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November 3, 2009 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Darien.

James M. Kulik, 19, of Alden, is charged with assault in the third degree, unlawful imprisonment, criminal mischief and harassment. Alden was arrested by State Police in Darien at 6:10 p.m. yesterday. He was jailed on a cash bail. No further details were released.

Kyle Earl Viehdeffer, 21, of 114 Bank Street, Lower/Front, is charged aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Viehdeffer was turned over to the Sheriff's Office on a bench warrant issued out of the Town of Batavia Court. Viehdeffer was released on $200 bail.

Juan Alberto Ramos, 19, of 110 E. 177th St., Apt. 2E, Bronx, is charged with trespass. Ramos allegedly entered College Village without appropriately signing in with security.

Christopher Patrick Ball, 27, of 4902 Route 63, Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment. Ball allegedly called a woman's cell phone numerous times, causing an annoyance. Justice Tom Williams issued an order of protection.

November 3, 2009 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Wortendyke Road.

The railroad crossing at Wortendyke Road in the Town of Batavia is closed until Thurdsay afternoon.

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November 2, 2009 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A jury was picked today in the criminal trial of Jennifer L. Ferguson, charged with sexual abuse in the first degree.

The 30-year-old Batavia resident  is accused of sexually touching a two-year-old that she was babysitting on Nov. 23. She was arrested in December.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said he will start his presentation to the jury on Wednesday, and expects jury deliberation to begin on Thursday.

If convicted, Ferguson could be sentenced to up to seven years in state prison.

There is no court tomorrow because it is a state holiday -- election day.

November 2, 2009 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

City Fire is responding to 1 Treadeasy, the P.W. Minor plant, where a smoke detector has been activated.

We now hear, it's a false alarm.

November 2, 2009 - 8:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Attica, crime, alexander, Darien, Pavilion, Bethany, corfu.

Patrick L. Gugliuzza, 30, of 94 Exchange St., Attica, is charged with DWI, criminal possession of a controlled substance and following too closely. Deputies were in the area of 104435 Route 98 in Alexander investigating a motor-vehicle accident. The deputies received a report of a minor property-damage accident on southbound Route 98 near the accident scene. Upon investigation of that accident, Deputy J.M. Graff concluded that Gugliuzza was allegedly driving while intoxicated. Further investigation allegedly revealed that Gugliuzza had a small quantity of heroin. His passenger, Brandon Eck, 29, of 51 Bunnel St., Attica, was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and unlawful possession marijuana.

Keith A. Finan, 44, of 10501 Bonnie Brae Drive, Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving left of pavement markings in a no-passing zone. Finan was reportedly stopped on Bonnie Brae Drive in Darien on Friday. The investigation was conducted by Deputy Jason Saile.

William Daniel Nix, 48, of 55 Riverview Drive, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief, harassment and disorderly conduct. Nix is accused of causing a disturbance at 48 Deli Express at 8204 Park Road. Nix was reportedly using foul language and was asked to leave. Nix allegedly continued to use foul language and got involved in a physical struggle with a clerk, tearing his shirt.

Ariana M. Busch, 19, of 10876 Bowen Road, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to dim headlights. Busch was arrested following a traffic stop on Route 20 in Darien at 2:25 a.m. on Saturday.

Dylan C. Miller, 21, of 3883 Eagle Harbor Road, Albion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving an unregistered car and failure to yield right-of-way. Miller was stopped by Officer T.S. Mart on Oak Street at 2:18 a.m. on Saturday.

Brian L. Smith, 47, of 8655 Jones Road, Houston, Texas, is charged with DWI and driving with improper tail lamps. Smith was stopped by Officer Dan Coffey at 1:05 a.m. on Sunda. Smith was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Scott D. Kingdon, 43, of 6243 Sparks Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Kingdon was reportedly involved in a verbal argument with a friend. The friend called the Sheriff's Office and reported that Kingdon might be at her house. While Deputy Kevin McCarthy was checking the residence, Kingdon reportedly pulled into the driveway. McCarthy allegedly found Kingdon was driving while intoxicated.

Two teenagers, one from Alexander and another from Bethany, are charged with petit larceny for an alleged theft in Alexander. The original incident was reported to State Police on Sept. 15.

David H. Robinson, 45, of Corfu, and Amber M. Robinson, 40, of Batavia, are charged with identity theft. Amber is also charged with forgery of a public record. David and Amber were arrested by State Police at 3 p.m. on Thursday. No further information is available.

November 1, 2009 - 8:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, genesee county, business, Le Roy.

Three Genesee County companies made the 23rd Annual Democrat and Chronicle list of Top 100 companies in the region.

