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February 28, 2013 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, Oakfield, oakfield-alabama, Alabama.

Press release:

An Oakfield-Alabama Middle-High School senior has been named to Business First's 2013 All-Western New York Academic Team.

Jennifer Crossen (First Team) has qualified for this year's list of the 100 most outstanding high school seniors in the eight-county region.

Winners were chosen for their records of academic excellence, school leadership and community involvement. The top 25 were named to the First Team, 25 runners-up to the Second Team, and another 50 to the Special Mention list.

"This is an extremely exclusive award," said Jack Connors, president and publisher of Business First. "There are roughly 20,000 seniors in Western New York's high schools, and we've selected only 100 for this year's Academic Team. That's the upper one-half of 1 percent. They're truly the best and brightest students anywhere in our region."

Schools throughout the eight-county area were asked to nominate their smartest and most accomplished students for consideration by an eight-member committee, which included six admissions directors at area colleges and two Business First editors. A total of 121 schools responded with 437 nominees. (Each school was limited to four candidates.)

The complete list of 100 honorees -- along with their photos and profiles -- will be published in Business First's 2013-2014 Guide to Western New York Schools, which will hit newsstands on June 14.

February 28, 2013 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Attica, crime, alexander, Le Roy, Alabama.

Samantha Mary Williams, 32, of Lake Street, Le Roy, was arrested on bench warrants for alleged robbery, 3rd, grand larceny, 4th, criminal mischief, 4th, and petit larceny. She is also charged with resisting arrest. Deputy John Baiocco reportedly attempted to arrest Williams at 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, in the lobby of the DSS office. Williams allegedly resisted arrest. Deputy Joseph Graff assisted in the apprehension. Williams was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. Williams is reportedly also wanted by Batavia PD on a resisting arrest warrant.

John James Slack, 27, of Exchange Street, Attica, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Slack is accused of entering a residence in Alabama sometime over Father's Day weekend and stealing electronics, jewelry, money and other property. Slack is incarcerated at the Attica Correctional Facility on an unrelated matter.

Michael John Antonucci, 30, of Alexander Road, Alexander, is charged with menacing, 2rd, and harassment, 2nd. Antonucci is accused of pushing a person against a refrigerator and throwing a glass bowl and plate in her direction. An order of protection has been issued.

February 25, 2013 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, elba, Oakfield, Le Roy, Alabama.

Jihad Abdul Hakiim, 19, of W. 168th St., New York City, and William A. Hucks, 18, of State Road, Webster, are charged with burglary, 2nd. Hakiim and Hucks allegedly entered a dormitory suite at College Village through a window and took two XBox game consoles and games. Hakiim was jailed on $15,000 bail and Hucks was jailed on $5,000 bail. The case was investigated by Deputy Brian Thompson with K-9 Pharoah, Investigator William Ferrando, Deputy Patrick Reeves and Trooper Eric Daigler.

Jessie Marie Cramer, 27, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Cramer allegedly failed to appear in Town of Batavia Court on a petit larceny charge.

Justin Ryan Bidell, 38, of Meadville Road, Basom, was arrested on a bench warrant. Bidell turned himself in to the Sheriff's Office on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine.

Andrew William Bruckman, of Robertson Road, Churchville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bruckman was stopped on Route 33, Stafford, at 6:08 p.m. on Saturday by Deputy Kevin McCarthy, for allegedly pulling a trailer with switched plates and having an unregistered trailer. During the stop, Bruckman was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Steven Ronald Dennis, 23, of Maple Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding (94 in a 55 mph and 84 in a 30 mph), and unlawful possession of marijuana. Dennis was stopped at 1:21 a.m., Sunday, on Water Street, Oakfield, by Deputy James Diehl.

Eric Alexander Ion, 40, of Pike Road, Batavia, is charged with felony criminal contempt and assault, 3rd. Ion allegedly violated an order of protection by assaulting the protect party, causing injury. Ion was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Jon Hoyt Bush, 29, of Route 98, Elba, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd.  Bush was arrested on a warrant after being released from the Livingston County Jail. Bush was jailed in Genesee County on $1,000 bail.

Cazan Jayrryary Cummings, 20, of Avenue W, Brooklyn, is charged with trespassing. Cummings was allegedly at College Village after being banned from the property.

