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February 12, 2011 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

A winter storm front moved through Genesee County this morning dropping two or three inches of snow.  

The forecast for the rest of the day is a bit of wind and maybe a little light snow. 

February 12, 2011 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

All four occupants are safely out of a car that rolled over in the area of 6937 Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany.

Three occupants are walking around and one is waiting in a car with possible glass in his or her eye.

Pavilion Fire and Mercy EMS is responding.


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February 11, 2011 - 12:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee, NY-26.

Rumors of Chris Lee flirting with women, and possibly more, have swirled around him since his 2008 campaign for Congress, the Buffalo News reports today.

Several people contacted the campaign of Lee's Democratic opponent in 2008, Alice J. Kryzan, to say they had firsthand knowledge of Lee cheating on, or attempting to cheat on, his wife, two sources with knowledge of the campaign said.

Kryzan decided against pursuing the accusations because she didn't want to run a dirty campaign, the sources said.

Lee's alleged behavior reportedly drew the attention of House Majority Leader John Boehner. According to various reports, including the Buffalo News, Lee was allegedly behaving inappropriately toward female lobbyists. Boehner reportedly told Lee, "knock it off."

Boehner has told reporters that Lee resigned on his own with no pressure from leadership.

Politico reports that Lee's sudden departure caught the GOP by surprise.

House Speaker John Boehner and other top Republicans were unaware of the brewing scandal before Gawker posted the story early Wednesday afternoon, meaning party leaders were caught flat-footed when the controversy broke.

“Lee’s people tried to handle it internally,” a senior Republican aide said of Lee and his staff, adding that such a move was “a big mistake.”

Meanwhile, Lee's former staff is now under the supervision of Clerk of the House of Representatives. All of Lee's offices are remaining open to handle constituent matters.

Reaction in Genesee County to Lee's resignation and allegations from the Internet news site Gawker.com -- that Lee sent a shirtless picture of himself to a woman he met through Craigslist -- has been one of shock and disbelief.

County Legislator Ray Cianfrini said Lee was a guy he had high hopes for.

"From everything I could gather he was a rising star," Cianfrini said.

"He was appointed to Ways and Means in his second term, so obviously, he had some respect (in Washington), so for him to self-destruct like this is a real disappointment."

Legislator Jay Grasso said, "We all worked really hard for him, so I'm disappointed."

Dean Norton, president of the Farm Bureau, said Lee's departure from the House is a potential set back for the agriculture interests in New York, both because of Lee's quick rise in power and his expressed interest in the ag business.

"We were looking forward to to having an ally on the Ways and Means Committee who would bring ag funding issues to the forefront," Norton said.

Batavia's Town Supervisor Greg Post had a little bit different take.

Post heard a talk-show host complaining about the fall of another leader and Post said, "He's not my leader. He's my representative."

"My comment would be that I'm not surprised by the higher percentage of failures in elected positions," Post said. "It's an accurate representation of what our nation has evolved to over the past 50 years. This isn't the same country I grew up in."

We also asked for a comment from Elba's Bill Kauffman, writer and iconoclastic historian, author of nine books, including "Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette," and  a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal. Here's Kauffman's response:

"For 20 years, Genesee County was represented in Congress by Barber B. Conable, a thoughtful, rooted, humane man who was exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The series of Erie County hacks who have succeeded him -- Bill Paxon, Tom Reynolds, and now the Shirtless Wonder -- have been disgraces.

"I'd love to see a decent, honorable insurgent Republican from one of the rural counties take on whichever humdrum timeserver the GOP bosses choose. And I hope the Democrats run a vigorous populist instead of a suburban liberal who gets the shakes when he/she crosses the Pembroke town line."

February 11, 2011 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Attica, crime, Le Roy, Pavilion, Alabama.

Tomubari Godswill Gbaraba, 18, of 262 14th St., Buffalo, is charged with rape in the first degree. Gbaraba is accused of having forced sexual intercourse with an 18-year-old victim at College Village. Gbaraba was jailed on $50,000 bail.

