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October 9, 2014 - 4:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Samuel G. Malone turned from the defense table after Judge Robert C. Noonan finished with him and smiled.

He looked out into the gallery as he strode from that moment where his entire future hung in the balance and spotted his wife and baby and the smile grew wider.

The convicted burglar will remain a free man, at least as free as a man can be while on four years probation.

In that moment, he heard something few convicted criminals ever hear: Praise from an often stern judge with little patience for defendants who don't keep their promises.

Malone kept his promises. He's stayed clean. He's lived sober. He's kept a job. He's worked hard. He's walked the line as a husband and father.

"I'm truly sorry for what I did," Malone had told Noonan. "I am. I have really turned around my life, 100 percent, in every aspect of it. I'm a hard worker. I work 50 to 60 hours a week. I love my children and I love my wife."

Malone hit the front pages in April 2013 in a rather notorious way.

In December 2012, a grand jury indicted a DNA profile as a "John Doe" because the statute of limitations was about to expire on the crime. Even without a name, based on that unique DNA profile, the suspect for those burglaries of local businesses could still be charged.

Five months later, after Malone had been convicted on an unrelated felony, and a DNA sample was collected, as required by law, Malone was identified as that "John Doe."

In August, 2013, Malone entered a guilty plea to two counts of burglary, 3rd, and one count of attempted burglary, 3rd.

Rather than sentence Malone to prison in November, Noonan heeded the advice of the probation departments in Alleghany County (where Malone now lives) and Genesee County. Both probation departments reported that Malone was doing well, staying clean and out of trouble, and leading a new life.

So Noonan put Malone on interim probation for six months.

The judge admitted he was pleasantly surprised at how things worked out.

His own handwritten note from Nov. 12, Noonan said, told him that he thought for sure he would be sending Malone to prison today. The note said, Noonan told Malone, that even a perfect performance while on interim probation wouldn't necessarily keep Malone out of state lock up.

"It's amazing, the turn around you've done," Noonan said. "Even the probation department --certainly no push over on recommendations -- says it would be a step backwards for you to give you any incarceration at this time because you're doing so well."

Noonan's decision to put Malone on probation ran counter to the recommendation of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, who questioned whether a community-based sentence was appropriate given the severity of the charges.

"I've read the recommendations and he's doing in fact apparently well, and he's done everything, other than driving without a license, that he's supposed to do," Friedman said, "but I'm troubled by the number of serious crimes this defendant committed."

Public Defender Jerry Ader acknowledged that Malone was convicted of a series of serious crimes, but also pointed to how well Malone has done both on probation for his original conviction and the interim probation granted by Noonan.

"He's proven himself almost more than any other client I can remember coming through our office," Ader said. "He has turned his life around. He will be an asset to the community, to his family and to his children."

Noonan reminded Malone that if nothing else, for the next four years, the 28-year-old father will have a lengthy prison term awaiting him if he strays from the path of law-abiding citizen.

"You will have 18 years of prison hanging over your head for any violation of the law while on probation," Noonan said. "That should be sufficient incentive to keep you on the straight and narrow, though you seem to have found your own incentive through your work and family."

October 9, 2014 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, taxes.

Enough robbing Peter to pay Paul. Maybe its time to send a little cash back Peter's way, county legislators suggested during a budget session Wednesday afternoon.

County Manager Jay Gsell's early-stage draft budget calls for a reduction of the county's property tax rate from $10.04 to $9.85 per thousand.

After years of diverting sales tax revenue to balance the general fund budget, maybe the county should replenish the "1-percent fund," Legislator Bob Bausch suggested, followed by words of agreement from legislators Ed DeJaneiro and Frank Ferrando.

The 1-percent fund was created following an increase in the county's share of the sales tax in 1996 to help fund the county court complex.

From that point forward, that 1 percent cut of sales tax was supposed to go to a capital reserve fund -- money in the bank for roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

But in recent years, as a stagnant economy caused tax revenue to sag and out-of-control state mandates put unrelenting pressure on the county's ability to fund basic programs, a portion of that 1-percent fund has been diverted into the general fund.

