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Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 9:00 pm

FAQ and Help for The Batavian

post by Howard B. Owens in help, thebatavian

The following links are designed to help you better understand how things work on The Batavian.

 

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Byron-Bergen students, faculty and staff come through for the community for the holidays

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, byron, byron-bergen

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District community has been doing an amazing job of providing assistance to some of our community families during the holidays for many years. 

The B-B community members, administrators, faculty, staff, and students donated toys and games, clothing items, rolls of wrapping paper, and over 1,000 non-perishable food items. 

The B-B winter sports teams donated over 500 non-perishable food items and assisted with packing fruit bags!  In addition to the items above, close to $2,400 was donated by the community, administrators, faculty, and staff so we could purchase gifts for families in need from our school district. 

All the food items will be picked up by the local Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons for sorting and packing into 90+ food baskets for local families (as they have done for many, many years), with several community, Board of Education, and school district members pitching in to help. 

Sponsors of this holiday good will were organized by Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons and coordinated by Dick Sands; and include the faculty, staff, and students of Byron-Bergen CSD; the Byron-Bergen community members, and area businesses. 

Food baskets and gifts will be delivered on Saturday, December 20, 2014, by the Masons, community, and school volunteers.  All involved truly believe in the magic of the holiday season!

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Owners of Rancho Viejo open second restaurant in Value Plaza

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, El Burrito Loco, Rancho Viejo

How would you like your burrito? Hot and spicy or mild and flavorful? Steak, ground beef, chicken or pork, or maybe just beans and rice? However you like your burritos, whether it's the same recipe today and tomorrow or you like to mix it up every day, Leon and Maryez Ramirez promise you this: It will be made from only the freshest ingredients. 

The couple, who also own Rancho Viejo Restaurant on Ellicott Street, decided to open their new place, El Burrito Loco, in the Valu Plaza because they thought Batavia needed a place like this.

"The reason we came out with this idea is because there's nothing like this in Batavia," Leon said. "People are always looking for different places to eat and me and my wife always had this idea."

The restaurant seats sixty, but burritos and tacos always make great to-go food.

Maryez is planning on expanding the menu to include salads -- healthy salads, she says, and always fresh -- and natural fruit drinks.

The Ramirez's said Rancho Viejo is doing very well and they think the new place will compliment their existing restaurant, offering another style of food and dining for residents hungry for Mexican cuisine.

"We want to invite people in," Leon said. "Me, my wife and my family, we appreciate everybody in Batavia and surrounding areas for their support at Rancho and we hope they like this one, too."

Photo: Leon, Maryez, Alicia and Elkim.

 

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 9:29 am

One person rescued, another succumbs to fire in home on Caswell Road, Byron

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, fire

A resident of a home on Caswell Road, Byron, died this morning after an early morning fire swept through his home.

A woman who also lived at the house survived and was transported by ambulance to UMMC after she was rescued from the home by volunteer firefighters.

The names of neither occupant have yet been released by authorities.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The fire was reported at 2:06 a.m..

Chief Charles Durkee, Byron Fire Department, said when his assistant chief arrived on scene, he reported smoke showing.

Two fire trucks arrived on scene quickly and while one crew worked to establish water lines, another crew went to the roof to try and cut a hole for ventilation.

"The roof was so icy, they couldn't even get off the ladder," Durkee said. "That plan was quickly abandoned."

As crews fought the fire, fighter fighters entered the house and were able to locate the female resident and carry her to safety, but they could not locate the male resident.

He reportedly succombed to smoke inhalation and his body was found later in the kitchen area.

A fire that was difficult to fight because the closest hydrants are a couple of miles away, was made harder when a power line fell.

"We started sending trucks around in a loop but then this wire behind me dropped," Durkee said. "It went right across the road.  We had to abandon the aerial. We had to abandon all hand lines that were underneath it.  We had to re-rig some hand lines so we could start fighting the fire and bringing the tankers in from one direction." 

