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November 9, 2008 - 9:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, help.

The following links are designed to help you better understand how things work on The Batavian.


May 6, 2015 - 11:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, elba.


Here's photos from this evening's fire at 5253 Bridge Road, Elba.  At this point, we have no new information beyond what was in our initial post.










To purchase prints, click here.

NOTE: In the past, when I had a group of photos to upload at night for a slide show, I would typically get the upload started and go to bed and post the slide show in the morning.  It would take an hour, maybe two hours, depending on the size of the slide show, to upload the photos.  Now we have broadband through Empire Access. It took only 10 minutes to upload this slide show.

May 6, 2015 - 7:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, Girls on the Run, schools, education.


Students at Batavia Middle School beat out 87 schools in a shoe drive as part of the Girls on the Run program.

The girls collected 1,220 donated pairs of shoes.

As a result of the big win, Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run, will visit Batavia Middle School at a future date.

"We wanted to put a thank you out there to the community for all of their support," said teacher Sarah Gahagan. "We had over 90 Batavia families donate to this cause. Just goes to show how when a community pitches in great things can happen."

Photos and info submitted by Sarah Gahagan.


May 6, 2015 - 6:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Town of Batavia Republicans, batavia.

Press release:

Stephen M. Hawley, chairman of the Town of Batavia Republican Committee, announced the endorsed candidates for the upcoming 2015 Election:

Legislator, District No. 4, Towns of Batavia and Stafford --  Andrew Young

Batavia Town Justice --  Michael Cleveland

Batavia Town Council --  Chad Zambito and Sharon White

The Committee currently has three vacancies. Anyone wishing to serve their community in this capacity should send a letter to the Chairman, Steve Hawley at P.O. Box 1733, Batavia, NY  14021. This is a good opportunity to learn more about your Town and be part of the election process.

Letters of interest to serve as Election Inspectors at the upcoming election will also be accepted by Chairman Hawley.

The Annual Town of Batavia Republican Picnic at the Kiwanis/Town Park will be held on Friday June 12th at 5 p.m. till dark. All residents are invited to join us, meet the candidates and start the summer season off with hot dogs, salads, beans and desserts at the park. Tickets at $10 per person are available from all Town Committee people or by calling Kathy at 762-8239.

The Committee is also seeking nominations for our annual “Community Service Award,” which is presented at the Picnic. You can obtain a nomination form from Teressa Morasco, town clerk. Nominations are accepted from Town residents who would like to recognize someone who exemplifies service to the Town and people of our community.

May 6, 2015 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Habitat for Humanity.

Press release:

National Women Build Week is a weeklong event created by Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program that challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities. Across the nation, more than 15,000 women are expected to volunteer at Habitat construction sites this week to spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by women.

Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 and each year provides the support of Lowe’s Heroes and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills.

This is Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County’s 5th year participating. This year’s event will be our biggest yet! More than 50 women have signed up to volunteer for the day. The event will take place at 27 Oak St. on May 9th, as we build for prospective homeowner Sheila Rolle and her daughter Jada.

"We are so excited for this event! Our community has really stepped up to the plate in their effort to impact poverty housing in our neighborhoods. We cannot thank them enough," said CEO of Habitat for Humanity Jessica Maguire-Tomidy.

“National Women Build Week has made a difference in the lives of thousands of families since its inception,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s director of community relations. “We’re grateful to all the women in Genesee County who got involved this week and were part of something bigger with Lowe’s and Habitat.”

Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million to this year’s National Women Build Week, including a $5,000 store gift card to Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County. National Women Build Week is one of the major initiatives supported through Lowe’s national partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Since 2003, Lowe’s has committed more than $63 million to Habitat and helped more than 4,000 families improve their living conditions.

Habitat’s Women Build program recruits, educates and inspires women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable homes in their communities. Since the program was created in 1998, more than 2,300 homes have been built in partnership with low-income families using Women Build crews.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program and to learn about Women Build events in communities across the U.S. year-round, visit or the Women Build tab on

May 6, 2015 - 6:33pm

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad at its May 7 board meeting.

Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad is planning to purchase additional equipment to include one specialized forklift and two track vehicles for servicing truck and rail service at the transload warehouse facility in the City of Batavia. The projected capital investment is approximately $118,000. The company has applied to the GCEDC for a sales tax exemption of $9,512.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

May 6, 2015 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in va center, batavia.


Press release:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the nation’s largest single employer of nurses, joins the American Nurses Association in honoring America’s nurses dedicated to saving lives and maintaining the health of millions of individuals during National Nurses Week, May 6-12.

This year’s Nurses Week theme is “Ethical Practice, Quality Care” and VA health care facilities throughout the country will pay tribute to their 90,000 nurses who VA Western New York Healthcare System Nurse Executive Patricia Lind calls “the Nursing Heroes who care for America’s Heroes.”

