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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Melee reported at Lewis and State, combatants wielding baseball bats

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

About 15 to 20 people are reportedly fighting, armed with baseball bats, at Lewis Place and State Street. City police are responding.

UPDATE 8:54 p.m.: Howard at the scene reports that there are six cop cars at the scene, including units from the Sheriff's Department. In addition, he said dozens of people "are milling about," some of whom are being interviewed by law enforcement. One witness told Howard that no baseball bats were involved.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Several vehicles with smashed windows and stolen valuables reported on Bank Street Road

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

At least 10 vehicles were broken into this evening on Bank Street Road at the Batavia Sports Park. The victims of these "smash-and-grab" crimes are missing purses, wallets, jewelry, credit cards and more.

Mostly, side windows were smashed, but one vehicle had a rear window smashed.

The crimes were reported by an off-duty deputy. State Troopers are on scene now.

Although soccer and kickball games were under way at the park, no witnesses have been found.

In addition to these crimes, it is reported that overnight on the city's Southside, at least four criminal mischief complaints resulted from vehicle break-ins.

For tips that may aid in the investigation, State Police can be reached at (585) 344-6200.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.: Using mobile phone tracking technology, State Police were able to located three bags of purses in a dumpster at a hotel in Clarence off the Thurway.  No suspects located.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

New home of Reed Eye built with historic preservation and customer care in mind

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Reed Eye Associations

In the past, when Dr. Ronald Reed has expanded his practice, he's erected gleaming new buildings from the ground up.

But not in Batavia.

Reed Eye Associates has opened it's sixth location and Reed and selected a location with character and ambiance and a bit of history.

The brick building at 39 Washington Ave., across from Austin Park, was most recently the City Schools administration building, but when originally built in 1903 by Edward Dellinger, it was an elementary school.

Batavia's most prominent architectural firm of the time, Henry Homelius and Son, designed the building.

In remodeling the interior, Reed has kept to a art deco theme with a touch of modernism in keeping with the character of the building.

"I saw the building listed online and went to the site and looked at the building and liked it," Reed said. "I called Tony Mancuso, who had the listing, and he gave me a tour. I thought, 'this building needs a lot of work, but it has some great bones.'"

Refurbishing the building also uncovered a little easier.  One mason left behind a note found in the stairwell that said the best men laid the bricks.  Another worker in 1939 put a note in a bottle, which was found in a wall, that said "if you're reading this note, it means by now we're all in hell."  

Then there was letter on YMCA letterhead and postmarked 1913, address to a young Myron Fincher. The apparent mimeographed letter speaks of a young man worthy of attention who exchanged a correspondence with Frank Crane, a Presbyterian minister and newspaper columnist.  The letter references the enclosed newspaper column, but the column was not in the envelop.

Fincher was born in 1898 in Corfu and worked on the family farm. His fondness animals brought him to Cornell. He became an internationally prominent veterinarian. Early in his career he received the Borden Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association. By the 1960s, he was working overseas in places such as Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Greece, Nigeria and Italy.

Reed said it was thrilling for these little bits of history to be found in his old building.

Reed's company purchased the property from the school district in 2012 for $500,000 and its 13,452-square-foot building.  The renovations cost more than $1.5 million and helped put the property back on the tax roles.  Reed Eye received $140,861 in tax incentives through GCEDC for the project.

The expansion of the practice, which was founded in Bushnell's Basin (Pittsford) in 1978 has come, Reed said, as the practice attracted more and more patients. Each time an office would grow beyond it's capacity, rather than expand that location, Reed looked at his patient list and figured out where he had a concentration of patients who were driving some distance to get to his office.

First, Reed Eye expanded to Greece, then Irondequoit, the Newark followed by Sodus.

Expansion has been driven, Reed said, by his belief that doctors should focus on their patients.

No long ago, he said he was asked to speak to a group about the secret of his success.  He decline he said, because "there is no secret."

