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Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Local school districts benefit from 'Pencils 4 Schools' program

Over the past two weeks, 80,000 pencils have been delivered to school districts, including Batavia City Schools, Oakfield-Alabama Central, Byron-Bergen Central, Pavilion Central, Alexander Central, and Attica Central as part of the attorney William Mattar Pencils 4 Schools campaign.

It was established in response to ever-tightening school district budgets. Understanding the difficulty school districts and families face in trying to provide supplies for students, Mattar is pleased to donate these pencils to help get the school year off to a great start for the young leaders of tomorrow. This year, the firm received a record number of requests from schools.

School districts can still register for Pencils 4 Schools by calling 444-4444 or by e-mailing [email protected].

Representing clients across New York State with offices in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, and Albany regions, William Mattar, P.C., focuses on auto injury cases for those seriously injured in motor vehicle and truck accidents. For more information about the firm’s community involvement, visit www.WilliamMattar.com

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

Law and Order: Dog allegedly attacks another dog for second time in a week

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Kristine S. Baker, 27, of Clinton Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. Baker's cane corso (a mastiff-type breed) reportedly weighing more than 100 pounds, allegedly jumped the fence of her yard and attacked and injured another dog that was being walked along Clinton Street. Police report that this is the second time in a week Baker's dog allegedly attacked and injured another dog.

Gregory Seppe, 56, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with appearance in public under influence of narcotics or drugs other than alcohol and possession of a controlled substance not in original container. Seppe was reportedly observed repeatedly falling down on a Main Street sidewalk. He was allegedly incoherent and unable to stay awake for more than a few seconds at a time. He was issued an appearance ticket and turned over to Mercy EMS for treatment.

Keanon Sean Williams, 37, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and strangulation, 2nd. Williams allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck and applied pressure while in the presence of her children during a domestic dispute. Williams was jailed without bail.

Dale Eugene Stiles Jr., 45, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Stiles allegedly removed funds from a banking account following a court order "not to have any further involvement."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Car lands on its roof in Thruway accident near Batavia exit, unknown injuries

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A motor vehicle accident is reported on the Thruway by the Batavia exit, mile marker 390.1. The car is on its roof. Unknown injuries. Town of Batavia fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE 12:56 p.m.: The mile marker is now said to be eastbound 385.5.

UPDATE 12:59: The driver is out; minor injuries. Mercy medics on scene and a Sheriff's deputy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

Three Syracuse men accused of stealing from two Genesee County businesses

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke
William Kelly Robert Kelly Michael Correia

Three men from Syracuse have been charged with third-degree burglary in Genesee County for allegedly breaking into a pair of local businesses.

The trio are also suspected of burglaries and thefts in Erie and Livingston counties.

They were picked up following a traffic stop in Wayne County last week and deputies spotted what they thought might be stolen material in the vehicle.

Upon questioning by investigators in Wyoming County, the men admitted, according to Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster, to heists in Genesee County.

Investigator Kris Kautz took a trip to Wayne County and questioned the men and gathered the evidence, working with Deputy Brad Mazur, to file local charges.

Charged are brothers William H. Kelly III, 44, and Robert P. Kelly, 43, and Michael J. Correia, 58.

Additional charges may be pending.

The three men are accused of breaking into a Kutter's Cheese building, and stealing items from a residential construction site on East Main Street, Batavia, some time during the early morning of Aug. 27.

They were allegedly found with more than $3,000 in material, including brass plumbing components and copper wire.

They are being held without bail.

Photos provided by the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

Law and Order: Man charged after report of overdose

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

Joseph M. Marranco, 43, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, unlawful possession of marijuana and possession of controlled substances outside original container. Marranco was arrested following the report of an overdose at 10:40 p.m. Monday at an apartment on East Main Street. Marranco was allegedly found in possession of a hypodermic needle, an assortment of controlled prescription medications outside their original container and marijuana.

