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April 10, 2015 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

A 20-year-old Le Roy resident allegedly used a knife in a confrontation with another person and has been charged with second-degree assault as a result.

Le Roy PD did not release information on the nature of injuries, if any, sustained by the victim.

Jarrod K. Fotiathis was jailed on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

He is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of alcohol.

Brittany B. Cina, 25, was also charged with harassment, 2nd. Cina allegedly punched a person. She was issued an appearance ticket.

April 10, 2015 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama.

Eastbound semi-truck traffic is being shut down on Lewiston Road at Route 77 to Knowlesville Road, Alabama, because of a low-hanging wires.

There's also a utility pole leaning over the roadway on Lewiston Road. All eastbound traffic on Ledge Road will be closed at Route 77.

Alabama fire with mutual aid from Indian Falls responding.

National Grid is reporting a 30-minute ETA for the Ledge Road incident.UP

UPDATE 12:34 p.m.: There's a report of wires down at 12 Walnut Street, Batavia.

April 9, 2015 - 9:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, brownfield areas, brownfield opportunity area.

The governor's office announced the designation of 12 brownfield opportunity areas today, including one in Batavia. Here's a portion of the press release. We've included the top overview portion of the press release and the section about Batavia.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the designation of 12 brownfield opportunity areas in economically challenged communities across New York State. The Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program helps local communities establish revitalization strategies that return dormant and blighted areas into productive areas to spur economic development. This designation is based upon plans of varying focus that reflect local conditions, and projects receiving this designation are given priority status for grants and additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credit incentives.

“By designating these sites as brownfield opportunity areas, we are helping to reimagine their potential as vibrant parts of the surrounding communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “This distinction allows us to put their rehabilitation on the fast-track with additional state resources, and that means new development, jobs and opportunities in the future. This is another way that our administration is joining with local partners to revitalize blighted areas across the state, and I look forward to seeing their transformation continue in the days to come.”

Prior to their designation, these communities received planning grants financed through New York’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program to complete a nomination that set forth revitalization strategies and promoted sound redevelopment and enhanced environmental quality within the affected areas. The Department of State accepted the nominations for these BOAs and has determined they meet the necessary requirements and criteria for designation. Developers, property owners and others with projects and properties located within a designated BOA will be eligible to access additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax incentives and receive priority and preference for State grants to develop projects aimed at transforming dormant and blighted areas in their communities and putting them back into productive use.

Brownfields Reform and State Superfund
Separate from the sites receiving BOA designation today, the 2015-16 State Budget extends the Brownfields Cleanup Program for 10 years, and includes important reforms to protect taxpayers and promote brownfield redevelopment, particularly Upstate. The Budget also includes a new $100 million appropriation and extends the State Superfund cleanup program for ten years. The Superfund has been instrumental in identifying, investigating and cleaning up hazardous waste sites throughout the State.

Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales said: “These designations will serve as tremendous environmental and economic development engines for communities in need of public and private investment. The added incentives will afford these communities great opportunities for new housing development, businesses and job creation, and overall beautification.” The Secretary of State is charged with the designation of BOAs after a community planning process.

Val Washington, president, New Partners for Community Revitalization, said: "From Buffalo to the Bronx, from Wyandanch on Long Island to Lewis County in the North Country, New York's BOA Program is showing its worth. Uniquely, it brings community and municipal leaders together to develop plans to revitalize neighborhoods impacted by multiple brownfields. We applaud and support Governor Cuomo's important announcement today, and appreciate his leadership in increasing state government support for developers who will work in these designated areas."

...

Batavia Opportunity Area, Genesee County -- This consists of a 366-acre area characterized by an estimated 75 potential brownfield sites located within the Batavia Central Corridor. The primary community revitalization objectives include: cleaning up and redeveloping underutilized, vacant and brownfield properties with appropriate uses; stabilizing existing neighborhoods; and continuing the revitalization of the Downtown Business District. A $266,508 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.

City of Batavia Manager Jason Molino said: “We would like to thank the Department of State for providing the funding and guidance to complete Batavia’s Batavia Opportunity Area plan. The Batavia BOA has been an overwhelming success and we have already seen significant developer interest in our brownfield sites. To date we have already received more than $2 million in grant funding for TEP, NY Main Street and CDBG applications that advance recommendations in the Plan.”

April 9, 2015 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

WATCH: Stephen Pike, the 18-year-old accused of digging up his father's grave, explains why he did it.Read more HERE: http://spr.ly/61894Zt5

Posted by 13 WHAM ABC on Thursday, April 9, 2015

From The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM.

Steve Pike, the 18-year-old Perry resident charged with aggravated cemetery desecration, explained today why he dug up his father's urn at St. Joseph Cemetery.

