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April 27, 2016 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, fire, news.

From Patrick S. Privatera, president of Le Roy Physical Therapy:

I'm writing to give you an update on our incident this morning. There was a small electrical fire which was sparked by a bird which had built a nest inside an outdoor electrical box housing our service connections. Humphrey Electric is on scene currently making repairs, but Le Roy PT, Village Fitness, and Dollar General will be closed the rest of the day until power can be restored.

We expect to reopen by mid-morning tomorrow. Despite the inconvenience, there were no injuries and things could have been much worse. We're very grateful to Le Roy, Stafford, Pavilion, and Bergen‎ Fire Depts and the Le Roy Police Deptartment for their assistance.  

Previously: Smoke coming from back room at Le Roy's Dollar General store

April 27, 2016 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, news.

Shawn Thomas Rushok, 17, of Church Road, Le Roy, is charged with first degree criminal sexual act. He was arrested on April 26 for allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct in the afternoon of July 20 with a person less than 11 years old. He was arraigned by Town of Le Roy Justice Welsh and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Wescott, assisted by Deputy John Dehm.

Brian K. Dyer, 49, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault, third-degree menacing, and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested at 12:14 a.m. on April 23 as the result of an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred at a North Street residence a short time earlier. He was put in jail on $2,500 bail and was to be in court on April 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Ryan James Wetsell, 22, of Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 5:30 p.m. on April 21 following an altercation with another male in the area of 335 Bank St., Northside Meadows Apartments in Batavia. It is alleged that Wetsell went after another male at that location, striking him several times and then attempting to choke him. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Timothy Jerome Stump, 44, of Montclair Avenue, is charged with: obstructed view; broken windshield; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree -- having a prior driving while intoxicated conviction; felony common law DWI; and felony DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more. Stump was arrested at 5:51 p.m. on April 22 following a traffic stop on Porter Avenue. He was allegedly found to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and doing so on a suspended NY driver's license. He was to appear in City Court April 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Rebecca N. Bethune, 27, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with trespass and illegal disposal of items. The charges stem from a complaint in which Bethune was alleged to have disposed of a mattress at 679 E. Main St., the Batavia Gardens Apartments, leaving the item against a dumpster at that location at 3 p.m. on April 21. She is not a resident of the complex. She was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

Patrick A. Dudley, 18, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th. Batavia police conducted a traffic stop at about 12:30 a.m. on April 24 and Dudley was a passenger in the vehicle. During the course of the traffic stop, police allegedly disovered 28 grams of marijuana on Dudley's person. He was subsequently arrested and released with an appearance ticket for May 10 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

April 27, 2016 - 10:07am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy.

Smoke is coming from the back room of the Dollar General store in Le Roy. Le Roy fire and Bergen's ladder truck are responding to the possible structure fire at 3 West Ave. A store employee told the dispatcher that last night electrical work was done in the back room and now there's smoke coming from it. They are blocking the road at West Avenue.

UPDATE 10:08 a.m.: A first responder on scene reports light haze inside the building.

UPDATE 10:20 a.m.: Stafford can respond non-emergency.

UPDATE 10:26 a.m.: Code enforcement requested to the scene.

UPDATE 11:37 a.m.: Le Roy fire has remained on scene, though in service for other calls if needed. A chief now requests law enforcement to the scene.

UPDATE 11:49 a.m.: A coordinator for Emergency Services is requested to the scene.

April 26, 2016 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, east pembroke, pembroke, Le Roy, news.

Press release:

This Saturday, April 30, the Batavia Police Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Le Roy Police Department will be participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

The annual event is aimed at providing a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. in the parking lots of the Batavia Police Headquarters, the Le Roy Police Headquarters, and the Pembroke Town Highway barns located at routes 5 and 77 in East Pembroke.

This event is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

April 26, 2016 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

A resident in Le Roy reports smoke coming from the wires attached to the house at 62 Church St., along with a popping sound.

No sign of fire.

Le Roy fire dispatched with mutual aid from Bergen's ladder truck.

UPDATE 10:47 a.m.: Le Roy police officer on scene reports smoking coming from an outlet on the outside of the residence.

UPDATE 10:59 a.m.: There appears to be no extension into the house. National Grid is sending a crew out, 15-minute ETA.

April 25, 2016 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in robbins nest, Le Roy, planning, land use, news.

Thwarted once, local businessman and developer Pete McQuillen is kicking the tires of an idea to revive his Robbins Nest housing neighborhood on the south end of the Village of Le Roy.

McQuillen started pursuing the project in about 2010, thought he had the necessary approvals to move forward, then a lawsuit forced him to go back to the village board for approval of the necessary zoning change.

