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April 12, 2019 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy, Grand Jury.

Iszon C. Richardson is indicted for the crime of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 17 Richardson entered a dwelling unlawfully on Jackson Street in the City of Batavia with the intention of committing a crime. In counts two and three, he is accused of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony, for allegedly intentionally violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party and subjecting them to physical contact or attempting or threatening to do so on Dec. 17. In count four, he is accused of attempted assault in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly striking the protected party in the face. In count five, he is accused of another count of second-degree burglary for allegedly entering the same dwelling on Dec. 20. In counts six and seven, he is accused of two more counts of first-degree criminal contempt for allegedly intentionally violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party on Dec. 20 and subjecting them to physical contact or attempting or threatening to do so. In count eight, Richardson is accused of second-degree unlawful imprisonment for allegedly restraining the protected party on Dec. 20. In count nine, the defendant is accused of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor, by allegedly applying pressure on the victim's neck. In count 10, he is accused of second-degree burglary for allegedly entering the same dwelling on Dec. 20 on a second occasion. In counts 11 and 12, he is accused of first-degree criminal contempt for allegedly intentionally violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party on Dec. 20 and on Dec. 16. In count 13, Richardson is accused of first-degree criminal contempt for allegedly intentionally violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party and subjecting them to physical contact or attempting or threatening to do so on Dec. 16.

Shane C. Anthony and Robert N. Pragle are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on some time between Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 in the Town of Le Roy that the defendants knowlingly possessed stolen property with a value that exceeded $3,000. In count two, they are accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing crack cocaine.

April 11, 2019 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in farm labor bill, farm labor, news, agriculture, Le Roy, notify.

 

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Proposed changes to farm labor practices in New York would likely destroy the state's agriculture industry, with a spill-over effect on many other businesses in local communities, and ultimately lead to families getting out of farming, a group of local farms said Wednesday at a press conference at Stein Farms in Le Roy.

The farmers gathered to raise concerns about the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act now making its way through the New York State Legislature.

"We're at the point I think where this has the potential to be the single greatest economic devastating effect on agriculture in New York in my lifetime," said Dale Stein, senior partner at Stein Farms.

The bill's chief sponsor and supporter, Sen. Jessica Ramos, from Queens, is in Batavia today, as a guest of Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, to meet with area farmers and listen to their concerns. The press conference was called in advance of that meeting so farmers could share their concerns with the broader public.

"We just aren't heard now very well by Downstate And it's not they're not good people and don't care. They do. Our people want to work. They don't want 40 hours a week. They don't want eight hours a day as my staff tell me. I don't want to sit home and watch TV. I'd rather come and work. We offer them extra hours if they want they come and work. They don't want us at home. They want to make all the money they can."

Stein, along with Jeff Toussaint, an Albion farmer, and Jim Starowitz, a farm employee in Byron, not only talked about the potential costs of the bill, which would institute new overtime rules, reduce weekly working hours, and other regulatory burdens for farms, but also how unnecessary the bill is because of laws already in place, the above-minimum-wage pay scales in place at farms now, and the desire of farm workers to work while there's money to be made.

The bill would also allow farm workers to join labor unions.

"I'm here to tell you that apples are a perishable crop and I can't emphasize that enough," Toussaint said. "They have to be harvested on time. If apples are left in the orchard too long they become soft and we're unable to store them. In just a matter of a few days of becoming overripe, they can lose 50 to 75 percent of their original value. A strike during harvest season would ultimately be catastrophic."

Starowitz said the increased costs associated with the bill would eventually put a lot of farm workers out of work.

"The costs are an additional $200,000 a year," Starowtiz said. "That equates to an extra $32 a tonne (aka metric ton), or almost a thousand dollars an acre. If all states where there are growers are on the same level, we could pass our cost along like every other business.

"But this is a state law that puts us in a noncompetitive position with other states. It increases labor cost and over time we will be no longer able to raise our vegetables. We'll have to move to a row-crop-only business or close our doors."

Maureen Torrey, co-owner of Torrey Farms, joined the conversation and said besides making it harder for her to compete nationally, the proposed changes will also make it harder to attract farm labor to New York.

"We have a limited pool even of visa workers," Torrey said. "They're going to go work where they can get a minimum of 60 hours or more."

April 10, 2019 - 6:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in notify, news, bergen, batavia, crime.

Guillermo Jose Torres-Acevedo, 22, of Batavia, did not appear in Byron Town Court as scheduled this afternoon at 5 o'clock because federal officers picked him up this morning at Genesee County Jail.

He's been in jail since November, accused of taking an underage girl away from her home in Bergen on Nov. 29 and driving her to Pennsylvania.

Torres-Acevedo was arraigned in Federal Court in Buffalo today on a new charge: transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

The defendant is already charged with custodial interference in the first degree, criminal contempt, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child, plus grand larceny, 3rd, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for allegedly stealing the Dodge Journey he is accused of using to transport the girl.

