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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 10:27 am

Hawley lauds ag funding in state budget

post by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that the Legislature has included several well-funded programs in the 2015-16 Enacted Budget that will bolster local agriculture. Hawley announced a $1 million initiative for the Beginning Farmers NY Fund to attract young people to the career of farming, a $4.2 million increase for local agriculture assistance programs, and a $500,000 loan fund for the Soil and Water Conservation Committee to create a revolving loan fund for drain tile installation on farms.

“As the former owner of Hawley Farms, I know the struggles that farmers face on a yearly basis,” Hawley said. “I have worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of Western New York’s farmers and I am proud to see these proposals pass in the Assembly today. Farmers constantly deal with threats to their businesses such as drought, heavy rainfall and destructive insects. These proposals will help keep our agriculture industry flourishing, entice young people to the industry, and allow farmers to obtain loans they will use to protect and enhance their crop production.”

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Accident with unknown injuries reported at Ellicott and Jackson

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

An accident with unknown injuries is reported at Ellicott Street and Jackson Street, Batavia.

Traffic is blocked.

City fire responding.

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Three-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, on Thruway in Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke, Thurway

A three-vehicle accident is reported on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 403.9.

Injuries if any are unknown.

Pembroke and Indian Falls dispatched.

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Alpina announces coffee-infused yogurt line

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alpina Foods, business

Press release:

Alpina Foods announced today they are launching the first-ever line of yogurt infused with real coffee called Alpina Café Selections. The new lineup includes Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, Vanilla Latte, and Coffee. The combination of smooth creamy Greek yogurt and the robust bold taste of real coffee makes Alpina Café Selection a perfect addition to anyone's morning or afternoon routine.

The line of Alpina Café Selections – different than anything that can be found on the market today -- uses real Colombian coffee and not "coffee flavoring" found in the dairy aisle. An excellent source of calcium, Café Selections also includes protein and caffeine and, at only 120 calories per cup, they provide a great option for breakfast or afternoon snack break.

"Thirty-four percent of Americans drinks coffee, higher than soda consumption. Specialty coffee makes up a large percentage of this growth, which is why we decided to launch Alpina Café Selections," said Gustavo Badino, Alpina Foods' general manager. "We are always looking to innovate in the dairy aisle. Once we found a recipe that tasted just like the consumer's favorite flavor and were able to include actual Colombian coffee, we knew we had a unique product the consumer would want and enjoy."

An alternative to sugary snacks and drinks, Alpina Café Selections are high in protein (12 grams) and calcium (20 percent), have 0 grams of fat, and provide 30-50 mg of caffeine (the equivalent to about half a cup of coffee) – perfect choice to help power anyone through their day.

Alpina Café Selections is sold in select regional and independent retailers including, ShopRite, Shaw's, Fairway Markets and Lowe's Markets, with plans to expand its distribution this summer; follow @alpinaUSA for updates.

Alpina Foods manufactures a variety of dairy products available in retailers throughout the United States, including Wal-Mart, Shaw's, Wegmans Food Markets, ShopRite, Duane Reade, Western Beef, and other national, regional, and independent food retailers. For a full list of retailers, visit www.alpinaus.com.

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Driver cited following four-vehicle accident on Route 5

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A driver involved in a four-car accident on Route 5 on Friday was cited for allegedly following too closely.

The accident was reported at 3:18 p.m. near Stegman Road, Batavia.

Marla Mugler, 26, was issued a traffic citation.

Mugler along with her passengers, Madison Chatley, 7, Colby Tyoe, 4, and Bryon Tyoe II, 7, were taken by Mercy EMS to UMMC for evaluation.

No other injuries were reported. 

The other drivers were David R. Foley, 55, of Jackson Street, Batavia, Rebecca M. Henning, 32, of South Main Street, Batavia, and Ann C. Moquin, 79, of Pratt Road, Batavia.

According to the report by Deputy Kevin McCarthy, Moquin was stopped on eastbound Route 5 to initiate a left turn onto Stegman Road. Henning was also eastbound and was coming to a stop behind Moquin's vehicle when it was struck by Mugler's vehicle. It was pushed to the left of the lead vehicle and sideswiped that vehicle. Foley's vehicle was also eastbound and was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

Accident diagram from McCarthy's report:

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Law and Order: Stop for alleged broken window leads to charges for driver

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, byron, crime, Darien, pembroke

Sarah Regina Orsini, 59, of Exchange Street, Rochester, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, possession of untaxed cigarettes, unlawful possession of marijuana and driving with a broken windshield. Orsini was stopped at 11:40 a.m. Sunday on Route 77, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Michelle M. Michael, 42, of West Seneca, is charged with petit larceny. Michael is accused of switching a price tag from a shirt to a more expensive jacket at Stan's Harley-Davidson and then paying for the mispriced jacket and leaving the store. The alleged switch was caught on surveillance video.

