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November 12, 2010 - 7:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, veterans.

We just received this e-mail that I thought worth sharing:

I kept it to myself for many years that I was a Vietnam Veteran. When I went to 2 Pow Wow's with my Native American girlfriend last year in Florida, as we are snowbirds, I was delighted to be a veteran, as the Native Americans really treat the veterans with great respect.

On Thursday 11, Nov. 2010, I took my turn standing guard at the monument in Batavia. Never in my life did I expect the glory I received that day. It really made me proud to be a veteran again. People I never met came up to me with coffee, water, and snacks. The people that waved to me in cars, trucks, and semis overwhelmed me.

Then people would roll down their windows to thank me for being a Vietnam Vet. I know people have said this many times, that we did not get the welcome home we deserved due to our country being divided in turmoil. I now know what great meaning it is to be a veteran of the United States.

Being in such a great mood while eating supper in The Vets Club in Brockport, there was this young lad that kept admiring my boonie hat. Well after eating and getting ready to leave, I took off my hat pins and gave that boy my hat. I knew I had to do this in return for all the thanks I received from the Batavia residents. Then when talking to this boy's father and grandmother, I found out he was up here from North Carolina waiting for his grandfather's ashes to be sent up here so they could have a funeral. His grandfather was also a vet.

So now, I do not hang my head in shame for being a Vietnam Veteran, but walk with it high in the air. I bleed with all my fellow vets. If you do not belong to either a VFW, an American Legion, or some sort of vets club, do please come out of your shell and join one now. It is very good therapy as I found out. Again, I want to thank the community of Batavia for the great thank yous and waves you gave me on Thursday 11, November 2010.

Bob Polle
(U.S. Navy Retired)
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 193

November 12, 2010 - 7:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, South Jackson Street.


There's a really interesting, twisted, gnarly old tree at the end of South Jackson Street by the railroad tracks. I dropped by there yesterday looking for a photograph.

November 11, 2010 - 10:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Le Roy, volleyball.


I finally finished editing and processing the pictures from Wednesday night's victory for the Le Roy girls volleyball game in their regional playoff match (story).

More pictures after the jump.

Photos can be purchased -- at our revised, lower pricing sheet with more options -- by clicking here.

November 11, 2010 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, alexander.

A fire has been reported in the area Walker and Hickox roads, Alexander.

The initial call was for a trailer fire.

First responders believe it's an unattended controlled burn.

Alexander Fire was dispatched. Town of Batavia's Ladder 25 was initially dispatched, but then asked to remain in quarters while the fire was investigated.

UPDATE 8:26 p.m.: Chief reports it's a controlled burn. "It's not going anywhere." All units back in service. The chief requests that a Sheriff's deputy contact the landowner and "advise him it shouldn't be done."

View Larger Map

November 11, 2010 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire, east pembroke.

An unknown type fire has been reported in the woods off Wilkinson Road near Route 33, Batavia.

A first responder reports that "it's a pretty good size fire."

East Pembroke Fire is responding.

November 11, 2010 - 2:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Veterans Day.


Area veterans gathered in Batavia today to honor the men and women who serve or have served in the United States military.

There were ceremonies at the VA Center, the Upton Monument and the Jerome Center.



More pictures after the jump:

(Reprints of these and more pictures from today are available by clicking here.)

November 11, 2010 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime.

A logger working in Genesee County is accused of accepting payment for a load of firewood but never delivering it to a Bergen-based firewood processor.

David Henry Isabell, 42, of Liverpool, was charged with grand larceny, 3rd, and jailed on $5,000 bail.

Isabell allegedly accepted $6,200 in payment on Aug. 10 for 10 log loads of wood. The victim reportedly never received the loads.

The case was investigated by Deputy Chad Minuto and Deputy John Duyssen.

November 11, 2010 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bank Street.


The intersection of Bank and North was pretty tied up this morning as construction workers were busy ripping out asphalt. Meanwhile, there was freshly laid concrete for new sidewalks along Bank Street.

November 11, 2010 - 8:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Stafford.

