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Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:43 am

Law and Order: DWI charge filed against woman seriously hurt in accident

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, byron, crime, Oakfield

Michelle Tarin Crawford, 26, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, and failure to keep right. Crawford was charged following an investigation into a motor-vehicle accident at 12:55 a.m., March 8, on Townline Road, Byron, in which Crawford was seriously injured. Crawford remains jailed on a violation of probation charge. (Previous stories, one, two and three).

Michael Octavio Tardy, 46, of Woodside Drive, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to stop at stop sign and moving from lane unsafely. Tardy was allegedly driving at 1:41 a.m. on Lewiston Raod, Oakfield, when his vehicle struck a curb.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Photo: Program recognizes people involved in local disabilities work force

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business

In honor of March being Disabilities Awareness Month, the Batavia Development Corp. organized an event at Coffee Culture today recognizing people involved in the local disabilities work force.

Certificates were given to both workers and staff members at local agencies who supervise people with disabilities.

Receiving certificates were:

  • Darren Annovi, store associate, Kmart, three years: Darren is an active member of Mental Health Association of Genesee County and works at Darien Lake in the summer.
  • Greg Bruggman, laborer, ARC, six years: Greg is on the governing council of ILGR and strives to help others with disabilities through ILGR and political meetings.
  • Vinnie Falcone, work center, Genco Industries, six years: Vinnie is active in his church, volunteers at the Social Club and en- joys watercolor painting.
  • Philip Greene, crew member, Burger King, nine years: Philip has maintained employment for nine years and participates in his church regularly.
  • George Hughes, work center, Genco Industries, 38 years: George has been recognized as “Employee of the Month,” volunteers at community events and he assists at Clor’s Meat Market.
  • Dawn Kempf, housekeeper, Best Western, 20+ years: Dawn has been employed for more than two decades and she volunteers at MHA of Genesee County Warm Line.
  • Richard Ruhlman, janitor, Batavia Downs, four years: Richard actively participates in high school sports events as timekeeper, statistical keeper and more.
  • Leigh Skellon, associate, TOPS Market, 14 years: Leigh assists the shoppers when needed and is considered a dedicated and reliable employee.
  • Ann Bird, instructor NYS School for the Blind, 28 years: Ann is an innovative classroom instructor. She has led instructional support staff, interacts with school districts across the state and provides professional development and support to those who are working with students who are blind and have multiple disabilities.
  • Donna Ostrander, production assistant Genesee ARC, six years: Donna is an organized, efficient and supportive team member that is always willing to help. She treats all individuals with respect and compassion. Donna volunteers many hours at agency functions.
  • Katherine Way, senior employment specialist Restoration Society Inc./Genesee ACE, four years: Katherine actively works with coworkers and customers to promote community involvement and she is an Angels in Action Advisory Council member. Katherine is also attending college part-time.

Julie Pacette indicated the BDC hopes to make this an annual event.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Former Le Roy resident accused of stealing SUV and credit cards

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

Nearly two years after the alleged events, a Brockport man is being accused of stealing an SUV and some credit cards.

Frank Edward Finnin, 45, of Vindale Drive, Brockport, was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court on Thursday on charges of grand larceny, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th.

Finnin is accused of stealing a 2004 Ford Escape from a location on Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Stafford, on June 20.

He is also accused of taking a purse containing credit cards from a vehicle that was parked in a residential driveway on East Main Road, Batavia, on the same date.

The Escape was recovered in Le Roy, not far from Finnin's residence at the time.

Following arraignment, Finnin was jailed on $10,000 bail.

The case was conducted by investigators William Ferrando and John Dehm.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Weekender accused of carrying cocaine into jail

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

An inmate of the Genesee County Jail who was serving an intermittent sentence is being accused of trying to smuggle cocaine into the facility.

Charged with promoting prison contraband in the third degree is Jahmal Coletrane Kirkwood, 34, of Shelbourne Drive, Rochester.

Kirkwood is also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

According to investigators, Kirkwood arrived for his two-day stint at the jail at 9 a.m., Jan. 3 and possessed a baggie of cocaine hidden inside a compartment of his backpack he carried into the jail.

Kirkwood was arraigned on he charge today in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

St. James receives grant to restore stained-glass window

post by Howard Owens in batavia, St. James Episcopal Church

Press release:

St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia was recently awarded a $19,200 grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation (RACF) for the restoration of the stained-glass window centrally located on the bell tower. The grant was co-written by Laurie Oltramari of the Landmark Society of Genesee County and Marcia Gann from the St. James Vestry.

