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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

STOP-DWI announces holiday enforcement detail

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, STOP-DWI

Press release:

Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator Matt Landers announced today that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving.

While we spend this Holiday Season celebrating with friends and family and looking forward to the blessings of a New Year, the law enforcement community across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on December 12th and will end on January 1st.  New York State Police, County Sheriffs and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.  Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.  Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem.  Sheriff Gary T. Maha advises that he will have dedicated DWI patrols and Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) out looking for impaired drivers this holiday season and enforcing the DWI laws. “Our goal is to have zero DWI related accidents over the holidays.”

The STOP-DWI Holiday Season Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and implemented by the STOP-DWI Foundation.  In addition, the Foundation has created a new Mobile App – “Have A Plan” that is available as a free download for smart phones to help find safe rides home no matter where you may be celebrating.  Many thanks to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for its support of this new technology. Go to www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp or visit your app store.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. It is significant to note that nationwide in 2012, during the Holiday period (December 12-31), there were 1,698 motorists killed in traffic crashes with 31% attributable to impaired driving.  According to NHTSA data, 60 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed were not wearing their seat belts and 42 percent were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver who had a blood alcohol content of .08 BAC or higher.  Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidents of drunk and impaired driving.  Have a safe and happy Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Batavia Area Jaycees announce Christmas light decorations winners

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Area Jaycees

Press release:

The Batavia Area Jaycees were out driving around on December 14th looking at all the homes that had decorated for the Holiday Season.  Judging is always tough as there are a lot of beautiful homes decorated throughout the community.  These awards are meant to be given out as a friendly community project.  

Homes were judged on various different categories and the winners are:
Most Traditional: 206 Osterhout Avenue
Simple & Elegant: 67 Clinton Street
Best Dressed Streets: Union Street, Redfield Pkwy, Ellicott Avenue
Best in Snow: 23 Meadowcrest Drive
Most Commercial: Corner of Naramore Drive and North Street
The judging committee also had a few Honorable Mentions: 
15 Edgewood Drive, 27 Clinton Street, 59 Tracy Avenue and 3 South Main Street.
Take a night to drive around with family looking at all the wonderfully decorated homes for the holiday season. 
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Collins critical of Cuomo's fracking ban

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement on Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking.

“Governor Cuomo has just denied the people of New York a tremendous economic opportunity in order to appease far-left environmentalists for his own political gain,” Congressman Collins said. “The Governor continues to hide behind Albany bureaucrats and controversial scientific studies to stand against hardworking New Yorkers who deserve the job opportunities and economic growth fracking has clearly produced in other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania. This is a sad day for the future of the economy in Upstate New York.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

Notre Dame beats Elba in girls basketball, 51-31

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

The score may not reflect it, but the Elba Lady Lancers played an intense, hard-fought game against archrival Notre Dame on Tuesday night.

They came up short, 51-31.

"Elba's very well coached," said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. "They're hard-nosed girls. They're going to be reckoned with all year. We're fortunate to do what we did."

The Lancers' game plan called for a pressure defense that would attempt to hold the Fighting Irish to 12 points or under per quarter.

All went to plan in the first half. Notre Dame scored only eight in the first quarter (six on a pair of threes from Shea Norton) and 11 in the second quarter.

Unfortunately for Elba, their shots weren't falling either and the Lancers trailed 19-10 at the half.

"I thought we both played good defense in the first half," said Tom Redband, head coach for Elba. "They started to pick it up in the second half and our shots continued not to fall. We had some untimely turnovers and the rest is history."

Pero said his team was pretty hyped up about playing Elba, but they relaxed in the second half and that, along with some adjustments to deal with Elba's press, made the difference.

"The listened to what we needed to do," Pero said. "That's a sign of good quality girls. They'll listen to you when you need to make adjustments." 

Notre Dame features three starters who are all six-feet tall and over. Elba's shooters repeatedly found their shots being knocked down, and rebounds were hard to come by.

"You practice the boxing out and you practice the crashing, but it's hard to simulate the 6-1, 6-2," Redband said. "They get an extra hand on the ball. It's a tough match up for us."

While both teams are in the Genesee Region League, Elba is Class D and Notre Dame is Class C.

Elba, now 3-1, looks like a team that can make a run at sectional play, though Redband is taking a one-game-at-time approach.

"We have some work to do like we all do this time of year," Redband said. "It's only our fourth game. It's a long season. Fifteen more games. We've got two more games before the break, then we've got 16 days off, so we'll be able to fine tune some things before the new year."

Guard Alex Riegle scored 14 ponits (with four three-pointers) for the Lady Lancers and proved a deft ball handler and capable court leader, even against Notre Dame's pressure defense.

For Notre Dame, Rebecca Krenzer had 15 points, Norton 13 and Emma Francis 11.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

Law and Order: Hunter allegedly found with stolen handgun

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Stafford

David E. Stone, 63, of Route 237, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd. Department of Environmental Conservation officers were investigating a report of a person hunting with a rifle in the area of Morganville Road, Stafford, when they came into contact with Stone. Stone was allegedly in possession of a shotgun, loaded rifle and a loaded .357 caliber revolver. Stone is accused of not possessing a valid pistol permit. It's alleged that the revolver was stolen from a residence in the Town of Le Roy sometime within the past three years. Stone also faces possible DEC charges.

