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November 20, 2020 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia, notify.

While it's too early to say that a series of brush fires next to buildings at 29 Liberty St. in the City of Batavia were deliberately set, said Chief Stefano Napolitano, the fires do deserve closer scrutiny.

City fire and Batavia PD are working together on an investigation.

The property is a long narrow band with a trailer on it -- like a long trailer used at construction sites -- and the fires were several yards apart on the property.

"With fires at multiple locations, it warrants an extremely closer look," Napolitano said.

The investigation will also try to determine if the Liberty Street fires are linked to a dumpster fire at School and Cedar streets earlier today.

Out at the scene this evening, Napolitano was overheard talking with a police officer about the unusual number of brush fires in the area for November. We asked him about it later.

There were fires today in Alabama, Oakfield, Pavilion and Darien.

"I can't speak for other chiefs but in my 35 years (in the fire service), I don't remember a November 20th with this kind of temperature and dry conditions," Napolitano said. "Maybe when I was younger, I didn't notice it, but now I can feel it in my bones."

He said its really not a good time for one last bonfire or to burn things.

He praised the response of his team. The firefighters protected nearby buildings from the fire and got it out quickly.

Previously: Brush fire reported on Liberty Street in the city

Video by Rick Hale.

November 20, 2020 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Girls Soccer, sports, Notre Dame, Section V title.

dsc_1107soccer.jpg

Notre Dame High School dominated Jasper-Troupsburg all game, winning 4-0. Autumn Mathisen earned game MVP, and scored 3 of the 4 goals of the game.

It is the first Section V title in girls soccer for Notre Dame.

Photos by Philip Casper.

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Captains Arabella Rogers #23, Autumn Mathisen #22, and Rachel Nickerson #15.

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Notre Dame is the Section D2 champion.

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Autumn Mathisen #22 kicking her third goal of the game.

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Hannah Tenney

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Arabella Rogers

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Coach Jarrod Clark

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Autumn Mathisen #22 with a front flip throw in.

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Sophi Johnston

November 20, 2020 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, news.

A tree is down in the area of 9029 Alleghany Road, Corfu, blocking both lanes of travel.

November 20, 2020 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news, accident, notify.

The second driver involved in a head-on collision on Route 19 in Bergen yesterday afternoon has died.

Gary C. Beehler, 82, succumbed to his injuries, the Sheriff's Office reported this morning.

Beehler's 2007 Chrysler Town & Country minivan was struck by a 2014 Toyota RAV4 driven by Caroline F. Bianchi, 74, of Bergen. Bianchi was pronounced dead at the scene.

Previously: Bergen woman dies in collision on Route 19

November 20, 2020 - 11:10am
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.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
November 20, 2020 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Oakfield.

Cornstalks in a field are reportedly on fire behind 39 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield.

Oakfield fire, which had been assisting with the incident in Alabama, is responding to the field fire.

Mutual aid from Elba requested to the scene.

UPDATE 11:05 a.m. The fire is being driven by the wind toward South Pearl. Responders are looking for best access point. One responder "we can get this."

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: Elba can go back in service.

UPDATE 11:10 a.m.: Elba requested back to the scene emergency mode. There's a flare-up behind a house. "It's getting out of control on us." 

UPDATE 11:13 a.m.: A brush truck from Town of Batavia requested to the scene. Also, a local farmer is requested to the scene. "We may have to destroy some of his corn."

UPDATE 11:24 a.m.: "A lot of the fire is knocked down in the field."

November 20, 2020 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Alabama.

A fire is reported at 6442 Knowlesville Road, Alabama.

A second alarm was requested then canceled.  

Knowlesville Road is closed to through traffic.

Alabama Fire is on scene.

UPDATE 11:06 a.m.: Fire under control; overhaul in progress.

November 19, 2020 - 10:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in soccer, sports, byron-bergen.

byron-bergensoccer2020.jpg

Byron-Bergen's girls' soccer team came up a goal short in an overtime loss to Geneseo on Wednesday night to miss out on a Section V Class C1 title.

Emma Starowitz scored the Bees' only goal.

Athletic Director Rich Hannan (who submitted the team photo) said, "we couldn't be more proud of them! OT losses always hurt but they stayed positive. A great group of kids."

Also in girls' soccer sectional finals on Wednesday, Le Roy lost to Bath-Haverling 5-1.

November 19, 2020 - 9:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, bergen, notify.

A 74-year-old woman from Bergen, Caroline F. Bianchi, died this afternoon following a two-car collision on Route 19 near Creamery Road.

Another person was seriously injured.

