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June 17, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, Darien, batavia.

Edward James Leddick, 23, of Cheektowaga, is charged with second-degree harassement. At 12:39 a.m. on June 17 Leddick was arrested following an argument on Fargo Road in the Town of Darien. It is alleged that during the arugment, Leddick struck a female in the nose and pushed her to the ground. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Darien Court on July 7. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein.

Eric Duda, 46, of Prestige Crossing, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief. At 11:20 p.m. on June 14, deputies responded to Prestige Crossing in the Town of Batavia for a reported criminal mischief complaint. After an investigation Duda was arrested. He allegedly damaged property valued at $300 that belonged to another person. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on July 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eril Andre, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen

Daniel Jon Lewis, 23, of Meadow Farm South, North Chili, is charged with second-degree assault. He was arrested on June 11 for an assault that allegedly occurred at 10:09 p.m. on June 10 while he was incaracerated in the Genesee County Jail. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or bond. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Kelly James Rhim, 40, of Coven Street, Rochester, is charged with second-degree assault. He was arrested on June 11 for an assault that allegedly occurred at 9:49 p.m. on June 10 while he was incarcerated in the Genesee County Jail. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or bond. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

June 15, 2019 - 4:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, news, accidents.

A two-vehicle accident in which one vehicle rolled over is reported at Sumner Road and County Line Road in Darien. A first responder reports minor injuries and two of the patients are children. Darien fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: A vehicle is in the middle of the intersection; traffic control will be needed.

May 31, 2019 - 12:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in zoladz construction, Darien, business.

One of the area's largest construction firms, owned by Darien Center resident John Zoladz, lost a $435,692 contract for a project in Hamburg this week, after being the low bidder, and is blaming what the company describes as a pro-union front group for the change of direction.

Meanwhile, an organization calling itself The New York Foundation for Fair Contracting sent out a press release celebrating the decision by unnamed Erie County leaders, who squashed the Zoladz contract under the state's "Lowest Responsible Bidder" law.

The law allows government agencies to reject low bids from contractors not deemed qualified. Generally, that means the company placing the lowest bid has the capability to fully and reliably perform the contract requirements.

NYFFC's press release suggests Zoladz is not qualified because of two work-related deaths in the past couple of years and was accused of falsely claiming it was a small business owned by a service-disabled veteran.

The NYFFC press release says that Zoladz paid a $3 million fine, which is not entirely accurate. The company was required to pay a portion of that fine and there as no finding of liability.

While NYFFC portrays itself as a "watchdog" group, Zoladz, which is a non-union shop, alleges that the trustees of the nonprofit have strong ties to International Union of Operating Engineers Local 17.

"The entities share the same address and likely share services," Zoladz said in its press release. "The trustees also appear to include at least one apparent operator of a company that directly competes with Zoladz.

"Finally, the 'Foundation' appears to be funded, at least in part, by union-employer contributions from collective-bargaining agreements. It is clear that, even without the 'Foundation’s' previous history with Zoladz as explained below, it is a motivated competitor of open-shop Zoladz."

It is true that Zoladz was fined by the OSHA over work-related deaths of employees. In August of 2016, Aaron L. Wellman died when a piece of construction equipment rolled off a trailer on Route 20 in Darien Center. The fine in that case was $8,000. On April 5, 2018, an employee was caught in a conveyor belt and suffocated. Zoladz was fined $43,000.

"To the NYFFC’s understanding, this is the first instance of Erie County using its lawful responsible bidder authority," the NYFFC said in its statement. "This enforcement ensures responsible contractors who abide by the law and deliver a high-quality product have a fair shot at public works contracts."

In the Hamburg project, Zoladz bid on just a portion of the $3 million job. The company blames competitors for lobbying against the company receiving the contract.

From the press release:

"Zoladz Construction disagrees strongly with the county’s sudden reversal, coming as it does in the wake of governmental pressure from competitors," said Jennifer K. Harvey, attorney for Zoladz.

"While we certainly agree with DPW that the settlement at issue in this matter does not result in a negative finding, we vigorously dispute the legal and factual reasons DPW cited as a basis for finding Zoladz’ bid incomplete and subject to rejection.

