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Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

Gas meter at a residence in Corfu hit by a car

post by Alecia Kaus in corfu, gas meter struck

The Corfu Fire Department has been requested to 864 Genesee St. to assist National Fuel with a gas meter that was struck. 

The homeowner apparently hit the gas meter with his vehicle about 6:30 a.m. this morning.

Corfu fire is standing by at Etzold Road.

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

Tractor-trailer takes down power lines to a house in Corfu

post by Alecia Kaus in corfu, wires down

A tractor-trailer has taken down a service line to a house on Lawrence Avenue in Corfu. The lines are reportedly across the road.

The Corfu Fire Department is on scene and requesting a Sheriff's deputy to respond.

National Grid has been dispatched, no ETA given.

UPDATE 8:50 a.m.: National Grid says they will be on scene in 30 minutes.

Friday, December 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Law and Order: Two apparently homeless men arrested in garage on South Main

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, bergen, corfu, crime, pembroke

Andrew Lucas Kosiorek, 41, no address provided, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal trespass, 3rd, and obstruction of governmental administration. Kosiorek was arrested after being allegedly located in a garage on South Main Street at 12:30 a.m., Nov. 28. Kosiorek allegedly tried to flee from police at the time of his arrest. Upon being taken into custody he was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance. He was jailed on $2,500 bail. Also charged with criminal trespass was Damien R. Graham, 41, no residence.

Norman S. Malkimos-Gonzalez Jr., is charged with menacing, 3rd. Malkimos-Gonzalez is accused of threatening to shoot another person while in the area of 85 Main St., Batavia, at 4:10 p.m. on Nov. 22. Malkimos-Gonzalez was later located in the area of Ellicott and Jackson and taken into custody. No weapon was found.

Morgan L. Cox Jr., 21, of 119 State St., #4m Batavia, is charged with criminal intent to damage property and harassment, 2nd. Cox was arrested following an investigation into an alleged domestic incident at 12:59 p.m., Nov. 28.

A 16-year-old resident of West Main Street Road, is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of stealing $85.07 in merchandise from Tops.

Thomas W. Morey Jr., 38, of 10631 Main St., Alexander, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Morey was allegedly found in possession of two firearms during a traffic stop at 6:26 p.m. Nov. 25 on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer James DeFreze. Morey reportedly has a prior felony conviction.

Christina S. Baudanza, 37, of 154 Jackson St., Batavia, is charged with disobeying a mandate. Baudanza was arrested following an investigation into an alleged domestic incident.

Matthew A. Beccue, 44, of 4 Elm St., Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a public highway. Beccue was stopped at 8:32 p.m. Nov. 22 on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Chad Richards.

Taraleen T. Tundo, 29, 10901 Marsh Road, Bethany, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Tundo was allegedly found in possession of suboxone without a prescription during a traffic stop at 12:40 p.m. Nov. 21 on Ellicott Street, Batavia, by Officer John Kirbis.

Antonio Lester James, 22, of Avenue A, Rochester, was arrested on a bench warrant. He is accused of failure to appear in County Court on a grand larceny, 4th, charge. James was being held in Monroe County Jail and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. James was arraigned in County Court and sentenced by Judge Robert Noonan to a state prison term.

George A. Booth, 50, of Rural Route 1, Hinton, W. Va., was arrested on a warrant stemming from a criminal possession of a forged instrument charge. Booth was arrested in West Virginia and extradited to New York. He was arraigned in Town of Alexander Court and jailed on $5,000 cash bail.

Timothy R. Benbynek, 48 of Corfu, is charged with trespass. Benbynek was arrested at 816 Gabbey Road, Pembroke. No further details released.

William H. Englert, 47, of Caledonia, is charged with DWI. Englert was stopped at 9:55 p.m. Dec. 1 on Bernd Road, Le Roy, by State Police.

