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February 8, 2019 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, warrants.
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Tonya L. Buzzell, AKA Tonya L. Bennett. 36, white female, 5’ 5” 150 lbs., brown hair, brown eyes. Last known address Liberty Street, Batavia, NY

Four Active Warrants:

Bench Warrant for alleged False Personation PL 190.23 Batavia City Court. Warrant issued 3/23/18

Arrest Warrant for alleged Violation of Family Court Act Genesee County Family Court. Warrant issued  3/29/18

Bench Warrant for alleged Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Batavia City Court. Warrant issued  5/9/18

Arrest Warrant for alleged Bail Jumping 3rd PL 215.55 Batavia City Court. Warrant issued 6/14/18

Steven D. Fronczak, 61, white male, 5’7” 190 lbs., blond hair green eyes. Last known address Oatka Road, Perry, NY

Two Active Warrants:

Bench Warrant for alleged Aggravated Felony DWI  VTL 1192-2aa Genesee County Court. Warrant issued 10/29/18

Arrest Warrant for alleged Felony Bail Jumping 2nd   PL 215.56  Batavia City Court. Warrant issued 1/23/19

Ralph A. Burdick, 43, white male, 6’ 1” 185 lbs., brown hair, blue eyes. Last known address Clinton Street Road, Bergen, NY

Two Active Warrants:

Bench Warrant for alleged Petit Larceny PL 155.25  Batavia Town Court. Warrant issued 10/9/18

Arrest Warrant for alleged Bail Jumping 3rd PL 215.55 Batavia Town Court. Warrant issued 11/19/18

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Michael S. Ryan, 59, 5’ 10” 218 lbs., white male, blond hair, brown eyes. Last known address Bank Street, Batavia, NY

Warrants: 

Bench Warrant for alleged Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th  PL 165.45-2  Felony Genesee County Cour. Warrant issued 2/27/18.

Jeanine D. Fuller, 32, white female, 5’7” 160 lbs., blond hair, brown eyes. Last known address Bank Street, Rochester, NY

Four active warrants:

Bench Warrant for alleged Petit Larceny PL 155.25 and Conspiracy 6th PL 105.00  Batavia Town Court. Warrant issued 9/18/18

Arrest Warrant for alleged Conspiracy 6th PL 105.00 Batavia Town Court. Warrant issued 9/26/18

Arrest Warrant for alleged Conspiracy 5th PL 105.05 Batavia Town Court. Warrant issued 9/28/18

Arrest Warrant for alleged Bail Jumping 3rd PL 215.55 Batavia Town Court. Warrant issued 10/13/18

If you are able to assist the Sheriff's Office in locating these people, the Sheriff's Office asks that you do not approach these people and that you call (585) 343-5000 with information that may assist in locating the suspects.

February 7, 2019 - 4:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, batavia, crime.

Heidi L. Harder, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested following a shoplifting investigation into an incident at 2:19 a.m. on Feb. 6 at Tops Friendly Market in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on Feb. 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

Paul Kittisack, 53, of South Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 after he allegedly shoplifted from Tops Friendly Market on West Main Street in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on Feb. 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

February 7, 2019 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, music, arts, entertaiment, news, notify.

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Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced the lineup for their third annual Rockin’ the Downs concert series, which take place outside on the racetrack, with eight consecutive Friday dates, starting in June and running into August.

Kicking off the series on Friday, June 21st is Grammy Award-winning rock band Survivor. Best known for the double-platinum-certified song "Eye of the Tiger," Survivor’s massive hits also include "Burning Heart," "The Search Is Over," "High On You," "Is This Love," and "I Can’t Hold Back." This Academy Award-nominated band has had 18 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 during their storied career.

Next up, on Friday, June 28th is classic rock band Queensrÿche. With more than 30 million albums sold worldwide, Queensrÿche continues to tour the globe to sold-out audiences. The band has earned multiple Grammy Award nominations, and won the MTV “Viewer’s Choice” award for the #1 chart-topping hit "Silent Lucidity." Even with 11 gold and platinum plaques and several Top 10 hard rock anthems under their belt, Queensrÿche consistently delivers high-octane live shows combining the hungry fire of a new band with the tempered experience of master showmen.

