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July 2, 2011 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A possible tractor-trailer fire is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 387.6. The vehicle is an orange truck with a box trailer. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

July 2, 2011 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A truck driver says she saw a car stopped in front of her on West Main Street Road on Friday but simply couldn't stop in time to avoid a collision.

The driver of the car, Dawn M. Newton, 50, of Shepard Road, Batavia, was taken to UMMC with only minor injuries, even though her 2000 Chevy sedan was heavily damaged.

The truck driver, Janice C. Kelley, 58, of Montana Road, Savannah, was cited for allegedly following too closely.

(initial report)

July 2, 2011 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

Distracted driving was the cause of a one-car accident at 3:33 p.m. Friday on Lewiston Road, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

According to Deputy Chad Minuto, Christina Mae King, 19, of Chestnut Ridge Road, Gasport, said she reached for something in the car that had fallen when her 1996 Chevy SUV drifted onto the shoulder. King swerved to the left, overcorrecting and going into the oncoming lane. She then overcorrected again, which is when she lost control of the car.

King was westbound in the area of 395 Lewiston, near Salt Road, in Alabama, at the time of the accident.

Both King and her passenger, T.L. King, 20, were taken to Medina Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

King was cited for allegedly driving without a license and moving from lane unsafely.

July 2, 2011 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A driver reportedly failed to see a car that had stopped for a left-hand turn on Pearl Street Road, Batavia, at 4:07 p.m. Friday, causing an accident that sent one person to the hospital.

Injured was Lisa M. Bailey, 49, of Pearl Street Road, Batavia, the driver of the car that was hit.

Jonathan P. Hoca, 23, of Woodrow Road, Batavia, was westbound on Pearl Street Road in a 2008 Chevy sedan when he struck Bailey's 2002 Pontiac sedan.

Hoca said he didn't see Bailey slow down to turn.

Sgt. Greg Walker investigated the accident and reported that another car was also traveling westbound between Hoca's and Bailey's cars and that car swerved around Bailey's vehicle.

Hoca was cited for allegedly following too closely.

(initial report)

July 2, 2011 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, music, entertainment, Ramble Music & Arts Fest.

Kelly Kubala from Go Art! opened the 2011 Ramble Music and Arts Fest in Downtown Batavia shortly after 11 this morning.

The Ghost Riders followed and more musical acts will be performing throughout the day, plus there's food, crafts and arts.

Parking is available off School, Jackson and Center streets.

The event goes until 9 p.m.

UPDATE: Video shot by Steve Ognibene:

July 2, 2011 - 8:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Buffalo, corfu.

A homicide in Buffalo early Friday may have a Genesee County connection.

The Buffalo News reports that Joseph Hale, 35, was shot in the back while in the area of  St. Paul Mall and Ellicott Street. He later died at ECMC.

A reader informs us that Hale was a former Batavia High School student. A public record check shows that a Joseph Hale, 35, has lived in Buffalo, Batavia and Corfu.

From the Buffalo News:

"Homicide detectives are attempting to trace the victim's whereabouts before the shooting incident occurred," said Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives. "Mr. Hale was seen in the Allentown area earlier in the morning and prior to the shooting."

This is the city's 21st homicide of 2011.

July 2, 2011 - 6:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy, Thrurway.

A motor vehicle accident has been reported on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 379, eastbound, in the median.

Multiple injuries are reported.

Le Roy Fire and Ambulance along with Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 6:34 a.m.: Car on its roof. Seven injuries reported. Four more ambulances requested to the scene from Mercy EMS and Bergen. Mercy Flight on in-air standby. Mile marker 379 is just west of Route 19 near Griswold Circle.

UPDATE 6:38 a.m.: Cancel Mercy Flight. A total of five ambulances currently in route.

UPDATE 6:43 a.m.: All remaining responders to continue, but "take it easy."

UPDATE 7:11 a.m.: A total of eight patients transported to Strong. Le Roy fire back in service.

July 1, 2011 - 8:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A fire in a compactor has been reported at Tops Market, 390 W. Main St., Batavia.

City Fire Department responding.

Responders are asked to enter through the rear of the market.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: There is smoke in the rear of the building.

UPDATE 8:53 p.m.: Majority of the fire in the container knocked down. Back of the store being ventilated.

July 1, 2011 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, pembroke, Alabama, indian falls.

