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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:42 am

Photo: Snowy owl at the airport

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, Genesee County Airport, nature, snowy owl

Rebecca Grela shared this picture she took Saturday of the snowy owl at the Genesee County Airport.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:30 am

Hawley happy with progress on Women's Equality legislation

post by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today commented on the Assembly’s decision to pass one plank of the 10-point omnibus Women’s Equality Act (WEA). Hawley was proud to see this legislation finally come before the entire Assembly for a vote and said that a measure of such great importance should not have taken this long to pass the house. The Assembly Majority has blocked separate WEA bills from moving out of committee in order to use the entire 10-bill package, which contains a controversial abortion provision, as a tool for political gain. 

“Today we take a giant leap forward toward enacting true gender equality for New York’s women,” Hawley said. “It is unfortunate that a measure of this magnitude was held for so long in committee by members of the Majority. It is a disservice to New York’s women and an embarrassment to our government that we could not bring this legislation to the floor for a vote earlier. The Assembly Minority Conference has been at the forefront of passing this package as separate bills for years, and today we can finally claim victory.”

Hawley’s comments come after the Assembly passed A.506, which will enact the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act. Identical legislation, Assembly Bill 2704, was introduced by the Minority Conference several years ago but members of the Majority have refused to take action upon it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:11 am

Pole and wire down on Lake Road, Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion

A pole and unknown type of wire are reported down across the roadway in the area of 11338 Lake Road, Pavilion.

That's across from the Pavilion Fire Hall.

Pavilion fire dispatched.

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Emily Helenbrook dreams big, works hard as she seeks career as opera singer

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, alexander, Emily Helenbrook, music

It's a long way from Alexander, New York, to the Metropolitan Opera House, much further than the 536 miles measured on a Google map, but it's the road Emily Helenbrook has traced in her dreams nearly all her life.

At age 20, Helenbrook is building the resume that just might carry her from small town to big city, including a sixth engagement March 27 and 28 with the Buffalo Philharmonic.

A student at Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, Helenbrook's aqua eyes glimmer when she talks about what she loves. 

"I'm obsessed with classical music," Helenbrook said. "I can't get enough of it. Even at Eastman, where everybody loves music and that's what they want to do with their lives, I'm still the one who is constantly listening to more music and I love it. My grandpa was the same way. Music was his life and seeing him as I grew and grew into being a musician, I saw how much he was devoted and I wanted to be like that."

That love of classical music began at home. Arias and etudes weren't something she was introduced to. It was what she was born into.  

Her grandfather, Mathew Tworek was an original member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as a violinist, and master musician and a member for more than 60 years. Her aunt, Adrienne Gryta, was a vocalist and frequent performer with the BPO and Helenbrook's first vocal instructor.

Growing up, all three of the Helenbrook children were introduced to music. Older brother Jason, now a local auctioneer, played flute and twin brother Eric played piano.  

For Emily, music quickly surpassed the hobby stage, however, and became the driving passion of her life.

Passion is what carries her through the hard work of learning her craft and building a career.

People tend to think, Helenbrook acknowledges, that singers just get up and sing, but there's so much more that goes into it. Learning the intricacies of vocal technique is grueling and takes years to master. They also need to research repertoire, study languages and diction, and for performance they must learn more than their own parts, but know and understand other characters, the history of the period and the story.

And that's just the singing part of her life. There are the academics that go into earning her music degree as well as her second degree in political science.

None of that is daunting, though, Helenbrook said.

"For a break, it's my practice time," Helenbrook said. "I don't think of practice as a chore. It's still fun for me, even though it's hard work, it's still fun."

When she needs to get away, she comes home, where there's more space, more quiet and more green.

"I really do appreciate being home," Helenbrook said. "Being in the country is a good way to escape the humdrum of city life. I can't stand it after a while and coming back home to something more simple is really important with the sort of speed of classical music and trying to be a musician."

Success came early for Helenbrook. At 17 she won the Barry/Alexander International Voice Competition, which led to a performance at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and an afternoon-long voice lesson with her childhood idol, four-time Grammy winner Renee Fleming.

