. Remember, students have the right to wear religious symbols as an expression of their faith, but should not be obligated to do so."

In a section dealing with schoolwide or public events, the memo reads:

"Expressions related to specific religions, e.g., 'Merry Christmas,' should not be included in any spoken or written remarks."

Puzio explained that doesn't prevent a teacher in a private conversation with a student whom the teacher knows celebrates Christmas from saying, "Merry Christmas."

A teacher can also wear, for example, a cross on his or her lapel. 

Personal expressions of faith are protected, but the district wants to be careful from appearing, as a government entity, to be endorsing any particular religion, Puzio explained.

“For me to stand up in front of the whole group and say, ‘Merry Christmas,’ is almost like the school district putting Christmas before everything else," Puzio said.

News 8's Deanna King, a current Town of Batavia resident who mentioned in the report that she attended Batavia schools, said she sat outside Puzio's office for nearly two hours trying to get a comment from the superintendent.

Asked about making a reporter wait outside of her office, Puzio said, "It was a heck of a day.

"We had several very, very serious student issues today," Puzio said. "I was dealing with those issues, and I had to prepare for a board meeting."

After a little conversation with a board member, Puzio added, "I just really didn’t have time today. It isn’t always a matter of saying, ‘I can see the press.’ I have to prioritize, especially as it relates to students and families who have serious issues. You just can’t say, ‘Gee, I’m going to set aside this mom who really needs to talk with me about a serious issue because I want to talk to Channel 8.”

By 10:45 p.m., Monday, News 8 had modified some portions of its online report, but was sticking to the essence of its story.

UPDATE 7:12 a.m., Tuesday: News 8 reporter Deanna King sent over the following statement:

I would like to clarify a few points to my story you may have missed. Ms. Puzio confirmed that her memo was sent to each school principal and was meant to be "talking points" during a faculty meeting. I can assure you she did in fact say it "wasn't meant for public viewing" during our phone conversation. As a journalist, I would never report something that was not true. I have been in this business for over 10 years. I'm sure you have seen her memo and recognized that it differs from the actual policy. I quoted directly from the memo. Also, although the policy is not new how the district is enforcing it seems to be. I recall being at my son's Christmas concert last year and hearing the director say "Merry Christmas!" Ms. Puzio told me teachers can say "Merry Christmas" if they "are sure everybody in the room celebrates." There is also a change in the room decoration policy. Over the past 5 years I  have volunteered at several holiday parties in the district where teachers displayed decorations and it wasn't an issue.

I was notified of this controversy after several schools held meetings to address frustrations of staff members. I understand you often give your opinion on the site. I do not. I was attempting to give a fair report, but was denied by the superintendent after several requests. We offered to wait for her to finish her important business. I would not expect anyone to put an interview before the needs of a child. My photographer made a final attempt before the board meeting, but was told she wouldn't comment.

News 8 has high standards and I can assure you we confirm everything before we report it. Keep up the good work covering the news in this neck of the woods! Thank you.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Photos: Holiday lights downtown

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown

Downtown is being transformed into a more festive holiday mood with Christmas lights in one of the parks, next to HSBC, and snowflakes hanging from the street lamps.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm

What You Get for the Cost of a Pizza

post by Jennifer Keys in Le Roy, Le Roy pool
What You Get for the Price of a Pizza

When I was running for Town Council 2 years ago I started attending both Town and Village Board meetings so I could learn as much as I could about everything that our local government does. The Village was in the process of discussing what to do with the municipal pool. They were concerned that there was not enough use of it to support the expense to fix it. The list of repairs they had were quite costly. They stated that since constituents were not coming to meetings or calling them at home that there was mass apathy about the pool. There had been discussion about circulating a survey to gauge interest. At a meeting that fall (2 years ago) the board began a discussion that appeared to be going in the direction of closing the pool without the survey. Another Village resident and I spoke up and asked that they not do that and instead conduct the survey as previously agreed to.

A “survey” was circulated in the LeRoy Pennysaver. It asked some personal information and was not anonymous. It was not well responded to. About only 126 surveys were returned. The majority of those surveys supported having either a pool or a spray park. Given that this was not a significant percentage of the population it was disregarded and again the finger was pointed at mass apathy.

