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October 24, 2011 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

A Le Roy resident has been arrested and charged with using marijuana and cash to pay for unspecified sexual acts.

Taken into custody is Thomas J. Hutton, 28, of 92 Lake St., #2, Le Roy.

Hutton is charged with criminal sale of marijuana, 5th, unlawful possession of marijuana and patronizing a prostitute.

Hutton was jailed on $1,000 bail.

The charges follow an investigation by Le Roy Police into an allegation that Hutton paid a third party cash and marijuana for the performance of sexual acts.

A search warrant was executed on Hutton's residence with the assistance of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, which allegedly led to the discovery of marijuana at the residence.

October 24, 2011 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A 55-year-old Bergen woman who was seriously injured Sept. 30 when a car she was driving was struck by a semi-trailer carrying gravel may need long-term care and rehabilitation, according to her daughter.

Patty Ireland is out of intensive care at Strong Memorial Hospital, but does not recognize people or things, according to Katie Ireland.

"She's improved immensely," Katie said. "We'll have to wait and see how her brain heals itself."

The mother of three children, all now in their 20s, worked at Geneseo College.

Besides the head trauma, Patty suffered other relatively minor injuries -- fractured ribs and some cuts, but the brain injury is the big unknown for the Ireland family.

Katie said they are unsure how long and to what degree Patty will need care and rehabilitation.

From Strong, Patty will be moved to Monroe Community Hospital, then St. Mary's for further rehabilitation and eventually home. The family doesn't yet know if Patty will need 24/7 in-home care or not, or if she does, for how long.

"It's such a long road, it's hard to say exactly what we will need," Katie said.

Friends and neighbors in Bergen have organized a fundraiser for the Ireland family to help with whatever needs may yet arise. 

The fundraiser is a spaghetti dinner and raffles from 6 to 9 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 29, at St. Brigid Church Hall in Bergen. For more information, click here.

Photo: Jimmy, Beth and Katie with their mother Patty. Submitted by Katie. Katie wanted us to include how grateful the entire family is for the outpouring of community support.

October 24, 2011 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, Alabama.

There's been an increase in home burglaries and overnight vehicle break-ins in the Oakfield and Alabama area, according to Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster.

Some of the burglaries may be related and there is at least one person whom investigators suspect being involved in several -- but not all -- of the thefts.

Items ranging from jewelry and electronics to cars and motorcycles have been stolen during the spree.

"Business is kind of booming out that way," Brewster said.

In Alabama there's been a pair of daylight burglaries that investigators think are connected because of the type of items stolen, the similarity between the houses and the close proximity to each other.

Other burglaries include:

    -- a garage on Drake Street, where a pipe wrench was stolen;
    -- homes on Galloway Road and Fisher Road, both with televisions, cash and other items stolen;
    -- a pair of dirt bike thefts on Oak Street and Cary Street in the Village of Oakfield;
    -- a pick-up truck, also stolen in the village, on Mill Street;
    -- and copper stripped and stolen from a home across from Oakfield-Alabama Elementary School on Route 63.

It's likely, Brewster said, that local thieves -- in addition to the one person already a person of interest -- is involved in these larcenies.

A local resident whose car was broken into over night called The Batavian and wondered why the Sheriff's Office isn't increasing patrols in the area.

Brewster said that approach isn't really productive. Unless a deputy is super familiar with a neighborhood, he might not spot cars or people who are out of place.

"That's why it's so important that people call us if they see something suspicious," Brewster said.

Brewster said if a resident sees an unfamiliar car drive down a street and drop somebody off, or if a garage door has been left open, for example, it's a good idea to call the Sheriff's Office (343-5000).

WBTA's Geoff Redick contributed to this report.

October 24, 2011 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford, Alabama, corfu.

Joshua Ray Radley, 25, of Old Meadow Lane, Batavia, is charged with unlawfully growing cannabis, unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of fireworks. Radley was arrested following an investigation into a complaint filed on July 27.

Loralyn L. Bateman, 35, 874 Gabbey Road, Corfu, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol. Bateman turned herself in at Batavia PD on a warrant out of Batavia City Court.

Michael A. Witkop, 19, 249 Ross St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation and improper right turn. Witkop was stopped at 12:38 a.m., Sunday, on River Street, Batavia, by Officer Darryl Streeter.