On Friday, July 5th Canadian rock icon Kim Mitchell takes the stage in Batavia. A gifted and peer-respected guitar player as well as an acclaimed songwriter, Mitchell has recorded many hits, including "Go For Soda," "Rock 'N 'Roll Duty," "Patio Lanterns," "I am a Wild Party," "Easy To Tame," and "All We Are," to name just a few. Mitchell has achieved gold and multiplatinum sales status over a long and storied career that focused on “alternative” and "independent” long before the words became clichés.

Rocking the stage on Friday, July 12th is singer Steve Augeri. Best known as the lead vocalist for the rock group Journey from 1998-2006, Augeri headlined an eight-year tenure that included three albums, and brought one of the world’s most accomplished melodic rock groups back to the stage for multiple world tours to millions of adoring fans. Augeri promises to bring his high-energy mix of new music as well as material from his career to the Downs.

Gin Blossoms performs on Friday, July 19th. Hailing from Tempe, Ariz., the band hit the big time with their first major label album, "New Miserable Experience," which went quadruple platinum, and gave us the hit single "Hey Jealousy." Other hits from the Grammy-nominated band include "Follow You Down," "Mrs. Rita," "Found Out About You," "Pieces Of The Night," and "‘Til I Hear It From You." Gin Blossoms remain a rare breed, continuing to create, craft and perform their glorious catalog of material.

Friday, July 26th sees Kenny Wayne Shepherd at the Downs. Synonymous with the phrase “young blues rock guitarist," Shepherd has established himself as an immensely popular recording artist, a consistently in-demand live act, and an influential force in the worldwide resurgence of interest in the blues. The Louisiana-born axeman and songsmith has sold millions of albums, shining a light on the rich blues of the past while forging ahead with his own twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens.

Country music royalty Tanya Tucker will rock the Downs on Friday, Aug. 2nd. Named one of CMT’s 40 Greatest Women of Country Music, this Academy of Country Music Award-winning and Grammy-nominated singer’s number-one hits include "Delta Dawn," "Blood Red and Goin’ Down," "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)," "Lizzie and the Rainman," "San Antonio Stroll," "Here’s Some Love," and "Strong Enough to Bend."

Closing out the series on Friday, Aug. 9th is Theory of a Deadman. Hailing from Delta, British Columbia, Canada, Theory, as they are known, has turned their hard rock/alternative sound into eight top 10 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, including three number-one tracks in "Bad Girlfriend," "Lowlife" and "Rx (Medicate)."

Tickets for all eight concerts will be available at www.BataviaConcerts.com beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 8th.

Individual presale tickets to each concert will remain at $10 for General Admission, while VIP tickets will again be $25. For the first time, concertgoers will be able to purchase tickets in the Premium Section directly in front of the stage. Premium tickets are $50 and will be very limited for each concert. General Admission tickets are $15 if purchased on the day of the concert. Tickets can also be purchased at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel at the Lucky Treasures Gift Shop located in the lobby.

Concertgoers will once again have the option of purchasing a “Season Pass,” which includes admission to all eight concerts at a discounted rate. The Season Pass for 2019 is $60 for General Admission and $150 for VIP.

“We are very excited to once again host the region’s premier concert series, which includes another great lineup of musical icons,” said Henry Wojtaszek, CEO/president of Batavia Downs Gaming.

“We hope the community will continue to enjoy what has been an entertaining and affordable event each year. It’s great to see the community come together for a series that everyone can be a part of.”

Hotel room/ticket packages will be available for each concert. Purchase of a hotel room on the night of a concert using the code includes two VIP tickets to the show while supplies last. Each concert ticket is also redeemable once at Player’s Club in the three days following the concert for $10 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines.

Concerts are held Rain or Shine. Additional information may be found at www.BataviaDownsGaming.com.

Photo by Howard Owens.

