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September 20, 2017 - 6:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, news, notify.

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One person is in surgery at ECMC and three other people are being detained following a shooting near Watson and Evans streets, City of Batavia, shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Chief Shawn Heubusch said one of the three people detained is a possible suspect and the other two potential witnesses.

The victim was shot in the wrist and belly.  The victim was flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC.

The three people of interest reportedly fled to a house on Maple Street, which was surrounded by police and the three eventually surrendered.  

Police were initially dispatched to a report of several people fighting on Thorpe Street. When they arrived on scene, officers learned of a shooting victim in a nearby house who was seeking medical treatment. Mercy EMS was called to the scene.

Heubusch said more information will be released when it becomes available.

September 20, 2017 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, City Schools, schools, education, news, notify.

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As of this morning, Dennis Kenney is the new interim principal at Batavia High School.

Kenney fills the vacancy left when Scott Wilson accepted a position in Churchville.

The school district reviewed several candidates to replace Wilson on a permanent basis but has decided to extend the search.

Kenney will serve as principal until Dec. 22.  

The school board approved his contract in executive session at the start of last night's meeting.

A resident of Warsaw, Kenney has 40 years in education and recently retired as a principal at Iroquois Central Schools, where he worked for 12 years.

His first 18 years in education was with the New York State Division Youth, which is now Child and Family Services, working in residential facilities with kids who had serious emotional issues and learning disabilities.

He's also been a principal at Barker, an assistant in Albion and Canandaigua and served for two-and-a-half years as superintended in Perry.

He has three sons and was on vacation in Virginia Beach with eight of his grandchildren when he got the call from Superintendent Chris Dailey asking if he would be interested in interviewing for the interim position.

"They'll find me a very visible high school principal and very approachable," Kenney said. "I'd like the parents to know that my door is always open, and staff, to come and see me on anything. The students, too. I think we have a great school district here and the high school has a great faculty, good assistant principals, and we're going to work together and keep moving forward."

September 19, 2017 - 8:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ctiy schools, batavia, schools, education, news, notify.

When district officials asked voters to approve a $27 million capital improvement project they promised the tax levy would go up "0.00 percent" and with the approval of the annual tax warrants tonight, Batavia School District trustees kept the promise.

In fact, because assessed values have gone up about 3 percent for properties in the school district, the 2017-18 tax rate for property owners will go down 79 cents, or 3.54 percent.

The new rate will be $21.46 per thousand of assessed value, Business Manager Scott Rozanski told the board.

It's the second year in a row the district has lowered the tax rate by more than 3 percent.

In six of the past 10 years, the school district property tax rate has gone down from the previous year. Accounting for those years the rate has gone up, the average annual increase is .07 .70 percent.

UPDATE: Scott Rozanski provided these PDFs:

He also told us:


The only thing in the District's control is the levy.  The tax rate is determined by a number of factors outside our control (assessments, equalization rate and county adjustments from prior year such as omitted taxes and exemption removals) 
Also, this will be the fourth consecutive year that taxpayers will receive a rebate check from NYS as a result of our compliance with controlling the taxes (tax freeze).

Just one clarification, the ten-year tax levy increase is 0.70 percent (not 0.07 percent) - as written online.

September 19, 2017 - 3:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Station, Dellapenna Building, batavia, business, news, notify.

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A delay in securing financing through the New Market Tax Credit program for developer Savarino Companies has held up the state of the Ellicott Station project, which is the $18 million redevelopment of the former Della Penna property on Ellicott Street in Batavia.

Julie Pacatte, economic development coordinator for the Batavia Development Corp., said today that Savarino expects to close financing on the project in November.

The original target date was August. (For an explanation of financing for the project, click here.)

This week, survey crews are on site so preliminary engineering work can begin. The surveys will help with floodplain-related design work.

Once financing is done, environmental remediation work can begin. 

"Hopefully, we'll get some favorable days and favorable weather during the winter," Pacatte said. "There's also some work to do inside on Resurgence Brewery. By spring, we should be in full construction mode."

There will also be a workforce recruitment project beginning in the fall, in cooperation with PUSH Buffalo and the Genesee County Work Center aimed at finding jobs for hard-to-place workers.

