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May 28, 2016 - 4:13pm

David Zuppelli, of Batavia, submitted this photo of his father, Chester Zuppelli, playing Taps on Memorial Day 1944 in New Caledonia, South Pacific.

Here's a schedule for Memorial Day Ceremonies and the Batavia parade:

7 a.m. -- Genesee County Park (11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany) -- Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVA #193)

8 a.m. -- Williams Park, City of Batavia-- WW I Memorial (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

8:30 a.m. -- Batavia VA Medical Center

8:45 a.m. -- NYS Veterans Home

9:30 a.m. -- Upton Monument (routes 5 and 63) (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

9:45 a.m. -- Batavia Cemetery, Harvester Avenue, City of Batavia (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

10 a.m. -- Elmwood Cemetery, off Harvester Avenue and Webster Street in the city (AL #332)

10 a.m. -- CITY PARADE -- Begins at the Eastown Plaza traveling west along Main Street and ending at Jerome Center on Bank Street at 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. -- UMMC -- Jerome Center:

  • Memorial Day ceremonies: Invocation; National Anthem with Batavia Concert Band; G.A.R. Order of the Day; Veterans Service Organizations Commemorations; wreath laying with Gold Star Mothers; Honor Roll with drum roll; rifle salute; Taps; Benediction; "God Bless America."

Noon -- Hansen Brothers Grave -- Grandview Cemetery on Clinton Street Road, Batavia (MCL #951)

Participating organizations:

Hansen Borthers Marine Corps League Detachment #951

Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post #332

Veness-Strollo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1602

Disabled American Veterans Chapter #166

Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter #193

Sons of Union Veterans Abraham Lincoln Camp #6

 

Here are more local Memorial Day ceremonies/parades:

  • ALEXANDER: Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexander High School and travels to the cemetery on Railroad Avenue with a ceremony to take place at the cemetery following the parade.

  • BERGEN: Parade at 9 a.m. beginning at the Fire Hall (Route 19 & Hunter Street), traveling south on Route 19 to Hickory Park with ceremony to take place at the park immediately following the parade.
  •  
  • BYRON: Parade at 11 a.m. from Terry Street to Swamp Road with a ceremony immediately following at Byron Cemetery.
  • CORFU: Parade at noon from Corfu Fire hall on Route 33 to the Intermediate School on Route 77. Ceremony immediately following the parade.

  • ELBA: Ceremony at Maple Lawn Cemetery at 10 a.m. No parade. The Elba Historical Society Museum will be open for tours after the ceremony.
  •  
  • LEROY: Parade at 10:30 a.m. from the American Legion to Trigon Park with a ceremony at Trigon Park at 11 a.m. following the parade.
  • OAKFIELD: Parade at 11 a.m. from the Oakfield Fire Dept. to Triangle Park with ceremony to be held at Triangle Park.

  • PAVILION: Ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Town Park at intersection of routes 63 and 19. No parade.

No parades/ceremonies for the following:

  • Alabama

  • Bethany

  • Darien

  • Pembroke

  • Stafford

May 28, 2016 - 3:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones.

KUTZTOWN, PA (05/26/2016)-- Allison M. Weaver, of Le Roy, has been named to the Spring 2016 dean's list at Kutztown University. To be eligible for dean's list, an undergraduate student must be registered for at least 12 credits and have a minimum grade point average of 3.60. More than 1,650 students were named to the list.

Founded in 1866, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is a proud member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education located on 289 acres nestled in the beautiful East Penn Valley in Berks County, between Reading and Allentown. For more information, please visit www.kutztown.edu.

May 28, 2016 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, news, Ranzenhofer, veterans.

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer honors twin brothers Thomas R. Wood Sr. and William Charles Wood III, both of Le Roy, for their service in the United States Marine Corps. and in the community during an induction ceremony at the State Capitol.
 
Submitted photo and press release:
 
Thomas R. Wood Sr. and William Charles Wood III have been selected by State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer as New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame inductees for the 61st District. The Veterans’ Hall of Fame honors and recognizes outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves in military and civilian life.
 
“I am very proud to be honoring Thomas and William for their service during the First Gulf War,” Ranzenhofer said. “Like so many of our service men and women, they returned home to continue serving their community when their military service was completed. For over two decades, they have been firefighters for the Le Roy Fire Department, and they continue to be active in coaching youth sports.”
 
The Wood brothers entered the United States Marine Corps. in 1988, attending boot camp together at Parris Island, S.C. Later, in 1990, the twin brothers would be called upon to serve their country in the First Gulf War. Thomas served as part of an amphibious task force aboard the USS Nassau, and William served with a forward combat unit, Romeo 5/11.
 
Both men received many awards for their exemplary service, including: Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and Liberating Kuwait Medal. William also earned the Southwest Asia Service Metal with two Stars; National Defense Service Award; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; and Rifle Sharp Shooter Badge. In addition, Thomas was awarded a Meritorious Mast for his actions during a helicopter crash in South Korea, as well as an Oversea Ribbon with four Clusters.
 
