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Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Novel Destinations begins at Woodward Memorial Library

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Le Roy

Novel Destinations is the theme of the 2011 Adult Summer Reading Program. Sign up begins at 10 a.m. Monday, June 27 and continues throughout the summer months.

Read books from our destination categories and receive tickets to win prize baskets. We will also do a weekly mystery photo contest. Call 768-8300 for more information or stop in the library!

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Photo: Storm clouds rolling in on West Bethany Road

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, photos

The view from West Bethany Road as our late afternoon storm rolled in.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Photo: High water mark for Dewitt Park Lake

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Dewitt Park

The current water level in the lake at Dewitt Park on Cedar Street is six inches above the highest level ever recorded previously, according to Paul Osborn, parks supervisor.

The previous record was 1997. Measurements were not taken prior to 1995.

Osborn said water levels rose nine feet in two months.

How much the water level drops over the course of the summer, Osborn said, depends on how much rain we get. Typically, he said, the water level can drop two or three feet during the summer.

For comparison sake, below is a picture of the same dock as above taken last summer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Accused drug dealer involved in previous mysterious shooting enters not guilty plea

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Carlos A. Torres Jr., 35, who first made the news after showing up at UMMC with gunshot wounds and claiming he was shot while on Little Indian Falls Road, is now accused of dealing drugs. He entered a not guilty plea on those charges in Genesee County Court today.

Torres, who is being held on $25,000 bail, was indicted in early June on three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

He was arrested April 1 by members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

He was found to allegedly be driving under the influence of drugs and allegedly carrying cocaine, crack and heroin with an estimated street value of more than $7,000. 

At the time of his arrest, the head of the task force characterized the alleged drug dealing by Torres as pretty significant.

"The weight of the powder cocaine, along with the number of bags of both crack and heroin, on top of his $4,000 (in cash), is significant for this county," Sgt. Steve Mullen said.

Torres came to the attention of investigators in May 2010 when he showed up at UMMC with gunshot wounds.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Man accused of trying to steal booze from Washington Avenue home pleads guilty

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Batavia resident who tried to steal alcohol from a home on Washington Avenue on May 15, and when unsuccessful came back with a gun, entered a guilty plea in Genesee County Court today to a charge of attempted burglary, 2nd.

Andrew J. Rock, 24, of 206 State St., Batavia, faces a possible prison sentence of three (the minimum allowed as a second felony offender) to seven years.

He will be sentenced Aug. 4.

Rock is currently being held in Genesee County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Previously: State Street resident accused of trying to steal booze on Washington Avenue.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Man accused of stealing from elderly woman enters not guilty plea

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A 41-year-old Batavia man accused of stealing $58,000 from an elderly woman entered a plea of not guilty today during his arraignment in Genesee County Court.

Myron W. Hartford is out of jail under supervision of Genesee Justice.

He is charged with grand larceny, 2nd, grand larceny, 4th, and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st. 

Hartford and his wife, Marline, were both indicted on the alleged left from the elderly woman and both are accused of stealing $1,000 from DSS.

Marline did not appear in court today.

A hearing on pre-trial motions in Hardford's case was set for Aug. 31.

For previous coverage, click here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Photo: Repaving project at Liberty and Ellicott

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ellicott Street, Liberty Street

Even though it's only been a handful of months since Ellicott Street was repaved, crews were working at several intersections today putting down new asphalt. A supervisor told me the previous "new" asphalt was removed because the state determined it was "too rough."

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Subject of Wednesday's manhunt faces multiple charges

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, little falls, pembroke

A suspect who fled from law enforcement following an attempted traffic stop on Little Indian Falls Road, Pembroke, on Wednesday was eventually cornered by K-9 "Pharoah," who found the man hiding behind a fallen tree.

Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble said Pharoah, who was off leash and ran ahead of his handler, Deputy Brian Thompson, did exactly what he is trained to do. He barked. He didn't bite.

