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November 9, 2008 - 9:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, help.

The following links are designed to help you better understand how things work on The Batavian.


November 26, 2015 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

There is a report of heavy smoking showing from an apartment at 103 W. Main St., Building 1, Apt. #5, Le Roy, the Royal Apartments.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance along with Bergen, Pavilion and Town of Batavia's Fast Team are dispatched.

UPDATE 3:24 p.m.: Second alarm responders can stage in quarters.

November 26, 2015 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.


Bill Moon came home to his house on Bank Street, City of Batavia, Saturday evening to find a bullet hole in a family room window. A neighbor said he heard the shot ring out between 4 and 5 p.m.

Fortunately, Moon said, nobody was home at the time, but he blames the county's new law allowing long rifles to be used during deer season.

He said Batavia PD, a Sheriff's deputy and a Department of Environmental Conservation officer responded and agreed the shot likely came from a .30-caliber rifle, such as a .30-30 or .30-06.

The bullet passed through the family room and into the kitchen.

A spokesman for Batavia PD confirmed a complaint was filed and law enforcement responded, but said the investigation is being handled by the DEC. We were unable to reach the DEC for further information.

Photo submitted by Bill Moon.

November 26, 2015 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, Falleti Ice Arena.









November 26, 2015 - 7:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia.

 A mattress that was on fire was pulled outside at 2 Valley View Drive, Batavia, and the fire is now believed to be out and contained. 

 Town of Batavia fire responding.

November 25, 2015 - 10:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kiwanis, Falleti Ice Arena, batavia.

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia will host its annual free Thanksgiving Day skate at the Falleti Ice Arena starting at 9 a.m.

The event ends at 11 a.m.

Free skate rentals while supplies last, and free hot chocolate.

November 25, 2015 - 9:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported in the area 7639 Batavia Stafford Townline, unknown injuries.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:05 p.m.: A first responder reports no injuries.

November 25, 2015 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, corfu, Le Roy.
  James Spivey

James J. Spivey, 17, of Child Street, Rochester, is charged with burglary, attempted second-degree assault, and endangering the welfare of a child. The youth is accused of entering Batavia High School without permission with the intent to fight a student there. The defendant did allegedly engage in a fight with the student, who is under age 17, and during the fight used a dangerous instrument in an attempt to injure the student.

Erica Michelle Raphael, 30, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Raphael is accused of stealing merchandise from the Rite Aid on West Main Street Road, Batavia.

Tyler Austin Stoddard, 21, of Meiser Road, Corfu, is charged with making graffiti. Stoddard was arrested on a warrant. He is accused of drawing a picture of a penis on the wall of the ATM at the M&T Bank branch in Corfu.

Michael F. Geer, 24, no permanent address, is charged with burglary, 2nd, petit larceny, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief, 4th. Geer allegedly entered a residence on Trumbull Parkway, took the keys to a vehicle that was parked in the driveway, and unlawfully moved the vehicle, striking the back porch. He was jailed on no bail.

Amber N. Wallace, 26, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Wallace is accused of drinking a "5-hour ENERGY" drink without paying for it while at work at a business on Jackson Street.

Michael A. Wroten, 48, of Highland Parkway, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Wroten was located by probation officers and turned over to Batavia PD. He was jailed on $2,500 cash bail.

Nikayla C. Jackson, 18, of Slusser Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief. Jackson allegedly pushed another person and damaged property while inside that person's apartment at 8:25 p.m., Nov. 9.

Jessica L. Ford, 24, of Perry Road, Le Roy, is charged with violation of probation. Ford was arrested on warrants issued by City Court.

Deborah R. Blatt, 54, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. She was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Chercal A. Smith, 20, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with violation of probation. Smith was observed by Officer James DeFreze, who was aware of a warrant for Smith's arrest, on Court Street. Smith was taken into custody without incident.

Cody N. Proefrock, 23, of West Court Street, Warsaw, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. Proefrock was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on the listed charges.

