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April 3, 2011 - 2:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A trailer in Batavia that apparently hadn't been occupied for seven years and had no electricity or heat source caught fire Friday night.

The rear half of the trailer was destroyed.

A Sheriff's Office report says how the fire started is "unknown."

The blaze, at 9427 Alexander Road, was reported at 9:12 p.m. by a motorist from Attica.

The trailer is owned by Richard Hale, who told investigators that there was nothing of value in the trailer except some old lawn furniture and appliances.  

Hale, who lives on the property, said he didn't see or hear anything suspicious prior to the fire being reported.

Town of Batavia fire along with Alexander fire departments responded to the scene.

April 2, 2011 - 9:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, photos, Oakfield.

Tice's Rangers, a Revolutionary-era reenactment group was at the Oakfield Historical Museum, 7 Maple Ave., today for the museum's spring reopening.

Above, from left, are Bob Smith, of Batavia, John Dellapenna, of Batavia, Erick Michealsen, of Lockport, Paul Winnie, of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Derek Lindquist, of Williamsville, Mark Houseman, of Medina, Joe Bucolo, of Lockport, Steve Kruppenbacher and Jeff Harding, of Newfane.

More pictures after the jump:

April 2, 2011 - 10:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The Local Drug Task Force busted a suspected drug dealer late Friday night and it turns out to be the same man who was wounded in an unexplained shooting on Indian Falls Road nearly a year ago.

Taken into custody was Carlos A. Torres Jr., 35, of West Main Street, Batavia.

He was stopped at 9:45 p.m. on Lyon Street, City of Batavia, for suspected traffic violations. He was found to allegedly be driving under the influence of drugs and allegedly carrying cocaine, crack and heroin with an estimated street value of more than $7,000. 

"The weight of the powder cocaine, along with the number of bags of both crack and heroin, on top of his $4,000 (in cash), is significant for this county," said Sgt. Steve Mullen, head of the task force.

Torres came to the attention of investigators in May 2010 when he showed up at UMMC with gunshot wounds

At the time, he claimed he had been walking down Indian Falls Road when a car pulled up behind him, somebody demanded his wallet, then shot him. He called a friend who drove him to the hospital.

At the time, investigators couldn't corroborate his story. No shell casings were found in the area and no witnesses were located.

Eventually, Torres became the target of a drug investigation, which lasted about six months.

Torres was charged with one count of inadequate muffler, one count of improper or unsafe turn, one count of driving while ability impaired by drugs, one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd (intent to sell), and two counts of criminal possession possession of a controlled substance, 3rd (aggregate weight of the powder cocaine and crack).

Participating in the investigation and arrest were uniformed members of the Sheriff's Office, City of Batavia Police, Orleans County Major Crimes Task Force and the Gensee County District Attorney's Office.

April 2, 2011 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A 17-year-old was seriously injured in an accident on Bethany Center Road, Bethany, at 2:09 p.m., Friday, after the driver of a truck apparently pulled onto the roadway off Cacner and struck the car the youth was in.

The car continued southbound, striking a mailbox, going off the left shoulder of the road.

Karl R. Kennedy, no address given, was flown by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital where he is listed in guarded condition this morning (at Strong, any patient in the intensive care unit is listed as "guarded").

Kennedy was unconscious following the accident, according to the Sheriff's Office accident report. He suffered a head injury and was bleeding severely.

Charges are pending against the truck driver, said Deputy Bradley D. Mazur in his report.

The driver is identified as Dean W. Knauss, 53, of 9931 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany. He was driving a 1995 truck owned by a local dairy farm.

The car Kennedy was in was a 1998 Ford sedan driven by Michaela E. Baudanza, 17, of 7303 Morrow Road, Pavilion.  

Baudanza suffered minor injuries. Knauss was uninjured.

(Initial Report)

April 1, 2011 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, census.

The release of 2010 Census data last week seemed to tell the story of a dramatic shift -- the City of Batavia shedding 791 residents and the Town of Batavia adding 894 people.

Does that mean people in the city have been calling Louis Reeb to move them to the town?

Probably not.

Data now available on the Genesee County Planning Department map tells a different tale.

The most dramatic growth for Town of Batavia hasn't come from housing developments or single-family residences -- it's driven by government and educational growth.

