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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Imagine, a President encouraging students to take personal responsibility gets blasted by the right

post by Howard B. Owens in Barack Obama, elba, politics, schools

Who would ever have thunk that the idea of a President of the United States speaking to the nation's students on the first day of school could be controversial, but in the days leading up to the speech, Obama was accused of attempting to subvert school kids, turning them all into socialists, or worse, Democrats, and/or of using the speech to push a policy agenda through Soviet-style propaganda.

Who would have thunk that a simple message: Do your homework and stay in school could be seen as an inappropriate message from the President.

Imagine, a President proclaiming the virtues of personal responsibility being blasted by the opposition party.

“At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities,” Obama said in the speech.

“Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. And that’s what I want to focus on today, the responsibility each of you has for your education,” Obama said.

The speech didn't stir much notice in Genesee County. Only two districts were in session today -- Elba and Pembroke. The other schools start tomorrow.

Elba Superintendent Joan Cole spoke with WBTA this morning and said use of the president's speech in the class room was optional for teachers.

"We haven't had any concerns expressed by any of our parents," Cole said

Watch the video above for yourself, in which Obama makes such supposedly un-American statements as:

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Councilman Cox announces public meeting to discuss proposed athletic fields

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

First Ward City Councilman Bill Cox says there is growing opposition to the school district applying for a grant to develop the North Street Extension with a series of athletic fields.

To help give First Ward residents a chance to share their thoughts on the proposal, he is hosting a community meeting Saturday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 at the Salvation Army Headquarters, 529 E. Main St.

"There is growing public opposition to this development," Cox said in a statement today. "As a councilman, resident, and taxpayer, I want to present the feelings of First Ward residents and taxpayers to council at the next city council meeting. I will also share my position with our residents on this proposal during the meeting."

Doors will open at 9:15 a.m.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Police announces results of check point on Law Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Law Street

The Batavia Police Department conducted a check point on Law Street from 10 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday and released details on the enforcement action today.

Two people were arrested for alleged DWI, one person for alleged operation of a vheicle while under the influence of drugs and another person for alleged unlawful possession of marijuana.

The following arrests were made:

Julian J. Matla Jr. 46, of 35 Church St., Le Roy, charged with DWI.

Christopher Herman, 30, of 39 Citation Drive, Henrietta, charged with DWI and endangering the welfare of a child.

Shaun P. Murray, 52, of 117 Friar Drive, Rochester, charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.

Ellen A. Murray, 52, of 117 Friar Drive, Rochester, charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Batavia man admits to stealing $106,000 from employer

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Paul R. Tenney, 39, of Batavia admitted in court today that he stole more than $106,000 from his  employer, Elcon, Inc..

Under terms of the plea agreement, Tenney could be sentenced to five years probation and either six months in jail, or a four-month intermittent term, plus he could be required to repay the stolen $106,000.

Judge Robert Noonan released Tenney from jail following his guilty plea. Between now and his sentencing, Tenney will be under the supervision of Genesee Justice and must abide by a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The jail sentence is the maximum time, under statute, that a convict placed on probation by a judge can be required to do, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

Tenney was arrested in early June for reportedly forging checks and falsifying business records.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Batavia man injured in rollover accident Monday morning

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, alexander

A Batavia man is in satisfactory condition following a single-car, rollover accident on Route 98 in Alexander at 12:22 a.m. Monday.

David E. Stupp, 39, of 8052 North Bennett Heights, Batavia, suffered a fractured neck in the accident.

Stupp was reportedly driving northbound on Route 98 when his 2004 Mercedes-Benz convertible left the east shoulder. The car struck a ditch in a driveway culvert and overturned, coming to rest facing south.

No other people were involved in the accident.

Stupp was cited for DWI, unsafe lane change, speeding and refusal to submit to a breath test.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Batavia Eagle Scout pleads guilty to criminal trespass for Harvester break-in

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Justin Fay, who was an Eagle Scout, honor roll student and honor society scholar in college, pleaded guilty today to one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass for breaking into the Harvester Center one rainy Saturday night in late July.

Now a Rochester resident, Fay told Judge Robert Balbick in City Court that he did enter the Harvester Center without permission.

He had been facing a burglary charge.

Fay will be sentenced after the Monroe County Probation Department completes a pre-sentencing review.

