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Howard B. Owens's blog

July 20, 2010 - 12:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

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One run on an RBI single by hot-hitting catcher Audry Perez in the first inning was all the scoring the Batavia Muckdogs needed at Dwyer Stadium on Monday to notch the team's 16th win of the season.

The Muckdogs (16-14) rode nine innings of scoreless ball by four pitchers to move within two games of the visiting team, first-place Jamestown Jammers (18-12).

Venezuelan Jose Rada, four years in the Cardinals, but in his first season with the Muckdogs, walked one but didn't surrender a hit in the ninth to pick up his sixth save and lower his ERA to 0.98.

The biggest noise of the night came from a group of Jamestown Jammer fans sitting high up in the first-base-side bleachers, cheering on their team in the top and bottom half of every inning -- for eight-and-half innings (pictured below).

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Folks, everyone of you reading this who hasn't been to a game yet this season needs to go to at least two. Or we're going to lose our team. Not only is it a lot of fun, and shows great community spirit, but it's also a chance to see future major leaguers up close. This past All-Star Game included 22 players who came through the NY-Penn League.

More pictures after the jump:

July 19, 2010 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Alabama.

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While out in Alabama today I spotted these two cars for sale at the corner of Bloomingdale Road and Route 77 and thought they looked pretty interesting together.

July 19, 2010 - 4:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire.

At least three companies from Genesee County are responding to a barn fire in Albion at 13823 W. Barre Road.

Dispatched are units from Elba, Oakfield and Alabama.

UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: Additional Genesee County units are being activated. Town of Batavia may already have an engine at the scene, an additional unit has been dispatched to the Albion Fire Hall to fill in. An East Pembroke engine is requested to Elba to fill in. Byron has also been dispatched. Orleans County firefighters are reportedly dealing with multiple incidents right now.


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July 19, 2010 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Latina's.

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The gull problem at Latina's is "hand-able, but a large-scale problem," according to a manager for Pest RX, a company out of Clarence hired by LKLWL Properties to assess the situation and recommend a solution.

"It's not like it's a one-shot deal," said Jeff Waiter. "It's not like we're going to come in here for however long and we'll never see a seagull again. We're going to have to work with the property owner and work on a long-term solution."

Both Waiter and Pest RX owner Jeff Phelps said they still need to put together a plan, but the preliminary solution includes fixing the drainage on the roof, getting rid of standing water, and coming up with an "exclusion" system, something to make it harder or scarier for the gulls to land on the roof.

Just ensuring it's a clean, dry roof will do a lot to deter the gulls.

"The first thing is, the standing water has to go," Phelps said. "Once that's gone, we'll do a power wash and clean off the roof, but to keep them off permanently, there's a lot of obstructions there.

"We're trying to put our heads together and come up with a plan," he added.

It shouldn't be necessary to get the DEC involved at this point, Waiter said. He said the team spoke with the DEC this morning, they have a copy of the DEC manual and so long as they're not disturbing eggs or active nests, no DEC permit is required.

He said they found no eggs and only old nests on the roof today.

"We can definitely make the place tidy without a DEC permit," Waiter said, "so long as we don't harass the young or the eggs."

Photo: From left, Phelps, Waiter and another Pest RX employee.

July 19, 2010 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Jerome Center.

If you're wondering about City Fire going code 3 down Main Street -- it's just another "automatic alarm of fire" at the Jerome Center construction site on Bank Street.

July 19, 2010 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

There are reportedly only minor injuries following a car and motorcycle accident on Route 98 at West Saile Drive, Batavia.

Town of Batavia Fire is responding along with Mercy EMS.

July 19, 2010 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

(Update II at 2:19 p.m.)

A late night fire at a Presbyterian Church on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation may have been deliberately set, according to Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County.

The fire is under investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, the Alabama Fire Department and Yaeger's office.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said the fire was spotted by a person driving by the church who saw an orange glow through the windows. He turned around, confirmed the fire and called dispatch at 11:05 p.m..

"It's on the further recesses of the reservation," Brewster said. "I'm surprised somebody was out driving by that church that late. Not a lot of people drive through there at 11 o'clock at night. It's very remote."

