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Smoke reported coming from house on Woodcrest Drive

By Howard B. Owens

Fire crews are being dispatched to 10 Woodcrest Drive, where a neighbor reports smoke coming from the residence.

UPDATE: At 1:10 p.m. fire crews report Woodcrest Drive blaze is knocked out.

UPDATE: A boy at the scene seemed obviously distressed and when a dog came running out of the residence, everyone there cheered.

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WRITE your STATE SENATORS - the only thing they can do is PAY THEMSELVES

By Irene Will
State Senators Agree On Collecting Their Paychecks

The state Senate may be at odds over who controls the chamber, but each side signed paperwork last week to ensure they and their staffs got paid.

Amid the chaos over control of the Senate, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, and dissident Democratic Sen. Pedro Espada, D-Bronx, signed paperwork last week so senators and staff were paid.

Sen. Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, and Senate secretary Angelo Aponte also signed the necessary paperwork, but separate from the Republicans, according to the state Comptroller’s Office.

The Senate’s presiding officer typically signs off on the payroll, but because that’s in dispute, both sides submitted their own paperwork.

Gov. David Paterson said if they can find a way to work out the payroll, they should find a way to resolve their leadership struggle.

“So there is a power-sharing agreement * but it only includes getting paid,” said spokeswoman Marissa Shorenstein. “If the leadership of the Senate can agree on a way to keep getting paid, they can reach an agreement to get back to work for the people of New York.”

But Republicans said the governor’s claims are false: The sides didn’t agree to sign the paperwork together; they did so independently. Each senator gets a base salary of $79,500.

The payroll flap comes as the standoff between Democrats and Republicans went into its 11th day Thursday. Senators went home for the weekend after Republicans held an unsuccessful session where no Democrats other than Espada showed up.

They are expected to return Monday, which is scheduled to be the last day of the legislative session.

The Senate has been at a standstill since June 8, when Republicans and two Democrats led a coup to oust the Democratic majority. Democrats refuse to acknowledge the vote and one of the rogue Democrats, Sen. Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens, rejoined the Democratic conference, putting the Senate in its 31-31 stalemate.

There are more than 100 bills pending in the Legislature that affect county governments and property taxpayers, said Stephen Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties. In particular, 36 counties need to have their sales-tax rates reauthorized.

Today's Deals: Valle Jewelers, Adam Miller, South Main, Enchanted Florist

By Howard B. Owens

Four Deals today:

Valle Jewelers, 21 Jackson St., Batavia, N.Y.: An exquisite store with quality merchandise to fit any budget.  At Valle Jewelers you get exceptional customer service from a business that has been serving Batavia for three generations.  We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycle, 8 Center St., Batavia, N.Y.: Here's a toy store suitable to your own fun, or your children's. From models to bikes, from board games to outdoor games, Adam Miller is just a fun place to shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 S. Main St. Road, Batavia, N.Y.: Another fun place to shop. There are items for the home and gift items of great variety. The two-level store has everything from incense to garden ornaments. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Floral arrangements for any occasion with exceptional customer service. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

A $1 PayPal service fee applies.

Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase. It is not valid with other offers and has no cash value.  People who have won a certificate in the past 30 days are not eligible to win a certificate from the same business as before.  By state law, gift certificates cannot be used for alcohol purchase.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. Ideally, the winner will arrange to stop by my office on Main Street to pick up gift certificate. Mail is an option, but it would be better to hand you the gift certificate. 

If you want to be notified via e-mail of future Deals of the Day, sign up for the Deals of the Day e-mail list by clicking here.

Merchants: If you would like your business featured in Deal of the Day, call Howard Owens at 260-6970.

Valle Jewelers

Adam Miller


South Main


The Enchanted Florist


Elementary student at Byron-Bergen contracts H1N1

By Howard B. Owens

Parents of Byron-Bergen students were informed late Friday afternoon, according to WBTA, that a student at Byron-Bergen Elementary School contracted H1N1 flu.

A copy of the automated notification was obtained by WBTA, and Superintendent Gregory Geer wrote, “This H1N1 (Swine Flu) strain of flu, although hyped in the media, is a mild form of influenza.”

According to the New York State Health Department Web site, 1,756 people in New York have contracted H1N1.

Road closure: Townline Road

By Howard B. Owens

Townline Road is closed between Fox Fotch Road and Bank St. for culvert replacement.

UPDATE: A reader pointed out that Fox and Townline don't intersect, so we're seeking a clarification.

