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June 21, 2022 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Opinion.

Summary:

  • Readers may submit either Letters to the Editor or Op-Eds;
  • Submission to the Opinion Page is open primarily to Genesee County residents;
  • All opinions are welcome but any statement of fact must be backed by evidence;
  • No personal insults, no name-calling, keep it civil;
  • Only digital submissions are accepted.
  • Submissions are not edited.

-- MORE --

October 1, 2022 - 4:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, pembroke.

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The Pembroke Dragons improved to 4-1 in eight-man football on Friday with a 41-14 win over Wellsville.

Tyson Totten rushed for 337 yards and four touchdowns to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing on the season.

Other scores were by Cayden Pfalzer and Caleb Felski.

Nathan Duttweiler led the team in tackles while Sean Pustulka and Avery Ferriera added an interception each.

Jayden Mast and Jayden Bridge each had a sack and Jacob Dulski a fumble recovery.

The Dragons play their last home game this Friday against the Holley Hawks for Homecoming and Senior Night. 

Submitted information and photos.

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October 1, 2022 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, sports, football.

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The Oatkan Knights got back on the winning side of the ball on Friday night against Bishop Timon-St. Jude, coming up with a 21-7 win.

Le Roy converted three turnovers into scores and held strong on defense in the third quarter when Bishop threatened from inside their 10.

Scoring:

  • First quarter, Le Roy at 3:07, Tony Piazza 3-yard run (Andrew Pocock kick)
  • Fourth quarter, Le Roy at 5:34, Adrian Stephens2-yard pass to Merritt Holly, Jr. (Pocock kick)
  • Fourth quarter, Le Roy at 2:37, Tony Piazza 5-yard run (Pocock kick)
  • Fourth quarter, Bishop at 2:10, James McNeil Jr. 60-yard run (Andrew Fino kick)

Pizza rushed for 114 yards on 15 caries.

On defense, Jack Tonzi had six tackles.

Photos by Ed Henry. Top photo: Le Roy RB Tony Piazza bulls through the Timon defense.

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Le Roy RB Drew Strollo sweeps around the end.

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Cal Koukides (24) and Jack Tonzi (33) bring down the Timon RB.

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Huge LeRoy team push versus Bishop Timon.

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Cal Koukides (24) and Jackson Fix swarm the Timon receiver.

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Cal Koukides (24) broke up several passes in the contest.

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Ayden Riggi (67) rejoices with Connor Hegeman (21) after Connor's INT.

October 1, 2022 - 3:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, gymnastics.

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The Genesee gymnastic team placed fourth in its meet at Bright Raven in Victor on Friday.

Final team results: 

  • Pittsford: 132.325, 
  • Gates-Brighton: 118.025
  • Rush-Henrietta: 116.55
  • Genesee: 109.725
  • HFL: 49.175
  • Victor: 33.3

Individual results:

  • All Around: 1. Elizabeth Power (Pittsford): 36.625,  10. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 29.125, 11. Roan Finn (Genesee): 28.75
  • Vault: 1. Elizabeth Power (Pittsford): 8.85, 12. Roan Finn & Mikayla Yohon (Genesee): 7.35, 16. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 7.225
  • Uneven Bars: 1. Elizabeth Power (Pittsford): 9.25, 14. Haylie Leitten (Genesee): 6.4, 15. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 6.3, 16. Roan Finn (Genesee): 6.25, 17. Gianna Trigilio (Genesee): 5.95
  • Balance Beam: 1. Elizabeth Power (Pittsford): 9.2, 8. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 7.8, 14. Roan Finn (Genesee): 7.25,  16. Haylie Leitten (Genesee): 7.1
  • Floor Exercise: 1. Elizabeth Power (Pittsford): 9.325, 12. Roan Finn (Genesee): 7.9, 14. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 7.8

"Even though the Genesee Varsity Gymnastics team placed 4th at the meet there were many personal bests to be happy about," said Head Coach Stephani Hamilton. "The girls will continue to work hard to achieve personal and team goals."