We have no information at this time on his co-defendants, William F. Wernert III and Cory C. Pickering.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Accused burglar out of jail on bond after Grand Jury indictment

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

mug-Jackson-Michael.jpgMichael L. Jackson, accused of burglary and grand larceny, got a "get out of jail" free card when the District Attorney's office did not seek a grand jury indictment within the prescribed 45 days.

Last week, an indictment was handed down and Jackson was taken into custody again. On Sept. 3, Jackson posted a $10,000 bond and is now free awaiting trial.

According to the indictment, Jackson is charged with a count of burglary in the third degree, two counts of grand larceny in the third degree, and two counts criminal mischief in the second degree.

A new charge also pops up: tampering with a witness in the fourth degree. Jackson allegedly went to the home of one of the witnesses and attempted to induce her not to testify before the Grand Jury.

Jackson, now an Oakfield resident, is accused breaking into Holland High Lift, 10033 East Road, Bethany. He allegedly stole a 42-inch Viewsonic flatscreen television, a Samsung 22-inch flatscreen television and a Sony digital camera. He also allegedly stole a 2005 Ford Supercab 250. Jackson also allegedly damaged an office window, a display case, light fixtures, drywall, a motorcycle, computer equipment and an overhead door. He also allegedly damaged the Ford truck.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Dump truck fire reported in Corfu

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, fire

A dump truck is on fire and reportedly "fully involved" near the intersection of Genesee road and Boyce Road in Corfu.

The Corfu Volunteer Fire Department has been dispatched.

UPDATE 12:54 p.m.: The truck is reportedly under power lines.  It is west of Boyce Road, well up a driveway.


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Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Man previously accused of public lewdness now accused of slamming woman against wall

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield

mug-robert-eppolito.jpgRobert J. Eppolito is reportedly in trouble with the law again.

The name of Eppolito did not appear in The Batavian a few days ago when we reported about a couple allegedly caught in full embrace in a very public Oakfield Village parking lot, but after learning more about the incident, we decided to connect Eppolito's name to the arrest.

We were on the verge of a decision to release his name, when we heard about Eppolito's arrest last night for allegedly slamming a woman against a wall during an argument.  Eppolito also allegedly broke the woman's cell phone.

Eppolito, 27, of 1 North Pearl St., Oakfield, is charged with a felony count of criminal mischief in the third degree and harassment in the second degree. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

In the Friday morning incident, according to a witness and in an answer to our inquiry with Sheriff Gary Maha, we are told that Eppolito and the woman were completely naked inside the car, their sexual activity easily observable by anybody in the area. The alleged incident occurred while people were in the village setting up for Labor Daze. Sheriff Maha tells us that the arresting officer said Eppolito "just didn't care" that the couple was in public.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Dennis Abrams pleads guilty for role in Elba bank robbery

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, elba robbery

NOTE: This is a rewrite of a previously posted version.

mug-Abrams-Dennis.jpgTwo of the three men accused of robbing the M&T Bank in Elba on June 18 appeared in court today, and one of them, Dennis M. Abrams entered a guilty plea to one of the charges against him.

The felony conviction, as part of a plea bargain, carries a maximum sentence of 17-and-half-years in prison.

When District Attorney Lawrence Friedman informed Judge Robert Noonan of the plea arrangement, the friends and family of Abrams who were in the courtroom let out audible expressions of shock.

Abrams will be sentenced in two weeks, after a probation department review to help the judge determine an appropriate sentence. He could serve only five years, depending on Judge Noonan's ruling.

Meanwhile, co-defendant Matthew J. Wells followed Abrams into court, but he wasn't there to enter a plea. Rather the judge and attorneys were agreeing to a date for a future hearing on motions made by Attorney Thomas Burns, including a motion for change of venue.

Under questioning from Noonan, Abrams entered his guilty plea and then admitted to the bank robbery. He also said his previous confessions were true and accurate. He also agreed to testify in any trials for his co-defendants, if there is a trial (at this time, that would likely be only Wells, who is proceeding with a defense).

Co-defendant Demone Dillon entered a guilty plea two weeks ago.

Abrams and Wells remain in jail in lieu of bail.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 11:48 am

Wayne Fuller to exit press box for Muckdogs games

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

wayne_fuller.jpgThere was a standing ovation in Dwyer Stadium on Saturday night, but it wasn't for a great diving catch, or a rare triple play or a bomb hit over the dead center field fence -- it was for the stadium announcer, Wayne Fuller.

Fuller, the voice of Batavia baseball for 25 years, announced his retirement from the PA mic, and the crowd paid Fuller the ultimate sporting honor -- a Standing-O.

