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April 27, 2012 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, BID.

Coffee Culture won the Spirit of Downtown Business Award on Friday, presented by the Business Improvement District.

Brenda Richardson (center in the photo above), manager of Coffee Culture, accepted the award and was praised for her efforts to make Coffee Culture a vital part of downtown life and business. 

Another Spirit of Downtown Business Award went to Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union and the BID Volunteer Award went to Susan Blanchard. Blanchard is out of town and accepting on her behalf were Travis Minor and Carolyn Pratt.

Dorian Ely, of the Genesee County Office for the Aging, was also presented with a BID Volunteer Award, for her the time and effort she volunteers for the BID.

BID Director Don Burkel

BID President John Roche

Design Committee Chair Victor Gautieri

Promotion Commitee Chair Mary Valle

April 27, 2012 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Steven M. Mogle, 56, of 28 Greenbriar Drive, Lancaster, is charged with menacing, 2nd. Mogle was charged after he allegedly brandished a handgun during an argument over a parking spot with another driver at Tully's on East Main Street, Batavia. Mogle has a NYS pistol permit for the weapon.

Stacy Lynn Maholick, 24, of Route 20 Alexander, is charged with falsifying business records, 1st, and petit larceny. Maholick is accused of completing 11 false merchandise returns and taking cash for the returns while employed at Radio Shack on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia.

Brian Paul Griffen, 27, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with burglary, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th. Griffen was arrested in connection with an alleged incident reported at 11 p.m., June 7. No further details were released.

Jacob W. Johnson, 24, of 2609 School St., East Pembroke, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Johnson is accused of harassing a woman who is protected by a court order.

April 27, 2012 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Genesee County Jail.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recently filled two vacant correction officer positions with the hiring of Michael J. Robinson and Michael E. Glow. These two correction officers graduated in a class of 20 from the Erie County Basic Corrections Academy yesterday, April 26, 2012.

The speakers at the graduation were Erie County Undersheriff Mark Wipperman and Erie County Deputy Executive Richard Tobe. Training at the academy included instruction in the care and custody of inmates, inmate supervision, defensive tactics, firearms training, and other topics pertaining to corrections.

Correction Officer Michael J. Robinson is a 2000 high school regents graduate from Oakfield-Alabama Central School and a 2003 graduate from Genesee Community College with an Applied Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. C.O. Robinson was previously employed as a mental health therapy aide for the New York State Office of Mental Health and as a security guard for Batavia Downs. C.O. Robinson enjoys roller and ice hockey and is Booster Chairman of American Legion Post 626 in Alabama, New York. He is a current resident of Elba.

Correction Officer Michael E. Glow is a 1998 graduate from Batavia High School and a 2002 graduate from Hilbert College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. C.O. Glow was previously employed as a collector for Admin Recovery, Creditors Interchange, Evans Law & Everest Receivable as well as being a foster care attendant for Genesee County Social Services. C.O. Glow is affiliated with Hometown Hoops for Hope and is a basketball counselor at YMCA’s Camp Hough and at Hilbert College’s basketball camp. He is a current resident of Batavia.

Sheriff Maha stated, “Correction officers Robinson and Glow are great assets to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division. They are both very dedicated, hard-working, and responsible employees. We are pleased to have them as part of our team."

April 27, 2012 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Kiwanis, law day, bar association.

The Batavia Kiwanis Club and the Genesee County Bar Association held their annual Law Day dinner at Bohn's Restaurant on Wednesday night.

Deputy Brian Thompson (top photo) received the Kathy Seymore Volunteer Service Award.

Winners of Criminal Justice Awards were: Andre R. Dunlap, investigator, New York State Police Troop “A”; David E. Gann, retired from the Genesee County District Attorney’s Office (second photo); Edward M. Minardo, currently jail superintendent; Michael A. Messina, chief of police, Buffalo/Batavia Veterans Administration Police Forces, and Colleen M. Marve, coordinator, Justice for Children Advocacy Center.

