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September 1, 2015 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia.

City Fire responded to a kitchen fire at 27 Tracy Ave., Batavia, this afternoon that caused an estimated $1,000 in damage.

The fire was reported at 4:38 p.m. and was deemed accidental, according to a press release.

Engine 11 arrived three minutes after the alarm and reported smoke showing. The residents evacuated.

Once inside, firefighters found a pot of grease on fire on the stove with flames extending into other combustibles nearby. The crew smothered the fire by putting a lid on the pot and used a fire extinguisher to knock down the remaining fire on a cabinet and wall paneling.

Crews were also able to locate and remove a pet rabbit from the home.

City fire remained on scene for about an hour checking for extension and ventilating the structure.

The estimated building damage is $200 and contents damage is put at $800.

September 1, 2015 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, byron-bergen, football, sports.


Some key starters from the 2014 edition of the Ebla/Byron Bergen Lancers have graduated and moved on, but head coach Mike Cintorino is confident in the squad he will put on the field in 2015.

"This is the most veteran group we've ever had," Cintorino said. "We have a lot of guys who played with us as freshman and sophomores and we've got 15 seniors returning, mostly starters, so we lost some names such as (Steele) Truax, (Mike) Shanley and (Garrett) Chapell, and guys like that, but in all reality, we had guys with us last year already ready to fill those roles who have been with us for a couple of years."

John Hockmuth, a standout at tight end last season, has been waiting his turn to lead the offense and is ready to step in as QB-1, Cintorino said. Richard Flores, perhaps the fast running back in the Genesee Region, returns as half-back and there are younger guys ready to contribute at receiver and tight end.

Size and experience will benefit the offensive and defensive lines.

"They've been playing together actually since they were in 7th or 8th grade, so this line is probably the most experienced line that we've hever had in terms of them playing together and having that continuity," Cintorino said.

There are no push overs in the GR this year, Cintorino said, so preperation for each game is going to be a key to a successful 2015 for the Lancers.

"It's that old cliche, one week at a time," Cintorino said. "We don't want to look ahead. Right now, our number one focus is Pembroke. In a league like this, you can't take any team for granted."













September 1, 2015 - 5:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in The Jerome Foundation, UMMC Foundation.

Press release:

The Jerome Foundation and United Memorial Medical Center Foundation are seeking nominations for the Health and Humanitarian Award of Genesee County.

This will be the 31st year the award has been presented. The first award was presented to Dr. Sydney McLouth in 1982. Award winners for the past four decades have included health care workers, builders, teachers, and many community volunteers.

The award recognizes outstanding men and women whose volunteer efforts have improved the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of the greater Genesee County area.

“We are fortunate to have many caring and committed volunteers devoted to the sick or to those in need, and helping build a stronger, healthier community for all of us,” says a written statement from Justin Calarco-Smith, president of The Jerome Foundation, and Susie Boyce, president of UMMC Foundation.

They noted Robert Boyce, the 2014 Health and Humanitarian Award recipient, who has devoted considerable time and talent to improving the quality of volunteer ambulance service in LeRoy, in addition to volunteer service on many community boards and organizations.

Nomination forms are available from UMMC Foundation Office at 127 North St., calling 585-344-5300, or online at

Organizations or individuals may nominate candidates. Consideration will be given to actual accomplishments achieved through volunteer service and subsequent improvements to quality of life. Nominations should be submitted on or before Sept. 30.

The 2015 award winner will be honored at a luncheon on Friday, Dec. 4, at Terry Hills Restaurant.

September 1, 2015 - 5:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that U.S. veterans who paid a New York State Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fee of $12.50 to have a distinguishing mark on their driver’s license or identification card will be issued a refund.

Hawley, a veteran and Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee, praised the law, which was signed into law in August.

“I am proud to have championed and voted for this legislation on behalf of our veterans and the sacrifices they have endured,” Hawley said. “Many restaurants and businesses already offer discounts to vets and this law will make proving one’s status convenient and fool proof.

"I applaud my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate for passing this measure and consider it a small token of gratitude for those who have given our country so much.”

