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December 27, 2012 - 4:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, employment, labor.

There are more jobs in Genesee County, but a higher unemployment rate locally, according to statistics released today by the Department of Labor.

In November 2012, there were 29,300 jobs in the county, compared to 29,000 a year ago.

However, the county's unemployment rate went up slightly year-over-year from 7.3 percent to 7.4 percent. That translates into 2,400 people counted as unemployed in November 2012 compared to 2,300 a year ago.

Rochester's unemployment rate went from 7.2 percent to 7.4 percent and Buffalo also saw an increase from 7.5 to 7.9 percent.

Orleans County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state at 10.1 percent.

December 27, 2012 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Centennial Park, weather.

I don't remember seeing anybody sledding last winter in Centennial Park. Today, a small crowd gathered to take in some fresh powder.

To purchase prints, click the link in the upper right of the slide show below.

December 27, 2012 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather.

Batavia demonstrated this morning that it knows how to dig out pretty quickly after getting in the neighborhood of a foot of snow overnight. By midmorning, most residents had their driveways and sidewalks cleared and a few others were just finishing up.

Above, Jack Chmielowiec, Otis Street.

Eric Haile, Summit Street.

Rick Porter, Prospect Avenue. Porter also had a request for his fellow Batavians: Please shovel your sidewalks and around your hydrants.

Leon Koukides, South Jackson Street.

Gabe Abdella, South Jackson Street.

Karen Zerbe and Bill Barton, Jackson Avenue.

December 27, 2012 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Press release:

The city fire department would like to ask residents and business owners to assist in making fire hydrants accessible. During the recent snowfall some hydrants have become blocked by snow, especially in parking areas. The city fire department would like to request your help to remove the snow from around hydrants so they are visible and accessible. If you have a hydrant in your front yard, clean a 3-foot circle around it.

City fire crews will be out throughout the winter clearing snow from hydrants, but with your assistance by adopting a fire hydrant, the 500+ hydrants in the city will be clear and ready for an emergency.

Also, please be sure to keep your house numbers readily visible, and for business owners the accumulation of snow may block exit doors. All doors should be checked to make sure they can open and are not blocked by snow.

The city fire department appreciates your help in keeping the community safe. Any questions, please call Chief Jim Maxwell at 585-345-6375.

December 27, 2012 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Letter to the Editor:

Now that winter is fully upon us, it is important to be reminded of a few things in regards to snow removal and winter driving:

 

  1. During and after snow events, highway agencies, in the course of plowing, receive phone calls regarding damage to mailboxes, either from snow plows directly or from the force of snow being thrown by plows.  If such damage is indeed caused by snow removal, it is not done intentionally.  It is, however, an unfortunate consequence of snow removal.  As far as the particular agencies replacing damaged mailboxes, it must be pointed out that there is no statutory or legal authority requiring them to do so.  In fact, under Section 319 of the New York State Highway Law, mailboxes are considered highway obstructions and are only “allowed” in the right-of-way as a convenience to the owner as it is understood they are required for mail delivery.  Additionally, an opinion issued by the Attorney General on February 28, 1966 stated, “When the necessity of keeping the highway open conflicts with an individual’s reception of the mail, the later must stand aside.”  Highway crews do their best to avoid mailboxes, but often times visibility, oncoming traffic and heavy snow work against them.  The best method to protect your mailbox during the winter months is to ensure it is properly attached to the post and to keep the mailbox assembly simple to limit impact surface area for plowed snow.

  2. Over the last few years, the practice of plowing or depositing snow from private driveways or private property onto the highway has increased significantly, especially after roadways are cleared and snow has been pushed back behind the shoulders by highway agencies.  This is a dangerous practice and it is strictly prohibited under Section 1219 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and Section 214 of the New York State Highway Law.  Depositing snow or ice onto the roadway or shoulder may result in a serious accident and the person or persons responsible may be liable to a fine of $1000.00 per day, per occurrence for each day the occurrence remains uncorrected.  Police agencies and highway agencies will issue written warnings prior to issuing tickets.

  3. “Slick Roads Cause Accident” is often a frequent newspaper headline during in the winter months.  The truth is that slick roads may contribute to an accident but they are not the sole cause of accidents.  Accidents are generally caused by drivers who fail to drive appropriately for winter conditions.  Sections 1180(a) and 1180(e) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law state that “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.”  Accepted safe winter driving practices include, but are not limited to, slower driving, increased braking distance and increased vehicle separation.  Following these guidelines will significantly reduce your chances of being involved in an accident on slick roads.