It took about 45 minutes to get the fire knocked down and an hour to get it under control, Durkee said.

Responding to the fire were Byron, South Byron, Elba, Barre, Bergen, Brockport, Stafford, Town of Batavia and City of Batavia, as well as medics from Mercy EMS and Le Roy Ambulance.

There are investigators on scene from the state's Fire Prevention Services and the county's Emergency Management Office.  

The Sheriff's Office is assisting in the investigation.

UPDATE: The deceased is identified as Warren Leaton, 90.

UPDATE: Norine R. Leaton, 84, was recused by volunteer firefighters when she was found in a breezeway, according to a Sheriff's Office release. The body of the deceased was inside the residence. The man's body has been taken to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office, the report says. The remains have not been positively identified, according to the release. The Batavian's news partner 13WHAM spoke with family members, and they said Warren Leaton passed in the fire.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 12:43 am

Wednesday Night Basketball: Elba and Notre Dame renew rivalry in hardwood battle

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

NOTE: Apologies for not getting this story posted sooner. Since the end of the game last night until tonight, another news story has been our priority.

In the midst of the ruckus in a near-capacity Stan Sherman Gymnasium at Elba Central School on Wednesday night, the Lancers and Fighting Irish put on quite a basketball show.

Passes zipped around the keys, bodies slammed under the boards and fast breaks were launched in transition with the swiftness of an executioner's sword.

In the end, Elba, having spent their all on the hardwood, left the court disappointed, as Notre Dame scored 61 points to their 53.

"It was an entertaining game," said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. "Both teams played hard. We both made some bad mistakes. We made some good plays. It was a typical Elba/Notre Dame basketball game. Both teams competed and both teams wanted to win. It had to be a good game for the fans to watch."

It's easy to see the game as an uplifting moment when your team wins, but Elba Head Coach Mark Beehler hardly hid his disappointment at the outcome during a post-game interview.

Elba hasn't beaten its arch-rival since a 2008 sectional playoff.

"That was everything we expect as far as energy and excitement of the game," said Beehler with hardly a trace of energy or excitement in his voice. "Every time we play Notre Dame, it's always a big one."

Elba took a 29-27 lead into the half and the start of the third continued the back-and-forth battle, but as players knocked about for position under Notre Dame's basket midway through the quarter, John Hockmuth was conked in the nose. The game was delayed while officials cleaned blood from the court. Hockmuth was taken to the locker room for treatment and missed the rest of the third and the start of the fourth quarter.

While was out, Notre Dame went on a run. Tyler Prospero scored a pair of threes, Josh Johnson had one and James Farmer had one.

The Irish outscored the Lancers in the third 21-8.

Elba's defense tightened when Hockmuth was back on the court, but couldn't capitalize of a string of Irish possessions that yielded no points.

As the second to last minute wound toward the final minute, the Lancers went on a mini-run, drawing within six points of the lead.

With about a minute left, Notre Dame was called for a backcourt violation. Elba's Richard Flores celebrated a little too exuberantly and was called for a technical foul, his fifth foul of the game.

Rapone said that foul did shift the momentum back to Notre Dame.

"The kids are excited, but they're (the officials) are really strict about taunting now, so you've got to be careful," Rapone said.

Flores (top photo) was a big reason Elba made a game of it. In his first start of the season, he scored eight points and had 10 rebounds.

He plays bigger than his 5' 10" height.

"He hits boards really well," Beehler said. "He's got sticky hands. If he grabs it, he's going to keep it."

In a box-and-one defense, Flores was charged with guarding Notre Dame's hot-shot shooter Josh Johnson. That is what really contributed to Flores fouling out.

"He had a tough task tonight," Beehler said. "He played as hard as anybody out there."

Rebounding was a big part of what kept Elba in the game, Beehler said, that and taking care of the ball, even against Notre Dame's pressure defense.