Allissa A. Fodge, 23, of Bergen, and Megan C. Marchese, 26, of Bergen, are both charged with grand larceny, 3rd. The alleged incident was reported Oct. 18. Fodge and Marchese were arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Monday, December 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Jay E. Potter Lumber starts program designed to benefit volunteer firefighters and their departments

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Jay E. Potter Lumber Co., Le Roy

Volunteer fire departments do so much for our community. Thomas Dix and his mother, Mary, owners of Jay E. Potter Lumber Co. in Corfu and Le Roy, thought it was time the family business gave back.

Last week, they announced a program that provides discounts to volunteer firefighters and rebates for designated purchases to local fire departments.

"We're looking to help the local fire departments with funding and give people incentive to join and move up the ranks," Thomas Dix said. "The volunteers have a lot of time invested. These guys are required to go through hours and hours of training and they've got to devote a lot time to it and there's no pay for it."

Here's how the program works:

  • Basic firefighter, 7-percent discount on all purchases and 2 percent of the purchase price goes back to your fire department (checks get cut quarterly)
  • Firefighters who have completed interior training or EMS training get a 10-percent discount and 2 percent goes back to the fire department.
  • Line officers (chiefs, captains, lieutenants) get free delivery on supplies for projects, 10-percent off and 2 percent goes back to the fire department.
  • Non-volunteers don't get a discount, but they can join the program and designate a fire department to receive 2 percent of their purchase.

Dix said he isn't aware of any other locally owned business offering a similar program, but he's hoping others will pick up the idea and implement it themselves.

Potter Lumber Co. is located on Maple Avenue in Corfu and on Mill Street in Le Roy.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer with your local department, visit ReadyGenesee.com.

Monday, December 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Law an Order: Bergen resident accused of passing forged check

post by Howard B. Owens in Basom, batavia, Alabama, bergen, corfu, crime, pembroke

Dustin Michael Locicero, 29, of Gibson Street, Bergen, is charged with forgery 2nd. Locicero was arrested following an investigation into a complaint of a stolen check and its forged use at a location in the City of Batavia. Locicero was jailed without bail.

Thomas E. Newcomb, 42, of 27 E. Main St., Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Newcomb is accused of striking a woman in the face with his hand during an argument.

Brandon David Gendron, 25, of Judge Road, Basom, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, uninspected motor vehicle and failure to keep right. Gendron was stopped at 11:25 p.m. Fridayon Fotch Road, Stafford, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Stephen Joseph Peters, 18, of Wyoming Road, Warsaw, is charged with petit larceny. Peters accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

David William Buchholtz, 54, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Buchholtz is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Harry Lee Flatt, 68, of Fruit Avenue, Medina, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and moving from lane unsafely.

Donald Anthony Irwin, 43, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Irwin was allegedly found in possession of a metal knuckle knife following a property damage accident at 9:12 p.m. Thursday in the Walmart parking lot.

Michael J. Wall, 39, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a child. Wall was arrested following an investigation into an alleged domestic incident reported at 6:40 a.m., Nov. 23.

Christopher Brian King, 22, of Pearl Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. King is accused of ordering food at the Denny's in Pembroke and leaving without paying for the food.

Dana Robert Devin Cipra, 21, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Cipra was arrested following a traffic stop at 12:47 a.m. Thursday on Route 77, Corfu, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Danielle M. Stevens, 37, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny. Stevens was arrested after a check of video surveillance footage indicated she allegedly stole two vacuums from Walmart.

Robert Allen Norway, 40, of Lake Avenue, Rochester, is charged with violation of a Family Court order. Norway was arrested on a warrant out of Family Court.

Monday, November 25, 2013 at 10:35 am

Law and Order: Suspect in burglary in Corfu arrested in Amherst after brief foot pursuit

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, corfu, crime

Patrick Raymond Krieger, 23, of Exchange Street, Akron, is charged with burglary 2nd, criminal contempt, 1st, menacing, 2nd. Krieger was arrested in the Town of Amherst after a brief foot pursuit by State Police, the Cheektowaga PD, Amherst PD and the Erie County Sheriff's Office. Krieger was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Offices on charges stemming from an alleged incident reported in the Village of Corfu at 7:10 a.m., Friday. He was jailed on $30,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.

