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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Fire police volunteer calls in alleged hit-and-run

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A Fire Police volunteer called in an alleged hit-and-run accident somewhere in the vicinity of West Saile Drive and Bank Street Road.

The volunteer pursued the vehicle, described as a Chevy Blazer, and the Blazer stopped outside of the city on Bank Street Road in a church parking lot.

A Sheriff's Deputy is in route.

The volunteer says the Blazer suffered heavy front-end damage.

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Photos: Holiday lights in Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in Christmas lights, photos, Stafford


Brian Hillabush started the "tradition" two years ago, and I did my best to continue it last December -- that is, posting pictures of local homes bedecked in Christmas lights.

As time permits between now and Christmas, I'll head out in the evenings in search of Christmas light pictures of homes and businesses (because of the time factor, probably, primarily in Batavia).

Above, a home on Route 5 in Stafford and below, Red Osier, in Stafford.


Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Hit-and-run accident reported on South Main near roundabout

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

A hit-and-run accident with injuries has been reported in the area of South Main and the roundabout, Batavia.

Police are on scene and Mercy EMS is arriving.

No description provided of the suspect vehicle.

UPDATE 5:24 p.m.: A second ambulance requested to the scene. Still no description available on the suspect vehicle. It sounds like there might have been a total of three vehicles involved.

UPDATE 5:48 p.m.: It sounds like a Monte Carlo is being impounded.

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Truck reportedly on fire on Tonawanda reservation

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

A truck fire has been reported in the area of 271 Council House Road, Basom.

Alabama Fire is responding.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: An Akron firefighter on scene reports the truck is fully involved. He also says the correct address is 7003 Council House Road. An Alabama chief arriving on scene confirms the address.

UPDATE 5:02 p.m.: Alabama chief says units can respond non-emergency. The truck isn't near a building.

UPDATE 5:11 p.m.: All Alabama units are clear.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Weather Watch: Dec. 5, 2010

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

We'll update this post periodically with anything we hear that seems related to the weather.

First, it's in Monroe County, but about 20 minutes ago Le Roy Fire and Bergen Fire responded to an accident on the 490. It was a non-injury rollover accident in the median. Fire units are clearing the scene.

Now, a property damage accident is reportedly blocking Route 33 at Dublin Road.

UPDATE 5:12 p.m.: A highway man on Bank Street Road reports, "It's a little wild out this way."

UPDATE 5:43 p.m.: It appears that the worst of it hit the Byron-Bergen area and that band of snow is now passing to the east. The radar map show no new bands hitting Genesee County in the next five or six hours. We'll see.

UPDATE 6 p.m.: A car has hit a utility pole on Asbury Road, Le Roy. No injuries, no wires down, but the pole is snapped. National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: Vehicle off the road on the 490 near mile marker 1.

UPDATE 7:32 p.m.: Tree down on Bethany Center Road, just south of Ellicott Street Road.

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Weather: Lake effect snow warning through midnight tomorrow

post by Howard B. Owens in Elmwood Cemetery, weather


Between six to 12 inches of snow could fall on Genesee County over the next 30 hours, the National Weather Service reports.

But the Buffalo office has issued a lake effect snow warning that covers Genesee, Niagara and Orleans counties.

Winds are expected to blow at 15 to 30 mph.

In places, visibility will be cut to a half mile at times.

Difficult driving conditions are expected with blowing and drifting snow.

This evening, highway workers have been heard on the radio discussing the possibility of roadways icing over quickly as the sun sets.

PHOTOS: Snowy conditions late this afternoon at Elmwood Cemetery, Batavia.


Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Batavia Pontillo's announces name change

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pontillo's


There are lots of bright lights in Batavia this time of year, but a legendary one has been turned off.

When you drive down Main Street tonight, the familiar green and red neon sign of Pontillo's will be dark.

The restaurant will be open, but under a new name: Batavia's Original.

Earlier this year, the location's new owner, Batavia Pizza, LLC, a creation of Thomas Masaschi, Jeffrey Reddish and Jason Teller out of Rochester, were served with a lawsuit charging trademark infringement by the Pontillo family in Rochester.

No word on the status of the suit.

For our previous coverage of issues related to this Pontillo's location, click here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Ron Burroughs named Health and Humanitarian of the Year

post by Howard B. Owens in awards, batavia, Habitat for Humanity, Jerome Foundation

PC050005.JPGRon Burroughs, one of Genesee County's most tireless volunteers, especially when it comes to his work with Habitat for Humanity, was honored Friday for his efforts.

Burroughs was given the 2010 Health and Humanitarian Award by the Jerome Foundation.

"I can't put it into words," Burroughs chuckled during his acceptance speech. "It's just...I have a hard time comprehending it, really. It seems like there's so many other people out there who deserve it, but they named me...it just floored me."

Ron is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Batavia, and is directing the construction of a new addition there as well.

(WBTA contributed to this report)

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 3:53 pm

DiSalvo home on Fargo Road once again brightly lit for the holidays

post by Howard B. Owens in Christmas lights, Fargo Road, Jim DiSalvo, Stafford


Jim and Connie DiSalvo have once again lit up their property on Fargo Road for the holidays.

The home is also on today's Holiday Home Tour to benefit Genesee Cancer Assistance (if you want to try and make it out before it ends at 4 p.m., tickets are $10 and still available at Go Art!, corner of Main and Bank).

As for the Christmas lights, Jim said this is the 14th year for the all-out effort to bring some Christmas cheer to local residents who might stop by. He said there are more than one million lights lit on his property and some 400 Christmas-related characters on display.

He's been adding to the number of displays every year, but said this might be as big as it gets.

