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June 15, 2009 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Swine Flu.

A 53-year-old man is Genesee County's first confirmed case of H1N1 flu, inaccurately referred to as Swine Flu.

UPDATE: WBTA interviewed Randy Garney, interim health director.

The Genesee County Health Department announced this morning that the man was diagnosed in an Erie County emergency room.

He was not hospitalized and is now recovering at home.

Officials are working to determine who may have been exposed during the man's contagious phase. Officials will notify close contacts and family caregivers for signs of illness.

H1N1 is prevalent in the state, according to the health department, and it has been found in numerous counties.

Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chill and fatigue. Some victims have reported diarrhea and vomiting, as well.

The health department warns that anyone with these symptoms should stay home. If medical attention seems needed, people should contact a doctor to determine if emergency care is necessary.

Take these precautionary measures to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleansers are also effective.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Place your used tissue in the waste basket.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.

According to the state's health department site, 1,356 cases have been reported in the New York, including 493 outside of NYC.

June 15, 2009 - 7:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, pembroke.

Gary De Wind, 66, of 1341 Little Falls Road, Pembroke, is accused of illegally possessing fireworks. He is charged with unlawful dealing with fireworks and dangerous fireworks.

Michael R. Cowham, 24, of 6571 W. Sweden Road, Bergen, is charged with assault in the third degree. He is accused of getting into a confrontation with another person. That person suffered a cut on the face. The alleged incident occurred at a residence on Wood Street. Cowham was issued an appearance ticket.

Michael A. Butler, 36, of Egerton Road, Elba, is charged with DWI. Butler also received tickets for having an unsafe tire and driving an uninspected vehicle. Butler was reportedly a witness to an incident on Whitney Mill Road involving a person with cuts on his head. During the investigation, deputies determined that Butler apparently drove past the scene while intoxicated.

Lynn R. Baker, 47, of Bank Street, was reportedly spotted on Harvester Avenue driving his 1997 Ford Explorer on the wrong side of the road. After a traffic stop, a Sheriff's deputy determined Baker was apparently drunk. Baker was charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and failure to keep right. Baker was issued an appearance ticket.

Paul Andrews, 35, of 2029 Route 238, Warsaw, and currently a resident of Genesee County Jail, is charged with criminal tampering in the third degree. Andrews reportedly urinated in another inmate's shampoo bottle.

Tera Williams, 36, of 147 Ross St., is charged with petty larceny. Williams reported stole merchandise from Kmart while employed there.

Kisuki Pagan, 20, of E. 166th St. #5H, Bronx, is charged with disorderly conduct. Pagan was allegedly involved in an altercation with another person inside 48 Deli Express, 8204 Park Road.

June 15, 2009 - 1:04am
posted by daniel cherry in batavia, clown.

zzzZZZZZzzzzzz june 12 1309  09 st joes baseball  c cherry video-picss 159.JPG\

If you look there is candy in the air in the right of the image.My boys had pockets full after the parade.

June 13, 2009 - 8:56pm
posted by Bea McManis in batavia, Alexander's Firemen's Band.

The parade was just what we needed to kick off the summer. 

If I were to judge, I'd give Byron Bergen the prize for best high school band.  They were sharp tonight.

Alexander Firemen's Band performed with their usual professionalism.  Great job.

The Prime Time Brass, from Rochester, concluded the band with an amazing drum corps style even though there are only 12 members on the field.

Alexander came to the Towers after the parade and performed a concert that last almost 2 hours.   Very impressive and well appreciated.

June 13, 2009 - 3:14pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, baseball, sports, philadelphia phillies.

gugel.jpgRyan Gugel may have gone undrafted, but he is now a professional baseball player, becoming the second former Batavia baseball player to sign a deal this week after Chris Page was drafted in the 50th round of the Major League Baseball draft.

Gugel signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies - former parent club of the Batavia Muckdogs - this weekend.

The catcher had a .425 career batting average at Batavia with 22 doubles, seven triples, three home runs and 50 RBIs.

He then went to Genesee Community College where he hit .440 with 26 doubles, six triples, eight homers, 19 stolen bases and 82 RBIs for the Cougars in two years. He then continued his baseball career and education and the University of Albany.

At Albany, he started all 55 games as a junior and hit .297 with 12 doubles, a triple and four home runs. He also had an incredible .972 fielding percentage behind the plate.

He batted .303 with nine home runs and 49 RBIs as a senior. Gugel had a .953 fielding percentage as well as hitting 11 doubles and two triples.

June 12, 2009 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, events.
Event Date and Time: 
June 14, 2009 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm

A charitable car wash, dubbed  a "scrub in for Scotty" is set for 1 p.m. Sunday, June 14 in the parking lot in front of Billygoats, next to Settlers Family Restaurant in Batavia.

