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May 1, 2014 - 4:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Jackson Square, 14 Jackson Square.

By the end of the month, 14 Jackson Square -- an address that never existed until recently -- will come to life in a new, and reinvented way.

The former Carr's Department Store Warehouse will contain three two-bedroom apartments (a fourth should be ready by the end of June) and a downstairs office space.

Paul Thompson and his partners will have invested more than $500,000 in the project, with the help of a state grant of $115,000, to convert the three-story structure into a mixed-use space.

The project fits a few of the city's goals to reinvigorate Downtown, said City Manager Jason Molino. It creates more residential space Downtown, more new office space and it converts a building that was doing nothing for the city into something vibrant.

"It takes a building that was always a warehouse and turns it into a useful and meaningful space Downtown," Molino said.

Thompson said his Byron-based company was interested in the project because they have some experience in redeveloping mixed-use spaces. It was a way to provide employment for his workers during the winter, and based on his experience with rental properties in the city, there's a strong demand for apartments designed to appeal to young professionals.

Study after study shows, young professionals want to live in environments where nightlife and shopping are in walking distance and there's a sense of urban life to the neighborhood (related story from USAToday).

This project brings the total of new apartments Downtown to nine, said Julie Pacette, coordinator for the Batavia Development Corp. All of the previous apartments rented to young professionals within days of becoming available.

By assisting Thompson and his partners, Pacette said, a property that was off the tax roles for a few years is now in private, property-tax-paying hands.

Thompson said the project has helped him expand his company. His staff of 14 is now a staff of 20, though not all of the new hires are directly related to this project.

Related: For those interested in new urbanism, the Congress for New Urbanism meets in Buffalo, June 4 though 7.

Paul Thompson

May 1, 2014 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD.

While on a check-the-welfare call April 22, the handgun of a Batavia police officer discharged unexpectedly, Chief Shawn Heubusch confirmed today.

The accidental discharged is being investigated, but the good news, the chief said, is nobody was hurt.

Officers responded to a check-the-welfare call in the Grandview Terrace complex and the chief said the officers were either concerned the person they were checking on was in danger or could be a danger to others.

An officer for this reason drew his or her weapon and when the officer went to return his weapon to its holster, the Glock .40 caliber fired.

The investigation so far has not ruled out a mistaken discharge or a gun malfunction. What has been ruled out is defect with the holster.

Heubusch confirmed that buttons on the sides of officers' jackets have been known to catch on the triggers of guns, but the officer in this case was not wearing a jacket and the officer had on no other clothing that might have caught on the trigger.

The officer's name is not being released. Outside of acknowledging that the incident took place, the case is being handled as a personnel matter, which requires confidentiality for the officer involved.

This is the first accidental discharge of a weapon in the department since Heubusch became chief and he said in "just asking the guys" nobody can remember a similar prior incident.

Asked if the officers were surprised when the weapon fired, he said the officers remained calm and in control. 

"They maintained their composure," Heubusch said. "If you think about their training, they're trained to maintain their composure in an actual live fire situation. They're trained to stick with the mission until the mission is accomplished and they did a great job of ensuring the scene was secured.

"Again," he added, "we're lucky nobody was injured and the floor suffered minimal damage."

May 1, 2014 - 2:33pm

At 42 years old, Bill Taylor thinks its important to stay in shape as he gets older. He needs more energy in his physically demanding job and just generally wants to feel better.

Oakfield Fitness and Cross-Training Center, with its full range of newer equipment and 24/7 availability does the trick for him, he said.

"Everybody feels different at different parts of the day," Taylor said.

As he's gotten more serious about physical fitness, he said he has more energy and improved endurance.

"It's just all around feeling better physically, mentally, too," he said.

For anybody who doesn't have a workout routine, Taylor's advice is simple: "Get off your butt and do it. That's the best way."

Oakfield Fitness moved just a few weeks ago, going from 1,800 square feet and multiple small rooms, to three logically organized rooms in 3,600 square feet. There's a room for weight machines, a cardio room and a cross-training room.

All of the equipment is quality Life Fitness machines.

A basic gym membership is $30 a month with no other fees and no annual contract. Cross-training members pay $80 per month and have access to the cross-training room and a cross-training coach during scheduled times.

For more information, visit OakfieldFitness.com.

April 30, 2014 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Richmond Memorial Library, Mary Elizabeth Wood.

