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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 12:29 am

O'Lacy's takes top honors for Guinness pour

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, O'Lacy's Irish Pub

Any bloke can pour a beer, but getting the perfect head on a Guinness -- that's an art.

It turns out that nobody in New York, or the entire Eastern United States for that matter, pours a better Guinness than the staff at O'Lacy's Irish Pub on School Street in Batavia.

The O'Lacy's pour is so good, in fact, that it placed number three in the nation in a contest sponsored by the Ireland-based Diageo Company, makers of Guinness.

The winners were selected based on the text-message votes of patrons of bars that serve Guinness.

O'Lacy's, opened in 1997 and is owned by Kent Ewell & Nancy Bachulak. It beat out 2,100 other contestants for the "best pour" honor.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Pictures: Bank Street Road garage fire

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire


These are pictures from the fire we reported this afternoon on Bank Street Road. The fire was confined to a garage owned by Everett West. The fire appears to have started with a wood stove in one corner of the garage and quickly spread to the second level. Daniel West was working outside of the garage at the time of the fire and spotted smoke coming from the garage and called 9-1-1.

Town of Batavia and Elba fire responded and Oakfield and Stafford provided standby at the Batavia fire halls.

More pictures after the jump:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Wheelchair-bound woman dies in State Street fire

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire


(Post updated 10:18 p.m.)

A woman who'd been reportedly warned about smoking near her oxygen tank died tonight in a fire at 132 State St., Batavia.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but several people reported hearing explosions as the fire broke out.

Batavia Police Officer Chris Camp was the first on scene and reported a fully involved structure fire. Camp and witnesses tried to enter the residence to rescue the woman, but flames, fed by exploding oxygen tanks, prevented them from reaching her.

UPDATE 9:42 a.m., Wednesday: The woman has been identified as Mary E. Pawlukiewicz

The woman's husband arrived at the scene about 6:45 p.m., but other family members had not yet been notified, so the woman's identity was not released. She was 57, reportedly confined to a wheelchair and lived alone in a ground-floor apartment.

chief_ralph_hyde.jpgBatavia Fire Chief Ralph Hyde said city firefighters found the woman's body buried under rubble.

"That was hard on them," he said.

The complex was home to three families, according to landlord Chuck Pero.

"It's just too bad that it happened," Pero said. "She was warned about not smoking with the oxygen. She wouldn't listen to anybody."

When firefighters arrived on scene at 5:45 p.m., flames were already reaching into the attic, according to Hyde.

"I had some report of an oxygen tank exploding, which would have fed that fire very rapidly," Hyde said.

The investigation by Batavia fire and police remains ongoing at 10:15 p.m., with the assistance from Genesee County Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Hunt and and New York State Fire Investigator Montour Falls.

American Red Cross is assisting the other displaced families.


Above, after learning of a family member's death, relatives console each other with a fire official.

More pictures after the jump:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Report of house fire on State Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

A house fire has been reported at 132 State St., Batavia.

It's a confirmed working structure fire in a four-unit complex.

Numerous explosions reported in the building. An elderly woman may still be in the building.

It's gone to a second alarm.

UPDATE(S)(Billie Owens)( (5:57 p.m.): They first accessed the basement. Soon thereafter over the scanner -- "We've pretty much got it knocked out," reports a firefighter at the scene. All occupants are out. They're checking the basement, first and second floors once more.

UPDATE (6:01 p.m.): Heard over the scanner: "We've got zero visability up here. Can we please get some windows broken out." Also, a Town of Batavia crew is heading to city fire headquarters for standby.

UPDATE (6:11 p.m.): They've almost got the fire out in the attic now, but need ventilation. There are no windows, so they're going to tear open the roof.

UPDATE (6:22 p.m.): City police have confirmed there is one fatality.

UPDATE (6:34 p.m.): The property owner, Chuck Pero, said the person who died in the fire was an older woman who'd lived there 15 years. He said she was recently warned not to smoke around her oxygen tank. But the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Also, National Grid is headed to the scene and American Red Cross is requested to assist one resident.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Kids under 10 need TWO doses of H1N1 vaccine

Here's important information for parents and guardians from the Genesee County Health Department:

In response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the local health department has coordinated H1N1 vaccine distribution to numerous physician offices throughout the county. In addition, we have conducted several Points of Dispensing (POD’s) in order to assist the medical professionals in protecting our community against this virus. A large number of these clinics were established directly at schools within Genesee County prior to the holiday recess in December.

On Jan. 23, a clinic was held at the Batavia City Centre to target the child population requiring a second dose. Children less than 10 years of age need to receive two .25 ml doses of the vaccine at least 28 days apart, to provide the proper immune protection against the H1N1 Virus.

