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November 23, 2012 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, accidents.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at Sumner and County Line roads. Darien Fire Department and medics are responding.

UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: One car is blocking westbound traffic.

UPDATE 1:39 p.m.: Two people, including a small child, are being transported to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital.

November 23, 2012 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, bergen.

Leaha Rae Anne Wimmer, 20, of an undisclosed address in Darien, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Wimmer is accused of using a forged/stolen check. She was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Brandon Nicholas Benz, 17, of Clinton Street Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Benz is accused of pushing and shoving another person.

Joseph Anthony Mogavero, 19, of State Street Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and possession/consumption of alcohol under age 21. Mogavero was arrested Saturday after Deputy Patrick Reeves was dispatched to Route 238 in Alexander for investigation of a suspicious vehicle off the roadway. Also charged with possession/consumption of alcohol under age 21 were Sean Patrick Francis Bodkin, 20, of Affinity Lane, Cheektowaga, Matthew Robert Blevins, 20, of Vernon Avenue, Batavia, and Nathan Alexander Demare, 19, of Brigham Road, Ferdonia.

Lucas George Yauchzee, 23, of West Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal possession of marijuana. Yauchzee's arrest comes after an investigation that began Dec. 26 when law enforcement responded to a report of a domestic incident at his apartment. Yauchzee is accused of possessing marijuana and hydrocodone.

November 22, 2012 - 7:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, accidents.

A car struck a deer at 6372 Main Road in Stafford. A 26-year-old female sustained a head injury. Stafford Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 7:20 p.m.: An officer on scene says the deer's head smashed through the van's window and pushed the female driver into the rear of the vehicle, injuring her head.

UPDATE 7:43 p.m.: The woman is being taken to UMMC. She was a passenger in the back seat and the deer smashed through the side window. She is complaining of hip and back pain. Stafford firefighters are back in service.

November 22, 2012 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul.

From Kathy Hochul:

This Thanksgiving Day, as we count our blessings, let us also be mindful of those brave men and women away from their families, serving overseas to protect our freedom and defend others around the world. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I wish Western New York and the nation a safe, peaceful, and happy Thanksgiving.

November 22, 2012 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, animal rescue.

Attention holiday shoppers, tomorrow from 1 to 3 p.m. there's a Black Cat Friday Special offered at the Genesee County Animal Shelter. You get 50-percent off of the cost of adoption, which is regularly $30.

The cat or kitten must be at least 50-percent black to qualify.

The black cat, le chat noir, the elegant Bombay, the parlor panther -- these are symbols of good luck in Great Britain, Ireland and Japan. The Egyptian goddess Bast (or Bastet) was known at the Cat Goddess. Sailors often put a black cat on board ship for luck on the treacherous high seas.

In Western and European cultures, the black cat gets a bad rap and it's the slowest to be adopted. Pshaw! Have a heart, forget that poppycock, and come on down! The shelter is located at 3841 W. Main St. Road in the Town of Batavia.

A $35 deposit will still be required for any animal not spayed or neutered, and this is reimbursable with proof of sterilization. All the felines are current with their vaccines, tested for FeLV/FIV and many are already spayed and neutered.

Bring a carrier for your new friend to go home in.

November 22, 2012 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, thanksgiving.

Billie and I along with Lisa Ace would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

Every year we remain thankful for the support of our readers and sponsors. We truly enjoy living in Genesee County and providing news coverage for our community. We've made a lot of friends here and without the support of our friends and neighbors we could not continue doing what we do. Thank you.

November 22, 2012 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
If you think there is anything that's been left out for consideration and should be included in a future revised poll, leave a comment.
November 21, 2012 - 8:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Delavan's Restaurant.

Sunday morning Bill Cultrara, owner with his wife, Patti, of Delavan's Restaurant at 107 Evans St., Batavia, received a phone call from his cook. He quit. No notice. No reason. No explanation. Nothing. He was done.

The last time that happened about six months ago, Cultrara vowed that if happened again, he would close the restaurant, so Sunday, that's what he did.

By Tuesday afternoon, Tony Mancuso was hanging a "For Rent" sign on the building.

"He (the cook) left us high and dry," Cultrara said.

Patti said another cook quitting was just too much.

"We've been through 16 cooks in five years," Patti said. "That's all we could remember. There's others. We could remember their tattoos but not their names."

The last cook was a good employee, Bill said. He didn't smoke. He didn't gab on his mobile phone. He showed up for work. If he had a problem, he never let Bill know about it, he never offered to discuss it.

Bill said finding good professional cooks who are willing to work is just getting harder and harder.

