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October 30, 2012 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.

A person has fallen 15 feet from a residential rooftop on Clinton Street, Bergen.

Bergen fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

A medical first responder reports Mercy Flight will not be needed.

The call is the second report this morning of a person falling from a roof. The first was on Pearl Street Road in East Pembroke's district.

UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: Patient being transported to Strong.

October 30, 2012 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

A caller is out with an injured Labrador retriever on Bridge Road, just south of Norton Road, Elba.

The dog appears to have been hit by a car.

Law enforcement is responding.

October 30, 2012 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools.

Electrical wires rubbing against a tree limb early this morning sparked a small fire at Washington and Ross streets, which led to a power outage for the area and the closure of all Batavia City Schools.

The location is directly in front of Batavia Middle School.

The school district posted this statement on its Web site this morning: "All of the schools in the Batavia City School District are closed today, October 30, due to a power line malfunction."

The fire and school closure were perhaps the most significant overnight event as a result of what was left of Superstorm Sandy passing over Genesee County.

There were only a few trees down, some power loss -- at one point, more than 1,800 National Grid customers were without power -- and a couple of utility poles fell.

The current city outage effects 178 customers. There is also an outage is South Byron for 49 customers and another in East Bethany for 23 customers.

National Grid crews are also working in Darien this morning to restore power to fewer than five homes.

As Sandy winds down, the forecast for Genesee County over the next six hours is for cloudy and windy conditions with scattered rain showers. Winds will blow east-northeast at 20 to 25 mph.

A flood watch remains in effect until noon.

The other storm damage early this morning in the city was a window was blown out on the front of Falcone Electric Supply Co., on West Main Street.

October 29, 2012 - 8:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

So far, the front edge of Hurricane Sandy (now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone) has produced little weather-related activity in Genesee County.

At 1788 Roberts Road a tree is reportedly hitting a power line causing sparking. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

There is one small power outage in the county, in Byron, affecting fewer than five customers. Power restoration is expected by 9:30 p.m. The outage was initially reported at 7:01 p.m.

UPDATE 8:29 p.m.: Alabama reports a little sparking that they won't be able to do anything about, so back in service.

UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: There is a power outage on Roberts Road. Fewer than five customers without power. Power restoration estimated for 10:15 p.m. 

An ambulance has been requested to 3340 W. Main St. Road to check on a driver complaining of chest pain from an airbag deployment. The car reportedly hit a tree. It was originally reported as a non-injury accident.

UPDATE 8:43 p.m.: A second ambulance requested to the accident.

UPDATE 8:47 p.m.: Forecast for the next six hours: "Light rain. Cloudy with strong and gusty winds. Temperatures steady near the upper 40s. Winds from the north at 30 to 35 mph. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch."

UPDATE 8:59 p.m.: On the accident, four people transported. Minor injuries.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m.: Two more small power outages reported. One on Pearl Street in the city, fewer than five customers, and another small one off Kelsey Road, Batavia.

UPDATE 9:47 p.m.: Elba Fire Department requested to Ford Road and Norton Road for a power line arcing and sparking.

UPDATE 9:52 p.m.: The power outage on Roberts Road has expanded to affect 27 homes. There's an outage of five or fewer homes on Lockport Road, east of Route 77.

UPDATE 9:56 p.m.: Report on Ford and Norton, Elba, appears to be unfounded.

UPDATE 10:02 p.m.: Clarification, there is an issue with a wire. National Grid requested to the scene. Elba back in service.

UPDATE 10:15 p.m.: Because of school closings, Le Roy's Section C Sectional Championship game has been rescheduled to noon, Sunday. The game was originally scheduled for Friday evening. The game will still be played in Rochester.

UPDATE 10:31 p.m.: There's a report of a tree and pole down across the road just west of 3967 Rose Road, Batavia. Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:33 p.m.: Branch and wire down reported on Buell Street. City fire responding.

UPDATE 10:40 p.m.: Wire on Buell is a telephone line. City fire cutting it and getting it out of the street.

UPDATE 10:41 p.m.: Rose Road, tree completely blocking. National Grid on scene.

UPDATE 11:03 p.m.: A pole has fallen on a car at 8286 Byron Holley Road, Stafford. The car is unoccupied. Unknown if the wires are live. Stafford fire responding.

UPDATE 11:11 p.m.: Rose Road is clear.

