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October 17, 2010 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Cemetery, Halloween.

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Batavia history comes alive every October with local historians and history buffs setting up tours that focus on the past and the dead. This October is no exception.

The Batavia Cemetery Association conducted its first 2010 Candlelight Tour of the historic Batavia Cemetery on Saturday night, with another group of tours scheduled for this coming Saturday. Tours begin at 7 p.m. and continue every 15 minutes until 8:30.

On Friday, a tour called "Murder, Mystery & Mayhem" begins at 8 p.m. at the Engine House (3 West Main St., Batavia), with additional tours at 8:15 and 8:30 and again on Oct. 29 at 8, 8:15 and 8:30 p.m.

Also on the Halloween calendar, St. James Episcopal Church presents a "Special Halloween Spooktacular" at 7 p.m., Oct. 30. It will feature the silent movie "Phantom of the Opera," with accompanying organ music by Charles Bradley. Tickets are $10 and proceeds benefit the bell tower restoration.

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More pictures from the Ghost Tour after the jump

October 17, 2010 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, BARNS, photos, agriculture, byron.

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Here are five pictures I took yesterday, after getting back into Genesee County, on my return from the Pembroke game in Holley.

The first two are in the area of Transit Road and Chapel Road, Byron. The barn below is on Towerhill Road, Byron, and the pumpkin house is on Bank Street Road. The final picture is Centennial Park, Batavia.

October 17, 2010 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, pembroke.

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Three early turnovers put Pembroke in a hole early against Holley in Saturday's match up of 5-1 teams, and a strong effort to recover still left the Dragons short, falling to the Hawks 41-25.

Pembroke struck first in the second quarter, taking a 7-0, but an interception returned for a touchdown and two fumbles -- one was converted into a TD on the Hawks' first play from scrimmage -- told the tale of the game.

By the half, the Hawks held a commanding 28-10 lead.

"We probably made more mistakes this game than any game during the year, but that’s a quality football team we played today," said Head Coach Chip Foster.

The Dragons opened the second half with two quick scores, cutting the Hawks' lead to 26-25, but Pembroke couldn't put the ball across the goal line again, while the Hawks would tack on two more scores.

“The kids kept their hearts in the game right until the end,” Foster said.

Pembroke travels to Wayland-Cohocton next week as the number five seed in the first-round of sectional playoffs. Holley secured the number two seed.

In other Genesee County football action:

  • Notre Dame won the first round of its sectional playoff series, beating Geneseo, 21-20 in overtime. Mike Pratt rushed for 185 yards and scored the winning touchdown. On a muddy field, Geneseo was unable to convert a two-point attempt following a TD on its OT possession. QB Tom Whelehan tossed in two touchdowns and was 6-for-7 for 70 yards.
  • The Batavia Blue Devils (3-4) secured the number eight seed in sectional playoffs with a 35-22 victory over Wellsville (0-7). Ryan Pyatt ran for 184 yards on 17 carries, putting the ball over the goal line once. Mitch Francis returned a kick-off 80 yards for a score and added a 24-yard TD reception. Ray Williams also ran it in once as part of his 80-yard rushing performance.
  • Attica tied Holley for best Genesee Region record with a 14-2 victory over Elba/Byron-Bergen.
  • Oakfield-Alabama (1-6) picked up its first victory of the season, beating Bolivar-Richburg (0-7), 32-14. Jeremy Crawford rushed for 114 yards on 18 carries. Kyle Metz tacked on 82 yards and scored a TD. Tommy Manzella had seven tackles.

More pictures from the Pembroke game after the jump:

October 16, 2010 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, health.

We received an inquiry from a reader who said there was an outbreak of whooping cough -- or, pertussis -- at Genesee Community College.

We contacted Randy Garney, interim director of the Genesee County Health Department, who said no cases have been reported in Genesee County. However, he was aware of a case being reported in Wyoming County.

Laura Paolucci, public health administrator for Wyoming County, issued the following statement:

The Wyoming County Health Department has confirmed a case of pertussis for an individual that is a resident of Wyoming County and a student at GCC. The individual received appropriate treatment. The GCC Health Services Office was notified, provided information on pertussis and instructed to contact the health department with questions or concerns. There have been no further cases reported or identified.