Savarino, Pacatte​ said, is also inviting local contractors to bid on subcontracts. Bid specs will be available on the Savarino website once the purchase of the property is completed.

September 19, 2017 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, Batavia HS, batavia, news, notify.

The Batavia City Schools community is mourning the loss of Lorne Brudz, a student at Batavia High School, who passed away this morning.

The death was announced today on the school district's homepage and Superintendent Chris Dailey sent a letter to parents.

"Our entire school community is mourning the loss of this wonderful young man," Dailey wrote in the letter.

Dailey informed parents that counselors, teachers and support staff are available to assist students, teachers, and parents. He suggested parents talk with their children about the death as it affects people in different ways.

The school district was not informed of the cause of death.

September 19, 2017 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Downtown Revitalization Initiative, news, notify.

Local officials are being invited to Batavia City Hall at 1:30 p.m. Thursday where Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make an announcement.

What Cuomo will announce is not revealed in the invitation, but the City of Batavia did submit an application to Cuomo's office for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative contest, which carries a $10 million award for one municipality in each of the state's economic development regions.

While winners have been announced in other regions, the winner of the contest in the Finger Lakes region has not yet been announced.

Local officials cannot discuss the reason for Cuomo's visit.

September 18, 2017 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Robert E. Wright, 35, no permanent address, is charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, criminal possession of a narcotic/drug with intent to sell, criminal possession of a narcotic/drug, unregistered motor vehicle, driving without insurance, aggravated unlicensed operation and two counts of unsafe tires.  Wright was arrested following a complaint at 8:46 a.m. Saturday in the area of 563 E. Main St., Batavia, of a man slumped over the steering wheel of a car. At the scene, Wright led officers on a brief foot pursuit. He was also wanted by the Department of Corrections. Wright was ordered held without bail.

Tonya M. Cragg, 38, of Church Street, Tioga, Pa., is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Cragg was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance at 8:46 a.m. Saturday in the area of 563 E. Main St., Batavia. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Carla Faye Ewell, 59, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and inadequate headlamps. Ewell was stopped at 12:40 a.m. Sept. 9 on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Earl R. Benson, 51, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and driving on the wrong side of the median. Benson was stopped at 9:56 p.m. Sept. 8 on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Madison Alyssa Scheurlein, 19, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Scheurlein allegedly stole two items from Kohl's valued at $72.

September 18, 2017 - 12:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.

A former Batavia High School student is in her third day of a hunger strike to protest the way the University of Rochester has handled sexual harassment complaints against a professor in UR's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Lindsay Wrobel says she won't eat until Dr. Florian Jaeger is removed from the faculty.

Wrobel is not claiming that she was sexually harassed.

Jaeger is at the center of an EEOC complaint filed against the university

"Until Professor Jaeger is removed from the university, there’s going to be no trust among the student body," Wrobel said. 

Wrobel graduated from BHS in 2013 and was a Top 10 member of the class.

The sexual harassment allegations have roiled the campus for more than a year but became national news after a long story in Mother Jones. There's also been coverage in The New York Times and Nature.

The university conducted an investigation into the allegations and found no evidence that Jaeger violated its policy. After complaints that the investigation failed to consider all of the evidence or interview all witnesses, the findings were appealed and a dean in another department at UR investigated the appeal and upheld the findings of the original investigation. 

At least one faculty member has resigned in response to UR's handling of the case and others have alleged retaliation for their part in the accusations. The university also investigated these complaints and found no evidence of retaliation.

After seeing Wrobel not looking well, an anonymous person called 9-1-1 on her behalf, but Wrobel reportedly declined medical treatment.

Wrobel said her hunger strike is painful and scary but she intends to persist.

"I fully intend to do this until I’m hospitalized. I think what’s of primary importance is the students on this campus feeling safe. And as of right now, they don’t, and they won’t until Professor Jaeger is removed," Wrobel said. 

Our news partner 13WHAM has been following the story:

September 18, 2017 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

keybank2suspect2016_1_0.jpgThe man who robbed the Key Bank branch in Batavia at the end of last year and got away with $10,275 isn't expected to get out of prison before 2025.

Joel Zsebehazy, 33, an Iraq War veteran from Niagara Falls, was sentenced to three to six years in prison by Judge Charles Zambito in County Court this morning.