"She has the most beautiful voice and she's such a nice person," Helenbrook said. "She's a great role model for young singers. I always dreamed maybe some day I could sing for her and maybe she could teach me some things and that's exactly what happened and it was in her house in New York City. It was the craziest thing."

Performing at Carnegie was also a crazy thing, she said.

"That was an out-of-body experience that I don't remember as much as I would like," Helenbrook said. "It was kind of like a dream, in every respect."

It's hard to believe she won't make it back to that great venue. Talented, beautiful, hard working, passionate about her art and establishing the connections that build careers, Helenbrook is doing more than just dreaming.

She also understands, there are no guarantees, which explains the second degree in political science and her plans for law school after graduation. It's a long way from anywhere to the Met.

"Even really, really good singers don't make it," Helenbrook said. "I've seen people at the Met auditions and they're really good, but nothing happens because a lot of it is luck and being the right place at the right time. I know that and I'm trying to be realistic about it. I know what I want. I want to be a singer and I want to at least try to make a career of it, but it's also important to have a backup plan."

For more on Helenbrook's upcoming performance with the BPO and to purchase tickets, click here.

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Feeling of community drew new owners to Woody's Deli in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Woody's Deli

It's a bit of a challenge, even for an experienced cook, admits Brian Canalie, to take over somebody else's menu and make it your own.

But just as he and his partners Shane Burger and his wife Melissa decided to keep the name Woody's Deli when they took over the corner market in Le Roy, there was too much good in the menu to just toss it out.

"Right out of the gate, we're concentrating on the food and service, because we have a different approach," Burger said. "The previous owners (Lisa and Justin and Hayward) did a fantastic job, but we want to be here forever. Given our backgrounds in food, we have a little different philosophy on how some things can and should be done. I think that's probably the most important thing. We've added some new things, like homemade cannolis, our chicken tenders are battered here, not frozen, and we've expanded the Mexican menu. We didn't want to do too much too fast because we already have an established clientele in a successful business."

Burger has been a food services manager for the Creekside Inn, Holiday Inn and Batavia Downs, and most recently was manager at Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew.

He and Canalie have been friends for 15 years. Burger said he's the only person he could think of that he would want as a partner in business. They've worked together before, with Canalie also coming over from the Smokin' Eagle, where he was a cook.

"I like that this is right around the corner (from his home)," Canalie said. "I've been a cook almost my entire life, but I've always wanted to own my own place, to be my own boss. It's a chance to show off my chops and what I've learned along the ways."

Already, patrons are getting a different flavor from the new owners. The pizza is now entirely handmade, with a homemade flavor. There's nothing pre-made or frozen. Everything is fresh and made to order.

To move beyond the basics of a deli, the new owners took over the back apartment attached to the building so the kitchen could be expanded, not just the physical space, but the culinary options.

Canalie actually has a place to cook and create now.

"It's been some work, but a good time to do it this time of year," Burger said. "With the winter we've had, most places have been struggling, but our business has been steadily increasing. Our sales increase in February was significantly over the previous year, and the feedback has been fantastic. We're offering homemade soup every day and specials every day and they've been well received."

Growing up in Le Roy, Burger was also attracted to the corner market concept. He said the same business in even a town as close as Pembroke wouldn't have been as attractive as a place as deeply rooted in his hometown as Woody's (the location has operated under various other names for decades).

"I'm used to very large facilities," Burger said. "Outside of the Eagle, it's all been a more corporate setting. This is kind of the last ma-and-pop store in Le Roy. Kind of? It is. There used to be Rabino's and Malone's and lots of little stores like this in the village. They're not here anymore, so being part of the community is probably the biggest draw for me."

Nothing says community more than the parade of kids into the market.

"One of the things I really love about it is the kids that come in," Burger said. "It's very kid friendly ... kids ride their bikes down, get ice cream, candy. It's not always about how much money you're making off each transaction. It's rewarding in that respect, at least for me."

One of the holdovers from Woody's old menu -- the Big Foot, which features every meat in the deli case and weighs in at three pounds.

Woody's is located at 47 North St., Le Roy. Find them on Facebook by clicking here.

