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Man facing a lifetime jail sentence doesn't get bail from Judge Noonan

By Howard B. Owens

A man with multiple felony convictions who is accused of breaking into a State Street home and stealing several items while an elderly woman slept, won't get out on bail or bond any time soon.

Judge Robert Noonan denied a defense request to release Reginald M. Wilson, of 283 Seneca Manor Drive, Rochester, on $10,000 bond.

Wilson's sister was apparently ready to post bond, using her house as collateral.

"You're asking me to presume that a defendant facing a life-in-prison sentence because he's a persistent felon would care about his sister's $10,000?" Noonan said.

At which point, Wilson sat up straight in his chair and said, "Yes."

"That's a stretch," Noonan said, and Wilson slumped back in his chair.

Noonan noted that Wilson has 30 prior arrests, 12 convictions and 6 felonies on his record.

Two of his convictions led to state prison time, which means a third such felony conviction -- which Wilson is facing now -- means a life sentence.

Man admits to attempted burglary at Graham Manufacturing building

By Howard B. Owens

A man accused of attempting to break into a Graham Manufacturing building on Aug. 14 plead guilty today to attempted burglary.

There are apparently other unindicted co-conspirators, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman indicated in court, and Robert S. Douglas of Batavia will be expected to testify against them if they ever come to trial.

In exchange for his guilty plea and promise to testify, Douglas could receive a prison sentence of only one-and-a-half to three years.

Douglas, who has a prior felony DWI conviction and appeared in court in chains and the orange prison garb of the Genesee County Jail, was scheduled to be released following his guilty plea under supervision of Genesee Justice with a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.  He is married and has a child.

The Batavia Police Department has not previously released information on break-ins at the Graham building. Yet there is some hint from the court proceedings today, that there was more than one break-in that Douglas and possible cohorts were involved in. In addition, news of Douglas' arrest previously was not released (at least, at the moment, I can't find any record of any such release).

Larceny suspect doesn't get far with motion to throw out ID and statements

By Howard B. Owens

A Buffalo man suspected of tricking a woman out of $2,000 at Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union heard Judge Robert Noonan dismiss two of his attorney's key motions this afternoon.

The witness identification and his reportedly self-incriminating remarks following his arrest can be used at the possible trial of 69-year-old Yusuf A. Hassem,  a.k.a. Louis L. Reed, Judge Noonan ruled.

Defense Attorney Fred Rarik tried to argue that the photo array used by the victim to identify Hassem was flawed because Hassem was described as a well-dressed man at the time of his alleged crime, and in the array Hassem is the only possible suspect not well dressed. That made Hassem stand out more, Rarik argued.

Rarik said the photo array was "the most suggestive I've ever seen," and he accused police of leading the witness to understand the suspect was bald, wearing glasses and jewelry was like building "a Mr. Potato Head."

Rarik also asserted that police investigators did not properly read Hassem his rights.

Judge Noonan said the fact is that none of the six mug shots used in the array matched each other, so the witness was not necessarily guided toward a particular answer. The photo array itself wouldn't be admissible anyway, Noonan said, but the witness identification would be admissible.

Further, none of Hassem's potentially incriminating statements were made before Hassem was read his rights and told he was under arrest.

Hassem has been offered a plea deal, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, that would have him serving only one-and-a-half to three years. If he doesn't accept the plea before Dec. 1, Hassem will go on trial Feb. 1.

Hassem first made the pages of The Batavian after police released a surveillance camera photo of him from Tonawanda and I noted that he was the same man I saw earlier that day in the parking lot behind Alberty Drug's.

Motorcyclist critically injured in accident on Swamp Road in Byron

By Howard B. Owens

An Elba man is in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital following a single-vehicle motorcycle accident on Swamp Road in Byron this afternoon.

Thomas M. Legler, 49, was reportedly not wearing a DOT-approved helmet when he apparently lost control of his bike around 3:34 p.m..

The initial investigation indicates that Legler was westbound on Swamp Road when he failed to navigate a sharp turn in the roadway. His 2003 Harley Davidson crossed the double-yellow line and then skidded on its side, exiting the roadway on the south shoulder. Legler was ejected from the motorcycle.

