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Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Law and Order: Le Roy man accused of selling pills to task force agent

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

Jason P. Andrews, 38, of Lake Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th. Andrews is accused of selling an unspecified controlled substance in the form of pills to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force. Andrews was arrested at his residence, arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Jonathon Grant Browne, 22, of Leighton Avenue, Rochester, is charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes, unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, speeding and driving a vehicle without stop lights. Browne was stopped at 4:08 p.m. Tuesday on Main Street, Oakfield, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

A 17-year-old youth, residence not specified, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. The youth was arrested in Alexander by State Police. No further details released.

Jenna L. Josephite, 26, of Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and Dillon M. Brito, 23, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Josephite and Brito were arrested and charged by State Police at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on Route 5, Town of Batavia. No further details released.

Grand Jury Report:

Veronica Garcia is indicted on a count of felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or higher, two counts of driving drunk with a child less than 15 years of age in the vehicle and endangering the welfare of a child. Garcia is accused of driving drunk Dec. 19 on Route 98, Alexander, with two children in the vehicle. She allegedly has a prior DWI conviction from February, 2011, in the City of Batavia.

Monday, April 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Noonan sends decision about concerts at Frost Ridge back to zoning board

post by Howard B. Owens in Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy

Whether Frost Ridge Campground can continue hosting live music concerts is a matter for the Town of Le Roy Zoning Board of Appeals to decide, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled today.

In an order issued this afternoon, Noonan said that the ZBA has sole authority to make the decision, and insofar as a prior finding by the ZBA that concerts were a prior, non-conforming use was legally flawed, it's still up to the ZBA, not the courts, to make the determination.

The failure of the ZBA to properly issue public notice of a hearing on concerts at Frost Ridge on Sept. 25, 2013, does not affect their underlying authority to make the determination, Noonan said.

In short, Noonan recommends that Frost Ridge make a proper application, but with or without the application, the ZBA must hold a properly noticed public hearing and reach a properly recorded decision.

It's only after that process has been correctly executed that a court can weigh evidence and determine whether a plaintiff has any basis to overturn the decision, according to Noonan's ruling.

The autumn of 2013 finding by the ZBA has been a key point of contention in the pair of lawsuits filed by the Town of Le Roy and the Cleere/Collins family against Frost Ridge.

Board members reportedly reached a unanimous decision favoring live music at Frost Ridge, finding the use was grandfathered in because live music and amplified music at the recreational area pre-dated the creation of a residential-agricultural zone in that part of Le Roy.

The Cleere/Collins attorney sought to get the ZBA decision voided and foreclosed, bringing the campground's concert series "Jam at the Ridge" to an end.

Noonan wrote that case law establishes that a court must stay its hand until the proper agency has applied its expertise to the salient questions of the regulatory scheme.

That hasn't happened yet in the case of Frost Ridge.

Noonan's decision leaves the future of live music up to a ZBA board that has shown prior support for live, amplified music at Frost Ridge.

Pending a final ZBA determination, Noonan's modified order -- limiting but allowing concerts at Frost Ridge -- remains in effect, unless the Cleere and Collins families deposit $225,000 into an escrow account to protect the Frost Ridge owners against damages should they eventually succeed in the legal proceedings.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

Law and Order: Two teens arrested after officers respond to report of marijuana ordor in apartment

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

An 18-year-old Le Roy resident and a 17-year-old Le Roy resident are charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. Le Roy PD responded to a report of the smell of marijuana in an apartment. After a brief investigation, officers concluded the youths possessed and smoked marijuana in the apartment while two youths under age 17 were present. The 18-year-old was jailed on $500 bail. Le Roy PD did not release the names of either individual.

Christopher E. Merrell, 53, of Bergen, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, no seat belt, inadequate exhaust, illegal window tint and unlicensed operation. Merrell was stopped by State Police on Route 98, Alexander.

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Attorneys in Frost Ridge case back in court to argue for and against ruling on live music concerts

post by Howard B. Owens in Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy

There's no dispute that there was live music at the Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy prior to 2008, and there's no dispute there was amplified music there, either, said an attorney representing the family that brought suit against Frost Ridge seeking to shut down its summer concert series.

