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Howard B. Owens's blog

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:27 pm

South Byron names Fireman of the Year and appoints 2015 officers

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, south byron, South Byron Fire

At the department's installation dinner this weekend, Jacob Yasses was named South Byron's Fireman and Member of the Year. Presenting the award are Christopher Hilbert and Assemblyman Steve Hawley, who also acted as emcee for the dinner.

Sworn in as firematic officers where:

  • Robert Wilson, chief
  • Jefferey Starowitz, deputy chief
  • Scott Blossom, assistant chief
  • Chase Cone, captain
  • Ben Baun, 1st lieutenant
  • Jacob Yasses, 2nd lieutenant
  • Christopher Hilbert, engineer
  • Lenny Peterson, fire police captain
  • Jim McKenzie, fire police sergeant
  • Reginald Macdonald, fire police corporal
Administrative officers:
  • Christopher Hilbert, president
  • Jacob Yasses, vice president
  • Sandee McKenzie, secretary
  • Alfred Klycek, treasurer
Photo and information submitted by Peter and Michelle Yasses.
Monday, January 19, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Video: Third annual bridal show at Terry Hills

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bridal Show, business, terry hills

Terry Hills hosted its third annual bridal show yesterday. This is a video produced for Terry Hills about the show, in case you missed it.

CORRECTION: It was the 4th annual bridal show.

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:15 am

Law and Order: Driver accused of fleeing accident on Sandpit Road, Alexander

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

Randall Steven Spring, 29, of Spring Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, speed not reasonable and prudent and moving from lane unsafely. Spring was reportedly involved in an accident on Sandpit Road, Alexander, at 12:36 a.m. on Saturday, which was investigated by Deputy Jason Saile.

Heather Daffney Stone, 19, of Ellwood Drive, Rochester, is charged with burglary, 3rd, and petit larceny. Stone was arrested on a warrant by RPD and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. She is being held until her next court appearance. No further details released.

Daniel D. Stalica, 70, of Crittenden Road, Alden, is charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Stalica was arrested on a warrant out of City Court after being located by State Police in Erie County when troopers made contact on an unrelated matter. He was turned over to BPD and jailed on $750 bail.

Alton G. Williams, 38, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Williams was allegedly involved in a physical domestic incident at about 4:15 p.m. Thursday in the presence of a 15-year-old child. Also arrested on the same charge, Tera M. Williams, 41, of East Avenue, Batavia.

Kayla D. Joiner, 22, of West Main Street, Le Roy, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Joiner was stopped by BPD for an alleged traffic violation, arrested, processed and released.

Crystal A. Mounts, 37, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Mounts is accused of shoplifting at Dollar General.

Edward W. Simcoe, 58, of Buffalo, is charged with petit larceny. Simcoe was arrested by State Police at 381 Bloomingdale Road, Basom, and held on an unspecified bail. No further details released.

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 7:03 am

Barn fire reported on Watson Road, Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire

A barn fire at 5327 Watson Road, Elba, is under control.

The fire was reported about 30 minutes ago.

Elba fire was dispatched along with Barre, Stafford, Bergen, Byron, South Byron and Oakfield.

The location is CY Heifer Farms.

UPDATE 7:49 a.m.: The particular barn with the fire is leased to Provitello Farms. All 58 calves were safely moved from the barn to another one. The fire was electrical and contained to a small room behind the calves' stalls. The preliminary cause is believed to be mice chewing on wires. An employee saw the smoke upon arriving for work and called 9-1-1. The fire was quickly knocked down. All units are packing up and returning to service.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 11:01 pm

Video: Jim Sunser talks about expansion plans at GCC

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC

With state funding announced and a county-backed bond approved, Genesee Community College is just $3 million away from funding sufficient to build a new student success center and a wellness and event center.

The $25 million expansion project is backed by more than $10 million from the state and a commitment by the county to back more than $9 million in bonds.

The Genesee Community College Foundation will host a fundraising kickoff from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the campus.

In the video, College President Jim Sunser talks about the twin building projects.

Below is a video produced by GCC.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Alexander wrestlers take third at Hilton tournament

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, sports, wrestling

Photo and article submitted by Andrea Aldinger.