“It is a true honor just to be nominated let alone awarded such a prestigious honor. I am very humbled to be in the presence of other veterans. I wish to thank Senator Ranzenhofer for the award and recognize my two children, Chelsie and Tommy, for always being there along with my parents, Ann and Billy. God Bless America and Semper Fi,” Thomas said.
 
“I'm honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Thank you to Senator Ranzenhofer for nominating me, as well as my loving wife, Kathy, my kids, Riley and Alyssa, and my parents for their continued support. In closing, I am very humbled about this award because there are more deserving veterans. Semper Fi,” William said.
 
These two distinguished Marines were honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal in 1992. They have been involved for years with youth sports and as members of the American Legion. They have been firefighters for the Le Roy Fire Department for more than two decades, serving in many leadership positions. William has been named Firefighter of the Year twice. More recently, Thomas received the Department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor.
 
Currently, Thomas is an officer at the Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, while William works at the Thruway Authority. William and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Alyssa and Riley. Thomas has two children, Chelsie and Thomas.
May 26, 2016 - 4:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Grand Jury, Le Roy, batavia.

Jeffrey W. Scott is indicted for the crime of criminal mischief in the second degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 21 at 9280 Robbins Road in the Village of Le Roy, Scott, with intent to damage property of another person and having no right to do so, damaged the property of another person in an amount exceeding $1,000. He is accused of damaging the windshield, front passenger door, console, instrument panel and steering column of a 2004 Chevy Classic Malibu in the amount of about $1,874.48.

Michael J. Elmore is indicted for the crime of burglary in the second degree, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 30 Elmore knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling on Summit Street in the City of Batavia with the intent to commit a crime.

John K. Stone is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. On Dec. 7 in the Town of Batavia, it is alleged that Stone drove a 2006 Honda Ridgeline on Route 5 and in the Batavia Mobile Home Park while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of the crime of reckless driving, a misdemeanor, for allegedly operating the vehicle in a manner which unreasonably interfered with the free and proper use of a public highway. In this case, he allegedly drove at a high rate of speed, failed to yield to an emergency vehicle, operated with headlights, and nearly struck several pedestrians in the mobile home park. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Morris is accused of having been convicted of DWI, per se, on April 9, 2007, in County of Orleans Court and this conviction is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Adrian P. Morris is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. On Feb. 5 in the Town of Le Roy, Morris allegedly drove a 2009 Ford on West Main Street while intoxicated. In count two, Morris is accused of driving while intoxicated per se, as a CLass E felony, for having a BAC of .08 percent or greater at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Morris is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Feb. 2, 2010 in the Town of Greece, which is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

May 26, 2016 - 12:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, crime, IRS phone scam.

Press release:

The Le Roy Police Department wishes to advise all citizens of a recent scam phone call being received by person(s) in the Le Roy/Genesee County area.

The caller states he is from the IRS and that a lawsuit is being filed against the victim for unpaid taxes. Further the scam caller then demands money and the Social Security number of the victim.

The Le Roy Police suggest that if you receive, or have already received, such a call please do not supply the scam caller with any information. Simply hang up. Furthermore, do not give or send the scam caller any money.

If you have questions about such a call, or have received one, please contact police.

May 26, 2016 - 12:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, Darien, batavia, byron, Stafford.

Angelo A. Cassidy, 39, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree grand larceny. He was arraigned on the charges at 11:10 a.m. on May 18 and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. It is alleged that at noon on Oct. 20, Cassidy removed a home-heating system, appliances and building supplies from a residence on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia without permission. He is to appear in City Court at 9:30 a.m. on June 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Kiha Samuel McNear, 18, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. McNear was arrested at 1:50 a.m. on May 22 on Walnut Street in Batavia after allegedly striking an individual multiple times in the face with a closed fist. The alleged victim was under the age of 17. McNear was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to return to City Court on Monday (May 23). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Twan Conway, 45, of Walden Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Conway was arrested following a 9-1-1 call hang-up investigation. The call was made at 12:30 p.m. on May 17. Conway was arraigned at 10:30 a.m. on May 22 and jailed on $500 bail. Conway was scheduled for City Court on May 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice. Then on May 23, at 7:40 p.m., Conway was arrested again following an incident wherein he allegedly pushed another person while an active order of protection was in place. He was jailed without bail and is be in City Court tomorrow, May 27. This case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Michael Patrick Sullivan, 53, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. At 7:54 p.m. on May 24, Sullivan was arrested after allegedly violating a court order by subjecting two people to physical contact by throwing a glass item at them. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and is to be in Town of Stafford Court on June 9. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy James Diehl, assisted by Sgt. Eric Seppala.

