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May 28, 2016 - 8:29pm

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The Swanson family was honored today by the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation at the foundation's annual Memorial Day Weekend tournament at MacArthur Park in Batavia.

In 2007, Anders Swanson, in the blue shirt above with mother Amy, father Garth and brothers Beckett and Cooper, when he was 18 months old, was diagnosed with cancer deep in his brain.

"(The doctors were) brutally honest," Amy said. "This kind of cancer is rare, it’s aggressive and it doesn’t have a good outcome. Kids with this kind of cancer don’t survive."

He immediately underwent surgery, and then a long ordeal of treatment that included four rounds of chemo, 31 days of radio, two high dosage chemo treatments, two stem cell transplants, and countless blood transfusions, spinal taps and cat scans. He underwent a second major brain surgery in which 90 percent of the cancer was removed. Now considered cancer free, Amy said he still undergoes numerous regular tests and the fight isn't over, yet Andres remains positive and a team player.

 

"He has to work much harder, but he greets everything with a can-do attitude," Amy said.

The tournament, she said, was a great way to honor Micheal's memory, because his love of baseball is evident by every smile on the field.

"We know how important baseball is," Amy said. "It’s about accountability, character, courage, confidence, commitment, determination, ethics, honor, humility and humor, integrity, loyalty, leadership, obedience, self-discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork. These truly are the key components of baseball. Baseball is unique in that it can often mirror life itself. The great length of a baseball season, and the fact that failure is an innate part of the game, offers players, coaches and parents  the opportunities to teach many more of life’s truths and skills."

The foundation regularly provides financial support to families with children battling cancer, and Laurie Napoleone presented the Swanson's with a $1,000 check, but the Swanson's asked that the money be donated to other charities.

Since Micheal's death, the foundation has provided more than $230,000 to 300 families in the region, donated more than $56,000 to pediatric cancer research, and assisted youth sports with $38,000 in donations, and provided another $50,000 to the Golisano Children's Hospital in Rochester.

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The Spirit of Michael Napoleone Award went to Ryan Carroll and Jacob Smith.

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May 28, 2016 - 4:13pm

David Zuppelli, of Batavia, submitted this photo of his father, Chester Zuppelli, playing Taps on Memorial Day 1944 in New Caledonia, South Pacific.

Here's a schedule for Memorial Day Ceremonies and the Batavia parade:

7 a.m. -- Genesee County Park (11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany) -- Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVA #193)

8 a.m. -- Williams Park, City of Batavia-- WW I Memorial (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

8:30 a.m. -- Batavia VA Medical Center

8:45 a.m. -- NYS Veterans Home

9:30 a.m. -- Upton Monument (routes 5 and 63) (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

9:45 a.m. -- Batavia Cemetery, Harvester Avenue, City of Batavia (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

10 a.m. -- Elmwood Cemetery, off Harvester Avenue and Webster Street in the city (AL #332)

10 a.m. -- CITY PARADE -- Begins at the Eastown Plaza traveling west along Main Street and ending at Jerome Center on Bank Street at 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. -- UMMC -- Jerome Center:

  • Memorial Day ceremonies: Invocation; National Anthem with Batavia Concert Band; G.A.R. Order of the Day; Veterans Service Organizations Commemorations; wreath laying with Gold Star Mothers; Honor Roll with drum roll; rifle salute; Taps; Benediction; "God Bless America."

Noon -- Hansen Brothers Grave -- Grandview Cemetery on Clinton Street Road, Batavia (MCL #951)

Participating organizations:

Hansen Borthers Marine Corps League Detachment #951

Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post #332

Veness-Strollo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1602

Disabled American Veterans Chapter #166

Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter #193

Sons of Union Veterans Abraham Lincoln Camp #6

 

Here are more local Memorial Day ceremonies/parades:

  • ALEXANDER: Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexander High School and travels to the cemetery on Railroad Avenue with a ceremony to take place at the cemetery following the parade.

  • BERGEN: Parade at 9 a.m. beginning at the Fire Hall (Route 19 & Hunter Street), traveling south on Route 19 to Hickory Park with ceremony to take place at the park immediately following the parade.
  •  
  • BYRON: Parade at 11 a.m. from Terry Street to Swamp Road with a ceremony immediately following at Byron Cemetery.
  • CORFU: Parade at noon from Corfu Fire hall on Route 33 to the Intermediate School on Route 77. Ceremony immediately following the parade.

