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October 30, 2012 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

City PD just announced, as far as they're concerned, Halloween is Oct. 31, and that's not changing.

Police officials are asking parents and trick-or-treaters to conduct Halloween activities Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Police officers will be on patrol to help ensure the safety of children. If a Halloween emergency should arise, call 9-1-1.

The forecast for Wednesday is temperatures in the 40s and scattered rain showers.

October 30, 2012 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Justice.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office reports the appointment of Shannon L. Ford to fill the position of Genesee Justice program coordinator; a position that was created after a vacancy was left by the resignation of the assistant director. 

Ford has more than 13 years of experience in the field of alcohol and substance abuse. While previously employed by Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, she has held the titles of assistant director of Prevention, Prevention supervisor, Prevention educator, and Chemical Dependency counselor.

She is a 1990 Regents High School graduate from Alexander Central School; a graduate from SUNY at Buffalo with a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology/Sociology; a 2007 graduate of Leadership Genesee; has served on the Juvenile Justice Planning Committee for the past seven years and was its chair in 2006; and has been instrumental in the awarding of numerous grants to GCASA, which include Drug Free Communities Grant, Gambling Prevention Grant, Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Grant, and NYS Tobacco Control Community Partnership Grant.

Also to her credit, within the past five years, Shannon has developed a program called "Accountability Circle" to address underage drinking using restorative justice principles. This program currently serves more than 300 youths per year.

Sheriff Gary Maha stated, “Ms. Ford comes highly recommended for this position and will be a great asset to Genesee Justice. She has demonstrated that she is a dedicated individual who is eager to accept the position of Genesee Justice program coordinator.

"In addition to supervising the Genesee Justice staff, she will also oversee the Justice for Children Advocacy Center. Shannon was the unanimous selection of an interviewing committee and will start in this position November 5.”

October 30, 2012 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Juveniles are "apparently lighting themselves on fire" near 15 Harvester Ave. in the city. A caller reports they are spraying themselves with some sort of aerosol and then trying to ignite it. Police are responding.

UPDATE 3:56 p.m.: Police on scene found nothing. The caller said the activity took place in a front yard. Police are trying to make contact with them.

UPDATE 3:59 p.m.: The caller says she saw the youngsters go up on a nearby porch, and then possibly into the house.

October 30, 2012 - 3:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, bergen.

A two-car accident, with unknown injuries, is reported in Bergen at 5853 W. Sweden Road, south of the intersection with North Bergen Road. Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: There is reportedly one patient.

UPDATE 3:21 p.m.: One of the cars is leaking fluids.

UPDATE 3:29 p.m.: Cook Road at Creamery will be shut to traffic.

UPDATE 3:31 p.m.: Eastbound traffic on North Bergen Road will be turned back at West Sweden.

UPDATE 4:01 p.m.: One patient is being taken to Strong Memorial Hospital. Tow trucks are responding to the scene to remove the wrecked vehicles.

October 30, 2012 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander.

The County Highway Department announced that Peaviner, Old Creek and Cookson roads in Alexander are closed due to high water from the storm.

October 30, 2012 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, weather.

Sandy Mullen sent in this picture of the large willow that fell in her back yard on Ross Street, Batavia.

October 30, 2012 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A tree has reportedly fallen into power lines on Clinton Street, Batavia.

City fire responding.

National Grid notified.

UPDATE 2:02 p.m.: The homeowner said he contacted National Grid some three hours before calling the fire department. He only called fire after one of the power lines started sparking. Fire officials assessed the situation and advised the homeowner to wait for National Grid. City fire is back in service.

October 30, 2012 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos.

Not all the trees lost their fall leaves over night. This is a tree on South Main Street. The picture was taken from behind Billy Goats on West Main Street, Batavia.

October 30, 2012 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A woman accused of breaking into the home of a person she knew in Le Roy and trashing the residence entered a guilty plea this morning to burglary in the third degree.

As part of her plea deal, Karen L. Stone, 45, of Elm Street, Le Roy, faces from four to six months of intermittent jail time and five years probation.