The Pembroke High School Mock Trial Team was honored for winning the regional championship (third photo).

If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

After the jump (click on the headline), the press release for the awards:

Press release:

April 27, 2012 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture.

Dean Norton, president of the NYS Farm Bureau, and Elba resident, provided the following statement on the Department of Labor's decision regarding proposed rule changes for children working on farms:

We at NYFB are extremely grateful for the public outcry over the regs that UDOL had proposed and appreciate the action by the farming community to make their collective voice heard on what would have been some very intrusive rules for farm families. It is refreshing to see that common sense was achieved in the withdrawal of the proposed rules.

As provided by Norton, here's the statement from the DOL:

“The Obama Administration is firmly committed to promoting family farmers and respecting the rural way of life, especially the role that parents and other family members play in passing those traditions down through the generations. The Obama Administration is also deeply committed to listening and responding to what Americans across the country have to say about proposed rules and regulations. As a result, the Department of Labor is announcing today the withdrawal of the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations. 

The decision to withdraw this rule – including provisions to define the "parental exemption" – was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms. To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama Administration. Instead, the departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H – to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”

April 26, 2012 - 8:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

A caller reports that a person got into an argument over a parking space at Tully's restaurant on Main Street in the city and brandished a black 22-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Batavia police are responding to the complaint.

April 26, 2012 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

It will be decades before the 13-acres of woodlands Lynn Belluscio and her late husband once enjoyed together return to their former "park-like" nature, but the man responsible for the removal of more than 100 of her trees will be out of jail in six months and off probation in five years.

David Henry Isabell, 43, of Liverpool, entered a guilty plea in January to scheme to defraud 1st and timber trespass. He was sentenced today in County Court.

The $36,000 Belluscio received in restitution is small compensation for what she lost, she told Judge Robert C. Noonan prior to Noonan handing down his sentence.

"I have only been able to walk in the woods once, and that was at the request of Deputy John Duyssen," Belluscio said. "What I saw that day made me sick to my stomach. If I ever have a chance to explain to my husband what happened, I would be at a total loss for words. ... I will not see the recovery of my woods in my lifetime."

Belluscio hired Isabell's company, Icon Timber Marketing, to cut down about 35 trees that were aging, diseased, or needed removal as a matter of good forest management. Workers took about 140 trees, left stumps and limbs on the property, big ruts in the ground and an area that once included a scenic horse trail is now unusable, covered by thorny vines and overgrowth, Belluscio said outside of court.

As part of the criminal complaint against Isabell, the DA's office alleged six land owners were defrauded out of more than $72,000 in hardwood timber by Isabell.

For the trees from Belluscio's land, Isabell received $60,000, according to bank records obtained during the investigation.

Attorney Robert Durr said his client's family stepped forward to pay the restitution, and Isabell said he's lost everything trying to repay his debts, which allegedly includes money owed to customers not part of the criminal complaint.

"Mr. Isabell is a terrible businessman," Durr said. "As a result of being a terrible businessman, he has placed himself in a situation of criminal liability."

Durr also described Isabell as a changed man who has quit drinking and recognizes that what he did was wrong.

"I truly believe that Mr. Isabell is a different man today than he was two years ago," Durr said. "I truly believe Mr. Isabell has great remorse and sorrow for what he did. I truly believe he feels remorse not for himself, but for these victims, and I truly believe that if he is given an opportunity, he will prove to the court and to the victims he is worthy of that opportunity."

Isabell told Noonan that he is "very remorseful" and that he is working day and night to earn enough money to repay his debts.

"These are all very good people and they trusted me," Isabell said. "I had done work for these people five or six years ago and based on that relationship, they trusted me. I broke that trust.

"I wasn't there," he added, "to oversee things and make sure things were done right and make sure they were paid. I'm very sorry. I feel terrible that they now feel this way about me because I worked very hard to gain their trust."

The case came to the attention the Sheriff's Office when Le Roy businessman and Oakta Trails property owner John Morrill agreed to let Isabell remove some trees from his land. 

