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June 26, 2011 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, accident, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

A car has reportedly struck a pole in the area of 7444 Reuben Road, Basom, the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

The driver is reportedly unconscious.

Pole and wires are down. Emergency responders advised to use caution upon approach.

UPDATE 5:12 p.m.: Mercy Flight not required. A second ambulance requested to the scene. Two people are injured.

UDPATE 5:14 p.m.: National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 5:26 p.m.: A Mercy medic requests Mercy Flight to the scene. A landing zone is being set up at Ledge and Reuben roads.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: Mercy Flight is on the ground.

UPDATE 5:48 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne, headed to Erie County Medical Center.

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June 25, 2011 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

We used to have a series of tutorial videos, but they became outdated. For some time, I've wanted to remake them and this weekend got a chance to start on that project.

Since we have so many questions on how to post a video in a comment, I thought that ought to be the first topic to cover.

June 25, 2011 - 7:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in taxes, steve hawley, Mike Ranzenhofer.

From Assemblyman Steve Hawley: 

The passage of a property tax cap is the culmination of years of hard work from both New York taxpayers and the Assembly Minority Conference who have never wavered in their support of protecting this state’s families and businesses. No longer will Western New Yorkers, facing some of the highest property taxes in the nation, be prevented from obtaining the American Dream of owning their own home.

No longer will upstate businesses be forced out of our community, which has led to massive job loss and unemployment. Today is a new day in New York – a day that we finally say to our family and businesses, “You are welcome here.”

However, the victory in our long battle for this tax cap must also highlight the need to expand mandate relief. Our homeowners and businesses are not the only ones that suffer from Albany’s spending addiction, our local governments and school districts are struggling to cope with these issues as well. The measures we have taken to reduce the crushing burden on localities is not the end of a journey, but rather a first step toward the true, sweeping reforms it will take to repeal the onerous cost drivers that Albany has passed onto local governments.

We have opened the door for real, substantive mandate relief, but we haven’t done enough. I pledge to continue working tirelessly to ease the burden on local governments and school districts so that they can provide the vital services that our communities rely on without increasing costs to the taxpayer. I am confident that the accomplishments made today will serve as a springboard for even more success in the future.

From Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer:

“The State Senate passed historic legislation last night to make New York the 44th state to cap property taxes.  A cap will stop property taxes from spiraling out of control and prevent homeowners from being taxed out of their homes. But in order for the cap to work, mandate relief will be needed.”

“That is why the State Senate also took the first steps to begin to provide $127 million in much needed mandate relief for school districts and municipalities. The act also sets up a Mandate Relief Council to establish a procedure to repeal unfunded mandates.”

“There is still much work to be done on mandate relief, including relieving counties of burdensome Medicaid and pension payments and school districts of onerous and duplicative audits.  As the year progresses, I will work with the Governor, and my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, to not just take first steps, but to make giant leaps towards achieving additional mandate relief.”

June 25, 2011 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, Sheriff's Department.

Press release:

ALBANY, NY:  The New York State Sheriffs' Association and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute recently hosted the 25th Annual Undersheriffs’ Training Conference. Pictured above are Tony Perez, acting deputy commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (left); Tom Beilein, chairman, NYS Commission of Correction, (2nd from left); Sean Byrne, acting commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (2nd from right); and Peter R. Kehoe, executive director, New York State Sheriffs’ Association (right), presenting an award certificate to William A. Sheron Jr., of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office (center).

June 24, 2011 - 8:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, BID, Jackson Square.

The summer concert series in Jackson Square, Downtown Batavia, sponsored by the Business Improvement District, kicked off this evening with a show by 78 RPM.

June 24, 2011 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, music, entertainment, Ramble Music & Arts Fest.

It's just about time once again for Batavia's premier music and arts festival -- Ramble.

This year's Ramble is from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. next Saturday, July 2.

More than 30 music acts will perform on two stages (Jackson Square and T.F. Brown's), plus there will be the arts, crafts and fun for the kids.

Admission is free to this family friendly event.

