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Monday, September 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Hundreds gather in Oakfield park for Labor Day festival

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield


There was no annual Labor Daze in Oakfield this year, but that didn't stop the community from coming together for a Labor Day picnic in the community park. It featured live music, food, games, crafts and lots of neighborly chatter.

More pictures after the jump:

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Large group of youths gathered in Oakfield, observer concerned about possible fight

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield

Law enforcement is in route to the village of Oakfield where reportedly a large group of youths have gathered and may start fighting.

"There's just pushing and shoving right now," according to dispatch.

The group has gathered at Weber and Main.

UPDATE 5:57 p.m.: The group was breaking up just as deputies arrived. A deputy is talking with at least one of the subjects.

UPDATE 6:15 p.m.: All units back in service. No arrests.

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Batavia FD responds to stove fire

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire


At 4:35 p.m., City Fire responded to a report of a fire at 216 Ellicott St., Batavia. A caller reported smelling and seeing smoke. A person may have been yelling, "fire."  It turned out to be a stove fire that was extinguished before city crews arrived. The building was ventilated and City Fire was back in service by 5:05 p.m.

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Muckdogs regular season over; time for playoffs

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

nicholas_mccully_june27.jpgThey could call the team the Albany ValleyCats, but that's not a popular city in New York these days. Instead, they're the Tri-City ValleyCats, and that's who the Batavia Muckdogs will play in the first round of the NY-Penn League playoffs.

Tuesday's first game is in the ValleyCat's home park, which is on a college campus in Troy.

Games two and three (if a third is necessary) are at Dwyer Stadium. Both games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Tri-City finished the regular season with a record of 38-36 to win the Stedler Division. The Muckdogs took the Pinckney Division crown with a record of 45-29. Brooklyn comes into the playoffs with the most wins in the season with 51. The Jamestown Jammers grab the wild card spot with a record of 43-32.

The Muckdogs will come into the game fresh off a win against Auburn, beating the Doubledays 7-0 in a Sunday afternoon match-up.

Starter Nick McCully (pictured, file photo), pitched six scoreless innings, giving up six hits to move his record to 4-2.

Matt Valaika and Jon Edwards each had two RBIs on two hits. Audry Perez, Joey Bergman and Pat Biserta also had two hit games.

Nick Longmire finished the season in the top 10 in seven offensive categories: Second in runs scored with 53; seventh in hits with 76; sixth in triples with 7; fifth in homers with 9; third in RBIs with 55; fifth in total bases with 128; and eighth in slugging percentage at .483.

Jon Rodriguez finished: third in homers with 12; 10th in RBIs with 40; sixth in total bases with 122; and seventh in slugging percentage at .500.

Audry Perez finished seventh in RBIs with 47.

Victor Sanchez finished sixth in doubles with 19.

Joey Bergman finished eighth in on-base percentage at .400.

In pitching, Zach Russell had the ninth best ERA at 2.93.

Jose Rada, who was called up earlier in the season, had 10 saves while in Batavia, which was the sixth best in the league.

Justin Edwards (77 1/3) and Andrew Moss (75 1/2) were seventh and eighth, respectively, in innings pitched. Also, Edwards was fourth in strike-outs with 66, and Moss was eighth with 61.

Moss's eight wins were tied for second in the league.

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Police Beat: Bergen man accused of possessing stolen dirt bike

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, alexander, crime, Darien, elba

James C. Oehler, 18, of Route 19, Bergen, is accused of possession of stolen property, 5th. At 9:16 p.m., Sunday, Oehler was allegedly found in possession of a dirt bike that was reported stolen from a residence in the Village of Bergen on July 25.

James Anthony Marchegiano, 22, of Westside Drive, Chili, is charged with a DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Marchegiano was stopped at 11:36 p.m., Friday, on Sumner Road by Deputy Chad Minuto. Marchegiano was allegedly observed driving his car in an erratic manner in the parking lot following the Rascal Flatts concert at Darien Lake.

Grant Arnold Sundown, 46, of Skye Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is charged with criminal mischief. Sundown allegedly punched another person in the head. When that person attempted to call 9-1-1, Sundown allegedly ripped the phone line from the wall while the caller was on the phone with Genesee County Emergency Dispatch.

Steven James Scott, 19, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with trespass and unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21. Scott was allegedly on the property of College Village at 12:52 a.m., Friday, without permission.

