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Monday, March 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Tractor-trailer hits pole on Liberty Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Liberty Street

A tractor-trailer has hit a pole in the aera of 29 Liberty St., Batavia.

No injuries are reported.

City fIre and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 1:03 p.m.: National Grid notified. No ETA.

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:03 am

Former news anchor debuts first children's novel

post by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Lisa Scott, Local Authors

Pictured Lisa Ann Scott with her children, Jack (13) and Riley (10)

It all started with a conversation with a 5-year-old.

Lisa Ann Scott, of Batavia, had just lost her job as a news anchor for Channel 4. Understandably, she was very upset.

With a determined look on her face, Scott's daughter, Riley, came into her bedroom to talk to her.  The conversation went something like this:

"Mom," she softly said, "you need to stop being so upset. This is just a job."

"Yes, but it was a job I really loved," Scott said.  "I kind of feel like I was in a party bus, and they kicked me off without food, water or a map."

"I'll be your map."

"All right, 'map,' what do we do?"

"Go chase the bus."

"Honey, they don't want me on the bus."

Riley had to think about that one for a minute, but then she shrugged and said:

"Wait for the next bus."

Then she patted her mom on the head and said:

"Put that in your imagination and dream about it tonight."

Today, Scott describes these as "just the right words at the right time."

"She made realize, 'Of course this is not the end of my life. Something else that's great is going to come along.' "

That "something else great" turned out to be writing fiction. HarperCollins recently published Scott's "School of Charm," a novel for middle-grade readers.

"School of Charm" follows Brenda "Chip" Anderson, an 11-year-old girl who has recently lost her father, as she adjusts to a new life in Mt. Airy, N.C., after relocating from Upstate New York with her mother and two sisters. As an outdoorsy, nature-loving, tomboy explorer "in a family full of beauty queens" (quoted from the book's front flap), she is struggling to find a sense of belonging. 

Her fortune changes when she stumbles across Miss Vernie's "School of Charm," an unconventional beauty school, in the middle of the woods.

Scott answered questions about the book at her home:

Tell us about your protagonist, Chip.

She's an 11-year-old girl, and she's always been daddy's girl. She and her father always went on adventures together and played in the woods, whereas her two sisters are more girly-girl types who hang out with their mother. 

Chip is definitely the odd one out; she's not certain how she fits into the family. In fact, she trains in secret to enter a beauty pageant because her family is so convinced that she's not a pageant girl.  That's why she goes to this unusual school she finds. And the lessons she learns aren't quite what she thought they were going to be.

Can you talk a bit about the book's setting?

I picked Mt. Airy because it's where the Andy Griffith Show was filmed, and it's supposed to be the best little town in America. Chip is super unhappy about being there, because she doesn't want to move. So it's sort of ironic that she's moving to the "best little town in America." Plus I have a writer friend who lives there. After reading some of her work set in that area, I fell in love with it vicariously. I just loved her description of the area.

I also wanted Chip to have to face a big change, you know, a totally different setting, where they have Southern accents...something very different and unsettling from where she had lived.

Tell us about your first inspiration for the story.

I woke up from a very vivid dream of this elderly woman, with a knowing look on her face, in this woodland setting where she was holding class with these girls. I think that if you're a writer, when something intrigues you, you can't stop thinking about it -- what it means, what these people are doing there, etc. And so I just kept thinking about it and thinking about it, and it grew into "School of Charm."

Nature and the outdoors play a huge role in Chip's life -- how realistic do you think that will seem in a time in which children do not play outside as much?

That's why I chose to set "School of Charm" in the 1970s. I did a lot of exploring when I was a kid.  I grew up in Marilla, NY, which is in Erie County, and I was in the woods a lot of the time. When I imagined this girl out exploring and finding this school, I just couldn't conceive of it...kids really don't play outside too much, and they certainly don't get to disappear for the whole day like we did when we were kids. So I knew I needed to set this story in a different time and place. And I picked 1977 because there are a lot of unique things about that year...one of them is that Chip is expecting something magical to happen on July 7, or "7/7/77."

But the outdoors are really big in Chip's life. She looks for signs in nature -- she's looking for a "sign" from her father that everything is going to be all right. Plus a lot of the School of Charm's lessons are held outside in the woods.

Your first children’s story was turned down. What did you learn from that experience?

I only sent that one out a little bit. It didn't get any interest. When I took another look at it, I knew it had a lot of plot problems that I just wasn't sure how to fix. The next shiny idea is always more interesting than trying to fix what you've written that isn't working.

I've been to a lot of writer's conferences and groups, and I've read a lot of books, so with time I've understood more about plot, how a character needs to change over the course of the story, and how the story really needs to be propelled by the characters' choices rather than by the things happening to them.

Did you borrow either from yourself or from anyone you have known for the character of Chip?

I guess there's a little bit of me in her. I used to catch turtles all the time and run around in the woods. 

When I'm writing a book, I go on really long walks. I think about the story and who the characters are, and they slowly reveal themselves. As a writer, you start to understand why your characters are a certain way and what they want. 