I did not win the seat that I sought on the Town Council, but I continued to attend meetings and to speak up about the pool. When I was campaigning for Town Council the pool was a big issue. Every person, save 1, that I spoke to who spoke about the pool came right out and said they wanted it and that it was a shame it had not been opened recently. I then decided to run for Village Board in 2010.

The back and forth about the pool went on for a few months and then at a Village Board meeting prior to the March 2010 Village elections a resolution to permanently close the pool was passed. I was then elected, along with Bob Taylor, and I was reminded that the people wanted the pool and that was I was elected.

being sworn in I continued the discussion about the pool. During the time since March 2010 a group of concerned citizens came forward with a plan to address the repairs that are needed for the pool to be brought up to code and opened. They solicited donations and have raised enough money to not only complete the repairs that are required, but also to update some of the facilities. They presented their idea to the Village Board this past spring, early summer, and asked that their donations be accepted and the pool be opened. In addition, to monetary donations they had donations of time, labor, and materials.

The back and forth continued and finally this past July the mayor put forth a resolution that in summary declared the pool and its buildings surplus. The pool could then be sold to LeRoy Pool, LLC for $1.00 and the land leased for 99 years. LeRoy Pool, LLC would then own and run the pool. The resolution also contained a pledge of $11,000 per year from the Village budget to the pool. This was in line with what the Village had budgeted for the past several years (until this last summer 2011 when it was not budgeted for). This resolution passed 4-1. The difficulty is that there was no such entity as LeRoy Pool, LLC.

During this time as well, concerned citizens who were in support of the pool packed the Village Boardroom during several meetings to speak up and discuss why they supported the pool (or not, as was the case with one person). In addition, a petition was circulated in support of opening the pool and pledging to help fund raise to keep it going. This petition was presented to the Village Board.

Rather than be discouraged, the group of concerned citizens asked the Town Council if they would buy the pool and run a recreation program out of it as they had in the past. In return the group would still contribute the money they had raised, as well as complete the needed repairs. They would continue on as a pool committee and continue to raise money to support the pool, which the Village funded the $11,000 that was agreed upon and the Town fund the same amount of money it had put towards the pool in the past. This is the same pledge that the group had made to the Village as well. The Town did not want to purchase the pool, but agreed that they would follow through on this plan if they could lease it for $1.00. They drew up a contract and signed it. The contract was sent to the Village attorney and the Village Board. The contract has yet to be voted on by the Village Board.

In addition, it should be noted that during the time between the resolution’s passing and the Town’s agreement to lease the pool, a group of concerned citizens (myself included) met with a representative from the County Health Department who shared with us what needs to be done in order to bring the pool up to code. Of the items that were listed, at least 2 had already been addressed before the pool was closed, depth markers around both pools and arrows on the pipes in the pump house showing direction of flow along with what the flow is. The rest are not anywhere near the cost that has been suggested, ie: putting garbage cans with lids in the locker/bathrooms, placing soap dispensers in the showers, hot water in the showers, a chlorine and ph test kit, and new resuscitation masks. In regards to the Virginia Graeme Baker Act (VGBA) pools with single drains are permitted in pools, such as the Le Roy pool, under certain conditions, including the drains being big enough to prevent blockage by a person and/or having an emergency shut off. This will be researched further and ensured that it meets the Federal Code.

A concerned citizen who has been very straightforward in negotiating all of this and who has supported opening the pool from the very beginning also put together the figures in regards to how much it will cost the average household to keep the pool going under these circumstances. $14.98 or the cost of a pizza. The sum of all of this discussion and indecision is the price of one pizza per year or a cup of coffee per month.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Car accident with injuries at State and Washington in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accident

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at State Street and Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia. City fire and Mercy medics are responding. It is blocking traffic.

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: Injuries are minor.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Salvation Army kicks off Red Kettle Campaign, goal is $67K

Majors Patricia and Robert Kurtz received this year’s first donation to the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign at the Red Kettle Kick-off Celebration. The 2011 donation goal is $67,000.

Every dollar raised goes toward programs and services right here in Genesee County. The army would like to thank T-Shirts, Etc. and The Daily News for sponsoring kettles this year. Their designs will be used at the Batavia Wal-Mart location.

Other locations include JCPenney, Kmart, Batavia Tops Friendly Markets, Le Roy Tops Friendly Markets, and Tractor Supply Company.