"Turnover-wise, we only had eight," Beehler said. "That's pretty low for us compared to years past against their press."

Rapone said after the game it's clear his team needs to work on its free throws. The Irish only sank 14 of 33 attempts (43 percent).

For Elba, both Hochmuth and Shane O'Halloran had 14 points. Hochmuth -- nine rebounds. Evan Cole had eight points and 11 rebounds.

For Notre Dame, Johnson had 17 points, C.J. Souzi 10 points and nine rebounds, and Caleb Nellis recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Josh Johnson drives for the basket.

Hochmuth blocks a Casey Midwick shot attempt.

Hochmuth and Nellis battle for position during a free-throw attempt.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Video: This morning's press conference on death of Baby Chandler

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime

The press conference was 13 minutes long. To upload it to YouTube, I had to trim it to less than 10 minutes. I tried to cut portions that seemed redundant or not particularly relevant.

Recap: Jeffrey L. Deats, 28, of 10 Olyn Ave., Batavia, is charged with manslaughter, 2nd. Deats appears to have believed he was the father of 6-month-old Chandler Zuch. Baby Chandler was on an overnight visitation with Deats when he was found unresponsive on the living room couch of the Deats home Sunday morning. He was later pronounced dead at UMMC. This afternoon, Michael Senay was identified as Chandler's biological father. Baby Chandler suffered brain injuries, which appear to be the cause of death. Deats is being held in the Genesee County Jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. He is scheduled for a felony hearing Dec. 24.

From the press conference, key statements by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman:

  • "The question is, was this death caused by what is commonly known as 'shaken baby syndrome'? The key part of that question is the use of the term, 'commonly known.' What I would say is that neither medically nor legally do we use that term.  I recognize that it is commonly known as that, and that may be a layman's term for what occured here, but it's not a term that we would use."
  • "Why not murder? Well, generally, murder involves intentionally causing the death of another person. Generally speaking, that's the most common basis for a murder charge and that is not what is supported by the evidence we currently have."
  • Regardine timeline on the morning of Chandler's death: "Certainly that's a factor as to the cause of the death, the time the injuries may have been inflicted and the time it was reported."
  • "The question was asked before, are we talking about eyewitnesses or people who had information. Witnesses are obviously not just inclusive of people who saw a crime being committed. There can be witnesses, certainly, to surrounding circumstances. There are a number of people who have been interviewed about this case, certainly, and but that's not the same thing as saying there are people who saw the injuries being caused."
  • "I wouldn't refer to this as negligence, no. To be more clear on what I'm saying is negligence is often a civil term. There's negligence, to criminal negligence, to recklessness, and then up to intent. What we're dealing with here -- as far as the charge of manslaughter in the second degree -- is recklessness."
  • "I don't think we've used the term 'hit' as far as what happened to the child -- injury to the brain, which does not necessarily involve the child being hit."

In our first story last night, we reported that Deats had been arrested at least twice before. Today we received copies of court documents in both of those cases.

On Dec. 5, 2011, Deats was charged with harassment, 2nd. His mother accused him of threatening to kill her and her dog. In connection with this case, he was also accused of violating an order of protection. The criminal contempt charge was a factor today in Judge Robert Balbick setting a high bail for Deats.

On May 29, 2013, Deats allegedly threatened another person. He was accused of displaying "what appeared to be a black pistol in his waistband." He was accused of threatening to shoot the other person. The person said in a statement to police that Deats called him a "chomo" (child molester) and a rapist. There were further words exchanged and insults thrown out. About five or 10 minutes later, Deats reportedly came back and displayed the handle of what looked like a 9mm stuck in his waistband, the man said. He quoted Deats saying, "Do you want me to shoot you? I could shoot you." Then the police showed up and Deats went back to his house. Three witnesses provided statements in the case. Deats was charged with menacing and harassment.

