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August 28, 2016 - 4:20pm

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a severe thunderstorm warning until 4:45 p.m. today. The northwestern portion of Genesee County is included in this warning for Western New York. Oakfield is specifically cited in Genesee County.

Severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from near Lockport to near Pendleton, moving east at 40 mph.

Hazards include 60-mph wind gusts and nickel-size hail, which can damage roofs, siding and trees among other things. Large hail and damaging winds and continuous cloud-to-ground lighting is occurring with these storms. Torrential rainfall is also occurring with these storms and may lead to flash flooding. The storms have been producing more than one and a half inches of rain in less than one hour. Do not drive through flooded roadways.

Remember, if you are close enough to hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Move indoors immediately. For your protection, move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

August 28, 2016 - 10:42am

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In five years of covering concerts at Frostridge, there are four shows I'm sure I'll always remember: Marty Stuart in 2011, which was my introduction to Jam at the Ridge, The Farm, featuring Alexander native Krista Marie, the time Blackjack Billy upstaged the night's headliner, Blackberry Smoke, that same year, and finally, Blackjack Billy's return to Le Roy last night.

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August 27, 2016 - 3:55pm

Press release:

Area residents will be noticing some changes at the Arc of Genesee Orleans Transfer Station & Recycling Center over the next several weeks. Beginning Monday, Aug. 29, the facility, located at 3785 W. Main Street Road will be undergoing renovations to expand and improve service to the community.

Renovations will include a new building enclosure with service lane upgrades for the recycling, bottle redemption and secure document destruction service. During renovations, the Transfer Station is OPEN and will provide the same services but at a different location on the property for the next several weeks.

Customers are asked to follow the signs once turning into the property. The Transfer Station’s service and receiving area will be located near the back of the building.  Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesdays until 8 p.m.

Any questions feel free to contact Paul Saskowski, director of Operations, at 585-343-4203. 

August 27, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, housing rehab, home improvements, announcement.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is considering applying for Federal grant assistance to help income-eligible, owner-occupied, single-family homeowners with essential home improvements.

If you own a single-family home in need of repairs, please download the survey from the City’s “Useful Links” tab on the City’s homepage at www.batavianewyork.com. Click on Residential Rehabilitation Survey. Or you may pick up a survey in the City Manager’s office at City Hall.

Grant money would enable homeowners to make home repairs with grant and low-interest loan funding.

The City of Batavia is requesting your full cooperation to help us obtain housing rehabilitation grant funding. Please complete and mail in or drop off the surveys to the City Manager’s Office, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, New York, 14020.

If you have any questions please contact the City Manager’s office at 585-345-6330. 

August 27, 2016 - 3:14pm

Photo courtesy of Batavia Downs. Pictured is last year's winning wiener dog, "Piglet," and his owner, Heidi Kaiser.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The "Dog Days of Summer" at Batavia Downs means it's time for the annual Genesee Feeds Wiener Dog Races. That popular event is once again happening this Sunday afternoon (Aug. 28) with post time for the first Dachshund race scheduled for approximately 4:20 p.m. after the completion of the live 11-race live harness racing card.

Last year, Heidi Kaiser’s Dachshund, “Piglet,” made his third Downs appearance and cruised to a comfortable victory defeating nine other fleet-footed Wiener-racers in the championship final.

On Sunday, seven heats will be contested with each heat winner scoring a $25 free play voucher to Batavia Downs Gaming. The heat winners will then return for a championship race where the winning owner getting $100 in free play, second place finisher gets $75 in free play, and the third place finisher receives $50 in free play. The owners of the top three finishers will also get two complementary buffets in the Batavia Downs clubhouse.

All entrants will receive doggie bags for their athletes from the official sponsor of the Wiener Dog Races, Genesee Feeds of Batavia.

The Wiener Dog Races are one of the biggest promotions of the season at Batavia Downs and the main event of "Family Fun Day" at the races.

"Family Fun Day is one of my favorite live racing days,” said Director/General Manager of Live Racing, Todd Haight. “The kids always have a great time. You can bring the whole family out because there is something for everyone and you can eat, drink and enjoy everything going on for the entire afternoon and it costs next to nothing.”

Treat the kids to a fun, affordable day out with $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, soda, and snow cones and free pony rides from 2-4 p.m., sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep of Batavia. There will also be special appearances by Pringles The Clown, Mr. Scribbles, Jason the Juggler and other fun activities for kids of all ages. And everything is presented in a clean, safe environment where they can just enjoy themselves.

Admission and parking are free and live harness racing action begins at 1:15 p.m.