UPDATE: Townline Road was reopened about 10:45 a.m.

Steve Hawley talks about trip to Dominican and work of his step-son there

By Howard B. Owens

Several weeks ago, Steve Hawley traveled with his wife Crystal to visit his step-son Tim Rimmer in the Dominican Republic, where Rimmer is doing work for the Peace Corps.

It sounded like a fascinating trip, so I asked Steve if he would sit down for a video interview and talk a little bit about the trip and share some pictures.  It took me some time to get the video put together because of our move and everything else going on. 

One of the key projects Tim Rimmer is involved in is building ceramic stoves for families to cook on. The Peace Corps is seeking donations to help with the project. To donate, click here.

Police Beat: Man charged with recklessly firing guns in Byron

By Howard B. Owens

Gary Engle, 24, of 7549 Mechanic St., Byron, is charged with reckless endangerment. Engle is accused of shooting his .22 calibre rifle and 12-gauge shotgun in his backyard on June 13 at 3:15 without properly checking his backstop in the direction he was firing. The bullets reportedly entered the backyard of a neighbor where adults and children were present. No injuries were reported.

Jayson M. Connolly, 35, of 135 S. Main St., Apt. 10, is charged with assault in the third degree and criminal contempt in connection with three alleged incidents over a three-day period. On June 17, at about 7:30 p.m., Connolly allegedly swatted a stick from a bonfire hitting a female acquaintance with the stick and causing burn and blister on her right and left thigh area. On June 18, at about 11:45 p.m., Connolly allegedly phoned the woman in violation of an order of protection. On June 19, at about 11:45 a.m., Connolly allegedly tried to speak to the woman again in violation of the order of protection. Connolly was arrested and placed in Genesee County Jail without bail.

Jon M. Dambra, 21, of 22 Berry Grove Lane, Brockport, is charged with DWI and unlawful possession of marijuana following a traffic stop for allegedly speeding in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Jason Flansburg, 32, of 139 Woodlands Way, Brockport, was reportedly a guest at the Holiday Inn early yesterday morning when he began cussing and making loud noises at about 3:30 a.m.  Flansburg was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He was also reportedly had some marijuana and was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Cory Jones, 26, of 5965 Main Road, Stafford, was stopped yesterday a little after midnight for an alleged traffic violation. Sheriff's deputies allegedly found him with marijuana and he was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Jerad M. Stalker, 25, of 8874 Hartshorn Road, Batavia, was stopped on Lovers Lane Road yesterday morning around 2 a.m.  He was charged with DWI, having a BAC of .08 or greater, improper parking on a road way and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Toni White, 28, of 14 S. Main St., Batavia, is charged with trespassing. The trespassing charge stems from a previous accusation of shoplifting at Wal-Mart. Following the initial charge, it was discovered that White had reportedly been banned from Wal-Mart, leading to the trespass charged on the date of the alleged shoplifting incident.

Terrance Dolan, 22, of 88 Woodcrest Blvd., Buffalo, and Sean T. Hennessy, of 41 Neuman Parkway, Buffalo, are charged with trespass in relation to events at the No Doubt concert at Darien Lake June 19 at 10:50 p.m. Dolan is accused of trying to enter a private area of the concert area and Hennessy is accused of trying to go backstage.

Andrew Paul Weick, 22, of 116 State St., Tonawanda and Paige Marie Fagan, 23, of 116 State St., Tonawanda, are accused of possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. Weick and Fagan were reportedly at the No Doubt concert at Darien Lake when they were allegedly found in possession of hydrocodone, cocaine and marijuana.

Scott D. Larnder, 32, of 3 Jerome Place, Batavia, is charged with DWI, speeding and failure to take pre-screen test.  He was reportedly stopped on Route 5 near Sanders Road in Stafford. Larnder was arraigned the morning of June 19 and released.

Caitlin E. Mahoney, 22, of 84 Walter St., Tonawanda, is charged with DWI and a BAC of .08 or more. Mahoney was reportedly stopped at the side of the road on Route 33 in the Town of Batavia when contacted by deputies. Mahoney stated she was looking for the Thruway. Upon investigation, deputies concluded Mahoney was allegedly operating a motorvehicle while intoxicated.

William Briggs, 42, of 15 Savannah St, Apt. 6H, is charged with petty larceny for allegedly shoplifting from Target.

