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Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Former nurse convicted for second time of stealing $14K from employer

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime

It took a jury all of 30 minutes to return a guilty verdict against former Bergen resident Michele Ann Case of grand larceny in the third degree.

This is the second time a jury in Genesee County has found Case guilty of stealing more than $14,000 from her former employer, HomeCare & Hospice.

The first conviction, in March 2012, was overturned on appeal because state justices found that summations of her thefts were improperly prepared and presented to the jury.

Case, 47, was represented in this trial by attorney Larry Koss, who argued before the jury in closing statements this afternoon that the extra compensation received was all just a big misunderstanding.

"The fact that there are discrepancies doesn't mean anything was done intentionally," Koss told the jury. "People make mistakes. I submit to you, if you're in the profession she's in, your primary concern has to be your patients. If you want to be a good nurse, you want to care for your patients. They have to be your primary concern. They have to be what you pay attention to."

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told the jury that the evidence was clear: Case submitted claims for "call outs" (patient visits supposedly outside of regularly scheduled hours) during her normal work shift; that she submitted claims for call outs that she didn't make; and that she claimed mileage that was greatly exaggerated.

Koss said it was a lack of proper training and clear policies that caused Case to submit inaccurate claims for compensation.

There's nothing in the polices that define what allowable mileage is (to which Friedman responded during his close, "I think the answer is you're expected to record mileage truthfully."

During her employment with HCH, Case submitted 61 mileage claims. Of those, Friedman said, 60 of them contained wildly inflated mileage, up to 100, 200 and 300 more miles than Case possibly could have driven.

For a trip to Crossroads House on Liberty Street from the HCH office on East Main Street, Batavia, Case claimed 30 miles.

When confronted by Det. Charles Dudek (now retired) about the discrepancy, Case claimed at one point her trip that day originated in Warsaw, but even those miles -- combined with the side trips she claimed -- didn't add up, Friedman said.

When she went to Delavan for training, Case claimed mileage that was nearly double the actual trip, even using the longest possible route offered by MapQuest for the drive, Friedman said.

That didn't happen just once, but twice.

Case told Dudek that she forgot to reset her trip counter on her odometer and didn't realize her mistake when submitting her mileage reports.

Friedman said the pattern of Case's inflated claims made it quite clear she was trying to increase her compensation illegally.

On 69 occasions, Friedman said, Case claimed compensation for call-outs during what should have been her normal, salaried working hours. Those claims alone totaled $5,300 in extra compensation.

"There is one common scheme to illegitimately and illegally increase what she saw as her insufficient income," Friedman said.

To Koss's argument that HomeCare & Hospice neglected to spot and correct Case's false claims for two and a half years, Friedman said such fraudulent claims went undetected because they were unexpected.

"The defendant was a registered nurse," Friedman said. "She's a professional and they expected her to be professional and honest when she documented her claims, and it turned out, they couldn't count on that."

At the start of his summation, Koss quoted Oscar Wilde.“The truth is rarely plain and never simple.”*

The case against his client, he said, was complicated and obscured by poorly written policies and inadequate training.

Friedman said at the close of his summation, that actually, the facts of the case were pretty straightforward.

"The plain and simple truth is this defendant stole more than $14K by falsifying time vouchers and mileage records," Friedman said.

With uncommon speed, the jury reached the same conclusion.

NOTE: Wilde's correct quote is, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 8:51 am

Holley man dies after car hits pea combine on Route 19 in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen

A man was killed early this morning after his car crossed the center line on Route 19 near Bissell Road in Bergen and struck a pea combine head on.

Carmelo Rivera, 22, of Holley, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The accident was reported at 2:32 a.m.

Rivera was driving a 2004 Mercury Sable northbound when it crossed the center line and ran into a OXBO 9500 XP Pea Harvester.

It's possible another vehicle was in the area at the time of the crash and if so, investigators would like to interview that car's occupants. Anybody with information should call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 345-3000.

The accident is being investigated by Deputy Frank Bordonaro, Deputy Howard Carlson, Sgt. Eric Seppala and Deputy John Duyssen of the Crash Management Team.

