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August 21, 2010 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford.

A driver says a female passenger struck him in his arm while he was driving, causing him to lose control of his car Thursday evening, resulting in a one-vehicle rollover accident.

No one was injured. The accident occurred at 6:43 p.m. on Route 33 near Caswell Road, Stafford.

The 2008 Chevy sedan was driven by 27-year-old Romer M. Williams, of East Bethany-Le Roy Road, East Bethany.

Williams told Deputy Matthew Butler that when he was struck in his arm, he lost control of the car. He swerved to the right shoulder, tried to correct and the car went into a sideways skid across the roadway and onto the opposite shoulder, where it rolled onto its side.

His passengers were Yalawn J. Christin, 22, and Charles A. Small Jr., 26.

No citations were issued.

August 21, 2010 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

The following arrests were made in conjunction with the Toby Keith concert on Friday at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

Ethan J. Young, 20, of North Road, Churchville, is charged with trespass. He is accused of returning to the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return. Young was jailed on $250 bail.

Stephen Masich IV, 27, of Broad Street, Tonawanda, is charged with disorderly conduct, harassment ,2nd, and robbery, 3rd. Masich allegedly pushed two females while inside the concert venue and stole a cell phone from another woman and threw it. Masich was released on $5,000 bail.

Emily M. Skotnicki, 22, of Sand Pebble Drive, Chili, is charged with disorderly conduct. Skotnicki allegedly yelled obscenities while being ejected from the concert venue.

James R. Phalen, 18, of Four Rod Road, Alden, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Phalen is accused of pushing a security guard to the ground while inside the concert venue.

Tristen L. Johnson, 26, of Cedar Grove Drive, Rochester, is charged with trespass for allegedly being found on the roof of the box office of the concert venue.

Kevin A. Olewniczak, 20, of Lockwood Drive, Lockport, is charged with trespass after allegedly re-entering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

The following people received citations for alleged underage drinking:

August 20, 2010 - 8:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Richmond Avenue.

Citizen tips have led to the arrest of a suspect in an alleged hit-and-run accident on Richmond Avenue early Saturday morning.

David R. House, 28, of 140 Summit St., Batavia, is being charged with leaving the scene of a personal motor-vehicle accident, moving from lane unsafely and operating a vehicle without insurance.

House is accused of hitting a car that was legally parked on Richmond Avenue near VanDetta Stadium around 2:15 a.m., Saturday.

A woman who had attended an event at the stadium that evening was sleeping in the car.  She was injured in the accident.

On Monday, Batavia Police issued a statement to local media asking for information that might help investigators identify a suspect.

State Police assisted in the investigation.

August 20, 2010 - 8:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Summer in the City.

Batavia's biggest day of the summer arrives tomorrow (Saturday): It's time for the annual Summer in the City, when people from all over the region join in for a day of great food, cool music and hot, classic cars.

And The Batavian will return with a booth this year handing out our free balloons, as well as selling T-shirts for $5 and a limited number of barn-picture prints for $12 (You love our barn pictures, right?).

While the annual event is taking place only on Saturday this year, it will cover a large portion of downtown, stretching from Main and Ellicott to Main and Liberty streets.

The Main Stage will be on Main Street next to the Old County Courthouse, with vendors on Court and Jefferson. Main near City Centre will contain food vendors and a kids' zone, with space set aside for classic cars on the rest of Main as well as Jackson, Bank and Center streets.

All of those streets will be closed to automobile traffic from 8 a.m. until at least 11 p.m.

The festival opens at noon and runs until 10 p.m.

Elvis impersonator Terry Buckwald and the Ghost Riders provide headline entertainment along with Nik and the Nice Guys.

August 20, 2010 - 7:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Cristina's, Latina's, code enforcement.

Nonprofits which might want to donate to the former Cristina's Restaurant location on Ellicott Street in Batavia need to act quickly, said owner Charles Brumsted today.

He set a deadline of 3 p.m., Aug. 26, for nonprofits to apply for ownership of the property.

At the same time, Brumsted is facing a deadline of his own -- he has until Sept. 17 to dispose of the property one way or another, or go to trial on a series of misdemeanor charges levied by Batavia code-enforcement inspectors.

Brumstead was summoned to Batavia City Court today -- his attorney appeared on his behalf -- to answer to a series of complaints by the city that Brumstead has not been maintaining his property in compliance with local codes.

