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June 12, 2011 - 6:52am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, Care-A-Van Ministries.




June 11, 2011 - 8:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, Notre Dame, softball.

The video is of Marissa Diescher, pitcher for Livingston Manor, a Gatorade Player of the Year with a full-ride scholarship to Penn State. 

Her fastball can clock at 67 mph, which she mixes with a change up, rise and drop.

After taking a semi-finals game 16-0 earlier today against a pitcher who threw 15 to 20 mph slower, Notre Dame Coach Rick Mancuso said his Fighting Irish team was a little out of rhythm to start the game.

He also he made a mistake in the first inning, calling the wrong pitch, which led to a home run for Livingston Manor and a 2-0 deficit. 

It was all up hill from there, with Notre Dame only getting two base runners on no hits and dropping the final 8-0.

"It was a great trip and I couldn't be prouder of the girls," Mancuso said. "We had a great time down here. It was awesome."

He said even in being no hit, the Notre Dame girls were pleased to get a chance to compete against a player of Diescher's caliber.

June 11, 2011 - 6:05pm
posted by Doug Yeomans in Texting Driving Drifting.
On my way home from work I looked to my left at a car passing me. Inside the black, 4 door civic (BIX-53*7) with a SUNY Geneseo sticker in the rear window, was a young girl sitting cross legged (both legs) and texting. Recap: cross legged, no feet on the floor, 1 hand on wheel, 1 hand on phone, drifting in and out of lane, NOT PAYING ATTENTION. The next obituary waiting to happen?
June 11, 2011 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, Notre Dame, softball.

The Notre Dame girls softball team won its semi-final championship game in Glens Falls today by a score of 16-0.

The team will begin a game within the hour to decide the state champion in its class.

June 11, 2011 - 3:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu.

Fatigue is the apparent cause of an accident in the Village of Corfu overnight when a driver reportedly fell asleep and struck a utility pole in the area of 37 Main St.

Randel J. Seweryniak, of 9635 Colby Road, Corfu, suffered a minor injury in the accident and was transported to UMMC.

Seweryniak was driving a 2001 Dodge pickup truck when the truck struck a National Grid pole at 12:04 a.m.

Two mailboxes were also damaged.

No citations were issued.

The accident was investigated by Sgt. Brian Frieday.

(initial report)

June 11, 2011 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford, Sweetland Road.

A driver involved in a one-car accident on Sweetland Road, Stafford has been charged with DWI.

Ricky O. Cooper, Jr., 34, of 9344 Warsaw Road, Le Roy, suffered facial cuts and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital after his 1992 Chevy pickup truck struck a utility pole in the area 6208 Sweetland Road.

Cooper said he was attempting to avoid a deer that had entered the road near a curve when he struck the pole.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Graff and Deputy Matt Butler.

(initials report)

June 11, 2011 - 2:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

A Mt. Morris man with a prior criminal record was allegedly observed selling heroin in a Village of Le Roy parking lot, leading to his arrest on multiple drug dealing and possession charges.

Shaun M. Theriault, 30, of Parker Road, is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

Theriault may also be wanted in Florida, but that hasn't been confirmed. He has prior convictions in New York for grand larceny, 4th, and robbery, 1st.

The Sheriff's Office reports that members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Le Roy Police Department observed Theriault allegedly conducting a drug transaction in a municipal parking lot in the village.

Upon approaching Theriault's car, officers allegedly found a quantity of suspected heroin, packaging baggies, a digital scale and $506 in U.S. currency. 

Theriault was arraigned in Town of Le Roy court for alleged attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and criminal using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

A web site out of Florida lists a Shaun M. Theriault with a birthdate of April 20, 1981 as wanted on a fugitive extradition warrant. Theriault is listed on the site as a Nunda resident. The mug shot on the site shows a blond man, but some facial features are similar. The warrant is from 2004, so may no longer be current.

