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Howard B. Owens's blog

Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 10:14 am

Muckdogs in the hunt, will get some pitching help

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

On a day when the Batavia Muckdogs picked up an important fifth-straight win in a tight Pinckney Division race, the team learned another strong arm is on its way.

Seth Blair, a first-round supplemental draft pick for the St. Louis Cardinals has agreed to terms and will report to Batavia. Blair, 21, was the 46th player taken overall in the June draft.

He was 12-1 in 18 starts this season at Arizona State University with a 3.64 ERA. He struck out 108 batters and walked 29. He won the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year award.

The Muckdogs, who have been hot in July, picking up 15 wins, are one game behind Williamsport and tied with Jamestown for second place in the Pinckney Division.

The Jammers play the Muckdogs at Dwyer tonight, 7:05 game time, and then the teams travel to Jamestown tomorrow for a twi-nite double header.

Last night, the Muckdogs kept their win streak going by scoring two runs in the 10th inning (after giving up a run in the top of the 10th) to pull out an 8-7 victory over Auburn.

Outfielder Jon Edwards, who's in his fourth stint with Batavia and has struggled since a strong 2008 campaign (helping the Muckdogs win the NY-Penn League championship), had a big night Friday, hitting a home run and driving in three runs.

Joey Bergman had two hits and three RBIs while first-year pro Victor Sanchez, playing first base, had four hits and scored three times (hitting ahead of Edwards and Bergman). Nick Longmire had two hits.

The final run of the game came on a wild pitch allowing Mike O'Neill to score from third.

Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 9:41 am

After 35 years of guiding GCC, Stuart Steiner steps down

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, education, GCC

mug_stuart_steiner.jpgStuart Steiner, Ed.D, longtime president of Genesee Community College, is retiring.

Steiner, who has overseen much of the growth of the college, served for 35 years. He was the college's third president and began his career at the college in 1968 as Dean of Students.

When Steiner first went to work for GCC, the college was located on West Main Street Road in what is now known as County Building #2. In 1972, GCC moved to its present location and Steiner oversaw its expansion into the multi-dimensional campus it is today.

At a recent board meeting, trustees remarked on the most recent successes of GCC -- a new Med-Tech building on campus, record enrollment and outstanding academic achievement, and Steiner said he realized now would be an appropriate time for him to step down.

Steiner said he plans to stay in the area and has no specific plans for retirement, except to spend more time with his grandchildren.

"Our academic programs, and our faculty and staff, are outstanding," he said. "We now have over 100 recipients of the SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. Enrollment is healthy, this year hitting record-high numbers in the fall, spring and summer sessions, and projected to grow again next year.

"Our financial situation is strong, and our facilities are in very good shape. We completed all of the targeted new construction and renovation projects that we planned ... I believe that Genesee is very well-poised for the future, and I am very comfortable leaving the challenges of leadership to a new president."

Full press release after the jump:

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Photos: Griswold Road barn

post by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, Stafford

griswoldbarn02.jpg

When I got my new camera, one of the first barns I went out and photographed was on Griswold Road in Stafford.  

I was actually never really satisfied with the results, so I've been looking for a chance to try it again. Yesterday, with clouds in the sky and bales of hay on the ground, it seemed like a good time to give it another try. These two pictures are the result.

And after the jump, two other previously photographed subjects.

griswoldbarn.jpg

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Genesee ARC sponsors 'Ginormous' garage sale

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee ARC

genarc_sale.jpg

Genesee ARC sponsored what it dubbed a "Ginormous" garage sale at its new Woodrow Road community center. By the time I got there, the crowd had pretty much thinned out, but Trilateral Commissioner Sandy Konfederath said they had a big crowd this morning and the sale went well.

NOTE: The sale continues Saturday, July 31. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Police Beat: Two men charged in alleged sex crimes

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Le Roy, pembroke

mug_homer.jpgDavid D. Homer (photo), 40, of 7 North St., Le Roy, is charged with disseminating indecent material to minors, 2nd, a Class E felony. Homer is accused of sending indecent photographs of himself using a mobile phone to a 17-year-old person. He was arraigned and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

Erik P. Roth, 40, of 7595 Bank St. Road, Elba, has been indicted by the Genesee Grand Jury on three felonies and two misdemeanors. Roth is charged with two counts of sexual abuse 1st, course sexual conduct against a child, 2nd, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Roth is accused of having sexual contact with a child under 11 years old. The alleged crimes occurred in Elba between November 2004 and March 2006.

Michael Patrick Tanner, 18, of Hopkins Road, Getzville, is charged with unlawful dealing with fireworks. Tanner is accused of possessing illegal fireworks and shooting them from a car traveling on West Main Street Road, Batavia, at 11:48 p.m., Thursday. Tanner was reportedly later located in East Pembroke.