Fuller, who also served as the official scorer, has been positioned in the Dwyer press box -- dubbed "Wayne's World" -- calling out starting line-ups and determining hits and errors through the baseball eras of the Trojans, Clippers and Muckdogs.

"There is a trick to determine when you leave on your own or are asked to leave," Fuller told the crowd. "I have decided this is my time to retire and leave the two jobs. As I have gotten older it has become harder, as they say today, to multi-task, and that's the principle reason for my decision."

Fuller continues on in his afternoon shift with WBTA and will also remain in the booth for high school and college games.

Fuller told me this morning he's looking forward to a trip to Alaska next summer -- a dream he couldn't fulfill while obligated to the Muckdogs for home-game announcing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 10:43 am

Railroad crossing on Ellicott under repair

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ellicott Street, road closures

ellicott_crossing.jpg

It looks like work has finally begun on the Ellicott Street railroad crossing. 

Center Street is closed at Ellicott. There is two-way traffic this morning on Ellicott, but guided by cones.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 10:37 am

Today's Deal: Alex's, Delavan's, Matty's and Pudgie's

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, N.Y.: 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 $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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.

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center, 3646 West Main Road, Batavia, N.Y.: Autumn is the time to think about spring flowers -- and Pudgie's has a great selection of bulbs already in stock, ready to plant. 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

 

Monday, September 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Car into pole on Ellicott Street Road in Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

A car has run into a utility pole at 6442 Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion.

Live wires are down, and the pole is down on top of the car. No word on injuries yet.

Southbound traffic is being halted.

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Apparently, three people were in the car. They are now in a swimming pool near the accident scene trying to wash the glass off themselves. EMS: "We've got three victims here. They are in the pool. They appear OK other than glass."

UPDATE 2:17 p.m.: Route 63 has been reopened.


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Monday, September 7, 2009 at 11:53 am

Police Beat: man arrested at Darien Lake for alleged car break-ins

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

Joseph D. Becerril, 21, of 320 Polebride Road, Avon, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny. Becerril was arrested at Darien Lake Theme Park for allegedly stealing items from cars in the parking lot. Becerril was jailed on $1,500 bail. The case was investigated by Deputy Jason Saile with assistance from deputies Frank Bordonaro and Howard Carlson as well as the State Police and Darien Lake security.

Joseph M. Hamm, 32, of 580 Glide Road, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and unlicensed operation. Hamm was arrested after the Sheriff's Office received a report early Saturday morning of a car in a ditch off Sumner Road in Darien.

Eric P. North, 29, of 152 Linwood Ave., Amherst, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and failure to keep right. North was arrested following a traffic stop on Route 33 in Pembroke by Deputy Bradley D. Mazur.

Karen A. Dusky, 37, of 7158 Wright Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, failure to keep right and endangering the welfare of a child. Dusky was stopped just after midnight Saturday morning by Deputy Patrick J. Reeves on Route 77 in Pembroke. She reportedly had a child under 17 in the vehicle with her.

Carrie M. Capizzi, 28, of 3300 Broadway, Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and failure to dim headlights. Capizzi was stopped for allegedly failing to dim headlights at 2:39 a.m. on Route 20 in Alexander by Deputy Howard Carlson.

Heather L. Leith, 30, of 3938  Risher Road, Youngstown, Ohio, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and inadequate headlights. Leith is also accused of with driving an unregistered vehicle, improper license plates and operating without insurance. Leith was stopped by Deputy Mazur just after midnight on Sunday morning. She was jailed on $500 bail.

A 17-year-old is charged with trespass. The youth is reportedly a former employee of Darien Lake Theme Park who had been banned from the property, yet was found in the park Sunday about 4 p.m..

Mitchell J. Atwell, 24, of 308 Mcintyre Road, Le Roy, is charged with harassment. Atwell is accused of making verbal threats during a dispute with a neighbor.

Christopher T. Herman, 30, of 39 Citation Drive, Henrietta, is charged with DWI, operating with a BAC of .08 and endangering the welfare of a child. Herman was stopped Sunday at 1:05 a.m. at a police checkpoint on Law Street. Herman reportedly had his 4-year-old son in the car.

Julian J. Matla, Jr., 45, of 35 Church St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI and operating with a BAC of .08. Malta was stopped at a police checkpoint at 11:58 p.m. Saturday.