February 6, 2019 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, batavia, Pavilion.

Edward Ryan Loper, 30, of West Bank Street, Albion, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and misapplication of property. Loper was arrested on Feb. 5 and arraigned at 3:41 p.m. in Pavilion Town Court. His arrest follows an investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office into an incident that took place on Hartwell Road in Pavilion on Sept. 23. Loper allegedly stole property from an individual with a value in excess of $1,000. Loper also is accused of misapplication of property that belonged to the same individual. He was brought in from Orleans County Jail, where he was incarcerated on an unrelated charge, for the arraignment. Loper was subsequently put back in Orleans County Jail and bail was set for Genesee County Jail for $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. He is to reappear in Town of Pavilion Court on March 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

James Albert Chase, 39, of Oak Street, Batavia, is registered Level 3 sex offender who is on parole. He is charged with failure to report a change within 10 days -- with a previous conviction for the same offense. Under NYS Penal Law COR 168-F subdivision 4: An offender has 10 calender days to register "...any change of address, Internet accounts with Internet access providers belonging to such offender, Internet identifiers that such offender uses, or his or her status of enrollment, attendance, employment or residence at any institution of higher education." Chase was being held on a parole violation in Genesee County Jail at the time of his arrest on Feb. 4. He was arraigned then jailed without bail. He is due in Batavia City Court tomorrow (Feb. 7). The case was handled by Batavia Police Det. Eric Hill.

Bryan Michael Beach, 35, of Dolbeer Street, Perry, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt, second-degree harassment and aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree. He was arrested on Feb. 5 for allegedly shoving a person at 5:20 p.m. on Feb. 3 on Lewiston Road in Batavia, in violation of an active order of protection. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

Hayley N. Giles, 21, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Giles was arrested at 12:58 p.,m. on Feb. 3 following an investigation of a domestic incident involving siblings. Giles are released on an appearance ticket. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Jonathan A. Bell, 34, of Evans Street, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- common law; failure to stop at stop sign; refusal to take a breath test; unlicensed operation; and aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree. Bell was arrested at 11:12 p.m. Feb. 4 on Washington Avenue in Batavia after being involved in a one-vehicle crash. He was processed and released with traffic tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Eric K. Ricks, 40, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 on Thomas Avenue in Batavia after Batavia police were called to a residence for an altercation. At that time, he was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana. Ricks was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court Feb. 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Chad Richards.

February 6, 2019 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, elba, notify.

Funeral arrangments are pending for Teresa M. Norton, 53, and Thomas M. Norton, 22, of Albion, who died Saturday afternoon in a traffic collision on a snow-covered section of Route 98 in Elba.

Teresa was born July 29, 1965, in Dansville, a daughter of Paul Dieter, of New Hampshire, and Sandra Demmer, of Batavia. 

According to her obituary, "she loved crafts of all kinds and really enjoyed making beautiful wreaths to give to family members."

To read her full obituary click here.

Thomas was born Feb. 27, 1996, in Olean, a son of Roger and Teresa Norton. 

He was a graduate of Albion High School.  

To read his full obituary, click here.

February 6, 2019 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

Reports are coming in of roads becoming slick and town and county salt trucks are being deployed throughout the county.

There is a weather advisory in effect for freezing rain with accumulations of four-tenths of an inch through the course of the day.

Power outages and tree damage from ice are possible. 

The National Weather Service warns travel could be difficult, especially during the evening commute.

UPDATE 10:20 a.m.: With some minor accidents reported earlier, a dispatcher reports there are multiple-accidents pending, including one on the Thruway (no injuries) with a car into the trees.

February 5, 2019 - 3:33pm

Every year, the University at Buffalo’s Dental School participates in a national event called “Give Kids a Smile Day,” in which children ages 1 to 18 who do not have access to dental care can receive free dental services.

This year, the Dental School has chosen Batavia city schools to participate in the event on Saturday, Feb. 9. These include Batavia City School District, Notre Dame High School and St. Joseph’s Regional School.