The local companies are: Lapp Insulators LLC, 130 Gilbert St., LeRoy; Liberty Pumps Inc., 7000 Apple Tree Ave., Bergen; and, Manning Squires Hennig Co. Inc., 8426 Seven Springs Road, Batavia.

Here's what the D&C says is criteria for making the list:

The Top 100 companies are ranked by revenue growth using a mix of dollar and percentage increases over the three most recent fiscal years. To be eligible, companies must be privately held, independent, have a minimum of $1 million in annual revenue and headquarters in the Rochester region, which includes Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, Livingston, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Seneca and Yates counties.

The D&C said the average growth rate for the Top 100 companies over the past two years was 25 percent.

October 31, 2009 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Police Department, Charter Review.

City residents, when you vote on the revised City Charter on Tuesday, Frank Klimjack wants you to consider one additional thing: You may be voting on whether Batavia has its own police department in the future.

Klimjack, president of the Police Benevolent Association, is asking city voters to just say no.

"I really think what this administration is looking to do is over time get rid of the police department," Klimjack said. "They will tell you it will be a merge, but there's no merging. You have to abolish your police department, and then hopefully the guys who are still hanging, maybe the sheriff's department picks them up or maybe they get picked up by another municipality."

The proposed change to the charter would strike the words "There shall be a police department ..." and add in "the City Council may choose to establish a police department. ..."

"That's huge," Klimjack said. "That's a total 180 degree change, where they tell you they're behind the police, 'we support the police,' and then they turn around and want to run this charter by you."

And Klimjack isn't sure what the city would replace the current police force with.  It can't be the State Police, he said, unless state law is changed, and he isn't sure bringing in the Sheriff's Office will really save city taxpayers any money.

Currently, the city is patrolled, usually, by four police officers. The Sheriff's Office would need to hire 30 additional deputies to keep the same level of service.

"The Sheriff is not going to do it for free," Klimjack said. "Is there savings? There may be some small savings, but what do you get for it? You get an occupational force that has no ties to the city whatsoever."

Klimjack worries that low voter turn out in an off-year election will mean that relatively few people are deciding the future of the police protection and service they get.

He's concerned, also, he said, that the level of service for the city, without a local police force, will be not as good as what citizens get now.

"The consolidation of dispatch," Klimjack said, "you'll hear it's been great, but it's been nothing but a disaster on the working end, for the guys who are actually working in the field. Did we save any money? I don't think we did. I live in the City of Batavia and I didn't see it in my tax dollars. I just look at that as the first step in consolidation and do you really want to get rid of the Police Department?"

October 31, 2009 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.


A car has reportedly run into a telephone pole in the area of 20 Washington Avenue.

There are reportedly injuries.

Batavia Fire, Mercy EMS and police have been dispatched.

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October 31, 2009 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals.

A deer that was struck by a car at Main and Oak is trapped in a fenced area at Prospect Avenue and Mix Place.

It is bleeding profusely, according to the report.

Police had received a report about the car striking the deer, and then the deer left the area, so police were searching for it when the call came in about its current location.

UPDATE: DPW has been requested to respond to scene and dispose of the carcass.

October 30, 2009 - 9:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, election, Julie Wallace, CASA.

"The children" is a key part of the City Council campaign platform for Julie Wallace, but when it comes to her claims of serving the kids of Genesee County, there appears to be inconsistencies in her resume.

In our Oct. 15 candidates' forum in which The Batavian and WBTA interviewed Wallace, Wallace said, "I do a lot for the children. That's basically what I want to do. I want to do more for the children than anything."

She also claimed that evening that she is a volunteer for CASA, a claim repeated in her bio in the Daily News interview earlier this week.

"I do a lot of volunteering," Wallace said Oct. 15. "I volunteer for CASA."

After being tipped by a reader, The Batavian called Tara Pariso, executive director of CASA, and Pariso said Wallace has never volunteered for CASA.

CASA stands for "Court Appointed Special Advocates" and the job of volunteers is to help children in foster care.

Pariso said her predecessor, Sara Munger, had started the application process with Wallace, but Wallace never completed the interview process required for all volunteers. Pariso said Wallace was supposed to do one of the two required interviews last week, but missed her appointment. She also said volunteers require an extensive background check, checking for any criminal record, and Wallace has not yet had a background check.

Wallace today had a different story. She didn't explicitly repeat the claim to volunteer for CASA, but she did say that Munger interviewed her and cleared her for training to begin in November.

When asked if she had that in writing, she said she did not.

"I just touched base with Tara last week, since Sara had left," Wallace said. "Everything was all set to go with Sara."

Wallace was adament that she will start training in November. 

When we spoke to Pariso yesterday, she was equally adament that Wallace had done no volunteering of any kind for CASA and that she needed to be interviewed and pass a background check before she could start volunteering.

