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Friday, April 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Second susptect in home invasion-burglary arrested

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

mug_brandon_dodd.jpgA Batavia man with at least five arrests for various alleged crimes in the past two years now faces a burglary, 2nd, charge for allegedly participating in a home-invasion burglary March 18.

Brandon C. Dodd, 23, who police say does not now list a permanent address, is accused of forcing his way into the home on Vine Street, wearing a bandanna to cover his face, with an accomplice.

Police at the time said the residents of the home fought back, and investigators did not believe the home was selected at random.

Dodd was arraigned and jailed today on $25,000 bail.

His alleged accomplice, Robert D. Wright, 18, of 149 Ross St., was arrested March 26 and charged with burglary, 2nd. At the time of his arrest, he was jailed without bail. His current status is not immediately available.

Dodd's previously reported arrests:

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm

County officials recommend nursing-home consultant to replace retiring director

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, nursing home

Rather than hire a new county employee to replace John Demske, who retires May 14 as director of the Genesee County Nursing Home, a county committee is recommending the Legislature approve a contract with a consultant to provide nursing-home supervision.

The Legislature is being asked to vote on a contract with Insource Healthcare Solutions, out of Buffalo, at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday.

The contract would authorize the county to pay Insource $11,000 per month -- the same cost as a full-time county employee being placed in the position, according County Manager Jay Gsell.

"We felt this was a very good way for us to get new administration in place," Gsell said.

By state law, a licensed administrator who has been approved by the state Department of Health must supervise the nursing home every single day its doors are open, so the county must have Demske's replacement in place on May 15.

Gsell said there never really was a search for a full-time county employee to replace Demske. With the county currently studying its options for the future of the financially troubled nursing home, it made more sense, Gsell said, to have an administration firm handle those duties for now.

"Because we're in the process of studying what our options are, for us to go through the process of hiring another employee and all the things that involves, that right now, getting a licensed administrator ... is a good way for us to have a fairly seamless transition," Gsell said.

The actual administrator Charles Rice, is an employee of Insource currently working at a private facility in Jamestown.

If the Legislature approves the contract with Insource on Wednesday, Rice's credentials would be submitted to the state for approval. Gsell said that process takes about a week.

By law, the initial term of the contract cannot be longer than the term of the current Legislature, so the contract with Insource is for 18 months. Gsell said it will contain language allowing for renewals on an annual basis for another three or four years.

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Photo: Dance recital ticket line

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Suzanne's School of Dance

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This year, like previous years, parents are braving a long line to buy tickets to the Suzanne's School of Dance dance recital. The first person in line arrived before 8 a.m.

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Photo: Hula-hoop at Glass Roots

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, Glass Roots, photos

hula_girl.jpg

It was a day for hanging out in the sun at Glass Roots on Center Street today. Jen Fountain of Batavia was having fun with a hula-hoop. She said, "I just learned today and now I can't stop."

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Batavia BID hands out annual awards

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, BID, business, downtown

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bid_winners.jpg

The Batavia Business Improvement District held its annual meeting and awards luncheon today at the Homestead Events Center in Batavia City Centre.

Top photo, Rick Mancuso, co-owner (with his brother Ben) of T.F. Brown's accepts proclamations from Sen. Mike Ranzenofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley. Also pictured, Don Burkel, executive director of the BID, and BID President Victor Gautieri.

Bottom photo, William Parker, winner of "Spirit of Downtown Community Volunteer Award," Mary Valle, "Spirit of Downtown BID Volunteer Award," and Rick Mancuso, "Spirit of Downtown Business Award."

Not able to attend, Ken Mistler, owner of Next Level Fitness & The Daily Grind, winner of "Spirit of Downtown Business Award" for a newly established business.

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Legal community recognizes county's top law enforcers

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Top Photo, from left: Miller, Camp, Dibble, Harmon.

Four local cops were honored Thursday night by the Genesee County Bar Association and the Batavia Kiwanis Club for their dedication and good work during the past year.

Recognized in the annual awards ceremony at Bohn's Restaurant were:

  • Officer Eric Miller, Village of Le Roy Police Department;
  • Patrolman Christopher Camp, the Batavia Police Department;
  • Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble, Genesee County Sherriff's Office;
  • Sgt. Cory Harmon, New York State Police.

Also honored during the annual Law Day celebration was Daniel A. Rybak, who was named Attorney of the Year.

The mock trial team of Batavia High School received the Charles L. Mancuso Award. The team won the 2010 GLOW region Mock Trial Tournament.

