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January 19, 2012 - 8:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

A 29-year-old Genesee County resident with multiple arrests over the past couple of years could get up to five years in prison as part of a plea deal.

In county court on Thursday, Robert J. Eppolito, most recently of Church Street in Le Roy, entered a guilty plea to criminal contempt, 1st, with a negotiated prison term of one to three years.

Eppolito is also charged with assault, 2nd, for allegedly punching and kicking a person during a confrontation in September in Le Roy.

Public Defender Gary Horton, representing Eppolito on the assault charge, said a plea agreement is in place, including a plea on the criminal contempt charge, that could lock Eppolito up for a maximum of five years.

The two sentences -- for criminal contempt and for the alleged assault -- would be served concurrently.

Eppolito is expected in court next week to answer to the second-degree assault charge.

The cases are separated because they are unrelated.

In court Thursday, Eppolito admitted that he violated a court order by being with a protected person and by drinking alcohol.

Sentencing will take place at 9 a.m., April 23.

Eppolito is being held in the Genesee County Jail.

January 19, 2012 - 7:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Scott German.

Press release:

At the fall meeting of the New York State County Treasurers and Finance Officers Association, held in Syracuse, Genesee County Treasurer Scott D. German was elected as the association’s president.

German was unanimously chosen by his peers statewide. Members of the association are elected county treasurers or comptrollers and appointed county commissioners of finance and their deputies from throughout New York State.

German has been a member of the association since he became deputy treasurer of Genesee County in 1994. He has been treasurer of Genesee County since 2004 after the retirement of John F. Flint. German succeeds Terri L. Ross, Allegany County Treasurer, as president of the association.

January 19, 2012 - 6:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, taxes, sales tax.

Genesee County will likely close the financial books on 2011 with an unexpected revenue surplus and County Treasurer Scott German is recommending the legislature roll the money over into its reserves.

The extra money will likely come from a windfall of $997,000 in sales tax revenue that came in above budgeted expectations.

At Wednesday's Ways and Means Committee meeting, Legislator Ray Cianfrini asked if the 2012 budget could be amended so some of this unexpected revenue could be directed at programs cut in 2012, such as Meals on Wheels, which is being forced to reduce delivery days.

In an interview Thursday, German said the legislature could do that, but his recommendation is that the money be held in reserve.

Reserves, he said, should be used for emergency expenditures, such as a bridge falling down, and not to fund programs legislators already decided already to cut.

"Under the tax cap, the legislators still had room to raise taxes if they wanted to fund those programs," German said. "The fact the sales tax came in better than anticipated, that's not a good justification to fund a program."

The treasurer said he anticipates the county will close its books on 2011 -- which happens in March -- with $13.2 million in revenue, up from the anticipated $12.2 million.

Total sales tax for the county -- which is shared among the county and various municipal agencies -- was $35.2 million, beating the 2008 record of $34.3 million.

Higher gas prices and the three-week close-out sale at Lowe's were probably the main contributing factors to the strong sales tax numbers, German said.

Is the local economy improving?

"I would hope that would be the case, but that would be speculation," German said. "I would hope business is getting better."

January 19, 2012 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Up to four inches of snow is expected to hit the area over the next several hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds may reach 40 mph and blowing snow could reduce visibility to a quarter of a mile, making travel more difficult.

A winter weather advisory is effect until 7 p.m.

January 19, 2012 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Ray Cianfrini.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center can generate a lot of money for itself, Legislator Ray Cianfrini said Wednesday, so he would like the county legislative body to start looking at how much this Industrial Development Agency gets from the county budget.

"I just think we should look very close at their budget and revenue," Cianfrini said. "I’m sensitive to the fact that we had to cut a lot of things out of the budget for nonprofits that do not generate revenues and they’re hurt by the fact that we cut them."

