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Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 11:00 am

Four arrested at Def Leppard/Poison concert at Darien Lake

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, darien lake

The following arrests were made by the Sheriff's Office in connection with Def Leppard/Poison concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center:

Sarah B. Blevins, 22, of E. Bayard Street Extension, Seneca Falls, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after allegedly causing a disturbance at the Sumner Road employee entrance to Darien Lake and then refusing to be taken into custody. Blevins was arraigned in Darien Town Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Blanca Compton, 49, and Brian L. Compton, 46, both of Route 414, Lodi, are charged with obstruction of governmental administration, 2nd, and disorderly conduct after allegedly interfering with deputies making another arrest and engaging in violent tumultuous behavior. Both suspects were arraigned in Darien Town Court and both were remanded to jail in lieu of $500 bail each.

Lorraine A. Goodell, 38, of Railroad Avenue, Waterloo, is charged with trespass after allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue. Goodell was arraigned in Darien Town Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Benjamin Rosputin, 31, of Kaymar Drive, Amherst, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly shoving a CSC security guard inside the venue.

Friday, August 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Photo: 'Restless Heart' at Frost Ridge Campground

The Grammy-nominated country music band "Restless Heart" performed at "Jam at the Ridge," a concert series at Le Roy's Frost Ridge Campground, around 8:30 tonight. Doranne Kelly, the band's road manager, arranged a photo shoot before the show.

Band members are, from left, Greg Jennings, Dave Innis, John Dittrich (who is from Batavia), Paul Gregg and Larry Stewart.

See the Aug. 14 article, "Grammy-nominated country band to perform in Le Roy -- one of its members is from Batavia" for previous coverage.

Friday, August 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Fire reported at automotive shop in Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy

A fire is reported at an automotive shop at Route 5 and Linwood Road in Le Roy, which has firefighters on scene.

The fire is concentrated at the back side of the north end of the building, and "a big hole will be opened" to accommodate firefighting efforts.

According to Google Maps, the likely shop is Rider's Garage, located at 8980 Linwood Road near East Main Road (Route 5).

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.: The address is reported as 8171 Route 5, which maps as Carl McQuillen Racing Engines.

UPDATE 9:48 p.m.: Pavilion fire is requested to the scene non-emergency and Stafford is also responding.

UPDATE 9:53 p.m.: National Grid has cut power to the building.

UPDATE 10:12 p.m.: An engine from the Town of Batavia is also responding. A crew is being directed to head up into the attic to check for hot spots.

UPDATE 11:17 p.m.: A second interior crew is going to go into the attic.

Friday, August 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thief who bilked elderly victims of hundreds of thousands of dollars gets the max

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

Before being handed the maximum sentence possible in county court today, caregiver Heidi L. Schollard was described as ruthless, narcissistic, thoughtless, manipulative, dangerous, relentless, remorseless, predatory, cruel, selfish, without mercy and completely clueless as to the gravity of her crimes.

The 40-year-old Batavia woman and mother of two who bilked two elderly patients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars was given up to seven years in prison. In May, she pled guilty to four felonies -- three counts of grand larceny, 3rd, which are Class D felonies, and a single count of grand larceny, 4th, a Class E felony.

On the latter conviction, she got one-and-a-third to four years in prison, and for the other crimes she was given two-and-a-third to seven years. These will be served concurrently under the terms of a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office.

The caregiver was initially arrested in December 2010 for allegedly stealing about $250,000 from a Batavia resident. She was out of jail during the proceedings in that case and was arrested again in March and accused of defrauding another elderly person. The victim in that case is a resident of the Town of Alabama.

When asked about what some may consider a good deal for the defendant, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said afterward that "there were no assurances with this case" if it had gone to trial. That's because the simple fact that the victims needed a caretaker could call into question their capacity to testify and communicate about the case.

"It is already a hole in the balloon," said a relative of a victim outside the courtroom.

