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April 9, 2009 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, corfu.

Units from Genesee and Erie counties have responded to a structure fire in Corfu at 4 Main Street, the former location of Pizza Pantry. 

An ambulance was called to the scene for a firefighter who reportedly fell in the building, but he exited safely and the extent of his injuries, if any, are unknown at this time.

The building is a two-story brick structure that was apparently gutted, but there is no significant exterior damage.

The initial call came in at about 12:35 p.m.

Dan Fischer at WBTA is also working on getting information on the fire.  Updates as they become available.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m.: Tim Yaeger says the firefighter mentioned in our first report is fine. He was treated and released. A second firefighter was struck by a piece of equipment and broke a tooth.

Linda Doll of Corfu says she called in the fire. She was returning from a funeral in Batavia when she saw smoke as she pulled into the village. As soon as she turned onto Main Street, she saw flames coming from the back of the building, she said. She immediately called 911.

UPDATE: The following photo was submitted to The Batavian by James F. Gerber, photographer for the Alden Fire Department.

UPDATE: Joanne Beck reports that the cause of the fire is suspicious.

The cause remains under investigation. Yaeger said it started on the outside of the building, and a witness reported children in the area.

March 28, 2009 - 10:17am
posted by Michael Plitt in Announcements, music, entertainment, corfu, country, grange.
Event Date and Time: 
April 4, 2009 - 7:00pm to 9:10pm

Ron & Nancy OneSong
with special guests The Fraterrigo Family
Corfu Grange, Allegany Rd next to Corfu IGA
716 560 5111 info
 Adm $10
Refreshments served! Great door prizes!
NOT handicapped accessible

March 26, 2009 - 6:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu.

Joy J. Bartel, 23, of Corfu, was arrested Tuesday for alleged shoplifting. She is accused of stealing $74.80 in items from K-mart. She is charged with petty larceny.

March 18, 2009 - 9:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, scott doll.

CORFU, N.Y. -- Todd Skeet won an easy re-election as mayor of Corfu tonight, but the vote count that will probably get the most attention is the 47 ballots cast for Scott Doll.

Doll is the GOP candidate accused of murder. The unusual Corfu election has received a little national news coverage.

Skeet received 109 votes.

In the trustee vote, Ralph Peterson received 138 votes and Al Graham tallied 97. Ken Laur received 56 votes.

Lorie Longhany, chair of Genesee County Democratic Committee, said: "Todd, Al and Rosey Peterson exemplify a common sense approach to local public service.  They work tirelessly for the betterment of the village of Corfu and that is what local government is about.  I congratulate them on their re-election. The Democratic Committee is proud to have endorsed Todd Skeet and Al Graham."

UPDATE: Here's the official results from the Corfu clerk's office:

Results of Village of Corfu Elections were as follows:
(Winner in Bold & Underlined)

Mayor: (2) Years – Democrat    – Todd A. Skeet          109
Mayor: (2) Years – Republican  – Scott F. Doll           47
        Write –in                David Bielec             2

Two Positions
Trustee: (2) Years – Democrat   – Albert Graham Jr       97
Trustee: (2) Years – Democrat   – Ralph Peterson         84
Trustee: (2) Years – Republican – Kenneth J. Lauer       56
Trustee: (2) Years – Republican – Ralph Peterson         54
          (Ralph Peterson – Total votes  138

Justice: (4) Years – Democrat   – Robert Alexander       85
Justice: (4) Years – Republican – Robert Alexander       62
                                         Total           147


March 17, 2009 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, wbta, Le Roy, corfu.

People curious how many votes Scott Doll might get in the Corfu mayoral election will wait until tomorrow to find out.

Doll is charged with second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his business partner, Joseph A. Benaquist.

The unusual election made the CBS national news on WBTA this afternoon.

Village elections are usually held on Tuesdays, but Corfu, which has the only village election this year in Genesee County, delayed its election until Wednesday this year because of St. Patrick's Day.

In other news:

  • Construction on a $5 million roundabout, the first in Batavia, on Walnut Street, begins tomorrow. WBTA posted an interview with Asst. City Manger Sally Kuzon.
  • There will be no curb-side pick up of yard waste in Batavia this year and residents are asked to bring their waste, beginning April 1, to the Law Street collection station.
  • The municipal pools in LeRoy will not open this year due to lack of funds for needed repairs.

For more details on these and other stories, visit the WBTA news page.

March 16, 2009 - 6:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, corfu.

Jason R. Anderson, 27, of Elba, was arrested Saturday on a charge of petty larceny. He is accused of stealing items from the Dollar Store.

