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Monday, October 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Photo: Wooded area at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, photos

While driving through the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge yesterday, I came across this damp and dark wooded area and felt, well, compelled to make a picture.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Waterfowl hunters, birders with disabilities now have an accessible blind at Iroquois

It's taken more than 160 hours of his own time, and countless hours of help from volunteers, but Christopher Clarke, Indian Falls Boy Scout Troop 6066, has completed the key component of his Eagle Scout project -- a birder blind at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge that is handicapped accessible.

After getting assistance from an engineer to design the structure and help from fellow Boy Scouts and Boy Scout leaders during the construction of the modular blind, Chris supervised installation of the parts Sunday afternoon.

"A lot of people from all over come here, so this is something that is pretty much for everybody," Chris said when asked why he decided to tackle this project.

During waterfoul hunting season -- which opens Saturday -- only hunters with disabilities will be able to make reservations to use the blind, according to the park's assistant manager, Dawn Washington.

After the season ends Nov. 17, photographers -- both those with disabilities and those without -- will be able to reserve the blind.

Only birders with reservations will be allowed in the blind, Washington said, and visitors to the park who happen down Feeder Road are asked not to disturb anybody using the blind. A sign next to the entrance to the blind's walkway asks visitors to respect the solitude of people using the blind.

During the spring and summer, the gated entrance to the road is locked, but park officials will help people with reservations gain access to that portion of the park.

The blind is at the end of a long dock that was installed by Jonathan Hoste and members of Troop 40 from Wrights Corners. The dock was paid for with federal grant money.

Chris, who enjoys hunting and fishing and has taken a few scouting hikes in the park, said when he heard park officials wanted to get a handicapped accessible blind installed at the end of the dock, he decided he would like to help the park with the project.

"It all came along pretty smoothly," Chris said. "We only had a couple of minor changes."

To make reservations to use the blind, call (585) 948-5445.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Local hunters unveil new website

post by JIM NIGRO in deer hunting, outdoors, talkofthetines

I'd like to share with you a few whitetail photos that were passed along by the "Talk of the Tines" crew, a handful of outdoorsmen from Batavia and Bethany. The deer pictured above is one of the first things you will see on their new website, http://www.talkofthetines.com.

The photo was taken this past summer, not long after DJ Tosh decided to include the use of trail cams and video equipment in his preseason scouting strategy. Two of his hunting companions, GCC students Alec and Bryce Kirsch, after having listened to DJ's idea, were really keen on the idea of filming whitetails.

Once the trio began taking pictures and video they began to capture some dandy bucks on film. Some were taken at night, like the big guy caught on the trail cam. Others were taken during the day. A few, like the big buck seen cutting and running with two other bucks in the third photo, appeared on both, having been captured by the trail cam after dark as well.

"We start watching for bucks mid to late summer to see what's out there," DJ said. "If a deer is 'pushing' good horns at that time, you know he's gonna be a decent deer. Then its time to get out the cameras and set up in spots where we think we might be able to get pictures. Trail cams are more accessible now, price-wise. That wasn't always the case."      

DJ's eye for detail doesn't soley apply to deer. He and his wife, Charissa, are youth group leaders at Grace Baptist Church in Batavia. One day a pair of teens walked in to a youth group function wearing camo and DJ immediately noticed the Kirsch twins. DJ previously attended West Bethany Baptist Church where Jim Kirsch, the boys' father, is pastor.

"I noticed the camo first thing," DJ said. That led to a discussion which quickly got around to his favorite outdoor pusuit. The three have been chasing whitetail bucks ever since.

They knew a website would be an undertaking which would require commitment, responsibility and the need for helping hands. This would pose no problem. Only 29, DJ is also the owner/founder of 9-10 Builders. The name of his business is derived from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 9, Verse 10,"whatever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy might" -- in other words, whatever you do, give it your best and it has become DJ's life verse.    

One of the first things on DJ's to-do list was reach out for sponsors. The response was favorable with companies from the Midwest, all producers of outdoor products, lending their support. Among them are Seemz Technology scent eliminators, Muddy Outdoors and Motion Camera Arms.