Stone reportedly caused significant damage inside the home while the resident was away.

She was originally charged with second-degree burglary and petit larceny.

Sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m., Jan. 14.

October 30, 2012 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A car hit a tree on Evans Street, Batavia, just before 10 a.m. No injuries were reported.

October 30, 2012 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Robert Scott DeSmit, 47, of 14280 Gillette Road, Barre, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. DeSmit is accused of violating a complete stay away order issued in Family Court by sending an e-mail message attempting to arrange a meeting to the protected party Oct. 23. DeSmit allegedly followed up with a text message sent from his e-mail address to the protected party's mobile phone that read, “I got the order. I’m sorry. I sent you an e-mail.” DeSmit was arrested Oct. 24 by Batavia PD.

Ranelle E. Reuben, 30, of Basom, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, refusal of breath test, stopping/standing on public highway, drinking alcohol while operating a motor vehicle and driving without a license. Reuben was arrested by State Police at 2:40 a.m., Sunday, on Route 77, Pembroke.

Brandon Charles Smart, 35, no permanent address, is charged with trespass. Smart turned himself in on a warrant pending in Le Roy Town Court. Smart is accused of trespassing at Buttermilk Falls on June 14.

October 30, 2012 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.

A person has fallen 15 feet from a residential rooftop on Clinton Street, Bergen.

Bergen fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

A medical first responder reports Mercy Flight will not be needed.

The call is the second report this morning of a person falling from a roof. The first was on Pearl Street Road in East Pembroke's district.

UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: Patient being transported to Strong.

October 30, 2012 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

A caller is out with an injured Labrador retriever on Bridge Road, just south of Norton Road, Elba.

The dog appears to have been hit by a car.

Law enforcement is responding.

October 30, 2012 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools.

Electrical wires rubbing against a tree limb early this morning sparked a small fire at Washington and Ross streets, which led to a power outage for the area and the closure of all Batavia City Schools.

The location is directly in front of Batavia Middle School.

The school district posted this statement on its Web site this morning: "All of the schools in the Batavia City School District are closed today, October 30, due to a power line malfunction."

The fire and school closure were perhaps the most significant overnight event as a result of what was left of Superstorm Sandy passing over Genesee County.

There were only a few trees down, some power loss -- at one point, more than 1,800 National Grid customers were without power -- and a couple of utility poles fell.

The current city outage effects 178 customers. There is also an outage is South Byron for 49 customers and another in East Bethany for 23 customers.

National Grid crews are also working in Darien this morning to restore power to fewer than five homes.

As Sandy winds down, the forecast for Genesee County over the next six hours is for cloudy and windy conditions with scattered rain showers. Winds will blow east-northeast at 20 to 25 mph.

A flood watch remains in effect until noon.

The other storm damage early this morning in the city was a window was blown out on the front of Falcone Electric Supply Co., on West Main Street.

October 29, 2012 - 8:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

So far, the front edge of Hurricane Sandy (now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone) has produced little weather-related activity in Genesee County.

At 1788 Roberts Road a tree is reportedly hitting a power line causing sparking. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

There is one small power outage in the county, in Byron, affecting fewer than five customers. Power restoration is expected by 9:30 p.m. The outage was initially reported at 7:01 p.m.

UPDATE 8:29 p.m.: Alabama reports a little sparking that they won't be able to do anything about, so back in service.

UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: There is a power outage on Roberts Road. Fewer than five customers without power. Power restoration estimated for 10:15 p.m. 

An ambulance has been requested to 3340 W. Main St. Road to check on a driver complaining of chest pain from an airbag deployment. The car reportedly hit a tree. It was originally reported as a non-injury accident.

UPDATE 8:43 p.m.: A second ambulance requested to the accident.

UPDATE 8:47 p.m.: Forecast for the next six hours: "Light rain. Cloudy with strong and gusty winds. Temperatures steady near the upper 40s. Winds from the north at 30 to 35 mph. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch."