If your child has not received their second dose, we ask you contact the Genesee County Health Department or your primary care physician to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The vaccine is FREE. Some physicians may require an administrative fee.

For more information on the H1N1 virus and for a schedule of H1N1 clinics in Genesee County, please visit: HYPERLINK "http://www.readyGenesee.com" www.ReadyGenesee.com or call the Genesee County Health Department for an appointment at: 585-344-2580 ext. 5000.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Textile business evacuated following smoke alarm

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

Employees of Angelica Textile Services, located at 3 Apollo Drive in the City of Batavia, have been evacuated from the building following a smoke alarm.

It is reported that there is possibly a fire smoldering in a dryer vent, where some lint may have ignited during maintenance work.

A little smoke was seen coming out of an exhaust blower vent. A firefighter asked that the blower be turned on and "send a drying chemical right up through the system."

The company at that location provides linens and "textile solutions" to the healthcare industry.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Garage fire reported on Bank Street Road

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A garage fire is reported at 8058 Bank St. Road in the Town of Batavia. The town's firefighters are responding and an engine is requested from Elba.

The roof of the garage is smoking and the cause is believed to be a wood stove.

Oakfield is filling in at Station 1 and Stafford is filling in at Station 2. Mercy EMS is nearby in case needed.

UPDATE (12:28 p.m.): Heavy fire is on the second floor moving to first floor.

UPDATE (12:32 p.m.): Elba fire police are requested at Bank Street Road and Hawley Road as well as Saille Drive and Bank Street Road.

UPDATE (12:37 p.m.): A portion of Bank Street Road is being closed to traffic. The fire is coming through the ceiling now and the firefighters are breaking up the middle of the structure to fight it.

UPDATE (1:19 p.m.): The fire is under control and a few minutes ago a fireman said "three sides look good."

Howard Owens took pictures at the fire scene, which he will post later today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 10:52 am

Police Beat: Driver accused of possession after deputy reports smell of burnt pot in car

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, corfu, crime, elba, pembroke, Stafford

Taylor Dylan Carbonaro, 19, of 1044 Peck Road, Hilton, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Carbonaro was stopped on Route 77 in Pembroke at 7:07 p.m. Monday by Deputy Patrick Reeves for an alleged traffic violation. Deputy Reeves reported smelling the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the car and found Carbonaro allegedly in possession of cannabis. Carbonaro was also issued tickets for alleged failure to keep right and throwing refuse/cigarette on the highway.

Todd L. Fairbanks, 27, of 38 Prospect Ave., Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment 2nd. Fairbanks is accused of making several unwanted and annoying telephone calls to a female acquaintance. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Rebecca L. Santiago, 23, of Stafford, was arrested Jan. 23 and charged with petit larceny. The arrested appeared in today's State Police blotter. She was also charged with criminal mischief. No further details provided.

A 17-year-old girl from Corfu is charged with harassment 2nd. She was arrested by State Police in Pembroke at 11 a.m. Monday. No further details provided.

Accidents from the State Police blotter:

6:22 p.m., Feb. 8, Weatherwax Road, Elba, one vehicle; Driver 1: Glenn J. Northup, 63, of Byron. No injuries reported.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

Today's Deals: Delavan's, T.F. Brown's, Matty's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Jackson St. Grill/Belladessa's, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When it's time for a great hamburger, Jackson St. Grill will serve you among the best around. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 7:55 am

Two women hurt in Downtown Batavia accident

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

Two women were seriously injured in an early morning accident on East Main Street.

The accident occurred at 12:45 a.m. after a woman whose car became disabled called a friend for help. That friend was pushing the car from the middle of the roadway when another vehicle slammed into the disabled car.

The woman pushing the disabled car was struck and pinned between the vehicles. The disabled car was hit so hard it traveled another block down the street.

Both women were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

The names of the women have not been released yet nor has the driver of the other vehicle been identified. That driver was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation by City Police and the State Police Accident Reconstruction Team.

(via WBTA)

UPDATE: The people involved have been identified:

  • Pearl Jefferson, 19, of Rochester, was the driver of the disabled vehicle. She suffered a head injury.
  • Megan McClurg, 19, of Perry, was Pearl's friend who was pushing her car. Megan suffered leg injuries.
  • Brandon Gendron, 21, of Oakfield, was the driver of the second vehicle. He was not injured.

Jefferson was treated at Strong Memorial Hospital and released. McClurg is in satisfactory condition at Strong.

Police do not suspect drinking was involved. The investigation is pending. 