Theriault was held in the state prision in Wyoming County from 2004 until Jan. 14, 2011, when he was released on parole. The crime was robbery, 1st, committed in Livingston County. He was previously in state prison in 2000 to 2001.

June 11, 2011 - 2:09pm
posted by Tom Tucker in sports.


In the second year of its rejuvenated golf program, GCC found itself at the 2011 NJCAA Golf Championship held at the Chautauqua GC in Chautauqua, New York, June 6th through 10th, 2011.

The NJCAA Golf Championship field included 87 collegiate golfers representing 31 colleges from 12 states. All teams attending got there by virtue of finishing first or second in their respective Regional Tournaments.

Thirteen teams competed for the Team National Champion Team title.

In team competition, five players play and four scores count. The four day aggregate team score total determines the NJCAA National Team Champion.

Players on each team, as well as other players that qualified at regional’s, also competed for individual Medalist and NJCAA All-American honors.

In individual competition, the four day aggregate individual score total determines the winner (Medalist). In addition, the top 5 scores make All-American, 6 through 10 make Second Team All-American, and 11 through 18 make Honorable Mention All-American.

Including practice rounds and the four day tournament, the GCC Team played 108 holes of golf over a six day period, and had access to fantastic golf practice facilities at the course - which they utilized in the evening.

GCC capped off a very successful season considering the short time they’ve been in existence.

The team had a Top Four finish in the NJCAA Golf Championship, placed one player on the NJCAA First Team All-American Squad - Corey Kocent, Batavia NY, and placed another player on the Second Team All-American Squad - Kyle Harman, Orchard Park NY.

Remarkably, they bettered their season long team scoring average on each day of tournament play, but in the end a little more talent and a lot more experience prevailed, as MCC won their third consecutive national team title.

The two teams representing Region III, MCC and GCC, acquitted themselves well with both teams finishing in the top four.

Day by Day Tournament Summary

Day One, Tuesday June 7, 2011

After a two hour rain delay, tee times commenced under sunny skies at the Chautauqua GC to start the NJCAA Golf Championship. GCC players were matched against Georgia Military College, Milledgeville Georgia, and Ocean County College, Toms River, New Jersey.

The GCC team went off in the following order, Matt Ferdinand, Corey Kocent, Kyle Harman, Mark DeCook, and Alex Muench. At tee time the course was a bit wet but otherwise the conditions were excellent.

At the end of the day, GCC found itself in 1st place with a team score of 304, trailed by Cincinnati State Tech. and Community College and Rockland Community College at 306. Monroe CC shot 310. GCC’s Kyle Harman was tied for the individual lead with a career best 71, Matt Ferdinand shot 73, Corey Kocent shot 74, Mark DeCook shot 86, and Alex Muench shot 89.

Day Two - Wednesday June 8, 2011

GCC completed day two of the NJCAA National Golf Tournament on Wednesday June 8th sitting in second place, one stroke behind arch rival Region III competitor Monroe Community College. GCC added a score of 308 Wednesday for a two day total of 612. MCC led with 611, and Rock Valley CC sat at third with 613. Matt Ferdinand was in 2nd place in the individual standings, and Kyle Harman and Corey Kocent were in the top ten.

Day Three - Thursday June 9, 2011

GCC fired a 312 on Day Three of the Four Day NJCAA National Golf Tournament for a third place tie in the standings. Cincinnati StateTech. and Community College shot 299 for 919 total, MCC shot a 311 for 911, and GCC (312) and Rock Valley College (311) were tied for third at 924. GCC scores were Kyle Harman (74), Corey Kocent (75), Matt Ferdinand (80), Mark DeCook (83), and Alex Muench (85). Harman, Kocent, and Ferdinand remained in the top ten in individual scoring.

Day Four - Friday June 11, 2011

On the last day of the tournament, GCC played with Sandhills CC, Pinehurst NC, and Rochester CC, Rochester, MN. The GCC squad which performed great all week, probably felt a little tournament pressure due to inexperience, and posted a 316 score total for a top four finish.

