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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 6, 2016 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, kentucky derby, news.

Press release:

Live racing doesn’t return to Batavia Downs until Monday July 25, but the grandstand will be filled with race fans this Saturday (May 7) as the track hosts its annual Kentucky Derby bash in the Paddock Room from 11:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The $10 “Kentucky Derby Meal Deal” deal includes your choice of five entrees, a $2.00 Kentucky Derby wager and $5.00 in free play on the gaming floor. Programs, live tellers and plenty of big screen TV’s will be available throughout the facility.

In Thurman Thomas’s 34 Rush Sports Bar, drink specials include $6 mint juleps served in the official Kentucky Derby commemorative glass along with $2 drafts. Both will be available from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“The Derby party has really developed since 2005 and we are expecting in excess of 400 people to attend this year,” said Todd Haight, general manager/director of Racing at Batavia Downs. “It’s amazing how popular it has become and how much it has grown."

All the Western Regional OTB branches in Western New York will open at 10 a.m. Friday (Kentucky Oaks Day) for advance wagering on the Derby and again at 10 a.m. on Derby day.

Last year, WROTB had its second best handle ever and paid out more than it took in for the first time, dating back to 1974.

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

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

May 6, 2016 - 9:56am

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 6, 2016 - 9:48am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls, news.

Due to a motor-vehicle accident in Erie County, westbound Route 5 at Crittenden Road is being closed to traffic by fire police from Pembroke and Indian Falls.

UPDATE 10:31 a.m.: The road is reopened. Pembroke and Indian Falls are back in service.

May 6, 2016 - 8:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, STAMP, business, Alabama.

Press release:

Silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies (“1366”) today announced it has received a $10 million investment from the Hanwha Investment Corp., one of Korea’s leading private equity/venture capital firms with more than $500 million under management. The funds will be used toward the construction of 1366’s first large-scale commercial factory, scheduled to be online in 2017.

“Our Direct Wafer™ technology represents one of the most significant manufacturing innovations in solar, with the potential to propel the industry forward and deliver dramatic cost advantages,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO, 1366 Technologies. “We are thrilled that Hanwha Investment Corporation, with its deep expertise in and understanding of the manufacturing industry, has invested.

"It is a tremendous validation of our commercialization plans, and a clear signal that we’re poised to disrupt the $10 billion and growing silicon solar wafer market.”

“Hanwha Investment Corporation actively seeks out companies with groundbreaking technologies that transform industries. In just a short period of time, 1366 has moved from proof of concept to commercial-ready technology, achieving technical milestones steadily and rapidly. We believe the 1366 team is well positioned for commercial success,” said Woojae Hahn, president and CEO, Hanwha Investment Corporation.

1366’s Direct Wafer technology is a transformative manufacturing process that offers significant advantages over traditional cast-and-saw wafer production technologies. The process makes wafers in a single step, pulling them directly from molten silicon instead of today’s multi-step, energy- and capital-intensive approach, resulting in significant wafer production cost savings.

CLARIFICATION: We were asked to clarify a prior report that said the Hannah company that is purchasing solar wafers and the Hannah company making the investments in 1366 are the same company. While related, they are not the same company and operate independently.

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

    Jeffrey Johnson

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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








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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 5, 2016 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, Pavilion, news.


If you've ever driven into Pavilion on Route 63, you've surely seen this old barn.

May 5, 2016 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, schools, education, fire services, dwi drill.


Pavilion High School hosted its annual DWI drill for seniors in advance of the prom to remind students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

The drill simulates a fatal DWI accident with the cooperation of the Pavilion Fire Department and Sheriff's Office. Mercy EMS, the coroner and volunteers from Bethany and Wyoming also participated.











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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


May 4, 2016 - 7:37pm

An independent film company today asked to film in and around the old Genesee County Courthouse for a movie titled "Marhsall" about the early legal career of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

A resolution recommending that filming be allowed was approved unanimously by the Ways and Means Committee, which met at Genesee Community College this afternoon. The Legislature will have to approve it first however.

The courthouse will be a stand-in for a courthouse in 1940s Oklahoma, when Marshall was working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). At that time, the great grandson of a slave born in the Congo traveled throughout the United States defending African-Americans in often controversial cases. The case depicted in the film to be partially shot here -- for one day, perhaps slightly over that -- is based on the case of a black chauffeur who was accused of the rape and attempted murder of a white woman, according to the film company's location manager, Michael Nickodem, who attended the Ways and Means Committee meeting.

"I think it's a fairly worthwhile project," said Committee Member Marianne Clattenburg.

It will take of lot of work and planning by a lot of people to create historic realism for the film, and our old courthouse may wind up with only five minutes, or less, of limelight in the finished product.

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens and another county employee are assisting as need be; the state Department of Transportation will need to sign off on temporary road closures and then a crew of about 80 people will descend on Genesee County and the triangular swath of real estate at Ellicott and Main streets sometime in the first week of June. Law enforcement is also in the loop with the project. Parking, including handicapped-access parking, will be temporarily blocked for the project.

Of these crew members, about 40 to 50 people will be inside for courtroom scenes, and perhaps 10 to 20 outside; Nickodem wasn't sure.

There will be about 50 extras, too, Nickodem guesstimated.

"Everybody get out your SAG cards," quipped County Manager Jay Gsell, referencing the Screen Actors Guild.

It will indeed be a union operation, including Teamsters, too.

"Camperland" will be set up close by. That's what they call the grouping of trailers for the stars, hair and makeup artists, etc.

Most of the film locations for "Marshall" are west of here in Buffalo, other places in Erie County, and Niagara County. Genesee County is affiliated with the greater Rochester-area film commission, although Nickodem acknowleged he should call them "because they probably don't know anything about this."

The old Genesee County Courthouse was found by a production designer who works with Nickodem.

"He's got a great eye," Nickodem said. "The challenge for the entire movie is finding places (where) we can shoot."

The location manager told the Ways and Means Committee that in scouting for the stand-in for a 1940s-era Oklahoma courthouse, once they saw Genesee County's building "It spoke to read as more rural." Although it was built around 1843, it was thought to be a sublime choice for this indie film's purposes.

But that will require "adjustments" -- none at the county's expense of course, and anything done will be undone and put back the way it was once filming wraps up. A crew was at the Old Courthouse today and the list of "adjustments" that will be needed include disguising or covering emergency exit signs and lighting, putting a fake door in front of the elevator doors, and otherwise air-brushing out or working to eliminate evidence that it's 2016 -- the view of Wendy's across the street, ditto the Mexican restaurant on the opposite side.

Gsell promised "no action scenes, no superheroes, nobody jumping out of cupolas."

Also, when asked about the impact on regular work going on inside the facility -- in offices adjacent to the courtroom -- it was emphasized that normal operations will not be impeded by the film project.

Nickodem said the historical film is not considered what it is referred to as "ultra low budget," but it is low budget, though he couldn't provide a budget figure. (For indies, it is standard practice to name the production company -- created specifically for the film -- after the movie. Thus, it is known as Marshall Film LLC in Los Angeles, but since a different name is required for New York, they chose Marshall Movie, Inc.)

"Marshall" will probably be released by year's end and then be screened at Indie fests like Sundance in the hopes that it will be optioned by a big motion picture studio.

The star is Chadwick Boseman who played legendary baseball great Jackie Robinson in the Warner Bros. movie "42" opposite Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers' General Manager Branch Rickey. Other casting is still under way.

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

Press release:

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

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

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

No children under the age of 12, please.

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

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

Terrence D. Johnson

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

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

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




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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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