His comments followed a Ways and Means Committee meeting in which a resolution was approved authorizing the county to accept, on GCEDC's behalf, a $750,000 state grant to help bring a mushroom farm to the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

While Cianfrini was less direct about his concerns during the meeting, afterward, he said, yes, he does question bonuses being paid to GCEDC's executives while the county is providing $234,000 in supplemental funding to the agency.

"I personally received a lot of phone calls from constituents," Cianfrini said. "This riles them and they’re angry over the bonuses. I think that maybe that I, as a legislator, and we as legislative board, should be looking at GCEDC a little more closely and say, 'if you have the money to pay the bonuses, should we be funding you at the current level?' "

The bonus issue has been controversial for a year now, sparked by a state audit report that questioned the method of bonus disbursement, and it reignited a month ago when $120,000 in new bonuses were announced.

At the same time, the county has been forced to cut some programs, such as Meals on Wheels.

Cianfrini used the mushroom farm grant as an example of how GCEDC and its nonprofit Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp. generate significant profits.

With the $750,000, GCEDC will be able to sell the land for the mushroom farm and make a profit, make a loan and get the principle repaid plus interest, and collect a $16,000 fee for the operations expense of putting the deal together.

"This is a great moneymaker for the LDC," Cianfrini said. "And what do they put into it? Nothing. What are they going to get out of it? A lot.

"I just wanted people to understand how this works," Cianfrini added. "The state puts up the money. We dispurse it. They get to loan it out. They get income, they get revenue, they get operating expenses."

Cianfrini said the GCEDC executives are well compensated for what they do, but he's opposed to bonuses.

"If they continue to pay bonuses, then I’ll look at their funding and see if it's legtimate," Cianfrini said.

January 19, 2012 - 8:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, genesee county, Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office plan to convert a jailed drug dealer's car into cash hit a road block Wednesday in the Ways and Means Committee.

A resolution authorizing the Sheriff to auction off the 2005 Chevy truck passed the Public Service Committee on Tuesday, but Wednesday, Legislator Ray Cianfrini had new information on the state law governing the disposal of seized assets.

Cianfrini said he wasn't concerned about the Sheriff's Office getting the money, just that proper procedures be in place and that the law is followed.

"I think there needs to be something more speicific and there needs to be more clarification," Cianfrini said. "I don’t have any trouble with the vehicle going to the Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement purposes, but what about the dispersal (of the proceeds)?"

County Attorney Charles Zambito provided Cianfrini with a copy of the state law, which outlines procedures and proper dispersal of any revenue generated by the sale of seized assets. The law is complex with multiple variables, and while the Sheriff's Office could wind up with some or all of the revenue generated by the sale of the truck, so could the District Attorney's Office, or the state, or the county.

The vehicle was signed over by Matthew Zon, who entered a guilty plea to criminal possession of a controlled substance, 2nd, and was sentenced to prison for possessing and distributing methamphetamine.

Undersheriff William Sheron said that since the vehicle wasn't seized, but signed over to the Sheriff's Office by the defendant as part of a plea deal, the procedures outlined in the law didn't necessarily apply.

"You’re looking at a state forfeiture process that if (a defendant) were reluctant in turning over a vehicle to us, then we would go through this process to seize the vehicle," Sheron said. "It’s now a common practice, as part of a plea bargain, where (the defendant) signs over title of the vehicle to relieve us from going through this process."

Zambito pointed out that even in the plea agreement, the vehicle is signed over "pursuant" to state law, which means, he believes, the process for disposal of the asset is governed by the law.

"We still have to follow the rules about what you do with the property once you get it," Zambito said.

The resolution on disposition of the vehicle was tabled until the matter can be further researched and clarified.

January 18, 2012 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in overheard on the scanner.

A deputy pulled behind a car parked off to the side of the road (we didn't catch the location) and called in, "I'm going to be out with a vehicle, occupied times 2."

He called in the license plate number.

He said, "I'm going to give them a minute to put their clothes back on."

Dispatcher: "Copy. I hope the heater's on."