August 27, 2016 - 2:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, news.

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Over his 28 years in law enforcement, Kris Kautz has helped a lot of people and that's the best part of the job.

Mostly, it's about helping the victims of crime, mainly by finding the people who stole from them or harmed them or a member of their families.

But sometimes it's helping those same criminals get their lives turned around.

Now he's moving on to a job he thinks will be just as gratifying -- a security aide for Batavia City Schools.

"It’s a more laid-back position, obviously, but I’m looking forward to it, working with the kids and the school seems awesome," said Kautz, whose last day with the Sheriff's Office was Friday.

Kautz started with the department in 1988, three years after earning an associate degree in criminal justice at GCC.

"After I graduated, I realized to get those jobs, I would need to take exams," Kautz said. "That’s a good theory, I think. Do well on the exam and you should be a good candidate. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a very good test taker. I took many exams before I actually got a phone call. It was almost three full years before I got a job offer, and then, of course, I got three decent job offers within a month-and-a-half. Luckily, this job was one of them and it was really the job I was hoping for, so I accepted the position as a deputy."

Kautz was on road patrol for five years when he was promoted to investigator, the job he wanted all along.

He said he's been fortunate to stay in that position for 23 years, but now it's time to move on.

"You do reach a burnout factor," Kautz said. "I've probably reached the end of my shelf life. I'm not embarrassed to say that. I like to think I’ve done my part and it’s time to move on."

Leaving now isn't without its drawbacks. There are unsolved cases Kautz wishes were closed during his time in the investigator's office

"Those are kind of a sore spot," Kautz said. "Sometimes you know who you think did it, and you’re really close to solving it, but you just don’t have that extra piece."

Among the unsolved cases, Kautz worked are on is the Fickel murder.

"We worked long and hard on that for many, many months after that happened and unfortunately, the leads kind of started drying out and obvious we had another case load we needed to attend to," Kautz said. "It doesn’t get the attention we wish it would. We don’t have the luxury of having a quote-unquote 'homicide division' or 'burglary task force' or a 'sex crimes team.' "

Kautz leaves with cases pending, but there is a person of interest and some solid evidence that might one day hold up in court, but it will be up to other investigators to uncover the piece of evidence that wraps things up.

"We have been actively pursuing it and we’re just kind of crossing our fingers that maybe that one little piece of the puzzle we don’t have yet might show up one of these days," Kautz said.

(If you have information that might assist in the case, contact the Genesee County Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.)

Much has changed over 23 years in how investigators do their jobs. There is new technology and new techniques, but the basics remain the same -- gather evidence, safeguard it, ask questions, test answers and build a case.

"I'm not saying it (new technology) has made it easier to solve cases, but it's really solidified convictions," Kautz said. "When there is a fingerprint or DNA evidence at a crime scene, you can't dispute it. You have a hard time explaining that away when you're a defendant."

Too many cases, just by the nature of things, go unsolved, but when they are solved, it's a great feeling, he said, especially when you see the satisfaction on the faces of the victims.

"It’s all about the victims because when you come home after working a hard day, working an honest job, and come home and your door is kicked in and your TV and your family heirlooms are gone, you’re furious and it's devastating," Kautz said. "That’s where the cops come in and do their best to solve it and it’s very, very, very gratifying when you do solve it for them."

And sometimes, solving a crime helps another person improve their own lives, and that's a good feeling, too, Kautz said.

"People always say this is the best job in the world and I really think that," Kautz said. "You really have a chance to make a difference for people, in people’s lives, not only making it right for the victims but also maybe contributing to the improvement of some of the defendants' lives. Maybe getting arrested can often be a positive thing in the long run for somebody. They know they screwed up. They know they’ve got problems. They know they’ve got things they need to address. Sometimes getting arrested will be that last little push they need to really get their lives straightened out."

Photo: Kris Kautz with his family, wife Susan, and daughters Kelsey, Adeline and Ella.

August 27, 2016 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake performing arts center, Darien, crime, news.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Florida Georgia Line concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday:

Beth A. Kulp, 34, of York Street, Honeoye Falls, is charged with third-degree assault after allegedly punching another patron, knocking that patron unconscious.

Laura A. Lukasiak, 26, of Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, is charged with second-degree harassment and resisting arrest after allegedly pushing and kicking a deputy and then resisting arrest. Lukasiak was arraigned in Darien Court and put in jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Tyler A. Becker, 18, of Schader Road, Wayland, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting in the concert venue parking lot. Becker was arraigned in Darien Court and put in jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Mhari F, Fairgrieve, 19, of Highland Avenue, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, is charged with two counts of second-degree harassment after allegedly hitting and scratching two Live Nation employees. Fairgrieve was arraigned in Darien Court and released on $250 bail.

