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August 21, 2012 - 8:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, alexander, Le Roy, Pavilion, Bethany.

(This photo from the scene was provided from reader Joel R. Murcin.)

A fully involved barn fire "with lots of smoke" is reported in Pavilion at the Schumacher's Kelkenberg's barn, thought to be located at 11338 11304 Starr Road. The location is between River and Hudson roads.

Alexander, Bethany, Town of Batavia's Fast Team, and Pavilion are responding along with units from Wyoming County. They are asked to draw water from Pearl Creek.

Bergen will stand in at Pavilion's fire hall.

UPDATE 8:31 p.m.: National Grid has been notified that there are power lines on the ground and it will respond ASAP.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: Fire police are asked to shut down traffic at Route 63 and Starr Road.

UPDATE 8:53 p.m.: Le Roy Fire Department is also responding as is Caledonia's.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m.: York's pumper is on scene and will be drawing water from the "first hydrant in the village," because getting an adequate water supply to fight the fire is proving problematic. The natural gas line in the barn is shut off.

UPDATE 8:58 p.m.: Monroe County is being notified they are tapping into hyrdrants. The water in the creek is said to be low, yet the amount to be had from the hydrants is also said to be limited. Now, they have enough water flow from the Hanson Aggregates mining facility. "We have plenty of it now." Warsaw crews have arrived.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: The top of a utility pole is on fire, directly across from where firefighters are working. Le Roy's auxiliary is called to provide cold drinks to the firefighters.

UPDATE 9:09 p.m.: They will employ the ladder brought by Warsaw to wipe out fire on one side of the barn, allowing those on the ground using hoses to concentrate on the other areas.

UPDATE 9:22 p.m.: The Town of Batavia's Fast Team is released from duty.

UPDATE 9:28 p.m.: Since the water supply from Hanson's is proving adequate, they are going to shut down the hand lines connected to fire hydrants.

UPDATE 9:58 p.m.: Cold beverages have arrived for the crews.

UPDATE 11:25 p.m. (by Howard): Fire crews are still on scene.The fire is knocked down but tankers continue to bring water to the scene to deal with what's left of the smoldering remains of the barn. Below are more pictures submitted by Joel R. Murcin. I was also out at the scene and will have a report with photos later tonight.

UPDATE 12:21 a.m.: Le Roy units returning to their hall.

August 21, 2012 - 6:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A person is stuck in the elevator at Milton Cat, located at 4610 E. Saile Drive. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding. The store deals in heavy equipment and power systems.

August 21, 2012 - 5:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons.

So far, according to attorney Earl Key, Jacquetta Simmons, the 26-year-old Batavia woman accused of hitting a 70-year-old Walmart employee on Christmas Eve, hasn't had a chance to tell her side of the story.

"There's only been one side of the story up to this point reported in the media," said Key following the completion of jury selection in the Simmons case. "Our side will come out in the courtroom, not the media."

Simmons is facing one felony count of assault in the second degree with an accusation that Simmons struck a person 65 years or older while being at least 10 years younger than the alleged victim.

Simmons is accused of striking Grace Suozzi, who was working as a cashier the afternoon of Christmas Eve when she reportedly asked Simmons and her brother to produce a receipt for items in a bag her brother was carrying.

During jury selection, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman asked each prospective juror about their attitudes toward employees who ask customers to show receipts before leaving a store.

Today, one juror, who said he came into the court yesterday with no prior knowledge of the case, told Friedman that what he gathered from prior questioning of prospective jurors was that the defendant had been profiled on Christmas Eve based on her race. He said he disagreed with the practice and, after admitting he couldn't be an impartial juror, was dismissed.

Eight jurors were picked yesterday, and the final four plus three alternates were chosen today.

Yesterday during jury selection, prospective jurors were closely questioned about racial attitudes.

Today, there were few questions about race and none from defense attorney Ann Nichols, who today handled jury questioning for the Simmons team.

After court, Key reiterated that he doesn't believe the case is about race and he isn't concerned with presenting the case to an all-white jury.

"I've tried cases with an all-white jury before," Key said. "I've had black jurors convict black defendants and white jurors acquit black defendants. I don't care what color you are, so long as you're fair and impartial."

