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June 1, 2011 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, thruway.

One of three people being questioned by a Batavia police officer at the Days Inn of Oak Street near the Thruway decided to run, leading to a multi-agency manhunt that lasted less than 30 minutes shortly before 1 p.m.

Officer Dan Coffey had been dispatched to the Days Inn to ask three guests who had overstayed their welcome to leave. While doing a wants and warrants check on the three people, one of them took off. Coffey observed the suspect run to a gray Dodge Durango parked behind the hotel and grab something from the vehicle, leading officers to worry that the suspect had grabbed a weapon.

The man, whose identity has not been released yet, then headed toward the Thruway toll booths. At some point, he fell into or ran through a body of water. He then ran across the Thruway near the Route 98 overpass and was last seen in a farm field just north of the Thruway.

By that time, back-up had arrived from the Batavia PD, Sheriff's Office and State Police.  The field was surrounded by officers and the State Police helicopter was called in.

Within minutes of the helicopter arriving, the suspect, who had been lying in the long grass of the field, stood up and tried to run again. He was immediately apprehended by police.

The other two individuals were detained at the hotel, where members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force responded and began conducting a further investigation.

Following the arrest, a search of the field was being conducted by State Troopers, which prompted some discussion of bringing in a weapon sniffing dog, to see what, if anything, the suspect left behind.

Chief Randy Baker said the suspect apparently is wanted in Georgia. The nature of the warrant is not available at this time.

(Initial Report)

June 1, 2011 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, corfu.

Joseph Francis O'Shei, 36, of Stebbins Road, Franklinville, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol, inadequate lights and driving the wrong direction on a one-way street. O'Shei was stopped at 10:35 p.m. Monday in the area of 4126 Route 5, Batavia, by Deputy James Diehl.

Ronald M. Markek, 31, of Allegany Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to yield right-of-way to emergency vehicle and improper right turn. Markek was stopped at 1:31 a.m. on Route 77 in Corfu by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

May 31, 2011 - 10:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Alabama.

A car fire has been reported in front of the residence at 379 Martin Road, Akron.

Alabama Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:22 p.m.: Akron Fire was dispatched mutual aid, but told they can now stand down. Fire is knocked down.

UPDATE 11 p.m.: Alabama Fire back in service.

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May 31, 2011 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A one-car accident with possible minor injury has been reported in the area of 10056 East Road, Bethany.

Bethany Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.


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May 31, 2011 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Bethany, Stafford.

Deborah An Dixon-Thatcher, 52, of North Lyons Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Dixon-Thatcher is accused of breaking the windows, headlights and taillights out of her estranged husband's 1997 Nissan pickup truck while it was parked at a residence in Bergen at 1:55 a.m., Monday.

Hope Renee Conibear, 37, of Gibson Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Conibear was reportedly involved in a motor vehicle accident April 23 on Hutton Road, Town of Oakfield. The accident was investigated by Deputy Jason Saile.

Joseph Robert Waala, 38, of North Randolph Street, Arlington, Va., is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Waala allegedly damaged a metal fire hose box at 8250 Park Road, Batavia. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

The following individuals were arrested and charged with trespassing for allegedly being on privately owned property at 5447 Main Road, Stafford, without permission: Ryan W. Caltagirone, 20, of Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany, Donald M. Fagan, 19, and Joshua T. Gilbert, 18, both of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, and two 17-year-olds and three 16-year-olds, all from Batavia.

Katrina Le Brandes, 20, of South Main Street, Perry, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. Brandes was arrested following an investigation of a reported domestic incident at 3:55 a.m. on Buckman Road, Bethany, by Deputy Jason Saile.

May 31, 2011 - 7:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A car has struck a utility pole and at least one person suffered minor injuries in an accident on Cacner Road, Bethany.

Bethany Fire Department is responding.

May 31, 2011 - 7:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Mercy Flight, UMMC.

City firefighters have been dispatched to the parking lot of UMMC to set up a landing zone for Mercy Flight.

The nature of the medical call is not known.

May 31, 2011 - 12:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

UPDATE 7:25 a.m.: Chief Chris Hayward said Dustin G. Nicometo, 24, called his mother at 4 a.m. and said he was OK, but would not divulge his location. The search for this morning was cancelled.

UPDATE 5:17 a.m.: A family member just sent a text message: "The young man has been found and is OK." No further details available at this time.

The search for a missing Le Roy man who apparently walked into Oatka Creek shortly after 10 p.m. has been suspended for the night.

The young man, whose identify has not been released, was last seen by a Le Roy police officer floating in the creek. All of his clothing -- except for his underwear -- were found downstream on an island in the creek.

"Our best hope is that he got himself out and doesn't want to be found yet," said Le Roy Police Chief Chris Hayward.

The missing man was described as intoxicated at the time he went into the water.

Hayward said the search was suspended because of concerns for the safety of rescue personnel. It's a moonless night and Oatka Creek is running high and swift.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m., Le Roy Fire Department was put back in service, though a Geneseo K-9 unit continued to try and track the man along the banks.

The search will resume at 6:30 a.m., if he hasn't turned up by that time.

Several family members were on scene and expressed both disappointment and understanding at the search being called off.

Mercy Flight was called in to for an air-to-ground search with spotlights, but could not locate him.

Le Roy fire personnel responded first with generators and lights and their own powerful flashlights, searching along the banks from the area of the footbridge down past the graveyard.

Bergen fire was dispatched to the area of Buttermilk Falls to keep an eye on the creek. Buttermilk Falls is approximately 1.2 miles down stream from where the search was centered.