Gary Aton Williams, 54, of Lang Street, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant out of Gates related to a petit larceny charge. Williams was identified as a warrant suspect during a traffic stop at 7:38 p.m. Sunday on Route 262, Byron, by Deputy Joseph Graff. Williams as a passenger in the vehicle that was stopped for an alleged traffic violation.

Nelson Henry Nowicki Jr., 40, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with forcible touching. Nowicki allegedly forcibly touched another person.

Nicholas Ryan Donahue, 21, of Caraway Lane, Spencerport, is charged with possession of unstamped cigarettes, unlawful possession of marijuana and no front plate. Donahue was stopped at 8:08 p.m. Saturday on Judge Road, Alabama, by Deputy Joseph Corona. Donahue was allegedly in possession of 1,400 untaxed cigarettes.

Joseph R. Volasquez, 18, of Byron, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. The alleged incident was reported at 11:57 p.m. Sunday in Byron. Volasquez was arrested by State Police. He was ordered held on bond. No further details released.

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Town of Batavia fire honors members at annual dinner

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire services, Town of Batavia Fire

Information and photos submitted by Nate Fix.

The Town of Batavia Fire Department had their Annual Installation of Officers Saturday night.

The 2015 lineup of officers are Chief Paul Barrett, Deputy Chief Dan Coffey, 1st Asst. Chief Nathan Fix, 2nd Asst. Chief Bob Tripp, Captain Dave Tran, and Lt. Andrew Mullen.

The Board of Directors are Bob Mullen, Chad Higgins, Dan Jacques, James Bouton, and Frank Riccobono, and President John Fitzsimmons and Vice President Gary Diegelman, Treasurer Don Koziol.

There were multiple awards given out, including the 100 Call Club. These are members who responded to more than 100 calls for the calendar year of 2014.

They are:

Stephen Diegelman, 102 calls; Frank Riccobono, 107 calls; Paul Dibble, 119 calls; Dave Tran, 118 calls; John Mullen, 119 calls; Bob Mullen, 124 calls; Cody Towner, 128 calls; Tom Garlock, 135 calls; Jason Holman, 138 calls; Gary Diegelman, 152 calls; Scott Maloy, 172 calls; Bob Tripp, 178 calls; Paul Barrett with 182 calls; Nathan Fix, 184 calls; Andrew Mullen, 191 calls; and the top responder was Stephen Kowalcyk, 222 calls.

Years of Service Awards went to:

Adam Mullen, 5 years; Dave Tran, 5 years; Ben Fisher, 5 years; James Bouton, 10 years with the Town of Batavia fire Department and 33 prior years with Alexander fire. Bouton has 43 years of volunteer fire service. Nathan Fix, 10 years and he also has six years prior with Corfu fire for a total of 16 years of volunteer fire service. Dave Morrill, 15 years of service; Steve Kegler, 20 years; John Fitzsimmons, 20 years; Paul Barrett and Dan Jacques with 30 years of service. Both were recognized with plaques and letters from Assembly Steve Hawley and Senator Mike Ranzenhofer. Bob Mullen was recognized for 50 years as a Volunteer Fire Service member and he received special recognition.

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Construction begins on new ride at Darien Lake

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Darien, darien lake theme park

We may still be waiting for the weather to warm, but the folks at Darien Lake are certain spring will arrive some time soon and they'll be ready with two new rides come opening day May 9.

Pieces of Rolling Thunder are rolling into the park and being assembled now and work will begin soon on the new water ride, Brain Drain.

Season pass holders will be able to get a preview of Rolling Thunder during a special event May 8.

Brain Drain will open May 16.

Photos submitted by Tipping Point Media.

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Democrats looking for City Council candidates

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Press release:

The City of Batavia Democratic Committee is looking for registered Democratic voters who live in the City of Batavia and would be interested in being endorsed for the November 2015 election. 

The positions for election will include County Legislative representatives, City Council Ward positions, and County Coroner.

