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May 26, 2012 - 10:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, corfu.

A 31-year-old male has reportedly fallen into a campfire at a location on Snipery Road, Corfu.

The victim suffered burns on his arms and legs.

Darien fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 10:46 p.m.: Mercy Flight 7 out of Buffalo being put on in-air standby.

UPDATE 10:56 p.m.: Mercy Flight is cancelled.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: Darien is back in service.

May 26, 2012 - 10:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, Ellicott Street, main street.

About a dozen volunteers associated with the Business Improvement District hit the streets of Batavia today to plant flowers in a series of terracotta planters placed at strategic locations.

The planters are part of an ongoing beautification effort for downtown and in all 14 were purchased and filled with flowers and grasses.

"When you look at Niagara on the Lake, Saratoga, any of those cities, when they have flowers, people do talk about them," said Don Burkel, executive director of BID. "They make people feel better. It also attracts people to come here. They lend a vibrancy to our community."

The planters were placed at the main intersections on Ellicott and Main, as well as some along Ellicott Street, where Burkel said the area could use a little more color.

Above, Marcia Gann and Mary Valle fill a planter at the corner of Main and Court streets.

May 26, 2012 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield.

A car-deer accident with injuries is reported at Fisher Road and Lewiston Road, Oakfield.

Oakfield fire and ambulance responding.

UPDATE 1:38 p.m.: At least one victim with cuts from glass and minor bruising where the deer hit her.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: Oakfield Engine 72 back in service.

May 26, 2012 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, Oakfield, Alabama.

Alec Covel and the Oakfield-Alabama Hornets persevered through seven innings of playoff baseball Friday to secure berth in the Class CC finals Tuesday against #1 seed Lyons.

Covel gave up 11 hits against Perry, but more importantly, he struck out 10 and surrendered only two runs to lead the Hornets (17-4) to an 8-2 victory.

Covel said he just wanted to "win one for the team."

The Yellow Jackets got to him for a quick run in the first inning, but then Covel settled in and gained confidence as the game went on.

"In the beginning I had trouble spotting my curve ball," Covel said. "It started coming through. It was working and they weren’t hitting it so I kept throwing it."

The sophomore mixed his off-speed stuff with a dominating fastball to keep the Perry hitters off balance for most of the night.

His lone base on balls came in the final frame, when Perry scored its only other run of the night.

Co-head Coach Dan Gilbert, who shares the position with James Patrick, said the win was a team effort -- Covel was backed by solid defense, but praised Covel's attitude and work ethic.

"It's a combination of Alec's temperament -- he's a great pitcher, great work ethic, hard-nosed kid who doesn't get rattled, and he had great defense behind him," Gilbert said.

Gilbert said the Hornets knew they would have their hands full with Perry, but the team never gave up and the five-run sixth was just what the Hornets needed to put away the #11 seed.

"We knew coming in they were scrappy and they played scrappy," Gilbert said.  "We knew we would have to persevere through any kind of adversity or bumps in the road. We had a couple of mistakes along the way that we had to persevere through and we didn’t quit and we didn’t give up. And we got the big inning when we needed it."

The offense was led by Kurtis Dunlap, who reached base four times -- one hit, two walks and one hit by a pitch -- and scored three runs.

Tommy Manzella had a triple and a run scored.

Hunter Spiotta had his second 2-3 game of the playoffs and scored a run.

The Hornets go into the finals as the #2 seed and getting to the championship game is what O-A's seniors have had in mind all season, Gilbert said.

"The senior leadership has been phenomenal," Gilbert said. "They’ve had a desire to make a run the whole year. They’ve picked up everybody along the way. Our hats go off to the seniors every day because sometimes when you’re a senior, senioritis kicks in. These guys just want to play baseball, do the best they can for the team. That’s been the key to our success all year."

Even though they will be facing the #1 seed, Gilbert said the Hornets are ready for the challenge.

"We feel confident," Gilbert said. "We know we have a chance. We’re going to have to play quality baseball, but we have good quality kids who are going to work hard and leave it on the field."

The game will be played Tuesday at a location yet to be determined.

If you have trouble viewing the slide show, click here.  To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

May 25, 2012 - 6:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Memorial Day, corfu, Veterans Services.

