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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Rotary ready for 26th tip-off of girls basketball tournament at GCC

The 26th annual Rotary Basketball Tournament is Jan. 6 and Jan. 8 at Genesee Community College and this year features Alexander, Batavia, Notre Dame and Midlakes.

The Rotary Club hosted the teams (Midlakes couldn't make it) in its annual tournament announcement luncheon at the YWCA.

Pictured are Madison McCulley and Samantha Cecere, from Batavia, Emma Francis and Emily McCracken, from Notre Dame, and Sydney Breton and Elizebeth Taylor, from Alexander.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Police investigating death of infant in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Police are investigating the death of a 6-month-old who was transported by ambulance to the emergency room Sunday morning after being found at a relative's home unresponsive.

An autopsy was performed yesterday, but the results are pending.

The name of the baby or parents have not been released.

The baby was transported by Mercy EMS at 9:48 a.m., Sunday, from a residence on Olyn Avenue, Batavia.

The baby was pronounced dead upon arrival at UMMC.

Police responded to the hospital to begin an investigation at 10:34 a.m.

In a press release, officials say that detectives are working closely with family members, the Medical Examiner's Office and the District Attorney's Office to determine the cause of death.

The police are asking that any one with information to contact Batavia PD at (585) 345-6370.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm

First of three men arrested in burglary spree pleads guilty

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke
William Kelly Robert Kelly Michael Correia

One of three men who are accused of a multi-county burglary spree in late August is facing up to four years in prison after entering a guilty plea in County Court this afternoon.

Michael Correia is being released on his own recognizance, as part of the plea deal, and being allowed to return to his home in Syracuse after pleading guilty to burglary, 3rd.

Correia admitted to driving a vehicle to a construction site on East Main Street Road, where his accomplices went into a building and then exited with stolen items.

The alleged accomplices are Correia's nephews, William Kelly and Robert Kelly.

The trio were picked up following a traffic stop in Wayne County, where a deputy became suspicious of all the material in their vehicle.

After being questioned, the men admitted to heists in Genesee County.

Local investigators went to Wayne County and questioned the men further. They reportedly admitted to burglaries in Pembroke and Batavia.

The charges against the Kelly brothers are still pending.

Since Correia did not actually enter the buildings, an element of the crime he needed to confess to today was that at the time he arrived at the East Main Street Road location, he knew his nephews intended to enter the building and steal items.

That was a point Correia found difficult to understand.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, shackled, with long gray hair, full gray beard and black-rimmed glasses, Correia initially told Noonan he didn't know the Kelly brothers intended to steal anything, though he did say that he knew the items they placed in his vehicle before leaving were stolen.

This perplexed Noonan, who conferred with the attorneys and then tried another line of questioning.

Under questioning, Correia admitted that he drove his vehicle to a location in Lancaster, where he said he knew his nephews entered a building and stole items.

He agreed then, he knew they were going to steal items in Batavia.

"You intentionally assisted them in the commission of that crime," Noonan asked.

"I don't understand, 'assisted,' " he said.

His attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, whispered something to him and Correia then said that yes, he assisted.

At which point, Noonan could accept his plea of guilty.

Without the plea deal, Correia faced a maximum sentence on the third-degree burglary charge of two-and-a-third to seven years in prison. The plea deal caps his potential term at one-and-a-third to four years. He could still face the maximum if he violates the terms of his release while awaiting sentencing.

Sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., March 13.

Correia and the Kelly brothers still face charges in other jurisdictions, including possession of stolen property in Wayne County.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

Volunteers for Animals offering $750 reward in animal cruelty case

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, crime, pets, volunteers for animals

Via The Batavian's news partner, WBTA:

A man walking a dog on East Main Street sometime two weeks ago reportedly stomped a cat to death and Volunteers for Animals is offering a $750 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.

