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Howard B. Owens's blog

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Closures and cancellations for Thursday, Nov. 20

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

What we've received so far:

  • Darien Town Court
  • State offices in Genesee County
  • Pembroke Central School District
  • Oakfield-Alabama Central Schools
  • Batavia City Schools
  • Alexander Central School
  • GCC, Batavia campus
  • Byron-Bergen Central Schools
  • Elba Central School District
  • Notre Dame and St. Joe's
  • Grandma’s Luv’n Care Daycare
  • Genesee Christian Academy
  • Le Roy Central Schools
  • Pavilion Central Schools
  • Alexander Central Schools
  • Pembroke Family Medicene, all three locations, will open at noon today
  • Love Bugs Preschool
  • Batavia Pediatrics will open at noon
  • Continental School of Beauty
  • Women's Care Center is opening at 1 p.m.
  • The Cello Fury concert at GCC will be rescheduled
  • Optique
  • Genesee Association of Municipalities meeting in Oakfield is cancelled
  • Genesee County courts are OPEN today. Jurors should report.
  • City of Batavia Yard Waste Station, closed through the weekend
  • Batavia Assembly of God Church
  • Choir practice at First Presbyterian, Batavia
  • Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Tonight's EMS class is cancelled, but the Mutual Aid Advisory board will meet as scheduled at the Fire Training Center.

E-mail closures and cancellations to [email protected]. Ideally before 8 a.m.

E-mail weather pictures to [email protected]

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Weather service offers reminders for snow safety

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Snow safety advice from the National Weather Service:

Moving all this snow can be dangerous. Here are some precautions.

Do not overexert yourself...shoveling or even walking in the heavy snow is extremely taxing. Take plenty of breaks to avoid overexerting yourself.

Overstressed roofs can collapse. Snow removal off structures is a dangerous activity that should only be done by qualified individuals following safety protocols to minimize risks. If at any time there is a concern that snow loads may cause a collapse...evacuate the building. Signs of overstressed roofs may include sagging tiles or boards. Popping, cracking or creaking sounds also signal significant danger.

Travel safety -- many roads are still in extremely poor condition or are impassible. Heed local, regional and other emergency travel bans. Take the time now and place a winter safety kit in your car. Items include but are not limited to: a fully charged cell phone, blankets, flashlight, knife, non-perishable food, clothing, and a shovel.

Clear snow from high efficiency furnace pipes, snow covering furnace pipes can lead to carbon monoxide build up in your home. Ensure carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are working properly.

Generator safety -- if you are relying on a generator for power make sure the generator is located away from the house and not in an enclosed space. Running a generator indoors can lead to a build of harmful gases in your home.

Space heater safety -- space heaters should also be properly ventilated and used only if they are operating properly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 11:01 pm

More heavy snow coming tonight and during morning commute

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

From the National Weather Service:

The next round of lake effect snow...complete with thundersnow at times...will move across the Niagara River and into Niagara County and Orleans County between 9 and 10 p.m. This band will then quickly move south into northern Erie County and Genesee County. Conditions will rapidly deteriorate with this band. Snow rates are forecast to be around 1 to 2 inches per hour...although the band will not linger very long in the lakeshore counties. The band will then cross the north towns before midnight and settle roughly over the same area that was hit hard earlier this week. This band will intensify toward daybreak with snow rates again expected to approach 3 inches per hour or higher during the morning commute. Please heed all existing driving bans and if you must 
travel, carry a survival kit.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Reader snow photos from yesterday and today

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Two photos above from Danyell Selapack.

Jimmy Sheflin says Brix loves the snow.

Corfu

Trucks at Tops last night. Submitted by Greg Rada.

Submitted by Nate Fix. His dad's place (Bernie Fix) in Corfu.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Criminal charge dismissed against Bergen man who pointed shotgun at suspected intruder

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, crime

In the interest of justice, John Robinson, the 51-year-old Bergen resident arrested on a menacing charge after pointing a shotgun at a possible intruder into his home, is a free man.

