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batavia

December 3, 2019 - 8:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Press release:

Currently, the City of Batavia's phone system is down for all City locations. In case of an emergency please remember to call 9-1-1. City Police and Fire will be notified about any emergency situations directly from dispatch and will operate as normal.

City offices will be open normal business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today (Dec. 3) for walk-in business.

Please continue to contact members of the City of Batavia staff via email or through the City’s website contact form to reach out with any questions or correspondence https://www.batavianewyork.com/home/webforms/contact-form

Thank you in advance for your patience, and we will keep you up to date with information as we work to get our phones back online.

December 2, 2019 - 6:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia, bergen, Oakfield, Alabama, Le Roy.

Donald J. Frisby is indicted for the crime of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on July 14 on Clay Street in the Town of Le Roy that Frisby subjected another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion.

Morgan L. Cox Jr. is indicted for the crime of menacing a police officer, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 28 in the City of Batavia that Cox intentionally place or attempted to place a police officer in reasonable fear of physical injury or serious physical injury or death by displaying a knife while the officer was performing his duties. In count two, Cox is accused of first-degree menacing, a Class E felony, for allegedly intentionally placing another person in fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a dangerous instrument -- a knife. In count three, Cox is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony, for allegedly intentionally using a dangerous instrument -- a knife -- against another person. In count four, Cox is accused of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that Cox intentionally obstructed, impaired or prevented a public servant from performing his duties, or tried to do so, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference or an unlawful act. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Cox is accused of having been convicted of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, in the City of Batavia (date not provided) and that conviction forms the basis of counts two and three in the current indictment.

Steven M. Lindner is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on June 18 in the City of Batavia that Lindner knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with intent to sell it. In count two, he is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, also a Class B felony. It is alleged in count two that the defendant possessed a narcotic drug -- fentanyl -- with intent to sell it. In count three, Lindner is accsued of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, a Class D felony, for allegedly possessing cocaine in an amount weighing 500 milligrams or more. In counts four and five, respectively, the defendant is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing controlled substances unlawfully -- fentanyl and alprazolam. In count six, he is accused of unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree, a violation.

Carey Culverhouse is indicted for the crime of first-degree assault, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 2, 2017 in the City of Batavia that Culverhouse intentionally seriously injured another person by means of a dangerous instrument -- a knife.

Dalton C. Kelly is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 18 on Chase Park in the City of Batavia that Kelly intentionally caused physical injury to another person by means of a dangerous instrument (not specified). In count two, Kelly is accused of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally placing a person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death, or attempting to do so, by displaying a dangerous instrument (unspecified).

Kevin J. Weber is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 19 on Judge Road in Alabama that Weber intentionally caused serious physical injury to another person. In count two, he is accused of third-degree menacing, a Class B misdemeanor, for allegedly placing, or attempting to place, a person in fear of death, imminent serious physical injury or physical injury by means by physical menace.

Shonje K. Jefferson is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on June 27 in the City of Batavia that Jeffereson knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with intent to sell it. In count two, Jefferson is accused of unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree, a violation.

Darius L. Jones and Trevon L. Armstrong are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a Class C armed violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 2 in the City of Batavia that they possessed a loaded firearm, an Amadeo Rossi .38-caliber revolver. In count two Jones and Armstrong are accused of second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that on Oct. 2 they intentionally disobeyed or resisted the lawful process or mandate of a court. In count three, they are accused of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly knowingly acting in manner likely to be injuious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old. In count four, they are accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing acetaminophen / oxycodone hydrochloride. In count five, they are accused of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. In count six, Jones is accused of exposure of a person, a violation, for allegedly appearing in a public place in a manner that exposed his body's private parts.

Louis C. Restivo is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on July 13 in the Town of Bergen that Restivo intentionally caused physical injury to another person by means of a dangerous instrument (unspecified).

