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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Genesee County's firefighting community honors William Dix

dix_firefighters.jpg

Hundreds of Genesee County's firefighters were in Corfu this evening to pay respects to William Dix, who died Wednesday.

Dix served as a deputy fire coordinator with Genesee County Emergency Services for 22 years as well as past chief of the East Pembroke Fire Department and most recently as commissioner with the East Pembroke Fire District.

Services for Dix will be tomorrow (Monday) at 11 a.m. at the Corfu Fire Hall with burial to follow in Alabama.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Dan Dickens Wins August 21, Batavia Downs Casino 1,000 Handicapping Contest!

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

Press Release:

Batavia, NY --- Congratulations to Dan Dickens of Batavia, the winner of the August 21, 2010 Batavia Downs Casino $1,000 Handicapping Contest! Dan bested 353 other contestants with a top score of 46 points to claim the $500 top prize.

A three-way tie for second place between Rick Case, Gary Macomber and Luann Furano, each 45 points, proved to be unbreakable as they selected the same winners during the nine race contest. Each will receive $150 for their fine efforts.

Three contestants finished with 44 points but it was John Hutchinson, with a tiebreaker total of $33.50 that was able to secure the fifth spot and take home $50.

All prize money can be picked up beginning on Wednesday, August 25, at 5:00 p.m. at Players Club. The next free handicapping contest of the season takes place, September 18. Many thanks to all that participated and Good Luck!

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Fan Favorite Michael Scores again at Batavia

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

Press Release:

Batavia, NY --- There have been many popular racehorses that have graced the Downs throughout the years, horses like Baron Too and Patrick Will quickly come to mind, but no sentence can be compete when referring to Batavia Downs racing without including the iron horse, Michael Scores.

Like he has done so many times throughout his 207 race career, Michael Scores was victorious in Saturday nights Downs featured Open pace.

With a purse of $8,500 and a field of six behind the starting gate for the 7th race, Michael Scores exploded down the lane to win by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:55 to notch his 6th win of the season and his 76th lifetime. His career earnings are over $593,000.

Michael, with Tom Agosti at the controls, was perfectly spotted following second-over cover, but there were a few anxious moments when Arm and a Leg with Kevin Cummings tipped three-wide putting Michael Scores in a blindswitch heading to three-quarters.

Around the final turn, the underrated Agosti, was able to maneuver Michael out of their jackpot and angle him out 4-deep at the top of the lane. Once clear Michael kicked it into another gear and drew off as a much the best winner.

Cry for Cash with Ken Holliday, 5-wide at the top of the stretch, stormed down the center to narrowly get second over the front running Compass Connection and Ron Beback Jr.

Jim Compton trains and co-owns Michael Scores along with wife Sandra.

The Pick-6 was not hit on Saturday night which means the carryover pool when racing resumes on Monday night, the final Monday night of the 2010 season is over $4,400. Post time is 6:40 p.m.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Photos: Sixth Annual Summer in the City

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, photos, Summer in the City

sumcity28.jpg

Food, music and a day out with your friends and neighbors -- Downtown Batavia's 6th Annual Summer in the City festival appeared to be a success on all of those counts yesterday.

Main Street was bustling all afternoon and into the evening.

More photos after the jump:

Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Photo: A frog visits a backyard in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, photos

Tom Monnier submitted this photo of a frog that he found in his backyard a couple of days ago.

He writes:

I did a bit of research because I'm no frog expert, but I found it to be a tree frog. I live right in the Village of Oakfield so it's rather rare to see this frog on my grill! Had to take a picture and it seemed very photogenic! Figured maybe someone might be able to tell me if I will be seeing more of them around this season.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 9:06 am

Three people hurt in accident on Route 77, Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien, Sumner Road

Three people were transported to area hospitals Friday evening following a two-car accident on Sumner Road and Route 77 in Darien.

One car allegedly stopped on Sumner at Route 77 but then pulled out on Route 77 while making a left-hand turn and was struck by the second vehicle, which was traveling southbound on Route 77.

The accident occurred at 7 p.m.

