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Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Hundreds turn out for opening of Rosalie 'Roz' Steiner Art Gallery at GCC

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, Roz Steiner Art Gallery, stuart steiner

The brand-new Rosalie “Roz” Steiner Art Gallery opened Friday with great fanfare. Hundreds of people from throughout the county were on hand to see the gallery's first show and witness the opening ceremonies.

Above, the children and grandchildren of Roz and Stuart Steiner, from left: David Steiner, daughter Ava, Sarah Rogers, Robyn Steiner (holding Ava's hand), Lisa Rubin, Susan Steiner, Daniel Rubin and Dr. Steiner. A photo of Roz Steiner, background, was unveiled as part of the ceremony. 

Bottom photo, Eric Suritella and Carol Acquilano, the first artists featured in the gallery.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Photo: Nancy Mortellaro, 2011 'Friend of the Library'

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Richmond Memorial Libary

On Friday afternoon, Nancy Mortellaro was honored at the Richmond Memorial Library as the 2011 Friend of the Library.

Mortellaro praised her fellow friends and called them her "virtual Facebook," noting that unlike the real Facebook, she gets to see her friends face-to-face every day.

Mortellaro was honored for her diligent and long-standing support of the library.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Two car accident with minor injuries reported on Route 77 near Gabbey Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke

A two-car accident has been reported in the area of Route 77 and Gabbey Road, Pembroke.

A child may have suffered minor injuries.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments responding.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m.: A second Mercy EMS ambulance requested to the scene to transport a person with apparent minor injuries to a hospital in Erie County.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 10:19 am

Teen reported missing found safe in the city

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A Batavia teenager reported missing earlier in the week was located yesterday at an address in the city, the Sheriff's Office reports.

Sara Howard, 16, was found safe.

Her case was referred to Family Court.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Possible hit-and-run accident reported at routes 33 and 19

post by Howard B. Owens in accident

Conflicting reports are coming in about a possible hit-and-run accident with injuries at routes 33 and 19, Bergen.

It may involve two vehicles, or one car and a pedestrian.

Bergen Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:48 p.m.: A first responder on scene says he's with an injured victim who says he was in a vehicle that rolled over. Mercy Flight is not needed.

UPDATE 10:51 p.m.: A chief, "I've got no vehicle down here at this point."

UPDATE 10:53 p.m.: Route 33 being closed at Townline. "Nobody gets past Townline," says a chief.

UPDATE 10:58 p.m.: The actual location is Route 33 and Appletree Avenue.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Alleged meth lab in South Byron may be tied to first one found in Alabama 18 months ago

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, byron, crime, methamphetamine

The arrest today of two South Byron residents for allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine has its roots in a Nov. 12, 2009 meth lab raid in Alabama, according to Sgt. Steve Mullen, head of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

"If we're doing our jobs, a search warrant doesn't just end with that search warrant," Mullen said. "It opens doors into other investigations."

In the Alabama case -- the first suspected meth lab found in Genesee County -- Kenneth W. Mosholder and associates, including a woman who lived on Jackson Street, Batavia, were accused of manufacturing meth. Mosholder died while awaiting prosecution, but Mullen said the one-time Texas resident's recipe for making meth apparently spread throughout the county.

A handful of meth lab raids -- though not all of them -- since 2009 were based on threads connected to Mosholder's arrest, Mullen said.

"Once something like that grows in a community, it can take deep roots and take years to get out," Mullen said.

Many task force cases are built on other cases, Mullen said.

"Any single arrest looks like a snippet, but they're really scenes from the same movie," Mullen said.

Arrested in connection with the alleged meth lab in South Byron were Matthew J. Zon, 29, of Byron, and Tricia M. Tundo, 24, of Byron.

Zon and Tundo were apprehended during a traffic stop on Thursday night, but the couple wasn't discovered by accident, Mullen said. They were identified after months of investigation and observation while detectives built a case that would ultimately justify their apprehension.

