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June 7, 2011 - 11:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, land use.

It's back to the drawing board for the parcel subdivision of the proposed Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Because the first confirmed tenant for the park -- Bogata, Colombia-based Alpina Products -- has set its sights on a different plot of land than originally thought, the subdivision boundaries need to be reset.

Tuesday night, the Town of Batavia Planning Board set 7:30 p.m., June 21, as the time and date for a public hearing on the revised boundaries.

Members of the Genesee County Economic Development Center will also make a presentation about the project to the board that night.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Bruce Gerould also told the board that the revised parcel plan will include a two-acre plot right on Route 5 for an office complex for an advertising agency.

Because the agency specializes in marketing for agricultural businesses, it apparently fits the requirements of the agri-business park, Gerould said.

June 7, 2011 - 10:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

An 81-year-old Le Roy narrowly escaped death Monday after her car got stuck on train tracks in Steuben County and another person pulled her from the car just before a train struck it.

Angeline Pascucci was reportedly disoriented, driving on the tracks and refused to get out of her car. A passerby had to physically remove her from the vehicle.

Pascucci was not injured.

The hero was Laurie Eldridge.

Eldridged dragged Pascucci from the car just before a northbound train broadsided it at 40 mph.

(via YNN)

June 7, 2011 - 6:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, tapas.242.

Earlier this spring, Howard and I, accompanied by Elba residents Bill and Lucine Kaufmann, sat down to a special dinner. We were ready for delectable fare and we got it.

It was prepared in the home of two chefs, Kristine Gallop and Ronnie Odessa, who live in Batavia and share a lifelong passion for food. Together these “foodies” have created a new “adventure dining” enterprise called Tapas.242.

You choose from their elaborate menu. They prepare the food using the freshest ingredients in your kitchen, serve it and attend to your table, clean up everything and bid adieu.

On the night we tried Tapas.242, the chefs wore clean, crisp black chef jackets and hats and greeted us cordially. They were gracious and the table was beautifully set. The atmosphere was casual, modern and relaxing.

We had chosen our menu days before. We supped by soft light, enhanced by candles, with the distinctive vocals of Dean Martin for music.

Our first treat was an appetizer of small, red-orange peppadews stuffed with lemon-infused cream cheese. Divine.

“Oh, these are so good,” Lucine said, who daintily cut hers in two while I plopped the whole thing in my mouth, indulgent creature that I am.

Our soup of choice was crab and shrimp sherry bisque. We were served bowls containing a neat mound of seafood, then Kristine went around the table and gingerly poured scalded cream bisque over them. You could taste each ingredient. Howard loves seafood bisque and this one pleased him greatly.

Then we had a simple salad of cucumber and onion with a subtle sour cream vinaigrette. Our main course was chicken in roasted red pepper cream sauce with toast points. It appealed to all the senses.

All the while, the chefs came and went, from kitchen to dining room. They spoke quietly, worked efficiently, were pleasant and unobtrusive.

Dessert was a cold, smooth creme brulee, with the wisp of sugar crust created table side by chef Ronnie.

There were no leftovers.

“I love it when people enjoy my cooking,” Kristine said. “It gives me a lot of pleasure.”

The 42-year-old entrepreneur (owner of The Spa at Artemus on Main Street) has always enjoyed cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. Ronnie, 38, was a chef at a pizzeria. Clearly, they relish what they do and it is evident in their attention to taste, freshness, detail and stylish presentation.

“They say that you enjoy food with your eyes first,” says Kristine, who also devours books and magazines about cuisine – its finer points and its evolution.

A big part of her delight comes from scanning cookbooks, testing recipes and, of course, tinkering with the alchemy of spices.

“Vanilla beans in the store are sooo expensive,” she says afterward. “I found this place online where I can get them in bulk much cheaper.”

She shows me a new bottle of truffle oil and a container of delicate saffron threads. This kind of stuff is exciting for her and it shows.

Ronnie admits that she's had a big influence on his thinking about food.

Before, he says didn’t take the time to really appreciate the nuances of taste and the subtle textures, etc., which make dining different from eating. Now he does.