Coordinating the event is Paula Fischer, Rural Dentistry Program project coordinator at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and a Batavia resident. Also a resident of Batavia is Dr. Joseph Zambon, dean of the Dental School.

It is not too late to sign up for the free program, Fischer said.

A bus will leave the parking lot at JCPenney at 9 a.m. to take children to Buffalo. Fidelis, a major event sponsor, has made the bus available, Fischer said.

To sign up, call Paula Fischer at (716) 829-6240.

UB Dental’s Give Kids a Smile event offers free dental care, including exams, cleanings, fillings, extractions and orthodontic consultations (braces).

In addition, other services offered are hearing and vision screenings and healthy eating demos. Every child and parent will receive oral health supplies and lunch bag.

Both Zambon and Fischer grew up in Batavia and are thrilled to be able to offer this free service to their community.

“Every year the dental schools GKAS event grows, and this year we were discussing expanding its reach, and I immediately thought of Batavia,” Fischer said. “I reside in Batavia with my family and I currently serve on the City of Batavia Youth Board.

"My children attended John Kennedy Elementary, St. Joseph Regional School and Notre Dame High School. I reached out to Wade Bianco, Karen Green and Julia Rogers to assist with getting the word out. They were excited to offer this opportunity to their students and families.”

The first Give Kids a Smile Day started in 2002 in St. Louis, Mo., where free dental care was delivered to nearly 400 children. The American Dental Association recognized that this grassroots effort had great potential to raise awareness nationally about the importance of oral health to overall health, and about the staggering need that exists among millions of children who go without care, Fischer said. 

So, in 2003, Give Kids a Smile evolved into a nationwide program with the collaboration of the American Dental Association, Henry Schein, Proctor & Gamble and DEXIS. UB Dental School has been participating since 2003. Thousands of dentists and volunteers give their time to provide free oral health education, screenings and treatment to underserved children, Fischer said.

Since 2003, more than 5.5 million children have been cared for by more than half a million volunteers.

February 5, 2019 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, Darien, alexander.
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Charles Cooper Joshua Cooper

Charles Elias Cooper, 35, of West Seneca Street, Lodi, and Joshua Dennis Cooper, 32, of Dunlap Road, Ovid, are charged with: soliciting without a permit; a scheme to defraud in the second degree; and 6th-degree conspiracy. In addition, Joshua Dennis Cooper is also charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. At about 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office received a report of individuals trying to scam residents for driveway repair work on Alleghany Road (Route 77) in Darien. The investigation revealed that the defendants were allegedly performing work at a residence without the property owner's permission and then tried to charge the property owner multiple sums of money. The defendants were arrested and arraigned in Darien Town Court. The investigation was handled by Deputy Kevin McCarthy, Deputy Kevin Forsyth, Deputy Kyle Krzemien, and the NYS Police Commerical Motor Vehicle Unit.

Emily Elizabeth Dale, 27, of Water Street, Attica, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree; speed not reasonable and prudent; moving from lane unsafely; and unlicensed operator. Dale was arrested following an investigation into a motor vehicle accident on Maplewood Road in the Town of Alexander at 5:38 p.m on Feb. 1. Dale was allegedly operating her motor vehicle in an intoxicated state when she drove off the roadway. Her operating privileges were allegedly suspended at the time. She was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for a mental health evaluation. She is due in Town of Alexander Court this afternoon (Feb. 5). The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Mathew Clor.

February 4, 2019 - 5:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, batavia, Le Roy.

John A. Snook is indicted for the crime of criminal contempt in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 15 in the City of Batavia Snook intentionally violated a duly served order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party. In count two, Snook is accused of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony, for allegedly entering a dwelling unlawfully on Jackson Street. In Special Information filed by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Snook is accused of having been convicted of first-degree criminal contempt on Jan. 5, 2015 in Genesee County Court and that conviction was for violating a stay away family offense order of protection. It was also within five years previous to the crime alleged in the current indictment.

