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Howard Owens's blog

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 2:42 pm

No hot leads in Pavilion bank robbery investigation, Sheriff says

post by Howard Owens in crime, Five Star bank robbery, Pavilion


fivestarbankrobberyphoto.jpgThere are leads, but no hot leads in the search for the man who robbed the Five Star Bank branch in Pavilion yesterday.

The man fled the scene, apparently, by heading behind the bank, toward St. Mary's Street and the train tracks and heading off into the woods in that general direction.

That, at least, is what the Sheriff's Office believed yesterday, and where deputies and state troopers concentrated their search efforts for about four hours.

The biggest clue that might lead to arrest, Sheriff Gary Maha said, is the blue and black racing jacket with "Husqvarna" lettered down the left sleeve.

The robber is described as a white male, 25 to 35 years old. He presented a demand note at the branch at 11:32 a.m. yesterday and reportedly did not display a weapon.

Audio: Gary Maha speaks with WBTA. (mp3)

UPDATE: We just received the example photo used at the top of this post from the Sheriff's Office.  This is what investigators believe is an example of the jacket the robber was wearing.

NOTE: The jacket isn't in Husqvarna's current catalog nor have I been able to find that particular jacket on sale any place online so far.  So it is pretty unique.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Today's Deals: Great Kutz, Jackson St., Carlson's Studio, Adam Miller, Enchanted Florist

post by Howard Owens in Deal of the Day

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Family photos are more than just photographs. When you need photos for that special occasion, Carlson's is a great choice in Genesee County. We have a $100 gift card for $50 ($2 PayPal service fee).

Jackson St. Grill, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Try the fresh, skinless haddock fish fry on Fridays. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest full-service salon, offering affordable haircuts for men and women on a walk-in basis. Today, we have two gift certificates for women's haircuts, a $15.95 value for $7.50 (gift card can be applied toward other services, but not products).

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Brighten up your home or office with flowers! We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.50.

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Report of man with gun at Aldi's turns out to be apparently false

post by Howard Owens in batavia

All of the police sirens screaming through town were heading to Aldi's after a person reportedly called the Dispatch Center to report a black male had brandished a gun before entering the store.

A Sheriff's Deputy was already in the parking lot, so he was first on scene. He contacted a man inside the store who fit the description of the subject. He had no gun on his belt, only a cell phone.

Police are on scene now sorting out what's going on.  The original caller is apparently no longer in the parking lot.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Washing machine smoking in laundry mat in Valu Plaza

post by Howard Owens in batavia

A washing machine is reportedly smoking at the laundry mat at 4152 W. Main St., Batavia (the Valu Plaza).

City fire has been dispatched.

UPDATE 1:53 p.m.: Engine 12 and Ladder 15 returning to station.

View Larger Map

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 11:04 pm

GCEDC approves two projects for tax breaks

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC

Sanzo and Sons, a beverage distributor with locations in Olean, Salamanca and Batavia has been approved for $30,000 in tax exemptions by Genesee County Economic Development Center as part of its plans to expand locally.

The company plans to spend more than $250,000, which it will borrow, to add new space to its facility at 11 Apollo Drive for offices and storage. It also plans to put on a new roof and upgrade equipment, including forklifts and delivery trucks.

The space at the facility will be expanded by 1,222 square feet and company officials say the improvements will help make it more efficient.

Vanderhoof Electric Supply is a new company that is purchasing the assets of Falcone Electric. It will be located at 385 W. Main St., Batavia.

Falcone Electric began in 1955 and has been a very stable wholesale electric supply business. The new owner is looking to keep the same trade name and staff.

Vanderhoof plans to invest $50k in computer warehouse management system in a few months and  a $50k upgrade building facade next spring.

The company has been approved for $16,000 in tax incentives.  It is also looking to borrow $100,000 from GCEDC's revolving loan fund. The company's total capital investment will total $400,000.

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Web site full of photos from local Vets' trip to DC

post by Howard Owens in steve hawley, veterans

Photos from the Steve Hawley-sponsored veterans' trip to Washington, D.C., have been posted to Shutterfly.