The grant will help to restore broken glass, shifted and broken tracery, and the structural cast stone surround in the upper part of the window. The artist of the tower window is unknown and depicts the four evangelists with four panels below signifying an event associated with that person.

The grant stressed the role of St. James as a cultural and arts center of Batavia and that the stained-glass window was artwork that is valuable and accessible to the public.

"The churches of Downtown Batavia are incredible historical and architectural gems in our city," Oltramari said. "Many people pass them by without notice. They take them for granted. It is important to recognize them as a foundation to our community."

Among others, St. James is one of the churches that have participated in stained-glass window tours of Batavia. The work for the restoration of the window will be done by Valerie O'Hara of Pike Stained Glass Studios in Rochester.

Since autumn, the St. James tower has been undergoing restoration by the help of Catenary Construction and Bero Architecture. Beyond the RACF grant, the church was also awarded a $50,000 grant in September from Pepsi in which it was the only recipient of funding for historic preservation. It also received a $40,000 Sacred Sites grant from the Landmarks Conservancy.

The Rev. Steven Metcalfe and congregation began a capital campaign to bring in donations, but they are also seeking donations within the community. For more information about the restoration work being done or how you can help, please contact St. James at 343-6802.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

Grand Jury indicts woman accused of punching Walmart employee on two felony counts

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons

A 26-year-old Batavia woman accused of punching a 70-year-old Walmart employee during a busy Christmas Eve shopping day has been indicted on two felony counts by a Genesee County Grand Jury.

Jacquetta B. Simmons, of 106 Ellsworth Ave., Batavia, is indicted on two charges of assault in the second degree.

Simmons will be arraigned April 12 on the charges in county court by Judge Robert C. Noonan.

The two Class D felony charges carry potential prison terms -- for a person with no criminal history, as is the case with Simmons -- of from two to seven years.

Simmons was arrested Dec. 24 after reportedly being followed out to her car by a number of Walmart shoppers, who prevented her car from leaving the parking lot.

According to witness reports, Simmons hit Grace Suozzi hard enough to knock her 10 feet across the floor. Souzzi suffered fractures in her face.

Suozzi reportedly asked Simmons for a receipt for a bag of merchandise prior to being hit.

Buffalo attorney Earl Key has suggested there may be additional circumstances to the case that haven't come out yet.

One of the assault charges against Simmons stems from a law passed in 2008 making it a felony to assault and cause injury to a person 65 or older. Simmons is the first person in Genesee County charged under the relatively new law.

Besides having no criminal history, Simmons is a college graduate with strong ties to the community.

She remains out of jail on $40,000 bond, reportedly posted by her parents.

The story of the alleged assault gained national media attention after first being reported by The Batavian.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Man involved in Batavia business burglaries serving time in state prison

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

A man involved in commercial burglaries in Batavia is already serving four-and-two-thirds to 14 years in state prison based on a similar conviction in Wyoming County, and in Genesee County Court today, he was given an identical sentence by Judge Robert C. Noonan.

The four-and-two-thirds to 14 years imposed by Noonan will be served, according to state sentencing guidelines, concurrent to the Wyoming County sentence, which was imposed a month ago.

Noonan was prepared to tack on a couple more years to the sentence of Michael A. Ames, 19, of 508 Dale Road, Dale, but couldn't do it, so he gave him the maximum term available to be served while Ames serves his Wyoming County sentence.

Ames was arrested in September after a video posted on The Batavian helped lead investigators to Ames and Trevor M. Pilc, 18, of 404 Jackson St., Batavia, as suspects.

The duo was accused of breaking into several area businesses.

For Ames, according to his attorney William Harper, the crime spree represented just four months out of his life and was driven mainly by a recent drug addiction.

Harper argued for the minimum sentence available citing a troubled childhood for Ames, which included being reported as a neglected child five times, foster homes and a serious learning disability.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

Progress in rehabilation gives young man a chance to avoid prison

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

With supportive friends and family in the courtroom, and a letter of support from an officer of the law he assaulted, 22-year-old Craig A. Tiberio-Shepherd, was given a second chance in county court today.

Tiberio-Shepherd, facing up to four years in prison, was sentenced to five years probation by Judge Robert C. Noonan.

