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Howard B. Owens's blog

Monday, November 1, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Open Thread: Your endorsements

post by Howard B. Owens in election, politics

The Batavian doesn't do endorsements, but no reason who you can't.

Who are you voting for (with maybe a short explanation why)?

Of particular interest, what is your position on changing the terms of Genesee County legislators?

Monday, November 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Police Beat: Batavia woman with multiple prior arrests in trouble again

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

Latoya D. Jackson, 25, no permanent address, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Jackson was arrested after police responded to T.F. Brown's restaurant at 12:35 a.m., where she was reportedly causing a disturbance after being denied entry due to her apparent intoxication. Jackson allegedly yelled obscenities on Liberty Street and began to struggle with officer Darryl Streeter following her arrest. Jackson was jailed on $2,500 bail. For previous reports on Jackson, click here.

Manuel Larry Valdez, 32, of Shane Drive, North Syracuse, is charged with criminal mischief, petit larceny, harassment and disorderly conduct. Valdez was arrested following an investigation by Deputy Jason Saile into an alleged incident at 9:55 p.m., Friday, on Veterans Memorial Drive. Valdez is accused of yelling profanity in a public parking lot, allegedly pulling the hair of another person, biting her arm and punching her in the face.  Valdez also allegedly damaged the victim's car keys so she couldn't start her car. Valdez also allegedly stole merchandise from a store. He was jailed on $10,000 cash bail.

Mark R. Mack, 48, of 5 Chapel St., Mt. Morris, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Mack was reportedly found at 3:34 a.m., Friday, in his car with the motor running by Sgt. Michael J. Hare of the Le Roy Police Department, in a parking lot on Main Street, Le Roy.

Andrew Russell Desmond, 27, of Seaford Terrace, Hamburg, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Desmond was stopped at 8:20 p.m., Friday, for allegedly driving 100 mph on Route 5 in Pembroke by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Reeves reported he found Desmond allegedly in possession of marijuana.

Armekcl Devonte Austin, 19, of Terrace Park, Rochester, is charged with trespass. Austin allegedly trespassed on College Village property after being evicted and told to stay away.

Carla L. Spikes, 20, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operation and speeding. Spikes was stopped at 3:13 a.m., Saturday, by Deputy Howard Carlson.

Patrick Anthony Martone, 48, of Benedict Drive, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Martone was stopped by Deputy Brian Thompson at 10:45 p.m., Oct. 24, for allegedly running a red light on West Main Street, Batavia. Thompson reportedly could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the car.

John Richard Schumacher, 19, of Colonial Woods Drive, Alden, is charged with trespass. Schumacher was reportedly on College Village property after being banned from the property several months ago.

Gregory P. Drake, 20, of Phillips Road, Holley, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC. 08, driving left of pavement markings in a no-passing zone, consumption of alcohol in vehicle and failure to dim headlights. Drake was stopped at 12:32 a.m., Sunday, on Route 237, Byron, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Ronald A. Bialy II, 20, of 337 Bank St., Apt. 37, Batavia, is charged with DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Bialy was stopped at 2:33 a.m., Sunday, by Officer Eric Bolles.

Paul E. Bishop, 44, of Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Bishop is accused of striking the 13-year-old child of an acquaintance.

A 16-year-old resident of Killian Road, Pembroke, is charged with trespass. The youth is accused of being on private property after being advised not to.

Marie Nicole Wenzel, 19, of Melville Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Wenzel was stopped by at 2:46 p.m., Sunday, on Route 33 in Stafford, by Deputy Brian Thompson for allegedly tinted windows and illegal license plate cover. Wenzel was reportedly found in possession of a marijuana pipe with marijuana in it.

Monday, November 1, 2010 at 9:00 am

Man hit by car on Center Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

pedaccident_center.jpgUPDATE 11 a.m.

A 61-year-old Rochester man was hit by a car at about 8 a.m. on Center Street, Batavia.

The driver of the car said he was looking further up the road and just didn't see the man until it was too late.

The man was walking diagonally across Center Street with his back to the northbound car.

"The driver just didn't see the pedestrian," said Sgt. Robert Yaeger, who added that visibility was a little lower at the time of the accident. "It's just one of those things. It's an unfortunate accident."

No citations were issued, though the accident remains under investigation.

Injured was Paul H. Wypych, of Rockingham Drive, Rochester. The driver is identified as Dennis A. Weibel, of Route 38, Castile.

Wypych was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, where at 11 a.m. he was still being evaluated.

Photo: Dan Fischer, WBTA

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Photos: Haunted house on Watson

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Halloween, photos, Watson Avenue

watsonhaunt02.jpg

Batavia's trick and treaters were out and about Sunday and several of them stopped by the haunted house on Watson Avenue.

watsonhaunt01.jpg

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Elba/BB drops Section V playoff game to Holley

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, elba, football, sports

ebla_holley_sec01.jpg

The Lancers' offense never quite got untracked and the defense was a bit too porous at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester on Saturday as Elba/Byron-Bergen dropped a Section V semi-final playoff game to first seed Holley, 0-29.