UPDATE 8:59 p.m.: On the accident, four people transported. Minor injuries.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m.: Two more small power outages reported. One on Pearl Street in the city, fewer than five customers, and another small one off Kelsey Road, Batavia.

UPDATE 9:47 p.m.: Elba Fire Department requested to Ford Road and Norton Road for a power line arcing and sparking.

UPDATE 9:52 p.m.: The power outage on Roberts Road has expanded to affect 27 homes. There's an outage of five or fewer homes on Lockport Road, east of Route 77.

UPDATE 9:56 p.m.: Report on Ford and Norton, Elba, appears to be unfounded.

UPDATE 10:02 p.m.: Clarification, there is an issue with a wire. National Grid requested to the scene. Elba back in service.

UPDATE 10:15 p.m.: Because of school closings, Le Roy's Section C Sectional Championship game has been rescheduled to noon, Sunday. The game was originally scheduled for Friday evening. The game will still be played in Rochester.

UPDATE 10:31 p.m.: There's a report of a tree and pole down across the road just west of 3967 Rose Road, Batavia. Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:33 p.m.: Branch and wire down reported on Buell Street. City fire responding.

UPDATE 10:40 p.m.: Wire on Buell is a telephone line. City fire cutting it and getting it out of the street.

UPDATE 10:41 p.m.: Rose Road, tree completely blocking. National Grid on scene.

UPDATE 11:03 p.m.: A pole has fallen on a car at 8286 Byron Holley Road, Stafford. The car is unoccupied. Unknown if the wires are live. Stafford fire responding.

UPDATE 11:11 p.m.: Rose Road is clear.

UPDATE 11:14 p.m.: Pole on Byron Holly is an old, unused utility pole with no wires attached. It was heavily rotted. Law enforcement requested to the scene to take report on property damage. Stafford back in service.

UPDATE 11:39 p.m.: A tree has reportedly fallen onto a house  at 5719 Ellicott St. Road, Bethany. Bethany fire dispatched.

UPDATE 12:06 a.m.: A reader reports power is out on Chapel Street, Elba. National Grid has not yet reported this outage. On Ellicott Street Road, the homeowner will take care of the tree with a tree service in the morning. Bethany is back in service.

UPDATE 12:13 a.m.: Missed the initial call, but Oakfield responded to a tree branched tangled with a utility line. Oakfield is back in service.

UPDATE 12:22 a.m.: Within the past couple of minutes, National Grid has posted 19 new power outages in Genesee County. Total number of customers affected, more than 1,800. Some locations have two or four outages reported in very close proximity. The outages are in Elba, Byron, Bergen, Stafford and Batavia.

UPDATE 12:31 a.m.: A utility pole with wires and a transformer is reportedly down at 6937 Lyman Road, Byron. Byron and South Byron dispatched.

UPDATE 12:42 a.m.: The yard waste sign outside the yard waste lot on Law Street blew down and partially into the roadway. A Batavia PD officer responded, and by the time he arrived, a DPW crew was already on scene. They retrieved the sign to take back to their shop.

UPDATE 12:47 a.m.: Winds currently 33 mph, blowing north-northeast, with gusts of 50 mph. On Lyman Road, one Byron/South Byron unit returned to hall.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Report of tree down and blocking on Lake Road.

UPDATE 1:08 p.m.: This Lake Road, I think, is the Lake Road in Pembroke. The cross is Maple Road. The tree trunk is apparently leaning against a non-power line. The roadway is completely blocked.

UPDATE 1:25 a.m.: Wires reportedly down and arcing in the area of 9394 Snippery Road. Corfu fire dispatched.

UPDATE  1:30 a.m.: Corfu chief on location reports electric wire going to a house is burning.

UPDATE 1:42 a.m.: A tree is on a house on Summit Street. Law enforcement is responding to assess the situation.

UPDATE 2:08 a.m.: We've heard no further transmissions regarding the house on Summit -- not even sure if it's Le Roy or Batavia. Winds in Batavia have dropped  to 30 mph. We'll keep the scanners on, but I'm going to bed.

