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August 16, 2017 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, accident, bergen.

A motor vehicle accident with injuries is reported at West Bergen Road and Clinton Street Road, Bergen.

Bergen Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

August 16, 2017 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A car and motorcycle accident is reported in the area of 668 East Main Street, Batavia.

The motorcyclist reportedly suffered an ankle injury.

The location is east of Cedar Street.

City Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

August 16, 2017 - 1:21pm

Press release:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation joined forces to support the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation was established in 2007 in memory of Michael C. Napoleone, the 8-year-old son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone from Batavia, who died from Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

During Michael's illness, the community rallied around the family to assist with food, gas, medical bills and other necessities. The not-for-profit foundation was created to give back to those who cared, to give forward to those in need, and to support research efforts in finding a cure for childhood cancer.

“The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is a special organization, and its commitment to supporting those in need in our community is inspiring,” said David S. Boyce, president and CEO, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. “We are privileged to show our support through this donation.” 

The $300 donation from Tompkins Insurance Agencies was matched by a $300 grant from The Selective Insurance Group Foundation. The Selective Insurance Group Foundation is a philanthropic affiliate of Selective Insurance Group, Inc.

“At Selective, Response is everything®… and this includes responding to the communities where we live and work to give back and help those in need. Together with Tompkins Insurance Agencies, we are proud to support the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation and its efforts to make a difference in the community,” said Chuck Musilli, senior vice president, Distribution Strategies, Selective.

August 16, 2017 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, baseball, sports.

Press release:

Due to a tremendous response from the community, the Muckdogs 2017 Youth Baseball Clinic to be held on Aug. 30th is completely filled up and registration is now closed. We will accept any mailed registration forms postmarked on or before Aug. 16th.

For those who did not sign up in time, please keep an eye out for the Muckdogs’ Youth Clinic in 2018.

August 16, 2017 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A Niagara Falls man who walked into the Key Bank branch in Batavia in December wearing a Batman beanie and walked out with more than $10,000 in cash entered a guilty plea to robbery in the third degree yesterday.

Joel Zsebehazy, 33, an Iraq War vet who has a prior criminal record that includes bank robbery, will be sentenced Sept. 18.

Zsebehazy was arrested in April near Belle Rose, La., after being identified as Batavia's warrant suspect by authorities there.

August 15, 2017 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, Le Roy.

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A car that looks like this one (not actual picture) is missing in Le Roy. It went missing Aug. 9 during the early morning hours.

Le Roy PD is asking the public's assistance in determining its location and possibly who stole it from the East Avenue -- East Main Street area of the village. Anyone with information is asked to call (585) 345-6350.

August 15, 2017 - 2:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

With a grant from the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services, Batavia PD will be able to outfit all officers with body cameras, Chief Shawn Heubusch told the City Council on Monday night.

In all, the $10,000 grant combined with funds already appropriated in the city budget will mean the department has a total of 32 body cameras.

"They're absolutely valuable," Heubusch said after the meeting. "I wouldn't be asking for 32 of them if I didn't think they were valuable. As far as from a prosecutorial standpoint, it collects evidence and firsthand accounts when this story is unfolding. So from that perspective, it helps in the prosecution aspect of a crime. When you're dealing with a victim or a suspect you have that person on film saying what they said, acting the way that they were acting at that point in time, and that could be introduced into evidence or it can be used to get a plea deal."

Twice the cameras have helped clear up accusations against officers by suspects, Heubusch said, so they've proven valuable in that respect as well.

"I think we see a lot more positive reaction (from officers) because they were very suspicious at first," Heubusch said. "They wanted to know, 'what are we getting ourselves into?' But the first time that they're dealing with the drunk alongside the road and they're able to go back and review that footage and see this is exactly what this person said, this is exactly how the person acted, and then present that in court, they see it's been very beneficial, or in the instance where somebody comes forward with a false claim against them."

Officers are supposed to activate the camera anytime they are responding to a "hot" call, Heubusch said. The camera should be on anytime there is an enforcement action.

