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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Child reportedly falls from swing in Austin Park

post by Howard B. Owens in austin park, batavia

Mercy EMS is being dispatched to Austin Park where a child has fallen off a swing and suffered a possible broken arm.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers advance to sectional finals

post by Howard B. Owens in Elba/Byron-Bergen, football, sports

Elba/Byron-Bergen beat South Seneca on Saturday, 23-7, in a Section V semi-final playoff game.

Next week, the Lancers will play the Holley Hawks in a semi-final playoff game. Game time is 2 p.m. in Rochester. The Hawks beat Le Roy 35-21.

Dylan Bordonaro carried the ball 26 times for 261 yards while Eric Kowalik completed nine passes on 17 attempts for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions. Bordonaro had one rushing TD.

Elba/BB posted 463 yards total offense.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Head chef at Alex's believed to have died in accident in Orleans County

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, alex's place, Orleans County

The owners and staff of Alex's Place, Park Road, Batavia, are in mourning this weekend following the apparent death of head chef Russell Bugbee, 31.

While the Orleans County Sheriff's Office has not officially identified Bugbee as the driver of a car involved in a one-car accident at 11 p.m., Thursday, in Murray, Alex's was closed Friday after word of the accident reached owners Matt and Jennifer Gray.

The accident remains under investigation and official identification of Bugbee as the victim is awaiting a medical examiner's confirmation.

Matt Gray issued the following statement this afternoon:

On Thursday night, Alex’s Place lost our family member and friend Russell Bugbee. Russ was in a one-vehicle accident on Route 31 in the Town of Murray, New York and was pronounced dead at the scene. We were closed for business yesterday and we would like to thank the community for the support and understanding they have shown Alex’s and our staff. A native of Connecticut, Russ moved to Batavia in 2007 for what he thought was a six-month project to help an old friend out in a new business venture, the purchasing of Alex’s Place. He never left, growing to love the town and the people (and hating the snow). Over the last three years he made Alex’s his own with his creativity and dedication, becoming an integral part of our daily lives both at work and out. At just 31 years old and so talented he left us far too early. A memorial service is planned to be held on Monday, November 1st at Alex’s Place, time to be announced. A collection is being held for his family and donations can be sent care of Alex’s Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm

UPDATED: Notre Dame comes close to victory in semi-final game

post by Howard B. Owens in football, Notre Dame, sports


With just over two minutes left on the clock, Notre Dame took a five-point lead over number one seed Dundee, but couldn't hold on as the Scotsmen engineered a nearly 80-yard drive to secure a 21-23 victory.

Notre Dame got the ball back with 36 seconds to play, but Tom Whelehan, who completed eight passes on the day for 159 yards and three TDs, was unable to connect on four attempts before time expired.

Dundee's final drive, Scotsmen head coach Sheldon Gibson said, was something the team had two weeks to work on following a forfeit by their first-around playoff opponent. Dundee made good use of the time, Gibson said, including designing and practicing the final touchdown play that won them the game.

Rick Mancuso said that winning play was really well executed.

"We’ve got some inexperienced kids and they were really jacked up," Mancuso said. "The took advantage of our aggressiveness."

A year ago in sectionals, Dundee literally ran away with the game, posting a lopsided 76-13 victory. It as a different story Saturday.

Notre Dame was never more than two scores down and grabbed a four-point lead with two minutes to go.

"Notre Dame came out ready to play, very tough, very well coached, without a doubt," said Gibson. "They were well prepared. They had our number, I’ll tell you that."

Mancuso said he was proud of his team.

"I thought the kids executed both offensively and defensively," said Mancuso. "We had a couple of turnovers, a couple of mistakes at inopportune times, and you can’t do that in this type of a ball game, but I was really proud of our kids for battling back."

Mike Pratt and Beau Richter lead the running game, with Pratt gaining 135 yards on 28 carries and Richter adding another 51 on nine carries, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

"Pratt and Richter were coming through very small holes at full speed," Gibson said. "That’s very tough to stop."

