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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Possible structure fire reported on James Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire


A house is reportedly filling with smoke at 4 James St., Batavia.

City Fire is responding.

UPDATE 4:07 p.m: Second alarm for the fourth platoon, standby at HQ.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: A resident, Joseph Trigilo, told firefighters a load of clothes had just finished drying and a few minutes later the smoke detector sounded. They checked the laundry room and it was filling up with smoke. City Fire responded quickly. When firefighters arrived there were flames in the laundry room and the fire was starting to go up a wall. The fire was put out before reaching the attic.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Police Beat: Man accused of throwing beer can at a woman

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Gregory S. Snyder, 41, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Snyder is accused of throwing and hitting a woman with a crushed beer can and then spitting on her. The alleged incident occurred at 4:15 p.m., Tuesday, at 3687 W. Main St. Road, Batavia.

Julia Bishop Wescott, 27, of Bank Street, Batavia, was picked up on a bench warrant out of family court. Wescott was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court where she posted $100 bail.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 11:40 am

After admitting to burglary and drug dealing, Batavia resident given concurrent prison terms

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, Oakfield

mug_michael_l_jackson.jpgMichael L. Jackson was clearly relieved to receive concurrent sentences on multiple felony convictions in Genesee County Court this morning.

After Judge Robert C. Noonan announced that Jackson's two-year prison term on a drug-dealing charge could be served while he's also in prison for breaking into and trashing the offices of Holland High Lift in Bethany, Jackson gave a little thumbs up and turned to his family sitting behind him and smiled.

Dressed in Genesee County Jail orange and with his wrists cuffed, Jackson was clearly anxious about his fate during the morning hearing, up until the point the second sentence was pronounced.

The former Oakfield resident, who's home was destroyed in a fire two years ago, entered a guilty plea to charges of burglary, 3rd, two counts of grand larceny, criminal mischief, 4th, and witness tampering, 4th.

Noonan noted that Jackson clearly recognized he had no defense to the charges when he entered his unconditional plea the day his trial was supposed to start.

He sentenced Jackson to two-and-a-third to seven years in state prison on the burglary and larceny charges and one year concurrent on the witness tampering charge.

After Jackson's June 10 guilty plea, the Batavia resident was caught selling prescription drugs to an undercover agent. Last week, Jackson entered a guilty plea to a charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Jackson obtained no sentencing cap or a promise of concurrent sentences with either guilty plea.

Attorney Gary Horton said Jackson stayed out of trouble from 2003 until 2009, when he lost his home and seemed to go into a tailspin. He said Jackson was so drunk the night in broke into Holland High Lift that he had a blackout and remembers nothing about it.

When asked by Noonan if he wanted to make a statement before sentencing, Jackson said, "Sir, I don't really remember that night. If I did, I should not have done it. Other than that, I'm sorry."

Most of Holland High Lift's losses were covered by insurance, but there was a deductible and a damaged motorcycle that was not covered. Jackson was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

Burglary suspect has bail set at $50K

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Rochester man accused of breaking into the home of a former friend and threatening the woman with a knife had his bail set at $50,000 today by Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan.

Robert Thigpen III, 35, of 287 Flower City Park, Rochester, was jailed without bail after his arrest because with his prior felony conviction, a city court can't set bail.

Noonan set a fairly high bail because of the seriousness of the offense and the prior felony conviction, but also raised a concern that Thigpen will face a more serious charge of burglar, 1st, rather than the current burglary, 2nd, charge, when the case goes to the grand jury.

"The facts in supporting documents would support a burglary, 1st, charge," Noonan said. "I’m not sure if it will shake out that way, but it has the possibility of very serious consequences for Mr. Thigpen."

Thigpen is also charged with menacing, 2nd.

The alleged attack occurred last week on State Street.

The defendant resident has been living and working, including running his own cleaning business, in Rochester for two years.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 7:45 am

Pole and wires down in non-injury accident in Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

There were no injuries in an auto accident on Route 19, but a pole and live electrical wires are down on Route 19 in Pavilion.

A car is in a field.

Pavilion Fire has responded.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Batavia Muckdogs lose first game of playoff series

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

If the Batavia Muckdogs have had one weakness this year, it's been the bullpen.

While relief pitching has been stellar at points, the Muckdogs have let a lot of games slip away in late innings.

