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October 19, 2011 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A driver involved in a single-car accident shortly after 2 a.m., Tuesday, that destroyed a telephone pole on South Jackson Street has been charged with DWI.

David M. Hagen, 23, of 22 Williams St., Batavia, faces additional charges of failure to keep right, passing a stop sign, leaving the scene of an accident and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Police located Hagan at his residence after he fled the scene on foot. When he returned about 15 minutes later, he immediately started picking up some sports equipment that had been thrown from the car. He told an officer, "I didn't think I was going that fast, but I guess I was."

Hagen, who complained of back pain and was transported to a hospital by his mother, was arrested by Officer Eric Dibble once Dibble completed his investigation.

Following arraignment in Batavia City Court, Hagen was released and is scheduled to reappear in court on Nov. 9.

(Initial Report)

October 19, 2011 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Press release:

Effective Monday, Nov. 14, 2011 the hours for the school crossing guard located at the intersection of routes 5 and 19 will change. The crossing guard will be at that location from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. in the morning and 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday when school is in session.  This change does not affect the crossing guards located at the Wolcott Street or North Street intersections.

October 19, 2011 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba, Oakfield.

Within days, the Town of Batavia will complete the purchase of 19 acres of land from the City of Batavia ostensibly to clear the way for a new courts facility.

The facility, the story line has gone, would enable the Town of Batavia to merge court functions with the towns of Oakfield and Elba.

What has been little known while this process has gone forward is that neither Oakfield nor Elba ever agreed to such a court consolidation.

In fact, the Oakfield Town Board voted several months ago to reject court consolidation with Batavia.

As for Elba, the board has never taken action to either approve or disapprove consolidation, but the town did apply for and receive a $10,000 state grant to remodel its court bench a year ago and invested another $5,000 of town money in other courtroom upgrades.

Greg Post, supervisor for the Town of Batavia, said that two years ago, when the project was first proposed, there was more momentum behind the idea of consolidation, but over time the other towns have shifted gears.

It's not even a project, he said, that he's paid much attention to recently.

"It's off the top of the pile of my (to-do) list," Post said. "I have a fire district contract to deal with, a budget, infrastructure issues, Alpina coming in. This is something that will be considered in time, but I have other projects to deal with."

Although it's not at the top of Post's to-do list, it is apparently high on the town attorney's list.

On Tuesday, Batavia City Manager Jason Moliono said he had spoke with the town's attorney that day.

"I've been corresponding with the attorney and everything seems to be in place for us to sign the purchase agreement in the next couple of days and then proceed to escrow," Molino said.

The town is paying $150,000 for the property and one of the conditions of the purchase is that the town build a $140,000 sidewalk on Park Road and Richmond Avenue.

At a time when the idea of consolidation between the town and city is still, at least technically, an unresolved issue, City Council President Marianne Clattenburg -- the only council member to vote against selling the 19 acres to the town -- questions why the project has proceeded as far as it has.

She had no idea until Tuesday evening that neither Oakfield nor Elba had signed off on a court consolidation proposal.

"The wise course of action is to put these plans on hold until the citizens vote on consolidation," Clattenburg said. "Why expend any amount of dollars on this until then?"

The city has a fairly new court in the Genesee County Court building on at 10 W. Main St.

Post said that with or without consolidation, the town needs a new court facility.  The current Town Hall, opened about seven years ago, is running out of office space, Post said.

The town board considered expanding the building, but decided it made more sense to build a new court facility.

"I feel strongly that unless something has changed that I don't know about, we will need to expand  space for our courts and it would be beneficial for our communities," Post said.

About the time the town was making its decision to build a new court facility, Post said he heard that Oakfield and Elba had talked about consolidating. He said it made sense to offer those towns the opportunity to move its courts to the new town court building.

In this same time period, Post said, he heard the chamber of commerce was looking for a new facility, so space was offered to the chamber as well.

The site selected is bounded on two sides by Park Road and just west of Oak Street. It's a wetlands area with an open pond popular with ducks and geese that is nearly hidden from view and hard for people to access. The city acquired the land from the federal government in 1968 and in order to get approval from the Veterans Administration to buy the land, the town had to agree to protect and mitigate the wetlands and build the sidewalks on Park and Richmond.