"The owner of the dog sent the dog after the cat and the cat was being thrown up in the air," said Wendy Castleman, with the volunteers. "Then the man stomped on the cat, and according to the examination by a local veterinarian, the cat had numerous injuries caused by the dog as well as a broken spine and a crushed skull caused by the stomping."

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m., Dec. 3, Castleman said, in the area of 600 E. Main St., Batavia.

"We see a lot of neglect at the shelter but this is different in that it is a very violent act," Castleman said. "We all found it extremely disturbing that someone would do this."

The volunteers initially offered a $500 reward, but through a donation this morning were able to up the reward to $750.

Batavia Police encourages anyone with information to call their confidential tipline at 345-6370.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

T.F. Brown's, Lions invite all to annual community Christmas dinner

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Christmas Dinner, Lion's, T.F. Brown's

The Lions Club and T.F. Brown's are getting everything ready once again to host their annual community Christmas Dinner.

The Christmas dinner is free to members of the community who wish to attend, but reservations are required.

Children who attend will receive presents from Santa.

If you would like to donate toys for the children, T.F.'s is hosting a happy hour Thursday evening. Bring in a toy and the first cup of cheer is on the house. Be sure to wear an ugly sweater and you could win a prize.

Seatings for dinners -- noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., Christmas Day.

To make reservations, call (585) 345-1000. You'll be asked to provide the number in your party, the seating you wish to attend, and the names, ages and gender of the children attending.

Pictured: Dan Milliman, Jeff Pangrazio, Rick Mancuso, John Murray, Joe Teresi and David Johnson.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 9:10 am

YWCA announces new help line

post by Howard B. Owens in YWCA

Press release:

In another step to serve those in need throughout Genesee County, YWCA has developed the Care and Crisis Helpline, Executive Director Jeanne Walton says.

The Helpline will replace a portion of Regional Action Phone services 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It will serve as a connection for people in crisis to find supportive and skilled responders who will assess the situation and provide real-time intervention and referrals as needed.

Genesee County Mental Health Department put out a request for proposal last month, which prompted YWCA officials to assess the nonprofit's current client services and develop a crisis-based Helpline. During its Dec. 10 meeting, Genesee County Legislature approved the contract and related funding for YWCA of Genesee County.

“When we found out that Genesee County Mental Health was seeking a provider for this service, it seemed a perfect avenue for us to extend our offerings to the community,” Walton said Wednesday. “Helpline Program Manager Holly Baxter has more than 30 years of experience in this field, and we felt that she will be key to making a smooth transition in the New Year. We are excited to add a Helpline to our other crisis and prevention services.”

The toll-free number (844) 345-4400 will be up and running as of Jan. 1. YW officials opted to keep their domestic violence hotline in place as well, since it has become widely established. That number is (585) 343-7513. While those calls are more concentrated on domestic violence issues, Helpline staff will be capable of taking those calls in addition to calls for any mental health-related issues, including depression, the loss of a loved one, suicidal tendencies, addictions, bullying, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Trained staff will connect the caller to specialized agencies when appropriate, such as law enforcement, the hospital’s emergency room department and county on-call therapists established by Genesee County Department of Mental Health.

“Our goal is to provide a valuable community resource that gives every person going through crisis the help, support and encouragement needed to guide them toward a better path,” Walton said.

Hours of service will be 24/7, which not only fills an emotional need in the community, but will also create the equivalent of three full-time jobs. On-call crisis workers will receive extensive training to respond immediately to calls for help with everything from the holiday blues to rape and domestic violence. Interested applicants are encouraged to e-mail [email protected].

Holly Baxter will be the program manager as of Jan. 1. She has worked with hotline services for more than three decades, including at Life Line in Rochester and at RAP. She brings a personal passion and a wealth of experience in the field of crisis services with specialized training and intervention skills. She is also no stranger to YWCA, having been a victim advocate at the agency several years ago.

"I think it's a tremendous opportunity for people to receive crisis care from members of their own community," Baxter said. "There's a tremendous need, and our staff will be able to address everything from anxiety attacks and bullying to someone diagnosed with a serious illness. And we will constantly be updating training so that it's ongoing learning. You have to have a heart for people."