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Allamerican Improv up in time in Batavia Feature

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press release:
Batavia, NY --- Ron Viola, Dave Venniro and Jim Graham’s Allamerican Improv parlayed a perfect trip into his first ever Open Handicap win on Saturday night (Oct.3) at Batavia Downs Casino.
In rein to Ray Fisher, Jr., the talented 3-year-old Artiscape colt sat in behind the front running Arm And A Leg (Kevin Cummings) the entire trip, angled out at the top of the stretch and got up in the final few strides to notch his third win of the season in 1:55.1. Scotts Royce Rolls (Jimmy Whisman), a victim of stalled cover for the second week in a row, wound up third.
Allamerican Improv, a stakes winning freshman, raised his 2009 earnings to more than $35,000. He’s earned more than $160,000 lifetime. Jim Graham is the conditioner.
Racing Fans are reminded that next Saturday night figures to be one of biggest nights of the season with the $40,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace, the $10,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot and the retirement ceremony of popular local pacer Rockysbreezybuddy.
The Summer/Fall meet continues through December 5 with racing every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. Post time is 7:05.
Todd Haight
Promotional Marketing Specialist
Batavia Downs Casino

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Family returns home to find Halloween lights stolen

post by Howard Owens in batavia, crime

We received this e-mail from Jeff Lonnen today about somebody stealing his family's Halloween lights:

I am a resident at 3 porter ave in Batavia and me and my wife were out of  town this weekend.  While we were out someone stole our orange Halloween lights off our porch.  Now i know they don't cost much, but its just the point.  You try and make your house look nice for the holidays and people rip you off.  I don't feel its worth contacting the police over $5 worth of lights. But if someone knows anything about it, i would like to know.  And if you are the one that did it just return the lights.

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Truck on fire in Bergen

post by Howard Owens in fire

A truck fire has been reported at Route 19 and Townline Road in Bergen, across from the car dealership.

First responder reports, "One fully involved vehicle."

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Open letter to council members and candidates from Councilman Bill Cox

post by Howard Owens in batavia, city council, NORTH STREET EXTENSION

Editor's Note: The following is an open letter that Councilman Bill Cox sent The Batavian this morning. We likely would have published it then, long before he approached us about the paid post we have on the site now, but the bank robbery took up most of our day.  We make the point to note, we would have published this without the paid sponsorship.

Council members,

Tomorrow evening October 6th at 7 PM the Board of Education will be holding an informational meeting in the high school on State Street about their plans to convert the North Street Extn. property they own into athletic fields.

Well over 100 neighbors, school taxpayers, and voters in this area (East Avenue,  Naramore,  Woodcrest, Hillside Drive,, Garden Drive, Carolwood, Harrold Square, Belvedere, North Street, Elm Street, Clinton Street, and other streets have signed petitions strongly opposing this  school development. These petitions will be presented to the school board tomorrow evening.

They are concerned this development will change their peaceful and quiet neighborhood forever. In particular they are concerned with the fact that school enrollment is going down not up which does not justify more fields, it justifies fewer. The fact that their taxes will be going up to provide funding to maintain this area after it is developed; they are concerned that their school taxes will be used to support adult sports events the school board needs to justify the maintenance costs, that have nothing to do with school activities.

They are concerned with loud noise from fans and participants that occurs at all sporting events; their property being walked on invading their privacy, that property values go down not up  when these kinds of facilities are created, refuge will be deposited in yards, on streets, and blow on other properties. Parking and  traffic will clog streets, and a whole lot more.

I ask for you to come to this meeting and show your support for the city residents who this is being forced upon. A large number of the people who signed petitions stated this one topic alone will decide who they vote for on council and the legislature. Some asked me to contact you to ask you to come to this meeting and speak out on their behalf. They want to know where our council people and legislator candidates stand on this development which is vital to the quality of life in their neighborhood.

Bill Cox
Councilman - First Ward

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Tonight's Deals: Center Street, Pudgies, Enchanted Florist, Delavan's and more

post by Howard Owens in Deal of the Day

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Brighten up your home or office with flowers! We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.50.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Ribs, brisket, steak, prime rib -- Center Street is a meat lover's paradise. We have a $25 gift card 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.

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.

Belladessa's Pizzeria/Jackson St. Grill, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Here's a deal -- half off on a Family Meal Deal from Belladessa's, which is a large 1 topping pizza, 24 wings and 2-liter bottle of soda. It's a $25 value for $12.50.

