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Friday, December 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Dispatch Center received more than 1,000 phone calls yesterday

post by Howard B. Owens in Dispatch Center, Sheriff's Office, weather


In answer to a request from The Batavian, Steven C. Sharpe, director of emergency communications for the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, sent along this note about call volume at the dispatch center yesterday:

On December 10, 2009, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received 1,004 telephone calls, of which 354 were 911 calls.  Our busiest period was from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. when we received 400 calls of which 165 calls were made to 911.  During that same time period there were 442 radio transmissions to and from dispatch.  To put it in perspective, during that four hours we received or answered the radio every 33 seconds, a telephone call every 36 seconds, a 911 call every 87 seconds.  We dispatched a total of 268 incidents, however many of these responses involved multiple agencies such a police, fire, emergency medical services, highway departments, and utilities.  According to our records there were 107 calls for service created for cars off the road or disabled vehicles, but many of the jobs involved multiple vehicles.  There were 56 property damage and/or personal injury accidents that were dispatched.  

These job numbers do not reflect the number of calls we transferred to the New York State Thruway for disabled vehicles and accidents on the NYS Thruway.  What is also not captured is the number of calls we received from callers telling us they were leaving their vehicles in municipal or private parking lots nor the calls we received regarding road conditions and travel advisories.  One way to help out the dispatch center is to have your listeners/readers call 585-345-3000 extension 3300 to hear the Road Conditions Update.  They can also read the different definitions for Travel Advisory, Road Closings And Travel Bans at the county website located at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/dpt/sheriff/weatheradvisory.html

Friday, December 11, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Travel advisory lifted

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, weather

The travel advisory for Genesee County has been lifted by Sheriff Gary Maha.

However, roads to both the north and south continue to be subject to drifting and blowing snow and caution is advised.

Friday, December 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Audio: Court statements by victims of M&T Bank robbery

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba robbery

In the hubbub of yesterday's storm, I never got around to posting links of the audio recorded by WBTA of the court proceedings Tuesday when Michael J. Wells received a 12.5 year sentence for his part in the mid-June M&T bank robbery in Elba.

WBTA received permission from Judge Robert Noonan to record the victim's statements, but the full audio was not available until late yesterday morning.

Interestingly, I just received a phone call from an M&T press relations representative expressing concern that the media had reported the victims' statements, "making them relive" the events, and released their names.  That's ironic because Theresa Claybourn used her statement to specifically criticize her former employer for the company's indifference to what she did that day and what she's been through as a result of that very traumatic event.

I've spoke with Theresa yesterday and know she WANTS people to hear what she had to say.   Both Claybourn and Patty Hackett specifically OK'd the recordings. If either one of them had objected, it's likely that Judge Noonan would not have authorized the recording.

Here are the links to the mp3 files.

Theresa Claybourn

Patty Hackett

Friday, December 11, 2009 at 10:39 am

Batavia digging out

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather


I drove around Batavia a bit this morning -- lots of people shoveling and snow blowing this morning.


Friday, December 11, 2009 at 9:25 am

City Fire responding to UMMC alarm

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, UMMC

City Fire has been dispatched to 228 Summit St., Batavia -- UMMC -- for a fire alarm.

There is a report of smoke in Suite 5.

Friday, December 11, 2009 at 7:21 am

Weather Watch: Heavy snow moves south, but winds continue to blow

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

The thumb print of lake effect snow coming off of Lake Erie has settled over Wyoming County this morning, but the radar over Genesee County is clear.

The National Weather Service forecasts a partly sunny, but windy morning, with a 40 percent chance of some snow in the southern parts of the county.

Winds will whip at 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 40 mph. Temperatures will hit the low 20s.

The current temperature in Batavia is 16 degrees with a wind chill factor of minus 1 degree.

There is a 70 to 80 percent chance of snow in Batavia early this afternoon, dropping off to 40 to 50 percent later in the afternoon and into the evening. The wind will die down only slighly.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Weather Watch: Lake effect snow warning has expired

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

 From the National Weather Service:





Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Bail set at $75K each for five busted at suspected meth house

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, methamphetamine
riggi.jpg mug_miller.jpg elmore.jpg
Kari L. Riggi Joshua A. Miller Christopher J. Elmore

The five Le Roy residents arrested this morning in connection with a suspected meth lab at 28 Clay St. have been charged and ordered held in Genesee County Jail on $75,000 bail each.

All five where charged criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree.

Sheriff Gary Maha announced this evening that 500 grams of methamphetamine were found at the residence.

mug_bernard.jpg mug_stephenson.jpg
Nathan D. Bernard Koree R. Stephenson


Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Digging Out in the City

post by Robin Walters in batavia, Care-A-Van Ministries

walnut street.jpg

These cars were lined up on Walnut Street this evening with their 4 ways on waiting to be able to get into their driveways.  Care-A-Van loaded the bus up with hot chocolate, chili and snow shovels and hit the streets this evening to give a lending hand.

The bus drove around the city looking for folks in need. We stopped and helped shovel people out and helped push cars that were stuck. Warm treats were offered to all.

winter night out 017.jpg

winter night out 002.jpg

finished driveway.jpg

bus walnut.jpg

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm

What does your Christmas tree look like? Send me a picture!

post by Ethan Thompson in Christmas, trees

Here's a timely request from our correspondent and video producer Ethan Thompson:

Hello everyone! I'd like to put together a video slideshow featuring pictures of peoples' Christmas trees. So take out your digital camera, snap a picture of your Christmas tree, then email the picture to ethan at jptmedia dot com.