At a September 2012 meeting, McQuillen learned that two village board members -- Bob Taylor and Mike Tucci -- would not vote on the resolution because they felt they had a conflict of interest.

Taylor's nephew is Steve Barbeau and Tucci worked for Tompkins Insurance under the supervision of David Boyce. Barbeau, the Town of Le Roy supervisor, and Boyce, were leads in the lawsuit against McQuillen.

The two men are neighbors in a neighborhood known as Presidential Acres, which abuts McQuillen's property he would like to convert into Robbins Nest.

At the time, McQuillen's plan was to build 26 homes on 13.1 acres east of Robbins Road and south of Fillmore Street, with prices ranging from $130,000 to $160,000, and sold as part of a planned community to seniors.

In order to move forward, he needed approval for a Planned Unit Development (PUD), which requires a zoning change, which requires approvals from the Zoning Board of Appeals (then a joint agency of the town and the village), the village board and the County Planning Board.

He got all of those approvals once, but then the lawsuit voided the village vote and without Taylor and Tucci willing to say yes or no, the board couldn't proceed and McQuillen had to drop his plan.

Now Tucci is off the board, so at a meeting April 13, McQuillen asked during public comments if he revived his plan, would the village board at least vote on it (he didn't ask whether they would approve it). Mayor Greg Rogers polled each board member and all said they would vote on it, if a proposal was brought to them.

Reached today, McQuillen said he is merely exploring the idea of reviving Robbins Nest at this time. Going to the village board was just the first step. He also wants to see how the county might respond.  

Rogers said he was surprised by McQuillen's request. Robbins Nest wasn't an item on the agenda. McQuillen just showed up and asked his question and that's all it was, Rogers said.

We reached out to Barbeau and Boyce for comment. We've yet to get a response from Barbeau; and Boyce declined to comment.

Boyce is one of several plaintiffs, all Presidential Acres residents, in another lawsuit with McQuillen as one of the defendants. The lawsuit is over several duplexes built on the west side of Presidential Acres, which the plaintiffs claim violates the subdivision plan. 

That lawsuit, filed in 2014, is scheduled to go to trial next week.

If you've read this far and the history of this development doesn't seem like enough of a twisted path yet, the history also includes Barbeau being arrested after an altercation with McQuillen over a barn McQuillen built close to Barbeau's property line. Also part of the history, Rogers took responsibility for allowing the village to pave a road owned by McQuillen at the time.

McQuillen said the next step for him to is to go the county to see what kind of response he might get, but County Planning Director Felipe A. Oltramari said there is nothing barring McQuillen from getting the paperwork started with the village. It would be up to the village to submit a request for consideration by the County Planning Board on the zoning change.

It isn't unusual for rejected or stalled proposals to come back up for reconsideration, Oltramari said.

"It often happens that applicants will come back a few months for few years later, depending on how political the issue was," Oltramari said.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m.: Earlier this evening, Steve Barbeau​ responded to our request for a comment.  Here is his statement: "There were and are numerous legal, practical, and ethical reasons why the property in question should not be rezoned."

April 25, 2016 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia, news.

Aaron Christopher Lyons, 19, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs, first offense; driving while intoxicated, first offense; failure to stop at a stop sign; speeding in excess of 55 mph; and unlawful possession of marijuana. The defendant allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign and was speeding on Main Road in Le Roy at 2:05 p.m. a.m. on April 23. After a brief investigation, the defendant was arrested for allegedly driving while his ability was to do so was impaired by drugs and for unlawful possession of marijuana. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in Le Roy Town Court on June 20. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young, assisted by Christopher Parker.

Brad L. Ohlson, 39, Union Street, Batavia, is charged with third degree assault. The defendant was arrested on a bench warrant. He allegedly failed to comply with the conditions of his release on the charge, stemming from an incident at 9:30 a.m. on April 18, and was turned over the the Batavia Police Department. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young.

April 24, 2016 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Le Roy, news.

A two-car accident with unknown injuries is reported in Le Roy at Craigie and West Main streets. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m.: Fire police are also requested to the scene. One car is on fire.

April 22, 2016 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, Oakfield, Le Roy.