Narciso Gullen, 36, of Route 98, Elba, is charged with possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Gullen allegedly tried to use a forged federally issued residency card. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Richard Anthony Orlando, 31, of Cable Street, Buffalo, is charged with criminal mischief and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 12:30 a.m., Sunday, deputies responded to a report of a verbal domestic incident at a campsite in Alexander. Orlando allegedly smashed a television set and a fan and turned over a refrigerator. Orlando was jailed on $150 bail.

Joseph Aaron Monkelbaan, 38, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Monkelbaan is accused of going onto a neighbor's property at 7:21 p.m., Friday, without permission and causing a disturbance.

Kevin A. Hutzler, 21, of Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Hutzler was stopped by State Police at 8:41 p.m., Thursday, on Colby Road.

Anthony R. Cogdill, 40, of Darien, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Cogdill was stopped by State Police at 9:23 p.m., Thursday, Harper Road, Alexander.

Richard J. Rookey, 77, of Batavia, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI and moving from lane unsafely. Rookey was stopped by State Police 8:14 p.m., Wednesday, on Clinton Street and East Avenue.

James V. Wells, 25, of Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct/obscene gestures. Wells was arrested by State Police at 12:24 a.m., Wednesday at College Village. No further details were released.

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Two people hurt Saturday in four-vehicle accident in Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany

Two people were hurt Saturday on Ellicott Street Road when a car making a left-hand turn into a church parking lot was hit by another car from behind, pushing the first car into the path of two motorcycles.

The driver of one of the bikes was ejected and injured.  The driver of the car making the turn was also injured.

The bike rider was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong and the other driver was taken to UMMC.

The second driver was accused of following too closely.

The accident occurred just before 3 p.m.

The State Police report the following people were involved:

Driver 1: Neil Anthony Bingham, 26, of Castile

Driver 2: Joan M. Dowdell, 71, of Batavia

Driver 3:  Jeffery H. Maurer, 55, of Maspeth, N.J.

Driver 4: Joseph Paskas, 43, of North Arlington, N.J.

The State Police report did not specify who was injured.

(initial report)

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 10:38 am

Smoke in basement reported on Bethany Center Road

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, fire, Stafford

A caller reports smoke in her basement at 1073 Bethany Center Road.  She said she started her furnace just prior to the smoke appearing.

Stafford Fire and Bethany Fire being dispatched.

First responder reports: "Nothing showing."

UPDATE 11:43 a.m.: Crews and equipment being held in their halls while the situation is further investigated.

UPDATE 11: 47 a.m.: Stafford standing down.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: Bethany back in service.


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Monday, September 6, 2010 at 10:23 am

Photo: Batavia Area Jaycees 5K run and walk

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Area Jaycees, sports


About 100 people participated today in the Batavia Area Jaycees 5K Run and Walk, which started and finished at MacArthur Park, taking runners down Bank, to Washington, to Ellicott Avenue and back via State Street.

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 9:49 am

The U.S. overreacted to 9-11

post by Howard B. Owens in Blogs

Fareed Zakaria writing for Newsweek:

While it (Al Qaeda) has inspired a few much smaller attacks by local jihadis, it has been unable to execute a single one itself. Today, Al Qaeda’s best hope is to find a troubled young man who has been radicalized over the Internet, and teach him to stuff his underwear with explosives.

I do not minimize Al Qaeda’s intentions, which are barbaric. I question its capabilities.


Five miles southeast of the White House, the largest government site in 50 years is being built—at a cost of $3.4 billion—to house the largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs: the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people.

This new system produces 50,000 reports a year—136 a day!—which of course means few ever get read. Those senior officials who have read them describe most as banal; one tells me, “Many could be produced in an hour using Google.” Fifty-one separate bureaucracies operating in 15 states track the flow of money to and from terrorist organizations, with little information-sharing.

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Le Roy police looking for burglary suspect

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

Le Roy Police are looking for a person who broke into a residential garage and moved several items Sunday at a Lake Street address.

The burglary was interrupted when the resident heard a dog barking at the rear of the house and went outside to investigate. The resident spotted a man in the garage; the suspect ran into a wooded area.

He is described as a male wearing a red baseball cap, a yellow checkered short sleeve shirt and jeans.

This is the second garage burglary in the past month. A previous burglary occurred on East Main Street on Aug 6. It is unknown if these two incidents are related.

A witness was found who said that a person matching the suspect's description was seen walking the railroad tracks behind 101 W. Main St. shortly after the burglary. Police think it's possible the suspect lives in the area of West Main Street.

Anyone seeing a person wearing the same colored clothing or having information pertaining to this crime is asked to contact the Le Roy Police Department at 768-2527.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Photos: Barns and railways

post by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, batavia, photos, railroad, Stafford


On the way back home from the fire on Roanoke Road, Stafford, yesterday, of course I stopped along the way to take some pictures.

