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Howard B. Owens's blog

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 11:34 am

Pembroke and Byron-Bergen open tournament play with battle to the end

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, byron-bergen, high school sports, pembroke, sports

Two teams, evenly matched, made for action-packed basketball at Byron-Bergen Tuesday night, but a 14-2 run in the second quarter made all the difference for Pembroke as the Dragons pulled out a 51-45 win in a first-round Section V playoff game.

Byron-Bergen and Pembroke came into the game as the #8 and #9 seeds, both with 7-12 records and having split their two regular season contests.

"We know everything that they're running," said Chad Smith, Bees head coach. "I mean, he had to change up his pace and we were able to adjust to it. We figured it out. We did a great job. He knows pretty much what we're doing. We worked them down to five seconds on the shot clock a lot throughout the night, but they had guys come up big."

Smith and Pembroke Coach Matt Shay agreed that the turning point was the second quarter, when shots stopped dropping for the Bees and the Dragons got hot.

"We really locked down defensively and that was huge because they made some shots in the first quarter and I told the guys after the first quarter, I thought we were playing solid defense, but they were just making tough, good shots, good offensive plays. I told the guys, 'stick with it.' I think the defense looked pretty good and eventually those percentages even themselves out."

The game wasn't really decided into the closing second, but Byron-Bergen wasn't able to run its plays to get some scores.

Smith realizes he has a young team and he's eager to start off-season work with his returning players with an eye toward a stronger 2015-16.

"We've got a great group of kids," Smith said. "They work their tails off for me. I knew it was going to be a fight. They weren't going to give up at all until the end. I'm very proud of our guys.
I think we're moving in the right direction."

For Pembroke, Ryan Cansdale had 16 points, Zack Von Kramer, 10, and Kyle Ludwig hit three triples on his way to a 10-point game.

For the Bees, Steele Truax had 11, and Brandon Burke and Adam Strassner had 10 each.

Next up for Pembroke at 7 p.m., Friday, is #1 seed Mynderse (15-4). 

Shay knows it's going to be a tough game for his young team.

"We're definitely the underdog, which is OK with us because we've been an underdog team for most the season," Shay said. "I don't try to focus too much on the other team. We will get focused on what we do and execute on what we do rather than concentrate on what they do."

To purchase prints, click here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Pictures: Community art displays from Jackson School students

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

Ella, Mrs. Shuknecht’s First Grade
My Snowman
My snowman’s name is Krystal. She is fancy and happy.  She likes to wear bows and a hat. Her favorite food is ice cream cake. When it is cold outside she likes to have snowball fights and go snowboarding. 

Parris, Mrs. Bigsby’s First Grade
My Grandma’s House
I went to my grandma’s house. It was a special place. First, I ate dinner with my grandpa and grandma. It was good. I had turkey and mashed potatoes with them. Next, I played at the park with my friend, Emma. We played on the monkey bars. Last, I went to feed the ducks. I fed them bread.  I had a great time at my grandma’s. I hope I can visit them again soon. 

Martha, Mrs. Bigsby’s First Grade
My Papa’s House
I went to my papa’s house and it was a special place. First, I ate dinner with my papa and my grandma. It was delicious. Next, we watched the Croods. It was a funny movie. Last, they took me to the park. I went on the swings. I had fun at the park. I had a great time at my papa’s house. I hope I can visit him again soon. 

Jay’lee, Mrs. Mattice’s Kindergarten
Penguins
Penguins can swim. 
Penguins have blubber. 
They have claws. 
They have beaks. 

Trey, Mrs. Wolff’s Kindergarten
Seasons
My favorite season is summer because I play baseball with my brother, mom and my dad.

Brandon, Mrs. Colvin’s First Grade
How to Build a Snowman
To make a snowman I would first roll three snowballs. One big, one medium and one small. Then, I would stack them. The biggest on the bottom, then the medium and finally the smallest on the top.  I would decorate. My arms would be sticks. My nose would be a carrot. My eyes would be coal.  My mouth would be rocks. I would do a scarf with a zigzag design. I would name my snowman Snowy and give him a hug. 

More after the jump:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Law and Order: Buffalo man allegedly found with 4,600 untaxed cigarettes

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, Le Roy, pembroke

Zaid Amhad Alhariri, 47, of Dodge Street, Buffalo, is charged with possession of more than 4,600 untaxed cigarettes. Alhariri was stopped for alleged traffic violations at 12:23 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. He was allegedly found in possession of 4,600 untaxed cigarettes with a value of $1,055.

