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Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Le Roy zoning board stands by decision allowing music at Frost Ridge, chair says

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy

Le Roy's Zoning Board of Appeals will likely try to retain its own attorney in the Frost Ridge case, board Chairwoman Debbie Jackett said today.

At a hearing May 20, Town of Le Roy Attorney Reid Whiting told Judge Robert C. Noonan that the ZBA didn't have an attorney in court that day because the board chose not to be represented.

He said the ZBA had been served with notice of the lawsuit.

Jackett said the board didn't know it was named in a lawsuit until members read about the court hearing in The Batavian.

The ZBA was named by plaintiffs David and Marny Cleere and Scott and Betsy Collins because the ZBA found in July 2013 that camping and amplified music were permitted uses at Frost Ridge.

The board's position is and was, Jackett said, that camping and amplified music were both permitted uses prior to the area being zoned residential/agriculture in 1967.

The vote was unanimous, Jackett said, and the board's position hasn't changed.

The town board cannot overrule the ZBA's decision.

"Their view is contrary to our view," Jackett said.

Which is why Whiting can't represent the ZBA, she said. 

The ZBA serves both the town and village governments, but the board doesn't feel the village attorney should represent the ZBA since Frost Ridge is a town issue, so the ZBA is scrambling to secure independent legal representation.

The Town of Le Roy will be obligated to pay for the ZBA's attorney.

Frost Ridge and owners David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell are defendants in two lawsuits, one filed by the town and another field by Cleere and Collins challenging their legal ability to both exist as a campground and to operate occasionally as a live music venue.

The plaintiffs maintain that the campground and amplified music violate the current zoning ordinance. Frost Ridge maintains that the property was recreational use prior to 1967 and it's recreational use today.

Noonan issued a temporary injunction May 23 barring Frost Ridge from amplified music and alcohol service on the property, citing the likelihood that the town would prevail on the merits of the case. His decision was based on the May 20 hearing that lacked ZBA representation. 

Since the ZBA doesn't have an attorney yet, it's unclear whether any motion could be brought forward challenging the injunction.

A conference meeting -- where dates will be set for future proceedings in the cases -- is scheduled for tomorrow. Jackelt said she is unsure if the ZBA will be able to retain counsel in time for that court appearance.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:21 am

NY-Penn League announces 2014 scholarship contest

post by Billie Owens in announcements, baseball, sports

Press release:

The Class-A Short-Season New York-Penn League and its member clubs are proud to announce that the league's philanthropic arm, the NYPL Charitable Foundation, will once again award more than $10,000 in scholarships this summer to deserving high school graduates from the league's 14 markets.

Now in its sixth year, the 2014 NYPL Scholarship Contest is open to any graduating senior from a public or private high school within the league's footprint. Any student who has been accepted at a two or four-year college or university, vocational school, or technical education institution is eligible.

Applicants will be judged based on academic performance, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and the impact their local NYPL club and Minor League Baseball have had on their lives. The scholarship contest will consist of two stages -- a local round and a divisional round. In the local stage, students will apply directly to their local NYPL team, with one applicant chosen by each of the 14 teams to advance to the divisional/final round.

The 14 finalists will then be separated by the division of the team they represent. The winning application from each of the NYPL's three divisions (McNamara, Pinckney and Stedler) will receive the top prize of a $2,500 scholarship. All other finalists will receive a $250 book award.

High school seniors interested in entering the 2014 Scholarship Contest can obtain the official application from their local NYPL club, or by visiting the league's official Web site, NewYork-PennLeague.com.

The deadline to submit applications to the nearest NYPL team is June 27. Each club's winner, including the three $2,500 scholarship recipients, will be selected in late July and honored at a game in August.

The New York-Penn League and its 14 member clubs created the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, in 2003. The mission of the Foundation is to provide focus and support for the collective and individual charitable and community efforts of the New York-Penn League, its Clubs, and their staff.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:15 am

Manhunt under way near Cedar Street for possible warrant suspect

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A manhunt is under way in the area around Graham Corp. for a possible warrant suspect. A caller contacted dispatch about a "suspicion male" walking around and a Batavia Police officer spotted him and provided a name, which if it's him, is wanted by the law. After the suspect saw the officer, he ran into the woods behind Graham Corp., located on Florence Avenue. A canine unit is available if needed, the police said. The suspect is a white male wearing white pants and a red hoodie. He is said to be close to Cedar Street now.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 8:59 am

Law and Order: Man accused of giving fake name to police during investigation

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

Jarrod K. Fotiathis, 19, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with false personation. Fotiathis was suspected of being involved in a fight Wednesday night on Swan Street. When questioned, Fotiathis allegedly gave a false last name to a police officer. Officers reportedly asked him several times for his real last name and Fotiathis allegedly refused to do so. 