I received a text message this morning from I'm not sure who that read: "Must. Have. More. Photos."

Fortunately, I had already been out yesterday evening on a photo expedition.

Above, the power lines going through the state reserve on Judge Road, Alabama. Below, tall grass off Short Street, Indian Falls, and a lily near the Slusser Road bridge over the Tonawanda Creek, Pembroke.

July 1, 2011 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Darien.

Joshua Stanley Martaus, 27, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument and petit larceny. Martaus was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Walmart. During the investigation by Deputy Kevin McCarthy, he was allegedly found in possession of two hypodermic syringes.

Tyler Scott Brand, 19, of Pearl Street, Springville, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding and operating in violation of a conditional-use license. Brand was stopped for allegedly going 49 in a 39 mph zone at 10:13 p.m., Saturday on Route 77 in Darien by Deputy Ron Meides.

Thomas R. Hendershott, 41, Sunrise Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and operating without insurance. Hendershott was stopped at 10:46 p.m. Tuesday on Stevens Street, Oakfield, by Sgt. Greg Walker.

July 1, 2011 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, hlom.

Jeffrey Donahue, who spent more than 35 years working in local media, has been named full-time director of the Holland Land Office Museum.

Donahue has been serving in that capacity on an interim basis for several months. The HLOM board approved his permanent position earlier this week.

For anybody who has visited the museum recently and had the good fortune to have Donahue provide the museum tour, it's clear Donahue knows local history thoroughly and is passionate about it.

"I always say history is like producing a television show," said Donahue, who worked for 25 years as a producer, editor and photographer for the Batavia cable channel. "People come into the museum expecting to be told a story, a story of history, and that's what you do in television. You tell a story."

Donahue also spent 10 years with WBTA.

Bob Turk, president of the HLOM board, said the board is confident Donahue will continue to be a real asset to the museum.

"We are very pleased that Jeffrey accepted the position," Turk said. "Not only does Jeffrey posses a great knowledge of local history but also has the vision to move the museum forward."

July 1, 2011 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals.

A bear seemed to be in the market for a new set of tires yesterday evening, paying a visit to Sloat Tires on Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

The photos were taken by Diane Scott and provided by Todd Sloat.

CORRECTION: The bear was actually shopping for tires THIS MORNING. Yesterday evening, it was reportedly seen checking into the educational opportunities at GCC.

July 1, 2011 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident.

A rollover accident with minor injuries is reported in the area of 7193 Warboys Road, Bergen.

The victim is reportedly out of the car and walking around.

Bergen Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 9:17 a.m.: Confirmed minor injury. Vehicle is on its roof.


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July 1, 2011 - 1:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A pair of Jackson Street residents are accused of selling drugs and a sawed-off shotgun during the course of a month-long investigation by the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

The duo was arrested Tuesday following a traffic stop by task force members on Federal Drive, Batavia.

Taken into custody were Marcos A. Torres, 29, and Marissa B. Royse, 20.

Torres and Royse are accused of selling cocaine and marijuana along with a 20-gauge shotgun that had been cut down to make it easier to conceal.

When they were arrested, they were allegedly found in possession of cocaine, marijuana and a 9mm rifle.

Both were charged with criminal sale of a firearm, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Torres and Royse were arraigned in Batavia City Court on some of the charges and ordered held without bail and then arraigned in town court on the remaining charges with bail set at $5,000.

July 1, 2011 - 1:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Covington man previously arrested for impersonating federal law enforcement agents is now accused of dealing drugs inside the Genesee County Jail.

Local Drug Enforcement Task Force members served Nikko C. Gambino, 42, of Morrow Road, Covington, with a search warrant when he recently showed up at the jail to serve part of his eight-week intermittent sentence.

Gambino was transported to UMMC "in order to execute the search warrant," according to a Sheriff's Office press release.

According to the press release, Gambino had alprazolam and suboxone in his digestive system. When Gambino reportedly passed the substances, he allegedly grabbed a quantity of alprazolam and suboxone and placed it inside his mouth in an attempt to further hide or destroy evidence.

Gambino was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, one count of promoting prison contraband, 1st, tampering with physical evidence and possession of a controlled substance not in its original container.

Following arraignment of Town of Batavia Court, Gambino was returned to Genesee County Jail without bail.

July 1, 2011 - 12:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron.

