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Howard B. Owens's blog

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Photos: More fun at the carnival

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


The Downtown Batavia Carnival continued on Saturday, so we have more pictures from this afternoon. Sunday is the final day and it runs from 1 to 5 p.m.

More pictures after the jump:

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm

May Day Party features arts and crafts for kids



Families from Batavia's Natural Parenting Network gathered at the home of Kristi Evans today for a May Day Party that featured arts and crafts for the children. Evans said the wind today made it a little tough to do crafts outside, but all the kids were having a great time, anyway.

Sarah Fisher set up the foot-painting activity and Olivia Dayton was the first child to give it a try.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Methodists wash cars to raise funds for school in Nicaragua

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, First United Methodist Church


Kids from the First United Methodist Church in Batavia were at the Town of Batavia Fire Hall today washing cars for donations. It's a fundraiser to build a school for a village in Nicaragua. The church needs to raise $20,000. The next car wash is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 12 at the same location. To help with the school building project, call Sharon McWerthy at 343-6326.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Charcoal hots at Jerry Arena's

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, food, Jerry Arena


One of my favorite parts of Spring in Batavia is charcoal-cooked hot dogs at Jerry Arena's pizzeria on Lewiston Road. I made my first stop of the season there today.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Photo: Barn and dandelions on Judge Road, Alabama

post by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, Alabama, photos


A barn behind a field of dandelions on Judge Road in Alabama.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Photo: Hauling rocks from a field

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, photos, Root Brothers


Workers were in the field of Root Brothers Farm in Oakfield this morning removing rocks. Here Armando Luna hauls away a bucket full.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm

The Batavian is two years old

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

Yes, it's May Day. And it's Law Day. You might also say, it's The Batavian Day.

The Batavian officially launched on May 1, 2008. In our first month, 2,756 people visited the site.

In May 2009, there were 25,553 visitors. The past two months, we've topped 40,000 unique visitors each month.

And, of course, we've gone from zero to 75 local businesses sponsoring the site.

In May 2008, I was an employee of GateHouse Media and launched The Batavian for my employer. Now, Billie and I own The Batavian, LLC and I no longer work for GateHouse and Billie and I live in Batavia.

A lot can change in two years, and Billie and I (and Pachuco) love how things have turned out.

Thank you all for your support.

P.S.: It would be fun to hear in comments how you first heard about The Batavian.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm

One-car accident reported on Lover's Lane, Corfu

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu

A car is reportedly in a ditch in the area of 8936 Lover's Lane Road, Corfu.

It's unknown if there are any injuries.

Corfu Fire and Mercy EMS have been dispatched.

UPDATE 2:39 p.m.: A chief reports that a tow is already in route. The driver has left the car and is reportedly walking north toward Main Road. Law enforcement is on scene.

UPDATE 2:49 p.m.: The driver has been located and is being returned to the scene. His only injury appears to be a minor cut on his arm.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 10:01 am

Ambulance struck by hit-and-run driver

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A small gray car reportedly hit a Mercy EMS ambulance that was parked at 103 Ross St., Batavia. The driver reportedly fled the scene.

The car will be missing a side-view mirror, knocked off in the accident. It was last seen heading east on East Main Street East Avenue

No further description is available. No injuries were reported.

Police are responding to take a report and look for the car.

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.: The car is likely a Chevy Cavalier.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 12:40 am

Photo: Sunset over the Old Courthouse

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Old Courthouse, photos


This evening at the carnival, I thought I should get a picture of the midway from a rooftop, and when I saw Steve Valle in front of Valle Jewelers, I asked him if I could borrow his rooftop. We got up there just in time to see the entire flock of gulls on the Latina's roof take flight (unfortunately, none of those shots really turned out). Steve allowed me to hang out a bit longer as the sun set, and eventually, I got this shot.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 12:33 am

Photos: Friday night at the carnival

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown



Friday was a beautiful evening to spend at a carnival, and plenty of people turned out for the second night of the Downtown Batavia Spring Carnival.

