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March 26, 2010 - 11:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, architecture, history, housing.


Henry Homelius had no formal education, but the man born in Buffalo in 1850 would be, by the late 19th Century, perhaps Batavia's foremost architect. Together, with his son, Frank Homelius, he would design some of Batavia's grandest homes and commercial buildings.

Bill Kauffman shared a little booklet with me the other day titled "Henry and Frank Homelius: The Men Who Built Batavia."

Late this afternoon, I drove around and snapped pictures of some of the homes they designed. In the course of doing so, I also came across a number of homes not included in the book that were equally as grand as those credited to the Homelius's. So maybe they didn't build Batavia single-handedly, but they sure did build some great homes.

They also built some of Batavia's great commercial buildings as well, such as: the Batavia Daily News building on Jackson Street; the Batavia Times building on Center (now Center Street Smoke House); the former State Police barracks (now home to the Batavia Police), and the old firehouse on Main Street.

Henry Homelius is responsible for several of the homes on Ellicott Avenue.

Start with Ellicott Avenue, after the jump below are the pictures I took of some of the homes designed by Henry (mostly) and Frank:

March 26, 2010 - 6:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

mug_robert_wright.jpgA Ross Street resident has been arrested in connection with an alleged home-invasion burglary in Batavia last week and jailed without bail.

Robert D. Wright, 18, of 149 Ross Street, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Additional charges are pending, according to police.

A second suspect remains at large.

Wright is accused of entering a home at 20 Vine St. around 5 a.m., March 18, with a white male -- both of them had their faces covered -- and demanding drugs.

Police said the suspects claimed to have a gun, but didn't display a weapon.

Police at the time said they didn't believe the home was selected at random.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350 or the Batavia Police Department’s Confidential Tip Line at 585-345-6370. Information can also be left via the Suspicious Activity Reporting link at the Batavia Police Department’s Web site.

March 26, 2010 - 4:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion.

Hanson Fire_018.jpg

Jay Lynch, a former volunteer firefighter who now serves as the authorized photographer for fire services in Genesee and Livingston counties just supplied The Batavian with this collection of photos from this morning's fire at Hanson Aggregates in Pavilion.

More photos after the jump:

March 26, 2010 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, roundabout.

A medical condition appears to be the cause of an accident Wednesday afternoon that left three poles -- called bollards -- splayed across the sidewalk next to the Oak Street Roundabout.

A 66-year-old woman turned herself in after learning from Attica Police that she had knocked down the bollards. She thought she had merely driven over a curb.

The Batavia woman's doctor recently changed her medication for diabetes and the woman told police she became drowsy.

The Batavian agreed not to release her name because it was a private medical condition and there were no citations issued.

The woman was coming off Pearl Street and drove up onto the curb just before she normally would have entered the roundabout.

The bollards are decorative posts meant to guide traffic along the roundabout. No word on the estimated cost of the damage.

Wikipedia defines bollard:

A bollard is a short vertical post. Originally it only meant a post used on a quay for mooring. The word now also describes a variety of structures to control or direct road traffic, such as posts arranged in a line to obstruct the passage of motor vehicles.

March 26, 2010 - 4:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, accident, Alabama.

A vehicle has reportedly hit a guardrail and is smoking in the area of 1084 Ledge Road, Basom.

Alabama Fire and Mercy EMS are being dispatched.

Unknown injuries at this time.

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March 26, 2010 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, census.

If you haven't filled out your census yet, go ahead and do it now, says Jill M. Babinski, a senior planner with the Genesee County Planning Department.

She acknowledges that the form is confusing because it says Census Day is April 1, yet it also says to send it in right away. But mailing the form now will ensure it gets delivered in time and that's the best approach to take, she said.

"I know some people who aren't sending it in until April 1, because they say that's 'Census Day,' but they should go ahead and send it in now," Babinski said.

So far, 30 percent of Genesee County has been counted, though the actual return rate may be higher. Babinski said the Census Bureau may not have all the data entered yet.

The county's goal is 90-percent participation.

In 2000, it was 86 percent.

