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Friday, July 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Watson Guitars in Le Roy offering handmade quality for local musicians

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Watson Guitars

Guitarists tend to have dream guitars -- a Gibson Les Paul, a Fender Stratocaster, a Guild Starfire, a Martin D-28 ... all expensive guitars.

And these days, often machine made.

What if there was a guitar available locally that was handmade and affordable?

That's the market Dave Watson is going after with Watson Guitars.

Watson has been making custom guitars for more than 20 years and started selling his handcrafted creations in 2009.

This week, he finally was able to open a storefront where he can sell guitars he's finished or take orders for custom guitars (soon, he'll have a new Web site that will allow customers to order custom guitars).

"A lot of your handmade guitars are three, four, five thousand dollar instruments, which, you know, I've made a few that are up in that price range, but for the most part, I try to keep my basic models affordable," Watson said. "My basic models start at $399. If you can find a better guitar for $399, buy it."

Once a professional musician, Watson found that it was hard to find bass guitars really suitable to his size. Bass players tend to be tall and lanky. Watson's under six feet tall, so he wasn't entirely comfortable with an off-the-shelf model.

He decided to build his own bass.

He found he really liked working with wood.

"It's in my blood, just as much as playing," Watson said.

After suffering some hearing loss, Watson had to step off the stage and away from bands, but he couldn't stop making guitars.

He figures he's made and sold hundreds of guitars.

Each one handmade, unique.

"I always put it this way: It's the imperfections that make a guitar perfect," Watson said.

He thinks something has been lost for the discriminating guitar player with the market flooded by cookie-cutter guitars, sliced and sanded to identical specifications by computer-controlled machines.

"There isn't a personal touch," Watson said. "As far as I'm concerned, there isn't a guitar made today that will ever be as valuable as a '59 Les Paul, because someone made that guitar with their own two hands."

The typical Watson guitar has his signature look -- both the headstock and bottom of the guitar are cut out with a kind of W shape.

Watson's target market is the local musician -- the player with an ear tuned enough to recognize a quality sound, fingers sensitive enough to pick up the response of quality material and an eye for beauty, but who can't afford to lay down thousands on a guitar.

"There's a big difference between the sound of a machine-made and a handmade guitar," Watson said.

Watson's shop is at 57 Mill St., Le Roy, and he had to get a zoning code variance to open the front up as a retail shop, but with that done and the space spiffed up, he's ready to meet with players who either want to select something hanging from his walls or sit down and design the guitar of their dreams.

"As long as it's not a copy of something, we try to build their design the way they've always wanted it," Watson said.

Customization can include airbrush designs by a local artist and fiber-lighted top dots on the fretboard.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Le Roy police arrest two men - an alleged slasher and another accused of criminal sex acts

post by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy
Kenneth Smith

An investigation into an alleged assault which occurred in January 2013 resulted in the arrest Wednesday of a 29-year-old Le Roy native living in the City of Rochester. Kenneth G. Smith III, of 911 Lake Ave., was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on July 23 and charged on two counts: criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, a Class-D felony; and first-degree assault, a Class-B felony.

It is alleged that on Jan. 10, 2013, Smith was involved in an altercation in an apartment on Main Street in the Village of Le Roy. Smith allegedly possessed a dangerous instrument in the form of a glass item with intent to use it against another (while having a prior criminal conviction). He then allegedly used it to strike the victim numerous times about the face causing permanent facial disfigurement/scarring. Smith was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and released under supervision of the Genesee Justice.

Michael Stack

Michael J. Stack Jr., 37, of 7450 Randall Road, Le Roy was also arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on Wednesday. He is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, a Class-B felony.

It is alleged that yesterday, while in an apartment on East Main Street in the Village of Le Roy, Stack engaged in oral sexual contact with the victim while the victim was incapable of consent by the reason of being physically helpless and by forcible compulsion.

The charges stem from an allegation by the victim that the victim was sleeping and awoke to Stack kneeling over the victim having oral sexual contact with the victim.