In an interview outside of court, Morrill said Isabell identified himself as "Isabella" and said the trees might fetch Morrill about $1,500.

After months of not hearing from "Isabella" and not getting his calls returned, Morrill spotted some of the same trucks that had been on his property and stopped and talked to the crew.

One of the men, according to Morrill, was Donnie Hendrickson, who was later  charged as a co-defendant in the case.

Morrill said Hendrickson provided the correct identity for Isabell and said about Isabell using a different name, "he does that all the time."

When Isabell got wind that Morrill was going to talk with local law enforcement, he said Isabell offered him a payment of $50 toward the timber.

Because Morrill didn't take the payment, the Sheriff's Office was able to open a criminal investigation (if a potential fraud victim takes such a payment, it creates a contract, making the dispute a civil matter, not a criminal matter).

Duyssen was assigned to the case and located Belluscio as a potential victim.

By this time, Isabell was apparently in the Niagara County Jail for violating his probation from a prior DWI conviction.

According to Duyssen, Isabell apparently heard about the criminal investigation and allegedly sent an employee to Belluscio house at 11 o'clock at night with an offer of $5,600 for the wood.  Belluscio turned down the offer.

Outside of court, she described the late-night appearance of Isabell's employee at her house as frightening.

Eventually, Isabell was indicted on charges of two counts of grand larceny, 4th, three counts of grand larceny, 3rd, issuing a bad check, 22 counts of timber trespass, petit larceny, theft of services and scheme to defraud 1st.

Hendrickson was indicted on charges of grand larceny, 4th, 23 counts of timber trespass, grand larceny, 3rd, and scheme to defraud, 1st.

In January, Hendrickson entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor and has not yet been sentenced.

According to Durr's statements in court, Hendrickson cut a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against Isabell if the case went to trial.

Durr said the only reason his client was in court, and not Hendrickson, having entered a guilty plea to a felony was because Isabell's criminal past.  If the circumstances were different, Durr said, it would be Hendrickson facing a possible prison sentence.

He said Hendrickson received most of the money from the timber sales and was the person Belluscio dealt with the most on her property.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell said that when he and the victims read some of the letters sent to the court in support of Isabell, from friends, family and employees, they couldn't believe some of the statements in the letters blaming circumstances rather than Isabell for the crimes.

"These letters seem to suggest there is an excuse 100 times over for why he didn't pay these people, and why these events occurred the way they did" Finnell said. "No where is there any acceptance of responsibility."

Noonan said he had to balance a number of factors in his sentence of Isabell -- from the unrecoverable loss to Belluscio to the damage Isabell has done to his family.

"I have to fashion a sentence that makes a point to you and does not unduly burden society at this point," Noonan said. "I do recognize the fact that you did step up and figure out a way, with the help of people close to you, to financially compensate many of the people, if not all of the people, you involved in this scheme.

"There is a very good argument that I should lock you up and throw away the key," Noonan added. "There is also an argument that if not for the people close to you, who have paid a very huge debt, will only face a heavier burden with a long sentence."

After sentence was pronounced, Durr asked if it could be modified to nine months intermittent incarceration in the jail, giving Isabell an opportunity to work, earn money, and take care of his family as well as pay back debts he still owes.

Finnell opposed the request.

Noonan said, "I had the alternative of sending Mr. Isabell to state prison, but I elected not to do so. I fashioned a sentence for punishment as well as rehabilitation and my decision stands."

The mug shot above of Isabell was taken today after he arrived to begin his stint in the Genesee County Jail.

April 26, 2012 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Gerace.

John Gerace, who has served on the Town of Batavia Board for more than 16 years, resigned his position more than a week ago.

No reason has been given for his resignation.

Supervisor Greg Post confirmed Gerace's resignation today but declined to comment further.

Post said the board has not yet decided on a process for filling the vacant position.

Gerace could not be reached for comment.

Photo: File photo.