Unless you're a serious local history buff, the name Miss Mary Elizabeth Wood may be unfamiliar.

In China, however, especially among those who appreciate the country's public library system, Miss Wood is revered.

Her fame has brought a Chinese film crew to Batavia this week as part of their effort to create a documentary chronicling the life of the "Queen of Modern Libraries in China."

Born in Elba in 1861, Wood became the first librarian of the Richmond Memorial Library in 1889, a position she held for 10 years. The only daughter of Edward Farmer Wood and Mary Jane (Humphrey) Wood, who had seven boys, Miss Wood took a trip to China to visit her youngest brother Robert in 1899.

On that trip, she learned there was no public education system and residents had little access to all the wisdom contained in the world's books, even ones in their own language.

Wood decided to stay in Wuchang, where she eventually made 3,000 books available for borrowing at the building known as the Octagonal Pavilion.

Soon, she traveled back to the U.S. for a year of study, her first actual courses in library science, having gotten as far as she did before then on her strength as "a great reader."

While on the trip, she raised funds and secured book donations that enabled her to open in 1910 the Boone Library in Wuchang.

By the 1920s, Wood was lobbying Congress for funds to advance library science in China and through the grants received and with the help of two of her Chinese prodigies, Wood established the first school for library science in China.

Following her death of an illness in China in 1931, her body was returned to Batavia and she is buried in the Batavia Cemetery.

These pictures were taken while the film crew prepared to interview Kathy Facer, Richmond's reference and technology librarian.

Here's the Wikipedia entry on Mary Elizabeth Wood, which contains greater detail on her life and work.

Cheng Huanwen, professor and university librarian, School of Information Management, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

April 30, 2014 - 5:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen.

There was probable cause to arrest John Laverne Robinson, Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble said about the case involving Robinson, a man from Brockport, and a shotgun pointed through a window on Jan. 13, 2013.

So Robinson was arrested and it's now up to the courts to determine the eventual outcome of the case.

It's been 15 months since the incident, and Robinson's arrest two weeks ago raised some interest locally about how a man some believed was just exercising his right to defend himself in his own house could be charged with a crime.

"There's no black and white on these things and there's a lot of gray area on how far you can go and whether your actions are justified," Dibble said. "The deputy looked at the circumstances and looked at the law and consulted with the District Attorney and felt there was probable cause to make an arrest and then let the courts handle it."

Police officers don't determine the guilt or innocence of a defendant, Dibble said. They make an arrest based on probable cause and then let the courts decide.

"There's always two or three sides to every story," Dibble said. "In this case, there's Mr. Crooks' account and then there is Mr. Robinson's account. In the business we're in, absent any other witnesses, it gets down to what one person says against the other and then let the courts sort it out."

Often, Dibble said, cases aren't as clear-cut as people imagine.

"In this system, some cases by their nature, are not always black and white and in the gray areas is where law enforcement and the courts often find themselves in the middle of controversy," Dibble said.

The incident last year was initially handled by the State Police, who arrested 46-year-old Michael S. Crooks, of Salmon Road, Brockport, on a charge of criminal mischief, 4th.

Last week, The Batavian reported that there was no confirmation of an arrest of Crooks because Trooper Victor Morales said there was "no record" of that arrest. Morales was not with Troop A -- he's now Troop A's spokesman -- at the time of the incident 15 months ago and because a judge ordered the criminal case against Crooks sealed, Morales could only respond that there was no record of his arrest.

After learning of the sealed case file, The Batavian confirmed the arrest and charge against Crooks by obtaining a copy of orders of protection he signed Jan. 13 and on Jan. 16, 2013. Crooks was barred for one year from contacting Robinson.

Eventually, Crooks obtained an adjudication in contemplation of a dismissal ruling from the Bergen Town Court, which is why his case is sealed.

The events leading up to the alleged gun-pointing incident began when Crooks became aware -- according to his sworn statement in the Robinson case -- that Robinson and Crooks' wife were communicating with each other. His statement doesn't say whether it was by phone calls or by text or how Robinson and Mrs. Crooks know each other.

Crooks said he told his wife to stop communicating with Robinson, but one afternoon while Mrs. Crooks was out shopping with their children, Michael Crooks went online and checked phone records and found evidence of further communication with Robinson, he wrote in his statement.

