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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Scott Doll may take prison contraband charge to trial

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, scott doll

mug_scott_doll.jpgScott Doll has no intention of pleading guilty to a promoting prison contraband charge, according to his attorney.

The case may go to trial, said Dan Killelea outside of the courtroom this afternoon.

Killelea helped represent Doll in his murder trial.

Doll was convicted of killing Joseph Benaquist in May and jailed immediately. During his processing, Doll was apparently searched and allegedly a green balloon was found hidden on his body. A lab test indicated that ground-up aspirin was the powdery substance the Sheriff's Office said was found in the balloon.

Doll appeared in court today sporting a new beard.

Killelea was granted more to prepare his case and file motions.

The case will be called in City Court on July 27.

Doll is scheduled to be sentenced Friday on the murder conviction.

(via WBTA)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Gas spill reported at Arrowmart on Clinton Street Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A gas spill has been reported at the Arrowmart, 5267 Clinton St. Road, Batavia.

A caller reports a large amount of gas in the parking lot.

Town of Batavia Fire is being dispatched.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: A first responder reports only two or three gallons spilled, but spread over the parking lot.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm

East Pembroke fire training house burns down a little before its time

post by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, fire

epemhousefire.jpg

It was a house that was going to be burned to the ground at some point anyway, but East Pembroke Fire Chief Bob Yungsleisch didn't want to see it go like this -- in an unplanned bonfire.

For more than a year, area firefighters -- and even Batavia's SWAT team -- have been using a vacant house at 2881 Pratt Road as a training structure (here's a video we did last year of a training exercise at the house, which was donated by the previous owner specifically for training purposes).

On Monday, members of the East Pembroke Fire Department went to the structure to try a new helmet they've acquired. In order to create the right smoky environment, they put some straw in a burn barrel (a barrel intended to contain flames, but allow smoke to fill a training room), and lit it  up.

After the helmet tests were completed, Yungsleisch said the fire in the burn barrel was doused with water and everybody left.

About 45 minutes later, Yungsleisch said a call came in -- probably about 9 p.m. -- that there were flames inside the house.  

When he arrived, he found the flames contained to the burn barrel, and he extinguished the fire himself and notified dispatch that, "it's just the burn barrel."

As he and another person stood outside the house the other person wondered why there was so much smoke coming out of a second-floor window.

When Yungsleisch investigated, he found some papers on the second floor had ignited.  He figures an ember had floated up there.

At that point, tankers from Oakfield, Pembroke, Batavia and Corfu were requested to the scene.

But Yungsleisch figured there was only one thing to do at this point -- let it burn. The firefighters called to the scene were there merely in defensive roles, to protect one nearby structure and the trees near the house.

It wasn't worth risking any firefighters to try and actually put out the fire, which burned for about two hours.

“It was a great house," Yungsleisch said. "I would have loved to have kept it another month or two, but I wasn’t about it send anybody inside.”

Photos by Destin Danser.

epemhousefire01.jpg

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Staff and Batavia council see plumbing inspector issue differently

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, plumbing inspector

Current State law requires the City of Batavia to have a plumbing inspector, and some of the City Council want to see the job filled.

At Monday's council meeting, City Manager Jason Molino called the requirement for a plumbing inspector an antiquated law and City Attorney George Van Nest argued that  the city has done everything it can to fill the position, which is all it's required to do.

Council members Tim Buckley, Rose Mary Christian and Bob Bialkowski all urged City staff to fill the position.

Bialkowski called it a "public health issue."

"Even though state law says code enforcement can do it, you’re not a plumber," Bialkwoski said. "You don’t know what you’re looking at."

Not necessarily, Molino said.

Currently, the city's code enforcement officers are performing plumbing inspections. Molino said they are trained and licensed by New York for such inspections and in towns and villages across the state, code enforcement officers handle plumbing inspection duties.

Only cities, under current state law, are required to have a certified plumbing inspector.

The Town of Amherst, Molino noted, which is larger than Batavia, uses code enforcement officers for plumbing inspections.

"There is no public health risk," Molino said.

Van Nest noted that there are efforts underway to get the state law changed.

