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Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Dan Dickens Wins August 21, Batavia Downs Casino 1,000 Handicapping Contest!

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press Release:

Batavia, NY --- Congratulations to Dan Dickens of Batavia, the winner of the August 21, 2010 Batavia Downs Casino $1,000 Handicapping Contest! Dan bested 353 other contestants with a top score of 46 points to claim the $500 top prize.

A three-way tie for second place between Rick Case, Gary Macomber and Luann Furano, each 45 points, proved to be unbreakable as they selected the same winners during the nine race contest. Each will receive $150 for their fine efforts.

Three contestants finished with 44 points but it was John Hutchinson, with a tiebreaker total of $33.50 that was able to secure the fifth spot and take home $50.

All prize money can be picked up beginning on Wednesday, August 25, at 5:00 p.m. at Players Club. The next free handicapping contest of the season takes place, September 18. Many thanks to all that participated and Good Luck!

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Fan Favorite Michael Scores again at Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press Release:

Batavia, NY --- There have been many popular racehorses that have graced the Downs throughout the years, horses like Baron Too and Patrick Will quickly come to mind, but no sentence can be compete when referring to Batavia Downs racing without including the iron horse, Michael Scores.

Like he has done so many times throughout his 207 race career, Michael Scores was victorious in Saturday nights Downs featured Open pace.

With a purse of $8,500 and a field of six behind the starting gate for the 7th race, Michael Scores exploded down the lane to win by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:55 to notch his 6th win of the season and his 76th lifetime. His career earnings are over $593,000.

Michael, with Tom Agosti at the controls, was perfectly spotted following second-over cover, but there were a few anxious moments when Arm and a Leg with Kevin Cummings tipped three-wide putting Michael Scores in a blindswitch heading to three-quarters.

Around the final turn, the underrated Agosti, was able to maneuver Michael out of their jackpot and angle him out 4-deep at the top of the lane. Once clear Michael kicked it into another gear and drew off as a much the best winner.

Cry for Cash with Ken Holliday, 5-wide at the top of the stretch, stormed down the center to narrowly get second over the front running Compass Connection and Ron Beback Jr.

Jim Compton trains and co-owns Michael Scores along with wife Sandra.

The Pick-6 was not hit on Saturday night which means the carryover pool when racing resumes on Monday night, the final Monday night of the 2010 season is over $4,400. Post time is 6:40 p.m.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Second Annual Caring For The City Day A Huge Success

post by Robin Walters in batavia, Care-A-Van Ministires

Dental Clinic 009.jpg

Care-A-Van Ministries hosted their second annual Caring for the City Day on Friday. This is a day where the dental office of Dr. Russ Marchese and Dr. Marcella Ross and staff provide free dental services to the community. 62 people received free dental services which included cleanings, fillings and pulling of teeth. Not only did the people of the city receive free dnetal care, they were also blessed by receiving information and free services from many agencies within the community.

The following churches and agencies were on hand for this awesome event. Community Action of Genesee and Orleans, Fidelis Care, Emmanuel Baptist church, Circle of Love Foundation, GCASA, Cancer Services of Genesee and Orleans, St. Paul Lutheran church, Lake Plains Community Network, Continental Beauty School who provided vouchers for the people to come to their building for free haircuts, Prayer Room Church of God in Christ, and Pastors Charlie PIscitello and Pastor Mark Perkins were on hand for the prayer table.

Dr. Russ and Dr. Marcella, who has been an associate of Dr.Russ for 3 years now, have seen the need within the community for people that do not have dental coverage. People started lining up at 7:30 AM. Dr. Russ staff all volunteered their time for the day without pay to give back to the community. While folks waited their turn, they had the opportunity to visit with the other agencies on hand.

This special day is for the people of the city. As people came back outside after receiving the free dental care, many positive comments were heard about the blessings they received. One particular gentleman had 6 teeth pulled and was so thankful that he would no longer have to live in pain. Dr. Russ Marchese's family had even made up special goodie bags of fresh fruit and healthy snacks for the families to take home with them. Many of the staff's family helped outside at the kid's corner. The whole day was truly a blessing to all who attended. Care-A-Van would like to thank Dr. Russ, Dr. Marcella and staff and all who volunteered their time to bless others. 

