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August 30, 2016 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Big Tree Glen, batavia, affordable housing, news.

Press release:

The United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) and Conifer Realty, LLC, joined by local officials and community leaders, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning for a 56-unit apartment community in Batavia. 

Big Tree Glen, located at 3727 W. Main St. Road, offers seven high-quality, two-story buildings featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes for working families earning 60 percent or less of Genesee County’s area median income (“AMI”). Rents range from $569-$916 per month (with a 12-month lease). Apartments range in size from 725 square feet to 1,200 square feet.

James S. Rubin, commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said, “Big Tree Glen offers families access to one of the highest-performing districts in Western New York, and is in close proximity to jobs, shopping and services. Affordable housing developments like Big Tree Glen provide greater options and opportunities for residents, and make New York a better place to live and work.”

Daniel P. Ireland, BSN, MBA, FACHE, president for UMMC, said, “Rochester Regional Health Memorial Medical Center supports Big Tree Glen affordable housing. Safe, reliable housing is a major component of healthier communities and this initiative aligns with our vision of leading the evolution of health care to enable every member of the communities we serve to enjoy a better, healthier life. We are excited to see this project develop and reach the completion of this phase.”

Tim Fournier, Chairman and CEO of Conifer Realty stated, “Conifer could not accomplish what it has in the affordable housing industry in New York State for the past 40 years without the unwavering support of our state and nonprofit partners, like Rochester Regional’s United Memorial Medical Center.” He added, “Big Tree Glen is evidence that the public-private partnerships and collaborative team efforts yield vital, brand new, affordable homes for so many in Batavia.”

Conifer Realty, LLC, was the developer, the total development costs are in excess of $12 million. Permanent financing sources for the apartment community include a $1,220,000 loan from Community Preservation Corporation; $3,200,000 loan from Bank of America; $382,135 loan from New York State Housing Trust Fund; $7,289,751 Federal Tax Credit Equity from Red Stone Equity Partners; and Bank of America provided a $6,300,000 construction loan.

Conifer is a nationally ranked, full-service real estate company specializing in the development, construction, management and ownership of high-quality, affordable housing communities.

August 30, 2016 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jason Lang, business, Grab-a-Cap, batavia.

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jasonlangaug2016.jpgJason Lang is trying to fashion for himself something that is rare in life: a do-over. And if he does, maybe he can set an example for others who fell for drugs as hard as he did.

Lang had a good life, as he sees it. He was running a successful cab company, making good money, and then he wanted to expand his entrepreneurial horizons.

He thought there might be a place in Batavia for a head shop with a tattoo and piercing parlor attached. He called it The Laughing Budda.  

Good name. Bad business.

"I opened the smoke shop and that was like the worse mistake of my life," Lang said. " I opened that because at the time, I was bored. The cab company at its peak and I wanted to find something new. As an entrepreneur, I was always thinking of different ideas so I thought of a tattoo, piercing and smoke shop and then the troubles that came with that business took me out of reality.

"It’s just a big regret," he added, "...If I could go back in time, I would have put more into the cab company instead of choosing another business."

Lang said he didn't start using drugs, specifically bath salts, until after law enforcement raided his shop and seized much of his inventory.

The seizure cost him more than $200,000, he said, and brought him to the brink of financial ruin.

He became depressed, he said.

Authorities had seized much of the synthetic drugs stored in his shop, but they didn't get all of it. The inventory he had left over, he started using.

This was the spring of 2012, when news was starting to spread across the country of people doing bizarre things while reportedly high on a form of synthetic drugs known as bath salts. 

By the summer, the strange behavior had spread to Batavia, with people climbing on roofs, getting into odd confrontations, causing trouble in the emergency room at UMMC, and Lang himself calling police with reports of gunshots at a local hotel (it didn't happen, and he was arrested for making a false report) and weaving tales of elaborate conspiracy theories.

"I just lost my mind," Lang said. "I was acting completely crazy. I had no concept of reality. I thought all these strange, crazy things were going on. I kept having run-ins with law enforcement and I got placed under mental arrest. It was just insane."

