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Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Statement from Sheriff Gary Maha on SAFE Act

post by Howard B. Owens in 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act, Sheriff Gary Maha

While working on a story we published earlier, we asked Sheriff Gary Maha for his position on the SAFE Act. Here's what he e-mailed to The Batavian:

I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York. I am sworn to uphold the laws whether I agree with them or not. It is up to the Courts to determine if a law is unconstitutional or not, and it is up to our State Legislature to pass, not pass, amend or repeal any laws. Unfortunately, the Safe Act is the law of the land, but we are not going to go out and actively enforce it. However, if we receive a complaint with regard to a violation of the Safe Act, we are obligated to investigate it and take appropriate police action, which could be arrest.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Collins suspends his own pay during federal shutdown

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

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has asked House leadership to suspend his own pay during the duration of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Late last night, Collins sent a letter to House administration requesting that his pay be withheld for the length of the shutdown.

This comes after Collins announced growing support for his bill that would suspend pay for all Members of Congress during a government shutdown. Eighteen members of the House have signed onto the Government Shutdown Fairness Act.

“The American people sent us to Washington to do a job,” Congressman Collins said. “If we cannot live up to that obligation, we should not be taking a pay check, a paycheck that is funded by the taxes paid by our fellow hardworking Americans. If the federal government is shut down Members of Congress should not get paid, and we should not be held to a different standard when it comes to Obamacare, either.”

Last night, Collins voted for a measure that fully funds the government and eliminates any special treatment and exemptions from Obamacare for Congress and its staff, as well as the President and his appointees. The Senate refused to act on the proposal.

“The American people deserve more from their Congress and it is time, as Members of Congress, that we put ourselves at the back of the line and put our constituents first,” Congressman Collins said.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Correction and clarification on arrest of Stafford man allegedly found with AR-15

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford

First, a correction. We reported Sept. 25 that a Stafford man found with an "assault rifle" was on probation at the time of his arrest.

He was not on probation.

Brett William Snyder, 50, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, third degree.

One count under Section 2, Subsection 7 for alleged possession of an "assault weapon," and one count under Section 2, Subsection 8 for alleged possession of a "a large capacity ammunition feeding device."

While this might sound like a violation of the NYS SAFE Act, it is not. Both laws banning the particular rifle and magazines allegedly found in Snyder's home have been on the books in New York since 1994.

Snyder was allegedly found in possession of a Windham Weaponry semi-automatic assault rifle Model WW15 with a pistol grip, bi-pod, scope and expandable stock.

He was also allegedly found in possession of three 30-round clips and two 20-round clips. One of the 30-round clips allegedly had 30 .22 rounds in it.

The weapon was reportedly discovered by a probation officer who was at Snyder's residence to do a routine check of a person on probation who resides at the same place.

The probation officer reported seeing an unlocked weapon's case with the rifle in plain view. He reported seeing a flash suppressor on the weapon and contacted the Sheriff's Office about a possible SAFE Act violation. 

The officer said he asked Snyder if he knew that it was a violation of the terms of probation for the other person living with him to possess a firearm and Snyder said he didn't think it was a problem because that person wasn't holding it. The probation officer said he informed Snyder the weapon needed to be locked away in order for it to not be a probation violation.

According to the probation officer's statement, Snyder was known to him because Snyder was at one time on probation because of a prior felony conviction.

The District Attorney's Office clarified for us today that both laws being used to prosecute Snyder were on the books prior to passage of the SAFE Act and this is not a SAFE Act case.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Photo: Restriping Route 5

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, route 5

Worked crews were out on Route 5 earlier today restriping Route 5 on the east side of Batavia to create center turn lanes and left-hand turn lanes. This is an NYS DOT project aimed at creating safer traffic patterns near the entrance of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

Photos: East Pembroke fire completes surprise extrication drill on Stegman Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, east pembroke

East Pembroke's volunteer firefighters arrived at the fire hall last night expecting just another Monday night of training and extrication practice.

Typically, a car would be parked behind the fire hall and firefighters would rip it apart as it sat, flat on flat ground.

Last night, Chief Don Newton thought he would throw them a curve. Just as they had unloaded the department's extrication equipment from the heavy rescue, East Pembroke's tones went off.

The report: A rollover accident on Stegmen Road.

It was a drill, but Newton figured the expected change of plans would get his firefighters in a different frame of mind.

"When we set something up as a drill, they're in response mode, they're in call mode, they're in extrication mode, they're looking for something better to do while on scene," Newton said.

