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batavia

May 27, 2020 - 9:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, scanner, notify, Stafford, batavia, Le Roy.

A white tractor-trailer was reportedly speeding westbound on Route 5 through Stafford, pursued by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies, when it managed to turn around and head eastbound on Route 5.

Batavia Police Department set up a perimeter on Route 5.

The big rig proceeded to Le Roy, where it turned onto Route 19 southbound.

Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies pursued the vehicle, which is now in Livingston County and being pursued by authorities there.

UPDATE 9:48 p.m.: A reader shared this emergency alert out of Livingston County:

"Law enforcement is currently in pursuit of a tractor-trailer on I-390 southbound from Geneseo. He is trying to ram traffic. Get off the highway at this time."

UPDATE 11:55 p.m.: The chase ended in Livingston County with the driver reportedly being shot by police, according to our news partner, 13WHAM. The chase started in Le Roy following a traffic stop for speeding. The driver reportedly fled with a Le Roy Police officer still on the running board of the vehicle. The truck struck several vehicles, including law enforcement vehicles, during the pursuit. There's no ID on the driver yet released nor have police disclosed any possible motive for the driver to flee.

May 27, 2020 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, news, batavia, accident, notify.
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Two teenagers from Pembroke are in critical but stable condition at Erie County Medical Center following an accident on West Main Street Road, Batavia, last night.

A 2013 Chevy Impala driven by Daniel P. Sonnefeld, 19, was leaving Dave's Ice Cream at 9:15 when it apparently attempted to make a left turn, pulling in front of a 2020 Freightliner semi-truck that was eastbound on Route 5.

The tractor-trailer struck the driver's side of the Impala, sending the vehicle to the north shoulder of the roadway where it came to rest. 

Sonnefeld was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC for serious injuries.

A second occupant, Gabriel Johnston, 18, was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight with serious injuries.

Phouthason S. Kittisack, 18, of Batavia, also a passenger in the sedan, sustained minor injuries and was released at the scene.

The Freightliner was driven by Rondal J. Crosby, 45, of Buffalo. He was not injured.

The accident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Office, including the Crash Management Team. Assisting at the scene were Town of Batavia fire, East Pembroke fire, Oakfield fire, Batavia PD, Mercy EMS, and State Police.

(Initial Report)

May 26, 2020 - 9:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, batavia, accidents.
Video Sponsor

A serious injury accident is reported in front of Dave's Ice Cream on West Main Street Road in Batavia. Two Mercy flights are called to the scene; one has a 30-minute ETA. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics. East Pembroke is called for traffic control. 

Eastbound Route 5 is to be shut down at Kelsey Road.

UPDATE 9:30 p.m.: East Pembroke Fire Department is also responding.

UPDATE 9:31 p.m.: Both patients are extricated. Mercy Flights are to land east of the scene. East Pembroke is on scene.

UPDATE 9:38 p.m.: Mercy Flight Central with a 15- to 20-minute ETA is cancelled. The patient will be transported to a hospital via ground ambulance.

UPDATE 10:50 p.m. (By Howard): A sedan occupied by three teenage males was exiting the parking lot at Dave's Ice Cream when it was struck in the side by a semi-truck. All three occupants are considered in critical condition though the injuries are not necessarily life-threatening. Crash Management is conducting an investigation as a precaution. The investigation is ongoing.

May 26, 2020 - 6:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, State Street, notify.

As temperatures have gone up the past couple of days tempers have flared, it seems, in some parts of the city.

Over the past 24 hours, there have been multiple calls for disturbances on State Street, as well as calls to Hutchins Place, Jackson Street, Watson, and Thorpe.

On State Street, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said it appears there are multiple neighbors who can't get along and he suggested they never have and they never will. 

"Nothing has risen to the level that we can arrest anybody," Heubusch said, though it would be helpful if witnesses to incidents were willing to put their statements in writing.

After a call on State Street this afternoon, which brought a response from Batavia PD and the Sheriff's Office, including a K-9, one deputy on State Street, when asked what was going on said, "A whole lot of 'I saw nothing.' "

"Neighbors have been calling, and that's good, but our hands are tied by changes to criminal justice this year," Heubusch said. "Without a statement, the most we can do is write an appearance ticket."

The local landlords are also more restricted in how they can respond to troublesome tenants, Heubusch noted, because of the moratorium ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on most evictions, especially evictions related to missed rent payments.

