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Police Beat: LeRoy woman suspected of dealing drugs

By Howard B. Owens

Joann M. Rusby, 50, of LeRoy, is in custody, accused of dealing drugs.

The LeRoy Police Department identified Rusby as a suspect after a 53-year-old woman in LeRoy was found dead in her apartment. During the investigation of her death, LeRoy police learned that Rusby may have been dealing Fentanyl, a narcotic pain reliever.

Police conducted an undercover operation, which resulted in Rusby's arrest.

Rusby is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. 

After arraignment, Rusby is being held on $7,500 bail.

Harvey J. Lockhart, a.k.a. "Man,"  26, of Batavia, is in custody, accused of dealing crack cocaine.

Lockhart was arrested following an investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Police say Lockhart sold a quantity of crack to an undercover officer in late 2008. The Grand Jury issued a sealed indictment for his arrest. Lockhart was spotted in Batavia yesterday and taken into custody.

He is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Lockhart is being held pending arraignment.

Brian Tracy, 21, of Attica, was arrested in Corfu yesterday for allegedly taking another person's car for a joy ride.  Tracy is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Darien teen in trouble for Internet activity

By Brian Hillabush

It might be obvious to most, but you should probably stick to logging in to your own Internet accounts. In fact,  you can get in trouble for logging in to another person's Web site accounts and making changes. 

A Darien teenager is learning that lesson right now as 17-year old Brittany N. Barto was issued a ticket to appear in Darien Town Court on March 24 after logging into somebody else's account, where she made unspecified changes.

According to The Buffalo News, it caused the victim "a substantial inconvenience." 

GCC gets $2 million for athletic facility improvements

By Brian Hillabush

The upcoming major construction project at Genesee Community College received a boost as the Genesee County Legislature authorized borrowing $2.05 million through bonds, in addition to the $4.1 million that was approved last year.

The decision Wednesday will help fund a major overhaul of athletic facilities at the Batavia campus, according to The Buffalo News.

GCC will be installing a synthetic turf soccer field, expanding other fields and refurbishing the gym and locker rooms.

To see or not to see...

By Arlana Pathammavong

As the weekend quickly approaches us, and rainy or cold days serve as some of the best movie days, I thought what better time than to leave my movie tracks.

For those of you with an open shedule this weekend, wondering what to see or not to see, I suppose it all leans on what kind of mood you will find yourself in.  So I have broken it down for you piece by piece, movie by movie with hopes you find a direction to travel.

The Top 10 Box Office hits for this past week hold a variety of movies for any interest and pleasure, some being...

Watchmen, starring Malin Ackerman, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, and Carla Gugino.  Directed by Zach Snyder and written by David Hayter and Alex Tse.  MPAA rated this movie R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language. 

Watchmen can be considered another "superhero" movie full of complexities, mysteries and adventure.  IMDb describes Watchmen's plot set in "an alternate vision of the year 1985, the murder of an ex-superhero causes a vigilante to look into the matter, an investigation that reuinted him with his surviving old colleages -- all of them former superheroes themselves -- and gradually unveils a conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future." 

Sounds like it has great potential to be one of this years top superhero movies to compete with, but at a running time of 2 hours and 43 minutes, I can't help but think that may be too much time for a dark, mysterious movie.  I enjoyed "The Dark Knight", but many people felt that it was about a half hour too long.  So maybe its just a trend of superhero movies to run over the 2 hour mark.

User rating on IMDb - 8.2*'s out of 10. 

Although, while on the track of lengthy movies.  I did just recently see, "He's Just Not That Into You" - starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connely, Ben Affleck and Scarlett Johansson.  Directed by Ken Kwapis and written by Abby Kohn and Mark Silverstein.  MPAA rated this movie PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language. 

I'd say this movie is a decent film.  Its a romantic comedy based on an interconnected group of Baltimore singles and one married couple.  I found the film to be full of some very true and some far fetched comparisions to the male and female interactions we all so commonly deal with in real life. But for the most part, although slow at parts, found it witty and true in many regards.  This enabled the audience at the theatre to laugh out loud at many parts and look at their partners in simple awe that, "whatever happened in the movie at that point was quite possible to have happened once or twice in their own relationships."  I find that movies that an audience can relate to on a personal level, whether rated good or bad by critics, are movies that a lot of people favor. 