Three suspected drug dealers were taken into custody in Byron on Wednesday after at least one of them was allegedly involved in a drug transaction with an undercover agent.

The undercover operation in Byron was the culmination of a two-month long investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.

Arrested were Richard L. Conte, 19, of 723 S. Main St., Medina, Reynoldo Melendez Jr., 23, of 75 Arnett Blvd., Rochester, and Louis Staples, 17, of 75 Arnett Blvd., Rochester.

All three were transported to the Genesee County Jail and held on $50,000 bail each.

Following those three arrests, a fourth suspect was arrested in Clarendon. 

Investigators executed a search warrant at 4955 Holley-Byron Road, Clarendon, where Kristina A. Brongo, 19, a resident of that address, was taken into custody.

The four alleged dealers are suspected of illegally selling mostly prescription drugs in both Orleans and Genesee counties.

Task force members seized a quantity of drugs, including oxymorphone, also known as opanas, oxycontin and morphine with a street value in excess of $3,000.

Also seized was a quantity of marijuana along with $1,000 in cash, scales, packaging and other drug paraphernalia.

Besides the four suspected drug dealers arrested, two teenage girls, whose names were not released, were apprehended during the investigation and cited for alleged unlawful possession of marijuana.

Conte, Melendez and Staples were all charged with one count each of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th.

Brongo was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal sale of marijuana.

Photos: Conti, top, Melendez and Staples.

July 1, 2011 - 12:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien.

Five children where injured in a two-car accident on Thursday afternoon when a 17-year-old driver in Darien allegedly failed to yield the right-of-way.

All five children, ages 9 to 13, were transported by ground ambulance to Erie County Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The 17-year-old driver, Dean G. Cullinan, of Prospect Street, Corfu, also suffered a minor injury and was transported to UMMC.

Cullinan was reportedly southbound on County Line Road when he went through a stop sign at Sumner Road.

Kelly Susan Ford, 45, of Fairfield Drive, Clarence, was driving a 2011 Honda SUV eastbound on Sumner with the five children in the vehicle.

Ford told Deputy Ron Meides that Cullinan's 1995 Plymouth minivan seemed to suddenly appear in front of her at the intersection. She couldn't tell, she said, if the minivan had stopped before entering the intersection.

Cullinan told Meides that he had stopped and decided to proceed once he thought the roadway was clear of cross traffic. He said he didn't see Ford's SUV.

The children injured were Kristen H. Olivieri, 9, Clarissa Surianello, 13, Mara K. Giambrone, 13, Emily E. Ford, 13, and Katherine L. Ford, 11.

Meides issued citations to Cullinan for allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign and failure to yield the right-of-way.

(initial report)

June 30, 2011 - 11:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Settlers Restaurant, Billy Goats.

Before going out for a early evening drive, I stopped by Billy Goats where a birthday party for Steve Spyropoulos was just getting started.

Steve, who turned 60 today, and his son, John, own Settler's Restaurant and Billy Goats.

Steve was proudly serving up BBQ chicken and ribs and I got there just in time for a couple of slices of gyros -- the best gyros you've ever had. And if you've never had gyros, I suggest stopping into Settlers and asking for it. It's not always available and never on the menu, but according to John there will be some gyros specials coming up soon.

Even though it was Steve's birthday, he said the extra food spread was his way of thanking customers for their support.

June 30, 2011 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 28-year-old Batavia man who has set up computers and printers to help him print forge U.S. Currency will spend from three to six years in state prison.

Lendle R. Tucker was arrested in January and caught by members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force with equipment he used to forge money and $940 in fake money.

Tucker, initially charged with 42 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, entered a guilty plea in April to possession of a forged instrument, 2nd.

The admitted counterfeiter has been in this type of trouble before. He was convicted of a misdemeanor in Batavia previously and has convictions in Erie County and other states. Tucker has spent the past year in an Erie County jail.

Public Defender Jerry Ader sought leniency in Tucker's sentence, but District Attorney Lawrence Friedman argued that Tucker should receive the maximum sentence available under the plea deal.

Judge Robert Noonan took a dim view of Tucker's criminal record.

"You certainly have a terrible criminal record," Noonan said. "I think you should be counting your lucky stars for getting any plea reduction at all."

Tucker's wife doubled over in tears as the felon was escorted from the courtroom. 

This post based on the reporting of The Batavian's news partner, WBTA.

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