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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 10:00 pm

FAQ and Help for The Batavian

post by Howard B. Owens in help, thebatavian

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


Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

Le Roy upends Wayland-Cohocton 54-8

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

As it has all season, Le Roy dominated its opponent in the first round of sectional play Friday night, beating Wayland-Cohocton 54-8.

Tom Kelso scored four touchdowns to help power the Oatkan Knights offensive. Kelso carried the ball 11 times and gained 90 yards.

QB Mike McMullen was 7 for 13 for 85 yards and a TD.

Nate Flint carried the ball 12 times for 66 yards and a TD, and Anthony Natrigo had 12 carries for 63 yards and a TD.

Nick Egeling also scored on the ground, gaining 22 yards on three carries. 

Photos by David Boyce.

Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

Blue Devils end post-season drought by crushing Pal-Mac 47-14

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, football, high school sports, sports

QB Greg Mruczek celebrated Batavia's first home sectional game in 18 years by tossing five touchdown passes, helping the Blue Devils crush Palmyra-Macedon 47-14.

It was pretty much a flawless performance for the junior who hit 13 receivers in 16 attempts for 227 yards without a reception.

Head Coach Brennan Briggs attributes Mruczek's success to hard work.

"He competes every single snap," Briggs said. "He wants to get better. It's not about any of the coaches or anything like that. It's about Greg wanting the ball in his hands and putting in that time and putting in that effort, asking to watch extra film, asking about the defensive coverages."

It helps that he's got some weapons on the wings and in the backfield.

Offensively, the Blue Devils feature three wideouts each with more than six feet in height -- Ryan Hogan, Malachi Chenault and James Cryer -- and speed with Dominick Mogavero, Jarrett Lasket and Anthony Gallo.

Mruczek said the height and athleticism of his receivers makes his job easier.

"I can throw with a lot of confidence with those guys," Mruczek said. "There's a lot of height. I can throw up the ball and they're great athletes. I've got a lot of confidence they're going to make plays."

Cryer led the receiving corps with four caches for 77 yards and three touchdowns.

Mogavero anchored the running game Friday night. He rushed for 124 yards on 24 carries.

"He's the back who has to get some tough yards, but he's also deceiving with the vision that he has," Briggs said. "He finds some holes and gets some big, hard yards for us. Defensively, his nose is always in there. He's a tough kid, a hard-nosed kid. That's how wrestlers are. He's a wrestler and that's how wrestlers are built. Not a big kid, but we have a lot of kids who aren't big or many not have a ton of mass to them, but their hearts are pretty strong."

The Blue Devils will need to call on those big hearts, hard work and focus as they take a big step in the recent history of Batavia's football program -- a second-round playoff game, something that hasn't happened in about 20 years.

Next Saturday they'll face #3 ranked Penn Yan (6-2), coming off a 24-0 victory over Waterloo. 

Even with a record of 7-1, Briggs said the Blue Devils have yet to put together a complete, well-balanced game, but they're getting closer.

That is what it will take to advance.

"We need to tighten up the defense," Briggs said. "We need to be able to run the ball and throw the ball on a given night. We can't just rely on just the passing game or just the running game. We still have to put that all together for us to take that next step."

Top Photo: Cryer with a TD reception.

Trevor Sherwood, another of Batavia's tall receivers, uses his height for a reception in the third quarter.

Malachi Chenault goes up for the ball to haul in a TD reception in the first quarter.

Cryer with a long run after a reception for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Danny Williams scores on a running play.

The Batavia Cheerleaders introduced a new routine at halftime.

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Pok-A-Dot announces co-owner Joe Marone has died

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pok-A-Dot

Joe Marone, left in the file photo above, co-owner and co-founder of the Pok-A-Dot, has died, according to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page.

The picture is from the Pok-A-Dot's 60th anniversary party. On the right is co-owner Phil Pastore, with Pok-A-Dot regular James Pero.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Photos: Today's fall scenes around Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

On a beautiful fall day, I took a little time to drive around Batavia and see if I might be able to make any pictures.

The first two shots are from Richmond Avenue by the Blind School.

North Street.

Bottom three shots, one of my favorite, knarly old trees, on South Jackson.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Photos: Jackson School kindergarteners get visit from Batavia PD as thanks for thank you cards

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD, Jackson School

A few weeks ago, as a writing assignment, a pair of kindergarten classes at Jackson School decided to send cards and a "police survival kit" to Batavia PD officers.

Today, three officers in the department returned the favor by going to the school and showing off their police cars and answering questions about their jobs.

Participating officers were Kevin DeFelice, Mich Cowen and Felicia Degroot.

The police survival kit contained candy and gum.

