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December 24, 2015 - 3:26am
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, accident.

An accident with minor injuries is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 382.1. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding. A car reportedly rear-ended a tractor-trailer, then rolled over several times.

UPDATE 4:01 a.m.: A 39-year-old victim in the car that rear-ended the semi is being transported to UMMC in stable condition.

December 23, 2015 - 12:34pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, santa claus, Christmas.

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Carols, candy and Christmas wish lists were the order of the day Wednesday, when Santa and Mrs. Claus visited Imagination Station Child Care and Preschool in Le Roy. Mrs. Claus read the holiday classic, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," and handed out candy canes as the children took turns on Santa's lap. The children also sang some of their favorite carols, including "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

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December 22, 2015 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.
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   Nick Hawkins

State Police have arrested a 32-year-old Le Roy man after he allegedly drove the car of an acquaintance intentionally into a tree, causing heavy front-end damage and airbag deployment.

Nick Hawkins was jailed on $1,500 bail and charged with petit larceny and criminal mischief. 

According to State Police, Hawkins was involved in a dispute with the acquaintance and he drove the person's car north on the driveway into the back yard and straight into a tree. 

Hawkins declined medical treatment for minor cuts and was transported to the Batavia Barracks for processing. 

Le Roy PD assisted at the scene.

December 21, 2015 - 8:43pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Orcon Industries, business.

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Employees of Orcon Industires paused to wish America's veterans a Merry Christmas during the company's annual holiday party Friday at Batavia Downs.

Workers at the Le Roy company recently decided to donate their year-end bonus to the Liberty Fund, a North Carolina-based organization that provides all-terrain wheelchairs to wounded veterans. Orcon management matched the donation, allowing for the purchase of two wheelchairs.

News of the donation reached Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly — a major supporter of the Independence Fund — who thanked the Orcon team for their donation during an "O'Reilly Factor" broadcast last week.

(Submitted photo.)

December 19, 2015 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

The Yellow Goose convenience store, 1110 W. Main St., Le Roy, is reportedly charged with smoke.

It's a possible electrical fire.

A Le Roy fire chief is on scene. 

Le Roy fire is responding with mutual aid from Bergen.

December 18, 2015 - 5:50pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Le Roy New York LLC, business.

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The investment group Le Roy New York, LLC, is hoping its plans to renovate 24 Main St. will move forward next year.

A group of Le Roy investors is hoping their efforts to renovate 24 Main St. kicks into high gear in the new year.

The Le Roy Board of Education in January will consider offering tax breaks for projects like the one proposed for 24 Main St. Plans call for its conversion to a mix of commercial and residential uses.

The school district is the last of four taxing entities being asked to offer the tax incentive.

Meanwhile, a revitalization group that has been pushing for the creation of a downtown historic district, hopes to win state approval by March. When that happens, properties within the district would be eligible for preservation tax incentives.

The investment group, Le Roy New York, LLC, was created in 2013 in an unsuccessful effort to save the former Wiss Hotel from the wrecking ball. The group turned its attention to 24 Main St. — the former Java’s coffee shop — last year, and announced plans to convert the property to ground-floor retail with three apartments on the top two floors.

The LLC is hoping to raise $250,000, and so far has $180,500 toward that goal, said Bob Fussell, a village attorney and LLC member. He said tax incentives are essential for attracting new investors.

“We’re not going to start the project until we find out whether the schools approve (the exemption) and until we find out whether we get into the historic district,” Fussell said.

“Once those things are done, it’s going to make sense to invest,” he added. “But until then we’re not giving the investors the full advantage.”

The Residential-Commercial Urban Exemption Program (Section 485-a of the state Real Property Tax Law) allows municipalities, counties and school districts to offer a declining, 12-year partial property tax exemption for non-residential property converted to a mix of residential and commercial uses.

Projects must cost at least $10,000 to be eligible. Properties are 100-percent exempt from taxes on assessed value attributed to the conversion project for the first eight years. The exemption then gradually falls to 20 percent in the final year.

Counties and school districts are allowed to approve the exemption program once the municipalities have done so.

The Le Roy Village Board approved the program on July 22. The Town Board followed suit on Aug. 27, although councilmen included a provision limiting its application to buildings within the planned historic district.

The Genesee County Legislature adopted the program after a public hearing on Nov. 23. The Le Roy Board of Education has scheduled its own public hearing for 7 p.m. Jan. 12.

Fussell said the program encourages local investment, without cutting local tax revenue.

“It’s not like we’re not going to be paying taxes on the property,” Fussell said. “We’re just going to be paying the same taxes we are now.”

Although an investor could claim the tax exemption for conversion of any property in Le Roy, its focus is effectively on the village’s commercial district.

“The whole object is to revitalize Main Street,” he added. “The idea is to take buildings that are degrading and falling apart, and make them vibrant and successful.”

A minimum investment in the project is $1,500. For more information, visit www.24mainleroy.org.

Tax incentives offered via inclusion in a registered historic district, may take longer to materialize.

The Preservation League of New York State awarded a $4,000 grant to Le Roy in October 2014. The grant was to hire Preservation Studios of Buffalo to complete a State and National Register of Historic Places nomination for a historic district in Downtown Le Roy.

The grant was secured by the Main Street Revitalization Committee, under the auspices of the Le Roy Business Council.

