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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 9:02 am

Alabama man supsected of illegally modifying weapons for sale

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, crime

mug_christopher_bombard.jpgAn Alabama man whose home was raided early Tuesday morning and had 12 guns seized is suspected of modifying weapons for sale, according to Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster.

"I think he was trying to expand his business a little bit," Brewster said. "He's been rather active in turning legal weapons into allegedly illegal weapons, which is why we sent the guns to the crime lab for further evaluation."

One clearly modified gun was found, according to a Sheriff's Office press release, along with a silencer and a large capacity magazine. The other weapons will be examined and additional charges may be filed.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) participated in the raid and it's possible that Christopher Jon Bombard, 31, of 7133 Maple St. Road, will also face federal charges, which carry substantially stiffer penalties than state felonies.

Bombard was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd.

Brewster said the weapons seized included .22 long rifles and assault-style rifles.

"We do not get the impression that he had been doing this for a very long period of time," Brewster said.

The $300 seized in the raid is believed to be the fruit of an alleged illegal gun sale, Brewster said.

The weapons were being sold locally, Brewster said, and it was that local activity that led to a tip being funneled to the Sheriff's Office through the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. The task force conducted the investigation and raid, along with the ATF and other local agencies.

The Local Drug Enforcement Task Force handles much more than drug investigations, Brewster noted. It is also charged with vice and organized crime investigation, for example, so "this was right up their alley which is why I authorized them to handle the case."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 7:39 am

Power line reported down on Cedar Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A power line has been reported down on Cedar Street.

It has reportedly fallen on an occupied car.

City Fire is responding.

UPDATE 7:45 a.m.: National Grid requested to the scene.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 7:11 am

Today's Poll: Are you worried about bed bugs?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 6:49 am

Report of a power outage in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

There is a report that power is out in the area of Ross and East Main streets. 

The power outage may only go as far as Washington on the north, Ellicott on the South.

UPDATE: It sounds like power is out on the south side of East Main all the way down to Cedar Street.

UPDATE 6:58 a.m.: National Grid is showing sporadic power outages south down Ellicott as far as Little Canada.

UPDATE 7:13 a.m.: According to National Grid, more than 1,200 customers are without power. One section of power loss covers the wedge from Ross to Cedar between East main and Ellicott, with some outages on the north side of East Main. Another section of outages are at Old Creek Road, north of Ellicott almost to Route 5, to just past Transit Road on the east, and down to the south to West Bethany and Brookville, and on the west side to Dorman and Cookson roads.

UPDATE 8:37 a.m.: National Grid reports that power is back on for the two outage areas mentioned above, however there is now a power outage for about 900 customers in Pavilion and down into Wyoming County.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Cache of weapons reportedly found in home of Alabama man

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, crime

mug_christopher_bombard.jpgA dozen weapons, including one that was altered in an allegedly illegal manner, were recovered from an Alabama residence in an early morning raid by local law enforcement.

A silencer and large capacity magazine designed to fit the altered gun were also allegedly found at the residence of Christopher Jon Bombard, 31, of 7133 Maple St. Road.

Bombard was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd.

The other weapons are being sent to the Monroe County Public Safety Lab for further examination.

Additional charges may be filed.

The 7:15 a.m. raid was carried out the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, which also recovered $300 cash.

Bombard was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Also participating in the investigation and raid were the District Attorney's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management and Mercy EMS.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Elba Democrats Select a Candidate for Highway Superintendent

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, elba, politics

Press Release:

Monday night, Democrats in Elba held a caucus and selected a Mark Yungfleisch to run for the office being vacated by current Highway Superintendent Allan Totten. Yungfleisch is a long time Elba resident who has worked for the Highway Department in Elba previously. He is a former Elba Fire Department Assistant Chief and is currently employed at Reisdorf Oil.

Yungfleisch cited experience as his primary motivation for seeking the office. ‘I have a Class A license, I’m very familiar with the equipment and I understand the maintenance, scheduling and budgetary needs of the department,’ he said after the caucus.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Pro baseball in Batavia in 2011 likely, says Red Wings president

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports


Today Batavia baseball fans learned that they're not without hope that some St. Louis Cardinals prospect will be hurling an opening day pitch at Dwyer Stadium in June, 2011.

