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Monday, April 14, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Town of Bethany set to sell old Town Hall to Landmark Society of WNY

post by Howard Owens in Bethany

After many years of trying to find a proper use or proper buyer for its old Town Hall -- built in 1836 -- the Town of Bethany is prepared to transfer the property to the Landmark Society of Western New York on a $10 purchase price.

The board passed a resolution 4-0 Monday night that will help make transfer of the property to the society.

Officials hope the Landmark Society of WNY is better suited and will have better luck finding a buyer who will preserve the historical character of the building.

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm

A sad day in Bethany after passing of Supervisor Louis Gayton

post by Howard Owens in Bethany

People in Bethany are mourning tonight following the unexpected death of Town Supervisor Louis J. Gayton.

News of Gayton's death spread shortly after volunteer firefighters and medics were dispatched this morning to his home on a report of a 79-year-old unresponsive male.

Town Clerk Debbie Douglas heard the call on the radio and couldn't believe it.

"He worked hard and he did a lot for this town that people will never know," Douglas said. "He was an awesome guy."

The town board had a regularly scheduled meeting tonight and met as planned. Deputy Supervisor Walter Wenhold opened the meeting with a moment of silence and a short prayer.

Afterward, board members remembered Gayton fondly and said he was a great supervisor for Bethany.

"I think Louis was a very compassionate type of guy," Sue Neer said. "He always listened to everybody. He never came out with an opinion and said, 'This is it. We're not going to talk about it.' He listened and listened and listened and wanted everybody's opinion, then he formed his decision."

Ed Pietrzykowski said Gayton pulled the town through some tough times, particularly when he took over as supervisor around 2005 when the fight was on over windmills in the town.

"It was a hard time and it was hard on him," Pietrzykowski.

But he always kept his cool, Wenhold said.

"He was always cheerful," Wenhold said. "I never seen him get crossed, no matter what happened."

Paul Fleming said, "He liked helping the people of the community. He cared about the community."

Most recently, Gayton was a big proponent of public water for Bethany and Gayton was pushing hard to make it happen for the town's 1,800 residents.

"The town has no industry and he always said, 'if you want industry you've got to have public water," recalled Pietrzykowski.

His obituary hasn't been released yet, so biographical details are scarce, but people who knew him said he came to Bethany nearly 50 years ago from Perry, where he still has family.

He was a member of the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department from the 1960s and served as chief around 1988. He was highway superintendent for a number of years before becoming supervisor.

Wayne Walker, also a former Bethany chief in the 1980s and volunteer going back to the 1960s, was at the fire hall tonight and recalled Gayton as a man dedicated to his community who would do anything to help people.

"He wanted to be there for people," Walker said. "He was the same way as highway superintendent. If people needed something he was there to help."

We happened to talk on the phone with former Elba Town Supervisor Lucine Kauffman tonight and she recalled Gayton as one of her favorite people to run into at GAM meetings.

"He was one of those guys who always had a smile on his face," Kauffman said.

Gayton did a lot for the Town of Bethany, Douglas said, but his biggest contribution was putting the town on a strong financial footing.

"He put this town in a fantastic financial situation," Douglas said. "We've had no debt to speak of. We pay off everything in cash. He did a great job with our finances and I think that's very important in this day and age."

Douglas teared up more than once while talking about Gayton, saying she would miss him terribly.

"This town is like family, which is why we all get along so well and we work together so well and he's a family member who's gone," Douglas said.

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Emergency dispatchers have had a busy first quarter with calls and new systems

post by Howard Owens in Sheriff's Office

It's been a busy first quarter in the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center.

There've been 6,476 calls to 9-1-1 and another 24,242 nonemergency phone calls, all while the Sheriff's Office grapples with the installation of a new communications system and new phone system. Dispatchers also now handle calls for the State Police in the county.

These points were covered during a departmental review by Sheriff Gary Maha and staff members during today's Public Service Committee meeting.