Responding to the scene were the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department, Mercy EMS and State troopers.

Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Wires down, transformer leaking on Town Line Road, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in bergen

Wires are down and a transformer is leaking at 7520 Town Line Road, Bergen. The location is between Jerico and Pocock roads. Bergen fire is responding.

UPDATE 1:09 p.m.: A utility pole is also down.

UPDATE 1:10 p.m.: Fire Police are requested to shut down traffic on Town Line Road at Jerico and Pocock roads.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m.: National Grid is on scene.

UPDATE 2:55 p.m.: The Bergen assignment is back in service.

UPDATE 8 p.m.: Michael Lovett sent in this picture about a half hour ago and said repairs are complete and power is restored.

Friday, June 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

'70s celebrated as happy days at Gillam-Grant's 40th birthday bash

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, Gillam-Grant Community Center

My first introduction to nostalgia was American Graffiti and Happy Days. For a time in the 1970s, nostalgia for the 1950s was big. I performed "She's 16" in my junior high school choir's '50s review show.

I remember talking with my mom about the concept of nostalgia and she said, "You know, someday, people will be nostalgic about the 1970s." I told her, "nah, that will never happen."

Yesterday, the '70s came to life again at the Gillam-Grant Community Center for a celebration of the center's 40th anniversary.

As tunes from the Partridge Family, the Bee Gees and Fleetwood Mac blasted from a boombox, folks could munch on Twinkies and Pringles while sipping Tang.

Many in the crowd dressed for the occasion.

Loren Penman told me the printed invitation for the event noted that the 1970s were really a diverse decade. It went from "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" to "Staying Alive," and I added, "and "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "God Save the Queen'' (though there was nobody dressed like Joey Ramone or Sid Vicious at the event).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 10:46 am

Law and Order: Otis Street resident charged after child bitten by dog

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

Tami L. Mileham, 40, of Otis Street, Batavia, is charged with a prohibited nuisance. Mileham's Rottweiler allegedly bit a 9-year-old child. The Rottweiler was seized and is currently being held at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Kathleen E. Gonzalez, 52, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with issuing a bad check. Gonzalez is accused of issuing a bad check March 11. She turned herself in on an arrest warrant and posted $500 bail.

Markeda D. Starks, 23, of Campbell Street, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Starks was arrested on a warrant by State Police in Canandaigua stemming from an alleged incident at 9:05 p.m. June 16 in which Starks shoved another person during an argument. Starks was turned over to Batavia PD and arraigned on the charge and posted $300 bail.

Willie J. Miles Jr., 50, of Aberdeen Street, Rochester, was arrested for alleged failure to appear. Miles was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Jerica J. Barber, 39, of Mix Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal tampering, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child. Barber allegedly committed the crimes of criminal tampering and criminal mischief (no details given) at 4:37 p.m., June 14. Barber allegedly resisted arrest in the presence of a child under age 17.

Eric John Betz, 31, of Genesee Street, Alden, is charged with disorderly conduct/obscene language/noise. Betz allegedly screamed obscenities during a domestic dispute in a public place at 440 Ellicott St., Batavia, at 9:34 p.m. on June 17.

Cheryle Jones, 32, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle. Jones was also charged under Leandra's Law with aggravated DWI. Jones was stopped by Ontario County Sheriff's deputies on Route 5 in Canandaigua for an alleged traffic violation. (Source)

Nicholas R. Graves, 18, of 7317 Griswold Road, Bergen, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Graves is accused of having sexual contact with a child under age 17 in the Village of Le Roy. Graves was arraigned and ordered to stay away from the victim.

Benjamin P. Hilton, 25, of 25 Bacon St.. Apt. E, Le Roy, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Hilton is accused of intentionally breaking the window of a business on Mill Street on Saturday.

Heather Ann Johnson, 41, of Calla Way, Cheektowaga, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, inadequate lights, driving left of pavement markings in no passing zone and refusal to take breath test. Johnson was stopped at 11:53 p.m. Tuesday on Genesee Street, Darien, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Joseph Jonathan Kuzma, 34, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Kuzma is accused of stealing money from his employer in Bergen.

