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June 20, 2012 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports.

Press release:

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, owner of Batavia Downs Casino, has today announced a strategic partnership of services with Saratoga Casino and Raceway and ebet Technologies, LLC. Subject to approval of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, these two prominent New York State racing entities will be partnering in the launch of the new advance deposit internet wagering platform,

“We felt very strongly that we should partner with a proven organization within New York State such as Saratoga,” said Michael Kane, CEO of Western OTB/ Batavia Downs. “This will work towards the betterment of wagering for our customers and be a great example on how we can work together within New York State to strengthen the horse-racing industry.”

Kane also added that support was acquired for SaratogaBets because of the platform’s proven success.

Western OTB’s unprecedented alliance with Saratoga Casino and Raceway is part of an effort amongst New York State racing entities to work together to create cost-effective revenue opportunities in today’s highly competitive pari-mutuel environment.

“We have experienced great success with, our advance deposit wagering platform,” said Jamie Hartman, COO and executive vice president of Saratoga Casino and Raceway. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with eBet and Batavia Downs to institute this exciting wagering option in Western New York and to further promote increased support and interest in New York racing.”

BataviaBets is a free service allowing customers who sign up for an account to wager on pari-mutuel events via the internet in addition to wagering via the telephone. Focused on servicing local residents and guests who support Batavia Downs and the Western Regional OTB network, this convenient option gives access to customers who would like to place a wager, watch the races, or check results.

“We are excited to work with an organization like Batavia Downs to extend their brand while maintaining access and control of their customer base,” said Mark Gregory, chairman of eBet. "We’re focused on delivering new channels and incremental revenues for regional racetracks like Batavia.”

June 20, 2012 - 8:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) recently voted against an unproven, illogical mandate on firearms producers known as microstamping. The proposal would force manufacturers to develop technology leaving unique imprints on rounds of ammunition, a costly process that would force producers to take their jobs out of state even though the procedure has not been proven to benefit public safety.

“Western New Yorkers know that if there’s anything that out-of-touch downstate politicians love as much as attacking our business owners and job creators, it’s attacking law-abiding gun owners,” Hawley said. “Instead of confronting the fact that gun crimes are, by and large, committed using illegal, unlicensed firearms, the Assembly Majority continues to demonize those of us who rightfully exercise our Second Amendment right.

"To make matters worse, this legislation would price firearms producers out of the state and cost New Yorkers jobs that we cannot afford to lose. No matter how many times this legislation comes to the Assembly Floor, I will continue to stand up against this absurd and unproven proposal.”

Assemblyman Hawley has consistently voted against previous legislation seeking to impose microstamping mandates against firearms producers.

June 20, 2012 - 8:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba.

Darrel R. Scroger, 34, of 8 Swan St., Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Scroger is accused of renting more than $3,000 in property from a local rental store and then failing to abide by the rental agreement. When the store tried to recover the items, it was discovered that Scroger apparently no longer has the items. Scroger was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Brandon J. March, 27, of 15 James St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. March is accused of damaging property of a person who was protected under a "no offensive conduct" order of protection.

Cory James Hemmer, 28, of South Main Street, Elba, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, coercion, 2nd, harassment, 2nd. Hemmer turned himself in on an arrest warrant for the listed charges, which stem from an incident reported May 30. Hemmer was jailed on $2,000 bail or $5,000 bond.

June 20, 2012 - 7:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

A woman who was bit by a dog Thursday on Snipery Road in Corfu was shopping at a yard sale, according to Trooper Steven Brady, who investigated the incident.

After selecting some items for purchase, Suzanne R. Balduf, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, went to the front door at 9352 Snipery Road, Corfu, and knocked.

The dog barked and bounded toward the door.  Brady said it isn't clear how the door opened. The dog may have hit the latch or the door may have just popped open when he jumped against it.

Balduf sustained dog bites on her arm and leg.

After Brady took the initial report, the case was turned over to Animal Control. 

As is routine, the dog is being quarantined for 10 days, but Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble said the dog, owned by Susan M. Waldmiller, is up-to-date on its shots and had all of its tags.