"If Heidi says she was given gifts of money, how do you prove they weren't?" Friedman said, "It's not a slam-dunk and unless you know all the facts of the case, it's easy to -- like the judge said -- be critical."

Schollard, who lives at 161 Bank St., was also ordered to pay restitution to the first victim of $265,131 and $42,026.57 to the second one. In addition, she has to repay the state Department of Taxation and Finance $23,414 and another $2,485 to the NYS Department of Labor. When you tack on another 5-percent surcharge requirement, the order comes to nearly $350,000.

But no one in the courtroom seemed to believe full monetary restitution will ever be made -- certainly not in the victims' lifetime, nor likely in the defendant's lifetime.

In the meanwhile, the victims are having to liquidate many of their assets. And their families are left to pick up the pieces of all the broken lives, according to their testimonies and in letters filed with the court.

The first speaker this afternoon identified himself as a victim's son and told Judge Noonan:

"We were an average American family -- we spent the holidays at my parent's house, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays. We had bumps, but we all got along. Then Heidi came into the house and started to change everything. She moved around the furniture. She did things her way. It became Heidi's house. I didn't even like to enter the house. It felt foreign."

Add this to the mix -- Heidi's in a romantic relationship with his nephew and now the lines of communication in the family are strained.

"We're no longer a family, we have no base anymore, it's gone," he said, choking back his tears.

The next speaker said his aunt was a victim and that Schollard first came into the picture in 2006 when she was highly recommended as a caregiver. In time, the employee's actions resulted in his aunt not being able to live out her years in the lovely home she had had all her life.

"She ruthlessly and thoughtlessly manipulated my aunt to further her criminal plans," the man said.

His aunt experienced a "profound loss of trust, deep depression, self recrimination and has lost her will to live and this has impacted her health."

The nephew went on to say that besides stealing huge amounts of money via hundreds of fraudulent checks and ATM transactions, she continuously violated basic personal boundaries.

As an example of Schollard's manipulative behavior, the nephew said she frequently introduced herself to people as the woman's daughter or granddaughter. She even insisted on being allowed to sit in on his aunt's sessions with her psychiatrist. But the doctor refused and deemed Schollard to be "dangerous."

When his aunt was placed in an assisted-living facility, he said Schollard would go there, after being told to have no contact with her, and not sign in at the front desk. She'd leave with his aunt and then bring her back just in time for her meds so she wouldn't be missed. She gave his aunt a cell phone and only Schollard knew the number to it. Ultimately, he says Schollard tried to move his aunt out of the facility. And not long ago, she tried to contact his aunt in violation of a court order, the nephew said.

A CPA, who had been one of the victim's tax advisor for 25 years and is now a financial co-guardian of the estate, said that in his entire 35-year career, he has never encountered such an egregious example of elder abuse. The accountant said that in the week leading up to a family meeting about the forensic examination of the victim's financial records and the dispensation of 249 checks, Schollard misappropriated $50,000 and covered her tracks by cooking up a second set of books.

Throughout the whole ordeal, the tax man said Schollard showed no remorse whatsoever.

After the testimonies, Friedman said the picture that emerged reflects exactly what "someone like her would say and do," and he told Noonan she deserved no consideration of leniency.

"No one wants her to be at liberty to pay back some part of the restitution," Friedman said. "We seek the strongest maximum sentence."

Noonan said over the past several days he spent hours poring over a voluminous case file. Oddly, the last letter he read was written last week by Schollard herself, and it's chock full of attempted manipulation in order to get leniency. Noonan said it had the complete opposite effect on him.

The other letters he read amounted to more than just the rantings of angry victims. It was practically a case study in how someone can methodically victimize the frail and elderly.

He knows because during the last two years he said he's attended seminars about an emerging trend in the courts -- elder abuse -- which will likely continue as more Baby Boomers age.

Then Noonan put this case in context of his time spent on the bench. In the last 16 years, having meted out prison times for more than 100 cases a year on a wide range of crimes, Heidi L. Schollard's case is a rarity.

