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Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Weather notes for Saturday afternoon

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather

There is a high wind watch in place for Monday morning through Monday night. Winds from the southwest of 25 to 35 mph expected with gusts up to 60 mph. Possible impacts include trees down and power lines down. Travel could be difficult for high profile vehicles. Holiday decorations and loose outdoor items, such as trash cans, could be blown away. Scattered power outages are possible.

A flood watch, the result of melting snow, remains in effect from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: The flood watch has been upgraded to a flood warning through 4:15 p.m., Monday.

A high of 60 degrees is predicted for Monday. A high of 37 degrees with snow is predicted for Tuesday.

From UMMC: "The blood drive scheduled for Monday, November 24th has been cancelled by the Red Cross. Their mobile unit requires repairs and the necessary parts are undeliverable from Buffalo due to the recent storm."  The blood drive will be rescheduled to a date in January.

Tim Adams sent in these three photos of pumps and hoses loaded and ready for transport to Lackawanna to assist with anticipated flooding clean-up. The equipment is from Godwin Pumps (Xylem). Making the trip from Batavia are Steve Wenzka, Steve Carmichael, Todd Palmer, Dan Judd, Herb Schroeder and Adams.

The Batavian's news partner 13WHAM has a story about anticipated flooding in Genesee County.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Today's Deals: The Rack Shack, Mooney's Sports Bar & Grill, Larry's Steakhouse, and more!

post by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day

Pudgie's Lawn & Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Autumn is here and Pudgie’s has everything you need to enjoy the season -- sturdy mums in glorious colors, new Neanderthal fall bulbs, houseplant care products, organic gardening products, sprouting seeds and nutritious micro-greens. "Don't garden hard, garden smart!" Now selling Annin Flags, made in the USA, and taking orders for NFL and college football team flags. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

T.F. Brown's, 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." Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Jagged Edges Salon, 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, NY: Jagged Edges Salon is a walk-in and appointment salon for men, women and children. It is a fun, welcoming salon that offers all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, treatments, and facial waxing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Rack Shack, 4974 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, NY: Genesee County's newest BBQ restaurant offers a varied menu that ranges from tender, tasty slow-cooked BBQ ribs and smoky beef brisket to Cajun catfish, ribeye steaks, burgers and wraps. Family owned and operated, the atmosphere is warm and comfortable, and the meats are smoked on-site. The homemade BBQ sauce is “sweet with a spicy kick.” Sides include authentic Southern-style collard greens, 5-bean chuck wagon beans with bacon and ground meat, mac ‘n’ cheese, tator tots and more. Catering available. Dine in, take out, phone in (585-201-7077). Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 to 7, closed Monday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Scooter's Restaurant in Le Roy, 140 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Le Roy, NY: Come see us at Scooter's family restaurant with our friendly atmosphere and homestyle cooking! We offer classic American food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. We also offer a full take-out menu anytime. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12. Valid only for lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, 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.

$$$  Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: Dave's offers only locally purchased products, including Perry's hard ice cream in a wide variety of yummy flavors, with a wonderful assortment of toppings and homemade waffle cones. Different soft-serve flavors are offered weekly. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Stretch your body and soul with yoga. This offer is a $20 gift certificate off instruction for the price of $5! Not good with any other discounts or offers.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

$$$  Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, NY. A retail and special-order bakery and cafe located in Downtown Batavia inside Seymour Place. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, it offers fresh artisan bread like baguettes, sourdough and rye starting at noon. The custom cakes are out of this world with 3D characters or gorgeous wedding cakes to suit any budget. For all your sweet treats, we have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Mooney's Sports Bar & Grill, 65 Lake St., Le Roy, NY: "Not Your Average Sports Bar!" This place is Home of the Mac N' Cheese, an All-American favorite with nine kinds to choose from. Plus, monster 1/2-lb. burgers, huge tacos, pizza, wings, fingers, wraps, soups, salads, appetizers (including deep-fried pickles), a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches, seafood, and plenty more. Mooney's has a fun, welcoming atmosphere where you can enjoy watching your favorite teams. Endless soda pop, great selection of ice-cold beer. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Catering available. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entirefamily. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facials, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $7.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

$$$  Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $7.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St., Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

RULES:

[Last updated June 6, 2014. Subject to change without notice.]

A $1 PayPal service fee applies on items more than $10. The fee is 50 cents on items $10 and below.

Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase, unless it states otherwise. It is not valid with other offers, has no cash value, and does not include gratuities. Only one gift certificate per-merchant, per household every SIX months. Gift certificates cannot be combined with other offers without prior approval of the merchant. Gift certificates bought separately cannot be combined for a single purchase. Individuals buying gift certificates must use their own personal PayPal account for the purchase. For hair salons, good for services only, not products.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. Unless other arrangements are made immediately after purchase, the gift certificate will mailed to the winner at his or her PayPal-provided postal address within two or three days of purchase.

Santino's Pizza

Alli's Cones & Dogs

SOLD

Mooney's Sports Bar & Grill

SOLD

The Mane Attraction

SOLD

Larry's Steakhouse for lunch

SOLD

Scooter's Restaurant in Le Roy

SOLD

Pudgie's Lawn & Garden Center

Center Street Smoke House

SOLD

Settler's

Ficarella's Pizzeria

SOLD

$$$  Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro

Bohn's

Jagged Edges Salon

SOLD

The Rack Shack

SOLD

$$$  Spirits

T.F. Brown's

SOLD

Blue Pearl Yoga

Bourbon & Burger Co.

SOLD

$$$  Dave's Ice Cream

O'Lacy's Irish Pub

SOLD

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle

SOLD

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew

Oliver's Candies

SOLD

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Frost Ridge owners will open new restaurant and bar at former Delavan's location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Frost Ridge

It's the little neighborhood restaurant that could and it will keep chugging thanks to David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell, who purchased the longtime bar-and-grill at 107 Evans St., Batavia, this week.

Luetticke-Archbell have owned and operated the Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy since 2008 and they see their new establishment as an extension and complementary to what they're already doing.

Most recently, 107 Evans has been Delavan's, which owners Bill and Patti Cultrara closed almost exactly two years ago to the day that David and Greg completed their purchase of the property.

They're calling their new restaurant Delavan's The Little Ridge and promising "great food."

The restaurant is situated in a residential neighborhood and David and Greg think it's a perfect location for the warm, friendly atmosphere they hope to create.

It's going to feature American cuisine, much like they already serve at The Barn Grill at The Ridge, which they say has gotten rave reviews from customers, such as "some of the best American food around."

"We hope to knock your socks off," David said.

There will be prime rib, baked chicken, designer hamburgers, fish fries and salmon, with Greg overseeing the kitchen in the winter.

"The fish fries Greg has been doing, everybody has been loving," David said.

As for the salmon, again, David promises we'll love it.

 "Everybody who has ever said, 'I don't like salmon' eats his and loves it."

Since some of the menu will be a hold over from Delavan's, David said Bill Cultrara has graciously offered to share some of his secrets.

They also plan to bring in acoustic music and assuming they continue to host live music concerts at Frost Ridge (there are still a pair of lawsuits pending that challenge their ability to do that), the national acts they bring in will be invited to The Little Ridge for pre-concert meals.

David and Greg had given no thought of opening a restaurant in Batavia, and had no idea the location was available until they went to an auction of the contents of the building Oct. 27.

Once they stewed in the idea awhile, they couldn't pass up the opportunity, David said.

"Sometimes opportunities knock and this one just clicked," David said.

The two men, along with help from their children, staff and friends, are cleaning up the restaurant, bringing in new equipment, getting everything ready to serve customers again. They plan to open Jan. 1.

"This was like a diamond that needed to dusted," Greg said. "We see the potential it has. The charm and the smallness of being manageable for one and a Cheers-like atmosphere."

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Dog fell into icy water on Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford, but owner got it out

post by Billie Owens in animal rescue, Stafford

A dog fell through ice at a pond at 5434 Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford. It was 30 feet from the shoreline. The location is between West Lake Road and East Lake Road. Stafford fire was called but then the owner was able to make contact with the dog and get it out of the water.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Photos: Wonderland of Trees gala at HLOM

post by The Batavian in batavia, hlom

Photos and write-up by Steve Ognibene.

The 13th annual Wonderland of Trees Gala of 2014 was tonight at the Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia. This year there were 38 trees from different area businesses including nonprofits.  Director Jeff Donahue, entering his fifth year at the helm, spoke about how they have had as many as 40 trees in previous years but it became to crowded so they like to keep it under 40. Jeff also spoke a little bit on the history. It originally was held at McCaully Hall (St. Jerome's building) on Main Street and started out small with only a few trees. After a few years, the event shifted locations to the HLOM. Friday's dinner was catered by D&R Depot. This year featured a choir, a local entertainer Don Bouchard on acoustic guitar, a silent auction, and a greater number of donated raffle baskets. The display will continue through Christmas and end just after New Year.

