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May 14, 2019 - 6:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in van detta stadium, batavia, news, notify, City Schools, Batavia HS.

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The stands are up, the turf is in and it looks like the Batavia Blue Devils will indeed have a new stadium in time for fall football as workers tighten bolts and sew up seams in coming days before the oval track around the field is installed.

The new stadium, replacing the 70-year-old Van Detta Stadium, is part of a $27 million district-wide capital improvement project approved by voters two years ago that includes upgrades at all three school sites.

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May 14, 2019 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, notify.

In recent years, the number of seasonal deputies working during concerts at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center has increased from 10 to 15 and in 2019, 20.

It's not just that there are more concerts at Darien Lake, or the addition of concerts at Batavia Downs has increased demand, Sheriff William Sheron said at yesterday's Public Service Committee meeting. The Sheriff just needs a bigger pool of qualified deputies to draw from to ensure adequate staffing for each event.

There's no additional cost for the county since the cost is offset by fees paid by the concert venue for security on show nights.

Sheron said he wants more officers deputized for concerts because none of the men and women who work the shows on a part-time basis are able to make every show.

"This will give us a bigger pool to draw from," Sheron said.

Seasonal deputies must be sworn peace officers and must live in Genesee County. They can be current or retired Batavia PD or Le Roy PD officers, or retired from the Sheriff's Office or State Police.

Regardless of current or former affiliation, they are sworn in as deputies for their seasonal duty and wear Sheriff's deputies' uniforms.

The Sheriff's Office currently has five deputies going through training and expects five more to start training in the fall to replace deputies who have retired. The retirements have left the Sheriff's Office a bit short staffed, which will mean a little more demand for seasonal deputies at Darien Lake.  

Those who retired from the Sheriff's Office can also help with traffic control since they already have training for the duty at the park.

Deputies also assist with traffic control during concerts at Batavia Downs while Batavia PD handles security inside the venue.

The Sheriff is gearing up for 20 to 25 concerts at Darien Lake and another 10 at Batavia Downs. Concerts also return to the Ridge NY in Le Roy, but Sheron acknowledged there is seldom a need for a law enforcement presence at those shows.

"Each concert venue brings a different client of patrons," Sheron said. "Some of those individuals get rowdy at times and we have issues, but on the other hand we have many concerts where we don't have any difficulties at all; but you still need a police presence."

The Public Service Committee voted unanimously to send the recommendation to the full Legislature for approval.

May 14, 2019 - 3:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, notify, news, batavia.

James R. Calaci, 36, (above photo) of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; unlicensed operator; speeding; using a portable handheld device. Calaci was arrested on Liberty Street at 12:12 p.m. on May 9 following a traffic stop. He was allegedly using a portable handheld device while driving and he was speeding. He was found to be operating a motor vehicle while his NYS driver's license had 46 active suspensions. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed on unspecified bail. He is due in City Court on May 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Jason Solomon Wood, 40, of Woodstock Gardens, Batavia, is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal contempt. On March 11 at 3:49 a.m., the GC Sheriff's Office received a complaint of a violation of an order of protection. Following an investigation, it is alleged that Wood intentionally violated an order of protection out of Family Court by contacting the protected party several times via text messaging. Woods was arrested and arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed in lieu of unspecified cash bail. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy David Moore.

May 13, 2019 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, accident, Le Roy, notify.

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A woman has reportedly died following a head-on collision on Route 19 at North Street Road, Le Roy.

According to Chief Deputy Brian Frieday, a vehicle was southbound on Route 19 when it slowed to make a left turn on North Street Road. Another vehicle behind that car tried to pass on the west shoulder and that driver apparently lost control of her car causing it to cross back across the southbound lane and into the northbound lane where it struck a northbound SUV.

The driver of the car that was attempting the southbound pass was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the SUV was transported to Strong with non-life-threatening injuries.

The name of the victim has not been released pending family notifications.

The accident is still under investigation.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance responded to the scene and Route 19 was closed between Seldon Road and West Bergen Road. (At the intersection of the fatality, Randall Road is west of Route 19; and across Route 19 to the east, the same roadway becomes North Street Road.)

UPDATE: The Sheriff's Office reports that Bonnie B. Dean, 77, of Churchville, died as a result of the crash. The other driver was identified as Penne M. Vincent, 56, of Fairport. Vincent was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Dean was driving a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. Vincent was driving a 2013 GMC Terrain. According to the press release, Dean attempted to pass an uninvolved vehicle on the right, on the west shoulder and was unable to maintain control of the vehicle, causing it to cross into the northbound lane. The cause of the crash is under investigation by Chief Deputy Brian Frieday, Sgt. Andrew Hale, Sgt. James Deihl, Sgt. Jason Saile, Deputy Richard Schildwaster, Deputy Mat Clor, and Deputy Travis Demuth. Assisting at the scene were Le Roy Detective John Condidorio, and officers Gregory Kellogg and Stephen Cappotelli as well as Le Roy fire, Le Roy ambulance, and Mercy EMS.

Alecia Kaus/Video News Service contributed to this story. Photos by Alecia Kaus.

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May 13, 2019 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in teen city, St. Anthony's, batavia, Youth Bureau, news, notify.

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The planned move of the Youth Bureau to St. Anthony's on Liberty Street, Batavia, is on schedule and the new program should open in time for the school year this fall, said Jocelyn Sikorski in an interview last week.

Sikorski is the director of both the city's and the county's Youth Bureau and the combined program will move from its current location at 12 MacArthur Drive, Batavia, this summer.

The Youth Bureau will go from a 1,800-square-foot building to more than 11,000 square feet of available space, and from a location practically on the outskirts of the City to one near the center of the city and closer to the underserved youth population on the Southside.

St. Anthony's has already become an important youth activity spot thanks to its owner, City Church, and the work of Ryan Macdonald, who leads youth and community activities on Tuesday nights.