"It’s not like there are some safety issues there that are going unaddressed, because these people are certified code enforcement officials for New York State with all licensing and training," Van Nest said.

The topic was opened in public comments by Batavia resident David Pero, who said he has 40 years experience in plumbing.

"Plumbing has to do with public health," Pero said. "Do the right thing council, put back what is right. We are a city, therefore protect our taxpayers. Plumbing inspecting should be done by a qualified master plumber."

After Barb Toal retired as the city's inspector, Ron Toal stepped in on an interim basis, but then quit June 2. Molino issued an emergency declaration to allow the city's code enforcement officers to take over the duties since no certified inspector had been identified.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 11:30 am

Grand Jury Report: Woman accused of stealing from bank in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime, elba, Grand Jury, Stafford

Michelle A. Parker is indicted on four counts, including grand larceny, 3rd, petit larceny, grand larceny, 4th and perjury,1st. Parker is accused of stealing in November 2006 from a bank branch in Batavia and making a false statement related to the case. The amount of the alleged thefts exceed $4,000.

Gerardo Pineda-Sanchez is indicted on a count of assault, 2nd, a Class D felony. Sanchez is accused of stabbing a victim with a knife April 28 in Elba.

Theodore R. Cooper is indicted on one count of grand larceny, 3rd, a Class D felony. Cooper is accused of stealing property valued in excess of $3,000 sometime between Dec. 30 and Feb. 3 from a Batavia resident.

Scott Stine (aka Scott Campbell) is indicted on a count of DWI. Stine is accused of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on Lovers Lane Road, Batavia, on May 1.

Ami L. Blackmore is indicated on three counts related to driving while intoxicated. Blackmore is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Blackmore is accused of driving a car while intoxicated on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, on Jan. 22.

Jamie R. Montgomery is indicted on two misdemeanor counts and one felony count related to an alleged DWI. Montgomery is charged with a misdemeanor count of DWI and a misdemeanour count of driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. She is charged with a Class E felony of aggravated unlicensed operation. Montgomery is accused of driving intoxicated on Route 5 in Stafford on March 17.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

Reader tips help lead to arrest of larceny suspect

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

mug_kyle_monroe.jpgAn arrest has been made in the alleged theft of credit cards from parked vehicles earlier this month.

Det. Pat Corona of the Batavia Police Department said local media reports about the alleged theft and use of the cards, along with surveillance photos of the alleged suspect, turned up numerous tips leading to the arrest.

Taken into custody and charged with grand larceny, 4th, was Kyle C. Monroe, 20, of 43 Washington Ave., Batavia.

Monroe was located allegedly hiding in the backyard of 131 State St.

He is accused of taking the credit cards from a parked vehicle on Gateway Drive on June 14 and using them to purchase a variety of items at local retail stores, including a laptop computer, electronics and clothing.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation.

Additional charges may be pending and the investigation is continuing.

Monroe was jailed without bail.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 10:21 am

Police Beat: Woman accused of making false report

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

Melody Lynn Neal, 20, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is charged with falsely reporting an incident, 3rd. Neal is accused of contacting Genesee County Dispatch and claiming that a person had contacted her by phone threatening to do her harm. An investigation allegedly revealed that the harassing phone calls never occurred.

Steven B. Ellis, 46, of Wyoming, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Ellis was stopped by State Police in the Town of Batavia at 6:43 p.m., Sunday.

Accident Update: On an accident we reported Sunday that partially closed Route 63 for several hours, the State Police blotter contains the following information. The accident occurred at 1:52 p.m. It was a single-car accident with one injury. The driver is reported as Roy A. Park, 50, of Batavia. No further details were released.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Truck vs. car accident closes Route 20 at Route 77

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander

It may be a minor injury accident, but responders are requesting that Route 20 be closed at Route 77.

Alexander Fire and Ambulance responded to the scene of what was reported as a truck vs. car accident with minor injuries.

UPDATE Tuesday, 9:53 a.m.: We've received the accident report on this incident.