A 16-year-old resident of Maple Street, Batavia, has been charged with criminal mischief. The youth is accused of punching a hole in the wall of the Department of Social Services at about 8:30 a.m., Thursday. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed on $2,500 bail.

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

Muckdogs hot July puts them in contention

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

In second place, a game behind Williamsport, with a four-game winning streak and a 11-3 record so far in July, the Batavia Muckdogs return home tonight to face Auburn.

Fireworks will follow the game, which starts at 7:05.

The 22-16 Muckdogs beat Auburn (15-25) in Auburn last night, 8-3.

Hot-hitting Audris Perez doubled in three runs and Joey Bergman added two RBIs.

Fifth-round draft pick Nicholas Longmire is 6th in runs scored (27), 6th in triples (4), tied for second in home runs (7), tied for first in RBIs (36), 5th in total bases (74), 1st in slugging (.578)

Perez is third in RBIs with 31 and 6th batting average (.346).

The Muckdogs feature two starting pitchers among the league leaders in ERA (Justin Edwards, 2.04, and Nick McCully, 2.31). Edwards, in his second tour with Batavia, is 3-1 for the season.

Starter Andrew Moss, who tossed seven perfect innings earlier this month, has four wins, tying him for third in the league, with a 3.54 ERA. Edwards and Moss are tied for 10th in the league with 34 Ks each.

The Muckdogs take on Jamestown at Dwyer on Saturday, and then travel to Jamestown for a twi-night double-header against the Jammers, returning home Monday to face Mahoning Valley.

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 10:49 am

Wires down on Trumbull Parkway

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

City Fire is responding to 7 Trumbull Parkway for a report of wires down.

Law enforcement is in route, too.

It's unknown if they are electrical.

UPDATE 10:55 a.m.: Telephone lines only. City Fire back in service.


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Friday, July 30, 2010 at 9:38 am

Today's Deals: Delavan's, Larry's, Kravings, Mane Attraction 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.

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.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kraving's offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

The Mane Attraction, 99 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Mane Attraction is a spa and salon offering pedicures, manicures, hair styling and massage. We have a $20 gift certificate 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Mane Attraction, 99 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Mane Attraction is a spa and salon offering pedicures, manicures, hair styling and massage. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Herbly Wonderful, 3701 Pearl St., Batavia, NY: Unique specialties for your home and garden, from floral arrangements, to heirloom vegetables, herbs, teas and spices. 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.

Herbly Wonderful


Friday, July 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

Person flees scene of rollover accident on Reservation

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation

There is a rollover accident on Council House Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

There was initially a report of a serious injury and Mercy Flight was being dispatched.

There is also a report that a person has fled from the scene.

Alabama Fire and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE: A first responder says there is nobody in the vehicle.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Dryer fire reported in Darien Center

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, fire

darienfire02a.jpg

A gas dryer is reportedly on fire at 1325 Broadway, Darien Center.

There is no structure fire at this time.

Darien Fire and Alexander Fire have been dispatched.

UPDATE 4:42 p.m.: It is now a structure fire. Corfu is also responding. Flames reported on the outside of the building.

UPDATE 4:48 p.m.: Broadway and Route 77 are being shut down. Batavia's Fast team is being dispatched.

UPDATE 6:18 p.m.: Firefighters continue to battle hotspots inside the house. The amount of smoking billowing from out of the attic has subsided substantially, but there's clearly still fire burning in the interior. In addition to Darien, Corfu and Alexander, companies from Alexander, Alden and Bennington are on scene. Route 5 remains closed, though 77 is open.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: All units back in service.

UPDATE: More pictures after the jump.

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darienfire03.jpg


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Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 11:11 am

Prison time ordered for man with lengthy criminal record

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield

A man who admitted in July that he tried to steal a truck from a local car dealership will spend two to four years in prison.

He will also be given a chance at rehabilitation for substance abuse.

Carl Rivers, 41, apparently obtained a 2000 Chevy Silverado from an Oakfield car dealership, drove it until it broke down, and took some money that was supposed to go toward purchase of the vehicle and used it to buy drugs.

Rivers admitted on July 1 to attempted grand larceny, 4th.

For the purposes of sentencing, it was his second felony offense. The first was a burglary charge in Orleans County in 1996. That conviction falls within the 10-year limit for a predicate felony because of time Rivers spent in jail in the intervening years.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini told Judge Robert C. Noonan that Rivers had a lengthy criminal record with numerous arrests in several states, but Public Defender Gary Horton noted that Rivers' arrests in North Carolina and California did not lead to convictions.

