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Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Batavia PD investigating series of larcenies from vehicles on Southside

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Batavia PD is investigating five reported vehicle larcenies that occurred on Southside streets sometime Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, said Det. Eric Hill.

Four of the vehicles were reportedly unsecured and one was locked, though the locked car was not damaged, Hill said.

The usual items were stolen, such as clothing, loose change, cigarettes and some credit cards.

"We would again like to remind citizens to make sure that their vehicles are secured and ensure that their key fobs are stored in such a way that they don’t accidentally unlock their vehicle," Hill said.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Suzanne Corona jailed on drug sale charge

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Suzanne Corona

Suzanne Corona

With the exception of a petit larceny charged a year ago, Suzanne Corona has pretty much been able to keep her name out of the news since 2011.

The 45-year-old Osterhout Avenue resident became an international sensation in June 2010 when he was caught in a sexually compromised situation on a picnic table in Farrall Park.

The illicit tryst for the married woman led to a rare criminal charge of adultery, which sparked news headlines in tabloids from New York to London to Australia. 

Over the next year, her exploits continued to make news, especially in Western New York, but then she faded from view.

Her arrest by the Local Drug Task Force on Tuesday has her facing her most serious criminal charges yet.

Corona is accused of selling suboxone to an agent of the task force.

She is charged with fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The charges are the fist time she faces a possible felony conviction.

Corona was jailed pending a bail review today.

Top: File photo from 2011.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Woman tied to 420 Emporium pleads guilty to facilitating drug trade in federal court

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A woman who once represented herself as an owner of a group of infamous smoke shops involved in the sale of bath salts and synthetic marijuana entered a guilty plea yesterday to a federal charge in connection with the drug sales.

Amber Snover, 24, faces up to four years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to using a communication facility to facilitate a controlled substance.

The chain of smoke shops was known as the 420 Emporium, and on social media, Snover claimed to be the owner of locations in Brockport, Fulton, Henrietta and Syracuse, though never claimed ownership of the Batavia location that was at 400 Ellicott St.

When bath salts were a hot issue in Batavia in 2012, The Batavian contacted Snover and she denied owning any of the stores before hanging up on a reporter.

She later called Greece police and tried to have the reporter arrested.

Public records uncovered later indicated Charles Fitzgerald owned the first four locations and Joshua Denise owned the Batavia location.

Fitzgerald and Snover were apparently living together at 21 West Hill Estates, Greece. Their home was raided on the same day, July 25, 2014, as the Batavia location as part of a nationwide DEA crackdown on synthetic drug manufacturing, sales and distribution

Authorities recovered more than $770,000 in cash at the Greece residence.

Snover's conviction covers a federal contention that the woman used a phone to order various synthetic controlled substance analogues for the store in Batavia.

She will be sentenced June 23.

The 420 Emporium employees arrested in the raids have entered guilty pleas to various charges and await sentencing.

Fitzgerald entered a guilty plea in January to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and faces a possible maximum federal prison term of 30 years. He will be sentenced April 15.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Law and Order: Central Avenue resident accused of using gun in robbery and assault

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy
Tyshon Taylo

Tyshon L. Taylor, 18, of Central Avenue, is charged with assault, 1st, robbery, 1st, unlawful possession of marijuana, and menacing, 2nd. Taylor allegedly pointed a handgun at another person while demanding property at a location on Central Avenue, Batavia, at 8:45 p.m., Friday. Taylor allegedly struck the individual in the head with the handgun and then punched the person. Eventually, Taylor took the property from the person. He allegedly possessed marijuana when arrested. A 16-year-old, whose name was withheld by police, was also arrested and charged with assault, 1st, and robbery, 1st.

Madalyn R. Muntz, 29 of Le Roy, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Muntz, a former Walmart employee, is accused of stealing more than $1,500 in cash from November through February.

Nicole A. Mickey, 25, of Colonial Boulevard, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Mickey was arrested following a complaint of a disturbance at her residence at 11:48 p.m., March 16. Mickey allegedly drove from that location to another location while intoxicated.

Erin Kathleen Hinrich, 34, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged possession of a hypodermic instrument. Hinrich turned herself in to Batavia PD.

Richard J. Stack, 23, of Thomas Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Stack is accused of throwing items at a woman and flipping her out of a chair during an argument. He was jailed on $750 bail.

Deborah E. Lamartina, 34, of Linnet Street, Rochester, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Lamartina was allegedly found in possession of heroin and cocaine while already in custody on unrelated charges. She was jailed without bail.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Batavia, Notre Dame advance to mock trials finals

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, mock trials, Notre Dame

Photos by Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub.

