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Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 1:45 am

Structure fire at 2 Lewis Place in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A structure fire is reported at 2 Lewis Place in the city. The third platoon is called to the scene along with Alexander's fast team and Emergency Services Unit #2. Town of Batavia is asked to stand by in its quarters.

UPDATE 1:48 a.m.: Fire is knocked down. Those en route are told they can respond non-emergency.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Trial date set in Dashawn Butler case

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

It looks like Dashawn Butler will get his day in court.

So far, Butler has turned down a plea offer to reduce the top charge against him from a Class C violent felony to a Class D violent felony, so today, Judge Robert C. Noonan set a trial date for Butler of Nov. 17.

Butler still has until Oct. 8 to accept the plea, under Noonan's plea-cut off rules.

The Batavia resident is charged with criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, and attempted assault, 1st, also a Class C violent felony. He's also accused of firing a weapon at another person Sept. 27 on State Street.

Noonan ruled against the defense on a motion to have the charges dismissed. Defense attorney Thomas Burns argued in a hearing two weeks ago that Batavia PD didn't exercise due diligence in trying to locate Butler after a warrant was issued for his arrest in October. That lack of due diligence violated Butler's right to a speedy trial, Burns said. Noonan found that there was not enough evidence that BPD did not try to locate Butler in a timely manner.

The plea offer from District Attorney Lawrence Friedman was unconditional, meaning Noonan would have all the sentencing options available for a person convicted of a Class D violent felony, including a lengthy prison term.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Remains turned over to BPD by resident identified as Native American

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Letchworth State Park

The skeletal remains from a residence on Seneca Avenue, Batavia, have been identified as male, 17 to 25 years of age and of Native American ancestry, Batavia PD said in a statement today.

The findings are consistent with what police were originally told by the resident who contacted BPD, that a relative had located the remains in Letchworth State Park in the 1950s while hunting for arrowheads.

The Tonawanda Seneca Nation has been contacted. The remains will receive a proper burial by the tribe.

Det. Kevin Czora led the investigation into the remains, which included numerous interviews and an examination of the remains by anthropological scientists. 

There is no evidence of injury to the individual and the remains were likely buried in the park for an extended period of time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Martial arts school holding free anti-bullying program

post by Billie Owens in batavia, events

Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts school has joined forces with a worldwide anti-bullying program called Hyper Bully Defense. The goal of this program is to reach a million youth and spread the anti-bullying message.

The school is holding an anti-bullying seminar from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 19th. The event is free to the public and open to anyone who would like to attend.

Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts
214 East Main St., Suite 7


Event Date and Time

September 19, 2014 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Jacquetta Simmons shows up in court without attorney or financial statements on restitution request

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons

On a follow up to her request for smaller monthly restitution payments, Jacquetta Simmons showed up without the two things Judge Robert C. Noonan said she needed today: An attorney and a certified financial statement.

Noonan lectured her briefly on the need to have a proper financial statement, said that he wants to get restitution payments started in this case, and then gave her until Sept. 16 to get her documents together.

And perhaps show up with an attorney.

What Simmons arrived with in court today was a handwritten statement on a blue-lined piece of notebook paper.

"Ms. Simmons, what we need from you is a sworn statement of income and expenses for you and each person in your household," Noonan said. "We need an itemization of all the things you've done while looking for work, not just your conclusionary statement saying you can't find work."

When her case was called, Simmons ambled to the defense table dressed in faded blue jeans and a white T-shirt holding her piece of paper.

Asked about her attorney, Simmons told Noonan that she was under the impression that Key would be in court with her today, and that she spoke with Key after her Aug. 26 court appearance.

In June, the Buffalo News published a report about Key moving from the Buffalo area. His Web site says his office is located in Buffalo.

So when Simmons said she had spoke with him since August, Noonan expressed some surprise.

"Really?" Noonan said. "I thought he left town before that. Perhaps he kept the same cell phone."

Noonan told Simmons she could appear Sept. 16 with or without an attorney. "It's your choice," he said.

Simmons is under court order to make $100 monthly payments in restitution for $2,000 in medical expenses to Grace Souzzi, whom she punched in the face Christmas Eve 2011 after Souzzi asked for a receipt for items Simmons and her brother had purchased earlier at Walmart.

Because she's not working, Simmons has asked that the amount of monthly payments be reduced.