After two days of solid wrestling, the Alexander Trojans took an impressive third-place finish with 196 points – while missing two of their better wrestlers – Dane Heberlein (113 lbs.) and Nick Gaiser (126 lbs.). Both competed in the prestigious Eastern States Tournament the weekend before, making the podium with a fourth-place and a sixth-place finish, respectively, at the Clayton Barnard Wrestling Tournament in Hilton over the weekend. Lyndonville grabbed second place with 233 points and the home team, Hilton, took first place easily with 330 points.

Genesee Region wrestlers really stepped it up with four Alexander Wrestlers in the finals – Nick Young (99 lbs.), Mitchell Gordon (120 lbs.), Dylan Raffell (138 lbs.) and Matty Gaiser (152 lbs.) -- and three from Byron-Bergen -- Alan White (126 lbs.), Hunter Taylor (145 lbs.), and Luke Thompson (195 lbs.). There were four Lyndonville wrestlers: Jeff Gress (106 lbs.), Garren Bayne (113 lbs.), Tom Follman (152 lbs.), and Dawson Joy (182 lbs.). Young, Raffell, Gaiser, White and Gress all took the Championship.

Leading up to the championship round there were some exciting matches. 

At 99 pounds, Nick Young (Alexander) upset Tyler Mitchell (Spencerport) with a 13 – 3 win. Tyler McCleod (Alexander) beat Steven Underhill (Byron Bergen) 8 – 5 for a fourth-place finish. Daylon Swearingen (126 lbs.) -- the lone Attica wrestler, beat Anthony Miraglia (Byron-Bergen) with a 7 – 4 decision for third place. Tristan Aldinger (132 lbs., Alexander) fought off Lyndonville’s Dustin Hinckley with a 3 – 1 decision to take third place. 

A few other notable matches were Chris McDonald (138 lbs., Lyndonville) pinned Jack Borelli (Greece) in :38 seconds to take third place. At 152 pounds, Alexander’s Alex Hadsall had a close win 11 – 9 vs. Will Thompson (Byron-Bergen). Danny Komitch (Byron-Bergen) had an impressive win over Devon Joy (Lyndonville) with a 4 – 3 decision getting a third-place finish. Derrick Busch (Alexander) won by decision over John Kil (Brighton) to take finish third.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Photos: Corfu installs 2015 officers, hands out awards

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Corfu Fire Department

Steve Rodland, with the trophy, was named Firefighter of the Year for the Corfu Fire Department at the department's annual installation dinner on Saturday night. Pictured with Rodland, Greg Lang, Brian Schollard and Dean Eck.

This year's firematic officers are: Eck, chief; Schollard, 1st assistant; Lang, 2nd assistant; Brian McMartin, senior captain; Ben Trapani, Brad Lang and Mitch Bates, captains; Bernie Fix, fire police captain; Rachel Bozzer, Glenn Eck, Rob McNally, Rodland and Dan Smith, lieutenants. McMartin is the safety officer.

The oath of office.

Ed Fauth, who was honored for his 60th year with the department, received the fire service Person of the Year award.

Kristen Gaik was named Rookie of the Year.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Photo: Le Roy hangs anti-Yik Yak posters

post by Howard B. Owens in education, le roy hs, schools, social media, yik yak

School officials in Le Roy have put up these posters in the hallways of the high school.

On Thursday, Principal Tim McArdle sent a message to parents about Yik Yak and said administrators were talking with students about use of the social media network, which is designed for anonymous posts that can only be read by people in the immediate area.

While the apps developers say it was designed for college students, there have been issues nationwide with high school students getting on the app and using it for bullying.

Previously:

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Photos: Area student musicians evaluated for solo performances at Le Roy HS

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, education, music, schools

Young musicians from throughout Genesee County traveled to Le Roy High School throughout the day Saturday to show off their chops as soloists for area music instructors.

Some schools use the soloist evaluation as part of the students' grades, but the primary purpose is to help select the musicians who will play in the all-county music festival in March (performances at Attica and Batavia middle schools).

The event is organized by the Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators Association.

Above, Ashley Carli, from Pavilion, practices in the Le Roy gym prior to her solo session.

Katelyn Brown, from Pembroke, plays her solo in the gym prior to her audition.

Dylan Fisher warms up in the bleachers while waiting for his turn to play.

The Le Roy gym served as a rehearsal hall.