Sara A. Weaver, 46, of Watson Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear in court and for aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Weaver was arrested following a traffic stop by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Nicholas G. Serret, 19, of 15 Dewain St., Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. The subject was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by Corfu Police for speeding on Route 77 at 2:34 p.m. on Nov. 24. The subject was allegedly found to have a plastic baggie containing about three grams of marijuana. The case was investigated by Corfu PD Officer Michael Petritz.

November 24, 2015 - 8:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Police Facility.


A month ago, council members, while discussing the proposed new police station, said the last thing they wanted to do was "kick the can down the road."

Monday, after hearing from a half dozen public speakers who had nothing good to say about the proposal, the sound of tin rattling on pavement could be heard quite distinctly in City Hall.

"I'm suggesting that we put a task force together to see if it is possible for a merger or consolidation between the police department and the sheriff's," said Council President Brooks Hawley. "Before we can move forward with spending any money at all, we need to do our due diligence before we spend taxpayers' money."

We've been down this road before, and it got the city nowhere, said Councilman Eugene Jankowski, a former Batavia police officer.

"I've been involved in several projects where the Police Department and Sheriff's Office were going to merge and unfortunately for the Sheriff, the city caused so many delays that the Sheriff was delayed in building (a new building) at least five years, maybe longer," Jankowski said. "Every time the project came up, someone suggested merger and that would scare everyone off, things would go away. To get things done, the Sheriff, who was waiting and waiting, finally out of frustration, he couldn't wait any longer, he had his new building built. 

"There were many opportunities for this to happen and it was passed by for whatever reason," Jankowski added.

Then Jankowski endorsed the idea of a feasibility study being completed on a possible merger of departments.

Most of the anti-police-station speakers called for a merger or elimination of the city police force.  

"Spending $10 to $14 million on a new police station is an awful waste of money," said Peter Garlock, who served on the police facilities task force that met more than a dozen times over a seven-month period and came up with the recommendation for a new police station on Swan Street.

Dave Olsen, president of the Genesee County Libertarian Party (top photo), suggested the city's law enforcement needs could be met through private security, volunteers in homeowners and business associations and citizens with the legal right to carry firearms.

"More government means more taxation and it makes citizens less free by taking a portion of their income and choice away," Olsen said.

While under current circumstances (which delays could change), it's likely the new police station could be built without the city increasing its current debt load or raising taxes (see the financing memo in the council's Oct. 26 agenda (pdf), several speakers objected to the proposal based on assumptions of increased debt and higher taxes.

  • Bob Bialkowski: "Batavia is a community of low, low middle-income families. We do not want to be saddled with any more debt."
  • Jim Rosenbeck: "We should also ask how building a new police station impacts the taxes on our aging and declining population? What are the tax implications for our local downtown businesses, some of which are struggling?"
  • Rosenbeck: "I sympathize with the police who find their current home is aging and deteriorating. We would all probably like a new home, but often we can't afford it. We have to live within our means. We can't get everything on our wish list. I ask that you be responsible with our tax dollars."
  • Daniel DelPlato: "Taxes, you've got to keep them down. There are people on fixed incomes. We all know the prices of everything is going up. You've got to think about the senior citizens, even though there are not a lot of them here, you've got to represent them, too."

In contrast, David Lone (bottom photo), who served on the police facilities task force, said the council should consider the cost of kicking the can down the road.

"Interest on borrowing rates are right now at historic lows," Lone said. "That's one factor the council should take into consideration. If the decision is postponed for five or 10 years, interest rates may go up  two, three, four times what they are now. On a 20-year bond, you're talking of adding hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to the whole project by not taking full advantage of these historic low rates that are available."

While the council waits on a study -- which it didn't even explicitly authorize Monday night -- city staff is unable to move forward on the project. Purchase of the land can't be negotiated, which leaves it vulnerable to purchase by a commercial interest; nor can environmental studies be conducted to ensure it should be purchased or what it might cost to remediate; design work can't begin and financing can't get locked in. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is looking at the first interest rate hike in nearly a decade when it meets in December.