The preliminary investigation by the Sheriff's Office indicates that Bianchi was southbound on Route 19 in a 2014 Toyota RAV4 when it traveled over the centerline of North Lake Road and struck a 2007 Chrysler Town & Country minivan driven by Gary C. Beehler, 82, of Hamlin.

The vehicles collided head-on in the northbound lane.

Beehler was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital with serious physical injuries.

Bianchi was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Tom Douglas.

Investigators have yet to determine why Bianchi's vehicle failed to maintain its lane of travel. 

The accident is being investigated by Deputy Andrew Mullen, Deputy Jordan Alejandro, Investigator Chad Minuto and members of the Crash Management Team including Sgt. Jason Saile and Deputy Kyle Krzemien. Assisting at the scene were the Town of Bergen Fire Department, Churchville Fire, Mercy EMS, and State Police.

Previously: Accident with entrapment reported on North Lake Road, Bergen

November 18, 2020 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

img_2992acc.jpg

There were no injuries in a two-car accident at 5:35 p.m. at East Avenue and Vine Street, Batavia. A State trooper happened to be in the neighborhood and rolled up on the accident right after it happened.

November 18, 2020 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Neither Sheriff William Sheron nor Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch intends to have their officers knocking on doors of private residences to see if people are violating a Gov. Andrew Cuomo executive order that prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people.

They both do, however, expect people to be reasonable and responsible and avoid large gatherings in response to the uptick of COVID-19 cases locally.

Cuomo's order, in advance of Thanksgiving, a traditional time for extended families to gather together to celebrate the holiday, has drawn criticism throughout the state.

Both Sheron and Heubusch cited the constitutional prohibition against unreasonable searches.

Heubusch said city police officers will respond to complaint calls as normal and conduct any interaction within the requirements of local, state and federal laws.

Sheron was more openly critical of the governor's order, questioning its constitutionality and suggesting Cuomo would better serve the people of New York by encouraging residents to be cautious and use good judgment.

Sheron's statement:

We are not encouraging people to have large gatherings in their homes. I want citizens to use their own best judgment and remain safe. We do not have the resources, nor the inclination, to peep into private residences to see how many people are at the dinner table.

The Executive Order raises serious Constitutional questions. Serious issues about the right of people to privacy in their homes, the right to be free from warrantless searches, the right to assemble, the right to freedom of religious practice, the right to equal treatment under the law, and the right to have criminal conduct clearly defined by law are all implicated by the Governor’s Executive Order.

I think that, rather than issuing orders, which are, at best, impossible to enforce, and, at worst, unconstitutional, the Governor would serve the People of New York better if he used his bully pulpit, not to do more bullying, but rather to encourage our citizens to be cautious, use good judgment in weighing risk factors, protect the vulnerable, and enjoy our families and our great gathering traditions only in ways that are safe until we can get back to normal. 

Heubusch's statement:

The City of Batavia and the Batavia Police Department want to remind the public that we are currently living through a global health crisis and ask everyone to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. That includes celebrating responsibly with family and friends during this holiday season. We are confident that the residents of the City of Batavia will do your part to keep you, your family and your neighbors safe. The Executive order does not alter any Federal or State laws with reference to search and seizure restrictions, therefore the Police Department will respond to call for service as we have in the past and execute our duties within the bounds of Federal, State, and Local laws. The City Police Department will continue to respond for calls for service in the normal course of business to keep our families and residents safe.

November 18, 2020 - 2:54pm
tomaszewskimugjuly2020.jpg
      Michael Tomaszewski

Michael S. Tomaszewski, already facing multiple felony charges for allegedly misappropriating money from customers, has now officially been accused of mishandling the remains of an Army veteran in 2018.

Tomaszewski has been charged with offering a false instrument for filing and also of violation of Public Health Law 4200 for allegedly not burying a dead person's body within a reasonable period of time.

Peter Vandetta, a 20-year Army veteran, died in April 2018. Coroner Jeff McIntire fielded a complaint from the estranged stepdaughter of Vandetta in January 2019 about the whereabouts of Vandetta's remains.

The Sheriff's Office then became involved in the investigation.

It's alleged that Tomaszewski stored the body for 264 days at his facility on West Main Street, Batavia, from April 2018 to January 2019.

Tomaszewski also filed a death certificate indicating the body was buried at a specific cemetery on a specific date. It's alleged that information was not truthful. 

The Sheriff's Office said in a release today that Vandetta's remains did subsequently receive a proper burial.

Tomaszewski was issued an appearance ticket for both charges. He is scheduled to appear on the charges in Town of Batavia Court on Dec. 3 and Town of Oakfield Court on Dec. 7.