Following the traffic stop, Zon and Tundo were allegedly found in possession of methamphetamine, meth lab material and drug paraphernalia.

Mullen said it's too soon in the investigation to say for certain whether Zon and Tundo were allegedly producing meth for sale. They have not yet been charged with any drug sales counts.

This morning, a contingent of investigators and crime lab specialists were on scene at 6319 E. Main St., South Byron, to execute a search warrant in an effort to determine whether Zon and Tundo were producing meth at their residence.

During the search, investigators carried out several items that appeared to be chemicals and implements used in the manufacture of meth. Test results on the items have not yet been released.

The search started with State Troopers in chemical-protection suits entering the house and retrieving two pet dogs, one a reportedly aggressive pit bull.

A deputy involved who helped transfer the dogs to the Animal Control vehicle said the dogs had a heavy odor of meth on them.

If Tundo and Zon were manufacturing meth in the house, the smell would permeate the entire residence, "just like burnt popcorn," said an investigator.

The odor of meth manufacturing, depending on the process used, according to sources, smells something like a mixture of burnt plastic and ammonia. 

Investigators were at the South Byron scene for hours, from before 8 a.m. until after 3 p.m. and Mullen was still at the office working on the case after 7 p.m.

And the execution of a search warrant in a drug case, said Mullen, is only a small portion of what goes into an investigation. It can take months to build a case in order to get a warrant, and the investigation doesn't stop with an arrest.

"The research and investigation really takes months," the sargeant said. "Even though we're at the end of a 12- or 13-hour day, the research began months ago."

Zon and Tundo are both charged with unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material, a felony, and criminal possession of a controlled substance as well as criminally using drug paraphernalia.

The disposal charge is based on evidence gathered during the investigation that Zon and Tundo disposed of waste material along roadways in the area.

Mullen said the production of one ounce of meth produces a significant quanity of waste chemicals. 

One law enforcement official at the scene said that was one of the parts that bugged him the most about a case like this.

He said, potentially, some Boy Scout could be out on a clean-up day and come across some contaminated materials and become gravely ill.

The traffic stop Thursday night was initiated by Deputy Brian Thompson, whose K-9 "Pharaoh" assisted in the search of the vehicle.

Tundo was reportedly driving, though she allegedly did not have a valid NYS driver's license. 

Additional charges may be pending, Mullen said, and the Drug Enforcement Agency, which was involved in the 2009 raid in Alabama, will be consulted.

Besides the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and State Police, assisting at the scene were the South Byron Fire Department, Genesee County Emergency Services, the Health Department,  Animal Control and Mercy EMS.

More pictures after the jump:

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Large brush fire on Evans Road, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in fire

A large brush fire is reported at 7397 Evans Road in Bergen. The caller indicated it was heading toward a swamp.

Bergen Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 6:01 p.m.: A firefighter on scene reports the fire was small and it is now out.

UPDATE 6:07 p.m.: The Bergen assignment is back in service.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Woodward library's annual used book sale is 10 a.m. 'til noon, April 16-23

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Beginning Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to Noon, Woodward Memorial Library is having its annual used book sale. It continues through Saturday, April 23. Hardcover books $1, children's and paperbacks $.50.

From 10 a.m. until Noon on the last sale day (Saturday, April 23) there will be a $1 a bag sale. The library is located at 7 Wolcott St., Le Roy.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Hochul announces she's raised more than $350K for campaign

post by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul, NY-26

Press release:

ERIE COUNTY – Kathy Hochul, candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, will report raising more than $350,000 in the first quarter of 2011. 

In the report – that will be filed with the Federal Elections Commission today – Hochul will show having more than $300,000 in the bank. There were nearly 450 individual donors who contributed to the campaign, more than 90 percent of whom are residents of New York State.