Attorney Lisa Kroemer, from the Public Defender's Office, requested a two-to-four-year prison term for her client after noting that Zsebehazy was on parole at the time of the robbery, so he now owes the state prison time before he can start serving a sentence on the Key Bank robbery. 

"Given that fact, he's going to be serving a lot of time anyway," Kroemer said.

Zsebehazy apologized for his actions.

"I realize there is no excuse to justify what I did," Zsebehazy said. "I know what I did was wrong. I knew when I went into the situation it was wrong. I know it negatively impacted more people than just myself."

He then apologized to the teller and the court for his crime.

After the robbery, Zsebehazy fled the state. He was eventually located in Lousiana and brought back to Batavia on the bank robbery charge. During his travels, Zsebehazy said, he started attending AA meetings and going to church and felt like he was getting his life back on track.

"I've been making progress in my life," Zsebehazy said. "I know that in no way excuses myself and I stand here ready to make amends in any way I can."

Zambito said he wasn't moved by either the fact that Zsebehazy will spend an even longer time in prison because he was on parole at the time of the robbery or that he was getting his life together. The fact is, Zambito said, he robbed a bank and had to be chased down in order to be brought to justice.

"To say that this has been an opportunity to start a new life by robbing a bank is something I find incredible," Zambito said.

Zambito said Zsebehazy had already received a substantial break on potential prison time when he was offered a plea deal that capped his sentence at three to six years.  To cut it any further wouldn't fit the crime, he said.

Zsebehazy was ordered to start making payments toward restitution while he's incarcerated. Kroemer tried to convince Zambito to delay restitution payments until Zsebehazy is out of prison because Zsebehazy will receive such a minimal allowance for toiletries, writing paper, and other personal items while in prison that any restitution payment would make it difficult for him to obtain necessities. 

She suggested that lack of money for these items is why some prisoners turn to "less than legal activity" in prison.

District Attorney Lawerence Friedman said Zsebehazy should start paying restitution immediately and that prison officials have a formula to take only a portion of a prisoner's money for restitution payments so they still can buy necessities from the prison store.

Zambito agreed.

Photo: file photo

September 15, 2017 - 11:16am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia, notify.

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The executive director of the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse said a proposed 2,700-square foot addition to the agency's campus at 424 E. Main St. in Batavia is on a fast track to completion pending approval by the City Planning & Development Committee next week.

Speaking after Thursday night's Genesee County Planning Board meeting, where the site plan was recommended for approval without stipulations, John Bennett said the clinic could be "up and running in 14 months" and will be funded by an $820,000 Rapid Treament Expansion Grant from New York State.

Bennett attended the meeting with Raymond Murphy, project manager for Fontanese, Folts, Aubrecht, Ernst architects of Orchard Park. Murphy said they will take the plan before the City Planning & Development Committee on Sept. 19 and then prepare drawings for the building permit.

"We've talked to City Council and the Genesee County Legislature about this, expressing our view that it is much needed for the community," Bennett said, noting that the clinic would be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Monday through Saturday to dispense the medication to people battling opioid addiction. "And it is very private; that's one thing I like."

According to the American Addiction Centers website, a methadone clinic is a place where a person who is addicted to opioid-based drugs, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, can receive medication-based therapy. Patients receive methadone, or the brand name version known as Dolophine, which is an opioid analgesic. This treatment is often referred to as replacement therapy.

Bennett said the methadone is dispensed in liquid form, with each visit averaging about five minutes. He said it is a long-acting, safe medication that produces "little or no cravings."

Other drugs used to treat this type of addiction include suboxone, vivitrol and naltrexone.

The new clinic, which will be attached to the back of the existing treatment/prevention facility, will be able to provide services for up to 150 people at any given time, Bennett said. It also will result in the hiring of 10 to 12 more employees, including nurses, medical director, counselors and support staff.

GCASA has treated more than 1,200 people for opioid addiction since 2006, Bennett said, adding that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 65,000 people will die due to opioids in the coming year.

At top, architect's renderings showing the GCASA campus, with the proposed addition in red in lower drawing.

September 14, 2017 - 5:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, news, notify.