Annually, National Nurses Week begins on May 6, marked as Nurse Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. During this week, nurses at VA Western New York Healthcare System will be honored with award ceremonies.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs Award for Excellence in Nursing is given to a VA nurse or nursing assistant once in their nursing career and recognizes exemplary nursing care given to Veterans and their families. VA Western New York Healthcare System is pleased to announce the 2015 Nursing Excellence recipients.

Cindy Norton-Ortiz, registered nurse, works as a nurse manager in the Maple Lodge Community Living Center in Batavia. Cindy resides in East Bethany.

Peggy Stanley, registered nurse, cares for veterans who reside in the Willow Lodge Community Living Center in Buffalo. Peggy is a resident of Akron.

Lucy Stevens, licensed practical nurse, care for veterans who reside in the Oak Lodge Community Living Center in Buffalo. Lucy resides in Elba.

Carla Dobbs, nursing assistant, works in the Adult Day Health Care program. Carla is a resident of Buffalo.

National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, work to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities, to primary care where health promotion is encouraged, to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health care needs of American society and its veterans.

May 6, 2015 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports.

Press release:

Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) announced that total wagering at WROTB on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby topped out at $1,930,585.30 with payouts of 2,067,622.80. Wagering handle was the second highest in WROTB’s history, and its payout to winning bettors was $800,000 more than last year and higher than it took in wagers, a first. 

“It’s the first time we’ve ever seen more payouts than money taken in," said WROTB Handicapper and Live Racing GM Todd Haight.

The complimentary Derby programs given out at WROTB Branches, EZ Bets and at Batavia Downs on Saturday touted Haight’s Hot Picks on the cover, which correctly selected the top four Derby finishers in exact order. The bettors of Western New York certainly benefitted as WROTB paid out $600,000 in winning Trifecta bets and over $630,000 in winning Superfecta wagers, both records.

Wagers placed at Batavia Downs Gaming totaled $62,248.50, an increase of nearly 5 percent over last year. Wagering using, WROTB’s online Web site, on the Derby was $53,821, a 26.6-percent increase over last year. Nationally the handle on the Kentucky Derby was up 4 percent and was its highest ever at $197 Million.

“It’s so exciting to see that interest in the Kentucky Derby is alive and well in Western New York," said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing of Batavia Downs and WROTB. “We’re all pulling for a Triple Crown contender in American Pharoah. All our Branches will be open at 10 a.m. on May 16th, the morning of the Preakness, and we’ll be having another party with live tellers at Batavia Downs. Our Trifecta special includes food, Free Play and a complimentary Preakness wager like we had for the Derby.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia. WROTB owns and operates 28 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standardbred racetrack and gaming facility.

May 6, 2015 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia.

A total of 285 votes turned out for Tuesday's Richmond Memorial Library budget vote, passing the spending plan by a wide margin.

In all, 246 yes votes were recorded.

The budget increases spending by $25,870.

The lone candidate for a trustee's position, Michael Rivers, was elected with 266 votes.

Residents in the Batavia City School District are eligible to vote. There are 10,532 registered voters in the district.

May 6, 2015 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, arts, batavia, Richmond Memorial Library.


Alec R. Sass, a sophomore at Clarence High School, performed a 45-minute bagpipe show at the Richmond Memorial Library last night. In all, 50 people attended the performance, which included the songs "Scots Wha Hae and "Amazing Grace."

Photos submitted by Craig Gillard.



May 6, 2015 - 1:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, business.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today commented on last night’s passage of legislation to increase the minimum wage. Hawley said the legislation is misguided and does not improve the already suffocating business climate that New York has perpetuated in past years. The 2015-16 State Budget provides no tax or regulatory relief for small businesses or the middle class.  

“As the owner of small businesses for over four decades, I know the struggles of operating in New York’s tax and fine environment,” Hawley said. “I voted against a minimum wage increase because when businesses are legally obligated to pay their employees more, they are therefore able to hire less employees and therefore create less jobs. A more viable option to help taxpayers would be a widespread middle class tax cut, something the Assembly Majority again failed to include in this year’s budget. My district is heavily agriculturally based and a minimum wage hike would jeopardize the ability of farming operations to hire additional employees, especially on an hourly basis. I will continue to support my district’s business interests and alternatives exist that would address the root problem of high taxes and regulations that is hindering our middle class and business community.   

“Furthermore, this bill raises the minimum wage to a much higher rate in New York, Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau counties than the rest of New York State. This is another piece of evidence highlighting the growing disparity between Upstate and Downstate and why we should allow the public to decide if they would support a division of New York into two separate states by passing my legislation, Assembly Bill 4167. New Yorkers deserve this choice now more than ever considering Downstate interests dominate our legislature while the social and economic concerns of millions of Upstate New Yorkers are ignored.”