Of course, Heubusch said, officers are human and in an active situation, turning on a body camera is not always the first thing that comes to mind.

"That's the first thing you forget to do is turn that on," Heubusch said. "In most cases that is the first thing you want to see, you want to see that turned on. So we understand there's a human element as well. So you know there is enough room within the policy to give the officers some individual leeway."

Officers also have the discretion to turn the camera off in situations where privacy is paramount, such as cases involving juveniles, especially as victims, confidential informants, or sensitive domestic calls, depending on the circumstances.

August 15, 2017 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in comprehensive plan, batavia, planning, news.

Nearly two years in the making, a draft of a new comprehensive plan for Batavia has been presented to the City Council and soon it will be up to council members to decide what kind of future they want for the city.

One that maintains the status quo or one that aims to improve the quality of life for residents and attract new businesses.

"I think you’ll find that, yes, some communities are losing population," City Manager Jason Molino said after the draft plan was presented to the council. "They're not growing at great rates, but I think you’ll see that the communities that are well planned, and have good comprehensive plans that are practical, you’re going to see those communities are growing. They’re growing exponentially. They’re growing a lot faster than those who don’t (have comprehensive plans). I would argue that good planning leads to smart choices and that leads to positive outcomes.

"If we want to be mediocre forever then maybe we don’t do the comprehensive plan," Molino added. "If we want to achieve more, we take a community-based approach to it and you make smart choices in the future to trigger growth in the future."

Consultant Rob Holzman made the initial presentation of the plan. He reviewed the history of the process, which began in October 2015 and included the formation of a steering committee, interviews, focus groups, surveys and two community open houses where community members were invited in to share their vision for the future of the City of Batavia.

"This plan sets up a strong foundation for moving forward and understand what some of the basic investments are that are necessary to attract a younger population as well as a senior population," Holzman said.

Among the findings of the research that underlies the plan is that Batavia is seeing a decline in home ownership and a startling rise in rental occupancy.

"These are two characteristics that are worth noting because they’re really a driving impetus behind why you want this comprehensive planning process," Holzman said. "It's to figure out what’s going on and how some of these trends might be reversed."

The city is also overstocked in industrially zoned property. Industrial is the second highest acreage in the city of 14 types of zoning in Batavia, at 682 acres but only 169 acres are actually being used for industrial activity.

The plan suggests, Holzman said, that the city can direct more industrial uses in the area of the Harvester Center and the Pearl Street industrial park, both with significant vacancies, and rezone an area such as the east end of East Main Street.

The 70 to 90 properties in that area, with the exception of a cement company, are all commercial and residential, Holzman noted.

"It is a key gateway coming into the city," Holzman said. "It sets a tone for what to expect and having industrially zoned properties there might not be the best use of that transportation corridor."

Among the other suggestions for the Batavia of the future is the development of a complete street policy, which would include bike paths, bike racks at public facilities, signs providing distance and direction for destinations (wayfinding signage), and bus shelters that are attractive and may contain public art.

"Bus shelters might sound like a basic thing, and it is a basic thing, but it’s a necessary component to add to the vitality of a place," Holzman said.

The plan also suggests developing a tree management plan, a plan for parks and recreation, a plan to celebrate the city's history and its public spaces.

The plan also calls for changing the city's zoning code from the more highly regulated current form to what's known as "form-based" code, which more loosely defines appropriate uses for sections of the city.

When it came time for the council and the public to weigh in, there were some objections.

Councilwoman Kathy Briggs (later joined by community member John Roach) suggested that any suggestion that the east end of East Main Street be rezoned be removed from the plan. He insisted that the council already voted 6-3 against changing the zoning, therefore, it shouldn't be brought up again.

Molino explained that at this stage, the comprehensive plan is a roadmap. Implementation of actual zoning changes would come up later. Further, he noted, the council's previous vote was just on two parcels in the 70- to 90-acre area under consideration.  