"We are requesting a hearing to exhaust our administrative remedies, and we remain confident and hopeful that Zoladz will be able to start work soon on this long-promised project that’s so critical to the safety and peace of mind of county taxpayers driving in Hamburg."

The press release states the NYFFC issued a letter May objecting to the award of the contract and said the group has mounted a similar "attack" in Niagara County but that the County Legislature there investigated and found the complaints without merit before awarding the company a $1.8 million contract for work on the county landfill.

Zoladz, based in Alden, employes 175 people and was founded by cousins John Zoladz and Tom Dougherty in 1985, when they had only a tractor and a backhoe. Now they have offices in Charlotte, N.C., Avon, and Lackawanna.

May 28, 2019 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Darien, Bethany, corfu.

Zachary V.D. Seeley, 22, of Miller Avenue, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. It is alleged that at 9:12 p.m. on May 25 that Seeley was in violation of an order of protection. He was arrested, arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Angela Louise Flowers, 48, of Watson Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. At 6:15 p.m. on May 26, Flowers allegedly pushed another person, who had an order of protection against her. She was arrested, arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. She is due back in court today (May 28). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

A 17-year-old male was arrested for third-degree criminal mischief after an incident at 6:20 p.m. on Hewitt Place in Batavia in which he allegedly damaged a city police car. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or bond. He is to return to court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Offcer Stephen Quider, assisted by Det. Eric Hill.

Frank James Falcone, 33, of Batavia Bethany Townline Road, Bethany, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; failure to dim headlights; operating an unregistered motor vehicle; refusal to take a breath test; and open container in a motor vehicle. Falcone was arrested at 2:28 a.m. on May 26 on Lewiston Road in Batavia. After his arraignment, he was released on his own recognizance and is due in Batavia Town Court on June 24. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Austin Heberlein.

Jamie L. Edenholm, 32, of Gabbey Road, Corfu, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs; criminal possession of a controlled substance; unlicensed operator; and following too closely. At 1:06 p.m. on May 25, after the investigation of a property damage accident on Main Street in Batavia, Edenholm was arrested on these charges. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court to answer the charges on June 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Robert James Patnode, 50, of Bishop Street, Warsaw, is charged with driving while intoxicated; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and moving from lane unsafely. Patnode was arrested at 7:54 p.m. on May 26 on Route 238 in Darien. He was issued an appearance ticket for June 20 in Darien Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Saile, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

Jordan Scott Thomas, 20, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. At 3:59 p.m. on May 25, Thomas was arrested after allegedly stealing merchandise from Kohl's department store on Veterans Memorial Drive at 12:12 p.m. on May 21. Thomas was released on an appearance ticket for June 3 in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore.

Quinn M. Pritchard, 28, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Pritchard was arrested after a shoplifting complaint at the Dollar General on East Main Street in Batavia at 12:23 p.m. on May 24. The defendant was released with an appearance ticket for June 4 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post.

Shane Zimblis, 48, of South Swan Street, Batavia was arrested on May 27 on a bench warrant. Zimblis was located at his residence after police arrived for an unrelated complaint. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond. Zimblis is due back in court today (May 28). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

May 28, 2019 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake performing arts center, Darien, news, crime.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Chris Young concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday:

Danielle M. Molisani, 19, of Black Street Road, Caledonia, is charged with false personation after allegedly providing a false name while being ejected from the concert venue.

David M. Filion, 22, of Redlein Drive, Lancaster, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Michelle S. Scheib, 41, of Fulton Street, Buffalo, s charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching a security guard in the head.

Donald D. Mikowski, 21, of Wabash Avenue, Cheektowaga, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly pushing and hitting a security guard inside the venue.

Anthony R. Mason, 30, of Marsdale Road, Buffalo, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC over .08 percent after allegedly being found operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Eric J. Rejman, 33, of Maishoss Street, Cheektowaga, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC over .08 percent and refusing to submit to prescreen device after allegedly being found operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition in the parking lot.

May 18, 2019 - 6:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake theme park, Darien.

 

Video Sponsor

 

Officials at Darien Lake Theme Park invited the media yesterday to preview the park's newest thrill ride, SkyScreamer, which opened to the public today.

Here's a press release about the ride:

Six Flags Darien Lake – The Thrill Capital of New York – is proud to announce the opening of its newest attraction, Six Flags SkyScreamer.