Matthew J. Arelline is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 3 in the Town of Le Roy that Arelline drove a 2015 Mitsubishi on Route 19 while he was intoxicated and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, he is accused of DWI, as a misdemeanor. In count three, he is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17.

Kelicia M. Storey is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on Sept. 26 in the Town of Le Roy that Storey drove a 2015 Kia on Route 19 while intoxicated. In count two, she is accused of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, Storey is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count three that she had three or more suspensions in effect at the time that were imposed on at least three separate dates: Sept. 27, 2015; Jan. 14, 2017; and Aug. 19, 2018.

February 4, 2019 - 12:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

Kevin Michael Waleski, 31, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. At 3:24 a.m. on Jan. 27, Batavia police responded to an address on South Main Street in Batavia for a report of a disturbance. Waleski was subsequently issued an appearance ticket for second-degree harassment after he allegedly punched another person in the face. He is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Brendan David Curry, 38, of Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated, with a previous conviction within the last 10 years; DWI; and refusal to take a breath test. Curry was arrested on Feb. 1 at 1:10 a.m. following an investigation of a vehicle off the roadway on State Street Road in Batavia. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released under supervision. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on Feb. 25. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Paul P. Parise, 49, of Kingsbury Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; and aggravated DWI -- with a BAC of .18 percent or higher. Parise was arrested at 8:33 p.m. on Jan. 22 on Kingsbury Avenue following an accident wherein he allegedly drove while intoxicated and struck an unoccupied vehicle parked roadside then left the scene. He is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Joey A. Evans, 28, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with trespassing. He was arrested at 5:35 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the JCPenney store in Batavia City Centre following an incident there. He had been told not to return following a previous incident. He is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

February 4, 2019 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident, news, notify.
Video Sponsor

With his three children in his minivan, along with one of their friends, returning to Elba on Saturday afternoon, Justin Calarco-Smith was being cautious, he recalls. He had already come through a couple of snow drifts on Route 98. 

Shortly after passing Batavia Elba Townline Road, he came upon another drift with near whiteout conditions when he noticed a silver SUV ahead of him lose control and start to slide sideways.

He didn't actually see the southbound pickup truck driven by Jeffrey S. Toussaint, 59, of Albion strike the silver SUV because of the poor visibility but he was able to stop in time to avoid being entangled in the accident.

Calarco-Smith is the funeral director at H.E. Turner Funeral Home. He's been to fatal accident scenes before but on Saturday he was one of several passersby who tried to render aid to the victims of the crash. This was a close call involving his own family and he said it took him some time to process what happened.

Despite the efforts of people on the scene to assist Teresa M. Norton, 53, and Thomas M. Norton, 22, a mother and son from Albion, they did not survive the crash and were pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Karen Lang.

"Upon seeing the SUV and pickup truck on the west shoulder of Route 98, I immediately pulled my van over to the east shoulder (it got stuck in the ditch) and called 9-1-1 to report the accident," Calarco-Smith. "After I hung up with dispatch, I exited my car, and along with three other bystanders who stopped to try to help, I got out to see what I could do to help. A female bystander asked if I had blankets for the victims to keep them warm. I ran back to my van and got a blanket out of our trunk and handed one to her."

The accident was reported at about 1:30 p.m. Winds through Genesee County that day were about 30 mph, two days after a major snowstorm had hit the area. Several sections of Route 98 that afternoon had significant snow drifts on the roadway, including the area where the accident occurred. The state's Department of Transportation is responsible for the maintenance of Route 98 and there was no snow fence erected on the west side of Route 98 where the accident occurred.

Calarco-Smith estimates there was one to two inches of snow covering the roadway at the time of the accident.

Because of Calarco-Smith's job, and as a resident of Elba, he knows many of the first responders who arrived at the accident. He praised his friends for how they conducted themselves at the scene.

"These same friends who were out in the elements constantly checked on my children assuring them all would be fine, while I was away from my vehicle," Calarco-Smith said. "I can't say enough about the professionalism, kindness and caring they demonstrated while on the scene. They are truly the calm in the eye of the storm."