"This is a case that's different from any I've ever had before," Noonan said, not only for the huge theft -- none has ever totalled up to this much money, but also because it's rare that he sentences nonviolent, first offenders to a lengthy prison term.

"You are so narcissistic, so self-centered, so unaware of how your conduct fits into the world," Noonan told Schollard. "Society needs to be rid of you for as long as possible. ... You just don't get it...You are a thief who apparently has enough charm to make the elderly feel you are their friend but you are not."

Even her attorney said "We won't waste the court's time asking for mercy."

The perp was sullen, dressed in a gray hoodie and matching pants, wearing white sneakers, tortoise shell-rimmed glasses, with her hair pulled back in a stubby ponytail. Gone was her mug shot's pert semblance of a smile and look of wide-eyed wonder. She sat with slumped shoulders, eyes cast downward, and had nothing to say when the judge asked her if she wanted to speak.

After sentencing, a deputy ushered her off to jail.

Outside the courtroom, her brother-in-law stood, seeming somewhat dazed about what had just taken place. He said this has been a long time in coming and he wanted to witness the proceedings firsthand, so later on Heidi can't lie about what was said. He said she is a pathological liar.

"She's been a peach to deal with for 10 or 15 years," he said, noting that she always blames her troubles on others, or the past.

He said she is the second youngest of 12 children who were split up during childhood and put in foster homes "where some bad things happened." But she denies responsiblity for her actions.

Now he and her sister are the guardians of the former caregiver's children and will be for years to come.

Friday, August 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

Le Roy girl donates long, curly locks so her hair can become wig for cancer patient

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

Alexis Harper spent the first 11 years of her young life growing long, curly locks. From birth, Alexis never had a haircut, just trims.

Recently, the young girl from Le Roy decided 10 inches of her hair needed to go to somebody who could use it more -- a cancer patient.

According to her mother, Connie Harper, Alexis lost her grandfather to cancer 10 months ago and that inspired Alexis, who saw her grandfather lose his hair during treatment, to donate her mane.

Alexis came up with the idea entirely on her own, Harper said.

"She has no idea (as I was crying) what a good deed she did," Harper said.

Harper wanted to share her daughter's story in the hope it may inspire other young girls to donate their hair to make wigs for cancer patients.

Photos: Provided by Connie Harper.

 
Friday, August 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

Pembroke man accused of illegally possessing four handguns

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

A convicted criminal in Pembroke was allegedly found in possession of four handguns during the execution of a search warrant at his residence Wednesday.

Members of Local Drug Enforcement Task Force were assisting Batavia PD detectives with the search at a home on Allegheny Road when the guns were allegedly found.

The original reason for the search warrant or why it was a Batavia PD case was not released.

Charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, a Class D felony, is 59-year-old Frederick J. Hensel Jr.

Hensel has a prior criminal conviction, according to the Sheriff's Office, and did not have pistol permit.

Hensel was arraigned in Darien Town Court and jailed on $25,000 bail.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Man yells and tells Mickie D's customers not to scarf their fast food

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

For the second time today, a white male wearing a tan, possibly white, shirt and shorts entered the McDonald's restaurant in Batavia and yelled at patrons not to eat their food. Police are responding.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

People reportedly wreaking havoc inside former tattoo parlor

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

Alleged intruders are inside the former Laughing Buddha tattoo parlor and reportedly trashing the store and/or throwing things around inside, says a caller to the emergency dispatch center. A rep from building owner Mancuso Properties is en route along with city police.

The store is located on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia.

An officer on scene reports there are two people inside. An officer asks dispatch to contact former store operator Jason Lang.