Nicole Lee Cramer, 23, of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Cramer was a passenger in a vehicle stopped on Route 5, City of Batavia, at 1:07 a.m. on Saturday by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Cramer was allegedly found in possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Upon further investigation, an amount of suspected cocaine was found concealed in an undergarment.

February 20, 2013 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama.

Earl Francis Sprague, 42, of 1366 Church St., Alabama, already indicted on 28 counts of sexual abuse, is facing new felony charges after he was arraigned in county court today on a new indictment.

The sealed Grand Jury indictment was opened by Judge Robert C. Noonan while Sprague was in court. It contained 12 new counts against Sprague, who has also been accused of trying to have somebody murdered.

Among the new counts against Sprague is predatory sexual assault, a Class A-II felony that carries a possible sentence of 10 to 25 years in prison.

He's also charged with two Class B felonies of first-degree burglary. People convicted of Class B felonies can be sent to prison for up to 25 years.

He's also charged with first-degree sexual abuse, assault, 1st, and four counts of criminal contempt, 2nd.

In the new indictment, Sprague is accused of unlawfully entering a dwelling in the Town of Alabama and causing physical injury to another person at least twice in January, 2010.

He is accused of subjecting another person to sexual contact by force and using a foreign object in a sexual manner by force.

The predatory sexual abuse charge alleges that in the process of the forced sexual contact with a foreign object he caused physical injury to the victim.

Sprague is also accused of contacting by telephone on four separate occasions in September and January a person he was ordered by a judge not to contact.


February 15, 2013 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Alabama.

At least four vehicles were broken into overnight in the area of 358 Bloomingdale Road in Alabama, according to scanner traffic. Sheriff's investigators are on scene. The location is between Shanks and Tesnow roads.

February 9, 2013 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield, pembroke, Alabama, indian falls.

I left the house early this morning looking for snow-related photos.

I started at Centennial Park and grabbed this picture of the gate at the Rowell Mansion flocked in snow.

Tree on Lockport Road, east of Albion Road

Same spot on Lockport Road, other side of the street

Ledge Road and Alleghany Road, Alabama

Indian Falls

February 8, 2013 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander, Alabama.

Penny Sue Sprague, 42, of Oakfield, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Sprague is accused of entering a residence without permission on Father's Day weekend and stealing several items, including electronics, jewelry, money and other property.  Following arraignment, Sprague was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Scott D. Fairfield, 19, of 131 S. Swan St., Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest. Fairfield is accused of interfering with the arrest of another person at his residence. No further information was released.

Timothy James Walsh, 44, of Redfield Parkway, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Walsh is accused of using a motor vehicle to recklessly damaging the property of another person on Hunn Road, Alexander, on Feb. 3.

February 3, 2013 - 12:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama.

Deputy Brian Thompson said it felt a little like Hansel and Gretel on Route 63 this morning, but it wasn't bread crumbs he was following -- it was bits and pieces of a mangled car.

Orleans County Sheriff's deputies had arrested a man for allegedly driving drunk and his car was badly damaged from an apparent accident.

Thompson got the call about 8 a.m. to try to find the accident location, which authorities believed was somewhere between the Walmart in Batavia and Orleans County.

"That's a big area to search," Thompson said.

He started at the Orleans County line and headed south on Route 63. 

Besides car parts, Thompson said there was a long, large gouge in the roadway from the wheel assembly of the car, which had lost a front tire and rim in the accident.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office was first alerted to a possible intoxicated driver just before 5 a.m. when dispatchers received a report of a badly damaged red car heading north on Route 77.

The car was never located in Genesee County.

At 5:28 a.m., the Orleans County Sheriff's Office received a report of a red car heading north on Route 63 with sparks flying from under the car.

A short time later, an Orleans County deputy located a man walking in the Sanderson/Water Works area. Deputies later found the car, which was missing both front fenders, the front license plate and a tire and rim.

Thompson found the first evidence of an accident about a 10th of a mile inside Genesee County, where a car had struck a bridge, which is where the vehicle lost its right front tire.

Dispatchers then received a report from a resident on Judge Road that a mailbox had been knocked over. Thompson proceeded to that location and found more car parts, including what appears to be the missing license plate from the red 2001 Olds Alero located in Orleans County.

