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Howard B. Owens's blog

Friday, October 15, 2010 at 12:07 am

Mother accused of delivering drugs to son in Genesee County Jail

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

mug_kathleen_catino.jpgA Batavia mother is in jail tonight accused of delivering drugs to her son, who was being held in the Genesee County Jail.

Kathleen Catino, 59, of Seven Springs Road, allegedly handed her son some oxycodone during a jail visit.

Cain Catino, 39, also of Seven Springs Road, is being held on a robbery charge. He is accused of entering the Oakfield Pharmacy on Sept. 20 and demanding hydrocodone.

mug_cain_catino.jpgThe mother is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, promoting prison contraband, 2nd, and possession of a controlled substance by ultimate user's original container.

Son is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband.

Jail officers reportedly witnessed the transaction in the visitation area and immediately seized the alleged contraband.

Kathleen Catino was jailed without bail.

Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Proposed RV campground in Fox Road neighborhood dealt another defeat

post by Howard B. Owens in land use, Oakfield, planning

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A group of residents on Fox Road, Oakfield, got their wish tonight when the Genesee County Planning Board voted against a proposed RV campground in their neighborhood.

It's the second time this year about a dozen residents of the quite Oakfield neighborhood had asked the countywide planning body to reject proposed 30-acre campground on land owned by Mike Dilcher, and it's the second time the board voted unanimously against the plan.

foxroad_attorney.jpgDilcher's attorney Brian Lewandowski tried to convince the board to vote for recommendation, saying that none of the issues being discussed by residents -- such as zoning use and environmental impact -- were appropriate for the county board to decide. Lewandowski maintains that the Town of Oakfield planning board retains appropriate authority on those issues.

The board rejected the proposal for the 267-site campground unanimously (with Michael Cianfrini abstaining) and without discussion.

It's the same results dealt to Dilcher last January.

The rejection returns the proposal to the Town of Oakfield Planning Board, which can veto the county's recommendation with a majority-plus-one vote.

About six residents spoke Thursday night, raising issues about traffic congestion, safety, noise, odor, water and property values.

"I'm sorry to tell you, John, if this project goes through you won't be able to sell your house," said resident Bob Chamberlin. "Nobody on Fox Road will be able to sell their house."

Chamberlin was referring to John Walther, a school teacher -- as is his wife -- who bought a large parcel south of the proposed campground just more than a year ago. 

His property has a pond which won't be fenced off from the campground and is adjacent to a proposed recreation area. Walther said he's worried that children will be able to easily wander over to his pond.

"A berm or hill isn't going to keep children away," Walther said. "What's that going to do to my liability, to my insurance?"

But his biggest concern, he said, is all the strangers the campground will bring into the neighborhood. He said he bought his property specifically because he thought it would be a good place to raise the children he and his wife are planning. If the campground is built, he said, he would have to sell his property and move.

Among the many concerns raised by Diane Oaksford was the density of the proposed campground, which will have 15 sites per acre, she said. She compared that to other campgrounds in Genesee County, listing off the number of sites and acreage for each.

"The point is," she said, "the applicant has proposed the most amount of camp sites on the fewest acres in the most populated residential neighborhood in the county."

Lewandowski didn't take issue with any of the complaints raised by residents, but said none of the issues could correctly be addressed by the county board. He asked the board to refer the matter back to the Oakfield board to handle.

Photos: Top, Diane Oaksford; inset, Brian Lewandowski

Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Young driver looking for help in identifying man who totaled her car

post by Howard B. Owens in Clinton Street Road, crime, Prole Road, Stafford

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In hindsight, 21-year-old Danielle Lovett wishes she hadn't said it was OK for witnesses to leave the scene of an accident she was involved in Sunday night.

It turns out that after the witnesses left, so did the driver of the other car -- flat tire, damaged muffler and all.

Lovett's 1999 Buick was totaled.

Even though Lovett's insurance is giving her $2,100 toward a replacement, she still has to pay a $500 deductible.

"I'd just like to find him so he can pay me back the $500," Lovett said.

She describes the driver as a white male in his late 40s or early 50s. She believes he was driving a Pontiac Aztec or similarly styled car.

The driver's side rear suffered some damage, she said. The man drove off with a flat tire and the noise from his muffler made Lovett think his exhaust system was damaged in the accident.