Meanwhile, roads and bridges continue to age and deteriorate.

"If we have some more money this year, I would kind of like to see that replenished and do some more capital projects, because as the residents of the county know, between the highways, bridges and roof and general capital budget items, we have fallen somewhat behind," Bausch said. "...if at all possible, I would like to see us address some of those issues if we have some extra revenue."

Through the typical budget process, department managers from throughout the county submitted their funding requests for 2015. 

Requested spending topped $27 million, which would have required a tax rate of $9.96 per thousand of assessed property value.

Gsell made cuts and reduced the recommended levy to $26.8 million, requiring a tax rate of $9.85.

The reduction in proposed spending is possible, Gsell said, because of sound fiscal management over the past 20 years, negligible staff growth the past couple of years, and the state capping how much it expects the county to contribute each year to mandated programs.

Mandates still eat up 82 percent of the county's revenue, but at least the figure isn't growing the way it has in years past.

"The state has capped Medicaid at $9.9 million, and that's great, but in every other state but one, counties don't pay anything for Medicaid," Gsell said. "If I could take $9.9 million and tell the State of New York, 'you pay for Medicaid, you control the program, you write the rules, you tell us (what) we can't do as far as reforming a local version that doesn't exist,' then I could say our tax rate goes down by 38 percent. It's not going to happen, at least (not) the way the State of New York is thinking at this point."

With less spending pressure on the county budget, though, Bausch and other legislators are saying, let's review capital funds a little further.

"We can't keep telling people your bridges are going to fall down, but we're going to cut your taxes," Bausch said.

DeJaneiro said he knows it's not an issue in his district (a portion of the City of Batavia), but he knows there's been an issue elsewhere with school buses and fire trucks being unable to pass over bridges because of structural deficiencies. Andrew Young and Bausch both said those have been issues in their parts of the county.

"Bridges are reality and people not getting an ambulance on time or a fire truck on time because of a bridge is something we should be concerned about," DeJaneiro said.

Ferrando agreed with the general sentiment.

"We should replenish the fund when we have a year where we have an opportunity," Ferrando said. "We should consider it."

Gsell was asked to prepare a report on the fund and provide more information to the Legislature.

Also discussed during the budget session was female prisoner transport. It's an expense that is continuing to rise and also takes a deputy or two off patrol at a time.

Gsell said options including having corrections officers transport female inmates, or hiring a private contractor who can provide licensed and bonded security officers for transport.

A few years ago, the Sheriff's Office would have seven or eight female inmates housed at the jails in Orleans, Wyoming or Monroe counties. Now there are 19 or 20 women in the county's inmate population at any one time, all needing transport occasionally to and from the county for court appearances or meetings with attorneys. But adding to the cost burden is the fact that some inmates are now housed as far away as Allegheny County and Wayne County.

Because of behavioral issues, certain inmates are no longer accepted by closer, neighboring counties.

Nothing was settled Wednesday on how to resolve the issue.

October 9, 2014 - 2:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in lost pets.

Two older German shepherds were found on Galloway Road in the Batavia/Oakfield area. One male and one female. Very friendly and calm. Contact DJ at 585.509.3943.

October 9, 2014 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Pavilion.

Cordyn C. Mack, 25, of Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child, and second-degree harassment. On Oct. 8, Mack was involved in a domestic disturbance that was physical with a female who resides with him. Mack allegedly refused to allow the victim to leave the residence with her infant, and then struck the victim in the face with an open hand while she still had her child in her arms. Mack was arraigned in city court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The incident was investigated by Batavia Police officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by officer Mitchell Cowen.

Delwin D. Robinson, 33, of Lake Road, Pavilion, was arrested on Oct. 8, 2014 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Robinson was a passenger in a vehicle which was stopped for alleged vehicle and traffic violations. After a brief investigation, Robinson was allegedly found in possession of marijuana. Robinson was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in the Le Roy Town Court on Nov. 17.

