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July 6, 2012 - 6:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu, scott doll.

With two dissents in a NYS Supreme Court ruling upholding the murder conviction of Scott F. Doll, one of Doll's attorneys said in the wake of the ruling that the defense will request that the NYS Court of Appeals review the case.

Timothy P. Murphy, of the Buffalo firm Lipstiz, Scime, Cambria, said the ruling expands the so-called "emergency doctrine" beyond what previous courts ruled.

"We're obviously disappointed with the results," Murphy said. "But there were two dissenting votes, so we will be an appeal with the Court of Appeals in Albany."

On a 3-2 vote, the justices found that statements made by Doll to the deputies and investigators he spoke to Feb. 16, 2009 were admissible as evidence against Doll.

The statements in question were made before the body of Joseph Benaquist, 66, was found bludgeoned on the driveway of his Pembroke home.

The court also ruled that statements Doll made to a friend in the presence of an investigator were also admissible.

The two dissenting justices disagreed with the majority on the use of the "emergency doctrine" regarding statements made before the murder was discovered, but agreed that the Doll's statements to a friend back at the Sheriff's Office were admissible.

The emergency doctrine allows police officers to detain and question a person when they believe the life of a person or persons may be in jeopardy. In an emergency situation, where lives may be at stake, police are not required to read a person his rights.

The majority's opinion upheld every aspect of the prosecution's case that was appealed, including the investigative work of the Sheriff's Office.

"We think (Doll) was properly convicted and the proof was there," Sheriff Gary Maha said. "They (deputies and investigators) did a great job. They were very thorough. It was a job well done by our people to make sure they covered all the bases."

Maha said he never had a doubt that his staff handled the case appropriately and that the court would back up his department.

"They're well trained," Maha said. They know that their jobs for those type of situations. They were following the law. I know the defense wants to put doubt in the jurors' minds. That’s their job, but our officers did their job and followed the law correctly."

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said he was also pleased, but not surprised by the ruling.

"We were expecting this result based on the attitude expressed by the judges at the appellant division when the case was argued," Friedman said.

While Friedman praised the work of the entire Sheriff's Office staff on the case, he singled out Deputy James Diehl for exceptional work.

Diehl had only recently started working for the Sheriff's Office in February 2009 when he was dispatched to investigate a suspicious individual ducking behind cars at an old gas station at Main Road and Lake Road in Pembroke.

After arriving on scene, he encountered Doll, who immediately dropped what later turned out to be a car jack and he had a lug wrench in a pocket.

As Diehl interviewed Doll, he notice Doll had fresh blood on his jumpsuit, his hands and his face.

When questioned, Doll said he was butchering deer. 

Diehl was immediately suspicious of Doll's story and when a witness approached and identified Doll as the suspicious subject seen at the gas station, Diehl cuffed Doll and told him he was being detained until things could be sorted out.

"From the start, Deputy James Diehl did an excellent job of perceiving a suspicious situation and following up on it," Friedman said. "From our perspective, he did everything right. If he didn't follow through on it, we might never had made our case."

It was Diehl's actions, along with Deputy Patrick Reeves, who was second on scene, that came under scrutiny in the appeal by the defense team, however.

The defense contends that Doll should have been given a Miranda warning ("You have the right to remain silent, etc.") and when he asked for an attorney, all questioning of Doll should have stopped until an attorney was present.

Friedman argued that the preponderance of evidence available to deputies was that a person or persons had been seriously hurt. The amount of blood on Doll, and his inconsistent story about butchering deer and then going to see a friend and being involved in a car transaction, gave the deputies reason to believe a person or persons may be in serious trouble and that Doll had been in close proximity to whatever it was that caused a person or persons to bleed profusely.

The majority of the Fourth Judicial Department judges agreed with Friedman.

"... the deputies did not violate the defendant's right to counsel or his Miranda rights under the unique circumstances of the case," wrote the majority in their opinion. "The amount of blood present on the defendant's face, hands, clothing and van, and on the ground, along with bloody gloves on top of a nearby car, indicated that one or more persons had been grievously injured and that the defendant had been in close contact with the person or persons."

The court also found that given Doll's inconsistent statements to deputies, "they were justified in concluding that one or more persons had been injured and were in need of assistance or rescue."

