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February 12, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, Batavia PD, batavia.

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Students and staff of Batavia High School along with officers of the Batavia Police Department participated in a volleyball tournament at the high school Thursday night.

The idea for the tournament started with Officer Pete Flanagan who contacted Lisa Robinson at the school. Robinson "took the idea and ran with it," Flanagan said, doing most of the work to get the event organized.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help with education costs for a student or students interested in a career in law enforcement.

Flanagan said he was really pleased with the turnout for a first-year event.

"Especially now days, with everything the way it is, we want to build a good relationship with the community and we wanted a chance to give back," Flanagan said.

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February 12, 2016 - 9:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

Anya R. Rambuski, 45, of Batavia, is charged with aggravated DWI, refusal to take breath test and turn signal violation. Rambuski was stopped on Route 5 by State Police. A trooper reported immediately smelling alcohol on Rambuski's breath and there was further investigation. Rambuski was transported to the Batavia Barracks where she allegedly refused a breath test.

Joshua David Watkins, 24, of West Bank Street, Albion, is charged with petit larceny. Watkins is accused of shoplifting from Target.

February 11, 2016 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, batavia, L & L Transmission, news.

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If you play basketball or baseball, you hope to get a write-up in Sports Illustrated, a musician, Rolling Stone, a chef, Cook's Illustrated.

If you're a mechanic, a three-page spread in Transmission Digest puts you at the top of your game.

The folks at L&L Transmission were elated yesterday when the latest edition arrived and there they were on page four.

"It's pretty exciting for us to be featured in a nationwide magazine," said Danyell Selapack.

The article begins where Leon Selapack began, at 14, working in an automotive shop in Williamsville.

In 1978, he returned home to Batavia and opened a single-bay shop on the Southside. In 1998, he moved the business to its present location on Route 98.

The article also covers his inventions, including a two-piece plastic gear for Ford three-speed transmissions. It was a replacement part for a Ford-built part that often broke. The repair involved removing the entire transmission and tearing it down. With the new invention, the transmission could remain on the car and the new part easily slipped in.

Ford eventually fixed the problem.

"If I had invented it five years earlier, I would still be in Tahiti," Leon said.

To read the full story, click here.

Pictured, Danyell, Leon and Cameron Selapack.

February 11, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

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With blueprints spread out in front of him on a long table, the city's director of public works, Matt Worth, walked a group of Washington Avenue residents through plans for an upgrade to the sewer system along their street this summer.

The impact on residents during construction should be minimal, Worth said, but, hey, it's a construction project.

"It's going to be a busy summer," Worth said. "I'd like to tell you it's not going to be disruptive, but I'd be kinda kiddin' ya. It's going to be noisy and loud and (with) bumps and things like that, but hopefully, when it's all said and done, the end product is going to be very good."

When it's done, residents will have a new sewer line, many will have new water service hookups and the street from Ross Street to Ellicott Avenue will be completely repaved.

The entire project will cost about $1.4 million and is part of the city's capital project, paid for with rate increases, to improve the water and sewer system, which in many parts of the city is buckling under the strain of age.

Once started, the project will take four months to complete.

During construction, residents along Washington should always have sewer service, Worth said.

The contractor will work to keep disruptions to a minimum. If a driveway is blocked, it will only be for a day and the contractor will provide advance notice. The sidewalk will be kept clear and walkable and a engineer will be on site at all times to ensure the project goes smoothly.

"Construction projects like this are dirty," Worth said. "They create dust. If it rains, they create mud. There are bumps and bruises and stuff, however, the contractor is expected to require to maintain the project in a safe manner."

Residents shouldn't need to worry about driving into a big hole, Worth said.

Where the sewer line crosses a connect from a residence to a water main, the connection from the main to the shutoff valve (by the property line at the sidewalk) will be replaced.

Which raised a question from a resident about replacing the water line to the house. Worth said if the line is galvanized, it might be best to replace it with copper pipe. The galvinized pipe isn't a health issue, Worth said, but the circumference of the pipe could be greatly constricted, reducing water pressure. 

"Quite often, the homeowner does use this as an opportunity to change the pipe all the way to the house," Worth said. "You would hire a plumber to do that."

