en Law and Order: Wanted suspect accused of heroin possession at time of arrest <p><strong>Kirk Arnold Thomas Jr.</strong>, 30, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and escape, 1st. Thomas was the subject of an investigation by Le Roy PD and the subject of a Town of Batavia Court warrant and was located by Batavia PD at Days Inn. At the time of his&nbsp;arrest&nbsp;he allegedly possessed a large&nbsp;quantity&nbsp;of heroin and drug paraphernalia.</p> <p><strong>Peter John Olander</strong>, 41, of Rochester Street, Bergen, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration, 2nd, and resisting arrest. Olander was arrested after deputies responded to a report of a disturbance in the Village of Bergen. Olander allegedly failed to comply with numerous lawful orders and/or warnings from deputies and physically resisted arrest when they attempted to place him in custody. Olander was jailed on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.</p> <p><strong>Christopher M. Colantonio</strong>, 35, of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and petit larceny. Colantonio was arrested as a result of an investigation in April 2014 into a complaint of stolen, forged and cashed checks. Colantonio is also charged with criminal sale of a firearm, 3rd, criminal&nbsp;possession&nbsp;of a weapon, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. The charges stem from a criminal complaint in November 2013 in which a family member reported a gun was stolen and sold.</p> <p><strong>Bryon Gilbert Keller</strong>, 20, of Sumner Road, Darien, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and harassment, 2nd. Keller was allegedly involved in an altercation with a family member, which was also a violation of a court order. Keller was jailed on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond.</p> <p><strong>Samantha Jean Glendhill</strong>, 24, of Chapel Street, Mt. Morris, is charged with petit larceny and possession of burglar tools. Glendhill is accused of shoplifting from Kmart and using a bag to conceal the stolen items.</p> <p>A 17-year-old resident of York Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth allegedly struck another person during an argument.</p> <p><strong>Erick Antonio Castaneda</strong>, 18, of Redman Road, Brockport, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. Castaneda is accused of shoplifting from Kohl&#39;s.</p> batavia crime Darien Le Roy Pavilion Sat, 21 Mar 2015 02:40:31 +0000 Howard B. Owens 47117 at Alexander responding to house fire in Village of Attica <p>A house fire is reported at 4 Genesee St. in the Village of Attica and Alexander fire is responding. A fire chief on scene confirms heavy smoke showing.</p> <p>UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: Town of Batavia fire is requested to the scene. Mutual aid from Warsaw and Bennington also responding.</p> <p>UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Inmates from Wyoming Correctional Facility called in to help. Checking with Attica water utility to make sure hydrants are working correctly. A fire crew from Darien is asked to stand by in Alexander&#39;s hall.</p> Attica batavia alexander Darien fire Sat, 14 Mar 2015 18:13:14 +0000 Billie Owens 47032 at Six GCC faculty members earn Excellence Awards from NISOD <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <p>Six Genesee Community College faculty members are recipients of the 2015 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. Founded in 1978, NISOD is a consortium of community and technical colleges that share a commitment to supporting excellence in teaching, learning and leadership. It is part of the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin.</p> <p>The excellence award celebrates instructors who are given the critical task of serving well all students who enroll through the doors of &#39;open access&#39;. They have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues.</p> <p>Genesee Community College&#39;s 2015 awardees include:<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Deborah J. Thompson, of Lockport, who has been teaching at GCC since 2009. She is an instructor of health education at the Medina Campus Center.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Gil A. Stern, of Rochester; He joined GCC in 2000 and teaches public speaking at the Albion Campus Center. He is also an instructor for College Today, a program that helps high school students prepare for the rigors of college coursework.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Nancy G. White, of West Falls, has been teaching at GCC for 14 years. Nancy teaches Spanish at the Arcade Campus Center.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Janet E. Schmidt, of Buffalo, joined GCC after 37 years in the manufacturing industry. She teaches engineering in the Computer Aided Drafting &amp; Design (CADD) program at GCC&#39;s main campus in Batavia.