The law applies to those seeking a “veteran” designation on or after Oct. 3, 2012. The DMV will be automatically sending a refund to those who qualify.

September 1, 2015 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime.

State Police authorities are asking the public to be on the lookout for a person or persons stealing from unlocked cars in Genesee County.

An investigator said there have been recent thefts in Darien, Alexander and Pembroke that may be related.

Members of the public are asked to take two actions: Lock up their valuables and report suspicious activity to police.

The perpetrators may be driving around looking for opportune targets.

For reports of suspicious activity, dispatchers can be reached at (585) 343-5000.

September 1, 2015 - 4:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Darien.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at the intersection of Sumner and Colby roads. Darien fire is responding along with two Darien ambulances.

September 1, 2015 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

The Batavia woman accused of murdering her own newborn baby and storing it in an ice chest for three months has been released from jail after the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office was unable to determine whether a live birth occurred.

A charge of murder in the second degree is still pending against Christina M. Colantonio, 28, of Liberty Street, Batavia, but in a statement the office of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said without being able to prove live birth, the prosecution is unable to make a presentation to a grand jury within the prescribed amount of time and so Colantonio is being released from custody.

"Circumstances present when the body was discovered are very indicative of the intentional homicide," Friedman's statement says. "However, in order to establish a homicide, we have to prove that a live birth occurred. Yesterday, we learned from the Monroe County Medial Examiner that, based upon their examination of the body, they were unable to conclude that a live birth occurred. This apparently is due in large part to the lengthy passage of time between delivery and discovery of the body."

In the charging document on file with Batavia City Court, some portion of the underlying evidence to sustain the charge of second-degree murder was based on statements made by Colantonio. None of those possible statements have been made public either through court documents or statements by authorities.

The DA's statement today says that Colantonio was arrested and charged after a "thorough investigation by the Batavia Police Department and included interviews with multiple witnesses."

Friedman's statement said neither he nor anyone in his office would answer media questions about the case given the fact that the murder charge is still pending and the investigation is continuing.

Colantonio was arrested Saturday and held without bail until her release today.

No date was provided for any possible future court appearance.

September 1, 2015 - 2:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron.

14867380-1441076090-640x480.jpgA murderous crime spree by a recently released convict in Raleigh, N.C., has hit close to home for members of the Byron Fire Department, according to Chief Charles Durkee.

The brother of First Assistant Chief John Durand was shot and killed at the pawn shop he owned in Raleigh. The perpetrator has also shot another person and raped a teenager.

Thomas Melvin Durand, 64, was shot and killed, about 7 p.m., Monday.

The suspect is 21-year-old Kendrick Keyanti Gregory. He is wanted on charges of murder, two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury and first-degree rape.

Police said Gregory, who was released from the Wake County jail on Aug. 25, is still at large and the public in Raleigh is warned that he is armed and dangerous.

Durkee said he and other members of the department are upset that their fellow volunteer and friend has his life end in such a tragedy.

"He's a guy who works so hard doing nothing but trying to help people out," Durkee said. "And then to have something like this happen is just unbelievable."

September 1, 2015 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.


A two-car accident with multiple victims is reported at 4103 W. Main Street Road, just outside the city line in the Town of Batavia. A child is said to be trapped in the back seat. Town of Batavia fire is responding along with Mercy medics. A deputy is not available and so city police are asked to respond. The location is in front of WNY Fireplace Outlet and a woodworking shop.

UPDATE 1:44 p.m.: No injuries reported. Two people were in one vehicle. Three in another. A baby will possibly be transported to the hospital for evaluation.


September 1, 2015 - 10:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.
     Christina Pahura

Court documents in the case of a Le Roy mother accused of assaulting her 2-year-old daughter paint a months-long trail of multiple injuries to the tot, a boyfriend who admits to being a heroin addict, and a young woman who allegedly didn't know how to properly discipline a child.

The documents include a deposition from a man identified only as the boyfriend of Christina Pahura (the court redacted his name), who was arrested on charges of assault in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child, and a deposition from a licensed day care provider in Le Roy.

