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Friday, May 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Picketers outside Planned Parenthood say they're there to spread truth

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Three Christians from Genesee County were carrying signs in front of the Planned Parenthood facility on West Main Street, Batavia, this afternoon.

Chris Connelly said the trio felt led by the Lord to inform people about abortion and what they believe goes on at the facility. He said the group has been at the location every day since Friday and will continue as long as they feel God is calling them to the mission.

"We need to expose sin and call it for what it is," Connelly said. "We're out here to let people know, not condemning them. We're out there to let them know -- people who have had the procedure -- that like any other sin it can be forgiven. It can be washed by the blood of Christ, but they need to turn from that. They need to know there are other options."

He said what they're doing is about truth and love.

"We're commanded to love people," Connelly said. "There cannot be love without truth."

Mona Doyon (left in the picture) said anybody who needs help can come to them and be provided with help toward options other than abortion.

"For anybody who has had it, we don't want to cast stones," she said. "We're not here to judge anybody.  We just want to bring truth and maybe help them. We don't want anybody at all to think we're out here being angry, protesting, or anything. We just want to bring the truth."

Also pictured, Alexis Logsdon.

CLARIFICATION: Connelly says they were out last Friday and will be there on Fridays (not every day) for as long as they feel led to be present.

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Photos: Flag draped across West Main to honor Iraq War vet James Carney

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, funeral, Iraq War

Iraq War veteran James Carney was laid to rest today with military honors, including a giant American flag hung across West Main Street Road by the ladder trucks from City of Batavia and Town of Batavia.

Carney died unexpectedly at age 27. He was being treated for PTSD but was said to be rebuilding his life in Boston at the time of his death.

Funeral arrangements by Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel (full obituary).

Previously: Family dealing with unexpected death of veteran who was overcoming post-war struggles

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

Photos: Center and School closed for repaving

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Center Street, downtown, infrastructure, School Street

Center Street and School Street (between Center and Liberty) are closed today for repaving.

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

Houseknecht brothers buy back family's former vending company business

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Crickler Vending

The Houseknechts are back in the vending business.  

John and Tom, who sold Loose Ends in 2008, after the family sold its Pepsi bottling company, has re-acquired their former business.

The new name is Crickler Vending. Crickler after the former Pepsi-Cola Batavia Bottling Corp., which was founded in 1890 as Crickler's.

"It looked like a good business opportunity and it's a business we're familiar with operating," Tom Houseknecht said.

The company has distribution centers in Rochester, Buffalo and Horseheads. Houseknecht said they consider their market areas Rochester, Buffalo and Elmira.

There are no plans to operate a distribution center Genesee County at this time, Houseknecht said.

The brothers re-acquired the business May 17 and immediately started re-branding their delivery trucks.

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:05 am

Le Roy Christian Community Project's second annual Spring Celebration is June 7, Trigon Park

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy

The second annual Spring Celebration hosted by the Le Roy Christian Community Project is planned for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, in Trigon Park.

Fun, food, friends. Here's what in store:

  • Chicken BBQ dinners for $10 to benefit the LCCP
  • Vendor Fair
  • Chinese Raffle
  • Live Music by M.A.C.
  • AHG Bake Sale
  • Tie-dying Celebration T-shirts
  • Face Painting
  • Balloon Animals
  • Le Roy Rec Inflatable Obstacle Course
  • and more!

Chicken BBQ tickets are available at Hobby Horse, 5 Star Bank, Le Roy Village Fitness, The Bank of Castile, Curves, and at the LCCP office (7 E. Main St.) or from any of its board members.

Check out LCCP's Facebook page for more info. and updates. The phone number to 768-7540.

Gold Sponsors of the event are Tompkins Bank of Castile, Ryan Plumbing, Heating & Fire Protection, and the Rotary Club of Le Roy.

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10:48 am

GO ART! announces 2014 grant recipients -- 20 in Genesee County

post by Billie Owens in GO ART!

Press release:

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council is pleased to announce the Decentralization Re-grant recipients for 2014 in Genesee and Orleans counties, funded by the New York State Council on the Arts. This year GO ART! received 27 applications to the Reach Grant Program requesting a total of $65,696.00. With $41,600 available, 26 of the applicants were awarded grants.

GO ART! is also pleased to re-grant two Ripple Grants ($2,500 each) to provide funding for the creation of new work by local individual artists who wish to involve the community in their creative process. One Arts Education Grant (recently renamed the Spark Grant) was awarded as well in the amount of $2,000. This grant provides funds to individual artists to create programs to work directly with children in a K-12 public school setting.

