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May 26, 2015 - 12:06am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, east pembroke.

A fire with multiple explosions, "multiple vehicles, possibly tankers involved," is reported at Kistner Concrete Products, Inc., 8713 Read Road, Town of Pembroke. East Pembroke fire chief responding told dispatch "I can't get close enough -- multiple explosions." East Pembroke Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Oakfield, Darien, Alexander and Town of Batavia.

UPDATE 12:08 a.m.: Pembroke Fire Department is asked to stand by in East Pembroke's fire hall.

UPDATE 12:09 a.m.: Mercy medic #2 is requested to the scene on Read Road.

UPDATE 12:18 a.m.: A dispatcher tells command: "My partner spoke with the owner and he explained what was happening. He's been updated about the situation."

UPDATE 12:22 a.m.: Howard at the scene says the fire is out. A semi-truck was completely destroyed and a flatbed truck adjacent to it was heavily damaged.

UPDATE 12:29 a.m.: East Pembroke Fire Chief Don Newton told Howard: "I don't know what blew up. We were sitting at the fire hall when we heard the explosion. I've heard tires explode and they never sounded that loud."

UPDATE 1:55 a.m.: Photos and more information from Chief Don Newton.

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Newton said he and two other members of the department were burning the midnight oil at the Fire Hall working on reports when they heard a series of booms.

"It sounded like thunder," Newton said. "Well, actually, it sounded like more than thunder, so we walked outside then I heard about 10 more explosions and I said there's more than just thunder going on."

Newton and the other firefighters got into his personal vehicle and went out to scout the area. A short drive down Route 5 and they spotted the orange glow in the sky at Kistner Concrete. They swung down Bennett Road, but couldn't get into the yard because of the locked gates and barriers. Newton said he could see a truck was on fire and it looked as though the fire could have spread to other vehicles. He was worried whether there might be a structure nearby.

"I couldn't tell if there was a building around it or not because the smoke was thick and it was black and it was dark," Newton said. "You couldn't see anything except for the orange glow."

Newton radioed dispatch and immediately requested a second alarm. He took the firefighters with him back to the Fire Hall and they rolled two engines.

The gate off Read Road was locked, so Newton used one of the trucks to pull it down so they could get access to the fire.

Soon, other volunteers arrived on scene and the East Pembroke crew with the aid of Oakfield, Town of Batavia, Darien and Alexander, was able to quickly get the fire knocked down (Pembroke and Indian Falls provided fill-in at East Pembroke's hall).

The quick response likely saved another truck that was sitting next to the one that caught fire as well as a piece of machinery on the neighboring flatbed trailer.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but was possibly electrical.

The truck's saddle tanks were brimming with fuel, ready for the next day's work, but a lot of things could have exploded, not just those tanks.

"The explosions could have been everything from tires to the fuel tanks to the air chambers," Newton said. "There's a lot of pressurized units on these trucks. This truck was last used on Friday, so it's very possible everything could still have been pressurized on it."

People reported hearing the explosions as far away as Wortendyke Road and the Village of Corfu.

May 25, 2015 - 10:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

An ATV accident is reported in the area of 7394 Hutton Road, Oakfield.  

A teenage female reportedly suffered a head injury. A person will meet a fire chief roadside and escort him to the accident location.

Mercy Flight out of Olean is on in-air standby with a 40-minute ETA, weather permitting. 

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: Mercy Flight 5 now available, 20-minute ETA.

UPDATE 12:32 a.m.: A responder subsequently told Howard, on scene at another incident -- the explosion/fire on Read Road, Town of Pembroke, that the girl was transported primarily as a precaution and that she didn't suffer severe injuries.

 

May 25, 2015 - 7:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Memorial Day, batavia.

The video is comprised of photos from the Memorial Day ceremonies at the VA, Upton Monument and the War Memorial at St. Jerome's. Audio provided by WBTA, our news partner.

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More photos in the slide show. To purchase prints, click here.

May 25, 2015 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A resident on North Bergen Road reports that he came home to find an intruder in his residence, and the intruder fled, leaving behind a vehicle parked in the driveway.

The husband followed the intruder and spoke with him. The alleged intruder said his car broke down and he went into the residence for some reason.

The plates on the vehicle come back to a Bergen resident who is on parole for burglary, 2nd.

A deputy is responding. The intruder is on foot on North Bergen Road, eastbound. He's a white male, 5'11", 200 pounds in shorts and a T-shirt.

May 25, 2015 - 6:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Alabama.

