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Friday, September 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Man fined in Pavilion for storing unregistered vehicles accused of similar activity in Alden

post by Howard Owens in code enforcement, Pavilion

Steven Weber, recently fined $4,500 in Pavilion Town Court for violating property maintenance codes, is also making people in the Town of Alden unhappy over storage of broken down cars on a piece of property there, according to Christopher E. Gust, president of the Alden Chamber of Commerce.

Gust said Weber owns property at the corner of Route 20 and Alaura Drive that has been used to store unregistered, uninspected vehicles for a long time.

In Alden, apparently, rather than enforce the property code through the courts, the Town of Alden Board can vote to levy judgements against alleged violators.

The Alden board voted to file a judgement against Weber for $42,500 on Aug. 19, according to a board resolution sent to The Batavian by Gust.

"The officers of the Alden Chamber of Commerce, which Mr. Weber is a member of, the Alden Town Board, the Alden Economic Development Committee and nearby residents are all very concerned about this situation and the negative visual impact Mr. Weber’s property has along the Town of Alden’s main east-west route," Gust said.

As of today, he said, Weber has yet to remove vehicles from the property. In fact, he said, over the past month Weber seems to have added even more vehicles to the lot.

Weber removed the vehicles from his property at 11076 Lake Road and from his parent's property at 11256 Perry Road.

Jacob Weber, Steven's father, was fined $22,000 for the vehicles stored on his property.

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 8:34 pm

What is a Christian? An example to follow!

I am a Christian was the title of a recent sermon I heard that got my attention. What exactly is a Christian? A Christian is a person who believes with their heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins. It is a person who confesses their sin to God in prayer and asks for His forgiveness (Romans 10:9-10). It is a person who desires to live a life pleasing to God. It is a person who denies himself to become a follower of Christ (Luke 9:23). What does it mean to become a follower of Christ? It is a choice to commit yourself to God moment by moment, making your relationship with Him important, putting Him first. It’s about making choices that will please our Lord, striving to become more and more like Him. The bible says, “This is how we know we are in Him: whoever claims to be in Him must walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6). Let’s look at Jesus, who He is and what He has done. The bible tells us that God the Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life (John 3:16). He came to serve, and to become a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). It doesn’t take long after watching or reading the news to see that we live in a world that is far from perfect. It is a world full of sin and evil. Jesus came and laid down His life for us, He was nailed to the cross to take our sin for us. Those who call to Him for forgiveness will be saved from the consequence of their sin, eternal separation from Him (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ carried the burden of all our sins out of His love for us. He was beaten, spit upon, mocked, and whipped to the point of near death. He had a crown of thorns placed upon His head, stripped of His clothes, and then nailed to a cross (Mark 15:16-32; Matthew 27:26-31). He did this for you and for me. He endured the suffering for us and took our place. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). While Jesus was on earth, He humbly served others, putting them before himself. He was a teacher of God’s Word and told others how to receive eternal life through Him (John 3:1-21; John 4:1-26). He would withdraw to desolate places often to seek His Father in heaven (Luke 5:16). He was a man of prayer! The bible tells us that Jesus was raised from the dead after three days and now sits on the right hand of God the Father where He intercedes for us. Jesus Christ is still praying, praying for you and for me (Romans 8:34). Do you say, “I am a Christian?” Are there some things we as Christians need to change? Look again at our example in Jesus Christ. He was forgiving…are we? He was willing to be mocked for the sake of doing His Fathers will…are we? He served others and put them before himself…do we? He told others about the way to eternal life…do we? He was a praying man…are we? May we as Christians do what we need to do to become followers of Jesus Christ. He is our example! One way to become more like Him is to learn how to pray. The bible teaches us about prayer. Batavia Assembly of God, located at 24 North Spruce Street, is hosting its 3rd annual prayer conference September 13th from 6pm to 9pm (registration from 6pm-7pm), and September 14th from 8am to 4pm. Dick LaFountain will be the keynote speaker. Dick's passion is to motivate a renewed love for prayer and the presence of God in our churches. The title for the conference is “Presence, Prayer and the Power of God”. Elmwood Drive will lead worship. The registration fee is $15 per person, $20 per couple. Breakfast and lunch are included. You may register by calling the church at 585-343-8521. Please register by Sept 6th. Payment is at the door. Hope to see you there.

Event Date and Time

September 2, 2013 - 8:25pm
Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Down wire sparks cornfield fire, traffic tied up on Route 19 at Wyoming County line

post by Howard Owens in fire, Pavilion

A downed power line appears to have sparked a fire in a cornfield in the area of 637 Pavilion Warsaw Road, Town of Covington.