Jennifer Keys, who chairs the committee, said state approval has taken longer than expected.

“Apparently there was a combination of things,” Keys said. “The project was a little bit bigger than (Preservation Studios) thought it would be. At the same time, they had pretty massive growth as an agency and they were understaffed.”

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation rejected the first draft of the nomination submitted this past summer. Preservation Studios was able to dedicate staff to the project, and a second nomination was submitted in late October, Keys said.

The hope is that Le Roy’s application will come up for review sometime in March, Keys said.

“It’s definitely taking a lot longer than we thought it would, but it is moving forward,” Keys said.

December 18, 2015 - 11:17am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Frost Ridge Campground, business.

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The Le Roy Zoning Board of Appeals conducted a public hearing Thursday on Frost Ridge Campground. Pictured, is Board Member Thomas Spadaro and Chairperson Debbi Jackett. (Photos by Howard Owens.)

After months of legal wrangling, the argument over concerts at Frost Ridge Campground on Thursday returned to where it began.

With the Le Roy Zoning Board of Appeals, whose members listened to about 90 minutes of testimony and public comment on whether the concerts are an allowable, non-conforming use under town zoning law.

The board adjourned without voting. Debbi Jackett, chairperson, said the ZBA has 62 days in which to issue a decision.

About 60 people attended the hearing, which was held in Town Court. The hearing was conducted a day before a deadline set by a Supreme Court judge earlier this month.

The ZBA in 2013 ruled concerts allowable. Neighbors as well as the Town of Le Roy subsequently filed lawsuits aiming to reverse that decision.

On Thursday, the ZBA heard formal testimony from David Roach, attorney for Frost Ridge owners David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell; and from Mindy Zoghlin, an attorney representing families who are opposed to the concerts.

Roach maintained that the “campground and attendant recreational activities, including amplified music/concerts and limited food service” are all prior, non-conforming uses.

Citing case law, he said larger outdoor concerts may represent a change in degree, but do not alter the “essential character” of the facility and are still considered an allowable prior use.

Zoning law draws no distinction between concerts by small bands with lower amplification, and performances on a large stage using a professional sound system.

“What’s the difference? They both emit sound — that’s what we’re dealing with,” Roach said. “The primary difference is that one is louder than the other.

“What I suggest to you is that’s not a land-use issue, that is a noise ordinance (issue),” he added. “Anyone who has an issue with the decibel levels can seek relief through the noise ordinance, not through the land-use argument.”

Zoghlin urged the ZBA to reject the Frost Ridge application. Outdoor concerts of the type Frost Ridge has been hosting, are beyond what could be reasonably considered prior use.

“Even if music was played in the campground for skiers and campers in the past, Frost Ridge has illegally expanded that use,” she said.

“There’s a big difference between using an amplifier to play radio music, and hosting large commercial concerts on a specially constructed sound stage using professional audio equipment,” she said.

“Concerts with national acts, a professional stage and a sound system that attracts hundreds of people at a time were never held at this campground until 2010,” Zoghlin said. “Therefore they cannot be a prior non-conforming use as a matter of law.”

Reid Whiting, attorney for the Town of Le Roy, was offered the opportunity to give formal testimony but declined.

Thirteen residents also spoke, several of them in support of Frost Ridge.

Barbara Buchanan has lived on North Road near the campground since 1974.

“Frost Ridge has a history of providing music from different venues,” she said, including amplified music on the ski slopes.

“None of the music, over 40 years, has ever bothered us,” she said. “We consider the campground to be a very good neighbor — we don’t have a single complaint against them.”

Not so for Nancy Palmer, who has lived on Wilcox Road since 1997. She said summer concerts at Frost Ridge are too noisy.

“I find it very disturbing,” she said. “I can hear it through my house … I can hear the bass pounding through my walls and through my windows.”

Palmer said the concerts are loud enough to spook her horse.

“For those of us who are close, it is very loud and it is very disturbing,” she said.

Others speakers cited the positive impact Frost Ridge has on the community, such as fundraisers for the Le Roy Fire Department.

David Pullyblank, of Parmalee Road, said Frost Ridge campers support local businesses — including the farm market he owns on Lake Street Road (Route 19).

“Campers are people that want to come to our community and spend money,” he said. “I think it’s essential to have their business in our area.”

The Luetticke-Archbells have owned the Conlon Road campground since 2008, and have been hosting concerts in an outdoor amphitheatre since 2012. In 2013, the ZBA found the concerts permissible under zoning law.

Neighbors of the campsite and the Town of Le Roy both filed lawsuits challenging the ZBA’s ruling. Supreme Court Judge Robert Noonan invalidated the decision in April on technical grounds, and ordered the ZBA to conduct a new public hearing.

In November, the Town Board set a Dec. 10 public hearing on a local law to establish a new, town-only zoning board. Earlier this month Interim Supreme Court Judge Mark Grisanti ordered the town to cancel its hearing, and ordered the existing ZBA to conduct a hearing on Frost Ridge by Dec. 18.

Jackett set a number of ground rules at the beginning of Thursday’s hearing. Attorneys submitted written statements and evidence, but were given limited time to address the board directly. Residents who signed in, were allowed one minute to speak.

ZBA member Robert Scott, who ran unsuccessfully for town supervisor against incumbent Stephen Barbeau in November, recused himself from any involvement in the Frost Ridge application.

