Online News. Community Views.

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

notify

April 20, 2018 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Le Roy, Oakfield.
jasonandersonmug2018.jpg
    Jason Anderson

Jason R. Anderson, 36, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, driving while under the influence of drug and alcohol, criminal mischief, 4th, and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Anderson is accused of driving his vehicle into Kibbe Park where it became stuck in the mud. Anderson then allegedly stole another vehicle and attempted to push his vehicle out of the mud. That vehicle also became stuck in the mud. The stuck vehicles were reported at 1:27 a.m. Tuesday. Upon investigation by officers Mitchell Cowen and Arick Perkins, Anderson was allegedly found to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol and in possession of needles. He was arraigned and jailed without bail.

Kiara M. McCoy, 28, of Woodward Street, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to answer a traffic summons. McCoy was located by Rochester PD and turned over to Batavia PD. McCoy posted bail and was released.

George E. Norway, 65, of North Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with aggravated harassment. Norway allegedly left a threatening message for an employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Norway was arraigned and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

Sarah D. Peterson, 26, of Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Peterson was arrested by State Police at an apartment in Le Roy at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Samuel R. Oddo, 34, of Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Oddo is accused of stealing property at Target with a value of more than $1,000. He was arrested by State Police at 2:34 p.m. Monday.

Jessica M. Pfenninger, 35, of Batavia, and Robin L. Walsh, 51, of Batavia, are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Pfenninger and Walsh were arrested by State Police at 2:38 p.m. Wednesday. No further details released.

April 19, 2018 - 7:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Johnson Controls, genesee county, energy savings, news, notify.

The Genesee County Legislature is having a hard time coming to terms with borrowing $4 million to potentially save $4 million or more on future energy bills.

Not every member of the Legislature believes the cost savings are real, or that the county should borrow that much money on an expectation of saving money years from now.

Legislators Gary Maha and Andrew Young are the most skeptical.

"I appreciate the effort," Young said. "I try to look at everything just as I would for my business. Would I do it? I would not borrow $4 million and hope I got it back over the next 20 years. I don’t know too many business people who would."

He called the idea, from a business perspective, "irrational."

Clattenburg said she looked at it a little differently.

"The rationale is like any homeowner," Clattenburg said. "You buy an energy-efficient furnace and your costs are cut in half and you take saving from the energy cost and use it to pay for your furnace. You talk about (as) if, I was a business. I talk about it as if I were a housewife and I was buying a furnace. That is how I would look at it."

In summary, the proposal involves the county signing an agreement with Johnson Controls that would entail the county borrowing $4 million. Johnson Controls would then act as a contractor for a series of projects intended to reduce energy consumption at county buildings.

Many of the projects are already part of the county's capital investment plans. Over the 20 years, the county would pay $200,000 a year on the loan but save an estimated $200,000 a year in energy costs. Johnson Controls guarantees a certain amount of costs savings realized in each of the first three years of the contract. The county could buy a sort of extended warranty for additional years to guarantee savings, though that isn't really being considered.

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens first brought the idea to the Legislature in February and the Legislature gave him the green light to put together a resolution to approve a contract with Johnson Controls.

He's been to two committee meetings this week, Public Service on Monday and Ways and Means on Wednesday, to discuss the proposal with legislators. Neither committee has yet to approve the resolutions.

Yesterday, Ways and Means tabled the resolution pending more information on other financing options, such as using $2 million the county has available and borrowing only $2 million, perhaps from another source.

“I don’t just see it as a loser," Hens said during a 30-minute robust discussion of the proposal Wednesday. "I think it’s a good deal for the county. I wouldn’t be here for my third committee meeting pushing it so heavily if I didn’t think it was a great idea for the county.”

The benefits as laid out by Hens, County Treasurer Scott German, and the legislators who support it -- Shelly Stein, Marianne Clattenburg, John Deleo, and John Hilchey -- include:

  • Front-loading paying for several capital-improvement projects that the county will have to pay for eventually anyway;
  • If the contract is signed by May 30, an interest rate of 3.5 percent is locked in (the Federal Reserve is planning three interest rate hikes this year);
  • Getting the work done before inflation drives up the costs;
  • Shifting some of the operational expense of energy from an expense against property taxes into an expense against sales taxes, which frees up space for other expenses under the tax cap;
  • Saving maintenance and repair costs on old and failing equipment;
  • Ensuring employees are working in safe and comfortable buildings that currently need significant repairs

Maha said he isn't against the idea of getting the work done, but he isn't comfortable on taking on a $4 million loan with a 20-year payoff, especially when the county is looking at a potential expense of $45 million or more for a new jail.

"The timing of it bothers me," Maha said. "I understand the benefits of the energy efficiency at the county buildings but I look at my home, you know, I haven’t put any energy into my home until I have the money. I don’t think my constituents want me to say 'yeah, go ahead and borrow $4 million' when we’ve got other projects out there that will cost the county millions of dollars.”

Not every project in this proposal will, by themselves, lead to cost savings. Putting a new roof on the highway garage, for example, won't reduce energy costs but it must be done and it can be included in the contract. Making it part of the Johnson Controls contract takes it out of the list of other capital projects the county must pay for using the existing capital budget.

Most of the cost savings actually come from some of the smaller projects, such as switching lighting in county buildings to more energy-efficient systems.