The carnival continues Saturday and Sunday.

More pictures after the jump:

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Second susptect in home invasion-burglary arrested

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

mug_brandon_dodd.jpgA Batavia man with at least five arrests for various alleged crimes in the past two years now faces a burglary, 2nd, charge for allegedly participating in a home-invasion burglary March 18.

Brandon C. Dodd, 23, who police say does not now list a permanent address, is accused of forcing his way into the home on Vine Street, wearing a bandanna to cover his face, with an accomplice.

Police at the time said the residents of the home fought back, and investigators did not believe the home was selected at random.

Dodd was arraigned and jailed today on $25,000 bail.

His alleged accomplice, Robert D. Wright, 18, of 149 Ross St., was arrested March 26 and charged with burglary, 2nd. At the time of his arrest, he was jailed without bail. His current status is not immediately available.

Dodd's previously reported arrests:

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm

County officials recommend nursing-home consultant to replace retiring director

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, nursing home

Rather than hire a new county employee to replace John Demske, who retires May 14 as director of the Genesee County Nursing Home, a county committee is recommending the Legislature approve a contract with a consultant to provide nursing-home supervision.

The Legislature is being asked to vote on a contract with Insource Healthcare Solutions, out of Buffalo, at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday.

The contract would authorize the county to pay Insource $11,000 per month -- the same cost as a full-time county employee being placed in the position, according County Manager Jay Gsell.

"We felt this was a very good way for us to get new administration in place," Gsell said.

By state law, a licensed administrator who has been approved by the state Department of Health must supervise the nursing home every single day its doors are open, so the county must have Demske's replacement in place on May 15.

Gsell said there never really was a search for a full-time county employee to replace Demske. With the county currently studying its options for the future of the financially troubled nursing home, it made more sense, Gsell said, to have an administration firm handle those duties for now.

"Because we're in the process of studying what our options are, for us to go through the process of hiring another employee and all the things that involves, that right now, getting a licensed administrator ... is a good way for us to have a fairly seamless transition," Gsell said.

The actual administrator Charles Rice, is an employee of Insource currently working at a private facility in Jamestown.

If the Legislature approves the contract with Insource on Wednesday, Rice's credentials would be submitted to the state for approval. Gsell said that process takes about a week.

By law, the initial term of the contract cannot be longer than the term of the current Legislature, so the contract with Insource is for 18 months. Gsell said it will contain language allowing for renewals on an annual basis for another three or four years.

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Photo: Dance recital ticket line

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Suzanne's School of Dance


This year, like previous years, parents are braving a long line to buy tickets to the Suzanne's School of Dance dance recital. The first person in line arrived before 8 a.m.

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Photo: Hula-hoop at Glass Roots

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


It was a day for hanging out in the sun at Glass Roots on Center Street today. Jen Fountain of Batavia was having fun with a hula-hoop. She said, "I just learned today and now I can't stop."

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Batavia BID hands out annual awards

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, BID, business, downtown



The Batavia Business Improvement District held its annual meeting and awards luncheon today at the Homestead Events Center in Batavia City Centre.

Top photo, Rick Mancuso, co-owner (with his brother Ben) of T.F. Brown's accepts proclamations from Sen. Mike Ranzenofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley. Also pictured, Don Burkel, executive director of the BID, and BID President Victor Gautieri.

Bottom photo, William Parker, winner of "Spirit of Downtown Community Volunteer Award," Mary Valle, "Spirit of Downtown BID Volunteer Award," and Rick Mancuso, "Spirit of Downtown Business Award."

Not able to attend, Ken Mistler, owner of Next Level Fitness & The Daily Grind, winner of "Spirit of Downtown Business Award" for a newly established business.

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Legal community recognizes county's top law enforcers


Top Photo, from left: Miller, Camp, Dibble, Harmon.

