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May 6, 2016 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A 21-year-old Batavia man was ordered held on $50,000 bail today during his arraignment on charges stemming from an alleged robbery in January, just eight days before he was scheduled to be sentenced on an assault conviction.

The timing of the crime and the fact he was not yet identified as the suspect means that if he's convicted on the 12-count Grand Jury indictment, he can't be sentenced as a second felony offender, nor does the robbery constitute a violation of probation since he wasn't on probation yet.

Terrence D. Johnson is facing a possible violation charge, but not because of the alleged robbery.

Johnson was indicted on one count of robbery and 11 counts of grand larceny, 4th.  

Each of the eleven grand larceny counts stems from each of the credit or debit cards carried by the victim.

The robbery occurred in the area of 2 School St., Downtown Batavia.

Beyond the usual not-guilty plea, Johnson's attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, said there is some question as to whether Johnson was even in the area of School Street at the time the robbery was reported.

After court, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, in answer to a question, said there is physical evidence linking Johnson to the crime.

Before the hearing, members of Johnson's family reached out to local media and said they would like to talk about Johnson, saying, "this is not who he really is," but after the hearing, Ader said he advised them not to grant interviews.

In November, Johnson entered a guilty plea to a gang assault charge for being part of a three-person assault on a person on Holland Avenue over the summer and was sentenced in January to six months in jail and five years probation.

The timing of the conviction, the second alleged crime without him being identified as a suspect, followed by his sentencing, means the original sentence stands and he can't be sentenced as a second felony offender. If he were considered a second felony offender, then the minimum range of a possible prison term would be longer. Either way, the maximum possible sentence is 25 years.

A violation of probation charge has not been brought against Johnson yet, but he allegedly left the county and violated curfew while on probation.

May 6, 2016 - 11:23am
posted by Billie Owens in animal abuse, batavia, news.

A dog is reportedly locked inside a white Kia in the parking lot in front of Aldi's on East Main Street, Batavia. The windows are shut. Law enforcement is responding.

May 6, 2016 - 9:56am

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved a final resolution for an application for assistance from Alpina Foods, Inc., at its May 5 board meeting.

Alpina Foods, Inc., will add 3,200 square feet to its existing facility in the Town of Batavia to accommodate space for a bottle-filling machine and packaging equipment for a new drinkable yogurt product.

The facility’s expansion will result in the creation of four new jobs and the retention of 23 current full-time employees. Based on the success of the product line and other growth opportunities there is the potential for the creation of additional new jobs at Alpina.

The company was approved for a sales tax exemption of $15,405 and a property tax exemption of $62,903. The project’s planned capital investment will total an estimated $1.1 million.

“It is exciting to see Alpina adding a new yogurt product to the marketplace that is being made right here in Genesee County,” said Christopher Suozzi, vice president of Business Development at the GCEDC.

“The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park is an important community asset and continued investment and expansion there will only help us market the site to other food processing and food manufacturing companies.”

May 6, 2016 - 8:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, animals, pets.

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    Jeffrey Johnson

A 28-year-old Oakfield resident, Jeffrey Johnson, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 3rd, in connection with the alleged theft earlier this week of a van from a residence on Ellicott Street, Batavia.

The incredible part of the story is that the owner's dog, Duke, was in the Toyota Sienna, and after the vehicle was recovered in Rochester, Duke was returned to Betty and John O'Brien.

"Our fear was something happened to the dog, because Duke is a very gentle dog," Betty Carlet Cleare, a reporter with our news partner 13WHAM. "He could have sold him, he could have beaten him, and he could have done any number of things to him. The gods were with us this week."

Duke is apparently so gentle that he did not make a sound when the van was taken.

"He didn't say a peep," Betty said, "which we're thankful of, because that's why I think he survived."

May 5, 2016 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

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City firefighters were at a house on Ganson Avenue this afternoon for training. The house is scheduled for demolition in a couple of weeks, but before it comes down, City crews will use it for numerous training drills.

Today's scenario was dealing with a first-floor fire at a time (such as the middle of the night) when there might be people upstairs sleeping. While one crew attacks the fire, another enters through a second-story window and searches for anybody who might be trapped, injured or just sleeping and unaware of the fire.

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May 5, 2016 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eastown Plaza, Eastown Beverage, batavia, business.

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The expansion of Paul Parise's Eastown Beverage, which includes more space for his redemption center, coincides with that redemption center becoming the last privately owned, independent one in town.

Rob's on Ellicott Street, where Parise got his start more than a dozen years ago, closed last month. The nonprofit ARC operates a redemption center on East Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia, and Tops Market chain also has one.