Their next meet is Saturday, Oct. 8 at MCA Gymnastics at 6 p.m. 

Photo and information submitted by Stephani Hamilton.

October 1, 2022 - 1:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

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Tarrence Williams

UPDATED at 3:43 p.m. with a quote from the police chief.

Batavia police officers have arrested a suspect in a shots-fired incident reported in the area of 200 Ellicott St. on Friday evening.

Tarrence Y. Williams, 22, of Batavia, has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, a Class C felony, and criminal possession of a weapon 4th, a Class A misdemeanor.

He was arraigned in City Court and jailed on $50,000 bail.

There has been no report of anybody injured as a result of gunshots in the area.

Chief Shawn Heubusch praised the actions of his officers.

"Officers responded quickly to this incident and were able to almost immediately identify a suspect," Heubusch said. "Working in conjunction with our partner agencies, the officers were able to bring a swift resolution to this incident and keep our community safe.  They are commended for their brave actions in the face of what was a very dangerous situation."

The incident began with a report of gunshots at about 6 p.m.  Witnesses reported seeing a male walking nervously with what appeared to be a gun on his person.

A man matching the description provided was spotted by Sgt. Dan Coffey walking on the Ellicott Trail a short distance from the incident location. When Coffey attempted to stop the individual for an interview, the man fled on foot and Coffey chased him from Evans Street to Court Street.

In the Court Street parking lot, the man discarded identifiable clothing and officers believed he discarded a firearm in the area.

Additional officers responded, including deputies and a trooper.

Williams was located and taken into custody and then officers, with the assistance of Batavia firefighters, searched the area, including the roofs of nearby buildings.

A short time later, a weapon was located under a bush next to the walkway between the Key Bank drive-thru ATM and the M&T Bank branch.

Williams recently entered a guilty plea in County Court to a charge of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd -- a charge that indicates prosecutors believe he possessed enough of a controlled substance that he intended to sell it.  He is awaiting sentencing on that conviction.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Ivison at (585) 345-6312 or email [email protected]

Previously: Man runs from police, gun found, and officers are seeking details about incident on Court Street

Top photo by Howard Owens.

October 1, 2022 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign-in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Sign-in issues? First, make sure you are registered for Day using the link at the top of this post; Second, if you know you're registered, use the "sign-in" link in this post; do not use the "login" box on the left side of the page.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Lisa Ace:   [email protected]
October 1, 2022 - 12:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, news.

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Submitted by Paul Nichiporuk. Taken on Clinton Street Road

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Submitted by Joanne Meiser

September 30, 2022 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Indian Reservation, news, crime, Alabama, Basom, notify.

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Not too many criminal defendants have good things to say about the prosecutors who came down on them hard and recommended they be locked away for as long as possible. 

Isaac D. Abrams has only good things to say about Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini.

"She isn't God but she's right up next to him," Abrams said Thursday from inside a smokeshop he's opening on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. "She's up there. She's a force to be reckoned with. Don't (expletive) with her."

Cianfrini was the first assistant district attorney in early 2018 when Abrams was sent to prison as a 17-year-old for one-and-a-third to four years for making terroristic threats. That conviction has now been expunged, but Abrams had a track record at the time, as Cianfrini noted back then, that indicated he was a young man out of control.

In arguing against any kind of leniency for Abrams, Cianfrini told then County Court Judge Charles Zambito that Abrams had engaged in increasingly violent acts, shown a disregard for authority and human life, and violated his release under supervision contract numerous times.

"He's a high risk to the community," said Cianfrini, who is now the County Court judge. "Look at his statements. He seriously minimizes his conduct. He said that he gave people something to talk about at dinner. This is not somebody expressing remorse."

Abrams said he has no bitterness toward Cianfrini.  She was doing her job, and in doing her job, she put him in a position that forced him to look at the world differently.