Teen City will offer after-school programs to youths age 9 to 16, including a classroom/tech room, recreation room, gaming room, cafeteria, kitchen and full gymnasium during program hours, which are set at 2:30 to 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday during the school year, and 1 to 6 p.m. during the summer.

"There are a lot of youth on the Southside who want those services, who are utilizing those services with Ryan on Tuesday nights, so we’re going to meet the needs of the community as they are and serve those kids who may not be coming to the youth center because of its current location," Sikorski.

The move is expected to be completed in August.

Teen City is a joint project of the Youth Bureau, St. Anthonys's/City Church, the YMCA, and United Way.

"It’s worked out well," Macdonald said. "We love the kids. We think the kids, for the most part, love us. We’re looking for the whole community to be involved.

"We can’t do it on our own and that’s the key takeaway," Macdonald added. "The YMCA is going to be involved the Youth Bureau, the City and the County, United Way is going to be involved. I think that’s an important takeaway because not one entity can do it all on their own. If we work together at it we can get a whole lot more done."

With 100 kids showing up every Tuesday at St. Anthony's, Sikorski said there is ample evidence there is demand for a program like Teen City that is easier for more kids in the city to reach.

With the help of the school district, transportation will be provided to kids who might find St. Anthony's too far away to walk or bike to.

"The other positive is we're modeling the school's behavior and rules with what we’re developing so there will be consistency for these kids," Sikorski "They will know what their expectations are. It’s not going to be any different.

"This will be supervised and structured and it will be a safe place for those kids to go," she added.

The former Youth Bureau building will be taken over by City Schools. Superintendent Chris Dailey said near-term plans are for the high school to use the front parking lot and the building for storage during the ongoing capital improvement project.

The community garden behind the Youth Bureau building will be able to expand into the basketball court area.

Macdonald said he sees this as a positive move for what City Church offers at St. Anthony's and the children of the community.  The Tuesday night programs themselves are expensive to run and only survive because of the generous support of sponsors. Now the children of the area will have more options and more support.

"We’ve all needed somebody to speak into our lives, to love us, to care for us at certain points, and not to say the parents aren’t doing that but we want to add to it," Macdonald said.

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The Batavia Youth Bureau moved to the former community pool location in 1998 after the City sold the Bank Street location, which housed the youth bureau and senior services, to the County, which took over the Senior Center at that time. Now it's moving to St. Anthony's.

May 11, 2019 - 3:06pm

Christian Arieras Wilson, 21, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with promoting prison contraband in the first degree, fifth-degree conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Following an investigation into smuggling contraband into the Genesee County Jail, Wilson was arrested, released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on May 20. It is alleged that Wilson delivered a quantity of a controlled substance into the jail in a concealed manner at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 19. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Michael Shawn Wahl, 53, of Jordan Avenue, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree and possessing or transporting or offering for sale unstamped cigarettes. At 10:32 p.m. on May 10, following a traffic stop on Indian Falls Road in Pembroke, Wahl was arrested. Allegedly, he was driving a motor vehicle and his driver's license was revoked and he possessed unstamped cigarettes for sale. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Pembroke Court on May 28. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Jenna Ferrando.

Tammy Kay Zasowski, 51, of Clinton Street, Elma, is charged with petit larceny. Following an investigation of a larceny on Shanks Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, Zasowski was arrested. It is alleged that she stole cigarettes at noon on May 3. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Alabama Town Court on June 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Ira Leroy Mercer, 72, of Oakwood Road, Rochester, is charged with possession of unstamped cigarettes for sale. At 10:32 p.m. on May 10, Mercer was arrested on Indian Falls Road in Pembroke following a traffic stop. He allegedly possessed unstamped cigarettes that were for sale. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Pembroke Court on May 28. The case was handled by Genesee County Sherjiff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Jenna Ferrando.

Ramon S. Gilliam, 44, of Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, and having an uninspected motor vehicle. Gilliam was arrested following a traffic stop for uninspected vehicle at 9:04 a.m. on May 10 on East Main Street Road in Batavia. He is due in Batavia Town Court on May 23. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Joshua Dale Thomas Jr., 34, of Post Avenue, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree. At 12:29 a.m. on May 11, Thomas was arrested on Route 490 in Le Roy. He was the passenger in a motor vehicle stopped for alleged vehicle and traffic violations. "During the stop criminal indicators were observed which led to a subsequent search of the vehicle and its occupants." Thomas was allegedly found in possession of more than two ounces of marijuana. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Le Roy Court and is due there on June 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Thomas Sousa, 55, of 7th Avenue, St. Petersburg, Fla., is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 2:51 a.m. on May 10 on South Lake Road in Bergen, Sousa was arrested after a traffic stop for alleged vehicle and traffic violations, which included failure to keep right. He was issued appearance tickets and is due in Bergen Town Court on June 19. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

May 9, 2019 - 4:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, news, crime, notify, batavia.

Kelly J. Rhim is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a violent Class D felony. It is alleged that on April 13 in the City of Batavia that Rhim intentionally caused physical injury to a person by means of a dangerous weapon. In count two, Rhim is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count two that Rhim possessed a box cutter with the intention of using it against another person. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Rhim is accused of having been convicted on Feb. 19, 2015, in Batavia City Court, of attempted petit larceny, a Class B misdemeanor, and the conviction forms the basis for count two of the current indictment.

May 9, 2019 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Soldiers and Sailors Monument, notify, Upton Monument, batavia, news.

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Terry Ross, from the Genesee County maintenance department, works on a new lighting system at the base of the Upton Monument.

The LED system was donated by Batavia-based Lighting Design Innovations, which two years ago donated a new color-changing light system for the Old Courthouse cupola.

The new lights are on a 14-volt system and draw only 20 watts. They are replacing four 400-watt lights.  

