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Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Salvation Army's Mobile Pantry Program starts next month

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Salvation Army

The Salvation Army's Mobile Pantry Program begins in April. It will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Wednesday of every month through December at the Salvation Army headquarters, 529 E. Main St., Batavia. You are welcome to come early at 9:15 a.m. for coffee and conversation.

The dates of the Mobile Pantry Program are:

  • April 2
  • May 7
  • June 4
  • July 2
  • Aug. 6
  • Sept. 3
  • Oct. 1
  • Nov. 5
  • Dec. 3
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Rural Police Training Academy celebrates 25th graduation class

post by Billie Owens in GCC, rural police training academy

Press release:

This Friday, March 7, at 7 p.m., the Rural Police Training Academy will enjoy a double celebration. As the most recent class of 22 graduates receives their completion certificates, the Academy itself recognizes its 25th Silver Anniversary.

Since being established in 1985, a total of 593 graduates including the current 2013-2014 class have completed the Rural Police Training Academy (RPTA) offered by Genesee Community College through the Division of Criminal Justice Services and The BEST (Business and Employee Skills Training) Center.

RPTA has evolved through its long distinguished history, and now the 11-month program provides basic training both to sworn members of police and sheriff agencies as well as training for pre-employed law enforcement officers.

The program requires 639 hours of training and the major curriculum covered includes Justice Administration, New York State Laws, Community Interaction, Mass Casualties and Major Events, Investigations and practical skills such as field note taking, report writing, case preparation, arrest processing, professional traffic stops and firearms training. RPTA offers a GCC college credit option and also veterans opportunities.

The 2013-2014 RPTA graduates include:

  • SWORN OFFICER GRADUATES:Brittany N. Smyder, Caledonia Police Department
  • Aaron M. Ellis, Corfu Police Department
  • Chad R. Brady and James G. Frascati, East Rochester Police Department
  • Joseph D. Loftus, Class Captain, Genesee County Sheriff's Department
  • Andrew M. Carriero, Platoon Leader, and Shane G. Miller of Gowanda Police Department
  • Edwin S. Bower II and Timothy P. Moulton, Holley Police Department
  • Mark A. Bennetti, Platoon Leader, Le Roy Police Department
  • Dylan D. DiPasquale, Mt. Morris Police Department
  • Catherine M. Mucha and Conner T. Sanford, Nunda Police Department
  • Bryant W. Ferry and Kevin T. Green, Perry Police Department


  • Ryan L. Andrews
  • Jason S. Butterbrodt
  • Andrew R. Fisk
  • Joseph J. Renaldo
  • Tyler S. Smith
  • Zachery A Sobieraski, Assistant Class Captain, Platoon Leader
  • Nathaniel P. Staines

Friday's program features a keynote address by Federal Security Director for Greater Rochester International Airport John P. McCaffrey. Other speakers include graduates of the RPTA program -- Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, and Sheriff Thomas Dougherty and Undersheriff Matthew Bean, both of the Livingston County Sheriff's Department.

The training programs offered by RPTA has assisted law enforcement agencies in numerous counties, including but not limited to Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming, Orleans, Allegheny, Cattaraugus and Monroe counties. Through the years as policing and public protection has grown more complicated, the program expanded to include a broad cross section of criminal justice topics. The focus, however includes the challenges of law enforcement in rural areas where resources can be limited, sending in backup support takes longer and officers usually cover much greater distances.

"Police protection in a rural community compared to a big city is quite different," said Ray Chaya, director of The BEST Center. "The Rural Police Academy was started by chiefs and sheriffs in the GLOW region who wanted a program that was familiar with the challenges faced by rural police. The larger number of miles means backup forces are farther away, and resources can be limited."

Some of GCC's most seasoned faculty and staff have been involved with RPTA since the earliest days. The late Richard (Dick) Tiede, who served as GCC's Public Safety director for nearly three decades, was a graduate of the first class in 1986. Barry Garigen, GCC's professor of Criminal Justice helped found the program in 1985. And Douglas C. Brooks, former assistant director of operations at College Village has been the RPTA director since 1987.

The program has many distinguished graduates with unique backgrounds. Among the graduates have been a father-son and a father-daughter team, at least two sets of brothers, and one married couple. Gowanda Chief of Police Joseph Alessi and his spouse, Detective Jennifer Alessi, are also graduates. In addition, RPTA offers excellent opportunities to veterans and not long ago one application was completed by a soldier in active duty from Iraq.

RPTA tuition is $3,750 not including the special supplies such as uniform and all applicants must meet a physical agility test. The 2014-2015 class begins April 15th and classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through February 2015.