January 18, 2012 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in high-speed rail, Sen. Charles Schumer, bergen.

Calling high-speed rail "21st Century technology," Sen. Charles Schumer stopped in Bergen on Tuesday to try and prod CSX to make way for a new passenger rail line that would connect Bergen and Chili.

The $58 million demonstration track, Schumer hopes, would lead to perhaps more than $1.5 billion in funding to build a high-speed rail line from Buffalo to New York City.

CSX, Schumer said, is standing in the way of progress by not providing access to the right of way of its current lines.

Meanwhile, the federal government -- it won't cost New York taxpayers anything, Schumer said -- has buckets of money to spend on high-speed rail, and if New York doesn't grab the money, some other state will.

CSX is hampering New York's rightful claim to the money, according to the senator.

"High-speed rail has been shown to work in other countries," Schumer said. "It will work in Upstate New York. It will create jobs and bring companies to Upstate New York."

Upstate, Schumer said, is a lot like Europe.

"We’re a little more closer to Europe where it has worked," Schumer said. "The distance between the French and German cities and the distance between our cities, and the difference in population of the French and German cities and our cities are very similar."

He spoke several times about the benefits to Rochester and Buffalo of high-speed rail, but while standing in Genesee County, he made no mention of how high speed might benefit the local economy.

In an era when business executives can, as a practical matter, get from Buffalo to Manhatten in nano seconds, Schumer said high-speed rail is a business necessity.

"High-speed rail is 21st Century technology," Schumer said. "Just figure out if you have to get from Midtown New York to Midtown Buffalo or Midtown Rochester, you can go 200 mph in a train – it takes an hour to get from downtown New York City to the airport, then you’ve got to wait for the plane. Yes, the actual plane flight is faster, but when you look at it, rail is faster and easier."

Bergen Mayor Ralph Marsocci expressed concern about a 200 mph training passing through his village and Schumer said that is certainly one of the issues that would need to be addressed.

After a round of skeptical questions by reporters and even one or two of the local business leaders in attendance, Schumer said, “We can hear people say ‘No, no, no' and the same people said ‘No, no, no’ to the Erie Canal. Transportion has always been a linchpin of our economy in Upstate New York. Building good strong transportation makes a great deal of sense."

Below, a photo of a sign hung on a building near where Schumer spoke Tuesday. It reads "Choo Choo Chuck / The Track to Nowere (sic)."  

Bottom two pictures, gratuitous photos of trains that passed while the media was waiting for "Choo Choo Chuck" to arrive.

As one of the trains approached during Schumer's remarks, Schumer recalled, as he leaned out from the podium to watch the approaching train, that when he was a child his family couldn't afford nice vacations, so they went to this cabin that was right next to a rail. His parents hated it, he said, "but when I was 5 I used to love to stand there and watch the trains go by."

January 18, 2012 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Scott Michael Combs, 39, of Brockport Holley Road, Holley, is charged wth DWAI-Drugs, moving from lane unsafely and driving across hazardous markings. At 4:11 p.m., Monday, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a black sedan operating erratically in the Village of Oakfield. Deputy Chad Minuto located the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. Combs was allegedly found to be driving while under the influence of drugs.

David Wayne King, 54, of Batavia Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. King is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

A 16-year-old of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a failure to appear warrant out of Town of Batavia Court. She was allegedly supposed to appear on a petit larceny charge.

January 18, 2012 - 9:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

An arrest has been made in the case from September of an employee's purse being stolen at UMMC and the credit cards being used at Batavia stores.

Kiara K. Asante, 21, of 478 Tremont St., Rochester, is charged with forgery, 2nd, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, and attempted petit larceny.

Asante is currently an inmate in Monroe County Jail and was transported to Batavia City Court yesterday where she was arraigned and returned to Monroe County, where she faces similar charges.

Police believe Asante and two male associates were traveling the state, entering hospitals and colleges and stealing wallets and purses and then using the credit cards. 

