Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

batavia

March 15, 2017 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Centennial Park, news, weather.

centparksnowmarch152017.jpg

Lilah Guarino, 7, (top photo) and Quintin Hoca, 4, (below) couldn't wait to get to Centennial Park today to sled in the snow. The sun came out late this afternoon and they were there. It's the first time this winter there has really been enough snow for good sledding. Lilah's father said she's been bugging him all winter about sledding so she was eager to hit the slopes today.

centparksnowmarch152017-2.jpg

centparksnowmarch152017-3.jpg

March 15, 2017 - 6:52pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia, City Fire.

Press release:

City Manager Jason Molino announced today that Stefano (Steve) Napolitano has accepted the position of the City’s new fire chief.

Chief Napolitano will be leaving his current position as Deputy Fire Chief for the Village of Herkimer and begin his Batavia post on April 17.

“It has been a long and thorough search to fill this important position with the City’s fire department,” Molino said. “Steve brings with him a great breadth and depth of experience in the fire service and has the proven skills and passion for leadership that we’ve been looking for. I look forward to introducing him to our community.”

In addition to his 25 years with Herkimer’s fire department, Chief Napolitano has served as a New York State Fire Instructor since 2006. He continues to conduct training at the State Academy of Fire Sciences in Montour Falls.

Napolitano also worked as Deputy Director of the Herkimer County Office of Emergency Services from 2008 through 2015 where he assisted in development, revision and implementation of local disaster and emergency management plans, along with assisting in the county 9-1-1 dispatch communication center and the administration of the county’s mutual aid plan, mutual aid radio system and state fire training.

Chief Napolitano, who has two adult children; a daughter, Alyssa and a son, Steven,  will relocate to Batavia.

“I anticipate becoming an integral member of the community and immersing myself in various civic organizations,” Napolitano said. “In addition, the City is experiencing many quality of life enhancements, and along with being able to work with an outstanding group of men and women in providing critical services to the citizens of Batavia, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of all the community has to offer.”

Molino also thanked Interim Chief Dan Herberger who has served in the temporary capacity for a little more than a year, saying “Chief Herberger has proven himself to be an outstanding senior leader and integral member of our management team.”

Molino added that Herberger contributed immensely not only to the fire department but to the entire City through his wisdom, work ethic and incredible sense of commitment.

 

March 15, 2017 - 6:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

Press release:

City Manager Jason Molino announced today that Stefano (Steve) Napolitano has accepted the position of the City’s new fire chief. Chief Napolitano will be leaving his current position as Deputy Fire Chief for the Village of Herkimer, NY, and begin his Batavia post on April 17, 2017.

“It has been a long and thorough search to fill this important position with the City’s fire department,” said Molino. “Steve brings with him a great breadth and depth of experience in the fire service and has the proven skills and passion for leadership that we’ve been looking for. I look forward to introducing him to our community.”

In addition to his 25 years with Herkimer’s fire department, Chief Napolitano has served as a New York State Fire Instructor since 2006. He continues to conduct training at the State Academy of Fire Sciences in Montour Falls, NY. Napolitano also worked as Deputy Director of the Herkimer County Office of Emergency Services from 2008 through 2015 where he assisted in development, revision and implementation of local disaster and emergency management plans, along with assisting in the county 911 dispatch communication center and the administration of the county’s mutual aid plan, mutual aid radio system and state fire training.

Chief Napolitano, who has two adult children; a daughter, Alyssa and a son, Steven, will relocate to Batavia. “I anticipate becoming an integral member of the community and immersing myself in various civic organizations,” said Napolitano. “In addition, the City is experiencing many quality of life enhancements, and along with being able to work with an outstanding group of men and women in providing critical services to the citizens of Batavia, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of all the community has to offer.”

Molino also thanked Interim Chief Dan Herberger who has served in the temporary capacity for a little more than a year. “Chief Herberger has proven himself to be an outstanding senior leader and integral member of our management team.” Molino went on to say that Herberger contributed immensely not only to the fire department but to the entire City through his wisdom, work ethic and incredible sense of commitment. 

March 15, 2017 - 6:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia, youth.

The Genesee County Job Development Bureau will hold a Youth Job Fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 23. It will take place at the Genesee County Career Center, located at 587 E. Main St., Batavia.

Eleven employers and 13 vendors are scheduled to attend. They will assist youth graduating from high school secure employment on a short-term or long-term basis, and vendors such as Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, Genesee Community College, and Empire State College will have representatives there to talk to the youth about vocational or educational goals.

In addition, representatives from the Department of Labor will be on hand to review students' resumes.

For questions or to participate in this event, contact Jay Lazarony, senior employment & training counselor, Genesee County Career Center, 587 E. Main St., Batavia. Phone 344-2042, ext. 4212, or email  [email protected]

March 15, 2017 - 5:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia.

