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August 10, 2011 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

There were no arrests and only two citations issued in conjunction with the Selena Gomez concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.

Issued citations for alleged underage drinking were:

Kyle R. Hejmanowski, 19, of Weaver Street, Buffalo

Marissa L. Bogdan, 18, of Shirley Road, Cheektowaga

August 9, 2011 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, alexander.

There is reportedly smoke coming from the roof of a residence on Route 20 in Alexander.

There is the smell of smoke in the house.

The residence is being evacuated.

Alexander Fire Department and Town of Batavia's ladder truck being dispatched.

The location is 3076 Broadway Road, Alexander.

UPDATE 6:01 p.m.: The smoke appears NOT to be coming from the residence, but another location. Alexander units being held in quarters and Town of Batavia can return to its hall.


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August 9, 2011 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

Press release: 

BATAVIA, NY – Tonight’s game between the Batavia Muckdogs and Brooklyn Cyclones has been postponed due to rain and wet field conditions. This game will be made up as part of a double-header on Wednesday, Aug. 10. We will play two seven-inning games, with the first game starting at 5:05 p.m. Gates will open at 4 p.m. Any person with tickets to tonight’s game can exchange their tickets for any other regular season game, subject to availability.

The Rob Ray autograph appearance will be rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27. 

August 9, 2011 - 2:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, darien lake theme park.

The Sheriff's Office and Darien Lake security are investigating a series of thefts from vehicles parked at the theme park, including four over the weekend, according to Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble.

There have been a number of thefts in the day-use parking lot park, Dibble said.

In some cases, women's purses have been taken from one car and later found in another car.

Many of the larcenies have involved forceable entry with the cars being damaged in the process.

Items taken include purses, electronics, money and other valuables. 

At this time, no witnesses have come forward and the Sheriff's Office has no suspects.

Anybody with information that may aid the case can call (585) 343-5000.

(Initial report)

August 9, 2011 - 2:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, veterans.

United Memorial Medical Center is contributing $50,000 toward the construction of a new veterans' memorial at the corner of Bank Street and Washington Avenue.

The total price of the project is about $500,000 and local veterans groups have been working diligently to raise the funds.

The former memorial was removed to make way for the new surgical wing at UMMC.

Pictured are Ron Konieczny, left, Dan Waterman, Beth Lapp, Hall Kreter, Marc Schoell, Paul Gaylord, Steve Hawley, Paul Sullivan, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Clayton Fry.

August 9, 2011 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

Lt. Eugene Jankowski, left, was pretty amazed to find his police vehicle suffered no apparent damage after being struck at the intersection of Main and Center streets shortly after 1:30 p.m.

Officer Eric Dibble is handling the report on the accident.

The other vehicle suffered only a tweaked license plate. The other driver reportedly ran a red light.

August 9, 2011 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

Batavia, NY – The 2011 New York-Penn League All-Star roster will include a league high of six players from Batavia. They will send catcher Juan Castillo, infielders Joey Bergman and David Medina, and pitchers Jonathan Cornelius, Seth Maness and Todd McInnis to the game to be held Tuesday, Aug. 16 at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass.

Perez was an undrafted free agent signing in 2006 and has started 27 games as catcher for the Muckdogs this season. He is currently batting .327 with eight doubles and 15 RBI’s. Castillo has also been solid behind the plate this year and has helped guide the pitching staff to a team ERA of 3.85.

Bergman, a 33rd round pick in the 2010 draft, will be making his second consecutive all-star appearance and has been among the league leaders in hitting all season. Bergman currently ranks fifth in the league in hitting, with a .320 batting average, to go along with eight doubles and 17 RBIs.

David Medina was signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2006 and is enjoying a stellar first season with the Muckdogs. His seven home runs are tied for fourth in the league and his 33 runs scored are third in the league. Medina who plays a mixture of first base and outfield, was selected as a first baseman for this year’s squad.

A 24th round pick out of Florida Tech, Cornelius is 1-2 with 37 strikeouts in 11 outings for the Muckdogs. The left-hander’s ERA of 2.85 ranks him ninth in the league and hitters are only hitting .194 against him, good for second in the league.

St. Louis drafted Maness out of Eastern Carolina in the 11th round of the 2011 draft. He has appeared in nine games and has a 0-0 record with a 0.52 ERA. In 34.2 innings of work, he has struck out 27 batters and only allowed 20 hits.