Some projects, such as replacing the eight air handlers on the roof of County Building #2, will both reduce energy costs and save maintenance costs.

"Right now we spend a ton of time repairing broken air handlers in Building #2," Hens said on Wednesday. "We don’t have great job-costing software to be able to track exactly what we spend, but I can tell you, Terry and the other guys have a lot of overtime going in after hours to fix air handlers or going to the jail to repair the boiler."

Deleo admitted to some skepticism of the proposal but near the end of the discussion Wednesday, he said he had warmed to it.

"So you’re saying right now cash is cheap, so let’s lock it in at the low rate and keep that over the 20 years because it’s cheap now, and then we’ll keep our cash in reserves and if things go off, we always have the cash, and cash is king, as they say," Deleo said. "I’m not as negative against this anymore as I hear it more and more."

Young said he doesn't think the savings is sufficient enough to justify taking on $4 million in debt. Using a calculation provided by Johnson Controls called Net Present Value, Young said there are essentially no savings.

The initial NPV calculation showed only $1,357 in savings on the value of the money, but Hens said with a lower financing rate, the new calculation is $38,519.

"I’m not 100-percent confident, there’s no guarantee it’s going to pay for itself in 20 years," Young said.

Net Present Value is a term economists use to try and determine the value of money today against the value of money at some point in the future. The calculations can get complicated. A straight calculation of $4 million today versus the value of that money in 20 years would, at a steady rate of 2-percent annual inflation, be $2.7 million.

Such straight-line calculations through having little predictive value. We don't know what the rate of inflation will be in each year, what interest rates might be in future years (if money isn't borrowed now and is instead borrowed on a project-by-project basis in coming years); and in this case, how the cost of energy will change over 20 years.

Maha is concerned about placing bets on the prediction of the future, he said. Who knows what technology changes will come in 20 years? He suggested in 20 years, whoever is still around in county government will have no real knowledge of why the loan exists and what purpose it served.

"I want to reiterate that my concern is, I don't care if it's $1 million or $4 million, I don't like the 20 years," Maha said. "Who knows what is going to happen 20 years down the road. Who is going to look back in 20 years and remember why we did this?"

Clattenburg countered, “We might look back in 20 years and say look at all the money we saved over the 20 years.”

Both Hens and German made the point a couple of times during the discussion that the estimated saving presented by Johnson Controls should be considered "conservative" estimates that the actual cost savings should be higher. Johnson Controls, Hens noted, with the first-three-year guarantee on its estimates, doesn't want to overestimate and wind up owing the county money, so their estimates are cautious.

Clattenburg, who chairs Ways and Means, was perhaps the staunchest proponent of the Johnson Controls proposal.

“If we don’t do this and we go the other route (paying for each project individually), don’t come to me to override the tax cap at any point," Clattenburg said. "I hope you are willing to do that if we don’t go this way because that’s what’s going to happen."

Neither legislators Bob Bausch nor Gregg Torrey expressed an overt opinion on whether they will support the proposed contract. But Bausch suggested that maybe the county could use current capital project funds along with some reserves, up to about $2 million, to reduce the amount of money borrowed. That would both reduce the total amount of interest paid and reduce the length of the loan, perhaps to as little as six years.

Hens said that would mean going to another firm for financing and losing the guaranteed 3.5 percent rate. German said he would have to gather estimates but the rate wouldn't be guaranteed until the county was actually ready to take out the loan, which could be two months.

The committee agreed to table the resolution until German is able to report back on that option.

CLARIFICATIONS: We should have pointed out in the body of the story that the estimated cost savings on utility bills alone if the loan is taken out is $117,250. Hens says that's a conservative estimate based on an inflation rate of 3 percent over 20 years. He said the actual rate since 1998 has been 3.9 percent and going back to 1958, the averaged annual rate of inflation for energy costs has been 4.32 percent. If either of those figures hold true, he said, the county will save substantially more.

April 18, 2018 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu, indian falls, log cabin restaurant, news, notify.
keithkentobitpic.jpg
      Keith Kent

In the next few weeks, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman will need to make a decision he's never had to make in his more than 36-year career as a prosecutor: whether to send a case involving the police shooting of an armed suspect to a grand jury for review.

Friedman has not yet seen all the evidence in the incident at the Log Cabin Resturant in Indian Falls a week ago and said he won't make a decision about presenting the case to a grand jury until State Police investigators bring the completed case to him.

A week ago, officers were dispatched to the Log Cabin for the report of a disturbance at the restaurant followed by additional reports of shots fired. Upon their arrival on scene, Keith A. Kent, 61, of Albion, reportedly fired another shot. Officers yelled at Kent to drop his weapon. At that time, according to information released so far, Kent turned toward Deputy Ryan Young and may have pointed his handgun at the officer. Young shot and killed Kent.

State Police investigators have witnesses to interview, body camera video to review, ballistics and forensic evidence to examine. If all of that supports the version of events released by law enforcement so far, that would seem to point to a justified shooting.

Even if that is the case, Friedman said, a grand jury could still be asked to review the evidence.

Asked several different ways to try to explain how he will reach a decision on whether to bring in a grand jury on the case, Friedman chose his words very carefully. He wanted to be clear that he hasn't made that decision yet and did not want to say anything that would make it sound like he had made that decision.

"I'm not holding back," Friedman said. "I have not decided which way we go between those options."

