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November 8, 2018 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, Bethany, byron, batavia.

Julia A. Hawley, 41, of Coward Road, Byron, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while ability impaired by drugs, failure to keep right, and moving from lane unsafely. Shortly after midnight on Wednesday Nov. 8, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a call about a single-vehicle accident with injuries on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. Investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office determined Hawley was the sole occupent of the Chevrolet Silverado that left the roadway, striking a tree stump. Hawley was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight. She was allegedly impaired by drugs at the time of the accident and arrested. She was also issued citations. The accident was investigated by Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Jenna Ferrando. Elba Fire Department also Mercy EMS assisted at the scene. (For previous coverage, click here.)

Shante C. Johnson, 21, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree. A complaint of a wallet and credit card stolen in September was reported to the Le Roy Police Department and investigated. Johnson was arrested on Nov. 6 and issued an appearance ticket to be in Le Roy Town Court on Dec. 3. It is alleged that Johnson stole the wallet from a fellow employee while working in the Village of Le Roy and then attempted to use a credit card from the wallet in the City of Batavia.

Miguel Hernandez-Gonzalez, 35, of East Road, Bethany, is charged with driving while intoxicated, DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and unsafe backing. Hernandez-Gonzalez was arrested following a motor-vehicle accident on East Road in Bethany at 4:42 a.m. on Nov. 3. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Bethany Town Court on Dec. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

November 8, 2018 - 2:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in walmart, news, batavia, crime.

A caller in the Walmart parking lot reports that he was threatened because of his Trump bumper sticker.

He claims it was a threat of physical violence.

A trooper and deputy dispatched.

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: A trooper interviewed all parties involved. No arrest. A woman with a male made an anti-Trump statement to the man with a Trump bumper sticker on his truck. He said something back. It escalated from there but didn't become physical. Both the trooper and deputy on scene couldn't recall a prior incident in the Trump Era of threats over a bumper sticker, though the trooper recalled a Trump supporter in 2016 getting slushies dumped on his car and an anti-Trump note being left.

November 8, 2018 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, nets, batavia.

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A WBTA listener found this dog near Ellicott Street Road and Shepard Road, Batavia, and is hoping to find the owner.

The dog is described as friendly.

If you're the owner, the person who found the dog can be reached at (585) 813-2336 or (585) 356-3438.

UPDATE Friday, Nov. 9: Reader Doug Dielgelman wrote to tell us the "owner of awesome black and white dog located and is back home."

November 8, 2018 - 12:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

Press release:

Tops Markets LLC (“Tops” or the “Company”) today announced that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (“the Court”) has confirmed the Company’s Plan of Reorganization (the “Plan”). Tops expects to complete its restructuring and emerge from Chapter 11 shortly.

“We are pleased to receive the Court’s approval of our Plan and are poised to emerge from this process an even stronger and more competitive company,” said Frank Curci, chief executive officer of Tops. “Through this process, we have accomplished several key objectives, including significantly reducing our debt, creating a viable cost structure and efficiently optimizing our store portfolio.

"Importantly, we provided an opportunity for employment to every associate who was interested and impacted by store closings at other nearby stores. Our restructuring will create an even more exceptional shopping experience for our customers and assure that we will continue to serve our communities like no one else can.”

“On behalf of everyone at Tops, I want to thank all Tops associates, who have continued to provide customers with convenient, friendly and high-quality service. I also want to thank our loyal customers, suppliers and other stakeholders for their continued support throughout this process.” 

November 7, 2018 - 12:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in election, NY-27, batavia, news, notify, chris collins, Nate McMurray.

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As Nate McMurray appeared on TV just after 11 o'clock tonight, a couple of local Democrats at Center Street Smoke House for election night noticed McMurray didn't look happy.

The room turned glum.

"Don't concede, Nate," one of them said.

That's was what McMurray was about to do.

With 94 percent of the precincts reporting in the New York 27th Congressional District, Rep. Chris Collins held at 2,697 vote lead, a 49.5 to 48.4 percent margin.

In Genesee County, Collins won with 2,837 more votes, 53.8 percent to 39.91 percent, or 10,986 votes to 8,149.

These are unofficial vote totals, not yet certified and do not include absentee ballots.

Reform Party candidate Larry Piegza picked up 598 votes locally, or 2.93 percent, which was fewer votes than the 651 ballot line for the 27th blank.

McMurray did beat Collins in the City of Batavia, 2,219 votes to 1,821.

