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Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

Today's Poll: What does 9/11 mean to you?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 9:34 am

Batavia girls tennis team looking to match last year's success in tougher division

post by Howard B. Owens in sports, tennis


Coming off a league championship, the Batavia High girls tennis team has been moved up to a tougher division this year, but coach Kevin Walkowski is OK with that.

"They’re recognize that we have a strong program," Walkowski said. "The only way you’re going to get better as a player and a team is to play against the best."

Yesterday, the ladies team beat Greece Arcadia/Olympia.

Walkowski likes the makeup of his team this year. It's filled with talented young women who love the game, he said.

batgirlstennis_12.jpgThe number one singles player is Amy Schmidt (Photo: inset, left), who beat Dana Starr 6-1, 6-2, Friday. Walkowski said Schmidt is an intense, competitive player.

"She’s got the big heart and refuses to give up," Walkowski said. "I remember when she first started out it was keep your feet moving, keep your feet moving and wear out your opponents. Now she’s talking strategy."

On the number two court is Michelle Richenburg (top photo). Walkowski said she is a "technically sound player." Richenburg beat Paige Olscamp 6-0, 6-0.

The team this year also features an exchange student from Germany, Lisa Farkinghoff (bottom photo before the jump). Farkinghoff beat Morgan Boyce 6-1, 6-4.

"She comes to us with a clay court game," said Walkowski. "She has all the cuts and slices, so we’re trying to get her to hit a little harder. If we get her to turn around she will make a difference for us in the sectionals."

Walkowski also praised Nicole Guilds, who transferred from Notre Dame two years ago. Guilds' strength is doubles, Walkowski said, but she also really enjoys singles. In singles Friday, Guilds beat Kim Hull 6-1, 6-0.

Batavia's fifth win Friday was a doubles match, with Maryssa Peirick and Robin Clemm over Lauran Caulkins and Kaylee Rizzari 6-2, 6-2.


More pictures after the jump:

Friday, September 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Car into building at routes 63 and 19, Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

A car has hit a building at the intersection of routes 63 and 19, Pavilion.

There are no injuries reported.

Pavilion Fire is responding.

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Friday, September 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Microwave oven reportedly on fire in Byron

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, fire

A microwave oven is reportedly on fire in the kitchen of a home at 5161 Walkers Corners Road, Byron.

Byron and South Byron fire departments are being dispatched.

The homeowner has used a fire extinguisher, but it's unknown if the fire is out.

UPDATE 6:26 p.m.: Units told to respond non-emergency.

UPDATE 6:32 p.m.: Byron and South Byron back in service.

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Friday, September 10, 2010 at 11:51 am

Wanted: Deborah Compton

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Wanted


The Sheriff's Office is looking for assistance in locating Deborah Compton. Compton is wanted on a warrant on charges of resisting arrest and promoting prison contraband. Compton has reportedly failed to appear for court appearances on the charges after posting bail.

UPDATE: Some additional info has come through. Compton is 53. Last known address, 6542 Swamp Road, Byron. In March, she was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. She allegedly resisted arrest at that time. When she was booked into jail on those charges, she was allegedly found in possession of marijuana. She allegedly failed to appear for her next court appearance on those charges and was arrested in May. She has subsequently allegedly failed to make her next court appearance.

Friday, September 10, 2010 at 10:18 am

Ryan Gugel home for rehab, and eager to get back to baseball

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Ryan Gugel, sports


Former Batavia High baseball standout Ryan Gugel still has a place in the Philadelphia Phillie's organization even though he missed most of 2010 with a shoulder injury.

Gugel is back home for a few months and helping out a little with his family's business -- Clor's Meat Market -- and continuing his rehabilitation.

The 23-year-old catcher was off to a good start in spring training -- hitting .450 with one home run -- when he was throwing at a scouting session and felt a stinging pain in his shoulder.

The initial diagnoses was tendinitis, but after three stints in rehab without improvement, the Phillies trainers sent him in for an MRI. Doctors found a 50-percent tear in his rotator cuff.

The Phillies gave him a choice -- more rehab, with the risk that the problem would return, or surgery. After giving it a couple of days thought and talking it over with his parents, Gugel opted for surgery.

That was in May and Gugel spent the next few months in Florida at the Phillies' training facility, going through rehab in the morning and just hanging out at the hotel in the afternoon.

"It was a tough period," Gugel said. "I'd get back to the hotel and there just wasn't much to do."

The rehab stint wasn't entirely boring, though. Gugel said as the season went on, more members of the Phillies organization joined him in Florida, including some of the MLB team's stars.

"It wasn’t bad when I got to rehab with Rollins, Happ, Madson, Durbin, Polanco and Utley," Gugel said. "It was a good time there talking with some of those guys."

