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May 9, 2012 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Michael J. Hilton is lucky to be alive, one of his crime victims told him in Genesee County Court this morning.

Hilton admitted to second-degree burglary on March 14 and was in court today for sentencing. He received the maximum available under his plea deal: 10 years in state prison.

The 20-year-old Batavia and Le Roy resident broke into a home on Swan Street with accomplice Kurt Hawkins in September and the owner awoke to find Hilton in his room standing next to his gun cabinet.

"He didn't realize how close he came to dying that night," the local resident told Judge Robert C. Noonan. "I had a shotgun shell in my hand. I realized I couldn't get to my gun. I thought I would choke him, but I couldn't catch him. I'm glad I didn't because I would have had to live with that."

The resident said his daughter still has trouble sleeping at night because of the trauma of the break-in.

When Hilton was asked if he had anything to say, he turned and faced the victim and said, "I'm sorry."

As Hilton spoke, he began to tear up, and was sobbing as he addressed the victim's family.

"I sincerely apologize for what I put you and your family through," Hilton said. "I'm honestly sorry. I should have known better than to make the choice I made. I'm sorry.

"I'd also like to say to my family, I'm sorry," Hilton added. "I'm sorry for all the things I put you through. I know you don't need to be here now wasting your time for me because I'm nothing. I thank you for supporting me, for being here even though I don't deserve it."

Typically, defendants who apologize in court become indignant after receiving a harsh sentence from Noonan, but not Hilton. He continued to hang his head and wipe away tears.

After the hearing, the victim said he believed Hilton was sincere.

"I felt he was very remorseful," the resident said. "I almost felt bad for him just for a split second. That went away fast.

"I wish my wife had been here to see how he felt," the resident added. "She's just getting to where she can sleep at night. She didn't want to see him because when he ran out of the bedroom, he was this close to her, like you and I are right now. I wish she could have been here to see for herself."

Noonan agreed with the victim that HIlton is lucky to be alive.

"(The victim) said you came close to being killed and you know what, the law would protect (him) for doing that," Noonan said. "There's been lots of publicity about this case in Florida, but that is not your case. This is not a stand-your-ground case, because New York has allowed people to protect themselves in their own home forever. It has always been the right of a victim to kill an intruder."

Both Jerry Ader, Hilton's attorney, and Noonan noted that Hilton had a rough childhood.

"I don't know if you know this or not, but before I sentence anyone for any crime, including serious crimes like the one you're convicted of, I receive lots and lots of information about the person's background and history," Noonan said.

"It starts at birth and includes school records and medical records. Your story is a very sad story. You've had some horrible things happen in your life and I don't want you to think it's gone unnoticed."

But, Noonan said, considering the crimes Hilton committed, if not for that background, Noonan never would have allowed the plea deal Hitlon received. He would have required Hilton to face a jury and if convicted of the three possible burglary charges he could have been tried on, faced a much longer prison term than 10 years.

Before he left the courtroom, Hilton looked at his family members one more time and then hung his head and walked toward the door and out of the courtroom.

May 9, 2012 - 12:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, bergen.

A car fire is reported at Route 19 and the railroad tracks in the Village of Bergen. Bergen Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: The owner of the vehicle called dispatch and said the car is not on fire it has just overheated. Engine 27 is on location to check things out nonetheless.

UPDATE 12:51 p.m.: A firefighter confirms the car is overheated. Engine 27 is back in service.

May 9, 2012 - 12:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown.

Years ago, O'Lacy's co-owner Kent Ewell was concerned about his customers getting tickets for parking overnight in the lot across from his pub on School Street.

Ewell marched down to city hall and complained and, he said, and the tickets stopped.

Now, they're starting again and he's none too happy about it.

"I don't think it's the right way to look at the situation," Ewell said. "Somebody has made a good decision not to drive and they get a ticket."

Bar owners downtown say it's not unusual for customers to have an unexpected drink, have one more than they planned, run into an old buddy leading to a later night, or have some other circumstance change, and find themselves walking home, taking a cab or getting a ride from a friend.