"He barked in his face and as long as he (the suspect) didn't do anything stupid, Pharoah isn't going to do anything but just hold him there," Dibble said.

Taken into custody was Robert Leiser, 42, an Oakfield man that both troopers and deputies on scene yesterday said they've had many dealings with and knew he would turn up eventually.

The initial search for Leiser included a State Police helicopter, but that search, which lasted more than an hour, was called off at around 1:45 p.m.

Thompson was one of the last members of law enforcement -- the search initially included three state troopers, two deputies and a DEC officer -- to leave the Little Falls area. Just as he was leaving, a resident of the area reported spotting the suspect in his back yard.

That resident reportedly grabbed a gun and chased the suspect off his property, but the encounter helped Thompson narrow his search area. 

He let Pharoah off leash and searched for at least another hour and was just about to call off the search for a second time when Pharoah found Leiser.

Leiser was taken into custody by Trooper Holly Hanssel, who initiated the traffic stop on Little Falls Road that began the manhunt, and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, possession of a hypodermic instrument and resisting arrest.

Bail was set at $5,000 and if Leiser makes bail he will be turned over immediately to authorities in Ontario County where he is wanted on two warrants.

At the time of the traffic stop Leiser was observed with a female passenger whom he may be barred from contacting. The state police are investigating a possible criminal contempt charge.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Batavian Lisa Barrett wins international "Best Original Song" contest

post by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Lisa Barrett, music

Well, it's official -- Batavia resident Lisa Barrett's song, "When You Look at Me," is now the best original song in the world.

"It's difficult to grasp the 'in the world' part," Barrett said in a thank-you letter to her fans. "I feel like I'm dreaming this!"

After five months of anticipation, "When You Look at Me" was selected as the winner of "Best Original Song," an international contest that started off with 100 music videos from around the world, on Monday.

This victory is especially meaningful to Barrett because of her nephew, Austin, in whose memory she wrote and performed the song. Austin died of cancer just shy of his second birthday.

"I’m so grateful  to all of you, the voters who have stood by me and supported me and this song in memory of  Austin," Barrett said. "I am touched beyond words, and I feel so honored. Your kindness will not be forgotten, and Austin’s spirit will live on through the music."

As the winner, Barrett will get:

  • her own web page on www.bestoriginalsong.com
  • promotion from Best Original Song to record labels, recording artists, producers and music agents
  • a press release to various media outlets, including music magazines (including this Nashville-based publication

Barrett is also the featured artist on Best Original Song's website right now.

The Batavian warmly congratulates Barrett on a job well done. For previous Batavian coverage, see:

Batavia singer/songwriter has high hopes for very personal song

Singer/songwriter Lisa Barrett advances to next round in world competition

Batavian Lisa Barrett moves up in international song contest

Lisa Barrett one of three finalists in worldwide songwriting competition  

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Tobacco-free group launches new campaign

This information is from Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York.

The Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York has launched a campaign to educate New Yorkers about the benefits of tobacco-free outdoor recreational areas: "Keep butts away from where we play!"

The campaign helps raise awareness of the environmental impact of tobacco litter, dangers of secondhand smoke and influence on children when tobacco use is not restricted.

Tobacco litter is poisonous to children and wildlife. Discarded cigarette butts are the most common form of litter. Studies show they are toxic, slow to decompose and costly to remove. Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, whales, birds and other marine animals and can cause digestive blockages. Children routinely pick up these toxic butts and try to put them in their mouths.

“The Community Partnership has designed a paid media campaign to educate communities about why we need to adopt more tobacco free outdoor policies,” said Kevin Keenan, Genesee County program coordinator for Smoke Free NOW; a program of GCASA. “Family recreation for children should not mean having to play among cigarette butts or being exposed to secondhand smoke."

