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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 10:57 am

Law and Order: A pair of arrests

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

A 16-year-old resident of Sandpit Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. The youth is accused of confronting a protected person while at Alexander Central School at 7:38 a.m., Tuesday.

Shelley A. Fox, 33, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC .08 or greater and operating in violation of a conditional license. Fox was stopped at midnight Tuesday on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Darryle Streeter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Genesee County firefighters working a house fire in Middlebury

post by Billie Owens in alexander, bergen, Bethany, fire, Le Roy, Pavilion

Several Genesee County fire departments are helping fight a fully involved house fire on Kingsley Road in the Town of Middlebury, which is in Wyoming County. The house is at 566 Kingsley Road.

Bethany, Pavilion and Le Roy are called to the scene, along with a tanker from Alexander. An engine from Alexander is requested to fill in at Bethany's hall. York is asked to fill in at Pavilion. Bergen is asked to stand by in its quarters. Bethany is requested to send an ambulance to the scene.

UPDATE: For coverage from the Wyoming County Free Press, click here.

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:15 am

Law and Order: Driver accused of fleeing accident on Sandpit Road, Alexander

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

Randall Steven Spring, 29, of Spring Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, speed not reasonable and prudent and moving from lane unsafely. Spring was reportedly involved in an accident on Sandpit Road, Alexander, at 12:36 a.m. on Saturday, which was investigated by Deputy Jason Saile.

Heather Daffney Stone, 19, of Ellwood Drive, Rochester, is charged with burglary, 3rd, and petit larceny. Stone was arrested on a warrant by RPD and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. She is being held until her next court appearance. No further details released.

Daniel D. Stalica, 70, of Crittenden Road, Alden, is charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Stalica was arrested on a warrant out of City Court after being located by State Police in Erie County when troopers made contact on an unrelated matter. He was turned over to BPD and jailed on $750 bail.

Alton G. Williams, 38, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Williams was allegedly involved in a physical domestic incident at about 4:15 p.m. Thursday in the presence of a 15-year-old child. Also arrested on the same charge, Tera M. Williams, 41, of East Avenue, Batavia.

Kayla D. Joiner, 22, of West Main Street, Le Roy, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Joiner was stopped by BPD for an alleged traffic violation, arrested, processed and released.

Crystal A. Mounts, 37, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Mounts is accused of shoplifting at Dollar General.

Edward W. Simcoe, 58, of Buffalo, is charged with petit larceny. Simcoe was arrested by State Police at 381 Bloomingdale Road, Basom, and held on an unspecified bail. No further details released.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Alexander wrestlers take third at Hilton tournament

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, sports, wrestling

Photo and article submitted by Andrea Aldinger.

After two days of solid wrestling, the Alexander Trojans took an impressive third-place finish with 196 points – while missing two of their better wrestlers – Dane Heberlein (113 lbs.) and Nick Gaiser (126 lbs.). Both competed in the prestigious Eastern States Tournament the weekend before, making the podium with a fourth-place and a sixth-place finish, respectively, at the Clayton Barnard Wrestling Tournament in Hilton over the weekend. Lyndonville grabbed second place with 233 points and the home team, Hilton, took first place easily with 330 points.

Genesee Region wrestlers really stepped it up with four Alexander Wrestlers in the finals – Nick Young (99 lbs.), Mitchell Gordon (120 lbs.), Dylan Raffell (138 lbs.) and Matty Gaiser (152 lbs.) -- and three from Byron-Bergen -- Alan White (126 lbs.), Hunter Taylor (145 lbs.), and Luke Thompson (195 lbs.). There were four Lyndonville wrestlers: Jeff Gress (106 lbs.), Garren Bayne (113 lbs.), Tom Follman (152 lbs.), and Dawson Joy (182 lbs.). Young, Raffell, Gaiser, White and Gress all took the Championship.

Leading up to the championship round there were some exciting matches. 

At 99 pounds, Nick Young (Alexander) upset Tyler Mitchell (Spencerport) with a 13 – 3 win. Tyler McCleod (Alexander) beat Steven Underhill (Byron Bergen) 8 – 5 for a fourth-place finish. Daylon Swearingen (126 lbs.) -- the lone Attica wrestler, beat Anthony Miraglia (Byron-Bergen) with a 7 – 4 decision for third place. Tristan Aldinger (132 lbs., Alexander) fought off Lyndonville’s Dustin Hinckley with a 3 – 1 decision to take third place. 