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Law and Order: Byron man accused of stealing jewelry from homes

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

Justin L. Sanders, 23, of Byron-Holley Road, Byron, is charged with two counts of burglary, 2nd, and one count of grand larceny, 3rd. Larcenies were reported from a residence on Route 237, Byron, in late November through December and two burglaries occurred at a residence on Townline Road, Byron, on Jan. 13 and Jan. 20. Sanders is accused of stealing numerous items of jewelry from the homeowner where he was living. He allegedly stole more than $3,000 worth of jewelry. He allegedly stole coins, jewelry and electronics from the Townline Road residence. Sanders was previously arrested by State Police on similar charges and is being held in the Genesee County Jail. The case was investigated by Deputy John Duyssen and Deputy Joseph Graff and Investigator Kris Kautz.

Alexander L. Waide, 20, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Waide was stopped by State Police on Route 98, Village of Attica. A field sobriety test was conducted. He was transported to the Warsaw barracks and evaluated by a certified Drug Recognition Expert from the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office. A urine sample was collected and sent to the crime lab for further analysis. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Gregory Richard Fitch, 33, of Woodstock Gardens, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, charge. Fitch turned himself in and posted $100 police bail.

Lewis C. Rhodes, 36, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with coercion, 1st, and menacing, 2nd. Rhodes was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute at 3:12 p.m., Sunday. The victim alleges that she was threatened by Rhodes with a handgun. Rhodes was ordered held without bail.

A 17-year-old resident of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth, whose name was withheld by police, allegedly threatened another person several times over a period of two months.

Adam Daniel Smart, 32, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Smart allegedly violated a complete stay away order of protection.

Tyquawn D. Bethel, 24, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Bethel was arrested in relation to an alleged incident reported Feb. 11. No further details released.

James A. Hancock, 45, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hancock allegedly pushed and shoved another person during an argument. Hancock was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Ralph A. Golding III, 50, of Buell Street, Akron, is charged with petit larceny, public lewdness and escape, 3rd. Golding allegedly stole $5 in quarters from machines at Dollar General. Golding allegedly engaged in a lewd act while in custody at Batavia PD. He also allegedly tried to escape by defeating the lock mechanism on the holding room door. He was jailed on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.

Justine D. McWethy, 28, of Fairway Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. McWethy was allegedly found in possession of heroin and glassine baggies.

Thomas E. Hansel, 31, of Oak Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to appear on a possession of burglary tools charge. Hansel was located at Days Inn and taken into custody. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Tonya D. Smith, 29, of Oak Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a charge of operating while registration suspended or revoked. Smith was located at the Days Inn and taken into custody. Smith was jailed on $100 bail.

Joseph Michael Dispenza Jr., 21, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant stemming from a DWI charge. Dispenza allegedly violated terms and conditions of City Court's DWI Treatment Court. Dispenza allegedly turned up at intermittent incarceration while under the influence of alcohol. He was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Michael J. Robbins, 55, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Robbins allegedly cashed a forged personal check at the drive-up window of the Five Start Bank on East Main Street, Batavia.

Michael Joseph Myers Jr., 56, of Roosevelt Highway, Hamlin, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, refusal to take breath test and moved from lane unsafely. Myers was stopped at 12:11 a.m., Saturday, on Route 237, Stafford, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Tanyana Reedidizie Bell, 23, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Bell allegedly damaged property belonging to Pandora's Boxxx.

Kevin Lloyd Kenyon, 60, of Golden Pond Estates, Akron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and inadequate headlights. Kenyon was stopped at 8:27 p.m. Friday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Henry Leon Polanowski, 35, of North Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. Polanowski allegedly drove another person's vehicle without permission. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Andrea Nichole Kirch, 26, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Kirch was stopped at 2:01 a.m. Friday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. A 16-year-old resident of Pratt Road, Batavia, was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. 

Joseph Hur Bianchi, 33, of Northgate Manor Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and inadequate stop lamps. Bianchi was stopped at 12:05 p.m. Friday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Jenna L. Brodzinski, 31, of Rochester, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Brodzinski was arrested by State Police for allegedly shoplifting from Target. No further details released.