Asante and her associations allegedly entered UMMC on Sept. 11, took a purse and then used, and attempted to use, the credit cards at Batavia businesses.

January 18, 2012 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 41-year-old man suspected of other property crimes is facing a new burglary charge following an investigation by the Batavia PD into a break-in Dec. 10 at a residence on Thorpe Street.

Charged with burglary, 2nd, is Eric P. Doleman, no permanent address.

Doleman is accused of making forced entry while the residence was unoccupied and stealing a number of wrapped Christmas presents.

For a time about a year ago, Doleman reportedly lived in an apartment on Thorpe Street.

Doleman, currently being held without bail, is also accused of joining with a partner, Frederick H. Robidoux Jr., 49, no permanent address, and breaking into a residence at 10 Maple St., Batavia, Dec. 29.

He is also a suspect in a car break-in at Tops Market on Dec. 13.

January 18, 2012 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A motor-vehicle accident has been reported on Wilkinson Road near the railroad tracks.

It's unknown if there are injuries.

East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 9:22 a.m.: A firefighter on scene helped push the car out of a ditch and the car continued on its way. No damage. No injuries. All emergency response cancelled.

January 18, 2012 - 8:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

A doctor who has treated 11 of the 12 girls in Le Roy who have been suffering from tic symptons appeared on NBC's Today Show on Wednesday morning and shared their diagnosis.

It's "conversion disorder," or "mass hysteria," he said.

“It’s happened before all around the world, different parts of the world," said Dr. Laszlo L. Mechtler, of the DENT Neurologic Institute in Amherst (there's also an office in Batavia). "It’s a rare phenomena. Physicians are intrigued about it, but the bottom line is, these girls will get better.” 

The school district also released (though we have not obtained yet) a report completed in December by a private environmental testing firm that says, according to NBC, no possible environmental causes were found on school grounds or in school buildings.

Brooke Dupont, one of the 12 students who has suffered from tics, appeared on the Today Show, along with her father, Jim Dupont.

"Obviously, not all of us are accepting that this is just a stress thing," Jim said. "Our kids didn’t all get sick by coincidence. It’s heart wrenching because you feel that your daughter is not going to be able to have a normal life."

Brooke said that even though her symptoms have nearly disappeared, she is worried they might come back.

"It is really frustrating because I would like to know why this is happening and fix it," Brooke said.

UPDATE 8:40 a.m.: The school district's statement is here, plus a PDF of Indoor Air Quality Report and PDF of the Mold Report.

January 17, 2012 - 9:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, Sheriff's Office.

A 2005 Chevy pickup truck taken by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office as part of the plea deal of a confessed meth dealer will be sold as surplus equipment.

The truck requires at least $2,500 in repairs making it unsuitable for the Sheriff's Office use.

The Public Service Committee today approved a resolution authorizing sale of the truck, but not without some questioning by committee Chairman Ray Cianfrini about why the truck was considered Sheriff's Office property in the first place. He thought it would be county property.

Undersheriff William Sheron explained that under state and federal drug seizure rules, property taken as the fruits of drug dealing must be used for law enforcement purposes. So placing the title of the vehicle under a law enforcement agency's name helps provide proof the vehicle isn't being used for other purposes.

Any proceeds from the sale of the truck will go to the county treasurer, but can only be spent on law enforcement purposes.

Both Le Roy Police and Batavia Police, as members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, share in the proceeds of drug seizures, Sheron said, but typically, the funds are used for equipment or other task force costs.

While the money can't be spent on anything other than a law enforcement purpose, any expenditure must be approved by the Genesee County Legislature.

The truck seizure was part of a plea agreement for Matthew Zon, who entered a guilty plea July 26 to criminal possession of a controlled substance, 2nd. Zon was sentenced to three years in prison and forfeiture of his truck.

While local law enforcement has been involved in a few drug property seizures over the years, the largest may have been in about 1988, Sheron said, when a drug dealer's house in Batavia was taken. The eventual sale of the house netted local law enforcement about $150,000.