  • ELBA: Ceremony at Maple Lawn Cemetery at 10 a.m. No parade. The Elba Historical Society Museum will be open for tours after the ceremony.
  •  
  • LEROY: Parade at 10:30 a.m. from the American Legion to Trigon Park with a ceremony at Trigon Park at 11 a.m. following the parade.
  • OAKFIELD: Parade at 11 a.m. from the Oakfield Fire Dept. to Triangle Park with ceremony to be held at Triangle Park.

  • PAVILION: Ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Town Park at intersection of routes 63 and 19. No parade.

No parades/ceremonies for the following:

  • Alabama

  • Bethany

  • Darien

  • Pembroke

  • Stafford

May 28, 2016 - 3:05pm

Press release:

This summer join the Genesee County Master Gardeners for our monthly series, “Garden Talk."

Taught by Master Gardeners, the programs will be held once month, during the “lunch hour” from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Bring your lunch to the CCE office (420 E. Main St, Batavia) and join us to learn more about gardening! This series is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

The next program will be held June 7 with the topic, “Introduction to Beneficial Insects." Most of the insects that live in your garden or landscape are beneficial. They do little or no harm to you or your plants. Some of these good guys even provide free pest control for you. So who are these allies? Come find out at our June session.

On July 12 learn about propagating perennials from cuttings. If you are looking for an easy way to create more plants for your garden, we’ll offer you some tips during this program.

Join us on Aug. 2 for a demonstration on using flowers from your garden to make beautiful arrangements.

Need a Garden Talk schedule? Contact Brandie at 585-343-3040, ext. 101. Future topics and other Master Gardener events will be posted on the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County Web site at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/

May 28, 2016 - 2:55pm

Press release:

Anyone who is dealing with the pain of a loved one’s passing, or other heartaches, is welcome to attend any of eight FREE grief and loss support groups to be held at Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR), starting June 7th.

They will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the next four months, at ILGR’s offices at 113 Main St., Suite 5, Batavia. The precise dates are: June 7th and 21st, July 5th and 19th, Aug. 2nd and 16th, and Sept. 6th and 20th.

Group facilitator David Dodge described its purpose and structure: “This group is an opportunity for members to discuss what they are currently experiencing, relating to grief and loss, in order to feel a sense of increased support. We will also be doing some activities in order to get participants to do self-reflection related to what they are thinking or feeling.”

Participants are requested to register, beforehand. To do so or get more information, please call David Dodge at (585) 815-8501, ext. 415.

May 28, 2016 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in Salvation Army, summer program, batavia, news, Announcements.

"Expedition Norway" is the theme of a free summer program for children in grades K-6 sponsored by The Salvation Army.

It will be held every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 14 through Aug. 25 at the headquarters at 529 E. Main St. in the city.

Transportation to and from The Salvation Army is available to children in the city.

A morning snack and lunch is provide each week.

Participants can experience the unique food, fun games and activities of Norway. Make new firends and learn about an amazing culture. There will also be incredible music and surprising adventures!

Attend four out of the six sessions and get a free pass to the Niagara Falls Aquarium.

Phone 343-6284.

May 28, 2016 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, news.

William S. Webster, 24, of Parsells Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unlawfully dealing with a child, and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. At 12:04 a.m. this morning, Webster was stopped at a DWI checkpoint on Route 33 in the Town of Batavia. He was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana and consuming alcohol in the vehicle and providing alcohol to a minor. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on June 13. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Seth Ryan Doster, 24, of Alleghany Road, Darien, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. At 8:40 p.m. on May 27, the defendent was arrested after he was searched following a traffic stop on Florence Avenue in the City of Batavia. He was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance. The defendant was released on an appearance ticket for City Court at a later date. City police assisted in the investigation. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

May 28, 2016 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, veterans, Memorial Day.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), the ranking Minority member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and a veteran of the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, on Friday remembered members of the United States Military who fought and gave their lives in service to our country and thanked those who still serve to defend our freedom.

