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May 23, 2018 - 11:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia.

A disturbance was reported on Central Avenue several minutes ago involving a large number of people. 

After police arrived on scene a dispatcher informed deputies and troopers that Batavia PD required assistance at Central and Pringle. 

Immediately following that call there was a disturbance reported on Jackson Street. 

Immediately after that, there was a disturbance reported at Thorpe and Watson. Troopers report that group has dispersed. 

UPDATE 11:51 p.m.: It sounds like two people in custody and another detained.

UPDATE 11:53 p.m.: Just a note, there were at least three prior disturbance calls to the Jackson/Central area today. One seemed to involve mother's arguing and another, shortly before the disturbance on Central, was reported as a male and female fighting.

UPDATE 12:47 a.m.: Report of a male/female disturbance at Central and Pringle.

May 23, 2018 - 10:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

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  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.



May 23, 2018 - 7:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, notify, news.


milesarrestfirejan82017.jpgUnder a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office, Eddie Lee "Pops" Miles pled guilty to three felonies this afternoon in Genesee County Court. They were culled from multiple charges in three Grand Jury indictments.

In addition, he accepted a number of conditions and terms and in return, two cases pending in Batavia City Court from last year will be dismissed. He was arrested in August for allegedly putting his arm around the neck of another person and charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and/or blood flow; and he allegedly injected his dog with an unknown purple liquid, garnering a charge of torturing or injuring an animal in violation of Agriculture and Markets law.

Also in 2017, he was arrested on a warrant for allegedly selling crack cocaine on two occasions to an agent of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. Then on Jan. 7, he used a couch to barricade himself in an apartment at 20 Washington Ave., then set it on fire.

After a standoff, because Miles had allegedly threatened to shoot police officers, Miles exited the burning apartment through a back window and refused to come down from a roof, before agreeing to climb down a ladder.

He has been in Genesee County Jail since then without bail.

Today the 47-year-old Batavia native, who has a GED, made a factual admission of guilt on count three of Indictment 6074:

  • Third-degree arson, a Class C felony. Prison is mandatory. The minimum is one to three years; The max is 5-15 years.

He made a factual admission of guilt on count one of Indictment 6036:

  • Third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, a Class B felony, but if sentenced to the maximum prison term, becomes a Class C felony. He agreed to pay $160 restitution at the time of sentencing. The minimum is five and a half years, with one to two years of post-release supervision; the maximum is nine years with three years of post-release supervision.

He made a factual admission of guilt on count one of Indictment 6015:

  • Second-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, a Class E felony, for taking a 2000 Mercury Sable and operating it in the City of Batavia on May 18, 2017, without the owner's permission. This would garner an indeterminant sentence of one and a third to four years. He also had to admit to the Special Information filed by the District Attorney in the case wherein he acknowledged having been convicted of the same crime in the Town of Pembroke within the last 10 years. 

He will remain in custody until his sentencing, which is set for 2 p.m. on June 22, on the first two counts cited above. Those will run concurrently.

Sentencing on the count in Indictment 6015 is delayed until Aug. 13, pending the submission to the court of blood-test results.

As a condition of his plea agreement regarding the count in Indictment 6015, he must be tested for blood-borne pathogens; why was not explained. Failure to do so will result in voiding the plea agreement and subjecting him to maximum sentence guidelines and/or consecutive sentencing.

Miles has a prior felony conviction but it was 20 or more years ago, therefore for sentencing purposes, he will not be considered a second felony offender.

Judge Charles Zambito ordered a pre-sentencing report.

Henceforth, Miles cannot own or possess firearms. An order of protection was issued for a female victim until May 23, 2019.

Two blondes sat in sandaled feet in the front row of the gallery this afternoon and they smiled at Miles when he entered the courtroom in shackles, wearing an orange jumpsuit. His hair was combed neatly and tied in a little graying ponytail in back. The older of the two women mouthed something nice as he was led away.

May 23, 2018 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Central Avenue, notify.


     Nathaniel Wilson
  Samuel Blackshear
Jennifer Urvizu-Hanlon

Thursday's incident on Central Avenue that left one man dead of a knife attack and another man wounded by a gunshot may have stemmed from a series of confrontations between two groups of people over prior days, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman indicated during a press conference in the Genesee County Court building this afternoon.

The DA's Office announced the indictments of three individuals allegedly involved.

The confrontations appear to have been personal in nature and not gang or drug related, Friedman said.

