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Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Sponsored post: Reliant Real Estate Open House This Saturday 11am-1pm!

Classic Batavia home on awesome street and super location! This grand and solid 4/5 bedroom home has something for everyone -- curb appeal galore, spacious layout, beautiful hardwood floors and woodwork, wide and stately staircase, kitchen with pantry, and two great enclosed back porches overlooking pretty and private backyard.Although home is grand with 2600+ sq ft. it's actually quite homey! With full walkup attic, nooks and crannies, and full wall of built-in drawers and linen cupboards there is no lack of storage! This is a real charmer and home that makes memories! NOW $149,900! Call today for your private showing 585-344-HOME!

Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Photos: A visit to the Batavia Chess Club

The Batavia Chess Club has attracted 45 members since Kevin Larsen started it about a year ago, but onyl a handful show up any given night of matches, Larson said.

The club meets at the Richmond Memorial Library every Thursday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and new members are always welcome. They'll even teach you how to play chess if you don't know how.

Larsen (on the right, second photo) funded the game boards and time clocks out of his own pocket. There are  no dues for membership in the club.

For more about the club, visit bataviachess.org.

Previously: Batavia man and library present 'Batavia Community Chess Club'

Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Indicted as "John Doe," former burglar turns a new leaf and wins praise from Noonan

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Samuel G. Malone turned from the defense table after Judge Robert C. Noonan finished with him and smiled.

He looked out into the gallery as he strode from that moment where his entire future hung in the balance and spotted his wife and baby and the smile grew wider.

The convicted burglar will remain a free man, at least as free as a man can be while on four years probation.

In that moment, he heard something few convicted criminals ever hear: Praise from an often stern judge with little patience for defendants who don't keep their promises.

Malone kept his promises. He's stayed clean. He's lived sober. He's kept a job. He's worked hard. He's walked the line as a husband and father.

"I'm truly sorry for what I did," Malone had told Noonan. "I am. I have really turned around my life, 100 percent, in every aspect of it. I'm a hard worker. I work 50 to 60 hours a week. I love my children and I love my wife."

Malone hit the front pages in April 2013 in a rather notorious way.

In December 2012, a grand jury indicted a DNA profile as a "John Doe" because the statute of limitations was about to expire on the crime. Even without a name, based on that unique DNA profile, the suspect for those burglaries of local businesses could still be charged.

Five months later, after Malone had been convicted on an unrelated felony, and a DNA sample was collected, as required by law, Malone was identified as that "John Doe."

In August, 2013, Malone entered a guilty plea to two counts of burglary, 3rd, and one count of attempted burglary, 3rd.

Rather than sentence Malone to prison in November, Noonan heeded the advice of the probation departments in Alleghany County (where Malone now lives) and Genesee County. Both probation departments reported that Malone was doing well, staying clean and out of trouble, and leading a new life.

So Noonan put Malone on interim probation for six months.

The judge admitted he was pleasantly surprised at how things worked out.

His own handwritten note from Nov. 12, Noonan said, told him that he thought for sure he would be sending Malone to prison today. The note said, Noonan told Malone, that even a perfect performance while on interim probation wouldn't necessarily keep Malone out of state lock up.

"It's amazing, the turn around you've done," Noonan said. "Even the probation department --certainly no push over on recommendations -- says it would be a step backwards for you to give you any incarceration at this time because you're doing so well."

Noonan's decision to put Malone on probation ran counter to the recommendation of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, who questioned whether a community-based sentence was appropriate given the severity of the charges.

"I've read the recommendations and he's doing in fact apparently well, and he's done everything, other than driving without a license, that he's supposed to do," Friedman said, "but I'm troubled by the number of serious crimes this defendant committed."

Public Defender Jerry Ader acknowledged that Malone was convicted of a series of serious crimes, but also pointed to how well Malone has done both on probation for his original conviction and the interim probation granted by Noonan.

"He's proven himself almost more than any other client I can remember coming through our office," Ader said. "He has turned his life around. He will be an asset to the community, to his family and to his children."

Noonan reminded Malone that if nothing else, for the next four years, the 28-year-old father will have a lengthy prison term awaiting him if he strays from the path of law-abiding citizen.

"You will have 18 years of prison hanging over your head for any violation of the law while on probation," Noonan said. "That should be sufficient incentive to keep you on the straight and narrow, though you seem to have found your own incentive through your work and family."

Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Law and Order: Batavia resident accused of slapping woman holding an infant

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Pavilion

Cordyn C. Mack, 25, of Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child, and second-degree harassment. On Oct. 8, Mack was involved in a domestic disturbance that was physical with a female who resides with him. Mack allegedly refused to allow the victim to leave the residence with her infant, and then struck the victim in the face with an open hand while she still had her child in her arms. Mack was arraigned in city court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The incident was investigated by Batavia Police officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by officer Mitchell Cowen.

Delwin D. Robinson, 33, of Lake Road, Pavilion, was arrested on Oct. 8, 2014 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Robinson was a passenger in a vehicle which was stopped for alleged vehicle and traffic violations. After a brief investigation, Robinson was allegedly found in possession of marijuana. Robinson was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in the Le Roy Town Court on Nov. 17.

Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 7:05 am

THE HARLEM WIZARDS ARE COMING TO ELBA CENTRAL SCHOOL

The Harlem Wizards are coming to Elba Central School Tuesday, October 14th, at 6:30pm to play in a Stan Sherwood Memorial Game sponsored by Post Dairy Farms, Eugene Bezon Farms and Mugs and More. The Wizards will take on the Sherwood Shooters, a home team featuring Genesee Region teachers, coaches, principals, pastors, family and friends! The evening promises to be a fun filled event that is great for kids and adults and it will guarantee to put a smile on your face! This event is hosted by Batavia Assembly of God Church. They have brought the Wizards into town to help benefit two great causes. A portion will go towards the Stan Sherwood Memorial Scholarship Award to be given to one boy and one girl in the Genesee League, another portion will go towards the Building Project of Assembly of God Church. The Harlem Wizards have a unique mission: create awe-inspiring events throughout the country. At a Wizards game, fans will witness amazing basketball talent combined with hilarious comedy. Its two hours of family fun where parents, grandparents, and kids can all laugh together. When you’re in the stands, you’re more than a spectator; you’re part of the show with loads of audience participation. Throughout the game fans will experience a magical display of tricks, coordinated ball handling, fancy passing and aerodynamic athleticism combined with high-energy comedy and audience interaction. Tickets purchased before the event are $10 for adults $9 for students. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at Batavia Assembly of God Church located at 24 North Spruce Street in Batavia, M&T Bank on Main Street in Elba and Chaps Restaurant on Main Street in Elba. Tickets will also be available on the day of the game at Elba Central School, 57 South Main Street for $12 for adults and $10 for students or you may purchase your tickets online at www.Harlemwizards.com (.99 additional cost with on line orders). There will be a concession stand and a basket raffle as well. Doors open at 6:00pm. Don’t miss this Awe-Inspiring Family Fun Filled Event. We hope to see you there. For more information you may call the church at 585-343-8521.

Event Date and Time

October 14, 2014 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Four Batavia businesses hit with break-ins overnight

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Police are investigating break-ins into four local business, though only one business owner reported missing property.

Salvania's Restaurant, on Jackson Street, had its cash register tipped and money was stolen, said Sgt. Det. Todd Crossett.  

There's apparently nothing missing from Anything Your Heart Desired on East Main Street, Golden Coin Laundry, East Main Street, and Sterling Tent, on Pearl Street, Crossett said.

There are few leads in the case at the moment, Crossett said. 

Anybody with information that may be useful to the investigation can contact Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 8:01 am

Accident reported at Main and Center, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A two-car accident, unknown injuries, is reported at Center Street and East Main Street, Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Dog can finally be adopted after owner admits to animal torture charge and surrenders ownership

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, crime, pets

Fox'r is ready to go home. Whose home, we don't know yet, but it won't be the home of Nina Kelso.

In City Court today, Kelso finally surrendered ownership of the boxer, who has been living at the Animal Shelter since being found on death's doorstep at Kelso's former residence on Hutchins Street more than nine months ago.

He can now be adopted into a forever home by a local resident.

While Fox'r has put on weight -- he's up to 84 pounds -- and regained his strength, he's also been fidgety and nervous while confined most hours of the day to a cage at the shelter. He likes people and wants to be around people, volunteers say.

The volunteers at the shelter have taken to calling him "Skully" and "Boyfriend" and they've been eager to see Kelso's court case completed so he could find a new home.

Concern for the dog is one reason the District Attorney's Office agreed to a plea bargain in the case, ADA Robert Zickl told Judge Robert Balbick in City Court today.

"There's no reason for the animal to continue being confined to the shelter," Zickl said. "It should be adopted out and that is what we prefer to do because it's in the best interest of the dog." 