Rachel Ann Baehr, 30, of Linwood Road, Le Roy, is charged with third-degree assault. On March 15, at 1:25 a.m., Baehr was arrested following an investigation of a domestic incident that occurred at 9101 Linwood Road in the Town of Le Roy. She allegedly bit another person's face, causing them to bleed. Baehr was arraigned, then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. She is due back in Le Roy Town Court on April 20. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Richard Dean McKague Jr., 26, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. On March 14, at about 11:16 a.m., McKague was arrested for allegedly possessing a Kung Fu Star during a probation home check. He was issued an appearance ticker for April 11 in Batavia Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Deputy Chad Cummings.

March 15, 2017 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in city centre, City Centre Mall Association, mall, batavia, news.

City officials are wondering what's up with the settlement they reached with attorneys for the City Centre Mall Merchants Association. They thought the matter would be resolved by now, but apparently, the attorneys for the merchants haven't even shown the membership the final draft of the settlement agreement.

While City Manager Jason Molino said he has no reason to believe the settlement won't eventually be presented to the merchants and the settlement will be approved, the delay just means the city can't work on structural deficiencies in the concourse.  

"I would like to think that there is nothing that suggests the deal is going to fall apart," Molino said. "The issue is how do we get to the finishing line and get to the finishing line as expeditiously as possible, which is in the best interest of everyone in the community, the best interest of the property owners in here in the mall, and then we can start to talk about what we can do to trigger new growth and new investment in this concourse and in this mall. That's the most important thing to keep our eye on."

Mall Manager Madeline Bialkowski, who scheduled her retirement for April 1 to coincide with the settlement of the mall merchant's lawsuit being in place, said that merchants are waiting for a final draft of the settlement agreement from the attorneys.

Hugh Carlin is the attorney representing the City Centre Mall Merchants Association. 

Yesterday, we asked Carlin when the merchants would approve the settlement.

"I can't say yet," Carlin said. "Hopefully in the near future. There are a few more details we're working on."

Asked what those details might be since his side had already agreed to a settlement, Carlin said, "I can't comment." Pushed for clarification, he repeated, "I can't comment."

According to documents obtained by The Batavian through a Freedom of Information Law request, the merchants have paid their attorneys $212,056 since starting the litigation against the city in 2009.

In February of 2015, The Batavian reported that the association had spent $103,317 on the lawsuit. The tab has gone up another $108,738 according to documents obtained through the FOIL request.

The city, through the same period, has spent $168,070 on attorney fees, with $63,872 being added since February 2015.

"The city has done everything it can prior to the lawsuit (to reach an agreement), during the lawsuit and now, having entered into terms we've agreed to to end the lawsuit in a way that is expedient and in the best interest of everyone," Molino said. "Now, we're still having challenges with the mall's legal counsel."

The lack of an agreement is delaying Bialkowski's retirement. She's agreed to stay on until the settlement is finalized, but she and her friends are still going ahead with a retirement party at Ken's Pits on March 30 because she anticipates she will be retired not long after that, she said.

The association and the city had a long-simmering dispute over who is responsible for repair and maintenance of the mall concourse. According to a 1987 settlement, the merchants' association was supposed to take control of the city-owned concourse on April 1, 2000.

The settlement agreement the city and the attorneys for merchants agreed to during the first week of February puts the burden back on the city to repair and maintain the concourse. That's a task Molino said the city is eager to take on because that's the only way all of the necessary repairs will take place so the mall becomes once again a viable business investment.

The City Council approved the settlement Feb. 27.  Each owner of properties in the mall must individually sign off on the agreement or submit a motion to the court to show cause for not agreeing to the settlement.

The city is ready to get started, he said, as soon as the merchants approve the agreement.

"The city is in position and we're ready to move," Molino said. "We're ready to take this 17-acre area and take on the responsibility to move it into a better position so that in the future it triggers investment."

There's a lot of work to be done but that doesn't apparently include mitigating mold.

Contrary to reports in other media outlets, there is no evidence of mold in the mall, Molino said.  

The speculation for mold in the mall apparently comes from an interview Ron Viele, a local contractor, gave to a reporter. We placed calls yesterday afternoon and early this afternoon seeking clarification but Viele has not returned our calls.

We did speak to Paul Viele, Ron's son and a member of the City Council. He said he didn't participate in the interview with his father but did say "it's possible" there is mold in the mall, especially given the leaks and moisture in the mall.

He said the city should hire a professional to evaluate whether there is mold.

"We don't do that kind of work," Viele said. "We're contractors."

Until the merchants' attorneys move forward with the settlement, it would be up to the mall association to hire a contractor to deal with any potential mold, Molino said.

