Quantcast
Skip to main content

Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Brinkley wins 2014 Wiener Dog race at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports, Wiener Dog Race

Photographer Amanda Earl covered the wiener dog race at Batavia Downs. 

Press release from Batavia Downs:

Kristy Drabek’s 2-year-old dachshund named Brinkley stormed down the stretch of America’s oldest lighted harness racetrack to win the championship final of the 2014 Genesee Feeds wiener dog races on Sunday afternoon at Batavia Downs Gaming.

The official margin of victory was a half a (dog) length.

Six-year Pablo Penders, owned by Adrienne Penders, surged at the wire to nip another 5-year-old, early leader Ruby, owned by Sarah Farley, for second.

Over 70 fleet-footed wiener dogs participated in the annual races that act as the final piece of Family Fun Day at the races.

Brinkey’s win was worth $100 in gaming free for his happy owners while second and third paid off $50 and $25 in free play, respectively.

Reigning champion Gordon, who has won the last three years, did not enter.

“It was a great crowd and a great day,” Todd Haight, Director/GM of live racing, said. “Our marketing department put together a plethora of activities and it certainly brought a huge crowd.

Batavia Downs video:

 

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Photo: Barn on Upton Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Upton Road

I've taken pictures of this barn on Upton Road before, but today, the golden rod, blue sky and clouds made for a much better scene.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Photos: Darien Day in Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien

In Darien today, it was Darien Day, with music, food, entertainment, vendors and a basket auction.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Photos: Firefighters practice confined space rescues

Genesee County Emergency Services and the Town of Batavia Fire Department conducted a confined spaces drill yesterday at the Muller Quaker Dairy plant.

Nationally, from 80 to 100 people die every year in confined space accidents and even rescues can be difficult and dangerous.

Photos submitted by a reader.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Photos: Relay for Life at Van Detta Stadium

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, American Cancer Society, relay for life

Photographer Amanda Earl attended the Relay for Life at Van Detta Stadium on Saturday. The annual event is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and brings together the families of those who have lost loved ones to cancer as well as cancer survivors.

Nicole Voltura has survived nine cancer surgeries and was the "Survivor of Honor" for the event. Her initial diagnosis was in 2011. It was chondroma sarcoma, stage one. She is now fighting a rare autoimmune disease that is caused by her past medical situations. It's terminal. She is a mom, and credits her husband for pulling their family through, keeping the kids strong, and being her constant caregiver.

Different colored beads were handed out at the completion of each lap around the track. Each color represents a different type of cancer.

These signs, signed my local people, will be used in Washington, D.C., at a rally to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Sheriff's Office reports 19 arrests at Zac Brown concert

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Zac Brown Band concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday:

Andrew R. Witzel, 18, of Rochester Road, Lakeville, is charged with criminal trespass and trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return both times. Witzel was arraigned in Darien Town Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $1,500 bail. 

Bart M. Bartlett, 29, of East 2nd Street, Jamestown, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the VIP area of the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.  Bartlett was arraigned in Darien Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Alexandra H. Mitchell, 20, of Lamont Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is charged with trespass, harassment, 2nd, and resisting arrest after allegedly entering the Employee Road Exit after being told several times not to enter the area. Mitchell also allegedly pushed a deputy and then resisted arrest.

Nicholas A. Cummings, 18, of Lori Lane, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Joseph P. Fedele, 20, of Harvest Drive, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Taylor J. Greean, 19, of Holley Byron Road, Holley, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, after allegedly being found in possession of brass knuckles.

Jacob S. Vail, 24, of Nicole Lane, Angola, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly jumping a fence into the concert venue.

Joshua A. Kuminski, 25, of Briarcliff Road, Cheektowaga, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and disorderly conduct after allegedly punching a PAC security officer in the face after being asked to leave the venue and then fighting with PAC security while being ejected.

Daniel M. Regan, 22, of Greenwood Place, Buffalo, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly slapping a PAC security officer in the face.

William Dormann Jr., 32, of Bennett Road, Cheektowaga, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching and twisting the hand of a Darien Lake security officer.

Gary R. McTarnaghan, 27, of Route 408, Nunda, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly participating in a large fight in the lawn area of the concert venue.

Joseph S. Tonque, 30, of Main Street, Corning, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting with PAC security.

John P. Mahoney, 44, of Seib Road, Girard, Pa., is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue without a ticket.

Braydon B. Wolfe, 25, of Victor Lane, Hamlin, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Brian D. Adams, 24, of Robbins Nest Court, Lancaster, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Bradley T. Willis, 24, of Allens Hill Road, Honeoye, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Christopher P. Colby II, 35, of Linwood Avenue, Tonawanda, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Margaret M. Hout, 54, of Griffon Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with three counts of harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching a patron in the face, striking two other patrons in the face and pulling one's hair. 

