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April 21, 2011 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford.

Francisco Martinez Jr., 37, no permanent address, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Martinez was taken into custody by Batavia Police on an arrest warrant issued in City Court after Martinez allegedly violated a "stay away" order of protection. Martinez was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Eric M. Duda, 49, of 6303 Main Road, Stafford, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Duda allegedly violated an order of protection by going to an apartment where the protected person was staying. Duda was jailed on $1,000 bail.

April 20, 2011 - 4:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Kiwanis.

A big, fun Easter Egg Hunt begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 23 at Centennial Park in the City of Batavia.

This annual event -- for children age 10 and under -- is put on by the Batavia Kiwanis.

Centennial Park is located at Ellicott Avenue and Richmond Avenue.

April 20, 2011 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Bethany, Stafford.

Travis Michael Herold, 20, of Prospect Street, Attica, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Herold was taken into custody following the investigation by Deputy Jason Saile into a motor vehicle accident at 2:18 a.m. in the area of 9406 Alexander Road, Batavia.

Jason Jonathan Reed, 34, of South Pearl Street Road, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Reed is accused of violating an order of protection issued in Family Court by making a phone call to the protected party.

Connie Lynn King, 40, of South Main Street, Oakfield, is charged with harassment, 2nd. King is accused of punching, kicking, biting and pulling the hair of her boyfriend during an alleged domestic dispute at 12:45 a.m., Monday.

Dennis F. Walter, 53, of Clipnock Road, Stafford, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and one count of criminal possession of a criminal weapon, 4th. Walter was arrested on a warrant out of Bethany Town Court and jailed on $20,000 bail.

Raymond Edmond Allard, 27, of South Main Street, Oakfield, is charged with trespass and harassment, 2nd. Allard allegedly had physical contact with another person and then refused to leave the property when told to do so by the property owner.

April 20, 2011 - 3:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A tractor-trailer has reportedly dragged down a live wire from a power pole at a residence at 3766 Batavia-Elba Townline Road. It is in the roadway.

Town of Batavia Fire Department is called to the scene. The location is west of Pekin Road.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: National Grid has been notified. No ETA given. The residence is completely without power for now.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: National Grid is now on scene to fix the problem.

UPDATE 3:57 p.m.: The Town of Batavia fire units are back in service.

April 20, 2011 - 3:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones, ficarella's.

Jessica Ficarella took 2nd Place in the All-Around at the USAG Spring Graffiti Gymnastics Meet April 2nd in West Seneca.

Jessica, who is 10 years old, took 1st Place on vault, 3rd Place on the Uneven Bars and 2nd Place on the Floor Exercise -- earning her the overall 2nd Place finish. Jessica is a fifth-grader at Churchville-Chili Middle School and is a member of the Bright Raven Gymnastics Team which finished in 1st Place at the Graffiti meet.

She is the daughter of Nick and Nancy Ficarella of Churchville who own Ficarella's Pizzeria in Batavia.

April 20, 2011 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

UPDATED 2:40 p.m.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene and another person transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital following a head-on collision on West Main Street Road, Town of Batavia, just before 7:30 a.m.

The two-car collision occurred about 3/4 of a mile west of Wortendyke Road and about two miles west of another fatal head-on collision two months ago.

Jonathan M. Colby, 37, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

The other driver was Angelo A. Merica III, 27, of Pavilion.

The Sheriff's Office release said for "unknown reasons" Colby's 2007 Dodge, heading eastbound, crossed into the westbound lane and struck Merica's 2000 Pontiac.

Driver fatigue may have been a factor in the crash. 

Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble said witnesses described Colby's vehicle drifting over the center line in a slow movement, rather than a jerk, which is conisistent with somebody falling asleep or some prolonged driver distraction.

Colby's car drifted all the way over to the eastbound lane's fog lines, Dibble said, before it struck Merica's car.

What exactly was going on in Colby's car may remain an open question.

