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March 4, 2015 - 5:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

A former truck driver was found guilty by a federal jury in Buffalo today on all counts in an indictment charging him with transportation of minors with the intent to have sex, announced U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., of the Western District of New York.

David Allen Vickers, 50, was found guilty of transporting two minors in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. According to evidence introduced at trial, the defendant, an over the road truck driver, transported two victims to Canada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and repeatedly abused and molested them while he was making deliveries, according to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron J. Mango and Elizabeth R. Moellering.

This abuse occurred in the time frame of 1999 to 2007.

“That this defendant continuously abused numerous children over almost a quarter of a century makes him one of the area’s most prolific and dangerous abusers we have convicted,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Thanks to the courage of four of the victims who testified, today’s verdicts mean that this defendant will never again harm another child.”

He is the brother of convicted child molester and former Batavia resident Sean M. Vickers. Media coverage of Sean's arrest in 2013 prompted other victims to come forward and led to the investigation of David.

Both brothers were investigated for sexual abuse of minors in multiple jurisdictions going back as long as 30 years ago.

Last September, Judge Robert C. Noonan sentenced Sean, who is in his mid-40s, to 107 years in state prison after a jury found him guilty of two counts of sodomy in the first degree, two counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree.

David's trial evidence also disclosed that the defendant abused other children, with the first abuse beginning in 1983. This pattern of abuse included extensive psychological manipulation of the victims (sometimes referred to as “grooming”), and was facilitated through the defendant’s projection of benevolence to the victims’ families. The defendant also established and operated a bed and breakfast on Seneca Lake, “Paradise on the Lake,” to which he took the eventual victims in an effort to manipulate and gain their trust. The defendant also gave the victims alcohol, cigarettes, toys, and access to ATVs.

The defendant’s cover was so successful, in fact, that both of the victims named in the Indictment had at one time been assigned to the custody of the defendant by a Family Court Judge.

The sentencing is scheduled for June 24, 2015. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, or both.

The trial was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of Brian P. Boetig, Special Agent in Charge, and the Batavia City Police Department under the direction of Chief Shawn Heubusch. The evidence was presented to the jury by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mango and Moellering. The case was heard by United States District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara.

March 4, 2015 - 1:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business.

A social media workshop will be held at the BEST Center across the road from GCC from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 12. Cost is $49.

"Basic Level: Social Networking for Facebook & Twitter" will teach the basics of using these tools. Participants will leave with a working knowledge of how to use these tools and how to protect yourself. It is highly recommended that you have a web-based e-mail service that includes Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc.

This course is not about theory. It is hands-on. Get your feet wet and play with the different platforms in a safe environment with an instructor to help you every step of the way.

Call The BEST Center to register at 345-6868 or go online to www.bestcenter.edu

March 4, 2015 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.
Mark Maltese

At one time, Mark Maltese was a model citizen, his attorney David Pilato told Judge Robert C. Noonan this morning before Maltese was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The 44-year-old Batavia resident had a couple of driving under the influence arrests, but otherwise never had any contact with the law until he decided to start robbing and burglarizing local businesses in order to feed a recently acquired cocaine addiction.

He was educated, employed, a father and a son who grew up loving football and caring about his family, Pilato said.

"His addiction is not an excuse for his behavior," Pilato said. "It explains his behavior."

Noonan said, even so, the crimes committed by Maltese, which he was convicted of at a jury trial in January, were "among the most violent crimes in our criminal justice system" and deserved a significant prison term.

The 15-year sentences were handed down on Maltese's conviction of robbery in the 2nd degree.

The armed robberies were committed over a few days period in November 2013 at the Best Western on Park Road, the 7-Eleven in Oakfield, and the Days Inn on Noonan Drive, Batavia.

Maltese was captured after burglarizing Rent-A-Center days after the Days Inn robbery.