“I would like to wish all the veterans and active military personnel in my district and throughout New York State a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Thank you for your courage and sacrifice which ensures our freedom and protects our way of life. I ask everyone, as you spend time with your family and friends this weekend, remember that freedom isn’t free and please take time to thank the veterans in your life,” Hawley said.

May 28, 2016 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, news, Ranzenhofer, veterans.

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer honors twin brothers Thomas R. Wood Sr. and William Charles Wood III, both of Le Roy, for their service in the United States Marine Corps. and in the community during an induction ceremony at the State Capitol.
 
Submitted photo and press release:
 
Thomas R. Wood Sr. and William Charles Wood III have been selected by State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer as New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame inductees for the 61st District. The Veterans’ Hall of Fame honors and recognizes outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves in military and civilian life.
 
“I am very proud to be honoring Thomas and William for their service during the First Gulf War,” Ranzenhofer said. “Like so many of our service men and women, they returned home to continue serving their community when their military service was completed. For over two decades, they have been firefighters for the Le Roy Fire Department, and they continue to be active in coaching youth sports.”
 
The Wood brothers entered the United States Marine Corps. in 1988, attending boot camp together at Parris Island, S.C. Later, in 1990, the twin brothers would be called upon to serve their country in the First Gulf War. Thomas served as part of an amphibious task force aboard the USS Nassau, and William served with a forward combat unit, Romeo 5/11.
 
Both men received many awards for their exemplary service, including: Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and Liberating Kuwait Medal. William also earned the Southwest Asia Service Metal with two Stars; National Defense Service Award; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; and Rifle Sharp Shooter Badge. In addition, Thomas was awarded a Meritorious Mast for his actions during a helicopter crash in South Korea, as well as an Oversea Ribbon with four Clusters.
 
“It is a true honor just to be nominated let alone awarded such a prestigious honor. I am very humbled to be in the presence of other veterans. I wish to thank Senator Ranzenhofer for the award and recognize my two children, Chelsie and Tommy, for always being there along with my parents, Ann and Billy. God Bless America and Semper Fi,” Thomas said.
 
“I'm honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Thank you to Senator Ranzenhofer for nominating me, as well as my loving wife, Kathy, my kids, Riley and Alyssa, and my parents for their continued support. In closing, I am very humbled about this award because there are more deserving veterans. Semper Fi,” William said.
 
These two distinguished Marines were honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal in 1992. They have been involved for years with youth sports and as members of the American Legion. They have been firefighters for the Le Roy Fire Department for more than two decades, serving in many leadership positions. William has been named Firefighter of the Year twice. More recently, Thomas received the Department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor.
 
Currently, Thomas is an officer at the Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, while William works at the Thruway Authority. William and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Alyssa and Riley. Thomas has two children, Chelsie and Thomas.
May 27, 2016 - 10:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A pedestrian is conscious and alert after reportedly being struck by a car in the area of 317 E. Main St., Batavia.

The car has left the scene.

It's a maroon, newer sedan driving by a female, heading east on Main Street.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:27 p.m.: The vehicle has apparently been located.

UPDATE 10:28 p.m.: The vehicle stopped was not involved. A city patrol is checking the area.

May 27, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal abuse, pets, batavia, news.

A dog is locked inside a black Cadillac with the windows rolled up near 115 Washington Ave. in the City. Batavia PD is responding.

May 27, 2016 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in spray park, batavia, news, weather.

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It's looking like Memorial Day Weekend is going to be a great weekend to make use of the spray park in Austin Park, as Darien Rhodes did this afternoon with Faith Rhodes.

Temperatures will reach as high as 92 degrees over the weekend with ample humidity.

May 27, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, crime, news.

Information provided by the Genesee County Department of Social Services is included in this story.

Sarah Wilson, 32, of Alexander Road in Alexander, was sentenced in Genesee County Court Thursday afternoon to four months intermittent jail time and five years probation after pleading guilty to a single count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a felony.

In addition to this charge, she was originally facing a second felony, one count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, and one count of petit larceny, a misdemeanor. Those charges were dismissed.

She was arrested last fall after a joint investigation by the Genesee County Department of Social Services and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department.