When the search resumes in the morning -- if the young man doesn't turn up before then -- a State Police helicopter will be brought in to assist.

(Initial report)

May 30, 2011 - 10:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Cemetery.

While at the Batavia Cemetery today, I met three young women doing a photo shoot.  

The group leader was Jessica Wheeler (second picture, white shirt), whose degree in journalism hasn't led to a job -- not uncommon these days -- so she's going to beauty school. She's entering a national contest in hairstyling and the rules stipulate a character from a movie be used, so she decided on a female Madhatter from "Alice in Wonderland."

Wheeler is attending Salon Professional Academy in Buffalo.

The Madhatter is played by Lacey Christner, a recent grad of GCC who will be attending UB as a photography major.

The photographer is Danielle Schaffer, a Batavia resident.

Three more pictures after the jump:


May 30, 2011 - 10:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

A person is believed to have jumped off the footbridge over the Oatka Creek in Le Roy.

Le Roy Police are on scene. The person was last seen in the water, but it's unclear if he's still in the water.

Le Roy firefighters are asked to respond with a boat.

Le Roy Ambulance dispatched.

The subject went into the water "by the bike rack south of the footbridge." Unclear if he jumped or just went into the water.

UPDATE 10:15 p.m.: Chief requests generator and lights to the scene.

UPDATE 10:23 p.m.: Lights and thermal camera set up at Church Street. Nothing visible.

UPDATE 10:24 p.m.: A Le Roy officer has apparently found some of the person's clothing on an island in the creek.

UPDATE 10:28 p.m.: State Police helicopter requested to the scene.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: Bergen requested mutual aid to stage in the area of Buttermilk Falls.

UPDATE 10:37 p.m.: No confirmation yet of State Police helicopter being available. A Mercy Flight helicopter requested to the scene. 

UPDATE 10:39 p.m.: Caledonia requested to stand by at Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 10:43 p.m.: Mercy Flight in route.

UPDATE 10:46 p.m.: Geneseo K-9 in route.

May 30, 2011 - 9:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, flowers.

When I decided to take a little time this morning to drive outside the city and see what kind of pictures I could take, I didn't set out to take pictures of roadside flowers, but when I started going through my photos tonight I discovered that's the main thing I did.

One of the great things about Genesee County in the spring is the explosion of color we see along our roadways.

Many of these species, I have no idea what they're called, so the more botanically aware readers are welcome to weigh in (the orange poppy and dandelions, I got, and above is some sort of daisy, I suppose). The bush with the white flowers at the bottom of this post is of particular interest -- I see them all over town, but have no idea what kind of bush it is.


May 30, 2011 - 7:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Memorial Day, parade.

A threat of rain (that never materialized) couldn't keep hundreds of people from descending on Main Street this morning for the annual Memorial Day parade.  

The parade featured the Batavia High School marching band and flag team, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the city and town fire departments, Sheriff's Office and Police Department, along with local veterans groups and elected officials, among other groups.

More pictures after the jump.

And even more pictures on our photo purchase site. To purchase these or choose from the additional pictures at affordable rates, click here.


May 30, 2011 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Cemetery, photos.

We are fortunate today to be enjoying a pleasant Memorial Day, a little overcast early but now the sun is out.

These photos are from the Batavia Cemetery. I'll have Batavia parade photos and some photos of Genesee County later today.

May 29, 2011 - 11:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

There are six small power outages -- all affecting fewer than five customers each -- in Genesee County.

There are three in Alexander in the area of Route 20 between Brookville and Putnam roads, and three in Pavilion in the area of Hawks Road.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: The size of the outages has expanded. The Alexander outage now effects 84 customers and the Hawks Road outage effects 211 customers.

May 29, 2011 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

An unknown type of fire has been reported in the back yard of 6972 Cole Road, Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire Department responding.

UPDATE 11:01 p.m.: Landowner on scene tells a chief he thinks it may be over by Bernd Road, so the chief is checking that area.

UPDATE 11:02 p.m.: Assignment being held to one truck for now.

UPDATE 11:03 p.m.: It appears to be a campfire.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: Le Roy assignment back in service.

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May 29, 2011 - 10:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

At 10:26 p.m., doppler radar indicated a line of severe thunderstorms had formed and it was moving east at 40 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm is capable of producing cloud-to-ground lightning and people outdoors should seek shelter immediately. 

The storms are along a line extending from Point Breeze to six miles east of Darien or along a line extending from 11 miles north of Albion to nine miles southwest of Batavia.

The storm is capable of producing damaging winds up to 60 mph and potentially damaging hail.

"These are dangerous storms," the weather service warns. "If you are in the path, prepare immediately for damaging winds, destructive hail and deadly cloud-to-ground lightening."

If indoors, the weather service warns people to stay away from windows.

The warning is effect until 11:45 p.m., a thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 1 a.m.

UPDATE 10:57 p.m.: The fast moving storm has passed through southern Genesee County and the warning for southern Genesee County is cancelled.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: The warning is now cancelled for all of Genesee County. A watch remains in effect until 1 a.m.

May 29, 2011 - 5:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A dryer fire was reported at 61 Myrtle St., Le Roy, in the basement.

Flames were showing.

An assistent chief responded to the scene and knocked the flames down with an extinguisher.

Le Roy Fire is responding and Bergen is responding mutual aid, non-emergency.

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May 28, 2011 - 9:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

There is a report of wires arcing in the area of 14 Brooklyn Ave., Batavia.

City Fire Department is responding.

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