The driver of vehicle one is identified as Melissa M. Kenney, 40, of Exchange Street, Irving.

The second driver is Frederck W. Burtis, 30, of First Avenue, North Tonawanda.

Kenney had a passenger in her car, Rosemarie DeGeorge, 41.

Kenney and DeGeorge were taken to ECMC. Burtis was transported to UMMC.

While our initial report indicated that Mercy Flight was dispatched and did land, the accident report indicates all three passengers were taken by ground ambulance to the hospitals.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 8:55 am

Driver says passenger hit him in arm causing one-car accident in Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford

A driver says a female passenger struck him in his arm while he was driving, causing him to lose control of his car Thursday evening, resulting in a one-vehicle rollover accident.

No one was injured. The accident occurred at 6:43 p.m. on Route 33 near Caswell Road, Stafford.

The 2008 Chevy sedan was driven by 27-year-old Romer M. Williams, of East Bethany-Le Roy Road, East Bethany.

Williams told Deputy Matthew Butler that when he was struck in his arm, he lost control of the car. He swerved to the right shoulder, tried to correct and the car went into a sideways skid across the roadway and onto the opposite shoulder, where it rolled onto its side.

His passengers were Yalawn J. Christin, 22, and Charles A. Small Jr., 26.

No citations were issued.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 8:39 am

Toby Keith concert at Darien Lake: six arrests, 36 citations

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, darien lake

The following arrests were made in conjunction with the Toby Keith concert on Friday at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

Ethan J. Young, 20, of North Road, Churchville, is charged with trespass. He is accused of returning to the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return. Young was jailed on $250 bail.

Stephen Masich IV, 27, of Broad Street, Tonawanda, is charged with disorderly conduct, harassment ,2nd, and robbery, 3rd. Masich allegedly pushed two females while inside the concert venue and stole a cell phone from another woman and threw it. Masich was released on $5,000 bail.

Emily M. Skotnicki, 22, of Sand Pebble Drive, Chili, is charged with disorderly conduct. Skotnicki allegedly yelled obscenities while being ejected from the concert venue.

James R. Phalen, 18, of Four Rod Road, Alden, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Phalen is accused of pushing a security guard to the ground while inside the concert venue.

Tristen L. Johnson, 26, of Cedar Grove Drive, Rochester, is charged with trespass for allegedly being found on the roof of the box office of the concert venue.

Kevin A. Olewniczak, 20, of Lockwood Drive, Lockport, is charged with trespass after allegedly re-entering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

The following people received citations for alleged underage drinking:

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Arrest made in alleged hit-and-run accident on Richmond Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Richmond Avenue

Citizen tips have led to the arrest of a suspect in an alleged hit-and-run accident on Richmond Avenue early Saturday morning.

David R. House, 28, of 140 Summit St., Batavia, is being charged with leaving the scene of a personal motor-vehicle accident, moving from lane unsafely and operating a vehicle without insurance.

House is accused of hitting a car that was legally parked on Richmond Avenue near VanDetta Stadium around 2:15 a.m., Saturday.

A woman who had attended an event at the stadium that evening was sleeping in the car.  She was injured in the accident.

On Monday, Batavia Police issued a statement to local media asking for information that might help investigators identify a suspect.

State Police assisted in the investigation.

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Summer Fun: Summer in the City

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Summer in the City

Batavia's biggest day of the summer arrives tomorrow (Saturday): It's time for the annual Summer in the City, when people from all over the region join in for a day of great food, cool music and hot, classic cars.

And The Batavian will return with a booth this year handing out our free balloons, as well as selling T-shirts for $5 and a limited number of barn-picture prints for $12 (You love our barn pictures, right?).

While the annual event is taking place only on Saturday this year, it will cover a large portion of downtown, stretching from Main and Ellicott to Main and Liberty streets.

The Main Stage will be on Main Street next to the Old County Courthouse, with vendors on Court and Jefferson. Main near City Centre will contain food vendors and a kids' zone, with space set aside for classic cars on the rest of Main as well as Jackson, Bank and Center streets.