There were no citations issued.

June 19, 2012 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Airport, aviation.

Ninth- and 10th-graders from throughout the GLOW region are invited to the WNY Aviation Adventure Camp, July 7 through 13 at Genesee County Airport.

The cost of the camp is $345, which includes meals and overnight bunking in the camp's hangar at the airport.

The deadline for registration is JUNE 22.

The camp includes:

  • Taking the controls from the pilot's seat of an aircraft in flight
  • Completing an FAA approved 16-hour private pilot ground course
  • Participating in the inspection and repair of aircraft
  • View military aircraft at the Buffalo Naval and Serviemen's Park and Museum
  • Visiting the Geneseo Air Show
  • Going behind the scenes at the Greater Rochester International Airport and receiving a briefing from the TSA
  • Touring the USAF's 914th Airlift Wing in Niagara Falls and its fleet of C130 Hercules aircraft.

Participating students will be kept busy from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day with these activities and more, with each evening ending with an aviation-themed movie, such at "Top Gun," "The Memphis Belle," "Apollo 13" and "The Tuskegee Airmen."

For more information, visit the WNY Aviation Adventure Camp Web site.

Photo: Pete Zeliff, left, who is hosting the camp in his hangar with his fleet of aircraft, which includes a brand-new Bell helicopter, and Eve Hens, one of the organizers. Zeliff is holding his 4-year-old grandson, Owen, who won't be at the camp, but wanted to in the picture.

June 19, 2012 - 1:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, main street.

If you tried driving on Route 5 in Batavia this morning, you might have found your commute took two or three times as long. 

DOT work crews had one lane shut down for a re-striping project.

Batavia PD reported just before noon that cones had been removed and Route 5 was two lanes again.

June 19, 2012 - 1:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals.

Laurie Waite and daughter Ellie, 12, spotted a mama duck and her ducklings trying to cross Main Street near the post office and decided to try and do their best to ensure their safe passage. Traffic was snarled because of road work.

As the feathered family neared Ellicott Street, mama got scared and flew off. The ducklings tried to hide in the bushes. A county employee brought over a cardboard box. Dale Lewter and Butch Yasses joined the rescue effort.

After about six of the 10 had been gathered up and placed in the box, one ran into the storm drain. Two more darted out into traffic on Ellicott Street. Lewter captured one, but the second ran across the street. With Lewter and Yasses in the road motioning for southbound traffic to stop, a black hatchback, possibly a Kia or similar make, just kept on going and struck the duckling.

Lt. Eugene Jankowski said the storm drain grate was welded in place because of truck traffic on Ellicott Street, so the best that could be done was hope the duckling could find its way to the creek through the drain.

With eight of the ducklings now in the box and mother circling the area, Lewter carried the ducklings to the Tonawanda Creek and placed them in the water. Mama duck landed at the top of the falls, and after her eight babies were in the water, she flew down to join them, honking after she landed and the little guys quickly swam to be by her side.

June 19, 2012 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

Mondays are usually low attendance nights at Dwyer Stadium, and only 1,055 fans turned out last night for the Batavia Muckdogs season opener.

The Muckdogs lost to Auburn 6-5, but it was exciting baseball and at least two of the current crop of MLB hopefuls showed some flashes of why they'll be fun to watch in 2012.

David Washington, a first baseman from San Diego, is in his fourth professional season. The 6' 6", 200-pound former basketball dunking champion demonstrated some athleticism on the first play of the game with a backwards dive to grab a flare in foul territory (top photo). Washington also slammed a pitch over the right field wall in the power play in the eighth inning. The left-hander had three hits and also recorded the longest out of the game with a fly ball to the warning track in dead center field.

Patrick Wisdom is a first-round draft pick whom scouts say can become a rare commodity: a power-hitting third baseman. He tends to swing amiss too much, but he does have power and projects, with experience, as a good fielding third baseman. Monday he showed some range, quickness and a strong arm. He didn't get a hit, but was hit by a pitch and drew a walk, scoring both times he reached base.

Monday's pitcher, Ben Freeman, gave up three runs on six hits over six and a third innings. Adam Bileckyj took the loss, giving up two hits and two runs (one earned).

