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May 26, 2011 - 5:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A car reportedly struck a deer on Route 5 near Kelsey Road.

There are injuries reported.

East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:28 p.m.: One person was transported to UMMC by ground ambulance. Officials on scene said that a driver of another vehicle saw the deer, slowed down and the deer jumped over that car and landed on this minivan. No further information available at this time.

May 26, 2011 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, Alabama.

Wallace Eugene Urf, 33, Pavilion Center Road, Pavilion, is charged with a felony count of DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Urf was taken into custody at 6:05 p.m. Monday on Broadway, Darien, following a complaint of a domestic incident. Urf was allegedly found driving a car on a suspended license while intoxicated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy. Corfu Police assisted in the apprehension.

David Lawrence Popielinski, 22, of Schad Road, Alden, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. At 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office received a complaint of a car off the road on Harlow Road, Darien. Deputy Kevin McCarthy investigated and arrested Popielinski.

Grant Arnold Sundown, 46, of Skye Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Sundown is accused of having contact with a protected person.

May 26, 2011 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Batavia Police are running a special detail today targeting drivers without seat belts or talking on mobile phones.

Officers also ran the detail yesterday afternoon.

Officer Darryle Streeter said he's seeing about 95- to 98-percent compliance with the seat belt law.

Mobile phones are another matter. Of the 18 tickets written yesterday, only one was for a seat belt violation and 10 were for mobile phone use (the rest were for miscellaneous issues such as inspection or tinted glass).

At the time this picture was taken, the detail was being run on Ellicott Street.

May 25, 2011 - 6:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Summer Ogden, 35, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, and Eric Michael Duda, 49, of Route 5, Stafford, are both charged criminal contempt (Summer in the 2nd degree, Duda in the 1st). Both Ogden and Duda have orders of protection in place barring them from contacting each other. The pair was arrested at 9:41 p.m., Tuesday, when they were allegedly found together.

Joseph Charles Wind, 41, of Horseshoe Lake Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Wind was stopped at 8:50 p.m. on Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Brian Thompson for allegedly driving without headlights after dusk.

May 25, 2011 - 6:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bank Street Road, photos.

I've driven on Bank Street Road dozens of times. Today, for the first time, I noticed this interestingly shaped tree.

May 25, 2011 - 6:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, byron.

On my way back from Bergen, I found myself at the intersection of Walkers Corner and Batavia-Byron Townline roads.

About a month ago, I was in this same area and noticed this old one-room schoolhouse. This time, I took the time to stop. It looks like some artist has converted it into a studio. 

I'm a little envious.

May 25, 2011 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident.

Though the sun shone on Bergen this morning, there was little joy in the tiny village of 1,200 people.

The community laid to rest one of its youngest members today, Eric. C. Wall, 16, who died Friday afternoon in a tragic and ultimately unexplainable accident

An overflow crowd filled the Methodist Church for an hour-long service.

After the service, Pastor Michael Merry spoke with reporters and said though it is a sad day, it's also a day of hope.

"I see hope in a community that has come together," Merry said. "I see hope that we can maybe find a way to prevent this kind of tragic death from happening again."

On Friday afternoon, at about 2:45, Eric was on his way home from school with two friends. When they got into the village, the three boys went their separate ways and Eric apparently decided to try and run across the train tracks. It's impossible to know what he saw or what he thought. There was a CSX train coming from the west and an Amtrak train coming from the east. Eric was first struck by the passenger train and then by the cargo train. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"This has been very difficult for the community to cope with," Merry said. "Perhaps the most difficult part -- as you can just hear -- is the train whistle in the background. We have about 70 trains per day come through here. It's going to be hard to get that sound out of our heads. I think this is a day of healing, but as we hear that train go by, we will also remember."

Merry said Eric was memorialized during the service as a kid who made people laugh and stuck up for weaker, picked-on classmates, and would stand up for what he believed in.

"We will mourn his loss," Merry said. "He will be missed in all kinds of ways."

On Saturday, Eric's brother planted an apply tree in the little park near the train tracks. The tree was a gift from the community. At 9 a.m., Monday, the tree will be dedicated in a community service. Merry asked that the media let the community have a quiet, undisturbed ceremony.

