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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Crash with minor injuries at Alleghany and Sumner roads, Darien

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Darien

A two-car accident, minor injuries, is reported at the intersection of Sumner and Alleghany roads. Darien fire and ambulance responding.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

Darien Lake announces in-park concert series

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, Darien, darien lake, entertainment, music

Press release:

This summer Darien Lake will host three special in-park concerts presented by TOPS Markets that are free with a Season Pass, a hotel or camping package or daily admission. The free concerts will take place in the Ride of Steel Plaza and include performances by –  Disney Channel’s Debby Ryan & The Never Ending; the social media hip-hop star Jake Miller; and Canadian singer-songwriter, Shawn Mendes.

“With roots in the Disney Channel, Kissmass Bash and beyond, these stars resonate with many families across Western New York,” said Chris Thorpe, Darien Lake General Manager. “Along with two new rides, these concerts are part of our plan to provide extraordinary value to our season pass holders and accommodations guests while enriching the entire Darien Lake experience.”

With park admission or a season pass, guests receive access to all in-park entertainment/concerts, Dive-In Movies, special events, shows, and now more than 50 rides. A 2015 season pass has even greater value than ever before, paying for itself in less than two visits. Season Pass holders will have the opportunity to be first to ride the all-new Rolling Thunder thrill ride, and will receive free parking, three free tickets for friends on select days and a free 32-oz. souvenir mug good for $.99 soda refills all season long when purchasing and visiting prior to Memorial Day.

In-Park Concert Dates and Times:

Debby Ryan & The Never Ending: May 23, 6 p.m.
As one of the most watched young stars in the business today, Debby Ryan is known for her unmatched comedic timing, flexibility to give powerful dramatic performances, and the ability to illuminate television and film screens. She starred on the Disney Channel series “The Suite Life on Deck,” as Bailey Pickett from 2008-2011 as well as the smash hit Disney Channel Original Series “Jessie” since 2011.

In addition to incredible acting chops, Debby broke onto the music scene in 2013 with her band, The Never Ending. The band consists of singer and songwriter Debby Ryan, drummer Johnny Franco and guitarist Kyle Moore. They released their 5-track EP “One” on June 24, 2014.

Jake Miller: June 13, 6 p.m.
Ever since Jake Miller began posting his original songs on YouTube a few years ago, the 21-year-old Miami-born pop artist has been building a virtual army of fans. His 1.3 million social media community followers call themselves "The Millertary" and come to his concerts wearing camouflage and greasepaint under their eyes. They are devoted to Miller’s irresistible musical blend of pop and hip-hop, combined with the positive messages in his songs.

Miller has independently released three EP’s: 2012’s "Spotlight" and 2013’s "The Road Less Traveled," which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart and 2014’s "Lion Heart," which sold 8,000 in the first week and 14,000 to date. His full-length album, 2013’s "Us Against Them," sold over 33,000 copies and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Rap chart.

Shawn Mendes: June 27, 6 p.m.
Hailed by Billboard as “Music’s First Vine Star” and TIME Magazine as one of the "Most Influential Teens of 2014," singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has emerged from teen viral sensation to major best-selling status almost overnight. Soon after artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered and introduced Mendes to now-label Island Records in early 2014, Shawn’s debut single "Life of the Party" broke records, topping the iTunes Charts and selling over 150,000 copies in its first week due to his legions of fans.

The success of the song made Shawn the youngest ever artist to break into the Billboard Hot 100's Top 25 with a debut single. Then, just a month later, Mendes released his self-titled debut EP, which also hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes once again, and entered at No. 5 on the Billboard album charts, showing the staying power of the young artist. Now fresh off of his sold out first headline tour dates, and soon to be embarking on Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour as well as releasing his debut album in 2015, Shawn has quickly become one of music's most promising young stars.

Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Darien Lake rolls out two new rides for 2015

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Darien, darien lake theme park, tourism

Darien Lake Theme Park draws thousands upon thousands of visitors from all over Western New York each summer, but General Manager Chris Thorpe says Genesee County residents are going to be especially pleased with what they find at the park this season.

Two new massive rides are going to add a lot more value for season-pass holders, he said, and local season-pass holders are an important customer base.

"We are excited to present these two new attractions this year," Thorpe said. "We think it cements us as the best entertainment value in Western New York, particularly from a local perspective. For Batavia residents, local Genesee County residents, our season pass will offer so much more this year. We're excited to give them the opportunity to come out and visit the park frequently, over and over, to see what a great value we are."

The new rides are called Brain Drain and Rolling Thunder.

Brain Drain is a massive, seven-story waterslide that offers twin free-fall drops through tubes that loop and cross, with riders zooming through at 38 feet per second until they're blasted into a pool of water at the base.

Riders start in an enclosed launch capsule, with both riders dropping into the tube simultaneously when the floor beneath them gives way.