User rating on IMDb - 6.5*'s out of 10. 

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this movie for children, as there is no common interest to a younger generation.  But for a children's movie, I do recommend checking out -  Coraline (animated) - A story based on a young girl's journey through a very unique and unusual parallel world that she finds in the new house her and her family just moved into.  Starring Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman.  Directed by Henry Selick.  MPAA rated this movie PG for thematic elements, scary images, and some language and suggestive humor. 

User rating on IMDb - 8.2*'s out of 10.

If those movies don't interest you, there are many others to choose from that are out or opening in theatres this weekend.  Some featured movies opening this weekend are: (To read more details, please click on the movies listed below.)

Race To Witch Mountain: Starring Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino and Anna Sophia Robb.

Sunshine Cleaning: Starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin.

The Last House On The Left: Starring Garret Dillahunt, Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn. 

For local theatres and showtimes, check out the following cities. RochesterBuffaloBatavia

Blue Devils moving on to state quarterfinals

By Brian Hillabush

The Batavia basketball team made the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals in 2005, losing a close game to Mexico.

This year's squad is just one win away from that same level after the Blue Devils handled Pittsford Sutherland 56-46 in the Class A state qualifier Wednesday at the Blue Cross Arena.

A huge run in the third quarter ends up being the key to the game. Andrew Hoy hit two straight 3-pointers and Josh Budlong followed by doing the same thing, giving Batavia 12-straight points and an 11-point lead. The Blue Devils led 37-26 at the end of the third quarter.

But after holding Sutherland's top scoring option, Patrick O'Keefe, in check for the first three quarter, he got his team back into the game with seven points in the first half of the final period.

A 3-pointer by Dan O'Keefe cut the lead to just a point, but Joe Schlossel scored to put Batavia back up four points with two minutes left.

The Knights turned the ball over on the next trip down the floor and the Blue Devils connected on free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

For the Batavia players that were on the sectional finals losing team last year, this was some sweet revenge against a team that capped off a Blue Devil collapse with a buzzer-beater.

Batavia hit 7-of-12 3-point attempts and was again led by sophomore Andrew Hoy, who scored a game-high 17 points. Robert Hoy and Dakota Irvin had 10 points each for the Blue Devils, with Marcus Hoy finishing up with nine.

Patrick O'Keefe had 15 points for Sutherland (18-6).

Batavia (21-3) will be playing Section 6 champion Buffalo McKinley in the Far West Regionals on Saturday at Brockport.

Pavilion teacher educates and installs renewable energy in South Asia

By Tasia Boland

Doug Hollinger, a science teacher at Pavilion Central School has a fascination with renewable energy that has inspired him to share his special talents with those less fortunate in South Asia.

Hollinger takes four students with him each year to build independent solar panels and educate others on the importance of renewable energy.  Currently this is all volunteer work and Hollinger is hoping it will be a non-for-profit organization.

Hollinger is not just talking about it, he is going out and applying it.

"This is an eye-opening experience," said Hollinger, "It is a great way to apply alternative energy in a completely different side of the world."

To get more information on this project check out his Web site

Wind Turbine generates education in Pavilion

By Tasia Boland

Today it is common to hear about the negative results due to the economic downturn, but what about some of the positive results making its way through to improve the economy?

Doug Hollinger, science teacher at Pavilion Central School  has spent the past three years researching, calling, and making final decisions for a wind turbine incentive at the school.
Last August a 120-foot tall wind turbine was installed behind the school to accompany the solar panel located on the school’s roof. In late November the turbine was producing electricity.
“It’s really exciting,” said Hollinger, who wrote the turbine curriculum for the elementary, middle and high school. The curriculum involved math, economics, and social aspects of renewable energy.

A lot of time was spent deciding which turbine and program would best fit the school.
“I researched a lot of different turbines and felt this one (Bergy Wind power) was the strongest,” said Hollinger.  

The turbine generates about 2-4 percent of electricity and was installed by Sustainable Energy Systems (SED). It is a 10kw wind turbine manufactured by Bergy Windpower.   The turbine hasn’t needed any routine maintenance yet, said Hollinger, but Bergy would be responsible for the costs. 
In 2002 a solar panel was installed and has been a great hands-on learning experience for students.