Sara Jo Likus, 30, of Townline Road, Darien, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs or both alcohol and drugs; driving on the sidewalk; and moving from lane unsafely. At 9:28 p.m. on May 18, it is alleged that Likus drove a vehicle while her ability to do so was impaired, and that while driving she changed lanes unsafely and drove over the curb onto the sidewalk, striking a utility pole. She was issued several tickets and released to a third party. She is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Charles-Gus Williams, 37, of Robinson Road, Lockport, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. At 1:49 p.m. on May 20, it is alleged that Williams violated a complete stay away order of protection at a residence on Maple Street in the City of Batavia. He was jailed on $2,500 bail and was due in City Court on May 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Jeffrey D. Matla, 56, of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with: DWI -- common law; speeding; failure to signal a lane change; and DWI with a BAC greater than .08 percent. Matla was arrested at 5:18 p.m. on May 22 on West Main Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. He was stopped for traffic violations and allegedly found to be operating his motorcycle in an intoxicated condition. He was released and is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Patavia Police Officer Cowen Mitchell.

Joshua Yeomas, 31, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with third-degree unlicensed operation and failure to use headlights while operating with windshield wipers. Yeomas was located during an unrelated NYS Parole investigation, assisted by Batavia PD, and taken into custody on an arrest warrant stemming from an incident on April 13 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was released and is to appear in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Bert Clifford Earl, 55, of Grandview Terrace, Batavia, is charged with harassment. He was arrested at 11:50 p.m. on May 20 following a disturbance at Batavia Downs wherein he allegedly subjected another person to unwanted physical contact. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Lori A. Brightenfield, 56, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested for writing a check to a business on May 18 to buy alcohol when she allegedly knew she did not have the funds to pay for it. She was issued an appearance ticket for City Court and is to be there on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Carol M. Pahuta, 47, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Pahuta was arrested following a larceny investigation on West Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket and released. She is to be in City Court to answer the charge on May 31. The case was handled by Bataiva Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Daniel Colin Healy, 25, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree. He was taken into custody at 1:48 p.m. on May 23 by Gates PD on an active bench warrant out of City Court for failing to appear on the charge, stemming from an incident June 27 on Vine Street in the City of Batavia. He was jailed on $250 bail and was to be in City Court Wednesday (May 25). Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze handled the case.

Mark J. Zinni, 21, of Evergreen Drive, Batavia, is charged with driving without lights and unlawful possession of marijuana. Zinni was arrested following a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 11:39 p.m. on May 21 in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that Zinni was driving without lights and that he was in possession of several small bags containing marijuana. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Katelyn C. Kubala, 27, of Genesee Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arrested on a warrant for NYS Parole. At the time she was taken into custody, at 10:59 a.m. on May 20, she allegedly had a quantity of marijuana in her purse. She was turned over the NYS PArole Officer April Fuller at BPD and is to appear in City Court on May 31. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Michael W. Funke, 21, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Funke was arrested following a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 11:52 p.m. on May 21 in the City of Batavia. He was a passenger in the vehicle and allegedly in possession of marijuana. He was released on an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Julie L. Dutton, 21, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on May 23 on a bench warrant out of City Court. It is alleged that she violated the terms of her release under supervision. She was jailed on $5,000 bail and is due in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia PoliceOfficer Christopher Lindsay.

Andrew C. Webster, 23, of Martin Road, Akron, is charged with failure to appear. At 4:05 p.m. on May 20, Batavia police took custody of Webster from NYS police on a City Court arrest warrant for failure to appear. Webster paid an undisclosed amount of bail and was released. He was to be in City Court on May 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Brian J. Dorman, 32, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

May 26, 2016 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, softball, sports.

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Le Roy beat Wellsville yesterday, 3-1, to become the Section V Class B2 champion in softball.

Ally Uberty gave up just three hits and fanned 16 and was named tournament MVP.

Erin Cappotelli and Taylor Sherman each had two hits and an RBI for the Oatkan Knights.

Le Roy hadn't won a softball title since 1988.

Photos submitted by Tim McArdle.

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May 25, 2016 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in frostridge, Le Roy, news, business.

After the alleged name calling, a key issue in the latest legal filing from the attorney representing the Cleere and Collins families against Frost Ridge is the alleged violation of the state's open meeting law by Le Roy's Zoning Board of Appeals.

The plaintiffs allege:

  • Neighbors within 250 feet of the Frost Ridge property were not mailed notice of the Dec. 17 public hearing held by the ZBA on the interpretation of the zoning law and prior, non-conforming use at Frost Ridge;
  • That the ZBA did not deliberate its decision in public;
  • That no noticed public meetings were held between Dec. 17 and Feb. 17; 
  • That a decision was reached without the public present sometime between Dec. 17 and Feb. 17.

These complaints are mirrored by the filing for the Feb. 17 meeting where the ZBA announced its decision; the meeting wasn't even four minutes long.

James Wujcik represents the ZBA in these proceedings and he filed a memorandum of law in opposition to the plaintiffs' complaint.

He also submitted an affidavit by Debbi Jackett, chairwoman at the time of the ZBA, which has since been disbanded by the Town of Le Roy.

She states the hearing of Dec. 17, at the order of Judge Mark Grisanti, was held after a legal notice was published. She does not address the complaint, nor does Wujcik in his memorandum, whether notice was sent to neighbors by postal mail.  