Travis M. Blue, 30, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Blue allegedly made a threat of physical contact during an incident reported at 9:35 p.m., Monday, at a location on Ellicott Street.

Randy Kevin Wilmet, 37, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wilmet allegedly struck another person in the face with his forearm during an incident reported at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, at a location on South Main Street, Batavia.

Jeffrey C. Pero, 31, of Brooklyn Avenue, Batavia, turned himself in on a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket. Pero posted $100 cash bail and was released.

Kritin S. Payne, 31, of South Main Street, Batavia, turned herself in on on a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket. Payne paid $45 of a $100 bail and was released.

Michael David Senay Jr., 20, of Valley View Drive, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. Senay was allegedly in possession of alcohol during a traffic stop at 1:14 a.m. on Clinton Street, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Stephen Bakos, 55, of Alexander, is charged with DWI following a traffic stop on Silver Lake Road, Perry. Bakos was stopped for an alleged equipment violation. According to New York State Police, Bakos operated the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Bakos reportedly failed a roadside field sobriety test and was taken into custody. He is accused of refusing to provide a breath sample for analysis.Bakos was jailed on $1,000 bail. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm

New bus company to deliver students to and from Batavia City schools this year

post by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, City Schools, education, schools

Dozens of bright yellow school buses have been gleaming in the sun (when there is sun) at the corner of Dodgeson Road and Route 98 in Alexander just about all summer long.

The name on the sides of the buses -- Student Transportation of America -- is a new name to Genesee County.

STA is now in town after winning the main transportation contract with the Batavia City School District, which entered into a joint agreement with the Attica School District.

The company purchased a former rigging shop location at 3784 Dodgeson Road in an auction through Bontrager's earlier in the summer.

The state encourages school districts to review and re-bid bus transportation contracts every 10 years, explained Batavia Superintendent Chris Dailey. 

The district experienced many difficulties with the previous contract, Dailey said. 

"The Board of Education decided to bid and increase the accountability and expectations for the bus contractors while also increasing features available to the district with our bus contractors, such as more cameras and GPS," Dailey said. "We bid for 2013-14 but the bid was rejected because of cost and lack of competition."

For 2014-015, the district decided to seek another district for a cooperative bid and reached an agreement with Attica and STA won the bid for regular school transportation, field trips and sports trips.

Attica Bus Company will remain the contractor for transportation of special education students.

BCSD's transportation costs per year is more than $1 million, plus another $731,690 for special education transportation.

"In our contract, the contractor is responsible for all aspects of providing transportation: purchasing and maintaining the fleet, building, staffing, routing of the students, directly handling parent calls," Dailey said.

Two weeks ago, STA announced the release of a mobile device and desktop app that will allow parents to track the location of school buses in the fleet.

"A child’s bus is displayed on a detailed map showing its current location in relation to the child’s stop, so parents can monitor the bus along its route," the company said in a press release.

The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“Registering for the SafeStop app is easy,” the company said. “Parents in select schools simply log on to www.schoolwheels.com from any computer or mobile device to register for the app. They then can link to the Apple App Store or Google Play to download on a mobile device.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Nursing home generating interest from potential buyers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, genesee county, nursing home

So far, one potential bidder for the Genesee County Nursing Home has submitted a letter stating an intent to make an offer on the 260-bed facility.

Interested buyers have until Sept. 23 to submit a letter of intent and until Oct. 6 to submit proposals.

So far, some 25 to 30 potential buyers have expressed interest in the nursing home, County Manager Jay Gsell said, but there's still just the one written intent to submit a bid.

The nursing home has been dragging down county finances for years, and financial disclosures included in the RFP package show the facility losing $2.9 million in 2011, $3.7 in 2012 and $4.3 million in 2013.

A non-government agency (whether a not-for-profit group or for-profit company) will have greater flexibility in generating revenue than the highly regulated government-owned facility, have greater leeway in reducing expenses, and won't be facing a squeeze on funding from the State of New York, according to county officials.

The county Legislature decided to sell the home to escape the ongoing financial drain on the budget.