In 2000, there was no Federal Detention Facility in Batavia. Now there is. The census track for Federal Drive has shown a jump in residents from zero in 2000 to 612 in 2010. Those 612 residents are, presumably, inmates.

In College Village, where some students from Genesee Community College live, the population has increased from 64 in 2000 to 366 in 2010.

Those two institutions, the federal jail and GCC, seem to have brought 914 residents into the Town of Batavia.

Take away those two facilities, and it appears the town would have 20 fewer people. The overall county decline would have been 1,206 residents instead of the 291 reported in the census.

To check out the block-by-block census report for Genesee County, click here, scroll to the bottom of the text and click "ok," then on the left is a menu called "map features," click the arrows; then, scroll down the menu of check boxes and find 2000 and 2010 census blocks and check those boxes, then click the arrows to close the menu.

You can zoom in on any section using the magnifying glasses in the top menu. To pan, you need to use the pan tool. When you find an area you want to check, click the "Identify" button and then click on the block you want to select.

April 1, 2011 - 2:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Batavia resident -- found by agents of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force in possession of numerous packages of heroin -- entered a guilty plea this afternoon to a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th.

Jarrett James Locicero, 21, of 320 W. Main St., admitted in Genesee County Court that he possessed heroin with the intent to sell it.

When he was arrested in mid-March, Locicero also possessed some marijuana, packaging for narcotics, a gravity knife and $4,000 in cash.

As part of a plea deal, Locicero will complete 28 days in substance-abuse treatment at Hope Haven. There were no conditions placed on his sentence. He will be sentenced following completion of treatment.

After a warrant was issued in March, Locicero was located in his car on Clinton Street, Batavia, and stopped by members of the task force and uniformed deputies. His apartment was also searched.

Following his arrest, Locicero was jailed without bail. He appeared in court today dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit.

His attorney, Earl Key, agreed to transport Locicero personally from the jail to the treatment program.

April 1, 2011 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Hawley Hots.

A little bit of snow -- and it was a very little bit -- hasn't kept Steve Hawley (pictured above) from opening Hawley Hots outside of Glass Roots on Center Street today. Steve said he'll be open daily from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

April 1, 2011 - 12:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce.

An effort to boost membership in the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is being launched and will culminate in a drive in May to sign 100 new members.

On May 11, 12 and 13, chamber volunteers will call on local businesses that are not members and ask them to join.

Above, Lori Stupp, Kelly Bermingham and Chad Zambito, who are heading up the effort.

There are 800 businesses in Genesee County that are eligible for membership.

Photo submitted by the chamber.

Full press release after the jump:

April 1, 2011 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, Le Roy, Alabama.

John Terry Boyce, 22, of Maple Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd. Boyce is accused of choking his girlfriend during an argument at 10:50 a.m., Thursday. He allegedly refused to let her leave the bedroom while holding their 1-year-old son in his arms.

Matthew L. Nagle, 22, of 34 Parkway Drive, North Chili, is charged with petit larceny. Nagle is accused of shoplifting from a supermarket in Le Roy.

Jason H. Freeman, 29, of Alden, is charged with petit larceny. The alleged crime took place in Alabama at 3:57 p.m., March 16. Freeman was arrested at the Genesee County Jail by State Police. No further details released.

April 1, 2011 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, mock trials.

It came down to a tie breaker, but Batavia renewed it's crown as local mock trial champions following a match Thursday in Warsaw.

Warsaw and Batavia tied at 1-1 and 111 points each in Thursday's match, but because Batavia had the better record in the semi-finals, Batavia was named the winner.

Batavia was 2-0 in the semi-finals and Warsaw was 1-1.

A date for the regional mock trial competition has not been announced yet.

March 31, 2011 - 8:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, fire, alexander.

A resident in an apartment at 89 Colony Run, Attica, reports the smell of smoke in the dwelling.

Alexander Fire Department along with Attica being dispatched.

UPDATE 8:04 p.m.: Both Attica and Alexander chiefs on scene. Assignment being held to one truck from each department.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m.: Alexander assignment back in service. No smell of smoke found.


View Larger Map

March 31, 2011 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs, employement.

UPDATED 12:44 p.m.

Genesee County gained 300 non-farm jobs in February over January, according to NYS Department of Labor statistics.