Previously, Tiberio-Shepherd admitted to assault, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and felony DWI.

Twice -- in July and in November -- Tiberio-Shepherd appeared before the judge with Noonan prepared to send the Le Roy resident to state prison. But those sentencing hearings were delayed and Tiberio-Shepherd continued on in substance-abuse programs, enrolled in college and held down a job.

"The significance in not sending you to state prison tells me that you've climbed a very, very high hurdle to be here today and be in a position to get probation," Noonan said.

A member of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force who suffered minor injuries in a scuffle with Tiberio-Shepherd in April initially told the court the young man should be sent to prison, but after meeting with Tiberio-Shepherd the detective wrote to Noonan and said he supported the recommendation for probation.

Tiberio-Shepherd has been attending Genesee Community College and getting good grades. He plans to enroll at Buffalo State University in the fall.

Noonan also received letters of support from several people in the community and the pre-sentence report by Genesee Justice recommended probation.

In all, Tiberio-Shepherd was sentenced to five years probation each on the drug charge and the DWI conviction, and  three years probation on the assault.

He faces repayment of fines and restitution, plus his driver's license was revoked.

"I've noticed he hasn't gotten all cocky about his treatment progress and he seems to accept the fact that this is something he is going to have to work hard doing for a long period of time, which is not only sobriety, but criminal-free living, which he intends to do," said his attorney, Thomas Burns.

In a brief statement to the court, Tiberio-Shepherd, thanked Noonan for the chance to turn his life around.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 9:31 am

UMMC received $500K NYS economic development funding for Jerome Center

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to announce that it has received $500,000 in NYS Economic Development funding. Five years ago, United Memorial began a multi-phased project to rehabilitate the former St. Jerome Hospital building, which is located at 16 Bank Street in the heart of Downtown Batavia.

The first phase renovated the ground floor to create an outpatient diagnostic center along with offices for primary care and occupational medicine services. The second phase addressed the upper floors and created 37 housing units for seniors 55 years of age or older earning less than 50 percent of the area median income. Several of the units contain features to assist those with mobility, hearing or visual impairments.

At the beginning of the second phase of the project, New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Senator Mary Lou Rath and then County Legislator Mike Ranzenhofer announced $500,000 in NYS Economic Development Assistance funding to assist with the redevelopment.

At that time, United Memorial’s President and CEO Mark C. Schoell stated, “The support from the State Senate will help us reinvigorate an important area of Downtown Batavia and re-purpose a vacant structure so that it once again serves the residents of Genesee County by providing the necessary elements of employment, housing and access to health care.” 

The adaptive reuse of the building was completed in November 2010; however the NYS Economic Development Assistance funding had not been received. United Memorial solicited help from the 61st District, New York State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer’s office.

“Senator Ranzenhofer has been diligent in assisting the hospital access the funds promised in 2008,” Schoell said. “The Jerome Center Project is an exemplary illustration of cooperation between government and the private sector to preserve an historic property and provide important services to the community. We greatly appreciate Senator Ranzenhofer’s dedication and commitment to healthcare, housing for our vulnerable population and economic growth.”

Senator Ranzenhofer said "Mark and I have been working closely together for many months to ensure that United Memorial received the funding it had been promised in 2008 for the Jerome Center Project. As a result of our collaborative efforts, we were able to push the funding part of this project across the finish line.

"The Jerome Center Project has had a positive impact -- particularly, the many jobs it has created and the services the site now offers to the community. I hope that the project serves as a paradigm to encourage both organizations and individuals in the community to contact me when encountering a state-related issue."

The Jerome Center currently houses a comprehensive diagnostic center offering medical imaging and laboratory specimen collection; the Corporate Health Center for occupational medicine services; Batavia Family and Pediatric Care; Surgical Associates; Hope Haven, the only secure inpatient chemical dependency rehabilitation unit in the GLOW region; and the fully occupied Jerome Senior Apartments.

The site also hosts a gift shop, refreshment kiosk and cafeteria. Next month an Urgent Care Center will open in the Jerome Center to provide an affordable and timely alternative to emergency room care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Report of pedestrian struck by car at East Main and Clinton, Batavia

post by Howard Owens in batavia, accident

A pedestrian has reportedly been struck by a car at the intersection of East Main and Clinton streets, City of Batavia.

No word yet on possible injuries.

City Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: Patient is conscious and alert, able to move, complaining of left side body pain.

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