Gugel's rehab continues in Batavia. He's glad to finally be back lifting weights and he trains with his uncle Dee Gugel. In October, he can start tossing a baseball again. The Phillies want him to report to Florida in January, where he'll get some work as Roy Halladay's bullpen catcher when the ace starter starts his pre-season workouts.

In an organization with some drafted catchers -- including this year's third-round pick Cameron Rupp -- Gugel, who was signed as a free agent in 2009,  knows he has his work cut out. But he feels encouraged that the Phillies are showing faith in him despite the injury.

"It’s really a bit tougher being one of the lower-ranked guys," Gugel said. "You’ve got to work your way to the top."

Friday, September 10, 2010 at 9:40 am

Police Beat: Oakfield resident accused of stealing mail

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield

Paula J. Legg, 43, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. Legg is accused of stealing mail in the presence of a child.

Friday, September 10, 2010 at 8:30 am

New Today: Red Osier

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

New Today, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY. Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. 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.

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Only recently reopened, a fine/casual dining atmosphere, offering steaks and seafood and daily specials. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Gas station owner accused of fraudulently using credit cards

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Following a joint investigation by Batavia Police detectives and the U.S. Secret Service, a Batavia businessman has been charged with fraud.

Nicholas Salvador, 46, of 20 Park Ave., Batavia, owner of East Main Sunoco, is being charged with two federal crimes related credit-card fraud.

The investigation is related to the arrest in March of Dustin Hurlburt, 32, of 21 Elm St., Warsaw, who was accused of operating a complicated scheme to buy building materials at Armor Building Supply using credit-card numbers obtained at the gas station where he worked and reselling the material.

Salvador is accused of using credit-card information of more than one person, and on more than one occasion, to purchase building materials at Armor Building Supply on several dates in 2009.

Det. Kevin Czora headed the investigation in Batavia.

Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm

One run is all ValleyCats need to put end to Batavia's season

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


Starting pitcher Andrew Moss did all he could, from charging check-swing grounders to diving for infield bloopers and pitching nine complete innings of four-hit ball, but in the end it wasn't enough.

The Batavia Muckdogs lost 1-0, dropping its playoff series with the Tri-City ValleyCats 2-1.

Attendance for what may be the last professional baseball game in Batavia was 601.

But it was a rowdy 601 fans, never giving up until the final called strike -- with a runner on first -- to Nick Longmire.

The WildCats plated their lone run in the 4th when Adam Bailey doubled to right field with a runner on first base. Tyler Burnett reached on a squib infield single that both Moss and second baseman Joey Bergman made heroic efforts to field.

The Muckdogs managed only three hits.

Once the reality of the loss sunk in, only some fans started to leave. Many stayed a few minutes longer and gave a final cheer and yelled thank you to the players as they left the field.


More pictures after the jump:

Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Police Beat: Reported fight leads to arrest of Oakfield man on warrants

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, crime, Le Roy, Oakfield

Robert P. Leiser, 41, of Lockport Road, Oakfield, is charged with trespass, criminal possession of marijuana, 4th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. State Police and Sheriff's deputies came into contact with Leiser on Lockport Road, Oakfield, when responding to a report of a fight at 10:54 a.m. There was reportedly a warrant for his arrest on a trespass charge as well as a warrant out of Monroe County on the marijuana charges. No charged were filed in connection with the fight call.

Donna Marie Kowsky, 35, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and following too closely. Kowsky was charged after reportedly being involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 7:58 p.m., Tuesday, in the area of 6112 Byron-Holly Road, Byron. Kowsky was allegedly tailgating.

Gregory Allen Jones, 31, of Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal contempt. Jones is accused of contacting a person he was barred from contacting by court order.

Brandon M. Weig, 22, of Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. State Police responded to an unspecified incident at 3:34 p.m., Monday, and arrested Weig. No further details were released.

Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 11:58 am


post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press Release:

(Batavia NY) --- Most race cards for the remainder of the 2010 Batavia Downs Casino harness meet will now be available to television viewers in both the Rochester and Buffalo regions, it was announced today by Michael D Kane, Vice President, Operations and Live Racing.

In the Rochester area, races will continue to be featured on Channel 98 on Time-Warner’s basic digital package. The coverage area includes all or parts of Genesee, Orleans, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Yates and Steuben Counties.

In the Buffalo area, racing will be carried on Channel 114 on Time-Warner (Channel 111 in Olean), WGRZ Digital Channel 2-2 and Verizon Fios Channel 460. The coverage area includes all or parts of Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties.

