Quantcast
Skip to main content

Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 9:00 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.

 

Monday, March 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Site Selection Magazine recognizes Batavia for 11th straight year as top micropolitan area

post by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC

Press release:

For the 11th consecutive year Site Selection Magazine has recognized Batavia/Genesee County as one of the Top Micropolitans in the United States. Among the criteria for receiving the recognition includes capital investment and job creation. Through the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), approximately $58.07 million in new capital investments were made in the county creating more than 140 new jobs in 2014.

“Throughout 2014, we continued to see tremendous growth in Genesee County as a result of our strategic business attraction and expansion efforts to generate capital investment and create more job opportunities,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “Further development of the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), among several other shovel-ready sites, will remain a top priority on our agenda as we move forward into 2015.”

In 2014 the GCEDC achieved 20 project “wins,” and celebrated the $20 million expansion of Yancey’s Fancy, one of Western New York’s most prominent food manufacturing companies. Yancey’s investment will result in a new 112,000-square-foot building at the Buffalo East Technology Park in Pembroke and will create 50 new jobs in the region. Other significant projects the GCEDC assisted with were the expansion of Liberty Pumps in Bergen and US Gypsum in Oakfield.

The ranking of Top Micropolitans is based on cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county. To make the rankings, the projects must be at least $1 million in value, employ at least 50 people, or involve construction of at least 20,000 square feet. There are approximately 576 micropolitans in the United States according to Site Selection Magazine. Batavia was tied for fourth place in the national rankings.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center will unveil its 2014 annual report highlighting its project “wins” at the organization’s annual meeting on Friday, March 6th, at noon at Batavia Downs.

Monday, March 2, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Winter weather advisory issued for Tuesday

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Centennial Park, weather

It's been a bit nasty out today, but at least it's not sub-zero.

There's more winter weather on the way, too.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a winter weather advisory for noon Tuesday to 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The forecast is for a mix of snow and freezing rain and sleet. 

Snow accumulations of one to two inches and ice of a tenth of an inch.  

Visibilty will be less than a mile at times.

Caution when traveling is advised.

Top Photo: Ray Tortorice walks his Cub Cadet on Trumbull Parkway to clear snow from his walk and his neighbor's walk this afternoon. Bottom photo: a tree in Centennial Park.

Monday, March 2, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Law and Order: Le Roy man accused of wielding snow shovel following noise complaints

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

Luis A. Castro Maldonado, 21, of 27 E. Main St., Le Roy, is charged with assault, 2nd. During the early morning hours, Sunday, Le Roy PD was dispatched on two separate occasions to an excessive noise complaint at 27 E. Main St., Le Roy. Later, police were dispatched to investigate an alleged assault. Castro Maldonado is accused of hitting a person in the face with a snow shovel. The alleged victim suffered cuts and was treated at the scene by Le Roy Ambulance. Castro Maldonado was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Allysa L. Castro, 22, of 91 S. Main St., Perry, is charged with harassment, 2nd. During the incident reported above, Castro allegedly struck another person in the hand and then punched that person in the face.

Gerald L. Barber, 40, of 143 Jackson St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, refusal to take breath test, driver's view obstructed and side window/rear window not transparent. Barber was stopped by Le Roy PD on an alleged tinted window violation. He was jailed on $250 bail.

A 16-year-old resident of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th, unlawful possession of marijuana, endangering the welfare of a child, obstructing governmental administration and aggravated DWI/drugs with a child in the vehicle. Police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Washington Avenue at 6 p.m., Thursday. When approached, all occupants attempted to flee. The driver was apprehended and found allegedly impaired by marijuana and in possession of marijuana. There was a 14-year-old youth allegedly in the vehicle. All of the other occupants have been identified. (Name of the youth withheld by Batavia PD).

A 16-year-old resident of Dellinger Avenue is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th, and endangering the welfare of a child. The youth was allegedly involved in the incident above (name withheld by Batavia PD).

Rene N. Brochu, 31, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, is charged with failure to appear. Brochu allegedly failed to appear on a traffic ticket issued Jan. 14. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Joshua E. Blue, 28, of McKinley Avenue, Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. Batavia PD responded at 1:55 a.m. Sunday to a report of a large fight at 345 W. Main St., Batavia, and Blue allegedly tried to physically interfere with an officer making an arrest of another person. Blue was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Tabatha Holly Clark, 29, of Telephone Road, Le Roy, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and drugs. Clark was arrested based on the return of a toxicology report just completed that stemmed from a police response at 12:30 a.m. Dec. 12 to a report of a woman sleeping in a running vehicle on Willow Street for two hours.

