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Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Batavia city and town firefighters responding to controlled burn on Bank Street

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A controlled burn at 311 Bank St. is requiring the response of city firefighters and mutual aid from the Town of Batavia. According to authorities, this address has previously been advised regarding the requirements of controlled burns.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m. (approximately): Fire is out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Rep. Hochul's staff to hold office hours in Batavia

post by Daniel Crofts in announcements, batavia, kathy hochul

The staff of Rep. Kathy Hochul will hold office hours on Tuesday, July 17, from 10 am until 1 pm. They will answer constituents' questions and listen to their concerns.

In Genesee County, office hours will be held in the Conference Room at 1 Batavia City Centre.

Office hours will also be held from 2 until 4:30 pm in Wyoming County. Anyone who cannot make the office hours in Batavia can go to the Wyoming County Building, at 143 N Main St. in Warsaw.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Lions give away two new bikes at Muckdogs game

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Lions Club

Monday the Batavia Lions Club held its annual Ballpark Bicycle Drawing during the Batavia Muckdogs game at Dwyer Stadium.

This year's winners are Aliyah Curry, left, of Batavia who won the girls bike, and Shane McClurg, of Le Roy, winner of the boy's bike. Also pictured, Paul Bisig, first VP of the Batavia Lions Club.

Again this year, several local nursing home residents were guests at the game, courtesy of the Batavia Lions.

Submitted photo.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 10:08 am

Council unanimously supports 'reasonable' raise for city manager

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Jason Molino

City Manager Jason Molino's 1.5-percent raise approved unanimously by the Batavia City Council on Monday is "reasonable," said Council President Tim Buckley after the meeting.

"In today’s economy (it) is very reasonable," Buckley said. "It’s not a lot of money, but it shows something that council supports him and his efforts."

Molino will now make $86,009.

Councilwoman Patti Pacino said, "he deserves it. Trust me, he does."

Pacino credited Molino with greatly improving the city's financial standing.

"When I started on this council we were ready to turn the lights off in the city and now we have a rating of A2," Pacino said. "He knows what he’s doing and he’s taking us there."

Buckley said Molino's recent performance review "came back with high marks."

The only criticism of Molino's raise heard in council chambers Monday was from John Roach, who suggested Molino should be required to give up his six-month severance package before getting any more raises.

"If he's ever fired, even for cause, he gets six months severance," Roach said. "I think $43,000 is excessive."

Roach added, "Obviously, the council didn't agree with me."

The 1.5-percent raise was part of the city's last approved budget and is in line with what other non-union workers are getting.

Molino said he's grateful for the vote of confidence from the council.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 8:31 am

Law and Order: Driver involved in Valu Plaza accident charged with DWI

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

Joseph M. Dispenza, 18, of 36 Church St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, reckless driving, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, unlawful possession of marijuana and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Dispenza was taken into custody after Batavia PD received numerous reports of a vehicle operating erratically at 6:48 a.m., Monday, in the Valu Plaza parking lot. Witnesses reported seeing the vehicle being driven at a high rate of speed in the parking lot and squealing its tires. The vehicle struck a light utility pole causing a significant amount of damage and rendering it inoperable. Dispenza and two passengers allegedly fled the scene but were located by patrols in the Batavia Commons Plaza. (Initial Report)

Bradley J. Broadbent, 32, no permanent address, is charged with burglary, 2nd, and petit larceny. Broadbent is accused of forcibly entering a residence on Tracy Avenue, causing damage to the door, and once inside, allegedly stealing clothing. Broadbent was arrested on these charges Monday while appearing in Batavia City Court stemming from his arrest Friday for alleged incidents on Hutchins Street. Broadbent is being held in Genesee County Jail without bail.

Kelly J. Rhim, 33, of 30 Bell St., Cheektowaga, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Rhim was allegedly involved in an argument with a female acquaintance. Rhim is accused of throwing a bowl of food at the friend, striking her with the object. There were allegedly two children in the room at the time.

Jernie Edward Kuhns, 44, of Ridge Road, Elba, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Kuhns allegedly sent text messages to another person threatening to come to the residence of that person and physically harm another person. Kuhns allegedly went to the residence but left when the occupants did not answer the door. Kuhns was jailed on $350 bail.

Jason A. Klinkbeil, 24, of Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Klinkbeil was taken into custody by State Police at 8:15 p.m., Saturday, at 80 South St., Village of Le Roy. No further details released.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:21 am

Local dairy farmers looking for increased demand with opening of yogurt plants

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, business, Dairy Farms, elba, Le Roy

Will Greek yogurt mean a boom for local dairy farmers? Marwa Eltagouri takes a look at that question for the Buffalo News.

Local dairy farmers Gordon Offhaus and Dale Stein are featured.

In order to keep up with the Greek yogurt demand, it is estimated that milk produced by Western New York farmers must increase by 15 percent over the next four to five years, said Dave Dean Norton, president of the New York State Farm Bureau.

Since there isn't enough milk in the state right now to feed the Alpina Foods and PepsiCo plants, the plants will have to pay additional costs to freight the milk in from another state, likely Michigan, said Stein, the farmer from Le Roy.

The article is full of useful information to know if this segment of the local economy is important to you.

Monday, July 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Start of work on River Street bridge delayed until Friday

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure, River Street

From County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens:

The work scheduled to start tomorrow on the River Street Bridge in the City of Batavia has been postponed until Friday due to a rescheduling of contractors. Milling of the existing asphalt overlay will be performed Friday and should be completed that day. The bridge will be reduced to one lane during the work.

