I just got back from walking Daisy, our new dog. We got her about a week ago from the Batavia Animal Shelter (who were fantastic, by the way). Anyway, our walk took us down Ellicott to Liberty to Main St down to Chambers, then we turned around.
We're working on walking Daisy, and socializing her, so I figured a 2pm walk would mean that we would run into a bunch of different people in different circumstances. And, we did meet some people, but not more than 10. Daisy barks at most men, wagging her tail and sniffing the whole time, but I think she's just intimidated by them, so I'd like her to be socialized with both people and dogs. Are there places and times in Batavia that would provide a nice environment for Daisy to get to know people?
The last suspect captured is the final defendant to plead guilty.
Matthew J. Wells, 24, of Buffalo faces five to 15 years in state prison after admitting this morning to his role in the June 18 stick up of the M&T Bank branch in Elba.
The guilty plea came on a morning when Wells was schedule to appear on a pre-trial hearing to determine if his statement following the robbery could be used against him in a trial.
Attorney Thomas Burns said after the guilty plea that his client took into account the substantial risk of going to trial, in which a conviction could mean 25 years in prison.
District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said the plea bargain accepted by Wells today was made back in June.
Wells didn't give up easily the morning and afternoon of the robbery, either. He led more than 100 law enforcement personnel on a five-hour manhunt through the woods and fields of Batavia and Oakfield before finally surrendering. His co-defendants, Dennis M. Abrams, Jr., 26, and Demone D. Dillon, 25, were captured within an hour of the robbery.
Both previously pled guilty to charges stemming from the hold up. Abrams, the apparent mastermind of the scheme, was looking at up to 25 years in prison, and Dillon, who apparently served as a somewhat reluctant look out, facing three-and-a-half to 10 years.
Wells was the only one of the three to make any real attempt to challenge the state's case, with his attorney filing motions to suppress his statements and for a change of venue. The latter motion was eventually denied.
The case has left many in the criminal justice community shaking their heads. None of the three suspects had any prior adult criminal record, and only Dillon had a youthful offender conviction. All three had jobs and wives or girlfriends. All three men are fathers.
Abrams reportedly sent a text message to his wife before he was captured that read simply, "I messed up."
Friedman's job, of course, isn't to get wrapped up in sympathy for three men who made a bad decision. He's spoken to the victims.
"I spent hours talking with the victims of this crime," Friedman said. "I feel the impact that it has had on these women. With almost 28 years in this office, I've been surprised by the depth of emotion expressed by these women over what they went through in the bank. It was very traumatic. I had one of these women tell me she thought she was about to die. I have no idea what that must feel like."
As for the defendant's lack of prior criminal history, Friedman said, "that's what the pre-sentencing investigation is about."
"My job is to either secure a conviction or get an appropriate plea," Friedman said. "I think in this case, I've given the court sufficient latitude in light of these crimes and in light of the defendants."
Anthonly J. Spearance, 24, of 107 Washington Ave., Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment. Spearance allegedly punched his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.
James T. Moore, 50, of 115 Summit St., Batavia, and Patricia L. Brinkman, 48, of the same address, are both charged with assault in the third degree. Both were allegedly involved in a physical altercation during a domestic dispute. Both were jailed on $500 bail each.
Christopher C. Say, 18, of 514 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with menacing. Say allegedly brandished a large knife and threatened another person with it during a fight. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.
Jeremy A. Weatherbee, 40, of 65 Roosevelt Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Weatherbee allegedly sent text messages to a person he was barred by court order from contacting.
Amanda L. Spring, 26, of 34 Walnut St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, refusal to take breath test and unsafe turn without signal. Spring was stopped on Walnut Street at 3:03 a.m. on Sunday.
Kara M. Marquez-Davidson, 24, of Tonawanda, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Marquez-Davidson was stopped by State Police on Route 77 in Darien at 9:42 p.m. on Friday.
Mark S. Wells, 44, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Wells was stopped by State Police on Route 5 in Pembroke at 2 a.m. on Thursday.
A 15-year-old from Oakfield has been arrested by State Police and charged with sexual abuse of a person under 14 and endangering the welfare of a child. The alleged incident was reported Oct. 10. The teen was taken into custody at 6:04 p.m. Friday. No further details were released.