What are you hoping readers will carry away from this story?

I would hope that after reading this and seeing Chip's strength, they will think, "Do I have this strength too?" Also, throughout the book I've tried to leave little wisps of magic to sort of make you look at the world differently, (to see that) magic is all around us if you're looking for it. I like to think that it's a book filled with hope and heart, and I just hope that when somebody closes the cover on the book their heart will feel full and happy.

Scott plans to hold book signings and appearances, but the details of those are still being worked out. People can keep up to date on this by visiting Scott's Web site, www.lisaannscott.com.

"School of Charm" is Scott's first children's book. She is the author of a self-published romance novel and a number of romantic short stories for different magazines. She also works as a voice actor.

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Photo: As cold weather breaks, Dave's Ice Cream opens for the season

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Dave's Ice Cream, weather

It's gotta be some sort of sign that spring is near when Dave's starts selling ice cream.

Owner Debra Webster would have opened a week ago, but she couldn't even get the ice off the parking lot. Finally, the parking lot is clear and the doors are open.

Webster has been in the ice cream business for 28 years, starting at the location that is now Dave's when she was 16. Six months later, she was the manager (it was Brenden's then) and working full time even while attending high school.

In 1995, she bought her first ice cream shop, an Abbott's Frozen Custard franchise in Brockport, which she still owns. Eight years ago, she bought Brenden's and changed the name to Dave's.

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Photo: Litter patrol on Main Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown

It might not be quite spring cleaning, but with snow melting and the sun out, two city workers patrolled Main Street Downtown this afternoon looking for any litter that may have become visible. They are Shawn Easton and Shawn McAlister.

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm

GCEDC board approves incentives for Liberty Pumps and Bank of Castile expansion projects

post by Howard B. Owens in bank of castile, batavia, bergen, business, GCEDC, liberty pumps

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved applications for two projects at its March 6, 2014, board meeting. 

The Bank of Castile/Tompkins Trust Company is purchasing a building located at 113-119 Main St. in the City of Batavia and plans to renovate the second floor (10,000 square feet) into a call center for its expanding operations because of limited space in its current location in the City of Batavia. The company also plans to maintain the first floor and continue renting space to current lessors. 

The company was approved for a sales tax exemption of approximately $53,600 and a property tax exemption of approximately $27,800 to expand its existing facility. The planned capital investment will total an estimated $1.5 million dollars and is projected to create two new jobs.

Tompkins Trust Company built a new 18,000-square-foot headquarters in the City of Batavia in 2004, investing more than $2.9 million dollars. The company had pledged to create 63 new jobs; as of 2012, it had created 74 jobs.

Liberty Pumps is planning a 100,000-square-foot expansion of its existing facility at Apple Tree Acres in Bergen, NY. The renovation will include new spaces for production, warehouse, research and development, as well as an office, auditorium and training center. An initial resolution for Liberty Pumps was approved to set a public hearing as the total amount of incentives exceeds $100,000. The capital investment for the expansion project is $9.8 million and will create 27 new jobs while retaining 124 employees at the facility.

In 2000 Liberty Pumps invested $3.7 million for the acquisition of the land and construction of a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. It underwent another expansion project in 2008 which entailed the investment of an additional $4 million for the construction of a 64,000-square-foot addition to the existing facility.

“It’s great to see companies that our agency has assisted with in past, come back to us with plans to expand their operations and create even more jobs in our region,” said Wally Hinchey, GCEDC board chairman.

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Car rams into back of school bus at East Main and Vine streets in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A car just rammed into the back of a school bus at East Main and Vine streets. Unknown injuries, but no children are on the bus. Batavia fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 4:28 p.m.: The assignment is back in service. There were no injuries.

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Batavia officer finds weather just warm enough for bike patrol

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD

At 7 a.m., when Officer Kevin DeFelice came on duty, it was about 20 degrees, but the forecast was for sun, so DeFelice, the officer in Batavia PD assigned to bike patrol, decided it was a good day to hop on two wheels rather than toil behind one.

DeFelice spent his shift on the bike on a day where the high eventually hit 35 degrees.

With the sun out and the snow melting, it did feel like spring, even though the forecast makes tomorrow look more like a temporary reprieve rather than an end to winter. There's a chance of snow the following six days in the forecast, but no anticipation of the unrelenting, bitter cold that has been such a part of this winter.

DeFelice can get around the city pretty quickly on his bike. After the shot above, he rode out to East Avenue near Clinton to assist with a traffic stop on a vehicle that matched the description of a warrant suspect (turned out to not be the person police were looking for). 

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Applications Available for Batavia City School District Universal Pre-K


   The Batavia City School District is pleased to offer the Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program for students and will continue to operate the program in the 2014-2015 school year, pending State funding. UPK provides an opportunity for four-year-old children to be involved in half-day, developmentally appropriate educational classes at no cost to their families. The District offers morning and afternoon programs, Monday through Friday, during the school year. (If the YMCA is selected to be the Community Based Organization to provide UPK in 2014-15, there will be an option to select a “wrap around” program consisting of Child Watch in the morning followed by UPK in the afternoon from12:30-3:00, then School Aged Child Care afterward. There would be a charge for the morning Child Watch and afternoon Child Care programs.) If new State regulations are passed, the District may offer a full day UPK program in the 2014-15 school year.

