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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Car off the road on the Thruway

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke, Thurway

A car is off the road in the median on the Thruway near mile marker 398.

Unknown injuries.

East Pembroke Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 3:59 p.m.: No injuries. Traffic is heavily backed up in the westbound lanes. There also appears to be another car off the road in the area.

Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Car hits deer on Thruway, driver requests evaluation

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Thurway

A car has struck a deer around mile marker 381 in the westbound lane of the Thruway.

The driver requests evaluation for windshield glass in the face.

Le Roy Fire and Ambulance responding.

UPDATE: Chief puts the responding engine back in service. Only minor injuries. Ambulance on scene.

Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Dump truck and SUV involved in separate accidents at same location moments apart

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A dump truck and an SUV slid off Route 63 south of Galloway Road yesterday in separate accidents that were only moments apart.

lewistondumproll.jpgOne person in the SUV reported a minor injury, but did not require transport to a hospital.

The driver of the dump truck was not injured after it slid off the snow-covered, wind-blown roadway and flipped on its side on the embankment.

Both drivers were cited for alleged violations related to their tires.

The accidents were reported at 9 a.m.

The dump truck was driven by Kevin E. Andrews, 35, of Allegheny Road, Basom. It is owned by PSI Disposal of Corfu.

The SUV was driven by Rebecca M. Lang, 21, of Bartz Drive, Alexander. She was also cited for alleged unsafe speed for conditions.

Lang's passengers included an infant and 34-year-old Charles D. Bucci.

Lang's vehicle slid off the roadway and struck the back of Andrews' overturned dump truck.

The dump truck was fully loaded at the time. No word on how long it took crews to get it upright again.

(initial report)

Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 12:22 am

Alexander couple accused of sex act in public view

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

An Alexander couple were arrested today for allegedly engaging in a sex act in a public place.

The pair was reported to the Sheriff's Office by security personnel with a business on Veteran's Memorial Drive after they were allegedly witnessed engaged in sexual activity at 4:11 p.m.

Charged with public lewdness were Kelly Anne Brown, 34, and Karl James Hulshoff, 34, both of Broadway Road in Alexander.

Brown and Hulshoff were allegedly engaged in a sex act in a parked car in the vicinity of 4180 Veterans Memorial Drive.

They were arrested by Deputy James Diehl and released on an appearance ticket.

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Photos: Oakta Creek and two barns

post by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, Le Roy, Pavilion, photos


Here are three pictures from the a late afternoon drive through Le Roy/Bethany/Pavilion.

Above, Oakta Creek near Creek Road and Le Roy-Bethany Townline Road. Below, two barns on Le Roy-Bethany Townline Road.



Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Director clarifies funding for Genesee Justice

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Justice

Ed Minardo, director of Genesee Justice, sent along the following e-mail to help clarify Genesee Justice funding and the budget situation.

We submitted our initial 2011 budget to the County Manager which called for a total appropriation of $697,418.

This appropriation accounted for our salary and fringe benefits for employees, contractual obligations and other expenses for the operation of our offender services, victim services and the Justice for Children Advocacy Center (JFCAC).

Due to the nature of our grants, $41,890 of the appropriation included rent and utilities for our occupancy at 14 W. Main St., a County building. This is used to demonstrate the County’s share of its in-kind contribution to match grant funds, and is not an actual County expenditure.

In 2011, we are due to receive $318,119 in victim service grants through the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS), New York State Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) and the National Children’s Alliance (NCA).

These funds exist to provide direct victim services to adults through our Comprehensive Victim Services and to the children and their families served through the JFCAC (281 total victims served). These grants have been consistently awarded to us because of the quality of service delivery to the above noted victims of crime in Genesee County.

We have excellent working relationships with the funding agencies and the dedicated professionals who work in those programs.

The receipt of these grants continues to minimize virtually all expenses to the County for these services. This includes the phenomenal work done by the JFCAC staff, contractual agents and members of the Multi-disciplinary Team to meet the needs of children who are physically and sexually abused in Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming and Orleans counties.

In 2011, we are due to receive $84,969 in offender services grants through the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA) and the County STOP-DWI Program. The total number of offenders served through Community Service (419), DWI-CD Program (290) and RUS (245) was 954 in 2009. The above funding helps to offset some of our offender services, but ultimately results in the need for County funds.

For example, the Release Under Supervision Program (RUS) has been frequently recognized by Criminal Justice professionals as the critical component in keeping down our jail population. In 2009, we completed 518 bail evaluations for local Courts, which resulted in the placement of 245 defendants under our supervision in the RUS program.

This program is staffed by a full-time, exceptionally capable Case Manager, with back-up by the Assistant Director and Director of Genesee Justice. This is necessary because we provide bail evaluations within 24 hours of an offender’s placement in jail in order to expedite a review of their status for the Court.