The two 15-year sentences were imposed concurrently, as were the series of two-and-one-third to seven-year sentences for his convictions on burglary, 3rd, criminal mischief, 2nd, and grand larceny, 3rd.

Also in court today: Robert W. Plantiko Jr., 29, of Thorpe Street, Batavia, who entered a plea in January to criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, was sentenced to two to four years in prison. The conviction stems from a Sept. 5 incident on Thorpe Street that led to charges of burglary, 1st, robbery, 1st, menacing, 2nd, assault, 3rd, and criminal mischief.

March 4, 2015 - 9:30am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

City firefighters are at the Taco Bell on West Main Street after an electrical outlet was found smoking following a water leak.

UPDATE 9:43 a.m.: An electrical problem was found and will be handled by an electrician.

March 4, 2015 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

From Matt Worth, city superintendent of Water / Wastewater:

Over the past week there has been a few reports of frozen water services in the City, the area of Oak Street and Clifton Avenue in particular. Any residents who might have shallow water service or have had an issue in the past should consider running a “trickle” of water in one faucet until temperatures moderate for a few days to avoid freezing. A stream of water smaller than a pencil will typically prevent any freezing.

March 4, 2015 - 9:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.

D&C: Cuomo heads to Rochester to push for minimum wage hike

Answer this question later today on the smartphone app Reacht for a chance to win a $5 gift certificate from Southside Deli. To download Reacht on your smartphone, click here.

March 4, 2015 - 5:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

The Sheriff's Office has issued a travel advisory for Genesee County:

A travel advisory has been issued for all of Genesee County as of 0540 hrs. There are numerous accidents due to icy road conditions.

UPDATE 6:40 a.m.: Two-hour delays for schools: Batavia City, Attica, Alexander, Elba, Notre Dame.

UPDATE 8:15 a.m.: The travel advisory has been lifted. Also, the Richmond Memorial Library has delayed opening until 11 a.m.

March 4, 2015 - 5:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 11 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo warns of a patchy, freezing drizzle with accumulations of a trace of ice.

Temperatures will be in the low 30s throughout the morning.

Expect slick spots on untreated roads.

March 4, 2015 - 5:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

One person is reportedly trapped following a motor-vehicle accident on Route 98 and Edgerton Road, Elba.

Elba fire and Bergen ambulance dispatched.

Also, there's an accident with minor injuries in Stafford, Roanoke Road near Westcott Road. Stafford fire responded to that call.

UPDATE 5:40 a.m.: The person is out of the vehicle. Minor injuries reported.

March 3, 2015 - 7:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, darien lake, Darien.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from Darien Lake Theme Park Resort at its Thursday, March 5, board meeting.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort is planning to add several new attractions, including a 75-foot “super loop” thrill ride and dual waterslide complex speed ride for this operating season. The projected capital investment is approximately $2.5 million.

The company is seeking a sales-tax exemption of $180,000, which would require a public hearing should the board approve the application.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate Med & Tech Park - 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor across from Genesee Community College.

March 3, 2015 - 7:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) issued the following statement after voting to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

“It is my responsibility to Western New Yorkers to ensure the funding needed to guarantee their security is provided,” Congressman Collins said. “Political theatrics should never endanger Americans’ safety. Today I voted to make sure that did not occur.

“Lurching from one crisis to the next might make for lucrative political fund-raising, but it does not make for good government. It is time we end the political ‘Groundhog Day’ and fulfill the jobs we were elected to do; creating an environment conducive to job creation and addressing the needs of the people who elected us.”

March 3, 2015 - 5:56pm

Registration has started in the Batavia City School District for children eligible to begin kindergarten in the 2015-2016 school year. Children who will be five years old on or before December 1, 2015, are eligible. To register, parents may go to the Business Office, located in the administration wing of Batavia High School (260 State Street), on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and bring with them:

  • two proofs  of residency (for example: utility bill for gas, water, electric, cable; lease or rental agreement; mortgage statement; landline phone bill) unless the child is currently enrolled in the District’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program,
  • the child’s birth certificate,
  • the child’s Social Security card, and
  • the child’s complete immunization records.