Michael T. Ellis, 21, of 2781 School St., North Collins, is charged with DWI. Ellis was arrested by Batavia Police after allegedly failing to abide by rules set down in a conditional discharge for a previous DWI guilty plea.

Karen Grzybowski, 38, of 24 Audabon Terrance, is charged with harassment. The charge stems from an incident at 10:05 p.m. Saturday on Allegany Road in Darien. No details were provided.

Jacob R. Hennard, 20, of Bergen, is charged with DWI and operating with a BAC of .08. Hennard was stopped by State Police on Colby Road in Darien at 10 p.m. on Friday.

Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Large amount of smoke spotted off Sackett Road in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in

An off-duty Monroe County firefighter spotted a large amount of smoke on Sackett Road of Route 19 in Bergen and reported it as a possible barn fire.

The first responders from Bergen Fire Department have not been able to spot a structure fire, though a good deal of smoke is visible. They are attempting to locate the source.

Brockport and Churchville were initially dispatched as mutual aide, but have been cancelled since this is not an apparent structure fire.

UPDATE 10:35 p.m.: No clear indication what this was about, but Bergen is back in service.


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Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Arm And A Leg victorious again in Batavia Open Handicap

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

bataviadowns_080072009.jpgPress Release:

Batavia, NY --- Again proving he’s the best pacer in Western New York, the popular sidewheeler Arm And A Leg was victorious in the $8,500 Open Handicap on Saturday night (Sept-5) at Batavia Downs Casino.

Arm And A Leg was sent right to the front by Downs dash leading driver Kevin Cummings and they never had an anxious moment in cruising to an easy 5-1/4 length score in 1:54 flat. Triple Bars (Jimmy Whisman) was second and Oh Gee Whiz (Jim McNeight) completed the top three.

This was Arm And A Leg’s third Open win during the 2009 Summer-Fall meet and his 10th win this season. He’s a 6-year-old son of Nobleland Sam. John Cummings Sr. trains and co-owns with Mark Jakubik. Going off as the favorite Arm And A Leg paid $4.30 to win.

America’s oldest lighted Harness track will present a special Labor Day matinee program; post time is 1:15 p.m. Food specials include an $8.00 Chicken Barbeque and $1.00 Hot Dogs served in the Paddock room and a $6.95 lunch buffet in the Clubhouse, all available from noon until 4 p.m.

In addition to live racing from August to December, Batavia Downs Casino offers simulcast wagering from some of North America’s top tracks. The gaming floor, featuring over 600 of the area’s hottest slot machines is open from 10:00 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily. For more information call 585-343-3750 or go on-line at www.bataviadownsasino.com.

Todd Haight
Promotional Marketing Specialist
Batavia Downs Casino

Photo of Arm And A Leg with Kevin Cummings cruising  to victory in Batavia featured pace. Courtesy of Paul White.
 

Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 11:57 am

Lost child on Elm Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Police are responding to the 100 block of Elm Street, where a lost 6-year-old was found walking down the street crying.

UPDATE: It sounds like the child was reunited with her family.

Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 11:55 am

Pole sheared off on Ledge Road, but no vehicle found

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama

A caller to the dispatch center reports that a telephone pole has been sheared off on Ledge Road, just east of 77, in Alabama.

"It appears to be a motor vehicle accident, but no vehicle around," according to dispatch.

Pole and wires are down on the ground.  The pole is in three different pieces.

There was a suggestion from a responder that the pole down is a result of an accident last night.

UPDATE: Alabama Fire Chief: "This is the same pole from Friday night, so I'm clear."  Notifications have already been made.


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Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 10:55 am

Two people injured in accident on Oak Orchard Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba

A driver at the intersection of North Byron Road and Oak Orchard Road thought it was a four-way stop yesterday, so she proceeded across Oak Orchard Road, where her car was struck by a southbound car.

Two people suffered minor injuries in the accident. Both were transported to UMMC.

Eleanor M. Hart, 75, of 4991 Watson Road, Elba, was the driver of the second car, the one southbound on Oak Orchard. She suffered a neck injury.

One of her passengers, Burton E. Hart, 75, suffered a hip/upper leg injury.

The driver of the first vehicle, Lorraine J. Spotts, 50, of 4415 Hogmire, Avon, was uninjured in the crash.

Hart had two other passengers in her car and neither were injured: Frank Neindorf, 78, and Monica Neindorf, 72.

The accident occurred at 5:21 p.m. yesterday.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Tim Wescott.

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