April 26, 2012 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Robert J. Eppolito is going to be out of the community and in prison for many years -- from eight to 11 -- following his sentencing on two criminal charges in county court today.

The 29-year-old Batavia and Le Roy resident has been in trouble with the law a few times in recent years and and in January he entered a guilty plea to assault, 2nd.

Eppolito previously admitted he punched and kicked a victim in Le Roy.

On the assault charge, Judge Robert C. Noonan gave Eppolito seven years in state prison. The sentence will be served consecutively with a violation of probation sentence of one to three years.

April 26, 2012 - 9:26am
posted by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom, NY: A historic and legendary tavern and restaurant. The Alabama Hotel is famous for its fish fries, but also serves a variety of top-quality entrees, featuring Certified Angus Beef. Now with expanded hours. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

Greg'ry's Bakery, 13 N. Lake Road, Bergen, NY: The bakery offers a variety of the finest cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and so much more. Each treat is made the same as it has been for decades and baked right here. Come in and sample some for yourself! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Kashmir Cafe, 85 Main St., Batavia, NY; This delightful cafe and coffee shop offers the finest flame-roasted artisan coffee and teas, a wide selection of sandwiches made with the freshest breads, and assorted baked goods. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kravings offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Log Cabin Restaurant, 1227 Gilmore Rd, Corfu, NY: Overlooking the picturesque Indian Falls on the Tonawanda Creek, the Log Cabin is known for casual dining, beef on weck, burgers, steaks, prime rib and mouthwatering BBQ baby back ribs. The Log Cabin is located off Route 77, 1.7 miles north of Exit 48 on the Thruway. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

New York Subs and Deli, 234 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Offering the freshest ingredients daily with a wide variety of sandwiches, wraps, & daily specials. All tips collected go to an animal in need! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Rancho Viejo, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Traditional Mexican cuisine, from tacos and burritos to pollo norteno, Rancho Viejo brings a bit of "South of the Border" to Batavia's restaurant scene. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Rosie's Diner, 4974 Ellicott St. Road, Batavia, NY: Serving breakfast and lunches daily. Rosie's features delicious homemade food including Italian and Polish dishes and the freshest homemade soups. "Where good people meet!" We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Scooter's Family Restaurant, 3711 W. Main St. Road, Batavia NY: Nestled just outside of the Village of Batavia, Scooter's offers a homestyle menu, daily specials, kid's meals and homemade desserts! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 S. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, jams, soups, home furnishings & more -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. Decorate your home or office for the upcoming spring season. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." Stop in and check out our jumbo chicken wings, roast beef on weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from super salads, butcher cut strip loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entire family. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facials, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have $20 gift certificates for $10.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.


April 26, 2012 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, accident, Pavilion.

A woman reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident in Pavilion early Wednesday morning has been accused of using her mobile phone while driving and doing that while she was drunk.

Alexandra Rae Wood, 21, of McCall Road, Batavia, allegedly had a BAC of .18 or greater when she drove her car into a ditch on Route 19 at 2:34 a.m.

She has been charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana, moving from lane unsafely and unlawful use of a mobile phone.

Wood was issued an appearance ticket and released.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Jason Saile.

April 25, 2012 - 9:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, alexander, trees, Gilhooly Road.

Passing down Gilhooly Road late this afternoon, I spotted these two trees on the side of a hill and thought they were pretty interesting.

April 25, 2012 - 8:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

A former Thorpe Street resident who was convicted of breaking into the unoccupied Maple Street apartment of a man jailed on drug charges was sentenced to eight years in prison today.

Eric P. Doleman, 41, pled guilty in February of second-degree burglary and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

Doleman will serve one-and-a-third to four years concurrently on the aggravated unlicensed operation charge, and after his release from prison he will be under court supervision for five years.

The convictions stem from breaking into the home of Edward R. Freida on Dec. 29. Doleman entered the apartment through a window while his accomplice, Frederick H. Robidoux Jr., waited outside. A neighbor spotted the men loading up a truck with items from the residence and reported this to police. Robidoux was sentenced last week to six years in prison for attempted burglary.