Lang knows he contributed to the rise of bath salt usage in Genesee County, and he now regrets it apologies to the community for it. But about the time his shop was closed, the 420 Emporium opened at 400 Ellicott St. The insanity continued until federal, state and local authorities raided that shop and another of the chain's locations in Brockport and Fulton as part of a nationwide operation to rein in bath salt distribution.

At first, the Laughing Buddha was much like any other head shop that had existed for decades. It sold paraphernalia, such as glass pipes, that technically had legitimate uses other than the consumption of illicit drugs, and the shop also offered tattoos and piercings, but in the process of building his business, Lang attended conventions in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Distributors there were pushing products such as K2, Spice (synthetic marijuana) and Amp, among other products generally known as "bath salts" that were said to mimic harder drugs, such as cocaine.

"They were really pushing it on the smoke shops saying, ‘it’s legal. It’s nothing to worry about,'" Lang said. "They said there were these huge profits involved."

So, Lang stocked up. The packets were available under glass at his front counter. The law at the time was a bit more ambiguous. The federal law dealing with what are called analogues was considered hard to enforce and Lang's shop wasn't raided until after state health officials determined the drugs violated health and safety standards.

At the time, Lang said then and admits now, he didn't think the drugs were a big deal and back then he defended his business practices.

"At the time I was like, ‘I don’t care. It’s their choice,’ " Lang said. "If somebody wants to do any drug, that’s their choice. That’s the outlook I had on it. Now, that I’ve been on the other side of the fence and addicted to drugs, I would never open a business like that again or sell drugs, or be involved with anything like that, because now I know firsthand what it does to people. I was naive to that before."

Lang's fall was probably as complete as they come.  

According to Lang, by 2012, seven years after starting Batavia Cab, he was doing pretty well, pulling in $5,000 to $6,000 a week and by his own admission, feeling pretty cocky. He thought he had it good.

Before the year was out, he would have spent his first night in jail, had his name spread through the media from Rochester to Buffalo and be on the verge of losing his cab operation -- he did eventually sell it in 2013, and it is still in operation, with its third owner.

Criminal prosecution led to a chance at rehab, and through rehab, Lang met heroin.

"It was a big relief when I first started doing heroin because it took away all the paranoia and it got me away from the bath salts," said Lang, explaining the opiate's initial allure.

Of course, with heroin, once addicted -- and it's highly addictive -- the high you chase is elusive yet it's hard to function without the drug in your system. You need the drug just to feel normal (according to medical literature).

It didn't take long for heroin to wipe out what little money Lang had left and then he turned to shoplifiting. He was arrested in multiple jurisdictions, including as far away as Hamburg and Victor.  

"I was even homeless at one point, which was a huge turnaround for me because just years prior I was vacationing all over with my family and staying in nice hotels, and then I’m homeless in Rochester and I’m a heroin addict," Lang said.

He was eventually arrested on felonies in Orleans and Ontario counties, which led to a prison term.

Prison included three months of 23-hours-a-day locked by himself in a cell. That gave him a lot of time to think, he said.

"I wasn’t using drugs and in those moments of clarity I could think about everything," Lang said. "That's all you could do is sit and think all day. I realized I really screwed up. I decided to just get through the prison time. I choose not to use drugs in prison, and there are tons of drugs in prison, and I stayed clean the whole time I was in there. Because of that, they sent me to shock camp where I became a squad leader for my platoon. I really excelled through all of that and I just decided I wanted to get back to the old me."

Once home, his son, Lathan, started pushing him to get back into the cab business. Lang said Lathan is already bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and helped him plan his return.

Lathan even came up with the name for the new cab company, Grab-A-Cab.

Lang had already determined he wanted to stay away from a name with a regional identification. He felt calling his previous cab company, Batavia Cab, limited its growth potential. It made it hard to expand into other counties.

"I liked that name," Lang said of Grab-A-Cab. "It seemed kind of modern and trendy and I thought it would be a good name that would go with expanding the business and developing an app."

Lang admits to having big plans. The new cab company should launch soon. He's got one cab painted and decaled and ready to go and he's hired six drivers and plans to add a second cab to his fleet as soon as he can. And, yes, he hopes to build an app for cabbies. He said it will borrow ideas from Uber, which can't legally operate in Upstate, but for licensed and properly insured hacks.

"I miss the cab business," Lang said. "I love driving. I love meeting people, talking with people, knowing people, knowing other business owners. I miss it."

