Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors

batavia

August 26, 2015 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, bath salts, synthetic drugs.

A former local small business owner appeared in county court to answer for a series of thefts in Genesee County that he said was spurred by his addiction to heroin.

Jason D. Lang, 33, of Liberty Street, entered guilty pleas in June to two counts of grand larceny, 4th, related to thefts from Walmart and Target. The guilty plea satisfied a whole raft of similar charges. 

Already in state custody on convictions in neighboring counties, Lang was told today his sentence on the local charges would be one-and-a-half to four years.

The sentences are concurrent to his previous sentence. Lang's attorney told Noonan that a parole board had already told Lang he would be released Sept. 5.

The new sentence throws that release date into doubt. The board will need to take into consideration Noonan's new sentence. At this point, it's unclear when Lang might be released.

"Mr. Lang is eager to return to his community and be productive again," said attorney Jon Wilson.

Lang has been in drug and alcohol treatment and Wilson said he's doing very well. 

"He's committed himself to turning around his world," Wilson said.

Once the successful owner of Batavia Cab, Lang opened a smoke shop and tattoo parlor known as The Laughing Buddha. It may have been the first local shop, just prior to the 420 Emporium opening, to sell bath salts and synthetic marijuana.  

In the Summer of 2012, when local law enforcement and emergency personnel were dealing with a series of peculiar incidents that seemed to stem from bath salt use, Lang was often in the news. He was arrested after imagining and reporting gunfire at a local hotel. He was also accused of impersonating a police officer.

In the midst of his legal troubles, and after his store was shut down and the cab company sold, his family organized a protest outside the 420 Emporium over that store's continued sale of bath salts. (Owner Charles Fitzgerald who owned other locations as well, is currently serving a federal prison term related to his trade in synthetic drugs.)

Lang reportedly kicked the bath salt habit, but then turned to heroin. He was accused of shoplifting from Hamburg to Victor, including in Batavia, during this period.

Wilson said his client has been in treatment at Lakeview since March and has completed both the drug and alcohol portions of the program.

When asked to speak, Lang was contrite.

"I'm sorry for the crimes I committed," Lang said. "I never would have did them if not for my heroin addiction. The past three years have been hard. I put the community through hell, my parents through hell, my children through hell. I'm really regretful for what I did."

Noonan reminded Lang that he wasn't the victim in this case and was in no mood to fashion a sentence that would guarantee Lang could keep his Sept. 5 parole date.

"Let that be the last time you blame heroin for your crimes," Noonan said. "Heroin didn't commit your crimes. You committed your crimes."

August 25, 2015 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, batavia.

Richard D. Cohen, 46, of Ellicott Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Cohen is accused of stealing 13 framed pictures from the walls of Terry Hills Restaurant and Banquet Facility. Cohen allegedly entered a conference room at Terry Hills on Aug. 7 and removed the pictures from the walls and placed them in his vehicle. The next day, after management noticed the pictures were missing, they reviewed video footage of the conference room area and members of the staff recognized Cohen and identified him as the suspect. The pictures were subsequently located in his vehicle. The case was investigated by Kris Kautz.

Sherry Maryanna Steffans, 34, of Stony Point Road, Grand Island, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. Deputy Patrick Reeves attempted to make a traffic stop on Steffans' vehicle at 12:12 a.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke, and Steffans allegedly failed to yield for more than a mile.

August 24, 2015 - 6:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, loren J. Michel, city firefighters.

michel4602015.jpg

(Photo submitted by Adam L. Palumbo, president, Firefighters Union Local 896.)

Firefighters Union Local 896 President Adam Palumbo says: "Captain Michel's memorial plaque was installed Saturday at headquarters (on Evans Street) by Derrick Monument Company. Local 896 would like to thank everyone who assisted in making the 50th anniversary memorial ceremony a success. Captain Michel will not just be a name on the wall, he will forever be remembered."

August 24, 2015 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pathstone.

Press release:

The City of Batavia has partnered with PathStone Corporation to provide homeowners and landlords access to services that will provide a greater ability to maintain and manage their properties and build a stronger a community. In addition, the City is taking a proactive step to provide landlords with additional tools to screen potential tenants and monitor their properties.

