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Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 9:34 pm

National Grid provides another $500K grant to GCEDC's STAMP project

post by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, National Grid, STAMP

Press release:

National Grid’s latest grant of $500,000 in the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) site in the Town of Alabama in Genesee County has now reached the $1.5 million threshold. Since 2007, National Grid has provided STAMP with various economic development grants to the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), which is developing the site and marketing it to corporate site selectors as well as nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing companies throughout the United States and the world.

“We are extremely excited to have such strong support from National Gird to help us bring the next generation of advanced manufacturing to Western New York,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “STAMP has received significant support from business, education and economic development groups and organizations from Buffalo and Rochester, so it is truly a collaborative effort to bring this transformative economic development project to our region.”

STAMP is a 1,250-acre site and is aligned to attract the next generation of nanotechnology companies, including semiconductor chip fabs, flat panel displays, solar, bio-manufacturing, and advanced manufacturing companies to New York State. Most recently, STAMP was appropriated $33 million in the 2014-15 state budget to bring the site to a shovel-ready status. This funding will be used for pre-construction engineering, sewer and water lines and other utility hook-ups and other infrastructure enhancements.

“We have seen a number of major gains in the bringing new and advanced technologies to the region, and we’re confident that STAMP will continue the significant economic development momentum in the region in the science, technology and advanced manufacturing areas,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid in Western New York.“

“The GCEDC has an excellent track record in economic development, as evidenced most recently by the construction of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, which led to the construction to two major yogurt manufacturing facilities,” said Arthur W. Hamlin, director, economic development and corporate citizenship at National Grid. “We are optimistic that the same ‘build it and they will come’ approach used at the agri-business park will also reap significant economic development and job outcomes at the STAMP site.”

STAMP is located in the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) low-cost hydropower zone. The site is within a 60-minute commute of 2.1 million residents from the Rochester and Buffalo metro regions as well as six university centers with more than 17,000 enrolled engineering students. According to GCEDC officials, STAMP has the potential to generate $30-$50 billion in investment and employ up to 10,000 workers on-site. The supply chain impact could add another 50,000 jobs.

The grants to the GCEDC are from a number of National Grid programs, including the Strategic Economic Development Program designed to increase effective marketing and sales initiatives aimed at “strategic targets.” This program provides expertise and incremental resources to leverage more and better macro-level business attraction research, marketing and sales efforts. Other grants have helped support hard infrastructure improvements to the site. Information about National Grid’s suite of economic programs is available at www.shovelready.com.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Winner of last Thursday's Flip Ad contest

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

We ran a Flip Ad contest on Thursday, but unfortunately, I got really busy over the next couple of days, so sorry for not announcing the winner sooner.

The winner is Elizabeth Downie, of Batavia. Downie correctly identified the Flip Ad code phrase of "Centennial Park."

We'll run another contest this week.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Photos: Country duo Haley & Alexis rock GCC to benefit GO ART!

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, entertainment, GCC, GO ART!, music

Supporters of GO ART! and local music fans enjoyed an energetic show Saturday night at GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre of the Haley & Alexis Band.

The twin sisters hail from Atlanta, but have roots in Genesee and Orleans counties, and the front row was filled with relatives.

It's the first time the band -- nominated for the Georgia Country Music “Best (Regional) Country Band Award” -- has played north of the Mason-Dixon line. 

Hiram Kasten was the evening's emcee. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Village of Le Roy will plow privately owned street that is subject of litigation

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

CORRECTION: We're not going to change the headline because it would break the link to the story, but Filmore Street is not a subject in the resident's lawsuit over the duplex's constructed in the area.

Village of Le Roy trustees held an emergency meeting Saturday morning and voted to plow a portion of Filmore Street that is privately owned.

The section of street is the subject of a lawsuit filed by residents in Presidential Acres against the village after the village paved the street at a cost of $48,000.

The street is owned by local businessman Pete McQuillen.

There are residential units -- also the subject of a lawsuit -- along the street and trustees said they decided that while the legal wrangling winds through the process, those residents deserve to have their street plowed. 

It's a public safety issue, they said.

"My only reason for making this motion is, all you lawyers, someday you will work this all out, but the people living there should not be caught in the middle," said Trustee Jim Bonacquisti. "Those people who live in that section should expect the street to get plowed, no matter who it is.   This will all get taken care of, maybe years from now, but for somebody who lives there today, we need to take care of them. Whether you think it's an emergency, somebody who lives in the village expects their streets to be plowed."

Attorneys Amy Kendall and Alan Knauf, who are representing the Presidential Acres residents in the lawsuits, attended Saturday's meeting and argued against the the village plowing the street, as did David Boyce, one of the residents who is a party in the suit.

Knauf said he's been involved in cases like this before and NYS law, as well as the state Constitution clearly state that government money cannot be expended on maintaining private property, except in an emergency.

"I deal with this all the time," Knauf said. "In law, we have to make judgement calls, but there's no emergency today. What's the emergency? There is none."

It's the owner of the street, not the village taxpayers who should be paying for the street getting plowed in snow storms, Knauf said.

"If I had ice on my driveway and my wife comes down the steps of the back porch and might slip, I don't think that's an emergency situation where I could cal the fire department to come and clear my driveway," Knauf said. "That's my responsibility as a property owner."