Cesare C. Caponcini, 21, of Rykert Street, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, is charged with second-degree harassment after allegedly hitting and scratching a Live Nation employee. Caponcini was arraigned in Darien Court and released on $250 bail.

Briana M. Szczech, 25, of Scenic Circle, Rochester, is charged with second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting and biting Live Nation security officers.

Robert J. Turnquist, 26, of Davis Road, Westfalls, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly climbing a fence into the VIP area and refusing to leave.

Samuel J. Eggleston, 20, of Delamater Road, Angola, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief after allegedly punching the rear window out of a car.

David C. Avayou, 51, of Buffalo Street, Hamburg, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Steven J. Nichy, 18, of Jessica Lane, Depew, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly climbing the fence to gain entry to the venue.

Janelle M. Clemmer, 34, of Zimmerman Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jeffrey S. Masters, 55, of Zimmerman Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Chadd T. Lee, 23, of Doran Lane, Lima, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Mariah K. Winsor, 20, of Route 6, Kane, Pa., is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jordan E. Demartino, 19, of Darlington Drive, Derby, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Sarah L. Lenegan, 21, of Lorfield Drive, Snyder, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

August 27, 2016 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Note: Today, we introduce another upgrade to our Deal of the Day program: E-mail notifications. For this post, people who have registered for Deal of the Day, have already received an e-mail notifying them of the post. That's the good news. The less-than-good news is that the process that is supposed to include what deals are new in today's post didn't work. That's something my server host needs to fix and hopefully they will do that within a day or two. In the meanwhile, register using the link directly below and you, too, can start receiving e-mail notifications when deals are posted and you'll increase your chances of winning the best new deals when they're posted!

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.
August 27, 2016 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A two-car accident is reported in the area of 112 W. Main St., Batavia.

One person suffered a possible neck injury.

City fre and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:52 a.m.: One patient transported to UMMC for evaluation.

August 26, 2016 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, corfu.

A motor vehicle accident is reported on Route 77 at Water Street, Corfu.

There was airbag deployment and one person has minor leg injuries.

The seven people in the other car are likely signoffs.

Traffic is heavy on Route 77 because of a concert at Darien Lake tonight, Florida Georgia Line, is sold out.

August 26, 2016 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, news.

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A man who was found early this morning unconscious next to a compacting roller has died, according to State Police.

Investigators suspect he died due to medical issues since there are no signs of trauma on his body, though head trauma, which wasn't visible, has not been ruled out.

The cause of death is pending a report from a medical examiner, said James O'Callahan, public information officer for Troop A.

The man was found next to the piece of heavy construction equipment around 5:30 a.m. on Route 20 about 1/4 of a mile west of Harlow Road.

The equipment was upside down next to a flatbed truck trailer that had apparently transported it to that location. The truck was parked on the north shoulder, the westbound lane, pointed eastbound.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital while CPR was performed.

Darien fire and Darien ambulance responded.

There is no further information available at this time pending completion of State Police reports. The State Police will release the name and any additional information when the reports are complete.

UPDATE 12:24 p.m.: The driver has been identified as Aaron L. Wellman, age 40.

(Initial Report)

August 26, 2016 - 10:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

A truck fire is reported on Clay Street, Le Roy, in front of the Le Roy Fire Hall.

Le Roy Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:13 p.m.: It's a recycling truck and there is smoke showing. Engine requested from a mutual aid department in Livingston County.

UPDATE 10:15 p.m.: Clay Street closed in both directions.

August 26, 2016 - 8:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Diana Kastenbaum, politics, news.

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic candidate for NY-27, received a major endorsement this week by New York State’s 2.5-million member AFL-CIO. The endorsement came at the State Federation’s 33rd Constitutional Convention in New York City.

Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said, “The decisions made in Washington DC impact the lives and economic well-being of all working men and women which is why the Labor Movement will do everything within our power to elect candidates committed to putting the interests of working people first.”

Kastenbaum said, “I am deeply honored and grateful for the endorsement of New York State’s AFL-CIO. My husband and I have been proud members of two unions in the AFL-CIO family. American workers are the backbone of our country and I intend to fight for working families to see that we achieve our goals of growing our economy with more jobs, a livable wage, healthcare and education.”

August 26, 2016 - 8:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news.

