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June 27, 2011 - 10:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

Late this evening, spotted this sign -- "Mi Rancho Mexican Restaurant" -- on the old Ponderosa building on Ellicott Street. So, I guess we're free to speculate that a new Mexican restaurant is coming to Batavia.

June 27, 2011 - 7:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Le Roy.

When Deputy John Duyssen isn't on patrol, investigating accidents or otherwise helping to keep fellow Geneseeans safe, he's doing what he loves -- growing things.

And one he hopes sometime soon will become a full-time business.

For the past seven years, along with his wife Jessica, and children Jonah, 14, Colton, 13, and Julian, 9, he runs a fruit farm on Bater Road in Le Roy.

The Duyssen's specialize in strawberries, but have added blackberries and raspberries in recent years.

The farm also now includes 22 beehives and John said the plan is to start selling honey.

Strawberry season is just about over -- if you want to pick your own, there's only a day or two left and what's left is best suited for preserves -- but John, Jessica and the boys have plenty to keep them busy.

The growing life for a strawberry plant is three years. The plants that are two years old this season will get mowed to the ground so they can regenerate, the three-year-old plants will get plowed under and something else will be planted in their place for crop-rotation purposes, and there is the blackberry and raspberry plants and bees to take care of.

The family is also adding hoop houses to protect young strawberry and other fruit plants from the elements.

"It's a growing business," said John, with no sense of "pun intended."  

He said two or three weeks ago during the height of the strawberry season, people were flocking to the farm to pick their own strawberries. John took four weeks off from the Sheriff's Office to help with the chores and the customers.

This year, Jonah said the person from the furthest away he met was Florida, but the all-time record was set last year, he said, when a group of nuns from Africa stopped by the farm.

Their first question, "Where are the strawberry trees?"

Jonah had to politely point them to the small green plants close to the ground.

Typically, John, said, he grows three to four thousand strawberries, and could grow more if he had the time.

"I can't grow fruit full time and be a full-time deputy," he said.

He's eligible for retirement in a year in a half, but he isn't sure the farm will generate enough revenue to provide both family income and family health insurance.

But if you see John out on patrol some evening and ask him about strawberries or bees, it's clear, this is what he loves to do.

Farming is in his blood.

His father and brother own a farm just down the road where they grow dry beans, corn, soybeans, hay, wheat and oats. The current Duyssen fruit farm was owned by John's grandparents.

"We have pictures of what the old farm looked like and it's fun to think we're doing what they used to do," John said.

Pictured in the top photo are Chris DeFelice, 16, who has been helping the Duyssens for seven years, Jonah, Colton, Julian, John and Jessica.

June 27, 2011 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens.

A two-car accident with injuries has been reported at Route 63 (Lewiston Road) and Batavia Oakfield Townline Road.

Oakfield Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: Law enforcement on scene, "expediate EMS." Extraction required. A second ambulance requested by first Mercy medic on scene.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: All northbound traffic is closed at Galloway Road and Route 63.

UPDATE 11:59 a.m.: More manpower is needed. Town of Batavia Fire Department is called as mutual aid to Oakfield. Traffic is to be shut down at Veteran's Memorial Drive and Lewiston.

UPDATE 12:02 p.m.: A coroner is requested to the scene.

UPDATE12:09 p.m.: A man and a woman are transported to UMMC with minor injuries. Both were wearing seat belts and air bags were deployed. He has some bruising where the seat belt was and she has wrist pain. Now there is a van on fire on the Thruway, mile marker 389.5 eastbound, and so deputies are going to handle traffic control at Veteran's Drive and Route 63. State Troopers are going to the Thruway along with fire units.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: Oakfield Fire Department is back in service.

UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: The name of the Williamsville couple is Michael and Diane Zakes, former funeral directors in Oakfield. It will be some time before investigators determine the cause of the accident, if they ever do. Sgt. Kurt Schmitt requests that any witnesses who haven't been interviewed to please call State Police. Schmitt said, "(The elderly driver) was well into the left lane. We don't know why he crossed. That's part of our investigation." He added later, "There are clear indications that tell us he crossed into the left lane. There are indications in the roadway."

June 27, 2011 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, Challenger Baseball.

The 2011 Challenger Baseball season is in full swing at MacArthur Park, Batavia.

The annual program sponsored by Genesee ARC and the YMCA gives local children with special needs a chance to play baseball on Sunday evenings for a few weeks each summer.

Area youth volunteer to help with the games.

More pictures after the jump:

June 27, 2011 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A lawn mower is apparently on fire, reportedly on the back of a truck or trailer, in the area of 3542 W. Main St. Road, Batavia.

East Pembroke Fire Department is dispatched.

UPDATE 11:17 a.m.: A National Grid truck happened by and the driver used his fire extinguisher to put out the blaze. An East Pembroke chief is on scene investigating.

UPDATE 11:21 a.m.: All East Pembroke units held in quarters.