Daniel S. Curry, 36, of Webster, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and driving while using mobile phone. Curry was stopped at 11:40 p.m. June 16 by State Police on Route 77, Darien.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm

GCC announces Spring semester President's List honorees

 

Genesee Community College, including all seven campus locations in Batavia, Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw, proudly announces that the following students are among 484 students who were named to the President's List for the Spring 2014 semester. Students honored on the President's List have maintained full-time enrollment and earned a quality point index of 3.75 (roughly equivalent to an A) or better.

This year's Genesee Community College Spring 2014 President's List honorees, with their hometowns, are listed below:

Kathleen Kwasniewski of Alexander, NY (14005)

Karly Natalizia of Alexander, NY (14005)

Kyle Natalizia of Alexander, NY (14005)

Brittany Taylor of Alexander, NY (14005)

John Winiecki of Alexander, NY (14005)

Jenna Wozniak of Alexander, NY (14005)

Zachary Chiro of Basom, NY (14013)

Amanda Kent of Basom, NY (14013)

Kerry Mills of Basom, NY (14013)

Jessica Pfalzer of Basom, NY (14013)

Robert Barnard of Batavia, NY (14020)

John Bezon of Batavia, NY (14020)

Rachael Bish of Batavia, NY (14020)

Natalie Brown of Batavia, NY (14020)

Erika Bucci of Batavia, NY (14020)

Danielle Cannella of Batavia, NY (14020)

Lynette Celedonia of Batavia, NY (14020)

Ariel Corcoran of Batavia, NY (14020)

Richard DelPlato of Batavia, NY (14020)

Taylor Doty of Batavia, NY (14020)

Danielle Eddy of Batavia, NY (14020)

Cortney Edwards-Fenton of Batavia, NY (14020)

Sara Elliott of Batavia, NY (14020)

Ashley Elmore of Batavia, NY (14020)

Alec Engel of Batavia, NY (14020)

Daniel Fili of Batavia, NY (14020)

Maria Frieday of Batavia, NY (14020)

Chelsea Gerace of Batavia, NY (14020)

Bernadette Goodenbery of Batavia, NY (14020)

Kelly Goodheart of Batavia, NY (14020)

Joseph Hall of Batavia, NY (14020)

Virginia Henning of Batavia, NY (14020)

Sarah Hulburt-Emerson of Batavia, NY (14020)

Megan Jacques of Batavia, NY (14020)

Cathy Jacques of Batavia, NY (14020)

Lee Johnson of Batavia, NY (14020)

Michelle Kantz of Batavia, NY (14020)

Kimberly Kingsley of Batavia, NY (14020)

Nicole Kline of Batavia, NY (14020)

Sharon Knaudt of Batavia, NY (14020)

Michael Korczak of Batavia, NY (14020)

Janelle Marble of Batavia, NY (14020)

Tony Martyn of Batavia, NY (14020)

Koree McAllister of Batavia, NY (14020)

Macey McCulley of Batavia, NY (14020)

Rebecca Meloon of Batavia, NY (14020)

Jennifer Merle of Batavia, NY (14020)

Sydney Moag of Batavia, NY (14020)

Alexandra Mruczek of Batavia, NY (14020)

Brittney Okoniewski of Batavia, NY (14020)

Maryssa Peirick of Batavia, NY (14020)

Daniel Plath of Batavia, NY (14020)

Robynn Prichett of Batavia, NY (14020)

Andrea Pursel of Batavia, NY (14020)

Crystal Rindell of Batavia, NY (14020)

Kimberly Samuelson of Batavia, NY (14020)

Sarah Sanchez-Anderson of Batavia, NY (14020)

John Sherman of Batavia, NY (14020)

Brenda Smelski of Batavia, NY (14020)

Meghan Tiede of Batavia, NY (14020)

Michelle Williams of Batavia, NY (14020)

Rebecca Woodruff of Batavia, NY (14020)

Courtney Amesbury of Bergen, NY (14416)