After the brief hearing, Simmons turned from the bench and walked away, mumbling something under her breath.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Batavia Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner is Sept. 27

post by Billie Owens in announcements, batavia, sports

The 13th annual Batavia Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, at Terry Hills Restaurant and Banquet Facility.

Social hour begins at 5 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6. Cost is $30 per person.

These are this year's inductees:

  • John J. "Jackie" Kelley -- 1954
  • Thomas Hoitink -- 1965
  • John Buckley -- 1972
  • Patrick Fricano -- 1980
  • Dr. Allyson (Shirtz) Howe -- 1990
  • Jamie (Callahan) Hulbig -- 1998
  • Maria (Spiotta) Dentino -- 1999

Tickets are available at the Athletic Director's office at Batavia High School. For more information, please call (585) 343-2480, ext. 2003.

This event is sponsored by the Batavia Coaches Association.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Portion of mall parking lot will be closed next week for milling and paving

post by Billie Owens in batavia, road work

On Monday, Sept. 15, city maintenance workers will be milling a portion of the mall parking lot, weather permitting, between Dan's Tire and Auto and Genesee-Lawley Insurance. That's from Alva Place to the main driving lane. The area will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 16 and 17, weather permitting, a city crew will pave this area and the parking lot will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Program can stem the tide of rising flood insurance costs, but only to a point

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, flood insurance program, Gretchen DiFante

Here's what residents living in flood-prone areas in Batavia need to know: The city can help lower the cost of flood insurance, but nothing can stop it from going up.

Assistant City Manager Gretchen DiFante, hired primarily to help the city get a comprehensive flood insurance program going, said the cap on annual insurance-rate increases is 18 percent (it used to be 25 percent). If the city's program works as intended, the best result would be 15-percent lower premiums for local homeowners.

Rates will rise, she explained after the Monday City Council meeting, until an insurance company reaches 100-percent coverage for an individual property according to its actuarial tables.

"Not everybody is going to go up and not everybody will go up at the same rate," DiFante told the council.

This is an important issue, she said, because the rising cost of flood insurance will make it harder and harder for property owners to sell their homes. That leads to more sub-par rentals, more abandoned houses, higher crime and less tax money for local schools.

"When you look at the map, you have to realize, this is more than a thousand homeowners who are not going to be able to sell their homes if something doesn't change," DiFante said.

"I don't care where you live, it ought to be a concern," she added. "If it's not, it should be."

DiFante's job is to work with FEMA to get the city into community rating system (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Cities accepted into the program get class ratings. A Class 7 community gets a 5-percent reduction in flood insurance rates, and a Class 9 community gets 15 percent.

There are two main components to the ratings:

  • Reduce a community's flood exposure through mitigation activities;
  • Obtain individual flood insurance reductions for residents in flood map areas.

But the process is far more complex than those two simple points, DiFante said.

"It is a daunting process, which is why I think there's only 27 communities in New York who have taken this on," DiFante said. "There's so much information you have to put together and in such a specific way you have to do it. Then every time you've got different reps from ISO who come in, everybody's kind of got their own way interpreting what you've done."

On a broad scale, the city will need to review zoning and building codes and make adjustments to mitigating flooding issues.

On an individual homeowner basis, the city can provide guidance and perhaps secure grants for elevation certificates that could lift some homes out of the flood map, or improve an individual property's rating.

The elevation certificate process can also provide property owners with guidance on improving their property from a flood exposure perspective.

It will be at least 16 months before the city realizes any benefits from its flood insurance efforts.

Red areas are floodplain.

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Grand Jury: Man accused of damaging jailhouse door, biker accused of DWI

post by Billie Owens in batavia, byron, crime, grand jury indictments

Here are the latest indictments issued by the Genesee County Grand Jury>

Jeffrey M. Black is accused of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 25, 2013, hedrove a 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the Town of Byron while intoxicated. In count two of the indictment, he is accused of driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony for allegedly having a BAC of .08 or more.

John J. Saddler is accused of criminal mischief in the second degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 16 in the City of Batavia he acted with intent to damage the property of another person and, having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he had such right, damaged the property of another person in an amount greater that $1,500. The damaged property was a glass door at the Genesee County Jail.

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Car crash on East Main Street, Batavia

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A single-car accident is reported at 206 E. Main St. in the city. Unknown injuries. Mercy medics are on scene and Engine #11 is responding. The vehicle is smoking.

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