  4. Highway agencies spend a considerable amount of tax money to ensure the roads are cleared in an efficient manner after snow and ice events.  Snow removal efforts do not guarantee bare or dry roads.  The cost to provide these conditions would far outstrip what most tax payers would be willing to pay.  Even when bare roads can be obtained, weather conditions such as wind and rapidly dropping temperatures can alter highway conditions dramatically from area to the next.  The best course of action for anyone traveling during the winter months is to adjust your driving to meet the conditions present.

Please drive safe, be patient and have a Happy New Year!

Timothy J. Hens, PE
Genesee County Superintendent of Highways

December 27, 2012 - 8:34am
posted by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

Greg'ry's Bakery, 13 N. Lake Road, Bergen, NY: The bakery offers a variety of the finest cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and so much more. Each treat is made the same as it has been for decades and baked right here. Come in and sample some for yourself! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Rancho Viejo, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Traditional Mexican cuisine, from tacos and burritos to pollo norteno, Rancho Viejo brings a bit of "south of the border" to Batavia's restaurant scene. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sweet Pea’s Cupcakery Café, 23 Jackson St., Batavia, NY. We are a full-service Cupcake Bakery and Café. We provide a variety of baked goods, mainly varieties of specialty and traditional scratch-made cupcakes, as well as other bakery items such as cookies and brownies. We also offer a variety of hot and cold coffee beverages. Check out our location, or place an order for parties, gatherings or any other reasons you can think of to enjoy some cupcakes. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa, 99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entire family. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facials, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have $20 gift certificates for $10.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

SOLD OUT

Note: If you've never purchased Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and processclick here.

December 26, 2012 - 7:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

A tractor trailer is in a ditch and on its side in the area 6086 Broadway Road, just west of Transit Road. The driver initially could not get out, but then managed to get out of the cab. He is uninjured. Bethany Fire is responding.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m.: Bethany incident, trucker was hauling canned goods.  There appears to be no fuel spill at this time.

UPDATE 7:35 p.m.: Parise's is so backed up with calls that they can't respond to the truck call until tomorrow.

UPDATE 7:42 p.m.: The trucker's company is sending another truck to assess the situation. Bethany FD will put out cones, even though the truck is a little off the roadway and clearing the scene.  The trucker will notify dispatch if and when the truck is moved tonight.

UPDATE 7:52 p.m.: Vehicle off the road on Alleghany Road.

UPDATE 8:03 p.m.: The vehicle off Alleghany Road, Darien, needs a wench out and is extremely low on gas, but a dispatcher said there's no guarantee of a quick response from a towing company. They're all "extremely backed up," he said. Meanwhile, a deputy is following a vehicle back to a trailer park on Clinton Street Road. The vehicle has a locked up tire.  And, a vehicle is off the road on Fisher Road and another motorist is trying to pull it out, but neither has hazard lights on, according to a caller.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: A deputy was going to give a courtesy ride to the Alleghany Road driver back to his residence, but an AJ's truck in the area, "as luck would have it," according to a dispatcher, just became available in Darien.

UPDATE 8:13 p.m.: Caller on Fisher Road reports a driver doing donuts on the caller's lawn. And, there is a disabled vehicle on Richmond Avenue, Batavia.

UPDATE 8:17 p.m. Back in Bethany, the trucker's company is dispatching a tow, which should be there in about 20 minutes.

UPDATE 8:22 p.m.: Another car off the road on Fisher Road. A deputy happened by. The driver has her own tow in route.

UPDATE 8:26 p.m.: Deputy who responded to "donut" call on Fisher: "It looks like he just went off the road. Talked with the complainant. He's all set."

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: A tractor trailer is reportedly off the road and in a ditch on Route 63, south of Little Canada Road.

UPDATE 9:01 p.m.: Another report of another driver doing donuts near an intersection, but I didn't catch the location.

UPDATE 9:31 p.m.: Photo of the truck on its side on Route 63 on Route 20, between Suicide Corners and Texaco Town, from Doug Yeomans.

UPDATE 12:27 p.m.: Disabled car in westbound traffic lane of West Main Street Road, awaiting AAA.