Next he enlisted the help of friends and fellow hunters Zack Dawson and Jeff Bartz. Zack, along with his wife, Jess, are also youth group leaders at Grace Baptist where Jeff is the youth pastor. Zack, who is pursuing a pastoral ministry, will work on developing an outreach and discipleship ministry while Jeff is the blog coordinator for the website. (On Friday, Jeff had an interesting phone conversation with noted Southern Tier author/photographer Charles Alsheimer.)

Zack and Jeff's duties will free up DJ and the Kirsch brothers to concentrate on hunting and filming, though all will participate in the outdoor aspects of the operation. Zack is already becoming quite familiar with the photo aspect.

"Taking pictures we try to cover as much ground as we can," he said. "With a good lens you can zoom in from 200 yards." 

DJ added that actual hunting takes a bit more planning.

"We have fixed stands that are based on terrain or habit, a deer's repetitive movement or pattern. The bigger deer are harder to pattern so we all carry climbers," he said, referring to portable tree stands. 

After talking with the group last week, and especially after having checked out their website, it became obvious their endeavor is about much more than the pusuite of whitetails.

As DJ Tosh put it, "It's about friends, family and camaraderie in the outdoors. ... My desire to film and do the website has been fueled by the willingness of the others to get involved. It's a group endeavor."

Despite being in its early stages, the website http://www.talkofthetines.com. is already receiving a good bit of traffic. The bow season opened Saturday and as the season progresses the Talk of the Tines crew is certain to kick into high gear with more photos, videos, blogs and experiences afield being updated on a regular basis as they share their outdoor adventures and the privileges and blessings they so enjoy.  

On Saturday, Nov. 19, the opening day of the firearms portion of the deer season, the Talk of the Tines crew will be hosting a Hunters Gathering at the West Bethany Baptist Church from noon until 2 p.m. with food and refreshments, door prizes and the opportunity for hunters to have their picture taken.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Teenage Bergen bow hunter takes down 17-point buck

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, hunting, outdoors

From Jake's father, Jeff Maurer:

My 17-year-old son, Jake Hunter Maurer, took this 17 pointer on opening day of this year's archery season, Saturday October 15, 2011.

He was hunting alone on the evening of the first day of this year's bow season and though the weather was not ideal, a little windy and cool, this buck meandered through and was the only deer that he saw that afternoon. It presented a 20-yard shot and Jake was able to make it a successful one.

He found his arrow and returned home for an hour then went back out with his friend and father to track it. It had only traveled about 80 yards where they found out just how big he really was. With 17 scoreable points, it may have to be recorded as a non-typical due to the abnormal points on the antlers. But it appears to be big enough for the NYS record book, whether it is recorded as a typical or non-typical.

Jake photographed this same buck with a trail camera a few weeks before season and figured out his travel habits between his bedding area and feeding areas. He found a tree to put a stand in and went there the first day even though other hunters may have stayed out of the woods due to the high winds and cold rain. We took it to a local taxidermist to be mounted and look forward to several meals from all the meat as it weighed about 200 pounds.

The Maurers live in Bergen and Jake was hunting in Bergen when he shot the buck.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Alleged burglar reportedly falls, hurts head, ambulance dispatched

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Mercy EMS ambulance is being dispatched to the scene of an alleged attempted burglary where the would-be female burglar reportedly fell and hit her head.

She is semi-conscious.

Batavia PD is just arriving on scene at the Seneca Avenue residence.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Man wanted on three warrants arrested after brief pursuit

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Batavia PD responded to a 9-1-1 call this morning reporting a domestic disturbance at 110 Walnut St. and when officers arrived, one of the people allegedly involved in the disturbance fled the scene.

The subject was seen heading into the woods behind the house.

Joshua A. Harris, 22, of no permanent address, was taken into custody by Batavia officers after a short pursuit. Deputy Brian Thompson and his K-9 "Pharoah" assisted in the search.

Harris was wanted on three warrants related to charges of criminal contempt, 2nd.

