Skip to main content

Howard B. Owens's blog

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.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 8:03 am

Today's Poll: Is the rent too damn high?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls

Poll question suggested by a reader, and if doesn't make sense, watch this video.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Suzanne Corona agrees to 'Walk of Shame' outside South Beach

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


This morning, Suzanne Corona met South Beach owner Ken Mistler at a downtown bank and signed a contract agreeing to carry a sign in front of his restaurant for four hours that reads, "I Stole from South Beach."

The contract, Mistler said, is an admission of guilt. In it, Mistler agrees to drop criminal charges against Corona and she holds harmless Mistler, South Beach and all employees from any possible damages.

On Sept. 30, Corona was reportedly caught stuffing food from South Beach's buffet into baggies. When confronted, Corona, according to Mistler, dumped the food back onto the buffet. All of the items on the buffet had to be trashed right at the height of lunch hour.

According to Mistler, the resulting damage was more than $1,000, so Corona was facing a possible felony charge.

The 41-year-old Corona was in City Court briefly this afternoon on her other notorious legal case -- the public lewdness charge she admitted to in August.

Corona, who was initially charged with adultery for having sexual contact with a man not her husband in Farrall Park in June, was scheduled to be sentenced today.

The sentencing was continued until Nov. 24.

Judge Michael Del Plato only said that the proposed sentence "is something not available to me." He also instructed the attorneys on both sides that "what is confidential remains confidential."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 11:41 am

VP of Byron-Bergen schools dies unexpectedly

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, Byron-Bergen Central Schools

Lori NelsonThe Byron-Bergen education community is dealing with an unexpected loss after the Central School Board of Education Vice Presdient Lori Nelson passed away yesterday.

The school district announced the passing of Nelson, 49, today.

She served on the Byron-Bergen board since her election in 2000.

“Our community suffered a great loss yesterday with the sudden passing of Lori Nelson,” said Scott Martzloff, Ed.D, Byron-Bergen CSD superintendent of schools. “Lori served our board with distinction for 11 years, eight of which were in the role of vice president.”

The Byron-Bergen CSD community sends its deepest condolences and sympathy to Lori’s family and friends during this difficult time, including Robert, her husband, and their three children Mitchel, Bobbi Gayle and Regina, and all Byron-Bergen CSD graduates. “Lori was a passionate advocate for Byron-Bergen students and staff,” Martzloff said.  “She was well liked and respected by her board colleagues and will be sorely missed here as a leader.”

Nelson was a voting delegate on the New York State School Boards Association, a member of the Executive Board of Genesee Valley School Boards Association and active in the Boy Scouts.

(via WBTA)

UPDATE: Lori Nelson's obituary has been published.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 11:14 am

Roll over accident reported on College Drive near Bank Street Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

The driver is out of the car and reportedly only shaken up following a reported roll over accident on College Drive near Bank Street Road.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

BHS student organizes own "wear purple" day to promote anti-bullying message

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bullying, education


People -- including gay teens -- shouldn't be bullied.

That's the message Batavia High student Kelly Jones wanted to get out today.

After reading about Oct. 20 being a "wear purple" day in remembrance of five gay teens who reportedly committed suicide recently after being bullied, Kelly wanted to get as many students at BHS as possible to wear purple today.

Many did.

"I feel bad for people," Kelly said. "I see it every day. I've bullied and I feel horrible about it. I just think it's a horrible thing and I just don't want people to be bullied anymore."

Kelly found out about the day through a Facebook group, so she sent messages to all of her friends yesterday -- three times -- and asked them to make sure all of their friends at BHS knew about the plan.

Principle Chris Daily said Kelly's initiative and so many students participating is typical of BHS.

"We have an extremely caring and giving bunch of kids at Batavia," Daily said.

"We're lucky here," he added. "We have such a diverse population in this high school -- the haves and the have nots, all sorts, that people are used to people being a little different."

Though students said the school isn't without its bullies, and they want it to stop.

"It's not right for here," said Kelly, who is on the far left in the picture above. "This is a small town and everybody knows everybody."

Cassie Warren said she wore purple today not because she's seen a lot of bullying this year, but she has in the past.

"(I wore purple) because people who are like gay and lesbian, they don't have maybe the right to speak out because everyone teases them," Cassie said. "It's not right, so I wanted to show them that people care."

Rebecca Truesell said it was moving to see so many of her classmates in purple today.

"I kind of related to (the gays who were bullied) because I've been picked on my whole life," Rebecca said. "It means a lot to me (that her classmates are wearing purple). When I saw all of the people, I almost started crying. All of these people care and it didn't seem like they cared, but they really do."


Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 9:32 am

Speed blamed for crash on Maltby Road that injured teen

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield

A teenage girl suffered minor injuries in a one-car accident on Maltby Road last night.

Natalie N. Buczek, 14, a passenger in a car driven by a 19-year-old Oakfield resident, was taken to UMMC for treatment of minor facial cuts and bleeding.

The driver, Raymond J. Litteer Jr., of 28 S. Main St., Oakfield, received a citation for allegedly speeding.

Neither Litteer nor another passenger, Justin D. Smith, 15, were injured in the crash.

According to investigator Deputy Chad Minuto, Litteer was driving too fast, heading east, on Maltby Road at 8:28 p.m. The driver reported hitting a dip and then losing control of a 2000 Chevy sedan owned by Danielle Buczek, of 26 S. Main St., Oakfield. 

The car hit an embankment and then a utility pole, which was damaged.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 7:15 am

Today's Deals: The Enchanted Florist, Blue Pearl Yoga, T.F. Brown's, Settler's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Fall colors. Fall flowers. Brighten your home or office. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

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 three weeks of yoga, 13 classes, a $36 value, for $18.

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.

The Daily Grind, 85 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: For Batavia's finest coffee, smoothies, as well as fast and convenient breakfasts and lunches, stop into The Daily Grind. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Fall decorations are in as well as a big selection of spring bulbs. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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.

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.

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


Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Downtown business recovering from small fire last week

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, TopLine Shirt Co.

A fire on Thursday caused $5,000 in damage and disrupted business for TopLine Shirt Co. But owners Tim Walton and Rob Credi say normal operations will resume on Monday.

Here's their full statement:

TopLine Shirt Co. is set to resume their normal business hours of M-F from 12-5 p.m. starting Monday, Oct. 25 after cleaning up from a recent fire. TopLine had been operating on limited operating hours since a fire occurred at the shop last week.

The fire started around 6:30 on Thursday night when one of the flash ovens malfunctioned and caught fire. The flash oven is a dryer similar to a large heat gun that radiates heat downward to dry ink onto shirts after they are printed.

The fire quickly spread from the dryer and spread to shirts that were on a nearby table, and eventually to a box of cleaning rags that had cleaning chemicals on them. The fire was kept under control, by owner Timothy Walton, who was able to grab a hose that was connected to the washtub in the nearby bathroom and spray it to keep the fire down.

The total damage is estimated to be around $5,000 which includes the loss of an oven, table, heat press and clothing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 8:05 am

Police Beat: Man accused of intentionally driving toward another car

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

James R. Sweet, 49, of 5 Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, reckless endangerment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Sweet is accused of intentionally driving his car into the lane of traffic occupied by another vehicle. The other car was reportedly driven by a person Sweet was ordered to stay away from. There was reportedly a child in that car.

Monday, October 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Photo: Le Roy Fire at training center

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Fire, volunteers


Le Roy Fire was at the Fire Training Center on State Street Road this evening for ongoing instruction on how to deal with car fires. The volunteers work on their approach to a vehicle and how to most effectively put out the fire. 

Volunteer firefighters from throughout Genesee County engage in various training and briefings every Monday night.

For more on volunteer opportunities, click here.

Monday, October 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Suzanne Corona has yet to agree to carry 'I Stole At South Beach' signs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Suzanne Corona


No charges have been filed yet against Suzanne Corona for allegedly trashing the buffet at South Beach on Sept. 30, and owner Ken Mistler remains ready to drop the charges if she agrees to carry these signs for four hours on East Main Street, Batavia.

Mistler had the signs made up more than a week ago in anticipation of Corona signing a contract admitting she stole from South Beach, but then Corona reportedly became hospitalized and has been unavailable since.

Corona is suspected of walking into South Beach with a purse full of baggies and then trying to fill them up with buffet items before wait staff interfered. When a manager intervened, Corona allegedly began dumping the baggies back on the buffet.

The value of the trashed buffet, plus the lost afternoon business, cost the restaurant more than a $1,000, according to Mistler, which means if Corona doesn't agree to carry the signs she faces at least one felony charge.

Batavia's notorious woman is expected in court Wednesday for sentencing on her public lewdness conviction. As part of a plea deal, an adultery count was dropped. Corona admitted to a sexual act with a man not her husband on a picnic table in Farrall Park in June.

Monday, October 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Photos: Sunrise, sunset on Molasses Hill Road

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Mollasas Hill Road, photos


I found myself awake quite early this morning, so I decided to drive out to Molasses Hill Road and see if I could catch the sunrise.

Yesterday, just after sunset, I was in all most the same spot seeing what kind of picture I could make. The result is below.


Premium Drupal Themes