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June 25, 2019 - 5:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in joe marm, Medal of Honor, David Bellavia, news, notify.

Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia, right, shakes hands with another Medal of Honor recipient, Ret. Col. Walter Joseph Marm Jr. They are at a post-ceremony reception at the White House.

"Joe" Marm served in the Army from 1965 to 1995. On Dec. 19, 1966, he was given the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of la Drang on Nov. 14, 1965 during the Vietnam War.

At the time, he was a second lieutenant and platoon leader of the 2nd Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile). He is credited with single-handedly destroying an enemy machine gun position and several of its defenders, suffering severe wounds in the process.

For more information about Joe Marm, click here and here.

June 25, 2019 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in David Bellavia, Medal of Honor, white house, news, notify.

Here's a video of the just-concluded Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House for Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia.

June 25, 2019 - 2:22pm
posted by Lauren Leone in news, darien lake, fatal accident, jennifer serrano, notify.

Details about the events surrounding the fatal Darien hit-and-run last August are emerging as opening statements and first witnesses are heard in the case of 48-year-old Jennifer L. Serrano.

Today is the first trial day for Irving, Chautauqua County, resident.

During his opening remarks, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman informed jurors of: the basic overview of the accident; some of the individuals they can expect to hear from throughout court proceedings; and a brief account of the actions taken by both the victim, 18-year-old Connor Lynskey, and the defendant in connection to the accident.

Friedman explained to jurors the four counts Serrano is charged with: second-degree vehicular manslaughter, which, as a result of alleged intoxication, caused Serrano to drive her Jeep in a manner that killed Lynskey; leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it; driving while intoxicated; and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Defense attorney Frank LoTempio delivered his opening statement next. He said that defense counsel does not intend to argue that Serrano did not drink and drive, nor that her vehicle did not strike Lynskey and cause his death.

However, LoTempio maintained that the tragedy may not have resulted from Serrano’s reported intoxication, and that Lynskey’s 0.16 BAC at the time of his death may have led him to walk into Serrano’s traffic lane. 

LoTempio encouraged jurors to pay close attention to evidence of Serrano’s conduct as she was questioned by officers at the time of her arrest, the darkness of the accident scene, and the accident reconstruction information that is expected to arise later in the trial.

The prosecution called its first witness, Dr. Nadia Granger, who performed Lynskey’s autopsy at the Monroe County Office of the Medical Examiner. She told the court that Lynskey endured injuries to his right shoulder, facial bones, skull and brain. These injuries are consistent with his cause of death, which is multiple blunt force injuries, and the damage sustained by the right side of Serrano’s vehicle.

The prosecution also brought forward Hunter Richard, a longtime friend of Lynskey’s who also attended the Jason Aldean concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Aug. 10 with Lynskey.

Richard recounted the events that occurred on Aug. 10 and 11 and his rationale for walking along Sumner Road in Darien as he and his friends returned to Darien Lakes State Park campground. 

Richard testified that Lynskey was behaving normally as they walked to the campsite, so impairment by alcohol was not a factor in Lynskey's death in his opinion.

LoTempio challenged Richard’s account of his proximity to the roadway, the collision sound heard by the teens, and the safety measures taken the night of the accident.

Both counsels will call more witnesses and introduce new evidence to the jurors as the trial proceeds this afternoon and throughout the week.

June 25, 2019 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Gillam Grant Community Center, bergen, free movies.

Four free movies will be shown outdoors this summer behind the Gillam Grant Community Center in Bergen.

Bring a chair or blanket. Movies begin at dusk. Concessions will be available.

Here's the lineup:

  • July 12 -- Disney’s "Mary Poppins Returns," sponsored by Rochester Regional Health and GO ART!
  • July 18 -- "Instant Family"
  • July 26 -- "Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of the Grindelwald"
  • Aug. 1 -- "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," sponsored by GO ART!

Dates may change due to weather. Movies scheduled are subject to availability.

Gillam Grant Community Center is located at 6966 W. Bergen Road. Phone is 494-1621.

Sponsored by GO ART! and Rochester Regional Health.

June 25, 2019 - 1:27pm

Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge will offer for bid 141 acres of grasslands for hay in two different fields ranging in size from 35 to 106 acres. The Refuge annually provides a total of 1,100 acres of grassland habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife.

Active management of these grasslands is necessary to provide the highest quality nesting and migration habitat. The Refuge haying program helps in this management process by reducing encroachment of broad leaf weeds and shrubs.