Jon N. Roblee is indicted for the crime of menacing in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 29 in the City of Batavia that Roblee intentionally placed another person in fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a dangerous instrument -- a metal pipe. In count two, Roblee is accused of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that he intentionally obstructed, impaired or prevented a public servant from performing his duties, or tried to do so, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference or an unlawful act. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Roblee is accused of having been convicted of the crime of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, on Nov. 7, 2011 and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Ernest D. Lane is indicted for the crime of aggravated family offense, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 8 at an apartment on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia that Lane that intentionally disobeyed or resisted the lawful process or mandate of a court -- a valid stay away order of protection issued March 28 in Batavia City Court. He did so by allegedly being at the home of the protected party. In count two, Lane is accused of criminal contempt in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly being at the home of the protected party that day. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Lane is accused of having been convicted of the crime of third-degree menacing against members of the same household and a special offense because the conviction was within the last five years -- on Jan. 18, 2018.

Katrina L. Gerace is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 3 in the Town of Elba that Gerace drove a 2012 Mini Cooper on Route 262 while intoxicated. In count two, Gerace is accused for aggravated DWI per se, also a Class D felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Gerace is accused of having been convicted of driving under the influence or alcohol or a controlled substance, as a misdemeanor, "Highest Rate of Alcohol .16 percent BAC or higher," on Dec. 8, 2014 in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Pa., and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Jay W. Schafer is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a firearm, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 19 in the City of Batavia that Schafer possessed a Smith and Wesson, Model 10, .38-caliber Special revolver.

Adam M. Kreutz is indicted for the crime of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that at an address on Fisher Road in Oakfield on June 22 that Keutz presented a supporting deposition to a public servant, knowing that the document contained a false statement or false information and that it would become part of the official records. In count two, he is accused of falsifying business records in the first degree, also a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that on June 22 at an address on Fisher Road in the Town of Oakfield that he intentionally tried to defraud or make a false entry in the business records of an enterprise. This was allegedly done by providing a supporting deposition that attempted to conceal the commission of reckless driving.

December 2, 2019 - 3:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Service of Prayer & Remembrance.

Submitted photo and press release:

The H.E. Turner & Co., Bohm-Calarco-Smith and Burdett & Sanford Funeral Homes are proud to present their 24th annual Service of Prayer & Remembrance at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11. All are invited.

Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for the service at Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia.

A candle in memory of your loved ones will be lit prior to the start of the service and remain that way throughout.

The ecumenical service is a combination of music, congregation unison reading, prayer, Scripture reading, a message of hope, reading of the names of your loved ones and tolling of the bell in remembrance.

“We hear from families how the service helps them through their grief, especially during this time of year," said Joshua Smith, of H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home. "For some of these families it will be their first year participating in the service, which means it is their first Christmas without their loved one, and for others, they come back year after year.” 

Immediately following the service, a time of fellowship and refreshments will be offered at the church.

To register the name or names for your candle please call the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home at (585) 343-8868 or register online at www.bataviafuneralhomes.com by Dec. 9.

Photo: Joshua J. Smith, of the H.E. Turner & Co., Bohm-Calarco-Smith and Burdett & Sanford Funeral Homes, is seated with Pastor Marsha Rivers, pastor of Congregational Care & Discipleship at Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia.

December 2, 2019 - 1:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia.

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Jason Smith shared with us this picture of a dove in the morning snow.

If you have a snow picture you would like to share, send it to [email protected].

November 30, 2019 - 6:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Shop Local, Small business Saturday, downtown, batavia, news.

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For Small Business Saturday, Iris Bodine, 8, went shopping with her aunt Margie Everett at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

We didn't get a chance to visit local businesses until the afternoon, but several business owners said their shops were full in the morning and that it seems like more people seemed to be out shopping local on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving than previous years.

Dave Howe, Charles Men's Shop, said at least a half-dozen people mentioned the annual Shop Local promotion is what motivated them to visit local businesses today.  

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Stephen Valle and Carrie Lawrence, Valle Jewelers. 