"What she put me through," he said, "I honestly feel that if I hadn't gone through that, I would still be a bad little shit just like everybody else. I had an eye-opener. She gave me an eye-opener."

And life in prison isn't something he wants to repeat.

"I went through horrible experiences," Abrams said. "I have scars on my eyebrows now that are permanent. I have stab wounds on my back and on my shoulders. I went from prison to prison. It was a horrible, horrible experience."

Not that getting his life straightened out has been easy for Abrams.  He's had setbacks. He's made mistakes. He's had people set up roadblocks. But he says he's determined to be a successful businessman, to become wealthy, and at age 22, to be an example for younger kids on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation that success is possible and you can overcome life's errors.

He was in court on Wednesday, standing before Cianfrini on an attempted burglary conviction, prepared for the worst because of one of the mistakes he's made while on his path toward redemption (he carried to court a plastic grocery bag filled with toiletries and personal items in case he was sent back to prison).

The possibility of going back to prison
In August, Abrams admitted to attempted burglary in the second degree. The incident involved Abrams entering the residence of a man identified as his mother's boyfriend on Dec. 29 after the boyfriend reportedly abused her.

First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Robinson, on Wednesday, was just as certain as Cianfrini was in 2018, that Abrams deserved no leniency in sentencing.

The 2018 felony conviction was off limits for Robinson to cite since the record is sealed, but Robinson had plenty of material to draw from to try and make the case that Abrams deserved prison time.  He said Abrams has a history of misconduct going back to high school, that he had violated terms of a conditional discharge on another conviction, and that he had faced a criminal contempt charge in Erie County.

"Mr. Abrams is not a good fit for a community-based, probationary sentence," Robinson told Cianfrini. "He enters the house of another person and then strikes the victim and claims it was in defense of his mother because of prior abuse. He took the action of judge, jury and executioner. That is not the way society works."

Robinson recommended four years in prison (the statutory range on the conviction is 2-7 years) and three years post-release supervision (parole).

Defense Attorney Fred Rarick offered a very different take on his client's prospects for complying with the terms of a probationary sentence. He noted that Abrams has been in full compliance with the terms of his release-under-supervision contract while awaiting sentencing, that his client had been diagnosed with mental health issues that had never been treated, and that his client understands that he mishandled the situation in December that led to his arrest.

Rarick said his client's relationship with his father is non-existent, and when mental health treatment was recommended for Abrams as a teenager, his mother decided the trip to counseling was too far to drive, so Abrams never got the help he needed.

He said Abrams had previously witnessed his mother being abused and on the night of this incident, his mother, instead of calling the police, called her son to say she had been abused. Rarick suggested that she knew her son, who has anger management issues, would take matters into his own hands.

She should have called the police, Rarick said.

But once she called Abrams, the young man should have called police, he said.

Sending Abrams to prison, Rarick said, would disrupt the positive path the young man has been on -- a year ago, he opened a small smoke shop on the reservation and was getting ready to open a second.

When it was his turn to talk, Abrams told Cianfrini, "when I first met you, I didn't really like you. But then I went to prison and I realized you did a lot for me. You changed me. You changed the way I talk. You changed the way I walk." 

He said he wanted to lead the younger generation on the reservation out of trouble.

"I'm a changed man from when you first met me," he said.

He said he felt like he had let her down and that he understood if she was disappointed in him.

"I promise I will never be in a situation like this again," Abrams said.  "If something like this happens again, I'm calling 9-1-1.  I promise."

Call 9-1-1
That promise was put to the test on Thursday night.

On Thursday afternoon, a new pre-built building was delivered to 368 Martin Road in Basom, the site of Abram's new smokeshop and dispensary.

Shortly after he opened the doors for the first time, he met with The Batavian and discussed his future plans.

That night, at about 10:45 p.m., the Alabama Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 368 Martin Road.  The Batavian sent a text message to Abrams, who responded that he had already been told of the fire by a family member, was on his way to the shop, and that he had called the police to report the crime.

