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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Law and Order: Driver allegedly found with narcotics with intent to sell

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

Marquis K. Saddler, 24, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, driving without an interlock device, criminal possession of a narcotic drug, criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell and unlawful possession of marijuana. Saddler was arrested in the driveway of a residence on State Street following a complaint of alleged traffic offenses. Saddler was jailed without bail.

Harry R. Silliman, 51, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Silliman allegedly violated an order of protection by contacting a family member he was ordered not to contact. Silliman allegedly made contact at the Corfu PD office. He was jailed on $250 bail or $1,000 bond.

Patti Ann Strange, 44, of Sumner Road, Darien, is charged with disorderly conduct. Strange allegedly became verbally and physically offensive while with Pembroke Intermediate School administrators. Strange was reportedly asked to leave the property and allegedly became verbally offensive and was physically removed from the property by a Corfu PD officer and a Sheriff's deputy. 

John James Hassler Jr., 34, of Ontario Center Road, Ontario, Canada, is charged with possession/transport of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes, aggravated unlicensed operation, speeding, driving without an interlock device, unlicensed operator. Hassler was stopped at 10:50 a.m., Monday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Woodrow C. Horseman, 39, no permanent address, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. He was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Minerva Garcia, 35, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking ticket. Garcia posted cash bail and was released.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Photos: McMahon Irish Dancers perform at Y for preschoolers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, McMahon School of Irish Dance, YMCA

The McMahon Irish Dancers are in the midst of a full St. Patrick's Day schedule, with appearances at nine locations in Genesee County, including this session for preschoolers at the YMCA.

Keeping with tradition, the dancers perform at 6 p.m. at Center Street Smoke House.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 12:29 pm

GCC board previews design options for campus projects

post by Howard B. Owens in GCC

Press release:

"This will be the largest, most significant project the College has undertaken since the main building was constructed in the early '70s," Robert Joy, managing principal of JMZ Architects and Planners told Genesee Community College Board of Trustees at the monthly meeting Monday night. "It is a transformational project implementing the College's Facilities Master Plan, and transforming the way student success services are delivered."

Members of JMZ's design team, Kristin Schmitt and Nina Oldenquist, joined Joy in presenting several new architectural sketches to illustrate the design developments currently under way on the $20 million project featuring two new buildings at the Batavia Campus. Combined, the new facilities will provide an additional 54,000 square feet of new indoor space while repurposing existing space largely for labs and classrooms to accommodate new academic programs such as Nanotechnology. In addition, the project includes reconfiguring both the College's entranceway with a possible roundabout and also the parking lots for the anticipated increase of visitor traffic.

The state-of-the-art College and Community Event Center will be the largest expanse of public floor space in GLOW, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties, GCC's four-county service area. Located near the northwest quadrant of the parking lot, the Event Center will complement the adjacent soccer and lacrosse turf field, which was introduced in 2010. The new 45,000-square-foot Center features two full-service facilities gracefully connected by a two-story, arcade-like lobby with south-facing windows creating a warm and welcoming front entrance area.

The large, pre-engineered arena not only accommodates an array of athletic competitions, but the open space will allow all kinds of civic, community, trade, industry as well as college events -- from farm, boat and tractor shows, to track-and-field meets, and of course, commencement ceremonies where a whole family can sit together. The much smaller, adjacent building provides classrooms, locker rooms, coaches' offices, the fitness center, meeting rooms and a press box overlooking the turf field.

Together these two connected buildings will become a "hub of activity and well as economic development for GLOW," Joy told the trustees. The new facility is expected to draw as many as 500,000 visitors to campus each year. The construction cost is estimated at just under $14 million.

The new Student Success Center will bring all the services students need to start their college education and career into one central location that will become the College's new "front door," according to Joy.

Enrollment, admissions, advisement, records and financial aid, as well as career services and a variety of other educational offices will move into the new 9,000-square-foot facility, which will be constructed adjacent to and attached by a second-story bridge with the Conable Technology Building.

The new shared space with a welcoming front entrance and lobby is just the beginning though. The Student Success Center will increase efficiency and the flexibility of the services provided, Joy stated, getting students "more engaged and leading to improved student recruitment and retention long into the future." Joy noted the Student Success Center also creates a true, outdoor campus quad around the Clock Tower Plaza. The project cost is approximately $5 million.