A few other notable matches were Chris McDonald (138 lbs., Lyndonville) pinned Jack Borelli (Greece) in :38 seconds to take third place. At 152 pounds, Alexander’s Alex Hadsall had a close win 11 – 9 vs. Will Thompson (Byron-Bergen). Danny Komitch (Byron-Bergen) had an impressive win over Devon Joy (Lyndonville) with a 4 – 3 decision getting a third-place finish. Derrick Busch (Alexander) won by decision over John Kil (Brighton) to take finish third.

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Accident reported involving a single vehicle on Alexander Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander

A one-car motor vehicle accident, with injuries, is reported in the area 9607 Alexander Road, Alexander.

Alexander Fire and Ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 11:02 p.m.: One vehicle reported off the road.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Batavia and Notre Dame advance to finals in Rotary Tournament at GCC

Outside the GCC gym last night, the weather was pretty sloppy, but not as sloppy as the basketball game going on inside.

In the second game of the annual Rotary tournament, matching Notre Dame and Alexander, there were turnovers and missed shots and refs who were seemingly calling an inordinate number of traveling penalties and questionable jump balls. 

The final score was 37-22.

"It's was a sloppy game," said Dave Pero, Fighting Irish head coach. "What more can I tell you. It was just a sloppy game."

Pero knows he'll need a better performance out of his girls Thrusday night when they take on the Lady Blue Devils in the tournament championship.

Batavia beat Midlakes 55-32 in the tournament opener.

Notre Dame has taken the previous two Rotary Tournament finals against Batavia, and both coaches said they're ready to lock horns again.

"They'll throw out all the stops and we'll be ready and they'll be ready and it should be fun," Pero said. "I like our chances, but we can't play like we did tonight. But Thursday's another night."

Give the Lady Trojans credit, they pushed hard on defense and even with a team of girls with perhaps an average height of maybe about 5' 4", they managed to pull down quite a few rebounds against a team with three starters over six foot.  In the first half, nearly every trip down the court resulted in numerous second and third chance tries at baskets.  

Unfortunately for Alexander, nothing fell.

"It'ss been like that all year," said Alexander's head coach, Marcia Hirsch. "Our defense has been so good, but we just haven't been able to score."

The loss puts the Lady Trojans, who've managed as many as 50 points just twice this season, at 4-4.

Alexander applied pressure to Notre Dame at half court with some success, but on those rare possessions that resulted in a basket for the Trojans, they used a full court press and Notre Dame seemed out of rhythm all night.

That's pretty much the kind of defense the Irish will see when they meet Batavia in the championship game.

Head Coach Marty Hein said the Blue Devils will use pressure and the team's deep bench to compensate for Notre Dame's height advantage.

“We talked about trying to make that our identity,” Hein said. “We’re not a big team but we’ve got depth this year, so we run, run, run and press. We’re doing it for 32 minutes if we have to do it for 32 minutes.”

Both Alexander and Notre Dame suffered key injuries that disrupted their offenses.  Brett Stephens suffered an ankle injury crumpled to the court in the second quarter. A possession or two later, Emily McCracken fell down in the same exact spot.  Both are being evaluated and are considered day-to-day.

For Batavia, Essence Williams notched a double-double with a game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds, Tiara Filbert added 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals. Sam Cecere, recently returned from an injury, scored nine points and added seven rebounds.

Shea Norton and Rebecca Krenzer led the Notre Dame attack, both with double-doubles. Norton had 14 points and 17 rebounds along with four blocks and four assists. Krenzer scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

For Alexander, Sydney Breton had seven points and five rebounds. Jayna Wright scored four points and had five rebounds, while Karli Phillips grabbed five rebounds.

Both Pero and Hein expect a tough, competitive game Thursday night in the final at GCC.

"It should be fun," Pero said.

To purchase prints, click here.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Alexander starts campaign to raise $150K for new ambulance

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander

The Alexander Volunteer Fire Department has begun a fundraising campaign to come up with $150,000 for a new ambulance.

The normal lifecycle of an ambulance is 10 years, and the current ambulance is 15 years old.

They've set up a GoFundMe.com page.