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Fall colors are here, and with Pudgie's you an cozy-fy your home with a range of decoration ideas. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. 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.

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Manhunt in Pavilion for bank robber winding down

post by Howard Owens in crime, Five Star bank robbery, Pavilion

The manhunt for a bank robber in Pavilion is going into "investigative mode," said Sheriff Gary Maha minutes ago.

The uniformed personal are being pulled from the field. DEC officers from Avon are on the trails through the woods where he was last seen. They will back track to the Five Star branch to see if the robber shed his hat and jacket after leaving the bank.

"When our deputy saw somebody he wasn't wearing this hat or jacket, so either it wasn't him or he dumped his clothing," said Maha.

Investigators are talking to Pavilion business owners and residents, sharing the bank photo of the suspect and following up on leads from the scene, Maha said.

Audio: Statement by Sheriff Maha (mp3).

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 11:42 am

Police pursue bank robbery suspect in Pavilion area

post by Howard Owens in Five Star bank robbery, Pavilion


Pavilion School is being locked down as police pursue a bank robbery suspect in the area.

The man is described as a white male heading toward Wyoming on foot.

Police on scene are requesting Livingston County send a K-9 unit and the State Police helicopter is being requested.

UPDATE: The suspect has been seen running on the railroad tracks, heading north out of the Village of Pavilion, near the end of St. Mary's Street. He is further described as being between 20 and 35 years old, 5'10" and about 170 lbs., wearing a bright green and white hat, sunglasses, a jacket with stripes down the sleeves and a logo of Husqvarna (on either hat or jacket).

A state police helicopter is on scene. The canine unit is readying to release the police dog. There's a lot of trails through the woods where the suspect is now. They have set up a command post at the village library and now are calling for a parameter set up at Hanson Park near the creek.

UPDATE: They've spotted fresh four-wheel drive tracks in the area, unknown as to whether that indicates an accomplice -- or is relevent to the case.

UPDATE: They've spotted a bag of money "in a Target like bag." The bank robbed was the Five-Star Bank, located 6948 Cato Street in Pavilion.

UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): Units are checking parked cars in the vicinity to determine whether any are involved in this incident. They've spotted a path off the railroad tracks heading west.

UPDATE (12:34 p.m.): Officers are scouring the ATV trails and the canine is working the trails, too. The library is offering police to come in and use Google Maps if need be. Law enforcement ATVs are en route.

UPDATE (12:47 p.m.): They've let the dog off leash to work the trail.

UPDATE (1:05 p.m.): The police are switching the command post from the library to the town hall.




Monday, October 5, 2009 at 10:39 am

No water, so Le Roy High School students being sent home

post by Howard Owens in Le Roy

Le Roy Junior-Senior High School is apparently cut off from any water supply, so the students, grades 7 through 12, were sent home at 10 a.m..

Monroe County Water Authority said there is no emergency break. Rather, a private company is doing a service repair and some difficulty arose requiring the water to being turned off to the school.

"They ran into problems and the water had to be shut off," a spokeswoman for the authority said.

There was also some emergency dig on North Street this morning, according to a Sheriff's Office dispatcher, but that appears unrelated to this issue.

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

Police Beat: Correctional officer accused of drawing disability while running side business

post by Howard Owens in Attica, batavia, alexander, corfu, crime, elba, pembroke

mug-james-gibbs.jpgJames S. Gibbs, 39, of Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, insurance fraud and offering false instruments for filing and a violation of the worker's compensation law. Gibbs is accused of collecting full disability related to an on-duty injury while drawing income from plowing driveways and sealing parking lots in Batavia. Gibbs was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Kathleen M. McBride, 44, of 115 State St., lower, is charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. McBride is accused of cutting her husband's face during a domestic dispute. Her husband was not seriously injured in the alleged attack. After he was cut, her husband allegedly pushed her onto the bed and held her there, not allowing her to get up. McBride was jailed on $3,000 bail.

Jean Marie Lorenz, 49, of 7907 Allegheny Road, Corfu, is charged with two counts of assault. Lorenze allegedly attacked and cut two people with a knife Saturday night. Lorenz was reportedly drunk at the time. She was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Karen Ann Garcia, 45, of 13535 Miller Road, Albion, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Gardia allegedly allowed her daughter to shoplift at Kmart. Garcia also reportedly lied about her daughter's name and age.