Believe it or not, this new mindset has helped him lose almost 30 pounds in about a year, without doing anything different – except being mindful of what he’s eating and all the sensory input that goes with it.

I guess you could say he’s eating consciously, more interested in the overall experience than merely extinguishing his appetite. That sounds plausible, because there’s nothing on the menu to suggest “dieting.”

Here’s a sampling of some other offerings.

An appetizer of carpaccio tenderloin with mixed greens & truffle oil. Orzo lemon chicken soup. A salad of arugula with blackened carrots & goat cheese. A main course of panko-encrusted, ricotta-stuffed pork with bing cherry sauce or perhaps catfish wrapped in wilted romaine.

Tapas.242 works like this. After viewing the menu days before your reservation, you select one kind of appetizer, soup, salad and main course to be shared by all. Just as you would serve guests in your home.

You provide the beverages. Desserts are available upon request. And if there’s something you would like that’s not on the menu, just ask, and they will try to accommodate you.

We brought some California pinot noir and Dr. Frank Konstantin Frank's gewurztraminer. "And a good time was had by all!"

“Tasting boards” are also available, each typically serves four. For example, the olive board -- with stuffed olives, cream cheese stuffed peppadews, Portuguese toast point and olive tapenade. Total price for this board is $20.

There are three price points in each category (appetizer, soup, salad, main course) and you can choose among them, say a less expensive appetizer, but a more expensive entrée, if you wish.

For the soup, if you’d like to sample all three options, you order “flights,” within a given price-point, which are 2-ounce servings of each three (per person).

Pricing, per person, ranges from: $6 to $12 for appetizers; $4 to $8 for soups (flights are extra); $4 to $9 for salads; and $18 to $26 for main courses.

By the time we were ready to go, the table had been cleared, the dishes, pots and pans washed. And off we went quite satisfied, with Dean still crooning away… “that’s amore…”

To find out more about the moveable feast that is Tapas.242, and/or to book a dinner party, call Kristine at 356-0729 or Ronnie at 356-5195.

June 7, 2011 - 6:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, downtown batavia public market.

The Downtown Batavia Public Market begins its fifth season at corner of Ellicott (Route 63) and Center streets on June 23. The market will be open every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Sept. 22.

An abundance of fresh, quality produce and other items will be offered, including baked goods, fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, berries, peaches, potatoes, cheese, BBQ sauce, honey, maple syrup, cut flowers and herbs, garden accessories and lots more.

Stop by and enjoy lunch at Alston’s BBQ as he will be serving pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers and of course selling his famous BBQ sauce.

There are a number of special programs and giveaways that will be announced throughout the market season. Stay tuned.

“Support the downtown that supports your community."

Sponsored by the Batavia Business Improvement District. For more information, contact the B.I.D. Office at 344-0900 or at or on Facebook.

June 7, 2011 - 5:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Glass Roots.

Artist Sean Walker stands in front of a mural he's painting inside the new art gallery at Glass Roots on Center Street.

Walker, a fine arts student at GCC, has a show in the gallery of some of his original artwork.

June 7, 2011 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Cemetery.

Crews were at the Batavia Cemetery this afternoon cleaning up the remains of a massive tree that fell near the Richmond Mausoleum over the weekend. 

Tree removal is expensive and the Batavia Cemetery Association is asking for donations to help defray the cost. Checks can be mailed to the association at 22 Fisher Park, Batavia, NY 14020.

Also, the "Ladies of Batavia Cemetery" tour that was scheduled for Saturday had to be cancelled Saturday because of the heavy rains. It will be rescheduled for a date later this summer.

June 7, 2011 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Cemetery, photos.

Philemon Tracy is believed to be the only Confederate officer buried north of the Mason-Dixon Line. His grave is in the Batavia Cemetery. I didn't notice this flag on his grave on Memorial Day or over the weekend (I was at the cemetery on both occasions, but could have missed it). When I drove down Harvester Avenue today, there it was, which struck me as interesting.

June 7, 2011 - 4:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ellicott Street, code enforcement, Dellapenna Building.