At a press conference where Cardinals officials were on hand to sign a new affiliation agreement with the Genesee County Baseball Club, Naomi Silver, president of Rochester Community Baseball said the Red Wings are prepared to support baseball in Batavia for at least one more season.

There are details to be settled before the current agreement expires on Oct. 31, but Silver said the Red Wings "will not leave GCBC in the lurch."

Without financial backing, and if a new owner is not found in time, GCBC could lose its New York-Penn League franchise and the $4 to $6 million that could be garnered in a sale.

"If the details of a sale have not been worked out, we would be willing to come in and help out Batavia and continue to run the ball club," Silver said. "I think the chances of baseball being in Batavia in 2011 are extremely strong. What role we play in that has yet to be determined."

Even so, Silver said, the club needs to be sold. The ideal buyer would be somebody committed to the community, with sufficient financial backing to keep the team in Batavia.

"We won’t walk away while we’re waiting for a buyer to come along," Silver said. "Somebody has got to be able to run this team because the St. Louis Cardinals are going to come here and expect to field a team. That is our obligation and that is the league's obligation."

For the Cardinals part, the storied major league franchise sent Assistant Manager John Abbamondi and John Vuch, director of Minor League operations, to Batavia to sign a new two-year agreement with GCBC.

GCBC President Brian Paris said the new agreement and the presense of Abarmondi and Vuch signal how committed the Cardinals are to working with GCBC, the Red Wings and baseball in Batavia.

"They could have done this through the mail," Paris said. "They could have done this through a fax machine, but they told me they wanted to come out here and and show their support."

The Cardinals show of support for baseball in Batavia comes just a couple of weeks after NY-Penn League President Ben Hayes criticized the Dwyer field, saying it was unfit for professional baseball.

"Always, there are things that could be better, but some of the concerns may have been overblown," said Vuch. "The facility is a safe facility. There are not glaring problems. We understand the situation here and we have no concerns."

Vuch praised the community for its support of the players, from giving prospects places to live, to providing a positive environment to support their development.

"The community has always been a good host for our players," Vuch said.

(Initial Post)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Driver testifies she had no time to react before hitting Wendt's truck

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, crime, Darien, Ronald J. Wendt

On a clear night, on a straight road, at a time when none of the four people in her car were talking, cell phones weren't being used and the radio wasn't on, Rachel L. Enderle, with her hands on the wheel and her eyes straight ahead, didn't see Ronald J. Wendt's truck until a second before her Toyota Camry hit it.

Wendt, on trial for manslaughter and reckless driving, is accused of turning left on Route 20 at the location of My Saloon in Darien Center, right in front of 27-year-old Enderle's car.

Enderle's Camry plowed into the side of the Dodge Ram truck, and Enderle apparently neither hit her brakes nor swerved to avoid the accident.

Katie Stanley, 18, died as a result of the accident. She was a passenger in Enderle's car.

Alexander resident Wendt, 25, could serve up to 25 years in prison if convicted by the 12-person jury of aggravated reckless driving.

Enderle testified today that she wasn't distracted in any way prior to the accident, though she was probably going 55 mph in the 40 mph zone. The Dansville resident testified that she didn't see the lower speed limit signs when driving into the hamlet.

The only thing she remembers is seeing the maroon passenger side door of Wendt's truck just before hitting it.

"I didn't know where it came from," Enderle said.

She said she had no time to react.

"In my head and my heart, I do feel like I got my foot on the brake," Enderle said."I don’t know if pushed down on it."

While another witness testified that Wendt had his headlights on, Enderle said she didn't see the headlights of his truck approaching from the east. 

Two of the three witnesses who testified today could not recall with certainty whether Wendt used his turn signal.

Another witness, Amanda McClellan, who was standing on the recessed porch of My Saloon, and couldn't possibly have had a clear view of Wendt's truck as it approached the spot of the accident, said Wendt didn't have his turn signal on.

While Enderle said she had no time to react, another driver, Brian C. Fox, of Portageville, said he was two or three seconds behind Enderle's Toyota, managed to slam on the brakes of his pickup truck and stop five feet short of the collision.

Fox said he saw Wendt's truck -- with headlights on -- down the road before Wendt started his turn, but said Wendt turned quickly right in front of Enderle's car.

Asked by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman his opinion on whether the driver of the Toyota could possibly have had time to react, Fox said,  "There was nothing they could do."