Yesterday, members of the media were invited to be amongst the first to experience this 24-story, sky-high swing ride. Towering above the park at an incredible 242 feet, Six Flags SkyScreamer is the tallest thrill ride in New York State. 

“Six Flags continues to lead the way in innovation as we bring the state’s tallest ride to Western New York," said Park President Chris Thorpe. "We are thrilled to add this shining beacon and iconic landmark to the Six Flags Darien Lake skyline.

"From this impressive tower guests will soar high among the clouds, taking in majestic views of the park and surrounding countryside below.”

By night, Six Flags SkyScreamer’s bold, synchronized lighting package will light up the sky and beckon thrill-seekers near and far.

  • A soaring 24-stories tall;
  • 32 riders, sitting two across in open-air swings; and
  • Spinning round and round a 98-foot circle at 35 miles per hour. 

Six Flags SkyScreamer will open to the public Saturday, May 18. For more information on Six Flags Darien Lake’s 2019 season visit www.darienlake.com

Six Flags 2019 Memberships and Season Passes are now available. Members can enjoy priority park entry, preferred parking and tremendous discounts of up to 50 percent on nearly all food and merchandise purchases all season long.

Gold Plus, Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Elite levels are available featuring all the perks of a Season Pass plus other benefits including admission to all Six Flags branded theme and waterparks, skip-the-line passes, unlimited soft drinks and much more!

For more information, visit the Membership Sales Center or go online to sixflags.com/darienlake and sign up.

Here are some stats on the Six Flags SkyScreamer:

At a staggering 242 feet high Six Flags SkyScreamer is the tallest thrill ride in New York State. It takes riders seated in swings up 24 stories and spins them around a 98-foot circle at speeds up to 35 mph. Riders will experience breathtaking views of Six Flags Darien Lake they have never seen before at thrilling speeds.

  • 242-feet high, 24 stories
  • 32 swing seats
  • Speeds up to 35 miles per hour
  • 1,600 LED lights on the tower, more than 1,100 additional puck LED lights on the globe
  • Ride time is approximately three minutes
  • Spins in a 98-foot circle
April 30, 2019 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake theme park, business, Darien.

skyscreamergoesvertical1.jpg

Press release:

Six Flags Darien Lake is proud to announce construction work on the park’s newest attraction, Six Flags SkyScreamer, is in its final stages. At a staggering 242-feet high Six Flags SkyScreamer will be the tallest thrill ride in New York State. This high-flying new addition solidifies the park as the “Thrill Capital of New York State."

“As a shining beacon of Six Flags Darien Lake, this monstrous tower will serve as an iconic new landmark, calling out to thrill-seekers everywhere,” said Park President Chris Thorpe. “Soaring high among the clouds with majestic views of the park and surrounding countryside far below, guests will take to new, record-setting heights in New York State this season.”

By night, Six Flags SkyScreamer’s bold, synchronized light package will light up the skies.

  • A soaring 24-stories tall approximately 242-feet high;
  • 32 riders, sitting two across in open-air swings; and
  • Spinning round and round a 98-foot circle at 35 miles per hour. 

Six Flags SkyScreamer is scheduled to open by mid-May. For more information on Six Flags Darien Lake’s 2019 season visit www.darienlake.com

Six Flags 2019 Memberships and Season Passes are now available. Members can enjoy priority park entry, preferred parking and tremendous discounts of up to 50 percent on nearly all food and merchandise purchases all season long.

Gold Plus, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Elite levels are available featuring all the perks of a Season Pass plus other benefits including admission to all Six Flags-branded theme and waterparks, skip the line passes, unlimited soft drinks and much more!

