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August 1, 2016 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, approved by Sgt. John L. Baiocco:

A 17-year-old female who lives on South Street in Le Roy was arrested July 29 for allegedly possessing marijuana while at the Darius Rucker concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. She is due in Darien Town Court on Aug. 16 to answer the charge.

August 1, 2016 - 4:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Alabama, batavia, Stafford.

Ricky On Lei, 27, of South Clinton Avenue, Rochester, is charged with possession of 10,000-plus unstamped cigarettes, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop at a stop sign. Lei was arrested at 7:34 p.m. on July 31 at 7238 Alleghany Road, Alabama, after a traffic stop. Lei allegedly was in possession of more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes at the time. Allegedly, he was also operating the vehicle with a suspended driver's license and failed to stop at a stop sign. He was arraigned in Town of Alabama Court and put in jail in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is due in Alabama court on Aug. 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

Summer Anne Bliss, 22, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 10:30 a.m. on July 28 on Overlook Drive for allegedly punching a person in the head during a verbal altercation that turned physical. Bliss was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released. She is due in Town of Batavia Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hale.

Mark Christopher Hanna, 36, of Lenox Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Hanna was stopped at 9:06 a.m. on July 30 on Route 33 in the Town of Stafford for a speeding violation. It was determined after an interview that Hanna was allegedly in possession of a quantity of marijuana. He was arrested on the charge, processed and released on an appearance ticket for Aug. 18 in Town of Stafford Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

August 1, 2016 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, darien lake, news.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office announced 10 more arrests -- all for marijuana possession -- at the G-Eazy concert at Darien Lake Performing Art Center July 29. All were issued appearance tickets for Aug. 16 in Darien Town Court.

  • Casie Nuernberger, 22, of Fenton Street, Buffalo
  • Brandon S. Konstanty, 23, of Burch Road, Ransomville
  • Joshua W. Rodrigquez, 27, Todd Avenue, Jamestown
  • Cody B. Hayes, 18, of Mason Avenue, Rochester
  • Justin P. Rathbun, 19, of Willowood Drive, Rochester
  • Joseph C. Stiglmeier, 24, of Harding Road, Williamsville
  • Matthew J. Soos, 19, of Creekview Drive, Hamburg
  • Christian M. Craven, 20, of Vliet Boulevard, Cohoes
  • Fletcher J. Ace, 18, of County Road, 17, Belfast
  • A 17-year-old of Hall Road in Elma

For the previous report on arrests at this G-Eazy concert click here.

August 1, 2016 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, news, Kyle Johnson.

The Le Roy resident charged with murder in the shooting death of Norman Ball during the early morning of Dec. 1 has entered a not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told Interim Judge Micheal Pietruszka that two psychologists examined defendant Kyle Johnson and both found that Johnson was not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. One expert was hired by the defense and one by the prosecution, and if the case had gone to trial, both would have testified about Johnson's mental condition.

Johnson was facing an eight-count indictment that included charges of murder, burglary, arson and attempted murder.

After accepting Johnson's plea, Pietruszka ordered Johnson transferred to a state-run, secure mental health facility where he must undergo further evaluation to confirm the diagnoses.

If the case had gone to trial, Johnson would face multiple ranges of potential prison terms, including a max of 40 years to life.

UPDATE: The final version of the story can be found by clicking here.

August 1, 2016 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, news.

A 55-year-old Byron resident can expect to spend 12 and a half years in state prison after entering a guilty plea to attempted murder today in Genesee County Court.

David O'Connor entered his plea on an Alford basis, which means he isn't admitting to the factual claim underlying the attempted murder charge, but that he would likely have been found guilty at trial.

According to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, O'Connor denies that he was firing his rifle from the second floor of the Byron Hotel at Deputy Andrew Hale, attempting to kill him, on March 7. O'Connor maintains that he was aiming at the tires of the deputy's patrol vehicle.