Ross said lights are being installed to light the plaques of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and another light, which is what he's working on in the picture, will illuminate the statue of Gen. Emory Upton. Ross said the DOT has given permission for the county to install an LED light at the top of the stoplight poll next to the monument that will illuminate the eagle at the top, but first the county must figure out how to run the power up to the light on the outside of the pole.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is 100 years old this year. It was dedicated in August 1919.

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May 8, 2019 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, schools, education, notify.

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Voters in the Batavia City School District will be asked on May 21 to approve a budget of $50,518,573, with a projected increase in the tax levy of 2.93 percent.

The Board of Trustees approved the proposed budget Tuesday night, following a public hearing, sending it to the voters for final approval before the 2019-2020 school year.

Spending in the district will drop 3.20 percent, or more than to $1.6 year-over-year if voters approve the budget.

The proposed tax rate is $22.06 for 2019-2020, up from $21.67 this year.

Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 21, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Robert Morris building and Batavia High School.

As part of the public hearing, Superintendent Chris Dailey, in his final budget hearing with the district (he's taken a job with the Gates Chili Central School District) shared a good deal of detail about the district.

This year, there are 2,377 students enrolled, and though the district provides free breakfast and lunch to all students, under government guidelines for free and reduced-price lunches, 59 percent of the district students qualify.

The attendance rate is 95 percent. Dailey said that is the highest in the area.

"It doesn't hurt that students know they are getting two free meals a day," Dailey said. "They know they're going to eat at least twice." 

There are 259.4 teachers in the district, 122 teachers aides and clerical employees, 39 maintenance staff, four assistant principals, four principals, five people in IT, 24 in nutritional services, and seven in the central office.

The BHS graduation rate is 92 percent. That is, again, one of the highest in the area, Dailey said.

In the coming year, the district will add a Batavia police officer as a school resource officer.

Some of the programs in the district that are not mandated by the state but that Dailey said the community demands:

  • Kindergarten
  • K-12 art classes
  • K-5 music
  • Instrumental lessons starting in the third grade
  • School plays and musicals
  • AP and college credit courses
  • Athletics
  • Extracurricular clubs
  • A college and career center
  • Small class sizes
  • Teachers' aides
May 8, 2019 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy.

Richard L. Bailey, 63, (inset photo right) of Thorpe Street, Batavia, is charged with: second-degree menacing; fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon; and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Bailey was arrested after he allegedly was involved in a disturbance at 7:09 p.m. on April 25 wherein he threatened a neighbor on Thorpe Street with what appeared to be a handgun. Following arraignment in Batavia City Court the next morning, he was jailed without bail. He was due in city court again on April 29. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

William G. Schultz, 45, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief -- intentional damage of property, and second-degree criminal trespass -- entering or remaining unlawfully in a dwelling. He was arrested on May 1 after an investigation into an incident that occurred at 2 p.m. on April 21 at Bill's Auto on Evans Street in Batavia. He was arraigned in city court and jailed on $2,500 cash bail or bond. Then at the jail while being processed he was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance. He was subsequently charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second degree; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; and introduction of contraband into prison in the second degree. He was due back in city court on May 7. The cases were handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

April M. Palmer, 33, Lake St., Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 4:20 p.m. on April 14 following a shoplifting complaint at the Dollar General on East Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearacne ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on May 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Ashley B. Farrell, 33, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large and unlicensed dog. She was arrested at 3:08 p.m. on April 21 after her two dogs were found running at large in the city and they were unlicensed. She is due in city court on May 14 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Samantha R. Jones, 34, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. She was arrested at 5:45 p.m. on May 1 on Oak Street. It is alleged that her dog ran at large without a leash onto another person's property. She was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and is due there on May 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Anthony L. Rice, 26, of Post Avenue, Rochester, was located and arrested by New York State Police on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court. The warrant was issued April 25 after he failed to appear in city court regarding traffic offenses. He was turned over to Batavia PD and processed at headquarters. He was put in GC Jail on $1,000 cash bail or bond and was due in city court May 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Miah Stevens.

Robert V. Howard Jr., 66, of Lockport Ollcott Road, Lockport, was taken into custody by Batavia police on May 5 from the New York State Police, who had stopped Howard for vehicle and traffic violations in Niagara County. NYPS determined Howard had a bench warrant for his arrest out of Batavia City Court. After his arraignment in city court, he was put in GC Jail or $500 cash bail or bond. He was due in city court again on May 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

May 7, 2019 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pembroke Central School District, pembroke, news, notify.

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Not too many 18-year-olds run for elective office and even fewer decide to challenge their dad's bid for reelection but that's just what Samantha Ianni plans to do in the May 21 Pembroke Central School District Board of Trustees election.

Dad, Art Ianni, facing reelection for the first time after a single five-year term, is fine with it. Though he really doesn't want to lose.

"I have a lot of respect for my daughter and her decision making has always been pretty good so I'm going to stick behind her," Ianni said. "At the same token, over the five years, I've developed a lot of relationships with people on the board. So, through my experience and knowledge, I think that I can finish."

That sounds like a challenge, he's told.

"At age 55,I might know a few more people than my daughter. But again, it'll be interesting to see what she brings."

For Sam, being young is an advantage, she said. She's only a year removed from high school and will be a student herself throughout her entire term, if elected, first as an undergrad in education at the University at Buffalo and then working on her master's in education.

She also thinks that while her classmates are pretty tied up with their own studies and possibly in college out of the area, the students who were just a year or two ahead of her might be around and they might be eager to come out and support her candidacy.

Sam was the student ex-officio member of the school board a year ago and in January one of her former teachers, Alexis Langheier, suggested to Sam that she run for the seat.

"I was talking to her about how school was going and everything and she brought it up to me," Sam said. "She was like, 'I think this could be a really cool opportunity for you. You would learn a lot. I think that you also have a lot to offer the board.' "

Art was bemused when Sam first mentioned the idea to him but quickly decided it was a good thing for her and the community.