Thomas L. Hill Jr., 26, of Fayette Street, Brockport, is charged with: unlawful possession of marijuana; two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree; and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. Hill was arrested at 8:15 p.m. on April 21 after a citizen complained of a suspicious vehicle on Hutchins Place. Police located the vehicle in the parking lot of the Circle 3 Food Mart on Ellicott Street. An investigation allegedly revealed crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana inside the vehicle. Hill was jailed without bail and is to appear in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Chevaughn D. Hanson, 22, of East Main Street, Batavia was arrested for disorderly conduct following an altercation at 3:27 p.m. on April 19 on East Main Street with another male. Hanson is accused of engaging in violent, tumultuous and threatening behavior. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on April 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Dylan B. Boykins, 43, no address provided, is charged with disorderly conduct -- fight/violent behavior. Patrols were dispatched to Highland Park near Jackson Street at 1:34 p.m. on April 16 for a reported altercation between a male and female. Boykins, who was located a short time later, was arrested following an investigation into the disturbance. Boykins allegedly shoved and attempted to strike another person and was arrested. The case was handled by Baavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Marc Lawrence.

Maggie S. Dipilato, 22, of Nelson Street, Holley, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Dipilato was arrested on April 18 following a domestic incident on Hutchins Street on April 13 in which she allegedly violated a complete stay away order of protection. Dipilato was allegedly found in possession of drug paraphernalia and was jailed on $1,000 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer  Christopher Lindsay.

James R. Kosiorek, 23, no permanent address, is charged with criminal possession of a loaded weapon. He was allegedly in possession of a loaded hanbdgun in November 2014 that had previously been stolen from a vehicle in the Town of Le Roy. He was arrested on this charge April 21 while he was in Genesee County Jail on unrelated charges. He had $1,000 bail on this charge. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Gregory Walker.

Ashli N. Zajaczkowski, 25, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Zajaczkowski was arrested at 7:48 p.m. on April 21 following a traffic stop during which the investigating officer detected the odor of marijuana. The officer allegedly located an amount of marijuana that would be consistent with personal use in the vehicle. Zajaczkowski was issued an appearance ticket for City Court for May 3. Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan investigated the case.

Cody E. Snyder, of East Shelby Road, Oakfield, is charged with offering a false instrument in the first degree and possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. Snyder was arrested on April 18 following an investigation into a complaint filed by Genesee County Probation. The incident occurred on Dec. 29, 2014. He was jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

James A. Mitchell, 37, of Jackson Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court after allegedly failing to pay a fine associated with a disorderly conduct violated issued on April 5 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was released after posting $100 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Michael Givonnie Chance, 18, of 145th Road, Springfield Gardens, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 8:34 p.m. on April 19, Chance was allegedly found to be in possession of a small quantity of marijuana on Batavia-Stafford Townline Road and was arrested and issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on April 25. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Krzemien and Deputy James Diehl.

April 21, 2016 - 3:38am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, news.

Le Roy village residents will pay more for sewer service starting this summer.

The Village Board on Wednesday approved a 21-percent hike — from $33 to $40 — in the village’s minimum quarterly sewer rate, effective with the August billing.

Sewer charges are based on water consumption. The minimum quarterly sewer charge includes the first 3,000 gallons.

The board also raised the village’s “excess” rate, from $5.81 to $8 per 1,000 gallons above the minimum.

Sewer rates will also increase for the handful of customers outside the village. The minimum will go from $100 to $120 per quarter, while the excess charge rises from $6.76 to $9.25 per 1,000 gallons.

The increases — the village’s first since 2002 — were prompted by a sewer fund deficit and the need to pay for long-deferred improvements to the village’s 54-year-old sewer treatment plant on Red Mill Road.

Mayor Greg Rogers said the village is meanwhile eyeing a $5 million to $6 million plan for plant upgrades. The first phase could be in place by the end of the year.

Rogers said the board’s hope is that those upgrades will cut treatment costs — and eventually allow for a lower sewer rate.

“Once we get going, this rate could slide back considerably,” Rogers said. “But for this year, we have to budget to break even.”

Rogers estimated that an average family of five will pay an additional $200 in sewer costs in 2016-17.

Residents who pay only the minimum — a category that includes about 20 percent of the village’s 1,751 customers — will pay an extra $7 per year.

The sewer budget, by law, must be self-funding. The 2015-16 fiscal year will however end with a $220,000 sewer fund deficit, Rogers said. That will be covered by reserve funds, but must be repaid to the general fund next year, he said.

The deficit was fueled by the cost of wastewater sludge hauling, which has been entirely in the village’s hands since We Care Organics of Rochester stepped way from its hauling agreement late last year.

“That’s the major contributing factor,” Rogers said.

The costs of operating the treatment plant — including employee wages and benefits — have continued to rise, Rogers said. But lower water consumption — thanks in part to residents’ use of water-efficient appliances — has held sewer revenues in check. 