Conditions were ideal, and MCC, which probably had the most talent of any team in the tournament, performed to their potential and shot a 294 - the best single day total of any team over the course of the tournament - to capture first place handily.

The top four finishing team scores were:

Monroe CC 310 301 311 294 (1216)

Rock Valley College 306 307 311 303 (1227)

Cincinnati State 306 314 299 309 (1228)

Genesee Community College 304 308 312 316 (1240)

The next closest team was 1262, so it was pretty much a four horse race each day.

Final GCC individual player tournament standings were as follows:

T 4 Corey Kocent 74 77 75 73 (299)

T10 Kyle Harman 71 79 74 78 (302)

22 Matt Ferdinand 73 74 80 87 (314)

44 Mark DeCook 86 78 83 78 (325)

T 67 Alex Muench 89 79 85 88 (341)

GCC will be fielding a good team next year with Corey Kocent returning , and Attica’s Chad Winkleman, Byron-Bergen’s Zach Hohn, and Oakfield Alabama’s Jon Bates on the squad. They’ll be joined by Ben Klotzbach, Rochester, NY, Jack West, Notts, England, and Chris Carroll, West Seneca, NY.

This year the GCC golf team set several team and individual records and got some tournament experience at the National level.

Next year they’ll be even hungrier.

June 11, 2011 - 1:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Jackson Street, Valle Jewelers.

Valle Jewelers is celebrating its 60th year in business today with sales, prize drawings and refreshments. There was a good number of people in the store this morning when we stopped by.

Previously: Three generations and 60 years later, Valle family business still sparkles

June 11, 2011 - 11:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Bethany.

A tractor fire is reported at 10071 Bethany Center Road, Bethany.

The tractor is reportedly near a barn.

Bethany Fire is dispatched.

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.: It's a skid loader. It's been moved from the barn, but still close to the structure.

UPDATE 11:14 a.m.: Fire appears to be out. Units can respond non-emergency.

View Larger Map

June 11, 2011 - 12:11am
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, accidents.

A car has struck a pole at 39 East Main St. in the Village of Corfu. Wires are down and responders are told to use caution on approach.

Corfu Fire Department and Mercy medics are called.

A responder says a pole with transformer is down, completely blocking the roadway. A tow truck is called. Fire police are called. The intersection will be shut down.

UPDATE 12:15 a.m.: National Grid has been advised, no ETA given. The patient is conscious, out of the vehicle and speaking with a medic now.

UPDATE 12:52 a.m.: National Grid is on scene. The male driver has been taken to UMMC.

June 10, 2011 - 10:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Stafford.

A vehicle has struck a pole in front of 6184 Sweetland Road. There are believed to be injuries. The location is just east of Transit Road.

Stafford Fire Department and Mercy medics responding.

The pole snapped in two, the transformer is in the roadway. The driver may have left the scene and is bleeding from the face.

UPDATE 10:41 p.m.: The driver is still at the scene and is bleeding from the face. A Sheriff's deputy on scene says there are wires down all over the place.

UPDATE 10:50 p.m.: Additional manpower from Stafford is needed for traffic control at the accident scene. "This road will be closed for awhile." The pole is on top of a truck.

UPDATE 12:31 a.m.: Stafford units are back in service. The road is blocked off and National Grid will be on scene for awhile.

UPDATE 12:54 a.m.: The driver was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital at least a couple of hours ago.

June 10, 2011 - 8:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

There is a report of a brush fire near the back of the cemetery, off North Street in Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance responding.

UPDATE 8:48 p.m.: A chief reports, "It appears to be fairly decent size ... but we're not going to get it from here." He's recommending units repond to Church Street. Another chief requests law enforcement to the scene on the Church Street side.

UPDATE 8:57 p.m.: Fire knocked down.

June 10, 2011 - 6:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Kennedy School, schools, education.