"There had been confrontations I believe prior to this, maybe some physical violence between people prior to this or threats," Friedman said. "And, as I say, it just seemed to be a situation that was brewing between these groups."

He described the conflict as personal in nature but had no information to elaborate on regarding what may have led to the deadly encounter on Central between Nathaniel D. Wilson Jr., Samuel Blackshear, and Terry J. Toote.

The 30-year-old Wilson is accused of stabbing Toote, 41, to death and has been indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury on counts of murder in the second degree, which carries a maximum prison term of 25 years to life, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.

The man who allegedly shot Wilson in the leg, 17-year-old Blackshear, is indicted on counts of attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and two counts of criminal possession in the second degree.

Blackshear is facing up to 15 years in prison.

The woman who is accused of handing over her handgun, which she was licensed to carry, 48-year-old Jennifer Urvizu-Hanlon, owner of the La Mexicana store in the Valu Plaza, is indicted on two charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

The indictment accuses her of being an accessory to Blackshear's possession of the loaded firearm.

She is facing up to 15 years in prison.

Wilson's indictment also includes the district attorney's Special Information, which is a listing of Wilson's prior convictions. They are:

  • Attempted criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd. He possessed a weapon in the Genesee County Jail on May 18, 2016.
  • Attempted to knowingly make or possess dangerous contraband in prison, 1st. He possessed contraband in prison in Washington County on Sept. 10, 2010.
  • Escape, 3rd. He escaped custody in the Town of Le Roy on Dec. 5, 2005.
  • Menacing, 3rd. He menaced an individual Feb. 22, 2006, in the City of Batavia.
  • Burglary, 3rd. He broke into a building Oct. 17, 2005.
  • Attempted assault, 2nd. He attempted to stab another person Oct. 17, 2005. (See previous story)

All three defendants are being held without bail. They will be arraigned in County Court on June 5.

Friedman said he does not anticipate any further arrests related to this specific incident. 

There were numerous people present at the incident, perhaps more than a dozen, Friedman said, but he said he doesn't know what brought them there, though there had been people hanging out in the area for hours before the attack, or how long those involved were at that location prior to the stabbing.

Friedman commended the work of the law enforcement agencies involved, particularly the Batavia PD and Sheriff's Office, whose detectives had numerous people to interview to help prepare for the presentation of the case to the grand jury.

Top photo: District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, First Assistant DA Melissa Cianfrini, Batavia PD Chief Shawn Heubusch.

May 23, 2018 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Texaco Town, Pavilion, news, accident.

A two-car motor vehicle accident with unknown injuries is reported in Texaco Town -- Route 63 and Route 20, Pavilion.

There had been an erratic driver call in the area a few minutes before the accident but that vehicle was a green Jeep and apparently there isn't a green Jeep involved in this accident.

Unknown injuries.

Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS responding.

The accident is blocking. Dispatch has received multiple calls on it.

UPDATE 6:14 p.m.: First responder confirms, vehicles are blocking. Everybody is out of the vehicles.

UPDATE 6:53 p.m.: Route 63 is reopened.

May 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, schools, education.


This year's Class of 2018 fundraiser that allowed seniors to paint their own personal parking spaces at Batavia High School was a huge hit, the Board of Education was told Tuesday night, and representatives of the junior class pitched the board on continuing the project next year but with some additional features.

The juniors would like next year's seniors to pay $20 per space and allow juniors (who previously could only reserve an unpainted space) to paint theirs for $30.

They would also like to come up with an employee of the month space that is painted by students as well as sell reserved spaces for teachers, at higher prices, that would be painted by students.

The 2018 class raised more than $700 with its project and there were no problems reported in the student parking lot throughout the year.

There were 35 spaces painted and another 19 spaces reserved.

"It is probably one of the easiest fundraisers that the officers have ever had to do," said senior Mikey Lullo. "We would call it a very big success."

The proposal for the 2018-19 project was presented by Madison Dedman and Brianna Bromley.

Based on feedback from the 2018 class, they would start to start painting in July, get five days instead of two to complete the painting, and be able to paint at night when it's cooler.

The board will vote on the proposal at its next meeting.

May 23, 2018 - 5:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, business, BID.
Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) Board elected new officers for the 2018-2019 term.

New executive board is made up of Board President Jennifer Gray, Board Vice President Leanna DiRisio, Board Treasurer Kristine Duran, and Board Secretary Lisa Casey.

