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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Photos: Slusser Road, East Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, Slusser Road

I went out this afternoon to see if I could get a photo of the accident on the Thruway in East Pembroke. There was no vantage point for an accident photo, but I did come back with three pictures from Slusser Road.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Three arrests reported at One Republic concert

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

Christopher M. Kirsch, 19, of Gerald Drive, Hamburg, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Bryce R. Feiner, 18, of West 70th Street, Dunkirk, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Jenna R. Andolina, 18, of Tisbury Road, Hamburg, was issued a ticket for alleged possession of a fictitious Pennsylvania Identification Card.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Hochul attends Batavia Muckdogs game

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, batvia, kathy hochul

Jim Owen and Kathy Hochul at Saturday's Batavia Muckdog's game at Dwyer Stadium. 

Owen was one of Hochul's teachers in high school. Hochul is the former congressional representative for Genesee County and a current candidate for lieutenenant governor.

Photo provided by Hochul's campaign staff.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Photos: Jackson Square concert with the Ghost Riders

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, entertainment, music

The Ghost Riders played Jackson Square on Friday evening.

Photos by Amanda Earl.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Photos: Brian Kemp paints fire hydrant on Main Street

post by Howard B. Owens in downtown, Vibrant Batavia

Among the artists painting fire hydrants Downtown this weekend as part of a Vibrant Batavia project was Brian Kemp, co-owner of T-Shirts Etc. Kemp painted the hydrant in front of the Key Bank location.

Photos by Amanda Earl.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Fans happy to see their favorite band in return of live music at Frost Ridge

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Frost Ridge, Jam at the Ridge, Le Roy

To say Blackberry Smoke rocked the house Saturday night at Frost Ridge might be misconstrued.

There are no reports of windows rattling in the homes of Frost Ridge neighbors.

In fact, a deputy assigned to monitor the decibel levels at Conlon Road and Oatka Trail Road said the noise level never went much above 60 decibels, well below the threshold of 100 set by Judge Robert C. Noonan when he issued an order a few days ago allowing the concert to take place.

The fact is, at the corner of Conlon and Oatka Trail, through most of Blackberry Smoke's set, the crickets were louder than the music.

Blackberry Smoke is billed as an up-and-coming, soon-to-be-big-stars Southern rock/outlaw country band, and if fame is measured by only a few hundred die-hard, rambunctious fans, Blackberry Smoke has already hit the big time.

They did rock the house and the fans raised the roof.

The band is Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards).

A five-piece combo can make a lot of noise, and inside the Frost Ridge amphitheater at stage level, the band seemed no less loud than their show in the same venue a year ago.

A sound engineer familiar with the venue predicted before the show that the hill between Frost Ridge and the homes of Cleere and Collins (the two plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits against Frost Ridge) would absorb all of the treble and mid-range of the music, while bass tones would bend some and carry over the hill.

The crickets, he said, would be louder.

That certainly seemed to be the case.

In their lawsuit against Frost Ridge, the Cleeres have claimed that they can't sit outside their home on concert nights, the noise is so loud, and that when they try to go inside and close the windows, the walls shake because of the noise.

The Town of Le Roy is pursuing a parallel suit against Frost Ridge.

Both suits allege that live music at Frost Ridge violates local zoning laws, even though the campgrounds owners, Greg and David Luetticke-Archbell, received a previous ruling from the Zoning Board of Appeals that the use is an allowable, prior nonconforming use (grandfathered in).

While the Town of Le Roy is not suing the ZBA, the town board does not agree with that ruling, or does not find it valid. The Cleeres and Collins suit names the ZBA as a co-defendant. 

Delays in the process have prevented a hearing on whether the ZBA decision was filed with the town clerk prior to April 6. That hearing will be held Aug. 21. If it's determined that ZBA decision was filed prior to April 6, it could invalidate the the lawsuits against Frost Ridge on statute of limitations grounds.

