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Howard Owens's blog

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 8:41 am

Batavia 6-year-old dies over the weekend

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Le Roy

A student of Jackson Elementary School died on Saturday.

No details of the death of 6-year-old Marcus Peters have been released yet, but his passing was confirmed by WBTA with the Sheriff's Office this morning.

Superintendent Margaret Puzio said Marcus was in school and apparently healthy on Friday.

Grief counselors will be at the school this morning.

UPDATE: Additional details have been released.

Marcus, who lived with his mother in Batavia, was spending the weekend with his father in Le Roy. He appeared healthy just minutes before he was found unresponsive by his 8-year-old sister. Moments before, he asked his father if he could go outside to play. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. Foul play is not suspected and there was no evidence of trauma.

UPDATE: We received the following e-mail from Kristen Wahl.

Hello my name s Kristen Wahl and Iam the step-mom to Marcus's sister Madison! He was a very sweet quite boy! He will be missed very much by alot of people!  His mom is Cynthia Peters and she is very broken up about this whole thing!  Marcus was her first born!!! I am writing this to say that the family will  need all the support possible to get through this horrible tragic thing!  Marcus is leaving behind 2 sisters and 1 brother and his mom and dad and  everyone who loves him! If you would like to support or send condolences the address is 139 Swan Street in Batavia, NY.She needs all of our support!  Thank You!

Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Young local writer now shows off musical talent

post by Howard Owens in batavia, entertainment, music

We introduced Tyler Barrett as a young, local aspiring fiction writer some time back. Tonight, he sent a long a link to this video of him playing piano. The song he's playing is "Lux Aeterna,"  from the film Requiem for a Dream.

Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Job fair a success for growing company in Batavia

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, Prime Materials

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At a time when most companies in the U.S. seem to be just holding on, Prime Materials in Batavia is primed for growth, according to company President Russell  K. Western.

On Friday, Prime Materials held a job fair to help fill at least a half dozen openings and build a pool of applicants for a number of anticipated new jobs in the coming year.

According to Western, 44 people showed up and 13 will be invited back for a second interview and several more will be considered in the next round of hiring.

“We’re regularly frustrated in our ability to find appropriately skilled people,” Western said, who described the classic conundrum of employers finding people looking for work who are over qualified, or people who are underskilled with spotty work histories.

“We were greatly excited to have 44 people to pick from,” Western said.

The firm, located at 6 Treadeasy Ave., is poised for expansion, Western said, because there is a growing domestic market for its closed-cell cross-linked foam, which is used as packing material for shipping of a wide range of products. While the company faces stiff global competition from Asia, the cost of shipping a higher quality, highly dense material into the U.S. gives Prime Materials an advantage.

The entire manufacturing process, from mixing to pressing, is handled in the Batavia plant.

It also manufactures foam for its parent company, Batavia-based P.W. Minor, which makes stylish shoes for people with diabetes or arthritis or who simply want a comfortable shoe.

The relationship with P.W. Minor may be heading in a new direction in the coming months, according to Western. Prime Materials is all grown up and the firm may have the opportunity to mature into an independently owned company in its own right. Western is in talks with investors now and if that goes through, Prime Materials’ ability to create many more good paying jobs will be greatly increased.

And finding good people, Western said, will be a key part of Prime Materials' success.  He thinks Genesee County, with its own skilled workforce and Batavia's location between Rochester and Buffalo, will help the company find good people. He said his goal is to build a company with a solid reputation in the community, which will help bring in and retain career-minded workers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Holley beats Notre Dame 14-7

post by Howard Owens in batavia, football, holley, Notre Dame, sports

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Things looked good for Notre Dame at the end of the first half this afternoon, but in the end Holley took control of the game and went on to win 14-7.

It was the first loss of the year for the Irish and continued Holley's dramatic turn around from an 0-8 in 2008.

It was a tale of two halves, according to Notre Dame Head Coach Rick Mancuso, who said his team failed to execute in the third and fourth quarters.

"We had a good mix of run and a good mix of of pass (in the first half)," said Mancuso. "I thought we played with passion. We played with emotion. I thought we came out early in the second half and we started off with a penalty right in the first series and that was just kind of the way that we played. We lost our focus and we lost our discipline and we didn’t play a good second half."

In that first half, Notre Dame did a good job of stuffing Holley's powerful running game. When Holley went up the middle, the Irish line was there to push back the pile. On sweeps, the pursuit was aggressive, lead by Gianni Zambito, to keep Holley's backs from turning the corner. A couple of sweeps turned into lost yardage for the Hawks.