To volunteer for bell-ringing or to donate, please contact Major Robert at 343-6284 or visit facebook.com/Salvation.Army.Genesee

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Muckdogs' manager, coaches announced for 2012

post by Billie Owens in baseball, muckdogs, sports

Dann Bilardello will return in 2012 for his third season as manager of the Batavia Muckdogs. The 52-year-old Bilardello has compiled a record of 82-67 during his two years in Batavia and led the Muckdogs to the Pinckney Division title in 2010.

Prior to managing the Muckdogs, Bilardello was the St. Louis Cardinals Minor League catching coordinator for three seasons. The former Major League catcher also has four years of minor league managing experience in the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations.

Bilardello managed the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Carolina League during the 2005 season. Before that, he spent three years managing for the Dodgers in Great Falls of the Pioneer League starting in 2002 and the following two years with Columbus in the South Atlantic League. He led Great Falls to a Pioneer League Championship in 2002 with a record of 47-28 and 4-1 in the playoffs.

The Vero Beach, Fla., resident played all or part of eight Major League seasons as a catcher with Cincinnati (1983-85), Montreal (1986), Pittsburgh (1989-90) and San Diego (1991-92). He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers after being chosen in the first round of the secondary phase of the 1978 amateur draft. In 382 Major League games, he batted .204 with 18 home runs and 91 RBI.

Joining Bilardello in the dugout will be Hitting Coach Roger LaFrancois and Pitching Coach Dernier Orozco.

Roger LaFrancois, 55, will return for his third season as the Muckdogs hitting coach and has more than 20 years of coaching experience. LaFrancois has coached or managed at all levels of the minor leagues with several different Major League organizations.

A catcher in the Boston Red Sox organization, he spent eight years with the Sox, and saw action in the Major Leagues during the 1982 season. The Old Saybrook, Conn., resident has been a partner and director of the World Baseball Coaches Convention since 2003.

Dernier Orozco, 29, will begin his first season as the Muckdogs pitching coach, after serving as the pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in 2011. This will be Orozco’s seventh season as a pitching coach in the Cardinals system.

Before his stint in the Gulf Coast League, Orozco spent four years coaching in the Venezuelan League from 2006-2008 and again in 2010. Orozco played six professional seasons as a right-handed pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization. He went 4-2 with a 6.09 ERA in 14 games (29.2 IP) for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in 2003, his final season.

Mike Petrarca will serve as the trainer for the 2012 season, his second with the Muckdogs. Petrarca will be entering his fifth season in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Bilardello returns to helm of the Muckdogs for third season

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, Batavia Muckdogs, sports

Press release:

Dann Bilardello will return in 2012 for his third season as manager of the Batavia Muckdogs. The 52-year-old Bilardello has compiled a record of 82-67 during his two years in Batavia and led the Muckdogs to the Pinckney Division title in 2010.

Prior to managing the Muckdogs, Bilardello was the St. Louis Cardinals minor league catching coordinator for three seasons. The former Major League catcher also has four years of minor league managing experience in the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations.

Bilardello managed the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Carolina League during the 2005 season. Before that, he spent three years managing for the Dodgers in Great Falls of the Pioneer League starting in 2002 and the following two years with Columbus in the South Atlantic League. He led Great Falls to a Pioneer League Championship in 2002 with a record of 47-28 and 4-1 in the playoffs.

The Vero Beach, FL resident played all or part of eight Major League seasons as a catcher with Cincinnati (1983-85), Montreal (1986), Pittsburgh (1989-90) and San Diego (1991-92). He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers after being chosen in the first round of the secondary phase of the 1978 amateur draft. In 382 Major League games, he batted .204 with 18 home runs and 91 RBI.

Joining Bilardello in the dugout will be Hitting Coach Roger LaFrancois and Pitching Coach Dernier Orozco.

Roger LaFrancois, 55, will return for his third season as the Muckdogs hitting coach and has over 20 years of coaching experience. LaFrancois has coached or managed at all levels of the minor leagues with several different Major League organizations. A catcher in the Boston Red Sox organization, he spent eight years with the Sox, and saw action in the Major Leagues during the 1982 season. The Old Saybrook, CT resident has been a partner and director of the World Baseball Coaches Convention since 2003.