Because of the delay of the hearing and the financial toll to Frost Ridge with five previous shows cancelled by court order, Noonan lifted the restraining order for the Blackberry Smoke concert, but barred alcohol sales.

The next scheduled show is at The Ridge NY is Phil Vassar and the Morgan Twins, Aug. 23.

The slide show below also includes photos of Chris Weaver Band, one of Saturday's opening acts.

AUDIO: A recording taken during the concert last night at the corner of Conlon and Oatka Trail (mp3).

A seat front-and-center for the Blackberry Smoke set was auctioned off and $375 was raised for the Le Roy Fire Department. 

The decibel reader employed by a deputy to monitor noise levels at Conlon and Oatka Trail roads.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Woman reports car stolen after forgetting where she parked it last night

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

A caller reported her car stolen. A Le Roy officer responded to take a report and investigate. He requested a "be on the lookout for" to other units.

A few minutes later, the woman called back and apparently told dispatchers, "You know what, now that I think about it, I think I left the car at Scooter's last night."

The officer responded to Scooter's. The car is parked at Scooter's.

Must have been a wild night.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 3:35 am

Car-pole accident reported in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield

A car has hit a pole on Route 262 just east of Fisher Road. At least one person is injured. Oakfield fire responding with Mercy EMS. Mercy Flight on ground standby. 

UPDATE 4:20 a.m.: Patient is being transported to ECMC.

Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Four Muckdogs named All Stars

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

Press release:

The 2014 New York-Penn League All-Star roster will include four players from Batavia. They will send infielder Mason Davis, catcher Rodrigo Vigil and pitchers Michael Mader and Alex Carreras to the game to be held Tuesday, August 19th at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Davis, a 19th-round pick in the 2014 draft, has played in 41 games for the Muckdogs this year and has been among the league leaders in hitting all season. Davis currently ranks fourth in the league in hitting, with a .329 batting average, fourth in on-base percentage at .407 and third in OPS at .891.

Rodrigo Vigil was an undrafted free agent signing in 2009 and has started 20 games behind the plate for the Muckdogs this season. He is currently batting .254 with eight runs scored, four doubles and seven RBI’s. Vigil has been solid behind the plate this year for the Muckdogs, throwing out 46 percent of the runners who have attempted to steal on him.

A supplemental 3rd-round pick out of Chipola College in the 2014 draft, Mader has started nine games for Muckdogs in his first professional season. The left-hander has compiled an ERA of just 1.80 and has racked up 20 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched. Opposing batters are hitting just .192 against Mader so far this season.

Alex Carreras is in his third year of professional baseball and was a Minor League free agent signing in 2014. The left-hander has appeared in 15 games this year and is 5-2 with an ERA of 1.85. He has also recorded 27 strikeouts in his 34 innings of work and opposing batters are hitting just .220 versus Carreras this year.

Batavia currently holds the fourth-place spot in the Pinckney Division with a record of 24-30 and sit only five games out of the Wild Card. The Muckdogs sent five players to the 2010 All-Star game, six in 2011, five in 2012, and four players in 2013.

Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 10:51 am

Twenty-six arrests reported for Drake and Lil' Wayne concert

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

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and NYS DMV Investigators during the Drake/Lil’ Wayne concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Lamesa Frazier, 30, of Sixth Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with trespass after allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue after being told to leave several times. Frazier was arraigned in Darien Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Bryan L. Becker, 19, of Price Road, Livonia, is charged with trespass (two counts) and criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly reentering the venue three times after being ejected and told not to return each time. Becker was arraigned in Darien Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Gianna N. Cornman, 29, of Brinton Street, Buffalo, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, and trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue twice after being ejected and told not to return. Cornman was arraigned in Darien Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Samantha C. Escudero, 29, of Sixth Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return. Escudero was arraigned in Darien Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Michael H. Fronckowiak, 27, of Park Place, Buffalo, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly striking a CSC security guard. Fronckowiak was arraigned in Darien Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $300 bail.