The NY-27 is a 22-point Republican advantage and McMurray, a Democrat who is town supervisor in Grand Island, still managed to make it a close race, primarily because Collins has spent much of the past year under the cloud of an ethics investigation and was arrested Aug. 8 on federal charges related to alleged insider trading. 

Also in Genesee County, the controversial ballot measure to stagger and extend terms in office members of the County Legislature passed 9,508 votes to 8,981.

In contested races, Barbara Czworka won the Town of Bethany Highway Superintendent election over Michael T. Adams, 440 votes to 289 votes. For Town of Alexander Justice, Mark Anderson beat Nicholas Falcone 775 to 757. (CORRECTION: This was a vote-for-two election. Anderson and Falcone both ran unopposed, not against each other.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not fare well among Genesee County voters, getting only 4,982 votes to 13,397 for Marc Molinaro. Larry Sharpe received 1,201 votes locally. Howie Hawkins got 252 and Stephanie Minor, 188.

UPDATE 12:28 a.m.: McMurray issued the following statement:

"While tonight's results are disheartening, my fight for a better Western New York and a better United States will not end. This is my home, and I believe we deserve better than a Congressman under indictment and out on bail, but I also respect the will of the voters, and they have spoken. This campaign was a part of a movement to fight for the rights and leadership that we deserve as Americans. Tonight’s result is a setback, but we will never give up.”

UPDATE 12:53 a.m.: McMurray just issued a new statement demanding a recount:

"After examining the numbers, the margin is 1 percent and the will of the voters must be heard. We are demanding a recount. Mr. Collins is going to need another set of lawyers.”

We'll have more election coverage sometime tomorrow.

Top photo: Democrats watch Nate McMurray's concession speech at Center Street.

November 6, 2018 - 5:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

Traffic is blocked by an accident at Ellicott Street and Center Street, Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

City Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

November 6, 2018 - 3:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, bergen, batavia, Le Roy, Oakfield.

Plush Dozier, 22, of Kelly Street, Rochester, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and attempted menacing of a police officer. He was arrested on Nov. 5 for an incident that occurred in August in which he allegedly damaged the door in the back of a GC Sheriff's vehicle while he was being transported for a court appearance. He also allegedly attempted to menace a police officer during the same incident. He was arraigned on the new charges in Batavia City Court and is due there again on Nov. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Justin Williams, 56, Post Avenue, Staten Island, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. Williams was arrested following an incident on Main Street in Oakfield at 2:58 a.m. on Nov. 5 in which he allegedly placed his hands around the neck of another person, causing them to be unable to breathe. He was arraigned in Oakfield Town Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. Williams is due back in Oakfield Town Court at 6 p.m. Nov. 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Lawrence W. Worsley, 38, of Ridge Road, Albion, is charged with third-degree assault. He was arrested after an investigation into a domestic incident which occurred at 1 a.m. on Nov. 2 on Vine Street in the City of Batavia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court then jailed on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is due to return to city court on Nov. 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Arick Perkins.

Teshawn Anthony Lang-Smith, 22, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment. He was arrested after a domestic incident that occurred at 3:20 p.m., Nov. 2, on Bank Street in Batavia. He allegedly damaged property belonging to another person. He was arraigned and jailed in lieu of $2,000 cash or bond and was due back in city court on Nov. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Tyanna D. Green, 23, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, identity theft in the third degree and petit larceny.  It is alleged that at 6:13 p.m. on Sept. 11 on Highland Park in Batavia that she used a stolen debit card to make multiple ATM withdrawals. She was arrested on Nov 1 and jailed with bail. She was due back in Batavia City Court on Nov. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Tyrone Lee Doward Jr., 28, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI -- first offense, and operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more. On Nov. 3, Doward was arrested on Lake Road in Le Roy following the investigation into a suspicious vehicle at the 490 Truck Stop in Le Roy. He was allegedly parked in the parking lot after hours when the business was closed. He was transported to GC Jail and processed, then issued appearance tickets. He is due in Town of Le Roy Court on Nov. 25. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Dennis S. Rogers Jr., 46, of Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 3 by Troopers out of SP Batavia as the result of a traffic stop on Route 5. Rogers was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, operating a vehicle without an interlock device, along with other traffic offenses after allegedly failing field sobriety tests. Rogers was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Pembroke later this month.