Tonight, in Troy against the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Muckdogs took a two-run lead into the ninth, blew it and ended up losing in the 11th, 10-9.

Closer Michael Reid was charged with a blown save and took the loss, giving up three runs in 2 1/2 innings. Reid had a 2.05 ERA and two wins and two saves during the regular season in 31 innings of work.

Starter John Gast, who came into the playoffs with a regular season record of 6-0 and a 1.54 ERA in six starts, gave up seven runs in five innings.

The Muckdog's offense was led by Jon Rodriguez with four hits and Nick Longmire with three hits, two walks and two RBIs.

Chris Edmundson and Geoff Klein also had two hits each. Edmundson had two RBIs and Klein drew two walks.

The Muckdogs return to Dwyer Stadium at 7:05 p.m., Wednesday, for game two of the three-game series.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Photos: Blue Devils drop soccer match to Brighton

post by Howard B. Owens in soccer, sports


The Batavia Blue Devils soccer team dropped a match 3-1 against Brighton this afternoon at the high school. Batavia is now 2-1 on the season and Brighton is 1-2.

More photos after the jump:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Resident reports seeing flames off Angling Road

post by Howard B. Owens in pembroke

An unknown type fire has been reported somewhere in the area of Angling Road, East Pembroke.

The caller is a resident on Main Road and reported seeing flames, but couldn't give the exact location.

East Pembroke Fire is responding.

A fire chief who lives in the area says he hasn't seen anything.

UPDATE 10:07 p.m.: It is apparently a controlled burn.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Weather: weather-related calls

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Rather than separate posts for each weather-related call, we'll update this single post.

A transformer is on fire at Ledge and Lewiston roads.

Currently, National Grid reports only two minor power outages in the Alabama area.

UPDATE 9:14 p.m.: Nothing found on the Ledge Road/Route 77 to report.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m.: A power outage effecting 25 households has been reported in West Alabama along Lewiston Road.

UPDATE 9:24 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm warning is canceled.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Lines sparking in backyard of Darien residence

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien

Electrical lines are reportedly sparking at 1076 Broadway Road, Darien.

Darien Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 9:09 p.m.: Darien Fire back in service.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Weather: Severe thunderstorm warning until 9:30 p.m.

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

At 8:35 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Genesee County.

The warning is in effect until 9:30 p.m.

The storm is capable of producing quarter-size hail and winds in excess of 60 mph.

The storm is producing cloud-to-ground lightening. 

The weather service warns, "Lightning is one of nature's number-one killers. If you can hear thunder, you're close enough to be struck by lightning."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Court pieces together paperwork on county's first Leandra's Law interlock-device sentencing

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Leandra's Law

BATAVIA, NY -- On the first Leandra's Law interlock-device case to go through Genesee County Court, there were some bugs in the bureaucracy to be worked out.

First, the case of Joshua P. Garcia was delayed from the morning to the afternoon so State Probation form DPCA-520 BAL-IID could be filled out. That form is titled "Vehicle Operation and Access By Others," and contains a description of the vehicles a person convicted of DWI could drive.

Garcia, an Erie County resident charged with DWI on Dec. 20, filled out the form originally with two vehicles, but then decided to turn in the plates on one and it was scratched from the form. 

Even so, the county has its own form, and it asked for two pieces of information not on the state form -- vehicle color and the license plate number. Since that form surfaced in court this afternoon, a deputy had to call dispatch and read the VIN number off the DPCA-520 BAL-IID form to a dispatcher and get the plate number.

Then, Garcia's attorney, Jerry Ader, petitioned the court for a hardship waiver so his client wouldn't have to pay for the interlock device. That form had to be filled out in triplicate and handed to the court at the time of sentencing, even though Judge Robert C. Noonan would be ruling on the matter in the same hearing.

In the end, Noonan found that Garcia's $25,000 annual salary was sufficient to pay for the device -- even with the fines for this DWI, a recent DWI conviction in Erie County plus probation fees there. The judge sentenced Garcia to five years probation and 90 days intermittent incarceration.

Noonan said he didn't find Garcia "indigent enough" to waive the interlock-device fees, which judges can do under terms of Leandra's Law.

