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December 22, 2010 - 8:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

Speed is being considered a factor in an accident this morning on Creek Road that led to a resident of the area being taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center.

creek_rollover02.jpgRobert G. Woodhouse, Jr., 51, of Creek Road, was partially pinned under his 2007 Jeep Wrangler after it rolled over, down an embankment at 8943 Creek Road.

The accident was reported at 10:07 a.m.

There is evidence at the scene that Woodhouse was involved in two property damage accidents just prior to his Jeep rolling down the embankment and ejecting him from the vehicle.

He was not wearing a seat belt, according to the Sheriff's Office.

A utility pole was knocked down and a mailbox was damaged.

It's not clear why his vehicle left the roadway and the investigation is ongoing.

Charges are pending.

The investigation is being conducted by Deputy John Baiocco, Deputy Lonnie Nati and Sgt. William Scott of the Genesee County Crash Management Team.

Assisting at the scene were Mercy EMS, Town of Batavia Fire, City of Batavia Fire, Mercy Flight, Batavia Police and Bethany Fire Police.

(Initial Report)

December 22, 2010 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

A deputy reports that Galloway and Kelsey roads are "just sheets of ice."

So, be careful out there.

December 22, 2010 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Holland Land Office Museum.

Security cameras have been installed at the Holland Land Office Museum.

The upgrade in security comes after a Dec. 10 alleged theft of a historic gun by an Alden man.

"In light of recent events, cameras are a welcome measure to provide security not only to the museum collection, but to the staff, volunteers and guests at the museum," said director Jeffrey Donahue in a statement.

In the statement, Donahue and Board President Bob Turk thanked Assemblyman Steve Hawley and County Legislator Hollis Upson for contributions to help get the cameras installed.

December 22, 2010 - 10:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.


A person may be pinned under a car following a rollover accident in the area of 8943 Creek Road, Town of Batavia, between Lehigh and Dorman roads.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 10:24 a.m. (Billie): Lehigh Avenue is being shut down completely, starting at Ellicott Street. Mercy Flight is called with a 10-minute ETA. A landing zone is being set up on Lehigh Avenue, in one of the few places not crisscrossed by wires. The victim is stilled pinned under the vehicle.

UPDATE 10:29 a.m. (Billie): The victim has been extricated. Mercy Flight is now four minutes away. Traffic police are shutting down Creek and Dorman roads.

UPDATE 10:43 a.m. (Billie): There's a utility pole down at 8937 Creek Road and National Grid will be on scene in roughly 10 minutes.

UPDATE 10:37 a.m. (Billie): Mercy Flight is on the ground. National Grid is there now, but they are blocking the space needed for Mercy Flight to handle the accident.

UPDATE 11 a.m. (Billie): Mercy Flight went to Erie County Medical Center. The Town of Batavia fire crews, as well as City units, which assisted, are back in service. Sheriff's deputies remain to handle traffic control.


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December 22, 2010 - 8:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

Martin Anthony Miller, 50, of Water Street, Oakfield, is charged with being a sex offender who failed to report his change of address within 10 days. He was arrested at an address on Route 33 in Bergen. Miller was jailed without bail.

December 22, 2010 - 8:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in charity, pembroke.

Children in the Pembroke Primary classes have been raising money for Wings Flights for Hope this month rather than exchanging Christmas gifts. So far, they've raised more than $200. The classes raising money are taught by Mrs. Altmann and Mrs. Parada. Mrs. Altmann, a volunteer firefighter in Williamsville, has promised to match what the amount the kids raise by Dec. 23.

Submitted by Kimberly Schiefer.

December 21, 2010 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, Stafford.


Did you see the spectacular, low-hanging moon this evening? I did, and headed out to Griswold Road in Stafford to get a shot of it behind one of my favorite barns.

December 21, 2010 - 10:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Christmas lights.


For Christmas photos tonight, I managed to get around a bit on the north side of town.

Above, Joe Gerace has his place on Vine Street quite lit up.

More pictures after the jump:

December 21, 2010 - 3:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, Christmas lights.


James Dwyer spends most of his year driving coast-to-coast as a long-haul trucker, but for two weeks around Christmas, he gets to stay home, so he parks his truck and drapes strands of more than 400 feet of Christmas lights over it.

The 48-foot-long flatbed trailer is decorated by his wife with various animated characters.

He's been decorating his truck every Christmas for about eight years and he says each year it seems to grow in popularity, with more and more people driving by his Knowlesville Road home to check it out. To get there, take Lewiston Road/Lockport Road in Alabama and head north on Knowlesville.



December 21, 2010 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Notre Dame.