Kelso entered a guilty plea on an Alford basis to one count of torturing an animal.

An Alford plea means she concedes she would likely be found guilty by a jury, but does not admit to the facts of the prosecution's case against her.

Today's proceedings started with Kelso's attorney, Fares Rumi, laying out his understanding of the plea agreement offered by the people.

The agreement was a guilty plea to torturing an animal, no fees for his care up at the shelter and no jail time.

Balbick shot back that he wouldn't necessarily agree to the terms at sentencing.

"I would have to look at her background, a pre-sentence investigation, the facts of the situation and decided if no jail would serve appropriate justice," Balbick said. "I can't do that blindly. I know nothing about your client except that she is charged with torturing an animal."

Looks of shock and horror passed over Kelso's face, who sat at the defense table in a black blouse fiddling with a long silver chain draped around her neck. She appeared close to tears.

After some whispers between her and Rumi, some more back and forth between Rumi and Balbick, Balbick suggested the attorneys proceed with the planned suppression hearing.

Rumi had made a motion to get thrown out any statements Kelso made to Officer Jamie Givens the day she responded to an animal cruelty complaint at 142 Hutchins St. on Feb. 4.

Givens found Fox'r at the top of a common stairwell (shared by two apartments). Food was strewn everywhere, there was no water, and it didn't appear that Fox'r even had the strength to raise his head, Givens testified.

He was so emaciated his ribs were showing.

Minutes after Givens arrived on scene, Kelso came up and walked up the stairs and spoke with Givens.

Rumi argued that Kelso should have been read her rights before speaking with Givens. An argument Balbick would later reject saying that Kelso wasn't in custody at the time and her statements were voluntary. 

Kelso told Givens, Givens said, that Fox'r had eaten either cigarettes or some chemical that made him sick and cause sudden weight loss. Kelso reportedly said she knew Fox'r was close to death and that her brother-in-law was supposed to pick him up the next day and take him some place and shoot him to death.

Through the entirety of Givens testimony, Kelso sat silently shaking her head "no."

After the testimony, both attorneys met with Balbick privately.

When they came back into the courtroom, Rumi met with Kelso privately. They all then approached the bench and Rumi said Kelso had agreed to the terms.

Balbick again emphasized that he retains the option to reject her guilty plea when she comes in for sentencing Jan. 6.

Through tears, Kelso said she understood.

As the details of her guilty plea and the process were discussed, Kelso stood next to her attorney nearly sobbing, but mostly holding it together.

When Balbick asked her if she was ready to surrender the dog, Kelso could barely form the word "yes" with her mouth, started to sob briefly and looked straight up at the ceiling.

Seconds passed, and she managed to sob, "yes."

An animal control officer at the back of the courtroom began preparing the paperwork.

The animal shelter is located at 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Phone: (585) 343-6410. Applications for adoption are being accepted immediately.  

Around the time of Kelso's arrest, another Batavia woman, Lauren K. Pellegrino, also also arrested for allegedly mistreating her dog, Nessa. Pellegrino was scheduled to appear on her case at 1:30 p.m., and as of 4 p.m., she had yet to show up in City Court. She missed a previous court appearance, as well, and eventually turned herself in on a warrant, according to court officials. The court was attempting to contact her attorney this afternoon. Nessa remains confined to the shelter.

CORRECTION: we originally wrote "no fine." Kelso could be fined up to $1,000. The plea relieves her of responsibility for shelter fees. However when Balbick informed her she could be fined Kelso said she had been willing to pay for Fox'r's care.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 10:47 am

Law and Order: New forgery charge for jail inmate

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, corfu, crime

Michael Robert Sigl, 22, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Sigl allegedly forged a check Sept. 4 from another person's account and used it to make a purchase at a local retail store for $277.54. Sigl is already incarcerated at the Genesee County Jail  on five counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument was arraigned on the new charge and ordered held on $10,000 cash bail. 

Dylan B. Boykins, 41, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with attempted petit larceny. Boykins allegedly tried to steal merchandise from Dollar General.

Justin J. Koepp, 32, of East Main Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Koepp was charged following an investigation into a reported domestic incident.

Eric John Davis, 36, of Read Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Davis allegedly violated an order of protection.

Monday, October 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Sponsored Post: Purchase your pre-sale tickets for UMMC's Annual Autumn Auction today!

Tickets are available to purchase at the following Batavia locations between Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jerome Center Gift Shop, 16 Bank St., and UMMC Cashier’s Office, 127 North St..

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