"We elected to make the purchase and offer the facility up to other communities as an opportunity," Post said.

While Oakfield Town Supervisor Micheal Cianfrini believes town court consolidation is likely and even beneficial, Oakfield, he said, will not consolidate with Batavia.

He said the town board decided Batavia wasn't a good fit with Oakfield. It would make more sense, he said, to consolidate with towns closer to Oakfield's size, such as Alabama and Elba.

October 19, 2011 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, Listeria.

Press release from the Genesee County Health Department:

Batavia, N.Y. (Oct. 14, 2011) -- A Genesee County death from listeria is connected with a nationwide listeria outbreak. Genesee County health officials said the death of an elderly person with underlying health conditions is linked to the outbreak tied to Colorado cantaloupes. This is the second confirmed case in New York State; the first confirmed case involved an elderly individual from Ontario County.  

More than 120 people, in 25 other states, have become infected with the listeria bacterial strain linked to the Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado. Including both the Genesee and Ontario county cases, 25 people have died nationwide.

Listeriosis is caused by the bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes. This organism has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and vegetables, as well as in foods that become contaminated after cooking or processing.

Listeria can cause serious illness and sometimes be fatal in older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and those individuals with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms include fever, intense headache, nausea, vomiting and signs of meningeal irritation. In most cases, listeria infection causes fever and influenza-like symptoms resembling many other illnesses. Individuals who have experienced any symptoms of listeria should contact a doctor or other health care provider. 

Listeria has a variable incubation period. It can range from three to 70 days, but symptoms usually appear within a month.

Additional information:
• On September 14, 2011 Jensen Farms in Colorado voluntarily recalled Rocky Ford Cantaloupe.
• Cantaloupes not from Jensen Farms are safe to eat.
• If consumers are uncertain about the source of a cantaloupe for purchase, they should ask the grocery store. When it doubt – throw it out. 
• More information can be found at the CDC Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis of Website.

October 19, 2011 - 8:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

An accident has been reported at the intersection of Jackson and Ellicott streets.

A victim reportedly has glass in his eye.

City Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.

October 18, 2011 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, UMMC.

Press release:

The 28th annual Health and Humanitarian Award of Genesee County will be presented to Dorothy M. Baker on Friday, Dec. 2 at an awards luncheon at Terry Hills Restaurant. The award presented by The Jerome Foundation and United Memorial Medical Center Foundation recognizes volunteer men and women of Genesee County who have helped promote emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of the area’s residents.

In naming Dorothy Baker for this year’s award, the foundations will recognize her volunteer efforts and leadership at The Jerome Center Gift Shop and Kiosk, Genesee County Tourism Information Booth, Office of the Aging, Veterans Administration, and St. Joseph’s Church. Dorian Ely, coordinator of the RSVP Program of Genesee County, keeps a record of volunteer service by retired seniors.

“Dorothy logged 1,750 hours of service in 2010, bringing an exemplary sense of responsibility to her volunteer service," Ely said.

Since 1987, Baker has helped improve Genesee County’s economic health by volunteering at the Tourism Information Booth, providing information, direction and recommendations to visitors.

“Many visitors have a better impression of Genesee County because of Dorothy’s friendliness and knowledge of the area," said Dawn Ireland-Monsees, Genesee County tourism information coordinator in her letter nominating Dorothy for the Health and Humanitarian Award. "She is a great ambassador for our county and its residents."

At the VA Western New York Healthcare System, Baker regularly serves as a wheelchair escort on outings for veterans. At the Genesee County Office of the Aging, a senior citizen meal site, she helps serve seniors meals and provides needed socialization.

“Most dear to her heart is her volunteer service at The Jerome Center Gift Shop and Kiosk where she begins volunteering most mornings at 7 a.m. and has done so for years”, said Mary Barbeau, a friend and fellow volunteer.

Profits from the gift shop and food kiosk benefit United Memorial Medical Center.

The Health and Humanitarian Award luncheon is open to the public.  Reservations can be made by contacting United Memorial Medical Center Foundation at 344-5300. Seating will be limited so early reservations are encouraged.