Reach Grant Program Award Recipients in Genesee County

  • Batavia Concert Band -- 2014 Summer Concert Series -- $3,000
  • Genesee Symphony Orchestra -- "A Time for Music: 67 Years of the GSO -- $3,000
  • Gillam-Grant Community Center -- "Cultural Connections" -- $3,000
  • Mental Health of Genesee County -- film series about MH issues -- $2,600
  • Genesee Chorale/Regular Season -- "Hitting the High Notes" -- $2,500
  • Batavia Players/Summer Youth -- Production of "Tommy" -- $2,000
  • A Tale for Three Counties Council -- 2014 Reading Program -- $1,510
  • Genesee ARC -- Sprout Touring Film Festival & Art Show -- $1,315
  • Byron-Bergen Public Library -- "Fill Our Community with Culture" -- $1,300
  • Village of Corfu -- Corfu/Pembroke Community Winterfest -- $1,200
  • Batavia Players/Shakespeare -- Production of "Much Ado About Nothing" -- $1,100
  • Friends of Richmond Memorial Library -- RML Senior Academy -- $1,000
  • Le Roy Christian Community Project -- After School Theater & Art -- $1,000
  • Woodward Memorial Library -- Everyone's an Artist youth program -- $900
  • Town of Le Roy -- Trigon Park Summer Concert Series -- $800
  • Encore! Theatre Arts -- Fall 2014 Musical Performance -- $800
  • Genesee Chorale/Children's -- Children's Chorus -- $800
  • Village of Bergen -- Tulley Building Mural Project -- $500

2014 Ripple Grant Recipients (both in Batavia)

  • Patrick Burk -- "Macbeth the Movie" -- $2,500
  • Kevin Feary -- "Moments Shared -- Portrait Sketches of Our Community" -- $2,500

The Decentralization Regrant Program (known locally as Reach, Ripple and Spark) was first developed in 1977 by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in response to a mandate by the New York State Legislature to encourage greater participation in the state’s cultural funding at the local level. Local decision-making is the basic principle of the Decentralization Regrant Program in supporting a wide range of community-based professional and avocational arts programs in diverse communities throughout the state, and in helping to support the work of individual artists. GO ART! is proud to administer the NYSCA Decentralization Regrant Program in Genesee and Orleans counties.

The grant process begins in the summer with grant workshops held throughout Genesee and Orleans counties. Individuals, nonprofit organizations and local government agencies submit applications in the fall for community-minded artistic and cultural programs. These proposals are reviewed by a panel (there are separate panels for the Reach, Ripple and Spark grants), made up of artists, community leaders and educators from the two counties. The panel then submits funding recommendations to the GO ART! Board of Directors for approval, and grants are awarded. Through the Decentralization Regrant Program, GO ART!, NYSCA, and the New York State Legislature hope to expand, upgrade and increase arts and cultural programming in Genesee and Orleans counties.

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10:04 am

Alzheimer's Association of WNY offers class for caregivers at Le Roy Village Green, RSVP

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Le Roy

It is not uncommon for caregivers to feel frustrated by their difficulty communicating with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter is offering a class in Le Roy to discuss techniques and tips for “Improving Communication in Dementia Care."

Le Roy Village Green at 10 Munson St. is hosting the June 10 presentation from 1 to 2 p.m. The class is ideal for family caregivers who are trying to negotiate their caregiving journey as the needs of their loved ones change, and the disease progresses.

They will leave the class with an understanding of both verbal and non-verbal communication skills, as well as concrete tools to help them engage with their loved one. The class is open to the public, but registration is requested by calling the Chapter Office at 1.800.272.3900.

The Alzheimer’s Association also offers numerous other programs to help both family and professional caregivers, and those with dementia. Classes are offered at various sites and times across Western New York, and include the basics about the disease, resources available in the community, and efforts on the research front aimed at ending the disease. Details are available by calling the Chapter at 1.800.272.3900 or by visiting www.alz.com/WNY.

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

Batavia student earns a master's degree from Dominican College of Blauvelt

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones

Dominican College of Blauvelt is pleased to announce that Kelli Rees McClurg, a resident of Batavia, was granted a degree, ME, from the College during commencement on May 18.

The aim of Dominican College is to promote educational excellence, leadership, and service in an environment characterized by respect for the individual and concern for the community. The College is an independent institution of higher learning, Catholic in origin and heritage. In the tradition of its Dominican founders, the College fosters the active, shared pursuit of truth and embodies an ideal of education rooted in the values of reflective understanding and compassionate involvement. Learn more about Dominican College at www.dc.edu.

