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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Smell of natural gas outside in Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion

Pavilion fire is responding to a report of the strong odor of national gas off Route 20 just east of Route 19.

The caller told dispatch that the smell was pretty strong.

First responder reports "no smell."

Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Smoke in house on Shepard Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

There is smoke in the residence at 9203 Shepard Road  and the smoke detector has been activated.

Town of Batavia Engine 24 is being dispatched. Oakfield and East Pembroke are standing by in station.

UPDATE 1:51 p.m.: Oakfield and East Pembroke taken off the call, standing down.

UPDATE 1:54 p.m.: Engine 24 back in service.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Picture: Red fire hydrant in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield


I was in Oakfield yesterday and walked past this red fire hydrant in a vacant lot of snow and thought -- I should take a picture of that, so I did.

Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 1:58 pm

No injuries reported in three-vehicle accident on Ellicott Street Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Ellicott Street Road

Three cars are involved in an accident in the area of 4940 Ellicott Street Road, Town of Batavia.

There are no injuries reported, but Mercy EMS is being dispatched as a precaution.

One car is reportedly smoking.

Town of Batavia Fire is being dispatched.

The accident is in front of the old 84 Lumber, between Cedar Street and Shepard Road.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m.: There is a DWI suspect involved in this accident. One pickup truck is being taken away on a flatbed. Another vehicle involved was an SUV hauling a trailer.  No reports of any injuries.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Three candy canes stolen from Christmas dectorations

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

Somebody is getting a lump of coal in his stocking this year. Santa is not happy.

Three candy canes have been stolen from the yard of a Monclair Avenue home in Batavia.

A police officer is on his way to take a larceny report, but we're sure Santa already knows.

Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 12:10 am

Car hits deer, catches fire on Route 262

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, fire

A car is on fire after hitting a deer on Route 262 in the area of Byron-Bergen School.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: The car is described as fully involved.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Woman who reportedly crashed through border crossing chased through Genesee County

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

A woman who allegedly crashed the U.S. border crossing from Canada, somehow managed to elude law enforcement until a Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy spotted her 2000 Hyundai westbound on Route 5 in the Town of Le Roy this morning.

When Deputy J.L. Baiocco attempted to stop the car at 7:45 a.m., the driver reportedly sped away, which began a pursuit with speeds exceeding 100 mph.

It's unknown if Baiocco was initially attempting to stop the car for an alleged traffic violation, or if the Sheriff's Office had been supplied with a description of the suspect vehicle.

When City Police learned of the pursuit, Lt. Eugene Jankowski attempted to lay a spike strip on East Main Street at Summit and Liberty, but was unable to get the device down in time. The car got to the city too quickly, Jankowski told us this morning.

"It was going so fast that it was kicking up a cloud of salt dust," Jankowski said. "There was zero visibility behind it."

In Batavia, the driver reportedly made a right turn on Route 98 and headed north. City police broke off its part of the pursuit at the city limit. State police joined the pursuit at that point and Orleans County Sheriff's deputies took lead in the pursuit when the Hyundai passed into Orleans.

According to a Genesee County Sheriff's Office release distributed this afternoon, after passing through the Village of Albion, the woman lost control of her car on westbound Route 18 and crashed, allowing Orleans law enforcement to apprehend her.

Taken into custody, and transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for minor injuries, was Crystal Pinnock, 23, of Ontario, Canada.

It's unclear how Pinnock managed to elude the Border Patrol after allegedly entering the United States.

The Sheriff's Office said charges are pending in every jurisdiction that the car reportedly passed through and the investigation is ongoing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Don Carroll's Toys for Kids wrapping up

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Christmas, Don Carroll, Toys for Kids


Santa's helpers were at the YMCA this afternoon to help Don Carroll and Santa get ready to distribute gifts tomorrow to local children.  Carroll said more than $6,000 in toys will be distributed and that he had enough candy for every child in Batavia.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Car and snowmobile collide in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in accident

A car and snowmobile have collided at 7958 Townline Road, Bergen.

