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Monday, September 16, 2013 at 9:05 am

Law and Order: Grand Island man accused of causing disturbance at local hotel

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, Le Roy, Pavilion, south byron, Stafford

James Alvin Daigler, 58, of Stanley Road, Grand Island, is charged with resisting arrest, trespass and disorderly conduct. Daigler is accused of causing a disturbance at the Clarion Hotel, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, at 1:20 a.m., Sunday. He allegedly refused to leave after being ordered to leave and used obscene and offensive language while in public. Daigler was jailed on $500 bail.

Ted E. Kingsley, 40, of 117 State St., upper, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Kingsley allegedly failed to appear on a petit larceny charge related to a theft of beer from Tops. Kingsley was jailed on $1,000 bail.

James A. Chase, 33, no permanent address, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Chase is accused of violating a no-offensive-conduct order of protection by shoving and spitting on the protected person. Chase was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Reinaldo Roman, 41, of 130 W. Main St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Roman is accused of repeatedly threatening to kill another person while in the presence of police. Roman was jailed on $100,000 bail or $200,000 bond.

Shane Zimblis, 42, of 24 Hutchins St., upper, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Zimblis is accused of trespassing on a property on Hutchins Street.

Jamie M. Hamill, 36, of 209 W. Park St., Albion, is charged with criminal trespass. Hamill was allegedly ordered to leave a residence several times and refused to leave.

David N. Taplin, 36, of 54 Newport Drive, Brockport, was arrested on a bench warrant. Taplin allegedly failed to show up at the jail for an imposed weekend sentence. Taplin was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Terry T. Saddler Jr., 37, of 112 State St., lower, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Saddler was picked up on a warrant out of Brockport by Batavia PD and allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Brandy Lee Stalica, 38, of Route 63, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Stalica allegedly subjected another woman to physical contact during a custody exchange. The alleged incident was reported at 8:31 p.m., Friday, at a location on East Bethany -- Le Roy Road.

Jennifer Joan Wolcott, 43, of East Bethany -- Le Roy Road, Stafford, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wolcott allegedly had physical contact with another person during an argument. The alleged incident was reported at 8:31 p.m., Friday, at a location on East Bethany -- Le Roy Road.

Eric Jon Merritt, 24, of Rose Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, reckless driving, failure to stop at stop sign, failure to signal, failure to yield to emergency vehicle and failure to keep right. Merritt was stopped at 4:06 p.m. Saturday on Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Deborah Ann Scholonski, 43, of Keeney Road, Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Scholonski allegedly sent a text message to a neighbor she had been told not to contact.

Marilyn Lois Weinert, 61, of Route 237, South Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to dim headlights and failure to keep right. Weinert was stopped at 2:06 a.m. Saturday on Byron Holley Road, South Byron, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Thomas Patrick Lester, 45, of Lake Road, Brockport, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, driving left of pavement markings and failure to keep right. Lester was stopped at 4:12 p.m. Thursday by Sgt. Ron Meides.

Timothy M. Fingland, 24, of Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. Fingland was stopped on Route 63, Batavia, at 8;59 p.m. Friday by State Police.

Tammy L. Long, 40, of Cheektowaga, and Paul J. Dipalma, 49, of Cheektowaga, are both charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Long and Dipalma were arrested by State Police in connnection with an alleged crime reported in the Town of Batavia on Jan. 17. Both were jailed on $5,000 bail each. No further details released.

Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

Local Libertarians oppose state taking house to build roundabout in East Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, genesee county libertarian party, roundabout

Press release:

The United States Constitution was crafted to protect the rights of individuals. An Eminent Domain clause was entered into the 5th Amendment to protect individual property owners from seizure of their property without the just cause of “public use,” and not without "just compensation."

We at the Genesee County Libertarian Party (GCLP) stand firmly against the seizure of the Douglas family home in East Bethany, NY. There can be no "just compensation" for a family who is forced to sell their home against their wishes. This violation of rights affects all taxpayers as well, since there is no justice in forcing said taxpayers to compensate property owners for a theft committed by bureaucratic means.