Wilson had submitted the forged medical statement to the Department of Social Services in October, which she claimed had been completed by a local doctor. An alert social welfare examiner at DSS reviewed the form and noticed the doctor’s name was spelled incorrectly on the medical form that had been submitted and the examiner submitted the case for investigation.

The investigation that followed revealed the medical statement allegedly had not been completed or signed by the doctor. Wilson was arrested by Sheriff's Investigator Joseph Graff and jailed on $1,000 bail.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini agreed that the recommendation of intermittent jail time and probation -- also called "shock probation" -- was appropriate in this case.

The prosecutor told Acting Genesee County Court Judge Michael F. Pietruszka that this "was not your typical welfare fraud case," because Wilson purposely forged the doctor's note -- to either avoid certain types of assets from being withheld or to get or maintain benefits -- and she told different stories about her involvement to different people and in a letter to the judge declared she did not intend to defraud DSS.

"She continues to minimize her involvement," Cianfrini said.

Wilson's attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, disagreed.

"I think my client is not trying to minimize her involvement," Ader said. "She's facing the first felony violation in her life. ... There are supreme consequences at this point."

One of them is the impact the consequences of her crime will have on parenting. She has several children, but only custody of a tot who must use a nebulizer (breathing apparatus). It was indicated that care for that child might be problematic while she's in custody.

Asked by the judge if she had anything to say on her behalf, a sniffling Wilson, who kept wiping tears away with her left hand, said "No." 

She was also ordered to pay restitution, pursue a job and/or employable skills, and to get a mental health evaluation and a substance abuse evaluation.

She is due at the jail at 5 p.m. today and will spend most of Memorial Day weekend in custody -- through 5 p.m. Sunday, for her first go-round at shock probation.

Anyone wishing to report suspected cases of welfare fraud in Genesee County can contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services Fraud Investigation Unit at (585)344-2580, ext. 6417 or 6416. All calls are confidential.

May 27, 2016 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

An accident with unknown injuries, blocking traffic, is reported at Jackson and Ellicott streets. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: No injuries. Two pickup trucks involved, both moved out of way and clear of traffic.

May 27, 2016 - 11:52am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron, pembroke.

Christopher Tyler Sprague (pictured left), 22, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, and petit larceny. On May 25, Sprague was transferred from Genesee County Jail to Batavia City Court where he was arraigned on these charges following an investigation into a burglary which occurred at a business at 3 Treadeasy Ave. in the city between May 7 and May 9. Sprague allegedly broke into the building and stole money while inside. He also allegedly damaged several picnic tables and pavilions behind the building. Following his arraignment before City Court Judge Durin Rogers, he was released, but due to a pending parole violation for which he was being held, he was transported back to jail. He is to be in City Court to answer the charges at 1 p.m. on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Det. Richard Schauf, assisted by Det. Eric Hill.

Chase Michael Putnam, 20, of Circle Drive, Williamson, is charged with driminal possession of a weapon, 4th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 11:57 a.m. on May 26, Putnam was stopped on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke The defendant was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of suspected cocaine and marijuana, as well as a doubled-edge knife. Putnam was arrested and issued an appearance ticket for June 21 in Town of Pembroke Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Reeves.

David Alan Ornt, 24, of Hall Road, Holley, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, speed in excess of 55 mph, and open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. He was arrested on the charges following a traffic stop at 6:52 p.m. on May 22 on South Holley Road in the Town of Byron. He was issued appearance tickets for June 20 in Town of Byron Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Chet William Kenyon, 32, of Sandybrook Drive, Hamlin, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree and open container of alcohol in a a motor vehicle. He was arrested at 6:23 p.m. on May 22 on South Holley Road in Byron following a traffic stop. He was issued appearance tickets for June 20 in Town of Byron Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

May 27, 2016 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in ptsd clinic, veterans, Batavia VA, news.

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Frank Grillo submitted these photos and story about the dog run being installed at the PTSD clinic at the Batavia VA.

I know how important the small things are.

I know when your scraping and clawing and fighting to regain your life that every advantage can mean the difference between life and death. 

When I came home I never slept. I watched out the windows, I patrolled my home. I gained over 100 pounds and began to fail at school and life. What brought me back? My dog.

Reba watched out the windows. Reba listened for sounds so I didn't have to. Her hearing was better; she constantly stared out the window and when I said "Reba, Whats That?" she would barrel from window to window on high alert. 

