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Billie Owens's blog

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Motorcycle wreck at Bank and Starowitz, Elba, rider is consious and alert

post by Billie Owens in accidents, elba

A motorcycle accident is reported at Bank Street Road and Starowitz Road. The rider is conscious and alert. Elba fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE 2:01 p.m.: The Elba assignment is back in service.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Volunteers wanted to serve on city's Housing Authority board and Planning & Development Committee

post by Billie Owens in batavia

Press release:

The City Manager is seeking city residents who are interested in volunteering as a member of the following:

  • Batavia Housing Authority
  • Planning and Development Committee

Residents interested in applying can obtain an application from the City Clerk's Office or can visit our Web site at www.batavianewyork.com and download a Committee/Board Volunteer Application under Documents.

Applications are due to the City Clerk's Office by Friday, July 18.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:

Office of the City Manager

One Batavia City Centre

Batavia, NY 14020

Phone: (585) 345-6330

FAX: (585) 343-8182

E-mail: jmolina@batavianewyork.com


Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Center Street to close Thursday morning for power pole replacement

post by Billie Owens in batavia

Notice from the city Department of Public Works:

National Grid will be replacing a large power pole on Center Street on Thursday, July 10th. This work will require Center Street to be closed to traffic between Main Street and School Street from approximately 9 to 11 a.m.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

NY Sire Stakes to be held in Genesee County for the first time tomorrow night at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in

Press release:

On Thursday, July 10, Batavia Downs will become the newest stop on the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) fair circuit when the Genesee County leg of that series convenes for the first time.

It's been a long and circuitious route for this to occur.

The Genesee County Agricultural Society has held an annual fair in Batavia, NY, since 1839. And from 1890 through 1946 they called the current site of Batavia Downs their home. The track was known as Exposition Park and every year harness racing was one of the most anticipated events on the fair schedule.

But in 1947 when Batavia Downs founder Pat Provenzano bought the property he had originally leased from the society to expand his growing pari-mutuel empire, the fair relocated to another site and fair racing in Genesee County ceased.

Since the inception of the New York Sire Stake in 1961, there has never been a fair date contest in Genesee County until now and the addition became a reality because of a natural disaster that occurred last year.

Todd Haight, Batavia Downs director/general manager of live racing said “Last year we held the Caledonia Fair races at Batavia Downs when their track in Livingston County was washed out by heavy rain. And it was a great success. We had a large crowd here and the racing was great. So we thought, why not host fair racing here every year?”

Haight contacted the NYSS and the Genesee County Agricultural Society and the groups came together with a plan. The result of that collaboration is the return of fair racing to the track they left  seven decades ago.

“We’re happy to be partnering with the Genesee County Fair folks on hosting the races and all the activities that go along with them. I see no reason why the fair races couldn’t become an annual event here at Batavia Downs,” Haight concluded.

Nick O'Geen, Genesee County Agricultural Society Board member said “This is a unique opportunity for the Genesee County Fair to partner with Batavia Downs to bring harness racing to back the fair.”

Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.

In addition to the races, there will be events for the whole family on the track apron including carnival games, a bounce house, a juggler and a balloon artist. Also available will be a $3 lunch special for kids 12 and younger as well as $1 ice cream cones, snow cones and cotton candy. Fair events at Batavia Downs run from 11 until 4.

Batavia Downs will also be offering discounted advance sale tickets for other fair events and with the purchase of any ticket, will provide a $10 free-play voucher redeemable on their gaming floor.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Person stuck in elevator on South Main Street

post by Billie Owens in batavia

A person is stuck in an elevator at 172 1/2 S. Main St. City fire is responding. The location is The Meadows senior apartment complex.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: The person is safely out of the elevator.

UPDATE 1:54 p.m.: City Ladder #15 is returning to service.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Car crashes into tree on Maltby Road, Elba, unknown injuries

post by Billie Owens in accidents, elba

A car struck a tree at 3903 Maltby Road, just west of Weatherwax Road. Unknown injuries. Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: Responders report there is one patient with minor injuries.

UPDATE 3:36 p.m.: One patient is being transported to the hospital in Medina.