For more coverage from The Batavian's news partner, WBTA, click here.

May 25, 2011 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, Ian Murphy.

While Kathy Hochul won the race for the NY-26 seat, Jane Corwin was favored in Genesee County.

Corwin picked up 44.2 percent of the vote to Hochul's 39.2.

Jack Davis, who garnered only 9 percent of the vote throughout the rest of the district, picked up 14.5 percent in Genesee County.

Here are the final vote totals.

Total ballots: 8,247

Corwin: 3648 -- 44.2 percent

Hochul: 3239 -- 39.2 percent

Davis: 1195 -- 14.5 percent

Murphy: 100 -- .012 percent

Write-in: 43

Blank: 22

These are unofficial numbers and they may not yet include absentee counts.

We don't have the turnout percentage yet.

May 25, 2011 - 8:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.

The new proposed budget will go to voters on June 21 has a spending plan of  $39,366,045, with a 4.13-percent property tax increase (Story).

May 24, 2011 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, Ian Murphy.

Even before the Genesee County vote has been counted, the Buffalo News, along with other media outlets, have declared the race for Kathy Hochul.

According to the Buffalo paper's numbers, with 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Hochul has 48 percent of the vote to Corwin's 42 percent. Jack Davis picked up 9 percent and Ian Murphy 1 percent.

Corwin conceded the race shortly after 10 p.m.

It's unclear what will become of the court order Corwin obtained earlier today barring certification of the election results before a court appearance on Thursday.

May 24, 2011 - 10:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26.

At about 9:30 p.m., the first ballot bags arrived at County Building #2.

So far 23 of 48 bags have arrived.

Election results for Genesee County won't be released until all bags are received.

The bags contain ballots and flash cards. The flash cards are fed into a computer and the tally isn't released until all cards have been tabulated.

The Buffalo News is reporting 74 percent of the precincts in the district have reported. Hochul has 48 percent of the vote, Corwin is at 42 percent, Davis at 8 percent and Murphy at 1 percent.

May 24, 2011 - 8:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Jackson Street.

Derek Geib, left, and Michael Highland, will officially open their new downtown bar and eatery Wednesday and have spent the past two evenings preparing by serving speciality hamburgers to a limited number of guests.

With the kinks mostly worked out during the "soft launch," the duo is excited to finally be doing business as Bourbon & Burger Co. at 9 Jackson St., Batavia.

There are about two dozen different types of hamburgers on the menu, and the restaurant is aiming to be known as the best place for a burger in the county.

The menu also includes a variety of sandwiches and appetizers, an extensive beer list plus a full bar.

May 24, 2011 - 6:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin.

Supposedly fiscal conservative Jane Corwin has started legal action to tie up today's special election in court before officials have even started to tally ballots.

The Buffalo News reports that Corwin has obtained a court order barring certification of a winner even though there is no evidence to suspect any problem with the count.

It's unclear if any sort of count will proceed tonight (we'll find out as soon as we can).

Corwin's campaign issued this statement:

“We have anticipated a very close election from the start, and the action taken today is standard procedure and very typical in close campaigns. Our campaign’s goal is to ensure that every legal vote cast is properly counted accurately and fairly.” 

UPDATE 7:14 p.m.: I just spoke with Dick Seibert at the Board of Elections, and in between being harried with other tasks, he explained that all machine-cast ballots can be counted and unofficial results can be released, but the court order has barred the board of elections from opening absentee ballots. The board also cannot release results from -- though they can count -- emergency ballots. Emergency ballots are those being printed on copy machines this evening because of heavier than anticipated voter turnout. So far, 200 emergency ballots have been printed, but more as a precaution, Seibert explained, because polling places, while getting low on ballots, had not run out yet.

May 24, 2011 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, South Beach.

Some time this summer, downtown will have another outdoor dining venue.

On Monday, the Batavia City Council approved the sale of a small downtown parcel to South Beach Restaurant owner Ken Mistler.

The 1,900-square-foot lot is adjacent the restaurant. Mistler intends to convert a portion of it to a seating area and an outdoor grill.