Units will be allocated on a highest bid per field basis for each field. Sealed bids will be accepted until close-of-business (COB) on Friday, July 5.

Bids will be opened on Monday, July 8.

An official Bid Sheet and a Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application, both available from the Refuge headquarters, are required to make a bid.

Completed Bid Sheets and Permit Applications can be mailed to or dropped off at the Refuge headquarters at 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013 and must contain all the information requested.

If you have any questions about the haying program or would like to see the fields, please call Paul Hess at 585-948-5445, ext. 7032.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is located midway between Rochester and Buffalo, and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

June 25, 2019 - 1:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, animal abuse, pets, scanner.

A caller to dispatch reports a poodle is locked inside a Chevy Avalanche pickup truck in the Walmart parking lot. The windows are down about an inch. An animal control officer is responding.

June 25, 2019 - 1:15pm

Press release:

DARIEN CENTER -- The Kingdom Bound Festival, one of the nation’s largest and longest-running Christian music festivals, is set to return to Six Flags Darien Lake in Darien Center this summer, featuring a full slate of top Christian artists, including Crowder, for King & Country, and Skillet.

Joining the star-studded lineup for their first-ever appearances at the festival will be worship heavyweights Bethel Music and Passion Music.

The 33rd annual festival is set to take place July 28-31 with thousands of Christian music fans from across Western New York, Pennsylvania, Southern Ontario, Canada, and beyond expected to attend.

A limited number of on-site accommodations are still available, as well as full event and single day commuter passes.

All tickets include access to all festival activities as well as admission to Six Flags Darien Lake Theme and Water Park.

Kingdom Bound 2019 will featuremore than 50 artists and speakers from across the United States and Canada including headlining performances from GRAMMY® nominated multiplatinum rockers SKILLET, two-time GRAMMY® winners and longtime attendee favorites for King & Country, and worship veteran Crowder.

Joining them will be worship music pioneers Bethel Music and Passion Music, two of the leading worship groups in the country. They’ll be joined by American Idol finalist Danny Gokey, radio hitmakers Unspoken, and more.

Also joining the 2019 lineup are worship ensemble North Point InsideOut, along with Paul Baloche, We Are Messengers, I Am They, and Western New York’s own Brothers McClurg.

Other festival events include Kids programs for ages 4-8, Amped Tent for 9-12 year olds, a special morning program for high school students, and late night activities, including bonfires, dance parties, and movies.

The festival will also feature more than 40 inspirational seminars including: national communicator Reggie Dabbs; Kevin Lehman, Ph.D.; Ben Stuart; Carol McLeod and more.

Single-day tickets for the festival are $64 nd include admission to Six Flags Darien Lake Theme Park and Waterpark. Four-day festival passes including park admission are available for $154.

Tickets are available online at www.KingdomBound.org, by calling 716.633.1117, or in person at the Kingdom Bound office – 8550 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville.

About Kingdom Bound

Kingdom Bound Ministries produces one of the nation's leading Christian music festivals that has been in operation for more than three decades. With a focus on Biblical truth and a reputation for excellence in ministry, Kingdom Bound is more than a music festival, as they’ve tackled relevant subject matter such as depression, youth, the opioid epidemic, health and wellness, parenting, self-esteem, the influences of modern media, and a host of other contemporary topics.

June 25, 2019 - 1:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, ILGR, autism support group, batavia.

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) will soon begin an ongoing Autism Support Group for adults age 18 or older with a disability on the autism spectrum, who are able to participate independently in a group.

Autism is an '"umbrella term" that includes a wide spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders found statistically in 1 of 59 children, that affect socialization and communication.

FREE for the attendees, the Autism Support Group will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. on alternative Tuesdays, starting July 16 at ILGR’s office in the Crickler Executive Center, 319 W. Main St., Batavia.

The agendas for the gatherings will be determined by the participants and could include social activities like board games or bowling, getting training or professional development, or other pursuits they feel would be beneficial.

Participants must pre-register to attend; to sign up or get more information, please call David Dodge at (585) 815-8501, ext. 414, or email him at [email protected].

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

June 25, 2019 - 11:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Bellavia, Medal of Honor, news.


This morning David Bellavia, who will be awarded the Medal Honor in White House ceremony this afternoon, was given a guided tour of the Lincoln Memorial. The tour included access not typically provided to tourists, including a climb up several narrow flights of stairs to the rooftop.


When Bellavia arrived at the monument, Rochester newsman and author Bob Lonsberry (in Army T-shirt) asked to have his picture taken with him.