Brian M. Raphael, 23, of 4 Noonan Drive, Batavia, is charged with aggravated DWI, moving from lane unsafely and improper turn. Raphael was stopped at 1:09 a.m., Saturday, on Liberty Street, Batavia, by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Peter J. Kaiser, 50, of Jackson Road, Middleport, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol, failure to stop for stop sign and speed not reasonable and prudent. Kaiser was charged following an investigation into a traffic accident that occurred Sept. 16 on Lockport Road, Alabama.

Rusty Everett Vanson, 46, of Jefferson Street, Attica, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement markings in a no-passing zone. Vanson was stopped at 12:57 a.m., Sunday, on Attica Road in Alexander by Deputy Jason Saile.

Eric Michael Duda, 49, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Duda allegedly asked a third party to contact a person he is barred by court order from contacting. He has a previous conviction for criminal contempt, 2nd, within the last five years. Duda was jailed on $5,000 bail.

October 24, 2011 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals.

A six-point buck reportedly ran into the door of Batavia Middle School a short time ago.

Police were dispatched because classes are about to be let out.

A second report says the buck has also run into a car.

A police officer on scene reports that parents are complaining about blood on the door, asking that the school clean up the blood before children are released from classes.

October 24, 2011 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to announce that Genesee Cardiology will join the United Memorial family of managed services beginning December 1, 2011 following the recently announced retirement of Cardiologist, Dr. Keun Oh.  Genesee Cardiology will remain in their current location of 229 Summit Street in the Summit Medical Office Building. Their name will change to “United Memorial Cardiology and Internal Medicine” to reflect the merger.

To maintain continuity of care, United Memorial has recruited Board Certified Cardiologist Syed A. Shah, MD. He will be joining Dr. Abdul Rathor and Nurse Practitioner Susan Riner in the practice as hospital employed healthcare providers.

“Dr. Oh has provided exceptional medical and cardiac care to patients in our region since 1979 and we wish him well in his retirement,” stated United Memorial CEO Mark C. Schoell. “As an organization, we have worked closely with Dr. Oh and Dr. Rathor to make sure patients will have continued access to cardiac care close to home.” 

Dr. Syed A. Shah has over 24 years of experience. He completed his residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Atlantic City Medical Center and a fellowship at UMDNJ, Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. Dr. Shah has maintained offices in Olean and Brockport.

For an appointment with Dr. Rathor, Dr. Shah, or Ms. Riner please call (585) 343-4440.

October 24, 2011 - 1:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Announcements.

Press release:

SYRACUSE, N.Y., (October 22, 2011) – USDA Rural Development (RD) and Habitat for Humanity (HFH) celebrated with Angelina Pellegino, a single mom and her two daughters for the purchase of their new home.  USDA Rural Development provided a low interest direct loan to purchase a recently rehabilitated home from Habitat for Humanity for the Pellegrino family. Angelina Pellegrino, and her two daughters Mikalina and Carmelina spent the past 8 years renting an apartment in “Cardboard City,” aptly named because of the lack of insulation and sky high heating costs.

Leveraging funds and resources, USDA Rural Development provided a $63,500 loan; which, along with a $30,000 forgivable mortgage from HFH allowed her to purchase the rehabilitated home. The help of over 90 volunteers and 300+ hours of sweat equity by Ms. Pellegrino, drastically improved the house to include energy efficient features such as new thermal pane windows, high efficiency furnace and new siding.  Several community members assisted in the efforts including home improvement stores, local housing inspectors, and even the neighborhood donut shops that provided free coffee and doughnuts each day to the volunteers, making this a truly collaborative project.

“This project is illustrative of how Habitat for Humanity and USDA can work together to rehabilitate existing housing stock and build new homes, essential to increasing economic opportunities in New York’s rural communities,” Harvey added. “Jobs are created, communities come together, neighbors help neighbors and affordable homeownership is made possible for this family in Batavia.” 

The Pellegrino family was chosen for the HFH project from a pool of almost 40 applicants.  While Angelina admits the process took almost 2 1/2 years, she says it was worth every minute and has come to know many of the volunteers.  “Everything happens for a reason, this house was a labor of love.  With every single person who dedicated their precious time to help improve a stranger’s life, I call them Angels on Earth.”

The innovative financing is unique to this HFH chapter.  Rather than HFH holding the mortgage, Angelina was able to purchase the home with the assistance of a low interest loan from USDA Rural Development.  This enabled HFH to replenish its revolving loan fund.  “The success of our next house, which we've just started, hinges on the proceeds of this current houses' sale.” said Tammy Hyman, HFH, Genesee County President.  Remarkably, Ms. Pellegrino’s mortgage payment will be lower than her rent payment.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. For more information on USDA Rural Development programs, contact Rural Development’s state office at (315) 477-6400, or visit the Rural Development web site at

October 24, 2011 - 1:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Batavia Development Corp..

