Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm
The best and brightest local high school students in Genesee Community College's Advanced Studies classes will be honored at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2, in the Stuart Steiner Theatre.
In addition, local teachers who have taught in the ACE programs, or Accelerated College Enrollment, will also be recognized for their continuing dedication and commitment.
ACE allows high school students the opportunity to earn college credit from Genesee while attending classes at their high school. More than 120 students from high schools throughout Western New York were nominated for the award, of which 60 were chosen as semi-finalists. The 32 student finalists will be announced at the Awards Ceremony.
Two new components will be featured at this year's event. First, Joan Cole, superintendent of Elba Central School District, will give the first keynote address at the Outstanding Scholars Awards Ceremony.
She has been working within the Elba Central School district for 29 years and will be retiring as superintendent at the end of this school year. She will share some insights on ACE Programs and offer some words of inspiration and encouragement to students.
In addition, the ACE Program will recognize high school teachers who have taught Advanced Studies courses through the years. Advanced Studies courses are taught by teachers who serve as Genesee Community College adjunct faculty at their respective high schools. The following Genesee County teachers will be recognized:
Christine Nickerson -- Pavilion High School
Thomas Trosey -- Batavia High School
Suzanne Halas -- Batavia High School
Jean Bartholomew -- Pavilion High School
Edward Brady -- Byron-Bergen High School
Jennifer Korpanty -- Batavia High School
Donna Thompson -- Genesee Valley BOCES (Batavia)
Jim Dziemian -- Genesee Valley BOCES (Batavia)
Greg Kinal -- Pembroke High School
Douglas Hollinger -- Pavilion High School
Loraine Mazza -- Genesee Valley BOCES (Batavia)
Chris Therrien -- Oakfield-Alabama High School
Shawnie Woeller -- Alexander High School
John Mangefrida -- Batavia High School
Stacy McCarthy -- Batavia High School
Ryan Mosier -- Pavilion High School
Amy Sparrow-Percy -- Oakfield-Alabama High School
For more information about the Advanced Studies program at Genesee Community College call 345-6801, or go to <http://www.genesee.edu/ACE>.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm
Attention parents in the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District. There will be a PRACTICE evacuation drill for all students, K-12, on Thursday, May 27.
Dismissal for grades six through 12 is at 10 a.m.
Dismissal for grades K through five is at 11:30 a.m.
Any questions please call Merritt Holly, middle school principal, OACS.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Because of the major success the 2009 photo contest, the New York State Association of Counties has decided to hold the contest again this year.
NYSAC officials said more than 100 photos were submitted by 30 counties last year.
Genesee County Legislature Chair Mary Pat Hancock is opening the contest to local photographers, giving them the opportunity to submit their photos.
“With all the beautiful spots in Genesee County and all the talented photographers, this contest seems made to order for us!," Hancock said. "Please take the time to submit your photographs."
This time, NYSAC is looking for pictures that set Genesee County apart from other counties in day-to-day activities. The association is looking for pictures ranging from farm fields and barns to ice rinks and cityscapes.
Send in a photo that best represents our community. Submitted photos should be high resolution (at least 300dpi) at 4-by-6 inches. Deadline for submission is June 11 and photos should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you desire additional information, please contact Carolyn Pratt, clerk of the Legislature 344-2550, ext, 2202 or <email@example.com>.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm
The Genesee County Business Education Alliance (BEA) is offering three career-exploration camps this summer Genesee County middle-school students.
Brand-new this year is a camp exploring careers related to math, science and technology. The MST Explorer Camp is July 20 and 21 and it is for students who are currently in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
The MST camp on July 20 is for boys and the girls camp is July 21.
The camp fee is $25 and will run all day, 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch and snacks are included. It will be held at Batavia Middle School.
Students will learn how math, science and technology can translate to exciting career options. Some of the activities will include: designing and building bridges; testing CO2 cars; exploring aerodynamics through a hot-air balloon, a real race car, and an ultralite aircraft; experiencing energy; and learning about the future of alternative energy sources, and much more.
The MASH (Medical Academy of Science and Health) Camp will be July 27-30 for current sixth- and seventh-graders. The camp fee is $40 and includes lunches and snacks. The camp will be held at a variety of locations. including United Memorial Medical Center and Genesee Community College.