Nightly race programming will begin at 6:30 p.m. and complete at about 10:00 p.m., according to Kane. Racing analyst Todd Haight returns for his 8th year and track announcer Joe Zambito for his 6th as co-hosts of the simulcast show.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Batavia Downs to showcase its live racing product to our two largest markets. It’s a nice attraction for new customers and provides our long-time racing fans with the nightly races in the comfort of their homes,” Kane said.

Kane reminds harness fans that OTB provides telephone betting through its Dial-A-Bet service. Patrons may phone 1-800-724-4000 to establish an account.

Batavia Downs Casino is owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation. In addition to being America’s Oldest Lighted Harness Track, the facility at 8315 Park Road is home to over 600 of the most popular slots and Grandstands Bar & Grille.

Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 8:46 am

Batavia woman accused of letting drug dealers operate from her home

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A 34-year-old Batavia woman is being accused of letting drug dealers operate from her home at 3 Vine St.

mug_butler.jpgThe woman and three other people were arrested Wednesday following a raid by the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force at the residence.

The four arrests make it a total of five people accused of drug dealing at that address.

Sara H. Butler was charged with criminal nuisance, 1st, which is a class E felony in New York.

mug_oneal.jpgButler and the other people taken into custody at 5:30 p.m. were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and loitering.

The three others arrested were Quinton L. Spinks, 26, of Terrance Park, Rochester, Steven J. Hirsch, 23, of Raymond Avenue, Batavia, Cheetara M. O'Neal, 24, of Sawyer Street, Rochester.

mug_hirsch.jpgOn Aug. 26, 40-year-old William J. Butler was taken into custody at the same address. Butler is suspected of trafficking in crack cocaine and was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and promoting prison contraband, 1st.

The four arrested yesterday are accused of dealing cocaine and crack cocaine. Investigators executed a search warrant on the residence and allegedly found both drugs in the house. Their combined reported street value is $2,000. Investigators also say they found more than $600 in cash.

mug_spinks.jpgButler, Spinks and O'Neal were taken into custody at the residence. Hirsch was reportedly seen leaving the residence just before the raid and taken into custody on East Avenue.

Batavia police officers assisted in the raid.

All four suspects were arraigned and jailed without bail.

Photos, from top: Sara Butler, O'Neal, Hirsch, Spinks.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Muckdogs win on walk-off out at home plate

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


NOTE: As the video embedded below shows, Joey Bergman, not Nick Longmire made the throw, even though the official game recap credits Nick Longmire.

All season, Nick Longmire has swung a productive bat to help the Batavia Muckdogs make it to the NY-Penn League playoffs.

Tonight, it was Longmire's arm that helped ensure there will be at least one more professional baseball game played in Batavia.

In the top of the ninth, with two out and bases loaded, Tri-City Wildcats shortstop Ben Orloff hit a blooper to center. Longmire charged, dove and the ball ticked off his glove. Chris Wallace scored from third to make the score 5-4. Jacke Healey, on second, never broke stride, charging for home. Muckdogs catcher Juan Castillo stepped in front of the plate blocking Healey's path and taking Bergman's throw on one bounce. Healey didn't have a chance.

The play capped a game that was as good as they come. For the 59,000 Genesee County residents who weren't at Dwyer tonight -- you were in the wrong place.

It was a game that was as unusual as it was compelling. It opened under dark, heavy cloud cover, a threat of rain, and a must-win match in a three-game playoff series after the Muckdogs had already dropped one game.

Orloff opened the first with a double, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on the second out. Starter Zach Russell then walked the next three batters and hit the fourth.

The Muckdogs were down by two runs on only one hit.

In the fifth inning, with the score 2-1, the Muckdogs loaded the bases and Joey Bergman came to the plate working the count to 3-1, or did he? The scoreboard read two balls and one strike. Tri-City starter Jim Robinson tossed the next pitch and it was called a ball.

Bergman dropped his bat and started heading to first, but none of the Muckdogs' runners advanced, as the third-base coach waved his hands for everybody to hold their bases.

As fans yelled "ball four," the Tri-City manager trotted out to home plate to ask what was going on. The four umpires conferred and decided Bergman did in fact draw a walk, allowing Chris Edmundson to score (pictured above).

It's not often, at any level of professional baseball, that you see an attempt at a sacrifice turn into a double play. But in the 7th, following a single to right by Daniel Adamson, Tri-City DH Michael Kvasnicka managed to bunt the ball just hard enough for Batavia pitcher Zach Russell to charge off the mound, scope up the ball, wheel and fire to second. Enrique Hernandez followed with what was then a meaningless double.

Russell left the game after six innings with a 3-2 lead, having given up only one hit, the lead-off double to Orloff.

Keith Butler nailed down the final three outs in the ninth to get the save.

Third baseman Jon Rodriguez had three hits and two RBIs, while both Longmire and Victor Sanchez had two hits each.