Diana Bonilla of Bergen, NY (14416)

Gina Constable of Bergen, NY (14416)

Brandy Hare of Bergen, NY (14416)

Ellen Kirkpatrick of Bergen, NY (14416)

David Mackey of Bergen, NY (14416)

Brendan Murray of Bergen, NY (14416)

Kayla Curry of Byron, NY (14422)

Dawn Fooks of Byron, NY (14422)

Emily George of Byron, NY (14422)

Brandy Harmon of Byron, NY (14422)

Dakota Longhini of Byron, NY (14422)

Heather Balcerzak of Corfu, NY (14036)

Bryan Cox of Corfu, NY (14036)

Alexander Farley of Corfu, NY (14036)

Joelle Fugle of Corfu, NY (14036)

Ryan Graham of Corfu, NY (14036)

Jennie Lipinski of Corfu, NY (14036)

Sandra Buxton of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Christina Haniszewski of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Austin Heberlein of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Jillian Hutzler of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Jennifer McNutt of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Rachel Walker of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Nicole Draves of East Bethany, NY (14054)

Bianca Nolt of East Bethany, NY (14054)

Emily Pelton of East Bethany, NY (14054)

Travis Schmieder of East Bethany, NY (14054)

Alexander Uptegrove of East Bethany, NY (14054)

Jacqueline Joyce of East Pembroke, NY (14056)

Madison Dentino of Elba, NY (14058)

Melissa Engle of Elba, NY (14058)

Christopher Green of Elba, NY (14058)

Tabitha Moreland of Elba, NY (14058)

Ryan Vlack of Elba, NY (14058)

Jaime Arena of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Betsy Griffith of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Peter Hollands of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Kelsey LaVare of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Rebekah Miller of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Jessica Mortimer of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Shelbi O'Geen of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Erica Parker of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Samantha Platek of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Nicole Polisoto of LeRoy, NY (14482)

William Simmons of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Jordan Tillotson of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Hailey White of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Sarah Worley of LeRoy, NY (14482)

Jonathon Cassiano of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Jessica Cherry of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Trevor Dayka of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Stacy Martino of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Carrie Ohlson of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Cara Sceusa of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Kristie Scroger of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Alyse Shamp of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Katie Spence of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Arielle Thompson of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Mellisa Wells of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Richard Apley of Pavilion, NY (14525)

James Babcock of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Trevor Berkemeier of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Brian DeFisher of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Kaitlin Draper of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Charles Janes of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Marissa Kingsley of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Sean Love of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Cody NiCastro of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Johnathan Peritore of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Peter Sherman of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Jennifer Cone of Stafford, NY (14143)

Nicole Moody of Stafford, NY (14143)

Genesee Community College offers more than 60 academic programs and certificates including the new Associate in Applied Science degree in Food Processing Technology which helps meet the demands of the thriving food manufacturing industry in Western New York.

Genesee is accessible through seven campus locations throughout Western New York, as well as through its online learning program. College housing is available at College Village, just a three-minute walk from the Batavia Campus. With small class sizes, yet state-of-the-art technology both inside and out of the classroom, Genesee Community College is known for being "high-tech" and "high-touch."

Monday, June 23, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Nationwide auto auction chain to purchase 30 acres for new facility in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, business, GCEDC

A company that specializes in auctioning off "total loss" vehicles is planning to move its Rochester location to Bergen.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center Board on Monday approved the sale of 30 acres in Appletree Acres Corporate Park to Insurance Auto Auctions, which has more than 160 locations nationwide.

IAA runs salvage auto auctions, selling cars that insurance companies have declared totaled, either because of accident, weather damage or theft. 

The company says on its Web site that more than 3.5 million vehicles in the U.S. are declared a total loss each year.

Some of the vehicles can be repaired and resold; others are good only for scap or parts.

By state law, only dealers can purchase cars that have been declared salvage.

The company will pay $600,000 for the property and plans to invest $3.5 million and $4 million on the new facility.

Between IAA and vendors, the location will employ 10 to 15 people.

Information on any tax abatements IAA may receive is not yet available.

