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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 10:46 am

Sheriff's Office establishes drug drop-off

post by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office

There is now a prescription drug drop box at the Sheriff's Office, 165 Park Road, Batavia. Residents are encouraged to drop off unwanted pharmaceuticals anytime, 24/7. Drop-offs are anonymous. Sharps, such as syringes, as well as thermometers, aerosol sprays, inhalers and hydrogen peroxide are not accepted.  The Sheriff's Office will properly dispose of the pharmaceuticals. 

Photo and information submitted by the Sheriff's Office.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 10:39 am

City picking up Christmas trees this month

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Press release:

City Bureau of Maintenance crews have started picking up Christmas trees. We will continue to pick up trees through Jan. 30. City residents are asked to place their trees in the parkway without bags, stands, or decorations as these can damage equipment. Please keep trees free of snow and ice so they are visible.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Corfu man killed in hit-and-run in Newstead

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu

The man killed in a hit-and-run accident in Newstead has been identified, and he's from Corfu.

The victim was 38-year-old Francis A. Meldrum Jr., according the the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

A passerby reportedly found Meldrum's body in the roadway along Indian Falls Road shortly after midnight.

Authorities believe either an SUV or truck hit Meldrum, but are not ruling out a passenger car. There were apparently no witnesses and no physical evidence to help identify the vehicle was found at the scene.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver whose vehicle hit Meldrum.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Highway department anticipates cost savings from low gas prices

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county

While low gas prices could mean a reduction in revenue for local governments, it could also mean significant cost savings, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said today.

Hens wasn't available last week when The Batavian provided an exclusive report on how falling gas prices means a reduction in sales tax revenue for local governments, but he did get back to us today about the cost side of the equation.

Hens says his best guess at this point is the county could see $75,000 to $100,000 in annual fuel spending savings.

That money will allow his department to replace aging equipment that might otherwise be deferred even longer.

Hens also anticipates a 20-percent reduction in the cost of asphalt, which would result in a cost savings of about $240,000, or rather, make it possible to buy more asphalt to cover more deteriorate roadways.

"That's a few more miles of paving that we wouldn't otherwise be able to do," Hens said. "We are about 26 miles behind on maintenance due to tight budgets and limited state and federal money, so this will let us play catch up a little bit."

Hens won't know the adjusted price of asphalt until April or May and said he's only making a guess at this point.

The county budgets $1 million for the purchase of unleaded and diesel fuel for its fleet of vehicles, which includes the highway department and Sheriff's Office.

Any savings this year would only be a one-time surplus, Hens noted.

While falling gas prices could mean people drive more, Hens said an uptick in travel would buck the trend from the past decade of falling fuel consumption. Less consumption has meant less money available from gas taxes for roadway construction and repair.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Couple looking for stolen chainsaw carving of bear

post by Howard B. Owens in crime

Sometime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., New Year's Day, even as Laura Ford and her son where home, somebody snuck onto the porch of the Ford residence and stole this chainsaw carving of a bear.

Bill Ford bought the bear as a one-year anniversary present for Laura about four years ago.

The Fords are asking if anybody has information that may help in its recovery, to please call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000. The case is being investigated by Deputy Corey Mower.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Alexander starts campaign to raise $150K for new ambulance

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander

The Alexander Volunteer Fire Department has begun a fundraising campaign to come up with $150,000 for a new ambulance.

The normal lifecycle of an ambulance is 10 years, and the current ambulance is 15 years old.

They've set up a GoFundMe.com page.

The page states:

We are a small farming community and our department is made up of hard-working community volunteers. Our members are not paid for our medical training and we are not paid for our service. When members of our community call 911, we respond to their emergencies without cost to the patient or their insurance company. Our ambulance receives NO funding from the local government and is funded ENTIRELY by donations and fundraisers.

WE NEED A NEW AMBULANCE TO CONTINUE PROVIDING CARE TO OUR NEIGHBORS!

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Appeals judge denies Dashawn Butler a stay of his prison sentence

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Dashawn Butler

An appeal denied this morning will keep Dashawn Butler locked up, at least pending further appeals.