"In the end, those are the things you never know with 100 percent certainty," Dibble said.

The cars appear to have hit squarely head-on at a significant rate of speed. The pavement was wet this morning following an overnight rainstorm.

Merica was transported to Strong and was conscious and alert during an extrication procedure, Sheriff Gary Maha said. The man's leg was pinned in the vehicle.

Colby is originally from Olean, according to his Facebook profile. He was a big Batavia Muckdogs fan who attended most home games and sat in the third-base bleachers. When he was at a game, he had a scorebook in his lap and recorded every pitch.

He studied at the University of Rochester and worked at Lowe's.

His last Facebook status update, posted four hours before the crash from a mobile phone, read, "Overnights really starting to hit me now." Previous posts referenced working a spate of overnight shifts recently.

WBTA's Geoff Redick remembers Colby from his time at Notre Dame High School. ND was phasing out its Latin courses and Colby was brought in as a temporary teacher to instruct the third-level Latin course.

Redick described Colby as "very knowledgable" and "hard working."

"He used to come into teach class on his lunch hour from his job at Skalny Basket," Redick said.

"He was a very nice guy, but goal oriented," Redick recalled. "He could be tough on us at times."

Colby leaves behind a wife and 7-year-old daughter.

East Pembroke Fire responded to the accident along with mutual aid from Town of Batavia and Oakfield fire departments. Mercy EMS sent two ambulances.

The investigation is being conducted by Sgt W.C. Scott of the Sheriff's Office Crash Management Team, Deputy Brian Thompson and Investigator Rodger Stone.

On Feb. 8, 19-year-old Delores Opuku-Boateng, a nursing student at GCC, was killed in a head-on collision on West Main Street Road near County Building #2. Investigators allege that the driver of the car she was in, Levert Kimble, 21, was driving too fast for conditions. Kimble has been charged with reckless driving.

This post will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

(Initial Report)

April 20, 2011 - 7:32am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, east pembroke, town of batavia, oakfiled.

A head-on collision with serious injuries is reported at 3265 W. Main St. in the Town of Batavia. A responder on scene says one person is unconscious and another person is semiconscious.

Mercy Flight is unavailable. East Pembroke and Town of Batavia fire departments are responding with all available manpower. Two Mercy ambulances are responding.

East Pembroke personnel are shutting down traffic at Route 5 and Hopkins Road. Town of Batavia's crew is shutting down traffic at Wortendyke Road and Route 5.

Oakfield is called to provide extrication equipment.

UPDATE 7:41 a.m.: Mercy Flight in Batavia became available and is launching momentarily to go to the scene.

UPDATE 7:50 a.m.: Mercy Flight is circling and preparing to land in a field of grass northeast of the crash site. Light winds out of the south, the flight crew is told.

UPDATE 7:54 a.m.: Mercy Flight is on the ground. Both patients have been extricated.

UPDATE 8:05 a.m.: A chief reports that a portion of Route 5 will be shut down for at least an hour. One patient is being taken to a hospital via Mercy Flight and the other is going in an ambulance. Hospitals have not been specified. Two flatbed tow trucks are en route.

UPDATE 8:13 a.m.: Sheriff Gary Maha confirmed that one of the crash victims has died and a coroner has been called.

UPDATE 8:28 a.m.: Mercy Flight is going to Strong Memorial Hospital. The next of kin is being notified regarding the death, then the name of the victim will be released.

UPDATE 9:07 a.m.: Route 5 has been reopened. All fire units back in service.

April 19, 2011 - 7:07pm
posted by Kim Gloskowski in batavia, Announcements, church, public event, Vendor Show.
Event Date and Time: 
April 19, 2011 - 6:55pm to May 7, 2011 - 3:55pm


Saturday, May 7th

10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Emmanuel Baptist Church

190 Oak Street, Batavia

Event features MANY popular home business vendors & crafters

Bake sale, lunch, cash & carry, free samples & door prizes

The first 50 customers receive a FREE gift!

visit us on the web at

April 19, 2011 - 5:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, health, UMMC, C. diff.