Bridget K. Grayson, 41, 8272 Gully Road, LeRoy, is charged with felony DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater along with driving to the left of pavement markings in a no passing zone, improper turn signal, driving slow and impeding traffic and failure to notify DMV of address change. Grayson was reportedly stopped on Route 237 in Stafford on June 19 just after midnight.

Fourth Challenger Baseball season opens with a blast

By Howard B. Owens


Carl Jeering connects with a pitch that will sail over the right-center field fence for the first-ever over-the-fence home run in Challenger Baseball history.

The sports program gives children and young people ages 5 to 21 with special needs a chance to play ball. It's a joint effort of the YMCA, Genesee ARC and a group of dedicated volunteers.

More than 60 athletes are in the league, which now has six teams. Games are played at the Batavia Minor League fields at MacArthur Park.

After the game, Batavia Minor League manager Paul Sputore was honored for his support of Challenger Baseball. Shelley Falitico, director of development for Genesee ARC, said "Challenger Baseball wouldn't be possible without Paul."

Jeering, above, is 18 and graduates from Batavia High School this week.





Horse greeting in Stafford

By Howard B. Owens

There was a field with horses by where I parked my truck in Stafford this afternoon. I started snapping some pictures and this horse came over to check me out.

Batavia Pitchers Hold Auburn to One Hit in 5-1 Win

By Mollie Radzinski

Starter Michael Blazek and relievers Dan Calhoun and LaCurtis Mayes held the Doubledays to one run and one hit while the Muckdog offense broke open the game in the first with four runs to keep Batavia perfect at 2-0.

Beau Riportella sparked the rally with a lead off single.  Matt Carpenter followed with a single.  Xavier Scruggs reached on an error by the third baseman while Riportella came around to score the first run.  Havana, Cuba-born Ryde Rodriguez then smacked a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to make it 4-1.

Blazek (1-0) went five innings in the start, letting up one run and one hit with two walks and four strikeouts for the win.  Calhoun threw the next three innings with no hits, one walk and two strikeouts.  Mayes kept things perfect in the 9th as all three batters were retired on two groundouts and a strikeout to end the game.

The only run and hit for the Doubledays came in the 1st inning when Eric Eiland reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and came home on another fielder’s choice.

Batavia increased their lead by one in the 6th on a single by Rodriguez and a RBI single by Luis De La Cruz.

Rodriguez finished the day 2-for-4 with a homerun and 3 RBIs.  Jairo Martinez also went 2-for-4 and Carpenter went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

The win puts Batavia at 2-0 and drops Auburn to 0-2.  The Williamsport Crosscutters come into town tomorrow for a three game series.

*For some reason I am still having trouble uploading videos, but will have them to you as soon as I figure it out!

For second time today, general fire alarm at 400 Towers

By Howard B. Owens

For at least the second time today, and at least the third time in the past week, there's a general fire alarm at 400 Towers, 400 E. Main St., Batavia.

Bea, what's going on there?

UPDATE: Burnt food in West Tower.

Mercy Flight receives donation from Alexander snowmobile group

By Howard B. Owens

Mercy Flight received a donation of $7,115 today from the Don Cummings Memorial Antique & Vintage Snowmobile Show, which was held May 9 in Alexander.

The donation will help defray the $300,000 cost of outfitting Mercy Flight with night goggles. The safety measure is expensive, explain Karen Bridge, community event coordinator in Batavia for Mercy Flight, because the goggles require training and modification to the helicopters' cockpits, as well as the goggles themselves.

The goggles will improve vision at night for pilots, so they can better see power lines, telephone polls and even small hills, Bridge said.

"Last year there were a lot of well publicized crashes all over the U.S., so it's a good thing to have," Bridge said.

This is the third year for the snowmobile show, which was originally known as the Alexander Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show. The show was founded by Don Cummings, but he died shortly after last year's show. This year the show was renamed in his honor.

Pictured are, starting with the front row, left, Howard Mehne, Rita Mehne, Gail Lindsley, Bruce Lindsley, Doug Cummings, Jason Cummings and Karen Bridge; back row: Juliet Wnek, Jarred Czarnick, Dennis Czarniak, Pete Kemp and Joanne Kemp. Not pictured, John Goodridge, Ray Schumacher and Jay Cummings.

Father's Day

By Victoria Rippel

Today is father’s day; my dad is in Baltimore for my niece’s graduation party. I have to say I love my dad so much. For most people when they look at our relationship they don’t understand it.