According to the statement, Crooks went over Robinson's home on North Lake Road and wanted to speak with him and ask him to stop communicating with his wife. He claimed he intended no harm to Robinson.

Robinson did not answer the door, but Crooks believed Robinson was in fact home.

Crooks said he yelled for Robinson to come out and called him a coward for not coming to the door, according to his own account of events.

Deputy Matthew Butler, in his charging document, says that Robinson told him he called 9-1-1. He said he had a shotgun. He said a dispatcher told him to yell out that he had a shotgun.

Still unsatisfied that Robinson hadn't answered the door, Crooks walked around the house and looked into a window. That's when he saw Robinson pointing a shotgun at him, he said.

He claims Robinson screamed, "get out of here or I'm going to you're (sic) your f---ing head off."

"When I saw that shotgun pointed at my face," he wrote, "I was scared to death that John was going to shoot me."

Robinson is charged with menacing in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor.

During the course of the incident on North Lake Road, Robinson's front door was damaged, according to a family member, which is the apparent reason for the criminal mischief charge against Crooks.

Asked about the right in New York for residents to protect their home and themselves, Dibble said that's true, but the law has gray areas and that's where this case falls.

"The law also says you can walk up to anybody's door and knock on the door," Dibble said. "That's part of general business law."

Dibble said a deputy investigated the case because Crooks filed a complaint. It's not known why Crooks went to the Sheriff's Office rather than the NYSP with his complaint or why troopers didn't charge Robinson back in January 2013 after the initial investigation into the case.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said his office has yet to determine how it will proceed with the case.

"The best I can say is the Sheriff's Department did an investigation and made an arrest and that's what they do," Friedman said. "We haven't determined what the disposition might be. We didn't do the investigation. We don't do investigations. They came to the conclusion that the charge was appropriate and (Assistant DA) Kevin Finnell will look at the case. We have full discretion on what we feel is an appropriate disposition, whether not to prosecute it or to take it to trial or anything in between."

Robinson's next court appearance is 3 p.m., May 21, for arraignment on the charge.

Click here for an article about New York's "Castle Doctrine."

April 30, 2014 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, FOURTH OF JULY.

Press release:

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) is issuing a call for artists and crafters, food vendors, and nonprofit organizations to participate in the 36th Annual Picnic in the Park celebration from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, July 4. The event takes place in Centennial Park, Richmond and Ellicott avenues in Batavia.

Application forms can be downloaded from the GO ART! Web site at www.GOart.org <http://www.GOart.org>, by e-mailing us at [email protected], or by stopping by GO ART!, Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia.

Artists and Crafters are invited to exhibit and sell their work – which must be made by the artist/crafter – in the Arts and Crafts Show. The nonrefundable entry fee per space is $35 for non-members and $30 for members if paid by June 1st. After June 1st, the fee is $40 for non-members and $35 for members. If you refer a friend, and they participate as an artist or crafter in this year's show, you will be entered in a drawing to win a refund on your booth fee! The nonrefundable entry fee per booth for Food Vendors is $125 if paid by June 1st. After June 1st, the fee is $150.

As is tradition, nonprofit organizations in Genesee and Orleans counties may participate free of charge. All vendors must supply their own tables, chairs, signs, canopy, and extensions cords. The deadline to submit applications is no later than June 29.

Picnic in the Park is a free annual daylong event featuring activities for families and children, folk art events, entertainment and refreshment stands. Picnic in the Park is funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Program.

For additional information, call the GO ART! office at 585.343.9313 or e-mail [email protected]

The contact person is Robin Upson.

April 30, 2014 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A structure fire is reported at the Oatka Creek Mobile Park at 8131 E. Main Road. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 1:57 p.m.: A Caledonia pumper is en route with a full interior crew.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m.: Le Roy Engine 63 on scene; reporting nothing showing.

UPDATE 2:01 p.m.: Le Roy command reports there is some black smoke but it's from a kerosene heater; no fire.

UPDATE 2:06 p.m.: The Le Roy assignment is in service.

April 30, 2014 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in music, Le Roy, Jam at the Ridge.

Press release:

Western New York's newest family recreation and entertainment venue -- "The Ridge NY" -- hosts the 2014 Jam At The Ridge Concert Series. The series touts major recording artists along with regional and local favorites.