UPDATE 11:14 p.m.: Pole on Byron Holly is an old, unused utility pole with no wires attached. It was heavily rotted. Law enforcement requested to the scene to take report on property damage. Stafford back in service.

UPDATE 11:39 p.m.: A tree has reportedly fallen onto a house  at 5719 Ellicott St. Road, Bethany. Bethany fire dispatched.

UPDATE 12:06 a.m.: A reader reports power is out on Chapel Street, Elba. National Grid has not yet reported this outage. On Ellicott Street Road, the homeowner will take care of the tree with a tree service in the morning. Bethany is back in service.

UPDATE 12:13 a.m.: Missed the initial call, but Oakfield responded to a tree branched tangled with a utility line. Oakfield is back in service.

UPDATE 12:22 a.m.: Within the past couple of minutes, National Grid has posted 19 new power outages in Genesee County. Total number of customers affected, more than 1,800. Some locations have two or four outages reported in very close proximity. The outages are in Elba, Byron, Bergen, Stafford and Batavia.

UPDATE 12:31 a.m.: A utility pole with wires and a transformer is reportedly down at 6937 Lyman Road, Byron. Byron and South Byron dispatched.

UPDATE 12:42 a.m.: The yard waste sign outside the yard waste lot on Law Street blew down and partially into the roadway. A Batavia PD officer responded, and by the time he arrived, a DPW crew was already on scene. They retrieved the sign to take back to their shop.

UPDATE 12:47 a.m.: Winds currently 33 mph, blowing north-northeast, with gusts of 50 mph. On Lyman Road, one Byron/South Byron unit returned to hall.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Report of tree down and blocking on Lake Road.

UPDATE 1:08 p.m.: This Lake Road, I think, is the Lake Road in Pembroke. The cross is Maple Road. The tree trunk is apparently leaning against a non-power line. The roadway is completely blocked.

UPDATE 1:25 a.m.: Wires reportedly down and arcing in the area of 9394 Snippery Road. Corfu fire dispatched.

UPDATE  1:30 a.m.: Corfu chief on location reports electric wire going to a house is burning.

UPDATE 1:42 a.m.: A tree is on a house on Summit Street. Law enforcement is responding to assess the situation.

UPDATE 2:08 a.m.: We've heard no further transmissions regarding the house on Summit -- not even sure if it's Le Roy or Batavia. Winds in Batavia have dropped  to 30 mph. We'll keep the scanners on, but I'm going to bed.

October 29, 2012 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The case of Justin C. Smith is an example, Judge Robert C. Noonan said in county court today, of what can happen when a "basically good person has drugs take control of his life."

On Nov. 18, Smith broke into the residence of a friend on Porter Avenue and stole an item and pawned it.

In July, Smith admitted to attempted burglary, 2nd.

Because Smith has a prior non-violent felony conviction, from 2007, the minimum sentence available to Noonan was three years. Smith will spend three years in prison.

"There are a lot of different kinds of entries into somebody's house and your's violated the trust of a friend," Noonan said. "You accessed the property of somebody you knew and, unfortunately for you, that is classified as a violent felony with a mandatory determinate sentence."

A friend of Smith's sat in the gallery and wept as Noonan pronounced sentence.

One his term is completed, Smith will be on post-release supervision for five years.

He must also pay restitution to Pawn King for $105.

October 29, 2012 - 10:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Canandaigua man will serve a 90-day intermittent sentence in jail and five years on probation for claiming fraudulent unemployment benefits in Genesee County.

He faces similar charges in Ontario County.

Nicholas A. Caliese must repay the county $12,829.50.

Caliese entered a guilty plea to grand larceny, 3rd, in Genesee County Court on July 6.

His sentence was based on a plea deal struck over the summer.

Currently, Caliese is working two jobs, one is full-time, and going to school.

"A probation sentence is appropriate, giving him the opportunity to continue forward with the positive steps that he’s just made recently," said Billy Tedford, his attorney.

October 29, 2012 - 8:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, Hurricane Sandy.

City residents, if you've piled your leaves in the street, please move them into the parkway -- between the curb and the sidewalk -- this morning.

City Manager Jason Molino said the city's leaf removal program started a week ago, but there's still a lot of leaves on the ground, and even though in a press release last week the city asked residents not to pile leaves in the street, some have.

"They're a hazard to cars, but in a situation like this, they clog storm drains and prevent storm water runoff," Molino said.

