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Friday, April 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Pembroke HS makes national list of 'most challenging' schools

Press release:

Pembroke High School has made The Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High School List, published online this past Sunday.

Unlike Business First’s rankings, which consider a variety of factors in determining Western New York’s top schools, The Washington Post publishes a list of their top schools based on one factor, healthy Advanced Placement participation. If the number of students taking Advanced Placement tests is greater than the number of graduating seniors, the school makes the list.

Pembroke High School was able to meet the challenge by having 86 test takers last May with graduation for 67 seniors, an accomplishment that places Pembroke in the top 10 percent of all 22,000 high schools across America.

“We continue to embrace high expectations, and we do not shy away from challenging our students to the fullest,” stated Superintendent Matt Calderón. “We believe Pembroke students are fully capable to meet increased rigor in a variety of areas, and we are fortunate to have strong partnerships with parents and a community that also embraces that vision.

"When the NYS Commissioner of Education visited our District, it was our students that told him they wanted more rigorous and demanding coursework because they want to be prepared for life beyond high school; and they know the AP curriculum will give them a good taste of what their future holds in regard to college-level courses and career expectations.”

Ten years ago, Pembroke offered only two AP courses, Biology and Calculus AB, taken advantage of by 17 students. Now Pembroke offers AP English Literature, Psychology, Studio Art, U.S. History, World History, and Environmental Science. Music History and Physics were added for 2014-15 with a handful of students taking AP Computer Science through an online grant. For students who perform well on the AP exams, many colleges and universities offer college credit.

“No doubt, it is a lot of hard work but very rewarding when filling out that college application and vying for your school of choice. It can also be rewarding when entering college with 18 credits under your belt. That $546 investment translates to about $10,000 in savings at many of the colleges our students typically attend,” reported senior high school counselor and AP coordinator Toby Beahan.

According to high school Principal Keith Palmer, “If students want to challenge themselves, we try to provide the opportunities. We regularly work on developing an expectation with our students that a demanding and rigorous course load will be the best route in preparing for both college and career, especially during one’s senior year. And fortunately, we have talented teachers that are able to meet the challenge.”

Add to the mix student course-interest surveys, weighted grading for students who take on the challenge, recognition for students who score well, quality training for teachers, and you end up with healthy student participation in a quality AP program.

For more information about The Washington Post’s best high schools, visit http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/

Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:55 am

Pole and wires down in the roadway on Brown Road, Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in pembroke

A pole and wires are down in the roadway in the area of 2495 Brown Road, Pembroke. The wires are sparking. East Pembroke fire and law enforcement are en route. The location is between Ridge and Halstead roads.

Friday, April 17, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Scott Doll granted motion to obtain untested DNA evidence

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, pembroke, scott doll

Prosecutors have 30 days to produce and turn over evidence in the Scott F. Doll murder case that may yield DNA from the Feb. 19, 2009 crime scene, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled in a decision released this afternoon.

Doll's attorney, Timothy P. Murphy, filed a pair of appeals related to Doll's 2010 murder conviction, which has him serving a 15-years-to-life prison sentence.

While Noonan granted the DNA appeal, he ruled against Doll on his motion that he received inadequate trial counsel.

At a hearing earlier this week, ADA William Zickl couldn't confirm for Noonan whether the evidence that might yield DNA still existed.

Noonan ruled the evidence be turned over, "subject to any disagreement as to protocol for the custody and preservation of such evidence, which will then be resolved on application to the Court."

On the representation issue, Murphy argued that attorneys Paul Cambria and Daniel Killelea failed to raise objections to Doll's transport from Pembroke to the Sheriff's Office the morning of the murder based on Fourth Amendment provisions.

Noonan ruled that the defense attorneys did adequately raise objections and that the appeals process had already upheld decisions to allow evidence gathered during that process -- statements by Doll and his clothing -- to be admitted at trial.

Doll was convicted by a jury of beating to death a former business partner and prison guard coworker, Joseph Benaquist.

The defense is seeking further DNA testing to establish whether a third person was at the murder scene, which the defense contends, if the DNA testing had been done prior to trial, could have changed the outcome of the case. The prosecution contends the evidence against Doll is so overwhelming that even if a third person's DNA is found at the scene, Doll would still be found guilty of murder by a jury.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: We asked Sheriff Gary Maha if the evidence still existed and was secured. His one-word answer: "yes."

Friday, April 17, 2015 at 11:24 am

Law and Order: Alexander man charged with attempted arson

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

Jayson W. Dersham, 31, of Wortendyke Road, Alexander, is charged with attempted arson, 2nd. Dersham was arrested following an investigation into an incident on Maple Street in February. He was jailed on no bail.

Nickolas R. Miller, 23, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant related to an unspecified charge. He turned himself in, was arraigned and jailed on $5,000 bail.

Glenn Homer Quintern, 56, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with exposure of a person. Quintern allegedly exposed his bare bottom at 4:38 p.m. Tuesday while on Central Avenue, in front of an adult and some children.

