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Howard B. Owens's blog

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 11:00 am

Police Beat: Man accused of standing drunk in middle of Pembroke Road, obstructing traffic

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Oakfield, pembroke, Stafford

Richard John Abramski, 22, of Main Road, East Pembroke, is charged with disorderly conduct. Abramski is accused of obstructing traffic in the area of 1993 Genesee Street, East Pembroke, by standing in the drive lane, causing traffic to move to avoid hitting him. Abramski was allegedly drunk at the time. The alleged incident occurred at 11:23 p.m., Saturday.

Danny J. Torok, 23, of 12 Elm St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Torok is accused of slapping, pushing and pulling the hair of his girlfriend while holding his 4-month-old daughter. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Jeremy Dean Lyons, 25, of Judge Road, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unsafe lane change and speeding. Lyons was stopped by Deputy Thomas Sanfratello at 5:25 p.m., June 1, at 14 Weber St., Oakfield.

Joseph Stephen Vernaccini, 34, of Clipnock Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI, failure to keep right and refusal to take breath test. Vernaccini was reportedly involved in a one-car accident 12:44 a.m., Saturday, in the area of 7000 Route 5, Le Roy. Vernaccini was jailed on $500 bail.

Justino Sanchez, 50, of West Ridge Road, Brockport, is charged with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to keep right, improper right turn. Sanchez was stopped by Deputy James Diehl at 10:47 p.m., Friday, in the area of Route 98 and Edgerton Road, Elba. He was jailed on $1,800 bail.

A 17-year-old from Clarence was arrested by State Police in Darien at 8:05 p.m., Wednesday. She is charged with DWI, failure to keep right, crossing road hazard markings and unlawful possession of marijuana.

A 16-year-old from Williamsville was arrested by State Police at 8:05 p.m., Wednesday, in Batavia for unlawful possession of alcohol.

John J. Smalley, 47, of Oakfield, is charged with harassment and criminal mischief. Smalley was arrested by State Police at 12:50 a.m., Sunday, in the area of 7020 Macumber Road, Oakfield. No further details were released.

Accidents from the State Police blotter:

4:57 p.m., June 5, Bernd Road, Pavilion, two vehicles; Driver 1: Laurie Jean Lerkins, 33, of Le Roy; Driver 2: Heather M. Coates, 24, of Rochester. One injury reported.

4:46 p.m., June 3, Genesee Street, Pembroke, one vehicle: Driver 1: Jennifer L. Mroz, 49, of Batavia. One injury reported.

10:32 p.m., June 3, Lewiston Road, Batavia, two vehicles: Driver 1: Robert M. Laskowski, 24, of Chaffee; Driver 2: Matthew J. Quinn, 25, of Attica. No injuries reported.

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 9:46 am

Doll allegedly tried to smuggle aspirin into jail

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

Convicted murderer Scott Doll allegedly tried to smuggle aspirin into the Genesee County Jail.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said that lab results came back this morning on the white powder reportedly found hidden on Doll's body.

Brewster said the green balloon containing the aspirin was taped to Doll's inner buttocks.

"I have no idea why (he hid aspirin on his body), Brewster said.

Doll still faces a count of promoting prison contraband, because even aspirin can't be snuck into the jail.

If the substance had turned out to be any kind of more serious drug, the charges would have been elevated, Brewster said.

Doll was allegedly found with the balloon on his body during a routine jail processing search after he was convicted May 21 of killing 66-year-old Joseph Benaquist by bludgeoning him to death outside his Pembroke home on Feb. 16, 2009.

Doll is scheduled to appear on June 29 in City Court to answer the charge of promoting prison contraband.

He will be sentenced on the murder charge on July 2. He faces a sentence of either 15 years to life or 25 years to life.

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

Today's Deals: Welcome back, Clor's Meat Market

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

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.

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.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY. Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Give yourself the gift of flowers, or give to a friend. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

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.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding. 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

Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

'Fill the Boot' drive biggest yet for City Fire in support of MDA

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, fire department

City firefighters raised $5,601 in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association this year as part of its annual "Fill the Boot" campaign.