This is the "Grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes," or "The Grotto," on the campus of Notre Dame High School, just off Richmond Avenue.

The photos are from last night.


December 21, 2010 - 12:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics, Le Roy, Chris Charvella, Jay Grasso.

Because of a conflict of interest with the judges in Le Roy, where the case originated, Judge Robert C. Noonan this morning assigned the case of Chris Charvella to Town of Batavia Court.

Charvella is charged with harassment, 2nd, for allegedly placing a phone call to the home of Legislator Jay Grasso.

It will be up to the court in Batavia to set a time for Charvella's next appearance, and whether that appearance will be in front of Justice Tom Williams or Justice Mike Cleveland.

After the hearing this morning, Charvella said he couldn't comment on the case, but added, "When all is said and done, I'm confident I'll be completely vindicated."

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Fennell said there's been no discussion in the DA's office about whether or not to proceed with the case, but indicated that Charvella was arrested so he would be prosecuted.

He said he doesn't see this as a First Amendment issue.

"It's not the political aspect of the case that's been at issue," Finnell said. "It's the phone call to his home for no apparent legitimate purpose."

New York's harassment law bars phone calls for "no purpose of legitimate communication."

At the time of the call, according to Charvella's blog entries, Charvella believed Grasso was responsible for placing a Mike Ranzenhofer campaign sign on Charvella's front lawn. Charvella said he called Grasso's house to thank him for reading his blog, where he had previously written about a Ranzenhofer signs showing up in front of the family business, where he works.

Charvella, a frequent contributor to The Batavian, is active in local Democratic politics and ran in 2009 for county legislator against Grasso's colleague Hollis Upson, losing to the GOP incumbent.

Besides sitting on the legislature, Grasso is a part-time aide to Ranzenhofer, now in his second term representing Genesee County in the state Senate.

December 21, 2010 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Alabama.

mug_summer_ogden.jpgSummer Ogden, 34, of 4036 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest, criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, attempted criminal mischief, 4th, and criminal tampering, 3rd. At 6:28 p.m., Monday, the Sheriff's Office attempted to execute a warrant out of Batavia City Court for her arrest for allegedly violating probation. While taking Ogden into custody, she allegedly physically struggled with deputies. After the arrest, she was allegedly found in possession of an illegal knife. During transport to Genesee County Jail, Ogden allegedly kicked at the windows of the patrol car and spit on equipment inside of the car. Ogden was jailed on $2,500 bail. (Prior reports on Summer Ogden)

Eric James Flowers, 23, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), 7th, unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation and uninspected motor vehicle. At 8:21 a.m., Dec. 5, Flowers was observed by Deputy Brian Thompson driving on Trumbull Parkway, Batavia. Flowers was known, according to Thompson, to have a suspended or revoked driver's license. After being stopped, Flowers was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and hydrocodone.

Collin Michael Camp, 19, of North Spreet, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unsafe speed. Camp was arrested at 12:20 p.m., Dec. 5, after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana during an accident investigation conducted by Deputy Brian Thompson.

Timothy R. Tucker, 45, of Medina, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Tucker was arrested by State Police at 3:13 p.m., Saturday, following an investigation into a two-car accident on Alleghany Road, Alabama. No injuries were reported in the accident.

December 21, 2010 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Robert Morris School.


More than a dozen Robert Morris School teachers withstood subfreezing temperatures and light snow last night in an effort to garner more votes in the Pepsi Challenge. If the school gets enough support, Pepsi will donate $50,000 for a new playground.

Teachers were handing out handbills to passing drivers and car passengers with information on how to vote, plus the school's computer lab was open for anybody who needed help voting.


Santa in the picture is Paul Bernardi, of Pauly's Pizza.

To vote:

1. You can go to, where you can find more information -- including a video made by students, staff and parents -- and vote by clicking the "Vote for this idea" tab (upper right).

2. You can also vote via text messaging. Simply text to 73774 and enter 104607 in the message.

December 21, 2010 - 8:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

WHAM 13's Sean Carroll sat down with John Parrinello, the prominent Monroe County attorney and politician arrested recently at GCC and charged with criminal trespass.

Parrinello says he's retained Batavia attorney Lisa Kroemer to represent him. He believes two five-minute videos of the incident posted on YouTube vindicate him.  He indicates he was trying to leave when he was arrested, but wanted to leave by the exit nearest his car rather than the one the trooper wanted him to leave by (don't all exits from the gym lead to one exit to the parking lot -- I mean, does it really matter which gym door he goes out of to be "closer to his car"?)

December 20, 2010 - 10:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Tonawanda Creek.