Key said all the talk about race being a factor has been in the media; it's not part of his case. Nichols added that most of the race talk around the case has been from readers leaving comments on stories on various news sites.

To the degree that race plays a factor in the case will hinge on a seemingly racially charged statement Simmons allegedly made during the confrontation.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini revealed the alleged statement during a hearing July 30 when arguing whether Simmons had intended to cause serious physical injury to Souzzi.

Proving intent of serious physical injury was a key part of count one of the grand jury indictment, the Class D felony of assault in the second degree, but last week Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled there was insufficient evidence to sustain the charge.

"... the evidence before the grand jury of serious physical injury was not overwhelming and established only that the victim approached the defendant and the defendant withdrew from the confrontation after throwing the punch," Noonan wrote in his decision. "The grand jury could not have reasonably inferred from such evidence that the defendant acted with the culpable mental state of intent to cause serious physical injury."

With that second-degree assault charge no longer being presented to the jury, and no requirement to prove intent to cause serious physical injury, it's unknown if the jury will even hear the alleged statement by Simmons.

Under count two of the indictment, which Noonan upheld, the prosecution need only prove intent to cause physical injury.

After count one was reduced to a Class B misdemeanor, assault 3rd, Friedman moved to have the charge dismissed and try only count two.

The trial begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The 12-person jury is comprised of 10 women and two men and the three alternates are women.

Key said with all the media attention the case has gotten, the past several months have been stressful for his client. She dropped out of college, Key said. She's seen ugly comments left about her online, especially on Facebook, he said, and Nichols added that she's received hate mail at home.

"She's taken it all in stride," Key said. "She's looking forward to us putting her side of the story in front of a jury."

Photo: Simmons leaves the Genesee County Courthouse during the lunch break with Nichols while a WHAM 13 cameraman photographs her, and a member of the defense team finishing hold the courthouse door.

August 21, 2012 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, synthetic drugs, bath salts, The 420 Emporium.

Accused of a trespass violation, Nicole Lang entered Batavia City Court today with hands trembling, nervous about her pending case but adamant she did nothing wrong July 11 when she was accused of trespassing at The 420 Emporium.

Lang went into the store and accused an employee of selling bath salts to her son, Jason Lang.

Because police believed Lang had been ordered from the store and chose to reenter, she was given a citation for alleged trespassing.

Today, Judge Michael Del Plato, on the recommendation of the District Attorney's Office, dismissed the charge with the stipulation that Lang not be re-arrested within the next six months.

Lang has no prior criminal history.

Outside court, Lang said she was very happy about the turn of events.

Del Plato also issued an order of protection, requiring Lang not to have contact with the employee who filed the trespass complaint, Joseph Wesley.

The 420 Emporium was raided by the DEA on July 25 and has not opened its doors since. The location at 400 Ellicott St., Batavia, is apparently owned or co-owned by Joshua Denise. Denise was arrested during the DEA raid.

Jason Lang, the onetime owner of the Laughing Buddha on Ellicott Street, is scheduled to appear in Town of Batavia Court today on charges related to his alleged attempt to call the 420's landlord and suggest he was with the State Police and warn the property owner that the 420 allegedly sold synthetic marijuana.

We'll have an update on Jason Lang later today.

August 21, 2012 - 12:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons.

Twelve Genesee County residents have been selected to serve on the jury of the Jacquetta Simmons case.

A pool of potential jurors are being drawn for consideration as alternate jurors. The potential alternates will be interviewed after the lunch break.

Simmons is being tried on a single count of assault in the second degree with an accusation of being more than 10 years younger than the alleged victim who is over age 65.

The 27-year-old Batavia woman is accused of hitting a 70-year-old Walmart cashier on Christmas Eve.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: Three alternate jurors have been selected. The jury is comprised of 10 women and two men. The three alternates are women. Judge Robert C. Noonan is delivering instructions and the trial will start tomorrow.

August 20, 2012 - 7:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The first eight members of the jury in the Jacquetta Simmons trial were selected today in an day-long session aimed at weeding out those who may not be able to fairly weigh evidence in the case.