UPDATE 1:32 a.m.: Tractor trailer stuck on Route 77, Darien, near the fire hall.

UPDATE 10:05 p.m.: A truck is stuck on Cedar Street.

UPDATE 10:17 p.m.: A deputy on Route 63 near Clapsaddle has come across a vehicle that needs a winch out.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: Batavia PD is out with a disabled vehicle on West Main Street near Porter Avenue.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: A Trooper is dispatched to Ellicott Street Road near Shepard Road for a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road.

UPDATE 10:35 p.m.: Disabled vehicle at Bank and Main.

UPDATE 11 p.m.: Deputy coming on duty, "In service, snow patrol." A woman on Roanoke Road got stuck and for some reason got out of her vehicle to call her husband. She locked her keys in the car and is now awaiting a deputy. There's a vehicle off the road on Cole Road, but it's well off the road and the owner is going to leave it there until the morning.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: Bethany fire police requested to Route 63 and Shepard. The tow operator requested traffic stopped for that incident. 

UPDATE 11:16 p.m.: Vehicle stuck in the snow in Alabama, off Wright Road.

UPDATE 11:17 p.m.: For the woman on Roanoke, her husband showed up, pulled her out and had an extra set of keys.

UPDATE 11:25 p.m.: Several vehicles are stuck at Route 20 and Route 77.

UPDATE 11:29 p.m.: Car fire, in roadway at 2989 Galloway Road. Town of Batavia Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 11:31 p.m.: Vehicle disabled on Bank Street in front of the nursing home, backing up traffic.

UPDATE 11:36 p.m.: A patrol car is stuck on Galloway Road.  A state DOT worker is stuck on Slusser Road.  Now, the deputy got himself unstuck, but he doesn't think he can make it to the fire location. The road is covered with high drifting snow.  The patrol will attempt to follow the fire trucks to the location.

UPDATE 11:42 p.m. Fire truck drivers advise the deputy not to try and follow them. A driver says "Galloway has disappeared, but we'll get there."

UPDATE 11:48 p.m.: A little unclear here.  Something about a fire truck arriving on scene, but nothing showing.  Then something about this isn't it, "and we'll continue west," then something about a vehicle off the road in a ditch.

UPDATE 11:51 p.m.: Vehicle is located. "It's still going," according to a responding firefighter.

UPDATE 11:54 p.m.: It's suggested that town plows hit the roads again.  A dispatcher said they just went home for some sleep after being on the road since 3 p.m.. The dispatcher asks if it's necessary for them to come out?  "I think they're going to have to," is the answer.

UPDATE 12:05 a.m.: Vehicle off the road, Route 237, Bergen.

UPDATE 12:07 a.m.: A deputy is still trying to figure out how to get to the vehicle fire on Galloway Road, but a supervisor suggests that if the fire isn't suspecious, there's no need to go.  A Batavia chief confirms the fire is not suspicious. There's a car stuck on Park Road. 

UPDATE 12:11: a.m.: Truck still suck on Cedar Street.  Tow company on scene with that truck and they're discussing whether to do the tow tonight or tomorrow. Also, another truck is now off the road on Cedar Street and a tow is attempting to pull it out. Mercy EMS is requested to a medical call in the city, but road conditions make it a 15 minute ETA.  That car blocking on State Street?  It's still there.

UPDATE 12:18 a.m.: The latest forecast: Snow at a rate of up to two inches an hour until 2 a.m., and then tapering off to light snow for the rest of the night.

UPDATE 12:20 a.m.: Batavia PD has come upon a car stuck and blocking Denio at Bank and Denio.

UPDATE 12:47 a.m.: A car is stuck on Cohocton and the "nice gentleman" who is driving it called to let dispatchers know that he could use a cup of coffee while awaiting a tow.  A deputy is dispatched to check on his well being.  The deputy dispatched was at that moment at Brickhouse Corners where he just came upon a Buffalo News delivery truck that is stuck.

UPDATE 12:53 a.m.: A car stuck on Parmalee and another one on Route 19, trying to go uphill, at Parmalee.

UPDATE 12:56 a.m.: A pickup truck with a snow plow is attempting to pull out the "nice gentleman" on Cohocton Road.

UPDATE 12:59 a.m.: Two vehicles stuck on Ross Street.

UPDATE 1:05 a.m.: Chimney fire reported at 10838 Molasses Hill Road, Alexander. Alexander Fire with mutual aid from Town of Batavia responding.