This morning Harris was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Winds playing havoc with power supplies

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

There have been sporadic power outages in Genesee County today due to high winds.

The largest local power outage is in Elba in the area of Ford Road and Bank Street Road, with 53 customers without power. Electricity has been out since 2:02 p.m. and is expected to be restored by 4:30 p.m.

An outage in Le Roy on the west side of the village put 44 customers in the dark, but power was recently restored, according to National Grid.

There are also small outages in South Byron and West Batavia.

UPDATE 4:36 p.m.: It turns out, power is still out on the west side of the Village of Le Roy. There is no ETA for power restoration. Also, a power line is reportedly down on Beckwith Road, Batavia. East Pembroke Fire Department dispatched. A tree has fallen. The lines are off the roadway, but they are burning. National Grid being notified.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

Fire reported near woods off Big Tree Road, Pavilion

post by Billie Owens in fire, Pavilion

A large plume of black smoke is reported across from 7653 Big Tree Road, near South Street Road. It is at the tree line at the back of the property and may be a controlled burn. It is believed to be tires burning. Pavilion Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 12:36 p.m.: The property owners are burning a bunch of brush and are keeping a close eye on it, said a firefighter on scene. Pavilion assignment is back in service.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 8:37 am

Batavia Animal Hospital sold to Perry Veterinary Group

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business

Press release:

The partners of the Perry Veterinary Clinic, PLLC, have purchased the Batavia Animal Hospital from Dr. Raymond Pray.  The transfer was effective Oct. 1, 2011.

The Batavia Animal Hospital was founded by Drs. Jack E. Wilkes and Irving W. Wiswall in 1955 on Lewiston Road. In 1958 it moved to its current location on W. Main St. Road. In 1961, Dr. Pray joined the practice and purchased it in 1974.

The Perry Veterinary Group includes 28 veterinarians with additional small animal clinics in Perry, Livonia and Yorkshire (Arcade). In addition, it provides veterinary services to dairy, equine and other farm animals in a 13-county area.

Dr. Pray and his associate veterinarians are continuing to practice at the Batavia Animal Hospital. Dr. Pray said that he is looking forward to the new arrangement which will allow him more free time while providing the opportunity to continue practicing veterinary medicine. He also stated that he was happy to see the clinic moving forward and knows that the clients that have supported him for many years will continue to receive excellent veterinary care for their pets from the Perry group.

Dr. Stephen Stoddard, senior managing partner, for Perry Veterinary Clinic stated: “The Partners are delighted with the purchase of the Batavia Animal Hospital. Dr. Pray and his associates have excellent reputations and we look forward to working with them. The Perry Veterinary group has long had a significant presence in Genesee County with residents from the Southeast corner of the county coming to our Perry clinic for their pets medical care. In addition, the practice is currently servicing dairy, equine and livestock clients in Genesee County. The Batavia Animal Hospital is a natural fit and we are excited about the opportunity it presents.”

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 8:21 am

Child on bike suffered minor injury after hitting car in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield

A 6-year-old on a bike suffered minor injuries Sunday morning after striking a car pulling out of a parking lot on Main Street in Oakfield.

The child's injuries were minor enough that he was not transported to a hospital.

Hurt was Chase B. Guzdek, of Irving Parkway, Oakfield.

Chase was riding southbound on a sidewalk on Main Street at 10:21 a.m. when a car driven by Deanna S. Keenan, 49, of Fisher Road, Oakfield, was pulling out of a parking lot. Keenan looked past buildings to initiate a left turn.

Chase could not stop in time to avoid the car due to his speed, Deputy Chris Parker wrote in his report.

No citations were issued.

(Initial Report)

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 6:54 am

Law and Order: Man accused of possessing a stun gun

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Darien

Theodore Murphy, 51, of 29 Central Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd. Murphy is accused of possessing an electronic stun gun on Sept. 25 while on Central Avenue. Murphy was jailed without bail.

Reginald J. Hawker, 56, of 220 W. Main St., #4, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Hawker is accused of entering Wilson Farms on West Main Street after previously being barred from the store.