Dernier Orozco, 29, will begin his first season as the Muckdogs pitching coach, after serving as the pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in 2011. This will be Orozco’s seventh season as a pitching coach in the Cardinals system. Before his stint in the Gulf Coast League, Orozco spent four years coaching in the Venezuelan League from 2006-2008 and again in 2010. Orozco played sex professional seasons as a right-handed pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization. He went 4-2 with a 6.09 ERA in 14 games (29.2 IP) for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in 2003, his final season.

Mike Petrarca will serve as the trainer for the 2012 season, his second with the Muckdogs. Petrarca will be entering his fifth season in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

'Toys & Tune-ups' helps Salvation Army help kids

Grease Lightning & Castrol Premium Lube auto repair shops in Western and Central New York will be teaming up with the Salvation Army to collect toys for area underprivileged children from Dec. 1-19.

The “Toys & Tune-ups” toy drive invites the public to drop off new, unwrapped toys at any Grease Lightning or Castrol Premium Lube location and they will get 25 percent off any oil change and 10 percent off all other auto services. Those people not needing immediate service will receive a voucher for that discount to redeem at a later time.

Locally, two Batavia stores are participating. One is at 50 Liberty St. and the other is at 4003 W. Main St. Road.

For more than 125 years, The Salvation Army has been working to do the most good possible for the less fortunate at Christmastime and all year round. The Salvation Army will once again help those in need by providing them with the necessities they need to become self-sufficient again -- like a place to stay in a crisis, much-needed groceries and emergency assistance.

This year, there are more requests for holiday help than ever. They will provide baskets of foods for our struggling neighbors and toys for the children. Donations are urgently needed.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Same old, same old.taxes,

post by Bob Harker in Albany, GCEDC, spending, taxes

ALBANY — The state’s top court threw out a lawsuit today that would have upended the way New York funds economic development projects. In a 5-to-2 ruling issued this morning, the Court of Appeals reaffirmed the state’s right to transfer funds to “public-benefit corporations,” which then take the money and offer it to private businesses in the form of grants and tax incentives. The state’s main economic-development branch is the Empire State Development Corp., which is technically independent of the government and therefore isn’t bound by a constitutional ban on giving state money to private entities, the court found. Although some “may question the wisdom of policy choices,” the court found “no constitutional infirmity to the challenged appropriations,” according to the majority opinion. A Niagara County businessman and 49 other generally conservative taxpayers originally filed the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in 2009. The group alleged that grants doled out by the Empire State Development Corp. and other public-benefit corporations violated Article VII of the New York state Constitution, which prohibits state money from being “given or loaned to or in aid of any private corporation or association.” A state Supreme Court judge had ruled to dismiss the lawsuit, but the Appellate Division reversed the ruling last year. Today’s ruling upheld the Supreme Court judge’s original decision. [email protected]

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Two Batavia men cited for environmental conservation law violations

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

Two Batavia residents were issued tickets in Wyoming County during the opening weekend of gun season for deer hunting.

State Troopers from the Warsaw Station working alongside the Department of Environmental Conservation Police charged 13 people for a total of 20 violations of the Environmental Conservation Law.

They included Daryl S. Mays, who was located on Durfee Road in Middlebury and issued citations for illegal taking of an antlerless deer and failure to tag a deer. He will appear in the Middlebury Town Court.

Also, Rocky D. Gringer, 77, was located on West Middlebury Road and issued a citation for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle. He, too, will appear in the Middlebury Town Court.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

Robotics team grabs first place in competition

post by Howard B. Owens in education, Genesee County Aces, robotics

Press release:

The Genesee County Aces Robotics Team participated at the Finger Lakes First Lego League Buffalo Qualifier competition on Saturday at the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School and won first place for Robot Performance.

They will now advance to the Finger Lakes Regional competition at the University of Rochester on Dec. 3. The winner selected at that competition will go on to participate at the World Festival in Missouri, which is an international competition.

The theme of this year’s challenge was food safety. The robots are made entirely of LEGOS and are programmed to interact with devices made of LEGOS on a table. The teams also had to research a food-contamination problem, develop a solution, and present their work to a panel of judges.

Pictured from left are: Trevor Zauner, Quinton Tarbell, Colton Tarbell (team assistant), Jomni Tarbell, Lukas Johnson and Clayton Fox.