The dispatcher initially indicated to Mercy EMS that the injuries did not appear to be serious.

The dispatcher also indicates that that they've lost contact with the 911 caller, "who was trying to take off with the female."

UPDATE 12:12 p.m.: A 7-year-old has suffered minor facial injuries.

UPDATE 12:16 p.m.: Townline Road at Route 19 is being closed.

UPDATE: 12:59 p.m.: The road was reopened to traffic at 12:33 p.m.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 12:08 pm

High-speed chase passes through Batavia this morning

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A small, dark-colored car raced down Main Street at more than 100 mph this morning a little before 8, but little information is available yet about the nature of the chase.

The vehicle was being pursued by a Sheriff's deputy, but the Sheriff's Office has little information to release at this time.

Sheriff Gary Maha answered an e-mail and said, "This is a female from Canada and she may have crashed the border early this morning. Still under investigation."

Lt. Eugene Jankowski said when he heard about the pursuit -- which may have started in the Town of Le Roy, just east of Stafford, at about 7:45 a.m. --  he tried to get spikes down on East Main Street at Summit and Liberty. But the car was past his location before he could get positioned.

"I couldn't get the strip out in time," Jankowski said. "It was going so fast that it was kicking up a cloud of salt dust. There was zero visibility behind it."

The car zoomed through downtown at least 100 mph, Jankowski said and turned right onto Route 98. City police participated in the pursuit up to the city limits.

A reader wrote in this morning:

It looked like a dark Neon going from Stafford into Batavia followed by a Genesee County Sheriff's vehicle just before 8 a.m. A Sheriff's S.U.V. was parked on the side of East Main Street waiting (it turned around and gave chase). The car was traveling around 80+ mph. Several other police vehicles gave chase from the Tim Horton (restaurant) area.

Jankowski estimated that it took the car less than 15 minutes to get from Le Roy to Albion.

There is no word yet on what happened to the car and driver from that point.

Jankowski said the police are conferring with the District Attorneys office on what, if any, charges to file against the driver. One consideration, Jankwoski said, is that the driver is going to face multiple charges in other jurisdictions and what and where to charge the driver will be a matter of efficiency.

UPDATE: A reader writes;

According to my scanner, Orleans County was unable to set spikes as well. She  made it to 104 where she flipped it.  She was in custody and will be facing  numerous charges, including failure to obey traffic signals, speeding, etc.  The various departments involved were Genesee County Sheriff, Orleans County Sheriff and Albion PD.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 11:29 am

Weather Watch: Lots of cold, little snow

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

The 10-day forecast on weather.com says there's a 50-percent chance of snow on Christmas Day, but in the meantime, it's just going to be cold.

There's a 40-percent chance of snow on Tuesday, but otherwise, temperatures will range from 18 to 28 degrees, though we will see some sun.

Christmas Day will warm to 35, according to the current prediction, with snow expected both Christmas Day and Boxing Day. No word yet on how much snow to expect.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 11:15 am

Jaycees announce Holiday Lights Contest winners

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Area Jaycees, Christmas


The Batavia Area Jaycees announced the winners of their annual Holiday Lights Contest. Above is the overall winner, 3 South Main St., Batavia.


Most traditional, 10 Highland St., Batavia


Simple & Elegant, 120 Elm St., Batavia


Most Colorful, 206 N. Spruce St., Batavia


Friends of the Lighting Company, 133 Union Ave., Batavia


Most Commercial, 3927 W. Main St. Road., Batavia

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 10:06 am

Pictures: Knights of Columbus Christmas Dinner

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Christmas Gift Books, Knights of Columbus


Steve Ognibene sent over a few pictures from Thursday night's Christmas dinner for the Knights of Columbus.

More pictures after the jump:

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 1:07 am

Sheriff's Office names Officer of the Year, hands out other awards for 2009

post by Howard B. Owens in gensee county, Sheriff's Office


Deputy Ronald E. Meides, right, with Sheriff Gary Maha, was named the Genesee County Sheriff's Office 2009 Officer of the Year today during a luncheon at the department's Park Road facility.

