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Howard B. Owens's blog

Friday, August 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Citywide housing rehabilitation program funded by New York

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, neighborhood improvement

New York has awarded a $400,000 grant to the City of Batavia to help low-income homeowners rehabilitate their residences.

The city applied for the grant from the New York State Office of Community Renewal after receiving more than 60 applications for rehabilitation help. The show of interest from low-income homeowners was essential to the grant process.

With the funds, the city will be able to help 15 to 20 property owners rehabilitate their homes.

Very-low income homeowners (under $24,500 annual income) will be able to receive up to $24,500 to pay for repairs, and moderate-low income households can receive 75-percent reimbursement on rehabilitation, up to $18,375.

The homes must be owner-occupied.

As soon as the final paperwork is received from the state, the city will notify all applicants on how to proceed with their request for assistance.

Friday, August 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Tax issue resolved, Margarita's set to reopen Saturday

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Jackson Street, margarita's

carlos_margaritas.jpg

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, shut down nine days ago over an alleged failure to pay state taxes, will reopen at noon, Saturday.

Owner Carlos Hernandez received the keys back to his restaurant today and was busy late this afternoon, working with his staff, getting the restaurant ready to reopen.

He said he's very happy to get the issue resolved.

Through an interpreter, Hernandez said the tax issue was an oversight.

"It was a misunderstanding with the accountants."

Tax officials claimed he owned more than $32,000 in unpaid sales and corporate taxes.

Hernandez hired an attorney to help him straighten the matter out and reached an agreement with New York so he could start serving fajitas and burritos again.

Hernandez also made a point of noting all the positive comments about Margarita's on The Batavian. He appreciates the support.

Friday, August 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

Police Beat: Drug Task Force busts alleged crack dealer

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

mug_william_butler.jpgWilliam J. Butler, 40, of 3 Vine St., Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and promoting prison contraband, 1st. Butler was taken into custody by members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force as part of an investigation into trafficking in crack cocaine in Batavia. Members of the task force, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and the Batavia Police Department executed a search warrant on Butler's residence. Butler was located in a vehicle on Route 33, Town of Batavia. As a result of the searches, Butler was allegedly found in possession of more than one-half ounce of crack cocaine. While being processed into Genesee County Jail, Butler was also allegedly found to have crack cocaine on his person. The total street value of the crack cocaine is estimated at $1,000. Additional charges may be pending. Butler was jailed with no bail.

Christopher Paul Rutherford, 26, of Cowan Road, Piffard, is charged with petit larceny. Rutherford is accused of giving away an oil change and tire rotation to a friend and fellow employee at 4133 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia.

Earl Shateek Anthony Lockhart, 18, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Lockhart is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Diane Mary Kotarski, 37, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. At 3:35 a.m., Kotarski allegedly grabbed a male victim by the neck and slammed him into a car window. Kotarski was arraigned and released and an order of protection was filed barring her from contact with the alleged victim.

Steven Michael Hauser, 41, of Stanridge Court, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hauser is accused of punching another person while inside the concert venue at Darien Lake. The alleged incident occurred at 10:45 p.m., Aug. 20.

Gerilynn Georgette Joannis, 43, of Stanridge Court, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Joannis is accused of punching another person while inside the concert venue at Darien Lake. The alleged incident occurred at 10:45 p.m., Aug. 20.

Friday, August 27, 2010 at 7:54 am

Today's Deals: South Beach, Settler's Carlson's, Clor's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Only recently reopened, a fine/casual dining atmosphere, offering steaks and seafood and daily specials. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Weddings, new babies, family portraits, pet portraits and group events -- preserve those memories with professional photographs. We have a $100 gift card for $50 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

SOLD OUT

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Double-header split keeps Muckdogs in pennant race

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball sports, Batavia Muckdogs

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The Batavia Muckdogs remain much in the hunt for the Pinckney division crown after taking three of four games from the Williamsport Crosscutters at Dwyer Stadium over two days of double-headers.

The series put the Muckdogs, now 37-27, three games ahead of Williamsport in the wild-card race.

Tonight at Dwyer, Batavia split the double-header, taking the first game 6-3 and dropping the second 2-1.

Nick McCully (3-2) picked up the win going six innings (of a seven inning game) giving up seven hits and three runs.

First-year pro Mike Reid picked up his second save dispensing of Williamsport in the seventh on quick three outs.

First baseman Victor Sanchez had three hits and scored twice, while catcher Audey Perez had two hits and two RBIs and Jon Rodriquez tripled and drove in two runs. Nick Longmire scored two runs.

In the second game, reliever Keith Butler was unable to protect a one-run lead in the seventh inning. Butler gave up two hits and two runs.

