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Howard B. Owens's blog

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm

A dozen people accused of entering illegally picked up on Bank Street this morning

post by Howard B. Owens in Bank Street, batavia, crime, immigration

A traffic stop by State Police on Bank Street near College Road about 7:30 this morning led to the detention of 12 individuals who may have entered the country illegally.

All 12 are from Mexico, according Mike Gilhooly, spokesman for Immigration Control Enforcement.

Ten of the individuals were turned over to the U.S. District Attorney for criminal prosecution, one suspect is already awaiting a court hearing on a previous charge of entering the country illegally and the 12th was a minor who was turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement for processing.

One of the group had previously been deported, Gilhooly said.

The names of the individuals were not immediately available.

The driver of the white van was not picked up by immigration, Gilhooly said. He referred us back to State Police for information on that person and we are awaiting an answer to our e-mail on that subject.

Thank you to a reader tip for bringing this item to our attention.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Today's Deals: Great Kutz for men, The Color Salon for women, and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Men, enjoy a $5 haircut again with this offer exclusive to The Batavian. (gift card can be applied toward other services, but not products).

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Now in stock: A big selection of poinsettias and stunning wreaths. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

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.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

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.

The Color Salon, 35 Center St., Batavia, NY: Susan Francis, the owner and stylist at The Color Salon reminds women, "your hair is your greatest accessory." Francis has more than 20 years of experience helping women get the best hair color. We have a $50 gift certificate for $25.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:44 am

Christmas Video: Bob Dylan, 'Must Be Santa'

post by Howard B. Owens in Christmas, video

(Thanks for a reader tip on pointing this out -- a Christmas polka video for our Polish friends).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:38 am

Traffic light malfunction at Jackson and Ellicott

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Jackson Street

Use caution when traveling through the intersection of Jackson and Ellicott streets. A police officer reports both northbound green lights are out on Jackson.

Repair crews are being summoned.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

Police Beat: Man accused of stealing video games from roommate

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

Brandon C. Dodd, 23, of 128 1/2 State St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Dodd is accused of stealing two video games from his roommate and selling them for cash at a local video game store.

Edwin Morales, 52, of 11293 Ridge Road, Medina, is accused of DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Morales was stopped on Route 63 in Alabama after Deputy C.J. Minuto observed Morales's vehicle allegedly cross the center double yellow line.

Kenneth W. Bater, 18, of 7795 Creamery Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, consumption of alcohol in a vehicle and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bater was arrested after Deputy Frank Bordonaro responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at the side of the road on Creamery Road in Bergen. A passenger in the car, Kenneth E. Hale, 18, of 6101 North Lake Road, Bergen, was also charged with consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

UPDATE The following is additional information on an accident we reported previously, and we just received the information from the State Police:

Steven M. Smith, 21, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI. Smith reportedly hit two parked cars in the area of the old 84 Lumber store on Ellicott Street at 12:58 p.m., Sunday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

Alexander teacher accused of forcibly touching a student

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, crime, Stafford

mug_mark_hamilton.jpgAn Alexander Central School District teacher has been accused of conducting an inappropriate relationship with a student.

He's been charged with three misdemeanor counts, which are official misconduct, endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching.

Sheriff's investigators say they found mobile phone data and phone records linking Mark R. Hamilton, 49, of 8011 Caswell Road, Stafford, with the alleged inappropriate relationship with the student.

Sheriff's Office Youth Officer C.M. Erion obtained data from Verizon Wireless as part of his investigation, which was assisted by Western New York Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Buffalo.

Hamilton, a graduate of Geneseo State College, was hired in 2000 by the Alexander Central School District as an elementary school teacher. While the Sheriff's Office press release lists him as a high school teacher, the district's Web site indicates he was most recently a science teacher in the middle school. He coached Batavia girls basketball from at least 2000 until 2008. WBTA reports he's been on adminisrative leave for a month.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 10:20 am

Weather Watch: Chance of snow continuing into afternoon

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

We should expect at least some more snow today with highs in the mid-20s.  The chance of snow hovers at around 30 percent.

Tomorrow should warm to 34 degrees and we might see some sun.

The prediction of freezing ran on Christmas has been changed to just rain with a high of 38 and a 70-percent chance of precipitation.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm

House fire reported on Byron-Holley Road

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, fire

A house fire has been reported at 6544 Byron-Holley Road, Byron.

UPDATE (6:18 p.m.) The fire captain reports the fire is under control and engines are leaving the scene.


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Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm

The whole community welcome at T.F. Brown's for Christmas

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Christmas, T.F. Brown's

Yesterday I stopped in Tenney Cleaners and spotted a print out of our story about T.F. Brown's annual community Christmas dinner on the bulletin board -- what a great way to help get the word out about this great event.