It's the most ever donated in a single MDA boot drive, according to Greg Ireland, president of IAFF Local 896.

On Friday, off duty firefighters, stood at the intersections of Main and Court and Ellicott and Court with firefighter boots and asked passersby to drop in donations.

"It was an amazing day," Ireland said.

Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Motorcyclist not seriously hurt after bike strikes car on Route 5, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy

A 46-year-old motorcyclist from Caledonia got a ride to the hospital last night after his bike hit a car on Route 5 in Le Roy and then he was ejected from the bike and struck a pole.

Richard C. Hoag, of 2554 Black St., was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released.

Hoag was cited for alleged DWI and illegal passing.

The accident occurred about 12:58 a.m., Sunday, in the area of 8503 Route 5, Le Roy. Hoag was behind a 2001 Buick sedan driven by Jeanna Ann Pfalzer, 17, of Elba when Pfalzer apparently stopped to make a left-hand turn.

According to Deputy John Weis, who handled the investigation, Hoag attempted to pass Pfalzer on the left as she slowed to turn.

As she apparently started her turn, Hoag's bike struck her car and Hoag was ejected from the bike. His body hit a utility poll on the north side of the roadway.

Neither Pfalzer nor her passenger, Benjamin G. Carlie, 18, were injured.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Mancuso home movies: Pre-war Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Mancuso Family, video

I stumbled across this video on YouTube -- it appears to be old home movies, showing mostly their business ventures, from the Mancuso Family.  It appears to be all shot pre-war, 1941.

Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Naming names in police reports

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

They call it Monday Morning Quarterbacking -- questioning people who make judgment calls.

There's certainly been a good deal of Monday Morning Quarterbacking going on regarding our decision not to publish the name of a woman caught in a sex act in a public park late Friday afternoon. Some people agree, most are critical of the decision.

When a person makes a decision and doesn't listen to critics, he's considered stubborn and arrogant, or plain stupid for seemingly not listening to reason.

When a person responds to criticism and reverses course, he risks being seen as weak, as caving to public pressure.

The fact of the matter is, if we published the woman's name, there would be people who would be critical of the decision. They call it flip-flopping.

These are some of the no-win situations one faces when involved in a pursuit fraught with judgment calls.

In the end, the only analysis we make is to weigh our decision based on our established policies and past practices.

The Batavian has a policy of publishing the name of every individual arrested, detained or cited by local law enforcement when the name is released to the local media (exception being 17 and under charged with minor infractions and crimes).

(It's worth noting, not every arrest made by either the Sheriff's Office and the Batavia Police Department finds its way into a press release. I sometimes get private e-mails accusing us of showing favoritism because we didn't publicize this or that arrest, but we can't publish what we don't know about.)

In the past year, I've had to publish the name of a friend arrested on a pretty serious charge, and there have been at least two local business owners I know whose names have shown up in the "blotter" (as readers call it, though what we publish is not technically a blotter).

(One notable twist on the sex-in-the-park case: the Batavia PD did not initially release the name of the people involved. The Batavian called and requested the names and it was only after learning from the PD that the woman had children that we decided not to publish the name.)

The idea of having an "all names published" policy is to avoid a perception of favoritism.

Nobody should be able to call me up and successfully lobby to keep his or her name out of the Police Beat. If I do a favor for one person, then why not do a favor for any or all persons arrested?

On Friday morning, I got a call from a young woman who was upset because her name, age and street name were published in the Dave Matthews concert arrest report. She said she was worried about some rapist finding her.

My thought was, "there's lots of ways that some rapist could find you, not the least of which is your name appearing in an arrest report -- it's not my place to predict the consequences of the publication -- I don't have a crystal ball." Also, I thought, "I bet you're really more worried about your parents seeing it." But I didn't say anything more to her than, "Thanks for expressing your concern."

I consider publishing the reports of arrests, and the results of as many court cases as we can follow, to be an important public service. We don't do it to embarrass anybody. The power of the state to detain people is a power that should not go unchecked. It's important to keep tabs on what local law enforcement is doing, both to be as informed as possible and because a good deal of our tax dollars go to law enforcement.