The U.S. Surgeon General has declared that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

“When we consider that children have smaller lungs than adults and consequently breathe in 50 percent more air pollution, it’s clear that we need to do everything we can to expand smoke-free outdoor areas so we can reduce exposure and prevent tobacco-caused disease," said Dr. Irwin Berlin, board chair of the American Lung Association in New York.

Public support for outdoor tobacco use restrictions is growing. Currently, outdoor tobacco use policies have been enacted in more than 280 local municipalities throughout New York State. Local Community Partnerships can provide sample policies, signage and/or assistance in creating outdoor tobacco-use policies. Visit www.TobaccoFreeNYS.org to learn more.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

One-day garage sale to benefit shelter animals this Saturday

post by Billie Owens in animal shelter, announcements, batavia

Volunteers for Animals will be having a one-day-only Garage Sale to benefit the animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter. It's this Saturday, June 25, at 54 River St. in Batavia.

They were rained out on the last day of their regular sale and still had some good stuff left. They made more than $1,000 in the two and half days!

Come out and support the animals.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Save the dates for Second Annual GCC Homecoming

post by Billie Owens in announcements, GCC Homecoming

Alumni, friends and community residents should rev up their DeLoreans and prepare to travel back in time for Genesee Community College's second annual Homecoming!

The "Back to the Future" themed celebration will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16-18. All graduating classes as well as family members, friends and the community are invited to the college's Batavia campus for a weekend filled with "Back to the Future" alumni activities, sporting events and an all-class "Back to the Rock Fest" mixer.

Friday, Sept. 16 will feature men's and women's alumni soccer games played under the lights of the all-weather turf field. A student and alumni tailgate party will take place during the games near the soccer stadium. Throughout the alumni soccer games and the rest of the Homecoming weekend, WGCC will feature on-air reunion broadcasts with guest alumni DJs.

Saturday, Sept. 17 will begin with various alumni-centered activities and celebrations across the campus including campus tours and a "Prez and Profs" lunch with Genesee's new president, James Sunser, Ed.D, and past and present professors.

A Networking and Social Media Workshop, a Student Government Reunion and a Fashion Merchandising Management Reunion will also be on the agenda for the fun-filled weekend. The Men's and Women's Cougar Soccer teams will play at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. versus Mohawk Valley Community College.

Saturday also features the Cruise at the College, classic cars, trucks and bikes from across Western New York will gather in the college's parking lot. Coinciding with the cruise, will be the Giant Yard Sale and barbeque benefiting Genesee's Student Activities and will offer artisan displays, food and music. Following the cruise, the second group of honorees will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame with an induction ceremony and celebration.

Saturday's Homecoming activities conclude with a "Back to the Rock Fest" Reunion/Mixer open to all alumni and community members. The mixer will feature the local musical talents of the Ghost Riders and The Trolls with members of Seventh Heaven. The mixer will feature food, fun, prizes and a cash bar in the college's William W. Stuart Forum.

GCC's second annual Homecoming weekend winds down on Sunday, Sept. 18 with Drew Landry, a Louisiana singer, songwriter, environmental activist performing in the Forum starting at noon. The planning committee of 10 Genesee alumni, including chairpersons Patti ('70) and John Michalak ('73), is excited to expand the festivities into Sunday.

"We're eagerly planning the second annual Homecoming," Patti Michalak said. "We had such a great time last year and we are making this year's Homecoming weekend bigger and better than ever. We have a great line up of events with local bands rocking the college on Saturday, and then a nationally recognized performing artist who lives and works closely to land in Louisiana to close our event on Sunday. It's going to be a great weekend at GCC!"

Further details on locations, times and additional alumni activities will be forthcoming. For more information or to volunteer for the Homecoming weekend, please contact Alumni Affairs coordinator Jackie Christenson at 585-343-0055, ext. 6265 or [email protected].

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Photos: Tree on West Main Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, trees

Driving down West Main late this morning, I was struck by this stunning tree with its white flowers against the deep-blue sky.