William Scott Smith, 46, of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Smith was allegedly found in possession of marijuana at 11:45 p.m. May 16 on Main Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Michael Joseph Elmore, 23, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and trespass. Elmore allegedly trespassed on private property and was found in possession of marijuana at 3:10 p.m. May 24 by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Kristine Szumigala, 40, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Szumigala was allegedly involved in a fight at 8:57 a.m. Sunday at 16 Bank St., Batavia.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 8:48 am

Le Roy business features art, coffee and community touch


New York-based artist Jim Hodges is known for his singular ability to infuse emotion and narrative into the objects of daily life. He once said, “When I make art, I think about its ability to connect with others, to bring them into the process." This precept is the driving force behind a new art gallery in Le Roy.

The conception of local artist and photographer Jim DeLooze, 58 On Main will come to fruition on June 16 when it officially opens.

“I own the building and am a professional photographer,” said the 30-year Le Royan. “I wanted to do something with photography and teaching, so opening the gallery came together as a culmination of ideas.”

There will be an art gallery, coffee shop, green screen photography studio, and a photography computer lab. There is also plenty of room to accommodate the classes DeLooze would like to offer.

“To be successful, we need to give the community what it wants,” DeLooze said.

His photography career began at Kodak in Rochester directly after high school. Later, he opened his own photography studio on Main Street, Le Roy, which catered to weddings and portrait work. He says he enjoys shooting anything to do with people.

After closing that business, his interest in art remained and led to a position at Le Roy's Jell-O Gallery Museum. It's there he began “kicking around the idea of opening a studio.” 

The art gallery is open to local artists and artisans to showcase their work. It offers a permanent home for as long as the artist would like to rent the space. And with the artist’s permission, 58 On Main will produce photographic reproductions for sale. Since there are no exclusive rights, the artist is welcome to display their work in other venues.

“The fees to display and sell an artist’s work (in 58 On Main) is very inexpensive by way of comparison of larger galleries. Each wire will hold up to 30 pounds of multiple pieces, while heavier work, a piece that can weigh up to 60 pounds, will use two wires for the charge of one.”

Artists can also access 58 On Main's Web site and electronic advertising.

The coffee shop, Barista’s, is natural accompaniment for an art gallery. D&R Depot restaurant co-owner Sean Valdes will run it and the menu will include gourmet coffee, espresso, tea, pastry, scones, and light lunches -- soups, salad and sandwiches.

Friday nights will be special at Barista's. Planned are "Wine and Dessert"; "Social Painting" -- where participants are given two-hour instruction in painting; "Music Night" featuring musicians;  "Travelogue" - for people to share their travels near or far; poetry readings, game night and more.

“We are a family friendly atmosphere," DeLooze said. "We want to give the community an option for their Friday nights.”

While the coffee shop has its individual name included with the business, the nomenclature for all the businesses at 58 Main Street, Le Roy, is 58 On Main.

“There are a number of businesses under one roof, so we decided utilizing the physical address (58 Main Street) as the main name for the gallery," DeLooze said. "We wanted to keep it simple and catchy.”

Saturday morning photography classes are also planned.

“We will be offering anything from photography basics to using Photoshop and HDR (high-density resolution) photography. It’s here for the community. Input is both welcomed and encouraged. We’d like to know what the community is interested in learning.”

58 On Main would also like the community to become actively involved and offer courses on their interests and expertise. DeLooze says drawing a diversified crowd and truly opening the gallery up to the community's interests is paramount for success.

“There will be a little bit of everything for people to enjoy. It’s a great place for parents to stop in while waiting for their child to get out of practice.”

58 On Main is seeking artists and artisans interested in displaying their work in the gallery. It is also working with the Jell-O Gallery Museum to put day-tour packages together to promote local businesses on Main Street.

