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Former Oakfield-Alabama band director charged with sexual abuse

By Howard B. Owens
May 29, 2009, 4:49pm

Kerry Hoffman, age 27, of Bergen, the former band director of Oakfield-Alabama High School has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse in the third degree.

Hoffman is accused of abusing a female student.

Besides the five misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse, Hoffman is charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of official misconduct.

WBTA's Dan Fischer spoke with Oakfield-Alabama Superintendent Christopher Todd, who said Hoffman voluntarily resigned when the allegations surfaced in March. Todd said parents in the district were immediately notified of the allegations.  School officials became involved when information came forward that raised concerns about Hoffman's conduct with the student.

Juvenile Officer J.K. Dehm of the Sheriff's Office said in a release, "During a period from February 2009 to March 2009 Kerry Hoffman acted in a manner likely to be harmful to a child less than seventeen years old."

Hoffman was arraigned in the Town of Oakfield by Justice Graham and released under supervision.

Former school board member Radley gets GOP nod for District 7

By Howard B. Owens
May 29, 2009, 10:56am

Robert Radley, an engineer who previously served on the Batavia School Board, will be the GOP candidate for District 6 7 of the County Legislature, according to WBTA.

The county Republicans have yet to select a candidate for District 7, Radley will be a candidate for the seat now held by John Hodgins, who is retiring at the end of his current term.

Also getting GOP backing are incumbents Don Read for County Clerk and Lawrence Friedman for District Attorney.

Of 105 Genesee County GOP committee members, 78 attended the endorsement meeting last night.

Farm bill threatens small farmers with higher labor costs

By Steve Hawley
May 29, 2009, 10:45am

As a former hog and crop farmer and Genesee County Farm Bureau President and a current member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, I work very hard to ensure that our farms, agriculturalists and rural quality of life are protected.  Newly introduced legislation, Assembly Bill 1867, seriously threatens our farmers and farm workers and I would like to take a moment to share with the public the provisions of this bill.

I have already received many letters, calls and e-mails from residents of the 139th Assembly District expressing their opposition to this bill, which is known as the Farmworkers Omnibus Labor Standards Bill.  While this legislation attempts to establish benefits and bargaining rights for farm workers, the bill threatens the very existence of farm workers by imposing expensive labor mandates which will force more farms, many of which are struggling in this tough economy, to go out of business.

To explicitly outline our concerns with this legislation the entire Assembly Agriculture Committee and I drafted, signed and sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  Paramount among our concerns is the fact that for the last 30 years, both state and federal laws have been strengthened to protect farmworkers from injustices and unfair treatment, with most farms undergoing a review or inspection on an annual basis.  Any problems that occur on farms are quickly caught by the authorities, making this new legislation redundant and an unnecessary expense to place on farmers and our agricultural community as a whole.

I urge all members of the public to write Speaker Silver as well as the legislation's sponsor, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan to express your concerns with this measure.  You can write to Speaker Silver at LOB 932, Albany, NY 12248 or e-mail him at [email protected]; or contact Assemblywoman Nolan at LOB 836, Albany, NY 12248 or e-mail her nola[email protected] to express your opposition to this bill.

Deals of the Day: Fine Dining Friday - Alex's and Larry's

By Howard B. Owens
May 29, 2009, 6:54am

Always popular, always good: Alex's Place and Larry's Steakhouse.

We have one gift certificate for each fine restaurant worth $50 each, on sale for HALF OFF -- that's $25 each. (plus a $1 PayPal service fee)

Alex's Place, of course, is a legendary restaurant in these parts. It's on Park Road, just down the street from Batavia Downs. The ribs are famous and of course Alex's always gets high marks for its seafood.

Larry's is on Main Street, right downtown, and with the patio now open, you can relax with a beer or cocktail in the sunshine before enjoying one of the best steaks around.

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 before 5:00 p.m. (today or tomorrow) 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.

