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April 18, 2018 - 11:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, murder, news, batavia.


At a press conference this morning (photo), officials with the Sheriff's Office asked for the public's help in locating the family of murder victim Sherri Colleen Butler and this evening investigators announced next of kin of been located and notified of Butler's death.

The 58-year-old woman was found dead Monday morning in her room at the Sunset Motel in Batavia, the victim of blunt force trauma to her neck.

The suspect remains at large.

Investigators are still seeking the public's helping in solving the murder case. Anybody with any information that might be helpful are encouraged to call (585) 343-5000.

Previously: Investigators trying to locate family of murder victim Sherri Colleen Butler

April 18, 2018 - 5:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, corfu.


A two-car crash is reported at 58 W. Main St. in Corfu and there are possibly serious injuries. Corfu Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. A first responder on scene says one lane is blocked and one person is still inside one of the vehicles.

UPDATE 5:13 p.m.: Mercy Flight #8 out of Batavia is on ground standby.

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: Corfu command asks law enforcement to stop traffic at Route 33 and Prospect Street. A second ambulance is en route. Mercy Flight is called to land at the Intermediate School parking lot at 58 Alleghany Road, Corfu. A Corfu fire crew is responding to the school to serve as ground contacts.

UPDATE 5:23 p.m.: The patient inside the vehicle has been extricated and is being put inside the ambulance.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: A third ambulance, from Darien, is called to the scene; serious injuries confirmed. "Per Squad One canceling Mercy Flight."

UPDATE 5:28 p.m.: The Corfu fire crew called to the school is rerouted to the scene, which is east of Fieldcrest Drive.

UPDATE 5:31 p.m.: Sheriff's deputies will be shutting down Crittenden Road in Erie County, and Genesee Street at Route 33 and at Route 77 to conduct an investigation.

UPDATE 5:37 p.m.: Crittenden is closed at Genesee Street in Erie County.

UPDATE 5:43 p.m.: Four patients are being transported to ECMC.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Fire Police are also closing traffic at Lake Road, Fargo Road and County Line Road.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: A total of three vehicles were involved in this accident, including a pickup truck.

UPDATE 6:53 p.m.: Genesee County Undersheriff Gregory Walker said the preliminary investigation indicates that a gray Hyundai Sonata traveling at a high rate of speed was eastbound on Route 33 when it rear-ended a gray Honda that was also eastbound on 33. The Honda then struck a westbound black pickup truck. The four patients (three drivers and one pickup truck passenger) were all taken to ECMU, three for evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Honda that was rear-ended has serious injuries, which is why there were road closures and the Crash Management Team was called out to investigate. The Sonata driver is described as a male from North Carolina in his mid-20s. He will be charged; speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the accident; also marijuana was allegedly found in the Sonata, Walker said.

UPDATE, Thursday, April 19: The seriously injured driver of the 2009 Honda has been identified as James M. Hoskins, of Corfu. The driver of the 2008 Hyundai Sonata which rear-ended the Honda is Jacob J. Szumigala, of Oakfield. The pickup truck was driven by Gerald D. Sanders; Lynn Sanders was the passenger; both occupants of the truck live in Batavia.

Szumigala was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He's been charged with DWI. Several charges are pending completion of a toxicology report and additional investigation. 

UPDATE 3:08 p.m.: Hoskins is listed in fair condition at ECMC.



April 18, 2018 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in magicians, magic convention, tourism, news, business.
Press release:

Batavia will once again host the “Original Close-Up Magic Convention” Obie’s 4F convention. This very prestigious gathering draws close-up magicians from 21 countries all over the world. While the first event was held in 1971, Batavia has been the host location for the last 20 years.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has been assisting conference planners with their visit, providing dining guides, visitor coupons and the area visitor guide. The estimated economic impact for this five-day event is $86,000 being left in our community.

The Quality Inn in Batavia is the host location for the more than 250 people that arrive Wednesday to Sunday, April 25-29. This “by-invitation-only” convention will also honor Rocco Silano, an American born, award-winning magician who has appeared on many television shows.

Obie Obrien is the founder of the convention and has an impressive resume filled with not only numerous awards in magic, two master's degrees; but also experience playing, coaching and refereeing several sports, including being an official scorer at the 1980 Olympic Games.

The convention kicks off on Wednesday evening and carries through Saturday with lectures, classes, and shows. The majority of the guests are picked up by shuttles from the Buffalo and Rochester airports and brought here. Once in Batavia, they will travel on foot and by taxi to explore the area.