A tractor-trailer was westbound on Route 20, reportedly driven by Rashpal S. Jhutty, 43, of Alabaster Road, Rexdale, Ontario, Canada, when the truck apparently strayed into the eastbound lane.

Wendy Green, 52, of Alexander, pulled her 2003 Pontiac sedan out of a driveway in the area of 3082 Route 20.

Her vehicle was struck on the side, the back driver's side area and knocked off the roadway.

The cargo on the truck was reportedly not securely fastened and spilled onto Route 20.

No injuries were reported.

Jhutty was issued three citations, including one for allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road.

The accident investigation was handled by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Vacant house on fire on Pratt Road, Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke, Pratt Road

A vacant house is reportedly on fire at 2881 Pratt Road.

East Pembroke Fire was initially dispatched.

Tankers from Batavia, Corfu and Oakfield requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:18 p.m.: Fire police requested to shut down Pratt at Powers and Miller roads.

UPDATE 9:48 p.m.: Alabama tanker requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:52 p.m.: Alabama tanker not available. Pembroke and Indian Falls tankers requested to the scene.


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Monday, June 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Buffalo station reports on Latina's gull problem

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, dowtown, Latina's
Naturally, Tom Lewin wasn't available to talk with WIVB.
Monday, June 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Car-pedestrian reported on West Main Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A pedestrian has reportedly been hit by a car on West Main Street, Batavia, in front of Batavia Marine, near Tops.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Moving Wall closes stay in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Moving Wall, veterans

wallclosing01.jpg

Rain forced the closing ceremonies for the Moving Wall at the VA Center inside today, but dozens of people showed up for the short service. Bill Davis thanked all of the volunteers and donors who made bringing the wall to Batavia possible.

Afterward, a couple of dozen people spent time at the Wall before its removal.

wallclosing02.jpg

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Batavia councilman reportedly plans to change parties

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bill Cox, politics

bill_cox.jpgBatavia City Councilman Bill Cox is planning to bolt from the GOP and join the Conservative Party, WBTA reports this afternoon.

Cox reportedly sent a letter to GOP City Chairman Joe Gerace on Friday and said the local Republicans have no platform and do not stand for anything.

WBTA reports that Cox said he believes the direction of the United States needs to be changed, and that change begins at the local level.

The local GOP is "not doing anything significant to help turn things around," Cox reportedly wrote.

Cox has been a Republican for 47 years.

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: The Batavian has obtained a copy of the letter.

In it, Cox writes:

Our country is in a mess. The majority party in control of Congress has violated our Constitution and individual rights repeatedly; they make up any rule they want to push through legislation; they make unethical and punitive back room deals; they are bankrupting the country with massive spending, and they refuse to listen to the people.

He says he has already submitted the paperwork to change parties, and adds, "The conservative Party has been at the fore front of trying to counter this along with the Tea Party movement. We need to change things now."

He vows to continue to support Republican causes and candidates who stand for conservative principles.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 10:49 am

Inmate charged with felony after allegedly biting guard's finger

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Genesee County Jail

mug_joseph_lyman.jpgA corrections officer at the Genesee County Jail was injured Sunday when an inmate allegedly bit his finger.

Charged with a felony count of assault on a peace officer is Keith Joseph Lyman, 37, of High Street in Brockport.

The officer, Kelly Creegan, was treated at UMMC for a lacerated finger, which required sutures. Creegan also lost his finger nail on his right ring finger as a result of the alleged assault.

The alleged attacked occurred about 9:15 p.m. as Creegan escorted Lyman back to his cell from the law library.

Lyman was in jail on an aggravated harassment charge.

The new charge against Lyman is a Class C felony.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 10:32 am

Assault of Byron man and theft of his guns leads to four years in prison

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, crime

A Holley man who assaulted a Byron resident and then stole three long guns from him in April will serve four years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

Darrell Bruce Reid, 45, who admitted to assault, 2nd, in May, said today that he was sorry for the attack and blamed alcohol for his behavior.

"I would like to say I'm sorry to (the victim)," said Reid. "I didn't mean for this to happen. Of course, the next day I was concerned that I hurt him bad. I did not intend to go there to rob that man or to beat him or to hurt him. There were some things said and alcohol provoked it."