However, he said, as part of the settlement process, a third-party consultant was brought in to evaluate the mall concourse. Molino said he can't release that report, even as part of a FOIL request, because it's part of the technically ongoing litigation, but that consultant found no evidence of mold, he said.

As for whether it's possible, of course, it's possible, Molino said. It's also possible, he said, that if you have forced-air heating in your home that you have mold in your home. In fact, if you haven't had your ducts cleaned in a long time, it's likely. That doesn't mean the mold is harmful. It depends on the type of mold and a person's sensitivity to it.  It would take a professional, not just somebody looking up at the ceiling, to determine if mold is present. (Here's what the CDC says about the health risks of mold.)

March 15, 2017 - 12:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

cvs_larceny_photo.jpg

The person in the photo is wanted by Batavia PD for questioning in the theft of merchandise from the CVS store on West Main Street, Batavia.

Several items were stolen at approximately 10:15 a.m., Monday.

The person of interest is described as 5' 10" and wearing a baseball cap, dark boots, dark blue jeans, and a black Carhartt-style jacket.

Tips: Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

March 15, 2017 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in immigration, batavia, news.

departprotestmarch152017.jpg

About a dozen people rallied in support of Dolores Bustamante this morning outside of the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia.

Bustamante, who lives in Sodus, was scheduled for a deportation hearing and supporters were concerned she was being targeted because of her work with the Workers Center of CNY following President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

In a short statement before her hearing, Bustamante said she was hopeful that President Trump is serious about only going after immigrants who are criminals because, she said, she is not a criminal. She came to this country to get away from an abusive spouse and provide a better life for her daughter.

At the hearing today, Bustamante was allowed to stay in the country but ordered back to the immigration court in two months.

Another worker activist with the Workers' Center, Jose Coyote Perez, is currently being detained, according to Rebecca Fuentes.

Fuentes said Perez was administratively cleared to stay in the country in September and obtained a work permit and a Social Security number and was in the process of getting a driver's license when he was detained.

She said Perez was assaulted by a coworker at the dairy farm in Livingston County where he's employed and as a result, Perez contacted local law enforcement. Officers responded but made no arrests and left it to the parties to work it out amongst themselves.

The next day, she said, Perez was ordered by ICE to report to Batavia to fill out paperwork. She said officials told him it was just routine and he had nothing to worry about. He was detained the day he turned up, Feb. 24, and has been in custody since then.

He has a hearing at the end of the month, she said, and there will likely be another rally at the facility to support his cause.

In 2014, Bustamante was stopped by a trooper for a traffic violation and as a result was turned over to immigration authorities. Bustamante and members of the Workers' Center participated in a campaign that led to an executive memo that prohibits troopers from asking citizenship status during routine contacts.

departprotestmarch152017-2.jpg

March 15, 2017 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia.

weathermarch152017a.jpg

There's plenty of snow on the ground, it's cold and a winter storm warning remains in effect until 8 p.m., but the county's travel advisory has been lifted and conditions aren't too bad for a snowy, winter day.

Photo: 500 block of East Main Street, Batavia.

March 14, 2017 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Stafford, news.

James Pontillo, who operates a residential rental company in the city, agreed to a plea deal today over an allegation that he falsified business records related to a residence he was operating as a rental after his sister died.

The 49-year-old Stafford resident entered a guilty plea to second-degree falsifying business records, a misdemeanor, and faces up to a year in jail when sentenced.

He also agreed to pay $2,550 in restitution.

The plea satisfies several initial charges, including forgery and grand larceny.

Fred Rarick, attorney for Pontillo, previously explained to The Batavian that the charges stemmed from a dispute over how Pontillo handled the estate of his late sister, who died in 2012. Pontillo was accused of providing false information to Pathstone on paperwork related to Section 8 housing.

March 14, 2017 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke, news.

John Eric Jaszko Jr., 31, of Kelsey Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, refusal to take breath test, driving left of pavement markings, inadequate headlamps. At 12:50 a.m., Deputy Ryan Young discovered at property damage accident at 3599 Galloway Road where a fire hydrant was sheared off and laying by the side of the road. There was no vehicle around. Young followed tire tracks in the freshly fallen snow and the tracks led him to Jaszko's home. After a brief investigation, Young determined that Jaszko had been the driver of the vehicle and that he had allegedly been driving drunk. Deputy Eric Meyer and Sgt. John Baiocco assisted in the investigation.

Sean Aldwyn Jr., 24, of Starling Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Deputy Richard Schildwaster reported detecting the odor of marijuana following a traffic stop at 5:48 p.m. Saturday on Park Road. Following a vehicle search, a quantity of marijuana was allegedly found in the vehicle.

Salvatore Michael Schwable, 19, of Webber Street, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unlicensed operator, and inadequate headlamp. Schwable was stopped at 10 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Cassidy Longhini.