The event will help a Settlers' waitress, Diane, pay for her son's grave marker. All donations gratefully welcome.

Diane's son, Scotty R. "Scooter" Johnson, died unexpectedly at his parents' Oakfield home May 25. He was just 19 years old. The family needs the community's help to offset funeral expenses. There will be food and beverages available at the "scrub in."

June 12, 2009 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire chief.

We've covered the resignation of Chief Tom Dillon pretty thoroughly, but just to put an exclamation point on the explanations given by Jason Molino and Karen Marchese on the reason for the 211 waiver denial, we draw your attention to this story from the Buffalo News.

A new attitude in the governor’s office toward double dipping is likely to cost former Niagara County Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein—the current head of the State Commission on Corrections — about $110,000.

Five months after Beilein was named head of the state panel, the commission requested that he be allowed to collect his full $101,600 state salary as well as his full $66,148 annual pension — retroactive to the day he got the job in mid- August.

But four months later, before the waiver request was acted upon, and with the governor’s office discouraging double dipping among top-level employees, the request was withdrawn.

“It was withdrawn when it was clear it would not be granted,” commission spokesman John M. Caher said.

Beilein will likely be required to pay back some of his pension.

June 12, 2009 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

At least a dozen times in the past week, city residents have gone out to their cars only to find somebody has stolen valuables from their vehicles, according to Batavia Police Department Detective Pat Corona.

Corona said the suspect, or suspects, appears to be operating on foot, confining his criminal activities to the city, and preying primarily on unlocked cars and taking easy-to-pilfer items, such as wallets, credit cards, loose change and portable GPSs.

Only once has a car stereo been stolen from a vehicle.

"There isn't a lot of dismantling of vehicles," Corona said. "They are taking items that are easily accessible."

There may be more than one suspect. This morning an investigator reported over police radio: "Who's ever breaking into these cars probably has a lookout. They left their walkie-talkie behind."

Corona confirmed that the thief has left items behind, but didn't want to discuss specifics.

"If we find any evidence that's been left behind, that could lead us to suspects, we'll certainly take that and gather whatever evidence we can from it," Corona said.

This morning, I've heard three reports of larcenies, the latest just as I was writing this post: A car on Bank Street, just outside of city limits, had a GPS stolen.

Corona's advice: Lock your cars. Don't leave valuables in your cars. And call police with your tips that might help catch these criminals.

"Should people see anything suspicious, don't be shy about calling us," Corona said.

UPDATE: Right after I posted this, the PD put out a press release with a couple of additional details. The larcenies started on June 7. From last night, larcenies were reported on Walnut Street, Swan Street and State Street. The number to call for suspecious activity or to tip the police to a suspect, 345-6350.

June 11, 2009 - 11:15pm
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, Care-A-Van.

crowd at Central Avenue.jpg

Care-A-Van Ministries held their weekly Thursday night cookout at Central Avenue tonight. It was an awesome night. The rain did not keep anyone away. We had approximately 82 people come out. Now that is alot of hotdogs and hamburgs to grill!  How about all those ice cream cones that were served.


Lined up for ice cream.jpg

During the summer Care-A-Van goes out to a different neighborhood on Thursday nights. On Sunday afternoon we return to the same neighborhood for street church. This Sunday Pastor Eric Shepard of the

Church of the Rock in Attica will be delivering the message and Paul Beitz from the same church will be providing the music.  Our own  Care-A-Van provides music every Thursday night. This Saturday we will be at Central Avenue for grocery and clothing distribution from 10:30 until 12:00. if you know of anyone that needs a little help.

Now I just love this little gal. She is enjoying delicious chocolate chip cookies that were donated by Creative Foods.


cookie face.jpg

These picnics and all of Care-A-Van's events are free. We thank all of you in the community who help make this possible. If you ever want to enjoy a fun time, come on out and join in the fun.

Robin Walters
Public Relations Director
Care-A-Van Ministriies.

June 11, 2009 - 4:14pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, baseball, Genesee Community College, sports.



Former Batavia baseball standout Chris Page is going to get his shot at pro ball.

The Genesee Community College pitcher/first baseman was drafted in the 50th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He was the 1499th overall player selected.

"I was supposed to be working but I was watching the draft," said Page, who was picked at about 3 p.m. today. "It was the 49th round and I decided to watch one more. When they called my name, I was speechless."

The Reds have been scouting Page since high school, where the big 6-foot-4 lefty set two Batavia records in his senior season with a .534 batting average and 11 doubles. He also had 31 hits, three triples, two home runs, 19 RBIs and 15 walks in his senior season.