   Children who are residents of the District, are four (4) years of age on or before December 1, 2014, and who are not enrolled in a special education program with the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) are eligible to apply. Letters/applications have been mailed to all known eligible families, but also are available at the District Registrar Office in the administrative wing of Batavia High School, or by calling 343-2480 ext. 2008. They can also be downloaded from the District’s website, www.bataviacsd.org, by using the pull-down menu at the top of the page labeled “Parent,” or the Quick Link labeled “Parent Resources,” then clicking on the link for Universal Pre-K.  Applications should be returned by April 4, 2014, however, late applications will be accepted if there is an opening.

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Batavia Youth Football resurrected after hiatus as GLOW Fighting Ducks

Press release:

Batavia Youth Football is pleased to announce that it has affiliated with the Greater Rochester Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. In doing so BYF has been granted the opportunity to field a youth football team, with participants from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

This new team will reach out to all players from all four counties with no stipulations.

Teams associated with the GRPWLSI are the Chili Lions, Fairport Jr. Red Raiders, Greece Chargers, Hamlin Hornets, Irondequoit Scream’n Eagles, Monroe County Redskins, Ogden Bears, Webster Wildcats.

The season consists of seven games, all of which are played on Sundays. The games are refereed by certified NYS Section V referees according to NYS Section V rules. Each quarter is 10 minutes in length, including special teams.

The primary function of the GLOW Pop Warner youth football team and cheerleading squads will be to teach the fundamentals of the game of football and cheerleading as well as respect for education, and to develop strong, smart, responsible, healthy young men and women.

We want to develop our player’s appreciation for, and understanding of, leadership, teamwork and discipline.

Pop Warner football was founded in 1929 near Philadelphia. Since then, the participation has increased. Pop Warner football has had more than 250,000 participants, steadily increasing each year.

GLOW Pop Warner is looking to field three teams, Mitey Mite, Jr. Pee Wee, and Pee Wee with age ranges from 7 to 12 years old. It does not matter if the town where the child comes from has a NOFA or CYFL team, they will still be eligible to participate. 

GLOW Pop Warner youth football team and cheerleading squads are revamping their long accustomed uniforms to a more modern styling, similar to that of the Oregon Ducks.

Season long rate for both football players and cheerleaders is $50. Registration with be held at T.F. Brown’s in the side room of the main entrance on Saturday and Sunday, March 22 & 23, and March 29 & 30. Registration forms may be completed prior to registration dates and brought with the registrar. These registrations can be located on the Pop Warner Web site, at the top of the page under “Forms & Admin” – 2014 Player/Participant Contract.


    Saturday    March 22, 2014    (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
    Sunday     March 23, 2014    (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
    Saturday    March 29, 2014    (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
    Sunday    March 30, 2014    (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

Our athletes will compete with kids similar in age and weight. According to Pop Warner National Football, football is safer than soccer. Pop Warner has 12 percent fewer injuries per capita among 5-15 year olds than organized soccer in the same age range (**U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, NEISS).

The GLOW Fighting Ducks will only recognize the athletic accomplishments of the team, not the individual. Unlike other leagues where the main focus is on the competitiveness of winning and molding the next superstar, we will not track personal tallies of touchdowns, or yards rushing per game. We won’t count sacks or blocked kicks. We applaud the athletic efforts of the team to reinforce the importance of team work, with each member. Our goal is to show that each young person is an integral part of our team, and always will be.

If you have questions, contact Marc Lawrence, GLOWFightingDucks@gmail.com, or (585) 300-8213.

Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Pair accused of Park Avenue house burglary indicted on three felonies

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime
Akeem Simmons Nathaniel Davis

The duo accused of breaking into a house on Park Avenue in the city on Jan. 14 were indicted yesterday afternoon by the Grand Jury on three counts in connection with the alleged crime.

Nathaniel R. Davis, 18, and Akeem M. Simmons, 23, are accused of first-degree burglary for allegedly entering a house at 28 Park Ave. illegally with the intent to commit a crime, and one of the participants, Davis, was armed with a handgun. Both defendants are also accused of criminal use of a firearm, 1st, for allegedly possessing a loaded weapon during the commission of the crime.

No weapon was found on Simmons.

These are Class B violent felonies.

In count three, the men are accused of fourth-degree conspiracy, a Class E felony, for allegedly agreeing with one another to commit the crime.

The defendants were taken into custody in less than an hour after the burglary was first reported at 11:28 a.m.. Davis, who was allegedly armed, was caputured about 100 yards from the residence. Simmons was captured after a manhunt which lasted about 45 minutes.

According to Batavia PD Det. Rich Schauf, it didn't appear that anything was stolen.


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