It didn't take long for a jury, after a weeklong trial, to deliberate and find Charles Schilling, of Pembroke, guilty of counts of second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal trespass.

The charges stem from an incident Thanksgiving Day 2015 when Schilling broke into a house where his girlfriend was living, got into an altercation, and she grabbed a .357-Magnum to defend herself, fired three times, striking him at least once in the leg.

In closing arguments, Public Defender Jerry Ader tried to convince the jury that there was ample reason for a not-guilty verdict based on reasonable doubt.

"What really happened?" Ader told the jury. "Since yesterday, those words keep coming back to me. What really happened?"

He said the only version of events the jury had to go on was the testimony of Schilling's girlfriend, who admitted to being confused on some points.

"She is admittedly not sure about what happened," Ader said. "Anything is possible, she said. When she was asked, she said, 'Anything is possible.' She could remember certain things and she couldn't remember certain things."

Ader said the couple had been together for years with a well-established pattern in a dysfunctional relationship of fighting and talking, and texting, then fighting more, with verbal and physical abuse going both ways.

In order to convict Schilling of burglary, Ader said, the jury would have to find that Schilling went to the house, owned and occupied by the father of Schilling's girlfriend, with the intent to commit a crime once he got inside.

It seemed quite probable, Ader said, that Schilling went to the house on Thanksgiving only to talk, but as usual, the talk escalated into a fight.

If Schilling didn't intend to assault and menace the victim, then he couldn't be found guilty of burglary, Ader said.

"Based on the testimony you heard, reasonable doubt is clear," Ader said.

When Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl stood to begin his closing arguments, he stepped to the lectern in front of the jury and for a few minutes, just stood there and looked at them.

His point was, he said, that when he approached the lectern, his intention was clear. His intention was to speak. The jury didn't expect him to remain silent. The context explains intent, he said. The jury knew that if he stood up and walked to the lectern, he intended to speak. They didn't really have to guess at his intention.

In the same way, Schilling's intention was clear. He had told a friend that he was angry with his girlfriend because he believed she had performed in a pornographic video that had been posted online. Schilling's intent was also clear because he had been at the house a few days earlier and gave his girlfriend "a stiff beating," Zickl said. Zickl said Schilling's intent was also clear because when he arrived at the house on Nov. 26, 2015, he tried to break down the front door, damaging it, and then gained access by kicking down another door.

"How can anyone say he did not have the intent to commit a crime when he got inside, when the first thing he did when he got inside was commit a crime?" Zickl said.

It was also clear that Schilling was guilty of criminal trespass because he well knew that his girlfriend's father had barred him from his property. Schilling's girlfriend had even warned him on prior occasions not to come over because her father wouldn't allow it.

Schilling will be sentenced at a later date.

September 14, 2017 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, news, notify.

There's no more benefit of the doubt for Nicole Kimberly Sullivan in Judge Charles Zambito's courtroom.

The 32-year-old Perry resident, already charged with assault, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, was arrested on allegations this week that she and a partner concocted a scheme to steal more than $700 in phone cases from Walmart. She's also been accused of continuing to use drugs while in a residential treatment facility.

Zambito canceled her release under supervision contract Wednesday afternoon and ordered her held on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond. 

While Assistant District Attorney Shirley Gorman argued that Sullivan should be considered a flight risk, her attorney, David Silverberg, argued that she wasn't a flight risk but clearly is having difficulty complying with her release terms pending her trial. He asked for reasonable bail.

Sullivan is accused of fleeing the scene of an accident on Fargo Road in the Town of Stafford on June 10, 2016, and leaving behind a seriously injured person who also had a disability.

September 13, 2017 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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      Adner Davila

A 62-year-old man facing multiple drug-dealing charges is being released from jail while awaiting further legal proceedings after a bail review hearing before Judge Charles Zambito in County Court this afternoon.

Adner P. Davila, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, scored well enough on a bail evaluation worksheet that he was deemed not a flight risk and eligible for release under supervision of Genesee Justice.

The bail evaluation is based on numerous factors such as ties to the community, potential jail term if convicted, appearance record on prior charges and prior charges, if any.