Local and regional media coverage of the 27-year-old Simmons, who allegedly punched a 70-year-old employee of Walmart on Christmas Eve, has been intense and each prospective juror was asked how he or she found out about the case.

Jurors who read about the story in print and online and admitted to drawing a conclusion about the guilt or innocence of Simmons didn't make the cut.

The eight selected, along with most of the remaining prospective jurors -- 12 must be selected, plus alternates -- either hadn't heard about the case prior to today or had minimal media exposure, such as hearing or seeing a broadcast report in December.

While District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and defense attorney Earl Key quizzed prospective jurors about media coverage, they also focused on issues ranging from how views on race might impact their ability to weigh the evidence and whether they had any other conflicts of interest.

The jury selection process began at 10 a.m. with 73 prospective jurors from throughout Genesee County. The first 18 were seated in the jury box in a random drawing. Judge Robert C. Noonan then quizzed jurors about their prior knowledge of the case.

While some jurors disclosed prior knowledge and made-up minds, they weren't asked immediately to leave the jury box during the morning session. All were eventually dismissed however. In the afternoon, after the first eight jurors were sworn in, Judge Noonan began dimissing prospective jurors as quickly as they expressed any sort of fixed bias in the case.

After the first eight were chosen, the other 10 remaining in the jury box were dismissed and a second group of 18 were seated. By 5 o'clock, there were 18 men and women in the box who expressed no obvious bias or conflict of interest and that was how the day ended.

In the morning session, with the initial group of prospective jurors, Friedman and Key questioned the group and individual jurors.

Friedman started off by asking questions about the ability of jurors to weigh evidence based on what was presented in court, without any outside influence, and whether they could fairly judge circumstantial evidence. He asked whether jurors could recognize truth from falsehood, and more specifically, how they might judge intent, and if they've had experiences, pro or con, with store employees asking to review a receipt for purchases.

In order to win a conviction, the prosecution must is prove Simmons intended to seriously injure the alleged victim.

Simmons is also the first person in Genesee County charged under a two-year-old New York law which makes it a more serious violent felony for a person more than 10 years younger to hit a victim 65 years of age or older.

Friedmen asked prospective jurors if they had any objection to such a law and none present did.

Then the DA wanted to know if each prospective juror could make his or her decision based on the facts and evidence in the case, with no bias based on race -- the defendant is black and the alleged victim is white.

All prospective jurors, which at this time included one African-American man, said race would not be a factor.

Key also asked questions about weighing evidence fairly, and just before asking his first race-related question, he wanted to find out if any of the jurors might succomb to peer pressure.

He asked a female juror, "If (the African-American prospective juror) absolutely believes my client is absolutely guilty and you don't, will you cave in?"

The woman said she wouldn't.

Key, then said, "I don't don't expect this case to be about race whatsoever, because it will be decided on the facts of the case, but would you tend to one side or the other because of race?"

Key, whose courtroom demeanor is affable and even jocular at times, wanted to know if any jurors harbored racial bias.

"I've had people tell me they don't like black people and it's absolutely fine," Key said with a broad smile. "Just don't come over to my house."

Nearly all of the prospective jurors laughed. None revealed any sort of racial bias.

Race could be a factor in the case because Simmons allegedly made racially charged comments during the encounter with alleged victim Grace Souzzi.

By the afternoon, the lone black in the prospective jury pool had been sent home with no explanation given for his dismissal.

After the hearing, Key said he didn't want to comment on the jury selection while the process was ongoing. He also said "I don't want to try the case in the media," and that everything would be clear after opening statements.

In all, more than two dozen prospective jurors were dismissed after revealing they had read about the events either in print or online media and formed an opinion based on those reports.

Fewer than a half dozen of the 60 or so prospective jurors hadn't heard of the case at all prior to today.

The Batavian first broke the story of a person hitting a Walmart employee on Dec. 24 and first reported the arrest of Simmons on Dec. 25.

Other regional media outlets started reporting the story on Dec. 26. Many of the prospective jurors who hadn't followed the case closely said they first heard about the case on television, radio or read it in a newspaper around that time.

As the proceedings concluded today, there are 18 prospective jurors in the jury box and 14 in the gallery whose number hasn't been called yet.