Bryan A. Rosario, 19, of Locust Drive, Fairport, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th, after allegedly possessing more than 25 grams of marijuana.

Hannah J. McNamara, 20, of Lake Street, Angola, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, and trespass after allegedly re-entering the concert venue twice after being ejected and told not to return each time.

Timothy J. Fletcher, 21, of Westside Drive, Churchville, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, and trespass after allegedly entering the concert venue twice after being ejected and told not to return each time.

A 17-year-old of Edwards Road, Waterloo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

William G. Sulkowski, 19, of Ashley Drive, West Seneca, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Adam J. Hurd, 22, of East Genesee Street, Auburn, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Alicia R. Alagna, 18, of Tennyson Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jacob E. Fish, 19, of Saint Joan Lane, Cheektowaga, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Cooper W. Zurich, 17, of Wayneport Road, Macedon, is charged with harassment, 2nd, trespass and resisting arrest after allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue, pushing a Darien Lake employee and the resisting the arrest.

Emily N. Dory, 20, of Sweet Home Road, Amherst, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Rachel C. Andrews, 27, of Milford Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Alexander J. August, 19, of Kings Trail, Williamsville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

A 17-year-old of Kings Trail, Williamsville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

A 17-year-old of Kippen Drive, East Amherst, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

A 16-year-old of Westwood Drive, North Tonawanda, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Matthew P. Dimartino, 28, of Pickthorn Drive, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Alexander J. Schianl, 20, of Valewood Run Penfield, criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly jumping over a gate into the concert venue.

Dustin H. Waldeck, 22, of Graver Road, Niagara Falls, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching a Darien Lake Security guard in the face.

Katelyn R. Flanagan, 18, of Wolfboro Drive, Fairport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Terren N. Craig, 18, of Wilmuth Avenue, Lackawana, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

A 16-year-old of Washington Street, Salamanca, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

The following were issued tickets for alleged license violations:

Victoria M. McMahon, 20, Rochester
Lea C. Preller, 20, Rochester
Lavalle A. Walker, 20, Buffalo
16-year-old from Kenmore
Thomas G. White, 19, Lancaster
Kaira A. Koller, 18, Amherst
Elisebeth Anczok, 20, Niagara Falls
Austin J. Gieseke, 20, Livonia
Andrew J. Parrilli, 20, Pittsford
Joseph R. Arias, 18, Williamsville
Cody D. Herman, 19, Ontario, Canada
Melanie M. Glover, 19, Kenmore
Tyler R. Biedron, 19, Buffalo
Jessica R. Holmes, 19, Syracuse
Rachel V. Smith, 19, Niagara Falls
Jacob J. Monna, 19, Webster

Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

Muckdogs downed by Yankees 4-2

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

The Yankees are in town, and that helps. So does post-game fireworks. Either way, 1,500 baseball fans came out to Dwyer Stadium on Friday.

Alas, the Muckdogs lost, 4-2.

Sadly, that's been the trend for the hometown team recently. Batavia has lost seven of its last eight games. All low-scoring affairs.

At 24-30, the Miami Marlins affiliate is fourth in the Pinckney Division, trailing first place State College (now the Cardinals affiliate) by nine games.

Last night's game completed a three-game series with Staten Island, which gave local New York fans a chance to see some of the Yankees prospects, including 18-year-old catcher Luis Torrens. The Venezuelan was signed as a free agent by the Yankees at age 16, when he was considered one of the top two international prospects.

He's hitting .304 on the season, but Batavia pitching kept his bat silent in this series. His only hit came last night.

For the Muckdogs, second baseman Mason Davis continues to impress. He's hitting .329, fourth best in the league, and had two more hits Friday. 

