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Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 8:34 am

Two-car accident with minor injuries, Clinton Street Road, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

A small child is in one vehicle.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 8:25 am

Rt 262 CSX Crossing to be closed Friday morning

post by Timothy Hens in bergen, Closures, Highway Construction

CSX Railroad has notified the Genesee County Highway Department of a short-term emergency closure of the CSX rail-grade crossing at Route 262 in the Town of Bergen. The closure is required to replace a broken rail within the crossing. The closure is scheduled for Friday morning (7/25) and should last about 5 hours. A detour will be posted on site.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 6:30 am

Today's Poll: Give your math skills a grade

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Smoke in residence on Holland Avenue prompts city fire response

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

City fire is on scene at 14 Holland Ave. after a report of smoke filling the residence. Firefighters say nothing is showing, investigating. It is a two-and-a-half story structure. The caller in another apartment evacuated the building.

UPDATE 6:02 p.m.: Command reports a possible "appliance burn out."

UPDATE 6:14 p.m.: A burned-out washing machine motor is deemed to be the culprit. This assignment is back in service.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Sponsored Post: The Town of Batavia Annual Harley Raffle is this Saturday at 6pm!

The Town of Batavia Harley Raffle will be held this Saturday, July 26th. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Audibull will be this year's entertainment.

We will also have a beer tent, T-shirts, pull tabs, and a 50/50 raffle. Winner need not be present to win. We invite everyone to attend. There is no charge for admission and you do not need a ticket to get in.

Come on down and check out all the motorcycles. We will be having a best motorcycle contest. Winners of each class will win a free T-shirt.

Thank you for another sold-out year and your overwhelming support for our department and the Town of Batavia.

Pictured from left, John Mullen, Mike Jones, Ben Fisher, Tim McJury and Stephen Kowalcyk.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Pasquale's already a big hit with Batavians

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pasquale's, restaurants

The New York Times writer Eliane Sciolino says, "the perfect bistro is a place where the dishes are traditional, the ingredients seasonal, the service attentive, the price acceptable and my relationship with the chef close enough that I can visit the kitchen when the meal is over."

Welcome to Pasquale's.

Mama Fasano promised us an intimate eatery filled with the treasures of family and the recipes of generations served in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

She's kept her promise.

The restaurant, at 341 Ellicott St., opened two months ago -- lunchtime only -- and is packed every afternoon.

It's the perfect kind of small lunch place for Batavia -- Italian classics such as ravioli, chicken cacciatore, tripe soup, pasta fazool, prepared and served by a longtime, local family, seated among your friends and neighbors (if you know anybody in Batavia at all, you'll run into people you know at Pasquale's).

The menu features a regular rotation of daily specials, plus a select few daily standards (for example, pasta and meatballs, of course, or beans and greens). Everything is fresh and homemade and as delicious as it looks. For your sweet tooth, try the cheesecake, which is thin and scrumptious, and comes with a dollop of real whipped cream on the side.

Batavia is blessed with a bounty of excellent, locally owned restaurants. Pasquale's is another great addition.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Congressman Collins announces $630,000 grant for construction at county airport

post by Billie Owens in chris collins, Genesee County Airport

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced $630,000 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Genesee County Airport. The grant will fund the construction for approximately 700 linear feet of taxi lane necessary to provide access to the new T-hangar areas at the airport.

“Supporting local governments with the cost of maintaining, repairing and building critical infrastructure is an appropriate use of federal tax dollars,” Congressman Collins said. “Local taxpayers send a lot of their hard-earned money to Washington and it is only proper that we get a share of it back to assist with projects that are important to our local communities.”

“The grant not only supports local construction jobs, but it allows for the construction of the aprons that are needed to erect additional facilities necessary to address Genesee County's long-standing waiting list for hangars,” said Timothy J. Hens, Superintendent for the Genesee County Highway Department. “More hangars means more activity at the airport, which is good for the county, and good for the businesses based at and around the airport.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Batavia man faces five criminal charges after high-speed chase Tuesday

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime

A 27-year-old man who lives on Liberty Street in the City of Batavia faces five criminal charges following a high-speed chase on Tuesday afternoon, according to a press release issued today by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

Derek Francis McQueen was operating a 2005 Suzuki GSXR motorcycle on Lewiston Road in the Town of Batavia when he was allegedly observed violating numerous vehicle and traffic laws. When Sheriff's deputies attempted a traffic stop, McQueen fled and after a high-speed chase was apprehended in the Town of Alabama.