Pictured above are local musicians Bill Pitcher, Kay McMahon, Jim Catino, Brian Garz, Charlie DelPlato, Bill McDonald and Tim Pitcher.

June 24, 2011 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

A live electrical wire has apparently fallen onto a bus -- unknown what type of bus -- in the area of 4820 Hundredmark Road, Elba.

One occupant is still on the bus.

Elba Fire Department has been dispatched.

UPDATE 6:21 p.m.: Elba fire on scene. National Grid in route. ETA less than five minutes.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: The line is off the bus (and I think I heard, too, the occupant is off the bus).

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June 24, 2011 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, Pavilion, pets.

Booboo is the cherished companion of Jennifer McDonald, of Pavilion, and Booboo has been missing since this past weekend.

Apparently Booboo got out when Jennifer's husband left a door open.

Booboo, who was recently groomed, so his hair is shorter than in this picture, was last seen on Route 19 near the fire hall.

Both Jennifer and her husband, Mel, work at Mancuso Limousine and according to David Mancuso, Mel is in the doghouse even at work (though Jennifer adds, "he really does feel bad about it"). So Mancuso is stepping in to do what he can to help. He's offering $100 cash or a free ride in a limo to whomever finds and returns Booboo.

UPDATE: Booboo is back home.


June 24, 2011 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Lisa Ann Weese, 29, of North Main Street, Albion, is charged with petit larceny. Weese is accused of shoplifting $110.12 worth of merchandise from Kmart at 4:11 p.m., Thursday.

Crystal Lee Marsceill, 30, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Marsceill is accused of shoplifting $55.18 worth of merchandise from Walmart at 7:57 p.m., Thursday.

June 24, 2011 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The Sheriff's Office is looking for help identifying the person captured in this video so he can be questioned in connection with alleged criminal mischief at the BOCES campus on State Street, Batavia.

On May 21, between 7:15 and 7:35 p.m., and on May 29, between 7 and 7:45 p.m., somebody entered the BOCES campus and caused considerable damage to vehicles parked behind the school.

An engine compartment on a tractor-trailer used to train truck drivers was vandalized, causing about $500 damage. The windshield and gas cap cover on an old school bus was damaged. The suspect also spray painted vulgar words on the bus and set off a fire extinguisher inside. The estimated damage to the bus is about $1,000.

So far, investigators have been unable to identify the subject in the video after circulating it through the local school system.

Investigator William Ferrando would like to interview the subject who appears in the video. Ferrando can be contact at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3573

June 23, 2011 - 7:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Bethany.

The view from West Bethany Road as our late afternoon storm rolled in.

June 23, 2011 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Dewitt Park.

The current water level in the lake at Dewitt Park on Cedar Street is six inches above the highest level ever recorded previously, according to Paul Osborn, parks supervisor.

The previous record was 1997. Measurements were not taken prior to 1995.

Osborn said water levels rose nine feet in two months.

How much the water level drops over the course of the summer, Osborn said, depends on how much rain we get. Typically, he said, the water level can drop two or three feet during the summer.

For comparison sake, below is a picture of the same dock as above taken last summer.

June 23, 2011 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Carlos A. Torres Jr., 35, who first made the news after showing up at UMMC with gunshot wounds and claiming he was shot while on Little Indian Falls Road, is now accused of dealing drugs. He entered a not guilty plea on those charges in Genesee County Court today.

Torres, who is being held on $25,000 bail, was indicted in early June on three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

He was arrested April 1 by members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

He was found to allegedly be driving under the influence of drugs and allegedly carrying cocaine, crack and heroin with an estimated street value of more than $7,000. 

At the time of his arrest, the head of the task force characterized the alleged drug dealing by Torres as pretty significant.

"The weight of the powder cocaine, along with the number of bags of both crack and heroin, on top of his $4,000 (in cash), is significant for this county," Sgt. Steve Mullen said.

Torres came to the attention of investigators in May 2010 when he showed up at UMMC with gunshot wounds.