Together, the two building projects follow GCC's Facilities Master Plan, which was approved by the Board and SUNY (State University of New York) almost two years ago. Construction bid packages will likely be released in February or March 2016 with the project components bundled to attract the interest and involvement of local contractors. Barring unforeseen conditions, the construction project of both buildings should be completed by the end of 2017.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Town of Pembroke officials look at options in the event the Village of Corfu dissolves

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, pembroke

Town of Pembroke officials ran through a series of issues Monday evening they might face if Village of Corfu residents go through with a referendum to dissolve their government.

There are legal questions to be answered and issues about how to resolve certain expenses related to the village, but in the end, Supervisor Annie Lawrence acknowledged, the question of dissolution isn't really the town board's call.

"We don't run the show," Lawrence said. "This is their decision. There isn't really anything the town can do other than be as prepared as we can be for the town to absorb the village."

The town will have to deal with issues related to village street lighting, brush pick up, sidewalks and police coverage, all under the legal obligation to ensure whatever is done for the village must a service provided to the entire town. Either that or set up special districts.

Town Attorney Mark Boylan said that in his opinion, there need not be a special district set up for street lights because the town currently has street lights at some intersections.  

Since National Grid owns and maintains the village street lights, there is no anticipated future capital expense for the lights, just the $10,000 or so annually to keep them lit.

Street lights, then, can be a general fund expense shared by the entire town if there's no longer a village government.

Sidewalks are a stickier issue. There are some sidewalks in East Pembroke. But for the most part, the town doesn't need to repair or replace sidewalks, therefore it's harder to legally justify making sidewalks a town-wide expense, Boylan explained.

It's more likely, a sidewalk district would need to be defined for the area of the village and a special assessment levied on residents within that district.

Parts of the village that don't currently have sidewalks could, theoretically at least, be carved out of the district, but then a whole new district would need to be created if those neighborhoods ever wanted sidewalks.

On brush pick up, the town would either need to increase the frequency of pick up for the entire town, decrease the frequency for the village, or ask everybody to self-service brush drop-off at a composting station. The service would need to be equal across all areas of the town.

On the issue of police, in order for the village police department to survive the dissolution, the town would have to take on the expense of a police department that patrols the entire town. That would mean expanding the department, hiring more officers, buying patrol vehicles, thereby making the whole operation expensive.

Or the town could contract, perhaps for about $60,000 a year, with the Sheriff's Office to provide extra coverage in the town. While that would likely mean increased patrols in the village, the town cannot contract just for village coverage. The patrols would be responsible, during their shifts, for the entire town.

The village currently has about $250,000 in capital reserves. Boylan said he's waiting for clarification from the state on how that money could be used after the dissolution.

Could it be dedicated to the needs of the present village residents -- such as sidewalks -- or must it just get mixed in with the town's general fund?

"Unfortunately, the state is not every clear," Boylan said. "They are not very clear in the least on how this is supposed to play out."

One solution is for the village government to spend the reserves down if the dissolution resolution is passed by village residents, thereby ensuring the funds collected from village residents provides services for village residents.

No date has been set for a vote on dissolution. But when it does take place, dissolution cannot occur in the same year the vote is taken, so there will be some delay between the vote and the date the village government ceases to exist.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:42 am

Photo: Snowy owl at the airport

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, Genesee County Airport, nature, snowy owl

Rebecca Grela shared this picture she took Saturday of the snowy owl at the Genesee County Airport.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:30 am

Hawley happy with progress on Women's Equality legislation

post by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today commented on the Assembly’s decision to pass one plank of the 10-point omnibus Women’s Equality Act (WEA). Hawley was proud to see this legislation finally come before the entire Assembly for a vote and said that a measure of such great importance should not have taken this long to pass the house. The Assembly Majority has blocked separate WEA bills from moving out of committee in order to use the entire 10-bill package, which contains a controversial abortion provision, as a tool for political gain. 

“Today we take a giant leap forward toward enacting true gender equality for New York’s women,” Hawley said. “It is unfortunate that a measure of this magnitude was held for so long in committee by members of the Majority. It is a disservice to New York’s women and an embarrassment to our government that we could not bring this legislation to the floor for a vote earlier. The Assembly Minority Conference has been at the forefront of passing this package as separate bills for years, and today we can finally claim victory.”

