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December 7, 2016 - 6:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Jacquetta Simmons made it to court today, and despite a recommendation from her new attorney that she be sent to anger management classes, she was sentenced to 15 days in jail on her misdemeanor harassment conviction.

Previously, Simmons admitted to having physical contact with a 55-year-old woman at a church event in 2014.

City Court Judge Durin Rogers said he didn't think SImmons was a good candidate for counseling given her criminal history and lack of remorse.

According to a pre-sentence report, as discussed in court, Simmons blamed the victim for the altercation in 2014.

A week ago, Simmons failed to appear for her sentencing and her attorney at the time, Ann Nichols, asked to be removed from the case.

Public Defender Jerry Ader represented Simmons in court today.

Simmons made national headlines in 2011 when on Christmas Eve, while shopping at Walmart, she delivered a roundhouse punch to an older woman who was working as a cashier that day. The victim had asked to see a receipt from Simmons for prior purchases that Simmons brought with her when she came through a checkout line for a second time. 

The case went to trial and Simmons was convicted by a jury of a felony assault charge. She was sentenced to five years in prison, but an appellate court overruled the sentence and the sentence was reduced to a year in jail.

(via our news partner, WBTA)

December 7, 2016 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A 31-year-old Batavia resident with multiple prior arrests will be evaluated for his mental capability to understand the charges against him before he's allowed to plead guilty to felonies stemming from an incident in October.

Interim Genesee County Court Judge Micheal Pietruszka wasn't satisfied with the explanation of attorney Lisa Kroemer, of the Public Defender's office, that Matthew D. Derrick could competently understand the legal proceedings today, even though Kroemer needed to rephrase what Pietruszka was telling the defendant.

The problem started as soon as Pietruszka asked Derrick if he was ready to plead guilty to the document in front of him, called a Superior Court Information (or SCI).

Kroemer turned to Derrick, pointed to the document and told Derrick, "this is what we discussed earlier."

Pietruszka stopped the proceedings immediately and wanted to know what was going on.

Kroemer tried to explain how she was helping her client and Pietruszka wondered why there was a problem. Kroemer tried to explain there was a language barrier and Pietruszka wanted to know if Derrick spoke English. He does, and Kroemer tried to explain that he needed help understanding what he was being told, so Pietruszka wondered if a there should be a forensic evaluation. 

When it looked like Pietruszka wasn't going to continue with the proceeding, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman asked if the attorneys could approach the bench.

The attorneys and judge then held a conversation audible in the courtroom about Derrick's ability to understand the legal process. 

Kroemer told Pietruszka that her client couldn't process the judge's spoken words quickly and that he needed to be shown the documents in front of him to make the connection between what Pietruszka was asking and what she had explained to him just an hour before his appearance in court.

She tried to explain that Derrick did understand the legal system and could process the information, he just needed help with the language of the system.

"You're the judge and if you don't feel comfortable with that, well, we've got to find a different way," Kroemer said.

"The questions are as simple as I can get them," Pietruszka said.

The Batavian reported on arrests of Derrick in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Kroemer told Pietruszka she has represented him previously and that he could understand what was going on in court.

She told Pietruszka, "he understands the legal process," and Pietruszka replied, "I'm not seeing that."

The attorneys returned to their tables and Pietruszka again asked Derrick if he understood the SCI (a SCI is much like a grand jury indictment, but is used when a defendant has waived a grand jury hearing and agreed to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement).

Derrick nodded his head yes and Pietruszka told him he needed to provide an audible answer. Derrick didn't move.

Kroemer asked him if he needed Pietruszka to repeat the question and Derrick said, "No, your honor."

At that point, Pietruszka ordered Derrick to undergo a forensic evaluation to determine his competency to understand the proceedings.

Derrick was arrested in October on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree menacing,endangering the welfare of a child, and second-degree harassment. 

On Oct. 8 at 10:30 a.m., Batavia Police responded to 335 Bank St. for the report of a male with a knife threatening to harm other people. Upon arrival, Derrick was taken into custody. Further investigation revealed that Derrick allegedly possessed a corkscrew and threatened a 14-year-old male with the corkscrew. 

December 7, 2016 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, schools, education, batavia, news.

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The College and Career Center at Batavia HS, now led by Anita Strollo, has launched a new program called, "Lunch with the Pros," where students can sit down with local professionals and business leaders to learn about what it takes to pursue and succeed in various career fields.

