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Howard B. Owens's blog

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Driver of car involved in a pair of collisions arrested

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

A 23-year-old Elba man was taken into custody this afternoon following a pair of traffic collisions and a bit of a police pursuit from Bank Street to Main Street in front of Tim Horton's.

Joseph J. Zambito has been charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, according to Sgt. Dan Coffey, Batavia PD.

Sometime around 2:30 p.m. police received a report of a vehicle striking a car on Bank Street just within city limits. The vehicle was spotted on Bank Street, Coffey said, and officers attempted to make a traffic stop, but the car continued, turning right onto Main Street.

The vehicle struck another car west of Jefferson Avenue, Coffey said, and then patrol vehicles were able to box in the silver sedan and stop it in front of Tim Horton's.

Following a short investigation, the driver was taken into custody.

Zambito is also being charged with several traffic violations, Coffey said.

Reader submitted photos.

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Several car accidents reported on Lewiston Road on bridge over the Thruway

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accidents

Law enforcement is on scene at the Lewiston Road overpass over the Thruway for "numerous motor-vehicle accidents."

Town of Batavia Fire Police requested to the scene for traffic control.

No injuries reported.

UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: Southbound traffic is completely blocked.

UPDATE 6:07 p.m.: Town of Batavia Fire Police now requested to the Route 98 overpass to assist law enforcement.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Reminder: Shop local and support the businesses that support The Batavian

post by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian

We've not done a post like this in a long time, but with the holidays coming on fast, it is important to remind readers of the importance of shopping locally as often as possible.

When you support the businesses that are owned by people in our local or regional community, you are helping to support your local community. As much of 70 percent of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the local community. That has a ripple effect of benefits locally, from employment to donations to local charities to more spending power for everyone.

At The Batavian, supporting local business and family owned business isn't something we do just once in a while as part of an advertising supplement. It's what we do every day. Our home page is a daily reminder to support local businesses.

Please remember not only to shop locally first, but please also be sure to frequent the sponsors of The Batavian and let them know you appreciate their support of independent local news.

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle
Alberty's Drug Store
Alli's Cones & Dogs
Allstate
American Home Remodeling
Barrett's Batavia Marine and Sporting Supplies
Batavia Country Club
Batavia Downs
Batavia Gold Rush
Batavia Improvement District
Batavia Redemption Center, Eastown Beverages
Batavia Tailors & Cleaners
Beds 'n' Bones Pet Lodge
Belhaven Kennels
Bill Fox and Son Construction & Remodeling
Blue Pearl Yoga
Bob Harris Realty - Robert J. Gerace
Bohn's Restaurant
Bontrager's Real Estate
Bourbon & Burger Co.
Brighton Securities
Bubba's Landscaping
Calling All Dogs
CB Beach Mortuary
Cedar St. Sales and Rentals
Center Street Smokehouse
Chesley's Auto
City Slickers
Classic Optical
Council Opticians
Crazy Cheap Cars
Dan's Tire
Darien Auto Parts
D&R Depot Restaurant
Deep Blue Pool & Spa
Delre's Greenhouse & Garden Center
Derrick Monument Company
Detail Shop (Pellegrino's)
Dougherty Heating Company, Inc.
D'Tangles
Empire Tractor
Falcone Family Funeral & Cremation Service, Inc.
Falleti Motors
Fastec Automotive
Ficarella's Pizzeria
First Choice Travel
Floral Fantasies
Foxprowl Collectibles
Frankly Design
Genesee County Emergency Services
Genesee Dental Group
Genesee Orthopaedics
Geer Farm Services
Gilmartin
GLOW Jobs
Godfrey's Pond
Greens of LeRoy
Hair Studio 25
Hardcor Audio
Harris Wilcox
House of Kolor
Haul-4-Less
H.E. Turner & Co.
High Voltage Tattoo
Humphrey's Electric & Security
Genesee Urgent Care
J. Leonard McAndrew