Statement from Tom Allocco, New York Department of Health:

United Memorial Medical Center has properly reported its cases of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) to the State Health Department. The department has been working with United Memorial on the implementation of proper infection-control measures to help reduce the spread of illness. These include proper hand hygiene (simple, but probably the most important control measure), cleaning and disinfecting portions of the facility, and the separation of those who are infected from other patients. The department’s investigation of the outbreak continues. Once the investigation is finalized, the findings will be available. 

Additionally, the state health department has a public report on "Hospital Acquired Infections" that was released in late 2010 and covers data through 2009.

According to the report, in 2009, UMMC performed 28 colon procedures and of those, two patients contracted infections. That puts UMMC's infection rate at 7.1 (a number adjusted to calculate infections per 100 procedures to enable statewide comparisons). New York's infection rate for colon procedures in 2009 was 4.8.  

UMMC's rate of 7.1 is considered within the range of state average.

Strong Memorial's rate for 2009 was 5.5, also within the state average.

In 2008, UMMC's rate was 6.4, the state average was 4.4 and Strong was 4.8

In 2008, Strong performed 327 procedures and there were 16 infections. The following year, Strong performed 317 procedures and there were 17 infections.

Erie County Medical Center performed 86 colon procedures in 2008 and 98 in 2009 with three reported infections in each year. Numbers also fell within the statistical average at Highland Hospital in Rochester, while Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo reported no infections, with about 50 procedures for each year. (For some reason, the report called W&C's zero-infection rate "statistically insignificant" and didn't give it a "blue star" on its report card).

For hip replacement surgery, UMMC's infection rate in 2008 was 3.1, and 2.5 in 2009. Both numbers fall within the range of the state average of 1.1. In 2008, UMMC performed 81 procedures with three infections and in 2009, 84 procedures with two infections. For the same procedure, Strong performed 50 operations in 2008 and 60 in 2009 with no infections.

April 19, 2011 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Tyrone L. Richardson, 35, of 17 Walnut St., Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing / blood circulation and harassment, 2nd. Richardson is accused of grabbing another person by the throat and also placing that person in a headlock and applying pressure. Richardson reportedly left the scene of the alleged incident at 8:20 a.m., Sunday, and turned himself in on Monday.

Jayson Michael Connolly, 37, of Weathersfield Road, Silver Springs, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Connolly is accused of placing a phone call to a woman he is barred by court order from contacting. Connolly was jailed on $2,500 bail. (from Sheriff's Office press release)

Jayson M. Connolly, 37, of 5405 Weathersfield Road, Silver Springs, is charged with criminal contempt ,2nd. Connolly was allegedly found in a car with a person he was barred from contacting by court order. Connolly was jailed on $1,000 bail (City Police press release)

Travis J. Weatherall, 23, of 7216 Griswold Road, Bergen, is charged with petit larceny. Weatherall was arrested by Le Roy Police. He is accused of shoplifting a package of jerky from Tops Market.

April 18, 2011 - 6:25pm

Today, Genesee Community College announced the Genesee County students who are among 612 on the Dean's List for the Fall 2010 semester. These students earned a quality point index (grade-point average) of 3.50-3.74.

The honorees, their hometowns and attendance status, are:


Jake Nadolinski, full time


Daniel Dudek, part time

Sabrina Herman, full time

Clayton Miller, part time

Teresa Morris, full time

John Ognibene, full time

Laurie Schwab, part time

Cindy Schwartz, part time

Stacy Wirth, full time

Lacey Wolfley, full time


Kassondra Conrad, full time

Andrew Greene, full time

Danielle Hirtzel, full time

Ely Winnie, part time


Jenise Albert, part time

Valeria Antonetty, part time

Jessica Barone, full time

Christopher Blachowicz, full time

Ann Brade, part time

Alex Brasky, part time

Katherine Clemm, full time

Neil DeLillo, part time

Richard DelPlato, part time

Nicole DiSalvo, full time

Erin Dobbertin, full time

Melissa Dorman, full time

Ian Dries, full time

Delores Dyer, full time

Ashley Falcone, full time

Charles Ferraro, full time

Kaelie Grazioplene, full time

Rachel Guppenberger, full time

Kimberly Gutzmer, full time

Brett Hake, part time

Shauna Hutchinson, part time

Kimberly Ianita, full time

Jessica Jaszko, full time

Katie Kosciolek, part time

Gregory Kryman, full time

Jenna Lynn Leach, full time

Shelly Lopez, full time

Elizabeth Martin, full time

Emily Mott, full time

John Mullen, part time

Colleen O'Donnell, full time

Daniel Oquendo, full time

Joseph Pedro, full time

Theresa Pellegrino, part time

Joshua Que, full time

Meagan Roese, full time

Amy Roggow, part time

Erin Ruzzi, full time

Erin Schafer, part time

Joseph Schlossel, part time

James Schnellinger, part time

Amber Shea, full time

Trisha Smith, part time

Brian Sprague, full time

Kathryn Svensen, part time

Mark Temperato, part time

Wendy Walker, part time

Todd Warren, full time

Katelyn Wickson, part time

Caitlin Wilkinson, full time

Mercedes Wollek, full time

Cameron Wright, full time


Karen Beaney, part time

Ryan Chatham, full time

Carrie Cooper, part time

Samantha Elliott, full time

Amanda Heale, full time

Gary Heale, part time

Kelsey Hill, part time

Cynthia Mack, part time

Rebecca Mosher, full time

Tavy Shippers, part time

Ashley Spangenburg, part time

Miranda Tardy, full time


Kevin Jackson, full time

Mark McLaughlin, full time

Timothy Nicholas, full time


Eric Allen, full time

Shannon Bartlett, part time

John Bernardini, part time

Patrick Betz, full time

Stacy Brockway, part time

Joseph D'Amato, full time

Lisa Falkowski, part time

Melissa Gardner, full time

Jessica Gerould, full time

Ashley Ingram, full time

Jamie Johnson, full time

Tracy Kearney, full time

Victoria Rebmann, full time

Kara Rykert, full time

Ashlin Thuman, part time

Dana Wolbert, full time


Larissa DeMuth, part time

Abigail Engel, full time

Nadine McClurg, part time

Alexander Muench, full time

Rebecca Piechowiak, full time

Michelle Waldo, full time


Sarah Baird, part time

Karen DeFelice, full time

Ian Lawson, part time


Lucinda Barber, part time


Michael Anauo, full time

Keenan Hughes, part time

Christopher Johnson, part time

Jeana Pfalzer, full time

Danyelle Scarborough, part time


Jennifer Beherns, part time

Joeylyn Berl, part time

Jacob Bortle, part time

Ashley Carney, part time

Jason Coniber, part time

Chad Cummings, part time

Margery Fitzsimmons, part time

Jamie Givens, part time

Bridget Grayson, part time

Anthony Macaluso, full time

Sharlene Majors, full time

Melissa Meadows, full time

Brenda Melton, full time

Caleb Nicodemus, full time

Joel Pitts, part time

Bethany Roth, full time

Katherine Stearns, part time

Jeremy Tiede, part time

Duane Weber, part time

Bradley Wight, part time

Sharon Wynn, full time


Kari Adams, full time

Amanda Bachorski, full time

Ariel Bentkowski, full time

Kristen Casper, full time

Julie Mendez, full time

Kendra Moak, full time

Sara Mooney, full time

Nathan Oaksford, part time

Veronica Rebert, full time

Maria Sanders, full time

Olivia Waldron, full time


Matthew Berkemeier, part time

Daniel Case, part time

Marie Hart, part time

Jeannie Kirch, part time

Brian Leach, full time

Emily Mess, full time

Julia Sallade, full time

Deborah Schroeder, full time

Peter Sherman, part time

James Smart, full time


Amber Carmichael, part time

Jacob Cone, part time

Mark Williams, part time

Genesee Community College offers more than 60 academic programs and certificates, including the brand-new Veterinary Technology A.A.S. degree and Polysomnographic Technology A.A.S. degree, (the study of sleep disorders).