For more information on 58 on Main visit their Web site at www.58onmain.com or contact DeLooze at [email protected] or 585-768-2402.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 8:44 am

Spaghetti dinner and raffle set to help Batavia man, father of four

post by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Ascension Parish, cancer benefit

Adam Figlow is a single father of four and a maintenance man at Ascension Parish in Batavia. Fellow parishioner and parish volunteer Sue Hartrick describes him as very humble, quiet, and "an extremely hard worker."

"You can ask him to do anything and say it doesn't have to be done right away," Hartrick said, "and then you turn around and it's done in a half hour."

But he has fallen on hard luck. In December, Figlow was diagnosed with a rare form of soft tissue cancer called spindle cell sarcoma.

Figlow said he first knew something was wrong one day in late summer, when he noticed a strange growth on his left arm.

"It never hurt or anything," he said. "It was just cosmetically annoying."

Since being diagnosed, he has undergone two surgeries and radiation therapy. His aunt and uncle, Kathy and Nick La Farnara, drove him to all of his appointments and stood by him through the surgeries, for which he expressed deep gratitude.

Figlow is set to return to work next month, but will have been out on disability for six months at that point. New York State disability payments have not been enough to keep up with Figlow's hospital bills and everyday living expenses.

That is why Ascension Parish will be hosting a spaghetti dinner, theme basket and 50/50 raffle on Saturday, May 31 from 5 until 7 p.m., with theme basket and raffle drawings starting at 7 p.m. The event will be at the parish's Slomba Hall, at 17 Sumner St. in Batavia.

Each meal will include spaghetti, meatball/sausage, salad, bread, dessert and a beverage.

Presale dinner tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children, or $8 at the door. Takeout will be available.

Hartrick, who has spearheaded the event from day one, has been overwhelmed by the generous response.

"I thought it would be fabulous if we could get 30 baskets (for the basket raffle)," Hartrick said. "As of now, we have 79 baskets and 33 gift cards."

A variety of theme baskets -- including dog and cat, camping, gardening, children's toy and lottery baskets -- have been donated by individuals and businesses in and around the Batavia area.

"We've gotten more generosity than I could ever imagine," Hartrick said. "I was hoping the parish would rally around Adam in his time of need. They have not rallied...they have soared."

"The heart of Batavia and the parish community is unbelievable," Figlow said. "I can't thank them enough...I'm just so appreciative of everybody."

Basket ticket costs are as follows:

  • 25 tickets for $5 for the less expensive baskets
  • 25 tickets for $10 for the more expensive ($25 or more in value)

Additionally, someone donated a handmade quilt depicting an outdoor scene. It has a value of about $200, and will be the object of a 50/50 raffle. People can buy tickets $2 apiece or three tickets for $5.

For more information, call Hartrick at 786-8198.

Figlow is pictured with his sons, Joe (13) and Noah (5). His daughter Ashanti and son Nicholas were unavailable for a photo.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 8:43 am

Local photographer wins four awards at Batavia Photography Club's annual dinner

post by Patricia Hawley in awards, batavia photography club, local arts, photography


Susan Meier, owner of Photography by Susan Meier, received four awards at the annual awards ceremony of the Batavia Photography Club. The event, held at Bohn’s Restaurant on May 6, annually recognizes the efforts of their members.

An active member of the Batavia Photography Club for 17 years, Meier received awards for: Best Color Digital; Best Color Print; Image of the Year; Most Advanced Photographer of the Year. 

Meier says “My involvement with the Batavia Photography Club has helped me grow as an artist and encouraged me to expand my craft.” Her print, “Feathered,” was accepted at Todmorden Papermill Gallery in Toronto Canada and is on view now through June 7. Additionally she has submitted several prints to 6x6x2014 -- Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s International Small Art Show to be held in June. 

For more information about Photography by Susan Meier visit www.suemeier.com or call 585.861.0415. You can also visit her gallery at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, part of the Harvester Artisan Center.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 8:40 am

Nature's babies learn survival instincts at an early age

post by JIM NIGRO in nature, outdoors, whitetail fawn

It's that time of year when nature's youngsters begin coming into the world on a daily basis. This whitetail fawn has learned that remaining absolutely still and concealed is vital to its survival. A trio of us had been working a few scant feet away for nearly half an hour before noticing the newborn.

