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Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Third annual 3-on-3 tournament at Williams Park set for Saturday

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, 3-on-3 tournament, sports, Williams Park

Davon St. John drives for a layup during a bit of a practice session today at Williams Park in advance of Saturday's third annual 3-on-3 Tournament organized by Jerry Smith.

The tournament this year is sponsored for the first time by The Batavian.

Registration opens at 10 a.m. First game is at 11 a.m.

The cost is $50 per four-player team. Each team is guaranteed at least four games.

There are boys and girls divisions grades 5 through 12, an 18-19 year-old division, and a 30 and over division.

The winners will receive champion T-shirts.

Event supporters include Venue Entertainment, Big Pauly's Pizza, Southside Deli, Extreme Streetwear, Direct TV, Showtime Player Development, Buffalo 716ers, Erie Hurricanes, Ficarella's Pizzeria, and Genesee Clean-Out.

Thanks to Davon and his father, David, for the fun game of 21. It's the first time I've played basketball in at least 25 years.

Davon is entering his junior year at Bennett High School in Buffalo. He was part of the Pembroke program. His father hopes there might be a way he can return to Genesee County -- Batavia or Pembroke -- before the start of the high school basketball season.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Former nurse convicted for second time of stealing $14K from employer

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime

It took a jury all of 30 minutes to return a guilty verdict against former Bergen resident Michele Ann Case of grand larceny in the third degree.

This is the second time a jury in Genesee County has found Case guilty of stealing more than $14,000 from her former employer, HomeCare & Hospice.

The first conviction, in March 2012, was overturned on appeal because state justices found that summations of her thefts were improperly prepared and presented to the jury.

Case, 47, was represented in this trial by attorney Larry Koss, who argued before the jury in closing statements this afternoon that the extra compensation received was all just a big misunderstanding.

"The fact that there are discrepancies doesn't mean anything was done intentionally," Koss told the jury. "People make mistakes. I submit to you, if you're in the profession she's in, your primary concern has to be your patients. If you want to be a good nurse, you want to care for your patients. They have to be your primary concern. They have to be what you pay attention to."

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told the jury that the evidence was clear: Case submitted claims for "call outs" (patient visits supposedly outside of regularly scheduled hours) during her normal work shift; that she submitted claims for call outs that she didn't make; and that she claimed mileage that was greatly exaggerated.

Koss said it was a lack of proper training and clear policies that caused Case to submit inaccurate claims for compensation.

There's nothing in the polices that define what allowable mileage is (to which Friedman responded during his close, "I think the answer is you're expected to record mileage truthfully."

During her employment with HCH, Case submitted 61 mileage claims. Of those, Friedman said, 60 of them contained wildly inflated mileage, up to 100, 200 and 300 more miles than Case possibly could have driven.

For a trip to Crossroads House on Liberty Street from the HCH office on East Main Street, Batavia, Case claimed 30 miles.

When confronted by Det. Charles Dudek (now retired) about the discrepancy, Case claimed at one point her trip that day originated in Warsaw, but even those miles -- combined with the side trips she claimed -- didn't add up, Friedman said.

When she went to Delavan for training, Case claimed mileage that was nearly double the actual trip, even using the longest possible route offered by MapQuest for the drive, Friedman said.

That didn't happen just once, but twice.

Case told Dudek that she forgot to reset her trip counter on her odometer and didn't realize her mistake when submitting her mileage reports.

Friedman said the pattern of Case's inflated claims made it quite clear she was trying to increase her compensation illegally.

On 69 occasions, Friedman said, Case claimed compensation for call-outs during what should have been her normal, salaried working hours. Those claims alone totaled $5,300 in extra compensation.

"There is one common scheme to illegitimately and illegally increase what she saw as her insufficient income," Friedman said.

To Koss's argument that HomeCare & Hospice neglected to spot and correct Case's false claims for two and a half years, Friedman said such fraudulent claims went undetected because they were unexpected.

"The defendant was a registered nurse," Friedman said. "She's a professional and they expected her to be professional and honest when she documented her claims, and it turned out, they couldn't count on that."