Monday, July 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Rollover accident with injuries on Maple Avenue Road, Oakfield

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Oakfield

A rollover accident with injuries is reported at 2990 Maple Ave. Road, west of Pine Street. Oakfield fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 6:23 p.m.: Oakfield is returning to service.

Monday, July 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect until 10 p.m.

post by Billie Owens in weather

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued by the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., and is in effect now through 10 p.m.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: The watch has been cancelled.

Monday, July 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

YWCA not offering farmer's market this year

post by Billie Owens in announcements, farmer's market, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County has been doing some restructuring and, as a result, will not offer The Market @ North Street this year.

The Sunday market will be reconsidered next year. For more information, call (585) 343-5808.

Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Car vs. motorcycle wreck on Cedar Street by Ellicott Street in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A car vs. motorcycle accident is reported on Cedar Street near Ellicott Street. A law enforcement officer on scene says the motorcycle rider is "up and walking around." City fire is on scene and Mercy medics are responding.

Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Car vs. motorcycle accident with injuries reported on Pearl Street Road

post by Billie Owens in

A car vs. motorcycle wreck with injuries is reported at 3904 Pearl Street Road. Town of Batavia fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Mercy Flight is on ground standby at the Batavia hangar. The location of the accident is between Donohue Road and Treadeasy Avenue.

UPDATE 1:09 p.m.: Mercy medics are transporting one patient to the hangar. A second ambulance is called to the scene.

UPDATE 1:12 p.m.: The second ambulance is cancelled and the first rig will transport two patients to ECMC. Mercy Flight was cancelled.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m. (by Howard): According to Deputy Joseph Graff, it appears at this point in the investigation, that a Harley-Davidson and a Mercury Sable were both westbound on Route 33. The car slowed and proceeded to make a left-hand turn into a driveway and the motorcycle appears to have attempted to pass the car on the left. The driver of the motorcycle reportedly told deputies that the car had pulled to the shoulder before turning left. The car was turning into the driver's in-laws' residence and a neighbor said the driver had been to the residence many times. The motorcycle struck the driver's side front fender and sheared off the front bumper. It proceeded westbound into a drainage ditch on the southside of the road, struck a culvert and dislodged a piece of rebar that became caught on the bike's handlebars. The bike came to rest just inches short of a fire hydrant. The female passenger reportedly suffered a serious leg injury. The male driver reportedly asked to be a sign-off, but was transported to ECMC with his passenger as a precaution. The names of those involved have not yet been released.

Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Two-car accident with possible minor injuries near town park in Corfu

post by Billie Owens in accidents, corfu

A two-car accident with possible minor injuries is reported in the area of the town park in Corfu, 8813 Alleghany Road. Mercy medics are on scene and Corfu fire is responding.

Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 6:55 pm

House filling with smoke on Broadway Road, Darien

post by Billie Owens in Darien, fire

A house is reportedly filling with smoke at 1033 Broadway Road, just west of Warner Road. Darien Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 6:59 p.m.: The homeowner says they contacted National Grid three hours ago to report a possible electrical problem, but never received a response. GC Dispatch is attempting to reach the power company to get an ETA.

UPDATE 7:14 p.m.: National Grid has upgraded the call, but still no ETA. A thermal imaging camera is requested.

UPDATE 7: 32 p.m.: National  Grid is on scene.


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.

Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Garage fire on Montclair Avenue

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A garage fire is reported in the city next to the residence at 12 Montclair Ave. Engine 11 and Ladder 15 are en route.

UPDATE 12:56 p.m.: Responders report smoke showing from a detached garage.

UPDATE 12:57 p.m.: The fire has gone to a second alarm.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: The Fast Team is called to the scene.

UPDATE 1:01 p.m.: All off-duty city fire personnel called to the scene along with Darien Fire Department. Town of Batavia fire is asked to stand by in the town's hall.

UPDATE 1:06 p.m.: Scene command reports the fire is knocked down. Alexander's Fast Team is called to respond non-emergency.

Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 12:32 am

Fully involved structure fire on North Road, Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy

A working structure is reported at 7993 8005 North Road in Le Roy. Le Roy, Stafford and Pavilion fire departments are responding along with the city's Fast Team.