For February 2011, there were 22,200 non-farm jobs reported in Genesee County compared to 21,900 in January.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped month-over-month from 9 percent to 8.7. That is down from February 2010 when it was 9.5 percent.

That's still higher than the 12-month low of 6.4 percent in August 2010.

The 12-month high in jobs is 24,400 in June 2010.

Month-over-month, manufacturing jobs held steady at 2,800, and up from 2,700 in February 2010.

Private-sector service jobs also held steady at 12,300 -- up from 12,100 in February 2010.

Government jobs grew from 6,000 to 6,300.

There are 33,300 people -- up 100 from January -- in Genesee County's labor force. The total number of people employed is 29,500. That's up 200 from January.

March 31, 2011 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, New York state.

Press Release:

The 2011-12 state budget made a number of positive strides toward the significant reforms New Yorkers have demanded and rightfully deserved. Unfortunately, this spending plan falls short in several key areas, representing a missed opportunity for the Legislature to heed the call of the state’s taxpayers.

Continuing an unacceptable trend, the formula used to determine education aid once again unfairly impacts Western New York’s schoolchildren. Time after time, we see our students shoulder an unfair portion of funding cuts in an effort to support downstate school districts. This budget repeats those mistakes of old that have plagued our children for far too long. Furthermore, this legislation shifts costs for essential services like special education to individual school districts, driving up the cost of local government and, in turn, the cost to the taxpayer.

In addition, this spending plan reduces funding for the judiciary branch but fails to do the same for the Legislature. I believe the Assembly could find efficiencies and cost savings within numerous administrative operations involved with the chamber. State government should not be asking children, families and businesses to tighten their belts if we are not prepared to do so as well.

However, this budget did make a variety of much-needed improvements to the state of affairs in New York. Vital restorations have been made to protect the services that benefit our most vulnerable citizens, such as funding for elderly abuse prevention programs and EPIC prescription drug payments. The appointment of regional Economic Development councils will renew New York’s focus on stimulating our economy with targeted planning, rather than an ill-advised, one-size-fits-all policy. Along with significant reforms to the Medicaid system that will result in savings both now and in the long-term, this budget certainly has its share of positive aspects.

When all is said and done, this budget has taken baby steps in the right direction, rather than a substantial leap forward. I hope that the Legislature can build on the progress we have made here today and continue this momentum toward putting New York on the road to recovery.

March 30, 2011 - 11:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, thruway.

A person has suffered minor injuries, but is trapped in his car after a rollover accident on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 388, westbound lane.

The driver conscious and alert and talking with emergency dispatch.

He is injured and unable to get out of the car.

Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:58 p.m.: The vehicle is on its wheels. "We will need to have the door popped," a Mercy medic informs a Batavia chief.

March 30, 2011 - 3:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

When I drove by the Batavia Police HQ this afternoon, I spotted a new sign out front.

March 30, 2011 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, missing children.

 

Police believe Justice D. Osborne, 15, of 104 Pearl St., Batavia, has run away from home and neither her parents nor police can locate her. They are asking for the public's help in finding her.

There is no indication of forcible abduction.

She is  5’2”, 140 pounds. At the present time her black hair has long straight extensions. She was last seen wearing a gray hoodie, blue jeans and purple skate sneakers.

Anyone with information or who has seen Justice since her disappearance is asked to please call the Batavia Police at 345-6350.     

The photo is the most recent picture of Justice showing her new hair extensions.

March 30, 2011 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Also, a press release from Hochul's campaign:

“While America’s small businesses are doing everything they can to stay afloat and create jobs, one of our nation’s corporate giants has found the loopholes that help them avoid paying their fair share of taxes,” said Kathy Hochul, candidate in New York’s 26th Congressional District.

“Once elected, I will fight for our small businesses and work to ensure we close the corporate tax loopholes that allowed General Electric to report a 2010 worldwide profit of $14.2 billion, without paying a single dollar in American taxes. In fact, due to G.E.’s intense lobbying efforts and slick accounting, the company was able to claim a $3.2 billion tax benefit – money that could have been invested in small businesses that create jobs here at home.

“The fact that every taxpayer in the 26th District paid more in taxes last year than General Electric is plain wrong. It’s time we overhaul our tax code. Without many of their tax breaks, G.E. would currently have thousands and thousands of more jobs here in the U.S. So we must end the tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas and instead invest in local businesses that create jobs for hard working American families.”

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