On Sunday April 29, the Magician’s Alliance of Western New York (MAWNY) has a one-day convention at the Quality Inn Batavia. This event is open to the public; magicians may register in advance for the show and the show itself is open to everyone. Doors open at 6:10 p.m.; adults are $13; and age 12 and under are $10. More information is available at www.mawny.org.

April 18, 2018 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia.

City fire is responding to 146 Bank St. for a fire alarm where the caller is blind, hears the alarm and smells smoke.

The resident has gotten out of the residence.

All other occupants are out.

UPDATE 12:57 p.m.: Fire arrived on scene and no evidence of fire nor could they find the caller. Dispatchers called the caller back. City fire is rerouting to 146 State St.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Light smoke coming from the residence.

UPDATE 1 p.m.: Smoldering rag found in the kitchen. Ventilating. 

April 18, 2018 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, murder.

Investigators have been unable to locate the family of Sherri Colleen Butler, the woman found dead two mornings ago in a room at the Sunset Motel on West Main Street Road, Batavia, so they released her name today in the hope somebody will see it and contact them with more information about her.

As far as investigators know, Butler has been living at the Sunset Motel since the January 2014 when deputies first had contact with her.

She has a record of prior law enforcement contacts in Rochester.

Not much else is known about here, said Undersheriff Gregory Walker during a press conference this morning.

Butler is described as a white female, age 59.

She was last seen alive Friday or Saturday.

Emergency dispatch received a call at 11:57 a.m. Monday of an unresponsive woman in a room at the motel. One of the motel's owners, Kevin Bezon, went to check on her because she hadn't been seen in a couple of days.

Sgt. Ron Meides was the first officer on scene and he immediately determined Butler was dead and the circumstances of her death seemed suspicious.

A medical examiner has ruled her death a homicide. The cause of death was "blunt-force trauma to the carotid artery."

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said Butler had no other serious injuries. He would not say whether there was evidence of a related crime, such as robbery or sexual assault. 

There was no drug paraphernalia in the room.

There was no sign of forced entry. 

Brewster said no information will be released at this time on whether there is a suspect or suspects.

“It’s hard to assume whether it was somebody she knew or not,” Walker said.

Like all the residents of the motel, Butler paid her rent on a weekly basis. Co-owner Lynn Bezon said Butler always paid her rent on time and was a pleasant resident.

"She was a sweet lady," Bezon said.

Butler's prior police contact did include an arrest, according to available information. She was arrested in May 2014 for harassment, 2nd, and trespass. She was arrested in July 2014 on a warrant for criminal contempt.

Homicides remain rare in Genesee County. The most recent cases include the last one on Dec. 1, 2015, when Kyle Johnson killed Norman Ball on Selden Road in Le Roy. In December 2014, Baby Chandler died of head trauma and Jeffrey L. Deats was charged with manslaughter. A few days later, Deats took his own life while in custody. In 2009, Scott Doll killed Joseph Benaquist in Pembroke.

The unsolved murders in the county include Bill Fickel, Annie Lee, Eddie Freson and Kisha Sullivan.

Asked how he thought this case might be a hard case to solve, Brewster said, "I never go into one thinking I’m not going to win."

Solving the Butler case though may hinge, Brewster said, on the cooperation of people who aren't normally comfortable talking with the police.

"Because she lived in a motel unit and paid week-to-week, she would have been in contact with people that are similarly fixed and sometimes these people don’t really communicate with the police," Brewster said. "We’re hoping that when they realize this woman has been murdered that they may decide step outside themselves and help the police for once. They could be a big help to us if they decide to come forward."

April 18, 2018 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu, indian falls, log cabin restaurant, news, notify.
      Keith Kent

In the next few weeks, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman will need to make a decision he's never had to make in his more than 36-year career as a prosecutor: whether to send a case involving the police shooting of an armed suspect to a grand jury for review.

Friedman has not yet seen all the evidence in the incident at the Log Cabin Resturant in Indian Falls a week ago and said he won't make a decision about presenting the case to a grand jury until State Police investigators bring the completed case to him.

A week ago, officers were dispatched to the Log Cabin for the report of a disturbance at the restaurant followed by additional reports of shots fired. Upon their arrival on scene, Keith A. Kent, 61, of Albion, reportedly fired another shot. Officers yelled at Kent to drop his weapon. At that time, according to information released so far, Kent turned toward Deputy Ryan Young and may have pointed his handgun at the officer. Young shot and killed Kent.

