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Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:22 am

Three accidents reported at Brick House Corners

post by Howard B. Owens in accidents, Brick House Corners, pembroke

Three accidents, one with a minor injury, is tying up traffic at Brick House Corners (Route 77 and Route 5, Pembroke).

Indian Falls Fire Department is on scene.

One person is complaining of neck pain.

Mercy EMS is dispatched.

Five cars are involved.

UPDATE 10:34 a.m.: Traffic is backing up onto the Thruway. There is a concert at Darien Lake today -- the Vans Warped Tour, featuring 70 bands.

UPDATE 10:43 a.m.: One patient being transported to UMMC as a precaution. Patient complained of neck pain initially, but was up and walking around upon the arrival on scene of Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 10:48 a.m.: There may have been a vehicle involved that fled the scene. A deputy reports "there is evidence at the scene that the vehicle that was involved was a red Chrysler, unknown if it's a van or SUV." He requests other patrols and the State Police be alerted to the vehicle's description.

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

Law and Order: Man in Le Roy accused of drinking and texting while driving

post by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, crime, elba, Le Roy, pembroke

Andrew J. Ashley, 25, of 91 W. Main St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and using a mobile phone while driving. According to Le Roy PD, Ashley was driving on Route 19 and allegedly texting while driving when he failed to negotiate a curve at Route 19 and Wolcott Street. Ashley's vehicle struck a curb and the vehicle's axle broke.

Danielle Marie Stevens, 35, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Stevens was arrested on a warrant by State Police following a traffic stop. Stevens was turned over to the Sheriff's Office, arraigned and jailed on $1,250 bail.

Rebecca Louise Batt, 31, of East Bethany Le Roy Road, Bethany, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Batt was arrested following a trespassing complaint at 1:48 a.m., Thursday, when Batt allegedly drove her vehicle into the back yard of a residence on East Bethany Le Roy Road and parked without permission of the homeowner.

Wendy L. Mucher, 42, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and criminal mischief. Mucher is accused of stealing $29.34 worth of merchandise that she removed from its packaging from a business on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Joseph Daniel Barone, 30, of Woodbriar Drive, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Barone was stopped at 8:38 p.m. Thursday on Route 77 in Pembroke by Deputy Patrick Reeves. A search of the vehicle allegedly found alcohol, crack cocaine and marijuana.

Melissa Ann Neely, 42, of Lincoln Mills Road, East Rochester, is charged with controlled substance not its original container. Neely was charged following a traffic stop at 9:09 p.m. Thursday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Jacob D. Waite, 20, of 3661 Pike Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement markings. Waite was arrested by Attica PD following a traffic stop at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday on Market Street, Attica.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Sheep in the roadway in Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in pembroke

Sheep on the lam have been discovered and officers are working diligently to corral their woolly quarry, located at 1833 Genesee St., between Ellenwood and Colby roads in Pembroke.

But it seems some of them do not want to go gentle into this good afternoon, nor quietly.

"You got a lasso or rope? This one's not going to go willingly," says an officer.

It is decided that a lasso would be employed.

UPDATE 12:57 p.m.: A ewe has been spotted by a hedgerow. "She's stopped running. I think she's too hot." And the officer is hot on her heels.

UPDATE 1:04 p.m.: "I'm still looking for an owner. I've went east, and haven't found anyone to the west yet." The deputy says that after checking four houses east of the location and three thus far to the west, he is heading now toward West Batavia to continue the search.

UPDATE 1:11 p.m.: "The unknown is in a hedgerow in the woods. It's unable to be caught. So I don't know what they are going to do," reports a deputy, who then went back in service. There is reportedly a sheep farm in the vicinity, off of Route 5, and deputies are heading there. The search continues.

UPDATE 2:24 p.m.: Deputies are returning to Genesee Street after locating the possible owner -- in Corfu -- who is also going along to determine if the sheep are his.

UPDATE 2:51 p.m.: "The sheep caper has been completed," a deputy tells the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center. The stocky, hooved mammals are grudgingly going right back where they came from -- to property owned by a fencing company (we can't make this stuff up) located "off Route 77, south of the viaduct." It's Bellevue Farms. (It would not be surprising if the owner scolded them -- futilely of course -- for being very BAAAD.)

