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September 14, 2012 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Batavia resident accused of dealing drugs after police found 44 glassine bags of crack cocaine in his car and then later got into a fight in jail, will serve up to seven years in prison.

Milton H. Simmons III, 29, of 75 Franklin St., Batavia, was sentenced in Genesee County Court on Thursday.

Simmons was originally arrested in April when police responded to the parking lot of a West Main Street business for a report of a fight involving a knife. A subsequent search of Simmons' uncovered the crack cocaine.

As police transported Simmons from the courthouse to the jail, Simmons allegedly tried to escape and had to be restrained with the assistance of deputies at the court facility.

In July, Simmons punched another Genesee County Jail inmate in the face causing the inmate's denture plate to break.

The sentence handed down Thursday covers the multiple charges against Simmons, which included criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, attempted escape and assault.

Judge Robert C. Noonan sentenced Simmons to three years in prison on one charge, and two to four years on another charge, with the sentences to be served consecutively.

September 14, 2012 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Antonio Lester James, 21, of Avenue A, Rochester, is charged with grand larceny. James is accused of placing more than $2,400 worth of printer ink and electronic merchandise in a plastic tote while in Walmart and then running from the store. James was subsequently charged with promoting prison contraband, 2nd. While being processed into the Genesee County Jail, James was allegedly found in possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Matthew Thomas Allen Banks-Jubert, 18, no residence, was arrested on a warrant for alleged violation of probation. Banks-Jubert was interviewed by the Buffalo PD on an unrelated matter and arrested on a warrant out of Town of Batavia Court for alleged violation of probation. Banks-Jubert was jailed on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond.

Samantha L. Johnson, 25, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Johnson is accused of stealing more than $100 in merchandise from Kmart.

Todd Michael Sirianni, 43, of North Fraley Street, Kane, Pa., was arrested as a fugitive from justice from McKean County, Pa. Sirianni was being held in the Genesee County Jail and with his local case completed, he was arraigned on an alleged violation of probation charge out of McKean County in Town of Batavia Court and held pending extradition.

Joanne Jefferson, 53, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged violation of probation. Jefferson was arrested in the Village of Le Roy, arraigned in county court and released.

September 14, 2012 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Gerace, Chad Zambito.

Chad Zambito picked 197 votes in the Town of Batavia GOP primary for a seat on the town board, beating John Gerace, who had 89 votes.

September 14, 2012 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department is looking for qualified candidates to fill open police officer positions. An open competitive examination is being offered by the Genesee County Human Resources Department on Nov. 17.

Benefits include: Salary- $37,391 to $55,736 per year (2012), Paid Time Off, Health Insurance and NYS Retirement.


-       Candidates must be legal residents of Genesee County or of a county contiguous to Genesee County for at least two months immediately preceding the date of examination and continue their residency through the period leading to their initial appointment.

-       Graduation from high school or possession of an appropriate equivalency diploma recognized by the NYS Department of Education.

-       At least 19 years of age on or before 11/17/12 but not over 34 years of age unless certain military provisions apply.

-       Ability to pass an appropriate medical and physical agility examination as set forth by the Municipal Police Training Council.

-       Valid NY State driver’s license.

-       U.S. Citizen

Conviction of felony will bar appointment, and conviction of a misdemeanor or other offense may bar examination and appointment

For further information, interested candidates should contact the Genesee County Human Resources Department at (585) 344-2550, ext. 2220, or go to

Applications and fees must be turned in to the Genesee County Human Resources Department located in County Building 1, 15 Main St., Batavia, NY 14020, before Oct. 10.

September 13, 2012 - 6:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Police are responding to a complaint of children playing in the street at Grandview Terrace and Clinton Street in the City of Batavia.

September 13, 2012 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accidents.

A driver was cited for alleged improper left turn following an accident in Batavia at 11:47 a.m., Wednesday at the intersection of Porter Avenue and Washington Avenue that injured two people.

Iris F. Hatcher, 37, of 23 Porter Ave., Batavia, was driving a PT Cruiser west on Washington Avenue and attempted to make a left-hand turn onto Porter. A Ford hatchback was on Washington Avenue and collided with the Cruiser.

Also injured was Linda M. Clemens, 51, of 11 Mix Place, Batavia.

Both Hatcher and Clemens were transported to UMMC.