The project might also uncover problems with sewer connection, such as damaged clay tile or roots growing through the line. If workers discover anything like that when connecting the new line to the homeowner's line, they will let the homeowner know.

"If (the line) is cast iron and has worked as a sewer it's likely to continue to work as a sewer," Worth said.

Washington Towers won't be affected by the project because all of their connections are on State Street.

The doctors' offices along Washington all share common sewer and water lines, so there is only one connection to deal with.

Water service should not be affected, unless the connection line needs to be replaced, in which case the homeowner will be given advance notice, water will be shut off for only a few hours during the day, and there should be no water discoloration.

"However, there's going to be large excavation equipment digging adjacent to where all this is and unfortunately sometimes bad things happen," Worth said "If there is a water main break or a significant event, yes you could very well see conditions like that."

The contractor will reseed the parkway, but the quality of the grass will really depend on the attention and care given to it by the homeowner.

"If the homeowner is there and waters it every other day, you're going to have grass and it's going to stabilize and it's not going to be a headache for you," Worth said.

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February 11, 2016 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, bergen, batavia, pembroke.

Jaime Vega Tinuco, 26, of Walkers Corners Road, Byron, is charged with stalking, 4th, and endangering the welfare of a child. Tinuco allegedly showed up at the residence of a 16-year-old female after being told numerous times to cease contact. Bail was set at 2,500.

Woodrow Horseman, 39, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and endangering the welfare of a child. Horseman allegedly refused to leave the residence of another person. Horseman was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Kyle B. Smith, 27, of Knox Road, East Aurora, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding and failure to signal. Smith was stopped at 12:36 a.m. Saturday on Richmond Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

A 17-year-old resident of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd. The youth is accused of menacing a 14-year-old with a realistic looking BB gun.

Amber L. Ostrander, 25, of West Main Street, Fillmore, was arrested on a warrant. Ostrander was arrested by the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office and turned over to Batavia PD. She posted $500 bail and was released.

Martin F. Jones, 44, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Jones allegedly stole two cans of beer valued at $2.67 from Southside Deli. Jones was jailed on $2,000 bail or $4,000 bond.

Nicole Georgantopoulous Belluccio, 35, of Juliane Drive, Rochester, is charged with possession and transport of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes and obstructed plates. Belluccio was stopped at 12:47 p.m. Wednesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Belluccio was allegedly found in possession of 6,400 untaxed cigarettes.

Jimmy Ray Wenzel, 29, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Wenzel was allegedly in contact with a person in violation of an order of protection. Wenzel has a prior criminal contempt conviction within the past five years.

Amy Lynette Cliff, 44, of West Main Street, Byron, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol, refusal to take prescreen test and speeding. Cliff was stopped at 9:35 p.m. Tuesday on Parkview Drive, Bergen, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

February 10, 2016 - 10:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia.

A car-deer rollover accident is reported on Powers Road near Pratt Road.

Minor injuries are reported.

East Pembroke and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 10:57 p.m.: Assignment back in service. 

February 10, 2016 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in warming center, batavia, news.

The Warming Center is open tonight from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. for women and children in need of shelter at the United Methodist Church, Lewiston Road, Batavia.

For assistance, call (585) 993-6371.

There will be pickups at both McDonald's locations in Batavia.

Light meals will be served.

February 10, 2016 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, hockey, batavia, Batavia Ramparts.

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From Jeffery Whitcombe:

The Batavia Ramparts Squirt Tier 3 team participated in the Empire States Winter Games last weekend (Feb. 4th thru 7th, 2016) in Lake Placid. The Squirt Ramparts were the only team representing the Western Region of New York State. The Team ended up winning a bronze medal ending up in third place for the weekend. The Team is made up 9- and 10-year-olds from the Batavia area. They are:

Mason Cook
Chase Cummings
Cooper Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton
Noah Hudson
Alex Johnson
Brady Johnson
Jamison Motyka
Brenna Munn
Carter Prinzi
Noah Whitcombe
Mac Wormley

Kevin Hamilton- Head Coach
Jeff Whitcombe - Assistant Coach
Dan Hudson - Assistant Coach
Fred Hamilton- Assistant Coach
Bob Johnson- Manager

February 10, 2016 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Park Road, Batavia Downs, batavia, business, news.

