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November 30, 2010 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Police, crime, Wanted.

The Batavia Police Department released information today on seven individuals who are wanted on warrants related to various alleged crimes.

Below are the mug shots and available information on each individual.

Citizens are asked to call Batavia PD at 345-6350 (the county emergency dispatch number). Citizens are warned not to try and apprehend these individuals on their own.


Robert J. Eppolito: born 8/14/1982; 5' 8", 160 lbs; last known address -- 28 Washington Ave. Warrant: Menacing, 2nd - Weapon.

mug_dashawn_butler.jpgDashawn A. Butler: born 10/19/1979; 6' 1", 180 lbs; last known address -- 120 State St. Warrant: Criminal Possession of a Weapon, 3rd, Menacing, 2nd.


Amanda A. Maben: born 05/30/1978; 5' 3", 115 lbs; last known address -- 7740 Lewiston Road. Warrant: Possession of a Forged Instrument, 3rd.


Larry R. Brewer: born 02/18/1966; 6', 190 lbs; last known address -- 3 Maple St., lower.
Warrants: Aggravated Harassment x 3, Criminal Contempt, 1st x 3.


Jamie C. Wilmet: born 12/20/1984; 5' 9", 145 lbs; last known address -- 20 N. Spruce St. Warrant: Criminal Possession of a Weapon, 3rd.


Brian A. Merritt: born: 6/21/1974; 6' 2", 185 lbs.; last known address -- 10571 Main St., Alexander. Warrant: Criminal Contempt, 1st.

mug_jermiah_williams.jpgJeremiah D. Williams: born 4/06/1991; 5' 10", 135 lbs.; last known address -- 9 Raymond Ave. Warrant: Level 3 Sex Offender - Failure to Verify Address.

November 30, 2010 - 2:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Americorps.

Changes are afoot for Genesee County's Americorps program, Kathy Frank told the Human Services Committee on Monday.

americorpLogo.jpgFirst, all new applicants will need to go through an FBI background check, not just the state criminal background check required in previous years, and the federal government is looking for local programs to better align with six primary areas of focus.

"The signs are pretty clear that if we're going to compete for funding, we need to be more aligned with these national performance measures," Frank said.

Frank is in charge of the local Americorps programs.

Americorps members provide services and help to local agencies, including youth programs, community outreach, library work and other social programs. Members are paid and can also earn credits to pay for education, or pay down student loans. The program is open to anybody 17 and up and members who are 55 or older can transfer college grants to children or grandchildren.

The county program runs on about a $300,000 annual budget, with more than $186,000 being paid by federal grants, Frank said, and the rest is covered by contributions from the agencies that use Americorps members.

There are current 46 members.

The new national priorities for Americorps focuses on education, a healthy future, financial opportunities, the environment, veterans and disaster preparedness.

Frank said anybody who would like to join Americorps should call 344-3960.

November 30, 2010 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, Genesee Justice.

After some number crunching yesterday, members of the Criminal Justice Advisory Council concluded that eliminating Genesee Justice will save the county less than $100,000.

Most of Genesee Justice's budget is covered by state and federal grants, but in recent years the county's portion of the operations expense has climbed to $237,000.

To help come up with expense savings to protect Genesee Justice, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman -- who's a member of CJAC -- $80,000 in possible cuts have been identified by the Sheriff's Office and Genesee Justice.

That includes a voluntary 6-percent pay cut from the Genesee Justice staff.

"We thought we made a good case (for Genesee Justice at the budget hearing)," Friedman said. "We'd still like to believe (its elimination) is not going to happen."

Thirty years ago, the concepts that built Genesee Justice -- restorative justice and offender accountability -- were novel and not universally embraced by the law enforcement and thenlegal community. Now local criminal justice experts are solidly behind saving Genesee Justice.

"As we've said, this would be like a 30-year step back in history," Friedman said.

He said CJAC members are waiting for the release, sometime today or tomorrow, of County Manager Jay Gsell's revised budget proposal to see just what the cost differential will be.

The costs of moving Genesee Justice functions to probation go beyond just adding three more staff members to the Probation Department, though solid numbers are not immediately available.