The lot, currently known as Kiwanis Memorial Park, will be divided so that a portion will remain green space with a six-foot-wide walkway dedicated to the Kiwanis Club. 

The purchase price is $1,000, which Mistler said is exactly the appraised value for the lot. He said in order to make the purchase, the city required him to pay for a professional appraisal, which cost $700.

"I think it's going to enhance downtown, and bring more people to downtown," said Fifth Ward Councilwoman Kathy Briggs. "I'm excited about it."

Mistler said that's exactly his goal. He hopes the new place will help promote downtown, generate more revenue for his employees and allow him to add three more staff members.

"This is for downtown," Mistler said. "Batavia is a small community and I like what goes on here."

When completed, the grill will serve customers both inside and outside the dining area. It will also be a place where people can drive to, park at the curb, and get a quick hamburger or hot dog. Walk-up customers will also be welcome.

Still undecided is what alcohol service will be available. If Mistler wants a cash bar outside, he needs to get another liquor license. Or he could knock a hole in the wall behind his current bar and service customers through a window. Or customers could buy liquor inside and bring it out to the patio.

As for the Kiwanis, Mistler said he is offering them the walkway as a place to sell bricks as a fund raiser every five years. He said he will supply the labor to lay the bricks and if the Kiwanis don't sell them, he will, and donate the money to the Kiwanis.

May 24, 2011 - 11:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, alexander.

Thomas Joseph Mitchell, 21, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone), unlawful possession of marijuana and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Mitchell was arrested following a traffic stop at 5:45 p.m., Thursday, on State Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Brian Thompson.

Patrick Joseph Crawford, 17, of Bridge Road, Elba, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Patrick was allegedly found in possession of two firearms in his vehicle while on school grounds.

Ryan Christopher Riggi, 16, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, menacing, 2nd, criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Ryan is also accused of violating an order of protection. He was jailed on $1,000 bail. No further details were released.

Robert James Caplick III, 36, of E. Main St. Road, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unreasonable speed and failure to keep right. Caplick was taken into custody by Deputy Jason Saile following a report at 2:45 a.m., Thursday, of a vehicle stuck on the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks on Spring Road, Alexander.

May 24, 2011 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. and one poll worker told me turn out has been light so far.

Come on, Genesee County, you can do better.

Go vote. Tell your coworkers, your neighbors, your family, your friends: Go vote.

Vote at lunch. Vote after work. Vote after dinner. Just vote before the polls close at 9 p.m.

May 24, 2011 - 12:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, NY-26.

The Board of Election site provides a complete list of polling places in Genesee County.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., so if you're registered to vote, there's pretty much no excuse not to show up at your polling place today.

Even if you're fed up with the race, turned off by the robo calls and the greasy commercials, go vote. Turn in a blank ballot if you must.

This is shaping up to be a VERY tight race. Unlike any congressional race in this area for a long, long time, your vote carries more weight and counts like never before. Don't miss you chance to cast a ballot that really matters. Genesee County voters, especially, could make all of the difference in the race.

Here's the lastest on The Batavian challenge (pledges paid to local charities if Genesee County leads all counties in the NY-26 in voter turn out):

The Batavian, $100 to the Genesee Justice Foundation.

Jeff Allen, $100 to Care-A-Van Ministries.

Dan Jones, $26 dollars to Care-A-Van Ministries and another $26 dollars to the USO.

Dave Olsen, $25 tor GJ and $50 for The Loyola Recovery Foundation.

Joanne Rock has pledged $25 to GJ.

Lorie Longhany, $26 to the Child Advocacy Center wing of Genesee Justice.

Ricky G. Hale, a local plumber, has pledged $100 to Genesee Justice.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman has pledged $1,000 -- with $500 going to the Genesee Justice Foundation and $500 going to Justice For Children GLOW Foundation. Any other members of the legal community like to step forward?

Ken Mistler pledged $100 for Volunteers for Animals.

County Clerk Don Read has pledged $100 for Crossroads House. 

James Renfrew has pledged $50 for Genesee Justice.

Chris Charvella has pledged $50 to Loyola Recovery.

That's more than $1,700 in pledges.  

Genesee County is counting on you to vote today.




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