The Distinguished Service Award went to Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Gary D. Diegelman. Pictured left to right below: Steven Sharp announcing the award, Director of Emergency Communications while Undersheriff Bill Sheron, honoree Diegelman, Sheriff Maha and Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.


More pictures and the complete list of award winners after the jump:

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 12:07 am

Graham wins $25 million contract, with work to be done in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, graham corp

Graham Corp. announced today that it has won a $25 million contract to produce parts for a new Navy aircraft carrier, and that the engineering and manufacturing will be done in Batavia.

Graham will construct four steam surface condensers for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, which is building a second carrier in the Gerald R. Ford class.

The carrier, designated CVN 79, has not yet been named.

Revenue from the contract award will hit the Graham books in in fiscal 2012, which begins April 1, 2011, and will continue into fiscal 2014.

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 10:36 pm

House fire on Skye Road in Alabama

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, fire

Flames are showing on the second floor at 199 Skye Road, Alabama.

Mutual aid was requested from Akron and Wilksonville, but both fire departments are tied up on another structure fire in Erie County.

A Pembroke tanker is now being dispatched to aid the Alabama Fire Department.  Mutual aid is also being requested from Oakfield.

The fire is on the reservation of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians, west of Alabama.

UPDATE 9:37 p.m.: Alabama first responder reports the house is fully involved. The house is two houses east of Council House Road.

UPDATE: 9:57 p.m.: Water tankers from Darien and Corfu have been requested to assist. Oakfield is on location.

UPDATE: 10:04 p.m. "We're on our last tanker at the scene," said a firefighter there now. Niagara-Mohawk, the power company, is traveling to the fire site, but Alabama #2 says "No truck can get past us." They need lights.

UPDATE: 10:20 p.m. "We should be good on water," says an official on scene, noting there are three water tankers at the location.



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Friday, December 18, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Picture: Combine fire in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire


A reader e-mailed us this photo of the combine fire in Elba we posted about earlier today.

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Minor injuries reported in head-on collision on Bank Street Road

post by Howard B. Owens in Bank Street Road, batavia, accident

A driver reportedly tried making a left hand turn off Bank Street Road onto Batavia-Elba Townline Road yesterday afternoon at 2:54, leading to a head-on collision with another car.

Cited for failure to yield right-of-way was Ryan S. Worthington, 20, of 6918 Ellicott St. Road, Pavilion. Both he and his passenger, Alyssa R. Naylor, 17, were uninjured.

Suffering minor injuries were Aleander M. Dutton, 18, of 7078 Batavia-Byron Road, Byron, and Katelyn D. George, 18.

The accident was investigated by Deputy James Diehl.


Friday, December 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Driver allegedly turned into oncoming traffic, causing accident

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A car making a left-hand turn from Route 5 into Valu Plaza allegedly caused an accident this morning that sent one person to the hospital.

Transported to UMMC was Charles Williams, 61, of 2641 Centerline Road, Varysburg. Williams reportedly suffered injuries to his arm.

A passenger in his car, Jane Williams, no age given, is listed in the Sheriff's Office report as in shock, but was not transported to a hospital.

The driver who reportedly turned into oncoming traffic is Theodore Kedzierski, 63, of 76 Maple Ave., Oakfield.

Kedzierski was driving a 2000 Ford pickup truck. Williams was driving a 2005 Chevy pickup.

Kedzierski was issued a citation for alleged improper turn.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Brian Thompson.

Initial Report from this morning.


Friday, December 18, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Head of PTSD clinic honored with congressional proclamation

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, batavia, PTSD, veterans


Dr. Terri Julian, program manager for the PTSD clinic at the VA center in Batavia received a proclamation this week from Congressman Eric Massa honoring her for her work on behalf of veterans suffering from PTSD.  We spoke with Dr. Julian a few weeks ago about the PTSD clinic.

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