Hawley’s comments come after the Assembly passed A.506, which will enact the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act. Identical legislation, Assembly Bill 2704, was introduced by the Minority Conference several years ago but members of the Majority have refused to take action upon it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:11 am

Pole and wire down on Lake Road, Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion

A pole and unknown type of wire are reported down across the roadway in the area of 11338 Lake Road, Pavilion.

That's across from the Pavilion Fire Hall.

Pavilion fire dispatched.

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Emily Helenbrook dreams big, works hard as she seeks career as opera singer

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, alexander, Emily Helenbrook, music

It's a long way from Alexander, New York, to the Metropolitan Opera House, much further than the 536 miles measured on a Google map, but it's the road Emily Helenbrook has traced in her dreams nearly all her life.

At age 20, Helenbrook is building the resume that just might carry her from small town to big city, including a sixth engagement March 27 and 28 with the Buffalo Philharmonic.

A student at Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, Helenbrook's aqua eyes glimmer when she talks about what she loves. 

"I'm obsessed with classical music," Helenbrook said. "I can't get enough of it. Even at Eastman, where everybody loves music and that's what they want to do with their lives, I'm still the one who is constantly listening to more music and I love it. My grandpa was the same way. Music was his life and seeing him as I grew and grew into being a musician, I saw how much he was devoted and I wanted to be like that."

That love of classical music began at home. Arias and etudes weren't something she was introduced to. It was what she was born into.  

Her grandfather, Mathew Tworek was an original member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as a violinist, and master musician and a member for more than 60 years. Her aunt, Adrienne Gryta, was a vocalist and frequent performer with the BPO and Helenbrook's first vocal instructor.

Growing up, all three of the Helenbrook children were introduced to music. Older brother Jason, now a local auctioneer, played flute and twin brother Eric played piano.  

For Emily, music quickly surpassed the hobby stage, however, and became the driving passion of her life.

Passion is what carries her through the hard work of learning her craft and building a career.

People tend to think, Helenbrook acknowledges, that singers just get up and sing, but there's so much more that goes into it. Learning the intricacies of vocal technique is grueling and takes years to master. They also need to research repertoire, study languages and diction, and for performance they must learn more than their own parts, but know and understand other characters, the history of the period and the story.

And that's just the singing part of her life. There are the academics that go into earning her music degree as well as her second degree in political science.

None of that is daunting, though, Helenbrook said.

"For a break, it's my practice time," Helenbrook said. "I don't think of practice as a chore. It's still fun for me, even though it's hard work, it's still fun."

When she needs to get away, she comes home, where there's more space, more quiet and more green.

"I really do appreciate being home," Helenbrook said. "Being in the country is a good way to escape the humdrum of city life. I can't stand it after a while and coming back home to something more simple is really important with the sort of speed of classical music and trying to be a musician."

Success came early for Helenbrook. At 17 she won the Barry/Alexander International Voice Competition, which led to a performance at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and an afternoon-long voice lesson with her childhood idol, four-time Grammy winner Renee Fleming.

"She has the most beautiful voice and she's such a nice person," Helenbrook said. "She's a great role model for young singers. I always dreamed maybe some day I could sing for her and maybe she could teach me some things and that's exactly what happened and it was in her house in New York City. It was the craziest thing."

Performing at Carnegie was also a crazy thing, she said.

"That was an out-of-body experience that I don't remember as much as I would like," Helenbrook said. "It was kind of like a dream, in every respect."

It's hard to believe she won't make it back to that great venue. Talented, beautiful, hard working, passionate about her art and establishing the connections that build careers, Helenbrook is doing more than just dreaming.

She also understands, there are no guarantees, which explains the second degree in political science and her plans for law school after graduation. It's a long way from anywhere to the Met.

"Even really, really good singers don't make it," Helenbrook said. "I've seen people at the Met auditions and they're really good, but nothing happens because a lot of it is luck and being the right place at the right time. I know that and I'm trying to be realistic about it. I know what I want. I want to be a singer and I want to at least try to make a career of it, but it's also important to have a backup plan."

For more on Helenbrook's upcoming performance with the BPO and to purchase tickets, click here.

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Feeling of community drew new owners to Woody's Deli in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Woody's Deli

It's a bit of a challenge, even for an experienced cook, admits Brian Canalie, to take over somebody else's menu and make it your own.

