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September 22, 2011 - 2:39pm

Woman married in same-sex ceremony one day, threatened with jail time the next

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 21-year-old Batavia woman was in Genesee County Court today, accused of violating probation, less than 24 hours after her same-sex marriage made front-page news.

Judge Robert C. Noonan was ready to send Katrina Drake to jail for allegedly using drugs while on probation, especially, he indicated, because she is pregnant.

Public Defender Gary Horton asked for time to find a drug rehabilitation program for Drake and Noonan granted a 30-day recess, but said if she continues to use drugs, she's going to jail.

The reason Drake is on probation is not available because her case was adjudicated as "youthful offender status." The case would have been filed prior to her turning 19.

Drake married Toni White in a civil service outside the courthouse yesterday.

Julie A Pappalardo
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Geez, Howard

Couldn't you WAIT to post this? You couldn't even just post the wedding announcement and maybe hold back on this? You couldn't just wish them well?

Nice way to rain on someones wedding.

UN-believable, yet not shocking.

AND as an added bonus, you put it under "crime".

rude.

Howard B. Owens
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Julie, it wouldn't be news to wait. What makes it news is the juxtaposition of the two events together.

If a wedding is ruined, supposedly, it's not because I posted this. I'm not the one accused of violating probation.

Gabor Deutsch
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Maybe if Howard ignored this it would go away ?

Julie A Pappalardo
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Really Howard??

Do you check out EVERY person's criminal history when THEY get married? Maybe you should start covering jailhouse weddings. This was a chance for you to show that 2 women getting married isn't REALLY that big of a deal, but instead, you chose to publish THIS.

Bad judgement IMHO

Billie Owens
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This young woman is pregnant and allegedly violating probation by allegedly using drugs, potentially jeopardizing the health of her unborn child. Her marriage the day before garnered attention. This following on its heels is news, whether you think so or not. Sorry, that's just the real world and sometimes it's very rude indeed.

Lisa Falkowski
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Whether it's a heterosexual or homosexual couple, u do the crime, you do the time. This isn't a gay/lesbian jab in my opinion. What's right is right, what's wrong, well....come on now.

PS - Yes, it is unfortunate that this happened on the heels of a wedding.

Julie A Pappalardo
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I wouldn't have a problem with this if it were put in the Police Blotter where it belongs, and didn't mention the *gasp* same sex wedding.

The wedding announcement should have be separate.

These are 2 different news stories. This is just an example of bad journalism.

As for the PG thing.......Billie, do you think we should check PG women for cigarettes too??? How about pulling over people with babies in the car, windows rolled up, smoking cigarettes????

Or maybe you should put EVERYONES criminal history in their wedding announcement.

Howard B. Owens
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Julie, where the hell do you get the idea that I checked anybody's criminal history?

You have not the faintest idea how this story came about, so I'll clue you in.

I'm sitting in court waiting to talk to Larry Friedman about the Smith case, having just finished writing the post about Hardesty, when Katrina's case is called -- it wasn't even on the docket -- and somebody leans over and says, "Hey, she's the one who was in the Daily today about the same-sex wedding." I check the story online, and sure enough, it is.

Given the recentness of the story, the same-sex angle (and that's still a pretty rare event around here), the drug and pregnancy angle, I couldn't see how I could ignore it.

A big part of the news game is being in the right place at the right time.

Also, I would have been THRILLED to have covered the wedding, but nobody told me about it. If whomever had tipped the Daily had tipped The Batavian as well, or better, instead, I would have covered it. So don't blame me for the lack of wedding coverage. Blame whomever got his or her tips backwards.

And it's not like we haven't previously published a nice story about a gay couple getting married.

Howard B. Owens
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Julie,

First, police blotter items are news releases from law enforcement agencies about recent arrests. They are not about court appearances.

If this were a hetero couple would you be as upset? Are you that prejudice?

If it were a same-sex couple under the same circumstances and the local newspaper had made a big deal about their wedding and then the bride appears in court the next day, pregnant, accused of doing drugs, I would have covered it the same way.

There's no way to separate the wedding from the court appearance, that's what makes it news. You're not even beginning to be logical on that point.

Debra Nanni
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Good for you Howard!!! Why is it we have to pick and choose when same-sex situations are newsworthy? When it is CHOSEN for us we are supposed to pay attention and have empathy..... When it HAPPENS, and maybe not so good... we are bringing undue attention??? Does not make sense!!. News is news is news, I appreciate all of it, and furthermore, when I read the article, the first thing that got my attention was NOT the same-sex marriage, but the fact that an irresponsible young woman with an utter disregard for human life had made made a selfish choice and THEREFORE made the news. This story would have made the news whether it was same-sex marriage or opposite -sex. It is NEWS.

I say GOOD REPORTING.

Gabor Deutsch
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At least no one is complaining about the mixed race issue.

Lisa Falkowski
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The wedding was published separately, but as Howard said, he didn't get a chance to cover the wedding, so it kind of got rolled up into one when he heard of things. This would have been a bad scene for anyone getting married one day and being arrested the next. It is what it is - an individual making a bad choice-illegal activity on probation (or even off probation!).

Liz Fuchs
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really julie, aside from the fact that any avid news reader would have seen both this women and her now wife's name's in the paper MULTIPLE times for various crimes ( the majority being domestic violence interestingly enough) it's batavia. This town alone is worse than a old time coffee house. And like it or not same sex marriage IS still new to NY. accepted or not it is going to be talked about and the roar of our obviously upsetting to you conversation will die down with time. As loud as your voice is telling Howard he has no right to do HIS JOB. It will always be a dull whisper to the voices of us actually interested in talking about diversity, and heaven help us... news. don't like it. Don't read it. Good luck reading anything else though, that won't upset you just as much. Maybe try Dr Sues.

Tammy Way
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Same sex marriage and pregnant? Wow confused I'd say.

Gary Spencer
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Liz, that is interesting...

http://thebatavian.com/search/node/Toni%20White

http://thebatavian.com/search/node/Katrina%20Drake

God help the unborn child with these two mommy's

Amy Weidner
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Gary, yikes! I guess these two are no strangers to the police blotter!! Good luck to all 3 of them.

Pam Desjardins
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I don't perceive this story to be a jab against this couple's sexual orientation whatsoever. After all, Howard gave their "vows" a whole lot more coverage than the majority of his readers give a flip about. Cant wait for this to all become old news so I don't have to view the same-sex kiss and I can get right to the ugly politics that have caused this world to spin the way it's spinning. Do I have an AMEN?!!

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