Residents should especially take action to prevent any piles of leaves from blocking catch basins and storm drains.

City crews -- both DPW and fire -- have been ensuring all equipment -- from pumping equipment to chainsaws and all vehicles are in good working order, fueled and ready to go.

There will be a full compliment of DPW workers available today and this evening, Molino said.

The city will have more information about storm preparedness later this morning.

October 29, 2012 - 6:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, Hurricane Sandy.

A flood watch and wind warning remain in effect for Genesee County starting at 2 p.m. today.

The flood watch is scheduled to expire at noon, Tuesday. The wind warning is predicted to end at 2 p.m., Tuesday.

The predicted storm front is the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, which is reportedly moving toward the Northeast. The storm is predicted to be a Level 1 hurricane when it strikes the eastern seaboard later today. Manhattan and Brooklyn are under evacuation orders. Heavy snow is predicted for the Appalachian mountains.

For Genesee County, rain estimates range from 2-3 inches. Winds are expected in the 30-40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.

The big concern officials have about the wind is it will blow in the opposite direction than the region's prevailing winds. Trees are rooted to deal with prevailing winds and utility poles are anchored to handle wind from that normal direction. This could lead to dangerous conditions for falling trees and power outages.

Authorities urge area residents to prepare for storm damage and power outages. Click here for some recommendations from the NYS Department of Health.

Here's NOAA's Hurricane Sandy tracking page.

NOTE to schools, government agencies, businesses and event planners, please e-mail any closings or public notices to [email protected]. Readers can e-mail photos and information to the same address.

UPDATE: Interesting time lapse video of Hurricane Sandy shot yesterday by NSAA's Earth Observatory:


October 29, 2012 - 6:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Pavilion.

Jamie R. Alford, 22, of 219 N. Spruce St., Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Batavia PD responded to a report of a disturbance in the bar at Days Inn at 1:18 a.m., Sunday. Several people were reportedly involved in several fights inside and outside the hotel. Alford was reportedly among people ordered by hotel staff and police officers to leave the property. While patrols were dispersing the crowd, Alford allegedly tried to start another fight in the bar area. When officers attempted to arrest Alford, he allegedly resisted arrest and fought with police. Following arraignment in city court, Alford was jailed on $500 bail.

Alicia M. Stankwick, 21, of 318 E. Main St., Apt. #2, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Stankwick allegedly violated an order of protection by having a third-party communicate with the protected party.

Roger L. Lashure Sr., 45, of 3322 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, is charged with three counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Lashure is accused of contacting a person he was ordered not to contact on three occasions between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25.

Abigail R. Storman, 17, of 111 State St., Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, harassment, 2nd, criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Stroman is accused to threatening a person by holding a knife and stating she would "slice up" the person at 9:15 a.m., Thursday. She also allegedly threatened to hit the person while raising her fist. She allegedly punched and broke a window in the residence.

Scott Dwayne Kingdon, 46, of Sparks Road, Pavilion, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Kingdon is accused of constantly contacting a person through Facebook, texting and e-mails after being old not to have contact with the person. An order of protection was issued following Kingdon's arrest.

Garfield George Phillips, 46, of Lincoln Avenue, Rochester, is charged with issuing a bad check. Phillips was taken into custody by Rochester PD on an arrest warrant out of Le Roy Town Court and turned over to the Sherrif's Office. Phillips is accused of writing a bad check July 25 in the amount of $2,400.

Ashlea Marie Harmon, 21, of Edwards Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Harmon is accused of stealing a Kindle Fire from an apartment where she was babysitting and then pawning the ebook reader.

October 29, 2012 - 5:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
October 29, 2012 - 5:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, bergen.

Photos and story submitted by Erica Lynn Hickey:

A group of Byron-Bergen High School juniors and seniors hosted the Grow-In-Kids Fall Festival on Saturday. The Fall Festival included a haunted house, snacks, and crafts for kids of all ages. 

There will be an extension to the Fall Festival on Halloween night. Grow-In-Kids is located at 42 Rochester St., in the Village of Bergen. On Wednesday night (Halloween) from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., there will be cider, doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate for trick-or-treaters, as well as crafts and the haunted house.

There is no entrance fee, however donations to March of Dimes will be accepted. March of Dimes assists new mothers and their babies in times of need.