Horton said all of Rivers' difficulties with the law can be traced to his substance abuse.

"Mr. Rivers has reached point in life where he knows he must change where he is going," Horton said. "He must address the substance abuse problem or he’s going to spend the rest of his life bouncing in and out of penal institutions, and he doesn’t want that to happen."

Prior to sentencing, Rivers acknowledged he had a substance abuse problem and said he wasn't interested in making excuses.

"I want to deal with my addiction," Rivers said. "I don't want to say being in jail is easy, but doing time isn't hard. Anybody can do it. Dealing with my addiction is what I’m ready to do."

Noonan said it was important to ensure Rivers, with his record, spend some time in prison, but he also ordered him to participate in a CASAT substance abuse program, if he is accepted.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

Batavia Sports Park has room to grow

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Sports Park, Batavia Turf, recreation, sports

bataviasportspark.jpg

When loyal Batavian Bea McManis visited Hornell for a horseshoe tournament she was impressed with what she found -- a city-sponsored, championship-caliber facility that brought in people from all over the state to stay in local hotels and eat in local restaurants.

In a comment on The Batavian, she also noted Hornell annually closes down Main Street for a basketball tournament.

"In my opinion, Batavia is shortsighted when it comes to utilizing its best asset," Bea wrote. "We are located in a perfect spot to make the city a mecca for recreational events such as Hornell had over the weekend."

Ted Hawley shares the vision.

A couple of years ago he approached Craig Yunker, owner of Batavia Turf, about letting him organize soccer tournaments on the grass he grows.

After ironing out some details with the Town of Batavia, Hawley and Yunker opened the Batavia Sports Park off Bank Street Road.

The Town of Batavia chipped in $41,000 to lease the land from Yunker and provide an entrance and gravel parking lot.

"We already know just on that first tournament, the pay back," said Town of Batavia Board Member John Gerace. "We don't know dollars yet but we'll be looking at some numbers on what the pay back is to the town and Genesee County and the city."

This spring, Hawley attracted two significant soccer events to the new sports park -- an Olympic team camp and an Empire United Soccer Academy event.

But Hawley's vision doesn't stop with soccer -- he sees no reason that the facility can't become a major stopping off point for tournaments, camps and clinics for lacrosse, baseball and softball and any other sport.

He would like to see expanded facilities and more fields.

"In my wildest dreams, this could really be a great product between Rochester and Buffalo," Hawley said.

And Yunker is certainly open to expansion. He pointed to a cornfield and said, "we could put another three soccer fields there and another three in the next field over."

"There's 74 acres here," Yunker added.

Nobody's yet talking about the dollars and cents to make it happen, but the town board visited the facility Wednesday to see what some of the immediate issues are, which include some sort of shelter for players and parents (protection during storms), expanded parking and a second access point to Bank Street Road, so there would be only one way in, and one way out for drivers.

Even as board members Hawley and Yunker expressed pleasure and awe at all of the families making use of the facility on Wednesday, Yunkers noted that the future of the Sports Park isn't a done deal.

"The town hasn’t committed past this year. I haven’t committed past this year," Yunker said. "This is sort of a see-how-it-develops and see-if-the-community-supports-it and see-if-it-makes-sense."

Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 9:19 am

Police Beat: Harassment charge filed

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba

Max Louis Orr, 55, of Barrville Road, Elba, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Barr allegedly punched another person the chest during an argument.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 9:15 am

Town Board approves lower speed limit on road passing GCC

post by Howard B. Owens in Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive, batavia, GCC

hawleydrive.jpg

Get ready to drive slower on Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive.

The Town of Batavia board approved a resolution Wednesday asking for a speed-limit reduction on the road that passes between Genesee Community College and the new Med-Tech Center.

The entire length of Hawley Drive will see a lower speed limit, if the proposal is approved by the County Highway Department and the Department of Transportation.

Directly between the college campus and the new facility, the speed limit will drop from 45 to 30 mph. From Bank Street Road to the college, the speed limit could be lowered from 55 to 40 mph.

The change was made at the request of GCC.

In a letter to the board, Kevin Hamilton, VP of Finance and Operations, said increased enrollment, the new nursing program at the Med-Tech Center, and more patients from UMMC going to the facility will be an increase in traffic.

The school is also concerned about students walking from the campus, across the road, to the center.

"Our overall goal is safety awareness and accident prevention to ultimately improve safety for all those who are driving, bicycling or walking near our college community," Hamilton wrote.

A letter to the board from Sheriff Gary Maha said the Genesee County Traffic Safety Board discussed the matter at its June 17 meeting and concluded that no new crosswalks or sidewalks were needed immediately, but a reduction in the speed limit might be advisable.