He thinks Batavia is still a wide open market and he's heard from friends and family and former customers who say the cab business in Batavia hasn't been the same since he got out of it. He said he's already lined up several transportation contracts, so he'll get off to a good start.

But he knows to keep it going, he's got to stay clean, and that means not associating with the people he did back when he was hooked on narcotics.

"I don’t talk to anybody who is involved in selling drugs or using drugs," Lang said. "I stay away from all of that now. I’ve got a lot of clean time now and I just want to do good. I know I have the potential to do good and I have good ideas. I learned a big lesson from everything."

If he does good, he thinks both his example, the money he earns and the business he's able to build, will enable him to be in a position to help other addicts.

He's gone from a guy who thought drugs were just a recreational activity that only losers couldn't handle to somebody who now understands drugs can grab ahold of anybody and change their lives in horrible ways.  

"I met people who have been using drugs since their teenage years and they don’t have any faith that there is any better life out there," Lang said. "They just keep relapsing and they just think there is nothing better. I want to prove to people that you can pull it together.

"I know people just look at addicts like scum of the earth," Lang added. "They're really not. There are a lot of really great people I’ve met in rehabs. A lot of people I met in prison, even though they may keep relapsing, going back to it, they don’t want that life. They don't want to be shoplifting and they don’t want to be committing whatever crimes they’re doing. They just have a really bad addiction that keeps leading them back to that."

He'd like to start a program for people who need a hand up, out of addiction.

"I'd like to help people who don't have entrepreneurial skills because nobody is going to give them a fair shot," Lang said. "There’s not a hot of help out there for people like that. Maybe I can help them with some other business venture, or help guys that need employment and need guidance and help them out because there's nobody who cares about them."

August 30, 2016 - 3:00pm

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August 30, 2016 - 2:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, byron, news.

Robert James Moulthrop, 48, Mechanic Street, Byron, is charged with: driving with a BAC of .08 percent or higher; DWI; aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd; and unlawful operation of an ATV on a public highway. At 8:18 p.m. on Aug. 27, the defendant was arrested on Byron Holley Road in Byron for allegedly driving while intoxicated. The arrest came after an investigation into a traffic offenses complaint of a dirt bike racing up and down Route 237 in the Town of Byron. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy Chad Cummings.

Corey D. Wilson, 20, of Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 2 a.m. on Aug. 28, Batavia police conducted a traffic stop on Oak Street for a speed violation. A vehicle search was conducted and patrols found two male occupants allegedly in possession of two bags of marijuana. Wilson was issued an appearance ticket and he was also cited for the speed violation. Wilson is due in City Court on Sept. 13. The case was investigated by Batavia PoliceOfficer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Maliq N. Douglas, 19, of New Jersey Avenue, Brooklyn, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Douglas was arrested at 2 a.m. on Aug. 28 on Oak Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. A vehicle search was conducted and patrols found two male occupants allegedly in possession of two bags of marijuana. Douglas was processed and released with an appearance ticket to City Court on Sept. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

August 29, 2016 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in p.w. minor, business, batavia, news.

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About 3,900 pairs of shoes are rolling down a highway tonight in the back of a semi-trailer bound for Louisiana.

The shoes are being donated to flood victims in the Baton Rouge area by p.w. minor.

CEO Pete Zeliff said he decided to make the donation just as a way to give back.

"Nothing more than that," he said.

"We partnered with a program called Soles for Souls through the National Shoe Retailers Association," Zeliff said. "They paid to send the truck and pay the freight and we specified that they go to Louisiana."

Most of the shoes on the 27 pallets loaded onto the truck this afternoon were manufactured in China and were being sold as closeouts, but Zeliff said he decided it would be better to donate them to flood victims.

Over the past several months, p.w. minor has moved production out of China with the goal of making all of the company's shoes in Batavia.

"We'll be making 500 pair a day by the end of this year and 1,000 pair a day by next August," Zeliff said.

Much of the ramp-up in production is made possible by a bevy of new machines that automate much of the shoe production process.

Zeliff said with a robot and another automated machine in place, the plant is already 20-percent automated. Nine more machines arrived within the past week and are being put into service.

The jobs of one of the machines in production can perform is to rough up the leather on the shoe so the glue binds better when the sole is attached.