(Initial Report)

September 12, 2012 - 7:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

The mother of a boy who was bit by a dog two days ago is getting nervous. Nobody has come forward yet as the owner of the dog, and no Good Samaritan has helped by identifying the dog and its owner.

That leaves a week left to try and find the dog and determine whether it carries rabies.

Without the confirmation, her boy will need to go through a painful round of rabies shots.

After further discussions with the boy, more details are available on the man and his dogs.

The man is described as about 6-feet tall, older and with a potbelly. 

The dog that bit the boy is likely a mix breed. After looking through photos with her son, the mother does not believe the dog was a pit bull. It's face was more droopy and had longer ears. The dog was brown and black and brindled (stripes). The owner was walking it with a harness (rather than a collar).

The man was also walking a slightly smaller yellowish dog.

The boy encountered the dogs on Vine Street near John Kennedy School.

It's likely the owner lives within a quarter mile of the school since that's the neighborhood he was walking in. The man has not been seen in the neighborhood since.

Anybody with information that may assist in locating the dog, please call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350.

September 12, 2012 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Sponsored Post, advertisement, John Gerace.

The time has come for the voters of the Town of Batavia to finally put an end to the madness and focus on what counts!

I think we’ve all had enough of the irrational, mentally imbalanced rantings, and judgmental, unfounded comments …

Did you know that JOHN GERACE has been lobbying in Albany at least 3 times a year for 20 + years…For YOU & I, the taxpayers of this town??? Not as part of his job … on his own personal time, at his own cost. Fighting to keep down property taxes, recording fees, mortgage taxes, school taxes, and any other ridiculous State fees and/or taxes that get onto the Assembly floor for a vote.

Did you know that JOHN GERACE has also lobbied in Washington D.C. for all of New York State taxpayers????

Did you know that JOHN GERACE has served with dedication to the Town of Batavia for over 17 years???

·      10+ years as a Councilman*

·      5 years on the Planning Board

·      2 years on the Zoning Board of Appeals


John Gerace stands for lifelong commitment to the Town of Batavia and all of Genesee County through his actions with YEARLY support of…

·      Genesee Cancer Assistance…Every fundraiser

·      Habitat For Humanity “Home in a Box” build with physical and financial participation

·      Crossroads House

·      Constant fund raising for the Republican Party at the Town, County, State, and National level

·      Volunteer work for local clothing drives and food pantries

·      The United Way Day of Caring

·      Countless Rotary Club events over the years

·      School fundraisers, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts

·      Many, many Church fundraisers…the list is endless…

JOHN GERACE’S immense contributions to the Town of Batavia happen greatly on his own time…

Not as an occasional byproduct of his day job, which he gets paid to do, but from the heart in an effort to improve our lives through making our town a better place to live, and to provide our children a financially sound community in the future so that they can one day raise their own children here.

Please get out and


The Republican primary is September 13 from Noon to 9 p.m.

~Paid for by The Friends of John Gerace.

September 12, 2012 - 6:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Jackson Street, Salsa and Curry.

A year or so ago when the Rathod family opened Salsa & Curry on Jackson Street, Downtown Batavia, they offered only a few Indian dishes along with a full menu of Mexican food items.

With no Indian restaurants in Genesee County, the Rathods weren't sure how the unique cuisine would be received.

It turns out, it was received very well.

After closing for a few weeks while the family traveled to India for a wedding and then did some minor remodeling, Salsa & Curry reopened a week ago with a daily buffet of Indian food, more Indian food items on the printed menu and slightly fewer Mexican food items.

While Indian food has a reputation for being spicy -- and WNYers have a reputation for not liking spicy food -- not all Indian dishes are spicy, or need to be prepared with a hot flavor.

The buffet features only mild items.

What the Rathods have learned, however, is some kick has its place.

"We were actually surprised -- a majority of people like it spicy," said Sonny Rathod, who is managing the restaurant with his brothers Raveen, Nick, sister Anupa Hirani and her husband Peter.

Customers who don't want to partake of the milder buffet can order spicy alternatives prepared immediately in the kitchen and over the past week that's exactly what a lot of customers have requested, Sonny said.

Meanwhile, in a couple of weeks the restaurant will have a liquor license and will be able to serve domestic, Mexican and Indian beer as well as margaritas.

The restaurant is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday until 10 p.m. and Sunday, Noon to 7 p.m.

September 12, 2012 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants on Friday, Sept. 14 at approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the general area north of West Main Street and west of Bank Street.

Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored.