October 9, 2014 - 12:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day.

$$$ Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Sweet Pea’s Cupcakery Café, 23 Jackson St., Batavia, NY. We are a full-service Cupcake Bakery and Café. Now serving fresh-baked artisan pizza on Friday nights! We offer soft-serve ice cream, too! Treat yourself to a variety of baked goods, mainly varieties of specialty and traditional scratch-made cupcakes, as well as other bakery items like cookies and brownies. We also serve a variety of hot and cold beverages. Check out our location, or place an order for parties, gatherings or any other reasons you can think of to enjoy some cupcakes. We have a $10 gift card for $6.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Scooter's Restaurant in Le Roy, 140 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Le Roy, NY: Come see us at Scooter's family restaurant with our friendly atmosphere and homestyle cooking! We offer classic American food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. We also offer a full take-out menu anytime. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: Dave's offers only locally purchased products, including Perry's hard ice cream in a wide variety of yummy flavors, with a wonderful assortment of toppings and homemade waffle cones. Different soft-serve flavors are offered weekly. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Stretch your body and soul with yoga. This offer is a $20 gift certificate off instruction for the price of $5! For new students only. Not good with any other discounts or offers. Use before October 2014.

Fortuna's Restaurant inside Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: Italian-style menu, drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, NY. A retail and special-order bakery and cafe located in Downtown Batavia inside Seymour Place. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, it offers fresh artisan bread like baguettes, sourdough and rye starting at noon. The custom cakes are out of this world with 3D characters or gorgeous wedding cakes to suit any budget. For all your sweet treats, we have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entirefamily. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facials, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $7.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

SOLD OUT

October 9, 2014 - 11:47am
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Employing her patented late brush after tracking an early speed duel, Bazooka Terror ($4) dismantled a field of top distaff pacers in the $8,500 mares Open at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 8) night.

Fiftyonefifty (John Cummings Jr.) and Soaring Honey (Dave McNeight III) battled each other hard for half a mile, each taking a lead through fractions of :27.1 and 56. By the time those two decided to play nice, last week’s winner Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) came first over with Dontch Remember (Shawn McDonough) and Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) in tow. Just as Infrontigo Hanover took the lead halfway up the backside, Cummings tipped Bazooka Terror three-deep and paced around the field like they were tied to a post. Once the mare cleared, Cummings put the whip on his shoulder and let his charge close out the race. Bazooka Terror paced away to a devastating six-length wrapped-up victory in 1:53.4.

Dontch Remember was second and Mondatta (Mike Caprio) was third.

It was the ninth win in 35 starts for Bazooka Terror and pushed her 2014 earnings to $71,307 for owner Leonard Segall. Although the clocking was not a lifetime mark for the 5-year-old daughter of Western Terror, it was the fastest she had ever paced over a half-mile track. Bazooka Terror is trained by James Clouser Jr.

Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr., Ron Beback Jr. and Shawn McDonough all scored driving doubles on the night.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 10) at 6:35.

October 9, 2014 - 11:20am
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Each year Batavia Downs signature event is the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial invitational pace. The race has played host to some of the biggest names in harness racing. It is named for the former chairman of the board of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, owner of Batavia Downs Gaming.

The six-million-dollar man, Foiled Again, won the race twice in 2009 and 2013 and Aracache Hanover set the all-time track record of 1:51.1 with his victory in 2011.

This year’s edition will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, and the condition sheet has already been released so that any interested horsemen can enter their horses as early as today.

Besides the $50,000 Kane Memorial Pace, there are many other premium racing opportunities that night, including the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Open trot, $10,000 horses and geldings Open pace, $10,000 filly and mares Open pace and $7,500 mares Open trot. The box for all races for that night closes at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct.15.

Entries can be made and inquiries can be placed by calling Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6161.

October 9, 2014 - 7:45am

Over the past two years, I’ve been asked “What’s a Libertarian and why should I vote for one?” If you asked ten Libertarians, you will get different answers. Our core value is individualism - free thinking. We are guaranteed specific individual rights through the Constitution of the United States; Libertarians advocate the protection of all those rights.

