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May 4, 2011 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba, power outage.

More than 500 National Grid customers along the Route 98 corridor from Batavia to Elba are without power.

The power outage spreads like triangle from the City of Batavia, where the tip starts, up to the Village of Elba, where the base of the triangle stretches east and west.

Power is expected to be restored by 2:15 p.m.

The outage caused one person to become briefly trapped in an elevator at the Hampton Inn. (Back-up generators corrected the problem.)

Radio traffic indicted the problem is a power line that stretches under the Thruway.

May 4, 2011 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

Press Release:

ERIE COUNTY – Kathy Hochul, candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, today reiterated her opposition to the Shuster amendment after the Federal Aviation Administration yesterday announced their opposition to the Republican-backed amendment that would unravel two years of work to reform the airline industry.   

In a statement yesterday, the FAA said they had “concerns” that the Shuster amendment protects “a set of procedural hoops that could have the effect of slowing down rulemaking projects under way and in the future.”

“Every Member of the United States House of Representatives, who voted for the Shuster amendment, is responsible for potentially endangering the lives of airline passengers from across the country,” said Hochul.

“If I were in Congress today, I would be fighting, alongside Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressmembers Slaughter and Higgins, for the people of the 26th District and the families of Flight 3407; working tirelessly to ensure major changes to how the airline industry operates are enacted.    

“No one from outside this area understands the collective pain we experienced as a community following the crash of Flight 3407, which is why it is disturbing to hear my Republican opponent will not rescind her offer for Speaker John Boehner, the leader of the party that overwhelmingly supported the Shuster amendment, to travel to Western New York and raise thousands of dollars for her campaign.

“The safety of our families and loved ones must be our top priority and we must do anything we can in order to ensure such a tragedy does not happen again.”

The Shuster amendment halts major measures to combat pilot fatigue, increase commercial pilot licensing requirements, improve training practices, establish an electronic pilot records database, and set up new transparencies for regional carriers.  

May 4, 2011 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke.

A new Pepsi Challenge grant contest is under way and the Pembroke PTA is pushing for a new playground.

The $50,000 grant would be used to build a "Challenge Park," which will serve as a teaching station for leadership and team-building exercises, as well as a place for students to play during recess. It would also be a recreation area where parents can bring their children after school and on weekends.

You can vote by clicking here, or texting 106129 to the phone number 73774.

May 4, 2011 - 9:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Richmond Memorial Library.

Voters approved a new budget for the Richmond Memorial Library on Tuesday that increases the tax rate for Batavia property owners from $1.48 to $1.51 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The budget passed by a vote of 223 yes votes to 120 no votes.

The total budget is $1,320,649 with a tax levy of $1,166,749.

The budget included a 2-percent salary increase for the libraries 14 full-time and six part-time staff members.

Currently, the library serves more than 22,000 cardholders and more than 188,600 visitors per year.

Dana Charters was re-elected to the Library Board of Trustees with 299 votes.

May 4, 2011 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, NY Politics.

City Republicans have candidates they're backing in three wards and are looking for candidates for the other three wards.

Last night, the local GOP picked newcomer Kristopher Doeringer in Ward 1 and incumbents Patti Pacino in Ward 2 and Bob Bialkowski in Ward 4.

Chairman Joe Gerace said candidates interested in wards 3, 5 and 6 should contact him by May 20.

Currently Ward 1 is represented by Bill Cox; Ward 3, by Sam Barone; Ward 5, by Kathy Briggs; Ward 6, by Rose Mary Christian.

May 4, 2011 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Dashawn A. Butler, 31, of 112 State St., Apt .1, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and menacing, 2nd. Butler was arrested on a warrant issued out of Batavia City Court for an alleged incident involving a knife on Sept. 1.

James E. Murray Jr., 22, of 119 S. Swan St., Apt. B, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Murray is accused of communicating with a person in violation of an order of protection. He was jailed on $300 bail.

May 3, 2011 - 6:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

There was a time when Republican Jane Corwin and her GOP handlers focused their attack-ad firepower on Democrat Kathy Hochul in the special election race to fill the NY-26 seat vacated by Shirtless Chris Lee.