"Well, after I laughed a little bit I said, 'You know, I'm happy that one of the products of the school, any student, would want to be that involved in their community and want to come back is a wonderful thing,'" Art said. "That's what we do as a school board. That's what we try to accomplish. It's cool that it's my daughter but any 18-year old who would run against me I would be very proud of."

There is only one seat open in this election and Art and Sam aren't the only candidates. There's also Jeanna Clark. (Strassburg before her recent marriage). 

The natural question for Art is whether having Sam on the ballot might split any potential vote against him but he said he doesn't think Sam running helps him. She could bring in her own voters.

"I'd like to think that my experience on that board will push me all the way through," Art said. "Sam may bring in another 50 voters, which may not be the whole scale but it'll be close. Yeah, it'll be close. It'll be heartbreaking either way. Someone's losing whether it's myself whether it's Sam whether it's the other one obviously someone is losing. So, yeah, I'll feel bad but not for long."

May 7, 2019 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dot, batavia, news, notify.

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A two-acre parcel of land that's distinguishing feature is an abandoned road that used to lead to a bridge will be sold at auction at the end of this month.

The road used to lead to a bridge that connected South Jackson Street to Creek Road but that bridge was removed in the 1990s and never replaced.

Now, the Department of Transporation, which has owned the parcel since the bridge was built in the 1950s, has decided to sell it as surplus property.

Matt Worth, director of public works said the bridge, which was only 30 years old at the time it was removed, was in poor shape when it was taken out of service.  

It was built when the old railway lines that used to pass through Downtown Batavia were moved further south. The bridge was built over the railroad tracks in what may have been a joint project involving the City, the DOT, and the railroad company that owned the railway at the time. 

As often happens in these sorts of projects, the various agencies wind up owning a piece of the project but only until the project is completed. For some reason, and Worth said he doesn't know why (this was well before his time with the City), the DOT never turned the street over to the City of Batavia for maintenance. 

The two-acre parcel is surrounded by City of Batavia property. It's zoned R-2, which means a two-family residence can be built on the land.

Here's a DOT press release about the auction:

The New York State Department of Transportation today announced it will host a public auction for two parcels of vacant land. The auction will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at the State Office Building located at 1530 Jefferson Road in Henrietta. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the auction will begin at 10:30 a.m.

To register, bidders must present a certified or bank check for the deposit required on the property for which they intend to bid. The property, deposit and starting bid price are as follows:

Property 891 is 0.53± acres of vacant land located on the north side of Beahan Road near its intersection with Chili Avenue, in the Town of Gates, Monroe County. It is irregular in shape and improved with a snow plow turn-around. Access to the parcel is gained via Brooks Avenue Extension. Bidding will commence at $20,000. The deposit required to bid on this property will be $2,000.

Property 894 is 2± acres of vacant land located along the southern side of South Jackson Street, in the City of Batavia, Genesee County. The parcel is irregular in shape, contains broken pavement and overgrown brush. The parcel does not have physical access to South Jackson Street. Bidding will commence at $7,000. The deposit required to bid on this property will be $700.

Prospective bidders can find more information by visiting our website at http://www.dot.ny.gov/r4surplus or by contacting Jeremy Button at (585) 272-3326.

Below: DOT supplied image of the parcel

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May 6, 2019 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, batavia, elba, Bethany.
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     Rodney Harmon

Rodney Lee Harmon Jr., 42, of Church Street, Elba, is charged with: vehicular assault in the second degree; driving left of pavement markings; moving from lane unsafely; reckless driving, and driving while ability impaired by drugs. At 3:16 p.m. on April 15, after the investigation of a motor-vehicle crash in which the car struck a house on Oak Orchard Road in Batavia, Harmon was arrested. Harmon and his passenger were allegedly involved in a domestic incident while Harmon was driving a Chevy Cruze southbound on Route 98. The vehicle crossed over the hazard warnings into the northbound lane of travel and exited the highway, crashing into the north side of a house. Harmon was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital and evaluated. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on May 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy James Stack.

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     Wesley Thigpen

Wesley Thigpen, 38, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse. He was arrested on May 1 after an investigation into an incident that occurred in December on Vine Street in Batavia. He turned himself in upon request, was arraigned in Batavia City Court, then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due in court again at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 23. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Det. Thad Mart.

Christopher T. Sprague, 25, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of third-degree burglary. He was arrested on May 3 for allegedly attempting to burglarize the Salvation Army Thrift Store at 98 Jackson St. in the City of Batavia on Dec. 23. Also on May 3, he was charged with the same crime for allegedly burglarizing Bill's Auto at 101 Evans St. in Batavia. After his arraignment, he was released on his own recognizance but he is in GC jail on other charges. He is due in Batavia City Court on the burglary charges June 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Det. Eric Hill.

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Christopher Sprague

Jonathan Wayne Arce, 35, of Wyoming Street, Wyoming, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; DWI -- operating a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08 percent or higher; moving from lane unsafely. At 7:11 p.m. on May 3 on Francis Road, Bethany, Arce was arrested on these charges. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Bethany Town Court on May 21. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Sgt. John Baiocco.

Donald G. Cooper, 35, and Christine A. M. Wark, of School Street, Le Roy, were arrested by Le Roy police on May 3 and each was charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. Cooper was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. At about 10:30 p.m. on May 3, Le Roy Police Department received a complaint of two young children sitting on the side of the road on Route 19. When patrols arrived, they located two children, ages 8 and 10. Police were able to identify and locate the parents of the children. It was "discovered that the children were allegedly sent out of the residence to burn off some energy while retrieving a discarded item located on the side of the road approximately a half mile from their residence. During the investigation, an unsecured firearm and bullets for the firearm were located in the residence...in a location that was accessible to both children." Paraphernalia for smoking marijuana was also found in the residence, in a location accessible to both children. As a result of the significant disregard for both children's well-being..." both Cooper and Wark were arrested, without incident. After arraignment in Town of Le Roy Court, the defendants were released under supervision of Genesee Justice. They are due back in Town of Le Roy Court on June 4 to answer the charges.