I’m also asked what our position on different issues that come along is. To answer that question, first consider a few basic questions. Ask yourself how, in general, you view other people. Consider those people you encounter every day. Are they generally good, decent, honest folks, who would share what they have with someone in need and help another who was in danger?  Or, are they bad, scheming, selfish, and look the other way and not want to be involved in helping others in need? Next, ask yourself who should make decisions about people’s welfare? Are the people you know capable of making good decisions, or should they be prevented from doing so to protect themselves?

There are only 4 possible outcomes (Labels are as used today):

1). Folks are good and should be responsible for their own welfare. (Libertarian)  

2). Folks are good but society (government) should be responsible for their welfare. (Liberal)

3). Folks are bad and society (government) should safeguard from bad decisions they make, folks are however responsible for their welfare. (Conservative)

4). Folks are bad and society (government) needs to control them. (Authoritarian)

That’s it. Yes, it seems simplistic. There will always be grey areas. Free thinkers will disagree on finer points, naturally. However, the Libertarian’s position on any topic can typically be found by determining what solution would put the most faith in people and require the least government involvement.

With individual freedom, of course comes responsibility. Unfortunately, Americans have become dependent on the state. The expectation is that government will solve issues. It’s easy to understand why. Government takes a chunk of everyone’s earnings right off the top through income tax. Add property tax, sales tax, license fees, tolls, etc. and it averages out to almost 50% of everyone’s income. I use as a reference taxfoundation.org. You will work for over five months before your pay is yours. Why are people still hungry, homeless, uneducated, with inadequate health care? Is our system broken? Why is our country on the offensive around the world? Shouldn’t our defenses be better than anyone’s offense, especially considering what we pay for it?

The ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. You can take that step by voting for Libertarians. Libertarians can’t just turn a switch and make it all better but Libertarians will shrink government whenever and wherever possible. We will enable the American spirit of independence, innovation and generosity, by getting government out of the way, respecting your right to make decisions for yourself, and stopping government from confiscating the fruits of your labor. It will take time, but if you find that you agree with the Libertarian philosophy, that people are generally good and should be making the decisions about their lives, then register as a Libertarian, take a stand with us and make a statement with your vote. You’ll never regret it. Principles are powerful things.

 

David Olsen

Chairman, Genesee County Libertarian Party.

October 8, 2014 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Police are investigating break-ins into four local business, though only one business owner reported missing property.

Salvania's Restaurant, on Jackson Street, had its cash register tipped and money was stolen, said Sgt. Det. Todd Crossett.  

There's apparently nothing missing from Anything Your Heart Desired on East Main Street, Golden Coin Laundry, East Main Street, and Sterling Tent, on Pearl Street, Crossett said.

There are few leads in the case at the moment, Crossett said. 

Anybody with information that may be useful to the investigation can contact Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

October 8, 2014 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones.

Riley Norton, of Batavia, is one of 524 Dean's List recipients for the 2013-2014 academic year at Mercyhurst University.

The Dean's List is computed annually after summer term, which marks the end of the academic year. It is based on the completion of a minimum of 24 credits with a cumulative index of at least 3.6 out of a possible 4.0 each term.

"I salute all of our Dean's List recipients for the dedication and commitment necessary to achieve this goal," said Mercyhurst President Thomas Gamble, Ph.D. "This is truly an outstanding accomplishment."

Mercyhurst University, founded in 1926 by the Sisters of Mercy, is a fully accredited, four-year, Catholic comprehensive institution in Erie, Pa. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors and concentrations as well as unique post-baccalaureate, advanced certificate and eight master's degree programs.

In 2013, the university introduced its first doctoral program in archaeology. In addition, Mercyhurst provides certificate and associate degree offerings at branch campuses in North East, Corry and the Booker T. Washington Center. Learn more at www.mercyhurst.edu.

October 8, 2014 - 11:40am
posted by Billie Owens in health, UMMC, Cancer Services Partnership.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Services Partnership will provide free health screenings to Genesee County residents who meet specific age criteria residents of Genesee County -- women between the ages of 40-64 and men aged 50-64 with no insurance or high deductibles.