Freida, who is still in jail, was allowed to speak at today's sentencing. Wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and in shackles, Freida asked Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan to impose the maximum sentence allowable -- eight years.

"I treated this guy like family," Freida said with a clear, emphatic voice. "I gave him food and a place to crash. I'm in jail and then he turns around and robs me."

Then a man in the gallery, who told an attorney he was Doleman's brother, yelled out to Freida "You did your own crime. Did the DA give you a plea deal?"

Noonan asked the man if he wanted to stay in the courtroom and be quiet or leave. The man said he wanted to stay. A deputy walked over to the man and stayed there for the remainder of the sentencing.

"I would not be in jail if not for the defendant," Freida continued.

The judge said he would not consider the statement in determining Doleman's sentence.

"I am not imposing sentence in any fashion because of Mr. Frieda's comment that he's incarcerated because of Mr. Doleman," Noonan said.

Defense attorney Terry Falk asked for the minimum prison time allowable in this case, five years. He said Doleman has never before been convicted of a Class E felony, only misdemeanors, and that the defendant has been cooperative with law enforcement agencies.

"His mother is 64 and she has COPD, and she has fluid around her heart," Falk said, adding the obvious -- that the chance that Doleman's mother will die while her son is in prison increases with a longer sentence.

The matter of restitution was debated and Falk said that although the DA's office requests around $4,000 only $292 can be documented as the material loss resulting from the crimes.

The judge told Falk that the approved plea agreement states that the restitution the DA asked for would be ordered or the DA could withdraw his consent for pleading guilty.

Thus, the defense consented to restitution of $3,810.31, for which Robidoux is jointly responsible.

When asked if he wanted to speak before sentencing, Doleman said "I apologize beforehand. I will be a good citizen upon my release."

The judge was disinclined to believe him, citing Doleman's lengthy history of run-ins with the law.

"You have a very consistent record of breaking the law -- for 20 years," Noonan said, adding that Doleman's lawyer "negotiated a good deal."

April 25, 2012 - 8:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Oakfield.

An Oakfield child molester who pled guilty to third-degree burglary last month was given a three- to six-year prison sentence this afternoon by Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan.

In addition, Steven A. Mullen will concurrently serve a sentence of one-and-a-third to four years for failing to register as a sex offender after moving to a new address.

He was given the maximum sentence possible under a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office. (Although he's a two-time felon, the first-degree sex offense could not be considered for sentencing purposes with regard to the burglary charge.) No restitution or fine was included in the deal.

"Mr. Mullen has a brief criminal history -- only the child molestation conviction before now," said Assistant Public Defender William Harper. "He had a terrible upbringing. He was the victim of sex abuse from multiple offenders."

Harper noted that his client "somewhat understands" how his family history has impacted his judgement.

"He makes poor choices, he acknowleges making poor decisions and knows that his actions affect others," Harper said before asking for the minimum sentence allowable.

When the judge asked Mullen if he had anything to say to the court, the slightly built 25-year-old spoke only of the failure-to-register conviction.

"I knew better, on failure to register, I knew I had 10 days," Mullen said. "I'm only asking the court to be lenient for my family, not myself."

Noonan was not swayed, saying multiple crimes have been committed because of one man's poor choices.

"I can't see that anything else should be afforded you," Noonan said before making his ruling.

Several supporters sat in the gallery behind the defendant and one woman wept softly as the sentence was handed down.

In 2004, Mullen was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse and served two-and-a-half years in prison.

Mullen was arrested earlier this year after an alert neighbor on Weatherwax Road in Oakfield reported a burglary in progress. He has been in Genesee County Jail since his arrest Feb. 16 and subsequent conviction on third-degree burglary.

April 25, 2012 - 8:06pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, bluebirds, chirping sparrows.