Also, it's completely unclear, Friedman said, whether the grants now used to help fund Genesee Justice will follow the programs to probation.

"There were a lot of people at the meeting (Monday)," Friedman said. "Everybody reiterated what they said at the hearing -- that this is a bad idea."

The Legislature will be in conference on the proposed budget at the Old Courthouse at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

November 30, 2010 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, hlom.

A 15-percent reduction in the Holland Land Office Museum budget could mean a serious cut in programs or hours of operations, Board President Bob Turk told the county's Human Services Committee on Monday.

"A 15-percent cut would make it really hard to keep the museum going," Turk said.

The proposed budget provides about $39,000 for operations at HLOM.

Currently, the museum is staffed by one full-time director -- currently, Interim Director Jeff Donahue -- and a part-time staff member.

The loss of more than $6,000 in funding will mean the museum will likely need to cut its part-time employee, who provides essential support, both in terms of hours of operation and fundraising programs, that help keep the museum going, Turk said.

A 7.5- to 8.5-percent budget cut would be less damaging, he said.

Legislature Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock, who sat in on the meeting, suggested that the museum board tap into its reserves.

"I understand you have a fund reserve," Hancock said, adding that the county has sometimes had to use its reserve funds, too.

Legislature Hollis Upson, who sits on the HLOM board, said the board has generally not considered the fund balance as something to use for operational expenses, but if it could be construed as a one-time measure, perhaps they would.

"It should be considered a survival tactic in extraordinary times," said Hancock.

Turk said he wants to find ways to keep the museum open more often, including starting a lecture series and other special events.

"I feel that the museum belongs to the community and I want to draw as many people into the building as possible because it's their building," Turk said.

There was no apparent support from legislators at the Human Services meeting for decreasing HLOM's budget cut.

The county budget must be approved by Dec. 8.

November 30, 2010 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Lake effect snow is forecast for at least parts of Genesee County on Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday.

Where snowfall is the heaviest, there could be up to a foot of accumulation.

The National Weather Service said the current pattern indicates lake effect snow hitting southern Genesee County, and possibly Batavia, but a slight change in wind direction could push the storm further north with Batavia getting the heaviest accumulation. Then again, a wind direction change could push the storm further south.

November 30, 2010 - 11:57am

The Genesee County Legislature will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the 2011 budget for the final time, with decisions before them that will have consequences for the local economy and civic environment for years to come.

Top on the agenda is what becomes of Genesee Justice.

countybudget03a.jpgCounty Manager Jay Gsell's preliminary budget called for eliminating seven Genesee Justice jobs and creating three new staff positions in the Probation Department, with probation taking over most of the pioneering restorative justice program's functions.

All of the county's top justice system experts -- including District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Sheriff Gary Maha and Public Defender Gary Horton (inset picture) -- have lobbied to save Genesee Justice.

The experts say Genesee Justice has saved the county millions of dollars because many people who might otherwise be incarcerated are carefully supervised by Genesee Justice. The loss of Genesee Justice could mean that in a few years Genesee County will need to build a new jail at a cost of up to $30 million.

County officials, however, say these are dire economic times and costs need to be cut and taxes can't be raised. The county needs to trim about $7.5 million from its initial spending plan for 2011.

For years, Genesee Justice was funded entirely by grants, but over the years some those grants have dried up and local taxpayers must pick up about $237,000 of the operational costs of Genesee Justice.

Gsell plans to save that money, figuring that probation can assume the key functions of Genesee Justice.

"We know what services Genesee Justice delivers and we know how it is delivered," Gsell said for a previous story. "What we're looking at is how can we deliver that same level of service to the community through the Probation Department."

Julie Smith, probation director, said her department can assume the services and still help keep down the population level of the jail.

For example, Smith said, probation handled the release-under-supervision program for 26 years before handing it off to Genesee Justice in 2006.

Maha warned, however, that in neighboring counties, where there are no programs like Genesee Justice, the counties struggle with their jail populations.

"If the jail population increases, the State Commission of Correction will come down and tell us to do something about our increased population -- like build a new jail or put on an addition," Maha said. "We'll be like our neighbors to our south who had to build a jail addition to address their jail population."