The screening will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct.29, at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia. Appointments are necessary for some of the screenings.

For women age 40-64, nurse midwife Cecilia Stearns, MSN, will perform women’s health screenings, including pap smears, pelvic exams and clinical breast exams.

Urologist William Guthinger, MD, will provide prostate screenings to men age 50-64. Additional services available at the event include mammography, total cholesterol and take-home colorectal cancer screening kits.

All screenings will be provided at no charge. Funds are available for follow-up care, if necessary.

Please call United Memorial’s Healthy Living Department to schedule an appointment at (585)344-5331. Light refreshments, health information and free giveaways will also be available.

October 8, 2014 - 11:31am
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, brazil.

Press release:

From the 2014 FIFA World Cup to the 2016 Summer Olympics, the first ever to be held in South America, Brazil has become accustomed to the limelight. The local community will have a chance to learn more about the world's fifth largest country through a series of events planned this academic year at Genesee Community College by the College's Global Education Committee.

"We selected Brazil because our students will be hearing a lot about Brazil. We have students from Brazil. It's a beautiful country and an important player in the global economy," said Committee Member Nina Mortellaro.

Events begin with a lecture by GCC History Professor Charles Scruggs. "Brazil: Beyond Supermodels, Samba and Soccer" is set for Tuesday, Oct. 14, 12:30-2 p.m. in Room T102 of the Conable Technology Building on GCC's Batavia campus. The event is FREE and open to the public.

"In the past decade we have witnessed a surge in the global stature of Brazil," Scruggs said. "What accounts for this stunning transformation? What challenges linger as the world's fifth largest country attempts to carve out a new role for itself in the 21st Century?"

Scruggs will explore these questions and more, drawing on a range of historical, sociological, economic and political research.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, the Global Education Committee presents Sankofa African Dance and Drum Ensemble from SUNY Brockport. With choreography expressing elements of both African and Brazilian culture, Sankofa brings essences of the past into the present. The members represent the rich cultural heritage of Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas and Africa.

Sankofa will perform from 12:30 – 2 p.m. in the Forum on the GCC Batavia Campus. Light refreshments will be served.

The Committee is also planning an authentic Carnaval da Brazil to be held in February. The event will include arts, music, food tastings and more including a demonstration of capoeira (pronounced kap-way-ra), a Brazilian martial art combining dance, acrobatics and music. Students from Academia com Expressão of Rochester will show their skill.

In addition, GCC Faculty will present an "Experience Brazil" travel log in March, sharing their personal insights from visits to the country.

October 8, 2014 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, Oakfield, Lamb Farms.

Lamb Farms agreed to pay a $15,000 fine to the Department of Environmental Conservation for liquid manure that seeped into six residential water wells in the Lewiston/Oakfield Batavia Townline roads area of Oakfield in March, according to documents released by the DEC.

The 4,000-cow dairy farm was also given a suspended fine of $44,000 that it can avoid by complying with DEC instructions in what's known as a "consent order."

Word of the contaminated wells spread after the county mistakenly sent -- and quickly retracted -- a boil water alert to all county residents around March 18. The alert was only meant for a small population area around Lewiston Road and Oakfield Batavia Townline Road.

In all, six wells eventually tested positive for E. coli.

The DEC investigated and determined, according to the documents, that Lamb Farms was responsible for manure runoff from Field 367 on March 7 into a tributary of Upper Oak Orchard Creek, and that the manure spread on Field 386 on March 6 and 7 likely contributed to the wells' contamination.

As part of the consent order, Lamb Farms agreed to a number of technical stipulations: developing a new nutrient management plan; creating a plan for dealing with the different soil types of its field; how it handles winter and spring manure spreading; properly designating springs that might be affected by runoff; and providing more details in records for manure spreading.

Attempts to reach Lamb Farms co-owner Jim Veazy, who handled the matter with the DEC, according to the documents, were unsuccessful. It's harvest time and he's been busy in the fields.