Starting at just $5 with children 12 and under FREE, some tickets have already sold out. Le Roy, NY/U.S.A. (less than an hour from Buffalo, Exit-47 from the Thruway) SAVE THESE DATES!

  • May 31st -- Country Done Come To Town (2 to 10 p.m.)
  • June 7th -- Josh Thompson (5 to 10 p.m.)
  • June 21st -- John Michael Montgomery (5 to 10 p.m.)
  • July 12th -- Preacher Stone (5 to 10 p.m.)
  • July 26th -- Jason Michael Carroll with Zach Lockwood (5 to 10 p.m.)
  • Aug. 9th -- Blackberry Smoke (5 to 10 p.m.)
  • Aug. 23rd -- Phil Vassar (5 to 10 p.m.)
  • Sept. 6th -- Marshall Tucker Band (5 to 10 p.m.)

***All concerts subject to change; please double-check the Web site for confirmation.

The Ridge NY has done an excellent job of keeping costs and prices low so that everyone may participate while bringing exceptional talent to Western New York. Limited camping is available for those who'd like to Camp With The Bands.

The Ridge management attributes this success to a family friendly environment with activities and events for ages 2 through 92. Tents to large RVs are welcome and cabins are available for those who don't have their own equipment. There is something for just about everyone. If you’re looking for fun, The Ridge NY is the place to be.

Contact:
The Ridge NY
 [email protected]
www.TheRidgeNY.com <http://www.TheRidgeNY.com>

www.JamAtTheRidge.com <http://www.JamAtTheRidge.com>

585-768-4883

801 Conlon Road, Le Roy, NY, 14482, U.S.A.

April 30, 2014 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander.

Driving back from Attica yesterday around 6 p.m., I stopped on Dorman Road in Alexander and took this picture.

April 29, 2014 - 10:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee has approved Senate Bill No. S6695. The legislation, authored by Senator Ranzenhofer, would designate yogurt as the official State snack.

A Byron-Bergen fourth-grade class, while studying the history and government of New York State, wrote to Senator Ranzenhofer to suggest the idea for the bill.

“I am pleased to report that this bill is on the move, and New York is one step closer to designating yogurt as its official State snack,” Ranzenhofer said. “It’s not just a nutritious, delicious food. It is also a major economic driver locally and all across the State. I am hopeful that we will be able to pass this legislation so that it may become law this year.”

New York is the number one processor of yogurt in the United States. Increasing demand for milk, the primary component in yogurt, has helped to support and grow the State’s dairy industry. New York is now fifth in the nation in milk production, producing over 13 billion pounds in 2012, in part fueled by the demand from yogurt processors.

Senator Ranzenhofer introduced the legislation on Feb. 28.

April 29, 2014 - 9:55pm

Official GCLP press release from David Olsen, vice chair:

Phil Ricci, currently the chair and state representative of the Genesee County Libertarian Party, a recognized chapter of the Libertarian Party of New York, will now be an officer of the LPNY. At the LPNY Convention in Albany on April 26, 2014, Ricci was elected a vice chair of the State party. According to the LPNY bylaws, among the responsibilities which may be delegated to him by the chair or the State Committee are the operations of the State headquarters, production of the party newsletter, promotion of county organizations and Party membership and development of literature for distribution by the LPNY.

The GCLP is proud of Phil and all his accomplishments and we are happy he will share his creativity and leadership abilities with the LPNY all across the great State of New York. Phil will retain his membership in the GCLP and will continue his work on local issues along with his new statewide duties.

Also at the LPNY convention, a slate of candidates for statewide office was elected. After hearing from six very strong Libertarians who sought the nomination for Governor and after five rounds of voting, Michael McDermott, of Huntington, was selected to be the party’s nominee. Chris Edes of Rochester is our Lieutenant Governor candidate, John Clifton, of Queens, is the State Comptroller candidate and Carl Person, of Manhattan, is the Attorney General candidate.