Catcher Jesus Montero had three hits but was lifted in the eighth inning after being hit by a pitch that glanced off his helmet and hit his forehead. 

The Muckdogs are home again Wednesday against Auburn and there will be fireworks at the park Friday when the Muckdogs take on the Jamestown Jammers. Both games are at 7:05 p.m.

June 18, 2012 - 5:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a string of thefts from unlocked vehicles in and around the Town of Batavia over the past several weeks. The investigation has produced a vehicle and a person of interest the Sheriff’s Office would like to identify. Attached are photos of both. The vehicle is believed to be a darker blueish Chevrolet Cobalt with a rear spoiler. The male in the photo is believed to be over 6 foot in height and over 200 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000.

UPDATE Tuesday, 8:10 a.m.: The subject has been identified. He's not from  Genesee County.

June 18, 2012 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury issued the following indictments:

Jayson M. Connolly is indicted on 13 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Connolly is accused of using the identify of another Genesee County Jail inmate in the jail's phone system when contacting a person who was protected from contact by court order.

Stephen D. Reamer is indicted on counts of felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Reamer is accused of driving drunk March 23 in the Town of Le Roy. Reamer was previously convicted of DWI in December 2004.

Cody L. Osborn is indicted on counts of felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation and criminal impersonation in the third degree. Osborn is accused of driving drunk March 4 in the Town of Le Roy. Osborn allegedly identified himself as a person employed by the Le Roy PD. Osborn was previously convicted of DWI in May 2009.

Jon N. Roblee is indicted on a count of criminal contempt 1st. Roblee is accused of placing a phone call to a person protected by a court order and saying, "I am going to get you and him too, if it takes the rest of my life."

June 18, 2012 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

Batavia PD is being dispatched to the gas pumps at Tops for a property damage accident.

Reportedly, a driver pulled up to a pump, found it wasn't working, tried to back up, struck a car, then pulled around to the other side and struck one of the barrier poles. The driver then got out and proceeded to start pumping gas.

June 18, 2012 - 12:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Le Roy, corfu.

Billie J. McMurty-Rivera, 27, of 863 North St., Rochester, is charged with assault, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, and open container in a motor vehicle. A vehicle later found to be operated by McMurty-Rivera was reportedly observed in the parking lot of a closed business in Le Roy early Sunday morning by Le Roy PD. Upon investigation, McMurty-Rivera officers discovered an alleged domestic incident involving McMurty-Rivera and his female passenger. McMurty-Rivera was jailed on $20,000 bail.

Morgan L. Cox Jr., 20, of 14 Vine St., Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd. Cox was arrested during an investigation into a domestic incident.

Shawn C. Bulow, 41, of Corfu, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to notify DMV of address change, aggravated unlicensed operation, moving from lane unsafely and speeding. Bulow was stopped at 8:55 p.m. Sunday in the Town of Newstead by State Police.

June 17, 2012 - 11:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

UPDATED Monday, 8 a.m., with confirmation of the suspects' identities, charges, additional details about the arrests and information provided by another person who said she witnessed the events.


What would normally be a routine arrest -- for alleged criminal contempt -- took a quick turn for the worse Sunday evening in Le Roy bringing out a significant response from multiple law enforcement agencies.

In the end, three people were arrested and no officers nor civilians were seriously injured.

"It went from zero to 60 in under a couple of seconds. It was just that quick," said Chris Hayward, chief of police for the Village of Le Roy. "Speaking to the officer afterwards, you're standing there waiting for that extra help to get there and it feels like it's taking forever and it's only taking a couple of minutes for people to get there to help you. These situations just spiral out of control real quickly. Fortunately, it's not something that happens on a regular basis."

Taken into custody were three residents of 21 Maple Ave.: Michael J Mead Sr., 25; Donald E. Mead Jr., 49; and Elaina J. Mead, 43.

Michael Mead is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, resisting arrest and harassment, 2nd. He was jailed on $20,000 bail.

Donald Mead is charged with assault, 2nd, a Class D felony, criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing governmental administration. He was jailed on $15,000 bail.