Jackett did not indicate when she expects the ZBA to issue a ruling. Comments on the matter will be accepted in writing by the Town Clerk until Dec. 27, she said.

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December 17, 2015 - 10:29pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Frost Ridge Campground, business.

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David Roach, attorney for Frost Ridge Campground, offers testimony to the Le Roy Zoning Board of Appeals during a public hearing Thursday on the issue of live concerts at the campground. (Photo by Howard Owens.)

Le Roy’s joint Zoning Board of Appeals reached no decision Thursday night on the question of live concerts at Frost Ridge Campground.

The ZBA adjourned after a 90-minute public hearing on the matter. About 60 people attended the hearing, which was held in Town Court.

Debbi Jackett, the board chairperson, said the ZBA has 62 days in which to issue a decision on whether concerts are an allowable, non-conforming use under town zoning law.

Comments will be accepted in writing by the Town Clerk until Dec. 27, Jackett said.

The ZBA heard formal testimony from David Roach, attorney for Frost Ridge; and from Mindy Zoghlin, the attorney representing families who are opposed to the concerts. Gene Sinclair, who served as the town zoning/code enforcement officer until 2012, also testified.

Reid Whiting, attorney for the Town of Le Roy, did not comment during the hearing.

Thirteen residents also spoke, several of them in support of Frost Ridge. At least two residents, however, said the concerts are disruptive.

Thursday’s hearing was conducted a day before the deadline set by a Supreme Court judge earlier this month.

A complete story will be posted Friday morning.

December 17, 2015 - 7:13pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Orcon Industries, business.

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Employees at Orcon Industries in Le Roy have decided to donate their first year-end bonus in several years, to an organization that provides all-terrain wheelchairs for wounded veterans. Company management matched the gift, allowing for the purchase of two wheelchairs.

America’s wounded veterans sacrificed to protect our freedom.

This holiday season, employees and management at a Le Roy manufacturer made a sacrifice of their own — to help some of those same veterans better enjoy their freedom.

Workers at Orcon Industries have agreed to donate a portion of their year-end bonus pool, to the Independence Fund. The North Carolina-based nonprofit provides all-terrain wheelchairs and other services to disabled veterans.

The donation amounts to $15,000 — the cost of just one of the rugged “track chairs.”

In light of the employee decision, the management at Orcon — which makes industrial packaging at its facility on Lake Street Road — matched the gift.

“We thought we’d give our employees the opportunity to participate in something that’s pretty meaningful,” said Bruce Olson, the company president and CEO. “Something that they probably wouldn’t have been able to participate in, without us at least being the conduit.”

The key word, is “conduit.” Olson said he is a proud patriot and cares deeply for veterans' issues. But he gave all the credit to the employees.

The Independence Fund was established in 2007 to provide resources and therapies to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Many veterans had enjoyed hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities before they were wounded. The Independence Fund’s Mobility Program allows them to get back outdoors using a variety of devices, including all-terrain wheelchairs and adaptive bicycles.

“The great thing with the Fund, is that 100 percent of the proceeds go to the soldiers,” said Michael Olson, Bruce’s son and Orcon’s general manager. “There is no administrative cost.”

Proceeds are not spent on publicity, either. In consequence, the Independence Fund is not very well-known.

It does however have a high-profile champion: political commentator Bill O’Reilly. He has not only featured the organization on his Fox News program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” but has helped it provide 1,400 wheelchairs to veterans.

That is how the Olsons first heard of the Independence Fund.

“Michael and I were talking, and we started looking at the year we had last year, which was probably the best year in the history of the company,” Bruce Olson said.

“In the past, we’ve always shared our success with our employees,” he continued. “So we were looking at what we had for a bonus pool this year to give back to the folks and it was, for us, pretty significant.”

They talked it over with partner Rick Flanagan, vice president for package design and engineering. Together, they decided to ask Orcon’s 60 employees if they would contribute to the Independence Fund. 

It was a big question. This was the first bonus pool the company has been able to offer in years.

At a company meeting this past Friday, employees watched an “O’Reilly Factor” segment on the Independence Fund. Then they were asked if they would donate.

“The room just exploded in applause,” Bruce Olson said. “The response was overwhelming — tears, hugs, thank-yous.”

There weren’t many dry eyes, he said.

Certainly not his own. 

“I’m a really emotional jerk,” he said. “So I lose it — I mean, I literally can’t finish the rest of the story. Michael finally got the message that he had to bail me out.”

The rest of the story was this: The company would match the gift.

“And they went nuts again,” he said.

Olson contacted the Independence Fund on Saturday to let them know Orcon would be making a donation. The Independence Fund, in turn, shared the news with O’Reilly.

And so during his broadcast on Wednesday, O’Reilly took a moment to thank Orcon.

Bruce Olson appreciates the attention. But he hopes any publicity generated by his company’s gift will help spread word about the Independence Fund and the work it does.

The story could have a sequel. Michael Olson said employees are already talking about ways to raise funds to make another contribution next year.

For more information about the Independence Fund, visit www.independencefund.org

To view “The O’Reilly Factor” segment on the Independence Fund, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onZmuZSl82w

December 16, 2015 - 11:09pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, crime, Ryan Young, Kyle Johnson.