Roling Thunder is a compact steel loop that stands 73 feet at its apex and propels 24 riders at time through a closed loop on a high-speed train. The ride hangs passengers upside down and rockets back and forth through the loop.

Construction will begin soon and the rides are expected to be ready for opening day, May 9.

The expansion gives the park 47 rides for visitors to choose from, with enough variety to please all guests, Thorpe said.

"There's so much to do, but what's even better, is there's something for everybody in the family here," said Thorpe, who is originally from Buffalo and first started working at Darien Lake in 1995, rising to the level of general manager, transferring to other theme parks for the past couple of years and now returns home.

Noting how important Darien Lake is to the local economy in the jobs it creates and the tourism dollars it attracts, Chamber President Tom Turnbull said it was great to see the theme park adding rides.

"One of the things I've learned from our friends at Darien Lake -- they've kind of schooled me on the amusement park business -- is how important attractions are in driving attendance," Turnbull said. "To have not just one new attraction, but two new attractions means, I think, we can expect a banner year at Darien Lake."

Adding rides is a departure from last year's strategy to draw visitors to the park, using entertainment, such as the Harlem Globetrotters, a Latin music festival, and, of course, Nik Wallenda to draw in crowds.

To be sure, Wallenda brought guests to the park, but he's moving on to other venues this season and Thrope said the new rides are a good fit for what the park already offers.

"We'll still have our traditional entertainment in place, the magic shows and things like that, but last year's focus was Nik Wallenda, which was a very strong attraction," Thorpe said. "This year, we're going more with a hardware focus and looking at attractions that will peak people's interest."

The park will still work to maintain its identity as a destination with strong Western New York roots, Thorpe said, a branding effort begun by park management two seasons ago.

"It's important for us to be woven into the cultural fabric of Western New York and those things like the Anchor Bar and Tim Horton's and all the local vendors we work with are critically important to our success," Thorpe said.

Chris Thorpe explaining Rolling Thunder.

Tom Turnbull

Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Photos: Annual installation dinner for Darien Volunteer Fire Department

Among the highlights of Friday's installation dinner for the Darien Volunteer Fire Department was the recognition of William Brunea for his 60 years of dedicated service to the department. Joining Brunea was his wife of 65 years, Irene.

Jeffrey Luker was named Firefighter of the Year.

Becca Neeland received the department's annual scholarship, which was presented by Cheryl Furlong.

The line officers sworn in Friday were Joseph "China" Marino Jr., chief; Jeffrey Luker, 1st assistant chief, David McGreevy, 2nd assistant chief, Mark Starczewski, 3rd assistant chief, Kenneth Fisher, fire captain, Paul Redden, fire lieutenant, William Brunea, fire police captain, and McGreevy, mechanic.

The department responded to 308 calls in 2014.

It currently has 39 active members, three probationary active members, 14 associate members, two active life members and 19 retired life members, for 77 total membership.

Friday, January 23, 2015 at 11:51 am

Crash at routes 20 and 238, unknown injuries

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Darien

A motor-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported at routes 20 and 238. Darien fire and ambulance and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: This is a pickup truck vs. car accident. Both drivers are reportedly out of the vehicles, talking. The vehicles are off the road; traffic is not blocked.

UPDATE 12:11 p.m.: A second Mercy rig is called in lieu of Darien's ambulance.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m.: The Darien assignment is back in service.

Monday, January 12, 2015 at 7:46 am

Two-car accident reported on Genesee Street, Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien

A two-car accident occurred at 418 Genesee St., Darien.

The initial report had a subject complaining of a head injury. A minor head injury and a minor leg injury are reported.

The cars are no longer blocking.

The location is just before County Line Road.

Darien fire and ambulance dispatched. Corfu dispatched mutual aid.

UPDATE 7:56 a.m.: A second ambulance is requested to the scene. Mercy EMS dispatched.

Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 5:56 pm

Car crash on Broadway Road, Darien

post by Billie Owens in accident, Darien

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at 234 Broadway Road, Darien. An adult and a young child may be injured. They are out of the vehicle. Darien fire is responding.

UPDATE 5:58 p.m.: Command requests Mercy medics to respond. The location is between Harlow and County Line roads.

Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 10:03 am

Darien town justice tapped as new member of County Legislature

post by Howard B. Owens in county legislature, Darien, pembroke

A Town of Darien justice has been tapped to become the newest member of the Genesee County Legislature.

Michael Davis, a town justice for about five years and employee of the Upstate Niagara Milk Cooperative, will replace Annie Lawrence, who resigned to become Town of Pembroke supervisor.

County Republicans selected Davis to fill the vacant seat -- which must be filled under county law by a person from the same party as the person who left the seat -- and Wednesday, the Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously to recommend the appointment to the full legislature.

The legislative vote is expected at the start of its meeting next week and Davis would be sworn into office immediately. 

Before then, Davis is expected to resign as town justice.

The committee also reappointed Lori Longhany as the Democratic Party's commissioner on the Board of Elections.