Another new but necessary expense, Rogers said, is an equipment repair and maintenance effort directed by Steven Carroll, plant superintendent since March 2015.

Rogers said the Village Board, along with the village sewer board and engineers Clark Patterson Lee, are developing a $5 million to $6 million plan for treatment plant upgrades. The village will pursue grants and interest-free financing offered through the state Environmental Facilities Corporation.

The immediate goal is to purchase a belt filter press, used for sludge dewatering. Rogers said the equipment costs about $600,000, but would dramatically reduce hauling and landfill expenses.

“Our first step is, we have to get the money,” Rogers said. “The second step is to get the belt press. Once we do that we can start seeing a real savings.”

The village’s sewer treatment plant is a long-simmering problem that no one has been eager to address — in Roger’s words, the “5,000-pound elephant in the room.”

Outstanding debt on the plant — which costs nearly $400,000 a year to service — will not be retired until 2019.

“To be honest, everybody — present company included — was just trying to get to the end of that before stacking on more debt,” Rogers said.

“You knew it was there, and you knew that someday it would have to be done,” he said. “The witching hour is here.”

In other action Wednesday, the board adopted a $3.375 million budget for 2016-17. The budget raises the tax rate by a penny, to $10.46 per $1,000 assessed value.

The budget that was the subject of a public hearing last week. The village’s 2016-17 fiscal year begins June 1.

April 21, 2016 - 3:36am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Rancho Viejo, business, news.

rancho_viejo_1.jpg

Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant opened Wednesday in the Le Roy Village Plaza on West Main Street. (Photo courtesy of Marysol Leon.)

Le Roy’s newest restaurant has plenty of longtime fans.

Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant had a “soft opening” Wednesday in the Le Roy Village Plaza on West Main Street.

The location is one of several owned by Jose and Marysol Leon, including Rancho Viejo in Batavia and a Mexican restaurant in Warsaw.

“We’re happy to be in business,” Jose Leon said. “I invite people to give us a try.”

Many already have.

The Batavia restaurant opened in 2011, inside a former Ponderosa on Ellicott Street. It soon built a loyal customer base — including LeRoyans who lobbied for a restaurant in their hometown.

Jose Leon said he was interested in Le Roy because it did not have a Mexican restaurant. The plaza location was also ideal, offering plenty of space inside, and lots of parking outside.

And its West Main Street address, next door to Le Roy Medical Associates (UR Medicine), guarantees visibility and foot traffic, he said.

Marysol Leon said business was steady on Wednesday, even though the opening wasn’t announced.

“People have been calling to ask, ‘When are you going to open?’” she said.

Le Roy Village Plaza is a former supermarket. The space occupied by Rancho Viejo was formerly a Chinese buffet. It’s been remodeled, brightly painted and decorated.

Jose Leon said food is prepped twice daily, guaranteeing fresh, “home style” cooking. They have applied for a liquor license.

The menu will be familiar to anyone who has been to the Batavia restaurant. 

For first-time diners, Marysol recommended the deep-fried Rancho Viejo Burrito, which is stuffed with ground beef, chicken, rice and beans and topped with nacho cheese and pico de gallo. Rancho Viejo Special Fajitas are served with sliced grilled beef, chicken, pork sausage and shrimp — along with the traditional bell peppers, onions and tomatoes.

Rancho Viejo also offers a children’s menu, vegetarian dishes and “All-American” options that include burgers and a grilled chicken sandwich.

Take-out service is available.

Hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For information call (585) 502-5292.

rancho_vieho_2.jpg

(Photo courtesy of Marysol Leon.)

April 20, 2016 - 3:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, sports.

Rebecca Schwan, of Le Roy, a member of the RIT women's track and field team, was named Liberty League Field Rookie of the Week for the week ending April 17. It is the fourth honor of the year for Schwan.

Schwan just missed breaking a school record in the 1,500-meters, placing ninth overall in a time of 4:42.94 at the Bison Outdoor Classic hosted by Division I Bucknell University. On Sunday, she was RIT's top finisher in the 800-meters with a time of 2:18.77.

April 20, 2016 - 3:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones.

Jacquelyn Carson, of Le Roy, has received the 2015-2016 Susan Sutton Smith Award for academic excellence at SUNY Oneonta. To be eligible for the award, a student must be a freshman, sophomore or junior with a grade-point average of 3.9 or higher.

Carson, a junior majoring in Early Childhood/Childhood Ed (B-6), received a certificate, a gift card to the campus bookstore, and an invitation to attend the annual Susan Sutton Smith Lecture and reception. Susan Bernardin, Ph.D., professor of English at SUNY Oneonta, delivered this year's lecture on April 12 in the Craven Lounge of the college's Morris Conference Center. Bernardin is the 22nd recipient of the Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence, created to recognize faculty achievement outside the classroom and named in memory of the late SUNY Oneonta professor of English.

