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Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

Missing a beagle?

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, Bethany, Francis Road

So I headed out to Francis Road this morning to see if I could get a picture of an intrepid deputy rounding up cows.

There were no cows, but there was this lost beagle. 

Deputy Lonnie Nati picked him up and delivered him to the animal shelter.

The beagle was wandering about 3/4 of a mile south of Lei-Ti Campground. It was a good distance from any nearby home, so not sure where he belongs (could be a she, I didn't check).

No tags. The pooch, very friendly and calm, has a large softball seized growth on its left rear hindquarter.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 9:38 am

Report of cows in the road on Francis Road, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A deputy has been dispatched to the area of 9300 Francis Road for a report of cows in the road.

The deputy's reply: "Copy, steak in the road."

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Police investigating reports of cars shot at on Ellicott Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Two cars were apparently shot at while driving north on Ellicott Avenue around 5 p.m., according to Batavia Police.

Both cars were hit, one having window damage and the damage report is not yet available on the second car.

Evidence indicates the shots came from the east side of the street between Washington and Park.

It hasn't been determined whether the shots came from a pellet gun or a small calibre firearm.

Anybody with information that might aid the investigation are asked to call Batavia PD at 345-6350.

UPDATE 9:33 p.m.: Sgt. John Peck said that some evidence was found in the area of 42 Ellicott Ave. and that two possible juvenile suspects have been identified. The investigation is ongoing. "It's possible other vehicles have been hit and the drivers are not even aware of it," Peck said. If any other cars were hit, or if anybody has more information, they can call Batavia PD at 345-6350.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Owner of Batavia Nursing Home facing federal charges; employees complain of payroll problems

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Nursing Home, business

The owner of the Batavia Nursing Home has been accused by federal authorities of committing wire fraud to help fund a "lavish" lifestyle.

Meanwhile, two employees of the nursing home on State Street have contacted The Batavian to say they've either not been paid or were paid late.

Marc L. Korn, 54, of East Amherst faces a possible 20 years in prison or a $250,000 fine or both. He was arraigned a week ago in federal court and is scheduled to appear again on June 2.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala, who is handling the case, said that Korn devised a scheme to obtain funds from a charitable organization he headed, the American Friends of Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, an organization which raised funds to support a medical center in Israel.

An IRS investigator told the Buffalo News he's diverted as much as $1 million for his personal use and has also kept employee payroll taxes.

For employees of the nursing home, they're wondering what's going on. Today, they were told there was no money in the payroll account so no checks would be issued. 

"We've been told we would be paid, but we don't know when," an employee said.

This has happened before, according to another employee, who said two weeks ago the employees were given checks but told they couldn't cash them until the following week.

Korn could not be reached for comment.

One of the employees said that the Department of Labor has visited the facility, but she's not aware of any action beging taken.

She said all deliveries -- including food for residents -- are now C.O.D. (collect on delivery)

"The residents have their Social Security checks sent to the nursing home," she said. "Where's the money going?"

A relative of hers is a resident at the facility and the family is trying to move her, but she said she doesn't think the community really understands what's going on at the nursing home.

Five people quit today, she said. She figures she will start pulling 80-hour work weeks to keep up with the work load.

She continues her employment there, she said, because she believes it would be unethical to leave the residents without care.

Her husband's income has also been uneven lately, she said, so times are tough.

"I have to go home and tell my kids we may not eat today," she said.

She said all of the employees are facing similar difficulties, including falling behind on mortgages and car payments.

The woman said employees have been told Korn is trying to sell the facility, but they're not aware of any progress on that front.

We tried Korn's pager number, but it's disconnected. We also emailed him and asked for comment.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Massachusetts man facing 64 rape charges pleads not guilty

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

A man who met an Oakfield woman on a bus ride from Florida to Massachusetts and then came with her to New York entered  not guilty pleas today to 51 counts of rape for allegedly having sex with the woman's underage daughter and her underage friend.

The indictment covers another 13 more charges stemming from the alleged incidents, which investigators say occurred in November and December of 2010. Raymond E. Allard is accused of engaging with sexual acts with two girls under age 15.

The alleged incidents occurred in Oakfield, the City of Batavia and the Town of Batavia.

Allard was held without bail. Judge Robert C. Noonan said Allard presented a substantial flight risk because he has no real connections to the area, is facing serious charges with a potential lengthy prison term and has a prior criminal record.

According to Det. John Dehm, Allard's prior criminal record did not include similar sexual charges, but he did appear to target his alleged victims in this case after seemingly befriending the woman and her daughter on a bus trip. 

The case remains under investigation and there may be another victim or victims, Dehm said.

The 64-count indictment includes 51 counts of rape in the second degree and 13 counts of criminal sexual act, 2nd, for allegedly engaging in oral sex with both girls.