Physicians are required to report diagnosed cases of pertussis to county health officials.

October 16, 2010 - 9:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

City Fire is being dispatched to Washington Avenue in the area of Summit Street, where a transformer reportedly sparked and is now smoking.

UPDATE 9:50 a.m.: No fire, but there is a problem with a wire. National Grid requested to the scene.

October 16, 2010 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in charity, UMMC Foundation.

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A capacity crowd was at the Holiday Inn on Friday night for the UMMC Foundation's Fall Auction. The event included a Chinese auction, big-screen TV drawing, dinner and a live auction. Proceeds benefit the new surgery center scheduled to open in January.

October 15, 2010 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

REMINDER: Please do not purchase a gift certificate you've already purchased in the past six months.

Main St. Pizza Company, 206 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Pizza, wings, subs and even hamburgers and hot dogs, Main St. Pizza makes everything deliciously. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Red Osier, Route 5, Stafford, NY: Truly, one of the landmark restaurants of the area. Red Osier features prime rib carved table side. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kraving's offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Main St. Pizza Company, 206 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Pizza, wings, subs and even hamburgers and hot dogs, Main St. Pizza makes everything deliciously. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Try the new lunch buffet. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

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October 15, 2010 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire.

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A few years as a Town of Batavia volunteer firefighter convinced Notre Dame graduate Mark Sacheli that he wanted to land a full-time job in the fire services.

This month, after 11 weeks of training at the New York State Fire Academy, things turned out for Sacheli better than he'd hoped -- now not only is he a career firefighter, he's serving in Batavia.

"I feel extremely fortunate to get a job doing what I love in my hometown," Sacheli said.

The 27-year-old bachelor was attending SUNY Brockport working toward a degree in physical education when his father suggested he would serve himself well by getting some EMT training and joining a volunteer department.

"After a few years I decided I didn't want to be a phys ed teacher," Sacheli said. "This is what I wanted to do. This is a career."

He said firefighting is an exciting job.

"Everything meshes well to make it a well-rounded job," Sacheli said. "Every day is different."

When he's not in uniform, Sacheli said he enjoys staying active. He described himself as an avid sports enthusiast who plays golf, softball, basketball and skies.

That fits in well with finding a job at home, where all of his friends live. He wanted to stay close to friends and family.

"The community is full of good people," Sacheli said.

October 15, 2010 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Justin E. Cratsley, 22, of 8348 Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Cratsley is accused of pushing a woman during an argument at 5:35 p.m., Oct. 7.

Kenneth M. Burns, 53, of Bergen, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Burns was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident that was reported at 8:45 p.m., Monday. No further details were released.

October 15, 2010 - 1:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

mug_kathleen_catino.jpgA Batavia mother is in jail tonight accused of delivering drugs to her son, who was being held in the Genesee County Jail.

Kathleen Catino, 59, of Seven Springs Road, allegedly handed her son some oxycodone during a jail visit.

Cain Catino, 39, also of Seven Springs Road, is being held on a robbery charge. He is accused of entering the Oakfield Pharmacy on Sept. 20 and demanding hydrocodone.

mug_cain_catino.jpgThe mother is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, promoting prison contraband, 2nd, and possession of a controlled substance by ultimate user's original container.

Son is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband.

Jail officers reportedly witnessed the transaction in the visitation area and immediately seized the alleged contraband.

Kathleen Catino was jailed without bail.

October 15, 2010 - 12:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, planning, land use.

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A group of residents on Fox Road, Oakfield, got their wish tonight when the Genesee County Planning Board voted against a proposed RV campground in their neighborhood.

It's the second time this year about a dozen residents of the quite Oakfield neighborhood had asked the countywide planning body to reject proposed 30-acre campground on land owned by Mike Dilcher, and it's the second time the board voted unanimously against the plan.

foxroad_attorney.jpgDilcher's attorney Brian Lewandowski tried to convince the board to vote for recommendation, saying that none of the issues being discussed by residents -- such as zoning use and environmental impact -- were appropriate for the county board to decide. Lewandowski maintains that the Town of Oakfield planning board retains appropriate authority on those issues.