There were no passengers.

Speed is believed to be the primary factor in the accident. Alcohol is not considered a factor.

Legler was transported to Strong via Mercy Flight.

The investigation is ongoing and being handled by Deputy Butler, Sgt. Walker and Sgt. Scott of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office Crash Management Team.

Today's Deals: Kravings, Blue Pearl Yoga, Matty's, Carlson's Studio and more

By Howard B. Owens

Kravings, Valu Plaza, West Main Street, Batavia, N.Y. : Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sport of Kings Family Restaurant, 419 W Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: A favorite locally owned family restaurant that is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week. We have a $15 gift card for $7.50.

Picasso's Pizza, 419 W. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: A great variety of pizza, subs and salads -- and try the wings, too. We have three $5 booklets of $1 gift certificates ($15 value) for $7.50. The gift certificates can be used collectively or individually.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, N.Y.: Ribs, brisket, steak, prime rib -- Center Street is a meat lover's paradise. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Brighten up your home or office with flowers!  We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.50.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, N.Y.: Family photos are more than just photographs. When you need photos for that special occasion, Carlson's is a great choice in Genesee County. We have a $100 gift card for $50 ($2 PayPal fee).

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for a seven-week Pilates session (one class per week), which is a $56 value, for $28.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.


Adopt-A-Pet: Lewis and Buckwheat

By Billie Owens

I'm three-year-old Lewis and as you can see I'm a beagle. Is there a better dog than a Snoopy dog? I'm neutered, polite, friendly and enjoy people and dogs alike. In fact, I think all mammals are good mammals. I walk nicely on a leash and am not the demanding type. If you would like a new BFF (best friend forever), then come and get me (OK that's a demand) and the sooner the better.

They named me, get this, "Buckwheat." But what's a name -- just letters that's all. I'm a neutered male kitten with long orange and wheat-colored fur (hmm, that explains things). Unfortunately, the volunteer snapped my picture just after I stuck my paw in a light socket. Boy was that a shocker! Well, that's one down and eight lives to go. Just joking! Anyways, my fur is still kittenish and I have to grown into it, or something like that. Is your heart tugging? Can't you just sense my sweetness? Go with it. Don't overthink it. I'll be waiting for you.

Volunteers For Animals
PO Box 1621
Batavia, NY   14021 <>

Working in partnership with:
Genesee County Animal Shelter
3841 W. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY  14020
(585) 343-6410

Adoption Hours
Sunday through Friday: 1 to 3 p.m. (closed Thursdays)
Wednesday: 7 to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And don't forget to nominate your pet for Pet-of-the-Week, a new winner chosen by Pachuco every Friday. Your pet could win a $10 gift certificate from Genesee Feeds.  And remember, more kinds of pets than just dogs and cats are eligible to win.

Goose season brings about memories of Albert Frieday


With autumn nearly upon us, and early goose season underway, I got to thinking about the late Albert Frieday. I decided to call his son Bill.

I was still in high school when Bill’s younger brother Steve introduced me to the sport of waterfowling. We mainly hunted geese in corn lots and later I came to relish the mileu of the duck hunter. Steve entered the Marine Corp after graduation, and upon his return, we took up where we left off. Steve wasn’t home a week when we headed off in search of new places to duck hunt. Our first day of scouting for new hunting grounds resulted in a hike through tall grass that left paper cuts on our legs. In our haste to leave the grassy overgrowth we soon found ourselves   stuck thigh deep in swampy muck.  

Not long afterward I met Steve’s father and brother, Bill, also a Marine vet. It was only a matter of time before I had the opportunity to hunt with the elder Frieday, a man I had heard Steve speak of a great deal. I remember hunting with Albert on two occasions, and both times I walked on egg shells. 

Albert Frieday while serving in China.