Sheron also noted that the forfeiture law has changed a lot over the years.

"They've definitely raised the bar," Sheron said. "It used to be if you found a roach in a car, the car could be taken. That's all changed now. It takes a case of trafficking."

January 17, 2012 - 9:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, byron.

A photo of a barn on Caswell Road in Byron taken about 3 p.m., Tuesday.

January 17, 2012 - 8:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

Press release from Genesee County Economic Development Center:

Premiere Credit of North America, LLC, a leading national accounts receivable management company headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., is expanding its operations and opening a call center located on Mill Street in the City of Batavia. Premiere Credit has signed a lease for 8,500 square feet, with the option of taking the total 13,500 square feet of space. Premiere Credit expects to employ 50 people at the Mill Street location and plans to be up and running by March 1 or sooner if possible.

“Premiere Credit is a dynamic and growing company. We are excited to open a call center in this location and look forward to welcoming 50 residents of the City of Batavia and the surrounding area to our team,” said Rob Meck, Premiere Credit president and CEO.

“This is not only a win for Batavia, but a national win; outsourcing of call center jobs has been going on for years, keeping these positions in the United States is ideal,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center. “It genuinely shows the quality of Premiere Credit as a leader in corporate responsibility. We welcome them to our community."

“We are thrilled Premiere leadership was able to recognize the talent, value and willingness of Batavia to support their business growth," said Jason Molino, city manager. “Mancuso’s ability to sell our community and Harris’ patience to land a call center tenant does not go unnoticed either.”

Premiere Credit contracted with CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) to find a suitable location to open its new call center. The request for proposal, seeking locations in Western New York, led to interaction with Chris Suozzi, VP of business development at GCEDC, who worked with CBRE to bring Premiere Credit to the Mill Street location.

After visiting many different sites throughout Western New York, Premiere Credit decided that Batavia was the best location.

“Given the variables of the project this was the ideal setting,” Suozzi said.

Suozzi and Tony Mancuso of Mancuso Commercial Reality have been working together since 2009 to fill this location.

“The Mill Street location, owned by Harris Mill Street Properties, has been vacant since July of 2009,” Mancuso said. “I was thrilled at the opportunity to show the building and believed it is the perfect fit."

Suozzi and Mancuso engaged Julie Pacatte, economic developer of the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC), and Louis Lopez, Business Services representative of the Department of Labor, to further assist with the project.

“The collaboration of GCEDC, BDC, Genesee Career Center, Mancuso Commercial Realty and Harris Properties sends a strong unified message that significant support is available for business in the City of Batavia,” stated Ray Chaya, BDC board president.

January 17, 2012 - 6:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

A tree is reportedly down and blocking Main Street in Alexander.

Also, a large limb is down and blocking on Francis Road, Bethany.

Wires reportedly down and sparking on Myrtle Street, Le Roy. A Le Roy chief says "several minor power outages in the area the past several minutes."

UPDATE 6:53 p.m.: Tree down on Bowen Road in the area of Broadway, Darien.

UPDATE 6:54 p.m.: Tree down on Clinton Street Road.

UPDATE 6:55 p.m.: Francis Road cleared of the limb.

UPDATE 7:01 p.m.: Tree and wires down, with the tree on fire, reported in the area of 5866 N. Byron Road, Byron. Byron and South Byron fire units responding.

UPDATE 7:02 p.m.: Utility pole with live wires reported down in the Yellow Goose parking lot, 110 W. Main St., Le Roy. Le Roy fire responding.

UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: The warning has been extended to 7:30 p.m. The storm is moving east at 85 mph with winds of 60 mph.

UPDATE 7:08 p.m.: Debris reported in the roadway of West Main Street near Ellicott Avenue, Batavia.

UPDATE 7:18 p.m.: The severe thunderstorm warning for eastern Genesee County has been cancelled.