He said some District Attorneys in other jurisdictions always send cases such as this to a grand jury. Others make a decision themselves on a case-by-case basis.

"We don’t have a policy of how we handle these cases because there’s never been one, thankfully," Friedman said.

The last time a police officer in Genesee County shot another person in the line of duty was 1977 when Batavia PD Officer Douglas Squires shot and wounded William Timoney during a robbery of a convenience store on Oak Street.

Friedman praised local law enforcement for their professionalism and restraint in not firing their weapons at suspects in recent years even though in several instances it appears such a shooting would have been justifiable. 

One of those involves Deputy Young, who was a Le Roy police officer when dispatched to Selden Road after a report of a man being shot in the head. That was on Dec. 1, 2015. When he arrived on scene an alarm came in for a house fire a few houses down the road. As he pulled up, Kyle Johnson fired a rifle in the direction of Young and a fire chief. Young took cover and provided information about the location of the shooter as other officers arrived. Johnson wandered up and down Selden Road for hours, sometimes pointing his weapon in the general direction of police officers. He was eventually taken into custody with no further shots fired.

At Monday's Public Service Committee meeting, Chairwoman Shelly Stein commended Undersheriff Gregory Walker on the department's handling of the situation at the Log Cabin.

"On behalf of the whole Legislature, I want to commend you, your department for keeping everyone safe, getting everyone home. It’s really a credit to the department."

Walker said after the meeting that Young remains on a paid leave of absence and it will be up to him to decide when he's ready to return to work. He is being provided support and assistance from the department.  

"He's doing as well as expected under the circumstances," Walker told the county legislators.

April 17, 2018 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, murder, notify.

dsc_5266sunsetmotel.jpg

A woman was found dead, apparently murdered, at 11:57 a.m. yesterday at the Sunset Model, 4056 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

A medical examiner has determined the cause of death was "sharp force trauma to the carotid artery."

Yesterday morning a deputy responded to a report of an unresponsive woman in a room at the motel. Responding deputies determined she was dead and Coroner Jeffrey McIntyre responded to confirm her death.

The case has been ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. 

The woman has been identified by authorities but her name has not yet been released pending notification of family.

April 17, 2018 - 11:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Amanda E. Havens, 36, of Munson Street, Le Roy, and Thomas Williamee (no further info released) are charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Havens and Williamee are accused of stealing gasoline from Top's Friendly Market.

Anthony Charles D'Ambrosia, 38, of Mosley Road, Rochester, is charged with bail jumping. D'Ambrosia allegedly failed to appear for a scheduled court date in City Count. He turned himself in within 30 days of his scheduled appearance. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Minnie Marie Henry, 30, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to meet sentencing requirements. He was arraigned and jailed.

Leroy Thornton III, 27, of Ashland Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Thornton allegedly threatened another person during a disturbance on Dellinger Avenue at 9:10 p.m. March 11.

John P. Henning, 56, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Henning was arrested by State Police on Monday. No further details released.

April 16, 2018 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, bergen, notify.

James Benjamin Page, 38, of Edgeware Road, Rochester, is charged with petit larceny, aggravated unlicensed operation, driving without an ignition-interlock device. Page was allegedly found by Deputy Jeremy McClellan at 11:35 p.m. Saturday loading scrap metal from a local business into a vehicle without permission. He allegedly had possession of control of the vehicle at the time.

Mallard Akoma Newkirk, 25, of Lake Artesia Road, Faison, N.C., is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Newkirk was arrested after a report of the odor of marijuana coming from a hotel room at the Econo Lodge in Pembroke at midnight, Saturday.

Patricia Lynn Gertis, 57, of Mount View, Arcade, is charged petit larceny. Gertis is accused of shoplifting from Kohl's Department Store in Batavia.

Deborah Ann Scholonski, 48, of Griswold Road, Bergen, is charged with: DWI; driving with a BAC of .08 or greater; speeding; driving a vehicle without valid inspection; and insufficient tail lamps. Scholonski was stopped at 11:30 p.m. Friday on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Andres A. Arteaga, 20, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Arteaga was stopped at 1:53 a.m. Sunday on Route 98 in the Town of Batavia by State Police.

April 15, 2018 - 6:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 2nd Amendment, batavia, news, notify.

jimgunsapril152017.jpg

If gun owners are going to preserve their right keep and bear arms, they're going to do more than just complain about the progressive agenda to confiscate all firearms. So said Second Amendment Attorney Jim Ostrowski at a grassroots meeting of gun rights advocates at the Days Inn in Batavia today.

They're going to need to find allies.

Potential allies include those, he said, who think recreational drug possession should be legal.

"Guns are drugs are the same issue, if you think about it," said Ostrowski, a resident and political activist in Buffalo. "They're both private property."

He said there was a time in this country when there was no thought of restricting either guns or drugs but progressives wanted the power to control other people's lives.

Another potential ally, the #metoo movement. Women should naturally want the right to the self-protection a gun provides, he said.

"What does the government monopoly want a woman do when assaulted?" he said. "Call 9-1-1 where a criminal historian can record the assault."

Native Americans, given the history of government atrocities against them, should also be natural allies of gun rights advocates, he said.

Those whose ancestors were slaves, he said, should also be natural allies of gun rights advocates. He noted that recently progressive historical revisionists have said the only reason early America had militias was to guard against potential slave revolts. He said those who spread that as historical fact ignore the fact that militias existed where there wasn't slavery and that one reason slavery could even survive was that slaves were prohibited from owning firearms. The ancestors of slaves should be among the strongest allies for gun rights advocates, he said.