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Members of the Batavia City Council are ready to raise a ruckus about a proposal for the Town of Batavia to sell a portion of Park Road to Batavia Downs, leading to a closure of the road to thru traffic.

About a dozen Redfield Parkway residents attended Tuesday's council meeting to express their concern about the potential for increased traffic on their residential street if Park Road is closed.

"Redfield will become the new Park Road," is the battle cry.

But that won't necessarily be the case, said Mike Nolan, COO of Western OTB. A traffic study commissioned by Batavia Downs indicates there will be minimal impact on city streets, Nolan said.

"We've been working on this for a year," Nolan said. "We've met with all the stakeholders, the business owners on Park Road, the Sheriff's Office, the fire department and we're trying to mitigate the impact in every way. This wasn't just something thought up a month ago."

City Manager Jason Molino worried that the traffic study doesn't really address the impacts on parallel streets, such as Redfield, Bogue, Union, all the way down to Oak Street.

A couple of weeks ago, Park Road was closed on an emergency basis because of construction work related to the new hotel at Batavia Downs and traffic backed up on Redfield. 

Nelson Baker (top photo) and other speakers expressed concern that the congestion represents Redfield's future if Park is closed.

Maybe, maybe not, Molino said.

"Obviously, people are concerned with that closure that is going to be the type of traffic congestion that could take place," Molino said. "That has some merit to it. On the flip side, it was an emergency and that is going to cause traffic to congest because nobody has time to plan on getting around it. If the closure is well known ahead of time, then people have time to plan. With one incident, it's hard to judge, but it certainly raises awareness and puts focus on it."

That congestion was a one-time event and the traffic study indicates people will find alternatives, more sensible routes, if Park is permanently closed, Nolan said.

The main issue for Batavia Downs, Nolan said, is one of pedestrian safety.

When the racetrack was first built in 1940, the kind of high-volume entertainment center Batavia Downs has become wasn't envisioned, so building it right on Park Road wasn't an issue.

Last year, more than a million people visited Batavia Downs, creating two million pedestrian crossings on Park Road, and Batavia Downs is just going to continue to grow, Nolan said. 

"This is all about trying to solve a big problem, and that's public safety," Nolan said. "That is what the town and Batavia Downs are addressing."

The City Council will take up the issue at its next conference meeting to discuss drafting a letter to the Town Board opposing the plan and maybe directing a council member to personally carrying the city's concerns to the town.

The decision is entirely within the hands of the Town of Batavia. All the city can do is share concern and monitor the issue.

"We as a city are going to be affected and we don't have a say in this, so I would encourage everybody in the city to speak out to the town as well," said Councilman John Canale. "I'm not sure how much of an effect that is going to have on the decision, but it's frustrating because it's going to have a negative effect on city streets."

February 10, 2016 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, batavia.

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Fifth Ward Councilwoman Kathy Briggs presented Dan Fischer, co-owner with Debbie Fischer of WBTA AM/FM, with a resolution Tuesday night from the Batavia City Council in recognition of the radio station's 75th anniversary.

February 10, 2016 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, veterans, batavia.

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Samuel C. Norris, 91, of Batavia, formerly of Alexander, was lain to rest Tuesday with full military honors.

Norris, a past assistant chief of the Alexander Volunteer Fire Department, served with Canada in World War II. His unit landed on Juno Beach, France, on D-Day.

He was born Dec. 30, 1924 in Welland, Ontario, Canada.

For full obituary, click here.

Photos by Laura Friend.

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February 9, 2016 - 4:47pm

Press release:

The Santa Rosa Labyrinth -- a winding path in which participants walk from beginning to end -- will be set up at Blue Pearl Yoga on Saturday Feb. 13. It takes approximately 20 minutes to walk the labyrinth.

This seven-circuit labyrinth is divided into four quadrants and includes a unique space on the fourth circuit in line with the labyrinth’s “mouth” or center. Called the “heart space” this area is not walked by serves as a sacred vessel for holding symbols of one’s issues, needs, or celebrations. Looking at the path, walkers realize that this heart space is approached from all four directions, allowing the participant to view his/her symbols from various points of view.

