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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 9:17 am

Today's Poll: Should marijuana be legalized?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 9:13 am

Police Beat: Man charged with DWI with children in car

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

Manuel Zuniga Perez, 28, of 10248 Brookville Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, unlicensed operation of a vehicle, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Perez was stopped in the City of Batavia by Officer Chris Camp after a domestic dispute was reported at his home in Alexander. Perez reportedly had two children in the car with him at the time he was stopped. He was jailed on $2,000 bail.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 9:01 am

Unique jacket not significant in capturing alleged bank robber

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Five Star bank robbery, Pavilion

mug-nick-hawkins.jpgAfter a long weekend off, Deputy Chief Jerome Brewster got back to us on some questions we had about the arrest of Nick A. Hawkins for allegedly robbing the Five Star Bank branch in Pavilion.

He referred most of the questions to the district attorney's office, but did say: "...the jacket did not play as significant (a) role as we thought it would. "

The bank robber wore a light blue and black jacket with "Husqvarna" lettering on the left sleeve. 

Brewster said, "The arrest was the culmination of a thorough, cooperative investigation conducted by the Sheriff's Office and State Police."

He also provided this mug shot of Hawkins.

Previously:

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Balloons Over Letchworth 09

post by Karen Miconi in

We had the treat of catching Balloons over Letchworth for their sunset launch.  It was so interesting and exciting to watch how they inflate them, and get them upright. Lots of people gathered with their camera's and video camera's in hand. It was great to watch all the kids faces, as the balloons left the ground. It kinda reminded me of The Wizard Of Oz, when Dorothy wishes her way back to Kansas.

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Police Beat: Officer finds man sleeping in his car on Main Street, charges him with DWI

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, elba

Brian M. Raphael, 21, of 4 Noonan Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and criminal possession of a weapon. Police Officer E.E. Bolles reports that he found Raphael sleeping in his car with the engine running Saturday at 3:10 a.m. at 419 E. Main St., Batavia. Upon his arrest, Raphael was allegedly found in possession of a collapsible billy club.

Michael D. Snyder, 37, of 679 E. Main St., Apt. 4a, is accused of criminal contempt and harassment. Snyder allegedly violated the terms of an order of protection by shoving his girlfriend. He was jailed without bail.

Timothy P. Tucker, 35, of 12 Ellicott St., is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test, failure to stop for a stop sign, speed not reasonable and prudent, improper turn and leaving the scene of an injury accident. On Sunday at 1:48 a.m., Tucker allegedly ran a stop sign from northbound Union Street at Oak Street. His vehicle reportedly continued through the intersection until it hit a tree. Officer Dan Coffey reports that Tucker allegedly fled the scene on foot. His female passenger suffered minor injuries in the accident. Tucker was found a short time later at his residence, according to Officer Coffey.

James Frank Webb, 27, of 10215 Colby Road, Darien, is charged with criminal contempt and harassment. Webb is accused of violating an order of protection that barred him from contacting a particular person. He allegedly called that person on the phone.

Shaundalee M. Hill, 20, of 81 Lyncourt Park, Greece, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Hill was arrested by Deputy Tim Wescott after Hill was reportedly involved in a one-car accident Fisher Road in Oakfield at 6:46 p.m. on Friday. Hill was also charged with unlicensed operation of a vehicle and having an open container.

Adam M. Ganzhorn, 25, of Town of Batavia, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration and filing a false report of an incident. He was arrested at 4346 Batavia-Elba Townline Road by State Police and jailed on $2,000 bail. No further details available.

Christopher A. Saddler, 25, of Albion, is charged with petit larceny. Saddler was arrested in the Town of Batavia by State Police. No further details available.

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Garage and all its contents, including two vehicles, destroyed in Corfu

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, fire

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A garage fire that destroyed a car, a truck, a lawn tractor and an ATV last night was sparked by a short in an electrical outlet, according to a Sheriff's Office investigation.

The fire was first reported at 12:47 a.m. at 8880 Allegheny Road in Corfu and well before the first fire units could arrive, the garage was fully engulfed in flames.

