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November 11, 2011 - 7:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A semi-trailer has been stopped on West Main Street Road in front of Hodgins Engraving after a citizen reported the truck was driving into oncoming traffic, forcing cars off the road.

It has no or obscured license plates.

November 11, 2011 - 6:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion.

Two burglary suspects are in custody in Pavilion after a manhunt by multiple law enforcement agencies and use of the State Police helicopter.

The call started late this afternoon when York Road residents came home and found the suspects in their driveway.

The door to their house may have been kicked in.

Details are incomplete at this time.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is handling the case.

Area residents report seeing multiple Sheriff's and trooper cars in the area as well as use of the State Police helicopter.

Area barns and garages were searched during the manhunt.

Details have not yet been released on how or where the suspects were caught.

One area resident said there has been a series of burglaries in the area recently. That hasn't been confirmed with law enforcement and it's unknown if this case is related to previous cases.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

November 11, 2011 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Veterans Day.

Veterans from throughout Genesee County gathered today at Jerome Center at the corner of Washington and Bank for an annual Veterans Day service.

November 11, 2011 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget.

More than a dozen veterans made sure their voices were heard Thursday at the public hearing on the proposed 2012 Genesee County budget.

Repeatedly, veterans stepped to the podium and pleaded with the legislature to ensure the next veterans services officer is properly trained.

"Besides the force reduction through attrition, thousands and thousands of servicemen are about to become veterans," said Ernie Luskey, noting the plans to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afganistan in the next couple of years.

Those veterans will have their benefits jeopardized if there isn't a properly trained, credentialed and accredited veterans service officer working for the county, each speaker said.

"There are just too many laws, rules and regulations for a veterans services officer to pick up on the fly," Luskey said. "He has to be trained."

After the meeting, County Manager Jay Gsell said the new veterans services officer will be trained.

Hal Kreter retires from the job in August (he and his wife plan to move to Twentynine Palms in California). Gsell said his replacement will be hired in July or earlier and there are training classes available in August and September.

There is money in the social services budget to accomodate the training, Gsell said.

Gsell said there are other changes coming in the proposed budget, most significantly, the tax rate is going to be reduced.

Adjustments have already been made to reduce the rate from the originally proposed rate of $9.95 per $1,000 of assessed value to $9.92.

Gsell said the direction he is getting from the legislature is to reduce it further -- to $9.85 per thousand. The current rate is $9.82.

The county is struggling with cuts to local programs while seeing state-mandated costs -- particularly pension contributions and Medicaid expenses -- skyrocket.

Taken together, the increases in those two programs push the expenditure beyond what the county could generate in property tax revenue, if the legislature raised taxes as much as it could under the recently enacted 2-percent property tax levy cap.

Medicaid alone costs the county more than 42 percent of county's tax levy, or $10 million.

Gsell said New York is one of only three states in the union that makes local taxpayers shoulder any part of Medicaid expenses, all while also providing recipients with a "Maserati" level of numerous services, and with less oversight.

"Medicaid is the entitlement with no ceiling and minimal controls as far as case management and disease management and health-living metrics are concerned," Gsell said. 

If the state took over Medicaid costs, property taxes in the county could be reduced by about $3 per thousand.

"Contrary to what Gov. Cuomo has alleged himself or through his stalking horse, Lt. Gov. Duffy, we counties are not whining or asking to be 'subsidized,'" Gsell said.

"The state put counties in this unprecedented and unenviable position 30 or 40 years ago, with no local control or discretion to fund a benefit that the state and federal governments totally orchestrate. The state alone has the power to gradually and strategically extricate the counties from this fiscal morass."

Total proposed appropriations for 2012 are $142,098,429. That's up 1.10 percent from 2011.

Anticipated revenue for the fiscal year is $112,015,617. The deficit will need to be made up either through more cuts in spending or an increase in the property tax rate.

Gsell said cuts will be made and the rate increase will be lessened when the revised budget is brought forward on Nov. 21.

Top photo: County Manager Jay Gsell; inset, veteran Paul Gaylord; bottom, legislators Esther Leadley, Robert Radley and Hollis Upson.

November 11, 2011 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bill Cox.

