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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."

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Jacquetta Simmons seeks modification of restitution order

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons

Out of jail and out of work, Jacquetta Simmons, the young woman who punched an employee at Walmart on Christmas Eve 2011, is seeking a modification to the restitution order levied against her.

Her victim, Grace Suozzi, is entitled to reimbursement on $2,000 in medical expenses, Judge Robert C. Noonan has said. Simmons has been ordered to make monthly payments of $100.

According to statements made by Noonan from the bench today, Simmons is seeking a suspension of restitution payments.

While Simmons appeared in County Court today, she did so without her attorney.

She had written Noonan asking for the hearing, but her attorney, Earl Key, wasn't notified of today's court appearance in time for him to be in Genesee County Court.

Noonan rescheduled the appearance for Sept. 10.

Asked if she was looking for work, Simmons told Noonan she has applied for jobs.

Noonan told her that when she appears Sept. 10, she should have prepared an affidavit on her financial standing and outlining steps she's taken to find work.

For previous coverage of Jacquetta Simmons by The Batavian, click here.

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Sewer repairs scheduled tomorrow at Franklin and Davis in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, road work

Tomorrow, Aug. 26, the city Bureau of Maintenance will be doing a sewer repair at Frankin Street  and Davis Avenue, just east of Williams Park. Motorists can expect traffic to be reduced to a single lane at times.

For questions call, the bureau at 345-6400, ext. #1.

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Natural gas with ill effects prompts evacuation of Bank Street apartment in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia

The rear apartment at 103 Bank St. was evacuated due to natural gas in the residence with ill effects. The caller was National Fuel. Medics are on scene.

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 11:39 am

Law and Order: Man accused of stealing knife at Walmart, using it as tool to steal other stuff

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

Christopher James Clark, 34, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Clark allegedly stole a knife at Walmart and then while inside the store allegedly used it to try and open packages containing drill bits. He tried to abandon the alleged stolen property under the vehicle in the parking lot when police arrived.

Carrie M. Capizzi, 30, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, driving without an interlock device and open container. Capizzi was stopped at 10:01 p.m. Thursday at 12 City Centre, Batavia, by Officer Chad Richards.

Kathleen E. Gonzalez, 52, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Gonzalez is accused of stealing three packages of steak from Save-A-Lot in Batavia.

Lizbet D. Cramer, 37, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Cramer allegedly left her 4- and her 15-year-olds unattended. The 4-year-old was allegedly abandoned at Austin Park for at least one hour before police were notified.

DaShawn A. Butler, 34, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Butler allegedly issued a verbal threat of harm to another person.

Brandon N. Benz, 19, of Clinton Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching. Benz allegedly had inappropriate contact with a person under age 17 while at a playground at Jackson School at 4:33 p.m. on Aug. 11.

Nefetiria L. Turner, 32, of South Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on three warrants for alleged failure to appear on charges of unreasonable noise charge, aggravated unlicensed operation and harassment, 2nd. Turner posted cash bail and was released.

Deavin Herman, 20, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Herman allegedly stole a bicycle from a location on Walnut Street.

Shane Zimblis, 43, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Zimblis was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a warrant arrest.

Scott Allen Cratsley, 43, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. Cratsley's dog was allegedly seen running at large by Officer James Defreze and Sgt. Dan Coffey. That breed of dog, a St. Bernard, has allegedly been seen running at large several times previously.

Alexander L. Jordan, 19, of Pine Terrace, Macedon, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a third-degree menacing charge. Jordan posted $500 police bail and was released.

Michael S. Garrett, 23, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, turned himself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking on city streets ticket issued March 18.

Forrest Ansel, 24, of Cone Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and criminal contempt. Ansel allegedly went to the residence of a protected person. He allegedly stole property of that person.

Lawrence William Worsley, 34, of Presbyterian Street, Knowlesville, is charged with disorderly conduct. Worsley allegedly became verbally and physically abusive while at the Viper ride at Darien Lake Theme Park at 6:20 p.m., Sunday.

Jared Lewis Long, 44, of Clinton Street Road, Stafford, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Long allegedly took the Chevrolet Equinox of his girlfriend without her permission. The vehicle was returned to the residence and Long was ordered to stay away from the residence. He was later found by Sheriff's K-9 in a field behind the residence. 

Jessica Lynn Hill, 29, of Leonard Street, Mattydale, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to yield right of way and license restriction violation. Hill was stopped at 10:45 p.m. Thursday on West Main Road, Batavia, by Deputy James Diehl.

William Allen Roll, 54, of Clinton Street, Attica, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Roll allegedly punched another person in the face at 3:54 a.m. Saturday while at an apartment on West Main Street Road, Batavia. Roll was jailed on $500 bail.

Karen A. Lemaster, 54, of Batavia, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, 1st. Lemaster was stopped at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on Ohio Street, Village of Medina, by State Police.

Rhonda L. Reisman, 42, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. Reisman was stopped at 2:35 a.m. Sunday on Route 33, Stafford, by State Police.

Brian C. Reynolds, 33, of Rochester, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Reynolds was stopped at 11:32 p.m. Thursday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Erica A. Cook, 26, of Webster, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Cook was stopped at 11:45 p.m. Thursday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Zachary W. Plath, 21, of Le Roy, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08. Plath was stopped at 12:20 a.m. Friday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Brinkley wins 2014 Wiener Dog race at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports, Wiener Dog Race

Photographer Amanda Earl covered the wiener dog race at Batavia Downs. 

Press release from Batavia Downs:

Kristy Drabek’s 2-year-old dachshund named Brinkley stormed down the stretch of America’s oldest lighted harness racetrack to win the championship final of the 2014 Genesee Feeds wiener dog races on Sunday afternoon at Batavia Downs Gaming.

The official margin of victory was a half a (dog) length.

Six-year Pablo Penders, owned by Adrienne Penders, surged at the wire to nip another 5-year-old, early leader Ruby, owned by Sarah Farley, for second.

Over 70 fleet-footed wiener dogs participated in the annual races that act as the final piece of Family Fun Day at the races.

Brinkey’s win was worth $100 in gaming free for his happy owners while second and third paid off $50 and $25 in free play, respectively.

Reigning champion Gordon, who has won the last three years, did not enter.

“It was a great crowd and a great day,” Todd Haight, Director/GM of live racing, said. “Our marketing department put together a plethora of activities and it certainly brought a huge crowd.

Batavia Downs video:

 

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