Taylor Schofield, from Pavilion, in one of the classrooms where students played their solo for a teacher who evaluated the performance.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Photo: Sunrise in Basom

post by Howard B. Owens in Basom

Betsy Riexinger sent in this photo she took yesterday morning from her place near the Wayne Phelps Farm on Ledge Road, Basom.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Owner enjoying larger, more accommodating repair shop location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Johnson Automotive

In some respects, Jim Johnson has come a long way. In another, he's moved no further than a block down the road.

Johnson opened his own auto repair shop on West Main Street Road, Batavia, in August 2000 with nothing more than a floor jack and a tool box.

This month, Johnson moved into a spacious new location with four bays.

The new location for Johnson Automotive Repair will be more appealing to customers, Johnson said. For one thing, it has a nice, real waiting room that is heated. 

That's a big step forward for Johnson's business.

"I knew as a customer, I don't want to send my wife into a shop where you really didn't have a waiting room, or they called it a waiting room, and you have to sit and freeze," Johnson said. "Now we have a nice waiting room."

In the old location, Johnson crammed three hoists into a space perhaps best suited for only two into a herringbone configuration. One couldn't even go up all of the way, so Johnson or his mechanics had to work on their knees if repairing a car from underneath it.

A customer who needed an oil change would be asked to make an appointment two or three days in advance.

Now Johnson has three hoists for repairs and a separate bay set up exclusively for oil changes and lubes, no appointment necessary.

The new shop is located at 4007 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 1:30 am

Crafter gets off of festival trail and opens store in Downtown Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown

In the craft business since 1998, Andre Gliwski Jr. thinks it's time to settle down.

Rather than setting up a booth at a different community festival each weekend, Gilwski has opened a craft store in Downtown Batavia, at 220 E. Main St. and is hosting an open house this Friday and Saturday.

Working out of a single location isn't just a better lifestyle for a young father (Gilwski and his wife have children ages 1 and 2), it's better for building relationships with customers.

"You have a better following when they know where you're at rather than trying to chase you down," Gilwski said.

Currently his shop, A.J.'s Crafts, stocks only items that he has made, or his mother or wife have made.

Among the kind of things Gilwski enjoys making are jewelry, clothes, blankets, bean bags, hair stretchies, catnip toys, tooth-fairy pillows and scarves.

He said he can make or have made pretty much any custom item a buyer might want.

His mother has been slowed by arthritis, but there's a table in the store filled with her handmade needlework items.

Gilwski's wife also makes jewelry and helps with some of the product finishes on Gilwski's work.

"I like crafts because they're all handmade and not made in other countries," Gilwski said. "It's something I enjoy doing and I enjoy the look on a customer's face when they buy something I've made. It's something different than what you'll see at Walmart or Kmart or some other Big Box store."

Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 1:08 am

Tiara Filbert crafts first millennial career for Lady Devils

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

With a free throw in the second quarter against Greece-Arcadia, junior guard Tiara Filbert became -- school officials believe -- the first person wearing Lady Devils' blue to score 1,000 career points.

After Filbert hit her shot, play was stopped briefly as fans held up placards stamped "1000" and Filbert's teammates rushed to congratulate her. Her mother then came down from the stands (top photo) and Filbert ran over to her and they embraced.  

Head Coach Marty Hein then presented Filbert with a commemorative plaque. 

Filbert is a special player, Hein said.

"For me, as a coach, to be a part of something like this, with somebody who works so hard at her game, at her craft, is just outstanding," Hein said.

As near as school officials can figure out from available records, Filbert is the first girls player to reach the millennial mark.

Filbert, Hein said, has the heart of a champion.

"The only person who can beat Tiara Filbert is Tiara Filbert," Hein said.

Filbert finished the night with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Batavia won 48-27.

Filbert came into the game needing five points to reach 1,000. Here she scores points three and four.

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 11:31 pm

Deputy Frank Bordonaro posthumously honored by Sheriff's Office

post by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office

Deputy Frank Bordonaro, who died in July at age 44, in his 19th year of service to the Sheriff's Office, was honored today during a luncheon as Officer of the Year.

Accepting his award where his wife Robin and sons Bryce and Chase.

It was a solemn moment during an event otherwise often punctuated by laughter and hearty handshakes.

The Officer of the Year is nominated by Sheriff's Office staff members. The selection committee is comprised of members of the command staff and union representatives. 

Several members of the department, Sheriff Gary Maha said, nominated Bordonaro. A nomination letter written by Deputy Kevin McCarthy was read by Deputy Matthew Butler.