A jury found Butler guilty Nov. 21 of guilty of criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, and attempted assault, 1st.

Judge Robert C. Noonan sentenced Butler to eight years in prison Dec. 22.

Attorney Thomas Burns filed a motion for a stay of his client's sentence pending and the appeal was heard in a telephone conference call this morning with Justice Eugene Fahey, NYS Appellate Division, Fourth Department. 

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and Burns argued their positions with Fahey, and Fahey issued his ruling at the hearing's completion.

Butler was transferred from the Genesee County Jail to the Department of Corrections on Friday, and Fahey ruled Butler will stay in the prison system while his other appeals move forward.

A new attorney will be appointed to Butler for the appeal process.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

No arrest in shooting of dog in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, alexander, pets

The man who shot a neighbor's dog on New Year's Eve won't be arrested, Sheriff Gary Maha said today.

Maha released the information report on the incident and in a statement the neighbor said he had started carrying his .357 Magnum that day because the dog had become increasingly aggressive toward him.

Another neighbor, a 78-year-old man, who said he saw the incident, told Deputy Bradley Mazur that he saw the dog charge across the shooter's yard and heard the dog growling and believed the dog intended to attack the man. He then heard two gun shots, but didn't see the dog get hit.

While Maha made no statement about why there will be no arrest, he shared a copy of Agriculture and Markets law, which says there is no liability when a person has a reasonable belief that he or she is being attacked by a dog and then kills that dog.

The dog's name was Pepper and she was owned by Greg Gass, a resident of Dodgeson Road, Alexander.

The Batavian first broke the news of the incident after the Gass family created a Facebook page called Justice for Pepper

The Gass family does not believe Pepper was an aggressive dog.

"She was the sweetest little thing," Jen Gass said. "She played with a little 5-year-old who pulled her ears and would play roughly, and Pepper never did anything about it. She played with other dogs and never had a problem. I know she's a big dog. She looks like a big dog and people can be intimidated, I guess, but she didn't have a mean bone in her body."

In his statement to police, the man who shot Pepper said the dog had been coming onto his property more frequently.

He said the day before the incident, Pepper, a bullmastiff, had been in his yard and acted aggressively toward him and his two grandchildren, ages 7 and 8. 

Once the dog saw me, it became aggressive towards me by barking and growling at me and snapped at me," the man wrote. "I was yelling and pointing at the dog to go home and I was concerned for my safety as well as my grandchildren. I then heard my neighbor, Greg, who is the dog owner, calling the dog's name. The dog did not leave right away when Greg was calling it to come home. I only yelled at the dog and I did not kick the dog or make any other physical contact. The dog ran towards the front yard and Greg was in the back yard. The dog never actually went to him. This was not the first time Greg's dog had been on my property. The dog was more aggressive with each time it was over here."

That incident convinced the man to start carrying his gun, he said.

He said he went out to his shed at about 12:34 p.m., New Year's Day, and the dog started to run directly at him and was barking and growling.

"I pulled out my gun and I yelled at the dog, 'go home, go on,' and the dog never stopped running at me," he said. "I was in fear for my own safety and took two steps backwards. The dog was about three feet from me and lunging at me and I shot the dog. I shot two rounds at the dog and I believed that the first round was in the upper chest just under the dog's neck. The second round was in the front of the dog's head."

Greg, he said, yelled over, "Did you just shoot my dog?" The man said he did.

Greg came over and asked the man, "When did you start carrying?" The man told him, "since yesterday when your dog did the same thing."

Mazur reviewed a surveillance video of the incident and wrote in his report that he consulted with Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini and provided his interpretation of what the video showed and shared what he had been told by the shooter and the witness. Mazur said Cianfrini advised him there was no crime committed and that the neighbor had a right to protect himself.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Bethany man accused of causing brain injury to toddler makes court appearance

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, crime

A Bethany resident accused of causing a brain injury to a toddler appeared in County Court today, but his case was continued to another date because his newly hired attorney was unable to make an appearance this morning.

Anthony P. Dibble, 25, was arraigned last week on a sealed indictment charging reckless assault of a child and assault in the second degree. 