There have certainly been bugs in the new radio communication system being installed by Harris RF out of Rochester. Dropped signals, calls not being received, distorted transmissions, but all of these issues are being worked out, the Sheriff and staff members said.

A consultant from Colorado was in town last week and said when the system is working, it will be state-of-the-art, one of the best in the nation with nearly complete coverage of the county. But in the meantime -- largely because the county is under a tight deadline to get it up and running -- watching the process is "like watching sausage get made," Maha said.

"Normally these bugs are worked out ahead of time," said Steve Sharpe, director of emergency communication.

"He made me feel better," Maha added. "He said we'll get through this and it will work the way it should."

Dropped transmissions are down from 8 percent a month ago to less than 1 percent today, Sharpe said.

The system won't be fully functional until three new towers in the county are completed. Meanwhile, there will be constant tweaking.

Each new upgrade means transmitters must be re-tuned because with simulcasts, transmissions must be handled within a millisecond. If the timing is just that much off, it causes interference.

A firmware update by Harris meant all 1,700 of the county's radios (covering police and fire and highway departments) had to be re-programed. It takes from eight to 10 minutes to program each radio.

The Sheriff's Office has also had a busy quarter with prisoner transports. Because our county jail can't house female prisoners and the neighboring counties have run out of available female cells, deputies must transport prisoners to and from Wayne and Allegheny counties.

So far this year, there have been 465 transports consuming 750 man hours.

A transport now typically ties up a deputy for his entire eight-hour shift.

With the jail nearly fully staffed and an average of five fewer male inmates per day, the jail has spent $26,000 less on overtime so far this year compared to last year.

At Genesee Justice, grant funding is down, but the case load remains steady. There are 188 conditional discharge DWI cases, 119 victims receiving assistance, 183 violators on community service and 103 DWI convicts on interlock systems.

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm

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Monday, April 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Workshop teaches young students the craft and art of animation at GO ART!

post by Howard Owens in arts, batavia, GO ART!

Skyler Hampton works intently on his animated character "The Boxer" during an animation workshop this morning at GO ART!

Youngsters 9 to 12 years old are being shown the foundations of animation by Dave Puls, creative director for Animatus Studios in Rochester over the course of a three-day workshop.

Dave Puls.

Cole Ashley and Skyler Hampton.

The Boxer.

Lily Whiting at work on her project.

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 8:49 am

Law and Order: Woman arrested following alleged altercation on State Street

post by Howard Owens in batavia, alexander, crime, Le Roy, Oakfield, Pavilion, pembroke

Melissa R. Piazza, 25, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass, harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Piazza allegedly told another woman that she was going to kill her, broke a screen window and was trespassing on residential property. The alleged incident was reported at 7:47 a.m. Sunday. Piazza was jailed on $1,000 bail.

A 17-year-old resident of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with no headlights and failure to keep right. The teen was stopped at 10:20 p.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Jeremy A. Preston, 23, of Prospect Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Preston was stopped at 10:35 a.m. Thursday on Prospect Avenue by Officer Devon Pahuta.

Michael L. Williams, 34, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Williams allegedly slapped a child during a domestic incident. He also allegedly grabbed and punched a woman while a child was watching. Williams was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Bobby L. Mobley Sr., 55, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, refusal to take breath test and driving with inadequate stop lamps. Mobley was stopped at 11:37 p.m. Saturday on Central Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Jason Ivison.

Krisopher A. Anderson, 22, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Anderson was charged following a call for an alleged domestic incident at 2:40 a.m., Saturday.

Sara T. Cupler, 21, of Church Street, Alabama, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Cupler was arrested by Officer Devon Pahuta following a call to assist another agency at a residence on West Main Street, Batavia.

Bernard Lee Evans, 43, of Cato Street, Pavilion, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and aggravated harassment, 2nd. Evans was arrested while incarcerated at the Genesee County Jail on new charges stemming from an alleged incident on March 26 on Starr Road, Pavilion. No further details released.