That's in Pavilion's fire district and Pavilion fire is on scene.

Dispatchers have received multiple calls about the fire and a chief said people keep stopping on the road to check on the fire.

Southbound Route 19 is closed and the Pavilion chief has requested that Wyoming fire close northbound Route 19.

National Grid is responding to the scene.

UPDATE 8:36 p.m.: Pavilion is now dispatched to a possible house fire at 550 Crossman Road, Town of Covington. The house was struck by lightning. The location is within Pavilion's fire district.

UPDATE 8:40 p.m. The house will be checked with a thermal camera. The residents are not entirely sure if the house was struck. There was a big bang and then the power went out.


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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Webers receive $26,500 in fines for property code violations in Pavilion

post by Howard Owens in code enforcement, Pavilion

Jacob and Steven Weber, father and son, were sentenced in Pavilion Town Court today to fines and community service for their violations of the state's property maintenance code.

Jacob Weber -- who entered a guilty plea July 9 to 46 violations for storing unregistered and uninspected vehicles on his property at 11256 Perry Road -- was fined $22,000 and given a one-year conditional release from jail time.

Steven Weber -- who entered a guilty plea the same day as his father to 16 violations for storing unregistered and uninspected vehicles on his property at 11076 Lake Road (the former firehouse) -- received $4,500 fine, 50 hours of community service and one-year conditional release.

A failure to abide by release conditions could result in a new charge for violating a court order and a resentencing on the original charges.

Dan Lang, code enforcement officer for Pavilion, said the violations on both properties have been corrected.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Z&M Ag and Turf takes Pavilion softball championship

post by Howard Owens in Le Roy, Pavilion, softball, sports

Photo and information submitted by Tim Kingdon.

The Z&M Ag and Turf's "Ballbusters" took the Thursday night Pavilion slowpitch softball league championship over the weekend. The Ballbusters met Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew in the finals where -- despite being down to only nine guys due to injury -- they were able to beat the Eagle twice in a row to capture their first league championship. They would like to thank the Pavilion Volunteer Fire Department and R.L. Jeffres & Sons, Inc., for the countless hours they put into the field all season.
 
Pictured from left in the front row: Scott Lazarony, Mike Hackett, Jon Parks, Mike Anderson, Tim Kingdon. Back row from left: Dale Buck, Adam Logdson, Mike Lafex, Kevin Young and Brad Whight.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 8:28 am

Law and Order: Woman accused of using knife to attack and injure people

post by Howard Owens in batavia, corfu, crime, elba, Pavilion

Latoya D. Jackson, 27, of 112 State St., Batavia, is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17, assault 2nd, and assault 2nd (recklessly causing serious injury with a weapon). Jackson was allegedly involved in a fight at 121 Liberty St., Batavia, in which she injured two people with a knife at 8:39 p.m., Monday.

Dustin W. Bogue, 31, of 109 Oak St., Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd, criminal contempt, 1st, harassment, 2nd. Bogue is accused of violating a no-offensive-conduct order of protect.

Michael S. Lytle, 24, of 11 Wood St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, for allegedly violating an order of protection.

Raymond Paul Meshlovitz, 34, of Main Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and unlawful possession of a prescription form. During a search of his residence by probation, Meshlovitz was allegedly found in possession of brass knuckles, a switchblade knife and prescription forms.

Jacob Duane Defisher, 17, of Roanoke Road, Pavilion, is charged with petit larceny. Defisher is accused of stealing money from Darien Lake while employed there.

Amanda Marie Bowles, 28, of Williams Street Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Bowles is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Tammy L. Draper, 46, of 22 Porter Ave., Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Draper is accused of making obscene gestures and yelling obscenities while on State Street at 3:39 p.m., Saturday.

Landrea D. Wroten, 41, of 5 Dellinger Ave., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Wroten is accused of stealing a friend's purse.

Cody D. Cutitta, 26, of 5 Fairmont Ave., Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment and disorderly conduct. Cutitta is accused of standing in the middle of Fairmont Avenue and swearing at 2:15 a.m. He's also accused of making threats by phone.