Alexandra R. Lasky, 24, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. Lasky turned himself in to Batavia PD and posted $200 police bail.

Kirk D. Baker, 27, of Center Street, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, reckless driving, no headlights and failure to keep right. Police received two complaints of a possible DWI at 7:59 p.m. Thursday. Baker's vehicle was stopped on Ellicott Street by officer Devon Pahuta. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Marquis D. Flowers, 22, of Frost Avenue, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge. He was held in jail pending his next court appearance.

Sarah M. Wilson, 30, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Wilson was arrested on a report received by police at 1:27 a.m. Feb. 5. No further details released.

Destiny N. Green, 18, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a trespass charge. Green was arrested at her residence. She posted $100 bail.

Richard Allen Townley, 38, of Francis Road, Bethany, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to stop at stop sign and no/inadequate directional signals. Townley was stopped at 1:23 a.m. Sunday on Francis Road, Bethany, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Chandler James Wingling, 18, of Ellicott Street, Pavilion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Wingling was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop at 4:01 p.m. Feb. 20 on Route 77, Darien, by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Jessica Lynn Hoff, 35, of Knapp Road, Akron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, no front license plate, broken windshield and insufficient tail lamps. Hoff was stopped at 1:34 a.m. Thursday on Route 77, Darien, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Thomas Michael Kunes, 45, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and no/inadequate headlights. Kunes was stopped at 7:27 p.m. Saturday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Jacob Wendell Cole, 30, of Wiscoy Road, Portageville, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and driver's view obstructed. Cole was stopped at 1:27 p.m. Feb. 25 on Route 77, Pembroke, for alleged traffic violations by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Cole was allegedly found in possession of 1,400 untaxed cigarettes.

Jovenia Ann Corcoran, 52, of River Street, Hornell, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and speeding (59 mph in 40 mph zone). Corcoran was stopped at 11:53 a.m. Wednesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Corcoran was allegedly found in possession of 3,400 untaxed cigarettes.

Thomas James Rose, 19, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and petit larceny. Rose is accused of stealing checks and a debit card.

Pamela B. Crespo, 19, of Newark, N.J., is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd. Crespo was arrested by State Police at College Village.

Michael J. Maniscalco, 27, of Greece, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Maniscalco was arrested by State Police in the Town of Le Roy.

Monday, March 2, 2015 at 8:54 am

Today's Poll: What color is the dress?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls

New York Times: The White and Gold (No, Blue and Black!) Dress That Melted the Internet

Answer this question later today on the smartphone app Reacht for a chance to win a $5 gift certificate from Southside Deli. To download Reacht on your smartphone, click here.

Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Six years in and The Batavian is going strong

post by Howard B. Owens in advertisement, business, Sponsored Post, thebatavian

Six years ago, there were critics who gave us six months.

I heard it in Batavia and read it from pundits online.

When Billie and I assumed ownership of The Batavian, the site had three sponsors and hadn't yet cracked 2,400 visitors in a day. There were naysayers who thought we were foolish to sell our home in Pittsford and rent a tiny duplex on Maple Street and pretend we could be local online news publishers in Batavia.

That was March 1, 2009.

Today, thanks to the support of our readers, we have more than 140 sponsors and employ three people (including our editor for the Wyoming County Free Press).

Last week, we had 12,000 visitors to The Batavian every day. That's normal now, and on big news days we're well over 15,000 visitors and sometimes as high as 20,000.

In a county with a population of only 57,000 people, we get 120,000 visitors to the site per month, who visit the site 550,000 times per month. (Source for these numbers is our Google Analytics account, which tells us nearly 60 percent of that traffic comes from within Genesee County, with the bulk of the rest coming from the rest of Western New York (likely local residents checking us out while at work.)

Those might seem like staggering numbers, or perhaps not. There are sites online where those traffic numbers would be considered abysmal, so some context is needed.

We get context by comparing our traffic with the local news organization we consider our competitor, the Batavia Daily News.

The chart above comes from a site called Quantcast, which measures the traffic of both TheBatavian.com and TheDailyNewsOnline.com.

The top line is The Batavian, which covers only one county, and the bottom line is the Batavia Daily News, which counts as its market area three counties (Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans).

Billie and I are really proud of how people in Genesee County have embraced The Batavian as the go-to local news source. The spikes in the chart above especially illustrated how important we are to local readers when there is breaking news.