While it may be so that a roundabout will reduce the chances of accidents at this particular intersection, the GCLP believes that there are less expensive, and less intrusive solutions available to the NYS DOT which would could help alleviate this issue, while still respecting the individual rights of its citizens.

The GCLP urges the NYS DOT to explore those options, save the taxpayers undue expenses, and offer the Douglas family the security of knowing they are safe from government eviction.

Friday, September 13, 2013 at 9:54 am

DOT presents case for Suicide Corners roundabout, listens to residents' opposition

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, roundabout, Suicide Corners

Town of Bethany residents heard for the first time Thursday night details from Department of Transportation officials on their plans to build a roundabout at Suicide Corners.

There were dozens of citizens in the room. None seemed to favor the roundabout proposal, even after a stats-packed presentation by the state's leading specialist on roundabouts.

"Yeah, something needs to be done, but I don't believe spending that much money is the way to go," said resident Jeff Bloomberg. "I think there are cheaper alternatives."

DOT officials said they looked at all of the alternatives -- from rumble strips to four-way stops -- and concluded a roundabout, at a cost of $2.6 million, is the only solution that addresses all of the issues that have contributed to so many accidents at the intersection.

Where East Road and Route 20 meet, there is a hill to the west that provides less than ideal visibility while a driver looking to the east can see for up to a mile.

Ironically, nearly all the crashes involve cars and trucks coming from the east.

"People get fixated on the hill and even though they can see a mile down the road (to the east), they miss the car 100 feet away," said DOT Project Engineer Eric Thompson (inset photo).

For the study period, going back to the 1990s, there have been 36 total crashes at the intersection and three fatal accidents. There have been 18 right-angle crashes (meaning cross traffic) and 14 of those have involved westbound vehicles.

The agency has tried widening the intersection, adding more signs and adding bigger signs, but nothing, Thompson said, has really improved the intersection much.

There isn't much you can do about inattentive drivers other than slow them down and lessen the chances of right-angle impacts, officials said.

A roundabout does that.

Rich Schell (second photo), the state's roundabout specialist, said that on a nationwide basis, roundabouts have reduced accidents where they've been installed by nearly 40 percent. The number of injury crashes by 76 percent and the number of fatal accidents by 89 percent.

Colorado is one of the nation's leaders, with 200 roundabouts now, in installing such intersections.

Schell referred repeatedly a DOT-installed roundabout in Mendon. The intersection, like Suicide Corners, is rural and involves a heavily trafficked highway with a lot of truck traffic.

During one woman's comments, Schell again pointed to the Mendon roundabout and the woman snapped, "I'm tired of hearing about Mendon. Let's talk about here."

"Well, I like to talk about success," Schell said.

The most serious accidents at Route 20 and East Road involve either northbound cars blowing right through the intersection or making a rolling stop and then continuing.

Only a roundabout, Schell said, addresses both of those issues.

Schell played a video of at least a dozen accidents at intersections that had red light cameras installed. Repeatedly, cars didn't even slow as they approached the red light, even with tractor-trailers in their path or four or five cars crossing in front of them.

"Red light cameras do not save lives," Schell said.

There's simply no device that can be installed at an intersection that solves the problem of distracted drivers. 

"Everybody has had the experience of driving through an intersection and saying, 'Damn, I just ran a red light,' " Schell said. "A roundabout demands your attention and that is what's needed at this intersection."

Rumble strips might slow drivers, but that still doesn't mean they will be as attentive as they should be at the intersection. Rumble strips would not have saved the driver in one accident at the intersection who came to a rolling stop before proceeding.

Many area residents who have seen the roundabout at Oak Street question the raised red-brick median in the middle of the intersection. People have called it a design flaw and implied it's not well thought out.

The raised center serves a very important purpose, Schell explained after the meeting.

"That's important to keep cars from straightening out the curve and going 40 miles per hour through there," Schell said. "Curves dictate speed. There's a direct relationship. People don't like to hear their tires squeal, so putting a curb out there allows trucks to still get through but deflects cars and lowers their speed. Lowering speed is what it's all about."

Slower cars give drivers a better chance at driving defensively and more reaction time to avoid drivers who are ignoring the rules of the road, Schell said.