The page states:

We are a small farming community and our department is made up of hard-working community volunteers. Our members are not paid for our medical training and we are not paid for our service. When members of our community call 911, we respond to their emergencies without cost to the patient or their insurance company. Our ambulance receives NO funding from the local government and is funded ENTIRELY by donations and fundraisers.

WE NEED A NEW AMBULANCE TO CONTINUE PROVIDING CARE TO OUR NEIGHBORS!

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

No arrest in shooting of dog in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, alexander, pets

The man who shot a neighbor's dog on New Year's Eve won't be arrested, Sheriff Gary Maha said today.

Maha released the information report on the incident and in a statement the neighbor said he had started carrying his .357 Magnum that day because the dog had become increasingly aggressive toward him.

Another neighbor, a 78-year-old man, who said he saw the incident, told Deputy Bradley Mazur that he saw the dog charge across the shooter's yard and heard the dog growling and believed the dog intended to attack the man. He then heard two gun shots, but didn't see the dog get hit.

While Maha made no statement about why there will be no arrest, he shared a copy of Agriculture and Markets law, which says there is no liability when a person has a reasonable belief that he or she is being attacked by a dog and then kills that dog.

The dog's name was Pepper and she was owned by Greg Gass, a resident of Dodgeson Road, Alexander.

The Batavian first broke the news of the incident after the Gass family created a Facebook page called Justice for Pepper

The Gass family does not believe Pepper was an aggressive dog.

"She was the sweetest little thing," Jen Gass said. "She played with a little 5-year-old who pulled her ears and would play roughly, and Pepper never did anything about it. She played with other dogs and never had a problem. I know she's a big dog. She looks like a big dog and people can be intimidated, I guess, but she didn't have a mean bone in her body."

In his statement to police, the man who shot Pepper said the dog had been coming onto his property more frequently.

He said the day before the incident, Pepper, a bullmastiff, had been in his yard and acted aggressively toward him and his two grandchildren, ages 7 and 8. 

Once the dog saw me, it became aggressive towards me by barking and growling at me and snapped at me," the man wrote. "I was yelling and pointing at the dog to go home and I was concerned for my safety as well as my grandchildren. I then heard my neighbor, Greg, who is the dog owner, calling the dog's name. The dog did not leave right away when Greg was calling it to come home. I only yelled at the dog and I did not kick the dog or make any other physical contact. The dog ran towards the front yard and Greg was in the back yard. The dog never actually went to him. This was not the first time Greg's dog had been on my property. The dog was more aggressive with each time it was over here."

That incident convinced the man to start carrying his gun, he said.

He said he went out to his shed at about 12:34 p.m., New Year's Day, and the dog started to run directly at him and was barking and growling.

"I pulled out my gun and I yelled at the dog, 'go home, go on,' and the dog never stopped running at me," he said. "I was in fear for my own safety and took two steps backwards. The dog was about three feet from me and lunging at me and I shot the dog. I shot two rounds at the dog and I believed that the first round was in the upper chest just under the dog's neck. The second round was in the front of the dog's head."

Greg, he said, yelled over, "Did you just shoot my dog?" The man said he did.

Greg came over and asked the man, "When did you start carrying?" The man told him, "since yesterday when your dog did the same thing."

Mazur reviewed a surveillance video of the incident and wrote in his report that he consulted with Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini and provided his interpretation of what the video showed and shared what he had been told by the shooter and the witness. Mazur said Cianfrini advised him there was no crime committed and that the neighbor had a right to protect himself.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 7:54 am

Law and Order: Arrests made in alleged assault case in Le Roy

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

Ricky N. Porter Jr., 24, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, and a 16-year-old male from Brighton (name not released by Le Roy PD), were charged with assault, 3rd. Porter and the teen allegedly punched another person numerous times, causing facial fractures, swelling and lacerations. The victim required hospital treatment. The teen was also charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. It's alleged that after turning himself in at Le Roy PD headquarters, he punched a window, damaging the window and hurting himself. After being treated for the injury, he was arraigned on both charges and jailed on an unspecified amount of bail.

Renee L. Coughlin, no age provided, of Bergen, is charged with DWI and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Coughlin was stopped by State Police in Olean. During the investigation, troopers allegedly found she was carrying a stun gun.

