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August 31, 2012 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, State Police.

A trooper assigned to the State Police barracks in Batavia suffered non-life-threatening injuries Thursday morning after a mechanical failure on the helicopter he was flying forced it down in a wooded area in the Town of Bath.

Trooper Thomas A. Shultz, 41, was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital.

The Aviation Bell 407 helicopter was based at the Genesee County Airport.

Shultz, an experienced Army combat pilot, according to State Police, was returning to Batavia following a search for a missing person.

According to the press release, Shultz "took appropriate action and made a controlled but powerless descent, which resulted in a hard landing."

The cause of the incident is under investigation, as required, by the NTSB, FAA, and New York State Police.

August 31, 2012 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, State Police.

Press release:

New York State Police Troop A will now accept unused and expired prescription drugs as part of new legislation enacted by Governor Cuomo to help fight prescription drug abuse.

Effective immediately, citizens can go to the Troop A Headquarters, SP Batavia, to dispose unwanted prescription drugs as a result of the governor's initiative.

This self-service medication drop box will allow the public to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or unwanted prescription medications, keeping it out of the hands of those who may choose to abuse it.

Items that can be dropped off include: prescription medications, medicated ointments, over-the-counter medications and inhalers. Hazardous materials and needles are NOT accepted.

The Medication Drop Box is located in the front lobby at SP Batavia, located at 4525 W. Saile Drive.

The abuse of prescription medications continues to be an issue facing the citizens and law enforcement agencies of New York State. Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation to help fight prescription drug abuse.


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August 31, 2012 - 2:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business improvement district, wine walk.

Tickets are on sale for Downtown's third annual "Taste of Fall Wine Walk," which will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. The event includes 21 tastings, a commemorative wine glass, and a discount card for dinner and shopping.

Tickets cost $20 and are going fast. Designated drivers pay $5. Twenty-one stores and businesses are on the itinerary.

Only 500 tickets will be sold and last year they were gone two weeks prior to the event.

You can buy them at:

  • Coffee Culture, 6 Court St.
  • T-Shirts Etc., 111 Main St.
  • Valle Jewelers, 21 Jackson St.

All participants must be age at least 21 years old.

On the night of the event, registration is at the Genesee Orleans Art Council, 201 E. Main St.

The host and major sponsor is the Batavia Business Improvement District, the Genesee Valley Pennysaver and T-Shirts Etc.

Visit www.downtownbataviany.com or Facebook: Downtown Batavia Improvement District for more information about this and other events. To phone the BID, call 344-0900.

August 31, 2012 - 2:30pm

About a week ago, a black swan flew into the Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant and has been hanging out ever since.

Black swans are native to Australia and it's highly unlikely this rare species made it to Batavia on its own.

The bird is likely an escapee of a private collection.

Because black swans were thought not to exist prior to the 18th Century, when they were unexpectedly discovered in Australia, statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb named his theory of extremely rare events "black swans." (Recommend reading: Taleb's book "Fooled by Randomness.")

I spent more than 90 minutes this morning at the treatment plant, but with 20 mph winds, all of the big birds, including white swans and blue herons, not to mention the black swan, seemed to have sought shelter elsewhere.

A plant worker told me other photographers have been at the plant this past week and successfully captured pictures of the swan. I'll try again on a less windy day, but if a reader has a picture of this bird in Batavia they would like to share, please send it to howard at the batavian dot com (reformat, of course).

Meanwhile, I did get the picture below this morning of some ducks.

August 31, 2012 - 1:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Darien, Pavilion.

Timothy J. Petrie, 41, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with one count of sexual abuse, 1st. Petrie is accused of sexually abusing a child under age 11 at his house several years ago. Following an investigation by Deputy Matthew Fleming with assistance from Deputy Matthew Butler, Deputy Cory Mower and Investigator Roger Stone. Petrie was arrested Aug. 24 and arraigned in Town of Pavilion Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. UPDATE: In July 2013, a jury acquitted Petrie on all counts.

A 16-year-old resident of Warsaw is charged with petit larceny. The youth was arrested at 6:35 p.m., Thursday, by State Police in the Town of Darien.

Christian M. Hilken, 21, of Pike Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child. Hilken is accused of hosting an underage drinking party on Wednesday evening.

Henry Lee Banks, 42, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Banks is accused of stealing scrap metal from a business on Orchard Street, Oakfield.

August 31, 2012 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.