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Le Roy Police Officer Ryan Young, left, is pictured Wednesday with Village Police Chief Christopher Hayward.

Le Roy Police Officer Ryan Young was honored by his department Wednesday, for his actions at the scene of a house fire and armed standoff Dec. 1 on Selden Road.

Village Police Chief Christopher Hayward presented Young with a Distinguished Service Award and accompanying bar during Wednesday’s Village Board meeting.

Kyle G. Johnson, 53, has been charged with murder in the shooting death of John Ball, 69. Johnson is accused of then setting his own house on fire, and firing a shotgun in the direction of responding firefighters and police officers.

None of that was clear when Young and Hayward arrived to back up Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies at the scene of the shooting shortly after 4 a.m. at Ball’s home at 7421 Selden Road.

The fire at Johnson’s house was reported minutes later. Genesee County deputies approved Young’s request to provide backup at the fire.

“I just had a feeling on my way from the homicide scene to the fire that it was too close to be a coincidence,” said Young, 27, a part-time village officer for three years.

“That’s when dispatch sent out the warning and kind of confirmed my suspicions,” he said.

Hayward continued the narrative, in a letter of commendation addressed to Young.

He said Young stopped just east of the fire scene and got out of his vehicle. Three Le Roy Fire Department vehicles passed Young on their way to the fire.

“You observed the silhouette of a person walk from the brush and point a long gun in (firefighters’) direction and fire two to three times,” Hayward said.

Firefighters quickly left the scene. As Young took cover he heard two shots being fired in his direction, and saw something pass over his left shoulder, Hayward said.

After the gunfire became a standoff, Young established a perimeter and directed residents of the neighboring home to take shelter in their basement, Hayward said.

“For the next three and a half hours you used different positions of cover — always in harm’s way — and continually called in the suspect’s location to other units at the scene,” Hayward said.

“Eventually the suspect was taken into custody,” he continued. “But I attribute the successful outcome to you and the exceptional actions you took after being fired upon.”

Johnson was arrested at 7:55 a.m. by members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. 

He entered not guilty pleas to murder, burglary, arson and attempted murder during an arraignment Tuesday in County Court. He remains in jail without bail.

Hayward also read a letter from county Sheriff Gary Maha, offering “thanks and appreciation” for Ryan’s help and for the assistance of the village police department.

“This is another fine example of cooperation and collaboration between our two agencies,” Maha wrote.

Hayward said the incident is a reminder of the hazards law enforcement officers face every working day. 

“We don’t walk out the door with a lunch pail,” Hayward said. “We walk out the door with body armor and a gun.

“I bristle when people tell me, ‘It can’t happen here,’ ” he added. “Well, it can happen here, it did happen here, and unfortunately with the society we live in today, it certainly can happen again.”

December 16, 2015 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Le Roy.

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Le Roy's basketball team ran into a talented and disciplined Perry team Tuesday night, resulting in a 71-47 loss.

Perry's Autin Croll led all scorers with 25 points, missing only two field goal attempts all night and hitting a trio of threes in the first half.

For Le Roy, Tom Dunn scored 12, Canyon Roster, nine, Holden Bonnell, eight, and Jason Doomling, six.

Also in double digits for Perry were Zach Lowery, 14, and Tyler Cowie, 10.

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To purchase prints, click here.

December 15, 2015 - 9:50pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Le Roy Food Pantry & Help Fund.

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Sarah Luetticke-Archbell, 8, presents a donation of fleece blankets Tuesday to Judith Ridley, coordinator of the Le Roy Food Pantry & Help Fund. Sarah bought the blankets with funds she raised by selling homemade chocolate-chip cookies.

She may be only in third grade, but Sarah Luetticke-Archbell already has a well-developed gift — for giving.

That much was clear on Tuesday, when Sarah, 8, donated rolled fleece blankets — 37 in all — to the Le Roy Food Pantry & Help Fund.

She bought the blankets with funds she raised by selling chocolate-chip cookies during Le Roy’s Winterfest celebration on Dec. 5.

The idea was all her own, said Sarah, who attends Wolcott Street School.

“I really wanted (needy families) to get blankets for the winter so they wouldn’t get cold,” she said. “I wanted them to be warm — that’s why I got blankets instead of toys.”

Sarah is the daughter of David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell, who own Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy.

David Luetticke-Archbell said Sarah first raised the idea for a fundraiser three months ago.

“I didn’t really grasp how strongly she felt about it,” he said. “She stuck with it.”

Sarah baked 40 cookies on her own, with a little parental help with oven temperature and timing. Sarah’s siblings — Christopher, 12, and Sophia, 9 — helped mainly by staying out of her way.

Although they did buy one of the cookies, which Sarah sold for $1 apiece at Village Hardware. She also accepted donations, and ended up raising $194.

She bought the blankets at Kmart. They were delivered Tuesday, stuffed inside an oversized, holiday-wrapped gift bag.

Judith Ridley, food pantry coordinator, was touched by Sarah’s act of generosity.

“I think this was fantastic,” Ridley said. “I think it is fantastic that she has an understanding of what it means to give, and to share with other people.

“She’s got that in her little heart right now, and it’s only going to continue to grow.”

The blankets will be given to children this winter.

“If we can match them up with children, we’ll give them out this year,” she said. “And if not, we’ll put them in storage and give them out next year.”