Even though the Sheriff's Office is investigating the accident, Lovett has tried herself to find the driver, alerting area mechanics and body shops to the damage.

A Bergen resident, Lovett said she was heading home from Batavia at 11 p.m., Sunday, on Route 33 in Stafford when a car coming off of Prole Road failed to yield at a stop sign.

She was unable to brake in time and struck the rear of the car.

Lovett wasn't hurt, but she knew right away her car was majorly damaged.

She said when she got out of the car, the other driver approached her and asked if she was OK. She was, and he said, "OK, so I can leave now?"

"No," she said. "We need to do this the right way."

She called 9-1-1 and when she got off the phone, the man said, "OK, so I can leave now?" 

Lovett insisted he stay and suggested they exchange information. He said he would go to his car and get his documents and she searched her glove box for a pen. When she looked up, the man was getting his car and leaving.

Lovett said the man stumbled toward her after he got out of his car and had slurred speech. At first, she figured he was just as shaken up as she was, but after awhile, she realized it was more than just after-accident shock.

"That's when I thought, 'Oh, my God, he's drunk,'" she said. "He's totally wasted."

There was at least one witness to the accident, Lovett believes, and other people who may have seen the hit-and-run car. She's hoping somebody will be able to come forward with more information to help find the driver.

UPDATE: A possible suspect vehicle has been identified. About 20 minutes after this post appeared, Lovett received a call from a person who read the story suggested a car matching the description was parked at a local repair shop.  I happened by while Danielle was checking out the vehicle.  She said the car sure looked like the one from the accident and the paint transfer, she said, matched the color of her vehicle.  The deputy investigating the accident, Howard Carlson, doesn't come on duty until 11 p.m. and Lovett was told to call back then.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Photo: Accident on Albion Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Albion Road, Oakfield

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There was an accident on Albion Road, Oakfield, at about 3 p.m. today. One person was taken by Mercy EMS to UMMC. 

We missed the initial scanner call and no police report has been issued yet, so no further information is available at this time.

Reader submitted photo.

Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Truck shears off utility pole on South Main Street Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

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A tractor-trailer has reportedly snagged a power line or otherwise hit a utility pole causing it to shear off in the area of 4050 South Main Road, Batavia.

The wires are still up and the pole remains upright.

Town of Batavia Fire is responding. National Grid has been notified.

UPDATE 5:56 p.m.: The scene was cleared some time ago. As for the picture above, it's a bit hard to see, but in the center foreground is a bit of a wire sticking up. It's attached to the base of the utility pole, barely visible. The rest of the utility pole is clear to the left of the picture. It's a very old, very short utility pole. The driver, making his first delivery to Batavia, thought he was on West Main Street Road, not South Main Road. He was making a turn into what he thought was a local business to deliver a supply of camper shells. There's a barn on the property. The cable and phone wires were lower than he thought. No citations were issued.


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Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Photos: City firefighters talk with Robert Morris Pre-K students about fire safety

post by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, photos, Robert Morris School

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City firefighters were at Robert Morris School this afternoon teaching the Pre-K students about fire safety. The class time included instruction on drop-tuck-and-roll, using your "outside voice" to get a firefighter's attention, and not being afraid of the big person in the funny looking suit.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

Dynamic speaker tells local business owners how to stand out in the market place

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, BID, business, chamber of commerce

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Rick Segel , an author and nationally recognized expert on small-business marketing gave a dynamic presentation to about 50 small-business owners or their representatives today. Comedy is part of Segel's pitch and he generated quite a few laughs during the first session. The program went from 9 a.m. 1 p.m. and was sponsored by the Business Improvement District and the Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 11:11 am

Man who tried to outrun police until he ran out of gas given prison term

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

A Batavia man who tried to outrun law enforcement from Avon to Le Roy will serve one- to three-years in state prison, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled this morning.

Randy S. Rumble, 27, of State Street, entered a guilty plea at the end of August to felony DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation. On Aug. 1, Rumble led cops from Avon and deputies from Genesee County on a high-speed chase until he ran out of gas and was taken into custody by a Le Roy police officer.

Defense attorney William Tedford described Rumble as the nicest client he has represented.

He's a nice guy who makes poor decisions when he drinks," Tedford said.

