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Howard B. Owens's blog

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 11:02 am

Parked car struck after driver reportedly falls asleep

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama, Darien

An Alabama man suffered minor injuries after allegedly falling asleep at the wheel and striking a parked car on Thursday.

The 5:15 p.m. accident occurred as Brandon W. Benben was reportedly driving northbound on Route 77 in the area of Sumner Road.

Benben's 2000 Toyota sedan reportedly drifted off the left side of the road, struck a utility pole and a garage before hitting the parked car.

Benben did not require transportation to a hospital. He reportedly suffered minor cuts to his arms.

Deputy Patrick Reeves handled the accident investigation and cited Benben for allegedly crossing a no-passing lane with double yellow markers.

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 10:37 am

Federal aid checks to be mailed to New York dairy farmers

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Dairy Farms

New York's struggling dairy farmers are going to receive a good chunk of federal aid, the D&C reports this morning.

The USDA announced a nationwide distribution plan that favors smaller dairy farmers for a $290-million aid package. Some $40 million of the funds are slated for New York's farmers.

Checks will be mailed this week and there is no application process.

“Dairy farmers are the backbone of New York’s agricultural economy, and they are in the middle of the worst crisis in recent memory,” Sen. Charles Schumer said. “This congressional aid could not come a moment too soon.”

The average dairy farmer, with 116 cows, according to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's office will receive about $7,400.

Read More.

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 10:24 am

Police Beat: Oakfield man charged with grand larcney

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Stafford

Gerald C. Rosario, 45, of Oakfield, is charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree for allegedly stealing a credit card. Rosario was arrested by State Police on Wednesday in Albion at 11:48 a.m. He was issued an appearance ticket. No further details are available

Tiffany Joy Howard, 19, of 5049 E. Main St., rear, Batavia, is charged with harassment. Howard is accused of being verbally abusive and making physical threats to another person over a period of time.

Michael B. Marchese, 48, of Stafford, is charged with criminal contempt. Marchese was arrested by State Police in the Town of Batavia on Wednesday at 8:31 p.m. He was released on an appearance ticket. No further details available.

UPDATED: The following reports came in just after I posted the initial Police Beat.

Ronald K. Nobles, 65, of 74 Thistlewood Lane, Spencerport, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI and failure to keep right. During the investigation of another car accident at 9:25 last night on Gulf Road in the Town of Le Roy, Nobles allegedly drove his car off the right shoulder and struck a utility pole. Upon further investigation by Deputy M.R. Butler, it was determined that Nobles was allegedly driving drunk. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Steven M. Binder, 20, of 9364 Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd degree. Binder is reportedly the subject of an order of protection requiring him to stay away from GCC, where his ex-girlfriend attends classes. On Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., Binder was allegedly found on campus.

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

Accident in front McDonald's, Route 5, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

An accident on Route 5 in front of McDonald's in Batavia has just been reported.

Injuries have been reported.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS are being dispatched.

UPDATE 9:03 p.m.: Minor injuries. One car blocking.

UPDATE 9:43 p.m.: Cars have been towed. Road is back open.

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 9:50 am

Combine fire in Elba this morning

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire

combine_fire_elba.jpg

A reader sent in this camera phone photo from a combine fire on North Byron Road in Elba this morning. We have no further details on the fire at this time.

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 9:42 am

Today's Poll: Do you have health insurance?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Friday, December 18, 2009 at 9:37 am

Today's Deals: Delavan's, T.F. Brown's, Alex's, Center Street and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

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.

Kravings Kafe, Valu Plaza, W. Main Street, Batavia, NY: Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

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.

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).

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

The Color Salon

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 10:52 pm

T.F. Brown's hosts 21st Christmas Day meal for the community

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

mancuso_holiday.jpg

This will be the 21st year that T.F. Brown's has hosted a free Christmas Day meal for the community, and owner Rick Mancuso wants to make sure residents know: everyone is invited.

Typically, about 200 people show up for the meal (and presents for the kids), according to co-owner Rick Mancuso, but all of the people involved in organizing the meal and volunteering that day would love to see 400 or or even 1,000 people show up.

"We can serve any number of people," Mancuso said. "The initial effort is already there. We don't want to see anybody be alone or anybody go without on Christmas Day. We would love to see them come and enjoy the community dinner that we put on."

The dinner has all of the traditional holiday favorites, Rick said, from Turkey and stuffing to cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and salad. And even desert.

Children under 16 will also receive a Christmas present provided by the Batavia Lions Club. Lions Club members also help serve during the meal.

There are two meal times scheduled: Noon and again at 1 p.m.

The event is organized and sponsored by Ben and Rick Mancuso, Joe Teresi of the Bank of Castile, and Chuck Brenner of the Lions Club (pictured above are Ben, Joe, Chuck and Rick).