The dissenting judges argued that the deputies did not have enough information to conclude there was a human victim and found that Doll's statement that he had been butchering deer was plausible.

Defense attorney Murphy said that in his initial ruling at trial in May 2010, Judge Robert C. Noonan expanded the scope of the emergency doctrine and though the Fourth Department upheld Noonan, Murphy believes the proper scope of the emergency doctrine can be reestablished in the Court of Appeals.

Both majority and dissent judges agreed that a friend who visited with Doll in the presence of Investigator Kris Kautz was not working in collusion with police and therefore Doll's statements could be used against him at trial.

The court also rejected a defense argument that Doll's van was seized without a probable cause and that the prosecution properly obtained business records of Doll's.

Doll is currently serving 15 years to life for the murder of Benaquist at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg.

For all of our previous coverage of the Scott Doll case, click here.

July 6, 2012 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu, scott doll.

By a vote of 3-2, the NYS Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Scott F. Doll, convicted May 20, 2010 of killing Joseph Benaquist, 66, on Feb. 16, 2009.

The majority found that Doll's Constitutional rights were not compromised by Sheriff's deputies and investigators who responded to Lake Road, Pembroke, after Doll was found wandering the area in a blood-splattered jumpsuit.

UPDATE: Full Story

July 1, 2012 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, corfu.

On my way back to Batavia, after being in Darien this morning, and before being rerouted by Billie out to Alabama for the cornfield fire, I stopped along Ellinwood Road, Corfu, to take pictures of this field of yellow flowers.

Before that, I took pictures of trains at the Colby Road crossing.

June 29, 2012 - 3:07pm

The College at Brockport, State University of New York, recently honored students who excelled academically by naming them to the Deans' List for the Spring 2012 semester. Students who earn a GPA of 3.70–3.99 are named to the Deans' List with Honors (***), while students who achieve a 3.40–3.69 are named to the Deans' List.

The honorees, and their hometowns, are:


Krystal Rivers

Lori Stellrecht


Mary Cocking

***Joanna Menzie

***Samantha Elliott

***Melanie Monroe

***Shane Chatham

Danielle Lovett

Kathleen Lovett

Harjit Singh

***Brian Burgay


***Patricia Johnston

Melissa Dilcher

Melissa Hale

Darren Kwiatkowski

Capri Sullivan


Casey Herman

East Bethany

Amanda Boulden


Torianne Cavallo

Bronson Cole

Le Roy

***Danielle Ford

***Gena Korn

***Antonio Madau

***Christina Mancuso

***Joseph Patton

***Emily Kovatch

***Abigail Graham

Katlyn Brooks

Chelsea Dillon

Chelsey Macomber

James Mangefrida

Jason McElroy

Danielle Merica

Joel Pitts

Justin Toland

***Lyman Rhodes

***Katherine Rogers


Kristen Casper

***Samantha Denton

Zackary Kibler

Shelby Kielbasa


***Theresa Raponi

Sarah Merritt

South Byron

Kallee Stein


***James Mignano

The College at Brockport offers 50 undergraduate majors, more than 40 graduate programs as well as 24 teacher certification programs. The college has been rated among the "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, a "Best Regional University" by U.S. News & World Report, and a "Best Value" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

June 20, 2012 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu, Pembroke Intermediate School.

Students, faculty, staff and friends at Pembroke Intermediate School raised more than $10,000 this morning in a "Bald for Bucks" program for cancer research.

The young son of one of Pembroke's fourth-grade teachers, Jill Bojarski, has been diagnosed with cancer.

Funds will be donated to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Above, Joyce Saleman, the child's grandmother, has her head shaved by Darlene Curtis. Saleman became quite emotional when the amount of money raised was announced and she spoke to the children, thanking them for their generosity and caring.

June 20, 2012 - 7:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

A woman who was bit by a dog Thursday on Snipery Road in Corfu was shopping at a yard sale, according to Trooper Steven Brady, who investigated the incident.

After selecting some items for purchase, Suzanne R. Balduf, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, went to the front door at 9352 Snipery Road, Corfu, and knocked.

The dog barked and bounded toward the door.  Brady said it isn't clear how the door opened. The dog may have hit the latch or the door may have just popped open when he jumped against it.

Balduf sustained dog bites on her arm and leg.

After Brady took the initial report, the case was turned over to Animal Control. 