Garcia, a stepson of Joseph Benaquist, the Pembroke resident murdered by Scott Doll in February, 2009, said he has been through a lot recently and turned to drinking because of the stress.

"Now I see that alcohol has brought problems into my life," Garcia said. "I’m done with alcohol."

Under sentencing guidelines, Noonan had few options, but said, "I have enough faith in you to give you a try on probation."

Ader asked that the interlock-device requirement be delayed until Garcia is eligible for a conditional driver's license.

According to his reading of the law, Ader said, he believed Noonan had the discretion to set a later date for installation.

"It makes no sense when my client does not have license," Ader said. "If he gets behind the wheel of a car while on probation, he’s committing a felony."

But the law also requires the device be installed within 10 days of sentencing, which is what Noonan required.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 12:46 pm

State begins construction project on Ellicott Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, dot, Ellicott Street


Contractors working for the state Department of Transportation began working on Ellicott Street, Batavia, this morning.

A 1.7-mile stretch will be milled and resurfaced. By the end of the project, the four-lane roadway will be reduced to three lanes and bike lanes will be added.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

Man falls off ladder in Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany

Mercy Flight has been dispatched to the Bethany Fire Hall to pick up a man who fell off a ladder.

He reportedly fell 15 feet, but was conscious following the accident.

It occurred on a farm off Route 20 in Bethany.

He was flown to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 9:13 am

Mercy releases numbers from first year of EMS operations

post by Howard B. Owens in ambulance, genesee county, Mercy Flight

(UPDATED 12:48 p.m.)

It's been a year since Mercy EMS was established in Genesee County, and during that time Mercy has responded to 4,767 calls in the county.

During the same period, Mercy Flight has been put in the air for medical missions 92 times. There were 166 requests for the helicopter.

In the prior 12 months in Genesee County there were 151 requests and 83 flights.

"As you can see there was no significant change in air transports," said Mercy VP Margaret Ferrentino in an e-mail response to a question about comparable data. "This data along with results of our internal system wide utilization reviews supports appropriate use of resources."

In a statement, Ferrentino said: "We are extremely proud of the men and women at Mercy EMS; their commitment to the community and their dedication to our mission has been outstanding.

“We value the partnerships that have developed with the hospital and agencies throughout the county. The resulting teamwork allows us to effectively provide critical service to those who live, work or play in Genesee County.”

Mercy employs 51 people and has seven ambulances and three paramedic cars in service in Genesee County. 

When Mercy EMS launched on Sept. 1, 2009, the organization hired 57 people. Of those, 43 are still with Mercy.

From the press release:

“To support our patient care focus, we continue to add equipment assets and strive to provide the best work environment possible for our employees,” said Douglas H. Baker, Mercy Flight’s CEO and founding president.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 9:03 am

See You At Peelers headlines NYSS action at Batavia

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

Press release:

Batavia, NY --- The unbeaten freshman filly pacing sensation See You At Peelers puts her eight-race winning streak on the line when she takes on seven other rivals in a $44,820 New York Sires stakes event on Wednesday night (Sept. 8) at Batavia Downs Casino. More than $144,000 in New York Sire Stakes purses will be offered.

Once again trainer Jimmy Takter will hand the lines over to Jim Morrill, Jr., who had six winners at the Downs this past Saturday night. The talented bay daughter of Bettor's Delight-West Side Glory is owned by the partnership of Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding.

With earnings in excess of $119,000 and a 1:51.3 lifetime mark (a Vernon Downs track record), See You at Peelers will be gunning for Paula’s Best's current 1:55 Downs record, set in 2006.

Carded as race 11, See You At Peelers has been installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite by Racing Secretary Joe Zambito. She’ll start from post position three.

The well named My Girl’s A Star, for former Downs regular Ray Schnittker, looks like a formidable foe in the first $44,020 NYSS race of the evening, carded as race two. She’ll start from the rail.

In eight starts this season the Art Major-Ifuwantitcumngetit filly has six winner's circle visits to her credit with earnings of more than $98,000 for owner Mathias Meinzinger. She also took her mark at Vernon by winning in 1:52.2.