City officials took a walk-through of the Dellapenna building on Ellicott Street this morning to check the security and safety of the long-vacant building.

Over the weekend, police officers discovered the building was unlocked while looking for a missing person.  

Following the inspection, officials said they secured it as best as they could today and will take steps to ensure it is better secured.

June 7, 2011 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, elba, Milestones.


News release from Jason Smith:

The Elba Central School Class of 2011 was honored to welcome Lt. Col. Paul Birch and 1992 Elba graduate as their guest speaker for the Sixth Annual Top Ten Dinner on June 6.

The event is held annually for the top 10 graduating students from Elba and their families to recognize their academic achievements.

Lt. Col. Birch was the guest speaker and shared with the students the importance of staying true to their values and never forgetting their hometown roots in Elba.

In his speech, he encouraged the students to apply all they learned and use their small-town values as an advantage in life.

The Elba Student Council graciously sponsored the event.

Principal Jason Smith awarded each student an honor pin in recognition of their top 10 status.

Lt. Col. Birch is an evaluator pilot with more than 1,200 combined hours in the F-15SE and was promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. on March 1, 2010.

His military decorations include the Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Medal.

On June 1, Lt. Col Birch took command of the 4th Operation Support Squadron.

Past  speakers at the annual banquet have included Maureen Torrey-Marshall, Dorothy Coughlin, Samuel Giansante, Colleen Contant and Charles Zambito.

The top 10 students this year (second row, from left): Jarad Kogut, Phil Casper, Lt. Col. Paul Birch; (first row, from left) Elizabeth White, Jenna Bird, Kelsey Scott, Crosby Lamont, Molly Geissler, Jessica Pcionek, Ashley Crnkovich. Megan Schwartzmeyer was absent.

Below, with Paul Birch and Jason Smith, is Class of 2011 President Phil Casper.


June 7, 2011 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Grand Jury.

Anthony P. Dioguardi is indicted on four counts of sexual abuse, 1st. Dioguardi is accused of using compulsion for sexual contact with a child less than 11 years old.

Myron W. Hartford is indicted on a charge of grand larceny, 2nd. Myron W. Hartford and Marline A. Hartford are indicted on charges of grand larceny, 4th, and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st. Myron Hartford is accused of stealing more than $50,000 from an individual. Both Myron Hartford and Marline Hartford are accused of stealing more than $1,000 from the Department of Social Services. Both are accused of filing false instruments with DSS.

Rebecca A. Chatley is indicted on charges of grand larceny, 4th, and criminal possession of stolen property, 4th. Chatley is accused of stealing a gift card for WalMart belonging to another person. 

Andrew J. Rock is indicted on two charges of burglary, 1st, and one count of menacing, 2nd. Rock is accused of entering a residence on Washington Avenue, Batavia, on May 15, and brandishing a long gun.

Carlos A. Torres Jr., is indicted on three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Torres is accused of possession on April 2 of more than a half-ounce of cocaine with the intent to sell it.

Thomas M. Pillo is indicted on charges of felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Pillo was allegedly driving drunk March 11 in the City of Batavia.

June 7, 2011 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Main St. Pizza Company.

Remember when businesses had painted signs on the sides of their buildings? 

Vic Marchese is going old school with the sign he hired Vinny DelPlato to paint for him on the back of Main St. Pizza Company.

DelPlato is responsible for many of the murals you see around town.

Here's a piece we did on him when he was working on the mural at Next Level Fitness.

June 7, 2011 - 9:16am
posted by Ethan Thompson in Deal of the Day.

T.F. Brown's, at 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." We have a $10 gift card for $5.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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 $20 gift certificates for $10.

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

Red Osier, Route 5, Stafford, NY: Truly, one of the landmark restaurants of the area. Red Osier features prime rib carved table side. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. Decorate your home or office for spring or summer. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.


Note: if you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

June 7, 2011 - 12:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Town of Batavia Fire Department.

Today, the former Batavia Motel on West Main Street became a training structure for volunteer firefighters as the Town of Batavia Fire Department began a bit of the dismantling process.