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>Carol Q. Welsh</strong>, of Darien, teaches at both the main campus in Batavia and GCC&#39;s Warsaw Campus Center. Carol started at the college in 1986 and returned to teach Biology in 1992.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Bruce W. Hilyard, Ph.D., has been officially retired since 2001, but has continued to teach online courses for GCC. Bruce came to the college in 1970 and taught Teacher Education at both the main campus in Batavia and through the College&#39;s inmate education program at the Attica Correctional Facility.</p> <p>Recipients will be honored at the NISOD annual conference in Austin on Sunday, May 24. GCC will also recognize the winners during professional activity week in mid-August as a kick-off to the new academic year. Award winners receive a specially cast, pewter medallion.</p> <p>&quot;Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges&#39; mission is something we look forward to doing each year,&quot; said Edward J. Leach, Ph.D., NISOD&#39;s director and a GCC alumnus.</p> <p>He earned his associate degree in General Studies at GCC in 1985 and in the early 1990s returned to the college for two years to teach Physical Education and work as an athletic trainer for the GCC Cougars.</p> <p>&quot;The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work,&quot; Leach said. &quot;We&#39;re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.&quot;</p> <p>The NISOD Award for Excellence Web site is: <a href="" title=""></a></p> Darien GCC Milestones Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:13:37 +0000 Billie Owens 47006 at Town of Darien GOP accepting letters from potential office holders seeking endorsement <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <p>The Town of Darien Republican Committee is accepting letters of intent for the following endorsements: Town Council, Town Supervisor, and Town Justice.</p> <p>All interested parties should submit letters of interest no later than May 1st to:</p> <p>Town of Darien Republican Committee</p> <p>Jeffery F. Phelps, Chairman</p> <p>PO Box 295, Alexander NY 14005</p> Darien politics republicnas Thu, 12 Mar 2015 19:57:42 +0000 Billie Owens 47005 at Darien Lake ready to hire 2K seasonal workers <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <p class="rteindent1">The region&rsquo;s largest seasonal employer is looking to fill 2,000 open positions across its operations, including amusement park, water park, lodging, entertainment, food, and retail departments.<br /> <br /> Darien Lake has already begun accepting applications for the upcoming season with some positions starting as early as April. The park will open for the 2015 season on May 9 with full, daily operations beginning June 15.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With two thrilling new rides being added to the park this season, we&rsquo;re in need of more energetic, and fun-loving employees than ever before,&rdquo; said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe. &ldquo;Darien Lake is a great career-starting opportunity for all Western New Yorkers as our team members routinely develop experience in guest service, operational processes and small business entrepreneurship.&quot;<br /> <br /> Immediate opportunities are available in food service, park services, ride operations, retail, accommodations and campground housekeeping. Other opportunities are available in games, gift shop sales, aquatic operations, skilled trades and park maintenance, entertainment, guest services, security, and safety. Darien Lake is seeking energetic, friendly applicants of all backgrounds who are interested in helping us create memorable experiences for our guests.<br /> <br /> Interested applicants can apply online at <a href="" title=""></a> or call the Darien Lake Job Line at 585-599-5108.</p> business Darien darien lake darien lake theme park Wed, 11 Mar 2015 19:57:03 +0000 Howard B. Owens 46982 at Law and Order: Driver found off the road in Darien charged with DWI <p><strong>Eric Raymond Westermeier</strong>, 27, of Alleghany Road, Darien, is charged with felony driving while ability impaired by combined drugs and alcohol, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation and unlawful possession of marijuana. Westermeier was arrested following an investigation by Deputy Chad Cummings into a vehicle off the road at 10:11 p.m. Sunday on Erie Street, Darien Center.</p> <p><strong>Timothy O. Lee</strong>, 34, of Erie Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and speeding. Lee was arrested following a traffic stop in the Village of Le Roy. He was allegedly found in possession of cocaine.