Friday, July 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Defense plans to appeal ruling upholding murder conviction of Scott Doll

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

With two dissents in a NYS Supreme Court ruling upholding the murder conviction of Scott F. Doll, one of Doll's attorneys said in the wake of the ruling that the defense will request that the NYS Court of Appeals review the case.

Timothy P. Murphy, of the Buffalo firm Lipstiz, Scime, Cambria, said the ruling expands the so-called "emergency doctrine" beyond what previous courts ruled.

"We're obviously disappointed with the results," Murphy said. "But there were two dissenting votes, so we will be an appeal with the Court of Appeals in Albany."

On a 3-2 vote, the justices found that statements made by Doll to the deputies and investigators he spoke to Feb. 16, 2009 were admissible as evidence against Doll.

The statements in question were made before the body of Joseph Benaquist, 66, was found bludgeoned on the driveway of his Pembroke home.

The court also ruled that statements Doll made to a friend in the presence of an investigator were also admissible.

The two dissenting justices disagreed with the majority on the use of the "emergency doctrine" regarding statements made before the murder was discovered, but agreed that the Doll's statements to a friend back at the Sheriff's Office were admissible.

The emergency doctrine allows police officers to detain and question a person when they believe the life of a person or persons may be in jeopardy. In an emergency situation, where lives may be at stake, police are not required to read a person his rights.

The majority's opinion upheld every aspect of the prosecution's case that was appealed, including the investigative work of the Sheriff's Office.

"We think (Doll) was properly convicted and the proof was there," Sheriff Gary Maha said. "They (deputies and investigators) did a great job. They were very thorough. It was a job well done by our people to make sure they covered all the bases."

Maha said he never had a doubt that his staff handled the case appropriately and that the court would back up his department.

"They're well trained," Maha said. They know that their jobs for those type of situations. They were following the law. I know the defense wants to put doubt in the jurors' minds. That’s their job, but our officers did their job and followed the law correctly."

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said he was also pleased, but not surprised by the ruling.

"We were expecting this result based on the attitude expressed by the judges at the appellant division when the case was argued," Friedman said.

While Friedman praised the work of the entire Sheriff's Office staff on the case, he singled out Deputy James Diehl for exceptional work.

Diehl had only recently started working for the Sheriff's Office in February 2009 when he was dispatched to investigate a suspicious individual ducking behind cars at an old gas station at Main Road and Lake Road in Pembroke.

After arriving on scene, he encountered Doll, who immediately dropped what later turned out to be a car jack and he had a lug wrench in a pocket.

As Diehl interviewed Doll, he notice Doll had fresh blood on his jumpsuit, his hands and his face.

When questioned, Doll said he was butchering deer. 

Diehl was immediately suspicious of Doll's story and when a witness approached and identified Doll as the suspicious subject seen at the gas station, Diehl cuffed Doll and told him he was being detained until things could be sorted out.

"From the start, Deputy James Diehl did an excellent job of perceiving a suspicious situation and following up on it," Friedman said. "From our perspective, he did everything right. If he didn't follow through on it, we might never had made our case."

It was Diehl's actions, along with Deputy Patrick Reeves, who was second on scene, that came under scrutiny in the appeal by the defense team, however.

The defense contends that Doll should have been given a Miranda warning ("You have the right to remain silent, etc.") and when he asked for an attorney, all questioning of Doll should have stopped until an attorney was present.

Friedman argued that the preponderance of evidence available to deputies was that a person or persons had been seriously hurt. The amount of blood on Doll, and his inconsistent story about butchering deer and then going to see a friend and being involved in a car transaction, gave the deputies reason to believe a person or persons may be in serious trouble and that Doll had been in close proximity to whatever it was that caused a person or persons to bleed profusely.

The majority of the Fourth Judicial Department judges agreed with Friedman.

"... the deputies did not violate the defendant's right to counsel or his Miranda rights under the unique circumstances of the case," wrote the majority in their opinion. "The amount of blood present on the defendant's face, hands, clothing and van, and on the ground, along with bloody gloves on top of a nearby car, indicated that one or more persons had been grievously injured and that the defendant had been in close contact with the person or persons."

The court also found that given Doll's inconsistent statements to deputies, "they were justified in concluding that one or more persons had been injured and were in need of assistance or rescue."

The dissenting judges argued that the deputies did not have enough information to conclude there was a human victim and found that Doll's statement that he had been butchering deer was plausible.