He was also 5-2 on the mound, earning him a chance to play at GCC, where Cincinnati continued to monitor his progress.

The Cougars went 25-13-1 this spring with Page leading the squad at the plate. He had a .456 batting average with 18 doubles, five home runs, 34 RBIs, 52 hits and 33 walks.  He did not pitch due to elbow problems.

He is expected to start his professional career in the Florida Gulf Coast League.

"I am honored to have been followed and drafted by a great organization like the Reds," Page said.

June 11, 2009 - 3:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, wildlife.

We haven't been able to confirm it, but a reader reports that bears may have been spotted in the area of Platt Road and Kelsey Road in the Town of Batavia.

Mike Wasilco, regional wildlife manager for the Department of Environmental Control, said if there are bears in the area, nobody has called the DEC.

"I wouldn't be surprised," Wasilco said. "Bears have been seen recently in Wyoming County, which isn't that far away. What happens is young male bears strike out looking to find their own territory. This time of year you see bears in areas where you haven't seen them before."

His advice: Don't leave out food, no bird feeders, garbage, BBQ grills or pet food.

"Bears will behave themselves until they figure out that people are a nice and easy source of food," he said.

Meanwhile, while speaking with Wasilco, I asked him about the beavers building a dam near Creek Road in Bethany, which we covered Monday.  He said the local property owners can apply for a permit to relocate the beavers, which they can then either do themselves or higher a specialist.  Of course, one problem: The property owners with the problem don't own the land where the beavers are building, and that property owner is happy with the dam.

June 11, 2009 - 8:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke.

mug-Parker-Stanley.jpgStanley Parker, 23, of 6480 Buffalo Road, Riga (pictured), is accused of selling cocaine to an undercover agent with the Local Drug Task Force. He is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He is being held in Genesee County Jail on $20,000 bail. Assisting in the investigation were uniformed deputies of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and the Monroe County Sheriff and the District Attorney's Office.

Joshua Kitchen, 20, of 174 Hagadom Road, Broadalin, is accused of stealing a t-shirt from the Flying-J. He is charged with petty larceny.

June 11, 2009 - 8:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pets.

A reader found a dog and wants to help reunite it with its owner.  Her's what he says:

A dog just wandered down my street (Montclair Ave.) in Batavia, and walked right up on my porch where me and my dog were sitting. I had never seen this dog in my neighborhood before so Ii put a leash on him and walked around the surrounding block asking everyone i saw if they had ever seen the dog and nobody recognized her. So I called the shelter and they said nobody called about that one yet but to bring it in. The dog is a female looks somewhat like a jack russel white with black and tan patches, I was just wondering if you could post that this dog is safe at the shelter so if the owner or someone who knows  the owner might have a good lead for a happy reunion.

UPDATE: The owner saw this post and recovered his dog, according the the reader who sent this in.

June 10, 2009 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.


An accident at the intersection of routes 33 and 237 yesterday at 2 p.m. sent three people to the hospital with minor injuries.

33_accident_2.jpgThe collision is still under investigation, but the preliminary report states that Karen M. Hanson, 51, of Canandaigua, driving northbound on 237 in a 2002 Audi four-door sedan failed to stop at the posted intersection.

Hanson's vehicle struck a 2009 Ford Suburban driven by Sylvia Lombardo, 74, of Rochester, which was westbound on 33.

Sylvia Lombardo was taken to Park Ridget Hospital in Rochester complaining of whole body pain and with minor bleeding.

Her passenger, Andrew J. Lombardo, 84, suffered a concussion and minor bleeding and was also transported to Park Ridge.

Hanson complained of back pain and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital.

No tickets have been issued yet and the investigation continues.

June 10, 2009 - 10:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, vampire jet, Wings of Flight.


Wings of Flight, a flying club based at the Genesee County Airport in Batavia, is unsure if it will restore the 1947 Vampire jet that crash landed on the Rochester airport on Saturday.

The jet was believed to be the oldest flying jet in the world.  The picture above was taken Saturday when the jet was headed toward Rochester for a EAA Wings air show.

Wings of Flight spokesman Nash Dsylva said pilot Peter Treichler showed his skill and experience in landing the jet on a grass area near the airport when he manuvered the plane to a safe landing area after losing power five minutes after take off.

"The experienced pilot made an educated decision to land on the grass as he is now executing a "dead stick" landing," Dsylva said in an e-mail.  "He continued to pull the gear and flaps up to clean the plane up to improve the glide ratio. He touched down on the grass and slid for 150 feet before hitting a burm. The plane was airborne once again and impacted the grass twice before coming to rest some 250 yards after the initial touch down. Pete was able to pull himself out of the cockpit and was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with back injuries."