The board rejected the proposal for the 267-site campground unanimously (with Michael Cianfrini abstaining) and without discussion.

It's the same results dealt to Dilcher last January.

The rejection returns the proposal to the Town of Oakfield Planning Board, which can veto the county's recommendation with a majority-plus-one vote.

About six residents spoke Thursday night, raising issues about traffic congestion, safety, noise, odor, water and property values.

"I'm sorry to tell you, John, if this project goes through you won't be able to sell your house," said resident Bob Chamberlin. "Nobody on Fox Road will be able to sell their house."

Chamberlin was referring to John Walther, a school teacher -- as is his wife -- who bought a large parcel south of the proposed campground just more than a year ago. 

His property has a pond which won't be fenced off from the campground and is adjacent to a proposed recreation area. Walther said he's worried that children will be able to easily wander over to his pond.

"A berm or hill isn't going to keep children away," Walther said. "What's that going to do to my liability, to my insurance?"

But his biggest concern, he said, is all the strangers the campground will bring into the neighborhood. He said he bought his property specifically because he thought it would be a good place to raise the children he and his wife are planning. If the campground is built, he said, he would have to sell his property and move.

Among the many concerns raised by Diane Oaksford was the density of the proposed campground, which will have 15 sites per acre, she said. She compared that to other campgrounds in Genesee County, listing off the number of sites and acreage for each.

"The point is," she said, "the applicant has proposed the most amount of camp sites on the fewest acres in the most populated residential neighborhood in the county."

Lewandowski didn't take issue with any of the complaints raised by residents, but said none of the issues could correctly be addressed by the county board. He asked the board to refer the matter back to the Oakfield board to handle.

Photos: Top, Diane Oaksford; inset, Brian Lewandowski

October 14, 2010 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, Clinton Street Road, Prole Road.

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In hindsight, 21-year-old Danielle Lovett wishes she hadn't said it was OK for witnesses to leave the scene of an accident she was involved in Sunday night.

It turns out that after the witnesses left, so did the driver of the other car -- flat tire, damaged muffler and all.

Lovett's 1999 Buick was totaled.

Even though Lovett's insurance is giving her $2,100 toward a replacement, she still has to pay a $500 deductible.

"I'd just like to find him so he can pay me back the $500," Lovett said.

She describes the driver as a white male in his late 40s or early 50s. She believes he was driving a Pontiac Aztec or similarly styled car.

The driver's side rear suffered some damage, she said. The man drove off with a flat tire and the noise from his muffler made Lovett think his exhaust system was damaged in the accident.

Even though the Sheriff's Office is investigating the accident, Lovett has tried herself to find the driver, alerting area mechanics and body shops to the damage.

A Bergen resident, Lovett said she was heading home from Batavia at 11 p.m., Sunday, on Route 33 in Stafford when a car coming off of Prole Road failed to yield at a stop sign.

She was unable to brake in time and struck the rear of the car.

Lovett wasn't hurt, but she knew right away her car was majorly damaged.

She said when she got out of the car, the other driver approached her and asked if she was OK. She was, and he said, "OK, so I can leave now?"

"No," she said. "We need to do this the right way."

She called 9-1-1 and when she got off the phone, the man said, "OK, so I can leave now?" 

Lovett insisted he stay and suggested they exchange information. He said he would go to his car and get his documents and she searched her glove box for a pen. When she looked up, the man was getting his car and leaving.

Lovett said the man stumbled toward her after he got out of his car and had slurred speech. At first, she figured he was just as shaken up as she was, but after awhile, she realized it was more than just after-accident shock.

"That's when I thought, 'Oh, my God, he's drunk,'" she said. "He's totally wasted."

There was at least one witness to the accident, Lovett believes, and other people who may have seen the hit-and-run car. She's hoping somebody will be able to come forward with more information to help find the driver.

UPDATE: A possible suspect vehicle has been identified. About 20 minutes after this post appeared, Lovett received a call from a person who read the story suggested a car matching the description was parked at a local repair shop.  I happened by while Danielle was checking out the vehicle.  She said the car sure looked like the one from the accident and the paint transfer, she said, matched the color of her vehicle.  The deputy investigating the accident, Howard Carlson, doesn't come on duty until 11 p.m. and Lovett was told to call back then.