A car accident with minor injuries is reported at 6219 Fisher Road. Alabama fire is responding along with Mercy medics.

May 25, 2015 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A caller reports a pile of logs on fire got out of control and is now posing exposure threats on several fronts of the property at 2245 Lewiston Road. Alabama Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Oakfield.

UPDATE 6:17 p.m.: Fire is out. Assignment is back in service.

May 24, 2015 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Conservative Party, batavia.

Press release:

The Conservative Party of Genesee County has made the following endorsements:

Paul Viele (Republican) -- 1st Ward
Lisa Whitehead (Libertarian) -- 2nd Ward
Richard Richmond (Republican) -- 3rd Ward
Al McGinnis (Conservative) -- 4th Ward
Kathy Briggs (Democrat) -- 5th Ward
 
Paul Viele and Richard Richmond will running Republican primaries elections against the incumbents.
 
We had no request from the 6th Ward.

May 24, 2015 - 1:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, The Batavian Club, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

When we recently upgraded the software for The Batavian, the ability for users to edit comments disappeared.

That was one of a few bugs that crept up with the upgrade that we've been working through.

We've always had the ability for users to edit their own comments. An option rarely available on news Web sites. I know it's a popular feature, but it's also a feature that has been abused by a few people looking to not just correct spelling and grammar, but alter the history of what they've written. For that reason, I've sometimes wanted to limit the ability of people to edit comments particularly the here-and-there, occasional commenter, which are the ones most likely to remove a comment or substantially alter its meaning.

Also, all this software support is expensive. The Batavian needs the support of readers, and not just advertisers, to really thrive.

When it came time to get comment editing back again, I decided we're going to have a change in policy: Comment editing will only be available to those who have paid to join The Batavian Club.

The Batavian Club helps us pay the bills. We need your support. In exchange, membership more than pays for itself with the $300 in gift certificates to local businesses you receive. If you love The Batavian and love saving money, there's really no reason not to join.  

So, join today!

(BTW: If you're a member and can't edit comments, send me an e-mail, [email protected] I may not have properly tagged your user account.)

UPDATE: We also just launched a new search function on the site.  It's faster and offers some additional features to help return better results.  I forgot to mention earlier as well, we also upgraded the thumbs up/thumbs down in response to reader request.  Instead of an aggregate result of positive or negative votes, you see the total of how many ups and how many downs each comment gets. 

Use this button to set up a recurring annual payment of $50 (a discount for subscribing on an annual basis):

Use this button to make a single-year payment of $60:

May 24, 2015 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire.

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A city resident turned to the Fire Department this morning for help rescuing a cat whose curiosity, or insatiable appetite, got the better of him and perhaps cost him one of his nine lives. The cat stuck his head in a can and couldn't get unstuck. Engine 15 responded at 7:58 a.m. and firefighters used handheld cutting tools to peel the can open and extricate the feline.

The cat is fine.

Photos and information submitted by Lt. Bob Fix, Batavia FD.

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May 24, 2015 - 8:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Flyball, sports, dogs, animals, pets, batavia.

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It's an adrenaline rush to see one of his border collies racing through four jumps, grabbing a tennis ball and streaking back to him, said Hamburg resident Peter Russell, who was in Batavia on Saturday to compete in a biannual flyball competition at the Fairgrounds.

Flyball is a dog-racing sport. Teams are comprised of four dogs and four handlers. Each dog runs down a track, jumping over four hurdles, hitting a platform at the end of the track, which releases a tennis ball, and then the dog runs back through the hurdles with the ball. The race is a relay, so once the first dog returns, the next dog runs the next leg.

The sport was created in California in the late 1960s and has grown to international proportions.  

Russell is a member of the Buffalo Wings Flyball Team, which has won national championships.

More than 15 teams competed yesterday, with dogs and owners traveling to Batavia from throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada.

The exhibition hall at the fairgrounds on Saturday was a cacophony of yelps and yaps and a whir of flashing fur.

"I think people enjoy the sport because of how quick it is," Russell said. "Races come down to hundredths of a second."

It's also a social sport, said Cindy Henderson, a resident of Massachusetts and regional director for the North American Flyball Association.

"You're with four different people," Henderson said. "That's what's fun about it. You're working with a whole team of people. It's not like other sports where you're just one handler working with a dog. You're a team."

Each member of the team has a specific role. The lead dog needs to have stamina since false starts can mean multiple trips down the track before there's a legal start. There are the middle leg dogs who need to be fast and agile, and then there's the anchor dog, who ideally loves to race and has the competitive drive to overtake another dog if the team has fallen behind. There also needs to be a height dog. The height dog is the smallest dog on the team. The shorter the dog, the lower the hurdles for the team.