More than 400 people showed up for a party on Saturday evening at 700 Ellicott St., world headquarters of Chapin International, a growing Batavia-based manufacturer that employs 175 people and has been run by the same family since its founding in Oakfield 125 years ago.
Now that's something to celebrate.
Chapin International is a rarity in the business world. It's been family owned through four generations (and heading toward a sixth), which puts it among 2 percent of all U.S.-based businesses. Plus, it's been located in Western New York 1884, which puts it among an elite 1 percent of businesses statewide.
"I’m sure that my father, grandfather and great-grandfather would be amazed at what we have here today," Chairwoman of the Board Andris Chapin told the crowd to open the party.
"They would be amazed that there would be a tent and music and beverages and ice sculptures and just all of the wonderful things that have been put together for us today to help us celebrate."
The party featured dignitaries such as Congressman Chris Lee, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer, but more emphasis was put on the importance of Chapin employees. Lee and Hawley both noted that the company's survival is a testament to how well its employees are treated.
Joe Lawrence is on a roll. Last year he closed out the deer season with a monster whitetail scoring 144 on the Boone & Crockett scoring system and placing him high in the New York State Big Buck Club’s muzzleloader division. (The Batavian, Dec. 20, 2008 – Father & Son Memories). On Saturday, the opening day of archery season in New York’s southern zone, the elder Lawrence did it again. He began his fortieth bow season by taking another massive whitetail that is all but certain to make the NYS record book. The big buck sported ten points and weighed a whopping 202 lbs. field dressed.
It was late afternoon when the buck appeared, already displaying rutting tendencies by chasing after four does. “I used a grunt to call to turn him, and he stopped and looked in my direction,” Joe said. “I hit the grunt call again and he came right to me.” He made the shot from a tree stand at a distance of fifteen yards.
Historic Batavia Cemetery Ghost Walk, Candlelight Tour
I volunteered at the ghost walk tonight and it was a great time. There is going to be another one next Saturday Oct, 24th at 7:00 pm. It's located on Harvester Ave. Tickets are $10. in advance or $15. at the gate. It's really worth checking out. Great fun for the whole family.
For three of four quarters today, Notre Dame dominated Red Jacket, leading to a 45-18 victory in the first round of sectional playoffs.
Before the Red Jackets could even get its offense going, Notre Dame's big play offense had 17 points on the board.
"We played three great quarters and that’s the kind of intensity we wanted to bring," said Head Coach Rick Mancuso. "After that lull in the game in the second quarter, we kind of got them back in the game."
That lull, Mancuso said, seemed to be as the result of an injury time-out in which a Red Jacket player was hit hard by a Notre Dame linebacker on a run play. The Red Jacket runner was slow getting up and then collapsed as he tried to leave the field.
"We lost some of our emotion, which was actually a concern to me," Mancuso said. "I was saying, 'Hey, don’t let this get you down,' but we did lose some intensity there and then we made a couple of mistakes and basically let them back in the ball game."
Red Jacket closed out the second quarter with 12 unanswered points.
Mancuso said he didn't say anything special to his players during half time, but from the start of the third quarter, the Fighting Irish were focused again and scored three consecutive TDs, and adding another 7 points in the fourth quarter before Red Jacket scored a touchdown in the final two minutes of play.
"We started the game fast. We played really well. We played with emotion," Mancuso said.
Notre Dame is now 6-1 on the season.
Running back Mike Pratt keyed the offense with 220 yards gained on 27 carries, scoring four touchdowns.
Bo Ricter scored Notre Dame's first TD on a three-yard run.
Notre Dame then surprised Red Jacket with an onside kick. On the very next play, Nick Bochicchio hit Gianni Zambito on a 51-yard TD pass. Zambito scored after the Red Jacket defender over committed to the ball, missed it and Zambito snatched it from the air and turned toward the end zone with no Red Jacket defenders between him and the goal line.
Matt Thompson closed out the first quarter with a 28-yard field goal.
Red Jacket scored in the second quarter on a 21-yard pass from Tyler Hixson to Trevor Sanders and a 32-yard pass from Hixson to Sanders. Both two-point conversion attempts were stopped by the Notre Dame defense.