Riley Kristine Davis, 21, of Gilbert Road, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a muffler exhaust violation. She was arrested at 11:47 p.m. Nov. 3 on Clinton Street in Batavia after being pulled over for a muffler violation. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Joseph W. Morrow, 18, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested on Cedar Street in Batavia at 9:05 p.m. on Nov. 5 after he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop. He was issued an appearance ticket and released. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

November 6, 2018 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia, Darien, Stafford, Oakfield.

Paul M. Gelardo is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by drugs, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 13 in the Town of Oakfield that Gelardo drove a 2002 Chevrolet on South Pearl Street while his ability to do so was impaired by drugs. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unilicensed operation of the motor vehicle in the first degree, another Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that Gelardo knew, or had reason to know, that his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities at the time he drove on South Pearl Street, and he did so while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count three, he is accused of the same crime as in count two, plus it alleges he had in effect three or more suspensions imposed on at least three separate dates for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine. In Special Information filed by the Genesee County District Attorney, Gelardo is accused of having been convicted of driving while impaired by drugs, as a misdemeanor, on March 14, 2016 in Town of Brighton Court. That conviction was within 10 years of the commission of crimes alleged in the current indictment, and he knew, or should have known, about that conviction and that his driver's license was still suspended.

Shawn J. Scheg is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 25 in the Town of Stafford that Scheg drove a 2007 Acura on Route 33 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, also a Class E felony, for driving that day while his license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. In count three, he is accused of circumventing an ignition interlock device, a Class A misdemeanor, which he was court ordered to have on his vehicle and which the Acura did not have. In Special Information filed by the Genesee County District Attorney, Scheg is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Oct. 9, 2012 in Genesee County Court, and that conviction forms for basis for the suspension or revocation referred to in count two of the current indictment.

Carl W. Altman is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 26 Altman drove a 1998 Ford in the Darien Lake Concert Amphitheater parking lot in the Town of Darien while he was intoxicated. In Special Information filed by the Genesee County District Attorney, Altman is accused of having been convicted of DWI as a misdemeanor on Aug. 24, 2015 in Town of Gates Court and that conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

David J. Henry is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, per se, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on March 3 in the Town of Stafford that Henry drove on 2017 Volkswagon on Route 90 while having a BAC or .08 or more. In count two, he is accused of DWI, a msidemeanor. In count three, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count three that Henry drove while under the influence of alcohol or a drug while his license was suspended or revoked and while he had three or more suspensions imposed or at least three separate dates for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine.

November 6, 2018 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports, football.

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Blue Devils running back Ray Leach was named the Section V Class B Player of the Year and Coach Brennan Briggs was named Coach of the Year.

The awards come after Batavia secured another Section V championship Saturday, knocking off the Wayne Eagles, 48-14.

Though Briggs has led four teams in five years to Section V championships, this is his first Coach of the Year award. It's also the first Player of the Year award for Leach, a senior.

On the year, Leach has 127 carries for 1,714 yards, which averages 13.5 yards a carry, along with 27 rushing touchdowns. He has 10 receptions for 361 yards and three TDs. 

On his career at Batavia HS, he has 4,476 rushing yards and 66 TDs. He has 635 all-purpose yards and 90 touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of Batavia High School.

November 4, 2018 - 6:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, notify, batavia.

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A fire that is thought to have started on the west side of the home destroyed a parsonage at 4131 Rose Road in Batavia late this morning.

"We lost our parsonage," said Faith Community Chapel Pastor Henry Pokrywa. "Firefighters responded promptly. Nobody was inside. The dog got out and they're still looking for the cat."

Retired Faith chapel Pastor Gene Demay and his wife, Rena, lived at the church-owned property with their pets.

They were at the chapel next door when the fire broke out and a passerby saw flames coming from the structure and called the Emergency Dispatch Center.

Town of Batavia Deputy Fire Chief Robert Tripp said they secured the natural gas line when they arrived on scene and waited for apparatus to arrive. They had difficulty accessing the origins of the fire because the house has a metal roof on top of asphalt shingles.

Tripp said they were able to send a crew inside initially, but then the interior became fully involved and a partial collapse of the roof on the south side made staying inside too dangerous so the crew was called outside.

At that point, until they could cut through the roof, the only points to fight the fire were windows and where venting occurred. Extensive overhaul will need to be done to ensure it's out and there's no rekindle.

"Don't put a metal roof over asphalt shingles," Tripp said. "Have one (kind of roof) or the other. Our saws are prepared for one style or the other. We have to switch out the blades to cut through both," which takes precious time to do.

"No one was injured, thank God," said Pastor Pokrywa. "We thank everybody for their prayers and we thank the firefighters and first responders."