Today, a group of students talked about law enforcement with Officers Matthew Wojtaszczyk and Marc Lawrence to learn about becoming a police officer.

Coincidently, Batavia PD is about to launch a new Explorer program and will host a meeting for potential Explorer Post members at 7 p.m., Jan. 10 and BPD headquarters, 10 West Main Street.  High school interested in joining the program are welcome to attend. RSVP to either officer at [email protected] or [email protected].

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December 7, 2016 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, schools.

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In an ambitious plan to improve facilities at the district's four schools and build a new stadium and field at Union and Richmond avenues, Superintendent Chris Dailey told the City Schools Board of Trustees on Tuesday night that the $23 million to $27 million project won't increase property taxes at all.

When a board member said, "0.0," Daily emphasized, "$0.00."

Voters will still need to approve the capital improvement project March 2. There will be public forums prior to the vote, assuming trustees approve a resolution at their Jan. 10 meeting to move forward.

At Tuesday's meetings, trustees gave every indication they like the plan.

While every school in the district will get upgrades as part of the plan, the plan's signature expenditure might be the reconstruction of Van Detta Stadium and replacing the grass of the current field with artificial turf and surrounding it with a new, larger synthetic track surface.

The location of the field would also shift diagonally on the athletic facility's current parcel and move more to the east of the parcel. This would create additional parking to the west side.

There could even be more parking near the stadium if the district is able to move the playground at the former Robert Morris School, which is currently adjacent Richmond, and put parking in that spot. The playground would be closer to the back of the current school building and would still be available to neighborhood residents.

The new stadium would have home and visitor locker rooms with tunnels leading out to the field at the 50-yard line and a new press box over the stands, as well as all new lighting.  

"We were given Woodward Field, and we built Van Detta in 1947," Daily said. "We have not done significant renovation since. Most battleships that were built in '47 are retired or are currently museums. Ours holds 2,500 screaming fans on a Friday night.

“Pretty soon it’s going to get to the point where we’re going to have to do it one way or another," Dailey added. "We can do it now with a zero tax impact and it will be called Van Detta Stadium and Woodward Field, still. It will provide a community asset."

The new facility will be able to host a larger variety of events more frequently because officials will no longer need to worry about damage to the grass field. This means not only the district's soccer and lacrosse teams will be able to compete and practice on the field, but it will be available to youth football and soccer as well as adult leagues, such as the local rugby league.

It will be able to host large regional track meets and Section V and Section VI competitions, Dailey noted, and this will benefit local restaurants and hotels and help generate revenue for the district and the community.

The project can go forward without a tax increase because the district believes both that it has enough in reserves and that much of the project can be funded through state aid. Whether the price tag is $23 million or up to $27 million will depend on how much aid the district receives. If there isn't as much aid as hoped, the project can be scaled back or more reserves can be put into the pot.

There was no discussion Tuesday as to whether any kind of bond would be required to bridge any expenditure.

For the schools, improvements include:

  • High school: Upgrades to the auditorium, new public restrooms and an upgrade to the fire alarm system; 
  • Middle school: New attendance entrance, improvements to indoor air quality, upgrades and improvements to the gym and auditorium;
  • John Kennedy: An addition with five more classrooms, reconfiguration of classrooms and upgrades to the gymnasium;
  • Jackson School: Classroom upgrades, expanded restrooms and new public restrooms, new lights throughout the building and window replacements.

If approved by voters March 2, it would be at least six months before state funding could be approved, then design work could start. Construction would likely begin in the summer of 2018, with much of the construction finishing up by the fall of 2019 into early 2020.

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December 7, 2016 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

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It was story time with Santa at the Richmond Memorial Library last night.

Photo courtesy Adam Tabelski.

December 6, 2016 - 2:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

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Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department is asking for help in locating a person of interest in the shooting that occurred on 12/02/2016 in front of 107 Jackson St. The Batavia Police Department is attempting to locate Jeremy Armstrong (A.K.A. "Boog") for questioning in this case. Jeremy is described as a light-skinned male black about 5’10”- 6’ with a thin build. He has a deformity to his right ear and also to one of his hands.

If seen, do not confront. Call 9-1-1 immediately. You may also contact the Batavia Police confidential tip line at 345-6370, or Det. Sgt. Crossett at 345-6353.

December 6, 2016 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Youth Cheerleading, batavia, news.

Press release:

Batavia cheerleading will be hosting its annual youth cheerleading camp Friday, Dec. 16, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 17, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Batavia Middle School gymnasium.