Steven D. Smires, 23, no permanent address, was arrested on May 2 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. In the same incident, Leah M. Burrus-Stewart, also no permanent address, was arrested and charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child. At about 11:30 a.m. on May 2, Le Roy PD received a complaint of a subject smoking marijuana in a vehicle with two small children inside. Upon arrival, patrols found Smires and Burrus-Stewart inside along with a 3-year-old child belonging to Burrus-Stewart and a 9-month-old baby that belonged to the couple. Police also allegedly located marijuana and paraphernalia for smoking it inside the vehicle. It was also discovered that the family did not have housing and had been living in the vehicle. Both adults were arrested without incident and Child Protective Services was contacted to assist with the children's care. The couple was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and jailed in lieu of $750 bail each. They are due back in Le Roy Town Court on June 4 to answer the charges.

Jennifer L. Shaw, 33, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Shaw was arrested at 3:10 p.m. on April 22 on West Main Street in Batavia after an investigation of an incident in which she allegedly left two children unattended in a running vehicle in a parking lot. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Tuesday, May 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot.

William G. Schultz, 45, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia. At 11:15 a.m. Schultz was arrested on Evans Street in Batavia on an unrelated charge. While being searched, he was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court then jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Stanley F. Wenzel, 30, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. He was arrested on April 26 and is due in city court for arraignment on Tuesday, May 7. It is alleged that on April 7 at 4:28 p.m. a dog that Wenzel was in possession of got loose and attacked another dog on Hutchins Place. Wenzel was issued an appearance ticket. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Tiesha Deon Doward, 32, of Prune Street, Batavia, was arrested on May 4 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court after police responded to an incident on Prune Street. They executed a bench warrant that was issued after she failed to appear in court April 24 on a petit larceny case from 2018. Doward was given an appearance ticket and is due in city court on Tuesday, May 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police officers Marc Lawrence and Peter Flanagan.

A 16-year-old who lives in Batavia is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. The youth was stopped at 12:22 a.m. on April 20 on West Main Street in Batavia for vehicle and traffic violations. During the traffic stop, the youth was allegedly found in possession of marijuana. The youth was arrested and released to a parent and is due in Batavia City Court on Tuesday, May 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Paul W. Zeches, 30, of Oak Street, Batavia, was arrested on April 30 when he responded to Batavia Police Department for an unrelated matter. He had an active arrest warrant out of Batavia City Court for an unspecified incident that occurred on Feb. 28, 2017. He was arraigned, he pled guilty and was released. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Anthony R. Piazza, 28, of Pratt Road, Pembroke, was arrested at 2:15 p.m. on April 30 on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court. The warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court on a misdemeanor traffic ticket. He was released on his own recognizance and is due in city court May 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

May 6, 2019 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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Jennifer K. Urvizu-  Hanlon

A 48-year-old Batavia woman can expect to spend two years in state prison after admitting today in County Court to attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

The charge stems from a May 17 incident on Central Avenue when Jennifer K. Urvizu-Hanlon gave her licensed handgun to Samuel Blackshear, now 18, who shot Nathaniel Wilson, who had just stabbed to death 41-year-old Terry J. Toote.

Wilson is serving a 20-to-life prison term on his murder conviction. Blackshear was sentenced to three years in jail.

Urvizu-Hanlon owned La Mexicana grocery store at the time of her arrest.

According to information that came out at Blackshear's sentencing, surveillance video shows a black sedan on Central Avenue sometime before the incident. At one time, the driver got out and retrieved what looked like a handgun from the truck. The car left Central Avenue and returned. It leaves again and reappears just before Wilson shows up on the street. After Wilson stabbed Toote, Blackshear is seen moving toward Wilson, who is turning to leave. Blackshear sees the sedan and walks over to it and is handed the gun by the driver.

Nobody has seen the gun since the shooting, a point of contention at Blackshear's sentencing. It may have been thrown into a creek. 

As a result of the incident, Urvizu-Hanlon lost her pistol permit and as a result of the conviction, she will not be able to obtain another permit.

The term of the plea agreement is that Urvizu-Hanlon will receive a determinate sentence of two years. The length of her parole, one-and-a-half to three years, will be at the discretion of Judge Charles Zambito when she is sentenced at 1:30 p.m., July 12.

If Urvizu-Hanlon had gone to trial on the charge, she would have faced up to seven years in prison.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini said the two-year prison term is based on her lack of any prior criminal record.

There will be mitigating information that is discussed at the sentencing that Zambito may consider on the length of her post-release supervision.

May 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, batavia, news, notify.

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A memorial for Sgt. Duane Arthur Downey, who died March 18, was held at Elmwood Cemetery this afternoon.

Downey, a former Batavia resident, was active duty in the Army Airborne from 1968 to 1970 and in Vietnam for six months in 1970. He was awarded Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, M-16 Rifle Sharpshooter Badge.

He earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in Photography from Rochester School of Technology and worked for Kodak and most recently lived in Bethlehem, Ga. 

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May 4, 2019 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eat Well Grill, freshLAB, batavia, Eli Fish Brewing, news, notify.

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When Matt Gray and Jon Mager first conceived of FreshLab, the restaurant incubator inside Eli Fish Brewing Company, they envisioned providing a kitchen space for aspiring restaurateurs  who had food service experience, experience in food prep, industry knowledge, and a creative idea they wanted to try on a small scale before moving into launching a restaurant.

That's exactly what FreshLab is getting, Gray told the Batavia Development Corp. board Friday morning, with John and Jill Kratz, who are opening Eat Well Grill in June in the vacant space at FreshLab.

John is the long-time general manager of Bob Evans and Jill works at St. Joseph School but has also been running a food preparation business on the weekends using the kitchen at the YWCA.

Eat Well Grill will provide salads and bowls similar to what Jill has been preparing for her business Commit to Well, with proteins from beef, chicken, and shrimp to go with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.