Not all the speakers were against building a new police station on Swan Street. Local businesswoman Diane Kastenbaum endorsed the idea.

"We do need a new station and the time to move on  it is now," said Kastenbaum, who said she's recently added 10 employees to her company's workforce and plans to hire more. "Our population is not in decline. I see signs of hope, signs of growth, and I think there will be more of a demand for a state-of-the-art police station in our community."

There was some talk of exploring shared services with the Sheriff's Office to eliminate duplicate work and reduce costs and perhaps eliminate the need for a new police station.

Rosenbeck noted that city property owners pay for both the Batavia PD, through city taxes, and the Sheriff's Office, through county taxes.

"One good question we should be asking -- what are we currently getting from the county in return for our funding the city police and the county sheriff's services," Rosenbeck said. "Are there ways we can get greater value from a city-county partnership, with smart sharing of costs, services and possible facilities?"

Jankowski had the answer:

  • The city's inmates are housed in the county's jail at no charge to the city;
  • Arrestees are photographed and booked by jail staff, so city patrols get back on the road quicker;
  • Deputies transport the city's inmates to and from the courthouse at no charge to the city;
  • The Sheriff's Office handles all dispatch for police, fire and DPW, saving the city $100,000 a year, as well as providing the radio system and patrol computer system along with technical support;
  • Deputies provide security for City Court;
  • The county pays for all medical treatment for the city's inmates.

In addition, Jankowski said, the Sheriff is very generous with Homeland Security grants. The Sheriff's Office purchased the city's ERT vehicle, trains the ERT team, provides it with body armor and provides a third of the personnel in the ERT team. The Sheriff's Office also manages the drug task force.

"How much more can we dump on the Sheriff?" Jankowski said. "He's pretty much already doing everything for us except patrol. At some point, the city has to take responsibility and patrol it's own backyard."

John Roach noted that any discussion of shared services really just means elimination of the police department, and that's the central question the council needs to answer. Is it willing to eliminate Batavia PD? If not, then move on and select Swan Street for the new police station.

It's a better option, he said, than trying to once again renovate the Brisbane Mansion.

"Building new is cheaper," he said.

Councilwoman Patti Pacino is in favor of Swan Street, but said she is willing to go along with a feasibility study if it doesn't cost a lot of money.

"I don't want a study that's just another study that gives us an answer," Pacino said. "If we do a study, fine, but I don't want to pay $30,000 for it. I don't want someone else to come in and look at it. People of Batavia know more about what we want in Batavia than anybody we could get to come in and do a study."

Several council members suggested that the county should pay half the cost of a feasability study.

Reached today, County Manager Jay Gsell said the county would be happy to the help the city in a grant application to the state to fund a study, but the county's budget for 2016 is set.

"I haven't had a discussion with Jason yet about how far they would want to go in terms of further discussion before they start looking at just building a separate and discreet police facility," Gsell said. "The county is open and amenable to having further dialogue and getting real serious about what the future holds for law enforcement in Genesee County. Certainly, we can go to the state to get the funding for further analysis."

Gsell noted, the city and county have been down this road before. There was talk of moving both departments into what is now the court facility, with a third and fourth floor atop the structure we know now, and when the Sheriff's Office built its new facility on Park Road. He understands, he said, the council's desire to do the same due diligence now.

"Whenever you get ready to spend between $10 to $17 million, you don't do that based on thinking not everything has been examined fully, and I think that's all they're looking at doing right now," Gsell said.

Merging departments is a complex consideration said Sheriff Gary Maha. A fully funded study would be necessary to determine potential cost savings, if any, and the impact on both departments.

There's certainly high near-term expense for new uniforms, car decals, equipment and training, Maha said.

Such a feasibility study was undertaken for Jamestown PD and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office in 2009, and that potential merger is still pending, Maha noted (The state issued a $400,000 grant for the study.)

"It's not a simple issue, but worth looking at if that's want they want to do," Maha said.


November 24, 2015 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Larry's Steakhouse, batavia, business, downtown.