At the time of the November incident, an Amber Alert was issued for the girl, who was later found with Torres-Acevedo at a Walmart in Mansfield, Pa., through a geolocation ping of her mobile phone.

Torres-Acevedo was arrested in Pennsylvania without incident and the girl was returned to her parents.

The girl and Torres-Acevedo knew each other and Torres-Acevedo had already been arrested in connection with his relationship with the girl and issued a stay-away order, which he allegedly violated, leading to a criminal contempt charge.

UPDATE 7:45 p.m.: Press release from U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo:

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that Guillermo Torres-Acevedo, 23, of Batavia, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with transporting a minor across state lines for sexual activity. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie O. Lamarque, who is handling the case, states that according to the complaint, on Nov 29 the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office received a report regarding a missing 14-year-old girl (Victim 1). Surveillance video from Byron Bergen Junior/Senior High School showed Victim 1 exiting a school bus at the school and walking to a blue vehicle and leaving the property. Victim 1 had recently been romantically involved with the defendant.

As a result of this, Torres-Acevedo was arrested and charged by the New York State Police three days prior on Nov. 26 with second- degree rape and second-degree criminal sex act. An order of protection was also issued against the defendant.

Further investigation determined that on the morning of Nov. 29, Torres-Acevedo took his mother’s vehicle against her wishes. The vehicle matched the vehicle that Victim 1 was seen to get into in the surveillance video. As a result, an Amber Alert was issued.

Investigators traced Torres-Acevedo and Victim 1 to a truck stop in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania State Police were contacted and located Victim 1 and the defendant in the parking lot of a retail store. Torres-Acevedo was taken into custody, and Victim 1 was returned to her parents.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and is being detained.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton; the Pennsylvania State Police, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

April 10, 2019 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central School District, news, notify.

leroyschoolboardapril2019.jpg

The sound of music will still be heard in Le Roy in the coming school year despite concerns that rippled through choral classes that the Central School District Board of Trustees wanted to scale back the program.

In fact, school officials hit all the right notes in a boardroom packed with music students and parents who came to Tuesday's meeting in response to rumors that a chorus teaching position would be eliminated in the proposed 2019-20 budget.

Board President Jackie Whiting told the group that just as there are six teachers in the music department now, there will be six music teachers at the elementary and middle school/high school next year.

Rather than cutting position, the district is adding the equivalent of two and a half teachers, if the budget is approved by voters, in 2019/20, including a special education teacher specializing in reading for first- and second-graders, and a teacher for business education classes (such as computer science, career and finance, advertising and marketing, and accounting).

Superintendent Merritt Holly indicated that the concerns about the music department seemed to stem from a thorough and exhausting budget process that had the budget and finance committee asking a lot of hard questions about what should stay and what should go and what should be added in the coming school year.

"In our conversations we looked at every area inside this budget to provide a program that is, number one, fiscally responsible, and number two, moves up the level of our students up so they can compete, not only in our region, not just in Western New York and Upstate, but across the country and, in fact, as part of the global economy," Holly said.

Like many school boards, Le Roy's allows a forum for public comment early in its agenda and then the public is not given a chance to speak during board discussions of actual agenda items. So before budget came up for board discussion and the members in attendance actually knew no teachers were being eliminated from the music department, four people stood before the board and made their case for retaining a full complement of music teachers.

Speakers include Rita Pencilla, representing the Music Boosters, Megan Privatera, a senior, Aubry Puccio, an elementary school student, and Matthew Austin, a parent.

They all made points about the importance of music to education, the role music plays in shaping students and improving their grades and test scores, and the importance of Le Roy's music programs to the community.

"We have a large number of students who go on to study music or participate in music after graduation," Pencilla said. "This pattern shows that we are cultivating talent and these students need solid foundations in music before graduating."

She added later, "Many studies support the importance of music education and how it improves language and reasoning skills, and the spatial intelligence needed to solve advanced mathematics problems. Students involved in music education are more successful on standardized tests and get better grades."

Austin admitted he's tone deaf and owns the largest collection of guitars of anybody who can't play guitar, but said he's amazed by the progress he sees over the years of students advancing through the district's music programs.

"I’ve really come to appreciate the teachers because they’re here all the time," Austin said. "They give and they give and they give. They’re not just creating singers or dancers or players. They’re creating future citizens that are going to rock the world."

Before telling those in attendance that the budget did not include music department staff cuts, Whiting explained a bit about the budget process.

"None of the decision making is random," she said. "It’s not rash, and it definately involves our staff. They are the key to what happens here, too. In discussions with staff, scenarios may be thrown out, what if we did this, what if we changed that, what if we thought about this. What would it look like if we had one less staff? And that was a discussion that brought all of you people here today. But it was part of a discussion where there is a lot of options."