But just as he and his partners Shane Burger and his wife Melissa decided to keep the name Woody's Deli when they took over the corner market in Le Roy, there was too much good in the menu to just toss it out.

"Right out of the gate, we're concentrating on the food and service, because we have a different approach," Burger said. "The previous owners (Lisa and Justin and Hayward) did a fantastic job, but we want to be here forever. Given our backgrounds in food, we have a little different philosophy on how some things can and should be done. I think that's probably the most important thing. We've added some new things, like homemade cannolis, our chicken tenders are battered here, not frozen, and we've expanded the Mexican menu. We didn't want to do too much too fast because we already have an established clientele in a successful business."

Burger has been a food services manager for the Creekside Inn, Holiday Inn and Batavia Downs, and most recently was manager at Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew.

He and Canalie have been friends for 15 years. Burger said he's the only person he could think of that he would want as a partner in business. They've worked together before, with Canalie also coming over from the Smokin' Eagle, where he was a cook.

"I like that this is right around the corner (from his home)," Canalie said. "I've been a cook almost my entire life, but I've always wanted to own my own place, to be my own boss. It's a chance to show off my chops and what I've learned along the ways."

Already, patrons are getting a different flavor from the new owners. The pizza is now entirely handmade, with a homemade flavor. There's nothing pre-made or frozen. Everything is fresh and made to order.

To move beyond the basics of a deli, the new owners took over the back apartment attached to the building so the kitchen could be expanded, not just the physical space, but the culinary options.

Canalie actually has a place to cook and create now.

"It's been some work, but a good time to do it this time of year," Burger said. "With the winter we've had, most places have been struggling, but our business has been steadily increasing. Our sales increase in February was significantly over the previous year, and the feedback has been fantastic. We're offering homemade soup every day and specials every day and they've been well received."

Growing up in Le Roy, Burger was also attracted to the corner market concept. He said the same business in even a town as close as Pembroke wouldn't have been as attractive as a place as deeply rooted in his hometown as Woody's (the location has operated under various other names for decades).

"I'm used to very large facilities," Burger said. "Outside of the Eagle, it's all been a more corporate setting. This is kind of the last ma-and-pop store in Le Roy. Kind of? It is. There used to be Rabino's and Malone's and lots of little stores like this in the village. They're not here anymore, so being part of the community is probably the biggest draw for me."

Nothing says community more than the parade of kids into the market.

"One of the things I really love about it is the kids that come in," Burger said. "It's very kid friendly ... kids ride their bikes down, get ice cream, candy. It's not always about how much money you're making off each transaction. It's rewarding in that respect, at least for me."

One of the holdovers from Woody's old menu -- the Big Foot, which features every meat in the deli case and weighs in at three pounds.

Woody's is located at 47 North St., Le Roy. Find them on Facebook by clicking here.

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Law and Order: Byron man accused of stealing jewelry from homes

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

Justin L. Sanders, 23, of Byron-Holley Road, Byron, is charged with two counts of burglary, 2nd, and one count of grand larceny, 3rd. Larcenies were reported from a residence on Route 237, Byron, in late November through December and two burglaries occurred at a residence on Townline Road, Byron, on Jan. 13 and Jan. 20. Sanders is accused of stealing numerous items of jewelry from the homeowner where he was living. He allegedly stole more than $3,000 worth of jewelry. He allegedly stole coins, jewelry and electronics from the Townline Road residence. Sanders was previously arrested by State Police on similar charges and is being held in the Genesee County Jail. The case was investigated by Deputy John Duyssen and Deputy Joseph Graff and Investigator Kris Kautz.

Alexander L. Waide, 20, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Waide was stopped by State Police on Route 98, Village of Attica. A field sobriety test was conducted. He was transported to the Warsaw barracks and evaluated by a certified Drug Recognition Expert from the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office. A urine sample was collected and sent to the crime lab for further analysis. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Gregory Richard Fitch, 33, of Woodstock Gardens, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, charge. Fitch turned himself in and posted $100 police bail.

Lewis C. Rhodes, 36, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with coercion, 1st, and menacing, 2nd. Rhodes was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute at 3:12 p.m., Sunday. The victim alleges that she was threatened by Rhodes with a handgun. Rhodes was ordered held without bail.