Outside of court, Dehm said parents should be cautious with people they have just met.

"A person might appear to be extremely friendly and polite and courteous," he says, "but you just never know what their past is all about, or what they could be up to."

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Assemblyman Hawley says show vets appreciation on Memorial Day

post by Billie Owens in Memorial Day, steve hawley

Here's a news release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley's office.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) is continuing his commitment to New York’s veterans through his work with the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Having served seven years in the Ohio Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserves, where he earned the rank 1st Lieutenant, the assemblyman takes his responsibility to the courageous members of our military extremely seriously. “It is a privilege and an honor to serve on the Veterans’ Affairs committee, responding to the needs and issues that are most important to the men and women that risk their lives to protect our freedom,” Hawley said. “As a former member of the armed forces, I know firsthand how important the work done by our military personnel is to our way of life as Americans.

"This nation is truly only as strong as the servicemen and women that risk life and limb for their fellow countrymen, and I am proud to fight for their needs each and every day in the state Assembly.”

The assemblyman noted that Memorial Day, which falls on Monday, May 30, presents an opportunity for the people of the community to show their appreciation for our local veterans.

“Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the contributions that our veterans make each and every day to our community, our state and our entire nation,” Hawley said. “With the holiday just around the corner, I encourage the people of our community to visit a local veterans organization and show your appreciation for our past and present heroes, or just take some time to approach a veteran and thank them for all that they’ve done to make this country great.”

Assemblyman Hawley is the sponsor of numerous bills that support veterans, including measures to provide tax credits for home loans to veterans, support in custody battles for those in active duty, and tuition assistance for military families.

The assemblyman will be conducting his fourth annual Patriot Trip to Washington D.C. for veterans from Sept. 22 through 25.

Patriot Trip IV will include roundtrip private coach transportation from Western New York to Washington, D.C. and accommodations at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. The trip also includes tours of the WWII, Vietnam, Korean and FDR Memorials as well as Arlington Cemetery and the Udvar Hazy Aerospace Museum. Most meals are included with the trip cost of approximately $300. For more information about trip details, pricing, or to sign-up, please call Assemblyman Hawley’s District Office at 589-5780.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Batavia Lions Club names winners of scholarships and awards

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Lions Club, Milestones

The Batavia Lions Club presented its annual scholarships and awards to several local students at a ceremony earlier this week.

Each spring, several graduating seniors at Batavia and Notre Dame high schools apply for these scholarships. They are interviewed by a committee of Lions Club members, and are chosen by the committee to receive $1,000 scholarships.

In addition, selected students from both schools are awarded the Arthur Roth Fine Arts Award and the Bill Cook Scholar-Athlete Award.

A final award is the Batavia Lions Club Award in Communications, which is given to a Genesee Community College student in memory of two former Batavia Lions and local media legends – Paul Bostwick, the former managing editor of the Batavia Daily News and James H. Gerrety, the former news director of WBTA.

During the high school football season each fall, members of the Batavia Lions Club sells snacks at the games. The proceeds are used exclusively for the scholarship and awards program.

This year’s Lions Club Scholarship winners are Kayleen Kelley, BHS, Danielle Siebert, BHS, Bethany Gabriele, BHS, Shannon Schmit, BHS, Justine Saraceni, ND and Lucy Norton, ND.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm

GO ART! announces student poetry contest winners

post by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, GO ART!, Milestones

GO ART! announces winners of poetry contests

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) has announced the winners of the Genesee County Poetry Contest, presented in conjunction with Present Tense Books in Batavia. All winning poems may be found online at www.GOart.org.

Grades K-3

1st Place: Chloe Shuskey, Grade 3, Bergen, “Bright and Beautiful”
Honorable Mention: Lindsay Augello, Grade 1, Elba, “Untitled”
Honorable Mention: Joe Gagne, Grade 3, Batavia, “Green”
Grades 4-6

Honorable Mention: Briana Janes, Grade 5, Batavia, “Outside”
Grades 10-12

First Place: Faith Finnin, Grade 11, Batavia, “Wrong”

Thanks to all who participated and to Present Tense Books for partnering with GO ART! on this program.

GO ART! is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that initiates a broad range of opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and facilitates cooperative efforts among the cultural, business, service and educational communities for the people who live in and visit Genesee and Orleans counties.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Le Roy resident honored as 2011 Woman of Distinction in New York State

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer honored Millie Tomidy-Pepper this week as the 2011 Woman of Distinction for the 61st Congressional District at the 14th Annual Senate Women of Distinction ceremony.

She was honored for her outstanding contributions in enriching the quality of life for the community and beyond.

"Without women such as Millie, there would be a huge void in Genesee County," Ranzenhofer said. "Her initiative and tireless advocacy has led to the creation and development of so many services at the Mental Health Association in Genesee County...these programs have served the needs of the community and have had a positive impact on a countless number of lives."