Albert was a stern man, a no-nonsense individual not to be crossed. He grew up in Oakfield and took to the swamps and woods in his early years where he wielded both shotgun and fishing rod, becoming handy with both. In 1926 he entered the Marine Corp and in 1928 took part in the Nicaraguan “Banana Wars” and later manned a machine gun in China. After seven years he left the Corp but was drafted by the Army in ’42 after Pearl Harbor which resulted in another four year hitch.  After the war Albert and his wife Mart Catherine settled down in Batavia.

The rafters of the Frieday garage were stocked with carved duck decoys, mostly wooden but some were fashioned from cork. There were also a number of goose decoys, hip boots, and of course, Albert’s foul weather gear. Inclement weather didn’t deter him one bit, the nastier the better. “The weather didn’t bother Dad at all”, said Bill. “He liked to hunt ducks & geese in foul weather.”  One of Bill’s earliest recollections of going afield with his father was as a 12 year old, helping Albert set decoys in the pre-dawn darkness. “I was too young to hunt, but I remember carrying burlap bags filled with decoys along muddy trails while it was pitch black outside” said Bill, who along with Steve eventually became an avid waterfowler for a number of years. 

Albert was an old-school duck hunter, shown below with his Winchester Model 12.  He would pluck every duck and goose by hand, right down to the last feather. Mary Catherine Frieday would place strips of bacon over the ducks and geese prior to roasting and many a wild duck and goose dinner was enjoyed in the Frieday home. The depression era fresh in his mind, Albert made it clear that no wild game harvested was to be wasted. But there were exceptions to this rule, much to Albert's chagrin.

The Friedays had a pair of Irish Setters, Freedom and Goldie, who were mainly used for hunting upland game, but Albert would often take one of the dogs along when he hunted ducks and geese in corn lots and winter wheat fields. Prior to one such hunt, having loaded our gear into the back of Albert’s station wagon, I hopped into the back seat alongside Freedom. In the pocket of my field jacket was a pack of Twinkies and a bag of M&M’s. I tore open the Twinkie’s first and with my right hand stuffed one in my mouth. With my left hand I extended the remaining Twinkie toward Freedom who was eagerly waiting with his maw wide open, his huge tongue at the ready. The cream-filled cake was inches from his mouth when Steve and Albert boomed in unison, “DON’T GIVE HIM ANY.” At the time I didn’t realize they were thinking of the dog’s dental hygiene – I just thought they were being mean. It was late afternoon when the first flock of geese came in. They passed by at close range and Albert dropped a double. Freedom promptly ran to the fallen birds, picked one up and – headed in the opposite direction. He eventually returned but without the goose, which we never did locate. For years I figured the dog was being vindictive, as a payback for the reneged Twinkie. Only recently did Bill Frieday tell me Freedom had a habit of running off with downed waterfowl.     

I was fortunate to have known Albert Frieday, if only for a short time. He was not only an old- school outdoorsman, he was a husband, father, Marine and Army combat veteran and a great American.

Volunteers for Animals thanks hands helping paws

By Billie Owens

Here's an email we received from the nonprofit Volunteers for Animals:

"Volunteers For Animals would like to take a moment to thank the many people in the community that help us find homes for the many cats and dogs that find their way into the Genesee County Animal Shelter. Without their kindness and support, our job would be more difficult.

The Daily News frequently prints "Post for the Paws" in the Saturday edition of the paper. It is always a large colorful ad that features a cat and a dog.

The Batavian 
features a dog and a cat each week which is sponsored by Genesee Feeds. It includes a photo of each animal and a fun and witty write up. Check it out - it will put a smile on your face!

WBTA Radio  regularly announces our events and special requests on the air and on their website as a community service.

The Genesee Valley Penny Saver  has an "Adopt A Pet" page on their website and print page where we feature a cat or dog available for adoption.

Volunteers For Animals is now on Facebook. Come join us and help spread the word about getting shelter animals into great homes. We are just getting started and we needs lots of friends!

Motorcyclist involved in accident on Swamp Road in Byron

By Howard B. Owens

A motorcyclist has crashed on Swamp Road in Byron. He has reportedly suffered a head injury. First responder report is that he is semi-conscious.

Mercy EMS and Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding.