UPDATE 12:33 a.m.: A responder on scene reports "there is an exposure problem with a propane tank." A "full assignment" from Caledonia is requested along with Bergen. City's first platoon is called to its headquarters to stand by. National Grid is called in.

UPDATE 12:36 a.m.: A crew from York is called to stand by in Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 12:93 a.m.: The location is just west of Conlon Road.

UPDATE 12:49 a.m.: Command tells responders to proceed to the scene from the east.

UPDATE 12:54 a.m.: A crew from the Town of Batavia is requested to stand by in Le Roy's fire hall. No word on status of the same request from York.

UPDATE 1:17 a.m.: The original address of the fire was an approximation provided by the caller. It is now reported to be 8005 North Road, which is east of Conlon Road, but just west of a creek.

UPDATE 1:20 a.m.: Crews from Alexander and Bethany are called.

UPDATE 1:24 a.m.: Elba and Darien fire departments requested to man tankers in their respective halls.

UPDATE 1:32 a.m.: Now a tanker from Oakfield is requested to fill in at Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 1:35 a.m.: Oakfield is asked to instead man a tanker at its own fire hall.

UPDATE 1:46 a.m.: Looking at the street view on Google Maps, the North Road location is right across the street from the north end of Conlon Road.

UPDATE 2:13 a.m.: According to the Town of Le Roy's 2014 final tax assessment database online, the property is owned by Gregory J. Luetticke-Archbell, who is involved in a lawsuit with two neighboring families regarding his Frost Ridge Campground summer concert series. The 2,512-square-foot house has five bedrooms, two baths, and sits on 9.73 acres. It was built in 1806 and was last purchased in May 2011 for $116,400.

UPDATE 2:45 a.m.: Here's what David Luetticke-Archbell told media at the scene:

“I’m so lucky. Oh God. We were about a block away and coming up the hill and we saw a little bit of flames and some smoke and then I realized there were fire trucks here – there were one or two – and I wasn’t sure what to think. I thought maybe it was a barn or something and then I looked up and there is our home with fire on it and it’s everything that we ever had. And it’s not there anymore and I don’t know what to say – watching them tear this thing down…

"When we moved out here, we scaled down to what we could fit in our RV and we came and there were very few personal effects, just the things that actually had meaning because they came from a parent or a grandparent or something. And there’s nothing left. Absolutely nothing. And I keep telling the kids that it’s going to be OK because we still have each other, but there’s nothing else left and it’s going to have to be enough."

They had been gone all day. When they got home, David said Greg kept calling for their dog, Sadie, to try and get her out. Greg wanted, and tried, to go inside to look for her but was stopped by a Le Roy police officer.

"...an officer said 'no you can't, it's too dangerous.' And he was right because about that time the front of the house – it exploded. I mean you would have thought there was a bomb in there or something. I mean you ... look at this. There’s nothing left. There’s like a frame."

Greg was transported to the hospital. He was visibly shaking at the time. He had a couple of heart attacks a few weeks ago and they took him to the hospital to keep an eye on him, David said, adding that the children's aunt is staying at camp and they will stay with her for "a week or two until we figure it out."

UPDATE 5 a.m.: Le Roy Fire Police told to open the roads back up.

Friday, July 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Car wreck at or near I-490 truck stop at Route 19, Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Le Roy

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries is reported at 7824 Lake Road, at the I-490 ramp at Route 19 -- near or at the truck stop. Le Roy fire and ambulance are called to respond.

Friday, July 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Big barn fire on Little Canada Road, Bethany

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire

A barn fire is reported at 5664 Little Canada Road, Bethany. It was called in by the homeowner. It has already gone to the second alarm. Bethany Fire Department is responding. Howard, en route but still in the city, says "I can see it from here." Alexander is called to the scene and to fill in at Bethany's Fire Hall. The city's Fast Team is called along with the Town of Batavia, Le Roy, Stafford and Pavilion.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Command reports the burning structure is a metal pole barn and the fire will likely be contained to that structure.