UPDATE Monday, Nov. 2, 9:42 a.m.: We just received this e-mail from Sara Munger:

As the former director for Genesee County CASA for Children I would like to   verify some misconceptions that have been shared with your readers.  I did in  fact interview a Julie Wallace near the end of my service as the Director for  CASA for Children.  At no time during the interview did I tell Ms. Wallace  that she was accepted as a volunteer for CASA, or that she would be going  through the training process as a volunteer.  When interviewing CASA  advocates it was my policy to review all of the materials after our  interview, check at least three references (by phone, or through mail) and  complete a thorough back round check on all potential candidates.  When I  interviewed Ms. Wallace I explained to her that after reviewing her  application and completing these appropriate steps, I would then contact her  to set up a time for training.  Shortly after our interview, I stepped down  from my position as the Director, and Mrs. Tara Pariso was hired as the new  CASA director.  At this time Ms. Wallace's application was handed over to  Mrs. Pariso, and the application process and background checks had not been  completed.  Ms. Wallace did contact me to follow up with the interview, and  it was explained to her that due to current circumstances, I was not able to  move forward with her application, but ensured her that I would hand over her  information to the new director.  At no time did I indicate to Ms. Wallace  that she was accepted as a CASA advocate, or indicate that she would be  training in November.

October 30, 2009 - 9:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, graham corp.

Batavia-based Graham Corp. today announced more than $16 million in new contracts.

Graham manufactures equipment critical oil refineries and the petrochemical industry. The  new contracts are for two refineries in the Middle East and a fertilizer project in Asia.

James R. Lines, Graham`s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "It is encouraging to see increased purchasing activity in our international markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, where we expected the recovery from the global recession to begin. We are also seeing renewed quoting activity in South America. However, we do not believe our markets are in full recovery, and we continue to expect non-uniform order levels for several more quarters."

Less than a month ago, Graham laid off 15 local workers.

October 30, 2009 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bank of castile, business, Halloween.


The staff at Bank of Castile/Tompkins Insurance on Main Street in Batavia are having some Halloween fun today. The top three floors are decorated with various Disney scenes and most of the staff is dressed appropriate to the theme on their floors. Groups of children from the YMCA are visiting throughout the day receiving treats as they visit Batavia's own Disneyland.




October 30, 2009 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, byron, alexander, Darien, Bethany.

A 16-year-old girl from South Byron has been charged with disorderly conduct. She is accused of yelling obscenities from her front yard after being asked repeatedly to stop. She was jailed on $250 bail.

Tyler J. Henderson, 20, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21. Henderson was ticketed by State Police on Sumner Road in Darien.

A 16-year-old from Alexander is charged with trespass. The boy was arrested by State Police in East Bethany.

October 29, 2009 - 10:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Swine Flu, h1n1.

Figures aren't in yet, but absenteeism seems to be up at Batavia-area schools, and it appears that many of the children who are missing school are sick, possibly with H1N1.

At Robert Morris Elementary School, a "spike" in absenteeism occurred last week when 25 percent of its students were absent on one or more days. Batavia Middle School, according to parents who have contacted The Batavian, has also seen a jump in flu-related absences.

Hundreds of kids in Batavia are either at home coping with the nasty gamut of flu-like symptoms, or they are being kept home by anxious caregivers who are taking every precaution to keep their children healthy.

Batavia City School Superintendent Margaret Puzio said today that on Friday she will have week-to-week comparison figures for absences at the schools.

"Absences are a bit higher and I understand parents are concerned about sick kids," Puzio said. "But the best defense is to handle this as you would any flu. The symptoms are fairly mild. We're not doing anything differently than we normally do during flu season, except cleaning on a daily basis."

If a child exhibits flu-like symptoms, he or she is sent home. It they are already sick, they should not attend school. If he or she misses several days of school, the guidance counselors are notified and they contact the home. If need be, they notify the teacher and a packet of learning materials is put together for a parent to pick up.

But some parents say there's a lack of communication from schools concerning the H1N1 virus and, in the void, some panic is beginning to set in.

"I am the father of an 8th grader at Batavia Middle School," complained one man, who did not want to be identified. "There may be hundreds of children with this virus and no phone calls or letters from the school. My child is seriously sick and all of his close friends."

He said he doesn't think parents are getting enough information from schools to decide if it's safe to send them there.

October 29, 2009 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Councilman Bill Cox, Ward 1, is on vacation, but still thinking about city business - he e-mailed us today and asked us to post this statement in opposition to the proposed City Charter revision on Tuesday's ballott.