After giving it much thought -- listening to our critics, talking with Billie, considering previous cases -- I've come to the conclusion that our decision Friday night not to publish the name was a mistake.

While I'd like to believe my intentions were noble, the larger consideration is that The Batavian simply shouldn't be in a position of playing favorites on arrest reports. By the standards of past practice, and the foreseeable complications that could arise in the future if we make exceptions, we should publish the name. It's not our place to try to predict the outcome of what publication might mean.

One thing I've learned from many years in journalism is that some of your decisions will be unpopular. Critics are everywhere. The only thing you can do is the best you can. You will make mistakes, but when you do make mistakes, the best thing to do is admit it, correct it and move on.

The previous post has been amended to include the woman's name.

Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Three-car accident reported in Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

A three-vehicle accident has been reported in Texaco Town, the intersection of Route 63 and Route 20, Pavilion.

Unknown injuries at this time.

Pavilion Fire and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 1:03 p.m.:  An assistant chief on scene reports no injuries.


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Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 7:34 am

Photos: Festival of Hope

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, Genesee Cancer Assistance, photos

hope14.jpg

There was a large turn out Friday evening at Batavia Downs for the annual Festival of Hope to benefit Genesee Cancer Assistance.

GCA raised $30,000 this year.

The event featured a 5K walk/run, games for children, music, a Chinese Auction and haircuts and beauty treatments.

On left below, Paul C. Stomper poses with Dr. Kevin Mudd. Stomper was the keynote speaker Friday. The Batavia native has travelled the U.S. working with cancer patients and has authored a book, "Come Sunday, Inspiration for Living with Heart."  Mudd is president of GCA. You can find out more about Stomper and his book at ComeSunday.net.

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More pictures after the jump:

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Photo: Hay Harvest

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, photos

hayharvest.jpg

At the intersection of Putnam and East roads, crews were harvesting hay this afternoon.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Couple allegedly caught having sex on picnic table in Farrall Park

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

A 41-year-old Batavia woman has been charged with adultery after being caught engaged in sexual intercourse on a picnic table in Farrall Park.

The woman was arrested along with a 29-year-old Oakfield man and both were charged with public lewdness.

The man was identified by Batavia Police as Justin M. Amend.

Because the woman is married with children, The Batavian has chosen to withhold her name.

UPDATE: After more thought (see our post explaining the reversal of the decision here), we've decided to publish the female suspect's name. It is Suzanne M. Corona.

Sgt. John Peck said that Officer Matt Baldwin was dispatched to Farrall Park about 5:15 p.m. after parents in the park called police. Baldwin witnessed the couple still engaged in sex when he arrived.

"There was a little alcohol involved," Peck said. "They initially didn't seem too embarrassed."

Peck acknowledge that adultery charges are rare these days.

"Many people probably don't realize it's still a crime," Peck said.

He said Amend was not charged with adultery because he was apparently not aware the woman was married.

Both suspects were issued appearance tickets for City Court on June 8 and released.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Photo: William Morgan in the Sun

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Cemetery, photos, William Morgan

williammorgan_sun.jpg

As long as I was at the Batavia Cemetery, I played around with taking a picture of the William Morgan monument.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Photo: Heritage Day at Batavia Cemetery

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Cemetery

cemetary_tour.jpg

Jon McManis talks with a group of fourth-graders from John Kennedy School about William Morgan at the Batavia Cemetery. In the fourth grade, students are taught local history, and the annual Heritage Day tour helps students learn at the gravesites of Batavia's famous people.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Photo: Fill the Boot today

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, fire department

filltheboot.jpg

Firefighters Mike Morris and Jeff Whitcombe were on Main Street at Court Street this morning collecting donations from drivers passing by as part of the City of Batavia Fire Department Local 896's annual campaign. The funds benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Firefighters will be at Main and Court and Ellicott and Court until 5 p.m.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

Today's Deals: Welcome back, Larry's Steakhouse

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.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

SOLD OUT

 

Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 10:46 am

At least 67 arrests and citations at Dave Matthews concert in Darien

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

Thomas R. Allen, 28, of Elmsford Drive, West Seneca, was charged with assault, 3rd, after allegedly striking another patron in the face causing a split lip and bruising. He was jailed; $750 bail.