William J. Hochul Jr., United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, served as the keynote speaker. 

lawawards02.jpgThe WNY native was promoted to his current post about a month ago. Previously, he served as a counter-terrorism attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office. Hochul spoke about the role that all members of the legal community -- law enforcement, prosecutors and defense attorneys -- play in helping the United States fight terrorism, especially within our borders.

"Each of us in this room – men, women, children, high school students -- have a critical role to ensure that the American legal system remains as a tool to us to fight terrorism," Hochul said.

Hochul said local law enforcement plays is the first-line of defense against domestic terrorism.

"The federal government can’t be everywhere domestic terrorists might be living," Hochul said. "Nationwide, worldwide, really, there’s only 10,000 or so FBI agents."

Without local law enforcement, he said, "we wouldn’t be able to even see the domestic terrorism threat, much less address it.”

Because maintaining the rule of law is vital to keeping our justice system working, Hochul said, defense attorneys who challenge prosecutions' theories and assertions help keep the necessary balance to the system.

"My message to you all is let’s follow the rule of law," Hochul said. "Let’s use the system we have, and where appropriate, my office, the Western New York Office of United States Attorney, stands ready to help."

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Inset, Hochul. Above, members of the Batavia High mock trial team.

After the jump are pictures and information on each of the award winners:

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 11:34 am

Smell of smoke reported in building on Myrtle Street, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy

The odor of smoke inside the building has been reported at 12 Myrtle St., Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance have been dispached.

UPDATE 11:38 a.m.: Chief on scene reports visible smoke coming from the building. Additional manpower requested.


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Friday, April 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

Police Beat: Man accused of fighting with family member

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

David J. Balonek, Jr., 34, of 209 Ross St., Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, harassment, 2nd and endangering the welfare of a child. Balonek is accused of getting in a fight with a family member while a child was nearby.

James Edward Brown, 29, of Oakfield, is charged with failure to obey court order, coercion, 2nd and petit larceny. Brown is accused of stealing a mobile phone as part of a domestic incident at 2 a.m., Thursday. He also allegedly violated an order of protection.

Robert R. Richmond, 46, of 250 Ross St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Richmond is accused of stealing money from the cafeteria at UMMC.

Mykeal Bryan Myers, 20, of Alexander, is charged with criminal trespass, criminal mischief and petit larceny. Myers is accused of stealing fuel from the U.S. Gypsum facility at 2754 Pike Road, Alexander.

Daryl Duane Scott, 29, of Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt and aggravated harassment. Scott is accused of calling and texting an ex-girlfriend, violating an order of protection.

Eric D. Johnston, 31, of Batavia, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, and petit larceny; Matthew J. Long, 20, of Le Roy, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, petit larceny and violation of probation. Johnston and Long were arrested by State Police earlier this week in connection from an unspecified incident on March 9. No further details are available.

Jillian A. Schmidt, 19, of Byron, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21. Schmidt was arrested by State Police for an incident on March 12. No further details are available.

Sherry L. Lewis, 25, of Alabama, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child; Shannon L. Amidon, 30, of Akron, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. Lewis and Amidon were arrested at 5:40 p.m., Wednesday, on Veterans Memorial Drive. No further details available.

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 7:34 am

Today's Deals: Margarita's, Alex's, Carlson's, Delavan's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

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.

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.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Weddings, new babies, family portraits, pet portraits and group events -- preserve those memories with professional photographs. We have a $100 gift card for $50 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

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.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Mother's Day is just around the corner! We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

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.

Sallome's Italian Deli, 40 Oak St., Batavia, NY: Wraps, subs, paninis and pasta as well as pizzas -- Sallome's offers a tasty variety of Italian deli items for eat-in or take-out. We have $10 gift certificates for $5 each.

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

Carlson's Studio

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm

City announces new temporary fire chief

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire department

Captain Craig Williams will serve as City of Batavia fire chief for the next four to six weeks, City Manager Jason Molino announced late this afternoon.

captain_craig_williams.jpgWilliams replaces Chief Ralph Hyde, who has been acting chief since last fall, when the previous chief had to step down because of a conflict over his retirement benefits and ability to draw a city salary.

Hyde was on his second tour of duty as the city's chief, and decided it was time to go back into retirement.

Molino said the search for a new, permanent chief is progressing, but didn't want to discuss details of the search, including the number of candidates who have applied for the job.

At the city's fire hall this afternoon, firefighters were in a good mood and Williams said he stepped into the role because it seemed like the right thing to do.

"With Chief Hyde leaving tomorrow and the city needing an interim chief for the next month, month-and-a-half, I decided to step in and help the city out," Williams said.