Serious Problems with proposed charter Changes

1.    No separation of power. A proposed change has the city manager appointing the members of the Planning and Development Committee ( Planning Board). The City Manager already appoints the members of the Zoning Board of Appeals. If the City Manager is allowed to appoint both board members its sets up a dangerous possibility of deals being made behind closed doors which is very difficult to happen now, because City Council appoints Planning Committee members. The City Manager can appoint people to both boards who are “friendly” to particular causes and future project and land developments and ensure they get passed regardless of what the taxpayers want, what neighborhood it involves, and what tax breaks it gets. This would be a very dangerous and damaging situation that would most likely occur sooner or later.

October 29, 2009 - 8:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Darren S. Jimerson, 44, of 5 Thorpe St., Batavia, is charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, forciable touching and criminal trespass. Jimerson was arrested by officer K.M. Defelice following an investigation. The alleged incident(s) that lead to the charge reportedly occurred at the residence of a female acquaintence. Jimerson was jailed without bail pending an arraignment today in City Court at 11 a.m.

October 28, 2009 - 9:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian was reported at 9:04 p.m. at East Main and Swan streets in the City of Batavia. At 9:06 p.m., a medic crew and police were on scene.

UPDATE: 9:21 p.m.: a female pedestrian is reported to have minor abrasions and lacerations on her hands as a result of the accident. She is being transported to UMMC via ambulance.

October 28, 2009 - 4:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, UMMC, h1n1, flu.

The spread of H1N1 flu virus has prompted a change in the visiting policy at United Memorial Medical Center.

As a result, starting this week no one under the age of 18 is allowed to visit patients. Heretofore, as with many hospitals, visitors had to be at least 14 years old, although there was flexibility and reasonable exceptions were made.

"We're becoming more restrictive about visitors -- it's for patient safety," said UMMC spokeswoman Colleen Flynn. "We don't want them to become infected. The virus can be especially harmful to a patient with an already compromised immune system."

Also under the new policy, there can only be two visitors per patient at any given time and visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Certain units, such as intensive care and pediatrics, may have more time restrictions.

Maternity patients are only allowed visits from their spouse or significant other, and grandparents. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis by the nursing supervisor on duty.

Any visitor showing signs of infectious disease, such as a bad cough, will be asked to leave and given a mask to wear on their way out of the hospital.

"We are taking reasonable measures to protect patients, which is our number one priority," Flynn said.

All UMMC healthcare workers have been getting on-site H1N1 vaccinations, which were mandatory. That requirement was lifted, except for those with direct patient contact, which are innoculated first.

The H1N1 virus has been declared a national pandemic. As with other flu viruses, a person can be infected and contagious for 24 hours before showing any symptoms, which can hamper control efforts.

This strain, first identified in spring (not typically the flu season) is considered unusual because children are among the hardest hit.

Flynn said the hospital has seen an increase in the number of young flu sufferers. Some local peditricians are reportedly "swamped" with flu cases and some schools are grappling with absenteeism due to the flu or fear of catching it.

"Most cases are dealt with at home," Flynn said. "People treat it just like they would any flu. But because so much media attention is being paid to (H1N1), sometimes they tend to think the sky is falling. That's not necessarily true."

But do wash your hands frequently.

October 28, 2009 - 4:50pm
posted by Raelene Christian in batavia, politics.

If anyone knows Rose Mary Christian better than anyone, it's me, her daughter. Throughout the years I have seen my mom tackle tough issues, read council packet after council packet, and always accept calls from city-wide residents who call my mom for her help because they know she gets things done.

From when I was little, I always remember my mom being involved with community things and helping people. She has been a Brownie leader, a softball coach, assisted families that needed a helping hand, volunteered for numerous things and causes, she orchestrated and accomplished sending close to 50 parents of deceased Vietnam veterans who were killed in action to visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall, and most importantly she has been a wonderful mother.

I have multiple sclerosis and there was no MS support group for people in Genesee County. In 2007, my mom is the person who initially contacted the right people to get a group started, and now, our group of about 12 members, called "Miracle Strides" has been running successfully and making great strides ever since. This group has been so beneficial for all its members. My mom has also turned out to be quite the nurse by giving me my weekly injections of the medicine that I take.

My mother has never put Council before her family, but let me tell you, being in the position she is in, people can be very demanding of her at numerous places. Whether it be at a restaurant while we're having dinner, at a grocery store, clothes shopping, and even church, yes, church. People all the time stop my mom and want to talk politics, see where she stands on the issues, or what she's going to do about that or this. No matter what, she always takes the time to answer the questions and discusses people's concerns.

When you or a loved one is in politics, you need to have tough skin. Tough skin we both have, and I have her to thank. Thank you mom for being the person you are and always being there to help me and so many others. I am so proud of you and what you have accomplished. Of course, no doubt, you have my vote Nov. 3 for county Legislature!

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