In response to the recognition, Tomidy-Pepper said: "To have an honor such as this bestowed upon me by Senator Ranzenhofer and be included among a group of women that have inspired me and whom I hold in the highest regard has left me speechless. I owe a great deal of gratitude to the countless women who came before me and worked tirelessly to pave the way so that I could be blessed with opportunities in my life  to do work that I find both meaningful and rewarding."

Tomidy-Pepper has worked at the Mental Health Association in Genesee County for more than 17 years, serving the past 10 years as executive director. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association of New York State. During her tenure, she has established numerous support groups and programs, including Trauma Services program, Transportation Services, and Mental Illness/Chemical Abuse Services program.

She is a contributor to the Community Services Board-Mental Health Subcommittee, Mental Health Court, Crime Victims’ Rights Week Planning Committee, Genesee Veterans Support Network, GCC Human Service Committee and the Genesee Area Personnel Association.

In addition, she volunteers at the Batavia Animal Shelter and has traveled to New Orleans four times after Hurricane Katrina to help with rebuilding efforts.

She and her husband, David, reside in Le Roy.

In her spare time, Millie enjoys spending time with family and participating in outdoor activities, including skiing, kayaking, hiking and flying.

The Women of Distinction program was created in 1998 to honor great New York women. Past honorees include the late comedienne Lucille Ball, 19th Century suffragist Katherine Davis and other women accomplished in sciences, academics, business and the arts.

The Mental Health Association in Genesee County promotes mental wellness through education, advocacy and support for the community thereby improving quality of life and instilling hope.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Muckdogs' Pep Dog Rally is June 15

post by Billie Owens in announcements, batavia, muckdogs, sports

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce invites the community to attend the Second Annual Pre-Season “PEP-DOG RALLY."

Our Batavia Muckdogs Baseball season is only a few weeks away and we NEED your help!

On Wednesday, June 15, just two days before the Season Home Opener, the stadium will be open to the community. We need YOU to come out and get our Batavia Muckdogs PEPPED up for the 2011 season.

Gates open at 6 p.m. Admission is FREE and there will be fun for the entire family. There will be games for the kids, local Mascots, and food concession for you to get your ball park favorites. The merchandise stands will also be open for you to gear up for the season.

Be the first to meet this year’s players!  They will be available to sign autographs and chat with the fans.  

Prizes and raffles will be given throughout the night, including valuable sports memorabilia such as: an 8x10 autographed picture of Nick Markakis; an autographed bat by Hall of Famer Earl Weaver; autographed baseballs by Ryan Howard, Lou Piniella, Jimmy Rollins, Tim McCarver and many more.

Enjoy the music of "23 SkiDOO," a strolling ragtime band sponsored by the Genesee County Baseball Club.

The season opener is at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 17 at Dwyer Stadium.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm

UMMC to honor vets on Memorial Day

post by Billie Owens in Memorial Day, UMMC

Memorial Day Services are scheduled at United Memorial Medical Center beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 30 at the hospital’s Bank Street campus, the Jerome Center. But at 10 a.m., the Batavia Concert Band will assemble to perform for those attending the service.

The names of veterans who have passed away since Memorial Day 2010 will be read aloud and a wreath honoring those who died in service will be placed near the flag pole. Prayers will be read from each of the five distinct military branches.

The monument that stood in front of the hospital at North Street was removed during renovations and the plaques were placed in temporary storage. The veterans will unveil their plans for a new monument to be placed at the Bank Street site.

Light refreshments will be served at this event and the community is encouraged to attend.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Le Roy man admits to drug possession, assault and DWI

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

A Le Roy man who got in a tussle with members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force in April will go through a drug treatment program before facing a possible sentence of up to four years in prison on drug and alcohol charges.

Craig A. Tiberio-Shepherd, 21, of 22 Lathrop Ave., Le Roy, entered a guilty plea today to criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and assault, 3rd. He also admitted to driving drunk in August 2010.

Still in police custody for today's hearing, Tiberio-Shepherd will be released under supervision to Hope Haven for rehab.

On April 21, Tiberio-Shepherd was apprehended by members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force in Batavia and found in possession of at least 1/8th of a gram of cocaine. During his arrest, he wrestled with task force members. Two detectives suffered minor cuts and scrapes.

On Aug. 14, 2010, Tiberio-Shepherd was arrested and charged with felony DWI. Just five days prior to his arrest he was convicted of DWI in Le Roy Town Court.

The drug and assault charges carry a maximum four year prison sentence and the DWI charge is a one-and-a-third to three-year sentence. As part of the plea agreement, Tiberio-Shepherd could serve the sentences concurrently.