Quantcast says in the past 30 days, The Batavian has had 127,000 unique visitors (kind of like counting individual computers that visit the site) compared to 99,000 for the Batavia Daily News. We've had 663,081 visits (counts people visiting multiple times) compared to 422,000 for the Batavia Daily News.

Marketers use a term called Defined Market Area to measure audience for media companies, and Genesee County is divided between Buffalo and Rochester. Our traffic in the Buffalo DMA was 64,566 people and for Rochester, 23,785. For the Batavia Daily News, the numbers are 37,694 and 18,702.

While it's gratifying to compare ourselves to our competition and see we're on top, that's not the real point here. As I go around town, I get asked all the time, "How's The Batavian doing?" This is how we're doing.

More than our raw traffic numbers, those comparisons speak volumes about how The Batavian has been accepted and embraced by Genesee County residents.

It also puts our success in context on a larger stage. There are, at best, only a handful of online-only news sites in the United States that have achieved our level of success in readership and local business support. I don't even know of a newspaper in a comparable market that matches The Batavian's online success with its Web site.

Publications that cover media are full of pundits who pontificate on the failure of local news media and are self-assured that the Internet destroys the audience for local news. The numbers for The Batavian demonstrate, I think, how wrong those proclamations are. People do want local news, and if they get it in a style and format they like, they will flock to it.

Billie and I are grateful for your support. We're transplants from Southern California who have come to love Western New York and enjoy our life in Batavia. We're excited about our community's future and prospects for growth and intend to do all we can to be a supporter of an ever more vibrant and successful community.

Of course, we wouldn't be in business without the support of our sponsors, but there again, we need to thank our readers. You all have been most generous in supporting our sponsors. We continually get rave reviews from sponsors who are pleased with the results they get from their ads on The Batavian. Please continue to support the local and regional businesses who so graciously support The Batavian.

On the sponsorship front, we've promoted Lucie Ann Griffis to an expanded sales territory to include Genesee County, so if you have a local business and are ready to experience a great way to market your business, call Lucie at our office, (585) 250-4118.

Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Mother pouring herself into caring for her son who suffered serious injuries in Bethany accident

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

There's no certainty for Brandon Danser and his family, except that doctors say he's past the point where he's likely to die from injuries he sustained Feb. 21 when the car he was riding in was hit by a semi-truck on Route 20 in Bethany.

Danser suffered traumatic injuries in the accident and remains in the intensive care unit at Strong Memorial Hospital.

He will need months, perhaps years, of neurological care. Perhaps, he will never fully recover.

Brandon's mother, Karin Meyer, has been living in Seattle with her husband, Dan Meyer, and their foster children.

Dan Meyer said this afternoon that his wife is holding up as well as can be expected, that she's pouring everything she has into caring for her son, and holds out hope for his recovery.

"It's an emotional roller coaster," Meyer said. "We have to deal with what might happen, and then this that happened and each new piece of news and each improvement is a step in the right direction. We're getting past the point where his life is in danger and that was the first relief after that initial shock. After that, each improvement is really a positive thing."

Brandon is showing improvement. He can answer short questions, though there are times he can't remember people. He spends more time out of bed and sitting in a recliner.

"He has shown good success picking up and tossing a Nerf ball, which is another major improvement," Meyer said. "He is not able to stand on his own but when supported on each side he has been able to take tentative steps and move across the room. He has good hand and arm motion and has been generous squeezing hands and giving out hugs."

The emotional roller coaster hasn't stopped since Karin received that early morning phone call Feb. 21 with the horrible news of the accident.

She got on the first flight East she could book and when she arrived at Strong and walked into Brandon's room, he was still completely unresponsive, Dan said.

"When she's away from Brandon, she gets a chance to release those emotions," Meyer said. "She gets time to recharge and even think about eating and sleeping for herself."

Meyer joined his wife in Rochester yesterday after making arrangements for their foster children in Seattle. He's here to provide the care for her she needs as she cares for her son, Meyer said.

It's a completely open question as to how long Karin will need to be in Rochester.

Doctors don't yet know when Brandon might be released from ICU. The most likely next step for Brandon is in-patient care at Unity Hospital's Restorative Neurology and Rehabilitation Center in Rochester. When he's able to be flown to another location, he could be taken to the Mayo Clinic, or he could return with Karin and Dan to Seattle.

Any scenario will be difficult for the family.

Out of concern for her sister's well-being and the financial stress of her family, Marianne Bowen has set up a GoFundMe.com page, Help Brandon Heal, with an initial goal of raising $10,000, though Bowen thinks the family's financial needs will far exceed $10,000.