Norman M. Bialuski, 45, of Brockport, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bialuski was stopped at 2:32 a.m. Sunday at East Main and Clinton streets, Batavia, by State Police.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Photo: Riding mower escort on Liberty Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Nicole Johnson, while working at the Pok-A-Dot this afternoon, snapped this picture of Batavia PD giving a guy on his riding mower a safety escort across Ellicott Street and down Liberty Street. Johnson said police stopped the rider by the Dot and provided the escort after conducting a sobriety test.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Sabres capture 2015 Men's League Championship

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, hockey, Men's Hockey League, sports

The Buffalo Sabres have yet to win a Stanley Cup, but the Batavia Sabres can now enjoy some championship swag after capturing the Genesee County title this morning at Falleti Ice Arena in a 4-1 win over the Wild.

MVP Rich Pearson

Team Captain Mike Koch

To purchase prints, click here.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 9:13 am

Photos: Cheer-a-Thon raises money for family of 4-year-old with leukemia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Photos by Jim Burns.

The family of Emma Harris, a Jackson School student battling leukemia, received an outpouring of community support Saturday evening during a Cheer-a-Thon held at Batavia High School.

Above, Laurie Napoleone and board members from the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, present a $1,000 check to Emma's aunt.

Below, the Marine is Emma's cousin.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 8:56 am

Photos: All-County Music Festival showcase held in Attica

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, Attica, entertainment, music

Photos by Jim Burns.

The first of two All-County Music Festival concerts was held Saturday in Attica, with student musicians from throughout Genesee and Wyoming counties participating.

The concert is the culmination of a lot of hard work by students, including an audition process that also contributes to the grades of many students in music classes.

The next show is at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Batavia Middle School. Tickets are $4 at the door.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Photos: 3rd Annual Collin Crane hockey tournament

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, collin crane, hockey, sports

Photos by Jim Burns.

The Batavia Ramparts held their 3rd annual Collin Crane Memorial Hockey Tournament this morning at Falleti Ice Arena, with all proceeds benefiting the Collin Crane Memorial Scholarship fund.

Collin was an avid hockey player who died in an auto accident in December of 2012.

The event included three hockey games, an open skate, pizza, hotdogs and drinks along with prizes, an auction and raffle.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Jeff Redband preparing for next level of basketball and academic career

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, Batavia HS, sports, YMCA

When I stopped into the Y's gymnasium this morning for a little basketball practice, I found Jeff Redband there.

The Batavia Blue Devil's standout was working on his own game but took some time to give me a few pointers on my own shooting stroke. While we chatted, Tanner came into the gym and asked Jeff to sign one of his kicks. 

Redband is planning on attending Daemen College, in Buffalo, next year on a basketball scholarship. Redband scored 1,024 points with the Blue Devils in a little over two seasons (a 26.2 point-per-game average this season) and helped the team to a pair of sectional title games and hit the game winning buzzer beater in 2013 that sent Batavia to a state title game. The Daemen Wildcats finished this season with 21 wins and captured the USCAA Division I basketball title. Daemen is a Division II provisional member of the NCAA and the East Coast Conference. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Photos: No Blarney at St. James benefits HLOM

post by Howard B. Owens in entertainment, hlom, music, st. james

Local musicians Rich Conroy and Don Bouchard, as "No Blarney," performed a show of new and traditional Irish music Friday evening at St. James as a fundraiser for the Holland Land Office Museum.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm

GO ART! presents annual grants for art projects

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, GO ART!

GO ART! hosted a presentation ceremony Friday evening at its home at Seymore Place in Batavia for it's annual Reach and Ripple grants.

There were a total of 28 grants awarded this year for more than $46,000.

The Genesee Children's Chorus, directed by Heather Loveless, performed three opening numbers.

For a list of recipients, click here.

Bob Knipe, president of the board of directors, with opening remarks.

Josh Pacino, with Legislator Gregg Torrey and Interim Director Heather Grant, accepted awards on behalf of the Batavia Concert Band and Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Shelley Falitico, from Genesee ARC, accepted the grant for the Sprout Film Festival.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Photo: Genesee ARC's 'Pay it Forward' quilt project

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC

Press release:

Combine artistic talent, enthusiastic individuals and the desire to help others and the results can be amazing. Genesee ARC’s Friends for the Future self-advocacy group took the lead in a “Pay it Forward” quilt project. The concept of pay it forward is when someone does a good deed, instead of paying it back, the recipient “pays it forward” by doing a good deed for someone else. 

