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Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 5:15 pm

No injuries in accident at Ellicott and Jackson, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Elllicott Street

jacksonellicottaccident.jpg

There were no injuries in an accident at Ellicott and Jackson streets a short time ago.

Officer Chris Camp said the accident investigation is preliminary and no information is yet available.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Photo: Barn at Sanders and Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, Stafford

barn_sanders_horseshoe.jpg

The clouds yesterday and today have been fantastic. I've really wanted to get out into the countryside and look for interesting things to photograph, such as barns. Unfortunately, my time has been limited. I did manage to drive down Sanders Road in Stafford today and spotted this barn under a great sky and hiding a bit behind a cornfield.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm

The move wasn't easy, but it's starting to pay off for new, expanded Stafford Trading Post

post by Victoria Gooch in business, Stafford, Stafford Trading Post

It wasn't easy getting the new Stafford Trading Post location open.

Owner Michelle Macan-Mouery said she had to go through paperwork like you wouldn't believe, most of it dealing with the transfer of her liquor license.

Some applications needed to be filled out multiple times because the ABC was apparently not clear on what it wanted.

staffordtradingpostsign.jpg“Each application was $35, and I had to fill out three of them,” Macan-Mouery said, “the first one I didn’t fill out right, and the second application they sent me was the wrong one.”

She started filling out paperwork in October of 2009 and it took her until May of 2010 to get her liquor license back.

After 14 years running the Stafford Trading Post at a location in a historic building at the intersection of East Main Street Road and Morganville Road in Stafford, Macan-Mouery decided to move her business less than 50 feet, to a brand-new structure right next door.

Those few feet could have been a hundred miles as far as the state was concerned. The state scrutinized every detail of the liquor license transfer, and according to Macan-Mouery, didn't provide a lot of instruction on how to get it done.

"It was difficult because they didn't tell you exactly what they wanted."

Known to her longtime and loyal customers as "Shell," she opened the new location in February and couldn't sell beer for three months while working things out with the state.

“I lost a lot of business when I didn’t have my license."

Less of a problem, as it turned out, was her decision this summer to stop carrying tobacco products. She balked at paying a $1,000 hike in the license fee to sell cigarettes. But those goods have hardly been missed.

“It hasn’t been a problem, and most people go to the reservation to get cigarettes."

Overall, the move of the Stafford Trading Post, which has served Stafford under various owners for generations, has meant a big boost for the deli and convenience store, Macan-Mouery said.

The friendly atmosphere seems to have moved with the business, and expanded space and a seating area have helped boost food sales, but liquor sales remain half of what they were in the old location.

Macan-Mouery grew up in the Stafford area and worked at the Trading Post when she was 11.

She first decided to move because the building was old and needed many repairs and upgrades.

This historic site keeps alive the nostalgia of the corner store and makes you feel like you should be purchasing pickles out of a barrel," she said.

But it was no longer meeting customers' needs.

“It wasn’t handicapped accessible and the interior needed a lot of work, and since it is a historic landmark we couldn't change the outside to make it handicapped accessible."

Macan-Mouery has some advice for people that are thinking about moving their business; “you need to know in a year advance that you want to move -- and be sure -- because in New York State you have to start from the beginning.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Photo: Bank Street construction continues

post by Howard B. Owens in Bank Street, batavia

bankstreetclosed.jpg

For most of yesterday and today, Bank Street was closed, and from the looks of it, the closures will continue. Sewer replacement has reached Bank and Washington. The road is blocked by a big ditch and heavy equipment. The project -- which will eventually include resurfacing -- is expected to go on into the fall.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

New Today: Terry Hills

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

New Today: Terry Hills, 5122 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, NY: Terry Hills features a championship 27-hole public golf course that has been consistently ranked as one of the best in the area and an all new clubhouse, boasting both a restaurant and banquet facility that offer panoramic views of the golf course. We have a pair of gift cards for 18 holes of golf with a value of $46 available for $23.

Settler's Restaurant, 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.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Weddings, new babies, family portraits, pet portraits and group events -- preserve those memories with professional photographs. We have a $100 gift card for $50 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. 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 $20 gift card for $10.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Donations sought for community clothing giveaway this Sunday and Monday

post by Billie Owens in announcements, charity, first presbyterian church

The First Presbyterian Church of Batavia is holding a Community Clothing Giveaway on Sunday and Monday, Aug. 29 and 30.

