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June 30, 2010 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Suzanne Corona.


Whether the Suzanne Corona case will lead to a constitutional challenge to New York's adultery law is not a given, according to her new attorney Brian P. Degnan.

After Corona appeared in Judge Michael Delplato's courtroom for the first time today after selecting Degnan to represent her (Degnan is the son-in-law of the original judge on the case, Robert Balbick), Degnan told reporters that he wants to examine a plea offer from the District Attorney's office and decide how to proceed from there.

coronacourt02.jpg"We have not reached a deposition in this case and I'm interested in whatever would enable my client to get the best disposition in her best interest at this time," Degnan said when asked whether he would persue a constitutional challenge to the adultery law.

He called the law bizarre and unusual, noting that it has been prosecuted only 13 times in New York since 1970.

Degnan would not discuss the specifics of the plea offer.

Even if the adultery charge were dropped, attorneys have told The Batavian on background that Corona, merely because she has been charged with the crime, could seek judicial review of the statute.

Today, in her second court appearance on the case, Cornona did not enter a plea to the adultery or public lewdness charges.

A hearing was set for Aug. 18, where Corona could either agree to any plea deal still on the table, or Degnan could begin filing pre-trial motions.

In court, Degnan said he may file a motion for the prosecution to produce any additional evidence it may not yet have turned over in the case. Degnan said the main issue is, he doesn't know whether there are recordings available of any 9-1-1 calls.

"I need to have all of the evidence before me so I can advise my client of the best avenue to take," Degnan later told reporters.

Corona, 41, is accused of engaging in a public sex act in Farrall Park in early June with Justin Amend, 29, of Oakfield.

Amend did not appear in court this morning, but his attorney did and said he's seeking a plea offer from the District Attorney's office.

June 30, 2010 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Police have been dispatched to a "public lewdness" complaint on West Main Street.

A man is reportedly mowing his lawn in the buff.

June 30, 2010 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Accused of arson and attempted murder, Rochester resident Andre L. Scott, 30, will take his case to trial Aug. 23.

Today was the plea-cutoff date. Scott's attorney, Thomas Burns, said his client is well aware of Judge Robert C. Noonan's strict deadlines for plea deals but still rejected a plea offer by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

Friedman offered to reduce the charge to attempted arson, 2nd, a Class C felony with no sentence conditions.

Noonan also confirmed today that he denied defense motions to suppress some evidence gathered by Batavia Police detectives.

In his written ruling, Noonan wrote, "The Court therefore finds that, although the parole officers were cooperating with police investigating an arson, they were not acting solely on behalf of the police when seizing the defendant's cell phones and saliva samples."

Burns had argued that a search of Scott, his car and apartment were conducted at behest of the police and some of the parole officers' actions -- such as how the saliva samples were gathered -- were done entirely in the furtherance of the police investigation and not part of the functions of parole officers.

Scott is accused of starting a fire at 12 Elm St., Batavia, on Jan. 12, 2009, in an alleged attempt to kill the father of his recently estranged girlfriend.

For previous coverage, click here.

June 30, 2010 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

justin_amend.jpgThe attorney for Justin Amend, charged with public lewdness for his alleged part in a public sex act, plans to ask the District Attorney for a plea deal.

The 29-year-old Amend, of Oakfield, wasn't in court today, and his case was continued to July 27, giving attorney Tom Williams time to discuss the case with the DA's office.

Public lewdness is a Class B misdemeanor. It is the only charge Amend is facing from the alleged early June encounter in Farrall Park, Batavia, with alleged partner Suzanne Corona, so it wouldn't seem there is much room to bargain.

Williams said he didn't want to speak for the DA, but he mentioned as an example, the charge could be reduced to disorderly conduct.

"It's a B misdemeanor," Williams added. "It's less serious than stealing a candy bar. You can get a year in jail for stealing a candy bar. You only can only get 90 days for this."

If a deal isn't struck, Williams said, then the July 27 court date will be used for filing motions in preparation for a possible trial.

Corona, who is also charged with adultery, is scheduled to appear in court at 1 p.m. today.

The case has brought an international spotlight to Batavia because the adultery charge is so unusual.

