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Howard B. Owens's blog

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Duck owner's case continued so he can hire an attorney

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, code enforcement, Oak Street

In the other bird matter on the Batavia City Court docket this morning, Oak Street resident Ron Graziaplena appeared before Judge Robert Balbick to answer to charges that his duck pond is in violation of a variance permit.

Graziaplena is also accused of various other code violations.

After entering a not guilty plea, Graziaplena was informed that he was entitled to an attorney to represent him in the matter.

Graziaplena asked for a continuance of his case to Aug. 20 so that he get an attorney.

"I don't know who I'm going to get," Graziaplena.

He said he couldn't afford an attorney, but Balbick said that because these alleged violations are not under penal law, Balbick couldn't offer a court-appointed attorney.

Previously: Dispute over ducks, other complaints, has Oak Street man headed to court.

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Weather: Thunderstorm watch in effect until 8 p.m.

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for portions of Genesee County, including Batavia

The watch is in effect until 8 p.m.

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 10:18 am

Latina's property manager not in court, arrest warrant issued

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, crime, downtown, Latina's

hiller.jpg

Tom Lewin is a wanted man.

Lewin, representative of LKLWL Properties, did not appear in Batavia City Court this morning on the matter of alleged code violations at the former Latina's Market property and Judge Robert Balbick issued a warrant for his arrest.

Meanwhile, attorneys for IPTV-B-C-45, LLC, the current mortgage holder on the property at 45 Ellicott St., did appear in court.

Franklin Hiller, attorney for the mortgage company, said that IPTV, not LKLWL as previously indicted by Lewin, hired PestRX to evaluate the gull issue at Latina's and come up with a plan for deal with the issue.

To implement that plan, which was turned over to the court by the attorney for IPTV, will cost IPTV $16,600. It will involve cleaning bird debris off the 41,580-square-foot roof, power washing the sides of the building, cleaning drains and putting in new drain covers, and implementing an "exclusion" procedure to deter the gulls from coming back.

The exclusion method was not specified.

"We intend to put forward our best effort and resolve this issue and put it right with the city," Hiller said.

As mortgage holder -- having only recently been assigned the mortgage, Hiller said --  IPTV has the right to protect its financial interest in the property and insure the building is well maintained.

Without IPTV stepping in now to try and resolve the issue, IPTV could ultimately face a bigger bill down the road.

"The cost of any fines or penalties or the cost of the city's remediation would ultimately come out of the mortgage holder's pockets," Hiller said.

One potential stumbling block is that before PestRX will begin work, Lewin must sign a liability waiver.

Outside of court, another attorney for IPTV, Mary Redmond, said that one way or another, IPTV will handle the issue.

As for Lewin, Judge Balbick wants to see him in court.

"The defendant will answer in my court independent of what you (Hiller) do," BaIbick said. "It’s imperative that this man appear in city court."

City Manager Jason Molino said the city will actively pursue the warrant against Lewin to ensure he appears before Balbick to answer the code violation charges.

Photo: Franklin Hiller, courtesy Geoff Redick, WBTA.

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

Police Beat: Teens accused of stealing latex gloves from Alexander School

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

Lucas David Trzecieski, 18, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, and petit larceny. Trzecieski is accused of being on Alexander School property without permission and of stealing latex gloves. A 17-year-old from Attica was also charged.

Jason L. Adams, 66, of Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Adams was arrested by State Police at 5:17 p.m., Wednesday. No further details were released.

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 8:17 am

Western OTB CEO announces retirement after 29 years

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business, Western OTB

After 29 years of driving Western Regional Off-Track Betting, Martin Basinait is stepping down as CEO.

Basinait announced his retirement to the OTB board in a letter yesterday.

His legacy will be the revival of Batavia Downs. It was Basinait who convinced OTB to buy the vacility and bring back horseracing.

Dick Seibert said it was also Basinait who championed the addition of video lottery terminals.

"Horseracing is a declining industry and there's nothing you can do about it," Seibert told WBTA. "Without the VLTs, we would be facing a dismal future. We have a bright future now."

Basinait's resignation is effective in February 2011. The board will now begin the search for a new CEO.

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 7:39 am

Today's Deals: Larry's, Kraving's, Alex's, O'Lacy's, Center Street, 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.

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.

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.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card 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.

SOLD OUT
Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Batavia-based drug dealer admits to crime in federal court

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Batavia-based drug dealer admitted in U.S. Federal Court today that he was involved in the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

Kenneth Munnings, 44, faces a maximum federal penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million after telling U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa that he was guilty of conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, illicit drugs, and to distributing them.

