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December 16, 2012 - 8:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

There was an outpouring of remembrance, love and prayer in Batavia on Sunday evening as more than 70 people gathered to honor the life of Collin Crane.

The 17-year-old Batavia High School senior and avid hockey player died Dec. 8 in a head-on collision on Route 33 in Stafford.

"Help everyone here," Daniel King prayed when the gathering reached the Falleti Ice Arena. "Help everyone here get through life. Help them know they're not alone. Let them know they will see Collin again some day. Let them know that he is a beautiful angel, guiding them and watching over them."

King organized the prayer walk with Collin's friends and family members.

Collin was remembered as a loving and funny young man who was always good to the people in his life.

Jamie McClurg, Collin's sister, said she will always remember what a good brother and what a good friend he was to her.

"Anybody who goes on my Facebook will see I posted a picture of him every day or every other day," McClurg said. "We even worked together. He was always funny. I look around everywhere I go and there are so many memories. Even here, when we were 6 or 7, we would walk across that little barrier there (at Falleti) and he would hold my hand."

Even though Collin was younger, Jamie said, he would do a lot of hand-holding for his sister, offering to "take care" of anybody at school who gave her a hard time, and she ran to his room during late night thunderstorms.

"He was always the one who was there for me," she said.

King's friend Nicholas Argento told Collin's friends and family as they gathered around the city's Christmas tree on East Main Street that they will keep Collin's spirit alive in their hearts.

The support from the community has meant a lot to Collin's family, Jamie said. It's helped them through a very tough time.

Collin was a special friend, Daniel said. He was kind, funny and very loving.

He put together the walk, he said, for Collin and for his family.

"I care a lot about the family and just about Collin," Daniel said. "I wanted to show my respect for him and his family. I wanted to show that someone is there for them in this time of need."

In her prayer, Jamie asked God to remind people that Collin wasn't the kind of guy who would want people to be sad now that he's gone.

"Know that every time you're sad or upset, just know that Collin wouldn't want you to be sad over him," Jamie said. "He always brought smiles to everyone's face and he doesn't want anybody to be upset."

Daniel King

Jamie McClurg

Nicholas Argento

December 16, 2012 - 1:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A fire in the bathroom is reported at the Wilson Farms Market at the corner of Cedar and Ellicott streets. Upon arrival city fire reported "nothing showing." But once inside, they confirmed a small blaze and said they should be able to put it out with a water can.

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: City command reports the fire is out. It was started by a bathroom vent fan and firefighters are breaking into the ceiling the make sure the problem is resolved.

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: A rep from the county Health Department is called to respond.

UPDATE 2:39 p.m.: The city assignment is back in service. A rep from the Health Department is at the store.

December 15, 2012 - 10:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A prayer walk in remembrance of Collin Crane will start at 6 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph's Parish in Batavia. It's located at 303 E. Main St.

Crane, a 17-year-old senior at Batavia High School, died a week ago in a two-car accident on Route 33, Stafford.

Participants will walk down Main Street with a stop at each street for a prayer.  Organizers ask that people bring a picture of him or share something about him. They should also bring a candle or flashlight.

December 15, 2012 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield, hlom, Alli's Cones and Dogs, Genesee Sno Packers.

Santa had a busy day in Genesee County today and I did my best to keep up with him. 

I first found him at the Holland Land Office Museum, where his appearance coincided with the annual Children's Gala. Children made cookies, watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, ate pizza and let Santa in on what presents they'll be dreaming about on Christmas Eve.

Next, I found Santa at Alli's Cones and Dogs in Oakfield. At Alli's, both children and adults whispered in Santa's ear.

Finally, Santa promised the Genesee Sno Packers at their annual open house that their Christmas wish for snow will be granted. He also added all the good children who came to visit him to his long list of boys and girls who will find their desired gifts on Christmas morning.

More photos in the slide show. Parents who wish to purchase prints should click on the "visit gallery" link in the slide show.

December 15, 2012 - 6:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pavilion, horse rescue, polish falcons.

It was a very crafty day at the Polish Falcons hall on Swan Street with more than a dozen vendors on hand to sell Christmas gifts.