Even after Schell's presentation and a more than 30 minute question and answer period, the public speakers were uniformly opposed to the roundabout proposal.

"I am dismayed that the only solution that seems to be, at least according to the NY DOT, is a roundabout," said County Legislator Esther Leadley.

There was a sense, people said, that the decision has already been made.

"I think this meeting has been educational and it's got a lot of information," Frank Morris said. "I do think the DOT has turned a blind eye to everything but a roundabout. This meeting is just a formality. Your minds were all made up before we came in here. The input we put in here tonight, I don't believe it was welcomed and I don't believe it was taken seriously."

To some degree the very proposal of a roundabout can be traced back to a petition Tom and Debbie Douglas passed around several years ago.

And that's ironic, Tom Douglas (top photo) noted, because if the roundabout is built, it is his home that will be destroyed.

A firefighter, Douglas is all about safety, but he doesn't believe a roundabout is the logical next step for the DOT, not before rumble strips are tried.

"A simple solution, that I brought to you before, is rumble strips," Douglas said. "In 2004, I was standing right outside, on my front law and I watched that vehicle on East Road. I could see them. I heard the Jake brake. They were talking, having a conversation. They never even touched a brake. A rumble strip would have woken them up."

The couple has raised five children in their more than 200-year-old home. Even though DOT officials promise to do everything possible to find them a suitable replacement home to their liking, that's easier said than done, Douglas noted after the meeting.

He likes older homes, but doesn't want to repeat the massive amount of restoration work and expense he's already put into his house.

The house was once a road stop for weary travelers on historic Route 20.

Dave Carley, a town resident and architect noted that Route 20 was once the longest continuous highway in the nation. It's history goes back even further than English settlements.

The former tavern is more than just a building inconveniently located for new construction.

"It is a piece of our historical heritage in our town," Carley said. "(Tearing it down is) one of the things that happen and continues to happen across the country that we should not allow to happen. It's a beautiful old building."

UPDATE: There is a Facebook group now, Save the Douglas Home in East Bethany.

Dave Fleenor

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Trailer fire reported at Lei-Ti Campgrounds, Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, fire

A trailer fire is reported at Lei-Ti Campgrounds, at 9979 Francis Road, Bethany.

Bethany and Town of Batavia fire departments responding.

UPDATE 7:38 p.m.: A chief responding can see smoke. Alexander's tanker requested to the scene. The fire is in the back in the "overflow" area.

UPDATE 8:10 p.m.: The fire is out.

UPDATE: The trailer was a 30-foot, fifth-wheel travel trailer that had sat unoccupied for about two years. The cause of the fire is not yet determined.

Monday, September 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm

DOT hosting meeting to discuss roundabout and lowering hill at Suicide Corners

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Route 20, Suicide Corners

Press Release:

New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) officials will host a public hearing Thursday to detail proposed safety improvements at the intersection of Route 20 and East Road in the town of Bethany, Genesee County. NYSDOT will present the preferred alternative for the project, which includes construction of a modern roundabout and lowering the hill.

The public hearing will convene at 6:30 p.m. at the Bethany Community Center, located at 10510 Bethany Center Road. A short project overview including engineering, traffic and environmental, and right-of-way aspects of the project will be presented. Verbal comments will be recorded and written comments will be received.  Comments received by September 23 will be made part of the official project record and evaluated prior to finalizing the design alternative.

Highlights of the project design proposed under this alternative include lowering the profile of the hill on Route 20 just west of the intersection as well as building a modern roundabout to replace the existing dual stop signs and flashing red light. A roundabout will require vehicles approaching the intersection from both roads to decrease travel speeds. More information about the safety benefits of roundabouts can be found online at www.dot.ny.gov/20eastroad.

Accident statistics since 1998 show 36 total collisions including three fatal crashes. The accident pattern shows right angle and sight-distance related collisions, mainly from vehicles entering the intersection from East Road and often times failing to yield. The purpose of the project is to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes at this intersection.

The Draft Design Report is now available for public review. It is a comprehensive document that presents details of the preferred design alternative along with all the required supporting engineering evaluations and environmental studies.  A copy is available for viewing at the Bethany Town Hall or at the DOT Regional Office, located at 1530 Jefferson Road in Henrietta.  Portions of the report are also available on the project Web site at www.dot.ny.gov/20Eastroad  .