Doanne McCuley caught three passes for 78 yards, including a long of 41 yards, while Nate Woods caught three passes for 58 yards, including two TD receptions -- both on tipped balls. Tom Dehr made the go-ahead TD reception in the 4th quarter on a seven-yard pass from Whelehan.

Notre Dame had 362 total offensive yards compared to 284 for Dundee.  The Irish also posted 21 first downs, compared to 14 for the Scotsmen. Time of possession also tilted in Notre Dame's favor, 36:08 to 23:52.

On defense, Whelehan had eight tackles with Pratt and McCulley having six each.

In other football action from yesterday: No. 1 seed Hornell beat No. 8 Batavia, 64-42; Wayland-Cohocton over Pembroke, 40-13.

Top photo: Nate Woods keeps his eye on a tipped ball before hauling it on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Whelehan. The TD at 7:30 in the fourth quarter put the Irish within four points of Dundee, 14-17. Below, R.J. Marchese, who has been out with an injury for four games, reacts to Dundee's final touchdown. Bottom photo, Woods celebrates a second quarter TD after catching a six-yard pass, also a tipped ball, from Whelehan. That first TD tied the score at 7-7.



More photos after the jump:

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 8:08 am

Some Le Roy residents apparently victims of debit card scam

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

At least two people, and maybe more, have contacted the Le Roy Police Department to report unauthorized transactions on their debit cards.

The individuals contacted police, according to Sgt. Tim Hayes, after trying to use their cards at area stores and having the transactions denied.

Upon further checking, the card holders discovered numerous debit card purchases for varying amounts on different dates at out-of-state stores, Hayes said.

Hayes said Officer Emily Clark is also handling the case and she may have the names of other victims, but Hayes did not immediately have that information available.

A reader who tipped The Batavian to the investigation said as many as 40 people in Le Roy have had unauthorized transactions on their debit cards and Hayes said that number could be accurate because not all of the victims are calling the police department -- many are only contacting their bank branches.

It's not clear how the debit card numbers of the victims were obtained, Hayes said. The victims still have physical custody of their cards.

Hayes asked that any victims of the scam contact law enforcement. The investigation is continuing.

Two weeks ago, media in Rochester reported that numerous area residents had suffered a similar scam. The victims may have been customers of Aldi's, which reportedly suffered a security breech. A perpetrator reportedly tampered with Aldi's credit card terminals in 11 states.

It's unknown if the Le Roy victims have been caught in the same scam.

In his e-mail to The Batavian, Hayes wrote, "It would be well advised as a matter of routine credit security for people to regularly check their debit card and credit card statements for incorrect/fraudulent charges and to notify the police as well as their financial institutions immediately upon discovery."

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 7:35 am

Elderly man injured at Jell-O Museum after scooter accelerates through elavator door

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Jell-O Museum, Le Roy

An elderly man's scooter accidentally accelerated while entering a handicapped-accessible elevator at the Jell-O Museum in Le Roy on Friday, causing the man to fall 34 inches.

It's not clear why the scooter accelerated.

The man's identity or medical condition is not available at this time.

The initial scanner call reported he went into cardiac arrest and was transported to UMMC.

Sgt. Tim Hayes of the Le Roy Police Department said the man was entering the motorized platform of the elevator, which provides access to three levels of the museum, when the electric mobility scooter accelerated. The scooter struck the top of the door from the lower level. The door opened and the victim and his scooter fell about 34 inches striking the pavement below.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is available at this time.

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

Le Roy Pontillo's location among properties facing tax foreclosure

post by Howard B. Owens in business, genesee county, Le Roy, Pontillo's, taxes

Foreclosure proceedings have begun against 68 county properties because of unpaid taxes, including the Le Roy Pontillo's location, according to County Treasurer Scott German.

Pontillo's owes for three years of back taxes, including school, town, village and county, totaling $24,261.