According to Thompson's accident report, the Alero was westbound on Judge Road and failed to keep right, crossing into and across the eastbound lane.

The Alero struck a mailbox at 1376 Judge Road.

The vehicle continued westbound, across the lawn of the residence and then struck and destroyed a concrete survey marker.

The car continued on to property at 1378 Judge Road, striking a tree stump and bush.

The driver is identified as 21-year-old Brandon M. Sponaugle, of Ridge Road, Medina.

An Orleans County dispatcher confirmed the driver of the car had been charged with DWI but had no further information available this morning.

Thompson's report indicates Sponaugle was allegedly driving on a suspended license. Additional charges are pending in Genesee County.

"I don't know how he made it as far as he did," Thompson said. "I'm glad no one was killed, that's for sure."

February 2, 2013 - 7:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama.

A 21-year-old Alabama man remains in jail, accused of rape, after he allegedly forced a woman he knew into sexual intercourse as his way to settle an argument.

The man is accused both of forced intercourse and forced sexual contact, according to State Police.

Matthew R. Smith, of Lewiston Road, is charged with rape in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree.

He was jailed on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to reappear in Alabama Town Court at 1 p.m., Feb. 7.

Smith has been ordered to have absolutely no contact with the woman.

February 2, 2013 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

Injuries are reported in an accident in the area of 1182 Ledge Road, Alabama.

A car has reportedly struck a tree.

Alabama Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:44 a.m.: Alabama is back in service.

View Larger Map

January 31, 2013 - 4:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama.

The trial date for an Alabama man indicted on 28 counts of sexual abuse has been moved back, giving his new attorney time to become familiar with the case.

Earl Francis Sprague , 42, of Church Street, Alabama, was also later indicted on counts of criminal solicitation, 2nd, for allegedly trying to hire somebody to murder a witness.

Last week, William Harper, of the Public Defender's Office, withdrew from the case, citing a conflict of interest. Harper is representing one of the criminal solicitation witnesses on an unrelated criminal matter.

Since the witness wouldn't agree to a new attorney, Sprague consented to the change of attorney.

He is now represented by Fred Rarick, who was assigned to the case today.

Attorney and client will appear in court Feb. 20 to update Noonan on Rarick's progress in becoming familiar with the case, at which time a trial date will be set.

In August, Sprague was indicted on 28 counts sexual abuse in the first degree against a child under age 11. He allegedly abused a child on 28 separate occasions from 1999 through 2009.

Sprague is currently being held in the Genesee County Jail.

January 30, 2013 - 11:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, Alabama.

Thomas Ianello Jr., 27, of 8 St. Marks St., Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and petit larceny. Ianello is accused of wrongfully possessing a debit card belonging to another person and then using that debit card to make withdrawals. Ianello was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Cara Leigh Skye, 24, of South Loop, Steamburg, is charged with a felony count of bail jumping. Skye allegedly failed to appear for a court case in Alabama Town Court. Bail was set at $6,000.

January 28, 2013 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Oakfield, pembroke, Le Roy, Alabama, corfu.

Richard David Farley, 64, of New Bethehem, Pa., is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, unlawful possession of marijuana and possession alcohol in a motor vehicle. Farley was a passenger in a vehicle stopped on Route 77 in the Village of Corfu at 11:58 p.m. on Friday. During the traffic stop, Farley was allegedly found in possession of an open container of alcohol, a marijuana cigarette and a loaded, unregistered semi-automatic .22-caliber pistol. Farley was jailed on $2,000 bail.

Brandon P. Stagg, 20, and Oscar J. Familia, 21, of 25 Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, are charged with possession of alcohol under age 21 and unnecessary noise. Stagg and Familia were arrested following a complaint of an underage drinking party at their home. Stagg was charged with possession of alcohol and Familia was charged with unnecessary noise.

Caroline B. Robinson, 31, of 38 Gilbert St., Le Roy, is charged with trespass. Robinson is accused of remaining at a hotel on Oak Street after being told to leave by hotel staff and a Batavia PD officer.

William G. Raschi, 62, of 5630 W. Lake Road, Conesus, is charged with felony DWI, unlicensed operation, unsafe lane change, failure to stop for traffic signal and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Raschi was stopped on East Main Street, Batavia, at 5:57 p.m. Saturday, by Officer Matt Lutey. The charge is a felony because of an alleged prior DWI conviction in the previous 10 years. Raschi was jailed without bail pending a court appearance today.