UPDATE 10:09 p.m. (by Howard): Free-lance journalist Alecia Kaus went to the scene. It appears there was a misunderstanding over a display counter inside the former store. Another business owner claims he still owns the counter and was removing it. The property owner showed up and wouldn't let the person remove the counter. Authorities were unable to contact Lang to help resolve the issue, so the property claim is being held over until tomorrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Grass fire by Cookson and Dorman roads, Alexander

post by Billie Owens in alexander, fire

A grass fire is reported in the area of Cookson and Dorman roads. Alexander Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 8:57 p.m.: The area is said to be near the old Foster residence or Foster Farm. It wasn't much of a blaze. They couldn't find it at first, then indicated the responders on scene would suffice. "Are you going to stomp it out?", a firefighter asks. "Doing it now," is the reply. Mission accomplished. Fire is out. Alexander is back in service. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Environmental researcher says Brockovich community meeting meant to tie up loose ends

post by Howard B. Owens in Bob Bowcock, Erin Brockovich, Le Roy

There are three open issues Bob Bowcock wants to discuss with the Le Roy community next Wednesday, and none of the topics will involve high school girls with tics, except to say, he and his team found no environmental cause of the tics.

Bowcock, head of Integrated Resource Management, based in Claremont, Calif., was hired by environmental activist Erin Brockovich to investigate possible environmental causes for the tic outbreak in Le Roy about 10 months ago.

"We're not going to come out with a smoking gun and say, 'this is what caused it,' " Bowcock said.

If anything, he hopes to calm matters down, he said.

Bowcock will be with Brockovich at the American Legion Hall on Wednesday.

He said he felt an obligation to come back to the community to discuss what environmental and regulatory issues he and his team did uncover.

First, there is the four-mile-long, mile-wide TCE plume emanating from the Lehigh Valley Train Derailment Site on Gulf Road. While the federal Environmental Protection Agency acted quickly after all the recent attention was drawn to rusting barrels at the remediation site, he said there is no evidence the EPA is doing anything further to deal with the plume.

One of the issues the IRM team researched was whether there has been a greater number of cancer patients in Limerock and Caledonia. 

"We found two micrograms per litre of TCE in surface water in winter, and that’s bad, that's just bad," Bowcock said. "If we draw attention to that and the EPA steps it up, great, victory."

There was a study completed by the state in 2001 which showed in that ZIP code there were a couple of more lung cancer patients and a couple fewer prostrate cancer patients per capita.

The differences, Bowcock said, were insignificant.

The second issue is MTBE (a now-banned gasoline additive) found in three residential wells on Harris Road.

Bowcock said he wants to draw attention to that issue in the hopes it will lead to the municipal water line being extended to Harris Road.

Bowcock said the source for the MTBE has not been identified.

The third issue was brought out in the testing and report completed by Leader Professional Services. In June, the school district released the report from Leader saying the stack on the school's boiler system needed to be taller.

Bowcock said he will discuss any community concerns over that issue, but said the school district has shown quite a bit of cooperation with the community since February and school officials have done everything they said they were going to do.

There are three constituencies asking Brockovich and Bowcock to release information on these issues, with some home owners emailing weekly -- the people in the Limerock and Caledonia area, the residents of Harris Road, and environmental groups that have been monitoring the situation in Le Roy.

The meeting, Bowcock said, is meant to provide concerned citizens with information. While not excluding the media, no press release went out notifying the media of the meeting because he is not trying to stir up any controversy or alarm in Le Roy.

"If anything I hope to dispel all of these community issues that are still out there," Bowcock said.

The timing of the visit coincides with Brockovich and Bowcock conducting an unrelated environmental community meeting in Watertown on Thursday.

PHOTO: File Photo of Bob Bowcock

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Portion of Route 63 closed for emergency repairs

post by Billie Owens in Oakfield, road closures

The Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center announced that Route 63 will be closed between Hutton and Macomber roads in Oakfield starting at 5 p.m. today.

A state DOT worker said the "road settled" and some emergency repairs are needed. There is no estimate of when the repairs will be completed and the state route reopened.

The detour will be Lewiston Road to Route 77.