Then, last week, a Siena Poll showed Corwin's potential vote percentage trailing the GOP registration advantage in the district, with Democrat Kathy Hochul holding to near even with the registration numbers.

Meanwhile, Jack Davis, on the Tea Party line, isn't far behind either frontrunner and poll numbers suggest Davis, who ran two previous times for the seat as a Democrat, is drawing votes from Republican Corwin more than Democrat Hochul.

The Buffalo News reports that the poll has prompted GOP strategists to put Davis in their cross hairs.

Now the GOP is ratcheting up last week’s verbal criticism of Davis into mailers delivered throughout the district linking him to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and “liberal Democrats.”

“Meet the Real Jack Davis: A Liberal Democrat That Must Be Stopped,” screams the headline on one mailed piece. Another claims he supported Pelosi and President Obama while accepting contributions from disgraced Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-Harlem.

“With a record like this, how can we trust Jack Davis?” asks the mailer, featuring photos of Pelosi, Obama and Rangel. 

Davis responded with a statement sent to the media today.

This proves that both parties are corrupt and will do anything to protect the status quo.

Both parties supported trade deals like NAFTA that ship our jobs overseas. President Obama and Speaker Boehner are now collaborating to ram the next NAFTA through Congress, and both Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul will vote for it.

Both parties supported bailouts for Wall Street and the big banks. Both parties supported tax breaks for multinationals that make billions in profits and pay zero taxes.

Both parties sold out our country and now to make us pay for it all, Republican Jane Corwin wants to replace Medicare with vouchers that stick it to our seniors. Democrat Kathy Hochul, of course, wants to raise taxes again.

Republican Jane Corwin will listen to Speaker Boehner. Democrat Kathy Hochul will listen to Nancy Pelosi. If you vote for me, there will be only one voice I listen to -- and that will be the people of Western New York.

Your voice will finally be heard. No more trade deals that ship our jobs overseas. No more bailouts for Wall Street. No more tax breaks for multinationals.

We need a different perspective and a different approach. As a businessman, I fought to create and keep jobs here, and as your Congressman I will fight for your job -- not Wall Street.

I cannot be bought. Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul cannot be trusted.

That is the difference in this race -- two parties that sold us out to Wall Street, or an independent who will fight for you.  

The Buffalo News article concludes:

Meanwhile, there is still no indication that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — which champions election of Democrats to the House — has any plans to financially support Hochul despite the Siena poll showing her trailing Corwin by only five percentage points in the primarily Republican district.

But Erie County Democratic Chairman Leonard R. Lenihan said he remains “hopeful” the Washington support will materialize.

“I think Kathy is coming on strong and victory is within reach,” he said. “Everything the campaign is doing is aimed at gaining support and winning the election.”

May 3, 2011 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in taxes, steve hawley.

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) submitted a motion for an open, transparent vote to ease the overwhelming tax burden on New York’s small business owners, but was denied by the downstate driven Assembly Majority. The bill, of which Hawley is the sponsor, seeks to eliminate the vendor re-registration fee to collect sales tax while providing a refund to those who have paid the fee. The legislation is stuck in the Ways & Means Committee, denying New Yorkers the opportunity to see which legislators truly support our state’s small business owners.

“Business owners should not have to pay for the privilege of collecting sales tax on behalf of the state,” said Hawley. “The vendor re-registration fee is yet another disincentive to own and operate a business in New York. We had the opportunity today to show this state’s job creators that we are ready to re-open New York for business, and by denying a vote on this measure, we have failed to do so.”

The Tax Foundation’s “2011 State Business Tax Climate Index” ranked New York the worst in the nation. The 2008-09 Enacted Budget authorized the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to require all 585,000 vendors that collect state sales tax to re-register and pay a $50 registration fee. While it is set to expire next year, many business owners fear that it will be extended and permanently added to New York’s revenue stream.

May 3, 2011 - 5:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) is calling attention to a recent audit of state government that revealed hundreds of millions of dollars in wasteful spending. The review of operational expenditures serves as further proof that Albany must focus its efforts on reducing the size and cost, while increasing the efficiency, of state government.