For 17 years, Hal Kreter has served the veterans of Genesee County, and been a stalwart representative of those who served at Veterans Day and Memorial Day events.

Monday, Kreter will make the rounds for the last time of the various prayers, flag raisings, taps playing and flag saluting memorials in Genesee County.

As the day goes by, Kreter said, he'll reflect on how much things have changed over the past 17 years and the veterans, both living and dead, he has helped.

"I've had the privilege of meeting all of these veterans and listening ot their stories, helping them out, helping them get their compensation and lead better lives and seeing them and their families turn their lives around," Kreter said. "Doing all of the things we do to help veterans is really what I enjoy doing, helping veterans and their families."

When Kreter retires in August, it will be a new chapter in a four-decades long career of service, first through 24 years of service in the Marine Corps, then in veteran services in Genesee County. Kreter expects he'll still be involved in veterans affairs as a retiree in the California desert.

This week Kreter was honored by the New York State Senate when he was named to the Senate's Veterans' Hall of Fame.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer nominated Kreter and in a news release called Kreter a "one-man army" on behalf of veterans.

"Hal has helped hundreds and hundreds of Genesee County veterans every year," Ranzenhofer said. "His diligence to serve as a staunch advocate for veterans is equivalent to the strength of an entire army. Clearly, Hal is a distinguished veteran deserving of a special place among elite veterans of New York State.”

In 1996, the Corfu resident received the NYS Conspicuous Service Cross. He's also been VP of WNY Veterans Services Officers Association and been a member of the Marine Corps League, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Kreter, a retired master sergeant, said the hall of fame award was an honor, but also said there are so many veterans in the area who deserve recognition, he couldn't help but wonder, "why me?"

The privilege, Kreter said, has been in serving Genesee County's veterans.

"We have a very proactive veterans community, a very good veterans community," Kreter said. "We've seen the benefits increase throughout the years, with the Veterans ID card and the tax exemptions, the Cold War exemption. It's just a great community and the veterans here are very, very good at what they do. They all stick together and work together."

May 25, 2012 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, synthetic drugs, synthetic marijuana.

A Batavia business whose owner previously said he was no longer selling products that had recently been banned by the state, appears to have kept right on selling the product, which he refers to as potpourri, but is also commonly known as synthetic marijuana.

Jason Lang, owner of The Laughing Buddha, at 238 Ellicott St., said today that he is sold out of potpourri, without specifying the time period in which he sold out his stock, and that he will soon offer a replacement product that he believes is 100-percent legal.

On Wednesday, either Lang or a representative of the store posted on the company's Facebook page, "We are temporarily out of potpourri! New merchandise coming soon!"

Sources have told The Batavian over the past few weeks that it was possible to still buy synthetic marijuana at The Buddha. You just had to whisper to an employee, "potpourri."

Lang didn't deny the allegation, but insisted that he is sold out and won't restock because after research and further consideration, he's decided he can't ethically sell products that are potentially harmful to customers.

The new product, which Lang said he found at a trade show in Atlantic City, is entirely natural -- no chemicals, no synthetic cannabinoids (so it's apparently not covered by the NYS Health Department ban), and it doesn't even carry the "not for human consumption" label warning.

"The new product is made from damiana leaf and mixed with an Asian herb," Lang said. "It provides a euphoric feeling, but it is chemical free. It's all natural."

David Whitcroft, interim health department director for Genesee County, said his department had suspicions that The Laughing Buddha was still selling products covered by the health department order, but didn't have proof.

"We haven't been there for more than two or three weeks, but we get lots of complaints," Whitcroft said. "When we go to the store for inspection, there's nothing on the shelves."

The county's ability to enforce the ban is also limited. The only thing local officials can do, Whitcroft said, is notify the state of any evidence of a violation and let the state take it from there.

Jeffrey Hammond, spokesman for the NYS Health Department, said that if the state learns of a store violating the order, it would take the complaint to the Attorney General's Office and the AG would have the power to start a process that could lead to a $2,000 fine per violation.

So far, the state hasn't sought fines against any store owners, but that might yet happen, Hammond said, without specifying any stores that may be targeted for further enforcement action.