The MASH Camp explores careers related to health and health-care fields, including the new career clusters, life sciences and biotechnology. The camp is hands-on and offers a variety of interactive activities for students to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to be in some of these careers. The activities are led by dedicated professionals who are excited about their jobs and who want to share that with students.
Culinary Camp will be Aug. 2-6, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for students currently in sixth- and seventh-grades. The camp fee is $25. Students will receive chef hats and aprons. This camp will be held at a variety of locations including Tops Food Market in Batavia, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Batavia Campus, and restaurants in downtown Batavia.
Culinary Camp is a career-exploration camp for students interested in experiencing and learning about careers related to culinary arts and the hospitality field. Students will have a unique opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the daily operations of Tops and how the staff works to meet the local community's needs.
Students will spend three days learning cooking techniques and creating meals under the direction of the culinary arts instructor from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The camp will conclude with a tour of restaurants in downtown Batavia.
For more information on these camps or to register, please contact Melinda Chamberlin at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or at 343-7440, ext. 25. Information is also available through the school district counseling offices.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm
"Scruffy" just did what his breed is wont to do when a person in his care is assaulted -- he attacked the aggressor.
An East Main Street woman was sent to UMMC around 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, after she allegedly went onto a neighbor's property and started fighting with a woman who was staying there.
Her leg was reportedly bitten pretty badly.
The woman whom "Scruffy" was reportedly protecting also suffered a dog bite, probably accidentally, when she tried pulling "Scruffy" off the other woman. She was also transported to UMMC.
When the incident started, "Scruffy" was quietly sitting on his own porch at 516 E. Main St., doing what he normally does -- just watching -- when the fight started. He jumped off the porch and attacked the woman who had allegedly come onto his property.
"Scruffy," if that's his real name, Sgt. John Peck wasn't 100 percent sure, is part pit bull.
Neither "Scruffy" nor his owner face any chargers since "Scruffy" did not leave his owner's property and didn't break any laws.
Peck said neighbors were familiar with the dog and described him as normally very friendly. The dog has no prior history of attacks or aggression. Peck said "Scruffy" was friendly with him when he approached.
Whether either of the women will be charged with any crime is unknown, Sgt. Peck said. The case is still open.
Peck said the women had been taunting each other recently, which seemed to precipate the alleged altercation last night.
The police are not releasing any names until and unless actual charges are filed.
(This is a follow up to this initial report.)
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm
After leading Sheriff's deputies on a two-hour wild goose chase, a 19-year-old man who said he had been living in Elba is in federal custody for allegedly re-entering the country illegally.
Fredy Perez Cortes was found shortly after 12:15 p.m. wandering barefoot at the intersection of Slusser and Galloway roads in Oakfield.
A local resident had given him water, but then called the Sheriff's Office. When Deputy Brian Thompson arrived, Cortes allegedly fled into a nearby farm field and Thompson used his K-9 to chase him and corner him.
Cortes reportedly told Thompson that he and a friend had been in the area looking for work when their truck broke down. He said his friend was somewhere in the area looking for a car to steal.
More deputies responded to the area and began a search for a white pickup truck and a Mexcan male wearing sandles, a dark shirt and light blue pants.
When Cortes was searched following his apprehension, Thompson found a car key in his jeans' pocket.
After it was apparent there wasn't much about Cortes story that was checking out, Thompson remembered that earlier today a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am had been found in the West Batavia area near Donahue Road. It apparently had been involved in a property damage accident and had been towed to Parise's Automotive. Thompson took the key to the car and it fit.
Allegedly, Cortes had been driving the car, possibly after drinking, and then fled the scene of the accident. He then became lost in the Town of Oakfield and stopped at a farmhouse asking for water.
Thompson said he does not believe Cortes actually broke into any residences and that there never was a second subject involved in the incident.
No New York charges are pending.
"It is much more expedient to allow the ICE officers to handle the situation," Thompson said.