State Police investigators have witnesses to interview, body camera video to review, ballistics and forensic evidence to examine. If all of that supports the version of events released by law enforcement so far, that would seem to point to a justified shooting.

Even if that is the case, Friedman said, a grand jury could still be asked to review the evidence.

Asked several different ways to try to explain how he will reach a decision on whether to bring in a grand jury on the case, Friedman chose his words very carefully. He wanted to be clear that he hasn't made that decision yet and did not want to say anything that would make it sound like he had made that decision.

"I'm not holding back," Friedman said. "I have not decided which way we go between those options."

He said some District Attorneys in other jurisdictions always send cases such as this to a grand jury. Others make a decision themselves on a case-by-case basis.

"We don’t have a policy of how we handle these cases because there’s never been one, thankfully," Friedman said.

The last time a police officer in Genesee County shot another person in the line of duty was 1977 when Batavia PD Officer Douglas Squires shot and wounded William Timoney during a robbery of a convenience store on Oak Street.

Friedman praised local law enforcement for their professionalism and restraint in not firing their weapons at suspects in recent years even though in several instances it appears such a shooting would have been justifiable. 

One of those involves Deputy Young, who was a Le Roy police officer when dispatched to Selden Road after a report of a man being shot in the head. That was on Dec. 1, 2015. When he arrived on scene an alarm came in for a house fire a few houses down the road. As he pulled up, Kyle Johnson fired a rifle in the direction of Young and a fire chief. Young took cover and provided information about the location of the shooter as other officers arrived. Johnson wandered up and down Selden Road for hours, sometimes pointing his weapon in the general direction of police officers. He was eventually taken into custody with no further shots fired.

At Monday's Public Service Committee meeting, Chairwoman Shelly Stein commended Undersheriff Gregory Walker on the department's handling of the situation at the Log Cabin.

"On behalf of the whole Legislature, I want to commend you, your department for keeping everyone safe, getting everyone home. It’s really a credit to the department."

Walker said after the meeting that Young remains on a paid leave of absence and it will be up to him to decide when he's ready to return to work. He is being provided support and assistance from the department.  

"He's doing as well as expected under the circumstances," Walker told the county legislators.

April 18, 2018 - 8:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, sports, batavia, baseball.

Bad weather is delaying the start of field repairs at Dwyer Stadium according to Muckdogs General Manager Dave Chase while other preparations for the 2018 New York Penn League season, which opens June 18, remains a work-in-progress.

There is a new phone number for the Muckdogs: (585) 483-DOGS (3647).

Today, new computers should arrive. Wi-Fi, with broadband from Empire Access, is working.

Ticket sales should begin around May 1.

Chase said staff has been working with Wilson Sporting Goods on new uniform jerseys (one red and one black).

Currently, field work is scheduled to begin Monday, provided there is a solid break in the weather, and should be completed in five to seven working days.

April 17, 2018 - 5:12pm

Rain or shine, the Genesee County Master Gardeners will be hosting their annual Spring Garden Gala on Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, 420 E. Main St. in Batavia.

This annual plant sale features a variety of perennials, many of which are from the gardens of Master Gardeners. There will also be a selection of house plants and locally grown geraniums. Plant sale starts promptly at 10 a.m. No early birds please.

Step inside and visit the Basket Auction for garden art, gift certificates and a variety of themed baskets. Gently used garden books will also be for sale. Basket Auction drawing starts at 12:30 p.m. A limited selection of handcrafted garden art will be available for purchase.

Bring in a soil sample from your garden or lawn for a free pH test. Master Gardeners will be available to answer your gardening questions. There will also be a demonstration at 11:30 a.m. on how to divide some common perennials.

Don’t miss your chance to pick up some great plants, garden art and other interesting items. Arrive at 10 a.m. for the best plant selection. Proceeds from the sale benefit the educational outreach of the Genesee County Master Gardener Program.

For more information contact Brandie Waite at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, (585) 343-3040, ext. 101, or stop by the Extension office in Batavia.

April 17, 2018 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, bridges, news, batavia, elba, Alexander.

Resolutions to help advance three bridge projects scheduled for this summer were approved by the Public Service Committee of the County Legislature on Monday.

The project fund for replacement of the Searls Road Bridge over Spring Creek was increased by $16,500, with all but $825 of that coming from federal grant funds.

The money is necessary to acquire additional right-of-way on the roads leading up to the bridge.

