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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 10:00 am

Car smoking following accident on South Main

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A car accident in the area of 189 South Main St., Batavia, has left one vehicle smoking.

Traffic is not blocked and there are no injuries.

City Fire is responding.

UPDATE 10:02 a.m.: Police on scene reports there just seems to be spilled radiator fluid.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 11:24 pm

For a time in the 1920s, Klan popular in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, history, Oakfield, Ray Cianfrini


We don't usually think of bed-sheet-robed and pointy-hatted white men burning crosses as a New York kind of thing.

That only happened in the deep, racist South, right?

Several years ago a client delivered a set of pictures to Oakfield attorney Ray Cianfrini that were clearly shot decades before in his hometown, showing men dressed exactly like Ku Klux Klan members.

While Cianfrini knew his parents had faced prejudice because of their Italian heritage -- his mother was denied a job in an insurance agency and his father was barred from the volunteer fire department -- nobody had ever told him that the Klan was once quite popular in Genesee County.

"I was shocked," Cianfrini said. "I had never seen that depicted in a picture before. I never knew that the Klan was here."

The set of pictures -- which were taken to document the funeral of a top Klan official in Oakfield in 1922, including a cross burning -- started Cianfrini on a effort to completely research the history of the Klan locally.

But not because he wanted to show anybody up, embarrass the families of former Klan members, revenge the prejudice shown against his parents or otherwise seek some sort of retribution.

He just thought it was an interesting bit of Genesee County history that should be preserved.

"I don't hold any grudges," said Cianfrini, a former mayor of the Village of Oakfield and currently a county legislator.

From about the turn of the century until the Great Depression, large portions of the American population were gripped by anti-immigrant prejudice (see The Gangs of New York).

In the 1920s, the Klan -- originally founded in 1865 -- was resurgent and recruiting millions of members in all parts of the nation. Genesee County was no exception.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Grand Jury Report: Batavia man indicted for allegedly biting police officer

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

Recent indictments from the Genesee County Grand Jury:

Donald F. Stillwagon II, is charged with assault, 2nd. Stillwagon is accused of assaulting a police officer with the intent of preventing him from performing his lawful duties. The alleged incident occurred on Sept. 29. (Initial Report)

Adam B. Thomas is charged with misdemeanor DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Thomas is accused of driving a 1998 Dodge on Prole Road in Stafford on June 13 while intoxicated.

Sath P. Dhanda is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 1st. Dhanda is accused of physically attacking a woman for which there was an order of protection in place and putting her in fear for her life. The alleged incident occurred on Sept. 24.

James D. Henry is charged with attempted grand larceny, 3rd, and criminal possession of a forged instrument, 3rd. Henry is accused of attempting to steal something of greater value than  $3,000 on Sept. 28 in the Town of Le Roy. He is also accused of possessing forged prescriptions.

Jason A. Armstrong is charged with assault, 2nd, and criminal contempt, 2nd. Armstrong is accused of causing serious physical injury, with intent to do so, to another person in Stafford on June 27. Armstong is also accused of being in the presence of another person he was ordered by a court not to be around.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Police chase down a pair of suspected shoplifters on Lewiston Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime


At about 3:40 p.m., dispatch received a report of two men in heavy coats supposedly weighted down with stolen merchandise were seen running for Kmart on Lewiston Road.

One man was quickly apprehended by Batavia Police in the Kmart parking lot.

The second man ran across Lewiston, past the Town of Batavia Fire Hall and onto Colonial Boulevard, where a citizen reportedly spotted him hiding in a back yard.

Sheriff's Deputies were then able to apprehend the suspect. 

