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Howard B. Owens's blog

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Weight shift may have caused trucker to lose control of his rig

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Route 63

traileraccidentroute63.gifThe driver of a tractor trailer says a possible weight shift caused him to lose control of his trailer last night, causing his rig to rumble off  southbound Route 63 and strike a utility pole.

Pole #5867 was sheared off at its base and the trailer overturned.

The driver, Ljubisa Savuljeskovic, 55, of 192 Hugson St., Hamilton, Ontario Canada, was not injured in the accident.

The mishap was reported at 9:14 p.m.

A witness told Deputy C.J. Minuto that she saw Savuljeskovic swerve suddenly and then seem to overreact, causing him to lose control of the trailer.

National Grid was called to the scene to repair the utility pole.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 11:16 am

Byron man wins largest progressive jackpot ever at Batavian Downs - $308,000

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs

Roger Jaczynski, of Byron, dropped just a couple of bucks into a video lottery game at Batavia Downs on Sunday. Within seconds, he was $308,000 richer.

His winnings mark the largest progressive jackpot hit ever at an in-house video gaming machine in New York.

"We are very excited to have a jackpot of this magnitude and that we can award it to one of our valued patrons," said Marty Biniasz, director of marketing, Batavia Downs Casino.

The previous record was $197,938 awarded in 2008 to a patron of Empire City Casino at Yonkers.

A progressive game starts out with a prize of $10,000 and builds as more and more players participate without hitting the jackpot.

WBTA has interviewed Jaczynski and will air his comments on its 12:30 p.m. newscast.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 8:09 am

Police Beat: Woman charged with violating restraining order

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Anne Marie Weremblewski, 55, of 4016 W. Main St. Road, #4, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Weremblewski is accused of violating a no offensive conduct restraining order. She allegedly yelled obscenities at the protected party.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 7:35 am

Smoke detector sounding, with smoke, at apartment on Bank Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

A smoke detector has sounded and the resident can see smoke, but she doesn't know where it's coming from and she doesn't see any fire at 335 Bank St., Batavia.

The City Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m: Engine 12 back in service. Reset the alarms.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 7:15 am

Fourth straight month of record traffic for The Batavian

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

In August The Batavian had 38,057 unique visitors. That's up from 36,268 in July.

It's the third straight month of record traffic growth for The Batavian, and fourth straight month of increasing traffic.

Before the current growth spurt, The Batavian's record traffic month was February when the site had 28,030 unique visitors. March was down slightly, but we've had an upward trend going since.

A unique visitor, as measured by Google Analytics, is one visit by one person (or more accurately, one computer) within the given time frame. It's the closest count available to say how many people visited a Web site in a given month. 

The Batavian launched May 1, 2008.

In August 2008, The Batavian had 5,359 unique visitors.

The other primary metrics we track are visitors and page views. A visit is a count of each time various individuals visit the site. One person (or computer) can account for numerous visits.  A page view is a count of each time a page of the site is opened in a browser window.

In August, The Batavian notched 131,763 visits, up from 121,708 in July.

August page views were 292,176, up from 285,671 in July.

So, help us keep the trend going. Wouldn't it be great to top 40,000 unique visitors and 300,000 page views in September?

Here's what you can do to help:

  • Tell a friend you've never told before about The Batavian. Tell them what you like about the site.
  • Include a note about The Batavian in your organization's newsletter.
  • Stop by our office (200 E. Main St., #5) and pick up a bumper sticker for your car (we have some setting outside our door if nobody is in the office when you come by).
  • Use the "E-mail a Friend" link on posts to send something you find interesting to a friend(s).
  • If you're not already a daily visitor, become a daily visitor. We do update the site frequently and every weekday and usually on Saturdays and Sundays.

Thank you all for your support of The Batavian. Please take a look at all of the sponsors' ads on the site, and please support those businesses and let them know you saw their ad on The Batavian. If you're a fan of The Batavian, supporting our sponsors is critical to keeping it going.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 6:10 am

Wednesday's Deals: Seven great local businesses

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, N.Y.: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: 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. When you need to book your next party, think T.F. Brown's. See the ad on the right side of the page for contact information. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, N.Y.: Ribs, brisket, steak, prime rib -- Center Street is a meat lover's paradise. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Brighten up your home or office with flowers!  We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.50.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, N.Y.: 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.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Free Muckdogs Tickets for Thursday from The Batavian

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

Let's meet up at Dwyer Stadium Thursday and take in the greatest show in town -- a Batavia Muckdogs baseball game.

The game against the Auburn Doubledays is the next to last home game of the season, and I have free tickets available.

Between what the Muckdogs gave me for advertisers' appreciation night (because The Batavian was a sponsor this year) and the unused season tickets I have -- I have 28 tickets available.

E-mail me your request for tickets and we can either arrange for you to stop by the office to pick them up or meet me before the game and I'll give them to you.

Game time is 7:05 p.m. and my e-mail address is howard (at) the batavian dot com.

Request as many tickets as you like, just make sure you can use them. First come, first served.

I usually set in the third-base bleachers and you're welcome to join me for the game. Heck, I might even let you buy me a beer.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm

County Health Department announces flu shots

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, h1n1, health, Swine Flu

It's that time of year -- time to start planning on flu shots.

The County Health Department issued a press release today notifying residents that flu shot clinics are in the works.

The first one is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 18.

Tentatively because only about 1/4 of the needed vaccine has been delivered to the county so far.  The remaining doses should arrive in September or October.

Full press release after the jump:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Driver hurt after apparent mechanical failure on Warboys Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, byron, Warboys Road

A driver suffered a facial injury and was apparently in shock following a one-car accident on Warboys Road in Byron Monday at 6:32 p.m.

The accident was apparently caused by mechanical failure.