“We have caring residents and great neighborhoods. The partnership with PathStone and additional programs by the Police Department will help our residents add value to their homes,” said Council President Brooks Hawley. “These new initiatives are geared towards providing homeowners and landlords with greater resources and tools for improving and maintaining their properties. The programs are designed to help current owners add to the existing stability of the City’s housing stock.”

Stuart J. Mitchell, president and CEO PathStone Corporation said, "PathStone Corporation is very pleased to partner with the City of Batavia to provide comprehensive housing services to landlords, tenants and homeowners. Our years of hands-on experience and expertise combined with generous funding will make it possible for many families and businesses to improve living conditions for both owner-occupied and rental properties. The City of Batavia will benefit from an improved housing stock and a stabilized and expanded tax base."

The following initiatives are announced to help homeowners and quality rental properties continue to succeed.

In partnership with PathStone Corporation through a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant, PathStone will be providing free workshops to homeowners and landlords so they can receive free/reduced cost energy audits, income-based energy improvements grants of up to 50 percent, and help them access low interest NYSERDA loans to make their homes and rental units more comfortable and reduce utility bills.

Following these workshops, PathStone continues to assist landowners by selecting Energy Star contractors and identify alternative funding for their home improvements. The next free energy-saving workshop will be Oct. 20th from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Batavia PathStone office, 7 Batavia City Centre. For more information please call (585) 442-2030, ext. 213.

The City will be partnering with The Housing Council at PathStone to host the area's first Operating Rental Property Workshop. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. The workshop will cover topics such as Fair Housing Laws, Screening & Selection of Tenants, Leases & Security Deposit, and Overview of Eviction Process. Also, special guest and local attorney Thomas Williams, Esq., will present on neighborhood legal services and navigating the legal system as a landlord. The cost of this workshop is $45 per person. Pre-registration is required, for more information call (585) 546-3700, or register on-line at www.RocLandlord.com.

The City Police Department will be providing landlords with the ability to easily request tenant records checks for tenant selection. Records checks have to be submitted in person to the Police Department by potential tenants and the City Police Department will provide both the tenant and landlord with a search of all Batavia Police Department records and the Genesee County Sheriff’s records for any arrest and contact information about the tenant within the last five years. The cost of the records check is $10 and can be paid by the tenant. Forms can be downloaded from the City website at http://www.batavianewyork.com/Files.

The City Police Department will be providing landlords with the ability to receive Police Department contact reports for their respective properties. Similar to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, a property owner can request a report including police contact with their respective rental properties that will include the date, time, location and incident type. This will provide landlords with easy access to information pertaining to activity surrounding rental properties.

FOIL requests only have to be completed once by the landlord providing the property address(es) they would like to receive information regarding and on the second Monday of every month a PDF report, including all police contacts for their respective properties, will be e-mailed to the landlord. Paper reports can be requested at $.25 (cents) per page. Any unauthorized information will be redacted per FOIL and released. Forms can be downloaded from the City Web site at http://www.batavianewyork.com/Files.

"The police department tenant record check and contact reporting is another avenue for landlords to get tenants in their rentals that are beneficial and positive for the city's neighborhoods" said Council President Hawley.

The City’s 2012 Community Improvement Plan recommended the City take advantage of its existing residential stability and affordability by developing programs that will generate the greatest reinvestment in existing housing stock. The plan identified that the City’s stable and affordable housing market, both owner-occupied and rental, as a great value.

PathStone is a Rochester based not-for-profit community development and human services organization, that provides services to low-income families and economically distressed communities throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Vermont, and Puerto Rico. It is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

The Housing Council at PathStone is one of New York State’s largest HUD-approved comprehensive housing counseling agencies. A not-for-profit corporation founded in 1971, in Rochester, The Housing Council provides landlord education, foreclosure prevention, pre-purchase counseling, emergency housing services and fair housing education. The Housing Council provides property management tools and strategies to landlords in order to enhance their business skills and familiarize them with their rights and responsibilities.