"My sister believes, she hopes he will be back but there is a lot of work ahead of him," Bowen said.

The accident is such a tragedy, Bowen said. It's still unclear what happened. The driver, Hannah Dibble, was the designated driver and wasn't drinking, according to information given to Bowen. Brandon was wearing a seat belt, but still ejected from the vehicle when it was struck.

The Sheriff's Office investigation is being supervised by Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster (Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble is the great uncle of Hannah Dibble, so he recused himself from the investigation), and Brewster said late this week there are still no conclusions to share. There have been no charges filed or citations issued.

In all, six people were in the little brown 1997 Geo Prism driven by Dibble when it crossed Route 20 on a dark, bitterly cold morning from northbound Molasses Hill Road.

Of the six, Brandon was seriously injured and 18-year-old Alyson D. Krzanak died of injuries sustained in the accident. Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, was seriously injured, but is now listed in satisfactory condition at Strong. Felicia Fazzio, 20, of Darien, was also hospitalized, but her condition is not available. Dibble was treated and released at ECMC and Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, of Pembroke, was treated at the scene and released.

Last night, members of the Pembroke community held a vigil for Krzanak. Visit The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM, for a report.

Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 12:28 am

Batavia dominates Wayne to advance in sectional playoffs

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

The Batavia Blue Devils had no difficulty tonight knocking off Wayne in a second-round Section V Class A2 playoff game at BHS tonight. The 75-45 win sets Batavia (17-2) up for a semi-final match Wednesday evening at Blue Cross Arena againt College Prep (15-4).

Tonight, Jeff Redband scored 28 points, Malachi Chenault, 17, and Jarrett Laskett, 11.

Notre Dame also won tonight, beating Lyndonville 77-55 in the Class D1 playoff game. Notre Dame (13-7) faces Mt. Morris (12-8) on Wednesday at a location to be determined.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Byron-Bergen tops Notre Dame in hard fought girls hoops playoff game

It was a nifty little move under the basket, a no-look reverse layup from Byron-Bergen's Abbie Kelley. The kind of play good players make.

In this case, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Head Coach Rick Krzewinski said it was perhaps the difference maker in the game.

The Lady Bees got to that point by allowing Notre Dame to go on an 11-0 run at the start of the third quarter to erase a 10-point lead for Byron-Bergen in the Section V Class C1 playoff game.

The reverse of fortunes had a familiar ring to the Bees, who lost a home game earlier this season to the Fighting Irish after blowing a first-half lead.

Krzewinski told his players in the locker room at the half, "looks familiar doesn't it?"

One of his girls said, "don't even talk about it."

"Oh, we're going to talk about it," Krzewinski told his team, "because we're not going to let happen what happened last time."

The Bees apparently got the message, and Kelley's nifty basket provided the spark they needed to beat back Notre Dame's momentum.

"Players make plays and that was the perfect time for it," Krzewinski said. "We got our composure back, I thought, and started hitting some shots."

That basket and a three possession change of defense to a 2-3 zone, seemed to break the rhythm of the Irish girls.

Kelley, who has 393 points on the year, did more to carry her team than drop that one score. She was the game's leading scorer with 23. Nobody else on her team was in double digits.

"Today was Bergen's day," said Irish Head Coach Dave Pero. "In the fourth quarter, Abbie Kelley took the game over. We missed way too many free throws. We probably missed 14 free throws (10, actually) and in sectional play, in any game, you can't miss 14 free throws and think you're going to struggle to win. Sometimes you'll get lucky, but the luck of the Irish wasn't with us today."

B-B's diamond defense held Notre Dame's top two scorers to totals a shave below their season PPG averages. Becca Krenzer had 12 points and Shea Norton, 11.

Emma Francis didn't hit a single three and was held to seven points for the game.

"We had the shots we wanted," Pero said. "You have days when they're not going to go in and today was one of those days. But we fought to get back in third quarter and I don't know if we ran out of gas a little bit, we might have, but I've got to take my hat off to Bergen. They played a great basketball game. They played for 32 minutes and that's why they're moving on and we're not."

The Bees had 13 days off before the game and Krzewinski said the team used that time to work on the diamond defense thinking it would be effective against Notre Dame.

"We were hoping maybe we could force some turnovers, worst case maybe slow them down," Krzewinski said. "I thought the girls worked it well and the message was, it will work if you move and they moved. We got out of it what I wanted."