It's a paleo diet. While it's healthy for everyone, it will be especially good for people with dietary problems, John and Jill deal with in their own family, which is how they got involved with creating the recipes for their dishes in the first place.

"There are a lot of great food options in the community but we think what is missing is something that is nutritionally sustainable," John said. "What we're looking to provide is something in the framework of sustainability."

As much as possible, ingredients will be locally sourced, John said.

Commit to Well has a strong customer base already and the Eat Well Grill will fill a need for those customers by providing meals when they're needed.

"I know a lot of my customers like the meal prep service but sometimes they forget to order and they're calling me at the end of the weekend to see if there is anything left over," Jill said. "They need something at lunch or at the end of the day and they're not thinking ahead because we're all very busy."

A walk-in and order grill is just what those customers need, she said.

John said, and Matt confirmed, demand for meals that fit this nutritional value is a growing trend across the country and in larger urban areas, including Buffalo and Rochester, it's increasingly common.

Examples from the menu: 

  • The Greek, a salad with romaine and kale, quinoa, grilled chicken, cucumber, tomato, olives, and feta cheese;
  • Caveman Cobb, a salad with romaine and arugula, napa cabbage, cucumber, tomato, corn, red onion, steak, and walnuts;
  • Green Goddess, a salad with arugula, spinach, romaine, cucumber, hard-boiled egg, bacon, and grilled chicken;
  • Spicy Shrimp, a bowl with rice, napa cabbage, arugula, carrots, tomato, grilled shrimp, sriracha sauce, and green onion;
  • Happy Garden, a bowl with rice, romaine, carrots, tomato, cucumber, broccoli, beets, and grilled chicken;
  • Good Harvest, a bowl with quinoa, spinach, arugula, beets, red onion, feta cheese, grilled chicken, and walnuts.

Gray said the Eat Well Grill will be a great match at FreshLab with Eden Cafe and provide customers a good alternative to the Eli Fish menu.

The BDC board approved Eat Well Grill for a small business loan for $25,000 from the BDC's revolving loan fund.  

The grill will employ two or three people. John will work at the grill full-time and Jill will continue to work at St. Joe's while running the meal-prep business out of the YWCA kitchen on weekends until the business grows enough to move into a single, larger space.

Photo courtesy FreshLab.

May 3, 2019 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farm bill, agriculture, news, notify, Sen. Jessica Ramos.

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As odd as it might seem to most Western New Yorkers, Sen. Rob Ortt told a group of farmers, farmworkers, and farm supporters gathered for a roundtable discussion at Batavia City Hall on Thursday, stopping the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act from destroying Upstate farms may come down to the reasonableness of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"His signature will have to be on this bill and then it will be his bill," Ortt said. "He will be the one with the legacy of what this bill will do to the largest business sector in the state. I think that will give him pause. I know in the past not many of us have thought of him as the voice of reason in Albany but as unusual as it might be, that might just be the case (with the farm labor bill)."

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said the idea of Cuomo doing the right thing for Upstate residents isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. He pointed to the recent fight over providing college benefits to Gold Star families. When Assembly Democrats rejected the proposal, Cuomo found a way to shift funds and get it done, Hawley said.

"The guy who is purportedly governor of the entire state and represents all of us could just be the key to all of this," Hawley said.

Ortt convened the roundtable to discuss the farm labor bill, he said, because Western New York farmers are not being heard by members of the Legislature because there are no hearings being held in this part of the state.

The bill, if passed, would give farmworkers the right to join labor unions, establish an eight-hour workday and a 40-hour work week, establish regulations for housing, and establish rules for workers' compensation.

Area farmers say the changes to the law would devastate them. Area farmworkers say the bill would diminish their incomes. Both say a 40-hour work week, in particular, would mean H2A workers, who can work anywhere in the nation, would stop coming to New York.

The Senate sponsor of the bill is Sen. Jessica Ramos, a first-termer from Queens who now chairs the Senate Labor Committee. Ramos visited Genesee County a couple of weeks ago and met with farmers and farmworkers in a meeting room at Genesee Community College and then at a Torrey Farms facility in Elba, where 350 farmworkers were on hand to talk with her. Both events were supposed to be closed to the press but The Batavian was at the event at Torrey Farms (see story and video here).

Sen. Michael Ranzehofer, who hosted the visit, said that while most of the conversations were in Spanish, to an individual, old, young, men, women, there was a consistent theme: the workers don't want to be restricted to only 40 hours a week.

That's a message that didn't seem to sway Ramos, Ranzenhofer indicated.

In a recent article, Ramos (who canceled a scheduled interview with The Batavian and has not rescheduled it) told the Queens Eagle that arguments that New York farmers would not be able to compete in the global market place of commodities if the bill passes are unpersuasive. 

“Farmers understand that there’s merit in treating their workers well, but of course like everything else there are great employers and there are very poor employers,” Ramos told the Eagle. “This bill is really about codifying rights that exist for every other worker in New York.”

Ramos cited her own experience in her parents native country of Colombia for supporting the bill.

“Farming is not foreign to me. When I’d go to Colombia as a little girl, I spent a lot of time picking coffee,” she said, adding that she has long advocated for labor rights. “That’s the reason I’m there. I’m not trying to do this from a perch down in Queens. I really honestly care to understand everyone’s perspective.”

Sen. Chris Jacobs observed that Ramos, "seems very set in her ways."

For local farmers, who represent them, however, Ramos, and Cathy Nolan, who is carrying the bill in the Assembly, are two out-of-touch Downstate legislators who have no farms, farmers, or farmworkers in their districts and have no business crafting agriculture policy.

"We've got to realize that we're less than 1 percent of the population in New York," said Kim Zuber, representing Monroe County Farm Bureau. "People don't really understand what we do and they don't understand the cost of doing business."

A couple of the farmers pointed out that they already comply with some provisions of the bill, especially when it comes to housing. Most farmers provide housing, including paid utilities, for their migrant workers. If their workers have an H2A visa, the Health Department regularly inspects farmworker housing and the farmers are held to pretty high standards.