Message from Councilman Bill Cox:

Residents and friends of the First Ward,

I would like to personally thank everyone for the support and friendship which you have given to me during the past four years as your councilman.

It was an honor and genuine pleasure to represent and assist you.

It was my sincere desire to continue to represent you. You made your decision on your next representative and I respect it. I called Kris Doeringer to offer my congratulations and to offer my support for a smooth transition. I also offered my support to him during his term if he would like to contact me for any reason. I am sure he will do an outstanding job of representing you.

We have a great city and a great ward. I wish each and everyone of you the very best in every way.

Bill Cox
Councilman – First Ward

November 11, 2011 - 9:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander.

The Sheriff's Office believes Wyatt Becker is in the Batavia area and knows law enforcement is looking for him but haven't yet pinpointed his location, according to warrant officer Eric Olson.

Olson is asking that anybody who has information on Becker's whereabouts to call (585) 343-0911.

Becker is wanted for alleged vehicular assault, DWI and felony violation of probation.

On Monday, Becker failed to appear for his arraignment in Genesee County Court on those charges. Previously, when Becker was in Alexander Town Court, after learning that he was going to jailed on $5,000 bail, Becker reportedly asked to use the restroom and never came back.

The assault and DWI charges stem from an Aug. 3 accident in which a person was seriously injured.

November 10, 2011 - 11:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Batavia Party House.

Michael Tomaszewski, right, marvels at the fact that he and business partner Dave Stupp have remained friends through seven and a half years of operating the Batavia Party House together.

Friends that go into business together often don't stay friends, Tomaszewski noted today.

The two businessmen were talking about a change in their partnership, one that will spell the end of the Batavia Party House as we know it.

While the partners will continue to operate a catering service together, the party house, after more than 40 years in business, is hosting its last party on Monday.

Both Tomaszewski and Stupp have stakes in other local businesses, and those have increasingly become a focus of their time and resources. Operating the  Batavia Party House -- located at 5762 E. Main St. Road,  Batavia -- has simply become something they no longer wish to do.

"Since we began this place together, our lives have gone in different directions," Tomaszewski said. "Dave has the pizza business (partner in Pauly's Pizza) and the deli (Northside Deli). I have the funeral business (Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral and Cremation Chapel), and those businesses are doing well."

Stupp and pizzeria partner Paul Bernardini recently expanded Pauly's Pizza into Clarence. Tomaszewski recently added a reception center next to his funeral home on West Main Street.

"We have other business interests now," Stupp added.

Stupp and Tomaszewski tried finding a buyer for the party house, which was founded in the 1970s by Tom and Bill Barber.

"This part of town is growing, with what's going on at the ag park  and Adams trucking coming in next door, we've had a lot of interest in the building," Stupp said. "But, nobody has come forward with an interest in the party house as a party house."

November 10, 2011 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Holland Land Office Museum, Christmas.

It's tinsel and baubles time at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Dozens of sponsors -- more than ever before -- are in the process of setting up their Christmas trees for the museum's popular, annual Wonderland of Trees.

It's the 10th year for the event, which is a major fundraiser for HLOM.

The opening gala is 7 to 10:30 p.m., Nov. 18. It will include entertainment, hors d'ouevres and a raffle. Cost is $5 per person.

The children's gala is from noon to 4 p.m., Dec. 17. Cost is $5 per family.

The trees will be on public display from Nov. 18 through Jan. 3, with admission prices of $3 for adults, $1 for children, and free for children 5 and under.

November 9, 2011 - 9:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Sponsored Post, advertisement, contests.

Our Week 9 winner was Debbie Cooley, who was among nine people to correctly pick San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers as the QB (from among the choices) to throw four TDs. Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay, who played against the Chargers in Week 9, also tossed four TDs, but Rodgers was not among the 10 choices in the contest. Debbie was picked as the winner in a random drawing.

Debbie wins one large sub and one order of wings from Main St. Pizza Company. She has one week to claim her prize.

November 9, 2011 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

Announcement from the Town of Elba:

At the September meeting, the Elba Town Board voted unanimously to discontinue refuse and recycling collection service at the town transfer station at the end of the year. 