Rather than dealing with a car on all four tires on flat ground, the firefighters are practicing in something like a real-world scenario: A car on its roof on a creek bank.

It makes for better training, Newton said.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer firefighter, visit ReadyGenesee.com.

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Photo: Rotary Annie on the moooove

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Rotary, GO ART!

We are told that Rotary Annie is typically delivered to the unsuspecting victim in stealth, but Ray Shirtz and Ed Leising were caught in the act -- dropping off the sacred cow at Seymore Place/GO ART! early this evening.

Our highly confidential source informs us that since GO ART! is host to Rotary meetings, it's unlikely anybody in the building is facing a fine for having the cow on display.

Typically, the fine for a Rotary member who gets the cow is $60, though it's possible to purchase insurance for $30.

There should probably be some fine for getting your picture on The Batavian moving the cow.

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Photo: Tree and barn on Prole Road, Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, fall, Stafford

Shot late this afternoon.

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Batavia Downs opens new gaming floor Friday

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business

Press release:

Batavia Downs announced today that the gaming floor portion of its highly anticipated expansion project will open on Friday, Oct. 4.

"We are very excited to open this first phase of our expansion,” said Michael D. Kane, president and CEO of Batavia Downs. “As a public benefit corporation, the expansion of the gaming floor and the addition of three new restaurants will allow us to generate more revenue for local municipalities.”

As a public benefit corporation, all profits from Western OTB and Batavia Downs Gaming net expenses are contributed back to the 15 counties and two cities of Western New York.

Pictures and videos from the expansion as well as updates can be found on Batavia Downs’ Web site (www.bataviadownsgaming.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bataviadowns) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/bataviadowns). A grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting and other events will occur in a few weeks.

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Sponsored Post: Genesee Chamber launches new Haunted History Trail of New York State!

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has developed a new statewide paranormal trail that includes hauntings and ghostly events in Genesee County, along with 12 additional counties across the state. 

From Rolling Hills Asylum in Genesee County, to Wing’s Castle in the Hudson Valley, follow the legends, hauntings, and spooky heritage of the Empire State's most historic sites.

“Paranormal tourism has become quite popular over the last few years, and our Chamber needed a platform to promote our haunted asset (Rolling Hills) to that niche audience. This summer, we did an outreach to statewide tourism agencies to see who might be interested in a collaborative program. We were pleasantly surprised that 12 other counties wanted to be a part of our new program, and we expect more to join in 2014,” said Kelly Rapone, tourism marketing director for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.”  

Enter to Win a "Night of Fright" in the Finger Lakes, discover the ghostly happenings, stay in haunted hotels, and watch the night sky for a UFO. Explore by region or by experience. Forge your own path or join in eerie events and ghoulish guided tours going on now throughout the state. Explore the hauntings at www.HauntedHistoryTrail.com.

From the macabre to the mysterious -- join us this fall on the Haunted History Trail of New York State and check out the full line-up of events for spooky fun!

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm

GO ART! announces 2013 Community Arts Awards

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GO ART!, thebatavian

Press release:

GO ART! presents its 13th annual Genesee-Orleans Community Arts Awards Gala Dinner & Auction at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Terry Hills Golf Course and Banquet Facility, 5122 Clinton Street Road (Route 33), Batavia. Each year, GO ART! recognizes the extraordinary contributions in art and culture made by individuals and organizations in the Genesee-Orleans region at this unique event. This year’s honorees are:

Community Arts Awards:

  • Business -- Laura Gardner, “a lily & a sparrow” in Medina
  • Business -- Howard Owens, The Batavian
  • Cultural Organization -- Barb Toal & Friends of Batavia Peace Garden
  • Artist -- “The Humans” – John Dumrese, Richard Doolan, Gar Trusselle, William Kuhns, Martin Busch and the late Danny Long
  • Artist -- Carol “Kay” McMahon, musician from Genesee County

GO ART! Board of Directors Special Recognition: Mary Pat Hancock, chair of the Genesee County Legislature

Linda L. Blanchet Award: To be announced

Tickets are $27/non-members, $25/members, and advance reservations are required. Enjoy a delectable dinner and desserts while local band “The Old Hippies” featuring Bill McDonald provides musical entertainment. Dress is business casual.

