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Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm

GO ART! presents annual grants for art projects

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, GO ART!

GO ART! hosted a presentation ceremony Friday evening at its home at Seymore Place in Batavia for it's annual Reach and Ripple grants.

There were a total of 28 grants awarded this year for more than $46,000.

The Genesee Children's Chorus, directed by Heather Loveless, performed three opening numbers.

For a list of recipients, click here.

Bob Knipe, president of the board of directors, with opening remarks.

Josh Pacino, with Legislator Gregg Torrey and Interim Director Heather Grant, accepted awards on behalf of the Batavia Concert Band and Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Shelley Falitico, from Genesee ARC, accepted the grant for the Sprout Film Festival.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Alexander responding to house fire in Village of Attica

post by Billie Owens in Attica, batavia, alexander, Darien, fire

A house fire is reported at 4 Genesee St. in the Village of Attica and Alexander fire is responding. A fire chief on scene confirms heavy smoke showing.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: Town of Batavia fire is requested to the scene. Mutual aid from Warsaw and Bennington also responding.

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Inmates from Wyoming Correctional Facility called in to help. Checking with Attica water utility to make sure hydrants are working correctly. A fire crew from Darien is asked to stand by in Alexander's hall.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm

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Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Stafford man accused of dealing drugs in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford
Joseph Wind

After observing what agents believed was a drug deal in a commercial parking lot off Main Street in Batavia, members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force and officers with Batavia PD conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and made an arrest.

Joseph C. Wind, 45, of Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

Wind was allegedly found in possession of heroin.

Also arrested was Catherine A. Norton, 32, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, who was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.

Wind is also facing alleged traffic violations. 

He was jailed without bail.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Motions seek dismissal of charge against woman who thought she was grandmother to Baby Chandler

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime
Jeffrey Deats and Chandler Zuchs

Motions filed in the case of a woman who thought she was the grandmother of a baby who died while in the care of her son seek to have a criminal charge against her dismissed, both because of a lack of evidence and "in the interest of justice."

Jacquelyn P. Deats, Olyn Avenue, Batavia, is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17 years old.

The charging document asserts, "On December 14, 2014, at about 7:00 a.m., while at 10 Olyn Avenue in the City of Batavia, New York, the Defendant did fail to provide and/or seek medical assistance for Chandler Zuchs dob May 20, 2014, while knowing that Zuck was suffering from serious medical symptoms. All contrary to the provisions of the statements made and provided herein."

There's simply no evidence to support the assertion, argues Attorney Thomas Burns, who is representing Deats.

There's no direct knowledge or witness statements to support the assertion that Deats knew Baby Chandler was suffering from serious medical symptoms at that time and that she had any knowledge that Baby Chandler had been mistreated.

Baby Chandler was in the care of Jeffery Deats, a 28-year-old Batavia man, who believed, based on representations by the baby's mother, Michelle Zuchs, of Tonawanda, that he was the baby's father.

Subsequently, Jeffrey had many visits with Chandler. He posted several pictures of Chandler, and of himself with Chandler to social media sites in the months prior to Chandler's death. The Dec. 13-14 visit was reportedly the first overnight visit.  

After Chandler's death from apparent brain injuries, Jeffrey Deats was arrested. A day after news came out that Jeffrey Deats wasn't the baby's father, Jeffrey Deats attempted to take his own life by hanging himself with a bedsheet in his jail cell.

Jeffrey Deats died as a result of his injuries four days later.

In a statement to police about the events of Dec. 14, Jacquelyn Deats, said she heard Chandler crying off and on throughout the night and that she woke up around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning because she was thinking about going to church.

A half hour later, she said, she heard Chandler crying loudly, like he was screaming.

"I heard Jeff stomping down the stairs and he was calling, 'mom, mom' several times," Jacquelyn Deats said. "He sounded very upset. I said that I was in the bathroom. When I came out, Jeff was holding Chandler so that Chandler's head was on Jeff's shoulder. Jeff said, 'He's been up all night and I need to sleep.' Jeff was really upset. He laid Chandler on the couch and said, 'Now, you go to sleep you goddamn bastard,' and he turned around and went upstairs."