McInnis, a 25th round pick out of Southern Mississippi, is third in the league with 2.12 ERA and a record of 3-2. His WHIP of just 0.92 leads the league and batters are hitting just .208 against him.

Batavia holds the fourth-place spot in the Pinckney Division with a record of 24-26. This marks the third time in four years that the Muckdogs have sent at least five players to the All-Star game. The Muckdogs sent five players to the 2008 All-Star game, three in 2009 and five in 2010.

Photo: Joey Bergman from earlier this season. By Howard Owens

August 9, 2011 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

If you're the guy who wants to walk down to your neighborhood park afterwork, kick back and drink a beer, Councilman Frank Ferrando has a message for you: Use your own backyard.

Ferrando was among five Batavia council members on Monday to vote in favor of a change in the local code banning adult beverage consumption, without a permit, in picnic areas in public parks.

Drinking was already banned on all publicly owned property in the city, with the exception of picnic areas.

"We keep having the example of the guy who wants to have a beer in the park," Ferrando said. "He can have the beer in his back yard if he wants to have a beer. We don't want to have somebody seriously injured because he drove to the park, got drunk and then got in his car. The guy doesn't need to have a beer in that park."

John Roach and Dan Jones (inset) both used the public comments section of the council's agenda to speak against the proposed ban.

"It has nothing to do with public safety and it has nothing to do with public health," Roach said. "There are plenty of laws in place to deal with disorderly conduct or throwing trash around, but this is unnecessary. It's just something to keep people you don't particularly like out of the parks."

Jones, a candidate for city council, called the change in the law an affront to personal liberty.

Roach said he found it ironic that it was the Republicans (supposedly the party of individual freedom) on the council pushing for the change in the law.

Ferrando said the decision had nothing to do with politics.

"Whether it's Republican or Democrat, I don't know what that means," Ferrando said. "I think we all vote our conscious and what's best for the community. I don't think any politics is involved."

Rosemary Christian was among the three Democrats -- along with Kathy Briggs and Sam Barone -- who voted against the change.

"It's a violation of my rights," Christian said. "I pay for the right to enjoy these parks. If I want to smoke, if I want to have a beer, without bothering anybody else, without hurting anybody, without destroying property, then it's a matter of rights."

Even before the change, it's not like the guy with the beer could go toss a line into the Tonawanda Creek and pop open a Miller High Life, nor could he take his girlfriend down to Ferrell Park and spread out a picnic blanket and uncork a bottle of pinot noir. Alcohol consumption outside of the picnic areas -- defined, it seems, as the pavilions, was already illegal.

Now the guy with the beer needs to apply in advance for a permit, which will cost him $25.

August 8, 2011 - 8:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A possible fuel fire has been reported at the Kwik Fill, 7010 W. Main Road, Le Roy.

The spill and fire was reported by a neighbor who said the fire may have been put out using a fire extinguisher.

Le Roy Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 8:55 p.m.: First chief on scene reports no fire showing. Trucks can respond non-emergency.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m.: First engine on scene. A chief reports, "It was just a minor cleaning issue. No issues at this time."

August 8, 2011 - 6:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, thruway.

We didn't catch all the details on this, but Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are working a car fire on the Thruway.

The initial call came in as a car smoking.  We don't have the mile marker.

August 8, 2011 - 4:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, verizon.

As part of a nationwide strike by 45,000 Verizon workers, there are pickets in place outside the Verizon office in Batavia that spans Jackson and Center streets.

Pictured above are Tom Pacia, of Rochester, Darrin Folger, of Akron, Kirk Myhill, of Medina, and Dave Martin, of Batavia.

August 8, 2011 - 3:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Stafford.

A paving company suspected last year of doing substandard work is reportedly back in the area approaching local homeowners with the same "leftover asphalt" offer it's used before.

State Police Investigator Leo Hunter said the company, Stanley Paving, completed a paving job for a couple in Stafford on Friday. After the job was done, the couple remembered a media report from last summer about the company.

A Google search led them to contact Hunter, though they're not making any sort of criminal complaint.

The job, Hunter said, was more or less completed as promised, though there was reportedly a price increase in the middle of the job and the couple is unsure of the quality of the work.

Hunter said a representative of the company, which also goes under the name Bithumus, approached the husband on Friday. He said he had some asphalt left over from another job and could repave his driveway for $75 per square foot. The man agreed to the job.