Many visitors simply drive by (and as usual, there was a long line of cars coming down Fargo last night), but Jim said people are welcome to pull up his driveway and ramble around the new turning circle he's installed. People are also welcome to park, get out and walk around the property (which is really the only way to take in all of the displays and the full splendor of the lights).

Picture of Jim (and Annabella) in front of his house below, and then more pictures after the jump.


Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Thruway blocked by tractor-trailer rollover at Batavia exit

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


A tractor-trailer has jackknifed and reportedly rolled over on the westbound Thruway at the Batavia exit.

Unknown injuries.

It's also not known yet what the tanker was hauling.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS responding. State Troopers are on scene.

UPDATE 11:32 a.m.: Tanker is carrying salt. There is some diesel fuel spill. The driver is out of the truck and walking around.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m. (Billie): The vehicle is carrying 78,000 pounds of granular salt. There is concern about the diesel fuel and they are working to absorb it with pads and sand. The driver is being transported to UMMC with complaints of back and neck pain and he has some minor abrasions. A pumper is requested from Oakfield to standby at the Batavia fire station. Traffic may be diverted to exit 47, Le Roy, but that hasn't been confirmed yet.

UPDATE 12:12 p.m.(Billie): After a "tug of war" with Thruway authorities about handling traffic in the aftermath of this accident, Batavia chief on scene says the Thruway supervisor insists on opening up traffic lanes and removing, or shifting, the emergency equipment. "We are packing up all of our equipment and we are leaving. It's all in the Thruway supervisor's hand." They opened the left lane to traffic, most firefighters have left, and those remaining are pulling onto the grass and staging in the right lane. A piece of equipment from Montgomery is en route to hoist the disabled tractor-tanker onto its wheels. The chief made sure the supervisor's name was written down "for the record."

UPDATE 12:25 p.m. (Billie): The Batavia chief says the Thruway supervisor is now directing traffic by himself standing behind his truck with a single amber light. "That's the extent of the traffic control here." All Town of Batavia units are back in service.

UPDATE 12:43 p.m.: Below, the current situation at the accident scene.


UPDATE 12:48 p.m. (Howard): We're hearing voices of two or three people talking about directing traffic on the Thruway. They're not using call signs, so we don't know who they are. It sounds like they're struggling with the traffic situation. They are trying to figure out how to position a truck ahead of the accident to get people to slow down. People do slow down, but then speed up again and then slam on their brakes just before the accident scene.

UPDATE 1:04 p.m.: One of those voices just said, "You've got about a 50-50 chance of getting somebody with their head up their ass."

UPDATE 1:19 p.m.: The truck has been slid completely onto the shoulder so neither lane is blocked. A voice just said it will be at least two hours before the truck is removed.

UPDATE 3:53 p.m.: A tow truck capable of getting the tanker upright and hauled away is expected on scene at 4:30 p.m.

UPDATE 9:24 p.m.: Some time within the past 10 minutes, the scene finally cleared.

Photos from the Thruway web cam.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Photos: More of winter in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Pavilion, photos


A tree off Keller Road, Pavilion.


A portion of a barn off Route 19, Le Roy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Photo: Le Roy bazaar brings together local vendors for holiday sale

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy


More than 15 local vendors were on hand at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Le Roy today for the 2nd Annual Community Holiday Bazaar.

Above, at the bake sale booth, were Riley Chester, 12, Samantha Maurer, 12, and Leslie Ingalls, 13.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Photos: Don Carroll's Toys for Kids at Clor's

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Clor's Meat Market, Don Carroll, Toys for Kids


Santa is visiting Clor's Meat Market, at Lewiston and Main streets in Batavia, today until 5 p.m.  There's also a chicken BBQ available and donors are asked to bring non-perishable food items for Don Carroll's Toys for Kids Toys and Food Drive.

Above, Hailey, 5, and Noah, 2, get a chance to let Santa know what they want for Christmas.



Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

Today's Deals: Pudgie's, South Main, Enchanted Florist, Carlson's Studio and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Fall decorations are in as well as a big selection of spring bulbs. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. Decorate your home or office for Fall or start your Christmas shopping. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Holiday portrait time is now, or save for a spring wedding or other special event. We have a $150 gift card for $65 (+$2 PayPal service fee).

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

NOTE: If there isn't a PayPal button below for an item that is listed above, the item is sold out. If thre's still a button, then the item may still be available for purchase (though it's possible I haven't had a chance to remove the button since it sold out -- click to find out).


Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

Car hits tree on Pratt Road, minor injuries reported

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A car has reportedly slid off the road and hit a tree in the area of 3336 Pratt Road, Batavia.

Minor injuries are reported.

Responders are encouraged to use caution on approach due to slick road conditions.

East Pembroke Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

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Friday, December 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Photo: Fence in the snow, Wortendyke Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photo


Not much time for photos today, but while out on Wortendyke Road near sunset, I spotted this scene.

Friday, December 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Photos: Salvation Army Toy Drive

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Salvation Army, toy drive


Today at Ken Barrett's car dealership, the Salvation Army held its annual Christmas Toy Drive with the help of WBTA and the City Fire Department.


Friday, December 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

Police Beat: Depew girl accused of attacking person with a baseball bat

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

Leandra Marie Kutas, 17, of Gould Avenue, Depew, is charged with attempted assault, 2nd, criminal mischief, 3rd, and menacing, 2nd. Kutas is accused of punching, biting and hitting another person with a baseball bat during an incident in Darien on Nov. 10. Kutas allegedly left the residence after the attack and then returned a short time later and keyed the victim's car. Kutas was arraigned and released under supervision.

Tyler M. Schroder, 18, of Oak Street, Oakfield, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Schroder was allegedly found in possession of pills and marijuana while being arrested on a warrant. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.

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