September 12, 2012 - 11:49am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A two-car accident with two injured victims is reported at Washington and Porter avenues in the city. It is blocking traffic. Mercy medics and law enforcement are on scene and firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 12:03 p.m.: A female is being taken to UMMC with a complaint of right ankle pain.

UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: A 37-year-old female is also going to UMMC with complaints of tenderness in her abdomen and on her face. There was air-bag deployment in her vehicle and she was seat belted.

UPDATE 12:48 (by Howard): A witness, Leonard Johnson, said he saw the PT Cruiser trying to make a left-hand turn from Porter Avenue onto Washington and the Ford Focus hit the Cruiser. He said it was a pretty hard impact. "It wasn't a good accident," he said.

September 12, 2012 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

Open Letter from Chad Zambito, candidate for the Republican line in the Town of Batavia board race:

As you probably know, there is a primary for a position on the Batavia Town Board on Thursday and the polls are open from noon-9 p.m. This position was left open when my opponent, John Gerace, resigned after an incident that occurred at the Town of Batavia Fireman’s Installation Dinner. I was not at this event and have heard several accounts of what happened but will take Mr. Gerace at his word that the incident has been blown out of proportion and was actually a “hiccup” and not characteristic behavior.

I certainly appreciate John’s service, he and I served together beginning in 2003 and he had spent a few years on the planning board prior to his election. I am, however, disappointed with his efforts to exploit my failing business for his political gain. The people of the Town of Batavia deserve better than muckraking politics. This type of campaign hurts the system and discourages good people from running for public office. I have attempted to run a clean campaign and not engage in dirty politics. I do, however, feel I need to set the record straight on some level.

I take issue with several statements made by Mr. Gerace. In a recent interview, he stated that the consolidation charter effort, which he supported every step of the way, wasted $100,000 of taxpayer money to produce a document that he says he has never seen. This is simply not the case. A $54,000 state grant was awarded to the City of Batavia for the study and the work only came to a halt when the Town Board failed to act on a home rule legislation request that simply would have allowed the process to continue. It concerns me that my opponent has not read this document since it easily available online. My sense is that he realizes consolidation is an unpopular issue in the town and he hopes to connect me to that effort regardless of the fact that he has supported it at several junctures.

Upon my appointment, Mr. Gerace went to great lengths to have the appointment nullified claiming that the process used was invalid. That claim was quickly dismissed by the town’s attorney as unfounded. I also take issue with a political postcard Mr. Gerace has issued. He claims a “Zero Tax” rate for in town as one of his top accomplishments but the town has enjoyed a zero tax rate for decades. He has asked voters to “Re-elect” him and also labeled himself “Councilman John Gerace” in a recent political postcard. That statement is inaccurate and misleading.

I have always felt that I was the best candidate for this position. I have been appointed by the Town Board and have the endorsement of the Town Republican Committee. I am a dedicated professional that has three years of economic development experience and I have had a direct hand in the town’s growth. I worked diligently to resolve issues related to Gateway II while serving on the board, paving the way for Ashley Furniture to open its doors and provide nearly 80 jobs. I wrote the grant that led to the design of the Med-Tech Center Building and negotiated an easement that brought much needed sewer capacity to the Ag Park. I have generously volunteered my time to Chamber of Commerce, an Advisory Committee for GCC’s BEST Center, the GLOW Region’s Workforce Investment Board and numerous career days and community events. I currently work for Paragon Advertising in Buffalo and also serve as the Director of Advancement for St. Joseph School of Batavia, a position I find extremely rewarding.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have supported me every step of the way, including my wife, Jennifer. My one regret is that the issues brought forward in this election have caused her undue stress and frustration.

I encourage you to head to the polls from noon-9 p.m. on Thursday and hope you will give me your support when you do. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments at [email protected] Thank you.

Paid for by Chad Zambito.

September 11, 2012 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A convicted child molester sentenced just last week to 15 years in state prison faces a new first-degree sexual abuse charge.

James Little Jr. was arraigned in Batavia City Court this afternoon on the single count.

Det. Kevin Czora said the new charge reflects the alleged discovery of a second child sexual abuse victim. The second alleged victim is elementary school age.

There is only the one charge now pending against Little and Czora does not anticipate any further charges, and to the best of his knowledge there are no further victims.

The alleged abuse took place in March, Czora said, which is the same time frame Little abused a toddler in the city.