Julie Marino and Brianna Rindall of Batavia.

Amy Worthington of Amy's Fluffy Friends with her tree.

There was a silent auction and basket raffle.

Musical accompaniment by Don Bouchard.

Jim Owen and Marilyn Donahue

The Quaker Muller tree

The Girl Scout tree

Ben Landers

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Weather notes for Friday evening

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, Darien, Oakfield, weather

Top photo, members of the Oakfield Fire Department assist the Alexander Fire Department in clearing snow from the rec hall in Alexander (photo submitted by Jeff Christensen).

Six special rescue trucks from the New York City Fire Department, part of a special task force, were at the Home Depot in Batavia today on their way to Buffalo. The trucks were specifically designed and built for high-water rescues following Hurricane Sandy. The trucks were sent to WNY in anticipation of flooding Monday with warmer weather, rain and snow melt. The vehicles can carry up to 16 people each through high water. (Photos submitted by Steve Hynes Fisher)

Some coverage from The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM:

The Thruway Authority announced the I-90 has reopened.

Press release:

Motorists should be aware of the following restrictions:

  • Thruway (I-90) between Exit 50A (Cleveland Drive) and Exit 61 (Ripley – Pennsylvania state line) will be limited to essential travel only, including travel needed to exit the region, deliver necessary supplies, and remove snow. In this section, all exits are open wherever localities have lifted travel bans.

The following exits remain closed to traffic exiting from the Thruway, although traffic is permitted to enter at these locations:

  • Exit 56 (Blasdell -- Orchard Park -- Mile Strip Road -- NY Route 179)
  • Exit 57 (Hamburg -- East Aurora -- NY Route 75)
  • Exit 57A (Eden --  Angola)
  • Exit 58 (Silver Creek -- Irving -- NY Routes 5, 20 & 438)
  • I-190 (Niagara Thruway) is open, but there is no access to Exit 1 (South Ogden) through Exit 5 (Hamburg – Louisiana).

The Town of Darien office is closed until 9 a.m., Monday.

Photo -- Steve Ferry digging out the Bartlett residence in Darien:

John Brown's car in Alexander this morning:

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Big black green-eyed male cat missing from Water Street home in Attica

post by Billie Owens in animal rescue, Attica, pets

"Luckson" -- a "very large" green-eyed all-black cat from Water Street, Attica -- has been missing for several nights now and the owners are hoping someone took him in during the severe weather conditions.

They would love, of course, for their dear, four-legged friend to be returned. They are just worried sick about their shelter adoptee and hope Luckson's luck has not run out.

If you know of his whereabouts, please contact Brittany Boyce at 585-813-2772.

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Jury finds Dashawn Butler guilty on all three counts

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

It took a jury only a couple of hours of deliberation to decide that Dashawn Butler is guilty of criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, and attempted assault, 1st.

Following the verdict, which came at the end of the second day of Butler's trial, Judge Robert C. Noonan ordered Butler held without bail until he's sentenced at 10 a.m., Dec. 22.

He faces up to 15 years in state prison.

Before he was taken to jail, he collected his personal belongings he had with him -- an iPhone, a necklace of beads and a cross and his black-and-white plaid shirt -- and had a deputy hand them over to his girlfriend, who wept while she waited.

The conviction stems from shots fired incident Sept. 27, 2013, at 117 State St., Batavia.

The case was wrapped up with closing arguments just before 2:30 p.m. Noonan spent about an hour reading jury instructions and then sent the jury into a private room for deliberations.

The jury sent out notes twice with questions and then announced it had arrived at a verdict shortly before 5 p.m.

Today's proceedings included testimony from a witness who is a firearms expert and one defense witness, whose testimony was meant to suggest that Butler's intended victim, Kelly Rhim, came to State Street that night expecting trouble.

Defense Attorney Thomas Burns tried to establish during the trial that without physical evidence that there was a gun, shots were fired, and Butler fired the gun, there was more than reasonable doubt that his client was guilty.

Before closing arguments, Burns made a motion to have the charges dismissed based on the insufficiency, as he sees it, of the prosecution's evidence.