Jame Albert Hancock, 45, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear in October on a criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, charge. Hancock was held on $1,000 bond.

Kara Ellen Wojkowski, 31, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wojkowski was allegedly involved in a fight with another person in her household.

Jessica L. Ford, 23, of Oak Street, is charged with assault, 3rd. Ford allegedly hit another person causing pain and injury. She was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Richard C. Smith, 47, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Smith was stopped at 3:21 a.m. Sunday on West Main Street by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Francis George Germuga, 54, of Stringham Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, improper U-turn, moving from lane unsafely and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 7:18 am

Order your 2015 Genesee County Photos calendar today

post by Howard B. Owens in advertisement, Sponsored Post, thebatavian

We're a little behind in putting together our 2015 calendar of Genesee County photos. We'll take orders up until Monday morning. It will be difficult, but we'll try our best to get them in the mail by Jan. 1.

The price this year is $15.95, plus tax, plus $4 for shipping and handling.

To order individual prints of the photos contained in the calendar, click here.

Purchase via PayPal using the button below, or mail your check (must be received by Monday's mail) to The Batavian, 200 E. Main St. #5, Batavia, NY 14020.

To order by credit card, call our office either today or tomorrow only, 585-250-4118.

Order Calendar via PayPal:

 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 6:29 am

Unknown injuries, car into pole, Route 98, Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba

A car has hit a utility pole on Route 98 near Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Elba.

It's unknown if there are injuries at this time.

Elba fire responding.

UPDATE 6:30 a.m.: A caller on location reports no injuries and minimal damage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Rotary ready for 26th tip-off of girls basketball tournament at GCC

The 26th annual Rotary Basketball Tournament is Jan. 6 and Jan. 8 at Genesee Community College and this year features Alexander, Batavia, Notre Dame and Midlakes.

The Rotary Club hosted the teams (Midlakes couldn't make it) in its annual tournament announcement luncheon at the YWCA.

Pictured are Madison McCulley and Samantha Cecere, from Batavia, Emma Francis and Emily McCracken, from Notre Dame, and Sydney Breton and Elizebeth Taylor, from Alexander.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Police investigating death of infant in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Police are investigating the death of a 6-month-old who was transported by ambulance to the emergency room Sunday morning after being found at a relative's home unresponsive.

An autopsy was performed yesterday, but the results are pending.

The name of the baby or parents have not been released.

The baby was transported by Mercy EMS at 9:48 a.m., Sunday, from a residence on Olyn Avenue, Batavia.

The baby was pronounced dead upon arrival at UMMC.

Police responded to the hospital to begin an investigation at 10:34 a.m.

In a press release, officials say that detectives are working closely with family members, the Medical Examiner's Office and the District Attorney's Office to determine the cause of death.

The police are asking that any one with information to contact Batavia PD at (585) 345-6370.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm

First of three men arrested in burglary spree pleads guilty

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke
William Kelly Robert Kelly Michael Correia

One of three men who are accused of a multi-county burglary spree in late August is facing up to four years in prison after entering a guilty plea in County Court this afternoon.

Michael Correia is being released on his own recognizance, as part of the plea deal, and being allowed to return to his home in Syracuse after pleading guilty to burglary, 3rd.

Correia admitted to driving a vehicle to a construction site on East Main Street Road, where his accomplices went into a building and then exited with stolen items.

The alleged accomplices are Correia's nephews, William Kelly and Robert Kelly.

The trio were picked up following a traffic stop in Wayne County, where a deputy became suspicious of all the material in their vehicle.

After being questioned, the men admitted to heists in Genesee County.

Local investigators went to Wayne County and questioned the men further. They reportedly admitted to burglaries in Pembroke and Batavia.

The charges against the Kelly brothers are still pending.

Since Correia did not actually enter the buildings, an element of the crime he needed to confess to today was that at the time he arrived at the East Main Street Road location, he knew his nephews intended to enter the building and steal items.

That was a point Correia found difficult to understand.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, shackled, with long gray hair, full gray beard and black-rimmed glasses, Correia initially told Noonan he didn't know the Kelly brothers intended to steal anything, though he did say that he knew the items they placed in his vehicle before leaving were stolen.

This perplexed Noonan, who conferred with the attorneys and then tried another line of questioning.

Under questioning, Correia admitted that he drove his vehicle to a location in Lancaster, where he said he knew his nephews entered a building and stole items.

He agreed then, he knew they were going to steal items in Batavia.

"You intentionally assisted them in the commission of that crime," Noonan asked.

"I don't understand, 'assisted,' " he said.

His attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, whispered something to him and Correia then said that yes, he assisted.

At which point, Noonan could accept his plea of guilty.