A special thanks to all the churches, organizations and individuals who gave of their time. Also all volunteers and people attending were well fed with special treats donated by Ohlson's bakery of Williamsville. A special thanks also goes out to Henry Schein and Colgate for their donations to Caring for the City. Care-A-Van truly thanks all in the city for helping Keep the Light On!

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Chapin Manufacturing serious about health and safety

post by Billie Owens in business, chapin

Chapin Manufacturing in Batavia recently teamed up with Mercy Flight WNY and Oatka for simulated emergency response exercises. Chapin is a world leader in compressed air sprayers.

The companies conducted the drills to help them prepare for emergencies. They were conducted at the 700,000-square-foot Chapin facility on Ellicott Street. One involved a heart-attack victim and the other simulated an industrial accident.

Mercy Flight of WNY used one of its helicopters and its first responders. The operations provided an opportunity for one group to participate and another group to observe, so Chapin and Oatka employees could walk away with better knowledge and be more prepared for actual emergency.

"It is our responsibility as a business to make sure that we are prepared for all kinds of emergencies and this event helps to incorporate those around us,” said Chapin CEO Jim Campbell.

Mercy Flight used this opportunity as a training exercise for employees. Coordinating these maneuvers is an example of how serious Chapin takes its health and safety program.

Chapin is currently in the process of earning their Occupational Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) certificate of recognition for establishing and implementing an exemplary safety and health management system.

To qualify for the SHARP status, a company must: undergo complete and comprehensive safety and health audits; correct all hazards identified by the consultant; implement and maintain an exemplary safety and health management system; lower its lost workday, injury and illness rate, and have a recordable case rate below the national average.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

GCC to offer ecology tour of Costa Rica and the rainforest

post by Billie Owens in announcements, costa rica, education, GCC

Next spring, Genesee Community College will offer an immersion trip to Costa Rica to study the Central American rainforest.

The tour is open to all students as well as community members who are interested in learning and studying the ecology and conservation methods of Costa Rica.

Participants will have the chance to earn college credit while learning about ethnobotany, elementary botany, ecology and earth science during this nine-day ecological tour.

The tour is led by Genesee biology professor Maureen Leupold, who has traveled to and studied the rainforests of Costa Rica on two previous college trips.

Students who enroll, will earn three college credits while studying the stunning ecological terrain of Costa Rica, including volcanoes, rainforests and beaches.

Genesee continues to attract students from around the globe to study and earn a wide array of different degrees. Last year, the college had 101 students from 27 different nations.

"A decade ago, studying aboard was primarily the domain of baccalaureate and graduate level institutions -- but today, forward thinking community colleges are fully engaged in the global network of teaching and learning," said Eunice Bellinger, Ed.D, executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

"Genesee has always been, and continues to thrive, at the cutting edge, and it is exciting to see those edges in all four corners of our globe."

To find out more about any of these global learning opportunities please contact James Goodwin, director of Genesee's Curriculum Development at 585-343-0055, ext. 6322 or <http://jrgoodwin@genesee.edu>.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm

GCC photo exhibit will feature all things Dutch

post by Billie Owens in announcements, education, GCC

An international photography exhibit featuring photographs taken by students who traveled to the Netherlands in May will kick off the 2010-2011 gallery schedule for Genesee Center for the Arts.

The exhibit reflects the students' study-abroad course, which focused on Dutch culture.

Genesee partnered with SUNY Brockport to develop the GCC faculty-led study-abroad program that took students on a month-long cultural journey through Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Genesee faculty members, Josephine Kearney and Heather Jones, led 20 students from Genesee and SUNY Brockport on a study tour to document culture through photography, writing, group discussion and experiential observations.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Photos: Sixth Annual Summer in the City

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, photos, Summer in the City


Food, music and a day out with your friends and neighbors -- Downtown Batavia's 6th Annual Summer in the City festival appeared to be a success on all of those counts yesterday.

Main Street was bustling all afternoon and into the evening.

More photos after the jump:

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Three GCC faculty got immersed in Brazilian culture while teaching English

Three Genesee Community College faculty members recently returned from an English language cultural program in Sao Paulo, Brazil. And the college is getting ready for several more global education and study-abroad opportunities this academic year.

Connie Boyd, Charley Boyd and Susan Drexel spent three weeks teaching English language and cultural immersion to students at FATEC Americana in Brazil.

"I really felt like I was taken in and was a part of a family when I was there," Sue Drexel said. "The people were so protective and we knew we could trust them to show us around their beautiful country."