Quick action by three Alabama Fire chiefs who arrived on scene at the same time kept the fire from causing more serious damage.

Chief Bill Schutt said he and assistant chiefs Andy Merkel and Gary Patnode realized shortly after arriving on scene at 6978 Meadville Road that the biggest fire was confined to a piano, so they used extinguishers to put it out. They dealt with some additional flames using water in an ice cooler that had been left in the church. A fire hose was needed only to deal with some minor extension into a wall.

"Minimal water was used," Schutt said.

Brewster said whoever set the fire, set several small fires inside the building. No accelerant was used and because it was extinguished quickly, there was no structural damage.

The most serious damage was to the piano.

There are no suspects yet, though several church members and the original caller were interviewed. Because it's a church fire, and therefore a potential hate crime, ATF and the FBI were notified, per protocol.

Brewster described the church congregation as small and they meet only once a month with an out-of-town pastor conducting services. The church did meet yesterday.

"Our crew along with Indian Falls, who responded, too, did a good job," Schutt said. "It could have been much worse."

NOTE: I went to the scene to get a picture of the church, which is now boarded up, and when I spoke to a Tribal Council member, he said I couldn't publish the picture without council approval, and the earliest approval could be granted would be tomorrow. So, no picture.

July 19, 2010 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Darien, Stafford, corfu.

Mathew J. Sherman, 23, of 5547 Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Police responded to a report that a person had fled the scene of a fight at a local restaurant/bar. Sherman's car was spotted in the area of 344 Ellicott St. by Officer Mark Lawrence where he was stopped and determined to be allegedly DWI.

Benjamin L. Szabo, 18, of Clarence Center Road, Clarence, is charged with petit larceny. Szabo was reportedly working as an outside vendor at Kmart on June 30 when he allegedly stole an iPod from a backroom shelf.

Janice M. Colburn, 62, of Fargo Road, Corfu, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs. Deputy Chris Parker responded to a report of an erratic driver on Pearl Street at 2:14 p.m., Friday, and subsequently stopped Colburn's car.

Robert James Macklem, 20, of Prospect Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Macklem allegedly violated an order of protection by being with the protected person. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Christopher P. Tresco, age unknown, of 108 North St., is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Tresco was stopped at 2:12 a.m., Saturday, by Le Roy Police Sgt. Micahel J. Hare on East Main Street. Hare reportedly spotted Tresco driving on the Main Street Bridge with his headlights off.

Phillip M. Case, 20, of Hilton, is charged with trespass. Case was arrested by State Police at 9:02 p.m., Saturday, at 9993 Allegheny Road, Darien Lake. No further details were released.

Raymond Amaro, 23, of Yabocoa, Puerto Rico, is charged with DWI, harassment, 2nd, and resisting arrest. Amaro was arrested by State Police at 2:54 a.m., Saturday, in the Stevens Street Allen Foods parking lot. No further details were released.

Jesse Le Gould, 31, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Gould is accused of going to an ex-girlfriend's house at 7:55 a.m., July 12, and pounding on the exterior of the house and yelling. Gould has been ordered not to have contact with the woman unless it is related to their child.

July 18, 2010 - 10:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A semi-truck reportedly has a brake fire and is stopped in front of the old Ponderosa restaurant at 12 Ellicott St., Batavia.

City Fire is responding.


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July 18, 2010 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, photos.

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This afternoon I set up a chair in the shade of a backyard tree, brought along my laptop and camera, thinking I'd get some work done and maybe snap a bird picture or two.

It wasn't long before this ne'er-do-well trespassed (notice, no allegedlies here -- sue me, Mr. Squirrel) onto our property and committed the crime of petit larceny, stealing bird feed.

Methinks this isn't his first such thievery, the scoundrel.

Even as he seemed quite aware at times of my presence with my camera, he brazenly continued to thumb his nose, so to speak, at my attempts to keep him from his dastardly deeds.

More after the jump:

July 18, 2010 - 4:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu, scott doll.

mug_scott_doll.jpgScott F. Doll, 48, convicted by a jury of his peers of murdering his friend, 66-year-old Joseph Benaquist, has been transferred to the maximum security prison in Fishkill, Dutchess County.