Once again, I have no idea of the name of this type of tree.

I took several photos.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Oakfield student named to Deans' List at University of Vermont

post by Billie Owens in Milestones, Oakfield, University of Vermont

Christopher F. Bucceri, of Oakfield, has been named to the Deans' List for the Spring 2011 semester at the University of Vermont. Bucceri is a junior Business Administration major in the School of Business Administration.

To be named to the Deans' List, students must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better and rank in the top 20 percent of their class.

Chartered in 1791, UVM was the first college or university in the United States that did not give preference to a religious sect in its charter. As a small, comprehensive university, it blends the academic heritage of a private university with service missions in the land-grant tradition.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Animal shelter needs dry kitten, cat and dog food, clay litter, laundry soap

post by Billie Owens in Genesee County Animal Shelter

The Genesee County Animal Shelter is in need of dry kitten, cat and dog food, clay litter and laundry soap.

If you can help with any of these supplies, please drop off at the shelter during adoption hours.

The shelter is located at 3841 W. Main St. Road in the Town of Batavia. Phone is 343-6410.

Adoption hours are:

  • 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday through Friday, but closed on Thursdays
  • 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Lively revue of show tunes at Harvester 56 Theater

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Harvester 56 Theater

"On Broadway Too" opens tonight at the Harvester 56 Theater, home of the Batavia Players, Inc.

Matthew Mayne, director, and 40 talented vocalists from Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Monroe counties have been preparing since early May for this jam-packed song-and-dance revue.

Musical selections from these shows will be featured: "9 to 5 -- the Muscial"; "Spring Awakening"; "Next to Normal"; and "The Lion King."

Shows are at 7:30 tonight, Friday and Saturday. Plus, there's a 2 o'clock matinee on Saturday. Seating is limited.

Visit www.bataviaplayers.org and reserve your seat with showtix4u.com or call 1-866-967-8167.

The theater is located at 56 Harvester Ave. in the City of Batavia. Tickets cost $10, students and seniors pay $8.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Three students named to Deans' List at SUNY Albany

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones, Oakfield

The following students were named to the University at Albany's Spring 2011 Deans' List for outstanding academic achievement:

Nicholas Chiruck, of Le Roy <http://readabout.me/Nicholas-Chiruck/DK4G

Molly Eadie, of Le Roy <http://readabout.me/Molly-Eadie/BUJG>

Rachel Shamp, of Oakfield <http://readabout.me/Rachel-Shamp/IESA

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

GC chambers to hold meeting about trip to China this fall

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will host an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. on June 29 about the nine-day tour of China. It will take place at the chamber office on Main Street in Downtown Batavia.

This is the sixth time the chamber has offered this tour.

The trip is from Nov. 1 to 9 and costs $2,099 per person. The chamber believes this trip to be an exceptional value. Price includes air fare (from JFK), bus to/from JFK, hotel stays, three meals a day, bus tours (with guides), admission to tourist spots, and airport taxes throughout the trip.

The trip is filling up quickly! Final payments are due by July 20. For more details or to sign up for the meeting, call Lynn or Melissa at the chamber at 343-7440.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Police Beat: Drug dealing charges filed in Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, Darien, Le Roy

Brandon Alan Eisenberg, 27, of Village Gate, Williamsville, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of marijuana, three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and inhalation of toxic gas (Nitrous Oxide). On June 8, Eisenberg was initially charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 4th, and now these new charges have been added. Eisenberg was arrested in Darien.

Alysasa Marie Lori, 19, of Roe Drive, Cheektowaga, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Lori is accused of continuing to make harassing phone calls and sending text messages to a person after being warned by that person, a Corfu resident, and police to cease the communications.

A 16-year-old from East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with false personation. The youth is accused of providing a false identity to police during an investigation of an alleged underage drinking party at 1:04 a.m., June 5, at 98 North St., Le Roy.

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