The BID Board welcomed five new board members this year that were announced at the BID’s Annual Meeting in April. The new members to include: Wesley Bedford, Joann Baiocco, Marc Johnson, Rick Mancuso and Tina Rose.

The newly elected officers represent the first female President and Vice President to serve on the BID Board since its origination in 1998. 

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit here.

May 23, 2018 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, bergen.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at West Bergen Road and Lyman Road, Bergen.

Bergen fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

May 23, 2018 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, pembroke.


Submitted photo.

The Pembroke Dragons have advanced to the semifinals of the Class C1 sectionals in baseball after beating Sodus yesterday 15-5. Zach von Kramer picked up the win.

There are three local baseball games today:

  • Batavia plays Leadership Academy at 5 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium.
  • Notre Dame has a sectional playoff game at 7:30 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium.
  • Oakfield-Alabama plays Campbell-Savona at 5 p.m. in Hornell.
May 23, 2018 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, elba.


An accident is reported in the area of 3962 Lockport Road, Elba.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS on scene.

A landing zone is being established for Mercy Flight.

UPDATE: Mercy Flight canceled. 

UPDATE  4:12 p.m.: The driver is being charged with DWI. Potential additional charges are pending. There were four people in the car. The two backseat passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and one of those passengers was walking around at the scene. One was transported to ECMC and the other to Strong.


May 23, 2018 - 1:41pm

Press release:

Today, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to administratively fund the work being done at the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing (NEC) on the National tractor rollover protection systems (ROPS) rebate program.

Schumer said ROPS is a vital program, especially considering that farm-related deaths are up to 800 percent higher than many other major industries, with tractor overturns being their most frequent cause at a rate of 96 cases per year.

“ROPS is a critical and cost-effective rebate program that provides important information to farmers across the country on how to find and install the right rollover bar for their machinery. It is imperative that the CDC does everything possible to fund this program to help ensure that farmers and growers have every tool possible to stay safe and succeed,”Senator Schumer said.

The ROPS program facilitates rebates in states with state-based funding to farmers to cover approximately 70 percent of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS roll bar retrofit kit on their tractor. According to Schumer, the original grant funding for this important program is slated to expire in September, and the CDC has discontinued the funding mechanism to allow for the continued federal investment in this program.

“Keeping family farmers and farm workers who operate dangerous machinery safe must be a major priority. That is why I am the urging the CDC to restore funding for this critical farm safety program and the subsequent research,” Schumer said. “The work done by organizations like the NEC is exactly the type of work the federal government should be investing in: it’s cost-effective, informed by real industry experts, and helps save farmers’ lives every day.

"By slashing available funding to this life-saving organization, we jeopardize successful programs that are providing critical resources to farmers, like a 1-800 safety hot-line number and on the ground experts in rural communities, so farmers can access the ROPS Rebate Program, which helps farmers correctly install rollover bars on their tractors just in case the tractor flips over. We need to do everything possible to make sure we are investing in developing new safety solutions for our farmers and growers. and I will be doing everything possible to make sure this program, which puts farmers first, is protected.”

According to NEC Director, Dr. Julie Sorensen, the program has also been considerably cost-effective with recent economic assessments pointing to a $5 million savings in NY State due to deaths and injuries averted through the program.

As stated by Sorensen, “Senator Schumer’s support for the ROPS program and dedication to the farming community is so essential to ensuring the sustainability of one of our state’s most crucial industries.”

Schumer said the agricultural community is the lifeblood of Upstate New York, and that protecting the well-being and safety of farmers must be a major priority.

In response to the hazardous environment of working on a farm, the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing launched an effort to create the life-saving ROPS Rebate Program, which covers approximately 70 percent of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS rollbar kit on their tractor.

In most cases, this means farmers only pay $500 or less for this life-saving equipment that can otherwise cost up to $1,200.

NEC also provides information to farmers throughout the country on how to find and install the right rollover bar.

Since its inception in 2006, the NEC reports that more than 2,150 tractors have been retrofitted with protective structures in seven states, with more than 1,500 of those retrofits occurring in New York State alone. Farmers throughout the country benefit from the hotline and administrative support that is provided through CDC funding.