Speed, of course, is an important factor in reaction time. 

Both Fox and Enderle testified that they couldn't say for sure how fast they were going, but there were driving with the flow of traffic.

Evidence indicates that Fox told investigators after the accident that he was going 55 mph. Today, Fox testified that he said he was going 55 because he thought that was the speed limit on that stretch of Broadway Road.

Today, he initially testified that he must have been going between 45 mph and 55 mph.

At a DMV hearing some months ago, Fox testified that he may have been going as fast as 60 mph.

McClellan testified that she thought Enderle was traveling at about the speed limit, or 40 mph. She estimated Wendt's speed to be between 30 and 40 mph as he went into the turn into the parking lot, though she admitted she didn't hear his tires squeal or see his truck fishtail.

Both Enderle and McClellan testified that beer cans and bottles flew from the bed of Wendt's truck at the time of impact. McClellan said there were as many as 20 beer containers on the ground near the accident scene. 

"A man had said let’s get these cans and bottles out of here before the cops get here," Enderle said.

Testimony in the Wendt trial resumes in the morning.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Muckdogs, Cardinals extend contract; baseball likely to be here in 2011

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

Although the Red Wings have not firmly committed to having community baseball remain in Batavia next year, they will maintain a financial interest in ownership of the Muckdogs and in providing the team with an affiliate in the NY Penn League -- the St. Louis Cardinals.

"The chances of there being baseball in Batavia in 2011 are extremely strong," said Maomi Silver, president and CEO of Red Wings Management, LLC, the company which has managed the Muckdogs since 2008.

She commented on the issue at Dwyer Stadium this afternoon, when it was announced that the Muckdogs and St. Louis Cardinals will extend their working relationship through the 2012 season.

The existing Muckdogs-Cardinals Player-Development Contract expires Sept. 30.

Silver made it clear that the Red Wings are not going to abandon the Muckdogs and that if it takes longer than this off-season to find a buyer, so be it. The search for a buyer continues and there has been interest shown, but no deal is imminent, she said.

A joint announcment about the continued affiliation between the Muckdogs and St. Louis Cardinals was made by Cardinals Assistant Manager John Abbamondi, Cardinals Director of Minor League Operations John Vuch, and Brian Paris, president of Genesee County Community Baseball, the nonprofit that owns the Batavia Muckdogs franchise.

Paris said: "The Genesee County Baseball Club is pleased to announce that will we be extending our working relationship with the St. Louis Cardinals for two more years. This is a great day for the Batavia community as we continue our partnership with one of the greatest teams in the history of Batavia baseball, including the unforgettable 2008 New York-Penn League Championship season.

"They've been a first-class organization to work with and we're fortunate to have them at our affiliate in Batavia."

Silver said: "We're very pleased to see the working relationship between Batavia and the St. Louis Cardinals extended. The Cardinals have done everything a Minor League franchise could hope for in an affiliation.

"They also understand how important small town Minor League Baseball is to the Batavia Community and they deserve a lot of credit for providing the baseball fans of Batavia with extremely talented young players."

Abbamondi said: "We have had a good experience working with the ownership and management team in Batavia and I want to thank Naomi Silver, Gary Larder and Brian Paris for their support.

"We reached the playoffs this season and won the Championship in 2008 and we look forward to building on this recent success."

In four seasons as a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate (2007 to present), the Batavia Muckdogs have made the New York-Penn League playoffs twice, with the Muckdogs winning their first New York-Penn League Championship in 45 years in 2008.

"The St. Louis Cardinals are a first-class organization and we couldn't ask for more," Silver added.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Fire at laundromat on South Pearl Street Road

post by Billie Owens in fire, Oakfield

Heavy smoke is reported coming from a dryer at a laundromat at 34 South Pearl Street Road in Oakfield.

Oakfield Fire Department is responding.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Alexander 7 Pembroke 0

post by Chad Flint in alexander, Girl's Soccer, pembroke, sports

 Alexander improved to 5-0-1 on the season with a 7-0 win over Pembroke at home on Saturday morning.  Alexander jumped out to a 5-0 halftime lead with goals from Sophomore Abby Shilvock (7th minute - assisted by Junior Julia Pettys), Senior Megan Schmieder (13th minute, assisted by Senior Morgan Mattice), Pettys (24th minute, unassisted), Senior Kylie Bank (35th minute assisted by Pettys and Sophomore Gabby Kwiatek) and Senior Tessa Bigelow (38th minute assisted by Bank).