UPDATE 1:15 a.m.: There is some fire at the chimney fire. Town of Batavia asked to standby in quarters.

UPDATE 1:20 a.m.: Bethany Fire request to Molasses Hill.  Somewhere there is another tractor trailer off the road (didn't catch where) and there are cars off the road in the area of Circular Hill Road.

UPDATE 1:42 a.m. Related to the 1:20 a.m. update, it was South Street Road, and his patrol vehicle is now stuck.


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UPDATE 1:07 a.m.: An Alexander chief suggests the trucks will need to come in on Dry Bridge Road because they'll never make it up Mollasses Hill Road. Another chief suggests that the chief arriving on scene and make an assessment on whether Town of Batavia's response will be necessary.  "We don't want them to come any further than they have to."

UPDATE 1:11 a.m.: A second call in Alexander's district, a general alarm of fire at 10176 Gillette Road. Alexander is asking Darien to respond to the second call.

UPDATE 1:23 a.m.: Gillette Road call was accidental activation.

UPDATE 1:39 a.m.: Sheriff supervisor tells dispatch to get the towns out now and start plowing.  "I'm going down (forget the road) now and if I don't keep moving, I'm done. If we have to respond anywhere in an emergency we'll have a real problem."

UPDATE 1:44 a.m.: Attica Fire requested to Mollasas Hill. All avaialble manpower for Alexander requested to Mollassas Hill. Town plows (not sure which town) are scheduled to hit the roads again at 3 a.m. A tow driver is headed to South Street Road to assist the stuck Sheriff's patrol.

UPDATE 1:49 a.m.: Town of Batavia's Ladder 25 now requested to Mollassas Hill.

UPDATE 1:51 a.m.: Multiple cars are stuck on Route 262, Elba, and have been there for some time.  State Police received a call and contacted Genesee dispatchers. As far as dispatchers know, either tow trucks or state DOT are going to the area, but "it's going to be a while."  Also, in Basom, a doctor needs to go to the hospital in Medina and is stuck in the snow.

UPDATE 2:42 a.m.: Route 262 east of Route 98, Elba, is barely passable.

UPDATE 3:12 a.m.: Calling it a night. Alexandar and mutual aid companies still on scene at Mollassas Hill.  The calls for stuck cars has dropped off to nothing.

December 26, 2012 - 7:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather.

Main and Oak.

Harvester Avenue.

Behind the Harvester building.

Masse Gateway.

December 26, 2012 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Genesee County is surrounded by one big winter storm.

The National Weather Service predicts the storm will start to hit WNY hard during the afternoon/evening commute. A winter storm warning -- and upgrade from the previous watch -- has been issued for the area.

From six to 12 inches of snow are expected to fall tonight and another one to three inches tomorrow.

Heavy snowfall could start as early as 5 p.m.

Winds will be from the northeast at 20 to 30 mph with visibility less than a quarter mile and whiteout conditions at times.

During the night, snow could fall at a rate of two inches an hour. The heaviest snowfall from this storm may be in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes region with Batavia seeing only about a foot of snow.

Travel conditions will be difficult, according to the weather service.

In our region, snowfall should taper off by midmorning. Some freezing rain is possible in the afternoon. Weather systems should keep the region colder than average though next week with possible lake effect snowstorms during the period.

December 26, 2012 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Press release from Suicide Prevention Coalition of Genesee County:

Often at the holidays we give thanks for those around us and think warmly of those who are no longer here but were special in some way to our lives. This can be extremely difficult when an individual has exited life through a suicide. The recent death of the nurse in England brought so many issues to light in addition to the actual suicide such as confidentiality, pranks and bullying. It may have happened in England but we have also seen too many suicides each year, every year, right here and most of those do not get the attention they deserve. Awareness is important -- not to blame or find fault -- but to learn ways to recover for the survivors and to prevent future events.

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Genesee County has the mission of providing suicide awareness, training, prevention, and aftermath strategies for individuals, families, schools, and organizations in the county. It is focused on the goal of reducing suicides to zero. The coalition brings schools, law enforcement, counseling agencies, advocacy groups, and many others to the table to work together to accomplish the goal.