Russell and his wife own 13 border collies. Four of them are retired and nine of them race. They're also breeders.

Border collies are particularly well suited to the sport, Russell said.

"It gives them a job to do," he said. "Border collies are bred to herd sheep, so they need a job to do. Their job is to go get the ball and come back to you and tug on their toy. In essence, that's their job for the day. It gives them some mind stimulation, because it's a difficult sport to learn and master and it gives them the physical stimulation because they're running over four jumps, hitting a box, coming back, tugging on the tug when they get back to you."

Alissa Schwab, of Amherst, owns a Jack Russell terrier, the height dog for the Buffalo Wings.

"I got started because obedience training wasn't enough for Jack Russell terriers," Schwab said. "The Buffalo wings needed a fast height dog and they came to training and spotted him and he was hired."

She's been racing for seven years now and now owns three Jack Russells.

"It's great for my dogs," she said. "They look forward to it. The community of people from our region is just fantastic and the racing is good."

The owners enjoy the race. The dogs enjoy pleasing their masters and getting a treat at the end of the run, usually a tug on a rope, but maybe something a little more tasty.

"They like to be rewarded for doing things they love," Schwab said. "You're part of the reward. They want to come back to you."

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May 23, 2015 - 10:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Memorial Day, veterans.

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Dozens and dozens of families passed through the St. Joseph Cemetery today to place flowers on the graves of loved ones who served in the military. Above, Adam Figlow adjusts a flag on the veterans marker for the grave of his grandfather Anthony LaFarnara, who served in the Army during World War II, while his son Noah looks on. Below, Adam with is father, Tony.

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May 23, 2015 - 10:27pm

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Laurie Napoleone speaks during the Awareness Ceremony on the second day of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Baseball Tournment.  The tournament has grown to a three-day event spread out over every available baseball field in Batavia.

The foundation has provided more than $170,000 in assistance to families with children dealing with medical issues. The foundation has also purchased a new scoreboard for the ball field at Williams Park, has donated more than $48,000 to pediatric cancer research and has pledged $50,000 to the Golisano Children's Hospital.

Michael Napoleone succumbed to Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer, in 2006. Mark and Laurie Napoleone formed the foundation in response to the outpouring of support their family received from the community after Michael was diagnosed.

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Genesee Pride AAU boys and girls basketball donated $350 players raised for the foundation.

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The family of Kenny Hazlett. Hazlett was a longtime umpire and dedicated volunteer for the tournment who passed away. A sign on the backstop of the Little League field honoring his memory was unveiled during the ceremony.

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David Pero speaking about Hazlett.

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Unveiling the sign.

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Chase Bordonaro received a Spirit of Michael Napoleone Award, along with Tony Piazza and Griffin Dellapenna (pictured below).

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Veterans in attendance were invited to stand along the first base line during the playing of the National Anthem

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May 23, 2015 - 10:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in roundabout, batavia, Vibrant Batavia.

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Mary Valle and Paula Miller were at the Oak Street roundabout this morning planting flowers. The project is sponsored by Vibrant Batavia.

May 23, 2015 - 6:32pm

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The Batavia Varsity Boys Track Team competed in the Monroe County Championships on Saturday earning a tough second-place finish, 63 points total out of 22 schools competing. 

Junior Adonis Davis had a big day for the Blue Devils earning an impressive victory in the pentathlon. Senior Jerrett Laskett was the winner in the 400 hurdles and placed second in the high jump. Senior Devon Koepp placed third in the disc and fourth in the shot. 

The 4x8 relay team of Senior Eric Dilaura, Junior Cal Jantzi, Junior Louie Leone, and sophmore Campbell Andersen finished in third place also. 

Head Coach Nicholas Burk said, “The Monroe County Championships is a very competitive meet and to finish in second place is very impressive."

Class B rival Greece Olympia finished in first with 75 points. Next Saturday is Batavia’s next meet, which is the Section V at Brockport State College.

Full results of this meet can be found at:

http://results.yentiming.com/2015/outdoor/5-23-2015-monroe-county.htm

May 23, 2015 - 11:49am
posted by Billie Owens in Memorial Day.