Pokrywa added that the well-being of retirees Gene and Rena Demay "will be taken care of."

Once the fire was out, firefighters searched the flooded basement for the cat and found it alive. After getting a bit of oxygen, the cat was taken to a local vet for further examination.

Asked if the parsonage is a total loss, Deputy Chief Tripp said they have been unable to get inside yet to make that determination. There is significant smoke and fire -- not water -- damage to the first floor.

Firefighters responded with mutual aid from Le Roy, Alexander, and Stafford. Also responding were the American Red Cross, Mercy medics and Genesee County Sheriff's deputies.

Howard Owens was at the scene and contributed to this report. Photos by Howard Owens.

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Pastor Henry Pokrywa

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Tim Yaeger, the county's emergency management coordinator, carries books that were recovered by interior firefighters after the fire was out. These were the first items removed from the house. Several items were removed, including what looked like family photos that probably sustained water and smoke damage but appeared unburned.

November 4, 2018 - 11:37am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, notify, batavia.

A church-owned house next to Faith Community Chapel is on fire at 4131 Rose Road, at the intersection of Rose Road and Route 98 in Batavia. Flames are showing. It has a metal roof. Churchgoers were on the premises when the fire broke out, but they are believed to all be out of structures. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 11:38 a.m.: Flames have well involved the west side of the house and are shooting through the roof, according to a firefighter on scene. Alexander's Fast Team is called for mutual aid, along with Le Roy and Stafford fire departments and Mercy medics.

UPDATE 11:42 a.m.: A first responder has shut off the natural gas line on the property. They are clearing the parking lot of vehicles to accommodate emergency equipment. The American Red Cross is called to the scene.

UPDATE 11:48 a.m.: National Grid is called to shut down power. Traffic is being held at Route 98 and Rose Road.

UPDATE 3:09 p.m.: The family dog was rescued from the house before the fire spread but the fate of a cat was unknown. Throughout the fire and overhaul, it was believed the cat was in the basement. The basement was flooded and firefighters had to pump water out. We just received word the cat was found alive and was rescued.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: Town of Batavia assignment back in service.

November 4, 2018 - 1:20am
posted by James Burns in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, football.

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Batavia Blue Devils faced the Wayne Eagles for the Class B Sec V Class final at St. John Fisher College Saturday night. Most everything has been falling Batavia’s way this season and that included the game's coin toss. Batavia won and elected to receive. 

On the game's opening kick Wayne went for an onside kick, or their kicker shanked it, no one was sure, but the play ended with Wayne recovering the ball in Batavia territory. The Batavia defense held Wayne and after three downs they punted but Batavia coughed up the ball again on a fumble. This time Wayne was able to capitalize on the turnover and scored. 

For the first time this season Batavia was behind in a game.

Late in the first quarter, Batavia was able to get up on the board with a touchdown, but in more uncharacteristic play, they failed to convert and missed the field goal. The first quarter ended Batavia 6 Wayne 7.  

After some back and forth Batavia was able to break through and score with four and a half minutes left in the first half, then again with three minutes left and again with 40 seconds left in the half. At the end of the first half Batavia led 28 to 7. 

Batavia made sure Wayne understood they were in charge and there was no way they were going to let them back into the game. Batavia started the second half scoring again only 20 seconds in. Batavia 35, Wayne 7. 

After a few substitutions by Batavia, they led by 49 to 7. Wayne was able to put a few more points up on the board in the fourth. 

The final score Batavia 49, Wayne 14.

Ray Leach hit a season-high with 344 yards and six TDs. Alec Rood ran for 59 yards.

Ethan Biscaro went 5 for 9 passing for 112 yards and 1TD and another interception on defense. 

 Taio lburi-Bethel had four receptions for 110 yards and one TD.

For more pictures of the game click HERE

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November 3, 2018 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Le Roy.