The Downstate Correctional Facility, 320 miles from Corfu, is a transfer facility. Doll will likely be held there for a few weeks before being transferred to the prison where he will likely serve out his 15-years-to-life term.

Doll arrived at Downstate on July 7.

Officials told me after Doll's conviction that he would be sent to a prison a good distance from Attica and Wende, two facilities Doll worked at during his nearly 25-year career in corrections.

Prison officials would not want Doll mingling with either former co-workers or the men he guarded, so they would want to get him out of Western New York.

Doll's Department Identification Number is 10B1993.

He is eligible for parole April 17, 2024.

Doll is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court again on July 27 for a hearing related to a charge of promoting prison contraband. His attorney says he plans to challenge the charge.

July 18, 2010 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion.

Pavilion Fire has responded to a residence on Big Tree Road to deal with an unknown odor in the home.

Le Roy Fire is on standby.

Multiple law enforcement units initially responded to the house to deal with a man reportedly with a shotgun.  One person has been taken into custody.

UPDATE 2:05 p.m.: Pavilion and Le Roy units back in service. No word on what the odor might have been.


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July 18, 2010 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY. Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Sallome's Italian Deli, 40 Oak St., Batavia, NY: Wraps, subs, paninis and pasta as well as pizzas -- Sallome's offers a tasty variety of Italian deli items for eat-in or take-out. We have $10 gift certificates for $5 each.

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.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

SOLD OUT

July 17, 2010 - 8:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Le Roy, parade, Oatka Festival.

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Another summer weekend, another parade in Genesee County. This one in the photogenic setting of the Village of Le Roy for the Oatka Festival.

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More pictures after the jump:

July 17, 2010 - 7:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, youth, sports, Kibbe Park.

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This morning, Batavia Youth Football conducted a football clinic for area children at Kibbe Park. The boys were instructed in how to play the defensive line, how to be a running back, how to be a receiver and how to be a quarterback.

More pictures after the jump:

July 17, 2010 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A motorcyclist has reportedly hit a parked car in the area of 3 Naramore Drive, Batavia.

The rider is reportedly up and walking around, but has a minor injury.

Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS are in route.


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July 17, 2010 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

Herbly Wonderful, 3701 Pearl St., Batavia, NY: Unique specialties for your home and garden, from floral arrangements, to heirloom vegetables, herbs, teas and spices. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Give yourself the gift of flowers, or give to a friend. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Get started on your spring gardening projects. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. A great Valentine's gift!

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY. Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

The Daily Grind, 85 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: For Batavia's finest coffee, smoothies, as well as fast and convenient breakfasts and lunches, stop into The Daily Grind. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

July 16, 2010 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy.

A man has fallen from a 15-foot ladder at 29 Lincoln Ave., Le Roy.

He is conscious. The only reported injury is "some bleeding."

Le Roy Ambulance is being dispatched.

July 16, 2010 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, Latina's.

Tom Lewin, one of the owners of the former Latina's Market location on Ellicott Street will have a pest control company on site Monday. It will evaluate the gull problem that city residents and business owners have been complaining about for months.

"Hopefully by Tuesday, I'll have their recommendation," Lewin said.

Asked about DEC involvement -- the city was required to get a permit before dealing with the gull issue atop City Centre a couple of years ago -- Lewin said he didn't know anything about that.

"I'm not a gull expert," he said. "Are you?"

Earlier today, Lewin was quoted on the WGRZ website as saying he was cooperating with the city on the issue.

"We are working diligently and cooperatively with the City of Batavia to find a solution," Lewin reportedly said.

Reached this morning, City Manager Jason Molino said he had spoken with Lewin, but also said he would like to see some action before he would call it cooperation.

"If there’s a move over on that property, then I guess you could say that’s true," Molino said.

The city issued a condemnation notice on the building, which could provide a path for the city to take steps on its own to deal with the gull infestation; however, the County Health Board has ruled the gulls are not a public health hazard.

Lewin, principal in LKLWL Properties, has also been summoned to City Court to respond to allegations of code violations at the vacant site.

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