“Our supporters are excited and committed to helping us win on May 24th,” said Fabien Levy, communications director for Kathy Hochul for Congress.  “More than 50 percent of the donations were at $250 or below, which shows we have strong grassroots support in this race. Western New Yorkers are sending a strong message that they want a fighter to represent them in Congress.”

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Candles for CASA fundraiser is April 15-29

post by Billie Owens in announcements, CASA for Children

This information is from Tara Pariso, executive director of CASA for Children.

CASA has teamed up with PartyLite to raise much needed funds to continue advocating for abused and neglected children in Genesee County. Due to budget cuts, we are in need of your support now more than ever!!

Please consider purchasing candles from the fundraiser flyer which can be veiwed at http://www.partylite.biz/sites/heidirichmond/fundraisers-products

You can place your order by emailing Executive Director Tara Pariso at [email protected], or by calling  at (585) 813-3987. Please send checks made payable to CASA at 1 West Main St. Batavia, NY 14020.

We are super excited about this fundraiser as we get 50% of the total sales!!!  There is no shipping costs or tax on any items ordered!!!  Please pass this along to help support CASA for Children and the work done to find abused and neglected children safe, permanent homes!!!

Let's help light the light of hope for children in need.

Orders and payment must be received by Friday April 29, 2011.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Hochul demands Corwin state position on GOP budget proposal

post by Howard B. Owens in Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, NY-26

Press release:

The following is a statement from Fabien Levy, director of communications for Kathy Hochul for Congress:

“In just a few hours the House will vote on the Republican budget proposal that would end Medicare as we know it. For days, Kathy Hochul, candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, has called on her opponents to join her in rejecting any budget that would add burdensome costs onto the backs of America’s seniors. Today, there is only one candidate whose silence signals her intentions to break the promises made to our elderly population.

“Jane Corwin remains the only candidate in this race who has refused to tell the voters of the 26th District where she stands on the current budget proposal. As the only Republican in the country currently running for Congress, she has repeatedly dodged every opportunity to take a position on the Republican’s 2012 budget.

“While her silence signals apathy, the truth may be even worse. The people of the 26th want to know, if Jane Corwin was currently a Member of the House of Representatives, would she vote to slash benefits, increase costs, and hold America’s elderly population responsible for fighting with insurance companies? Kathy Hochul has firmly stated her opposition to this proposal and promised to reject any budget that fundamentally alters Medicare. 

“Assemblymember Corwin, before the vote is cast, tell the voters of the 26th District how you would vote today – would you reject the current budget proposal before the House or would you vote to decimate Medicare?”

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Seven people injured in two-car crash on Route 5

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A driver heading west on Route 5 near Mill Road shortly after midnight claims she didn't see the turn signal of the car ahead of her and was unable to stop before slamming into the 2003 Chevy sedan.

The SUV overturned and six people inside were transported to UMMC for treatment of various injuries.

The driver, Amanda A. Mull, 26, of Knapp Road, Akron, was cited for allegedly following too close and unlicensed operation.

The driver and passengers in the SUV were Erika R. Kreidler, 18, Cashay O. Merritt, 19, Ynesha C. Nixon, 18, Shanta A. Bedo, 18, Precious M. Jones, 18, Nana S. Gyesi, 22.

Kreidler's vehicle is registered in Mt. Washington, Ky.

Mull was also injured and transported to UMMC.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Suspected meth lab found in South Byron home

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, crime

The Sheriff's Office and State Police were 6319 E. Main St.,  in South Byron this morning to retrieve and dismantle a suspected methamphetamine lab.

In connection with the operation, two people are reportedly in custody. Their names and the nature of the charges have not yet been released.

South Byron Fire Department and Mercy EMS along with Genesee County Emergency Services were also on scene.

UPDATE: Post updated with specific street address, and map corrected.