John P. Wittkopp, 35, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with sixth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree grand larceny -- value greater than $1,000. On Oct. 31, Wittkopp responded to Batavia PD and was arrested after an investigation into an incident that occurred at 4:21 p.m. on Oct. 27 on Main Street in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket, released, and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Jamie M. Ficarella, 42, of Liberty Street, Batavia is charged with sixth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree grand larceny -- value greater than $1,000. On Oct. 31, Ficarella responded to Batavia PD and was arrested after an investigation into an incident that occurred at 3 p.m. on Oct. 28 on East Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket, released, and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Breanna C. Toal, 22, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and falsifying business records in the first degree. Toal was arrested Oct. 28 following an investigation into a report that she stole from her employer while working at 7-Eleven on East Main Street in Batavia. She was processed and released on an appearance. She is due in city court on Nov. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Aaron L. Klein, 47, no permanent address, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Klein was arrested on three counts of petit larceny following an investigation into property that was stolen from a residence on Montclair Avenue in the City of Batavia, shortly after midnight on July 26. He was already being held in Genesee County Jail on unrelated charges. He was issued an appearance ticket for city court and is due there Nov. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Olivia J. Paganin, 29, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Nov. 1 by Le Roy Police Officer Kellogg on a Batavia City Court warrant. The defendant was then extradited to Batavia PD, arraigned in city court and put in jail. Paganin is due in city court at a later date. The case was handled in Batavia by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

November 3, 2018 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Merrill Lynch, bank of america corp., batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

John Riter, a Merrill Lynch advisor based in Batavia, was one of 12 employees recently honored with the 2018 David Brady award at a ceremony in New York for his outstanding client focus and overall commitment to the company and his community.

The award is named for David Brady, a financial advisor who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He was highly respected for putting the client first and giving back to his community.

The award that bears his name was created in 2007 and seeks to honor individuals within Bank of America Global Wealth and Investment Management who continue to emulate Brady’s ethos.

“The Bank of America family is made up of dedicated individuals who, like David, exemplify what it means to go ‘above and beyond’. This award not only immortalizes David’s legacy but also rewards employees such as John for their continuous hard work in meeting the needs of their clients, colleagues and communities,” said Paul Lehrman, market executive.

In 2008, Riter joined Merrill Lynch as a first vice president, financial advisor; he is currently the resident director of the Batavia office. John and his wife, Liz, have been married for 29 years. They live in Batavia and have two children, Mitch and Kathryn.

Bank of America Corporation 

Merrill Lynch is part of Bank of America Corporation. Merrill Lynch is a leading provider of comprehensive wealth management and investment services for individuals and businesses globally. With 14,838 financial advisors and $2.3 trillion in client balances as of Sept. 30, it is among the largest businesses of its kind in the world. Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, specializes in goals-based wealth management, including planning for retirement, education, legacy, and other life goals through investment, cash and credit management.

Within Merrill Lynch, the Private Banking and Investment Group focuses on the unique and personalized needs of wealthy individuals, families and their businesses. These clients are served by approximately 200 highly specialized private wealth advisor teams, along with experts in areas such as investment management, concentrated stock management and intergenerational wealth transfer strategies.

November 3, 2018 - 12:00pm


No matter where you live, or what time of day you are driving, it’s important to remain alert. Keep your eyes up and focused on the road. This helps you take action in the event a deer is suddenly in your path. Other tips to help keep drivers safe include:

  • Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn;
  • If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road;
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs;
  • Always buckle up — every trip, every time;
  • Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic;
  • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving; this can result in a more severe crash;
  • Remain focused on the road; scan for hazards, including animals;
  • Avoid distractions; devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal;
  • Do not rely on products such as deer whistles; they are not proven effective;
  • If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear; keep focus on the road ahead.

Mark Lewis Agency - State Farm, 8331 Lewiston Road, Batavia. Call today 585-343-4959 > Click here to visit us online <

November 2, 2018 - 6:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, news, batavia, Oakfield.

Jerry Warner, whose velvet voice kept listeners of WBTA informed and entertained for more than 30 years, is in hospice care, the radio station reported today.

More than a year ago, Warner, a resident of Oakfield, retired from the station due to ill health.

Warner, who hosted the morning show "Main and Center," is being cared for at Crossroads House.

Those who wish to send Warner a card of support can mail it, in care of Crossroads House, to the Crossroads House mailing address: P.O. Box 403, ​Batavia, NY 14020.

November 2, 2018 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, schools, education, news, batavia.

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Sara Menke, of Caledonia, a student at Batavia CTE in the Animal Science program, explains to her parents, Linda and Jason, how she cares for a French agora rabbit in her class during an open house Thursday night.

The annual open house is a chance for parents and the community to see what students are learning at the school and what programs are available to career-minded students.

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November 2, 2018 - 5:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, batavia, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party candidate in NY-27, will be visiting all eight counties this weekend as a part of his grassroots Get Out the Vote effort to talk to as many voters as possible across the district. He will travel to the counties in the following order: Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Ontario, Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming. The tour will end with a GOTV rally with Talia Shire, an Oscar-nominated actress of two of the most successful movie franchises in history, the "Rocky" and "Godfather" sagas, at the campaign’s headquarters in Hamburg.