Roach suggested the proposal was just a backdoor way to bring in the tax-exempt, subsidized housing for disabled people proposed by DePaul earlier this year.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski objected to the idea of form-based code because, based on his research, he said, back before current zoning was created, something like form-based zoning was used and it only benefitted the well-heeled and politically connected.

Holzman tried to explain that form based means something entirely different today and that what the comprehensive plan proposes is really a mix of formed based structure and traditional zoning.

Councilman Adam Tabelski said he was concerned (a concern shared by other speakers) that the Tonawanda Creek is barely mentioned in the plan, even though it represents a potential resource for the city.

Molino said specific proposals for what might happen along the creek would fit into the city's strategic planning process, which he also spoke about and how it might change with a new comprehensive plan.

He provided the council with a document that he said would help officials and staff better prioritize projects, especially when new ideas come along.

"One thing when we began to develop this process, we realized that as new opportunities come along there has to be a very disciplined process to evaluate those," Molino said. "We have to decide whether it not happen, be put off, changed, or if more resources have to be put on the table to deal with them."

August 15, 2017 - 9:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

A trooper has been dispatched to the Thruway overpass on Route 98, Batavia, for two subjects who "lost their boat" and are now trying to recover it.

It's stuck in the guardrail.

The incident is hindering traffic.

August 15, 2017 - 7:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins was recognized at the City Council meeting Monday night for his quick action the night of July 18 to render first aid to a stabbing victim on East Main Street.

Perkins found a victim with multiple stab wounds who was bleeding uncontrollably. Perkins applied a tourniquet to the victim's arm in an effort to stop the bleeding until EMS personnel arrived. 

For this life-saving effort, Perkins was recognized with a resolution of the City Council, a Batavia PD Life-Saver Award and an award from the University of Rochester Kessler Trauma Center.

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August 15, 2017 - 7:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, pembroke, Le Roy, news.

Edward Joseph Stabell, 23, of Meiser Road, Corfu, is charged with trespass. Stabell is accused of trespassing at a location on Gilmore Road, Pembroke.

Scott Douglas MacPherson, 58, of Transit Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding, and insufficient tail lamps. MacPherson was stopped on Lake Street Road, Le Roy, at 9:14 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

August 15, 2017 - 7:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in freshLAB, batavia, business.

Press release:

 A volunteer committee led by the Batavia Development Corporation created a website (www.freshLabBatavia.com ) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FreshLab-Batavia-157039621534443/ ) to inform the community about the project, construction progress and recruitment to lease two more start-up restaurant spaces.

“We understand residents are chomping at the bit to learn more about the project,” said Barb Shine, Batavia Development Corporation director and co-captain of the marketing efforts. “It’s an enormous undertaking, pretty complex, with a lot of moving parts. We hope the website helps break it into bite-sized pieces.”

Jon Mager, future master brewer of the anchor eatery, Eli Fish Brewing Company, formerly known as Batavia Brewing Company, has agreed to take the lead on social media construction updates. Beth Kemp, executive director of the Downtown Business Improvement District, has guided the creative direction, technical setup and will post periodic updates in addition to the Batavia Development Corporation.

“We’re getting more and more excited about this project. Programming at freshLAB will benefit all of our downtown businesses,” added Kemp. “Complementing our solid restaurant core, freshLAB will help reshape downtown into a dining and entertainment destination.”

August 15, 2017 - 6:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

20170815_061120jacksonacc.jpg

Reader-submitted photo of an accident this morning around 5:45 a.m. on Ellicott Street just west of Jackson Street, Batavia.

The SUV was occupied by eight people, all returning home to Niagara Falls from vacation, police told our news partner, WBTA.

At least two people were sent to the hospital. Their injuries were not life-threatening.

The vehicle was westbound when it veered off the roadway, struck two street signs and a light pole before crashing into the tree.

August 15, 2017 - 6:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
August 14, 2017 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, news, darien lake, darien lake performing arts center.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Goo Goo Dolls concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Sunday:

A 17-year-old of Lincoln Avenue, Dunkirk, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a controlled substance and marijuana.