Hollinger and Superintendent of the Pavilion School District, Edward Orman agreed the project was not for the primary purpose of generating electricity.

“This is a great educational opportunity for students, and the community,” said Orman.
The school received an incentive through NYSERDA to cover 70 percent of the cost of the wind turbine. The actual cost of the turbine was in the $70,000 range.
Hollinger has partnered with Draker Laboratories to bring the facts of  renewable energy directly into the classroom.  Hollinger says it is so important to be committed to the students and continue to meet the challenges of our future.
“We have to look at other ways of producing energy,” said Hollinger, “And not just study this out of books.” Hollinger said climate change is just one of the many reasons why this is so important.
The best part of the turbine is the educational opportunities it offers.  Data Aquistion unit is a program that will allow students to view the rpm of voltage, propellers, current, power, wind speed and direction, and barometric pressure on the classroom computers from sensors on the wind turbine. This information can also be viewed by the public.
Hollinger said this is the most frustrating part of waiting for the program to go through because it is an important learning tool for students.
 “I am hoping in a couple weeks, we will have the program,” said Hollinger.
Hollinger said students make graphs to show how the weather affects performance.
There was a town support meeting on the subject and Hollinger said he expected to hear both positive and negative remarks.
“I went into the meeting thinking it would generate arguments,” said Hollinger who was surprised to find out everyone was all in favor of the idea.”

Hollinger and Orman said the process was very long because they were the first public school in New York to have a wind turbine installed.
Orman and Hollinger agreed it is something to be very proud of.

Remembering the Amtrak derailment in Batavia

By Brian Hillabush

On August 3, 1994 Batavia witnessed one enormous accident.

Amtrak train 49 was traveling nearly 80 miles per hour when it derailed just outside of Batavia, injuring 108 passengers and 10 crew members. The train was traveling from New York, N.Y. to Chicago, Ill when the accident happened.

These videos taken of the crash take some time to watch, but the accident was very well documented. It is just amazing that there we no fatal injuries.

Ronald McDonald all-stars announced

By Brian Hillabush

Notre Dame guard Kevin Francis and Oakfield-Alabama forward/center Noah Seward were regarded as the top players in each division of the Genesee Region League this season.

And now the two will get a chance to play on the same squad in the Ronald McDonald Greater Rochester All-Star Game on March 28 at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Seward and Francis will be playing on the Gold team and are joined by one tremendous lineup, including Rush-Henrietta's Dane Miller.

That team will be coached by Prattsburgh legend Jim Burke, who announced his retirement after the Vikings lost in the sectional finals on Saturday.

The Genesee Region League representatives in the girls game are on opposite teams as Alexander's Anni Lehtola will be on the Red team and Notre Dame's Jill Marshall is on the Gold squad.

Notre Dame cheerleading coach Lindsay Warner will be coaching the cheerleaders. She will be joined by Holley cheerleader Nikkie Butler.

The complete rosters for the game can be found here.

Genesee Region Independent Living Center to Reopen Its Doors

By sue fleming

Due to the dilligent hard work of Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Dan Burling and County Manager Jay Gesell, the Genesee Region Independent Living Center will reopen for business as usual on Friday March 13th at 8:30 am Staff should report on Thursday March 12th at 10:30 am for a staff meeting in preparation. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to our Assemblymen, County Manager, and the community for all their assistance in this difficult time.

Robert W. Fleming- Executive Director


Police Beat: Batavia woman charged with felony contempt, accused of violating protection order

By Howard B. Owens

Jeanine D. Fuller, 22, of Batavia, is being held on $10,000 bail after an arrest for first degree contempt. Fuller is charged with violating a "stay away" order of protection.  She was previously convicted of second degree criminal contempt.  She was taken into custody Tuesday morning at her Oak Street residence.

Toni M. White, 28, and Shuvon J. Williams, 33, both of Batavia, were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after allegedly getting into a fight in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Both were charged with disorderly conduct and given appearance tickets.

Rain and wind should remain through today

By Brian Hillabush

The recent rain which has caused some flooding in Genesee County is expected to continue today, according to the National Weather Service.

There is also a wind advisory in effect until 8 p.m.


Doll enters not guilty plea

By Brian Hillabush

 Scott Doll was arraigned in Genesee County Court Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty.

Doll is the Corfu man that is charged with the murder of his friend and business parter, Joseph Benequist, on Feb. 16. 