Genesee ARC Intake/QI Specialist Kim Owens came up with the idea of making quilts for those in need. When she presented it to Friends for the Future, they loved it!  Kim’s mother Mabel Buchina, of Yorkshire, agreed it was a phenomenal project and offered to help by donating quilt squares and sewing the finished pieces together.

The quilt squares were used as part of a presentation at the Finger Lakes Collaborative Self-Advocacy Conference this past fall in Geneva, Kim explained.

“The advocates presented on what 'Pay it Forward' means and enlisted the help of conference attendees to design the quilt squares with meaningful and inspirational messages or images,” she added.

One-of-a-kind creations include rainbows and flowers and words of comfort like “You are Loved” and “Stay Strong.” A shining sun, footballs and the Buffalo Bills logo also adorn the squares. The six finished quilts will be donated to local organizations helping people who are struggling with illnesses such as cancer. 

During the March observance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Genesee ARC is celebrating the accomplishments of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and working to increase the public's awareness and understanding.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Stafford man accused of dealing drugs in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford
Joseph Wind

After observing what agents believed was a drug deal in a commercial parking lot off Main Street in Batavia, members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force and officers with Batavia PD conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and made an arrest.

Joseph C. Wind, 45, of Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

Wind was allegedly found in possession of heroin.

Also arrested was Catherine A. Norton, 32, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, who was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.

Wind is also facing alleged traffic violations. 

He was jailed without bail.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Law and Order: Syracuse man accused of transporting more than 10K untaxed cigarettes

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke

Andrew John Schaff, 50, of East Genesee Street, Syracuse, is charged with criminal tax fraud (a Class E felony), possession and transport of more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes (felony), failure to keep right and moving from lane unsafely. Schaff was stopped at 1:38 p.m. Thursday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Schaff was allegedly found in possession of more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes. Also charged with possession or transport or offer for sale unstamped cigarettes was Jason Christopher Landers, 36, of Lillian Avenue, Syracuse.

John Anthony Tambe Jr., 36, of Burrows Street, Rochester, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes, speeding and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Tambe was stopped at 10:40 a.m. Thursday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. He was allegedly found in possession of 3,400 untaxed cigarettes.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Motions seek dismissal of charge against woman who thought she was grandmother to Baby Chandler

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime
Jeffrey Deats and Chandler Zuchs

Motions filed in the case of a woman who thought she was the grandmother of a baby who died while in the care of her son seek to have a criminal charge against her dismissed, both because of a lack of evidence and "in the interest of justice."

Jacquelyn P. Deats, Olyn Avenue, Batavia, is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17 years old.

The charging document asserts, "On December 14, 2014, at about 7:00 a.m., while at 10 Olyn Avenue in the City of Batavia, New York, the Defendant did fail to provide and/or seek medical assistance for Chandler Zuchs dob May 20, 2014, while knowing that Zuck was suffering from serious medical symptoms. All contrary to the provisions of the statements made and provided herein."

There's simply no evidence to support the assertion, argues Attorney Thomas Burns, who is representing Deats.

There's no direct knowledge or witness statements to support the assertion that Deats knew Baby Chandler was suffering from serious medical symptoms at that time and that she had any knowledge that Baby Chandler had been mistreated.

Baby Chandler was in the care of Jeffery Deats, a 28-year-old Batavia man, who believed, based on representations by the baby's mother, Michelle Zuchs, of Tonawanda, that he was the baby's father.

Subsequently, Jeffrey had many visits with Chandler. He posted several pictures of Chandler, and of himself with Chandler to social media sites in the months prior to Chandler's death. The Dec. 13-14 visit was reportedly the first overnight visit.  

After Chandler's death from apparent brain injuries, Jeffrey Deats was arrested. A day after news came out that Jeffrey Deats wasn't the baby's father, Jeffrey Deats attempted to take his own life by hanging himself with a bedsheet in his jail cell.