A source familiar with the case told The Batavian today that notice was mailed.

Jackett argues that proper notice was clearly given because all of the interested parties were at the hearing.

"It is common sense that one's attendance at the public hearing acknowledges notice of that very hearing," Jackett wrote. "Any insinuation that plaintiffs could not be in attendance is another attempt to delay the ZBA from acting pursuant to the order of Judge Grisanti."

Jackett also accused the Town of Le Roy of trying to obstruct the ZBA from holding the hearing. She said the code enforcement officer was informed in October that the ZBA would no longer be able to conduct meetings at the Town Hall.

As for the hearing itself, Jackett said the ZBA board took a short break and then resumed its meeting in the regular board meeting room "regarding the merits of the case."

This was apparently considered a continuation of the prior noticed meeting, though it's not clear if any members of the public were invited into that meeting.

Mindy Zoghlin, attorney for the plaintiffs, clearly did not know about this meeting continuance based on the statements in her filing.

The Batavian's reporter at the meeting that night was Ray Coniglio and he said today that he wasn't informed that the meeting would be continuing in another room. He left the Town Hall and wrote a story published the next day that said the meeting concluded without any discussion by the ZBA and that no vote was taken that night. Nobody from the ZBA ever contacted The Batavian following this news report to inform us that this information was incorrect and ask for a correction.

Jackett further argues that the Town's ongoing obstruction of the ZBA, such as not filling vacant positions, contributed to any confusion about compliance with the open meeting law.

"Even if a skeptic held merit with any claim against the ZBA for violations of the Open Meetings Law, the behavior can be traced directly to the Town's illegal, obstructionist behavior with the ZBA," Jackett wrote. 

In his memo, Wujcik argues that it is certainly within the ZBA's right to continue its meeting upon closing the public hearing, but he doesn't address the fact that the meeting was moved to another room without notification of the public in attendance.

"The ZBA correctly deliberated during its Dec. 17 meeting," Wujcik states, adding, "It should be duly noted the ZBA rendered its decision at an open public meeting on Feb. 17."

He also accused the Town of deliberating trying to disrupt ZBA proceedings and called on the court to find the Town of Le Roy in contempt of court, pursuit to the order of Grisanti.

It's unclear what will happen if Acting Superior Court Judge Emilio Colaiacovo rules in favor of the plaintiffs on the open meetings law issue. The ZBA that has been at the center of this issue for the past several years not longer exists. It was a ZBA comprised of representatives from the town and the village, and now the town and the village each have their own ZBA.

One last note about the open meeting law: The law also requires public bodies to notify all local media of its public meetings, and with the exception of the City, County and GCEDC, this practice is largely ignored by every other local public agency and government.

May 25, 2016 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kyle Johnson, selden road, Le Roy, crime, news.

Statements attributed to Kyle Johnson after he was taken into custody the morning of Dec. 1, after he allegedly shot and killed a neighbor and set his own home ablaze, will be admissible in court, Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka ruled today.

The defense challenged whether the prosecution could use the statements at a possible trial and Pietruszka issued his ruling immediately after a hearing that featured testimony by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Hale completed a report Dec. 1 in which he says Johnson made a handful of statements when he was taken into custody, in the patrol car ride to the Sheriff's Office on Park Road and as they arrived in the interview room at the office.

Hale testified that he was on routine patrol duty when he was called to a house fire at 7324 Selden Road, Le Roy. He was in uniform in a marked patrol car.  He was aware of a shooting reported minutes before at a residence a short distance from the fire location.

He said he was also informed by dispatch that the residence was owned by Kyle Johnson, that Johnson had a mental health history and was known to own firearms.

He arrived on scene just as shots rang out, apparently directed at a Le Roy fire chief and at a Le Roy police officer.

As he ran down the road to check the status of Officer Ryan Young, now a Sheriff's deputy, and as he did, he encountered local residents standing outside their home. They asked what was going on and Hale told them to get inside, lock their doors and windows and stay there until told it was safe to come outside.

As he moved toward Young's position, Hale encountered Johnson, he said.

"Mr. Johnson stated to me that he wanted to be shot," Hale said. "After he realized I was not going to shoot him, he turned around and walked back toward his house."

Over the next couple of hours, Johnson would periodically approach Hale and ask him to shoot him.

When emergency response teams arrived, this back-and-forth continued for a couple of more hours until Johnson finally surrendered.

Hale was summoned to search and cuff the suspect. When he was putting Johnson in his patrol vehicle, Johnson reportedly complained that the cuffs were too tight.

When Hale sat in the driver's seat, Johnson reportedly said, he "didn't appreciate being treated like an animal."

Hale said, "I told him I appreciate being shot at and having my friends shot at."

Johnson, Hale said, apologized.

On the ride back to the Sheriff's Office, Johnson reportedly said, "I didn't mean to hurt anybody."

Hale said he responded, "You did. It's traumatic for us as officers. You shouldn't have done that."

At the station, Hale offered Johnson a glass of water and asked if he needed anything.