The charges stemmed from a joint federal, state and local wiretap investigation that revealed Munnings was responsible for obtaining significant quantities of meth, cocaine and marijuana from a drug-trafficking network in Rochester, according to U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey. Harvey said Munnings then redistributed the drugs in Genesee County.

The investigation uncovered Munnings dealings from 2006 through October 2008.

Munnings will be sentenced at 4 p.m., Nov. 1, in Rochester.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

Police Beat: Tussle on Council House Road leads to two arrests, so far

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, crime, Le Roy, Tonawanda Indian Reservation

Cara L. Skye, 22, of South Loop, Steamburg, and Stormy Skye, 18, of Skye Road, Basom, are accused of being involved in an altercation at 4:14 a.m., Wednesday, in the area of Council House Road and Meadville Road, Town of Alabama. Cara Skye is accused of punching a woman and taking away her mobile phone while she was attempting to call 9-1-1. Cara Skye's brother, Stormy Skye, allegedly took the phone and smashed it on the roadway. Cara Skye is charged with robbery, 3rd. Stormy Skye is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. The investigation is continuing and additional arrests are anticipated. The investigation is being handled by Deputy Kevin McCarthy, Inv. Roger Stone, Inv. Kris A. Kautz, Inv. Timothy Weis and Juvenile Officer Christopher Erion.

Michael C. Hill Jr., 18, of 25 Bacon St., Le Roy, is charged with one count of criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Sgt. Timothy Hayes and Det. John Condidorio investigated a report of a disturbance in Mill Street Park. It was alleged that Hill was at the park discussing an issue with another person. The talk became heated and Hill allegedly pulled out a four-inch hunting knife. Somehow, Hill was disarmed. The police were called. The knife was located in Oatka Creek.

Michael J. Hilton, 19, no permanent address, was picked up by Le Roy Police on a bench warrant for alleged failure to comply with terms of his release. Hilton previously pled guilty to burglary, 3rd. Hilton was jailed pending an appearance in Genesee County Court.

James M. Alvut, 46, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Alvut was stopped by State Police at 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, on Bank Street Road, Batavia.

A 16-year-old Elba resident is charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic. The youth was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident in Elba at 9:07 p.m., Saturday. No further details were released.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

Today's Deal: Present Tense, Blue Pearl, O'Lacy's, Carlson's Studio and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 seven weeks of yoga, a $70 value, for $35. Next session starts Aug. 2.

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 $120 gift card for $60 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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.

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.

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.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card 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.

SOLD OUT

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Vehicle rollover on Thruway in Pembroke area

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke

A car has rolled over on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 403.3, eastbound.

Pembroke and Indian Falls and Mercy EMS dispatched.

A caller saw a vehicle on the shoulder on its roof.

Unknown injuries.

UPDATE 10:27 p.m.: First responders are not finding any signs of an accident.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: There is a trailer parked off the side of the Thruway and responders are thinking that the caller may have mistaken it for a rollover. Emergency responders being put back in service.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Weather: Storm Update

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

downtownstorm.jpg

UPDATE 6 p.m.: Picture of Main and Bank streets about 10 minutes ago, when a storm cell passed over Batavia. Within minutes, the skies started to clear and the rain stopped. There may be more on the way. There is a report of a traffic light being stuck in red in one direction and green in another at Oak Street and Richmond Avenue as well as at Oak and the Thruway. There was a report of wires down on Walnut, but that turned out to be cable wires and not in the street. So far, it sounds like the parade at the Genesee County Fair is going to go ahead as scheduled.

----

A tree is down and completely blocking North and State Street roads in Elba. Elba Fire Police are responding to shut down traffic.

There are minor power outages near Byron. The largest effects 11 customers in the Gillette Road area.

About 19 residents are without power in the area of Hawes Road.

The severe thunderstorm watch has been updated.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... EAST CENTRAL GENESEE COUNTY IN WESTERN NEW YORK, EXTREME NORTH CENTRAL LIVINGSTON COUNTY IN WESTERN NEW YORK, SOUTHWESTERN MONROE COUNTY IN WESTERN NEW YORK.

* UNTIL 6:15 P.M. EDT.

* AT 5:10 P.M. EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM CALEDONIA TO FIVE MILES NORTHWEST OF LE ROY...OR ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 13 MILES SOUTH OF BROCKPORT TO SEVEN MILES EAST OF BATAVIA...AND MOVING EAST AT 10 MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE... LE ROY AND CALEDONIA.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Photo: Tire tryouts at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

yokohama_testdrive.jpg

Yokohama Tire took over a portion of the Batavia Downs parking lot today so tire dealers from throughout Western New York could come to town and test drive Mini Coopers equipped with Yakohama's high performance tires. Dealers and their employees were able to drive a course and see how different tires performed. They also tried to beat the best times.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Weather: Thunderstorm watch in effect for Western New York

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

There's a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Genesee County, but there's also only a 40 percent chance of participation in Batavia.