Jeffrey Deats died as a result of his injuries four days later.

In a statement to police about the events of Dec. 14, Jacquelyn Deats, said she heard Chandler crying off and on throughout the night and that she woke up around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning because she was thinking about going to church.

A half hour later, she said, she heard Chandler crying loudly, like he was screaming.

"I heard Jeff stomping down the stairs and he was calling, 'mom, mom' several times," Jacquelyn Deats said. "He sounded very upset. I said that I was in the bathroom. When I came out, Jeff was holding Chandler so that Chandler's head was on Jeff's shoulder. Jeff said, 'He's been up all night and I need to sleep.' Jeff was really upset. He laid Chandler on the couch and said, 'Now, you go to sleep you goddamn bastard,' and he turned around and went upstairs."

It would be another two-and-half hours before Jacquelyn Deats called for an ambulance, according to statements to police, which were made public when Jeffrey Deats was arrested.

Even if Judge Robert Balbick, the City Court judge who will be asked to rule on the motions, doesn't dismiss the charge for lack of evidence, he should do so "in the interest of justice," Burns argues.

"In the interest of justice" is a well-established motion in the legal system and has a series of criteria that should be met before a judge agrees to dismiss the case.

In order to establish the criteria, Burns argues:

  • That Jacquelyn Deats has no prior criminal history, has no history of drug or alcohol abuse, no mental health issues and is gainfully employed;
  • While the death of a baby is a serious criminal matter, there's no evidence Jacquelyn Deats was involved in Baby Chandler's death; "However, the charge as filed seeks to hold the Defendant accountable for her conduct after the injury already occurred to the child." Deats, Burns writes, "neither witnessed nor had knowledge" that the injuries occurred;
  • The evidence doesn't support an assertion that Jacquelyn Deats caused harm to the child, and even if she had knowledge of a serious injury and did not act, there's no evidence that any action should could have taken would have changed the outcome;
  • Jacquelyn Deats has suffered significant trauma as a result of these events, from the death of a child at the time she believed to be her grandchild, the death of her own child, and learning that Baby Chandler was not her son's son; "She has endured a substantial amount of stress and hurt and expressed deep regret for the death of the child and the tragic loss of her son Jeffrey";
  • Because Jacquelyn Deats has no drug or alcohol issues, a conviction is not necessary to effect rehabilitation;
  • The charge against her is only a misdemeanor, which for a person with no criminal record is not likely to result in any length of jail term;
  • Jacquelyn Deats is no threat to the community and dismissal would ensure she remains a contributing member of the community;
  • A conviction would serve no useful purpose; "This case also represents a series of poor choices and lack of judgement on the part of the deceased son of the Defendant, the mother of the deceased child and the Defendant now standing before the court," Burns writes. "There are simply no winners and losers in this case. No conviction will change these horrible facts. However, it is submitted that continued prosecution of Jacquelyn Deats will serve only to add to the layers of tragedy already existing with no legitimate purpose."

The prosecution has not yet filed its answer. Balbick will consider the motions at a later date.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Syracuse man arrested in construction site burglaries given prison term

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke
William Kelly Robert Kelly Michael Correia

One of three men who has already admitted his role in a series of construction site burglaries in Genesee County will serve one to three years in prison, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled this morning.

Michael Correia, 58, of Syracuse, admitted to third-degree burglary on Dec. 16, and while his sentencing in County Court concludes his case, his alleged accomplices continue to maintain their innocence.

Noonan will hear motions in the cases against Syracuse residents William Kelly, 44, and Robert Kelly, 43, on April 30.

All three were charged with burglary after an alert deputy in Wayne County spotted what he thought might be stolen property in a vehicle during a traffic stop.

The three men are accused of breaking into a Kutter's Cheese building, and stealing items from a residential construction site on East Main Street, Batavia, sometime during the early morning of Aug. 27.

They were allegedly found with more than $3,000 in material, including brass plumbing components and copper wire.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Photos: Jackson School goes wild for reading

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, education, Jackson School, schools

Robin Zanderwers from the Buffalo Zoo shows off a turtle to students at Jackson School on Thursday evening during an event dubbed "Wild About Reading."  

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