"I have no reason to think you’re not a nice guy, but as people in court have heard me say 100 times, if you get killed by a drunk driver it doesn’t matter if it's Mother Teresa or Charles Manson at the wheel," Noonan said.

"You're lucky you're not standing here responsible for the deaths of other people or buried in the ground yourself. This conduct is way beyond anything that’s acceptable in this society."

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini argued for a stiff prison sentence.

"It was a dangerous situation," Cianfrini said. "He only stopped when he ran out of gas. He didn't stop voluntarily. He then ran into a hedgerow, further hampering law enforcement."

As for a statement to Noonan, Rumble apologized.

I respect whatever sentence you give me," Rumble said, then hung his head. "And that’s it."

Rumble will also be required to pay a $2,000 fine and have an interlock-ignition device on whatever vehicles he has access to upon his release from prison.

Previously: Batavia man allegedly tried to outrun law enforcement, until he ran out of gas

Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 8:17 am

Police Beat: Woman accused of trying to hide stolen merchandise under child

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

Gena Lorane Ellis, 24, of West Ridge Road, Brockport, is charged with petit larceny. Ellis is accused of stealing $124.13 worth of merchandise from Target by hiding the items under her child in her shopping cart.

Amanda Darlene Clemons, 26, of Ridge Road, Holley, is charged with petit larceny. Clemons is accused of trying to steal $211.86 worth of clothing, boots and other merchandise from Target by hiding the items under a blanket in her shopping cart.

David M. Saylor, 26, of 9431 Summit St. Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to keep right, no seat belt and unsafe tires. Saylor was allegedly involved in an accident on North Street. He is accused of striking a parked car at 12:26 a.m. and causing significant damage to both vehicles.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Photo: Ellicott Street paving

post by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Street, photos

ellicottstreetpaving.jpg

Work crews were on Ellicott Street this evening attempting to finish the repaving job through Batavia's downtown.

A worker told me that if it didn't rain, they should be able to finish by 6 a.m.

About an hour later, it did rain a bit.

He also told me that the hot asphalt is 300 degrees when it's laid down.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Batavia man arrested as part of Orleans County marijuana distribution investigation

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

110jacksonst02.jpgA drug investigation that began five months ago in Orleans County led to a search of three Genesee County dwellings Tuesday and the arrest of a Batavia man.

Taken into custody was Edgar Perez, 25, of 110 Jackson St., upper. Perez was arraigned in the Town of Barre Court and jailed in Orleans County on $100,000 bail.

In all, four search warrants were executed by law enforcement Tuesday, including one on a car stopped in Barre where investigators reportedly uncovered eight pounds of marijuana.

Perez was reportedly driving the car.

Search warrants were also executed at 110 Jackson St., Batavia and 32 and 33 Sunset Parkway, Oakfield.

Additional suspects from Genesee County are still being sought according to Orleans County investigator Joe Sacco.

Sacco said Tuesday's arrest and searches were unrelated to another recent drug investigation in Orleans County that grabbed regional media attention.

In the raids, investigators reportedly seized some quantity of marijuana, scales, packaging material and other drug paraphenalia at each search location.

Assisting Orleans County's Major Felony Crime Task Force was the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force and the City of Batavia's Emergency Response Team.

For the record, while we expected to receive a copy of a press release from Orleans County on this matter, we have not. This report combines our interview with Joe Sacco this afternoon and the press release published on WIVB's web site (click through for a picture, apparently, of the marijuana seized).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Man accused of entering woman's home and hitting her

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, crime

A woman claims that a man from Alabama entered her home without permission Tuesday and assaulted her and a friend.

Arrested and charged with burglary, 1st, was Glenn David Reuben, 47, of 7536 Sandhill Road, Alabama.

Reuben was jailed on $10,000 bail.

The woman, a Lockport Road resident, suffered a cut on her face that required stitches.

The alleged assault occurred at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Cause of Monday's fire still undetermined

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, East Main Street, fire

Investigators have yet to determine what sparked a fire that destroyed a rooming house Monday at 433 E. Main St., Batavia.

With no cause uncovered at this point, it's hard to say when investigators will be able to determine how the fire started, according to Lt. Jay Steinbrenner of the Batavia Fire Department.

The investigation remains ongoing.

