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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 8:52 am

Police and fire responding to residence to investigate report of gas being poured in window

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

City fire is being dispatched a location on East Main Street, East Avenue near Ross Street, to investigate a report of a window being broken and gasoline being poured inside the residence.

The incident occurred at 6 a.m., but is just now being reported.

UPDATE 10:32 a.m.: A residence at 15 East Ave., Batavia, had three windows broken on the Columbia Avenue side of the structure.

Gasoline was poured into the windows and onto the ground outside.

Three people live at the residence. 

The incident occurred about 6 a.m., and residents heard the glass breaking but didn't get out of bed to investigate, according to authorities.

A police officer said it's likely the perpetrator is somebody who knows one or more of the people who live at the residence.

Photo: A firefighter uses a meter to collect fume readings from a window sill.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Jacquetta Simmons ordered to pony up $100 in restitution montly starting Friday

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons

Jacquetta Simmons appeared in Genesee County Court this afternoon on the matter of restitution for her victim, Grace Suozzi, a Walmart cashier who suffered fractured facial bones and other injuries following a Christmas Eve confrontation in the store in 2011.

The upshot is the same money Simmons had been ordered to pay in February -- $100 a month -- is the same amount she will have to pony up on the 26th of every month, beginning Friday, until the restitution of $2,000 is paid.

Her attorney at the time, Earl Keys, had argued that she was not able to make the payments because she'd just been released from jail for her crime and had been unable to find work.

The judge set another restitution hearing and asked for documentation about her efforts to find employment. There's been no progress as far as Noonan could determine.

Nothing much has changed, only months have passed.

Ann Nichols, who had also been one of the attorneys representing her at trial, was with her today and told the judge she had only met with her client on the matter yesterday, and just today was provided with a list of local places where her client has applied for jobs.

(Simmons is now married but her husband's income won't factor in much. His gross earnings are $793 a month.)

Suozzi has yet to see a penny, as far as Noonan knows.

"This victim is entitled to be paid restitution," Noonan said, "and all we've gotten so far are excuses, missed court appearances, and no restitution."

Nichols said one issue that has delayed matters is an appeal of the Jan. 13 restitution order of $100 monthly by Simmons's parents. That has now been withdrawn, and they "will be able to pay $100 as soon as Friday," the attorney said.

"We are moving toward paying restitution," Nichols said.

It was also noted that a payment of $100 was supposedly made in February, and maybe a second such payment, but no receipts were offered.

Noonan said he has no knowledge of any payments being made, but if the money was indeed received by the County Probation Department there will be a record of it and the sum(s) will be deducted from the total owed.

Simmons went to court last month by herself and had only a piece of notebook paper with some hand-written notes about her work search. Noonan told her she needed detailed, documentation of her employment search and inability to find work in order for him to decide whether to lower the amount of monthly restitution. He set another hearing for this afternoon and told her she could bring an attorney with her, or not, her choice.

Keys, it was noted, has moved to Washington State, where he is working in the State Attorney General's Office.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Law and Order: Homeless Buffalo woman jailed after disturbance at Wendy's

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

Fancy D. Miller, 59, homeless, of Buffalo, was arrested Sept. 22 and charged with second-degree harassment and criminal tampering, 3rd. Her arrest followed a late afternoon disturbance at Wendy's restaurant on Main Street in the City of Batavia. Miller allegedly pushed an employee and threw items in the restaurant. Following arraignment in City Court, she was jailed. The incident was investigated by Batavia PD officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by officer Jason Ivison.

Luethal M. Tate, 54, of Dewey Avenue, Rochester, was arrested Sept. 22 and charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, petit larceny, and open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. It is alleged that she stole a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka from a local liquor store. After Batavia PD located the suspect vehicle, Tate was allegedly seen consuming beer out of a plastic Thermos-style container which was on her lap. Tate was allegedly sitting in the rear passenger seat next to a protected party for whom a complete stay away order had been issued against Tate in the City of Rochester. Tate was jailed in lieu of $2,500. The incident was investigated by Batavia PD officer Jamie Givens, assisted by officer Nedim Catovic.

Robert W. Plantiko Jr., 39, of 18 Thorpe St., Batavia, was arrested Sept. 19 on a Batavia City Court bench warrant issued for failing to appear on a charge of petit larceny stemming from an incdient Aug. 9. He was arrested at his residence and put in jail. The matter was investigated by Batavia PD officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by officer Eric Foels.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 7:05 am

Current police headquarters has its problems, but so do available alternatives

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD

The list of problems with the current Batavia PD headquarters is long, but the price of doing anything about it is huge.

In the best case scenario, the city will need to spend $10 million on a solution.

Unless, of course, the option selected involves putting head in sand and hoping for the best. That option costs next to nothing, unless of course, the city is sued over some of the potential problems with the existing facility, or disaster strikes.

That's the summary of what members of the City Council heard Monday night from a group of consultants hired to create a police facilities feasibility study.