Speaking of the COVID-19 pandemic response, Heubusch said, he doesn't think the recent spate of disturbances is the result of eight weeks of being on lockdown. 

"These calls mostly involve people we've dealt with before," Heubusch said. "I don't think the lockdown is coming into play."

Batavia PD does have cameras installed to help monitor the situation on State Street and at Watson and Thorpe.

He said he understands the public might want more done but that takes cooperating witnesses.

One of the objectives of a police response to a crowd of people involved in a ruckus is to get the people to disperse, Heubusch said. If police can do that, it will help defuse the situation and hopefully help avoid an escalation of violence.

It might be a long summer, the chief said.

"(The disturbances are) definitely a concern," Heubusch said. "That's for sure."

May 26, 2020 - 2:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, alexander, corfu, Pavilion.

Joshua Lee Baltz, 44, of Sparks Road, Pavilion, is charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a felony; driving while under the influence of drugs; and speeding -- going 76 in a 55-mph zone. Baltz was stopped for speeding on Alexander Road in Alexander at 11:51 p.m. on May 23 and allegedly found to be impaired by drugs. He was issued appearance tickets for Town of Alexander Court on July 21. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Warren David Post, 52, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; DWI -- operating while having a BAC of .08 percent or higher; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; and failure to keep right. On May 24, Post was arrested at 4:44 p.m. on Pearl Street Road in Batavia following a traffic stop. He was released on traffic tickets returnable to Batavia Town Court on July 16. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy David Moore.

Brianna S. Green, 23, of Batavia (no address provided), was arrested and charged with petit larceny following a shoplifting complaint at Walmart in the Town of Warsaw (Wyoming County). On March 29, it is alleged that she stole $65.82 in merchandise. Green was arrested on May 23 on the charge. She is due in Town of Warsaw Court on July 13. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Sgt. Colin Reagan.

May 25, 2020 - 6:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, U.S. Chrome Corp., batavia.

Press release:

U.S. Chrome Corp. of New York has been named one of the best finishing shops in North America, according to an industry benchmarking survey conducted by Products Finishing magazine, a trade publication covering the industry since 1938.

The Connecticut-based company has a plant at 31 Swan St. in Batavia.

The magazine conducted an extensive benchmarking survey that analyzed hundreds of finishing companies in several different areas, including Current Finishing Technology, Finishing Practices and Performances, Business Strategies and Performances, and Training and Human Resources.

Only the top 50 shops were given the honor of being a Products Finishing magazine "Top Shop" based on a scoring matrix in those four criteria.

“U.S. Chrome Corp. of New York has established itself as one of the best finishing operations in the industry,” said Tim Pennington, editor of Products Finishing magazine. “The criteria we used was very stringent, and only the top finishing shops that excelled in all four areas made the list.

"U.S. Chrome Corp. of New York is in rare air when it comes to finishing operations.”

U.S. Chrome Corp. offers Hard Chrome, Flash Chrome, Thin Dense Chrome, Future Chrome, Welding, and Polishing. They are Nadcap* Accredited for Chemical Processing and Aerospace Quality Systems (AC7004).

*(Formerly NADCAP, the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) It is a global cooperative accreditation program for aerospace engineering, defense and related industries.

May 25, 2020 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Upton Monument, batavia, Memorial Day, news.

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Photos from the Memorial Day service today at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (The Upton Monument) in Batavia.

We'll have video report posted tonight or tomorrow of the Memorial Day Service at the War Memorial at St. Jerome's.

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May 25, 2020 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal abuse, pets, news, batavia.

A dog was reported to be locked in a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot and an animal control officer responded. The owner returned to the vehicle and is now said to be arguing with the officer.

It's 84 and sunny out today.

May 25, 2020 - 6:00am

Last August my longtime friend and Marine veteran of Vietnam, Jim Heatherman, wrote an article for The Batavian lamenting that he had not really gotten to know two of our Notre Dame High School Class of 1964 classmates who died in Southeast Asia.

He also expressed sadness that, as with all war casualties, the death of Thomas Welker and Daniel Bermingham caused tremendous grief to their families and prevented them from having and raising families of their own.

Jim's article inspired another of our classmates to take the impetus to try to have a plaque memorializing Tom and Dan placed in the front lobby of Notre Dame. However, Jim lives in Oklahoma and combined with the COVID-19 situation, the completion of the project has been delayed.