A note about the video: I shot it Sunday afternoon so I make reference to "the accident yesterday." At the time I shot it, I anticipated publishing it Sunday, not Monday. That didn't happen. The video is intended to provide a look at the area of the accident scene and discuss what conditions were like on Saturday.

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The farm field west of the location of the double fatal crash on Route 98 in Elba.

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The site on Route 98 in Elba of a double fatal crash on Saturday.

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Snow fence west of Route 98 a location south of Townline Road.

February 3, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident, news, notify.

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A mother and her adult son from Albion were killed Saturday afternoon in a two-vehicle collision on a snow-covered Route 98 in Elba.

Teresa M. Norton, 53, was driving a 2008 Suzuki SUV north on Route 98, with her son, Thomas M. Norton, 22, in the passenger seat, when the vehicle hit a long patch of deep snow in an area about a mile north of Batavia Elba Townline Road. Norton apparently lost control of the Suzuki and it slid sideways. A 2011 Chevrolet pickup truck was southbound. The truck, driven by Jeffrey S. Toussaint, 59, of Albion, struck the Suzuki on the passenger side.

Toussaint was transported to Erie County Medical Center by Mercy EMS for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The property west of the accident, according to county records, is owned by Torrey Farms. According to sources, there were no snow fences installed along the west side of Route 98. NYS Department of Transportation is responsible for maintenance of Route 98, including erecting snow fences where they might be needed.

The Batavian was at the crash scene shortly after the accident and that section of Route 98, as well as a section south of Townline Road, were heavily covered in snow, at least several inches thick.

First responders described the roadway as hazardous when they were arriving on scene.

DOT snow plows arrived at Route 98 about 30 minutes after the accident.

Both mother and son were pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Karen Lang.

New York State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the accident and is leading the investigation with assistance from troopers and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The investigation is not yet complete.

The Elba Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the accident with mutual aid from Town of Batavia and Town of Oakfield fire departments.

Photos: Reader submitted photos.

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January 31, 2019 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Genesee County Highway Department and Emergency Management Services, has canceled the travel advisory for all of Genesee County as of 5 p.m., Jan. 31.

Motorists are encouraged to continue to drive with caution due to present blowing and drifting snow accumulation on roads and sub-zero wind chill temperatures.

Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger said the state of emergency has also been canceled.

We can confirm, there is a lot of blowing and drifting snow and low visbility at times on county grounds. Photos and video coming, hopefully later tonight.

January 31, 2019 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

A winter storm warning and wind chill advisory remain in effect for Genesee County until 7 p.m., with the wind chill advisory in effect until 7 a.m., Friday.

Up to three inches of lake effect snow is possible today before 7 p.m.

A travel advisory and state of emergency remain in effect for Genesee County.

January 31, 2019 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, thruway, Le Roy, notify.

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Two truck drivers were cited today in connection with a 21-vehicle pile-up on the Thruway in Le Roy yesterday that hospitalized a state trooper.

Trooper Dominique Wilson sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the accident, which occurred at 2 p.m. in the eastbound lane of the Thruway near mile marker 382. Wilson remains hospitalized at Strong Memorial Hospital in stable condition.

Also injured were Michael L. Bushek, age 60, of Palmyra, and Edward F. Dejoy, age 55, of Hamburg. Both were treated and released at Strong.

Tractor-trailer drivers, Richard Magezi, 41, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Michael L. Lambert, 54, of Hartford, Conn., were ticketed for allegedly disobeying a traffic control device, speed not reasonable and prudent, following too closely, and driving across hazard markings.
 
The investigation revealed that 19 vehicles, including 16 passenger cars, one box truck and two tractor-trailers, were involved in the crash.

The preliminary investigation indicates that a tractor-trailer traveling eastbound lost control, jackknifed, and struck the rear of a Trooper Wilson’s troop car, pushing it out into the roadway where the patrol vehicle was then sideswiped by a second tractor-trailer.

There was a ban on tractor-trailer traffic on the Thruway at the time of the accident due to the winter storm passing through the area.