I get it," Pike said. "They might have saw disrespect, but he's my father. I think the urn is right under only about that deep under. I never even thought I would be as close to my dad as I was. I got his jacket. I got his Coca-Cola stuff. I got all this stuff, but you know you want closure." 

Pike's father died in 2006. 

"I can't find anybody. Nobody really gets it. So I went over to the cemetery and I just grabbed a shovel. Little, not a big shovel. Just lifted up the dirt, put up the grass, and I found it and I kind of just broke down emotionally right there, and I'm like, 'Wow, Dad,'" he said. "I never thought I would be that close to my dad. I can't hug him. If his body was under there and not his ashes, I'm not going to dig up his body."

Pike turned himself in today. He was issued an appearance ticket and released.

UPDATE: Here's a link to 13WHAM's full story where Pike explains further that he didn't learn who his biological father was until after his father died.

April 9, 2015 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, Mr. Batavia.

The Batavia High School student government hosts its third annual Mr. Batavia Contest at 7 p.m., April 17.

Eleven seniors have signed up and picked the charities they will represent. Proceeds from the event go to the winner's charity. Last year, Mr. Batavia raised $2,200 for Habitat for Humanity.

The contestants and their charities:

  • Bryce Rogers, Ricky Palermo Foundation
  • Andrew Maniace, Batavia VA
  • Samir Jain (not pictured), Michael Napoleon Foundation
  • Dylan Beckman, Habitat for Humanity
  • Brandon Smart, Volunteers for Animals
  • Josh Franks, Anna’s Wish
  • Adam Taylor, Care-A-Van Ministries
  • Eric DiLaura, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation
  • Nick Bauer, Crossroads House
  • Jordan Fluker, Genesee Cancer Assistance
  • Ben Demare, Boy Scouts of America National Youth Leadership Training

Hostesses for this year's event are (names not in order): Emily DiBacco, Carly Scott, Katie Kesler and Maggie Folger.

April 9, 2015 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

High winds are expected to blow into Genesee County tomorrow morning with the potential to bring down trees and power lines.

A high wind warning is in effect from 8 a.m. to midnight Friday.

Winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph are expected.

April 9, 2015 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, educaiton, common core.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today reminded his constituents of their ability to opt out of the Common Core tests. Hawley said the Common Core Standards have been irresponsibly implemented and parents have a right to know that they can refuse to have their children take the tests.  

“As we look forward to the warm weather that April brings, let us not forget that it also brings another round of dreaded Common Core testing,” Hawley said. “With all the conversation surrounding how teacher evaluations will be altered in the 2015-16 State Budget, we are overlooking the bigger issue of Common Core tests. Teachers are still struggling to learn new curriculum requirements, and students fear this time of year as immense pressure is placed on them to succeed on the fairly new methods of testing and learning. I sponsor the Common Core Parental Refusal Act, which mandates that school districts notify parents of their ability to have their children refuse to participate in Common Core tests without penalty to themselves or the school. To learn how you can opt out of Common Core testing, please visit www.childrenbeforepolitics.com/refuse.”

Hawley also commented on how the Assembly Minority Conference’s Achieving Pupil Preparedness & Launching Excellence (APPLE) Plan would address many salient education concerns such as Common Core and teacher evaluations. Assembly Bill 3656 is a bipartisan measure that was reintroduced earlier this year.

“Fortunately, the Assembly Minority Conference’s APPLE plan would address many of these concerns,” Hawley said. “Our plan would suspend Common Core tests for two years and create a commission, consisting of experts from the front lines of education, to evaluate all aspects of Common Core and determine a more suitable way to implement the standards. This legislation has been active since last year but was blocked by members of the Assembly Majority during last year’s session.”

Hawley’s comments come on the eve of Common Core testing which is scheduled to begin later this month. More information can be found about the Assembly Minority APPLE plan at www.childrenbeforepolitics.com/refuse.

April 9, 2015 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, St. Joseph Cemetary.

An 18-year-old Perry resident has been charged with aggravated cemetery desecration for allegedly digging up and taking home the urn containing his father's ashes.

Stephen E. Pike turned himself in after learning the police planned to charge him, according to a release from Batavia PD.

Sometime on Monday, Pike allegedly took the urn and carried it to his residence.

The urn was retrieved by detectives and re-interned at the cemetery.

April 9, 2015 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mike Ranzenhofer, infrastructure.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that the 2015-16 State Budget makes a record level of investment to support local highway, road and bridge repair projects.

The new State Budget allocates a total of $488 million in statewide funding, including $438 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and $50 million for Extreme Winter Recovery.