McMurray will be at Tim Hortons, 20 Main St., Batavia at 8:45 a.m., Sunday, for 30 minutes.

November 2, 2018 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richard D. Hanes, Raymond Morgan, murder, crime, batavia, notify.

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      Richard Hanes

A former Orleans County resident whom investigators believe planned the murder of Raymond Morgan before beating him to death in his apartment at 111 Liberty St., Batavia, on July 24, was charged in Genesee County Court today with murder in the second degree.

Richard D. Hanes, 36, entered a not guilty plea before a courtroom packed with Morgan's family and friends as well as several police officers and detectives from Batavia PD. He was shackled and dressed in the green jumpsuit of the Department of Corrections and accompanied by a pair of corrections officers.

"Right now we don't have a motive," said Det. Kevin Czora after Hanes was arraigned on the single count of second-degree murder. "All we know is that it was an exceptionally violent attack that happened in an extremely short period of time. I believe it was premeditated from the evidence that we've collected, and what we know, but as of right now we do not have a motive."

Hanes has been in state custody since July 26, two days after the murder, on an alleged parole violation. He is being held at the Attica Correctional Facility.

He was convicted in Orleans County in 2003 of burglary, 3rd, attempted robbery, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. His parole on those charges expires Dec. 7.

According to a police spokesman, Hanes was living at 5 Thorpe St., Batavia, a rooming house for clients of GCASA, at the time of the alleged murder.

The evidence against Hanes, according to Czora and District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, is wide-ranging.

"There were witnesses in the area who, when this happened, identified him," Friedman said. "That's how it got started. So we have that. There are various items of physical evidence that were found and connected to him. We've got surveillance video from various locations that follow his path after the crime. There are also various items of scientific evidence."

Hanes is scheduled to remain in state custody until early December. Judge Charles Zambito ordered him held without bail but Fred Rarick, representing Hanes, said he reserved his right to make a bail application at a later date. Hanes will next appear in County Court on Jan. 9 for a hearing on any motions that have been filed.

Though Morgan had his own trouble with the law, he was a 47-year-old Batavia native with a large, tight-knit family locally, including five grandchildren, and a large network of close friends. Victor Thomas said they're all relieved to see the case reach this stage after months of waiting for justice to be served.

"This is the first step," Thomas said. "At least we start to see some justice; at least we got a name; at least we have a charge; at least we've got a prosecutor and somebody who is going to fight for us."

While police identified a suspect early in the investigation and gathered several items of physical evidence, formal charges were delayed until DNA could be analyzed.

Friedman said, because of ethical guidelines, he couldn't discuss that aspect of the case but he said the important factor was just making sure all of the evidence was ready for a successful prosecution.

"I can say that the delay was a matter of completing the investigation," Friedman said. "Fortunately, we had the luxury of time knowing that he was being held on a parole detainer and we knew what our timeline was as far as when we needed to have a grand jury presentation to make sure that we were at this point before he got released by parole."

He said he understood the desire of family and friends to see an arrest made quickly.

"Obviously, I've known all along that there are a lot of people who are very interested in this case, family members, people who are anxious to see something happen and we're maybe at times troubled by the fact that that wasn't happening quicker," Friedman said. "But my position has always been in this case and others is, we're going to do it right rather than doing it quickly. We're not going to jump the gun before we've got everything in order."

Todd Crossett, Batavia PD's assistant chief, said patrol officers and detectives put in more than 800 hours on the case so far (and the investigation isn't done).

"This is a culmination of many hours of work from patrol officers doing an excellent work at the initial crime scene and then going to the detectives," Crossett said. "Anything that came into the department, they were on it. Long, long hours, especially when it initially came in, long hours of chasing everything down. I think because of that hard work in the beginning that's why we ultimately got to where we are."

There has been speculation, Czora acknowledged, that there may have been other people involved in the murder of Morgan. He said every lead along those lines has been pursued and so far there is no evidence of any other people being involved.

The investigation doesn't end with the arraignment today, Czora said.

"There are countless numbers of pieces of evidence that we've obtained and processed and continue to process even still to this day," Czora said. "Our investigation continues even after this arraignment. It's just been an extensive amount of work that needed to be accomplished."

Top photo: Friends and family wearing T-shirts in tribute to Ray Morgan.

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