Volunteers are still needed for Halloween night. If interested, contact Fall Festival coordinator Paul Stamp at [email protected]

Top photo: Paul Stamp, Dan Smith, Colton Young, Andrew Magin, Andrew McKenrick and Blake Snyder.

Lilly Walker works on arts and crafts.

Jack Walker makes a candy bucket in the shape of Frankenstein.

October 28, 2012 - 8:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, Hurricane Sandy.

The message from a National Grid spokesman: People need to take seriously the warning of this storm heading toward Western New York.

"Every indication we've gotten is this could be nasty," said Steve Brady, who handles media relations for National Grid in WNY.

Brady indicated the forecast has grown a little grimmer in recent hours.

If the storm turns out to be as significant as predicted, National Grid will have its hands full. The storm could sweep across its coverage area from Cape Code to Buffalo.

Brady called in response to our request for more information about the 40 or so Nelson Tree Company trucks staging at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia.

While Brady didn't have specific information about that location, he said typically National Grid will stage crews at hotels in anticipation of significant weather events. There are likely other groups of crews setting up similar staging areas in other parts of New York

"In these kinds of sitautions, hotel rooms are at a premium, so we like to keep groups of crews together," Brady said. "That's fairly common."

National Grid started planning for this storm days ago, he said. There's a lot of logisitics involved in preparing behind the scenes for these kinds of events, from procuring hotel rooms to ensuring crews receive adequate food and rest and all trucks are fueled and in good repair.

"If you were on the Thruway today, you probably saw trucks going in every direction," Brady said. "Crews are going everywhere and coming from everywhere."

Earlier today, Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County, noted that the northerly winds of this predicted storm will blow in the opposition direction of prevailing winds, which could make trees more vulnerable to being blown over.

National Grid faces a similar problem, Brady said, in that utility poles have guy wires to anchor them against prevailing winds. When winds blow in the opposite direction, the guy wires are less effective.

"We think we’re as ready as anybody can be," Brady said. "The problem with any major storm is you know it's coming, but you don't know where. You don't know what areas will be hit. Every area National Grid serves is going to see some impact and that's somewhat unusual compared to other major storms."

Brady, like Yaeger earlier, encouraged residents to be prepared for a major storm, acknowledging that sometimes forecasts for major storms turn out to be overblown.

"I hope people are taking this one seriously," Brady said.

October 28, 2012 - 7:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Some 30 to 40 tree-trimming trucks owned by Nelson Tree Service are parked at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia.

One pickup truck at the location had a placard on it that read "Storm Response Team."

A manager on location would not provide further information and referred us to National Grid. We've contacted the power company's after-hours media number and have not yet received a response.

When we stopped by, managers were huddled in a small conference room with phones, laptops and maps spread about. Dozens of men in OSHA-approved vests were milling about outside and in the lobby.

Nelson Tree Service is based in Dayton, Ohio.

October 28, 2012 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, Hurricane Sandy.

Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County, is spending his Sunday making sure the county is ready for whatever may be coming our way tomorrow evening.

It could be the remnants of Hurricane Sandy. It could be something a little more severe, or maybe it won't be bad at all.

Yaeger's message to emergency responders and county residents: Be prepared.

"Right now, it looks like we're prepared," Yaeger said. "The biggest thing is that folks prepare themselves. Make sure they have plenty of food stuffs and water, batteries, withdraw cash from ATMs and make sure their vehicles are fueled."

The local fire chiefs have all been briefed, Yaeger said, and he's been in contact with the emergency coordinators in neighboring counties and with the state's emergency office.

The Salvation Army and UMMC have been notified.

The worse of the storm is expected downstate, and even though the current predictions for the storm in Genesee County is much like any heavy storm we experience a couple of times a year, there are some unique concerns.

Rainfall of half an inch to an inch per hour can cause localized flooding.

Plus, anytime there are sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 65 mph there is the potential for trees to come down, taking out power lines and damaging property.

Wind direction is also worrisome.

Our wind tends to blow south and west. But tree root systems grow in the opposite direction, so the northerly winds predicted for this storm may cause greater problems.

And with the rain we've had recently and the rain expected over the next 24 hours from the storm, the ground will be pretty soft and saturated.

"My biggest concern right now is if the system generates a little more energy than anticipated, or if it stalls over us for a little while, that's where I'm concerned," Yaeger said.