Brandt L. Arnold, Jr., 28, of Corfu, was arrested on DWI related charges Sunday morning in Darien. Arnold was stopped at 3:30 a.m. on Fargo Road. He is charged with felony DWI and driving with at BAT of .18 or higher.

Steven M. Coakley, 25, of Bergen, was arrested on DWI charges Sunday morning in Byron. Coakley is charged with a misdemeanor count of DWI and with driving with a BAT of .08 or more.

March 13, 2009 - 10:05am
posted by Brian Hillabush in politics, election, pembroke, corfu, scott doll.

When Scott Doll was arrested for the alleged murder of 66-year old Joseph Benaquist in Pembroke a few weeks back, it was at a time while he was preparing to run for mayor of Corfu.

Doll, who entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday, remains on the ballot because it was too late for the Republican party to take him of the ticket. Doll's family owned a supermarket in the village for years and he had only recently moved back to Corfu. He has no prior experience in government.

The only Genesee County village to hold an election on Wednesday is Corfu, so Doll is in jail and will make news for two reasons on that day. He is scheduled for a bail hearing, but will also be a choice for voters as he will be facing incumbent Todd Skeet in the election.

The Buffalo News today previews the Corfu elections, while also noting that Bergen, Elba, Le Roy and Oakfield do not hold elections this year while Alexander will be holding a meeting-type election in April.

March 10, 2009 - 5:44pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in crime, pembroke, corfu, murder, scott doll, genesee county court.

 Scott Doll was arraigned in Genesee County Court Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty.

Doll is the Corfu man that is charged with the murder of his friend and business parter, Joseph Benequist, on Feb. 16. 

Doll's attorneys asked judge Robert Noonan to allow him to post bail because he is a custodial parent to his 17-year old daughter, has a clean record and can afford the bail. 

"He's going to make every court appearance," Attorney Paul Cambria says in Daily News reporter Paul Mrozek's story. Doll, if released pending trial, will wear an ankle bracelet that can track his whereabouts with a global positioning system, his attorney said.

Doll is facing life in prison if convicted of the killing and Noonan has scheduled a bail application hearing for Wednesday, March 18.

February 19, 2009 - 2:43pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff, pembroke, corfu, murder, courts.

Scott F. Doll has been indicted by a grand jury today on a count of murder in the second-degree, Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said. Doll is accused of killing his business associate and acquaintance, Joseph A. Benaquist, who was found beaten to death in the driveway of his Pembroke home early Tuesday morning.

An arraignment has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, at 2:15 p.m. in county court.

Friedman explained by phone that second-degree murder is "what you usually hear about" in such homicide cases. "That is the intentional killing of another person," he said. That is to be distinguished from first-degree murder, which would involve an intentional killing of a police officer or a judge, for example.

No weapon has been found yet, said Friedman. "But that's not necessary, just like a body is not necessary for a murder conviction. It is certainly something that will be looked for, but we can proceed without it."

It's still too early to say whether or not the case will go to trial. "It's the very beginning of the proceeding," said Friedman.

Doll was found walking along North Lake Road in Pembroke late Monday night "stained with fresh blood." A subsequent investigation led officers to the home of Benaquist, where they discovered the body. Doll was charged with second-degree murder the following afternoon.

Please see our initial post for the full details.

February 18, 2009 - 5:19pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff, pembroke, corfu, murder, courts.

Officers were out at the scene today searching for the murder weapon in the death of Joseph Benaquist, Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha said. Scott Doll is currently in custody on the charge of second-degree murder for allegedly beating Benaquist to death two nights ago.

Maha informed us that investigators were "searching the area" around Benaquist's home at 683 Knapp Road in Pembroke to "see if (the weapon) had been discarded by Mr. Doll." No weapon has yet been found. Investigators also have yet to determine a motive for the alleged homicide. Benaquist and Doll both served as corrections officers, and they were in an auto sales business together. Maha stressed, however, that a motive "does not need to be established."

The case against Doll is being prepared for a grand jury hearing tomorrow. District Attorney Lawrence Friedman will present the case for indictment. If the jury decides to indict, Doll will then be arraigned in county court.

We haven't yet connected with Friedman for more details on the grand jury appointment tomorrow.

February 18, 2009 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, scott doll.

There's an underlying assumption in today's Daily News story on murder suspect Scott Doll's mayoral candidacy in Corfu that Doll shouldn't be on the ballot.

Two phrases related to America's judicial system spring to mind: presumption of innocence and innocent until proven guilty.

Doll hasn't even been indicted yet for the beating death of Joseph Benaquist.