Town of Bergen Justice Donald R. Kunego issued his ruling today on a motion by defense attorney Brian DeCarolis that the charge against his client be dismissed.

In a four-page ruling that Kunego read from the bench, the judge did just that, saying that a man has a right to defend his castle.

"People expect to be able to protect 'their castle' from attack," Kunego said. "Mr. Robinson's castle was under attack by Mr. Crooks. People confronted with the same circumstances presented to Mr. Robinson on the day in question would unquestionably engage in similar behavior with the expectation that they were properly and lawfully defending themselves."

According to Kunego, Brockport resident Michael Crooks went to Robinson's home Jan. 13, 2013, to confront Robinson, whom he had never met in person before, over some sort of relationship between Robinson and Mrs. Crooks that Mr. Crooks didn't like.

In Kunego's recital of the facts of the case, Crooks banged on Robinson's door, yelled and threatened him and kicked at the door hard enough to damage it. When Robinson didn't open the door, he went to another portion of the house presumably to gain entry.

"Due to Mr. Crooks' relentless and persistent actions, aggressive demeanor and verbal threats, Mr. Robinson felted threatened in his own home," Kunego said. "He feared that Mr. Crooks was not going to leave until at the very least he had entered his home and physically confronted him and at worse he would physically harm him."

Kunego said he believed Robinson's response was entirely lawful and justified.

After the ruling, Robinson said he was relieved, but he also expected to prevail.

"I wasn't really that nervous because I thought I did everything right," Robinson said. "I called 9-1-1. I put the dogs away. I avoided contact with him and all I did was stay in the house and tried not to have the conflict. When I talked to the state troopers, when they were there, they said I did the right thing."

The day of the confrontation, Crooks heard later that a trooper wanted to talk with him. He went to the Batavia barracks, where he was arrested by Trooper Eric Daigler. He was charged with criminal mischief, 4th, for damaging the door of Robinson's home on Lake Road in Bergen.

The door was pretty heavily damaged, Robinson said today, as well as the screen, from Crooks kicking and hitting it.

Crooks, who had no prior criminal record, eventually received an ACD (adjudication in contemplation of dismissal). As soon as his six months of good behavior was up, he started lobbying for the arrest of Robinson. First he went to the State Police, but local troopers wouldn't even consider it, so he went to the Sheriff's Office.

There he found a sympathetic ear with a sergeant who turned the case over to Deputy Matthew Butler.

"When Officer Butler showed up 15 months later and told me I was under arrest, I couldn't believe it," Robinson said. "I was like, you've got to be kidding me, right? He told me right then and there that he didn't want to arrest me, but he had to. I don't know what he meant by that. I don't know if he was forced by his upper commanders, but that's what he told me. He said, 'John, I don't want to do it, but I've got to.' "

Robinson's arrest didn't sit well with the troopers familiar with the case, which was part of Daigler's testimony in a hearing on the motion to dismiss Oct. 1.

"I was dumbfounded," Daigler said. "First and foremost, it's common practice not to take on other agency's cases. We refer to it as 'cop shopping.' It happens. Usually, we are pretty good at stopping people who are just trying to get the right answer. They are looking for the answer they want. That's usually the Sheriff's Office policy."

The State Police response to Robinson's arrest is one element of the case that helped Kunego arrive at his decision to dismiss the charge.

"It cannot be overlooked that after a full and complete investigation of this incident by the New York State Police and after consultation with the Genesee County District Attorney's Office, a decision was made that there was insufficient evidence to even charge Mr. Robinson," Kunego said, referring to the initial investigation and consideration of charging Robinson in 2013.

"Significantly, the New York State Police still believe that Mr. Robinson should not have been charged and are not supportive of his prosecution."