"I just took my son to his new apartment in Buffalo," said one farmer, "and as I looked at it, I found at least a half dozen violations. I'm not saying it was a bad place, but an H2A worker would never be allowed in that house and I'm not exaggerating."

Sen. Rich Funke was pretty blunt.

"This is the single greatest attack on Upstate New York by Downstate politicians since I’ve been in office," Funke said.

In an interview after the meeting, Ortt expanded on his thoughts about the potential role Cuomo might have in protecting farmers and farmworkers from this legislation. He noted that, whether you support the effort or not, Cuomo has invested heavily in Western New York economic development. He clearly wants economic development in Upstate to be his lasting legacy and this bill, with its potential to devastate the Upstate economy, could undo all of the governor's efforts to bring industry back to Upstate.

"If all of the prognostications are true, this bill will kill the Upstate economy," Ortt said. "Does he want, after all the money and all the press and all the trips Upstate, for that to be his legacy? You know how it goes, everybody remembers the governor. The senators and the assemblymen come and go, but the governor is the one people remember when it comes to these long-term impacts. Does he want people to remember that it was the Cuomo administration and Governor Cuomo who signed this bill into law?

We asked Ortt if Ramos, given her attempts to avoid the media on her trip here and her unwillingness to answer questions about her bill, is really an honest broker with this legislation?

"Well, anytime you say 'no press' on a bill this big, it begs the question, 'why?' " Ortt said. "Why the secrecy? I mean, truthfully, what is she afraid of? To me, that's a red flag right there. Why no press? But I think what's also interesting is that at the first hearing in Morrisville she was there two hours late and left an hour early. So how much is she really listening?

As for the bill itself, we asked about the right for farmworkers to collectively bargain, especially given Ortt's statement earlier in the evening suggesting some sort of compromise could be reached on the bill. The Constitution guarantees the right to assembly, the right to free association, so shouldn't workers have the right to form unions?

"No one actually objects to their right to organize or collectively bargain," Ortt said. "Now that's coming from farmers. They told me that is not their objection, it's (that) we're also setting the conditions that might be negotiable and we're setting them in state law. For the farmer, he's saying, 'Well, not only are you allowing them to collectively bargain but then you're also setting several parameters that might be negotiable and you're taking that off the table because you're putting it in state law."

The main objection farmers have to the bill, Ortt said, is the eight-hour workday and 40-hour work week.

"To be competitive, you can't limit yourself to an eight-hour day," Ortt said. "The overtime really affects your bottom line. So they're saying maybe 60 hours for the hourly, and anything over 60 or 65 then you could do time and a half, and don't set a daily limit. Maybe those are points of negotiation. I don't know and I hate to negotiate against myself.

"If Senator Ramos or Senator Metzger or whomever, if they're willing to make a movement that's great, we can have a conversation," Ortt added later. "I haven't seen as of yet a sign that they're willing to make any move. So, you know, as the old saying goes, you know, 'don't negotiate against yourself.' "

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May 3, 2019 - 2:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, antwan odom, ray leach.

A defense attorney for Antwan Odom, the Batavia High School athlete accused of cutting Ray Leach with a knife during an apparent argument Aug. 4, will file a motion in advance of a trial later this year that will allow him to call into question Leach's character.

Odom today turned down a plea offer that could have meant no jail time, seemingly on the advice of his attorney, Frank Housh, of Buffalo, because Housh didn't feel there was enough of a guarantee from the court that Odom could be adjudicated a youthful offender and avoid a prison term.

Outside of court, Housh said his client didn't commit a crime, that he acted in self-defense, and that as part of a self-defense claim, he should be able to submit evidence that supports his claim, including the character of the alleged victim.

"The fact that Ray Leach is known in the community to be a violent person, to be a confrontational person, who confronted (Odom) -- by the prosecution's own admission -- he was the first aggressor," Housh said. "He went to my client's house and called him out and beat him into unconsciousness.

"So, under those circumstances, to say, when the prosecution is admitting that he was the first aggressor, to say that his history of violence and intimidation is irrelevant is simply absurd. We should be able to bring that up because it goes to the circumstance of his justification."

Housh may also seek a change of venue. Given Leach's status as a star athlete, one of the most recognized athletes in the region, Housh said he isn't sure an impartial jury could be impaneled in Genesee County.

A change of venue motion isn't certain, Housh said. He will need to research it further.

He said a request for a change of venue is unrelated to a bit of a conflict in court today over the terms of a potential plea agreement and what Judge Charles Zambito's role is in guaranteeing any particular sentencing outcome.

Odom is charged with assault in the first degree, a Class B felony with a minimum sentence of five years in prison and up to 25 years in prison. District Attorney Lawrence Friedman's offer was for Odom to plead guilty to second-degree assault, a Class D felony. The plea, Friedman said, would be unconditional and expose Odom to a potential maximum prison term of seven years.

However, Odom would also then be eligible for a probationary sentence and youthful offender status, which would seal his criminal record.

Housh said in court today that in 25 years of practicing criminal law, including 10 working as a prosecutor, he had never come across a court where he couldn't get a promise from a judge on sentencing perimeters. 

His interpretation of his conversation with Friedman was that he couldn't even ask Zambito to promise probation and youth offender adjudication and that even to discuss the possibility with the judge would violate the terms of the plea offer.

"Never have I seen a scenario where the separation of powers has been so different, whereby the prosecutor decides what sentencing perimaters and what protocols the judge will follow," Housh said. 

Friedman rolled his eyes.

He said Housh was mischaracterizing their conversation and that an unconditional plea offer is just that -- there are no preconditions on sentencing. It would be up to the judge to decide on the day of sentencing what the appropriate sentence should be.

If the judge makes promises about sentencing at the time of the plea then it is no longer an unconditional plea, Friedman said.