Mercy Flight has been dispatched.

View Larger Map

Elbans turn out for heckler-free Town Hall meeting

By Gretel Kauffman

Ninety-plus Elbans turned out Tuesday night for a town hall meeting in the Elba Central School auditorium. The purpose of the meeting was to provide information and solicit input from the community on which services residents believe are important. 

Town Supervisor Lucine Kauffman opened the meeting by giving an overview of the tentative 2010 budget and tax rates as well as those of the previous five years. Highway Superintendent Allan Totten provided information on highway maintenance costs. Town Councilman Bill Hynes explained that the town transfer station operates at a yearly loss and asked for feedback from residents regarding its future. 

The vast majority of questions were directed at Eric Wies, an engineer with Clark Patterson Associates, and Tim Hens, Genesee County Highway Superintendent. Citizens inquired about the process of forming water districts to hook up to the Monroe County Water Supply. Wies and Hens gave an overview of the Genesee County Water Project and step-by-step details on how residents can form water districts.

Kauffman said she was pleased with the turnout. 

"We gave the town residents a lot to think about tonight. We have many important issues facing us. I'm glad we got the dialogue started, and the town board is looking forward to more participation from the residents."

Man who admitted to attempted burglary fails to appear for sentencing

By Howard B. Owens

A warrant is being issued for the arrest of a Lockport man who failed to appear in Genesee County court this morning for his sentencing on an attempted burglary conviction.

(name redacted upon request) admitted in May to entering a portion of a business in Darien that the public was not authorized to enter and grabbing bags of money. The manager caught him before he could leave.

As part of xxxxx plea deal, Judge Robert Noonan had offered him probation with a sentence cap, but xxxxx is now looking at incarceration once he's arrested.

Noonan also indicated that both the Genesee County and Orleans County probation departments recommended Wisniewski be jailed for some time rather than given probation.

Farmers to rally in Le Roy this morning calling on Paterson to release stimulus funds

By Howard B. Owens

Local dairy farmers will join Assemblyman Steve Hawley in a rally in Le Roy at 11 a.m., calling on Gov. David Paterson to use federal stimulus funds to aid struggling dairies.

The dairy industry is caught between historically low prices for milk and rising production costs.

Stimulus funds are needed to stabilize Western New York's economy and create and maintain jobs, according to Hawley.

Hawley will be joined at the rally by Assemblyman Cliff Crouch (R,I-Guilford).

Statement issued by Hawley's office:

New York State's family dairies are currently facing the most difficult economic conditions in the modern history of the industry. Dairy producers are being paid prices that are catastrophically below the price of production for their milk, regardless of the size of their operations, and economists predict that fluid milk prices may not increase for another year.

The governor's office has indicated that the stimulus funds can't be used in such a manner, but at the same time, a Catholic charity in Buffalo recently received stimulus funds to support its efforts.

The rally will be at Stein Farms, 8343 Gully Road, Le Roy.

Police Beat: Pair charged with interferring with DSS investigation

By Howard B. Owens

George M. Hodges, 19, of 9 S. Lyon St., Batavia, and Daniel D. Williams, 20, of 20 Mill St., Batavia were both charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration. Batavia Police officers were at an Oak Street residence assisting the Department of Social Services in an investigation when the suspects allegedly yelled profanities at the officers and confronted investigators and attempted to prevent them from speaking to the residents.

Randy Johnson, 21, of 10182 Brookville Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Johnson allegedly took a vehicle without permission of the owner, and when confronted by the owner, Johnson allegedly caused damage to the vehicle. The incident was investigated by Deputy Chad Minuto.

Richard Jordan Franz, 19, of 9898 Simonds Road, Corfu, and Michael Richard Bitter, 19, 3198 Pike Road, Alexander, are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Franz and Bitter were arrested after deputies came to an unspecified residence to investigate a reported suspicious circumstance and allegedly found Franz and Bitter in possession of marijuana. The incident occurred at 1 a.m. Saturday.