The cafeteria at John Kennedy School was transported back in time today to the 1950s, when Beatniks ruled the poetry world.

The second grade class dressed in tie-die and berets for poetry readings and multi-media presentations for an audience of parents and teachers.

Not all of the poets represented in the readings were Beats, but the list included Shel Silverstein, Langston Hughes, John Gardner, Vachel Lindsay and Jeff Foxworthy.

Guest readers included Superintendent Margaret Puzio and school Principle Mr. Kesler.

The annual event was organized by second-grade teachers Ms. Mancuso, Mrs. Hallman and Mrs. Calandra. 

Pictured above are five of the students who participated, Juan Martinez, James Cooley, Ben Skalny, Haylee Thornley and Clair Griffith.

June 10, 2011 - 5:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Pavilion.

A structure fire is reported at 11341 Wyoming Road, in Pavilion near Route 19. The caller states that her husband says the fire is out, but it's in a crawl space and she's concerned that it might not be out.

Pavilion Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 5:27 p.m.: The caller called back and said now there's a natural gas leak. A firefighter says the fire is out and they are investigating further.

UPDATE 5:29 p.m.: A thermal imaging camera is requested at the scene.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: National Fuel has an ETA of about 30 minutes.

June 10, 2011 - 5:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, GC democratic committee, kathy hocul.

This information is from the GC Democratic Committee.

On Thursday, the Genesee County Democratic Committee met at the Batavia City Centre to endorse candidates for offices to be voted on in November.

Three candidates were endorsed for the county Legislature.

In District 5, which encompasses the Town of LeRoy, Jacalyn Whiting was endorsed unanimously. She is a lifelong Le Royan who has been involved in numerous community organizations including: Le Roy School Board member (past and present); Sports Boosters; Le Roy Youth Football, Le Roy Little League, Le Roy Business Council and many other organizations.

For District 7, the endorsement went to John Deleo. He has been active on the City Charter Commission and the City Planning Board. He is retired from the NYS Department of Corrections.

Ed DeJaneiro was also endorsed for another term in District 9.

The Democrats had a surprise visitor when Congresswoman Kathy Hochul stopped by to say hello and thank the committee for their hard work and dedication in the recent special election.

Hocul spoke to the group about her first week serving the people of the 26th District and her resolve to work tirelessly for the good of all the people in the district.

June 10, 2011 - 5:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in gc sheriff's office.

Here's a press release from the Sheriff's Office.

Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha announced today that he has appointed former Genesee Justice Director Edward Minardo as jail superintendent, taking the place of Ronald Greer who is retiring on June 28.

Sheriff Maha stated that a selection committee was formed and all qualified candidates who applied for the position were interviewed. The title of jail superintendent is a management, non-competitive position appointed by the Sheriff.

Sheriff Maha said Minardo has extensive experience in corrections and administration. Minardo worked for the New York State Department of Correctional Services as a corrections counselor and senior corrections counselor for approximately 18 years and was director of Genesee Justice for approximately 5 years.

He has served as an adjunct instructor for RIT and SUNY Brockport, teaching an upper-level, undergraduate course on Restorative Justice.

Minardo holds a master of science degree in Education and a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice from SUNY Brockport and also holds an associate in applied science degree in Criminal Justice / Police Science from Monroe Community College.

As jail superintendent, Minardo will oversee and administer the day-to-day operations of the Genesee County Jail.

June 10, 2011 - 2:23pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in John Kennedy School, schools, Parents, PTO Today.

On Thursday, John Kennedy Elementary School's parent group proudly posed with their picture in PTO Today, a nationally recognized magazine covering school parent group activities. Pictured from left are Jill Halpin (treasurer), Jen Houseknecht (president), Paul Kesler (John Kennedy principal), Sherri Wahr (vice president) and Cheri Kolb (secretary).

A writer from PTO Today contacted Houseknecht in October after reading The Batavian's article, "John Kennedy School welcomed new families, highlighted community."