Shannon L. Smith, 37, of 2 Goad Park, upper, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Smith was arrested following an investigation into a disturbance at 96 River St., Batavia.

Philip E. Wolfe, 58, of Alabama, is charged with petit larceny. Wolfe was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Daniel T. Henning, 33, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Henning was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Monday, November 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Plea agreement in Corfu's missing court funds case includes dismissal of charges against judge

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu

The forced resignation, said Special Prosecutor Donald O'Geen, of Robert Alexander from the justice position in the Town of Pembroke is a stiff punishment for the former Village of Corfu justice who was charged with official misconduct.

As part of a plea deal that included the restitution of more than $10,000 by Brandi Watts, Alexander's daughter, and her guilty plea to falsifying government documents, Alexander has a chance to have all three charges against him dismissed in six months.

It's called an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. Alexander need only stay out of trouble for the next six months and the counts of official misconduct and coercion will be dropped.

He is also barred from seeking judicial office.

"The end game, Corfu got their money back," O'Geen said. "The person who stole the money, or at least tampered with the public records, is being held accountable. I think having him resign, basically in disgrace is justice for the people of Corfu."

While that outcome may not satisfy those in Corfu who wanted to see Alexander behind bars, O'Geen said people need to understand how the system works.

The charges against Alexander were misdemeanors and Alexander has no prior record.

"Justice comes in many forms," O'Geen said. "We have to deal with the case as it's given to us. Not everything is cut and dry. We also have to figure out what the judge (in the case) is going to do. I just felt like in a case like this, Judge Alexander wasn't going to jail. I don't think he would even been given probation, so as part of a package deal with Brandi, I think this does bring it to a just resolution."

Alexander says the outcome was justice because he hadn't broken the law.

"As Jesus Christ as my witness, as God as my witness, I never intended, nor thought about, or never did, anything in the last 30 years that I've been saved as a Christian that I would ever do anything that would even think about violating the law," Alexander said. "I just thank God this case has ended the way it has. I think it's a fair disposition."

One thing people need to look at in the case, O'Geen said, is how quickly it came to a resolution once it got in the hands of a prosecutor. O'Geen was critical of the Judicial Conduct Commission for, first, taking so long to investigate Alexander's courtroom and, second, to take two yeas to issue a report on its investigation.

"Why did this drag out?" O'Geen asked. "They had the case for over two years. Why didn't they speak to the DA when the DA is investigating the case? Why does this get dragged out? I've only had this case since February and I've brought it to resolution for the Village of Corfu in a quick manner."

O'Geen praised the cooperation of the village attorney, the comptroller's office and the state police for working cooperatively to bring the case to a speedy conclusion.

Alexander said he will have more to say about the case six months from now. He's next scheduled to appear in court at 9:15 a.m., May 19.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Corfu trustees plan first step toward study of dissolving village government

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu

There are some residents who have been pushing to dissolve the Village of Corfu for a decade, said Trustee Ken Lauer.

Depending on the outcome of a meeting early next month, they may get their chance to take a serious look of what the future would look like without a Corfu municipal government.

At its first meeting in December, the village trustees will hear from a grant writer who will explain what it takes to study whether to dissolve the village.

The cost of the study can be from $40,000 to $50,000, according to Deputy Mayor David Bielec.

While there's grant money available from the state, if the village accepts the grant and then doesn't complete dissolution, the local government will be on the hook for half the cost of the study.

"There's a very good possibility the village won't want to take that kind of chance," Blelec said.

The study will answer, or try to answer, all of the unknown questions of dissolution -- will elimination of the court and police department save money; who will plow sidewalks and pick up yard waste; what other services will be lost; how will it effect sewer payments; what happens to the current village department; and most importantly, can village residents realistically expect lower taxes?

"I think it's a good idea, but until you do the financials, you really don't know," Blelec said.

Lauer is also on the fence.

"Am I for it or against it? I want to see the study," Lauer said. "There's good points and there's bad points as far as I can see. As a citizen I've often said what am I paying for?  If I'm paying $300, $500 a year in taxes to the village, what do I get? The sidewalks plowed. Brush pick-up. That's really about it."