Those prior acts, however, do not constitute a prior use of Frost Ridge as a concert venue with amplified life music, Mindy Zoghlin told Judge Robert C. Noonan during a hearing in Superior Court today where Zoghlin and Town of Le Roy Attorney Reid Whiting argued that Noonan should favor them with a ruling barring amplified live music and demanding relief from other alleged zoning violations.

(The record) at best establishes there were people playing music around the campfire and when there were skiers there was amplified music," Zoghlin said.

David Roach, representing the owners of Frost Ridge, David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell, told Noonan that and other points raised verbally by Zoghlin and Reed were addressed in his written memo to Noonan answering their motions for summary judgement, so he wasn't going to belabor the points today.

In the memo, Roach argues that there were live music shows at Frost Ridge under prior ownership that were open to the public.

In fact, Roach argues, that everything from the live music issue, to the camping use of the campground and current structures on the property, all fit within the prior, non-conforming use of the property.

Even if those uses have expanded, he argued, case law favors Frost Ridge. 

"Nothing in the record indicates Frost Ridge has ever changed its recreational use or expanded it to something non-recreational," Roach wrote, citing a case known as Hollow v. Owen. "'...a mere increase in the volume or intensity of the use is not necessarily an extension or enlargement of such use.'"

Among the reasons Zoghlin said Noonan should find in the favor of her clients, David and Marny Cleere and Scott and Betsy Collins (Marny and Betsy are sisters and granddaughters of the original property owner), is that a Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) determination that the concerts fell within prior, non-conforming use was, essentially, illegal.

Noonan has already ruled that the ZBA failed to provide proper public notice of the meeting in 2013 where the board came to a unanimous conclusion that everything at Frost Ridge, including live amplified music, was permissible because of the historical use of the property.

The property became a ski area and campground in the 1960s and later new zoning laws were adopted by the Town of Le Roy that made the area a residential/agriculture zone.

There's no way, Zoghlin argued, that a concert venue falls within the town's definition of an R/A zone.

Roach argued that Noonan's ruling on the public notice issue went merely to the procedural sufficiency of the notice, but did not overturn the finding. Citing case law, Roach argues that even granting the notice issue, the ZBA had the authority to make the determination.

Zoghlin wants the ZBA determination overturned, arguing that the decision was reached in such a defective fashion that even referring the case back to the ZBA would be inappropriate.

Roach told Noonan that such a ruling would still result in the ZBA taking up the issue again, and the ZBA would likely reach the same conclusion, and then that determination would result in new lawsuits by the current plaintiffs (Cleere and Collins and the Town of Le Roy), so Noonan would then be dealing with four lawsuits total over one single issue.

If Noonan finds the ZBA determination defective, the only reasonable action, Roach said, would be to refer the case back to the ZBA to cure the procedural defect of its original determination (meaning, hold a properly noticed public hearing).

At the end of the hearing, Noonan reserved his decision and promised a written decision soon.

If Noonan doesn't issue a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff's, the suit will proceed, perhaps, eventually, to a jury trial. If that's the case, Zoghlin said, Noonan should reinstate the temporary restraining order barring live amplified music at Frost Ridge.

Roach said that such an order would put Frost Ridge out of business and therefore impermissibly grant the plaintiff's the ultimate outcome they seek through the lawsuit. He also argued that during the period last summer when concerts were once again allowed at the campground, there were no complaints, no arrests, no disturbances and a deputy was positioned in the neighborhood to monitor noise and found the venue in compliance with Noonan's orders. The town has also established a noise ordinance, rendering moot the need for a restraining order.

So far, six concerts at The Ridge have been booked for the summer.

For our prior coverage, click here.

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Le Roy resident charged with assault in the second degree

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

A 20-year-old Le Roy resident allegedly used a knife in a confrontation with another person and has been charged with second-degree assault as a result.

Le Roy PD did not release information on the nature of injuries, if any, sustained by the victim.

Jarrod K. Fotiathis was jailed on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

He is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of alcohol.

Brittany B. Cina, 25, was also charged with harassment, 2nd. Cina allegedly punched a person. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 11:04 am

Driver seriously injured in December accident charged with multiple crimes

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

A driver who was seriously injured in a Dec. 30 accident in Le Roy has been arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.