Elaina Mead is charged with attempted aggravated assault on a police officer, a Class C felony, menacing a police officer, a Class D felony, and obstructing governmental administration. She is being held on $15,000 bail.

The incident began some time around 5 p.m. when Deputy Matthew Butler and Officer Emily Clark went to the Maple Avenue address to speak with Michael Mead about a criminal contempt complaint.

According to Hayward, after an interview, Butler informed the suspect that he was under arrest.

Allegedly, Michael Mead physically resisted arrest.

Michael Mead
Donald Mead
Elaina Mead
UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: Booking photos weren't available earlier because of computer problems at the Sheriff's Office.

As officers attempted to take Michael Mead into custody, Donald Mead allegedly tried to slam the front door on the officers, striking Butler with the door.

As the officers reportedly wrestled with the Michael Mead, Elaina Mead allegedly came out of the house and pushed a knife against Butler's chest.

Clark knocked the knife from the woman's hand and suffered a minor cut in the process.

Elaina Mead then reportedly reentered the house, raising further concern for the officers and their safety as they continued to wrestle with the suspect.

It's unclear what Donald Mead was doing at this point.

At some point during the scuffle, Clark requested back-up from Genesee County Emergency Dispatch, informing dispatchers that she and Butler were dealing with multiple agitated subjects and that at least one person had come at them with a knife.

As additional deputies and State Troopers responded, Butler said, "Keep sending all units. Multiple people are going to be arrested."

A Livingston County deputy responded and deputies in Orleans and Wyoming counties staged on the county lines ready to respond if more manpower was needed.

Within minutes of back-up arriving, all three suspects were in custody and additional units responded were told they could "back it down."

Sunday's incident, Hayward said, emphasizes the need in Genesee County for multiple law enforcement agencies to provide sufficient coverage in emergencies.

"Today demonstrates that if we didn’t have services along those lines, one or more officers would have been hurt," Hayward said.

Judging from scanner traffic, it sounded like several individuals were involved in the ruckus, but Hayward said up until the point of the arrests, only son, mother and father were involved.

According to Lourina Jeanotte, who emailed The Batavian in response to our initial report, said she was at the scene Sunday and said the suspects were gathered with other friends and family members for Father's Day when Butler and Clark knocked on the Mead's door.

She claims Elaina never threatened Butler nor Clark with the knife and only had it in her hand because she was cutting a steak and she forgot to put it down when she rushed out of the house because she believed Clark was beating her son.

Another person who said in an email she was there and witnessed the events, Cassidy Pucci, said Butler grabbed Michael Mead for no reason and that Donald Mead tried to assist his son.

She said Elaina Mead had a knife in her hand, but dropped it and started yelling at the officers, "Why are you hurting my son? It's Father's Day. Why are you hurting my son?" 

Pucci said Clark kicked the knife away.

At some point, Elaina Mead and Donald Mead started back toward the house, Pucci said, and Donald yelled something about the officers being in the wrong, that they had no reason to come to his house and grab his son.

When Donald Mead was cuffed and sitting in a Le Roy PD cruiser, Jeanotte said she saw Donald in the patrol car with the windows rolled up and he "began to shake and sweat horribly."

Jeanotte began to yell that he was having a medical emergency and several other people began to yell and one young man tried to open the back door of the cruiser and Clark pushed him away.

EMS personal were on scene and got Donald Mead out of the car quickly.

One male at the scene yelled that Donald Mead had a heart condition.

Donald Mead was placed on a stretcher and transported by Le Roy Ambulance to UMMC. He was released from the hospital about an hour later and taken into custody.

According to Hayward, the Sheriff's Office has been trying to resolve the criminal contempt charge for a couple of weeks, but the suspect had been uncooperative.

"Speaking to the deputy, it appears that they went above what they would normally do to get the matter resolved and that’s what resulted in the deputy going there tonight," Hayward said.

Michael Mead is accused of violating an order of protection.

Some of the Mead's neighbors said 21 Maple Ave. is a regular source of disturbances. Hayward confirmed that police have responded to the address on prior occasions, but did not have specifics on the nature of the calls.