"We went from five minutes to rough a pair of shoes to last week to Denise did a six-pair rack in 40 seconds," Zeliff said.

It's been his goal to move all of the company's shoe production back to Batavia since he and a partner rescued the business just before it was shut down, but the process has taken longer than expected.

"It will take three years from the time we invested in the assets of this company," Zeliff said. "It’s not as quick as I would have liked it to have been, but it’s still a pretty good accomplishment, I feel."

Below, photo provided by Pete Zeliff of his granddaughter, Nicole, with a country star Keith Urban and his band new pair of p.w. minor shoes. Zeliff took his family to see Urban at his show in Camden, N.J.

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August 29, 2016 - 5:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, oak field.

SUNY Oswego has made merit awards to a select group of area students among the more than 675 transfer students who are starting at the college this fall.

SUNY Oswego's merit awards recognize students' past academic achievements and potential for success. A select group among the more than 675 transfer students received the awards. The Transfer Merit Award is $1,000 and the Transfer Achievement Award is $2,000; for deserving non-New York state students, the total award can be as much as $36,000 or $37,000, respectively, in combination with a Destination Oswego scholarship.

  • Sharon Knaudt, of Summit Street in Batavia, majoring in broadcasting and mass communication, last attended Genesee Community College
  • Michaela J. Hale, of South Pearl Road in Oakfield, majoring in Spanish, last attended Genesee Community College

The awards are part of about $5 million in merit scholarship money offered at SUNY Oswego. These funds are in addition to the more than $80 million in need-based grants, loans, work-study and scholarship awards that SUNY Oswego students receive annually.

A 155-year-old comprehensive college in the State University of New York system, Oswego enrolls about 8,000 students in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and School of Education.

Visit oswego.edu for more information.

August 29, 2016 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia, Darien.

Robert T. Hoffman, 37, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Aug. 27 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: one count of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor; unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor; endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor; and criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor. Hoffman was arrested following a complaint of a domestic incident that occurred in the early hours of the morning. During the altercation Hoffman allegedly held the victim against their will refusing to let them leave, at one point the victim was held by their throat obstructing their ability to breath. Hoffman also prevented the victim from calling 9-1-1, preventing them from requesting emergency assistance. All this took place in front of a child under the age of 17. Hoffman was arraigned and jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Hoffman is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on Sept. 6.

Katelyn M. Hall, 22, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested at 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 28 and charged with first-degree criminal contempt -- violation of an order of protection, physical contact. Hall allegedly pushed and struck another individual who was the protected party of an active order of protection. She was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and held on no bail. Hall was due in Batavia City Court earlier this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Alex Isaac, 27, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief -- damage to another's property exceeding $250. Isaac was arrested at 3:15 a.m. on Aug. 28 following an incident wherein he allegedly damaged headlights and taillights of a car belonging to another person on Hutchins Street. Isaac was located at an acquaintance's residence on Thorpe Street. Isaac was taken into custody without incident, issued an appearance ticket and released. Isaac is due in City Court on Aug. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Timothy J. Wood Sr., 27, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. He was arrested at 4:14 p.m. on Aug. 25 on South Main Street in Batavia after being located allegedly riding a bicycle that had been reported stolen earlier in the day. He was processed, released on an appearance ticket and is due in City Court on Sept. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Gina L. Avino, 41, of Haven Lane, Batavia, was arrested at 11:50 p.m. on Aug. 26 on Walnut Street, Batavia, after allegedly refusing to leave a residence despite being told to do so several times. Avino was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket and release. Avino is due in City Court on Sept. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Pater Flanagan, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Russell Scott Neureuther, 18, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. He was arrested at 7:39 p.m. on Aug. 26 following the investigation of a disorderly conduct complaint on Colby Road in the Town of Darien. Neureuther was allegedly found to be highly intoxicated by alcohol and walking in the road, obstructing traffic. He was arraigned and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $200 cash bail. He is due in Darien court on Sept. 6. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Sgt. Jason Saile, assisted by Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

David A. Stanton, 32, of Union Church Road, Franklin, is charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd; operating a motor vehicle with suspended registration; and operating a motor vehicle without insurance. At about 6:18 p.m. on Aug. 27, a Genesee County Sheriff's Office patrol reported that a vehicle with a suspended registration was traveling north on Ellicott Street Road toward the City of Batavia. Batavia police located the vehicle on Oak Street and confirmed the suspended registration and initiated a traffic stop. Stanton was found to be operating the vehicle with suspended registration and with no insurance in effect. He was arrested and paid $200 police bail and was issued traffic tickets. Stanton is scheduled to be in City Court on Sept. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

August 29, 2016 - 3:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, BHS.