Above is a series of barn and silo structures on Sweetland Road, Stafford.  Below, the back of the barn at Ellicott Street Road and Stafford-Batavia Townline Road, and under that a railroad mile marker along the railroad track next to Lehigh Road, Batavia.

BTW: If you like my photography, you might enjoy the photoblog I set up: Vufindr.com. Of course, many of the shots will have appeared on The Batavian, but I set up Vufindr.com to allow for larger format pictures.



Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 11:36 am

Four people injured Friday in West Main Street, Batavia, accident

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

emainkelseyaccident.jpgA driver says he glanced down at his gas gauge and then didn't see a car in front of him slowing to make a turn, causing a rear-end accident on West Main Street in Batavia on Friday.

Nicholas J. Fenner, 19, of Clarence, was cited for allegedly following too closely.

Four people in the car Fenner reportedly hit were transported by ground ambulance to UMMC with non-life-threatening injuries: Shartanay R. Gibbs, 19, of Batavia (the driver of the second vehicle), Farah St. Cloud, 18, Delore Opoku-Boateng, 18, and Kyla R. Preston, 18.

Also in the second car, but not injured, was Shaday D. Gibbs.

There were no passengers in Fenner's car.

Shartanay Gibbs was cited for allegedly driving without a license.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chad Minuto.

(initial report)

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 12:44 am

Notre Dame needs only one TD to open season with win

post by Howard B. Owens in football, Notre Dame, sports


It took Norte Dame two quarters to get its running game untracked in its season opener against Attica, but once the Irish were putting positive yardage on the board, a ball control game led to a 7-0 victory.

Mike Pratt punched the ball into the end zone with seconds left in the third quarter.

In all, Norte Dame had its offensive squad on the field for 27 minutes.

Pratt gained 70 yards on 18 carries. Bo Richter had 8 1/2 tackles, including 3 1/4 for a loss.

Pratt also blocked a field goal attempt (pictured above).


More pictures after the jump:

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 10:04 pm

187-year-old home in Stafford destroyed by fire

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Stafford


In 1823, James Monroe was president, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were still alive, and it would be more than six decades before Thomas Edison would start the first electric company.

It was also the year a brick house was built at 9418 Roanoke Road.

Today, electricity sparked a fire, driven by high winds, that gutted the little red brick house.

"It's a nice old house," said Betty Smart, who lived on the former farm property for 40 years with husband Terry.

It first started when winds disconnected a electrical wire leading from the house to the barn. The live wire hit the metal roof over the kitchen igniting combustible material under the tin.

Once there were flames, wind gusts quickly fed the fire.

“It’s an abnormal condition that we normally wouldn’t see, but that wind got into the interior and just moved the fire right through the house," said Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator.

The Smarts called 9-1-1 as soon as they spotted the fire and immediately got out of the house. Nobody was injured in the fire, or in fighting it, and the Smart's three pets live outside and were not harmed.

Yaeger said beside the winds, water supplies were a challenge. Firefighters used two hydrants, but one of them was nearly 3/4 of a mile from the scene. Crews also trucked water in from a pond two miles away.

Assisting Stafford were fire departments from Pavilion, Bethany, Byron, Bergen, Le Roy, Town of Batavia, Caledonia, York, along with Le Roy's ambulance service and Mercy EMS.



More pictures after the jump:

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Man who fell on Route 77 calls 9-1-1

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien

Dispatch has received a call from a man on Route 77 in Darien who apparently fell, hit his head, was knocked on unconscious, awoke, then called 9-1-1.

It's unknown how long he was unconscious.

He is still lying beside the roadway. He fell in the area of Darien Lake.

Law enforcement and Mercy EMS are in route.

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm

ATV accident reported on Harloff Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A woman has possibly suffered a back injury in an ATV accident at 3500 Harloff Road, Batavia.

That's the location of Polar Wave.

East Pembroke Fire and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 7:21 p.m.: Mercy Flight requested to the scene.

UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: Mercy Flight in route to Strong Memorial Hospital.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 10:05 am


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

Press Release:

Batavia, NY --- The start of Labor Day weekend at Batavia Downs Casino featured four NY County Fair finals for 2 and 3 year-old pacers and trotters, worth $8,000 each.

The 3-year-old pacers kicked off the fair finals in race two. This one saw Emmas Lily (Artiscape-Sweet Rosa Belle) with trainer/driver Truman Gale upset favored It’s Only Roni with Jack Flanigen in 2:00. Charlesinazone was right there in third. Emmas Lily, who won for the eighth time this season, is owned by Stephanie and Brian Cassell.