March 14, 2017 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
mug2017aguayo.jpg
      Leonard Aguayo

A Rochester resident has been arrested a second time on a drug-dealing charge, this time while sitting in jail on the first arrest.

Leonard E. Aguayo, 30, of Affinity Lane, Rochester, allegedly sold a quantity of crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force at a location in the city last month.

He was arrested at the end of February following a traffic stop by members of the Local Drug Task Force when he was allegedly found in possession of more than a half ounce of crack cocaine with an estimated street value of $4,000, a quantity of marijuana and cash. 

In November, Aguayo was arrested in Genesee County following a traffic stop on Route 33 in Byron and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

The new arrest is on charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

He is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

March 14, 2017 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Stafford, byron, batavia.

A driver has been cited for alleged failure to yield the right of way leading to an injury accident at 5:04 p.m. Monday on Griswold Road in Stafford.

Cited was Thomas J. Scheuerlein, 78, of Griswold Road, Byron. Griswold along with passenger Patricia Scheuerlein, 78, were transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy EMS.

The other driver, Danielle Rozell, 35, of Elm Street, Batavia, was not injured.

According to the report by Deputy Robert Henning, Scheuerlein pulled onto Griswold Road from Godfrey's Pond Road without yielding the right of way to traffic on Griswold.

Rozell's car struck Scheuerlein's car on the driver's side.

March 14, 2017 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, news.

snowdaymarch142017.jpg

Crews were out and working in Batavia this morning dealing with the few inches of snow that fell overnight and this morning.

The winter storm warning remains in effect through 8 p.m. tomorrow with a prediction of steady snowfall and a storm total in the area of about 18 inches.

snowdaymarch142017-2.jpg

snowdaymarch142017-3.jpg

snowdaymarch142017-4.jpg

March 13, 2017 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rashaad Santiago, arts, entertainment, batavia, business.

rashaadmarch2017.jpg

Special effects artist Rashaad Santiago has set up a studio on the third floor of the Harvester Center where he can do work for his clients from all over the world as well as teach aspiring artists.

Santiago won the reality TV series "Face-Off" in 2014 for his monster-making prowess.

The studio gives Santiago a place where he can make costumes, masks, and props for clients, whether molded, sculpted or welded.

He said he's been getting work for movies, television and commercials.

He's also traveled on personal appearances to conventions and special events. He returned recently from Nashville where he was invited to provide a demo in monster-making.

He said he enjoys teaching.

"I love talking about this stuff," Santiago said. "I love being part of the process of watching somebody learn something new and then watch them work at it until they get it."

Currently, Santiago is running a four-week Wednesday night course. He will start a new course when he returns from his business trip. For more information or to sign up, visit his Facebook page or email him at [email protected]

March 13, 2017 - 3:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, news.

Press release:

The Yard Waste Station on Law Street will be closed this week, Tuesday, March 14th and Wednesday, March 15th due to the forecasted snow event. We plan to resume operations on Thursday, March 16th with regular hours (noon-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday) for the season. If there are any questions or concerns about this matter, contact the Bureau of Maintenance at (585) 345-6400, option 1.

March 13, 2017 - 1:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A distrubance is reported in the Walmart parking lot in the area of Row #8 by the food entrance. There are three people involved, including at least one female. A subject reportedly has some sort of a weapon, which was brandished because "he was being attacked." Sheriff's deputies just arrived.

March 13, 2017 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion, Le Roy, Stafford, batavia, news, bergen.

David Lane Handley Jr., 54, of Ontario Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with burglary, 3rd, and criminal mischief, 3rd. Handley allegedly broke into the Yellow Goose Store in Pavilion at 2 a.m. Feb. 12. The investigation was conducted by Deputy James Diehl.

Jeffrey Allan Youngs, 56, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, inadequate headlamps, driver's view obstructed, and open container. Youngs was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday on Route 20 in Alexander by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Timothy K. Smith, 23, of South Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving without insurance, inadequate headlamp, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and unregistered vehicle. Smith was stopped at 9:56 p.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Le Roy, by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Chad Allen Cooper, 21, of Emily Court, Bergen, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. During a "check the welfare" request, Cooper was allegedly found in possession of heroin.

Ghislaine Pena, 25, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and failure to stop. Pena was arrested on a warrant during a traffic stop at 2:07 a.m. Saturday on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Shamir Kamran Aslam, 29, of Landstone Terrace, Rochester, is charged with menacing, 2nd, and two counts of criminal contempt, 1st. Aslam allegedly drove his vehicle at a high rate of speed and swerved by a person covered by a protective order when leaving the Genesee County Courts facility at 11:05 a.m., March 1.

Mark Joseph Amico Jr., 29, of Route 237, Le Roy, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Amico allegedly called another person and made several threatening statements at 6:07 a.m., March 7.

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
24
 
 

Upcoming

Copyright © 2008-2016 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