Ridley said the Le Roy Food Pantry & Help Fund serves about 25 families a month. It also delivers packages of food and gifts to area families every Christmas season. Ninety packages — which included gift certificates for either a turkey or ham — were delivered last Saturday.

The Food Pantry & Help Fund is open from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays through Thursdays in the basement of Town Hall, 48 Main St. It is open to residents of the Le Roy School District.

For information call (585) 768-4559.

December 15, 2015 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kyle Johnson, crime, Le Roy.

Cindy Ball wants justice for her dead brother-in-law and his family, and that's the goal of the prosecution, said District Attorney Lawrence Friedman outside of County Court this afternoon, where Kyle G. Johson entered not guilty pleas to the murder, burglary, arson and attempted murder charges he faces.

Ball, who is married to the brother of Norman D. "Don" Ball, the man Johnson allegedly shot in the head while he slept in his bed in his Selden Road home, cried after the not-guilty plea and cried outside the courtroom.

"He (Don Ball) had four beautiful grandchildren and this man came in his house in the middle of the night and shot him," Cindy Ball said. "It's just wrong. It's so wrong. My brother-in-law had an open door policy. He helped everybody. I've known him since I was 15. I'm just totally broken and he pleads not guilty. There's proof."

There's also due process and defense attorneys are charged with ensuring the prosecution has a solid case, either through a plea bargain process or by taking the case to trial. It's every defendant's right.

"Basically, everyone pleads not guilty at arraignment," Friedman said. "That's they way it goes. Whether there would be a guilty plea, in any case, it normally doesn't happen at the time of arraignment on an indictment."

Johnson was indicted last week by a Grand Jury of Genesee County on the eight counts that include murder in the second degree. The charges stem from events on Selden Road, Le Roy, on the morning of Dec. 1, when Johnson allegedly entered the home of Don Ball through an unlocked back door, entered his bedroom and shot him. He then allegedly went back to his own house on Selden Road and set it on fire. When a Le Roy fire chief and police officer arrived on scene, Johnson allegedly fired his shotgun at them.

Friedman said his goal for the family is to "seek justice."

At this point, Johnson will continue his stay in jail without bail while his defense attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, prepares pre-trial motions, which Friedman will then answer, and then both attorneys and Johnson will appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 23 to argue those motions.

There may be an appearance in court by Johnson Dec. 21 on a request by Friedman to get a DNA sample from Johnson, but Ader may not contest that request, in which case there will be no appearance Dec. 21.

Johnson shuffled into court in the jail's orange jumpsuit, shackled by chains, his head down and disheveled, and said little during the short arraignment, except to acknowledge his name, agree to continue with Ader as his attorney and enter his not guilty plea.

December 15, 2015 - 2:26pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Le Roy Christian Community Project.

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Jana Pritchett, left, and Susan Wakefield, the assistant director and executive director, respectively, of Le Roy Christian Community Project are pictured at the home of the After School Program on Pleasant Street. The LCCP has launched its first-ever capital campaign with a goal of $75,000.

The end of each school day brings a fresh start for Susan Wakefield.

Every weekday afternoon, she meets a group of elementary-age students in the Wolcott Street School cafeteria. From there, they walk to the modest house at 4 Pleasant St. that is the home of the Le Roy Christian Community Project’s After School Program.

For the youngsters, it’s a place to spend time with friends, finish homework and learn new skills under the supervision of adult and teen volunteers. It’s a safe haven — with a healthy snack added for good measure.

It’s also a job, and a place, Wakefield clearly loves.

“The kids are wonderful, just amazing,” said Wakefield, who is the LCCP’s executive director. “This house is just stuffed.”

This school year brings a new challenge: The loss of a $20,000 annual foundation grant, which covered nearly 20 percent of the organization’s annual budget of $104,000.

So the LCCP in November launched its first-ever capital campaign. The goal of “Lift LCCP” is to raise $75,000 by the time the effort wraps up next March 31.

A successful campaign will guarantee support through the end of the school year, and help the organization rebuild its funding base.

Still, “Lift LCCP” is about more than dollars.

“We’re looking, yes, to raise funds,” said Jana Pritchett, assistant director. “But we also want to raise awareness.”

The Le Roy Christian Community Project was launched in 1998, with seed money provided by three local churches. It supported the after-school program for elementary students, and a Teen Night for students in grades 7-12.

The LCCP now also offers Summer Day Camp, Grace’s Kitchen, Backpack Club, Mommy & Me Playgroup, Caregiver Connection and Ladies Prayer Group.

Most of the programs are offered without charge. That may be a blessing to the community, but it’s a challenge for LCCP.

“A lot of people will say, ‘Oh, it’s LCCP — it’s free,’” Pritchett said. “They think the churches fund everything, and that’s not the reality. They do support us financially, but it’s not enough for all we do.”

Other sources of funding include grants, fundraisers and donations. 

It has been suggested LCCP introduce fees for some of its programs. Pritchett said that’s not a solution.

“A lot of our grant funding wouldn’t allow us to charge,” Pritchett said. “But if we did, probably three-quarters of our families wouldn’t be able to afford it; it just wouldn’t be in their budgets.”

Wakefield estimates the eight programs LCCP offers, serve between 300 and 500 children and adults each year. Grace’s Kitchen, a free meal program created by Selby Davis and staffed by volunteers, serves an average of 135 dinners each week at the Masonic Community Center.

