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Howard B. Owens's blog

Friday, June 12, 2009 at 6:33 am

St. Louis draft gives some clue about who will be a 2009 Muckdogs player

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports

The St. Louis Cardinals first-round draft choice, who might very well wind up in Batavia as a Muckdog, is a big guy from a small town with big ambitions.

Shelby Miller, from Brownwood, Texas, a town of 19,000 people, was the 19th overall pick in the annual MLB draft. His fastball has been clocked at 97 m.p.h. and he doesn't mind comparisons to Texas natives Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan.

Those are some big shoes to fill.

The high school pitcher has been dubbed "a special kind of talent" who could fetch $3.5 million in his first contract.

The Cardinals second pick is a catcher out of the University of Southern California, Robert Stock.

Other selections in no particular order:

Baseball America has a complete list of St. Louis draft picks.

Just because a player is drafted doesn't mean he will sign, or that he'll wind up in Batavia. The Cardinals also have a short-season affiliate in Johnson City, Tenn.

Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Yahoo! favors Lockport over Genesee County for new facility

post by Howard B. Owens in economic development, yahoo!

Purple will not become the official Genesee County color any time soon. Yahoo! has taken a pass on our fine county and instead chosen Lockport as the location of its planned WNY data center, reports the Buffalo News.

Town officials announced this afternoon that Yahoo! will present a site plan to the Town Planning Board at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. A public hearing will be held June 30.

Yahoo! also has applied for a property tax break from the town Industrial Development Agency, Town Attorney Daniel E. Seaman said.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said the 190,000-square-foot computer center will take about 13 months to build, and Yahoo! would like to break ground in August.

Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Stafford tees off 58th annual Jon Lynn tournament

post by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, Stafford Country Club


Brian "Elvis" Dengler, a Rochester resident, takes a practice swing off the 10th tee at Stafford Country Club where a three-day invitational tournament got underway at 12:30 p.m. today.

It's the 58th Annual Jon Lynn Invitational, which allows members of the private club to bring in non-members for the big tournament.

Jon Lynn was pro at the club for 25 years, according to current pro Eric Haille, who has been with the club for 12 years.

Eric will be sending us results for the tournament over the next three days, so look for them in the sports section.

Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Sheriff's deputies will soon carry Tasers

post by Howard B. Owens in law enforcement, Sheriff's Office

Local deputies will soon be equipped with Tasers courtesy a federal grant to help law enforcement agencies buy the non-lethal weapons.

The County Legislature approved an application for a $23,000 grant last night than will enable the Sheriff's Office to purchase 28 guns.

Under-Sheriff Bill Sheron spoke with WBTA about the taser purchase (audio).

The department currently owns no tasers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Bears along Pratt Road? We don't know, but don't leave food out, DEC manager says

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, wildlife

We haven't been able to confirm it, but a reader reports that bears may have been spotted in the area of Platt Road and Kelsey Road in the Town of Batavia.

Mike Wasilco, regional wildlife manager for the Department of Environmental Control, said if there are bears in the area, nobody has called the DEC.

"I wouldn't be surprised," Wasilco said. "Bears have been seen recently in Wyoming County, which isn't that far away. What happens is young male bears strike out looking to find their own territory. This time of year you see bears in areas where you haven't seen them before."

His advice: Don't leave out food, no bird feeders, garbage, BBQ grills or pet food.

"Bears will behave themselves until they figure out that people are a nice and easy source of food," he said.

Meanwhile, while speaking with Wasilco, I asked him about the beavers building a dam near Creek Road in Bethany, which we covered Monday.  He said the local property owners can apply for a permit to relocate the beavers, which they can then either do themselves or higher a specialist.  Of course, one problem: The property owners with the problem don't own the land where the beavers are building, and that property owner is happy with the dam.

Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Two minor injuries reported at Oakfield-Alabama Fun Day

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, oakfield-alabama

Today is Fun Day at Oakfield-Alabama, but unfortunately for two students, it was a little more painful than fun.

One student suffered a reported facial cut and another a broken collar bone, resulting in ambulance calls to the school.

Principle Lynn Muscarella said the accidents were unfortunate, but unusual. This is the sixth year of the event, which comes right before finals.