Reservations are requested and would be very helpful, but not required (nobody will be turned away).  To make reservations call 343-2091 (ask for Joanne) by 11 a.m. on Dec. 24.

Rides are also available to anybody who needs transportation.

"It's great because you get to see the smiles on kids faces and everybody gets a really full meal on a very special day," Mancuso said. "We do get a lot of notes of thanks, and that really means a lot to everybody, but it's just a great day."

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Sheriff's Office: Don't get stung

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, scams, Sheriff's Office

dontgetstung.jpgIf somebody calls you up and says you just won $1.2 million, it's not necessarily your lucky day.

A Corfu resident who recently received such a call on his mobile phone, did the smart thing and asked a few questions. The caller identified himself as Detective Brown and said that the lottery was "100 percent verified by the United States Government."

When the Corfu resident inquired about how Det. Brown obtained his mobile number, the caller mentioned something about paying bills online and buying goods "at a favorite grocery store."

The would-be victim figured out that the area code for Det. Brown was in Jamaica.

After getting off the phone, the complainant, who is on a "Do Not Call List," contacted Verizon Wireless and asked how this phony could have obtained his number. A Verizon operator said the company is aware of this particular scam, but did not explain, according to the Sheriff's Office, why the Corfu man's phone number was compromised.

Investigator Roger Stone warns residents to be especially aware during the Holiday Season of scammers and bunko artists. Many grifters will often try to obtain key personal and account information on the promise of sending large sums of money. Some flimflammers will ask "marks" for advance payment for insurance or shipping, etc., before claimed winnings or windfalls are transferred.

Would-be marks are encouraged to first, don't fall for the con, and second, report the incident to their local law-enforcement agency.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 9:45 pm

VA honors Batavia detective for work on behalf of veterans

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Police, Charles Dudek, veterans

dudek_vetaward.jpg

The U.S. Veterans Affairs has recognized Detective Charles Dudek on behalf of the patients of the Batavia VA facility for 27 years of police work, the Batavia Police Department announced today.

Dudek was cited for clearing many incidents involving veterans over the years, but two incidents were cited specifically.

Many years ago, according the press release, Dudek took a knife from a suspect that had been stalking an employee of the VA Hospital Emergency Room.

More recently, Dudek, along with Detective Sergeant Patrick Corona, solved the at-first-mysterious death of a patient. The veteran was found dead outside Blockbuster on Nov. 7. Detective Dudek, under the supervision of Corona, traced his movements that evening and helped determine the circumstances that led to his death. Dudek further operated as a liaison between the police and the victim's family.

The press release reads:

Detective Dudek through his training, experience and professionalism has gained him the respect of the Veterans Affairs and the law enforcement community. His dedicated service is a tremendous benefit to the police department and the City of Batavia. It is with great pride that the police department recognizes the dedicated service of Detective Dudek and the relationships and respect he has formed with other law enforcement agencies. Congratulations to Detective Dudek and to Detective Sergeant Patrick Corona.

UPDATED with picture above: Det. Dudek receives award from Michael Messina, Chief of Police, US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm

The Manor House, once a troubled asset, now spiffed up with expansion

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, The Manor House, Victorian Manor

manorhouse_01.jpg

It's a good thing Gordon Davis likes Batavia. He's been spending a lot of time here the past several months.

Davis, a Portland, Oregon, resident, is the managing partner of The Manor House. Since the beginning of the year, the retired urban planner has had little time for the sculpture he loves. He's been too busy rescuing the former Victorian Manor from the bankruptcy of Sunwest, paying off past-due bills to contractors for nearly $2 million and overseeing the completion of two new residential wings at a total cost of more than $4 million.

AUDIO: Listen to Davis tell the story of his investment in Victorian Manor (mp3).

If you get a chance to walk with Davis around the new wings -- which added 50 apartments --  you can tell Gordon is clearly proud of what The Manor House has become. The once troubled asset is now a jewel in his eyes, and Davis clearly believes it's among the best facilities of its kind.

Davis and his fellow partners -- which includes his wife as well as eight other people spread around the country -- were in danger of losing all of the money they put into the Victorian Manor after Sunwest imploded. For Davis, stepping in with a plan to rescue that investment wasn't just a financially defensive move -- he believes in The Manor House and he believes in Batavia.

"My wife and I saw this (when Sunwest first presented the investment opportunity) and we thought it was a real solid property in a really good area," Davis said. "We didn't know a lot about the area, but it felt like it was a good area. We did enough of our own due diligence to think this is a good market and the property really looked excellent."

When Davis looks at the financial viability of his investment, he notes that not only is there an aging population in Genesee County (most, but not all, Manor House residents are from Genesee County), it's centrally located between Rochester and Buffalo. Also, the growing social-services industry in Batavia provides a lot of compatible opportunities.

"This is really the center for those kinds of support services," Davis said. "There are different kinds of services (from the Veteran's Home to the new Depaul facility) and the different kind of support services is really fundamentally good for Batavia. It not only brings in those folks (the residents), it brings in their families."