Holley out gained Elba/BB 259 to 141 yards, including 169 on the ground compared to 80 rushing yards for the Lancers.

Elba/BB coach Michael Cintorino said Holley simply got the job done.

"There were probably a couple of missed opportunities, but Holley has a great team," said Cintorino. "They’re very disciplined and strong and they’re very well coached. Today they did their job. I’m not saying we didn’t do ours, but they just did a better job."

Even so, Cintorino said, he told his players they could be proud of their season.

They had a great season," he said. "There were a lot of people who doubted they could get this far. They had a great year. Obviously, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but they have nothing to be ashamed of."

Zack DuBois (pictured above) led the Elba/BB offense with 52 yards on 14 attempts, while Dylan Bordanaro was held to 22 yards on 11 carries.

QB Eric Kowalik was 7 for 18 with two interceptions, tossing the ball for a total of 68 yards.

The Lancers never advanced the ball into the red zone.

To purchase pictures from this game, click here.

More pictures after the jump:

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 3:37 am

Photos: Boyce Road Haunted House

post by Howard B. Owens in Boyce Road, corfu, Halloween, photos

hauntedboyce01.jpg

One of Genesee County's great Halloween traditions returns this year -- Julie Allein and her daughter Kelsey have decorated their yard and barn with enough fright to scare the white off a ghost.

Julie Allein has been carving pumpkins and tricking out her barn at 8894 Boyce Road, Corfu, since 1997.

Saturday evening, Kelsey gave me a tour of her favorite haunts.

More pictures after the jump:

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 2:53 am

Photo: West Main Sunset

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos

westmainstsunset.jpg

This is the sunset I found on West Main Street Road, Batavia, on Saturday evening.

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 2:36 am

Photo: Fall leaf clean up

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photo

leaveraking.jpg

Carter Wasilewski, 7, was trying to help his dad Saturday afternoon by doing some fall leaf raking at their Redfield Drive home. Sister Paige, 10, was ready to help if he put down the rake.

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 2:14 am

Halloween Haunt on Watson Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Halloween, Watson Avenue

mortonhalloween04.jpg

Thelma and Rick Hall love the holidays. They decorate their home on Watson Avenue to suit the season, but for Halloween tomorrow, they've made an effort that goes beyond even last year -- new ghouls and goblins and a "chop house" where the kiddies will need to enter if they want any tricks or treats.

The whole haunted yard will be populated by Thelma Hall, left, Rick Hall, Daniel Brian, Toni Stoller, Lou Stoller, Ashley and Mike Meyers (newlyweds).

Daniel Brian and Toni will marry in 2011 on Halloween at the haunted house on Watson Avenue.

mortonhalloween03.jpg

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 1:38 am

Photos: Street hockey on Kibbe Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Kibbe Avenue, photos

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While driving around town Saturday evening, I came across a group of boys playing hockey on Kibbe Avenue. Here's a few pictures from their good time.

To purchase pictures, click here.

More pictures after the jump:

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 1:02 am

Photo: Austin Park Tree

post by Howard B. Owens in austin park, photos, trees

austinparktree.jpg

At this point, most of the trees in our neck of the woods have lost their leaves. Some, though, retain their splendor, including one tree on the north side of Austin Park (Washington Avenue, across from the school district offices). It's a beautiful tree with a fascinating trunk. I took this picture late Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 12:42 am

Photos: City Fire Department open house

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia FIre Department, photos

fdopenhouse12a.jpg

Saturday, the Batavia Fire Department held an open house, which included a chance for the kids to shoot a fire hose at traffic cones, a chance to get a close-up view of the fire trucks, information on fire safety, a child seat safety check (with the help of Batavia Police) and a demonstration of how the fire department can get trapped people out of a car.

The dismantling of a car was pretty fascinating and are a good portion of the pictures after the jump.

To purchase pictures from the event, click here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Photos: 52nd annual Kiwanis Pankcake Days

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, kiwanis club of batavia

kiwanispancake03a.jpg

The First Presbyterian Church Service Building was packed Saturday morning with hungry pancake eaters for the 52nd Kiwanis Pancake Days breakfast. At one point, the wait to get into the dining hall was 45 minutes long.

Above, Betty Ingram displays a heart-shaped pancake delivered to her by Sheriff Gary Maha.

To purchase pictures of Saturday's event, click here.

More photos after the jump:

Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

Today's Deals: Carlson's, Stafford Trading Post, Pudgies, Main St. Pizza and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Christmas is coming! Now is the time to get your holiday portraits. We have a $150 gift card for $75 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

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.

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.

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.