All of those streets will be closed to automobile traffic from 8 a.m. until at least 11 p.m.

The festival opens at noon and runs until 10 p.m.

Elvis impersonator Terry Buckwald and the Ghost Riders provide headline entertainment along with Nik and the Nice Guys.

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Deadlines loom for former Cristina's location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, code enforcement, Cristina's, Latina's

Nonprofits which might want to donate to the former Cristina's Restaurant location on Ellicott Street in Batavia need to act quickly, said owner Charles Brumsted today.

He set a deadline of 3 p.m., Aug. 26, for nonprofits to apply for ownership of the property.

At the same time, Brumsted is facing a deadline of his own -- he has until Sept. 17 to dispose of the property one way or another, or go to trial on a series of misdemeanor charges levied by Batavia code-enforcement inspectors.

Brumstead was summoned to Batavia City Court today -- his attorney appeared on his behalf -- to answer to a series of complaints by the city that Brumstead has not been maintaining his property in compliance with local codes.

The allegations include: problems with the roof; cracks in exterior walls; a front door boarded over with plywood; and the structure's vacant appearance, all of which create a blighted appearance in the neighborhood, among other complaints (Source: WBTA).

Brumsted told WBTA's Geoff Redick today that the deadline in court and the new deadline for the nonprofits is merely a coincidence.

"The deadline that was set for Thursday, August 26th," says Brumsted, "was solely...to the effect that we were overwhelmed with the amount of response, and the not-for-profit organizations that have come forth for the interest in Cristina's restaurant."

Brumsted told The Batavian that some 15 nonprofit organizations have expressed an interest in the property.

The selection criteria, he said, will be based on what the nonprofits want to do with the property and how well that use will serve the community.

Of course, if the property is donated to a nonprofit, it will be taken off the city's tax rolls. At the same time, if the right nonprofit put the property to good use, it would bring people and activity to that section of Ellicott Street.

"I still own property in that area," Brumsted said. "I want to see something that helps other businesses in the area."

In a brief conversation today, City Manager Jason Molino said he didn't have a position on whether the property remains with a private owner or goes to a nonprofit.

"It's his property and he can do what he wants with it," Molino said, adding "Of course, he has a few issues to clear up first."

In other Batavia City Court actions on code-violation allegations:

  • Latina's is in significant compliance with city codes, officials said. The deadline for full compliance was extended to Sept. 17.
  • Ron Graziaplena, who has upset some neighbors with his 19 mallard ducks and other issues in his yard on Oak Street, appeared with an attorney, Frank Zinni. Judge Robert Balbick gave the attorney until Sept. 17 to get up to speed with the case.
Friday, August 20, 2010 at 11:46 am

Police Beat: Youth from Darien charged with grand larceny

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

Timothy V. Meyers, 17, of 2481 Walker Road, Darien, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Meyers is accused of stealing a 2006 Yamaha Blaster four-wheel ATV from a house on Dodgeson Road, Alexander.  The ATV was recovered by Erie County law enforcement at a house in Clarence.

Jeffery Allen Good, 34, of Route 98, Alexander, was picked up on a bench warrant. The charges prompting the warrant were not released. Good was jailed on $500 bail.

Charles Anthony Smalls, 26, of Shefflen Avenue, Bronx, is charged with assault, 2nd. Smalls was a passenger in a car involved in a rollover accident on Route 33, Town of Batavia. Smalls reportedly left the scene of the accident and was located a short time later. When he was identified, deputies learned there was a warrant for his arrest from NYS Parole.

Matthew D. Derrick, 25, of 4036 West Main St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Derrick allegedly sent eight text messages to a person he was ordered not to contact.

Roger A. Laird Jr., 41, formerly of 11 Mix Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Laird was found inside of a particular residence in alleged violation of an order of protection.

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 9:58 am

Driver charged with DWI following fiery crash on Fotch Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford

An Albion man was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital last night following a single-car accident on Fotch Road in Stafford that knocked down power lines and caused a car fire.