Cindy Lou Bush, 63, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with five counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Bush was allegedly involved in an incident at 7:30 p.m. Monday at a residence on Oak Orchard Road, Elba, with five other people, all who are the subject of a complete stay away order issued to Bush.

Annette Monique McMillian, 30, of Elmdorf Street, Rochester, is charged with scheme to defraud, 1st, petit larceny and issuing a bad check. McMillian was arrested on a warrant after turning herself in to Monroe County Probation. She was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and jailed on $1,000 bail.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Sentencing delayed for woman in animal abuse case

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Nina Kelso isn't sure she should have entered a guilty plea in October to one count of animal cruelty, the Batavia woman indicated in City Court today as she wiped away tears.

She told Judge Robert Balbick that she wanted a new attorney before being sentenced on the conviction.

"I need somebody more suitable for somebody who attends mental health and needs more help with the case to be able to show their innocence and not be pretty scared into taking a plea," Kelso said.

Under no circumstances, Balbick told her, would she be allowed to withdraw her guilty plea, nor would he assign a new county-paid attorney to her, but he did give her two weeks to hire her own attorney.

In October, Kelso entered a guilty plea on an Alford basis, meaning she admits she would likely be found guilty by a jury, but did not admit to the facts of the case.

It's been a year since Kelso was first accused of mistreating her former dog, Fox'r. Fox'r was found by an animal control officer extremely malnourished at Kelso's residence.

Kelso maintained that Fox'r had eaten something that made him sick.

Today, Kelso said she felt pressured to enter a guilty plea because she said her attorney -- her second attorney on the case -- had told her if she didn't plead guilty, she would likely be found guilty by a jury and sent to jail once convicted.

Balbick reminded Kelso that when he accepted her plea, she questioned her about her understanding of the plea and her confidence in her attorney.

"If you had given any indication you were not making the plea voluntarily, I would not have taken the plea," Balbick said. "We went through the entire plea process very, very clearly."

The plea deal required Kelso to surrender ownership of Fox'r, who had been languishing in the animal shelter for eight months, so he could be adopted by a new family. It also came with a stipulation that Kelso would not be sent to jail.

Kelso is scheduled to reappear in City Court for sentencing in two weeks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 2:16 pm

City set to auction off houses for unpaid taxes, turn three over to Habitat for Humanity

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Habitat for Humanity

The city's tax lien auction list for 2015 includes 12 parcels, with five single-family homes and two commercial buildings.

City staff is also recommending the sale of three vacant homes in poor condition to Habitat for Humanity for rehabilitation and sale to a low-income family.

There's also a piece of vacant property on Law Street next to the city's current yard waste collection center -- the center is on leased land -- that may be suitable for a new yard waste facility.

These four properties aren't included on the list of properties slated to be auctioned off March 14 at Bontrager's on Wortendyke Road, Town of Batavia.

In a memo to City Council, City Manager Jason Molino noted that the city has previously sold seven single-family homes to Habitat for Humanity, and these homes have been successfully rehabilitated and occupied, increasing the average assessment by 38 percent.

The three properties to be offered to Habitat this year are:

  • 54 Oak St., which has been vacant since March 2011, for $2,500
  • 131 Pearl St., which has been vacant since August 2012, for $1,000
  • 240 State St., whose owner died, for $2,500

The foreclosed properties slated for auction are:

Address Type Delinquency Value
214 Ellicott St. Commercial $13,396 $70,000
Ellicott Street, rear Vacant land $2,923 $31,000
Hall, City Centre Commercial $1,146 $10,000
30 Hutchins Place Vacant land $2,458 $3,600
26-28 Hutchins Place Vacant land $17,421 $35,000
South Main St. Vacant land $88 $100
159 Bank St. Single family $22,017 $72,000
33 Clinton St. Single family $37,630 $79,000
42 Lyon St. Single family $24,479 $69,000
27 Oak St. Single family $31,817 $60,000
210 Ross St. Single family $32,532 $68,000
214 Swan St. Two family $32,532 $68,000
141 Liberty St. Vacant land $9,325 $6,800

As in previous years, buyers will be reviewed by city staff and the city reserves the right to reject a purchase a buyer it believes is not qualified to maintain the property.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm

City, mall merchants appear ready for mediation on long-simmer disputes

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, city centre, mall merchants association

So far, attorneys have been paid a combined $207,000 for the City of Batavia and the Mall Merchants Association to battle in court over who is responsible for what in the rapidly deteriorating structure.