Previous Coverage: 

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Man held in Baby Chandler case is not the father

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime

It turns out the the man being held in the death of a 6-month-old boy is not the baby's father.

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch confirmed minutes ago that Michael Senay is the father of Chandler Zuch.

A relative of Senay's provided The Batavian with a copy of a DNA test from the DNA Diagnostic Center in Erie County dated Dec. 8 that says Senay is the father with 99.99 percent probability.

Senay posted on Facebook this afternoon a statement that he was the father.

So far, he has declined interview requests.

Jeffrey Deats had Baby Chandler for an overnight visit this past weekend and according to his statement to police, he believed he was the father of the baby.

In the statement he said the mother, Michelle Zuch, alternately told him he was the father and not the father over a period of time, and eventually told him that she had the results back of a DNA test and that he, Deats, was the father. Deats, based on his statement, seemed to accept her claim and believed he was the father of Chandler.

Deats is being held on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond on a charge of manslaughter, 2nd.

A preliminary hearing, known as a felony hearing, is scheduled for Dec. 24.

This morning at a press conference District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said there was no proof at this time that Deats intended harm or death, which is why Deats is charged with manslaughter, which presumes recklessness in the death of another person.

Senay, according to his Facebook page, lives in Orleans County and attended Pembroke High School.

UPDATE: The District Attorney's Office has issued the following statement;

"We have been informed that Paternity Test results were received today, establishing that Jeffrey Deats was not the father of the baby, Chandler Zuch. This has no effect on the legal proceedings."

Previously:

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

Baby Chandler suffered head trauma, authorities say

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime

Baby Chandler, the 6-month-old who died Sunday while in his father's care, suffered multiple brain injuries, causing his death, according to local law enforcement officials.

Jeffrey L. Deats, 27, of Olyn Avenue, Batavia, has been charged with manslaughter in the second degree and is currently being held in the Genesee County Jail.

In a press conference this morning, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said the charge stems from the belief that Deats acted recklessly and with disregard for the possible harm of his actions. He said at this time there's no evidence to indicate that Deats intended to cause harm or death to Chandler.

Batavia PD Chief Shawn Heubusch said the preliminary report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office indicates brain injuries.

The baby is undergoing a full skeletal, neurological and dental exam at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

According to court documents, Deats made a long statement to police about his relationship with Chandler's mother and his time with Chandler, including during this past weekend. 

He later made a second statement and told a detective that he had "not told the entire truth."

He said, "I remember that around 9 or 9:30 p.m., I was walking down the stairs with Chandler in my arms and I was wearing flip-flops. As I started to go down the stairs, my foot slipped and I began to fall. When I fell, the back of my head hit the stairs really hard. When I got to the last three steps, I rolled and I tried to protect Chandler. As we were falling, Chandler's head was going back and forth really bad. At no times did I tell my mother what happened. I think she was in her room sleeping, but I'm not sure. I did not want to tell anyone that I had messed up because they would think bad of me."

In a statement to police, the baby's grandmother, Jacquelyn Deats, said she heard Chandler crying off and on throughout the night and that she woke up around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning because she was thinking about going to church. 

A half hour later, she said, she heard Chandler crying loudly, like he was screaming.  

"I heard Jeff stomping down the stairs and he was calling, 'mom, mom' several times," Jacquelyn Deats said. "He sounded very upset. I said that I was in the bathroom. When I came out, Jeff was holding Chandler so that Chandler's head was on Jeff's shoulder. Jeff said, 'He's been up all night and I need to sleep.' Jeff was really upset. He laid Chandler on the couch and said, 'Now, you go to sleep you god damn bastard,' and he turned around and went upstairs."

She went on, "when I looked at the baby, I knew something was wrong. He was breathing very slow, shallow and labored breaths. I was praying that he was going to be okay."

She said first that she didn't call for help because she was afraid what Jeff would do. That statement is scratched out and she said she was hoping the baby would calm down. 

