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Howard B. Owens's blog

August 15, 2011 - 12:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Oakfield, Alabama.

Driving back from Alabama on Saturday afternoon, it was one of those late summer days that reminds you we're so lucky to live in Genesee County. And if you're reading this and don't live in Genesee County, my condolences.

I put the photos I took in a slide show so you can use the button in the lower left to expand the photos to a full screen view.

August 14, 2011 - 11:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

There was a motorcycle rally at the Clarion Hotel on Park Road on Saturday.  From what hotel managers and restaurant owners tell me, it brought a lot of business into town.  The hotels, I'm told, where booked.

The rally was organized by David Kasinski and Sam Kasinski and they're hoping to make it an annual event.

I got backed up on things to cover on Saturday and couldn't make it to the rally, but Rick Franclemont  did and took some photos.  Besides the photos we're posting here, he has posted several on his Picasa page.

August 14, 2011 - 9:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, entertainment, Alabama, Alabama Tee Off.

Following the Mud Races, I stopped by the Alabama Jam at the Alabama Tee Off on Route 77.

What I found was some good music from a Medina-based band, a great reception from lots of friendly people and great weather. Unfortunately, I couldn't hang out until the headliners. the Trolls, took the stage, but I had a good time while I was there.

More pictures after the jump:

August 14, 2011 - 5:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, pembroke, East Pembroke Mud Races, mud races.

A record number of entrants showed up for the East Pembroke Fire Department's annual mud races. It was a perfect day for mud racing and the action was non-stop.

Below, a slide show of additional photos from the event.  To purchase pictures taken by Howard Owens from this event click here.

Below, photos of the mud queen race and the winner (name not yet available) submitted by Destin Danser.

August 14, 2011 - 2:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

 BATAVIA, NY – Today’s game between the Batavia Muckdogs and Vermont Lake Monsters has been canceled due to rain. This game will not be made up. Anyone with a ticket to today’s game can exchange it for a ticket of equal or lesser value to any remaining home game.

The Muckdogs return home on Saturday, Aug. 20, to take on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at 7:05 p.m.

August 14, 2011 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, nature.

Submitted by Pamela Fry.

The above photo is a soon-to-be Cecropia moth. My husband found this in East Pembroke where he works. I have never seen a caterpillar like this before so I did some research on Google.

The scientific name for this creature is a Hyalophora cecropia, which is North America's largest native moth. These caterpillars molt four times during their life span. The picture above is the caterpillar's fifth instar so he/she will be spinning its cocoon very soon.

In a few weeks, the Cepropia moth will come out of the cocoon (see picture below). Since these types of moths do not have mouth parts, they are unable to eat. As a result, the lifespan of an adult Cecropia moth is typically only 7-10 days in the wild.

I found this creature to be very interesting and thought I would share it with you!

August 13, 2011 - 9:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, thruway.

A possible vehicle fire has been reported on the Thruway in the vicinity of mile marker 389.3 in the westbound lane.

Town of Batavia Fire Department dispatched.

The location is west of the Bank Street Road overpass.

UPDATE 9:58 a.m.: A chief reports, "we've got a good one going here." A lane will need to be closed. Additional manpower requested.

August 13, 2011 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, fire.

This is video sent to us by Ken Mistler of his own motorcycle burning last night on East Main Street, Batavia.  We initially reported the fire last night.

August 13, 2011 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets.

Karen, a Kingsbury Avenue resident, reports that yesterday around 1:15 p.m. her green Quaker parrot flew the coup.

She's worried about him and hoping an area resident might spot the parrot and, if not able to capture the bird, at least help her track him down.

The parrot has a red band with initials Y?B on it, plus a serial number.

Karen can be reached at 585-356-0191 or e-mail [email protected].

August 13, 2011 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Latina's, Save-A-Lot.

Downtown Batavia can support a supermarket and a group of businessmen who have done the marketing research to prove it have entered into a lease agreement to open a Save-A-Lot in the former Latina's location on Ellicott Street.

The new store will be 18,000 square feet.

"These guys have really got their heads straight," said Vito Gautieri, the building's owner. "We were looking at another chain, but this one looked like the best deal. I think it will be really good for Downtown Batavia."