In Davila's case, he does have six prior felonies, including three violent felonies, in his past, as well as a failure to appear, but those charges were years ago and were not really a factor in his bail evaluation.

Davila is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, five counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia. 

During his release under supervision, Davila is confined to his residence at a trailer park on West Main Street Road, except for doctor's appointments. Upon request, Zambito also granted him permission to visit DSS to recertify his Medicaid eligibility, with notification of the trip to Genesee Justice.

September 13, 2017 - 9:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, Stafford, pembroke, news, notify.

Marquis Rashod Brown, 20, of Victor Lane, Hamlin, is charged with burglary, 3rd, criminal mischief, 2nd, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and petit larceny. Brown allegedly entered a building on South Lake Road, Bergen, at 6 p.m. Aug. 3 without the owner's permission, left and drove the owner's vehicle without permission, and then caused more than $1,500 damage to the vehicle by overheating and ruining the engine.

Garl Lyn Fields, 33, of LaGrange Avenue, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Fields was stopped by Irondequoit PD. He posted bail and was released to Gates PD on a warrant. He was issued an appearance ticket and released to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office on a warrant out of Town of Stafford Court. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on an order to appear in Town of Stafford Court at 9 a.m., Oct. 3.

Kristi Marie Stoughton, 41, of Woodhill, Newark, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and driving left of pavement markings. Stoughton was stopped at 11:40 p.m. Monday on Genesee Street, Pembroke, by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Crystal Marie Bouter, 28, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, and Nicole Kimberly Sullivan, 31, of Covington Street, Perry, are charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Bouter and Sullivan are accused of stealing several mobile phone cases valued at $785.77 from Walmart. It's alleged that they agreed to coordinate their efforts to steal the cases. Both were jailed on $1,000 bail each.

September 12, 2017 - 5:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, news, notify.

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Genesee Community College holds a special place in the heart of Charles Zambito, the Genesee County Court judge said today during the 50th-anniversary convocation in the Stuart Steiner Theatre.

It's not that Zambito, who also served on the county legislature and as county attorney, graduated from the two-year college. He didn't even attend a class there. It was the role his father, Anthony Zambito, played in the development and success of the campus that makes the place special to him.

Anthony Zambito, a scientist who worked on the Manhatten Project, a farmer, and a community leader, served on the Board of Trustees for nearly 40 years, one of the longest such tenures in the nation. The college's gym is named after him.

"He believed deeply in the value of education and service to others," Charles Zambito said.

Charles Zambito, who was a teenager when his father became involved with the community college effort, witnessed firsthand the college's growth, and said during his keynote address today that the examples set by those early leaders offer lessons to new generations of leaders, which they can learn from, and they demonstrate values which are still deeply embedded in the spirit of GCC.

"Another factor that contributed to the early success of the college was the strong dedicated leadership beginning with the first board of trustees," Zambito said. "They deserve much credit for not only getting the college started on its early and rapid growth, but more importantly, helping instill a philosophy and culture of success and excellence as well as a special sense of loyalty and belonging. It was present on the very first day of classes and has remained a constant part of the college since."

The college almost didn't get off the ground, Zambito recalled. When Mike Ryan and the Batavia Area Jaycees first brought forth the idea of starting a community college in Batavia, the Board of Supervisors (the county's governing body then) rejected the idea. They weren't even willing to support a study of the proposal. Ryan and the other Jaycees had to convince the board that the study would cost them nothing and not commit them to supporting it once the study was completed.

Eventually, Ryan and his team produced a 75-page study recommending the creation of a community college.

By state law, all the board had to do was pass a resolution to create a community college, but a motion to take that step failed on a 9-10 vote. One of the opponents of the college idea then proposed a public referendum on the collage idea. That motion passed 14-6, with all of the opponents of the college voting yes and the six no votes coming from supporters of the college.

"It was everyone's belief that the chances of passage of this referendum were slim," Zambito said. "Defeat at the polls would effectively close the matter for the foreseeable future."

Opponents said there weren't more than 50 people in the whole county who would want to attend college and the county would be better off creating a vocational school, which would help put people to work and keep them off public assistance.

The referendum was scheduled for November 1965 and for more than a year prior to the vote, the college issue became the most widely debated and discussed issue in the history of the county, Zambito said. He said you couldn't walk down the street without somebody stopping you and asking you what you thought of the college proposal.