Jury selection resumes at 10 a.m., Tuesday. Once the panel is selected, Noonan will spend about an hour on jury instructions and then the defense and prosecution will offer opening statements.

CLARIFICATIONS: While no explanation was given for the dismissal of the prospective African-American juror, that procecure applies to numerous other prospective jurors who were dimissed for cause or as part of either defense or prosecution challenges. The point we meant to make is that while it was clear why several of the prospective jurors were dismissed, we don't know the reason this (as with several others) juror was dismissed. Also, the prosecution needs only to prove intent to cause physical injury. Simmons is being tried on a single charge of assualt, 2nd, being a person 10 years younger against a person over age 65. The original charge of assault, 2nd, was reduced to assault, 3rd, (a misdemeanor) by Judge Noonan. Following the ruling, the prosecution moved to dismiss the assault, 3rd, charge.

August 20, 2012 - 7:42pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, business, sports, Fisher Sports NY.

Who knew Batavia had a Syracuse Orange dad hanging out behind Pizza Hut?

Kurt Fisher and his family own Fisher Sports NY, at 412 E. Main St. in Batavia. His son, Andrew, a graduate of Oakfield-Alabama High School, plays football for Syracuse University.

"I trained (Andrew) through the years," Fisher said. "Now I follow him around the country."

Fisher, a 1981 Batavia High School graduate, opened the storelast month to provide a venue for players of various sports to access needed equipment. He felt that was something lacking in our area.

"No one sells quality equipment in Batavia," he said. "There are a couple stores that carry a little, but not the major stuff. (It's been that way) probably since Chuck's Sporting Goods closed (in the 1980s)."

A passion for youth sports is part of what inspired Fisher to open this store. He has assisted with football at Oakfield-Alabama High School and is looking to make more opportunities available locally.

"I'd love to get punting and kicking opportunities for kids," he said, "so that they have the same opportunity as my son."

He encourages anyone interested in such opportunities to contact him, either by phone or by coming to the store.

Making equipment readily available is a big part of his mission to preserve and increase athletic opportunities, and that's where Fisher Sports NY comes in.

"(Business) has been getting better as we go along," he said. "But we're still trying to get our name out and let people know we're here."

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 344-2500.

August 20, 2012 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, College Village.

Ah, the fall semester nears. Is that burnt food emanating from College Village? Why yes, it is. Room 203 in Spruce Hall. The college has confirmed it is burnt food. And the Town of Batavia now musters a fire crew to respond.

UPDATE 2:39 p.m.: The fire department confirmed the confirmation that food was burning inside Room 203 at Spruce Hall. It is back in service.

August 20, 2012 - 2:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Press release:

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a federal grant worth $199,821 for a secondary access road at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

The funding is allocated through the USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, and is being awarded after Senator Gillibrand toured the nearly finished Alpina Yogurt facility and called for more federal investments in infrastructure at the ag-park in Batavia.

“This is an important investment that can help attract more businesses to the Genesee Valley ag-park, and support more jobs right here,”Senator Gillibrand said.

“I know the potential the ag-park has to help local businesses grow and be a major economic driver for the region. Investing in transportation infrastructure is one of the fastest, most effective ways to create new jobs now, and lay the foundation for more jobs to come.”

In September 2011, Senator Gillibrand helped secure an additional $58,000 from USDA Rural Development for initial infrastructure upgrades at the agri-business park, including expanding existing roads and utilities.

Senator Gillibrand also brought a USDA official to Batavia in April 2012 to tour the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and hear firsthand from local leaders about the need for federal investments to grow this critical industry for the region.

In addition to the USDA, Senator Gillibrand has been active in pushing for federal funds through the U.S. Economic Development Administration to complete infrastructure improvements at the ag-park.

The federal grant funding will be used to design, engineer and construct a secondary access road at the ag-park, a key component of a range of planned infrastructure improvements, including the construction on an aquifer that is required by food processors.

Muller Quaker Dairy, an international yogurt producer, and Alpina Foods would greatly benefit from the completion of the aquifer and would contribute to an increased investment in Genesee County.