In an interview following Dibble's appearance, Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl said the toddler, a 2-year-old female, suffered a very serious brain injury and underwent surgery to relieve swelling in her brain.

"Fortunately, she is recovering at this point," Zickl said.

Asked for a prognosis, Zickle said, "I don't know the prognosis and I don't even know if the medical professionals would predict that because neurological injuries are very tricky, especially predicting the future."

Dibble is the child's biological father, Zickl said; however, the child lives with her mother, who is not a Genesee County resident.

The parents are not married, Zickl said.

By mutual agreement, the toddler was staying with Dibble on an overnight visit in August.

The injured child was driven to UMMC by Dibble and from there was taken by Mercy Flight to Women & Children's Hospital in Buffalo, where the surgery was performed.

Zickl declined to discuss the circumstances the prosecution believes led to the girl's injuries.

The indictment accuses Dibble of causing a serious physical injury to the brain of a child less than 5 years old by shaking the child or slamming or throwing the child so as to impact the child's head on a hard surface or object.

He is also accused of intending to cause physical injury to a person under 7 years of age and caused such an injury by biting the person. 

Buffalo attorney Dominic Saraceno has apparently been retained to represent Dibble. Because of a prior commitment, he couldn't be in court today on relatively short notice, but did contact the office of Judge Robert C. Noonan and ask that the case be continued to a later date.

Dibble is due in court again at 10:45 a.m., Jan. 22.

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 7:54 am

Law and Order: Arrests made in alleged assault case in Le Roy

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

Ricky N. Porter Jr., 24, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, and a 16-year-old male from Brighton (name not released by Le Roy PD), were charged with assault, 3rd. Porter and the teen allegedly punched another person numerous times, causing facial fractures, swelling and lacerations. The victim required hospital treatment. The teen was also charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. It's alleged that after turning himself in at Le Roy PD headquarters, he punched a window, damaging the window and hurting himself. After being treated for the injury, he was arraigned on both charges and jailed on an unspecified amount of bail.

Renee L. Coughlin, no age provided, of Bergen, is charged with DWI and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Coughlin was stopped by State Police in Olean. During the investigation, troopers allegedly found she was carrying a stun gun.

Joseph B. Hogan, 75, of Corning, is charged with federal criminal tax fraud, 4th, and possession of unstamped cigarettes. Hogan was stopped on Route 77 in the Village of Corfu by Officer Michael Petritz for allegedly driving 47 in a 35 mph zone.

William James Bick, 25, of Dorman Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement markings. Bick was stopped at 2:33 a.m. Dec. 27 on Oak Orchard Road by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Laticia S. Anderson, 29, of Wilson Street, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and menacing, 2nd. Anderson was allegedly involved in a fight at 16 Bank St., Batavia, at 10 p.m. Sunday. She was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Katie Rose Wishman, 29, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Wishman is accused of shoplifting from Dollar General. She was allegedly found in possession of a hypodermic needle and a small amount of crack cocaine upon her arrest.

Cody David Cutitta, 28, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, petit larceny, identity theft, 3rd, and forgery, 3rd. Cutitta allegedly used a credit card without authorization to obtain goods and services at two locations in the City of Batavia and one in the Town of Batavia.

Crystal L. Marsceill, 34, of Oak Street, Batavia, was arrested on warrants for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation charge and on a grand larceny charge. She was jailed on $5,000 bail.

UPDATE: Marsceill was also arrested in Wyoming County. Marsceill was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle stopped at 2:58 a.m. Saturday on Route 19, Warsaw. A deputy asked for her name and birthdate to perform a warrant check and was told she would be arrested if she lied about the information. Marsceill allegedly gave an incorrect first name. The deputy found a felony warrant for her arrest out of the City of Batavia. She was charged with false personation and turned over to Batavia PD.

Erica M. Raphael, 30, of Oak Orchard Road, is charged with petit larceny. Raphael allegedly stole merchandise from Dollar General.