October 8, 2014 - 11:25am
posted by Billie Owens in YWCA, domestic violencd.

Press release:

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in response to recent incidents involving professional athletes and domestic violence, the YWCA of Genesee County will “go purple” during the month of October.

The campaign “Go Purple With YWCA,” will help raise awareness about the prevalence of violence against women. In addition, YWCA will host its signature initiative, Week Without Violence, from Oct. 13 - 17, to mobilize people in communities across the United States to take action against all forms of violence, wherever it occurs.

"In addition to our annual Stiletto & Sneaker Walk, which was Oct. 2, we now look forward to going purple in an even bigger way," Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. "I challenge everyone to wear purple in support of domestic violence awareness, snap a picture of it and post to Facebook or send it to us. While it's so true that there's safety in numbers, we need to remember the numbers one in four and how crucial it is to stop domestic violence altogether."

The YWCA is one of the largest providers of domestic violence services in the United States with more than 200 local YWCA associations in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Each year, the organization provides hundreds of thousands of women and families with programs and services for both survivors and perpetrators, including emergency shelter, crisis hotlines, counseling, educational programs, prevention training, support groups, and abuse intervention. The YWCA also provides domestic violence training to businesses, law enforcement, and medical personnel across the nation.

Throughout October, YWCA of Genesee County encourages supporters to “join our team” and wear purple when watching or attending sports events to raise awareness, and share their photos on social media. In addition, we encourage supporters to change their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to our Go Purple jersey during football games on Sundays and Mondays, to show solidarity with domestic violence victims and survivors. This virtual jersey features the phrase “1 in 4,” to represent the number of women that will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. To learn more about the “Go Purple With YWCA” campaign, visit www.ywca.org/gopurple.

Batavia-based YWCA offers Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services that include advocacy, court accompaniment, access to free legal services, safe housing and, currently in development, the You Engaging Success program that will connect victims to community professionals for the necessary training, education and motivation to stop the cycle of abuse.

There will also be a panel, "Dressing for Distress," featuring ordinary women who have gone through extraordinary things. Despite horrific circumstances these women got through it all with faith, strength and courage. Join them for an evening of sharing hope. It's set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Stuart Steiner Theatre.

For more information about any of YW's programs, call (585) 343-5808 or go to www.ywcagenesee.org.

About the YWCA

The YWCA is a voice for every woman. For over a century, the YWCA has spoken out and taken action on behalf of women and girls. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. More than 2 million people participate each year in YWCA programs at more than 1,200 locations across the U.S. For more information, visit: http://www.ywca.org.

October 8, 2014 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Fire.

Le Roy Fire Department has placed a new 15-passenger van into service. The van will be used for transporting personnel to and from accident and fire scenes, to and from training classes and for parade and funeral details, among other duties. The auxiliary will also use the van for transporting food and drinks to scenes. Reflective striping and lights will make the vehicle more visible and therefore safer. The department thanks Chris Stella of Stella Collision for shop space to work on the van and Josh Pfendler for lettering the van at no cost to the department.

October 8, 2014 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A two-car accident, unknown injuries, is reported at Center Street and East Main Street, Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

October 8, 2014 - 7:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, thebatavian.

Tune in at 9 a.m. to WBTA-1490 for "Talk of the Town" staring Hiram Kasten and Lucine Kauffman.

I'll be their guest this morning.

The show can also be heard live streamed on WBTAi.com and WBTA's smartphone app.

October 7, 2014 - 7:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, crime, pets.

Fox'r is ready to go home. Whose home, we don't know yet, but it won't be the home of Nina Kelso.

In City Court today, Kelso finally surrendered ownership of the boxer, who has been living at the Animal Shelter since being found on death's doorstep at Kelso's former residence on Hutchins Street more than nine months ago.

He can now be adopted into a forever home by a local resident.

While Fox'r has put on weight -- he's up to 84 pounds -- and regained his strength, he's also been fidgety and nervous while confined most hours of the day to a cage at the shelter. He likes people and wants to be around people, volunteers say.