A silent auction featuring quality work by local artists, artisans and cultural organizations will be held throughout the evening, and the annual Gala Raffle will be held as well. The Grand Prize this year is 14K white gold pendant necklace with black and white diamonds .50ptw, compliments of Valle Jewelers; Value $1,250.

The Raffle tickets have a requested donation of $5 each or five for $20, and are available at GO ART! and at the event. Winners will be selected in a random drawing at the GO ART! Gala on Oct. 26; you do not need to be present to win.

For more information, call 585.343.9313, e-mail [email protected], or visit www.GOart.org.

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm

'Taste of Fall Wine Walk' tickets are sold out

post by Billie Owens in BID, fall wine walk

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District Promotion Committee announces that the 4th Annual “Taste of Fall Wine Walk,” Saturday, Oct. 5 is completely sold out.

For those that have tickets it will be a super evening with wine tastings, foods and special fall discounts at 21 different stores and businesses. This has been a sell out for the fourth year with 600 tickets being sold.

The starting point for the event will be at GoArt!, 201 E. Main St. Registration is from 5 to 6 p.m. Ticket holders will receive their bracelets, commemorative wine glasses and a goodie bag. Please bring proper ID.

Enjoy the Taste of Fall Wine Walk and be safe and responsible drivers. There are still Designated Driver Tickets available at $5 per person.

Remember, visit our Downtown restaurants following this event. You will find them listed on our Web site directory.

This event is brought by the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District, Inc. Visit www.downtownbataviany.com or Facebook: Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District, for more information about this and other events.

(FYI -- Due to a processing error, ticket numbers 451-700 were never printed, creating a gap in sequence, but this has no effect on tickets sold.)

For information contact: BID at 585-344-0900.

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Deadline is Oct. 8 for nominations for YWCA's Fabulous Females awards

post by Billie Owens in fabulous females, YWCA

Press release:

This year's Fabulous Females Committee has decided that there are too many good women and young ladies in Genesee County to ignore. So the 2013 event will include an award each for females ages 12 to 17; 18 to 30; an overall 2013 recipient and someone chosen out of the pool of prior recipients for continuing her contributions to the community.

The awards lunch is set for noon Saturday, Nov. 16, at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road. Deadline for nominations is Oct. 8.

All of the awards fit into this year's theme that is based on Chinese folklore about red thread. Invisible threads connect a newborn child's spirit to all of the people who will be important in the child's life. So it is with this community, and how each award recipient serves to pull all of the pieces together.
Hosted by YWCA of Genesee County, this event is to include a light-hearted afternoon of lunch, entertainment and awards. Based on the beauty of nature, awards range from the Seedling to Bouquet to capture each stage of development.

Recipients for all but one of the awards will be announced before the event. The Bouquet Award will be kept secret for a surprise unveiling that day.

"This event has evolved over the years, and we really hope to create a memorable day for not only the award recipients but those family, friends and colleagues in attendance," YW Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. "Much in the way a flower develops from a seedling into a full-blown blossom, these recipients have demonstrated their own unique beauty. And the legacy winner will be the celebration of a bouquet of accomplishments!"

Before any awards can be handed out, though, people need to submit their chosen candidates by Oct. 8. Here is the criteria for each category:

  • The 2013 Fabulous Female Seedling Award will go to a young lady between 12 and 17 who has demonstrated perseverance and gumption through adversity and a willingness to help out the community. Her growth is evident despite her age. The ideal candidate is not your typical all-star athlete or honor society member, but someone who shines behind the scenes.The 2013 Fabulous Female Petal Award is for a woman from 18 to 30 who has shown her spirit through volunteer, professional and personal efforts to improve the community in some way.
  • The 2013 Fabulous Female Blossom Award is for that special woman who has become an integral member of society in the way she works, serves, speaks and behaves.
  • The 2013 Fabulous Female Bouquet Award is a nod to the legacy to be left by a former Fabulous Female for her continuing efforts and contributions to the community.

Nomination forms may be obtained online at www.ywcagenesee.org or at YWCA, 301 North St., in the City of Batavia.

Tickets for the event are $25 each and may be purchased at YWCA or Bank of Castile. There are also opportunities to sponsor a table with special promotional perks. For more information, call (585) 343-5808.

WHAT:  2013 Fabulous Females Award Lunch
WHEN:  Noon Saturday, Nov. 16
WHERE: The Forum, Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, Batavia
CALL: (585) 343-5808

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 8:59 am

Office manager accused of stealing more than $21K from Stafford business

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford
Judy King

A 42-year-old Attica woman is being accused of stealing more than $21,000 from a company she worked for in Stafford.