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 9:19 am

Today's Deals: Oliver's, Scratch Bakery, Center Street, and more

post by Ethan Thompson in Deal of the Day

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Scratch Bakery, 24 Main St. Le Roy, NY: A real bakery right in Genesee County. Scones, cookies, cakes, breads, rolls and more. Call ahead, 297-2441, for availability or special orders. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun
and good food are always on tap. We have $20 gift certificates for $10.

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $10 gift card for $5.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY. Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Red Osier, Route 5, Stafford, NY: Truly, one of the landmark restaurants of the area. Red Osier features prime rib carved table side. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50.Note: if you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Generator fire reported on South Main Street, Batavia

post by Billie Owens in fire batavia

A generator is reportedly on fire at 193 S. Main St., in the area of Apt. 21, on the southwest corner, in the City of Batavia.

City fire crews responding.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Power outage hitting Batavia, Stafford, Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, Stafford, weather

More than 2,160 National Grid customers have been without power for an hour and repair crews are unlikely to restore power before 10 p.m.

The effected area covers from just east of the city limits to Morganville and the eastern edge of Stafford down to Little Canada and East Bethany at Roanoke Road.

The outage may be related to a power line reported down and burning on Main Road, Stafford, at 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 8:46 pm

County legislature protests tax cap without mandate relief

post by Howard B. Owens in Albany, county legislature, taxes

Without mandate relief, local officials say, a proposed property tax cap will strangle county government.

The cap proposal is moving through Albany and today the Genesee County Legislature sent a strongly worded letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local representatives.

Without addressing the root cause of the problem -- unfunded mandates -- counties will have to begin eliminating all non-mandated, community-based programs and services to stay under the cap. These programs include veterans services and aging programs, local road and bridge maintenance and repair, road patrol, long-term care and substance abuse services, to name a few.

Legislative Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock told WBTA today that rising pension costs and Medicaid expenses that are "forced" on the county are eating up too much local revenue.

"Pension costs have gone up 31 percent," she said. "And in the past several years, Medicaid has continued to escalate in cost."

WBTA also spoke with  Batavia City Schools' Business Manager Scott Rozanski, who predicted dark days ahead under the cap.

"In essence, it means we could only increase our expenditures by about $350,000," he said. "Cutting more is doable, but it would probably create a lot more uproar." 

Superintendent Margaret Puzio blamed the current proposed increase in the tax levy on Albany.

"The only reason we're looking at an increase in the tax levy is because our state aid was cut," she said.

While in Batavia today, Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer addressed the issue. Ranzenhofer expressed support for Hancock's call to have the state assume the costs of Medicaid.

"I was a county legislator for 20 years -- I understand that issue," he said. "I'm also very concerned about overuse of the Medicaid system by some, to the detriment of others. I'm talking about not having every possible optional service that you can have.

If the state took over funding Medicaid, Razenhofer, it might take more seriously such as issues of fraud and waste and find ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Possible house fire on Clipnock Road, Stafford

post by Billie Owens in fire, Stafford

A possible house fire is reported at 9378 Clipnock Road in Stafford. There is smoke in the residence.

Stafford Fire Department, along with Town of Batavia and Le Roy units are called to respond.

The location is between Sweetland and Torrey roads.

UPDATE 8:52 p.m.: The Stafford crew is on scene and asks responders to come in non-emergency mode. Le Roy is standing by in Stafford's hall.

UPDATE 9:01 p.m.: Stafford command says there are no signs of fire. The responders are all put back in service.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Young offenders could face loss of driver's license if they don't appear in court

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, Gary Draper, Mike Ranzenhofer

Youngsters who get arrested for underage drinking or unlawful possession of marijuana may want to be careful about skipping court dates in the future.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Darien Town Justice Gary Graber were in Batavia today to announce the state Senate approval of a new law that would suspend the driving privileges of any person who fails to appear in court for those charges.

Graber called the current laws unenforceable because there has been no penalty for skipping court appearances. 

Because convictions for the infractions of underage drinking or unlawful possession of marijuana never include jail time, judges and justices are unable to issue warrants when a suspect doesn't appear in court.

"(The current law) encourages a lack of respect for the courts and the law and weakens the educational purposes of these laws to strongly discourage underage drinking and marijuana possession,” Ranzenhofer said. “This legislation will now give judges a remedy to the loopholes in the current law to enforce the sanctions of the court."

Graber, of course, sits in a court just down the road from Darien Lake Theme Park where, during the concert season, local law enforcement issues many citations for underage drinking and UPM.

Justices from throughout New York have been seeking a change in the law for years, Graber said.

Full press release after the jump:

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Popular trail in Iroquois refuge vandalized

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, crime

The Swallow Hollow Nature Trail has suffered $15,000 in damage after vandals struck recently, according to WIVB.

Ten interpretive panels were removed. The vandals also overtuned a bench, toppled a port-a-john and removed other signs.

There's a $500 reward being offered by the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Inc., for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the people involved.

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