Steven J. Raimondi, 19, of 679 E. Main St., is charged with possession of alcohol under age 21. Raimondi allegedly hosted a large underage drinking party at his residence, which was reported at 1:12 a.m., Sunday. A 16-year-old female was also charged.

Paul B. Heale, 58, of 234 Ellicott St., lower, Batavia, is charged with DWAI. Heale was stopped following a complaint of a possibly intoxicated driver at 2:30 p.m. Thursday on Pearl Street by Officer Eric Hill.

Robert D. Griffin Sr., 34, of 319 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal mischief, 4th. Griffin is accused of breaking a window by throwing a boot at it during an argument and then preventing a female from calling police by taking her mobile phone.

Frank J. Falcone, 27, of 10599 Main St., upper, Alexander, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Falcone was charged following a lengthy investigation by Batavia PD into an incident in the parking lot of Billy Goats on Oct. 20. Falcone is accused of kicking a vehicle, causing damage, and of punching and slapping the owner of the vehicle.

Tharon Joseph Kunkle, 52, of Read Road, Pembroke, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, operating an ATV on a public highway and unregistered ATV. Kunkle was charged after allegedly being observed driving his ATV on Route 5, Batavia at 2:32 a.m. Sunday by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Samantha Nicole Frear, 25, of Hempstead Avenue, Buffalo, was arrested on a bench warrant out of Town of Darien Court by Buffalo PD following a traffic stop.  The warrant stems from a harassment, 2nd, charge in November, 2009. 

John J. Maroni, 50, of Clay, is charged with possession of unstamped cigarettes, DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to use/improper use of four-way flashers, and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Maroni was arrested following a report of a vehicle parked along the roadway on Oakfield-Elba Townline Road, Oakfield at 7:13 p.m., Friday.

Vincent Donald Henning, 35, of Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with BAC of .18 or greater, improper right turn and unlicensed operator. Henning was stopped on Seven Springs Road, Batavia, at 10:47 p.m. Friday by Deputy James Diehl.

Andrew Garry Anderson, 28, of Basom, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding in zone (65 in a 40 mph zone). Anderson was stopped on Route 77, Basom, at 12:25 a.m. Friday by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Danielle R. Dixon, 29, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Dixon was stopped at 2:30 a.m. Sunday on Hutton Road, Oakfield, by State Police.

January 25, 2013 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Oakfield, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Heather M. Ground, 27, of Meadville Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, and Casey A. Jonathan, 35, of Skye Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, are charged with harassment, 2nd. Ground and Jonathan allegedly became involved in a dispute during a ceremony at the Longhouse on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Ground allegedly pushed and then punched Jonathan. A few minutes later, Jonathan allegedly punched Ground in the mouth.

Shawn C. Wetmore, 40, of 38 Maple St., Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. During a fight, Wetmore allegedly kicked a door open, which was close to an infant. He allegedly threw an item at another person. Wetmore was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Carrie Q. Blunt, 20, of 24 Thomas Ave., Batavia, is charged with false personation. Blunt was arrested on a bench warrant during an unrelated investigation.

Keith Joseph Jackson, 18, of Slusser Road, Batavia, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol under age 21. Also charged, Corey Jarome Mooney, 19, of Lockport Road, Oakfield, and a 17-year-old female resident of State Street, Batavia. The trio was allegedly at an underage drinking party at 12:04 a.m., Saturday, on Orchard Street in Oakfield. The case was investigated by Deputy Patrick Reeves and Deputy Matthew Fleming.

Devine Raheem Worthy, 28, of Congress Street, Buffalo, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to pay restitution.

January 24, 2013 - 8:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A pregnant female has possibly suffered a minor injury in a motor-vehicle accident in the area of 1046 Bloomingdale Road in Alabama. Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 8:44 p.m.: The responders were advised to proceed in non-emergency mode for a possible sign-off.

January 23, 2013 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A driver may have been going to fast for conditions at 8 p.m., Tuesday, when she apparently lost control of her car on Ledge Road in Alabama, causing a minor injury accident.

Cited for allegedly driving at a speed not reasonable or prudent was 20-year-old Jessica Metzler, of Portland.