Besides Genesee Justice, the legislature needs to decide what to do with the Soil and Water Conservation District, which is facing a 15-percent expense cut.

The cut, local farm leaders say, could end many vital services Soil and Water provides to farmers, helping keep them in business in a tough economic and regulatory environment.

"(The cut) would be a real detriment to the agriculture industry in Genesee County," said Brad Rodgers, chairman of the Soil and Water board of directors. "Even level funding would hurt us."

Scott Page, president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau, believes keeping Soil and Water is critical to protecting Genesee County's economic base.

"If we hurt ag, we miss an opportunity to move forward," said Page. "The more we build off our agricultural base, the better the local economy will do."

The conference meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday will not include a public comment period, but the session at the Old Courthouse is open to the public.

Following the conference meeting, the Ways and Means Committee will convene. Final budget amendments will be voted at that time, which are recommendations for the full legislature to consider. The full legislature will vote on the final 2011 county budget Dec. 8.

November 30, 2010 - 9:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

A Batavia woman faces a Leandra's Law felony drunken driving charge following a reported hit-and-run accident on Farnsworth Street in Oakfield last night.

Tonya Marie Weber, 26, a School Street resident, was allegedly driving a 1992 Dodge Shadow on Farnsworth when she struck at least one parked car.

The front license plate reportedly fell off the car at the scene and the car reportedly suffered heavy front-end damage.

Within 10 minutes of the 6:44 p.m. accident, Weber's car was reportedly found at another residence in the Village of Oakfield.

Upon investigation, Deputy Joseph Graff concluded that Weber was allegedly driving the vehicle in an intoxicated condition at the time of the accident and a child under 15 years old was in the car.

Weber is charged under Leandra's Law and with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, endangering the welfare of a child, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and moving from lane unsafely.

An arraignment date was set for Dec. 20.

(Initial Report)

November 29, 2010 - 6:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Batavia Police have been alerted to look for a 1992 Dodge Shadow that was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident in the area of 20 Farnsworth St., Oakfield.

The small sedan reportedly lost its front license plate after striking at least one car at that address.

The maroon vehicle is registered to a Batavia resident and reportedly has heavy front-end damage.

Sheriff's deputies are responding to the scene in Oakfield.

UPDATE 7:02 p.m.: Car may have been located in Oakfield.

UPDATE 7:38 p.m.: It sounds like there has been arrest.


View Larger Map

November 29, 2010 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford.

David S. Hare, 38, of 5236 Cotton Road, Silver Springs, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, criminal trespass, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Hare was charged following a report of a man entering a residence at 2:12 a.m. today in the area of Route 63 and Batavia-Stafford Townline Road, Batavia. The suspect reportedly broke the door to gain entrance to the house. He then reportedly drove from the scene. Hare was  found by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello a short distance from the house where his car had driven off the road. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Jeffrey L. Upchurch, 46, of Butler Drive, Bristol, Tenn., is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and unsafe lane change. Upchurch was arrested following a report of a truck driver and a companion leaving Red Osier on Route 5 in Stafford at 7 p.m., Friday, after being refused service. Upchurch reportedly got into a semi-truck that didn't have a trailer. His truck reportedly hit a tree as he pulled from the parking lot. Upchurch was reportedly found driving his truck on Route 5 just west of the city line by Deputy Matt Butler. Upchurch was jailed on $2,000 bail. (Initial Report)

Jon D. Smith, 28, and Sylvia L. Smith, 25, of 5 Prune St., Batavia, are charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The Smiths were allegedly found on Thursday by officer Kevin DeFelice to be keeping their children living in substandard conditions.

Philip R. Ayala, 25, of 732 W. Bridges Ave., Auburndare, Fla., is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Ayala was charged following a traffic stop on Bank Street on Thursday by Office Marc Lawrence.

Carrie L. Jackson, 32, of 3 Tracy Ave., Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Jackson is accused of sending threatening text messages to a male acquaintance.

Frankie Lee Brumsted, 19, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child. Brumsted is accused of hosting an underage drinking party at a residence on Batavia-Bethany Townline Road.