It's been 2008 since Byron-Bergen beat Notre Dame in a girls basketball game, and the Irish seem to be a chief rival for just about every team they play.  The win certainly made Bees fans happy, who whooped it up in the closing seconds of the game.

"Yeah, everybody wants to beat Notre Dame, obviously,"  Krzewinski said. "Year in and year out they're a team that everybody wants to beat and to be able to do this in a sectional game just makes it really sweet. I'm so proud of the way they (his team) played and hung in there and did this. I don't even know what to say."

Next up for Byron-Bergen, the #3 seed in the tournament, is #2 seed Gananda (16-3) at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at a location to be determined.

Pembroke, also a C1 team, lost today to East Rochester.

Oakfield-Alabama and Alexander also lost playoff games today, leaving Byron-Bergen, Batavia and Elba as the three Genesee County girls basketball teams still alive in the postseason. All three have games scheduled for Tuesday.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 10:35 pm

Kitchen fire reported at College Village

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, College Village, fire

A kitchen fire is reported at College Village.

Batavia fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

The call was first dispatched as an automatic alarm of fire. A minute later the dispatcher came on with "updated information" and said there is a confirmed kitchen fire, confirmed via the alarm company.

UPDATE 10:36 p.m.: Alexander's Fast Team dispatched to College Village.

UPDATE 10:38 p.m.: Security reports the fire may be out, but responding units asked to continue.

UPDATE 10:40 p.m.: Alexander can stand down.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Joe Scanlan plans to retire from Notre Dame at end of the school year

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, education, Le Roy, Notre Dame, schools

Dr. Joe Scanlan, a man with the steady, gentle temperament of a parish priest, is stepping away from a job he loves in a few months.

Appropriately enough, for the past 11 years, Scanlan has been principal of Notre Dame High School, the private Catholic school on Union Street in Batavia.

"It takes a lot of energy to do this job," Scanlan said. "I pretty much do everything here except business. And you wouldn't want me to be the business manager. Tommy Rapone does a nice job. In addition to being principal, you're talking admissions, recruitment, pubic relations, newsletter and all the rest of the stuff. It's time to give somebody else a chance."

Scanlan's tenure at Notre Dame caps a 47-year career in education, which includes 15 at Byron-Bergen as a history teacher, assistant principal and principal, and 11 years as principal at York Central School.

Scanlan has found it particularly rewarding to shepherd area teens through their preparatory education at his own alma mater.

"I love it here, especially the kids," Scanlan said. "It's a great group of kids here. There's great kids in every school, so it's not just Notre Dame, but the students here are special group. They're pretty gritty. They're competitive, but they're respectful."

There are 170 students in grades 9-12 at Notre Dame. When the seniors graduate this spring, it will be Scanlan's final graduation with the school, it will also be the 50th anniversary year of his own class's graduation.

It's tradition for classes to be invited back for the graduation ceremony on their 50th anniversary, so Scanlan is hoping he'll see a lot of his former classmates.

Scanlan said the school board already has a number of qualified candidates who have expressed interest in the job.

There is also a $5 million capital campaign under way at the school, so the next principal will have plenty to do from the first day on the job.

As for Scanlan's own plans he says, "right now the plan is to have no plan."

He has a son and granddaughter living in Cleveland and more time to travel will mean more time with his family.

He plans to continue living in Le Roy.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 8:52 am

Lady Blue Devils keep shooting on way to 46-37 playoff win over Geneva

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

The law of averages was bound to catch up with the Lady Panthers in their Friday night Section V playoff match with the Lady Blue Devils in Batavia.

Yes, Maddie McCulley, Sam Cecere and Tiara Filbert were held to only nine points combined in the first half, but they were getting open looks. If they kept shooting, shots would fall.

That's just what happens when good shooters keep shooting.

McCulley finished the night with 17 points, including a trio of threes in the fourth quarter, and Filbert notched 13 points and Cecere added seven as Batavia pulled away for a 46-37 to advance to the Class A2 semifinals at 8 p.m., Tuesday, in Mendon.

"Tiara had a bad first half, Maddy had a bad first half, Sam had a bad first half, yet were were behind by only three," said Head Coach Marty Hein. "There was never a time with these girls where we thought we would be only at 15 at half time. We told them, 'just keep shooting.' "

There was a time midway through the third quarter when the game had that feel of one that was slipping away.

Batavia trailed by 11, 26-15.

Successive baskets from McCulley, Filbert and Abby Allien, tightened the score.

A switch to a 3/4 quarter pressure defense got Geneva off balance and created some turnovers.

Suddenly with 18 seconds left in the quarter it was a different game.