"We've had minor cuts and scrapes before, but nothing like this," said Muscarella.

The day starts with an awards program, is followed by lunch and then fun and games in the field.

Muscarella praised the quick response and professionalism of the ambulance personnel who responded to the calls for the minor injuries.

She also praised the student council which organized the event and said the students have done a great job each year of putting it together.

"They do a tremendous job of putting together a structured program," she said. "This year we had lots of students participate, which I was happy about."

Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 8:28 am

Police Beat: Riga man accused of selling cocaine in Genesee County

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

mug-Parker-Stanley.jpgStanley Parker, 23, of 6480 Buffalo Road, Riga (pictured), is accused of selling cocaine to an undercover agent with the Local Drug Task Force. He is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He is being held in Genesee County Jail on $20,000 bail. Assisting in the investigation were uniformed deputies of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and the Monroe County Sheriff and the District Attorney's Office.

Joshua Kitchen, 20, of 174 Hagadom Road, Broadalin, is accused of stealing a t-shirt from the Flying-J. He is charged with petty larceny.

Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 8:14 am

Lost dog found on Montclair Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pets

A reader found a dog and wants to help reunite it with its owner.  Her's what he says:

A dog just wandered down my street (Montclair Ave.) in Batavia, and walked right up on my porch where me and my dog were sitting. I had never seen this dog in my neighborhood before so Ii put a leash on him and walked around the surrounding block asking everyone i saw if they had ever seen the dog and nobody recognized her. So I called the shelter and they said nobody called about that one yet but to bring it in. The dog is a female looks somewhat like a jack russel white with black and tan patches, I was just wondering if you could post that this dog is safe at the shelter so if the owner or someone who knows  the owner might have a good lead for a happy reunion.

UPDATE: The owner saw this post and recovered his dog, according the the reader who sent this in.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Legislature receives proposal to create focus group to study new legislative terms

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county legislature

County Legislators received a memo from County Manager Jay Gsell this evening suggesting that the legislature appoint a volunteer committee to review the idea of changing legislative terms from two years to four and to stagger the terms of the nine members.

The suggestion comes from the imposingly-long titled "Genesee County Comprehensive Plan Government Administration Focus Group," a committee of 11 administrators and community leaders.

The group met May 19.

The consensus was a larger group of volunteers who fairly represent the community should study the idea further and seek broad community input before fashioning a ballot proposal for the 2010 election.

"It is suggested that this volunteer focus/study group be carefully constructed to represent all aspects of the county; i.e., geographical, agriculture, business, construction, municipalities, political, health care, etc., and perhaps each Legislator could propose one group member with the Chair then submitting additional members to represent the various constituencies that should be involved" the memo reads. "There should be careful consideration of selecting a chair for the focus/study group who would provide, as far as possible, an impartial administrative-oriented position to the process."

A 2010 election is preferable, the memo states, to give the proposal a more deliberative process and ensure no changes are made prior to the 2010 census.

Participating in the May 19 meeting were Gsell, Frank Ciaccia, Lorie Cleveland, Susan Conklin, Scott German, Chester Kaleta, Lucine Kauffman, Ester Leadley, Karen Marchese, Don Read and John Rizzo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Legislature approves GCC budget

post by Howard B. Owens in budget, GCC, gensee county, schools

The $3.26 million Genesee Community College budget received unanimous County Legislature support tonight.

The spending plan includes a commitment from the county for an additional $50,000 in spending in 2010, even though the county has not yet begun work on the 2010 budget.

"Higher education, with the way the economy is, is very important to people who need help in getting a job or keeping a job," said Ed DeJaneiro.

Both County Manager Jay Gsell and Legislator Charles Zambito noted that the county's contribution to GCC is among the lowest of any county in the state to a community college, as a percentage of the college budget.  Gsell also said after the meeting that GCC's students get one of the more affordable college educations in the state because GCC's coverage area is bigger than just one county.

The county's contribution to the spending plan will be $1,936,374.

Zambito spoke highly of GCC's efforts.

"Enrollment is the highest it's ever been and it's expected to be higher next year," Zambito said. "At a time when every other college is raising tuition, GCC is making a concerted effort not to increase tuition."