No residents of the Swiatowy home were injured, nor were any firefighter injuries reported.

The garage was unoccupied at the time.

Destroyed were a 1984 Olds Delta 88, a 2003 Ford F150 pickup truck, an ATV and a lawn tractor. A tractor parked outside of the garage was also damaged.

The home is insured.

Sgt. Brian Frieday investigated the incident.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: Above is a reader-submitted photo of the fire we received a little while ago.

Previously: Garage fire reported in Corfu

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Improper use of extension cord likely cause of Judge Road fire

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, fire

An electrical extension cord running through a basement window to a detached garage is the likely cause of a fire this morning at 2320 Judge Road, Alabama.

All five family members at the home escaped safely, and firefighters rescued the family's dog and cat.

Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger called the use of the extension cord "improper."

The fire caused $60,000 to $70,000 damage to the structure and contents of the home.

The extension cord ignited the window frame, and the fire climbed up the outside wall, crawling into second-floor bedroom, into the eaves and eventually into the attic. It also was just beginning to ignite a first-floor living room couch when the fire was suppressed.

It took units from Alabama and Oakfield an hour to fight the fire.

The home, owned by Jim Venzey and rented by Dave Kinney, was insured, Yaeger said.

Previously: House fire reported on Judge Road in Alabama

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Accused bank robber comes from Le Roy family having a tough time

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Five Star bank robbery, LeRoy, Pavilion

It's been a rough couple of months for the Hawkins family of Le Roy.

Lori Hawkins, after 32 years working for area dairy farmers hasn't been unable to find a job. On Sept. 5, her second-oldest son, Mike Burrs, died at age 31 after a lifetime battle with a congenital heart disorder.

Now her 25-year-old son, Nick A. Hawkins, is charged with robbery, accused of handing a demand note to the cashier at the Five Star Bank branch in Pavilion last Monday. He is in Genesee County jail being held on $25,000 bail.

We first met Lori Hawkins at a dairy rally at Dale Stein's farm organized by Assemblyman Steve Hawley. She showed up with a cardboard sandwich sign that read "Exp. milker 4-hire. Unemployment benefits denied. Labor dept. not much help. Can you afford to hire me? I want to work!"

So far, Hawkin's efforts to land a job haven't panned out.

Hawkins said she knows how to milk cows, care for calves, administer medication and do any of the tasks associated with being a dairy farm hand. But her experience doesn't seem to matter much these days.

"Now they're hiring Mexicans," Hawkins said. "I'm 50 years old. They look at me and I think they think I'm too old. I don't know what they are thinking."

Hawkins is the mother of four children, but she said Nick is always the one she had trouble with. School counselors advised her when he was young that Nick might be borderline ADD (Attention-deficit disordered). She said he's never been properly checked out, but wonders if he might be bipolar or have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

"When he was younger, he would always act out and then regret it later," Hawkins said.

Nick Hawkins has a criminal history that Lori said started when he was a teenager. At 14 or 15, he he was accused of stealing a bike.

She said Nick was on probation from 2002 to 2007 for stealing a four-wheeler, plus she's heard of various petty crimes.

"I'm sure he's done stuff that I don't even know about," she said.

Lori said she last saw her son one evening last week and they watched TV together.

"It (news of the bank robbery) was a shock to me," she said. "I didn't even know about it."

She said Nick has no stable work history. He learned welding at BOCES and has some dairy farm experience ("I taught him how to milk cows," she said), but he never seems to be able to hold a job.

"I don't know if he develops an attitude problem or what," she said.

The death of Mike Burrs has been hard on the entire family, Hawkins said, and there's been some dispute over what to do with Mike's belongings, which includes a snowmobile and a dirt bike. Nick didn't want his grandmother to sell those items, Lori said, and the issue upset him.

"Since his brother died five weeks ago, I've been telling him he should go to counseling," Lori said. "But he's 25 years old. He's not going to listen to what his mother tells him to do."