In June, Tomaszewski was arrested following a lengthy investigation into claims that he was using money paid to him for pre-arrangements for other purposes. He faces more than 100 criminal charges.

Tomaszewski and his company Acme Holdings are in the midst of federal bankruptcy proceedings and his former funeral home property and catering facility are for sale.

Previously:

November 18, 2020 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, sports, soccer.

For the second year in a row, the Le Roy Girls Soccer Team is heading to a sectional championship game after beating Mynderse 5-0.

They'll play #1 seed Bath tonight. Game time is 6 p.m. in Bath.

Maddie Keister scored two goals in the win over Mynderse. Bella Condidorio, Bryn Luckey, and Kailyn Tresco also each scored a goal. Keri Biggins had eight saves.

Also in girls soccer, Byron-Bergen plays for a sectional title at 7:30 p.m. against Geneseo in Avon.

Video by Tim McArdle.

November 18, 2020 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in soccer, sports, Notre Dame.

ndsoccersemiwin2020_copy.jpg

The Notre Dame Girls Soccer Team will play for a sectional title tomorrow night for the first time in program history.

Last night, the Fighting Irish beat Andover 3-0. Sky Colontonio, Emma Sisson, and Arabella Rogers each scored goals. Goalkeeper Rebecka Nickerson had seven saves.

The team plays Jasper-Troupsburg at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Van Detta Stadium in Batavia.

Photo and info provided by Jarrod Clark.

November 18, 2020 - 11:57am

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Community Action of Orleans and Genesee in Batavia is holding a free coat giveaway until 2 p.m. at its location at 5073 Clinton Street Road. There are also canned vegetables and hats available.

In the first 90 minutes of the giveaway this morning, people picked up more than 100 coats.

Photo: Walt Almeter, Darlene Almeter and Ariana Green are ready to hand out more coats today.

November 18, 2020 - 11:55am
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.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
November 17, 2020 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news.

elmwoodtreedown.jpg

Christina Tresco shared this photo of a tree down in her backyard on Elmwood Avenue in Batavia after yesterday's windstorm.

November 17, 2020 - 12:55pm
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.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
November 16, 2020 - 9:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Liberty Street, notify.
leemugmarch2019.jpg
         Marquise Lee

A Rochester man swept up in a drug bust on Liberty Street in March that led to the arrest of himself and four other people, along with the seizure of 56 bags of crack cocaine, avoided further jail time in his sentencing today in Genesee County Court.

Marquise Lee, 36, had been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance third, a drug-dealing charge.

After his guilty plea over the summer, he was placed on interim probation. His success in that program, along with ongoing employment in his father's construction business, and his care for his children during their in-home studies during the coronavirus pandemic helped nudge Judge Charles Zambito toward a probationary sentence.

First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell asked the judge to follow the Probation Department's recommendation and give Lee six months in the Genesee County jail.

The ongoing pandemic also seemed to factor into Zambito's decision.

"Quite honestly, I have to be careful about who I put in jail here these days," Zambito said. "It shouldn't sway the decision. It shouldn't be that way but I guess I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and give you a chance to prove you deserve probation. 

"I remember you told me before that you didn't sell drugs, that you were just there and you didn't know what was going on," Zambito added. "That doesn't make sense to me. You admitted it (when Lee pled guilty). I hope you are helping out with your wife and kids and doing whatever you can to lead a law-abiding life. You don't need to be in jail but we don't need you selling drugs."

Lee was adjudicated a second felony-offender because of a 2017 DWI conviction.

As part of his plea deal, Lee agreed to forfeit $659 in cash recovered at the crime scene. The money will go to the Sheriff's asset forfeiture fund. 

On his five-probation sentence, Lee was given credit for the seven months he served on interim probation. He also previously served 31 days in jail on the charge.

He was also ordered to have no communication with his codefendants, Angela R. Bateman, Nikki L. Stonebraker, Joseph T. Burr, Derek E. Wilcox.

"You're not to be around them," Zambito said. "They will only get you into trouble."

At the end of the sentencing, Zambito transferred Lee's case to the Monroe County Probation Department.

November 16, 2020 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia's original, news, batavia.

Owner Kathy Ferrara now expects to keep Batavia's Original closed through Thursday, opening again on Friday.

Ferrara said closing the extra days -- she originally anticipated closing only for a weekend -- is a matter of extra precaution.

Five employees tested positive for coronavirus, with all the cases contracted away from the workplace, and multiple employees were placed on mandatory quarantine.  That created an immediate staffing problem for Ferrara. 

She said in an email today that all employees who tested positive are recovering nicely and that the Health Department is conducting contact tracing.

Batavia's Original will reopen on Friday, she said.

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