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Chris Crocker and Leslie Moma, The Yngodess Shop.

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Don Brown and Dave Howe, Charles Men's Shop.

November 30, 2019 - 6:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

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Police officers from throughout the county -- Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, Le Roy PD, Corfu PD, State Police, DEC, and Probation -- rolled their cruisers up in front of retail stores in Batavia Towne Center today to collect toys and clothing donations for needy families in our community.

By early afternoon, every cruiser along with the van used by the Emergency Response Team was stuffed with gifts and more than $600 in cash and gift cards had been collected. The donations were then taken to City Church/St. Anthony's to be sorted and distributed to all of the school districts in the county.

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November 30, 2019 - 6:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Old Courthouse, news, batavia.

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A photo from late this afternoon of the Old Courthouse in Batavia decorated with wreaths hanging from the windows.

November 29, 2019 - 5:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Duster, batavia, missing pets, lost pets, news.

The veritable visage of contentment depicted above -- paws tucked snugly in, eyes closed in blissful contemplation -- is a Tracy Avenue denizen of the city named Duster.

His owner, Melissa Barone, says her family thinks Duster busted out of his digs on Thanksgiving Night; his contentment, obviously having waned at some point. Whether this was due to curiousity about delectable aromas of food wafting from homes nearby, general holiday hubbub, or bald opportunism is unknowable.

"He is super friendly, so he most likely will go up to anyone," Barone writes in an email seeking the public's help to locate the missing pet.

In other words, he's not finicky about friends; he welcomes all genuine and genial overtures of bonhomie.

"We miss him lots," Barone writes plaintively.

If you espy Duster, please text Barone at (585) 813-3429.

November 29, 2019 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, bergen.

Daniel John Wolfe, 46, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt in the second degree. It is alleged that on Nov. 25 while housed in Genesee County Jail, Wolfe made two phone calls to a protected party in violation of an order of protection. He was arrested on the charge on Nov. 28 and issued an appearance ticket. Wolfe is due in Batavia City Court at 1 p.m. on Dec. 10. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings.

Sean Michael Crowe, 30, of Cook Road, Bergen, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more with a previous conviction within 10 years; DWI with a previous conviction within 10 years; and having an uninspected motor vehicle. Crowe was arrested at 12:59 a.m. Nov. 28 on South Lake Avenue in Bergen following a traffic stop for an uninspected motor vehicle. Crowe is due in Bergen Town Court on Dec. 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Sgt. Jason Saile.

November 28, 2019 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena, video, Batavia Kiwanis Club.
Video Sponsor

To all of our readers and sponsors: Thank you for your support of The Batavian. Happy Thanksgiving.

November 27, 2019 - 7:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify, criminal justice.

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Changes in state law about when and how defense attorneys receive evidence in criminal cases are going to create a greater burden on police and drive up costs for the City and the County, members of the City Council were told Monday night.

City Attorney George Van Nest and Police Chief Shawn Heubusch made about a 40-minute presentation on changes to the rules around what is called "discovery" -- the prosecution turning over evidence and information to the defense -- and bail reform.

"What happened is the legislature passed, and the governor signed, a new form of Section 245 of that criminal procedure law," Van Nest said. "What it did is dramatically change the manner in which criminal discovery is handled in New York State effective January 1, 2020."

Under the current system, once a defendant is charged, a defense attorney would file a motion for discovery and the District Attorney would provide information and evidence the DA felt compelled to disclose under criminal procedure law and case law. This would happen over the course of the criminal proceeding including right up to the day of a trial if there was a trial.

The new law requires "automatic discovery" of everything related to the case within 15 days of the arraignment of the defendant. 

This new automatic discovery must include everything related to the case, including all information on witnesses or anybody with information relevant to the case, all written statements, all recordings in police possession or that the police know about, information on all physical evidence, and recordings of relevant 9-1-1 calls and dispatch.