Kevin R. Dawidowicz, 41, of Maywood Place, Buffalo, is charged with reckless endangerment, 2nd, after allegedly striking a Darien Lake security officer with his vehicle.

Kevin M. Buisman, 32, of Elmwood Avenue, Tonawanda, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the venue without a ticket.

Colleen K. O’Donnell, 26, of Warsaw Street, Cheektowaga, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the venue without a ticket.

Cody Z. Woodhouse, 28, of Robinson Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the venue without a ticket.

Samuel P. McCaslin, 27, of Vahn Street, East Concord, is charged with trespass after allegedly attempting to re-enter the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

August 14, 2017 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia and The University of Rochester Kessler Trauma Center will be recognizing City of Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins on Aug. 14th at the Batavia City Council Meeting for his recent life-saving efforts performed on a victim with uncontrolled bleeding.

Shortly after midnight on July 18 Officer Perkins, along with other members of the City of Batavia Police Department, responded to a reported stabbing incident on East Main Street in the City. Upon Officer Perkins’ arrival, he located a subject down in the driveway that had a severe injury to his arm and was bleeding uncontrollably. Officer Perkins reacted quickly and applied a tourniquet to the victim’s arm in an effort to stop the bleeding while awaiting EMS. Without Officer Perkins’ quick response and tourniquet application, the outcome of the incident could have been much worse.

According to the University of Rochester Kessler Trauma Center uncontrolled hemorrhage continues to be the highest cause of preventable death in injured patients. Bleeding-control skills performed by bystanders and first responders, such as done by Officer Perkins, are being used to save lives on a daily basis.

Officer Perkins is being recognized for his quick action and dedication to service.

“Stop The Bleed” is a program created by the American College of Surgeons and is endorsed by the Federal Government as part of domestic preparedness. The course is designed to teach the public how to control life threatening bleeding with or without specialized equipment. There are many classes available to the public. Information about the program can be found at bleedingcontrol.org or by contacting the Kessler Trauma Center via e-mail at [email protected].

August 14, 2017 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Darien, Bethany, Le Roy, notify.

Nicholas Edmund Kaiser, 26, of Westbourne Drive, Tonawanda, is charged with felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Kaiser was arrested after arriving at the Genesee County Jail at 1:35 a.m., Sunday, to pick up a friend who had been arrested for DWI earlier in the night. Upon Kaiser's arrive, officers suspected Kaiser of being intoxicated. He submitted to a field sobriety test. 

Jamie Ann Dorazio, 24, of Broad Street, Tonawanda, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to obey police officer. Dorazio was stopped at 11:44 p.m., Saturday, following a traffic stop on Sumner Road, Darien, by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Jeffrey Alexander Cardenas II, 26, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs and failure to keep right. Cardenas was arrested after Deputy Mathew Clor responded to a complaint of a vehicle off the road on Lake Street Road, Le Roy, at 12:18 a.m., Saturday.

David James Leroy, 25, of Sumner Road, Darien, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd. Leroy was arrested after deputies and troopers responded to a check-the-welfare call at a location on Sumner Road, Darien. Leroy allegedly interfered with the deputies and troopers.

Ronald D. Ashton III, 24, of Bennett Street, Buffalo, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, suspended registration and driving to left on crest/grade curve. Ashton was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear in Town of Bethany Court on charges stemming from 2016.

Kelly Ann Kasper, 47, of Judge Road, Alabama, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Kasper allegedly struck a person who was the protected party in an order of protection.

Teshawn Anthony Lang-Smith, 21, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Lang-Smith is accused of damaging property at a party at 3:15 a.m., Aug. 30, 2014.

August 14, 2017 - 10:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
August 13, 2017 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
August 12, 2017 - 11:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, news.

8.12.2017.rainbow.tonawanda.01.less_.green_.jpg

Two more pictures from readers. Top one by Doug Yeomans and bottom one by Gary Harding.

rainbowaug122017reader.jpg

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

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