A 16-year-old from Oakfield is charged with harassment, 2nd, and aggravated harassment, 2nd. The youth is accused of sending threatening text messages to another student and then issuing a threat in-person to the other student.

Richard Dean McKague, 20, of Colorado Avenue, is charged with petit larceny. McKague is accused of attempting to leave Kmart with merchandise he did not purchase.

Janet L. Grossman, 43, of Clipnock Road, Stafford, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The marijuana was allegedly found during a probation search of her home.

November 11, 2010 - 7:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

justin_amend.jpgLast week the attorney for Justin Amend, who previously admitted to a sex act in Farrall Park, said the former Oakfield resident was too embarrassed by his notoriety to even walk into Tops Market.

Yesterday, he was apparently too embarrassed to even show up in city court.

Today, Amend is a wanted man. (Source: Buffalo News)

Amend reportedly failed to appear in court Wednesday and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Last week, Judge Robert Balbick informed Amend that because the 29-year-old former Oakfield resident moved to Florida, the option of a no-jail sentence had been eliminated.

As part of a plea bargain, Amend pled guilty to public lewdness, a Class B misdemeanor, in exchange for a promise of no jail time.

But Florida is unlikely to accept supervision of a probation case, attorneys said, for a misdemeanor violation.

Balbick gave Amend's attorney, Tom Williams, a week to explore weekend jail options and make his own inquiries with Florida about probation.

November 11, 2010 - 7:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Veterans Day.

Here are today's Veterans Day services in Genesee County:

  • 9 a.m.: Vietnam Veterans service, Genesee County Park, Bethany
  • 10 a.m.: Flagpole ceremony, Batavia V.A.
  • 11:30 a.m.: UMMC Veterans Day ceremony, Jerome Center on Bank Street.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Reception for veterans at GCC, Conable Building
  • 1 p.m.: Salute to the American Flag at GCC
November 11, 2010 - 1:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Le Roy.


After finishing some business I had to conduct in Le Roy on Wednesday afternoon, I took some time to walk around the east side of the village and make some pictures. Le Roy is such a photogenic village I've been thinking I need to get out there more often for these sorts of expeditions.

Here's three pictures from Wednesday's walk about.



November 11, 2010 - 12:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Le Roy, volleyball.


In Victor on Wednesday night, the Le Roy Girls Volleyball Team kept its undefeated season alive with a 3 games to 2 win over Skaneateles.

With the Oatkan Knights' first-ever regional playoff win, the girls will now meet an opponent to be determined Saturday at Genesee Community College. The match starts at noon.

Two days ago, the Lady Knights clinched the team's third Section V title.

"The season has been unbelievable," said eight-year Head Coach Kelly Tyler. "I never would have put the expectation on the kids for what they have achieved."

Le Roy (21-0) put away Skaneateles (17-2) 25-11, 19-25, 20-25, 25-18 and 25-12.

Tyler said she isn't really sure what happened in the second and third games when the girls seemed to lose focus, but they pulled back together in the final two games. By the fifth and final game, Skaneateles appeared completely over-matched and unsure how to respond. At one point in the final game, Le Roy had an 11-1 lead.

"It came down to teamwork and a real desire to win," Tyler said. "They don’t like to lose."

Sophomore Katlyn Tyler had 42 kills and 17 digs and Megan Condidorio had 38 assists, 31 digs and 4 aces for Le Roy. Chelsie Hixenbaugh had 32 digs.

The winner Saturday will move on to the state championships.

(NOTE: Hopefully, we'll be able to get several more pictures posted on Thursday.)

November 10, 2010 - 11:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Andrew Cianfrini.


A growing number of people in Genesee County have a message for Chemung County Judge Peter C. Buckley: Do right by Baby Andrew.

They already think Buckley has served justice poorly by not finding Andrew Cianfrini's killer -- his own stepmother, 24-year-old Melissa Engelhardt -- guilty of murder. Instead, Buckley found Engelhardt guilty of only manslaughter in a non-jury trial where Buckley was the sole fact-finder in the case.