Monday, July 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Woman accused of giving bath salts to minor allegedly said she thought it was OK

A 24-year-old Batavia resident who allegedly gave bath salts to a minor did so, she reportedly told a DSS caseworker, because she thought the chemical was legal, "therefore it was OK."

Ashley R. Keene, of 244 Liberty St., Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Her alleged admission to giving bath salts to a 14-year-old girl are contained in court documents on file with Batavia City Court.

According to a DSS worker who made a statement in support of Keene's arrest, Keene said she didn't understand on May 28, Memorial Day, that giving a child bath salts was illegal.

Keene is the girlfriend of Jason D. Lang, 28, of 244 Liberty St., Batavia, who is currently being held in Genesee County Jail. He is accused of falsely reporting an incident for allegedly calling 9-1-1 to report gunshots at a local hotel July 2.

In court documents, a Batavia PD officer reports that in a jailhouse interview, Lang denied participating in giving the girl bath salts and says he warned Keene against it, but admits, according to the officer, of "having a problem with bath salts."

Lang has reportedly been involved in other bizarre calls to the emergency dispatchers, placing multiple calls to 9-1-1 one morning in late June and either he or Keene reported a toxic chemical odor at 244 Liberty St. in June that city fire later declared unfounded.

Lang is the former owner of The Laughing Buddha, 238 Ellicott St., Batavia, which was a head shop and tattoo parlor. The shop has been closed for a few weeks and is reportedly out of business.

In late May, Lang was arrested by State Police for allegedly calling the property owner of 400 Ellicott St. and telling the landlord that he was a "State Police detective." Lang was allegedly warning the landlord not to rent to 420 Emporium because, according to Lang, the business sold bath salts.

According to court documents, on May 28, the 14-year-old girl was given permission to go with Lang and Keene to a rib festival in Rochester. She was reportedly going along as a babysitter for Lang and Keene's daughter.

At about 5 p.m., her parents gave her permission to go home with them. On the way back to Batavia, Lang drove to Warsaw and stopped at a 420 Emporium location there.

The girl reportedly told officers that Lang gave Keene $100 to buy two packages of "Amp" (aka Amped).

When Keene came out of the store, according to the girl, she gave one package of the compound to Lang and kept one for herself. Lang, the girl said, got in the back seat and Keene got behind the wheel. Before driving away, according to the statement, Keene snorted a half line of the bath salt.

Jason slept in the back seat during the drive home, the girl said.

Upon arriving at 244 Liberty, according to the girl's statement, she got permission to stay with Lang and Keene overnight.

In the statement, the girl is reported to have said that Keene was going to do her hair and makeup for her last day of school.

Once home, the girl reported that Lang and Keene argued about "cheating and lying."

Then they decided to go to McDonald's and Tops for food.

When the group returned to 244 Liberty, Keene allegedly asked the girl, "do you want to do caffeine powder with me?"

The girl said she had never snorted anything before, according to the statement, and Keene allegedly showed her how to snort the powder.

At 10:30 p.m., Lang reportedly said he was hot and wanted to go for a walk. The girl also said they were going to look for Lang's dog, which had apparently run off.

When the got home, the girl took a swig from a Sprite bottle, according to the statement, that she later learned contained some "Amped" mixed in the bottle.

The girl said she started feeling hot. Keene, she said, got a bag of peas from the freezer and put them on her forehead. Lang asked her if she needed to take a shower. She declined the shower.

The group stayed up all night watching TV, the girl reportedly said. She said she couldn't sleep.

At 5 a.m., she started getting ready for school. 

She took a shower and Keene stayed in the bathroom during the entire shower, the girl said.

When she got out of the shower she said she noticed scratches on both of her forearms but didn't know how they got there.

Keene did the girl's hair and makeup.

When she got to school, she said, she wasn't feeling well. At about lunchtime, she started throwing up.

Her mother came and took her home.

According to the report, the girl didn't eat for two days.

Lang has previously denied selling bath salts at The Laughing Buddha, but has admitted to selling what is commonly accepted as synthetic marijuana, which Lang called incense and potpourri (previous coverage here). Just before his store closed, Lang said he had found a new kind of synthetic marijuana that was all organic and wasn't covered by a recent statewide ban on most substances known as synthetic marijuana.

After the jump (click on the headline) a press release from Sen. Charles Schumer on President Obama signing legislation making it illegal to sell (as a federal crime) many of the chemicals used in bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

Monday, July 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Photos: Out with the old, in with the new for landmark Batavia Downs sign

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

Workers this morning carefully dismantled the landmark Batavia Downs sign atop the roof of the grandstand of the legendary racetrack.

The neon sign is being replaced with a more energy efficient and less costly LCD sign that has been fabricated to exactly match the lettering of the old sign.

Ryan Hasenauer, marketing director for Western Regional OTB, said officials plan to keep the B and the D from the old sign and display them in some manner on the property, but the future of the remaining letters of the sign has yet to be determined.

Bottom photo: The first two letters of the new sign, time permitting, will be fitted into place some time today.

Monday, July 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Patient transported to UMMC with seizures after suspected use of bath salts

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A patient, described as combative, is having seizures and is being transported to UMMC by Mercy EMS.

The patient, according to a medic, may have used bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

Mercy EMS was initially dispatched to an address on Tracy Avenue for a 25-year-old person having seizures. Upon arrival, medics requested police back-up.

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