For further information go to: http://www.genesee.edu/best/development/rural-police-training-academy/

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Water main breaks reported on Union Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure, Union Street

Press release:

There are currently two water main breaks on Union Street near Robert Morris School and near the Notre Dame athletic field. Crews are on site to begin repairs.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 10:16 am

Le Roy students to perform 'Legally Blonde: The Musical'

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, Le Roy, le roy hs, theater

About 150 students at Le Roy High Sschool are busy in rehearsals and stage set up for upcoming performances of "Legally Blonde: The Musical."

The show stars, above, John Snyder, Rachel Glucksam, Danny Weaver and Ashley Webb.

Performances are at 7 p.m. March 20, 21, and 22, in the auditorium at Le Roy HS. Tickets are available online at www.leroycsd.org and are $8 or $10 at the door.

The show is directed by Jacqueline McLean. She described the themes of the show as appropriate for school children in fourth grade and older.

"We picked the show because we had a lot of strong girls, but we also wanted to talk about some things in society that are a little controversial but important," McLean said. "The overlying theme of the show is the overall acceptance of people and people with differences. "

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 9:53 am

Local sushi chef gets a chance to start his business with help of Big Pauly's Pizza

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Big Pauly's, business, Yume Sushi

You could call it a springboard for spring rolls.

Paul Berardini is providing his cousin, Josh Gaylord, kitchen space at Big Pauly's Pizza, to launch his sushi business, Yume Sushi.

Gaylord had tried to secure financing to open a restaurant at the former Delavan's location on Evans Street, but that fell through, so Berardini stepped in to provide a launching pad for the aspiring entrepreneur and sushi chef.

"I can't thank him enough because obviously I tried doing it myself and it wasn't in the books for right now," Gaylord said. "I think starting out small is the best idea."

Space is cramped and the production needs of the pizza and wing cooks in Pauly's sometimes means Gaylord gets shifted from one table to another, but he has a place to start (rent free), his own phone line, a business name and checking account. He's in business.

And it's already quite a business. With more than 500 followers on Facebook, Gaylord is already fielding about as many orders as he can handle by himself.

"It's best to order ahead," Gaylord said.

Gaylord and a buddy started going to sushi restaurants in Buffalo and Rochester about eight years ago and decided they would learn to make sushi themselves with the hope of eventually opening a restaurant in Batavia.

"We just thought Batavia needed something like this," Gaylord said, but admits he wasn't very good at creating sushi dishes at first.

His friend eventually fell away from making sushi and moved to Flordia to escape New York's winters, but Gaylord stayed and kept learning.

He's entirely self-taught, but with recent special dinners at Sweet Ecstasy Bakery and just making sushi for friends in Batavia, he's developed quite a following. He hopes with the help of Pauly he can get his business rolling and eventually secure enough financing to open his own location.

"It's a passion of mine," Gaylord said. "I really like doing it. I like introducing new foods to Batavia. A lot of people think sushi is just raw fish. It's nothing to do with raw fish. Sushi means rice that's been vinegared with some sort of meat. It can be steak or chicken or even a vegetible."

Yume Sushi is open from lunchtime through 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Order ahead by calling (585) 297-9656.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 9:16 am

Law and Order: Former Batavia business owner arrested in Victor

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, Bethany, crime

Jason Lang, 30, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, reckless endangerment, unlawful fleeing a police officer and reckless driving. Lang was arrested in Ontario County for an incident reported at 1 p.m. Monday at Pearl Vision in Eastview Mall. Lang allegedly stole two pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses valued at $358. He allegedly fled from police. He later turned himself in to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. He was arraigned in Victor Town Court and jailed on $5,000 bail, $10,000 bond. (Source: Finger Lakes Daily News / Click here for previous coverage of Jason Lang).

Aaron Michael Bove, 23, of East Buffalo Street, Churchville, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Bove allegedly stole $1,000 in cash from a business in Bethany while there cleaning the establishment.

A 16-year-old resident of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth allegedly struck another student in the head during a class at Byron-Bergen High School.

Daniel Paul Hinca, 18, of Railroad Avenue, Alexander, John M. Francis, 20, of Vernon Avenue, Batavia, and a 17-year-old resident of Vernon Avenue, Batavia, are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The trio were allegedly found in the rear parking lot of 80 Vernon Ave., Batavia, following a complaint about people in a vehicle who appeared to be smoking marijuana. The three defendants were allegedly found in possession of a bag of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 8:49 am

Notre Dame advances to Far West Regional

post by Nick Sabato in basketball, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

They say that championship teams peak at the right time of the year.

It’s March and things are coming together at the right time for Notre Dame, with one game separating them and a trip to Glens Falls after a 67-34 victory over Houghton Academy in the Section V consolidation game.

“The last six or seven games have been our best games of the season,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “That’s what you want. Hopefully the peak is going up and we don’t hit a plateau.”