</p> <p><strong>Terry L. Travis Jr.</strong>, 32, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest, criminal obstruction of breathing, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful imprisonment. Travis was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 11:30 p.m. Saturday. He was jailed on $3,000 bail.</p> <p><strong>Jessica L. Ford</strong>, 24, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Ford allegedly violated an order of protection by contacting the protected party. Ford was jailed on $1,000 bail.</p> <p><strong>Dale E. Banfield</strong>, 53, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal tampering and resisting arrest. During a supervised property exchange, Banfield allegedly became verbally abusive toward the other party and grabbed the drawer from a nightstand and threw the contents across the room. As officers attempted to arrest Banfield, he allegedly pushed the officers and attempted to tackle one of them. After a brief struggle, Banfield was subdued and taken into custody. He was jailed on $5,000 cash bail or $1,000 bond.</p> <p><strong>Donna Marie Kroft</strong>, 61, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Kroft allegedly stole groceries and other items from Tops Market by concealing the items in her purse and inside her coat.</p> <p><strong>Michael L. Williams</strong>, 35, no permanent address, is charged with criminal contempt, assault, 3rd, and aggravated criminal contempt. Williams was arrested on a warrant for the listed charges. He was reportedly found by Batavia PD officers hiding in a stairwell at a residence on Jackson Street, Batavia. He was jailed without bail.</p> <p><strong>Linda B. Gratton</strong>, 66, of Downer Street, Baldwinsville, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. Gratton turned herself in. She posted $500 police bail.</p> <p><strong>Kristen S. Buchholz</strong>, 32, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and disorderly conduct. Buchholz was allegedly involved in a verbal dispute with administrators at Batavia Middle School. She was jailed on $100 bail.</p> <p><strong>Marcos A. Torres</strong>, 32, of Cherry Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Torres was allegedly involved in a domestic incident. He was jailed on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.</p> <p><strong>Cheryl A. Kowalik</strong>, 54, of Alexander Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an issuing a bad check charge. Kowalik turned herself in to Batavia PD and posted $500 bail.</p> <p><strong>Bradley W. Howard</strong>, 24, of Honeysette Road, Mayville, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a DWI charge. Howard turned himself in to Batavia PD and was jailed on $1,000 bail.</p> <p><strong>Stephen Gary Hall</strong>, 69, of Murray Street, Mt. Morris, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes. Hall was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 11:16 a.m. Friday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Also charged were <strong>Bernard Leonard Brock</strong>, 65, of Hopkins Street, Mt. Morris, and <strong>Edith May Donohue</strong>, 74, of Columbus Avenue, Mt. Morris.</p> <p><strong>Victoria Joanne Supple</strong>, 42, of Stroh Road, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, refusal to take breath test and failure to keep right. Supple was stopped at 2:03 a.m. Saturday on Buffalo Street, Alexander, by Deputy Andrew Hale.</p> <p><strong>Darien Lamont Anderson</strong>, 20, of Egret Drive, Henrietta, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Anderson was charged following an investigation by Deputy Chad Commings at 7:11 p.m. Saturday into a vehicle pulled off the road on Route 33, Bergen.</p> <p><strong>Lauren E. Scalzo</strong>, 19, of Bergen, and two 17-year-olds, were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The arrests were made by State Police at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on Sumner Road, Darien.</p> <p><strong>Marco A. Hernandez</strong>, 21, of Stafford, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and unlawful possession of marijuana. Hernandez was stopped at 6:28 p.m. Sunday on Route 98, Batavia, by State Police.</p> batavia crime Darien Le Roy pembroke Stafford Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:46:10 +0000 Howard B. Owens 46954 at Car crashes into snow bank on Erie Street, Darien Center, driver unresponsive <p>A car crashed into a snow bank at 1600 Erie Street, Darien Center, and the driver is reportedly unresponsive. Darien fire and ambulance responding.</p> <p>UPDATE 8:12 p.m.: &quot;Darien 45 on location.&quot;</p> <p>UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: Darien assignment is back in service.