The three instructors taught students aged 17 all the way to adults in their 50s. They focused on teaching American culture to the students through video clips, show-and-tell style activities and group projects.

Each night they taught a different topic, including holidays, food, families, music and sports. During the sports night, the Batavia Muckdogs were shown to the Brazilian students through YouTube clips to teach them about American baseball.

The Boyds and Drexel were amazed at the dedication of the students, who many times worked all day then attended the cultural immersion classes from 7 until 11 p.m.

 "The students were incredibly dedicated to the program," Connie Boyd said. "They wanted to know about our culture and were very open with us. The Brazilian people are very gracious and have such pride for their country."

Genesee and FATEC Americana hope to expand and develop the program throughout the next academic year.

This fall, director of Curriculum Development, James Goodwin, will visit FATEC and the first group of Business faculty members will travel to Brazil in January to teach business and culture to FATEC students.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm

GCC executive vice president learns first-hand about the rigors of ROTC

Rappelling down a 50-foot climbing wall was all in a day's work for Genesee Community College's executive vice president of Academic Affairs.

Eunice Bellinger, Ed.D, recently returned from a four-day excursion to Fort Knox near Louisville, Ky, where she joined 80 other college administrators for the annual Army ROTC Leader's Training Course.

Professors, deans, administrators and faculty members who traveled from colleges and universities across the nation were arranged into platoons. They were provided Army uniforms, taught marching techniques and given a taste of the physical and mental demands of an ROTC cadet.

They were exposed to tactical problem solving and team-building with their platoons and even had to eat M.R.E.'s (Meals Ready to Eat) just like real cadets.

Along with rappelling, the educators also got to test their physical endurance at the obstacle course and rock wall at the Forest Hills climbing complex, and worked on team-building at the teamwork development course and stream-crossing. The stream-crossing featured single- and double-rope crossing techniques, which the platoons used to race against each other.

"The stream-crossing was a really big deal to me," Bellinger said. "I can't swim!"

College administrators climbed walls, participated in a high ropes course, sat in on leadership lectures, attended a semi-formal event and "graduated" from the program in a ceremony on the last day.

"Overall, it was a great experience. The ROTC program has wonderful scholarship opportunities for students looking to serve their country and further their education. I'm looking forward to next year's training course in Seattle!"

Bellinger is no stranger to military life. She was born at West Point Military Academy and has taught U.S. military personnel through the University of Maryland's European Division while living and teaching in Kuwait in the 1990s.

This firsthand experience for college educators was designed to develop advocates for the Army ROTC program. Genesee Community College now has a new ROTC office in its Career Center at the Batavia Campus, which is managed under the direction of SUNY Brockport's ROTC program.

Starting this fall, SUNY Brockport ROTC students will have the opportunity to take four classes at Genesee's Batavia campus. All four classes are offered on Fridays and are leadership focused. Fall classes include Leadership and Personal Development (MSC 101), Military Fitness and Conditioning (MSC 103), Military Conditioning Lab (MSC 104) and Innovative Tactical Leadership (MSC 201).

For further information about the ROTC programs offered at Genesee, please contact Major Daniel Fletcher at 585-395-2769 or e-mail: <http://dfletche@brockport.edu>.

The ROTC Leader's Training Course website is: <http://leadertrainingcourse.com/>.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Photo: A frog visits a backyard in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, photos

Tom Monnier submitted this photo of a frog that he found in his backyard a couple of days ago.

He writes:

I did a bit of research because I'm no frog expert, but I found it to be a tree frog. I live right in the Village of Oakfield so it's rather rare to see this frog on my grill! Had to take a picture and it seemed very photogenic! Figured maybe someone might be able to tell me if I will be seeing more of them around this season.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Learn about birds of prey at GC park and nature center

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Here's an opportunity to learn about birds of prey. You'll meet a live hawk, an owl and turkey vulture, too.

Join Ron Walker, of Friends With Feathers, who'll give a presentation about these fascinating creatures on Saturday, Sept. 11.

It places place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Genesee County Park and Forest Nature Center, located at 11095 Bethany Center Road in East Bethany.

Pre-registration is required by calling (585) 344-1122. Cost is $5 per person or $10 per family.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Person suffers severe arm injury in mechanical mishap in East Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in batavia, east pembroke, indian falls

A person in East Pembroke suffered a severe arm injury at a garage at 2452 Main Road. The victim is reported to be in and out of consciousness and bleeding severely.