Please include your first and last name and what town you live in. I'll be taking submissions until Dec. 20. The video will be posted on The Batavian Dec. 24.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Traffic backed up on Route 63 near Johnny's bar

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather

Traffic is reportedly at a standstill on Route 63 near Johnny's bar.

Dispatch reports numerous calls, but the dispatcher says, "we're trying to figure out what's going on out there."

Law enforcement is in route.

UPDATE: The situation on Route 63 sounds like a mess. There is a jack-knifed truck holding up traffic, and (unrelated) one truck driver is filing a complaint against another truck driver for assault.

UPDATE 8:10 p.m.: Westbound Route 20 is being closed so that a DOT plow can be extracted from a ditch.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m.: Looking at the radar map, the storm is well south of Batavia. The heaviest concentration of snow is falling from Attica up to Bethany. Darien and Alexander are on the border of the storm.

UPDATE 8:44 p.m.: A driver stuck on Richmond Avenue called for a tow. He was told: Four-hour wait.

UPDATE 9:47 p.m.: It sounds like the car mentioned in the update above has been freed from its snow  bank. Also, it sounds like a truck in Pavilion is blocking traffic now.

UPDATE 9:57 p.m.: Route 63 is open again. Also, a law enforcement officer in Texas Town is reporting one of his suspects is eight-months pregnant and is feeling pressure and discomfort. We don't know why she was arrested. She's being taken to UMMC.

View Larger Map

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Nobody found in car in rollover on Thruway

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, corfu, weather

Emergency crews responded to a report of a rollover accident on the Thruway and when they got there, there was nobody in the car and nobody around, but the car was on its roof.

Meanwhile, a semi-truck on Route 33 is reportedly "driving people" off the road. He happens to be heading toward a roadblock set up earlier this evening because of a jack-knifed truck near Seven Springs Road.

Also, inmate trustees are clearing Porter Road so law enforcement has access to the jail.

There continue to be reports of accidents, cars and trucks stuck in various locations.

UPDATE 6:08 p.m.: Route 33 is open.

UPDATE 6:13: Route 19 is open.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Weather Watch: Lake effect storm to linger in area through the evening

post by Howard B. Owens in weather


The lake-effect snowstorm hitting Genesee County isn't expected to abate for a few more hours, according to the National Weather Service.

A band of heavy lake-effect snow will continue from the towns south of Buffalo and -east across central and southern Genesee County. Expect this band to remain nearly stationary through early evening before settling farther south into the more distant south-towns later this evening, finally moving out of the area by late evening.

The storm is expected to continue dropping one- to two-inches an hour. Strong winds will create near blizzard conditions.

Meanwhile, there are still lots of drivers out on the roadways and reports continue to pour into the Dispatch Center of cars stuck in ditches.

A travel advisory issued by Sheriff Gary Maha remains in effect, recommending only necessary travel due to weather conditions.

Downtown, it's pretty much white-out conditions now.downtownwhiteout.jpg

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Photos: Main Street and Downtown Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather


A young man walks down Center Street wearing shorts.


Adam Miller, like most downtown businesses, is open.


Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Photos: Route 33, Bergen to Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in route 33, weather


Feeling pretty confident about the ability of my four-wheel drive truck with new all-weather tires, when I left Le Roy this afternoon, I decided to take Route 19 to the Byron-Bergen area and then head back to Batavia.

Route 33 proved to be an adventure. I passed at least four vehicles off the road.  At times visibility was no more than 5 or 10 feet and I had to crawl along at about 5 mph.  

I was surprised at how many people driving just regular passenger vehicles were out on the road after all of the warnings about treacherous conditions.


Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Visitor booth broken into, apparently for shelter overnight

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, chamber of commerce


The visitor information booth in the parking lot of the Holland Land Office Museum was broken into last night, according to Kelly Rapone, tourism marketing director for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

Somebody broke a lock to gain entry and then made himself at home.

Nothing was stolen -- there's nothing inside to steal, unless you think you can resell travel brochures.

"We were grateful that it had not been vandalized as we had just refinished the inside this summer," Rapone said.

The lock has been replaced.

Rapone supplied the photo.

"We're not sure what he did with all the Windex!" she said. "That was half full when we locked it up in October."

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Weather-related closures announced for hospital, college, library

Due to the severe-weather travel advisories and lake-effect snow warnings, the following closures have been reported to us:

United Memorial Medical Center outpatient sites

• Byron Family Care
• Batavia Family Care
• Tountas Family Care
• Tonawanda Seneca Family Care
• The Jerome Center
• Corporate Health
• Pembroke Diagnostics
• LeRoy Diagnostics
• Surgical Practice Office

Patients with appointments for today have been called and will be asked to reschedule.

The Hospital and Emergency Department are open. Please call 9-1-1 for emergency medical attention.

Genesee Community College is closing at 4 p.m. -- no classes for tonight.

The Byron-Bergen Public Library is closed today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Current radar map shows storm cutting across Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in weather


Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Thruway cams display current conditions

post by Howard B. Owens in weather


You can view current conditions on the Thruway from three webcams positioned along the route in the county here.

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