Last fall Jim and I got together in Batavia and located Dan Bermingham's grave in St. Joseph Cemetery on Harvester Avenue. As we paid our respects, we agreed that the next time Jim came to the area we would go to Attica where Tom was from and find his grave at St. Vincent Cemetery, too.

So, knowing that the plaque was on the back burner, as this Memorial Day approached, I wanted to finally make a long-delayed gesture from the N. D. Class of '64 to remember our fallen classmates. I ordered a Navy flag for Dan, (inset photo left) who was a “Seabee” -- sailors in Naval Construction Battalions.

Even though Tom was also in the Navy, I got a Marine flag for him. Tom was a Navy Corpsman assigned to a Marine unit when he was killed. Jim had related to me that there is no one held in higher esteem by their Marine comrades than a Navy Corpsman, who are always known as “Doc." Jim had wanted to honor Tom (inset photo right) with a Marine flag, and since he couldn't be here, I wanted to carry out his wish.

As I drove from Rochester to Attica and then Batavia on Saturday, a plethora of thoughts flooded my mind. 1964 was 56 years ago and I unfortunately didn't remember very much about Tom and Dan.

As Jim was training to go to Vietnam as a Marine Lieutenant and I was was entering my senior year of college (we both went to St. John Fisher), Tom and Dan were dying within three weeks of each other in a faraway land.

In 2002 I visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. -- The Wall -- and found their names, and I have seen their plaques at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester in Highland Park South, Rochester.

But, was I being hypocritical for not paying attention to their grave sites until this weekend, 52 years later?

I texted Jim about that very thought and his reply was, “I think that as a teenager you spend 80 percent of your life not knowing or appreciating what is really important. Then, hopefully, as you get older you do appreciate those things and try your best to make amends. I don't think it's ever too late to do the right thing.”

So on behalf of Vietnam veteran Jim Heatherman and the Notre Dame Class of 1964, rest in peace Tom Welker and Dan Bermingham and thank you for your service.

May 24, 2020 - 10:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, news, scanner.

A large unknown-type fire is reported at 57 Ellicott Ave. in the city. City fire is responding.

UPDATE 10:11 p.m.: City ladder 15 is on scene "with a small bonfire."

May 24, 2020 - 8:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, Bethany, batavia.

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Photo submitted by Dan Street from East Bethany.

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Photo submitted by Lisa Ace from Batavia. Taken in Le Roy.

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Photo by Josh Wallace, Le Roy.

May 24, 2020 - 12:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, scanner, batavia.

A car and pedestrian accident is reported on West Main Street in Batavia in front of That Taco Place, 4160 W. Main St.

Town of Batavia Fire Department and Marcy medics are responding. Callers to dispatch report there are possibly children injured who are in the vehicle.

The location is between Colonial Boulevard and West Main Street.

UPDATE 12:42 p.m.: There were no pedestrians involved. This was a two-car accident. One driver appears uninjured. A female driving the other car is being transported to UMMC for evaluation. Unknown if children who were her passengers sustained any injuries.

May 24, 2020 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian Church, religion, church, batavia.

Message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

May 24, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in nostalgia, news, batavia.

(Editor's note: Southsider Anne Marie Starowitz reflects on life in her native City of Batavia this Memorial Day Weekend...)

Turning 70 to me has been filled with so many different memories and emotions. First, where did the time go and then the realization that I am 70. Turning a year older this year was different. First of all, we are quarantined and there is a lot of time to reminisce.

As I was going on one of my morning walks on Ross Street, I’m taken back to my early years of walking with my brothers to the Red and White Store on Ross Street pulling a wagon filled with empty pop bottles. We are trying to figure out how to split 22 cents three ways without killing each other. Back then you could pick candy from the penny candy box.

On our walk home, we would decide what we would do today.

Would we go on the raft we built at the end of our street that actually floated? We thought the water the raft was on was a lake but it actually was an area that accumulated water after a long winter but was deep enough to float our homemade raft. Would we sleep out tonight and catch fireflies? Such an innocent time.

Grade school and high school were a little different ride. I compare it to a roller-coaster ride going up the first incline, the excitement of what was to come. That included walking all over Batavia, taking ballroom dancing, swimming at the New Pool, ice skating on the tennis courts in the winter and dancing on the blacktop in the summer. I can’t forget the Park Program.

