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Howard B. Owens's blog

Monday, June 15, 2009 at 6:59 am

Police Beat: Pembroke man accused of having dangerous fireworks

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

Gary De Wind, 66, of 1341 Little Falls Road, Pembroke, is accused of illegally possessing fireworks. He is charged with unlawful dealing with fireworks and dangerous fireworks.

Michael R. Cowham, 24, of 6571 W. Sweden Road, Bergen, is charged with assault in the third degree. He is accused of getting into a confrontation with another person. That person suffered a cut on the face. The alleged incident occurred at a residence on Wood Street. Cowham was issued an appearance ticket.

Michael A. Butler, 36, of Egerton Road, Elba, is charged with DWI. Butler also received tickets for having an unsafe tire and driving an uninspected vehicle. Butler was reportedly a witness to an incident on Whitney Mill Road involving a person with cuts on his head. During the investigation, deputies determined that Butler apparently drove past the scene while intoxicated.

Lynn R. Baker, 47, of Bank Street, was reportedly spotted on Harvester Avenue driving his 1997 Ford Explorer on the wrong side of the road. After a traffic stop, a Sheriff's deputy determined Baker was apparently drunk. Baker was charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and failure to keep right. Baker was issued an appearance ticket.

Paul Andrews, 35, of 2029 Route 238, Warsaw, and currently a resident of Genesee County Jail, is charged with criminal tampering in the third degree. Andrews reportedly urinated in another inmate's shampoo bottle.

Tera Williams, 36, of 147 Ross St., is charged with petty larceny. Williams reported stole merchandise from Kmart while employed there.

Kisuki Pagan, 20, of E. 166th St. #5H, Bronx, is charged with disorderly conduct. Pagan was allegedly involved in an altercation with another person inside 48 Deli Express, 8204 Park Road.

Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 7:07 am

Today's Deals: O'Lacy's Irish Pub and Alex's Place

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, N.Y.: 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.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, N.Y.: An institution in Batavia, Alex's offers a great dining experience, whether you're in the mood for prime rib, ribs or seafood.  We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

A $1 PayPal service fee applies.

Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase. It is not valid with other offers and has no cash value.  People who have won a certificate in the past 30 days are not eligible to win a certificate from the same business as before.  By state law, gift certificates cannot be used for alcohol purchase.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. Ideally, the winner will arrange to stop by my office on Main Street to pick up gift certificate. Mail is an option, but it would be better to hand you the gift certificate. 

If you want to be notified via e-mail of future Deals of the Day, sign up for the Deals of the Day e-mail list by clicking here.

Merchants: If you would like your business featured in Deal of the Day, call Howard Owens at 260-6970.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub

SOLD

Alex's Place

SOLD
Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 6:04 am

Today's Deals: Herbly Wonderful and Eclectic Creations

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Today's Deals:

Herbly Wonderful, 3701 Pearl Street Road (Route 33). Herbly Wonderful is as wonderful as the name implies, with a great selection of herbs, teas and other natural wonders. This is a $25 gift certificate for $12.50

Eclectic Creations, 625 E. Main St. (former location of Triangle Liquor Store): Is it time to buy a gift for a special teen-age girl? Try Eclectic creations, where you can find a wide range of hip and interesting gifts. This is a $20 gift certificate for $10.

All transactions include a $1 PayPal service fee.

Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase. It is not valid with other offers and has no cash value.  People who have won a certificate in the past 30 days are not eligible to win a certificate from the same business as before.  By state law, gift certificates cannot be used for alcohol purchase.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. Ideally, the winner will arrange to stop by my office on Main Street to pick up gift certificate. Mail is an option, but it would be better to hand you the gift certificate. 

If you want to be notified via e-mail of future Deals of the Day, sign up for the Deals of the Day e-mail list by clicking here.

Merchants: If you would like your business featured in Deal of the Day, call Howard Owens at 260-6970.

Eclectic Creations

SOLD

Herbly Wonderful

sold

Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Genesee County not out of the running for high tech jobs

post by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, gensee county

Genesee County may be losing out on the big Yahoo! data center deal, but that doesn't mean the county isn't out of the hunt for high tech jobs, according to GCEDC spokesman Chad Zambito.

Zambito told WBTA today (audio) that there are two big projects, with one being a strong possibility, that could get started in the western part of the county.

"Hydropower has been very important for us,'  Zambito said. "We've got two sites here in Genesee County that fall into the hydropower zone. It's about three-and-a-half cents a killowatt an hour. It's been a big difference right now. It's the only thing we're seeing moving is high tech looking at hydropower."

