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November 1, 2011 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

It's been the talk of the town for a couple of months -- a big food processing plant is being planned for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

The plant has been described as "O-AT-KA-sized" and could employ from 200 to 300 people.

Sources tell The Batavian it's now pretty much a done deal and more information should be coming out soon.

This is the second big-win for the GCEDC's agri-business park off of Route 5 in the Town of Batavia.

Last month, Colombia-based Alpina Products broke ground on a yogurt processing plant that will start out employing 50 people.

There's an item on the Town of Batavia's Planning Board agenda tonight that deals with further subdivision of the agri-park. We may find out more at this meeting.

November 1, 2011 - 8:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Harvester Avenue.

Harvester Avenue is being closed for the time being for a building to be torn down.

That could mean the house involved in a fire on Sunday or another house on the street that is boarded up, or ... 

October 31, 2011 - 11:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ellicott Avenue.

It seemed like half the kids in Batavia were on Ellicott Avenue tonight for Halloween trick or treat. Most of the homes on the street had treats available. A couple of residents said they prepare for at least 500 children to visit each year.

I fyou can't view the slide show below, click here

To purchase photos from this event, click here.

October 31, 2011 - 7:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire Department is responding to a two-car accident on East Main in which at least one person reportedly lost consciousness.

UPDATE 7:42 a.m.: An ALS (advanced life support) and BLS (basic life support) ambulance requested to the scene. Traffic control requested. Chief: "We're going to have to pop a door."

October 31, 2011 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pembroke, Le Roy.

On Saturday, three local law enforcement agencies collected prescription drugs that were no longer needed in order to sure safe destruction of the drugs.

Here's the results of the drop off:

  • Batavia PD: 169 vehicles, and a total of 487.5 lbs;
  • Le Roy PD:  46 vehicles, and a total of 144.8 lbs;
  • Sheriff's Office, in Pembroke: 36 vehicles, and a total of 53.5 lbs.
October 31, 2011 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, alexander, Darien, Le Roy, corfu, bergen.

Aaron J. Wood, 20, of Iroquois Road, Caledonia, is charged with petit larceny. Wood is accused of unwrapping and eating a $3 pizza while in the Tops Market in Le Roy. Wood allegedly tried to leave the store without paying for the pizza.

Joseph Dennis Vendetta, 30, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, tinted windows and driver's view obstructed. Vendetta was stopped at 2:21 a.m., Saturday, on Richmond Avenue by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Billy Joe Budziszewski, 20, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Budziszewski is accused of getting into a dispute with his father Friday morning. During the dispute, Budziszewski allegedly became verbally abusive and punched the kitchen wall and front door, causing some damage during the argument. Budziszewski also allegedly had a pair of metal knuckles in his bedroom dresser.

Luis Geraldo Pacheco, 49, of Webster Avenue, Rochester, is charged with three counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Pacheco is accused of violating a stay away order on three separate occasions.

Melvin Gaylord Draper, 30, of Webber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated DWI (BAC of .18 or greater), aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, and improper signal. Draper was stopped at 12:47 a.m., Saturday, on Bank Street Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Brian Frieday.

Gene Robert Schmidt, 44, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and failure to keep right. Schmidt was stopped at 1:33 a.m., Saturday, on Bowen Road, Alexander, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Trent H. Burgess, 39, of West Avenue Brockport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and speeding (89 mph in a 55 mph zone). Burgess was stopped at 12:26 a.m., Sunday, on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, by Deputy Howard Carlson.

Brian James Nelson, 24, of Grove Street, Painted Post, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and driving left of pavement markings in a no-passing zone. Nelson was arrested following the investigation by Deputy Jason Saile into a one-car accident at 6:04 a.m., Sunday, on Route 77 in Darien. 

Daniel L. Cone, 51, of 6380 Clinton St. Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speed not reasonable and prudent, following too closely and moving unsafely from lane. Cone was stopped at 5:55 p.m., Saturday, on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Dan Coffey.

Lawrence D. Williams, 51, of 148 Hutchins St., Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Williams was allegedly found in possession of a small quantity of cocaine following a traffic stop.

Scott G. Tooley, 26, of 199 S. Main St., Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Tooley is accused of leaving a young child at home without adequate supervision.

October 31, 2011 - 12:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A driver was hospitalized Sunday morning after a one-car crash on the Lewiston Road bridge over the Thruway in Batavia.

The driver, Staci L. Casper, 24, of 7599 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, was taken by ambulance to UMMC with minor injuries.