Williams said he will handle the chief's typical day-to-day duties until a new chief is appointed.

Meanwhile, the city's other vacant position of note, the plumbing inspector, has been filled with an interim appointment. Replacing the retiring Barb Toal is her cousin, Ron Toal of Elba.

Plumbing inspectors in New York's cities must pass a local plumbing board test and cannot work as a plumber in the city once appointed.

The city has three candidates for a permanent position, Molino said. They have taken the test and Molino said he believes the tests will be graded next month.

The plumbing board has three tests to grade, Molino said.  He expects they will be graded next month.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Stafford resident dies after being struck by car near his home

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

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(UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.: Pedestrian Vaughn Hahn, 87, died at UMMC late this afternoon, according to State Police. The driver is identified as David Johnston, 55, of 96 W. Main St. , Le Roy. No charges have been filed, but there is a criminal investigation in progress. The State Police ask any witnesses to come forward and call 344-6200.)

A Stafford man who was struck by a car while standing on the shoulder of Main Street Road has a chance to live after emergency medical personnel began CPR as soon as they arrived at the accident scene.

When Mercy EMS first arrived, the man was reportedly not breathing and did not have a pulse. Mercy Flight was canceled, but moments later requested to return to the scene.

accident_hat.jpgThe victim's name has not been released, but State Police say he is in serious condition at UMMC.

"We're in the process of reconstructing the accident, but it appears at this time that the operator of the vehicle drifted onto the shoulder and struck the pedestrian who was standing on the shoulder for an unknown reason," said Sgt. Sam Taglienti.

The driver has not been identified. He was taken two hours after the accident to Stafford Town Court for further questioning, where a Trooper said no arraignment was planned at that time.

Neighbors said the victim lives alone and doesn't drive. He often waits on the shoulder of Route 5 for the bus. He is also described as a beekeeper.

Taglienti said it appeared the pedestrian was hit by the side of the car.

"It was more of a glancing rather than head-on type of collision with the pedestrian," Taglienti said.

The victim was likely transported by ground ambulance to UMMC rather than Mercy Flight because patients cannot be taken by air during active CPR procedures.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 11:17 am

Downtown Spring Carnival opens today

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown

carnival_today.jpg

Yelps of joy and the whiff of popcorn and cotton candy will radiate from Jackson Street starting at 6 p.m. today as the annual Downtown Batavia Spring Carnival opens.

The carnival runs today and tomorrow from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m.  and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Bring the whole family, have some fun and visit some of the great downtown shops and restaurants.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 9:57 am

Police looking for tips in Le Roy burglaries

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

Le Roy Police are looking for leads in two residential burglaries on East Main Street in the village over the weekend.

In the first, case a burglar broke into a house while the residents were sleeping. He apparently fled the scene when the residents awoke, but did manage to grab a purse before leaving.

In the second break-in, on Sunday night, the owners were not home. The burglar stole paintings, sports cards and jerseys.

The Le Roy Police are investigating a possible link between these burglaries and a burglary in the town of Williamson in Wayne County and are coordinating with the New York State Police in Wayne County. Evidence and manner of the crimes have led law enforcement to link the burglaries.

Two vehicles were seen in the area that may have been involved. They are a black pickup truck with a cap and a gray minivan seen sitting in the area earlier in the week with two occupants.

Witnesses who have information to share should contact the Le Roy Police Department.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 8:30 am

Today's Deals: Enchanted Florist, Adam Miller, Carlson's, Adam Miller and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for five weeks of yoga, a $50 value, for $25.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. 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.

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.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Weddings, new babies, family portraits, pet portraits and group events -- preserve those memories with professional photographs. We have a $100 gift card for $50 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

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.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Mother's Day is just around the corner! We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

Sallome's Italian Deli, 40 Oak St., Batavia, NY: Wraps, subs, paninis and pasta as well as pizzas -- Sallome's offers a tasty variety of Italian deli items for eat-in or take-out. We have $10 gift certificates for $5 each.

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:57 am

Photos: Talent Show at BHS

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

bhstalent11a.jpg

Students, faculty and staff of Batavia High gathered in the auditorium Wednesday night to show what they could do entertainment-wise to an appreciative and enthusiastic audience.

Here are a few photos of some of the performers.

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More photos after the jump:

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:37 am

Town of Batavia residents urged to get on public water

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, e-coli, health, water

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The exact words may not have been spoken, but the message was clear for Town of Batavia residents Wednesday evening: Get on public water.

No matter how much you like your well water, there's no way to guarantee it will remain safe.