Hawley is the owner of an insurance agency based in Batavia and the former owner/operator of Hawley Farms. He is a current member of the Farm Bureau’s Circle of Friends and has voted with pro-business groups such as the Business Council and Unshackle Upstate the vast majority of his time in the legislature.

May 6, 2015 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Press release:

On Sunday May 3rd, the New York Conference of Mayor’s (NYCOM) recognized the City of Batavia with a Local Government Achievement Award for its Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Renewal and Rate Plan that was developed and adopted by City Council this past March. Batavia was one of four cities and three villages within New York State to receive awards from NYCOM that demonstrate a significant and innovative project that has improved the quality of life within a community or demonstrates shared services and increasing government efficiency.

Cities and villages across New York are confronted by assets that are deteriorating due to environmental conditions and normal wear and tear. Without proper maintenance and ongoing capital reinvestment, increased failure rates and declining levels of service (e.g., wastewater backups, water service interruptions) will inevitably result. Many communities, particularly in Western and Central New York, have also seen a considerable reduction in water consumption during recent years. Unfortunately, this trend results in diminished revenues and puts pressure on water and wastewater rates.

The City of Batavia developed an Infrastructure Renewal and Rate Plan that identifies the City’s water and wastewater capital needs and associated revenue requirements going forward. Moreover, the Plan responsibly addresses the capital reinvestment requirements of both systems in a manageable and affordable manner.

“Having NYCOM recognize Batavia for our proactive capital planning is an honor and a privilege. We have worked hard to ensure we provide quality services to our residents through cost effective means,” said Brooks Hawley, City Council president. “Having our peers from across the State recognize us for our effort is reassuring that what we are doing in Batavia is right.”

The City Council adopted the proposed Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Renewal and Rate Plan with this year’s budget. The Plan calls for $22 million of capital improvements to the City’s water and wastewater plants and systems while projecting an additional per-user cost of $1 a month.

May 5, 2015 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, Batavia Rotary Club.


The 17th Annual Rotary Baseball Tournament is this Saturday at Dwyer Stadium.

Notre Dame meets Attica at 11 a.m., Batavia and Oakfield-Alabama square off at 1:30 p.m. The consolation game is at 4 p.m. and the championship game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

Coaches and select members of the participating teams attended a luncheon today at the YMCA hosted by the Rotary Club of Batavia.

Pictured are: Jimmy Zittle, Attica, Colden George, Attica, Michael Falitico, Notre Dame, Cal Tygart, Notre Dame, Nick Bauer, Batavia, Ryan Mullen, Batavia, Mitchell Hale, Oakfield, Allen Chatt, Oakfield, Dan Dinsmore, Oakfield.

May 5, 2015 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dairy princess, agriculture.


Emily Mikel, of Pavilion, was crowned 2015 Genesee County Dairy Queen in a ceremony at Genesee Community College on Monday evening.

Tristan Zuber presented Mikel with her crown and sash.

Pictured below in a photo taken by Laura Luft, are Mikel and her court, from left, Rebecca Slattery, Mary Sweeny, Carolyn Sybertz, Georgia Luft and Amelia Brewer.


May 5, 2015 - 1:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Oakfield, Stafford.

A series larcenies from vehicles, along with four vehicle thefts, in Genesee County are under investigation and there is a suspect in at least one stolen vehicle case, according to Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster. 

The first report of a stolen vehicle came in on April 19. A vehicle was stolen from the Park Road area of Batavia. The vehicle was involved in a crash in Rochester and the driver and possible occupants fled the scene. Rochester PD is investigating.

On April 22, two vehicles were reported stolen.

A vehicle was stolen from within the Village of Oakfield. It was involved in a crash in the Town of Hamlin. The suspect or suspects fled the scene. Monroe County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

The most recent reports of thefts were April 29 on Bank Street Road. Along with the larcenies from vehicles, a 2008 Ford Focus, color blue, was reported stolen. There is a suspect in this case. The Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation.

May 5, 2015 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair, fair, business, agriculture.

The Genesee County Fair has gotten better each of the last two years and attendance figures bear that out, Norm Pimm told the County Legislature's Human Services Committee.

Last year, attendance was up 30 percent and fair organizers are taking aim at even more growth in 2015.

"Attendance is up double figures two years in a row," Pimm said. "That doesn't happen if you're not putting on a good product."

This year, there will be new local bands, bigger tractor pulls and a significantly expanded Midway.

The board is planning on nearly doubling the budget for rides, going up to $40,000 this year.

The midway isn't a big money maker for the fair, but a good midway is essential to overall fair attendance. Not everyone is interested in livestock and stock cars.