“It’s time that our legislative leaders finally get serious about reducing government waste and start putting taxpayers’ money to proper use,” said Hawley. “Taxes continue to rise year after year in an effort to support unnecessary spending by bloated bureaucracies. Western New Yorkers are tired of sending their hard-earned money to Albany just to see it spent on offices, supplies and projects that we don’t even need. I urge Governor Cuomo and the legislative leaders to treat the findings of this most recent audit as a sign that we can no longer wait to peel back the endless layers of government that have wasted New Yorkers’ tax dollars.”

The waste identified by the auditors included:

* A third of the state’s office space in New York City and Albany being vacant, even as the state continues adding new leases.
* Over 4,800 state-owned computer servers, whose storage space is on average half-empty, despite increasing purchases by Albany.
* More than 850 toll-free numbers belonging to state agencies, nearly half of which have not been used in months.
* Overlapping, wasteful purchases of items like pens, paper clips and printer cartridges, with some agencies paying drastically more than others for the same supplies.

May 3, 2011 - 5:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, mock trials.

The Mock Trial season is over for Batavia High School.

The nine-time local champs lost its two regional tournament matches in Mayville on April 28.

The team tied with Brighton in the first round, but the judge gave the discretionary point to Brighton.

In the second round, Batavia lost to Erie County's Sacred Heart by one point.

Sacred Heart went on to beat Brighton in the final round to grab the regional crown and a spot in the state finals later this month.

May 3, 2011 - 5:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Glenn R. Price, 57, of 128 W. Main St., Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Price is accused of slashing tires in the parking lot of Walmart, 4133 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, at 12:04 a.m., Feb. 21. The case was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker and Investigator Kristopher Kautz.

Mark Laney, 31, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Laney is accused of violating an order of protection out of Family Court. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Christopher Patrick Ball, 28, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Ball is accused of harassing his ex-girlfriend during a phone conversation, in violation of an order of protection. Ball was jailed on $2,500 bail.

A 16-year-old resident of West Bergen Road, Le Roy, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. The youth is accused of violating an order of protection out of Family Court. The youth was jailed on $750 bail.

May 3, 2011 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

An ambulance has been requested to the scene of a school bus vs. car accident at State Street and West Saile Drive to evaluate a student for an apparent minor injury.

Initially, no ambulance was dispatched because it was thought there were no injuries, but there may be one very minor injury.

Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE: Town of Batavia fire also dispatched.  One person -- apparently older than the students on the bus -- was taken to UMMC for evaluation. State Police are handling the investigation.

May 3, 2011 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident.

A 76-year-old milk hauler from Perry died this morning when his rig went straight through a curve on Route 19 in Bergen and overturned when it hit the muddy shoulder.

The cab of the truck landed on its roof and was crushed in the accident, according to Sgt. Kurt Schmitt, New York State Police, Troop A.

Pronounced dead at the scene was Gerald M. Olin. He was driving for Kuszulyk, a milk delivery company.

The accident occurred just before 9 a.m. in the area of 7218 South Lake Road, between Route 33 and Maple Avenue/Bovee Road.

Schmitt said no cause of the accident is immediately apparent and it remains under investigation.  

"We've had our truck inspectors out to look at the truck and nothing obvious (was found)," Schmitt said. "Of course, the truck was upside down, but there was nothing obvious. Once we get the truck upright, they will be back to take a further look."

Bill Ehrmentraut lives very near the accident location and said the crash was loud enough to rattle his house.

"It was a hard crash," Ehrmentraut said. "I knew it wasn't just a car accident. It sounded like thunder, but you could feel the weight."

Ehrmentraut said he took a look at the truck's wheel marks through the mud and where the truck wound up and said it looked like the truck just went straight through the bend in the road with no attempt to turn or slow.

It's not known right now, Schmitt said, if Olin suffered some kind of medical condition that may have contributed to the accident.

Route 19 south of Route 33 remains closed at 1:30 p.m.

Olin was carrying a nearly full load of milk and a second tanker was brought in to off-load the cargo.

A tow service was able to then begin trying to right the truck.


May 3, 2011 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident.

A truck has rolled over and a person may be trapped in a vehicle in the area of 7218 South Lake Road, Bergen.

Bergen Fire Department is responding.