As he promised Cianfrini, rather than get mad, he called 9-1-1.

The fire burned itself out before fire crews arrived on scene.  The fire was intentionally set, a fire investigator said, at the base of the building by the front door.  It caused some minor heat damage to the metal plates at the base of the door.  A Sheriff's deputy opened a criminal investigation.

Earlier in the day, Abrams said that many people on the reservation encourage him and are happy to see him turning his life around.  Others, he said, want to pull him back down.

When asked why he thought anybody would try to torch his new building, he said, "jealousy."

"This would  be the bad crowd," he said, "like the alcoholics, the drunks, the ones who like to stay out all night."

Rather than prison, an opportunity
Earlier in the day, Abrams was full of enthusiasm for his new business.

With only a few cartons of cigarettes and some jars of marijuana in the new building, Abrams said it was just a start.  He is funding the venture with profits from the Weeping Willow, his first smokeshop on Purdy Road.  

On his small plot of land, Abrams cleared trees and put down gravel.  As a reporter looked on, the excited young man paced off his expansion plans -- where the handicap-accessible ramp will go, leading to double doors and windows, and shelves filled with product.  Abrams sees it all in his mind.

"My dreams are progressing every day as every day I’m one step farther into becoming a new man, a man in new business and a man of new character," Abrams said. "My dreams and goals for the shop are just to succeed in an all-around aspect so I can help my customers, friends, and family succeed around me, too. I really would like for the business to succeed. It took a lot of community members to get this far, and a lot of trust, so there’s no going back now all I can say now is 'Hi. My name is Isaac Abrams. How may I help you and be at your service.'"

The fire, he said later, was a momentary setback, but just financially, not "mentally or spiritually, and tomorrow is a new day with lots of potential."

Abrams is getting the chance to pursue his dreams because the person who took a dim view of the young man's future in 2018 is now persuaded that he deserves a shot at building something better for himself.

On Wednesday, after Robinson, Rarick, and Abrams all spoke, Judge Cianfrini said she needed a few minutes to research something and adjourned the court.

When she returned from chambers, she asked Abrams whether, if given the opportunity to go through Mental Health Court -- which would mean no prison time if he successfully completes the program -- would he commit himself to follow through and do what he needed to do.

A beaming Abrams said he would. He turned around so he was speaking to the whole court and said, "if anybody was here and saw me here before, I'm a changed man.  I promise you I'm not the same person you saw here before."

Cianfrini explained that Abrams will be screened for Mental Health Court to ensure he's a good candidate for the program, and once the screening is done, she can place him in the program.

Embracing what Abrams said about being an example to younger people on the reservation, she told him he had a chance to show a younger generation that the justice system is a place to "get help and rehabilitation and that it's not just for punishment."

Robinson told Cianfrini that he wanted to place on the record his objection to giving Abrams an opportunity to go to Mental Health Court.

Inside his new shop on Thursday, Abrams was nothing but grateful to Cianfrini.

"She honestly changed my life around.  I thank her for helping me. She did a lot.  Honestly, I wouldn't be here in these shoes.  I wouldn't be free today," he said. "I wouldn't be thinking clearly. I would have done none of that. I would have nothing.  I'd probably still be that broken little shit."

Photos by Howard Owens. Top photo, Isaac Abrams outside his new smokeshop.  Inset photo, file photo of Melissa Cianfrini in 2018 at a press conference on an unrelated case.

September 30, 2022 - 7:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

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The police have the gun.  They have a man in custody who was located in the area of the gun. 

He's a man who apparently ran from Sgt. Dan Coffey on Evans Street to Court Street after Coffey and other officers responded to a report of shots fired.

Everything else is a mystery.

"We got the gun. We've got the guy. Now we've got to work backward," Coffey said Friday evening while on Court Street.