Kevin A. Cole, 36, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Cole allegedly visited a person at that person's residence where the protected party resides in alleged violation of a stay away order.

Dan M. Carter, 53, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and unregistered motor vehicle. Carter was stopped at 6:54 p.m. Wednesday on East Main Street for an alleged traffic infraction by Officer Nedim Catovic.

Vicky L. Devie, 57, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with uninspected motor vehicle and parking in city lot over the 15-minute limit. Devie turned herself in on a warrant and posted a $50 police bail.

Shane Zimblis, 44, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Zimblis is accused of stabbing another person in the arm with a kitchen fork during an argument.

Maurice A. Glasco, 36, of North Avenue, Medina, is charged with falsely reporting incident and unlawful possession of marijuana. Glasco is accused of falsely reporting an incident at 12:59 a.m. Saturday at 20 Main St., Batavia.

Colleen Frances Walker, 40, of Garfield Street, Rochester, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes, speeding and unlicensed operator. Walker was stopped at 11:47 a.m., Thursday, on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. She allegedly possessed 1,200 untaxed cigarettes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 8:09 am

Semi-truck tipping over on Akron Road, Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in accidents, pembroke

A semi-truck is said to be tipping over on Akron Road, Pembroke. Unknown cargo. Law enforcement is responding.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Attorneys argue appeal of Scott Doll murder conviction

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, pembroke, scott doll

Oral arguments in the latest appeal of Scott Doll's murder conviction were heard by Judge Robert C. Noonan this morning in Genesee County Court.

Timothy P. Murphy represented Doll and ADA William Zickl represented the people.

Murphy's appeal is based on a few key points:

  • There was no "emergency doctrine" need to transport Doll from Pembroke to the Sheriff's Office on Park Road the early morning of Feb. 19, 2009 after Doll was found in blood-covered clothes and blood was found on his vehicle parked at North Lake Road and Main Road. Doll, Murphy argued, was taken into the custody, not just merely held in an attempt to find out if somebody was hurt and in need of help;
  • There was no DNA evidence taken from under the fingernails of the murder victim, Joseph Benaquist. If there had been, it's possible the presence of a third party at the scene might have been discovered, which could have changed the outcome of the trial;
  • The failure of Doll's defense attorneys, Paul Cambria and Dan Killelea, to raise these issues at trial constitutes incompetent representation.

Zickl countered:

  • Doll's defense had every opportunity to raise these issues and did in fact raise these issues, at the trial level and through the appeals process and they lost on the rulings;
  • The emergency doctrine does apply to the transport of Doll because the emergency continued unabated until the body of Benaquist was discovered;
  • The transport was necessary because investigators felt certain that Doll was covered in human blood and even though they didn't yet know what happened, it was likely a crime might be discovered and the evidence needed to be secured, rather than letting Doll walk around in 10-degree weather;
  • Because Noonan served as trial judge, he knows Doll received a vigorous, cogent and coherent defense that can hardly be characterized as incompetent;
  • Even if DNA had been collected, and even granting for the sake of argument that a third-party presence might have established, that fact wouldn't have changed the outcome of the case. The evidence that Doll killed Benaquist is simply overwhelming and conclusive. Where Murphy argued that physical evidence indicates Benaquist was involved in a struggle against attackers, Zickl argued the evidence is clear that Benaquist was ambushed and had little opportunity to defend himself. 

Noonan said he should have a written ruling in about a week.

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 10:24 am

Law and Order: Drug charges follow traffic stop in Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, pembroke, Stafford

Jacqueline Raj Garrett, 36, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and uninspected motor vehicle. Garrett was stopped at 5:37 p.m. Sunday on Main Road, Stafford, by Deputy Michael Lute. Garrett was jailed on $100 cash bail. A passenger, Aaron D. Swimline, 29, of Tinkham Road, Darien, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Jeanette Higgins, 39, of 23 Holland Ave., Batavia, is charged with two felony counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, and one count of petit larceny. Higgins is accused of submitting forms to DSS that didn't disclose cash child support payments. Higgins allegedly received $208 in food stamp payments in February and March for which she wasn't entitled. Higgins was arrested by a Sheriff's deputy following an investigation by DSS.

Adrionna S. Ellison, 18, of Rochester, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd. Ellison was reportedly ordered to leave College Village property and not return. A security officer later allegedly found her hiding under a bed in one of the apartments. She was arrested by State Police and issued an appearance ticket.

Lydia Grossi-Young, 45, of Hopkins Road, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Grossi-Young was alleged involved in a domestic incident at 2 p.m. Sunday in Batavia.

Daniel Paul Molina, 35, of West Broad Street, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, unlicensed operator and driving a vehicle without proper stop lights. Molina was stopped at 6:47 p.m. Saturday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona. Molina allegedly has more than 10 prior driver license suspensions. Molina was jailed on $5,000 bail.

A 16-year-old resident of County Route 53, Arkport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was a passenger in a vehicle stopped at 6:06 p.m. Saturday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona, and allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Jaime Lynn Killinger, 38, of West Taft Road, Le Roy, was arrested on warrants stemming from a DWI charge and a charge of driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Killinger was arrested by the Irondequoit Police Department and turned over to the Sheriff's Office and jailed on $500 bail.