A toddler in the car, Dominic R. Davies, was not injured.

Casper was southbound on Lewiston Road at 7:30 a.m., Sunday, when for an unknown reason she lost control of her 1995 Honda. Her car struck the east side guard rail.

No citations were issued.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Brian Thompson.

October 31, 2011 - 12:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

Icy conditions are being blamed for a two-car accident at 7 a.m., Friday, that sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries.

The accident occurred on the Route 98 bridge over the Thruway.

Matthew A. Button, 28, of 7703 Lewiston Road, Batavia, was northbound on Route 98 when his 2007 Toyota spun out of control, sliding into the southbound lane and striking a 2005 Jeep driven by William P. Shelhorse, 67, of 23 West Ave., Elba.

Button's car then slide over to the west side guard rail.

Shelhorse was taken by a Mercy EMS ambulance to UMMC.

Button was cited for alleged failure to slow for hazardous conditions.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Brian Thompson.

(Initial Report)

October 31, 2011 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron, bergen.

A Le Roy elementary school principal is among the three finalists vying to become superintendent of the Byron-Bergen Central School District.

The school district announced the three finalists -- from a field of eight candidates -- who will go through a series of meetings, tours and interviews at the school this week.

The finalists are Edmund "Casey" Kosiorek, elementary principal in Le Roy; David J. Glover, superintendent, Morristown Central School District; and, Michael J. Davis, elementary principal, Webster Central School District.

In all, 27 people applied for the job.

The school board anticipates making an appointment by mid-November.

October 30, 2011 - 11:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, bergen.

Before heading to Rochester for the Elba/Byron-Bergen playoff game, I was able to take advantage of a beautiful morning sky and what's left of fall colors.

The photo above actually began with an idea yesterday. Not satisfied with the shots from yesterday (which I didn't publish), I went back this morning with a different idea of how to get the shot I originally imagined. That involved standing across the street and using a telephoto lens. The funny part was the group of youths who walked by clearly puzzled by what I might be photographing.

The back of the old fire house on Main Street.

This is on Clinton Street Road in Bergen, taken on my way to Rochester. I've driven by this tree many times thinking it could make a great shot in the right circumstances. This is almost it.

October 30, 2011 - 11:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports.

It was a great run for Elba/Byron-Bergen in 2011, but in Rochester on Sunday, a good season came to an end at the hands of the Livonia Bulldogs.

It was a close game, but the Bulldogs were just that much better.

"Livonia made the most out of their opportunities," Coach Mike Cintorino said. "We had some opportunities that we didn’t cash in on."

Final score: Livonia 26, Elba 18.

The Lancers fought hard and while opportunities may have been missed, no major mistakes assisted Livonia.

Livonia gained more yards (297 to 244) and held the ball longer (28:51 to 19:09), but Elba/BB was able to move the ball on many of its drives, yet on a couple of drives weren't able to put the ball in the end zone.

Zack DuBois scored two TDs, gaining 161 yards on 21 carries. Matt Ramsey made two catches for 32 yards. 

Cody Taylor also scored a touchdown.

For Livonia, QB Wyatt Struble completed nine passes for 120 yards. Derek Bishop scored two touchdowns and Dustin Ayers and Josh Wester each scored a TD.

The loss clearly upset the Elba/BB players and Cintorino said the emotional reaction demonstrates how hard the players worked and how close they had grown as a team.

"We didn’t want the season to end," Cintorino said. "There’s a lot of teams that break it down in terms of family. When we broke it down to family, it meant something. We worked hard together and we just didn’t want the season to end."

If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.

To purchase photos from this game, click here.

October 30, 2011 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports.

For each Elba/Byron-Bergen score, the Livonia Bulldogs have had an answer, though neither team has had much success with extra point tries. The score is 12-12 in this Section V Class B semifinal game.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: Elba/BB loses 26-18.

October 29, 2011 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street.

Walnut Street residents Jeremy and Cassie decided to rake up their fall leaves Saturday, and got some extra "help" from their sons Ethan, 7, and Matthew, 4, who found it was great fun to play in the big pile of leaves.

October 29, 2011 - 10:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

Farmers and farm equipment buyers from throughout the area were at the old Empire Tractor location on East Main Road (the business moved at the beginning of the month to a new location on East Main Road) to get bargains on used farm implements, from combines to tractors and even riding mowers. Empire Tractor was selling off used equipment from the longtime East Main Road location, but brought in used equipment from its other locations as well. President Tim Call said it was a chance to clear out some unsold inventory. 