Mercy Flight is responding and a landing zone is set up at the back of a nearby elementary school. East Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments and Mercy EMS are also responding. Town of Batavia is called to help with traffic control.

A chain reportedly broke, creating a "mechanical malfunction," resulting in the injury.

UPDATE (12:50 p.m.): Mercy flight has landed. Medics will have the patient there in a minute or so. The patient is now alert and oriented, with a severely injured, possibly fractured, arm.

UPDATE (1:05 p.m.): Mercy Flight is airborne, heading to Erie County Medical Center. All emergency responders are back in service.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

New MedTech Centre opens with fanfare

post by WBTA News in economic development, GCC, medtech center, UMMC

(by WBTA News Intern Ashley Chiocco)

The Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate MedTech Centre has opened.

The ceremonial ribbon cutting took place yesterday (Friday) afternoon during the building’s grand-opening celebration on Assemblyman Stephen Hawley Drive.

The $7.2-million building will be home to GCC’s state-of-the-art nursing facilities, UMMC’s therapy programs, and provide space for emerging biotech companies.

GCC’s Nursing Program Director Kathy Polumbo tells how the new facilities will enhance the students’ learning experiences.

"We have all the latest technology in our classrooms," says Palumbo. "And I think the labs are the real 'piece de resistance.' We have a very realistic environment with our simulators.

"So what we're hoping is: We will make the sutdents better prepared for when they actually get their first job and they come into the real world."

The MedTech Centre is just the first building to be completed in GCEDC’s Upstate MedTech Park.

PHOTO: Area representatives, EDC officials and members of GCC pose at yesterday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 10:06 am

Three people hurt in accident on Route 77, Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien, Sumner Road

Three people were transported to area hospitals Friday evening following a two-car accident on Sumner Road and Route 77 in Darien.

One car allegedly stopped on Sumner at Route 77 but then pulled out on Route 77 while making a left-hand turn and was struck by the second vehicle, which was traveling southbound on Route 77.

The accident occurred at 7 p.m.

The driver of vehicle one is identified as Melissa M. Kenney, 40, of Exchange Street, Irving.

The second driver is Frederck W. Burtis, 30, of First Avenue, North Tonawanda.

Kenney had a passenger in her car, Rosemarie DeGeorge, 41.

Kenney and DeGeorge were taken to ECMC. Burtis was transported to UMMC.

While our initial report indicated that Mercy Flight was dispatched and did land, the accident report indicates all three passengers were taken by ground ambulance to the hospitals.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 9:55 am

Driver says passenger hit him in arm causing one-car accident in Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford

A driver says a female passenger struck him in his arm while he was driving, causing him to lose control of his car Thursday evening, resulting in a one-vehicle rollover accident.

No one was injured. The accident occurred at 6:43 p.m. on Route 33 near Caswell Road, Stafford.

The 2008 Chevy sedan was driven by 27-year-old Romer M. Williams, of East Bethany-Le Roy Road, East Bethany.

Williams told Deputy Matthew Butler that when he was struck in his arm, he lost control of the car. He swerved to the right shoulder, tried to correct and the car went into a sideways skid across the roadway and onto the opposite shoulder, where it rolled onto its side.

His passengers were Yalawn J. Christin, 22, and Charles A. Small Jr., 26.

No citations were issued.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

Toby Keith concert at Darien Lake: six arrests, 36 citations

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, darien lake

The following arrests were made in conjunction with the Toby Keith concert on Friday at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

Ethan J. Young, 20, of North Road, Churchville, is charged with trespass. He is accused of returning to the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return. Young was jailed on $250 bail.

Stephen Masich IV, 27, of Broad Street, Tonawanda, is charged with disorderly conduct, harassment ,2nd, and robbery, 3rd. Masich allegedly pushed two females while inside the concert venue and stole a cell phone from another woman and threw it. Masich was released on $5,000 bail.

Emily M. Skotnicki, 22, of Sand Pebble Drive, Chili, is charged with disorderly conduct. Skotnicki allegedly yelled obscenities while being ejected from the concert venue.

James R. Phalen, 18, of Four Rod Road, Alden, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Phalen is accused of pushing a security guard to the ground while inside the concert venue.

Tristen L. Johnson, 26, of Cedar Grove Drive, Rochester, is charged with trespass for allegedly being found on the roof of the box office of the concert venue.