The total grant funding for this program in 2009 was $7,700. This results in a County contribution of at least an additional $53,000, when salaries and program expenses are included. This is the reason that the Probation Department dropped this program in 2002. Probation was under no mandate to provide this service by NY State and the County was not recognizing their obligation to support the program, despite the obvious benefits to the County in reduced jail occupation. Here we are again!

To conclude, in 2011, we are scheduled to receive a total of $403,088 in grant funding for both victim and offender services. We had an initial anticipated County contribution of approximately $237,000. We have since made a considerable reduction of that amount; however, the County Manager is advising us that we must find a way to reduce our County share to ZERO for the next budget year.

We have scheduled a meeting of the Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) on Monday, Nov. 29, to determine if there may be any savings that can be derived from reducing, cutting or making more efficient use of criminal justice resources in order to provide us with the opportunity to remain in existence.

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Christiano Cellular announces sale of company to Indiana-based firm

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Christiano Cellular, Le Roy

Batavia-based Christiano Cellular has been sold to a Marion, Ind.-based company, owner Roger Christiano announced today.

The new owner is Moorehead Communications, with 900 locations throughout the United States.

Christiano Cellular has locations in Batavia, Le Roy and Livingston County.

Christiano said with the sale, he's retiring.

A sale price was not announced.

The Christiano locations will be closed for a few days in early December while staff goes through orientation with the new company.

Full announcement after the jump:

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Elba man accused of sexual contact with child under 11

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba

mug_roberto_aguilar.jpgA 25-year-old Elba man is being charged with sexual abuse in the first degree following his arrest for allegedly having sexual contact with a child under 11 years old.

Rigoberto Aguilar, of Oak Orchard Road, was jailed on $25,000 bail.

Aguilar was taken into custody following a 9-1-1 call at 3 a.m., Friday.

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Tree limb reportedly on wires on Quaker Hill Road

post by Howard B. Owens in elba

A tree limb has fallen across electrical wires in the area of 6173 Quaker Hill Road.

The wires are arcing and sparking.

Elba Fire is responding.
View Larger Map
Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Wind, snow, ice contributing to accidents, cars off the road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, weather

There have been multiple reports of cars off the road in various parts of the county and a couple of accidents.

Currently, a car is off the road with unknown injuries at 1045 Perry Road. The caller did not see anybody get out of the car.

Bethany Fire is just clearing the scene of a two-car property damage accident on Route 63.

One car is reportedly stuck in the middle of the road on State Street Road near Saile Drive.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: The accident on Route 63 was a car into a tree and two people were injured. They're being transported to UMMC now.

UPDATE 12:44 p.m.: Car has hit a pole in the area of East Road and Dublin Road, unknown injuries. The vehicle is leaking fluids. Bethany Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: Vehicle off the road, still occupied, in the area of 5669 Ellicott Street Road.

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 10:05 am

Dump truck rollover reported on Lewiston Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident


A dump truck has reportedly rolled over on Lewiston Road near the Thruway bridge, Town of Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:13 a.m.: The dump truck is on its side, fully loaded. There is a reported injury from the car that struck the truck.

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 8:48 am

Area fire companies responding mutual aid to house fire in Alden area

post by Howard B. Owens in Erie County, fire

Several fire companies on the west side of the county are responding mutual aid, either directly to the fire, or as fill-ins, to a house fire in the Peter's Corners area of Alden, Erie County.

Friday, November 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Photos: First snow day in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, weather


What may be some sort of willow tree on Pekin Road. UPDATE: It's a mulberry tree. Sharon Ladd (formerly Dean, this was the Dean residence), who grew up on the property called to thank us for the picture. She said it's a beautiful tree year around. It's easily more than 100 years old, she said. She said there have been problems with the town over the years because the snow plow drivers think it is dead, so they're not too careful about hitting it. That's why the one branch is held up by a iron pole.


Barn, Pekin Road.


Drake Street Road.

Friday, November 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Possibly intoxicated truck driver reported on westbound Route 5

post by Howard B. Owens in Stafford

A pair of men reportedly entered Red Osier on Route 5 in Stafford, but were refused service because they appeared too intoxicated.

So they left.

They got into a semi-truck without a trailer and tried to drive off. The driver reportedly hit a tree before exiting the parking lot.

The truck was last seen westbound on Route 5.

State Police and deputies are responding to the area.

UPDATE: It sounds like an arrest was made.

Friday, November 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Genesee Justice by the numbers

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Justice

This post is an attempt to gather as many data points as possible related to the issue of Genesee Justice and the county budget.  If you can think of anything that's missing, let me know. Bonus points if you can provide the data.

Genesee Justice was founded in 1981 and by 2006, had received about $6.3 million in grants from government agencies and private foundations.

By the time founding Director Dennis Wittman retired in 2006, 4,959 offenders had performed community service, doing 356,858 hours of unpaid work.

The alternative to jail had also saved county taxpayers, as of 2006, more than $5.9 million because those offenders weren't in jail for the 60,000 days they would have served otherwise.