The delinquent property owners have until Jan. 14 to make final payment on their back taxes to avoid having the property sold at auction.

The auction will be scheduled for some time in March or April.

German said typically, 50 to 55 of the property owners will settle their tax issues prior to foreclosure.

All of the property owners have been sent letters, and notices have been published in two daily newspapers, with additional notifications pending.

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 9:44 am

Man who tried to rob Oakfield Pharmacy enters guilty plea

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

Cain Catino, 39, who tried to steal oxycodone from the Oakfield Family Pharmacy last month pled guilty this morning to attempted robbery, 3rd, in Genesee County Court.

The Seven Spring Roads resident had a knife in his pocket at the time of the attempted robbery, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman revealed this morning.

Friedman said Catino's case was scheduled to go before the grand jury next week and Catino was facing a possible charge of robbery, 1st, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Witnesses would testify, according to Friedman, that Catino was attempting to retrieve the knife when the pharmacy owner and his son were wrestling Catino to the floor.

Under terms of the agreement, Catino receives second felony offender status and will serve from one-and-half years to three years in prison.

Without the plea agreement, the attempted robbery charge could carry a maximum sentence of two to four years.

Catino's prior felony convictions are a grand larceny charge in 2008 and attempted robbery in 2009.

Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 22.

Catino's mother is accused of trying to smuggle drugs to him in Genesee County Jail earlier this month. Charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband are still pending.

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 9:21 am

Man charged under Leandra's Law admits to felony DWI

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

A 40-year-old Attica man who was stopped on East Main Street, Batavia, just 12 days ago, admitted in Genesee County Court this morning that he was driving drunk at the time.

Roland J. Reed admitted to a felony count of driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation. He was charged under Leandra's Law because he reportedly had a 2-year-old and an 8-month-old in his car when he was stopped by police.

He was also charged at the time with unlawful possession of marijuana, refusal to take a breath test and moving from lane unsafely.

Reed also admitted to DWI convictions, one in Le Roy in 2009 and another in Monroe County in 2008.

He faces from one to four years in state prison.

Originally jailed on $25,000 bail, Reed will be released under supervision of Genesee County Justice as a condition of his plea.

In addition to prison time, Reed will be required to have an ignition interlock device for at least six months upon his release.

While out of jail awaiting sentencing, Reed will be undergoing treatment, according to his attorney, and looking for work. Judge Robert C. Noonan imposed a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 6:39 am

Today's Deals: Larry's, Matty's, Red Osier, Kravings 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.

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.

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.

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.

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Try the new lunch buffet. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

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.

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.

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


Friday, October 22, 2010 at 5:48 am

Police Beat: Drug charges follow traffic stop in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba

Shane M. Bartlett, 21, of Drake Road, Brockport, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and operating without a front bumper/plate. Bartlett's vehicle was stopped at 5:03 p.m., Thursday, on North Byron Road, Elba, by Deputy Bradley Mazur.

Cory J. Zeiner, 21, of Lake Road South, Brockport, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th.

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 5:14 am

Accident with injuries reported at Main and Court, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A car accident with injuries has been reported at Main and Court streets, downtown Batavia.

City Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

6:24 a.m.: Two flatbeds requested to the scene to move the vehicles. No word on how serious the injuries are.

6:50 a.m.: Accident scene is clear.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Photo: The Manor House residents

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, The Manor House


I was asked to speak to residents of The Manor House this evening about The Batavian and the state of news media. The residents were a great audience, full of great questions. I promised them their picture on The Batavian.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 7:57 pm

GCC students speak out against bullying

post by Howard B. Owens in Bullying, GCC


About 50 GCC students were in the Forum Thursday afternoon to have their voices heard as they spoke out against bullying.