Among the chief reason to preserve the Second Amendment, Ostrowski said, is because progressives want to take guns away from citizens, which would make it easier for tyranny to take hold in this country.  

While the left wants to disarm citizens, they love a government with guns, he said.

"They love guns so much, they want to be the only one with guns," Ostrowski said.

Among his recommendations for activists is convince schools to start teaching students once again about the Second Amendment, its history and its meaning.

"They don't teach the Second Amendment in school," Ostrowski said. "That's crazy. That's why students are out protesting."

People shouldn't think, he said, the United States is necessarily immune from the potential of tyranny.

"Every race we know about has committed mass atrocities," Ostrowski said. "The whole of history is filled with examples of mass murder by the state. The Framers were well aware of this history, that only armed citizens can protect against tyranny. The Second Amendment works against tyranny. That's why the left so desperately wants the entire civilian population disarmed."

April 14, 2018 - 7:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, arts, NY-27, news, notify, batavia.

congressionalartshow2018b.jpg

Students from more than a dozen high schools in the NY-27 Congressional District entered the annual Congressional Art Show and when the top four winners were announced at GCC this morning, all four students came from Batavia High School.

Kiara Cherry won top honors and her work, "Out from Underneath," will be displayed in the Capitol Building for 12 months and she will travel to Washington, D.C., for the show's opening.

Rep. Chris Collins was on hand for the awards presentations after visiting with the students in the Roz Steiner Gallery and viewing their work.

Runner-up was Tara Clattenburg and honorable mentions went to Stephanie Hoy and Sophia Dinehart.

The art show judges see only the pictures. They don't know the artists' names or what schools they go to.

Kiara said her work is meant to reveal how people are different and everyone has a story.

The work didn't come together easily. First, she spent nearly three months working on it and as she neared completion she spilled "a ton" of India ink on it. Rather than give up on the project, she reimagined it, using pages from an old dictionary to help frame the painting of the two girls in the picture.

"I had completely different plans," Kiara said. "It was just unbelievable how everything changed, and so quickly, but it actually ended up better than my original conception."

Ask what lesson she learned from that process, she said, "Not to be cheesy or anything, but it’s like the Bob Ross quote, 'we don’t make mistakes, just happy accidents.' That was a happy accident because it paid off in the end."

Kiara wasn't surprised BHS swept the awards.

"At Batavia, everyone there is so amazing and they work so hard for what they do," she said. "We all encourage each other and Mrs. A (Mandi Antonucci) is an amazing art teacher."

congressionalartshow2018b-2.jpg

Sophia Dinehart tells Collins about her painting, which is a portrait with bees and a honeycomb. She is showing, she said, how we all have ideas and thoughts always buzzing around in our heads.

congressionalartshow2018b-3.jpg

congressionalartshow2018b-4.jpg

Stephanie Hoy

congressionalartshow2018b-5.jpg

Eva Jensen, Perry High School, with a painting of a national park in Utah, where she once lived.

congressionalartshow2018b-6.jpg

Tara Clattenburg

congressionalartshow2018b-8.jpg

congressionalartshow2018b-9.jpg

April 14, 2018 - 6:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

Sheriff William Sheron has issued a travel advisory for all of Genesee County because of current and forecasted weather conditions consisting of high winds and icy roads with possibly downed power lines and trees over the next 24 hours.

April 14, 2018 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

With as much as half an inch of ice accumulation in the storm the National Weather Service says is heading our way, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens is recommending local residents treat this as a significant weather event and "stay put" for the night.

"Most of the area will be getting about half an inch of ice, which will be heavy enough to bring down trees and power lines," Hens said. "Combined with a strong northeast wind, which is opposite of our normal prevailing wind, there is likely to be major tree damage and sustained power outages.

"There is likely only a few hours left to gather last-minute supplies," he added. "After that, I would recommend staying put."

Unnecessary travel, he said, will only make matters worse for highway departments, emergency vehicles an utility crews.

He advises that those running generators use safe fueling and operating methods.

"Do not run a generator indoors under any circumstances," he said.

National Grid also sent out this advisory:

Storm Alert from the National Weather Service in Buffalo

In preparation for strong winds, freezing rain and ice accumulation across much of Upstate New York over the next 24 hours, National Grid has more than 2,000 line, service and tree workers on alert, including additional support from the company’s New England workforce and from neighboring New York utilities.

Crews are being deployed across upstate as needed, particularly in areas where the weather is expected to be the most severe. We urge customers to be prepared and remain safe.

Safety Tips:

  • Remember to never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 9-1-1.
  • Keep a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. Also, make sure to keep your mobile devices charged prior to an event.
  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.
  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at -800-322-3223. (In a medical emergency, always dial 9-1-1.)

Stay Connected

  • Use your mobile device to track outage information, report outages and storm-related safety tips through National Grid's mobile site accessible at www.ngrid.com/mobile(m.nationalgrid.com).
  • To receive text message alerts and updates from National Grid, text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).
April 13, 2018 - 11:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

img_1790arrest.jpg

mug-michael_piasta.jpg
Michael Piasta in  2010

More than seven years ago, Michael J. Piasta stood before Judge Robert C. Noonan and said he thought he could turn his life around.