Taylor Stefaniak, who finished with five points, sunk a crucial free throw (top photo) to tie the score and the Lady Panthers would never be out in front again.

To win, Batavia had to overcome a Geneva team led by senior Mia Morrison, 313 points on the year, 161 rebounds, 36 assists, 21 steals and 13 blocked shots and the athletic ability to dominate a game.

The job of slowing her down went to Filbert.

"She's definitely their star," Hein said. "We just wanted her to work from one end of the floor to the other. The first half we played a lot of man and put Tiara on her. We were joking around with Buddy Brasky (Batavia's boys head coach) the other day, about whether Tiara could even handle playing at the boys' level. When she guards you, it's intense."

The assignment helped get Filbert in foul trouble in the third quarter, so Hein switched the defense to give Filbert some help, but left his own star in the game.

"Tiara can play smart with four fouls," Hein said. "She knows, fine, let the girl score a layup, she's more valuable on the floor than on the bench."

It was an unorthodox approach that Hein stuck with when Cecere was whistled for a fourth time with about four minutes left in the game.

He didn't lift his junior center, either.

"Most of the time you sit somebody, they're in foul trouble and you sit them for almost a whole quarter and then they never get a foul the rest of the game, so it's like, go ahead and let them play, if it happens it happens," Hein said.  "It's such a close game. It's a live and die game. We lose and we're done. We win, we move on to the next step, so we'll go out swinging, I guess."

Pittsford-Mendon in the semis is going to be another tough matchup.

Like Batavia, the Lady Vikings are 15-4, but Mendon also held Batavia to 33 points in the second game of the season, in the Blue Devils' most lopsided loss of the year, 54-33.

The Vikings feature three players in triple figures in scoring (Alley Phillips, 232, Darby Kreienberg, 159, Emily Sullivan, 139).

Even so, Hein likes his team, which he believes has really come together well over the course of the season.

"Mendon really took it to us in the second game of the season," Hein said. "We were good and played with them in the first half, but we got shelled in the second half. Our team has a whole different identity from the beginning of the year to where we're at now. Todd Julien is a great coach. Mendon has some great basketball players, but I like mine, too. We'll give them heck on Tuesday."

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm

James Tripp honored as state's top emergency dispatcher

post by Howard B. Owens in Emergency Dispatch

Press release:

Genesee County Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher James E. Tripp has been selected by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute to receive its 2014 “Emergency Communicators Award.” The award was presented to Senior Dispatcher Tripp at the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Conference held in Albany this week.

Senior Dispatcher Tripp was nominated by Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha because he has exhibited an exceptional degree of dedication and commitment to the professional fulfillment of his duties during his 21 years of service. Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Tripp started his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office as a part-time dispatcher on July 12, 1993. On January 6, 1996, Jim was appointed a full-time, permanent dispatcher and pursuant to a change in Civil Service Rules and Regulations, his title was changed to Emergency Services Dispatcher on June 7, 1999. On May 23, 2008, Jim was appointed a Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher.

As a Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher, Jim is in charge of a shift at the Genesee County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), under the supervision and administration of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. He is also a certified Communications Training Officer (CTO) and has trained several new dispatchers during his tenure with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Jim has also taken on additional duties over the years including: Terminal Access Coordinator for NYSPIN and the Integrated Justice Portal; PSAP Accreditation; and he serves as a Telecommunications Emergency Response Team Leader. Jim is the recipient of two Commendation Awards, one Meritorious Service Award and was twice awarded the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Distinguished Service Award (2001 & 2011). 

He is respected by his peers and colleagues and is a leader in the field of emergency dispatching. Jim and his wife, Terry, have three children and three grandchildren. Two of his children are also emergency service dispatchers with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Too cold for too long

post by Howard B. Owens in Emergency Dispatch, weather

Every evening the on-duty fire dispatcher comes on-air at 1800 hours with a time check, temperature and any fire service announcements.

Tonight the dispatcher informed us "current temperature is 91 degrees," but as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she corrected herself.

"Nine degrees."

Wishful thinking, maybe?

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Sheriff's Office annual report for 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office

Here are some statistical highlights from the annual report of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office for 2014:

There were 28,518 total calls for service.

Jail Bureau: Total bookings, 1,200. Highest single day population, 57; lowest, 54; average female population (housed at other facilities) 16.6; total meals served 75,987; inmate food expenses, $124,279.30; inmate medical expenses, $221,114.58.