</p> accidents Darien Mon, 09 Mar 2015 00:11:28 +0000 Billie Owens 46950 at Law and Order: Family allegedly targets employer for thefts of merchandise <p><strong>Janet Marie Knauss,</strong>&nbsp;49, of Alpine Lane, Caledonia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, falsifying business records, 1st, and conspiracy, 5th. Knauss, along with&nbsp;<strong>Carol Ann Knauss</strong>, 26, of Main Road, Stafford, and&nbsp;<strong>Arthur</strong>&nbsp;<strong>Roy Knauss</strong>, 52, of Alpine Lane, Caledonia, are accused of working together to steal from Target. At different dates and times, Janet Knauss allegedly entered false discounts, voided transactions and bagged items that were not scanned so they could be stolen while working as a cashier at the store. The total value of items allegedly stolen exceeds $1,400. Carol Knauss, who was also a cashier at Target, is charged with falsifying business records, petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Arthur Knauss is charged with conspiracy, 6th, and petit larceny. The case was first reported in January and investigated by Deputy James Diehl.</p> <p><strong>Frank Ludwig</strong>, 65, of Oakfield, is charged with forcible touching. State Police arrested Ludwig for allegedly having unwanted physical contact with a family member.</p> <p><strong>Jordon N. Odom</strong>, 18, of Stafford, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Odom is accused of striking a family member during an argument and then taking the family member&#39;s mobile phone in order to prevent the person from calling law enforcement. He later reportedly gave the phone back. Odom was jailed on $250 bail.</p> <p><strong>Nicholas T. Stock</strong>, 25, of Batavia, <strong>Dylan J. Perry</strong>, 23, Batavia, and <strong>Grayson C. Stock,</strong> 23, of Oakfield, are each charged with petit larceny. All three are accused of shoplifting from Walmart. Nicholas Stock and Perry are accused of trying to steal four boxes of Crest White Strips worth $234.96. Grayson Stock is accused of stealing Allegra allergy medicine worth $71.98.</p> <p>A 16-year-old resident of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The youth is accused of giving an electronic cigarette to a juvenile, which caused &quot;substantial medical distress&quot; for the juvenile.</p> <p><strong>Dennis Ray Lloyd</strong>, 33, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, assault, 3rd, and criminal obstruction of breathing. Lloyd was arrested following the report of a domestic dispute at a location on Porter Avenue at 10:30 a.m., Feb. 26.</p> <p><strong>Rachell O. </strong><strong>Soggs</strong>, 27, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a petit larceny charge. Soggs turned herself in after allegedly failing to appear for a presentencing interview ith Probation. She posted $500 police bail and was released.</p> <p><strong>Robert D. Cook</strong>, 35, of Attica Road, Darien Center, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a suspended/revoked registration charge. Cook turned himself in and was released on $200 bail.</p> <p><strong>Charles H. Wroten</strong>, 54, of Buell Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear at the Genesee County Jail for his intermittent incarceration stemming from a third-degree assault conviction. Wroten was located by Probation, assisted by Batavia PD, and released on his own recognizance after being issued an appearance ticket.</p> <p><strong>Kerrilynn</strong><strong> A. McDermott</strong>, 34, of Denio Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. McDermott is accused of throwing an iPad at another person and striking that person in the face.</p> <p><strong>Jennifer A. Way</strong>, 35, of Linwood Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving without lights on. Way was stopped at 2:12 a.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.</p> <p><strong>Heidi Ann Marie Pahl</strong>, 41, of Kibbe Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Pahl was arrested following a report of a vehicle in a ditch on Genesee Street, Pembroke, at 9:27 p.m. on Sunday, which was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.</p> <p><strong>Beth Ann Collins</strong>, 47, of Lakeport Road, Chittenango, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and speeding in zone. Collins was stopped at 11:27 a.m. Monday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.</p> batavia crime Darien pembroke Stafford Fri, 06 Mar 2015 20:42:31 +0000 Howard B. Owens 46927 at Darien Lake once again planning full concert season <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/kelly-clarkson.jpg" /></p> <p>The summer line-up for the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center is starting to take shape, with Kelly Clarkson the latest star announced by Live Nation for a show at the amphitheater&nbsp;next to Darien Lake Theme Park.