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Howard B. Owens's blog

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.


July 25, 2016 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in buffalo bills, GCC, golf, sports, news, Stafford Country Club, Stafford.


This is Booker Edgerson, a star cornerback with the Buffalo Bills in the 1960s.

When I told Edgerson that I'm a little rusty on my Bills history because I'm a lifelong San Diego Chargers fan, he smiled and said, "then you must know Lance Alworth."

Of course, I know Lance Alworth. I used to watch Alworth play, though I was very young at the time.

"I'm the only man to catch Lance Alworth."

"You ran down Lance Alworth?"

"Yup, I ran him down."

In fact, Edgerson's Wikipedia page notes that he's the only man in NFL history to catch Alworth from behind.

"I played against him my whole career," Edgerson said. "We came into the league together. Man, he was tough to cover."

Edgerson was playing in a golf tournament at Stafford Country Club to benefit the scholarship fund at Genesee Community College.  He was one of five former Bills players, and former Lions player, who participate in the tournament. This is the first year for the tournament, but the planning committee is already talking about next year.

The only man to catch Lance Alworth ... that's quite a line on a professional football resume.



July 25, 2016 - 6:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, muckdogs.

Press release:

Tonight’s game between the Batavia Muckdogs and State College Spikes has been postponed due wet and unsafe field conditions. This game will be made up as part of a double header on Tuesday, July 26th. We will play two seven innings games, with the first game starting at 11:05 p.m. Gates will open at 10:00 a.m. Any person with tickets to tonight’s game can exchange their tickets for any other regular season game, subject to availability.

The Batavia Lions Club bike raffle that was originally scheduled for tonight will be rescheduled at a to be determined home game. 

July 25, 2016 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bergen Swamps, byron, bergen, news, Destro.

A man from Irving got lost in a wooded area of the Bergen Swamps yesterday, and if not for the swamps' caretaker becoming concerned for his safety and the trained nose of K-9 "Destro" his off-the-trail hike could have turned out very badly.

The caretaker, Mike Merritt, said he noticed a person park at a trailhead and get out of his car and walk into the swamps about 3 p.m., yesterday. Since he had never seen the man before, and he was alone, he was a little concerned right off the bat about his activity.

When the man hadn't returned after two or three hours, his concern grew, he said.

"It was too hot, too muggy and too buggy to be out there that long," Merritt said.

So Merritt walked the entire trail himself and didn't find him.

At 10 o'clock, Merritt thought, 'well, if he's still out there, now he's trespassing' and 'I can call law enforcement without them coming out here unnecessarily.' "  

Deputy Rachel Diehl and Trooper James Moran arrived on scene and ran the plates of the unattended vehicle. They were able to contact family members, who expressed concern that they hadn't heard from Neil Gates for several hours.

Deputy Chris Erion and "Destro" were called to the scene, along with Byron's ambulance and some volunteer firefighters also responded.

With Merritt, who knows the area well, providing guidance, Erion and Destro commenced a search of the woods.  

It took more than two hours, but Gates was located curled up in some cattails where he had apparently gone to try and get water. 

He was dehydrated and had a minor knee injury, according to Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

Merritt said the Gates told officials he was a diabetic. 

He was treated by Byron EMTs at the scene and released.

The incident wrapped up at about 1:30 a.m., Merritt said.

Merritt noted that there are signs warning visitors to the swamps not to leave the trails.

"You can get 20 feet off a trail, get turned around and you think you know which direction to go to find a trail, but you won't find one," Merritt said.

Merritt said the concern and professionalism of those who responded last night was impressive. There was no hesitation by law enforcement to take on the search.

"I couldn't have gone out there without them," Merritt said. "With my cell phone dead, out there alone, I couldn't have helped him. He wouldn't have made it much longer."

July 25, 2016 - 12:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, fire, news.

A house fire is reported at 3391 Dodgeson Road, Alexander. All occupants are out of the structure. Alexander, Darien and Town of Batavia fire departments are responding. EMS is on location.

UPDATE 12:22 p.m.: Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are asked to fill in at Alexander's fire hall.

UPDATE 12:27 p.m.: Elba is asked to fill in at Town of Batavia's Station #1. All units responding to the scene told to continue non-emergency. Fire is knocked down.

July 24, 2016 - 8:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Darien, corfu, news.