Dustin T. Forkell, 19, Linda Lane, Spencerport, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, for allegedly unlawfully possessing prescription medication. He was also held on an outstanding warrant out of Gates. He was jailed; $750 bail.

Ryan J. Gill, 25, of Harvey Avenue, Lockport, for criminal possession of marijuana, 5th, for allegedly smoking marijuana in public view.

Stacy J. Gerber, 27, of Drum Road, Middleport, for unlawful possession of marijuana.

Richard M. Marchewka, 27, Drum Road, Middleport, for trespass after allegedly jumping a fence to enter the concert venue.

Sherry A. Morse, 48, of Britannia Drive, East Amherst, for trespass after allegedly jumping a fence to enter the concert venue.

Luci A. Wind, 39, of Stonecliff court, Clarence, for trespass after allegedly jumping a fence to enter the concert venue.

Gregory R. Flynn, 20, of Winbert Drive, North Townawanda, for trespass after allegedly jumping a fence to enter the concert venue.

Chad J. Schillinger, 24, of Raleigh Street, Rochester, for harassment, 2nd, for allegedly striking a security guard.

Kevin R. Ogiba, 20, of David Drive, Niagara Falls, NY, for trespass after allegedly jumping a fence to enter the concert venue.

Preston W. Washburn, 21, of Pre Emption Road, Dundee, for assault, 3rd, after allegedly punching a patron in the face causing severe bleeding.

Ben H. Swan, 19, Orange Tree Circle, Rochester, for trespass after he allegedly returned to the concert venue after being told several times to leave.

Michael A. Marciano, 26, Marsdale Court, Webster, for trespass after allegedly jumping a fence to enter the concert venue.

Jeremy J. Flansburg, 33, Heritage Circle, Farmington, for public lewdness and harassment, 2nd, after allegedly urinating in a mop bucket inside a beer stand and also punching a security guard in the face.

Patrick M. Hourihan, 19, Bramhill Court, Williamsville, for unlawful possession of marijuana.

A youth, 16, of Pin Oak Drive, Williamsville, for unlawful possession of marijuana.

The following people were charged with possession of alcohol with intent to consume under the age of 21. They were issued appearance tickets to be in Darien Town Court at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 10:04 am

Pavilion woman hurt in Wyoming County crash

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

A 19-year-old Pavilion woman was injured in a crash Sunday in Wyoming County after a driver from Perry allegedly failed to yield the right of way.

Kristi L. Fox suffered a concussion and facial injuries, according to State Police. Investigators blamed her injuries on the lack of a safety belt. She was issued a citation.

The other driver, Stacey R. Lamm, 45, of Perry, reportedly stopped at a stop sign at VanAllen and LaGrange roads, but then proceeded through the intersection.

She was issued a citation for alleged failure to yield right-of-way.

Lamm was not injured.

Fox was transported to Wyoming County Community Hospital where she was treated and released. 

Wyoming Fire and EMS responded to the scene.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 9:54 am

Police Beat: Three DWIs, a larceny and one resisting arrest

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

Sean Christopher McGuire, 25, of South Drive, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving left of pavement markings. McGuire was stopped at 12:31 a.m. today by Deputy Patrick Reeves on Route 77 in Pembroke.

Kevin E. Kern, 22, of South Main Street, Manfield, Pa., is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of. 08 or greater, and speeding. Kern was stopped at 12:12 a.m., today, on Route 33, Town of Batavia, by Deputy James Diehl.

Joseph Beszczynski, 24, of Darien, is charged with petit larceny. Beszczynski was arrested by State Police in the area of 11000 Darien-Alexander Townline Road at 9:13 a.m., Monday. No further details were released.

John E. Swabb, 54, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI with no priors. Swabb was stopped by State Police on Wortendyke Road, Batavia, at 3:18 p.m., Sunday.

LaToya D. Jackson, 24, of Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and violation of probation. Jackson was arrested by State Police at 4036 W. Main St., Road, Batavia, at 12:05 a.m., Monday. No further details available.

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