Johnson's response, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, was that he felt bad for burning his house down and that he shouldn't have done that and he wanted to apologize.

In cross-examination, Public Defender Jerry Ader established that Hale did not read Johnson his Miranda warnings (you have the right not to speak, right to an attorney, etc.), that Hale did this though he knew Johnson had a mental health history, and that Hale asked a couple of questions of Johnson.

Those facts were the basis for Ader's motion to bar the statements from any possible trial.

Friedman countered that Johnson was not in custody at that point for the purpose of interrogation, and any questions asked by Hale were not an interrogation, such as asking if Johnson wanted water, that the statements were made voluntarily and should be admissible.

Johnson is charged with murder and burglary in the death of Norman D. "Don" Ball. He is accused of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at Young and Le Roy Fire Chief Tim Hogle.

Ader has received a report based on a psychological exam of Johnson and is apparently planning a defense around the results of that report, and while the report has been given to Friedman, a copy was not given to the court. Ader said he wasn't aware of any requirement that he provide the court with a copy. Pietruszka was clearly miffed that he didn't have a copy of the report, especially since there will need to be a hearing on the topic after the DA's Office completes its own exam and gets its own report.

That hearing will be at 1:30 p.m., July 21.

May 25, 2016 - 12:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in STOP-DWI, news, law enforcement, Le Roy, batavia, genesee county.

Press release:

Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator Matt Landers has announced that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on Friday, May 27th and will end on Tuesday, May 31st.

Memorial Day week is historically a deadly period for impaired driving. Memorial Day weekend is the traditional beginning of summer. In addition there will be thousands of parties and barbeques to celebrate graduations, proms, communions, confirmations and the fact that the better weather has arrived. This combination of factors equates to more people on the road in general and more people specifically driving impaired with 13 percent more fatalities than on a non-holiday weekend.

The New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies will collaborate across the state and will be out in force in this coordinated effort to reduce the number of alcohol related injuries and deaths during this period.

“Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season. Traffic will increase making it more important than ever to drive defensively. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will have extra patrols out to help keep the roads safe for all travelers” said Undersheriff William Sheron. “The City of Batavia Police Department will be out aggressively enforcing DWI laws over the Memorial Day Week in an effort to ensure that all have a safe and happy holiday week. Make sure to have a plan to get home safely and ensure that all in your party do the same.”

The Memorial Day Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the STOP-DWI Foundation with a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets 4th of July and Labor Day Weekend, Halloween and the national Holiday Season in December.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

May 24, 2016 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Frostridge Campground, Le Roy, business, news, steve barbeau.

The fight over live music and other alleged zoning code violations at Frost Ridge Campground is far from over and court documents indicate the fight has recently involved some name calling and an accusation of anti-gay bias driving the attempts to shut down the park.

Attorneys for David and Marney Cleere and Scott and Betsy Collins, neighbors of Frost Ridge, have filed motions seeking a permanent ban on live, amplified music and long-term camping at the facility.

Their court papers alleged that a ZBA hearing in February that led to a finding in favor of David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell, owners of Frost Ridge, violated the state's opening meeting law and therefore the ZBA's decision should be voided.

The Luetticke-Archbell's position is that the meeting was given proper public notice, a position backed by sworn statements from the ZBA's then-chairwoman Debbie Jackett and answer filed by the ZBA's attorney, James M. Wujcik.

Any appearance of inconsistencies in the ZBA's actions, before being disbanded by the town board, is purely the result of the anti-gay bias, David Luetticke-Archbell claims in a sworn statement, of Town Supervisor Steve Barbeau.

It's a charge that Barbeau vehemently denies in his own sworn affidavit, but Luetticke-Archbell accuses Barbeau of calling his husband a "faggot" after a "contentious" Nov. 12 meeting. To support his charge of an anti-gay agenda, Luetticke-Archbell also points to several actions by Barbeau throughout the legal and civic process over the past couple of years, including a statement in a court filing approved by Barbeau that Frost Ridge is a "malignancy which cannot be allowed to metastasize."

"Mr. Barbeau, with the Town Board in tow, has unabashedly trampled on the due process rights my husband Greg and I would have been afforded but for our sexual orientation," Luetticke-Archbell wrote in his statement.

Barbeau said that Luetticke-Archbell didn't tell the whole story of the events of Nov. 12.  First, he denies using the word "faggot," but he also accused Greg of calling him a couple of choice names while following him into his office after the meeting, including a "piece of shit."

In his statement, Barbeau states he holds no bias against the owners of Frost Ridge.

"The Luetticke-Archbells have a place in the Town of Le Roy, one they have earned through their commercial and charitable efforts," Barbeau states. "The Town of Le Roy is merely trying to enforce its zoning ordinance so as to not render it irrelevant."

Barbeau said that the actions he and the town board have taken have been supported by a majority of town residents. The evidence is in the election results, he said, given that he and other incumbents handily won reelection despite opposition focused on the Frost Ridge issue.

David Luetticke-Archbell is equally convinced that Barbeau is driven by an anti-gay agenda.