Christine A. Woika, 37, of 82 Gilbert St., Le Roy, is charged with reckless endangerment of property and endangering the welfare of a child. Woika is accused of placing a jacket and other clothing in an oven in an apartment and leaving the oven on. The clothes started to burn and if they had caught fire, the fire could have spread causing at least more than $250 in damage. Woika is also accused of allowing herself to become incoherent to the point that she had to be transported to a hospital while she was caring for a 2-year-old child.

John Weston Boddy, 19, of Junction Road, Pavilion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Boddy is accused of possessing marijuana while on Pavilion Central School property. He was issued an appearance ticket by Deputy Brian Thompson.

A 17-year-old, of Roanoke Road, Pavilion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth is accused of possessing marijuana while on Pavilion Central School property. He was issued an appearance ticket by Deputy Brian Thompson.

Gary Frank Caccamise, 64, of Attica, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Caccamise was reportedly spotted by Deputy Brian Thompson allegedly drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Upon further investigation, Thompson allegedly found Caccamise in possession of marijuana.

Gerald George Ryder, 50, of Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Ryder is accused of punching a woman in the head and then smashing her wooden bookcase during an incident at 2:30 a.m., Saturday.

February 11, 2011 - 7:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident.

 A 37-year-old Bergen man was reportedly killed Thursday night in a snowmobile and car accident in Riga, Monroe County, according to WHEC.

The accident occurred around 10 p.m. on the Buffalo Road bridge over the CSX tracks when a westbound car, for an unknown reason, crossed the center line and hit the group of three of snowmobile riders head on.

The name of the deceased and the two riders with him have not been released. One other rider was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital and the third was not injured.

UPDATE: The deceased has been identified by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office as Thomas Bushman, 37. The second snowmobile driver, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, is Craig Heberle, 19. The uninjured rider is John Heberle, 37.

February 10, 2011 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, steve hawley, NY-26.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is seriously considering a run for Congress.

The five-year veteran of Albany said that calls encouraging him to run began as soon as news hit that Rep. Chris Lee (NY-26) resigned following a revelation that he apparently tried to pick up a woman on Craigslist.

"I've been getting text-messages, phone calls and messages on Facebook from people throughout the district urging me to run," Hawley said. "I believe I have the background, experience and years in business."

Hawley then discussed his background and his family's background at length, hitting on both their deep involvement in the community.

"This is my community," Hawley said. "This is my home and this is my district. I know the business people and the people of the district as if they were family. So I'm seriously considering it."  

He added that he was flattered that so many people have come forward to urge him to run.

Hawley said he was on the phone until midnight and on the phone all morning, including talking with each of the Republican county chairs in the district.

On the Democratic side, Genesee County Chair Lorie Longhany said first and foremost, "I'm going to back the Democrat. The Democrat who gets chosen is who I'm going to back."

She said the Democrats have not yet lined up behind a candidate, but there is a lot of talk going on among area leadership about who might make a good candidate.

Even though the registration advantages lean heavily in favor of Republicans, Longhany said in a special election, anything is possible.

"It's all about getting out the base, getting people motivated," Longhany said. "I've watched my party in other special elections across the state. We have a tremendous machine to get out the vote. I've seen our local Democrats work very hard to get out the vote. Yes, the Democrats can win this seat. Most definitely."

Hawley said the special election will get national attention, and Longhany agreed. Hawley said he believes even President Obama will take an interest in the election because the Democrats need to pick up votes in the House. 

The GOP candidate, Hawley said, will need to be somebody with the financing to run the race and give 110 percent to the campaign.

While Hawley can't self-finance a race, he said he can raise the funds necessary. He said he's proven he can raise funds for himself and other candidates and he's been involved in successful fund-raising campaigns for nonprofits in the community.

"I don't have any qualms about being able to raise money," Hawley said.

Even so, Hawley said he isn't eager to give up his Assembly seat.

"I enjoy what I'm doing even though these are difficult times," Hawley said. "We now have a governor who has indicated verbally that he's ready to lead and he's ready to do the things that not just me but others say we should be doing to turn around the state and stop the spending spree. I'm excited about that, so leaving the Assembly would be difficult."