"My word of advise is 'take good care of your patients and your patients will take care of you,'" Reed said. "If that's the focus of your practice, the patients will build your practice. If you don't, you won't have a practice."

With more and more patients from Genesee County, particular because of a partnership with Dr. Bill Lapple in Le Roy, Batavia seemed to be the natural choice for a sixth office complex.

Reed said there were simply no suitable sites for the office, which was one reason he considered the old school administration building.

The fact that it's large, with plenty of parking (and room for more), centrally located in the city and across the street from a park, where all advantages.

"The park helps give it a nice bucolic feel," Reed said.

In the redesign, as much of the oldest of the building was preserved as possible -- the arches, the worn stairway trampled by thousands of students over the years, and the old woodwork.  There's even an old desk from the library that is being restored and will be a centerpiece of the entry hallway.

"I've had an interest for some time in historic preservation," Reed said. "We have a 100 year old house in East Rochester that we've been restoring. This seemed like the right thing to do."

The focus on historic preservation shouldn't imply that the practice isn't state of the art.  Reed's optometrists, opthamologist and opticians (and even a facial plastic surgeon) have all new equipment to work with.

Read also believes in supporting the communities he does business in.  He hires locally as much as possible, he said. Four key employees already with the Batavia office are long-time Batavia or Le Roy residents.

"When a patient walks in the door, they should recognize the people who work there as members of their community," Reed said. "I want to support the town because if the town supports me, it has to be mutual. We want to keep the dollars local."

There will be a ribbon cutting and open house for Reed Eye Associations at 2 p.m., Friday.

Optomistrist Kimberly Rosati with patient Tanner Richardson, who was in the clinic Wednesday learning how to put in his new contact lenses (picture below).

 
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Batavia Downs security guard performs CPR on patron, saving a life

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

A Batavia Downs patron is alive today because of the training and calm professionalism of a security guard who started CPR and helped administer defibrillation.

Cory Lapp is only 21, but he's already been a volunteer EMT with the Attica Fire Department for three years (he joined the department at age 16).  His medical training came in handy while working security at the casino when he checked on a report of a patron who was down and unresponsive.

"There were a couple of people standing around, so I peaked over and realized he wasn't moving at all," Lapp said.

Lapp immediately started CPR and summoned a partner, Officer Bob Humphrey, to retrieve the defibrillator.

Together, they used the machine on the patient and the man revived and was later transported to the hospital.

The name of the patient has not been released.

As an EMT, Lapp has been called on to perform CPR before, but he said it still feels pretty good to save a life.

"It feels good to know that when he was in my hands, he was alive," Lapp said. "It's a good feeling. it's kind of hard to describe it."

As Lapp walked with a reporter through the facility, co-workers congratulated him.

"Good job, Cory," they said as he walked by. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Child on bike struck by Jeep at East Avenue and Walker Place

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A caller reports a child on a bicycle was struck by a Jeep in the area of East Avenue and Walker Place. City police, fire and medics responded.

This was initially reported as being at 34 Columbia Ave. Regardless, the victim is inside the residence at that address.

The vehicle was also described as being a gray van.

City fire is back in service. Police are speaking roadside with the driver.

UPDATE 5:13 p.m.: Medics are taking the patient to UMMC. He is described as 9 years old and complaining of right side pain and a bump on his head.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Batavia Concert Band move's tonight's show to GCC

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, Batavia Concert Band, entertainment, music

Due to the likelihood of rain, the Batavia Concert Band's performance this evening is moved to the Stuart Steiner Theater at GCC.

From the announcement:

Tonight's concert will feature bandmembers' and conductor John Bailey's favorite pieces from this Summer and years past. It'll be an audience (and musician) pleasing mix of movie themes, Big Band and Broadway tunes, and of course -- marches!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Child gives explicit testimony in sex abuse trial of Sean Vickers

post by Julia Ferrini in batavia, crime

The first witness this morning in the sexual abuse trial of Sean Vickers, a former Batavia resident, offered testimony that was jarring and explicit.