The Genesee County Libertarian Party was formed in 2013 as a chapter of the LPNY. We will be having our 2nd annual convention followed by the  GCLP sponsored Buffet & Free Play: A Community Celebration  on Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road in Batavia. Admission to the celebration is by advance ticket purchase only. Tickets are limited so purchase yours soon! Tickets are $25 and are available by contacting any GCLP member, calling Debbie Paine at 716-474-0125, or seeing Debbie Paine in person Monday-Thursday 8 a.m to  5 p.m. at Arctic Refrigeration, 26 Cedar St., Batavia. The $25 ticket price includes a buffet dinner, tax, gratuity, and $25 free play for the gaming floor (you must be 18 or older to redeem the free play). There will be a Community Basket Raffle sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Batavia -- all proceeds will benefit the Genesee County Child Advocacy Center. Also there will be numerous other baskets to be raffled to benefit the GCLP. For more information, please go to: http://www.gclpny.org/buffetfreeplay. Plan to join us May 31, we’d love to see as many of our neighbors as we can.

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971. Our vision is for a world in which all individuals can freely exercise the natural right of sole dominion over their own lives, liberty and property by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office, and moving public policy in a libertarian direction.

April 29, 2014 - 8:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, fire.

A possible chimney fire is reported at 7060 Fox Road, Oakfield.

Smoke is reported in the residence.

Oakfield Fire dispatched with a tanker from Elba, a tanker and engine from Alabama, with East Pembroke to fill in at Oakfield's hall.

UPDATE 8:29 p.m.: An Oakfield chief on scene. Nothing showing at this time.

UPDATE 8:31 p.m.: Holding Elba and Alabama in quarters at this time.

UPDATE 8:44 p.m.: Alabama, Elba and East Pembroke can go back in service.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: Oakfield back in service.

April 29, 2014 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.
Teshawn Lang-Smith Jordon Thomas

UPDATE, Wednesday: Lang-Smith has been located.

Batavia PD is looking for the public's help in locating two teens who are reported runaways.

Teshawn A. Lang-Smith, 17, is a black male, 5' 5" tall and 120 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing shorts and a light colored, long-sleeved sweater. He has a tattoo of an anchor on his right forearm and a tattoo on his torso that reads "Family First." Teshawn is believed to be in the local area.

Jordon S. Thomas, 16, is a black male, 5' 7", 140 pounds, brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen at 5 p.m. yesterday. He is believed to be in the local area.

If you can assist in locating either of these individuals, contact Batavia PD by calling (585) 345-6350.

April 29, 2014 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Earth Day, Batavia Youth Bureau.

Press release:

In an effort to educate students and the community on recycling, conserving energy, and going “green” in general, the City of Batavia Youth Bureau is sponsoring its Annual Earth Day event at 9 a.m. on May 10 at Austin Park. School and community groups, as well as the community at large are invited to participate.

Local agencies will set up booths and interactive displays for the participants to visit. The students will also receive giveaways at some of the booths. After folks have visited all of the booths, school/student groups will be sent out to clean a park or an area within the city. We will then meet back at Austin Park and each of the students in attendance will plant their own seedling to take home. Everyone is then invited to a pizza lunch. The event will conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m..

If you would like more information on Earth Day or would like to participate, call the Batavia Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

April 29, 2014 - 1:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in hunting, eurasion boars.

Press release:

New DEC Regulation Works Toward Statewide Eradication

A new regulation that prohibits hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York State was formally adopted state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The regulation is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC's statewide eradication efforts.

"Hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counterproductive," Martens said. "As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our eradication efforts. Eurasian boars often join together to form a 'sounder,' the name for a group of pigs that can number 20 or more individuals. Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method, (as it) often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove."

Hunters pursuing wild boars in locations where baited traps have been established by DEC or USDA can also undermine these costly and labor-intensive capture efforts. Shooting may remove one or two animals, but the rest of the sounder scatters and rarely comes back together as a group, thereby hampering eradication efforts. In addition to prohibiting take of free-ranging swine by hunters, the new regulation prohibits anyone from disturbing traps set for wild boars or otherwise interfering with Eurasian boar eradication activities. Hunting wild boar is still allowed at enclosed hunting preserves until September 1, 2015.

"Enacting a statewide regulation was important to support DEC's ongoing work to remove this invasive species from the state and to ensure that it does not become established in the wild anywhere in New York," Commissioner Martens said. "Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, and private property and public safety wherever they occur and DEC will continue to work to protect these resources and remove wild boars from the state."

Eurasian boars were brought to North America centuries ago and wild populations numbering in the millions are now present across much of the Southern U.S. In recent years, wild boar populations have been appearing in more Northern states, too, often as a result of escapes from enclosed shooting facilities that offer "wild boar hunts."