When the vote came, the referendum passed 7,730 to 6,670.

Two supervisors, the board president, and its treasurer, who opposed the college prior to the vote, made a crucial decision in the fate of the college at that point.

"They publicly announced that if the county was going to sponsor a community college, they wanted it to be the best in the state," Zambito said.

Among the values and principles embodied in GCC that were important to his father, Zambito said, were that the school be a place where concern for the welfare of students goes beyond what happens in the classroom. That tradition continues, he said.

"Going forward, I think if my father were here, he would be comforted by the fact that the GCC Board of Trustees and this administration and faculty and staff continues to be guided by the same principles and ideals to move forward, reaching new heights," Zambito said.

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September 11, 2017 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, elba, bergen, byron, notify.

Russell Leonard Penepent, 54, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. Penepent allegedly menaced a neighbor and his 5-year-old child with a firearm at 3:19 p.m. Sunday. He was jailed on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

Lawrence A. Guy, 41, of Roosevelt Avenue, Batavia, is charged with torturing or injuring an animal, endangering the welfare of a child, and coercion, 2nd. Police alleged that during a domestic incident Guy punched the family dog several times and threw it down several stairs in the presence of children. He was ordered held on $10,000 bail.

Jacob J. Russell, 21, of Walkers Corners Road, Byron, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Russell was arrested on a warrant by members of the Local Drug Task Force. During the arrest, Russell was allegedly found in possession of heroin. He is also accused of giving a quantity of heroin to another person. He was jailed on $50,000 bail.

Daniel James Maus, 56, of Johnson Road, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Maus was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop at 12:54 a.m. Saturday on Perry Road, Pavilion, by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Ryan Paul Isham, 26, of 66th Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with felony DWI, failure to yield right of way on left turn, and failure to yield right of way at a yield sign. Isham was arrested following an investigation into an accident reported at 12:55 a.m. Sunday on Route 98 in Elba by Deputy Ryan Young. Deputies responded to the accident and located a Dodge Ram pickup truck on its roof. Occupants of both vehicles were out of the vehicles. Isham was determined to be the driver of a Chevrolet Silverado. Isham was transported to UMMC for evaluation and released. All other occupants were treated and released at the scene. Additional charges are pending.

Miguel E. Alvarez, 22, of Maple Avenue, Batavian, and a 16-year-old resident of Trumbull Parkway are charged with petit larceny. At 10:20 p.m. Saturday, Batavia PD officers Arick Perkins and Christopher Lindsay attempted to speak with two suspicious males on West Main Street, Batavia. When approached, the subjects ran. They were later taken into custody and one of the subjects was allegedly found trying to conceal a 30-pack of beer and pizza in his pants that had been stolen from Tops.

Molly M. Smith, 45, of MacArthur Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving while impaired by drugs. Smith was arrested following an investigation into a minor injury motor-vehicle accident at 5:12 p.m. Friday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Ronald P. Dixon, 38, of Pearl Street Road, Batavia, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument. City PD responded to a report of a burglary in progress at 1:10 a.m. Friday on East Main Street, and located Dixon, who was wanted on a warrant. At the time of his arrest, he was allegedly found in possession of a needle and other drug paraphernalia. He was jailed on $2,000 bail on the warrant.

Michael J. Difalco, 29, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property 5th. Difalco allegedly sold property he knew to be stolen at Pawn King in the Town of Batavia. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Julio C. Morales Jr., 32, of Upton Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Morales was arrested on a theft of services charge in 2015 and allegedly never appeared in City Court on that charge. He was jailed on $250 bail.

Henry L. Banks, 47, of Ross Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic charge.

A 17-year-old resident of Skye Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is charged with attempted assault, 1st, harassment, 2nd, and obstructing governmental administration. Batavia PD responded to Burger King at 5:46 p.m. Aug. 28 for a reported disturbance. A person reportedly struck a vehicle. When police arrived, the suspect fled and was later apprehended.

Anthony A. Leone, 49, of Jackson Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for a trespass charge stemming from an incident on Ellicott Street reported at 4:25 p.m. Aug. 15.