Batavia's lone run came on a lead off home run by Chris Edmondson. It was Edmondson's first homer as a Muckdog. He hit six earlier in the year with Johnson City. Edmondson is hitting .324 in 18 games with Batavia.

Batavia managed only three hits in the second game against three Williamsport pitchers.

Tomorrow the Muckdogs travel to Pennsylvania for the first of five straight games against State College (32-33). The final three games, starting Sunday at 5:05 p.m., are at Dwyer Stadium.

More pictures after the jump:

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Car stolen on Liberty Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A car was stolen a short time ago from in front of a business on Liberty Street.

A customer went into the business and found when she came back out that her 2009 Chevy Malibu was gone.

The color of the car is gray.

Batavia Police are responding.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Study of nursing home's future is on schedule, says county manager

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, nursing home

geneseecountynursinghome.jpg

An outside consultant's ongoing study of what Genesee County should do with its nursing home is proceeding as planned and on schedule, according to County Manager Jay Gsell.

The point needed to be made, Gsell said, because as the Center for Governmental Research works through its interviews, researchers are encountering questions and rumors about the status of the report.

The rumors have been as wild as suggesting that the county is looking at purchasing UMMC, which Gsell said isn't going to happen.

To remind everybody what CGR is up to, Gsell issued a "status report" to the local media today.

Full report after the jump:

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Grand Jury Report: Two burglary charges filed

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

The following indictments were filed last week by the Genesee County Grand Jury.

Nicholas S. Dellarocco is indicted on charges of burglary, 3rd, criminal mischief, 4th, and petit larceny. Dellarocco is accused of entering a business at 3 West Ave., Le Roy, on May 3 with the intention to commit a crime. He allegedly damaged doors and a cash register in the building. He also allegedly stole cash from the business.

Alan J. Delano is indicted on charges of burglary, 2nd, petit larceny, and three counts of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th. Delano is accused of entering a residence at 61 Myrtle St., Le Roy, with the intent to commit a crime. He is accused of stealing a flat-screen TV and a vase along with $30 cash on March 13. He is accused of possessing a credit card, a debit card and a public benefits card belonging to another person.

Crystal L. Goodrich indicted on charges of felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Goodrich is accused of driving a 2003 GMC on a public road in Pavilion on May 3 while intoxicated.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Tioga Invader Biggest Big Bertha scores in Downs Feature

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

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Press release:

BATAVIA, NY – In the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace on Wednesday at Batavia Downs, it was the Tioga Downs invader, Biggest Big Bertha, who sizzled the mile in 1:55.1 and took home the $4,500 top prize. The final time was just three ticks off the older mares track record.

Trained and driven by Rick Plano, Biggest Big Bertha made every pole a winning one but had to withstand a serious bid by 4/5 favorite Nora Lee and Kevin Cummings in deep stretch en route to a neck win. Artistry In Rhythm and Ken Holliday were up for third.

Biggest Big Bertha is a 9-year-old mare by Little Steven. She is owned by Marilee Keene. The fractions for the event were :29, :58.1 and 1:26.3.

Be sure to join us this weekend for exciting Live Racing promotions this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Batavia Downs Casino. Post time for Friday and Saturday is 6:40 PM. Friday evening is our annual Italian-American Night. On Saturday evening three lucky patrons will have a chance to win up to $1,000 as they enter the Cash Cube! Registration begins at 5 PM at Player’s Club.

Sunday marks the first matinee of the 64th Live Racing Season, with a post time of 1:15 PM. The famed Weiner Dog Races will follow Sunday’s racing action. The 56 dashing dachshunds will compete in 7 heats and take to the track shortly after the last harness race at approximately 4:20 PM.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Wiener Dogs highlight busy weekend at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press Release:

(Batavia NY) --- The always popular Wiener Dog Races will be featured as part of the Family Fun Day matinee at Batavia Downs Casino this Sunday August 29. First post time is 1:15 p.m.

There will be seven heats at the end of the 12-race harness card (about 4:20 p.m.) with a maximum of eight dogs each, followed by a “championship heat” between the winners of the seven qualifying events. The 100-yard event is staged on the track in front of the home stretch.

“The wiener dog races are very entertaining,” said Michael D Kane, Vice President of Operations and Live Racing. “We encourage the entire family to come out for this event on Sunday. It’s the perfect way to wrap up our family fun day of entertainment,” he added.

Mr Scribbles and Pringles the Clown will entertain the children from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in The Paddock Room. There will also be pony rides, $1 snow cones, Sahlen hot dogs and soda. A special clubhouse buffet will be featured for $7.95.

This year’s wiener dog race is sponsored by Petco on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia.