It would be another two-and-half hours before Jacquelyn Deats called for an ambulance, according to statements to police, which were made public when Jeffrey Deats was arrested.

Even if Judge Robert Balbick, the City Court judge who will be asked to rule on the motions, doesn't dismiss the charge for lack of evidence, he should do so "in the interest of justice," Burns argues.

"In the interest of justice" is a well-established motion in the legal system and has a series of criteria that should be met before a judge agrees to dismiss the case.

In order to establish the criteria, Burns argues:

  • That Jacquelyn Deats has no prior criminal history, has no history of drug or alcohol abuse, no mental health issues and is gainfully employed;
  • While the death of a baby is a serious criminal matter, there's no evidence Jacquelyn Deats was involved in Baby Chandler's death; "However, the charge as filed seeks to hold the Defendant accountable for her conduct after the injury already occurred to the child." Deats, Burns writes, "neither witnessed nor had knowledge" that the injuries occurred;
  • The evidence doesn't support an assertion that Jacquelyn Deats caused harm to the child, and even if she had knowledge of a serious injury and did not act, there's no evidence that any action should could have taken would have changed the outcome;
  • Jacquelyn Deats has suffered significant trauma as a result of these events, from the death of a child at the time she believed to be her grandchild, the death of her own child, and learning that Baby Chandler was not her son's son; "She has endured a substantial amount of stress and hurt and expressed deep regret for the death of the child and the tragic loss of her son Jeffrey";
  • Because Jacquelyn Deats has no drug or alcohol issues, a conviction is not necessary to effect rehabilitation;
  • The charge against her is only a misdemeanor, which for a person with no criminal record is not likely to result in any length of jail term;
  • Jacquelyn Deats is no threat to the community and dismissal would ensure she remains a contributing member of the community;
  • A conviction would serve no useful purpose; "This case also represents a series of poor choices and lack of judgement on the part of the deceased son of the Defendant, the mother of the deceased child and the Defendant now standing before the court," Burns writes. "There are simply no winners and losers in this case. No conviction will change these horrible facts. However, it is submitted that continued prosecution of Jacquelyn Deats will serve only to add to the layers of tragedy already existing with no legitimate purpose."

The prosecution has not yet filed its answer. Balbick will consider the motions at a later date.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Two-car collision on westbound Thruway, unknown injuries

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accident

A two-car accident, unknown injuries, is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 385. One vehicle is "in the trees on the east side of the raodway," the other is in the median. Town of Batavia fire and Mercy medics are responding.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Syracuse man arrested in construction site burglaries given prison term

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

One of three men who has already admitted his role in a series of construction site burglaries in Genesee County will serve one to three years in prison, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled this morning.

Michael Correia, 58, of Syracuse, admitted to third-degree burglary on Dec. 16, and while his sentencing in County Court concludes his case, his alleged accomplices continue to maintain their innocence.

Noonan will hear motions in the cases against Syracuse residents William Kelly, 44, and Robert Kelly, 43, on April 30.

All three were charged with burglary after an alert deputy in Wayne County spotted what he thought might be stolen property in a vehicle during a traffic stop.

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, sometime 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.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Photos: Jackson School goes wild for reading

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, education, Jackson School, schools

Robin Zanderwers from the Buffalo Zoo shows off a turtle to students at Jackson School on Thursday evening during an event dubbed "Wild About Reading."  

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 11:44 am

Crash at Vine and Evergreen in the city, no injuries

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A two-car accident is reported at Vine Street and Evergreen Drive. No injuries. City fire on scene. Mercy medics arrived, then cleared the scene.

UPDATE 12:03 p.m.: The driver of one of the vehicle is complaining of chest pains after leaving the accident scene. Mercy medics are en route to a location on Ross Street to assist him.

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