A motorcyclist who attempted to pass two vehicles on Route 19 at 7:43 p.m., Thursday, was injured after his bike struck a car attempting to turn left onto Gibson Street, Bergen.

Dudley C. Kuyal, 49, of Fancher Road, Holley, was transported by ground ambulance to Lakeside Memorial Hospital.

Kuyal was northbound on Route 19 when he apparently tried to pass two other northbound vehicles. The lead car pulled in front of his bike while initiating a left-hand turn.

That car was driven by Robert C. Douglas Jr., 49, of Gibson Street, Bergen.

Douglas was not injured in the accident.

Deputy James Diehl, who investigated the accident, wrote in his report that charges are pending.

August 31, 2012 - 12:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, accidents.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 9049 Alleghany Road. The location is just north of Cohocton Road near the village line. Corfu Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics and law enforcement.

UPDATE 12:53 p.m.: The cars are off the roadway. Injuries are minor. Law enforcement has left the scene.

UPDATE 1:27 p.m.: A 57-year-old man is being taken to UMMC with complaints of neck and lower back pain. This accident occurred when one vehicle rear-ended another. He was a driver.

August 30, 2012 - 5:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, Byron Volunteer Fire Department.

Charles Durkee, 1st assistant chief with the Byron Volunteer Fire Department, sent in these pictures from his department's weekly training.

Here's what he had to say about the training:

Monday night Byron Fire Department came together to practice what is known as an MCI (Mass Casualty Incident). A Mass Casualty Incident can be defined as an incident that has produced more casualties than a customary response assignment can handle.

It is handled in four stages and sometimes more, depending on size and nature of the MCI:

1) INITIAL TRIAGE, examining who is hurt the worst;

2) PATIENT EXTRACTION removal of the victim from whatever they are trapped in

3) SECONDARY TRIAGE/MEDICAL TREATMENT getting a better assessment of the patients' welfare and if one of the victims may have to be reclassified sometimes for the better or worse;

4) TRANSPORTATION OF PATIENTS whether to transport by air or ground and to what hospitals.

At times we actually “get” something; maybe we respond to a house fire or a damage accident, or we run a good code. We certainly can bring these incidents to successful conclusion effortlessly, but at the end of the day, that is what the public expects.

We will not be judged on those routine undertakings. Our true value as emergency responders will be revealed in our ability to handle more extreme circumstances. This is why your volunteers spend many hours training.

August 30, 2012 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) recently expressed his opposition to legislation that would extend a variety of tuition assistance benefits to illegal aliens attending college in New York. Hawley characterized the measure as an out-of-touch proposal that betrays government’s obligation to taxpaying American families.

“Forcing taxpaying American citizens to subsidize higher education for illegal aliens is a blatant violation of the public trust and a complete injustice for our American students and families working tooth-and-nail to afford the pursuit of a college diploma,” Hawley said.

“This is yet another example of out-of-touch New York City politicians forcing New Yorkers in Upstate communities to foot the bill for their radical agenda. Families in Western New York need tuition assistance to build better lives for themselves and their children.

"I will fight any measure that robs them of that opportunity, especially this legislation which funnels taxpayer money into public assistance for illegal aliens.”

August 30, 2012 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board.

The Batavian received a reply from the City of Batavia today on its FOIL request regarding the loan that Chad Zambito received through the Batavia Development Corp. for his business, Grammy's Laundry, which is set for an asset auction Sept. 4.

Answers to key questions:

  • Date loan approved: Conditional approval, May 2010
  • Amount of initial loan: $20,000
  • Purpose of the loan: working capital/equipment
  • Amount still owed on the loan: The pay off is $14,532.15
  • Date of last payment: July 3

Zambito also owes money to the Bank of Castile. He said previously that his total debt is less than $20,000 and he expects the asset auction to raise enough money to satisfy both debts.

Previously: Business owned by Chad Zambito closed, assets up for auction to pay debts

August 30, 2012 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian.

Public notices: they’re paid for by taxpayer funds, created by public employees, intended for wide public distribution, but publication is dictated by a monopolistic government subsidy for newspapers.

It’s a law I and every other independent online publisher in New York State would like to change.

When I last wrote about this issue, a guy who has created a national public notices Web site contacted me and told me he was already compiling all of the public notices available online for Genesee County. For the simple price of sending him over our logo, he would provide a link where visitors to The Batavian could go and view public notices in a user-friendly fashion.

He wants to work with independent publishers to help prove online-only publications are just as capable of handling public notices as print publications, so he was offering the service for free.