The lecture and the Susan Sutton Smith Awards for academic excellence were made possible by the generous gifts of SUNY Oneonta alumni to the 2015-2016 Fund for Oneonta. The Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence was made possible by an endowment created through the generosity of Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Mary Smith in memory of their daughter, Susan, and in honor of her commitment to academic excellence.

A liberal arts institution with a strong focus on undergraduate research and service learning, SUNY Oneonta consistently gains recognition for delivering excellence and value.

April 18, 2016 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia, elba, corfu, Oakfield.

Kerry L. Norton, 33, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving while intoxicated, DWI -- Leandra's Law, and endangering the welfare of a minor. At 2:31 a.m. on April 16, Norton was arrested after being stopped for multiple traffic violations. Norton performed field sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. Officers discovered that two of his passengers were juveniles under age 16. Officers later discovered that Norton allegedly allowed the children to smoke marijuana in the vehicle while he was driving. He was jailed without bail and set to return to court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Deniz M. Pirincci, 59, Garden Drive, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog and owning a dog running at large. At 9:32 p.m. on March 27, Pirincci's dog was running at large and allegedly attacked another dog that was being walked by its owner on Garden Drive. Following at investigation, he was issued at appearance ticket for April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Joseph A. Monte, 52, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree robbery, second-degree harassment, and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested at 2:32 a.m. on April 17 after an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred a short time earlier on Walnut Street. He was jailed and set to be in court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Carlos Samol, 51, of Libersty Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree menacing. He was arrested after an incident at 8:07 p.m. on April 17 on Ellicott Street in which Samol allegedly menaced another person with what appeared to be a pistol. He was jailed on $5,000 bail and is to appear in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay. In addition, he was charged with second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly riding in a car with another person in violation of a complete stay-away order of protection. On the latter charge, the case was handled by Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Mitchell Cowen.

Frank J. Finley Jr., 33, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. Finley was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident in the city at 11:40 p.m. on April 9. He was due in court on April 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Riley J. Cole, 20, of Garibaldi Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree harassment. The charge stems from an incident on Walnut Street at 3:50 p.m. on April 8 wherein Cole allegedly struck an ARC staff member in the face. Cole is to appear in City Court Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Zachary Vernon Seeley, 19, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested following an altercation at 3:11 p.m. on April 13 at 555 E. Main St. with another resident at that location. Seeley allegedly became upset with the other resident and punched a hole in a wall there, prior to allegedly shoving the other resident. He was jailed in lieu of $500 bail and was due in court on April 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Taheed M. Moffett, 31, of Turner Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief -- $250 in damages, resisting arrest and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration. Moffett was arrested at 8:56 p.m. on April 19 on Pearl Street. The defendant was to appear in April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Scott D. Higgins, 35, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, with a BAC of .18 percent or more, DWI -- common law, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to use headlights, and operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver. At 2:22 a.m. on April 16, officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle without headlights on West Main Street at Burger King. Higgins was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while intoxicated and he was subsequently arrested for DWI and issued tickets. He is scheduled to be in City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk. Higgins was subsequently arrested at 1 p.m. on April 19 for failure to appear on a charge stemming from an incident on Aug. 12, 2014, on West Main Street.  He was jailed, then released after posting $200 bail. He is to appear in City Court on this matter Tuesday. The case was handled by Officer Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Perkins.

Christopher Michael Barone, 33, of Lawrence Avenue, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. He was arrested at 7:59 p.m. on April 8 after a traffic stop on Main Street in Batavia. He was found to have a suspended driver's license (14 suspensions on four dates) and also had an active warrant out of the Town of Batavia for third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. He was also allegedly found to possess cocaine. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to be in City Counrt on April 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter.