View Larger Map

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Police Beat: Youth accused of violating order of protection by hitting woman

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

Darik Robert Michael Orbaker, 18, of Forest Edge Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Orbaker was taken into custody on East Main Street, Batavia, by State Troopers and Sheriff's Deputies on Thursday afternoon. Orbaker is accused of violating an order of protection. He allegedly hit a female covered by an order of protection.

Brian Michael Fairbanks, 33, of Church Street, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, and menacing, 3rd. Fairbanks allegedly committed the crimes during a dispute with a friend in his apartment.

Nicholas M. Lyons, 30, of 17 Central Ave., Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Lyons is accused of punching, kicking and using a knife to threaten another person during an alleged incident at 10 p.m., Thursday.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

'Outreach Conversation' for county legislature District 4 is Saturday morning

An Outreach Conversation for Genesee County Legislature District 4, which includes residents of the towns of Batavia and Stafford, is planned for 10 a.m. to Noon Saturday, April 16, in the Batavia Town Hall.

District 4 Legislator Mary Pat Hancock will talk about the impact of the state budget on the county, the status of the suggested options to improve the fiscal health of the Genesee County Nursing Home, and other topics of interest to residents.

There will be plenty of time for questions. The public is encouraged to come and participate. The town hall is located at 3833 W. Main St. Road.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm

College's lead Toddler Room teacher earns prestigious national credential

post by Billie Owens in child care center, GCC, Milestones

Barbara Pangrazio, the lead teacher for the Toddler Room at the Genesee Community College Association (GCCA) Child Care Center, has been awarded a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential in recognition of outstanding work with young children.

While all child care center's staff are trained and supervised, the CDA Credential is a particularly prestigious award. It was given by the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C., an organization that represents the early childhood education profession.

CDA is one of the few national initiatives to improve early childhood education and care by evaluating and recognizing the skills of individual care givers, like Pangrazio, who provide exceptional care. The first credential was awarded more than 30 years ago, and now 49 states plus the District of Columbia include CDA in their childcare licensing regulations.

"Barbie is valuable asset to our center," said Staci Williams, director of GCCA Child Care Center. "I'm extremely proud of her hard work and her new credentials. Barbie, along with the rest of our staff, strongly believes in developing the skills that foster quality service and care for our children."

The GCCA Child Care Center offers complete childcare services for infants 6-weeks old to preschool-aged children. The fully renovated center has extensive developmental resources and introduces educational programs each day. Nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks are also provided along with safe, sleeping facilities for restful naptimes.

As part of the CDA assessment process, every candidate for the CDA Credential is observed working with young children or families by an early childhood professional. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the ability to work with families to develop children's physical and intellectual capabilities in a safe and healthy learning environment.

The Child Care Center is open to the public during fall, spring and summer semesters in tandem with the college's academic schedule. Priority availability is granted to the children of the students, staff and faculty.

For further information on CDA, contact the Council for Professional Recognition at 2460 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20009-3547, or call the council at (800) 424-4310.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hawley says it's wrong to 'play politics with property taxes'

post by Billie Owens in politics, property taxes, stave hawley

This information comes from Assemblyman Steve Hawley's office.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) recently attended a press conference in support of immediate action on a property tax cap. The legislation was barred from a vote by the Assembly Majority, who passed rent regulations to control the cost of living in New York City instead.

“Time after time, poll after poll, the people of New York have expressed their overwhelming support for a property tax cap,” Hawley said. “As a representative for the people of Western New York, it is my responsibility to heed the call of my constituents, and I can hear them loud and clear. They are saying that we need to drive down the cost of living for all New Yorkers, not just those in the five boroughs of New York City.”

Hawley explained the litany of issues that coincide with the passage of a property tax cap, which would help families, businesses and local governments reduce the cost of living here in Western New York.

“The reason New York is in such desperate need of a property tax cap is because of the unfunded mandates handed down by state government to our villages, towns, cities, counties and school districts,” Hawley said.