"The restaurant business is very stressful," Bill said. "You don’t know if you’ve got a cook everyday and people are calling in sick all of the time. I’ve had enough. The stress is off of my shoulders."

Bill has a full-time job with the Sheriff's Office as manager of food services for the jail. Patti already has two new job offers lined up, including working as the Tuesday and Thursday afternoon bartender at the city's newest restaurant, Daphne's. 

He said closing the popular restaurant where he and Patti made so many friends over the years was bittersweet. He hates closing. He's glad to be rid of the stress.

Bill and Patti met at 107 Evans St. when the location was a bar and grill in 1971. Eventually, they owned the business and the building. At one time they thought they would take over Alex's Place, but when that didn't work out, so they reopened Delavan's.

With the restaurant closed for good, Bill said he will still take orders for his popular sausage and they're still selling his famous wing sauce.

So long as Bill keeps the books open on the business, which he plans to do, the variance to run such a business in its residential location will remain valid.

Bill hopes somebody will come along who wants to run a restaurant and bar in the building. Whomever it is, he says, needs to have restaurant experience. He's not going to turn the location over to somebody who he doesn't think can make a go of it.

The person who gets it and is willing to maintain the same "Cheers"-like neighborhood tavern and restaurant ambiance might find a built-in customer base. Delavan's remained very popular with a large group of loyal customers right up until its final day of business, which was Friday.

"It would be good for somebody who came in here and had a lot of energy," Bill said.

NOTE: If you purchased a gift certificate from Delavan's, or received one as a gift, you have until Dec. 31 to redeem it. Mail it to Delavan's at 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY 14020.

But if you purchased a gift certificate from The Batavian in the past 30 days, mail it to our office at 200 E. Main St., Room 5, Batavia, NY 14020. We will refund your purchase price through PayPal.

November 21, 2012 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Binghamton is about to lose its Double AA baseball team to Ottawa, according to Baseball America, and city officials in Binghamton are rumored to be in talks to buy the Muckdogs.

The story relies on unnamed sources and contains no official confirmation of the move by the Met's franchise to the Canadian city.

November 21, 2012 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

City crews are just about wrapping up repair work on a water main break on Evans Street that has left only a few area residents without water since about 11:30 a.m.

The break occurred, according to Matt Worth, superintendent of water and sewer, while Batavia firefighters were doing some training involving a nearby fire hydrant.

The water outage was from Evans up to a portion of Maple Street.

Worth said the broken line is about 80 years old.

UPDATE As of about 6:30 p.m., the break was fixed and residents in the area should have normal water pressure restored, according to Worth.

November 21, 2012 - 4:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident.

A car struck a deer on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 392.5. There are injuries. Mercy EMS and law enforcement are responding along with Town of Batavia firefighters.

UPDATE 4:41 p.m.: A responder at the scene says "Traffic is a mess out here." The vehicle is off the roadway about 15 feet.

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: "We have a secondary accident about a half mile back." It's a two-car rear-ender with no visible injuries to the vehicles' occupants, including an infant. As a result of this secondary accident, law enforcement is "controlling the left passing lane."

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Mercy medics responded to the secondary accident to evaluate those involved. The location is at mile marker 391.2, westbound.

UPDATE 5:28 p.m.: An 18-month-old baby boy is being taken to UMMC for evaluation. He was strapped into his car seat when the accident occurred.

November 21, 2012 - 8:37am

Jake and Jeremy Pietrzykowski came into their own as bow hunters nearly a decade ago when they stopped buying into the philosophy of other hunters and decided to go their own way. Once on their own, success was immediate and consistent. (The photo above shows Jake with son, Gunnar, and Jake's latest bow hunting trophy)

Last Tuesday I arrived home for lunch and found a piece of paper attached to our kitchen door. On it was a brief message from Jake stating that he had taken a nice buck earlier that morning and he had stopped by to show me. He also said Jeremy had taken a good buck 10 days earlier and that he was sorry he missed me.

I was sorry, too -- and I prompty called Jake, making arrangements to get together with him and Jeremy. I not only wanted to see the big whitetails they had taken, I wanted to hear the story behind the hunts.

Two nights later I listened as the brothers related their recent adventures. Sitting on Jeremy's lap is his daughter, Paityn. 

Tuesday, November 13th found Jake in his stand at first light. The day broke cloudy and cold, and it was one of those mornings when it's not snowing per se, but a definite hint of winter was in the air. 

"Every once in a while I'd get hit in the face with a snowflake," Jake said.

But the sound of an approaching deer tends to take one's mind off the cold, particularly when it's a big deer.