I am almost to the highest point of the ride as many of us go off to college. In returning, the ride is broken down. I come back to Batavia and our Main Street is gone along with all those wonderful memories. I learned the meaning of what a wrecking ball could physically and mentally destroy. Now our country was in a war -- way over yonder in Viet Nam -- that would take the Baby Boomers into a turbulent time.

So now the roller-coaster slowly starts up another incline and many of us are married and blessed with children. Maybe we bought a new house and began a new job. Our house cost $26,000 and gas was $1.50 a gallon in the '70s.

The ride continues steadily as we sat through soccer games, dance recitals, football games and musical concerts.

We loved watching our children grow up. We all have boxes with hundreds of pictures recording that time in our lives. I wish mine were in scrapbooks.

Now our children have grown up, gone off to college, new opportunities prevail for them and we are now bystanders watching our children leave the nest. I’m still on that ride with my life going up and down.

At this time many of us are thinking of retiring and what to do with our golden years.

Approaching 70 was a time to reflect on what I have done with my life and where I am to go from here. Turning 70 and living though a pandemic makes me realize that turning 70 has been a very exciting and wonderful ride. I’m not ready to get off the roller-coaster just yet.

May 23, 2020 - 6:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Emergency childcare, news, GLOW YMCA, Phase 1, coronavirus, batavia.

From GLOW YMCA:

Emergency Childcare is available for parents who are going back to work after the coronavirus lockdown. It is a safe, full-day childcare option.

Registration is now open for residents of Genesee County with children ages 4 to 12 who have at least one parent or guardian returning to work in the Phase 1 reopening of New York

The program begins Tuesday, May 26th, and runs through Friday, June 26th (camp begins the week after on June 29th).

Times /Days

Monday – Friday

7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where

YMCA, 209 E. Main St., Batavia

Cost

Members $20/day, Non-members $40/day

To Register

Visit the Y's website at glowymca.org click on the “Emergency Childcare Information” button to download our registration packet or email Childcare Director Charitie Bruning for a registration packet:   [email protected]

Once you have completed the packet, please send back to Charitie Bruning at: [email protected]

Minimizing Risks

  • Programming will operate with social cistancing & Centers for Disease Control Recommended Guidelines.
  • Staff will be required to wear face masks or shields during all hours of program, students will not.
  • If desired: parents are welcome to provide their children with personal protective equipment -- PPE. Parents are encouraged to send a mask for outdoor walks.
  • Staff and participants will be temperature checked daily.
  • Cleaning checklists and sanitization will be completed throughout the day, overnight and as needed.
  • Increased handwashing will take place especially after gym, outdoor activities and when social distancing is not possible.

What to Bring

  • Sneakers
  • Water Bottle
  • Books (optional)
  • School Work/Technology

To prevent cross-contamination, parents are asked to provide the following:

  • Notebook
  • Pencil Box
  • Writing Utensils
  • Crayons/Colored Pencils/Markers
  • Glue Stick or Bottle Scissors
  • Breakfast/Lunch (optional since free meals are provided by Batavia City School District)

Commitment to Education

With YMCA network access to the Batavia City School District, students will have the ability to complete required school work, classroom meetings, etc. during Emergency Care.

Parents must provide the necessary technology and school work.

Please note: YMCA Staff are not school tutors and may not have specific subject expertise.

Youth Development

We are committed to implementing activities that allow safe social interactions, re-establishing routine, preventing learning loss, and fostering positive peer-to-peer interaction.

May 23, 2020 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
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      Anthony Welch

Anthony J. "Science" Welch, 39, of Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, after allegedly being found in possession of crack cocaine following a traffic stop by the Local Drug Task Force.

The charge is premised on the allegation that the amount of the narcotic in Welch's possession indicates he intended to sell it.

Welch was a passenger in a car driven by Steven R. Colombo, 33, of Batavia, who was allegedly driving while his privilege was suspended.

Another passenger, Amy L. Coulson, 33, of Batavia, was also arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

Following the traffic stop, Welch and Coulson were taken to the Genesee County Jail and based on a search warrant they were searched. Welch was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine that he tried to hide during the traffic stop. 

Welch was also charged with tampering with physical evidence, promoting prison contraband, and criminally using drug paraphernalia.  

Colombo was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd.

Following arraignment, Welch was released under supervision of Genesee Justice and Coulson and Colombo were released on appearance tickets. 

The Task Force was assisted by Batavia PD, Corrections Officers, and the District Attorney's Office.