Construction for this $2.5 million project is scheduled for the summer of 2015.  Under this proposal, traffic would be maintained on Route 20 with construction of a temporary by-pass road. East Road traffic would be detoured.

The location for the meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. If anyone requires special accommodations to participate in this meeting, please contact Eric Thompson at 585-272-349.

Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 8:05 pm

House on fire on East Bethany - Le Roy Road

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire, Le Roy

A working house fire is reported at 6908 East Bethany - Le Roy Road. Le Roy and Pavilion fire departments are responding. Stafford is asked to stand by in their hall. Town of Batavia fire is called to shut down traffic at Route 63 and East Bethany - Le Roy Road.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: Stafford is called to the scene.

UPDATE 8:18 p.m.: After calling for assistance from York, Caledonia and Bergen, with a standby from Mumford, command tells responders on the road to back it down. The fire appears to be contained to a corner of the structure. They have accessed the attic and are ventilating it.

UPDATE 8:23 p.m.: There is residual heat but no active fire. York and Caledonia are told to go back in service. Bergen can continue to the scene non-emergency.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: Le Roy and Pavilion are back in service along with other responders. The fire is out. The roads are reopened.

UPDATE (by Howard): A quick response by volunteer firefighters helped contain the fire to the southeast corner of the house. The cause is undetermined at this time. A resident was fighting the fire with a garden hose when Le Roy firefighters arrived on scene. There was some smoke extension into the attic. The property is owned by Peter Paliani.

Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Vehicle strikes guard rail on Route 63, injuries reported, Bethany responding

post by Billie Owens in accident, Bethany, Pavilion

A vehicle has struck a guard rail and injuries are reported at 6104 Route 63, north of Transit Road. The vehicle is blocking the roadway. Bethany Fire Department and Ambulance Service are responding. The road is being shut down. After this accident, a tractor-trailer reportedly hit something, like a pole, in the area. Town of Batavia Fire Police are asked to close southbound Route 63 at East Road. Pavilion Fire Police are asked to shut down northbound Route 63 traffic at Texaco Town.

UPDATE 9:02 p.m.: Responders are back in service. Roads reopened. No word on status of victims(s).

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 8:34 pm

What is a Christian? An example to follow!

I am a Christian was the title of a recent sermon I heard that got my attention. What exactly is a Christian? A Christian is a person who believes with their heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins. It is a person who confesses their sin to God in prayer and asks for His forgiveness (Romans 10:9-10). It is a person who desires to live a life pleasing to God. It is a person who denies himself to become a follower of Christ (Luke 9:23). What does it mean to become a follower of Christ? It is a choice to commit yourself to God moment by moment, making your relationship with Him important, putting Him first. It’s about making choices that will please our Lord, striving to become more and more like Him. The bible says, “This is how we know we are in Him: whoever claims to be in Him must walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6). Let’s look at Jesus, who He is and what He has done. The bible tells us that God the Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life (John 3:16). He came to serve, and to become a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). It doesn’t take long after watching or reading the news to see that we live in a world that is far from perfect. It is a world full of sin and evil. Jesus came and laid down His life for us, He was nailed to the cross to take our sin for us. Those who call to Him for forgiveness will be saved from the consequence of their sin, eternal separation from Him (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ carried the burden of all our sins out of His love for us. He was beaten, spit upon, mocked, and whipped to the point of near death. He had a crown of thorns placed upon His head, stripped of His clothes, and then nailed to a cross (Mark 15:16-32; Matthew 27:26-31). He did this for you and for me. He endured the suffering for us and took our place. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). While Jesus was on earth, He humbly served others, putting them before himself. He was a teacher of God’s Word and told others how to receive eternal life through Him (John 3:1-21; John 4:1-26). He would withdraw to desolate places often to seek His Father in heaven (Luke 5:16). He was a man of prayer! The bible tells us that Jesus was raised from the dead after three days and now sits on the right hand of God the Father where He intercedes for us. Jesus Christ is still praying, praying for you and for me (Romans 8:34). Do you say, “I am a Christian?” Are there some things we as Christians need to change? Look again at our example in Jesus Christ. He was forgiving…are we? He was willing to be mocked for the sake of doing His Fathers will…are we? He served others and put them before himself…do we? He told others about the way to eternal life…do we? He was a praying man…are we? May we as Christians do what we need to do to become followers of Jesus Christ. He is our example! One way to become more like Him is to learn how to pray. The bible teaches us about prayer. Batavia Assembly of God, located at 24 North Spruce Street, is hosting its 3rd annual prayer conference September 13th from 6pm to 9pm (registration from 6pm-7pm), and September 14th from 8am to 4pm. Dick LaFountain will be the keynote speaker. Dick's passion is to motivate a renewed love for prayer and the presence of God in our churches. The title for the conference is “Presence, Prayer and the Power of God”. Elmwood Drive will lead worship. The registration fee is $15 per person, $20 per couple. Breakfast and lunch are included. You may register by calling the church at 585-343-8521. Please register by Sept 6th. Payment is at the door. Hope to see you there.