Noonan has yet to rule on that motion. He said he will issue a ruling before Butler is sentenced. It's technically possible that Noonan could still throw out the charges, thereby overturning the jury's verdict.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman takes a different view, of course, of the evidence.

It's beyond a doubt, but not just a reasonable doubt, Friedman told jurors during his summation that the defendant is guilty as charged.

"This defendant possessed a loaded firearm," Friedman said. "That's what the evidence points to and that's what all of the evidence establishes. He pointed it at Kelly Rhim and he intended to shoot Kelly Rhim."

Where Burns called into question Rhim's character, Friedman said Rhim's testimony wasn't even necessary for the jury to return a guilty verdict.

Burns listed off Rhim's long criminal history, his alleged failure to pay child support, his keen taste for marijuana and the inconsistencies in his story and said his version of events weren't trustworthy.

"Would you trust the word of Kelly Rhim knowing what you know now?" Burns asked. "Would you rely on his honesty if it effected the safety and security of your family?"

Friedman didn't try to boost Rhim's credibility. Rather, he told jurors that Rhim's testimony wasn't necessary to establish that Butler possessed a loaded firearm.

"The defense wants to make all of this about Kelly Rhim," Friedman said. "This case is not about Kelly Rhim. It's about Dashawn Butler. To focus entirely on Kelly Rhim and his credibility is ignoring the fact that the most important witness in this case is Traci Leubner."

It was Leubner's testimony that put a revolver in Butler's hand, Friedman said. It was Leubner's account that demonstrated that Butler expected to shoot Rhim and was surprised when all of his shots missed.

Her statements, Friedman said, were corroborated by the other witnesses, even without Rhim's testimony.

Leubner, a former girlfriend of Butler's, is the witness who refused to testify yesterday for fear of her own safety, and, instead, her grand jury testimony was read for the jury.

Burns was unsuccessful in an attempt yesterday to get a sworn statement from Leubner introduced into the record as well, because there are some possible inconsistencies in the two stories presented by Leubner.

The issue of physical evidence, or the lack of it, loomed large in today's proceedings.

Steve Padin, a firearms instructor at the Erie County Police Academy, and 25-year veteran of Buffalo PD, testified for the prosecution about how and why a person firing a handgun could not only miss his intended target, but also completely miss anything else.

Without the gun, there's no way of knowing with 100-percent certainty whether the weapon fired was a revolver, a semi-automatic or an automatic. 

If it were a revolver, Padin testified, it wouldn't automatically eject shell casings, so no casings would be found at the scene.

The smallest caliber handgun most commonly available is a .22.  

A slug fired from a .22 handgun, if it hits no object, will travel more than a mile before losing speed and dropping to the ground.

Burns told jurors that if Butler approached Rhim from the angle suggested by witnesses, then there should have been bullet holes in the wall of 117 State St., if not, then another object nearby.

Friedman argued that Butler would have been firing in a direction that would have sent bullets north on State Street, with the possibility of there being no objects to hit. The slugs would never be found in that case.

Or if the slugs hit a sidewalk, they could have disintegrated or flown off in who knows what direction; and if they hit dirt, they would be nearly impossible to find.

Padin also testified that it would be quite easy for an inexperienced shooter to miss a person standing even just 10 feet away while firing a handgun.

While Rhim testified he was surprised he wasn't hit by a bullet, Padin wasn't surprised at all.

The quality and design of the gun can effect its accuracy, while environmental factors from wind to light can effect a shooter's accuracy. But more importantly, a shooter's ability or inability to keep the weapon pointed at its target while under stress or excitement can easily cause the shooter to miss.

Padin brought a demonstration device. It looks like a pistol but only fires a laser beam. It's used with students to show them how these factors impact accuracy.

Inexperienced shooters, he said, tend to anticipate the gun's recoil, so they might jerk it down, up or to one side or the other just before pulling the trigger.

Friedman: "Is it possible to miss a human-size target, even one as close as 10 feet away?"

Padin: "Yes."

Friedman: "Have you seen that happen?"

Padin: "I have, many times."

Which brings us to the question, "Who fired the gun?"

Obviously, the jury concluded that Butler did it.

Burns didn't offer another alternative, but he did open the door for the jury to speculate. Friedman, of course, reminded the jury to stick to the evidence and not speculate.