There's a chance now the case may go to mediation, the City Council was informed Monday night.

After losing a motion for a summary judgement, City Manager Jason Molino said the MMA is willing to submit to mediation. 

A final agreement on mediation has not be completed.

The city and MMA have locked horns over responsibility for concourse maintenance, major repairs, ownership and governance.

In 2009, the MMA filed suit against the city.

Since then, the city has spent $104,199 on legal fees, while the suit has cost the mall merchants $103,317, according to Molino's memo.

"A thriving and healthy City Centre is critical to the City's downtown revitalization, and the City is very interested in an overall resolution that will best support long-term and prosperous solutions for all parties involved," Molino wrote.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 1:26 pm

City set to receive funds to provide grants to small businesses

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business

A $200,000 federal grant could help create from five to 10 new businesses in Batavia, the City Council was told Monday night.

The "micro-enterprise" grant program is designed to help fund businesses with fewer than five employees either through a start-up or growth phase.

The minimum federal requirement for the program is that five business owners receive benefits and five new jobs are created.

Recipients would be required to attend classes at GCC's Best Center covering the fundamentals of owning and operating a business, including planning, legal issues, accounting and financing. 

The program would be supervised by the Batavia Development Corp. with the assistance of a grant administrator.

In total, $150,000 would be available for grants to small business owners, with $31,300 for program delivery, $10,000 for grant administration, and $8,700 for classroom instruction.

The money given out would be in the form of grants, not loans.

City Manager Jason Molino told council members that it's his understanding the federal government would require some sort of claw back for businesses that fail or move out of the city within the first three years after receiving the grant.

The City Council will vote on a resolution to accept the federal money at its March 9 meeting.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Councilman makes '11th hour' plea for vote on assistant city manager job

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Budget

Councilman John Deleo opposes including money for an assistant city manager in Batavia's budget for 2015-16 and wants his vote on the record.

In what one of his colleagues characterized as an 11th-hour plea, Deleo asked near the end of Monday's City Council meeting how he goes about proposing a budget amendment.

Deleo said his constituents don't want him to drop the issue.

"We talked about it at budget time, but it never came up," Deleo said. "It was never put on the agenda here, but I made a promise to the voters that they wouldn't grease the rails and slide this though. I would make sure I would bring it up."

The council approved the addition of an assistant city manager position in the 2014-15 budget and over the summer, local resident Gretchen Difante was hired to fill the role. Since then, she's worked on a variety of issues for the city, including flood insurance, problems with the emergency communications system, administrative services, including finance, the clerk-treasurer, personnel, information technology, the youth bureau and assessment. She's even been called on to help city residents deal with feral cats.

Her annual salary is $75,950.

While Deleo maintains the majority of the people he's heard from say the city should eliminate Difante's job, Councilman John Canale said he is hearing a completely different message.

The feedback he's getting, he said, is the job is needed.

Couching his words with phrases like "in all due respect" Canale was critical of Deleo's request for a vote after the council has already been through budget work sessions and a public hearing on the budget.

The budget needs to be approved by April 1 and making a substantial change at this stage would require a second public hearing, which could potentially jeopardize timely passage.

At any point in the process, Deleo could have made a motion to eliminate the job, but didn't. 

"This is a knee-jerk reaction," Canale said. "We had this discussion many, many times. We had several budget sessions and nowhere did you ask Mr. Molino to take it out of the budget."

Canale called on Deleo to show some leadership and do what's right for the city.

"I voted against this job from the get go," Deleo said, "because that's what the people said. I still work for the people. I'm still against this and I want to get it on the record that I'm still against it and that's what I'm asking for."

At one point, after much discussion, Deleo made a motion, seconded by Briggs, to schedule a budget workshop session for Friday evening.

At such a session, Deleo could make his motion and if it passed -- and even Deleo conceded it wasn't likely to pass -- a public hearing on the amended budget could be scheduled.

After further discussion, City Manager Jason Molino said he had run some calendar calculations, and if the council waits until its March 9 meeting for a vote on Deleo's proposed budget amendment there would be a day or two of wiggle room to get in a public hearing before a final budget vote.

With that, Deleo withdrew his motion for an early meeting.