When I arrived at the PTSD clinic I was immediately greeted like a criminal. Breathalyzers and urinalysis as well as a search of my belongings. The windows would only open four inches because someone from Texas jumped out of his window and because it was early spring the heaters were still on bringing my room to a not so comfy 90+ degrees.

The program was being run by a woman who did not know how to balance what was best for the vet against the regulations.

This was a colossal mess but I did three tours in Iraq and I could handle all the above.

I lasted less than one day.

Why?

I didn't have my dog.

Fast forward three years. I've given up on almost all of my volunteering. Too many fake programs cashing in on veterans. 

I did keep on, however, keep up with the VA Veterans Advisors Council for two reasons:

  • because my friend Patrick brought me in;
  • and because I believe in the Director Brian Stiller, who is himself a Navy veteran. 

For almost a year we brought the fight to allow service dogs into the PTSD program and thanks to a language loophole and Brian's willingness to do the right thing, to act on principal FOR the veteran in spite of the ridiculous bureaucracy, and we prevailed. 

A veteran who found it too tough to stay in the program without his service dog eventually returned to Batavia to complete the program, and to his credit he pioneered the possibility of service dogs at the residential treatment program. 

Next we asked, "What can we do to make this permanent?" and Director Stiller responded, "We need a place to let the run off vest."

Immediately I reached out to my brothers at the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 19-6 in Batavia.

We raised the funding and created the fenced-in pen you see in this picture. Yesterday, we returned to build a shelter where the combat veteran can sit in case he or she cannot stand. A place the veteran can relax out of the elements while his or her most loyal companion can run and play and unwind.

These dogs are easing the burden and saving the lives of veterans every day just as my Reba did for me. It is my privlidge and our chapter's honor to make that kind of advantage a possibility for our fellow combat veterans.

God bless America.

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May 27, 2016 - 10:56am
posted by Billie Owens in animal abuse, news, batavia.

A dog has reportedly been locked inside a red Chevy pickup truck in the Court Street plaza in the city for the last 30 minutes. Batavia PD is responding. The vehicle is in a handicapped parking space near City Slickers restaurant.

May 26, 2016 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Tylee Demetrius "Love" Gaines, 37, of Waverly Place, Rochester, was sentenced this afternoon to the maximum possible of eight years in prison after previously accepting a plea deal on a single felony charge of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He was arrested in January and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, unlawful possession of marijuana, two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation, obstructed view and unlicensed operator.

His arrest was the result of a traffic stop on Ross Street in the City of Batavia for having an obstructed view. He was found to be driving on a suspended license, then at BPD headquarters was found in possesssion of marijuana and several small bags of crack cocaine. He was jailed without bail.

As part of a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office, the other charges were dropped. The range of his potential prison term was pared from two to 12 years, to one and a half to eight years. District Attorney Lawrence Friedman argued for the maximum under the agreed upon cap of eight years, citing the defendant's lengthy criminal history.

"This defendant is a career drug dealer," Friedman said, noting Gaines has served four prison terms already and has been released on parole seven times, violating parole every single time.

His propensity for drug dealing is "persistent," with six convictions for criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

The attorney for Gaines, Thomas Burns, told Acting Genesee County Court Judge Michael F. Pietruszka that his client is the father of two 6-year-olds and admits he has a history of "substance abuse issues." "Piggy-backing" on that are crimes of providing drugs for others to buy and having a stash so he could support his own habit.

Burns asked the judge to consider sentencing his client to the "mid to minimum range."

When asked if he had anything to say, the orange-jumpsuited and shackled Gaines, who's a big guy -- about 6'4" and 250 pounds -- said softly: "My drug use and history's been going on a long time since I was young. I apologize to the court."

Burns said his client wanted it noted for the record that "he denies having contact with Officer Richards." According to a Batavia PD report, Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards is one who pulled Gaines over at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, on Ross Street in the city for having an obstructed view.

The denial was duly noted.

Judge Pietruszka then said that Gaines is a second felony offender for sentencing purposes and handed down the maximum of eight years in prison, to be followed by three years of post-release supervision.

May 26, 2016 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, NET.