He was allegedly found to be in possession of various quantities of heroin, methadone, morphine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. In addition, he had an active warrant out of the Town of Gates for an unrelated charge.

The charges against him are: unlawful fleeing a police officer / motor vehicle, 3rd; criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th; possession of a hypodermic instrument; unlawful possession of marijuana; and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Other charges include, reckless driving, aggrevated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and numerous traffic violations.

McQueen was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona, assisted by Deputy Christopher Parker.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

UMMC and Rochester General announce finalized alliance agreement

post by Howard B. Owens in business, UMMC

Press release:

Definitive agreements have been finalized by Rochester Regional Health System (RRHS) for previously announced alliances with two hospitals in the greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region. United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) in Batavia, Genesee County, and Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic (CSHC) in Ontario County are both expected to join RRHS by the end of 2014.

The formal binding agreement with each hospital, which lays out the terms and conditions for the hospitals becoming a part of Rochester Regional Health System, was developed by the leadership of Rochester General Health System (RGHS) prior to joining with Unity Health System to form RRHS and the leadership of each hospital. The agreements were unanimously approved by the boards of RGHS, CHSC and UMMC late last month, and then assigned and accepted by the newly formed Rochester Regional Health System at its inaugural board meeting in July.

RRHS was officially formed on July 1 as a union of Rochester General and Unity health systems, with a mission to provide a 14-county region with seamless, highly coordinated care. By joining Rochester Regional Health System, the two hospitals will ensure that the patients in their communities will have the same high quality care they are accustomed to as well as improved access to an integrated network of nationally recognized specialty services when required. 

“As health care reform continues to cause the most sweeping changes to the hospital industry in more than a century, rural hospitals in particular are struggling throughout the U.S.,” said Mark Clement, co-CEO of Rochester Regional Health System, “Through these alliances, the forward-thinking leaders of United Memorial and Clifton Springs will enable the residents of Genesee and Ontario counties to continue to have access to and receive world-class care, right at home in their communities.”

Warren Hern, former CEO of Unity Health System and now co-CEO of the new system agreed, noting that this growing regional footprint was among the many factors that caused the Unity Board to decide nearly 18 months ago to join forces with Rochester General.

For a number of years Rochester General Health System had maintained clinical collaborations in key service lines with United Memorial and CSHC as well as other area hospitals, to help those providers better meet their communities’ needs.

“This is the logical progression of a longstanding relationship between United Memorial and Rochester General, which has enhanced our hospital services and benefited our community,” said Mark Schoell, CEO of United Memorial Medical Center. “With this permanent, comprehensive alliance, United Memorial will become the western hub of an emerging leader in integrated health services.”

“We’re excited to finalize our plans to officially join Rochester Regional Health System,” said Lewis Zulick, MD, acting CEO of Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic. “In order for us to sustain the highest standards of community health, our patients must have access to the complete continuum of high-quality care. Working closely with Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, we look forward to serving the Finger Lakes region as the leading provider of comprehensive care.”

“We’re very pleased to be moving forward with formal plans to join forces with these respected organizations,” said Robert Dobies, board chair of Rochester Regional Health System, “and extend our footprint of extraordinary quality, patient satisfaction and value to the west and east.”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 10:38 am

The potential for arrest has dramatically reduced fighting at BHS, school officials say

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, crime, education, schools

The message seems to be getting through.

Batavia school officials were alarmed at the number of fights at the high school in 2012-13, so after some consideration, they decided to do what people do to curb criminal activity: call the police.

It was a big policy swing away from the traditional approach of schools, which is to handle problems on campus through internal processes such as counseling and suspensions. 

The new policy means students who fight could be arrested, put through the criminal or family court system and potentially see their names in police blotters (last year, The Batavian redacted the names of under-18-year-old students arrested on campus from arrest reports).

The change in policy had an immediate impact.

In 2012-13, 19 fights at BHS. In 2013-14, three.

"The resources we had available weren't changing views, and we needed to do something in order to change the behavior of kids choosing to fight while at school," said Superintendent Chris Daily during a press conference Tuesday. "We took it to the next level and it's worked."

Daily knew the new policy was having an impact when he was walking through a corridor at BHS and overheard a young lady and young man talking.

