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March 24, 2017 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A car has reportedly struck a pedestrian at the intersection of State Street and Alva Place, Batavia.

City Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

The location is by Washington Towers, behind JC Penney.

March 24, 2017 - 3:00pm

Open House this Sunday, March 26 • 12pm-1pm, 22 Forest Avenue in the Oakfield Village. This home offers 5 large bedrooms, 2 full baths with 1st floor laundry, 1st floor master, huge dining room and kitchen. 1 Car attached garage, 54" high sidewall heated salt-water above ground pool and landscaped backyard with gas fire pit put this house above all the rest. This home is part of the 100% Moneyback Guarantee Program and also comes with our Transferable Home Warranty. Call to schedule your showing right away, call Charles at 716-860-2222 to find out what your house it worth!

March 24, 2017 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Alabama.

An 81-year-old man from Medina who was a passenger in a sedan that drove under the trailer of a big rig died just before 5 p.m. yesterday, according to State Police.

Purcil E. Buzard suffered severe trauma in the accident, according to sources, and was taken to was flown by Mercy Flight to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The accident was reported at about 9:30 a.m. yesterday at the intersection Route 77 and Route 63 in Alabama. A tractor trailer that was eastbound on Lewiston Road was making a right-hand turn onto southbound Alleghany Road.  A sedan driven by Donna L. Wolter, 69, of Medina, allegedly failed to stop at the four-way stop. The car went under the trailer and its roof was sheared off and then hit a vacant building on the southwest corner of the intersection. It bounced off the building and hit a sedan stopped on Lewiston Road.

Wolter suffered head injuries.

There were no other injuries reported as a result of the accident.

 

March 24, 2017 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
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Oliver Thomas

If Oliver Thomas hadn't had a warrant for his arrest for five months, perhaps he could have made bail today, but since he didn't turn himself in and continued to hide from police, Judge Charles Zambito wasn't persuaded that bail was appropriate in his case.

Thomas was wanted for his alleged role in a home-invasion attack on residents in a Central Avenue home in October. A second warrant was later issued because of his alleged failure to register a change of address as a convicted sex offender.

On the bail evaluation worksheet, which judges use to help determine somebody's flight risk, Thomas scored a negative four, even though he's a lifelong Batavia resident.

Thomas was in court today specifically for a review of his bail status following his arrest in Le Roy and original arraignment earlier this week.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini argued that even with his lifelong residency, Thomas has proven he's really pretty transient with lots of options for where he can go and where he can hide.

"He's a significant flight risk," Cianfrini said.

His assigned counsel, Brian Degnan, argued that because of his roots here, and that he obeyed all of the rules of his prior parole, he deserved reasonable bail, such as $10,000 or $20,000 bond.

Zambito agreed that Thomas is a flight risk and ordered him held without bail.

March 24, 2017 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news.

The case of a 29-year-old man's sexual affair with a 16-year-old Genesee County girl turned a lot today on speculation about just how hurt the girl was by the affair.

Daniel Brown is from Ontario County and has already been sentenced to two years in state prison on his conviction of crimes stemming from acts between him and the girl in that county and this morning's hearing was to determine if he should get an additional year in prison for crimes committed locally.

He pled guilty in December to criminal sexual act 3rd.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell argued that Brown deserved the maximum available sentence available under the plea deal, three years in prison to be served concurrently with his Ontario County sentence, notwithstanding a statement by the victim's mother in a letter to court stating that her daughter suffered nothing more than a broken heart from the affair.

Finnell said that even by his own admission, Brown knows he hurt the girl in ways that will have ramifications for her later in life.

"He acknowledged in his letter to the court that he knows her brain is still developing and that this can affect her later in life," Finnell said. "He knew that."

According to Finnell, Brown struck up a friendship with the girl while she was still 15 and would meet with her, text with her and even showed up at school at least once to watch one of her school activities and when questioned about his presence, he said he was at the school that day to interview for a teaching job, which, Finnell said, was a lie.