August 24, 2015 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

When the two brothers appeared in Genesee County Court this afternoon with their mother, they did not appear as young men you would readily pick out as those accused of a violent gang assault.

Polite, well dressed and clean cut, Terrence D. Johnson and Leonard A. Johnson III, entered not guilty pleas to the charges of first-degree gang assault 1st and first-degree assault.

They were indicted by a grand jury, along with Terrance M. Schramm, for their alleged part in the assault of a man on Holland Avenue in the city on April 29.

Initially, charged with a misdemeanor of assault, 3rd, Schramm and the Johnsons, faced the more serious felony counts once the case was presented to the grand jury.

The gang assault statute really has nothing to do with whether the defendents are affiliated with a street gang -- in fact, there's no indication that's the case here -- but that a violent act was carried out with more than two people participating. The exact language of the penal code is:

A person is guilty of gang assault in the first degree when, with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person and when aided by two or more other persons actually present, he causes serious physical injury to such person or to a third person.
 

Schramm and the Johnson brothers were allegedly involved in an argument with the victim at 27 Holland Ave. and are accused of kicking the victim and using some hard object, such as brass knuckles, to hit him.

The victim's injuries were initially reported as minor, hence the initial misdemeanor charge, but District Attorney Lawrence Friedman sought the felony counts as the result of the victim apparenlty suffering "permanent impairment of health."

The exact nature of the victim's injuries are not available at this time.

Leonard, 22, appeared in court in a sharp gray suit, white shirt and tie. Terrence wore gray pants, a lighter gray shirt and a tie.  

Friedman did not seek bail for either defendant. They were both released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Noonan noted that given the serious nature of the charges, a no-bail release is unique.

"A gang assault charge would normally result in a sustantial bail," Noonan said. "It's a great concession to Mr. (Leonard) Johnson to release him under supervision."

There is no record of prior arrests for Terrence Johnson, which contributed to his ability to get a release under supervision.

Leonard Johnson, who lives with his brother on Hutchins Street, must be in his residence every day from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m. Terrence Johnson can only be out during those hours while at work or traveling directly to and from work.

They are to have no contact with the alleged victim.

The attorney for the 25-year-old Schramm is on vacation so his arraignment on the grand jury indictment won't be until next week.

The three men are facing from five to 25 years in state prison on the Class B violent felonies.

August 24, 2015 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Church, batavia, downtown.

citychurchworkaug242015.jpg

Workers outside the City Church building on East Main Street this afternoon. Pastor Marty Macdonald said the floodlights are being replaced with LEDs and crews also do some masonry maintenance.

August 24, 2015 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia.

ladder15aug242015.jpg

August 24, 2015 - 12:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, notre dame girls soccer team, sports.

(Reader submitted photo.)

Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice was all smiles Sunday when he stopped by the parking lot of Batavia's Original on East Main Street to show his support of the Notre Dame Girls Soccer Team. They held a car wash; their goal is to raise $1,000 for team warm-up clothes and bags.

August 24, 2015 - 9:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Alabama, Le Roy.

Edwin David Young, 54, of Furnaceville Road, Ontario, Canada, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .25 or greater, failure to keep right, and moving from lane unsafely. Young was reportedly involved in an accident at 6:55 a.m. Friday on Route 77, Alabama, which was investigated by Deputy Lonnie Nati. 

Horatio Coleman, 61, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Coleman was allegedly in Walmart after being banned from the store.

Scott D. Fairfield, 21, of Maple Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Fairfield was arrested following a report of a suspicious condition by Le Roy PD.

Stephen E. Couglar, 45, of Wayland, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Couglar was charged following a traffic stop by Le Roy PD.

Erin K Douglas, 39, of Lyell Ave, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to change address and speeding in zone. Douglas was stopped by Le Roy PD on Aug. 15. He was jailed on $750 bail.

Dezarae P. Benedict, 22, of Bigelow Avenue, Silver Springs, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and inadequate muffler. Benedict was stopped Saturday by Le Roy PD.