Jay Gsell's budget message indicates that "Continued female jail population management efforts, particularly in collaboration with Orleans and Wyoming counties, may be the only way to stave off radical State Commission of Correction mandates -- up to and including a new 100 to 120 bed county jail. With a $250,000 per bed construction cost ($24 to $28 million), plus increased staffing, (it) would effectively "blow a hole" in the county budget as 100 percent of these increases are county-only burdens."

At the budget hearing, Sheriff Gary Maha said a new jail would cost about $30 million.

The current jail has a capacity for 87 inmates with a variance to allow for 97 inmates, but can't house females. The annual operating budget is about $3 million.

The Genesee County Jail has revenue from housing inmates from other jurisdictions of about $100,000 per year, of which $30,000 to $35,000 comes from housing federal inmates. 

The county spends about $250,000 per year housing female inmates in other jails.

Livingston County recently completed a $28 million annex to its existing jail, taking the 90-bed facility to 189 beds. Prior to the expansion, Livingston had to place some inmates in Monroe and Steuben counties. The original jail was built in 1983. The annual operational budget is $4.48 million. Debt payment on the new addition is roughly $2 million over 15 years.

Genesee County Probation Department 2010 amended budget -- $1,028,784; proposed 2011 -- $1,354,464, an increase of $325,680

Genesee Justice 2010 amended budget, $678,477; proposed 2011 budget, $173,588, a decrease of $504,889.

Actual apparent cost savings, $179,209.

The total county budget is $140 million.

The total property tax levy is $24,994,063

The current assessment rate per $1,000 of assessed value is $9.82.

In 2007, the assessment rate was $9.98. In 2006, it was $10.25.

The total value of assessed property in Genesee County is $2,544,134,312.

A one penny increase in the levy would generate $254,000 (decimal place error; actual number is $25,400) in new revenue for the county.

A one penny increase in levy would raise the annual tax assessment on an $80,000 home by 80 cents. A dime assessment would be $8.

Friday, November 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Photo: Some snow in Downtown Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in weather


It's not much yet, and even seems to be slowing down since this picture was taken, but there was some snow in Downtown Batavia around 2:30 p.m.


Here's what it looked like at 3:30 p.m.

Friday, November 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm

The county budget and Medicaid

post by Howard B. Owens in budget, genesee county, Medicaid


The future of Genesee Justice wasn't the only matter discussed at the county budget hearing a week ago. County Manager Jay Gsell made a presentation about the county's entire budget picture.

Among the most interesting slides were those dealing with Medicaid. As the pie chart above shows, Medicaid accounts for 41 percent of the county's property tax levy, even though only 10 percent of the county's residents are eligible for benefits.


Federally mandated medicaid services:

  • Inpatient Hospital Services
  • Outpatient Hospital Services
  • Physician Services
  • Medical and Surgical Dental Services
  • Nursing facility services for individuals aged 21 or older
  • Home Health Care (Nursing, Home Health Aide, Medical Supplies and Equipment)
  • Family Planning Services and Supplies
  • Rural Health Clinic Services
  • Laboratory and X-Ray Services
  • Nurse Practitioner Services
  • Federally Qualified Health Center Services
  • Midwife Services
  • Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Services for individuals under 21 (Child/Teen Health Plan in NYS)
  • Medicare Coinsurance and Deductibles for qualified Medicare beneficiaries for Chiropractors, Podiatrists, Portable X-Ray and Clinical Social Work Services

Additional mandated services covered by NYS Medicaid:

  • Free-standing Clinic Services
  • Nursing Facility Services for under age 21
  • Intermediate Care Facility Services for the Developmentally Disabled 
  • Optometrist Services and Eyeglasses
  • Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapy
  • Prosthetic Devices and Orthotic Appliances
  • Dental Services, Audiology and Hearing Aids
  • Clinical Psychologist Services
  • Private Duty Nursing
  • Diagnosis, Screening, Preventive and Rehabilitative Services
  • Personal Care Services
  • Transportation to Covered Services
  • Hospice
  • Case Management
  • Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Services for Individuals under age 21 and over 65
Friday, November 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Police Beat: DWI suspect jailed on $10K bail

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

James Lamar Poole, 46, of Fargo Road, Darien, is charged with DWI, unlawful possession of marijuana, unlicensed driver, driving left of pavement markings and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway. Poole was stopped at 1:46 a.m., Thursday, in Allegheny Road, Corfu, by Deputy Kevin McCarthy. Poole was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Gregory Scott Snyder, 42, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Snyder allegedly twice went to the residence of a protected person in violation of a court's stay-away order.

Friday, November 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Photo: Red Kettle Campaign kick off

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Geoff Redick, Salvation Army, wbta


The Batavia Salvation Army kicked off its annual Red Kettle Campaign today at Seymour Place, East Main Street. WBTA's Geoff Redick made the honorary first donation.

Friday, November 26, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Today's Deals: Alex's Place, South Beach, T.F. Brown's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

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 Dec. 31, 2010).

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.

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.

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.

Batavia Downs Grandstand Bar & Grille, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: A full menu, salad bar and drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

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


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