"I picked Chandler up and when I touched his hands and feet, they were cold. I tried to warm them up and I said, 'please warm up,'" she said. "I was just praying he would be okay. I laid Chandler back on the couch. Chandler did not move for the entire time he was on the couch. He also had his eyes closed the entire time."

She said she called up to Jeff at 8:30 a.m. and Jeff told her to wake him up at 9:30 a.m.

When Jeff came down at 9:30, they noticed Chandler wasn't breathing, she said. Jeff apparently tried mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and Jacquelyn called 9-1-1. 

"Before I left for the hospital, Jeff told me, 'you need to tell everyone that you were with me the entire time,' " she said. 

In a second statement, Jacquelyn Deats said he had no knowledge of Chandler being dropped or anybody slipping and falling while holding him or of anybody falling down the stairs.

She also said in the same statement that Jeff came downstairs about 6:05 a.m., "and I heard him 'thump' down the stairs."

"When he came downstairs he was out of breath and disheveled," she wrote. "I think it is possible that he might have fallen then. Chandler was all disheveled and his shirt was up to about the middle of his torso and there were red marks on his stomach that looked like it was from Jeff holding him really tight. If anybody had fallen down the stairs any other time, I would have heard it."

The mother of Chandler is identified as Michelle Zuch. In his statement, Jeff Deats said he met Zuch through Facebook. 

They first time they met in person, they went to the sandwash off Cedar Street.

Three weeks later, Deats said she texted him and said they needed to talk. She came to Batavia and told him she was pregnant. 

"We fought every day over the phone," Deats said. "Michelle would tell me that it was my child, then say it wasn't. This went on until just recently."

He said after DNA testing, Zuch told him he was the father. 

Sometime later, Zuch brought Chandler to Batavia for a visit with Deats. 

"After a while, I started having Chandler on Sundays," Deats said. "Chandler was around four months old when this started happening. I would bring him back on Sunday night and Michelle would say I wasn't going to see him anymore. Michelle would not say why. She would just call me a deadbeat father."

He said before this last visit, Michelle tried to back out of letting Chandler visit on Sunday, then after further conversation she said, "why don't you just take him for an overnight," Deats said.

Deats and his mother picked him up Saturday around 9 a.m., Saturday, according to the statement. 

"Chandler looked perfectly fine when I picked him up," he said. "There may have been a little bruise on his left or right thumb, but I'm not sure."

When they stopped for gas in Pembroke, Deats said he was in the back seat with Chandler watching him play with a toy.

"It was orange and made of hard plastic," he said. "The toy swung around and bashed him the mouth. Chandler started crying, but I was able to calm him down. I looked and saw that his lower tooth was missing and his mouth was bleeding. I looked for the tooth in the car, but I could not find it."

He said he called Zuch and Zuch wanted the baby returned immediately.  

"I told her he would be fine at my house," he said.

Twenty minutes after getting home, Zuch showed up at the house and so did the police.

The police entered the house, checked out Chandler, he said, and after a brief interview, Deats said they told him they didn't see anything wrong.

He told police that Zuch was welcome to stay and make sure the child was fine, and Zuch did stay and visit for a while, he said.

He and Zuch went to Dunkin' Donuts with two friends.

Later, at home, Zuch visited longer. Then Deats said he gave Chandler a bath and the baby seemed fine. He put new clothes on him and they "just hung out the rest of the day."

Zuch left around 1 p.m.

His mother started watching Chandler around 3:45 p.m. while Deats went upstairs with a friend. He left for work at 8:20 p.m.

"When I got home, mom was on the couch with the dog watching TV," Deats said. "I took a picture of Chandler and sent it to Michelle. Michelle had been blowing up my phone asking for a picture, that's why I did it."

He said he checked Chandler's diaper and it was fine, and then he made him a bottle. 