More details as they become available.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 10:22 am

Today's Deals: South Main, Carlson's, Pudgie's, Daily Grind, Enchanted Florist, Blue Pearl

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles,teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. Decorate your home or office for Fall or start your Christmas shopping. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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

Button added back in because the person who bought Carlson's today had purchased the same deal within the past six months.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 12:20 am

Council continues discusson on whether to sell Falleti Ice Arena

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena, sports

The Batavia City Council continued to haggle over whether to sell Falleti Ice Arena at its Monday meeting.

mikemeyers.jpgAt least four members are clearly in the "sell" camp -- Rose Mary Christian, Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowski and Sam Barone.

The others are more leary of surrendering an asset to a private entity that could do absolutely anything with it.

I don’t think anybody here is saying they want the ice arena to go away," Cox said. "Just because it's privatized doesn’t mean it we won’t have it anymore."

To which Frank Ferrando pointed out that once it's sold, the city won't have any say what a private owner might do with it.

Cox's position was that a private company already runs it without city control, and Ferrando countered that as long as the city owns it, a management company can always be replaced if it isn't getting the job done the way the city wants it done.

And so it goes -- the pros and cons of selling Falleti Ice Arena.

In the end, the council decided to continue the discussion at a future conference meeting.

At issue on Monday was whether to spend up to $5,000 on an appraisal, which City Manager Jason Molino said would be the first step toward finding a buyer.

Barone wondered why the price was so high and asked whether the city's own appraiser or a local real estate agent could provide an appraisal.

Molino explained that only a licensed appraiser with experience in commercial property could provide an appraisal that could legally be used in establishing fair-market value.

Ferrando and Councilman Tim Buckley objected to spending money on an appraisal.

"I’d like to know what it’s worth, but I’m not sure I want to spend $5,000 right now," said Ferrando. "We keep dipping into the reserve fund and pretty soon we’re not going to have a reserve."

Buckley said he isn't even sure it's legal for the city to sell Falleti since a federal grant, secured by the late Rep. Barber Conable, paid for its construction. 

Buckley wanted to table the matter, but Bialkowski objected to any further delays since the current management contract is coming up for renewal.

One city resident spoke during public comments about the proposed sale.

"I would ask those council members who feel that (the city shouldn't be in the ice arena business) -- should we be in the parks business, or the water spray park business, or the baseball stadium business? " asked Dave Meyer (pictured).

"Frankly, I personally believe that Dwyer Stadium is a much better example of public money wasted, but no one ever talks about reducing support for that facility or selling it. Why?

"Because whether I agree with public support for that or not, I know that there are many people who enjoy going to a game on a summer night and I also know that Dwyer Stadium, and the ice arena and Austin Park and Lions Park and all of the other parks are part of the recreational fabric of our city and they add to the quality of life here."

Monday, November 8, 2010 at 11:51 pm

City council takes next step on consolidation path

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, consolidation

Consolidation of the town and the city took another incremental step forward Monday night as the Batavia City Council passed a resolution to form a committee to select a committee.

Three council members are being tasked with the job of finding residents to serve on the Consolidation Charter Task Force.

The task force will be asked to write a new charter for the proposed merged municipality.

Voters in both jurisdictions would then be asked in 2012 to vote for or against the charter.

Representing the city would be Marianne Clattenburg, Tim Buckley and Frank Ferrando.

The town will also appoint three representatives to review potential members of the charter task force.

The elected officials will not actually be involved in the charter task force.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski objected to taking this next step toward consolidation.

He said consolidation efforts in other communities have really turned into civil wars.

"It’s turning neighbor against neighbor, relative against relative," Bialkowski said. "It removes a lot of local control and it doesn’t solve the problem.

"I hate to see community torn apart," he added, "The majority of the people in the town are going to vote against it anyway."

Monday, November 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm

19th Century couple's headstones returned to Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in elba


It's a mystery that may never been solved: How did the headstones of Thomas and Elizabeth Reay wind up on a former Batavia resident's property in Bethany?

The Reays lived and died in the 19th Century and were buried in Elba's Maple Avenue Cemetery.

The woman who owns the property where the stones have been kept for years, if not decades, told Deputy Chief Jerome Brewster of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office that her uncle stole the headstones a long time ago.