The hotel, acquired by the town a couple of months ago, is to be torn down (or burned down) to make way for an expansion of Lion Park.

The town condemned the property at  3768 W. Main Street Road in December, sending about seven residents looking for new places to live.

A couple of months after condemning the property, the town completed the purchase.

Town of Batavia Fire Chief Randy McIntire said the department isn't sure how much training it will be able to do on the building. The town may want it down pretty quickly and there might be some complications related to asbestos removal. 

At least for the next few weeks, however, firefighters -- and perhaps local law enforcement -- can use the worn-down structure for training.

Tonight, firefighters worked on venting -- the practice of cutting holes in the roof of a burning structure to allow heat and smoke to escape.

BTW: If this looks like your idea of fun and public service, visit to find out more about volunteering for your local fire department (city residents can volunteer for the Town of Batavia Fire Department).

June 7, 2011 - 12:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, history, County Airport, Memphis Belle, aircraft.

I got four emails from four different people this morning about a B-17 being parked at the Genesee County Airport.

It turns out it's been there almost a week. The plane is the Memphis Belle, a prop plane used in the movie of that name. Its proper home is the Geneseo Airport, but since that is a grass field, all the recent rains have made the runway too soggy for landing such a large bird.

The Memphis Belle is expected to depart some time Wednesday.

June 6, 2011 - 11:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, golf, terry hills.

That's QB legend Dan Marino in the midst of a group of some of Batavia's loveliest ladies. The women made it to the edge of the sixth fairway at Terry Hills for the sixth straight year during the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Tournament. As always, the ladies had brownies ready to lure celebraties so they could meet them, get some autographs and snap a few pictures.

I came across the group while searching for Jamie Farr.  

When I finally did meet up with Farr, after he finished the fifth hole, I introduced myself and all he seemed to hear was "web site" and started telling me all about his site. Dashed was my chance to chit-chat about MASH a little and part with, "See you in the funny papers."

Pictured above are (in no particular order) Margaret Perry, Kathy Leffel, Kate Martin, Barb Thurber, Donna Gillard, Joan Torres, Diane Burroughs, Jean Woodcook, Carrie Jones and Anne Barone.

Among the more than dozen celebs they met today were Marino, Jim Kelly, Ben Rothelisberger, Archie Manning and Chris Berman.

Lisa Nistico with Farr.

June 6, 2011 - 11:20pm

Patricia Hardesty appeared in Genesee County Court today, disputing her signed statements to police from the night she was accused of shooting her husband in the leg.

Today's proceedings were a Huntley Hearing, a type of hearing which determines the admissibility of statements to police at a trial.

The 52-year-old Hardesty faces three counts of felony assault. State Police allege that on the evening of Aug. 1, 2010, Hardesty walked onto the deck at her County Line Road home in Corfu armed with a .22-caliber rifle, and shot her husband, Robert, in the knee.

Robert Hardesty was seriously injured in the incident. He was transported to ECMC that evening. Patricia was taken to the State Police barracks in Batavia, where Senior Investigator Kenneth Dubrinski questioned her.

Dubrinski testified in court today that Patricia did not seem hesitant to speak with him, and that he took two statements from her. A second was taken, he says, because the first was found to be incorrect or inconsistent after he spoke with officers at the scene via telephone.

Dubrinski told Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl that he collected Hardesty's statements by "typing them as she talked." Those two statements were entered as evidence in today's hearing.

But Patricia Hardesty says that's not at all how it happened. She says Dubrinski collected "a trash can full" of statements from her, each time printing one out, finding errors or inconsistencies, and tossing it in the garbage. She says she signed as many as five different statements, each one varying slightly from the last in detail.

What's worse, says Hardesty, is that she could not read any of the typed statements being handed to her.

"I was not given Miranda Rights," she said, alleging that the standard rights were not read to her. "(Investigator Dubrinski) said they were at the top of the page there, but I could not read them without my glasses."

She allegedly told Dubrinski as much, so he ordered the glasses brought from the scene. But Hardesty says the glasses delivered were the wrong ones, a 10-year old pair that were too weak for her to use.