The win machine, Vagra (Dream Vacation-Agra), notched his 13th win of the season when he trotted to a 4-1/2 length score in 2:03. The veteran Doug Ackley trains and drives the talented 3-year-old trotter. EJ’s Dream Kat (Jack Flanigen), who was the early leader, held on for second over Here Comes Doodles (Kevin Cummings).

Heavily favored Lofty Dreams did not disappoint in the 2-year-old trot when he went on to a much the best 8-1/2 length win in 2:05.1. Jack Flanigen put the Dream Vacation-Dusty Girl colt on the lead for owner-trainer Steve Pratt and they never had an anxious moment. The win was Lofty Dream's eighth of his freshman campaign. Iroquoindianspring with Kirk Desmond got second over Love And Peace with Mark Whitcroft.

Last, but not least, former Batavia Downs regular Dave Fisher guided Surf Cast Michelle to a head victory over Totally Determined and Leon Bailey in 2:02.3 in the 2-year-old pace. Fisher brushed the Quality Of Life-Surf Cast Paradise filly to the front at the half and that proved to be the winning move. Surf Cast Michelle is now five for seven lifetime.

Queen Creek got Pick-6 players off on the right foot, when she went gate-to-wire in the $9,000 Preferred Trot. Starting from post position two, Queen Creek assumed command when the gate opened and under strong Ron Beback, Jr. urging was able to hold off the pocket sitting Kash N Credit (Troy Boring) in 1:59.2.

Thanks to six straight winning chalks the Pick-6 was hit. Five winning ticket holders took home $268 each. The Pick-6 pool will be guaranteed at $1,000 on Saturday night.

New York Sire Stakes action continues on Saturday night when the glamour division, the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, race for almost $150,000 in purses. Post time is 6:40 p.m.

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 9:53 am

Four arrests and 19 citations issued at Rascal Flatts concert

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, darien lake

The following people were arrested during the Rascal Flatts concert Friday at Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center:

Ramzi J. Abialmouna, of Castlebar Drive, North Tonawanda, is charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, 2nd, and resisting arrest. Abialmouna allegedly refused to leave the area and kicked a deputy while being arrested. He was jailed on $200 bail.

Andrew E. Aguado, 23, of South Maple Street, Warsaw, is charged with disorderly conduct. Aguado allegedly urinated in the roadway.

Eric R. Weitz, 38, of Pine Wood Drive, West Seneca, is charged with aggravated DWI, DWI and following too closely. Weitz was allegedly involved in a car accident in the concert parking lot.

Calebmoises H. Garcia, 24, of Tremont Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and unlicensed operation. Garcia was allegedly involved in a motor vehicle accident on Employee Road.

The following people were issued citations for allegedly possessing alcohol under 21 years of age (after the jump):

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 1:01 am

State champs smother Blue Devils in season opener

post by Howard B. Owens in football, sports


Coming off a 1-7 season, the Batavia Blue Devils found themselves in a rather unfortunate situation for their 2010 home opener: Facing off against state champions, Hornell.

The score was as lopsided as you might expect, with the Blue Devils getting swamped 49-7, but for a time in the first half, it looked like Batavia High might actually make a game of it.

"I thought we came out good there early on," said Head Coach Dan Geiger. "We found a way to move the ball. Hornell’s definitely a tough team, but early in the game, we put them on a longer field. Later in the game, they were on a short field. They’re not a team you can keep on a short field. They’re a strong, physical team."

Hornell struck first and even though the Blue Devils tide the score on its next possession with a 66-yard TD pass from Aaron Gugel to Justin Washington, the game quickly slipped away from Batavia.

By the start of the second half, it was clear Batavia was not likely to make a miraculous come back.

Ryan Pyatt had five carries for 28 yards to lead the ground game.

Spencer Stresing led the defense with seven tackles and was a real presence defensively throughout the game.

"Hornell’s a great team, but we hurt ourselves more in that we didn’t play assignment football," Geiger said. "Our kids realize that. At the end of the game they were talking about, ‘our assignments weren’t perfect enough.' Against a great opponent, and Hornell is a great opponent, you’ve got to be perfect."

In other Genesee County football action Friday: Holly beat Oakfield-Alabama 52-0 and Le Roy beat Livonia 16-8.


Note: I took still photos during most of the first half, and then switched to video once the sun went down. Hopefully, I can get the video edited, processed and posted before I need to head out for more coverage.

More pictures after the jump:

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