According to Wahr, it was the parent group's effort to "bring the community into the school" that piqued PTO's interest.

John Kennedy's Community Night started six years ago as a way to welcome new students and their families, and, at the same time, introduce families to Kesler, whose job as principal started that year.

Kesler called it the "brainchild" of former parent group members Shari Ange and Heather Parker.

"It started off real basic," Kolb said. "Each year we've elaborated more on it, added more activities for the kids and (invited) more organizations."

Local organizations that have attended include the City of Batavia police and fire departments. Detective Rich Schauf, Kesler says, makes it a point to be there every year. Other participants include Cain's Tae Kwon Do, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, Images in Dance and many others.

People from these groups are very appreciative of this opportunity to showcase their services and connect with the school community. Kesler said that many of them often ask when the next Community Night is going to take place.

Beyond that, some of the vendors at Community Night have worked with the parent group on various school events throughout the year.

"Pauly's Pizzeria has helped us with just about every fundraiser," Wahr said, adding that the restaurant provided the sauce for the school's Pasta Night.

Additionally, Kolb said that the Boy Scouts gave the parent group a plaque this year in acknowledgement of their support of Community Night.

If you ask Kesler or any member of the parent group what has enabled their outreach to the community to be so successful, they will all likely say the same thing: the community spirit among parents, teachers, staff and students at John Kennedy.

"The amount of apprecation and gratitude shown by the principal and staff (has been important)," Kolb said. "Everyone from the secretaries to the custodial staff to the teachers, etc. They always do whatever they can to help."

Houseknecht pointed out that the parent group also has "a large number of parents we can count on for continued support."

"It's really a group effort," Kesler added. "Community night happens because a community of people make it happen."

This includes the students, who always ask what they can do for, and how they can help with, any school event or function. One of the goals the parent group has for next year is to get fifth-graders, who run the games at the school's Family Fun Night, to volunteer on Community Night.

"We'd love to have the fifth-graders kind of mentor the kindergarteners," Halpin said. "Since they're on their way out, they can share their experience and what they love about John Kennedy with the students who are just coming in."

As members of a thriving and supportive school community, the parent group members seem cautiously optimistic about the school district's current budget woes (see yesterday's article, "Public begs for city schools' Suzuki Strings programs to be saved," for coverage).

"I think we have such a supportive community that we'll get through it," Wahr said.

"Change will come," Kolb said. "Other school districts have been through the same thing and come out of it, reached the other side, and seen better times financially. I think it will be the same way with us. It's just a matter of keeping intact what we have in the meantime."

"The community and the schools are going to have to work together more closely," Halpin said. "The onus is going to be on the parents and community to provide activities for the kids that aren't covered in the budget."

Kolb said that efforts to do so will require persistance and the willingness to look for "creative ways to support these programs."

To read the PTO Today article, click here.

If you would like your organization to be featured at next year's Community Night, call the school at 343-2480, ext. 5000.

Kolb said that "as many organizations as are interested" are welcome to participate. They use the gym, the cafeteria, the hallways and the outside area for the event, so there's plenty of room.

June 10, 2011 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, steve hawley, NRA.

Here's a press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) recently met with National Rifle Association (NRA) state liaison Darin Goens to discuss his organization’s legislative priorities in New York.

Goens recently became the NRA’s state liaison for the Northeast. The pair discussed the most vital issues facing Second Amendment rights here in New York.

Assemblyman Hawley has consistently advocated for logical firearms regulations that protect the right to bear arms for responsible gun owners, while keeping illegal weapons out of the hands of criminals.

Hawley is an active participant in the Assembly Minority’s annual Sportsmen Legislative Awareness Day.

He is also the sponsor of a number of bills seeking to end unreasonable firearm policies in New York. This includes Assembly bill 1131, which would eliminate the expensive and unsuccessful Combined Ballistic Identification System. It costs taxpayers $4 million annually, while failing to provide a single link to a gun crime.

