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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Structure fire on Vine Street in city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A structure fire is reported at 20 Vine St. in the City of Batavia. City firefighters are on scene and the second and fourth platoons have been called in. Mercy EMS is going to scene in case needed.

UPDATE 6:26 p.m.: A fire chief has asked that police officers shut the street to traffic. Three rooms have been engulfed with flames at this point. National Grid and National Fuel are being contacted to shut off power to the structure.

UPDATE 6:29 p.m.: A firefighter says the second floor is full of smoke but there are no visible flames.

UPDATE 6:43 p.m.: Three rear windows upstairs have been opened, providing ventilation. The structure consists of two apartments. A young woman lives upstairs and Nick Ricigliano and his wife and toddler live downstairs. They are all out and safe. Ricigliano said he was burned out of his home last year, too. His family lived in an apartment on State Street in the city, in the same building where a woman died in a fire caused by her smoking cigarettes near her oxygen tank.

UPDATE 7:03 p.m.: A chief reports that the building housed a total of seven people. He asked that the American Red Cross be contacted and come to the scene to help those displaced by the fire.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Firefighters are checking for hot spots in cavities of the building.

UPDATE 7:28 p.m.: A city inspector is called to the scene and "someone who boards up buildings."

UPDATE 7:37 p.m.: The fire is out and crews are cleaning up.

UPDATE 7:55 p.m.: The fire chief asks for the water department to shut off service to the building.

PHOTOS: Top photo by Frank Capuano.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Democrats proclaim deliberative process to select 26th candidate

post by Howard Owens in Democrats, NY-26

Calling the GOP's selection of Jane Corwin as its choice to replace Chris Lee in the 26th Congressional District, Democrats today issued a press release saying they were taking their time to evaluate candidates.

Genesee County Democratic Chairwoman Lorie Longhany sent along the press release signed by all of the county chairs in the district.

The press release invites interested potential candidates to contact their county chairs if they would like to be interviewed for a possible endorsement.

Full press release after the jump:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Jane Corwin introduces herself to Genesee County with anti-tax, anti-spend message

post by Howard Owens in Jane Corwin, NY-26, politics

Proclaiming herself anti-tax and anti-deficit spending, Erie County's Jane Corwin stopped by Batavia's Old Courthouse today to let everybody know, yes, she's really running for Congress.

"America is at a crossroads," Corwin said. "You all know the numbers, a $1.5 trillion annual deficit. We borrow one dollar for every three that we spend. That’s simply unsustainable. Our nation’s debt tops out at over $14 trillion. That’s nearly $50,000 for every man, woman and child living in the United States today. With numbers like those, what kind of legacy are we leaving for our children?"

Flanked by some of Genesee County's leading Republicans, including Sheriff Gary Maha, County Clerk Don Read, Coroner Jack Taylor and Legislature Chair Mary Pat Hancock, Corwin, a second-term assemblywoman, received the endorsement of her colleague Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

"As you get to know her, as you get to speak with her, and more importantly, as she listens to you, you are going to see she is going to be the kind of Congress person we grew accustomed to back in the days of Barber Conable," Hawley said.

He said Corwin has the dignity and honesty and caring for people to give him confidence that she will do the same kind of job Conable did.

Asked by WBTA's Dan Fischer what she might tell a friend about Genesee County, Corwin replied, "First, I'd talk about downtown Batavia. I love to spend weekends here. My son plays hockey, so we’re over at the ice rink every few weeks or so. Genesee County is beautiful. It’s a rural area. It’s got a strong agriculture history. It’s something that I think is a shining part of Upstate New York. I believe this could be a thriving area if we could just get our national affairs in order."

As for the speculation and any issue around the idea that Corwin will fund her own campaign, Corwin said she will also engage in fund raising, but certainly, she will spend some of her own money as well on the campaign.

"I don’t believe a candidate can buy a race because a race isn’t about money, it’s about ideas," Corwin said. "The ideas that I put out there, do they make sense to the voters in the area? Is it something they can relate to? Do they agree with what my plan is in the future? That’s what wins elections."