From Chris Hayward, Le Roy chief of police:

The Le Roy Police Department is accepting resumes for two full-time police officer positions. Candidates must already have civil service status or be on the Genesee County list to be considered. Interested parties must submit a resume to the Le Roy Police Department at 3 W. Main St., Le Roy NY 14482. ATTN: Chief Christopher Hayward. Resumes will be accepted until the close of business Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.

August 26, 2016 - 5:44am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Darien, news.

A man fell off a highway construction roller that was mounted on a truck or trailer and is "reported down, unresponsive," on the shoulder of Broadway Road in Darien. Mercy Flight #5 is on in-air standby with a five- to seven-minute ETA, if called. It's not certain if he is breathing. Darien Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:53 a.m.: Mercy Flight is canceled.

UPDATE 6:09 a.m.: The location is about a quarter mile west of Harlow Road.

UPDATE 6:13 a.m.: CPR is in progress and the patient is being transported by ambulance to an area hospital. It is not known at this point what caused the man to fall off the equipment -- whether it was a medical issue. The roller is a small one -- about the size of a skid loader -- that was on the back of a flatbed truck. The truck is on the westbound shoulder of Broadway Road pointed in the eastbound direction. The roller is overturned on the gravel north of the truck. 

August 25, 2016 - 10:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Darien.

The driver of a car that hit a porch at Sumner and Alleghany roads in Darien is reportedly unconscious.

Darien fire and Darien ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 11:02 p.m.: Appears to be non-serious injuries.

August 25, 2016 - 5:31pm

Maybe you've been wanting to pick up an American Buffalo hoodie or a women's spaghetti-strap shirt with the Made in America logo on it, but you haven't had a chance to drive to one of the MIA outlets in Erie County.

Well, you're in luck (no pun intended) as plans have been finalized to locate a Made in America store in the lobby of Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

"About three weeks ago, (Western Regional Off-Track Betting President) Henry (Wojtaszek), (Vice President of Operations) Scott (Kiedrowski) and I met with Mark Andol, owner of the Made in America franchise headquartered in Elma, and we signed an agreement to open a gift shop at Batavia Downs Gaming," said Michael Nolan, WROTB's chief operating officer.

"We feel that it's a good idea, especially being a public benefit corporation, that fits right in the bloodstream of our demographics."

Nolan said Batavia Downs will offer clothing apparel -- T-shirts, hoodies, etc. -- and other items, with some of the clothing to bear both the MIA and Batavia Downs Gaming insignias.

The announcement was made this morning at the WROTB Board of Directors meeting at Batavia Downs Gaming.

For more about the Made in America store, go to www.madeinamericastore.com.

In other developments, Nolan said:

-- He expects the Downs' partnership with FanDuel to offer fantasy sports competition at Batavia Downs Gaming at some of its OTB branches to "receive clearance" from the New York State Gaming Commission by next week -- "in time to be off and running for the 2016 NFL season." 

The gaming board approved FanDual's application to operate in New York State last week, action that came on the heels of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to legalize interactive fantasy sports in New York. Previously, WROTB signed a four-year contract with FanDual.

-- That an EZ Bet kiosk is being placed at Letchworth Pines in Portageville. This will be the third such kiosk in Wyoming County, with the other two located at BenGo’s Express Mart in Attica and the Arcade Hotel.

Letchworth Pines was purchased last year by Kevin Sass, who has been involved in the bowling business since the late 1990s and also was a competitor on the Professional Bowlers Association Regional Tour. 

A grand opening, featuring prize drawings and refreshments, is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at The Pines. It is located at 6985 Fillmore Road.

August 25, 2016 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

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Photo and story via our news partner, WBTA.

R. Stephen Hawley, who was 94 years old, died early this morning in Arizona.

Before his retirement, he had been elected to 10 terms in the New York State Assembly, serving 20 years beginning in 1973.

Hawley, a World War II Veteran, was a 1939 graduate of Batavia High School and at the beginning of his political career owned a family farm in Batavia.

Since 2006, Hawley’s son Steven M. Hawley has taken up his mantle of local representation in the State Assembly.

August 25, 2016 - 2:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, batavia, pembroke.

Jacob M. Twardowski, 22, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment, endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree menacing. He was arrested at midnight on Aug. 24 following a domestic incident at his residence. He was transported to City Court, arraigned and released. He is due in City Court on Sept. 28. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Cassandra L. Brunea, 43, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 12:56 p.m. on State Street following a disturbance. It is alleged that during the incident Brunea subjected another person to unwanted physical contact by spitting on the person. She was issued an appearance ticket and released. She is due in City Court on Sept. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Michael S. Klotzbach, 29, of Boyce Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 after a physical altercation with an acquaintance. He was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket for City Court on Aug. 29. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

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