Jagged Edges Salon
Jay E. Potter & Sons
Jim Saraceni - Prime Lending
John's Service Station
Karen's Yarn Paper Scissors
Ken Barrett
KleenAll
Kreative Design Kitchen & Bath
Larry's Steakhouse
L&L Transmission, Inc.
L.C. Mosman
Lamb Family Medicine
Lambert's Design Jewelers
Le Roy Counseling
Le Roy Hearth & Home
Lucky Ducky Daycare
Main St. Pizza Company
Matteo & Mullen, CPA
Max Pies
Millennium Computer
My Saloon
Nature's Best Hydro-Garden Center
Next Level Fitness
O'Lacy's Irish Pub
Oakfield Fitness
Oliver's Candies
Optique
Parmenter Tire, Auto & Truck Services
Pellegrino Auto Sales
Pembroke Family Medicine
Precision Lawn Care
Pudgie's Lawn & Garden
R&D Outlet
RW Vapors
Radley's Auto Detailing
Ray Station Coal & Stoves
Reed Eye Associates
S.C.O.P.E. of Genesee County
Santino's Pizza
Scooter's Restaurant (Le Roy)
Select Collision
Settler's Restaurant
Sloat's Tire
Smokin' Eagle Brew & BBQ
Southside Deli
Spirits
Stella Collision
Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro
T.F. Brown's
The Finishing Line
The Insurance Center
The Mane Attraction
The Manor House
The Rack Shack
Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel
Trash Away
Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
Valle Jewelers
Viking Valhalla/Rose Garden Bowl
Vinyl Sticks
WNY Fireplace Outlet
Watch Your Kitty
West Main Wine & Spirits
Western Regional Off Track
William Kent, Inc.
Woody's Deli
YWCA
Yasses Construction
Yngodess Shop
Yume Asian Bistro

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Local caterer now offering BBQ at Willow Bend every Wednesday evening

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Willow Bend Inn

In Western New York we love our BBQ, so it's not surprising that another Genesee County resident is finding his own success with slow-cooked ribs and his own sauce.

Mike Swiatowy has been running his own catering business for years. About five years ago, he added BBQ and this year, he said, the business has really taken off. So much that his wife, Kristi, gave up her hair and nail business that she's run for 25 years.

Three weeks ago, Swiatowy came into a new location for his ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken -- the Willow Bend Inn.

After serving wings and beef on weck at the Polish Falcon's Club for a few years, he wanted to expand and the partnership with the Willow Bend Inn has given him the venue to do that.

"It's worked out great," Swiatowy said. "I think it's a great atmosphere for BBQ."

We tried the ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket with beans, slaw and mac and cheese. We loved the meal. The meat is as it should be -- fall-off-the-bone tender, flavorful and moist. The sauce is both sweet and savory.

Swy's BBQ also offers chicken, pulled chicken, hickory-smoked chicken wings and traditional chicken wings.

There's also a full line of catering available. For more information, visit the Web site. Swy's is also available for fundraisers.

If you can't wait until Wednesday to try the BBQ at Willow Bend, Swy's is participating in the Holiday Festival on Saturday at Batavia High School from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm

ARC holds Chili & Chowder Fest this Saturday

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee ARC

Press release:

More than 140 baskets are featured at the fourth Annual Genesee ARC Chili & Chowder Fest and Basket Raffle on Saturday (Nov. 15) at the Genesee ARC Community Center. 

The event begins at 10 a.m. and winners will be drawn starting at 1:30 p.m. Community members who already have Saturday plans, can get in on the fun because for a second year in a row the Center at 38 Woodrow Road will be open from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Friday for ticket-only sales. 

Event Chair Shelley Falitico said this was wildly popular last year.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to stop by after work and take a chance on some great baskets donated by ARC Staff, families and local businesses.” 

There is no separate admission charge. Ticket chances for regular baskets are $10 for 25 chances or $25 for 75 chances. Specialty baskets, valued at $50 or more, cost $10 for 15 chances. This year’s grand prize is a spectacular cleaning package, valued at $475, featuring a vacuum cleaner and a wheeled trash tote filled with of every type of cleaning supply imaginable. 

Tickets for the grand prize are $2 each; 3 for $5 or 8 chances for $10.

During the event on Saturday, there will be a variety of chili (red, white and vegetarian), Manhattan clam chowder and chicken noodle soup for sale along with grilled cheese sandwiches. A bake sale is also featured.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm

If needed, cold weather shelter available for the homeless

post by Howard B. Owens in homeless, Salvation Army

The Salvation Army and United Methodist Church are ready to provide shelter to those who need it in very cold weather, said Robert Kurtz, with the American Red Cross, yesterday following a meeting of homeless-aid advocates.

The Red Cross facility would house the men and the church would take in families.