Both documents recount more than two months of these adults observing injuries on the little girl, including broken limbs, bruises on the her butt and vaginal area and welts on her head.

The depositions are tough reading and Det. John Condidorio said it was a hard case to investigate.

"The pictures are really difficult to look at," Condidorio said. "It was a difficult process."

The case took months to get through because investigators wanted to make sure to build a case they were confident in, Condidorio said. As soon as the investigation started in February, the child was removed from the mother's care, Condidorio said.

According to the depositions, Pahura either had explanations for the injuries and, later, couldn't explain the injuries. At one point just before police were called in, Pahura allegedly told her boyfriend that she blacked out while spanking the child and snapped back to reality to find she was punching the child.

The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM, contacted Pahura outside her apartment in Le Roy yesterday, and Pahura declined an interview request.

"You're not getting any other side," Pahura told a 13WHAM reporter. "Do whatever you want. Goodbye. Tell your camera man to turn around, too."

According to the depositions, documentation of the injuries to the child began in the Fall of 2014. First, there was bruising, then the child showed up to daycare with a cast on her arm, a cast that was removed a month later. Then the child started to limp, and during this time, bruises started appearing on her butt and vaginal area.

Finally, in early February, Pahura took the child to the hospital in Brockport, which is about the time Le Roy PD began its criminal investigation.

The boyfriend states in his deposition that he didn't call police because "it is not in my nature" and that he didn't call CPS anonymously because he didn't know that was an option. He also feared being blamed for the alleged abuse because he already has a criminal record.

The deposition was taken July 15 with his attorney present.

More than once, according to the deposition, the man offered to handle disciplining the children.

"Christina had a history of what I believed to be excessive punishment," the man said.

He describes incidents of Pahura hitting and slapping the victim along with two other children.

He said the alleged broken arm occurred sometime before Nov. 11. He said he and Pahura were in the basement. He was lifting weights and she was doing laundry. They heard a loud thump upstairs and then crying. When they went upstairs, the girl was on the floor and another child was on the couch. 

"The following morning," he states, "(the child) was favoring her arm and Christina had her father take (the child) to the doctor and the arm was splinted."

The cast was removed around Christmas, but the boyfriend doesn't say who removed it.

The first leg injury, the boyfriend believes, occurred New Year's Day. After spending New Year's Eve without any of the children, the couple picked them up that evening and were walking down a hill back to the house when the child stopped on the sidewalk and was hesitant to go down the hill on a dark, snowy night. He said Pahura's hands were full of gifts and he believes she pushed the child with her knee, told her to hurry up, then pushed her with her foot and the child fell forward, striking her head on the sidewalk. 

"This caused a large, good egg about the middle of (the child's) forehead and I believe (she) broke her leg at this time also," the boyfriend reportedly told police. "I say this as directly after (the child) got inside, she started having difficulty walking and this continued for six to seven weeks. When (the child) put too much pressure on her foot she would almost cry."

Pahura allegedly wouldn't take the child to the doctor, saying she was fine, the boyfriend said. 

The boyfriend recalls getting involved with drugs again in October and was spending about half his paycheck on drugs during this time. He recalls more incidents that may have led to bruising and cuts on the child early in the new year.

The daycare provider started documenting injuries to the child on Oct. 1, (The child started care a month earlier.) but it's unclear why the provider did not contact authorities sooner.

Initially, the provider said, Pahura said the child was injured from falls or bumping against objects in the home and when the child appeared to have a leg injury, Pahura reportedly said the child had just slept on it wrong.

September 1, 2015 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.



Three ambulances are requested to the scene of a motor-vehicle accident at Buffalo Road and Apple Tree Avenue, Bergen.

Extrication is required.

Mercy Flight is grounded due to fog.

Bergen fire and Mercy EMS responding. Le Roy fire requested mutual aid. 

UPDATE 8:35 a.m. From the scene: Three people injured, including a child. None seriously. Two transported to Strong, one to UMMC. An SUV heading toward Batavia on Buffalo Road appears to have crossed center line striking pickup truck head on.Truck veered to west shoulder into apple trees. 