For more than a decade, the town transfer station has operated at an annual deficit. Revenues have not offset the operating expenses.    

Over the past few years, the town board has made attempts to decrease the expenses (decreasing the hours and negotiating to reduce the Dumpster service costs) and increase the revenues (increasing the fee per garbage bag and charging for “dump day”) to narrow the deficit gap, but the town budget can no longer afford to subsidize this service. 

Fewer than 100 Town of Elba households purchase garbage bag “punch-cards” every year. To help these town residents choose a refuse disposal service, we have obtained information from three area refuse collection businesses. 

Curbside pick-up:
• PSI: phone 585-599-3255
• Waste Management: phone 800-333-6590

Private Transfer Station:
• Scofield Transfer and Recycling in Stafford: phone 585-343-7373

More detailed information about the services each business offers is available on the “refuse disposal” page on the town’s website; the town clerk’s office Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed between 12-1 p.m.); and the town transfer station Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Additional information:

The last Saturday that the Town of Elba transfer station will be open for refuse collection is Dec. 17.

For your convenience, the transfer station will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26.

November 9, 2011 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, scams.

Press release:

Genesee County Clerk Don M. Read is advising the public of two scams that have been spreading across the state and have recently surfaced here in mailboxes and on computers. The first involves a letter offering to provide a copy of your deed and related property information and the second is an email that suggests you have an unanswered motor vehicle ticket.

Property owners may receive by mail or email a solicitation offering to do the research and secure a certified copy of the deed to your real estate for a fee of $87. Several years ago this approach made its way through the state with a price tag of $50. Before that the offer was for $35. You can very easily obtain either a plain photocopy of your deed for $2 or a certified copy for approximately $5 from the Genesee County Clerk’s Office. The actual cost could vary by $2 to 3, depending upon the length of your deed. If you would like a copy of your deed, you can write, call or stop by the County Clerk’s Office. It only takes a few minutes to obtain a copy. 

The company offering the so-called service on the letter which a local resident brought to our office is Record Retrieval Services of Albany, New York. They offer to provide you with a copy of the deed and a “Property Profile” for $87 if you respond by a specified date. The information in the supposed “Property Profile” (Tax Map Number, purchase date, sale amount, etc.) is readily available online. To access the information call the County Real Property Tax Office @ 585-344-2550, ext. 2225, or visit the website for real property data @ 

There is no charge for this information.

A second scam that has surfaced recently involves an email supposedly from the N.Y. State Department of Motor Vehicles or the New York State Police. Individuals will receive an email suggesting that they have an unpaid ticket for a motor vehicle violation, with the subject line indicating “Uniform Traffic Ticket.” Generally, the ticket is from a small community somewhere in New York State. In order to avoid suspension of your license you will need to open an attachment, enter a plea on a ticket form and return it to the town court that is identified.

Opening the attachment may very well expose your computer to a virus. The address of the town court is bogus and usually a post office box. Neither the Department of Motor Vehicles nor the New York State Police send out notifications of this sort by email. Your best course of action is to delete the email without even opening it, and certainly do not open the attachment. The State Police and DMV have requested that you not send the email to them.

November 9, 2011 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke, corfu.

A Corfu resident allegedly was following another vehicle too closely at 6:03 p.m., Tuesday, when his car rear-ended another vehicle that had slowed because a truck had stopped to turn.

The vehicles were both westbound on Route 33 near Boyce Road, Pembroke.

Three people were treated at UMMC for injuries sustained in the two-car accident.

Raymond E. Judd, 83, of Phelps Road, Corfu, was allegedly following to closely a car driven by Diane M. Weaton, of Blood Road, Cowsville.

Also injured in the crash was Judd's passenger, Rosa Laurentina, 62.

The accident was investigated by Sgt. Greg Walker.

November 9, 2011 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien, Pavilion, Bethany, Stafford.

William Lee Lantz, 25, of South Main Street, Castile, is charged with petit larceny. Lantz is accused of stealing a CO detector from a residence in Stafford where he had been working.