Stack was jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Winners announced for the 2014 Duck Derby in Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in announcements, duck derby, Le Roy, vietnam veterans

Vietnam Veterans of America 2014 Le Roy Duck Derby Winners

  • Luke Yauchzee -- $500
  • Rich Nobles --  $100
  • Jeri Costantino -- $50
  • Kate Ireland – 1 Family Membership to Seneca Park Zoo
  • Ethan Houck -- Laser Autographed Picture of New York Jets # 74 Nick Mangold
  • D.J. O’Geen -- 1 Family Fun Pack to the Rochester Museum & Science Center
  • Mark Hunneyman -- 2 Cruise Passes for free admission for a family  (2 adults and up to 2 children) for the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park
  • Marley Parker -- 4 lower Reserve adult tickets to any one 2015 regular home season game, 1 autographed program for the Rochester Razorsharks
  • Fred Perrine – 2 green fee vouchers for the Silver Lake Country Club
  • Becky Beswick, Le Roy -- 2 green fee vouchers for the Silver Lake Country Club
  • Corinne Heschke – 2 tickets for any Rochester night Hawks 2015 Game
  • T. Strollo Byron – Gift bag from Peebles Store in Batavia
  • Hunter Emenck --  4 Complimentary Tickets for 4 Adults on “The Maid of the Mist"
  • Ann Liberatore -- 1 Family Pass for 2 Adults and 3 Children at the N.Y. Museum of Transportation
  • Anna Kent -- 1 Bufalo Sabres Yearbook Autographed by #65 Bryan Flynn
  • John Johnson, Le Roy -- $50 Gift Card From “Park Avenue Pub and Restaurant,” Rochester
  • Jen Heaney -- 1 Free Det Laser signed Photos of Buffalo Bills # 28 C.J. Spiller and #22 Fred Jackson
  • Rita Mehan -- Autographed Photo of James Beresford, of the Rochester Red Wings
  • Dan Robinson, Le Roy – Laser signed Photo of N.Y. Giants  # 80 Victor Cruz
  • Rick Blood, LeRoy --  $20 gift certificate to the Pok-A-Dot in Batavia
  • Alexis O’Geen -- $10 gift certificate to Applebee’s
  • Lawerence Taylor, Palmetto, Fla. -- $10 for the Last Place Duck
  • Colleen Czubinski, Batavia -- $25 for the 25th Place Duck in honor of our 25th Anniversary of the Duck Derby
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 9:25 am

Law and Order: Trio accused of trespassing on railroad property

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

Kyle Brian Sovocool, 22, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, is charged with trespass. Sovocool allegedly drove a vehicle on property owned by Rochester Southern Railroad in the area of Circular Hill Road in the Town of Le Roy. Also charged with Brandon John Richard Vangrol, 19, of Quinlin Road, Le Roy, and Ronald Baltasar Gonzalez, 29, of Spencer Court, Batavia.

Jennifer P. Hepp, 31, of Clinton Street, Cowlesville, is charged with felony DWI/drugs, DWI under Leandra's Law, aggravated unauthorized operation, 1st, endangering the welfare of a child, driving without an interlock device. Hepp was stopped at 2:32 p.m. July 15 after a report of an erratic driver on West Main Street, Batavia. Two children were allegedly in the car at the time of the stop by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Dakota J. Kamysek, 22, no permanent address, is charged with petit larceny. Kamysek allegedly stole two mobile phone chargers from Hess Express. Kamysek was jailed on $1,500 bail or $3,000 bond.

Brandon Weig, 26, of Livingston Street, Warsaw, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Weig turned himself in on a warrant and was jailed on $1,000 bail.

James P. Coles, 35, of Alexander, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd, and offering a false instrument for filing. Coles was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Zachary T. Ford, 18, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, obstructing governmental administration and unlawful possession of marijuana. Ford was arrested by Le Roy PD after a report of an intoxicated male attempting to unlawfully enter a residence on East Main Street early in the morning. When officers attempted to take the suspect into custody, Ford allegedly kicked and tried to spit on the officers. Ford allegedly caused damage in excess of $250 value to a patrol vehicle. Ford was jailed on $2,000 bail or $5,000 bond.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Calves and farm equipment stolen in Le Roy area

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, crime, Le Roy

A case of calf rustling has hit Le Roy and Western Monroe County.