"At this point, I just want to say I don’t feel that I’m hopeless," Piasta told Noonan before receiving a maximum state prison term of seven years for burglary. "Regardless of what happens today, I think I can make things better."

Piasta served the maximum term. He was released Oct. 24.

In March, he allegedly robbed the Arby's Resturant in Batavia. Today, he was arrested by Batavia PD with assistance from members of the Local Drug Task Force.

He is charged with robbery in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, and grand larceny in the third degree.

He allegedly got away from the Arby's robbery March 23 with more than $6,000 in cash.

When he was arrested on West Main Street, three other individuals were in the truck with him. Batavia PD did not release any information on those individuals or whether they were charged with any crimes.

Piasta was jailed without bail following arraignment in City Court.

When he appeared before Noonan in 2010, Piasta already had a lengthy criminal record. 

On Nov. 5, 2010, Piasta entered a guilty plea to burglary, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument. Piasta also admitted that he broke into a business at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, and stole a credit card -- running up more than $500 in charges -- and checks. He attempted to forge the checks at two local banks.

That summer, Piasta was also accused of stealing DVDs from Pandora's Boxx and shoplifting from Wilson Farms.

April 13, 2018 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify, Batavia PD, Sheriff's Office.

The snowfall was pretty heavy just before midnight, Saturday, Dec. 10, 1977.  That hour was shift change for Batavia PD then and Officer Douglas D. Squires manned the only patrol car on the road in the city. He was parked at Main and Oak watching the green, yellow, and red lights change, swirls of big snowflakes fall, and any cars that might pass through the intersection.

Down the street, at Quik-N-EZ Food Mart, 40 Oak St., employees were about to close up for the night. The little shop had recently hired some new employees and Squires remembers that two or three times that week they had accidentally triggered the alarms while trying to get them set.

Carl Salway, the only law enforcement officer shot in the line of duty in Genesee County


A police-involved shooting is generally defined as a police officer discharging his weapon in the line of duty.

Based on a search of historical records and conversations with law enforcement professionals in the county who have worked locally for decades, it appears that Officer Doug Squires and Deputy Ryan Young are the only LEOs in Genesee County history to be involved in an officer-involved shooting.

It also appears that only once in Genesee County history has a police officer been shot.

In August 1921, Officer Carl Salway, Batavia PD, came within an inch of his life, literally.

That night, shortly after 10 p.m., he stumbled upon a burglary in progress of an auto storage warehouse owned by Raymond M. Walker at 241 West Main St., Batavia. 

Inside were Harold W. Pratt, 27, of 128 South Main St., Batavia, who owned a cider mill, and Earl Lee Smith, of Law St., Batavia, 27. 

Pratt shot Salway with a .45-caliber automatic pistol. The bullet passed through Salway's chest, just missing his heart.

Salway would eventually retire from the police department, but not before serving a suspension in 1931 for insubordination.

Squires, now 64, grew up in Batavia but graduated from Byron-Bergen High School. That night in 1977, he was more than a year into his five-year stint with the Batavia Police Department. He would go on to work security for Kodak before moving into sales and marketing with the company. As he moved up, Kodak moved him, first to Orlando, then Birmingham, then Atlanta, and eventually Charlotte, N.C., in 1989, where he lives in with his wife. 

He didn't realize until told today that what would transpire just before midnight that Saturday night in 1977 would stand as the only officer-involved shooting in Genesee County history until two nights ago.

As the minutes drew tighter toward midnight that night, a Batavia dispatcher informed Squires the alarm at the Quik-N-EZ Food Mart had gone off again.

Squires put his patrol car in drive and drove down Oak. As he approached, he turned off his lights. The store lights were on and the parking lot was empty.

As he pulled up, he remembered a news story out of Buffalo from a couple of days before. Two police officers had been shot and killed responding to a robbery alarm at the Holiday Inn by the airport.

"I remembered that when that alarm came in for that store, that incident came to mind and I thought I’m not going to just wheel in there and think they made a mistake and set off the alarm again," Squires said.

As he approached, he unholstered his revolver.

Peering in, he saw two female employees, Edwina Heschke, of Batavia, and Debbie Maskell, of Indian Falls, lying face down on the floor. Behind the counter, pulling money out of the cash register was a male in a ski mask.

The man in the ski mask turned out to be William M. Timoney, who was 34 at the time, recently released from Attica on parole, and a resident of Dewey Avenue. 

Squires pushed the door open, identified himself and yelled, "freeze."

Timoney looked at Squires, pointed his 14 shot .22 long rifle calibre handgun with a full magazine, at the back of one of the clerks and told Squires, "Pig, you get out of here or they’re both as good as dead."

"At that point," Squires said, "the gloves were off. He's threatening a third party with physical harm and possibly their lives."

Squires fired at Timoney and missed. Timoney ducked behind a counter, popped up again and Squires fired again, missing again.  

As the gun battle ensued, another Batavia officer, D.G. Kopper, arrived as back up.

When the perp's head popped up from behind the counter again, between the cash register and orange drink dispenser, Squires fired again. This time he caught Timoney in the face, the bullet hitting his cheek and ear.

"He was quite a mess," Squires said. "He lost his right ear. The shot picked him right up off the floor. The money went one way and the gun went another."