Brittany E. Hout, 24, of Griffon Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly pulling another patron's hair and pulling her to the ground.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Phil Vassar: Happy to be back at Frost Ridge to play music and have fun with friends

post by Howard B. Owens in entertainment, Frost Ridge, Le Roy, music, Phil Vassar

He said it last year. Frost Ridge is a special place. Phil Vassar, a singer-songwriter with more than 10 Top 10 hits to his credit, said it again this year.

"It's very homey," Vassar said in an interview before his show Saturday night. "Everybody is so nice. You're just hanging out. We talk, even during the year, we look forward to seeing you guys come back, we talk and text each other. So it's fun. You get to hang out with your friends and play music.  There's nothing better than that. It's not like going to some venue where you just go in. It's got real character and real people. I love it."

Vassar loves it so much, he asked to come back this year.

Just a month ago, it didn't seem like Vassar's show this year would even be possible. Frost Ridge was locked down as a live music venue by a court order stemming from lawsuits filed by the Town of Le Roy and a pair of neighboring property owners.

As the lawsuits wind through the hearing process, taking longer than expected, Judge Robert C. Noonan lifted his ban on live music for a show last week and Saturday's Vassar concert.

The suits allege live music isn't allowed at the campground -- and even question the legality of the campsites themselves, while owners Greg and David Luetticke-Archbell and their lawyer contend that all of the current activities are grandfathered in, or are "prior, nonconforming uses."

Vassar takes a pretty straightforward view for the lawsuits, calling the controversy, "very silly."

"You have a lot of people who really want something and just a small number of people who don't," Vassar said. "I don't know about government, but it seems like to me it's by the people, for the people, all right. It's pretty simple. It seems like if you've got a majority who want something and it's a great thing. I don't understand it.  

"It's not like it's an every night deal," Vassar added. "It's a real special place. It's a special place to play music. You just kind of hope that everybody just kind of lets it go and has some fun. You know, people are stiff. I hate it. I hate it. I'm over it. People just need to get a life."

Through three sets of music -- the Kentucky Moonshiners, the Morgan Twins and Vassar -- several hundred music fans did have a life. And it was a party, especially with Vassar on stage making sure everybody had a good time.

The Morgan Twins are from Rochester and have appeared on such shows as The Voice and American Idol.

While Vassar was still on stage performing, a check of the sound level at Oatka Trail and Conlon Road, near the homes of plaintiffs -- the Cleere and Collins families -- found that once again, the crickets were louder than the music.

The next scheduled show at The Ridge, if it's allowed to proceed, is the Marshall Tucker Band, Sept. 6.

A fan brought in a homemade cake during the meet and greet with VIP patrons before the show.

Bottom photo: by Peggy Barringer. David, in red, and Greg, joined Vasar, along with the Morgan Twins, on stage for the show's final number, a sing-along of "Piano Man."

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Photos: Elba Pig Roast 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in elba

The Elba Betterment Committee is hosting a pig roast in the village park today. The event goes until 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Photo: Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts hosts chicken BBQ dinner sale

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts

Instructors, parents and students of Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts on Liberty Street hosted a BBQ chicken dinner sale today along with a basket raffle.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10:36 am

Photos: Goo Goo Dolls perform at Darien Lake

Photographer Amanda Earl attended last night's Goo Goo Dolls concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Here are four of her shots from the show.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10:22 am

Man already charged with criminal sexual act accused of raping another woman

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy
Michael Stack

A Le Roy resident already facing a felony charge for allegedly forcing a sexual act on a woman who was physically helpless has been arrested on a rape charge involving another woman.

Michael J. Stack Jr., 37, of 7450 Randall Road, was arrested by Le Roy PD and charged with first-degree rape.

Stack was arrested July 23 and charged with criminal sexual act, 1st, for allegedly having oral sex with a victim by forcible compulsion while the woman was physically helpless.

After the investigation into that allegation, another woman came forward and said she was raped.

Stack was jailed on new charge on $10,000 bail.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10:11 am

Four arrested at Goo Goo Dolls concert

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office during the Goo Goo Dolls concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Brianna R. Pagliacci, 18, of Byron Avenue, Tonawanda, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing marijuana.

Robert M. Seiler, 19, of West Gate Road, Kenmore, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing marijuana.

Trent R. Stinson, 19, of Trevett Road, Springville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing marijuana.

Gary T. Davies, 22, of Bunting Road, Orchard Park, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the food distribution building designated for employees only after being ejected from the concert venue. Davies was jailed on $500 bail.