At several points during the discussion, Molino told council that at no point has the council expressed a request for him to do a budget analysis on the impact of removing the position, both for its impact on the tax rate and its impact on city operations.

By the end of the meeting, no council member made that request.

Monday, February 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Scott Doll's motion for dismissal without merit ADA argues

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, scott doll

One of the main issues in a motion by an attorney for Scott F. Doll to dismiss his 2010 murder conviction isn't supported by the court record, Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl is arguing in an answering affidavit released Friday.

Doll's attorney, Timothy Murphy, argued in his motion that investigators didn't have probable cause to detain Doll after he was found in blood-soaked overalls on North Lake Road, Pembroke, the night of Feb. 19, 2009.

Doll was convicted by a jury of murder for beating to death Joseph Benaquist, a former coworker of Doll's and occasional partner in a used car business, at the victim's home in Pembroke.

He is serving a 15-years-to-life sentence in State Prison.

The failure of Doll's defense team -- Paul Cambria and Daniel Killilea -- to raise the issue of the detention constitutes insufficient legal representation, Murphy argues.

Zickl counters that Murphy fails to establish a factual basis for his motion. He argues that at the trial court level, the defendant challenged the legality of his detention, including his transport to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, in his motion to suppress statements Doll made to investigators.

Doll has already lost an appeal on the legality of his being questioned without being read his rights.

An appeals court found that questioning Doll was legal under what's known as the "emergency doctrine." Since investigators had reason to believe a person may be injured and in immediate need of assistance if located, they need not advise Doll of his right to remain silent.

Zickl argues that Doll received a vigorous and well-crafted defense during all phases of the case.

"A cohesive and closely tailored theory of the Defendant's innocence was cogently presented to the jury by the defense team," Zickl writes.

Zickl asks that since the record is so clear, Doll's motion be denied without a hearing.

As for Doll's motion for further DNA testing, Zickl argues that further testing won't produce different results.

"A central premise of the Defendant's motion is that the victim and the perpetrator were involved in a 'struggle' and as a result it is likely that genetic material would be found underneath the victim's fingernails or on his clothes," Zickl writes.

"This theory is not supported in the record. In fact, the record is more consistent with a theory of an ambush and rapid incapacitation of the victim by the Defendant.

"Even assuming, arguendo (for the sake of argument), that the requested genetic testing had produced a profile other than the Defendant's, it would not explain or diminish the overwhelming evidence of the Defendant's guilt, such as the volume, distribution and appearance of the victim's blood on his person, his clothes and his vehicle."

Noonan will rule on the motions at a later date.

For previous Scott Doll coverage, click here.

Monday, February 23, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Two people seriously injured in Bethany accident remain in ICU

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Bethany, corfu, pembroke

Two of the people seriously injured in a weekend accident that took the life of a young Pembroke woman remain in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Details of the injuries to Brandon Danser, 21, of Batavia, and Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, are not available.

Strong lists all patients in the Intensive Care Unit as "guarded."

Both were passengers in a vehicle early Saturday morning that was northbound off of Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, when it was struck by an eastbound semi-truck on Route 20.

Alyson D. Krzanak, 18, of Pembroke, later succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident.

The vehicle was reportedly driven by Hannah Dibble, 21, of Pembroke, who was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and treated and released.

Felicia Fazzio, 20, of Darien, was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC. She was listed in stable condition, but today a patient information operator at ECMC refused to release information on her condition, other than to confirm she hasn't been released.

Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, of Pembroke, was treated at the scene and released.

The driver of the truck, Leonard Odums, of Cutburt, Ga., was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation.

Monday, February 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Law and Order: Driver charged with DWI following alleged hit-and-run in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, corfu, crime, Oakfield, Pavilion

Brian Michael Glor, 43, of Church Street, Oakfield, is charged with DWI and refusal to take breath test. Glor was arrested following an investigation into a hit-and-run accident at 7:34 p.m., Monday, in the City of Batavia, by Deputy Michael Lute.

Steven R. Colombo, 28, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Colombo allegedly violated a complete stay away order of protection. He was allegedly found hiding in the pantry of the protected party's residence.

Jimpce J. Etienne, 38, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with unnecessary noise. Etienne is accused of playing extremely loud and disturbing music at 11:30 a.m., Saturday.

Kayla D. Joiner, 22, of Schreck Avenue, Buffalo, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. Joiner turned herself in and was jailed on $100 bail.