Mayor Greg Rogers said the emergency meeting was called because the board failed Wednesday night to come out of executive session and take a public vote on the decision.  

The action was taken, he said, based on the advice of the village attorney to ensure the safety of residents off Filmore is taken into consideration.

Under terms of the resolution instructing DPW to plow the street, workers must maintain an account of the cost of plowing that section of street.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 1:11 am

The latest scores and records of Genesee County boys basketball teams

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

Here are the latest game results for all of the Genesee County boys basketball teams (photos of the Le Roy vs. Letchworth game by David Boyce).

Letchworth (1-4) pulled out a narrow victory against Le Roy (1-5) on Friday night, 46-44. For Le Roy, Nick Egeling had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Tom Kelso scored 12. For Letchworth, Brad Bliss had 13, including the game-winning layup with :03 left in the 4th. Anthony Butler and Curtis Hoffman each had 10.

Notre Dame (3-0) beat Attica (2-2) 60-43 on Friday. Josh Johnson scored 19 and nine rebounds. Curtis Nellis noted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. C.J. Suozzi had 13 points. For Attica, Owen Thompson scored 18.

Byron-Bergen (4-1) won an OT victory over Lyndonville (3-3), 87-79. For BB, Brandon Burke had 22 points, Nick Magin 21 and Steele Truax, 21. Jordon Coffta made a three-pointer with :03 left in the 4th to send the game into overtime.

Pembroke moved to 2-4 with a 52-43 win over Alexander (1-4). Ryan Cansdale had 21 points and nine assists. Kyle Ludwig scored 14. Reid Miano had eight rebounds. For Alexander, Matt Genaway had 10 points, Tyler Laird 11 with eight rebounds and Jake Riggs had 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Elba (1-4) fell to Wheatland-Chili, 67-50. For Elba, John Hochmuth scored 22 to go with six rebounds and Dakota Dillion had five assists.

Oakfield-Alabama is 2-3 after beating Attica on Thursday, 70-65. Ryan Cummings had 24 points, Ryan Emery 21 and Josiah Yantz, 10.

Pavilion fell to Cal-Mum on Wednesday, 75-25. Pavilion is now 3-3. Evan Cleveland had eight points and Hayden Ewell, six.

Batavia beat Bishop-Timon 77-46 to improve to 2-1. Jeff Redband scored 32 and Jerret Laskett had 12.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Photos: UB Bulls beat Niagara

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, UB Bulls

Photos from last night's UB Bulls game against Niagara.

The Bulls won 88-62 and are 7-2 on the season.

Justin Moss (#23) had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Shannon Evans (#11) had 20 points. Jarryn Skeet (#10) had 17 points and Xavier Ford (#35) had 11 rebounds.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Photos: Volunteer firefighters hang wreaths in Byron

post by Howard B. Owens in byron

The wreaths that help make Byron a little more festive this time of year where hung with care today by members of the Byron and South Byron fire departments. This is the first year the volunteers took on the task rather than the highway department, a firefighter said.

Top two photos submitted by Charles Durkee, bottom one from Jacob Yasses.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Photos: Masons in Bergen ready with gift baskets for community members

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, Hesperus Masonic Lodge

Members of the Hesperus Masonic Lodge in Bergen gathered at the Bergen Fire Hall this morning to engage in one of their holiday traditions -- putting together Christmas baskets of food and gifts for needy members of the community.

Pictured: Harris Busmire, Joyce Sands, Richard Sands, Charles Coye and Bob Aradine.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Photo: Connecting with Bobby Hurley at UB

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, Bniversity at Buffalo, sports, UB Bulls

Purely by coincidence Anita Strollo and I were both at the UB Bulls men's basketball game last night. She was there to meet Bobby Hurley in person. Her cousin, Sonny Falcone, is strength and condition coach at Duke University and is good friends with Hurley. Hurley, now head coach at UB, is one of the greatest collegiate point guards in history and helped lead the Blue Devils to a pair of NCAA national championships. Strollo, a Batavia resident, gave him a Christmas gift of some of her homemade cookies after the game. Buffalo beat Niagara 88-62.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm

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

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Owners of Rancho Viejo open second restaurant in Valu Plaza

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

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

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

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

The restaurant seats 60, but burritos and tacos always make great to-go food.

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

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

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

Photo: Leon, Maryez, Alicia and Elkim.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 9:29 am

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

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, fire

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

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

Their names have not yet been released by authorities.

The cause of the fire, reported at 2:06 a.m., has not been determined.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sheriff's Office is assisting in the investigation.

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

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

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 12:43 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He plays bigger than his 5' 10" height.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Josh Johnson drives for the basket.

Hochmuth blocks a Casey Midwick shot attempt.

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

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 11:09 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous Coverage: 

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Man held in Baby Chandler case is not the father

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

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

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

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

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

So far, he has declined interview requests.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previously:

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

Baby Chandler suffered head trauma, authorities say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zuch left around 1 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shortly after that, Chandler woke up. 

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

His friend left about 2 a.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 7:58 am

Batavia man accused of selling morphine

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

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

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

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

Spearance was ordered held without bail.

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

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

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 1:01 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Tuesday, he tweeted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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