October 18, 2011 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, alexander, Darien.

We enjoyed a beautiful fall morning today, so I thought I would take a little drive and wound up in Darien.

Above, I found this diving board over a pond next to a farm field to be a rather interesting sight.

The view from atop Simmonds Road.

A red barn in North Darien.

A small pond along Beaver Road, Alexander.

October 18, 2011 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education.

Released by the school district:

Highlights from the BCSD Board of Education meeting on Oct. 17, 2011, include the following:

One Vote Each Day Can Yield $50,000 for Music Department

Student Ex-officio Board Member Taylor Harkness reported on an opportunity for the district’s music department to win up to $50,000 by having people vote at least once each day through early November for a quartet from the district’s student ensemble, The Batavia Blue Belles.

Citing drastic cuts to education, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC, Ryan Murphy (the creator of GLEE), and the National Association for Music Education teamed up to create a music-celebrating contest to support music education to the tune of $1 million. The Blue Belles -- including members Melzie Case, Sarah DiBacco, Catherine McAllister, and Catherine Taylor, working under the direction of district vocal teacher Daniel Grillo -- entered the nationwide contest to compete for one of three Grand Prizes for $50,000 each. There are also 10 First Prizes for $25,000 each and 60 Second Prizes for $10,000 each.

Winning is based on public vote, and all community members (as well as other family and friends who would like to support the music department) can vote for The Blue Belles once per day per computer IP address until Nov. 7. To vote, go to www.gleegiveanote.com, click on “VOTE NOW”, type in “BATAVIA HIGH SCHOOL” in the box for entering school name, click on the video clip of the Batavia Blue Belles, and click “VOTE”. Winners will be announced Dec. 15.

Parent Shares Concern Regarding Consolidation

While acknowledging that the Board of Education and administrators have been responsive to hearing parents' and residents' concerns about consolidation proposals and thanking them for their consideration, as well as the decision to postpone a vote on the proposal until March 2012, one parent attended the meeting to urge board members not to vote for any proposal that would include moving fifth-grade students to the middle school. Stating that she had spoken to various individuals who work with youth and with troubled youth, she believes, overall, it is not beneficial to the fifth-graders to be moved to the middle school.

Click on the headline above to read full report

October 18, 2011 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander, Darien, Le Roy, Stafford, bergen.

John M. Forte, 23, of 4898 Ridge Road, Williamson, is charged with burglary, 3rd. Forte is accused of forceably entering a business in the Village of Le Roy on or about Nov. 8 and stealing copper from the basement of the building.

Eric Bratcher, 22, of 7 ½ North St., Le Roy, is charged with burglary, 2nd, and petit larceny. Bratcher is accused of entering the residence of a friend over the weekend and stealing a game system and games. Bratcher was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Marianne Dawson, 50, 20 N. Spruce St., Batavia, is charged with DWI. Dawson was charged with DWI. Dawson was arrested at 5:18 p.m. Monday on Seneca Avenue by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

A 16-year-old resident of Snipery Road, Darien, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. The youth got into an argument with her parents about getting ready and going to school. She allegedly became verbally abusive and threw an item at her father. Family Court had issued an order of protection requiring her not to engage in offensive conduct toward her parents. The youth was released after arraignment and transported to school.

Darleen Angie McComb, 53, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. McComb is accused of stealing a $30 pair of boots from R and D Outlet Center on Clinton Street Road, Stafford.

Basillo Martinez, 48, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon.

Jeffrey Allen Good, 36, of Route 98, Alexander, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal use/possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Good was allegedly found by his probation officer in possession of heroin in packaging along with hypodermic needles while in his home. Good was taken into custody by Deputy Brian Thompson. Good was jailed on $5,000 bail.

John Cheston Townley, 36, of Liberty Street, Bliss, was arrested on a bench warrant for DWI. Townley had been incarcerated on unrelated charges in Wyoming County.

October 18, 2011 - 2:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A car has reportedly struck a pole in the area of 309 S. Jackson St., Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

Wires are down on the road.

City Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding. Law enforcement on scene.