Derek Geib, co-owner of Bourbon & Burger Co. on Jackson Street, said he's worried that human nature being what it is, some people will make an incorrect calculation and risk a possible DWI charge, costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars, when confronted with the certainty of a $25 ticket.

"It encourages drinking and driving," Geib said. "They're going to do it every time because that's the way people think."

One of Geib's employees and one of his customers have received tickets so far.

City Manager Jason Molino stands by the city's decision to enforce downtown parking regulations. He said it's necessary to ensure transient trucks, RVs, abandoned vehicles and such don't clutter the parking lot, and during the winter, maintain control of what vehicles are in the lots.

He said so far there's been good compliance, with apartment tenants buying the necessary permits and fewer cars without permits being left overnight.

As for bar patrons, Molino said there is an appeal process and any patron receiving a ticket is welcome to submit the ticket to the city for review.

"Discretion will be exercised if needed," Molino said. "But I would suggest that somebody make better arrangements (when going to bars).

Ken Mistler, owner of the former South Beach and soon-to-be City Slickers said that's not good enough.

"I'm concerned because if a customer finds a ticket he's not going to say anything, he's just going to be discouraged from coming back," Mistler said.

According to Mistler, he's been told by the city that only cars that are seen in the lots on a regular basis but don't have permits will receive tickets, but even then, he said, that is still a potential problem with customers.

"I hope I have lots of repeat business," Mistler said.

Local resident John Condello has started a petition that will be presented to the city council at its June 14 meeting, he said. The petition is available at any downtown restaurant, he said.

A lot has changed in downtown since the current downtown parking regulations were written into law and city officials should reexamine the rules, Ewell said.

"They were written before there was an O'Lacy's, before there was a South Beach, before there was a Larry's," Ewell said. "There was only the Candlelight."

The price of the $25 ticket is about six gallons of gas at today's prices, Ewell said, which is just about the amount somebody might spend to get from Brockport to Batavia, or just enough to discourage a trip from out of the county to enjoy a night on the town in Batavia.

The bar owners we spoke with all believe the new enforcement effort is just an attempt by the city to generate more revenue.

"You can tell it is because there was no plan, no questions (of local businesses), they just started ticketing," Ewell said. "That just leads me to believe they said, 'let's just get the money.' "

May 9, 2012 - 10:20am
posted by Nicole Begin in Announcements.
June 9th – 3:00 pm to Dusk - Pembroke Bicentennial Opening Ceremony at the Pembroke Town Park, 8799 Alleghany Rd, Corfu, NY. Pre-sale chicken BBQ $8.00 please call Town Clerk at 585-599-4892 ext. 21 or Gert Swiatowy at 585-599-3583. Hamburgers and Hot Dogs will also be sold. War of 1812 demonstrations, Music by Pembroke Community Band, Youth in Harmony, Craig Wilkins & High Point Church Band. Fire Works at dusk! Bring your lawn chair or blanket.
May 8, 2012 - 9:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Ken Mistler, City Slickers.

Driving down Main Street late this afternoon, I spotted Ken Mistler, left, and Louis Kingsbury and a third person hauling a large painting down the sidewalk. I drove around the block and caught them pulling the painting through the Jackson Street parking lot.

Mistler is installing the painting -- this is one of at least three -- in his new restaurant, City Slickers, the former South Beach.

May 8, 2012 - 7:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, consolidation.

The consolidation task force has put in a lot of work and done a great job so far, but its work is far from over, said Town of Batavia Supervisor Greg Post.

Post was reacting to earlier reports that the consolidation effort has been delayed because the town has yet to pass a resolution asking the State Legislature to pass home rule legislation.

"It's a little premature," Post said, "but I don't want anybody to think they did anything wrong."

Post said the proposed city charter presented by the task for should be treated as a draft, adding that it needs to be reviewed, refined, reviewed, refined and reviewed and refined again before it's ready to be considered a final proposed charter.

"There's still work to be done," Post said. "They need to attend to the schedule. What it takes to do it right is what it takes."

Post explained that by the time the task force was formed, the effort was already behind schedule for the agreement approved by both the city council and the town board.

"This is an effort that was projected to take 12 to 18 months and it's barely been eight months," Post said.