The GOP has a reputation in Western New York for running disciplined campaigns and backing chosen candidates. Hawley said each of the county Republican committees get a weighted vote on picking a candidate. It breaks down roughly to Erie County getting 40 percent, the rural counties getting 30, Monroe 20, and Niagara 10.  

Hawley said he is friends with many of the other potential candidates and he will back whomever gets the nod.

PHOTO: File photo from Hawley's announcement of his re-election campaign in 2010.

February 10, 2011 - 8:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident.

 A driver suffered minor injuries Wednesday after she lost control of her car while trying to pass another vehicle on Route 33 near Old State Road in Bergen.

Melissa J. Davis, 37, of Cleon St., Rochester, received citations for alleged speed too fast for conditions and failure to keep right.

Davis was westbound on Route 33 at 8:21 a.m. when she attempted to pass another car. She apparently spun out and her car overturned as she attempted to maneuver back into the westbound lane.

There were reportedly other cars that had already gone off the roadway in the area.

Though her injuries were reportedly minor, firefighters from Byron and Bergen were called to extricate her from her car.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.

(Initial Report)

February 10, 2011 - 7:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Oakfield, Alabama.

Dylan Allen Barclay, 17, of Lewiston Road, Basom, is charged with criminal sexual act, 1st. Barclay is accused of a criminal sexual act with a child less than 11 years old. 

Robert Jackson, 62, of Robinson Road, Lockport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and failure to keep right. Jackson was stopped at 7:21 a.m. Wednesday on Lewiston Road, Alabama, by Deputy Brad Mazur.

Robert Paul Leiser, 42, of Lockport Road, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny and failure to pay a fine. Leiser was picked up on a bench warrant for the petit larceny. He is accused of not paying a fine out of Batavia City Court. Leiser was jailed on $500 bail.

Robert J. Macklem, 21, of 1 Prospect Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Macklem is accused of violating a "stay away" protection order. A probation officer allegedly found the protected person at Macklem's residence during a routine visit. Macklem was jailed without bail.

Brian D. Leavy, 32, of 10 Cedar St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and speeding. Leavy was stopped at 12:16 a.m. on West Main Street, Batavia, by Sgt. Steve Mullen, Batavia PD.

February 9, 2011 - 7:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident.

 A one-car accident has been reported on I-490 at mile marker 3 and there are possible injuries.

The white car is about 12 feet off the roadway.

Bergen fire and ambulance, Le Roy fire and ambulance along with Mercy EMS have been dispatched.

UPDATE: All Genesee County responding units put back in service. This is a Monroe County call.

February 9, 2011 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Chris Lee.

 U.S. Rep. Chris Lee, representing New York's 26th District, including Genesee County, has reportedly resigned his congressional seat following a report by Gawker.com that he was trolling Craigslist for women.

UPDATE: Chris Lee released this statement:

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.

“The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately.”

Lee became caught up in a sex scandal today when New York City-based Gawker reported the the second-term congressman was apparently trolling Craigslist for women.

According to reporter Maureen O'Connor, Lee exchanged e-mails with a woman who placed a personal ad on Craigslist in the women-seeking-men category. Lee had told her he was divorced and a lobbyist, according to the report, and in the course of the e-mail exchange he sent along a shirtless picture himself.

The woman, according to Gawker, cut off correspondance with him after doing a little Google research and finding out who he really was. She then contacted Gawker thinking it was a 'humorous story."

There's no allegation in the story that Lee actually "hooked up" with that woman or any other woman through Craigslist.

UPDATE: Here's how the Washington Post reported it:

Lee experienced his fall from grace in a single afternoon, undone at the speed of the digital age. At lunchtime Wednesday, he was an obscure but promising second-term congressman. Then, at 2:33 p.m., the Web site Gawker.com posted an alleged e-mail exchange between a man who used Lee's name -- but identified himself as a divorced lobbyist -- and an unidentified woman. Gawker reported that the two had met through the personals section of Craigslist.

After that, the familiar cycles of a Washington sex scandal were compressed into a blur of tweets and news alerts. There was confusion, a hint of denial, then a pledge from Lee to "work it out" with his wife.

