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Howard B. Owens's blog

Friday, March 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Today's Deals: Matty's, Center Street, Olivers, O'Lacy's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

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.

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.c

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.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate 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.

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.  We have $10 gift certificates for $5 each.

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.

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: The Batavian is able to offer a limited number of reduced-price haircuts for children under 12. Click Here for details of the offer and to purchase vouchers.

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


Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Weather: Spring is almost sprung. Almost.

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


Did you like the sun today? There's supposed to be more of that where that came from. In fact, the weekend should be quite nice, with highs in 40s and more sun.

Not to put a damper on things, but Weather.com is predicting snow overnight in a week.

But in the meantime, pre-spring weather with highs in the 40s and sun, or partly cloudy, seems to be in our immediate future.

Pictures: From this evening, a barn on Lear Road. Below a tractor and old garage on Wilkenson Road.



Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 10:19 am

Rapone makes Section V history as Notre Dame rolls to playoff victory

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, Mike Rapone, Notre Dame, sports


The first thing Mike Rapone wanted to do after Notre Dame notched a Section V playoff victory Wednesday night in Gainsville was find his daughter.

They embraced at center court and fans, friends and family gathered round.

When the Rapones moved over closer to a sign bearing the numbers 546, Mike Rapone looked up at the crowd, still holding his daughter close, and for a second, the emotion of the moment was clear in his eyes and a quivering lip.

With a 60-41 victory over Arkport, the Fighting Irish clinched the final spot in the Section V Class D1 championship, and Mike Rapone became the all-time wins leader in Section V boys basketball.

"(The record) means a lot to me because it means so much to the people I coached over the years," Rapone said. "So many of them are here tonight. They’re the ones who won the games. I’m the coach. You steer the ship, but they’re the sailors. They do all of the hard work."

The 56-year-old Rapone has a shot at victory number 547 in the Blue Cross Arena at 11:45 a.m., Saturday, when the Irish face Fillmore.

A win Saturday would give Notre Dame its eighth Section V title under Rapone. The Irish have also notched two New York State championships, in 1992 and 2001.

Starting forward, senior Tom Rapone, said victory meant a lot to the team and to him personally.

"I’m so happy to be able to get it for my uncle," Rapone said. "He’s done so much for me in basketball. I always dreamed of playing for him in high school. The fact that I was able to help break the record for him as the last Rapone to come through Notre Dame High School, it’s just an amazing feeling."

Despite the lopsided total at the end, Arkport didn't make it easy for the Irish to get the win for Rapone. While the Irish led from start to finish, Arkport pulled close near the end of the half, and again near the end of the 3rd Quarter. Too many missed shots in the 4th quarter, though, allowed Notre Dame to pull well ahead.

"It’s sectionals and no team is going to quit," said Tom Rapone. "We just came together as a team. We’ve got great chemistry. We know how to play as a team. We can turn it up fast. That’s all thanks to our coach. He’s taught us great things in practice. It’s all thanks to him. He’s an amazing coach."

Even when Arkport pulled within three points late in the 3rd quarter, coach Rapone said he felt his team knew it was going to win the game.

"I don’t think they ever lost their confidence that they were going to win," the coach said. "That’s the mark of a winner and that’s why they’re 19-1."

More pictures pictures after the jump.

Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 12:18 am

Batavia woman sought by FBI in connection with alleged drug dealing in Erie County

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A Batavia woman is reportedly wanted by the FBI in connection with an alleged heroin and cocaine ring being run inside two strip clubs in Erie County.

The FBI is encouraging anybody who knows the whereabouts of Cynthia Sims to call the police.

According to WGRZ, several law enforcement agencies were involved over the past year in investigating the alleged drug dealing at the clubs.

The clubs were identified as Rick's Tally Ho in Cheektowaga and 24k Gold in Hamburg.

WGRZ reports that the owners of the clubs say they had no idea that drug dealing was going on at their establishments.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Batavia 'wanted' suspect located in Florida

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, crime, Wanted

A man wanted by Batavia Police has been located in Florida and is in a Tampa-area jail awaiting extradition to New York.

A week ago, Batavia Police issued a "wanted" notice for Dajuandrick Gardner, 33, of Byron. Gardner is wanted for an alleged violation of parole.

U.S. Marshalls' took Gardner into custody on Monday.