Civil Bureau: Subpoenas served, 560; family court summons, 1,220; evictions, 123

Road Patrol: Training hours, 5,346

Warrant Activity: 345 cleared; 11 out-of-state warrant arrests

Safe Child IDs processed: 267

DWI arrests: 165; 58 were between midnight and 3 a.m.; 50 were on Saturdays, 40 on Sundays; 128 arrestees were male; 80 were age 21 to 35; nine were underage, including two under age 18; 35 were with a BAC of .18 or higher; 32 were felony DWI; 17 were ability impaired by drugs; 17 refused breath test; there was one BAC at least .31.

There were five fatal accidents in 2014. 

There were 206 personal injury accidents handled by the Sheriff's Office, 475 property damage accidents and eight involving pedestrians or bicyclists. Of the accidents, 114 were hit-and-run.

There were 579 motor-vehicle accidents involving animals.

Fifty-three of the accidents reported involved alcohol, and of the accidents, 560 resulted in arrests.

Of the fatal accidents, only one involved alcohol.

There were 321 citations issued involving vehicle inspection or insurance violations. 

Total equipment violations: 364

License and registration: 717

There were 857 citations issued for moving violations. Of those, 258 for disobeying traffic control device, 92 for failure to keep right, 42 for driving left of pavement markings, 89 for moving from lane unsafely, 61 for following too closely, and 94 for failure to stop for stop sign.

In all, 947 speeders were cited.

There were 403 total alcohol-related violations.

The total number of seat belt violations, 194, with 18 related to improper restraints for a child.

The total DWI arrests included 37 felony arrests and 122 misdemeanor arrests.

On the criminal front, there were 180 felony charges against arrestees, 503 misdemeanors and 1,036 violations.

Charges included 152 for burglary, 102 for criminal mischief, 103 for grand larceny, 137 for harassment, 319 for larceny, 343 for liquor law violations, 138 for unlawful possession of marijuana.

The office took 182 non-criminal reports, 437 domestic incident reports and 86 mental health complaints.

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Ninth-grader with BHS attending National Young Leaders Conference

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, education, schools

Press release:

Jay Lewis might be only 14 years old but he is full of ambition and has many aspirations. Jay, a ninth-grader who attends Batavia High School, was recently selected to attend the National Young Leaders State Conference. This conference will take place in Boston in April.

During this four-day conference, Jay will come together with students from schools located all throughout the Northeastern United States. These students will focus on a curriculum that is specially designed to develop essential leadership, communication, networking, decision-making, conflict resolution and critical thinking skills.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and I hope to learn how work with people in order to become a better leader. These are skills that you need throughout your whole life,” Jay explained.

Eric R. Knapp, an eighth-grade school counselor at Batavia Middle School, nominated Jay.

“Jay is a young person with exceptional character and values,” Knapp said. "During his years at the Middle School he was polite, respectful and was a fantastic role model for other students. He had a quiet demeanor about him yet, according to his teachers, in the classroom, he showed great enthusiasm for education and consistently showed outstanding effort. In addition to his exceptional character and leadership potential, his overall average his eighth-grade year was 96.296 percent."

As a freshman, Jay has earned 11 college credits through the Genesee Community College Math Science Preparation Program. He plans to attend college to earn a degree as an electrical or mechanical engineer and hopes to someday own his own business. Jay has many interests in and outside of school. He serves on the Genesee County Youth Court. He’s a member of the Ski Club, Batavia Middle School Modified Tennis Team, is an avid fisherman and hunter and a Greenwing Member of Ducks Unlimited.

Jay lives in Batavia with his parents, Jennifer and Jim Lewis.

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 12:44 pm

City ready to move quickly on Batavia Downs hotel project

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business

The city is ready, willing and able to help get construction started quickly on a new, five-story, 80- to 100-room hotel at Batavia Downs, said City Manager Jason Molino.

While developers and Western OTB officials have yet to agree on the precise location of the hotel, COO Mike Nolan said this morning the most likely spot is overlooking the southwest turn of the track, adjacent the grandstands, near the Tops Plaza.

That location is within the boundaries of the City of Batavia, meaning it will be the city's zoning and planning boards that will be called on for plan, design and environmental reviews.

"Being able to get this project reviewed and in front of all the proper boards is something we're committed to," Molino said. "We will make every effort, including holding special meetings, to move this along as swiftly and as smoothly as we can to meet the goals of the developers. I don't think this is a concern for us. We've worked with these size projects before and we can get it through smoothly."

Nolan said the developers, a Buffalo-based group that will purchase the property for the hotel from Western OTB, would like to break ground in 60 days and have the hotel open within nine months.

