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April 26, 2011 - 8:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

At about 7 p.m., Batavia City Fire Department responded to a call of smoke coming from a train car at Mill and Evans streets.

It turns out, the white vapor is nothing more than steam.

Metal shavings in the train car from the scrap metal operation heat up, and then when rain falls on the hot metal, it generates steam.

A thermal imaging camera showed the internal temperature was 111 degrees.

April 26, 2011 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

This is the new commercial released today by Kathy Hochul's campaign. 

Here's a fact-checking assignment: The commercial cites several newspaper sources. Are the quotes being used in context?

UPDATE: A reply from Corwin's campaign: 

Statement from Matthew Harakal, communications director for Jane Corwin for Congress:

“This commercial and personal attack is a bold-faced lie.Politifact has given claims in this ad a “Pants on Fire!” rating. These types of baseless scare tactics are exactly what you’d expect from a career politician like Kathy Hochul, but Western New Yorkers deserve better.”

Harakal sends along a link to a Times-Union article as well.

UPDATE: New, related PR from Hochul's campaign:

“On April 15, after a week of prodding, Assemblymember Jane Corwin finally admitted she supports the Republican’s 2012 budget that would end Medicare as we know it and give massive tax breaks to America’s corporate giants – the same corporate giants that paid absolutely nothing in income taxes last year.

“Jane Corwin talks a lot about cutting spending, closing corporate loopholes, coming up with alternative energy plans, and protecting our seniors, but the truth is Jane Corwin is all talk and no action.  She says she has a ‘plan’ that would ‘fight to begin getting our national addiction to spending under control.’  Well that plan is a point-by-point copy of the Republican budget, which does none of those things.  

“Assemblymember Corwin has publicly supported a budget that cuts taxes on major corporations and the highest-earning individuals, instead of making them pay their fair share.  She supports a budget that cuts spending on alternative energy research and development, instead of cutting subsidies for big oil.  She supports a budget that decimates Medicare, instead of ensuring we protect our seniors from burdensome costs.

“While Jane Corwin says she supports solutions for the people of the 26th District, she really only supports solutions that line the pockets of corporations, oil companies, and the super rich.”

April 26, 2011 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Raymond Allard, 27, of Fall River, Mass., is charged with rape, 2nd. Allard is accused of having sexual relations with a person under 15 years of age on April 15 in Oakfield.

Duffy L. Starks, 18, of 1 Dawson Place, Batavia, is charged with violation of probation. Starks was arrested on a warrant issued out of Batavia City Court and jailed on $2,500 bail.

Nicholas A. Antonucci, 23, of 4192 Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and failure to stop for stop sign. Following a report of an erratic driver, in which the caller provided a license plate and direction of travel, Antonucci was observed by Officer Matt Fleming allegedly running a stop sign. Antonucci allegedly failed a field sobriety test. He was arrested and later released to a family member.

Jonathan James Langenfeld, 29, of Canandagua Street, Leicester, is charged with burglary, 1st. Langenfeld is accused of entering a residence illegally and remaining there and then allegedly assaulting the new boyfriend of his estranged girlfriend.

Jon J. Reynolds, 35, of Wood Road, Bergen, is charged with stalking, 4th, and endangering the welfare of a child. Reynolds was taken into custody by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 3:41 p.m., Sunday. No further details released.

April 26, 2011 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, fire, Alabama.

At 10:54 p.m., a house fire was reported at 465 Bloomingdale Road, Basom, on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

The house was unoccupied.

A passerby saw flames coming from inside the house and notified neighboring homeowners who called 9-1-1.

No word on the damage to the house, but responders last night reported the house was fully involved and no interior firefighters were used to battle the blaze.

Alabama and Indian Falls fire departments were initially dispatched, with mutual aid from Akron, Batavia, Newstead and Pembroke. Also responding were Genesee County Emergency Services, the Sheriff's Office and Mercy EMS.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

(initial report)

April 25, 2011 - 11:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, fire, Alabama.

A house fire has been reported 465 Bloomingdale Road, Basom.

Alabama and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched. Akron is asked to fill in at Indian Falls' hall.

The fire was called in by the resident and a neighbor.

UPDATE 11:02 p.m.: Bloomingdale Road is partially flooded. Units told to respond with caution. A chief on scene reports a full involved structure fire. A second alarm requested.