Upon the completion of the infrastructural improvements to the Ag-Park, Muller Quaker Dairy would be able to complete a $206 million yogurt manufacturing facility that they expect could generate approximately 186 jobs in the near-term, with the ability to create up to 600 jobs in the long-term. Alpina also expects to be able to create approximately 50 new jobs as a result of finishing the construction.

August 20, 2012 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accident.

A youth riding a bicycle has had an accident in the city at State Street and Park Avenue. Police and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 1:54 p.m.: City fire was responding, but told they could cancel the response.

UPDATE 1:57 p.m.: Police are back in service.

UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: Medics went back in service several minutes ago. Although this was initially called in as a car vs. bicycle accident, no vehicle was involved.

August 20, 2012 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Oakfield, byron, Darien, Le Roy, Alabama, bergen.

Brett R. Doward, 26, 411 W. Hickory St., East Rochester, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and possession of a controlled substance not in it original container. Following a report at 12:06 a.m., Sunday, of a disturbance on Hall Street, Batavia, Batavia PD received the description of a person allegedly involved and the vehicle he allegedly used to leave the scene. Officer Jason Ivison spotted a vehicle matching the description on Ellicott Street. The vehicle fled and pulled into a driveway on Liberty Street. Doward allegedly jumped from the vehicle and ran. After a short foot pursuit, Doward was taken into custody. Doward was released on an appearance ticket. BPD was assisted by the Sheriff's Office and State Police.

A 17-year-old resident of North Main Street, Perry, is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

Jeremy Dean Lyons, 27, of Judge Road, Oakfield, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 3rd, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd and unlicensed operation. During a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, Lyons alleged damaged property and then allegedly took a vehicle without permission and drove the vehicle on a suspended license.

Jeremy Dean Lyons, 27, of Judge Road, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. While housed in the Genesee County Jail, Lyons allegedly violated an order of protection by contacting the protected party.

Terri Marisa Doctor, 33, of Council House Road, Basom, is charged with DWI. Doctor was taken into custody on a Town of Pembroke warrant issued in November 2012 for allegedly failing to pay a fine on a DWI convictions. Doctor was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Spencer Todd Grimes, 18, of Goodrich Street, Albion, is charged with trespass. Grimes is reportedly a former employee of Darien Lake who was accused of stealing and barred from the property. Grimes was allegedly on the property Saturday morning.

Nicholas Lamont Santos, 19, of Gillette Road, Albion, is charged with trespass. Santos is reportedly a former employee of Darien Lake who was accused of stealing and barred from the property. Santos was allegedly on the property Saturday morning.

Randy Lee Ridd, 55, of Swamp Road, Byron, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and trespass. Ridd is accused of trespassing on the property of a business in Bergen and stealing metal plates. Also charged was Corretta Melissa Pitts, 44, of Swamp Road, Byron.

Brandon Monteleon, 20, of 57 Church St., Le Roy, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and harassment. Monteleone was arrested following an alleged disturbance on Church Street between the defendant and another individual.

Daniel S. Platt, 31, of 53 Lake St., Le Roy, is charged with criminal obstruction of breaking or blood circulation and one count of unlawful dealing with a child and harassment, 2nd. Platt is accused of placing his hands around the neck of a victim, causing difficulty breathing. He's also accused of serving alcohol to a person under age 21.

Andrea M. Gray, 34, of 14 Lake St., Apt. #2, Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and reckless endangerment, 2nd. Gray reportedly had an argument with an acquaintance on Lake Street. Gray allegedly pushed the victim, causing the victim to fall backward. The victim's head struck a driveway. Gray is also accused of sitting on the victim and pulling the victim's hair. Gray was jailed on $1,000 bail.

August 20, 2012 - 2:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Boy Scouts, Troop 69.

Photos and article submitted by Steve Ognibene:

Three obligations of an Eagle are honor, loyalty and courage. Today marked the third Eagle Ceremony in the past three months for Troop 69 of Batavia.

Today’s Eagle Court of Honor was for Andrew T. Lichtenthal. Eagle is the highest recognition that scouting offers. Earned through the advanced program, only a small percentage of boys who begin in scouting receive this honor.

Andrew beat the percentages here. Starting at the age of 14 he had a goal and that was to achieve the Eagle rank.