Thomas J. Mitchell, 25, of Batavia, was arrested on two warrants for alleged failure to appear. Mitchell was located and arrested and jailed on $1,500 bail.

Robin A. Pickering, 31, of Croop Road, Clarence Center, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely, operation by an unlicensed driver and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Pickering reportedly drove her car into a snowbank on Burke Drive, Batavia, at 4:36 a.m., Friday. The accident was investigated by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

James Rocco Soccio, 33, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with coercion, 2nd. Soccio reportedly went to the residence of a person scheduled to speak against Soccio in a Family Court proceeding. Soccio allegedly threatened to harm the person. 

Jacob J. Camerera, 23, of South Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, reckless endangerment, 2nd, and two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Camerera allegedly drove a vehicle toward four other people in a reckless manner on Watson Street, Batavia, at 4:59 p..m., Feb. 15. One of the four people was covered by an order of protection.

A 17-year-old resident of Walnut Street, Batavia is charged with two counts of harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. The youth was arrested following an alleged incident at his residence at 11:30 a.m., Friday.

Kenneth L. Perkins, 51, of West Main Street, Corfu, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Perkins allegedly damaged the property of another person.

Heyward Clark Jr., 50, of Whitney Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, driving while ability impaired by alcohol, following too closely, driving without a license, and child passenger in back seat not properly restrained. Heyward was stopped at 12:02 a.m. Saturday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Jennifer P. Hepp, 32, of Varysburg, is charged with petit larceny. Hepp was arrested by State Police on Friday at a location on Veterans Memorial Drive. No further information released.

Philip D. Stahli, 34, of Lockport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Stahli was arrested by State Police in Pavilion on Saturday. No further details released.

Harry R. Silliman, 50, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, and harassment, 2nd. Silliman was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident at 9:45 p.m., Feb. 17. No further details released.

Monday, February 23, 2015 at 10:18 am

Monday morning photos

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

I went out Ellicott Street Road to the new road heading into the ag park with a picture idea in mind. 

This isn't the picture, but I liked it better than my original idea.

Below, a snowman I spotted in front of a house on Ellicott Street Road.

Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Photo: Flag on Transit Road, Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany

Returning from a trip to Wyoming County today, I liked the scene of this flag blowing in the wind with snow blowing from a drift behind it.

For a bit of what I did in Wyoming County today:

Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 12:19 am

Accident with injuries reported in East Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, east pembroke, pembroke

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported in the area of 2486 Main Road, East Pembroke.

East Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:53 p.m.: We've heard no updates on this accident. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Victim of accident in Bethany succumbs to injuries

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, corfu, pembroke

An 18-year-old Pembroke resident and student at GCC, has died as a result of injuries she sustained in an overnight accident in Bethany, the Sheriff's Office announced.

Alyson D. Krzanak, who listed her employment on her Facebook page as GCCA Child Care Center and JCPenney, was flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC following the early morning accident at Route 20 and Molasses Hill Road, and was initially listed in critical condition.

The Sheriff's Office release does not list a time of death.

Krzanak was one of six people in a 1997 Geo Prism that was northbound on Molasses Hill Road when it crossed Route 20 and was struck by an eastbound tractor-trailer.

The vehicle was reportedly driven by Hannah Dibble, 21, of Pembroke, who was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and treated and released.

Also injured were Brandon Danser, 21, of Batavia, who was taken by Mercy Flight to U of R Medical Center and is listed in guarded condition.

Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, was transported by Attica Ambulance to WCCH and then transferred to U of R by Mercy Flight, and he is in guarded condition.

Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, of Pembroke, was treated at the scene and released. Felicia Fazzio, 20, of Darien, was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and is in stable condition.

The driver of the truck, Leonard Odums, of Cutburt, Ga., was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation. The Crash Management Team responded to the scene.

Assisting the Sheriff's Officer were State Police, Bethany, Alexander, Attica, and Pavilion volunteer fire departments along with the Genesee County Emergency Management Office.

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Photos: A hall of famer, a Heisman Trophy winner a pitching legend at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports

Batavia Downs hosted another sports collectables show again today, and again the show included autograph sessions to sports stars.

Pictured in these photos are former Buffalo Bills and Hall of Fame inductee Billy Shaw, Heisman Trophy winner Charles White and pitching great Luis Tiant.