The Batavia Daily News, under the current law, is the carrier of most paid public notices in Genesee County.

Since the notices originate not from the Daily, but from public agencies, it was our belief the notices are public property and not proprietary to the Daily. Besides, the only action The Batavian was taking was providing a link to a third-party Web site for the benefit of readers.

Now, months after we provided the link, the parent corporation of the Batavia Daily News, has decided to take a different view.

A few days ago, I received a “cease and desist” email from John B. Johnson, an executive with the chain of newspapers that owns the Daily.

The note was cordial, but also asserted legal authority to require us to stop posting public notices that originated from the Daily.

The note accused The Batavian of “copying” notices from thedailynewsonline.com, which was a factually untrue statement. As I noted in a reply to Johnson, the service was provided by a third party for which The Batavian has no contractual relationship and no monetary interest.

The assertion that The Batavian was violating the Daily’s copyright of notices also flies in the face of case law that substantiates the idea that a newspaper cannot claim copyright on material that it did not create. Since public employees create public notices, the notices are public property.

And besides, since no advertising appeared on the third-party’s public notice page, and since print publication of public notices is an income stream protected – a monopoly subsidy -- for newspapers courtesy of the State Legislature, the Johnson Newspaper chain cannot establish an important element of any assertion of copyright violation: financial loss as a result of the use of the material.

All that said, the Johnsons can afford corporate lawyers and The Batavian, still a small, family owned start-up, cannot. When you factor in that there is no monetary benefit to The Batavian for providing the free public service of increasing access to public notices, the risk-reward equation for challenging the newspaper chain’s claims falls well short on the reward side.

There’s just no point in fighting the corporation’s claims. 

But we want to continue to provide the service.

The owners of the third party Web site, at no charge to The Batavian, have graciously agreed to start accepting public notices directly from town, village and city clerks along with the agents of every other public entity in Genesee County that create public notices.

Such agencies can now email those notices to (notices at the batavian dot com) (reformat that address into a proper email address, of course).

I’ve already been in touch with about a half dozen town clerks and all cheerfully agreed to start sending their notices directly to this email address.

While the service is free to the public agencies and won’t cost taxpayers a dime, it is no substitute – under current law – for an agency’s legal requirements to publish public notices in a newspaper that has been designated by state law to publish such notices.

While we wish our friends at Johnson Newspapers well in their effort to protect a business model that is being disrupted from a variety of competitive forces, we believe public notices should not be a State Legislature-sanctioned monopoly subsidy for print publications.

In this day and age, public notices should be widely available to the public, and publications other than strictly print should be able to compete for the business of providing verified, legal publication. We will continue to encourage lawmakers to change the law.

August 30, 2012 - 2:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy.

A 31-year-old driver from Le Roy suffered minor injuries Wednesday night after his car hit a utility pole, mailbox and a parked car on Route 5 at York Road.

No citations are listed on the accident report, but Christopher L. Hyde, of Church Street, reportedly failed to stop at a stop sign when coming off northbound York Road.

His vehicle traveled through the intersection and struck the pole, mailbox and a car parked in the driveway of the residence at 8523 E. Main Road.

The accident was reported at 8:18 p.m.

Hyde was transported to UMMC with non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

August 30, 2012 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Darien, Le Roy, Pavilion.

Kyle W. Nash, 25, of 7 Myrtle St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and felony aggravated unlicensed operation. Nash was involved in a motor vehicle accident Tuesday night in the area of 76 North St., Le Roy. Nash was reportedly looking for an item inside the vehicle and his car veered to the right and struck the rear of a tractor-trailer parked alongside the roadway. Two passengers in the vehicle were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Following arraignment, Nash was jailed on $5,000 bail.

David Bruce Piechowicz, 36, Eagan Drive, Lackawanna, is charged with trespass. Piechowicz allegedly went to the home of his ex-girlfriend after being told to stay away.

James J. Angelo, 48, of Churchville, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Angelo was stopped by State Police on Route 77 in the Town of Darien at 12:05 a.m., today.

Reuben L. Bumpus, 29, of Newark, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08. Bumpus was stopped by State Police in the City of Batavia, at 12:35 a.m., today.

Walter L. Knickerbocker, 54, of South Street, Pavilion, is charged with unlawful growing of cannabis. Knickerbocker was arrested by State Police at 12:45 p.m., Tuesday. No further details were released.