Le Roy fire, with Le Roy taking command, along Town of Batavia fire, and Bergen fire, and six ambulances from Genesee, Monroe and Livingston counties responded to the accident, which left the Thruway closed for several hours.

Top photo: submitted by a reader.

January 31, 2019 - 8:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

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While a travel ban related to yesterday's blizzard-like conditions was lifted last night, this morning a travel advisory remains in effect and is expected to remain in place until 7 p.m.

A winter storm warning is in place until 7 p.m. though the current forecast doesn't show much snow for Batavia today. That, of course, could change.

The photo above from a reader is of a truck rollover accident at Lewiston and South Main in Oakfield that occured around 10:30 p.m. The road is still closed but should reopen soon. The truck was carrying 80,000 pounds of blueberries. Complicating the effort to get it up right were the powerlines overhead. National Grid installed a new utility pole at that location overnight.

Updates on closings (for our prior post on closings, click here):

  • The Richmond Memorial Library will remain closed today.
  • WW at First United Methodist Church on Lewiston Road, Batavia is cancelled.
  • Pembroke Diagnostics -- 860 Main St., Corfu
  • Cardiac Rehab --  215 Summit St., Batavia
  • Le Roy Lab Services -- 3 Tountas Ave., Le Roy (Le Roy Primary Care remains open)
  • Town Hall in Darien is reopening today, but delayed by two hours. UPDATE: Town Hall closing at noon.
  • Classic Optical -- 44 Batavia City Centre, Batavia
  • The Divine Tree -- 19 Main St., Le Roy
  • Chassix is open and employees are asked to report for work.
  • UMMC Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center is closed.
  • High Voltage Tattoo & Piercing -- Closed today
  • Celebrate Recovery Meeting (at Northgate Free Methodist Church) for today, Jan. 31, is cancelled.

Send closings and cancelations to [email protected].

UPDATE 9:01 a.m.: We just spoke with Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator. He said the forecasters with the National Weather Service say they expect a lake effect snow band that is currently south of Genesee County to shift north sometime this morning. The band should stay south of the Thruway. This could mean more snow and wind for Batavia, and if the shift does occur, certainly for the southwestern part of the county. He said, "they used words like two-thirds of the county" could be hit by the band. "It's sunny now but we don't want anybody to get lulled into the idea that the storm is past," Yaeger said. The travel advisory and state of emergency remain in effect. He said county officials will reevaluate the situtation around noon.

UPDATE 9:35 p.m.: There's a report of drivers stuck at the Flying J getting agitated. Drivers are reportedly yelling at each other.

January 30, 2019 - 9:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, weather, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Genesee County Highway Department and Emergency Management Services, has issued a travel advisory for all of Genesee County. Motorists are encouraged to avoid all unnecessary travel due to the significant accumulation of snow combined with strong winds and sub-zero wind chill temperatures and zero visibility at times.

 Advisory is in effect from 9 p.m., Jan. 30, until further notice.

Sheriff Sheron reminds motorists that dark traffic signals that are not working are to be treated as a four-way stop. 

January 30, 2019 - 7:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

In order to enact a travel ban today, Bob Bausch, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature, signed a letter at 2 p.m. today declaring a state of emergency and that state of emergency is expected to be in place through tomorrow.

The travel ban could be lifted this evening, though, said Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator. 

"It was busy," Yaeger said. "It came in fairly quickly around noonish and started hitting very quickly. It has started to subside a little bit. Now, it's quieted down quite a bit. We're expecting the lake effect to move south but then reenter back into Genesee County tomorrow during the day."

Besides enabling the sheriff to declare a state of emergency, it gives county officials additional power, though Yaeger said there's no plans to, say, impose a curfew or ban alcohol sales. The county has also not used the state of emergency to ask for assistance from other counties or the state.

"We're continuing to monitor it at the point that we checked with our highway department superintendent and he's checking with the municipalities," Yaeger said. "But because the amount of snow at this point is manageable, we're going to continue to manage that. But that option is always open but at this point (no assistance) is needed."