Genesee is accessible through seven campus locations throughout Western New York, as well as through online classes in the Distance Learning Program.

College housing is available at College Village, just a three-minute walk from the Batavia Campus. With small class sizes and state-of-the-art technology both inside and out of the classroom, Genesee Community College is known for being "high-tech" and "high-touch." Find out more at < >.

April 18, 2011 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, weather, Tonawanda Creek.

A view of Tonawanda Creek at about 3 p.m., Today.

April 18, 2011 - 4:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, Oakfield, julie caton.

Oakfield resident Julie Caton will sign copies of her new book "White Heart" at Present Tense at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.

Based on the actual life of Madeleine de Roybon D'Allone, "White Heart" is a compelling story of faith, love, and recovery.

Trapped in the extravagance and the artifice of the French Court during the reign of the Sun King, Louis the XIV, Madeleine de Roybon D'Allone becomes desperate for an escape. When the king himself offers her the opportunity to flee to the New World, Madeleine eagerly accepts.

Madeleine soon embarks on a new life in Ontario, but the trials of her past are not so easily left behind. Life on the frontier is fraught with its own opportunities and danger. Madeleine explores roles such as teacher to the Hurons, lady voyageur, and proprietor of a fur-trading post on Lake Ontario. Yet when the Iroquois attack her homestead and take her captive, her life and spiritual faith change forever.

The book signing is free and open to the public. Present Tense, a locally owned, independent bookstore, is located at 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY. For more information or to reserve a copy of the book ahead of the event, call (585) 815-7640, or visit  <>.

Caton is a licensed psychologist certified by the State of New York and has completed a doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Buffalo. Providing psychotherapy to children and adults is the primary focus of her Oakfield practice.

April 18, 2011 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Darien, Le Roy, Alabama.

Adam Tyler Bond, 19, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with burglary, 2nd, criminal possession of stolen of stolen property, 5th, petit larceny, growing cannabis without a license and unlawful possession of marijuana. Bond was arrested following the execution of a search warrant on his residence, which was the result of an investigation that began April 15 after a village resident complained a home had been entered and various items stolen. The investigation pointed to Bond as the suspect and a search warrant was obtained. During execution of the search warrant, numerous allegedly stolen items were found as well as marijuana plants and marijuana paraphernalia. Bond was jailed on $15,000 bail.

Michael B. Pfaff, of Keeney Road, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated DWI and failing to stop at a stop sign. Pfaff was stopped Sunday by a Le Roy police officer. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Jonathan Cornell Robinson, 24, of Buffalo (no street address released), is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, operating on a suspended license and driver's view obstructed. Robinson was stopped at 12:39 a.m., Saturday, on Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Keith Patrick Snyder, 30, of Lewiston Road, Alabama, is charged with unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Snyder was stopped at 2:58 a.m, Saturday, on MvVean Road, Darien, by Deputy Jason Saile. Snyder was also charged with refusal to take breath test, failure to signal and failure to yield right-of-way to an emergency vehicle.

Charles Linwood Muntz, 22, of Crosby Road, Basom, is charged with a felony count of DWI, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and parking on a public highway. Muntz was allegedly found asleep at the wheel of his vehicle while it was stopped at an intersection on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation at 3:11 a.m., Saturday, by Deputy Eric Seppala.

Jeremy John Patterson, 20, of Medina (no street address released), is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, tinted windows and plate obstructed. Patterson was stopped at 1:53 a.m., Sunday, on Alleghany Road, Basom, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Earl Elsworth Sands, 53, of Batavia (no street address released), is charged with harassment, 2nd. Sands was arrested following a disturbance at his residence at 10:30 p.m., Saturday. Sands is accused of striking a visitor to his residence.