Metzler was southbound on Reuben Road when she lost control of a 2010 Chevy sedan owned by Lauren Reinhardt, of Farmington. She drove off the left shoulder of Ledge Road, came back onto the roadway, drove off the south shoulder again, went back onto the roadway and into the westbound lane of Ledge Road and exited the north shoulder, hitting a sign post and then a large rock.

Reinhardt, 22, suffered a minor injury but did not require transportation to a hospital.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Tim Wescott.

Police accident report sketch.

January 22, 2013 - 3:46am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A structure fire is reported next to 218 Skye Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The location is between Council House Road and the dead end. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding and mutual aid is requested from Akron.

UPDATE 3:51 a.m.: House-trailer fire in the woods. Fully involved with propane tanks nearby. All occupants are accounted for.

UPDATE 3:53 a.m.: Indian Falls Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 3:55 a.m.: Command says all units can back it down. "This thing's just about on the ground."

UPDATE 4:02 a.m.: Akron is asked to get water from a source at Jan's Smoke Shop and to have its tanker proceed into the scene. The family which lived in the trailer has been living at a different residence and no members were in the trailer at the time the fire started.

UPDATE 4:12 a.m.: Pembroke Fire Department is on location.

UPDATE 5:27 a.m.: The fire has been out for awhile and all responders are back in service.

January 20, 2013 - 6:58am
posted by Alecia Kaus in fire, Alabama.

A working house fire has been reported on Bloomingdale Road near Ackerson Road.

Flames showing in second story. Second alarm.

All people accounted for in the house.

Alabama Fire Department responding.

On my way to the scene.

UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: Bill Schutt, assistant fire chief for the Town of Alabama Fire Department, says when crews arrived on scene the homeowner was on the roof in his bare feet trying to push the chimney away from the house.  

The homeowner was later transported to an area hospital with burns to his legs. According to the homeowner's statements, the fire started in the chimney.

The fire then quickly spread to the second story and got out of control with help from the high winds. Fire crews also ran out of water at the scene several times. Tankers hauled in water from ponds that were quite a distance from the fire.

About 12 companies helped fight the fire. Several were called in from Erie and Orleans counties due to the amount of local departments already out on calls for trees and wires down.

The home is a total loss.Firefighters will be on scene for some time to get it under control.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m.: Red Cross has been called in to help the two adults that live in the home.

Mercy medic called non-emergency to the scene for a firefighter with a minor injury.

UPDATE 3:07 p.m. (by Howard): Photo below submitted by a reader.

January 18, 2013 - 5:53pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in elba, Alabama, town of batavia, Burglaries.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is investigating a number of daytime, residential burglaries that occurred on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The burglaries happened along Ridge Road and Lockport Road in Elba, Ham Road in Alabama, and Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road in Batavia. All residences were broken into by forcing open locked rear or side doors. Property stolen consisted of jewelry and electronic devices.

The Sheriff's Office would like residents in Genesee County to be extra vigilant and immediately report anything suspicious such as someone knocking on your door asking for directions, any vehicle being operated in an unusual manner, or if you witness any vehicles or individuals that appear suspicious.

Also, keep an eye on your neighbors' residence and report anything that appears to be suspicious or out of place.  

Contact the Genesee County Sheriff's Office at 585-343-5000 to report any such incidents.

January 11, 2013 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, Stafford, Alabama.

Stephen P. Pahuta III, is indicted on charges of on two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, one count of strangulation in the second degree, coercion in the first degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree and assault in the third degree. Pahuta is accused of choking another person June 23 at a location in the Town of Alabama. It's alleged that the victim lost consciousness or was in a stupor for a period of time. Pahuta is accused of instilling fear in the victim so she wouldn't contact law enforcement. There also an alleged choking incident July 16. Pahuta is accused of damaging a phone to prevent the victim from requesting emergency assistance.

Richard R. Vetter is indicted on on count of grand larceny in the third degree and 16 counts of falsifying business records. Vetter is accused of stealing $8,689.78 from a business in Darien. He is accused of making at least 16 false entries into log books to conceal his theft of cash from the business.

Mark K. Biggins is indicted on counts of felony DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. It is alleged that Biggins drove drunk on Route 33 in Stafford on Sept. 12. According to the indictment, Biggins was convicted of DWI in July, 2003.


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