Police officers and detectives will have only days to compile and deliver the evidence and information to the DA's office to give the DA's office time to index and inventory it and prepare it for disclosure to the defendant's attorney.

Both the compressed time frame of gathering and preparing the evidence for dissemination and the greater volume of information and evidence will consume more time for law enforcement and the DA's office.

In the case of traffic tickets -- the city issues about 1,500 a year --  all evidence must be turned over within 24 hours of the issuance of the ticket.

"This increases the workload of our officers and detectives and supervisors and our clerical staff," Heubusch said. "Officers and detective are going to be mandated to complete all paperwork and supporting documentation on a condensed schedule. What that equals is officers may be required to work overtime or maybe taken off of proactive police patrols in our community to make sure that we meet these timeframes so we don't lose any cases."

To help deal with the increased workload, the DA's office is adding another assistant district attorney, another paralegal and a part-time clerk.

Heubusch did not ask for additional personnel in his department but did note that the part-time clerk who handled evidence will now be needed on a full-time basis.

As for bail reform, Heubusch said starting Jan. 1, people accused of misdemeanors or Class E felonies will no longer be arraigned in City Court. The arresting officer, instead, must issue an appearance ticket. The officer must also issue appearance tickets, rather than taking the suspect in for arraignment, for second-degree burglary 2nd and second-degree robbery, all other violent felonies are still eligible for a bail review by a judge.

Types of criminal accusations that will require an appearance ticket include bail jumping, resisting arrest, vehicular assault, menacing, and criminal contempt (unless it's part of a domestic violence case).

Exceptions to the no-bail rules include cases involving members of the same household, a failure to identify oneself properly, a failure to appear in the previous two years, and cases where the defendant could have a driver's license suspended or revoked.

If a judge is going to set bail, the judge must set it as the least restrictive option. In most cases, this means release on own recognizance or release under supervision.

November 27, 2019 - 6:30pm


Open House Alert: Saturday, Nov. 30th from 10 a.m. -12 p.m. Location is key for this solid and comfortable country farmette, located on almost 23 PRIME country acres in the Town of Batavia with Alexander School District!

This home offers so much for someone looking for room to spread out. Large rooms, high ceilings, big bedrooms, tons of storage, two living rooms, gorgeous woodwork, hardwood floors and some of the County’s best farm land!

This property goes all the way over to East Road with frontage there as well – you could parcel off and sell or build your other dream home! So many possibilities—and all very well kept and lovingly cared for, definitely worth a look! Click here for more information on this listing.

November 27, 2019 - 5:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, bergen.
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       Torres-Acevedo

There is a potential plea offer pending for Guillermo J. Torres-Acevedo, the 23-year-old Batavia man facing 10 criminal charges locally for allegedly having sex with an underage girl and taking her to Pennsylvania, his attorney told Judge Charles Zambito in County Court today. 

Attorney Thomas Burns asked for time to go over the terms of the plea offer from First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini and also confer with Torres-Acevedo's attorney representing him in Federal Court on charges stemming from some of the same incidents.

Zambito deferred the case until 11:30 a.m., Dec. 6.

Torres-Acevedo is charged locally with: four counts of second-degree rape, a Class D violent felony; four counts of criminal sexual act in the second degree, also a Class D violent felony; second-degree kidnapping, a Class B violent felony; and second-degree criminal contempt.

In Federal Court, he is charged with transporting a minor across state lines for sexual activity. 

Authorities allege that in September, October, and November of last year, Torres-Acevedo engaged in sex acts with a teenage girl and then took her across state lines. He was eventually located with the girl in a Walmart in Mansfield, Pa., through a geolocation ping of her mobile phone.

Neither Burns nor Cianfrini revealed in open court the terms of the potential plea agreement nor was there any mention of whether Torres-Acevedo has an opportunity for a plea agreement in Federal Court.

The defendant is currently being held in the Genesee County jail.

November 27, 2019 - 12:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported in the city at 6 Chase Park. A person was reportedly unresponsive but is now conscious. City fire, police and Mercy medics are responding. The location is between Vine and Elm streets.