Larry's Steakhouse


Alex's Place


Police Beat: Driver accused of resisting arrest after refusing breath test

By Howard B. Owens
May 29, 2009, 6:39am

Paul G. Grazioplene, 43, of Batavia, faces charges of a felony DWI, resisting arrest and leaving the scene of a property damage accident following an alleged incident on Cedar Street about 9:25 last night. Grazioplene allegedly stuck a vehicle on Cedar and then drove off. A resident followed his car and notified police. Grazioplene was apparently still in his vehicle parked outside of his home when he was found by police. Grazioplene allegedly refused to take a breath test. He reportedly has a prior DWI arrest within the past 10 years. He was jailed without bail.

Jill L. Briska, 20, of Batavia faces a DWI charge following a minor traffic accident this morning about 1 at 100 W. Main St. Briska was issued an appearance ticket and released.

State recertifies 40 Genesee County companies for Empire Zone tax breaks

By Howard B. Owens
May 28, 2009, 10:39pm

Some 40 companies in Genesee County that receive Empire Zone tax breaks seem to be doing what the program intends -- create jobs -- according to a press release from Empire State Development.

But many others across New York are not, so today authorities notified about 1,600 companies that they are likely to be decertified.

No Genesee County companies made the "bad" list. Three companies are apparently being asked to supply more information.

For more on the new site law and the letters, check this Democrat and Chronicle story.

Here's the list of Genesee County companies who were notified they will retain certification:

Paramount Computing Associates, LLC
Altamar New York, Inc.
Tompkins Trust Company
Precon Thermoforming, LLC
PCore Electric Company, Inc.
Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc.
Delagrange Properties
Vantage Equipment, LLC
Lapp Insulators, LLC
LeRoy Plastics, Inc.
Fontrick Door, Inc.
K2 Plastics, Inc.
C.H. Wright Distributing Corp.
Wright Associates, L.P.
Summit Lubricants, Inc.
Liberty Pumps, Inc.
Icon Design, LLC
Automotive Corp, Inc.
Prime Materials Corp.
Regency Hospitality, Inc.
Chapin International, Inc.
Oxford Hospitality, LLC
ProTech Automation, LLC
United Parcel Service
Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc.
Duro-Shed, Inc.
Oxbo International Corp.
Yancey's Fancy, Inc.
Provitello, LLC
Paul Marshall Produce, Inc.
Ad Tech-Graph, Inc.
K-2 Industries, Inc. d/b/a Pavilion Gift Co.
O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc.
Wellsville Carpet Town, Inc.
Brothers International Food Corp.
Allied Building Solutions, LLC
Traco Manufacturing, Inc.
Highway Safety Devices International Corp.
Graham Corp.
Pyramid Prosthetics, Inc.

The following three companies have been asked for more information:

Millwork Solutions, Inc.
Genesee Gateway Development, LLC
Pembroke Park Development, LLC

Here are the three lists for the whole state in PDF format:

Already in jail, alleged drug dealer gets new charges

By Howard B. Owens
May 28, 2009, 9:47pm

Already in jail on unspecified chargers, Christopher J. Wiegman, 20, of Bergen, was arrested today for allegedly dealing drugs.

Wiegman reportedly sold crack cocaine and prescription pills to under cover agents of the Local Drug Task force in late 2008.

The alleged sale came while agents were investigating the sale of crack cocaine and pills in both the City of Batavia and Bergen.

Wiegman was charged with two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. He is being held without bail.

Medina pastor who helped stop runaway tractor on Main Street tells his story

By Howard B. Owens
May 28, 2009, 9:21pm

Pastor Rod Klinzing of Medina doesn't want anybody making a big deal over his heroics Tuesday when his efforts may have helped saved the lives of two people trapped inside of a car being pushed sideways by a tractor down Main Street.

He's slightly embarrassed that his wife Janice contacted The Batavian Wednesday afternoon, saying, "I am  so terribly proud of my husband who did what seemed right.  And it was right.."  (Because of my travels, I had no time to interview Rod until this evening).

Klinzing was the first to jump on the tractor and try smashing his way through the window.

"We heard a terrible noise with car horns going off and we had no idea what was going on until the tractor drove right in front of us pushing the car along and we could see inside two people still in the car and they were just panic stricken and absolutely helpless," Klinzing said.

(LISTEN: Full audio interview)

The pastor said he then ran up to the to get the attention of the driver, Neil Phelps, saying, "I thought perhaps he just didn't know."

