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Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Tickets still available for HomeCare & Hospice's Mardi Gras on Saturday at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in HomeCare & Hospice

Tickets are still available but going fast for HomeCare & Hospice’s Third Annual Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Batavia Downs Grandstands Bar and Grille.

Proceeds from the event benefit the HomeCare & Hospice Foundation.

Tickets are $40 each, $70 a couple and include $15 in casino free play and a New Orleans-style buffet dinner. Tickets can be ordered online at www.homecare-hospice.org or by calling Linda Cummings, HomeCare & Hospice development manager, at 877-277-2615.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. A cash bar with drink specials will be available throughout the evening. The event will also include live musical entertainment by M.A.C. and a Chinese auction with a chance to win an overnight stay for two at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto and two club-level tickets to the Buffalo Sabres game against the Chicago Blackhawks on March. 9.

HomeCare & Hospice’s Mardi Gras is sponsored by WBTA-AM 1490 in Batavia.

HomeCare & Hospice, a non-profit United Way agency, provides specialized medical care and social/emotional support for patients and families coping with life-limiting illness in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Genesee and Wyoming counties. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm

A couple of days of travel

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

I'll be out of town for a couple of days to attend to a family matter.

There will still, however, be coverage of news in Genesee County while I'm gone. Billie remains in town. Alecia Kaus is helping out, as usual. We can pick up stories as needed from WBTA. I will, of course, have my laptop with me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Heavier snow expected this afternoon

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

In case you haven't noticed, it's snowing.

So far, light snowfall, but the weather service says it will become heavier this afternoon and travel will become more difficult.

A winter storm warning remains in effect through tonight.

The governor has declared a state of emergency for the whole state, but on the conference call this morning, he mainly talked about the weather impacts Downstate.

Be careful out there.

Photo: Jackson Street

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:22 am

Law and Order: Le Roy man charged with assault

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

Jesse Woods, 18, of 41 Lake St., Le Roy, is charged with assault, 3rd. Woods is accused of punching a relative, causing bleeding, bruising and a fat lip. Woods was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Henry L. Banks, 43, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on City Court warrant for alleged front yard parking. Banks was arrested following a traffic stop by Deputy Joseph Corona and turned over to Batavia PD on the warrant. Banks posted $100 bail.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:59 am

Party broken up by Local Drug Task Force on Saturday in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

Five people are accused of gathering at a residence in Le Roy on Saturday for the purpose of unlawful conduct leading to their arrest on marijuana charges.

Members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force executed a search warrant at 9 Union St., Le Roy.

Joshua M. Bratcher, 23, of Union Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal nuisance, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

His apparent guests where charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. They are Samantha L. Pomeisl, 25, of Union Street, Le Roy; Jesse D. VanBuren, 22, of Alwardt Road, Wyoming; and, Alexander A. Chandler, 22, of Bacon Street, Le Roy.

Investigators said they recovered a quantity of marijuana and several smoking devices.

All five individuals were issued appearance tickets.

Assisting in the case were the District Attorney's Office, Deputy Chris Erion and canine Destro, and Le Roy PD.

CORRECTION: We left out a name: Erica C. Puleo, 25, of Union Street, Le Roy. Charged with criminal nuisance and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:59 am

Person struck by car at State and Lewis

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A person has been struck by a car at the intersection of State Street and Lewis Place, Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:05 a.m.: Patient transported to UMMC by Mercy EMS. City fire back in service.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

Notre Dame dominates Elba to complete season series sweep

post by Nick Sabato in basketball, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

The Notre Dame girls are just one win away from clinching their 11th Genesee Region League title in school history after pounding Elba, 69-37.

The resounding victory also marks the first time that the Lady Irish have swept Elba in league play since the 2010-2011 season.

The Lady Lancers kept things close in the first quarter, but Notre Dame blew the game open in the second, led by Mel Taylor.

Taylor scored 12 of her game-high 24 points in the second quarter as the Irish increased their  seven-point lead after the first quarter to 23 at half time.

“It’s getting down near crunch time,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. “We’re trying to stress that you have to be more aggressive on whatever you do [well]. Mel is a scorer and we want her to try and score as much as possible.”