As is routine, the dog is being quarantined for 10 days, but Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble said the dog, owned by Susan M. Waldmiller, is up-to-date on its shots and had all of its tags.

There were no citations issued.

June 18, 2012 - 12:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Le Roy, corfu.

Billie J. McMurty-Rivera, 27, of 863 North St., Rochester, is charged with assault, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, and open container in a motor vehicle. A vehicle later found to be operated by McMurty-Rivera was reportedly observed in the parking lot of a closed business in Le Roy early Sunday morning by Le Roy PD. Upon investigation, McMurty-Rivera officers discovered an alleged domestic incident involving McMurty-Rivera and his female passenger. McMurty-Rivera was jailed on $20,000 bail.

Morgan L. Cox Jr., 20, of 14 Vine St., Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd. Cox was arrested during an investigation into a domestic incident.

Shawn C. Bulow, 41, of Corfu, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to notify DMV of address change, aggravated unlicensed operation, moving from lane unsafely and speeding. Bulow was stopped at 8:55 p.m. Sunday in the Town of Newstead by State Police.

June 14, 2012 - 7:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, dog attack.

A woman is sitting roadside on Snipery Road and bleeding severely after being attacked by a dog, which is now inside a house. Corfu Fire Department and law enforcement are on scene. Medics are responding. She has bites on her arms and legs. The location is north of the railroad tracks by the bend.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m.: The woman is being transported by ambulance to UMMC for treatment of her wounds.

UPDATE 7:24 p.m.: Corfu is back in service.

UPDATE 7:41 p.m.: The medic informs emergency room staff that the woman is 40 years old and has lacerations on her right thigh, hip and forearm.

June 10, 2012 - 7:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, corfu.

A car and motorcycle collided at the intersection of routes 77 and 33. The motorcyclist is still in the roadway. Corfu Fire Department and two Mercy medic units are responding.

UPDATE 7:58 p.m.: A Mercy ambulance is transporting one patient to Erie County Medical Center.

UPDATE 8:07 p.m.: A second patient is transported to ECMC. Three people at the scene were sign-offs. Corfu is back in service.

June 8, 2012 - 2:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu.

A dump truck has reportedly struck a utility pole and knocked down power lines at Route 33 and Ellinwood Road, Corfu.

The lines are blocking the road.

Corfu Fire Department is being dispatched.

No injuries are reported.

UPDATE 2:08 p.m.: The accident location is apparently further east than originally reported and may be in East Pembroke's district. A Corfu chief is continuing and will advise dispatch.

UPDATE 2:12 p.m.: East Pembroke being dispatched.

UPDATE 2:14 p.m.: The road is completely blocked. Route 33 is being shut down at Angling Road by Corfu. Street address is 2308 Route 33. National Grid has been notified.

UPDATE 2:18 p.m.: East Pembroke fire police will shut the road down at Route 33 and Reed Road. National Grid has a 20 minute ETA.

UPDATE 2:53 p.m.: The road is open.

UPDATE 2:55 p.m.: All units are back in service.

UPDATE: Photo submitted by a reader.

June 7, 2012 - 7:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu.

A Corfu police officer stopped a truck late this afternoon for having an obstructed license plate and found two alleged illegal immigrants inside.

The truck was impounded pending proof of ownership and the U.S. Border Patrol took the two suspected illegal immigrants into custody.

Officer Gene Nati said the truck's plate looked like it had been intentionally obstructed with black tar or a similar substance.

When Nati approached the truck immediately after he stopped it at 4:50 p.m., he found three male occupants. Two couldn't speak English and had foreign documents he didn't recognize, so he requested the Border Patrol to the scene for assistance.

The truck was hauling a storage shed purchased from a Batavia business by a Corfu resident, but the delivery originated with a company in North Carolina, Nati said.

"That company (from North Carolina) employed the illegal immigrants," Nati said.

The third man was in the country on a visa. He was taken to the Flying J and released.

The shed was also impounded and Nati said once the local company and the local resident who made the purchase produce proper documentation for the purchase, he will release the shed.

June 7, 2012 - 6:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke, corfu.

A head-on collision has been reported on Route 77 in front of the Pembroke Town Park, but the injuries are reportedly minor.

One person has elbow pain and the other person is refusing EMS.

A Corfu fire chief was on scene immediately and a Corfu unit is dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 7:10 p.m.:  The initial report to dispatch was wrong. This was not  a head-on accident. It is a rear-end accident.