There are many examples of the Santa Rosa Labyrinth in the United States but the one at Blue Pearl Yoga is on loan from the First Unitarian Church in Rochester and will be hosted by Harriette Royer. Harriette will be offering a brief introduction to the Labyrinth Quest throughout the afternoon so participants can deepen their experience as they proceed through the labyrinth.

Marianne Skye, owner of Blue Pearl Yoga says, “Walking the Santa Rosa Labyrinth is a beautiful experience and one that I am happy to share with our Blue Pearl Yoga community.”

Anyone interested may visit the labyrinth between 12:30 and 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. There is no cost but donations will be given to the Spay Our Strays program at the Batavia Animal Shelter. For more information visit www.bp-yoga.com.

February 9, 2016 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, byron, Darien, Oakfield.

Adam M. Kruetz, 27, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with strangulation, 2nd, petit larceny and criminal mischief, 4th. Kruetz allegedly grabbed the throat of another person at 10:20 a.m. Sunday at 5 Ross St., Batavia, and caused that person to nearly lose consciousness, then stole property and broke an item belonging to that person. Kruetz was jailed without bail.

Elizabeth A. Wortman, 28, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driver's view obstructed. A witness reported a vehicle driving erratically on Lake Street Road, Le Roy, on Monday. A Le Roy PD patrol stopped Wortman's vehicle on Lake Street and Wortman was allegedly found to be intoxicated.

Michael J. Elmore, 25, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal impersonation. Elmore was located in the parking lot of 305 E. Main St., Batavia, and Elmore allegedly provided false identification to a Batavia police officer in an attempt to avoid arrest on a warrant.

Joseph A. Auricchio, 25, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument. Auricchio was allegedly found in possession of a needle at 4:53 p.m. Monday at a location on South Main Street, Batavia.

Brant Gordon Matthews, 21, of Maple Avenue, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Matthews allegedly showed up to a probation meeting at 2:08 p.m. Monday with marijuana in his pocket.

Tyler D. Price, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to meet conditions of sentencing.

Todd Patrick Galen, 53, of Merrill Road, Byron, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Galen allegedly violated a court order by failing to comply with animal control regulations.

Tyler J. Penepent, 21, of Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. He allegedly stole a car lighting bar worth $12.96 from WalMart. 

Kristen E. Dwyer, 23, of Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Dwyer was stopped on Judge Road by State Police for an alleged expired registration. She was allegedly found in possession of 3.5 grams of marijuana in a baggie, a glass pipe containing burnt marijuana and a multicolored glass pipe containing burnt marijuana residue.

February 8, 2016 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vernon Avenue, batavia.

Batavia PD is asked to check on a loud rooster on Vernon Avenue, Batavia.

The caller wishes to remain anonymous at this time.

The rooster is believed to belong to a resident on Vernon Avenue.

February 8, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Oakfield.

An East Rochester man, whom federal authorities say has ties to the Hells Angels, has associates in Genesee County and was arrested in 2009 in Corfu as part of reported scrap metal heist, has been sentenced to 12 months in federal prison on a racketeering charge.

Timothy M. Stone, 36, was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to an assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity.

Stone was convicted of participating in a May 31, 2006 baseball bat attack on a male patron at Spenders Bar in Rochester. Surveillance cameras recorded the attack and the video was stored on a computer hard drive. Stone forcibly removed the hard drive and took the hard drive from the bar and later destroyed the hard drive and the baseball bat used in the attack.

The case is part of a larger investigation that stretches from Monterey, Calif., to Oakfield, with Oakfield residents James H. McAuley Jr. and Donna Boon being charged, along with others, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.  

Gordon L. Montgomery, of Batavia, has already been convicted on the charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 3.

Robert W. Moran Jr., of Rochester, and Gina Tata, of Rochester, are charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity; and McAuley is charged with conspiracy.

A jury trial for Richard W. Mar, of Monterey, McAuley, Moran, Boon, Jeffrey A. Tyler, of Rochester, and Tata, is scheduled to begin March 7.

Some of the prior related stories:

February 8, 2016 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, sports.

High school student-athletes interested in playing sports in college are invited to a discussion tonight in the library of Batavia High School starting at 6:30 p.m. The workshop is open to student-athletes grades eight through 12 and their parents and will provide information on NCAA rules and requirements, eligibility, scholarships and recruiting. Kelly Cruttenden, an associate athletic director at University at Buffalo, will lead the discussion.