The child testified that Vickers forced him to perform oral and anal sexual acts.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman asked a series of questions about the acts, which the child answered in simple, direct language.

Friedman: "What did that feel like?"

The witness: "It didn't feel good. I cried."

That witness and a second child testified to alleged abuse in early Autumn, 2012.

Defense attorney Jerry Ader asked the first witness about family outings with Vickers.

"You had said that Sean (Vickers) bought things for you. Were these purchases just for you?"

"No."

"So when you went out with Sean, he paid for those outings?"

"He paid for outings, but I'm really not sure."

Next, Ader switched gears. Reminding the first witness that he had been asked these questions before, right here in Batavia, where the witness had responded that nothing ever happened; also asking the witness if he had said anything to anyone about Vickers, to which the witness responded, no.

"I said nothing happened because I was scared."

After Ader's questions to the witnesses, the DA asked if Vickers had said anything to them. "Do you like it?" "You can't tell anyone" and "You have to promise not to tell anyone" were the responses.

The third witness's memory was a bit shaky at times and Ader masterfully cast doubt as to the credibility of said witness.

"When you were here before in front of the Grand Jury you had said that Vickers told you not to say anything to anyone, yet today you are saying that he said nothing?"

"Yes."

"So, which one is the truth?"

"He didn't say anything."

Friedman countered Ader, asking the witness to think back at the time in 2012 and asked the witness again if Vickers said anything to him and again, the witness again said he (Vickers) did not say anything to him.

However, Friedman also asked the witness if he had said anything to anyone about what Vickers did to him.

"Yes. My Uncle and Dad."

"You didn't tell your Mom?"

"No."

The morning's final witness testified that Vickers had spent several weekends in their home as well as a relative's home where the boys had often gone to throughout the Summer, occasionally spending weekends there. The witness also verified that Vickers purchased items for the family, as well as, treated them to outings such as skiing, camping, the zoo, and the movies.

"Whatever the boys wanted, they got."

Friedman asked the witness if Vickers had ever took videos of the boys, whereas the witness affirmed. However, Ader countered that objections to the videos being taken were never voiced, to which the witness concurred. Ader also pointed out that the witness could not definitively say that Vickers was at the residence where the boys spent an occasional weekend, as the witness was not the only person who had dropped them off.

Before the jury entered the courtoom for the morning testimony, Ader objected to the use of two prosecution witnesses. The jury is already aware of the effects of child abuse, Ader argued. Friedman said the expert testimony is necessary for the jury to have a complete understanding of the effects of child abuse. Judge Robert C. Noonan overruled the objection.

The trial resumes at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Day two of convicted child molester Sean Vickers

post by Julia Ferrini in batavia, abuse, trial, Vickers

 

The trial of convicted child molester Sean Vickers continued this morning with four more witnesses taking the stand. However, prior to the jury entering the courtroom, Defense Attorney Jerry Ader objected to two witnesses for the prosecution, stating that the jury was already aware of the effects that child abuse has on children. District Attorney Lawrence Friedman countered that expert testimony is essential for the jury to have complete understanding of the effects of child abuse; whereas Judge Robert C. Noonan concurred, overruling the objection.

Friedman's first two witnesses described the acts that Vickers performed and had them perform on them during the summer and early Autumn of 2012 with quiet nervousness.

"When you stayed overnight at your aunt's house were there things that he (Vickers) did to you that you didn't like?" 

"Yes."

"Can you tell me what those things were?"

"Yes. He made me touch his penis with my mouth."

"Were there other things that Sean (Vickers) did?"

"Yes."

"Did he do anything with his mouth?"

"Yes. He put his mouth on my penis."

"Did he put his penis anywhere else?"

"Yes. In my butt."

"More than once?"

"Yes."

"What did that feel like?"

"It didn't feel good. I cried."