October 29, 2011 - 10:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

Saturday was the first day of 30-percent off prices at Lowe's for its close-out sale and it probably seemed like all of Genesee County turned out. The parking lot was full and the aisles around the checkout counters were wall-to-wall people and shopping carts. (I have no pictures from inside the store because I did the polite thing and asked the manager for permission, even though legally I could have just snapped away until told to stop, and he said no (at which point, I had to comply) -- so just take my word for it, the place was jammed.)

October 29, 2011 - 10:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club.

There was another big turn out Saturday for the Batavia Kiwanis Club's annual Pancake Day breakfast at the Presbyterian Church in Batavia.

October 29, 2011 - 8:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford.

Robert Frost wrote that "Good fences make good neighbors."

Mr. Frost never met James Pontillo (pictured above) nor Tom Englerth.  

The two Stafford residents and fellow small business owners are in the midst of a dispute that has led to at least three visits by police and is making it more difficult for Pontillo to get his building renovated and a new business open.

"He drew the line," Englerth said. "He put up a fence. He said, 'you stay on your side,' so I told him to stay on his side."

In August 2010, Pontillo purchased a historic building at the intersection of Morganville and Main roads, Stafford. For as long as anybody can remember, there's been a store there that met community needs, but then Englerth put up a new building on land next door.

Shelley Macan-Mouery moved her business, the Stafford Trading Post, to Englerth's new structure. 

With his key commercial tenant gone, the owner of the former Stafford Odd Fellows' Hall, Terry Platt, decided to sell the building. He put it up for auction.

The Stafford Historical Society was concerned that the highest bidder -- possibly Englerth -- would tear down the 120-year-old building. The society secured $35,000 in financing to try and buy the building.

Englerth bid on the building, and the historical society bid on the building, but so did Pontillo and Pontillo won with a bid of $37,500.

And that, according to Pontillo, is part of the reason that Englerth is bent on disrupting his restoration efforts.

Plus Pontillo plans to open a store that will compete directly with the Stafford Trading Post.

Nonsense, says Englerth.

"I own the building," said Englerth. "I rent the store. The rent's the same regardless of what they do."

For Englerth, it's all about fences, he said.

First there is the fence that Pontillo put up, but then there is the fence that Englerth was forced to cut down from eight feet to six feet.

When Pontillo applied for a permit for his fence, he needed a variance to construct an eight-foot-high fence. Part of his argument for the variance was that Englerth had been allowed to construct an eight-high-foot fence.

But it turned out that Englerth never applied for, nor received, a variance for a higher fence than allowed by code.

Englerth accuses Pontillo of turning him in for the out-of-code fence, but Pontillo said that he spoke in favor of Englerth keeping his fence at a town planning board meeting. If Englerth had been granted a variance, Pontillo would likely also get a variance.

Neither got a variance, and Englerth had to take a chainsaw to the top of his fence.

Pontillo is convinced that Englerth has certain town officials on his side, such as Code Enforcement Officer Lester Mullen, whom he accuses of making random inspections on his construction work and roadblocking his efforts.

Mullen has been out on medical leave and wasn't available for comment.

Pontillo is planning to open a pizza shop that will include a deli, ice cream stand and grocery items (much like Stafford Trading Post) called "Talk of the Town." The new building name, which he said he's already trademarked, is "Pontillo's Place."

Other problems Pontillo has faced, he said, has come from the NYS DOT.

Pontillo said he's also been hassled by a guy named "Dan" from the NYS Department of Transportation over parking for the building, even though his parking plan is right in line with the parking that has always been available at the building.

But his problems with the DOT don't stop there. The DOT resurfaced Morganville Road (Route 237), creating a drainage problem that has caused his basement to flood (see photo below). The flooding has caused the hardwood floor on the first level to buckle in several areas -- after the restoration on the floor was almost complete.

The DOT, Pontillo said, has refused to either discuss compensation or fix the drainage issue.

Nonetheless, Pontillo is pushing forward with restoration.

This week he's had workers on the roof ripping off the old shingles with plans to install an entirely new roof.

Which brings us back to the two latest State Police responses to the location.

Pontillo rented a high-lift so his workers could safely get atop the three-story high roof and safely remove old shingles and bring materials to the rooftop.

When it came time for workers to work on the west side of the building, Pontillo asked Macan-Mouery for permission to park the high-lift on the west side of his building.

Since the property line is right at the edge of the building, the only place to park the high-lift was in the parking lot of the Stafford Trading Post.