   If you have questions, please call the Business Office at 343-2480 x1002.

Parents of new first grade pupils are also asked to register their child in the same time frame and with the same documentation.

 

March 3, 2015 - 5:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

Katelynn M. Hackett, of Corfu, received a bachelor of science degree with great distinction in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University on Dec. 31, 2014.

Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues.

March 3, 2015 - 4:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Press release:

"Frolic in the Forest" this Spring At Genesee County Park and Forest!

Be part of the magic this spring with full moon hikes, adventures in amphibian life, and forays into the pond at Genesee County Park and Forest. Explore the forest by moonlight as we search for animals, see new growth, hear old stories, and discover the world waking up from a long, cold winter.

Long ago each full moon was given a name to mark the season of the year. Join us for the Full Worm Moon in March, the Full Fish Moon in April, and the Full Flower Moon in May.

Evening exploration begins on Thursday, March 5 from 7 to 8:30, and Saturday April 4 from 7:30 to 9, and Saturday May 2, from 7:30 to 9.

Listen to the chorus of spring and get to know your small, slimy singing neighbors with Amphibian Adventure on Saturday April 18, at 8:30 p.m. After we learn to identify our pest-eating pals, we head into the wetlands and woodlands to search for them, listen to them, and find out what we can do to help take care of them.

Delve into some wild creature encounters with Pond Discovery on Saturday, May 9, at 11:30 am. Be prepared to get muddy and wet, you will be using a net and sharing a bucket of water to catch animals, and then learn about them from a Naturalist Guide.

Pre-registration is required for all programs. Cost is $5/person, $10/family. To register call (585) 344-1122.

For more information visit our website at <http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/>

March 3, 2015 - 4:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs have announced their manager and coaching staff for the 2015 season. For the third season in a row, this year’s squad will be lead by manager Angel Espada, pitching coach Brendan Sagara and hitting coach Rigoberto Silverio.

The 2015 campaign marks Angel Espada’s fourth year as the manager for the Marlins’ short-season Single-A affiliate, third as manager of the Batavia Muckdogs. Espada led the Muckdogs to a 34-42 record in 2014 and has compiled a 117-110 record during his time in Batavia. Espada spent the 2012 season as the manager of the Jamestown Jammers and the year prior as the hitting coach for the Jammers. Prior to his time with Jamestown, he spent two years working as the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League Marlins.

Espada was a 42nd-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 1994 First-Year Player Draft. In addition to the Braves, he also played in the Mets’ and Yankees’ systems. His playing career spanned 14 years and he finished with a .305 career batting average over 940 games played.

Brendan Sagara begins his fourth season as pitching coach for the Marlins’ short-season Single-A affiliate. Sagara has served as a pitching coach for 13 seasons with various teams. He broke into the coaching profession with the Dubois County Dragons of the Frontier League in 2001 as the Club’s pitching coach. He has also worked for the Braves as a part-time scout (2010-11) and the Mets as an associate scout (2006-09). In 2007, he was named Coach of the Year in Windy City of the Frontier League, while boasting the league’s top pitching staff.

Rigoberto Silverio returns for his third campaign as Batavia’s hitting coach and his seventh year in the Marlins organization. Prior to 2013, he spent two seasons as a coach for Jupiter. He spent his first three seasons with organization as a coach for the Jamestown Jammers. In his five seasons in the Marlins farm system, the former infielder was a career .243 hitter in 225 games.

Michael Bibbo will once again serve as the trainer for the 2015 season, his third year with the both the Muckdogs’ and Marlins’ organizations. Bibbo previously was the interim Head Athletic Trainer at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he spent four years (August 2007-September ‘10, September 2011-June ‘12) as the Assistant Athletic Trainer at Malvern Preparatory School. He spent seven months (February-August 2011) as the Rehabilitation Intern with the Philadelphia Phillies. Bibbo received his Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and his bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., in 2007.