UPDATE 7:20 p.m.: Police requested to check the area of Richmond Avenue and Union Street for a possible wire arcing.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m.: Report of a wire down at the side of the road and sparking on Route 77 near Lewiston Road. Alabama fire dispatched. Also, report of a wire down on Chandler near Bank Street, Batavia.

UPDATE 7:26 p.m.: Tree down, blocking, on Warboys Road near Byron Holley Road.

UPDATE 7:27 p.m.: A tractor-trailer has blown over in the area 8940 Alleghany Road, Pembroke.

UPDATE 7:29 p.m.:  A deputy on scene: "The trailer just blew back on its wheels."

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.: In the area of 11 Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, report of a "Christmas tree blowing at large in the roadway."

UPDATE 7:33 p.m.: Traffic lights out at Main and Center, and Main and Jackson, according to Batavia PD. Also, National Grid reports two power outages in the county right now: one in the area of Bushville (just east of Wortendyke Road) affecting 89 customers, and one near the Wyoming County line in Darien affecting 16 customers.

UPDATE 7:36 p.m.: Lights out in Le Roy at Routes 5 and 19, and a Le Roy PD officer reports being on Munson "watching construction material blow down the road." One of Le Roy's chiefs is in route from Yellow Goose to Summit Street where a tree is down with wires arcing.

UPDATE 7:41 p.m.: At 9679 Francis Road -- tree limbs down, blocking.

UPDATE 7:44 p.m.: Le Roy assignment on Summit back in service. Tree is leaning against the line providing service to the house, but it's not a fire department issue at this point. 

UPDATE 7:51 p.m.: Large tree down blocking on North Bergen Road. Tree partially blocking on Byron Holley Road, north of North Byron.

UPDATE 7:56 p.m.: Some sort of electrical problem with a utility pole in the parking lot of Pandora's Boxx, on Ellicott Street Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department on scene. National Grid requested to the scene. In another location, barn roof reportedly blew off and struck a tractor-trailer (I missed the location) (from reader comments: "Baskin Livestock, Creek Road").

UPDATE 7:59 p.m.: Nine customers without power in the area of Richmond and Union, Batavia. 

UPDATE 8 p.m.: Large tree and wires down in the area of 2311 Bennett Road, Darien. Darien fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:02 p.m.: Le Roy fire back in service from Yellow Goose incident.

UPDATE 8:09 p.m.: Tree down blocking northbound lane of Route 77, north of Lockport Road. A car has struck a trash can on Ellicott Street Road in the area of Pandora's Boxx and is now in the gas station parking lot, disabled. No injuries. Tree limbs are down in the area of 21 Pleasant St., Batavia, blocking.

UPDATE 8:12 p.m.: Didn't catch the road, but it's between Fargo and Alleghany roads -- tree down, blocking.

UPDATE 8:17 p.m.: Lines down, but not arcing, in the area of 112 Summit St., Batavia. City fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:22 p.m.: City of Batavia fire dispatched for an automatic alarm of fire with the odor of smoke in the building, 38 Woodrow Road, the Genesee ARC building.

UPDATE 8:25 p.m.: Report of a tree down at West Main and River streets, Batavia. 

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: Tree down blocking Route 20, Bethany. City fire on scene at 38 Woodrow, no smoke detected, investigating.

UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: Report of wires down and burning on Linden Road and March Road, Bethany. Report of tree down on North Road, Le Roy.

UPDATE 8:36 p.m.: Limbs down, Tripp Road and Townline Road, Elba. At Woodrow, city fire reports no smoke or fire.

UPDATE 8:46 p.m.: Byron and South Byron back in service. Road remains barricaded.

UPDATE 8:53 p.m.: Tree down, blocking eastbound Route 20, just west of Brookville Road. Alexander fire dispatched for traffic control.

UPDATE 8:54 p.m.: An Alexander chief is attempting to move a dead tree blocking Putnam and Creek roads.