Students will pay $1,700 per semester in the coming academic year, or $140 per credit hour for part-time students.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm

County Legislature recognizes Dairy Month

post by Howard B. Owens in dairy, genesee county legislature


County Legislator Charles Zambito, Elba, presents a proclamation in honor of dairy month to Dairy Princes Mackenzie Reynolds and Eric Zuber.  Following the proclamation, ice cream sandwiches, an annual tradition, were handed out to every person in the chamber. Um, good.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Power outage in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, National Grid

LightArrest.jpgMore than 220 National Grid customers along Route 98 south of the city are without power.

The National Grid web site says the power outage effects the town and village of Alexander as well as part of the Town of Batavia. 

National Grid estimates power will be restored about 5:30 p.m.

UPDATE 4:14 p.m.: Power has been restored. Steve Brady at National Grid said it was a short outage that was necessary to replace a failing lightning arrester.  It's safer to take power offline to make a quick, but much needed repair. "It was an unplanned, planned outage," Brady said. Normally, National Grid likes to notify customers of planned outages, but when this particular faulty arrester was found, engineers decided it should be replaced right away to avoid a bigger problem later. (Lightning arrester pictured)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Accident on Route 63 causes serious injury to driver of one vehicle

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion, Wyoming County

Genesee County units assisted in an emergency response to an accident yesterday in Wyomning County that led to one injured person being taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.

The afternoon accident on Route 63 in the Town of Covington, according to a State Police, occurred when a car on Peoria Road pulled out on the highway in front of an oncoming car.

Eric Maggio, 49, of Leicester, driving a Pontiac Grand Am, reportedly pulled in front of a Oldsmobile Bravado driven by Esequiel H. Olan, 32, of Arkport.

Maggio was flown to Strong with head and chest injuries.

Maria Ortiz, 24, Arkport and Imelda Ruiz-Gomez, 27, also of Arkport were taken by ambulance to Dansville Hospital for chest pain. Olan and a young child in the Bravado were not injured.

Doris Bogner, 78, of Leicester, a passenger in the Grand Am, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital by ambulance for chest pain.

Pavilion Fire and Ambulance and Leroy Ambulance assisted with the accident.

The investigation is ongoing and no tickets have been issued at this time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm

First Grader Dairy Day at Lamb Farms in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in Lamb Farms, Oakfield, schools


First graders from 10 Genesee County area schools got to learn all about cows and dairy products today at Lamb Farms in Oakfield.

It's the second year the annual First Graders Dairy Day has been held at Lamb Farms.

Jonathan Lamb said not only do the students learn about dairies, but the parents who come along also enjoy the day and learn more, as well.

"In dairy farming we need to do a better job of educating the public," Lamb said. "Lots of times we fall short in that area."

Robin Keller, president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau and a dairy farmer herself, said Lamb does a lot to support kids in the county.

"Jonathan is one of those guys who likes to volunteer and work with kids," she said.

Pictured above is Larry Burrows. He is explaining cow feeding and care to one group of kids.

Some 600 to 800 children attended the event this morning, Lamb said.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Hawley meets with fellow legislators and state dairy farms for Dairy Day in Albany

post by Howard B. Owens in Dairy Farms

hawley_dairyday.jpgPress Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) today joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R, C, I – Canandaigua), bipartisan members of the State Legislature, representatives from the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York Farm Bureau, New York Grange, Northeast Dairy Foods, and American Dairy Association, along with local New York State farmers in celebration and recognition of New York State Dairy Day. 

Additionally, the coalition discussed the negative impacts of Assembly Bill 1867, dubbed the “Farm Death Bill” and called on the State Senate and Governor to “vote no” on the bill, which was passed by the Assembly last evening.

Hawley stated, “I was a third generation family farmer and I know firsthand how difficult it is to run a farm successfully.  Right now farmers are losing money on every gallon of milk, every pound of grain, because production costs here are so high.  We are in the midst of one of the worst recessions in decades and now is not the time to add additional burdens on our farmers.”

The Assemblyman continued, “This onerous bill, if passed into law, will be the death of New York State’s farms.  Farming is not just a job, it is a way of life and I want to keep that quality of life around for many more generations.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 12:09 pm

One angus calf recovered, but turns out, one is still missing

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, cattle, Oakfield

Remember the wayward Angus calf reported by Jonathan Lamp of Oakfield a few weeks ago?