Post stressed repeatedly during the conversation that he thinks the task force is full of talented people who worked hard to get the draft charter to this stage -- he doesn't want anybody to think they've failed in that effort, but the job isn't done it.

"It takes a lot of work to get something like this done," Post said.

The town supervisor said he continues to support consideration of consolidation, but no decision can be made on whether to support consolidation until the charter can be fully vetted, including ample public feedback.

Until that's done, he said, the State Legislature should not be asked to pass legislation to make a vote on consolidation possible.

May 8, 2012 - 4:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba.

A two-car, minor-injury accident is reported at 14 N. Main St. in the Village of Elba. It is not blocking traffic. One person has an arm injury.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: Elba is back in service. Law enforcement is on scene to manage traffic flow. Tow trucks are called in.

May 8, 2012 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, consolidation.

Consolidation of the town and city hit a bump in the road this week when the Town of Batavia failed to enact a home rule resolution that would allow the state legislature to clear the path for a local referendum.

Chad Zambito, chairman of the consolidation task force, announced today that all planned public meetings on the topic are being postponed and it's unlikely that voters will be given a chance to vote on the proposal in November, as originally planned.

"We wanted to get a final document to come before the people and that's not going to happen in the time originally envisioned," Zambito said.

While the Batavia City Council passed the necessary home rule legislation a week ago, the town board failed to pass the same resolution, which is needed to get a bill through the State Legislature thereby allowing the consolidation process to go forward.

Town Supervisor Greg Post, who in the past has advocated strongly for consolidation, could not be reached for comment.

Zambito said that two informational meetings originally set for May 17 and May 24, as well as a set of four public hearings starting May 31, have been postponed indefinitely.

Getting an initiative on the November ballot was an aggressive goal, Zambito said, and now with the delay in the home rule legislation, it would be hard to meet the necessary timeline.

He said the task force will work on tweaking the charter document and re-present it to the public bodies for consideration.

May 8, 2012 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, boy scouts of america.

The Iroquois Trail Council Boy Scouts of America will recognize six distinguished citizens at the 37th Annual Boypower Dinner scheduled for May 23 at Genesee Community College.

The keynote speaker will be Vice Admiral Dirk J. Debbink, chief of U.S. Navy Reserve and a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

The Boypower Distinguished Citizen’s Award recognizes positive countywide impact through community and professional service, and a long tenure of service both through business and personal involvement in community causes.

Event Chairman Roger Triftshauser, D.D.S., and Scout Executive James McMullen are pleased to announce the 2012 Honor Roll of Distinguished Citizens:

Betty Lapp (Genesee County) serves as Board Chair of the United Memorial Medical Center and the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

Mitchell McLaughlin (Wyoming County), executive vice president of Five Star Bank, serves as chairman of the board of the Wyoming County United Way.

David Bellavia (Orleans County), a decorated veteran of the Iraq War, is active in efforts to support war veterans.

James Culbertson (Livingston County), Livingston County clerk, has served on numerous community boards and has chaired past Livingston County United Way campaigns.

Husband and wife team Ken Kaufman and Michelle Farina (Niagara County) have used their musical talents to raise relief funds for a variety of local and international causes. Ken is also well known as the organist for Buffalo Sabres home games.

The annual Boypower Dinner is the premier event to raise monies to support scouting programs for nearly 4,000 boys from 7-20 years of age and girls ages 14-21 in Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Eastern Niagara, and Livingston counties.

“We couldn’t ask for a better group of role models for our Scouts,” Triftshauser said.

The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 20, 1.1 million volunteers and nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories.

May 8, 2012 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

In honor of 150 years, Indian Falls United Methodist Church is having an anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 9.

There will be fellowship and hors d'oeuvres from 5 to 6 p.m.

After that, there will be the rededication of the church.

Dinner is served at 6. Cost is $5 per person or $20 for a family of four or more. There is a program following dinner.

On Sunday June 10, worship is at 10 a.m. followed by a casual luncheon.

RSVP to 585-762-9105 by May 25.

If overnight accommodations are needed, call 585-762-8859 .