Some individuals may not be aware of many of the resources available to them such as: Genesee County Mental Health Services (344-1421) that provides counseling and psychiatric services, the Mental Health Association in Genesee County (344-2611) offering advocacy, education, and a support group for survivors of suicide, and Regional Action Phone – RAP (344-1212) our crisis hotline and information center available 24/7.

Media attention might have been too much for that nurse. The “prank” went very wrong and we often do not realize the consequences of our “kidding” or “joking.” We focus on children and adolescents bullying but what about adults? Maybe some have gone too far and been desensitized to the pain of others.

Words and actions are more significant than you think and they can lead to amazing results. If you are interested in helping to eliminate suicide, there is a seat for you at our table. Call any of the above agencies for more information.

December 26, 2012 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, byron.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported in the area of 6719 N. Bergen Road, Byron.

The location is near Merrill Road.

Byron and South Byron fire departments responding.

UPDATE 9:04 a.m.: Byron chief on scene says responding units can come in non-emergency.


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December 26, 2012 - 8:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, bergen.

Alberto Laboy-Bertran, 74, of North Plymouth Avenue, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and unlicensed operator. Laboy-Bertran is accused of driving at 11:40 a.m., Sunday, with 31 active driver's license suspensions and revocations dating back to 2000. Laboy-Bertran was jailed on $25,000 bail.

Aaron David Prusak, 25, of Park Street, Warsaw, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Prusak was located in a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado at 10:31 p.m., Friday, parked in the roadway of Route 19 in Bergen. Upon investigation by Sgt. Greg Walker and Deputy Joseph Graff, Prusak was allegedly found in possession of a needle and a controlled substance.

Ryan Nicholas DeSantis, 19, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. DeSantis is accused of shoplifting while working at Kmart.

Kyle David Ferguson, 20, of Maltby Road, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. Ferguson is accused of shoplifting while working at Kmart.

December 25, 2012 - 6:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire.

A snowmobile is on fire in the area of 7107 Norton Road, Elba.

Elba Fire Department is dispatched.

UPDATE 6:38 p.m.: Fire is out.


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December 25, 2012 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire service.

Yesterday, I spent some time and went through my photo archives for the past two years looking for pictures of our local firefighters -- paid and volunteer -- doing what they do, which means fighting fires, responding to accidents, training, public education, community service, fund raising and having fun.

These men and women put in a lot of time and sacrifice a lot of time away from their families to help keep all of us safe. What they deal with -- as you may see from a couple of the shots -- is often stressful, unpleasant and can leave even the strongest person feeling drained. But yet they carry on. They are dedicated to serving others, some times even at their own peril.

What happened in Webster yesterday is unthinkable, and I know it's affected many of our local firefighters.

There is no sappy music with this slide show, no solemn voice reading a sentimental poem, just some pictures. It's meant as a tribute, a thank you and a reminder of all that these men and women do for our community.

To find out about volunteer opportunities with your local fire department, visit readygenesee.com.

December 25, 2012 - 12:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

A large fight is reported outside of the Oakfield Hotel, South Pearl Street, Oakfield.

Multiple law enforcement units are responding.

UPDATE 12:17 a.m.: Two males fighting, crowd gathering.

December 24, 2012 - 11:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Up to a foot of snow in the region is possible for Wednesday afternoon, starting about 4 p.m., through Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch.

The weather service warns of hazardous driving conditions.

As for tonight, up to an inch of snow could fall by 4:30 a.m.

December 24, 2012 - 10:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion.

Multiple fire companies responded to a house fire at 10122 South Street, Pavilion, following a reported structure fire at 9:06 p.m.

Callers reported seeing flames coming out of the garage and spreading toward the house, according to Emergency Dispatch.

There was nobody home at the time the fire was reported.

The fire is now contained and mutual aid companies are going back in service.

Responding were Pavilion, Le Roy, South Byron, Stafford, Caledonia, York, Bethany and Alexander. Bergen was called to fill in at Le Roy's hall and Wyoming filled in for Pavilion. City of Batavia's Fast Team also responded.

Mercy EMS and Le Roy's ambulance also provided scene support, along with Emergency Management Services.

State Police also responded to the scene.

PHOTOS: By Jay Lynch.  More photos available on Jay's web site.


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December 24, 2012 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A stove fire is reported at 239 Vine St., Batavia.

The residents were told to evacuate.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 9:43 a.m.: Fire is out. House will be ventilated.

UPDATE 9:55 a.m.: City assignment is back in service.


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