The shot blew out the back windows of Hale's SUV.

The plea was part of an agreement that will cap O'Connor's prison term to 12 and a half years and avoids a trial.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 30.

O'Connor made no statements in court today.


August 1, 2016 - 12:31pm

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic candidate for NY­27, returned home to Batavia from the Democratic National Convention this past week in Philadelphia.

Kastenbaum attended the convention with her daughter. The mother-­daughter duo were in the City of Brotherly (and Sisterly) Love to witness the historic presidential nomination of Hillary Clinton.

Kastenbaum says, “I have waited my whole life for this and getting to share it with my daughter was very important to me. With a woman nominee on the ticket and several Democratic women in Congressional races, including myself, we are at a tipping point where we will hopefully see more women in office. What is viewed as breaking the glass ceiling now will one day be the norm for our grandchildren.” 

August 1, 2016 - 10:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.


A reader found this dog wandering in the area of College Road near Bank Street at 10:30 p.m., Friday. They've looked for info on lost dogs and seen none reported in the area and there's been no such dog reported missing to the Animal Shelter, they said. "He's the sweetest dog." They will be giving the dog a temporary home hoping the owner will be found soon. If you think this dog is yours, please call 585-409-3383.

August 1, 2016 - 9:53am

The National Federation of Republican Women are about to embark on a voter registration drive in swing states and the bus tour will stop in Batavia today.

Federation President Carrie Almond is expected at the stop along with federation officers, local elected officials and members of the Genesee County Women's Republican Club.

The purpose of the tour is to convince women in 11 swing states to register Republican and support the Republican's nominee for president, Donald Trump.

The event is at the Old Courthouse from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the public is invited.

August 1, 2016 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in theater, arts, GO ART!, Darien, Darien Lakes State Park, news.


Shake on the Lake, Genesee Valley’s Shakespeare Festival, now in its fifth season, performed Saturday at Darien Lakes State Park, entertaining an audience with "Twelfth Night," co-produced by Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

The evening, which opened with plein air artists painting Darien Lakes landscapes, was sponsored by GO ART!

If you missed the performance, there are opportunities this week to see it in Attica and Silver Lake. For more information, visit the theater company's website.








July 30, 2016 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama, Basom, news.

A single-car accident with an individual complaining of neck pain is reported in the area of the Totem Pole on Ledge Road, Basom.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 4:06 p.m.: Law enforcement requested to the scene. Alabama's responding units can stage in quarters.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: Mercy can go back in service. Patient is a sign-off.

July 30, 2016 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in employment, economy, business, news.

Genesee County's unemployment rate remains at pre-recession levels, hitting 3.8 percent for the second month in a row, but there are still fewer people working locally than there were the last time it hit 3.8, in August 2007.

Then, according to NYS labor department statistics, there were 32,600 people with jobs in the county. In June 2016, the most current employment numbers, there were 29,700 people with jobs, a drop of more than 3,000 employed residents.

The labor force participation number has dropped over the same span from 33,900 to 30,800. The number in June 2015 was 31,200.

The labor force participation number reflects the total number of people either working or actively looking for employment. It does not include people who have stopped looking for work, nor does it include people who have voluntarily decided to retire (which as Baby Boomer age does account for at least some of decrease in workforce participation) or people who dropped out of the labor force because of disability.

From 2007 to 2015, Genesee County's population rose from 58,159 to 58,937.

The lowest number of employed local residents over the past 10 years was in January 2015, when 27,300 residents had jobs. The unemployment rate then was 6.8 percent.

Since 1990, the number of employed locally has hovered the range 27,000 and 31,000, and the labor force participation number has remained within a similar range.

These numbers reflect the job market for residents, as for the jobs currently filled within Genesee County, the June 2015 number is 24,000, which is exactly where it was a year ago for non-farm jobs.

July 30, 2016 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Coffee Corner, business, Stafford, news.