Casey J. Halsey, 34, of Silver Lake, is charged with aggravated harassment. Halsey was arrested in the Town of Batavia by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 10:30 a.m. New Year's Day. Halsey was held on an unspecified bail. No further details released.

Andrea L. Osborne, 30, of Albion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Osborne was stopped at 10:20 p.m. on New Year's Day in the Town of Batavia by State Police.

Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

Le Roy piles up points against Notre Dame in renewed rivalry game

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, high school sports, Le Roy, Notre Dame, sports

Saturday, on the gleaming polished hardwood of Notre Dame High School, it was the first time brothers Mike and Rick Rapone faced off as head coaches.

It was the first time in more than a half-dozen years Notre Dame and Le Roy met in a regular season basketball game.

It turned out that it was the first time this season that the Oatkan Knights scored at least 70 points.

The offensives' explosion also sent the Fighting Irish to their first home defeat in 62 games.

"We struggled all year," said Rick Rapone, head coach of the now 2-5 Knights. "We haven't made our shots. We had a tough transition from football to basketball. Those kids had a great year. Eleven of my 13 kids are football players. We struggled to shoot, struggled to shoot, struggled to shoot. Tonight, we couldn't miss."

Le Roy was 31-66 from the floor (47 percent) and 10-19 from beyond the arch (52) percent and five players hit double figures in scoring.

Nick Egeling 15, Kody Lamkin 13,Tom Kelso and Ryan Boyce, 11 each and Tom Dunn, 10. Dylan Laney was a point shy of hitting the decade mark.

Mike McMullen scored only five points, but helped lead his team on the court and contributed 10 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and three blocked shots.

"I told the kids before, our record was not an indicator of the kind of basketball team we are and we probably just beat the top basketball program, them and Batavia High, in this area, on their court," Rick Rapone said. "They had a 61-game home winning streak that we just snapped. It's great for the boys."

The Irish drop to 4-2 on the 78-59 loss.

"The team that wanted it more won," Notre Dame's Mike Rapone said. "We didn't show up with the attitude it takes to win a game like this. I've been warning them all week that records don't mean anything when you play a game like this. Le Roy showed up to play and we didn't."

Josh Johnson had 16 points and Tyler Prospero had 12. Caleb Nellis and C.J. Suozzi each had eight.

Mike Rapone said the two teams used to meet every year, but a Le Roy head coach a few years ago stopped scheduled games with Notre Dame, even though the home-and-home series each year was always a big draw.

Saturday, even the JV game (Notre Dame won 45-36) filled the bleachers and the crowd jammed onto the stage and spilled out into the hallway of the gym. 

Fans of both teams were boisterous and the arena was filled with a championship-game feel.

As for the contest of brothers, both coaches downplayed the significance of the matchup. They embraced before the game and then got down to business.

The scoring outburst by the Knights might signal a turnaround for Le Roy's season, Mike Rapone noted. They made it hard for the Irish to get back in the game, once they fell behind in the second quarter.

"They hit a lot of big shots and they got the lead," Mike Rapone said. "When we made a run at them, they hit the shots they needed."

Rick Rapone said his boys were obviously happy with the win and he was clearly proud of their effort.

"They are excited and they should be," Rick Rapone said. "They beat a hall of fame coach, a top-notch program, I think the winningest program in Section V, on their court. Come on, hall of fame coach, 61-game winning streak, their court, top program, the kids deserve it all. They did fantastic."

To purchase prints, click here.

Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 9:28 am

Crash on an icy Route 20, Pavilion, yesterday, claims life of Erie County resident

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

An Erie County man who apparently lost control of his vehicle on an icy Route 20 in Pavilion yesterday died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

Christopher J. Hartnett, 44, of Woodward Drive, West Seneca, was driving his 2007 Dodge minivan eastbound when the vehicle slid off the road and struck a tree.

The accident was reported at 4:48 p.m. on Route 20 near South Street Road.

He was extricated from the van by volunteer firefighters and transported by Mercy EMS to an area hospital, where he died upon arrival.

Two passengers, Andrew Hartnett, 14, of West Seneca, and Jonah Cross, 10, of Amherst, were both injured. Andrew Suffered a head injury and some lacerations and was taken to Strong, where he's listed in stable condition. Jonah suffered minor injuries and was transported to Strong for a precautionary evaluation.