Television camera crews from Rochester were on hand for Amend's hearing this morning.

June 30, 2010 - 11:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway, pembroke.

Somebody reportedly forgot to put down the bed of a dump truck after it dumped its load at a construction site on the Thruway in Pembroke last night, according to State Police.

The driver of the truck, Sandra Palmer, 43, of Tonawanda, then proceeded West on the Thruway. Two miles later, the open bed of the truck struck the overpass of Route 77, causing the truck to rollover.

An emergency responder described the truck shortly after the 10:30 p.m. accident as "pretty well demolished."

The eastbound lane was shut down to set up a landing zone for Mercy Flight and Palmer was airlifted to Erie County Medical Center, where she is listed in fair condition this morning.

The truck was owned by Mallarie Entprises, Inc., out of Amherst.

An I-beam of the bridge was damaged, but a damage estimate was not available this morning.

June 30, 2010 - 7:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Woodrow C. Horseman, 34, no permanent address, is charged with three counts of harassment, 2nd. Horseman was first arrested by Batavia Police following a complaint of a man yelling at two women on Thorpe Street at 4:30 p.m, Tuesday. Horseman allegedly verbally threatened the two women. Horseman was issued an appearance ticket and released. At 8:40 p.m., Horseman allegedly threatened another woman at a residence on Lewis Place. Horseman was then arrested and jailed on $750 bail.

Kelly A. Donoghue, 26, of 6 School St., Le Roy, is charged with one forgery, 2nd, and attempted identify theft, 3rd. Donoghue is accused of entering the Le Roy Library on May 27 and assume the identity of another person by obtaining a fraudulent library card. Donoghue allegedly signed the name of the victim after showing the clerks a vehicle title and other personal papers in the name of the victim. Le Roy Police say that if Donoghue had received the card, Donoghue could have removed videos and other property from the library, and the card could have been used elsewhere as a form of I.D. Donoghue was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

June 29, 2010 - 10:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thruway, pembroke.

A tractor-trailer rollover accident has been reported on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 400 in the westbound lane.

Pembroke and Indian Falls Fire and Mercy EMS are being dispatched.

UPDATE 10:33 p.m.: The tractor-trailer is upside down, "pretty well demolished," under the Route 77 overpass. No other vehicles apparently involved. There is road construction in the area and construction workers were attempting to make contact with the driver.

UPDATE 10:36 p.m.: It's not a tractor-trailer. It's a dump truck. Mercy Flight requested to the scene. Dispatch reports Mercy Flight was started as soon as the call came in. A fire chief reports smoke coming from the engine.

UPDATE 10:39 p.m.: The westbound lane is being shut down to create a landing zone for Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 10:50 p.m.: Mercy Flight landed.

UPDATE 11:06 p.m.: Mercy Flight is in the air.

June 29, 2010 - 9:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, byron.


After completing some business in Byron, I wanted to take advantage of the great clouds in the sky and see what I could find to photograph. The barn and silo above was at the intersection of Bridge and Transit roads. Below, a barn in the village getting a new roof.


June 29, 2010 - 9:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

An Elba man's attempt to keep his job with the Town of Amherst was blocked by an appeals court ruling last week, reports the Buffalo News.

James I. Johnson was the town's assistant engineer when officials figured out he was living in Genesee County, apparently violating the town's strict residency requirements for town employees.

Johnson has filed numerous suits and appeals over the years to regain town employment.

“The determination that the petitioner is a domiciliary of Elba rather than the town (of Amherst) is supported by substantial evidence,” stated the decision of the five-judge panel.

June 29, 2010 - 9:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, scott doll.

mug_scott_doll.jpgScott Doll has no intention of pleading guilty to a promoting prison contraband charge, according to his attorney.

The case may go to trial, said Dan Killelea outside of the courtroom this afternoon.

Killelea helped represent Doll in his murder trial.

Doll was convicted of killing Joseph Benaquist in May and jailed immediately. During his processing, Doll was apparently searched and allegedly a green balloon was found hidden on his body. A lab test indicated that ground-up aspirin was the powdery substance the Sheriff's Office said was found in the balloon.

Doll appeared in court today sporting a new beard.

