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Friday, December 5, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Photos: Donations pour in at annual toy drive

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Red Cross, toy drive, wbta

WBTA, Ken Barrett's and the Salvation Army teamed up once again this year for our community's annual toy drive today.

It's the 20th year the toy drive has been hosted at Ken Barrett's with WBTA providing the promotional push to help generate more than two truck loads worth of donations.

Firefighters from the City of Batavia were on hand to help accept donations.

The toys will be delivered by Santa to boys and girls throughout our community, making it a happier Christmas for many.

Firefighter Mike Dorgan and WBTA radio personality Nici Johnson.

WBTA's ad manager Lorne Way and Joan Stevens from the Salvation Army.

Monday, December 1, 2014 at 11:59 am

Former WBTA owner and local writer William F. Brown passes at age 91

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, wbta

A local legend in news media and stalwart contributor to Batavia community groups, William F. Brown Jr., 91, passed away Saturday at Rochester General Hospital after a brief illness.

Brown's lengthy career included owning and managing WBTA, writing for various area publications, authoring books as well as being the first chairman of the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame High School and serving as president of the Board of Directors for  St. Jerome's Hospital.

“The community has lost a talented broadcaster and WBTA has lost a dear friend," said Dan Fischer, current owner of WBTA. "Bill’s wit was razor sharp and his knowledge of Genesee County history was encyclopedic. During his stewardship of WBTA, Bill set a standard for public service and broadcast news. We honor his legacy by trying to continue that standard as best we can.”

Brown was born Oct. 25, 1923 in Batavia, the son of the late William F. Brown Sr. and Monica Sellinger Brown.  

He was a 1941 graduate of Batavia High School and a graduate of Canisius College. He also studied at Yale and Fordham universities and was an Army veteran of World War II where he worked for the Armed Forces Radio Service in Kokura, Japan.

After his military service, he was public relations director for Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway for several years before becoming co-owner and manager of WBTA Radio in 1968.  

At WBTA, he distinguished himself with daily outspoken editorials dealing with local issues and humorous vignettes about family life. He won 16 statewide “Best Editorial Awards” in his career from the New York State Broadcasters Association.  

He remained a member of the United States Harness Writers Association for more than 55 years. He served as secretary for several years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Besides his community work with Notre Dame and St. Jerome's, he was a trustee emeritus of the Jerome Foundation, a member of the Board of Catholic Education of the Diocese of Buffalo and lay chairman of the Bishop’s Lay Advisory Council. He was a lector and eucharistic minister at Resurrection Parish and a Knight of St. Gregory and a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

He was active in many local civic organizations throughout his life, including the Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus and the Elks. He was a lifelong member of Stafford Country Club.

His books on local history include a popular publication on the Linden Murders. He also wrote columns for the Batavia Daily News and was Genesee County correspondent for the Buffalo News at the time of his death.

Calling hours are 3 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, at H.E. Turner, 403 E. Main St., Batavia. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, 9:30 a.m. at Resurrection Parish, St. Joseph Church, 303 E. Main St.. Batavia. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery. The Knights of Columbus will hold a prayer service on Wednesday at 6:30 pm.

For the full obituary, click here.

Photo: From a Rotary lunch in 2012

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 6:47 am

Listen this morning to 'Talk of the Town' on WBTA

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, wbta

Tune in at 9 a.m. to WBTA-1490 for "Talk of the Town" staring Hiram Kasten and Lucine Kauffman.

I'll be their guest this morning.

The show can also be heard live streamed on WBTAi.com and WBTA's smartphone app.

Friday, September 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Hiram and Lucine are the Talk of the Town on WBTA

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, elba, wbta

The way Hiram Kasten and Lucine Kauffman see it, Genesee County is a great place to live.

It's beautiful, there's a lot going on, and you'll meet some of the nicest and most interesting people if you just get out on the town a bit.

It's these qualities that they want to highlight in their new weekly, one-hour radio show on WBTA, which debuts Oct. 1.

"Talk of the Town" will feature talk about what's going on and some of the region's interesting people.

It's a cultural show -- arts and entertainment -- but it's more than that.

"There's a national trend toward localism," Kauffman said. "It's not just shopping local. It's living local. We want to capture that idea."

Kasten and Kauffman like interesting people, but they are, of course, interesting people themselves.

Kasten has been a professional entertainer for decades with a long resume in New York and Hollywood that included recurring roles on "Seinfeld" (Hiram and Jerry came up through the New York comedy club circuit together) and "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Diana Kisiel Kasten, Hiram’s wife, is from Batavia and operates Pinnacle Manufacturing on Harvester Avenue. She convinced Hiram to move here a year ago. The couple has a grown daughter who attends Cornell University.

Kauffman is the former town supervisor for Elba and has been active in local theater for years. She grew up in Southern California and graduated from USC. She moved to Genesee County with her Batavia-born-and-bred husband, Bill, 25 years ago. Their daughter attends Notre Dame University. Bill Kauffman is the author of nine books and the screenplay "Copperhead," which had its theatrical release last year.

"We're going to talk about the cultural aspects of Genesee County and the region," Lucine said. "It's more than just arts and entertainment. There are farm co-ops and local artisans and people who enrich life in Genesee County. It's all about quality of life and the quality of life here is very good."

Hiram said he often knows the comedians passing through Rochester and Buffalo, so that will be an opportunity to hear from nationally recognized talent, but they'll also feature the volunteers who make community theater so vital to Batavia.

"There's a lot to celebrate in Genesee County," Lucine said.

"Celebrate. That's a good word," Hiram added. "There is a lot to celebrate here."

The show will air Wednesdays from 9 to 10 a.m. on WBTA-1490.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Sponsored Post: New! Sign up for text alerts today with WBTA!

 

New! Sign up for TEXT ALERTS. Get only the news you choose! Be the first to know about Severe Weather, Breaking Local News, Traffic Advisories and School Closings. Sign up today for WBTA Text Alerts.

You need to only supply your cell phone number and select the services you want to receive. It's that easy. We will never sell your information to anyone.

Log in HERE and follow the simple instructions.

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 9:26 am

Sponsored Post: New! Sign up for text alerts today with WBTA!

 

New! Sign up for TEXT ALERTS. Get only the news you choose! Be the first to now about Severe Weather, Breaking Local News, Traffic Advisories and School Closings. Sign up today for WBTA Text Alerts.

 

You need to only supply your cell phone number and select the services you want to receive. It's that easy. We will never sell your information to anyone.

Log in HERE and follow the simple instructions.

 

Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm

WBTA is off the air with signal problems but repairs are under way

post by Billie Owens in batavia, wbta

From WBTA:

WBTA is experiencing a transmission failure and has lost the over-the-air signal.

WBTA can still be heard on the stream on the homepage at WBTAi.com or on our iPhone app which is available free at the iTunes store.

Repairs are under way and we hope to have service restored as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.

UPDATE 6:51 p.m.: As of at least an hour ago, WBTA is back on the air. Problems fixed.

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