"I came to realize he wasn't responding," Klinzing said. "He wasn't responding to me and he wasn't responding to anybody else who was yelling and screaming."

When he realized that eventually the trapped car would either be turned over or pushed into a stopped car ahead, Klinzing said he had to act. The tractor wasn't moving that fast, so he decided he could jump aboard.

"Pounding on the window didn't seem to do anything," Klinzing said. "The door was secured from the inside and I couldn't open it, and I just tried to get his attention. He looked at me in kind of a very dazed state. No emotion whatsoever and just kept on driving."

That went on for what seemed like a while, Klinzing said, so he decided to try and make eye contact to get the driver's attention.

"He did and that's when I made a motion pointing at the key, 'turn it off, turn it off,'" Klinzing said. "I was pleased that he actually responded to that. My pounding on the window, he didn't respond to at all.  I made that motion. He turned it off. He sat back, and that was basically the end of the story"

Klingzing said another man did jump on the tractor and start pounding on the window, probably Jerry Newell, but Klinzing said he told the man the pounding was ineffective.

"He probably has a pretty sore hand at this point because he smacked it pretty hard," Klinzing said.

Klinzing said at the end two police officers did jump on the vehicle and managed to gain entry from the other side of the tractor cab.

While people worked to extract Gene Laney and his passenger from the car stuck in front of the tractor, Klinzing said he said next to the cab and made sure the driver didn't turn the tractor back on, and then he left the scene.

Batavia Police Chief Randy Baker told WBTA yesterday that the two officers who assisted at the scene were Chris Camp and Matthew Baldwin.

Lee breaks with many in his party by supporting Obama's Supreme Court nominee

By Howard B. Owens
May 28, 2009, 8:03pm

Rep. Chris Lee is increasingly showing himself as a Republican of an independent mind.

While his party and conservative pundits step up partisan bashing of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, even calling her a racist, Lee told WBTA this morning that he supports her nomination.


UPDATE: Lee was in town to talk with local veterans.  Full press release about the visit after the jump.

Lee Brings Together Area Vets for First Meeting of 26th District Veterans Advisory Board
Panel of Veterans and Veteran Family Members Convenes at Batavia VA Medical Center to Discuss Ways to Improve Services, Advance Legislative Initiatives

BATAVIA – Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) brought together area veterans today at the Batavia VA Medical Center to discuss ways to improve services and advance legislative initiatives to better meet the needs of Western New York veterans and their families.

This was the first meeting of an advisory board comprised of 43 veterans and veteran family members from all seven counties in the 26th congressional district. (The complete list of 26th District Veterans Advisory Board members can be accessed at

“I am honored that these distinguished veterans and veteran family members have agreed to volunteer their time to provide first-hand insights on how we can better meet the needs of Western New York’s veterans,” Congressman Lee said. “We have more than 50,000 veterans living here in the 26th district, and I am personally committed to ensuring that each of them – and their families – have access to the services they deserve and the benefits they have earned.”

Thomas Cray, President and CEO of the Veterans Outreach Center, added: “We are grateful to Congressman Lee for holding this meeting with area veterans. It means a great deal to our veterans to have a representative in Congress who is willing to sit down and listen to their concerns. We at the Veterans Outreach Center look forward to working with Congressman Lee to improve the lives of our veterans and their families.”

Congressman Lee has been working to honor and support our nation’s military veterans and their families since taking office:
·         In March, Congressman Lee successfully fought to stop a misguided proposal that would have forced wounded warriors to pay for treatment of service-related injuries. Currently, veterans only have to use private insurance when they receive care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries. (View related press release.)
·         Congressman Lee has secured passage of legislation (H.R. 1595) naming a Greece post office in honor of Marine Lance Corporal Brian K. Schramm, the first resident of the 26th congressional district to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom. (View related press release.)
·         Congressman Lee is working with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to secure an increase in funding for veterans’ mental health care programs. Combat stress has been a growing issue for military leaders and families as fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has taken its toll on the soldiers, many of whom have been deployed three, four, or even five times. (View related press release.) 
·         Congressman Lee is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 1016, a bipartisan proposal that would ensure timely and predictable budgets for VA health care through an advanced appropriation that provides for funding ahead of time. Uncertain funding levels can force the VA to restrict health care services and place veterans on waiting lists. This initiative has been endorsed by a number of leading veterans service organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).  
This is the fourth advisory board Congressman Lee has established since taking office. The 26th District Agriculture Advisory Board met for the first time in February, while the Rochester and Buffalo small business advisory boards convened in late March and mid-April, respectively.