What looks like, from the radar, a big storm cell just passed to the north of us (possibly dumping rain on the north parts of the county), and there are more cells moving west to east.

The watch is in effect until 8 p.m.

UPDATE 4:51 p.m.: A flood warning as been issued for the norther parts of Genesee County:

AT 432 PM EDT RADAR ESTIMATED GREATER THAN 3 INCHES OF RAIN HAS FALLEN IN NORTHERN PORTIONS OF GENESEE AND SOUTHWESTERN PORTIONS OF MONROE COUNTY. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL CONTINUE TO RIDE ALONG A LAKE BREEZE BOUNDARY...WITH ADDITIONAL RAINFALL OF UP TO AN INCH POSSIBLE BETWEEN 430 AND 600 PM. THE HEAVIEST RAIN IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY SLIDE SOUTH AND WEAKEN THROUGH THIS EVENING.

* EXPECT SOME AREA ROADS TO BE CLOSED DUE TO HIGH WATER. SOME STREAMS AND DRAINAGE DITCHES WILL ALSO RUN HIGH THROUGH THIS EVENING. WHILE RAPID RISES ON STREAMS AND CREEKS ARE NOT EXPECTED...HIGH WATER WILL LIKELY RESULT IN ROAD CLOSURES. THOSE COMMUTING IN NORTHERN GENESEE COUNTY SHOULD BE ALERT FOR HIGH WATER AND ROAD CLOSURES

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 10:21 am

Grand Jury Report: DWI charge and a 'no bill' on a burglary charge

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Grand Jury

Andrew S. Novak is indicted on a felony count of DWI and a felony count of driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Novak is accused of driving drunk on March 14 on Linwood Road in the Town of Le Roy.

Ronald Carney received a "no bill" from the Grand Jury on charges of burglary, 2nd, and criminal trespass, 2nd. The charged stemmed from an incident in Le Roy on Jan. 23. A "no bill" means the Grand Jury found insufficient evidence to sustain the charges.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 10:03 am

Batavia resident accused of dealing cocaine

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

mug_dyllon_soccio.jpg(Updated 12:57 p.m.)

A 20-year-old Batavia man is accused of selling cocaine to an undercover agent from the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force in 2009.

Dyllon E. Soccio, of 124 Tracy Ave., was taken into custody yesterday.

He is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Soccio's arrest was part of an investigation into trafficking cocaine in the Batavia area.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said Soccio, who grew up in Batavia, has been a person of interest to the Sheriff's Office for about three years.

On June 23, the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force raided Soccio's home and reportedly seized a quantity of drugs, including what Brewster characterized as a substantial amount of mushrooms.

"He was quite diversified," Brewster said.

Charges stemming from the June 23 arrest include criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, criminal possession of marijuana, 2nd, and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

He was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision of Genesee County Justice.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 9:55 am

Police Beat: Man accused of rape in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

Jacob E. Lambertson, 21, homeless, is charged with multiple counts of rape, 3rd. Lambertson is accused of having sex with two girls from the Village of Le Roy who are under 17 years old. The alleged incidents occurred between April and June. Lambertson was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 9:35 am

Photos: Genesee County Fair

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Genesee County Fair, photos

countyfair07a.jpg

The Genesee County Fair opened Tuesday.

All of the typical county fair goodness is available this year -- carnival rides, food, games, big farm equipment, a chance to get up close to farm animals, livestock competitions, crafts and contests, music, dancing and live entertainment.

There will be a meat auction on Thursday.

The fair runs through Saturday.

countyfair25.jpg

More photos after the jump.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 9:14 am

Muckdogs take 2-0 lead into sixth, but can't hold on

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, Batavia Muckdogs, sports

Another strong pitching effort from starter Justin Edwards, but the Batavia bullpen was unable to protect a 2-1 lead and the Muckdogs (16-15) lost to Williamsport Tuesday, 8-3.

Edwards went six innings and allowed only one unearned run. Travis Lawler was charged with a blown save, giving up two hits and one run, but the Muckdogs were really buried when David Kington came on and gave up three hits, walked three and surrended six runs.

The only Muckdog to post a multi-hit game was Nick Longmire, who went 2-4, scored two runs and smacked his fourth triple of the season.

The Muckdogs return home Sunday to face Williamsport.

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