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 9:53 am

Genesee Symphony Orchestra to hold annual meeting at Bohn's

post by Billie Owens in announcements

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. (note new time) on June 18 at Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. Dinner will be pre-selected options from Bohn's menu.

All patrons, board members, orchestra members and season subscribers are welcome. If you are interested, contact Paul Saskowski at [email protected]

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Caller says daughter 'asked to do lewd acts on a school bus'

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A caller to dispatch reports "her daughter was asked to do lewd acts on a school bus." City police are responding.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Two-car wreck with injuries at Griswold and West Bergen roads, Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Le Roy

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 7228 Griswold Road. It's at the intersection of Griswold and West Bergen roads. LeRoy fire and medics are en route.

UPDATE 5:19 p.m.: A responder on scene reports that there is one minor injury.

UPDATE 5:46 p.m.: Medics are back in service; there was no patient transport.

UPDATE 6:02 p.m.: The Le Roy assignment is back in service.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Molino announces two prestigious awards for the city and for a firefighter

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

The City of Batavia has received two significant awards, City Manager Jason Molino announced at a press conference held at the Fire Hall this afternoon.

The city is receiving a Strategic leadership & Governance Program Excellence Award from the International City/County Managers Association, and Firefighter Chuck Hammon is being honored by NYS Child Safety Advisory Board with a Shining Star Award for his efforts to increase the number of child safety seats installed in the city.

The ICMA will recognize the City of Batavia at its 100th annual conference in Charlotte, N.C., in September.

The award recognizes the creation and implementation of the city's strategic plan.

"With input from the community and the hard work of City Council and staff, we have been able to create an effective planning process that has demonstrated real results in efficient operations and meeting the service needs of our residents," Molino said. "Though our continued efforts to improve our operations, make sound decisions and strong investments, the city is being recognized for making a meaningful impact for our residents, businesses and visitors alike."

Hammon was recognized because over the past three years, he's taken the city's child safety seat program from almost nothing -- only two trained installation technicians -- to a program with 18 technicians and more than 150 installations and inspections a year. Batavia has one of the most active fire stations for child safety seats in WNY now, Molino said.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Collins lauds selection of Pembroke for location of new veterans cemetery

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, pembroke, veterans

Press release:

"For too long, Western New York's veterans have been denied the honor of being laid to rest among their fellow heroes right here in our community," Congressman Chris Collins said. "Today's announcement of a veterans’ cemetery in Pembroke finally rights that wrong. This location will allow veterans from all around our region to be properly and locally honored for their service to this country."

Background: The VA has selected a 132-acre parcel on Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke (Genesee County) as home for the long-anticipated Western New York Veterans’ Cemetery. Currently, the closest veterans’ cemetery is located in Bath, approximately 100 miles away.  

Press release from Sen. Charles Schumer's office after the jump:

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Total Tan changes locations, updates and upgrades its tanning beds

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Total Tan

Total Tan has been in Batavia since 1996, but starting this week it's all new.  

The salon has moved to the new retail strip between Lewiston and West Main, next to the future new Tim Horton's.

Owner Cyndi Leonard, who founded Total Tan in Williamsville in 1994, said she and her managers had been looking to remodel and upgrade the old location in the Valu Plaza, but decided a new space made more sense.

The new location is filled with new, more modern units -- 20 in all, including five stand-up bays and a spray booth.

Pictured are Jaclyn Rossini, Cyndi Leonard, Rachel Mitchell and Emily Crego.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Photo: Caravan of antique vehicles passes through Batavia on way to auto show

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

If you noticed a parade of antique vehicles heading through town today, they're all owned by Pat Thorp (pictured) and his father Nelson Thorp of East Bloomfield. It's a portion of their 22-vehicle collection.

The caravan was on its way to the University at Buffalo for a classic car show. We caught up with it at West Main Mini Mart.

The ladder truck is a 1949 American Le France, bought new by the City of Canandaigua for $26,000 and was in service until 2008. 

The woody is a 1940 Plymouth and is only one of 17 known in existence. 

The pickup truck is a 1937 Plymouth and has won multiple national awards.

The jeep is a 1952 Willies Army Jeep. That was the last year that model was made.

Pat Thorp said the vehicles will be passing back through Genesee County some time after 4:30 p.m. Saturday, if you want to try and catch a glimpse of these classics.

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.

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