Announcement from the Monroe County Water Authority:

As a customer of the Water Authority in the towns of Pembroke and Darien and the Village of Corfu, you were notified on Thursday, July 21, of a potential problem with your drinking water and were advised not to drink the water without boiling it first.

We are pleased to announce that the issue has been corrected, and we have verified the water meets all state and federal water quality regulations. It is no longer necessary to boil your water before drinking it.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience. 

July 24, 2016 - 8:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A neighbor reports smoke coming from a mobile home in a park at 3322 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

East Pembroke fire with one engine from Town of Batavia dispatched.

UPDATE 8:21 a.m.: A chief on scene reports a burn barrel next to the trailer. All equipment can stay in quarters.

July 23, 2016 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Manor, Le Roy, news.

Multiple law enforcement units, including deputies and troopers, were dispatched a few minutes ago to Le Roy Manor, 8678 Lake Street Road, Le Roy, after a resident there reported a shooting.

As officers responded, dispatchers were able to reach a supervisor who informed them there was no shooting or other violence at the facility. It appears to be a mental health issue.

Le Roy Manor is a county-run adult-care facility.

July 23, 2016 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in law enforcment, batavia, steve hawley, news.


While at the GOP convention in Cleveland, Assemblyman Steve Hawley said he decided to organize an effort to honor the men and women of law enforcement, so he called on people in New York on Friday to wear blue.

Yesterday afternoon, Hawley, along with County Legislator Ray Cianfrini and City Councilman Adam Tabelski met at the Sheriff's Office on Park Road, Batavia, to tell representatives of the Sheriff's Office, State Police and Batavia PD that they appreciate their service to the community.

"I couldn't be prouder of what you do every single day, whether you're in the City of Batavia, whether you're in the County of Genesee or in Monroe County or the State of New York," Hawley said. "It's not an easy job. It never has been. When you put on that badge and uniform today more than ever you never know what's going to happen."

Hawley's call for support of local law enforcement comes in the wake of tragedies in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La.

"I can't imagine what you go through every time you put on the badge," Hawley said.

Tabelski said he appreciating the dedication police officers bring to their jobs.

"When you're hired as a police officer, it's more than just a job," Tabelski said. "It's a calling. It's something you are passionate about. We know about the difficulties you have to deal with and all the inconveniences you have to deal with, a lot more than just having to wear long sleeves on a hot day, so on behalf of the city, I just want to say, 'thank you.' "

Below, Hawley with members of the California Highway Patrol in Cleveland (photo submitted by Steve Hawley).



The staff at Tompkins Financial also expressed their support Friday by wearing blue.



Staff of Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., Law Offices on Harvester Avenue.

July 22, 2016 - 9:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller from Washington Towers reports seeing three youths on bicycles, two black and one white, steal cones that were around an excavator on Jefferson Avenue. 

Jefferson near Washington is closed this week for repair work.  

The youths were last seen heading south on Jefferson.

July 22, 2016 - 9:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Basom, Alabama.


The folks at Alleghany Farm Services, 7342 Alleghany Road, Basom, are looking for help in locating their Kubota RTV 1100c WXL-A, which was stolen from their property.

Its series number is 25947 and it's a 2011 model.

The company's phone number is: (585) 762-4411.

July 22, 2016 - 1:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia.

A bicyclist was injured in a hit-and-run accident on West Main Street, Road, Batavia.

The injuries are reportedly minor.

There is only a limited description of the vehicle. It is reportedly black and will be missing a side mirror.

The location is in front of Delre's Greenhouse.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS were dispatched, but a Mercy medic who arrived on scene said fire would not be required, so Town of Batavia is standing down.

July 21, 2016 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, news.

A plea offer is on the table for a 55-year-old Byron resident accused of firing a rifle at a Sheriff's deputy who was sitting in his patrol car March 7.

David O'Connor appeared in County Court today for a scheduled Huntley hearing, which is based on a defense motion to dismiss statements O'Connor may have made once he was in custody. But O'Connor's attorney, Thomas Burns, dropped the motion and O'Connor waived the hearing after being told of a plea offer from District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

The specifics of the plea offer were not discussed in open court.

O'Connor has until Aug. 1 to decide whether to accept the offer.

He is charged with attempted aggravated murder of a police officer. He was initially charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree criminal mischief.

O'Connor is accused of firing a single round from a .22-caliber rifle from the window of his apartment at the Byron Hotel at Deputy Andrew Hale, blowing out the windows of Hale's patrol vehicle, while Hale was performing a traffic stop in the parking lot of the Byron Arrow Mart.

