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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.
      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.


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.




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


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.

March 13, 2017 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, news.


Frank Capuano sent in this picture of this morning's sky over Batavia.

March 11, 2017 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A car has hit a tree on Clifton Avenue, Batavia.

A person is reported to be disoriented.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

March 10, 2017 - 11:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Yngodess Shop, batavia, business.


It helps that 73 Main St. in Batavia has been a liquor store since the first day after the end of Prohibition, but Chris Crocker thinks she's found a special niche in Batavia that's helped her business survive and grow in its first five years.

"People in Batavia were asking for higher-end products and a whole different mindset on different wines," Crocker said. "And we have fun here."

As soon as Crocker took over the location and renamed it YNGodess in 2012, she started bringing in a broader selection of fine wines and over the five years she's become known among her customers not only as a place for great wine, but also for having one of the finest selections around of whisky, bourbon and scotch, as well as other top-shelf liquors.

"It comes from a passion for the business," she said, "but I'm doing it all for my 13-year-old son."

March 10, 2017 - 4:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, pembroke, corfu.

Jason E. Carpenter, 38, Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree assault. Carpenter was arrested following an investigation into a fight involving multiple persons at the corner of Liberty and Sumner streets in the city at 12:10 a.m. on Feb. 26. Carpenter is accused of punching another person in the eye causing multiple facial fractures. He was jailed without bail and due in City Court on March 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Jamie L. Soto, 42, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with sex offender failure to mail verification form in 10 days -- prior offense, and sex offender failure to notify of address change in 10 days -- prior offense. This female was arrested and arraigned on March 9 in City Court. She had reported that she was living at a residence on East Main Street in "Apt. 4." Through an investigation, it was learned that there is no Apt. 4 and Soto had never resided in an apartment at that address. She was released under supervision of Genesee Justice and is due in City Court on April 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Hill.

Daniel Thomas Henning, 36, of Buffalo Street, Attica, is charged with: DWI; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher; inadequate exhaust; improper right turn; driving on sidewalk; and unlicensed operator. At 10:09 p.m. on March 8, Henning was arrested on Cedar Street in Batavia following the investigation of a motor-vehcile accident on Route 5 in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in City Court April 19. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jenna Ferrando, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

Otto C. Reinhardt III, 50, of Clarence Center Road, Clarence, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt following an incident at the Genesee County Courts Facility at 4 p.m. on March 7. It is alleged that Reinhardt had contact with an individual for whom a complete stay-away order of protection had been issued, thus barring him from any contact with that person. He was jailed on $1,000 cash bail or bond. He was due in City Court March 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Russell R. Miles Jr., 48, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at a Batavia eatery on Main Street in Batavia at 4:32 p.m. on March 8 after he was found with a protected female. He was put in jail and was due in City Court March 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Debbie M. Simmons-Keller, 58, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 4:25 a.m. on March 7 following a domestic dispute. She was issued an appearance ticket for March 21 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanigan, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Melissa A. Wetmore, 44, of Main Street Road, Corfu, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arrested at 4:20 p.m. on March 6 on Pearl Street, Batavia, following a traffic stop of a vehicle in which was a passenger. It is alleged that marijuana was found underneath her seat. She was issued an appearance ticket for March 14 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

(name redacted upon request), 23, of Boyce Road, Pembroke, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and running a red light. She was arrested at 12:17 a.m. today (March 10) on Alleghany Road in Pembroke following a traffic stop. She is due in Town of Pembroke Court on March 28. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer.

March 10, 2017 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, batavia.

Press release:

On March 7, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office arrested local contractor Dennis N. Rawleigh Jr., who is 46 and lives in Batavia, on one count of second-degree scheme to defraud, a Class A misdemeanor, after an investigation into complaints that he did not complete work he received payments for.

In November, Rawleigh, doing business as Rawleigh’s Tear Down, allegedly received over $15,000 in payments from a Town of Gainesville woman to perform work on two houses she owns, one in the Village of Perry and one in the Town of Gainesville. Very little work was completed on the Perry home and none on the Gainesville residence.

The second victim, a male subject from the Town of Sheldon, reported paying Rawleigh a $3,200 down payment to tear down a barn. Rawleigh, a former resident of Perry, attempted to pull the large barn down with a chain and his pickup with negative results. No further attempt to tear the barn down was made since June, 2015.