He's been charged with DWI and additional charges are possible, according to Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

Jeffrey A. Mooney, 57, of 4928 Quaker Hill Road, Albion, was reportedly driving his 1999 Ford Taurus on Fotch Road when his car left the road at the 90-degree turn.

Mooney got himself out of the car and passersby pulled him away from the car, which became fully engulfed in flames, and downed electrical wires.

Dibble said Mooney complained of internal pain.

The investigation is being conducted by Deputy Howard Carlson and is continuing.

(initial report)

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 8:15 am

Today's Deals: New today, South Beach

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

New Today: South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Only recently reopened, a fine/casual dining atmosphere, offering steaks and seafood and daily specials. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Main St. Pizza Company, 206 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Pizza, wings, subs and even hamburgers and hot dogs, Main St. Pizza makes everything deliciously. 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.

SOLD OUT

Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Wires down, car on fire, one person in road after accident on Fotch Road, Byron

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford

A call has come in of a single-vehicle accident, car vs. pole, in the area of 7789 Fotch Road, Stafford.

The initial report is of a person down, in the roadway, with wires over him and the caller afraid to touch him. A car is on fire.

A first responder says the victim is on the side of the road, conscious but in pain.

Mercy Flight is is being dispatched.

Mercy EMS and Stafford Fire is on scene.

UPDATE 11:24 p.m.: Both high-voltage and low-voltage wires are damaged. National Grid has a 30 minute ETA to arrive on scene. Also a fiber optic cable belonging to the phone company has been completely burned through.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 11:28 am

Dog struck by hit-and-run driver on Ham Road

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, Ham Road

A passerby on Ham Road in Alabama found a dog that was struck by a car. The dog is still alive, but does not have tags and the owner is not around.

A Sheriff's deputy is responding.

UPDATE 1:33 p.m.: If this is the same call, a Sheriff's deputy is en route to Batavia Animal Hospital with the dog.

UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: An officer reports to dispatch that the dog was euthanized.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

Grass fire reported in Thruway median

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

A grass fire has been reported in the area of mile marker 387, westbound lane, on the Thruway.

Town of Batavia Fire has been dispatched.

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.: Dispatch has received only one call on the fire. It's believed to be a small one, possibly started by a truck tire retread that came off and landed in the grass.

UPDATE 11:14 a.m.: An assistant chief has checked the Thruway and is unable to find any fire. In an unrelated incident, dispatch has also received calls about a large column of smoke behind Bj's Wholesale Club on Lewiston Road. It is a controlled burn.

UPDATE 11:16 a.m.: The controlled burn apparently has smoke drifting as far as the dispatch center on Park Road. It's been going all night and there was reportedly ash falling on West Main Street last night.

UPDATE 2:16 p.m.:  Earlier, Town of Batavia extinquished the fire. Now they're being called back to the scene.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 7:11 am

Police Beat: Woman accused of going pantless, charged with DWI

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, crime, Pavilion

Deanna L. Virgo, 34, of Garibaldi Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI (driving with a BAC of .18 or greater). Initially, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a woman in the Bergen Sugar Creek parking lot not wearing any pants. Upon arrival, deputies were unable to locate the woman. Later, the Sheriff's Office received a report at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, of a disturbance at the Bergen Service Center, 8132 Buffalo Road, Bergen. There a customer was trying to talk to a woman who was in an apparent intoxicated condition in order to try and keep her from leaving. Upon investigation, deputies believe Virgo was the woman reported at the Sugar Creek without pants and that she drove to the Service Center and was drunk at the time. The incident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker with back up from Deputy Corey Mower, Trooper Eric Daigler and Trooper Edward Chaney.

A 17-year-old from Alexander is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of stealing a case of Arizona Iced Tea worth $15 from a delivery truck while workers were unloading product at the Alexander Country Deli.

Lael Jacob Dylag, 24, of Cedar Street, Akron, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dylag is accused of verbally and physically threatening another person at a location on West Main Street, Batavia.

Douglas Gene Swede, 62, of Perry Road, Pavilion, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Swede was reportedly unhappy with the scheduling of a planning board meeting and left a threatening message on the town supervisor's voice mail.

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