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Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm

LA taco wagon transformed into BBQmobile

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Center Street Smokehouse

A former taco wagon from Los Angeles is now a Southern BBQ truck in WNY.

The transformation was made by Cregg Paul, owner of Center Street Smoke House, who bought the truck from a seller in Fayetteville, NC, and drove the truck to Batavia.

It was exciting to see an authentic taco wagon on Center Street for a couple of weeks, but carne asada wasn't in Paul's plans. He's sticking to what he does best: brisket, ribs and pulled pork.

The truck is available for catered happenings and Paul plans on using it at festivals and other public events.

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Collins tours Graham Corp. in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, chris collins, graham corp., NY-27

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY-27) visited Graham Corporation in Batavia to see firsthand the skilled jobs and business that the production of Navy aircraft carriers brings to the region. Graham Corporation builds and supplies main condensers and air ejectors for Navy aircraft carriers.

Graham Corporation is part of a vital defense industrial base consisting of more than 2,000 small, mid-sized, and large businesses from 43 states that provides parts and services for Navy aircraft carriers.

During his tour, Congressman Collins met with the employees at Graham Corporation to discuss the unique skills they contribute to the industrial base that supplies parts to the Navy aircraft carrier program.

“It was an honor meeting the employees at Graham and learning about their vital work constructing components for our Navy’s aircraft carriers,” Congressman Collins said. “Local businesses like Graham are essential to maintaining economic growth and good-paying job opportunities here in Western New York, while ensuring our nation’s national security. It was great to see firsthand how the skilled work happening here in Batavia contributes to our Navy’s strength around the world.”

“Building new carriers every five years and undertaking maintenance on a regular schedule preserves the fleet at its required operational level of 11 carriers and keeps the industrial base sustainable and strong. Today we got the opportunity to talk with Congressman Collins about why it is so critical to our local jobs and businesses and our national security,” said Ken Salphine, manager of Marine & Nuclear Products at Graham Corporation.

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 9:14 am

Law and Order: Young man accused of punching older family member, leading to felony charge

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

Forrest Ansel III, 24, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd. Ansel is accused of punching a relative several times, causing physical injury. The alleged victim is over 65 and more than 10 years older than Ansel. Ansel was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Paul C. Ferraro, 19, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Ferraro is accused of stealing more than $3,000 over a two-month period while employed at Save-A-Lot. Ferraro was jailed without bail.

Thomas Webb

Thomas A. Webb, 54, of Syracuse, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Webb was arrested after a bank employee called about two people in the bank trying to cash forged checks. Webb was apprehended at the scene, but the other person fled before police arrived. Police recovered the checks and the IDs of both suspects. The investigation indicates at least one other person may be involved. That person appears to have supplied the forged checks to the suspects and similar checks that were cashed at another bank branch in the City of Batavia. Le Roy PD and Batavia PD are working together in an ongoing investigation.

Timothy J. Lewis, 20, of Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Lewis is accused of hitting a family member and a friend while in the parking lot of Oliver's Candies at 3:30 a.m., Wednesday.

Katherine S. Thomas, 41, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Thomas is accused of intentionally breaking a glass mug on the sidewalk in front of her residence, causing a physically offensive and hazardous condition.

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 8:09 am

Pedestrian reportedly hit by car in parking lot of Coffee Culture

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A pedestrian has reportedly been hit by a car in the parking lot of Coffee Culture, off Court Street.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:19 a.m.: The patient is being transported to UMMC. Bumps and bruises and right shoulder pain. The car was traveling at low speed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Photos: Bulldawgs and Blue Devils scrimmage at Van Detta

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bulldawgs, football, sports

The Batavia Bulldawgs and the Batavia Blue Devils met in a scrimmage this evening at Van Detta Stadium.

Who won?

Who cares. The Mini-Division (8-9 years old) Bulldawgs were clearly thrilled to be on Woodward Field and get a pre-game pep talk in the Blue Devils' locker room from Batavia Head Coach Brennan Briggs.

Briggs told his team that he heard the Bulldawgs defense hadn't given up a score yet this season, so the Blue Devils offense might have a tough time of it.

In the first series, the Bulldawgs stopped running back Dominick Mogavero behind the line of scrimmage and sacked QB Greg Mruczek.

On the first play, the Blue Devils linemen didn't block. Rather they grabbed each of the Bulldawgs in front of them and lifted them in the air over their heads. Above, offensive lineman Gunner Rapone lifts an obviously thrilled Nathaniel Heusinger.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Photo: Fishing the Tonawanda behind the courthouse

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, outdoors

When I left the County Courthouse this afternoon, I spotted a family fishing below the falls of the Tonawanda Creek. Above, Zachary Albright, 11, of Albion, gets ready to recast his lure into the creek.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 6:49 pm

City has seven fire hydrants awaiting replacement

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

If you've noticed some fire hydrants bagged with "not in service" messages in the city, Fire Chief Jim Maxwell said it's not something local residents need to be overly concerned about.