One player that seems to be peaking is senior Alec Covel.

After reaching double-digits just once in the first 16 games of the season, Covel has scored in double figures in each of the last six contests.

In Saturday’s Class D1 final, Covel scored 11 points in the third quarter to help seal the win, but tonight he started the game hot to give his team the momentum.

“He’s been a work in progress all year,” said Rapone. “I’ve been trying to make him believe that he’s as good as I think he is. Now, he’s not hesitating. He got us started tonight. I’m glad to see him playing well.”

The senior forward got the Irish going, scoring seven of his 12 points in the first quarter as they used a 12-3 run to start the game.

“I haven’t been hesitating to let it go,” Covel said. “It just seems to be going down.”

Notre Dame jumped out to a 34-15 lead at halftime and cruised to the easy win.

Tim McCulley had another stellar game despite a slow start.

After going just 1-for-5 from the field for three points in the first quarter, McCulley slowly came alive to finish with a game-high 24 points.

“Their game plan was to keep him out of the lane,” said Rapone of McCulley. “He won’t force it. He just waits for them to clear and steps back. The one thing that he does that a lot of high school kids have lost is his pull-up jump shot. It just gives him another weapon.”

The senior reached the 20-point mark for the 14th straight game and surpassed 500 points for the season. He also added 12 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

First-year senior center Charlie Herbert once again had a monster night on the boards, collecting 16 rebounds, with six coming on the offensive end as Notre Dame out-rebounded Houghton 50-23 for the game.

“He’s the difference between us being good and very good,” Rapone said of Herbert. “It gives us flexibility and substitution. At the beginning of the year I thought if we got three or four minutes out of him we’d be good. He’s so athletic and he’s like a sponge. Every time you tell him something he just soaks it up.”

Derek Brooks scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds for Houghton Academy (12-11).

Notre Dame (19-3) advances to the Far West Regional to take on Section VI representative Sherman (20-1).

The Wildcats are outscoring their opponents by an average of 63 to 42 this season and are led by guard Andrew Graham (14.8 points per game) and Ryan Robson (12.8 points per game).

Sherman fell to University Prep in the Far West Regional last season 71-55.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame is making their sixth appearance in this game in school history, and last time was in 2012.

The game will take place Saturday at Buffalo State College, with tip-off set for noon.

Photos by Howard Owens

To order prints, click here (also, we've added a new product to the mix -- you can now order photo books of pictures from the complete gallery).

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Grand Jury indicts man for violating an order of protection

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

Roger L. Lashure Jr. is indicted for first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. He is accused of violating an order of protection. It is alleged that on Oct. 8 in the City of Batavia Lashure slapped a woman in violation of the court order not to have contact with her.

The Grand Jury returned no bill against Steven A. Desmore, who was accused of two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, 3rd, for incidents which allegedly occurred Oct. 15 in the Town of Le Roy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Route 20 bridge over Tonawanda Creek in Alexander restricted to vehicles under 14 tons

post by Billie Owens in alexander, Pavilion

Press release:

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced that the Route 20 (Broadway Road) bridge over Tonawanda Creek in the town of Alexander is being restricted, effective today, to vehicles weighing 14 tons or less. The shoulders are closed.

This posting is being put in place following a recent inspection and engineering analysis that revealed the bridge can no longer safely carry heavier vehicles in its current condition. Tractor-trailers and school and coach buses will not be able to use the bridge.

NYSDOT monitors bridge safety through a thorough and rigorous inspection program. All bridges are inspected at least every two years and are analyzed for their capacity to carry vehicular loads.

This bridge is located just east of the cloverleaf intersection with Route 98. Electronic message boards and several other signs are being placed at key locations along the Route 63, Route 98, Route 19, Route 77 and Route 20 corridors to inform commercial trucks.

Commercial truck drivers should also be aware the structure that carries Route 20 over Oatka Creek in the Town of Pavilion was recently posted at 22 tons.

State forces will be making temporary repairs to both structures over the next several weeks to raise the posting limits. A capital project to replace both structures is being advanced and is expected to be under construction in 2015.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Ranzenhofer to hold State Budget Forum at City Hall on Saturday morning

post by Billie Owens in Ranzenhofer

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer will hold a State Budget Forum at Batavia City Hall from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 8. This forum is an opportunity for residents to let their voice be heard on the 2014-2015 State Budget in the State Capitol.

“Since the Governor released his Executive Budget proposal, I have been working with my colleagues in the State Senate and State Assembly to scrutinize and review all aspects of the plan. I want to hear residents’ thoughts on the budget plan, too, so that I can share their views with my colleagues,” Ranzenhofer said. ”That is why I hope that residents will join me this Saturday to hear an update on the State Budget, and participate in a discussion and question-and-answer session on important issues impacting our community.”