The whole community is invited, and Rick Mancuso wants to make sure that everybody knows, especially those members of the community who might otherwise spend Christmas alone or can't afford a full Christmas meal with all the trimmings.

Meal times are Noon and 1 p.m. and reservations are recommended. To make reservations call 343-2091 (ask for Joanne) by 11 a.m. on Dec. 24.

Parents and grand parents bringing children should make a special point to make a reservation. Children 16 and under will receive a Christmas present.

Everything is free and all are welcome.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Rotary set to kick off annual basketball tournament

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Batavia Rotary Club, sports

rotary01.jpg

At it's weekly lunch today, the Batavia Rotary Club kicked off its annual girls basketball tournament. Coaches and team captains from Notre Dame, Batavia, Alexander and Pavilion were on hand for lunch and a visit from Santa (actually, two Santas).

Pictured above are Amie Brooks, Trisha  Pike, Shun-Della Williams and Anna Dominick.

More pictures from the afternoon after the jump:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Pair of Megabus accidents puts company's safety record in spotlight

post by Howard B. Owens in megabus, safety, travel

megabus.jpgEuropean-based Megabus, which a year ago started service in the Northeast U.S., bills itself as the eco-friendly, high-tech, inexpensive and safe way to travel between major cities.

It's that safety part that raises an eyebrow or two recently.

Two Megabus motor coaches have been involved in Thurway crashes in the Gensee County area in the past two weeks.

In both cases, buses tipped over. In one, high winds are a likely factor. In the other, the bus driver is accused of falling asleep.

WBTA spoke Edward Hodgson, president of Megabus, who said Megabus has a good safety record.

A search of Google didn't uncover prominent documentation of ongoing safety issues, either.

Megabus operates passenger service between Toronto and Buffalo to New York City using the New York State Thruway.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Christmas Video: Dominick the Donkey

post by Howard B. Owens in Christmas, video

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 11:13 am

DiNapoli predicts hefty property tax increase to support schools

post by Howard B. Owens in education, taxes

Are you ready for your property taxes to go up another 7.7 percent?

That's what state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says will happen in two years when $2 billion in federal stimulus money now being used for schools dries up.

The D&C reports:

DiNapoli said in a report Monday that unless the federal aid is renewed or replaced by state aid, schools will be hard-pressed to make up the loss of revenue. DiNapoli said about $2.8 billion in federal stimulus money went to schools this fiscal year, of which $1.6 billion restored proposed education aid cuts.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 10:41 am

Suspect accused of bringing needle into jail

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

mug_aaron_heale.jpgA Le Roy man jailed for allegedly writing $1,000 in bad checks now faces contraband charges.

Aaron L. Heale, 28, is accused of bringing a hypodermic needle into jail with him.

He is charged with promoting prison contraband in the 1st degree and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.

Further charges are pending a toxicology report on the needle.

Heale was arrested previously for allegedly using checks from a closed bank account to purchase more than $1,000 worth of items from a Le Roy store.  During the search of his apartment, investigators allegedly found drug paraphernalia.  He faces grand larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance charges.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 10:30 am

Weather Watch: Here comes the sun

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

The forecast for today: Mostly sunny, but still pretty darn cold. Today's high will be in the lower 20s.

Tomorrow and Thursday, more sun with a slight warming on Thursday.

Christmas Day: The prediction for freezing rain in the morning remains in effect. Rain in the afternoon. Highs in the 40s. 

Saturday is the day they expect snow to return.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 10:10 am

Today's Deals: Great Kutz, Matty's, Sallome's, South Main

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Men, enjoy a $5 haircut again with this offer exclusive to The Batavian. (gift card can be applied toward other services, but not products).

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.

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. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sallome's Italian Deli, 40 Oak St., Batavia, NY: Wraps, subs, paninis and pasta as well as pizzas -- Sallome's offers a tasty variety of Italian deli items for eat-in or take-out.

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 9:36 am

Batavia executive admits to skipping taxes for 4 years

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

Joseph P. Ryan, 52, a Batavia resident, admitted in an Albany court yesterday that he failed to file an income tax returns from 2004 through 2008.

The charge of failing to file is a misdemeanor.

Ryan is a vice president of Brighton Securities, which has an office in Batavia, but is headquartered in Brighton, a suburb of Rochester.

Before entering the plea, Ryan paid the state $57,749 in back taxes.

He was sentenced to one-year conditional release and a $5,000 fine.

(Source: Democrat and Chronicle).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 12:25 am

Tonight's Christmas Lights picture

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Christmas

naramore03.jpg

Tonight for pictures of Christmas Light houses, I thought I'd drive through the North Avenue/Narramore neighborhood.   I wound up with really only one photo worth posting.

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