The bridge will be widened from 22 feet to 30 feet -- the new federal standard -- but most of the additional right-of-way is needed during construction, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said.

Elba Farms has donated the land for the right of way on the west side of the road but the land on the east side is tied up in an estate and there is a Federal income tax lien on the property, so much of that additional $16,000 is going to a consult to help navigate the legal tangles.

The total cost of the Searls Road Bridge is $870,000, funded through federal grants.

The Pratt Road Bridge project over the Tonawanda Creek is also getting a budget bump of $13,300, all but $650 from federal grants, for right-of-way acquisition. Again, a consultant is needed to assist with the process. The total cost of the project is $2.082 million.

Three resolutions were passed in support of the project replacing the Stroh Road Bridge. Two of them accept a state grant of $100,000 in support of "multimodal" transportation (which means car, pedestrian, bike). The third resolution awards a $1.423 million construction contract to L.C. Whitford Co. Inc., of Wellsville.

The project is a complete replacement, including the stacked-stone abutments, put there in 1910.

April 17, 2018 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, murder, notify.


A woman was found dead, apparently murdered, at 11:57 a.m. yesterday at the Sunset Model, 4056 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

A medical examiner has determined the cause of death was "sharp force trauma to the carotid artery."

Yesterday morning a deputy responded to a report of an unresponsive woman in a room at the motel. Responding deputies determined she was dead and Coroner Jeffrey McIntyre responded to confirm her death.

The case has been ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. 

The woman has been identified by authorities but her name has not yet been released pending notification of family.

April 17, 2018 - 3:22pm

Firstly, you could consider helping out the critters in the Genesee County Animal Shelter by offering one of them a home, or two of them even.

The winsome feline in the photo at left is named "Feather" and she is a delicate soul in need of a quiet home.

This noisy, discombobulating world is wearisome; a warm lap and her purring in it could help soothe frayed nerves. She's a little shy at first, but newfound sincere friends can be that way initially. Understandable.

Her coat is described as pastel tortoise in color. Already spayed.

At right below is golden-eyed, amiable "Buddy," a real kick-back kinda guy. Solid gray, solid pal. Neutered and easy going. He is definately a people person. 

Secondly, two events coming up will help out the Volunteers for Animals and those they care for.

The first one is on Cinco de Mayo -- it's a Guest Bartending Fundraiser at the North Pole Restaurant & Party House, located at 243 S. Swan St. in Batavia. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.

All TIPS collected will be donated to the Volunteers for Animals at the shelter. So if you want to hoist a glass for a good cause, this is a good option.

Then, on the weekend of June 2-3 there will be a Scrap Metal Drive in the shelter parking lot at 3841 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia. It runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

Volunteers will be accepting metal of any kind: railings, doors, garbage cans, file cabinets, bicycle frames, gutters, pipes, poles, fencing, window frames, lawn furniture, tools, shelving, washing machines, dryers, stoves, wheelbarrows, wagons, etc.

They CANNOT take propane tanks, A/C units, or refrigerators. Scrap service provided by Ed Arnold EAS Scrap Processors of Corfu.

Also, there is an unending, ongoing drive to turn your empties -- pop/beer/water cans and bottles -- into cash to help needy animals.

Bring your empties to the shelter and the Volunteers for Animals will return them for you OR you can take them in to one of three local recycling centers and tell them they are for Volunteers for Animals and they'll put the money "in the kitty" for the animals at the shelter.

Participating recycling centers are:

  • Eastown Beverages in Eastown Plaza on East Main Street, Batavia
  • ARC Recycling Center at 3785 W. Main St., Batavia
  • Le Roy Redemption Center, 8 1/2 Lake St. (Route 19), Le Roy

There's also a Wish List of items needed for the shelter. You could either donate items directly at the shelter, or donate the funds to buy them.

Shelter Wish List

Kitten Food; preferred brand is Purina Kitten Chow

Canned Dog Food

Dry Cat and Dog Food (NO "Beneful" brand dog food, please)

Paper Towels

Small Washable Throw Rugs

Small Fleece Blankets or Throws (NO sheets, pillows, mattress pads or large comforters)

Non-clumping Cat Litter

Newspapers for the Cat Cages

Cat Litter Boxes (NO small boxes)

Dog Collars and Leashes

Kong Toys and Peanut Butter (NO rawhide please) and Large Nylabones

Plain Yogurt

Cat Toys of Any Kind

Rubbing Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide

Forever U.S. Postage Stamps

Reams of Letter-size Copy Paper

Gently Used Doghouses

Gift Cards for Walmart, Tractor Supply Store, or Petco

Dog Treats (NO rawhide)


April 17, 2018 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports.