The Gautieri's own Washington Towers and Vito said the family recognized the need to bring a supermarket downtown, both for the sake of tenants at Washington Towers and also 400 Towers.

"We really need a supermarket downtown," Gautieri said.

In fact, said Gautieri, the family decided to pass on an offer from a discount retail chain that would have filled all 40,000 square feet of the building because the need seems so great to bring a supermarket to the space.

The ownership group, operating locally as Batavia Food, Inc., has three other Save-A-Lot locations. The other stores are in Wheatland, Salamanca and Bradford, Pa.

Save-a-Lots operates as a kind of co-op of locally licensed stores. The new owners of the planned Batavia store have no affiliation with the owners of the Le Roy Save-A-Lot.

Gautieri said the owners of the Le Roy store were given first crack at the Batavia location, but for some reason a deal couldn't be put together.

Now Gautieri and his son, Vic, need to work on getting a tenant for the remaining 22,000 square feet on the first floor. He said they already have a couple of solid leads on possible tenants.

Gautieri is still working on ideas about what to do with the second floor. The space is currently 15,000 square feet, but because the building was constructed to support warehouse space on the second floor, the second floor roof could be raised and the area expanded to 25,000 square feet.

If Gautieri decides to expand the second floor, the space would either become premium office space or residential apartments.

August 13, 2011 - 8:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This morning you're seeing a slightly revised home page for The Batavian. It's no radical change -- we didn't get away from the basic layout, which has proven an easy format for readers to read and a successful model for the ads of local businesses -- but the design is a little cleaner.

We also added a long- and much-requested feature, a Facebook "like" button on stories (we need one on individual comments, too, but that will take some time yet to institute).

The other significant change is how ads are displayed. Except for the few premium positions on the site, the ads will now randomly shuffle on the page every time you load the page.  

In other words, you visit the home page and then come back later and reload it the ads on the left and the right that are part of the shuffle system will all change locations.

It's a random redistribution of the ads on the page ensuring each local business's ad gets mathematically equal appearances at each position on the page, from the top to the bottom.

Previously, I had to manually move the ads around about once a day.  

Giving ads an equal distribution should in itself lead to more clicks on ads. Also, the human eye is naturally drawn to things that change on a web page, so people who visit the site will see a different order of ads each visit.  

One last note, there was some bad code in the old site's layout. The new site has a fresh set of code controlling the layout, which should add (and initial feedback seems to be indicating this is true) a bit of improvement in the home page's load time.

Thank you to our IT guy, Nick, a Batavia resident, for his work on the redesign. We have more improvements to the site planned.

August 13, 2011 - 7:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

There were four arrests and 78 people were cited for alleged underage drinking during the Rascal Flatts concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Collin T. Hayes, 18, of Reservoir Road, Avon, is charged with two counts of trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue twice after being ejected and told not to return.

Brian K. Barmore, 19, of Gerry-Ellington Road, Gerry, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Kari D. Barmore, 22, of Gerry-Ellington Road, Gerry, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Andrew J. Stella, 24, of Forbes Avenue, Tonawanda, is charged with public lewdness after allegedly urinating in the lawn area in view of other patrons.

The following people were issued citations for allegedly possessing or consuming alcohol under age 21.