This spring, Parise has expanded his redemption center into space, formerly a detail shop, next to his beer store. 

The new redemption center is bigger and Parise promises it will always be the cleanest around with the fastest service.

At the same time, Parise has been able to add more coolers -- now 24 doors -- to the beer shop and he's increased the number of craft beers he carries, and unlike a lot of shops, everything he sells is refrigerated.

The shops are located at 563 E. Main St., Batavia.

Eastown Beverage is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; Thursday through Saturday to 9 p.m.; and from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The redemption center is open 9 to 4:30, except Saturdays when it closes at 4, and its closed on Sundays.

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May 5, 2016 - 2:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A Batavia man is in Orleans County Jail charged with first-degree rape of a victim under age 11 -- in this case a 5-year-old child.

Nicholas L. McKague, 24, of West Main Street Road, was arrested April 18. He is also charged by Orleans Sheriff's Investigator K. Strickland with endangering the welfare of a child.

The charges, announced May 4, followed a two-month investigation conducted by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office related to an incident that allegedly occurred in the Town of Clarendon in 2011.

McKague was arraigned by Town of Clarendon Justice DiFante. McKague was put in the custody of the Sheriff and transported to the Orleans County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. McKague is scheduled to appear in the Town of Clarendon Court at 6:30 p.m. on May 9.

Additional charges are forthcoming as the Investigation continues. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Justice for Children Advocacy Center, Orleans County Child Protective Services and the Batavia Police Department.

May 5, 2016 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, news.

Brian E. Bisig, 57, of 25 Clay St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI following a report of a vehicle which had been involved in an accident and had left the scene on Summit Street Road. Bisig was allegedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at about 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, which was observed by a concerned citizen. The citizen was able to provide a description of the vehicle to police and followed the involved vehicle to a residence located on Clay Street in Le Roy. After a brief investigation, Bisig was found to be allegedly intoxicated and was charged. In addition to the DWI charge, Bisig was also charged with DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more. Bisig was also issued a summons by a member of the State Police regarding the accident occurring in the Town of Le Roy. Bisig will answer the charges at a later date in the Town of Le Roy Court.

Christopher M. Smith, 21, was arrested May 1 for petit larceny after he allegedly stole 15 packs of Pokemon cards valued at $63 and exited a local store, passing all points of sale; Smith attempted to hide the merchandise underneath a vehicle in the parking lot. He was transported to State Police barracks in Batavia for processing and issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Batavia Court on May 9.

Dawn Viehdeffer, 57 was arrested May 2 for petit larceny from Walmart after taking miscellaneous items totaling more than $45. Viehdeffer was allegedly observed placing items in her purse as she shopped but failed to remove the concealed items upon checkout; Viehdeffer did not scan the items and proceeded to exit the store, passing all points of sale. She was transported to State Police barracks in Batavia for processing and issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Batavia Court on May 17.

May 5, 2016 - 9:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education.

Press release:

The deadline for Genesee County graduating seniors wishing to apply for the William F. Brown Jr. Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by The Jerome Foundation, is May 20.

The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a deserving high school senior residing in and graduating from a school in Genesee County whose intention is to pursue at least a four-year degree in the fields of Journalism, Communications or Public Relations (in print, radio, television or digital media).

William F. Brown Jr. was a noted Batavia author, broadcaster and journalist, and a charter member of The Jerome Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that distributes funds to benefit United Memorial Medical Center and other health-related purposes. He passed away on Nov. 29, 2014.

Brown also was president of the board of directors of the former St. Jerome Hospital and a trustee emeritus of The Jerome Foundation.

A committee of directors from the foundation will judge the scholarship applicants based upon academic merit, creative accomplishment, community service and leadership.

Applications are available at guidance offices at the nine Genesee County high schools or by contacting Martha Spinnegan, administrative assistant for The Jerome Foundation, at [email protected].

The completed application must be mailed to The Jerome Foundation, P.O. Box 249, Batavia, NY, 14020, and postmarked by May 20 to be considered.

 

May 4, 2016 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, batavia cemetery association, news.

Press release:

The Batavia Cemetery Association will hold a Victorian Home Tour from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 15th. The interior home tour will feature some of Batavia's finest examples of Victorian architecture.

The tour starts at the Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue at 12:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online at bataviacemetery.com, in person (after April 16th) at Pollyanna & Dot at the Hidden Door, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, or by calling (585) 343-0248. Any remaining tickets may be purchased at the cemetery the day of the tour, however advance purchase is recommended as a limited number will be sold.

No children under the age of 12, please.