As for the report of shots fired, Coffey said there is no specific location associated with the shots based on reports received by police.

It's unclear at this early stage of the investigation, Coffey said, if the man taken into custody will be charged with any crime.  The police are still gathering evidence.

Coffey chased the man from Evans to Court, where he was tackled and taken into custody.  Additional officers arrived on scene, including deputies and troopers, and they commenced a search of the area to try and locate a gun that may have been on the man.  

City Fire was requested to assist with ladders so that police officers could climb onto nearby rooftops to look for a possible gun.

An object believed to be a gun was located under a bush between the Key Bank ATM drive-thu and M&T Bank.  The object was left in place while officers waited for detectives to arrive on the scene.

Coffey said more information will be released when it is available.

Photos by Howard Owens

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September 30, 2022 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.
Video Sponsor

Shortly after 8 p.m on Thursday night, a car that had been southbound on Jackson Street struck a fire hydrant on Chestnut Street, in the City of Batavia.

A reader submitted a video of the collision.

The reader believes police officers located the vehicle a short time later on South Jackson.  

We have no information from Batavia PD yet on the case.

September 30, 2022 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign-in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Sign-in issues? First, make sure you are registered for Day using the link at the top of this post; Second, if you know you're registered, use the "sign-in" link in this post; do not use the "login" box on the left side of the page.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Lisa Ace:   [email protected]
September 29, 2022 - 9:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oktoberfest, batavia, Ascension Parish, news.

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Ascension Parish is ready for a party at its Social Center, 19 Sumner St., Batavia, on Saturday, headlined by The German American Musicians and beer.

It's Oktoberfest time.

The German American Musicians is a 25-member band founded in 1933.  It is a  not-for-profit cultural organization dedicated to the cultivation and performance of the traditional music and culture of German-speaking lands. 

Oktoberfest organizers said in a statement, "Our Oktoberfest creates an opportunity to gather as a community to listen to fine German music, to dance and sing, to eat and drink and appreciate one another."

The event is scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m.

For more information, visit www. ascensionoktoberfest.com

Photo of tents in place, ready for the celebration, by Howard Owens.

September 29, 2022 - 9:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, batavia.

Something new from the very musical Del Plato family, "Jamaica."  Written by John Del Plato. Performed by Anthony Del Plato.

September 29, 2022 - 7:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Game of Throws, The Harvester Center, batavia, business.
Video Sponsor

About a year and a half ago, Game of Throws opened in the Harvester Center on Harvester Avenue, Batavia, and to celebrate, owners Eric and Sarah Jones hosted the Chamber of Commerce for a Business After Hours.

The event was more than a month ago and The Batavian was there to make a video, but there were technical difficulties with the interview.  Then it took some weeks to arrange schedules to reshoot the interview.  Finally, here's the video.

For more information about Game of Throws, click HERE.

September 29, 2022 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign-in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Sign-in issues? First, make sure you are registered for Day using the link at the top of this post; Second, if you know you're registered, use the "sign-in" link in this post; do not use the "login" box on the left side of the page.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Lisa Ace:   [email protected]
September 28, 2022 - 11:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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Five Finger Death Punch headlined a show Tuesday at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center that was supported by Megadeath, Fire From the Gods and The Hu.

PreviouslyFive Finger Death Punch brings AfterLife and familiar hits to Darien Lake tonight

Photos by Philip Casper.  Top photo: Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Megadeath

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Megadeath

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The Hu

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Fire From the Gods

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September 28, 2022 - 7:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in COVID-19, news, notify.

For the first time since late spring, there have been more than 100 new COVID-19 cases reported in Genesee County in back-to-back weeks.

For the week of Sept. 14, there were 123 new positive tests reported to the Genesee County Health Department. For the week of Sept. 21, there were 115.

New case reports were well below 100 most weeks throughout the summer.