September 1, 2015 - 7:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.

August 31, 2015 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in charles men's shop, batavia, business, downtown.


Charles Men's Shop always has interesting and attractive window displays, but the clothing featured are usually the in-season fashions for the sharp-dressed man.  For the past several weeks, the store has been featuring a line of clothing it doesn't even carry -- the uniforms of heroes. One window is dedicated to hometown heroes -- police and fire -- and the other to the U.S. military. Don Brown said he and Dave Howe saw the display as a way to give back to the community by showing appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe and free.

August 31, 2015 - 5:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba.

A motorcycle vs. deer accident is reported at 4092 Lockport Road, Elba. The rider has a minor leg injury. Elba fire and Mercy medics are responding. The location is east of Graham Road.

August 31, 2015 - 3:00pm

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August 31, 2015 - 1:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Oakfield, bergen, Darien.

Amie P. Bloyer, 35, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, forcible touching and second-degree burglary of a dwelling. Bloyer was arrested Aug. 26 following an investigation into a domestic incident. It is alleged that Bloyer damaged a window to unlock a door on Ellicott Street, entered the residence, grabbed the victim by his genitals, slapped the victim, and broke his eyeglasses. It is also alleged that Bloyer punched another female who was in the residence at the time. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Edwin Francis Voelker, 47, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs, with two prior convictions within the last 10 years; first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation; speed violation (62 in a 30-mph zone); unlawful possession of marijuana; and operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver. Voelker was arrested Aug. 30. on Main Road in Pembroke. It is alleged that he was driving a vehicle after consuming a drug that impaired his ability to safely operate a vehicle on a public highway. He was put in jail on $25,000 bail. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona, assisted by Deputy Gregory Walker.

Kimberly A. Brodsky, 24, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with: second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation (having three or more suspensions on three different dates); criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd; criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th; unlicensed driver (expired Aug. 22, 2015); and operating a motor vehicle with an obstructed view. Brodsky was stopped at 11:34 a.m. on Aug. 28 on Ross Street by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack for a traffic violation. A subsequent investigation revealed that Brodsky has no NYS driver's license and her operating privilege has been suspended five times on five different dates. She was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. She was arraigned and put in jail on $5,000 bail. The  case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Klimjack.

Joseph Paul Lanphear, 31, of Rutgers Street, Rochester, was arrested Aug. 28 for: two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree; aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd; and speeding (52 in a 30-mph zone). It is alleged that Lanphear was found to be in possession of metal knuckles, a billy club, and that his driver's license was suspended and that he was traveling 52 mph in a 30-mph zone on Buffalo Road in Bergen. He was issued an appearance ticket for the Town of Bergen Court at a later date. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona, assisted by Deputy Bradley Mazur.

Danny D. Williams Sr., 26, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, and second-degree harassment. At midnight, Aug. 31, Williams was arrested following an incident on Vine Street where he allegedly pushed a child up against a wall. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court Sept. 1. The case was investigated by Batavia Police officers Christopher Lindsay and Jason Ivison.

Shannon Marie Micucci, 46, of Bonnie Brae Drive, Darien, is charged with second-degree harassment. Micucci was arrested Aug. 29 at 12:30 a.m. following a domestic incident wherein she allegedly shoved a male during a verbal altercation. She was given an appearance ticket for Darien Town Court on Sept. 1. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hale.

Brazil Gerald Brooks Peterson, 19, of Augustine Street, Rochester, is charged with: operating a motor vehicle while ability impaired by drugs, first offense; criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th; unlawful possession of marijuana; and a speed violation -- exceeding 55 mph. He was arrested at 1:26 a.m. on Aug. 29 on Clinton Street Road, Bergen. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Bergen Town Court at a later date. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

Glenn Hammond, 57, Woodstock Gardens, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 or more, first offense; driving while intoxicated, first offense; and running a red light. He was arrested at 1:20 a.m., Aug. 30, after a traffic stop on Trumbull Parkway. He was released on an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in City Court on Sept. 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police officers Christopher Lindsay and Eric Foels.