June 10, 2011 - 1:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Chris Charvella, Jay Grasso.

UPDATED 3:26 p.m., with clarification of a quote.

In the interest of justice, the aggravated harassment in the second-degree charges filed against political activist Chris Charvella should be dropped, Charvella's attorney argued in Town of Batavia Court this morning.

The hearing was prompted by the defense's motion to dismiss the case.

"If you allow this case to go forward, what is the public going to think?" Charvella's attorney, E. Robert Fussell, told Justice Mike Cleveland. "Are they going to trust a system where a politician is allowed to call the police and have a political opponent silenced?"

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini, representing the people, argued that the case against Charvella is neither political nor does it conflict with the First Amendment.

The case is entirely about Charvella's conduct, Cianfrini argued. The key question is whether that conduct violates the harassment, 2nd, statute against making phone calls with no legitimate purpose.

Charvella is accused of placing a phone call to Legislator Jay Grasso and leaving a message on his answering machine. The message said, "Thank you for reading my blog."

Cianfrini argued that the message had no legitimate purpose and taken within the context of comments made by Charvella on The Batavian and on his own blog, constitutes an attempt to threaten and intimidate Grasso.

"What Mr. Charvella did was serious," Cianfrini said. "It wasn't a light moment. He wasn't trying to be funny. It was serious and if you look at the whole body of conduct, it is serious."

In order for the case to be considered serious, Fussell argued, the conduct of Charvella would have to be seen by a reasonable person as intimidating. Just because the alleged victim, he argued, felt alarmed doesn't mean the conduct is in fact harassing.

"Mr. Grasso is either an exceptionally sensitive person who is easily frightened, or he is acting to shut out Mr. Charvella from the political process," Fussell said. 

A key fact disputed during the hearing was the timing of the phone message in relation to a post Charvella did with a picture of an Ewok with the caption, "Prepare your anus."

Cianfrini said the posting of the picture followed by the phone message was clear evidence that Charvella intended to intimidate Grasso.

Fussell countered that the Ewok picture was posted after the phone call, so Grasso could not have seen the picture before getting the phone message.  

To which Cianfrini replied that if that's the case, Charvella's conduct potentially constituted a threat.

Fussell quickly replied that Charvella hadn't been charged with such a crime.

"If those are the facts that come out at trial, the people reserve the right to file that charge," Cianfrini said. "He's on notice."

A few times during the oral arguments, Cianfrini made the point that Grasso wasn't acting in his capacity as a sitting legislator, so the First Amendment didn't apply to the case.

The events around the case were entirely personal, Cianfrini argued, and not about politics or anything Grasso did as a government official.

"That’s what the First Amendment deals with, the government not politics  the placement of a political sign or personal conflicts," Cianfrini said.*

And even if it is a political issue, Cianfrini said, the case isn't about the content of any postings or messages. It's about Charvella's conduct, which Cianfrini argued, was clearly intended to intimidate and harass Grasso, causing him to feel alarmed.

One key piece of evidence not available in the case, Fussell complained, is the phone message itself. The recording was not preserved.

Fussell said the recording would provide important context to the message -- what was Charvella's tone of voice? Was it threatening? Was it humorous? 

It's hard to believe, Fussell said, given Grasso's background in law enforcement, that he didn't know to preserve the evidence.

Cianfrini said Grasso's law enforcement training is irrelevant to the case and that the recording is not needed since Charvella doesn't dispute the fact that he left the message.

As the oral arguments before Justice Cleveland wore down, the tensions between the attorneys intensified.

A couple of times near the close, Fussell made the point that if the case goes forward, Charvella will incur significant legal expenses (Charvella has already spent $7,000 on the case) while Grasso is getting the services of Cianfrini for free.

"That's not accurate, you're honor," Cianfrini said. "I take exception to that remark, I represent the people of the State of New York and I can't stand here and let that go on the record."

*NOTE: Quote clarified after further discussion with Melissa Cianfrini. 




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