May 23, 2020 - 1:21pm

 June Haegele)

June Haegele, a longtime nurse for the VA Western New York Health Care System, received the Florence Nightingale Award on May 12 at the Batavia VA Community Living Center (CLC) for her dedication to keeping local veterans healthy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“It's an honor to be working with the veterans at the VA,” Haegele said. “And it was quite a surprise and a very appreciated honor for the staff to actually recognize me in that way.”

The Batavia VA has reported two positive COVID-19 cases, and Genesee County has experienced more than 170 confirmed cases throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Because nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19, Haegele’s work to prevent disease transmission earned her this award for exceptional nurses.

Named after Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, this international honor is given to medical workers who reflect Nightingale’s achievements and legacy in infection and disease treatment. May 12 marked the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth and the final day of National Nurses Week 2020. Nightingale awards are intended to highlight local nurses like Haegele who positively represent the nursing profession. 

“2020 is considered the Year of the Nurse in medical communities,” said Terry McGuire, public affairs specialist for the VA Western New York Health Care System. “To honor that, they [the Batavia VA] came up with this particular award. June was recognized for helping out with controlling infection, especially during this COVID crisis that we find ourselves in.”

Haegele was named the first recipient of the Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award, which is a new recognition at the Batavia VA that is modeled after the worldwide Nightingale honor. The Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award is expected to be given annually to local nursing professionals.

Surrounded by nurse managers during the nursing supervisor’s morning report, Haegele was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a lamp, which is symbolic of how Nightingale was the “Lady with the Lamp” while taking care of her patients in the 1850s.

“They just told me to come down to the morning meeting, and they surprised me with an award because I've been actually working very hard lately,” Haegele said. “The staff have been very supportive, and we've been working great as a team getting through what we're currently going through.” 

Haegele, who is a lifelong Batavia resident and graduate of Batavia High School, has served at the Batavia VA Medical Center for more than three decades. With the support of VA scholarships, she earned higher-education nursing degrees at Genesee Community College and Keuka College.

Haegele specializes in occupational health and infection prevention. She has recently been making rounds at the Batavia CLC on an hourly basis researching, mentoring and presenting policy and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In the beginning, especially, things were changing hour by hour, day by day,” Haegele said. “You had to constantly be researching for any changes so you could keep everyone aware of the current recommendations. And I spent a lot of time educating and supporting the staff and ensuring that we were doing the right thing based on what they [the CDC] were recommending.”

The rapidly changing conditions of the public health crisis have meant that Haegel spends an extensive amount of time adapting safe infection control practices to ensure local VA residents and staff are isolated from the disease. According to a VA newsletter about the award, Haegele has contributed to the zero mortality rate at the Batavia facility.

“The nurses are responding with a united front in that residents are safe and provided a continuation of outstanding nursing care and using maximum safeguards for infection prevention,” said Evange Conley, public affairs officer for the VA Western New York Health Care System, via email.

Haegele said that she is passionate about working with veterans and that it was meaningful to her to be the first recipient of the Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award. She said she thinks the award is beneficial for staff members at the Batavia VA because it boosts morale and acknowledges their perseverance amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don't think any of us ever expected something like this to happen,” Haegele said. “It's been difficult to deal with this, but, on a very positive side, I just see a lot of great teamwork and collaboration. And it's stressful, but people are supporting each other. So it's really brought us together to do a good job based on the challenge that we're facing right now.”

Photo at top: June Haegele, left, received the first Batavia Community Living Center Florence Nightingale Award from Associate Chief Nurse Kathleen Padlick, right, on May 12 at the Batavia VA. Haegele earned the award for her hard work during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo credit: June Haegele)

May 23, 2020 - 12:35pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, coronavirus, free face masks.

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Masks obtained by the Genesee County Emergency Management Office, to help stop the spread of coronavirus, were distributed for free by the City of Batavia to members of the public on from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 21st and again today, May 23rd.

Today's distribution was behind the City of Batavia Police Station on Main Street.

A constant line of cars took advantage of the free offering of masks and hand sanitizer. Some motorists took masks for friends that were not able to drive or leave their house. 

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May 22, 2020 - 5:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, scanner.

A disturbance is reported in the parking lot at BJ's Wholesale Club plaza. A caller to dispatch reports that a person keyed her car and now the two parties are arguing. No word on how it all began. Law enforcement is on scene. The location is 8330 Lewiston Road, Batavia.

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