A dog in the vehicle appeared to be unharmed and was taken to the animal shelter until family members could pick him up.

Pavilion and Le Roy fire departments responded to the scene.

Trooper Steve Brady assisted the Sheriff's Office at the scene.

The accident is being investigation being conducted by Deputy Chad Minuto along with Crash Management Team members Sgt. Eric Seppala and Deputy James Diehl.

Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Rollover accident reported on Route 20, Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

A one-car rollover accident is reported in the area of 7365 Telephone Road, Pavilion.

Injuries are reported.

Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Roads are icy.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: Apparently, minor injuries.

 

Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 11:05 am

Freezing rain today, high wind tomorrow

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

There is a freezing rain advisory in effect until 7 p.m. this evening.

Patches of ice should be expected on roadways and walking paths. Caution is advised, especially on bridges and overpasses.  

"Walking and driving could be therefore be difficult, but not impossible," advises the National Weather Service.

There is a high wind warning in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday. 

Winds from the southwest of 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 65 mph are expected.

Scattered power outages are possible. Travel will be difficult for high-profile vehicles.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Mall association claims centennial celebration trespassed on concourse

The New Year's Eve party at City Centre to celebrate Batavia's centennial has given rise to a new point of contention between the city and the Mall Merchants Association.

While there is a long simmering dispute over who is responsible for a troubled roof and other repairs to the structure, and with a city-filed lawsuit pending over alleged unpaid rents, Mall Director Madeline Bialkwoski says you can now add "trespass" the the association's list of complaints.

Prior to Wednesday's event, Bialkowski sent a letter to City Manager Jason Molino that said as far as the association was concerned, using a portion of the mall concourse for a dance floor and photo studio was never authorized by the association.

"Therefore, we are once again letting you know that you do not have permission to use our insured and leased concoure space for your New Year's Eve Celebration and respectfully request that the City gate remains closed and locked," Bialkowski wrote to Molino.

Reached at his office this afternoon, Molino said, "We own the mall."

Asked if that isn't a bit like a landlord saying "I'm going to use your house for a party," Molino said there's a difference between a residential property and a commercial property. The city owns the space and therefore doesn't need the permission of the merchants to use it.

Bialkowkski said the association's big concern is over its insurance. She said the association's policy, like most mall policies the past few years, forbids the consumption of alcohol in the concourse.

"It voids our insurance," she said. She's concerned, she said, that now that the party has taken place, what the ramifications might be for the association's policy.

Molino said the city had insurance to cover the event.

"We had everything we needed in place," Molino said.

The event included a cash bar in the second floor community room and partygoers were free to carry drinks, if they wished, into the portion of the concourse being used for the party.

Bialkowski thinks the conflict could have been resolved if the organizers had been willing to put up signs and station one or two people in the stairway to ensure drinks were not carried down stairs.

"There justification is that they had insurance," Bialkowski said. "A million dollar policy with an additional insured is nothing in today's atmosphere."

Bialkowski said she first alerted Vibrant Batavia to the potential problem as far back as August and raised concerns then.

Leanna Di Risio, of Vibrant Batavia and a member of the Centennial Committee, wrote a letter to Bialkowski on Nov. 7 outlining celebration plans and requesting the mall association's support of the celebration.

The association's operating committee voted Dec. 4 to deny the committee permission for use of the space. (Dec. 4 is a late date for such a decision, Bialkowski admits, but said the committee couldn't meet in November because of travel and vacations of members).

The city has filed a suit against the merchants claiming the association owes more than $800,000 in back rent for the concourse.

As for the claim of trespass, Molino said, "The mall merchants are just being obstructionists."

Bialkowski said she realizes she could have called the police on the trespass complaint, but felt that would just be unfair to any officer who responded, putting the officer in awkward position.

"No one here wanted to ruin the event," Bialkowski said.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Photo: Snowdrifts in the mucklands

post by Howard B. Owens in mucklands

The reader who submitted this photo called it "Elba Mucklands Snow Drift Art."