Nicola Marchesoni, 53, of Hamilton Street, Albion, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana, failure ot keep right and moving from lane unsafely. Marchesoni was stopped at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday on Quaker Hill Road, Elba, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Friday, August 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

Law and Order: Inmate accused of throwing feces at corrections officer

post by Howard Owens in batavia, corfu, crime, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford

Kyle Justin James Jackson, 21, of Slusser Road, Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment. Jackson, while incarcerated in the Genesee County Jail, allegedly threw a plastic cup containing feces at a corrections officer. Jackson remains in jail on other charges.

Sandra Rae Marceill, 66, of Sanders Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving too slow/impeding traffic and moving from lane unsafely. Marceill was stopped at 11:04 p.m. Aug. 9 on Main Road, Stafford, by Deputy James Diehl.

David Michael Jackson, 36, of Lake Road, Pavilion, is charged with forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse, 3rd. Jackson is accused of touching the intimate parts of a person less than 17 years old.

April Lynn Walradt, 36, of Westcott Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Walradt was allegedly the driver in a motor-vehicle accident reported at 1:18 a.m. Thursday on Westcott Road, Le Roy. The accident was investigated by Deputy Matthew Fleming.

David Alexander Bramblett, 44, of Chapin Street, Canandaigua, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, unlicensed driver. Bramblett was stopped on Route 77 in Corfu following a report of an apparently intoxicated driver from a witness on the Thruway. Bramblett was stopped at 4:19 p.m. Tuesday by Deputy Eric Seppela.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Sentencing postponed for Pavilion property owners who stored disabled vehicles

post by Howard Owens in code enforcement, crime, Pavilion

In Pavilion Town Court today, Pavilion Attorney Jamie Welch agreed that Steven Weber has complied with a requirement to remove illegally stored vehicles from his property at 11076 Lake Road.

There are still at least a dozen vehicles that need to be removed from the property of his parents, Jacob and Mary Weber, at 11256 Perry Road, Pavilion.

Because of the progress Weber has made, his attorney, Richard Sherwood, and Welch reached an agreement to delay Weber's sentencing for two weeks in order to give him more time to remove the disabled vehicles from his parent's property.

On July 9, Steven Weber entered a guilty plea to a 15-count indictment accusing him of violating the state's property maintenance code. Jacob Weber admitted to 46 such violations.

Both were scheduled to be sentenced today, but the sentencing has been postponed until Aug. 27.

In exchange for the delay, both agreed to waive their right to appeal whatever sentences they receive.

Under a prior plea agreement, Jacob Weber will not receive any jail time, but he could still be fined a maximum of $750 per violation of the code. 

Steven faces the possibility of jail time plus a $350 per-violation fine.

Jacob's fine is higher because of a prior conviction on the same charges within the past five years.

In court today, Steven disputed that there were really 15 violations on his property, saying that there were only 11 disabled, unregistered vehicles on his property. Sherwood reminded him he had already entered a guilty plea to 15 counts.

Sherwood said there are 18 remaining cars on Jacob's property that Steven owns. At least six of the vehicles are in fact licensed. Of the remaining cars, they haven't been removed because the brakes have seized and the wheels can't turn.

Sherwood said those cars will need to be jacked up and the brakes repaired or removed before the wheels will turn and the cars can be placed on flatbed trailers and hauled away.

While Welch was willing to go along with a delay in sentencing, he wasn't willing to give the Webers much credit for progress made.

"We disagree with the defendant that he has made a lot of progress," Welch said. "In March he received a letter containing all the charges and nothing was done. Several months went by with no progress. Now he tells the court the cars are in such a state of disrepair from their long storage that their wheels are seized and some of them need to be dug out of the earth. We are trying to work with Mr. Weber here. We've given him every chance. If he comes back in 14 days and there's a single violation, the court will have full discretion to sentence him up to the maximum."

When asked if he understood the terms of the extension, Steven Weber said he did, but wanted to dispute some of the statements made by Welch.

When his attorney tried to quite him, Steven said, "but it ends up in The Batavian and I don't appreciate what winds up in The Batavian."

Prior to the hearing, Weber spoke with The Batavian briefly and said the stories about his case have been inaccurate. He said his cars are not junk. He said he wasn't willing to talk further at this time.

Sherwood told Weber he will be able to tell the court anything he wants about the case at his sentencing on Aug. 27.

Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm

3rd Annual Prayer Conference

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE...Batavia Assembly of God Church is hosting its 3rd Annual Prayer Conference Friday, Sept. 13th, 6:00pm to 9:00pm (registration is from 6pm - 7pm) and Saturday, Sept. 14th, 8:00am to 4pm. The theme for the conference is "Presence, Prayer, and the Power of God". The keynote speaker will be Dick LaFountain. Dick is an accomplished  speaker and a published author of the book, "Time Alone With God". His passion is to motivate a renewed love for prayer and the presence of God in our churches. Workshops will also be available. Worship will be led by Elmwood Drive. The registration cost is $15 per person, $20 per couple. Breakfast and lunch are included. All are invited and encouraged to come. Please register by Sept. 6th by calling the church at 585-343- 8521. Payment is at the door. Thank you!  
 

Event Date and Time

September 13, 2013 - 6:00pm - September 14, 2013 - 8:00am
Monday, August 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Son of a farmer, Tillotson makes his own way in the dairy business

post by Howard Owens in agriculture, Farming, Genesee County Farms, Pavilion

This is the fourth in our series on Genesee County's farms and farmers. For previous stories, click here.

When Brent and Polly Tillotson bought their house -- a farmhouse on nearly five acres built on Sparks Road in 1855 -- it wasn't necessarily with the intention of going into the dairy business.

The property put the young couple with two children close to the 1,100-cow dairy farm of Brent's father, Dave Tillotson.

Brent worked at the farm sometimes. He also drove trucks. He liked the idea of being his own boss, especially growing up in a family of farmers, but he hadn't quite arrived at that decision yet.

Then he started to hear about how Upstate Farms needed more dairy farmers who could deliver quality organic milk.

He and Polly started to talk it over, did a little research, tried to figure out what it would take and decided they liked the idea.

It wouldn't be easy -- there's more paperwork, different yields, higher feed prices and just more work -- but it also made a lot of sense, even for a guy who wasn't into organics for health or environmental reasons.

"It was just a business decision," Tillotson said while sitting behind a small, black metal desk in  his cube of an office next to his milking parlor. "You get a contract. The price doesn't fluctuate like it does in a normal milk market. I can bank on what we're going to get paid, make plans and know I'm going to have this place paid off in a certain number of years if I just follow the plan."

Getting a little help from his father certainly made it easier to get started, Tillotson said. He could, of course, tap into his father's expertise, but Dave Tillotson also had pasture land to lease and the kind of strong reputation that helps secure bank loans, even into six figures.

"The banks weren't busting to give me a loan," Brent said. "My father helped. They know he's a good dairy man and a good business man. He's also the best resource in the world with his knowledge of cows."

Dave Tillotson down plays his role in his son's business. He says Brent is his own man. He said he doesn't want to take anything away from what his son has accomplished. He won't take credit for anything.

"I don't stick my nose in it," Dave said. "I let him run his own business. I don't have a clue about their financials or what they're doing day-to-day. They take care of all that stuff. I have my own business to run. If he needs my help, he asks for it and I give it to him. If he doesn't want my advice, he doesn't get it."

If that sounds harsh, know that Dave was smiling and laughing as he said it.

He's clearly proud of his son's business, which has been up and running for about four years.

"I came from a family where there were three brothers and the farm got split up," Dave said. "I have two boys and a daughter. I always wanted to give them the opportunity to have their own farms."

Life on a dairy farm is never laidback, especially when the farm is organic and cows need to be regularly rotated from pasture to pasture and into and out of the milking parlor. The tasks of herd management include the proper timing and care for calving, and filing out of piles of paperwork.

To remain certified organic, Polly -- who has a full-time job away from the farm but also handles the bookkeeping -- needs to file forms that cover daily animal and paddock movements for the animals, what they're eating in pasture and what they're being fed in troughs.

Organic means no herbicides or pesticides in the food the cows eat and no hormone injections to boost production.

"The cow is as good as she is," Tillotson said. "There's no pumping her up to get more production. We can change her feed around, but only as long as it's all organic."

Just to get their initial certification, the pasture had to be properly prepared, which took three years. A mix of rye, fescue and alfalfa was planted and then the grasses had to grow without any ground sprays before the organic herd could set hoof on it.

When it came time to choose cows, Tillotson went for Jerseys. The black and tan cows may be smaller and don't produce as much liquid milk, but their milk contains more protein and is said to have a creamery taste.

That higher fat content -- what the industry calls components -- commands a higher price. 

A Holstein's milk might be three pounds per hundred weight of protein, the Jersey's milk is about five pounds per hundred weight.

It costs more to raise an organic Jersey and there's less liquid, but the higher milk fat concentration makes up the difference.

"We make more off the components than off fluid," Tillotson said. "Our milk production is lower, but the compenents are higher, so that makes up for a little bit of the milk production deficit."