Cortes was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deportation Officer
K. Hobart. He will be charged with illegal re-entry after deportation, a federal felony.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm
Tomorrow will be an important day for our county. Nearly 20 agencies have worked together to bring information to the hands of individuals that may have not known where to turn when help was needed. The Forgotten Children Event will include a display in front of the Courthouse of cut-outs representing children in foster care in Genesee County, a processional walk starting at 12:15pm from City Hall to the Courthouse, a Batavia Area Jaycees $1 Hot Dog Stand, free healthy snacks to the public, and information bags filled with brochures & program information. This event is to raise awareness of all the children in Genesee County that live in foster care, services that are available to men, women, and children, and a chance to show support of all the wonderful people that our county has working to make this a better place to live. A sample of agencies include Genesee County Dept. of Social Services, YWCA, Girl Scouts, RAP, Inc., Genesee Justice, GCASA, WIC, Community Action, All Babies Cherished, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. This event is open to the public and is FREE!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm
A youth who was wanted by local law enforcement, and allegedly led Batavia Police, State Police and Sheriff's deputies on a manhunt in the city two months ago, was sentenced to prison time for a violation of probation.
Christopher Laird, 17, originally from Elba, but has also lived in Le Roy and Batavia, failed to report for probation meetings in early 2010.
Police eventually caught up with Lair in Le Roy on April 4, two days after the manhunt, which involved a State Police helicopter.
Laird's probation was revoked. He will spend one to three years in state prison.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm
Sheriff's deputies are in the area of Slusser and MacCumber roads, Oakfield, where one subject is in custody and deputies are looking for a second person who may be in the area with the intent to steal a car.
A deputy originally spotted a person walking on Slusser Road, and when the deputy attempted to make contact with that individual, he ran into a field.
The deputy chased him down and after being taken into custody, the individual apparently told the deputy he and a friend had a car break down so they were in the area looking for a car to steal.
The subject still at large is described as a Mexican male. His friend said he will try to run if he sees law enforcement.
UPDATE 12:46 p.m.: The search continues. The individual taken into custody has apparently been evasive in his answers at times, but he apparently said that he and his buddy -- they live in the Oak Orchard area of Elba -- have been out of work for three months and were out looking for work when their truck broke down.
UPDATE 1:56 p.m: The search seems to have moved to an area of Oak Orchard Road where the second subject is believed to reside. At the scene of the original call, Deputy Brian Thompson said the call started when area residents reported a Mexican male, not wearing any shoes, walking house-to-house. A woman at one house gave the man some water and called the Sheriff's Office. That's where Deputy Thompson first saw the man, who started to run. Deputy Thompson deployed his K-9, who quickly helped detain the man.
Deputy Thompson said the common method for daytime house burglars is to not wear shoes, minimizing footprints. He said he thinks the jobless men were out looking for food.
Immigration Control and Enforcement officers were on scene. But the subject detained is not believed to be in the country legally.
Thompson said in his 19 years with the Sheriff's Office, he hasn't known too many migrant workers to get involved in petty crimes, but with the crack down on farmers hiring undocumented workers, it's getting harder for those without papers to find work.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 8:52 am
Jesse Adam Dispenza, 24, of Union Street, Scottsville, is charged with trespass. Dispenza is accused of trespassing on the Dolomite property in the Town of Le Roy at 6:20 p.m., Saturday.
Marissa Christine Zeiner, 19, of Sunset Circle Lane, Brockport, is charged with trespass. Zeiner is accused of trespassing on the Dolomite property in the Town of Le Roy at 6:20 p.m., Saturday.
A 17-year-old resident of Maple Avenue in Le Roy is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop by Deputy Matt Butler at 5:03 p.m., Saturday.
Ami Kadar, 64, of Albion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Kadar was arrested this week by State Police on Maple Avenue, Elba, in connection with an alleged incident at 12:01 p.m., March 30. No further details are available.
Jorge L. Portugal-Pineda, 22, of Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unsafe tires and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle. Portugal-Pineda was arrested by State Police on Transit Road at 3:15 p.m., Monday.
Ethan R. Kitanik, 19, of Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, and ticketed for no headlights. Kitanik was stopped by State Police on Oak Street in Oakfield at 10:55 p.m., Sunday.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 8:32 am
The co-owner of a company that makes an ad-supported map product said he wants to make it clear he takes seriously concerns that his sales reps may have left an impression with some local businesses that his company is working with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.
"We are acknowledging that we are not affiliated with the chamber on this edition," said Matt Vonderhaar, of Cincinnati-based Universal Advertising Associates.
Yesterday, The Batavian reported that chamber officials were concerned that Universal was representing a tie with the chamber in its sales efforts for a map of Genesee County. The chamber has its own map project, which The Batavian is providing support for on the upcoming edition.
Vonderhaar said his 35-year-old company has been doing business in Batavia for 20 years.