David Bellavia talking with Congressman Duncan Hunter, a former Marine who also fought in Fallujah. Hunter represents a district that covers the eastern part of San Diego County, including El Cajon (my former hometown).


Assemblyman David DiPietro, one of Bellavia's guests for the ceremony, takes a photo of the Washington Monument.


Evan and David Bellavia.


DiPietro and Michael Caputo.


Bellavia with a pockmark in one of the walls on the roof of the monument. During World War II a 50mm gunner thought he saw something suspicious at the Lincoln Memorial and fired a single shot.


Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt, Bellavia, and Hunter.


Bellavia talking with Bernhardt.


Bellavia and Hunter.


Bellavia with some of the men he served with: Lucas "Doc" Abernathy, Salam Ulzuhairi, Chuck Knapp, Bellavia, and Joe Swanson. Ulzuhairi was the translator for Bellavia's unit in Iraq. He recently became a U.S. citizen.

June 25, 2019 - 9:09am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council, Batavia Community Garden.

The chair of the Batavia Community Garden advisory board called into question City Council's policy decisions in light of a proposed amendment to the Batavia Municipal Code pertaining to residency requirements for new municipal employees.

Speaking during a public hearing at Monday night's City Council meeting at City Hall Council Chambers, Deborah Kerr-Rosenbeck spoke of a double-standard as she compared the rules that govern advisory board membership with the proposal to relax residency requirements for those who work for the City.

“It seems like talking out of both sides of our faces,” she said. “The Community Garden (at 12 MacArthur Drive, next to the Batavia Youth Bureau) was started by people who don’t live in the City. You need to be consistent in your policies.”

Kerr-Rosenbeck was referring to the fact that a couple members of the Community Garden advisory board had to give up their positions after it was discovered by City Manager Martin Moore that they were not City residents, which is in violation of the City Charter.

One of those members is Robert Gray, a Batavia native who moved to Stafford in 1996. He was a cofounder of the Community Garden in 2011 and has been instrumental in its success.

Gray, speaking after Kerr-Rosenbeck, said he was offended by his removal (he and Carol Boshart, of Corfu, since have been allowed to continue as nonvoting "advisory" members).

“I have put in over 100 hours per year as a volunteer and now I can’t be on the committee,” he said. “Really? Really?”

He pointed out that the group was unable to conduct official business on a couple occasions because it didn’t have a quorum (of voting members) and requested that City Council review its policy as it is “detrimental” to the City.

The public hearing was necessary since City Council wishes to amend the City Municipal Code pertaining to the residency of new municipal employees. Changes focus on expanding the geographical area around the city where new employees may live to include any adjacent town to Genesee County within six months of the date of conclusion of the probationary period for the City.

The employee also would be required to live within these areas for the duration of his or her employment.

City Attorney George Van Nest pointed out that City Council has the power to amend the Municipal Code, which governs employees, but has no authority when it comes to amending the City Charter, which covers volunteer boards.

Council President Eugene Jankowski noted that a Charter review is a separate, more extensive process, but it could be “something we might want to consider” as it is his hope to rectify the situation with the Community Garden advisory board.

Council Member Patti Pacino said she understood that the rules of the City Charter were drawn up by City residents, but disagreed with the outcome.

“I don’t like it,” she said.

(As an FYI, John Roach, of Batavia, who once served on the City Charter Commission, said that residency requirements were instituted for advisory boards because “we didn’t want people from Cheektowaga, for example, serving on our Zoning, Planning, Housing or Audit advisory boards. The Community Garden is a casualty of this.”)

Council Member John Canale said he was concerned over how the decision to remove Gray and Boshart was communicated to them, which prompted a response from Jocelyn Sikorski, Youth Bureau director and Community Garden coordinator.

“When Marty realized that two members lived outside of the City, we had a meeting with them to explain the circumstances, and made them both advisory members, liaisons,” she said. “This left two vacancies and changed their roles.”

Sikorski said both have been “key players” and noted that “we call Bob ‘the Almighty’ when it comes to the committee.”

The conversion then turned back to the proposed amendment to the City Municipal Code with Council Member Rose Mary Christian stating that employees should have a vested interest in the community and should live in the City or in Genesee County.

“In case we need them, if an emergency, they’re not so far away,” she said.

Jankowski said the amendment allowing for employees to live a few minutes outside the county is “kind of a compromise … which the department heads took into consideration.”