Press release:

The Batavia Development Corporation as administrator of the City of Batavia small business loan funds, has approved and closed the fourth loan this year to spur economic activity within the city. A total of $72,000 has been distributed for assistance in business start-up and acquisition, purchase of new equipment and working capital.

“Receiving this business loan has changed my life,” said Kate Gonzalez, longtime resident of Batavia and new owner of the Enchanted Florist on Main Street, Batavia. “I can not say enough good things about this program.”

Gonzalez received a $22,000 loan to use toward purchase of the successful flower shop that gives Gonzalez the opportunity to become her own boss after 25+ years of florist experience.

Last month, Sunny’s restaurant received a loan to purchase new kitchen equipment. In August, master-barber Brandon Armstrong of City Styles received start-up funds to open his shop on Ellicott Street providing hot-towel shaves and contemporary styles like unique fades and brush-cuts. And, Colin Dentino was able to add new equipment and hire additional employees to deliver professional and entertaining “fencing” classes through En Garde.

Overall, these businesses were able to hire three new full-time persons, five part-time employees and retain two jobs with these funds.

The City of Batavia now offers the only small business grant and loan program available in Genesee County allowing requests as low as $1,000 up to $50,000. Eligible applicants must be located within city limits and use funds for business activities within the City of Batavia. Contact the Batavia Development Corporation for more information by dialing 585-345-6380 or visit online at

Photo, by Howard Owens: Kate Gonzalez, center, with her mother, Margaret Anna, left, and her daughter, Rachael Heatherman.

October 24, 2011 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release:

After a report stating nearly 1,100 bridges in New York State were deemed "fracture-critical," a high percentage of which exist in New York’s 26th Congressional District, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today called on Congress to immediately pass the American Jobs Act.

"Let's finally pass a comprehensive jobs bill that will not only get Americans back to work, but fix the bridges millions of commuters rely on each year," Congresswoman Hochul said. "These 'fracture-critical' bridges are a threat to the safety of New York residents, especially the residents of New York's 26th District, which had scores of bridges on the list. This report only underscores the need for quick passage of the Job Act.”

New York State currently has double the number of fracture-critical bridges on the list than reported nationwide, while Orleans County, in the center of the 26th District, was reported to have nearly seven times the national average. Over 20 percent of Orleans County's 138 bridges were found to be fracture-critical. Bridges from all other six counties in the 26th District – Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, and Wyoming counties – were also on the list.

Fracture-critical bridges lack redundant supporting elements, which means if one key support function of the bridge fails, the safety and use of the entire bridge could fail, potentially causing a collapse.

Hochul added, "While structurally sound under normal circumstances, there is no reason why these bridges cannot get the necessary repairs to ensure the safety of the driving public. As the former county clerk responsible for putting vehicles on the road, I feel compelled to fight for the money we need from Washington to bring our bridges and roads up to par. Once again, I call for the House leadership to bring forward the American Jobs Act and allow us to vote on infrastructure funding for our districts, while creating much needed job opportunities for our workers."

All seven of the counties Representative Hochul represents have vulnerable bridges that could benefit from passage of the American Jobs Act.

October 23, 2011 - 8:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Halloween, Watson Avenue.

Thelma and Rick Hall are getting their annual Halloween Haunt on Watson Avenue ready for the trick-or-treaters they're hoping will visit them Oct. 31. The Halls are expanding the haunt again this year. It will wrap all around their house and feature new displays and more frights.

October 23, 2011 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

A man has fallen approximately 25 feet from a tree at 106 South Main St., Oakfield.

He may have a broken hip.

As a precaution, Mercy Flight on in-air standby.

Oakfield Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Mercy Flight requested to the scene. ETA five minutes.

October 23, 2011 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pok-A-Dot, Literature, John Gardner.

The John Gardner Society gathered Saturday at the Pok-A-Dot for the annual reading of the author's works.

Readers were Lucine, Bill and Gretel Kauffman, Erica Caldwell, Terry McCormack, Tracy Ford, Maureen Maas-Feary, Brian Paris, Helen Maier, Terry Abrams and John Maier.