After the game, Hawks Head Coach Chad DeRock bristled at the idea that the Irish were sticking it to his guys during the first half.

"We played our game -- bend, don’t break," DeRock said. "We gave up only seven points to one of the best offenses around here. We bend, we don’t break. They’re going to have big plays. You’ve got to accept that when you’ve got Bochicchio at QB and Pratt and Richter and Zambito out there. Those are big play guys. We just didn’t want to get beat with the big, big play. We got burned on one. Other than that, we did what we had to do."

That one big play was a 35-yard TD pass early in the second quarter to a wide open Zambito from Nick Bochicchio.

The successful drive was sparked by a Cam McDonald fumble recovery late in the first quarter. The turnover stopped a long drive by the Hawks that had them on a seeming precipice of a first score of the game.

Instead, Notre Dame was able to end the half with a 7-0 lead against a Holley team that scored at least 30 points in three of its four previous wins.

ND opened the half with the ball, an illegal motion penalty the Irish in the hole and a few downs later ND was punting it away. It wasn't long after before Mike Perincano was crossing the goal line on a 30-yard rush to pull the Hawks within a point of the Irish (Holley failed to score on a two-point conversion try, so the score stood at 7-6).

On its next possession, the Irish moved the ball down field and were within striking distance of another score when Bochicchio was picked off by Guy Hills. That's the last time the Irish really threatened to put points on the board.

Two possessions later, Chad Barhydt, who took over at QB for Hills, who was injured in the fourth quarter, carried the ball in on a two-yard TD run, and with the two-point conversion, Holley sealed its 14-7 victory.

"My hats off to Holley," Mancuso said. "They played terrific. They were up to the challenge and they’re a great team. They’ve got a lot of really great kids. They work hard and their coaching staff does a great job with them. I wish we cold have done them justice and played them a little bit better."

Coach DeRock said his team, even at 5-0 and assured of at least a share of the Genesee Region title, is still taking the season one week at a time.

"Everybody says this was the GR championship, but it’s not," DeRock said. "It’s another game on our schedule. We have another game next week and another game after that.

"Attica’s a great team," he added. "Brad Clark had 295 yards rushing last night. I scouted the game. He’s a great running back, so we’re not taking them lightly by any means."

Pernicano finished the game with 52 yards on six carries. Sean Baylor had 12 carries for 68 yards. Barhydt posted 42 rushing yards.

For the Irish, now 4-1, Mike Pratt rushed for 65 yards on 20 carries. Zambito contributed 90 total yards on four receptions.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Turn overs, long TD runs undo promising start for Oakfield

post by Howard Owens in Attica, football, Oakfield, sports

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Attica was able to convert two Oakfield-Alabama turnovers in the second half into big plays to literally run away with the game in Oakfield last night, capturing a 34-21 win.

Spirits were high for Oakfield when the team emerged from the locker room on homecoming night with a 14-7 lead, but on its first possession of the third quarter, a fumble gave Attica the ball well into Hornets' territory and a few plays later, Brandon Rollings squirted into the end zone on a 14-yard run. It was Rollings' second TD of the night.

Attica Head Coach Jeff Cusmano said turn overs and the Blue Devils' ability to convert those turnovers into big plays was the key to the game.

"We got the running game going," Cusmano said. "They were clogging up the middle and we got to the outside a bit. We were just digging down and grinding it out."

The game remained tied until the third quarter when another fumble by Oakfield, now 1-4, was followed by a 56-yard dash by Brad Clark. It was Clark's first of three TDs of the night.

"The first half we came out like I expected them to, and just like Notre Dame last week, we came out firing on all cylinders," Coach Brian Palone.  "We’ve just got to find a way to finish games. Right now we’re not playing four quarters of football."

Oakfield pulled even again on an 84-yard run by Jason Stanley. It was Stanley's second long TD run of the night. He also scored in the first quarter, going 64 yards for the TD.

But it was all Attica (4-1) from that point on in the game. Clark scored twice on runs of 62 and 81 yards to seal the victory.

Cusmano said Clark, who had 296 yards on 27 carries, was the star of the game, but also praised the offensive line.

"They just did a tremendous job," Cusmano said. "They dug down and just ground it out. I would have to say it all starts up front and Brad will be the first guy to tell you that without the blocking up front, he wouldn’t have had what he had."

It was some of those big plays that helped Clark run up so many yards that were the undoing for Oakfield, Palone said.

"We can’t allow big plays," said the Oakfield Coach. "Attica was able to get some big plays on us and put together some big drives on us and it was tough for us to battle back."