Press release:

On May 11, uniformed members of the City of Batavia Police Department along with members from the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force (comprised of members from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Le Roy Police Department and City of Batavia Police Department), Genesee County Probation Officers and uniformed members of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office conducted a N.E.T. (Neighborhood Enforcement Team) detail in the City of Batavia.

The detail focused on quality-of-life issues, drug enforcement, warrant checks and probation checks in targeted neighborhoods. The following arrest was made;

Loretta L. Baer, age 44, of School Street in Batavia – was charged with criminally using drug paraphrenalia in the second degree (Class A misdemeanor) and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument (Class A misdemeanor)

Officers conducted 11 probation checks and five probation violations were reported as a result of those checks. All probation violations are being handled by the Genesee County Probation Office.

May 26, 2016 - 12:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, news, business.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation has announced changes in the leadership of the organization, including the retirement of current President & Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Kane. Kane has been with WROTB for 20 years, the past six in his current position. He will be replaced as president & general counsel by Henry F. Wojtaszek, who current serves as General Counsel for WROTB.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work for an amazing organization that had a vision for Western Region OTB, and had the strength and fortitude to see that vision through,” Kane said. “We’ve seen unprecedented growth in recent years, and I am very pleased with the direction of Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation.”

In replacing Kane, Wojtaszek aims to continue the growth of the organization, while continuing to be an economic catalyst for the region. He will be responsible for the overall supervision and administration of the Corporation, and for the review and implementation of all matters of a legal nature affecting the Corporation.

“It truly is an honor to replace Mike Kane, someone who has done so much for this organization and for this community,” Wojtaszek said. “I’m very excited at the opportunity to work with all of the excellent employees at WROTB to make this organization even stronger.”

In addition, Michael P. Nolan, who currently serves as executive vice president/COO, will become chief operation officer. Nolan’s responsibilities will include determining and implementing the direction and coordination of WROTBC and Batavia Downs Gaming, as well as supervision of the departments of Security, Food & Beverage, Video Gaming and Buildings & Grounds.

“With our recently completed multi-million dollar renovation and a brand new hotel soon to be open, great things are happening at WROTB,” said Nolan, who previously served as the supervisor for the Town of Elma. “Our team is going to continue strive to capitalize on the success we have achieved, and to be the premier gaming facility in the region.”

Scott P. Kiedrowski, who currently serves as the chief of staff for New York State Senator Robert G. Ortt, will be leaving that position to become vice-president of Operations for WROTB. Kiedrowski, who has served on the WROTB Board of Directors for seven years, will be responsible for the direction and supervision of Batavia Downs Gaming Marketing activities, the Purchasing Department and Communications Department.

“Scott has been an integral member of our team and our office,” Ortt said. “We served as fellow elected officials in North Tonawanda where he worked tirelessly on behalf of the City and its taxpayers. That partnership continued with our service to the 62nd Senate District. His leadership and hard work took what could have been a challenging transition for a new Senator – for staff and constituents – and managed it superbly. His day to day presence will be missed, but I know we will continue to possess an excellent relationship – on a professional and personal level – for years to come. I wish Scott and his family well in their next endeavor. He will be an incredible asset for Western New York OTB.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 27 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility. Since its inception, Western OTB has generated over $225 million in operating and surcharge revenues to the taxpayers of those participating municipalities.

May 26, 2016 - 12:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, Darien, batavia, byron, Stafford.

Angelo A. Cassidy, 39, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree grand larceny. He was arraigned on the charges at 11:10 a.m. on May 18 and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. It is alleged that at noon on Oct. 20, Cassidy removed a home-heating system, appliances and building supplies from a residence on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia without permission. He is to appear in City Court at 9:30 a.m. on June 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Kiha Samuel McNear, 18, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. McNear was arrested at 1:50 a.m. on May 22 on Walnut Street in Batavia after allegedly striking an individual multiple times in the face with a closed fist. The alleged victim was under the age of 17. McNear was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to return to City Court on Monday (May 23). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Twan Conway, 45, of Walden Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Conway was arrested following a 9-1-1 call hang-up investigation. The call was made at 12:30 p.m. on May 17. Conway was arraigned at 10:30 a.m. on May 22 and jailed on $500 bail. Conway was scheduled for City Court on May 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice. Then on May 23, at 7:40 p.m., Conway was arrested again following an incident wherein he allegedly pushed another person while an active order of protection was in place. He was jailed without bail and is be in City Court tomorrow, May 27. This case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Michael Patrick Sullivan, 53, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. At 7:54 p.m. on May 24, Sullivan was arrested after allegedly violating a court order by subjecting two people to physical contact by throwing a glass item at them. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and is to be in Town of Stafford Court on June 9. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy James Diehl, assisted by Sgt. Eric Seppala.