Englerth reportedly called in State Troopers and accused Pontillo of trespassing.

The troopers said they believed Macan-Mouery had given Pontillo permission to park the high-lift where he did, but after Englerth complained, withdrew permission.

On Friday afternoon, the troopers had Pontillo move the high-lift from the Stafford Trading Post parking lot.

To work on the west side of the building, Pontillo's crews will need to use ladders, which is far less safe and will slow down work.

Meanwhile, on Friday and Saturday, Englerth parked his truck next to the west side of Pontillo's building.

On Saturday morning, he called State Police to complain that debris falling from Pontillo's roof damaged his truck.

Troopers responded but took no action on the complaint.

"The bottom line is he doesn't care about the safety of my workers," Pontillo said Saturday morning. "They could fall and get killed and he wouldn't care."

October 29, 2011 - 7:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports.

Notre Dame had no trouble running the ball against Geneseo in their Class D Section V championship match up, but when Geneseo needed a big play, a play action run or option, it seemed to get the job done more often then not.

The tone was set in the first four minutes of the first quarter. Andrew Mullen capped a Notre Dame drive with a 7-yard run to give the Fighting Irish a 7-0 lead. Before another 30 seconds had ticked off the clock, Geneseo's Jon Ridler, on the Blue Devil's first play from scrimmage, bolted 79 yards, and with a two-point conversion, Geneseo was up 8-7.

"Good teams make big plays and they made the big plays when they needed them," Coach Rick Mancuso said.

By the half, Notre Dame was down by three, 24-21 and the two teams combined had rushed for more than 400 yards.  

Sophomore Andrew Mullen scored all three of ND's first-half TDs, one on a 59-yard run.

The Irish took a leg up in the seesaw scoring battle when Doane McCulley took the opening half kick off 82 yards to put ND up 28-24.

True to form for the game, Geneseo countered with another big play. Xavier Copeland scored on a 55-yard run, but the Irish answered with another grind-it-out drive capped by a five-yard run by Nick Taylor.

Score, 35-32, Note Dame with 4:53 left in the third quarter.

Then the game took a decisive turn in Geneseo's favor.

After stopping the Blue Devils on their possession following Taylor's score, Notre Dame was moving the ball down the field again when QB Tim McCulley took off on a keeper. After gaining about 10 yards, he was gang tackled by Blue Devils defenders.

As the photo above shows, McCulley was in possession of the ball as his knees were down, but there was no whistle. This gave Geneseo's Ridler a chance to strip the ball from McCulley.

The Blue Devils recovered the "fumble."

"I thought his forward progress would stop," Mancuso said after the game. "I was waiting for the whistle. He was being driven back on his way down. I thought we’d get the whistle and we didn’t and they got the ball and that deflated us.

"We went from being very, very high and being very energized to being somewhat deflated and I think that kind of took a little wind out of our sails."

Geneseo scored 12 unanswered points and led 44-35 with 9:47 left in the game.

A fourth Mullen TD, on a seven-yard run, pulled the Irish within two points, but with two minutes left in the game, Copeland ripped off another 56 yard TD run, and with the two-point conversion, the Blue Devils cemented a 10-point win, 52-42.

In all, Notre Dame gained 394 yards on the ground and Geneseo ran for 409 yards and gained another 145 through the air, giving the teams a combined offensive total of 948 yards.

For Notre Dame, Mullen scored four TDs on 15 carries and gained 160 yards. Nick Taylor scored one TD and gained 221 yards on the ground.

Tim McCulley attempted 10 passes, completed four for 48 yards. He was intercepted once.

Xavier Copeland carried the ball 17 times for Geneseo, gaining 234 yards and scoring four touchdowns. He also passed for 145 yards on four completions. Jon Ridler carried the ball 18 times and gained 154 yards, scoring twice. Wes Smith had three catches for 118 yards and one TD.

On defense, Kyle Morse, Nate Woods and Andrew Mullen each had seven tackles. Jacob Tschiderer had 11 tackles for Geneseo. 

Anthony Paladino was Notre Dame's defensive player of the game. Aaron McDonald received a lineman award.

Time of possession tipped in Notre Dame's favor, 29:25 to 18:35.

"I've been very, very proud of the effort of all the kids throughout the season and today was no different," Mancuso said. "I really felt they left everything out on the field. I don’t think we got cheated at all in what we brought to the game and I think they’ve got a lot to be proud of."

If you have trouble viewing the slide show below, click here.




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

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