"When it comes to the question of any weapon in that Cadillac, it's a case of protesting a little too much," Burns said. "He isn't outraged at getting stopped for DWI. He's upset when nine officers stop him because they believe he has a gun in that car. And after he witnessed this terrible experience where he got shot at in a neighborhood he said he went back to protect his family, and he knew he left family on the front porch, he drives to a parking lot near Ri-Dans and smokes marijuana and then goes into the bar to drink with no concern for (his family member), no concern for the children in the neighborhood."

Going to Ri-Dan's "probably isn't what most people would do," Friedman told the jury, "but that isn't an argument that the shooting didn't happen." 

The one witness called by Burns was Angel Ramos, who said Rhim has been a family friend for many years.

Ramos, who made it clear almost as soon as she sat in the witness stand that she didn't want to be there, testified that she was at her mother's house on Hutchins Place when Rhim pulled up in the white Cadillac that night.

Rhim said, according to Ramos, "Are you strapped in? Are you ready for war?"

That, Burns suggested, was an indication that Rhim was looking for trouble on State Street that night.

"There's no evidence that Kelly Rhim ever possessed a gun at any point in his life," Friedman said. "There's no indication that Kelly Rhim committed any crime that night on State Street."

As for the statements attributed to Rhim by Ramos, they really don't mean anything, Friedman told the jurors.

"Even if you assume, just for argument's sake, that this was a warning to expect trouble, that doesn't mean he was going to do anything or that he had a gun. That would be entirely speculative because we have no evidence (to support the suggestion)."

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Turkeys still needed for Salvation Army's Holiday Food Baskets

post by Billie Owens in charity, Holidays

Press release:

The Salvation Army of Genesee County is still seeking donations of 10-12 pound turkeys for their Holiday Food Baskets. Turkeys will be given to Genesee County residents as part of a food basket, which contains items to prepare a traditional holiday meal.

Donations of turkeys can be dropped off during normal business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m to 4 p.m., at The Salvation Army on East Main Street. Monetary donations can be mailed to: The Salvation Army 529 E. Main St. Batavia NY 14020 and in the memo write: Banquet in a Box.

For more information contact: Major Patty at 343-6284 or e-mail at [email protected].

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Batavia Downs cancels live races tonight and tomorrow night

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press release:

As a direct result of the relentless snowstorm that has crippled most of Western New York, Batavia Downs has announced that it will forgo live racing for the remainder of the week. The programs that were originally scheduled for tonight (Nov. 21) and Saturday (Nov. 22) have been cancelled.

The decision was made jointly on Thursday by Batavia Downs management and the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association (WNYHHA) and both parties agreed it was the only thing to do.

Bruce Tubin, president of the WNYHHA said “In view of the devastating storm that has kept our horses from their daily exercise routine, our trainers from leaving their homes, and our blacksmiths and veterinarians from attending to our horses, I have mutually agreed with Batavia Downs management to cancel our Friday and Saturday race cards. There was physically no way for us to properly prepare our horses to race this weekend.”

Todd Haight, director/GM of live racing at Batavia Downs added “It would have been impossible for the equine athletes to compete at the highest level when most haven't been able to leave the barn for days. The decision to cancel this early takes the pressure off all parties involved.

"Our main goal now is get the barn area cleared of snow and the racetrack in the best possible condition for next Wednesday. We regret having to cancel but it was the right thing to do to make sure we didn’t experience any injuries on or off the track.”

Further concerns cited were about horsemen who ship in from areas that have been devastated by the snow and the changing conditions forecast over the next two days taking the weather from cold and snowy to a rapid meltdown and flooding by the weekend.

In light of these cancellations, pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission, there will be two double-headers carded on the last two Saturdays of the meet. Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 will now offer two complete cards of racing at 12:15 and 6:35. Live racing at the Downs is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, Nov. 26. That leaves eight cards of live racing over six days.

Please note the new draw schedule. The Friday and Saturday afternoon cards will be drawn on Tuesday. The Saturday night cards will be drawn on Wednesday. And the final two Wednesday’s will be drawn on Friday, as always. The box will close at 9 a.m. If you have any questions please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6161.

Haight also noted that starting Wednesday, Nov. 26, the purses will increase by 20 percent in an effort to help the horsemen through the cancellations and as they come to the five week winter break at the end of this meet.