If Batavia city residents are interested in any of the positions, they must be a registered Democrat, and send a letter of interest to the City Committee, and be available for an interview. The letter should be addressed to the City of Batavia Democratic Committee, Attn: Chairman, 41 Verona Ave., Batavia, NY 14020 by April 25.

In addition, the City Committee is seeking to fill six positions on the City Democratic Committee. If interested in working with the City Committee, Batavia city residents must be a registered Democrat, be able to attend committee meetings, be able to carry petitions for endorsed candidates, and participate in committee activities. Please send a letter to the Committee, using the same address as above stating interest. 

The City Democratic Committee is the grassroots of the political process and citizen participation is a patriotic duty that is a tenet of our constitutional rights. Participate and protect our freedom and let your voice be heard -- your VOTE COUNTS in the election process!

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm

GCEDC board scheduled to vote on Darien Lake proposal

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Darien, darien lake, GCEDC

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from Darien Lake Theme Park Resort at its March 30 board meeting.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort is planning to add several new attractions, including a 75-foot “super loop” thrill ride and dual waterslide complex speed ride for the 2015 operating season. The projected capital investment is approximately $2.5 million. The company is seeking final approval of a sales tax exemption of $180,000.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 10 a.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the first-floor Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, across from Genesee Community College.

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Batavia Muckdogs 'Hit the Books' with summer reading program

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, muckdogs, sports

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs today announced the start of their reading program, designed to promote reading amongst the youth of the local communities. Along with the help of NY's 529 College Savings Program, 2015 will mark the third year of the “HIT THE BOOKS with the Batavia Muckdogs” reading program. 

As part of this program, the Muckdogs have provided various schools and libraries across local counties with customized bookmarks. On the back of these bookmarks, children can have a parent, guardian, teacher, or librarian initial each time they complete a book. When a child completes 10 books, they can redeem the bookmark at the Dwyer Stadium box office for a FREE TICKET to any Sunday --Thursday Batavia Muckdogs game! In addition to the free ticket, the child will also receive a prize courtesy of NYs 529 College Savings Program. If a child reads 20 books, they will be entered into a drawing to win a backpack with school supplies, provided by NY's 529 College Savings Program; along with the opportunity to throw out a first pitch at a Muckdogs game.

In addition to the many participating schools, bookmarks will be made available to children at the following local libraries:

·         Richmond Memorial Library (Batavia)

·         Lee-Whedon Memorial Library (Medina)

·         Byron-Bergen Public Library

·         Haxton Memorial Library (Oakfield)

·         Hoag Library (Albion)

·         Pavilion Public Library

·         Corfu Free Library

·         Woodward Memorial Library (Le Roy)

·         Holley Community Free Library

Any questions about the reading program, bookmarks, or redeeming for tickets can be answered by Mike Ewing, at 585-343-5454, ext. 1005.

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Oakfield woman accused of selling oxycodone

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield

An Oakfield woman has been arrested by the Local Drug Task Force, accused of dealing oxycodone in the City of Batavia.

Michele L. DiFalco, 26, of Webber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd.

DeFalco allegedly sold oxycodone to an agent of the task force. She was arrested Thursday at her home.

Following arraignment today, DiFalco was put in the Genesee County Jail.

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 2:32 pm

The latest Flip Ad Contest winner

post by Howard B. Owens in advertisment, Flip Ad Contest, Sponsored Post, thebatavian

We ran a Flip Ad contest these past two days.

The secret code hidden under a Flip Ad was "Vincent Maney."

The winner is Douglas Gaus, of Batavia, who was the ninth person to correctly e-mail the answer to us.

Douglas wins $25.

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Law and Order: Two men accused of attempting to hide marijuana from police

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

Brandon James Spurling, 23, of Strouts Road, Elba, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th, criminal solicitation, 5th, and conspiracy, 6th. Co-defendant, Anthony Abraham, 27, of Main Road, Akron, is charged with conspiracy, 5th, and criminal possession of marijuana, 5th. Spurling allegedly asked Abraham to take possession of marijuana and hide it from police, and Abraham allegedly cooperated with Spurling. 

Richard David Flint, 48, of Fort Hill Avenue, Canandaigua, is charged with falsely reporting an incident, 3rd, and misapplication of property. Flint allegedly reported a burglary to his residence that did not occur. The property he reported stolen belong to two different rent-to-own stores. He allegedly sold the property without the stores' permission.