Meanwhile, the Democrat & Chronicle reports that Corwin is close to winning the conservative endorsement in Monroe County.

Also, a bill introduced by Gov. Cuomo could delay any special election. Cuomo has said the bill is necessary to ensure the election conforms with federal regulations, and if passed, the election would take place 70 to 80 days after it's called instead of the past 30 to 40 days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Weather service warns of heavy wet snow

post by Howard Owens in weather

Accumulations of heavy, wet snow -- up to 10 inches -- are expected to hit the region within the next 24 hours by late Thursday night.

A winter weather watch is in place starting tonight late Thursday night through Friday afternoon.

Winds will be 10 to 20 mph from the northeast.

The storm will reach from all of Western New York into Central New York.

During heavy snowfall, visibility will be cut to quarter mile.

Temperatures will be around 32 at the start of the storm, dropping to the 20s, according to the weather service.

The forecaster confidence: High for the Southern Tier to the Finger Lakes, medium for Buffalo to Rochester and the North Country.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Man who raped young teenagers given five more years in prison

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

A former Batavia resident, already serving up to seven years for second-degree rape and sexual abuse, will spend five more years in prison for raping another young victim, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled today.

Philip Kroft, 23, admitted to rape, 2nd, in November as part of a plea deal that would cap his possible sentence at five years.

Noonan gave Kroft the five years, but denied a request by defense attorney Fred Rarick that Kroft's sentence be consecutive concurrent with the time he's already serving.

Rarick said that Kroft has completed his GED while in prison and also earned a welding certificate.

"Adding an additional five years I don’t think is necessary, may be considered harsh and excessive punishment," Rarick said. "He regrets what he’s done in the past and he’s looking forward to his future."

Kroft's 14-year-old victim gave birth to a child and Kroft would like to be involved in the child's life, according to his attorney.

At the time of the rape, Kroft was 21.

The crime occurred around the time of his previous arrest in 2008, which resulted in a conviction for rape, 2nd, sexual abuse, 1st, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and conspiracy, 4th.

Kroft was eligible for parole on those convictions in 2015.

When asked for a statement, Kroft said he does know he made mistakes and he is trying to turn his life around. He said he has also enrolled for some college courses.

If the second rape had come to light during proceedings on the original charge, perhaps the crime would have been wrapped into the sentence with the first. That's what Rarick suggested to Noonan, who replied that the opposite could also be true.

"It would be an equally good argument that had both charges come before me, I would have given him four or five more years based on him victimizing yet another young girl," the judge said. 

Kroft is serving his sentence in Elmira Correctional Facility.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Police Beat: Criminal contempt charge filed

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime

Darik Robert Michael Orbaker, 18, of Forest Edge Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Orbaker is accused of violating an order of protection.

Frank G. Frainier, 47, of Lewiston Road, Royalton, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and improper right turn. Frainier was arrested after the Sheriff's Office received a report at 6:47 p.m., Monday, of a car off the road on Route 77, Alabama.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

Today's Deals: Matty's, Center Street, T.F. Brown's, and more

post by Ethan Thompson in Deal of the Day

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's, a great place for pizza, wings, subs -- eat in, take out or delivery. 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 $20 gift card for $10.

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. 

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Try the new lunch buffet. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by March 31, 2011).

Kraving's, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kraving's offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card 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.

The Mane Attraction, 99 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Mane Attraction is a spa and salon offering pedicures, manicures, hair styling and massage. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. Decorate your home or office for Fall or start your Christmas shopping. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.


NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 8:57 am

Wood shop fire reported on Simonds Road, Darien

post by Howard Owens in Darien, fire

A wood shop fire has been reported at 9877 Simonds Road, Darien.

Darien Fire with mutual aid from Alexander and Corfu dispatched to the scene.

UPDATE 8:04 a.m.: Darien chief on scene reports, "working fire."