As Sheriff William Sheron noted today, police officers go to work every shift knowing this may be the eight hours where they get shot at or they may have to shoot another person.

Just because there have only been two incidents in Genesee County history, and now three, where an officer either shot someone or has been shot himself, doesn't mean it isn't an ever-present danger. Every chance encounter, when you're in law enforcement, can turn deadly with very little warning.

“Law enforcement officers go to work every day knowing that they may be required to sacrifice their own lives, or take the life of another human being in order to fulfill their obligation of protecting the citizens of our communities," Sheron said.

Two nights ago, Deputy Ryan Young faced the challenging decision of whether to fire his weapon after responding to a report of a disturbance and shots fired at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Indian Falls. As Young and other officers pulled into the parking lot, Keith Kent, 61, of Albion, fired another shot. Young and his colleagues yelled at Kent to drop his weapon. He didn't. Rather, Kent turned -- according to information available so far -- toward Young and pointed his pistol at him.

As Undersheriff Gregory Walker put it describing the incident while talking with reporters on Gilmore Road early Thursday morning, "Our officer did take the shot and the suspect was killed."

Timoney, the 1977 robber, was lucky. He lived. After he was shot, Squires and Kopper rushed to his side and cuffed him.

Timoney, who used a gun stolen from a home in Alexander, was treated at St. Jerome Hospital then hauled before County Court Judge Glenn R. Morton, charged with robbery in the first degree along with several other charges, then jailed without bail.

The district attorney in 1977 was Ronald L. Fancher. He settled on a plea agreement for Timoney, attempted robbery.  Timoney entered a  guilty plea and was sent to state prison for less than four years. He was released in 1982. By 1984, he was back in prison for an armed robbery in Queens, serving a maximum 15-year sentence. He was released in 2000.  In 2000, his name pops up in a couple of stories in the New York Daily News about homeless people in the city.

Squires described shooting Timoney as "a surreal experience." He was put on paid leave and he had to turn over his revolver for ballistic testing. 

"I had a lot of sleepless nights," he said. "It was quite an experience. Most police officers never even draw their weapons or let alone fire their weapons over a 20 or 30-year career. Here, I'm on the job for at most a couple of years and I run into something like this."

Eugene Jankowski, who served Batavia PD for more than 35 years, starting in 1978, was a corrections officer in the Genesee County Jail the night Squires shot Timoney.  He remembers Timoney coming into the jail with a big bandage on his ear.

Now City Council president, Jankowski is a firearms expert and led in the creation of the county's Emergency Response Team.

Even though Jankowski never encountered a situation that escalated into the need to shoot somebody, he faced many life-and-death decisions during his career. Training and experience are critical to helping officers handle the unexpected, he said.

"I’ve found scenario-based firearms and defensive tactics training, combined with state law and department policy, was the most beneficial to me," Jankowski said. "That, along with real-life experience helped me to physically and mentally prepare for many types of use-of-force encounters."

Squires said he thinks about Dec. 10, 1977, every time another police shooting hits the news.  

"Until you're a police officer and you go through it, there's really not much you can think about to know what it's like," he said.

His advice for Young or other officers who must fire their weapon at suspects: Don't second guess yourself.

"And don't let others second guess you. Just know that it's your job and you have to do what you have to do to defend yourself or innocent bystanders. You have to know what you did is right."

April 13, 2018 - 4:20pm

young_ryan_w_deputy.jpgPress release:

Deputy Ryan W. Young has been identified by Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. as the officer involved in Wednesday night's shooting at the Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant.

Deputy Young is a six-year law enforcement officer who joined the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 2016.

Sheriff Sheron said: “Law enforcement officers go to work every day knowing that they may be required to sacrifice their own lives, or take the life of another human being, in order to fulfill their obligation of protecting the citizens of our communities. Deputy Young’s actions on Wednesday night did just that.”

ADDITIONAL INFO: Deputy Young was with the Le Roy Police Department prior to joining the Sheriff's Office. On Dec. 1, 2015, he distinguished himself at a crime scene on Seldon Road, Le Roy, where Kyle G. Johnson had already killed a neighbor and set his own house on fire as Young arrived on scene. After he arrived, Johnson fired in his direction toward a fire chief. Young immediately took command of the situation, took cover, instructed neighbors to seek shelter in their basement, and kept other responding units informed of Johnson's movements and whereabouts, even, while at times, under the threat of being fired upon. He received a Distinguished Service Award from Le Roy Chief Chris Hayward for his valor. Johnson was eventually taken into custody without further shots fired.

After the duty-related death of Deputy Frank Bordonaro in 2014, Young made rope bracelets with brass plates honoring Bordonaro and sold them to others in the law enforcement community to help raise funds to donate to Bordonaro's sons.

Earlier this year, Young received his first Commendation from the Sheriff's Office.

April 13, 2018 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bdc, Batavia Development Corp., batavia, news, notify.

Press release:

The Batavia Development Corporation accepted the resignation of Julie Pacatte, economic development director in charge of economic development for the City of Batavia. Pacatte has accepted a position for a private-sector employer located in New York’s Capital District Region. 

“To say that she will be missed is an understatement, Ms. Pacatte was instrumental in a number of initiatives to improve the economic environment in Batavia,” said Pierluigi Cipollone, president of the Batavia Development Corporation. “She has advanced economic development in the city to new levels and facilitated more than $30 million in pledged investment into the city."