UPDATE 7:34 p.m.: One patient taken to UMMC with complaint of back pain.

UPDATE 7:37 p.m.: Corfu back in service. Road reopened.

June 6, 2012 - 12:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander, corfu.

Stephen A. Lewis, 31, of Corfu, is charged with disorderly conduct. Lewis is accused of fighting and violent behavior. The alleged incident was reported at 5:59 p.m., Tuesday, at 8132 Buffalo Road, Bergen. Lewis was held without bail.

Robert Lee Ealey, 26, of Phelps Avenue, Rochester, was arrested on a county court bench warrant. Ealey was released from the Monroe County Jail and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. Ealey was jailed pending arraignment.

Cody L. Amrhein, 20, of Alexander, is charged with assault, 3rd, and menacing, 2nd. Amrhein was arrested by State Police stemming from an alleged incident at 9:02 p.m., Tuesday. Amrhein was released on his own recognizance. No further details were released.

Regarding yesterday's accident on Route 98, the drivers involved where Daniel J. Dragon, 26, of Albion, and Wanda A. Pangrazio, 47, of Albion. The State Police Web site lists no citations issued nor arrests made. The Trooper who handled the investigation is out of the office today, so no further details are available.

June 1, 2012 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Le Roy, Stafford, corfu, Milestones.

The following local residents graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in winter 2011–2012 quarter:

•     Jamie Braswell, of Le Roy, earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from RIT's College of Science.

•     Andrew Darling, of Stafford, earned a master of science degree in Bioinformatics from RIT's College of Science.

•     Kathryn Shaver, of Corfu, earned a bachelor of science degree in ASL-English Interpretation from RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

•     Christine Snell, of Le Roy, earned an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Project Management from RIT's Center for Multidisciplinary Studies.

•     Kyle Stacy, of Elba, earned a bachelor of science degree in Computer Engineering Technology from RIT's College of Applied Science and Technology.

•     Benjamin Stauber, of Le Roy, earned a bachelor of science degree in Biotechnology from RIT's College of Science.

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging science, sustainability, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

June 1, 2012 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu, darien center, Milestones.

The State University of New York at Geneseo has announced its Deans' List for the spring semester. To be on the list, a student must have achieved a 3.5 grade-point average while taking at least 12 credit hours.

Students on the list from this area are:

Clarisse Birkby, from Corfu

Rebecca Barber from Darien Center

Alyssa Cole from Oakfield

Briana Pangrazio from Le Roy

Kasey Cole from Pavilion

Jennifer Davis from Pavilion

SUNY Geneseo is a public liberal arts college recognized nationally for excellence in undergraduate education and for its professional and master's level programs. The college combines a rigorous curriculum and a rich co-curricular life to create a learning-centered environment.

May 28, 2012 - 8:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu.

A 4-year-old child suffered possible whiplash in a two-car accident at routes 33 and 77, in Corfu.

Corfu Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 9:07 p.m.: Corfu back in service.

May 26, 2012 - 10:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, corfu.

A 31-year-old male has reportedly fallen into a campfire at a location on Snipery Road, Corfu.

The victim suffered burns on his arms and legs.

Darien fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 10:46 p.m.: Mercy Flight 7 out of Buffalo being put on in-air standby.

UPDATE 10:56 p.m.: Mercy Flight is cancelled.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: Darien is back in service.

May 25, 2012 - 6:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Memorial Day, corfu, Veterans Services.

For 17 years, Hal Kreter has served the veterans of Genesee County, and been a stalwart representative of those who served at Veterans Day and Memorial Day events.

Monday, Kreter will make the rounds for the last time of the various prayers, flag raisings, taps playing and flag saluting memorials in Genesee County.

As the day goes by, Kreter said, he'll reflect on how much things have changed over the past 17 years and the veterans, both living and dead, he has helped.

"I've had the privilege of meeting all of these veterans and listening ot their stories, helping them out, helping them get their compensation and lead better lives and seeing them and their families turn their lives around," Kreter said. "Doing all of the things we do to help veterans is really what I enjoy doing, helping veterans and their families."

When Kreter retires in August, it will be a new chapter in a four-decades long career of service, first through 24 years of service in the Marine Corps, then in veteran services in Genesee County. Kreter expects he'll still be involved in veterans affairs as a retiree in the California desert.