When the job was half completed, the company rep claimed they didn't have enough asphalt to finish the job and would need to buy more at a higher price. It would take another $3,800 to complete the job. The price was negotiated down to $3,300.

The company rep was driving a new white pickup truck.

August 8, 2011 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, east pembroke.

A CSX train is stopping at the Ellinwood crossing, Corfu, for a possible fire in a train car.

It's unconfirmed that there is a fire, but there was a report of heavy black smoke coming from car.

The train was originally going to stop at Wilkenson Road, so East Pembroke Fire Department was dispatched.

A deputy on scene says he sees the train, but nothing is showing.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m.: A passerby called in the smoke. CSX was contacted and is stopping the train as a precaution. No confirmed fire at this time. Corfu fire is staging in their district at Ellinwood. East Pembroke is staging at Wilkenson.

UPDATE 2:51 p.m.: Nothing found yet. An engineer indicates that one of the diesel engines was blowing some black smoke at some point, but no indication of a fire.

UPDATE 2:59 p.m.: The train is being sent on its way. All fire units back in service.

August 8, 2011 - 12:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Attica, crime.

Roland J. Reed, 40, of Attica, was scheduled to appear in Genesee County Court this morning to be sentenced on a DWI conviction, but when his case was called, he wasn't in court.

None of the attorneys involved in the case were surprised.

A warrant was issued for Reed's arrest June 9 when he allegedly violated the terms of his release under the supervision contract with Genesee Justice.

On Oct. 11, Reed was arrested for driving drunk in the City of Batavia with two children in his car, a 2-year-old and an 8-month-old. He was jailed on $25,000 bail

Reed had two prior DWI convictions at the time of his arrest.

On Oct. 22, Reed entered a guilty plea to felony DWI with a possible sentence of from one to four years in prison. As part of the plea deal, Reed's bail was reduced and he was released under supervision.

Authorities are unaware of Reed's whereabouts and there remains an active warrant for his arrest.

The Batavia PD's confidential tip line number is 345-6370.

UPDATE: To clarify, Reed original plea agreement was for 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prision.  By not showing up today, Reed loses his negotiated sentence cap and faces 2 1/3 to 7 years, the maximum possible sentence for a Class D felony.

August 8, 2011 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

A Level 3 sex offender convicted by a jury in June of failure to register his proper address will serve one-and-a-quarter to four years in State Prison, the maximum sentence on the charge available to Judge Mark H. Dadd.

Meanwhile, Ronald A. Smith, 19, of Batavia, was given until Friday to decide whether to take a plea offer on three felony counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

Smith is accused of sexual contact with children under age 11 within months of being released from state custody on a prior sex crime conviction.

Public Defender Gary Horton said Smith indicated that he wished to proceed to trial on sexual abuse charges, but by this morning had a change of heart and wanted time to discuss the plea offer with his family, particularly his mother.

If convicted at trial of all three counts, Smith faces up to 21 years in prison (maximum sentences of seven years each, and if imposed consecutively).

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman has offered a maximum five-year sentence -- the minimum sentence available for a second violent felony offender -- in exchange for a guilty plea.

Smith is scheduled to reappear in Genesee County Court at 9:45 a.m., Friday, to either plead guilty or request that his case go to trial.

Smith was arrested in January on the sexual abuse and failure to register charges, less than four months after being released on a similar sexual abuse conviction. Smith reportedly lived for a time on Thorpe Street, on East Main Street and in Oakfield. He only ever registered his address on Thorpe Street.

The failure to register charge was tried separately from the sexual abuse charges and a jury returned a verdict in less than two hours on June 22.

Judge Dadd, out of Wyoming County, presided over the trial because Judge Robert C. Noonan was presiding over a civil trial in Orleans County at the time.

Noonan was on the bench today for Smith's plea cut-off hearing, which followed the sentencing by Dadd on the failure to register charge.

August 7, 2011 - 9:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, Liberty Street.

A couple of Liberty Street residents splash around in flood waters that covered about 50 yards of the roadway following this evening's heavy rainstorm.

August 7, 2011 - 6:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets.

This beagle appeared late this afternoon on the porch of residents on Lyon Street. They're hoping to locate the little guy's masters. Call 813-7362 or 201-1128.

UPDATE 8:16 p.m.: Thanks, readers. The dog's owners have been found.

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