Residents who don't answer the census -- which takes 10 minutes -- will receive a visit from a canvass worker sometime in late spring or early summer.

Workers will also visit residents who get their mail through P.O. boxes. Those people will not receive a postal mailed census form.

She thinks the 90-percent goal is realistic because of all the marketing the Census Bureau has done this year. A high participation rate is really important to the local community.

"I understand there is some anti-government sentiment out there, but why wouldn't you fill it out," Babinski said. "You're only hurting yourself and your community. It's how our government figures aid and reapportionment. It's really important, and you become a part of history."

March 26, 2010 - 11:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

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.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


March 26, 2010 - 10:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A Batavia man died in a head-on collision in Connecticut yesterday, according to WBZ, A Boston-area TV station.

Lance Lewis, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lewis reportedly was driving the wrong way on I-95 near Norwich.

The driver of the other car, Terrence Garbuzinski, 46, of Attleboro, Mass., also died at the scene.

UPDATE: The Day has a longer story with more details. The Norwich Bulletin reports that Lewis lived at 137 Summit St. He was driving a Honda CRV with New York plates.

March 26, 2010 - 6:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion.


(Updated at 8:50 a.m.)

As many as 12 fire companies were called to Hanson Aggregates in Pavilion this morning for a fire in a structure at the back part of the facility.

The cause or origin of the fire has not been determined yet, according to Pavilion Fire Chief Paul Dougherty, who said the fire was contained to a single structure.

That structure was a sandblasting facility used to clean trucks and equipment.

"Our firefighters arrived and found the building at the rear of the facility with smoke and flames showing," Dougherty said.

hansonfire_chief.jpgThe fire was difficult to fight, according to Dougherty, because it was a significant way from the road, past two driveways and there was a good deal of heavy equipment parked in the area.

"The big issue was getting water to the location because we couldn't get a lot of equipment back there," he said.

The original call came in sometime between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m.

"There was a lot of smoke," Dougherty said. "It's a wood-frame structure with metal siding. There wasn't a lot inside to burn and the fire was contained to the structure."

Hanson is a multinational conglomerate based in Europe. Its Pavilion facility provides asphalt and concrete for local construction projects.

There is no estimate yet on the dollar value of the damage and the cause is under investigation.

"Until we get into the building and interview some of their people and ask them what the recent history of the building has been, we won't know (the cause)," the chief said.

NOTE: Photos from the scene are limited because Hanson employees would not allow The Batavian back to the area of the fire to take pictures.


March 25, 2010 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

An Oakfield man accused of forcing sexual acts with a woman was acquitted by a jury in Genesee County Court today, according to his attorney.

Attorney Fred Rarick said he felt all along that his client, 40-year-old Maurice Doleman, was innocent because there was no evidence of physical trauma to the woman's body and she waited hours after the alleged act to call police or go to a hospital.

"I'm very pleased," Rarick said. "We had a wonderful jury who listened to all of the evidence."

He said the evidence supported statements Doleman gave to investigators at the time of his arrest, and the jury agreed, that the woman engaged in consensual sex.

The woman claimed Doleman had abused her during during a two-hour sexual encounter.

Doleman was indicted in November on two counts of criminal sex acts, 1st. The alleged incident took place in August and he was arrested in September.

March 25, 2010 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, corfu.

Elliott M. Hickman Jr., 19, of 148 Hutchins St., Batavia, is charged with robbery, 2nd, petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. Hickman is accused of robbing an MP3 player from a 15-year-old in a parking lot at MacArthur Park on March 10. Hickman was jailed without bail. Previously charged in the same case was Malik I. Ayala.

Destany AnnMarie McNutt, 21, of 1302 Phelps Road, Apt. 4, Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. McNutt is accused of stealing merchandise and money from Walmart while employed at the store.

Nicholas Jerome Lucarelli, 38, of 35 E. Gatewood Ave., Gates, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding (73 in a 55 mph zone), and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Lucarelli was stopped at 12:52 a.m. by Deputy Timothy Weis on Route 19 in Le Roy for allegedly speeding.