Without the plea deal, Correia faced a maximum sentence on the third-degree burglary charge of two-and-a-third to seven years in prison. The plea deal caps his potential term at one-and-a-third to four years. He could still face the maximum if he violates the terms of his release while awaiting sentencing.

Sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., March 13.

Correia and the Kelly brothers still face charges in other jurisdictions, including possession of stolen property in Wayne County.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

Volunteers for Animals offering $750 reward in animal cruelty case

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, crime, pets, volunteers for animals

Via The Batavian's news partner, WBTA:

A man walking a dog on East Main Street sometime two weeks ago reportedly stomped a cat to death and Volunteers for Animals is offering a $750 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.

"The owner of the dog sent the dog after the cat and the cat was being thrown up in the air," said Wendy Castleman, with the volunteers. "Then the man stomped on the cat, and according to the examination by a local veterinarian, the cat had numerous injuries caused by the dog as well as a broken spine and a crushed skull caused by the stomping."

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m., Dec. 3, Castleman said, in the area of 600 E. Main St., Batavia.

"We see a lot of neglect at the shelter but this is different in that it is a very violent act," Castleman said. "We all found it extremely disturbing that someone would do this."

The volunteers initially offered a $500 reward, but through a donation this morning were able to up the reward to $750.

Batavia Police encourages anyone with information to call their confidential tipline at 345-6370.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

T.F. Brown's, Lions invite all to annual community Christmas dinner

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Christmas Dinner, Lion's, T.F. Brown's

The Lions Club and T.F. Brown's are getting everything ready once again to host their annual community Christmas Dinner.

The Christmas dinner is free to members of the community who wish to attend, but reservations are required.

Children who attend will receive presents from Santa.

If you would like to donate toys for the children, T.F.'s is hosting a happy hour Thursday evening. Bring in a toy and the first cup of cheer is on the house. Be sure to wear an ugly sweater and you could win a prize.

Seatings for dinners -- noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., Christmas Day.

To make reservations, call (585) 345-1000. You'll be asked to provide the number in your party, the seating you wish to attend, and the names, ages and gender of the children attending.

Pictured: Dan Milliman, Jeff Pangrazio, Rick Mancuso, John Murray, Joe Teresi and David Johnson.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 9:10 am

YWCA announces new help line

post by Howard B. Owens in YWCA

Press release:

In another step to serve those in need throughout Genesee County, YWCA has developed the Care and Crisis Helpline, Executive Director Jeanne Walton says.

The Helpline will replace a portion of Regional Action Phone services 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It will serve as a connection for people in crisis to find supportive and skilled responders who will assess the situation and provide real-time intervention and referrals as needed.

Genesee County Mental Health Department put out a request for proposal last month, which prompted YWCA officials to assess the nonprofit's current client services and develop a crisis-based Helpline. During its Dec. 10 meeting, Genesee County Legislature approved the contract and related funding for YWCA of Genesee County.

“When we found out that Genesee County Mental Health was seeking a provider for this service, it seemed a perfect avenue for us to extend our offerings to the community,” Walton said Wednesday. “Helpline Program Manager Holly Baxter has more than 30 years of experience in this field, and we felt that she will be key to making a smooth transition in the New Year. We are excited to add a Helpline to our other crisis and prevention services.”

The toll-free number (844) 345-4400 will be up and running as of Jan. 1. YW officials opted to keep their domestic violence hotline in place as well, since it has become widely established. That number is (585) 343-7513. While those calls are more concentrated on domestic violence issues, Helpline staff will be capable of taking those calls in addition to calls for any mental health-related issues, including depression, the loss of a loved one, suicidal tendencies, addictions, bullying, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Trained staff will connect the caller to specialized agencies when appropriate, such as law enforcement, the hospital’s emergency room department and county on-call therapists established by Genesee County Department of Mental Health.

“Our goal is to provide a valuable community resource that gives every person going through crisis the help, support and encouragement needed to guide them toward a better path,” Walton said.

Hours of service will be 24/7, which not only fills an emotional need in the community, but will also create the equivalent of three full-time jobs. On-call crisis workers will receive extensive training to respond immediately to calls for help with everything from the holiday blues to rape and domestic violence. Interested applicants are encouraged to e-mail [email protected].

Holly Baxter will be the program manager as of Jan. 1. She has worked with hotline services for more than three decades, including at Life Line in Rochester and at RAP. She brings a personal passion and a wealth of experience in the field of crisis services with specialized training and intervention skills. She is also no stranger to YWCA, having been a victim advocate at the agency several years ago.

"I think it's a tremendous opportunity for people to receive crisis care from members of their own community," Baxter said. "There's a tremendous need, and our staff will be able to address everything from anxiety attacks and bullying to someone diagnosed with a serious illness. And we will constantly be updating training so that it's ongoing learning. You have to have a heart for people."

Area agencies may want to consider adding this service as a way to ensure ongoing care of their clients, Baxter said. For more information, call YWCA at (585) 343-5808.

A local number of (585) 344-4400 will be in place as well as the toll-free number (844) 345-4400. Both will be up and running by Jan. 1.

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