For more information, visit the Membership Sales Center or go online to sixflags.com/darienlake and sign up.

skyscreamergoesvertical2.jpg

skyscreamergoesvertical4.jpg

April 24, 2019 - 4:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Darien.
robertgeretymug2019120.jpg
     Robert Gerety

Robert Richard Gerety (right photo), 45, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt in the first degree and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested following an investigation of a domestic incident that occurred at 9:28 p.m. on April 18 on Chestnut Street in Batavia. He allegedly grabbed a female acquaintance by the neck in violation of an order of protection. He was subsequently found to have an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in Batavia City Court. After arraignment, he was processed at the jail and allegedly found to possess a crack pipe, according to the police report. So he was charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia. He was held without bail and is due in Batavia City Court on May 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

latoyajacksonmug2019120.jpg
      Latoya Jackson

Latoya Denise Jackson (right photo), 33, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree assault. At 10:20 p.m. on April 20, Batavia police responded to a Vine Street residence for a physical disturbance call. After investigation, Jackson was arrested for allegedly cutting a male with a knife. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. She was due back in city court on April 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Kishonti D. Williams, 28, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs -- first offense; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree; operating a motor vehicle while using a portable device; and unlawful possession of marijuana. On April 22 at 11:22 a.m. Williams was stopped on Route 5 in the City of Batavia for a vehicle and traffic violation. Following a roadside investigation, Williams was arrested. At the jail, GC Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer, a Drug Recognition Expert, administered a Drug Influence Evaluation and concluded Williams was impaired by drugs. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on May 16. The investigation was handled by Deputy Ryan Delong, assisted by Deputy Meyer.

John Roderick Benton, 61, of Colby Road, Darien, is charged with: Felony DWI -- operation of a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08 percent or more, with a prior conviction within 10 years; felony DWI with a previous conviction; and failure to keep right. It is alleged that at 1:39 p.m. on April 21 on Tinkham Road in Darien that Benton drove up to a GC Sheriff's deputy and made an inquiry then immediately drove off. The deputy observed Benton unable to maintain his lane of travel and a traffic stop was conducted. Benton was subsequently arrested and issued appearance tickets for Town of Darien Court, where he is due to appear on May 7. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwater, assisted by Kevin McCarthy.

Patrick J. Michael, 38, of Batavia, was arrested by the City of Batavia Police Department on April 14 on an active Warrant of Arrest issued by the Wyoming County Family Court. Michael was wanted for failure to pay child support. Michael was turned over to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office where he was arraigned in the Village of Warsaw Court and put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $3,000 cash bail or bond.

Robert R. Richmond, 55, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with trespass. At 4:43 p.m. on April 20, Richmond was arrested on North Street in Batavia after he allegedly entered a building to use the restroom after previously being avvised that he is not welcome on the property. He was processed and released on an appearance ticket. He is due in Batavia City Court on April 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

April 11, 2019 - 10:41am
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, news, hunting accident.

An adult male suffered a gunshot wound to the leg while hunting in Darien. "Sounds like bird shot (type of ammunition)," says a dispatcher. He is said to be in a field, conscious and alert, and making his way toward a house. It's on Broadway Road, between Darien-Alexander Townline Road and Smithley Road.

Mercy Flight is on a ground standby. Darien Fire Department is responding along with its ambulance. Alexander's gator was called to respond, then cancelled.

"Scattered shotgun pattern, right and left lower leg, probably a dozen pellets, minor bleeding at this point," says a first responder.

April 11, 2019 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, news.

Press release:

The mandatory referendum on the establishment of Water District No. 6 in the Town of Darien has been completed. The result of the April 10, 2019 referendum is 684 “No” votes, 183 “Yes” votes and one Affidavit vote still pending validation.

While the vote count remains unofficial, the result of the referendum will not change. Therefore, the Establishment of Water District No. 6 in the Town of Darien is not approved, and the Town is proceeding to file the required documents to close out this action. 

David Hagelberger, Supervisor

March 31, 2019 - 12:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in maple weekend, maple, Randall Maple, Darien, agriculture.

 

Video Sponsor

 

Maple weekend concludes today (March 31). The annual event is a chance for area residents to visit a local maple farm, learn about maple production and the tools and techniques for producing maple and sample some of the items made locally with maple.

Saturday we visited with Eric Randall, owner of Randall Maple, founder of Maple Weekend, which is now a national event, and past president of the North American Maple Syrup Council.

Locations to visit in Genesee County:

Randall's Maple Products
10307 Smithley Road
Alexander, NY 14005 

Junior's Maple Products
9280 Alexander Road (Route 98 South)
Batavia, NY 14020 

Sweet Dream Maple Farm
1116 Reynolds Road
Corfu, NY 14036 

March 29, 2019 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, Darien, fire.