The organic milk market is still a fraction of the entire milk market, but the demand for organic milk grew 2.3 percent last year, according to Mark Serling, who markets organic milk for Upstate.

The boom in Greek yogurt has also meant a boom for organic Greek yogurt.

"We signed their farm and others because we continue to see nice growth on the organic milk side," Serling said. "There is also additional demand on the yogurt said. It takes three times as much milk to make Greek yogurt and that really drives the need for additional milk."

The organic milk market is one largely built on myth. There's no scientific evidence, both Tillotson and Serling note, that says conventional milk posses any problem for human consumption. The nutritional benefits are the same.

"There's nothing wrong with conventional milk," Tillotson said. "The flavor is a little different. It's processed differently, but it's good milk. It's all about what you want for your family. If you don't want the antibiotics or the hormones in your family's food or what you drink, then that's what you want for your family."

Serling said it's a lifestyle choice, a choice driven by consumers so it's what retailers demand Upstate offers as a product choice.

Asked whether it's the flavor of the milk or health concerns that spurs the demand for organic milk, Serling said, "It's all of that and more. It's the feed, the flavor, the potential for avoiding pesticides, even approved pesticides, things of that nature.

"For our organic farmers, for all of our farmers," Serling added, "we really drive hard on quality, the highest quality milk they can produce. That's our focus."

When it came time to buy the start of Brent's Jersey herd, he and his father had to travel around the Northeast a bit. Many of the cows came from Pennsylvania, but there was one memorable trip.

On the way back from picking up Jersey calves in Vermont -- calves that cost $1,200 a piece -- Brent said he got a little tired of looking at the back of his dad's trailer, so he decided to pass him on the Thruway.

Brent had a full trailer. Dave was hauling four calves. The two trucks were going about 70 mph.

Jerseys have a reputation for being pretty smart animals and Brent doesn't doubt it. His stories about Jerseys often include the notion that they draw straws to try something and if the first one makes it, the others will follow.

"So, a lady pulled up beside him yelling hysterically 'you're cows are jumping out, your cows are jumping out,' but only one had jumped out," Brent said. "I think they drew straws again and said, 'you're going first. If you make it we'll go, too'. When my dad stopped the trailer, the cows were all up front saying, 'we're not going.' "

Of course, Dave worried about what sort of damage a calf could do to a moving vehicle and when he pulled over he could see a car on the shoulder about a half mile to three quarters of a mile behind him.

Unable to turn around, Dave walked back and found a lady had used her car to pin the calf against a guard rail.

"I think she watched too much Crocodile Hunter or something," Brent said. "She had a bandanna tied around the calf's head to cover his eyes."

Dave made a leash from his belt and walked the calf -- which wasn't injured -- back to his trailer.

"We were trucking along, so you know that first step was a doozy," Brent said.

There's some other advantages of milking Jerseys that Tilltoson has picked up on the past few years -- the cows, both because of their build and because they get plenty of exercise grazing -- stay in production about twice as long, or longer, than Holsteins.

The Jerseys do seem to like to walk, Tillotson said. In winter, they'll make several round-trips up the gravel road from the barn to the backwoods and back.

"I've always wanted to put a pedometer on one of them to see how many miles a day they walk," Tillotson.

The other advantage: organic inspectors know all the cows are his, raised on his land.

"Everybody always asks why I picked Jerseys instead of Holsteins and it's because we're organic," Tillotson said. "Nobody can say we're bringing my dad's cows over and milking them."

Tillotson's Grassland Farms Dairy is still a small operation. He only has a couple of employees.  The employees do most of the milking, including one old guy who just loves to come to work at 3 a.m. -- a real godsend for Tilltoson since he has a long enough day as it is.

"It's tough getting up in the morning and working until eight at night and then doing it all over again the next day," Tillotson said. "We've got a gentleman who is 66 years old. We put an ad in the paper and he said, 'that's right up my ally. I love getting up early. Even if I'm not working, I'm still up at two o'clock in the morning.''

"I said, 'perfect.' "

Tillotson has two sons, twin boys, Ethan and Cole, age 10. They help a little around the farm, but Tillotson wants them to be boys before they're men and he also wants to protect them from some of the more dangerous aspects of farmwork, so he doesn't demand many farm chores.

They do like helping with the newborns.

Brent enjoys their Little League games. He makes it a point not to let farmwork rob him of the joy of watching them grow up.

"I'm not missing a game because I've got hay to bail," Tillotson said. "The hay will be there tomorrow. I've missed things and then regretted it because they'll only be this age once."

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