The RFP states the facility will be sold to the most qualified, responsible bidder who meets a range of criteria. The highest bid won't necessarily win the purchase contract.

The current assessed value of the nursing home, on Bank Street, is $10.9 million.

Of course, currently no taxes are collected on the government-owned property.

Serious bidders will be invited to pre-proposal site visits Sept. 24, 25, 26 and 29.

Bids must include a $100,000 refundable deposit and provide financial statements and a letter of credit indicating not only the ability to close on the final purchase price, but to operate the facility at the current level or improved level of services after the purchase is completed.

The purchaser will be prohibited from involuntarily transferring or evicting any current resident of the nursing home.

Bidders must agree that the RFP process is subjective and the Legislature has the final say on whether to accept or reject any and all bids, and the county reserves to right to enter into negotiations with a bidder to modify a proposal.

The company must provide a company history, executive bios, information and qualifications on employees, experience with similar facilities, and plan for a smooth transfer of ownership.

There will be no public bid opening and bids won't become public until after a proposal is accepted by the Legislature. It's up to the company to declare any portion of the proposal that would be exempt from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law.

The sale of the nursing home has generated a little public opposition. There is a "Save the Genesee County Nursing home in Batavia NY" group on Facebook with 166 members currently.

The complete RFP package is available on the county's Web site.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Law and Order: Le Roy man accused of illegal entry into neighbor's apartment

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

Thomas A. Gorrow III, 23, of 59 Mill St., rear apt., Le Roy, was arrested based on a complaint from last evening (9/1/2014) that he allegedly unlawfully entered a neighbor’s apartment and while inside damaged both a stove and a window. Gorrow was initially taken into custody by the Le Roy Police Department under section 9.41 of the Mental Hygiene Law and transported by ambulance to a hospital for evaluation, but allegedly left the hospital without the medical staff’s knowledge and/or permission. Gorrow was located at work and arrested by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count each of burglary, 2nd, a Class C felony, and criminal mischief, 3rd, a Class E felony. Gorrow was arraigned before the Hon. D. Sehm of the Le Roy Town Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

Roberto Varona-Gonzalez, 57, of Clifford Avenue, Rochester, is charged with evading or defeating cigarette tax. It is alleged that he possessed 31 cartons of cigarettes or 6,200 cigarettes following a traffic stop on Bank Street Road in the Town of Byron. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Byron Town Court at 5 p.m. on Sept. 22.

Thomas A. Webb, 54, of Gifford Street, Syracuse, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. He was arrested on the charges after allegedly cashing a forged check at a bank. The investigation was  conducted in coordination with the Le Roy Police Department. Webb was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put then put into Genesee County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. He is set to appear back in court at 11 a.m. on Sept. 11.

Joshua Lee Baltz, 38, of West Main Street, Batavia, is accused of first-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested for allegedly making phone calls from the county jail on Aug. 30 to a protected person, in violation of a stay-away order of protection.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Back porch reported to be on fire on Ross Street in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

The back porch of the residence at 249 Ross St. is reportedly on fire. The blaze was called in to dispatch by a neighbor who is unsure if the house is occupied. City fire just arrived and there's no smoke showing.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: Command reports smoke is showing from the rear of the wood frame structure.

UPDATE 1:51 p.m.: Command says the fire is in a wall and is "out of control."

UPDATE 1:52 p.m.: Dispatch has made contact with the homeowner who returning home now.

UPDATE 2:09 p.m.: Fire is out. Firefighters are picking up and preparing to leave the scene.

UPDATE (by Howard): An alert neighbor and quick response by City Fire is probably what saved this house. Damage to the back porch, railing, eaves and smoke damage along the back of the house, showing it was minutes, if not seconds, from spreading extensively before it was put out.

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Car vs. bicycle accident with injuries at Bank and Washington in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A car vs. bicycle accident with injuries is reported at Bank Street and Washington Avenue. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:42 p.m.: The assignment is back in service.

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