Pacatte was successful in leading the way to develop the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2), a first in the state PILOT Increment Financing (PIF) district that diverts new PILOT payments from three tax jurisdictions (City, School, and County) to develop the most blighted and impoverished areas of the city.

The program was developed following the city’s success in creating the Brownfield Opportunity Area and identifying sites primed for investment. These efforts lead to the attraction of $20 million investment pledge by Savarino Companies at the Ellicott Station brownfield site. 

Pacatte led efforts to craft the successful $10 million Downtown Redevelopment Initiative (DRI) application, was the driving force behind the BDC’s Public-Private Partnership, the freshLab restaurant incubator, as well as an administrator for loans and grants to aid new and existing businesses in the city.

She has helped bring the BDC to solid ground and advance our mission of new economic opportunities in the city of Batavia. The BDC still has much to do and will continue to work in the city helping small businesses, ensuring that the Savarino project can break ground this summer, working to advance development at Creek Park, assisting DRI project winners and working with all economic development partners in county and across the region. 

“Thank you, Ms. Pacatte for your passionate efforts to make Batavia a better place to work, live and play and I wish you continued success in your future pursuits,” Cipollone said.

April 12, 2018 - 8:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, corfu, log cabin restaurant, news, notify.

With police sharing few details, it's still not clear what led to a deadly confrontation between a 61-year-old Albion man and a Sheriff's deputy outside of the Log Cabin Restaurant last night.

According to sources, Keith Kent may have gotten into some type of argument after stopping at the restaurant for dinner while on his way home. The argument may have become physical and he may have been hit.

It's unclear what happened next, but a source said employees ushered themselves and customers into the basement once the disturbance started.

According to Undersheriff Gregory Walker, Kent was confronted by officers outside the restaurant at about 11 p.m. after receiving reports of shots fired. Walker said when officers first arrived on scene, Kent fired a shot. It's unknown what if anything he was aiming at. Officers, according to Walker, shouted commands at Kent but he did not obey them. When he turned toward a deputy and appeared to point his handgun at the deputy; the deputy fired at least one round that struck Kent and killed him.

Kent owned a logging business in Albion, Jordan River Logging, on Route 31A. According to news reports going back to the early 2000s, Kent was involved in disputes related to his business.

Orleans Hub reported today that Kent had complained in the past about how authorities handled his cases, including one where he was charged with felonies but a grand jury did not indict him following a hearing.

He was accused of taking far more trees than he was supposed to from a Barre woman. In an agreement, Kent was to take 40 trees but was accused of taking close to 200.

Kent, 61, complained to friends and neighbors, and in letters sent to newspapers, that he was wrongly prosecuted with the charges, hurting his reputation and business.

Kent also said his business was destroyed by the “Rutherford-Cain gang” from Niagara County, who were rival loggers. Kent in an email to the Orleans Hub on June 29, 2017, saying the two from Niagara County caused him “eight years of hell on earth, including vandalisms, thefts, arson and attempts on my life.”

According to a 2007 article in the Buffalo News, David Cain, then 38, was convicted in Federal Court of 17 felony charges, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, three extortions, two mail frauds, five arsons, three tamperings with witnesses, conspiracy to tamper with witnesses, and evidence tampering.

His brother, Christopher, and cousin, James Soha, were convicted of five felonies each, including racketeering.

David Cain was eventually sentenced to 55 years in federal prison.

In 2011, Kent sent a letter to several publications, including the Medina Journal-Register, accusing Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone of using incidents stemming from the Cain criminal activity to "create" a crime against him, even though Kent has assisted in the prosecution of Cain.

He wrote:

Although the Grand Jury soundly rejected issuing an indictment for “timber theft,” through highly suspect means, a lesser indictment was obtained against me. Judge Punch swiftly ruled to dismiss all charges, stating, “... the evidence before the Grand Jury was legally insufficient.”

Adding,

What was your true motive, Cardone, had I not just handed you the key witnesses that gave you no alternative but to indict David Cain Jr., who was later sent to federal prison for 55 years? I had essentially rid Western New York of the worst gang of criminals in the last century after enduring a living hell at their hands. Until I brought you the witnesses and gave you no choice, I received no help at all from you. Was my arrest your attempt to destroy my name and all I’ve worked for because I embarrassed you into doing your job?

Kent sued Cardone and lost, with a court ruling that Cardone had "absolute immunity."

For Kent, the dispute seems to have remained unresolved, according to Orleans Hub:

Kent in his email to the Orleans Hub said he was terrorized for eight years while law enforcement did nothing to protect him or his family. He said he was treated “shamefully” by District Attorney Joe Cardone, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Marshals.

The Batavian's news partner 13WHAM was able to conduct a short phone interview with Keith Kent's older brother, Gary, who described Keith as a family man who loved his children. He had a wife, two adult children, and four grandchildren.

Previously:

April 12, 2018 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany Center Road Bridge, infrastructure, news, notify, Bethany.

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018-2.jpg

After years of crumbling, the Bethany Center Road Bridge over Route 20 has finally come tumbling down.

Demolition crews brought the 86-year-old concrete span down today as part of a $1.4 million DOT project to replace the long-dilapidated bridge.