Alexander put 2 more goals away win the 2nd half with Kwiatek finding the net in the 7th minute unassisted and Shilvock finding the net for her 2nd in the 14th minute unassisted.  Senior Hannah Wilson had 5 saves in net for her 5th win of the season and her 1st shutout.  Alexander's next game is Wednesday the 22nd @ Notre Dame.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Coppola calls Ranzenhofer a hypocrite on state spending

post by Billie Owens in marc coppola, michael ranzenhofer, politics

Here's a news release sent in today from Marc Coppola, a Democrat running for the state Senate in the 61st District.

Candidate for New York State Senate Marc A. Coppola is railing against his opponent, incumbent Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. The 61st District Senator is an outright hypocrite, claiming to be a fiscal conservative, while spending like a liberal.

“Ranzenhofer continues to call for budget cuts and less spending, but what does he do? He spends, and spends, and then spends more taxpayer money,” Coppola said.

Ranzenhofer sent out taxpayer-funded mailings through his government offices. This most recent mailer simply invites people to come and meet his staff. Another mailer informs people to be safe on Halloween.

“Are these messages really important enough to spend thousands of taxpayers' dollars on?” asked Coppola.

The practice is widely criticized as wasteful.

Coppola believes Ranzenhofer is misleading the public when he sounds the alarm about state spending and reducing taxes, yet he continues to spend more than any other WNY Senator in his conference on useless mailers.

Ranzenhofer wants it both ways contends Coppola, “He’s telling his constituents that he’s trying to reduce state spending, but nobody will listen to him. He is ineffective because he has no creditability and doesn’t practice what he preaches.”

Coppola also criticized Ranzenhofer for using the system to further his re-election campaign with mailers close to the election at taxpayer expense. Ranzenhofer should have used campaign funds, said Coppola.

“He has over a quarter of a million dollars in his campaign war chest, why not lead by example and use that, rather than taxpayer money when the state is virtually bankrupt,” he added.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 11:31 am

Stitches in Time 2010 Quilt Show adds classes with George Siciliano

post by Martha Lorshbaugh in community events, quilt show, Quilts

IMG_6093.jpgThe Museum Quilt Guild will hold their fifth biennial quilt show, titled Stitches in Time, on October 15 and 16 at the St Anthony's Community center, 114 Liberty Street.  The change in venue allowed them to add classes and evening lecture with renowned quiltmaker, George Siciliano.  Space is available in both classes.  The class for Friday is titled "Size Really Does Matter" and Saturday's class is titled "Twirling Logs".  Pictures of the projects are available at George's website.

Space is still available for both classes, which run from 9 am to 4 pm both days.  Cost to non- guild members is $55.00.  Contact Elaine Ross at 748-4831 or [email protected] for more information or to sign up.  The lecture is friday evening at 7 pm.  It is open to the public.  The fee for the lecture is $5.00.

The show also features 243 quilted items made my the members of the Guild, a members' boutique, vendors, quilt raffle (photo above- $1 per ticket), door prizes and a silent auction to benefit the VA medical Center in Batavia, NY.

The show is open from 10 am - 6 pm on Friday, October 15 and from 10 am  - 5 pm Saturday, October 16.  Admission is $5

For more information, or directions to the show, contact Martha Lorshbaugh at 993-0357 or [email protected]

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

12 jurors in Wendt trial now 11

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, crime, Darien, Ronald J. Wendt

When court adjourned Monday night, there were 12 jurors sworn for the manslaughter trial of Ronald J. Wendt.

Now there are 11.

A juror was excused this morning for medical reasons.

About a dozen people from the original jury pool entered the court room today expecting to go through the interview process for the alternate jury seats, but now one of them will fill the 12th seat.

Then another juror sent a long note to Judge Robert C. Noonan this morning raising a number of concerns that he said came up over night related to his job. The juror also apparently discussed his situation with another juror.

After interviewing the juror who wrote the note, Noonan declined to dismiss him from service, saying that under New York statutes, once a juror is sworn the bar for removing a person from the jury becomes much higher.

