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Friday, October 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Report of 'shots fired' last night near Austin Park determined by police to be unfounded

post by Howard B. Owens in austin park, batavia

A single complaint of popping sounds, possible gun fire, prompted police patrols to check the Austin Park area last night around 10 p.m., but after a "vigorous check" nothing was found to substantiate the complaint, said Chief of Police Shawn Heubusch.

The caller reported a rapid succession of pops, at least 10 of them, coming from the area of the park.

Police patrols responded and after an extensive search of the area, found no evidence of gun fire.

Heubusch said several people in the area of Austin Park were interviewed and no information was uncovered to substantiate the report.

There were no other callers reporting any sounds coming from Austin Park.

At the same time, there was a report of a loud noise on Walnut Street and a check of the area uncovered nothing significant.

Friday, October 17, 2014 at 7:02 am

Law and Order: Complaint of drunken driver leads to arrest in Tops parking lot

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Shelly Ann Fox, 33, of Fisher Park, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving with driver's view obstructed. Fox was arrested following the investigation by Deputy Andrew Hale at 11:35 p.m., Wednesday, into a report of an intoxicated driver in the parking lot of Tops.

Ryan Phillip Clarke, 25, of Meigs Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Clarke is accused of sending text messages to a protected party, in violation of a court order.

Misty Rose Bogan, 18, of Mill Street, Binghamton, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and harassment, 2nd. Bogan was arrested on a warrant and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Aaron C. Lyons, 18, of East Main Road, Le Roy, and Anthony M. Paladino, 19, of Clay Street, Le Roy, are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Lyons and Paladino were arrested after police were called to investigate a suspecious vehicle parked in the Machpelah Cemetery.

Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Car reportedly on fire in front of Wendy's

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

A car is reported in front of Wendy's on Main Street, Batavia.

City fire responding.

Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Two men arrested by task force on drug charges

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield

   

Elijah Coombs, left, and Mark McNutt

Press release:

Two arrests were made Oct. 15 by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, which is comprised of members from the Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET, and Le Roy Village PD.

Elijah R. L. Coombs, 20, of Orchard Street, Oakfield, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, also a Class B felony.

Mark A. McNutt, 20, of Spencer Court, Batavia, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, a Class A misdemeanor; criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, also a Class A misdemeanor; and unlawful possession of marijuana.

The Drug Task Force, along with uniformed Sheriff's deputies, intercepted a heroin sale that was in progress Wednesday in the parking lot of a business on Lewiston Road, Batavia. Deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicles involved and located additional drugs inside and on the occupants.

Coombs allegedly sold heroin. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed on $10,000 bail.

McNutt allegedly possessed marijuana, a hypodermic instrument, and tramadol, a controlled substance. A quantity of U.S. currency was also seized. He issued an appearance ticket to be in Town of Oakfield Court on Oct. 27, then released to the Eric County Sheriff's Department for an outstanding warrant.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Council ready to form citizen task force to study police headquarters issue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

On a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Batavia City Council agreed to move ahead with the formation of a citizen task force to study the future of the headquarters for the Batavia Police Department.

The task force will be asked to look at options that include building a new station at one of five  different locations or remodeling the existing headquarters, which is currently in the former Brisbane Mansion on West Main Street.

The commission will be comprised of one appointee from each of the city council wards, one business owner within the Business Improvement District, one business owner outside the BID and one city resident with a financial background, for a total of nine members.

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch will be a non-voting member and attend meetings to provide feedback and guidance on local law enforcement needs and limitations related to a police station.

Interested residents can apply through the city's Web site or the city clerk's office. Council members representing wards will receive copies of the applications from residents within their wards and can provide feedback and recommendations on the candidates. The final selection will be up to council members Patti Pacino, John Deleo and Kathy Briggs.

The BID member will be selected by the director of the district, and the non-bid member will be selected by the Chamber of Commerce president.

The appointments are expected to be final by the council's November meeting.

On Tuesday, the council also approved, on a 6-3 vote, the expenditure of $100,000 for a consultant to update the city's master plan.