Besides the slurs, Luetticke-Archbell says Barbeau's pattern of actions is further evidence of his anti-gay position.

He accused Barbeau, rather than code enforcement officer Jeff Steinbrenner, of drafting an e-mail denying Frost Ridge prior, non-conforming use status; of purposefully mucking up the application process on a couple of occasions; of usurping the independence of the Zoning Board of Appeals by filing court documents on its behalf without properly notifying the ZBA of the proceedings; of then wrongly admitting to adverse allegations of improper conduct by the ZBA; and, of illegally firing the previous ZBA attorney and then appointing an attorney who works in the same law office as the town attorney's son.

"Mr. Barbeau's motivations and actions here have always been and remain malicious," Luetticke-Archbell wrote in his statement. "His allegations, if considered at all, should be weighed accordingly."

Barbeau called Luetticke-Archbell's affidavit an ad hominem attack and asked that it be stricken from the record.

The attorney Barbeau appointed is James Wujcik, who continues to represent the ZBA and filed documents in the current court battle defending the ZBA against allegations leveled by the attorneys for the Cleeres and Collins.

As for the motion for injunction filed by Mindy L. Zoghlin, attorneys for Cleere and Collins, it's long (32 pages) and legal, and the responses from David Roach, attorney for Frost Ridge, are also detailed.

Whereas in the first round of lawsuits, it was Cleere and Collins along with the Town of Le Roy against Frost Ridge, Luetticke-Archbell and the ZBA, the new motion names the Town of Le Roy as a defendant.

The Town of Le Roy is accused of not upholding its own zoning laws.

It accuses Frost Ridge of violating town ordinances by allowing permanent RV camping, of violating the noise ordinance, of relying on a defective ZBA interpretation of the law, and of violating Judge Robert C. Noonan's preliminary injunction against amplified live music that he issued in September 2014 by allowing live amplified music before 4 p.m.

It accused the ZBA of violating the open meeting law after the case was remanded back to the ZBA for a determination on whether live, amplified music is a prior, non-conforming use. The suit accuses of the ZBA of not providing proper public notice and of not deliberating its decision in public. 

In his response, Roach denies all the substantial allegations.

Acting Superior Court Judge Emilio Colaiacovo is expected to make a ruling on the current set of motions at a later date.

May 23, 2016 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, schools, education, news.

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Sebastian Maroundit, a Sudanese Lost Boy who came to the United States as a refugee, spoke with students at Le Roy High School this morning.  

He is the cofounder of Building Minds in South Sudan along with his cousin Mathon Noi.

This was the school's final PRIDE assembly of the year.

Born in the rural Village of Mayen-Abun in Twic County, South Sudan, cousins Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi were less than 10 years old when war came to their village and separated them from their families. They escaped to Ethiopia only to experience war again within four years. In 1991, they escaped from Ethiopia and spent a year walking across the hot desert to a refugee camp in Kenya. In this camp, both were educated through the eighth grade. In 2001, Sebastian and Mathon were selected as two of the 3,800 who would resettle in the United States. Mathon recently graduated from Niagara University majoring in Accounting, while Sebastian is pursuing his Business Degree.  

In the summer of 2007, they both returned to their village. Though Sebastian lost his father during the war and Mathon lost his mother, they were reunited with their surviving parents after 18 years apart. They were dismayed to find their village in poor condition, with no roads or clean water. The children of the village were being taught under a large tree, because the school had been destroyed.

Since that visit, they have been passionately committed to helping rebuild hope in their village by building a school to provide a basic education for the children. Their efforts have raised thousands of dollars through BMISS and built a new school that now serves more than 800 children. They have begun to build a second, eight-room all-girls school in Majok Keen, four miles from the Ajong Primary School. Three hundred girls are already signed up and it is projected that it will also house 800 girls.

The school's Rotary Interact Student Club organized the event and also made a donation to the BMISS at the end of the event. The Interact students will sell paper bricks the rest of the week in lunches to students or staff for $1 to raise more money to give to the organization. The sold bricks will be hung as a visual reminder about the support.

Photos and info submitted by Principal Tim McArdle.

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May 21, 2016 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mercy Grove, James Gomborone, Le Roy Rotary, Le Roy, news.

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A Friday evening fundraiser organized by the Le Roy Rotary Club was also the opening of a new events center at Mercy Grove, the former priests home on a large estate at 7758 E. Main Road.

Owner James Gomborone has been renovating the facility for months and was finally ready to give it a first public showing for the Rotary event.

Mercy Grove will be a location for upscale weddings, community events, corporate retreats, retirement parties and rehearsal dinners, said manager Barbie Gozelski.

By next year, renovations on the second floor should be completed, and those rooms will be guest rooms and serve as a possible setting for a bed and breakfast.  Cabins on the 53-acre property will serve, when renovated, as bridal suites or guest rooms. 

The facility is just across the road from the Le Roy Country Club, which Gomborone also owns.

"Graze to Raise" was hosted by Le Roy Rotary as a fundraiser for the R.E.A. Milne Scholarship Fund.