Finnell said the physical affair started as shortly after the girl turned 16 and that Brown knew what he was doing all along both legally and morally.  

According to Finnell, Brown would pick up the girl at school and never drive far from the school so they could get her back to the school quickly if her mother showed up, ostensibly to help hide the affair. 

The  maximum sentence was appropriate, Finnell said, because the affair started in Genesee County and Brown continued to persue the girl in Genesee County, even if they also spent time together in Ontario County.

Public Defender Jerry Ader argued that his client shouldn't get any additional prison time because he's already received sufficient punishment in Ontario County, which besides the two-year sentence, includes 10 years on parole and 30 years on the sex offender registry.

Both Finnell and Ader referred to a claim by Brown, who has held steady jobs since his military service and has no criminal record, that he succumbed to temptation after being dumped by his fiancé.  Ader said that isn't an excuse, but just like any hardship faced by defendants, it is a circumstance worthy of the court's consideration.

Ader took issue with Finnell's characterization of the girl's eventual mental state, that she will suffer down the road. Ader said without a statement from the girl, and no way of predicting the future, there is no way to judge how the affair will affect the girl in the future.

Judge Charles Zambito said he felt sorry for Brown's personal difficulty, but it wasn't a mitigating circumstance in his mind, before handing down a three-year sentence.

"This was all about you getting what you wanted and what you thought you needed," Zambito said. "You never said you cared for her or even expressed that you cared for her. This looks like you used her for your own purposes."

March 24, 2017 - 1:00pm

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As part of Ag Literacy Week, Assemblyman Steve Hawley was at John Kennedy School this morning to read to a group of students from a children's book about a grape farmer.

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March 24, 2017 - 12:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, pets, animal rescue.

An officer just received a walk-up complaint about a parrot. A citizen found a "lost" parrot and wants to help it. An animal control officer is going to the place where the parrot is located, no word on where that is, to get the parrot and try and find an appropriate rescue facility for it. "It's as big as a pigeon," says the officer.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m.: The officer who handled the walk-up complaint says the bird has been confirmed to be a cockatiel, not a parrot, and it's been turned over to animal control.

March 24, 2017 - 7:30am

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Batavia High School hosted the district’s annual Music in our Schools Concert last evening.  

Students from Jackson Elementary, John Kennedy Intermediate, Batavia Middle and High School, the students performed a collection of songs in honor of Mr. Jeff Langdon. 

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Music department director Jane Haggett and Principal Paul Kessler gathered student musicians in honor of Mr. Jeff Langdon’s dedication, devotion and years of teaching music at John Kennedy Intermediate school to perform a collection of songs demonstrating his contributions to their musical development. 

For more pictures go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

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March 24, 2017 - 6:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke, news.

A car has gone off the road into the woods on Main Road in Pembroke.

No injuries reported.

The location near the Pembroke Fire Hall, 630 Main Road.

Pembroke Fire and Indian Falls Fire along with Mercy EMS dispatched.

March 24, 2017 - 12:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy, news.

A driver is reportedly uninjured but trapped in her car after a rollover accident in the area of 6790 East Bethany Le Roy Road, Le Roy.

The car is on its side.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance responding.

March 23, 2017 - 6:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news.

While the State of New York is reporting its lowest unemployment rate in a decade, at 4.4 percent, Genesee County saw a slight uptick in its year-over-year unemployment rate, according to data released today by the Department of Labor.

The local rate is 5.8 percent. A year ago in February, it was 5.6 percent.

The state records 21,900 jobs in the county. This the third straight year the total number of jobs for February in the county hit 21,900. The highest February number over the past three decades was 22,400 in 2008.

Even at 5.8 percent, the jobless count is still lower than it has been over the past several years. with the exception of last year. The lowest local rate for February was recorded at 4.7 percent in 2001.