UPDATE 1:02 p.m.: The female driver and sole occupant is being transported to UMMC for evaluation. Her vehicle struck an unoccupied parked car. It appears she was driving very slowly at the time of impact as little damage whatsover is observable to the vehicles. Sgt. Dan Coffey said charges are likely.

November 26, 2019 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Alabama, batavia, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Justin P. McGirr, 37, of Ross Street, Batavia, and Jeremiah T. Jones, no age or address provided, are charged with disorderly conduct by way of fighting/violent behavior. They were arrested on Ross Street at 1:07 p.m. on Nov. 23 after Batavia police allegedly observed them fighting. Both were issued appearance tickets and are due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Timothy Allen Zorn, 28, of Hall Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, third-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Zorn on the charges at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 on Hall Street following a domestic dispute. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under supervision. Zorn is due to return to court on Dec. 4. Officer Peter Flanagan assisted in the arrest.

Katrina Lynn Drake, 29, of Locust Street, Lockport, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. Drake was arrested after a domestic incident that occurred at 2:20 a.m. on Nov. 21 on Maple Street in Batavia. Drake allegedly damaged property. She is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Susan Marie Devault, 49, of North Main Street, Holley, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested on Nov. 25. She is accused of stealing a carton of cigarettes at a store on Bloomingdale Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation at 9:92 p.m. on Nov. 17. She was issued an appearance ticket for Dec. 11 in Alabama Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Swimline, assisted by Sgt. Ronald Meides.

Matthew J. Florian, 31, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested Nov. 21 on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for failing to appear as scheduled on July 23. He was released on his own recognizance. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

November 26, 2019 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in deer committee, deep population, batavia, news, notify.

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If the City of Batavia is going to address the concerns of some residents about an apparent deer overpopulation, an expert told the City Council on Monday night, the solution will require study and consideration and will need to be an ongoing effort for many years to come.

"It's not something you can just do once," said Susan D. Booth-Binczik (top photo), a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. "The deer are not going to stop doing what they do. They're not going to go away. Whatever you do, you have to do it year after year. Otherwise, you're going to end up right back where you started."

City Council President Eugene Jankowski said the city will soon appoint members to a committee to study the issue and come up with a plan for the city to pursue.

Deer become a problem, Booth-Binczik said, when the populations in certain areas become too large. Besides destroying property and presenting a road hazard, they upset the balance of the natural habitat.

And population centers are a natural place for deer herds to grow and become comfortable.

"Deer do really well living with us -- they're in our neighborhoods because we've created sort of deer habitat," Booth-Binczik said. "There's plenty of food, a lot of it in our yards and gardens. There's plenty of the edge they like because we like patches of forest mixed in with our lawns and golf courses and there isn't a lot of mortality."

If there isn't a mortality rate of at least 30 percent per year, deer populations will grow, and left unchecked, a deer population in a particular area will double in size very two to three years.

Killing deer, preferably does, may be the most effective way to reduce the deer population.

Solutions range from efforts to encourage or enable hunting to culling.

Culling involves allowing hunters to kill deers outside the regular hunting regulations, such as out-of-season, at night, and with bait.

Or the city could become the lead agency -- or allow another organization to be it -- and work out rules and guidelines for hunters so hunters could more easily go after deer in and around the city. This would mean getting permission from property owners for hunters to go on their land to either hunt or retrieve dead deer.

"What the municipality can increase residents' comfort level with -- the idea of hunting in the community -- is to run what's called a controlled hunt," Booth-Binczik said. "This is just a way to formalize the ability of the local landowners have to set restrictions on hunters that they allow on their property."

Typically these programs only allow hunters to kill does but since most hunters want bucks for the trophy of antlers, the city could provide a hunter with a permit to kill a buck after first killing two or three does as an incentive to first hunt does.

Thinning deer herds is important not just for community residents, Booth-Binczik said, but for the entire ecosystem.