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Deadline to apply for holiday assistance from Salvation Army extended

post by Billie Owens in christma, Salvation Army

Press release:

The local Salvation Army has extended the deadline to apply for Christmas toys and food. Applications for the Christmas Toys and Food Baskets will be received until Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 3:30 p.m.

“The recent snowstorm has made it very difficult for families and individuals to come into the office and we want to make sure every family and individual has the opportunity to apply," Major Patricia Kurtz said.

Those who wish to apply must bring picture ID, proof of household income, and proof of household expenses. Acceptable forms of documentation are: receipts, bills, bank statements, checkbooks, and letters from the Department of Social Services.

For more information contact: Major Patty at 343-6284 or e-mail at [email protected].

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm

City leaf pickup may be rescheduled

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather

If all had gone according to plan, today would be the last day of leaf pickup in the city, but the recent snow storms have made leaf clean up impossible.

Many residents probably still had leaves on some trees when the first storm hit.

City Manager Jason Molino said if warmer weather and snow melt permits, the city may reschedule a period of leaf pickup around the city, but officials won't be able to make that determination, at the earliest, until after this weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Flood watch statement for the City

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Press release:

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the City of Batavia and Genesee County from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning, Nov. 23-26.

Two significant lake effect snow events this week have brought deep snowpack across the area. This snowpack stores a large quantity of water, and a warming trend begins early this weekend. By Saturday afternoon, air temperatures will remain above freezing through Tuesday night. Daytime highs will rise to near 50 F degrees on Sunday and near 60 F degrees on Monday.

At first the snowpack is expected to absorb much of the water from the snow melt. However as the snowpack ripens, and with the addition of a half inch of rainfall expected Sunday night and Monday, the potential for flooding will rapidly increase.

Recommended precautions/preparedness actions for Batavia residents:

• Monitor forecasts for the latest alerts;
• Make sure sump pumps are turned on and are functioning;
• For those living in low-lying areas or near areas prone to flooding, move the items in your basement up off the floor;
• Don't drive in standing water or flooded streets;
• Do not drive beyond barricades that indicate a street is closed;
• Please help the City keep the storm drains free from debris. Many leaves were in the streets awaiting pick up prior to the snow storm. As the snow melts, these leaves will move toward storm drains and block drainage capability. THIS WILL CAUSE STREET FLOODING. City workers will be out clearing drains throughout the melting period, and the CITY IS ASKING ALL RESIDENTS TO rake leaves and debris away from the storm drains throughout the melting period. Please help neighbors who are out of town or unable to perform this task;
• In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Flooding safety message from the Office of Emergency Management

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Press release:

Following two significant snow events this week, the National Weather Service is predicting a warming trend over the weekend and into early next week that will result in major water runoff as the snowpack melts.

FLOODING

Flooding can be expected in flood-prone areas. Based on rising temperatures the resulting water run off can be expected to be between four to six inches. Basement flooding will likely occur including some areas that have not previously experienced such flooding. It is recommended that you consider moving items stored in basements to higher levels to prevent water damage.

Be alert for water in underpasses that can collect as storm sewers reach capacity. Do not drive through any standing water on roadways as vehicles may become stalled in high water, leaving the operator and passengers stranded. Also be careful if you must walk through flooded areas. As little as six inches of moving water can result in a fall.

COLLAPSE DANGER

Heavy snow pack on building roofs presents the danger of roof collapse. If you hear strange noises such as creaks and groans in your home, it is recommended that you leave the building for a safe location and notify 9-1-1. Do not enter property you suspect may be in danger of collapse. Property owners should be vigilant of the snow load and if practical, efforts should be made to remove excessive snow from building roofs to reduce the weight.

STORM-RELATED HEALTH ISSUES

Throughout this snow and flooding event, it is important to not overexert. The snowpack is heavy with accumulated water and difficult to remove even with power equipment such as a snow blower. Older people particularly should consider a snow removal contractor to clean driveways and assist with removing snow from heavily loaded roofs.

Check exhausts from furnaces, hot water tanks and other fuel burning appliances to be sure they are clear of snow or other blockage. When blocked, carbon monoxide fumes can back up into dwellings resulting in the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Remember carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. 

If you exhibit symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning such as headache, dizziness, nausea, flu-like symptoms or fatigue, impaired judgment, chest pains or confusion, dial 9-1-1 immediately for assistance.

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

The Weekend Lineup: 11.21.2014

post by Paul Draper III in entertainment, lineup, music, weekend

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