Jennifer Rae Champlin, 31, of Bloomfield (no street address released), is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Champlin was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 5:06 p.m., Sunday, on Ellicott Street, Batavia, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

April 17, 2011 - 10:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, UMMC.

An elderly member of one of Batavia's most prominent local families lies in a United Memorial Medical Center bed tonight gravely ill, and family members are fairly confident UMMC is responsible for her serious condition.

The aunt of local business woman Lois Gerace, and the great-aunt of Town of Batavia Board Member John Gerace, Margaret Wagner, 86, contracted clostridium difficile, more commonly called "C diff," after being treated for a fractured hip at UMMC.

She's been in the hospital for two weeks and medical personnel, according to Lois and John, have told the family she will likely succumb to the bacteria.  

"They have her in what's called 'comfort care,'" Lois said.

UMMC CEO Mark Schoell acknowledges that there has been a slight spike in the incidents of C diff at the hospital, but said it's a common infectious bacteria at hospitals and UMMC takes every standard precaution to prevent its spread.

"I believe our infection controls procedures and policies are excellent," Schoell said. "They comply with all of the standards of the industry and all of the requirements of the health department of New York State. In fact, when we saw the spike in our absolute numbers of C diff, we immediately got the health department involved in the effort to manage those cases."

C diff most commonly strikes elderly people while hospitalized, especially when they're on antibiotics, but according to the Mayo Clinic (link above), C diff can make even healthy people not on antibiotics ill. While it is treatable, C diff is potentially fatal for anybody who contracts it.

Annually, more than 480,000 people are diagnosed with C diff. Of those, 28,000 die as a result. Not quite half of those deaths occur after people contract C diff in a hospital. The majority of deaths occur in nursing homes.

Schoell said typically, UMMC  has a count of 40 to 45 patients and with that number of patients, at least two or three contract C diff.

The Geraces believe Wagner contracted C diff when, after her surgery, she was placed in a third floor recovery room with a C diff patient. At least, they say, that's what a nurse told them, though Lois admits they don't have lab tests or hospital records to support the assertion.

Recently, the hospital had 65 patients and currently has six C diff patients, Schoell said.

Up until yesterday, John Gerace said, his aunt was in a room on the third floor, but after he let a head nurse know that he had notified the media of the situation, the hospital removed all patients from the third floor and sterilized it from top to bottom.  

"Now, if there wasn’t a problem, or if I didn’t say anything, there would still be people up on that third floor," John said.

Schoell said the decision to vacate the third floor and clean it was made well before the media was contacted by Gerace. He said the hospital could only make the move after the number of patients dropped, which typically happens on a weekend, so beds could more easily be relocated and all the C diff patients could be consolidated in the same wing.

"We would have done that, taken the same actions whether there was media involvement or not," Schoell said. "It was the right thing to do."

Schoell said by consolidating C diff patients in one wing, hospital staff can do a better job of controlling who enters and who leaves rooms, but on Sunday evening, two reporters were able to walk right up to the second floor, ask for a family member of a C diff patient, and be escorted down the hall to the area of the room (though the reporters made no attempt to enter the room). No staff members offered any objections or warnings.

John Gerace also disputes the assertion that there are only six C diff patients at UMMC. He said he's counted at least a dozen of the red "stop" signs similar to one placed outside his aunt's room on the second floor. 

The Geraces are especially concerned for the sake of the community that there is no security on the second floor warning visitors that a potential lethal bacteria is present, nor are there adequate warning signs and information posted when you arrive on the floor warning of the danger.

"If you come in and you’re having a bad stomach day and your antacids aren’t kicking in, you’re done," said Robert Gerace. "In three or four days, you’re going to be in the same bed."

The Gerace's first learned of Margaret Wagner's condition when they came to visit her a few days after her hip surgery. They started toward her room, John said, and a nurse stopped them and said, "You don't want to go down there."