In fact, he said, from 1997 up until June 2008, the chamber had a free ad on the Genesee County map in exchange for distributing the map through the chamber office.
He said Universal produces maps in 42 states, and many of them are affiliated with local chambers. He suggested that perhaps some of his 35 sales reps are conditioned to talk about the chamber connection from those other sales calls.
He said if anyone has any concerns about his reps sales tactics, they should contact him directly through his company's website.
"This is a second-generation business," Vonderhaar said. "We put out a great product. We're very proud of what we do. If anybody has an issue with our business they should call me directly."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 8:01 am
post by Howard Owens in polls
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm
A juror in the Scott Doll murder trial contacted The Batavian today and after confirming the juror's identity, we agreed to anonymously publish this account of the juror's experience.
I just have a couple things to say about the Scott Doll trial. I was a juror who sat in the front row. I would not like to give my name or my number as I am not trying to cause any problems with this statement, just want to clear some things up, that have been on my mind since last Thursday.
I wanted to start off by saying that none of us in the jury chose to be in that box for the three weeks, we were chosen by both sides of the case as they felt we were the most impartial and non-biased individuals out of the pool they had to choose from. That being said, I would like to also tell everyone that none of us had preconceived notions as to the guilt or innocence of Mr. Doll. And for those of you who have comments such as "shame on the Jury," you were not in that deliberation room discussing the facts/evidence so you have no idea what we went through.
No one but the 12 of us that were locked in that room for 12 hours knows what we discussed, and let me tell you there was quite a lot of discussion taking place. I do not like the fact that almost instantly people comment that we locked up an innocent man, that there is a "real" murderer on the streets. To you all, we all examined the evidence, and listened to all the testimonies. We all listened to the opinions and concerns that each of us had, and NO ONE was forced into making a guilty verdict when we took our final vote.
We DID NOT rush things to get it over with. Anyone who had reservations on coming up with a verdict was allowed to voice their opinions. It all comes back to the evidence. Mr. Cambria told us to use our "common sense" when it came to deliberating on a verdict. We all felt that the evidence all pointed back to Mr. Doll, and to us that was "Common Sense" as that is what the evidence showed us. If there had been other evidence showing otherwise we would have considered it.
For the record, it's not the easiest thing to give a guilty verdict either. Knowing someone's life was in our hands weighed on our hearts and minds those final minutes of the trial. And it is definitely not easy to hear the cries and look at the faces of the family either, even when you know that the right thing was done according to the evidence that was presented to us. I'm sorry if that upsets some of you reading this, but trust me I have not nor will I ever forget this event. I have certainly not moved on with my life and left it behind. And I hope to never have to do something like this again.
My thoughts and prayers are with both the Doll family as well as the Benaquist family. I know that both families are now missing a member, and things will never be the same, and that is something that I will think about daily, for the rest of my life. If anyone thinks otherwise they are greatly mistaken.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 9:14 pm
Sixty-two drivers in Batavia received traffic citations in May as part of a joint Batavia PD and State Police effort to crack down on mobile phone use and seat belt violators.
The Batavia Police received a grant earlier to help fund increased enforcement of these laws as part of a statewide effort.
In May, checkpoints were set up on Law, Clinton and Oak streets.
The State Police cooperated in the last location, setting up its Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit. Nine tickets were issued to truck drivers at the checkpoint near the Thruway entrance.
The city will conduct future enforcement actions as part of the grant it received from the governor's Traffic Safety Committee.
CORRECTION: Lt. Henning informed me that I got my enforcement grants mixed up. The grant for this particular set of checkpoints was for police to look for vehicle violations. You drive through a check point and the police check your registration and inspection, etc. There is another grant, also still active in the city, for seat belt and mobile phone violations. The May results of that enforcement effort have not been released yet.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm
A truck driver who was reportedly looking at porn on a laptop computer prior to slamming his truck into a disabled car on the Thruway in Pembroke pled guilty today to manslaughter.
The Dec. 12 accident took the life of a mother from Snyder, 33-year-old Julie Stratton.
Thomas M. Wallace, 45, of Brook Park, Ohio, could face up to 15 years in prison.
More from the Buffalo News, including video.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm
A fight-in-progress has been reported at a residence near Pontillo's.
A dog was reportedly being used to attack a victim.
Police are on scene and have requested Mercy EMS for a person with cuts to the leg.
UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: A second ambulance has been requested to 516 E. Main St., where Mercy EMS reports a second victim needing transport to a hospital.
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm
Sheriff Gary Maha calls a pending Assembly bill which would require cops to shoot a suspect only to wound him -- presumably aiming for an arm or a leg -- "ridiculous."
The so-called "minimum force" bill says, "(a peace officer or police officer) uses such force with the intent to stop, rather than kill, the person who he or she reasonably believes is using unlawful force, and uses only the minimal amount of force necessary to effect such stop."
No shooting course teaches law enforcement officers to aim at limbs, Maha noted.
The first job of a cop in a dangerous situation is to protect himself and the people he's sworn to serve, Maha said.
"Deadly physical force, under the (current) law, can only be used as a last resort, under extreme circumstances," Maha told WBTA. "You're going to put more pressure on the officer if he has to shoot to wound. You're putting that officer in jeopardy."
Under provisions of the bill, any officer accused of shooting to kill another person in the line of duty would be charged with manslaughter.
The bill is sponsored by Annette Robinson (D-Bedford Stuyvesant) and Darryl Towns (D-East New York).
While the "minimum force" bill hasn't died, it is languishing in committee and is still drawing reaction from New York's law enforcement community.
A New York detective told the New York Post that the bill would create a situation where cops are expected to shoot the gun out of the hands of suspect, while the criminal would still be firing with the intent to kill. It's been called the "John Wayne" bill because it requires a level of accuracy only seen in Hollywood Westerns.
"These are split-second, spontaneous events -- and officers have to make a full assessment in a fraction of a second," said an angry Michael Paladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association.
The bill was drafted in response to the shooting death of Sean Bell, a man who was killed by police following a fight at a strip club where he was celebrating his bachelor party. An undercover officer reportedly heard Bell say at some point that he had a gun. In the melee that followed, Bell reportedly slammed his Nissan into a police vehicle.
Photo: File photo of Sheriff Gary Maha.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm
When it comes to tax incentive packages, Genesee County has a few advantages over Monroe County, because of programs available targeted specifically for rural counties, according to Chris Suozzi, VP of business development for the Genesee County Economic Development Center.
So when Brothers International announced it was abandoning Batavia, where it was founded in 2001, for Rochester, Souzzi concluded it wasn't purely a business decision.
"In my mind it was more of a personal decision on where they wanted to locate the company," Souzzi said.
We have a call into Travis Betters at Brothers International to get his take on the relocation decision.
Souzzi said he last met with Brothers six months ago and presented a side-by-side comparison of the Genesee County package with the Monroe County package. He said it "opened their eyes" about what Genesee County had to offer and was under the impression they would "stay put in Batavia."
He didn't learn of the decision by Brothers to move until Monroe County put out a press release about the location change.
While the current Brothers location is in an empire zone, to date the company has received no tax assistance through GCEDC, Souzzi said.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm
On June 14th at 6PM the American Legion Post 332 will conduct a Flag Day ceremony at the Post Home on RT. 98 just South of the city line.
The colors will be posted by the Honor Guard Team at 6PM and Commander Ronald P. Konieczny will read the order of the day. Post Chaplain, Paul LaValley will give a prayer before the burning ceremony begins.
All tattered flags to be retired may be dropped of at the J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home on 2 Bogue Ave., Batavia from 9AM to 4PM. All flags will be respectfully folded prior to being transfered to the ceremony area.
If you have questions or need any type of assistance, please call Commander Konieczny at 585-343-6158 and he will assist you.
The public is requested to participate in this solemn service.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm
post by Ronald Konieczny in
The annual Flag Day ceremony will take place on June 14th, 6:00PM at the American Legion Post 332 Home on Rt. 98, just South of the city line. The colors will be posted by the Honor Guard Team followed by the Post Commander, Ron P. Konieczny reading the ceremony to retire the tattered American Flags. Post Chaplain, Paul LaValley will conduct a brief prayer service just prior to the actual buring of the flags. You may bring your worn flags to the ceremony or a drop off box will be provided on June 14th from 9AM to 4PM at the J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home on 2 Bogue Avenue in Batavia. At the drop off center, all flags will be respectfully folded before being transfered to the ceremony location. If you have questions, please call Commander Ron Konieczny at 585-343-6158 and he will assist you. Your participation in this patiortic service is well appreciated.