Christopher Edmond Nanni, 18, of Fox Road, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession marijuana and speeding. Nanni was stopped on Drake Street Road, Oakfield, at 12:07 a.m. Sunday, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Michael A. Michalow, 56, of Baitz Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with felony DWI, felony aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, driving without an ignitiation interlock, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, no stopping/standing on public highway, refusal to take breath test and unlicensed operation. Deputy James Diehl was dispatched at 9:11 p.m. April 4 to a report of a disabled vehicle blocking the roadway on Ledge Road, Alabama. Following an investigation, Michalow was arrested and jailed on $15,000 bail.

Megan Theresa Gill, 20, of Church Street, Le Roy, is  charged with harassment, 2nd. Gill allegedly grabbed a victim's arms and held them behind his back during a fight, which was reported at 3:32 p.m. April 5 at a location on Perry Road, Pavilion.

Gregory A. Dejesus, 23, of Perry Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dejesus is accused of striking a victim in her the face with a closed fist during an argument, which was reported at 3:32 p.m. April 5 at a location on Perry Road, Pavilion.

Aaron M. Hatt, 18, of Alexander, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and harassment, 2nd. Hatt was arrested by State Police following a report of an alleged incident at 11:03 a.m. Friday in the Town of Pembroke. No further details released.

Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Loud music, profanity complaint on Harvester Avenue in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A caller to dispatch complains of loud music and profanity coming from a place in the first block of Harvester Avenue in the city. Batavia police are responding.

Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Police respond to ham-throwing incident at Save-A-Lot

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

A man who reportedly threw a ham at another customer inside of Save-A-Lot is on the lam on Ellicott Street, according to dispatchers.

Police are responding after a manager complained that the man on the lam threw a ham at another customer.

The victim of the ham-throwing incident is in the parking lot.

Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Police looking for Radio Shack larceny suspect

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

Law enforcment is on scene at Radio Shack on Veterans Memorial Drive investigating a theft of items from the store.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned black male wearing "sparkly jeans." He's also missing a front tooth, is skinny and was wearing a baseball cap.

It's unknown if he fled on foot or got into a vehicle.

Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Businesses warned to be alert for fake $20 bills being used for purchases

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

There's been a rash recently, according to Batavia PD, of counterfeit $20 bills being passed at local businesses.

The counterfeits are being discovered at banks after local businesses make their deposits.

Officer Eric Hill said it should be pretty easy to spot the fakes. They are photocopies of actual $20s. Hills recommends businesses use a counterfeit pen on all $20s coming into their shops.

"They will not pass the pen test," Hill said.

Here's more information on how to spot fake currency.

Batavia PD is looking to talk with anybody who might have information about the bills.

BPD can be reached through dispatch at (585) 345-6350 or leave a message on the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Caller says horse on Alexander Road is malnourished, without food or water

post by Billie Owens in alexander, animal abuse

A caller to dispatch reports what appears to be a malnourished horse on Broadway Road in Alexander. The caller claims there is no food or water at the location and is remaining on scene until an animal control officer arrives.

Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 6:14 pm

All available manpower called to Corfu Fire Department for search

post by Billie Owens in corfu

For reasons we did not hear, all available manpower for Corfu Fire Department is called to the station for a search detail.

UPDATE 6:31 p.m.: The Corfu assignment is back in service. The subject of the hunt was a male and the mother reports the person is back at the residence. A deputy is going there to complete a report.

UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: She will be transporting her son to a hospital for evaluation.

Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Car wreck with injuries on eastbound Thruway

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 387.6. Town of Batavia fire is responding along with two Mercy ambulances. A crew from Oakfield is requested to fill in at Town of Batavia's fire hall.

UPDATE 3:09 p.m.: A Mercy Flight helicopter is called and will land on a field at Genesee Community College adjacent to the Thruway.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.: Mercy Flight has a five-minute ETA.

UPDATE 3:32 p.m.: Mercy Flight is transporting a patient to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE: Photo submitted by a reader.

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