Two people were issued citations for allegedly possessing a fictitious driver's license:

Christopher J. Schiappa, 19, of Hearthstone Drive, East Amherst;
Jay M. Forman, 19, of James Street, Fairport.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

Two drivers in East Pembroke ATV crash facing DWI charges

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, east pembroke, East Pembroke Fire, pembroke

The two drivers reportedly involved in an ATV crash Sunday night have both been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Charles R. Chatley, 26, of 2392 Kilian Road, Corfu, was also charged with unlawful operation of an ATV on a public highway.

Stephen R. Smelski, 35, of West Main Street, Batavia, is also charged with unlawful operation of an ATV on a public highway and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

Witnesses say Smelski was the most seriously injured of the four people involved in the accident and he's the one victim still hospitalized, though he's listed in good condition at ECMC.

An East Pembroke Fire Department 1st assistant chief and Genesee County emergency dispatcher, Smelski was reportedly taken by private vehicle to UMMC following the accident and later transported to ECMC.

The accident was reported at 11:09 p.m. Sunday in the area of 2069 E. Main St., East Pembroke.

Also injured were passengers Kristina Rumble, 26, and Brenda Smelski, 37.

Brenda Smelski was treated and released at ECMC, as was Chatley.  Rumble, who was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight, was released from the hospital two days ago.

Chatley is a 2nd assistant chief with East Pembroke.

The accident occurred the same date as the annual East Pembroke Mud Races, hosted by the fire department, but the accident was hours after the event ended and at least a mile from the mud pits. 

The accident was investigated by deputies Jason Saile and James Diehl and Sgt. Eric Seppala.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

Muckdogs drop game to Scrappers, 2-1

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, muckdogs, sports

Silent Muckdogs bats Friday night meant strong performances by Muckdogs pitchers went to waste and Batavia dropped the contest against Mahoning Valley, 2-1.

Starter Ben Holmes and reliever Jacob Smigelski carried a 1-0 shutout into the 7th inning, but Smigelski let the lead slip away and Josh Hodges gave up the deciding run in the ninth.

It was a disappointing loss on a night when 1,532 fans turned out on a night billed as an attempt to break the all-time Batavia attendance record by drawing 3,001 patrons.

Obviously, that didn't happen.

Those who did show up got to see a hard-throwing Holmes, a ninth-round draft choice out of the University of Oregon, strike out seven and scatter three hits over four frames.

Hodges took the loss and his record moves to 1-5 (with six saves) despite a respectable 3.06 ERA.

Catcher Brad Haynal, who returned to the team last night after a 13-game stint with Class A Greensboro, had two hits. Center Fielder Josh Norwood also had two hits.

The same two teams go at it again tonight at Dwyer. Game time, 7:05.

Friday, August 22, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Photos: Penny Carnival in Austin Park

Games, prizes and treats, along with information on safety and health, were all part of the Penny Carnival sponsored by Community Action of Orleans and Genesee today in Austin Park.

 

Friday, August 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

BPD announces results of neighborhood enforcement detail

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Press release:

On August 20th the City of Batavia Police Department joined by the Genesee County Drug Task Force (comprised of personnel from Batavia PD, LeRoy PD and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office), Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and K9 unit and New York State Parole participated in the third neighborhood enforcement detail this summer. The purpose of these details is a systematic approach of known problem areas within the City and to target criminal activity.

In total, 11 law enforcement personnel from four different agencies were partnered in a focused enforcement detail in seven separate locations. NET patrols included State Street, Bank Street, Tracy Avenue, Washington Avenue, Jackson Street, Liberty Street, Swan Street, Sumner Avenue, Central Avenue, Pringle Avenue, Watson Street and Maple Street The following are results of this year’s third detail:

• 80 data runs
• 31 vehicle/traffic stops
• 10 traffic tickets issued
• 1 Penal Law Arrest
        -- Munroe, Isaiah J.A., age 24, unlawful possession of marijuana
• 13 parole checks
• 4 parole violations

Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) details were outlined in the City’s Strategic Plan as part of the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts. They include dedicated patrols for targeted enforcement with the goal of intercepting and interrupting the flow of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband as well as locating and arresting wanted persons.

All agencies involved expect to continue joint law enforcement efforts in the future. These details are not advertised prior to taking place and locations are selected based on criminal data, the presence of nuisance and illegal behavior and ongoing investigations.

Friday, August 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Former nurse from Bergen given probation following second conviction on grand larceny

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, crime

None of it is her fault, former Bergen resident Michele Ann Case told Judge Robert C. Noonan in County Court today during a sentencing on her second grand larceny conviction.

In fact, managers at HomeCare & Hospice, the former employer Case was convicted of stealing from while working as a nurse, concocted the whole scheme against her in order to steal insurance money, she said.