It's been months and months of planning and work, but Jeff Price and Dawn Van Nostrand are ready to open their new coffee shop Monday morning at the corner of Seven Springs Road and Clinton Street Road.

Appropriately, it's called Corner Coffee.

Patrons will be able to enjoy coffee, smoothies and baked goods either to go or during a break in the sitting room, where they can connect to free Wi-Fi.

"We look forward to serving the public and enjoying the coffee," Price said.

As much as possible, what's served is from local sources, Price said. The baked goods come from Sweet Pea's and Harrington's. Sweet Peas is also making pints of homemade ice cream that will be available at Coffee Corner.

The location is next to Batavia Sign, a business owned by Price's brother-in-law.

Price and Van Nostrand said they liked the location because it's a good neighborhood, with good neighbors, close to Genesee Community College and on the route of many commuters heading to work in the Byron and Bergen area or to Rochester and Buffalo.

July 30, 2016 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake performing arts center, Darien, crime, news.

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

Colt D. Agnew, 19 of Potter Hill Road, Cattaraugus, is charged with criminal trespass 3rd and criminal possession of a forged Instrument, 2nd. Agnew allegedly entered Darien Lake after being told to leave and was found in possession of a fraudulent Maryland license. Agnew was arraigned in Darien Court and put in jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Jamie J. Burczynski, 20, of Old Goodrich Road, Clarence, is charged with second-degree harassment and resisting arrest. Burczynski allegedly swung his fist at a deputy and then resisted arrest. Burcyzynski was arraigned in Darien Court and put in jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.

A 17-year-old of Thorn Berry Way, Conyers, Ga., is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly urinating on a vehicle.

Bryce R. Tarbox, 20, of Route 417, Alleghany, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, after allegedly possessing a stolen Live Nation cleaning shirt and entering the concert venue without a ticket.

A 16-year-old of Ridge Meadows Drive, Spencerport, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Evan J. Vershay, 21, is charged with forcible touching after allegedly grabbing a female's private parts.

The following subjects were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana:

A 17-year-old of Main Street, Williamsville

Joshua P. Butry, 24, of 81st Street, Niagara Falls

Shane N. Barrett, 25, of Hickory Street, Whitney
Casey R. George, 19, of Hagen Avenue, North Tonawanda
Alexis N. Malta, 18, of Tinker Tavern Road, Webster
Luke G. Simons, 18, of Country Meadow, Hilton
Melanie M. O’Malley, 20, of Foxwood Lane, Williamsville
Andrew J. Stone, 21, of Evans Street, Lockport
Zachary T. Fronckowiak, 18, of Westover Street, Yorkshire

July 30, 2016 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford, news.

Two people were seriously hurt early this morning in an accident on Route 5 in Stafford.

Steven N. Cook, 33, was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital with extensive injuries, according the Sheriff's Office. 

Shannon M. McGill, 28, was taken to Strong by Mercy EMS with upper body injuries.

The accident was reported at 2:07 a.m.

The cause or circumstances of the accident were not released. Only one vehicle was reportedly involved.

Assisting at the scene were volunteers from the Stafford and Town of Batavia fire departments.

Charges are pending. 

The investigation is being conducted by Deputy Eric Meyer.

July 29, 2016 - 6:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, news.


A man was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC following a serious-injury accident this afternoon on Angling Road in Pembroke.

A small car and a truck carrying black-top material for road paving collided shortly after 4:30 p.m.

There was heavy debris all over the roadway and East Pembroke Fire Chief Don Newton said it was apparent as soon as he arrived on scene that this was a severe-injury accident.

He called for assistance from Corfu Fire Department, which provided heavy extrication at the scene.

"The dash of the small vehicle was literally laying in the chest of the patient," Newton said.

The male driver of the car was unconscious when Mercy medics arrived, but they were able to stabilize him and he regained consciousness before being taken to the hospital, Newton said.