Public Works Director Matt Worth confirmed Jankowski’s view, noting that one employee lives in Attica – “the edge of where we are comfortable (to have employees live).”

June 25, 2019 - 12:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Bellavia, news, Medal of Honor, batavia.


This evening, David Bellavia, with his wife and family at his side, was honored in a reception attended by top Army leaders, previous Medal of Honor winners, and many of the men he served with in Iraq.

For the combat veterans in Washington to witness Bellavia receiving the Medal of Honor, it is the first time they've been together as a group since Iraq. The greetings were those of brothers, with great warmth.

Top photo: David Bellavia speaking with Leroy Petry, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan in 2008 during Operation Enduring Freedom. Also pictured on the right, Medal of Honor recipient Gary Beikirch, who is from Rochester.


David Bellavia receives a pin from Sherwood Goldberg, a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army.


David Bellavia and former CNN correspondent Michael Ware. While a CNN journalist, Ware was embedded with Bellavia's unit in Fallujah and witnessed Bellavia's actions on Nov. 10, 2004.

June 24, 2019 - 11:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council.



The Batavia City Council presented proclamations to the family of Michael Paladino Jr. and to Ralph Bush for their heroic acts earlier this month.

In the top photo, Council Member Patti Pacino reads the proclamation extolling the action of Paladino, who "gave his life for another" when he went to the aid of a woman who was being assaulted by a man in the City on June 1. From left are his daughter, Tea; son, Sonny; partner Rebecca Fili; sister, Macy; and mother, Mary Jo Fay.

In the bottom photo, Council President Eugene Jankowski reads the proclamation honoring Mr. Bush as Officer Darryle Streeter looks on. Bush, a former Military Police, was cited for his "quick action that saved the life" of Officer Streeter when he managed to free a gun from a would-be assailant during a traffic stop early in the morning on June 5.

Bush had just finished his shift at O-At-Ka Milk Products when he saw the suspect and the officer engaged in a physical altercation.

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

June 24, 2019 - 10:21pm

The Batavia City Council tonight agreed to consider a proposed five-year agreement to provide School Resource Officer services to the Batavia City School District -- something Police Chief Shawn Heubusch believes is long overdue.

Heubusch elaborated on a recent memo he sent to Council about the Memorandum of Understanding that he and City School District Superintendent Christopher Dailey developed, with the hope of the board’s approval at its next Business meeting on July 8.

Tonight’s meeting was a combination Conference and Business meeting at City Hall Council Chambers and set the stage for a pair of public hearings for the July 8 meeting – one to support a NYS Office of Community Renewal Community Development Block Grant requested by Genesee Dental and the other to advance $25,000 in funds earmarked for Dwyer Stadium repairs a year earlier than originally appropriated.

On the subject of an SRO for Batavia, Heubusch said he was a bit puzzled as to why the largest district in Genesee County was the only one not to have a designated officer.

“Yes, it does surprise me a little bit. In speaking with Sheriff (William) Sheron over at the county, our actual agreement kind of mirrors what they’re doing with their different school districts so it only makes sense,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of calls for service at the school, just because there’s a large population in the City when school is in session. It is a little surprising that we haven’t had an SRO until this time, but it is much needed.”

In his memo, Heubusch outlined numerous benefits to having an SRO for Batavia schools, including: student/faculty safety, of course; along with enforcement; relationship building and communication with law enforcement; counseling services; tackling issues involving substance abuse and peer pressure; conflict resolution; and crisis training and response.

The chief said he has applied for grants and tried to fund the position through the budget process, but has been unsuccessful.

“So this year, the superintendent and I sat down and put our heads together and came up with a pretty good Memorandum of Agreement/Understanding, I believe, where the school district and the City share the cost of the school resource officer proportionately,” he said.

Heubusch said the MOU calls for the school district to pay 83 percent of the cost of an entry-level police officer and the City to pay 17 percent. That 83/17 split would remain the same for the life of the contract.

“It stays with that percentage throughout the life of the agreement (five years), so it kind of guarantees some longevity to the program,” he said. “The hopes would be that in five years or four years we renegotiate that contract, come up with another contract that will take us out another five years.”

The agreement starts with one SRO in year one, but increases to two in year two, and three in year three, Heubusch said.

“The idea is to get the three school resource officers for the district – one being assigned to the high school, one being assigned to the middle school and the third one floating between the elementary and parochial school,” he said.

Since the SRO would be a City Police Department officer, he or she could be recalled by the Chief if needed.