Also today, I e-mailed Zambito and asked him for his thoughts on why Yahoo! apparently picked Lockport over Genesee County.  Here's his response:

Our understanding is that an official announcement has not been made. That being said, we would certainly be happy to have them in the region but would obviously be disappointed to see Genesee County passed by. In comparison, the possible site in Niagara County may benefit from more industrial development as compared to our Green Field sites here in Genesee County.

Friday, June 12, 2009 at 11:40 am

More evidence, state cracking down on 211 pension waivers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire chief

We've covered the resignation of Chief Tom Dillon pretty thoroughly, but just to put an exclamation point on the explanations given by Jason Molino and Karen Marchese on the reason for the 211 waiver denial, we draw your attention to this story from the Buffalo News.

A new attitude in the governor’s office toward double dipping is likely to cost former Niagara County Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein—the current head of the State Commission on Corrections — about $110,000.

Five months after Beilein was named head of the state panel, the commission requested that he be allowed to collect his full $101,600 state salary as well as his full $66,148 annual pension — retroactive to the day he got the job in mid- August.

But four months later, before the waiver request was acted upon, and with the governor’s office discouraging double dipping among top-level employees, the request was withdrawn.

“It was withdrawn when it was clear it would not be granted,” commission spokesman John M. Caher said.

Beilein will likely be required to pay back some of his pension.

Friday, June 12, 2009 at 9:37 am

Batavia hit by series of car break-ins over past week

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

At least a dozen times in the past week, city residents have gone out to their cars only to find somebody has stolen valuables from their vehicles, according to Batavia Police Department Detective Pat Corona.

Corona said the suspect, or suspects, appears to be operating on foot, confining his criminal activities to the city, and preying primarily on unlocked cars and taking easy-to-pilfer items, such as wallets, credit cards, loose change and portable GPSs.

Only once has a car stereo been stolen from a vehicle.

"There isn't a lot of dismantling of vehicles," Corona said. "They are taking items that are easily accessible."

There may be more than one suspect. This morning an investigator reported over police radio: "Who's ever breaking into these cars probably has a lookout. They left their walkie-talkie behind."

Corona confirmed that the thief has left items behind, but didn't want to discuss specifics.

"If we find any evidence that's been left behind, that could lead us to suspects, we'll certainly take that and gather whatever evidence we can from it," Corona said.

This morning, I've heard three reports of larcenies, the latest just as I was writing this post: A car on Bank Street, just outside of city limits, had a GPS stolen.

Corona's advice: Lock your cars. Don't leave valuables in your cars. And call police with your tips that might help catch these criminals.

"Should people see anything suspicious, don't be shy about calling us," Corona said.

UPDATE: Right after I posted this, the PD put out a press release with a couple of additional details. The larcenies started on June 7. From last night, larcenies were reported on Walnut Street, Swan Street and State Street. The number to call for suspecious activity or to tip the police to a suspect, 345-6350.

Friday, June 12, 2009 at 7:43 am

Today's Deals: Delavan's, Larry's Steakhouse, Essence of Candles and Present Tense Books

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Today's Deals: Two places to eat and two places to shop:

Delavan's Restaurant & Tavern, 107 Evans St.  One of Batavia's hidden gems, off any main drag, Bill Cultrara's recipes makes Delavan's well worth the visit any Tuesday through Saturday, for lunch or dinner.  Try the homemade sausage! We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St.  The name says it all -- when you want a good steak, Larry's is an excellent choice.  Not only is the food good, but it's a great dining atmosphere and the service is always great.  We have a $50 gift certificate for $25.

Essence of Candles, 201 Liberty St. Another of Batavia's hidden treasures.  Scented jar candles are convenient and easy to use. Each candle is hand poured so the fragrance lasts all through the burn of the candle. We have a $25 gift certificate for $10.50.

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave.  Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or non-fiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

All transactions include a $1 PayPal service fee.

Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase. It is not valid with other offers and has no cash value.  People who have won a certificate in the past 30 days are not eligible to win a certificate from the same business as before.  By state law, gift certificates cannot be used for alcohol purchase.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. Ideally, the winner will arrange to stop by my office on Main Street before 5:00 p.m. to pick up gift certificate. Mail is an option, but it would be better to hand you the gift certificate. 

If you want to be notified via e-mail of future Deals of the Day, sign up for the Deals of the Day e-mail list by clicking here.

Merchants: If you would like your business featured in Deal of the Day, call Howard Owens at 260-6970.

Larry's Steakhouse

SOLD

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern

SOLD

Essence of Candles

SOLD

Present Tense Books & Gifts

SOLD

Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:33 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 7:55 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 4:11 pm

Stafford tees off 58th annual Jon Lynn tournament

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

elvis_golf.jpg

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 3:58 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 2:06 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 1:57 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 7:28 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 7:14 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 8:29 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 8:07 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 6:27 pm

County Legislature recognizes Dairy Month

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

dairy_proclamation.jpg

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.

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