The town board recommended the speed-limit reduction in a unanimous vote.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Decorated veteran, volunteer firefighter honored in Alabama

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama

cortright01.jpg

A man who was a hero to his country and his community was laid to rest in Alabama this afternoon.

Thomas CortrightThomas Alan Cortright, 56, of Basom, died Sunday at his residence after a lengthy illness.

Cortright received the the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving in Vietnam in 1972-73. He was also Fire Police captain for the Town of Alabama Volunteer Fire Department and worked as grounds keeper for the State Police barracks in Batavia.

"He may have been the most decorated veteran in Genesee County," said Ron Konieczny, commander of Batavia's American Legion post.

At least 100 people attended his burial shortly after noon in the Town of Alabama cemetery, including numerous members of Alabama Fire and volunteer firefighters from throughout the county. Friends, family and fellow veterans also attended.

Cortright was honored with a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps while his mother, Eleanor Sullivan Cortright, and his wife, Mary Ann Brodfuerer Cortright, sat beside his flag-draped casket.

For the full obituary, and a complete list of all his military honors, click here.

cortright02.jpg

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Alleged credit card larcenist also accused of violating probation

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

mug_kyle_monroe.jpgKyle Christopher Monroe is facing a charge of grand larceny, 4th, but today he was in Genesee County Court on another matter -- alleged violation of probation.

Monroe, who was accused most recently of taking credit cards from parked cars on Gateway Drive and using them to buy merchandise at stores on Veteran's Memorial Drive, is accused of missing probation appointments and not providing probation with a correct home address.

Of course, the grand larceny charge is also an alleged violation of probation.

Monroe was convicted of possession of stolen property in an unrelated incident and was placed on probation.

In October, 2009, Monroe was found driving an allegedly stolen Caravan. The next month, County Manager Jay Gsell reportedly saw Monroe trying to evade capture after allegedly trying to steal a car.

Apparently Monroe had a pretty recognizable face once a picture of him leaving a local retailer, where he allegedly used stolen credit cards to make a purchase, was posted by The Batavian and WBTA1490.com. Batavia Police reportedly received a number of phone calls identifying Monroe as a suspect.

On the probation charge, bail was set at $10,000. Bail on the grand larceny charge, which is being heard in Batavia City Court, was previously set at $5,000.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 11:43 am

Case delayed for man charged with public lewdness

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Suzanne Corona

Justin Amend, that man allegedly caught with his pants down in Farrall park, appeared in Batavia City Court today only to be told to reappear on Aug. 9.

There is no plea offer in the case yet.

Amend, an Oakfield resident, is charged with public lewdness, a Class B misdemeanor, for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with Suzanne Corona. Corona still faces adultery and public lewdness charges.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl requested an evaluation of Amend by a counselor before he would make a plea offer.

Zickl has not had a chance to review the evaluation report yet, and he was unavailable for a court appearance today.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 11:35 am

Man with 26-year-old ticket finally appears in City Court

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Court, crime

Peter Nasca will finally pay his debt to society.

For 26 years, the Florida resident has been tagged by Batavia City Court as a "scofflaw."

Since 1984, his New York license has been suspended and he's had an unpaid traffic ticket.

That hasn't stopped him from making his living as a truck driver, and even hauling loads through his former home state, but then he didn't know -- he says -- that he was a wanted man.

"All these years, nobody ever caught it," Nasca said after appearing in court. "Even when I do my FBI background check every year, they never caught it."

Apparently, law enforcement in Missouri is a little more on the ball. During a routine inspection of his rig, an officer said, "Oh, by the way, you can't drive in New York."

"What?" was Nasca's jaw-dropping response.

His Florida driver's license allowed him to drive in any state in the union, but New York wanted him to pay his fine, which is $180 for allegedly driving on a revoked driver's license in 1984.

Nasca, a native of Buffalo, was a Tonawanda resident at the time.

(Nasca is spelled like NASCAR, he said, "but without the money.")

Nasca did appear in City Court in 1984 and entered a not guilty plea. He eventually forgot about the charge and figured there was a statue of limitations on it. But there wasn't.

In 1984, Judge Robert Balbick was the prosecuting attorney in City Court, though he doesn't remember if he appeared on the Nasca case. Even so, he had to recuse himself, so Nasca's case was adjourned to Aug. 3, when Judge Michael Delplato can hear the matter.

As for his suspended license, he cleared that up today by filling out some paperwork. He didn't have to pay a fee because in 1984 there was no fee for a "Scoff."

City Court Clerk Linda Giambrone said there are scoff cases on file at City Court going back to the 1970s. They will never be purged and the scofflaws could still be hauled into court.

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