"I brought him upstairs with his bouncy chair," he said. "Michelle had told me that he doesn't fall asleep in people's arms or in the bed, so I put him in his bouncy chair. I could tell he was tired because he was throwing his little tired whine. I picked him up and he fell asleep in his (sic) arms."

He said Chandler woke a little when he laid him down, then went back to sleep in five minutes. 

His mother then went upstairs to watch Chandler and Deats left the house with a friend. He returned about 20 minutes later and found Chandler still asleep upstairs. 

He and a friend watched the Heisman Trophy presentation and then a documentary on U2.

Shortly after that, Chandler woke up. 

"Chandler was making fussing noises," Deats said. "He then started to cry. I picked him up and sat him on my left knee about five minutes. He was still fussing so I put him in my arms and tried giving him a bottle. He was till fussing and pushing it away. I then put him back in his bouncy chair, facing the TV. He seemed fine then. I would rock the chair with my hand or sometimes my foot."

His friend left about 2 a.m.

"Chandler would fuss every time it went to commercial or when I would stop rocking him."

He tried giving Chandler a bottle, but Chandler spit it up four or five times. 

He changed Chandler's clothes and his own clothes, he said. 

For the next few hours, Deats said Chandler was in and out of his bouncy chair and fussing on and off.

After his mom got up, he said he brought Chandler downstairs and laid him on the couch. He said he asked his mom to watch him for a couple of hours so he could get some sleep. 

"He was rubbing his head and yawning and making little talking noises," Deats said. "I tucked him in, putting his two comfort blankets around him. I made sure he was OK and then I went upstairs and went to bed."

He said he came downstairs again at 9:40 a.m.

"Michelle was blowing up my phone again," Deats said. I told her I was gonna send her a picture, shower and then give Chandler a bath, then call her. 

"I walked downstairs and took a quick picture of Chandler. When I first laid Chandler down, his head was facing towards my mom's bedroom. When I came down, his feet were kinda pointing towards my mom's bedroom and his head was more towards the back cushions. My mom was in the kitchen. As soon as I took the photo, and as I hit send, I realized that he was passed. I just had that feeling in me.

"I pulled the blanket off and put my hand on his belly to see if it was cold I felt that he was warm. I said to my mom that I think he passed away. I said that 'we are f--ked, Michelle's gonna kill us.'

"I picked up Chandler and his arms were limp and his head fell backwards. I just held him really tight in my arms then brought him to my mom's bed and layed him down. I tried doing CPR. My mom called the ambulance. My mom was a wreck when I told her I thought Chandler was passed."

UPDATE: Authorities now believe Deats is not Chandler's father.

First reported on The BatavianFather in custody in case of infant's death in Batavia

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 7:58 am

Batavia man accused of selling morphine

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Anthony Spearance

A Batavia resident has been arrested, accused of selling morphine to undercover agents.

Anthony J. Spearance, 29, of Washington Avenue, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. 

It's alleged that Spearance sold morphine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force. He was arrested on a sealed indictment Tuesday.

Spearance was ordered held without bail.

Also arrested Tuesday was Jacob W. Patterson, 18, of Killian Road, Pembroke.

He is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.

Task Force members allegedly found him in possession of heroin and a needle in March 2014. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 1:01 am

Father in custody in case of infant's death in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime

A Batavia man is in the Genesee County Jail tonight, charged with manslaughter in the second degree in connection with the death this weekend of an infant, according to local law enforcement sources.

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch has scheduled a 10 a.m. press conference to discuss the case, but has not replied to e-mails tonight seeking comment on the arrest of Jeffrey L. Deats, 28, of Olyn Avenue, Batavia.

A corrections officer did confirm that Deats is in custody, but declined to answer further questions about his status.

According to friends of Deats, Deats is the father of 6-month-old Chandler, whom police reported two days ago was found unresponsive Sunday morning at a residence on Olyn Avenue.

Chandler was later pronounced dead at UMMC. An autopsy was performed Monday by the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office, but those results have not yet been released.