A farmer is out 14 black and white bull calves along with a Dewalt generator, Dewalt saw, and Napa battery charger. A nearby farm is also missing a milk replacer and hay.

Sheriff's Office investigators suspect the thefts are related and that the people responsible for the calf thefts are raising the animals but not bringing them to auction.

The thefts occurred within the last week or so and a witness describes one of the suspects as a larger white male with either a bald head or very short hair and another suspect as a white female.

The suspect vehicle is a dark-colored minivan, possibly burgundy, with tinted windows.

Anyone with information are asked to contact Investigator Timothy Weis at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3572.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Nominees sought for 2014 Le Royan of the Year

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy

Nominees are being sought for Le Royan of the Year.

Le Roy American Legion Post 576 is asking that each club, church, society, organization or individual submit a nominee to be considered as the 2014 Le Royan of the Year Award. Applications are available at the local banks and at the Legion Post.

Replies are due by Aug. 19th.

The award recognizes people who demonstrate the following qualities:

  • A man or woman who exemplifies the true spirit of Americanism, its ideals, love of flag and country, regardless of race, color or creed;
  • Good citizenship by carrying out these principles, often beyond what is expected;
  • Service to the community signified by excellence in life of purpose and accomplishments.

Mail applications to American Legion Post 576

Attn:  Catherine Stone
53 West Main St.
Le Roy, NY 14482

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 12:38 am

Photos: Oatka Festival Duck Derby

post by Howard B. Owens in duck derby, Le Roy, Oatka Festival

Chapter 193 of the Vietnam Veterans of America sponsored the 25th annual Duck Derby in Le Roy today, with an assist from the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department.

Luke Gottsi won. Rich Noble, second, and Jerry Castantino, third.

Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Car vs. tractor-trailer crash on the westbound Thruway, unknown injuries, Le Roy responding

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Le Roy

A car versus tractor-trailer accident, unknown injuries, is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 379.4. That's in the area of the Route 19 overpass. Le Roy fire and ambulance responding.

UPDATE 6:13 p.m.: A female victim needs to be extricated.

UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: Byron fire also responded and was put back in service by Le Roy command at 6:28 p.m. State Troopers remain on scene. Le Roy is back in service. Didn't hear the outcome of the patients.

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.: Le Roy ambulance is transporting a 33-year-old female to UMMC who complains of left side body pain.

Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 9:07 am

After a lifetime of success with Le Roy football, Andrew Paladino says its time to retire

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

After 30 years of coaching Le Roy High School football, Andrew Paladino is retiring at the end of the 2014 season.

Paladino was defensive coordinator under Head Coach Brian Moran for 25 years. This season will also be Moran's last, and he and Moran always said they would retire together.

"Also, it's time to go," Paladino said during a party in his honor at the shop of Bill Fox. "We've got three former players on staff now. We're leaving them in good hands. Brian Herdlein is a very capable coach. He'll do fine."

Paladino's Le Roy football career started as a player with junior varsity in 1970. In his junior year, as the only junior on the team, he was the starting center and made the All County Team. The following year he slimmed down and started at full back and line backer and was named to the All Rochester Team, the All State First Team, and was named a Prep All American.

Rather than go to college, Paladino decided to get married, take a job and stay in Le Roy.

His coaching career started a couple of years later when he became a youth football coach (as a kid he couldn't play youth football, he said, because he was too fat).

During the Moran/Paladino years, the Oatkan Knights won a state championship (1995) and more than a dozen sectional titles. 

At the party Saturday was Paladino's high school coach, Don Santini, who joined Paladino for a cigar. Paladino said, "This is the man who started it all right here."

Photo: Santini, Paladino and Ron Plummer.

Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 8:22 am

Photos: Oatka Festival and parade 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, parades

Big crowd and lots of great community spirit were on display Saturday during the annual Oatka Festival Parade, followed by fun and games at the festival in Trigon Park.

The biggest cheers of the parade went up when the Class of 1984 came through and the announcers said among the things the class supports is saving Frost Ridge, and then again when the Save Frost Ridge group itself came through the parade (above).

To purchase prints, click here.

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