Hal D. Philips, 58, of 11096 Molasses Hill Road, East Bethany, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, refusal to submit to breath test, failure to keep right and operating with a suspended registration. Philips was stopped on Molasses Hill Road by Deputy Kevin McCarthy for alleged failure to keep right at 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

President Obama risks overexposure

By bud prevost

Kind of ironic that ABC news ran this story on Good Morning America. We were just discussing the other day that the president seems to be EVERYWHERE that a camera is turned on. Even more ironic that it's ABC (All Barack Content) that is running this news piece.

As I stated stated several days ago, it is near impossibe to avoid his image on TV, online, or in print. "Omnipresent" is the word used, which sounds rather Orwellian to me. The fact he is trying to do so much, so fast, without regard to future generations, scares me. And this news story just re-affirms what I already knew...this guy is charasmatic, and reads a teleprompter like nobody's business. But take aware the script, and he shows his true colors. "Cambridge police acted stupidly", or calling Kanye West a "jackass", just a couple of examples of speaking before thinking.

I'm sure I'll be called a name or two for pointing this out, especially if you are a young dem guy who has a serious man crush on our president.

Primary Results for Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

Here's tonight's primary election results:

Town of Byron, Supervisor (Republican Primary): 
Felton, 119
Crnkovich, 109

Town of Darien, Council (Democrat Primary, vote for two)
Fleming, 33
Plitt, 65
Ferry, Jr., 51

Town of Pembroke, Council (Republican Primary)
District 1: Arnold (47), Worth (34), Schneider, Jr. (26)
District 2: Arnold (46), Worth (48), Schneider, Jr. (13)
3 & 4: Arnold (91), Worth (108), Schneider, Jr. (51)
Total: Arnold (184), Worth (190), Schneider, Jr. (90)

Town of Stafford, Highway Superintendent (Conservative Primary)
Pontillo, 8
Boldt, 12

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake - Very Easy

By Bea McManis

Every once in a while an occasion comes up when you want to make something just a little different.

I played around with a chocolate cake mix (from Aldi's no less) and ended up with this moist, rich, cake.  At the end of the evening, the piece in the picture was all that was left of the cake.

Pre-heat oven to 350F   Prepare baking pans according to directions on box.  I use cocoa instead of flour in my pans when I make a chocolate cake.

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding

1 cup brown sugar

Mix dry ingredients


1 cup sour cream

1 cup oil

1 1/3 cups water

3 eggs (one at a time)

Mix batter, on medium, for 3 minutes.  Pour into prepared pans.  Baking time will vary according to oven.  I did a sheet cake and it took just about 50 minutes.

I frosted with a butter cream frosting, but the last time I made this, I just sprinkled confectioners sugar on it. 



Today's Deals: Delavan's, Alex's, Kravings and Pudgie's

By Howard B. Owens

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, N.Y.: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, N.Y.: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center, 3646 West Main Road, Batavia, N.Y.: Autumn is the time to think about spring flowers -- and Pudgie's has a great selection of bulbs already in stock, ready to plant. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, West Main Street, Batavia, N.Y. : Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.



Head-on collision reported on East Main Street, in front of Tully's

By Howard B. Owens

A head-on collision, with minor injuries, has been reported in front of Tully's on East Main Street.

Engine 12 and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: I drove by. Nothing to see. Neither car had much damaged and were being driven to a side street.

Top Items on Batavia's List

The City of Batavia is accepting applications for a Full-time Water Treatment Plant Operator/Trainee (Salary $23.65/hr.) This is a trainee position involving responsibility for learning the duties and routines in the operation and maintenance of a water treatment plant.  The work is performed under the immediate supervision of a qualified operator. Does on-the-job training to become qualified as an operator of a water treatment plant. Does related work as required. Applicant must be a graduate of a senior high school or possess a New York State high school equivalency diploma. Please submit a completed Civil Service Application to Human Resources, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020 or Background check, psychological assessment, physical and drug testing are required. Candidate must become a resident of Genesee County or any adjacent town to the County of Genesee within 6 months of the date of conclusion of the probationary period for the City of Batavia. EEO. Applications can be found at
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