Even as the snowfall slows down, the county remains on a ready footing. Each county fire department has personnel at their fire halls, City fire has extra personnel on duty, and the local law enforcement agencies have extra officers on patrol.

The Emergency Management Center is operating as a command center but Yaeger said it is at a "level 3" standard of operation.

"We are open and active and we're monitoring the weather and monitoring phone calls that are coming in the different situations so we have good situational awareness of what's going on in the county, so we can react to any of needs that may come up," Yaeger said.

The travel ban serves two primary purposes, Yaeger explained. It helps keep the public safe but it also helps keep first responders safe.

"The weather is our concern with the public out there," Yaeger said, "then the first responders trying to do their their work, to respond to emergencies, first to gain access there and then to be in these elements is extremely dangerous."

In this weather, it's especially important for first responders to get to stranded motorists quickly and safely.

"Because of the extreme cold you cannot be in those elements, or be in a vehicle and not be able to move and not have heat in your car," Yaeger said. "It is not safe at any point."

January 30, 2019 - 6:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia, elba, notify.

George F. Anderson, 38, of 61 Myrtle St., Le Roy, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on Jan. 29 and charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that Anderson failed to exercise reasonable diligence in maintaining control of a 4-year-old child by failing to be aware that the child left the apartment for about 40 minutes and was found crying in the common area of the apartment with no shirt on. Anderson was issued an appearance ticket to appear in Le Roy Town Court at a later date.

Craig L. Fien Jr., 46, 17 Mill St., rear apartment, Le Roy, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on Jan. 29 and charged with one count each of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, a Class E felony, and fifth-degree conspiracy, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that between September and January, Fien knowingly possessed stolen property consisting of one pump shotgun (color black), belonging to the victim and he allegedly refused to return the gun to the victim when the victim asked then demanded that he do so. Fien was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Steven C. Kazmierczak, 34 of 92 Gilbert St., Le Roy, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on Jan. 17 and charged with one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that during a Probation check of Kazmierczak's residence, he was found unlawfully in possession of a shotgun due to a prior felony conviction. Kazmierczak was issued an appearance ticket and released to answer the charge in Le Roy Town Court at a later date.

Juaquin E. Davis, 23, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with first degree criminal contempt. Davis was arrested at 2:20 p.m. on Thomas Avenue in Batavia after he allegedly violated a Batavia City Court order of protection. He allegedly did so by being in the presence of a protected party and engaging in a verbal altercation with that protected party. He was arrested and issued an appearance ticket for Feb. 5 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider.

Alexander D. Kibler, 21, of School Street, Batavia, is charged with: speeding; driving while ability impaired by drugs; possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle; and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. Kibler was arrested at 1:24 a.m. on Jan. 19 on Walnut Street in Batavia after Batavia police conducted a traffic stop on a gray 2014 Jeep. Police subsequently allegedly found Kibler impaired by marijuana. He was issued traffic tickets and is due in City Court on Feb. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Dorothy Gray De Roque, 46, of Mechanic Street, Elba, is charged with: DWI -- first offense; refusal to take breath test; and speed exceeding posted 55 mph. De Roque was arrested at 2:23 a.m. on Jan. 27 on Ford Road in Elba. She was stopped for speeding and allegedly found to be intoxicated and failed to submit to a breath test. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance. She is due in Elba Town Court on Feb. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

Taylor L. Finnin, 26, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and failure to appear. Finnin was arrested Jan. 26 on multiple arrest warrants after Batavia police were called to a South Main Street, Batavia, address on an unrelated matter. Finnin was arraigned in City Court and jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or bond. Finnin is to return to court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

January 30, 2019 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, weather, notify.

weatherjan302019groupa.jpg

Photos in Batavia from about the one o'clock hour.

Top photo, Batavia Downs.

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Main and Ellicott

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Jackson Street

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Parking lot at the courthouse.

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Ellicott Avenue

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Tonawanda Creek off of West Main Street.

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Centennial Park.

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Centennial Park.

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Genesee Community College

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State and North

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