The allegations include: problems with the roof; cracks in exterior walls; a front door boarded over with plywood; and the structure's vacant appearance, all of which create a blighted appearance in the neighborhood, among other complaints (Source: WBTA).

Brumsted told WBTA's Geoff Redick today that the deadline in court and the new deadline for the nonprofits is merely a coincidence.

"The deadline that was set for Thursday, August 26th," says Brumsted, "was the effect that we were overwhelmed with the amount of response, and the not-for-profit organizations that have come forth for the interest in Cristina's restaurant."

Brumsted told The Batavian that some 15 nonprofit organizations have expressed an interest in the property.

The selection criteria, he said, will be based on what the nonprofits want to do with the property and how well that use will serve the community.

Of course, if the property is donated to a nonprofit, it will be taken off the city's tax rolls. At the same time, if the right nonprofit put the property to good use, it would bring people and activity to that section of Ellicott Street.

"I still own property in that area," Brumsted said. "I want to see something that helps other businesses in the area."

In a brief conversation today, City Manager Jason Molino said he didn't have a position on whether the property remains with a private owner or goes to a nonprofit.

"It's his property and he can do what he wants with it," Molino said, adding "Of course, he has a few issues to clear up first."

In other Batavia City Court actions on code-violation allegations:

  • Latina's is in significant compliance with city codes, officials said. The deadline for full compliance was extended to Sept. 17.
  • Ron Graziaplena, who has upset some neighbors with his 19 mallard ducks and other issues in his yard on Oak Street, appeared with an attorney, Frank Zinni. Judge Robert Balbick gave the attorney until Sept. 17 to get up to speed with the case.
August 20, 2010 - 12:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander, Darien.

Timothy V. Meyers, 17, of 2481 Walker Road, Darien, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Meyers is accused of stealing a 2006 Yamaha Blaster four-wheel ATV from a house on Dodgeson Road, Alexander.  The ATV was recovered by Erie County law enforcement at a house in Clarence.

Jeffery Allen Good, 34, of Route 98, Alexander, was picked up on a bench warrant. The charges prompting the warrant were not released. Good was jailed on $500 bail.

Charles Anthony Smalls, 26, of Shefflen Avenue, Bronx, is charged with assault, 2nd. Smalls was a passenger in a car involved in a rollover accident on Route 33, Town of Batavia. Smalls reportedly left the scene of the accident and was located a short time later. When he was identified, deputies learned there was a warrant for his arrest from NYS Parole.

Matthew D. Derrick, 25, of 4036 West Main St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Derrick allegedly sent eight text messages to a person he was ordered not to contact.

Roger A. Laird Jr., 41, formerly of 11 Mix Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Laird was found inside of a particular residence in alleged violation of an order of protection.

August 20, 2010 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford.

An Albion man was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital last night following a single-car accident on Fotch Road in Stafford that knocked down power lines and caused a car fire.

He's been charged with DWI and additional charges are possible, according to Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

Jeffrey A. Mooney, 57, of 4928 Quaker Hill Road, Albion, was reportedly driving his 1999 Ford Taurus on Fotch Road when his car left the road at the 90-degree turn.

Mooney got himself out of the car and passersby pulled him away from the car, which became fully engulfed in flames, and downed electrical wires.

Dibble said Mooney complained of internal pain.

The investigation is being conducted by Deputy Howard Carlson and is continuing.

(initial report)

August 20, 2010 - 9:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

New Today: South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Only recently reopened, a fine/casual dining atmosphere, offering steaks and seafood and daily specials. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


August 19, 2010 - 11:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford.

A call has come in of a single-vehicle accident, car vs. pole, in the area of 7789 Fotch Road, Stafford.

The initial report is of a person down, in the roadway, with wires over him and the caller afraid to touch him. A car is on fire.

A first responder says the victim is on the side of the road, conscious but in pain.

Mercy Flight is is being dispatched.

Mercy EMS and Stafford Fire is on scene.

UPDATE 11:24 p.m.: Both high-voltage and low-voltage wires are damaged. National Grid has a 30 minute ETA to arrive on scene. Also a fiber optic cable belonging to the phone company has been completely burned through.

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August 19, 2010 - 12:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, Ham Road.

A passerby on Ham Road in Alabama found a dog that was struck by a car. The dog is still alive, but does not have tags and the owner is not around.

A Sheriff's deputy is responding.