Sunday's will be held from noon to 4:30  p.m. On Monday, it will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The church asks the public to drop of clean, gently used clothing at the church, located at 300 E. Main St., from noon to 3 p.m. today and Thursday (Aug. 26). (There were previous drop-offs, too.)

Donations of clothing for infants, boys, girls, men, women are welcome, including shoes, sneakers, purses and hats. Winter clothing and work/business clothes are especially welcome.

For questions or more information, contact the church at 343-0505.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Muckdogs play double-headers tonight and tommorrow

post by Billie Owens in announcements, baseball, muckdogs, sports

The Batavia Muckdogs will have two back-to-back double-headers on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 25 and 26 due to wet field conditions on Tuesday evening. Game time is 6:05 p.m. both days with gates opening at 5 p.m.

Any ticket purchased for Tuesday's game can be exchanged for two tickets to any future Muckdogs regular season game.
 
Wednesday is Homer’s Birthday Bash. In celebration, we will be giving out free ice cream bars to the first 250 fans courtesy of Hershey’s Ice Cream.

It’s also Drug Free Communities Family Four Pack where fans can get four general admission tickets, four hot dogs, four 12 oz. sodas and a 2010 Program for ONLY $30. Plus you’ll receive a FREE prize pack courtesy of Drug Free Communities.
 
Thursday offers the Knot Hole Game presented by Turnbull Heating and Air.
 
For tickets, call the Muckdogs Box Office at 343-5454, ext. 1005.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Historic Batavia church asks for support in restoration project

"Save the clock tower! Save the clock tower!"

Some of our readers will remember that line from the 1985 movie, "Back to the Future." Well, Batavia's St. James Episcopal Church has its own version of that plea:

"Save the bell tower! Save the bell tower!"

The tower, pictured above, was built in 1908 and has been showing signs of wear in the last 10 years.

"Especially in the last couple of years, we've noticed deterioration," said Cathy Judkins, a member of St. James who is also on the committee for the tower's restoration.

St. James Vicar Steven Metcalfe said there has been a "real push" since 2008 toward preserving the tower, which is very important to the religious heritage of St. James Church -- not only because of its historical significance (St. James is one of the oldest religious communities in Batavia and makes use of the old, awe-inspiring cathedral architecture -- see the April 12 article on the stained-glass tour), but also because of what it means to St. James as a family in faith.

"We have a very vibrant, caring and faithful worship community," Metcalfe said. "We want our building to reflect that."

To that end, he also offered this defense of the importance of restoration: "It's like what they say about a house turning into a home: it becomes more than just a building when it's been lived in."

The church and the various fundraising committees dedicated to preserving and restoring the tower have worked hard over the last couple of years. They have hired architects and consulted stonemasons; they have organized fundraising events -- including concerts, a calendar sale during the Christmas season, and fish fries every Friday during Lent; they are starting a Captial Campaign next month, and have applied for four grants -- three from private organizations and one from New York State.

According to Judkins, they have divided the overall project into six phases in order to make it more "financially manageable."

"The first phase is the most expensive," she said. "We're trying to raise about $500,000. We hope to have at least a fail-safe project by fall, something that can hold us together until we've reached our goal."

The church will accept monetary donations from anyone who would like to help out. People can also assist their efforts by supporting and/or attending their fundraisers, which are well-publicized.

Upcoming fundraisers include the second annual "Pedal to Save the Church", which starts at the church -- at 405 E. Main St. in Batavia -- around 8 a.m. (check-in) on Sept. 11, and a theatrical performance of "Tuesdays with Morrie," starring Batavia Players' Norm Argulsky as Morrie, on Oct. 16-17. All are invited to attend.

Additionally, Metcalfe invited anyone interested in lending a hand to come to the congregation and "get to know us." 

Marcia Gann, another member of St. James and the preservation committee, said that this project has garnered "great community support." She gratefully cited the support of the churches involved in the stained-glass tour, Adam Miller's Toys & Bicycles, and Present Tense Books as examples.

For more information on the bell tower restoration project and related fundraisers, please call the church at 343-6802 or visit their website.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

ATV accident reported on Roanoke Road, Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion

A woman has reportedly suffered cuts on her head following an ATV accident in the area of 10972 Roanoke Road, Pavilion.

Pavilion Fire and Mercy EMS have been dispatched.