UPDATE 8:17 a.m.: Attica requested to fill in at Alexander Fire Hall.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 12:50 am

Photos: Le Roy schools and library

post by Howard Owens in Le Roy, photos

Tonight I went to the Le Roy Central School District board meeting to see if anything interesting happened. Nothing did, but as I was leaving, I saw this wonderfully shaped tree with the great mural in the well-lit hallway in background and thought it should make a good picture. As long as I had the tripod out, I took the picture below of the Woodward Memorial Library.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 12:40 am

Photos: Francis Road, Bethany

post by Howard Owens in Bethany, Francis Road, photos

I had a little time to drive around a bit late this afternoon and headed out to Bethany. Driving down Francis Road, I came across a couple of picture opportunities.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 12:27 am

Mistlers add subs and salads to menu at Main and Jackson location

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, downtown

Ken and Andrea Mistler have made some big changes to their former coffee and smoothie shop at the corner of Main and Jackson streets.

The former Daily Grind is now Espresso Salads and Subs.

Ken Mistler said it was time to expand what the shop offered. While a prep area has been added for food service, much of the food prep -- including baking fresh sub rolls daily -- takes place at Mistler's other food establishment downtown, South Beach Restaurant.

Andrea manages day-to-day operations for the  sub and salad shop.

Subs and salads are made to order with fresh ingredients.

For the coffee and smoothie crowd, the full selection of the Daily Grind remains on the menu.

Mistler has also added free wi-fi and there are now leather chairs and couches available for customers. In the summer, Ken said, he will add outdoor seating.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 12:05 am

Batavia Girl Scouts move into new location on Jackson Street

post by Howard Owens in batavia, downtown, girl scouts, Jackson Street

The local Girl Scouts have a new home, 5 Jackson St., Batavia.

After the location the Girl Scouts occupied in City Centre was sold, the local office and retail shop was relocated to vacant retail space just about a block away.

It took about a month to get settled in, but the retail shop is now set up and the staff is ready to help local scouts and leaders.

The scouts will host an open house at its new location from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 28.

The grand opening will include free drawings, prizes and discounts on scouting items as well as a food drive for the Salvation Army and Batavia Agri-Business Child Development.

The shop is open from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the service center opening at 8:30 a.m.

Pictured above, from left, Stephanie Burgett, customer service, Marlene Worthington, membership manager, Kathie Waika, program manager and Robin Ettinger, membership manager.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Pembroke resident accused of selling cocaine to undercover agent

post by Howard Owens in crime, pembroke

A 29-year-old Pembroke man was arrested today on a sealed grand jury indictment for allegedly selling cocaine to an undercover agent on two separate occasions.

Arraigned before Judge Robert C. Noonan this afternoon was Brandon R. Brade, of Genesee Street, Pembroke.

Brade was taken into custody at his place of employment, where he has worked for two months, he told Noonan.

"I'd kind of like to keep my job," Brade said, asking for a bail lower than the $50,000 requested by Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl.

Noonan set bail at $10,000 and gave Brade a week to hire an attorney (Brade said he could afford to hire his own) before his next court appearance.

Brade is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

According to a Sheriff's Office press release, Brade allegedly sold quantities of cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Zickl asked for the high bail because of Brade's prior record, which includes convictions for DWI (2005), resisting arrest (2002) and stalking (2000).

Noonan said Brade will get another shot at a lower bail after Genesee Justice files a bail evaluation report, which would require Brade's cooperation.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Free workshop offered for adults seeking to be the ideal job candidate

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Genesee Community College along with the Genesee County Career Center will host its second workshop on Adults in Career Transition: "Are You a Purple Squirrel?" from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 28.

The workshop will be held at the Genesee County Career Center, Eastown Plaza, 587 E. Main Rd – Suite 100, Batavia (behind Aldi's). This event is free and open to the public.

The term "Purple Squirrel" is a human resource term for the elusive candidate, with exactly the right qualifications and experience, to match an employer's need. The term is synonymous with the term "ideal candidate."

The Adults in Career Transition workshop will focus on introducing transition skills and career opportunities for adults returning to the workforce or attending college.

Guest speakers for the workshop include John McGowan, career services coordinator at Genesee Community College and Veronica Frost, senior employment and training counselor at the Genesee County Career Center.

"We want to encourage adults of all ages and skill sets to come to this workshop," McGowan said. "Employers are now looking for the ideal candidate and we want to inform adults transitioning back in to the workplace on how they can be that 'Purple Squirrel.'"