Deats has two prior arrests where he was charged with harassment after being accused of making threats to other people.

On Tuesday, he tweeted:

@Jaguars yesterday I lost my lil dude in his sleep he was a young jags fan play hard for him this Sunday #RIPchan 

Friends have left several messages of support, and messages defending Deats, on his Facebook wall.

On both Facebook and Twitter, he has frequnetly posted pictures of Chandler and one friend wrote shortly after news of Chandler's death became public:

Jeff Deats loves Chandler. I don't care what anyone says, he would never do anything to HIS own son. 

Until Batavia PD releases more information at the press conference, we won't know the reason investigators decided to charge Deats in Chandler's death.

There is a charitable fund set up to assist Chandler's mother, Michelle Zuch, of Tonawanda, called Memory of Chandler.

UPDATE: Authorities now believe Deats is not Chandler's father.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

STOP-DWI announces holiday enforcement detail

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, STOP-DWI

Press release:

Genesee County STOP-DWI coordinator Matt Landers announced today that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving.

While we spend this Holiday Season celebrating with friends and family and looking forward to the blessings of a New Year, the law enforcement community across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on Dec. 12th and will end on Jan. 1st. New York State Police, County Sheriffs and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk-driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem. Sheriff Gary T. Maha advises that he will have dedicated DWI patrols and Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) out looking for impaired drivers this holiday season and enforcing the DWI laws. “Our goal is to have zero DWI-related accidents over the holidays.”

The STOP-DWI Holiday Season Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and implemented by the STOP-DWI Foundation. In addition, the Foundation has created a new mobile app – “Have A Plan” that is available as a free download for smart phones to help find safe rides home no matter where you may be celebrating. Many thanks to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for its support of this new technology. Go to www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp or visit your app store.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol- and drug-related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. It is significant to note that nationwide in 2012, during the Holiday period (Dec. 12-31), there were 1,698 motorists killed in traffic crashes with 31 percent attributable to impaired driving. According to NHTSA data, 60 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed were not wearing their seat belts and 42 percent were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver who had a blood alcohol content of .08 BAC or higher. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidents of drunk and impaired driving. Have a safe and happy Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Batavia Area Jaycees announce Christmas light decorations winners

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Area Jaycees

Press release:

The Batavia Area Jaycees were out driving around on Dec. 14th looking at all the homes that had decorated for the Holiday Season. Judging is always tough as there are a lot of beautiful homes decorated throughout the community. These awards are meant to be given out as a friendly community project.
 
Homes were judged on various different categories and the winners are:
Most Traditional: 206 Osterhout Ave.
Simple & Elegant: 67 Clinton St.
Best Dressed Streets: Union Street, Redfield Pkwy, Ellicott Avenue
Best in Snow: 23 Meadowcrest Drive
Most Commercial: Corner of Naramore Drive and North Street
 
The judging committee also had a few Honorable Mentions: 
15 Edgewood Drive, 27 Clinton St., 59 Tracy Ave. and 3 S. Main St.
Take a night to drive around with family looking at all the wonderfully decorated homes for the holiday season.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Collins critical of Cuomo's fracking ban

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement on Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking.

“Governor Cuomo has just denied the people of New York a tremendous economic opportunity in order to appease far-left environmentalists for his own political gain,” Congressman Collins said. “The Governor continues to hide behind Albany bureaucrats and controversial scientific studies to stand against hardworking New Yorkers who deserve the job opportunities and economic growth fracking has clearly produced in other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania. This is a sad day for the future of the economy in Upstate New York.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

Notre Dame beats Elba in girls basketball, 51-31

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

The score may not reflect it, but the Elba Lady Lancers played an intense, hard-fought game against archrival Notre Dame on Tuesday night.

They came up short, 51-31.

"Elba's very well coached," said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. "They're hard-nosed girls. They're going to be reckoned with all year. We're fortunate to do what we did."