WNED's Jay Moran recorded the readings and will air a segment later in the week, possibly on Wednesday.

If you can't view the slide show, click here.

October 23, 2011 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports.

A third-quarter interception by Matt Ramsey helped spark the Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers both offensively and defensively, turning a 0-7 deficit into a 21-7 victory in Saturday's Class B quarter-final playoff game against Pal-Mac.

Zack DuBois came up big again on offense carrying the ball 25 times for 262 yards and two TDs, including an 88-yard, fourth-quarter sprint that sealed the deal for the Lancers.

Ramsey had two interceptions on the day, to go along with seven tackles, and DuBois added another pick.

Cody Naylor, who carried the ball for 14 yards, also scored a TD.

Naylor had 13 tackles, including three for a loss.

Brandon Naylor had 14 tackles, including four for a loss, and two sacks.

Tom Fowler had 12 tackles, including three for a loss, and Emiliano Acosta had 13 tackles, including four for a loss.

Pal-Mac's offense: Stephen Morrell, 14 for 35, 147 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions; Derek Wager, three receptions for 44 yards and one TD; Sean Nolan, 20 carries for 80 yards.

In other weekend football action:

In Class C quarter finals, Wellsville beat Le Roy 42-14 and Attica beat Pembroke 21-6.

In the Connors Ferris Bowl games, Alexander beat Warsaw 21-6. Batavia plays ER/Granada at 3 p.m. today. 

Also this weekend, Oakfield-Alabama lost to Perry 34-28.

In JV Action, the Batavia Blue Devils finished out its season undefeated, 8-0, with a 22-16 win over Greece Olympia. Down 16-14 with 3:11 left in the game, Tyler Pratt returned a kick 92 yard for a go-ahead TD.  Also scoring were QBs Brandon Stevenson and Dakota Swimline.

PHoto of Elba's Zack DuBois by Destin Danser.

October 23, 2011 - 10:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports.

With 1:09 left in the game, Clyde-Savannah needed just one point to tie the game, but in high school football, PATs are not automatic.

Eagles Head Coach Nick Dercola decided to roll the dice on a running play. A two-point conversion would all but guarantee a win for the Eagles in the Class D semi-final playoff game.

Derrick Wright took the hand-off and sprinted to the far side corner of the end zone, but Andrew Mullen and Nick Taylor beat Wright to the goal line.

Final score, Notre Dame 27, Clyde-Savannah 26.

Through nearly three quarters of football, the Fighting Irish appeared dominant, using a ball-control running game and a well-executed defense to keep the Eagles on the ropes.

But defensive lapses in the fourth quarter by Notre Dame and a key fumble with less than three minutes to go turned a 27-13 lead into a nail-biter for the Irish.

"They’re a good team," said Coach Rick Mancuso. "When you make mistakes in a big game, good teams are going to capitalize and that’s what they did."

Mistakes by the Eagles -- particularly interceptions -- helped Notre Dame's cause.

Nate Woods helped set up ND's first TD when he picked off a pass early in the first quarter.

Tim McCulley added two more interceptions, including one with less than a minute in the first half and Clyde-Savannah threatening to tie the game at 14. McCulley pulled down a Tom Molisani pass on the three-yard line.

On offense, Nick Taylor led the way with 120 yards on 30 carries. He crossed the goal line three times.

Andrew Mullen added another TD on a 15-yard reception. Mullen also carried the ball 12 times for 68 yards and had six tackles and half a sack on defense.

McCulley was 5-7 for 33 yards and no interceptions.

Notre Dame turned by ball over twice on fumbles, including the key fourth-quarter fumble on the 43 yard line that allowed Clyde-Savannah to pull into a point.

Taylor also had six tackles and half a sack. Also with half-sack credits were Doane McCulley and Aaron McDonald.

Nate Woods returned three punts for 107 yards.

Eagle's QB Molisani was 15-30 for 249 yards.

"They throw ball over yard," said Mancuso. "But that works to our advantage to get a team like that because one of the teams that’s playing now (in the other Class D semi-final game) is also going to be a team that’s going to throw the ball, so this was good experience for our young kids."

Those other teams were Geneseo and Dundee. Geneseo won 64-16.

Notre Dame will face Geneseo on Friday in Rochester.

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

October 21, 2011 - 8:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Le Roy, golf road.