"Hydrants are spaced not to exceed a maximum of 500 feet," Maxwell said. "This allows for a fire hydrant to be readily accessible in either direction in the event of an emergency."

Currently, of the 746 hydrants in the city, seven are currently out of service.

Maxwell explained that hydrants are mechanical devices, which means they are subject to breakdowns.

Firefighters regularly test hydrants to ensure they are working properly. If they're not working, the bags being used help firefighters quickly identify an out-of-service hydrant during an emergency so they can quickly locate another one to use.

Of the seven hydrants out of service, one has been out of service since 2011, one since 2012, three since 2013, and two were taken out of service this year.

Out-of-service hydrants need to be replaced with new equipment. Each hydrant costs $2,200.

City workers, from the Bureau of Water and Wastewater, do the replacement work on a time-available basis.

The hydrants could be replaced more quickly if a contractor was hired, Maxwell said, but that drives the cost up to $7,500 per hydrant.

Waiting for available time for city workers to do the work will save taxpayers about $37,100 to replace the current out-of-service hydrants, Maxwell said.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Noonan considering speedy trial motion in Dashawn Butler case

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Batavia police officer testified today that there was an extended effort to locate Dashawn Butler after a warrant was issued for his arrest in October 2013.

Butler's defense attorney asked questions and got answers that could suggest the police didn't do all they could.

Today's hearing was on a motion by attorney Tom Burns to have the felony charges against his client thrown out on "speedy trial" grounds.

Every defendant has a Constitutional right to a speedy trial. The clock starts ticking if the police are doing all in their power to locate the suspect. If they are making every effort, then the clock for a speedy trial starts at the time of arrest, rather than when the warrant was issued.

The warrant for Butler was issued in October, but he wasn't located and arrested until June.

Butler is charged with criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, and attempted assault, 1st, also a Class C violent felony.  He's also accused of firing a weapon at another person Sept. 27 on State Street.

Sgt. Dan Coffey said that after the warrant was issued, police officers checked at least six possible addresses for Butler and looking for Butler was a frequent topic of shift-change meetings.

On cross-examination, Coffey said he had never personally been to the address where Butler was eventually located, though he said BPD had that address under observation for some time. He said he had not contacted State Police to see if troopers had any idea about Butler's whereabouts, and he did not seek utility records in an attempt to track down an address for Butler. He said he did contact Social Services to see if that agency had an address for Butler, but DSS did not.  

BPD also monitored a social media account reportedly belonging to Butler.

Coffey also provided a series of e-mail exchanges as possible evidence of BPD's efforts to locate Butler.

Burns objected to introducing the e-mails as evidence under the hearsay rules.  

Friedman argued that in a hearing such as this, the hearsay rules didn't apply, but even if they did, the e-mails weren't hearsay because they weren't being used as proof of the crimes charged.

Burns cited two prior rulings that found such e-mails were hearsay and that the prosecution has an obligation to call as witnesses the other police officers involved in the exchange.

Judge Robert C. Noonan said he has never read those cases before, so he called for an adjournment to read the cases and consider Burns' motion.

Whether the hearing will continue at a later date will depend on how Noonan rules on the motion.

Butler remains free on bail. There is no trial date set yet.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 8:30 am

Law and Order: Driver accused of possessing marijuana following accident in Le Roy

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

Gina Lee Colangelo, 22, of Main Street, Caledonia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and failure to keep right. Colangelo was allegedly the driver in an accident where her vehicle failed to remain in its own lane. Colangelo's vehicle was reportedly westbound on West Main Road, Le Roy, at 9:07 p.m. June 17 when it collided with a vehicle in the eastbound lane. In the course of the accident investigation, Deputy Joseph Graff allegedly found marijauna in Colangelo's vehicle.

Eric Joseph Smith, 29, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Smith is accused of stealing $107 in merchandise from Walmart.

A 16-year-old resident of Parsells Avenue, Rochester, is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Rotary learns about how the National Weather Service in Buffalo works

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Rotary, weather

Jason Franklin, head meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, spoke today at the Batavia Rotary Club meeting. He shared information about the technology the NWS uses to help it measure weather and forecast what might be coming.  

Asked how the Weather Channel gets its forecast compared to the NWS, Franklin said, "We work in partnership with them, provide a lot of information to them, like other media, and they provide us information. We work together because our primary mission is to make sure you're safe. To make sure that the companies are getting the information that they need in order for them to do the best that they can. We're all in this together."

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