Game three of the playoff series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., Thursday, at Dwyer.

In the other NY-Penn League series, Brooklyn beat Jamestown 9-8 in 12 innings to knot the series at 1-1.

UPDATE: Video by Mike Janes:

More pictures after the jump:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Search warrant executed at 3 Vine St., Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime


Members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force executed a search warrant and 3 Vine St. this evening.

According to Sgt. Steve Mullen of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office four people are currently being detained pending completion of the search.

Mullen did not specify the type of drug activity believed to have taken place at the residence.

On Aug. 26, 40-year-old William J. Butler was taken into custody at the same address. Butler is suspected of trafficking in crack cocaine and was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and promoting prison contraband, 1st.

At least two of the people being held pending completion of the investigation are women.

Mullen anticipates that if any arrests are made, they will be made tonight and a press release will be issued.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Possible structure fire reported on James Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire


A house is reportedly filling with smoke at 4 James St., Batavia.

City Fire is responding.

UPDATE 4:07 p.m: Second alarm for the fourth platoon, standby at HQ.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: A resident, Joseph Trigilo, told firefighters a load of clothes had just finished drying and a few minutes later the smoke detector sounded. They checked the laundry room and it was filling up with smoke. City Fire responded quickly. When firefighters arrived there were flames in the laundry room and the fire was starting to go up a wall. The fire was put out before reaching the attic.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Police Beat: Man accused of throwing beer can at a woman

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Gregory S. Snyder, 41, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Snyder is accused of throwing and hitting a woman with a crushed beer can and then spitting on her. The alleged incident occurred at 4:15 p.m., Tuesday, at 3687 W. Main St. Road, Batavia.

Julia Bishop Wescott, 27, of Bank Street, Batavia, was picked up on a bench warrant out of family court. Wescott was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court where she posted $100 bail.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 11:40 am

After admitting to burglary and drug dealing, Batavia resident given concurrent prison terms

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

mug_michael_l_jackson.jpgMichael L. Jackson was clearly relieved to receive concurrent sentences on multiple felony convictions in Genesee County Court this morning.

After Judge Robert C. Noonan announced that Jackson's two-year prison term on a drug-dealing charge could be served while he's also in prison for breaking into and trashing the offices of Holland High Lift in Bethany, Jackson gave a little thumbs up and turned to his family sitting behind him and smiled.

Dressed in Genesee County Jail orange and with his wrists cuffed, Jackson was clearly anxious about his fate during the morning hearing, up until the point the second sentence was pronounced.

The former Oakfield resident, who's home was destroyed in a fire two years ago, entered a guilty plea to charges of burglary, 3rd, two counts of grand larceny, criminal mischief, 4th, and witness tampering, 4th.

Noonan noted that Jackson clearly recognized he had no defense to the charges when he entered his unconditional plea the day his trial was supposed to start.

He sentenced Jackson to two-and-a-third to seven years in state prison on the burglary and larceny charges and one year concurrent on the witness tampering charge.

After Jackson's June 10 guilty plea, the Batavia resident was caught selling prescription drugs to an undercover agent. Last week, Jackson entered a guilty plea to a charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Jackson obtained no sentencing cap or a promise of concurrent sentences with either guilty plea.

Attorney Gary Horton said Jackson stayed out of trouble from 2003 until 2009, when he lost his home and seemed to go into a tailspin. He said Jackson was so drunk the night in broke into Holland High Lift that he had a blackout and remembers nothing about it.

When asked by Noonan if he wanted to make a statement before sentencing, Jackson said, "Sir, I don't really remember that night. If I did, I should not have done it. Other than that, I'm sorry."

Most of Holland High Lift's losses were covered by insurance, but there was a deductible and a damaged motorcycle that was not covered. Jackson was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

Burglary suspect has bail set at $50K

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Rochester man accused of breaking into the home of a former friend and threatening the woman with a knife had his bail set at $50,000 today by Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan.

Robert Thigpen III, 35, of 287 Flower City Park, Rochester, was jailed without bail after his arrest because with his prior felony conviction, a city court can't set bail.

Noonan set a fairly high bail because of the seriousness of the offense and the prior felony conviction, but also raised a concern that Thigpen will face a more serious charge of burglar, 1st, rather than the current burglary, 2nd, charge, when the case goes to the grand jury.

"The facts in supporting documents would support a burglary, 1st, charge," Noonan said. "I’m not sure if it will shake out that way, but it has the possibility of very serious consequences for Mr. Thigpen."

Thigpen is also charged with menacing, 2nd.

The alleged attack occurred last week on State Street.

The defendant resident has been living and working, including running his own cleaning business, in Rochester for two years.

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