Tricia J. Sullivan, 20, of Windsor Lane, East Aurora
Colby N. Kittner, 20, of Boncroft Drive, West Seneca
Alexander C. Buscaglia, 20, of Center Street, East Aurora
Aaron M. Kosowski, 19, of The Meadow, East Aurora
Jennifer M. Jacob, 18, of Garrett Lane, Niagara Falls
A 17-year-old, of Lewiston Road, Niagara Falls
Ashley E. Grace, 20, of South Street, Addison
A 17-year-old, of Landing Creek Court, Williamsville
Lauren R. Sauvagean, 17, of Autumn Lane, Lewiston
A 17-year-old, of Madison Avenue, Niagara Falls
A 17-year-old, of Briggsboro Lane, Fairport
Catherine M. Kuhi, 20, of Canisteo Street, Hornell
Jamie F. Hillman, 19, of Hyland Drive, Hornell
A 16-year-old, of Southview Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
A 16-year-old, of Orchard Grove Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
A 16-year-old, of Feren Drive, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Daniel S. Kelly, 19, of Fulton Street, Hornell
A 17-year-old, of Temple Street, Avon
Rhiann E. Korth, 18, of Genesee Street, Avon
A 17-year-old, of W. Henrietta Road, Rush
Tyler K. Olejniczak, 18, of Indian Falls Road, West Seneca
A 16-year-old, of Brooklyn Street, Portville
A 17-year-old, of Kimberly Lane, Derby
A 17-year-old, of Ludel Terrace, Lackawana
Denise M. Polaski, 19, of Parnell Drive, Churchville
Christopher D. Barrett, 19, of Five Points Road, Rush
A 17-year-old, of River Road, Caledonia
Robert W. Lysko, 19, of Middle Road, Caledonia
Shawn E. Grimm, 18, of Billington Road, East Aurora
A 17-year-old, of Jamison Road, Elma
Ashley M. Strazzella, 19, of Church Street, East Aurora
Macie A. Eberth, 18, of Hall Road, Elma
Lia E. Colvin, 18, of Anne Drive, Alden
Alyssa M. Savage, 19, of Beryle Drive, Cheektowaga
Carissa D. Brittain, 20, of Center Avenue, North Tonawanda
Peter F. Jackson, 20, of Blanchard Heights Groton
Meghan M. Klimchuck, 18, of Dorchester Road, East Aurora
Jessica L. Goodison, 18, of Gleed Avenue, East Aurora
Payton A. Spinelli, 18, of Hillside Drive, Elma
Karianne R. Carrick, 18, of Bullis Road, Elma
Christopher M. Stelmaszyk, 18, of Willston Heights, Marilla
A 17-year-old, of North Blossom Road, Elma
A 16-year-old, of Lakeside Road, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
Sara A. Shembeda, 19, of North 18th Street, Olean
A 17-year-old, of Derby Road, Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada
Megan A. Dwaileebe, 20, of Bates Street, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Elizabeth M. Colarusso, 20, of Highland Terrace, Olean
Julie C. Wesolowski, 19, of Foxpoint West, Williamsville
A 17-year-old, of Milestrip Road, Orchard Park
Blair A. Pembleton, 18, of Dantroy Drive, Williamsville
Jenna N. Goudy, 20, of Joseph Drive, Tonawanda
A 17-year-old, of Meadow Lawn Road, Orchard Park
Emily M. Lawrence, 19, of Green Road, Churchville
Geana M. Barone, 18, of Country Lane, West Seneca
Kathryn N. Mazurowski, 18, of Mill Road, West Seneca
A 16-year-old, of West Main Street Road, Batavia
Christian A. Worth, 20, of South Nine Mile Road, Allegany
Natalie J. Vetter, 18, of Neubaer Court, West Seneca
A 17-year-old, of Laine Road, Hornell
Joseph D. Mauro, 20, of Pearl Street, Hornell
Kaliegh E. Porcaro, 19, of Sharps Hill Road, Arkport
Caroline M. Hooker, 18, of Moss Road, Hornell
Lydia C. Lindahl, 18, of Cassandra Circle, Churchville
Vincent G. Giglio, 18, of Bromley Road, Churchville
Maxwell P. Wise, 18, of Norway Spruce Drive, Rochester
Taylor T. Jager, 18, of Evergreen Drive, Rochester
Courtney M. VanVolkenburgh, 18, of Whitney Road, Ontario, Canada
Kaleigh R. VanVolkenburgh, 19, of Whitney Road, Ontario, Canada
Erinn D. Rodman, 19, of West Foster Street, Palmyra
Joel M. Sapienza, 18, of Birdsall Parkway, Palmyra
Kaitlyn M. Wegman, 19, of Turtle Creek Lane, Hilton
Ashley T. Whitney, 19, of Country Village Lane, Hilton
Kelly J. Knight, 19, of Old Well Road, Greece
Hannah J. Rader, 18, of Grandview Lane, Rochester
Kassandra K. Magin, 18, of Grandview Lane, Rochester
Jessica L. Nielsen, 20, of Beverly Street, Rochester
Angela M. Andrese, 19, of Eglantine Road, Rochester
Name redacted uponrequest, 19, of Roosevelt Highway, Hamlin

August 13, 2011 - 2:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

So I'm driving back from the Indian Falls incident and I'm on Route 5. As I approach Jim's Saloon -- it's about 8:15 p.m. -- I see a school bus parked out front. My first thought, "that's odd." When I get closer, I see a group of young women wearing pink sashes -- odder still.