Kevin A. Olewniczak, 20, of Lockwood Drive, Lockport, is charged with trespass after allegedly re-entering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

The following people received citations for alleged underage drinking:

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Arrest made in alleged hit-and-run accident on Richmond Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Richmond Avenue

Citizen tips have led to the arrest of a suspect in an alleged hit-and-run accident on Richmond Avenue early Saturday morning.

David R. House, 28, of 140 Summit St., Batavia, is being charged with leaving the scene of a personal motor-vehicle accident, moving from lane unsafely and operating a vehicle without insurance.

House is accused of hitting a car that was legally parked on Richmond Avenue near VanDetta Stadium around 2:15 a.m., Saturday.

A woman who had attended an event at the stadium that evening was sleeping in the car.  She was injured in the accident.

On Monday, Batavia Police issued a statement to local media asking for information that might help investigators identify a suspect.

State Police assisted in the investigation.

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Summer Fun: Summer in the City

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Summer in the City

Batavia's biggest day of the summer arrives tomorrow (Saturday): It's time for the annual Summer in the City, when people from all over the region join in for a day of great food, cool music and hot, classic cars.

And The Batavian will return with a booth this year handing out our free balloons, as well as selling T-shirts for $5 and a limited number of barn-picture prints for $12 (You love our barn pictures, right?).

While the annual event is taking place only on Saturday this year, it will cover a large portion of downtown, stretching from Main and Ellicott to Main and Liberty streets.

The Main Stage will be on Main Street next to the Old County Courthouse, with vendors on Court and Jefferson. Main near City Centre will contain food vendors and a kids' zone, with space set aside for classic cars on the rest of Main as well as Jackson, Bank and Center streets.

All of those streets will be closed to automobile traffic from 8 a.m. until at least 11 p.m.

The festival opens at noon and runs until 10 p.m.

Elvis impersonator Terry Buckwald and the Ghost Riders provide headline entertainment along with Nik and the Nice Guys.

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Deadlines loom for former Cristina's location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, code enforcement, Cristina's, Latina's

Nonprofits which might want to donate to the former Cristina's Restaurant location on Ellicott Street in Batavia need to act quickly, said owner Charles Brumsted today.

He set a deadline of 3 p.m., Aug. 26, for nonprofits to apply for ownership of the property.

At the same time, Brumsted is facing a deadline of his own -- he has until Sept. 17 to dispose of the property one way or another, or go to trial on a series of misdemeanor charges levied by Batavia code-enforcement inspectors.

Brumstead was summoned to Batavia City Court today -- his attorney appeared on his behalf -- to answer to a series of complaints by the city that Brumstead has not been maintaining his property in compliance with local codes.

The allegations include: problems with the roof; cracks in exterior walls; a front door boarded over with plywood; and the structure's vacant appearance, all of which create a blighted appearance in the neighborhood, among other complaints (Source: WBTA).

Brumsted told WBTA's Geoff Redick today that the deadline in court and the new deadline for the nonprofits is merely a coincidence.

"The deadline that was set for Thursday, August 26th," says Brumsted, "was solely...to the effect that we were overwhelmed with the amount of response, and the not-for-profit organizations that have come forth for the interest in Cristina's restaurant."

Brumsted told The Batavian that some 15 nonprofit organizations have expressed an interest in the property.

The selection criteria, he said, will be based on what the nonprofits want to do with the property and how well that use will serve the community.

Of course, if the property is donated to a nonprofit, it will be taken off the city's tax rolls. At the same time, if the right nonprofit put the property to good use, it would bring people and activity to that section of Ellicott Street.

"I still own property in that area," Brumsted said. "I want to see something that helps other businesses in the area."

In a brief conversation today, City Manager Jason Molino said he didn't have a position on whether the property remains with a private owner or goes to a nonprofit.

"It's his property and he can do what he wants with it," Molino said, adding "Of course, he has a few issues to clear up first."

In other Batavia City Court actions on code-violation allegations:

  • Latina's is in significant compliance with city codes, officials said. The deadline for full compliance was extended to Sept. 17.
  • Ron Graziaplena, who has upset some neighbors with his 19 mallard ducks and other issues in his yard on Oak Street, appeared with an attorney, Frank Zinni. Judge Robert Balbick gave the attorney until Sept. 17 to get up to speed with the case.
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