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.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 12:08 am

'Car into tree' accident reported on Council House Road

post by Howard B. Owens in Basom, accident, Alabama, Townawanda Indian Reservation

A caller has reported finding a car that hit a tree and is now on its side in the area of 470 Council House Road.

The caller reports finding blood, but can't see any person around, at least not in the dark.

Alabama Fire and Mercy EMS being dispatched.

UPDATE 12:13 a.m.: Alabama chief reports no victim at the scene. He confirms, the car is on its side.


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Friday, October 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Tomorrow the last day for burger or pizza from Jackson Street/Belladessa's

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Jackson Street Grill

jacksonstreet.jpg

Jackson Street Grill/Belladessa's, one of Batavia's more popular dining establishments, is shutting its doors.

Owner Jim Kujawski said this afternoon that the restaurant's last day will be tomorrow.

In a statement, Kujawski said:

I have decided that the sacrifices of running a restaurant are not worth it anymore. The first thought through everyone's mind is that the business is doing bad. That's not true. Of course the economy has had a negative effect on sales over the past 2 years but this was not the deciding factor. Working 7 days a week, 10-12 hr days, year round gets old after awhile. I want to go back to having some semblance of a life again and spending time with my wife and family. We did have a party interested in continuing the business but backed out at the last minute last week.

Kujawski opened Jackson Street Grill in 2006. It is known for big juicy hamburgers, including a huge cheese burger that patrons were challenged to eat. In 2008, Kujawski acquired Belladessa's and moved the pizzeria from Main Street to Jackson Street. Belladessa's had been around since 1997.

Friday, October 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

High bail set for Harvester Avenue burglary suspect

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Batavia man with an apparently lengthy criminal record, who was arrested at least three times in the past few months, will need to come up with $50,000 if he wants to get out of jail while his newest felony charges are pending.

Michael J. Piasta, 30, of 415 E. Main St., Batavia, was arrested earlier this week on a charge of burglary, 3rd, and criminal possession of a forged instrument. He is accused of breaking into a business office on Harvester Avenue, stealing credit cards and checks, using the credit cards and attempting to cash the checks.

When arrested, he was arraigned in Batavia City Court, but because Piasta has two prior felony convictions, the lower court could set bail and the justice ordered him held without bail. His attorney, William Teford, requested a bail review hearing in Genesee County Court.

At the hearing, Teford argued that despite his client's lengthy criminal record, all of his immediate family lives in Batavia, he's never left Batavia and he has a job. Teford asked for bail of $5,000 to $10,000.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman argued that Piasta has a history of violating probation and parole and, though neither of the prior felony convictions were for violent crimes, Piasta is facing possible "persistent felony offender status," which means a longer prison term.

In the pre-bail review report, Friedman noted that Piasta's employer, a local contractor, says he "doesn’t know if he’d have job if released due to trouble he’s been in recently."

Friedman asked that Piasta continued to be held without bail.

Previously:

Friday, October 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

Police Beat: Driver accused of fleeing scene of accident

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

Gary L. Bonk, 34, Gillette Road, Albion, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, 2nd, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, speeding, driving left of pavement markings, and failure to yield to emergency vehicles. Bonk was reportedly seen speeding on Route 98 and passing a car in a no-passing zone on Route 98 at 3:01 a.m. When a patrol car attempted to stop Bonk's car, Bonk reportedly drove it into a ditch and then fled the scene. When Bonk allegedly drove the car into a ditch, his passenger was injured (though the passenger did not seek medical treatment). Bonk was reportedly found later walking on Route 98.

A 17-year-old from Albion was charged with making a punishable false written statement. The youth is accused of signing a false statement regarding an incident involving Gary L. Bonk.

Bryan D. Wright, 50, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment. Wright was allegedly involved in an incident at 4:25 p.m., Oct.12, at a location on St. Mary's Street, Pavilion. He is accused of grabbing and choking another man during an argument.

Brett Blair, 26, of Batavia, is charged with three counts of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and three counts of forgery, 2nd. Blair was arrested by State Police on Wednesday in regards to an alleged incident Aug. 10 in Greece. It appears to involve credit cards and tokens. No further details were released.

Friday, October 29, 2010 at 10:14 am

Alleged failure to yield blamed for accident

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A driver allegedly failed to yield the right-of-way, leading to a minor injury accident at the intersection of Bank Street Road and South Bennett Heights yesterday morning.

The 7:57 a.m. accident sent Tonya L. Passamonte, 45, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, to UMMC, but neither the driver nor the passenger of the other car were injured.

According to a report prepared by Deputy Chris Parker, a 2003 Dodge pickup driven by Elizabeth A. Bruns, 42, of South Bennett Heights, Batavia, was westbound from South Bennett Heights when she "failed to yield the right-of-way" at the intersection, rolling past the stop sign.

The report does not list any citations issued.

Passamonte was driving a 2008 Chevy SUV.

Bruns' passenger was 16-year-old Mary C. Boerschlein.

(Initial Report)

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