UPDATE 9:17 p.m.: Large tree down, 19 Kibbe Ave., City of Batavia.

UPDATE 9:17 p.m.: Alexander fire back in service after clearing tree from Route 20.

UPDATE 9:21 p.m.: A state DOT dispatcher passed along to county dispatcher that a tree is down completely blocking Route 20 about a mile west of Route 98, and a wire is down. The Alexandar chief is on scene and says the DOT crew is close to having the tree cleaned up, but there may be a wire down. The chief is requesting all available manpower to the Alexander Fire Hall.

UPDATE 9:23 p.m.: Route 20 is being shut down in both directions, at Route 98 on the east side and at Route 238, Darien. Darien fire dispatched to close Route 20 on the west side.

UPDATE 9:40 p.m.: Line down and arcing in the area of 11420 Peoria Road, Pavilion. Pavilion fire dispatched.

UPDATE 9:46 p.m.: Tree down blocking Bank Street, Batavia, near Dwyer Stadium.

UPDATE 9:51 p.m.: National Grid on scene, Peoria Road (actually, National Grid on scene of something in Bethany).

UPDATE 10:09 p.m.: There are now 12 spots of power outages in Genesee County affecting about 900 customers. The largest is in the North Bergen area, bordered by Townline Road on the south, Honest Hill in Orleans County on the north, Transit/Townline Road on the west and not quite to Route 19 on the east. In the southeast area of Alexander, 40 customers are without power. Just west of Creek Road, Batavia, 13 customers are without power, and in Alexander, just north of Sprauge Road, about a dozen customers are also without power. There's a tree down and blocking Starr Road, Pavilion.

UPDATE 10:26 p.m.: Bethany fire released from Marsh Road incident. In the area of Simmonds and Richley roads, a car has hit a pole, unknown injuries, but wires are down.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: Power is out on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, affecting 194 customers. Also, about 60 customers in Alabama are without power. The previously reported outages are still without power.

UPDATE 10:31 p.m.: A metal sign is blowing in the roadway on West Main Street, Batavia.

UPDATE 10:33 p.m.: The driver from the Simmonds and Richley accident reportedly tried to flee the scene. He reportedly ran into a barn and then was located by a firefighter about 200 yards from the accident, lying in a ditch.

UPDATE 10:37 p.m.: A tree is partially blocking Colby Road.

UPDATE 10:39 p.m.: Wire are down on the roof of a house and arcing, 22 Cary Ave., Oakfield.

UPDATE 10:52 p.m.: The wire down at 22 Cary Ave. is not arcing.

UPDATE 10:55 p.m.: Darien's ambulance is transporting the driver to UMMC.

UPDATE 11:35 p.m.: Wires down, Otis and South Jackson, Batavia.

UPDATE 11:49 p.m.: Otis was cable wires down. City Fire back in service. Also, Alabama is on scene of smoke in the residence at on Martin Road.  Smoke is not going up the chimney as it should.  A chief on scene said they may need to clean the chimney for the residents.

UPDATE 12: 24 a.m.: Nearly the entire Town of Bethany is without power, some 400 customers. Tonawanda has power restored. There are about 16 power outage spots in the county. The North Bergen outage is ongoing.

This is the last update on this post for the night. Goodnight.

January 17, 2012 - 6:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba.

A 40-year-old man from Elba was found not guilty today on all three counts related to alleged sexual abuse involving children following a non-jury trial in Genesee County Superior Court.

The trial ended Jan. 7 and Judge Sara Farkas of Niagara County issued her ruling today.

Erik P. Roth was indicted in July of two counts of sexual abuse, 1st, sexual conduct against a child, 2nd, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

WBTA's Geoff Redick, who also provided information for this story, followed the trial and reported Jan. 7 that the defense attorney was able to call into question the credibility of some of the testimony given at trial.

The charges stemmed from alleged incidents between November 2004 and March 2006.

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