Also on Wednesday, the committee approved the hiring of Ruth Spink as director of the Office for the Aging, who will replace Pamela Whitmore. Whitmore is retiring at the end of the month.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 7:40 am

Law and Order: Arrest made in concession stand burglary in Oakfield

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

Brandon P. Matteson, 18, of Dutton Road, Silver Springs, is charged with burglary, 3rd. Matteson is accused of stealing from a locked concessions stand in an Oakfield Park.

Gary D. Piazza, 59, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Piazza is accused of shoplifting from the gas station at 99 Jackson St., Batavia.

Michael B. Neth, 37, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Neth allegedly pushed another person to the ground. The alleged incident was reported at 11:15 p.m., Saturday. 

Steven R. Columbo, 28, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Columbo allegedly grabbed the arm of another person hard enough to cause dark bruising and substantial pain. The alleged incident was reported at 9:51 p.m., Wednesday.

A 16-year-old resident of Dellinger Avenue was charged with trespass. The youth was allegedly on property on Liberty Street without permission. Also charged with trespass at the same location was Destiny N. Green, 18, of Walnut Street, Batavia.

David Mobley Schmieder, 20, of Silver Road, Bethany, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from the lane unsafely. Schmieder was stopped at 2:37 a.m. Thursday on Erie Street, Darien, by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Monday, December 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Law and Order: Missing youth located, arrested on warrant after fleeing from house

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, crime, Darien, Oakfield, Pavilion

Preston S. Daigler, 16, of Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Oakfield, is charged with resisting arrest. Daigler was wanted on a warrant out of City Court on an endangering the welfare of a child charge. He was also a reported missing person out of Orleans County. Daigler was located at his residence when the Sheriff's Office attempted to place him under arrest. Daigler jumped from a second-story window and fled into a wooded area behind his residence. Daigler was located about two hours later hiding in a dumpster at a nearby local business. He was treated at UMMC for exposure and then arraigned in Oakfield Town Court. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Kevin Michael Lampman, 41, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, harassment, 2nd, and aggravated family offense. Lampman is accused of trying to bite a woman in the face during an argument. There was allegedly an order of protection in place at the time of the incident. Lampman was jailed on $10,000 cash bail.

Christina AnnMarie Deluna, 34, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Deluna is accused of stealing $576.72 in merchandise from Walmart. She was located five days later at her residence and issued an appearance ticket.

John Frederick Lightfoot II, 21, of Roslyn Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant out of Lancaster for an unlawful possession of marijuana charge.

Anthony Michael Vanille, 55, of Broadway Road, Attica, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and speed in excess of 55 mph. Vanille was stopped at 8:14 p.m., Saturday.

Michael John Valentino, 48, of Hilltop Court, West Seneca, is charged with DWAI (combined influence of drugs), criminal possession of a stimulant, 4th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Valentino was stopped at 2:37 a.m. Sunday on Oak Orchard Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona. He was allegedly found in possession of methamphetamine, hydrocodone and marijuana and related paraphernalia. He also allegedly possessed a weapon at the time of his arrest.

A 17-year-old resident of Spring Road, Alexander, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth is accused of striking another person at Alexander High School.

Raymond Lundy Kelley, 24, of Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Kelley is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Grayson Carl Stock, 22, of Sunset Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument. Stock was allegedly found in possession of a hypodermic instrument while at a location on West Main Street, Batavia.

Jamie Lee Steinhardt, 22, of Sumner Road, Darien, is charged with petit larceny. Steinhardt is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Brandon Aaron Barclay, 27, of Big Tree Road, Pavilion, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Barclay allegedly violated an order of protection by having contact with a protected party.

Cassandra Ann Jimenez, 26, of Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with petit larceny. Jimenez is accused of going through the self-checkout line at Walmart, scanning several but not all of the items in her cart. She then allegedly passed the checkout area with $128.63 in unpaid items in her cart.

Morgan L. Cox Jr., 22, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Cox was allegedly involved in a domestic incident in violation of an order of protection.

A 16-year-old resident of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal diversion of prescription medication, 4th.The youth was allegedly involved in a trade of prescription medication for cigarettes at Batavia High School. Batavia PD withheld the name of the suspect. An unnamed 17-year-old resident of Highland Park, Batavia, was also arrested.

A 17-year-old resident of Williams Street, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. The youth was allegedly involved in a fight at Batavia High School. Batavia PD withheld the name of the suspect.

Amber L. Ostrander, 24, of Morrow Road, Pavilion, was arrested on warrant for alleged failure to appear. Ostrander allegedly failed to appear on a charge stemming from her arrest in August for driving on a suspended license.

Danielle M. Cravatta, 30, of Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for allegedly issuing a bad check in November, 2013. 

Gregory A. Emerson, 32, of Park Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Emerson was stopped at 1:04 a.m. Friday on Richmond Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Peter Flanagan.

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