The goal is to be ready to provide shelter when needed starting Dec. 1, but the real deadline is any night when the temperature drops as low as 10 degrees.

The coalition of church leaders, community activists and social service workers actually started meeting a year ago with the goal of ensuring there were services available for homeless people in Genesee County during cold weather.

There were originally more than 100 members, but the numbers dwindled and only recently the group has seen a resurgence in participation.  

Some of the newer members yesterday raised questions about the 10-degree threshold for opening shelters: Why can't something be done sooner with cold weather coming on fast? Why can't a permanent shelter be located immediately?

Mary Rice, with Pathstone, who was chairing the meeting, explained that the 10-degree standard was adopted because that's the standard in Rochester and Buffalo.

While Kurtz said in an emergency, shelter could be provided now, the coalition is still looking to raise funds for cots and other materials. 

The issue of a permanent shelter is far more complicated.

Rice said she's spoken with volunteers in Lockport who worked for two years before successfully opening a shelter there.

There are a number of tasks to completed before opening a permanent facility, from forming a board of directors and appointing a treasurer to finding a location and getting proper approvals, plus dealing with all the logistics involved in providing warm beds and meals to those in need.

The cost of the project would easily get into six figures.

After the meeting, some of the folks attending who have experience dealing with the economically insecure in Batavia suggested there aren't many people in need of shelter locally. On any given day, there are no more than five people Batavia without shelter at night, they say. Typically, those who face economic insecurity live within a network of people in similar circumstances. They will share shelter when available ("couch surfing" as it's called) and even share food stamps and other resources to support each other.

There have been times in recent years when shelters have been opened on cold winter nights in Batavia but nobody has shown up looking for a warm bed.

The meeting ended with some acrimony. A gentleman who identified himself as living in the camp previously covered by The Batavian didn't like the coverage. He didn't like the pictures being published. He didn't like some of the comments left on Facebook that were mean spirited toward whomever was living in the camp (the identity of occupants and location of the camp were not revealed). He was concerned his employer wouldn't like the coverage and the comments, though he admitted he hadn't talked with his employer about it. A couple of members of the coalition expressed their own displeasure with the coverage and a couple of members defended it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 9:05 am

Today's Poll: Should there be health warning labels on sugary drinks?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls

New York Post: Lawmaker proposes warning label on sugary drinks to fight obesity

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Photo: Tree removal on Jackson Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, trees

This fall, there have been a few big trees coming down on the Southside. Crews were on Jackson Street near Morton Avenue today taking down a pair of big trees.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Photo: City leaf pick-up

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

City crews were on South Main this afternoon picking up the fall leaves of residents. The city's leaf detail continues until Nov. 21. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

A lot of cold, but not a lot of snow, predicted for Genesee County over the next week

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

We're at the start of a seven to 10 day blast of Arctic weather, according to various forecasts.

The forecast for Genesee County so far doesn't include much snow, but it's sounding a lot like January for the next week rather than mid-November.

There's a chance of snow showers tomorrow, especially in the morning, but there've been no weather alerts for Genesee County, unlike Wyoming County, which is under a lake effect snow advisory.

High temperatures are going to be in the mid to high 30s and dip into the low 20s if not teens at night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Group formed to help the homeless in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, homeless

A group of local residents are concerned that they're seeing a rise in homelessness in Genesee County and are trying to pull resources together to address the issue.

Genesee Community Warming Center Coalition wants to find a location for a shelter and showers, said James Rocco Soccio, one of the group's members.

Soccio said on any given day there may be from two to 15 people in Genesee County who don't have proper shelter.

Regardless of how they got in that situation, he would like to see the community come together to provide assistance.

A shower and a shave could help somebody get a job. Food will keep people, especially children, from going hungry. Shelter might save a life.

Winter's coming on and snow and cold are just days away.

We spoke with Soccio standing in the midst of a homeless encampment in Batavia (we agreed not to disclose the location to help avoid any sort of harassment of the occupants). 

There were no people at the camp while we were there this afternoon, but it's clear the camp is currently occupied. There was food on shelves, clothing hung neatly on a line in a tent, a bike leaning against a tree and a very friendly cat wandering about.

There is also a tent set off from the main group of tents, giving the impression it might serve as a latrine. There's also a covered refuse pile nearby. It's clear the camp has been in use for an extended period of time.