Jamie Luis Santiago, of 5057 Hundredmark Road, Elba, is charged with assault. Santiago was taken into custody for an alleged incident July 12. Santiago allegedly punched his wife in the face causing injury on that date.

Seth P. Dhanda, 29, of 219 Washington Ave., Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct and assault. Dhanda allegedly instigated a fight. At the time of his arrest, Dhanda allegedly made verbal threats to a police officer. Dhanda was arrested at 7:48 p.m. on Friday.

Dylan A.J. Dembrow, 18, of 14 Pearl St., Akron, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child. Dembrow is accused of hosting an underage drinking party at a location on Akron Road in Pembroke on Saturday night.

James M. Wisniewski, 19, of Attica, was charged by State Police with harassment. The charge stems from a Sept. 19 incident in the Village of Alexander. No further retails are available at this time.

Thomas J. Preedom, 21, of Wyoming, is charged by State Police with rape in the second degree and acting in a manor to injure a child. According to the State Police blotter entry, Preedom is accused of raping an underage girl. The alleged incident took place in the City of Batavia on Sept. 25. He was subsequently charged with bail jumping, criminal mischief, escape and harassment. Cash bail was set at $50,000.

Ronald G. Albertson, 51, of Albion, is charged with DWI. Albertson was stopped by State Police in Elba on at 10:03 p.m. Saturday.

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 8:41 am

Batavia 6-year-old dies over the weekend

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Le Roy

A student of Jackson Elementary School died on Saturday.

No details of the death of 6-year-old Marcus Peters have been released yet, but his passing was confirmed by WBTA with the Sheriff's Office this morning.

Superintendent Margaret Puzio said Marcus was in school and apparently healthy on Friday.

Grief counselors will be at the school this morning.

UPDATE: Additional details have been released.

Marcus, who lived with his mother in Batavia, was spending the weekend with his father in Le Roy. He appeared healthy just minutes before he was found unresponsive by his 8-year-old sister. Moments before, he asked his father if he could go outside to play. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. Foul play is not suspected and there was no evidence of trauma.

UPDATE: We received the following e-mail from Kristen Wahl.

Hello my name s Kristen Wahl and Iam the step-mom to Marcus's sister Madison! He was a very sweet quite boy! He will be missed very much by alot of people!  His mom is Cynthia Peters and she is very broken up about this whole thing!  Marcus was her first born!!! I am writing this to say that the family will  need all the support possible to get through this horrible tragic thing!  Marcus is leaving behind 2 sisters and 1 brother and his mom and dad and  everyone who loves him! If you would like to support or send condolences the address is 139 Swan Street in Batavia, NY.She needs all of our support!  Thank You!

Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Young local writer now shows off musical talent

post by Howard Owens in batavia, entertainment, music

We introduced Tyler Barrett as a young, local aspiring fiction writer some time back. Tonight, he sent a long a link to this video of him playing piano. The song he's playing is "Lux Aeterna,"  from the film Requiem for a Dream.

Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Job fair a success for growing company in Batavia

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, Prime Materials


At a time when most companies in the U.S. seem to be just holding on, Prime Materials in Batavia is primed for growth, according to company President Russell  K. Western.

On Friday, Prime Materials held a job fair to help fill at least a half dozen openings and build a pool of applicants for a number of anticipated new jobs in the coming year.

According to Western, 44 people showed up and 13 will be invited back for a second interview and several more will be considered in the next round of hiring.

“We’re regularly frustrated in our ability to find appropriately skilled people,” Western said, who described the classic conundrum of employers finding people looking for work who are over qualified, or people who are underskilled with spotty work histories.

“We were greatly excited to have 44 people to pick from,” Western said.

The firm, located at 6 Treadeasy Ave., is poised for expansion, Western said, because there is a growing domestic market for its closed-cell cross-linked foam, which is used as packing material for shipping of a wide range of products. While the company faces stiff global competition from Asia, the cost of shipping a higher quality, highly dense material into the U.S. gives Prime Materials an advantage.

The entire manufacturing process, from mixing to pressing, is handled in the Batavia plant.