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June 27, 2011 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A contractor has reportedly struck a natural gas line at 8470 Violet Lane, Batavia, and there is gas leaking.

Town of Batavia Fire Department being dispatched. National Fuel has been notified. No ETA.

UPDATE 10:37 a.m.: Low-pressure line, very small hole. Town assignment held to Engine 24, non-emergency response.

UPDATE 10:40 a.m.: National Fuel on scene.

UPDATE 10:55 a.m.: Town of Batavia fire back in service.

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June 27, 2011 - 1:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

More than 750 people turned out for a traditional Hindu wedding celebration in Batavia over the weekend.

Sunday's ceremony began at 9 a.m. with the groom's family and friends walking (and dancing) from the Best Western Hotel on Park Road to the Clarion Hotel on Park Road. The wedding service took place inside the Clarion followed by a traditional Indian meal for lunch.

Married where Urvi, daughter of Kalpana Harish Patel and Harish Nathubhai Patel, and Sanjiv, son of Jyotiben Bimalbhai Avichal and Bimalbhai Bhukhandas Avichal

Urvi is a U.S. Army officer.

Thank you to the Patel and Avichal families as well as Clarion owner Chan Patel for allowing me to photograph the wedding. Everybody I met today was warm, kind and accommodating.

More pictures after the jump:

June 26, 2011 - 11:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

The following arrests were made by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Tim McGraw concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Jordan M. Kuhn, 24, of Salzburg Village, Palmyra, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, disorderly conduct and harassment, 2nd. Kuhn allegedly struck a Darien Lake security officer in the face and then fought with security. He was also allegedly found to be in possession of a stolen sign belonging to Darien Lake. Kuhn was jailed on $1,000 bail. 

Crystal M. Norris, 26 of Salzburg Village, Palmyra, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Norris is accused of pushing a Darien Lake security guard during the arrest of Kuhn.

Mark P. Scally, 27, of Norhill Drive, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Scally was allegedly found in possession of drugs and an expandable billy club.

Stephen J. Csapo, 20, of Commerce Drive, Avon, is charged with trespass. Csapo allegedly reentered the facility after being ejected and told not to return.

Thomas J. Metacale, 21, of Main Street, Hornell, is charged with trespass after allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue after being ejected. 

Joseph M. Cicero, 21, of Carter Road, Fairport, is charged with trespass. Cicero was ejected from the concert venue and then allegedly tried to reenter by jumping a fence.

Maureen K. Freeman, 20 of North Avenue, Avon, is charged with trespass. Freeman allegedly returned to the concert venue after being ejected.

Joshua D. Caples, 20, of Oswego Road, Phoenix, is charged with disorderly conduct. Caples is accused of urinating on other people in the lawn area of the concert venue.

Robert P. Coots, 34, of West Transit Church Road, Albion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Coots allegedly drove from the concert venue in an intoxicated condition.

The following citations were issued for allegedly possession of alcohol under 21 years of age:

Katrina L. Schmieder, 19, of Route 98, Attica
William Ruiz III, 18, of Maryland Street, Buffalo
Mitchell P. Hamilton, 19, of Route 36, Jasper
Tyler S. Odell, 20, of Route 36, Canisteo
Kristin K. Pierce, 20, of East Avenue, Arkport
Cody J. McCormick, 20, of 4th Street, Canisteo
A 17-year-old of Captain’s Cove Lane, Webster
A 16-year-old of Bay Meadow Drive, Webster

June 26, 2011 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, accident, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

A car has reportedly struck a pole in the area of 7444 Reuben Road, Basom, the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

The driver is reportedly unconscious.

Pole and wires are down. Emergency responders advised to use caution upon approach.

UPDATE 5:12 p.m.: Mercy Flight not required. A second ambulance requested to the scene. Two people are injured.

UDPATE 5:14 p.m.: National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 5:26 p.m.: A Mercy medic requests Mercy Flight to the scene. A landing zone is being set up at Ledge and Reuben roads.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: Mercy Flight is on the ground.

UPDATE 5:48 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne, headed to Erie County Medical Center.

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June 25, 2011 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

We used to have a series of tutorial videos, but they became outdated. For some time, I've wanted to remake them and this weekend got a chance to start on that project.

Since we have so many questions on how to post a video in a comment, I thought that ought to be the first topic to cover.

June 25, 2011 - 7:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in taxes, steve hawley, Mike Ranzenhofer.

From Assemblyman Steve Hawley: 

The passage of a property tax cap is the culmination of years of hard work from both New York taxpayers and the Assembly Minority Conference who have never wavered in their support of protecting this state’s families and businesses. No longer will Western New Yorkers, facing some of the highest property taxes in the nation, be prevented from obtaining the American Dream of owning their own home.

No longer will upstate businesses be forced out of our community, which has led to massive job loss and unemployment. Today is a new day in New York – a day that we finally say to our family and businesses, “You are welcome here.”

