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Monday, June 9, 2014 at 8:26 am

Green Party candidate for governor makes stop in Bergen on June 19

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, Green Party, Howie Hawkins, politics

Press release:

Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for governor of New York State, will conduct a press conference in Bergen on Thursday, June 19 to be followed by a meet-and-greet with local Green Party members.

The slate of Hawkins, Brian Jones, lieutenant governor, Ramon Jimenez, attorney general and Theresa Portelli, comptroller, was nominated at the recent Green Party state convention in Troy.

Hawkins launches his second bid for NY executive after running against Andrew Cuomo in 2010. Jimenez is also reprising a run for AG.

The Green Party candidates have dubbed their platform, the Green New Deal. Hawkins says he plans to challenge the 1-percent tag team of Cuomo and Republican nominee Astorino on economic, climate change and criminal justice issues. Hawkins also wants NY to go carbon free with a 100-percent clean renewable energy by 2030, while providing a public living wage job to any New Yorker who needs one.

The Greens selected NYC Educator Brian Jones to highlight their opposition to Cuomo's education policies promoting privatization of the education system, including his promotion of the Common Core agenda and charter schools. The Greens are seeking full funding to meet the educational needs of New Yorkers, including free tuition at CUNY and SUNY.

The press conference in Bergen is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the residence of Genesee County Green Party member Chris Barons, 24 Clinton St. A Meet-and-Greet will follow a presentation to local Greens at 4 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 2:37 am

Car hits tree in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen

A has hit a tree in the area of 39 North Lake Ave., Village of Bergen. Unknown injuries. 

Bergen fire and ambulance, and Mercy EMS responding. 

UPDATE 2:42 a.m.: Assignment being held to a single Bergen engine.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Bergen student makes the dean's list at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

post by Billie Owens in bergen, Milestones

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has named 304 students to its spring dean's list.

Mackenzie Lynn Heale, a senior Criminal Justice major from Bergen, is one of them.

Dean's list status is awarded to full-time students who have earned a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher.

Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Bergen grad is now a private first class in the Marine Corps

post by Billie Owens in bergen, Milestones

Bergen’s newest Marine is PFC Aaron K. Inzinca, who graduated on May 23rd, 2014 from the United States Marine Corps, Mike Company Recruit Training Battalion, Parris Island, S.C.

Aaron is a 2013 graduate of Byron Bergen Central School and is the pride of Brian & April Stone of Bergen. Following SOI training at Camp Geiger, PFC Inzinca will be furthering his education in aviation mechanics in Jacksonville, Fla.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Law and Order: Task Force accuses Bergen resident of heroin possession

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, corfu, crime, elba

Cody D. Mayer, 21, of South Lake Road, Bergen, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Mayer was arrested following a traffic stop by members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force in the Town of Stafford. He was allegedly found in possession of heroin and 20 Xanax tablets. 

Jennifer Lyn Stack, 28, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Stack was stopped at 8:42 p.m. Monday on Clinton Street Road by Deputy Joseph Corona. During the traffic stop, it was found there was an arrest warrant on file for Stack. Her arrest led to a search of her person.

Matthew Garrett Opitz, 29, of Hunting Spring, Rochester, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operator, leaving the scene of an accident and unreasonable speed. Opitz was allegedly involved in a one-car accident at 5:03 a.m. on Angling Road, Pembroke. The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Ronald D. Williams, 37, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, trespass and endangering the welfare of a child. Williams is accused of stealing scrap metal from a location on Cedar Street. Williams allegedly enlisted the assistance of a child less than age 17.

Gregory M. Munroe II, 28, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Munroe is accused of pushing and striking a woman while in the presence of her children.

Danielle Marie Stevens, 37, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with appearance in public under influence of drugs. Stevens was arrested following a report that she was seen consuming an unknown amount of pills and may have overdosed. 

Casey T. Vaughn, 25, of Prune Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and menacing, 2nd. Vaughn allegedly had an altercation with a construction worker at his residence.

Robert D. Wood, 23, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wood allegedly shut the door as a woman was attempted to enter her residence, striking her in the abdomen with the door. Wood was jailed on $250 bail.

Robert C. Paris, 24, of Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing and harassment, 2nd. Paris was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 12:18 p.m. May 20 in Batavia. Paris was jailed on bail. No further details released.

Stephen J. Holdaway, 62, of Corfu, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving an unregistered motorcycle. Holdaway was stopped at 6:07 p.m. Monday in the Town of Batavia by State Police.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Attorney for Bergen man accused of pointing shotgun at person says charge should be dropped

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, crime

It boggles the mind, according to attorney Brian Decarolis, that his client, John Laverne Robinson, has been charged with menacing in the second degree.

The 51-year-old Bergen resident is accused of pointing a shotgun out the window of his home on North Lake Road at another man who seconds earlier had been banging on his door.

"I think it's ridiculous," Decarolis said this afternoon after Robinson was arraigned in Town of Bergen Court, where he entered a not guilty plea. "I've never seen anything like it. I'm a former prosecutor. I do exclusively criminal defense work. I've never seen it, never heard of it. It's something I've never dealt with before."

The case is unusual, Decarolis said, because not only was Robinson defending himself against an intruder, the District Attorney's Office had declined in November to prosecute Robinson.

Robinson was arrested last month by a deputy after the man who did the door banging, 46-year-old Michael S. Crooks, of Salmon Road, Brockport, took his complaint to the Sheriff's Office when he couldn't convince a state trooper to arrest Robinson.