“Municipalities all across Genesee County will receive more funding than ever before to help repair our local infrastructure. The final budget maintains a record level of funding as part of the CHIPS program for a third consecutive year, while allocating extra dollars for a second year to address potholes and road surface damage from the harsh winter,” said Ranzenhofer.

Municipality Breakdown: CHIPS + Extreme Winter Recovery

Municipality

2014-15 Budget ($)

2015-16 Budget ($)

Year-over-year Change ($)

Percent Change

City of Batavia

337,343

344,621

7,278

2.16

Town of Alabama

95,945

98,439

2,494

2.60

Town of Alexander

99,405

101,953

2,548

2.56

Town of Batavia

115,241

118,134

2,893

2.51

Town of Bergen

55,025

56,435

1,410

2.56

Town of Bethany

86,815

88,979

2,164

2.49

Town of Byron

107,622

110,483

2,861

2.66

Town of Darien

117,649

120,711

3,062

2.60

Town of Elba

85,738

88,026

2,288

2.67

Town of LeRoy

111,698

114,569

2,871

2.57

Town of Oakfield

56,278

57,693

1,415

2.51

Town of Pavilion

115,242

118,177

2,935

2.55

Town of Pembroke

106,478

109,164

2,686

2.52

Town of Stafford

106,160

108,891

2,731

2.57

Village of Alexander

9,861

10,110

249

2.53

Village of Bergen

21,685

22,201

516

2.38

Village of Corfu

14,920

15,316

396

2.65

Village of Elba

9,842

10,075

233

2.37

Village of Le Roy

83,020

85,146

2,126

2.56

Village of Oakfield

31,203

32,010

807

2.59

In addition to these initiatives, the State Budget designates $7.2 billion in capital funds over two years for the State Department of Transportation to support state-of-the-art infrastructure and an additional $1 billion in funds to repair and replace roads and bridges.

“For far too long, New York’s crumbling infrastructure has been put on the back burner. The new budget makes a substantial down payment on addressing this issue. These critical investments are important to keeping motorists and their passengers safe and to moving our economy forward,” Ranzenhofer said.

The New York State Legislature started the CHIPS program in 1981. The CHIPS program provides funding for the repair of highways, bridges and roads operated by local governments.

April 9, 2015 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, music, entertainment, Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Jonathan Jaeger, music instructor at Roxy's Music in Batavia, practices with students Lucia Sprague, John Patt and Kirk Ellison. The students are preparing for Sunday's performance with the Genesee Symphony Orchestra of the "1812 Overture" and "Concerto Grosso."

Showtime is 4 p.m. at Batavia High School.

The concert will also feature drummer Dave Mancini and his original compositions of "A Peace For Him" and  "Symphony of Peace." 

It is also the final concert under the direction of Conductor Raffaele Ponti.

Photo submitted by Debbie Patt.

April 9, 2015 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, radio, wbta, business, elba.

WBTA has expanded its programming from one local entertaining talk show to two.

Hiram Kasten is now co-hosting "Batavia After Breakfast" with is wife Diana at 9 a.m., Wednesday mornings and his former partner, Lucine Kauffman, now has her own show, "Genesee Life," at 8:30 a.m., Saturdays.

Hiram and Diana, pictured above, will feature their witty repartee as they share their experiences in Batavia, what's happening in Batavia, and Hiram -- with decades experience as a comedian, actor and performer in New York, Hollywood and Las Vegas, as well as around the globe -- hosts guests from his entertainment world.

Lucine, bottom photo, will celebrate and explore Genesee County rich cultural life, featuring local residents who might be artists, musicians, authors, historians, hobbyists, farmers, athletes, local business owners and local characters. The show will also promote local shows and showings.

WBTA is at 1490 AM, 100.1 FM and streaming at wbtai.com as well as through apps available for your mobile devices.

April 9, 2015 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A possible gazebo fire is reported at 25 Richmond Ave., Bergen.

Bergen fire requested to the scene.

April 9, 2015 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, accident, Le Roy.

A driver who was seriously injured in a Dec. 30 accident in Le Roy has been arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.

Charles R. Lowe, 51, of 8131 E. Main Road, #6, Le Roy, reportedly fell asleep while driving westbound on East Main Street, Village of Le Roy, at a speed of 52 mph in the 30 mph zone.

His vehicle veered from its lane and rear-ended a vehicle paused to turn left onto Wolcott Street. That car then struck another vehicle on East Main Street.

The other two drivers suffered minor injuries.

Lowe was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital and was initially in the intensive care unit.

He's also charged with reckless driving, speeding, failure to use designated lane, following too closely and two counts of assault in the third degree and criminal negligence.