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Photos: Presentation competition sponsored by 4-H

post by Howard B. Owens in 4-H, Byron-Bergen High School

Nearly 100 members of 4-H turned out at Byron-Bergen High School this morning to make short presentations on any topic of their choosing. The annual program is designed to help members learn about and practice public speaking and presentation. Topics range from Legos to race cars, from sports to sign languages. Each presentation was judged and certificates and ribbons were presented.

Above, Corrine Rhodes.

Dillon Weber talks about how to tan a hide.

After his presentation, Cole Phelps got pointers from judges Mary Edenhard and Sue Eick.

Kelly Ireland during her presentation on sign languages.

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Weather advisory warns of snow and freezing drizzle

post by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, weather

A winter weather advisory has been issued for snow and freezing drizzle through 10 a.m. tomorrow.

The National Weather Service anticipates snow through this evening, then areas of freezing drizzle after midnight through Sunday morning.

Look for from two to five inches of snow and then a trace of ice.

Travel conditions could be difficult.

Visibility could drop to less than a mile.

Photos: Taken around noon on Route 33 in Stafford.

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 3:04 am

Car and truck accident reported on Route 20 in Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany

A car and semi-truck have reportedly hit at West Bethany Road and Route 20 in Bethany. 

No word yet on injuries. 

Bethany fire and Alexander ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE(S) by Billie -- 2:10 a.m.: Two Mercy Flights helicopters are requested to the scene, along with Mercy medics. Fire Police are to shut down Route 20 eastbound and westbound.

UPDATE 2:13 a.m.: "I'm going to need triage as soon as you can get here," says a responder at the scene. The road needs to be shut down ASAP, he says.

UPDATE 2:24 a.m.: The second helicopter, coming from Buffalo, has an ETA of 12 minutes. The landing zone(s) will be east of the intersection.

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: An ambulance has arrived. The big rig has Indiana plates.

UPDATE 2:34 a.m.: One landing zone is set up north of the scene.

UPDATE 2:35 a.m.: One patient is a semi-responsive female.

UPDATE 2:42 a.m.: Mercy Flight #4 is on the ground.

UPDATE 2:51 a.m.: Mercy Flight #5 is airborne and headed to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 2:55 a.m.: Mercy medics are transporting a patient to ECMC.

UPDATE 3:01 a.m.: Mercy Flight #4 is airborne and headed to ECMC.

UPDATE 3:07 a.m.: Personnel with Alexander ambulance, including a medic from Attica, stablized a patient to load the person into one of the helicopters but did not transport anyone from the scene.

UPDATE 3:27 a.m.: Westbound Route 20 traffic at Route 63 will be shut down due to the accident.

UPDATE 4:28 a.m. (by Howard): Route 20 is still closed. The passenger vehicle had six people in it. Two patients were transported by Mercy Flight, one to Strong, the other to ECMC. Three patients were taken to area hospitals by ground ambulance. One person was apparently not injured. The driver of the truck was not injured. The truck was eastbound. The sedan was northbound and attempted to cross Route 20 from Molasses Hill Road. The accident is still under investigation. Members of the Crash Management Team are on scene.

UPDATE: The driver of the sedan was Hannah Dibble, 21, of Pembroke. Dibble, Felicia Fazzio, 21, of Darien, and Alyson Krzanak, 18, of Pembroke, were transported to ECMC for treatment. Krazanak was transported by Mercy Flight. Fazzio is in stable condition and Krzanak is in critical condition. Brandon Danser, 21, of Batavia, was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong and is listed in guarded condition. Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, was transported to Wyoming County Community Hospital and then transported by Mercy Flight to U of R Medical Center. He is listed in guarded condition. Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, was treated at the scene. The truck driver, Leonard Odums, of Cutburt, Ga., was not injured.

Friday, February 20, 2015 at 9:30 pm

City DPW called upon again to repair water line break on sub-zero night

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure

Another sub-zero night and another water line break for city crews to repair.

This time on Union Street (see previous post).

The location is between Notre Dame HS and Robert Morris, near Richmond Avenue.

A worker said they're hopeful it will be a quick repair, but the first order of business is finding the leak. Workers dug a hole first where the road was covered only by asphalt. An easy hole to dig, but no luck. The leak is further south, so they're punching holes through concrete (concrete under the asphalt at that location) to find the link. The concrete makes the work that much more difficult.

At the time this picture was taken it was minus five degrees.

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