“It’s not just the kids,” Wakefield said. “It’s mom and dad, and grandma — the whole family.”

Pritchett sees the LCCP as a benefit not only to the children and adults it serves directly, but to the wider community. The After School Program, for example, is an investment in Le Roy’s future.

“We help create healthy, responsible children,” Pritchett said. “Children who are going to be adults someday.”

For more information, or to make a donation online, visit www.leroychristiancommunityproject.org, or look for LCCP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leroylccp.

LCCP is a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Contact LCCP at 7 E. Main St., by phone at (585) 768-7540, or via e-mail at [email protected].

December 15, 2015 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy.

Press release:

The Le Roy Police Department is attempting to determine who stole a full-size Frontier Phone Company bucket truck from the Myrtle Street area of Le Roy.  The theft was reported at 4:40 p.m. Monday evening after a lineman parked the truck in the area of 34 Myrtle St. and was conducting work on a nearby pole.

While the lineman was on a ladder at the telephone pole, an unknown suspect entered the truck and stole it.  The truck was last seen Eastbound on Myrtle Street. The truck was located at 7:03 p.m. in the City of Rochester near the Glendale and Maryland Street intersection.

The Le Roy Police are interested in locating and speaking with a person of interest described as a mid-20s, white male seen in the area of both locations wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, white shirt and jeans and carrying a high chair.

If you have any information pertaining to this theft or this person of interest, please contact the Le Roy Police Department at 345-6350.

December 14, 2015 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, alexander, batavia, Attica, pembroke, corfu, byron, Pavilion, Stafford.

Joshua M. Gaudioso, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and second-degree strangulation. He was arrested following a domestic incident at 7:46 p.m. on Dec. 6 wherein he allegedly strangled the victim and threatened to kill the victim along with several members of the victim's family. He was jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

James E. Wroten Jr., 49, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested at 10 p.m. on Dec. 7 on Olyn Avenue following a verbal and physical argument between himself and a person who had a stay away order of protection from Wroten. It is alleged that the defendant called the protected party names and pushed a plate into her face during an argument. He was jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Kenneth C. Roma, 28, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, operating with a BAC of .08 percent or more, uninspected motor vehicle, cracked/broken windshield, and driving to the left of pavement markings (a no-passing zone). The Sheriff's Office received two calls from other motorists about the poor driving habits of the driver of a pickup truck eastbound on Route 5 in the Town of Batavia at around 10:20 p.m. on Dec. 11. The callers continued to follow the pickup and provide dispatchers with the current locations and details of when the pickup allegedly interfered with other vehicles on the roadway. Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Meides located the pickup on West Avenue in the Village of Attica with a caller's assistance. The driver indicated he was lost and did not know where he was. Meides was assisted by other members of the Sheriff's Office and two officers from the Attica Police Department. Roma was released on an appearance ticket and is to be in Alexander Town Court on Jan. 12. Sgt. Meides was assisted in the investigation and report by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Heather R. Frizol, 35, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, DWI, speeding, failure to maintain lane, and passing through a red light. She was arrested following a traffic stop at 1:28 a.m. on Dec. 6 on Main Street, Batavia. Frizol was also charged as an unlicensed driver and for allegedly having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. She is to appear in City Court on  Dec. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Richard Dean McKague Jr., 25, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to yield right-of-way to an emergency vehicle, failure to stop at a stop sign, and being an unlicensed operator. His arrest at 6:06 a.m. on Dec. 10 came after a vehicular pursuit that started in the Town of Stafford and ended in the Town of Byron. It is alleged that McKague was observed violating sections of state vehicle and traffic law and then when a traffic stop was initiated, be failed to comply. The pursuit through two townships concluded on Beaver Meadows Road and he was taken into custody without incident. A search of his person allegedly produced a small quantity of marijuana. He was jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond and will respond to both Stafford and Byron courts to answer the charges. The investigation was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona, with the assistance of Deputy Christopher Erion, Sgt. Eric Seppala, and State Police.

Jeffrey Lynn Shultz II, 21, of Walkers Corners Road, Byron, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs -- first offense, driving left of pavement markings, and operating a motor vehicle without an inspection certificate. He was arrested at 1:51 p.m. on Dec. 12 on Byron Road in Byron. He is to appear in Byron Town Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Roger James Farney, 33, of Clayton Street, Buffalo, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 1 p.m. on Dec. 9 on West Main Street in Batavia after allegedly making derogatory statements toward a person who has an order or protection. He turned himself into Batavia PD headquarters and is to appear in City Court on Dec. 29. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

Jeannine Nicole Armbrewster, 38, of Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs. She was arrested at 7:42 p.m. on Dec. 12 on Alexander Road, Alexander. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Dana Richardson, assisted by Deputy Christopher Parker.

Ryan Joseph Bellinger, 25, of Route 209, Varysburg, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree -- brass knuckles, unlawful possession of marijuana, and operating a motor vehicle with obstructed vision. Bellinger was arrested following a traffic stop at 10:21 p.m. on Dec. 13 on Alleghany Road, Pembroke. He was issued an appearance ticket for Pembroke Court on Jan. 21. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Nati.