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October 14, 2010 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield, Albion Road.

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There was an accident on Albion Road, Oakfield, at about 3 p.m. today. One person was taken by Mercy EMS to UMMC. 

We missed the initial scanner call and no police report has been issued yet, so no further information is available at this time.

Reader submitted photo.

October 14, 2010 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

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A tractor-trailer has reportedly snagged a power line or otherwise hit a utility pole causing it to shear off in the area of 4050 South Main Road, Batavia.

The wires are still up and the pole remains upright.

Town of Batavia Fire is responding. National Grid has been notified.

UPDATE 5:56 p.m.: The scene was cleared some time ago. As for the picture above, it's a bit hard to see, but in the center foreground is a bit of a wire sticking up. It's attached to the base of the utility pole, barely visible. The rest of the utility pole is clear to the left of the picture. It's a very old, very short utility pole. The driver, making his first delivery to Batavia, thought he was on West Main Street Road, not South Main Road. He was making a turn into what he thought was a local business to deliver a supply of camper shells. There's a barn on the property. The cable and phone wires were lower than he thought. No citations were issued.


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October 14, 2010 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, City Fire, Robert Morris School.

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City firefighters were at Robert Morris School this afternoon teaching the Pre-K students about fire safety. The class time included instruction on drop-tuck-and-roll, using your "outside voice" to get a firefighter's attention, and not being afraid of the big person in the funny looking suit.

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October 14, 2010 - 12:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, BID, chamber of commerce.

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Rick Segel , an author and nationally recognized expert on small-business marketing gave a dynamic presentation to about 50 small-business owners or their representatives today. Comedy is part of Segel's pitch and he generated quite a few laughs during the first session. The program went from 9 a.m. 1 p.m. and was sponsored by the Business Improvement District and the Chamber of Commerce.

October 14, 2010 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

A Batavia man who tried to outrun law enforcement from Avon to Le Roy will serve one- to three-years in state prison, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled this morning.

Randy S. Rumble, 27, of State Street, entered a guilty plea at the end of August to felony DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation. On Aug. 1, Rumble led cops from Avon and deputies from Genesee County on a high-speed chase until he ran out of gas and was taken into custody by a Le Roy police officer.

Defense attorney William Tedford described Rumble as the nicest client he has represented.

He's a nice guy who makes poor decisions when he drinks," Tedford said.

"I have no reason to think you’re not a nice guy, but as people in court have heard me say 100 times, if you get killed by a drunk driver it doesn’t matter if it's Mother Teresa or Charles Manson at the wheel," Noonan said.

"You're lucky you're not standing here responsible for the deaths of other people or buried in the ground yourself. This conduct is way beyond anything that’s acceptable in this society."

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini argued for a stiff prison sentence.

"It was a dangerous situation," Cianfrini said. "He only stopped when he ran out of gas. He didn't stop voluntarily. He then ran into a hedgerow, further hampering law enforcement."

As for a statement to Noonan, Rumble apologized.

I respect whatever sentence you give me," Rumble said, then hung his head. "And that’s it."

Rumble will also be required to pay a $2,000 fine and have an interlock-ignition device on whatever vehicles he has access to upon his release from prison.

Previously: Batavia man allegedly tried to outrun law enforcement, until he ran out of gas

October 14, 2010 - 9:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Gena Lorane Ellis, 24, of West Ridge Road, Brockport, is charged with petit larceny. Ellis is accused of stealing $124.13 worth of merchandise from Target by hiding the items under her child in her shopping cart.

Amanda Darlene Clemons, 26, of Ridge Road, Holley, is charged with petit larceny. Clemons is accused of trying to steal $211.86 worth of clothing, boots and other merchandise from Target by hiding the items under a blanket in her shopping cart.

David M. Saylor, 26, of 9431 Summit St. Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to keep right, no seat belt and unsafe tires. Saylor was allegedly involved in an accident on North Street. He is accused of striking a parked car at 12:26 a.m. and causing significant damage to both vehicles.

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