A portion of the proceeds benefits the HORSE Rescue in Pavilion.

December 15, 2012 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A motor vehicle accident, believed to be with injuries, is reported in the area of 3622 Galloway Road, Batavia.

That's just off Route 63 near Oakfield.

A pole and wires are reportedly down.

Town of Batavia along with Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 5:49 p.m.: Galloway being closed at Kelsey.

UPDATE 5:56 p.m.: No entrapment. Two patients out of the vehicle and sitting in a sergeant's car. Traffic control requested at Galloway in Lewiston. National Grid notified. No ETA.

View Larger Map

December 15, 2012 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

Two women were reportedly fighting in front of BJ's Wholesale Club and one of them is now "walking toward the Chinese restaurant." One has blond hair and the other has brown curly hair. Law enforcement is responding.

December 15, 2012 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

If somebody calls your house claiming to be a DEA agent or from some other agency and threatens to raid your house unless you pay up a sum of money -- it's a scam.

Apparently, this is an ongoing scam and the Batavia PD is warning residents not to fall for it.

"The Batavia Police Department would like remind citizens to not provide personal information or send money to individuals over the phone," states the press release.

December 14, 2012 - 7:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Kiwanis, Salvation Army, Red Kettle Campaign.

If you've been to Tops in the past couple of weeks you've seen members of your community there ringing little red bells as part of the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign.

Today, members of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia volunteered in shifts to ring bells and maybe even sing Christmas carols, as Allison Chua and Ross Chua are doing above.

The Salvation Army always needs volunteers to help support the campaign. To volunteer, contact Patricia Kurtz, at 343-6284 or e-mail at [email protected].

December 14, 2012 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Empire Tractor.

Empire Tractor hosted a Christmastime customer appreciation day at its location on East Main Street Road today, serving chips, sodas and beef on weck.

The Batavia-based farm equipment company was recently named one of the top dealers in the nation by Dixie Chopper for its exceptional sales and service of the riding mower line.

December 14, 2012 - 6:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons.

New York's VINE service has sent out a notification that Jacquetta Simmons, inmate ID 12G0988, was released from prison today.

Simmons was released under a court order signed by Associate Justice Rose Sconiers, Appellent Division, 4th Department. Sconiers ordered the release, on $50,000 bond, pending an appeal by Simmons that the five-year prison sentenced handed down by Judge Robert C. Noonan is overly harsh.

Representatives of Simmons posted the bond for Simmons yesterday and Noonan signed the release order.

Under the terms of Sconiers' order, attorneys for Simmons have until May 31 to "perfect" the appeal -- meaning produce a brief on all the points of law relative to the items under appeal, which includes both the term of her sentence and whether Simmons received a fair trial.

A three-judge panel of the NYS Supreme Court will conduct a hearing on the points of appeal and render a decision at a later date. What happens next for Simmons will depend on the outcome of the appeal.

Simmons was convicted by a jury following a weeklong trial Aug. 24 of second-degree assault under a section of the law that covers an assault by a much younger person hitting and injuring a person 65 or older.

At the time of the Christmas Eve confrontation last year between Simmons and Grace Suozzi, a Walmart cashier, Simmons was 27 and Suozzi was 70.

December 14, 2012 - 10:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, bergen.

Philip Clarke McMahon, 72, of Creamery Road, Bergen, is charged with disorderly conduct. McMahon was stopped at 7:59 a.m. in the area of 8097 Clinton St. Road, Bergen, for an alleged traffic violation by Deputy Jason Saile. McMahon is accused of using obscene language in a public place.

Brian Feurimond, 21, of Saint Raymond Avenue, Bronx, is charged with trespass. Feurimond was allegedly found on College Village property after previously being banned from the housing complex.

David Lavelle Andrews, 25, Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Andrews is accused of being at College Village after previously being banned from the property.

Russell Ray Miles, 44, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with a violation of probation. Miles was released from jail on an unrelated matter and taken into custody on a warrant out of Town of Le Roy Court for an alleged violation of probation. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Lemar Jerimain Leach, 27, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. Leach was wanted on a bench warrant related to the listed charge. Leach was jailed on $200 bail.