Albert Ackerman, 47, of 930 George St., Mumford, is charged with DWI, driving on a suspended registration, driving on a suspended driver's license and operating with an open container. Ackerman was stopped by a Le Roy police officer at 11:50 a.m., Sunday, for an alleged traffic violation at Main and Mill streets. Ackerman was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Angel Gregory Andujar, 26, of Perry Road, Pavilion, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana. Andujar was allegedly found in possession of metal knuckles and a small baggie of marijuana while walking on Perry Road. Andujar was reportedly walking away from a domestic incident involving family members.

Thomas Ralph, Gianvecchio, 60, of Mountain Ash Drive, Greece, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Gianvecchio is accused of writing letters to his estranged wife in violation of a protection order out of Monroe County Family Court.

Jason W. Killion, 30, of 5155 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, and failure to keep right. Killion was stopped at an unspecified time Tuesday on Ellicott Street at Swan Street by Lt. James Henning.

Nathan Michael Haag, 20, of Steel Circle, Niagara Falls, is charged with petit larceny. Haag is accused of stealing two bottles of 5 Hour Energy Drink from Kmart on Monday.

Justin R. Martin, 28, of 232 Henrietta St., Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and passing a red light. Martin was stopped at 2:27 a.m., Sunday, on West Main Street at Oak Street, Batavia, by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Mathew J. Pentycote, 23, of 22 Spencer Court, Batavia, is charged with DWI, refusal of breath test and moving from lane unsafely. Pentycote was stopped at 1:16 a.m., Sunday, on West Main Street, by Officer Matthew Fleming.

A 17-year-old resident of 5270 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. The youth's car, while parked on school property, was allegedly found to contain alcoholic beverages.

Jason L. Cramer, 27, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, aggravated unlicensed operation, improper right turn and failure to keep right. Cramer was stopped at 1:02 a.m., Sunday, on Elm Street, Batavia, by Deputy James Diehl.

Gloria Susan Moretti, 34, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, a felony, and harassment, 2nd. Moretti was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute at 2:10 a.m., Oct. 29, at an address on Indian Falls Road, Pembroke, in which Moretti allegedly bit the victim twice and caused heavy damage to the victim's parked vehicle.

Devontre Levar Harvey, 27, of Garfield Street, Rochester, is charged with illegal possession of untaxed cigarettes. Harvey's car was stopped on Route 77 at 2:46 p.m., Nov. 5, after Genesee County dispatchers received a tip from a caller that a car occupied by two males were in possession of a large amount of untaxed cigarettes. Also charged was Holsey Wedlow, 59, of South Avenue, Rochester.

Scott Howard Baker, 49, of Fargo Road, Bethany, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Baker was allegedly found in possession of marijuana at 3:08 a.m., Nov. 5, at an address on Ellicott Street Road, Bethany.

Gregory James Baker, 31, no permanent address, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Baker was allegedly found in possession of more than a dozen hypodermic needles and other paraphernalia while at his mother's residence.

James Anthony Dean, 54, of Brown Road, East Bethany, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated DWI (driving with a BAC of .18 or greater with one or more prior convictions), leaving the scene of a property damage accident, changing lanes when hazardous markings are in place and failure to keep right. Dean was arrested following an accident at 8:41 a.m., Nov. 2, on Herkimer Road, Darien.

November 9, 2011 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 33-year-old Batavia resident with a lengthy criminal record who is accused of selling cocaine to an undercover agent is getting his life turned around, he told Judge Robert C. Noonan in County Court on Wednesday morning.

Juan Roman wants to continue on that path and was hoping Noonan wouldn't send him away for any length of time.

"I’m glad that it happened (getting arrested), because it made me a better person," Roman said. "I thank the court system because it saved my life."

Noonan said the progress Roman has made in drug treatment over the past 90 days counts significantly in his favor. But the judge said he couldn't overlook his prior felony convictions, his multiple stints in state prison and previous probation violations.

"You come here with a horrible criminal record," Noonan said.

One of Noonan's options, besides straight prison time, might have been local probation with intermittent incarceration at the Genesee County Jail.

When Roman entered his guilty plea to attempted possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, he agreed to a possible sentence of up to four years in prison.