"They essentially eat all of the plants on the forest floor," she said. "So they reduce plant diversity by destroying habitat. They reduce wildlife diversity. And they also threaten the future existence of the forest because when a big tree dies and falls, there's nothing to replace it because the deer have eaten all the baby trees."

November 26, 2019 - 3:10pm

Le Roy Police Department is putting on a special charity event on Saturday, Nov. 30, to help Genesee County families in need this holiday season.

Le Roy PD will be joined by New York State Police - Troop A in Batavia, New York State Environmental Conservation Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Batavia Police Department, Corfu Police Department, Genesee County Probation and Rotary International.

"Stuff the Cruiser" will take place 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Target parking lot at Towne Center at Batavia on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Bring unwrapped toys, new clothing and nonperishable foods to stuff in a police vehicle. This is a kid friendly event, fun for the whole family.

November 26, 2019 - 2:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Durin Rogers, news, notify, batavia.

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More than 2 1/2 hours after the scheduled start time for a hearing a motion on allegations that Durin Rogers, City Court judge and assistant county attorney, has a conflict of interest in a Family Court matter, a reporter from The Batavian was denied access to hear arguments in the case.

Erin P. DeLabio, a judge from Erie County handling the motion after Judge Eric Adams recused himself, wouldn't even allow the reporter into the courtroom to make an argument for public transparency on the motion or grant a motion to delay the case until the reporter could obtain legal counsel. 

A deputy said DeLabio said that the motion was part of a sensitive matter.

According to a legal expert we consulted, Family Court is open to the public though individuals can be excluded from sensitive cases based on a finding supported by evidence. A motion about the attorneys in the case is not sensitive to the attorneys and the legal guardian of any children involved can consent to the presence of third-party observers.

There's no indication that DeLabio based her decision to exclude the press, and thwart public transparency of a case involving a fellow member of the judiciary, on any evidence nor that the legal guardian of the minors was consulted as to their position on a reporter being present for only the motion portion of the case.

Last month, attorney Thomas Burns filed a motion seeking to have Rogers removed from a Family Court case because of what Burns perceives as a conflict of interest.

The motion alleges that Rogers -- as a sitting, part-time Batavia City Court judge, with Burns' client also facing criminal charges in City Court -- has an apparent conflict of interest because Rogers has access to City Court documents and his position means he tries cases with other members of the county's criminal justice system who might also be involved in both cases. 

"As this court is certainly aware, and as DCA Rogers should be aware," Burns wrote in his motion, "a judge is obligated to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge's activities and a judge is obligated to respect and comply with the law and is obligated to act at all times in a manner that promotes the confidence of the public in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary," Burns wrote in his motion. "As this court is also aware, the judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all of the judge's other activities."

In a response to The Batavian for publication of the original story (see link above), Rogers denied there was a conflict of interest.

Photo: Taken of Erie County Judge Erin P. DeLabio from outside Genesee County Family Court through the doorway window.

November 26, 2019 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in Libertarian Party, batavia, news.

Press release from the Batavia-based Libertarian Party of New York:

Yesterday, the New York Campaign Finance Commission voted to raise the threshold for political parties to gain ballot access. In so doing, they voted to deny choices to the millions of New Yorkers who are fed up with the two major parties.

All New Yorkers should know this: THE FIX IS IN.

Despite the claims of Jay Jacobs, minor parties are not “sham parties.” The Libertarian Party earned ballot access in 2018 with 95,000 votes. Now, Andrew Cuomo wants to move the goalposts further back to 130,000.

Unless the state legislature acts, this change will become state law. We call upon the legislature to reverse this shameful decision and allow voters a choice.

The Libertarian Party of New York is determined to fight for fair and open elections for all New Yorkers and will use every resource available to us.

SHAME ON ANDREW CUOMO AND SHAME ON JAY JACOBS!

Libertarian Party of New York

P.O. Box 1627

Batavia, NY 14021-1627

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