Accidents from the State Police blotter:

6:06 a.m., March 24, Griswald Road, Le Roy, one vehicle; Driver 1: R.W. Fitzsimmons, 41, of Linwood. No injuries reported.

6:16 a.m., March 24, Lake Street Road, Town of Le Roy, one vehicle; Driver 1: Thomas M. McCullough, 53, of Le Roy. No injuries reported.

6:40 a.m., March 23, Route 33, Pembroke, one vehicle; Driver 1: Shirley A. Kensek, 51, of Batavia. No injuries reported.

March 25, 2010 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, steve hawley, new york.

Assembly Democrats want to cut state aid to schools by only $800 million, not the $1.4 billion proposed by Senate Democrats and Gov. David Paterson.

The Assembly proposal also includes $2 billion in borrowing.

According to the New York Times, Assembly leader Sheldon Silver says,

“With this plan,” Mr. Silver said, “we close the deficit, we make responsible cuts, we hold the line on spending, we preserve vital programs and services, we reject a number of taxes and fees, and dramatically reform the budget process.”

The Assembly budget does not include Paterson's tax on soda, nor does it propose closing all 81 state parks, which Paterson asked for.

The Assembly budget cuts $4.3 billion in spending. Paterson's proposal cut $4.9 billion, but without borrowing.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley's office released this statement about the budget:

Earlier tonight, the Assembly Majority introduced, and passed, their 2010-2011 State Budget resolution. While it did eliminate the proposed tax on sugared beverages and the closure of state parks throughout the state, it still looks to solve the projected budget shortfalls by increasing state borrowing by $2 billion. With the state already on the brink of insolvency, we cannot afford anymore debt or borrowing. I voted against this resolution and hope that as the budget deadline approaches my colleagues in the Majority will not plan on voting for this in the final budget.

For more on the Assembly budget, here's the Albany Times-Union story.

March 24, 2010 - 10:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, fire.

A fully involved car fire has been reported on Park Avenue near Judge Road in Oakfield.

Oakfield Fire is responding.

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March 24, 2010 - 6:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy.


Two canoeists were rescued from the Oatka Creek in Le Roy this afternoon after their canoe became marooned on a submerged tree near Wilcox Road.

Neither were injured.

"They were just cold and wet," said 2nd Assistant Chief Tom Wood of the Le Roy Fire Department.

The canoeists apparently couldn't control their canoe in the swift-moving, swollen creek, Wood said.

There was another pair of canoeists out with them and they managed to make it to shore and call 9-1-1.

Le Roy Fire responded and used its ladder truck (also called an aerial truck) to rescue the pair, who have not been identified.

Capt. Thomas Carroll and Firefighter Bill Wood went out on the boom, which was lowered as close as possible to the water, and then a ladder was lowered so the canoeists could climb up.

"People shouldn't be on the water right now," Wood said. "It's going too fast, unless you're a really experienced canoeist."

UPDATE: Photo submitted by a reader.

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March 24, 2010 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.


Robert Griffin said he was leaving the Dollar General about 3:45 p.m. when he heard a pop and then smoke started billowing out from under the hood of his car.

City Fire responded and quickly doused the small fire.

March 24, 2010 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, elba.


Mike Randall, meterologist with Channel 7 News in Buffalo, was at Elba Central School today to entertain and instruct children with his magic show.

The assembly kicked off the school's "Celebrating Reading" program. The title of today's program was "Reading is Magic."

March 24, 2010 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, roundabout, accidents.


Batavia Police are looking for a blue color SUV that lost its wheel well and has damage to its right front bumper after striking sign posts in the roundabout and driving off.

The car was last seen heading south on Walnut Street.

UPDATE: Sign posts weren't struck down -- light poles were -- three of them coming off of Pearl Street into the roundabout. It looks like the driver never even entered the roundabout, but drove through the median coming off of Pearl and onto the parkway, then off onto Walnut. One of the light poles was dragged a good 80 feet.

March 24, 2010 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, St. Jerome's.


Nice sunny day -- a good day for hoisting a new heating and air-conditioning unit atop the St. Jerome's building as part of ongoing renovations.




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

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