John Norwood also had a two-hit game. Norwood is riding high after signing with the Marlins six days ago as a free agent. Norwood hit one of the few home runs in this year's College World Series, and the dinger propelled Vanderbilt to its first national championship in baseball. Norwood, who decided to forego his senior season to turn pro, is off to a hot start in three games, with four hits in 10 at bats.

Catcher Christopher Hoo, a 27th round draft pick out of Cal-Poly, also had two hits.

The losing pitcher was Scott Squier, a 16th-round draft pick in his first professional season. He gave up three earned runs in four innings. This was his second start. He's 1-2 in nine appearances with a 3.00 ERA.

New York Mets fans can come out to Dwyer Stadium the next three days to check out Mets prospects while the Brooklyn Cyclones are in town. Tonight's game will include post-game fireworks. Game time is 7 p.m. On the mound for the Mets tonight is Marcos Molina, a top-10 prospect who is 5-1 with a 1.27 ERA.

Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 12:37 am

Injury accident reported on Sumner Road,Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported in the area of 1499 Sumner Road, Darien. 

Darien fire and ambulance responding. 

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm

GCEDC to consider three projects at meeting Tuesday, including Batavia Shoes, LLC

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

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider three projects at its August 12, 2014, board meeting.

Muller Quaker Dairy is planning to improve its data infrastructure with a new enterprise backup and test environment solution, a project which would retain 143 jobs. The benefitted amount of project the GCEDC board can assist with is $185,000 and the total project incentive request is $14,800 for sales tax exemptions only. The board will consider a final resolution for the project.

Batavia Shoes LLC is planning to purchase the assets, manufacturing facility and client lists of PW Minor, a manufacturer and distributor of leather footwear and orthopedic products located in the City of Batavia. The board will accept the application for the project and consider an initial resolution.

Calamar is planning to build a 117,000-square-foot, three-story building that will house 110 senior apartment units, a lobby and common rooms in the Town of Batavia. The company is investing $11 million which will create up to 200 temporary construction jobs. The board will consider an initial resolution that will set a public hearing for the project.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at noon and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate Med & Tech Park -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, NY, on the 2nd floor, across from Genesee Community College.

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm

P.W. Minor saved by local investors

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, p.w. minor

We all expected P.W. Minor, one of Genesee County's oldest businesses, to close July 31.

That didn't happen.

Now it looks like the nearly 150-year-old shoemaker will be around for awhile longer yet.

Pete Zeliff and Andrew Young have purchased the assets of P.W. Minor and Sons and hope to soon to acquire rights to the P.W. Minor name so the company can continue selling shoes under that brand.

The new company will operate as Batavia Shoes, LLC, in the interim. 

There will be an official announcement of the deal Thursday, according to an invitation sent to local officials this morning by Genesee County Economic Development Center.

Zeliff is a local businessman known for his love of aviation. He is senior executive vice president and COO of EIF Renewable Energy Holdings, LLC, in Oakfield. He also branched into residential home development this year, building a housing community off Route 5 and Seven Springs Road in Batavia (the first house is nearly finished). Zeliff is a recent appointee to the GCEDC board.

Young is a local real estate broker and investor and was elected last year to the Genesee County Legislature. He is a member of the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp., a nonprofit agency of GCEDC.

The details of the purchase have not been released yet, but Zeliff and Young confirmed the purchase is taking place. They said they couldn't say more at this time.

"We're going to run this company going forward and we're going to grow it and expand it," Zeliff said. "Our goal is to bring manufacturing back to Batavia and expand it."

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Students complete week learning about aviation at Genesee County Airport

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, BEA, business, WNY Aviation Adventure Camp

A week of intense study and fun came to an end today for students of the Aviation Adventure Camp.

The annual week-long camp exposes students going into ninth through 11th grade to potential career options in aviation and is held at the Genesee County Airport.

It's sponsored by the Business Education Alliance of Genesee County.

Today's class ended with a short graduation ceremony after participants competed in a final model helicopter flying contest.

This is the fourth year for the camp.