The turnovers, of course, were crucial mistakes.

"It came down to what we preached for the past couple of weeks – we’ve got to protect the ball and we weren’t able to do that, and defensively, we can’t allow big plays," Palone said. "Attica was able to get some big plays on us and put together some big drives on us and it was tough for us to battle back."

Next week, Alexander goes against undefeated Holley. Cusmano thinks his team will be ready.

"We’re making progress every week and you know the kids are growing," Cusmano said. "They’re going to make mistakes; you know, you roll out a bunch of young kids and they’re going to make mistakes. We’re getting better every week and cutting down on our mistakes. We'll go into the Holley game next week and see what happens."

Besides Clark, for Attica, Brandon Rollings had six carries for 37 yards. Brandon Banks led the defense with nine tackles. Alex Arnone had seven tackles and two fumble recoveries.

For OA, Jason Stanley rushed for 199 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. Matt Osmancickli rushed for 36 yards and Matt Smith carried the ball a total of 35 yards.

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Friday, October 2, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Driver who allegedly failed to yield right-of-way in serious condition

post by Howard Owens in accident, Alabama

A driver and his wife were injured in an accident in Alabama this afternoon when the driver allegedly failed to yield the right-of-way to another car.

The driver, Charles F. Smith, 63, of Waterloo, is in serious condition at Erie County Medical Center and his wife, June A. Smith, 58, is in stable condition.

Charles reportedly suffered internal injuries and was semi-conscious when emergency personnel arrived. June suffered an internal shoulder injury and was conscious at the scene of the accident.

According to a report by Deputy Jim Diehl, Smith was heading north on Shanks Road when he attempted to cross Bloomingdale Road into a parking lot at 383 Bloomingdale Road.

A 1999 Subaru driven by Travis J. Hanson, 18, of Akron, was eastbound on Bloomingdale Road when it collided with Smith's 1991 Buick sedan.

Neither Hanson nor his 17-year-old passenger, David R. Santamaria, were injured.

The force of the accident sent Hanson's vehicle into a car parked in the lot on Bloomingdale Road. That truck is owned by John Snell of Lancaster. Snell was not in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

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Friday, October 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Red Wings annouce Muckdogs returning to Batavia for 2010

post by Howard Owens in baseball, sports

Press Release:

Batavia, NY - Today, Batavia Muckdogs General Manager Travis Sick announced that the Red Wings will continue to operate the Batavia Muckdogs for the 2010 season. 

“We have been in discussions for several weeks regarding next season, and given the improved financials during the 2009 season, we feel encouraged that further improvement is possible.  The Red Wings have decided to continue to support our operation here, and we’re eager to start planning for next year”, Sick said. 

While the Batavia Muckdogs operation did sustain a loss, its revenues saw a slight improvement over the prior year.  That, combined with strong efforts to hold expenses down enabled the Ballclub to have a better year.  “We know that even with the more favorable financial results, continued increases in advertising and ticket sales will be necessary for this franchise to be a success over the long term.  We need the community of both businesses and individuals alike to support the Muckdogs through advertising and attendance.  This community is very fortunate to have a professional baseball franchise, and I think and hope that people want it to remain here for a long time to come.  We’ll do everything this off-season to promote opportunities to support the Ballclub, and you can be sure we will be at our offices at Dwyer Stadium working hard to plan for the 2010 season.”

Naomi Silver, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Rochester Red Wings and its affiliates stated “While it has been difficult for communities the size of Batavia to sustain a professional baseball franchise, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have a franchise. The trend in sports has been for bigger cities to buy up small-town clubs, but I think small towns like Batavia need these ballclubs, maybe more than anyplace else.  After all, what makes a community livable if not for wholesome entertainment like a professionally run baseball club?  We just hope to do well enough through the support of our sponsors and fan base to make it work financially.”

Brian Paris, President of the Genesee County Baseball club added, “Batavia is very fortunate to have the Red Wings organization as a partner in our community.  They continue to strive to make baseball in Batavia successful.  The news of their return for a third season in 2010 is a true indication of their high level of integrity and persistence.  I would ask all of our business leaders and citizens within Genesee County and the surrounding areas to support their efforts.  The Batavia Muckdogs are a vital part of our historic and social fabric as a community. It is wonderful to be able to say I'll see you at the ballpark in June!"

Muckdogs 2010 season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Dwyer Stadium or by calling (585)343-5454.