Just a few hours old, the fawn remained motionless in a residential flower bed while we spread mulch about its hideout. Once aware of its presence, we worked quickly, quietly and with little commotion as possible. Having completed the job, we moved on and the little one never flinched. No doubt mom was not far away, watching the entire time.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 5:45 am

Grand Jury files indictment in case of shots fired on State Street in September

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

A Genesee County Grand Jury has filed an indictment against a Batavia resident who is accused of firing a handgun at another person while on State Street on Sept. 27.

Deshawn Allen Butler, 34, was wanted for a time in connection with the shots fired incident and was arrested in December. He was released from jail a few days later when the prosecution, which wasn't ready to proceed with a pre-trial hearing, called a felony hearing.

Butler was indicted on counts of criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, and attempted assault, 1st, also a Class C violent felony.

Other indictments filed by the Grand Jury:

Kelly M. Zwolinski is indicted on a count of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, a Class E felony. Zwolinski is accused of knowingly possessing stolen property valued at more than $1,000. In this case, a Western barrel-racing saddle, a Western trail saddle, two sets of stirrups and a breast collar.

Jose A. Esquilin is indicted on a count of DWI as a misdemeanor and aggravated unlicensed operation, a Class E felony. Esquilin was stopped Dec. 6 on the Thruway in Pembroke.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Brothers proud of their rat rod pickup trucks

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Danny and Eddy stopped at the Kwik Fill on Jackson and Ellicott for some gas on their way to a car show in Amherst this evening and their two pickup trucks sure got a lot of attention. A few people stopped and took cell phone pictures.

To car buffs, the trucks are known as "rat rods." They've got the patina of decades of loyal service to their owners.  

Danny is with the 1952 Chevy along with his sons, Ethan and Dylan. Eddy is with his 1955 Ford F-100.

Both vehicles are on modern chassis and have modern suspension systems (for a better ride), but otherwise have original paint and original interiors.  

They've owned their trucks three or four years.  

Danny and Eddy, both Batavia residents, said they plan on showing off their trucks at Summer in the City in August.

It's just a hobby, they said.

"You can tell they're attention getters," Eddy said. "They really attract people's eyes."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Cat owner looking for lost orange tabby

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, pets

Maria Yefremenko says she is desperate to find her orange tabby, which has been missing since the night of May 20. The cat has green eyes and was last seen on Walnut Street in Batavia. He has a small tear in his left ear and small black spot on his right paw. Contact Maria Yefremenko either by e-mail at [email protected] or call/text (585) 479-5229.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

WWII Era Big Band Hangar Dance will benefit WNY Aviation Adventure Camp

post by Billie Owens in batavia, WNY Aviation Adventure

Get out those hair rolls -- AKA "cootie garages," the shoulder pads, stockings with seams up the back, the khakis and hats galore. You're invited to the Victory Dinner Dance, a fundraiser benefitting the WNY Aviation Adventure Camp.

This will be a World War II Era Big Band Hangar Dance at Zeliff's Hangar at the Genesee County Airport on Saturday, June 7.

Cost of $100 per person. The event is limited to 100 couples.

It includes music, dinner provided by Alex's Place, dancing, and an open bar during cocktail hour (How 'bout rum and coc-a cola?)

Wear '40s attire to be eligible for prizes.

There will be swing dance instruction; portraits by a professional photographer.

RSVP by May 23. Contact Eve Hens at 585.343.7440 or [email protected]

Reserve online at  beagenesee.com

Timeline as follows:

Report date -- June 7, to 4701 E. Saile Drive, Batavia

Cocktail Hour -- 1800 hours

Dinner & Dancing -- 1900-2300 hours

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Photos: State Police honor their fallen in ceremony at Batavia Barracks

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, NYSP, State Police, Troop A

State Police assigned to Troop A held a ceremony today at the Batavia Barracks honoring troopers who have fallen in the line of duty. The wreath was place this year by Heidi Riley and Sharon Keane, the widows of Ross Riley and William Keane. Trooper Riley passed away during an exercise at Letchworth State Park and Trooper Keane suffered a heart attack while training.

To purchase prints, click here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Prison sentence corrected for Alabama man accused of firing shots in direction of deputy

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, crime

Sentenced once, an Alabama man who was arrested in November after police believed he had fired a weapon during an apparent domestic incident, was back in court today to be sentenced again.