Interested participants should RSVP to the Adults in Career Transition workshop by calling the Genesee County Career Center, (585) 344-2042. ext. 217, or e-mail vfrost@co.genesee.ny.us <http://vfrost@co.genesee.ny.us>.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Batavia firefighters place second in 'Fight for Air Climb'

post by Billie Owens in Batavia FIre Department

A team of five firefighters from the City of Batavia Fire Department participated in the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb this month.

The climb was a race up 38 floors -- or 800 steps -- that took place at the HSBC tower in Buffalo to raise funds for the American Lung Association. The team from Batavia finished second in the open team division with an average time of 6 minutes 44 seconds.

Also, the team raised a total of $955 for the American Lung Association, which is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research.

These Batavia firefighters participated: Mark Sacheli, Greg Ireland, Mike Morris, Jeff Whitcombe and Jerry Yoder.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Conservation district taking plant orders for spring delivery

post by Billie Owens in announcements

The Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District is now taking orders for spring delivery of plants.

Many varieties of trees, wildlife shrubs, berry bushes, vines, ornamental grasses, native wildflowers and perennials are available. Bare root or plugs for economical conservation planting.

For a brochure and order form, contact Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District at 585-343-2362 or visit the Web site at

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Little/Junior/Senior League sign-ups this Friday and Saturday

post by Billie Owens in announcements, sports

Sign-ups/registration for 2011 Little League and Jr./Sr. leagues are this Friday and Saturday.

This will take place at Genesee Country Mall, by the entrance to Sunny's restaurant.

On Friday, Feb. 25, the time is 6 to 8 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 26, the time is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please bring a copy of the player's birth certificate, the registration fee and proof of Genesee County residency.

Costs are:

Little League (ages 9 to 12) -- $75

Junior League (ages 13 to 15) -- $90

Senior League (ages 16 and under) -- $90

Senior League-ages 16 and under-$90

Any questions?
Little League call Larry Hale 585-409-3485
Junior/Senior leagues call Mike Dobbertin 585-233-3577

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Proud hockey coach tells about big win for Mite A team

post by Billie Owens in hockey, sports

Hockey Coach Kevin Hamilton, who refers to himself as "the proudest coach in Batavia," submitted this information.

The underage Mite A team has been playing against much higher level of play all season long. The majority being second-year teams, and three or four of them giving travel teams a run for their money.

We won two games in league play against MCYH and won a scrimmage against a tough Webster B team. The rest of the games we did not do much scoring, if any, but we did play our hearts out.

Well last night in Scottsville (Feb. 17), round one of playdowns, up against Geneseo (womped us 7-0 in regular season), it went 0-0 first period, 0-0 second period.

After the second period, they come to the bench, kneeled down on the ice in front of me (I already couldn't be any more happy, they are playing their best hockey ever), I look down at them and ask "Who thinks they can play better hockey in the third period?" They all respond with a hand raise. I said " Looks like whoever could score the next goal, could be the winner. We can do it!"

The boys stand up yelling and cheering, big smiles on their faces. The third period starts, we get the puck in Geneseo's end, puck comes back to the point, Connor Peterson (age 7) picks his head up and makes a pass to the weak side winger Cole Young (age 6) and a one-timer for the game's first goal.

We then carried the momentum even further, with more shots on net and eventually scoring another goal from Vince Dirisio (age 6) off a rebound. With hard work from the entire team, and especially our six-man defense and Alex Bialek (age 7) first-year goaltender picking up a huge playoff shutout!

We win 2-0. Priceless!!!!!! We now go on to play the Russians, I meen the stacked #1 team Monroe County (their second team)...These kids are the future of the Ramparts and are on their way to being an amazing group of hockey players.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Reunion committee seeking members of BHS Class of '81

post by Billie Owens in announcements

The Batavia High School Class of 1981 Reunion Committee is gathering information for the 30th class reunion. If you were a member of the Class of '81 and would like
to participate, visit the "Batavia High School Class of 1981 30th Reunion"
Facebook group.

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