A 14-year-old from Albion is charged with petit larceny after being arrested by State Police for allegedly shoplifting at Kmart on Tuesday. No further details were released.

Kelvin B. Murphy, 39, of Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd, and second-degree harassment/physical contact. Murphy was arrested by State Police Tuesday for an alleged incident reported at 1:01 a.m. in Oakfield. He was ordered held in jail, no bail information given in the report. No further details released.

August 30, 2012 - 9:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

The following people were arrested Wednesday by the Sheriff's Office during the Uproar Rockstar Energy Drink Concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

(Redacted upon request), 44, of Owens Street, Corning, is charged with trespass after allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue after being told to leave several times. xxxx was arraigned in Darien Town Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $100 bail.

Tyler W. Seneca, 27, of Route 438, Irving, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after allegedly throwing items at deputies and physically refusing to be taken into custody. Seneca was arraigned in Darien Town Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Deanna L. Russo, 39, of Lake Road, Webster, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, after allegedly striking a security guard while being ejected from the venue and was then found to have possessed a quantity of three different controlled prescription drugs. Russo was arraigned in Darien Town Court and remanded to jail with no bail.

Gregory J. Brown, 35, of Louth Street, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, is charged with DWI and with a BAC of .08 or greater after allegedly operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on a public walkway outside the concert venue. Brown was arraigned in Darien Town Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Jeffrey J. Logal, 30 of Virgil Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly pushing and then grabbing a concert usher.

Stephanie N. Nonnemacher, 27, of Cedar Wood Terrace, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

Jeffrey R. Mason, 21, of Linden Street, Cheektowaga, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

Timothy J. Slotta, 35 of Long Hallow Road, Turtle Point, Pa., was arrested on a warrant out of Cattaragus County for an alleged violation of probation.

The following people were issued appearance tickets for alleged unlawful possession of marijuana:

Albert A. Garcia, 48, of Dudley Avenue, Niagara Falls
Jordan P.Powell, 24, of Eagle Street, Medina
Sherie R. Seefeldt, 31, of Eagle Street, Medina
Kayla R. Tubinis, 21, of 86th Street, Niagara Falls
Reuben P. Satarian, 24, of Joanne Circle, Niagara Falls
Kelly L. Dale, 43, of Dowland Crescent, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Daniel L. Aldrich, 39, of Hinman Road, Little Valley
Brandon J. Wyatt, 29, of Fawn Avenue, Salamanca
Kyle R. Gehrek, 24, of Westchester Boulevard, Kenmore
William R. Whaley II, 30, of Stone Road, Rochester
Broc W. Vanskiver, 25, of State Route 227, Burdett
Tyler P. Renaldo, 21, of Shirley Road, North Collins
Ian M. Brennan, 25, of Park Avenue, Lockport
Ryan S. Buczkowski, 19, of Castlewood Drive, Cheektowaga
Robert M. Souter, 39, of West Avenue, West Seneca
Steven R. Maskell, 19, of North Byron Road, Elba
Elliot P. Arnold, 25, of Terry Street, Byron
Gala K. Tubera, 19, of Oliver Street, Rochester
Harrison C. Delatante, 20, of Oliver Street, Rochester
Matthew R. Meiser, 23, of Newberry Lane, Lancaster
Justin J. Holler, 23, of Swamp Road, Cattaraugus

The following individuals were issued citations for alleged possession of alcohol under age 21.

Kerry R. Meissner, 19, of Bernadette Circle, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Richard I. Fancher Jr., 18, of Pine Street, Franklinville

August 30, 2012 - 8:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, accident, Alabama.

A car reportedly hit a dump truck and is on fire in the area of 1151 Bloomingdale Road, Basom.

Initially, there was reported entrapment, but now dispatchers have been told the person is out of the vehicle, but is seriously injured.

Mercy Flight is in route with an eight minute ETA.

Alabama Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:58 a.m.: Mercy Flight in route to ECMC.

UPDATE 9:58 a.m.: Alabama fire back in service.

UPDATE 11:29 a.m. (Photos and information provided by Alicia Kaus): The pickup truck was driven by Charles Scorse, 22, of Hamlin. Scorse was reportedly heading to the reservation to buy cigarettes after working all night in Greece and he fell asleep. His truck hit a Waste Management garbage truck that was stopped to pick up residential trash. The WM worker told Scorse to get out of his vehicle, that it was on fire. Scorse managed to get out, stumble across the road and collapse. The truck then burst into flames. He was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC. The WM worker was uninjured.