Judge Robert C. Noonan said neither he, the prosecution nor the defense picked up on the fact in February that the charge Reuben Lay admitted to was not a violent felony. Since it wasn't, Noonan could not impose a determinate (set time) sentence under NYS sentencing guidelines.

The 50-year-old Lay could have withdrawn his guilty plea to criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, but that would have exposed him to a trial on the other charges he face and a conviction could have meant consecutive sentences on each count.

Lay, who entered the courtroom with two state prison guards and was dressed in khaki slacks and a crisp white shirt and sporting close-cropped hear and sunglasses, declined the chance to withdraw his plea and was sentenced to 22 months to 66 months in prison.

During the early morning incident on Bloomingdale Road, Lay reportedly fired shots in the direction of a deputy and trooper. The Emergency Response Team was activated, but never deployed. Since there were no hostages and Lay presented no immediate danger to others, the Sheriff's Office decided to wait until the morning to arrest Lay rather than engage in a late-night confrontation.

Lay was charged with with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and reckless endangerment, 1st, both Class D felonies. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and harassment, 2nd.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Bergen student makes the dean's list at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

post by Billie Owens in bergen, Milestones

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has named 304 students to its spring dean's list.

Mackenzie Lynn Heale, a senior Criminal Justice major from Bergen, is one of them.

Dean's list status is awarded to full-time students who have earned a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Car crash on Route 237, pole and wires down, roadway blocked

post by Billie Owens in accidents, byron, south byron

A car crashed into a pole in the area of 7027 Route 237. Unknown injuries, but the driver is out of the vehicle. The pole and wires are down, blocking the roadway. The "car is smoking."

Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding along with Mercy medics.

The location is between Town Line and Cockram roads.

UPDATE 3:13 p.m.: Fire Police are called to shut down traffic at Route 237 and Cockram Road. National Grid will be contacted about the damaged equipment.

UPDATE 3:14 p.m.: Byron command says responders can come in non-emergency.

UPDATE 3:35 p.m.: Mutual aid for standby crews is requested: A Stafford pumper to South Byron; and a pumper from Elba to Byron.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Muckdogs in need of housing for baseball players

post by Billie Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports

Press release:

How would you like to live with the next Ryan Howard or Chase Utley this summer? The Batavia Muckdogs are again seeking local families to assist in housing players during the 2014 baseball season.

Anyone can help provide lodging for this year's Muckdogs by either providing space or renting a room, apartment, or home. While many host families come back year after year, the team is always looking to add to their list of available options for the players and coaching staff.

Host Families play a crucial role in helping young players feel comfortable in a new environment. Many who have hosted players in the past have had incredibly wonderful experiences. However, with players coming and going throughout the season, we have constant needs as far as housing.

The 2014 season runs from June 13 until Sept. 1 and players typically range from 18-23 years of age. The team will arrive in Batavia the week of Monday, June 9.

If you are interested, need more information or know someone in the Batavia area (within just a few miles of Dwyer Stadium) who might be interested in hosting a player, please contact Travis Sick at (585) 343-5454 or [email protected]. You can also call our housing coordinator Shirley Fanara directly at (585) 356-3411.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm

City street closures announced for roadway resurfacing

post by Billie Owens in batavia

City announcement:

(1.) MEADOWCREST DRIVE from South Main Street to the cul-de-sac and CHARLES STREET from Oak Street to the dead-end will be closed to all traffic on Monday, June 2, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for roadway resurfacing.

Residents should not park on the roadway and are asked to park on neighboring streets during the closure. Residents of the Edgewood Drive/ Valle Drive area are asked to use Fairway Drive as ingress and egress to their homes during the closure.

(*WEATHER DELAY DATE: Tuesday, June 3, 2014)

(2.) CENTER STREET between Ellicott Street and Main Street and SCHOOL STREET between Jackson Street and Liberty Street will be closed to all traffic on Friday, May 30, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for roadway resurfacing. Residents/ businesses should not park on the roadway and are asked to utilize the municipal parking lots. The Center Street Parking Lot and School Street Parking Lot can be accessed from the East Main Street entrance. The Jackson Street Parking Lot can be accessed from Jackson Street.

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