Popular skydiving event grounded

By Howard B. Owens
May 28, 2009, 7:57pm

The Batavia Boogie, which has brought skydivers from all over the region to Genesee County Airport for 19 years, is grounded, reports WBTA.

Paul Gath of Frontier Skydivers said his group decided to cancel this years event rather than fight the county over liability concerns.

Last year, a skydiver died when his parachute failed to open.

County Legislator Jay Grasso explains the county's position.

Jimmy's Fish

By daniel cherry
May 28, 2009, 2:26pm

We went to the sandwash on monday.Jimmy caught a pretty nice fish.Is it a blue gill?

Police Beat: Eight arrests reported at Dave Matthews concert at Darien Lake

By Howard B. Owens
May 28, 2009, 9:00am

The following arrests were made at the Dave Matthews concert at Darien Lake:

David J. Brooks, 21, of Fairport, charged with harassment for allegedly striking a security officer.

Nicholas P. Gardone, 20, of Fairport, is charged with petty larceny for allegedly stealing concert tickets from the box office.

Edmund J. Bracker, 20, of Pittsford, charged with petty larceny for allegedly striking cotton candy.

Christopher P. Greco, 21, of Pittsford, charged with petty larceny for allegedly stealing cotton candy.

Conor C. McNamara, 22, of East Aurora, charged with harrassment for allegedly stealing a security officer in the back of the head with his elbow.

Joshua A. Ray, 22, of Pittsford, charged with DWI for allegedly operating a motor vehicle in the parking lot while intoxicated.

Gregory J. Summar, 27, of Eden, charged with harassment for allegedly striking a security officer.

Larry J. Marling, 21, of Albion, is charged with harassment for allegedly throwing a security officer against a parked car.

Brooks and Marling were taken to Genesee County Jail and held on $200 bail.

In other incident reports:

Andrea Klein, 28, of Liverpool, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The marijuana was reportedly found will investigating a motor vehicle accident in Pembroke this morning about 12:30 a.m.

Patrick Klein, 29, of Liverpool, is charged with criminal contempt and possession of marijuana following a traffic accident in Pembroke this morning about 12:30 a.m. The cause of the accident is reportedly an argument Klein was having with a woman in the car, whom he had been ordered not to have contact with.

Eric Zglinicki, 47, of Darien Center, is accused of firing a rifle near a residence, with at least one bullet traveling close to three people. He is charged with reckless endangerment. The alleged incident occurred yesterday around 7:20 p.m.

Joseph Puls, 22, of Alexander, was stopped for an alleged traffic violation in Alabama. Deputies say they found marijuana in his vehicle, which led to a charge of unlawful possession of marijuana.

Christopher Charvella says he's running for 8th district of County Legislature

By Howard B. Owens
May 27, 2009, 3:50pm

We just received this as a press release:

Dear Neighbor;

My name is Christopher Charvella and I would like to take this  opportunity to announce my candidacy for Genesee County Legislature in the  8th District. I grew up in Genesee County and after serving our country for  six years in the United States Air Force I decided to bring my wife back to  Batavia so we could begin our life together in the place I love so much. We  recently had our first child, a girl, and it is my goal to make Genesee 
County a place where she can grow and flourish.

Sadly, our area is in decline. We are facing a multitude of problems: empty  storefronts on Main Street, an unemployment rate at nearly 9% and climbing,  and a local government that seems incapable of coming up with real solutions.  We have watched businesses close their doors or leave town. We have seen  County bids and purchases go to companies that aren’t even based in New  York State and our stagnant Legislature has been a part of the problem  instead of being a part of the solution. It is time for us to change the way  we do business at a local level.