Brewster said the displaced headstones have bothered her for years and she wanted to find a way to return them but wasn't sure what to do.

Nobody in Elba, however, knew they were missing.

Steve Davis, the current cemetery caretaker said that as best as he can figure, the Reays' headstones were replaced in the 1950s.

It's impossible to know if they were replaced because the old stones were stolen or the family wanted to have uniform headstones for its plot.

The family is Graham, but not the Grahams who currently reside in Elba and Oakfield, as near as our research can determine.

Barbara Graham, and other residents confirm, that up until the 1970s, two sisters named Graham lived alone in Elba. Barbara Graham believes they were distant cousins of her late husband's.

There is an Agnes and Carolyn Graham buried in the same plot as the two current headstones for the Reays. The group of headstones all uniformly match.

Thomas Reay dies Aug. 1, 1887 at the age of 89. His wife Elizabeth died in 1893.

We can find no Reays currently living in Genesee County.

If the headstones were stolen, the statute of limitations has surely run out, according to Brewster. Besides, the supposedly "slightly wild uncle" who took credit for the theft is long ago deceased.

The location of the headstones came to light when a reader contacted The Batavian anonymously a couple of weeks before Halloween and said he knew about some headstones stolen from a graveyard in Elba.

We contacted Brewster to see if there were any reports of stolen headstones. There was nothing on record, but ever the investigator, Brewster began the process of tracking down the property owner -- who now lives in New Mexico -- and seeing what she had to say about the headstones.

According to Brewster, she eagerly gave him permission to go onto her land and retrieve the stones so they could be returned to Elba.

The Elba Historical Society took possession of the stones today and will display them on their property.

Even though recovering the headstones brought no criminals to justice, so to speak, Brewster said he felt like getting them back to where they belonged was a good deed.

"It feels good when you can do something to give back a little bit," Brewster said.

Pictured above are incoming society president Ron Komer, society member Earl Roth, Chief Brewster board member June Rowcliffe.



Monday, November 8, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Notre Dame girls claim Section V cross country title

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Cross Country, Notre Dame, sports

XC Sectionals 852.JPG

Submitted by Eric Geitner:

XC Sectionals 229.JPGThe Notre Dame girls cross country team claimed the Class D title on Saturday at the Section V Cross Country Championships at GCC. The girls team last won in 2006 and it is the sixth title for the girls program (1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006). Eighth grader Anna Warner led the Irish with a second place finish covering the course in 20:44. Her performance also qualified her to represent Section V at the New York State Cross Country Champioships in Pawling next weekend.

The top ten in each class receive sectional patches and ND had five finishers in that top ten. Freshman Bailee Welker placed 5th in 21:23, Junior Meghan Zickl 7th in 21:36, Eighth Grader Rosemary Flumerfeldt 8th in 21:51, and Senior Kristen Antolos was 9th in 22:14. Also racing for ND was Sophomore Madison Gluck finishing 18th in 24:03 and Eighth Grader Janelle Fancher placing 34th in 25:54.

The boys team was moved up to Class C this year due to winning too many titles in Class D and finished fifth in Class C. Sophomore Jeffrey Antolos paced the Irish placing 5th in 17:18. His performance qualified him for the New York State Cross Country Championships next weekend. Junior Andrew Fischer finished 18th in 18:11, followed by Sophomore Arron Carlson 24th in 18:24. Senior Nick Flumerfeldt finished 30th in 18:46 and Junior Luke Calla 39th in 19:01 to round out the scoring for ND. Junior Matt Sausner placed 51st in 19:30 and Senior Tyler Pingrey 58th in 19:50 were the other racers for the Irish.

Photos submitted by Bare Antolos.