McCarthy recalled how Bordonaro encouraged him as a rookie deputy, gave him space to ask questions, to learn, to grow. He also said Bordonaro led by example, recalling an incident in Le Roy during one midnight shift when, as watch commander, Bordonaro could have ordered the younger deputies into an apartment where there was a possibly armed suspect holed up, but Bordonaro took the lead position himself.

As Butler read the letter, throughout the room, heads were bowed and a few tears were shed (two pictures below).

Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp received the Distinguished Service Award.

Longevity Awards went to:

  • Correction Officer Vincent S. Maurer, 10
  • Deputy Joseph M. Graff, 10
  • Dispatcher Stephen R. Smelski ,10
  • Deputy John P. Weis, 15
  • Deputy Brad D. Mazur, 15
  • Investigator R. Pete Welker, 20
  • Deputy Nathan W. Balduf, 20
  • Deputy Eric J. Koziarski, 25
  • Investigator Roger M. Stone, 40

Commendations were awarded to:

  • Correction Officer Howard O. Wilson
  • Dispatcher Michael T. Sheflin
  • Correction Officer Michael A. Cox
  • Sr. Dispatcher James W. Holman
  • Correction Officer Andrew D. Hurley
  • Deputy Joseph A. Corona
  • Deputy Andrew B. Hale
  • Deputy Kevin R. McCarthy
  • Sr. Dispatcher Barbara J. Eddy
  • Dispatcher Nathan L. Fix
  • Deputy Jason E. Saile
  • Deputy Lonnie A. Nati
  • Deputy Brian A. Thompson Sr.
  • Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp

Meritorious Service Awards went to:

  • Dispatcher Lynn B. Riccobono
  • Community Victim/Services Counselor, Correction
  • Officer Vincent S. Maurer
  • Deputy John R. Duyssen

More on the awards from the Sheriff's press release:

Officer of the Year: Deputy Frank Bordonaro
Deputy Frank G. Bordonaro distinguished himself as a professional, dedicated, hard-working officer who quietly and consistently provided a high level of service to the citizens of Genesee County and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Bordonaro was a Field Training Officer (FTO), a Child Safety Seat Technician and mentored several new officers during his tenure with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. He served as Officer-in-Charge on several occasions and was highly respected as a leader. Deputy Bordonaro set an example for others to strive for and was always concerned for his fellow officers. Deputy Frank G. Bordonaro is being awarded this recognition posthumously and has brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and is most deserving to be named Officer of the Year.

Distinguished Service Award: Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp
Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp has distinguished himself as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Senior Dispatcher Tripp has been instrumental with the implementation of the new Harris Radio System along with the collection, cataloging and packaging of county-owned radio equipment to be returned to Sprint/Nextel as part of a multi-million dollar capital project. Senior Dispatcher Tripp has been a Communications Training Officer for several years and assisted with the training of five new, part-time dispatchers during 2014. He has also provided critical insight and assistance with upgrades, maintenance, and operational configurations of the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center computer-aided dispatch program and phone and radio consoles. Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp reflects great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

International Association of Chiefs of Police Tribute:
During the Awards Luncheon, Sheriff Maha and Undersheriff Sheron presented Robin Bordonaro, widow of deceased Deputy Frank Bordonaro, with a recognition award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police who pay tribute to active duty officers who die feloniously or accidentally during the course of performing their police functions while on or off duty. Deputy Bordonaro unexpectedly passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home shortly after completing his midnight shift on July 8, 2014.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office also paid tribute to Deputy Bordonaro by placing a plaque in the patrol briefing room in memory of Deputy Bordonaro's service.

Dispatcher Tripp receiving his Distinguished Service Award from Sheriff Maha, right, and Undersheriff William Sheron.

Investigator Roger Stone being congratulated by Maha on 40 years of service to the department.

Dispatcher Nate Fix, with his son, receiving his award from Director of Emergency Communications Steven Sharp.

Group photo with Deputy Frank Bordonaro's family.

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Accident reported involving a single vehicle on Alexander Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander

A one-car motor vehicle accident, with injuries, is reported in the area 9607 Alexander Road, Alexander.

Alexander Fire and Ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 11:02 p.m.: One vehicle reported off the road.

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Hawley critical of Cuomo's property tax plan

post by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today criticized Gov. Cuomo’s proposed property-tax relief plan as having little concrete backing and not addressing the root cause of unfunded mandates. Hawley also said that the plan is simply a temporary fix and does not address the oppressive tax structure in New York State.  