No information has been released regarding the original charges against him.

When the police released the wanted information on Gardner, they also listed 18-year-old Jeremiah Williams as a wanted person on unrelated charges. Williams remains at large.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

Police Beat: Girl charged with shoplifting at Kmart and Walmart

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

A 16-year-old Batavia girl is charged with two counts of petit larceny. She allegedly stole items from Walmart and Kmart. She was arrested at 9:31 p.m., Tuesday.

Deborah Ann Butler, 42, of 5335 Egerton Road, Elba, is charged with issuing a bad check. Butler was picked up on a warrant on the charge.

Lynda Lee Snyder, 27, currently in state prison, is charged with criminal facilitation, 4th. Snyder allegedly allowed a person who had been ordered to stay away from her child to be in the residence and company of the child.

Kelly J. Rhim, 31, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Rhim was reportedly stopped by state police on the Thruway in Batavia at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 28.

Accidents from the state police blotter:

8:58 p.m., March 1, Route 98, Alexander, one vehicle: Driver 1: Joyce M. McNutt, 46, of Darien Center. No injuries reported.

6:05 a.m., March 1, Quaker Hill Road, Elba, one vehicle; Driver 1: Karen J. Vancott, 49, Albion. No injuries reported.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 10:59 am

Building evacuated after smell of natural gas in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

One person so far has reported a headache in apparent connection to a natural gas smell at a building at 8020 E. Main Road, Le Roy.

The building has been evacuated.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance have been dispatched.

UPDATE 10:12 a.m.: An assistant fire chief reports no reading of gas inside the structure.

UPDATE 10:16 a.m.: Le Roy Fire is back in service.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 3:35 am

Batavia advances to finals after taking control against Hornell in second half

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, sports


If you weren't biting your nails at the half on Tuesday night, you're not a Batavia Blue Devils fan.

At the half in Batavia's Section V semi-final playoff game against Hornell, the Blue Devils were in locked horns at 20-20.

Even though Hornell came into the tournament as the #5 seed in the division against Batavia's #1 standing, Hornell wasn't making it easy on Batavia.

Hornell came out of the locker room with an aggressive game plan that had Batavia a little bit flustered in the opening minutes of the match.

“We didn’t play very good at all in the first half – our shots weren’t falling and the presses got to us, particularly me," said Batavia's leading scorer, Andrew Hoy. "I didn’t really know how to break it at the time, but we figured it out at half time. Coach gave us a game plan and we came out in the second half and said we’re going to hold them to 13 points per quarter and we played defense. That’s what Batavia is built on, defense.”

The plan worked. Hornell was able to manage only three baskets in the second half and Batavia went on to win 51-34.

Hoy sank three three pointers and led Batavia (17-3) with 24 points.

Justin Washington and Co Co Irvin each added nine.

The Blue Devils advance to the Section V finals against Livonia on Friday night.


Thirty more pictures after the jump:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 1:06 am

Batavia Ramparts Squirt B Win Division Championship

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Ramparts, hockey, sports

Submited by Robert Hunt:

Batavia Ramparts Squirt B finished their regular season undefeated and went on to win the Division Championship Sunday February 28th over the Rochester Youth Hockey Hawks.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 12:31 am

Possible methamphetamine found at Le Roy house

post by Howard B. Owens in methamphetamine


Law enforcement officials now believe that there was actual methamphetamine in a house at 9434 Route 19, where the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force executed a search warrant at 2 a.m., Tuesday.

Initially, officials didn't believe there was any completed product at the house, though suspected precursor chemicals were found and Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster described the meth lab set up as particularly dangerous because of the use of batteries in the alleged process.

At a little after 1 p.m., investigators from the state police crime lab (pictured) arrived at the house to gather evidence and conducted tests on the chemicals and compounds allegedly found at the scene.

In a press release this evening, the Sheriff's Office announced that more than two ounces of suspected methamphetamine were found in the house.

state_meth02.jpgA police officer on scene this afternoon said the room where the suspected lab was found, which he also described as potentially highly flammable, was right next to the bedroom of a 6-year-old child.

Charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 2nd and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument were Christopher L. Williams, 31, of 8 Erie St., Le Roy, and Nicholas Patrick Sadwick, 23, of 354 Sandybrook Drive, Hamlin.