Batavia High School will host a brief parent orientation for parents of incoming freshmen and transfer students new to the High School at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Parents will have the opportunity of meeting available staff and administration who will introduce parents to BHS policies, programs and expectations. All first-time BHS parents will find this informational session helpful in transitioning their child to the High School. This is also an opportunity for parents who once again have a student at BHS to learn about any new changes.

Link Crew Day 1 for Freshmen Students Only

Thursday, Sept. 1, @ 8 - 11:30 a.m.

Batavia High School will host a Link Crew Day 1 for freshmen students only on Thursday, Sept. 1st from 8 - 11:30 a.m. Incoming freshmen and pre-approved Link Leaders will be the only students attending school on this day.  Upperclassmen need not attend school on Sept. 1st as incoming freshmen will be participating in freshmen transition activities. Link Crew is based upon a simple concept: linking freshmen with successful upperclassmen. While creating a sense of comfort for incoming students, the Link Crew concept also addresses the attitudes of upperclassmen toward freshmen and respect for freshmen becomes the norm.  

Schools today are different than ever before, as are students, families and communities. The transition from middle school to high school is one of the most difficult ones young people face, expectations are greater and schools are larger. Research has shown that if a student makes it successfully through his/her first year of high school, he or she will have “made it,” and he/she can be expected to graduate. With this in mind, Link Crew has been developed as a program to help students make the transition with specific intervention and support from older peers. 

Link Crew Day 2 for Freshmen & Transfer Students Only

Wednesday, Sept. 7, @ 8 - 11:30 a.m.

Batavia High School will host a Link Crew Day 2 for freshmen and any transfer students new to Batavia High School on Wednesday, Sept. 7th from 8 - 11:30 a.m. These students will once again participate in various activities using the Link Crew transition program. Upperclassmen should not attend as freshmen and transfer students will get to do a walk-through of their schedule, meet their teachers, and will get acclimated to their lockers and lunch routines.   

There is no school for faculty and students on Monday, Sept. 5th in observance of Labor Day. Tuesday, Sept. 6th is a Superintendent’s Conference Day for all district faculty and staff. The morning of Wednesday, Sept. 7th is Link Crew Day 2 for freshmen and transfer students only.

The first day of classes for ALL BHS students is Thursday, Sept 8th.

Anyone with questions is asked to contact the BHS Counseling Center at 343-2480, ext. 2002.

August 27, 2016 - 3:55pm

Press release:

Area residents will be noticing some changes at the Arc of Genesee Orleans Transfer Station & Recycling Center over the next several weeks. Beginning Monday, Aug. 29, the facility, located at 3785 W. Main Street Road will be undergoing renovations to expand and improve service to the community.

Renovations will include a new building enclosure with service lane upgrades for the recycling, bottle redemption and secure document destruction service. During renovations, the Transfer Station is OPEN and will provide the same services but at a different location on the property for the next several weeks.

Customers are asked to follow the signs once turning into the property. The Transfer Station’s service and receiving area will be located near the back of the building.  Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesdays until 8 p.m.

Any questions feel free to contact Paul Saskowski, director of Operations, at 585-343-4203. 

August 27, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, housing rehab, home improvements, announcement.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is considering applying for Federal grant assistance to help income-eligible, owner-occupied, single-family homeowners with essential home improvements.

If you own a single-family home in need of repairs, please download the survey from the City’s “Useful Links” tab on the City’s homepage at www.batavianewyork.com. Click on Residential Rehabilitation Survey. Or you may pick up a survey in the City Manager’s office at City Hall.

Grant money would enable homeowners to make home repairs with grant and low-interest loan funding.

The City of Batavia is requesting your full cooperation to help us obtain housing rehabilitation grant funding. Please complete and mail in or drop off the surveys to the City Manager’s Office, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, New York, 14020.