“As the agreement calls for, if there is an emergency situation and we need to recall that officer for whatever it may be – our staffing is short or we have a major incident – there is some notification that takes place with the school district, but we’d be able to recall that officer in an emergency situation,” Heubusch said.

“The intent is to make sure that officer is present (in the school) as much as possible – 100 percent of the time, quite honestly, (from September through June) in the school district to do the job that they’re there to do. I don’t foresee us having to recall that officer on a regular occasion.”

City Manager Martin Moore reported to Council that the SRO would have a vehicle, adding to the department’s inventory.

Council unanimously moved the proposal to the July 8th Business meeting.

In other action, Council approved a National Night Out event for 6-8 p.m. Aug. 8 at City Church at St. Anthony’s on Liberty Street. Part of a community-building campaign that promotes police/community partnerships and neighborhood relationships, it is free to the public. Food and refreshments will be provided.

Watch for more coverage of tonight's City Council meeting on Tuesday.

June 24, 2019 - 9:05pm
posted by Lauren Leone in Darien, crime, news, notify.

Prospective jurors expressed how difficult it may be to remain fair and impartial during jury selection today in Genesee County Court for the trial of 48-year-old Jennifer L. Serrano (booking photo above).

The Irving, Chautauqua County, resident is accused of driving while intoxicated and killing 18-year-old Connor Arthur Lynskey, of Hinckley, in a fatal hit-and-run accident Aug. 11 on Sumner Road in Darien.

After a tense selection process today, 12 jurors and four alternates were chosen to be impaneled.

Defense attorney Frank LoTempio was overpowered by the voices of multiple juror candidates when he asked a group of 18 prospective jurors whether their personal emotions would interfere with their deliberations.

A few potential jurors admitted they did not feel comfortable swearing under oath to remain objective due to the highly sensitive nature of the case. Particularly, candidates were unsettled by the expert testimony that defense counsel is anticipated to bring forward. It may allege Lynskey was intoxicated, and either walking or running in the lane of traffic when he was struck.

Lynskey had attended a Jason Aldean country music concert with friends and family at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center before he was killed. After the concert, the group started on foot back to its campsite at Darien Lakes State Park campground.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office report of the accident indicated Lynskey had decided to run ahead to catch up with a friend. 

When family members and friends returned to the campsite, they realized Lynskey was missing.

Law enforcement searched the area that night, but did not find him. His body was discovered the next morning in a ditch by the side of the road.

That same night he went missing, Serrano had been stopped by a deputy and charged with driving while under the influence.

The alleged hit-and-run may have occurred approximately 30 minutes before her DWI arrest. By following leads, investigators identified her as a suspect in the fatal accident.

Some juror candidates said they could not justify drinking and driving under any circumstances, if that is in fact the cause of the fatal accident. Others said they would struggle to fulfill their roles as fact-finders due to parenthood or connections with loved ones who have been affected by drunk driving before.

Judge Charles Zambito intervened in the tense discussion by reminding prospective jurors that to prove Serrano guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they must rely on evidence that indicates she drove while intoxicated and, as a result, operated her vehicle in a manner that caused Lynskey’s death. 

Serrano is also charged with leaving the scene of personal injury accident without reporting it and aggravated unlicensed operation of her vehicle.

Reportedly, Serrano may have driven on Aug. 12 while aware that her New York driver's license was revoked by authorities, based on her refusal to submit to a chemical test.

She faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

Above all, Zambito urged jurors to set aside feelings while reaching a verdict, in his words, “based on laws and facts.”

Opening arguments will begin at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in Genesee County Court.

June 24, 2019 - 8:40pm
posted by Lauren Leone in Le Roy, crime, news, notify.

Le Roy resident Robert Pragle (inset photo right), a man facing allegations of larceny and drug charges, is scheduled to be heard at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 21, in Genesee County Court.

During oral arguments in court today, Judge Charles Zambito continued Pragle under supervision of Genesee Justice until his hearing in August. 

Community tips and information from two suspects who allegedly participated in larcenies in the Town of Le Roy aided police in piecing together a case against four Le Roy residents who reportedly stole personal property with the intention of selling the items for drug money.

It is alleged that between Jan. 2-3 in Le Roy, Robert Pragle and three other suspected individuals knowingly possessed stolen property, which is a Class D felony.

Pragle is also accused of one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, a Class A misdemeanor; and one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, a Class A misdemeanor.

June 24, 2019 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Bellavia, Medal of Honor, batavia, news, notify.