A 17-year-old resident of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth, whose name was withheld by police, allegedly threatened another person several times over a period of two months.

Adam Daniel Smart, 32, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Smart allegedly violated a complete stay away order of protection.

Tyquawn D. Bethel, 24, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Bethel was arrested in relation to an alleged incident reported Feb. 11. No further details released.

James A. Hancock, 45, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hancock allegedly pushed and shoved another person during an argument. Hancock was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Ralph A. Golding III, 50, of Buell Street, Akron, is charged with petit larceny, public lewdness and escape, 3rd. Golding allegedly stole $5 in quarters from machines at Dollar General. Golding allegedly engaged in a lewd act while in custody at Batavia PD. He also allegedly tried to escape by defeating the lock mechanism on the holding room door. He was jailed on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.

Justine D. McWethy, 28, of Fairway Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. McWethy was allegedly found in possession of heroin and glassine baggies.

Thomas E. Hansel, 31, of Oak Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to appear on a possession of burglary tools charge. Hansel was located at Days Inn and taken into custody. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Tonya D. Smith, 29, of Oak Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a charge of operating while registration suspended or revoked. Smith was located at the Days Inn and taken into custody. Smith was jailed on $100 bail.

Joseph Michael Dispenza Jr., 21, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant stemming from a DWI charge. Dispenza allegedly violated terms and conditions of City Court's DWI Treatment Court. Dispenza allegedly turned up at intermittent incarceration while under the influence of alcohol. He was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Michael J. Robbins, 55, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Robbins allegedly cashed a forged personal check at the drive-up window of the Five Start Bank on East Main Street, Batavia.

Michael Joseph Myers Jr., 56, of Roosevelt Highway, Hamlin, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, refusal to take breath test and moved from lane unsafely. Myers was stopped at 12:11 a.m., Saturday, on Route 237, Stafford, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Tanyana Reedidizie Bell, 23, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Bell allegedly damaged property belonging to Pandora's Boxxx.

Kevin Lloyd Kenyon, 60, of Golden Pond Estates, Akron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and inadequate headlights. Kenyon was stopped at 8:27 p.m. Friday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Henry Leon Polanowski, 35, of North Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. Polanowski allegedly drove another person's vehicle without permission. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Andrea Nichole Kirch, 26, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Kirch was stopped at 2:01 a.m. Friday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. A 16-year-old resident of Pratt Road, Batavia, was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. 

Joseph Hur Bianchi, 33, of Northgate Manor Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and inadequate stop lamps. Bianchi was stopped at 12:05 p.m. Friday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Jenna L. Brodzinski, 31, of Rochester, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Brodzinski was arrested by State Police for allegedly shoplifting from Target. No further details released.

Norman M. Bialuski, 45, of Brockport, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bialuski was stopped at 2:32 a.m. Sunday at East Main and Clinton streets, Batavia, by State Police.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Photo: Riding mower escort on Liberty Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Nicole Johnson, while working at the Pok-A-Dot this afternoon, snapped this picture of Batavia PD giving a guy on his riding mower a safety escort across Ellicott Street and down Liberty Street. Johnson said police stopped the rider by the Dot and provided the escort after conducting a sobriety test.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Sabres capture 2015 Men's League Championship

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, hockey, Men's Hockey League, sports

The Buffalo Sabres have yet to win a Stanley Cup, but the Batavia Sabres can now enjoy some championship swag after capturing the Genesee County title this morning at Falleti Ice Arena in a 4-1 win over the Wild.

MVP Rich Pearson

Team Captain Mike Koch

To purchase prints, click here.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 9:13 am

Photos: Cheer-a-Thon raises money for family of 4-year-old with leukemia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Photos by Jim Burns.

The family of Emma Harris, a Jackson School student battling leukemia, received an outpouring of community support Saturday evening during a Cheer-a-Thon held at Batavia High School.

Above, Laurie Napoleone and board members from the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, present a $1,000 check to Emma's aunt.

Below, the Marine is Emma's cousin.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 8:56 am

Photos: All-County Music Festival showcase held in Attica

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, Attica, entertainment, music

Photos by Jim Burns.

The first of two All-County Music Festival concerts was held Saturday in Attica, with student musicians from throughout Genesee and Wyoming counties participating.