</p> <p>The Clarkson show is at 7:30 p.m., July 21. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., March 14. Also on the bill, Pentatonix and Eric Hutchinson.</p> <p>Also on the schedule so far are some Darien Lake regulars, such as&nbsp;Brad Paisley, Kid Rock,&nbsp;Def Leppard, Zac Brown and Nickelback.</p> <p>The Van&#39;s Warp tour is also returning.</p> <p>Those shows are listed on <a href="" target="_blank">the Live Nation Web site</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Darien Lake&#39;s site</a> also lists Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts.</p> <p>The first upcoming show is Debby Ryan and the Neverending at 6 p.m., May 23.</p> <p>Other acts scheduled are Shawn Mendes, Fallout Boy, Train, Slipknot, Florida Georgia Line, and Darius Rucker.</p> <p>For dates and times, check the links above.</p> <p><em>If you&#39;ve downloaded the Reacht App for your smart phone, at some point within the next day, we&#39;ll ask you this poll question: Do you plan to attend any concerts this season at Darien Lake? To download the app,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">click here</a><span>.</span></em></p> arts Darien darien lake darien lake performing arts center entertainment Thu, 05 Mar 2015 22:59:33 +0000 Howard B. Owens 46920 at GCEDC to consider Darien Lake Theme Park request for $180,000 tax exemption for new attractions <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <p class="rteindent1">The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from Darien Lake Theme Park Resort at its Thursday, March 5, board meeting.</p> <p class="rteindent1">Darien Lake Theme Park Resort is planning to add several new attractions, including a 75-foot &ldquo;super loop&rdquo; thrill ride and dual waterslide complex speed ride for this operating season. The projected capital investment is approximately $2.5 million.</p> <p class="rteindent1">The company is seeking a sales-tax exemption of $180,000, which would require a public hearing should the board approve the application.</p> <p class="rteindent1">The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate Med &amp; Tech Park - 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor across from Genesee Community College.</p> business Darien darien lake GCEDC Wed, 04 Mar 2015 00:33:38 +0000 Howard B. Owens 46895 at Crash with minor injuries at Alleghany and Sumner roads, Darien <p>A two-car accident, minor injuries, is reported at the intersection of Sumner and Alleghany roads. Darien fire and ambulance responding.</p> accidents Darien Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:07:43 +0000 Billie Owens 46877 at Darien Lake announces in-park concert series <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <p class="rteindent1">This summer Darien Lake will host three special in-park concerts presented by TOPS Markets that are free with a Season Pass, a hotel or camping package or daily admission. The free concerts will take place in the Ride of Steel Plaza and include performances by &ndash;&nbsp; Disney Channel&rsquo;s Debby Ryan &amp; The Never Ending; the social media hip-hop star Jake Miller; and Canadian singer-songwriter, Shawn Mendes.</p> <p class="rteindent1">&ldquo;With roots in the Disney Channel, Kissmass Bash and beyond, these stars resonate with many families across Western New York,&rdquo; said Chris Thorpe, Darien Lake General Manager. &ldquo;Along with two new rides, these concerts are part of our plan to provide extraordinary value to our season pass holders and accommodations guests while enriching the entire Darien Lake experience.&rdquo;</p> <p class="rteindent1">With park admission or a season pass, guests receive access to all in-park entertainment/concerts, Dive-In Movies, special events, shows, and now more than 50 rides. A 2015 season pass has even greater value than ever before, paying for itself in less than two visits. Season Pass holders will have the opportunity to be first to ride the all-new Rolling Thunder thrill ride, and will receive free parking, three free tickets for friends on select days and a free 32-oz. souvenir mug good for $.99 soda refills all season long when purchasing and visiting prior to Memorial Day.</p> <p class="rteindent1"><u>In-Park Concert Dates and Times</u>:</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>Debby Ryan &amp; The Never Ending</strong>: May 23, 6 p.m.<br /> As one of the most watched young stars in the business today, Debby Ryan is known for her unmatched comedic timing, flexibility to give powerful dramatic performances, and the ability to illuminate television and film screens. She starred on the Disney Channel series &ldquo;The Suite Life on Deck,&rdquo; as Bailey Pickett from 2008-2011 as well as the smash hit Disney Channel Original Series &ldquo;Jessie&rdquo; since 2011.