"I heard him breaking stuff -- he was snapping stuff as he walked," Jake continued. "The noises he made, you could tell it was a big deer. For the next  minute or so the buck was on the move, covering about 80 yards in that time while periodically stopping to check his surroundings."

Jake waited as the buck drew closer and by 7:55 the buck was within 15 yards, plenty close enough for a shot. The buck's antlers green scored 153 6/8 on the Pope & Young scale, Jake's largest bow kill to date.

Jeremy took his big whitetail on the afternoon of November 1st.

"As soon as I got in my stand I could see him rubbing trees," he said. "He was 200 yards away but I could see his white rack."

Jeremy was fairly certain of where the buck would pass by, but still not sure if he was going to shoot or let the deer walk. Just in case, he used a folding saw to remove a few branches that might interfere with a shot should he decide to take it.

"He was downwind of me for half an hour, eating the leaves off raspberry bushes and that whole time I still didn't think I was going to shoot. Then I was able to see the antler mass and the striations in the main beams. At that point I decided I was going to take him. I sweet talked him with my Tru-talker," said Jeremy, referring to his grunt call.

The buck responded immediately.

"I saw him turn, looking in my direction, but he was looking past me," he continued. "Then his tail flicked. Once that tail flicked I knew it was game on. He walked to within 15 yards." 

Read more after the jump (click on the headline):

November 21, 2012 - 12:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC.

The Genesee County Legislature voted 5-3 Tuesday night to continue for another year funding GCEDC to the tune of $213,000.

A motion by Legislator Ray Cinanfrini to cut funding by $100,000 unless the GCEDC board declines to pay out bonuses to employees for 2012 failed with only Frank Ferrando and Marianne Clattenburg supporting the proposal.

The motion came after a 90-minute session that included a presentation by GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde about the work of the industrial development agency, a closed session on pending deals and personnel and, finally, a discussion on Cianfrini's motion.

"They're going to pay incentives," Cianfrini said. "They're going to pay incentives, I'm told, out of money other than what we put in for operating expenses, which tells me, they have the money available to pay those incentives. The question arises -- do you need our taxpayer dollars to fund your operation?"

That was exactly the point Hyde made during his presentation. He said that while profits (flowing through the GCEDC's sister nonprofit corporation, the GCLDC) help fund GCEDC's operations fund, the $213,000 provided by county taxpayers is critically important to the GCEDC balancing its $1.2 million operating budget.

Hyde said the money provided by the county helps pay base salaries and is not used for incentive bonuses. The bonuses are paid entirely, he said, out of revenue generated by GCEDC/GCLDC projects.

In 2012, the agency worked on 33 projects that represent $223 million in investment and the promise of 400 jobs, Hyde said.

Since 2003, GCEDC can tally 335 projects, $820 million invested and 3,500 pledged jobs.

Projects that received waivers on property tax increases since then now account for $3.5 million of property tax revenue in the coffers of various government agencies and in 10 years that total will exceed $6.4 million.

The money from the county, Hyde said, can help "remake our community and region and put money back in people's pockets."

Cianfrini's motion received support from two of the City of Batavia's three representatives.

Ferrando said there is no doubt Hyde and his team have done a great job in bringing business to the county and creating jobs, but the problem with the bonuses, he said, isn't about whether they're deserved, but with the political perception by residents.

"There is no way that I can honestly say that the people I represent can seperate what we give to the GCEDC from the bonuses and from the salaries," Ferrando said. "It just isn't going to happen. I don't think that's fair. I certainly don't think it's fair for Steve because he's sitting hear dealing with an issue he shouldn't have to deal with. But as long as that money is tied that way, I don't think there is a public relations program out there will be able to convince them them differently. "

From Clattenburg's perspective, GCEDC just hasn't done enough to help the City of Batavia. She noted that according to census figures, one-fifth of the city's residents live below the poverty level and she doesn't see Hyde and his team doing enough to generate revenue and jobs in the city.

"My territory is counted in streets, not acres, and I walk those streets and I see what the income level of my neighbors are, what their houses are worth and some areas are poorer than others," Clattenburg said. "A long time back you guys had a strategic vision for this county and it's been fulfilled to its hilt. We see it all around us.

"But somewhere along the line this strategic vision did not include us. We represent 25 percent of this county's population in just five miles, so it would be nice to see the governor here."

Ed Dejaneiro, who also represents the city, said that while he agrees there needs to be a break in the perception that taxpayer money is being used to fund bonuses for GCEDC staff, contractional obligations might prevent the board from paying bonuses for 2012.