There's no further information available on the investigation at this time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 10:19 am

Photo: Make a Difference Day

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

makeadiffday.jpg

It's "Make a Difference Day," and as part of the effort, four Batavia High School students were in downtown this morning picking up trash on the sidewalks and flower beds. Above, Donald Fagan, a senior at BHS, patrols for litter in a flower bed on East Main Street.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Three people injured in four-car accident at Daws Corners

dawsfourcaraccident.jpg

Three people were injured in a four-car accident at Daws Corners -- Route 98 and Batavia-Elba Townline Road -- this afternoon.

A westbound car reportedly pulled out from Batavia-Elba Townline Road and was struck by a car traveling southbound on Route 98. Each of those cars then hit two others at the intersection.

Joseph N. Mattison, 20, of Merriman Road, Byron, was cited for alleged failure to yield. Mattison, who was driving a 1994 Chevy sedan, was among the three people injured and transported to UMMC by ambulance.

Also injured were Bob K. Rathman, 39, of Heritage Estates, Albion, and Chrystal Bush, 17, who was a passenger in a car driven by Suanne Quackenbush, 49, of Gillett Road, Byron.

Quackenbush was not injured.

The fourth vehicle was driven by Benny S. Giambrone, 84, of Farnsworth Road, Oakfield.

The accident was investigated by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

(Initial Report)

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Drug Task Force raids, searches apartment on Jackson Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jackson Street

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The Local Drug Enforcement Task Force raided the upper apartment at 110 Jackson St., Batavia, at around 6:15 p.m.

All we know at this point is that the raid was not the only one conducted in Genesee County today.

Investigators were still on scene about two hours later conducting a search of the apartment.

Above, Lt. Chris Bourke of the Orleans County Sheriff's Office and his K-9 "Cliff."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Busy afternoon ties up nearly all ambulances in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in ambulance

It doesn't happen often, but late this afternoon there was a shortage of in-service ambulances serving Genesee County.

All Mercy EMS units were tied up on accidents and medical calls, Le Roy, Byron and Oakfield were tied up, too, and crews in Bethany, Darien and Alexander were requested to respond to their respective fire halls to stand by in case needed.

At the time, there were no in-service ambulances within Batavia city limits. There were also no pending calls in the city at the time.

Within 30 minutes of the Bethany, Darien and Alexander crews being put on standby, three Mercy EMS units came in service.

"It doesn't happen a lot, but there is a system in place to protect the public," said Tim Yaeger, director of emergency management for Genesee County.

Yaeger explained that there is a tiered-response system with Mercy EMS, the respective Volunteer Fire departments' units and the medics with volunteer departments. The county also has mutual aide agreements with neighboring counties.

The volunteer departments can respond to other jurisdictions when the primary ambulance services are tied up.

There's been some talk, Yaeger said, of volunteer departments getting out of ambulance service because of the expense and the difficulty in keeping the services staffed with qualified volunteers.

"This is why we've got to do everything we can to keep those units in business, because they fill in during busy times," Yaeger said.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 9:47 am

Covington man faces new charge for allegedly impersonating federal agent

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy

A 41-year-old Covington man already facing charges out of the Town of Batavia for allegedly trying to pass himself off as a federal law enforcement agent was arrested by Le Roy Police on Monday on a similar charge.

Nikko C. Gambino, of Morrow Road, Convington, was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and jailed on $750 on a charge of criminal impersonation, 2nd.

Gambino is accused of entering a Le Roy business some time in September allegedly dressed as a federal agent and directing an employee of that business to make a phone call under his pretend authority.

Three weeks ago, Gambino was arrested by the Sheriff's Office for allegedly attempting the same ruse in Walmart. A search of his residence reportedly found articles of clothing with law enforcement markings and a metal badge.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said it isn't really clear why Gambino has allegedly attempted to enter retail outlets and pass himself off as a federal agent.

"He's refusing to talk, but we we think it is some sort of diversion," Brewster said. "He wants to draw attention to himself while his accomplice attempts to steal something. We haven't been able to confirm that with surveillance tapes and nothing has been reported stolen. At this point, it's just a guess."

On the arrest out of the Town of Batavia, Gambino was charged with two counts of criminal impersonation, 2nd, and one count of falsely reporting an incident.

He was initially jailed on $5,000 bail.

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