The two men were jailed on $32,500 bail each.

It's unclear who was living at the house. The residence was clearly occupied. Officials discussed the fact that a dog was picked up earlier in the day and two domesticated cats hung out near the front door. A neighbor said that new tenants had only recently moved into the house and that this morning, the school bus stopped at the house as it usually does, but this time, no little boy was there to get on it.

No other charges have been announced by the Sheriff's Office against any other individuals.

Tonight's press release said officials found "chemicals and equipment which are commonly used to manufacture Methamphetamine."

This is the fifth suspected meth lab found in Genesee County since Nov. 12, when suspected labs were discovered in Alabama and on Jackson Street in Batavia.

A member of the drug task force at the scene today said that media coverage of that first raid helped alert local residents to the problem and the dangers of meth labs, and the increased vigilance has led to more tips about these other suspected meth operations.

For previous coverage of suspected meth labs, click here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Photo: Rollover accident in Village of Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba


This is a reader-submitted photo of the rollover accident in the Village of Elba last night. The driver was reportedly unhurt.  We've received no further official information on this accident at this time.

UPDATE: We received a copy of the accident report from the Sheriff's office later this evening.

The car was driven by Mark J. Schultz, 24, of 4658 Barryville Road, Elba. Deputy J. M. Graff reported the Schultz said he fell asleep. The car drifted off the roadway and struck a utility pole. No tickets were issued.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm

A visit to Wilson's farm, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, agriculture, Le Roy


That big blue and white object in the background isn't some jet engine I PhotoShoped into a farm picture -- it's a wind turbine, called the WindTamer.

Owner Garry Wilson said the turbine will be fully operational this week and will provide more power than he needs for his farm.

Wilson's farm is on Route 19 in Le Roy, right next door to the suspected meth lab police found this morning.

While Wilson said he's never heard a blade-type wind turbine, this one doesn't make much noise at all.

"We had quite a bit of wind a few nights back and it was no louder than a truck idling," Wilson said.

The turbines are advertised as more efficient, producing more power, than conventional turbines.

Wilson said he believes he has the first WindTamer in Genesee County, and the first turbine of any kind in Le Roy.


I got a chance to talk with Garry because while I was waiting for something interesting to happen at the suspected meth lab house (more on that later), I stood along the edge of the road and started trying to take some pictures of his horses, which is when I spotted one laying on the ground with its hoof apparently caught on a fence railing.

I spotted Garry's number and gave him a call. He came out immediately to help the horse get uncaught and get back up. He said it happens once in a while when the horse lays down too close to the fence and then rolls over, getting its hoof caught.

Pictures below of the horse rescue as well as one of Garry throwing some hay to his horses and of his cattle.



The horse seemed perfectly fine after it got up, even coming over to the railing where I was hoping I might be a person with a treat. Sorry, horse, no treats.




Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Suspected meth lab in Le Roy described as using 'particularly dangerous method'

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, methamphetamine


Another suspected meth lab has been discovered in Le Roy though no suspects have been charged yet in connection with the operation.

Two people were taken into custody this morning following a traffic stop and are being held on unrelated charges.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster described the operation as fairly significant and more dangerous than any lab the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force has yet uncovered.

"They were using batteries, which is a method we're not particularly familiar with," Brewster said. "We haven't seen that before, but it's a particularly dangerous method."

The lab is not believed to be operational and no completed product was apparently found on scene, but enough precursors were found that the county must be very careful in cleaning up, Brewster said. 

County Emergency Management and a hazmat team are preparing to deploy to the house, which is located at 9434 Route 19.

Taken into custody were C.L. Williams and Nicholas P. Sadwick. They were arraigned in Town Court on unrelated charges, including, for one of them, possession of a hypodermic instrument. One of the men also allegedly had an outstanding warrant out of Monroe County.

The home is owned by a relative of one of the men taken into custody, but the owner is not in custody and has not been charged with any crime.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 10:10 am

Batavia men accused of illegal drug sales in Wyoming County

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Wyoming County

Two Batavia men were jailed in Wyoming County after a drug task force operation caught them allegedly trying to sell prescription drugs.

Larry Yoho, 37, of North Spruce Street, is accused of selling Xanax and Fentanyl to undercover agents.

Nicholas Williams, 37, of 15 Ross Street, is accused of possession and sale of Xanax.