Mercy Flight is available if needed.

UPDATE 9:01 a.m.: National Grid being notified for a utility pole that was struck. Monroe County Water Authority being notified for a fire hydrant struck. No need for Mercy Flight at this time. Diesel fuel is leaking.

UPDATE 9:09 a.m.: Unsure what the tanker was hauling, but it was carrying a full load. Churchville fire requested to fill in at Bergen's hall.

UPDATE 10:35 a.m.: State Police have confirmed this is a fatal accident. The truck was hauling milk.

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May 2, 2011 - 9:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

About 30 people showed up -- and hundreds more drove by and honked their horns -- at a "Osama Got Obama'd" celebration outside the Post Office on Main Street, Batavia, organized by Victor Thomas and his friend.

The four young men had placed a handmade red, white and blue "Osama Got Obama'd" sign in front of the Upton Monument, which county officials removed early this morning. The sign removal prompted the spur-of-the-moment decision to organize the celebration this afternoon.

May 2, 2011 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Upton Monument.

As Victor Thomas, 26, and three of his buddies watched the news of Osama bin Laden's death last night and saw the celebrations in Washington, D.C., and New York, they wanted to be part of something in Batavia.

So they jumped in a car and drove downtown.

"The City of Batavia was dead," Thomas said. "Not one person was out. Nobody was honking horns or celebrating."

So, Thomas, along with his cousin Christopher Thomas, 26, Ordy Edwards, 26, and Jason Armison, 24, decided to drive to the only place open to buy sign materials -- Walmart -- and get a board and some paint and fix up a sign.

They made a red, white and blue sign and painted on it, "Osama Got Obama'd."

He said they then mused for about 20 minutes on where to place the sign. They thought about putting it in front of the courthouse to represent justice, but then they did a little research on Emery Upson and discovered one of his specialities as a general was tactics in invading enemy territory. That made the Upson Monument, they thought, the perfect place to commemorate Osama's sudden demise in a protected compound in Pakistan.

Now they're a little upset that county workers took the sign down -- Christopher Thomas happened to be driving by at the time and retrieved the sign -- and are planning a rally at 4 p.m. in front of the Post Office.

Victor said anybody wanting to show support for freedom of speech or the United States should attend.

Thomas has seen the comments on The Batavian and is surprised that some have taken the sign as a partisan political statement.

"There was no thought about politics," Thomas said. "They both have O's, Osama and Obama. We didn't take it in a political way. He's our president and every soldier fighting is marching to his orders. They (some readers) took it as political and we just were trying to be traditional or patriotic."

He said he was worried the sign would be taken down, but was hoping it would stay up today so people could drive by and honk their horns, "just to give some kind of recognition to what happened on 9/11 and what our troops are doing."

Photo courtesy WBTA.

May 2, 2011 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, alexander, Pavilion.

Timothy V. Meyers, 18, of Walker Road, Darien, along with a 16-year-old from Dodgeson Road, Alexander, a 16-year-old from Centerline Road, Verysburg, and a 16-year-old from Genesee Street, Attica, are charged with petit larceny and criminal trespass. The youths, along with a 14-year-old, were stopped shortly after midnight, Sunday, allegedly removing scrap metal from the Alexander Town Transfer Station. The suspects reportedly fled the scene and were located a short time later with the help of K-9 "Pharoah" and State Troopers.

Brittany Alexis Adams, 20, of Bloomingdale Road, Basom, is charged with petit larceny. Adams is accused of shoplifting $39.84 worth of merchandise from Walmart.

Lynda B. Siplin, 57, of 65 Lakeview Park, Rochester, and Gwendolyn L. Watson, 53, of 91 Reynolds St., Rochester, are each charged with two counts of petit larceny. Siplin and Watson are accused of shoplifting more than $400 worth of merchandise from Aldi's and Dollar General. Siplin and Watson were jailed on $1,000 bail.

A 17-year-old from South Lake Road, Pavilion, is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

May 2, 2011 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire.

A transformer is reportedly on fire along Creamery Road.

Bergen Fire Department is dispatched.

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: Pole #8198 has three transformers on it. The transformers were on fire but now the fire is out. National Grid being notified.





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