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Friday, March 6, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Law and Order: Family allegedly targets employer for thefts of merchandise

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, pembroke, Stafford

Janet Marie Knauss, 49, of Alpine Lane, Caledonia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, falsifying business records, 1st, and conspiracy, 5th. Knauss, along with Carol Ann Knauss, 26, of Main Road, Stafford, and Arthur Roy Knauss, 52, of Alpine Lane, Caledonia, are accused of working together to steal from Target. At different dates and times, Janet Knauss allegedly entered false discounts, voided transactions and bagged items that were not scanned so they could be stolen while working as a cashier at the store. The total value of items allegedly stolen exceeds $1,400. Carol Knauss, who was also a cashier at Target, is charged with falsifying business records, petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Arthur Knauss is charged with conspiracy, 6th, and petit larceny. The case was first reported in January and investigated by Deputy James Diehl.

Frank Ludwig, 65, of Oakfield, is charged with forcible touching. State Police arrested Ludwig for allegedly having unwanted physical contact with a family member.

Jordon N. Odom, 18, of Stafford, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Odom is accused of striking a family member during an argument and then taking the family member's mobile phone in order to prevent the person from calling law enforcement. He later reportedly gave the phone back. Odom was jailed on $250 bail.

Nicholas T. Stock, 25, of Batavia, Dylan J. Perry, 23, Batavia, and Grayson C. Stock, 23, of Oakfield, are each charged with petit larceny. All three are accused of shoplifting from Walmart. Nicholas Stock and Perry are accused of trying to steal four boxes of Crest White Strips worth $234.96. Grayson Stock is accused of stealing Allegra allergy medicine worth $71.98.

A 16-year-old resident of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The youth is accused of giving an electronic cigarette to a juvenile, which caused "substantial medical distress" for the juvenile.

Dennis Ray Lloyd, 33, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, assault, 3rd, and criminal obstruction of breathing. Lloyd was arrested following the report of a domestic dispute at a location on Porter Avenue at 10:30 a.m., Feb. 26.

Rachell O. Soggs, 27, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a petit larceny charge. Soggs turned herself in after allegedly failing to appear for a presentencing interview ith Probation. She posted $500 police bail and was released.

Robert D. Cook, 35, of Attica Road, Darien Center, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a suspended/revoked registration charge. Cook turned himself in and was released on $200 bail.

Charles H. Wroten, 54, of Buell Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear at the Genesee County Jail for his intermittent incarceration stemming from a third-degree assault conviction. Wroten was located by Probation, assisted by Batavia PD, and released on his own recognizance after being issued an appearance ticket.

Kerrilynn A. McDermott, 34, of Denio Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. McDermott is accused of throwing an iPad at another person and striking that person in the face.

Jennifer A. Way, 35, of Linwood Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving without lights on. Way was stopped at 2:12 a.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Heidi Ann Marie Pahl, 41, of Kibbe Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Pahl was arrested following a report of a vehicle in a ditch on Genesee Street, Pembroke, at 9:27 p.m. on Sunday, which was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Beth Ann Collins, 47, of Lakeport Road, Chittenango, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and speeding in zone. Collins was stopped at 11:27 a.m. Monday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Darien Lake once again planning full concert season

The summer line-up for the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center is starting to take shape, with Kelly Clarkson the latest star announced by Live Nation for a show at the amphitheater next to Darien Lake Theme Park.

The Clarkson show is at 7:30 p.m., July 21. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., March 14. Also on the bill, Pentatonix and Eric Hutchinson.

Also on the schedule so far are some Darien Lake regulars, such as Brad Paisley, Kid Rock, Def Leppard, Zac Brown and Nickelback.

The Van's Warp tour is also returning.

Those shows are listed on the Live Nation Web site.

Darien Lake's site also lists Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts.

The first upcoming show is Debby Ryan and the Neverending at 6 p.m., May 23.

Other acts scheduled are Shawn Mendes, Fallout Boy, Train, Slipknot, Florida Georgia Line, and Darius Rucker.

For dates and times, check the links above.

If you've downloaded the Reacht App for your smart phone, at some point within the next day, we'll ask you this poll question: Do you plan to attend any concerts this season at Darien Lake? To download the app, click here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm

GCEDC to consider Darien Lake Theme Park request for $180,000 tax exemption for new attractions

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Darien, darien lake, GCEDC

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from Darien Lake Theme Park Resort at its Thursday, March 5, board meeting.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort is planning to add several new attractions, including a 75-foot “super loop” thrill ride and dual waterslide complex speed ride for this operating season. The projected capital investment is approximately $2.5 million.

The company is seeking a sales-tax exemption of $180,000, which would require a public hearing should the board approve the application.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate Med & Tech Park - 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor across from Genesee Community College.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 4:07 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 11:48 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 3:37 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

Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 12:45 am

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 12:51 pm

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 8:46 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 6:56 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.

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