So I whip my truck around, grab my camera, walk over and ask what's going on.

It's a bachorlette party.

It turns out, you can charter a school bus from First Student for any sort of group event.

Pictured are, more or less from the left, Samatha Lyons, Marla Mosler, Brianne Sliker, John Lawson (yes, a guy), Crista Swiatowy (the bride), Jamie Stone, Brittany Sliker, Alexandra Stimson, Kristina Rumble, Vickie Chatley and Jennifer Fisher

Swiatowy is marrying Justin Simson.

August 13, 2011 - 1:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls.

One of Batavia High's standout students was among a group of heroes Friday who came to the rescue of a teenage girl who hit her head on a rock when she fell several feet from a cliff at Indian Falls.

The girl, Kourtney McCorry, 17, of Spencerport, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight, but was conscious and alert after being pulled from the water.

Deputy Timothy Wescott said he was able to interview McCorry at the scene before she was transported and she was aware of her surroundings, recognized her father and understood what was happening.

She remembered, according to Wescott, climbing up the cliff of the falls with the help of her boyfriend. She grabbed the branch of a tree and the branch gave way. She fell and remembers seeing rocks below her and then she blacked out.

"She said she didn't know if she blacked out because she hit the rocks or out of fear of what might happen to her," Wescott said.

Evan Sutherland, a Batavia High School basketball player and member of the championship mock trial team, was at the falls with his friend, Andrew Hoy, a recent graduate of BHS and the Blue Devil's all-time leading scorer in basketball.  

Sutherland (left inset photo from one of his mock trial appearances this year) was the first to dive in the water to try and rescue the girl, Hoy said.

"I had just walked up and I got to like the edge of the cliff and saw her falling and she landed head first on the rocks," Hoy said. "It looked like her neck snapped. Then she went under for a few seconds and we couldn’t find her. We were still standing at the top and then she floated to the top of the water and my friend Evan Sutherland was the first one to react and he jumped into the water and there was another one of her friends over from where she fell from and he jumped in, too. They both dragged her out."

Hoy said the girl regained consciousness while she was still in the water, and Westcott said McCorry remembered coming to in the water surrounded by people.

The Batavian tried to interview Sutherland at the scene, but one of the Log Cabin's unruly patrons interfered with the interview and told him not to talk to the media.

Attempts to contact Sutherland Friday night were unsuccessful.

The legendary Log Cabin Restaurant, which includes a bar, is next to the falls and while the rescue was under way, the owner sent a representative to talk to journalists at the scene from The Batavian and the Daily News with a request that media outlets not report that the kids who swim and dive at the falls might enter the falls from the Log Cabin's property.

It's unknown how McCorry, Hoy and Sutherland, among the other youths enjoying the falls Friday, entered the area. 

The section of the Tonawanda Creek in the area of Indian Falls is owned by Genesee County and people can enter the area from near Route 77 without trespassing on private property. 

The volunteer fire departments of Indian Falls and Pembroke were the first emergency responders on scene.

Indian Falls and Pembroke volunteers set up a rope line across the creek and walked through the water to the north bank.

The Genesee County Rope Team -- made up of more than 20 volunteers from all of the county's volunteer fire departments -- responded to the scene along with Genesee County Emergency Services.

The team found a clearing in the brush along the creek's cliff on the north side and lowered a stretcher down to McCorry's location. Medical personnel were then lowered down.

It took more than 90 minutes to stabilize McCorry and slowly lift her to the top of the cliff.

Indian Falls Fire Chief Ed Mileham (bottom right inset) explained that it's a slow process to ensure both the safety of the victim and the rope crews.

"When you look at the fact that she's down 70 feet, the safest way up is up the bank," Mileham said. "We had 20 guys here from the (rope) team, they got down there, two of them set up harnesses and then they go down the bank -- yeah, by the time they get set up and everything, there's a little bit of time, but she appeared to be stable, so the guys were able to take their time and make sure they were safe before they got down in there."