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Marshalls in Batavia Towne Center announces grand opening Aug. 21

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Towne Center, business, Marshalls

Press release:

Marshalls, one of the nation’s largest off-price retailers with more than 900 stores currently operating in 43 states and Puerto Rico, will open a new store in Batavia on August 21, 2014. Marshalls shoppers in Batavia will find top-quality, on-trend fashions and the most sought-after designer brand names at unbelievable prices in ladies fashion, shoes, accessories, men’s apparel, home, juniors, kids apparel and accessories, luggage, beauty and more!

“The new Batavia store will be stocked with a new, fresh assortment of the designer and brand-name merchandise that shoppers love, every single week,” said Richard Sherr, president of Marshalls. “Our buyers are fashion experts with a keen sense of style and are passionate about finding the most coveted merchandise for our shoppers for so much less!”

GRAND OPENING

Join us on August 21st from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. to be part of the grand opening excitement and find the amazing deals for the whole family. Enjoy the festivities including giveaways, gift card prizes, and more. 

STORE FACTS & FEATURES

·      Location: Towne Center at Batavia

·      24,479 square feet

·      Regular store hours:

o   9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday

o   11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays

·      Designer fashion at unbelievable prices

·      THE CUBE: A hip, in-store boutique of contemporary fashions

·      Shoe Mega Shop: Featuring designer and brand-name shoes for the whole family

·      Bright and fresh in-store experience every time you shop

·      Single queue checkout for faster shopping

With over 10,000 new items arriving to the Batavia store every week, it’s like entering a whole new store with every visit. Unlike department store buyers who shop seasonally, our buyers are in the market weekly looking for merchandise opportunities. They work with more than 16,000 brands and designers annually in over 60 countries to offer a mix of top-quality, fashionable pieces from the most sought-after designer brands as well as unexpected treasures from around the world.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

In addition to providing a new shopping option for local residents, the new store will add approximately 60 full- and part-time jobs to the area.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

In celebration of its new Batavia location, Marshalls will contribute to the local community by presenting a $5,000 donation to Catholic Charities at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 21st 7:30 a.m. Marshalls also has national and local partnerships with charitable organizations around the country including JDRF and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Collins announces funding for volunteer fire departments, including Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, chris collins, NY-27

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $118,137 in federal funding for three local fire companies. The local fire companies are the Depew Fire Department, the Bergen Fire Department, and the Upper Mountain Fire Company. The grants were allocated through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which is designed to help first responders improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.

“Providing the necessary funding for our first responders is an excellent use of federal resources,” Congressman Chris Collins said. “Our local heroes need the proper resources to do their jobs and protect our communities. Many small fire companies are unable to purchase necessary equipment upgrades due to financial limitations. This funding will provide new breathing apparatus, nozzles and hoses, equipment to prepare for chemical fires and hydraulic rescue tools creating more efficient and effective first responders. I am proud I was able to help secure this money.”

Specifically, the funding will be used to purchase a new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) filling station for Bergen Fire Department. Depew Fire Company will use the funds to replace aging hoses and nozzles, some of which have not been upgraded since the 1960s, and purchase foam educators to better prepare for chemical fires. Upper Mountain Fire Company will purchase hydraulic rescue tools.

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 10:28 am

Photos: Mini Cooper tour passes through Downtown Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A couple hundred Mini Coopers passed through Batavia this morning as part of a cross-country tour from San Francisco to Boston. The tour is sponsored by Mini Cooper.

The group is planning a stop today in Le Roy at the Jell-O Museum.

UPDATE: Reader submitted photo of Mini Coopers parked at Le Roy HS.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Photos: GLOW Corporate Cup 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, 5K, GLOW Corporate Cup, sports

Chip O'Hara, from Auburn and representing First Niagara Bank, dusted the field in the GLOW Corporate Cup 5K race at Centennial Park today. O'Hara ran the race in 15.58.

About 700 runners and walkers entered the event.

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