I pledge to bring balance, oversight and transparency to our local  government. When elected I will immediately offer legislation that will open  the County bid process to all qualified local contractors and distributors,  set up a County website that tracks exactly where your tax dollars go and  make County Legislature and Committee meetings accessible to working people.  Together we can bring an end to the ‘rubber stamp’ legislative  environment that has plagued us for so long.

I’m looking forward to meeting you in person as I walk the District over  the next few months. Feel free to stop me on the street and let me know how I  can make Genesee County a better place for you and your family. I am  committed to working hard for the 8th District and all of Genesee County and  I am looking forward to earning your vote and working for you over the next  two years.


Christopher M. Charvella

Posting will be light the next 36 hours

By Howard B. Owens
May 27, 2009, 1:40pm

Most of the rest of today will be taken up with errands related to moving and then I'm driving to Toronto where I'm speaking tomorrow to a group of online news people about The Batavian and new media.

The good news is, by Monday, I'll be a Batavia resident.  This is going to have numerous benefits, I think, to The Batavian -- I no longer spend two hours per day in a wasteful commute; I'll be able to attend more events and more meetings; I'll know more of what's going on; and I'll have more time to devote to getting more sponsors (and more Deals of the Day!) to keep this venture in online community news going.

While I'm gone, I'll still have my computer and my phone, so keep those news tips coming. If I can't get to something that needs gotten to, I'll call on Brian Hillabush, or cover the news from a distance (much easier to do in this digital age).

Speaking of advertising, the Daily takes a full page today to run logos of all its online advertisers. It's impressive page.  Of the 50 or so businesses, only 37 are local. The rest are out of the county.  It makes me pretty proud of the fact that 36 26 local businesses are now turning to The Batavian to help reach a loyal, local audience. That's 36 26, with two more on the way, and I'm just one guy bringing sponsors on board (and covering the news with the help of my wife and alert readers) against a team of people who have been selling newspaper ads in the community for years. (OOPS. I don't know why I wrote 36.  It's 26. I was just driving down the road and thought -- oops -- so pulled over for this correction. But I stand by how pleased I am with the progress so far.)

It's been heartening the degree to which people in Batavia and the rest of Genesee County have embraced me and Billie since I took over sole ownership of The Batavian. The friendliness and support from readers, business owners and community leaders has me looking forward to being a resident with great anticipation. Everywhere I go, I meet people who tell me how much they love The Batavian.  I never experienced that kind of appreciation for a newspaper in all my years in the print business. I have great hopes for The Batavian and I hope both community members and business owners will be pleased with how we grow and what we deliver.

Deal of the Day: Center Street Smoke House

By Howard B. Owens
May 27, 2009, 12:38pm

Today's Deal: Center Street Smoke House, a $25 gift card for $12.50, HALF OFF! (plus a $1 service charge).

Center Street is located at 20 Center St. in Batavia and is one a great place to go for BBQ, Southern hospitality and features a fine saloon. Center Street also frequently features live music and has an open patio at the back of the restaurant.

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 before 5:00 p.m. (today or tomorrow) 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.


Many New Yorkers say they want to leave state

By Howard B. Owens
May 27, 2009, 7:46am

This may come as no surprise, but many of your neighbors are thinking about leaving New York, according to a poll conducted by Siena College, according to the Buffalo News.

As much as 20 percent of the state's population would like to move or is thinking about, according ot the poll. Only 16 percent said they have no intention of moving.

How many people would follow through on the threat is unknown, but the poll, according to critics, depicts a clear frustration many have with state and local taxes that fuel a high-tax reputation across the nation.

“It absolutely should be of concern to the governor and state leaders,” said Steve Greenberg, a spokesman for the Siena poll.

Police Report: Woman accused of hitting deputy following property dispute

By Howard B. Owens
May 27, 2009, 7:01am

Shauna Clattanburg, 27, of Batavia, is accused of striking a Sheriff's deputy in the chest and then containing to hit the officer and yell obscenities while she was taken into custody. The incident arrose during a property dispute in Batavia at 11:38 yesterday. Clattanburg was charged with harassment and resisting arrest.

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]
Tags: Jobs offered
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
Tags: Jobs offered
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]
Tags: Jobs offered

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