Katherine Lynn Urf, 54, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Also charged, Joseph Michael Franchi-Platten, 31, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia. Urf and Franchi-Platten are accused of working together to steal merchandise from Walmart.

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 11:42 am

Notre Dame wins business competition

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

Press release:

Wednesday, March 25, was the Virtual Business Trade Fair at Genesee Community College. Nine high schools from the G.L.O.W. region competed with 11 businesses created entirely from scratch by students. At Notre Dame, this year-long project is incorporated into the college credit course Principles of Business or BUS 101 through collaboration with GCC’s Accelerated College Enrollment Program (ACE).

This is the first year Notre Dame participated in the event, but that did not stop the eight-member team from receiving multiple recognitions at the fair. Their teacher, Lindsay Warner, says the team has shown incredible commitment to the project since it began in September.

“They have had a contagious enthusiasm for this project that propelled them to a well-deserved victory!” Warner said.

This course is driven by student-centered projects. Each member has developed public speaking, problem-solving, and communication skills. They have learned to work together and value input of others, even if it is different from their own. They have learned that hard work pays in the end and that learning can be valuable and even fun. There are no tests and no quizzes but Drew Morabito, senior and chief financial officer, wants to clear up any confusion, saying “I have never worked harder in any class.”

Students learn because they want to succeed and suceed they did. 

Notre Dame placed in four out of five judged categories at the trade fair. The Cupcakery -- a small bake shop specializing in upscale cupcakes -- received First Place for Salesmanship and Number of Transactions. They also placed 2nd for Transaction Dollar Amount and tied with T&T from Pavilion High School for Best Booth Design.

The teams will also be judged on 20+ page business plans submitted at the event as well as product catalogs and Web sites with results expected in the next few weeks.

Notre Dame’s Bus 101 class and Cupcakery business owners are: Lindsey Bender -- chief marketing officer; Dylan Fix -- financial executive; Joseph Falkowski III -- human resource manager; Chase Hughes -- financial executive; Drew Morabito -- chief financial officer; Caleb Nellis -- human resource executive; Taylor Perzia -- chief executive officer; and Joseph Zickl -- marketing and sales executive.

ND currently offers Economics, Introduction to Careers, Personal Money Management, Accounting 1, and Accounting 101 in addition to Principles of Business. Business-minded students can graduate Notre Dame with 12 college credits, equivalent to one semester of college.

Anyone interested in learning more about this program and the other opportunities Notre Dame is providing its students should contact the school or visit during the upcoming Open House, April 19, from 2 - 4 p.m.

Total # of Deposits:
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       256
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              155
Able Sports                         Elba                                        114
Oatkan Outdoors             Le Roy                                    114

Total Amount of Deposits:
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              $378,009.35
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       $330,624.33
Road Trip                             Attica                                    $187,953

Booth Design:
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       770
T & T Services                    Pavilion                                                770
Elite Feet                             Way-Co                                                743
Sugar Shack                        Batavia                                 730

Salesmanship:
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       427
T & T Services                    Pavilion                                                407
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              395

Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 10:14 pm

House fire reported on Maple Road, Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke

A house fire at 285 Maple Road, Pembroke, has gone to a second alarm.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched. Alabama filling in at Indian Falls.

City fire Fast Team dispatched.

Smoke and flames seen from the eaves.

UPDATE 10:14 p.m.: Corfu, Darien and Town of Batavia also dispatched.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m.: Tankers released from response.

UPDATE 10:26 p.m.: Darien 45 requested to the scene to assist with rehab.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Heading off to Saratoga Springs

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

COVERAGE NOTE: Billie and I are leaving this afternoon for Saratoga Springs and the annual spring convention of the New York Press Association.

This is The Batavian's first year as members of the NYPA and our first convention with the organization.

We're looking forward to it.

Of course, we won't be any further away than a wi-fi connection and will continue to keep the site updated with news.

We have coverage assigned to various people over the next few days.

Our Wyoming County Editor Julia Ferrini, with an assist from Steve Ognibene, will monitor the scanner for us and cover breaking news as needed. We'll also get help from our news partners WBTA and 13WHAM.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Batavia wins mock trial tournament

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, mock trials

Batavia beat Notre Dame Wednesday night at the area finals of the mock trials tournament and will move onto the regional finals.

Batavia took round 1 55-50 and round 2 60-53.

The Region 1 tournament is in Erie County April 17-19.

UPDATE: Pictures added from Jim Burns.

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