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May 18, 2016 - 4:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Le Roy, alexander.

Austin Shipley, 17, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with second-degree attempted sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. The subject was arrested on May 17 following an investigation into allegations that the subject had inappropriate physical contact with a 12-year-old at 5 p.m. on April 11 on East Main Road, Le Roy. In a separate case, Shipley is also charged with first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child following an investigation into allegations that the subject had inappropriate physical contact with a 10-year-old at 5 p.m. on April 19 on East Main Road, Le Roy. After arraignment in Le Roy Town Court, Shipley was released under supervision of Genesee Justice. Both cases were handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Graff, assisted by Deputy Rachel Diehl.

Theresa K. Beardsley, 52, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested after allegedly striking a male at an apartment on Walnut Street at 6:53 p.m. on May 10. She was issued an appearance ticket for May 24 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Ashlee S. Thomas, 19, of Liberty Street, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. on May 8 after police responded to a report of a large disturbance in the area of 121 Liberty St. in the city. She is charged with second-degree obstructing government administration and second-degree harassment. It is alleged that she interfered with Batavia police officers who were attempting to arrest another subject. She was issued an appearance ticket for May 24 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Geoffrey M. Anderson, 50, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested following a complaint that he approached a USPS mailman at 12:30 p.m. on May 16 and repeatedly threatened him. He is to appear in City Court on May 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

John M. Galit, 29, of Kyser Lake Road, Dolgeville, is charged with common law DWI, unlicensed driver, and DWI. On May 16, city police were notified that an accident occurred in the parking lot of Applebee's by a NYSP investigator who was following the vehicle at the time. Batavia PD stopped the vehicle at 6:25 p.m. on Oak Street. Galit was allegedly found to be operating the 2015 Ford F-250 while intoxicated and he was arrested. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Roy D. Hooten, 55, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested at 11:56 p.m. on May 15 as the result of a complaint from the staff at UMMC in which it is alleged that he damaged hospital property during an incident at 9:58 p.m. on May 15. He was jailed without bail and was due in City Court Monday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

William B. Gorton, 21, of 8410 E. Main Road, Le Roy, was arrested and charged with one count of third-degree criminal mischief, an E felony. It is alleged that on or about May 17, Gorton damaged an electric door lock at an address on Lake Street in Le Roy when he intentionally struck the door numerous times. The cost to repair the locking mechanism is in excess of $250. Gorton was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court, released on his own recognizance and is to reappear in town court at a later date.

David M. Pero, 64, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, is charged with open burning. At 2 p.m. on May 8, police and city firefighters responded to the area of 667 Ellicott St. for the reported unknown-type fire. Upon arrival, an open burn was located. A subsequent investigation was conducted and Pero was issued an appearance ticket for May 17 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by police Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Sara A. Howard, 21, of West Bergen Road, Le Roy, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument and second-degree criminal impersonation. At a traffic stop at 10:20 a.m. on Oak Street in the City of Batavia, Howard allegedly attempted to provide a false name to an officer. She was also allegedly found in possession of a hypodermic needle. She was arrested, arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice and is to appear in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Devin P. Hofert, 20, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Hofert was arrested for trespass at 11:58 a.m., May 17, on East Main Street, Batavia, after allegedly being on a premise that he was previously advised to avoid. He is to be in City Court on May 24 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Andrew C. Webster, 23, of Gillette Road, Alexander, is charged with trespass. At 7:35 a.m. on May 13, Webster was located in a tent behind 269 State St. and was arrested for trespass and was to appear in City Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Lena M. Evans, 28, no permanent address, is charged with trespass. She was arrested at 7:35 a.m. on May 13 following an investigation of a tent that was found on private property on State Street in the city without the landowner's consent. She was issued an appearance ticket for May 17 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Sandra L. Longhini, 55, of South Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with unlicensed dog and dog running at large. On May 12 at 6:30 p.m., Longhini's dog was allegedly found running loose in backyards and on the street and it allegedly is not licensed with the City of Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket for May 17 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Matthew P. Parker, 26, East Center Street, Medina, was arrested on May 12 on an active warrant out of Batavia City Court for allegedly failing to pay a fine issued by that court for excessive noise on May 24, 2015, on Summit Street. Parker was due in court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

John Thomas Kingsley, 39, of Royce Road, Varysburg, was arrested on an active bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for allegedly failing to pay a fine for a traffic citation issued on Bank Street in July of 2014. At the time of his arrest, Kingsley was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by Troopers in Rochester. He was subsequently picked up by Batavia PD. He posted bail and is to be in City Court on May 31 to resolve the matter. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

May 18, 2016 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, education, high school rankings, pembroke, elba, Le Roy.

Press release:

U.S. News & World Report released its current rankings for high schools across the nation recently and several area schools earned spots in the top 225 of New York State.

Pembroke High School ranked 123 out of 1,272 public schools in the state. Elba was also in the top 15 percent, coming in at 172, with Le Roy right behind at 180. Medina (207) in Orleans County and Warsaw (213) in Wyoming County also ranked within the top 225.