May 8, 2012 - 2:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

The Alexander Dollars for Scholars and the Alexander Volunteer Fire Department are together hosting the 14:00.5 Relay for education and fire prevention from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 9.

It will be held at the Alexander School track and will benefit scholarships and fire prevention activities. The school is located at 3314 Buffalo St. in Alexander.

We are seeking teams to walk or run the track for as much of the duration as they desire.

There will be door prizes, raffles, a DJ, concessions, and fire truck displays throughout the day.

For additional information, contact event chair Barbara Krazmien at [email protected] or Jim Burkhardt at 300-3044.

May 8, 2012 - 2:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, corfu, darien center, Milestones.

The following students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement at Buffalo State's 55th annual Honors Convocation:

  • Abigail Copenhaver, a dietetics major from Corfu


  • Jillian Hunt, a career and technical education major from Corfu


  • Cara Robinson, a early childhood and childhood education major from Elba


  • Jessica Stabell, a anthropology major from Darien Center

To qualify, students must earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher and have accumulated a minimum of 45 credit hours. Buffalo State's Honors Convocation is held each spring to celebrate students who have achieved this level of academic excellence.

Founded in 1871, Buffalo State offers 166 undergraduate programs with 11 honors options and 65 graduate programs, including 19 postbaccalaureate teacher certification programs.

May 8, 2012 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Frank Ciaccia, bergen.

Press release:

Assistant County Manager Frank Ciaccia announced he is retiring after 20 years with Genesee County government.

His retirement is effective May 30.

He stated his decision to retire was motivated by his desire to escape these Western New York winters and spend more time in warmer climates to enjoy the outdoor activities and sports he says are too hard to squeeze into three months up here with his present schedule.

He explained, "I am retiring more from the winters than I am from the job."

He also said this will give him more time to visit his brother and his nieces and nephews in Tennessee.

Mr. Ciaccia said while his current position is challenging, he wants to pursue new challenges. One of those challenges is he has accepted an appointment to teach a graduate course in Public Policy and Administration at Buffalo State starting in the Fall semester. He said he is "pretty excited" about starting a new career of teaching at the college level.

Mr. Ciaccia, a Bergen resident, is Genesee County's first and only assistant county manager.

He came to Genesee County in 1992 after 15 years in Monroe County government. With his election to the Rochester School Board in 1972, he is completing a 40-year career in public service.

In addition to his responsibilities as assistant county manager, Mr. Ciaccia is also the county's STOP-DWI coordinator, director of the county's Facilities Management Department, the county's ADA coordinator, fair housing officer and corporate compliance officer. 

County Manager Jay Gsell said he will begin the process to fill Mr. Ciaccia's position.

May 8, 2012 - 9:56am
posted by The Batavian in Sponsored Post.

Batavia's Jenna Hubbard is making a splash in the modeling world and Next Level Fitness is proud to be part of it and you can help her, too. Hubbard recently competed in a modeling contest in Buffalo and after five weeks of models competing to make it to the finals, Hubbard has advanced to the final six.

The model search is sponsored by one of Buffalo's largest nightclubs, Bayou, and hosted by Kiss 98.5 radio personality Tony Mamaluke. Each week 15-20 new girls competed for a chance to advance, and there has been a total of upwards of 100 girls competing. This past Thursday, Hubbard had her chance to shine as she surpassed the 17 week five contestants and advanced.

The contest is scored on a four-part system with part of the score being Facebook "LIKE" votes. Next Level is encouraging everyone to click "LIKE" and "SHARE" on her photo to help her win. Next Level has helped with her a gym membership to stay in shape and she has also been tanning there as well, so she is able to look her best for the competition.

"This is a great opportunity for me and I want to thank Next Level for sponsoring me and making this possible!" Hubbard said.

She is the only finalist from Genesee County and is competing for the title of Miss Bayou Buffalo, $500 cash, and a photo shoot to be featured on the nightclub's billboards in Downtown Buffalo.

If she wins, she plans to donate part of the winnings to "Austin's Army" to benefit Pembroke senior Austin Heineman who was recently diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of childhood cancer.