UPDATE 11:19 p.m.: City's FAST team was dispatched, but now put back in service. Alabama chief reports that there will be no interior firefighters used on this fire.

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April 25, 2011 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, K-9, Sheriff's Office, Brian Thompson.

Deputy Brian Thompson's new partner has convinced him to keep working a couple of years longer.

Thompson was considering retirement in December, but then "Pharoah" came into his life.

The 8-year-old, 80 pound, Czech Shepherd was donated to the Sheriff's Office by the Niagara Falls PD and handler Michael Bird after K-9 "Finn" was retired due to a medical condition.

Thompson has nothing but praise for Pharoah, who he described as a great tracker, good with children and an excellent drug detection dog.

"When we get a chance to use him for tracking, we're going to find some bad guys andhopefully find some people who might be missing," Thompson said.

Already, Pharoah is making an impact in the fight against illegal drugs in Genesee County, according to Thompson.

"He's had some awesome drug finds so far that led us into some pretty good arrests, in the Class B felony range," Thompson said. "That inspires me."

It inspires him, Thompson said, to keep going for the sake of the community.

He thinks local law enforcement has been making good progress so far in fighting meth and crack in the community.

"Hopefully, some people will be put back on their heels to say, 'I don't want to deal drugs in Genesee County -- they're catching a lot of people there,'" Thompson said. "We can clean this town up. I love this place. It's the greatest place to live in the world."

Pharoah is trained to alert on methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, hashish and ecstasy.

He is also trained to track human scents, both in the open and in confined areas, and trained for handler protection and criminal apprehension.

The K-9 program's vet bills, medications and non-handler kenneling are paid for from a K-9 fund set up with community and business donations, including an original substantial donation by Ken Barrett Chevrolet several years ago. All equipment for the K-9 program also comes from the fund, and when Pharoah retires in a couple of years, a new K-9 will need to be purchased from the fund, which has been dwindling over the years, Thompson said.

He said he's confident, when the time comes, the community will come through to offer continued support of the Sheriff's K-9 program.

April 25, 2011 - 5:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Grand Jury.

Patrick J. Donahue is indicted on a charge of rape in the first degree. Donahue is accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion on Jan. 10, 2010.

Frank J. Bieniek is indicted on charges of grand larceny, 3rd, and criminal possesion of stolen property, 3rd. Bieniek is accused of stealing a .45-caliber flintlock rifle from the Holland Land Office Museum on Dec. 10, 2010.

Jorge Portugal-Pineda is indicted on charges of felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and a felony of aggravated unlicensed operation. Portugal-Pineda is accused of driving drunk on Dec. 28, 2010 on Transit Road in the Town of Byron.

April 25, 2011 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke.

The Sheriff's Office is looking for help identifying the owner of a green pickup truck possibly involved in a minor-injury accident on Route 77 at Gabbey Road earlier today.

The truck apparently pulled into traffic from Gabbey Road onto Route 77 at about 11:29 a.m.

A passenger in a car headed southbound on Route 77 grabbed the wheel of the car and turned the car to the right in order to avoid a collision. The car went off the road and its undercarriage was damaged.

The only information on the truck is that is was full-sized and green.

The truck, which continued northbound, was not struck.

The driver of the car, a 2003 Ford SUV, Maria C. Valentin, 35, of Normal Avenue, Buffalo, suffered a minor injury, but did not require transport to a hospital.

The passenger, Wilson J. Alvarado, 38, was not injured.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.  

Anybody with information about the accident can contact Parker at (585) 343-5000 or [email protected].

April 25, 2011 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Press Release:

The City of Batavia has been notified by the New York State Department that it has been awarded a $266,508 New York State Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program Grant. Please see

The city applied to the Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program for $266,508 to develop a Nomination Study for a 250-acre area downtown that has the potential for redevelopment. 

The primary community revitalization objectives to be achieved by this project include the redevelopment of underutilized, vacant and Brownfield properties, cleanup of contaminated properties, continued revitalization of the downtown business district and neighborhood stabilization.

Anticipated community benefits resulting from this project include the creation of jobs, private and public reinvestment, increased tax revenue and increased property values. The expected time frame for completion of this project is 24 months.

April 25, 2011 - 4:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCC.

GCC makes a substantial contribution to the regional economy, according to a new study that will be presented at a public meeting at 1 p.m., Wednesday, in the Conable Technology Building.