Since his guilty plea, Roman has been through Hope Haven and other programs of his own choosing. He's also been working on getting back his asbestos removal license. He has only one more week of classes before he can test again.

"I know my record is not a good record," Roman said. "I just want to get my license back to help me further myself and my family and my future."

Roman said he has four children.

He said he accepted full responsibility for the position he found himself in.

Noonan took all that in, but said Roman needed to go away for 90 days to the Willard Drug Treatment Center.

"There are components of Willard that you are not going through right now," Noonan said. "I hope you benefit from them as much as you have from the drug treatment you have been through.

"If you play it right," Noonan added, "you won't be gone long. You will be able to get out and get back on track. I'm hopeful this sentence will continue your positive course."

If Roman doesn't say on the positive course, he will be required to serve four years in state prison.

If he completes Willard successfully, he will be on parole for the term of his sentence plus another three years of post-release supervision.

November 8, 2011 - 10:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, election.

Republican Party members are at South Beach Restaurant tonight celebrating what they believe is a "clean sweep" of key Genesee County elections.

Based on polling data gathered by volunteers at each polling station, the GOP believes Frank Ferrando and Shelley Stein both won seats on the county legislature.

Their unofficial internal numbers also show Kris Doeringer, John Canale and Bob Bialkowski winning city council races.

According to the GOP numbers, Ferrando beats John Deleo 420 to 330.

GOP County Committee Treasurer Matt Landers said while they don't have the exact numbers, the information the GOP gathered at South Beach regarding Le Roy is that Stein has defeated Jackie Whiting and William Hogan.

In Batavia, Doeringer unofficially has 267 votes to 210 for Bill Cox. Canale has 173 votes compared to 134 for Katie Balbick Bellamy and 15 for Dan Jones. Bialkowski has 202 to 200 for Pierluigi Cipollone.

UPDATE 10:39 p.m.: The county has posted its election tally.

UPDATE 10:42 p.m.: The tally released by the county is confirming the GOP's numbers. In Le Roy, Stein won with 964 votes to 601 for Whiting and 218 for Hogan.

UPDATE 10:44 p.m.: WBTA is in the process of updating its table of election results, which is easier to read than the county's spreadsheet. Click here for total from races throughout the county.

UPDATE 11:43 p.m.: Photos added. Top four photos at South Beach while Republicans were still gathering data. Bottom pictures at Larry's Steakhouse, where the Democrats gathered before results were in.

November 8, 2011 - 7:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

State Police investigators are still uncertain about what caused a car heading westbound on North Byron Road this afternoon to go off the south shoulder and strike a tree on the driver's side.

Impact was right at the driver's seat and the car wrapped around the tree nearly to the point of the passenger's seat.

The driver, Linda Brown, 67, of Elba, was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Robert Yungfleisch.

The accident occurred about a half mile east of Log City Road, Elba.

Trooper John Szymkowiak was first on the scene and said he checked Brown's vitals and did not detect a pulse. He requested Mercy Flight be dispatched to the scene.

An Elba medic arrived minutes later and the medic was also unable to detect a pulse and other vital signs were negative. Mercy Flight was canceled at that point.

The initial call to 9-1-1 was at about 3:50 p.m. by another westbound driver who came over the top of a hill, just east of the accident location, and saw the car strike the tree. 

The witness did not see enough prior to impact to help provide information on what caused Brown's car to go off the road.

Szymkowiak said it appeared Brown started to go off the road about 100 feet prior to impact with the tree and there were some signs of braking on the road surface.

"The cause is still under investigation," Szymkowiak said. "It could have been a medical issue. It could have been a deer in the roadway. We are looking at several things right now."

An autopsy will be completed to try and determine if the cause was medical.

Updated at 8:29 p.m.

UPDATE: WBTA's Geoff Redick has video posted.

November 8, 2011 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

A car has reportedly hit a tree on North Byron Road near Log City Road, Elba, and a person is reportedly trapped in the car and possibly unconscious.

Elba Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

Mercy Flight being dispatched. Mercy Flight #2 is coming from Buffalo.

UPDATE 4 p.m.: Mercy Flight is cancelled.

UPDATE 4:43 p.m.: This is a fatal accident and the victim is female. No other information is available yet.




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