The cost is $25 and each participant will learn cheers, a dance, jumps and stunts. Each cheerleader will also receive a camp T-shirt. All participants are invited to perform at the Christmas tournament held at Genesee Community College on Tuesday, Dec. 27, for the halftime show. 

Registrations will be taken at the door, but it is best to send registrations in ahead of time. Please submit name, age, T-shirt size, emergency contact name and phone number and email address. Please send cash or check (payable to Batavia Cheerleading Boosters) to Batavia City Schools Attention: Cheerleading 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020

Please email [email protected] for any additional questions.

Visit our page on Facebook: Batavia Cheerleading

December 6, 2016 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, elba, Pavilion, pembroke, news, Le Roy.

Stacey Dawn Mancuso, 46, of Jamison Road, Elma, is charged with two counts of felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and no right and no left turn signal. Mancuso was stopped at 2:22 p.m. Sunday on Pratt Road, Batavia, by Deputy Richard Schildwaster. A passenger in the vehicle was reportedly 5 years old, leading to a charge under Leandra's Law. She also allegedly had a prior DWI conviction within the past 10 years. She was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Daniel John Moore, 36, of Asbury Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Moore was arrested after deputies responded to a report of a domestic incident in Pavilion at 8:10 a.m., Nov. 30. Moore allegedly had physical contact during the argument with a person who had called 9-1-1 and Moore allegedly terminated the 9-1-1 call. He reportedly left the scene before deputies arrived and was later located that night and arrested.

Dylan Michael Cobernus, 20, of Maxon Street, Brockport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Cobernus was stopped at 10:37 p.m. Wednesday on Route 98, Elba, by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Devan Dashaun Hazel, 22, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with trespassing. Hazel is accused of trespassing on College Village property at 5:43 a.m. Sunday.

A 17-year-old resident of Harris Road, Le Roy, is charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, criminal impersonation, 2nd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was arrested following an investigation by Deputy Micheal Lute into an incident reported at 11:30 p.m. Dec. 5 on Route 77 in Pembroke. The youth was jailed on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.

Taheed Mical Moffett, 31, of Arnet Boulevard, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of marijuana. Moffett was arrested after deputies were dispatched at 12:11 a.m. to the Econo Lodge on Route 77, Pembroke, to check the welfare of an individual.

December 6, 2016 - 10:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crossroads house, batavia, Announcements.

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Press release:

On November 20th, the family of Margaret Morasco attended a dedication of Crossroads House new Nurses Station named in honor of Margaret.  Margaret was a resident at Crossroads House in the fall of 2015.  She was also a nurse who started her profession at the VA Hospital in Batavia during the need created by WWII.

During her time at Crossroads House, Margaret’s family expressed a desire to invest in a need that the house had at the time.  As fate would have it, the medication room at that time, which was basically a closet, could no longer efficiently meet the need.  The gift enabled Crossroads House to move the medication room into a larger setting now aptly known as “The Margaret Morasco Nurses Station”.

Bob Terol volunteered as project supervisor and arranged numerous donations, discounts, and labor cost savings to stretch the gift further.  The new medication room features increased security, private phone and intercom and a computer along with the added space and efficiency.  With the cost savings, Bob was able to remodel the old medication room into a laundry room.  The Morasco family gift funded both projects.

Crossroads House would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the entire Morasco and Roblee families for their loving support of our mission.

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Pat Roblee (Margaret’s daughter), Jim Morasco (son), Mike Morasco (son).  Pat is holding a photograph of Margaret.

December 6, 2016 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, batavia, business.

kimissactompkinsdec2016.jpgPress release: 

Kimberly Isaac has been promoted to assistant vice president, branch manager of Tompkins Bank of Castile Caledonia office.

“Kim is a great asset to Tompkins Bank of Castile, and she had done a fantastic job leading our Caledonia office,” said Diane Torcello, community banking manager. "This promotion is well earned."

Isaac is a member of the Batavia Rotary Club, the Genesee Country Village & Museum Fall Fundraising Committee, Livingston County Habitat for Humanity Family Services Board, Big Springs Historical Museum Board, United Way, the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, a Leadership of Livingston County graduate and a Junior Achievement volunteer at Caledonia-Mumford School. She is very active in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, where she serves as a lay Eucharistic visitor, Jr. Warden and Vestry member. She has also received the Rotary Paul Harris award.

She resides in Batavia with her husband, Jim. They have two grown sons, Brian and Christian.