At the start of his summation, Koss quoted Oscar Wilde.“The truth is rarely plain and never simple.”*

The case against his client, he said, was complicated and obscured by poorly written policies and inadequate training.

Friedman said at the close of his summation, that actually, the facts of the case were pretty straightforward.

"The plain and simple truth is this defendant stole more than $14K by falsifying time vouchers and mileage records," Friedman said.

With uncommon speed, the jury reached the same conclusion.

NOTE: Wilde's correct quote is, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Batavia PD investigating report of disturbance at State and Lewis

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Batavia PD is responding to State Street and Lewis Place for a report of a disturbance.

The initial call was for a group of people making a lot of noise. Minutes later, a follow-up call said people were fighting.

When the first patrol arrived on scene, the officer said members of the group fled. Some headed toward Bank Street, some are said to be heading north on State Street.

Multiple police units responding.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: An officer reports he's out with several individuals at State and Lewis.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Photo: New utility pole on Center Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Center Street

Workers with National Grid installed a new utility pole on Center Street. The road was closed for a portion of the morning during the installation. The pole will help accommodate power upgrades for the new call center for the Tompkins Insurance Company going in at that location.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Photos: Basketball camp at John Kennedy School

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, sports

Here are some pictures from today's basketball camp at John Kennedy School. This portion of the camp is for boys and girls going into the 7th and 8th grade.

From the small portion of the camp I watched, high school coaches in the county can anticipate getting some skillful young athletes with a lot of heart in a couple of years.

Coaching at John Kennedy were Tom Redband and Matt Shay.

Yesterday: Photos: Summer basketball camp under way in Batavia

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Car accident, no injuries, in front of Denny's on West Main Street in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A car accident, with no injuries, is reported in front of Denny's restaurant at 364 W. Main St., between Bogue Avenue and Woodrow Road. City fire is responding.

UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: The  city assignment is back in service.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Motorcycle wreck at Bank and Starowitz, Elba, rider is consious and alert

post by Billie Owens in accidents, elba

A motorcycle accident is reported at Bank Street Road and Starowitz Road. The rider is conscious and alert. Elba fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE 2:01 p.m.: The Elba assignment is back in service.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Photo: Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather

After the Tigers Under 6 soccer game this evening, members of the team posed for a picture with a rainbow behind them. Shannon Whitcombe, who took the picture, titled it, "Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow."

Submitted by Jeff Whitcombe.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Nearly three weeks later, results of neighborhood police activity announced

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

City announcement:

On June 26th the City of Batavia Police Department joined by the Genesee County Drug Task Force, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Genesee County Probation and New York State Police participated in a series of neighborhood enforcement details. The purpose of these details was to systematically approach known problem areas within the City and target criminal activity.

The benefits of participating in the joint operation are to provide continual support amongst the agencies, increase familiarity with working with each other, thereby enhancing the ability to curb criminal actvity.

Sixteen law enforcement personnel from four different agencies were partnered in a focused enforcement detail of eight separate locations in the central and south sides of the City. Due to ongoing investigations the exact locations are not being disclosed at this time. This approach to neighborhood sweeps/enforcement was identified in the City’s Strategic Plan with the goal of providing additional resources to focus on quality-of-life concerns for City residents. The following are preliminary results of this year’s first detail:

  • 59 data runs
  • 19 traffic stops
  • 16 probation visits
  • 5 traffic citations issued
  • 3 drug-related arrests, including marijuana and crack cocaine
  • 1 parole violation
  • 1 probation violation
  • 1 drug court violation
  • 1 disturbance call, 2 suspicious activity calls and 1 foot pursuit

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said “The City of Batavia Police Department is grateful for the assistance provided by the other participating agencies during this special detail. The residents of this City should know that every resource is being utilized to its fullest extent to weed out criminal activity within their neighborhoods. No one should have to feel oppressed in their own home or on their own street; therefore the Police Department is committed to using whatever resources are necessary to curb illegal activity.”

Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha added “This is a fine example of corporation between the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, City of Batavia Police and other law enforcement agencies to improve the quality of life within our community.  We must continue to pool our law enforcement resources to meet citizen expectations and to benefit the taxpayer."