The February unemployment rate for the nation is reported at 4.7 percent.

A key indicator of the overall national employment picture is the prime-age percentage of the population in the workforce.  It fell to 75 percent at the depths of the recession in 2010 and 2011. In February it hit its highest level since the recovery, 78.3 percent. Prior to the 2002 recession, it was as high as 82 percent.

The other interesting study that came out today, related to the national economy, is a report on what are called "deaths of despair" -- people dying of suicide, alcoholism or drugs, which rose dramatically among middle-aged whites from 2000 to 2014.  According to the map, Genesee County was one of the few areas in the country that didn't see an increase in that statistic.

March 23, 2017 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Job Bureau, schools, education, news.

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The Genesee County Job Development Bureau hosted a job fair today for area high school students. A total of 11 local employers and 13 vendors were on hand along with Job Bureau counselors.

Speakers were on hand from Genesee Valley Partnership, GCC, and Empire State College.  They discussed vocational or educational goals with students.

There was also staff from the Department of Labor to review student resumes and offer tips. 

Thanks to Tim McArdle for supplying photos of Le Roy students at the event. We had it on our schedule to cover but couldn't make it because of the accident in Alabama this morning.

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March 23, 2017 - 6:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, schools, education, news, National Honor Society.

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On Wednesday, Le Roy High School inducted 34 new members of the National Honor Society. These students have maintained an overall GPA of 90 percent and possess the five qualities of a model student: scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. Sr. High Math teacher Mr. Zach Paley was our induction speaker and gave a great motivational message challenging students to learn through their failures. 

From Principal Tim McArdle: "This is a wonderful honor and accomplishment for our students and their families. I would like to thank Mrs. Qadiri for organizing with our officers a quality program for our students. We would like to congratulate the families of our new members. We all know, it takes a team to be successful!"

Photos and info submitted by Tim McArdle.

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March 23, 2017 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Top photo, Officer Peter Flanigan, Batavia PD, reads to students at Jackson School during the school's annual parents night reading program last night, this year dubbed "Camp Read-A-Lot."  The night featured community members reading to students, games, activities and a campout with camp music in the school's gymnasium.

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March 23, 2017 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
March 23, 2017 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in micheal ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has been appointed to two Joint Budget Subcommittees, Education and Transportation. Subcommittees, composed of both members of the State Senate and State Assembly, will work this week to finalize the details of the 2017-18 State Budget.

“The Senate’s one-house budget makes a record level of investment in education, while committing more funding to repair local roads and bridges,” said Ranzenhofer. “It is so important for Western New York to receive its fair share of state funding for our local school districts and local infrastructure projects. I will be advocating, as a member of these subcommittees, to get these two proposals in the final fiscal plan.”

Both the Senate and Assembly passed separate one-house budget resolutions last week. The Senate plan restrains spending growth, rejects new taxes and fees and delivers small business tax relief. The highlights of the Senate proposal include:

• Rejecting $800 million in new taxes and fees proposed by Governor Cuomo;
• Expanding the existing Personal Income Tax exemptions for small businesses and small farms and reducing the Corporate Franchise Tax business income tax rate from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over a two-year period; and
• Bringing ride-sharing services to Upstate New York.
 
The Senate budget proposal also makes a record level of investment in local infrastructure projects. Under the plan, state funding for the Local BRIDGE NY program would increase by $50 million for a total of $150 million. State funding for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway (CHIPS) program would be increased by $75 million for a total of $513 million.
March 23, 2017 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, Second Amendment, news.

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Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) spoke with pro-Second Amendment groups as well as a number of hunters, sportsmen, wildlife and fishing advocates from around the state on Wednesday at Albany’s annual Sportsmen’s Day. Among the groups in attendance were the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA), the New York State Crossbow Coalition, New York State Conservation Council, Inc. and Sportsmen’s Association for Firearms Education (SAFE).