Terry L. Travis Jr., 33, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd, refusal to take a breath test and illegal signal. He was arrested at 1:38 p.m. on March 25 and released with an appearance ticket for City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Robin D. Dixon, 28, of Barbie Court, Rochester, is charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated -- common law, and driving the wrong direction on a one-way street. Dixon was arrested at 2:08 a.m. on April 9 after she was observed allegedly driving the wrong way on a portion of School Street, downtown. After a traffic stop, she was arrested for allegedly driving in an intoxicated condition. She is to be in court on April 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Brian V. Bisig, 29, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with having insufficient tail lamps and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. At 9:47 p.m. on April 14, Bisig was stopped for having a defective tail lamp in the area of West Main and River streets. He was arrested and posted $200 bail and is to be in City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Johnney Lee Shannon, 57, of Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unattended motor vehicle. Shannon was arrested at 1:06 p.m. April 11 on West Main Street Road, Batavia, after allegedly leaving his vehicle running unattended in the parking lot of a local business. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. Subsequently, Shannon was arrested on a warrant out of Wyoming County. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Nathan S. Love, 23, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested on a City of Batavia warrant that was issued after he failed to appear on a charge stemming from an incident on Feb. 27 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was jailed on $500 bail and was to be in City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Gregory F. Frieday, 31, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief -- intent to damage property. He was arrested at 11:20 p.m. on April 9 and was issued an appearance ticket for court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Timothy J. Wood Sr., 27, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 12:30 p.m. on April 3 following an investigation stemming from his allegedly threatening individuals. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to be in court on April 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Kyle Ratulowski, 20, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on two counts of petit larceny after attempting to pawn items he allegedly stole from unsecured vehicles overnight while in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis. Deputy Young from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation. The Sheriff's Office also had charges on Ratulowski for allegedly stealing items from unsecured vehicles in the Town of Batavia. He was jailed on those charges.

Kiha S. McNear, 18, of 1/2 Walnut St., Batavia, was arrested at 9:45 a.m. on April 11 after police responded to a report of a physical altercation in the parking lot of Tim Horton's. While police were interviewing multiple subjects, McNear became upset that poluce had stopped him and allegedly started using absive language and shouting obscenities and racial epithets toward police. He was subsequently arrested and issued an appearance ticket for city court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Sgt. Daniel Coffey. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Kasey J. Wagner, 34, of Fletcher Chapel Road, Shelby, is charged with failure to appear. Wagner was arrested on a warrant issued her failure to appear in court on a charge of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Wagner was jailed on $250 bail and was due in court April 11.

Christina A. Cotter, 23, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Cotter was arrested on April 4 after violating a complete stay-away order of protection issued by City Court by allegedly sending several text messages to the protected party. Cotter was to be in court April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Ralph A. Golding, 51, of Broadway, Alden, was arrested April 11 on a bench warrant out of City Court. The warrant was issued after Golding allegedly failed to pay a fine in relation to a conviction for petit larceny. The defendant was due in court April 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Kathryn F. Long, 21, of Harris Road, Le Roy was arrested on April 14th by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Long was arrested following a complaint of an alleged larceny in progress from Tops Market located in the Village. Long allegedly took $5.89 worth of merchandise from Tops. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Le Roy Town Court on May 19.

Kenneth A. McJury, 52, of 1/2 Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. McJury was arrested following an investigated into a larceny at 5:57 p.m. April 6 at the Kwik Fill on Jackson Street. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Arick Perkins.

Tyler D. Price, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested at 1 p.m. on April 12 on a bench warrant. Price was released on an appearance ticket and was to be in City Court on April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.
April 15, 2016 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron, Le Roy, pembroke.

James R. Kosiorek (pictured left), 23, who has no permanent address and is currently residing in the Genesee County Jail, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with a second residential burglary where guns were allegedly involved. Kosiorek was initially charged for burglarizing a residence March 17 on Lake Street in LeRoy and attempting to steal guns from inside. During that alleged burglary, the homeowner interrupted the burglary finding Kosiorek inside at which time Kosiorek allegedly fled the scene, leaving the guns. While conducting that investigation, information was received alleging Kosiorek committed a different but similar burglary on Genesee Street in Le Roy. A subsequent investigation into the Genesee Street burglary alleged that on March 13 Kosiorek forced entry to an acquaintances apartment at which time Kosiorek removed two shotguns from the apartment. It is alleged that Kosiorek was again interrupted by the tenant and fled the scene. The shotguns were recovered by the tenant in the back yard. Kosiorek was charged Thursday with one count of second-degree burglary, a Class C felony, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony, and one count of third-degree criminal mischief, also a Class E felony. Kosiorek was arraigned before the Hon. Michael Welsh of the Le Roy Town Court and released on his own recognizance as he was already being held on bail for the Lake Street burglary.

Amelia Rose Witkowski, 30, of Angling Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree burglary, making a punishable false written statement and petit larceny. She was arrested for allegedly entering a resident on Main Road in Pembroke at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 and stealing property from within. She also allegedly provided a written deposition to a Sheriff's deputy which contained false information. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Graff, assisted by Deputy Christopher Erion.