(Submitted photo)

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 9:10 am

Today's Deals: Alex's Place, Clor's, O'Lacy's, T.F. Brown's, 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.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for five weeks of yoga, three classes for $15.

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.

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.

Cookies & Milk, 28 City Center, Batavia, NY: Cookies & Milk offers a wide selection of delicious cookies, cakes and pies. Now offering a full lunch menu that includes soups, salads and sandwiches. Stop by for something sweet! We have a $10 gift certificate for $5. Gift certificate must be used by December 31, 2011.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 S. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, jams, soups, home furnishings & more -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. Decorate your home or office for the upcoming holiday season. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. Gift certificate must be used by December 31, 2011.

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.

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." We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Blue Pearl Yoga

Spirits

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Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Widow of inmate who died in custody threatening lawsuit against county

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Genesee County Jail

The widow of a Wyoming County man who died while in custody of the Genesee County jail has filed paperwork that paves the way for a possible lawsuit against Genesee County, the Democrat & Chronicle reported this morning.

A doctor who was treating Nikko Gambino questions whether Gambino -- who changed his name at some point from Robert Goering -- was given safe access to his prescription medication.

"When somebody is incarcerated you have a responsibility to avoid doing things to them that are going to lead to them dying," said (Dr. Thomas) Walters, a physician based in Livonia. "This is a predictable, preventable death."

Whether Walters' belief is true — namely, that negligence contributed to Gambino's death — could be answered by his autopsy. That autopsy, which would include toxicology results, has yet to be finalized, according to a Genesee County coroner.

As is required in all in-custody deaths, the NYS Commission of Corrections is conducting its own investigation into Gambino's death.

Gambino's wife, Holly Gambino, last month filed a notice of intent to sue the county, alleging in court papers that the death was caused "by withdrawal and other illnesses from medications wrongfully and negligently withheld and/or disallowed by the Jail."

Gambino first made the news locally when he was arrested in September 2010 for impersonating federal law enforcement agents.

He was serving an intermittent sentence in July on that conviction when he was arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs into the jail in a body cavity.

The D&C article says some or all of those drugs were his own prescription medication, which he was allegedly not being allowed to lawfully bring into the jail.

County officials were not able to comment on the case because of possible pending litigation.

Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

Driver seriously hurt in crash on Ledge Road, Alabama

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama

One person was seriously injured Sunday morning in a two-car collision on Ledge Road, Alabama.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Alabama Fire Department and Mercy EMS were dispatched to the accident at 6:21 a.m.

Gordon L. Montgomery, 53, of Batavia, was trapped in his vehicle and needed to be extricated. Montgomery was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC where he is being treated for internal injuries.

John D. Anderson, 58, of Basom, suffered minor cuts and was treated at the scene and released.

The initial investigation indicates that Anderson was eastbound in a 2005 GMC Sierra when Montgomery's 1998 Pontiac Sunfire crossed into the eastbound lane for an undetermined reason. The two vehicles hit head on.

Also assisting at the scene were the Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Cutting out cancer at the Batavia City Centre

post by Rick Franclemont in Batavia City Centre, Cutting Out Cancer, fundraiser

Le Beau Salon and a host of others put on a carnival of beauty as a benefit for the Voltura family.

Nicole Voltura, a wife and mother of three, is dealing with not just one terminal illness, but three. She has recently undergone surgery to remove a sarcoma from her leg. On Oct. 7, she went for her fourth round of chemotherapy to treat two separate rare autoimmune diseases.

This benefit helped raise funds needed to offset some of the medical bills and to support the needs of her family.

Nicole is the owner of Glitz-n-Glamour Salon.

Among the many activities for the whole family were nail art, mini-manicures, hand facials, make-up technique sessions, bling hair extensions, eyebrow and lip waxing, blowouts, and face painting.

In addition, there was a Chinese auction, instruction in hip-hop dance techniques and a Zumba class.

Paige Haile getting a mini-manicure.

Sponsers of the event included: Le Beau Salon, Suzanne's School of Dance, Hot Heads, The Mane Attraction Salon, Charley's Salon, Zumba with Diane Cox, Glitz-n-Glamour, and Tommy Nails.

For more information on how to make a donation please contact Erika Siverling at Le Beau Salon, 343-1017.

More pictures from the event can be found here.

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