While Reid has a lengthy criminal history, including prior felony convictions, both his attorney Billy Tedford and Judge Robert C. Noonan noted that this is Reid's first violent felony.

"I just encourage you to do whatever you can do in state system to get on the right track before you’re released," Noonan said.

Reid's mother and girlfriend both wrote letters of support and were in court during the sentencing.

Reid was also ordered to pay $1,900 in restitution to the victim for hospital bills.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 8:56 am

Police Beat: Oakfield man accused of growing four marijuana plants

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, Oakfield

Jeremy Dean Lyons, 25, of Judge Road, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful growing of cannabis and unlawful possession of marijuana. Lyons is accused of having four marijuana plants growing outside of his residence in plain view. He was arrested at 6:42 p.m., Sunday, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

James C. Cooper, 47, of 7 1/2 North St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Cooper was taken into custody after Le Roy Police responded to a report of a disturbance at 1:27 a.m., Saturday, on North Street.

UPDATE: Two additional items from the weekend that did not initially reach our inbox for some reason:

Robert Steven Zona, 53, of Lake Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with rape, 1st. Zona, reportedly a resident of Le Roy Manor, is accused of attempting to rape another resident. Zona was arraigned and released under supervision of Strong Memorial Hospital for mental health evaluation.

James Christain Oehler, 18, of Lake Road, Bergen, is charged with unlawful fleeing a police motor vehicle, and numerous other alleged traffic violations. Oehler is accused of failure to stop his motorcycle on Route 19 in the Village of Bergen. Oehler was reportedly first observed doing 49 mph in a 30 mph zone on Route 19 near Rochester Street in the village. Oehler reportedly turned onto Hunter Road and then Swamp Road, where his speed allegedly exceeded more than 25 mph over the posted speed limit. Oehler was subsequently located at his residence on Lake Road. Upon investigation, Oehler was allegedly operating an unregistered and uninsured motorbike with improper license plates.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 8:34 am

Police investigating report of a shot fired near County Building #2

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Genesee County Dispatch received a report of a shot fired at 3727 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, near County Building #2.

The initial response had Sheriff's units and State Police responding, with Mercy EMS staging at Dave's Ice Cream.

The caller reportedly said he heard, "Don't shoot."  And then a shot.

On further questioning by a dispatcher, the caller said he was in the area at the time, and that the shot he heard occurred at least an hour earlier. He said he hadn't seen anybody come or go from the area since.

Police are on scene "trying to sort it out."

UPDATE 8:37 p.m.: Scene secure. Report appears unfounded.

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Photos: Challenger Baseball

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, Challenger Baseball, sports

challenger20a.jpg

Challenger baseball opened last weekend, but I wasn't able to make it, so I stopped by the games today to take some pictures.

challenger27a.jpg

More pictures after the jump:

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Muckdogs drop third straight in extra innings

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

june27muck10.jpg

The Batavia Muckdogs dropped its third straight game at Dwyer Stadium, losing to State College 4-2 in 10 innings.

Second-year pro Keith Butler, of Morgantown, Ky., surrendered two runs in the top of the 10th to get tagged with the loss.

Reliever Nick McCully was impressive in four innings, striking out three and giving up only two hits.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal's 5th-round draft pick, San Diegean Nick Longmire, continued his hot hitting. Today, Longmire had two hits, including a triple and a run scored that tied the game 2-2 in the 7th inning.

Longmire tops the league in several offensive categories, including hits (15), triples (3), home runs (3), RBI (16; next best is 9), total bases (33; next best, 23), slugging (.892). He's second in average at .405.

The Muckdogs, now 4-6 and in last place in the Pinckney Division, begins a three-game home series tomorrow against Mahoning Valley. Auburn leads the division at 5-4, only a 1.5 games ahead. Mahoning Valley comes to town with a 4-5 record.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Muckdogs host Auburn. Friday and Saturday's games feature post-game fireworks. This no home game on Sunday, July 4, so the team is providing an extra fireworks show on Saturday.

Top photo: Longmire arrives at third base after his 7th inning triple.

More photos after the jump:

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