The direct impact of college spending, salaries and goods and services is more than $22 million, according to the study, and former students add another $104 million.

Since 1966, 22,000 people have earned degrees and certificates from GCC. The lifetime earnings of a GCC graduate is $415,700 more than a peer with only a high school diploma.

About 70 percent of GCC's graduates remain in the GLOW region.

GCC's overall fiscal impact on the GLOW region is about 2.5 percent of the total economy.

To assist in arranging seating and refreshments, please RSVP attendance to the "The Economic Impact of Genesee Community College" presentation to Patty Hume in the External Affairs office at (585) 345-6809 or [email protected].

Full press release after the jump:

April 25, 2011 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Alabama, STAMP.

Press Release from GCEDC:

On April 14, during a board meeting of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) a resolution to approve the Draft Generic Impact Statement (DGEIS) for the Western New York Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park was approved. The DGEIS has been completed and accepted by the GCEDC as Lead Agency for the proposed action.

On February 10, reports to the public of the preliminary findings of the DGEIS were presented at a public information meeting at the Town of Alabama Fire Hall.

The completed DGEIS, which was approved by the GCEDC board, includes an economic impact study, environmental studies, master plan update, traffic impact study, utility plan summary, proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment and farmland protection plan. The contents of the completed DGEIS have not changed significantly from what was presented in February.

The proposed action being examined by the DGEIS is the construction and operation of approximately 6.1 million square feet of advanced technology manufacturing and ancillary facilities, along with on-site utility improvements, on 1,337.20 acres of land in the Town of Alabama.

The WNY STAMP site is located along New York State highways 77 and 63, approximately 5 miles north of the I-90 New York State Thruway. The proposed action will involve rezoning the property pursuant to the Town of Alabama Zoning Laws. 

According to the DGEIS the buildable area of the WNY STAMP project is 46 percent of the entire site. The remainder of the land would remain as open space. The intent of the master plan design is to blend the manufacturing park into the existing fabric of the community.

The Hamlet of Alabama is separated from the STAMP site by a subtle ridgeline and gracious landscape setbacks from existing uses. As part of the open space system, only 9.5 acres of wetlands would be impacted by the current design, and the site will retain its rural nature.

The park will be built to high-tech industry standards, in line with employee expectations, and will respect its surrounding context and environment. 

The WNY STAMP site has seen several interested companies who were looking for locations on the East Coast and close to Canada. The companies were excited about the site, but it was not “shovel-ready” enough for their purposes.

“Planning, preparing and developing a shovel-ready site designed for appropriate industries, and having local community approval will help to secure companies at the WNY STAMP site,” stated Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC.

"Developing the necessary infrastructure to attract investment from outside the region is one of the most important roles that the GCEDC takes on for our county. A site zoned for a particular purpose, where a company can begin building quickly, at the speed of business, is the best way to bring jobs to our community.”

A public hearing is scheduled for May 12 at the Town of Alabama Fire Hall. The hearing will begin at 7 p.m., and residents are welcome to attend and comment on the DGEIS. Postcards will be sent to the residents of the Town of Alabama next week as a reminder of the meeting. 

Copies of the DGEIS are available at <>, in print at the GCEDC offices, located at 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia, and at the Town of Alabama office.

April 25, 2011 - 4:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, sports, golf.

Submitted by GCC Golf Coach Tom Tucker:

The GCC Golf team placed 2nd at the 2011 Western NY Athletic Conference Championship. Matt Ferdinand was named 1st Team All Star, Corey Kocent and Mark DeCook get the nod as 2nd Team All Stars.

On Saturday, the GCC Golf team competed in the Western NY Conference Championship at a soggy Willowbrook golf course in Lockport. On an unseasonably warm and sunny day, GCC finished second to MCC once again, as they posted a 323 score to MCC’s 299.

Matt Ferdinand, a second-year player at GCC, was named a WNYAC  First Team All Star with a fine score of 78, GCC’s Corey Kocent, a former Batavia High School standout, was named a Second Team All Star with an 80, and Mark DeCook shot a season low 81, which also got him onto the Second Team All Star squad. Kyle Harman rounded out GCC’s scoring with an 84, and Adam Bishop also competed for GCC.

The tournament medalist was MCC’s Anthony Colosi with a 73.

On Friday, the GCC team travelled to Highland Park GC in Auburn, NY, for the Cayuga CC Invitational.