“Gov. Cuomo’s proposal is a convenient way to avoid addressing the root cause of high property and school taxes: unfunded mandates,” Hawley said. “I agree that tax cuts should be a focus during this year’s budgetary process, but Gov. Cuomo’s proposal does not address the rigorous and oppressive tax structure in New York State. Furthermore, this proposal is based on a surplus that does not yet exist and apparently could only exist if the legislature made several billion in cuts over the next few years. A better solution for tax relief would be broad-based tax cuts for all New Yorkers and not just select groups, as Gov. Cuomo has done.”

Hawley’s comments come after Gov. Cuomo released a $1.7 billion property-tax credit proposal that will be included in his budget presentation next week. Hawley has fought for lower taxes and more fiscal responsibility in Albany during his tenure in the legislature.

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 9:10 am

Havenwood Senior Apartments evacuated overnight because of broken water pipe

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

From our news partner, WBTA:

Some of the 29 residents of the Havenwood Senior Apartments on Richmond Avenue are waking up in a motel this morning.

The residents had to be evacuated yesterday when a pipe burst and damaged part of the facility.

Batavia Fire Chief James Maxwell said the broken pipe was part of the facility's sprinkler system. Repairs to the pipe left the facility with a lack of fire protection which prompted the evacuation.

Maxwell said some displaced residents were taken in by family members while others were taken to a motel. All residents are expected to return to their apartments today.

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 7:57 am

GCEDC announces goals for 2015

post by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC

Press release:

The staff of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) unveiled its proposed goals for 2015 at the agency’s board meeting Thursday. Among the goals for 2015:

• Generating $35 million in new capital and/or business investments;
• Creating/retaining approximately 205 jobs; and
• Advancing development of STAMP.

Among the plans for STAMP include continue securing funding to advance critical infrastructure development for the site such as water, sewer, natural gas and electric as well as the remaining land acquisition. According to GCEDC staff, securing this funding will further STAMP toward receiving NYS “shovel-ready site certification” and continue to advance the ongoing efforts to market the Park to corporate site selectors in various industry sectors such as nanotechnology.

“We have set the bar very high, but given the track record of the GCEDC the board is very confident in the staff’s ability to achieve these aggressive economic development goals,” said Wally Hinchey who was reappointed as GCEDC chairman at the board meeting. “Through the years we have created a very positive climate for economic growth and we will continue to build on these successes in 2015.”

The GCEDC also revealed plans to continue infrastructure enhancements as part of Phase II development at the agri-business park and ongoing collaboration with the Town of Le Roy on its potential development of a “greenfield” site located near Route 19 and West Bergen Road, bordering the Village of Le Roy. The GCEDC also plans to enhance its municipal and regional stakeholder outreach program for county and regional stakeholders with a particular focus on municipalities and school districts.

In addition to Hinchey being reappointed as chairman, the GCEDC also announced the appointment of its 2015 officers:

• Mary Ann Wiater, Vice Chairman
• Penny Kennett, Secretary
• Lezlie Farrell, Treasurer
• Steve Hyde, President & CEO

“On behalf of the staff of the GCEDC, we are very excited to embark on another year of significant economic development activity that will continue the growth and prosperity of the region,” said Steve Hyde, GCEDC president and CEO. “We are grateful to the GCEDC board for its support of our efforts and we look forward to collaborating with the public and private sectors in our collective efforts to create and retain jobs and bring new investment to Genesee County.”

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 7:50 am

Law and Order: Hutchins Street resident in jail after argument with girlfriend

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

Darrell Smith, 47, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Smith was allegedly involved in an argument with his girlfriend and during the incident ripped the shower current and punched, pushed and grabbed her. Smith was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kyle J. Snyder, 26, of Colony Run, Attica, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an appearance ticket. Snyder turned himself in at Batavia PD. The original charge was aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Snyder posted $200 of his $500 fine, released and scheduled to appear again at a later date.

Robert E. Saari, 33, of Alleghany Road, Attica, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation charge, 2nd. Saari turned himself in. He posted $500 bail and was released.

Dustin Guy Nicometo, 27, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and violation of probation. Nicometo was arrested on a warrant.

Steven James Snyder, 25, of West Avenue, Attica, is charged with petit larceny. Snyder is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

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