</p> <p class="rteindent1">In addition to incredible acting chops, Debby broke onto the music scene in 2013 with her band, The Never Ending. The band consists of singer and songwriter Debby Ryan, drummer Johnny Franco and guitarist Kyle Moore. They released their 5-track EP &ldquo;One&rdquo; on June 24, 2014.</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>Jake Miller</strong>: June 13, 6 p.m.<br /> Ever since Jake Miller began posting his original songs on YouTube a few years ago, the 21-year-old Miami-born pop artist has been building a virtual army of fans. His 1.3 million social media community followers call themselves &quot;The Millertary&quot; and come to his concerts wearing camouflage and greasepaint under their eyes. They are devoted to Miller&rsquo;s irresistible musical blend of pop and hip-hop, combined with the positive messages in his songs.</p> <p class="rteindent1">Miller has independently released three EP&rsquo;s: 2012&rsquo;s &quot;Spotlight&quot; and 2013&rsquo;s &quot;The Road Less Traveled,&quot; which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart and 2014&rsquo;s &quot;Lion Heart,&quot; which sold 8,000 in the first week and 14,000 to date. His full-length album, 2013&rsquo;s &quot;Us Against Them,&quot; sold over 33,000 copies and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Rap chart.</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>Shawn Mendes</strong>: June 27, 6 p.m.<br /> Hailed by Billboard as &ldquo;Music&rsquo;s First Vine Star&rdquo; and TIME Magazine as one of the &quot;Most Influential Teens of 2014,&quot; singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has emerged from teen viral sensation to major best-selling status almost overnight. Soon after artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered and introduced Mendes to now-label Island Records in early 2014, Shawn&rsquo;s debut single &quot;Life of the Party&quot; broke records, topping the iTunes Charts and selling over 150,000 copies in its first week due to his legions of fans.</p> <p class="rteindent1">The success of the song made Shawn the youngest ever artist to break into the Billboard Hot 100&#39;s Top 25 with a debut single. Then, just a month later, Mendes released his self-titled debut EP, which also hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes once again, and entered at No. 5 on the Billboard album charts, showing the staying power of the young artist. Now fresh off of his sold out first headline tour dates, and soon to be embarking on Taylor Swift&rsquo;s 1989 World Tour as well as releasing his debut album in 2015, Shawn has quickly become one of music&#39;s most promising young stars.</p> arts Darien darien lake entertainment music Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:48:06 +0000 Howard B. Owens 46869 at Darien Lake rolls out two new rides for 2015 <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darienlakefeb122015.jpg" /></p> <p>Darien Lake Theme Park draws thousands upon thousands of visitors from all over Western New York each summer, but General Manager Chris Thorpe says Genesee County residents are going to be especially pleased with what they find at the park this season.</p> <p>Two new massive rides are going to add a lot more value for season-pass holders, he said, and local season-pass holders are an important customer base.</p> <p>&quot;We are excited to present these two new attractions this year,&quot; Thorpe said. &quot;We think it cements us as the best entertainment value in Western New York, particularly from a local perspective. For Batavia residents, local Genesee County residents, our season pass will offer so much more this year. We&#39;re excited to give them the opportunity to come out and visit the park frequently, over and over, to see what a great value we are.&quot;</p> <p>The new rides are called Brain Drain and Rolling Thunder.</p> <p>Brain Drain is a massive, seven-story waterslide that offers twin free-fall drops through tubes that loop and cross, with riders zooming through at 38 feet per second until they&#39;re blasted into a pool of water at the base.</p> <p>Riders start in an enclosed launch capsule, with both riders dropping into the tube simultaneously when the floor beneath them gives way.</p> <p>Roling Thunder is a compact steel loop that stands 73 feet at its apex and propels&nbsp;24 riders at time through a closed loop on a high-speed train. The ride hangs&nbsp;passengers upside down and rockets back and forth through the loop.</p> <p>Construction will begin soon and the rides are expected to be ready for opening day, May 9.</p> <p>The expansion gives the park 47 rides for visitors to choose from, with enough variety to please all guests, Thorpe said.