The consultants were Dominic Calgi, Calgi Construction; John Pepper, Rebanks, Pepper, Littlewood Architects; and, John Brice, Geddis Architects.

Their job -- work with city administration on evaluating three possible scenarios:

  • Construct a new police headquarters from the ground up;
  • Create a new police headquarters using an existing building;
  • Renovate the existing headquarters at 10 W. Main St.

Monday, they presented scenarios for three new-build locations, a scenario for constructing a building with some shared space with the Sheriff's Office on Park Road, and two options for renovating 10 W. Main.

The most expensive option was an extensive rehabilitation and renovation of 10 W. Main, which could cost as much as $17 million. For $10 million, it might be possible to build a new headquarters on Park Road, but there are also a lot of unknown variables that could drive the cost up.

The first step in this process, if it moves forward, is for the City Council to appoint a community task force to study the options presented by the consultants and make a recommendation.

City Manager Jason Molino recommended a task force competely devoid of elected officials, city staff members or members of the law enforcement community. Instead, he recommended citizens from each ward, the school district and UMMC. (Clarification: also, business owners.)

His goal, he said, was to keep it non-political and help assure the public that nobody in the city was pushing a specific agenda.

Council members balked at the recommendation and instead appointed a subcommittee to study the proposed make up of the task force and come back to the full council with a recommendation.  

The council will discuss the proposal again Oct. 14 and if it decides to move forward with a task force, appoint it at its November business meeting.

That would give the city a month to advertise for participants and recommend a slate of task force members.

What are the problems with the existing headquarters, which is occupying space built in 1855 as a rich family's residence and was later used as City Hall?

  • The building entrance is not secure, neither for police nor the public, nor arrestees;
  • Interview rooms and holding cells are not isolated nor secure;
  • Storage of weapons and gear is insufficient;
  • Building egress is inadequate and not code complaint, and egress for patrol cars is insufficient;
  • There is no separate entrance for youthful offenders, which violates state code;
  • Building is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which means even basic improvements such as upgrading the HVAC system can't take place (unless the city wants to ignore the ADA).
  • Building infrastructure is outdated and in need of replacement (HVAC, water, plumbing, electricity);
  • Hazardous materials exist;
  • Installation of modern technology requires major renovation (again, triggering ADA compliance issues).

A renovation of the facility would be expensive, not just because of the remodeling expense, but it would also need to be expanded.

The option that would give the department the most space (top photo), with a garage and sally port for prisoner transport at ground level, would cost from $15 million to $17 million.

A less robust option, with a raised garage and sally port, would cost from $11 million to $12 million. For that price, the city could build at one of four other identified locations.

"When renovating an existing structure, it's never going to be good at meeting program requirements as new construction," Brice said. 

During the reconstruction project, the headquarters would need to find a temporary home. One location suggested is the former Robert Morris School.

56 Ellicott St.

This location is the former Santy Tire's location with existing businesses still using a portion of the building. Essentially, it's at the corner of Ellicott and Jackson, but the parcel would be expanded to stretch as far back as Evans Street.

Pros for the site include easy access to Downtown and it would be all new construction. The cons include potential environment issues. It's in a flood zone, so the building pad and parking lots would need to be elevated two feet, and it would compete with economic development plans for Ellicott Street.

The potential cost: $11.1 million to $11.9 million.

96-98 Jackson St.
The current Salvation Army location.

Pros, again, easy access to Downtown. Cons include the purchase price and existing structure torn down, and it's still in a flood zone.

The potential cost: $11.6 million to $12.5 million

165 Evans St., Batavia
The property is next to Falleti Ice Arena.

Pros include the fact the city already owns much of the property.

The cons include, again, the flood area issue, and it's somewhat of a constricted lot for access. Chief Shawn Heubusch pointed out that it would increase emergency vehicle traffic in front of the ice area and it's somewhat removed from Downtown.

The potential cost: $11.4 million to $12.3 million.

Park Road

City Manager Jason Molino said this option, as part of the study, was looked at very seriously, but the idea isn't without problems.

There is less overlap between police functions with the Sheriff's Office than one might assume. For one thing, since the police patrol the city, Heubusch said, they do their reports and interview subjects at the station; whereas, deputies typically do all of their interviews and paperwork in the field.  

The Sheriff's Office doesn't have enough space to share locker rooms, and separate locker rooms would make a shared briefing room less practical. The departments can't share storage because of the need to protect chain-of-custody on criminal evidence.

"It's possible with a lot more thought and investigation between the two units, you could increase the amount of shared space, but it's not built that way now," Brice said. "You might save some space by finding ways to share space, but you wind up renovating more."

The potential cost: $9.9 million to $10.6 million, but maybe more after further study.

For the full study, click here.

Monday, September 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Blue Devils to honor hall of famers at dinner Saturday

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, blue devils, sports

The Batavia Boosters host their annual Hall of Fame dinner Saturday at Terry Hills.