GCC finished a disappointing fourth in an 11-team field shooting 331, as, to a man, they just couldn't seem to figure out the greens. Tee to green GCC played strong during tough conditions, but they left a higher finish on the short grass. Kyle Harman and Matt Ferdinand each shot 81, Corey Kocent shot 83, Alex Muench and Mark DeCook each shot 86, and Adam Bishop also participated.

MCC won the event with a score of 307, Onondoga CC finished second with 318, and Mohawk Valley finished third with a 323.

GCC plays Friday at the Corning CC Invitational at the Corning Country Club in Corning, NY, and on Sunday at the Tompkins Cortland CC  Invitational at the Elm Tree Golf Club in Cortland, NY.

Photo: GCC's Corey Kocent, former Batavia High standout golfer, blasts from a buried lie under the lip of a trap on hole # 4 at the Highland Park GC in Auburn, NY, during the Cayuga CC Invitational on Friday. Kocent got the shot up and down on his way to an 83.

April 25, 2011 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, urban renewal.

A young C.M. Barons -- regular contributor to The Batavian and former State Assembly candidate -- was a journalism student at GCC when the north side of Main Street, Batavia, was demolished to make way for the Genesee Country Mall.

Over the weekend, Barons found his old photos for a story he did in college.

The bottom photo is of David J. Gordon, who was the urban renewal planner in charge of the project. Barons sent it along in case anybody needed new dart board material.

April 25, 2011 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander.

An ATV rider suffered a broken leg while riding at an ATV race track on Halstead Road, Alexander, on Saturday.

Michael A. Royce, 22, of 4073 Four Rod Road, East Aurora, was driving the ATV over a jump. When the ATV landed, Royce was ejected and the ATV landed on his right knee.

Royce was transported by ambulance to an area hospital (not identified in the report).

The accident was reported at 7:41 p.m. and was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

April 25, 2011 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Oakfield, Stafford, Alabama.

Isaac Emmaneul Simmons, 24, of Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Simmons is accused of leaving a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old in a car outside Walmart with the motor running while he went into the store.

Michael J. Raphael, 22, 4 Noonan Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. At about 1 a.m., Sunday, Batavia Police were notified that a person was in the area of Center Street attempting to fight with others. When police arrived, they were told the person had walked toward the Mancuso Bowling Center. When officers checked the area, they were advised by a witness that Raphael struck a parked car causing damage to the vehicle.

Brad Hilchey, 29, 43 Oak St., Oakfield, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI and moving from lane unsafely. Hilchey was stopped at 1:06 a.m., Saturday, on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Ryan James Sundown, 30, Meadville Road, Basom, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. Sundown is accused of trying to choke a woman during an altercation at an address on Meadville Road.

Virginia Louise Miller, 46, Colony Run, Attica, is charged with assault 3rd and menacing 2nd. Miller is accused of threatening another person with a knife and of biting that person in the arm.

Robert Paul Leiser, 42, of Lockport Road, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and aggravated harassment, 2nd. Leiser was arrested following an investigation into an alleged incident at 3 a.m., April 20.

Ryan S. Richards, 21, of Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Richards is accused of shoplifting $25.05 worth of merchandise from Kmart. Richards was also cited for alleged fictitious inspection sticker, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, operating without a license, switched plates and unregistered motor vehicle.

Thomas J. Torres, 48, of Albion, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI. Torres was taken into custody in the Town of Stafford at 10:35 p.m., Saturday, by State Police.

Christopher J. Nacca, 22, of Webster, and Taylor M. Shoemaker, 18, of Williamson, are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Nacca and Shoemaker were stopped by State Police at 4:10 p.m., Friday, on Route 5 in Pembroke.

April 25, 2011 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Already saturated ground and one-to-two inches of rainfall may produce localized flooding in the region, according to the National Weather Service.

A flood watch is in effect from 5 p.m. through Tuesday morning.

A warm front is moving in from Ohio and Pennsylvania and ahead of it possibly some heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Poorly drained, low-lying areas and areas along larger creeks and rivers are susceptible to flooding.

April 25, 2011 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, photos.

City crews were on Main Street, Batavia, this morning, mulching the flower beds.

April 23, 2011 - 6:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Bethany.

The top two pictures were taken from almost the same spot on Bethany Center Road, Bethany. The bottom photo was taken on Mayne Road.




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

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