Roxanne Marie Crawford, 51, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, was arrested Aug. 30 for third-degree burglary and petit larceny. She allegedly stole $25 worth of merchandise from Walmart. She was allegedly arrested at another Walmart store during a previous incident then banned from all Walmart properties. She was jailed without bail and is due back in Batavia Town Court Sept. 28. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Saile, assisted by Deputy Christopher Parker.

Erica Michelle Raphael, 30, of East Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. On July 15, she allegedly stole $159.71 worth of merchandise from Kohl's. She was put in jail on $5,000 bail after being arrested at the Batavia Town Court Aug. 24 where she appeared on unrelated burglary and petit larceny charges. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker.

Zachary I. Miller, 19, of Ganson Avenue, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. On Aug. 25 on Swan Street in the City of Batavia, Miller allegedly punched and broke two glass window panes. He was issued on appearance ticket for City Court on Sept. 1. The case was handled by Patavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack.

Klarissa C. Price, 37, of Cleveland Avenue, Niagara Falls, was arrested Aug. 28 on a bench warrant issued by Batavia City Court for failure to appear. Price was put in jail in lieu of $1,000 bail. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Christopher M. Smith, 21, of School Street, Batavia, was arrested Aug. 25 on an unspecified bench warrant and subsequently released on his own recognizance and given a court appearance date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

August 31, 2015 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.


Crews are performing a top-to-bottom renovation on the water tower in Le Roy that's off Main Street behind the American Legion Hall.


August 31, 2015 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

A scheduled court appearance for Christina M. Colantonio, the 28-year-old Liberty Street resident accused of murdering her newborn baby sometime in May or June and keeping the body in her apartment, has been adjourned until 11 a.m., Thursday.

Colantonio, who is being held in jail without bail, was originally scheduled to appear this afternoon to answer to the murder in the second degree charge for the first time with a defense attorney present.

She was initially arraigned on the charge Saturday afternoon.

There is little available in the court file on Colantonio, just a document known as an accusatory instrument. It indicates the murder, 2nd, charge is substantiated by verbal statements made by Colantonio. If those statements were written down by investigators, that document has not yet become available.

A spokesman for Batavia PD said he couldn't answer whether such a document exists and said he's been told to direct all questions to the District Attorney's Office. Attempts to reach District Attorney Lawrence Friedman were unsuccessful.

Colantonio reportedly gave birth to a child in May or June. Authorities have not disclosed how soon after giving birth they believe Colantonio killed the female infant.  

The body of the infant was seen being removed from Colantonio's residence at 208 Liberty St., Batavia, in a 48-quart ice chest. The body was taken to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office and information from any ME's report is not yet available.

Authorities have not disclosed how they believe the baby died.

August 30, 2015 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Betting Exchange with reinsman Jason Bartlett. Photo courtesy of Paul White.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

There was no doubt who the best New York bred 3-year-old colt competing at Batavia Downs was on Sunday (Aug. 30) after Betting Exchange (Bettor’s Delight-Cheeky Hanover) tied the track record of 1:51.2 for sex and gait in winning his division of the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS).

After taking an easy lead from post one, Betting Exchange (Jason Bartlett) extended his advantage to two lengths over The Spy (John Cummings Jr.) at the quarter as post time favorite Artistic Major (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away poorly and was gapped a distant third. The leader was cruising along untested until Morrill rushed Artistic Major up by half-time and alongside Betting Exchange into the turn.

The challenge continued up the backside and to three-quarters in 1:24 but it was there the race was decided. Bartlett gave Betting Exchange his head and he simply paced away from the field. At the wire he was 10 lengths the best in 1:51.2, pacing the back half in a dazzling :55 flat.

The winning time tied the track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off in 2014 and was also just one-fifth off the all-time track record of 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011.

After the race, Jason Bartlett commented “He raced super. I let him roll on the turn and he opened up. He's really a nice one.”

It was the second win in 14 starts for Betting Exchange ($4.50) and it pushed his 2015 earnings to $318,475 for owners Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz and Tom Fanning, who also does the training.