The driver of the truck claimed no injuries.

Angling Road was closed at Route 33 and at West Avenue.

State Police are investigating the accident.






July 29, 2016 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy, news.

There's a report of a car hitting a pole on West Main Street, Le Roy, in front of Scooter's Restuarant.

Wires are down and there's a report of power out in the area.

The occupants are out of the vehicle, but there are wires on the vehicle.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance responding.

July 29, 2016 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Calling All Dogs, Tori Ganino, batavia, pets, animals, news.


Because choke, pinch and prong dog collars really don't help improve a dog's behavior, and can actually make bad behavior worse, Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, is offering a discount on training to owners who leave those collars with her so they can be destroyed.

Leave one of those types of collars and get $12 off a group class or $12 off an in-home training visit, or leave an electric collar and get $15 off.

"These collars create all kinds of negative associations and don't help build a relationship with your dog," Ganino said. "They create bad associations, so if a person is walking by and a dog is already a little bit nervous and then they see the person and they get pinched or they get choked, that just validated the feelings that the person is bad because they got hurt when they saw the person. It can make behaviors worse."

If a dog learns that pain will be associated with pre-bite warnings, such as barking or lunging, the dogs will learn to suppress those warnings and instead just bite, Ganino said, which makes them very hard to work with later when tryng to unlearn that behavior. 

And even in a good-natured dog, the pain hurts the dog's relationship with its owner, she said, because they see the owner as the one inflicting the pain. 

Ganino wants owner to bring punishment collars in and learn the kind of behavioral techniques, build around rewards and learning alternative behaviors, for the sake of the dogs, the owners and anyone they might encounter.

"I want to be able to show people is that they can change their dog's emotional response so things are not nearly so scary," Ganino said.

The phone number for Calling All Dogs is (585) 455-5387.

NOTE: Rocky update: Tori helped us a lot with Rocky and we continue to work with him.  His behavior has improved; he's lost a lot of his fear and demonstrates a lot more happy and loving behavior. 

July 29, 2016 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, theater, alexander, news, Naomi LaDuke.


Last night, a homegrown youth theater troupe in Alexander performed a special production of the "Wizard of Oz" before dozens of invited guests.

This 25-page adaptation of the famous story was based on a script by 13-year-old Naomi LaDuke, who based her version on a musical performed at Shea's, on silent films, the movie and the book.

These pictures are from the rehearsal Wednesday at the treehouse on Church Street where the actual performance took place.

Naomi also cast the players, designed and sewed Dorothy's costume and created the scenery and props. The musical accompaniment was played by David Lange, the organist at St. James Episcopal Church, which Naomi recorded using Apple's software, Garage Band.

This is the fourth annual production by the kids, under the name of their theater, Open Door Productions.  

There was no admission fee for guests last night, but they were asked to make a donation at the door benefiting Brittany's Hope, a nonprofit in Pennsylvania that assists in international adoptions. The evening's theme was "There's no place like home."

"The kids are hoping to raise money and awareness to bring another child home to their forever family," said Naomi's mother, Karen Laduke. "Two of the actresses are internationally adopted themselves, so this is a theme that hits close to home."

Leigh LeFevre, pictured above, played Dorothy.

Naomi, besides being the writer, director, set and costume designer, also played the Wizard.

The rest of the cast: Lillian McClellan, Sally LaDuke, Jennmarie Schiller, Mya Hardie, Margarite LaDuke, Samual LaFevre, Kylee McClellan, Kathryn McClellan, Katelyn Hardie and Lucy LeFevre.




July 29, 2016 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crossroads house, batavia, news.


The annual giant yard sale put on by Crossroads House opened yesterday and continues today and tomorrow. The location is on School Street, between Liberty and Swan.




July 28, 2016 - 7:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, history heroes, batavia, news.


Students participating in the History Heroes summer program at the Holland Land Office Museum organized and hosted their own penny carnival today.





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