The Lancers' game plan called for a pressure defense that would attempt to hold the Fighting Irish to 12 points or under per quarter.

All went to plan in the first half. Notre Dame scored only eight in the first quarter (six on a pair of threes from Shea Norton) and 11 in the second quarter.

Unfortunately for Elba, their shots weren't falling either and the Lancers trailed 19-10 at the half.

"I thought we both played good defense in the first half," said Tom Redband, head coach for Elba. "They started to pick it up in the second half and our shots continued not to fall. We had some untimely turnovers and the rest is history."

Pero said his team was pretty hyped up about playing Elba, but they relaxed in the second half and that, along with some adjustments to deal with Elba's press, made the difference.

"The listened to what we needed to do," Pero said. "That's a sign of good quality girls. They'll listen to you when you need to make adjustments." 

Notre Dame features three starters who are all six-feet tall and over. Elba's shooters repeatedly found their shots being knocked down, and rebounds were hard to come by.

"You practice the boxing out and you practice the crashing, but it's hard to simulate the 6-1, 6-2," Redband said. "They get an extra hand on the ball. It's a tough match up for us."

While both teams are in the Genesee Region League, Elba is Class D and Notre Dame is Class C.

Elba, now 3-1, looks like a team that can make a run at sectional play, though Redband is taking a one-game-at-time approach.

"We have some work to do like we all do this time of year," Redband said. "It's only our fourth game. It's a long season. Fifteen more games. We've got two more games before the break, then we've got 16 days off, so we'll be able to fine tune some things before the new year."

Guard Alex Riegle scored 14 ponits (with four three-pointers) for the Lady Lancers and proved a deft ball handler and capable court leader, even against Notre Dame's pressure defense.

For Notre Dame, Rebecca Krenzer had 15 points, Norton 13 and Emma Francis 11.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

Law and Order: Hunter allegedly found with stolen handgun

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

David E. Stone, 63, of Route 237, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd. Department of Environmental Conservation officers were investigating a report of a person hunting with a rifle in the area of Morganville Road, Stafford, when they came into contact with Stone. Stone was allegedly in possession of a shotgun, loaded rifle and a loaded .357 caliber revolver. Stone is accused of not possessing a valid pistol permit. It's alleged that the revolver was stolen from a residence in the Town of Le Roy sometime within the past three years. Stone also faces possible DEC charges.

Jame Albert Hancock, 45, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear in October on a criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, charge. Hancock was held on $1,000 bond.

Kara Ellen Wojkowski, 31, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wojkowski was allegedly involved in a fight with another person in her household.

Jessica L. Ford, 23, of Oak Street, is charged with assault, 3rd. Ford allegedly hit another person causing pain and injury. She was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Richard C. Smith, 47, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Smith was stopped at 3:21 a.m. Sunday on West Main Street by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Francis George Germuga, 54, of Stringham Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, improper U-turn, moving from lane unsafely and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 7:18 am

Order your 2015 Genesee County Photos calendar today

post by Howard B. Owens in advertisement, Sponsored Post, thebatavian

We're a little behind in putting together our 2015 calendar of Genesee County photos. We'll take orders up until Monday morning. It will be difficult, but we'll try our best to get them in the mail by Jan. 1.

The price this year is $15.95, plus tax, plus $4 for shipping and handling.

To order individual prints of the photos contained in the calendar, click here.

Purchase via PayPal using the button below, or mail your check (must be received by Monday's mail) to The Batavian, 200 E. Main St. #5, Batavia, NY 14020.

To order by credit card, call our office either today or tomorrow only, 585-250-4118.

Order Calendar via PayPal:

 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 6:29 am

Unknown injuries, car into pole, Route 98, Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba

A car has hit a utility pole on Route 98 near Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Elba.

It's unknown if there are injuries at this time.

Elba fire responding.

UPDATE 6:30 a.m.: A caller on location reports no injuries and minimal damage.

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