"We want to be sure people understand that those are three tests and those are three bad contaminates (e-coli, coliform and nitrates), but there is a concern you should have on other items possibly getting in (your water)," said town engineer Steve Mountain.

The tests for e-coli, coliform and nitrates are quick and easy, but Mountain's message was, if those containments can reach well water, so can other contaminates.

Once a well is shown to be susceptible to contamination from surface water -- which the tests for those three substances prove -- then the well should really be considered unsafe.

Tests of wells around the town found that containments from manure as well as human waste is getting into the ground water, and when members of the 100-person audience at Wednesday's meeting wanted information on how to trace the source to agriculture, Town Supervisor Greg Post suggested, gently, they were looking in the wrong direction.

“If there’s a blend of both (human and agricutlure), it really doesn’t matter," Post said. "The water’s not safe.”

Of the 38 wells tested in the Bank Street Road, State Street Road, Batavia-Elba Townline Road area, 14 tested positive for bacteria and 11 of 13 tested positive for unsafe levels of nitrates.

In the rest of the town, 11 of 52 tested positive for bacteria and 28 of 47 for nitrates.

The results show that Town of Batavia wells are susceptible to contamination from surface water.

Illustrating the point from the audience Wednesday night was Harlo Towner, a Batavia-Elba Townline Road resident who said his well water is completely unusable. He showers at the YMCA or his daughter's house in West Batavia, and when he comes in from gardening, he goes through a regime of anti-bacterial hand washing.

It's been that way for years.

He blames, in part, pesticide planes from the airport.

He said growing up his daughters had stomach problems and rashes that went away when they left for college.

For the past five years, he's been battling cancer. He doesn't think it's a coincidence.

"It's a really bad situation," he said. "We really need water bad. I think everybody on the road signed up for it."

Part of tonight's presentation included Mountain explaining how residents can get on public water, which consists of creating water districts.

There are grants available to help pay for the creation of water districts, but residents can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $700 per year for public water once a district is created, Mountain said.

Photo: Towner is in the center of the picture.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 11:35 pm

GCASA director reports significant drop in alcohol and marijuana use among students

post by Howard B. Owens in GCASA

Marijuana and alcohol use among Genesee County's 11th graders has dropped significantly since 2000, GCASA Director David Markham reports on his blog, GCASA cares.

In 2000, 25.7 percent of the 11th graders surveyed reported using marijuana in the previous 30 days. By 2008, that number dropped to 15.9 percent. (post)

In 2000, 51.9 percent reported drinking in the previous 30 days. In 2008, the number dropped to 38.2 percent. (post)

He said the data comes from a survey administered by GCASA every two years to the county's 6th through 12th graders.

Apparently, the 2010 data is not yet available since Markham does not share those numbers.

Markham concludes his post with a question: How do you account for the change?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Landmark Society announces annual preservation awards

post by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County

Five Genesee County homeowners and their architecturally significant homes will be honored Saturday by the Landmark Society with a dinner at St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia.

The awards range from praise for restoration work to just doing a good job of maintaining a beautiful, older house.

“Looking around Genesee County for buildings to recognize, we were pleased to find an abundance of candidates for recognition. Our committee had a tough time narrowing down the initial list of nominees," said Lucine Kauffman, awards committee chairwoman, in a statement. "Ultimately, we chose a group of homes that is varied in styles of architecture, geographic location, age, and building materials."

Kauffman said with most of the committee members owning older homes, they had a real appreciation for what the home owners did to turn their homes into gems.

"We know that you really have to be devoted and patient to endure the endless maintenance that an old home requires," Kauffman said. "This group of honorees serves as wonderful inspiration to their neighbors and our community.”  

Laurie Oltremari, president of the Landmark Society of Genesee County, said preservation isn't just about maintaining a nice looking house. It's also the green thing to do.

“Many of our award winners have used salvaged, old house parts in combination with new materials that are made from renewable natural sources such as bricks, wood and stone,"  Oltremari said. "Preservation techniques such as these fit into the growing ‘Green’ building movement.”   

By publicly thanking local historic building owners for their preservation accomplishments, the Landmark Society hopes to raise public awareness of the architectural gems we have right here in our backyard, Kauffman said.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County is a nonprofit, volunteer-operated organization. Since 1965, the Landmark Society has encouraged local communities and individuals to work together to preserve our architectural heritage. Preservation, protection and improvement of the landmarks located throughout Genesee County are the objectives of this organization.

On Saturday, there is a reception dinner at 6 p.m., immediately followed by dinner at 7 p.m. the presentation of awards.

After the jump are pictures and descriptions of the winners provided by the Landmark Society.

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