Eric Robert Root, 18, of West Avenue, Spencerport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Root was stopped at 6:54 p.m. Friday on Parkview Drive, Bergen, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Kyle Timothy Johnson, 25, of Park Avenue, Waterport, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument. Johnson was arrested at 1:52 a.m. Friday on West Main Street, Le Roy, by Deputy Joseph Corona, after allegedly being found in possession of a hypodermic instrument he was not legally allowed to possess.

Jason L. Cramer Sr., 30, of Water Street, Attica, is charged with burglary, 3rd, petit larceny and criminal mischief, 4th. The arrest stems from an alleged incident reported Nov. 6 at a residence on Liberty Street, Batavia. Cramer was jailed without bail.

Andrew L. Kosiorek, 43, of Wood Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant stemming from a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Kosiorek allegedly failed to comply with terms of Drug Treatment Court and was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Mark W. Grabowski, 57, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant stemming from an unreasonable noise charge.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Law and Order: Elba woman arrested second time on five counts of criminal contempt

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, Pavilion, pembroke

Cindy Lou Bush, 53, of Route 98, of Elba, is charged with five counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Bush was allegedly at a residence with five people under an order of protection forbidding her not to contact the individuals. She was jailed on $2,500 bail, $5,000 bond. Bush was also wanted for alleged failure to appear on five prior counts of criminal contempt stemming from a single incident.

Barbara Jean Salmon, 44, of Coal Hill Road, Taberg, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes, tinted windows and plate obstruction. Salmon was stopped at 11:38 a.m. Tuesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Amanda Christine Paige, 24, of Park Street, Pavilion, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Paige is accused of stealing from a business.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

Law and Order: Former Le Roy resident accused of cruelty to ducks and chickens

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Le Roy, pembroke
Howard Schultz

Howard Clarence Schultz, 56, of Chili Avenue, Rochester, is charged with five counts of cruelty to animals. Schultz was reportedly a resident of 8798 Keeney Road, Le Roy, where he kept duck and chickens as pets. He allegedly moved from the property in late January and left the ducks and chickens behind without making arrangements for their care or relocation.

Christopher John Naugle, 45, of Apple Tree Avenue, Bergen, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. During an argument reported at 9:06 p.m., Saturday, Naugle allegedly flipped over a table, slapped and poured beer on a person in the presence of two children.

Michael Leonard Farrell, 45, of Clio Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, possession of a controlled substance not in its original container, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and obstructed plate. Farrell was stopped at 10:55 p.m. Monday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

James Raymond Corp, 35, of Brewerton Road, Syracuse, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and obstructed plate. Corp was stopped at 10:12 p.m. Monday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Corp was allegedly found in possession of 11,000 untaxed cigarettes.

Kathy BethAnne Woodbeck, 39, of Montgomery Street, Canjoharie, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and obstructed plate. Woodbeck was stopped at 11:08 p.m. Friday by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Woodbeck was allegedly found in possession of 23,000 untaxed cigarettes.

Elbert L. Flint, 39, of Morse Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Flint was allegedly found in possession of a cane sword.

Monday, April 6, 2015 at 11:30 am

Law and Order: Man arrested on weapon charge after report of shots fired in Basom

post by Howard B. Owens in Basom, batavia, Alabama, bergen, crime, Pavilion, pembroke

Jonathan Chris Shirley, 33, of Council House Road, Basom, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, failure to comply with lawful order, unlicensed operation, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and no use of signal lamps. Shirley was stopped at 8:24 a.m. Sunday by Deputy Chad Cummings following a complaint of shots fired in the neighborhood on Council House Road, Basom. Shirley's vehicle was stopped and he was found to allegedly be a felon in possession of a weapon. He was jailed without bail. Deputies Christopher Parker, Brad Mazur and Cory Mower, along with State Police assisted in the response and investigation. 

Alexander D. Sweeney, 23, of Redfern Drive, Churchville, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Sweeney was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday on Lake Street, Village of Le Roy, by Le Roy PD.

Timothy L. Freeman, 46, of Pavilion, is charged with menacing, 3rd. Freeman allegedly threatened a woman during an argument at a residence in Covington. State Police responded. He was jailed on $2,500 bail. An order of protection was issued.

William S. Smith, 47, of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Smith was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop at 10:57 p.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Kenneth Russell Hernandez, 49, of Adams Street, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant stemming from a petit larceny charge. Hernandez was arrested upon his release from the Monroe County Jail, arraigned in Bergen Town Court, and jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kristine Elizabeth Harmon, 37, of Lincoln Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, speeding and driving a vehicle without an inspection certificate. Harmon was stopped at 12:36 a.m. Friday on Pearl Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Allyn Jay George, 49, of Council House Road, Basom, is charged with menacing, 2nd. George allegedly threatened another person with a firearm during an argument, which was reported at 5:53 a.m., Friday. He was jailed on $500 bail.

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