“Mandate relief and property tax caps are not separate issues. They are inextricably linked and must be dealt with in tandem. It’s time to let our local governments run themselves without the onerous ‘Big Brother’ interference from the state Capitol that drives our property taxes in Western New York through the roof.”

Participants at the press conference included Brian Sampson, CEO of Unshackle Upstate, a bipartisan business coalition that awarded Hawley a perfect score on their 2010 Legislative Scorecard. Out of 212 state legislators, Hawley was one of only two that received a perfect score.

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

'House' at Dwyer Stadium with positive message vandalized

Jenna Raphael, of Batavia, spent a lot of time with the quaint little structure she affectionately calls "her house" during baseball season last summer. She had hoped that it would inspire people to take pride in their community.

Unfortunately, somebody came to give the opposite message...

The little red house, which is at Dwyer Stadium and manned during Muckdogs games as an information area for the public, was vandalized some time during the last few months.

Muckdogs General Manager Travis Sick discovered the damage after the winter snow melted. He said there's no way to be sure when the incident actually took place.

Furthermore, since no one is at the stadium at night, there is no way to determine who the vandals are. Sick suspects it may have been a group of kids in the area.

Fortunately, the damage was not extensive. The door was kicked in and the lock severed (above photo); parts of the door were broken off, so it will need to be fixed. There was also some debris on the floor inside that was not there before.

Nevertheless, Sick and Raphael both see this as a "disappointing and almost ironic" incident (Sick's words).

"The sign says 'take pride in your community,' and someone decided not to do that," he said.

Raphael agreed.

"It's hard for me to understand what motivates kids and adolescents to do this," Raphael said. "I don't think there is enough to occupy youth in this community, therefore they turn to these types of mischievous behaviors."

Locted near the stadium's Kid's Zone and, Sick says "off the beaten path," this house was given to Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse (GCASA) last year. GCASA staff repainted it and made the above sign.

Raphael used it as a station from which to share information with Muckdogs spectators about Genesee County Drug Free Communities Coalition's (a GCASA program) efforts to address and improve environmental conditions that can lead to problem behaviors -- drugs, alcohol use, crime, fighting, etc. -- among our youth. For information on the coalition and, by extension, how this fits in with their overall mission, click on the following link: http://thebatavian.com/blogs/billie-owens/gc-drug-free-communities-top-10-finalist-international-honor/22803).

"Vandalizing a house (with a sign) that says 'take pride in your community' shows a lot of disrespect," Raphael said, adding that it "sends a distasteful message to those who continually work to make Genesee County a healthier and safer place to live."

She hopes to use the house again during the Muckdogs' upcoming season, in spite of what happened.

Because there is really no way to find out who the culprits are, no charges are being pressed. But Sick is encouraging any community members who are in a position to do so, to keep an eye out for suspicious activity at the stadium at night.

"If you see anyone walking around that shouldn't be there, call the police."

Top photo taken by Linda Cummings

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 10:19 am

GCC Toastmasters International Club's "East Meets West" Event



Genesee Community College Toastmasters Club

Cordially Invites You to be our Guest at


An Evening of Global Communication and Dining

Menu: Sushi, Wraps, Salad, Pizza, Dessert, Beverages


Keynote Speaker:

Patrick Ho, Founder and CEO of Rochester Optical


Speech Contest:

Best Impromptu – Best Speaker – Best Evaluator




Basket Raffle!  Door Prizes!  Entertainment!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Genesee Community College

Conable Technology Building – Room T119

One College Drive, Batavia, NY 14020


Purchase tickets in the Student Activities office!

(585) 343-0055 x6261

$5.00 for GCC Students/Employees

$10.00 for Non-GCC Students/Employees

Free Admission to all Toastmasters International Club Members


RSVP by April 25, 2011 to:

Aoi Kitagawa, [email protected]



Friday, April 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

Photo: Upton Monument Eagle

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Upton Monument

The eagle atop the Upton Monument at Main and Ellicott in yesterday's late afternoon sun.

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