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May 31, 2020 - 11:46am

Message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, "What is Saving Your Life Right Now?"

May 30, 2020 - 7:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, protest, batavia, Upton Monument, notify, video.
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A Batavia resident spent most of the afternoon carrying a protest sign in front of the Upton Monument at Ellicott and Main in Batavia that read "George Floyd is Every man!"

George Floyd, 46, died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 while a police officer, based on a video made by a teenage witness, kept a knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the road, while the officer had his knee on his neck.

During the incident, Floyd told officers multiple times he couldn't breathe. At one point, he cried out, "Mama!" according to news reports. Floyd reportedly said, "My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts," and requested water. The police do not audibly respond to Floyd who begged, "Don't kill me."

The police officer who kept his knee pressed against Floyd's neck is reported to be Derek Chauvin. He has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin along with fellow officers Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, were fired immediately after the incident.

Chauvin reportedly had 19 prior complaints against him for alleged misconduct.

Floyd was originally from Houston, Texas, and had a prior felony arrest but moved to Minnesota to start a new life and had no criminal record in Minnesota. He and Chauvin had worked together as security guards at a nightclub prior to closure of the establishment due to coronavirus.

At the time of the deadly incident, Floyd was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

The incident has touched off protests and riots nationwide.

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May 30, 2020 - 4:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, scanner, batavia.

Caller reports small child is riding unrestrained in the bed a dark blue pickup truck, prossibly a Ford, northbound on Summit Street from Main Street in the city. Police are responding.

May 30, 2020 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Oakfield.

Heidi M. Connolly, 44, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with seven counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a felony, and one count of third-degree grand larceny, also a felony. Connolly was arrested at about 5 p.m. on May 28, arraigned in Genesee County Court, then released on her own recognizance. It is alleged that between October 2018 and October 2019, Connolly allegedly falsified paperwork at the Genesee County Department of Social Services Building and as a result fraudulently received $3,631 in benefits. She was released on her own recognizance and is due in county court on July 7. The case was investigated by GC DSS Fraud Investigator Robert Riggi and GC Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Lute.

Christopher M. Smith, 26, of Pratt Road, Batavia, and James C. Malone, 23, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the second-degree, a violation. They were allegedly found in possession of marijuana after an investigation by a Batavia Neighborhood Engagement Team (NET) officer and the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force. The May 28 press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Offices does not say when or where the arrests were made. The defendants were issued appearance tickets and are due in City of Batavia Court on June 23.

May 28, 2020 - 6:30pm


671 Back St., Pembroke -- Here’s one to not overlook! Located in Pembroke School System on quiet country back road -- over 1 acre of land with large Quonset outbuilding for all your storage needs. Back yard is partially fenced for kids or four legged friends. Home has way more space than you would think-good size attached garage leads to oversized mud room/laundry/work space incredibly convenient to kick off and store all the coats and shoes and everything else before stepping inside!

Interior is well laid out and spacious. Pretty oak kitchen outlooks into living area and dining area. Bedrooms are large and one holds a surprise (you must see). Large enclosed front porch area that could provide a lot of extra living space or just to enjoy summer days. All this home really needs is some cosmetic updating...don't let this one slip by without checking it out! Easy to see. 

19 Mckinley Ave, Batavia City -- Solid two family on super quiet street, centrally located and within walking distance to shopping. Currently has really great tenants! Call Lynn today. Call 585-344-HOME.

May 28, 2020 - 4:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Le Roy, Bethany.

Dillen Andrew Merrell, 24, of Bernd Road, Le Roy, is charged with third-degree assault. He was arrested on May 26 following the complaint of an assault that allegedly occurred at 11:36 p.m. on May 22 on Ellicott Street Road in Bethany. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court May 26 and released on his own recognizance. He is due to return to county court at 3 p.m. on Aug. 11. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Officer Jordan Alejandro.

Destiny M. Green, 23, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact. Green was arrested at 12:45 p.m. on May 23 after allegedly subjecting a person in her household to unwanted physical contact by striking them with a shoe and then kicking them repeatedly. Green was issued an appearance ticket, then released after her arrest. She is due in Batavia City Court on July 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Daniel R. Yates, 50, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. He was arrested at 5:23 p.m. on Pearl Street after his two dogs allegedly escaped from his home and subsequently a person was bitten by one of the dogs. He was issued an appearance ticket after his arrest and is due in Batavia City Court on July 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens.

James W. Shute, 37, of Humphrey Street, Warsaw, is charged with disobeying a court order. On May 22, Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Shute for second-degree criminal contempt after he allegedly violated an order of protection on May 16 on Main Street in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on July 28.

Corey Allen Brown, 34, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Brown was arrested after an investigation into a bicycle that was stolen on April 22 at 5:53 p.m. on Highland Park. Brown was arrested, issued an appearance ticket, and is due in Batavia City Court on July 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

Alicia M. Lyons, 40, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Lyons was arrested at 5:17 on May 21 at the Kwik Fill on the corner of Jackson and Ellicott streets in Batavia after officers were called for a reported larceny. After a brief interview, Lyons allegedly produced the stolen property and turned it over to the officers. Lyons was arrested, issued an appearance ticket for June 16 in Batavia City Court, then released from custody. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

May 28, 2020 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, scanner, animal cruelty, pet abuse, batavia.

Two dogs are reportedly locked in a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot and an animal control officer is responding. The dogs are in a blue Mitsubishi that is parked in the first row outside the grocery store entrance. It's currently 75 degrees.

UPDATE 4:21 p.m.: The animal control officer is at the scene and asks dispatch to have Walmart management page the registered owner and have that person step out to speak with the officer.

May 28, 2020 - 3:33pm

Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapter announced the names of 33 career and technical student inductees this month. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this induction ceremony event was canceled.

These students met the rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade-point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

2020 Batavia Career and Technical Education Center NTHS Inductees

Animal Science

  • Kasey Smith, Alexander

Building Trades

  • Quinten Betances, Batavia
  • Garrett Totten, Pembroke
  • Timothy Walsh, Batavia
  • Justin Wight, Oakfield-Alabama

Criminal Justice

  • Adriana Cauthen, Pembroke
  • Will Minkel, Attica
  • Scout Seelau, Pembroke
  • Jordan Waterbury, Akron

Cosmetology

  • Delaney Ingles, Le Roy
  • Madison Masters, Le Roy
  • Rylie Merle, Alexander
  • Lilia Toland, Attica

Culinary Arts

  • Isaiah Merrell, Batavia Academy

Diesel Mechanics

  • Joshua Conrad, Attica
  • Dillon Weber, Alexander

Electro Mechanical Trades

  • Matthew Bills, Batavia
  • Devin Dean, Alexander
  • Adam Dulski, Pembroke
  • Troy Helsdon, Batavia
  • Henry Schafer, Notre Dame
  • Zachary Strzelec, Attica

Graphic Arts

  • Blake Paserk, Batavia

Health Dimensions

  • Keri Biggins, Le Roy
  • Krysta Hansen, Alexander
  • Skye Magoffin, Pembroke

Metal Trades

  • Jesse Bray, Batavia
  • Daniel Gerstiz, Attica
  • Nicole Hume, Alexander
  • Chase Pangrazio, Batavia

Programming and Interactive Media

  • Riley Atwood, Batavia
  • Dominic D’Agostino, Oakfield-Alabama
  • Quintin Konieczny, 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.
Video Sponsor

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.

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