Gendron was driving a Dodge minivan and Jefferson was driving a Chevy Cavalier.

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm

SilkPeel: A fresh face in 30 minutes at an affordable price

post by Billie Owens in business, lamb family medicine, Sponsored Post


If you want to put your best face forward, so to speak, consider getting a SilkPeel treatment at Lamb Family Medicine.

It takes 30 minutes, costs 50 bucks and works a small wonder on your skin. Lamb Family Medicine, at 7 Evans St., is also an aesthetic center and the only provider of SilkPeel in Batavia.

The procedure is remarkably clever, easy and worth every penny. I had it done last week and I hope to do it again.

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Council denies local landlord chance to buy foreclosed property in auction

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council

Landlords, if you expect to buy property through future city real estate auctions, you better make sure you don't have any prior code violations on your record.

At least that's the message the Batavia City Council decided to send tonight when it voted against selling a property at 9 Willow St. to Michael Pullinzi, who has reportedly been cited 13 times over seven years on five different properties.

"Our neighborhoods have problems and go bad one year at a time, one day at a time, one decision at a time," said Councilman Bill Cox in support of the motion to deny Pullinzi a chance to buy the property. "We need to start saying, ‘we’re no longer going to accept the status quo.'"

Pullinzi bid $21,000 for the property, which came up for auction after the city foreclosed on the land for non-payment of property taxes.

The second highest bidder, at about $20,500, will now be offered the property.

Council members Rose Mary Christian, Frank Ferrando, Sam Baron and Bob Bialkowski all voted against denying Pullinzi the land.

Ferrando said it was unfair to deny Pullinzi the property "out of the blue," when the council has never acted before on its discretion to deny an auction winner the real estate.

"We’ve never looked at this," Ferrando said. "It doesn’t mean we shouldn't. This is great. But I think we should from this point on work to put together a procedure and a process and be able to inform the citizens of our community this is the criteria established, if you’re going to bid on property, here are our expectations."

City ordinances allow the council to consider past history and decide whether the auction winner will be a responsible property owner.

Christian argued that the city has a code-enforcement officer and Pullinzi promptly responded to previous citations, fixing the problems in question.

City Council President Marianne Clattenburg favored taking a stand on this case to send a message to other landlords.

"There is a cost associated with opening up (those cases) and investigating them," Clattenburg said. "If you want to make the case that they’re closed that’s fine, but some of us have a problem with the fact that they existed in the first place."

After being interrupted by Christian, Clattenburg added, "The city had to hire another code-enforcement officer at considerable expense because of issues like this. Let’s not forget that we made it an issue to enforce this at considerable expense to the taxpayer."

Also sold at auction were 3 Roosevelt Ave. to Robert Norton for $35,000, and 3-5 Hutchins Place to Greg Post for $600. Both of those properties were sold following property-tax foreclosure.

The following properties were also sold: 432 South Jackson and 438-440 South Jackson to Richard Spicola for $3,100; 618 Ellicott St. Rear to Genesee & Mohawk Valley Railroad for $1,000; East Main Street Rear to Greg Post for $500; and, E/S Clifton Ave. to David J. MonteVerde for $500.

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Monday, February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Nobody at budget and water rate hearing, but Council getting citizen input, Clattenburg says

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, budget, city council

The audience was quite small for tonight's public hearings on the proposed 2010/2011 City of Batavia budget and a proposed water rate increase.

Between the two hearings, one person -- John Roach -- made a statement.

City Council President Marianne Clattenburg said she wasn't surprised.

marianne_clattenburg.jpg"It (the lack of turnout) tells me that they've probably contacted us personally," Clattenburg said. "They've been following things in the media and understand the position we're in and realize we're trying to work through some difficult times. As always we're open to listening to constituents and if they can't make it to the meeting -- lots of people do get their information from other sources -- and they let us know."

There was no vote taken tonight (that will come at the next council meeting), but this was the chance for the public to weigh in on a proposed 1.5-percent property tax increase and the first in a series of planned, gradual water rate increases aimed at raising money to fix infrastructure.

Clattenburg said the council has gotten ample feedback from members of the public prior to tonight's meeting.

"People have come forward," Clattenburg said. "They realize the reasoning behind the tax increase and what we're trying to do with the infrastructure improvements and I think they just support what we're trying to do."

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Weather: Cold and snow continue through the week

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

ice_waterfall.jpgNot surprising for Western New York in the middle of February, the cold and snow keeps coming.

Tonight, there will be some lake effect snow east of Batavia, but Batavia itself may get only minor dusting.