Rawleigh was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Gainesville Town Court later this month. The arrest report was prepared by Wyoming County Sheriff's Captain Erik Tamol.

March 10, 2017 - 12:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, weather.


City crews were on Morton Avenue this morning as part of their rounds through the city to clean up downed trees and tree limbs.



March 10, 2017 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia.


There is dry ice and water available at the fire hall on Evans Street.

The National Grid workers handing out the dry ice advise that you should bring a cooler with you. If you don't have a cooler, bring blankets to wrap the ice in. If you don't have a cooler, you need to be prepared to drive home with your windows open because of the CO2 the dry ice emits. When you get the block, you need good winter gloves to handle the ice.

The crew was also told they should expect to be back at the fire hall tomorrow, which sounds like a sign that National Grid expects a lot of people to still be without power through tonight.

March 10, 2017 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia.


There are still nearly 100 locations in Genesee County with reported power outages affecting thousands of National Grid customers, but several outages should be repaired by this afternoon, including much of Stafford and Bethany and the west side of the Town of Batavia.

National Grid reports that power has been restored to the Village of Le Roy, though a couple of small outages remain in the area of the village.

The major outages in the City of Batavia, including Morton and Central avenues, and State Street as of yet have not ETA for repair.

There are still 615 outages reported in National Grid's service area in WNY, leaving 26,790 customers without power. Immediately after Wednesday's windstorm, there were nearly 100,000 customers without power.

To help residents without power, National Grid is supplying bottled water by the case and dry ice at City Fire on Evans Street. Dry ice was just delivered to the station, twice the amount delivered yesterday, which was all scooped by within an hour.

The dry ice at city station is available now (as of 10:50 a.m.)

Batavia High School's performance of "Hairspray" has been canceled for tonight. A 7:30 p.m. show has been added for Sunday.

Top photo: submitted by a reader. Bottom two photos, I took on State Street while out trying to find a National Grid repair crew working in the city (I didn't find one.)



March 9, 2017 - 7:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia.

Press release:

Batavia City School District’s Jackson Primary School staff looks forward to welcoming its new kindergarten students for 2017-2018!

Registration for children eligible to begin kindergarten in the 2017-2018 school year starts Monday, March 13.

Parents/guardians are asked to register their eligible child(ren) by May 25 in order to assure a screening appointment in early June and a placement letter by early August.

Children who will be 5 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2017, are eligible.

Registration is at the District’s Business Office, located in the administration wing of Batavia High School (260 State St.), on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

To register a child, parents must bring:

-- Proof of Residency as evidence of physical address, which must be two (2) of the following: (We will make copies for our records.)

  • Mortgage statement/lease
  • Electric or gas or bill
  • Water bill
  • Cable bill
  • Letter from attorney/realtor on their letterhead with confirmation of address and anticipated moving/closing date.
  • School tax bill
  • Current payroll check

--  the child’s birth certificate,

--  the child’s Social Security card, and

--  the child’s complete immunization records.

 Kindergarten screening appointments will be scheduled for June 6-8, and placement letters will be mailed the first week of August. In addition, parents/guardians will be notified of an evening orientation for themselves.

Parents of all new students to the District are also asked to register their child in the Business Office with the same documentation.

Current 2016-2017 UPK students will be provided with information to complete for registration into kindergarten by mail.

If you have questions, please call the Business Office at 343-2480, ext. 1002.

March 9, 2017 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

Press release from the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management Services:

To address concerns regarding non-emergency storm needs, call the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management Services at 585-344-0078, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

At this time, there is no confirmed time for restoration of power to various areas. National Grid estimates 90 percent of restoration by midnight tomorrow (March 10) and 99 percent by midnight on Saturday.

An Emergency Shelter was established starting at 5 o'clock tonight at the Batavia Veterans Hospital, 222 Richmond Ave., Building #4, Batavia.

Two warming shelters will be open in Batavia at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday: the Salvation Army, located at 529 E. Main St.; and the Genesee County Office of the Aging, 2 Bank St.

March 9, 2017 - 4:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in JCPenney Co., batavia, business, news.

If you're trying to read the tea leaves on whether JCPenney's in Batavia will be among the 130 to 140 stores the company will close this year, this list of underperforming locations might be of interest.

Batavia is not on it.

But that means nothing. There are only 39 stores listed.

The list was created and released by Morningstar Credit Ratings.


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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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