Furthermore, Schumer said, participants in New York reported 221 close calls and 19 serious incidents in which death or injury was likely without the protective ROPS structures. However, all of this critical outreach and infrastructure surrounding the ROPS program could come to an end if the CDC allows the federal funding for the ROPS program to come to a halt. Schumer said that this program is vital to farmers and growers, and that he will do everything possible to ensure that the CDC administratively funds the program so that the inroads the ROPS program has made can continue.

A copy of the Senator’s letter appears below:

Dear Director Redfield, MD:

"I write to bring attention to a problem which continues to threaten the lives of farmers and growers in Upstate New York and nationwide. As you know, farm-related deaths are 800 percent higher than many other industries, with tractor overturns being the most frequent cause of deaths on farms, at a rate of 96 cases per year. I commend and appreciate the great work being done at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to invest in tractor rollover protection systems (ROPS) and the continued safety of our farmers. However, it has come to my attention that the federal funding for the ROPS program through NIOSH is in jeopardy of coming to an end in September. Therefore, I urge you to work with the Northeast Regional Center in Cooperstown, New York, as well as other NIOSH Centers across the country, in order to administratively fund this important work that saves almost 100 lives a year across the country.

As you know, our agricultural community is the lifeblood of rural America, and protecting the well-being and safety of our farmers must be a majority priority. In response to the hazardous environment of working on a farm, the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (NEC) launched an effort to create the life-saving ROPS Rebate Program, which covers approximately 70% of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS rollbar kit on their tractor. In most cases, this means farmers only pay $500 or less for this life-saving equipment that can otherwise cost up to $1,200. NEC also provides information to farmers on how to find and install the right rollover bar. Since its inception in 2006, the NEC reports that more than 2,150 tractors have been retrofitted with protective structures in seven states, with more than 1,500 of those retrofits occurring in New York State alone. However, all of this critical outreach and infrastructure surrounding the ROPS program could come to an end if federal funding comes to a halt.  This is why I urge you to administratively provide funding to the ROPS program, so that the  important inroads the ROPS program has made can continue. 

During these challenging times for our agricultural communities, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure that our farmers and growers have every tool available to succeed. In New York State alone, the ROPS program has been extremely effective in preventing tractor rollover deaths and injuries to our farmers and growers. Feedback from the agricultural community has been extremely positive, with participants in New York reporting 221 close calls and 19 serious incidents in which death or injury was likely without protective structures. This kind of success should be touted and continued, which is why I urge you to ensure that you continue to fund the great work done by the NEC and ROPS as soon as possible.     

I understand that in the current fiscal climate resources are constrained, and as always, I vow to stand with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) throughout the budget process. However, based on the critical importance of protecting the health and safety of our agricultural workers, I ask that you ensure that federal funding continues to flow to the ROPS program past September. I look forward to working with you on this important request."

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer

May 23, 2018 - 1:28pm

Press release:

Town of Bethany Republican Committee seeks Highway Superintendent candidates for consideration of endorsement on the Election Ballot this Fall.

The committee will hold its Endorsement Meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, at Bethany Town Hall, located at 10510 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

Interested candidates please contact Thomas J. Douglas, chairman, via email: [email protected] or call 585-356-0824 on or before Tuesday, June 5th.

May 23, 2018 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in art, schools, education, news, batavia, City Schools.


The Board of Education meeting Tuesday night included a department review from Amanda Antonucci, art teacher at Batavia High School.

Antonucci shared the art accomplishments and progress for Jackson, John Kennedy, Batavia Middle and Batavia High schools.

At the elementary level, first- and second-graders held their annual monster swap. The first-graders draw monsters and the second-graders re-draw them. She said the project is so popular the teachers are thinking of expanding it for next year to include middle school students, who will make monster sculptures from the drawings.

Jackson just held its annual Fine Arts Night, which gives the students a chance to see their art displayed as if in a gallery.

The middle school was engaged in several cross-curriculum projects, including students drawing their portraits with adjectives describing themselves instead of regular lines. They also looked at cells under a microscope and painted pictures of what they saw.

Once again, this year, on May 30 and 31, the middle school will hold its Human Rights Heroes project.

At the high school level, there were two new electives, both very popular: Digital Photography and Graphic Design.

The students also had a number of electives to choose from, including Drawing, Printmaking, Studio Design, Portfolio, and Sculpture.

"We have great electives," Antonucci said. "For a school our size, it is really outstanding. I really appreciate it."

One of the guest artists who visited the school this year was a 1969 graduate of BHS who is a sculptor.