“I have always prided myself as being an outdoorsman and advocate for the Second Amendment,” Hawley said. “Things like hunting, fishing and target shooting are ingrained in Western New York’s culture and require consistent protection from downstate interest groups who seek to infringe on our rights. I was one of the first legislators to fight against the unconstitutional SAFE Act and have consistently advocated for hunting and trapping rights in the counties I represent. I enjoyed speaking with various statewide groups and was impressed by their knowledge, passion and commitment. I look forward to this event each year and thank those who came to advocate and participate.”

 

March 23, 2017 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Alabama.

An 81-year-old passenger in a 2004 Mercury sedan suffered severe injuries this morning, according to State Police, after the vehicle went underneath the trailer on a big rig at the intersection of Route 63 and Route 77 in Alabama.

The roof of the sedan was sheared off and became lodged in the rear axel of the trailer.

The vehicle was driven by Donna L. Wolter, 69, who sustained head injuries. Her passenger was Purcil E. Buzard. Both are from Medina.

Both patients were transported by Mercy Flight to area hospitals.

State Police investigators believe Wolter failed to stop at the four-way intersection. 

The 2017 Kenworth tractor-trailer was eastbound on Lewiston Road and making a right-hand turn to head south on Alleghany Road when it was struck by the Mercury, which was on southbound Alleghany Road.

Wolter reportedly swerved to avoid hitting the cab of the truck and went under the trailer, then struck a vacant building on the southwest corner of the intersection, bounced off the building and hit a sedan stopped in the eastbound lane of Lewiston Road.

(initial report)

March 23, 2017 - 3:00pm

Super solid and so pretty! This charmer is located in an awesome city location, close to everything and within walking distance to one of Batavia’s favorite coffee shops and a city park! This home is move-in ready with little to do but try to figure out what to do with all the storage space! There is great space and cozy floor plan for such a large home --everyone has their own spot!

This home has been well taken care of throughout the years with maintenance of the everyday "stuff" and yearly maintenance of the things that matter -- roof, insulation and furnace! This is an excellent home for the money, you are going to want to check this one out! Mention this ad and receive a $500 gift card to a home improvement store of your choice with a *signed contract prior to 3/31/17 with a successful closing*.
Click here to view the complete listing for 27 Ellicott Ave. in Batavia. Call Lynn Bezon at Reliant Real Estate today at 585-344-4663!

March 23, 2017 - 2:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

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NOTE: Story updated to correct the names of the officers involved.

The two men who allegedly broke into a home at 49 Swan Street at 2:22 a.m. told the occupants of the house that they were police officers.

They then attacked the occupants and caused physical injury, according to police.

Kolton Cotter, 22, of Eagle Harbor Road, Albion (top photo), was charged with robbery, burglary, coercion, conspiracy, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal impersonation, petit larceny, criminal mischief, assault, possession of burglary tools, unlawful imprisonment, criminal obstruction of breathing, obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Andrew Morris, 19, of Main Street, Attica, was charged with robbery, burglary, coercion, conspiracy, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal impersonation, petit larceny, assault, possession of burglar tools, an unlawful possession of marijuana.

Officer Felicia DeGroot and Sgt. Eric Bolles were first to respond to the report of a break-in in progress and found Morris inside the residence and took him into custody. Cotter fled and was chased by Bolles and Officer Eric Foels.  Also assisting in the apprehension of the suspects were Officer Jason Ivison and Officer Darryl Streeter.

Sheriff's deputies also assisted at the scene.

Bolles and Foels caught up with him on Graham Street and one of them deployed a Taser to help subdue the suspect. Cotter was transported by Mercy EMS to UMMC for evaluation.

Batavia PD said Morris and Cotter identified themselves as undercover police officers in an attempt to steal property.

At one point, a suspect reportedly told the victims that at least one of them was armed. No firearm was recovered. The type of weapon recovered was not identified by police.

The suspects were arraigned in City Court and jailed without bail.

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