Michael_Caccamise .jpg

I've looked at this memorial a few times in the past couple of years. It is mounted on the fence behind the courthouse above the Tonawanda Creek.

The sign reads: "Michael Caccamise and two playmates fell through the ice and into the icy waters of the Tonawanda Creek on Feb. 10, 1932. The bodies of Harry Campebello, age 10, and Frank Bezon, age 9, were recovered on Feb. 13th near the dam. However, Michael’s body was not recovered until July 8, 1932.

In Loving Memory of Michael Caccamise
Age 10
Son of
George and Mary Caccamise"

December 20, 2010 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Motel, code enforcement.

There's never a good time to kick somebody out of their home, said Bruce Gerould, Town of Batavia deputy building inspector.

But when raw sewage is seeping under the dwelling units, how much longer do you wait? Until after Christmas, after New Year's, or after somebody gets typhoid?

"If we waited and somebody got sick, then people would be asking why we waited," Gerould said. "It's a no-win situation."

Gerould has been the building inspector responsible for inspecting the Batavia Motel, 3768 W. Main St. Road, since he went to work for the town in 2004. He said there's never been a time when there haven't been code violations at the apartment complex, and since a fire two years ago, the owner has been increasingly less responsive in making repairs.

The owner, Panchal "Sonny" Bhupendrabhai, said he hasn't been eager to make repairs of late, because all he's really wanted to do is sell the property.

He thought he had a buyer until a couple of months ago, but with open code violations, he couldn't complete the deal.

Then the town expressed interest in the property.

"When I heard of the town's interest, I thought there's no reason to spend thousands of dollars for repairs," Bhupendrabhai said.

Bhupendrabhai initiated the call with The Batavian. He said he wanted readers to know that his tenants, with one exception, had plenty of notice that they needed to find new dwellings.

He said he told them weeks ago he intended to shut down the property.

In the case of Eric Duda, he said, Duda fell behind eight weeks in rent and Bhupendrabhai told him just find another place to live, and rather than evict him, gave him time to make other arrangements. He said that days before the condemnation notice, Duda was approved by DSS for $175-per-week rent at Mark Trail. 

Another tenant, he said, stopped paying his rent five weeks ago after learning of the town's interest in buying the property. That tenant, he said, told other residents to stop paying their rent as well.

When Bhupendrabhai confronted the tenant about it, he agreed to stop telling others not to pay their rent. Bhupendrabhai told him he would forgive the five-weeks back rent if he would pay one more week rent and then find another place to live.

A total of seven people lived at the motel at the time of the condemnation.

As for Maken Ithnnascheri, the tenant who moved in just a week ago, he may not have known about Bhupendrabhai's plan to shut down the motel, but he only paid one week's rent and shouldn't have expected to live there longer than that.

He said he covered Ithnnascheri's rent for three days at another motel on Friday, and gave him an extra $50 "to help him out."

As for selling the property to the town, Bhupendrabhai said he essentially has an agreement in place to sell the 2.9-acre parcel adjacent to Kiwanis Park, but nothing is in writing yet.

Gerould said there is no connection between the town's enforcement action and the plan to buy the hotel.

While he feels bad for the residents, he also felt troubled by the conditions they were living it.

Besides the broken septic system, the roof leaked, there were no fire extinguishers and no smoke detectors.

"The place is deplorable," Gerould said. "It's filthy and much of it is not up to standards of the health department or the New York State building code."

He said he told Duda in September that a condemnation order was coming if the problems were not corrected by Bhupendrabhai.

December 20, 2010 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

A driver says he swerved to avoid a deer on North Byron Road this morning, which caused his car to go of the road and strike a tree.

The driver suffered minor facial cuts and did not require transport to a hospital.

Deputy Chris Parker, however, writes in his report, that he couldn't find evidence of a deer in the area.

"Investigating officer was unable to observe any fresh tracks near the roadway at the scene," Parker writes in his report. "No evasive maneuvers able to be observed prior to vehicle exiting the roadway. Appeared as driver may have fallen asleep as the tire tracks indicated a linear exit from the paved surface."

The driver, Joseph T. Bortle, 39, of Knowlesville Road, was not cited.

The accident occurred at 7:11 a.m. in the area of 5335 North Byron Road, Elba.

(Initial Report)


December 20, 2010 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield.

Two cars attempting to make left-hand turns at Lewiston Road and Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road collided head on at 11:55 a.m., Saturday.

Both drivers were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

The first driver, Carol M. Beeby, 67, of Lyndonville, was cited for alleged failure to yield.

The other driver was Michael L. Kickes, 46, of Broadway Street, Oakfield.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.

(Initial Report)




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