Factors in Kunego's decisions, which are part of the findings in an "interest of justice" dismissal, are:

  • Menacing, 2nd, a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum sentence is one year in jail. Given Robinson's lack of criminal record, his steady employment and longtime residence in the same home, he would not have received any jail time even if convicted. The dismissal might have been harder for Robinson to obtain if any of those facts weren't true.
  • There was no real harm to anyone from Robinson wielding a shotgun inside his own home. More significantly, Kunego said, only Robinson contacted police in relation to the incident. Crooks didn't contact police until after he inquired with a family member and learned that Daigler was looking for him.
  • If the case did go to trial, Kunego said, it would be unlikely, given the facts of the case, that Robinson would be convicted by a jury, especially in New York, where a person who is protecting life and home is legally protected in taking action to advance that protection.
  • While nobody in the Sheriff's Office can be accused of misconduct in the case, Kunego said, the fact that his arrest came 15 months after the arrest cannot be ignored.
  • Sending Robinson to jail would not advance the cause of justice, Kunego said, nor would it make the community safer given the unique circumstances of the case and the lack of any prior arrests or criminal complaints against Robinson.
  • Dismissal, Kunego ruled, would advance public confidence in the criminal justice system, while further prosecution of Robinson would erode public confidence, since any reasonable person, according to Kunego, would do exactly what Robinson did Jan. 13, 2013, in the same circumstances.

"I'm glad he went this way, but I can't believe it took this long," Robinson said.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Photos: Dealing with heavy snow in Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, weather

Here are some shots of how things looked in Darien this morning after the town received several feet of snow over the previous 24 hours.

Crews and trucks were brought in from Wyoming and Livingston counties to assist the town, county and state drivers and equipment.

And residents were finding any way they could just to clear a path from their front door to the street, such as the Klug family on Sumner Road (top photo). They are, from back, Frank, Jessica, Dawn and Val.

Frank said he just wanted to clear a walking path in case of an emergency. He wasn't even worrying about getting the driveway clear for the four cars buried in the snow.

On Route 20, Austin Heberlein, standing, was lending a hand to his father Mark and brother Zach (neither are pictured) as they tried to extricate his mother's car out of a snow bank.

A state DOT snow blower on Route 20 in Alexander. There were even bigger snow blower trucks brought in, but we didn't get to see one of those in action (in the slide show is a picture of one, however).

The view northbound on Harlow Road.

Close to two hours after the top photo was taken, this plow was finally reaching the south end of Harlow Road.

Digging out on Fargo Road.

It wasn't all work in Darien this morning. Micheal and Tucker Pfenninger had great fun playing on the giant mound of snow Dad made in the process of clearing the driveway of their Fargo Road home.

A Livingston County snow blower on Bell Road.

Residents blowing snow at a home at Sumner Road and Route 77.

A resident tries to build a path from his home to the street on Sumner Road. When I came back nearly an hour later, he hadn't made much more progress.

Taken on Route 98, Alexander. There additional scenic shots in the slide show.

To purchase prints, click here.

Here's some video from today from The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM

Oops, I can't embed video and embed a slide show in the same post. Click here to view the 13WHAM video.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Photos: 30 DOT plow trucks staging in Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in dot, Stafford, weather

A convoy of 30 DOT plow trucks pulled into Genesee County today, coming down Route 19 to Route 5 in Le Roy and then stopping at the DOT facility on West Main Street Road, Stafford.

The stop is a staging area before heading further west into Erie County.

While the roads have been cleared in Darien, there's still a lot of work to be done in Erie County, and more snow is expected tonight.

UPDATE: A total of 199 trucks are staging in Stafford, coming from all over the state, mostly locations to the east. Drivers are being housed in local hotels while awaiting assignments, primarily in Erie County.

I spent all morning in Darien and will have pictures to post later, but there's something else I need to go cover now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Victim of fatal crash identified

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama

The woman who died in an accident on Meadville Road yesterday has been identified as Nituna L. Stafford, 40, of Basom.

She was pronounced dead at the scene by County Coroner Barry Miller.

The other person in the vehicle was Eli M. Smoke, 26, of Alabama. Smoke was injured and treated at ECMC for leg and chest pain.

State police say the vehicle they were in failed to stop at the end of Meadville Road and struck and continued through concrete barriers before stopping.

Stafford was the driver.