Killelea was granted more to prepare his case and file motions.

The case will be called in City Court on July 27.

Doll is scheduled to be sentenced Friday on the murder conviction.

(via WBTA)

June 29, 2010 - 9:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A gas spill has been reported at the Arrowmart, 5267 Clinton St. Road, Batavia.

A caller reports a large amount of gas in the parking lot.

Town of Batavia Fire is being dispatched.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: A first responder reports only two or three gallons spilled, but spread over the parking lot.

June 29, 2010 - 4:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, east pembroke.


It was a house that was going to be burned to the ground at some point anyway, but East Pembroke Fire Chief Bob Yungsleisch didn't want to see it go like this -- in an unplanned bonfire.

For more than a year, area firefighters -- and even Batavia's SWAT team -- have been using a vacant house at 2881 Pratt Road as a training structure (here's a video we did last year of a training exercise at the house, which was donated by the previous owner specifically for training purposes).

On Monday, members of the East Pembroke Fire Department went to the structure to try a new helmet they've acquired. In order to create the right smoky environment, they put some straw in a burn barrel (a barrel intended to contain flames, but allow smoke to fill a training room), and lit it  up.

After the helmet tests were completed, Yungsleisch said the fire in the burn barrel was doused with water and everybody left.

About 45 minutes later, Yungsleisch said a call came in -- probably about 9 p.m. -- that there were flames inside the house.  

When he arrived, he found the flames contained to the burn barrel, and he extinguished the fire himself and notified dispatch that, "it's just the burn barrel."

As he and another person stood outside the house the other person wondered why there was so much smoke coming out of a second-floor window.

When Yungsleisch investigated, he found some papers on the second floor had ignited.  He figures an ember had floated up there.

At that point, tankers from Oakfield, Pembroke, Batavia and Corfu were requested to the scene.

But Yungsleisch figured there was only one thing to do at this point -- let it burn. The firefighters called to the scene were there merely in defensive roles, to protect one nearby structure and the trees near the house.

It wasn't worth risking any firefighters to try and actually put out the fire, which burned for about two hours.

“It was a great house," Yungsleisch said. "I would have loved to have kept it another month or two, but I wasn’t about it send anybody inside.”

Photos by Destin Danser.


June 29, 2010 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, plumbing inspector.

Current State law requires the City of Batavia to have a plumbing inspector, and some of the City Council want to see the job filled.

At Monday's council meeting, City Manager Jason Molino called the requirement for a plumbing inspector an antiquated law and City Attorney George Van Nest argued that  the city has done everything it can to fill the position, which is all it's required to do.

Council members Tim Buckley, Rose Mary Christian and Bob Bialkowski all urged City staff to fill the position.

Bialkowski called it a "public health issue."

"Even though state law says code enforcement can do it, you’re not a plumber," Bialkwoski said. "You don’t know what you’re looking at."

Not necessarily, Molino said.

Currently, the city's code enforcement officers are performing plumbing inspections. Molino said they are trained and licensed by New York for such inspections and in towns and villages across the state, code enforcement officers handle plumbing inspection duties.

Only cities, under current state law, are required to have a certified plumbing inspector.

The Town of Amherst, Molino noted, which is larger than Batavia, uses code enforcement officers for plumbing inspections.

"There is no public health risk," Molino said.

Van Nest noted that there are efforts underway to get the state law changed.

"It’s not like there are some safety issues there that are going unaddressed, because these people are certified code enforcement officials for New York State with all licensing and training," Van Nest said.

The topic was opened in public comments by Batavia resident David Pero, who said he has 40 years experience in plumbing.

"Plumbing has to do with public health," Pero said. "Do the right thing council, put back what is right. We are a city, therefore protect our taxpayers. Plumbing inspecting should be done by a qualified master plumber."

After Barb Toal retired as the city's inspector, Ron Toal stepped in on an interim basis, but then quit June 2. Molino issued an emergency declaration to allow the city's code enforcement officers to take over the duties since no certified inspector had been identified.

June 29, 2010 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Stafford, Alabama, Grand Jury.