The Batavian is preparing to cover this storm however it may progress and we'll bring you new developments as needed.

October 28, 2012 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Notre Dame.

Following a 26-6 Section V Class D title victory of Clyde-Savannah, Notre Dame's Head Coach Rich Mancuso said a lot of the credit for the win could go to the offensive line.

"Our offensive line and Anthony Paladino did an absolutely outstanding job of blocking and that’s really controlled the game and won it for us," Mancuso said.

The stout line allowed Nick Taylor to rush for 192 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Taylor was named MVP for the game.

The title is the first for ND since 2006 and the second in Mancuso's eight seasons as head coach.

Clyde-Savannah is a passing team, but the Golden Eagles were really forced to go the air by the third quarter with the Fighting Irish up 20-6.

While QB Tom Molisani was an impressive 17-29 for 246 yards (including a couple of competitions he tossed while in the grasp of ND defenders), the senior passer gave up four interceptions.

"The big thing is, we knew we had to stop them from throwing the ball and we knew we had to control the clock and we had to take care of the ball, which we did," Mancuso said. "We created a number of turnovers on their part. We did a great job with our game plan both offensively and defensively. I couldn’t be prouder of the kids at the moment."

The Irish amassed a total of 322 yards on the ground.

Andrew Mullen carried the ball for 88 yards on 16 carries and scored a touchdown. QB Tim McCulley added 37 yards on four carries.

McCulley was 1-3 for 23 yards, with the one pass completion going to Charlie Hebert for a touchdown.

The junior also had two key second-half interceptions.

Like Mancuso, McCulley was full of praise after the game for the offensive line.

"Our running game (was a key to victory)," McCulley said. "We ran the ball in the throat. Our line played great. Our running backs ran hard and everything just fell in place."

After the game Taylor said the win felt "awesome."

"I've been starting since my freshmen year and we’ve lost every time in the finals so it’s great that in my senior year, we actually win it," Taylor said. "It feels great."

Paladino, who helped led the lines on both offense and defense and was one of the players of the game, said his award wasn't just about him.

"We all work hard," Paladino said. "You shouldn’t really pick one person. The whole defensive line did everything."

On defense, Paladino had three tackles and Taylor had four, as well as a sack.

Jared Thornton had five tackles, Hebert four and Josh Johnson, four. Taylor and Aaron McDonald each had an interception.

Hebert also blocked an extra point try following Clyde-Savannah only TD.

On a night of constant rain for the entire game, neither side gave up a fumble.

Also receiving game trophies were Johnson and James Spear.

Next up for the Irish (8-1), Avon (8-1), who beat Red Jacket 14-6 to capture the Class DD title. That game will be played Saturday in Rochester.

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

October 28, 2012 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

The remnants of Hurricane Sandy are expected to bring high winds and heavy rain to Western New York from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.

Two to three inches of rain are expected with 40 mph winds and gusts up to 65 mph.

A high-wind warning has been issued for Genesee County and a flood watch is in effect for all of WNY.

The National Weather Service says there is some uncertainty on the track the storm will follow with the heaviest rain and strongest wind.

"It is unusual," according to the weather service, "to get winds from the northerly direction, leaving some areas typically sheltered from strong winds more vulnerable."

There could be localized flooding both in the city and in rural parts of the county.

Winds could bring down trees and power lines.

Sandy is currently a Level One (the least strong) hurricane expected to hit the eastern seaboard sometime Monday. While not the strongest hurricane, it has the potential, according to news reports, to become a "super storm."

The width of the storm -- 105 miles -- could make it the largest such storm on record to hit the United States.


October 27, 2012 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club.

Batavia Kiwanis hosted another successful Pancake Days pancake breakfast at the First Presbyterian Church today.

October 27, 2012 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A motorcyclist who was injured in a rollover accident at 1:41 p.m., Friday, said a rider on another bike unexpectedly put on a right-turn signal.

Michale P. Julicher, 61, of Millersport Highway, Amherst, was riding on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama. He said he tried to lay down his 2009 Honda because he didn't believe he had time to stop.

Julicher was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker. No citations were issued.

(Initial Report)

October 27, 2012 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield.

Holly Lindsey submitted this photo of four generations of Roy Joseph Muntz. Roy Sr., left, is 81. Roy Jr., is 55, Roy III, is 31 and holding Roy IV. The Muntz family lives in Oakfield and Batavia.




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

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