The investigation is ongoing, but is not considered a weather-related event.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Snow showers expected overnight

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Weather report from Mark McLean, weatherman for 13WHAM, The Batavian's news partner:

Ultimate Doppler HD shows that the intense lake snow band from Lake Erie is weakening and drifting to the north shore of the lake. This is away from the areas that got buried yesterday. Also note on the wider view that another storm system is headed our way now. This storm will deliver a general light snow in WNY late this afternoon and this evening.

Check out the snow accumulation on the futurecast. Snow amounts will be generally light with this afternoon’s storm system. A coating-2” will be possible by late evening in WNY. Much heavier snow will develop overnight southwest of Rochester once more as lake snow from Lake Erie cranks up again. Several feet of snow will be possible in sustained lake snow areas in Genesee and Wyoming counties tonight and Thursday with a solid 3-6” possible in northern Livingston County as well.

Currently it’s frigid in WNY. Many areas have temperatures in the upper teens or low 20s with single digit wind chills and that noticeable wind out of the south. Local spotters show temperatures in the low 20s at this point. The neighborhood forecast shows the light snow moving in late this afternoon, but the temperature won’t fall. We’ll see the readings stay in the mid-20s throughout the night. On the wider view, the futurecast finally shows this intense lake snow band breaking up early Friday morning southwest of Rochester. Closer to Rochester some lake snow from Lake Ontario will be possible Friday, but this snow will be much less intense than the snow observed in Buffalo yesterday.

The forecast for today shows increasing clouds at 3 p.m. with a temperature near 24 in Rochester. By 7 tonight we expect some snow showers. The temperature will be in the mid-20s. At 10pm the general light snow will taper, most areas will see a coating -2” of snow. Tonight’s low will be in the mid-20s with snow showers and flurries near Rochester. Areas south of the Thruway may find up to 12” of snow by sunrise, especially in Genesee and Wyoming counties.

The 7-day forecast does show some slow improvement by the weekend. Any lake effect snow Friday will taper heading into Saturday. Friday’s high will be near 30 with Saturday’s high near 40. A few rain showers will move in for Sunday and Monday, but the temperature will be dramatically warmer. Sunday’s high will be near 50 with Monday reaching 57. All signs point to another substantially colder air mass moving in for mid-late of next week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 6:59 am

Today's Poll: How epic has this snow storm been?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls

In a weather alert this morning, the National Weather Service called the storm "epic," hence, the question.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Closures and cancellations for Wednesday, Nov 19

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

These are the closing and cancellations we've been notified about so far:

  • Leadership Genesee, We the People session
  • Alexander Central 
  • Batavia City Schools
  • Notre Dame and St. Joe's
  • Pembroke Central Schools
  • Pavilion Central Schools
  • Byron-Bergen Central Schools
  • DAV Transportation pickups From the Batavia VAMC
  • Oakfield-Alabama Central Schools
  • Le Roy Family Medical Care
  • Pembroke Diagnostics at 860 Main St. Road, Corfu
  • Le Roy Diagnostics at 8745 Lake St. Road, Le Roy
  • Tountas Family Care Center at 3 Tountas Ave., Le Roy
  • Dr. Marlin Salmon's office will be closed today at Batavia Pediatric office location, which is Dr. Brad Ecker's office
  • Lucky Ducky Daycare
  • Genesee ARC
  • Elba Central School District
  • GCC, Batavia campus
  • Le Roy Central School District
  • All courts in the county, including County Court and City Court
  • Pembroke Family Medicine, all three locations, Pembroke, Batavia, Alexander
  • Le Roy Federal Credit Union
  • Le Roy Curves
  • Grandma’s Luv’n Care Daycare
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Classic Optical
  • The City of Batavia Yard Waste Station
  • Mental Health Association
  • FoodLink Mobile Food Pantry, ​Batavia Assembly of God
  • The Cello Fury performance, scheduled for tomorrow evening at GCC, has been postponed until a later date, to be announced soon. Tickets previously purchased will be honored at that performance.
  • Dr. Basra's office
  • Corfu Village Court
  • The Law Offices of Bonarigo & McCutcheon
  • The Genesee County Animal Shelter will be closed for adoption hours between 1 and 3 p.m. and between 7 and 9 p.m. today.
  • CORRECTION to court closings. The announced closure does not effect town and village courts. Unless otherwise noted, town and village courts are open.
  • Genesee Co. 4-H ACES Club Meeting and 4-H Fur and Feather Club Meeting
  • Genesee Co. Master Gardener Training Orientation
  • The following meetings for tomorrow night, Nov. 20th: Genesee Co. 4-H Swine Club Meeting and 4-H Beef Club Meeting
  • United Pentecostal Church, Wednesday evening service.