Daniel C. Brinkman Sr., 55, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass. It is alleged that at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 9, Brinkman trespassed onto CSX Railroad property (located at 100 Evans St., Batavia) after having been warned to stay off the property. He is due in City Court on Dec. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Jason L. McKenzie, 37, and Pamela L. McKenzie, 39, husband and wife from Pavilion, were arrested by state Troopers on Dec. 6 and charged with petit larceny for allegedly stealing items from Kohl's earlier in the week.

Kelli E. Wallace, 53, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 7:20 p.m. on Dec. 7 after allegedly stealing property from Dollar General. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in City Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Michael F. Geer, 24, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, was arrested at 3:56 a.m. on Dec. 11 as the result of an investigation into an incident that occurred on East Main Street on Nov. 13. Geer, who is currently in county jail, was issued an appearance ticket charging him with petit larceny. He is to be in City Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Robert Ernest Saari, 33, of Alleghany Road, Attica, was arrested on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for failing to appear at a scheduled court date. He posted bail and was released on an appearance ticket. He is to be in City Court on Dec. 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards. 

Robert Ernest Saari, 33, of Alleghany Road, Attica, was arrested at 6:04 p.m. on Dec. 11 and charged with having insufficient tail lamps and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. After being pulled over for allegedly having insufficient tail lamps, it was found that the defendant's license was suspended more than 10 times on 10 dates. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer, assisted by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Martin James Rodgers, 31, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with parole violation. As the result of a search of his residence at 10:45 p.m. on Dec. 10, is alleged that he violated parole. A court date for him has not yet been scheduled. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy Howard Carlson.

Daniel Colin Healy, 24, of North Street, Le Roy, is charged with failure to appear on a traffic summons. He turned himself into Batavia PD headquarters after being notified by mail that he had a warrant out for his arrest. He is to be in City Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Zachary B. Reeves, 19, of Maine, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. On Dec. 12 at Route 33 and Prospect Street, Corfu, Reeves was pulled over for allegedly driving 54 in a 35-mph zone and for having a loud muffler. The patrol officer allegedly smelled marijuana in the vehicle and allegedly found marijuana residue on the passenger seat. Subsequently, the officer allegedly found a jar containing about 1 gram of marijuana as well as two glass smoking pipes and "1 false cigarette containing marijuana residue." The case was handled by Corfu PD Officer Michael Petritz, assisted by Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Nati and Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 "Destro."

December 14, 2015 - 2:16pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, University of Rochester Medical Center, business.

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Drs. Andrea Kudel, left, and Kelly Rose Nichols are on staff and accepting new patients at Le Roy Medical Associates. The primary care practice opens today at its new location at 127 W. Main St., Le Roy.

When it was time to recruit doctors for its primary care practice in Le Roy, the University of Rochester Medical Center didn’t have to look far.

Kelly Rose Nichols, D.O., grew up in Le Roy as a member of the Stein farming family. She went to medical school in Philadelphia, but never felt comfortable in a big city.

“I grew up on a farm,” Nichols said. “I couldn’t figure out how to lock and unlock the house!

“It was about six weeks before the novelty of being able to walk everyplace wore off. I said, ‘This isn’t for me, I need to go home.’ ”

Now, she and Andrea Kudel, D.O., have joined longtime practitioner Vladimir Gaspar, M.D., in a relocated and much-expanded Le Roy Medical Associates.

The practice was formerly located on Lake Street Road. It reopens today in its new location in Le Roy Village Plaza at 127 W. Main St.

Hometown medical practice is familiar territory for Nichols, who picked her profession early in life.

“When I was 3, I had the Fisher-Price doctor kit,” she said. “I literally had no other career plan.”

When she was in high school, Nichols thought she should get some hands-on experience. As it happens, she worked for Dr. Lorne Campbell, whose Genesee Family Practice at 8745 Lake Street Road eventually became Le Roy Medical Associates.

“I would come in after school, file charts, and invite myself to exciting stuff that Dr. Campbell was doing,” Nichols said.

Nichols went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Rochester, and then her doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Kudel, meanwhile, was following a similar career path.

She grew up in Williamsville, and had decided on a medical career by second grade. (“I commit to things, and that’s it,” she said.) She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the nearby University at Buffalo, then a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Nassau County, Long Island.

Their paths crossed during their residencies in family medicine at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, where Kudel was chief resident.

They also formed a friendship. So earlier this year when URMC was recruiting a doctor to practice Le Roy — well, Nichols happened to know a great candidate in Buffalo.

Le Roy is a small town, but it’s minutes away from URMC and everything else Rochester offers. Kudel calls family practice here, “the best of both worlds.”

“I like getting to know people better,” said Kudel, 30, who lives with her husband in the Town of Sweden. “You know where they’re coming from; you get to understand them in a more comprehensive way.”

Nichols, 30, lives in the Village of Le Roy with her husband, Ben Nichols, and their two daughters.

“This is truly family practice,” Nichols said. “And you feel like you’re more a part of the community.”

The Le Roy primary care practice was formerly part of Lakeside Health System of Brockport. It was one of the properties sold after Lakeside closed in 2013, and renamed URMC’s Strong West.

Its growth reflects URMC’s commitment to to the region, said Dr. Wally Johnson, who directs UR Medicine Primary Care.

“These are appealing places to work, and it’s where the need is,” he said.