Kimberly M. Zeiner, 48, of Caroline Street, Albion, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and driving without headlights following a traffic stop at 3 p.m. April 6 on West Main Street, Batavia. Zeiner was subsequently arrested on April 14 on an outstanding bench warrant on those charges issued out of City of Batavia Court. The defendant was jailed in lieu of $250 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Nicholas Adam Dubois, 18, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. Dubois was arrested following an investigation of theft of stone from two locations in the Town of Byron. He was released with appearance tickets. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Fleming, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

A 17-year-old is charged with two counts of petit larceny. The youth was arrested following an investigation of theft of stone from two locations in the Town of Byron. The subject was released with appearance tickets. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Fleming, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

April 15, 2016 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kyle Johnson, crime, Le Roy.
120mug_kylejohnson.jpg
    Kyle Johnson

The man accused of murdering a neighbor on Selden Road, Le Roy, the morning of Dec. 1, received a psychological exam earlier this week, according to his attorney, but the results of that exam have not yet been made available to the defense.

The report will help Public Defender Jerry Ader determine how he will proceed with the case, he told President Judge Michael F. Pietruszka.

Ader may ask for a hearing to determine if Kyle G. Johnson suffers from a mental defect or impairment.

Johnson is accused of killing Norman D. "Don" Ball, of setting his own house on fire, and of attempting to kill a police officer and firefighter.

The 53-year-old defendant was arrested near his property on Selden Road after a lengthy standoff with police, including emergency response teams, while his house burned to the ground.

It will take at least two weeks for the written report to become available, at which time, Ader will provide a copy to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman. 

At some point after the report is available, there will be a hearing on several issues related to the case. Whether that includes a hearing on Johnson's mental state will be determined by Ader, but Friedman said he expects Ader will seek a hearing on several evidentiary issues, including a photo lineup used with a witness, oral statements made in connection with the case, a video interview, and numerous statements made to corrections officers in the Genesee County Jail.

Typically, pre-trial hearings last about an hour, but Friedman said he expects this hearing will last substantially longer, but less than a full day.

For previous coverage on Kyle Johnson, click here.

April 15, 2016 - 12:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Le Roy.

A four-car accident with unknown injuries is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 379.8. Le Roy fire and ambulance service are responding.

April 14, 2016 - 2:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.
mug_charles_scintadec2015.jpg mug_wetsell_james.jpg
     Charles Scinta      James Wetall

Judge Michael F. Pietruszka isn't convinced that 74-year-old Charles G. Scinta is addicted to painkillers and wants to see some evidence that he is before considering a possible probationary sentence that would include drug rehab on Scinta's drug-dealing charges.

"The report says he's been using opiates since he was 69, but it doesn't say they're illicit," Pietruszka said. "They could have been prescribed," adding later, "my point is, I don't know that this is a substance-abuse issue. This could easily be interrupted as being medical sanctioned."

Scinta's attorney, Lisa Kroemer, said she understood the judge's concern and asked for a two-week adjournment to get clarification from the drug-treatment program that produced the report on exactly what their findings were.

"I think that's in everyone's best interest," Pietruszka said.

Scinta, who was allowed to sit throughout the court proceedings because of a medical condition, was arrested in December with 43-year-old James J. Wetall, also of Le Roy. The two men were arrested as the result of an investigation into the sale of oxycodone and diazepam.

Scinta is accused of selling oxycodone to undercover agents on two separate occasions. He is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th.

A potential plea deal could keep Scinta out of prison, but first, Pietruszka wants to understand Scinta's history with painkillers.

Earlier, Wetall was given a shot at rehabilitation in exchange for pleading guilty to his drug sale charges. If Wetall successfully completes a rehab program, he will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea to the felony charges and plead guilty to misdemeanors, which will carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail or three years probation.

If Wetall doesn't make it through rehab successfully, he's facing a sentence of up to 18 years in prison.

April 14, 2016 - 12:41am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, news.

The Le Roy Village Board considered a new budget, established a new ZBA, and agreed to a new meeting schedule.

The property tax rate would increase by a penny under the tentative 2016-17 village budget that was the subject of a brief public hearing Wednesday night.

Mayor Greg Rogers’ $3.375 million spending plan calls for a tax rate of $10.46 per $1,000 assessed value.

The owner of a home assessed for $85,000 would pay $889.10 in taxes next year, an increase of 85 cents.

The levy, or the amount to be raised by property taxes, would be $1,723,265. That is an increase of about 1.5 percent from the current budget.

No one spoke during Wednesday’s hearing. The board took no action on the budget, which must be adopted by May 1. The village’s 2016-17 fiscal year begins June 1.