The Muckdogs home opener is set for Friday, June 19th vs. Auburn at 7:05. Season tickets, coupon books and ticket packages are all on sale now. They can be purchased at Dwyer Stadium or by calling (585)343-5454.

March 3, 2015 - 4:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, accidents.

A two-car accident with injuries and entrapment is reported at 9473 Route 98. Alexander and two Mercy medic units are responding along with mutual aid from the Town of Batavia.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: Route 98 is shut down in both directions between Pike and Dodgeson roads.

UPDATE 5:19 p.m.: Sgt. Ron Meides tells Howard at the scene that a pickup truck driven by a female was on Route 98 when she lost control of the vehicle in slushy road conditions. The truck spun around and was T-boned by van heading in the opposite direction driven by a male. The pickup truck driver suffered non-life threatening injuries. The van driver was entrapped, possibly suffering internal injuries, and would have been taken to the hospital via Mercy Flight if it wasn't grounded due to weather. Both drivers were taken by ambulance to ECMC.

March 3, 2015 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports.

Press release:

The road to college for athletes is no longer lined with traditional mile markers. It used to be that batting averages, points per game or yards per carry paved the way for sports stars. Nowadays, one more percentage is carrying more and more weight. It’s called the grade-point average.

The days of athletes dreaming to “Be Like Mike” and parents’ dreams of having it pay for an education and a lucrative future for their child-student-athlete have vastly changed over the last generation or so. In fact, there is a lot more work to hitting a home run than just hitting home runs.

An hour-long seminar to help prepare parents and athletes for the recruiting road ahead — complete with all its bumps — will be held beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5th, at Batavia High School Cafeteria. Mark Chmielinski will be the speaker. Interested participants are asked to come early, if possible, to receive a number of handouts and watch a POWERFUL pre-program video.

“Guiding the College-Bound Athlete” will provide information and topics for every student-athlete in middle and high school and their parents to educate and prepare them for opportunities and careers after graduation. Many student-athletes who aspire to play at the college level are not familiar with the ins and outs of academic requirements and eligibility as they need to be in order to pursue their goals.

The seminar is designed by Rick Wire, president of Pennsylvania-based Dynamite Sports, is the father of nine-year NFL veteran Coy Wire. It will also provide families with information about the availability of athletic scholarships and the realities of the college recruiting process.

Rick Wire found himself looking for answers when Coy, then 8 years old, started talking about being a college football star. Wire hadn’t attended college himself and decided he had better start preparing for the future. He questioned other parents who had been through the process, looking for pros and cons and ways to prepare financially.

In the end, his son Coy earned his scholarship to play football at Stanford University. Then in 2002, Coy was drafted in the 3rd round of the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills where he played for six seasons and then finished his career for the past three seasons as a captain and player rep with the Atlanta Falcons.

Rick used his study to become a speaker and expert in college athletics and its recruiting process. Then he created the Dynamite Sports Educational Recruiting System, which combines academic preparation and athletic training with marketing and recruiting strategies to navigate through the process. The plan provides direction to high school athletes and parents, and staff development training and resources to high school coaches and counselors to help all parties make knowledgeable choices and decisions in college athletics and recruiting.

For information about Dynamite Sports, go to www.dynamitesports.com.

March 3, 2015 - 3:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia High School.

Due to weather conditions, Batavia High School Principle Chris Daly has cancelled all after-school activities today, including tonight's Girls Basketball game in Penfield. The Section V playoff game will be played tomorrow in Penfield.

March 3, 2015 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Route 98 and Lockport Road. Elba fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m.: All available manpower from the Elba Fire Department is requested to the scene, including Fire Police.

March 3, 2015 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, accidents.

A two-car accident, minor injuries, is reported at the intersection of Sumner and Alleghany roads. Darien fire and ambulance responding.

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