Both Lauer and Blelec said they don't believe the turmoil of the past two years -- from the theft of court funds to the behavior of Mayor Ralph Peterson -- are what's driving talk of dissolution. The idea was already in the air before those issues came up.

"It helped bring it to a fruition, but I don't think it was a cause, a direct cause," Lauer said.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Dump truck has struck power lines on Route 77, Corfu

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, fire

Power lines are reportedly sparking along Route 77 near Cohocton after a dump truck hit them.

The driver is out of the vehicle.

Corfu fire is responding.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 11:28 am

Commission finds poor bookkeeping in Corfu court making it impossible to account for all the funds

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Brandi Watts, corfu, Robert Alexander

It's likely the taxpayers of Corfu may never know just how much money went missing from the Village Court during the years that Judge Robert Alexander sat on the bench and his daughter, Brandi Watts, was his court clerk.

Watts has already reimbursed the village $10,128 as part of her agreement to plead guilty last week to a single count of tampering with government records, a Class D felony.

A report issued yesterday by the NYS Judicial Review Commission says its investigation found more than $14,000 went undeposited in the court's bank acount from Jan. 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

That's one of the problems with the case, said Special Prosecutor Donald O'Geen -- nobody can agree how much money is missing. The comptroller came up with a different figure and Pam Yasses, the current court clerk, did her own audit and came up with a completely different figure.

At the heart of the judicial commission's review, as it was with the comptroller's original audit, is that the bookkeeping was apparently just plain sloppy during Alexander's administration of the court.

For example, there's more than $51,000 in funds received by the court during the period reviewed by the commission that aren't properly recorded. The commission said there is simply no record of where the money came from.

In 39 out of 50 cash deposits during the time period, the court records and bank documents don't reconcile.

Watts allegedly failed to issue receipts for payments on fines in 379 traffic ticket cases during the review period.

O'Geen said the easiest part of the case to prove against Watts, and what eventually led to her guilty plea, was the paper trail indicating the Watts would charge people paying a traffic ticket by check more than the fine imposed by Alexander. O'Geen said he believes Watts was using that higher charge to back fill for funds she was taking from cash fine payments.

The possibility of more missing money from the same time period isn't likely to lead to new charges against either Alexander nor Watts, O'Geen said. In the case of Watts, it would constitute double jeopardy to charge her for essentially the same crime twice, and for Alexander, there's no indication he ever actually took any money himself.

Alexander is legally liable for any missing funds in the court during his time in office. However, it would be up to the Village of Corfu to decide what it could prove is missing beyond the $10,128 already paid back and any potential higher amount believed missing.

"One of the biggest problems with this case," O'Geen said, "is the records are simply in disarray."

The judicial commission's report also complains that Alexander was reducing the fine amount on traffic tickets and waiving surcharges so that the state wasn't getting its share of the revenue.

More than 2,300 traffic tickets during the review period should have resulted in fines being remitted to the state, but did not, the report states.

O'Geen noted that in just about every jurisdiction in the state, judges routinely reduce traffic violations to a parking ticket with a fine that goes entirely to the local jurisdiction.

To fix that, the state recently added a surcharge to parking tickets, O'Geen said.

The commission also criticized Alexander for hiring his daughter without proper judicial commission approval.

During our conversation, O'Geen also referenced a comptroller's audit in October of the court in the Town of Alexander that found the court failed to maintain good accounting records, with nearly 1,900 traffic tickets still pending that should have been resolved.

The local municipal justice system is broken, O'Geen said.

"They're (Corfu) are not unique and that's part of the problem," O'Geen said. "There's a larger conversation to have that the system is bigger than part-time judges and part-time clerks can handle."

In calling for Alexander's removal from the bench -- Alexander resigned from his remaining court position in Pembroke last week -- the commission used harsh language to criticize the former justice.

The commission said Alexander "failed to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary by failing to maintain high standards of conduct," that he "failed to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety," that he "failed to respect and comply with the law and failed to act in a manner that protects public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."

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