"He was obviously a little agitated," Daily said. "I heard her say directly, 'if you get in a fight, they're going to arrest you and then you're not going to be around this weekend and then we are done.' "

The other component of the new program is intervention. It takes some effort by teachers and counselors to become aware of potential issues between students, some reliance on students expressing concern about potential problems (more likely with the elevated consequences), but school officials work at the effort because they would like to mediate conflicts before fights erupt. 

"Peer pressure gets a negative rep, but there is positive peer pressure and the kids, they want to take care of each other," said BHS Principal Scott Wilson. "They are now reaching out to the adults in the building and looking for other ways of resolving conflicts."

In the case of Daily's overheard conversation, a counselor got involved and mediated the dispute. It didn't necessarily make the two potential combatants friends, but it did lessen the tension.

"It's been the hardest part of the rollout," Wilson said. "We've had countless remediations to resolve conflicts. Sometimes students agree to disagree, but they do not engage."

Officials hope students learn through the program that there are better ways to solve problems than fighting.

"The kids are learning, 'I can't handle myself this way,' " Daily said.

A pair of police cruisers showing up at the front entrance of the school as the result of fight gets the students' attention. After the first fight last year, Wilson said, the chatter among students wasn't the usual recap of the altercation; rather, students were talking about the arrests.

"The kids who have been through consequences, either through youth court or criminal court, have been our best advertisements to stop this behavior," Daily said.

The old policy kept students in a bubble, isolated from societal consequences of criminal behavior, and helping students learn that whether on campus or off, they are part of a larger community is one positive of the program, said Police Chief Shawn Heubusch.

"(When a student) leaves the school, he shouldn't have to abide by a different set of standards than he does while he's in the school," Heubusch said. "By applying that consistency and that constant communication, you should see that student carry that over into his personal life and into his community."

The words consistency and communication came up a lot during the press conference.

It was communicated clearly to students at the start of the school year that there would be criminal consequences to fighting, and school officials communicated with parents, particularly parents with children involved in conflicts.

There's also an outreach component to the effort. Heubusch doesn't want students to just see his officers as the long arm of the law. He wants them to understand they're available to help.

Det. Richard Schauf has been a regular presence on campus in the mornings, in uniform, greeting students along side Daily and Wilson.

At first, Schauf said, students were wary (quite a contrast to the warm welcome from elementary school students when Schauf goes to Jackson School), but over the course of the year, many students became cordial and talkative.

Greater police involvement on campus, Schauf said, helps create a better learning environment.

"I don't care what age you are, if you don't feel safe, you're not going to learn," Schauf said. "You're not going to learn because you're going to be more concerned about protecting yourself, and we want students to learn."

The motto at the school is "Take Care of BHS" and the program reinforces that motto, Wilson said.

"It helps us deliver that message and building that culture of 'Take Care of BHS', that fighting is something we don't do in this building," he said.

Daily, a former BHS principal himself, said he has seen the new policy have a real positive impact on school culture.

"By using this, it's really helped our school community heal something that was very disruptive," Daily said. "We're hoping going forward, that message continues, and that message gets out and we're going to eliminate this kind of behavior from school. Kids are going to make mistakes and we're going to be there to help them learn, but we just took another resource and used it to help us get a better result."

Photo: Board Member Pat Burk, Wilson and Daily.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 9:25 am

Law and Order: Trio accused of trespassing on railroad property

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

Kyle Brian Sovocool, 22, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, is charged with trespass. Sovocool allegedly drove a vehicle on property owned by Rochester Southern Railroad in the area of Circular Hill Road in the Town of Le Roy. Also charged with Brandon John Richard Vangrol, 19, of Quinlin Road, Le Roy, and Ronald Baltasar Gonzalez, 29, of Spencer Court, Batavia.

Jennifer P. Hepp, 31, of Clinton Street, Cowlesville, is charged with felony DWI/drugs, DWI under Leandra's Law, aggravated unauthorized operation, 1st, endangering the welfare of a child, driving without an interlock device. Hepp was stopped at 2:32 p.m. July 15 after a report of an erratic driver on West Main Street, Batavia. Two children were allegedly in the car at the time of the stop by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Dakota J. Kamysek, 22, no permanent address, is charged with petit larceny. Kamysek allegedly stole two mobile phone chargers from Hess Express. Kamysek was jailed on $1,500 bail or $3,000 bond.

Brandon Weig, 26, of Livingston Street, Warsaw, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Weig turned himself in on a warrant and was jailed on $1,000 bail.