"The best part of this story is that back in 1998, when Western OTB bought Batavia Downs, it took $3 million (in assessed value) off the tax rolls," Nolan said. "Now, in 2015, $7 million plus is going back on the tax rolls for a facility that was closed and drawing nothing but cobwebs."

The increase in tax revenue won't hit local governments all at once, since the developers are likely to seek tax abatements from Genesee County Economic Development Center, but the exact structure of tax relief won't be clear until applications are made and abatements are approved.

Typically, tax abatements from GCEDC include relief on sales tax for construction material and furnishing, mortgage tax and a PILOT, which graduates the amount of property tax paid over a 10-year time frame, until the property owner is paying 100 percent of the taxes on the fully assessed value.

State law prohibits industrial development agencies from providing tax assistance to retail projects, unless they qualify as tourist destinations or are intended to attract visitors from outside the area.

Projects that are with economically distressed areas, or adjacent to such areas, are also exempt from the law.

Julie Pacatte, coordinator for the Batavia Development Corp., said one advantage Batavia Downs can realize by building the hotel on property within city limits (Batavia Downs straddles the City/Town line) is the census track is adjacent to a census track that includes Downtown Batavia, which qualifies as an economically distressed area.

"We're thrilled at the idea of having a distinctive hotel within the city," Pacatte said. "What they're planning, where you arrive in a very Vegas-style, shared lobby area, where you can check into the hotel and stay within the facility throughout your weekend, and being on the track, overlooking the last turn from a balcony, is pretty exciting."

Because the hotel won't offer other amenities, but is geared entirely toward the visitor looking for casino and harness racing entertainment, the folks at Western OTB don't believe it will compete with existing hotels, Nolan said.

"With this becoming a more competitive casino market in Upstate New York, we felt we needed to step up," Nolan said. "There's a casino coming to Seneca County, and the Seneca's already have casinos at their Niagara and Salamanca properties. In this new and up and coming casino market the way it is, we needed to offer some hospitality for our casino customers."

The other advantage the city offers a water-hungry facility like a hotel is lower water rates. Rates in the city are $3.14 per thousand gallons of water compared to $5.46 in the town.

The developers are negotiating with a couple of different hotel chains, so it's possible the new hotel will be operated under the banner of a Hilton Garden Inn or a Courtyard Marriott, or some other banner.

Batavia Downs is just wrapping up a $28 million remodeling and expansion effort and th hotel will complement that growth, Nolan said.

"We have a tremendous opportunity for convention-type of events and banquet-type of events that require lodging," Nolan said.

The hotel, Molino said, will certainly be a boost to the local economy, bringing in more visitors, creating jobs and spurring other types of economic growth. 

"This is a great opportunity and a great project," Molino said. "Everybody in my office, with the BDC and in planning are excited to work with the developers. We're going to do everything in our power to make sure it moves as quickly as it can and move as promptly as possible. That would be a win-win for everybody involved."

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

Le Roy students set to perform Shrek: The Musical

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, Le Roy, theater

"Shrek: The Musical," based on the Dreamworks animated motion picture, is coming to Le Roy. Performances are at 7 p.m. March 5 and 6 and 4 p.m. March 7 at the Le Roy Junior Senior High School Auditorium. Tickets are $8 presale and $10 at the door.

The show is directed by Jacqueline McLean.

Photos from Thursday's rehearsal.

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

Water main break on east side of City Centre

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city centre, infrastructure

There is a water main break outside City Center on the east side of the mall.

Businesses on the east side are impacted.

Water department crews are on scene.

UPDATE 12:55 p.m.: Repairs are completed and service is restored.

Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Rep. Collins critical of FCC net rules plan

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

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to reclassify the Internet as a Title II utility.

“FCC actions to reclassify the Internet under Title II pose a direct threat to Internet freedom,” Congressman Collins said. “Today’s vote threatens the innovative culture that makes the Internet one of the world’s greatest technologies. I am disturbed by the lack of transparency involved in this decision process, and am afraid it is a foreshadowing of the big government overregulation that will stem from Title II classification. These actions will add further uncertainty to the net neutrality debate chilling vital private sector investment.

“Here in Congress, under Chairmen Thune and Walden, we have proposed draft legislation that would achieve the goal of protecting Internet consumers through the bright-line rules that net neutrality proponents are calling for in a way that limits burdensome regulations from crushing innovation. This fight is far from over and I will be steadfast in my commitment to keeping the Internet free from debilitating government intervention.”

Premium Drupal Themes