"I can't see out of them at all," she said today.

She did, however, sign each statement placed before her, and initialed each printed set of Miranda Rights to confirm that she'd been advised of them.

Hardesty says bits and pieces of her first statement were correct, but altogether it was not correct. She says she told Dubrinski this – and that's when the deluge of statements began.

"He made me so upset, my insides were shaking," she says of Dubrinski. "At the end of it all, I said, 'Just put whatever you want and I'll sign it.' I was tired, I hadn't slept for 24 hours, and I hadn't eaten. There were so many statements, I got confused. I started crying."

Hardesty also accused Dubrinski of improperly recording her statement by trying to make it match other statements from the scene, such as the one from her husband. She says each new draft of the statement included details that more closely matched others' statements – details that she had not necessarily consented to or mentioned.

Hardesty admitted that she'd consumed three or four beers between 3 and 7 p.m. on the evening the incident occurred. She also drank another one after the incident, as she waited for an ambulance to arrive for her husband.

"I was on the deck, and saw that my husband had left a beer there, and I downed it," she said.

Of the original police report, which stated that she and her husband had been fighting all weekend prior to the incident, Hardesty said that was false. She says her husband had not abused her, neither physically nor verbally, and they had not fought.

Judge Robert Noonan did not make a decision in today's hearing. He has taken it under advisement. Defense attorney Mehmet Okay requested a printed transcript of today's proceedings.

The case will resume later this month, 10 days after Okay receives that transcript.

June 6, 2011 - 7:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Batavia woman accused of issuing unauthorized checks to herself from her employer's business account, will serve five months in a halfway house and five months in home confinement, a federal judge in Buffalo ruled today.

Deborah Dutton, 55, must also pay $85,000 in restitution to her former employer. 

Dutton previously admitted to forgery for falsely issuing checks to herself from 2007 to May 2010.

During sentencing, prosecutors noted that Dutton had a prior theft conviction in 1984.

Her defense attorney said Dutton has started the restitution process by selling a collection of dolls. She will also put her home up for sale.

June 6, 2011 - 7:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Le Roy, corfu.

Ronald L. MacGregor, 42, of 66 Lake St., Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. MacGregor was arrested following an investigation by Le Roy Police into an allegation that MacGregor entered a local pharmacy possessing a forged or altered prescription script and passed it to pharmacy staff. MacGregor was jailed on $3,000 bail.

Martin Fitzgerald Jones, 40, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Jones was arrested on a warrant out of city court.

Dwayne William Brown, 25, of North Main Street, Holley, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding (90 mph in a 55 mph zone), passing in a no passing zone, operating out of class. Brown was stopped at 2:53 a.m. Saturday on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy Frank Bordonaro. Bordonaro allegedly observed Brown riding a motorcycle on Route 33 while going 90 mph.

Joseph Thomas Bortle, 39, of Knowlesville Road, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Bortle is accused of trying to shoplift $26.97 in batteries from Kmart. During the investigation, Bortle was allegedly found in possession of a narcotic analgesic pill for which he didn't have a prescription.

Jordan Gerard Merica, 19, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Merica was stopped on Route 77, Darien, for alleged traffic violations at 4:40 p.m. Friday by Deputy Patrick Reeves. 

Brian Patrick O'Grady, 46, of Lyman Road, Bergen, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs and alcohol. O'Grady was allegedly involved in a property damage accident on Dublin Road, Bergen, at 11:45 p.m. Sunday. O'Grady allegedly left the scene of the accident and was located at his residence a short time later.

Elizabeth Ann Lindner, 24, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with forgery, 2nd. Lindner is accused of passing a forged check.

June 6, 2011 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Central Avenue.

A 22-year-old Batavia resident was hospitalized early this morning after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on Central Avenue in the city.

Police are asking people with information about the car and driver to call 345-6350.

Luis A. Mercado was listed this morning in stable condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.

At about 1:36 a.m., Mercardo was walking on Central when he was struck by a white sedan.

The car reportedly has a loud exhaust and is possibly a Dodge Stratus. It sustained front end damage and most likely a broken windshield.





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