Me and my dad talk very rarely and about no much. But we really don’t need to talk, we just understand each other. My dad has been so important in my life. After my mom dead my dad said one thing… we have to do whatever we need to, to make her happy.

And he did, he might have not known always what to say or how to say it but he made sure I was happy. My dad hates to see me in pain and always looks at me as his little girl. Whenever a guy breaks my heart my dad in his fashion always tells me that there are more and that I will be ok. He never faults my tries to be happy or tells me what I want to do is stupid. He picks on me to no end to show me love. And when time goes by without him seeing me he sends me food to let me know his worried.

My dad has kept every time I am in the newspaper on the sun visor of the passage side sit of the car, at times them falling down because someone tries to use the visor for its intended purpose. He also looks in my fringe any time he comes over to check for food.

Dads are an amazing thing, I don’t know if I would have turned out as while if I didn’t have my dad.

wisdom of the moment- "Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best."

Father's Day Browns: An Outing On The Little T


Not too many years ago, on a sunny Father’s Day, I stowed an ultra-light fishing rod and my hip boots inside the hatch of the family vehicle.  I put two small spinners in a plastic container and headed for a stretch of the Little Tonawanda not far from our home. It was a low-key plan, intended to pass the time wading the Little T, and perhaps entice the bait fish population.

The action began right away, as strikes came one after another, with creek chubs and horned dace  wasting no time inhaling the tiny Rooster Tail as soon as I began a retrieve. Though the fish were small, the surroundings and the solitude were enjoyable.  The sole competition came in the form of a kingfisher and a slow moving snapping turtle, the latter easy to spot in the shallow water.

I came across a shaded area where a tree provided a respite from the mid-day sun. Here a few rusted strands of barbed wire spanned the narrow stream, remnants of yesteryear, lending more authenticity to the rural setting. Being careful not to puncture my hip boots on the barbs, I ducked between strands and continued on.  A short distance downstream was a riffle which emptied into a small pocket of quiet water.  

I cast the Rooster Tail directly into the riffle, allowing the current to take it into the small pool. I hadn’t turned the reel handle two or three times when something belted the tiny spinner. Whatever it was, it certainly hit much harder than the baitfish I had been catching.  The fish was on for a moment before the line went slack. I assumed it was a smallmouth, and made repeated casts with no results.  

I left the little pool, wading a few yards downstream when I felt another hard strike.  The fish provided a good tussle, and moments later I was pleasantly surprised when I beached a brown trout. The fish was vivid in color - dark brown along the back, a smattering of black spots across a golden brown flank. The fish was no doubt a holdover from the previous year’s stocking far upstream in Linden.  After inspecting and releasing the fish I began working my way back upstream, stopping at the little pool with the riffle. There I was rewarded with another brown, identical to the first and maybe the same fish I had hooked earlier.  It too was released. 

Before working my way upstream toward the car, I couldn’t help but savor the moment. Even the aroma from a nearby pasture added to the enjoyment of a Father’s Day in rural America. 

Top Items on Batavia's List

Licensed Dental Hygienist Position Available Robert S. Marchese, DDS Batavia, New York We are looking for a licensed dental hygienist to add to our team! Private practice with a wonderful team, a kind doctor and awesome patients! Full or part time position, 20 - 35 hours per week, no nights or weekends, paid holidays and time off, any experience considered, new graduates welcome to apply, willing to hire different hygienist for different days. Call us today - (585)343-8675 Or email your information to [email protected]
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Crossroads House is looking for a compassionate RN or LPN to provide dignified End-of-Life (EOL) Comfort Care to individuals who have received a three month or less prognosis. The Per-diem staff nurse must be able to work a minimum of one (24) hour shift per week. A shift consists of (5) hours in-house, (7:15 am to 12:15 pm), with the remaining (19) hours as on-call hours, working in-house as needed. Each per-diem staff nurse is required to work one (24) hour shift, one weekend day per month. This shift is split between being in-house and on-call, with the hours varying as needed. Must have a minimum of (1) year work experience, EOL experience preferred, training provided. If interested, please apply on-line at
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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying, located in Batavia NY, and is looking for a compassionate caregiver to provide personal care and emotional support to our dying residents, consistent with Comfort Care Philosophy. Must have prior caregiving experience. Licenses or certifications are not required. Must be able to work weekends, overnight shift is required. (11pm-8AM) Day and evening shifts are also available on weekdays and weekends. Must be able to work as a team member and independently. If interested, or have any questions, apply online at or email [email protected]
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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email [email protected]
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