Here are the images of the plaques for each honoree.

For more on the dinner and ticket information, click here.

Monday, September 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Pedestrian struck by car on Ross Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A pedestrian has been hit by a car in the area of 224 Ross St., Batavia.

There are injuries. No indication yet how serious.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 3:57 p.m.: A person was transported to UMMC. There was an unrelated accident at 138 Ross Street shortly after this call. It was a property damage hit-and-run with the suspect vehicle last seen northbound but no description was provided.


Monday, September 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Law and Order: Man accused of stealing laser from employer and pawning it

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

Stephen Michael Esposito, 25, of Folsomdale Road, Cowlesville, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and falsifying business records. Esposito allegedly stole a Spectra Precision Model 412 Laser from his employer in Stafford and then pawned it in Batavia, signing a document at the time stating he owned the property.

Robert W. Plantiko Jr., 29, of Thorpe Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 1st, robbery, 1st, menacing, 2nd, assault, 3rd, and criminal mischief. Plantiko was arrested on a warrant stemming from an alleged incident Sept. 5 at 105 Watson St., Batavia. Plantiko was jailed without bail. Plantiko was also charged with harassment, 2nd, for allegedly punching another person during an alleged altercation at 7:09 p.m. Thursday at a residence on Ellicott Street, Batavia.

A 16-year-old resident of Roanoke Road, Pavilion, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and hindering prosecution, 2nd. The youth is accused of not allowing police into a residence on Thorpe Street at 10:06 p.m., Friday, when police showed up with a felony arrest warrant for Robert Plantiko. The youth was observed by Officer Frank Klimjack allegedly trying to hide Plantiko inside a kitchen cupboard.

Samuel Gene Coughlin Jr., 18, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Coughlin was charged after police were dispatched at 2:53 a.m. Thursday to the parking lot on Jefferson Square on a suspicious condition complaint. A 17-year-old resident of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was also charged.

Aaron L. Klein, 43, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st. Klein was arrested following an investigation by Officer Marc Lawrence into a property damage accident reported at 2:57 p.m. Sunday at 34 Clinton St., Batavia.

Bobby L. Mobley Jr., 29, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana over eight ounces. Mobley turned himself in on an alleged incident from Sept. 14. He was allegedly found in possession of more than eight ounces of marijuana during a traffic stop on Jackson Street.

Maleak Hakeem Green, 21, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to obey a court order. Green allegedly violated a court order of protection.

David W. Zengulis, 51, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Zengulis was stopped at 9:06 a.m. Friday on Ellicott Street, Batavia, by Officer Frank Klimjack. Zengulis submitted to a breath test and allegedly registered a BAC of .30.

Mckayla J. Kosiorek, 20, of South Jackson Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Kosiorek was located at an address on Hutchins Street while police investigated an unrelated matter. Kosiorek was allegedly found to have a warrant for failure to appear.

Mark T. Zdrejewski, 61, of Meyer Road, North Tonawanda, is charged with four counts of issuing a bad check. Zdrejewski allegedly issued bad checks to a local business. He was arrested on a warrant.

Ty’ree D. Winkfield, 16 of Washington Avenue, Albion, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 3rd, a Class D felony, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Winfield was stopped by Le Roy PD for an alleged traffic violation. Upon investigation, it was determined the vehicle he was driving was allegedly stolen from Albion. Winkfield was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Charles F. Chidsey, 28, of Clay Street, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Chidsey was arrested following a complaint of loud music.

Brian Wilson Herke, 29, of Townline Road, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Herke was stopped at 11:24 p.m. Sunday on Townline Road, Byron, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Shannon M. Malone, 42, of Route 98 Road, Varysburg, is charged with petit larceny. Malone is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Arthur Wayne Adner, 66, of Cobblestone Court, Holley, is charged with possession or transport or offer for sale of unstamped cigarettes. Adner was stopped at 11:26 a.m. Sept. 16 on Judge Road, Alabama, by Deputy Joseph Corona. Adner allegedly possessed 1,800 untaxed cigarettes.

Mitchell Andrew Cummings, 23, of Byron Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a seat belt violation. Cummings was stopped at 11:43 p.m. Friday on Byron Holley Road, Byron, by Deputy Joseph Corona for allegedly driving without a seat belt.

Amanda Rose McDonald-Mruczek, 32, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for an attempted petit larceny charge. McDonald-Mruczek was arrested following an appearance in City Court for alleged failure to appear on an attempted petit larceny charge. She was jailed on $250.

Timothy S. Spiotta, 46, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Spiotta was stopped at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday on Farnsworth Avenue, Oakfield, by State Police.

Roger W. Little, 47, of Byron, is charged with criminal mischief and harassment. Little was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Monday, September 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

Hydrant flushing planned for Wednesday around East Main and Bank

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants on Wednesday Sept. 24 from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the general area north of East Main Street and east of Bank Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored.

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