A master plan is a community's primary development document and sets both strategy and guidelines for growth. The city last updated its master plan in 1996.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian expressed concern that not all of the items in the 1996 plan were completed and that this isn't a good economic time to spend money.

"People are moving out of our community," she said. "We need to be careful what we're spending our money on."

Joining Christian in voting no were Kathy Briggs and John Deleo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Local Drug Task Force announces arrest of three suspected dealers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Jeremy  Yantz Cheryl Smith Robert Morrison

Jeremy S. Yantz, 34, of South Gravel Road, Medina, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd. Yantz is accused of selling cocaine to an undercover agent with the Local Drug Task Force sometime during the past 18 months. Yantz was arrested while in custody at the Orleans County Jail. He was arraigned in Elba Town Court and jailed on $3,000 bail. Yantz was arrested April 1 on a warrant out of Orleans County and he was also allegedly found in possession of an amphetamine and a central nervous system depressant. He was charged today with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, as a result.

Cheryl A. Smith, 47, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th. Members of the Local Drug Task Force report that on Monday, agents intercepted a drug-sale transaction involving multiple types of prescription pills in multiple quantities in the parking lot of a business on Lewiston Road. It's alleged that Smith was making the sale. The pills and an amount of cash were recovered at the scene. Smith was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Robert A. Morrison, 57, of Watson Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Morrison is accused of selling heroin and flurazepam to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force within the past six months. When task force members went to his residence with parole officers to arrest him on a warrant, he was allegedly found in possession of cocaine. Morrison was held in jail without bail on an alleged parole violation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Alpina laying off 32 employees at Batavia plant

Alpina Foods today informed 32 employees that their services will no longer be needed.

Each employee received a letter that blamed the layoffs on the cancellation of a contract by a "principle customer" on Oct. 10.

The letter informs employees they are being terminated effective Oct. 19 and tells them they will receive all earned wages and benefits and will be eligible through the Department of Labor for benefits, job training and job search assistance.

The Batavian received a copy of the termination letter from a source and requested confirmation of the layoffs from Alpina.

The following response was attributed to Gustavo Badino, U.S. general manager for Alpina Foods:

Alpina Foods confirms that the company will be reducing the workforce at its Western New York yogurt plant in October, in response to the early termination of one of our principle contracts.

Alpina Foods remains committed to Batavia and Western New York and views this current workforce reduction as a temporary but necessary approach to address mediate business challenges facing the company in the short term.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 3:14 pm

UMMC, county officials preparing for Ebola, even if local outbreak seems unlikely

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, ebola, health, medicine, UMMC

It's been less than 10 days since new protocols related to Ebola were put in place at United Memorial Medical Center, but emergency room staff have already passed one key preparedness test.

In an unannounced drill, a man showed up claiming a fever and suffering from weakness and a headache, a staff member asked a newly implemented set of questions that included whether he had traveled recently from Western Africa.

He uttered, "yes," and within 60 seconds he was in an infectious disease isolation room.

"I was very encouraged by the outcome," said Dan Ireland, president of UMMC. "Any time we do an exercise, do a drill, we like to hear the positive feedback that things are working as they should be."

Following CDC guidelines, UMMC, the whole county's health and emergency response leadership, really, have been implementing Ebola protocols, even if it seems like a far-off, distant problem that may never reach Genesee County.

"We do a lot of things based on a long shot," Ireland said. "We prepare for the rare circumstances because those are the ones that can be really significant. Hopefully, it never happens, but we want to be prepared. I was here during the SARS era. We never had a SARS case in this facility, even while it was in Toronto, but we were ready. We have to be ready for those things or you're not doing the public the service that they need."

Ebola is a virus transmitted among mammals through contact with bodily fluid. Symptoms start with fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches, much like the flu. Death occurs in about 50 percent of the patients who contract it.  

The first known outbreak was in 1976 in South Sudan and there have been periodic outbreaks since. The latest outbreak started in March and currently about 10,000 people are believed to have the disease. But some scientists believe exponential growth (the number of people with the disease during an outbreak doubles about every 20 days) could mean as many as 500,000 in West Africa could be ill from Ebola (perhaps more than a million, if there is under reporting).