The finals are scheduled for this Thursday night and the Facebook voting ends at 8 p.m. that night. To vote for Jenna, click LIKE on the photo here:

May 8, 2012 - 9:14am
posted by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day.

Enchanted Florist - NEW TODAY ON Shop Batavia. Mother's Day Specials! 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Enchanted Florist is a full service flower shop, with 24-hour call service. We specialize in wedding work and have a certified Wedding Consultant eager to help you with all your wedding day needs!  We also provide flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, and even just a "thank you" or a pick me up! We also carry Godiva and Oliver's chocolates which can be placed in one of our beautiful gift, fruit and gourmet baskets delivered anywhere in Genesee County! Click here for our Mother's Day Coupon!

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom, NY: A historic and legendary tavern and restaurant. The Alabama Hotel is famous for its fish fries, but also serves a variety of top-quality entrees, featuring Certified Angus Beef. Now with expanded hours. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 $10.

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.)

Kashmir Cafe, 85 Main St., Batavia, NY; This delightful cafe and coffee shop offers the finest flame-roasted artisan coffee and teas, a wide selection of sandwiches made with the freshest breads, and assorted baked goods. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kravings offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

New York Subs and Deli, 234 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Offering the freshest ingredients daily with a wide variety of sandwiches, wraps, & daily specials. All tips collected go to an animal in need! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Rancho Viejo, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Traditional Mexican cuisine, from tacos and burritos to pollo norteno, Rancho Viejo brings a bit of "South of the Border" to Batavia's restaurant scene. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Rosie's Diner, 4974 Ellicott St. Road, Batavia, NY: Serving breakfast and lunches daily. Rosie's features delicious homemade food including Italian and Polish dishes and the freshest homemade soups. "Where good people meet!" We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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 $10.

Sweetland Pines Golf Course, 5795 Sweetland Road, Stafford NY: Sweetland Pines is a par 3 golf course, great for beginners and experienced golfers working on the short game. Relaxed golf game, average play is about 1 hour and 20 minutes, leaving the golfer time to enjoy rest of the day. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 $10.


Note: If you've never purchased Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and processclick here.

May 7, 2012 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Milestones, engagements.

Braden Mosgeller, of East Bethany, and Michelle Jackson, of Stafford, are now engaged. The couple have spent the past 3 years dating and plan to wed next March.

Brady and Michelle met in 8th grade at Pavilion Central School and started dating the summer of their junior year in high school.

He currently works for Precision Lawn Care, out of Stafford, and Michelle works at Stafford Country Club.

She is attending GCC and will graduate in December with a degree in medical administrative assistance.

May 7, 2012 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, steve hawley, bergen.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) recently announced the recipients of this year’s Public Library Construction Grants. More than $327,000 has been committed for projects at the Byron-Bergen, Lee-Wheldon Memorial and Swan libraries, serving as sorely needed support for facility improvements. 

“In a time of staggering unemployment and fiscal crisis that is crippling our educational institutions, these library construction grants will be a boon for the community,” Hawley said.

“Our local libraries deserve the support necessary to provide up-to-date tools and services to the public, and that’s exactly what these grants will do. I know these libraries will put this funding to great use and become an even more integral part of our community.”

In Genesee County, the Byron-Bergen Public Library will receive $7,325 to open the wall via a French door to provide easy and secure access to an additional programming and educational resource space, thereby increasing the effectiveness of library service.

May 7, 2012 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Detectives are looking for a 5' 9",  young white male with a teardrop tattoo by his right eye who is suspected of slashing the cheek of another young man Saturday evening in a parking lot off of Center Street.

There is no known motive for the attack, Det. Todd Crossett said.

Crossett says it appears that the victim pulled into the parking lot behind the Masonic Temple building, got out of the car and started talking with another person. While they were talking, the suspect approached and attacked the victim.

Crossett said the victim told investigators that he didn't know his attacker.

There is no clear indication on what may have precipitated the attack, Crossett said.

Also, Crossett said, there was no connection between the attack and the location, which was originally called in to emergency dispatch as 15 Center St. -- the location of the City Church conference center. Neither the victim nor the attacker had been involved in anything going on at that location.

Photo: By Dan Fischer, WBTA




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