February 8, 2016 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Pavilion, Le Roy.

Lionel J. Anderson Sr., 44, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Anderson allegedly tried to enter a residence on Dellinger Avenue at 10:55 p.m. Sunday after being told to leave. He allegedly pushed one of the residents. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.  (UPDATE: Though the reported times are different, Det. Eric Hill confirms this arrest is related to this report last night).

Adrian P. Morris, 36, of South Street, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and inadequate headlights. Morris was stopped by Le Roy PD on West Main Street, Le Roy.

William J. Hixenbaugh, 26, of Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hixenbaugh was allegedly involved in a fight in the Village of Le Roy on Friday.

Lisa M. Volk, 21, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Volk is accused of shoplifting at Walmart. She allegedly took $40 worth of nail polish.

Jessie Benedict Joy, 20, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, driving while using a mobile phone, driving left of pavement markings. Joy was stopped at 3:43 a.m. on Telephone Road, Pavilion, by Deputy Ryan Young.

Richard Andrew Germony, 30, of Wildwood Place, Buffalo, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Germony is being held in the Genesee County Jail pending his next court appearance.

Andrew C. Webster, 22, of Gillete Road, Alexander, was arrested on a warrant for allegedly failure to comply with court-ordered treatment. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kathryn M. Yark, 18, of Harlem Road, of West Seneca, is charged with criminal possession property, 5th, and unlawful possession of a personal ID, 3rd. Yark was arrested on a warrant and released back to a treatment program.

Jennifer L. Stack, 29, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Stack was allegedly involved in an incident Feb. 4 on West Main Street, Batavia, where she threatened another person and violated an order of protection. Stack was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Yolanda E. Johnson, 29, is charged with West Main Street Road, Batavia, turned herself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic citation.

Maggie S. Dipilato, 21, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief. Dipilato was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident. Dipilato allegedly struck a male in his face damaging his eyeglasses. She was jailed on $500 bail.

Gerard H. Altenburg, 21, of Main Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely. Altenburg was arrested following an investigation into a motor-vehicle accident on Gilmore Street, Pembroke, reported at 9:04 p.m. Friday. The accident was investigated by Deputy Ryan DeLong. Altenburg was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Robert C. Paris, 26, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and failure to stop at stop sign. Paris allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign on Redfield Parkway, Batavia, at 2:14 a.m. Saturday and was stopped by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Jacqueline Jane Kurcoba, 38, of Pittsford Mendon Road, Mendon, is charged with DWI and insufficient tail lamps. Kurcoba was stopped at 1:14 a.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Alabama, by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Kyle Lee-Maddison Michaels, 18, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Michaels allegedly refused to leave the BOCES campus on State Street Road, Batavia.

Ann Marie Schiegel, 38, of Porter Road, Medina, was arrested on a warrant stemming from two counts of petit larceny. Schiegel was jailed on $250 bail.

A 17-year-old resident of Byron is charged with unlawful surveillance, 2nd. The youth is accused of using a mobile phone to view a female victim in a woman's bathroom stall.

Coty Lee Kimmel, 22, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a stolen property, 4th. Kimmel allegedly possessed a credit card belonging to another person without permission.

February 8, 2016 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

Troopers are dispatched to Kmart to investigate an individual in a black pickup truck who is at the side of the building loading wooden pallets into the vehicle.

The individual was told to stop and leave, but reportedly has stayed and continued to load pallets.

UPDATE 10:25 a.m.: The subject has left on Lewiston Road. He is described as a white male with a beard and glasses.

UPDATE 10:31 a.m.: It sounds like the person was located and the deputy is returning to Kmart. He said, "no charges."

February 7, 2016 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A caller believes as many as eight people are trying to break into her residence on Dellinger Avenue.

She reports at least some of them having baseball bats.

Batavia PD just arrived on scene.

A deputy reports some sort of "commotion" on the Walnut Street bridge.

A suspect may have left in a gold van.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: Police are searching for a suspect.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: A second suspect is described as a Jamaican and wearing a red T-shirt.

UPDATE: For a related arrest, see today's Law and Order.

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