The volunteers at the shelter have taken to calling him "Skully" and "Boyfriend" and they've been eager to see Kelso's court case completed so he could find a new home.

Concern for the dog is one reason the District Attorney's Office agreed to a plea bargain in the case, ADA Robert Zickl told Judge Robert Balbick in City Court today.

"There's no reason for the animal to continue being confined to the shelter," Zickl said. "It should be adopted out and that is what we prefer to do because it's in the best interest of the dog." 

Kelso entered a guilty plea on an Alford basis to one count of torturing an animal.

An Alford plea means she concedes she would likely be found guilty by a jury, but does not admit to the facts of the prosecution's case against her.

Today's proceedings started with Kelso's attorney, Fares Rumi, laying out his understanding of the plea agreement offered by the people.

The agreement was a guilty plea to torturing an animal, no fees for his care up at the shelter and no jail time.

Balbick shot back that he wouldn't necessarily agree to the terms at sentencing.

"I would have to look at her background, a pre-sentence investigation, the facts of the situation and decided if no jail would serve appropriate justice," Balbick said. "I can't do that blindly. I know nothing about your client except that she is charged with torturing an animal."

Looks of shock and horror passed over Kelso's face, who sat at the defense table in a black blouse fiddling with a long silver chain draped around her neck. She appeared close to tears.

After some whispers between her and Rumi, some more back and forth between Rumi and Balbick, Balbick suggested the attorneys proceed with the planned suppression hearing.

Rumi had made a motion to get thrown out any statements Kelso made to Officer Jamie Givens the day she responded to an animal cruelty complaint at 142 Hutchins St. on Feb. 4.

Givens found Fox'r at the top of a common stairwell (shared by two apartments). Food was strewn everywhere, there was no water, and it didn't appear that Fox'r even had the strength to raise his head, Givens testified.

He was so emaciated his ribs were showing.

Minutes after Givens arrived on scene, Kelso came up and walked up the stairs and spoke with Givens.

Rumi argued that Kelso should have been read her rights before speaking with Givens. An argument Balbick would later reject saying that Kelso wasn't in custody at the time and her statements were voluntary. 

Kelso told Givens, Givens said, that Fox'r had eaten either cigarettes or some chemical that made him sick and cause sudden weight loss. Kelso reportedly said she knew Fox'r was close to death and that her brother-in-law was supposed to pick him up the next day and take him some place and shoot him to death.

Through the entirety of Givens testimony, Kelso sat silently shaking her head "no."

After the testimony, both attorneys met with Balbick privately.

When they came back into the courtroom, Rumi met with Kelso privately. They all then approached the bench and Rumi said Kelso had agreed to the terms.

Balbick again emphasized that he retains the option to reject her guilty plea when she comes in for sentencing Jan. 6.

Through tears, Kelso said she understood.

As the details of her guilty plea and the process were discussed, Kelso stood next to her attorney nearly sobbing, but mostly holding it together.

When Balbick asked her if she was ready to surrender the dog, Kelso could barely form the word "yes" with her mouth, started to sob briefly and looked straight up at the ceiling.

Seconds passed, and she managed to sob, "yes."

An animal control officer at the back of the courtroom began preparing the paperwork.

The animal shelter is located at 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Phone: (585) 343-6410. Applications for adoption are being accepted immediately.  

Around the time of Kelso's arrest, another Batavia woman, Lauren K. Pellegrino, also also arrested for allegedly mistreating her dog, Nessa. Pellegrino was scheduled to appear on her case at 1:30 p.m., and as of 4 p.m., she had yet to show up in City Court. She missed a previous court appearance, as well, and eventually turned herself in on a warrant, according to court officials. The court was attempting to contact her attorney this afternoon. Nessa remains confined to the shelter.

CORRECTION: we originally wrote "no fine." Kelso could be fined up to $1,000. The plea relieves her of responsibility for shelter fees. However when Balbick informed her she could be fined Kelso said she had been willing to pay for Fox'r's care.

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