Jerome S. Dennis, 25, of 15 Thorpe St., Upper, Batavia, is charged with harassment. 2nd. Dennis is accused of spitting on another person.

Phillip Michael Busch, 19, of Bowen Road, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to signal and moving from lane unsafely. Busch was stopped at 3:06 a.m., Sunday, on Bowen Road in Alexander by Deputy Jason Saile.

Jennifer Lynn Hoehn, 38, of Dublin Road, Bergen, is charged with criminal mischief. Hoehn is accused of damaging a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado belonging to another person.

Ryan Donal Spencer, 22, of Sumner Road, Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and inadequate exhaust. Spencer was stopped at 12:51 a.m. Saturday by Deputy Jason Saile.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 6:25 am

Weather: Wind advisory issued for most of the day

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

High winds are expected to hit Western New York, including Genesee County, at 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

A wind advisory is in effect until 7 p.m.

Winds will hit 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.

Winds of these speeds can cause minor property damage, bring down tree limbs and cause scattered power outages.

Drivers of high-profile vehicles should proceed with caution.

There's only a 10-percent chance of rain through most of the day, skies will be partly cloudy with a high of 60 degrees.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 6:13 am

Today's Poll: Who will win the World Series?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Car into pole on Main Road, Stafford, no injuries

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford

A car has hit a pole in the area of 6123 Main Road, Stafford.

No injuries are reported, but there are apparently wires down in the road. Stafford Fire Police requested to the scene for traffic control.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.:  The lines hanging low over Route 5 are power lines. National Grid has been notified. No traffic can go through.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: National Grid has a 15-minute ETA.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Employees of Batavia Lowe's told store closing, layoffs coming

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Lowe's

The 90 or so employees of the Lowe's store in Batavia were called in for a mandatory meeting Sunday night and told that the store will be closing.

While employees after the meeting said the closing date is set for Jan. 13, store Manager Ray Robare said there is "no sure, hard date" for the closing.

Starting tomorrow, every item in the store will be 10-percent off, Robare said, and the store will start operating on reduced hours. Tomorrow it will open at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

The employees we spoke with said there is a severance package available, perhaps as long as three-months pay, but the clock starts ticking on it tomorrow, even for those employees who finish out the final weeks of the store.

Robare said, however, that those details are still being worked out and, "it's something that tomorrow we'll start discussing with employees."

As for whether some employees, especially managers, might have job opportunities at other Lowe's locations, Robare said that's something that is still being worked out.

Robare said he couldn't discuss the reason for closing that corporate leaders might have shared with managers.

One employee said, "If I told you the real story, I might get in trouble."

The Lowe's location is leased and sits directly across Veterans Memorial Drive from The Home Depot.

UPDATE 9:26 a.m., Monday: Lowe's issued the following press release this morning:

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW), announced today the company is closing 20 underperforming stores in 15 states. Ten locations closed at the end of business Sunday, Oct. 16. The remaining 10 locations will close within approximately one month, following an inventory sell-through.

In addition, after completing a comprehensive review of its pipeline of proposed new stores, the company announced it has discontinued a number of planned new store projects. Lowe's now expects to open 10 to 15 stores per year in North America from 2012 forward, compared to a prior assumption of approximately 30 stores per year. The company is on track to open approximately 25 stores in 2011, as planned.

The expected financial impact of today's announcements of $0.17 to $0.20 per diluted share was not contemplated in the business outlook for fiscal 2011 which the company provided on Aug. 15 when it released its second-quarter earnings. Additional details regarding the impact of the store closings will be provided in the next quarterly earnings release on Nov. 14.

"Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities," said Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and CEO. "However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position.

"Lowe's remains committed to making strategic investments and focusing resources in a manner that will generate the greatest shareholder value, enhance the customer shopping experience and create sustained customer loyalty over the long term," added Niblock.

Approximately 1,950 employees will be affected by these closings. Employees will receive pay and benefits for 60-90 days. In addition, Lowe's will be working with local government agencies to help employees with outplacement assistance.