Joseph B. Hogan, 75, of Corning, is charged with federal criminal tax fraud, 4th, and possession of unstamped cigarettes. Hogan was stopped on Route 77 in the Village of Corfu by Officer Michael Petritz for allegedly driving 47 in a 35 mph zone.

William James Bick, 25, of Dorman Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement markings. Bick was stopped at 2:33 a.m. Dec. 27 on Oak Orchard Road by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Laticia S. Anderson, 29, of Wilson Street, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and menacing, 2nd. Anderson was allegedly involved in a fight at 16 Bank St., Batavia, at 10 p.m. Sunday. She was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Katie Rose Wishman, 29, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Wishman is accused of shoplifting from Dollar General. She was allegedly found in possession of a hypodermic needle and a small amount of crack cocaine upon her arrest.

Cody David Cutitta, 28, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, petit larceny, identity theft, 3rd, and forgery, 3rd. Cutitta allegedly used a credit card without authorization to obtain goods and services at two locations in the City of Batavia and one in the Town of Batavia.

Crystal L. Marsceill, 34, of Oak Street, Batavia, was arrested on warrants for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation charge and on a grand larceny charge. She was jailed on $5,000 bail.

UPDATE: Marsceill was also arrested in Wyoming County. Marsceill was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle stopped at 2:58 a.m. Saturday on Route 19, Warsaw. A deputy asked for her name and birthdate to perform a warrant check and was told she would be arrested if she lied about the information. Marsceill allegedly gave an incorrect first name. The deputy found a felony warrant for her arrest out of the City of Batavia. She was charged with false personation and turned over to Batavia PD.

Erica M. Raphael, 30, of Oak Orchard Road, is charged with petit larceny. Raphael allegedly stole merchandise from Dollar General.

Casey J. Halsey, 34, of Silver Lake, is charged with aggravated harassment. Halsey was arrested in the Town of Batavia by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 10:30 a.m. New Year's Day. Halsey was held on an unspecified bail. No further details released.

Andrea L. Osborne, 30, of Albion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Osborne was stopped at 10:20 p.m. on New Year's Day in the Town of Batavia by State Police.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Sheriff's Office investigating shooting death of dog in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander

In less than 24 hours, a Facebook page called Justice for Pepper, calling attention to a dog that was shot and killed in Alexander on New Year's Day, has garnered nearly 600 likes.

The description of the page says, "This afternoon, January 1st, our beloved dog Pepper was shot and killed by my dad's next door neighbor in Alexander NY. We are asking for your prayers."

Leah Gass, who created the page, said in a post that a deputy told the family there was nothing the police could do, but Gordon Dibble, chief deputy with the Sheriff's Office said the case is actively under investigation, but did not provide further information.

There is apparently video of the incident from the residence where the dog was shot, said Jen Gass, daughter-in-law of Pepper's owner, Greg Gass.

Jen was not at Greg's house when the shooting occurred, but rushed right over with the rest of the family when he called to tell them of the incident.

Jen said that apparently Pepper ran into the neighbor's yard in the Town of Alexander and before Greg could call her back or go get her, he heard gunshots and when he arrived within seconds, Pepper was already dead.

He dragged Pepper home.

"There was blood everywhere," Jen said. "It was awful, an awful thing that happened. She didn't deserve it."

In the cold of New Year's Day, the family helped Greg dig a hole in the frozen ground and bury Pepper.

"She was the sweetest little thing," Jen said. "She played with a little 5-year-old who pulled her ears and would play roughly, and Pepper never did anything about it. She played with other dogs and never had a problem. I know she's a big dog. She looks like a big dog and people can be intimidated, I guess, but she didn't have a mean bone in her body."

The person who shot Pepper apparently claimed Pepper was being aggressive, which is why the Gass family would really like to see the video from the surveillance camera.

"If anyone ever says anything to her like sit, stop, stay, she would lay down immediately," Jen said.

There may have been an incident the day before between Pepper, the neighbor and his two big dogs, but Jen was hesitant to discuss it since she wasn't at the house at the time.

"It was a terrible day for us," Jen said. "It was the first day of the New Year and Greg had to bury his dog. She was the sweetest thing. There was no way, shape or form that she was vicious."

The Batavian has not sought the neighbor's identity since he hasn't been charged with a crime.

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