The weekend begins with Italian-American Night Friday evening when Oakfield Attorney Raymond Cianfrini is honored by The Downs as its Italian-American-of-the-Year. A special clubhouse buffet with an Italian flavor will be featured along with live music by the Formula Band.

Saturday night, three race fans will be drawn at random to enter the Casino’s Cash Cube and the chance to grab up to $1000 in cash. Sign-up begins at 5:00 at Player’s Club.

Batavia Downs Casino is owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Youths accused of Wiard Plow arson will move quickly through family court

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Wiard Fire, Wiard Plow

wiardcleanup01.jpg

For the three youths being hauled into family court on arson charges stemming from the Wiard Plow fire on May 8, justice -- such as it is -- will be swift.

Family court operates much faster than adult court, according to Assistant County Attorney Durin Rogers.

Rogers spoke on the condition that his comments not be construed as speaking specifically about the arson case, but in general about how family court operates and what a youth facing felony charges might expect. He is prohibited by law from talking about specific cases in family court, where all matters are kept confidential.

The outcome of a case such as this could range from conditional discharge, to two years probation, to placement in a limited-security facility for up to 18 months. 

That's as close as a youth charged with a felony might come to prison, unless the young offender committed one of a series of offenses eligible for juvenile offender status.

As a JO, a youth could be tried as an adult.

The charges in this case do not fall within that statutory definition, Rogers said.

Some cases, he said, are just seen as acts of juvenile delinquency.

Asked if the public will ever know the outcome of the case, Rogers said he couldn't comment.

Det. Todd Crossett told WBTA this morning that the arrest of the three 14-year-olds is the last the public will ever hear of the case.

As for the parents of youths in such cases, they face no charges tied directly to their children's actions, and are not technically financially liable for the damage caused by a minor to private property, Rogers said. 

In family court, there are hearings and respondents (called defendants in adult court) who receive legal respresentation. A convicted youth can be ordered to pay restitution, but not the parents, Rogers said.

That doesn't mean the property owner victimized by an act of vandalism can't sue the parents. But in order to sue them, the property owner would have to know who the youth was who committed the crime. Asked if there was a procedure for a property owner to find out the name of defendant in family court, Rogers said he couldn't comment on that.

Crossett told WBTA this morning that detectives don't believe the three youths meant to burn down a building.

"I don't think there was the thought when they went in there to say, 'Let's burn the whole thing down,'" Crossett said.

With the old wood and chemicals in the building, Crossett said the youths' fascination with fire became something too big too fast.

"I think the fire just got really out of hand really fast," Crossett said.

The foundations of the old factory buildings have been cleared of debris, as the pictures with this post show. Owner Tom Mancuso was not available to comment today on the future of the space.

As the chapter on the May 8 fire comes to a close, Mancuso's company is also pushing ahead with the Masse Gateway Project.

wiardcleanup02.jpg

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Local woman opens retail store in Harvester Center

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Harvester Avenue, Harvester Center

newbookstore.jpg

After a few years of being unemployed, Mary Holmes decided it was time to open her own store.

"I just finally got tired of working for other people," Holmes said.

The Batavia resident and Attica native owned a crafts store in Albany during her 25 years living there, but with her family's background in flea markets, it was natural that the store would carry a variety of used merchandise.

The primary focus, however, as the name of the store says, is books. The business name is Anything Goes Books and More. It is located in the Harvester Center right on Harvester Avenue.

Holmes has amazing, impressive array of items to sell, but as she expected, most of her customers to this point have been buying books.

She opened the store the first week of August.

And the outlet is a family affair. Some of the merchandise comes from her father's estate and her two bothers and sister help by going to garage sales and flea markets looking for more used items to sell in the store.

"I need the help," Holmes said. "I can't be out there picking stuff and be in here, too."

Right now, the store occupies three office-sized spaces in the Harvester Center. Holmes said it's her dream to see the store expand and carry even more items, or even when its doing well enough to move to Main Street.

She acknowledged that the Harvest Center is a little out of the way for some people, but with the recent addition of some other new businesses in the complex, it's helped her business a lot, she said.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Work begins on Masse Gateway Project

massedestruction.jpg

Construction -- or rather, destruction -- has begun on the Masse Gateway Project.

The project is intended to turn the old factory buildings of Masse-Harris/Harvester into modern office and light industrial space. The first phase involves knocking down the buildings at the end of Masse Place to create an entryway into the facility.

The project is expected to cost $3.1 million and is being partially funded by a $1.5 million RestoreNY grant. Mancuso Development Group, the property owner, will cover the balance of expenses.