The next four TDs all went to Notre Dame: Pratt had TD runs of 1 yard, 4 yards, 15 yards and 7 yards.
The final score of the game was a Chris Coslasurdo 35-yard pass to Sanders. Again, Red Jacket was unable to convert its two-point try.
Cam McDonald had eight tackles.
Kicker Thompson had eight points in the game, converting all of his PATs plus the field goal.
A Batavia man, who has allegedly had at least one previous confrontation with cops, is in jail tonight after reportedly pushing a Sheriff's deputy down a flight of stairs and escaping an attempt by the deputy to arrest him on a bench warrant.
Ryan L. Krupp, 24, of 13 Pringle Ave., is charged with assault in the second degree and escape in the second degree.
Krupp allegedly charged Deputy Patrick Reeves and shoved Reeves as the deputy attempted to arrest him at his residence yesterday at 10:19 p.m.. Reeves was treated and released at UMMC for an ankle injury.
Today, Krupp was spotted entering the Bank of Castile branch on East Main Street. He was apprehended inside the bank at 11:43 a.m..
With Oakfield-Alabama and Cal-Mum trading scores through the first three quarters of their quarterfinal sectional playoff game tonight, and both teams seemingly able to run the ball at will, it became evident as the fourth quarter started that the winner would be decided when one defense or the other made a stand and stopped a drive.
And that's exactly what happened.
On its first drive of the fourth quarter, the Hornets couldn't get past the Red Raiders 40 yard line and Cal-Mum took over on downs.
Minutes later, the Red Raiders were in the end zone and with a two-point conversion, and obtained what would prove to be an insurmountable lead, 30-21.
The Hornets would score one more touchdown, but fall short by two points, 30-28.
"It came down to them just pounding the ball at us and not getting away from what they do best," said Hornets Head Coach Brian Palone after the game. "They made the plays when they needed to make the plays."
The two-point margin can also be explained by two failed point after attempts. In the second quarter, kicker Jon Fisher hit an upright, and in the third quarter, a high snap spoiled the attempt.
The Hornets got off to a quick start when Fisher placed a perfect onside kick down the far sideline and OA scrambled and took possession of the ball.
The offense then marched the ball 45-yards down the field for a score and a 7-0 lead. Matt Osmancickli scored that TD on a one-yard run.
But the home team answered right back, bringing the ball down to the one-yard line, where Trevor Haut was able to shove his way into the endzone. Cal-Mum tried for a two-point conversion, so the score was 7-6.
On its first possession of the second quarter, OA again looked like an offense with an unbeatable run game, taking the ball down the field until Matt Osmancickli capped the drive with a one-yard TD rush. After Fisher missed the PA, OA's lead was 13-6
Cal-Mum answered right back, putting a long drive together that ended with a Trevor Haut three-yard TD run. Jon Cappotelli carried the ball in on the two-point conversion, giving his team a one-point lead, 14-13.
OA grabbed back a one-point margin when a high snap on a Cal-Mum punt attempt was kicked out of the back of the end zone for a safety. That made the score 15-14 Hornets.
Both teams scored again in the third quarter. But with a muffed extra point attempt and a successful two-point conversion, Cal-Mum was able to convert another two-point try, so now the Raiders were up 22-21.
The Raiders were able to stop Oakfield-Alabama on its fourth-quarter drive and immediately answer back with another touch down. This time it was on a 19-yard pass from Mike Anderson to Dan Whiteside, plus they tacked on two-more points. The Hornets found themselves in a bit of a deep hole, down 30-21.
But OA kept fighting, engineering another drive that culminated in a one-yard rush by Osmancickli and an extra point from Fisher, making it 30-28, which is how the game would end.
The Hornets got off to a slow start this season with Coach Palone taking over the program for the first time and finding himself with few returning seniors. Palone and other coaches around the league will tell you that OA has been a team that has improved greatly every week as the season progressed.
Palone said tonight he's proud of the progress his team has made.
"I thought this was the best game we played all year and that’s all I can ask of them, to just get better every game," Palone said.
NOTE: About the video -- yes, I miss my high-def camera. It won't be repaired for another six weeks.