In the third quarter, junior Emma Francis picked up where Taylor left off, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the frame to put the contest out of reach.

“Emma’s got potential,” Pero said. “She’s starting to believe in herself and it’s a great time to believe. If we have Emma Francis at full-go come sectional time, we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

Taylor was not as terrific scoring the ball, but she had a splendid game overall, adding 11 rebounds, six steals and four assists.

Shea Norton also played strong underneath, scoring 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Laurie Call chipped in with seven steals, six assists and five rebounds for Notre Dame (15-1).

Kelsey Bezon had another solid game in defeat, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds. Haley Brown chipped in with 10 points for Elba (12-4).

Photos by Howard Owens

To purchase prints, click here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 11:00 pm

County Nursing Home employee accused of mistreating 100-year-old resident

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, County Nursing Home, crime

Press release:

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Sarah Waclawski, 25, of Batavia, New York, a Certified Nurse Aide at Genesee County Nursing Home, for causing injury to a resident of the nursing home.

Court documents filed by the Attorney General allege that on March 27, 2013, Waclawski transferred a 100-year-old female resident suffering from dementia from her wheelchair to her bed without the assistance of another staff member, as required by the resident’s individual care plan. They further allege that once in bed, Waclawski decided to transfer the resident back to her wheelchair, again without the assistance of another staff member. Once the resident was back in the wheelchair, she fell to the floor, hitting her head on the wheelchair and sustaining a laceration and pain.

“Families who place their loved one in a nursing home should be able to take comfort in knowing that they’ll receive the best care possible. By ignoring her patient’s care plan and then failing to seek medical attention for her when she fell, Sarah Waclawski showed blatant disregard for the health and safety of her patient,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to prosecute cases like this to the fullest extent and send the message, loud and clear, that this conduct will not be tolerated.”

According to the felony complaint, without seeking medical assistance or advising a supervisor of the fall to conduct a nursing assessment, Waclawski enlisted the help of another aide to place the resident back into bed and then left the room. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes later, Waclawski reentered the room and observed blood on the resident’s pillow. Almost one hour later, a nurse came into the resident’s room and observed Waclawski wiping the resident’s head. The nurse also observed that several used wipes had what appeared to be blood on them. At no time prior to the nurse entering the resident’s room did Waclawski seek medical assistance for the resident.

Waclawski was charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class E felony, which carries a maximum prison term of four years. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court before the Honorable Robert Balbick and entered a plea of not guilty. She was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court on March 4, 2014. 

The prosecution is being handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Thomas N. Schleif, under the supervision of Regional Director Gary A. Baldauf and Amy Held, acting director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The investigation was conducted by Investigator Janice Boyd, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Kathleen Donahue.

The charges are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

McCulley scores 1,000th point as ND tops Alexander

post by Nick Sabato in sports

Only four players in the history of the Notre Dame basketball program have ever scored 1,000 points in their careers.

Make that five.

Tim McCulley added to his already impressive athletic resume by scoring his 1,000th career point Monday night in a victory over Alexander, 52-32.

“People don’t realize how hard it is to score 1,000 points in high school,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “To get 1,000 points shows that he’s been steady and consistent.”

McCulley joins his uncle, Tom McCulley, Mark Wadams, Jeff Weaver, and his father, Mike McCulley -- who is currently just one point ahead of his son -- in the 1,000-point club.

“It’s a great feeling to have a father and son both play for you and go over 1,000 points,” Rapone said. “There’s something in the McCulley genes that they can all shoot. I’m sure Mike is as proud as any father could be right now.”

The senior guard was just nine points shy of the 1,000 mark at the start of the contest, and he got within a point at the end of the first quarter.

Then just 20 seconds into the second quarter, McCulley caught a back-door alley-oop from Jason Hart to eclipse the hallowed accomplishment.

“It's a great accomplishment,” Tim McCulley said. “Only five players have scored 1,000 points at Notre Dame. I’m just glad to be a part of it. It’s a milestone I never thought I’d hit.”