Send closing and cancellations to [email protected].

REMINDER: E-mail snow pictures to [email protected].

UPDATE 6:40 a.m., Wednesday: People are writing to ask if the travel bans are still in effect. We've received no notification from the Sheriff's Office nor the County otherwise, so, yes. There are bans in effect for Pembroke, Darien, Alexander, Bethany, Pavilion and Le Roy. There are travel advisories in place for the rest of the county. The state of emergency has not been lifted at this time.

UPDATE 8:42 a.m.: Over the scanner, no official letter yet, the travel ban has been lifted for all parts of the county under the ban except Darien. Darien remains under a limited travel ban (secondary roads). No word on the travel advisory of state of emergency (which is just a matter of being eligible for state and federal aid). (Right after posting this, we received the letter.)

UPDATE 2:26 p.m.: The travel ban in Darien has been lifted. There are currently no travel bans in Genesee County.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm

If things get worse, National Guard may be needed in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

County officials have declared a state of emergency.

That will primarily make Genesee County eligible for state and federal assistance, and that may be needed, according to Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.

"Depending on how things go tonight in Darien and Alexander, we may need to call in the National Guard," Hens said.

The guard could bring in heavy equipment to help move snow.

Darien, Alexander and Corfu has been hit by as much as five or six feet of snow, Hens said.

With people venturing out despite the travel bans, it's been difficult to plow roads. There have been extra plow trucks in those parts of the county provided by the county, state and towns and it's still not enough.

"The amount of snow is just phenomenal," Hens said. "You're talking five, six inches an hour. There are cars and trucks stranded, intersections plugged up. It's literally impossible for the plows to get around. There are roads in Darien that haven't seen a plow yet. That's no exaggeration. I wouldn't doubt it a bit. They're simply not able to keep up."

Members of the county's plow team have been on duty since 8 p.m. last night and most haven't had more than a two-hour break since then.

It's one of the largest storms Hens has ever seen.

The City of Batavia is approaching the 24-inch mark for 24 hours, which is considered a top 10, 10-year storm. 

The southwest parts of the county are well beyond that for storm totals.

Hens said there is the potential for 70 inches of snow in Darien.

And there's more snow coming tonight, light snow tomorrow and heavy snow predicted for Thursday.

The county may also bring in large snow blower trucks from Livingston and Wyoming counties.

"Those will be a sight to see," Hens said.

The emergency order was signed by County Legislature Chairman Ray Cianfrini. 

"It's a public safety matter," Cianfrini said. "We don't want people on the road who shouldn't be out there."

There are travel bans in effect for Darien, Pembroke, Alexander, Bethany and Pavilion, and a travel advisory in effect for the rest of the county.

The bans and state of emergency will remain in effect until further notice.

A lake effect snow warning is in place until Friday.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m.: The Red Cross has announced the opening of a shelter in Alexander, at the Alexander Fireman’s Recreation Hall, 10708 Alexander Road.

UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: There's now a travel ban in Le Roy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Snow plow needed to reach CO poisoning victim on Route 20, Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien

A person in a vehicle has reportedly suffered CO poisoning on Route 20 in Darien. The ambulance is unable to reach the location and a snow plow is requested to respond.