Defense attorney Murphy said that in his initial ruling at trial in May 2010, Judge Robert C. Noonan expanded the scope of the emergency doctrine and though the Fourth Department upheld Noonan, Murphy believes the proper scope of the emergency doctrine can be reestablished in the Court of Appeals.

Both majority and dissent judges agreed that a friend who visited with Doll in the presence of Investigator Kris Kautz was not working in collusion with police and therefore Doll's statements could be used against him at trial.

The court also rejected a defense argument that Doll's van was seized without a probable cause and that the prosecution properly obtained business records of Doll's.

Doll is currently serving 15 years to life for the murder of Benaquist at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg.

For all of our previous coverage of the Scott Doll case, click here.

Friday, July 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm

BREAKING: Scott Doll's murder conviction upheld by NYS Supreme Court

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

By a vote of 3-2, the NYS Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Scott F. Doll, convicted May 20, 2010 of killing Joseph Benaquist, 66, on Feb. 16, 2009.

The majority found that Doll's Constitutional rights were not compromised by Sheriff's deputies and investigators who responded to Lake Road, Pembroke, after Doll was found wandering the area in a blood-splattered jumpsuit.

UPDATE: Full Story

Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Car accident on Main Road, Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke

A single car accident is reported at 380 Main Road in Pembroke, near the Erie County line. There are minor injuries. It is off the road. Mercy medics and Pembroke and Indian Falls firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: A responder on scene says it looks like the female driver took out a mailbox and then her vehicle went into a ditch.

UPDATE 4:01 p.m.: The driver has a cut on her right hand but otherwise says she has no aches or pains. A responder says it appears her vehicle rolled over several times.

UPDATE 4:11 p.m.: The patient is being transported to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Williamsville.

UPDATE 4:14 p.m.: Pembroke and Indian Falls are back in service.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Car crash with minor injuries on Main Road, Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in accidents, pembroke

A two-car, minor injury accident is reported 1643 Main Road, between Boyce and Cleveland roads. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 7:43 p.m.: A car is blocking the westbound lane. A tow truck is called.

UPDATE 8:05 p.m.: East Pembroke is back in service.

Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 8:44 am

Transformer fire reported in Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke

A transformer fire is reported at 1145 Main Road, Pembroke.

The location is right in front of the Pembroke Highway Department.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched.

The fire appears to have burned itself out.

UPDATE 8:49 a.m.: A fire responder says the fire is out. The pole is a little charred.

UPDATE 9:36 a.m.: Power is out for fewer than five customers. National Grid expects repairs to be completed by 12:15 p.m.

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: The traffic lights at Route 77 and Route 5 will be out for an hour during transformer repairs. A deputy is being dispatched to direct traffic.


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Photos: Indian Falls annual Strawberry Social

This evening, Indian Falls United Methodist Church held its annual Strawberry Social, which has been one of Genesee County's great summer events for nearly 50 years (at least, I always enjoy it).

Besides a meal and a dessert of strawberry shortcake with whipped cream (though you can opt for pie, ice cream and chocolate sauce, or any combination thereof), the social is just that -- very social, with lots of action around the auction, which usually sees homemade pies selling for as much as $60 each.

Tonight, I also met Glenn Lawrence (next picture down), a former farmer who in 1971 had to change professions because of a bad back. He became an auctioneer. His first assignment, the Indian Falls Strawberry Social.

He said, "This is where I leared to call out prices."

Lawrence was the auctioneer for the event for the next 40 years. Though, he's no longer leading the Indian Falls event, he continues to work as an auctioneer for Harris Wilcox of Bergen and will in fact work an auction at a church tomorrow in Riga.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Photos: Pembroke Intermediate students go bald to raise money for cancer research

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, pembroke, Pembroke Intermediate School

Students, faculty, staff and friends at Pembroke Intermediate School raised more than $10,000 this morning in a "Bald for Bucks" program for cancer research.

The young son of one of Pembroke's fourth-grade teachers, Jill Bojarski, has been diagnosed with cancer.

Funds will be donated to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Above, Joyce Saleman, the child's grandmother, has her head shaved by Darlene Curtis. Saleman became quite emotional when the amount of money raised was announced and she spoke to the children, thanking them for their generosity and caring.

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