It was not a superb shooting night as a team for the Fighting Irish, but McCulley still managed a strong outing, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

“Alexander was physical and played hard,” Rapone said. “They got on the boards and gave us all we wanted.”

Caleb Nellis had a solid night for Notre Dame (12-3), scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Tyler Laird paced Alexander (7-7) with eight points and 15 rebounds.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Bed, Bath & Beyond's Batavia store still recovering from fire damage

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Towne Center, business

Batavia's Bed, Bath & Beyond, damaged by fire Jan. 27, has been cleared of all its stock and today work crews were pulling from the store every last bit of fixture, shelving and even wall.

Smoke odor still permeated the entry way.

A manager said she doesn't know when the store will reopen. She said she didn't know when new stock would arrive. Asked if employees had been offered jobs at other locations, she said we would have to call the corporate office.

We called the corporate office this afternoon and have not yet gotten a response.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Three-vehicle crash south of Daws Corners

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents, elba

A three-vehicle accident, which is blocking traffic, is reported at 7797 Oak Orchard Road. A tractor-trailer, SUV and van are involved. Two Mercy ambulances are called in. Extrication of a patient in the van will be required. Town of Batavia fire is responding along with mutual aid from Elba's rescue unit. Elba Fire Police are asked to shut down southbound traffic at Daws Corners and northbound Route 98 traffic will be shut down at West Saile Drive.

UPDATE 4:02 p.m.: The patient from the van has been extricated.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: The Town of Batavia's assignment is back in service. At least one person was taken to UMMC -- an adult female with a small puncture wound on her lower leg.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Sponsored Posts: Council Opticians introduces the 2014 Tiffany Eyewear Collection. Stop in today!

Exclusively at Council Opticians, we are excited to showcase the new 2014 Tiffany Eyewear Collection. Well known for their quality, elegance, and use of Austrian crystals, here are 4 exciting new designs out of many featured here in our Batavia office. We invite you to visit us here and browse our large selection of quality eyewear.

Council Opticians is located at 216 E. Main St. in Batavia. Visit us online: www.councilbatavia.com or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest collections.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Brother of high voltage wire thief pleads guilty with promise of weekend jail sentnece

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

The brother of a man already sent to prison for stealing high voltage hire from businesses in Le Roy has a chance to avoid a prison term after pleading guilty today to possession of stolen property.

Dustin Nicometo entered his plea in County Court in satisfaction of two felony indictments against him that included burglary and grand larceny counts.

Nicometo, now a Bernville, Pa., resident could be sentenced in April to an intermittent jail term followed by a period of probation as part of the plea deal.

The 26-year-old man will need to abide by the terms of his release under supervision until his sentencing date in order to preserve the deal.

On Jan. 21, Michael Nicometo was sent to state prison for at least three and a half years and ordered to pay $86,017.57 in restitution to Dolomite and Troy Manufacturing.

Dustin Nicometo admitted to possessing wiring and equipment from the Troy job, but when asked if he knew the items were stolen at the time, Dustin Nicometo told Judge Robert Noonan, "no."

Noonan asked him why he was pleading guilty if he didn't know the items were stolen.

Nicometo said he didn't know the items were stolen and after a little more back and forth, Noonan explained that in order for him to plead guilty he had to admit that either he knew the items were stolen or he had a reason to believe the items were stolen and Nicometo agreed that he had a reason to believe the items were stolen.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Photos: The Sun Before the Storm

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Stafford, weather

With the sun out this morning, I went for a short drive out to the Bethany area thinking, "the sun before the storm."

Our previous winter storm watch has been upgraded to a warning and between tonight and tomorrow night, we could get up to 10 inches of snow.

Heading down Clipnock Road, I spotted a group of trainers working out harness racing horses.

Bottom picture, a broken barn door on Transit Road.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:19 am

Law and Order: Accident on Jackson Street leads to accusation of DWI

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield

Logan R. Evans, 22, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana and moved from lane unsafely. Evans was arrested following an investigation by officers Stephen Cronmiller and Matthew Lutey into an accident at 1:06 a.m. Saturday in the area of 23 Jackson St., Batavia.