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 11:16 am

Domestic marijuana growth putting squeeze on Mexican cartels

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, marijuana

We saw a couple of busts this summer of people accused of growing pot, and of course the State Police flew its helicopter around looking for marijuana fields, but it turns out, increased domestic production maybe putting more hurt on Mexican drug cartels than years of "the war on drugs."

American pot growers now produce half of all the weed sold in the United States.

Contrary to traditional images of rural pot farming, small-scale production and indoor farming may have played a large role in the increased production. "While the trafficking of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is the main focus of U.S. law enforcement, it is marijuana that has long provided most of the revenue for Mexican drug cartels," the reporters write.

And like Starbuck adjusting its brand to meet increased local competition, the drug cartels are changing the way they do business.

Mexican cartels are improving their product and streamlining delivery to compete with increased U.S. production, they report. The National Drug Intelligence Center says cartels are increasingly growing pot on public lands in the U.S. to move closer to the market.

Of course, state treasuries aren't seeing a dime of benefit from all of this commerce.

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 10:33 am

Letchworth State Park In The Fall

post by Karen Miconi in Fall in the park

The Scenery was just Beautiful this weekend in the park. There was lots of fall activities going on . The Arts and Crafts Festival was right down the road from our campsite.  It was a great weekend to enjoy nature and the majestic Little Grand Canyon Of The East.  " Letchworth State Park" and all nature has to offer.

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Monday, October 12, 2009 at 9:36 am

House fire reported on Judge Road in Alabama

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, fire

A house fire has been reported at 2320 Judge Road, and a second alarm has been reported.

The caller reports heavy smoke, flames and glass breaking.

Alabama, a full response from Oakfield and an Elba pumper have been requested.

UPDATE: First responder reports, nobody is in the house.

UPDATE 9:54 a.m.: A crew inside reports there was a fire in a bedroom. The fire is knocked down a this time and the crew is checking for extensions.


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Monday, October 12, 2009 at 9:30 am

Today's Deals: Belladessa's, South Main, Alex's, Center Street and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Belladessa's Pizzeria/Jackson St. Grill, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Here's a deal -- half off on a Family Meal Deal from Belladessa's, which is a large 1 topping pizza, 24 wings and 2-liter bottle of soda. It's a $25 value for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.

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.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Ribs, brisket, steak, prime rib -- Center Street is a meat lover's paradise. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

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.

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.

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Men, enjoy a $5 haircut again with this offer exclusive 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.

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 12:57 am

Garage fire reported in Corfu

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, fire

A detached garage at 8880 Alleghany Road is fully engulfed in flames.

Fire units from Corfu and East Pembroke have responded.

Fire police have been dispatched to shut down traffic at routes 5 and 77 as well as routes 33 and 77.


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Monday, October 12, 2009 at 12:12 am

Precious Lives, Precious Moments

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

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Michelle and her children

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Psalm 19-21 NIV

But you, O LORD, be not far off;
       O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

20 Deliver my life from the sword,
       my precious life from the power of the dogs.

21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
       save  me from the horns of the wild oxen

Meet Precious; yes this young pup’s name is Precious. Precious was with us this past Saturday at Central Avenue for Saturday morning grocery distribution and prayer time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Fire alarm on Garibaldi Avenue in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield

Oakfield Fire is responding to an alarm at 40 Garibaldi Ave..

UPDATE 10:43 p.m.: Some time ago, I heard something about a smoking engine. Not sure if it was this call, but the chief just requested a full engine company response.

UPDATE 10:46 p.m.: "There's a hot spot in one of the bathrooms. We're trying to get access to the attic."

UPDATE 1:49 a.m.: Not all crews have cleared the scene, but units are being put back in service.


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Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Downtown Success Story: House of K celebrates five years in business

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, House of K

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Most new retail businesses never last past the first year. The owners either run out of cash, mismanage their inventory or pick a poor location. For Kamilla Kabel, though, she had more than a dream. She had a plan and did her research.