"When we looking for vendors, we said we had $25,000 to spend and we couldn't even get vendors to call us back," Pimm said. "The ones that did sort of laughed and said 'that's 20 years ago money.' So we realized we had to invest more money into the midway so we had something where people want to come and bring their kids."

The fair runs July 21 through 25.

The county will contribute $11,000 to the 4-H program.

Pimm said the fair's success can also be judged by the number of local businesses supporting the fair, either through donations, sponsorships or taking a booth as a vendor. In all three categories, the fair did better last year than previous years and will at least match that level of participation this year, based on indications so far, Pimm said.

"This is the most active board we've had in years, and it's making a difference," Pimm said.

Pimm is confident that people who haven't been to the fair in recent years, if they come this year, they will have a good time.

"It's just $5 a car load to attend," Pimm said. "Come on, spend your $5 and you won't be disappointed. If you are, come and find a member of the board of directors and we'll give you your $5 back."

May 4, 2015 - 1:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, nature, trees.


Upton Monument


Redfield Parkway


Washington Avenue


Washington Avenue


Centennial Park


State Street


VA Center


Holland Land Office Museum

May 4, 2015 - 1:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Advanced Imaging, business, Genesee Urgent Care, batavia.


There was one bidder at a Sheriff's property seizure auction this morning, Melissa Marsocci, owner of Genesee Urgent Care (formerly Insource Urgent Care).

Three parcels were available in the auction, the result of a judgment against Advanced Imaging won by General Electric. Marsocci bid on two properties.

GE was owned nearly $1 million by Advanced Imaging, according to court records.

Marsocci paid $1 for each of the two properties she won at auction. The Sheriff's office gets a 5-percent fee of the auction, resulting in 10 cents for the county, with $1.80 going to GE.

Marsocci paid cash, but has 24 hours to change her mind.

She will be responsible for $54,000 in taxes owed to the City of Batavia in back taxes if she keeps the two parcels.

The big issue, and what probably kept other bidders away, Marsocci said, is a question of whether other creditors of Advanced Imaging can try to collect judgments against the new property owner.

Over the next day, Marsocci is going to try and determine the answer to that question, which will figure into her decision on whether to keep the property.

If she keeps it, she knows her current business location, 35 City Centre, will be protected from potential eviction if somebody else bought the property.

She will also be able to expand her business into the Advanced Imaging office. She intends to open office space for more medical specialists.

Advanced Imaging owner Mark Zdrojewski attended the auction (top photo, far side of the conference table), but did not register to bid. He refused to comment following the auction and left quickly.


Deputy Ed Vlack accepts the $2 payment from Melissa Marsocci for two parcels of property in City Centre that were auctioned at the Sheriff's Office this morning.

Previously: Public documents reveal deep financial hole for local medical business

May 4, 2015 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.


Myrtle Burrell didn't want her picture taken. She isn't really interested in a news story about her. She only agreed to talk with a reporter because she had been wondering how best to thank all the people in Le Roy who have been such a big help to her these past few months.

The community rallied around Burrell after her husband, Roy, passed away, followed two weeks later by the death of her lone surviving sibling -- one of six, a sister in Poughkeepsie.

Roy and Myrtle moved into their small ranch house, brand new at the time, on Munson Avenue, in 1954. She worked at the Sylvania plant. He worked for Lapp Insulators.  

Eventually, the Sylvania plant closed. Myrtle took a year off, then went to work for the Le Roy PD, first as a dispatcher, then as a crossing guard, a job the 87-year-old Rochester native has now held for 30 years with no plans to quit.

Humble, diminutive, with a lyrical and mellifluous voice, Burrell said she overwhelmed by the generosity being shown her Sunday as a group of high school students and police officers raked leaves and spread mulch in her yard (Bubba's Landscaping donated the mulch).

The spring clean-up was the least they could do for a woman who has given so much to the community, said Officer Eric Miller.

"She's had a great impact keeping kids safe as they go to school in the morning and come back in the afternoon," Miller said. "We just want to give a little back to her."

Student Tom Kelso said he's known Burrell his entire life and understands how much people appreciate her.

"Parents have faith that their kids will get to school safe," Kelso said.

Burrell works three hours and 15 minutes a day on school days, in a morning shift and afternoon shift. 

Until her husband died, she had missed only one day of work (Roy, who worked after his retirement from Lapp at McDonald's on the Thruway, never missed a day of work in 17 years at that job).

"I love the kids," Burrell said. "The kids are really fascinating. They know my rules on that corner. They don't want to hear my whistle."

The love is mutual.

Children of all ages sent her cards and letters after Roy died. From the community, she received flowers, well wishes and assistance of all types -- including awning and gutter repairs after a winter storm damaged her house.

"I just don't know what to say," Burrell said. "It's just been something else. Thank God for neighbors and everyone around here in Le Roy. They've been so good to me."











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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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