From our news partner WBTA, Memorial Day events, May 25:

Schedule and Locations of Ceremonies:

7 a.m.  –  Vietnam Veteran Memorial in Genesee County Park;
8 a.m.   –  World War I Memorial Wreath Laying and Salute in Williams Park;
8:30 a.m.  –  Batavia Veterans Administration Medical Center;
8:45 a.m.  –  State Veterans Home;
9:30 a.m.  –  Wreathe Laying and Salute at the Upton Monument;
10 a.m.  –  Elmwood Cemetery;
10 a.m.  –  Memorial Day Parade down Main Street starting at Eastown Plaza;
10:45 a.m.  –  Jerome Center Veterans Memorial;
5 p.m. -- Dedication of the Civil War memorial headstone for Pvt. Conrad Litt in Old Section of Indian Falls Cemetery.
May 22, 2015 - 6:00pm

Register today for our 3rd annual Glow Corporate Cup!
At 6 p.m. Aug. 6, Merrill Lynch in Batavia will sponsor the third annual GLOW Corporate Cup. Each year local businesses form teams to compete in a 5K race wherein the company with the lowest combined time takes home the GLOW cup. Following the race is the region’s largest office party. Businesses are encouraged to set up tents in Centennial Park, bring refreshments and prepare to have a great time as they mingle with other local companies. Live music is provided as runners and supporters enjoy the post race “AfterGLOW.” 

Last year the race included 700 runners and more than 1,000 people participated in the post-race celebration. In the first two years, more than $30,000 was raised for the GLOW YMCA and this year event is expected to exceed last year's total in participants and funds raised.

“Our purpose is to bring the businesses of the GLOW region together for a common cause,” said Joshua Dent, one of the race organizers. “The after-party was intended to celebrate the outstanding companies we have in the region that are giving back to their community.” 

The GLOW YMCA serves the communities of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.

“This year we would like to see even more participants from beyond Genesee County,” Dent said.

Registration is $25 per person and individuals must be 18 or older to participate. The route has been certified as a USA Track and Field Course. All funds raised go toward programs for the GLOW YMCA.

Register today! Click here for more information. Questions concerning the event may be sent to: [email protected]

May 22, 2015 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in world war i, war, history.

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All of these local names, Dewey Sackett, Charles Votrie, James Hannah, Lee Kingdon, Willis Peck, Glenn Loomis, Florence Carney, John Arneth and many more. All young lives cut short in the War to End All Wars.

That was nearly 100 years ago. We may see their names on gravestones, or memorial markers or on honor rolls, but we know only the names. We don't know where they lived, where they worked, who they loved, what they dreamed or how they died.

They're war dead. That's what we know. So we honor them.

Former Le Roy resident Terry Krautwurst thought we should know more. We may read the names, but we shouldn't forget the people, so he has given us, residents of Genesee County, a gift -- a gift of remembrance.

For the past six years, Krautwurst has researched the war dead of Genesee County from World War I. He combed through newspaper articles and federal archives in St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., in an attempt to identify all of the World War I men and women from Genesee County who died while serving their country.

He's compiled biographies, complete with military service records, detailing those lives, lifted from newspapers and death records, concerning 78 people who died during the war while in uniform.

That's a longer honor roll than probably anybody ever really knew about.

It was discrepancies in honor rolls that prompted Kautwurst's research in the first place.

"In 2009, while researching the World War I career of my grandfather, Stanley Crocker, of Le Roy, I noticed that the number of names on honor roll lists of Genesee County war dead that had been published in area newspapers varied," Krautwurst said. "They varied not just in number, from 52 to 61, but also the names themselves varied."

Untangling the mystery of the lists became a passion for Krautwurst.

"It seemed only right and proper to set the record straight," Krautwurst said. "I decided to research and resolve the discrepancies and produce an updated and maybe more accurate list. I figured it would take me a few weeks."

Krauthwurst donated the research of his six-year-long research project to the Genesee County History Department last week.

"Terry has performed an invaluable service to the county," said Michael Eula, director of the history department. "This is a tremendous resource and I doubt it's going to be seen in many other counties around the country regarding the first World War."

The deeper Krautwurst dug, the more discrepancies he found, including misspelled names, incorrect dates, hometowns and military assignments.

He kept detailed files on each of the war dead and his records, and the stories he tells of each person, fills eight volumes that will be available to the public at the history department in County Building #2.

"This provides a wealth of primary source information to first and foremost family members who still may be still wondering what happened generations ago and researchers looking at the local impact of the first World War, so this is an incredibly rich and valuable addition to the county archives," Eula said.

Krautwurst photocopied more than 1,200 military documents, which in some cases, include eyewitness accounts of a soldier's death and letters from a fallen soldier's parents.