Johnson said Batavia has a “thriving” hospital in United Memorial Medical Center, which just this summer completed an affiliation with Rochester General Health System.

“But we know there are people in the area who want to have University of Rochester doctors as their primary care practitioners,” Johnson said. “So we think it makes very good business sense to expand our presence in the area.”

Down the road, UR may recruit another physician assistant or nurse practitioner as required in Le Roy, Johnson said.

Both Nichols and Kudel are happy with the new location, which is on one floor — and thus more handicap-accessible — and at least three times bigger than the Lake Street Road site. A new medical laboratory is on site, too.

Nichols said Dr. Gaspar has always focused on customer service. But additional exam rooms will accommodate more patients, and cut down on wait times.

“This is going to be a nice change,” Nichols said.

Le Roy Medical Associates is planning an open house for 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 20. Meanwhile, both Nichols and Kudel are accepting new patients. For information call (585) 768-2620.

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December 13, 2015 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, wildlife, foxes.

Press release:

The Village of Le Roy Police Department has been receiving increased complaints about a fox or foxes, which have been seen in multiple locations inside the Village. The Police have responded but have yet to find a fox acting sick, injured or aggressive this year.

The Le Roy Police have consulted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation which advises that the foxes are present in the area due to three specific reasons: 1) they have located a food source nearby, possibly garbage or available dog/cat dishes, 2) they feel safe due to a lack of predators, and 3) they may have located a safe place to den or hide.

The DEC further stated that if a fox is not posing a danger to society such as acting sick/injured/aggressive or chasing a domestic animal, it is illegal to kill or trap them without the proper trapping permit. If a homeowner would like a fox trapped, there are several trappers who can be hired for a fee to the homeowner and a list can be found on the DEC Web site listed under NWCO.

Further more information can be obtained from the Internet including “www.wildlifehelp.org

Le Roy Police ask that if a citizen sees a fox acting dangerous, sick or injured, please call 9-1-1, so that a police officer can respond and check on the fox.

UPDATE: Jeremiah Russell submitted this picture of a fox on North Street, Le Roy.

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December 11, 2015 - 4:39pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Frostridge Campground, Le Roy, business.

The joint Le Roy Zoning Board of Appeals will meet on Dec. 17 to conduct a public hearing on live music concerts at Frostridge Campground.

The hearing would take place a day before the deadline set last week by Interim Supreme Court Judge Mark Grisanti.

According to the public notice, Frostridge seeks an interpretation of two sections of town Zoning Code — sections 165-13 and 165-39(B) — “as they pertain to the property, particularly whether camping and attendant recreational activities, including live and recorded amplified music/concerts and limited food service are a prior non-conforming use.”

Section 165-13 establishes the legality of the prior, nonconforming use of buildings and lots. Section 165-39(B) relates to campsites: “All existing campsites of record shall be exempt from (Zoning Code), except that they shall comply with this section whenever they are sold or any addition, expansion or alteration of the use or operation is proposed.”

David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell purchased Frostridge Campground in 2008 and began having outdoor concerts in 2012. The town ZBA determined in 2013 that the concerts were a prior, nonconforming use, and thus legal under town zoning law.

Neighbors of the campsite and the Town of Le Roy both filed lawsuits alleging violations of zoning law.

This past April, Supreme Court Justice Robert C. Noonan invalidated the ZBA’s 2013 decision because the board failed to issue a proper public notice. He ordered the ZBA to schedule a new public hearing.

That hearing never took place. In November, the Town Board voted to withdraw from the intermunicipal agreement with the Village of Le Roy that established a joint ZBA and set a Dec. 10 public hearing on a law to establish a new, town-only zoning board.

The matter returned to Supreme Court where, last week, Grisanti ordered the town to cancel its Dec. 10 public hearing. He also ordered the existing ZBA to conduct a hearing on Frostridge by Dec. 18.

The ZBA hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Le Roy Town Hall, 48 Main St.

December 11, 2015 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, STAMP, Alabama, Le Roy.

Five projects in Genesee County are receiving more than $2.1 million in state aid, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council announced.

The aid is part of $500 million awarded to the council by the Governor's Office.

From the announcement:

Buildout of major sites in Genesee County, including: $1,500,000 to the Town of Alabama to help build water infrastructure to serve the STAMP site; $920,000 total for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia and the Le Roy Food and Technology Park; $750,000 for the soon-to-be built Genesee Biogas facility at the Batavia Agri-Business Park; and $500,000 to revitalize the Newberry Building in Downtown Batavia.

From the announcement:

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) was named an Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) Best Plan Awardee for its new strategic plan, entitled “United for Success: Finger Lakes Forward.” This means the region will receive $500 million over five years, in addition to economic development funds announced through Round V of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council competition. In total, more than $2 billion in economic development resources was awarded statewide through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and REDC competition.

“We are proud that Governor Cuomo and New York State have singled out the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council as a ‘best plan awardee’ and that we will receive half a billion dollars to move the region forward,” stated Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman, co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. “This is recognition that Governor Cuomo believes in the Finger Lakes and is giving our region the attention it deserves. With this infusion of funding in our pockets, we are united for success and ready to move our communities forward.”

The Finger Lakes Region’s URI plan consists of three industry clusters, or pillars, that will act as the core drivers of job and output growth: optics, photonics and imaging; agriculture and food production; and next generation manufacturing and technology. 

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