Area agencies may want to consider adding this service as a way to ensure ongoing care of their clients, Baxter said. For more information, call YWCA at (585) 343-5808.

A local number of (585) 344-4400 will be in place as well as the toll-free number (844) 345-4400. Both will be up and running by Jan. 1.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 8:41 am

Person struck by vehicle in driveway on Tower Hill Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, byron

A man has been struck by a vehicle in the driveway of a location on Tower Hill Road, Byron.

The man suffered a head laceration but is conscious. 

Byron and South Byron fire responding.

UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: Mercy Flight requested on ground standby.

UPDATE 8:49 a.m.: Mercy Flight #4 requested to the scene.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 8:11 am

Accident with minor injuries on Attica Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries, but blocking traffic, is reported on Attica Road in Alexander, between Townline Road and Bowen Road.

Alexander fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:13 a.m.: A first responder reports extremely icy conditions. Caution is advised.

UPDATE 8:30 a.m.: A secondary accident on Attica Road, a fender-bender, is reported.

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Notre Dame student wins junior handler competition at national AKC show in Orlando

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Notre Dame

Photos and info from Charles Hull:

Lauren Hull, from Le Roy, won the National Junior Handler competition at the American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship (AENC) Dog Show. This event is the highlight of the AKC show year. Participation in the junior handling competition is by invitation. To qualify, junior handlers must have gained 5 wins against competition during the qualifying period, and have a 3.0 average in school. This year's competition had an entry of 126 juniors.

Lauren is an A student at Notre Dame High School in Batavia, and had 10 wins this year. She has been showing dogs since 2007, and this was the 6th year in a row that she has qualified for and attended the AENC. She had to survive 3 rounds of preliminaries to make it to the finals.

Lauren's prizes included a $2,000 scholarship, a pink grooming box (available only to winners of Eukanuba-sponsored events), an engraved silver tray, a jeweled Best Junior pin, and two large rosette ribbons. Her name, and that of her Irish Setter, Kent (RedRidge's Kent Irish Fire), will be engraved on a permanent trophy housed at the AKC library in Raleigh, NC. Lauren also will be representing the United States at the prestigious Crufts Dog Show in England next March.

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Arrest made in series of thefts in Alexander and Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, crime
Matthew Biggins

A 25-year-old Alexander man has been accused of going on a theft spree earlier this year in Alexander and Batavia, leading to six criminal charges.

Matthew M. Biggins is charged with burglary, 2nd, grand larceny, 4th, two counts of identity theft, 3rd, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. 

On Oct. 18, a resident in the Village of Alexander reported that someone had forced open a rear door to the house and stole cash and loose change.

On Dec. 2, a Warsaw resident reported that cash was removed from her vehicle sometime in August while it was parked at a residence in Alexander. She also reported that while at the same address in November, someone stole her debit card and used it to wire himself two money transfers through Western Union.

On Dec. 8, a Batavia resident reported that sometime in October a person removed a mountain bike from the laundry room of his apartment building.

Following an investigation, Biggins was identified as the suspect. 

Biggins was allegedly found in possession of the missing mountain bike.

On Dec. 9, Biggins was arraigned on all the charges except possession of criminal property. He was jailed on $10,000 bail. Last week, he was issued an appearance ticket on the criminal possession of stolen property charge.

The investigation was handled by Investigator Timothy Weis, deputy Cory Mower and deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Grand Jury Report: Indictment announced in fairground thefts

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, crime, Grand Jury

James V. Woyshner is indicted on four counts of burglary, 3rd, and a count of grand larceny, 3rd. Woyshner is accused of entering buildings on 5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia, (the fairgrounds) on or about Dec. 26, 2013, and stealing property valued at more than $3,000, including 45 aluminum fence pieces, fences, mounting brackets, straps, heavy gauge wire, two semi-tractor batteries, a television, Sony Blu-ray player, vacuum cleaner and miscellaneous carnival prizes.