Steve Tibble, IAA's director of real estate and development, said the company will next apply to the Town of Bergen for all the site and plan approvals.

"We plan on being open as fast as we can," Tibble said.

Friday, June 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Law and Order: Rochester man charged for Dec. 27 burglary in Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Darien
Giovanni Rosario

Giovanni Louis Rosario, 21, of Conkey Avenue, Rochester, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Rosario was arrested on a warrant out of Town of Darien Court. He's accused of being involved in a burglary reported at 1 p.m., Dec. 27, on Tinkham Road, Darien. Rosario was ordered held on $10,000 bail. The suspect is currently being held in the Monroe County Jail on unrelated charges.

James Ross Sweet, 53, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Sweet allegedly initiated contact with a person he is barred from contacting by court order.

Timothy Joseph Clark, 54, of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Clark allegedly grabbed a woman he knows. The alleged incident was reported at 2:45 p.m., Wednesday.

Mark Anthony DiManno, 56, of Ridgeview  Drive, East Rochester, is charged with criminal trespass. DiManno was arrested on a warranted and arraigned in Town of Batavia Court.

Alyssa N. Bannerman, 20, of Brockport, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, and unlawful possession of marijuana; A 17-year-old from Brockport is charged with conspiracy, 6th, and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th; and, Antonio J. Goodson, 24, of Medina, is charged with conspiracy, 5th, and petit larceny. The trio was arrest by State Police in relation to an alleged larceny reported at Kmart at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday. No further details released.

Todd R. Stanton, 32, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and harassment, 2nd. Stanton was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 7:48 a.m., Monday. No further details released.

Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Green Party candidate for governor campaigns in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, Green Party, politics

Story by Sloane Martin, WBTA:

Howie Hawkins is running for governor for the second consecutive election on the Green Party tab.

A recent poll showed that a progressive candidate could cut significantly into the incumbent Democrat’s lead, giving that fresh option a chance.

Hawkins says he can be that candidate.

“We stand for progressive policies that benefit working people,” he said. “I think that’s what that poll says people are looking for. Those are the people who understand Cuomo’s been very conservative economically. He’s underfunded schools, he’s giving tax breaks to the rich and they’re looking for an alternative.

“Our problem is not that they don’t agree with us. It’s that they never heard of us.”

In Bergen Thursday afternoon before meeting with party members from the tri-county area, Hawkins outlined a six-point proposal to turn things around for the Empire State called the Green New Deal. It draws parallels to the Roosevelt domestic programs, but updates them for modern times seeking to bring jobs. For example, Hawkins supports giving unemployed people public jobs, similar to the WPA.

Hawkins says Cuomo’s problem is doing nothing about income inequality.

“The idea is: we give money to the rich and it trickles down; we have decades of evidence to show it doesn’t work. If we restored the progressive tax structure we had in the '70s, we’d have $30 billion more,” he said. “That’s about 21 percent more than we take in now and that would fund the Green New Deal.”

The other points as part of the Green New Deal include raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, ensuring New Yorkers can make a living wage with single-payer health insurance, working to limit segregation in schools, providing affordable housing and mass transit and cultivating renewable energy.

Hawkins also had strong words about hydrofracking. He said the job impact estimates for the controversial natural gas drilling process are greatly exaggerated.

“No one denies the environmental dangers of fracking,” he said. “What’s not being communicated well is the economic benefits of going to 100-percent clean energy by 2030 far outweighs any economic benefits we could get from fracking. The most outlandish estimates I’ve seen from pro-fracking flacks from the industry is 200,000 jobs. We’re talking about 4.5 million jobs over the next 15 years (with clean energy). A lot of those are manufacturing, a lot of those are construction; those are good paying jobs. You want an economic boom? Go with clean energy.”

Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Gillam-Grant Community Center is having a birthday bash -- 1970s style

post by Billie Owens in bergen, events

The Gillam-Grant Community Center is having a '70s-style birthday bash starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 26. All are welcome! Get down and boogie at the center, located at 6966 W. Bergen Road, Bergen.

Event Date and Time

June 26, 2014 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
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