Four local cops were honored Thursday night by the Genesee County Bar Association and the Batavia Kiwanis Club for their dedication and good work during the past year.

Recognized in the annual awards ceremony at Bohn's Restaurant were:

  • Officer Eric Miller, Village of Le Roy Police Department;
  • Patrolman Christopher Camp, the Batavia Police Department;
  • Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble, Genesee County Sherriff's Office;
  • Sgt. Cory Harmon, New York State Police.

Also honored during the annual Law Day celebration was Daniel A. Rybak, who was named Attorney of the Year.

The mock trial team of Batavia High School received the Charles L. Mancuso Award. The team won the 2010 GLOW region Mock Trial Tournament.

William J. Hochul Jr., United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, served as the keynote speaker. 

lawawards02.jpgThe WNY native was promoted to his current post about a month ago. Previously, he served as a counter-terrorism attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office. Hochul spoke about the role that all members of the legal community -- law enforcement, prosecutors and defense attorneys -- play in helping the United States fight terrorism, especially within our borders.

"Each of us in this room – men, women, children, high school students -- have a critical role to ensure that the American legal system remains as a tool to us to fight terrorism," Hochul said.

Hochul said local law enforcement plays is the first-line of defense against domestic terrorism.

"The federal government can’t be everywhere domestic terrorists might be living," Hochul said. "Nationwide, worldwide, really, there’s only 10,000 or so FBI agents."

Without local law enforcement, he said, "we wouldn’t be able to even see the domestic terrorism threat, much less address it.”

Because maintaining the rule of law is vital to keeping our justice system working, Hochul said, defense attorneys who challenge prosecutions' theories and assertions help keep the necessary balance to the system.

"My message to you all is let’s follow the rule of law," Hochul said. "Let’s use the system we have, and where appropriate, my office, the Western New York Office of United States Attorney, stands ready to help."


Inset, Hochul. Above, members of the Batavia High mock trial team.

After the jump are pictures and information on each of the award winners:

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 11:34 am

Smell of smoke reported in building on Myrtle Street, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy

The odor of smoke inside the building has been reported at 12 Myrtle St., Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance have been dispached.

UPDATE 11:38 a.m.: Chief on scene reports visible smoke coming from the building. Additional manpower requested.

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Friday, April 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

Police Beat: Man accused of fighting with family member

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

David J. Balonek, Jr., 34, of 209 Ross St., Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, harassment, 2nd and endangering the welfare of a child. Balonek is accused of getting in a fight with a family member while a child was nearby.

James Edward Brown, 29, of Oakfield, is charged with failure to obey court order, coercion, 2nd and petit larceny. Brown is accused of stealing a mobile phone as part of a domestic incident at 2 a.m., Thursday. He also allegedly violated an order of protection.

Robert R. Richmond, 46, of 250 Ross St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Richmond is accused of stealing money from the cafeteria at UMMC.

Mykeal Bryan Myers, 20, of Alexander, is charged with criminal trespass, criminal mischief and petit larceny. Myers is accused of stealing fuel from the U.S. Gypsum facility at 2754 Pike Road, Alexander.

Daryl Duane Scott, 29, of Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt and aggravated harassment. Scott is accused of calling and texting an ex-girlfriend, violating an order of protection.

Eric D. Johnston, 31, of Batavia, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, and petit larceny; Matthew J. Long, 20, of Le Roy, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, petit larceny and violation of probation. Johnston and Long were arrested by State Police earlier this week in connection from an unspecified incident on March 9. No further details are available.

Jillian A. Schmidt, 19, of Byron, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21. Schmidt was arrested by State Police for an incident on March 12. No further details are available.

Sherry L. Lewis, 25, of Alabama, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child; Shannon L. Amidon, 30, of Akron, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. Lewis and Amidon were arrested at 5:40 p.m., Wednesday, on Veterans Memorial Drive. No further details available.

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