Jeremy D. Lyons is indicted on counts of burglary, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th. Lyons is accused of entering a shed on Old Creek Road, Town of Alexander, and stealing property valued at more than $1,000 -- a Honda ATV.

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 11:48 am

Law and Order: Attica man accused of altering prescription

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

David R. Cook, 20, of Lindsey Road, Attica, is charged with forgery, 2nd. Cook allegedly altered a prescription in an attempt to deceive a pharmacy into giving him more medication than original prescribed. Cook was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

Daniel W. Hennebohl, 59, of Bethany Center Road, East Bethany, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Hennebohl is accused of scratching a car with a key while in the Walmart parking lot at 11:48 a.m., Sunday.

Nancy Ann Bennet, 44, of Center Street, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Bennet is accused of shoplifting at Kmart.

Christina M. Sanchez-Anderson, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Sanchez-Anderson is accused of failing to appear in court on a grand larceny charge in October.

Daniel J. Saeva, 35, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with strangulation, 2nd, criminal mischief, 3rd, endangering the welfare of a child, harassment, 2nd and assault, 3rd. Saeva is accused of putting his hands around the next of another person and shoving another while in the presence of three children during an alleged incident reported at 9:01 p.m., Friday.

Donya M. Vaughn, 48, of Richley Road, Corfu, is charged with issuing a bad check. Vaughn was arrested on a warrant issued by City Court.

Carter L. Hall, 37, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Hall was stopped at 9:10 p.m. Friday at Route 63 and Veterans Memorial Drive by State Police.

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 9:15 am

Your membership helps sustain The Batavian

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

It's still important to us that you join The Batavian Club. As I've said before, every membership is important to us. We appreciate the support. It goes a long way toward helping us meet all the expenses associated with The Batavian (expenses that are growing all the time).

This isn't just about us, however. It's also about you. You receive valuable savings at local businesses for an amount far exceeding the cost of the membership, and if you enjoy getting your local news from The Batavian, you are helping to sustain that effort.

So many people every day tell me how much they love The Batavian. All we're asking is for those loyal fans to make a small financial contribution to help support and sustain our news coverage and in exchange we'll send you gift certificates worth a lot more than the membership price.

NOTE: If you've joined in the past two months (a handful of people have, even without prompting by a post like this), we will send out your membership get with the batch generated by our effort over the next three weeks to invite more people to join. Sorry for the delay, be putting together the kits is a time-intensive process, so we do them in batches).

TO JOIN: Use PayPal buttons below, or to pay by check (annual only) or credit card, click here to download form. Or call (585) 250-4118 to pay by credit card.

Annual Single Membership - $50 per year (a recurring annual payment)

Includes membership card, bumper sticker, one package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Annual membership, one-time payment of $60

Includes membership card, bumper sticker, one package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Notre Dame beats Batavia in hockey, 3-0

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, hockey, Notre Dame, sports

In hockey today at Faletti Ice Arena, Notre Dame beat Batavia 3-0.

It's the first of three meetings this season between the two rivals.

Goals were scored by Peter Madafferi and Spencer Misiak, who scored twice.

Top photo: Notre Dame's first goal in the net.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Photo: Irrigation system decorated for Christmas

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, My-T Acres

Batavia Farm Equipment has set up a holiday display using an irrigation system as a scaffolding for lights at MY-T Acres Farms on Lewiston Road.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Photos: Santa visits Sno-Packers

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Sno Packers, Oakfield

Santa and Mrs. Claus paid a visit Friday night to Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club at its Oakfield Club House, giving children who stopped by a chance to visit with Santa.

With Santa above, Rachel Chaddock and Jamison Liles.

Aaron Burch takes a picture of his daughter, Rylee.