Major Michael J. Cerretto, Troop A commander, New York State Police, continued by stating "In these days of fiscal restraint, it is very important that police agencies work together. The success of this community-policing initiative in the City of Batavia shows how important this cooperation is to the citizens of Genesee County. The relationship between the Batavia PD, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and the State Police has never been better."

Neighborhood Sweeps/Enforcement Details were outlined in the City’s Strategic Plan as part of the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts. They include dedicated patrols for targeted enforcement with the goal of intercepting and interrupting the flow of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband as well as locating and arresting wanted persons. All agencies involved expect to continue joint law enforcement efforts in the future. These details are not advertised prior to taking place and locations are selected based on criminal data, the presence of nuisance and illegal behavior and ongoing investigations.

If you see criminal activity or know about a crime that has occurred please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Funeral services set for GS-29

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Sheriff's Office

Funeral services for Deputy Frank Bordonaro will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, St. Joseph's Oratory, 27 Lake St., Le Roy.

Bordonaro, a 19-year veteran of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, died unexpectedly at home some time Tuesday afternoon.

The 44-year-old Bordonaro is survived by his wife, Robin Radwich Bordonaro, his sons, Bryce and Chase, his parents, Lawrence and Arlene, of Batavia.

Family and friends may call on Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Falcone Family Funeral & Cremation Service, Inc., 8700 Lake Road, Le Roy.

From his obituary:

He will be remembered as a very caring and compassionate man, who put his family and community first. He was very involved with all aspects of his sons’ participation in school and community sports programs.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Support local journalism in Genesee County: Join The Batavian Club

Four weeks ago, we put up a request for people to join The Batavian Club and got a good response. We're about to send out a batch of membership kits and want to give you a chance to join before we do.

Reader support is critically important to us. We appreciate your membership.

Membership is important because:

  • It provides another avenue to support local businesses (you get more than $300 in gift certificates to local businesses);
  • It's a way for The Batavian to reward our loyal readers;
  • The financial support helps us sustain our community news coverage of Genesee County.

So many people every day tell me how much they love The Batavian. All we're asking is for those loyal fans to make a small financial contribution to help support and sustain our news coverage and in exchange we'll send you valuable gift certificates that far exceed the price of the membership.

TO JOIN: Use PayPal buttons below, or to pay by check (annual only) or credit card, click here to download form; Or call (585) 250-4118 to pay by credit card.

PayPal buttons after the jump:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Rep. Collins calls proposed EPA rules on waterways 'overreach,' a burden on agriculture

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, chris collins, environment, NY-27

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today questioned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Administrator, Honorable Robert W. Perciasepe, at a Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on the EPA’s overreaching rule proposal entitled “Definition of the ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act.”

“The problem is the public doesn't trust the EPA, farmers don't trust the EPA not to overreach, Congress doesn't trust the EPA,” said Congressman Collins during today’s hearing.

“Deputy Administrator Perciasepe and the EPA fail to recognize that their agency’s overreach is causing real harm for farmers and stalling business development across our country,” Congressman Collins said. “When I visit with farmers in my district, the heavy burdens under the Clean Water Act come up each and every time. When the bureaucrats at the EPA decide to call a divot in the ground that fills with rain a ‘navigable waterway’ under the CWA, we know our federal government has run amuck. The fact that the EPA and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers are now looking to formally broaden the definition of ‘navigable waters’ is an insult to hard working farmers all across this country.”

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Volunteers wanted to serve on city's Housing Authority board and Planning & Development Committee

post by Billie Owens in batavia

Press release:

The City Manager is seeking city residents who are interested in volunteering as a member of the following:

  • Batavia Housing Authority
  • Planning and Development Committee

Residents interested in applying can obtain an application from the City Clerk's Office or can visit our Web site at www.batavianewyork.com and download a Committee/Board Volunteer Application under Documents.