Michelle A. Parker is indicted on four counts, including grand larceny, 3rd, petit larceny, grand larceny, 4th and perjury,1st. Parker is accused of stealing in November 2006 from a bank branch in Batavia and making a false statement related to the case. The amount of the alleged thefts exceed $4,000.

Gerardo Pineda-Sanchez is indicted on a count of assault, 2nd, a Class D felony. Sanchez is accused of stabbing a victim with a knife April 28 in Elba.

Theodore R. Cooper is indicted on one count of grand larceny, 3rd, a Class D felony. Cooper is accused of stealing property valued in excess of $3,000 sometime between Dec. 30 and Feb. 3 from a Batavia resident.

Scott Stine (aka Scott Campbell) is indicted on a count of DWI. Stine is accused of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on Lovers Lane Road, Batavia, on May 1.

Ami L. Blackmore is indicated on three counts related to driving while intoxicated. Blackmore is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Blackmore is accused of driving a car while intoxicated on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, on Jan. 22.

Jamie R. Montgomery is indicted on two misdemeanor counts and one felony count related to an alleged DWI. Montgomery is charged with a misdemeanor count of DWI and a misdemeanour count of driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. She is charged with a Class E felony of aggravated unlicensed operation. Montgomery is accused of driving intoxicated on Route 5 in Stafford on March 17.

June 29, 2010 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

mug_kyle_monroe.jpgAn arrest has been made in the alleged theft of credit cards from parked vehicles earlier this month.

Det. Pat Corona of the Batavia Police Department said local media reports about the alleged theft and use of the cards, along with surveillance photos of the alleged suspect, turned up numerous tips leading to the arrest.

Taken into custody and charged with grand larceny, 4th, was Kyle C. Monroe, 20, of 43 Washington Ave., Batavia.

Monroe was located allegedly hiding in the backyard of 131 State St.

He is accused of taking the credit cards from a parked vehicle on Gateway Drive on June 14 and using them to purchase a variety of items at local retail stores, including a laptop computer, electronics and clothing.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation.

Additional charges may be pending and the investigation is continuing.

Monroe was jailed without bail.

June 29, 2010 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, corfu.

Melody Lynn Neal, 20, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is charged with falsely reporting an incident, 3rd. Neal is accused of contacting Genesee County Dispatch and claiming that a person had contacted her by phone threatening to do her harm. An investigation allegedly revealed that the harassing phone calls never occurred.

Steven B. Ellis, 46, of Wyoming, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Ellis was stopped by State Police in the Town of Batavia at 6:43 p.m., Sunday.

Accident Update: On an accident we reported Sunday that partially closed Route 63 for several hours, the State Police blotter contains the following information. The accident occurred at 1:52 p.m. It was a single-car accident with one injury. The driver is reported as Roy A. Park, 50, of Batavia. No further details were released.

June 28, 2010 - 10:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander.

It may be a minor injury accident, but responders are requesting that Route 20 be closed at Route 77.

Alexander Fire and Ambulance responded to the scene of what was reported as a truck vs. car accident with minor injuries.

UPDATE Tuesday, 9:53 a.m.: We've received the accident report on this incident.

A tractor-trailer was westbound on Route 20, reportedly driven by Rashpal S. Jhutty, 43, of Alabaster Road, Rexdale, Ontario, Canada, when the truck apparently strayed into the eastbound lane.

Wendy Green, 52, of Alexander, pulled her 2003 Pontiac sedan out of a driveway in the area of 3082 Route 20.

Her vehicle was struck on the side, the back driver's side area and knocked off the roadway.

The cargo on the truck was reportedly not securely fastened and spilled onto Route 20.

No injuries were reported.

Jhutty was issued three citations, including one for allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road.

The accident investigation was handled by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.


June 28, 2010 - 9:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke, Pratt Road.

A vacant house is reportedly on fire at 2881 Pratt Road.

East Pembroke Fire was initially dispatched.

Tankers from Batavia, Corfu and Oakfield requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:18 p.m.: Fire police requested to shut down Pratt at Powers and Miller roads.

UPDATE 9:48 p.m.: Alabama tanker requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:52 p.m.: Alabama tanker not available. Pembroke and Indian Falls tankers requested to the scene.

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