The charge should be dismissed, Decarolis said. Either the charge is dismissed outright or the case is going to trial, he said.

Decarolis noted Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell, who is handling the case, has the power to seek a dismissal, but in case that doesn't happen, Decarolis is preparing a motion to deliver to Justice Donald Kunego asking that the charge be dismissed "in the interest of justice." 

The former Monroe County prosecutor said he's talked to a lot of people in and out of the criminal justice line of work since Robinson became his client and people are flabbergasted by the arrest.

"I've talked to people involved in the case who are surprised," Decarolis said. "I've talked to people not involved in the case who are surprised. I've talked to law enforcement contacts that I've built up over the years, relationships from being in the DA's office, being a defense attorney, I haven't heard one person who said this is right, this sounds like what should happen. Everyone is stunned. Everyone is surprised."

The charge stems from a Jan. 13 incident when Crooks went to the home of Robinson because he suspected Robinson of communicating with Mrs. Crooks.

In a statement to police, Crooks said he just wanted to talk, but he admitted to yelling at Robinson, who was inside his house, that he was a coward for not coming out.

"He was essentially beating down the front door in an attempt to get into the house," Decarolis said.

He hit it hard enough to damage it, which is why a trooper decided to arrest him on a criminal mischief charge.

After his apparent unsuccessful attempt to break down the door, Crooks walked around the house looking for another entry. When he peered into a window he found himself staring down the barrel of a shotgun.

That frightened him, he said.

"He goes to my client's house and is causing a rukus," Decarolis said. "He's a stranger to my client. The State Police come out and they investigate it and they determine that Mr. Crooks is the only person who should be arrested. That's normal. My client thinks he's a victim. He is."

Robinson was on the phone with 9-1-1 dispatchers, who had told him, according to reports, to warn Crooks that he had a shotgun.

Today, Kunego signed an order requiring the Sheriff's Office to turn over the 9-1-1 tapes to Decarolis. Finnell did not oppose the order.

According to Decarolis, his client thought the case is over with the arrest of Crooks, but after Crooks has the charge against him dismissed on an ACD (adjudication in contemplation of dismissal), Crooks starts making noise about having Robinson arrested.

"The State Police call him up and say this guy's crowing about charging you with a completely justifiable act," Decarolis said. "The State Police do a little more investigating, consult with the District Attorney's Office, the same office that is now prosecuting this case, and they say, we're not charging you. We're not doing anything. You shouldn't be charged. You were justified doing what you did on the day in question. Then out of nowhere, a different police agency that has never, ever been involved in this case, charges my client."

If the case does go to trial, the troopers involved in the arrest of Crooks will be expected to testify, Decarolis said.

"I think that would be on the defense witness list as opposed to the prosecution's, and you don't hear about that every day," Decarolis said.

The whole thing is unfortunate, Decarolis said.

"This guy's going through a heck of a stress," he said. "He's wasting time. He should be at work on a Wednesday afternoon, not coming to court for this kind of stuff."

Previously:

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Fire, possibly from burning tires, is reported in woods off South Lake Avenue, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in bergen, fire

An unknown type of fire, possibly burning tires, is reported in the woods behind 68 S. Lake Ave. Bergen firefighters are responding.

Friday, May 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Two local Nazareth College students named to Class of '14 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

post by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, Milestones

Nazareth College is pleased to announce 73 new members in the 2014 Class of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Two are from Genesee County: Kathleen O'Donnell, of Batavia, and Courtney Taylor, of Bergen.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 8:23 am

Law and Order: Batavia teenager accused of rape in the first degree

post by Howard B. Owens in Basom, batavia, Alabama, bergen, corfu, crime, Oakfield

Joseph A. Saraceni, 17, of Linwood Avenue, Batavia, is charged with first-degree rape, a Class B felony. Saraceni was arrested by Batavia PD following an investigation by Det. Charles Dudek and Det. Thad Mart in an alleged incident reported Nov. 11 on School Street, Batavia. No further details released.

Lance Mercado, 23, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs. Mercardo was arrested after Batavia PD received a reported of a possible intoxicated driver in the parking lot of McDonald's at 1:18 a.m., Tuesday. Mercardo was arrested by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Eric J. Davis, 36, of Corfu, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Davis was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 6:52 p.m. Tuesday on Drake Street, Oakfield. No further details released.

Timothy M. Gardiner, 38, and Maria A. Gardiner, 48, both of Scottsville, are charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 3rd. Timothy and Maria were arrested by State Police in connection with an alleged incident reported at 9:39 a.m. Feb. 16 in the Town of Bergen. No further details released.

Heidi H. Stumbo, 48, of Lima, is charged with petit larceny. Stumbo was arrested by the State Police on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The alleged theft was reported at 1:04 p.m., Monday. No further details released.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Bergen woman charged with felony DWI after early morning accident

post by Billie Owens in accident, bergen

Kassandra Ryan Funk, of Acton Road, Bergen, was charged with two felony counts of driving while intoxicated following a property damage accident at 1:35 a.m. today on North Bergen Road in the Town of Bergen.

The 21-year-old was arrested on felony charges of having previously been convicted of DWI within the last 10 years and aggravated DWI for an alleged BAC of .18 or more. In addition, she is charged with refusal to take breath test, failure to keep right, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

Funk is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges at 5 p.m. on June 4 in Bergen Town Court. The accident was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona, assisted by Deputy Jason Saile.

Photo of accident scene submitted by a reader.

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