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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Le Roy resident sentenced in federal court for drug dealing

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

A Le Roy-based drug dealer must spend two years in federal prison, a U.S. District Judge in Rochester decided today.

Edgardo Guzman, 33, was convicted in February 2008 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, who handled the case, stated that a joint federal and local investigation revealed that Guzman was responsible for obtaining as much as 3.5 kilograms of cocaine from a drug trafficking network in Rochester and distributing those drugs to others in the Rochester area from 2002 to 2005.

The investigation also revealed that between November 2003 and February 2004, the defendant possessed a semi-automatic pistol after being previously convicted of a drug felony in 2002.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Downtown merchants report they had a Merry Christmas

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

valles.jpg

It wasn't just sleigh bells you heard ringing in the days before Christmas. It was also cash registers.

Downtown merchants say they are quite pleased with their 2010 holiday season and hope it means there are good things to come in 2011.

"The numbers aren't official, but it was probably our strongest Christmas in a couple of years," said Greg Gluck, owner of Alberty Drugs. "It was certainly better than last year and probably better than the year before, which is probably a good sign for everyone."

Besides filling prescriptions, Alberty sells gift items and greeting cards.

dave_howe.jpgOwners of The Enchanted Florist, Charles Men's Shop, Glass Roots, Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, Valle Jewelers and 3D Wine and Spirits all say sales were up a bit this year, though nobody is saying "Wow, I can't believe how great it was!"

But any improvement over the past few years is a welcome sign that at last some people have money to spend and they're spending it.

"The top shelf wines sold and the wines on the bottom shelf sold, but the wines in the middle didn't sell as much," said 3D's owner, Dave Buchholtz. "The people who have the money are spending it, and the people who don't, aren't."

At Charles Men's Shop, owner Dave Howe agrees to a point. He said 2010 was a good improvement over 2009's Christmas season, but he said he heard from a lot of customers who were looking for quality from a local shop. He said people seem tired of overpriced, overhyped "buy one get six free" sales.

"People are less apt to drive all over the countryside," Howe said. "They gave us a shot first to see if we can help."

Next door, at The Enchanted Florist, Kathy Saile, said Christmas sales were up and met her expectations for the season.

dave_buchholtz.jpg"We didn't have any product left over and we were able to make all of our deliveries," Saile said.

At Adam Miller, people came in looking for bikes, hobby items, puzzles and unique toys you just can't get in the chain stores, said John Roche.

"The last two weeks we were swamped," Roche said. "It was way better than what I expected."

The strong sales locally matches reports of strong holiday sales nationally. The New York Times reports:

After a 6-percent free fall in 2008 and a 4-percent uptick last year, retail spending rose 5.5 percent in the 50 days before Christmas, exceeding even the more optimistic forecasts, according to MasterCard advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks retail spending.

The rise was seen in just about every retail category. Apparel led the way, with an increase of 11.2 percent. Jewelry was up 8.4 percent, and luxury goods like handbags and expensive department-store clothes increased 6.7 percent.

There was even a slight increase in purchases of home furniture, which had four consecutive years of declining sales. The figures include in-store and online sales.

The day before Christmas, Valle's Jewelers was packed with customers, and co-owner Mary Valle said the store was busy throughout the holiday season.

The store ran several promotions and advertised heavily for Christmas shopping, Valle said, and it seemed to pay off.

"We saw many new people in the store," Valle said. "People wanted to shop in the county and they verbalized it."

Advertising also paid off for Jeremy Almeter, owner of Glass Roots. For the first time in the five-year history of his business, he ran advertising -- exclusively in The Batavian -- promoting his handmade glass Christmas ornaments.

"For the first time, we sold out of ornaments," Almeter said. "We saw at least 20 faces in the store we'd never seen before."

Top: Mary Valle and Kamilla Kabel. Kabel, the former owner of House of K, is helping out at Valle's.Top inset, Dave Howe; bottom, Dave Buchholtz.

WBTA's Geoff Redick contributed to this story.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 10:32 am

Police Beat: Man charged in alleged domestic case

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

Haven J. Armstrong, 26, of 25 Harvester Ave., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stem from an alleged domestic incident on Summit Street at 6:40 p.m., Monday. Armstrong was jailed on $1,500 bail.

James Kenneth Goodenow, 39, of South Academy Street, Wyoming, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. Goodenow was taken into custody on a bench warrant from Town of Stafford Court after being turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office by Monroe County deputies.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 10:08 am

Largest turnout ever for free Christmas dinner at T.F. Brown's

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, T.F. Brown's

More than 320 area residents were served a Christmas Day dinner at T.F. Brown's, making it the largest turn out for the annual free meal in the event's 22-year history, according to an announcement by organizers.

Toys were given to more than 140 children.

The annual event, open to anyone in the community, is hosted by Rick, Ben and Mark Mancuso and Joe Teresi with the support of the Batavia Lion's Club.

The meal is a traditional holiday supper with all of the trimmings.

In past years, two seatings were sufficient to meet the demand, but this year, three seatings were required.

The meal was prepared by the staff of T.F. Brown's.

Also contributing to the event this year were Jeffrey “the breadman” Condidorio; Kathy Pettinella of Flower City Produce; US Food Service; Sysco and Jocobstein.