UPDATE 1:33 p.m.: If this is the same call, a Sheriff's deputy is en route to Batavia Animal Hospital with the dog.

UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: An officer reports to dispatch that the dog was euthanized.

August 19, 2010 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire, thruway.

A grass fire has been reported in the area of mile marker 387, westbound lane, on the Thruway.

Town of Batavia Fire has been dispatched.

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.: Dispatch has received only one call on the fire. It's believed to be a small one, possibly started by a truck tire retread that came off and landed in the grass.

UPDATE 11:14 a.m.: An assistant chief has checked the Thruway and is unable to find any fire. In an unrelated incident, dispatch has also received calls about a large column of smoke behind Bj's Wholesale Club on Lewiston Road. It is a controlled burn.

UPDATE 11:16 a.m.: The controlled burn apparently has smoke drifting as far as the dispatch center on Park Road. It's been going all night and there was reportedly ash falling on West Main Street last night.

UPDATE 2:16 p.m.:  Earlier, Town of Batavia extinquished the fire. Now they're being called back to the scene.

August 19, 2010 - 8:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander, Pavilion.

Deanna L. Virgo, 34, of Garibaldi Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI (driving with a BAC of .18 or greater). Initially, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a woman in the Bergen Sugar Creek parking lot not wearing any pants. Upon arrival, deputies were unable to locate the woman. Later, the Sheriff's Office received a report at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, of a disturbance at the Bergen Service Center, 8132 Buffalo Road, Bergen. There a customer was trying to talk to a woman who was in an apparent intoxicated condition in order to try and keep her from leaving. Upon investigation, deputies believe Virgo was the woman reported at the Sugar Creek without pants and that she drove to the Service Center and was drunk at the time. The incident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker with back up from Deputy Corey Mower, Trooper Eric Daigler and Trooper Edward Chaney.

A 17-year-old from Alexander is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of stealing a case of Arizona Iced Tea worth $15 from a delivery truck while workers were unloading product at the Alexander Country Deli.

Lael Jacob Dylag, 24, of Cedar Street, Akron, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dylag is accused of verbally and physically threatening another person at a location on West Main Street, Batavia.

Douglas Gene Swede, 62, of Perry Road, Pavilion, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Swede was reportedly unhappy with the scheduling of a planning board meeting and left a threatening message on the town supervisor's voice mail.

August 19, 2010 - 7:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Wyoming County.

A Batavia man suffered minor knife cuts Tuesday night while visiting the Village of Pike when he became involved in an alleged fight on Main Street.

Josh Sumeriski, 25, of 17 Pringle Ave., was taken to an area hospital with superficial lacerations on his back.

Charged with assault, 2nd, was James L. Lathrop, 20, of 4685 Wilder Road, Warsaw.

The alleged fight was reported at 10:45 p.m.

Lathrop reportedly suffered a cut finger and an eye injury.

The Wyoming County Sheriff's Office did not report any charges against Sumeriski.

Lathrop was jailed on $500 bail.

August 19, 2010 - 6:57am

william_dix.jpgGenesee County's firefighting community lost one of its highly regarded members early Wednesday when William Dix passed away while in his office at Jay E. Potter Lumber on Maple Avenue in Corfu.

Dix, a deputy fire coordinator with Genesee County Emergency Services for 22 years, was in his fifties.

In a statement, Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger said, "DFC Bill Dix will be deeply missed by his family and his fire service family, his dedication to his business and the fire service was never ending. Bill was always there when you needed anything, including a friendly smile and a handshake."

Dix was found dead early Wednesday morning after family members became concerned that he hadn't returned home from the office. His death is not considered suspicious. The cause of death is pending an examination by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Besides his duties as a deputy fire coordinator,  Dix was also the past chief of the East Pembroke Fire Department and most recently a commissioner with the East Pembroke Fire District. The East Pembroke resident logged more than 40 years in the fire service.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

August 18, 2010 - 8:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.


Press Release:

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs hosted its second New York Sire Stakes events of the season and for the second time a new track record was set in the process. In town were the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, vying for $128,940 in purse money, split up in four divisions.

The new record came in the second division, race four, when Dejarmbro, with Jeff Gregory at the lines, trotted to a 3-1/2 length victory in 1:58.4, easily lowering Donttellmywife’s (also with Gregory) 1:59.3 mark set in 2008.