First race post time is 6:40 p.m. Racing programs can be downloaded free of charge at www.bataviadownscasino.com. Simply click on live racing and then race info. Reservations to dine in the clubhouse can be made at 585-343-3750.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 9:00 am

Joey the Czar sets new track record at Batavia

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

Press release:

Batavia, NY --- It was Hall of Fame night on Saturday night (Sept.4) at Batavia Downs Casino with three Batavia legends being inducted, while on the racetrack one horse, Joey The Czar, did his best to be nominated.

In the fifth race of the evening, a $49,392 New York Sire Stake event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, Joey The Czar established a new Downs record for 3-year-olds, when he paced in 1:52.1, just a fifth of a second off the all-age record currently held by Kenneth J. A truly spectacular performance considering conditions were far less than perfect, temperatures at post time were well below normal.

The question was would anybody take a shot and leave against Joey The Czar, who started from the rail, with the red-hot Jim Morrill, Jr. in the sulky.

It was quickly answered when the Canadian invader, Malicious, with hall of fame inductee Jeff Gregory in the bike, fired out and made the top in a sizzling :26.3.

Coming by the grandstand the first time Morrill, Jr. decided he had enough of the pocket trip and was back out to take command at the half in :55.3. Able to the rate the third quarter in :28:2 Joey The Czar wasn’t home free yet as Malicious moved to the outside as they turned for home.

Down the lane under very mild Morrill urging Joey The Czar paced a :28.1 final stanza to etch his name into the Downs record books. Malicious was a very good second while it was 8-lenghts back to the third place finisher Speculative Edge (Fern Paquet Jr.)

Joey The Czar, (Art Major-Razmataz Hanover) notched his ninth win of the season and raised his 2010 bankroll to over $205,000 for owner Kevin Gee.

“I didn’t think we’d have to go that fast,” Morrill said in the winners circle. “But once we got down there in 26 and a piece I figured we’d go fast. This is a really nice horse; Bruce (trainer Bruce Saunders) has done a great job with him.”

Saturday night's other New York Sire Stakes were won by:

He’s Gorgeous (by Art Major - So Ravishing); owned Kenneth Jacobs; trained by trainer Linda Toscano; driven by Jim Morrill, Jr. to his sixth win of the season in 1:55.4.

Jerry’s Brown Gold (by Art Major - Ideal Dex); owned by Fred Monteleone Stbl LLC; trained by Ed Hart; driven by Jack Flanigen to his seventh win of 2010, in 1:54.2, for which he paid $27.00 to win.

After the 7th race the John Schroeder, Clint Galbraith and Jeff Gregory were inducted into the Downs Hall of Fame with a special winners circle ceremony.

Jim Morrill, Jr. was the hot driver of the evening, guiding home six winners on the 12-race program.

Batavia Downs will hold a special matinee on Labor Day. First race post time is 1:15 p.m. New York Sire Stakes action continues on Wednesday night (Sept.8) when the 2-year-old filly pacers invade Western New York to compete in over $140,000 in purse money.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8:57 am

Police Beat: Sex abuse charged following alleged touching on Darien Lake ride

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

Alexander Agapii, 31, of Penfield, is charged with sexual abuse, 3rd. Agapii is accused of touching a 14-year-old girl without her consent while on the Lazy River Ride at Darien Lake. Agapii was jailed on $250 bail.

Steven Robert Gorecki, 24, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt. Gorecki is accused of getting into an argument with his girlfriend. He allegedly "racked" a shotgun and pointed it at her. After the incident was reported, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He later turned himself in.

Bernard A. Buckenmeyer, 46, of Alexander, is charged with DWI and driving with a  BAC of .08 or greater. Buckenmeyer was stopped by State Police at 9:25 p.m., Sunday, on Hunn Road in Alexander.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

Single-car accident in Pembroke leads to DWI charge

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, crime, pembroke

A 21-year-old Pennsylvania woman was charged with DWI following a single-car accident on Main Road in Pembroke on Monday morning.

Jessica A. Franks, 5109 Bellvedere Road, Tobyhanna, Pa., allegedly failed to reduce her speed as her car entered a curve causing it to leave the roadway and strike a mailbox and its post.

The mailbox and post went airborne and struck a parked car. Franks' car then continued westbound striking two trees and a utility pole.

Franks was taken by ground ambulance to ECMC. The accident occurred at 5:41 a.m. in the area of 607 Main Road.

Franks' passenger, Darcie L. Myers, 21, was not injured.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Howard Carlson.



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