The expanded Manor House will eventually employ about a dozen more people, but first comes filling up all of the new apartments in the recently completed East and West wings.

Often, people think of retirement as a chance to move to the sunny South, but Davis says, for a lot of retirees, that just isn't as appealing as staying close to home.

"What we fundamentally like is where we live," Davis said.  "I think many times that’s what people are looking for. They want to live in a place that feels good to them, that is familiar to them, that has the kind of lifelong connections that they have, and maybe they have family close by."

The Manor House offers three different apartments -- studios, one bedroom, two bedrooms. Residents receive three meals a day, weekly cleaning, activities and transportation.

The youngest resident of The Manor House is 64 and the oldest is 97, but the average age, Davis said, is somewhere in the mid-80s.

"We’re looking for the couple for whom three meals a day has really become a burden, or for the single who has lost a spouse and really needs a community," Davis said. "We’re looking for people who want to live the next phase of their life in a way that has a stronger community, has more people and more things that are taken care of for them."

Tours of The Manor House are available daily.

After the jump, more pictures:

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Fuel spill at gas station in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in

Bergen Fire is responding to the Sugar Creek Stores location at Route 33 and Route 19 for a diesel fuel spill.

No word yet on how much fuel has been spilled.

UPDATE 5:57 p.m.: The fire chief has requested that law enforcement respond because the alleged responsible party has left. Also, some clean up will be required.


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Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Car accident in Basom with injuries

post by Howard B. Owens in Basom, accident, Alabama

An accident with injuries has been reported in Basom in front of the post office.

Alabama Fire and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 5:13 p.m.: First responder: One car, one truck; everybody is out of the vehicles, but have ambulance continue in emergency mode.


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Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 11:50 am

Today's Deals: Carlson's, Kravings Kafe, Matty's, South Main, Enchanted Florist

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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 $150 gift card for $75 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

Kravings Kafe, Valu Plaza, W. Main Street, Batavia, NY: Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

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.

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.

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

SOLD OUT

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 9:33 am

Suspect in Le Roy meth lab bust now accused of passing a fake $10 bill

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

elmore.jpgA Le Roy man arrested last week as part of a suspected meth production ring is now accused of also passing forged currency.

Christopher J. Elmore, 31, of 14 St. Marks St., Le Roy, was arrested by Det. John Condidorio of the Le Roy PD on one count of attempted criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 1st degree and one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 1st degree.

Elmore allegedly attempted to pass a forged $10 bill at a store in Le Roy on Sept. 22. When the clerk recognized the reportedly fake bill, he told Elmore the $10 bill was counterfeit. Elmore reportedly tried to take the bill back, but the clerk wouldn't let him and the clerk called police. Elmore then allegedly fled the scene. The clerk provided police with a vehicle description and license plate number.

The business had reportedly filed prior complaints of counterfeit bills coming in.   

Elmore remains in Genesee County Jail on $75,000 bail from his arrest on the criminal possession of a controlled substance charge related to the alleged meth lab at 28 Clay St. No additional bail was levied on the forged instrument charges.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Today's Deals: Jackson St., Kravings, South Main, Great Kutz and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Jackson St. Grill/Belladessa's, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When it's time for a great hamburger, Jackson St. Grill will serve you among the best around. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Kravings Kafe, Valu Plaza, W. Main Street, Batavia, NY: Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

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.

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Great Kutz is Batavia's newest full-service hair salon. Women, try Great Kutz for a haircut at the incredibly low price of $7, exclusive offer from to The Batavian. (gift card can be applied toward other services, but not products).

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.

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

SOLD OUT

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Teen arrested for allegedly using stolen credit cards for online purchases

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A resident of College Village has been accused of stealing two credit cards and charging more than $1,400 in online purchases.

Fransnosha J. Cook, 18, of 8170 Batavia-Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny in the 4th degree and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property.

Cook was arrested yesterday at 8:45 a.m. by Investigator Kristopher Kautz.

Following arraignment in Batavia Town Court, Cook was released on his own recognizance.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm

GCC reports record enrollment

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, education, GCC

This Fall 7,208 students were enrolled at Genesee Community College. That's a new record.

Enrollment jumped 8 percent over the Fall of 2008, which saw 6,672 students in the college.

College President Stuart Steiner announced the enrollment increase at the trustees' board meeting last night, according to a press release from the college. Steiner said the recession combined with growing recognition of the value of a community college education are helping to drive enrollment.

The trend seems to be continuing. There are already 3,806 students who have applied for admission in Spring 2010, that's up 28.8 percent over the same period a year ago.

The press release reads:

In recent years, educators and workforce experts across the nation have spoken positively about the high quality of community college programs, Steiner noted. "President Obama has stressed that community colleges are one of the keys to job creation and economic growth on both the local and national level."

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