The stores affected by today's announcement are located in:

Los Banos, CA        Biddeford, ME        Old Bridge, NJ 
Westminster, CA    Ellsworth, ME    Batavia, NY 
Denver, CO    Ionia, MI    N. Kingstown, RI 
Aurora, IL    Rogers, MN    Emporia, VA 
Oswego, IL    Claremont, NH    S. Tacoma, WA 
Chalmette, LA    Hooksett, NH    Brown Deer, WI 
Haverhill, MA    Manchester, NH

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 10:21 am

Photos: St. Joe's 52nd annual Popcorn Ball

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, St. Joe's

St. Joe's hosted its 52nd annual Popcorn Ball on Saturday night, with the music of Rochester-based Up 2 Somethin’, featuring local bass player Rickey Ellis.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

Photos: Downtown Batavia Wine Walk 2011

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, wine walk

There were 500 tickets sold for the 2011 Wine Walk in Downtown Batavia, and despite some strong winds, a bit of a chill and a little rain, attendance for the second annual event was still high.

And everybody had a good time.

This year, 20 downtown merchants participated -- up from 13 last year.

UPDATE: Carlson's Studio had their photo booth set up for wine walk guests, and Kevin Carlson was also shooting group photos on the studio couch. Below are two of the shots from the evening.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 9:26 am

Pedestrian hit by car outside M&T Bank in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield

A pedestrian appears to not be seriously injured after being hit by a car outside the M&T Bank, 54 Main St., Oakfield.

The victim is conscious and alert and walking.

Oakfield fire and ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 10:29 a.m.: Units responding non-emergency mode. Confirmed, minor injuries.

UPDATE 10:31 a.m.: Mercy Medic 2 put back in service. Victim will be transported to the hospital by private vehicle.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 9:11 am

Attica's goal line stand preserves victory over Elba/Byron-Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in football, sports

The Lancers had four chances to punch the ball in from the four-yard line for a game winning score, but the Attica Blue Devil's defense held firm and preserved the team's fifth victory of the season.

Attica won 14-8.

Attica, Elba/Byron-Bergen and Notre Dame all finish the regular season with 5-2 records and a three-way tie for second in the Genesee Region League.  Barker/Roy Hart (7-0), with its win Friday over Notre Dame, secured the league championship.

In Saturday's only local football game, the Lancers fell behind 7-0 in the second quarter when Zach Kozma picked off a pass from Elba's Zac Gillard and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.

Elba pulled ahead in the third quarter on a block punt that Alex Jasinski carried 22 yards into the end zone. Zach Dubois ran the ball in on a two-yard conversion.

Attica's winning score came on a six-yard run in the fourth quarter by Brad Ruzewski.

Given an opportunity to tie the score (and pull ahead on a conversion), Elba had the ball on the four-yard line with 1:30 remaining in the game, but four run attempts failed. Attica's David Clark, who had 16 tackles on the day, came up big in the stand, making two key tackles.

On the day, DuBois had 86 yards on 23 carries. With those 83 yards, Dubois went over the 1,000-yard mark for his HS career.

Gillard completed four passes for 50 yards and Dan Ramsey had three catches for 47 yards.

On defense, Emeliano Acosta had two blocked punts. Tom Fowler had nine tackles.

For Attica, Earl Howard had 76 yards on 23 carries.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 8:46 am

Event at YWCA shines spotlight on domestic violence

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, batavia, YWCA

Press Release:

The YWCA of Genesee County, Inc. celebrated a community Domestic Violence Awareness event on Tuesday evening at their facility at 301 North Street in Batavia.  They served a Spaghetti dinner to over 150 people.  To honor the Victims of Domestic Violence the YWCA staff had a special candle lighting ceremony outside their facility, they lined the driveway and walkways with  60 candles.  Each candle represented 4 new victims of Domestic Violence that were seen in our office in 2010.  That represents 240 victims!   Volunteers  helped to prepare and serve the dinner, and in thanks for their assistance were given  Domestic Violence T-shirts and a meal.    

The YWCA works to assist victims of Domestic Violence through awareness, advocacy and resource referral efforts.  For more information, please contact the YWCA of Gensee County, Inc. at 585.343.5808.

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