December 13, 2012 - 7:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Two former city firefighters and a state employee who entered guilty pleas earlier this week on an illegal gambling charge and agreed to resign their government jobs will still receive partial state pensions when they reach retirement age.

City Manager Jason Molino confirmed today that Brian Bordinaro and Gregory Phillips, who worked for the city 18 and 17 years respectively, are still covered by the New York State Retirement System.

He said that's state law and there's nothing the city can do about it.

"In New York you get credit for time served and they can't take that away from you," Molino said.

According to the state's retirement system site, tier 4 employees who stop working for a state or local entity before reaching the 20th year of service are eligible for 1/60th of their final annual salary for each year he or she worked.

Using the calculations from the site, 43-year-old Bordinaro, based on his 2012 salary of $62,000, if he waited until age 62 to retire, could receive in the neighborhood of $18,000 a year, or $1,500 per month.

The 39-year-old Phillips, with a 2012 salary of $57,000, could receive approximately $16,000 annually or $1,300 per month.

The salary data comes from See Through New York. The state's retirement system uses a specific formula to calculate the final annual salary, and there are other factors that go into the calculation, so readers should use the figures merely as a gauge meant to provide an idea of the retirement eligibility that is possible.

The third man who participated in the gambling activity, Lance Engel, 41, worked for the state as a cook at the veterans home in Batavia. He is also part of the retirement system, and with 17 yeas of service and a 2012 salary of $45,000 could receive approximately $12,000 annually starting at age 62.

December 13, 2012 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, neighborhood improvement.

A housing rehabilitation program for moderate to low income homeowners, funded by a community block grant, has been a big success and the city would like to do it again, according to City Manager Jason Molino.

The original plan was to provide rehab assistance to 15 homes in the city with the $400,000 grant, but 19 houses were repaired, according to a report given to the city council on Monday.

"This is part of a bigger effort," Molino said. "Housing rehabilitation is one part of our approach to neighborhood revitalization. While only 19 properties were improved, that's 19 properties that might not otherwise be improved."

The city received 80 inquiries and reviewed 66 applications.

The rehab projects including roof replacement, porch replacement, plumbing and electrical repair and facade improvements.

Individual grants were limited to $24,500, but some homeowners were able to chip in some of their own money and go a bit beyond what the maximum grant would allow.

Jodie Freese administered the program for the city and put out each job to competitive bid. Of the seven contractors selected for work, six were based in Genesee County.

About 96 percent of the $364,522 spent on rehab stayed in the county.

Other costs associated with the program included $14,800 for a lead-based paint consultant and $25,435 for program delivery and administration. The city contributed $4,757 to help cover the costs.

The grant originates with the federal government but is administered by the state's Office of Community Renewal.

"We're very satisfied with the results," Molino said. "It was a great project and hopefully we can do it again in the future."

Photo: Provided by the city of a residence on Hutchins Street.

December 13, 2012 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Town of Batavia residents may be receiving calls from a private company offering the opportunity to purchase water service line coverage.

The sales pitch from the company may be confusing and Town Clerk Teressa M. Morasco said residents should be aware that the company is in no way affiliated with the Town of Batavia.

December 13, 2012 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Genesee ARC.

Genesee ARC, which has provided trash service to the City of Batavia for nearly 30 years, is facing the possible loss of the contract with a city decision to put the trash collection contract out to bid.

Though Genesee ARC is welcome to be among the bidders, as many as three private firms are expect to place bids.

"I think it comes down to the efficiency and effectiveness of the service being provided to the residents," Molino said on WBTA's Main and Center program this morning. "Our approach moving forward with refuse collection -- and it has been -- is how do we continue to divert refuse tonnage from the refuse stream to the recycling stream, and ultimately lowering costs to the residents."

Genesee ARC employs 30 people, including 20 with developmental disabilities, for trash hauling and recycling pick up. The agency is paid $810,000 a year for the service.

The last contract was signed five years ago.

“This is a competitive bid, no different than any other bid for any other service,” Molino said. “If you can provide that service and you can support it and provide the services we’re requesting, then they can continue to provide it.”