James P. Coles, 35, of Alexander, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd, and offering a false instrument for filing. Coles was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Zachary T. Ford, 18, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, obstructing governmental administration and unlawful possession of marijuana. Ford was arrested by Le Roy PD after a report of an intoxicated male attempting to unlawfully enter a residence on East Main Street early in the morning. When officers attempted to take the suspect into custody, Ford allegedly kicked and tried to spit on the officers. Ford allegedly caused damage in excess of $250 value to a patrol vehicle. Ford was jailed on $2,000 bail or $5,000 bond.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Drug Task Force announces pair of arrests

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke
Jacob Patterson David Truesdale

Two alleged drug dealers who are suspected of selling heroin and crack cocaine in the City of Batavia have been arrested by the Local Drug Task Force.

Jacob W. Patterson, 18, of Killian Road, Pembroke, and David C. Truesdale Jr. (aka "True"), 24, of Sylvester Street, Rochester, were arrested as the result of separate investigations.

Both Patterson and Truesdale are charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Patterson allegedly sold quantities of heroin to an undercover agent while in Batavia and Truesdale is accused of selling crack cocaine to an agent.

Patterson was arrested on a warrant July 16 at his residence. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Truesdale was already in custody on unrelated charges. He was arraigned on the new charges and ordered held without bail.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Calves and farm equipment stolen in Le Roy area

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, crime, Le Roy

A case of calf rustling has hit Le Roy and Western Monroe County.

A farmer is out 14 black and white bull calves along with a Dewalt generator, Dewalt saw, and Napa battery charger. A nearby farm is also missing a milk replacer and hay.

Sheriff's Office investigators suspect the thefts are related and that the people responsible for the calf thefts are raising the animals but not bringing them to auction.

The thefts occurred within the last week or so and a witness describes one of the suspects as a larger white male with either a bald head or very short hair and another suspect as a white female.

The suspect vehicle is a dark-colored minivan, possibly burgundy, with tinted windows.

Anyone with information are asked to contact Investigator Timothy Weis at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3572.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm

YWCA's Wheels & Heels is Saturday at Stan's, benefits kids affected by domestic violence

post by Billie Owens in Wheels & Heels, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA's 2014 Wheels & Heels event includes something for everyone, from a cool vehicle show and motorcycle ride to a bicycle rally, basket auction, fashion show, food fest and children's games. It's set for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at Stan's Harley-Davidson, 4425 W. Saile Drive, Batavia.

The party is being thrown to benefit YWCA of Genesee County, specifically to fund new programs for children affected by domestic violence.

As bicycles head out on a 25-mile trek, motorcyclists will go on a 100-mile trip around Genesee County. There will be a few stops and goodies along the way, with the finale at Stan's, where more fun will continue.

The registration fee for the vehicle show, motorcycle and bike rides is $25.

Admission to Wheels & Heels is $5, and that includes entry for a drawing tickets, registration forms or more information, call (585) 343-5808.

Assorted foods will be available for purchase, including lobster rolls, seafood chowder, grilled hotdogs, pulled pork, ice cream treats and popcorn. Spectators may also want to check out the assorted vehicles on display, fashions on a flatbed and live entertainment.

"driVen," a three-piece rock band from Genesee and Orleans counties, features Mike Warren on bass and vocals, Dylan DeSmit on lead guitar and vocals and special guest drummers Alex DeSmit and Dan Ryan. The band has been performing for about a year at various locations in Western New York and bills itself as “not just another cookie-cutter classic rock band.” It features both classic and modern rock. Warren was previously the bass player and vocalist for Savage Cabbage and Dylan DeSmit was the founder of Above the Fog and currently performs with Zero, Delano Steele, The Night is Young and Methanol.

Not to be left out, kids can play in a bounce house and will have the challenge of a scavenger hunt with opportunity to win prizes. Youth and adults will be walking the runway to show off fashions from local merchants.

Announcement of the YW's $10,000 cash raffle will be made at 4:30 p.m., though winners need not be present. Tickets are going fast, at $15 each, $60 for five or $100 for 10. There will also be several items up for bid in a basket auction.

All proceeds will help serve some of the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence: the children, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

YWCA staff has developed the You Engaging Success program for victims of issues that come about for children who are being exposed to domestic violence in the home.

"So that they can move forward, away from the cycle of fear and anger," Walton said.

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