Recently, Beverly Hensel, 53, of 8921 Alleghany Road, Pembroke, was arrested and charged with possession of a sexual performance of a child. In a deposition, Little said he first received a DVD of child pornography from Hensel in January 2009.

Little's case was set for a preliminary hearing at 11 a.m., Nov. 13. Little remains in the Genesee County Jail awaiting transfer to state prison.

September 11, 2012 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

Police are responding to Batavia Commons to search for a man who allegedly stole a whole grocery cart of beer from Tops Market. The suspect is white and wearing a football jersey. He has a red car, possibly a Firebird.

UPDATE 2:22 p.m.: The car is now believed to be maroon in color. The driver is further described as wearing a blue jersey with the number 5 on the back, denim shorts and white sneakers. He's with a female who is supposedly barefooted.

September 11, 2012 - 1:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, Ken Mistler.

Ken Mistler has placed a very large flag on the former Carr's building in Downtown Batavia as a 9/11 remembrance.

September 11, 2012 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets.

A tenant of an apartment complex on East Main Street is being evicted this morning and the deputy handling the eviction said the man has four cats.

He's requested cat carriers from animal control, but the animal control officer says if the plan is to relocate the cats to the shelter, there is no room.

"That's definitely my last resort," the deouty said, adding that the tenant's mother is trying to find some place to place the cats.

Animal control is responding with cat carriers to at least act as temporary housing for the felines until more suitable arrangements can be made.

UPDATE: The deputy is apparently taking the cats to a location on Lewiston Road.

September 11, 2012 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

DNA test results have allegedly linked a Batavia man already suspected of stealing from a church with two more church burglaries over the summer.

John Anthony Cabrera Jr., 22, will be arraigned in city court today on two more counts of burglary in the third degree.

According to police, DNA samples gathered at the scene link Cabrera to break-ins at the First Baptist Church, 306 E. Main St., Batavia, and St. Mary's Church, 18 Ellicott St., Batavia.

Both burglaries occurred July 8.

Cabrera was allegedly caught in the act of burglarizing St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Washington Avenue on July 23.

Two days later, Cabrera allegedly escaped from the Genesee County Jail, but was apprehended before he could leave the building.

September 11, 2012 - 12:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian spent some time the past few days fending off angry constituents, all under the impression that she rented one of her apartments to a Level 3 sex offender.

"All of the people in the neighborhood were alarmed with it and they have a right to be alarmed with it," Christian said. "But, this guy does not live, has not lived and will never live in any property I own."

"This guy" is James Chase, who was convicted in 1999 of sodomy in the first degree for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.

It's unclear how it came about that a notification letter was sent out to residents in the area of 220 S. Swan St., Batavia, that Chase had moved into an apartment at that location.

The city's Web site still lists the 32-year-old Chase as a resident of 7 Mill St., Batavia.

September 11, 2012 - 12:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

No children were injured this morning when the school bus they were on was hit by a car that had been rear-ended by another vehicle.

The driver who hit the stopped vehicle blamed sun glare for lack of visibility but was cited for allegedly following too closely.

The school bus was actively involved in loading a passenger, according to the accident report, and the driver, Jessica Ann Naas, 46, of Lockport Road, Oakfield, had not turned on the bus stop lights.

The bus was stopped at 3800 Batavia Elba Townline Road at 7:14 a.m.

Cited for allegedly tailgating was Alec Richmond Seppala, 18, of Drake Street, Oakfield.

Seppala's 2001 Pontiac sedan hit a 1998 Nissan sedan driven by Steven R. Koneski, 32, of Salt Works Road, Medina.

Koneski suffered a minor injury and was transported to UMMC.

There were 15 students on the bus, ages 13 to 17.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.

September 10, 2012 - 11:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Batavia DPW will be able to replace three aging trucks at well below anticipated costs thanks to some money-saving programs available to the city.

Currently, the city's sewer vac truck, bucket truck and dump truck with a snow plow are all more than 20 years old.

City officials originally budgeted $712,000 to replace them.

Because the city can now purchase such vehicles through federal and county bid contracts, Batavia can save $134,000 on the dump truck and the bucket truck. Additionally, because the city won't need to lease the dump truck, Batavia will save $100,000 in interest payments.

To help with the purchase, the city will use $58,000 of recently received video lottery terminal funds.

The city had already accumulated $450,500 in the equipment replacement fund.

That leaves the sewer vac, at a cost of $283,000, which is $57,000 less than anticipated, but it will still need to be leased.


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