Friday's mishap wasn't the first time this summer that Indian Falls and Pembroke responded to a near drowning at the falls.  

On June 5, another person looking for some recreation on the falls fell in and had to be rescued.

"It’s pretty dangerous," Mileham said. "If they don’t get far enough from the falls, they hit the rocks."

However, only two calls this summer is a far cry from how things used to be, Mileham noted.

"There’s been a problem down here for years," Mileham said. "Back in the '60s and '70s it used to be quite a place for kids to party and swim. I’ve been told that at one point there were 10 to 12 drownings here in one year from diving off the falls."

The Alabama and Oakfield fire departments also assisted at the scene.

August 13, 2011 - 12:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander.

There is a one-car rollover accident reported at Sandhill and Shanks roads, Alexander.

There are injuries, but all victims are out of the car.

Alexander Fire Department is responding.

August 13, 2011 - 12:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A motorcycle is reportedly on fire on Main Street near Jackson Street, downtown Batavia.

City fire is dispatched.

The fire is reportedly right in front of The Mane Attraction Salon & Spa.

UPDATE 12:24 a.m.: Fire is out.

August 12, 2011 - 11:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Thorpe Street.

Police have responded to a disturbance on Thorpe Street. About 20 or more people were in the street yelling at each other, swinging at each other and making threatening gestures toward each other just before four Batavia police cruisers arrived on scene.

Within seconds, the street was nearly empty.

Earlier this evening, Batavia PD responded to a disturbance on Thorpe. The supervisor assigned a patrol to stick close to the area for the evening. That officer would have gone off duty just about the time the disturbance broke out.

August 12, 2011 - 2:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, South Beach Restaurant.

Even though there are some finishing touches left yet for the new patio at South Beach, the grill is open. Chef Arvin Ortiz opened the grill today with an offering of hamburgers, hot dogs and pulled pork. Throughout the remainder of the summer, the grill will be opened for lunch and dinner this weekend and, for now, lunch during the week. At times the menu will include ribs, chicken and other grilled dishes. Menu service from the main kitchen is also available on the patio. This afternoon, starting at 4, there will be live music on the patio, and the Ghost Riders play starting at 8 p.m., Saturday.

August 12, 2011 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, corfu.

Kasean Shannon, 19, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts of sexual misconduct. Shannon allegedly had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old on three separate occasions in 2010.

Daniel Stephen Boynton, 25, Red Cedar Drive, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Boynton was stopped at noon, Thursday, on Route 77 in Corfu by Sgt. Greg Walker for allegedly driving 48 in a 35 mph zone. He was allegedly found in possession of a small quanity of marijuana.

Nicholas W. Higbee, 30, of 280 Matila St., Rochester, is charged with DWI, operating on a suspended or revoked license and unlawful possession of marijuana. Higbee was stopped at 12:03 a.m. on Route 77, Village of Corfu, by Officer Richard Retzlaff.

Ian Taylor McPhail, 22, of Gorham Street, Canandaigua, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. McPhail was reportedly found in a car parked on the shoulder of Colby Road at 1:15 a.m. by Deputy Frank Bordonaro.

August 12, 2011 - 12:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center has been experiencing telecommunications issues today, Friday Aug. 12. Those issues include dropped calls, incomplete calls and incorrect transfers. The trouble appears to be widespread, affecting outer sites in Le Roy and Pembroke, as well as the hospital at North Street and Jerome Center at Bank Street. It is unclear at this time as to whether only United Memorial’s service is impacted or if this affecting the community at large.

If someone is experiencing a medical emergency, they should call 9-1-1.
Those making calls to the hospital, Pembroke Diagnostics, Le Roy Diagnostics, Batavia Family Care, Le Roy Family Care, Byron Family Care, Urgent Care in Le Roy, Summit Physical and Occupational Therapy Center, Surgical Associates or the Women’s Care Center are encouraged to hang up and dial again if they encounter difficulty in reaching one of the sites.

United Memorial apologizes for any inconvenience to our patients and is working with the telecommunications provider to diagnose and resolve the issues.

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

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