"There are a lot of very good arguments that were made with respect to public funds and how those public funds are given and how we're looked upon as contributing to incentive payments instead of the nitty-gritty operational or project monies," Dejaneiro said.

"It's hard for us to justify with the public how this money is being spent, but I think the long and short of it is that we like what they're doing. It's a successful agency and it's one that depended on that $213,000 that we were going to contribute."

Legislator Esther Leadley, Robert Bausch, Shelly Stein and Mary Pat Hancock all spoke against Cianfrini's motion to cut funding.

Leadley said there is a false perception floating about that all of the county residents are opposed to the county giving money to GCEDC and the bonuses paid to Hyde and the rest of the staff.

"There is this implication that all of the legislators have received an enormous amount of push back on GCEDC," Leadley said. "I have not. I have heard from some people, but it has not been an absolute rush to condemn this."

Leadley said that executives from the Quaker-Muller yogurt plant have told her that a key factor in PepsiCo picking Genesee County for their facility was that Genesee County and the legislature had "skin in the game," by making a financial contribution to grow the local business community.

Bausch compared Clattenburg's experience with his own. He said when he walks around his community he passes the buildings of two companies that would not have businesses in Genesee County now if not for GCEDC.

"I've heard from constituents on both sides," Bausch said. "When I hear from the negative side, my answer has always been the same as it is now. I wish the bonuses paid were three times the amount because that would mean we had three times the jobs for our community."

Stein, who is the legislature's representative on the GCEDC board, said that it is the business community that creates the jobs that make it possible for government to function, therefore it is critical for the legislature to support GCEDC.

Hancock made the most impassioned defense of GCEDC.

"The particular investment that we have in this organization, one for 16," Hancock said. "One dollar for 16. Do the math. We need skin the game."

She also defended Hyde from some of the public attacks he has been subjected to over the past few years.

"We're always talking about the people who go away to make money and be successful," Hancock said. "We've got somebody here from our own county, from the Batavia School District, that went away, came back and became a big tiger. He's a big dog in his particular area. Where's the pride? That is super. That is super."

UPDATE: Point of clarification, Legislator Annie Lawrence was unable to attend the meeting.

November 20, 2012 - 9:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

You already love The Batavian. We appreciate your daily visits to our site and telling your friends about the stories you read here and supporting our sponsors. Now we're asking for your direct financial support. Reader support will help us grow and become better at what we do.

We've set up four membership tiers -- Subscribe to the club monthly as one person or as a household, or annually at either of those levels. 

Currently, the primary benefits of joining are a membership card and bumper sticker. As the club grows, we'll work with local businesses to provide club-exclusive discounts and special events. The more people who join, the better and more frequent the offers.

It's important to note, this isn't a subscription to read the site. Our stories remain free to read. This is a membership club with benefits (and we'll add benefits as it grows).

Special Offer: Join with an annual membership before Dec. 15 and receive at no additional cost a 2013 calendar of Genesee County Photos by Howard Owens.

Join via PayPal below, or for annual and one-time memberships paid by check, click here to download this form (monthly, recurring payment memberships must be via PayPal (soon we'll be able to accept credit card payments separate from PayPal).

Monthly Single Membership - $5 per month
Includes membership card and bumper sticker and entry into iPod Nano drawing.


Monthly Household Membership - $10 per month
Includes two membership cards and two bumper stickers and entry into iPod Nano drawing.


Annual Single Membership - $50 per year
Includes membership card, bumper sticker and entry into iPod Nano drawing.
Special Offer: Join by Dec. 15 and receive a calendar of Genesee County photos by Howard Owens


Annual Household Membership - $100 per year
Includes two membership cards and two bumper stickers and entry into iPod Nano drawing.
Special Offer: Join by Dec. 15 and receive a calendar of Genesee County photos by Howard Owens


One-Time Pledge of Support
Includes membership card, bumper sticker and entry into iPod Nano drawing.
Special Offer: Join by Dec. 15 and receive a calendar of Genesee County photos by Howard Owens

One-time Payment Options

Advance Order a 2013 Calendar - $25
Photos of Genesee County by Howard Owens. Some of the photos you've seen on The Batavian, some have not been published on The Batavian before.

Number of Calendars


November 20, 2012 - 8:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander.

Note: When the grand jury indicts individuals who have not been arrested, the indictments are sealed until the suspects are arrested and arraigned in county court. There have been a spate of recent arrests on sealed indictments. At the request of The Batavian, the District Attorney's Office today released all of the recent sealed indictments that have led to arrests. Some of these arrests have already been reported, but the indictments may contain additional relevant information.