Darien beekeeper and mead maker Michael Potoczak is managing to keep his chin up along with his spirits after a swift-moving fire early Sunday morning destroyed his businesses at 541 Bell Road.

Around 6 a.m. on March 24, callers half a mile away on Sumner Road called 9-1-1 to report the blaze. The Darien Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene quickly, but the buildings which contained the beekeeping and winemaking equipment were already "on the ground."

A Sheriff's deputy pounded on the door of the nearby house to alert the residents, prompting the family's two dogs to bark, waking up Potoczak and his two sons -- who all got out safely, including the dogs. A beloved 14-year-old calico cat named Lily perished in the fire.

"I tried to save my diesel truck," said the 77-year-old, who is an associate professor emeritus of Math and Physics at the University of Buffalo. "But it was so hot I couldn't even get near it to open the door."

The cause of the fire is unknown.

"I've really stood strong. I just deal with it. But it does get emotional," Potoczak said, noting that he lost all the equipment that he had accumulated during 45 years of beekeeping and making wine from honey on his 150-acre property.

He's not sure what the future holds for the businesses -- Potoczak Bee Farms and Midgard Winery -- but he will have a better idea of whether starting completely over is possible once the insurance claims are settled in the coming weeks.

Turns out the metal buildings, 40' by 60', were insured but nothing inside them was covered.

"They really did a number on me," he said. "The insurance agent came out and I took him through and showed him everything. He said I'd have the same coverage; it's not even close. He put in zero where it said the value of the contents and I didn't notice that. You have to have someone who knows insurance read the document to know what it says."

By Potoczak's estimation, his loss is worth $400,000 or more. He figures the buildings' value at $250,000 (insurance says $130,000), plus he lost the heating furnace, a new skidster worth $33,000 and the $20,000 diesel truck; $75,000 in winemaking equipment including four stainless steel fermenting tanks worth $4,000 each, filters, and $85,000 in beekeeping equipment.

How much he can recoup will influence his decision whether to continue the businesses, which are intended as a way for his children to make a living.

His customers, he says, "have been phenomenal" and are encouraging him to start anew.

His beehives are all outside and located at different 20 sites for his WNY customers. The mead, which he has sold for about five years, can be found in 50 WNY liquor stores, including locations in Genesee County (Mr. Wine & Liquor), Wyoming County (Warsaw, Attica), Orleans County (Medina), and Erie and Chautauqua counties. The fermented honey wine is about 12 percent alcohol by volume, on a par with, say, cabernet sauvignon.

Regardless of what the future holds, Potoczak's daughter, Elizabeth Knaus, said she is grateful to everyone who came to her family's rescue.

"I would like to send out a big thank you to the emergency personnel who responded so quickly," Knaus wrote in an email. "Also to the our neighbors who could see and hear the fire and called it in. If it wasn't for them, I probably would not have my dad or my brothers today. Thank you!"

Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Knaus.

For initial report, click here.

March 24, 2019 - 6:21am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, Darien.

A working garage fire is reported at 541 Bell Road, Darien. The structure is about 40 to 50  square feet and is "on the ground" -- burned up -- at this point, but there are several exposures to other structures that firefighters will deal with, says a first responder on scene. There's a gap of 20 to 30 feet between the garage and another structure.

The city's Fast Team was called, then canceled. All available manpower from Darien is responding, along with mutual aid from Alexander, Pembroke, Corfu and Indian Falls.

There's a pond on Bell Road that firefighters may be able to access; it's estimated to be 1,050 feet from the fire.

The location is off Fargo Road and it's at the dead end of the street.

UPDATE 6:26 a.m.: Alexander is to fill in at Darien's Fire Hall. There's a live power line in front of the garage, firefighters are told.

March 18, 2019 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Darien.