Anthony "Butchie" Ray, who starred in football and track and field over the past four years at Batavia High School, has accepted a scholarship offer from University at Buffalo.

UB is a Division 1 school so it's a chance to compete at the highest level in collegiate athletics.

"Getting a scholarship from a Division I school is amazing," Ray said. "I never dreamt of going to a Division I school." 

During his athletic career at BHS, Ray was a member of seven teams that won sectional titles and he won 10 individual sectional titles in track and field.

Six times he was named to a Greater All Rochester team in either football or track.

The Bulls recruited Ray to be part of the track team where he'll throw discus and shot put.

While Brockport isn't Division I, Ray could have played football there, so it was a tough decision, said Ray, who was part of three Section V title teams in football with the Blue Devils.

UB, he decided, was where he felt comfortable.

"I liked the school and the facilities," he said. "I liked the atmosphere. When I thought about it a second I thought, 'like, wow, a Division I school. That's crazy. I'll get to go where some of the greats go.' "

Photo: Track Coach Nick Burk, Ray, his father Tony Ray, in the front row. Back row, football Coach Brennan Briggs, Coach Dan Geiger, and Athletic Director Mike Bromley.

April 17, 2018 - 12:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, news, Announcements, sports, Cystic Fibrosis.
Press release:
The fifth annual Cystic Fibrosis Margarita Run will take place in Pavilion at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 5th.
This 5.5K walk/run is intended for all ages and paces and features a fast, flat, looped route.
Race registration begins at the Pavilion Fire Department at 7:30 a.m. It is located at 11302 Lake St. in Pavilion.
The first 200 registered will receive a race T-shirt and all participants will receive a margarita, with the first 250 served in custom souvenir cups.
We will award the top male and female racers, as well as the top three finishers in 10 year age groups.
Post-race participants can take part in a basket raffle, enjoy the music of the band Trilogy, and fill up on snacks!
Information and registration is available on www.cfteamnatalie.com.
April 17, 2018 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, business, news, The ART of Mandy, art studio.

Press release and submitted photos:

Local artist and art instructor Mandy Humphrey will be opening an art studio in Le Roy next month. It is located at 20 Main St.

The studio, called The ART of Mandy, will be offering weekly classes for ages 2 through adult. Classes include: drawing, painting, photography, ceramics and more. Mandy also hosts on- and off-site paint parties, private and corporate events and birthday parties.

Please join us in celebrating the grand opening of this new studio on Saturday, May 5, at a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony (in cooperation with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce) at 2 p.m., followed by an open house from 2:30 to 4:30. Guests will enjoy snacks, a FREE craft, gift basket raffles and more!

Humphrey, originally of Stafford, graduated from Le Roy High School and pursued her Fine Arts degree at SUNY Cortland. After her undergraduate work, she continued her education earning a master's degree in Art Education from the Rochester Institute of Technology. While also being an award-winning exhibiting artist, Humphrey has been teaching publicly and privately for the past five years with experience in several different mediums.

For more information visit: www.TheARTofMandy.com

April 17, 2018 - 11:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Amanda E. Havens, 36, of Munson Street, Le Roy, and Thomas Williamee (no further info released) are charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Havens and Williamee are accused of stealing gasoline from Top's Friendly Market.

Anthony Charles D'Ambrosia, 38, of Mosley Road, Rochester, is charged with bail jumping. D'Ambrosia allegedly failed to appear for a scheduled court date in City Count. He turned himself in within 30 days of his scheduled appearance. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Minnie Marie Henry, 30, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to meet sentencing requirements. He was arraigned and jailed.

Leroy Thornton III, 27, of Ashland Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Thornton allegedly threatened another person during a disturbance on Dellinger Avenue at 9:10 p.m. March 11.

John P. Henning, 56, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Henning was arrested by State Police on Monday. No further details released.

April 17, 2018 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander, news, accident.

Alexander fire is on scene of a minor injury accident in the area of 10891 Alexander Road, Alexander.

One person is complaining of leg and hip pain.

UPDATE 11:21 a.m.: The first patient was transported to UMMC. A second ambulance from Attica requested for a sign-off patient.

UPDATE 11:47 a.m.: Alexander assignment back in service.


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