The driver, operating a 1995 Chevy truck, reported hearing a clunk and then his tires locked up. The car then traveled off the road striking a utility pole, which was sheared from its base.

Joseph T. Oliveri, 18, of 7944 Sacett Road, Bergen, was transported to Lakeside Memorial Hospital.

Deputy Tim Wescott investigated the accident.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Le Roy Democrats announce slate of candidates

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, politics

Le Roy Democrats picked their candidates for local offices on August 9, according to a statement sent to The Batavian this afternoon.

Richard Zarajczyk, the Le Roy Chair, wrote that Judge Kermit Arrington was endorsed for a 6th term as town justice.

Tom Stella, an incumbent councilman, was endorsed for a full four-year term.

Jennifer Keys was nominated for a two-year term on council

Full announcement after the jump:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm

City ambulances - out of service

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, ambulance


I happened across this scene this afternoon -- four of the city ambulances sitting next to the fire hall on Evans -- out of service.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm

No Creole interpreter available today for Batavia man's arraignment

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A man accused of assault and endangering the welfare of a child couldn't be arraigned in City Court today.

Jimpce J. Etienne, 33, of 30 Buell St., Batavia, speaks Creole and a Creole interpreter was not immediately available.

No date has been set yet for his arraignment.

Etienne allegedly choked a woman in front of her child.

A woman identified as his girlfriend was in court. She had sent a letter to the court asking that a "stay away" order be revised to require him to refrain from offensive conduct and not to drink alcohol around her or the children.

She told Judge Bob Balbick that Etienne is employed full-time and provides for their four children. In answer to a question by the judge, she said she isn't afraid of Etienne and that he never causes a problem during the weekdays when he's working. This implied problems only occur on weekends when he might drink.

Balbick also ordered an alcohol evaluation by Genesee Justice. Etienne's bail was made last night, but the judge released him on his own recognizance.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Rabid animals found in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, genesee county, rabies

Four cases of rabies in animals have been confirmed in Genesee County, according to a press release just sent to local media by the County Health Department.

The four animals confirmed were a raccoon, bat, skunk and cat.

The health department encourages residents to stay away from wild animals and be suspicious of animals that are especially tame or aggressive.

And do not feed the raccoons.

Full press release after the jump:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Accused arsonist enters not guilty plea

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Andre L. Scott, crime, fire

mug-andre_scott.jpgStanding before Judge Bob Balbick  in handcuffs and leg chains, Andre L. Scott said he was not guilty of the charges of arson, attempted murder and burglary.

Scott, standing 6' 8" in his green state prison clothes, offered no other statement. He is accused of starting a fire Jan. 24 with the intention of killing at least one of the residents of the dwelling.

Bail in this case was set at $100,000, but he's already in state prison on a criminal weapon possession charge.

A felony hearing was set for Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. in City Court.

UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: Det. Chuck Dudek just sent out an updated press release with more details of the alleged crime.

Scott allegedly threatened the life of his recently ex-girlfriend's father prior to allegedly setting the fire. Scott allegedly started the fire by pouring gasoline on two flights of an interior stairwell and then igniting it. This stairwell is reportedly the only exit from the second- and third-floor apartments of the building. The first- and second-floor apartments were occupied at the time of the 10:20 p.m. fire. Occupants were able to escape the building through windows and were not injured. The father of Scott's ex-girlfriend lived on the second floor.

"A quick response by the City of Batavia Fire Department minimized damage and preserved evidence," Dudek wrote.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 11:27 am

The City Centre Mall Association is suing the City

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, mall

The City Centre Mall Association thinks the city is responsible for replacing the mall's roof, repairing skylights and the silo entrances.

And since the city has resisted spending money on the mall, the association is asking the courts to come to its rescue.

In a lawsuit filed last month, the association also asks that the city be required to repair an uneven concourse floor, drop ceilings and HVAC, plus award $95,000 to the merchants and add "as close as 1,1,40 parking spaces as possible" to make up for spaces lost from construction of City Hall, a restaurant and two banks.

WBTA reports:

Dr. Mitchel Chess, president of the Mall Association, said he was hesitant to comment because the associations’ lawyers received the city’s initial response to the suit this morning.

City Manager Jason Molino confirmed the city had been served with the suit. He said the city’s attorney will handle the matter in house. He said the action by the mall association "had been expected."

This is at least the third lawsuit that the mall association has filed against the city since the Genesee Country Mall opened 30 years ago.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 11:07 am

Police Beat: Man who allegedly threw chair that hit child jailed on $3,000 bail

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

James S. Nottingham, Sr., 29, of 511 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with assault in the second degree, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, harassment, aggravated DWI, aggravated unlicensed vehicle operation and unlawful possession of marijuana. James allegedly got involved in an argument with a woman and during the incident, he allegedly threw a chair that struck a 4-year-old in the face causing an injury. James also allegedly grabbed another child by the hair. James then reportedly left the scene of the incident in a car. He was subsequently stopped and arrested for alleged DWI and marijuana possession. He was jailed on $3,000 bail.

Peter C. Ayala, 44, of 44 Walnut St., Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, harassment and resisting arrest. Ayala was arrested after police responded to a reported argument between a man and a woman. He was jailed on $2,000 bail.

Mark F. Limoli, 22, of Honeoye Falls, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and failure to stop for a stop sign. Limoli was stopped by State Police on Sunday night at 4282 Clover St. in Darien.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 10:42 am

Purple boxes in Genesee County trees coming down today

post by Howard B. Owens in Emerald Ash Borer

USDA officials are out in the county today removing the purple Emerald Ash Borer traps set up this spring, according to a report that just came over the scanner.

The traps, as we reported in June, were designed to track whether the Emerald Ash Borer has yet appeared in Genesee County. 

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