Bullying has become a national issue in recent weeks after five teens in separate cases took their own lives after suffering insults and embarrassment at the hands of people who ridiculed them.

gcc_bullying02.jpg"It's so hard to constantly hear about 13-14 year olds ending their lives, partly for not having an outlet, but more for not feeling safe," said Candice S. Faulring, an instructor of psychology and adviser to GCC's Gay-Straight Alliance, who organized the rally.

Several students took turns at the mic, either because they had been a victim of bullying -- whether over weight issues, shyness or being gay. Some students spoke about friends who had been bullying, and Maggie Rapp, 19, above with Faulring, told the story of a lesbian friend who took her own life.

"A lot of the pictures we have up are pictures of kids from around the country, but to hear the stories of bullying that's happening right in our own community, in Genesee County, in Batavia, in Oakfield, in Alabama, and from kids who are still relatively young and have the courage to get up and tell their stories, that means a lot to me," Faulring said.

Students said they want people to understand that being mean to people just because they're different isn't acceptable behavior.

gcc_bullying03.jpg"I just feel it's wrong because all people are different," said Megan Matthews, 19, from Alexander. "We should just all get along. There's nothing wrong with being different."

Sarah Tuttle, 23, of Albion, and a representative of the Gay-Straight Alliance, said she's most concerned about bullying of gays and that bullying of lesbians hasn't gotten much media attention in recent weeks, but it should.

"There is no norm," Tuttle said. "Everything is normal. If you're gay, if you're male, if you're female, African-American, Asian, white, whatever, you're all the same."

According to Faulring, bullying has gotten worse in recent years because it is no longer limited to just the schoolyard boundaries.

"When I was a kid, I knew when I got home I didn't have to worry about getting a text message or what people might say on Facebook," Faulring said.

Faulring said she plans to continue to push the anti-bullying message, including making a documentary of the stories of Genesee County residents who have been victims of bullies and how they overcame it.


Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Reader Photo: Rainbow over East Road, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather


Reader Amanda Bisig sent in this photo with this note:

My dad (John Bisig) sent me these photos that he took around 4:30 p.m. today, and asked me to send them in. They were taken on East Road in Batavia, where he was combining corn today. The photo you uploaded a few days ago of the Reinke irrigation system from the corner of Transit and Chapel roads in Byron is  also owned by the same farm (My-T-Acres) -- and we live in the farmhouse across the street from that one you photographed. Thought you might enjoy the photo!

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Driver reportedly lost control of car before it overturned

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

An 18-year-old driver was shaken up and taken to the hospital Wednesday after losing control of her car on R. Stephen Hawley Drive and having it overturn.

Alexandra N. Vanburen, of Batavia, was transported by ground ambulance to UMMC.

No other people where in Vanburen's car and no other vehicles were involved.

The reason is not contained in the Sheriff's Office report, but Vanburen's 1999 Saturn traveled off the roadway and onto the gravel shoulder. She reportedly over corrected and lost control of the car. The car traveled off the north shoulder, hit an embankment and landed on its roof.

No citations were issues.

Deputy Chad Minuto handled the investigation.

(initial report)

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Police Beat: Driver accused of impersonating his brother

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

John Christian Finkney, 22, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal impersonation, driving out of class, unregistered motor vehicle, switched plates, uninsured motor vehicle. Finkney was allegedly involved in a road rage incident on Oct. 15. As part of the investigation, a deputy asked Finkney for his name and date of birth. It was later discovered that he allegedly provided the name and birth date of his brother. He was arrested Wednesday by Deputy Eric Seppela.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Reader Photo: Rainbow over Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather


Reader Amanda sent this in -- a picture of a rainbow over downtown Batavia at about 9:45 a.m.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Weather service warns of cold snap tonight

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

To me, 36 degrees is not "extreme cold," but it's worth noting that we've received our first "extreme cold alert" of the season.

It's supposed to get down to 36 tonight with a wind chill factor -- the "feels like" temperature -- dropping to 30 degrees.

There will be a 16 mph wind from the northwest.

There is a 20 percent chance of precipitation.

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