More than 1,200 people have joined a Facebook group, Justice for Baby Andrew, and about 100 of them gathered Wednesday evening for a candlelight vigil at St. Joseph's Mausoleum, where Baby Andrew was laid to rest.

The vigil came on the one-year anniversary of Andrew's death and 26 days before Engelhardt is scheduled to be sentenced in Elmira.

"Today is a day to honor Andrew," said Kathy Dempski, a friend of Andrew's biological mother, Kristen. "But it's also a day to let the judge know about the injustice he gave to Andrew."

She later added, "She (Engelhardt) deserves to spend the rest of her life in prison. She doesn't deserve to walk out. She doesn't deserve anything."

Andrew's grandfather, John Cianfrini, pointed out that since Engelhardt was only convicted of manslaughter, the maximum penalty she faces is 25 years. She could receive as little as five years and then be eligible for parole after serving only two-thirds of that time. 

"You would have had to be there to appreciate what a devastating decision this was," Cianfrini said. "He (the judge) basically believed her story that she didn't intend to kill Andrew, only hurt him."

An expert toxicologist testified at trial that the 21-month-old toddler had twice the lethal amount of formic acid in his heart from the methanol in his system.

Methanol lowers the freezing point of water. It is a component of windshield-washer fluid.

Englehardt put the methanol in Andrew's sippy cup. Prior to poisoning Andrew, according to testimony, Englehardt did a computer search on how to poison a toddler.

John Cianfrini encouraged concerned residents to write letters to the probation department in Chemung County, which is in the midst of preparing a pre-sentence report that Buckley will review prior to imposing a sentence.

Englehardt is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6.



November 10, 2010 - 10:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A minor injury, roll over accident has been reported on Macomber Road, Alabama, just south of Towne Place.

Alabama Fire and Mercy EMS being dispatched.

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November 10, 2010 - 9:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A man is reporting that he was struck by a car somewhere in the area of Martin Road and Bloomingdale Road, Alabama.

He says he's in a ditch, just came to and doesn't remember anything.

He is walking toward Western Doors store.

Law enforcement and Alabama Fire being dispatched.

UPDATE 10:45 p.m.: The accident may have happened in the area of 379 Martin Road. The man reportedly has a head injury. Mercy Flight is being put on stand by.

UPDATE 10:58 p.m.: Five minute ETA for Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 11:09 p.m.: Mercy Flight on the ground.

UPDATE 11:21 p.m.: Mercy Flight in the air.

View Larger Map

November 10, 2010 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Pontillo's.


In the aftermath of the York Road fire Saturday, a reader mentioned that homeowner and taxidermist Bill Scheg had once stuffed a giraffe that had died while in a parade in Le Roy.

To answer one of the questions that came up, I stopped into Pontillo's while I was in Le Roy today to see if it is still there -- it is.

November 10, 2010 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Two men who reportedly ran from Walmart yesterday afternoon allegedly carrying hundreds of dollars of stolen merchandise were quickly tracked down by law enforcement.

shopliftarrest.jpgThe first suspect was taken into custody in the Kmart parking lot by Batavia Police Officer Chris Camp, who spotted the second suspect running across Lewiston Road and in between the Town of Batavia Fire Hall and Baker's Frontier Kitchens.

Deputies Chad Minuto and Timothy Wescott jumped a fence behind Baker's and pursued the suspect down Colonial Boulevard.

A citizen was able to help locate the suspect after seeing him run into the back yard of a residence on Colonial.

Wescott suffered some minor cuts going over the fence, was checked at UMMC later, and is fine, according to Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

Taken into custody were Phillip William Czaja, 27, of Drake Street, Oakfield, and Jarell JT Jones, 22, of Lewis Place, Batavia. Both were charged with petit larceny.

Jones was also wanted on an arrest warrant out of Genesee County Family Court. Following an arraignment in front of Judge Adams, he was committed to Genesee County Jail for six months.

Jones allegedly stole $179.88 in merchandise from Walmart. Czaja was allegedly found in possession of $256.76 in stolen merchandise.

Czaja was jailed on $200 bail.

(initial report)




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