Under the order, shop owners could challenge the state's contention that synthetic marijuana is harmful to human health. Four store owners -- none in Western New York -- did in fact seek an administrative hearing on the question, Hammond said. The hearing was held last week but the judge has not yet issued a decision.

Both the Senate and Assembly have passed legislation making synthetic marijuana a controlled substance. The two chambers must now compromise on final legislation to send to the governor for signature.

"We feel that the issue is not one of street sales, but that store owners are making the sales," said Chris Bresnan, spokesman for Assemblyman Kenneth Zabrowski, the sponsor of the Assembly bill. "When store owners realize there is a criminal penalty, we feel they will cease to sell and distribute these products."

If compromise legislation is passed before the end of the session in June, and the governor signs it into law, it would take effect in September.

May 25, 2012 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, outdoors, Dewitt Park.

Kevin Sheehan caught a nice 5-pound bass at Dewitt Park yesterday.

May 25, 2012 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Don Carroll, Toys for Kids.

One of Genesee County's most generous residents, a man who has helped numerous families in times of need, is facing a serious challenge of his own.

Don Carroll was diagnosed in April with cancer of the esophagus. He has undergone two radiation treatments, awaits a third, and is about to start chemotherapy.

"Don has supported so many people over the years," said Jerry Foster, his sixth-grade teacher, lifelong friend and helper with Don's various charity efforts, including the annual 5K run and Toys for Kids.

"He's raised thousands of dollars for college scholarships, camp scholarships, Toys for Kids. If everybody could keep him in their thoughts and prayers and do what they can. Don wouldn't ask for that. He wouldn't ask for anything for himself, but he's going to need help, especially when the medical bills start coming in."

There has hardly been a time in Carroll's life that he hasn't helped others. The 1974 graduate of Oakfield-Alabama High School was an orphan who found a home in Genesee County. Shortly after graduation, Carroll starting raising money, a project that continued for 23 years, to send kids to YMCA summer camp.

In the late 1990s, Carroll switched his focus to raising funds for college scholarships and organized annual 5K and 10K runs as fundraisers.

More recently, Carroll has headed up Toys for Kids, a secret-Santa program for the area's children who might not otherwise receive Christmas presents.

In 1997, Carroll was named Geneseean of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce and he was inducted into the O-A Hall of Fame three years ago.

Foster said Carroll remains in great spirits.

"He knows everything is going to work out," Foster said. "He knows he's going to be at the 5K race (this summer). He has a very positive attitude."

Carroll hasn't worked since April 19 and isn't expected to be back on his feet for several more weeks.

Even so, he's continuing to do what he can for Toys for Kids, sending out emails to sponsors and helping to organize run for this summer.

The office at Birchwood Village Apartments, 88 Dewey Ave., Batavia, is selling candy bars for $1.50 as a fundraiser for Carroll and a chicken BBQ is being planned, but no other fundraisers have been set yet, Foster said.

Donations for Carroll can be sent to Jerry Foster at 20 River St., Batavia, NY 14020.

People who would like to know more about Carroll's medical progress can sign up for Care Bridge. Foster asked that visitors sign the guestbook and leave messages, which Foster prints out and brings to Carroll.

"They mean a lot to him," he said.

May 25, 2012 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Early this morning a 24-inch water main broke in the area of 8506 Lake St. Road, Le Roy, and repairs are expected to take all day.

Currently, Monroe County Water Authority customers in Le Roy have water service and Route 19 remains open.

May 24, 2012 - 10:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Press release:

The Village of LeRoy Police Department will be running sobriety checkpoints in conjunction with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and Batavia Police this holiday weekend to deter intoxicated operation. These efforts will include stationary checkpoints and roving patrols in and around the Village of Le Roy.

May 24, 2012 - 7:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A minor injury accident is reported at 8524 Seven Springs Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia firefighters and Mercy EMS responding.

The single injury is a 10-year-old who was in the back seat, complaining of back pain.

View Larger Map

May 24, 2012 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force responded to a residence on Swan Street, Batavia, Tuesday to investigate a report of pot being grown in a garage.

Task force members seized the plants and arrested Ian J. Blake, 25, after locating him on Ellicott Street, Batavia.