</p> <p>&quot;There&#39;s so much to do, but what&#39;s even better, is there&#39;s something for everybody in the family here,&quot; said Thorpe, who is originally from Buffalo and first started working at Darien Lake in 1995, rising to the level of general manager, transferring to other theme parks for the past couple of years and now returns home.</p> <p>Noting how important Darien Lake is to the local economy in the jobs it creates and the tourism dollars it attracts, Chamber President Tom Turnbull said it was great to see the theme park adding rides.</p> <p>&quot;One of the things I&#39;ve learned from our friends at Darien Lake -- they&#39;ve kind of schooled me on the amusement park business -- is how important attractions are in driving attendance,&quot; Turnbull said. &quot;To have not just one new attraction, but two new attractions means, I think, we can expect a banner year at Darien Lake.&quot;</p> <p>Adding rides is a departure from last year&#39;s strategy to draw visitors to the park, using entertainment, such as the Harlem Globetrotters, a Latin music festival, and, of course, Nik Wallenda to draw in crowds.</p> <p>To be sure, Wallenda brought guests to the park, but he&#39;s moving on to other venues this season and Thrope said the new rides are a good fit for what the park already offers.</p> <p>&quot;We&#39;ll still have our traditional entertainment in place, the magic shows and things like that, but last year&#39;s focus was Nik Wallenda, which was a very strong attraction,&quot; Thorpe said. &quot;This year, we&#39;re going more with a hardware focus and looking at attractions that will peak people&#39;s interest.&quot;</p> <p>The park will still work to maintain its identity as a destination with strong Western New York roots, Thorpe said, a branding effort begun by park management two seasons ago.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s important for us to be woven into the cultural fabric of Western New York and those things like the Anchor Bar and Tim Horton&#39;s and all the local vendors we work with are critically important to our success,&quot; Thorpe said.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darienlakefeb122015-2.jpg" /></p> <p><em>Chris Thorpe </em><em>explaining</em><em>&nbsp;Rolling Thunder.</em></p> <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darienlakefeb122015c.jpg" /></p> <p><em>Tom Turnbull</em></p> business Darien darien lake theme park tourism Thu, 12 Feb 2015 19:37:18 +0000 Howard B. Owens 46621 at Photos: Annual installation dinner for Darien Volunteer Fire Department <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darieninstallfeb72015.jpg" /></p> <p>Among the highlights of Friday&#39;s installation dinner for the Darien Volunteer Fire Department was the recognition of William Brunea for his 60 years of dedicated service to the department. Joining Brunea was his wife of 65 years, Irene.</p> <p>Jeffrey Luker was named Firefighter of the Year.</p> <p>Becca Neeland received the department&#39;s annual scholarship, which was presented by Cheryl Furlong.</p> <p>The line officers sworn in Friday were Joseph &quot;China&quot; Marino Jr., chief; Jeffrey Luker, 1st assistant chief, David McGreevy, 2nd assistant chief, Mark Starczewski, 3rd assistant chief, Kenneth Fisher, fire captain, Paul Redden, fire lieutenant, William Brunea, fire police captain, and McGreevy, mechanic.</p> <p>The department responded to 308 calls in 2014.</p> <p>It currently has 39 active members, three probationary active members, 14 associate members, two active life members and 19 retired life members, for 77 total membership.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darieninstallfeb72015-2.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darieninstallfeb72015-3.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darieninstallfeb72015-4.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darieninstallfeb72015-5.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/files/users/60/2015-1/darieninstallfeb72015-6.jpg" /></p> Darien Darien Volunteer Fire Department fire services Sun, 08 Feb 2015 04:45:29 +0000 Howard B. Owens 46553 at Crash at routes 20 and 238, unknown injuries <p>A motor-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported at routes 20 and 238. Darien fire and ambulance and Mercy medics are responding.</p> <p>UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: This is a pickup truck vs. car accident. Both drivers are reportedly out of the vehicles, talking. The vehicles are off the road; traffic is not blocked.</p> <p>UPDATE 12:11 p.m.: A second Mercy rig is called in lieu of Darien&#39;s ambulance.</p> <p>UPDATE 1:21 p.m.: The Darien assignment is back in service.</p> accidents Darien Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:51:50 +0000 Billie Owens 46339 at