The concert is the culmination of a lot of hard work by students, including an audition process that also contributes to the grades of many students in music classes.

The next show is at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Batavia Middle School. Tickets are $4 at the door.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Photos: 3rd Annual Collin Crane hockey tournament

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, collin crane, hockey, sports

Photos by Jim Burns.

The Batavia Ramparts held their 3rd annual Collin Crane Memorial Hockey Tournament this morning at Falleti Ice Arena, with all proceeds benefiting the Collin Crane Memorial Scholarship fund.

Collin was an avid hockey player who died in an auto accident in December of 2012.

The event included three hockey games, an open skate, pizza, hotdogs and drinks along with prizes, an auction and raffle.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Jeff Redband preparing for next level of basketball and academic career

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

When I stopped into the Y's gymnasium this morning for a little basketball practice, I found Jeff Redband there.

The Batavia Blue Devil's standout was working on his own game but took some time to give me a few pointers on my own shooting stroke. While we chatted, Tanner came into the gym and asked Jeff to sign one of his kicks. 

Redband is planning on attending Daemen College, in Buffalo, next year on a basketball scholarship. Redband scored 1,024 points with the Blue Devils in a little over two seasons (a 26.2 point-per-game average this season) and helped the team to a pair of sectional title games and hit the game winning buzzer beater in 2013 that sent Batavia to a state title game. The Daemen Wildcats finished this season with 21 wins and captured the USCAA Division I basketball title. Daemen is a Division II provisional member of the NCAA and the East Coast Conference. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Photos: No Blarney at St. James benefits HLOM

post by Howard B. Owens in entertainment, hlom, music, st. james

Local musicians Rich Conroy and Don Bouchard, as "No Blarney," performed a show of new and traditional Irish music Friday evening at St. James as a fundraiser for the Holland Land Office Museum.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm

GO ART! presents annual grants for art projects

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, GO ART!

GO ART! hosted a presentation ceremony Friday evening at its home at Seymore Place in Batavia for it's annual Reach and Ripple grants.

There were a total of 28 grants awarded this year for more than $46,000.

The Genesee Children's Chorus, directed by Heather Loveless, performed three opening numbers.

For a list of recipients, click here.

Bob Knipe, president of the board of directors, with opening remarks.

Josh Pacino, with Legislator Gregg Torrey and Interim Director Heather Grant, accepted awards on behalf of the Batavia Concert Band and Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Shelley Falitico, from Genesee ARC, accepted the grant for the Sprout Film Festival.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Photo: Genesee ARC's 'Pay it Forward' quilt project

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC

Press release:

Combine artistic talent, enthusiastic individuals and the desire to help others and the results can be amazing. Genesee ARC’s Friends for the Future self-advocacy group took the lead in a “Pay it Forward” quilt project. The concept of pay it forward is when someone does a good deed, instead of paying it back, the recipient “pays it forward” by doing a good deed for someone else. 

Genesee ARC Intake/QI Specialist Kim Owens came up with the idea of making quilts for those in need. When she presented it to Friends for the Future, they loved it!  Kim’s mother Mabel Buchina, of Yorkshire, agreed it was a phenomenal project and offered to help by donating quilt squares and sewing the finished pieces together.

The quilt squares were used as part of a presentation at the Finger Lakes Collaborative Self-Advocacy Conference this past fall in Geneva, Kim explained.

“The advocates presented on what 'Pay it Forward' means and enlisted the help of conference attendees to design the quilt squares with meaningful and inspirational messages or images,” she added.

One-of-a-kind creations include rainbows and flowers and words of comfort like “You are Loved” and “Stay Strong.” A shining sun, footballs and the Buffalo Bills logo also adorn the squares. The six finished quilts will be donated to local organizations helping people who are struggling with illnesses such as cancer. 

During the March observance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Genesee ARC is celebrating the accomplishments of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and working to increase the public's awareness and understanding.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Stafford man accused of dealing drugs in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford
Joseph Wind

After observing what agents believed was a drug deal in a commercial parking lot off Main Street in Batavia, members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force and officers with Batavia PD conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and made an arrest.

Joseph C. Wind, 45, of Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

Wind was allegedly found in possession of heroin.

Also arrested was Catherine A. Norton, 32, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, who was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.

Wind is also facing alleged traffic violations. 

He was jailed without bail.

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