UPDATE 8:49 p.m.: The only additional information from the press release issued late this afternoon is that access to local driveways will be permitted and daily traffic reports can be accessed at www.511ny.org

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Camelot is offering of 16th Annual Summer Youth Theater

post by Billie Owens in theater

Press release:

Camelot -- one of Lerner and Loewe’s most popular musicals -- is the Batavia Players offering for their 16th Annual Summer Youth Theater.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday at Elba Central School, 57 S. Main St. in Elba.

Camelot is the timeless story of Arthur, the boy who became king when he removed an enchanted sword from the stone.

The story begins as Arthur learns that he is to be married to Guinevere in order to maintain peace for the idyllic kingdom of Camelot.

Featuring such favorites as "If Ever I Would Leave You" and "The Lusty Month of May," the pageantry and magic includes Merlin, invisible castles and the beginning of the Knights of the Round Table.

Lyrics and book by Allan J. Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe. Directed by Pat Burk.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Downtown 5K Run/Fun Walk to benefit Toys for Kids is Saturday

Ready, set, go! Join the 5K Run/Fun Walk starting at 6:15 Saturday afternoon to benefit Donald R. Carroll's Toys for Kids program. The 5K is in conjunction with historic Downtown's Summer in the City.

All proceeds help make Christmas wishes come true for disadvantaged children in our community.

Check out the Web site at DonCarrollrace.com to register online. The first 75 entries get a T-shirt.

Preregistration is $20. High school students pay $10 (no shirt giveaway). On race day, registration is $25 and you can register from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bank and Main streets near the Senior Center.

The course is certified to be accurate by USA Track & Field ( #NY06914KL). The Start Line (6:15 p.m. SHARP) is Main and Bank by the Senior Center. The Finish Line is there also.

Trophies will be awarded to the best overall male and female; and first-, second- and third-place trophies by age category. There will be no duplicate winners.

Afterward, there will be a 31st Anniversary Party Extravaganza, free for all participants with race numbers, and guests are welcome for a $5 donation. The party will feature music and dancing, chicken BBQ, turkey dogs, yogurt, freshly sliced fruit, ice cold water, and a beer coupon.

Sponsors of the event are:

  • T-Shirts, Etc.
  • Southside Deli
  • That Taco Place
  • Wortzman Furniture
  • Jerry Arena's Pizzeria
  • Center Street Smoke House
  • Clor's Meat Market
  • Amputee Treatment Center
  • Max Pies Furniture
  • Grace Baptist Church
  • The Insurance Center
  • Coffee Culture
  • The Enchanted Florist
  • Downtown Batavia Business District
  • Lays Potato Chips
  • The Batavian
Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

UMMC holds Health Fair Saturday at Summer in the City

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Summer in the City, UMMC

At Summer in the City this Saturday, United Memorial Medical Center will have a Health Fair featuring free health screenings, giveaways, raffles, refreshments, information and more.

It will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. under the tent at Cary Hall, located at 211 E. Main St. -- near the car show.

Bring your kids and grandkids!

Jeremy Newman of WBEE 92.5 will have a live remote broadcast from 2 to 4 p.m.

The free health screenings offered are for blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol. Also, men's prostate health checks will be available from 2 to 4 p.m.

Community partners for the event, which will be there with giveaways and information, are:

  • Genesee County Sheriff's Office
  • Genesee Veterans Support Network
  • Community Action
  • County Department of Health
  • Lovey's Imagination Station
  • UMMC Infection Prevention
  • Summit PT and OT
  • UMMC Cardiac Rehab
  • UMMC Foundation
  • Healthy Living
  • Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center
  • Maternity
  • Fidelis Care
  • Dr. William Guthringer
  • GC Office for the Aging
  • VNA of WNY
  • NYS Public Service Commission
  • Genesee ARC
  • Jerome Senior Apartments
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • MVP
  • GCASA
  • Homecare and Hospice
  • Dr. Irene Burns
  • Allergy Advocacy Association
  • Justice for Children Advocacy Center
  • ProcAir and UMMC Sleep Services
  • Crossroads
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