The project is expected to lead to productive use of all the old factory buildings in the complex, as can be seen in the artist rendering below. Included in the concept was a portion of the old Wiard Plow factory building, which was destroyed in an alleged arson fire in May. A representation of the destroyed structure can be seen in the lower right of the rendering.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 11:44 am

Out of the hospital from accident in July, ATV driver charged with DWI

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, crime

A Holley man who suffered a head injury in an ATV accident last month was booked by State Police on drinking and driving charges Tuesday.

Twenty-five-year-old Keith A. Carpenter was among three ATV riders charged with DWI in connection with the July 18 accident at 6137 Merrill Road, Byron.

Carpenter was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight with head trauma and other injuries, according to Lt. David Denz. Tuesday was the first opportunity since Carpenter was released from medical care to book him on the charges.

According to Denz, Carpenter was riding an ATV and following Theodore C. Vierling, 21, of Holley, when Vierling slowed to make a turn. Carpenter didn't notice Vierling slowing and ran his ATV into the back of Vierling's ATV. Carpenter was ejected from his vehicle.

Vierling was not injured in the 8:03 p.m. accident but he was also charged with driving while alcohol impaired.

Carpenter was charged with DWI and operating with a BAC of .08 or greater.

Also charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater was Edward G. Kuhn, 20, of Holley. Kuhn was following Carpenter on his ATV, but not involved in the accident.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 8:59 am

Police Beat: Petco employee accused of writing more than grand in cash refunds to herself

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Sandra L. Chilano, 50, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Chilano is accused of writing out cash refunds to herself while employed at Petco. The total amount of cash refunds allegedly exceeded $1,000. The 11 separate alleged incidents occurred between June and August.

Debra J. Overton, 47, of Hague Street, Rochester, is charged with DWAI (drugs), aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and failure to keep right. Overton was stopped at 9 p.m., Monday, by Deputy Tim Wescott.

Dedra Ann Berg, 35, of Lasaille Avenue, Kenmore, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Berg is accused of going to the house of her boyfriend's victim on Overlook Drive, Batavia, in violation of an order of protection out of the Village of Kenmore. Berg reportedly has similar charges pending in the Village of Kenmore Court.

John Robert Douglas, 30, of Lasaille Avenue, Kenmore, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Douglas allegedly went to the house of a person on Overlook Drive, Batavia, whom he was ordered not to contact by the Town of Grand Island and Village of Kenmore courts.

UPDATE: On Monday, we reported the arrest of Brenda Lea Freida, 43, of Munger Road, Holley, on a DWI charge. Yesterday, the Democrat and Chronicle reported that Freida is a director of instruction in Holley Central Schools. The D&C reported that she is currently on a voluntary leave of absence. At the time of her arrest, Frieda had a pending case in Genesee County for a prior alleged DWI.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 8:20 am

Today's Deals: Delavan's, T.F. Brown's, Center Street, Matty's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

The Daily Grind, 85 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: For Batavia's finest coffee, smoothies, as well as fast and convenient breakfasts and lunches, stop into The Daily Grind. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Only recently reopened, a fine/casual dining atmosphere, offering steaks and seafood and daily specials. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

SOLD OUT

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Inmate in Batavia federal facility accused of operating illegal collection agency

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

An inmate at the federal detention facility in Batavia, who was already in trouble for reportedly using illegal tactics in debt collection, has been accused by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of operating a collection agency from inside the prison.

News report:

Lamont Cooper, 38, formerly of Lancaster, operated CMC Recovery Services, Inc., d/b/a Legal Action Recovery in Buffalo, from prison in violation of a May 2009 court order barring him from the collection industry, according to the felony complaint. He was barred after an earlier investigation determined his business regularly used threats and intimidation against consumers.

The complaint alleges that Cooper’s collectors routinely pose as law enforcement and threaten to arrest consumers unless they make arrangements to pay the company immediately. The complaint further alleges Cooper’s involvement in the scheme continued after he was taken into federal custody in October 2009 for being found in violation of the terms of his release from a 1997 drug conviction.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Photos: Norte Dame football practice

post by Howard B. Owens in football, photos, sports

ndpractice05a.jpg

There's been something in the air the past couple of days that has the feel of "fall is almost here." Perhaps it's the drop in humidity.

Fall, of course, means more than gold, brown and yellow leaves. It also means football.

For local high school programs, practices are now in full swing.

The first games of the season are scheduled for Sept. 3.

On that date, Holley will be at Oakfield-Alabama for a 7 p.m. game; Hornell will be in Batavia for a non-league game at 7 p.m.; In another non-league match up, Le Roy is in Livonia at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Attica visits Notre Dame for a 1:30 p.m. league match up. Also at 1:30, Pembroke is at Alexander and Barker is at Elba/Byron-Bergen.

More pictures from today's practice for the Notre Dame squad after the jump:

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