The evidence against Doll, as reported so far, is pretty damning.  But none of us where there. None of us yet really know what's going on.  There could be as yet some undiscovered or unreleased piece of evidence exonerating Doll.

I'm not saying or even suggesting that such evidence exists.  The issue to me is it seems a violation of due process to remove Doll's name -- a punishment of sorts -- from the Corfu ballot until he's convicted.  Shouldn't we just drop the question of whether his name is on the ballot until he is either convicted or admits the crime?  If neither happens before the election in March, it's up to the voters of Corfu to decide whether they want to stand behind a man suspected of murder.

February 18, 2009 - 7:20am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff, pembroke, corfu, murder.

We received the following statement from Corfu Mayor Todd Skeet by e-mail late last night. In full:

I would like to extend the sympathy and prayers of the entire community to the families affected by the recent tragedy in the Town of Pembroke.  We are a tightly knit community.  Now is the time to put their needs foremost in our hearts, minds and prayers.  We ask that everyone show the greatest respect for their privacy in the difficult days ahead.

Any requests for further official statements should be directed to the Genesee County Sheriff's office.  We ask that everyone be considerate and allow us all time to heal.

February 17, 2009 - 3:01pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, crime, police, sheriff, pembroke, corfu, murder.

Murder suspect Scott F. Doll was recently endorsed by Republicans to run on their ticket for mayor in the village of Corfu.

Doll was arraigned earlier today on a felony count of second-degree murder in the death of his business associate and former colleague, Joseph E. Benaquist, who was found bludgeoned to death in his driveway early this morning.

Please see our initial post for the full details.

Corfu Village Clerk Sandra Thomas informed us that Doll had only recently moved back to the village and had no prior experience in the government there. He was endorsed by the Corfu Republicans during a caucus that was held on January 26. Elections for the village are scheduled for March 17.

We left a message for Mayor Todd Skeet. We have not yet heard back. We also tried to contact Andrea Vogler, who was listed as the chair of the Corfu Republicans on the caucus information that was supplied to the county.

Doll's family has been prominent in the Corfu community, where they owned "Doll's Super Duper grocery store" for 40 years, as Scott DeSmit reports for the Daily News.

Officials have yet to release any more information on the business ties between the two men. They have only said that the two were "in business together," and that they picked up used cars at an auction at Clarence which they then sold to customers in the area.

A check at the Genesee County Clerk's Office yielded no significant results when we searched for business information related to Doll and Benaquist. Doll was, however, listed on a financing statement for a loan from Automotive Financing Corp., along with the business SF Enterprizes, which had a listed address of 3 Corfu Plaza.

View Larger Map

This is a look into that plaza from Route 33. We drove through and did not see any signs for a business by the name of SF Enterprizes.

Investigators were absent from the scene of the alleged murder this afternoon at the home of Joseph Benaquist in Pembroke. A lone dog was to be found at the house, chained up out front of the garage.

February 17, 2009 - 12:07pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff, video, pembroke, corfu, murder.

PEMBROKE, N.Y. — Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha held a press conference this morning on the murder of Joseph E. Benaquist in Pembroke last night. Maha announced the imminent arrest of Scott F. Doll, who is in the process of being charged with second-degree murder.

Please see our earlier post for the full details.

February 17, 2009 - 11:02am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff, pembroke, emergency, corfu, murder.

PEMBROKE, N.Y. — A Corfu man who was found walking along North Lake Road in Pembroke soaked in "fresh blood" will be charged with the murder of a Pembroke man who was found bludgeoned to death in the driveway of his home early this morning, Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha said.

Scott F. Doll, 46, of 31 E. Main St., Corfu, will be charged with a felony count of second-degree murder in the death of Joseph E. Benaquist, 66, of 683 Knapp Road, Pembroke.

Deputies received a call last night at approximately 8:41 p.m. with reports of a "suspicious person" walking down North Lake Road in Pembroke. The individual, later identified as Doll, was "dressed all in camouflage" and carrying a car jack, a screwdriver and a lug wrench. When deputies arrived, they noticed that Doll's "clothes and sneakers were pretty well stained in what looked like fresh blood," said Maha.

"They asked him what was going on ... and the person was really quite evasive" said Maha. "The officers knew something wasn't right."

Deputies then determined that Doll had parked a van at a gas station on the corner of North Lake Road and Route 5. They found more blood inside the van and a pair of bloody gloves.

"So we had this person who was acting suspicious who had blood on him, so of course, we didn't buy his story, what he was telling us," said Maha. "So we started an investigation."