While the weather on Monday and Tuesday was a bit of a curveball for man and beast alike, by first light on Wednesday the sound of upbeat chirps and warbles once again emanated from the woods out back.

While the robins, cardinals and noisy flickers were all on hand, it was the bluebird that caught my attention. Unlike past encounters, the male, though it flitted from time to time, never strayed too far, allowing me to take its picture.

Shortly thereafter he was joined by this female.

While trying to focus on the male, I inadvertantly left her head out of the frame.

Meanwhile, in the front yard a lone chirping sparrow appears to be searching for a meal. 

It wasn't alone for long, as two others flew in to claim dibs. It's always nice to hear and see the songbirds, and good to see the sun shining again.

April 25, 2012 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Alpina Products.

Press release:

Artisan dairy manufacturer Alpina Foods has announced its yogurts will be available at Tops Friendly Markets, a leading grocery retailer in Upstate New York State and Northern Pennsylvania. The supermarket chain will carry Alpina Revive Greek Yogurt and Bon Yurt by Alpina at all Tops Friendly Market locations starting this month.

“We are excited to see our products on the shelves at Tops Friendly Markets,” said Alpina Foods General Manager Carlos Ramirez. “This relationship allows us to expand the availability of our yogurt as the demand for quality dairy products increases and the construction of our Batavia, New York dairy manufacturing plant nears completion.”

“Tops is proud to be the first grocery retailer in the area to carry Alpina Foods’ yogurts,” said Cathy Shifflett, Tops VP Center Store Sales and Marketing. “At Tops Friendly Markets, we’re committed to partnering with local brands such as Alpina Foods to bring quality products into communities throughout New York and Pennsylvania.”

Alpina Revive is an authentically strained, all-natural and non-fat Greek yogurt that packs an impressive 15 grams of protein in every cup. It contains simple ingredients such as milk and active yogurt cultures, is low in sugar and carbohydrates, and contains no artificial ingredients, sweeteners or flavors. Alpina Revive is paired with one-of-a-kind, chef-crafted granolas in four blends: antioxidant, superfoods, tropical, and Chai spices. 

Designed for the kid in all of us, Bon Yurt by Alpina is a creamy, traditional-style yogurt rich in protein and calcium but with a bit of fun in the mix. Paired with timeless cereal favorites like frosted flakes, cocoa rice, fruit rings and cookie bits, makes Bon Yurt by Alpina sure to please both parents and kids.

April 25, 2012 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather.

We seemed to have gotten a little bit of spring back today and Monday's snowstorm and yesterday's hail doesn't seem to have done much damage to all the various flowering trees around the city.

Above, Richmond Memorial Library, and bottom photo, behind 400 Towers on Swan Street.

April 25, 2012 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Casino is pleased to announce that its 27 million dollar expansion has been approved by the New York State Lottery. The expansion, which is slated to begin immediately, will consist of repairs to the roof, replacement of the facility’s neon sign with an energy-efficient LED one, and most notably, the facility’s second-story gaming floor will be brought down to ground level.

The project is expected to be one of the largest construction projects in Western New York this year.

“We are pleased to begin this long-anticipated project," said Mike Kane, president of Western Regional Off-Track Betting and Batavia Downs Casino. “The construction will create jobs both during the building of our new facility and inside the casino once the expansion is completed."

Since 2005, Batavia Downs Casino has contributed more than 107 million dollars to New York State Education through the lottery and more 71 million has been distributed to the 15 counties of Western New York and the two cities of Buffalo and Rochester.

"The expansion will add about 200 machines to the gaming floor, and we expect an increase in the yearly payments given back to the citizens of New York State," Kane said.

New restaurants will also be added to the facility.

“The Thurman Thomas Sports Bar will give local sports fans a new, unique place to cheer on their favorite teams while enjoying food, drink and local musical entertainment” said Director of Marketing Ryan Hasenauer.

The Tim Horton’s currently on the second floor would be expanded once it occupies its new space on the first floor. Batavia Downs Casino’s Ambassador will have his own space on-site as well.





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