Applications are due to the City Clerk's Office by Friday, July 18.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:

Office of the City Manager

One Batavia City Centre

Batavia, NY 14020

Phone: (585) 345-6330

FAX: (585) 343-8182

E-mail: jmolina@batavianewyork.com

 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Center Street to close Thursday morning for power pole replacement

post by Billie Owens in batavia

Notice from the city Department of Public Works:

National Grid will be replacing a large power pole on Center Street on Thursday, July 10th. This work will require Center Street to be closed to traffic between Main Street and School Street from approximately 9 to 11 a.m.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

NY Sire Stakes to be held in Genesee County for the first time tomorrow night at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in

Press release:

On Thursday, July 10, Batavia Downs will become the newest stop on the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) fair circuit when the Genesee County leg of that series convenes for the first time.

It's been a long and circuitious route for this to occur.

The Genesee County Agricultural Society has held an annual fair in Batavia, NY, since 1839. And from 1890 through 1946 they called the current site of Batavia Downs their home. The track was known as Exposition Park and every year harness racing was one of the most anticipated events on the fair schedule.

But in 1947 when Batavia Downs founder Pat Provenzano bought the property he had originally leased from the society to expand his growing pari-mutuel empire, the fair relocated to another site and fair racing in Genesee County ceased.

Since the inception of the New York Sire Stake in 1961, there has never been a fair date contest in Genesee County until now and the addition became a reality because of a natural disaster that occurred last year.

Todd Haight, Batavia Downs director/general manager of live racing said “Last year we held the Caledonia Fair races at Batavia Downs when their track in Livingston County was washed out by heavy rain. And it was a great success. We had a large crowd here and the racing was great. So we thought, why not host fair racing here every year?”

Haight contacted the NYSS and the Genesee County Agricultural Society and the groups came together with a plan. The result of that collaboration is the return of fair racing to the track they left  seven decades ago.

“We’re happy to be partnering with the Genesee County Fair folks on hosting the races and all the activities that go along with them. I see no reason why the fair races couldn’t become an annual event here at Batavia Downs,” Haight concluded.

Nick O'Geen, Genesee County Agricultural Society Board member said “This is a unique opportunity for the Genesee County Fair to partner with Batavia Downs to bring harness racing to back the fair.”

Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.

In addition to the races, there will be events for the whole family on the track apron including carnival games, a bounce house, a juggler and a balloon artist. Also available will be a $3 lunch special for kids 12 and younger as well as $1 ice cream cones, snow cones and cotton candy. Fair events at Batavia Downs run from 11 until 4.

Batavia Downs will also be offering discounted advance sale tickets for other fair events and with the purchase of any ticket, will provide a $10 free-play voucher redeemable on their gaming floor.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Photos: Summer basketball camp under way in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, sports

Batavia's annual basketball camp opened this week with sessions at Batavia Middle School and John Kennedy School.

Conducted by Batavia High School head Coach Buddy Brasky and assistants, the camp provides instruction ball handling, shooting, defense and game-play situations, among other skills.

There were sessions today for high school boys at the middle school and younger players at JK. Tomorrow, the girls will have camp day.

The camp runs through Aug. 15.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Batavia, Arkansas, is nestled in the Ozarks, at least what's left of it

post by Larry Barnes in batavia, history

This is the last in a series of articles about the other communities, located east of the Rocky Mountains, that are named “Batavia.” This one is about Batavia, Arkansas, an unincorporated collection of houses and other buildings west of Harrison in Batavia Township, Boone County. It is nestled in a beautiful area of the Ozark Mountains.

At one time, Batavia, Ark., was an incorporated community. It had a post office, stores, hotels, a canning factory, a train depot, a stockyard, mills, a blacksmith shop, a school, and churches. Today, the railroad is gone, the post office closed, and only houses, three churches, and a small repair business still exist. A convenience store and the bar and grill into which it had recently been converted, were both out of business in the spring of this year.

The local historians assert that the community was named about 1880 by Rowell Underwood who became the first postmaster and named the town after his hometown of Batavia, N.Y. They also claim that Underwood had worked for four years in Genesee County as a surveyor for the Holland Land Co. The latter claim seems improbable because the Holland Land Co. had ceased its operations in Western New York in the mid-1830s. If the claim were true, it would make Underwood at least 70 years old at the time he became postmaster in Arkansas.

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