The county only has data on cases reported from labs or people who did at-home tests and took it upon themselves to report their positive tests to the county.  People who test at home but don't report their results are not included in the count.  The total number of lab-based positives for the past week is 91.

One death from COVID-related causes was reported in the past week, bringing the total number of Genesee County residents who have died from the disease to 201.

According to the CDC, the county's current transmission risk is "medium." 

September 28, 2022 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, byron, notify.

Alone one night in a car in the Target parking lot with a teenage girl, Shawn D. Myers made a decision that he and the girl will have to deal with for the rest of their lives, Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini told Myers before sentencing him to five years in prison this afternoon.

In July, a jury convicted Myers of first-degree criminal sexual act, a Class B violent felony.  

By all accounts in Court this afternoon, except for that one decision, the Byron resident had led a pretty exemplary life up to that point -- a volunteer in his community, including a volunteer firefighter.

On Jan. 28, 2021, Myers forced the girl to have sex with him, the jury said.

His attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, argued that the evidence in the case, despite the jury's verdict, didn't really support the assertion of forcible compulsion, though Myers, now 21, admitted that he had sex with a person less than 17 years of age.

First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Robinson said the victim suffered physical injury as a result of what Myers did and is still dealing with the emotional fallout of the sexual abuse. 

More than two dozen community and family members attended the hearing in support of Myers.  

The victim and her mother were also at the hearing.

In his statement, Myers said he knew he made a mistake but expressed concern about being sent to prison because he is being treated for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and during his time in the criminal justice system, he and his attorney said, he's already suffered one disruption to his medication regime. 

Cianfrini, who could have sentenced Myers to up to 25 years in prison, said that she would note in documents that will go with Myers to the Department of Corrections, that Myers has prescription medication he must take.

She encouraged Myers to use his time in prison to learn that he can't force people to do things against their will and to learn a trade.

Myers said during his statement that he loved being a volunteer firefighter and regretted that he had ruined his firefighting career by his decision.  He promised Cianfrini that never again will he make a mistake that lands him back in jail.

September 27, 2022 - 11:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

A fire is reported at 3 Platt St., Le Roy.

All occupants are being shown out of the structure.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 11:44 p.m.: It's a stove fire.

UPDATE 11:49 p.m.: City Fire requested mutual aid.

UPDATE 11:53 p.m.: Le Roy Fire on scene.  Fan needed on second floor for ventilation.  

UPDATE 11:56 p.m.: City's First Platoon recalled to headquarters while City Fire responds to stove fire in Le Roy.

September 27, 2022 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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Devon Wright

A Batavia man who disappeared for seven months after being released from custody following a weapons conviction had his scheduled sentencing delayed for three weeks today so his new attorney can get up to speed on his case.

Nathan Pace, who is now assigned council for Devon Wright, asked for an adjournment.  

County Court Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini granted the request. The new sentencing time and date is 3 p.m. Oct. 18.

Wright was a co-defendant in November in a case involving a gun deal gone bad at the Days Inn six months earlier when he entered a surprise guilty plea to counts of attempted criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, and attempted criminal possession of a weapon 3rd. He also entered guilty pleas to assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, attempted assault 1st, a Class C Violent Felony, and criminal sexual act, also a felony.

The pleas satisfied charges from multiple arrests over the previous 12 months and came with a 10-year sentence cap. When he failed to appear for his initial sentencing date and became a wanted man, he jeopardized his sentencing cap.

Wright was located in Lockport in July and has been held in the Genesee County Jail since his arrest. 

In the November trial Wright's co-defendant, Jacob Sponaugle, was found guilty by the jury of:

  • Attempted Murder 2nd, a Class B violent felony
  • Assault in the first degree, a Class B violent felony
  • Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a Class C violent felony
  • Aggravated criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C violent felony
  • Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony
  • Criminal using a firearm in the first degree, a Class B violent felony
  • Criminal using a firearm in the first degree, a Class B violent felony

Sponaugle was sentenced in December to 15 years in prison.

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