Friday, October 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Holley brings hard-hitting team to Van Detta for Notre Dame homecoming

post by Howard Owens in batavia, football, holley, Notre Dame, sports

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What's the recipe for "The Big Game"? Well, start with two undefeated teams in the fifth week of the season. Make sure one of them has a storied history and is hosting the game on homecoming weekend. The other team should be up an upstart, a new program that for the first time is emerging as a powerful, tough-to-beat squad.

That's a Big Game.

And's the situation tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. when Notre Dame hosts the Holley Hawks Notre Dame. The teams clash as division rivals with matching records of 4-0.

“They’ve (Holley) got a great group of kids and we’re probably the underdog here" said Notre Dame's head coach, Rick Mancuso. "We’re fighting an uphill battle, but we’re looking forward to the challenge."

If you put any stock in such things, MaxPreps ranks the Fighting Irish 121st in the state, and Holley at 155th.

The Irish have scored 101 points on the season, Holley, 114. ND's has allowed 35 points, with Holley being a bit stingier, giving up only 23.

The Hawks have a reputation for being a strong, hard-hitting team, and Coach Mancuso acknowledges the Hawks are a tough, well-coached team, but that doesn't make them much different from Attica and Oakfield. Both of those squads have fallen once each this season to the Irish.

"We’ve been against some tough, strong, hard-hitting teams and Holley’s no different than them," Mancuso said,  "other than Holley’s maybe a little bit bigger and they have a little bit better skill level in their back field."

Mancuso said the Hawks probably have the best four backs in the league.

"That gives them an advantage," he said.

"We've got to come out and we've really got to work at it," Mancuso said. "We can't get down they have a big play. We can't get too high and we can't get too low. It's a big challenge."

He said his players are excited about the big game.

It sounds like a recipe for a can't-miss match up.

AUDIO: Interview with Head Coach Rick Mancuso (mp3)

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Friday, October 2, 2009 at 9:44 am

Tractor and four-wheeler stolen from garage on Valle Drive this morning

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

Sheriff's investigators are looking into a brazen daylight garage break-in in which the thief (or thieves) got away with three large items.

Stolen this yesterday morning from 27 Valle Drive, Batavia, was a John Deere tractor with a snow plow attached, a Yamaha Blaster four-wheeler and four snow tires that fit a 2005 Pontiac G6.

The burglars smashed a window to get into the garage between 9 and 10:15 a.m. and left through the overhead garage door, leaving it open.

Anyone with information that might help solve this crime are encouraged to call the Sheriff's Dispatch Center at 345-3000, Ext. 1.

Friday, October 2, 2009 at 8:48 am

Police Beat: Former Le Roy government employee accused of forgery

post by Howard Owens in Attica, batavia, Bethany, crime, Le Roy

mug-henry_james.jpgJames D. Henry, Jr., 54, of 8296 E. Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with a felony count of criminal possession of a forged instrument and a felony count of attempted grand larceny. Henry, a former Village of Le Roy employee, allegedly entered the village office on Monday possessing a forged doctor's prescription. It stated that Henry "would be out until further notice" in an attempt to gain sick leave compensation, which would have totaled more than $3,000. Henry was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Robin L. Pirdy, 50, of 588 Route 98, Attica, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI with a BAC of .08 or greater. Pirdy was reportedly found parked on the side of Molasses Hill Road in Bethany by Deputy Kevin McCarthy. Upon investigation, McCarthy determined that Pirdy had allegedly been driving while intoxicated.

Steven Robert Gorecki, 23, of 106 Tracey Ave., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Gorecki is accused of shoplifting from Target.

Willie A. Sabb, Jr., 35, of 19 Porter Ave., Apt. 2, Batavia, is charged with assault in the third degree, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. Police picked up Sabb at his residence on warrants issued by City Court. The charges stem from three separate alleged incidents. No further details were released.

Friday, October 2, 2009 at 8:01 am

Fire on Bank Street blamed on improperly lined chimney

post by Howard Owens in Bank Street, batavia, fire

Smoke detectors awoke a Bank Street family this morning, allowing the people in the lower apartment unit to escape safely from a fire that started in an improperly lined chimney, according to a Batavia Fire Department release this morning.

Upon arrival at the 2:20 a.m. alarm, Batavia firefighters entered the upper apartment and awoke the two occupants and escorted them safely from the building.

Firefighters initially responded to the call of a "house filled with smoke."

The fire caused an estimated $30,000 damage to the house and $15,000 to its contents.

No smoke detectors were present in the upper unit, which was located at 140 Bank St..