"How could hospice make such a colossal mistake (claiming she broke reimbursement rules)?" Case read from a three-and-a-half page written statement. "Simple, it was no mistake. These rules were new, and used retroactively to make my legitimate paid time into unpaid time in an attempt by hospice to claim I stole from them and in effect steal themselves. They then fraudulently submitted their so called losses to insurance and filed a false report to the police."

Noonan didn't buy any of it.

"I do have a feeling that you see everything through your own little prism of view and that's how you look at it," Noonan said. "You took a nursing job that didn't pan out because other nurses are paid more elsewhere. The detective didn't look at this or look at that ... at some point, you should sit back and look at this the way 24 separate jurors have now looked at it and concluded that you didn't just make mistakes. You stole money."

According to evidence presented at both trials, Case stole more than $14,000 by filing doctored time cards and incorrect mileage logs.

Case's first conviction, in 2012, was overturned on appeal, with the higher court finding that summary sheets tallying the amount of money Case stole was not properly supported by documentation.

In July, Case was convicted a second time by a new jury of grand larceny in the third degree.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman argued today that rather than re-imposing the five-year probation sentence Case got the first time around, she should be sent to prison.

"She still views herself as a victim in this case and absolutely continues to deny any responsibility," said Friedman in a statement prior to Case getting up to speak. "Your honor, it is our position that she is not an appropriate candidate for probation and that she should receive a sentence of incarceration."

And by incarceration, Friedman meant state prison, stating that local jail time would mean no period of parole after serving her time, making it harder for the county to collect restitution from her. Also, only a state prison term would expose her to programs that might benefit her rehabilitation.

To a degree, Noonan said he agreed with Friedman's position, however, he never discussed a state prison option. He spent more time weighing the differences between a sentence of probation and time in the county jail.

A harsher sentence than the first one, Noonan said, could be perceived as retribution for appealing her prior conviction and winning a new trial; however, Case's violation of probation, failure to make any restitution payments after her first conviction, suggests she's not a good candidate for probation.

Also, having sat through two trials and hearing the evidence twice, Noonan said the mere fact that Case continues to deny any wrongdoing could be a foundation for a harsher sentence.

Noonan, however, doesn't consider Case a threat to return to a life of crime.

He imposed five years probation, and with credit for time served, she is not likely to serve any more jail time if she complies with the terms of probation.

Case now lives in Erie County. Her oldest child is a freshman at a local university and her youngest is a freshman in high school. Her attorney said she has returned to factory work (what she did prior to becoming a nurse) at minimum wage (she said she earned $60,000 annually as a nurse).

Noonan noted that early on in this case, she was offered a disposition that would have allowed her to keep her nursing license, but she rejected it.

Friday, August 22, 2014 at 10:33 am

Iroquois Job Corps students building new bathrooms at DeWitt

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, DeWitt Recreation Area, Iroquois Job Corps

Under supervision of instructor Marty Bryant, students in the Iroquois Job Corps program are setting brick for new bathrooms near Pavilion #1 at the DeWitt Recreation Area.

The foundation was poured by students a few weeks ago and once the students in the masonry program complete the brick walls, carpentry students will frame the doors and install the roof.

The 20-week course helps provide students with a trade that will lead to eventual employment, Bryant said. 

"Something like this is good for everybody," he said.

Real-world projects such as this, which can only be nonprofit for the Job Corps to take on, are hard to come by, Bryant said, but they're invaluable.  

Genesee County Parks Supervisor Paul Osborn said the project is part of the overall master plan for DeWitt and is funded through a capital project budget item approved by the county Legislature in 2013. 

County staff will install electric, water and sewer.

Students on site yesterday were Kyle Porter, from Brooklyn, William Ortiz, Camden, N.J., Michel'le Blue, Utica, Richard Orogeroy, New York, and Frank Hatchet, Williamsborough, N.J.

Friday, August 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

Two arrests reported at Linkin Park concert at Darien Lake

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, darien lake performing arts center

The following people were arrested during the Linkin Park concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Thursday.

Joseph T. Roth, 19, of North Marion Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Dalton T. Carroll, 19, of Wheatfield Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Friday, August 22, 2014 at 9:55 am

Law and Order: Felony DWI arrest at Darien Lake

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

Nancy Jo Sabourin, 54, of Henderson Avenue, Tonawanda, is charged with felony DWI (two previous convictions within 10 years) and felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Sabourin was stopped at 10:24 p.m. Thursday in the Darien Lake driveway by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Sherika Kendra Dixon, 21, of Franklyn Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica, is charged with petit larceny. Dixon is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

Premium Drupal Themes