There is currently no Ebola-specific treatment or vaccine, though scientists are fast-tracking research.  

That's way isolation and quarantine are essential to controlling the disease.

Ireland said hospital officials are continuously communicating with staff about Ebola and CDC-recommended protocols.

It's a rapidly evolving situation, Ireland said, and directives and procedures sometimes change with little notice.

For example, today's identification protocol involves questions about travel. If the outbreak grows, that protocol could change.

"It could be very different story for you tomorrow," Ireland said. "That's health care and that's medicine. As new information comes out, health care evolves."

To help with the communication process, so essential to control of the disease should it ever reach Genesee County, the hospital hosted a meeting today of officials from UMMC, Genesee County Emergency Services and the County Health Department.

The word on how to deal with Ebola needs to get out to doctors and nurses throughout the local health community, including health workers at clinics and on ambulances, both paid and volunteer, as well as local law enforcement and fire chiefs.

Anybody who might come into first contact with an Ebola patient needs to know how to respond to the situation, since isolation and quarantine are so critical its control.

Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for the county, said communication is already starting with the agencies his department deals with, and Ebola will be on the agenda of upcoming fire chief and fire service meetings.

"Our job is to maintain awareness and communication," Yaeger said. "We discuss it with our 9-1-1 center, emergency responders and law enforcement officers need to be aware and not make assumptions about how to protect themselves from people who might be infected. The common theme every day is that we're getting new information regarding Ebola and we need to coordinate that with emergency responders."

The county health department hasn't fielded any calls from concerned citizens about Ebola (there's been more calls about enterovirus, which has been reported in Rochester and Buffalo, but not Genesee County), but that doesn't mean county health officials aren't staying on top of the latest information, said Director Paul Pettit. 

The first person to contract Ebola in the U.S. is a Dallas nurse. She appears have been infected while treating a Dallas resident who contracted the disease in Africa.

Another health care worker in Spain contracted the disease after caring for a patient in that country.

In the case in Spain, it's been determined that the health care worker likely did not follow proper protocol for removing protective gear.

It's still speculation, but that may also have been the situation in Dallas.

Typically, health care workers are covered from head to toe in protective garb while interacting with Ebola patients (only those who have actually become sick can transmit the disease).  

The probable cause of health care workers in Spain and Dallas getting sick certainly has local nurses paying close attention to the proper procedures, said Mary Beth Bowen, vice president of nursing for UMMC.

"For the nursing staff, we practice infection protection every day," Bowen said. "It's now part of our training to practice for Ebola. We've put in a buddy system to monitor each other; video so they visually learn the procedures for putting on and removing protective gear. We're doing everything according to proscribed protocol. It's important to this organization that we minimize the risk of transmission."

There's even a place for chocolate syrup in the training.  

You see, if there's chocolate syrup on your protective gear and then you take it off and find chocolate syrup on your skin, you've done something wrong.

One reason Ireland wanted to talk about this issue, and bring these local experts together, is that he doesn't want anybody in the community to panic about Ebola.

He's concerned there's a lot of hysteria and misinformation in the media about the disease, and if panic sets in, it may lead to somebody avoiding medical treatment for other conditions, a decision that could be even more dangerous.   

If people understand more about the disease and what the hospital is doing to minimize any risk of transmission, he hopes it will eliminate any such panic in the community.

"We want to avoid any misinformation in the community," Ireland said. "We are doing everything by what the CDC advises."

Photo: Gathered at an office in UMMC to discuss Ebola are Tim Yaeger and Jim Bouton, Office of Emergency Management, Mary Beth Bown, VP of nursing, Paul Pettit, county director of health, and Dan Ireland, president of UMMC.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Fall Basket Auction

November 15, 2014 - First Ever Fall Basket Auction at St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main Street, Batavia Noon till 4pm. A donation of $7.00 gets you one sheet of tickets Coffee/Tea & Desserts. Additional sheets of tickets will be available for $5.00/sheet. You need not be present to win!! Pre-sale tickets available at Crossroad House, stop in or call 343-3892. There will also be light lunch for sale.
 

Event Date and Time

November 15, 2014 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm
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