UPDATE 2:19 a.m.: The driver reportedly fled the scene. The only description is he was wearing a sweatshirt.  He ran east on South Jackson.

UPDATE 3:26 a.m.: The alleged driver returned to the scene. He immediately started picking up his sporting equipment strewn in the road until a police officer came over and began an interview with him. The driver said he left the scene because he panicked. He said he didn't think he was going that fast, "but obviously I was." Adding, "my car is totaled." After a brief chat with police officers, he was examined by Mercy medics. He complained of back pain. He was transported by private vehicle to UMMC where he will be questioned further.  National Grid arrived on scene just before 3 a.m. City firefighters cleared the scene at 3:20 a.m. The pole replacement work is expected to take several hours. The identity of the driver has not been released yet.


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October 17, 2011 - 10:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia High School.

With these photos, you are looking at the future of Batavia Blue Devils football, and from all appearances, it's a bright one.

The Batavia JV squad is undefeated on the season and going back to last year, when the team went 6-2, the junior Blue Devils have 13 straight wins.

All of this winning has come under Head Coach Brennan Briggs.

Briggs credits the players.

"We don't really have any superstars on the team," Briggs said. "They really work well together. They've bought in to what we've been teaching -- work hard, no excuses football."

The JV team beat Bishop Kearney on Monday night 47-14.

Assistant Coach Brandon Ricci said there are 10 to 15 players on the JV squad who are likely to make varsity next season, including some freshmen, and each of them could make a contribution.

"They might not take a starting job from a senior, but you won't be losing much when you put them on the field," Ricci said.

Next week, BHS JV plays Olympia and according to parents at the game, it will likely be the team's toughest challenge of the year. To reach 8-0, the JV squad will need to beat a team also looking to finish with an 8-0 record. The game is Saturday afternoon at Van Detta Stadium.

Here's how the team faired in its previous six games:

Game 1 @ Bath W 27-0
Game 2 @ Bishop Timon W 27-20
Game 3 vs. Livonia W 29-20
Game 4 vs. Le Roy W 30-12
Game 5 @ Elba-Byron Bergen W 48-17
Game 6 vs. Attica W 36-6

October 17, 2011 - 10:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Alabama, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

While driving through the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge yesterday, I came across this damp and dark wooded area and felt, well, compelled to make a picture.

October 17, 2011 - 9:38pm

It's taken more than 160 hours of his own time, and countless hours of help from volunteers, but Christopher Clarke, Indian Falls Boy Scout Troop 6066, has completed the key component of his Eagle Scout project -- a birder blind at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge that is handicapped accessible.

After getting assistance from an engineer to design the structure and help from fellow Boy Scouts and Boy Scout leaders during the construction of the modular blind, Chris supervised installation of the parts Sunday afternoon.

"A lot of people from all over come here, so this is something that is pretty much for everybody," Chris said when asked why he decided to tackle this project.

During waterfoul hunting season -- which opens Saturday -- only hunters with disabilities will be able to make reservations to use the blind, according to the park's assistant manager, Dawn Washington.

After the season ends Nov. 17, photographers -- both those with disabilities and those without -- will be able to reserve the blind.

Only birders with reservations will be allowed in the blind, Washington said, and visitors to the park who happen down Feeder Road are asked not to disturb anybody using the blind. A sign next to the entrance to the blind's walkway asks visitors to respect the solitude of people using the blind.

During the spring and summer, the gated entrance to the road is locked, but park officials will help people with reservations gain access to that portion of the park.

The blind is at the end of a long dock that was installed by Jonathan Hoste and members of Troop 40 from Wrights Corners. The dock was paid for with federal grant money.

Chris, who enjoys hunting and fishing and has taken a few scouting hikes in the park, said when he heard park officials wanted to get a handicapped accessible blind installed at the end of the dock, he decided he would like to help the park with the project.

"It all came along pretty smoothly," Chris said. "We only had a couple of minor changes."

To make reservations to use the blind, call (585) 948-5445.

October 17, 2011 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hunting, outdoors, bergen.

From Jake's father, Jeff Maurer:

My 17-year-old son, Jake Hunter Maurer, took this 17 pointer on opening day of this year's archery season, Saturday October 15, 2011.