There's been too much bad news in the world recently, so Brenden Mullen, co-owner of Larry's Steakhouse, on Main Street, Batavia, decided he wanted to do something good.

Larry's will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day serving free meals to "anybody and everybody" who wants to stop in.

The meals will include turkey, mash potatoes and gravy, stuffing, squash and cranberry sauce along with a slice of pumpkin pie.

All for free.

"Somebody very dear to me, touched my life, had a positive impact and made me want to better myself in any way I can," Mullen said. "I thought it might be a step in the right direction."

Word has spread quickly on social media, Mullen said, and just today he got a touching call from an administrator at Batavia High School who said a student who had been wondering what he would do on Thanksgiving, with no place else to go, heard about the community meal and now he plans on being at Larry's.

That really touched Mullen, he said. It's hard to believe in this day and age a high school student would need some place to go on Thanksgiving Day, but there are people in our community with all kinds of needs, he said, and perhaps his gesture will help a few people out.

He just came up with the idea Saturday, enlisted the chef to help, and started getting things organized. He doesn't know what to expect and said additional volunteers to help are welcome.

"I thought it would be a good way to do something good for the community," Mullen said. "Like I said, I just get sick of reading the news, turning on the TV, and it's nothing but bad news anymore, so I wanted to give people a reason to smile and feel good about something."

November 24, 2015 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, batavia, music, arts, entertainment.


The Genesee Chorale held a rehearsal Monday night in preparation for its show at 7 p.m., Dec. 4, at St. James Episcopal Church.

Directed by Ric Jones, the show is Christmas-themed and the performance is titled "Our Hope is a Child." Tickets are $8 presale and $10 at the door, and can be purchased online at

The show will include what is billed as an "energetic" version of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!" with four-handed piano accompaniment, with Doug Hansen and guest pianist Henry Emmans. The Genesee Children's Chorus will also be featured on a number of pieces. Fran Thomas also performs a solo.






November 24, 2015 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in rocket car, charles thomas, batavia.


Restoration work on the "Rocket Car," originally built in Batavia in 1938 by Charles D. Thomas and Norman Richardson, is under way at Dick McClurg's garage.

Top photo shows, the motor and a damaged fender have been removed.


McClurg found a 1938 or '39 flathead, so it's period-correct, in Lockport. The original engine (which wasn't in the car when it was purchased, having probably been replaced in the 1950s) was a 1934 or '35 flathead. The "new" engine is "turnkey ready," McClurg said. It just needs to be dropped into place.


McClurg has started removing the interior. The seats and windows are out. Next, and it will be tough, possibly, the dashboard.


The hood is off.


The seats are out. They will be sent to another shop to be reupholstered.


This picture may not show it well, but McClurg found an interesting innovation in the front "bench seat." Typically, a bench seat is one piece across the width of the car, that's why it's called a bench seat. The Thomas car is a two-door but had a rear passenger seat. McClurg figured Thomas designed the car with a rear seat, but not much thought that anybody would actually ride in it because it would be too hard to get to the back with the bench seat in place. What Thomas designed, however, was a partially hinged bench seat. On each end of the seat is a side wing that can be folded down or locked in place.


November 23, 2015 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, UMMC, batavia, Attica.

An Attica woman who was arrested for attempting to bite an emergency room nurse and punching her several times in the stomach will spend at least a year-and-a-half in State Prison after pleading guilty this morning to attempted assault in the second degree.

In an unusual twist, she was also sentenced today.

Kerri L. Forsberg, 43, of Alexander Road, Attica, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, has medical issues that meant she couldn't be housed in any of the county jails Genesee County uses to hold female inmates. In those circumstances, the state will hold an unsentenced inmate, and at no cost to the county, said District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

The difficulty, however, is that Forsberg was held in Bedford, and Genesee County deputies were required to take her back and forth between the prison and her court appearances.

So some of her appearances were actually waived, including her plea-cutoff. She was planning to take her case to trial, Friedman explained, but when she changed her mind and decided to take the plea offer, arrangements were made for Forsberg to enter her plea and be sentenced on the same day.