Charles R. Lowe, 51, of 8131 E. Main Road, #6, Le Roy, reportedly fell asleep while driving westbound on East Main Street, Village of Le Roy, at a speed of 52 mph in the 30 mph zone.

His vehicle veered from its lane and rear-ended a vehicle paused to turn left onto Wolcott Street. That car then struck another vehicle on East Main Street.

The other two drivers suffered minor injuries.

Lowe was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital and was initially in the intensive care unit.

He's also charged with reckless driving, speeding, failure to use designated lane, following too closely and two counts of assault in the third degree and criminal negligence.

Following the accident, Lowe was entrapped in his vehicle and required extrication by the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department.

The Sheriff's Office Crash Management Team assisted in the investigation.

Lowe was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in Le Roy Town Court on April 27.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

Law and Order: Former Le Roy resident accused of cruelty to ducks and chickens

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

Howard Clarence Schultz, 56, of Chili Avenue, Rochester, is charged with five counts of cruelty to animals. Schultz was reportedly a resident of 8798 Keeney Road, Le Roy, where he kept duck and chickens as pets. He allegedly moved from the property in late January and left the ducks and chickens behind without making arrangements for their care or relocation.

Christopher John Naugle, 45, of Apple Tree Avenue, Bergen, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. During an argument reported at 9:06 p.m., Saturday, Naugle allegedly flipped over a table, slapped and poured beer on a person in the presence of two children.

Michael Leonard Farrell, 45, of Clio Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, possession of a controlled substance not in its original container, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and obstructed plate. Farrell was stopped at 10:55 p.m. Monday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

James Raymond Corp, 35, of Brewerton Road, Syracuse, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and obstructed plate. Corp was stopped at 10:12 p.m. Monday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Corp was allegedly found in possession of 11,000 untaxed cigarettes.

Kathy BethAnne Woodbeck, 39, of Montgomery Street, Canjoharie, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and obstructed plate. Woodbeck was stopped at 11:08 p.m. Friday by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Woodbeck was allegedly found in possession of 23,000 untaxed cigarettes.

Elbert L. Flint, 39, of Morse Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Flint was allegedly found in possession of a cane sword.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Register for Toddler Time on Monday mornings at Woodward Library

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Le Roy

Monday, Apr. 6 - May 16, 2015, 10:30-10:50 a.m.

Toddler Time is a special storytime for children who are 2 years olds and 3 year olds and a caring adult. Spend approximately 20 minutes on Monday mornings listening to stories that feature themes like shapes and colors, singing songs and dancing, coloring, and playing with bubbles. Toddler Time is a fun time to bond over stories and activities and to make new friends. Each session runs 6 – 8 weeks in length and you only have to sign up once.

Child must be at least 2 by the first session and must be accompanied by an adult. This session of Toddler Time begins Monday, April 6 and runs through Monday, May 18. 

Registration is required. Limit of 10 children. Register online at www.woodwardmemoriallibrary.org or by calling 585-768-8300.

Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 8:32 pm

With darkness looming, searchers locate missing Le Roy man at GCC

post by James Burns in batavia, GCC, Le Roy

Searchers were called out to the Genesee Community College campus this evening to look for a possible despondent Le Roy resident whose car was located in the parking lot of the campus after he went missing around 2:40 p.m.

This afternoon Le Roy PD was asked to check on a male in his 40s. 

The man was not located at his residence in LeRoy. 

The man’s cell phone was pinged and that gave his general location.

Police initiated a search for the man and his car was found a short time later at the Batavia campus, but the missing man was nowhere in sight.

According to Le Roy Detective John Condidorio, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office was then called to assist in the search.

Campus security also assisted, checking the ball fields and the school grounds.

A Sheriff's K-9 unit was brought in to assist. 

State Police dispatched its helicopter to provide aerial coverage. 

Sheriff's Sgt. Jon Szumigala said the search team was worried about approaching darkness making the search more difficult so a foot search was ordered.

Town of Batavia Fire Department responded. 

Volunteer firefighters located the man in a wooded area west of the GCC parking. He was conscious but needed medical attention.

Mercy Flight was on call but not dispatched.

Mercy EMS transported the patient at 6:30 p.m.

His identity is not being released.

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