“Scouting has really helped me break out of my shell!" Andrew said, "I can remember my first meeting where all I could do is look at the floor as I was nervous to be embarrassed by the new faces. I feel much more confident around strangers and I have the tools to earn their respect.”

Andrew's mom and dad have supported him, along with Verne Luce, Bill Brown and Rick Porter and gave him the encouragement to make this his day.

“Now I feel truly prepared to go out into the world and face any challenges that I may meet," he said.

It’s never too late to become a Boy Scout. Troop 69 meets at the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday evenings at 6:30 starting Sept. 9.

Top photo: From left, are Troop 69 Eagle Scouts Andrew Fischer, Andrew T. Lichtenthal and Garrett Eggebrecht. 

Jean Lichtenthal, Andrew's mother, pins her son’s Eagle pin on shirt. 

Tom Lichtenthal, Andrew's father, adjusts the Eagle neckerchief and slide around Andrew’s collar.  

Verne Luce received the Mentor Pin from Andrew. The Mentor Pin signifies the most influential person who has helped a scout to earn his Eagle.

August 19, 2012 - 8:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Police are responding to a report of a suspicious-looking male near Wendy's in the City of Batavia. He's wearing shorts, a T-shirt and ski mask.

August 19, 2012 - 7:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

Black smoke is reported in the area of East Main Street Road and Broadlawn Avenue and the Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding to investigate.

UPDATE 7:36 p.m.: It is deemed a controlled burn. "We're all set here." Town of Batavia is back in service.

August 19, 2012 - 7:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, bath salts.

A 31-year-old woman in the City of Batavia is requesting transfer to UMMC after being unable to sleep after "overdosing on bath salts last night." Mercy medics and police are responding.

August 19, 2012 - 2:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A two-car accident that is blocking traffic is reported at West Main Street and Redfield Parkway. A pregnant female is said to have a minor injury. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

A 23-year-old driver in her seventh month of pregnancy is being taken to UMMC with a complaint of lower back pain. Her vehicle was rear-ended by another car. She was seat-belted.

UPDATE 3:27 p.m.: A second ambulance that was called is taking two females to UMMC. The 29-year-old driver has arm pain and a laceration. A 5-year-old has right cheek and chin pain.

August 19, 2012 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, pets.

A caller reported to dispatch that her neighbor's pit bull was threatening her and threatening her husband and she wanted to speak to an officer about it.

She promptly called back and said the matter was resolved and she didn't need to speak with anyone.

"The dog must've apologized," said an officer.

"That's interesting," replied the dispatcher.

August 18, 2012 - 11:42pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Neighborhoods, Redfield Parkway.

Assemblyman Stephen Hawley shook the hand of "Mayor" Jim Owen today at the Redfield Parkway 100th Anniversary celebration (see Wednesday's article, "Redfield Parkway celebrates 100 years Saturday," for previous coverage).

There was a pretty good turnout, including some folks of considerable importance locally.

Batavia City Manager Jason Molino attended the ceremonies with his wife, Anna, and their two daughters, Sophia (standing) and Stella.

Local historian and published author William F. Brown (whose book, "The Story of Redfield Parkway: The Beginning," was for sale at the event) also attended.

Wayne Fuller, of WBTA, served as Master of Ceremonies.

Fuller presented proclamations on behalf of Senator Michael Ranzenhofer and Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, who could not be there.

More after the jump (click on the headline):

August 18, 2012 - 11:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, Summer in the City.

Well, it looks like it was a beautiful day in Batavia for Summer in the City, judging by these pictures from Steve Ognibene.

More pictures after the jump (click on the headline):

August 18, 2012 - 7:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, animal cruelty.

Sheriff's deputies are responding to Batavia Downs Casino parking lot to investigate a complaint of about 20 cats locked in a white van with no one is sight.

The same kind of complaint involving the same vehicle was called in in June. The van was in Tops parking lot in Le Roy and the registered owners said they were not homeless, just between homes, and they were living in the van temporarily and that was why they had so many cats inside.

UPDATE 7:25 p.m.: Apparently, the caller's description was hyperbole. The deputy on scene says he's found five cats inside and the windows are open and the van is vented.

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