I spoke with Lamb today and he said the rancher who owned the calf recovered it, but that wasn't the only calf to escape.

The report of the missing calf was seen on The Batavian by a niece of the rancher, and the rancher recovered that calf within two hours of the initial post. But the second calf remains, well, on the lamb.

So if you see a young, all-black bovine wandering around Oakfield, let Jonathan Lamb know so he can notify the rancher.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 11:56 am

Collision yesterday at routes 33 and 237 send three people to the hospital

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident


An accident at the intersection of routes 33 and 237 yesterday at 2 p.m. sent three people to the hospital with minor injuries.

33_accident_2.jpgThe collision is still under investigation, but the preliminary report states that Karen M. Hanson, 51, of Canandaigua, driving northbound on 237 in a 2002 Audi four-door sedan failed to stop at the posted intersection.

Hanson's vehicle struck a 2009 Ford Suburban driven by Sylvia Lombardo, 74, of Rochester, which was westbound on 33.

Sylvia Lombardo was taken to Park Ridget Hospital in Rochester complaining of whole body pain and with minor bleeding.

Her passenger, Andrew J. Lombardo, 84, suffered a concussion and minor bleeding and was also transported to Park Ridge.

Hanson complained of back pain and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital.

No tickets have been issued yet and the investigation continues.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 10:13 am

Flight club is unsure if it will restore vintage jet that crashed Saturday

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, vampire jet, Wings of Flight


Wings of Flight, a flying club based at the Genesee County Airport in Batavia, is unsure if it will restore the 1947 Vampire jet that crash landed on the Rochester airport on Saturday.

The jet was believed to be the oldest flying jet in the world.  The picture above was taken Saturday when the jet was headed toward Rochester for a EAA Wings air show.

Wings of Flight spokesman Nash Dsylva said pilot Peter Treichler showed his skill and experience in landing the jet on a grass area near the airport when he manuvered the plane to a safe landing area after losing power five minutes after take off.

"The experienced pilot made an educated decision to land on the grass as he is now executing a "dead stick" landing," Dsylva said in an e-mail.  "He continued to pull the gear and flaps up to clean the plane up to improve the glide ratio. He touched down on the grass and slid for 150 feet before hitting a burm. The plane was airborne once again and impacted the grass twice before coming to rest some 250 yards after the initial touch down. Pete was able to pull himself out of the cockpit and was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with back injuries."

Shortly after take off, Treichler, of East Aurora, told air control he felt an unusual vibration. Minutes later, he declared an emergency. He turned toward the airport and lost power on final approach.  Dsylva said he made a split second decision to land in the grass.

The plan was originally based near Toronto and after it was retired was part of the Blue Devils demonstration team. Later it was owned by actor John Travolta, Wings of Flight acquired the jet in 2006. It was on loan to the Genesee Warbirds Musuem until Oct. 2008.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 9:56 am

Police Beat: Batavia man accused of grand larceny at business in Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, elba, Michael L. Jackson

mug-Jackson-Michael.jpgMichael L. Jackson, Jr. 28, of 1 Seneca Ave., Batavia (pictured), is being held in Genesee County Jail on $25,000 on felony grand larceny and burglary charges. Jackson is accused of breaking into the Holland High Lift building in Bethany on April 11 and damaging parts worth $1,500 and stealing items worth at least $8,000 and a pick up truck valued at $19,000. The charges filed against him are criminal mischief in the second degree, grand larceny in the third degree, burglary in the third degree and grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Jeffrey Vanslyke, 27, of 20 Mechanic St., Elba, is charged with a felony DWI count and driving with a BAC of .08 or more as well as unlawful possession of marijuana. Vanslyke reported failed to dim his headlines on Chapel Street in the Village of Elba. When a patrol attempted to stop Vanslyke's car, Vansylke reportedly kept driving on Route 98, leading patrol units on a low speed chase that ended on Graham Road in Elba. He was also charged with failure to yield to emergency vehicles.

Stephen Mullen, 19, of 71 S. Main St., Oakfield, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. The details of the incident leading to his arrest were not released by the Sheriff's Office.

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