At the time of his arrest, Blake had pending charges for allegedly selling oxycodone to an agent of the task force. He was also allegedly found growing cannabis in his basement on May 5.

Blake faces charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, two counts of unlicensed growing of cannabis and two counts of unlawful possession of marijuana.

Following arraignment in city court, Blake was jailed without bail.

Batavia PD assisted in all three investigations.

May 24, 2012 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion.

A 22-year-old woman apparently suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident Monday night but she and her companion did not seek immediate medical assistance, according to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

The woman is now in intensive care at Erie County Medical Center.

Ashley B. Jones was a passenger at 11:30 p.m., Monday, on an ATV driven by Eric Swede, 23, as the couple rode on a driveway off Rogers Road, Pavilion.

The couple was northbound on the gravel driveway when the ATV struck some trees and both were ejected.

Swede suffered head and hand injuries.

Jones suffered face and head injuries.

By Tuesday, her condition worsened and she was driven by private vehicle to UMMC. From there she was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC.

The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by Sgt. Steven Mullen and Deputy John Baiocco.

May 24, 2012 - 1:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien.

National Grid is on scene at Route 77 and Route 20 for a gas leak that apparently happened some time ago, but now Darien Fire Department is requested to the scene.

UPDATE 1:44 p.m.: A chief reports it's a pretty substantial leak. Crews are working to repair it.

May 24, 2012 - 1:13pm

Area scouts showed their colors and displayed true Boy Scout pride last night for the "BoyPower Distinguished Citizens" dinner at Genesee Community College.

These young men and their leaders are members of Iroquois Council Trail, Inc., the Boy Scouts of America council serving Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Livingston and Niagara counties. Every year, they honor one outstanding community member from each county.

Betty Lapp was the 2012 Distinguished Citizen for Genesee County. Lapp is the former director of GCC's Nursing program. She retired in 2005, and has been a "professional volunteer" ever since.

Originally from Ohio, Lapp has an impressive track record as a Geneseean:

  • Board Chairperson of United Memorial Medical Center
  • Board Chairperson of Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (formerly BOCES)
  • Regional Action Phone
  • Family Counseling Services
  • Parent Teacher Association
  • Cub Scouts
  • Genesee County Department of Health
  • Genesee County Mental Health Services

Her service to the wider region includes membership in the following organizations:

  • Lake Plains Community Care Network
  • WNY Rural Area Health Education Center
  • Genesee Valley School Boards Association

Other recipients were:

James Culbertson, Livingston County

David Bellavia, Orleans County (Bellavia currently lives in Batavia, but is originally from Lyndonville)

MORE after the jump (click on the headline to read more):

May 24, 2012 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, byron, Pavilion.

Steven Carnell McKnight, 18, of 14th Street, Buffalo, is charged with burglary, 2nd. McKnight is accused of breaking into a residence on Batavia Elba Townline Road, Batavia, on Dec. 15. The Monroe County Crime Lab has reportedly matched blood found at the scene with McKnight. The home on Batavia Elba Townline Road suffered damage to exterior French doors, a rear window, and a table and desktop computer. The only items reported missing were a complete Nintendo Wii system with games and two hutch drawers containing old mobile phones and odds and ends. McKnight is currently awaiting sentencing on a burglary charge from a break-in in the Town of Pembroke on Dec. 14. 

Andrew John Sprague, 33, of State Street, Batavia, is charged to failure to report change of address. Sprague is a registered sex offender and allegedly failed to report a change of address.

Al Davids, 42, of Bird Road, Byron, is charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence. The alleged incident was reported at 6:58 p.m., Monday.

May 24, 2012 - 9:07am
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.

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.

Delavan's, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently so you can try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate 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.

Jagged Edges Salon, 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, NY: Jagged Edges Salon is a walk-in and appointment salon for men, women and children. It is a fun, welcoming salon that offers all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, treatments, and facial waxing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sweetland Pines Golf Course, 5795 Sweetland Road, Stafford NY: Sweetland Pines is a par 3 golf course, great for beginners and experienced golfers working on the short game. Relaxed golf game, average play is about 1 hour and 20 minutes, leaving the golfer time to enjoy rest of the day. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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.


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