Zoey Church with a giant stuff moose that actually belongs to a snowmobile club in Colorado. It's made the rounds at several snowmobile clubs in New York, awaiting a ransom payment from the Colorado club.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Photo: Santa stops at PetCo for a photo session

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, petco, volunteers for animals

Johann (seated on the floor) and Coco got their picture taken with Santa today at PetCo. Members of Volunteers For Animals served as elves for Santa and proceeds from the pictures benefit the organization. Johann and Coco's owner is Barb Nowicki.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 10:13 am

Blue Devils turn up defensive heat, hold Brighton to 27 points

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, Batavia HS, high school sports, sports

The normally stingy Batavia Blue Devils defense got scorched for 62 points earlier this week by Pittsford-Mendon, so over the past couple of days, Head Coach Buddy Braskey has drilled his team on defensive fundamentals.

The Brighton Barons paid the price Friday night.

Coming off a 58-point game against Greece-Odyssey, the Barons found it much harder to score against the Blue Devils.

In fact, they were held scoreless for the first six minutes of the game and managed only two points in the first quarter.

By the end of the game, Brighton was only 8 for 51 from the field (a 16 percent field goal percentage) and lost 47-27.

"I thought against Pittsford-Mendon on Tuesday, our defense really wasn't up to par," Braskey said. "We made a lot of fundamental mistakes with our principles.  We showed it to them on field, worked on it in practice, and I thought today, we took what we learned in practice and transferred it to the game."

Right from the tip-off, Batavia employed a press to pressure ball handlers, create turnovers and limit shot attempts. 

Even when Brighton appeared to get open looks, the shots weren't falling, and Brasky said that even with those seemingly open shots, looks can be deceiving.

"I think we rushed them," Brasky said. "We never let them get comfortable. ... Even when they were getting open shots, they really never could get their feet set because we were closing out really hard on their shooters."

With only 47 points, though, Batavia still needs to find away to get some scoring help for senior standout Jeff Redband.

Redband scored 21 points Friday, coming off a 32-point performance Tuesday.

In both games, only Malachi Chenault got into double-digits scoring, with 10 points each night.

None of the guards have yet stepped up and shouldered some of the load.

"It's not happening yet (getting help for Redband)," Brasky said. "We're searching. (Jerrett) Laskett, (Tee Sean),  Ayala, (Alex) Canty are three guys that are all good shooters, but they haven't found their rhythm yet. Malachi is contributing inside, but we've got to find some more scoring from the guard position, for sure."

Brasky is pleased with the progress Chenault is making under the boards.

"We're working hard with him to get the ball and go strong and not hesitate," Brasky said. "Malachi tends to think when he gets the ball. We're trying to get him to get the ball, make a quicker decision and just go strong.  I thought he did a much better job of that tonight."

It would also help Blue Devils scoring to take better care of the ball. Batavia turned the ball over 23 times against Pittsford-Mendon and 19 times last night. Brasky said that number needs to get down to eight or nine.

Overall, Brasky said his team is responding well in practice, working hard and getting better and better.

Next up, Bishop-Timon, a private school in Section 6, at home Tuesday. Game time is 7:45 p.m.

Top photo: Greg Mruzcek.

Trevor Sherwood

Jeff Redband

Malachi Chenault

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Friday, December 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Batavia Middle School students spread holiday cheer to those who support local education

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Middle School, education, schools

Batavia Middle School students took time today to give back to the community that has given all year long to them.  They delivered holiday cards, paper snowflakes and snowman soup to local businesses and charitable organizations.

The students spent the first hour or so of the school day preparing the packages for delivery and then a small group of them got on a school bus and drove around the city delivering holiday cheer.

It's the first time the school has taken on such a project said 7th and 8th Grade Assistant Principal Maureen Notaro, who came up with the idea.

"We wanted to give back to some of the community agencies that give so much to us every day," Notaro said.

Student Genevieve Cutro said she hoped the event would spread a little holiday cheer.

"I like helping people very much," she said. "It's good for making people more happy."

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