UPDATE 3:19 p.m.: We've heard no further updates on this situation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Continued heavy snow predicted today, with another heavy band on Thursday

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Forecast for Genesee County by Mark McLean, weatherman for 13WHAM, official news partner of The Batavian:

Southern portions of Genesee County and northern portions of Wyoming County will likely see snowfall rates between 2 to 4 inches through the remainder of today. This will produce several more feet of snow in areas that have already had several feet of snow. The snow band (as of this writing) has lifted back to near Batavia, but will continue to oscillate over the same areas through the morning commute Wednesday.

A weak storm system will move into WNY on Wednesday and disrupt the lake snow by midday. This general light snow with this next storm system (less than 2 inches) will provide a clean-up break before the next round of very heavy lake snow Wednesday night and Thursday. The Lake Erie snow band on Thursday will produce similar snow rates and intensities with near zero visibility at times, snow rates over 2 inches an hour and treacherous to impossible driving conditions in portions of Genesee, Wyoming, and possibly western Monroe/Livingston counties.

All told, this will likely be a top 10 lake snow event for Lake Erie with many areas seeing more than 4 feet of snow by the end of the week.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: Added a couple of photos taken a little while ago on Harvester Avenue showing the heavy snow and low visibility conditions currently in the city.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Lots of snow so far, more to come for some parts of the county

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather

Much of Genesee County remains under a travel ban (Darien, Pembroke, Alexander, Bethany, Pavilion) and the rest of the area is under a travel advisory.

The weather service is calling for more lake effect snow, with up to four inches an hour hitting the western and southern parts of the county.

Here's some photos from around Batavia this morning.

Top: Heidi Urban cleans her driveway on North Street.

A Batavia Housing Authority employee blows snow outside 400 Towers.

Skyler Fronczak, 11, helped her family on Ross Street with snow clearing by spreading salt this morning.

Steve Hawley was keeping his walk clear this morning in front of his insurance office on Main Street.

The entrance to the Thruway in Batavia was closed.

A DOT plow truck downtown.

St. Mary's in the snow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 11:43 am

County employee succumbs to heart attack after operating snow blower at Sheriff's Office

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather

In what county officials are classifying as a weather-related death, a county employee had a heart attack this morning while operating a snowblower in the back parking lot of the Sheriff's Office on Park Road.

A call for a man down came in a little before 7 a.m. this morning. CPR was administered at the scene, but 56-year-old Jack Boyce was pronounced dead later at UMMC.

Boyce worked in the facilities division of the county highway department for one year. Both a brother and a sister are longtime county employees.

Via The Batavian's news partner, WBTA.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 10:35 am

Fatal accident on Meadville Road overnight under investigation

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama

A person died in an accident that occurred on Meadville Road, Alabama, some time over night.

The circumstances of the accident remain under investigation, but neither the accident nor the death were weather related, according to Victor Morales, public information officer for Troop A, State Police.

The name of the deceased has not been released yet, pending family notifications.

Another person was injured. There's no information available yet on that person or the person's condition.

The accident was reported at about 6:30 a.m. in the area of 6686 Meadville Road.

Alabama fire responded to the scene.

A first responder reported the person was deceased when he arrived on scene.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 6:38 am

Law and Order: Alleged driving while license revoked lands Wyoming couple in trouble

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, Bethany, byron, crime, Darien, Oakfield, pembroke

Christian J. Finkney, 26, of South Academy Street, Wyoming, is charged with 18 counts of criminal contempt, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation and unlicensed operation. Ashly N. Boatwright, 27, of South Academy Street, Wyoming, is charged with 18 counts of facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and one count of circumventing an interlock device. Finkney allegedly drove a vehicle 18 times in Genesee County while his license was revoked for an alcohol-related offense. Darien Town Court reportedly directed Finkney not to drive until his privileges were reinstated by the DMV. Finkney was arraigned in Batavia, Darien, Alexander, Pembroke and Bethany and jailed on $10,000 bail. Boatwright is accused of allowing Finkney to drive a vehicle registered to her on 18 occasions. She is also accused of blowing into an interlock device to circumvent the device.