If you have any questions please contact the City Manager’s office at 585-345-6330. 

August 27, 2016 - 2:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, news.

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Over his 28 years in law enforcement, Kris Kautz has helped a lot of people and that's the best part of the job.

Mostly, it's about helping the victims of crime, mainly by finding the people who stole from them or harmed them or a member of their families.

But sometimes it's helping those same criminals get their lives turned around.

Now he's moving on to a job he thinks will be just as gratifying -- a security aide for Batavia City Schools.

"It’s a more laid-back position, obviously, but I’m looking forward to it, working with the kids and the school seems awesome," said Kautz, whose last day with the Sheriff's Office was Friday.

Kautz started with the department in 1988, three years after earning an associate degree in criminal justice at GCC.

"After I graduated, I realized to get those jobs, I would need to take exams," Kautz said. "That’s a good theory, I think. Do well on the exam and you should be a good candidate. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a very good test taker. I took many exams before I actually got a phone call. It was almost three full years before I got a job offer, and then, of course, I got three decent job offers within a month-and-a-half. Luckily, this job was one of them and it was really the job I was hoping for, so I accepted the position as a deputy."

Kautz was on road patrol for five years when he was promoted to investigator, the job he wanted all along.

He said he's been fortunate to stay in that position for 23 years, but now it's time to move on.

"You do reach a burnout factor," Kautz said. "I've probably reached the end of my shelf life. I'm not embarrassed to say that. I like to think I’ve done my part and it’s time to move on."

Leaving now isn't without its drawbacks. There are unsolved cases Kautz wishes were closed during his time in the investigator's office

"Those are kind of a sore spot," Kautz said. "Sometimes you know who you think did it, and you’re really close to solving it, but you just don’t have that extra piece."

Among the unsolved cases, Kautz worked are on is the Fickel murder.

"We worked long and hard on that for many, many months after that happened and unfortunately, the leads kind of started drying out and obvious we had another case load we needed to attend to," Kautz said. "It doesn’t get the attention we wish it would. We don’t have the luxury of having a quote-unquote 'homicide division' or 'burglary task force' or a 'sex crimes team.' "

Kautz leaves with cases pending, but there is a person of interest and some solid evidence that might one day hold up in court, but it will be up to other investigators to uncover the piece of evidence that wraps things up.

"We have been actively pursuing it and we’re just kind of crossing our fingers that maybe that one little piece of the puzzle we don’t have yet might show up one of these days," Kautz said.

(If you have information that might assist in the case, contact the Genesee County Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.)

Much has changed over 23 years in how investigators do their jobs. There is new technology and new techniques, but the basics remain the same -- gather evidence, safeguard it, ask questions, test answers and build a case.

"I'm not saying it (new technology) has made it easier to solve cases, but it's really solidified convictions," Kautz said. "When there is a fingerprint or DNA evidence at a crime scene, you can't dispute it. You have a hard time explaining that away when you're a defendant."

Too many cases, just by the nature of things, go unsolved, but when they are solved, it's a great feeling, he said, especially when you see the satisfaction on the faces of the victims.

"It’s all about the victims because when you come home after working a hard day, working an honest job, and come home and your door is kicked in and your TV and your family heirlooms are gone, you’re furious and it's devastating," Kautz said. "That’s where the cops come in and do their best to solve it and it’s very, very, very gratifying when you do solve it for them."

And sometimes, solving a crime helps another person improve their own lives, and that's a good feeling, too, Kautz said.

"People always say this is the best job in the world and I really think that," Kautz said. "You really have a chance to make a difference for people, in people’s lives, not only making it right for the victims but also maybe contributing to the improvement of some of the defendants' lives. Maybe getting arrested can often be a positive thing in the long run for somebody. They know they screwed up. They know they’ve got problems. They know they’ve got things they need to address. Sometimes getting arrested will be that last little push they need to really get their lives straightened out."

Photo: Kris Kautz with his family, wife Susan, and daughters Kelsey, Adeline and Ella.

August 27, 2016 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A two-car accident is reported in the area of 112 W. Main St., Batavia.

One person suffered a possible neck injury.

City fre and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:52 a.m.: One patient transported to UMMC for evaluation.