The report’s criteria are based on overall performance of students on state tests, participation and performance on advanced placement exams and graduation rates. The goal of these rankings is to provide an unbiased picture of the top performing schools and how well those schools serve all of their students.

U.S. News & World Report has been releasing annual high school rankings since 2007.

US News & World Report New York State High School Rankings

Rank    School                  Student/Teacher Ratio                   College Readiness                  Math Proficiency            English Proficiency

123      Pembroke                    11:1                                                     38.4                                        92%                                   94%

172      Elba                              8:1                                                      29.1                                        95%                                    76%

180      Le Roy                         12:1                                                     27.6                                        86%                                    90%

207      Medina                              14:1                                                     23.0                                         88%                                    90%

213     Warsaw                              11:1                                                     22.1                                         88%                                    92%

*from usnews.com

May 16, 2016 - 10:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mail Pouch Barn, Asbury Road, Le Roy, BARNS, news.

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A drive out to Le Roy today for some business took me down Asbury Road under crisp blue skies and past the landmark Mail Pouch Barn.

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May 16, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news.

A semi-trailer has reportedly brought down utility lines, possibly electrical, in the area of 7233 West Main St., Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire responding.

May 16, 2016 - 10:11am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, news.

Susan A. Colton, 58, of Vernal Road, Attica, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on May 13 and charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs, a Class A misdemeanor, and driving the wrong way (on a one-way street), a violation.

Colton was arrested following an investigation of an erratic operator traveling northbound on Warsaw Road. The vehicle which Colton allegedly operated was located a short time later at the Five Star Bank at 124 W. Main St. After a brief investigation Colton was allegedly found to be impaired by drugs.

Colton was issued traffic tickets for the charges with a return date of June 20 at the Le Roy Town Court. Genesee County Sheriff's deputies assisted with the arrest and a driver evaluation.

May 15, 2016 - 4:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

A porch fire is reported at 62 W. Main St., Le Roy.

A chief reports smoke showing.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance dispatched, along with Bergen's ladder truck.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: This turned out to be a mulch fire.

May 12, 2016 - 4:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, corfu, news, batavia, Le Roy.
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       Darik Orbaker

Darik R. Orbaker, 23, of 71 Wolcott St., Le Roy, (pictured right) was arrested April 20 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count of aggravated family offense, a Class E felony, based on a domestic complaint. It is alleged that during the domestic disturbance, Orbaker damaged property and obstructed the breathing or blood circulation of a family member and has been previously convicted of one or more “specified offenses” against this or other family members within the previous five years. Orbaker was arraigned in the Town of Le Roy Court and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of bail. 

Trevor S. Rarick, 21, was arrested on May 8 by Troopers and charged with: unlawful possession of marijuana; driving while intoxicated; refusal of breath screening test; failure to comply with a lawful order of a police officer; and failure to stop at a stop sign. Rarick failed to stop at a stop sign in front of the Trooper at the intersection of Clinton Street and Clinton Park in the City of Batavia. He was stopped on Wade Street and Troopers immediately detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage. Rarick consented to the field sobriety tests, which he subsequently failed. He refused to consent to a breath sample. A scale covered with marijuana residue, a smoking pipe with marijuana residue and approximately seven grams of marihuana were allegedly located inside his vehicle. Rarick was transported to SP Batavia barracks for processing and was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to appear in the City of Batavia Court at a later date.

Meghan L. Daniels, 28, of York, was arrested by Troopers on May 11 and charged with shoplifting and unlawful possession of marijuana. Daniels allegedly took a candy bar worth $1.45, passing all points of sale and attempted to exit the Walmart Store. Troopers detected the odor of marijuana emanating from Daniels. A baggie containing approximately 10 grams of marijuana and a marijhuana grinder containing marijuana residue was allegedly located. Daniels was transported to SP Batavia barracks for processing. She was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Batavia Court on May 19.

Jenna A. Kavanagh, 23, of Rochester, was arrested by Troopers on May 8 and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Troopers detected a strong smell of marijuana emitting from the vehicle when Kavanagh was stopped for speeding on State Route 262. More than three grams of marijuana in multiple plastic vials was allegedly found inside a glass container. Kavanagh was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Byron Court on May 16 and a uniform traffic ticket was issued for speeding.

Josiah D. Kirby, 22, of Kenmore, was arrested by Corfu Village Police Officer Michael Petritz for unlawful possession of marijuana after a traffic stop for speeding on Route 77. Officer Petritz detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Kirby was allegedly found to be in possession of four marijuana cigarettes and a blue glass smoking pipe containing marijuana residue. Kirby was issued tickets and an appearance ticket returnable to the Village of Corfu on June 6.

Julio A. Bautista, 20, was arrested by Troopers on May 11 for trespass after he was warned on two separate occasions not to return to College Village by Security. Bautista was located in the parking lot of the property and was placed under arrest. He is scheduled to appear in the Town of Batavia Court on May 23.

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