UPDATE: WBTA spoke with Captain Michael Drew (MP3) of the Batavia Fire Department. Chief Ralph Hyde also told WBTA that the chimney was designed for gas heating and the occupants tried burning wood in the fireplace.


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Friday, October 2, 2009 at 7:48 am

Today's Deals: Enchanted Florist, Delavan's, Jackson St., T.F. Brown's and more

post by Howard Owens in Deal of the Day

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Brighten up your home or office with flowers! We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.50.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, W. Main Street, Batavia, NY: Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

The Color Salon, 35 Center St., Batavia, NY: Susan Francis, the owner and stylist at The Color Salon reminds women, "your hair is your greatest accessory." Francis has more than 20 years experience at helping women get the best hair color. We have a $50 gift certificate for $25.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Ribs, brisket, steak, prime rib -- Center Street is a meat lover's paradise. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Jackson St. Grill, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Try the fresh, skinless haddock fish fry on Fridays. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm

If you want a T-shirt, order now

post by Howard Owens in thebataivan

We're about to order our first batch of The Batavian T-shirts from T-Shirts Etc. I expect to visit Brian tomorrow and place the order.

We're only ordering as many as were purchased, so if you want to get one in this batch, order now.

The T-shirts are $20 each, which I realize is a bit pricey for a T-shirt, but we're putting half the money into our equipment fund so we can improve the quality of the equipment we use to bring you the news. This money won't be used for anything except buying equipment (the site is doing well enough at this point that we're making a living).

Thank you for your support.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Town of Batavia Fire Department Open House this Sunday

post by Howard Owens in announcements, batavia, volunteer firefighters

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Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department will hold an open house at its station at 8382 Lewiston Road.  Lowe's is sponsoring the event through its "Heroes Project." The retailer has paid for 150 smoke detectors, 50 CO detectors and 200 kits for kids to build wooden fire trucks as well as hot dogs, chips and soda for the event. Any county resident who shows up can get a free smoke or CO detector.

It's also a chance for area residents to see the department's equipment and learn more about what the all-volunteer department does, said organizer Joshua Finn.

"There are a lot of guys who put in a lot of our hours and have worked hard for a lot of years and we just want people to come out and see what we do," Finn said.

Safety training is also a big part of the day, which kicks off Fire Prevention Week.

"It's important to get people to start thinking about what they would do if they were in an emergency," Finn said.

Lt. Nate Fix said the department will also be doing training sessions for BOCES and the child care facilities in the department's coverage area. 

Pictured above are Jason Pfleger, John Mullen, both firefighters, Lt. Nate Fix, Chuck Hammer, admin manager for Lowe's in Batavia, Fire Department VP Joshua Finn, and Scott Maloy and Bill Leonard, firefighters.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Ready for Halloween on Watson

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Halloween, Watson St.

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I happened down Watson Street today and found this house and yard all decked out for Halloween. I hope this bodes well for how many trick-or-treaters we'll get in our neighborhood this year. It's been a long time since Billie and I lived in a neighborhood with a lot kids and trick-or-treaters.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 3:55 pm

City firefighters would like you to have your wedding ring back

post by Howard Owens in batavia

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City firefighters doubt this ring was a donation to the union's "Fill the Boot" campaign for MDA. It is likely a woman's wedding band with an inscription inside, which invites all kinds of speculation about whether it was lost accidentally, or not.

If you're missing a ring and want it back, you should contact the Batavia Fire Department.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Report of abandoned house on fire in on North Pembroke Road

post by Howard Owens in Alabama, fire, pembroke

An abandoned house has reportedly caught on fire at 8038 N. Pembroke Road.

Earlier today there was a report of a controlled burn. According to Dispatch, the owner of the house, who was burning brush earlier, called to say the fire had spread to the house.

East Pembroke and Alabama fire departments are being dispatched.


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Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 10:11 am

Today's Deals: Have-great-hair-while-you-shop edition

post by Howard Owens in Deal of the Day

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for a seven-week Pilates session (one class per week), which is a value of $56, for $28.

Total Image Hair Salon/Sarah and Amanda Lowe, 226 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Time to update your style? Try something different or finally get the hair styling you've dreamed of, give Sarah or Amanda at Total Image a try. We have a $22 gift certificate for $11.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

The Mane Attraction, 99 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Mane Attraction is a spa and salon offering pedicures, manicures, hair styling and massage. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Brighten up your home or office with flowers! We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.50.

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest full-service salon, offering affordable haircuts for men and women on a walk-in basis. Today, we have two gift certificates for men's haircuts, a $12.95 value for $6 each (gift card can be applied toward other services, but not products).

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

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