All proceeds benefit the upkeep and restoration of the Historic Batavia Cemetery, which was founded in 1823 and was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2002.

May 4, 2016 - 2:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Terrence D. Johnson

A Batavia man was arrested Tuesday, May 3, after being indicted by a Grand Jury on a charge of first-degree robbery and 11 counts of fourth-degree grand larceny.

Terrence D. Johnson, 21, allegedly robbed an employee of the Bahama Bay Salon at 2 School St., Batavia, in January. He is in jail without bail.

He is to appear in Genesee County Court this Friday. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Det. Kevin Czora.

May 4, 2016 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, news.

Kenneth Michael Gray Jr., 24, no permanent address, is charged with second-degree criminal trespass. He was arrested on May 3 after he allegedly entered a second-story window at 3:05 a.m. on Lake Street Road, Le Roy. Gray is in jail on $10,000 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young, assisted by Deputy John Baiocco.

Justin Allan Putney, 25, of Borden Avenue, Perry, is charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more, and speeding. He was stopped at 12:16 a.m. today for speeding on East Main Street Road in Batavia and was allegedly found to be intoxicated. He is to appear in Town of Batavia Court on May 16. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy John Baiocco, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

May 4, 2016 - 12:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Habitat for Humanity, batavia, news.

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A neighbor on South Main Pearl Street is obviously grateful for Habitat for Humanity's restoration of a house two doors down.

The house is nearly complete and the family that will move in is in escrow on the purchase. A dedication is expected May 21.

Habitat currently has another project in progress on State Street.

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May 4, 2016 - 12:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Thomas Rocket Car, batavia, news.

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Dick McClurg continues to make progress on the restoration of the Thomas Rocket Car, the one-of-kind prototype designed by Batavian Charles Thomas and built in a garage at Main and Oak in 1938.

By the end of the month, McClug expects to have the driver side fender re-fabricated, in place, with the entire driver's side primed. If that timetable sticks, then he'll load the car on a trailer for the Memorial Day Parade through the City, weather permitting.

Since our last visit, McClurg as fabricated new motor mounts and inner fenders as well as repaired the rear driver's side fender.

The work has given McClurg a renewed respect for Thomas, he said, noting that getting the one fender right was tough work, but Thomas and Norman Richardson had to get all the fenders right and get them to match perfectly, all by hand.

"I wish I could have met him," McClurg said.

Once the restoration is complete, the car will be donated to the city, and at that point, it will be able to make its own way down Main Street in a parade, rather than on a trailer.

For previous coverage, click here.

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May 4, 2016 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

The Richmond Memorial Library budget was approved by voters yesterday with 219 yes votes to 46 voting no.

The proposed budget includes a spending increase of $23,945.

Jennifer Cascell was elected to a five-year term on the library's board of trustees, filling a vacancy to be left by Dana Warren at the expiration of her term this June.

May 4, 2016 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Cemetery, batavia cemetery association, batavia, news.

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Press release:

Sometime between the middle of March and the middle of April this year, the Historic Batavia Cemetery was seriously vandalized. More than 50 headstones, some dating to the early 19th century, were overturned, broken or smashed, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

The Batavia Cemetery was established in 1823 and was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2002. Most of Batavia’s early settlers are buried at this site.

The Cemetery Association is a nonprofit organization and the funds available for this damage are limited. They are asking for donations to help reset and repair the damaged monuments. A GoFundMe page has been established under Historic Batavia Cemetery Repairs and may be found at  https://www.gofundme.com/BataviaCemetery.

This board has worked very hard the past 25 years to restore and maintain the cemetery. This is a very devastating blow.

Under New York State Law, this amount of cemetery desecration is a felony offense. If anyone has information regarding this crime, they may contact Officer Cronmiller at Batavia City Police Department, 345-6350.

Any donations or information will be greatly appreciated.

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May 3, 2016 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, batavia society of artists, art.

The Batavia Society of Artists 2016 Spring Art Exhibit will be held at Richmond Memorial Library from May 9 to May 29.

The Opening Reception with artists will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. At 7 o'clock that night, the society will present the Virginia Carr Mumford Memorial Scholarship to a student from Genesee Community College.

Carr Mumford was a long-standing member of the society and over the years her family has graciously continued the yearly scholarship.

In addition, at the reception there will be award recognitions for the 2016 show and the drawing of a raffle winner of Brian Kemp's demo painting. It is a collaborative abstract painting titled "#17." Raffle tickets will be availble for sale until 7 p.m. They are $5 each or three for $10.

All proceeds will help the society to hold more art demos.

For additional information, contact Terry Weber at 993-0509 or [email protected].

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

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