Friedman said the Probation Department was "great" for their handling of the expedited pre-sentence investigation. Investigators obtained the case file this morning, combined it with Forsberg's PSI from a previous case in Wyoming County, and were able to meet the deadline of 4 p.m. for the completed report.

Forsberg is eligible for release in one-and-a-half years, but could serve up to three years. She was sentenced as a second felony offender.

She was arrested in early July for attempting to bite a UMMC nurse and punching her in the stomach.

November 23, 2015 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, pembroke, corfu.
   Hannah Dibble

The driver in an accident in Bethany in February that claimed the life of an 18-year-old Genesee Community College student entered a guilty plea in County Court this morning to one count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter and DWI with a plea deal that caps her sentence to six months in county jail and five years on probation.

Hannah C. Dibble, 22, of Corfu, will also lose her driver's license and any vehicle that she might drive will be required to have an interlock ignition device.

After going through a series of alcohol-rehabilitation treatments, Dibble was scheduled to appear in court this morning with her attorney Benjamin Bonarigo on a hearing for motions to suppress some evidence in the case, but when the case was called, ADA Will Zickl told Noonan a plea deal had been reached in the case.

Dibble was at the wheel of a 1997 Chevrolet Geo on Feb. 21 when it crossed Route 20 at Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, and was struck by a semi-truck.

There were four passengers in her car at the time, including Alyson D. Krzanak, 18, of Corfu, who died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Suffering serious physical injuries in the collision Feb. 21 were James Scherer, 21, Brandon Danser, 22, and Felecia J. Fazzio, 20.

Bonarigo informed the court that Dibble remains in in-patient treatment and will enter a halfway house shortly after the first of the year.

The terms of the sentence are known as "shock probation," giving a defendant a taste of jail and five years of rules to follow and monitoring after release.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23.

After the case was adjourned, Judge Robert C. Noonan told Dibble, "I'm happy to see the recent report (on her progress), especially after the stumble you took early on, so keep on the right track."

November 23, 2015 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

Three men accused of assaulting another person April 29 on Holland Avenue entered guilty pleas in County Court this morning, though they did not admit to the actual crime.

Under an Alford plea, the defendants pled guilty because they believe a jury would likely convict them based on available evidence, but did not admit to the facts leading to the charge. 

The young men, Terrance M. SchrammTerrence D. Johnson, and Leonard A. Johnson III entered guilty pleas to second-degree assault under terms that would cap their sentences of six months in jail and five years probation, a term known as "shock probation," which is intended to give defendants a taste of confinement and monitored terms of behavior following release.

The victim in the case suffered an orbital fracture and lost of range of motion in one shoulder, said District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

Witnesses said they saw four or five young men beating and kicking the victim.

The victim identified the defendants as three of the people who attacked him, but the other possible attackers have not been identified.

Previously: Grand Jury: Three men indicted for first-degree gang assault

November 23, 2015 - 8:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thruway, accident, pembroke.

A car has gone off the roadway and into the trees on the westbound side of the Thruway, in the area of mile marker 400.5.

Unknown injuries.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments along with Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:59 a.m.: The driver has called dispatch and said she is not hurt.

November 22, 2015 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia.


Stacy Bolles, wife of Officer Eric Bolles, shared this picture of a group of wives of Batavia police officers showing their support of their husbands' work.

"We want everyone to know that we stand behind our husbands and support them in their duty to protect and serve, even though sometimes it means sacrificing our time with them," Stacy said. "Families of police miss having them at the holidays so they can protect other families. We share a sisterhood being police wives and we all care for and support each other."

November 22, 2015 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl-Con, Foxprowl, batavia.


The first Foxprowl-Con at the Clarion Hotel was packed with energy and some interesting characters Saturday.

The event continues today. For more information, visit














November 22, 2015 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, Wonderland of Trees, batavia.


Photos from Friday's opening of the Wonderland of Trees for 2015 at the Holland Land Office Museum.













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