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing.  In addition, insurance is offered through an affiliate company, Tompkins Insurance

Agencies, Wealth management, trust and investment services are provided through Tompkins Financial Advisors.  Further information about the bank is available on its website, www.bankofcastile.com

December 6, 2016 - 9:25am


Pudgies Lawn & Garden Center is located at 3644 W Main Street Road in Batavia. Click here for more information on our Christmas Carnival!

December 6, 2016 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's School, schools, education, batavia, news.

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Press release:

This past Sunday, St. Joseph students in grades 4, 5 and 6 participated in the Third Annual X-STREAM Games and Expo at St. Joseph Collegiate Institute in Buffalo. Their fifth-grade team participated in the Science Scrimmage Competition, which consisted of building bridges and catapults. Their sixth-grade teams participated in the Shark Tank Competition. Their inventions were The “Crutch Carrier 2000” and The “Crazy Cone.” Their fourth-grade team won the “Love is in the Baking” Kitchen Chemistry Cook-off Competition! Congratulations to all these students and their teachers for the time and hard work that was put into preparing for this day!

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December 5, 2016 - 8:07pm

Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Youth Development Program will be offering the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program to local youth ages 14 to 18. This course will qualify youth to be certified to operate farm equipment for hire. The course is scheduled to run Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, beginning in January and running through March.

The training program encompasses 32 hours of hands-on instruction. Upon the completion of the training, each student will be required to take a 50-question knowledge test with a minimum passing score of 70 percent. Students who successfully pass the knowledge test will be permitted to take the Skills and Driving tests. After passing both the written test and driving tests, students ages 14 and 15 will receive their formal certification from U.S. Department of Labor, all others will receive a certificate of completion.  

The fee for the course is $25; youth are also required to be current enrolled 4-H members.

To request a registration packet or more information please call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County at 343-3040, ext. 101, or email: [email protected].

December 5, 2016 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Alabama, news.

Patricia Guy, 68, of Yonkers, is charged with five counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, and one count of grand larceny. The former Batavia resident is accused of claiming more people living in her residence than were actually living there, allowing her to collect more in food stamps than she was eligible to receive. The alleged falsified forms were filed between July 2012 and January 2015. She is accused of receiving benefits she wasn't entitled to of $1,474.47. She was arrested by Deputy James Diehl following an investigation by Michael Kowalczyk, principal fraud investigator for DSS.

A 16-year-old resident of Ridge Road, Albion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and inadequate exhaust. The youth was stopped on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, at 7:41 p.m. Friday by Deputy Eric Meyer.

December 5, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A former JCPenney employee admitted in County Court today to stealing nearly $5,000 from the company's local department store earlier this year but can avoid prison time if she stays out of trouble for a year.

Danielle S. Cervone, 20, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, made full restitution to the store, $4,705, as a condition of accepting the plea offer from District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

She entered a guilty plea to grand larceny, 3rd.

Cervone, out of jail on her own recognizance since her arrest, will be sentenced Jan. 31. According to the plea deal, she will be on interim supervision for one year. If she abides by the terms and conditions of probation, she will be able to withdraw her plea to the Class D felony and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny with no agreement on sentencing.

December 5, 2016 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news.

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Batavia Downs hosted its first ever Winterfest on Sunday and more than 2,000 people turned out.

Attractions included pictures with Santa, mini-golf, a ride on a horse-drawn carriage and a holiday movie.

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December 5, 2016 - 9:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Genesee ARC, Genesee Orleans ARC, news.

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Press release:

Members of the Arc of Genesee Orleans Board of Directors, a nonprofit that is a resource of choice for people with disabilities and their families for both Genesee and Orleans counties, accept a $2,500 check as winner of Tompkins Bank of Castile’s second Community Minute Challenge.

Through the social media contest, the public voted for select not-for-profits in Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Monroe and Wyoming counties.

From the left are: John McKenna, president & CEO of Tompkins Bank of Castile; Kevin Graham, CFO of Arc; Shelly Kordish, director of Education Services; Carolyn Dawson, director of Administrative Services; Jill Pegelow, director of Community Services; Patricia Kepner, director of Quality/Compliance; Donna Saskowski, executive director.

We would like to thank the organizations that participated in this round and who continue to do great work in our community: ARC of Genesee and Orleans County, Arts Council of Wyoming County, Big Springs Historical Society, Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing, GCASA, and Mercy Flight Central.  A third round of this contest will launch in early 2017 with details posted to Tompkins Bank of Castile’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TompkinsBankofCastile).

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