Judy S. King, of Genesee Street, Attica, is charged with forgery, 2nd, grand larceny, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th.

King was arrested following a lengthy investigation by Deputy John Duyssen and Investigator Timothy Weis into missing funds at RJN Electrical Services.

During the years of 2012 and 2013, King, working as an office manager, allegedly used her access to bank accounts to forge at least 88 checks.

She's also accused of stealing two credit cards from the company and making personal purchases.

Following arraignment in Town of Stafford Court, King was released under supervision of Wyoming County Probation.

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 8:42 am

Law and Order: Motorcyclist involved in accident charged with DWI

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, crime, elba, pembroke

Thomas Richard Ellis, 46, of Kings Lane, Rochester, is charged with DWI, failure to keep right, speed not reasonable and prudent, unapproved/no face shield on motorcycle and driving without corrective lenses. Ellis was charged following a motorcycle accident at 8:06 p.m., Friday, in the area of 4491 Old Ford Road, Elba. (initial report)

Ronald Jason Scroger, 33, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts petit larceny and criminal mischief, 4th. On Friday, Scroger allegedly went to Walmart and removed merchandise from its packaging, damaging the item's package. He then allegedly left the store with $170.82 in stolen merchandise. He then allegedly returned with a stolen item and exchanged it for a gift card with a value of $34.97.

Kelly James Rhim, 35, of Eller Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and DWI. Rhim was stopped at 2:15 a.m., Saturday, on West Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Jeffrey Scott Vandusen, 24, of Chapel Avenue, Cheektowaga, is charged with resisting arrest. Vandusen is accused of fleeing from law enforcement during an attempted traffic stop at 8:05 p.m., Sept. 18, on Phelps Road, Pembroke, for alleged traffic violations.

Kory James Towne, 23, of Phelps Road, Corfu, is charged with resisting arrest, speeding and failure to yield. Towne is accused of fleeing from law enforcement during an attempted traffic stop at 8:05 p.m., Sept. 18, on Phelps Road, Pembroke, for alleged traffic violations.

Samuel J. Singletary, 50, of Alphonse Street, Rochester, was arrested on warrants for alleged aggravated unlicensed operation and speeding. Singletary was arrested upon his arrest from the Monroe County Jail on unrelated matters and arraigned in Town of Elba Court. Bail was set at $500.

Kevin Albert Roberts, 22, of Perry Road, North Java, is charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Roberts is accused of conspiring with another person to shoplift at Walmart.

Mathew Lee Klein, 19, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with trespass. Klein was allegedly seen atop the roof of the bus garage at Alexander Central School at 1:48 a.m., Sept. 21.

Jerell J.T. Jones, 25, and Nathaniel R. Davis, 18, both of 20 N. Spruce St., Batavia, are each charged with two counts of petit larceny. Jones and Davis are accused of shoplifting from YNGodess on two separate occasions. Jones and Davis were jailed on $1,000 bail each.

The following individuals were cited for alleged possession/consumption of alcohol under age 21 following a Batavia PD investigation into a complaint of a loud party at 25 Trumbull Parkway at 12:23 a.m., Friday: Eric J. Soto, 19, Ian J. Legares, 18, Emmanuel Garcia, 20, Jessie C. D'Paula, 20, Stephanie E. Griffin, 20, Carlton RV Lampe, 18, Michael A. Archer, 19, Leofal Soto, 19, Jared R. Wansart, 19, Troy R. Pakusch, 19, Jah-Neel A. Warner, 17, Adam T. Pratt, 19, Lasania S. Hyatt, 19, Jared J. Midwick, 18, Carrie M. Curry, 19, Randy O. Mutt, 19, Andrea F. Parravano, 19, Shanique Y. Headley, 18, Ashley R. Makowski, 18.

Dennis A. Edson, 49, of 17 Porter Ave., Batavia, is charged with trespass. Edson is accused of entering a neighbor's property without permission.

Dajuandrick C. Gardner, 36, of 22 East Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Gardner was allegedly found in possession of a crack pipe.

Andrew DeMara Hewitt, 29, of North Street, Churchville, was arrested on a warrant related to a petit larceny charge. Hewitt allegedly did not appear on a petit larceny charged in Town of Byron Court. He was jailed on $150 bail.

Jeremy L. Jones, 20, of Hammonsport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Jones was arrested by State Police in the Town of Pavilion. No further details released.

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