Steven A. Miller, 25, of Clark Street, Spencerport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and speeding in zone. Miller was stopped Sunday by Le Roy PD.

August 23, 2015 - 11:55am
posted by Billie Owens in fire hydrants, batavia.

Press release from City of Batavia Fire Capt. Daniel G. Herberger:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants on Tuesday, Aug. 25, and Wednesday, Aug. 26, from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the general area South of East Main Street and East Jackson Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected.

These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

August 23, 2015 - 2:13am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia.

Mercy medics are called to the Hess Mart, 204 Main St., for the victim of an assault. City police are on scene.

August 21, 2015 - 3:34pm

austincarnivalaug212015-3.jpg

Today, in Austin Park, the 2nd Annual Children's Carnival, sponsored by Community Action of Genesee and Orleans Counties.

austincarnivalaug212015.jpg

austincarnivalaug212015-2.jpg

austincarnivalaug212015-4.jpg

austincarnivalaug212015-5.jpg

austincarnivalaug212015-6.jpg

austincarnivalaug212015-7.jpg

August 21, 2015 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Batavia PD is trying to keep a tight lid on information about its investigation into the death of Troy Hickman.

Hickman's body was found Aug. 7 floating in the Tonawanda Creek in an area behind Kibbe Park.

While the Medical Examiner's Office in Monroe County won't say yet that he was dead longer than two days, Det. Eric Hill did confirm this afternoon that Hickman was last seen alive July 31.

That's even more information that investigators want to put out, Hill said, because people who knew Hickman are still being interviewed and detectives won't want to taint anybody's recollection of events.

"It's still a sensitive issue because it's an ongoing investigation," Hill said. "I don't know how much more information we'll be able to release at this point."

In all, five Batavia PD detectives are working on the case, though they continue to handle other cases while waiting for calls to be returned or potential interview subjects to be located.

Hill said detectives are interested in talking to anybody and everybody who might have information about Hickman leading up to the time of his death.

"We don't know at this point (how he died)," Hill said. "Nothing is off the table, from homicide to suicide to accidental drowning. We don't know at this point."

Previously:

August 21, 2015 - 11:19am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia.

Kim M. Mobley is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. On July 10 on Hutchins Street in the City of Batavia, Mobley allegedly possessed a dangerous knife or other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use it unlawfully against another person. In count two, Mobley is accused of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony, for allegedly stealing U.S. currency having a value in excess of $1,000. In count three, Mobley is accused of fourth-degree grand larceny for allegedly stealing the property of another person. In count four, Mobley is accused of second-degree obstructing governmental administration, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally obstructing, impairing or preventing a public servent from performing an official function, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference, or by means of any independently unlawful act.

August 21, 2015 - 9:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Darien.

Amanda R. Gillett, 32, of Clifton Avenue, Batavia, is charged with obligation of a parent (curfew violation). Gillett's 14-year-old son was allegedly found out and about in violation of the city's 10 p.m. to sunrise curfew for minors.

Donna A. Laird, 47, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with obligation of a parent (curfew violation). Larid's 15-year-old son was allegedly in Williams Park in violation of the city's 10 p.m. to  sunrise  curfew for minors.

Chandra M. Propst, 46, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with obligation of a parent (curfew violation). Larid's 15-year-old son was allegedly in Williams Park in violation of the city's 10 p.m. to sunrise curfew for minors.

mugbradford_adrienne2015_0.jpg
     Adrienne Bradford

Adrienne A. Bradford, 39, of Darien, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and menacing. Bradford was arrested by State Police following a report of a domestic incident involving a knife. Bradford allegedly menaced another person and exited the residence holding two large kitchen knives. Troopers report it was necessary to deploy a Taser to subdue Bradford before taking her into custody. She was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Salvatore F. Pedone, 20, of Fairport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Pedone was a passenger in a car stopped for speeding on Judge Road in the Town of Alabama. Marijuana residue was allegedly found in a container in Pedone's possession.

Maricarmen Rivera, 24, of Kenwood Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding in zone (61 in a 30 mph zone). Rivera was stopped at 2:18 a.m. Thursday on Oak Street, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Leonard C. Millard, 58, of Jackson Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a court case.