Batavia and Notre Dame will meet in the mock trials finals tomorrow after securing victories in the semifinals Monday evening in the Orleans County Courthouse.

Batavia went 2-0, 113 points to 110 points, against Attica. Notre Dame was 1-1, but with 109 points to 106 points against Avon.

In the top photo, Dylan Beckman serves as an attorney for the team from Batavia and questions a witness.

Amanda Conrad, a witness for Attica, responds to questioning from Becca Canale, an attorney for Batavia.

Becca Canale was one of the attorneys for Batavia. She presents her closing argument to Chad Murray, the judge for the competition.

Madhu Vihani, a lawyer for the Attica team, presents documents to the team from Batavia.

Nic Culver, of Medina, a freshman at Notre Dame, was a witness for his team.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Council Notes: New City Court judge appointed; Memorial Day parade discussed

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

New City Court Judge:
By unanimous vote Monday night, the City Council selected local attorney Durin Rogers to become the new City Court judge.

Rogers is Deputy County Attorney, is active in the Genesee County Bar Association, and a graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and the University of Florida.

He replaces Michael Del Plato, who resigned effective the end of his six-year term.

Memorial Day Parade:
Plans are coming together for the city's Memorial Day Parade with a couple of new twists for 2015.

The committee is planning on changing the parade route so the procession comes further west on Main Street and turns north on Bank Street, with the parade ending at the War Memorial. Marching bands would enter with drum taps sounding only, which Rose Mary Christian described as a solemn, moving remembrance.  

There will also be a request for parade participants not to toss candy to children. There's concern throwing candy is more festive than respectful of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm

BATAVIA CEMETERY ASSOCIATION VICTORIAN HOME TOUR

BATAVIA CEMETERY ASSOCIATION VICTORIAN HOME TOUR
 
The Batavia Cemetery Association will hold a Victorian Home Tour on Sunday, May 17th, 2015 from 1-4 p.m. The interior home tour will feature some of Batavia's finest examples of Victorian architecture on Ellicott Avenue, Ross and Summit Streets. The houses range in age from 1862-1899. The tour starts at the Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue at 12:30 p.m.
 
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online at bataviacemetery.com, in person at T-Shirts, Etc., Center Street, Batavia (after April 1st) or by calling (585) 507-6524. Any remaining tickets may be purchased at the cemetery the day of the tour, however advance purchase is recommended as a limited number will be sold. No children under the age of 12 please.
 
All proceeds benefit the upkeep and restoration of the Historic Batavia Cemetery which was founded in 1823 and was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2002. 
 

Event Date and Time

May 17, 2015 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 11:41 am

Council told of strategy for dealing with stray cats in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, cats

A small platoon of volunteers could deal with the army of stray cats in Batavia, the City Council was told during a long discussion of the issue Monday night.

Three representatives of the pro bono animal program at the SUNY Buffalo Law School recommend a trap, neuter, vaccinate and return program that they say has been successful elsewhere, even in small towns in Western New York.

West Seneca provides an example, said Joseph Smith, a law student working with the pro bono program. That community instituted TNVR and it made a huge difference.

"You can have as fast as a year turnaround," Smith said. "You can get direct results and significant results within a year."

The results include fewer nuisances from cats and fewer stray cats.

Problem cats fall into two categories -- community cats, which are cats who were once domesticated, but somehow became ownerless, and feral cats, which are cats born to a homeless cat and never domesticated.

Smith, along with fellow student Nicole Komin and Vice Dean Kim Diana Connolly, outlined the program's benefits, especially when compared to alternatives.

Stray cats will always be with you, both Smith and Komin emphasized. If you try to capture them and keep them, they'll overwhelm any such system. If you try to kill them, other strays will just move into the territory.

Cats tend to go where they can get food and shelter, be it a cat lover who feeds them, scraps from a restaurant or plentiful prey. If all the cats are removed from an area of food and shelter, other cats will just take their place.

TNVR solves that problem by returning non-breeding cats to those their former haunts.

Once fixed, cats fight less, howl less and spray less, making them much less of a neighborhood nuisance.

And if you can eliminate the breeders, there are fewer feral cats and eventually fewer community cats. They never disappear from a community, but over time, their numbers are greatly reduced.

The life expectancy of a homeless cat is seven or eight years.

Assistant City Manager Gretchen DiFante invited Smith, Komin and Connolly to speak with the council because she's been tasked with coming up with a program to deal with stray and feral cats.