Nathan Robert Arnold, 22, of Terry Street, Byron, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Arnold was allegedly involved in a fight with a person protected from him by court order. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Jamie Michelle Lauck, 27, of Spencer Court, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 and parking in the highway. The Sheriff's Office received a report at 12:51 a.m. Sunday on Colby Road, Darien. Lauck was allegedly located in a vehicle stopped in the roadway by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Louis James Stoller Jr., 22, of Erie Street, Le Roy, is charged with burglary, 2nd, and petit larceny. Stoller is accused of entering a residence on South Street Road, Le Roy, with the intent of taking the dog from the residence. He was jailed on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

Damian Christopher Woodruff, 32, of Walmore Road, Niagara Falls, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Woodruff was stopped by Deputy Patrick Reeves on federal game lands on Sour Springs Road, Alabama. He was allegedly hunting without a permit. He allegedly was found in possession of a shotgun, in violation of the law barring convicted felons of possessing firearms. 

Nathaniel Michael Dickes, 21, of Broadway Street, Oakfield, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dickes was allegedly involved in a fight at 9:57 pm., Saturday, at a location on Webber Avenue, Oakfield, in which Dickes allegedly pushed and grabbed another person and threw an object at that person.

Donald Ivan Manes, 58, of Lewiston Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test, misuse of dealer plate, speeding (74 in a 55 mph zone) and failure to keep right. Manes was stopped at 2:06 a.m. Sunday on Kelsey Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Kristen Irene Merriam, 33, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Merriam was charged following a traffic stop at 12:30 a.m. Saturday on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Bryan D. Bates, 35, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with conspiracy, falsely reporting an incident to law enforcement and offering a false instrument, 1st. Bates allegedly reported an incident that did not occur and providing a false written statement. Bates is being held on a parole violation.

Tyler J. Warfle, 19, of Chapel Street, Elba, is charged with five counts of identify theft, 3rd. Warfle is accused of using the debit card of another person without permission.

Mark T. Zdrojewski, 61, of Meyer Road, Pendleton, is charged with issuing a bad check. Zdrojewski was arrested on a warrant. 

A 17-year-old resident of Liberty Street in Batavia was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. He was taken into custody during an investigation of an unrelated complaint.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 6:33 am

Heavy snow overnight, some closures announced, travel advisory issued, plus weather/road updates

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Heavy snow hit parts of the county overnight. There were weather alerts during the early morning hours calling for bands of lake effect snow capable of dropping up to four inches of snow per hour.

Portions of Route 33 and Route 77 are closed.

The Sheriffs' Office has issued a travel advisory. The western part of the county, west of Batavia, has been particularly hard hit. The office is advising against any unnecessary travel this morning.

Here's a list of closures so far:

  • Batavia City Schools
  • Oakfield-Alabama Central School District, including all after school activities
  • Byron-Bergen Central School District
  • Elba Central School District
  • BOCES Batavia
  • Notre Dame and St. Joe's
  • Pembroke Central School District
  • All courts in Genesee County, including County Court and City Court, are closed. Jurors are advised to stay home.
  • Town of Pembroke
  • Batavia Town Hall
  • The Law Offices of Bonarigo & McCutcheon
  • UMMC medical offices on Summit and at Med-Tech
  • Desa Frias DDS
  • Pembroke Diagnostics, located at 860 Main Street Road, Corfu
  • Le Roy Central Schools
  • Pembroke Family Medicine
  • City of Batavia Yard Waste Station
  • Town of Darien
  • Genesee Urgent Care
  • En Garde Batavia, classes cancelled
  • OPEN! -- Dr. Michael Merrill, Medical Office at 229 Summit St., Batavia
  • Independent Living of Genesee Region, at noon
  • Mental Health Association
  • GCASA closed until 3 p.m.
  • NOTE: Regarding closure of medical offices in the Summit Street area, best to call ahead. Some are open, some aren't.
  • Pediatric Associates of Batavia
  • LeRoy Urgent Care is CLOSED today.
  • LeRoy Diagnostics is open until 4 pm.
  • Batavia Urgent Care at the Jerome Center is OPEN
  • The Geneseee County Animal Shelter is closed today, for both the public and volunteers.
  • The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership BSI Conference is cancelled for tomorrow, rescheduled to Dec.15.  Same time, same place. 
  • Batavia Tailors & Cleaners is closing at 3 p.m.
  • The town of Batavia Planning Board Meeting and Public Hearing scheduled for tonight - Tuesday, November 18th at 7:30 p.m. has been cancelled due to weather conditions.    The Public Hearing regarding an application for a Special Use Permit by 5069 East Main LLC will be held on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.  which is the next regularly scheduled Planning Board Meeting.  Kathleen Jasinski, Chairman, Town of Batavia Planning Board
  • Tountas Family Care
  • Richmond Memorial Library will be closing at 5 p.m.
  • Classic Optical - Closing at 2pm.
  • Sweet Pea's Cupcakery & Cafe - Closing at 2 p.m.
  • Mane Attraction Salon & Spa - Closing at 2 p.m.
  • Wendy's his canceling is "frozen" event. The restaurant will close early, probably about 8 p.m.
  • Planning and Development Committee meeting cancelled
  • Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union closed at 3 p.m.
  • Next Level Fitness
  • City Slickers
  • Showtime Theater
  • Olivers

Send closures to [email protected]. You can send weather photos to the same address.

UPDATE: The Thruway is shut down west of Henrietta. 

UPDATE 7 a.m.: The National Weather Service says continued heavy snowfall in the western half of the county will continue throughout the morning commute, with snowfall of up to 4 inches per hour in the most intense bands. Thunder and lightning are possible.

UPDATE 7:07 a.m.: Even though the Thruway is closed, people are still trying to get to it. Traffic is tied up on Oak Street.

UPDATE 7:12 a.m.: Top photo submitted by Ashleigh Dominiak showing Route 33 and Route 77 in Corfu at 4:45 a.m.

UPDATE 7:44 a.m.: Law enforcement is looking for information from dispatchers on whether the box stores can make parking lots available for stranded trucks. A plow opeator: "Traffic is just killing us right now. ... We can't get anywheres." There's too many cars on the road.

UPDATE 8:47 a.m.: One highway worker to another, there's a car buried on Colby Road. "Yeah, there's a couple of them. They're everywhere." We're hearing numerous reports of cars stranded on various roads.  

.UPDATE 9:07 a.m.: Travel bans issued for the towns of Pembroke and Darien. The Sheriff's Office is asking all drivers to stay out of those areas until conditions improve.

UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: Town of Batavia, all available manpower to fire stations.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: Pembroke, Indian Falls, and Corfu fire departments are told to shut down southbound Route 77.  Also, the travel ban now applies to Alexander, Bethany and Pavilion.

UPDATE 11:21 a.m.: Route 5 westbound at Route 77 is closed to all traffic.

UPDATES 11:36 a.m.: Bethany and Pavilion fire departments are asked to shut down all westbound traffic on Route 20, at the request of Alexander.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: A reader called about Route 5 being closed at Wortendyke.  He said the roadway appeared to be clear.  We e-mailed Sheriff Gary Maha about it and here is his response: 

I just talked to Dispatch.  They are now diverting westbound traffic north on RT 63 instead of letting them get as far as Wortendyke.  The problem is not on RT 5 but at Brickhouse Corners.  That area can not handle any more traffic until the mess is cleared up.  There is still a travel ban in effect for the Towns of Pembroke, Darien, Alexander, Bethany and Pavilion.  Highway crews are out working hard to clear these roads of stranded vehicles and plowing them and the travel ban will be lifted once this is completed. We don't need more traffic in these areas getting stuck and making matters worse.

Additional reader photos below.

Corfu

Corfu

Corfu

Corfu

A reader's car buried in Darien.

Bethany, about 8 a.m.

Stafford

Two photos from Ken Laurer, Corfu.

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