Molino also told WBTA he has received virtually no complaints about the service provided by the ARC.

Donna Saskowski, executive director of the ARC, says the trash contract with the city is vital to the agency.

“Mostly because it goes to our mission of employing people with developmental disabilities here locally in our community and it would mean that 20 individuals with developmental disabilities would be unemployed, as well as the staff – all residents of Genesee County – who would become unemployed," Saskowski said.

Molino expects as many as three private companies will submit bids for the trash contract. Saskowski said the ARC is weighing its options.

Saskowski said that even if ARC no longer provides recycling pick up in the city, ARC will certainly try to keep operating its recycling center on West Main Street Road, Town of Batavia.

"Without the city contract it (recycling) would certainly be a diminishment," Saskowski said. "We are dedicated to recycling and we would certainly look for other opportunities."

December 13, 2012 - 11:12am
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, business, Ken Mistler, Next Level Fitness, City Slickers.

'Tis the time of giving and Ken Mistler and his wife Andrea are in the spirit. The Mistlers' recently won $200 for winning the downtown window display contest. The display, located inside the former Carr's building was sponsored by both Next Level Fitness and City Slickers Bar & Grill.

"I want to thank the downtown (improvement) district and all the judges for choosing our window." Ken Mistler said. "We know there are families out there having a hard time and we want to be able to give back to them and give them a little something extra this holiday season."

If you know someone that is deserving please e-mail [email protected] with the name of the person and a brief description of why you think they are deserving. Also be sure to include your contact info as well as their's. You can't nominate yourself.

All nominations must be submitted by Dec. 20th. Winnings will be donated in the form of a Save-A-Lot gift card.

"I'm going to review the nominations  and will decide on the most deserving family or families." Mistler said. "I may give one gift card for the full amount or I may give a few."

December 13, 2012 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, pembroke.

Debra Jean Bastiano, 55, of South Main Street Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding (55 in 40 mph zone) and possession or consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Bastiano was stopped at 9:31 p.m. Wednesday on Route 5, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Thomas Riley Munger, 18, of Glidden Circle, of Hamlin, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Munger was arrested following a report to College Village security of individuals smoking marijuana in a vehicle on College Village grounds.

December 12, 2012 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman just announced that a $50,000 bail bond was posted today with the Genesee County Court on behalf of Jacquetta Simmons.

The 27-year-old Batavia resident was found guilty earlier this year of assaulting 70-year-old Wal Mart employee Grace Suozzi in the store last Christmas Eve.

On Nov. 30, New York Appellate Division Justice Rose Sconiers ordered that Simmons' sentence be stayed pending a hearing on her attorneys' appeal, which argues her sentence of five years in prison is overly harsh considering that Simmons is a first-time offender. This is what made it possible for Simmons' release this afternoon.

Judge Robert C. Noonan signed a release order and she'll be released from custody once it's received by Bedford Hills Correctional Facility where she is incarcerated.


December 12, 2012 - 12:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Stafford.

Joshua William Cresswell, 20, of Janes Road, Rochester, was found passed out behind the wheel of his gray sedan around 7:30 this morning with the motor still running. He was in a cornfield, south of Little Falls Road, Pembroke. Cresswell was arrested and will appear in Pembroke Town Court on Jan. 10 on charges of driving while intoxicated and driving with a BAC of .08 or more. (Nothing about his being underage was noted in the report.)

Rozella Ann Smith, 76, of Colonial Boulevard, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. She was arrested for allegedly striking another person on the wrist and arraigned in Town of Batavia Court. The incident allegedly occurred on Nov. 29 at 10:43 p.m.

Gregory Stephen Hallifax, 46, of Diane Drive, Cheektowaga, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and arraigned in Stafford Town Court. Hallifax was arrested on suspicion of criminal contempt and failure to obey an order of protection on Nov. 29 at 11:32 p.m. at a location on East Main Street Road, Stafford. He was released and will appear in Stafford Town Court next month.

(Note: Temporary difficulties in receiving FAX transmissions delayed the publication of information on Smith and Hallifax.)



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