Council members expressed an interest in learning more and supporting a task force to study the proposal further. 

Such a program could be implemented at no cost to the city because there are volunteer and community groups that can be tapped to help set up the program and take care of the task of trapping cats and getting them neutered and vaccinated before they're returned to the location where they're trapped.

Cats who have been through the program get a notched ear so they're identifiable as neutered, and once released, they've learned about the trap and will never allow themselves to be captured that way again, Smith said.

Monday, March 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Public documents reveal deep financial hole for local medical business

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Advanced Imaging, business

A Batavia-based medical business has piled up a long list of financial woes, according to public documents obtained by The Batavian.

There are mechanics liens, money judgments, property seizures and demands for back pay to employees against Advanced Imaging, 35 Batavia City Center, Batavia.

The current owner even has pending criminal charges against him for allegedly issuing bad checks.

All told, the pile of debt exceeds $1.3 million.

Advanced Imaging was once owned by Dr. Mitchell Chess, and it's uncertain which if any of the debts were accumulated during his ownership tenure, during the tenure of Mark Zdrojewski, or both.

Attempts to contact Chess and Zdrojewski were unsuccessful.

Zdrojewski has been charged with issuing a bad check at least four times, both to a local contractor and to an employee.

The Department of Labor investigated complaints of unpaid wages to employees and concluded, according to a letter sent to one of the employees, "We have found that your employer owes wages and/or fringe benefits to one or more current or former employees."

As a result, the department issued a formal "order to comply," demanding payment to employees.

Zdrojewski still has time to appeal the ruling.

Former employees also complained that Zdrojewski took checks sent to Advanced Imaging for health insurance premiums under COBRA and used the funds for other expenses instead of paying the premiums.

There are mechanics liens from local contractors exceeding $14,000.

The real eye-popping sums come, however, from the list of money judgments against Advanced Imaging:

  • $966,598 to General Electric
  • $108,988 to Phillips Healthcare
  • $105,145 to Caritas Medical Arts Building
  • $69,410 to Caritas Medial Arts Building
  • $35,792 to Insight Health Corps
  • $3,699 to the Commissioner of Labor
  • $794 to the Commissioner of Labor
  • $13,229 to the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance
  • $13,242 to Turnbull Heating and Air
  • $4,475 to the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance
  • $600 to the Commissioner of Labor
  • $1,343 to the Commissioner of Labor
  • $6,789 to Medrad

The City of Batavia issued tax liens for more than $47,000 in back property taxes according to filings with the County Clerk's Office.

The three parcels of property in City Centre once owned by Advanced Imaging have been seized by the Sheriff's Office on behalf of Philips Healthcare and will be sold at auction at 10 a.m., May 4, at 165 Park Road, Batavia.

Some of the other money judgments may already be satisfied through other means.

Meanwhile, Advanced Imaging remains open for business.

Monday, March 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Law and Order: Driver charged with DWI after leaving scene of reported argument in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Le Roy, pembroke

Alexander Natal, 28, of Lake Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Natal allegedly left the scene of an altercation in Bergen and drove a vehicle on Buffalo Road at 2:42 p.m. Saturday while intoxicated. Natal was stopped by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Ryan N. Pyatt, 22, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. Pyatt posted $250 cash bail.

Seth R. Doster, 23, of Alleghany Road, Darien Center, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parked on sidewalk charge. Doster turned himself in and was issued an appearance ticket.

McKayla J. Kosiorek, 20, of South Jackson Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine imposed by City Court. Kosiorek turned herself in and posted $100 cash bail.

Maria K. Frieday, 41, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with reckless endangerment, 2nd, and tampering with physical evidence. Frieday was allegedly involved in an incident at 1:45 p.m. March 12 at 127 North St., Batavia.

Kory R. O'Grady, 42, of River Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. O'Grady was charged following an alleged domestic incident reported at 4 p.m., Sunday. He allegedly pushed another person and threatened to kill everyone if his daughter was removed from the residence.

Brock Thomas Barry, 27, of Blackwell Lane, Henrietta, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, and failure to stop at stop sign. Barry was stopped at midnight Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

John Joseph Simmons, 42, of Bedford Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, failure to dim headlights, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and driving without an interlock device. Simmons was stopped at 2:02 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Michael Lute.

The Grand Jury of Genesee County also released the following indictment:

Justin L. Pyatt is indicted on a count of menacing a police officer or peace officer. It's alleged that Pyatt, on Feb. 16, while at 113 Jackson St., Batavia, did attempt to place a police officer in reasonable fear of physical injury or even death by displaying a knife.

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