Starting from post two Gregory sent Dejarmbro out of the gate but quickly realized that Jim Morrill, Jr., leaving from the rail behind the front running New Identity, wanted to cut the mile so he took back to sit in the pocket.

New Identity got down to the half in a speedy :57.3 but was unable to shake Dejarmbro who was right there in second. It was obvious it was going to be a match race as the two talented freshmen opened up daylight on the rest of the field.

Midway on the final turn Gregory decided it was time to go and pulled Dejarmbro to the outside. Down the lane it was all Dejarmbro, under a very confident Gregory, as they trotted to command and wrote their names in the Downs' record books.

A modest Jeff Gregory made the record breaking mile sound easy: “I just let him do his own thing. He’s a very nice 2-year-old,” said Gregory.

Dejarmbro, a colt by Credit Winner-Armbro Déjà Vu, is trained by Jessica Okusko for the Purple Haze Stables.

The final stakes race of the evening went to Typical Newyorker with Jim Morrill, Jr. in the sulky, winning by 4-1/2 lengths in 2:02.3.

Typical Newyorker, a Conway Hall-Striking Sybil colt, moved to the front just before the quarter pole and showed the way throughout for his fifth win in a row. The only serious challenge came around the last turn when Proud Accolade and Jeff Gregory made a mild bid but Typical NewYorker, benefiting from soft early fractions, was up to it and went on to the much the best score. Proud Accolade held the second spot while Surface Tension, who sat in the pocket throughout but made a miscue in the stretch, had to settle for third. The modest fractions were :30.1, 1:02.1 and 1:33.2.

Typical Newyorker is trained by part owner John Hallett. He is also owned by Michelle Oglesby and Roger Doire.

“I really didn’t want to cut the mile but we were going so slow I had to come back out or I was afraid I was going to lose him,” Morrill commented. “As you can see we were going a very slow half and if I would have stayed in I think we would have been in trouble. He’s a nice little horse, Johnny’s done a nice job with him. He always gives 150 percent and is a pleasure to drive.”

Wednesday night’s other NYSS contests, worth $31,935 and $32,535, respectively, were won by:

2- Petruchio (Plesac-Portia); owner: Richard Balog; trainer: Linda Toscano; driver: Morrill Jr.; 2:00.2.

9- Whitewater Rapids (Credit Winner-Rapid Rail); owner/driver/trainer Ray Schnittker; Also owned by Hero Stables and Charles Iannazzo; 2:02.1. Batavia Downs Casino is currently racing Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Post time is 6:40 p.m.

August 18, 2010 - 6:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.


Batavia Police acting on a tip of suspicious activity responded the Kwik Fill at Jackson and Ellicott streets just before 5 p.m. and conducted an extensive search of a red Chevy sedan parked next to a gas pump.

It turns out, there was nothing found and no arrest. The driver was cited for allegedly operating on a suspended license. That's it.

Is this news? Well, if you drove by between 5 and 5:30 p.m. and saw all of this police activity, you might be wondering what it was about. Now you know.

August 18, 2010 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire, James Maxwell.


James Maxwell, Batavia's new fire chief, has been on the job for only a few days, but he says he's getting settled in. He's worked with only two platoons of firefighters so far and said he's tried to let them know he believes in open communication.

"Bad news doesn't get better with time, so let's jump right on it," Maxwell said.

So far, though, Maxwell doesn't see any big changes coming and is impressed with the dedication and drive of department staff.

After a couple of years of musical chairs in the chief's office, the main thing now is to establish stable leadership, Maxwell said.

"(Turnover) has been unfair to the firefighters because of the inconsistency it creates," Maxwell said. "Hopefully, we can bring some continuity to the position."

One of the big questions on everybody's mind, Maxwell acknowledged, given his background in running a mixed department -- volunteers working along side full-time paid firefighters: Is the new chief aiming to move Batavia in that direction?

"That issue has not been expressed to me up to this point (by City Hall)," he said. "Two years from now, the organization may look very different than it does today. We don't know that it won't change. We don't have a crystal ball. As for now, the short term, it's business as usual."

August 18, 2010 - 1:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Tonawanda Creek, City Fire.


City firefighters were at the Tonawanda Creek behind the courthouse this morning for some water rescue practice. It was a fairly simple exercise -- get the inflatable raft in the creek and guide it using ropes to waterfalls. It's been some years since anybody has drowned in this area of the creek, but the firefighters wanted to put together a plan to get the raft to the falls in case anybody ever becomes stuck there.





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

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