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Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Photos: No Blarney at St. James benefits HLOM

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

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

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm

GO ART! presents annual grants for art projects

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

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

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

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

For a list of recipients, click here.

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

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

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

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Alexander responding to house fire in Village of Attica

post by Billie Owens in Attica, batavia, alexander, Darien, fire

A house fire is reported at 4 Genesee St. in the Village of Attica and Alexander fire is responding. A fire chief on scene confirms heavy smoke showing.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: Town of Batavia fire is requested to the scene. Mutual aid from Warsaw and Bennington also responding.

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Inmates from Wyoming Correctional Facility called in to help. Checking with Attica water utility to make sure hydrants are working correctly. A fire crew from Darien is asked to stand by in Alexander's hall.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm

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Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm

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

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Stafford man accused of dealing drugs in Batavia

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

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

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

Wind was allegedly found in possession of heroin.

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

Wind is also facing alleged traffic violations. 

He was jailed without bail.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:08 pm

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

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke

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

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

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In order to establish the criteria, Burns argues:

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

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

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Two-car collision on westbound Thruway, unknown injuries

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accident

A two-car accident, unknown injuries, is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 385. One vehicle is "in the trees on the east side of the raodway," the other is in the median. Town of Batavia fire and Mercy medics are responding.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Starting today, law enforcement starts six-day STOP-DWI St. Patrick's Day Crackdown

post by Billie Owens in crime, dwi, law enforcement, St. Patrick's Day

Press release:

Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator Matt Landers has announced that Genesee County law enforcement agencies will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving from March 13-18 in conjunction with St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

The Sheriff’s Department, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department are all taking part in the crackdown.

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend is historically a deadly period for impaired driving. New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force in this across the board effort to reduce the number of alcohol related injuries and deaths.

Genesee County Undersheriff William Sheron said: “We know the history of impaired driving on and around St. Patrick’s Day. With this in mind, we will have extra patrols on duty to help ensure the safety of our highways during this time.”

The STOP-DWI St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association and funded by local STOP-DWI programs as well as the STOP-DWI Foundation and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. This partnership has allowed local programs to significantly increase their enforcement and public awareness efforts.

The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day Weekend, Halloween and the national Holiday Season in December.

You can help to make a difference by Having a Plan! Download our new mobile app – “Have a Plan” and you will always be able to find a safe ride home www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Syracuse man arrested in construction site burglaries given prison term

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Photos: Jackson School goes wild for reading

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

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

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 11:44 am

Crash at Vine and Evergreen in the city, no injuries

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A two-car accident is reported at Vine Street and Evergreen Drive. No injuries. City fire on scene. Mercy medics arrived, then cleared the scene.

UPDATE 12:03 p.m.: The driver of one of the vehicle is complaining of chest pains after leaving the accident scene. Mercy medics are en route to a location on Ross Street to assist him.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

Town of Pembroke to meet Monday to discuss Village of Corfu dissolution

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, pembroke

Public Notice:

TAKE NOTICE that there will be a Special Meeting of the Pembroke Town Board, to be held at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2015 at Pembroke Town Hall, 1145 Main Road, Corfu, NY for the purpose of discussion of Village of Corfu Dissolution.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 10:15 am

Hawley: Assembly budget pays little heed to Upstate

post by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley

Press release:

“The Assembly’s one-house budget resolution all but ignores the needs of Upstate families,” Hawley said. “Unfortunately, a large portion of economic development funding was gutted from the budget proposal, funding that my district has used to upgrade its infrastructure, help struggling companies stay afloat, and expand and foster community projects. It includes a crippling minimum-wage hike, which will surely stifle business expansion, restrict the ability to hire new employees, and raise prices for groceries and other consumer items."

“I have been fighting tooth and nail to restore the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) education cuts that were unfairly taken from our school districts in 2010, and our House’s budget resolution repays $150 million less than it did last year toward restoration of these cuts. Furthermore, Assembly Majority members had yet another chance to pass meaningful ethics reform and adopt Gov. Cuomo’s proposals. They ignored many of the governor’s reforms and have left New York vulnerable to more abuses of power and taxpayer money. We can and should do better for Upstate families, and I will work with my legislative colleagues to make sure this does not stand.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Ranzenhofer releases statement on budget resolution

post by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer

Press release:

The New York State Senate has passed its one-house budget resolution. State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“Today, the New York State Senate took the next step in getting a budget done on time. The Senate budget restores $15 million for Roswell Park Cancer Institute after the Governor proposed cutting state funding for the Institute by 15 percent. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in the Western New York Delegation to ensure this funding restoration is included in the final budget. The one-house resolution also proposes the most property tax relief in state history, a $200 million small business package and elimination of the energy tax surcharge. It ends the notorious Gap Elimination Adjustment and its devastating impact on our local school districts. Overall, the Senate budget is a responsible fiscal plan that makes investments for a brighter future for Western New Yorkers.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Town of Darien GOP accepting letters from potential office holders seeking endorsement

post by Billie Owens in Darien, politics, republicnas

Press release:

The Town of Darien Republican Committee is accepting letters of intent for the following endorsements: Town Council, Town Supervisor, and Town Justice.

All interested parties should submit letters of interest no later than May 1st to:

Town of Darien Republican Committee

Jeffery F. Phelps, Chairman

PO Box 295, Alexander NY 14005

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