"We decided to come down and show them we appreciated what they did for us and that we're here for them anytime they need us," DeFelice said.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Photos: Crates of onions on fields of muck

post by Howard B. Owens in mucklands

My father just left after a two-day visit to Batavia. Wednesday, we visited the Holland Land Office Museum, Oliver's and the Batavia Cemetery and then drove down to Letchworth State Park. Yesterday, I gave him a Genesee County ag tour that started at Post Farms, then the mucklands, then Mortellaro Brothers in Elba then Baskin Livestock in Bethany.  

The only pictures I took yesterday were of crates of onions on the mucklands at Torrey Farms property. These, I thought worth sharing.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 4:29 pm

City receives $100K water rescue grant

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

Press release: 

With a $100,000 grant from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the City of Batavia Fire Department will help expand local emergency response teams and first responders throughout the County with equipment and training to reduce and respond to water emergencies.

The money will equip and train all first responders in Genesee County, to include 17 fire departments, five law enforcement agencies and three EMS agencies with water rescue awareness training and a basic water emergency response bag. Attica Fire and Police departments were also included with this grant.

In addition, this grant will also allow the City Fire Department to provide an annual water safety seminar for Genesee County residents to include topics such as: pool safety, open water safety, flooded road safety and what resources are available in Genesee County if you have an emergency.

“In our rural setting it is most likely that a police officer will arrive on location first,” said Lieutenant Bob Fix of the City Fire Department and Special Operations officer responsible for securing the grant. “With the basic kit and training supplied by this grant, an officer will be equipped with the knowledge and equipment to call for more advanced help and to try and effect a safe shore-based rescue.”

The City has been providing some level of water rescue protection for more than 50 years with minimal training and mostly donated equipment. Recent events in the City and Genesee County over the past several years have prompted more training and better equipment in order to provide adequate and safe response to residents.

City Fire Chief Jim Maxwell said, “We are pleased to have been awarded this grant through the New York State Homeland Security Program. These funds will be utilized by City Fire and Genesee County first responders to enhance water rescue response capabilities across the county. We would like thank the 24 area fire, EMS, and police agencies for their support of this initiative which will provide basic water rescue kits to emergency response vehicles throughout the county.”

All fire departments in Genesee County participate in the Genesee County Mutual Aid Plan. While the City of Batavia Fire Department will be the technician-level responders, it is important that local first responders throughout the county are trained and equipped for the initial response. A tiered-response partnership not only dramatically increases the capabilities countywide, but does it safely and effectively using manpower from throughout the county.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Batavia HS JV finishes 7-0 while varsity hosts sectional playoff game tonight

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, high school sports, sports

The Batavia Blue Devils JV team recorded another undefeated season with a victory yesterday evening over Le Roy, 29-16.

The varsity squad opens post season play tonight with a quarterfinals sectional playoff at home against Pal-Mac (3-4). Batavia enters sectionals with a 6-1 record and the #2 seed in Class B.

Le Roy, the #1 ranked Class C team in the state, opens sectional play with a home game against Wayland-Cohocton (2-5).

Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

Tomorrow in Class D, #6 seed Elba/Byron-Bergen (4-3) travels to Bath (6-1) for a 5 p.m. game against the #3 seed.  

In Class DD tomorrow, Alexander (5-2 and the #2 seed) plays Avon (5-2 and the #3 seed). The game is in Honeoye Falls at 4 p.m.

Reader submitted photo.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Man with pocketknife in State Street area leads to lock down at two local schools

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

The initial call sounded more serious than it turned out to be said Rob Yaeger, assistant chief, Batavia PD. 

Multiple law enforcement units responded 2:40 p.m. to Willow and State streets for the report of some sort of conflict involving a man with a knife.

The man reportedly ran west on Willow and went into a garage.

The knife turned out to be a pocketknife.

The incident also led to a lockdown at Batavia HS.  Students were kept inside the building for about 20 minutes.

The Lutheran school on Washington Avenue was also placed on lockdown, according to police.

Several Batavia patrol units responded along with Deputy Chris Erion and his K-9 Destro (seen above after Destro's work at the scene was done and he was rewarded with a little play time).

Batavia PD, Erion and Destro along with state troopers were just completing a planned exercise at the high school when the call to Willow Street came in, according to Principal Scott Wilson.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

American Legion grave marker stolen from cemetery in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

An American Legion grave marker, presumably bronze, has been reported stolen from the burial place of a veteran in the Machpelah Cemetery, 77 North St., Le Roy.

Le Roy PD responding to investigate.

Previously: Thieves steal hundreds of bronze markers from the graves of veterans in Byron-Bergen area

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 9:25 am

Sponsored Post: Dramatic reading of Sleepy Hollow at HLOM

Sponsored Post: Donated to the Holland Land Office Museum by The Batavian.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

Car hits tree on Main Road, Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke

Injuries are reported after a car hit a tree in the area of 954 Main Road, Pembroke.