Michael S. Colombo, 30, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Colombo was stopped by State Police at 8:26 p.m., Saturday, on Route 33 in Stafford.

Eric J. Flowers, 25, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Flowers was arrested by State Police at 4:13 p.m., Thursday. No further details provided.

November 29, 2010 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu.

A two-car accident with minor injuries has been reported in the area of 622 Genesee St., Corfu.

Darien Fire and Ambulance dispatched.

View Larger Map

November 28, 2010 - 10:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Oakfield.


The Town of Oakfield held a Majestic Lights in the Park on Sunday with 42 families lighting trees in memory of loved ones who have passed.

November 28, 2010 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, thruway.


A multi-car accident with one possible injury has been reported in the westbound lane of the Thruway in the area of mile marker 390.1.

That's near the Batavia exit.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: The westbound passing lane is being shut down. Below is a map of traffic taken about 5:35 p.m. from Google Maps. Google gathers data from mobile phones with Google Maps GPS enabled to track traffic patterns. The accident is three cars with one apparent minor injury.

UPDATE 5:54 p.m.: Photo at the top from Thruway web cam.


November 28, 2010 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway.

A two-car accident with unknown injuries has been reported in the westbound lane of the Thruway in the area of mile marker 394.4.

East Pembroke Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 5:11 p.m.: There's two accidents in the area, one involving two cars mentioned above, and a three-car pileup near 395.6 in the eastbound lane. No word on injuries.

UPDATE 5:18 p.m.: No injuries at the two-car accident. There is heavy traffic moving at 20 mph or less and crews are finding it slow going to reach the scenes.

UPDATE 5:21 p.m.: At least one injury, a neck injury, reported at the three-car accident.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: East Pembroke, back in service.

November 28, 2010 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke, Thurway.

A car is off the road in the median on the Thruway near mile marker 398.

Unknown injuries.

East Pembroke Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 3:59 p.m.: No injuries. Traffic is heavily backed up in the westbound lanes. There also appears to be another car off the road in the area.

November 28, 2010 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Thurway.

A car has struck a deer around mile marker 381 in the westbound lane of the Thruway.

The driver requests evaluation for windshield glass in the face.

Le Roy Fire and Ambulance responding.

UPDATE: Chief puts the responding engine back in service. Only minor injuries. Ambulance on scene.

November 28, 2010 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A dump truck and an SUV slid off Route 63 south of Galloway Road yesterday in separate accidents that were only moments apart.

lewistondumproll.jpgOne person in the SUV reported a minor injury, but did not require transport to a hospital.

The driver of the dump truck was not injured after it slid off the snow-covered, wind-blown roadway and flipped on its side on the embankment.

Both drivers were cited for alleged violations related to their tires.

The accidents were reported at 9 a.m.

The dump truck was driven by Kevin E. Andrews, 35, of Allegheny Road, Basom. It is owned by PSI Disposal of Corfu.

The SUV was driven by Rebecca M. Lang, 21, of Bartz Drive, Alexander. She was also cited for alleged unsafe speed for conditions.

Lang's passengers included an infant and 34-year-old Charles D. Bucci.

Lang's vehicle slid off the roadway and struck the back of Andrews' overturned dump truck.

The dump truck was fully loaded at the time. No word on how long it took crews to get it upright again.

(initial report)

November 27, 2010 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander.

An Alexander couple were arrested today for allegedly engaging in a sex act in a public place.

The pair was reported to the Sheriff's Office by security personnel with a business on Veteran's Memorial Drive after they were allegedly witnessed engaged in sexual activity at 4:11 p.m.

Charged with public lewdness were Kelly Anne Brown, 34, and Karl James Hulshoff, 34, both of Broadway Road in Alexander.

Brown and Hulshoff were allegedly engaged in a sex act in a parked car in the vicinity of 4180 Veterans Memorial Drive.

They were arrested by Deputy James Diehl and released on an appearance ticket.

November 27, 2010 - 7:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, Le Roy, Pavilion.


Here are three pictures from the a late afternoon drive through Le Roy/Bethany/Pavilion.

Above, Oakta Creek near Creek Road and Le Roy-Bethany Townline Road. Below, two barns on Le Roy-Bethany Townline Road.







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