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Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:15 am

BOCES culinary students champs again in regional competition

post by Howard Owens in batavia, BOCES, food

Press release:

Culinary Arts students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center brought home the Culinary Cup for the third consecutive year! 

These students took first place in the eighth Annual Taste of Culinary Competition hosted by the American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo, New York. This event was held at Erie Community College’s City Campus. 

Chef Nathan Koscielski's culinary team of 14 students consisted of morning and afternoon juniors and seniors. The team competed against other student teams from other colleges, high schools and BOCES. 

Last year, the team brought home the Culinary Cup; two years ago, the team tied for second place; and three years ago, the team took third place.

Jarrod Wall is a first year Culinary Arts student from Notre Dame Academy.

“This was an awesome experience and it’s the third year in a row that our school has won first place.  We got to work as a team and see firsthand how professional chefs work, ” Jarrod said.

Chef Koscielski described his students as talented and skilled.

“Our score was only two points away from being a perfect score and was higher than scores earned by teams that entered the professional division including restaurants and country clubs. The competition was a tremendous educational experience for our students.  It was exciting for our team to compete and win for the third time,” he said.

The team served guinea hen confit with Parisienne gnocchi, roasted red and yellow pepper coulis and pignoli gremolata served with a punch made of black currant and pineapple juices, coconut milk, and fresh mint.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:00 am

Law and Order: Man accused of public lewdness at Red Roof Inn

post by Howard Owens in batavia, byron, crime

Decodie Tanner Adams, 22, of Lake Street, Ogdensburg, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, a felony, resisting arrest, harassment, 2nd, disorderly conduct, public lewdness and indecent exposure. Adams is accused of causing a disturbance and urinating on the carpet at the Red Roof Inn in Batavia at 10:28 p.m. Monday, causing property damage. Adams was reportedly intoxicated at the time and allegedly resisted arrest.

Luke William Ritzenthaler, 31, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Ritzenthaler is accused of violating an order of protection twice by calling the protected person twice shortly after being served the order. Earlier, Ritzenthaler was arrested and accused of grabbing another person by the arms and pushing that person to the floor and allegedly striking the victim's head against the floor. On the criminal contempt charges, bail was set at $250.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Human trafficking seminar part of crime victim's week

post by Howard Owens in batavia

A couple dozen people, including members of local law enforcement, attended a three-hour seminar this evening on human trafficking at the Generations Center on Center Street.

Above, FBI Special Agent Jennifer Amo talks about prostitution, providing information on how pimps recruit teenage girls and how family members might recognize if a girl has entered into prostitution.

She said pimps typically look for victims at malls, coffee shops and on social media.

Signs that a teenager might be involved in prostitution include changes in behavior, clothing; absences from school, dropping extracurricular activities; changes in lifestyle; having more money, new clothes and material possessions; changes in friends or peers; a secret boyfriend or girlfriend.

Pimps will often require those working for them to get tattoos that serve the same function as branding cattle.

It's been years and years since there's been a prostitution arrest in Batavia, said Det. Pat Corona when we spoke with him after Amo's presentation. 

"In my career we haven't had any (arrests)," Corona said. "There have been very few reports or complaints or investigations. It occurs, but complaints are rare."

Still, it's important for local law enforcement officers to stay abreast of information about human trafficking and prostitution, Corona said.

Corona has worked a few human trafficking cases in the city.

The first involved employees of a Chinese restaurant many years ago. It began as a home-invasion burglary report, but when police responded, they found people at the residence who were bound and gagged. They were being held against their will and being forced to work, but Corona said it was very difficult to get them to cooperate with law enforcement because they were afraid. No arrest was made in that case.

There also a case involving door-to-door magazine sales reps. The workers were involved in burglaries and larcenies. When Corona interviewed two of the women involved, he learned they felt trapped with the sales company because they were earning very little money and had no way to get home. 

The human-trafficking seminar is part of the Genesee County Crime Victim's Week. 

Here are the remaining events:

  • Stewards of Children Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training, 6 to 8:30 p.m., tomorrow; YWCA, 301 North St. Call Theresa at 585-344-0516, ext. 111, for information.
  • Open House at Justice for Children Advocacy Center, noon to 2 p.m., Friday, at 304 E. Main St. Call Anne Bezon at 585-344-8576 for information.
  • Ceremonial Walk and Reception, 5:30 p.m., Friday, at the Old County Courthouse Corner of Routes 5 and 63. Call Theresa at 585-344-0516, ext. 111, for information.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Photo: Crews install downtown benches

post by Howard Owens in batavia, downtown

In another sign it's spring (really, it is), city crews were downtown this morning installing the park benches for the season.

Crew members are Shawn Easton, Shawn McAllister and Rick Reeves.