Khala Linn Ray, 18, of Ridge Road, Gasport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and no headlamps. Ray was stopped after Officer Arick Perkins observed at 2003 Pontiac Vibe on Ross Street being driven without headlights at 1:55 a.m., Aug. 26. Ray's vehicle was stopped on Washington Avenue.

Tyler M. Hughson, 22, of Hawthorn Drive, Albion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Hughson was stopped at 9:32 p.m. Sept. 1 on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Rachell O. Soggs, 29, of South Swan Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear.

Christopher Steven Bump, 22, of Briarwood Terrace, Batavia, is charged with false personation. At 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, Officer Arick Perkins responded to Pearl Street, Batavia, for a report of a suspicious vehicle. When contacted, Bump allegedly provided the officer with a false name.

John R. Delara, 19, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, petit larceny and unlawful possession of marijuana. Delara is accused of entering unsecured vehicles in a downtown parking lot at 10:15 a.m. Aug. 31 and attempting to steal items from the vehicles.

Tatiana C. Lugo, 22, of Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Taylor K. Hicks, 25, of Pembroke, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Hicks was stopped by State Police at 8:05 p.m. Sept. 7 on Genesee Street, Pembroke.

September 10, 2017 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, football, sports, notify.

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The Blue Devils will be a better team the rest of the season because of their 42-6 loss Aquinas Institute in Van Detta on Saturday, said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the game.

"I schedule these guys week two, not to try to keep an undefeated season or anything," Briggs said. "That doesn't mean too much to these guys. We scheduled them week two because we knew that we've got a pretty good football team but I wanted to see how tough we were and they proved tonight that they aren't afraid to throw punches with the best of the best. They competed. They worked hard. They weren't afraid to go out there and play football against one of the best teams in the state and I'm proud of them for that."

Briggs doesn't think the score reflects how well his team played. They held the game close in the first half, mounted a drive and showed they could go toe-to-toe, but in the second half, the greater depth of the Little Irish allowed Aquinas to pull away.

"Obviously, you know they are a very, very athletic team and there are some big kids over there," Briggs said.

With Ray Leach, Chandler Baker and Anthony Ray, the Blue Devils have three top players who compare favorably to any athletes in Section V, but Aquinas, in Class AA, has talent at more positions and most of their players aren't playing both offense and defense because of a larger roster.

While the Little Irish had a 21-6 lead at the half, one of their three TDs came on a kickoff return when T.J. Jones just ran through a couple of tackles for a 90-yard return.  On offense and defense in the first two quarters Batavia played Aquinas tight.

"We have a lot of guys going two ways and they're huffing and puffing (in the second half)," Briggs said. "But you know what, they scratched and they clawed and they kept fighting and I'm proud of them. I think that we are a better football team tonight and tomorrow and the rest of the season because of what just happened."

Once again, Leach was impressive on offense, rushing 18 times for 111 yards and a TD.

"You know you go for over 100 yards against Aquinas, that's something," Briggs said. "You've got to be pretty darn good to do that and I'm proud of him. I'm proud of our offensive line."

Baker also put up good numbers against a tough team, completing 11 of 16 pass attempts for 121 yards.

This week will be the first time the Blue Devils have practiced in three years following a loss. Since the opening week loss against Livonia in 2014, Batavia hasn't lost a regular season game.

Briggs thinks his team is tough, dedicated and will come to practice Monday ready to work.

"I know it sounds weird but I think we just became a better football team because these guys are going to respond," Briggs said. "They're going to compete and they're going to be hungry for the rest of the year."

Top photo: Anthony Robinson scores a 30-yard rushing touchdown for Aquinas in the third quarter. Robinson had 19 carries for 164 yards.

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To purchase prints of game photos, click here.

September 8, 2017 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in emergency management office, news, notify.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office today announced the distribution of two federal grants to support counterterrorism and emergency preparedness throughout the state, including grants totaling $142,325 for Genesee County.

The first grant is $114,967 from the State Homeland Security Program. 

Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County, said the funds will be used to maintain, support and enhance the services of the Emergency Management Office, Fire Coordinators Office, and Law Enforcement.  

"Our projects for this funding are still being finalized as we were just informed of the award," Yaeger said.

The county is also receiving an Emergency Management Performance Grant of $27,358. 