October 29, 2012 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The case of Justin C. Smith is an example, Judge Robert C. Noonan said in county court today, of what can happen when a "basically good person has drugs take control of his life."

On Nov. 18, Smith broke into the residence of a friend on Porter Avenue and stole an item and pawned it.

In July, Smith admitted to attempted burglary, 2nd.

Because Smith has a prior non-violent felony conviction, from 2007, the minimum sentence available to Noonan was three years. Smith will spend three years in prison.

"There are a lot of different kinds of entries into somebody's house and your's violated the trust of a friend," Noonan said. "You accessed the property of somebody you knew and, unfortunately for you, that is classified as a violent felony with a mandatory determinate sentence."

A friend of Smith's sat in the gallery and wept as Noonan pronounced sentence.

One his term is completed, Smith will be on post-release supervision for five years.

He must also pay restitution to Pawn King for $105.

October 29, 2012 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, Hurricane Sandy.

We encourage readers to send us information about closures, cancelations and postponements or rescheduling of events, roads, activities, businesses, services, etc., as we all hunker down in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. I'll add them ASAP.

E-mail them to:

[email protected]


[email protected]



Billie (585) 905-5581

Howard (585) 260-6970


  • Canceled: Tuesday night Bingo at the Elba Fire Hall is cancelled.
  • Postponed: Muller Quaker Dairy meet-and-greet Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Genesee Community College.
  • Canceled: All afternoon and evening activities today in the Oakfield-Alabama school district.
  • Canceled: The 4-H Volunteer Training scheduled for tonight at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County Building.
  • Canceled: All activities scheduled after 5 p.m. today in the Elba Central School District.
  • Canceled: All after-school activities in the Byron-Bergen school district.
  • Canceled: This evening's classes of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership Education.
  • Canceled: All activities scheduled after 5 p.m. today in the Pavilion Central School District.
  • Temporary closure of GCC campuses as of 4 p.m. today: To help ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff, and encourage everyone to remain indoors and avoid unnecessary pedestrian and vehicle travel during this time, Genesee Community College will close today effective at 4 p.m. This closing includes all Campus Centers in Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw, as well as the Batavia Campus. If you have any questions concerning closing and class cancellation procedures, please refer to
    Classes are expected to resume on a normal schedule Tuesday, Oct. 30. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to check the local news channels and the college's Web site before leaving for campus Tuesday morning.
  • Canceled: Tonight's 7 o'clock Bible Study with Just Joy! Ministries at the YWCA.
October 29, 2012 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Hurricane Sandy.

Press release about Hurricane Sandy from National Grid:

As Hurricane Sandy approaches, National Grid is urging customers to take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety. We have been preparing for Hurricane Sandy for several days and our employees are ready to respond to our customers' needs. We remind you to be prepared and follow safety precautions.

Please check to make sure you have bottled water, working flashlights, a battery operated radio and extra batteries in your home. If you plan to use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors.

To prevent a safety issue, before operating generators, be sure to turn off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. If you see a downed power line, do not go near it or drive over it, always assume it's live. For more safety tips visit us at

In case you lose power, National Grid provides you with multiple ways to receive up-to-date information on things like restoration details, more safety tips, important phone numbers and more.

Sign up for National Grid state-level broadcast text* alerts by texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743). You can opt out of receiving text messages at any time by texting the word STOP to NGRID (64743).

You can now get safety and outage information on your mobile phone via our new mobile web browser at

We also keep customers informed on Facebook and Twitter. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for up-to-date information.

Power outages can be reported online or by calling 1-800-867-5222 in New York.

For more information and to report an outage visit

Sign up for major storm alerts.

Text STORM to NGRID (64743)

October 29, 2012 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Cornell Cooperative Extension, Hurricane Sandy.

Press release to farmers regarding storm from Cornell Cooperative Extension:

Cornell Cooperative Extension urges all farmers to prepare ahead of time for power outages, structural or crop damage, insurance claims and damage that could accompany Hurricane Sandy, also dubbed “Frankenstorm” and the “Perfect Storm.”