Following the accident, Lowe was entrapped in his vehicle and required extrication by the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department.

The Sheriff's Office Crash Management Team assisted in the investigation.

Lowe was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in Le Roy Town Court on April 27.

April 8, 2015 - 10:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.

A two-car accident is reported in the area of mile marker 3.4 of the I-490.

Injuries are unknown at this time.

Bergen fire and ambulance and Le Roy fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:44 p.m.: Apparently, no injuries.

April 8, 2015 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, flood insurance program.

After a decade of disastrous hurricanes and floods along the eastern and southern coasts of the United States, FEMA is flooded in debt, and that's going to lead to higher insurance costs for Batavia residents.

Assistant City Manager Gretchen DiFante said that as many as 300 local property owners are being hit with flood insurance premium increases of up to 18 percent, plus a new fee designed to circumvent a Congress-imposed cap on rate increases.

The good news is, the city can help, DiFante said.

Properties in the city's designated floodplains that were developed prior to 1982 may be eligible for a reevaluation of their flood status by going through a process that will yield flood elevation certificates.

In some cases, the properties may be taken out of the 100-year floodplain, significantly reducing insurance costs for those property owners.

The city is also working with FEMA on getting a community rating, which could reduce local premium rates across the board.

The number of points -- more points, lower rates -- that will be awarded to the city won't be know until mid-June, a month after a scheduled FEMA audit of the city's flood preparation efforts.

FEMA is $24 billion in debt after paying out on insurance policies in flood-ravaged areas of the U.S.

Many of the policies were subsidized by FEMA, which just meant reserve funds for payouts were even lower than if not subsidized, and the subsidies have just encouraged development in flood-prone areas.

In response, Congress authorized rate increases, and then pulled back after fielding constituent complaints, capping the rate increase to 18 percent.

FEMA subsequently came up with the $25 annual surcharge, but that surcharge is $250 for multi-dwelling properties and properties that are not owner-occupied.

The most immediate form of insurance relief for local property owners is getting an elevation certificate.

The engineering study costs money, but there are grants available through the city for low- and moderate-income propery owners.

While subsidized policies -- which property owners without the certificates are usually receive -- cost less in theory, the certificate can still mean lower rates.

If the certification process doesn't lower rates, insurance companies are legally bound to offer the lower rate -- subsidized or tied to the certificate, whichever is lower.

"The only risk is the cost of having it done because it may not move you at all, but it's not going to go up," DiFante said.

If you have questions about your flood insurance, call Gretchen DiFante at (585) 345-6330.

Our news partner WBTA contributed to this report.

April 8, 2015 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, pembroke, Pavilion.

Cindy Lou Bush, 53, of Route 98, of Elba, is charged with five counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Bush was allegedly at a residence with five people under an order of protection forbidding her not to contact the individuals. She was jailed on $2,500 bail, $5,000 bond. Bush was also wanted for alleged failure to appear on five prior counts of criminal contempt stemming from a single incident.

Barbara Jean Salmon, 44, of Coal Hill Road, Taberg, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes, tinted windows and plate obstruction. Salmon was stopped at 11:38 a.m. Tuesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Amanda Christine Paige, 24, of Park Street, Pavilion, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Paige is accused of stealing from a business.

April 8, 2015 - 9:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools.

From The Batavian's news partner, WBTA:

Batavia School Superintendent Chris Dailey has not been selected as the next superindent of the East Rochester Union Free School District. WBTA News has learned that East Rochester will announce its new superintendent later today and it is not Dailey.

Dailey confirmed earlier this month that he was one of three finalists for the East Rochester job.

Dailey has been superintendent of the Batavia City School District for the past two years. Prior to becoming superintendent Dailey was principal of Batavia High School.

April 8, 2015 - 9:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, St. Joseph Cemetary.

Batavia PD investigators and the District Attorney's Office are sorting through legal statutes to figure out exactly what crime to charge a local 18-year-old man with after he allegedly dug up a relative's urn at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Batavia.

The 18-year-old apparently decided he wanted to keep some of ashes of a many-years-deceased relative, so he dug up the urn and took it home, according to Det. Todd Crossett.  

The hole in the ground at the cemetery was discovered yesterday and police quickly identified a suspect.

"In 18 years, this is a first," Crossett, referring to the first grave robbing investigation of his career.

Since it is an unusual case, and the fact that what was stolen is ashes, which creates a small legal wrinkle that investigators want to straighten out, they are looking for some legal clarifications before actually filing charges, Crossett said.

Crossett said an arrest could come as soon as today and police will release more details once the suspect is booked and processed.

April 7, 2015 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Kibbe Park, parks and recreation.

So this appeared in Kibbe Park today.

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