Soccio said Pastor Paul Ohlson from Care-A-Van Ministries had visited the camp previously delivering food. Sometimes there's one person there. Sometimes there are four or five.

It's Soccio's impression that the camp is shared by a revolving set of people in need of shelter.

It was the first time Soccio had seen it personally and he was rather taken aback.

"It's unbelievable until you see it," Soccio said. "I'm shocked that this is happening here Genesee County. We need to get something together so they're not out there committing crimes to get three hots and a cot. That's the truth of it all."

There is a Facebook group for the coalition. Also, the group is trying to raise money with GoFundMe.com. Finally, the group meets at 3 p.m. every Wednesday. Tomorrow it meets at the Salvation Army, 529 E.Main St., Batavia.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Oakfield FD treasurer admits to petit larceny

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield

Via The Batavian's news partner WBTA:

The former treasurer of the Oakfield Fire Department has pled guilty to a charge of petit larceny, in connection with the disappearance of thousands of dollars of department funds. Samantha Hilchey, 31, entered her plea in Oakfield Town Court.

She has already paid $6,000 in restitution.

The remaining amount will be determined when the state audit of the fire department’s books is completed.

District Attorney Lawrence Freidman says whatever that amount is, Hilchey will be required to pay.
She faces up to a year in jail when she is sentenced on Jan. 5th.

Hilchey was arrested by State Police in June on a charge of grand larceny in the third degree, a Class D felony.

The deal allowed her to plea to petit larceny, a misdemeanor.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Photos: Veterans Day

post by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Veterans Day

There were six Veterans Day ceremonies in Genesee County today. Here are photos from three of them: The VA Center, the Upton Monument, and the War Memorial at St. Jerome's.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Quick volunteer response saves house after garage consumed by flames

post by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, fire, indian falls, pembroke

A quick response by the East Pembroke Fire Department helped save a house on Indian Falls Road this afternoon when a fire destroyed a detached garage and heat from the fire was causing the siding of the house to melt.

Chief Don Newton said all of the department's trucks rolled within minutes of the alarm.

When Newton arrived on scene driving one of those engines, the garage was already gone. 

One firefighter described it as "rolling flames."

Newton said crews deployed hand lines and acted quickly to protect the house and knock down the fire.

"It is a great save to the house," Newton said. "These guys are awesome. This is what we train for. These guys do a hell of a job for me. I can't thank them enough for being here during the day. Middle of the day, it's tough to get people out and all the units that responded here from all the different departments, I can't thank enough for them being out here."

The house, at 2023 Indian Falls Road, suffered significant heat damage, but no apparent structural damage.

County records list the property owner as Timothy Franclemont.

"It was a good save on the garage as far as I'm concerned," Newton said. "There were a lot of chemicals in the garage, oils, gases, that were burning fiercely, running out of the doors with water on fire."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

No injuries were reported.

Assisting East Pembroke were Indian Falls, Oakfield, Pembroke, Darien, Elba and Alabama.

(Initial Post)

Monday, November 10, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Veterans Day Ceremonies

post by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Veterans Day

Tomorrow's ceremonies:

  • 9 a.m. Genesee County Park
  • 10 a.m. Batavia VA Medical Center
  • 10:15 a.m. New York State Veteran’s Home
  • 11 a.m. Upton Monument
  • 11:30 a.m. Jerome Center
  • 12 a.m. Genesee Community College

Participating organizations:

  • American Legion – Glenn Loomis Post #332
  • Disabled American Veterans – Chapter #166
  • Marine Corps League – Hanson Brothers Detachment
  • Veterans Of Foreign Wars – Of Genesee County
  • Vietnam Veterans Of America – Chapter #193
Monday, November 10, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Law and Order: Bergen resident accused of making moonshine

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, corfu, crime, pembroke

Shane Irwin Crosby, 38, of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with manufacturing an illicit alcoholic beverage, a Class E felony. Crosby was found to have an illegal moonshine still during a visit by probation officers at 8:40 a.m., Oct. 26. Deputy John Weis was dispatched to investigate. Crosby is accused of operating a still without being a properly licensed distiller. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Dale S. Berglund, 39, of West Allis, Wisc., is charged with felony DWI. Berglund was stopped at 8:45 p.m. Sunday in the Village of Corfu for allegedly driving 51 in a 35 mph zone.