"Sometimes, when I opened a soldier's file, I found his dog tags, which I photographed," Krauthwurst said.

Flipping through the pages and reading Krautwurst's articles, you learn family histories, the schools that soldiers attended, where they worked before getting drafted or enlisting, what they did in their spare time and, importantly, how and where they died.

Some died in the fields of France or the hills of Italy. Some died in combat, others hours and days later after their mangled bodies were borne on a stretcher to some field hospital. Some died from disease and some died in accidents.

"What has caught my eye is the playing out locally of what historians have talked about for a long time regarding the first World War," Eula said. "For example, a number of deaths were not the result in combat. Somebody gets killed in an auto accident when they're training someplace in the country. It shows the complexity of the moment."

The archive, Krautwurst hopes, will help us know better the people behind the names who sacrificed everything in a war often remembered for its brutality and how it reshaped society.

"These people who gave so much were right on the edge of forgotten," Krautwurst said. "I just didn't want that to happen."

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County Historian Michael Eula with the eight volume of World War I war dead compiled by Terry Krautwurst.

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May 22, 2015 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

As part of the 2015 agency performance goals, the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) announced the first of a series of outreach meetings to engage local taxing jurisdictions throughout the County about the various activities and programs and incentives offered by the GCEDC. 

On Tuesday, May 26, GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde will make a presentation at a joint meeting of the Town and Village of Bergen at the Bergen Town Hall on 10 Hunter St. in Bergen at 6:30 p.m. 

Among the topics for discussion will include development and business recruitment and expansion activities at the Apple Tree Acres. Among the businesses that currently operate out of Apple Tree Acres include Liberty Pumps, Leonard Bus Co. and Ad Tech. Hyde also will provide information about how payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) impact the tax base among other topics.

“As part of the 2015 goals the GCEDC Board of Directors identified at the beginning of this year, we will enhance our outreach efforts to taxing jurisdictions and stakeholders throughout Genesee County about our economic development activities,” Hyde said. “We are always striving to increase outreach to the stakeholders we serve and identity new ways in which we can expand the quality of our economic development programs and incentives.”

May 22, 2015 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

A letter shared with Judge Robert C. Noonan by District Attorney Lawrence Freidman makes it pretty clear, Kesean Shannon doesn't want to go to prison.

The jailhouse letter alerts a friend of his possible court dates and asks him to get a woman he knows in court for his appearance.

"Tell her to be ready just in case I have to run," Shannon reportedly wrote. "I need a gun for real."

After entering guilty pleas today to five of the counts against him -- four of them for sexual activity with women who were asleep -- Shannon faces a possible maximum prison term of 15 years.

The guilty pleas were to counts of first-degree attempted rape, first-degree sexual abuse, third-degree incest, first-degree sexual abuse and first degree criminal contempt.

In all, five women were victims of Shannon's crimes, including a blood relative and a woman identified in court today as his fiancée, and who is pregnant with his child.

That woman, whom he contacted in violation of an order of protection, leading to the criminal contempt charge (a felony because of a similar previous conviction), has been allowed to visit with Shannon in jail.

Friedman said his office objected to a City Court judge granting those visits, and even so, Friedman said, Shannon allegedly continuously violated the order of protection by writing letters to the woman.

"If this case had gone to the Grand Jury, we would have sought numerous criminal contempt charges against the defendant," Friedman told Noonan.

The discussion about Shannon's relationship with this woman came up after his attorney, Fred Rarick, asked Noonan not to extend the order of protection for the woman.

The woman does not fear Shannon, Rarick said, and wants to have contact with him.

Friedman argued that the order of protection should stay in place. He said he has a deposition from the woman where she says she does fear Shannon. The order of protection arises from a prior domestic violence case, Friedman said.

Noonan issued the order of protection, pending Shannon's sentencing, at which time, Noonan said, he would review any written request to forego an order of protection from the woman.

The reference to the gun came up while discussing Shannon's bail status.

Rarick sought a bail amount for his client pending his sentencing July 17.

Friedman cited the letter as well as the 22-year-old Shannon's criminal record, previous violations of court orders, the alleged ongoing disregard for the court order with his fiancée (today was the first time he heard of their plans to marry, Friedman said) as well as the potential lengthy prison term.

Noonan ordered Shannon held without bail.

In pleading guilty, Shannon admitted to attempting to rape a woman while she slept in June, 2014, and of sexually abusing women in 2012 while they slept, and of doing so again in October 2014.

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