There will be a little snow Tuesday night, with 100-percent chance of snow on Wednesday, but it doesn't sound like it will be much of a storm.

Highs will be in the mid 20s with some, but not much, wind.

Picture: A very large icicle is forming from the waterspout off Strong Forge on School Street.

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Grand Jury Report: Indictment in Days Inn drug case

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Grand Jury, Le Roy, thruway

The Grand Jury has issued a two-count indictment against Lekisha M. Avant. Avant is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd and criminal possession of a controlled substance 4th. The indictment alleges that on Feb. 8, 2005, Avant, while at the Days Inn, 200 Oak St., Batavia, did knowingly and unlawfully possess a narcotic drug, cocaine, with the intent to sell it. The indictment further alleges that on Dec. 29, 2009, Avant was again at the Days Inn and knowingly and unlawfully in possession one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug (cocaine) having an aggregate weight of one-eighth an ounce or more. (For initial arrest report, click here.)

The Grand Jury also issued a two-count indictment against Charles Brown. Brown is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation 1st and aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd. The indictment accuses Brown of driving on Aug. 20, 2009, on the Thruway through Le Roy when he knew, or had reason to know that his license was suspended. Brown allegedly was operating with 10 or more suspensions imposed on at least 10 separate dates. The alleged suspensions date back to Feb. 6, 2003.

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Accident leads to closure of Bethany Center Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany

An accident with either minor or no injuries has been reported in the area of 9718 Bethany Center Road, Bethany.

A vehicle reportedly struck a utility poll and rolled over.

There are electrical wires down in the roadway and fire police have been called in to shut down the road until repairs can made.

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Monday, February 8, 2010 at 9:55 am

Police Beat: Man accused of trying to return empty box to Walmart

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, alexander, crime, elba, Oakfield

Corey J. Hemmer, 23, of 91 S. Main Apt. B, Elba, is charged with petit larceny. Hemmer reportedly tried to return an empty box to Walmart at 6:41 p.m. Friday in exchange for a gift card. Hemmer reportedly received a gift card and after he left the customer service counter, employees reportedly discovered the box had no merchandise inside. Hemmer was located at a cash register attempting to purchase merchandise from the store.  When confronted by a loss prevention officer from the store, Hemmer allegedly ran from the store. When he was caught outside, Hemmer allegedly resisted detention. The loss prevention officer also reportedly spotted merchandise inside of Hemmer's jacket. Hemmer was eventually found hiding behind trees off Route 63.

Alice E. Coover, 34, of 112 Lake St., Apt. 1, Le Roy, is charged with three counts of unlawful dealing with a child 1st. Coover was arrested by Sgt. Michael J. Hare of the Le Roy Police Department for allegedly providing alcohol to three teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights.

Amy E. Loranty, 27, of 215 Bank St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Loranty is accused of being in Target at 12:15 p.m. yesterday with her boyfriend and her two children when she allegedly stole articles of clothing.

Thomas C. Couse, 45, of 2728 Buffalo Road, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, failure to stop at stop sign and moving from lane unsafely. Couse was allegedly involved in a car accident at 3:20 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Route 33 and 33A, Bergen. Couse allegedly left the scene of the accident and then was identified when he returned to the scene. The accident was investigated by Deputy John Weis.

Jason Norman Haacke, 32, of 47 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Haacke was stopped by at 8:59 p.m. Saturday by Deputy Jason Saile in Oakfield for allegedly speeding. He was then arrested on the alleged DWI charges.

Robert Alan Steavens, 41, of 3478 Spring Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, improper right turn, failure to dim headlights.  Steavens was stopped at 2:13 a.m. Friday in Darien by Deputy Jason Saile.

Ryan M. Bobzin, 21, of Bergen, is charged with harassment 2nd. Bobzin was arrested by State Police at 11:17 p.m. Sunday. No further details were released.

Accidents from the State Police blotter:

2:37 p.m., Feb. 6, Judge Road, Alabama, two vehicles; Driver 1: Wendi L. Kavenagh, 34, of Le Roy; Driver 1: Daniel J. Davis, 43, of Middleport. No injuries reported.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Ice dams and attic condensation

post by Howard B. Owens in Mark Lewis Agency, Sponsored Post


Two types of attic water damage are common in cold climates: ice dams and condensation of water vapor on cold surfaces in the attic.

Ice Dams

gutterdamning.jpgIce dams sometimes occur on sloping roofs in climates with freezing temperatures. When the temperature in your attic is above freezing, it causes snow on the roof to melt and run down the sloping roof. When the snowmelt runs down the roof and hits the colder eaves, it refreezes.

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