This week Kreter was honored by the New York State Senate when he was named to the Senate's Veterans' Hall of Fame.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer nominated Kreter and in a news release called Kreter a "one-man army" on behalf of veterans.

"Hal has helped hundreds and hundreds of Genesee County veterans every year," Ranzenhofer said. "His diligence to serve as a staunch advocate for veterans is equivalent to the strength of an entire army. Clearly, Hal is a distinguished veteran deserving of a special place among elite veterans of New York State.”

In 1996, the Corfu resident received the NYS Conspicuous Service Cross. He's also been VP of WNY Veterans Services Officers Association and been a member of the Marine Corps League, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Kreter, a retired master sergeant, said the hall of fame award was an honor, but also said there are so many veterans in the area who deserve recognition, he couldn't help but wonder, "why me?"

The privilege, Kreter said, has been in serving Genesee County's veterans.

"We have a very proactive veterans community, a very good veterans community," Kreter said. "We've seen the benefits increase throughout the years, with the Veterans ID card and the tax exemptions, the Cold War exemption. It's just a great community and the veterans here are very, very good at what they do. They all stick together and work together."

May 20, 2012 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Le Roy, Stafford, corfu, Milestones.

Press release:

The following students received degrees during Alfred University Commencemen on May 12:

Brittany Best, of Corfu, received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Inamori School of Engineering. Best, is the daughter of John and Genia Best and a graduate of Pembroke Central School.

Alicia Schuler, of Elba, received a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood/Childhood Educationation from the College Liberal Arts/Sciences. Schuler, is the daughter of Kelly and Susan Schuler and a graduate of Elba Central School.

Vincent Gravanda III, of Stafford, received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Biology from the College Liberal Arts/Sciences. Gravanda, is the son of Vincent Gravanda and Judi Anderson-Tooze and a graduate of Le Roy J.r-Sr. High School.

James Bonacquisti Jr., of Le Roy, received a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude in Biology from the College Liberal Arts/Sciences. Bonacquisti is the son of James and Michele Bonacquisti and a graduate of Le Roy Jr.-Sr. High School.

The graduates were among 13 doctoral, 104 masters, and 423 bachelor's degree recipients who heard David J. Miller, AU Class of '66, tell them that Alfred University prepares its graduates to take risks in pursuing their passions.

Miller, a member of the AU Board of Trustees, said he owes his success as a noted lawyer and jazz musician, "in no small part to the experiences I had at Alfred University. It's the same for you," he said, noting it was on campus he learned "the importance of listening, reflecting, and respecting others' points of view.

"You need to take risks to perform on the stage of life," Miller told the Class of 2012. Then "you too can reap a life of fulfillment."

Alfred University, founded in 1836, became the first coeducational institution in New York State and the second in the nation. The university encourages students to undertake community service projects as an important part of their education. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks AU among the top 20 regional universities in the North.

May 20, 2012 - 11:47am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, GCC, Pavilion, corfu, Milestones.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Board of Trustees promoted 16 members of the faculty on May 14 in recognition of their teaching and scholarly accomplishments.

Promoted to the rank of Professor from Associate Professor effective with the new academic year were Jeannie L. Burdick, of Corfu, counselor; and Rebecca L. Dziekan, of Pavilion, Health and Physical Education.

Promoted to the rank of associate professor from assistant professor were Elise C. Banfield, of Rochester, Psychology; Maureen E. Dugan, of Penfield, Fine Arts and Ceramics; Ruth A. Gliss, of Akron, Nursing; and Lauren K. Paisley of Middleport, Business.

Promoted to the rank of assistant professor from instructor were Shawn P. Adamson, of Batavia, English; Valerie C. Bello, of Lancaster, Communications and Media Arts; Christopher D. Caputi, of Tonawanda, Physical Therapist Assistant; Kathleen T. Gurak, of Groveland, Health and Physical Education; Heather S. Jones, of Conesus, Fine Arts; Josephine B. Kearney, of Lockport, Sociology and Human Services; Amy J. Schnettler-Zak, of Alden, Nursing; Charles L. Scruggs, of Geneseo, History; Catherine C. Wall, of Hilton, Nursing; and Karen K. Wicka, of Hamburg, Criminal Justice.


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