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 8:02 am

Tuesday's Muckdogs games cancelled because of wet field conditions

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

The Batavia Muckdogs did not play as scheduled Tuesday against Williamsport because the field at Dwyer was deemed too wet.

As a result, fans will be able to enjoy back-to-back double-headers tonight and Thursday, both beginning at 6:05.

In the NY-Penn league, double-header games are scheduled for only seven innings.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Wichita man accused of engaging in sexually explicit communication with two Batavia girls

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

shane_mcclland.jpgA mother whose under 15-year-old daughter admitted to her that she exchanged allegedly pornographic images with a 24-year-old Kansas man tracked the man down online and turned him over to Batavia Police.

The man is a registered sex offender. A Wichita Police investigation, after receiving the report from Batavia, indicates he may have victimized other youngsters around the nation.

Two Batavia girls were allegedly involved in exchanging pornographic images with Shane McClelland, of 1800 East 201st St., Wichita, Kansas.

McClelland was taken into custody by Wichita Police.

Based on the possibility of additional victims in other locations, the investigation is being turned over to federal law enforcement.

Conversations with the girls in Batavia reportedly began in January 2010 and continued into August 2010. Over time, the online conversations allegedly escalated into sexually explicit communications.

McClelland is being held in Wichita on additional charges and alleged parole violations.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Considering the possibilities: Local nonprofits tour former Cristina's location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Cristina's

cristinas_visit.jpg

At least a half dozen local nonprofits showed up for an open house this afternoon at the former Cristina's Restaurant and Lounge building on Ellicott Street.

Owner Chuck Brumsted says a total of 15 groups have contacted him about a possible donation of the fire-damaged property.

Brumsted, who's still in Florida, wanted to give nonprofit leaders a chance to see the site, taking stock of both its potential and the work that needs to be done to fix it up.

Genesee ARC, GCASA and GCC were among the groups represented today.

For Genesee ARC and GCASA, both organizations are looking at a potential business location to give clients a chance to get work and entrepreneurial experience. 

Maryann Arena from the GCC theater program said she was there to check out the possibility of a downtown theater location. It could give students a chance to learn about a variety of theater production techniques -- bringing more young people downtown in the process.

Pam La Grou, representing GCASA said the site might give her agency's clients a chance to learn how to start and run a business, perhaps a coffeehouse.

"We're just in the exploratory phase," she said.

For Genesee ARC, the location represents the chance to open a retail location for the products the agency's clients produce, from pet beds to baked goods.

"We're always looking for more space," said ARC's Donna Saskowski.

The property obviously needs a lot of work to become something any organization could occupy, and all of the non-profit representatives said that's certainly a consideration before deciding to make a formal application to get ownership.

Saskowski said that Genesee ARC also realizes there are a lot of resources in the community to help reduce costs, such as possibily using the property as an opportunity for construction students at BOCES to practice their trade.

"We certainly have to invest and that is the give-and-take," Saskowski said. "We have to look at the cost per square foot to remodel. It would be an investment. And could this be an investment that we could free up other facilities, or turn another facility over, perhaps that we’re leasing or something like that. It certainly takes a lot of study."

Brumsted said today that given the range of potential applicants for the property, "It's going to be a tough choice."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Batavia native opens pop culture collectibles store on Ellicott Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ellicott Street, Foxprowl

foxprowl01.jpg

Bill Hume is living his dream.

What started with a Star Wars and KISS memorability collection when he was a child, has blossomed into his own retail store on Ellicott Street.

The 39-year-old entrepreneur started selling pop culture collectibles on Ebay in 1998, eventually had a 20x20 stall at Antique World in Clarence and now has 1,000-square-foot store at 440 Ellicott St.

foxprowl02.jpg"It's been progressively building and culminated in a store back in my home town," said Hume. "This was the ultimate dream, though I didn't know it would ever be feasible."

Hume benefited from a flexible landlord and the ability to buy all of his store fixtures cheaply.

The store, named Foxprowl, opened just over a week ago.

He said customers from Buffalo, who bought collectibles from him in Clarance, have already started showing up at his new location to browse his expanded inventory.

foxprowl04.jpgThe story contains a wide variety of pop culture items, from figurines for Star Wars, KISS (of course), Star Trek, Spider Man, Superman and Austin Powers to toys and games tied to many of the most popular movies and TV shows of the past 30 years.