The forum marks the second opportunity for residents to express their views with their representative in State government, after hosting a Town Hall telephone conference live from the State Capitol with thousands of constituents on Feb. 26.

Senator Ranzenhofer encourages residents to get the facts on the 2014-2015 Executive Budget proposal by visiting ranzenhofer.nysenate.gov.

“In an effort to keep residents informed, I have added a new Budget Information Page at my Web site," Ranzenhofer said. "It allows residents to review specific details of the Executive Budget, stay up-to-date on new developments, and share your input on the budget plan. By working together, I am hopeful that a balanced budget plan can be developed in a timely manner to help New York State move in the right direction.”

Residents not able to attend the State Budget Forum can still share their input with Senator Ranzenhofer by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or contacting the district office at (585) 454-0322.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm

YWCA seeks nominations for Fabulous Females Awards; submission deadline is March 21

post by Billie Owens in fabulous females, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County, Inc., is accepting nominations for this year's Fabulous Females Awards. Deadline for submissions is March 21. The awards will be presented during this year's "A Garden Party: Celebrating YWCA's Fabulous Females and Friends of Batavia Peace Garden" on May 10 at Terry Hills.

There are four award categories:

  • Seedling is for a young lady between 12 and 17 who has demonstrated "perseverance and gumption" through adversity and a willingness to help out the community;
  • Petal 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;
  • Blossom is for a special woman who has become an integral member of society in the way she "works, serves, speaks and behaves";
  • Bouquet is a legacy award chosen from past recipients due to that woman's continuing efforts and contributions to the community.

Nomination forms for Fabulous Females are available online at www.ywcagenesee.org <http://www.ywcagenesee.org>  or at YWCA, 301 North St. in the City of Batavia. Event tickets are $35 each or $250 for a table of eight. For more information, call (585) 343-5808.

"We know there are many special women in Genesee County, and we look forward to highlighting four of them while honoring all of them during our dinner this year," YW Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. "It will be a beautifully decorated event to set the mood and complement those being recognized."

This year, YWCA has merged its efforts with Friends of Batavia Peace Garden to throw "A Garden Party" and honor supporters of the Peace Garden and Fabulous Females recipients. It's set for 5 p.m. May 10 at Terry Hills, Route 33.

The evening will include social hour, dinner, a special toast to award recipients and a garden hat contest. Organizers of both nonprofits promise that it will be a fun evening as it signals the start of an ongoing relationship.

"We are partners in peace to begin collaborations of nonprofits in Batavia," Peace Garden spokeswoman Marilyn Werner said. "This is the first step. Considering everything the YWCA stands for and everything the Peace Garden stands for, it makes sense for us to work together."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

Driver involved in accident said he was rubbing something from his eye, didn't see other car

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba

A driver involved in a two-car accident on Norton Road yesterday said he was had something in his left eye and was rubbing it while making a left-hand turn. As a result, he said, he never saw the car that hit his.

The other driver was taken to ECMC by Mercy Flight, were she was treated in the emergency room and released.

James J. Heschke, 60, of East Pembroke, was driving a 1998 Ford SUV south on Norton Road at 1:29 p.m. when he made a left-hand turn onto property owned by Torrey Farms at 7170 Norton Road.

At that point, he said, he had something in his left eye.

Amanda C. Demare, 19, of Barrville Road, Elba, was driving a 2000 Subaru SUV north on Norton Road.

Heschke said he never saw Demare's vehicle until they hit.

Demare's SUV was pushed into a utility pole off the east shoulder of the road. A telephone wire came down, but the pole appeared undamaged, according to the accident report.

Heschke received a citation for alleged failure to yield right of way.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS responded to the scene.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Brian Thompson.

(Initial Report)

Illustration: Diagram from accident report.

Monday, March 3, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Pembroke grandmother admits to role in drug dealing operation that stretched from Florida to WNY

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke
Geraldine Horsefall
(photo from NYSP)

A Pembroke grandmother portrayed by state officials as a leader of a significant drug ring that sold cocaine and pills in a three-county area, including Genesee County, entered guilty pleas to two felony counts in a Buffalo court today.

Geraldine Horsefall faces a possible seven year jail sentence after admitting to criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Another person arrested as part of the months-long, multi-agency law enforcement investigation, Michelle King, entered a guilty plea to criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th. She is facing a possible judicial diversion sentence.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the break up of the drug ring Jan. 28 in Buffalo.

Schneiderman said Horsefall's operation moved a significant amount of cocaine, which was transported by couriers from Florida to WNY in the soles of tennis shoes.

King was accused of providing pills from a doctor's office where she worked to the drug ring.

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