Colin Fitts, a retired sergeant first class, says he is alive because of David Bellavia, the Batavia resident who will receive the Medal of Honor tomorrow in a ceremony at the White House.

On Nov. 10, 2004, Fitts and Bellavia and their men walked into an ambush in a house in Fallujah. Five insurgents had barricaded themselves in the house and didn't reveal their positions until after the platoon had entered. The platoon couldn't exit the house without exposing themselves to hostile fire. Bellavia commenced suppression fire allowing the men to escape.

Later, Bellavia reentered the house to try and finish the job because his men were still exposed to hostile fire from the insurgents in the house while they were on the street and single-handedly killed all of the insurgents in the house.


David Bellavia


Col. Douglas R. Walter, who was a company commander in Iraq and nominated Bellavia for the Medal of Honor in 2005, along with Maj. Joaquin Meno, who was a lieutenant in Bellavia's unit in Iraq, and Bellavia.


Michael Ware, a journalist embedded Bellavia's unit, discusses what he witnessed Nov. 10, 2004. Ware entered the house with Bellavia and attempted to film the ensuing battle. Because he didn't have night vision goggles, he lost contact with David and when the house fell silent, Ware exited and said he had lost contact with "Sgt. Bell." Men from Bellavia's unit entered the house and by the time they located Bellavia he had already killed all of the insurgents in the house.

We'll have video from the press conference, along with interviews wiht Walter, Meno, and Fitts later.

June 24, 2019 - 4:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in fireworks, news, batavia, FOURTH OF JULY.

Press release:

As we approach the July 4th Independence Day holiday, Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano of the City of Batavia Fire Department would like to remind the residents of the City of what is allowed by law.

“We want to ensure that our residents enjoy the holiday in a safe and responsible manner,” Napolitano said.

The law enacted on Jan. 1, 2018, states that buying, selling, and using sparking devices (not fireworks) is only legal in the counties and cities that have not enacted a local law pursuant to section 405.00 of the Penal Law of New York.

These sparking devices are legal everywhere in the state except for in Bronx, Columbia, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond and Schenectady counties.

According to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, "Sparking Devices" are considered, “ground-based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks andor a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke.”

Napolitano also stated, “These sparkling devices can only be bought and sold from June 1st to July 5th and from Dec. 26th to Jan. 1st in any given year.”

Furthermore, the law states that “Sales of sparklingdevices by certified temporary stands or tents can only occur from June 20th to July 5th and Dec. 26th to Jan. 1st in any given year.”

According to Napolitano, allowable sparkling devices under the law are sparkling fountains, sparklers on wooden sticks (not metal sticks), smoking devices, snakes confetti-filled party poppers and paper-wrapped snappers.

Non-allowable and illegal devices include firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles and any other aerial devices.

Lastly, Napolitano said,” It is important to take the necessary fire safety precautionary steps when usingthese devices. Last year there were a reported 12,900 fireworks-related injuries (in the United States)."

If any resident has questions regarding what is allowable or would like information regarding safety precautions, they can call the City of Batavia Fire Headquarters at 585-345-6375.

June 24, 2019 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, scanner, crime.

A disturbance is reported on Holland Avenue in Batavia. The caller says she can see sticks being used. City police are responding.

June 24, 2019 - 3:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, news, accidents, Pavilion.

An accident is reported in Pavilion at 1200 South Street Road, near Telephone Road.

A car is wedged in trees and a pregnant woman is unable to exit.

A second vehicle is roadside.

The accident is partially blocking traffic.

Pavilion fire and Mercy medics are responding along with State Police.

Darien ambulance is also called to respond.

One lane of traffic will be closed.

UPDATE 4:17 p.m.: The female was extricated and transported to a hospital for evaluation. The roadway is reopened. The assignment is back in service.

June 24, 2019 - 2:17pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, crime, news, notify.

Derek E. Wilcox, of Congress Avenue, Rochester, (inset photo right) pled not guilty in Genesee County Court today of drug charges against him.

At his arraignment, his attorney Marshall Kelly said his client pleads not to: criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony; and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, a Class B misdemeanor.

On March 27, law enforcement allegedly found 56 bags of crack cocaine at a house on Liberty Street, Batavia. Wilcox was one of five individuals arrested as a result a joint investigation a result of a joint investigation by the Probation Department, Child Protective Services, and the Local Drug Task Force.

Wilcox’s $20,000 bail bond was also continued by Judge Charles Zambito.

Oral arguments for Wilcox's case will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 26 at the Genesee County Courthouse.

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