Mandy's just dandy, so she's Pet of the Week. She looks noble and proud, and she has a great reputation. Here's a little bit about her, from totally biased sources, her folks -- Alyssa Pike and David Smith:
"Mandy is a great dog. She loves playing with her two best friends, Max and Heidi (2 mini wiener dogs). She is great around kids and loves to go for walks. Her favorite toy is a rock the size of a soccer ball that she moves around the backyard.
She loves to visit her grandparents and her great-grandparents. She truly is a loved member of our family. Even though American Staffordshires and Chows get stereotyped as aggressive and mean dogs, Mandy is the most well-behaved dog I've ever owned. She loves to grimace when she meets new people and when she sees people she hasn't seen in awhile. She has the best personality and is a big cuddler."
To submit your pet for consideration as Pet of the Week, send an e-mail to pets (at) the batavian dot com. Please be sure to include your address so we can send you a $10 gift certificate from Genesee Feeds if your pet wins.
Tomorrow, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame take a 5-1 record into the quarter final round of Section V playoff football, the sectionals.
The Irish will host Red Jacket from the Finger Lakes West League.
Red Jacket comes into the game with a 2-3 overall record and ranked 61st in the section, while Notre Dame is ranked 23rd.
Even so, Head Coach Rick Mancuso isn't taking Red Jacket lightly.
"There's a good group of teams in their league," Mancuso said. "They've earned their way here. They're going to be a real strong test. We know they throw the ball an awful lot. They run option. They've got a great defense. Their offense is really something to contend with because they spread you out and they've got the athletes to run that offense."
That offense is led by #18, Trevor Sanders, at quarterback, and Mancuso said he has a strong arm.
"He can really stretch the field," Mancuso said.
Notre Dame's offense is known as a big play unit, with the likes of Mike Pratt, Beau Richter, Gianni Zambito and Tony Bochicchio working hard to put points on the board.
Of course, getting breaks, not making mistakes, taking care of the ball and a defense that gets the job done are a big part of winning a sectional game, but Mancuso said special teams also play a big role at this stage.
"We spend about a third of our time working on special teams," Mancuso said. "Special teams are something that maybe gets overlooked by the fans, but it's something that's very, very important also."
Mancuso said his squad is ready to go and focused on this game.
"We're taking it the same way as we have all year long," Mancuso said. "Everybody says the same thing. It's cliche, 'week-to-week,' but I think that's truly what everybody has to do at this particular time. It's lose or go home. So you've got to come, you've got to play your A game, you've got to leave everything out on the field and you've got to hope for the best.
The game starts at 1:30 p.m. on the Notre Dame field.
Tonight is homecoming night for the Batavia Blue Devils. They take on Greece Olympia. If you go, please be sure to bring a donation for Don Carroll's Toys for Kids. The JV cheerleaders will be taking up collections at the gate prior to the game.
Tonight, we'll cover Oakfield-Alabama's play-off game against Cal-Mum at Cal-Mum.
In other weekend football action, Alexander hosts a playoff game against Lyons, and in non-playoff action, Pembroke is at Attica, Wellsville is at Le Roy, and tomorrow, Elba/BB is at Holley.
A Buffalo resident already under indictment for allegedly scamming a Batavia woman out of $2,000 is now facing similar charges in Albany.
Yusef Hassem, 69, is a suspect in two cases in in Albany in October 2007 and June 2008.
Det. Chuck Dudek said this afternoon that the Genesee County Jail received faxed arrest warrants from the Albany Police Department accusing Hassem of petit larceny on the first incident and robbery, 1st degree on the second.
In the June 2008 incident, according to Dudek, Hassem, a.k.a Louis A. Reed, threatened a woman with a gun after she refused to turn over her money.
In the Genesee County case, Hassem is accused of tricking a woman into handing over $2,000, saying he needed help with a financial transaction at Tonawanda Federal Credit Union.
Albany Police used the surveillance photo from that alleged incident to connect Hassem to the alleged crimes in Albany.
Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.
T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.
Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.
Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.
Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.
Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Great Kutz is Batavia's newest full-service hair salon. Women, try Great Kutz for a haircut at the incredibly low price of $7, exclusive offer from to The Batavian. (gift card can be applied toward other services, but not products).
NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.