Willie Marshall, 61, of Batavia, is charged with forcible touching. Marshall was arrested following an investigation by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation into a complaint that he inappropriately touched a 13-year-old girl while staying with her mother at a local motel.

Brett Nelson Magoffin, 39, Genesee Street, Pembroke, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and failure to keep right. Magoffin was stopped at 5:27 p.m. Sunday on Read Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Macayla T. Brown, 18, Ja'Nelle A. Smith, 18, and a 17-year-old, all of 8170 Batavia Stafford Townline Road, are charged with petit larceny. The trio are accused of stealing $366 in merchandise from Walmart.

Kaylee Louise Middaugh, 19, of Little John Road, Belfast, is charged with petit larceny. Middaugh is accused of pushing a cart full of merchandise out of Walmart without paying for the items.

Eric Vernon Biscaro, 57, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with assault ,3rd. Biscaro is accused of hurting another person during a domestic incident.

Monday, November 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Photo: Wood Street resident rescued from structure fire

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire, Wood Street

A fire this morning at 8 Wood S., Batavia, caused $35,000 in damage to the structure and building contents, according to the Batavia Fire Department.

The fire was caused by an electrical issue and started in the kitchen.

A second-floor resident climbed onto the roof of an alcove on the first floor and was rescued by a city firefighter.

A dog that barked to alert residents to the fire perished as a result of smoke in the residence.

The incident commander was Mark Mikolajczyk.

(initial post)

Photo by Frank Capuano.

Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Batavia turns tables on Livonia to win first Section V title in 23 years

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Blue Devils, High School Football, sports

With a come-from-behind touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game, Batavia struck for a touchdown and then a daring two-point conversion to beat Livonia 15-14 and win the program's first Section V title since 1991.

The late strike was nearly a mirror of how Livonia handed Batavia its only defeat of the season in 2014's first game when the Bulldogs scored a touchdown in the final seconds.

The gutsy call to go for two following a 69-yard TD reception by Ryan Hogan with just over two-minutes left in the game harkened back to the fifth game of the season against Geneva when Head Coach Brandon Briggs went for it all with two minutes left to pull out an 8-7 win.

Batavia scored first, but the touchdown didn't come until the start of the second quarter. The Blue Devils carried a lead into the half, but Livonia scored on its first possession.

The teams traded possessions until 2:28 left in the fourth quarter when Livonia scored again.

With 2:07 left and the ball on Livonia's 31, Batavia struck on a second-down play when Greg Mruczek hit Hogan streaking down the side line, hitting him in stride near the 20. Hogan dashed into the end zone.

Livonia is a team built around a grinding ground game and couldn't muster the quick-strike capabilities to get the ball within at least field goal range. Batavia took possession of the ball on downs with less than 30 seconds left and fans and players erupted in celebration.

Mruczek finished 15 for 25 for 334 yards and two TDs. He also had four carries for 29 yards, including the winning two-point conversion. Hogan had three receptions for 113 yards. Jarrett Laskett had five receptions for 88 yards. Trevor Sherwood had two receptions for 77 yards and a TD. Dom Mogavero carried the ball eight times for 33 yards. Trevor Rittersback had 16 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery. 

For Livonia, Josh Henderson had 24 carries for 168 yards and a TD. Liam Clements had eight carries for 67 yards.

Thanks to Bob Brown and Juan Velasquez for the play-by-play on WBTA.

Video by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service

Photos by Alecia Kaus

Friday, November 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Le Roy wins record 15th Section V title

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

Le Roy beat Bath in a Class C Section V final this evening in Rochester, 34-24.

The Rams had the Oatkan Knights on the ropes by the close of the first quarter, securing a lead of 14-6.

A turnover deep in Bath territory proved effective in shifting the momentum and sent the Knights on a 28-0 run, with Bath managing the final touchdown of the game.

The win is the 15th Section V title, a new Section V record.

It's the 202 career win for Head Coach Brian Moran and his 14th Section V title.

Next step, a Far West Championship game next week.

Game stats: Mike McMullen was 13 for 28 for 250 yards and four TDs. Tom Kelso, 18 carries for 71 yards and a TD. Ryan McQuillen had two catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Jake Henry had four catches for 38 yards and two TDs. Kody Lampkin had eight tackles and a sack. Nick Egeling, eight tackles. Tyler Prinz, seven tackles. Tom Kelson, seven tackles.

Photos by David Boyce. For more pictures, click here.

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