House of K celebrated its fifth anniversary on Saturday, and Kabel was all smiles.

"I feel it is an accomplishment," Kabel said. "I set out for a goal. My business plan said for five years of survival and I’ve done it, and (there's) even been a (widespread) financial crisis at the same time."

House of K features designer European fashion for women, and Kabel, a native of Denmark, said her stylish clothing appeals to women of Genesee County as well as drawing customers from Rochester and Buffalo.

"We bring in unique items you can't get any place else," Kabel said.

Kabel moved to the U.S. in 1999 to be closer to Batavian Ben Kabel, whom she met in Copenhagen while he was studying architecture there. They were married in 2000. The Kabels now have two children.

After obtaining a two-year degree in interior design from Monroe Community College and working as an assistant manager at Pier 1 Imports in Amherst, Kamilla wanted to do something that would give her more freedom to visit her parents in Denmark. She told the Daily News in 2004 that she always wanted to own her own business.

Retail was a good choice. The always-effusive Kabel says she loves people and the only bad times she has in the store is when there are no customers to talk with and help find the perfect dress for an afternoon wedding or pick just the right accessory for a designer blouse.

"The high point (of owning the store) has definitely been the customers," Kabel said. "We’ve become friends and I know their lives and they know me."

In a business environment where many naysayers might try to talk people out of starting their own stores, Kabel's advice is simple: "Go for it."

"You have to give it a try or you will always wonder," Kabel said. "You don’t know what lies ahead. You can try and prepare for everything, but you never know, so you’ve just got to go with the flow and change things along the way."

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Sunday Evening Deals: Mane Attraction, Picasso's, Adam Miller, Alex's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

The Mane Attraction, 99 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Mane Attraction is a spa and salon offering pedicures, manicures, hair styling and massage. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Picasso's Pizza, 419 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: A great variety of pizza, subs and salads -- and try the wings, too. We have three $5 booklets of $1 gift certificates ($15 value) for $7.50. The gift certificates can be used collectively or individually.

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.

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.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Ribs, brisket, steak, prime rib -- Center Street is a meat lover's paradise. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

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.

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.

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

SOLD OUT

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 4:34 pm

New fitness center downtown slated to open Dec. 1

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ken Mistler, Next Level Fitness

Next Level Fitness, the new fitness center Ken Mistler has been constructing at the corner of E. Main and Jackson streets, will open Tuesday, Dec. 1, Mistler said in a message on Facebook.

Doors will open for the first time at 8 a.m. on that day.

Memberships will be $19.95 per month with a $14.95 annual fee on a one-year contract.

Child care will be available for $2 for an hour-and-a-half (there will be some restrictions).

Fitness classes will also be available at an additional cost, though Mistler said the cost will be minimal.

There will be a separate workout floor for women.

The facility is completely remodeled inside using quality material. Members will be able to enjoy locker rooms with showers, as well as steam rooms.

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Better bring in your brass monkeys tonight

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Blame Canada.  It's going to be cold tonight -- low 30s -- with a "hard frost" according to the National Weather Service.

UNSEASONABLY COLD CANADIAN HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD ACROSS NEW YORK STATE TONIGHT. PARTLY CLOUDY SKIES... LIGHT WINDS... AND PLENTY OF COLD DRY AIR ASSOCIATED WITH THE HIGH WILL BRING A HARD FREEZE TO MOST OF WESTERN AND UPSTATE NEW YORK. LOW TEMPERATURES NEAR LAKE ERIE AND ONTARIO WILL NOT GET QUITE AS COLD... BUT STILL WILL DROP TO NEAR FREEZING... RESULTING IN THE FIRST FROST OF THE SEASON FOR MANY.

Farmers are advised to harvest tender crops and gardeners should bring potted plants in doors.

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 8:25 am

Pumpkin Harvest

post by JIM NIGRO in Fall Harvest, pumpkins

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Carrie Panek oversees the pumpkin harvest on the Panek Farm.

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Cut and ready for loading.

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One of many wagon loads.

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Waiting for a home...

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