Only one vehicle is involved in the accident.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched, with one engine requested from Corfu.

Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: National grid requested to the scene.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 8:38 am

Law and Order: Man accused of punching patron at bar in Elba

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

Samuel Christopher Dilcher, 31, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, is charged with assault, 3rd. Dilcher is accused of punching a patron in the face at the Stumblin Inn in Elba causing the person to require medical attention, including several stitches. Dilcher was issued an appearance ticket.

Justin David Moscato, 21, of Riddle Road, Lockport, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs and uninspected motor vehicle. Moscato was arrested following a citizen complaint of a person staggering around a vehicle at 12:55 p.m. Wednesday at a location on Hopkins Road, Pembroke.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 8:11 am

Law and Order: Batavia man accused of cashing forged checks

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Benjamin J. Bullard, 27, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. Bullard is accused of cashing forged checks at Five Star Bank. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

Sarah E. Hughes, 22, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hughes is accused of threatening another person who was walking down Walnut Street at 2:40 p.m. Monday.

Katherine Schaeffer Thomas, 41, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with unnecessary noise. Thomas is accused of playing music loud enough to disturb her neighbors at 12:12 a.m. Friday.

Kimberly M. Douglas, 32, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with public appearance under the influence of drugs and endangering the welfare of a child. Douglas was allegedly under the influence of suboxone while with her children at a public place at 5:22 a.m. Saturday.

Samuel F. Russo, 33, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Russo turned himself in following an alleged domestic incident at 2:31 a.m. Saturday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 8:01 am

Arrest made in case of stolen calves

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, Stafford
Janet Knauss

A former Le Roy resident has been charged with four counts of burglary and one count of grand larceny for allegedly stealing calves from local farms.

Janet M. Knauss, 49, of Caledonia, is accused of stealing 16 calves during four separate burglaries in July.

The calves were valued at $3,164.

Investigators contend that Knauss stole the calves and raised the calves and other livestock at a location in the Town of Stafford.  

Four calves were reportedly recovered at that location and returned to the owner. The other calves were allegedly sold at auction and not recovered.

Following her arrest and arraignment, Knauss was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Conducting the investigation were Investigator Timothy Weis and deputies Brad Mazur, Howard Carlson, John Duyssen and Chad Minuto.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Former Corfu clerk who stole $10K in court funds close to dismissal of conviction

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime

After a year on probation that a prosecutor described as "stellar," a former Corfu court clerk who admitted to stealing more than $10,000 in court funds has another year of good behavior and substance abuse rehab to complete before her criminal record is wiped clean.

A year ago, Brandi Watts entered a guilty plea to one of the 64 counts on a grand jury indictment -- first-degree tampering with public records -- and was placed on interim probation with the understanding that if she made restitution, got help with substance abuse, and stayed out of trouble, she could have the felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor.

Then, if she did well for another year -- the year coming up -- she could have that charge dismissed under what's known as a conditional discharge.

"Everything we've heard from the probation department indicates a stellar probation report, so we came back today and she was given the benefit of the bargain that she negotiated back last October," said Eric Schiener, an assistant district attorney in Wyoming County, who was filling in for Donald O'Geen, the special prosecutor in the case.

Schiener spoke with reporters following a short hearing in County Court, where neither Watts nor her attorneys made a statement. One of her three attorneys told reporters the legal team had no comment on the case.

Watts should have completed a rehab program through Horizon, Noonan said, but through no fault of Watts, she never got into the program and is now slated to complete a program with GCASA. As a requirement of her conditional discharge, Watts must successfully complete the GCASA program. She must also refrain from using illegal or unauthorized drugs and not break the law.

She's already made restitution. 

The theft of court funds came to light in a state comptroller's audit and was a significant event in more than 24 months of turmoil in Village of Corfu government, which eventually led to the resignation of Mayor Ralph Peterson.

Watts is the daughter of Robert Alexander, who was a village judge while Watts was court clerk. Alexander was charged with official misconduct and coercion. Those charged were dropped as part of the plea agreement with Watts, and Alexander had to resign as Town of Pembroke justice (he was already out of office in Corfu).

Noonan said Watts appeared to be on the right course, but told her, "I certainly hope you have learned your lesson from this event. You took a responsible job and totally abrogated your responsibility in that job, lost that job and created a lot of havoc in a lot of people's lives."

From the special prosecutor's point of view, Schiener said the disposition of the case is an appropriate outcome:

"It was a negotiated plea bargain agreement. Given the facts of the case, the facts and circumstances of the crime, the goals of the criminal justice system were all met here. Someone who obviously had a substance problem that may have been the primary factor in her commission of crime, she's addressed it. She did well on probation for a year, so she's receiving the benefit of that bargain."

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