Jacob S. Martino, 29, of Drake Street, Oakfield, was arrested on a warrant for alleged parking on city streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Martino turned himself in on the warrant. He posted bail and was released.

Amanda Marie Bowles, 28, of Williams Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Bowles was arrested by Batavia PD and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. Bowles was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

Batavia 100 Years Ago Today: Proposed city charter released by aldermen

post by Larry Barnes in batavia, Batavia Centennial, history

Batavia officially became a city on January 1, 1915 after having been an incorporated village since 1823. The transition involved a progression through several steps during 1914. During 2014, I will be recalling each of these events 100 years after their occurrence.

In the early 1900s, village leaders appointed a Charter Review Commission for the purpose of drawing up a city charter proposal. Despite several submissions to the State, the Commission’s proposal consistently failed to gain the necessary State approval. The matter came to a head early in 1914. On this day, 100 years ago, the Village of Batavia aldermen, the equivalent of today’s City Council, unhappy with the Commission’s work, offered a competing proposal.

One reason for the failure of the Commission’s proposal to receive State approval had been lobbying by certain Village aldermen against specific parts of the proposal that caused them displeasure. Those parts included the elimination of wards, the elimination of political parties, the election of councilmen solely at large, and the creation of a city manager position. Political pundits predicted that the Board of Aldermen’s proposal would have none of these features.

The pundits were right. The aldermen’s charter proposal, made public 100 years ago today, not only retained wards, but increased them from five to six. It retained political affiliations, featured a strong mayor, and doubled Batavia’s representation on the County’s Board of Supervisors. It also had a particularly novel feature. Under the aldermen’s proposal, if at least 25 percent of the voters petitioned for enactment of a particular ordinance, the Common Council had to either adopt the ordinance or submit it to a vote by city residents.

In a move surprising some, the aldermen promised to put their proposal to a straw vote of residents just six days hence. Next week, I will provide another news release, this time revealing the outcome of that vote.

Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Alpina releases new television commercials promoting its Greek yogurt

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alpina Foods, business

Local Greek yogurt maker Alpina has entered the national television yogurt wars with a series of commercials meant to entertain and inspire.

While industry leaders Chobani and Dannon dish out big bucks to debut commercials during the Super Bowl (including a both praised and panned spot from Dannon for Oikos Greek yogurt featuring the former cast of Full House, and Chobani's ad with Bob Dylan and a bear), Alpina held of until today the release of its new ads.

Press release from Alpina:

The new campaign focuses on individuals facing their challenges head on, or as we like to say “climbing their mountains.” Maybe your mountain is to run a 10k or graduate from college. The point is we all have mountains to climb. So satisfy your taste for the top with Alpina Greek Yogurt, it's encouragement by the spoonful. Alpina. Climb Your Mountain.

The ads will run in select areas in the Northeast, including Western New York, and will feature digital and radio advertisements. Western NY can also look forward to seeing our ads on TV and area buses. To complement the campaign, Alpina is offering a free trial to those who share their mountain with us through a link in our digital ads.

Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Hawley: Jump in milk production underscores importance of ag to Upstate economy

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is using the improved ranking of New York’s milk production in the nation to demonstrate the value of Upstate’s agricultural economy. New York recently passed Idaho to become the third largest producer of milk in the nation. New York’s milk production increased by 2.2 percent in 2013, compared to 0.4-percent growth nationwide, which demonstrates the importance of milk production to the Upstate economy.

“The Upstate agricultural economy is vital to New York’s success, and news of our increased milk production is a good indicator of this fact. Not only is New York’s milk going directly to consumers, it is also going to produce other growing New York products, such as yogurt and cheese,” Hawley said. “We must make sure to enact policies that encourage the growth of our state’s agricultural economy. I will be keeping a careful eye on how the budget proposal affects our family farms, and advocating for policies that help them grow.”

New York’s dairy industry comprises the largest portion of its agriculture economy, and is the number one producer of yogurt in the country, churning out a total of 695 million pounds. Hawley has supported New York’s farming economy by passing the 2 percent family farm tax cap, calling for reduced agricultural regulations, and promoting initiatives to market New York farm products.

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