Lee George Ezzell, 64, of Genesee Street, Darien, is charged with second-degree harassment. At 10 a.m. on March 17 on Genesee Street in Darien, Ezzell was arrested. It is alleged that with intent to annoy, harass, or alarm a person, he used an open hand to strike that person in the back of the head. Ezzell was issued an appearance ticket for April 2 in Darien Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen

Joey Aaron Evans, 28, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. At 4:03 p.m. on March 16, Evans was arrested after he allegedly stole two Dyson V6 vacuums from Walmart. He was arraigned then released on his own recognizance. He is due in Batavia Town Court on April 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

Mary Ellen Bruton, 63, of Gilman Road, Churchville, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher; and having a vehicle stopped, standing or parked on a highway. She was arrested at 10:32 p.m. on March 17 on Park Road in Batavia following a traffic stop. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on April 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Justin T. Gladney, 29, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, was arrested on March 13 at 11:37 a.m. on Hutchins Street in Batavia on three separate warrants issued by Batavia City Court. One was a bench warrant for failure to appear. The second was an arrest warrant for failure to appear on an appearance ticket. These were in connection to two petit larceny charges. The third warrant was for first-degree falsifying business records and criminal impersonation in the second degree -- for allegedly giving a false name to the police and while being fingerprinted at the GC Jail. Gladney was put in jail with bail set at $2,500 cash or bond on the first two warrants and bail of $15,000 cash or bond for the new charges that garnered the third warrant. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Sgt. Daniel Coffey.

Pablo Abdiel Cintron Guzman, 18, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested at 4:54 p.m. March 17 on Park Road in Batavia following a traffic stop. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on April 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

March 13, 2019 - 6:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in strongman, sports, Darien, powerlifting.

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Darien resident Lucas Birkby came home Sunday with five medals from a powerlifting competition in Mamaroneck sponsored by United States Strongman Inc. 

Birkby set official state records for the axle clean and press at 320 pounds, the 18-inch deadlift at 700 pounds, deadlift at 650 pounds, the log press at 310 pounds, and the atlas stone, at 360 pounds. The axle clean and the 18-inch deadlift are also national records for the heavyweight teen division.

His father, Scott Birkby said, "In addition to training at home, Luke has been training twice a week at Iron and Stone Strength gym in Clarence. His trainer is Tony Kalisz. We found this Strongman gym through a Google search since Luke's ultimate dream is to become the world's strongest man.

"I've got the feeling that the fellows there raised an eyebrow when we wrote to them and said that a teenager (he was 17 and just turned 18 this February) wanted to do strongman, but they said: 'go ahead and send him in.' That was about 10 months ago. Luke and the guys (and girls!) at the gym have had a great time since he showed up. 

Birkby has qualified to compete at the nationals in June in Columbus, Ohio.

Scott said his son is PED-free (performance-enhancing drug), adding, "Our grocery bill has taken a pretty big hit for this."

Photos and info submitted by Scott Birkby.

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March 13, 2019 - 6:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, news, notify.

A grand jury stenographer has allegedly been audio recording grand jury proceedings, which isn't legally permissible, and the attorneys for Jennifer L. Serrano think the stenographer's actions are enough to get a second-degree vehicular manslaughter charge dismissed.

The 48-year-old Serrano was charged following the Aug. 11 death of 18-year-old Connor Lynskey after a Jason Aldean concert in Darien.

"I was not aware of the recordings until recently and as a matter of an ethical obligation, I notified the defense attorneys involved," said District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

While attorneys Frank LoTempio III, and Jack Sanchez have filed a motion seeking dismissal of the grand jury indictment against Serrano, Friedman doesn't believe the recordings jeopardize the case.

"We do not believe, regardless of what the court decides, it will result in the dismissal of the indictment or lead to anything that would delay the case."

Friedman has until April 5 to file his answer to the motion with the court and Judge Charles Zambito may conduct a hearing on the motion April 25 at 1:30 p.m. LoTempio and Sanchez have asked to put the stenographer on the stand at the hearing. It will be up to Zambito to decide if there should be a hearing and whether to call the stenographer to the stand.

The recordings, if made, are a potential violation of New York's Judiciary Law, though Friedman disagrees with the analysis by LoTempio and Sanchez that the recordings rise to the level of a misdemeanor. Friedman isn't anticipating any charges in the case.

Friedman's office had no prior knowledge of the recordings and did not benefit from the recordings. The stenographer is an independent contractor and is not employed by the District Attorney's Office.

The stenographer was using a shorthand machine manufactured with the recording capability built right into the device, which is why the DA's office was not aware of the recording being made. Such a mahcine may be permissible in other legal proceedings but in New York, not in a grand jury proceeding.