It also manufactures foam for its parent company, Batavia-based P.W. Minor, which makes stylish shoes for people with diabetes or arthritis or who simply want a comfortable shoe.

The relationship with P.W. Minor may be heading in a new direction in the coming months, according to Western. Prime Materials is all grown up and the firm may have the opportunity to mature into an independently owned company in its own right. Western is in talks with investors now and if that goes through, Prime Materials’ ability to create many more good paying jobs will be greatly increased.

And finding good people, Western said, will be a key part of Prime Materials' success.  He thinks Genesee County, with its own skilled workforce and Batavia's location between Rochester and Buffalo, will help the company find good people. He said his goal is to build a company with a solid reputation in the community, which will help bring in and retain career-minded workers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Holley beats Notre Dame 14-7

post by Howard Owens in batavia, football, holley, Notre Dame, sports




Things looked good for Notre Dame at the end of the first half this afternoon, but in the end Holley took control of the game and went on to win 14-7.

It was the first loss of the year for the Irish and continued Holley's dramatic turn around from an 0-8 in 2008.

It was a tale of two halves, according to Notre Dame Head Coach Rick Mancuso, who said his team failed to execute in the third and fourth quarters.

"We had a good mix of run and a good mix of of pass (in the first half)," said Mancuso. "I thought we played with passion. We played with emotion. I thought we came out early in the second half and we started off with a penalty right in the first series and that was just kind of the way that we played. We lost our focus and we lost our discipline and we didn’t play a good second half."

In that first half, Notre Dame did a good job of stuffing Holley's powerful running game. When Holley went up the middle, the Irish line was there to push back the pile. On sweeps, the pursuit was aggressive, lead by Gianni Zambito, to keep Holley's backs from turning the corner. A couple of sweeps turned into lost yardage for the Hawks.

After the game, Hawks Head Coach Chad DeRock bristled at the idea that the Irish were sticking it to his guys during the first half.

"We played our game -- bend, don’t break," DeRock said. "We gave up only seven points to one of the best offenses around here. We bend, we don’t break. They’re going to have big plays. You’ve got to accept that when you’ve got Bochicchio at QB and Pratt and Richter and Zambito out there. Those are big play guys. We just didn’t want to get beat with the big, big play. We got burned on one. Other than that, we did what we had to do."

That one big play was a 35-yard TD pass early in the second quarter to a wide open Zambito from Nick Bochicchio.

The successful drive was sparked by a Cam McDonald fumble recovery late in the first quarter. The turnover stopped a long drive by the Hawks that had them on a seeming precipice of a first score of the game.

Instead, Notre Dame was able to end the half with a 7-0 lead against a Holley team that scored at least 30 points in three of its four previous wins.

ND opened the half with the ball, an illegal motion penalty the Irish in the hole and a few downs later ND was punting it away. It wasn't long after before Mike Perincano was crossing the goal line on a 30-yard rush to pull the Hawks within a point of the Irish (Holley failed to score on a two-point conversion try, so the score stood at 7-6).

On its next possession, the Irish moved the ball down field and were within striking distance of another score when Bochicchio was picked off by Guy Hills. That's the last time the Irish really threatened to put points on the board.

Two possessions later, Chad Barhydt, who took over at QB for Hills, who was injured in the fourth quarter, carried the ball in on a two-yard TD run, and with the two-point conversion, Holley sealed its 14-7 victory.

"My hats off to Holley," Mancuso said. "They played terrific. They were up to the challenge and they’re a great team. They’ve got a lot of really great kids. They work hard and their coaching staff does a great job with them. I wish we cold have done them justice and played them a little bit better."

Coach DeRock said his team, even at 5-0 and assured of at least a share of the Genesee Region title, is still taking the season one week at a time.

"Everybody says this was the GR championship, but it’s not," DeRock said. "It’s another game on our schedule. We have another game next week and another game after that.

"Attica’s a great team," he added. "Brad Clark had 295 yards rushing last night. I scouted the game. He’s a great running back, so we’re not taking them lightly by any means."

Pernicano finished the game with 52 yards on six carries. Sean Baylor had 12 carries for 68 yards. Barhydt posted 42 rushing yards.

For the Irish, now 4-1, Mike Pratt rushed for 65 yards on 20 carries. Zambito contributed 90 total yards on four receptions.




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