"If the defendant wants the range of sentencing with a D felony instead of a B, then take the plea," Friedman said. "If not, then don't take the plea."

Zambito told Housh it is his practice to never promise anything less than the statutory limit. He wants to see the presentence report and hear the arguments of the attorneys before reaching a decision on an appropriate sentence.

"This court has been doing it this way for as long as I can remember," Zambito said. "It's not just me and it's not just Mr. Friedman."

The attorneys then met with Zambito in chambers and then Housh met with his client. When the court reconvened the case, Housh informed the court that his client was rejecting the plea offer and he asked for time, before setting a trial date, to file motions and have those motions heard. He has 30 days to file his motions. A hearing on the motions is set for 2 p.m., July 2.

May 2, 2019 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in law day, GCC, Gary Craig, news, notify.

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While everybody has their own view of what justice looks like, Gary Craig, an investigative reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle recalled a 20-year-old story at Genesee Community College on Wednesday night that illustrated what justice looks like to him.

Craig was the keynote speaker for the Paralegal Honor Society at their second annual Law Day observance.

The theme of Law Day this year is "Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society" and but Craig said he wanted to talk about justice.

He recalled the case of Betty Tyson, who was wrongfully convicted in the 1973 of murder. 

A traveling businessman visiting Rochester had been killed and police investigators decided Tyson did it.

Tyson always maintained that her confusion had been beat out of her. Two witnesses, cross-dressing teens, testified against her and said they witnessed the murder. There was no physical evidence. In fact, tire tracks at the scene did not match Tyson's car.

The investigator was eventually convicted in another case of beating a suspect.

In 1996, a source pointed Craig to one of the young men who had testified against Tyson. Over several months, Craig won the man's trust and the man eventually admitted, for publication, that he lied on the stand.

During his investigation, Craig also found a sworn statement by a visiting nurse that hadn't previously been made public. The nurse had visited Tyson shortly after her arrest and reported that she was covered with cuts and bruises.

An attorney, Jon Getz, read Craig's stories and agreed to represent Tyson at no charge to the family (after, Craig said, several other attorneys had taken advantage of the Tyson family). He filed a motion to overturn the conviction based on new evidence.

During preparation for the case, the District Attorney's office found a previously undisclosed statement from the other teen witness taken immediately after the murder. That teen, who was dead by 1996, said initially, that he saw nothing. In 1973, that statement hadn't even been disclosed to the prosecutor. The teen, of course, later changed his testimony, and apparently because he had been intimidated, as a cross-dressing teen in the 1970s, by the investigator.

This was a high-profile, politically charged case, Craig said. The DA, the judge, all had ample reason to not share the new discovery with the defense. The judge could easily have ruled differently. 

He didn't.

Craig was in court when the judge handed down his decision.

"I get emotional talking because I have such respect for the system," Craig said. "In that moment, in that courtroom, I literally had chills because I felt that I was watching this pure definition of justice, unadulterated justice right in front of me, where everybody was seeking to do what they should do, what you would hope they would do all the time, and most people do.

"But there was this harmonic convergence, to use an old term, in that courtroom where I felt in my heart that, 'wow, you know I'm really beholding something. I'm watching something special right now.' "

Craig is author of the 2017 book "Seven Million: A Cop, a Priest, a Soldier for the IRA, and the Still-Unsolved Rochester Brink's Heist."

May 2, 2019 - 5:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, alexander.

Lisa Lynn Lyons, 42, of Alexander Road, Attica, is charged with two counts of misconduct in relation to petitions, a violation of NYS Election Law (ELN 17-122, #6). It is alleged that the defendant subscribed as a witness to a petition on April 1 for the designation of herself as the Republican candidate for the upcoming Town Clerk of Alexander position. It is alleged that she did not witness all signatures of the filed petition, thereby making a false statement or false affidavit. Lyons, who is the incumbent Town of Alexander Clerk and Tax Collector (her term expires Dec. 31), was issued an appearance ticket for the charges and is due in Batavia City Court at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. James Diehl.

Devin A. Hill, 18, of Rochester, is the alleged driver a pickup truck that was seen leaving the Batavia Cycle Center, located at 4988 E. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia, hauling a trailer at 2:15 a.m. this morning (May 2). His passenger was Angel I. Carrasquillo, 43, of Rochester, who was later located walking in the area of Route 33 and Warner Road. The men were arrested after the Genesee County Sheriff's deputies were called to a suspicious condition at the cycle center. The pickup truck and trailer were stopped a short time later on Route 33 in the area of Coward Road after a call by deputies. Two go-karts and one three-wheeler were on the trailer being towed and they were determined to be stolen from Batavia Cycle Center. Both men are charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree burglary, and fourth degree criminal mischief. Following their arraignments in Town of Batavia Court, Hill was jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail and Carrasquillo was jailed without bail. The case is being investigated by GC Sheriff's Deputy Mullen, Deputy Andre, Sgt. Biaocco, Sgt. Sanfratello, Investigator Parker and Investigator Minuto. Also assisting were members of the Batavia PD, NYSP, and Environmental Conservation Officer Fay Fuerch.

Jacob John Sponaugle, 20, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with: introduction of prison contraband into prison in the frist degree; fourth-degree criminal facilitation; fifth-degree conspiracy; and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. It is alleged that Sponaugle conspired with others to smuggle contraband items into the jail. Following an investigation of contraband smuggling in the GC Jail on Jan. 19, Sponaugle was arrested on April 30. After arraignment in Batavia City Court, the defendant was jailed on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He was due back in city court May 1. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Mark Daniel Caufield, 25, of Fisher Road, Rochester, is charged with: criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree -- more than 25 grams; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree; operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs -- first offense; and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia in the second degree. At 4:07 p.m. on April 21, Caufield was arrested on Clinton Street Road in Batavia following a traffic offense complaint. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and is due there again on May 20. He was jailed on $2,500 cash or bond. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Travis DeMuth.

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