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

UMMC announces first newborn of 2015

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pavilion, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to welcome the Genesee County New Year’s Baby for 2015. Kynlee Lynne Holland, a baby girl, was born to Jonathon and Danielle Holland of Pavilion, NY on Thursday, January 1st at 1:25 a.m. at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. She was delivered by certified midwife, Kim Danser, CNM. Baby Kynlee weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19-inches long. She is the second daughter for the new parents. She has a sister, Makenna, age 6, waiting anxiously for her at home.

Both parents work in shipping and receiving. Mrs. Holland is employed at Walmart in Batavia, NY and Mr. Holland works for Quaker Muller Dairy in Batavia, NY.

As the New Year’s baby, Kynlee and her parents received a $200 gift card to Target, an engraved feeding spoon, books and a touchless thermometer from United Memorial Medical Center.

In 2014, there were 646 babies delivered at United Memorial.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Sheriff's Office investigating shooting death of dog in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander

In less than 24 hours, a Facebook page called Justice for Pepper, calling attention to a dog that was shot and killed in Alexander on New Year's Day, has garnered nearly 600 likes.

The description of the page says, "This afternoon, January 1st, our beloved dog Pepper was shot and killed by my dad's next door neighbor in Alexander NY. We are asking for your prayers."

Leah Gass, who created the page, said in a post that a deputy told the family there was nothing the police could do, but Gordon Dibble, chief deputy with the Sheriff's Office said the case is actively under investigation, but did not provide further information.

There is apparently video of the incident from the residence where the dog was shot, said Jen Gass, daughter-in-law of Pepper's owner, Greg Gass.

Jen was not at Greg's house when the shooting occurred, but rushed right over with the rest of the family when he called to tell them of the incident.

Jen said that apparently Pepper ran into the neighbor's yard in the Town of Alexander and before Greg could call her back or go get her, he heard gunshots and when he arrived within seconds, Pepper was already dead.

He dragged Pepper home.

"There was blood everywhere," Jen said. "It was awful, an awful thing that happened. She didn't deserve it."

In the cold of New Year's Day, the family helped Greg dig a hole in the frozen ground and bury Pepper.

"She was the sweetest little thing," Jen said. "She played with a little 5-year-old who pulled her ears and would play roughly, and Pepper never did anything about it. She played with other dogs and never had a problem. I know she's a big dog. She looks like a big dog and people can be intimidated, I guess, but she didn't have a mean bone in her body."

The person who shot Pepper apparently claimed Pepper was being aggressive, which is why the Gass family would really like to see the video from the surveillance camera.

"If anyone ever says anything to her like sit, stop, stay, she would lay down immediately," Jen said.

There may have been an incident the day before between Pepper, the neighbor and his two big dogs, but Jen was hesitant to discuss it since she wasn't at the house at the time.

"It was a terrible day for us," Jen said. "It was the first day of the New Year and Greg had to bury his dog. She was the sweetest thing. There was no way, shape or form that she was vicious."

The Batavian has not sought the neighbor's identity since he hasn't been charged with a crime.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 8:18 am

Brothers donate 20 bikes to Genesee ARC clients

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC

Press release:

Thanks to two Rochester area donors, 20 children with disabilities served by Genesee ARC recently received new bicycles! 

The Park Avenue Bicycle Shop made the delivery to Genesee ARC’s Community Relations office in mid-December, giving staff just enough time to match bikes to recipients and deliver them in time for Christmas.

Howard and Michael Ouriel are the generous brothers behind the donation and said, “We just wanted to do something for the kids.”

ARC Director of Development Shelley Falitico, who helped deliver some of the bicycles, said all of the families are appreciative of the Ouriels’ generosity.

“We are so honored that Howard and Michael thought of Genesee ARC for this special holiday act of kindness,” Falitico said.

The Ouriel brothers’ support of Genesee ARC is unique in that they reside outside of Genesee County and do not have a family member served by the local nonprofit organization. 

“That’s what makes this so extraordinary,” Falitico said. “It’s a story we are so happy to share.”   

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