A popular new activity was mARTch Madness. Antonucci said in March, all the kids can talk about is basketball so the teachers set up a bracket of 16 contemporary artists and the students discussed and debated their work.

"There was a lot of great commentary and discussion," Antonucci said. "We're going to do this forever now because it was such a big hit."

She encouraged her students to enter work into a 6x6 show in Rochester. Antonucci herself entered a solo show featuring portraits she painted of students; and she and student Sophia Dinehart entered a show just for an art teacher and an art student to share a gallery space.

BHS will host its Art Appreciation Night May 30.

Below are photos of student-created and painted murals that are being completed in the hallway of the district administration building.




May 23, 2018 - 9:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, education, schools.

The Board of Education for City Schools handed out their monthly awards to start last night's meeting. Below are pictures of the winners with write-ups supplied by the school district.


Valle Jewelers invited Mrs. Torrey’s first-grade classroom to their store to further their study of gemstones and minerals in their History of the Earth Unit.

Students were able to see equipment discussed in lessons that jewelers use, find their birthstones and look at them under a microscope!

This was a hands-on way for first graders to learn and we appreciate Valle Jewelers for opening their doors to our students.  What a great experience for them! 

Photo: Stephen Valle, Pat Burk, Carrie Lawrence and her daughter, Sophia.


Jaheim Dana had a rocky start to his high school career and did not earn enough credits to progress to the 10th grade. He struggled academically, lacked motivation, and even talked about dropping out of high school.

When students have to repeat the ninth grade, we often see them lose their desire to graduate, and we struggle to get them back on track to graduate on time. This was not the case with Jaheim.

Over the last year, we have seen him make an incredible transformation! He has passed every class, is planning to study Auto Technology at BOCES in his senior year, and is right on track to graduate in 2019 with his class.

He plans to enter the military after graduation. Mrs. Garner is continually impressed with Jaheim's ability to shut out negative peer pressure and keep his eye on his goal of graduation.

We are so proud of his accomplishments at BHS and can't wait to see him walk the stage next June!


Lauren Leone is an extremely self-motivated, hard-working, and flexible graduating senior who can be depended upon to get a job done and done well.

At the beginning of this school year, she took the initiative to follow up on my invitation (given at the end of her junior year) to do some writing for the District’s A+ Community Newsletter.

She then proceeded to contribute a quality article, on time, for each issue. In addition, she was flexible in what she wrote about, giving equal care to a topic she generated on her own or one that was suggested to her. Throughout the year, she could be counted on to deliver what was needed by the deadline of when it was needed.

This was no small feat for someone who was also busy with so, so many other activities and responsibilities as a class officer, athlete, volunteer extraordinaire, as well as a dedicated student taking many demanding classes, including college-level courses, all while maintaining a grade-point average that puts her at the very top of her class.


Riley Gonzalez works hard every day. He sets a great example of how other classmates should be and act.

He has been on GREEN or ABOVE every single month this year. This is over 130 days of EXCELLENT BEHAVIOR. Over 130 days of being respectful, responsible, safe and following all of the Whole Brain Teaching rules (following directions quickly, raising hand for permission to speak, participate, and leave seat, making smart choices, and making your teachers happy.)

Riley follows all of these, as well as being a polite, caring individual. We are proud to recognize his efforts.

May 23, 2018 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, darien lake theme park, news, business.

Press release:

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX), the world’s largest regional theme park company, today announced it has entered into a purchase agreement with affiliates of Premier Parks LLC to acquire the lease rights to operate five parks owned by EPR Properties (NYSE:EPR). The parks have previously been operated by Premier Parks LLC of Oklahoma City.

These latest acquisitions will expand the company’s portfolio of North American parks to 25.​

“Today’s announcement represents another milestone in our strategic North American growth initiative to seek out park acquisitions that expand our addressable market,” said Six Flags Chairman, CEO, and President, Jim Reid-Anderson.

“These are all fantastic properties that complement our existing portfolio and provide tremendous added value and cross-visitation opportunities for our extensive Membership and Season Pass base.”