Governor Cuomo signed legislation on October 21, 2013, which immediately prohibited the importation, breeding or introduction to the wild of any Eurasian boars. Furthermore, the law prohibits possession, sale, transport or marketing of live Eurasian boars as of September 1, 2015. The new law was an essential step in the state's efforts to prevent Eurasian boars from becoming established in the wild.

However, there are already small numbers of Eurasian boars on the landscape in New York. Since 2000, wild boars have been reported in many counties across the state, and breeding in the wild has been confirmed in at least six counties (Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton, Sullivan and Delaware) in recent years. DEC is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program to remove any Eurasian boars that are reported in New York. To date, more than 150 animals have been captured and destroyed. However, eradication is expensive, time consuming and requires a great deal of manpower.

The regulation does provide necessary exceptions for state and federal wildlife agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others who are authorized by DEC to take Eurasian boar to alleviate nuisance, property damage, or threats to public health or welfare.

Anyone who observes a Eurasian boar (dead or alive) in the wild in New York should report it as soon as possible to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office or to: [email protected] and include "Eurasian boar" in the subject line.

Because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish a domestic pig, pot belly pig or Eurasian boar based solely on a description, reporting of all free-roaming swine is encouraged.

Please report the number of animals seen, whether any of them were piglets, the date, and the exact location (county, town, distance and direction from an intersection, nearest landmark, etc.). Photographs of the animals are especially helpful, so please try to get a picture and include it with your report. Full text of the regulation can be viewed on DEC's Web site.

April 29, 2014 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Jennifer Lynn Mohr, 41, of Manhattan Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Mohr was arrested at the Genesee County Courts facility for allegedly possessing a controlled substance for which she lacked a prescription.

Michael R. Mullen, 50, of Oakfield, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol; driving while ability impaired by a drug; consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle; unlawful possession of marijuana; inadequate exhaust; insufficient signal; and failure to keep right. Mullen was stopped at 2:39 a.m. Sunday on Route 20A, Village of Warsaw, by Deputy Aaron Chase.

Todd Lester Fairbanks, 32, of Raymond Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a Family Court warrant. The underlying charge of the warrant was not specified.

Christopher A. Bucci, 34, of Batavia, is charged with second-degree rape (actor with person less than 18 years old), sexual abuse, 3rd, and acting in a manner injurerous to a child. Bucci was arrested by State Police in connection with an alleged incident reported Feb. 3 in the Town of Clarendon. No further details released.

Jacob R. Lavrincik, 25, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Lavrincik was arrested by State Police for an alleged petit larceny at a location on Veterans Memorial Drive. No further details released.

April 29, 2014 - 8:36am

City officials would love to see the Della Penna property on Ellicott Street cleaned up and turned into something useful, but with aging buildings and environmental issues, the property could sit dormant for many more years.

A $266,000 state grant could help resolve the future of the Della Penna property along with at least four other "brownfield" sites within the 366-acre core downtown area.

A brownfield site is vacant or underutilized land that was once developed and productive but has fallen into disuse because the property has unresolved contamination issues.

The city has created a Batavia Opportunity Area plan to help deal with these types of properties. City Council members learned more about the plan, 18 months in the making, on Monday night.

"Getting the city’s BOA plan certified will give additional tax credits for remediation and redevelopment of certain sites in the brownfield opportunity area,” City Manager Jason Molino said. “This is important and obviously we want to encourage redevelopment and remediation. There’s five strategic sites, all of them in the 366-acre downtown core area. Having those sites redeveloped would be very important for the city’s revitalization of Downtown.”

The plan is in its final draft stage. Once the council votes to accept the plan at a future meeting, the city can begin implementation.

With a certified plan in place, property is eligible for grants to developers who would clean up contamination and enable further tax credits for redevelopment of the site.

There will be a public hearing on the plan at the end of May.

There are confirmed environmental issues with the Della Penna property, the council was told. The council will be asked to pass a resolution authorizing an interim foreclosure on the property. Ownership would then pass to the Batavia Development Corporation and eventually then to a commercial developer.

The steps are necessary to apply to the state for the a brownfield clean-up grant. With environmental problems resolved, the property should be more attractive to a potential developer.

“I would not call it shovel-ready," Molino said. "It’s development-ready. Because there’s an unknown element taken out of the equation. If this property is accepted into the BCP Program, if remediated and developed, the developers are now eligible for tax credits for doing so. It adds a marketability to the site."

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