The New York State Office of Emergency Management is already warning citizens of Sandy’s approach, and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets urges farmers to pay close attention to those warnings.

Long-range preparations can include purchasing or making rental agreements for special equipment, making adjustments to property and reviewing business arrangements. Short-range preparations should focus on immediate concerns such as turning off propane, moving livestock or equipment to safe places or updating phone numbers for emergency assistance.

Equipment needs may include a generator, fuel, a hand fuel pump, fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, a flashlight and batteries, NOAA weather radio and batteries, stored water and feed for humans and livestock and a camera to document damage.

Photos of agricultural losses are very helpful to the USDA, especially with their livestock indemnity programs.

Tobacco farms or nursery operations with greenhouses, dairies, and hog and poultry operations are especially vulnerable if power remains out for a lengthy period. Those farmers may want to purchase a generator, and the sooner the better. Farmers who cannot purchase a generator should consider leasing or negotiating a rental arrangement for a back-up generator in advance. Be aware that some rental contracts are only for eight hours use per day.

Property preparations can include clearing debris from drainage ditches so water can run freely, checking power lines for clearance and pruning or removing trees that could fall on lines, surveying buildings for limbs or trees close to buildings and pounding in extra nails or tightening hurricane straps to prevent wind damage.

Other precautions include clearing away all debris that could blow in high winds, securing farm signs and photographing valuable items and storing the pictures off site.

Farmers and home owners alike should store all business records above flood level, which is generally at least two feet off the floor.

A final long-range preventive measure is reviewing business affairs, including insurance policies, debt level and finances. Farmers need to ensure they have adequate insurance coverage for homes, vehicles, farm buildings and structures, crops and flood damage.

Finally, farmers should develop an emergency plan for their families and their farm workers and should establish a meeting place where everyone can gather after a disaster. They also need to assign and prioritize preparation and recovery duties.

Short-range preparations are those things to do now, even though Sandy’s path is still somewhat uncertain.

These include:

  • Monitoring local weather reports for up-to-the-minute information on the storm.
  • Charging batteries on cell phones and cameras.
  • Determining check-in points for family members and workers.
  • Storing or securing items or equipment that may blow away or blow into structures, including lawn furniture and ornaments.
  • Checking generators to be sure they are in good working order and purchasing sufficient amounts of fuel to operate them.
  • Checking feed inventory and ordering extra if needed.
  • Moving poultry and livestock to higher ground if possible and sheltering them in securely battened barns, houses or tightly-fenced areas.
  • Planning for the possibility of evacuation and identifying horse facilities in nearby vicinities that are willing to take horses in an emergency.
  • Find out what their requirements are for vaccinations or tests such as the Coggins Test.
  • Have a system for permanently identifying each horse with its name, your name and a phone number.
  • Turning off the propane supply at tanks and securing tanks in the event of flooding to prevent them from floating away.
  • Moving equipment to the highest, open ground possible away from trees or buildings.
  • Pumping and storing adequate supplies of drinking water for humans and animals in the case of power outages. Recommendations are for a minimum 36-hour reserve.
  • Topping off all gas, propane and other fuel tanks, including the family vehicles.
  • Marking animals with an identifier so they can be returned to you if lost. This can include ear tags with name of farm and/or phone numbers, brands, paint markings on hooves or coat or clipped initials in the hair.
  • Moving feed to higher ground or to a more accessible place in case of flooding or transportation problems.
  • Checking the security of roofing materials, siding and windows and doors in barns and poultry houses to make sure they will not blow off or blow open in strong winds.
  • Coordinating with neighbors beforehand to discuss what resources can be shared in the event of power outages or flooding.
  • Making a list of important phone numbers ahead of time in order to make calls following a storm. Potential numbers to include are the local emergency management office, county extension agent, insurance agent, county Farm Service Agency and private veterinarian.

For local emergency offices, contact




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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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