August 25, 2016 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

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Photo and story via our news partner, WBTA.

R. Stephen Hawley, who was 94 years old, died early this morning in Arizona.

Before his retirement, he had been elected to 10 terms in the New York State Assembly, serving 20 years beginning in 1973.

Hawley, a World War II Veteran, was a 1939 graduate of Batavia High School and at the beginning of his political career owned a family farm in Batavia.

Since 2006, Hawley’s son Steven M. Hawley has taken up his mantle of local representation in the State Assembly.

August 25, 2016 - 2:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, batavia, pembroke.

Jacob M. Twardowski, 22, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment, endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree menacing. He was arrested at midnight on Aug. 24 following a domestic incident at his residence. He was transported to City Court, arraigned and released. He is due in City Court on Sept. 28. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Cassandra L. Brunea, 43, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 12:56 p.m. on State Street following a disturbance. It is alleged that during the incident Brunea subjected another person to unwanted physical contact by spitting on the person. She was issued an appearance ticket and released. She is due in City Court on Sept. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Michael S. Klotzbach, 29, of Boyce Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 after a physical altercation with an acquaintance. He was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket for City Court on Aug. 29. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

August 25, 2016 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, news.

Fifth-grade Student & Parent Orientation

Batavia Middle School, located at 96 Ross St. in the City of Batavia, will have a brief orientation program at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Batavia Middle School Auditorium for fifth-grade students and parents.

Students will have the opportunity to purchase their locks. This will give fifth-graders an opportunity to practice, at home, before school starts. Please bring $4.50 for your child's lock. Exact change is always appreciated. If you choose to write a check, please make it payable to: Batavia City School District.

We will review the schedule for Connect Day (on Sept. 7th) and parents and students will receive some helpful materials.

It is not necessary to bring any school supplies with you at this time. Do, however, complete and bring with you the Emergency Go Home Plan, which will be mailed home with your child's teacher/homeroom assignment.

Come and get acquainted ~ We look forward to working with you as your child transitions to Middle School. If you have any questions, please call Julia Rogers, House Administrator at (585) 343-2480, ext. 3001, or at (585) 201-3389.

Transfer Student Orientation

All students in grades 6-8 who are transferring to Batavia Middle School are invited to attend an orientation program at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Middle School Auditorium. The program will include an overview of our Middle School and will be followed by a building tour. School counselors will be available for students and parents.

August 25, 2016 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, batavia bulldawgs, Batavia HS.

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The Batavia Blue Devils hosted the Batavia Bulldawgs (Minis, ages 8-9) at Van Detta Stadium on Wednesday night for the annual scrimmage between the two teams.

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August 25, 2016 - 11:20am

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Jericka, lead singer for the local Christian band Salt of Earth, sings during the opening of Batavia's Great Tabernacle, a three-day event of music and worship at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

The event continues tonight with free performances by Jim Drew and Jason Upton, and with speakers each night, tonight is Pastor Kevin Traux.

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Last night's guest speaker was Tim Bennett, and Robin Mark performed.

August 25, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, agriculture, business, batavia.

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Rep. Chris Collins hosted members of his Agriculture Advisory Committee -- local farmers and people involved in the local ag industry -- at Genesee Community College yesterday for a briefing on issues at the federal level affecting agriculture.

Collins noted that while he's not on the Ag Committee in Congress, he is on a committee with key oversight of a number of issues that affect agriculture.

"I am on Energy and Commerce, a more powerful committee, with oversight over the EPA and FDA," Collins said. "It’s certainly a good place to be."

Collins also addressed the issue of immigration, an important issue to farmers who, in recent years, have struggled to fill their farm labor force.

The NY-27th's representative is one of the few members of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president and until this past week, Trump was calling for the deportation of 11 million immigrants who may have entered the country illegally. In the past week, Trump modified his position and is no longer promising to deport migrant workers living in the United States peacefully. 

Collins said the shift reflects Trump growing into the job of presidential candidate and one who is open to discussion.

"We will secure the borders and make sure the workforce that many of you have do have legal work papers and can figure out visas and other things that might ensure you’re not short of help," Collins said. "I think that’s a positive."

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Mark Zittel, from Erie County, who brought samples of some of the produce he grows.

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Collins staff member Jeff Freeland.

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