(via WBTA)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 9:05 am

Report shows how loss of factory jobs has hurt WNY wage earners

post by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs, WNY

As factory jobs have moved overseas, Western New Yorkers are making less and less money, according to a recent study from the University of Buffalo.

From 2004 to 2008, low-paying jobs -- those paying less than $30,000 per year -- increased 17 percent, while mid-wage jobs ($30,000 to $70,000) decreased 10 percent.

From the press release:

"These findings portray a new economic reality for Western New York that's in stark contrast to decades past, when the region paid some of the highest wages in the country," said Kathryn A. Foster, economics institute director. "It raises a host of questions about how to build and sustain economic security for Western New Yorkers."

During this same period, good-paying jobs -- above $70,000 -- have increased 6 percent. Those jobs comprise about 8 percent of the workforce, and the other two sectors are split evenly at 46 percent.

The federal poverty line for a single person is $10,830. For two people living together, it's $14,570. According to the report, Penn State’s Living Wage Calculator (meeting basic expenses), a single person should earn $18,300 in Buffalo. A single parent with a 5-year-old child needs $36,000 annually to meet basic needs.

A full-time, minimum wage job pays $15,000 annually. The median income in WNY is $31,080.

In 2008 dollars, a typical factory job from the 1970s might pay $60,000.

The report uses a fictional three-generation family to illustrate how the loss of good-paying factory work has forced both parents in a family of four to work and that family has less to fall back on.

But WNY is not alone. Low-paying service-sector jobs have been growing at about the same rate across the country, according to the report, though those jobs comprise just 43 percent of the work force.

As factories have closed, fewer and fewer workers enjoyed the benefits of organized labor:

"As both cause and reflection of the changing economy and wage structures, the percentage of workers represented by labor unions dropped steadily since the 1950s, from a national high of 35 percent to a current level of 12 percent. Unionization levels in the Buffalo Niagara region have mirrored national trends, particularly as manufacturing jobs have fallen. Yet the region’s unionization levels are consistently above national averages. Metro Buffalo’s 17-percent unionization rate in 2009 for private-sector workers was more than two times the 7-percent private-sector unionization rate for the nation."

Clearly, although the report concentrates on Buffalo as "Western New York," these issues do appear to be regionwide.

Full report available for download (pdf).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 8:06 am

Today's Poll: Should Gov. Paterson resign?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Monday, March 1, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Single-vehicle rollover accident reported in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba

A car has struck a poll and rolled over on Main Street in Elba.

No word yet on possible injuries.

Elba Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDTE 9:55 p.m.: One person out of the car with minor or no injuries.

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Monday, March 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Police Beat: Man turned over to Monroe Sheriff after arrest in Le Roy

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

John Alan Delano, 19, of 556 Peck Road, Spencerport, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged aggravated unlicensed operation. Delano was reportedly arrested in the Village of Le Roy in connection with an unrelated incident. Bail in that case was set at $500. Delano reportedly posted bail and then was arrested on the Monroe County warrant and transported to the county line, where he was taken into custody by a Monroe County deputy.

Jeremiah T. Jones, 36, 535 McGinnis Road, Scottsville, is charged with petit larceny. Jones allegedly bought vehicle parts from L&L Transmission and then stopped payment on his check after work was completed on his vehicle.

Alexander J. Delahanty, 20, of Brockport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Delahanty was stopped by State Police on the Thruway in the Town of Batavia. No further details provided.

Accidents from the State Police blotter:

4:21 p.m., Feb. 26, Allegany Road, Darien, two vehicles; Driver 1: Wayne S. Marks, 39, of Orangeville, Ontario, Canada; Driver 2: Wilfredo Vargas, 31, of Buffalo. No injuries reported.

5:22 p.m., Feb 26, Route 5 and Bater Road, Stafford, one vehicle; Driver 1: James Gideon Halsey, 17, of Le Roy. No injuries reported.

11:21 p.m., Feb 25, Thruway, Mile Marker 400.5, Town of Pembroke, one vehicle; Driver 1: Patrick C. Sieber, 20, of Lancaster. No injuries reported.

10:15 pm., Feb. 25, Thruway, Mile Marker 397.4, Town of Pembroke, one vehicle; Driver 1: Elhadji M. Wane, 24, of Brockport. No injuries reported.

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