UPDATE 2:47 p.m.: The first platoon is called to city fire headquarters.

UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: The third platoon is called to stand by in city headquarters.

UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: The location is between Fargo and Torrey roads.

UPDATE 3:32 p.m.: The fire still has small flames in a few areas and hot spots but appears to be under control, according to Howard at the scene. The area is still very smoky. The pole barn contained no equipment. It was used to store cattle feed and bedding. The operation there raises beef cattle and replacement heifers, plus corn, soybeans and some hay. A crew from Wyoming Correctional Facility will be arriving sometime in the next hour or so to help out.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: Howard interviewed the farmer, Michael Adams, who runs the operation along with his wife, Noreen, and their children. They've owned the property since 1978. It's a little over 500 acres on what was once all corn fields. Of this afternoon's blaze, which totaled the barn built in 1979, Michael said:

“We were fixing a hose in the shop and came out, just got done with it, sent the neighbor back home with it, our tenant actually, back home with the hose. Came around the corner and looked and seen black smoke coming out the one corner of the barn there and that’s when I called 9-1-1 and tried to get down there and see if there was anything I could do but I couldn’t even get near it. It was already hotter than hot, you know."

More T/K

UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: The Bethany assignment is back in service.

Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

City announces street closings for roadwork during week of July 14

post by Billie Owens in

Roadwork is scheduled during the week of July 14 for Union, South Jackson and Otis streets in the city.

Here are the details of street closings provided by the city Bureau of Maintenance:


  • From West Main Street to Richmond Avenue will be closed to all traffic on Monday July 14 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for roadway milling.
  • The same section of roadway will be closed to all traffic on Thursday July 17 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for paving.
  • Residents should not park on the roadway and are asked to park on neighboring streets during the closure. All motorists need to seek alternate routes.


  • From Ellicott Street to South Jackson Street will be closed to all traffic on Tuesday July 15 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for roadway milling.
  • The same section of roadway will be closed on Friday July 18th between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for roadway paving.
  • Residents should not park on the roadway and are asked to park on neighboring streets during the closure. All motorists need to seek alternate routes.


  • From Chestnut / Jackson Street to Otis Street motorists will experience lane reductions and traffic delays on Monday July 14 and Tuesday July 15 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. due to roadway milling.
  • Along the same section of roadway motorists will experience lane reductions and traffic delays on Thursday July 17 and Friday July 18 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for roadway paving.
  • Residents should not park on the roadway and are asked to park on neighboring streets during the closure. All motorists need to seek alternate routes.

***For all roadwork weather delay dates will be the next available business day.

For questions, call Raymond Tourt, superindendant of the Bureau of Maintenance, Department of Public Works, City of Batavia:

Phone:  345-6400, option #1

FAX: 343-6199

e-mail:  tourt@batavianewyork.com

Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm

GC Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull to chair 2015 United Way Campaign

post by Billie Owens in United Way

Press release:

The United Way of Genesee County is happy to announce that Genesee County Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull will chair the 2015 United Way Campaign. Tom is a lifelong Genesee County resident and former Publisher of The Daily News. Tom has been a member of the United Way Board of Directors for a dozen years and has been a longtime advocate for the United Way.

“We are extremely pleased that Tom has agreed to chair our 2015 Campaign. His passion for United Way and our community is second to none. His leadership will be valuable as we continue to grow our impact in Genesee County,” said United Way Director Erik Fix.

The 2014 United Way Campaign raised more than $364,000. The organization is in the process of strategically redefining its funding structure to better meet the needs of the community. Currently the United Way funds 15 dynamic nonprofit agencies in Genesee County. In addition, it operates the Genesee County Backpack Program and recently completed its 7th Annual Day of Caring.

Turnbull credits the direction of the agency as a reason for volunteering.

“The past success of the United Way coupled with our exciting future is what led to my decision to chair this year’s campaign," he said. "I am excited about the direction the organization is heading and look forward to helping make this year’s campaign a huge success.”

If you would like more information about the United Way or are interested in giving, volunteering or advocating for the agency, contact Regional Director Erik Fix at 585-343-8141 or go to www.uwgeneseecounty.org.

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