June 23, 2011 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Batavia resident who tried to steal alcohol from a home on Washington Avenue on May 15, and when unsuccessful came back with a gun, entered a guilty plea in Genesee County Court today to a charge of attempted burglary, 2nd.

Andrew J. Rock, 24, of 206 State St., Batavia, faces a possible prison sentence of three (the minimum allowed as a second felony offender) to seven years.

He will be sentenced Aug. 4.

Rock is currently being held in Genesee County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Previously: State Street resident accused of trying to steal booze on Washington Avenue.

June 23, 2011 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 41-year-old Batavia man accused of stealing $58,000 from an elderly woman entered a plea of not guilty today during his arraignment in Genesee County Court.

Myron W. Hartford is out of jail under supervision of Genesee Justice.

He is charged with grand larceny, 2nd, grand larceny, 4th, and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st. 

Hartford and his wife, Marline, were both indicted on the alleged left from the elderly woman and both are accused of stealing $1,000 from DSS.

Marline did not appear in court today.

A hearing on pre-trial motions in Hardford's case was set for Aug. 31.

For previous coverage, click here.

June 23, 2011 - 3:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ellicott Street, Liberty Street.

Even though it's only been a handful of months since Ellicott Street was repaved, crews were working at several intersections today putting down new asphalt. A supervisor told me the previous "new" asphalt was removed because the state determined it was "too rough."

June 23, 2011 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, little falls.

A suspect who fled from law enforcement following an attempted traffic stop on Little Indian Falls Road, Pembroke, on Wednesday was eventually cornered by K-9 "Pharoah," who found the man hiding behind a fallen tree.

Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble said Pharoah, who was off leash and ran ahead of his handler, Deputy Brian Thompson, did exactly what he is trained to do. He barked. He didn't bite.

"He barked in his face and as long as he (the suspect) didn't do anything stupid, Pharoah isn't going to do anything but just hold him there," Dibble said.

Taken into custody was Robert Leiser, 42, an Oakfield man that both troopers and deputies on scene yesterday said they've had many dealings with and knew he would turn up eventually.

The initial search for Leiser included a State Police helicopter, but that search, which lasted more than an hour, was called off at around 1:45 p.m.

Thompson was one of the last members of law enforcement -- the search initially included three state troopers, two deputies and a DEC officer -- to leave the Little Falls area. Just as he was leaving, a resident of the area reported spotting the suspect in his back yard.

That resident reportedly grabbed a gun and chased the suspect off his property, but the encounter helped Thompson narrow his search area. 

He let Pharoah off leash and searched for at least another hour and was just about to call off the search for a second time when Pharoah found Leiser.

Leiser was taken into custody by Trooper Holly Hanssel, who initiated the traffic stop on Little Falls Road that began the manhunt, and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, possession of a hypodermic instrument and resisting arrest.

Bail was set at $5,000 and if Leiser makes bail he will be turned over immediately to authorities in Ontario County where he is wanted on two warrants.

At the time of the traffic stop Leiser was observed with a female passenger whom he may be barred from contacting. The state police are investigating a possible criminal contempt charge.

June 23, 2011 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, trees.

Driving down West Main late this morning, I was struck by this stunning tree with its white flowers against the deep-blue sky.

Once again, I have no idea of the name of this type of tree.

I took several photos.

June 23, 2011 - 1:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, Le Roy, corfu.

Brandon Alan Eisenberg, 27, of Village Gate, Williamsville, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of marijuana, three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and inhalation of toxic gas (Nitrous Oxide). On June 8, Eisenberg was initially charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 4th, and now these new charges have been added. Eisenberg was arrested in Darien.

Alysasa Marie Lori, 19, of Roe Drive, Cheektowaga, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Lori is accused of continuing to make harassing phone calls and sending text messages to a person after being warned by that person, a Corfu resident, and police to cease the communications.

A 16-year-old from East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with false personation. The youth is accused of providing a false identity to police during an investigation of an alleged underage drinking party at 1:04 a.m., June 5, at 98 North St., Le Roy.




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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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