Doll's attorneys asked judge Robert Noonan to allow him to post bail because he is a custodial parent to his 17-year old daughter, has a clean record and can afford the bail. 

"He's going to make every court appearance," Attorney Paul Cambria says in Daily News reporter Paul Mrozek's story. Doll, if released pending trial, will wear an ankle bracelet that can track his whereabouts with a global positioning system, his attorney said.

Doll is facing life in prison if convicted of the killing and Noonan has scheduled a bail application hearing for Wednesday, March 18.

Police Beat: Two arrests Monday

By Howard B. Owens

Christopher L. Oliver, 27, of Rochester, was arrested in Byron Monday for possession of marijuana as well as unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended registration.

Timothy Corke, 21, of Batavia, was arrested Monday on a warrant for a previous DWI arrest.

City Council approves 2009-2010 budget

By Brian Hillabush

Taxes are going up, and salaries are doing the same for non-union and part-time city employees, as reported by Daily News reporter Joanne Beck.

City Council approved the budget 2009-2010 by a slim 5-4 vote.

Councilmen Tim Buckley, Marianne Clattenburg, Kathy Briggs, Frank Ferrando and Charlie Mallow voted yes for both resolutions. Councilmen Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowski, Sam Barone and Rose Mary Christian voted no to both.

Taxes will be raised by 2.17 percent, with $216,733 coming from the increase. $5,264,769 of the $23.3 million budget will be raised by taxes.

Batavia looks to even things up with Sutherland, advance in state tournament

By Brian Hillabush

 The Batavia boys basketball team dropped both regular season games against Pittsford Sutherland this year, ending a seven year stretch of winning the Monroe County League Division III title.

But the third time was the charm for the Blue Devils, who beat the Knights 55-52 in the consolation game of the Monroe County League tournament.

While sectionals are over and Batavia won its third sectional title under coach Buddy Brasky on Saturday, the team is going to try and keep going. And getting Sutherland in the Class A state qualifier is just what the team wants.

The Knights took advantage of a Batavia collapse last year to win the Class A title and that loss was a heartbreaker. The Blue Devils couldn't hit a free throw and the tears were flowing when Sutherland hoisted the championship trophy.

When the classifications came out this year, Sutherland was in A1 while Batavia was in A2, so the only way the two could meet was if they both won titles.

Andrew Hoy had 20 points in the loss at Sutherland and just 11 in the home loss, then scored 21 in the win. The sophomore was the team's leading scorer during the season and has been fantastic in the playoffs, scoring 27 and 21 points. His 21 point effort was on seven 3-pointers, all in the second half in a win over Freddie Thomas to win the title.

Andrew's brothers are also going to need good games. Class A2 MVP Marcus is one of the best point guards Batavia has had in recent years, and the program has had some very good players at the position. He will score when needed but excels at driving and getting the ball to the shooters.

Robert scores, gets rebounds and often most dangerous when teams go box-and-1 on Andrew. 

A big reason why the Blue Devils won the title and are still playing is because of big man Joe Schlossel. He is just 6-foot-2 and undersized in almost every game, but he battles in the paint, where he is usually in the right place at the right time. He has been the second scoring option.

Dakota Irivin, Josh Budlong, Adam Pettinella and Mike Lee have all found their roles for Batavia (20-3). 

Sutherland (18-5) is led by A1 MVP Dan Waldbillig and point guard Dylan Sherwood. The game is at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Blue Cross Arena. The winner moves on to face the Section 6 champion on Saturday.

Police beat: Two local woman charged with hosting separate under-age drinking parties

By Howard B. Owens

Laura A. Olcott, 19, of Batavia was arrested for allegedly hosting an under-age drinking party Sunday at 3:46 a.m.  Olcott was charged with second degree criminal negligence and unlawful possession of alcohol. Police responded to the residence after a noise complaint.

Leanne M. Wood, 21, of Batavia, is also accused of hosting an under-age drinking party. Wood was arrested after police responded to a noise complaint. She is charged with second degree criminal nuisance and unnecessary noise.

Jeffery Cole, 43, of Batavia, was arrested Sunday after allegedly grabbing two steaks from Tops Market and fleeing the store.