Monday, December 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Weather: Light snow now, wind later, chance of snow continuing

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

ladyinsnow.jpg

If you haven't done so, look out your window. It's snowing. One of those pretty snow showers -- not too heavy, big fluffy flakes.

This looks like it will last until 1:30, maybe 2 p.m., then winds of about 20 mph pick up.

There's some chance of snow through tomorrow, but no major storm fronts predicted -- yet.

Monday, December 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

Police Beat: Harassment arrest made on Christmas Day

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

Randy Johnson, 22, of 110 Walnut St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Johnson is accused of striking a family member during a domestic dispute at 11 a.m., Saturday.

Kurtis J. Worthington, 29, of Broadway Street, Rochester, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI and moving from lane unsafely. Worthington was stopped at 7:35 p.m., Friday, on Route 33 in Stafford by Deputy Matt Butler.

Monday, December 27, 2010 at 10:13 am

Today's Deals: Larry's, Kravings, Adam Miller, Blue Pearl and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for three weeks of yoga or Tai Chi, 3 classes, a $36 value, for $18.

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.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: What better way to brighten your home or office for the holidays than with flowers? We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; new all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have $20 gift certificates for $10.

Scratch Bakery, 24 Main St. Le Roy, NY: A real bakery right in Genesee County. Scones, cookies, cakes, breads, rolls and more. Call ahead, 297-2441, for availability or special orders. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's, a great place for pizza, wings, subs -- eat in, take out or delivery. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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

The Enchanted Florist

Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Rollover accident reported on Townline Road, Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in accident

A one-car rollover accident has been reported in teh area of 7133 Townline, Bergen.

Two women in the car are out and walking around, but may have suffered minor injuries.

Bergen Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.


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Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Photo: Tree of Route 33, Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in photos

tree_route33.jpg

On my way back from Rochester this evening, I stopped along Route 33 in Bergen and took this picture.

Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 10:05 am

Christmas Day Poll: Which is your favorite Christmas light display?

post by Howard B. Owens in Christmas lights

Nominations for this poll are based on what I was able to get out and photograph, and of those, my favorites.

This year's Christmas light pictures can be purchased by clicking here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 9:39 am

One car rollover accident reported on the Thruway

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, thruway

A one vehicle rollover accident has been reported on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 392.

The driver is not injured, but unable to get out of her car.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:43 a.m.: A fire chief reports roads are slick and icy. Also, the driver has gotten herself out of the vehicle. She's seems to be injured.

Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 9:18 am

Photos: Jaycee's Christmas lights winners

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Area Jaycees, Christmas lights

Most Colorful - 8485 Stringham Drive.JPG

Joseph Richmond of the Batavia Area Jaycees submitted this pictures of the group's annual Christmas lights contest winners.

Above, Most Colorful - 8485 Stringham Drive.

More pictures after the jump:

Friday, December 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Police Beat: A DWI arrest

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford

Clinton James Laporte, 22, of Prole Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to stop and insufficient tail lamps. Laporte was stopped at 2:52 a.m. on South Lake Street, Bergen, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Friday, December 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Today's Deals: Red Osier, Delavan's, Settler's, Alex's, Larry's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Red Osier, Route 5, Stafford, NY: Truly, one of the landmark restaurants of the area. Red Osier features prime rib carved table side. We have $25 gift certificates 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Batavia Downs Grandstand Bar & Grille, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: A full menu, salad bar and drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

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.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; new all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have $20 gift certificates for $10.

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.

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.

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, December 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Work begins to form Genesee Justice Foundation

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Justice

With a $2,000 donation from an unnamed local attorney, the Genesee Justice Foundation has been born.

At a meeting on Dec. 17, according to a press release, nine community members gathered to start the process of forming a nonprofit corporation in order to raise money to pay for a fully functional restorative justice program in Genesee County.

The pioneering program was threatened with elimination earlier because of the county's' budget crunch. The program was saved, at least temporarily, when director Ed Minardo offered to accept a layoff and current Genesee Justice staff members agreed to reduced hours.

The cuts eliminated approximately $100,000 in expenses, giving Genesee Justice at least a one-year reprieve.

The initial donation will help cover start-up costs for the foundation.

Anyone interested in joining the effort to save Genesee Justice, or to donate, can contact Jane Schmider, (585) 738-8292.

For previous coverage, click here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Byron-based drug dealer given two years in federal prison

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, crime

A Genesee County man will spend 24 months in federal prison for drug dealing, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo announced today.

Kenneth E. Munnings, 45, of Byron, was convicted in July in Federal Court of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

The charges stemmed from a join federal, state and local wiretap investigation, which revealed the defendant was responsible for obtaining significant quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana from a drug trafficking network in Rochester and then distributing the drugs in Genesee County.

Prosecutors say Munnings dealt drugs from some time in 2006 until October 2008.

Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Woman admits in federal court to forging employer's checks

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Batavia woman faces up to 10 years in federal prison after admitting in a Buffalo court today that she forged more than 100 business checks, pocketing more than $85,000.

Deborah Dutton, 55, entered a guilty plea to a charge of check forgery.

Dutton was accused in October of making out checks to herself and others for her benefit, drawn on her employer's business account.

Sentencing is set for 9 a.m., April 11, in Buffalo.

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