Assistant District Attorney Shirley Gorman discovered the fact that the recordings were being made and brought it to Friedman's attention.

Friedman and the ADAs in his office have notified defense attorneys about the recordings but he didn't have a count for how many cases that might involve. As for as his own cases, only one other defense attorney has filed a motion related to the recordings.

"The bottom line, I really believe, is this is not going to be an issue that is going to impact cases," Friedman said. "We’re not concerned that we’re going to have indictments dismissed or any that severe as a result of this."

As for Serrano, if the case does go to trial, LoTempio said the defense is ready to proceed. They plan to bring forward an expert witness who will testify that Lynskey was intoxicated and either walking or running in the lane of traffic when he was struck.

The defense will argue that Lynskey was at fault in the accident, LoTempio said.

They also believe there is evidence to indicate that Serrano didn't know she had struck a person and therefore didn't have the requisite knowledge to be charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

The accident occurred Aug. 11 on Sumner Road. Lynskey was with friends and family at the Aldean concert at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. They were camping at Darien Lakes State Park. After the concert, the group started on foot back to the campground. The Sheriff's Office report of the accident indicated Lynskey decided to run ahead and catch up with a friend. When both groups were back at the camp, they realized Lynskey was missing. Law enforcement searched the area that night but did not find Lynskey. His body was found the next day in a ditch by the side of the road.

Serrano had been stopped and charged that night with a DWI. The accident may have occurred about a half hour before she was arrested. Through leads, Sheriff's investigators identified her as a suspect in the fatal accident.

March 11, 2019 - 2:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Darien, Oakfield.
shanemug2019zimblis.jpg
     Shane Zimblis

Shane Zimblis, 48, of South Swan Street, Batavia, turned himself into the Batavia Police Department on March 9 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. He is accused of damaging property belonging to another person and causing injury to another person by use of a baseball bat at 12:15 p.m. Feb. 19 on South Swan Street, Batavia. He is in GC Jail charged with: second-degree harassment; fourth-degree criminal mischief; second-degree assault -- injury with a weapon; and criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use. The case was handled by Batavia Police OfficerJason Ivison.

A 17-year-old male who lives on Ellicott Avenue in Batavia is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested on March 9 for allegedly hitting an 11-year-old male with a piece of wood, causing physical injury. The incident occurred on Maltby Road in Oakfield at 3:20 p.m. on Feb. 28. He is due in Oakfield Town Court at 6 o'clock this evening (March 11). The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Monica Jane White, 20, of Sunset Park, Oakfield, is charged with issuing a bad check. On March 8, following the investigation of a bad check, White was arrested, issued an appearance ticket, and is due in Town of Oakfield Court at 6 p.m. on March 25. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Sgt. John Baiocco.

Douglas Antwon Spencer IV, 37, of Park Road, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI; open container; and unlicensed operation. Spencer was arrested on Park Road after being found sitting in his vehicle in the middle of the GC Sheriff's Office parking lot entrance with an open container, allegedly driving while intoxicated. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Sgt. John Baiocco.

Woodrow C. Horseman, 42, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. On March 8, Batavia police responded to Tops Market in Batavia for a reported larceny. Responding patrols located the suspect on West Main Street and Woodrow Road. He allegedly stole three alcoholic drinks. Horseman was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on March 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Benjamin Jacob Skubis, 24, of Colby Road, Darien, is charged with third-degree bail jumping. Skubis voluntarily turned himself into Alabama Town Court on March 7. He was due there for an unspecified incident on June 7. He was released on his own recognizance and is to reappear in Alabama Town Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Sanfratello.

Joseph W. Freeman, 34, no address noted, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested Feb. 27 on a bench warrant issued Jan. 31 for an unspecified incident. Freeman was released on his own recognizance was due to return to Batavia City Court on March 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Frank Klimjack.

March 11, 2019 - 9:17am
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, accident, news.

A two-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Route 20 and County Line Road, Darien.

At least one person was trapped inside, but a first responder was able to pop open a rear door and extricate the person. Darien Fire Department and its ambulance are on scene.

The accident is not blocking the roadway, but traffic control is needed. Genesee County Sheriff's deputies are also on scene.

UPDATE 9:28 a.m.: Darien medics are en route to UMMC with one patient.

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