"I guess I was born at the right time," Hume said. "I just got sucked up into the whole pop culture thing in the late '70s"

He acknowledges that his kind of specialty retail store can find it hard to survive. But he's hoping with his ability to keep his expenses low, expansive resources for obtaining new inventory, and a loyal following from his previous years in business, he can make a go of it at his new location.

foxprowl03.jpg

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm

One-car accident reported on 490 on ramp, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy

A one-car accident with an injury has been reported off Route 19, in the eastbound on ramp to the 490, in Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire and ambulance are responding.

The call came into Monroe County. Genesee County Emergency Dispatch has not received any calls about the accident

One person may have suffered a head injury. A person is reported at the side of the road holding another person.

UPDATE 8:50 p.m.: No accident was found. A fire chief spoke with a trooper who had been patrolling the area and the trooper had seen a disabled vehicle pulling a trailer and a person was beside the road working on the vehicle. Perhaps that's what the caller saw. Monroe County received only one call. Le Roy Fire and ambulance are clear.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Clor's holds chicken barbeque to benefit Oakfield family

John Hatch, pastor of Batavia's United Pentecostal Church, will be hosting a Chicken Barbeque with Clor's Meat Market, at 4169 W. Main St. Road in Batavia, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday. The proceeds will benefit the family of Matthew Ware, a 22-year-old Oakfield resident who was killed in a car accident earlier in the month.

Ware was a graduate of Oakfield-Alabama High School and a member of the Pentecostals of Genesee in Batavia. His pastor and family hope for a generous response from the community.

The cost is $8.50 per dinner. For more information, please call Clor's at 343-5122 or The Pentecostals of Genesee at 345-0925.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Auditions next week for 'Oliver!'

The search is on for Oliver! The 2010 Batavia Rotary Club Production of "Oliver!" is calling all actors and actresses between age 6 and 14 to audition for the title role and 35 other roles, which portray orphans and/or pickpockets.

Throughout August, Laurie Mastin, show chair, and Director Patrick Burk, are scouting Western New York for 36 young thespians for the 62nd Rotary Show Musical Production.

"Oliver!" will be performed Nov. 4 – 7, with rehearsals starting Sept. 13.

Auditions will take place at Batavia High School, 260 State St., at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

All young people will learn a song, sing in small groups, work on choreography and present a monologue from the show. No experience is necessary.

Batavia Rotary is looking for a great cross section of young actors and actresses to be a part of the largest Rotary Show in recent memory. Joining in the selection process will be past cast members of "Oliver!" and a long list of guest judges in the areas of dance, music and acting.

At the conclusion of the Oliver Search 2010 evening, the top 36 -- who will be cast in the show -- will be announced, along with several runners-up.

The announcement of who will play the title role will happen after the adult and ensemble auditions. These will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 8 at Batavia High School. All 36 youngsters will be asked to attend those evenings as well.

Parents of young actors and actresses interested in Oliver Search 2010 are asked to call and register their Oliver hopefuls with Burk at his office (585) 343 9721.

All pre-registered actors and actresses will be given audition numbers and be asked to show up at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

Walk-in auditions that have not pre-registered are also welcome. They will be added to the audition process on a first-come-first-serve basis and will receive audition numbers upon arrival.

For more information, please call Patrick Burk at (585) 343-9721 or Mastin at (585) 344-5880.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Muckdogs in pennant race with nine home dates left

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

There are nine home dates left in the 2010 Batavia Muckdogs season.

Will these be the final professional baseball games played in Batavia, the birthplace of the New York-Penn League?

At 6:05 p.m., the Muckdogs (34-26) open a double-header with Williamsport (35-27), followed by Wednesday and Thursday games with their division rival. Both teams are two games out of first place in the Pinckney division.

Jamestown is in first with a record of 37-25. The Jammers will be in Batavia on Sept. 2 for one game.

Fifth-round draft choice Nick Longmire remains among the league leaders in hitting, with 39 runs scored, five triples, eight homers and 44 RBIs.

Infielder Joey Bergman is among the top 10 hitters with a .315 average.

Justin Edwards leads the pitching staff with a 2.81 ERA while Andrew Moss has notched six wins.