By 6 p.m., a clerk was announcing Lee's resignation in the House chamber.

February 9, 2011 - 11:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

The Honda that crossed the center line and struck an SUV in a fatal accident yesterday may have been going too fast for conditions, according to Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble, Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

It was under 9 degrees and there was still ice and snow on West Main Street Road at 9:02 a.m. when the accident ocurred.

The investigation is ongoing and there is still much to be learned about what happened, according to Dibble.

"There may be other factors that our investigation will eventually uncover," Dibble said.

Nineteen-year-old Delores Opuku-Boateng, a Batavia resident and student at GCC, died at the scene after being ejected from the Honda.

The driver, 21-year-old Levert R. Kimble, of Batavia, was seriously injured and transported to ECMC. He's out of intensive care and listed in stable condition, according to ECMC patient information.

The other driver, Justin J. Jaszko, 31, suffered a leg injury and was treated at UMMC.

February 9, 2011 - 10:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, accident.

 

A friend of Delores Opuku-Boateng, the 19-year-old GCC student killed in an accident on West Main Street Road, Batavia, yesterday posted this tribute video on YouTube and the GCC Facebook page.

February 9, 2011 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

Burnette McWilliams, 56, of Bartlett Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, unlicensed operation and following too closely. McWilliams is accused of causing a motor-vehicle accident in December in Oakfield. McWilliams allegedly told Deputy Brian Thompson  that her name was Barbara Brown. Upon further investigation, it was determined that McWilliams allegedly provided a false identity and was driving on a suspended license. McWilliams turned herself in to the Sheriff's Office on Monday.

February 9, 2011 - 9:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke.

 A 23-year-old snowmobile rider was seriously injured Tuesday evening after the vehicle he was riding struck a tree.

Nathan C. Swimline, of Boyce Road, Pembroke, was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight with internal injuries.

Swimline was riding his snowmobile at 6:39 p.m. eastbound on Genesee Sno-Packers secondary trail GS 207, East Pembroke, when his vehicle traveled off the south side of the trail and struck a tree. Swimline was partially ejected from the snowmobile. 

According to the accident report, Swimline has five years experience with snowmobiles and was driving a 2004 Polaris Switchback, 700cc.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

UPDATE: According to ECMC patient information, Swimline is out of intensive care and listed in stable condition.

(Initial Report)

February 9, 2011 - 8:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, byron.

A driver was issued three citations following a secondary accident on Byron Road yesterday afternoon.

The driver and another car were approaching an accident scene on Byron Road at 4:42 p.m. when his car rear-ended the other car.

Cited for allegedly following too closely, aggravated unlicensed operation and driving on a suspended license was 41-year-old Scott P. Dunham, of Batavia.

Dunham's car hit one driven by Patricial Williams, 41, of Byron. Williams and her passenger, Lauren E. Williams, 11, suffered minor injuries and were transported to UMMC.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Graff.

(Initial Report)

February 9, 2011 - 8:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, byron.

 A car is on its side in the area of Route 33 and Old State Road, Byron.

A deputy called in that three or four cars were off the road and then said, "now I've got a rollover." 

There is a reported minor injury.

Byron and South Byron fire dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 8:37 a.m.: Bergen's rescue engine requested to the scene to help with extrication. Mercy EMS told to continue non-emergency.

February 9, 2011 - 4:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Stafford.

A car has struck a utility pole and a 500-gallon diesel fuel tank on Batavia-Stafford Townline Road near R. Steven Hawley Drive.

The tank, on a farm at the location, was ruptured at a seam and was leaking fuel. The leak is now stopped.

The driver is out of the vehicle and walking around.

Both Stafford Fire Department (the accident is in the Stafford district) and Town of Batavia fire have responded.

UPDATE 4:56 a.m.: A fuel specialist from a local fuel company requested to the scene to help drain the remaining 200 to 300 gallons of fuel in the tank. Also, dispatch asked to contact the father of the driver. "Let him know (his son) is OK. He just needs a ride home."

The road is  being kept open.

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