Top photo: 8th grader Anna Warner, 8th grader Janelle Fancher, 10th grader Madison Gluck, 8th grader Rosemary Flumerfeldt, 9th grader Bailee Welker, 12th grader Kristen Antolos, 11th grader Meghan Zickl

Inset: Notre Dame 8th grade XC runner Anna Warner finishes her Section V Class D 2nd place finish to earn a spot in the state championships next weekend in Pawling, NY

XC Sectionals 872.JPG

XC Sectionals 660.JPGIn his first season running Cross-Country, Notre Dame sophomore Jeffrey Antolos completes his state qualifying run in a personal best 17:17:46 to earn a trip to the state cross-country championships to be held next Saturday in Pawling, NY.


Monday, November 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Police Beat: Bail set at $1K for man accused of violating order of protection

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, Darien, pembroke

Ronald A. Smith, 18, of 3189 Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Smith is accused of violating a court order protecting a female acquaintance. During the investigation he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana. Smith was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Latoya Y. Stanley, 101 State St., Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, 4th. Stanley is accused of going to the apartment of another person and damaging the doorway.

Randy L. Sanfratello, 41, of 4016 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Sanfratello is accused of trying to fight another man at East Town Plaza on Oct. 20. He was arrested on a warrant out of Batavia City Court.

Nathan Lorel Smatana, 21, of Lincoln Place, Lockport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Smatana was arrested following the investigation into a motor-vehicle accident at 5:12 p.m., Friday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Graff.

Victoria Lynn Phillips, 49, of Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Phillips was arrested by Deputy Jason Saile following a 9-1-1 call out of the Town of Darien at 11:46 p.m., Friday.

Adam Scott Hamilton, 25, of Curwood Drive, Tonawanda, is charged with disorderly conduct. Hamilton was picked up on a bench warrant out of Town of Darien Court for failure to pay a fine. He paid the fine and was released.

Alejandro Cortes Ruiz, 28, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, inadequate headlights, unlicensed operation and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Ruiz was stopped at 11:54 p.m., Friday, on South Lyon Street, City of Batavia, by Deputy Jason Saile. Bail was set at $2,500.

A 17-year-old from Batavia is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was nabbed when a K-9 allegedly alerted on his vehicle parked in a parking lot.

A 17-year-old from Basom is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was nabbed when a K-9 allegedly alerted on his vehicle parked in a parking lot.

Randall William McKeown, 48, of Dellinger Avenue, is charged with a felony count of DWI, driving with a BAC .08 or greater, aggravated unlicense operation, 3rd, and moving from lane unsafely. McKeown was stopped on Route 5, Batavia, at 12:31 a.m., Sunday, by Deputy Joseph Graff.

Christopher Thomas Guillod, 23, of Olde Tavern Circle, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving left of pavement markings and inadequate exhaust. Guillod was stopped at 1:12 a.m., Sunday, on Oak Street, Batavia, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Monday, November 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Mother admits to trying smuggle oxycodone into jail for her son

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

mug_kathleen_catino.jpgA mother who tried to smuggle oxycodone into her son being held in Genesee County Jail accepted a plea offer today that should keep her out of jail.

Kathleen Catino, 60, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, entered a guilty plea to criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, with a promise of probation and no jail time if she stays out of trouble between now and her sentencing in January.

Catino was original charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, promoting prison contraband, 2nd, and possession of a controlled substance not in the original container.

Her son, 39-year-old Cain Catino, admitted two weeks ago to to attempted robbery, 3rd. Catino tried to steal oxycodone from the Oakfield Pharmacy on Sept. 20.

On Oct. 14, Kathleen Catino tried to give some oxycodone to Cain while visiting him in jail.

In Genesee County Court this morning, Catino said she was trying to help her son with his withdrawal symptoms.

Monday, November 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

Rollover accident on Thruway, minor injuries

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy, thruway

There is a rollover accident reported on the Thruway near mile marker 396 in the westbound lane.

Minor injuries reported.

The vehicle rolled twice and hit another car in the service center.  The driver is conscious and alert.

Le Roy Fire and Ambulance are responding.

Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Photos: A gray day in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, photos, trees


Yesterday, 5 p.m., the sky was beautiful, the sun was setting and I had just left the office on a photo hunting expedition when Billie called me and said a structure fire was reported on York Road.

Driving out to Le Roy then, I passed up what seemed like several potentially marvelous photos.

This morning, heading home from doing a follow-up story on York Road, the sky was a flat gray, so photo opportunities were scarce. 

I did like the view of this bare tree by the side of Linwood Road. The red car passing at the right time was a bonus.

After that, I found the free love seat available in front of Steve Upson's house on Bernd Road, Le Roy. I took the picture and left the seat, in case anybody else wants it.


Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm

York Road fire victims victimized again by overnight thieves

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy, york road


After losing nearly everything in a devastating fire Saturday, Bill Scheg was victimized again sometime early Sunday morning when thieves broke into what was left of his taxidermy and gun shop on York Road.

Compared to the destruction of the log-cabin type house he built himself in Le Roy, Scheg's adjacent shop was relatively untouched by the fire and still contained ammo, arrows, bows and other items.

Deputy John Duyssen said, however, that there was enough damage that it's hard to tell what was taken.

When firefighters arrived at 9616 York Road early this morning to deal with a hot spot in the basement that had rekindled, they found charred wood and shotgun shells strewn in front of the door for Scheg's business, Genesee Valley Taxidermy & Shooting Supplies.

Those items weren't there when they cleared the scene from the initial fire shortly after midnight.

Vandals also knocked over Scheg's mailbox.

"Talk about kicking a man when he's down," said Tim Yaeger, coordinator of Genesee County Emergency Management Services.

Duyssen expressed concerned that ammo from the shop had been heat and water damaged. It could misfire, and seriously injure whoever tries to use it.

Investigators were on scene this morning trying to determine the cause of the fire. 

Yaeger said the cause was apparently accidental and arson has been ruled out, but the exact cause may not be discovered until Monday or later, when investigators can gain access to the electrical panel in the basement.

The insurance company needs to pay for debris removal before investigators can get to the basement.

Meanwhile, friends of Scheg's, such as Richard Barnard pictured below, began the tedious task of recovering Scheg's decades of hunting photos, saving and preserving what they can.

All of Scheg's prized big-game trophies -- Scheg had traveled the world hunting -- were destroyed in the fire.



More pictures after the jump:

Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 10:56 am

Mailboxes knocked over by wayward driver along Alexander Road

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, crime

A driver took down several mailboxes overnight along the 9100 block of Alexander Road heading southbound.

The car was apparently off the road for about at least a quarter mile south of Pike Road.

It's unclear how many mailboxes were knocked over or if there was any other property damage.

The car is believed to be a 1999 to 2001 Saturn, color purple. It suffered heavy right front end damage, with possible wheel damage on the right. It will be missing a right mirror.

If anybody knows of a vehicle matching that description, the Sheriff's Office can be contacted at 343-5000.

Deputy Brian Thompson is handling the investigation.

UPDATE: Deputy Thompson sends along this update:

Dark purple in color. It would look black at night. We have recovered right  (passenger side) quarter panel parts, front corner assembly, Saturn emblem,  corner marker light, hubcaps. A large multiple mailbox platform was struck, two newspaper boxes (metal posts) and it sideswiped another mailbox. Part numbers match from a 1999 to 2002. Collision persons believe it was a 1999 to 2001 by rust damage and earlier part numbers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 9:07 am

Today's Deals: Olivers, Center Street, Delavan's, Settler's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kraving's offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

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.

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.

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

sold out

Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 7:55 am

Fire alarms in Alexander and Le Roy overnight

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, fire, Le Roy

There two fire alarms overnight.

At 3:32 a.m., a garage fire was reported at 10780 Sandpit Road, Alexander. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. It caused an estimated $70,000 damage.

This morning, Le Roy Fire responded to the location of yesterday's fire on York Road for a rekindle.

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