No one was struck by the projectile and there were no injuries.

Previously: Single gunshot in Byron highlights the dangers of modern law enforcement

July 21, 2016 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
       Bill Thomas

A Batavia man whose apparent domestic dispute ended after he allegedly threatened a police officer with a knife has chosen to take his case to trial rather than accept a plea agreement.

The agreement would have limited his prison term to three and a half years in exchange to a guilty plea to menacing a police officer.

Bill Thomas, 56, of State Street, was arrested in March after an early morning stand-off with the Emergency Response Team.

He was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Thomas turned down the plea offer last week, but was back in Genesee County Court this afternoon because a police officer witness won't be available at the time of the original trial date. The new date for jury selection to start the trial is Oct. 11.

July 21, 2016 - 1:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, news.
      Eric Watson

A bail hearing in City Court today was continued to Aug. 4 for a man accused of having sexual contact with a mentality disabled family member because the suspect declined a bail evaluation interview with Genesee Justice.

Assistant Public Defender Lisa Kroemer explained to Judge Robert Balbick that her client, Eric Watson, declined the interview because he didn't understand the purpose or know anything about Genesee Justice.

Genesee Justice is a county agency that provides supervisory services on behalf of the court as well as assistance to crime victims.  One of the tasks of staff at Genesee Justice is complete a bail evaluation, which a judge can use to set an appropriate amount of bail for each defendant. The scoring system is intended to help judges determine the likelihood a defendant will make it to future court appearances.

Rather than set bail today for Watson, without that information, Balbick continued the case to the next available court date.

Watson is in custody and entered the courtroom dress in an orange jail uniform, moving slowing and balancing with a walker. As he approached the bench, Kroemer told him, "take your time, Mr. Watson."

Watson is accused of having sexual contact with a family member who was unable to consent due to mental incapacity to provide consent.

He is charged with second-degree rape, second-degree criminal sexual act, and second-degree incest.

July 21, 2016 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Christian Community Project, lccp, news.

Statement from the board of directors for LCCP:

After 18 years of providing after-school programs in our community, the Le Roy Christian Community Project is sad to announce that as of September 2016, we will not reopen our After School Program, Teen Drop-In Center or Summer Day Camp.

The Le Roy Christian Community Project will continue to operate the Backpack Program and Grace’s Kitchen.

We are so grateful for the support that the community has shown us and for the families and children that we were blessed to work with throughout the years.

Thank you to Susan Wakefield and Jana Pritchett for 18 years of dedication to these programs. We are proud of our staff for providing quality after-school enrichment programs that have served this community for a very long time.

Thank you for your past support of our programs for the youth of our community and your ongoing support of our remaining programs.

July 21, 2016 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, infrastructure.

Water service has been shut off by the City of Batavia Water Department to businesses on Industrial Boulevard, Apollo Drive and Treadeasy Way.

Crews are repairing a water leak.

There is no ETA for when service will be restored.

July 21, 2016 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Buffalo Federal Detention Facility.

A pair of kitchen personnel and a corrections officer at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia have been placed on leave after they were accused of feeding chicken picked from the garbage to Muslim detainees for their Ramadan meals.

The three workers are facing possible termination and the case has been referred to the Inspector General of Homeland Security.

In a statement, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, “The agency takes all allegations of employee misconduct very seriously and will respond appropriately based on the investigative findings.”

The investigation is ongoing and no conclusive findings have been released. The names of the employees have not been released.

Via our news partner WBTA.

July 20, 2016 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fitness, YMCA, news.


Today, the YMCA replaced all of its treadmills as part of a plan that rotates in new machines every year.

Since the treadmills tend to wear faster, its more cost effective to lease, rather than own, the treadmills, explained CEO Rob Walker.  

The Y will make approximately $100,000 in lease payments on the machines over the next three years.

July 20, 2016 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, history heroes, batavia, news, Batavia Cemetery.


The Holland Land Office Museum's annual summer program, History Heroes, is in its second day of the eight-day schedule and today the children participating walked from the museum to Ken's Charcoal Pits for lunch and then to the Batavia Cemetery.

According to Anne Marie Starowitz, the students learned about some of the famous people buried at the cemetery, including members of the Richmond family, Joesph Ellicott and Philemon Tracy, and also visited the William Morgan monument.










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

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