The parks joining the Six Flags family are:

  • Wet 'n’ Wild Splashtown, Houston’s largest waterpark, with more than 48 lush acres and a wide selection of thrilling waterslides and attractions, along with two children’s areas;
  • Wet 'n’ Wild Phoenix, the largest waterpark in Arizona (located in the Adobe Dam Recreation Area), featuring 35 acres of high-speed slides and two pools, and also offering a Wet 'n’ Wild Jr. section with kid-friendly versions of some of the park’s most thrilling attractions;
  • Darien Lake near Buffalo, NY, a beautiful resort property located on approximately 1,000 acres that includes a theme park, waterpark, campground, hotel, and a 21,000-seat amphitheater;
  • Frontier City, an iconic part of the Oklahoma City landscape, is steeped in tradition. The park features a western theme and offers an extensive lineup of exciting rides, attractions, and shows geared to every member of the family; and
  • White Water Bay, near Oklahoma's Frontier City, a tropical oasis with more than 25 acres of waterslides, interactive water play areas, and pools.

Six Flags is the largest regional theme park operator in the world and upon closing of the transactions, will be the largest waterpark operator in North America.

With the addition of these five properties that entertained approximately two million guests in 2017, there will be an additional 20 million guests within a 100-mile radius of a Six Flags park, significantly expanding the company’s national footprint.

“We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding properties and employees into our family of parks and look forward to sharing the thrill of Six Flags with guests of all ages in these key markets,” added Reid-Anderson.

Closing of the transactions contemplated by the agreement is expected to occur in June and is subject to customary closing conditions.

May 23, 2018 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, STAMP, news, GCEDC, notify.

While it still may be a long shot for 1366 Technologies to build its solar wafer manufacturing plant in Genesee County any time soon, there is apparently an ongoing conflict between the company and the Department of Energy. Some industry observers seem to think it could hinder the company's plans to build its first factory in Southeast Asia.

E&E News reported earlier this month that unnamed DOE sources say the agency is pushing patent claims. (See, also, PV Magazine.)

DOE officials believe the United States has a possible claim on 1366 technology tied to grants DOE had given the company over the past eight years. In a review of the 1366 product exclusion petition under the solar tariff, DOE said "it came to light" that the company also had patents not reported as part of its DOE funding process.

DOE and 1366 would not provide documents describing in detail the conditions attached to DOE's grants.

"The department takes seriously its responsibility to protect its intellectual property rights and the parties' obligations under funding agreements," said department press secretary Shaylyn Hynes.

Laureen Sanderson, spokesperson for 1366, wouldn't comment on the dispute except to say, "We are working with the DOE to resolve any misunderstanding."

In 2009, when the DOE was part of the Obama Administration, the department made a $150 million loan guarantee to 1366. That was apparently contingent on the company securing a U.S. site for manufacturing and raising $100 million in private financing. The company selected a site in Alabama's Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park -- AKA the STAMP project -- (though a DOE spokesperson later denied 1366 had made such a selection) but fell about $10 million short as of the fall of 2017 in its private investment goal.

To what degree that was the real sticking point in negotiations is hard to say based on available information, but at the beginning of the year 1366 announced it was withdrawing its application for the loan guarantee and planning a factory in Southeast Asia.

The ongoing conflict with the DOE came to light when 1366 applied for an exemption for its component in a planned tariff on solar panels manufactured in China.

A DOE spokesperson contacted by The Batavian last week did not respond to a request for comment.

If 1366 were to shift focus again and seek to return to STAMP the company would, of course, be welcome, said Steve Hyde, CEO of Genesee County Economic Development Center. He said GCEDC has not been contacted by the company, however. If it did come to that, just because of the passage of time, there would need to be new negotiations.

"But I’m sure that things could be put in place that are very similar," Hyde said.

It's unclear, and 1366 isn't saying, how far along the company is with its Southeast Asia plant.

May 22, 2018 - 9:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, child sexual offender, Bethany, Alabama.

A man convicted of two counts of first-degree child sex abuse and one count of second-degree child sex abuse is counting down the days until his release after three years of incarceration.

Storm U. Lang, now 21, was sexually involved with three different victims on multiple separate occasions in 2014 when he was 17 years old.

He subjected a 7-year-old to sexual contact in the Town of Alabama; a 12-year-old to sexual contact in the Town of Alabama; and a 5-year-old to sexual contact in the Town of Bethany.

The child molester was back in Genesee County Court on Monday for a Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) hearing to determine his threat level, which must be made within 30 days prior to his release.

Where he plans to live when he gets out was not discussed yesterday. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and will be under post-release supervision for a decade.

The state Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders evaluated this case and provided a risk-level recommendation to the court -- Level 3 -- which means there's a high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety exists.