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August 30, 2012 - 12:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, synthetic drugs, bath salts, The 420 Emporium.

A group of at least five men showed up at 400 Ellicott St., Batavia, Wednesday evening to box up the inventory and remove the fixtures of the former location of The 420 Emporium.

The 420 was suspected of selling synthetic marijuana and synthetic amphetamines from the time it opened in Batavia in May.

The store was raided by the DEA on July 25 and its apparent local owner, Joshua Denise, was arrested. The store never reopened after the raid, though its shelves remained stocked -- until Wednesday night -- with glass pipes, bongs, rolling papers and other retail items.

For our prior coverage of The 420 Emporium, click here.

August 29, 2012 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Gerace, Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board.

Grammy's Laundry, a business located on West Main Street and owned by Chad Zambito, a candidate in the GOP primary for Batavia Town Board, has been closed and its assets are being sold at auction.

The auction is set for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the order of the Bank of Castile.

Besides owning money to the Bank of Castile, Zambito also borrowed money from the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) to help upgrade and modernize the laundry.

In total, Zambito said, he owes less than $20,000 against the business's assets, which he said he expects to fetch close to $30,000 in the auction.

Zambito said today his business got into trouble in January when a plumbing problem forced him to close the laundry for two months. Even after the doors were open again, customers did not return with the same frequency as before.

He believes another business caused the blockage in the plumbing system, but it wasn't resolved in time between the other business and the landlord to get his doors reopened in a timely manner.

"It wasn't my responsibility to fix it, but yet I'm left to deal with the consequences," Zambito said.

The failure of Zambito's business was brought to the attention of The Batavian by his GOP primary opponent John Gerace. Gerace didn't accuse Zambito of stirring the pot on Gerace's own personal issues, but said if others are going drag the campaign into personal issues rather than real issues, people should know about the auction proceedings.

Zambito was appointed earlier this month to fill the vacant spot left on the Town Board by Gerace's resignation from the board in April. Zambito is also the endorsed candidate by the town's GOP committee in the Sept. 13 primary race.

While the notice on the door of Grammy's Laundry confirms the auction, The Batavian has not been able to confirm the amount of debt Zambito incurred and has not repaid. A FOIL request to the City of Batavia for related BDC documents has not yet been answered.

Zambito is a former BDC board member, but said he left that position when he was no longer employed by Genesee County Economic Development Committee, and didn't request the loan until after he was no longer a BDC member.

Grammy's Laundry, Zambito said, went through three or four years of ups and downs as he tried to get the business going and in time, prior to the plumbing problem, the laundry was not much more than a break-even proposition.

"I worked with both lending institutions in an attempt to stay on track, but it got to be too much," Zambito said.

August 29, 2012 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien.

Richard Russell Vetter, 57, of Main Street, Varysburg, is charged with grand larceny and 10 counts of falsifying business records. Vetter is accused of making false metal purchase entries into business records while employed at Stanley Staba & Sons in Darien and writing himself checks in excess of $7,000.

Brian Mark Mahaney, 24, of Indian Falls Road, Pembroke, is charged with reckless endangerment. Mahaney is accused of being involved in a domestic dispute. He allegedly drove a motor vehicle eastbound on Indian Falls Road, crossed the center line into the path of a westbound vehicle. The westbound vehicle reportedly had to drive off the pavement to avoid a collision. Mahaney then allegedly followed the vehicle to a residence and threatened to fight the vehicle's occupants.

Thomas Jacob Wolcott, 26, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and harassment, 2nd. Wolcott is accused of being involved in a physical altercation with a protected person whom he was ordered not to engage in any criminal act against. He allegedly grabbed the victim by her neck and threw her about a room. Wolcott was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Steven James Scott, 21, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .10 or greater, open container and unlawful possession of marijuana. Scott was taken into custody following a report at 8:36 p.m., Tuesday, of a motorist needing assistance on Route 33 in Bergen. The motorist reportedly attempted to flag down passing cars. Upon investigation, deputies Joseph Graff and Matthew Butler identified Scott as the operator of a motor vehicle who was allegedly driving while drunk.

Triton Adam Drock, 18, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse, 2nd. Drock allegedly had an ongoing relationship with a minor female. Drock is accused of acting in a manner injurious to the physical and moral welfare of a minor. Following arraignment in Darien Town Court, Drock was released on his own recognizance and issued a stay-away order for the minor female.

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