Zach Russell, with a 1-3 record and 2.38 ERA is expected to start tonight's first game.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 11:11 am

Batavia consolidation receives state funding, poised for next steps

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, consolidation

Efforts to get a better look at what consolidation of  the city and town might look like is moving forward with the award of a $49,500 Government Efficiency Grant from the state.

City Manager Jason Molino said that the city has not yet received official notification of the grant, but once it does, city and town officials will meet to discuss the next steps.

According to a prior agreement between the city and town, officials must appoint, within 30 days of funding, an interview committee charged with recommending members for a Consolidation Charter Task Force.

Once a charter is written, the city and town will need to seek legislation in Albany to allow a referendum vote in both jurisdictions.

Molino said it's still the feeling in the city that consolidation is "worth looking at."

"That's been the mentality of everybody involved in the process," Molino said. "The mentality has been we have a chance to be handed a clean sheet of paper, so let's understand what can be put on that piece of paper."

The funding for moving forward with consolidation comes just a week after voters in the villages of Sloan and Williamsville in Erie County overwhelming rejected dissolution initiatives -- part of a statewide effort to, at least in theory, reduce the size of government.

Molino said he doesn't know why voters rejected dissolution, but he suspects a lack of information had a lot to do with it.

One of the flaws of the dissolution legislation, Molino said, is that it doesn't require any study or planning. Voters in towns and villages (the legislation doesn't apply to cities) aren't exactly told what will come next if their local government is dissolved.

"There was no plan in place," Molino said. "Whatever you do, whether it's put in sewers or sidewalks, you have to have a good plan in place in order to understand what you're getting into. That's true for dissolution or consolidation, too."

While conventional wisdom around the county is that residents in the Town of Batavia will never agree to consolidation, Molino said the only thing to do is develop a plan, educate the public and let the voters vote.

"It's not my job to predict how voters will react," Molino said.

The interview committee will consist of the city council president and two council members as well as the town supervisor and two town board members. The committee will select eight charter task force members -- four from the city, four from the town -- and each member must be unanimously approved by the selection committee.

Charter task for members cannot be a city or town elected official, a member of planning or zoning boards, an employee of the city or town, and spouse of any such person.

The task force will be asked to submit a draft charter by July 30, 2011 and a final proposed charter by Dec. 31, 2011.

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: We were finally able to talk with Town Supervisor Greg Post today. Post echoed Molino's "clean sheet of paper" remarks.

"I’m interested in seeing what a new charter looks like," Post said. "That’s been my interest from day one. This is the first opportunity in my experience, and probably in more than 100 years, where a group of citizens from the local smallest entity there is can collaborate on a new charter."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 8:42 am

Police Beat: Driver charged under Leandra's Law

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

Shawn Robert Hugar, 24, of Vandermark Road, Scio, is charged with DWI, a felony count of driving with a child under 15 in the car, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and unsafe backing. Hugar was located at  12:55 a.m., Monday, on Route 77, south of Sumner Road, Darien, after backing his car into a ditch. Upon investigation, Sgt. Greg Walker found Hugar to be allegedly intoxicated and driving with a child in his car (a felony violation of Leandra's Law).

Tina M. Whitbeck, 43, of Penn Yan, is charged with a felony count of DWI, criminal contemp, 2nd, and aggravated DWI (drivng with a BAC of .18 or higher). State Police responded to a call at 8:40 p.m., Sunday, of a car partially blocking Pearl Street Road. The driver was also reported to be acting strangely. Upon investigation, Whitbeck's BAC was allegedly found to be .22. Whitbeck is also accused of traveling with a passenger that she was ordered to stay away from.

Jason Cleveland, 27, of Leroy, is charged with DWI and failure to keep right. Cleveland was stopped at 10 p.m., Sunday, by State Police on Route 77, Darien. Upon investigation, Cleveland was allegedly found to be operating with a BAC of .10.

Lansing H. Gardner, 35, of Lyndonville, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .15. Gardner was stopped by State Police at 9:32 p.m., Sunday, on Colby Road, Darien.

Eric J. Goodwin, 31, of Lockport, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .13. Goodwin was stopped at 12:45 a.m., Monday, by State Police, on Route 77 in Pembroke.

James E. Leair, 19, of Depew, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21. Leair was cited by State Police at 7:30 p.m., Friday, on Sumner Road, Darien.

Keith A. Harman, 50, of Lancaster, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI. Harman was stopped at 10:39 p.m., Friday, by State Police on Sumner Road, Darien.

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