Previously: 

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018.jpg

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018-4.jpg

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018-3.jpg

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018-5.jpg

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018-6.jpg

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018-7.jpg

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018-8.jpg

bethanycenterroadbridgeapril122018-9.jpg

April 12, 2018 - 6:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

A 16-year-old resident of Oak Street in Batavia accepted a plea deal this afternoon that could result in a term of one-and-a-third to four years in prison.

Lionel J. Anderson Jr. was facing a Class D violent felony count of second-degree assault stemming from an altercation at 16 Highland Park, Batavia, on the evening of Nov. 28. The charge was downgraded today under a plea agreement, offered for Judge Charles Zambito's consideration, to a non-violent Class E felony of attempted second-degree assault.

The Oklahoma native, who finished the 10th grade of high school, accepted responsibility in Genesee County Court this afternoon for injuring a 13-year-old victim who was slammed to the ground, face first, then struck in the face, twice; the injuries stemmed from contact with a "metal belt buckle and/or curb."

Zambito ordered a pre-sentencing investigation, and sentencing is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. on May 21. Meanwhile, Lionel remains in custody on $25,000 bail.

It was unclear if other charges initially filed in the case are still pending in Batavia City Court -- one count of harassment and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Lionel's attorney, Michael Locicero, asked if the plea agreement would resolve any pending charges.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said he could not agree "sight unseen" that additional charges pending for Locicero's client would be satisfied by the plea agreement at hand. But the DA did pledge that the plea satisfies all charges for the defendant in this case, involving this victim, pertaining to the Nov. 28 incident.

Lionel -- handcuffed, wearing faded orangish sweat pants, a bright orange jail shirt, long-sleeved thermal undershirt, white socks and tan slides -- fidgeted as Zambito explained what the plea meant. Slightly built and about 5'7", he answered "yes," softly, when asked if he understood the terms.

April 12, 2018 - 10:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in log cabin restaurant, pembroke, corfu, news, notify, indian falls.

walkerpresserap122018.jpg

UPDATE 11:40 a.m.: The name of the man shot is Keith A. Kent, 61, of Albion.

A man who was shot and killed outside the Log Cabin Restaurant late last night was causing a disturbance inside the establishment, according to Undersheriff Gregory Walker, and said at one point, "where are the police?"

The man was challenging people inside the restaurant to a fight, trying to convince them to meet him outside, Walker said.

Deputies were dispatched to the restaurant a little before 11 p.m. for the disturbance and while in route were informed of the reports that shots where fired.

“The officers were given a description of the subject who had the handgun," Walker said during a press conference this morning at the Sheriff's Office on Park Road. "When they arrived in the parking lot they saw a subject who matched the description and also when they arrived there was a shot that was fired as officers arrived on scene.”

Officers shouted numerous commands for the subject to drop the weapon, Walker said.

"He did not comply and the officers had to shoot and did kill the subject," Walker said.

The name of the deceased has not been released yet pending notification of his family.

Walker said the man did turn and point his gun at a deputy.

Walker confirmed that deputies were wearing body cams and body cams were recording at the time of the events. That video footage is still under review.

He couldn't say, with the limited information still available, how many officers -- including state troopers and possibly Batavia PD -- were on scene at the time of the shooting.

While it appears there were shots fired inside and outside the restaurant that hasn't been confirmed yet through the investigation. 

Walker said he could not say yet how many shots were fired, either by the subject or by police.

The type of handgun used by the subject was not released nor was information released about whether it was legally owned, by whom and whether the subject had a permit. 

Since the shooting involves a member of the Sheriff's force, there will be an independent investigation of the shooting.

While the name of the deputy involved hasn't been released, Walker said, “He’s doing OK considering the circumstances. We will be spending a lot more time with him and helping him out to get through this circumstance.”

Major Edward Kennedy, State Police, Troop A, said the investigation will be conducted just like any other investigation -- the forensic evidence will be gathered, evidence reviewed and witnesses interviewed.

“I understand your questions," Kennedy said. "They’re relevant. They are absolutely understandable but they are things we cannot comment on. This is currently an active crime scene. We are in the very early stages of an investigation. This is a tragedy for everyone. That is the best we can give you right now.”

Previously: Man shot and killed after pointing handgun at deputy outside Log Cabin Restaurant

April 12, 2018 - 12:00am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, corfu, indian falls, notify.

Local law enforcement and county coroners are on scene at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Indian Falls.

A report of shots fired there was dispatched at about 11 p.m.

The road is blocked and no one is being admitted. The location is 1227 Gilmore Road.

As of 11:50 p.m., a county coroner was allowed in and other responding medical personnel were told to leave.

At about 11:58 p.m. a second county coroner arrived.

UPDATE 12:07 a.m.: First District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini just arrived on scene.

UPDATE (By Howard) 1:24 a.m.: Undersheriff Greg Walker has confirmed that a deputy shot and killed an armed suspect after the man turned and pointed his gun at him outside the Log Cabin Resturant. (Story)

April 11, 2018 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Jordan S. Thomas, 19, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Thomas allegedly violated an order of protection by allowing the protected party to stay at his residence for several hours on Monday. Thomas was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Octavio Michael Tardy, 52, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Tardy allegedly shoved another person during an argument at 1:22 p.m. March 25 at a location on Main Street, Batavia.

Amy M. Gasper, 45, of Webster, is charged with petit larceny. Gasper is accused of a theft in the Town of Batavia at 9:53 a.m. on April 4. She was arrested by State Police on Tuesday. No further details released.

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2017 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button