Elizabeth Roman, 37, of Rochester, is facing a grand larceny charge after allegedly renting items from Rent-A-Center and then selling the items to acquaintances. She is being held without bail.

Julio C. Morales, Jr., 23, of Batavia was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Morales was allegedly involved in a motor vehicle accident Saturday. He reportedly left the scene, came back, and was found to have a pipe in his pocket with marijuana residue as well as marijuana.

John N. Robinson, 24, of Batavia is charged with DWI after being stopped Sunday for allegedly speeding on Route 20 in Alexander.  Robinson is accused of having a BAT of .08 or more.

Daniel J. Schepperley, 23, of Tonawanda, is charged with DWI after being stopped in Batavia for alleged erratic driving.

Kimberley A. Showler, 43, of Batavia, is accused of shoplifting at Target. She is charged with petty larceny and possession of burglar tools.

Amber N. Wallace, 19, of Batavia, was arrested for allegedly violating a standing order baring her from Wal-Mart. Wallace is charged with second degree criminal attempt. She was released on her own recognance

Batavia area one of nation's fastest growing 'micropolitians' again, according GCEDC

By Howard B. Owens

The "micropolitian" area of Batavia is one of the nation's fastest growing regions according to Site Selection Magazine.

This is the fifth straight year Batavia has received the designation.

On its Web site, Site Selection describes itself this way:

Site Selection's editorial mission is to publish information for expansion planning decision-makers -- CEOs, corporate real estate executives and facility planners, human resource managers and consultants to corporations. Our goal is to help the expansion planner do a better job.

Here's the full press release from the Genesee County Economic Develoment Committee

Batavia, NY…Genesee County and the Batavia Micropolitan Area has been named one of the country’s 10 fastest growing regions by Site Selection Magazine for a fifth consecutive year.  A Micropolitan Area is a census definition that describes a city of less than 50,000 people that serves as the seat of a larger geographical area like Genesee County.  There are roughly 600 Micropolitans nationwide.

The Batavia Micropolitan was first recognized in 2004 and ranked 7th in the nation.  In 2005, the region was named the 3rd fastest growing Micropolitan in the nation and the number 1 location in the Northeast.  Batavia made the list again in 2006 and 2007.  In 2008 the Batavia Micropolitan ranked fourth nationwide. 

Statesville-Mooresville, North Carolina was tops in the category, participating in 17 qualifying projects.  Daphne-Fairhope, Alaska tied with Tupelo, Mississippi for second with both completing 12 projects.  Batavia participated in 11 qualifying projects tying with Ottawa-Streator, Illinois for fourth.  The results were published in Site Selection’s March issue.

“Despite a changing economic and political climate in the state and nationwide, we were able to participate in 11 qualifying projects and again earn honors as a Top Micropolitan.” said CEO Steve Hyde.  “It’s an accomplishment we are extremely proud of and over the years the recognition has brought us national exposure and helped us increase our project volume.  It is an honor that we share with the entire community, including our local and regional partners and elected officials.”

Weather service issues third flood warning

By Howard B. Owens

The National Weather Service has issued a third flood warning for the Batavia and LeRoy areas.


The warning also issues the following warnings:


School Board hopes to adopt tentative budget

By Tasia Boland

The economic downfall continues to leave Margaret Puzio, Superintendent of Schools, and the School Board of Education studying their options carefully as they create a spending plan.

According to the New York State Executive Budget  the Executive Budget will provide $20.7 billion for School Aid in 2009-10. It is a decrease of 3.3 percent from last year.  The site says without this budget cut the Executive Budget proposal for 2009-2010 would have been $2.5 billion higher than what was originally proposed.

Margaret Puzio, Superintendent of Schools stated in the A+ Batavia Communicator, “The Board of Education has asked the district to keep expenditures well below the contingent budget cap of 4%.”

Puzio writes the budget deficit has caused a pause in all state aid, along with a further reduction in a form of a Deficit Reduction Assesment.(DRA).

The board is waiting to make a final budget, hoping to receiving aid from the Federal Government.

“Right now, we do not know the impact the Federal Economic Stimulus Bill may have on education aid,” writes Puzio in the newsletter, “And so we prepare a budget that protects our programs both curricular and extra-curricular and remains mindful of the community’s needs.”

The board plans to adopt a tentative budget at the Board of Education meeting March 16, 7 p.m. at the Administration building.

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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