A relative of Doll's made comments that led officers to the home of Benaquist who was found dead "lying in a pool of blood in his driveway." Benaquist appeared to have suffered blunt trauma to the face and head.

Doll and Benaquist were acquaintances and "in business together" in an auto dealership that Maha believed to be located in Pembroke. The two men would purchase vehicles from an auction in Clarence, fix them up and then sell them, said Maha.

Doll is currently employed as a corrections officer at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, Erie County. Benaquist had retired from the same facility, where he also worked as a corrections officer.

Maha said it is too early in the investigation to believe that the auto dealership was the cause of the homicide. No neighbors had reported a fight between the two men last night. But Benaquist's home is "out in the country," said Maha, at least a hundred yards from its nearest neigbor.

Doll has "at least" two children, plus a sister and a brother who live in the area, said Maha. Doll was sent to Genesee County Jail without bail.

The investigation is ongoing. We will get up video coverage of the press conference within the hour.

View Larger Map

February 16, 2009 - 3:58pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, politics, Democrats, Elections, corfu.

From the Genesee County Democrats:

Two Democrats were unanimously endorsed for the upcoming Village of Corfu election. Todd "Skeeter" Skeets, incumbent mayor, and Al Graham, incumbent trustee, received the endorsements at the Committee's monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 10th. Democratic Committee Chairwoman Lorie Longhany expressed the members impression of the two men. "The Genesee County Democratic Committee proudly endorses Todd Skeets for Mayor of Corfu and Al Graham for Village Trustee.  These gentlemen represent public servants who have dedicated their time and talent for the betterment of the Village of Corfu with the kind of no nonsense approach that is needed in local government."

Committee members were impressed by the considerable resume of accomplishments the two share as public servants and their record of fiscal responsibility. "We reduced the hauling of sludge from at least once a week, but sometimes more often, at a cost of $400 to $800 to not having to haul at all for 18 months." said Mayor Skeets. "In addition, we're working very hard on establishing relations with surrounding municipalities for the use of our sewer plant as well as other shared services."

The Genesee Democratic Committee is looking forward to supporting these outstanding local candidates and many more in upcoming elections.

January 26, 2009 - 8:06am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff, corfu.

Andrew Sargent, 32, of 9 Pearl St., Apt: Upper, Batavia, was charged with three felony counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument Friday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Sargent is accused of forging the name of his boss on three payroll checks and redeeming them for cash during the months of November and December, of last year. He was sent to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Robert L. Miller, 56, of Williamsville, was charged with driving while intoxicated Thursday, Corfu village police said. Miller was stopped for an alleged traffic violation on Route 77 in the village. He was also ticketed with failure to keep right.

Robert J. Fackelman, 48, of Rochester, was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs Friday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Fackelman was stopped for an alleged traffic violation on Route 33 in the town of Stafford. He was also ticketed with speeding.

Justin Bird, 20, of 7963 State Street Road, Batavia, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful dealing with fireworks Friday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Bird was stopped for an alleged traffic violation in Batavia. He was also ticketed with operating a motor vehicle with obstructed vision and moving from the lane unsafely.

Cody L. Osborn, 21, of Caledonia, was charged with driving while intoxicated Saturday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Osborn was picked up after he crashed his vehicle on Route 19 near Bissell Road in Bergen. He was also ticketed with moving from the lane unsafely.

Joshua A. Harris, 19, of 24 Columbia Ave., Batavia, was charged with second-degree criminal contempt Sunday, city police said. Harris allegedly violated an order of protection during a domestic dispute with a female acquaintance. He was sent to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $500 bail.

James E. Ellott, 19, of 6 Forrest Edge, Batavia, was charged with driving while intoxicated Sunday, city police said. Elliott was picked up after he crashed his vehicle into a snow embankment on East Avenue near Trumbull Parkway. He was also ticketed with unlicensed driver and unsafe lane change.

James M. Stepp, 57, of Le Roy, was charged with a felony count of driving while intoxicated and a felony count of aggravated DWI Saturday, city police said. Stepp was picked up after he crashed his vehicle into a snow bank at the corner of Ross Street and Washington Avenue. He was sent to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

December 15, 2008 - 5:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, corfu.

A chimney fire has been reported at 8824 Lovers Lane, in Corfu. It has been upgraded to a second alarm fire.

We'll most more information when it's available.

UDPATE: 5:24 p.m. The alarm has been down graded and some units returning to stations.

October 29, 2008 - 8:06am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, corfu.

Genesee County's Health Department will be holding another flu shot clinic this morning. This time it's in Corfu at the Corfu Presbyterian Church on Alleghany Road from 9:30am to noon.

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