This spring, I drove by this old quarry on Golf Road in Le Roy for the first time. It was filled with green water that day and I thought, "I bet in the fall, that green water topped by autumn-colored trees looks pretty awesome." So this afternoon, driving back from Rochester, I thought of the quarry and the picture possibility. It was a bit of a let down to find the water evaporated over the summer. But with the dramatic storm clouds above, I still thought it could make a nice picture.

October 21, 2011 - 6:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Le Roy, Bethany.

David Michael Johns, 46, of East Street, Gainsville, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, falsifying business records, 1st, and petit larceny. While employed at Kistner Concrete Products, 10056 East Road, Bethany, Johns allegedly loaded merchandise valued at more than $1,100 into a customer's vehicle and failed to turn in funds to the business from the transaction. Johns is accused of falsifying a packing slip and turning it over to his supervisor in an attempt to account for reportedly missing merchandise. In a separate incident, Johns is accused of loading merchandise into a customer's vehicle with a value of $150 and failing to turn funds over to the business.

Joseph James Lloyd, 40, of 100th Street, Niagara Falls, NY, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Lloyd, operating as M. Franklin Home Improvement, Inc., is accused of accepting a payment of $15,000 from a Town of Pembroke resident in October 2010 to build a garage on her property, but Lloyd allegedly failed to use any of the money towards the project.

Matthew C. Higgins, 29, of 2823 Graney Road, Caledonia, is charged with felony DWI. Higgins was taken into custody by Le Roy Police after a concerned citizen initially reported an occupied vehicle parked in the driving lane of Perry Road just south of Route 20. When the citizen approached the vehicle, the driver took off north on Perry and continued into the village. A car reportedly driven by Higgins was stopped on East Main Street in the village after allegedly failing to keep right. Higgins was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Seokjoon Suh, 25, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Suh is accused of possessing a collapsible baton while at College Village.

Cody James Sundown, 21, of Skye Road, Tonawanda, was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office on a bench warrant out of the Town of Pembroke for criminal mischief, 3rd. Bail was set at $750 or $5,000 bond.

Robert Lee Williams, 21, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Williams is accused of violating an order of protection by going to the place of employment of the protected party. The order specifically barred Williams from going to that business location.

October 21, 2011 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

The driver of a sedan that smashed into a tree on Route 262 in Elba shortly after 5:30 a.m. may face a DWI charge.

Corey Hemmer, 25, of Elba, was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said a blood sample was taken from Hemmer and additional charges may be pending.

Hemmer is in intensive care.

Also injured where Megan Ann Gregg, 18. She is listed in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital. Strong's policy is to list anybody in intensive care as "guarded."

The third victim in the crash is Aaron Pahuta, 19. He underwent emergency surgery at ECMC this morning.

Hemmer was reportedly driving westbound on Route 262 just east of Route 98 when his Pontiac drifted off the north side of the roadway. The car struck a tree head on.

Sgt. Brian Frieday said at the scene that a passerby found the wreckage some time after the accident. Investigators were unsure at that time how much earlier the accident had occurred.

All three occupants had to be extricated and transported to hospitals by Mercy Flight.

The accident is under investigation by the Crash Management Team of the Sheriff's Office.

Elba Fire Department and Mercy EMS responded to the scene and Town of Batavia Fire Department was dispatched to provide additional extrication tools and manpower.

Note: Upon request of the Sheriff's Office, publication of photos withheld until victim notifications completed.

October 21, 2011 - 5:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

A car has hit a tree on Route 262, just east of Route 98 in Elba.

Three people were in the car and one person is entrapped.

Mercy Flight is on in-air standby.

Three Mercy EMS ambulances have been dispatched.

Elba Fire Department is on scene.

UPDATE 5:52 a.m.: Two Mercy Flight helicopters requested to the scene. A landing zone will be set up at the fire department rec hall.

UPDATE 5:54 a.m.:  Third Mercy Flight helicopter requested to the scene.

UPDATE 5:57 a.m.: All three occupants are trapped in the vehicle.

UPDATE 6:01 a.m.: First Mercy Flight bird on the ground. A second has been dispatched. Dispatchers are checking on availability of a third helicopter.

UPDATE 6:06 a.m.: Town of Batavia Fire's extrication equipment requested to the scene. Oakfield Fire requested to standby at Elba Fire Hall.

UPDATE 6:08 a.m.: Third helicopter in route with a 20 to 25 minute ETA.

UPDATE 6:27 a.m.: Second helicopter on the ground.

UPDATE 7:02 a.m.: All three victims have been extricated. The third helicopter is at the scene.




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

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