There are also three designations that may be assigned to a Level 3 sex offender: sexual predator, sexually violent offender, or predicate sex offender.

After lengthy discussions in both the morning and afternoon sessions, Judge Charles Zambito determined Lang warranted a Level 3 designation and deemed he met the legal definition of a sexually violent offender.

In making a decision, a point-scoring mechanism known as Total Risk Factor Score is considered; there may also be a request by the defense for a "downward departure" of the overall "presumptive score," which seeks to reduce the designation level as recommended or assigned -- an "override."

The District Attorney's Office agreed with the Board of Examiners' recommendation, which considers such factors as to whether there was use of force, weapons, alcohol or drugs, victim's age, number of victims, assault upon or injury to a victim, and relationship to the victim.

Public defense attorney Lisa Kroemer took issue with the points accrued in scoring her client's risk level -- a "presumptive score of 125"; her aim was to reduce the point score and persuade the judge that Lang is a Level 2 sex offender.

In part, her argument hung on a typo brought to her attention by the people earlier that morning that cited a victim instead of the plural victims for one of the risk factors.

"I'm arguing that the concept of double counting applies; I don't think you can pick and choose," Kroemer said.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini denied double counting, saying the score remains 125 even without the typo, because one victim -- a 12-year-old -- was asleep, and therefore defenseless, when the sexual conduct occurred.

Calling Kroemer's argument "baseless and unwarranted," Cianfrini further characterized her logic as "a distinction in search of a difference."

Zambito said no matter how you add it up, Lang earned a score of 125 by his counting, the Board of Examiner's counting, and that of the DA's Office.

The duration of Lang's admittedly ongoing behavior, though no physical violence was used, constitutes "a continuing course of sexual conduct," sexual contact -- over clothes in Lang's case, and the age of victims was factored, too. 

Moreover, the prisoner admitted to authorities in three different instances that he also had sexually abused a 4-year-old victim when he was a juvenile, which was not included in the accounting made in his risk assessment, according to the judge.

"He is a sexually violent offender, based on his conviction -- a risk Level 3," Zambito said.

The Board of Examiners report says Lang has pedophilia and an anxiety disorder.

In addition, a state clinician specializing in sex offenders reported: Lang's likelihood of sexual recidivism is (determined to be) moderate to high; he has multiple and enduring high-risk personality traits; emotional disorders; impaired judgment; and impulsivity, and an inability to control himself."

"He's a Level 3 all day long, whether by points, by upward departure or override," Zambito said.

The defense attorney cited case law (People v. Burgos) that states that psychological/organic abnormality and decreased ability to control sexual behavior must be demonstrated before an upward override -- from a Level 2 (sought by the defense) to a Level 3 (sought by the people) -- can be granted.

The judge asked, "Doesn't the evaluation say that?"

No, Kroemer argued, it assessed his sexual recidivism risk as moderate to high, but she said if her client received treatment, the recidivism risk "should go down."

Kroemer also questioned the credentials of the clinician who performed the mental health assessment.

Cianfrini assured the court that Forensic Mental Health Counseling of Western New York and its clinicians were skilled specialists in the area of evaluating sexual offenders.

Whether or not treatment might help Lang was not considered.

The clerk of the court read Lang the law pertaining to his SORA responsibilities. He has to provide a new photo every year, register wherever he lives within 10 days, and provide authorities with his email address(es), online screen names, etc.

Lang has 30 days to appeal Monday's court decision.

Dressed in a white shirt, tan pants, brown lace-up boots, a belt, Lang was shackled, hands and ankles; accompanied by two state guards wearing uniforms with light-blue shirts. He is about 5'11" and 200 pounds, pale skinned, with heavy brows and chin-length brown hair.

He said nothing until he blurted out before leaving court that he gets out in "40 days."

There are currently 46 Level 3 sex offenders living in Genesee County, and a total of 186 convicted sex offenders at all levels reside here.

May 22, 2018 - 9:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller reports three youths approached him and tried a strong-arm robbery.

He may have a knife or he may have a baseball bat.

The youths apparently did not get anything from him.

The caller is unfamiliar with where he is and dispatchers are trying to clarify so they can direct officers to the location. He was eventually located on Summit Street.

He described the youths as black males, two wearing red shirts, one with a dog on a chain.

UPDATE 9:39 p.m.: The description is now two black males and one white male with a dog. They are believed eastbound from Summit Street. An officer who responded reports being with two individuals.



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