The nurse said they didn't know what was wrong with Wagner, but it was potentially communicable. Family members were eventually allowed into the room, but only after donning gowns and masks. They told Wagner they were dressed up for Halloween.

After visiting with Wagner a couple of times while wearing masks, another nurse pulled John aside and said the masks weren't necessary because C diff is not airborne.

All along the line, John said, communication from the hospital about how to protect themselves from C diff has been spotty and inconsistent.

"I'm leaving one day and a staffer says, 'Oh, by the way, you want to wash the bottom of your shoes off with chlorine and water,'" John said. "Nobody told us this before. You could be tracking it into your house with small children. Nobody is telling us this stuff. Why wouldn’t somebody come in and say, ‘oh, by the way, these are all the things you guys need to do'?"

Family members have been concerned about some of the sanitary practices they've observed over the past two weeks. They said they've seen janitors cleaning out contaminated rooms, sweep everything into the hall and then use ungloved hands to pick up the waste and put it in a trash can.

Lois's husband, Joe Gerace, is partners with her in Bob Harris Realty and he operates Gerace Hair Care (he's also chairman of the City of Batavia Republican Committee). She said she doesn't understand why the state requires barber shops and beauty salons to keep all trash in covered receptacles but all around the hospital, she's seen open containers used to dispose of potentially contaminated materials.

The Gerace family has a history of supporting UMMC and said one of the things they've valued about living in Batavia is that the city has a local, nearby hospital. Now all they want, each of them said, was to ensure that local residents get safe, quality care at their local hospital.

"I really don’t want to get into lawsuits and stuff like that," Lois said. "What I want to see is protection for the patients here."

This story produced in cooperation with The Batavian's news partner, WBTA.

April 16, 2011 - 9:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A kitchen grease fire was reported in the rear of the residence at 111 Liberty St. in the City of Batavia and its fire crews responded. Smoke was showing when they arrived, but the blaze was quickly extinguished.

The building was evacuated. Two people suffered second-degree burns, according to responders.

An ambulance is en route.

The location is between Central Avenue and Cherry Street.

UPDATE 9:24 p.m.: A Mercy Medic unit is called.

UPDATE 9:43 p.m.: City Ladder 15 is returning to quarters. Mercy Squad 2 is back in service. The burn victims have been transported to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Top photo by Howard Owens, bottom photos by Frank Capuano.


April 16, 2011 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

National Crime Victims' Week was recognized in Batavia this week and events culminated Friday with a silent walk to remember victims of crime. The walk ended at City Hall where a reception was held.

April 16, 2011 - 2:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, stuart steiner, Roz Steiner Art Gallery.

The brand-new Rosalie “Roz” Steiner Art Gallery opened Friday with great fanfare. Hundreds of people from throughout the county were on hand to see the gallery's first show and witness the opening ceremonies.

Above, the children and grandchildren of Roz and Stuart Steiner, from left: David Steiner, daughter Ava, Sarah Rogers, Robyn Steiner (holding Ava's hand), Lisa Rubin, Susan Steiner, Daniel Rubin and Dr. Steiner. A photo of Roz Steiner, background, was unveiled as part of the ceremony. 

Bottom photo, Eric Suritella and Carol Acquilano, the first artists featured in the gallery.

April 16, 2011 - 1:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Richmond Memorial Libary.

On Friday afternoon, Nancy Mortellaro was honored at the Richmond Memorial Library as the 2011 Friend of the Library.

Mortellaro praised her fellow friends and called them her "virtual Facebook," noting that unlike the real Facebook, she gets to see her friends face-to-face every day.

Mortellaro was honored for her diligent and long-standing support of the library.

April 16, 2011 - 10:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A Batavia teenager reported missing earlier in the week was located yesterday at an address in the city, the Sheriff's Office reports.

Sara Howard, 16, was found safe.

Her case was referred to Family Court.




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