(Rockin In Heaven in the forefront with reinsman Trevor Henry. Photo courtesy of Paul White.)

In the first division, Rockin In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Tropic’s Beachgirl) overcame a fast battle for the lead and two subsequent challenges to hold on for an impressive victory.

Off the wings, no one played nice when Americanprimetime (Jason Bartlett), K-Rock (Matt Kakaley) and Rockin In Heaven (Trevor Henry) went three-abreast to argue for the lead. The trio motored up the backstretch and eventually seated with Rockin In Heaven taking the lead in a speedy :26.3. Positions remained unchanged to the half when Americanprimetime pulled first over from third to go after the leader.

With Americanprimetime outside prompting Rockin In Heaven past three-quarters in 1:24.1, K-Rock was sitting the perfect trip behind the pair waiting for his chance. When they hit the head of the lane it was obvious Rockin In Heaven had put away Americanprimetime but then had to fight off K-Rock who made his way into the passing lane. This was accomplished with a strong finishing kick as Rockin In Heaven won in 1:53 by a half-length.

“I wanted to get him out of the starting gate and to the lead. He dug in well when I called upon him” said Trevor Henry in the winner’s circle.

It was the eighth win in 15 starts for Rockin In Heaven ($2.60) and it boosted his earnings to $310,565 for 2015. The colt is owned by Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte, Gordon McComb and Dr. Ian Moore, who also trains the horse.

There were two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series “A” also on the card that went for a combined $30,000.

The first event was won by the heavily favored Masterson (Bettor’s Delight-Tug River Princess) in 1:54 and it was the fourth straight win for the gelding owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock. Masterson ($3.20) was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Tracy Brainard.

In the second split, Pop Icon (Bettor’s Delight-Pop Queen) overcame a slow start and breaking horses to win in 1:56.3. It was the second Excel “A” win this year for Pop Icon ($11.80) who is owned by Ken Weckstein, Richard Rubin and Gary Messenger, who also trains the horse. Jim Morrill Jr. did the driving.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 2) with post time set at 6:35 p.m.

August 30, 2015 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, football, sports.


It's been a few years since the Pembroke Dragons have been a force in Genesee Region football, and nobody is predicting a championship title for the team in green, but coaches in the league are all saying pretty much the same thing: Don't take Pembroke for granted.

Legendary Head Coach Dick Diminuco is heading into his second full season leading the Dragons and that in itself is enough to tell other coaches that Pembroke will come in to each week's game ready to play, but GR coaches have also seen the Dragons in summer seven-on-sevens and combines. The Dragons have some talent, but most impressively, they have some size on the line, a fact Diminuco was eager to show off when a photographer showed up to a recent practice.

"We're not a great team yet," Diminuco said. "We're not going to win the state championship or anything like that, but we're going to be better. We're going to compete. Thank God, hopefully, we don't have any injuries because we're thin. We've got 25 kids."

The Dragons will be a mix of veterans and the inexperienced. There are seven returners starting on offense. There are also five sophomores who will be starting on offense or defense. With exception of tight end, all of the skill positions, including QB, will be staffed by young players.

Even the offensive/defensive line is a mix of veterans and neophytes. The largest player on the squad, Dan Prichett, who is well over 6 foot tall and looks strong enough to flip Toyota Corollas, is inexperienced. The junior transfer never played football before.

"He's a wonderful boy, just raw," Diminuco said.

A year ago in pre-season camp, Diminuco clearly had his hands full. His frustration was palpable. This year, the energy is completely different. Diminuco and the players were loose and having fun and lessons were being learned.

Last season, Diminuco, was plagued by discipline issues. So far, everybody is showing up to every practice this year.

"These kids are good kids," Diminuco said. "They come here every day. They work hard. They're really a pleasure to work with, this group. I think they're getting used to me. Last year, we had some ups and downs, some battles, discipline, but this year, they've bought in. They've been good."

So what's Diminuco's prediction for 2015?

"Predictions? We're going to get better," Diminuco said. "We're going to be better. How's that for a prediction?"






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