James Edward Wroten, 48, of Raymond Avenue, Batavia, is charged with violation of an order of protection. Wroten was allegedly found in the home of the protected party.

A 16-year-old resident of Darien is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, unlicensed operation, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and speeding in special hazards. The charges were filed in Wyoming County following an accident on Folsomdale Road, Bennington. The vehicle was allegedly stolen out of Cowlesville and was owned by the youth's parents. The youth was also charged in Genesee County.

August 20, 2015 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, Deer, DEC.

Deer are causing damage in Batavia and residents say the problem is as bad as they can ever remember it, but that doesn't mean a solution will be easy to find.

DEC Biologist Art Kirsch led a two-hour meeting on the issue Wednesday night, but offered no clear answers and said it could take years for Batavia to thin its deer herd to a less destructive level.

City Manager Jason Molino agreed.

"We've got the right folks at the state level to help us," Molino said. "We've just got to get the right folks in the community to participate and try to come up with a solution. Unfortunately, the solution isn't a cookie-cutter solution and I don't think the time frame is either. I don't think what anyone can predict what type of obstacles we might receive in the process."

Several residents told of the problems they face, including Gus Galliford.

"We're concerned about the deer just ravaging our property," Galliford said. "They're coming in numbers we've never seen before. I built my house 25 years ago and lived in the neighborhood all that time, but after this past spring, they're just destroying the whole thing."

The deer have cost his family thousands and thousands of dollars, Galliford said.

Kirsch said an overpopulation of deer are a problem on at least three levels: ecological damage, car accidents and transmission of disease.

His best suggestions for now: fencing, repellents, and fertility control.

Molino suggested the city may need to set up a committee to study the issue and recommend a solution.

Reporting for story provided by The Batavian's news partner, WBTA AM/FM.

August 20, 2015 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, food processing, business, batavia, GCEDC.

Press release:

Genesee County has once again been recognized as one of the fastest growing “food processing employment leaders” by "Business Facilities," a national site selection publication.

Business Facilities provides annual rankings of metro and global areas in various categories, including food processing and job growth, among others. Genesee County ranked at number seven in a list of top 10 mid-sized metro areas for food-processing growth, making this year the fifth time in 10 years that Genesee County has earned national ranking in this category.

The agricultural, food and beverage sectors in Genesee County employ approximately 1,500 people. The region’s employment numbers continue to increase as economic development focused on agri-business remains a top priority of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors.

“The growth of the food processing sector in our region reflects the positive economic climate here which has been significantly enhanced through the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, the first agri-business site of its kind in New York State,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “We are very pleased to be once again recognized by 'Business Facilities' as a leader in food processing employment and plan to continue expanding our efforts in this critically important economic sector.” 

The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park encompasses 211 shovel ready, pre-permitted acres strategically located between Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region in Batavia, NY. 

The site provides access to a short and main line rail access to move products, and large capacity municipal sewer and water. Through the support of National Grid and National Fuel the site has an enhanced utility infrastructure.

Alpina Foods, LLC, a leading dairy producing company in Colombia and South America, opened its first specialty yogurt manufacturing plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in 2013. In 2013, PepsiCo, in a joint venture with German dairy company Theo Müller, opened a $206-million yogurt manufacturing facility, Muller Quaker Dairy.

Other key food processing and related companies in Genesee County include O-AT-KA Milk Products and Bonduelle USA, Inc.

For more information about the ranking in Business Facilities, please visit  http://businessfacilities.com/2015/07/metro-and-global-rankings/.

August 20, 2015 - 1:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

The Spirit Halloween store's back room in the Batavia Commons on West Main Street is filling with smoke. The building is being evacuated. City fire is responding.

UPDATE 2 p.m.: Chief Jim Maxwell at the scene said that an employee started smelling something suspicious around 11 a.m., then later went into the back room and found it hazy. That's when the fire department was called. A thermal imaging camera reveals no heat source. They are continuing to investigate but think it may be that a ballast burned out.

 

Pages

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2014 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button