Shawn Lardner is indicted on two counts of of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd. Lardner is accused of selling oxycodone on Dec. 14 at the intersection of Peviner Road and Route 98, Alexander. On Dec. 15, Lardner allegedly sold oxycodone at the same location.

Robert Andreasen is indicted on counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Andreasen is accused of possessing and selling cocaine in the parking lot of Pizza Hut/Dollar General in Batavia on Feb. 4.

Randy Wilmet is indicted on a count of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th. Wilmet is accused of selling hydrocodone at a location on Ross Street on May 23.

Tracey Cook is indicted on two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd. Cook is accused of selling hydrocodone at 52 Columbia Ave., Batavia, on April 4 and April 18.

Cody Bush is indicted on a count of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd and two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th. Bush is accused of selling oxycontin at a location on North Street, Batavia, on April 19. He is accused of selling hydrocodone at 162 Bank St., Batavia, on May 4, and of selling suboxone at 412 E. Main St., Batavia, on May 17.

November 20, 2012 - 8:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, infrastructure, Bethany Center Road.

After posting our pictures this morning of the Bethany Center Road bridge, we contacted some of the officials who might be able to provide information about potentially replacing the decaying structure. Here are the responses we received.

From Lori Maher, spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation:

The Bethany Center Road bridge over Route 20 in Bethany is open and safe for traffic despite its poor visual appearance. It is a candidate for future funding and will be competing for funds against other transportation needs in the seven-county area.

In a follow-up, Maher said no date for replacement has been scheduled.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

There are currently 2108 structurally deficient bridges in New York State, 214 in the Rochester Finger Lakes Region, with 123 bridges located in the 139th Assembly District. The Bethany Center Road bridge is slated for repair in 2015 once funding is approved. We are working diligently and directly with NYSDOT and our federal representatives to procure our equitable and fair share of funds to assure our motoring public and commerce are safe.

Daniel Aikin for Senator Michael Ranzenhofer:

Our district office has not been previously contacted about this specific bridge project, the decay and repair of the Bethany Center Road Bridge. Even though the bridge is located on a county road, the State Department of Transportation may have jurisdiction over the bridge since it crosses a state road, Route 20. Senator Ranzenhofer represented residents at the county level for many years, and he always makes an effort to assist with local infrastructure projects. As a state senator, he has been active in working with DOT officials -- both locally and in Albany -- on specific road and bridge projects. Our office has reached out to the State Department of Transportation for more information regarding this project.

From Grant Loomis, spokesman for Congressman-elect Chis Collins:

Upon taking office in January, Congressman-elect Collins will work hand-in-hand with local leaders to advocate for the necessary amount of federal matching funds to assist local communities in repairing and replacing aging infrastructure to ensure safety for the traveling public.

November 20, 2012 - 8:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

The Village of Corfu's newest part-time police officer made a bit of news earlier this year when his name surfaced as part of an alleged prostitution scandal involving a Buffalo-based state trooper.

Michael L. Petritz, 33, was suspended by the State Police in April and has since resigned from the force, though he's never been accused of criminal conduct.

Sgt. James Meier, Corfu police supervisor, said he completed a background check of Petritz before recommending him for the job.

"He wasn't engaged in criminal conduct," Meier said. "He was at a location he shouldn't have been at. He had no involvement with the parties whatsoever. There were never any criminal charges against him."

Petritz's suspension followed allegations of involvement with prostitution against Trooper Titus Taggart, an 18-year veteran of the State Police assigned to Troop T. Taggart was accused of organizing parties that may have included prostitutes. Taggart was eventually fired.

The only allegation against Petritz at the time was "misconduct," with no public disclosure of what that may have entailed.

Meier said he spoke to several people who knew Petritz, including supervisors, who all had good things to say about the former trooper, who, according to Meier, regularly led all of Troop T with the most citations issued.

"I personally did the checking into this guy," Meier said. "The people I talked to, especially his supervisors, said we were getting a highly trained, highly capable police officer. They all said we should be proud to have him."

November 20, 2012 - 5:16pm

Press release:

Join in the holiday spirit at the Annual Christmas in City Centre from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Downtown Batavia City Centre.

On Friday, activities include entertainment by the Batavia Concert Band and a visit with Santa Claus.

On Saturday, visit with Santa Claus, be entertained by Center Stage and see the various animals at the Zoo Mobile.

The Batavia Business Improvement District wants to remind you to "Shop Small and Local" for the holidays. Remember, this Saturday, Nov. 24, is Small Business Saturday.

For more information call 585-344-2518 or visit




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