Sara Jo Likus, 30, of Townline Road, Darien, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs or both alcohol and drugs; driving on the sidewalk; and moving from lane unsafely. At 9:28 p.m. on May 18, it is alleged that Likus drove a vehicle while her ability to do so was impaired, and that while driving she changed lanes unsafely and drove over the curb onto the sidewalk, striking a utility pole. She was issued several tickets and released to a third party. She is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Charles-Gus Williams, 37, of Robinson Road, Lockport, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. At 1:49 p.m. on May 20, it is alleged that Williams violated a complete stay away order of protection at a residence on Maple Street in the City of Batavia. He was jailed on $2,500 bail and was due in City Court on May 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Jeffrey D. Matla, 56, of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with: DWI -- common law; speeding; failure to signal a lane change; and DWI with a BAC greater than .08 percent. Matla was arrested at 5:18 p.m. on May 22 on West Main Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. He was stopped for traffic violations and allegedly found to be operating his motorcycle in an intoxicated condition. He was released and is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Patavia Police Officer Cowen Mitchell.

Joshua Yeomas, 31, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with third-degree unlicensed operation and failure to use headlights while operating with windshield wipers. Yeomas was located during an unrelated NYS Parole investigation, assisted by Batavia PD, and taken into custody on an arrest warrant stemming from an incident on April 13 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was released and is to appear in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Bert Clifford Earl, 55, of Grandview Terrace, Batavia, is charged with harassment. He was arrested at 11:50 p.m. on May 20 following a disturbance at Batavia Downs wherein he allegedly subjected another person to unwanted physical contact. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Lori A. Brightenfield, 56, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested for writing a check to a business on May 18 to buy alcohol when she allegedly knew she did not have the funds to pay for it. She was issued an appearance ticket for City Court and is to be there on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Carol M. Pahuta, 47, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Pahuta was arrested following a larceny investigation on West Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket and released. She is to be in City Court to answer the charge on May 31. The case was handled by Bataiva Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Daniel Colin Healy, 25, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree. He was taken into custody at 1:48 p.m. on May 23 by Gates PD on an active bench warrant out of City Court for failing to appear on the charge, stemming from an incident June 27 on Vine Street in the City of Batavia. He was jailed on $250 bail and was to be in City Court Wednesday (May 25). Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze handled the case.

Mark J. Zinni, 21, of Evergreen Drive, Batavia, is charged with driving without lights and unlawful possession of marijuana. Zinni was arrested following a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 11:39 p.m. on May 21 in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that Zinni was driving without lights and that he was in possession of several small bags containing marijuana. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Katelyn C. Kubala, 27, of Genesee Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arrested on a warrant for NYS Parole. At the time she was taken into custody, at 10:59 a.m. on May 20, she allegedly had a quantity of marijuana in her purse. She was turned over the NYS PArole Officer April Fuller at BPD and is to appear in City Court on May 31. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Michael W. Funke, 21, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Funke was arrested following a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 11:52 p.m. on May 21 in the City of Batavia. He was a passenger in the vehicle and allegedly in possession of marijuana. He was released on an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Julie L. Dutton, 21, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on May 23 on a bench warrant out of City Court. It is alleged that she violated the terms of her release under supervision. She was jailed on $5,000 bail and is due in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia PoliceOfficer Christopher Lindsay.

Andrew C. Webster, 23, of Martin Road, Akron, is charged with failure to appear. At 4:05 p.m. on May 20, Batavia police took custody of Webster from NYS police on a City Court arrest warrant for failure to appear. Webster paid an undisclosed amount of bail and was released. He was to be in City Court on May 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Brian J. Dorman, 32, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

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