BTW: It's might snow tonight.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:47 am

Law and Order: Batavia resident accused of entering Le Roy business, taking items

post by Howard Owens in batavia, alexander, crime

David Michael Mancuso, 56, of Putnam Road, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 3rd, criminal contempt, 2nd, and petit larceny. Mancuso allegedly entered a business in the Town of Le Roy after being served with a court order barring him from the property. Mancuso allegedly removed property owned by the business. Following arraignment, Mancuso was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Wendy Ann George, 49, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. George was allegedly involved in a one-car accident at 9:48 p.m. April 1 on Attica Road, Alexander. The accident was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Adam R. Clark, 23, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with unnecessary noise/excessive noise. Clark is accused of causing a disturbance, creating unnecessary noise for his neighbors, at 11:21 p.m. Monday. Clark was charged under Batavia Muncipal Code and issued an appearance ticket.

Patricia R. Walker-Mosely, 56, of Wellington Avenue, Rochester, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and forgery, 2nd. Walker-Mosely was arrested by Batavia PD. No further details released.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Report of a house fire on Edgewood Drive

post by Howard Owens in batavia, fire

A "house fire" is reported at 10 Edgewood Drive, a "new build," but a Town of Batavia chief is on scene reports "nothing showing."

City of Batavia fire and Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:57 p.m.: There is a propane heater burning inside.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: City fire and Town of Batavia are back in service.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

Law and Order: Bethany man accused of taking part in crime spree in Wyoming County

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, Bethany, byron, corfu, crime, pembroke
Bradley Jordan Amber Reinisch

Bradley R. Jordan, 21, of East Bethany, and Amber L. Reinisch, 18, of Castile, are charged with burglary, 3rd, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th.

The investigation that led to the charges against Jordan and Reinisch began with a resident in the Village of Silver Springs reporting that she observed a male and female break glass in an overhead door and enter the garage attached to her apartment. State Police responded, but the suspects fled before they arrived on scene. Suspect and vehicle descriptions were provided to law enforcement officers in Wyoming County.

Police also received a complaint of a male and female fitting the description of the burglary suspects causing a disturbance at the McDonald's in Warsaw. The vehicle description for the two individuals also fit the burglary description. The vehicle was reportedly seen heading toward Save-A-Lot in Warsaw.

A short time later, a customer at Save-A-Lot reported seeing a male customer in possession of a handgun. The person had not threatened anybody with the weapon, but had removed it from his waistband as he walked through the store and then put it back in his waistband.

Village of Warsaw police officers, Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies and troopers all responded to the area. The suspect vehicle was located and Jordan and Reinisch were taken into custody.

Both suspects are accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart and Olympia Sports in North Warsaw, along with the burglary in Silver Springs. The alleged theft from Walmart was of a compact C02 pistol, which State Police say was the weapon later observed by a customer at Save-A-Lot. State Police alleged that when Jordan observed troopers at the front of the store, he ducked into a bathroom and discarded the weapons in a wastebasket. The weapon was later recovered and secured as evidence.

Jordan and Reinisch were arraigned and jailed on $5,000 bail each.

Tilar B. Clark, 22, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Clark's vehicle was stopped by State Police in the Town of Attica, Wyoming County, for an alleged equipment violation. He was allegedly found in possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Paul D. Barth Jr., 23, of Cohocton Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Barth was allegedly sending text messages to a person he was ordered by a judge not to contact.

Desiree Michelle Hutchinson, 18, of Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Hutchinson allegedly admitted to Officer James DeFreze that she was hold her baby while in same room with a friend who was smoking marijuana.

Scott P. Rodon, 48, of Garfield Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Rodon was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 1 a.m. Thursday.

Oliver Thomas, 22, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Thomas allegedly hit a person in the face during an argument, which was reported at 3:45 a.m. Friday.

Taylor M. Andrews, 20, of McKenzie Road, Caledonia, is charged with menacing, 2nd. endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy, 5th. Andrews is accused of encouraging a juvenile to use a crowbar against another person during an argument. The victim was not struck with the crowbar. The alleged incident was reported at 2 a.m. Friday at 21 Wood St., Batavia.

Robi Liam Terziani, 19, of Route 19A, Portageville, is charged with petit larceny. Terziani is accused of stealing hydrocodine pills from a residence in Byron where he was hired to do service work.

Billy Joe Budziszewski Jr., 22, of Route 77, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and bail jumping, 2nd. Budziszewski was arrested on warrants out of Village of Corfu Court. He is also allegedly the subject of warrants out of Erie County on burglary, 2nd, and petit larceny charges and out of Wyoming County for failure to pay fine. Budziszewski was jailed on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond.

Chance Robert Cooley, 19, of Route 5 & 20, Canandaigua, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Cooley was allegedly found in possession of marijuana in a medicine container and a glass smoking pipe with marijuana in it. Cooley was the passenger in a vehicle stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 12 :15 a.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Chris Parker. Also charged was Anthony Lee Irish, 22, of Terri Drive, Farmington, who was also issued traffic summons for no front plate and no insurance.

Christopher C. Berg, 27, of Pavilion, is charged with a misdemeanor under the vehicle and traffic law. Berg was stopped by State Police at 8:36 p.m. Wednesday on Veterans Memorial Drive. No further details released.

Adam J. Bobzin, 43, of Byron, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bozin was stopped at 9:42 a.m. Thursday on West Sweden Road, Bergen, by State Police.

Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Teen who didn't come home on time gets cell phone taken away

post by Billie Owens in batavia

A 15-year-old called dispatch and asked that an officer respond to her home in the city where she is being punished and she is not happy about it. She stayed out past curfew and her mother confiscated her cell phone as a result. She thinks this is unreasonable parenting.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Photos: Civil War Tea and Fashion Show at HLOM

post by Howard Owens in batavia, history, hlom

The Holland Land Office Museum hosted a Civil War Tea and Fashion Show this afternoon. Dona LaValle (gray dress) lectured in detail about Civil War fashion, mostly in the South; a model did show off a typical dress from the North during the era.

Participants included Melissa Landers, Kaitlyn Landers, Candice, Rachel and Elien Bachorski, Mary Joe Eddy, Rita Reichle and Anne Marie Starowitz.

Vocalist Amy Savino, accompanied by Jeffrey M. Fischer, performed (bottom photo).

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 8:47 am

Restoration work was in progress, landlord says, when city condemned apartment building on Jackson

post by Howard Owens in batavia, 113 Jackson Street, Jackson Street, landlords

The four-unit apartment building at 113 Jackson Street has been condemned by city officials and its residents relocated, but the owner says things sound a lot worse than they really are.

The most notable problem is the south wall, according to Guy Pellegrino, which is clearly bowed out, but Pellegrino said it was that way when he purchased the building 15 years ago and was in that condition years before he bought it.

It's never been an issue with city officials until now, he said, and it may not even be necessary to repair. He will need to hire a structural engineer to make that determination and present findings to the city.

The 4,000-square-foot building is 180 years old. The property is assessed at $115,000.

City Manager Jason Molino said 113 Jackson was closed for electrical, mechanical and structural code violations.

Molino said the Red Cross assisted, at least for the first day, the two tenants living in the complex after the building was condemned.

City officials only acted on the property after there was a report of a possible fire in one of the apartments Tuesday, Molino said. Firefighters found suspected code violations and a code enforcement officer was called to the scene.

According to Molino, tenants at the apartment were living in "deplorable conditions." The building was condemned, he said, because it was unfit for human occupancy.

Pellegrino has a different version of what city inspectors found at the complex.

First, the second-story apartments have been vacant since the Fall and are currently undergoing a complete restoration. The apartments have been gutted. The floors have been removed, the walls are being repainted and all the junk left by previous tenants thrown out.

"My plan has been once Spring rolls around is to finish the apartments and turn them into better quality units," Pellegrino said.

Pellegrino believes that it was the former upstairs tenants who have been the source of suspected criminal activity in and around the apartment building. After there was an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver reported at that location, Pellegrino evicted both tenants, having them physically removed from the property.

A lifelong Batavia resident with a large family locally and other business interests, Pellegrino said the reports of criminal activity at the address, especially the suspected armed robbery, were a real embarrassment.

"That's not who I am," Pellegrino said. "I don't want people to have that impression of me. Once I thought they had something to do with it, I got rid of the tenants."

What Pellegrino didn't know, he said, was that one of his downstairs tenants was a hoarder and was stealing electricity from a neighboring apartment.

"The only person living in deplorable conditions was the hoarder," Pellegrino said.

The woman who lived in the other apartment kept her place clean and there was no problem with that unit, Pellegrino said.

The man had lived in the apartment for 10 years, according to Pellegrino.

"His rent was $600 a month and he paid it like clockwork," Pellegrino said. "I had no reason to believe he was a problem and I had no cause to go into his apartment."

The resident, Pellegrino said, created the alleged electrical code violations by removing electrical panels so he could tap into the power lines of another apartment, and running extension cords into his apartment.

Each apartment has its own electric meter and tenants are responsible for their own utilities, so Pellegrino doesn't get the electric bills and had no idea the tenant no longer had his own electric service to his apartment, he said.

One thing people don't understand, Pellegrino said, is that when a landlord rents to Section 8, HUD or any other social services tenant, the apartments are inspected by the government before the tenants move in. There's never been a problem with his apartments, Pellegrino said.

Other than the issue with the south wall, everything the city says is a code violation will be easy to fix, Pellegrino said. If a structural engineer clears the long-standing bowed south wall, then it will no longer be an issue, Pellegrino said.

There's a dumpster behind the apartment that's half filled with junk and garbage bags. The dumpster was originally brought in to help with the gutting of the two upstairs apartments. It's also being filled with the decades-long accumulation of junk left in the basement by former tenants, and, Pellegrino said, the hoarder has already started cleaning out his apartment and throwing stuff in it.

After 15 years in the residential rental business, Pellegrino is ready to get out. All of his properties are going up for sale, he said.

He was leaning in that direction before 113 Jackson was condemned, he said, but he's been "just sick" about what happened with the property and he's had enough. He thinks a lot has changed about the kind of tenants a landlord has to deal with in Batavia over the past 15 years. It's just not a good business to be in, he said, especially for someone who values his reputation in the community.

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