The EMPG grant is used to offset the cost of personnel for the Office of Emergency Management in Genesee County, Yaeger said.

"The safety and security of New Yorkers is the number-one priority of this administration, and we will continue to ensure our first responders receive the very best training and equipment, as we focus on statewide preparedness to keep our communities safe," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement released by his office

"This federal funding is essential to every county across the state, and I thank our local, state and federal officials for helping bring these grants to New York, as we work to protect visitors and residents in the Empire State."

September 8, 2017 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Richard C. Call Arena, batavia, news, notify, schools, education.

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Richard C. Call epitomized community, speakers noted yesterday at the dedication of two new facilities at Genesee Community College, and he was an avid supporter of agriculture, so it's only appropriate, they said, that the new athletic and community center on the college campus be named after him.

"This is a great day," said Peter Call, son of Dick Call, a member of the board of trustees for five years (top photo). "It just doesn’t get any better than this and this building exceeds all of our wildest expectations. It seems like two minutes ago we were having the campaign, trying to raise a few bucks and now it’s all done and it’s ready for students."

It was Dick Call, said College President Jim Sunser, who recognized the need for an event center that could serve both community and student athletic needs. When the plan was drafted for the building and the Student Success Center, it was Call who had the vision to turn to the community, especially fellow farmers, to raise $5 million to help fund the project. And it was Call who recognized Craig Yunker was just the person to lead the fundraising campaign.

"I’m grateful to have been mentored by Dick Call," Yunker said. "He convinced me to be involved with this effort and I’m grateful. It’s been a great honor."

From Dick Call's original vision to planning for the facility, the need to recognize agriculture's central role in the community was a big part of the effort, speakers said.

"Early on in the campaign," said Peter Call, "during one of our campaign meetings, Jim Vincent made a very strong, encouraging comment that the college needs to have some kind of permanent agriculture exhibit on display so that all of our students and all of our visitors can understand what the history of agriculture is in Western New York, what agriculture is today and the future of agriculture. I think you can see the message got through and the college put together just an amazing exhibit."

Dick Call didn't live to see his vision become reality. He died in 2014.

"When I think of community life, I’m reminded of Dick Call and the values he lived by each day," Sunser said. "It is most fitting that this structure bears his name."

The central role of agriculture in the region is on display in the front hallway of the new arena.

"Those visitors will immediately grasp the values and traditions that define our community and make it so special," Sunser said. "Our community has thrived in a large part because of the agriculture. We all know that agriculture is the driving economic engine and force in our GLOW county region and agriculture is the driving force behind the values that we cherish in our community."

Peter Call said the dedication was a proud day for his family and the community and he thanked the community members who turned out for the event.

"I’ve traveled around and been to many community colleges and certainly our campus and now, with these two new buildings, we are above everyone, any community college anywhere as far as facilities," Peter Call said. "It’s very easy to say but it’s just a fact. It’s wonderful."

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Laura J. Bohm, chair, board of trustees

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GCC President Jim Sunser

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Craig Yunker

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September 7, 2017 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron, notify.
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     Jenna Josephite
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      Shawn Hunter

Jenna Josephite, 28, of Main Street, Batavia, and Shawn Hunter, 33, of Wakefield Street, Rochester, are charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd. Members of the Wyoming County Drug Task Force observed Josephite and Hunter allegedly sell a large quantity of suspected crack cocaine to a subject who had been under surveillance by the task force in the Warsaw Shopping Plaza in Warsaw. Josephite was jailed on $20,000 bail and Hunter was ordered held without bail.

Chad E. Alwardt, 37, of Byron, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Alwardt was arrested Tuesday by members of the Local Drug Task Force on a warrant. While being taken into custody he was allegedly found in possession of heroin. The nature of the warrant was not released. He is being held in the Genesee County Jail.

Lindsay Goins, 61, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with falsely reporting an incident. He was released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

An 18-year-old resident of Stittville is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol. The youth was arrested at 9:55 p.m. Wednesday at College Village. State Police did not release the defendant's name.

Two 18-year-old residents of Batavia are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youths were arrested Wednesday by State Police at a location on Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive, Batavia. State Police did not release the names of the defendants.

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