The property is owned, according to online county records, by Troy Overholt.

It's unusual for a misdemeanor arrest to escalate as this one did, but it points out why officers need to be vigilant in all situations, Hayward said.

“There wasn’t anything that would have raised concern any more than what you typically go through when you go to deal with people," Hayward said. "It was one of those situations where they went there and it escalated out of control quickly."

Asked about how some people criticize police for how they conduct themselves in arrest situations, Hayward said many times people really don't understand the safety concerns.

"You’ll see people criticize the actions that officers take but until you’ve been in that situation where you are really concerned about your safety or the safety of others around you, you really have no basis to speak from," Hayward said. "These officers were in a situation where they were taking appropriate measures and because of that neither was seriously hurt."

UPDATE Monday, 1:57 p.m.: Donald and Elaina posted bail. Michael Mead remains in jail.

PHOTOS: Top, Donald Mead on a stretcher being assisted by Le Roy medics after suffering an apparent health issue while sitting in a patrol car. Second, Lourina Jeanotte becomes alarmed while observing Donald Mead in the patrol car. Bottom, Trooper Holly Hansell adjusts the handcuffs on Elaina Mead.

June 17, 2012 - 9:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A lantern in a tree at 25 Pleasant St., Le Roy, is reportedly smoldering.

Le Roy Fire Department is dispatched.

UPDATE 9:49 p.m.: A chief on scene reports the fire is out. "It appears to be accidental."

UPDATE 9:51 p.m.: Le Roy fire is back in service.

View Larger Map

June 17, 2012 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

An officer is apparently being attacked by people at 21 Maple Ave., Le Roy.

Multiple law enforcement units are responding. The location is between North and Church streets in the Village of Le Roy.

UPDATE 5:19 p.m. (by Billie): A female in front of the house is armed with a knife. A man has been pinned down by police. An officer on scene says "Keep sending all units. Multiple people are going to be arrested."

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: At least three arrests will be made. Manpower called to this point is sufficient.

UPDATE 5:27 p.m.: Law enforcement has the scene under control.

UPDATE 5:31 p.m.: Sheriff's deputies from Wyoming and Orleans counties are staged at the county line just in case they are needed. But an officer says things have calmed down. Suspects are in custody.

UPDATE 5:59 p.m.: One patient is being transported to UMMC.

UPDATE 6:54 p.m.: The Le Roy assignment is back in service.

UPDATE 6:10 p.m. (Info. from Howard at the scene): The incident allegedly began when a Sheriff's deputy arrived at 21 Maple Ave. to serve an arrest warrant on a male, who allegedly became uncooperative. Then the suspect's father allegedly interjected himself into the matter and the suspect's mother allegedly grabbed a knife and threatened the deputy with it. One of the individuals was taken to UMMC for a health complaint not directly related to the incident on Maple Avenue. When feasible, that individual will be transported to county jail. The two other people involved are already in custody.

UPDATE 6:29 p.m.: The individual taken to UMMC is the father.

UPDATE 6:54 p.m.: Le Roy is back in service.

View Larger Map

June 17, 2012 - 10:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, Stafford Carnival.

Saturday evening I swung back by the Stafford Carnival just to get some night-light pictures of the fun.

If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here. To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

June 17, 2012 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, extreme dirt track, ATV, Batavia Motor Sports.

Extreme dirt track racing is getting bigger in Batavia. The WNY EDT committee brought in a regional race Saturday that attracted racers from as far away as New Jersey, and on Aug. 11, a national professional race will hit the track.

Amy McNutt said there's been ATV racing at the track -- which is about 50 years old -- for the past six or seven years, but a reconstituted race committee has been working hard to grow the sport locally.

"We're trying to grow the sport and let people in Batavia know the track is here so we get more spectators," McNutt said.

Batavia Motor Sports is located on Harloff Road next to Polar Wave.

The next closest track that runs extreme dirt track ATV races is in Geneva, McNutt said.

The race in August will bring racers from as far away as Oklahoma and South Dakota and points will count toward a national championship.

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




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

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