Opening arguments in the case once all 12 jurors and alternates are seated.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

Batavia man given prison term for dealing drugs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A young man who by many accounts is a good kid from a good family, but who got caught up in, by his own admission, extensive drug dealing, is going to prison.

Dyllon E. Soccio, 20, of 134 Tracy Ave., received a two-and-a-half year sentence from Judge Robert Noonan this morning. Under terms of what is known as "shock camp." Soccio would be eligible for parole in six months if he stays out of trouble.

On Aug. 3, Soccio pled guilty to a charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance. He had previously pled guilty to criminal possession of marijuana.

Soccio was caught dealing drugs July 17, and was found to have drugs in his Tracy Avenue home following a raid June 23.

In an interview with probation, Soccio revealed more details of his drug dealing, according to Noonan.

If I were to make a list of 10 things not to say in a probation interview, you probably said five of them," Noonan said. "You almost gloat about your drug dealing and say, 'Don't give me probation because I don't want to have that kind of supervision for that long.'"

Soccio's attorney from the Public Defender's Office, William Tedford, argued that contrary to those statements, Soccio did want probation and would be a good candidate for probation, given his strong ties to the community, his complete cooperation with the court and successful participation in drug treatment.

Noonan also said that the letters of support submitted to the court included ones that came from, "people I respect."

"They're saying you are able to turn your life around," Noonan added, "and, you have the unusual recommendation from the Drug Task Force that you need shock camp."

With his parents and other members of his family in the courtroom, Soccio made only a short statement saying he took full responsibility for his actions and that he feels he's made progress in his treatment.

"Given the chance, I'd like to continue what I'm doing," Soccio said.

Soccio was also forced to forfeit more than $2,000 seized during the drug raid.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 10:07 am

Batavia Netters Top Spencerport 4-3

post by Annette Guilds in sports

The Batavia Girls Tennis Team improved to 5-2 on the year by defeating Spencerport in a close match 4-3.  Lisa Ferkinghoff, the exchange student from Germany continues to dominate at 3rd singles and remains undefeated.  She easily beat Jackie Moyars 6-2, 6-1. DSC04801.JPG

Also contributing to the win were:

2nd singles: Michelle Richenberg over Abby Buscaglia 0-6, 6-2, 6-2.

1st doubles: Nicole Guilds and Maryssa Peirick over Kendra Schulkis and Brittany McIntee 6-2, 6-2.

2nd doubles: Robin Clemm and Laura Mullen over Beth Zarpentine and Jennifer Corwin 6-4, 6-2.

The next match is Wednesday at Eastridge.

More pictures from the match:






Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 10:03 am

Police Beat: Man accused of violating court order

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Raymond E. Joseph III, 34, of 8683 Hopkins Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Joseph allegedly had contact with a protected person at 5:15 p.m., Sept. 15. The incident was reported Monday. Joseph was located and arrested. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Monday, September 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Attempted robbery reported at Subway on East Main, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A person reportedly tried to steal money from the cash register at the Subway on East Main Street by reaching into the drive-thru window.

An employee confronted the suspect and they began to fight.

The suspect then fled in the direction of Masse Place.

The suspect is described as a white male in early 20s wearing a blue shirt.

An employee chased the suspect and lost him in the area of the three houses on Masse Place, unsure if he went into a house or disappeared in the area.

UPDATE: Additional description: 6'0", 200 lbs, short blond hair, mustache, wearing blue jeans and red boxers.

UPDATE: There's some thought the suspect may have entered the construction area and then headed toward Swan Street. Readers on Swan Street (I know we have a few) should be alert.

Monday, September 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm

12 jurors picked for Wendt trial; alternates next

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, crime, Darien, Ronald J. Wendt

By 6 p.m. today, the 12 jurors were picked who will decide the guilt or not of Ronald J. Wendt, accused of manslaughter, DWI and reckless driving in an accident that took the life of an 18-year-old Dansville girl.

In the morning, Tuesday, court will convene to select alternate jurors, with opening arguments to begin later in the day.

After the jury was picked, and the jurors and prospective alternates left, Judge Robert Noonan ruled that District Attorney Lawrence Friedman will not be allowed to use a PowerPoint presentation as part of his opening statement.

Noonan said there was no case law he could find allowing PowerPoint to be used in the opening summation, though there is case law to support its use in closing. Noonan said he would change his ruling if Friedman could find a prior ruling allowing its use.

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