Shortly after take off, Treichler, of East Aurora, told air control he felt an unusual vibration. Minutes later, he declared an emergency. He turned toward the airport and lost power on final approach.  Dsylva said he made a split second decision to land in the grass.

The plan was originally based near Toronto and after it was retired was part of the Blue Devils demonstration team. Later it was owned by actor John Travolta, Wings of Flight acquired the jet in 2006. It was on loan to the Genesee Warbirds Musuem until Oct. 2008.

June 10, 2009 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Bethany, Michael L. Jackson.

mug-Jackson-Michael.jpgMichael L. Jackson, Jr. 28, of 1 Seneca Ave., Batavia (pictured), is being held in Genesee County Jail on $25,000 on felony grand larceny and burglary charges. Jackson is accused of breaking into the Holland High Lift building in Bethany on April 11 and damaging parts worth $1,500 and stealing items worth at least $8,000 and a pick up truck valued at $19,000. The charges filed against him are criminal mischief in the second degree, grand larceny in the third degree, burglary in the third degree and grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Jeffrey Vanslyke, 27, of 20 Mechanic St., Elba, is charged with a felony DWI count and driving with a BAC of .08 or more as well as unlawful possession of marijuana. Vanslyke reported failed to dim his headlines on Chapel Street in the Village of Elba. When a patrol attempted to stop Vanslyke's car, Vansylke reportedly kept driving on Route 98, leading patrol units on a low speed chase that ended on Graham Road in Elba. He was also charged with failure to yield to emergency vehicles.

Stephen Mullen, 19, of 71 S. Main St., Oakfield, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. The details of the incident leading to his arrest were not released by the Sheriff's Office.

June 9, 2009 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

There's an accident at the intersection of Route 33 and Route 237. A witness called in and said it looked pretty serious.  Mercy Flight was on Standby, but has been called off.

UPDATE: There are no further details available. There were injuries.  We will wait for the accident report from the Sheriff's Office before publishing anything further. 

The State Police are investigating an accident that occurred only minutes later on Route 5 in Le Roy.  There were minor injuries.  We'll check on the accident report later today or tomorrow morning.

June 9, 2009 - 12:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, historic preservation.

stoddard_dotymansion.jpgEven with its "distressed" facade (as antique collectors might put it), the Doty Mansion at the corner of Jackson and Highland Park in Batavia is an imposing structure.

The house was built in 1865 and is now split into four apartments, but its splendor and grandeur are apparent even as the white-washed bricks show through and some of the gables hang precariously from the eves.

Tim and Lisa Stoddard bought the mansion, built over a 10-year span by one of Batavia's early banking magnates, in 2003 and have since invested more than $100,000 into restoring the building.

And the work is still not done. Their are the gables to repair, and porch rails to replace and other improvements to be made, but Tim Stoddard spoke of the house glowingly after I ran into him this evening outside the residence.

"We love the house even though we'll never live in it," Stoddard said. "It's a beautiful house and we love the history of it. It's been a pleasure to own and a pleasure to work on."

Stoddard owns American Roofing, and he and Lisa are also restoring the Victorian-era home they currently live in.

He said he considered historic preservation of these grand old homes important and is sorry to see so many once great homes fall into disrepair.

The Doty Mansion, built by one of Batavia's original bankers, Leonidas Doty, has been a four-unit apartment complex for 60 years, and some of that time housed Section 8 tenants, Stoddard said, but he's slowly bringing back to its former glory.

The home still retains two 100-year-old-plus chandeliers as well as two grand marble fire places.

"I wish I could show you inside," Stoddard said at least three times while we walked around the house.

We all may get our chance for a partial tour soon -- an apartment in the house -- which Tim describes as larger than some single-family homes -- will be available for rent soon and the Stoddards plan to make tours available when its vacant.

UPDATE: I found this historical article about Mr. Doty via Google Books:

In 1856 Mr. Doty engaged in banking in Attica being associated with the celebrated financier and railroad magnate Dean Richmond. In 1860 Mr Doty bought out Mr. Richmond's interest and removed the bank to Batavia Genesee County. As a banker Mr. Doty was distinguished by courtesy accessibility and a disposition to afford all possible aid to legitimate enterprises. He held a place in the front rank of those safe yet progressive bankers who are regarded as pillars of strength in times of financial stress. Toward the close of his life he admitted to partnership Mr. John H Ward. Mr Doty was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Batavia for many years held a controlling interest in it which he sold in 1880. In 1876 Mr Doty came to Buffalo where he purchased a handsome residence on Delaware avenue.

June 8, 2009 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

There is a firm alarm activation at 541 E. Main St.

UPDATE Two minutes later: All units clear. Burnt food.

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