Ader shifted the focus of the witnesses' testimony to the things that VIckers did for not only them, but also their family.

"You had said that Sean (Vickers) bought things for you. Were these purchases just for you?"

"No."

"So when you went out with Sean, he paid for those outings?"

"He paid for outings, but I'm really not sure."

Next, Ader switched gears. Reminding the first witness that he had been asked these questions before, right here in Batavia, where the witness had responded that nothing ever happened; also asking the witness if he had said anything to anyone about Vickers, to which the witness responded, no.

"I said nothing happened because I was scared."

After Ader's questions to the witnesses, the DA asked if Vickers had said anything to them -Do you like it? You can't tell anyone; and You have to promise not to tell anyone - were the responses.

The third witness's memory was a bit shaky at times and Ader masterfully casted doubt as to the credibility of said witness.

"When you were here before in front of the Grand Jury you had said that Vickers told you not to say anything to anyone, yet today you are saying that he said nothing?"

"Yes."

"So, which one is the truth?"

"He didn't say anything."

Friedman countered Ader, asking the witness to think back at the time in 2012 and asked the witness again if Vickers said anything to him and again, the witness again said he (Vickers) did not say anything to him.

However, Friedman also asked the witness if he had said anything to anyone about what Vickers did to him.

"Yes. My Uncle and Dad."

"You didn't tell your mom?"

"No."

The morning's final witness testified that Vickers had spent several weekends in their home as well as a relative's home where the boys had often gone to throughout the Summer, occasionally spending weekends there. The witness also verified that Vickers purchased items for the family, as well as, treated them to outings such as skiing, camping, the zoo, and the movies.

"Whatever the boys wanted, they got."

Friedman asked the witness if Vickers had ever took videos of the boys, whereas the witness affirmed. However, Ader countered that objections to the videos being taken were never voiced, to which the witness concurred. Ader also pointed out that the witness could not definitively say that Vickers was at the residence where the boys spent an occasional weekend, as the witness was not the only person who had dropped them off.

The trial will resume at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 10:52 am

Law and Order: Alleged parole absconder accused of giving false name to police

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

Benito A. Gay, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd. Gay is accused of giving a false name to police in an attempt to hide his identity as an alleged parole absconder. Gay was jailed on a NYS Parole retainer.

Mckayla J. Kosiorek, 19, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Kosiorek allegedly possessed marijuana paraphernalia containing marijuana residue.

Alex Scott Dumbleton, 21, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 1st. The day after being served an order of protection barring contact with two people, Dumbleton allegedly went to the residence of the protected parties.

Brian Eric Daggar, 28, Woodmill Drive, Holley, is charged with petit larceny. Dagger was arrested on a Town of Batavia warrant by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office during an investigation into an incident at the Walmart in Brockport.

Amanda Marie Webb, 25, of Colby Road, Darien, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument, 3rd. Webb was stopped for an alleged traffic infraction on Colby Road, Darien, and was found to have a warrant out of City Court for an alleged crime reported March 31 at 10 at Jefferson Square, Batavia.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 12:18 am

Photos: Patriot Guard delivers portrait of Sgt. Schmigel to her mother

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

The Patriot Guard delivered today one more gift, one more honor for Karie Schmigel, the mother of Sgt. Shaina Schmigel, the Iraq War veteran and paratrooper who died while training at Fort Bragg, N.C., in early June.

Members of the group of motorcycle riders -- who often serve as honor guard and escort for soldiers who die in the line of duty, and did so for Shaina's funeral -- drove to Karie's house on South Swan this evening to deliver a special portrait of Sgt. Schmigel.

Karie was immediately overcome as soon as she saw it.

The portrait was presented by Robert Polanski, left, and Scott Hayes.

The Schmigel family is selling bracelets, stickers and T-shirts to honor Shaina. The proceeds are being donated to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum at Fort Bragg. So far, $1,500 has been raised.

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