He was hunting alone on the evening of the first day of this year's bow season and though the weather was not ideal, a little windy and cool, this buck meandered through and was the only deer that he saw that afternoon. It presented a 20-yard shot and Jake was able to make it a successful one.

He found his arrow and returned home for an hour then went back out with his friend and father to track it. It had only traveled about 80 yards where they found out just how big he really was. With 17 scoreable points, it may have to be recorded as a non-typical due to the abnormal points on the antlers. But it appears to be big enough for the NYS record book, whether it is recorded as a typical or non-typical.

Jake photographed this same buck with a trail camera a few weeks before season and figured out his travel habits between his bedding area and feeding areas. He found a tree to put a stand in and went there the first day even though other hunters may have stayed out of the woods due to the high winds and cold rain. We took it to a local taxidermist to be mounted and look forward to several meals from all the meat as it weighed about 200 pounds.

The Maurers live in Bergen and Jake was hunting in Bergen when he shot the buck.

October 17, 2011 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Mercy EMS ambulance is being dispatched to the scene of an alleged attempted burglary where the would-be female burglar reportedly fell and hit her head.

She is semi-conscious.

Batavia PD is just arriving on scene at the Seneca Avenue residence.

October 17, 2011 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Batavia PD responded to a 9-1-1 call this morning reporting a domestic disturbance at 110 Walnut St. and when officers arrived, one of the people allegedly involved in the disturbance fled the scene.

The subject was seen heading into the woods behind the house.

Joshua A. Harris, 22, of no permanent address, was taken into custody by Batavia officers after a short pursuit. Deputy Brian Thompson and his K-9 "Pharoah" assisted in the search.

Harris was wanted on three warrants related to charges of criminal contempt, 2nd.

This morning Harris was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.

October 17, 2011 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

There have been sporadic power outages in Genesee County today due to high winds.

The largest local power outage is in Elba in the area of Ford Road and Bank Street Road, with 53 customers without power. Electricity has been out since 2:02 p.m. and is expected to be restored by 4:30 p.m.

An outage in Le Roy on the west side of the village put 44 customers in the dark, but power was recently restored, according to National Grid.

There are also small outages in South Byron and West Batavia.

UPDATE 4:36 p.m.: It turns out, power is still out on the west side of the Village of Le Roy. There is no ETA for power restoration. Also, a power line is reportedly down on Beckwith Road, Batavia. East Pembroke Fire Department dispatched. A tree has fallen. The lines are off the roadway, but they are burning. National Grid being notified.

October 17, 2011 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

Press release:

The partners of the Perry Veterinary Clinic, PLLC, have purchased the Batavia Animal Hospital from Dr. Raymond Pray.  The transfer was effective Oct. 1, 2011.

The Batavia Animal Hospital was founded by Drs. Jack E. Wilkes and Irving W. Wiswall in 1955 on Lewiston Road. In 1958 it moved to its current location on W. Main St. Road. In 1961, Dr. Pray joined the practice and purchased it in 1974.

The Perry Veterinary Group includes 28 veterinarians with additional small animal clinics in Perry, Livonia and Yorkshire (Arcade). In addition, it provides veterinary services to dairy, equine and other farm animals in a 13-county area.

Dr. Pray and his associate veterinarians are continuing to practice at the Batavia Animal Hospital. Dr. Pray said that he is looking forward to the new arrangement which will allow him more free time while providing the opportunity to continue practicing veterinary medicine. He also stated that he was happy to see the clinic moving forward and knows that the clients that have supported him for many years will continue to receive excellent veterinary care for their pets from the Perry group.

Dr. Stephen Stoddard, senior managing partner, for Perry Veterinary Clinic stated: “The Partners are delighted with the purchase of the Batavia Animal Hospital. Dr. Pray and his associates have excellent reputations and we look forward to working with them. The Perry Veterinary group has long had a significant presence in Genesee County with residents from the Southeast corner of the county coming to our Perry clinic for their pets medical care. In addition, the practice is currently servicing dairy, equine and livestock clients in Genesee County. The Batavia Animal Hospital is a natural fit and we are excited about the opportunity it presents.”

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