In other action, the board adopted Local Law No. 1, which establishes an independent village Zoning Board of Appeals. That action was forced by the Town Board, which voted last month to establish an independent town ZBA.

Named to the village ZBA were Thomas Spadaro, Robert Scott and Charles VanBuskirk. Each had previously served as a village representative to the shared ZBA.

Rogers expects to appoint a fourth individual to serve as alternate ZBA member during the Village Board’s next meeting.

That will take place on April 20, thanks to a change in the board’s meeting schedule.

Beginning next week, the Village Board will meet at 7 p.m. the first Monday and third Wednesday of each month. Meetings had previously been every second and fourth Wednesday.

The Monday meetings will be work sessions, and take place on an as-needed basis, Rogers said.

April 12, 2016 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, news, Boonle.

boonleapril122016.jpg

A Le Roy resident has a fledgling tech startup he thinks has a chance to get big.

Billion dollar big,* he doesn't know, but he sees an opportunity and he's going for it. (*In the venture-capital investing world. a "unicorn" is a company with a billion-dollar valuation, and a "rocket ship" is a company that is growing fast.)

A couple of months ago, after much planning Antonio Calabrese launched Boonle, a site where aspiring graphic artists and other creative types can find entry-level projects and start building a resume. 

The concept is aimed at college students and new graduates, but anybody entering the workforce as a freelancer might find the site helpful, Calabrese said.

Small businesses without Madison-Avenue-type promotional budgets, as well as other startups, might also gravitate to the site for the chance to tap into some talent at little or no cost.

According to his research, the freelance market, also called the "gig economy" in today's digital parlance, is expected to become 40 percent of the nation's workforce in coming years. 

That's just a huge opportunity for a business like Boonle.

"I think we can harness a lot of that market because that's the newbie market, when things are starting out, and we plan on being that first stepping-stone for those entering the freelance market," Calabrese said. "I think we can own a big chunk of that."

So far, Calabrese, the company's sole owner and founder, has raised $100,000 in seed funding and is starting the search for another round of early-stage investors with a goal of raising from $500,000 to $1.5 million.

There's a lot of marketing needed to help get the word out about Boonle, especially on college campuses. He's hoping to complete a partnership deal soon with RIT, where he graduated from, and other colleges. He recently received applications from 25 students at universities around the nation willing to sign on as brand ambassadors to help sign up would-be freelancers. 

Calabrese came up with the idea for the business when he realized how hard it is for graduates who have yet to establish a professional portfolio to find work, and that there are a lot of smaller businesses that can't afford the rates experienced freelancers and agencies charge.

He acknowledges he's gotten a little criticism from those who think a site like Boonle lowers the fees digital designers and developers can charge, but he counters that the businesses that would pay more, and the designers who would charge more, aren't part of Boonle's target market.

"There is plenty of work to be done on projects that pay more," Calabrese said. "Those are the jobs that are still going to go to those with the skills to get higher-paying jobs."

Creative categories on the site range from logos and brochures to writing and photography and even music production. Basically, if you're a creator, you should be able to find a market for your work on Boonle.

"We're a platform to help people build a platform so they can eventually launch a career," Calabrese said.

Those looking for work set the price for the job, from free to something a bit more pricey, and then freelancers look at the job, decide if it's within their skill level, if the price is right for them at that stage, and then accept the assignment.

The potential employer has the option to reject the freelancer and the job goes back into the marketplace.

"The business can set the job for free if they don't have the budget for it, but the chances of it getting worked on go down if you set it for free," Calabrese said. 

If a business hires a particular freelancer, or several of them, they can present future projects to their pool of trusted freelancers, but the job goes out to the whole site if it isn't picked up within 48 hours.

On jobs that are paid, Boonle handles the transactions through PayPal, taking about a 30-percent cut, with a third of that covering PayPal's transaction fees.

In a future update, freelancers will be able to upgrade their accounts, once they've proven themselves, and get exclusive access to higher-paying jobs and avoid the fee being taken out for a small monthly subscription.

It's Calabrese's intention to keep his business based in Western New York. He's from Rochester with a lot of strong ties there, including ties to the tech-startup investing community, but he thinks as the business grows, wherever it's based in WNY, he won't have a hard time recruiting employees.

He said that while he was at RIT, a lot of students expressed an interest in staying in the area, even those not from here originally, but the kind of jobs they've been trained for are just in short supply in the area.

"When you're getting job offers from Google, Apple, LinkedIn and Facebook, who wants to stay in Rochester then?" he said. "But if there's a cool company here, and the cost of living is a lot less and we can still pay them somewhat competitive rates, then I think they would stay here."

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