Event Date and Time

September 2, 2013 - 8:25pm
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

Law and Order: Seven Springs resident charged with harassment after argument with neighbor

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, Bethany, corfu, crime, Oakfield

Joseph Andrew Hernick, 64, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hernick is accused of being verbally abusive and attempting to be physically intimidating toward a neighbor.

James A. Hancock, 44, of 318 E. Main St., Apt. 6, Batavia, is charged with aggravated criminal contempt. Hancock allegedly violated an order of protection while having a prior criminal contempt conviction within five years.

Patrick O. Spikes, 32, of 16 Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Spikes is accused of damaging property of another person valued at more than $250 during an alleged incident on Holland Avenue at 2:30 a.m., Saturday.

Keluan B. Williams, 24, of 109 Summit St., Apt. 2, Batavia, is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17 years old. The alleged incident was reported at 3:30 p.m., Saturday. No further details released.

Danny D. Williams, 24, of 18 East Ave., upper, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle on a public highway. Williams was allegedly found driving at 6:54 p.m. Saturday on Hutchins Place by Officer Chad Richards. At the time of the traffic stop, Williams allegedly had an open can of Natural Light beer in the driver's side cup holder.

Brandi A. Watts, 32, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is was arrested on a warrant yesterday following a court appearance on an unrelated matter. Watts is accused of failure to pay a fine on an overnight parking ticket in the City of Batavia.

Eric Alexander Ion, 40, of Brant Road, Brant, was arrested on bench warrants related to charges of criminal contempt, 1st, and assault, 3rd. Ion is accused of failing to appear on these charges. Ion is currently being held on bail in the Genesee County Jail on matters in Family Court.

Faith Brenda Obeirne, 45, of Mt. Read Boulevard, Rochester, was arrested on warrants for alleged petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Obeirne was arrested by Rochester PD and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. Obeirne was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Conor Patrick Wilkes, 25, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Wilkes was stopped at 1:31 a.m. Saturday on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Justin Joseph Caryl, 26, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Caryl is accused of stealing $25.94 in merchandise from Walmart.

Jake Philip Myers, 23, of Maple Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, failure to keep right and no or inadequate headlights. Myers was stopped at 1:48 a.m. Saturday on Edgerton Road, Elba, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Evelio Rodriguez-Santiago, 46, of Bergen, is charged with petit larceny. Rodriguez-Santiago is accused of stealing an item of value at a location on Church Street, Bergen, at 6:15 p.m., Saturday. Rodriguez-Santiago was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Timothy J. Poblocki, 24, of East Bethany, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Poblocki was stopped at 1:45 p.m. Sunday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Jennifer N. Bujnowski, 39, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Bujnowski is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Photos: Horseshoe tournament at Skyline Campground, Alexander

Every year, guests of Skyline Campground in Alexander square off against guests of Lei-Ti Campground in Bethany in a horseshoe tournament. Today was the first meeting of the two teams this year at Skyline. Next week, the tournament moves to Lei-Ti.

Featured in our shots are George Siano, of Florida, and Roy Hovey, of Rochester.

Skyline's cheering section doing the wave.

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