However, the victory in our long battle for this tax cap must also highlight the need to expand mandate relief. Our homeowners and businesses are not the only ones that suffer from Albany’s spending addiction, our local governments and school districts are struggling to cope with these issues as well. The measures we have taken to reduce the crushing burden on localities is not the end of a journey, but rather a first step toward the true, sweeping reforms it will take to repeal the onerous cost drivers that Albany has passed onto local governments.

We have opened the door for real, substantive mandate relief, but we haven’t done enough. I pledge to continue working tirelessly to ease the burden on local governments and school districts so that they can provide the vital services that our communities rely on without increasing costs to the taxpayer. I am confident that the accomplishments made today will serve as a springboard for even more success in the future.

From Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer:

“The State Senate passed historic legislation last night to make New York the 44th state to cap property taxes.  A cap will stop property taxes from spiraling out of control and prevent homeowners from being taxed out of their homes. But in order for the cap to work, mandate relief will be needed.”

“That is why the State Senate also took the first steps to begin to provide $127 million in much needed mandate relief for school districts and municipalities. The act also sets up a Mandate Relief Council to establish a procedure to repeal unfunded mandates.”

“There is still much work to be done on mandate relief, including relieving counties of burdensome Medicaid and pension payments and school districts of onerous and duplicative audits.  As the year progresses, I will work with the Governor, and my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, to not just take first steps, but to make giant leaps towards achieving additional mandate relief.”

June 25, 2011 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, Sheriff's Department.

Press release:

ALBANY, NY:  The New York State Sheriffs' Association and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute recently hosted the 25th Annual Undersheriffs’ Training Conference. Pictured above are Tony Perez, acting deputy commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (left); Tom Beilein, chairman, NYS Commission of Correction, (2nd from left); Sean Byrne, acting commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (2nd from right); and Peter R. Kehoe, executive director, New York State Sheriffs’ Association (right), presenting an award certificate to William A. Sheron Jr., of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office (center).

June 24, 2011 - 8:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, BID, Jackson Square.

The summer concert series in Jackson Square, Downtown Batavia, sponsored by the Business Improvement District, kicked off this evening with a show by 78 RPM.

June 24, 2011 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, music, entertainment, Ramble Music & Arts Fest.

It's just about time once again for Batavia's premier music and arts festival -- Ramble.

This year's Ramble is from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. next Saturday, July 2.

More than 30 music acts will perform on two stages (Jackson Square and T.F. Brown's), plus there will be the arts, crafts and fun for the kids.

Admission is free to this family friendly event.

Pictured above are local musicians Bill Pitcher, Kay McMahon, Jim Catino, Brian Garz, Charlie DelPlato, Bill McDonald and Tim Pitcher.

June 24, 2011 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

A live electrical wire has apparently fallen onto a bus -- unknown what type of bus -- in the area of 4820 Hundredmark Road, Elba.

One occupant is still on the bus.

Elba Fire Department has been dispatched.

UPDATE 6:21 p.m.: Elba fire on scene. National Grid in route. ETA less than five minutes.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: The line is off the bus (and I think I heard, too, the occupant is off the bus).

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June 24, 2011 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, Pavilion, pets.

Booboo is the cherished companion of Jennifer McDonald, of Pavilion, and Booboo has been missing since this past weekend.

Apparently Booboo got out when Jennifer's husband left a door open.

Booboo, who was recently groomed, so his hair is shorter than in this picture, was last seen on Route 19 near the fire hall.

Both Jennifer and her husband, Mel, work at Mancuso Limousine and according to David Mancuso, Mel is in the doghouse even at work (though Jennifer adds, "he really does feel bad about it"). So Mancuso is stepping in to do what he can to help. He's offering $100 cash or a free ride in a limo to whomever finds and returns Booboo.

UPDATE: Booboo is back home.


June 24, 2011 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Lisa Ann Weese, 29, of North Main Street, Albion, is charged with petit larceny. Weese is accused of shoplifting $110.12 worth of merchandise from Kmart at 4:11 p.m., Thursday.

Crystal Lee Marsceill, 30, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Marsceill is accused of shoplifting $55.18 worth of merchandise from Walmart at 7:57 p.m., Thursday.

June 24, 2011 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The Sheriff's Office is looking for help identifying the person captured in this video so he can be questioned in connection with alleged criminal mischief at the BOCES campus on State Street, Batavia.

On May 21, between 7:15 and 7:35 p.m., and on May 29, between 7 and 7:45 p.m., somebody entered the BOCES campus and caused considerable damage to vehicles parked behind the school.

An engine compartment on a tractor-trailer used to train truck drivers was vandalized, causing about $500 damage. The windshield and gas cap cover on an old school bus was damaged. The suspect also spray painted vulgar words on the bus and set off a fire extinguisher inside. The estimated damage to the bus is about $1,000.

So far, investigators have been unable to identify the subject in the video after circulating it through the local school system.

Investigator William Ferrando would like to interview the subject who appears in the video. Ferrando can be contact at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3573





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