The proposed budget is $25,909,998, which is $710,770 more than the current fiscal year.

The state's cap on property tax levies would allow the district to increase its local levy 3.45 percent, said Business Manager Brian Foeller. The district is proposing a tax levy increase of 2.89 percent.

The actual proposed budget has not yet been made available to the public yet but there is a vote scheduled for May 2.

Among the highlights outlined by Holly and staff at Tuesday's meeting is the addition of a reading specialist for first- and second-graders.

"If we don’t have students ready to go at grade level by third grade, then we're fighting an uphill battle in math," Holly said.

He gave credit to Wolcott Principal Carol Messura for advocating for the position, even while he pushed back and challenged her on the need.

"Early intervention is the key and we just do not have enough staff to support that early intervention need down in the primary house," Messura said. "With the addition of a reading teacher, my focus will be my first and second grade. It will make a difference."

High School Principal Tim McArdle made the case for increasing the business instructor core from the equivalent of one and a half teachers to three.

"We've been very methodical with business and allowed the data to speak for itself," McArdle said. "We've looked at the number of students who are interested and who are going to college in this field. We're up now to 140 students for the third straight year, up from below 100, the upper 90s, in previous years."

One piece of consistent feedback alumni give is that they wish there had been more computer science instruction available when they were in school and that every student should take the career/finance course.

McArdle said he hopes to see 90 percent of the graduates with that course on their transcripts.

Holly said he felt now is the right time to expand what the school offers to juniors and seniors in business instruction.

"We’re ready right now to make that next step for our students in offering an elective set at the junior and senior level that I would put up against anybody in our region pound for pound with our student enrollment," Holly said.

leroyschoolboardapril2019-2.jpg

Matthew Austin speaking.

leroyschoolboardapril2019-3.jpg

Jackie Whiting at the head of the table.

leroyschoolboardapril2019-4.jpg

Merritt Holly, superintendent.

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At the start of the meeting, Josh Englerth was recognized for his Section V title in wrestling.

April 10, 2019 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, crime, news, notify.

From the Le Roy Police Department:

A combination of an unusual set of circumstances, DNA technology and old-fashioned police work led to the arrest of 25-year-old Le Roy resident Patrick J. Gonzales by the Le Roy Police Department.

This arrest announced today allegedly solves a two-year-old burglary, which occurred at 1:58 a.m. on March 16, 2017 on Lake Street in the Village.

The burglary occurred when a person entered the victim's building and stole a safe and other items. At the time of the burglary, the alarm activated but the police were accidentally sent to a neighboring business. Because of this error, the patrols found no burglary and were sitting on Wright Avenue talking when a person allegedly identified as Gonzales walked by them, eastbound on Wright Avenue toward Route 19.

The police recognized Gonzales but had no cause to stop him. Once the patrols were advised they were sent to the wrong business, they checked the correct business and located the burglary along with a fresh set of footprints in the snow eventually leading to a wooded area. The footprints were followed and led to the discovery of both the stolen safe and what appeared to be the perpetrator's jacket buried in the snow.

Both were recovered and the footprints were again followed, which led to the same location and direction on Wright Avenue that Gonzales was seen traveling earlier. The footprints led toward a rooming house on Lake Street, in which Gonzales was living at the time. The same footprints were then found on the property of the rooming house.

Eventually enough cause was developed to petition Gonzales to appear in Genesee County Court for a court-ordered DNA test, which was granted in July of 2018. The DNA was secured and compared to DNA evidence found in the jacket buried in the snow and allegedly matched.

During the investigation, Gonzales left New York State twice but returned the first time to surrender his DNA and then returned this past time to turn himself into the Le Roy Police Department and face the charges.

Gonzales was charged with one count each of the Class D felonies of burglary in the third degree and grand larceny in the third degree. He was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

April 9, 2019 - 5:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify, jerry brewster.

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Jerry Brewster likes to talk.

He could probably talk the tail feathers off a pheasant.

He's certainly talked a few people into admitting to things they would have rather have kept quiet, such as burglaries, rapes, arsons, and even murders.

Brewster said getting confessions is one of the most satisfying parts of being a criminal investigator, a job he's held since 1988 as part of a 44-year career with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office that ends this week.

"When I was actively investigating cases, I would get a lot of confessions and come Tuesday when there's a grand jury, I might be going into a grand jury four, five, six times talking about different cases that I investigated and they all had confessions," Brewster said. "I remember one day I was in there and at the end of the grand jury proceeding there is an opportunity for the grand jurors ask questions. After about the fifth time I was there one afternoon, ... the district attorney asked if there were any questions and a guy raised his hand and said, 'I don't have any questions (about the case) but I want to know, how does he get those people to talk to him?' "

How many confessions has Brewster coaxed out of reluctant suspects? He couldn't tell you.

"I just never thought about it," Brewster said. "I just don't know. I do what I do and then I move on. I never did the chalk-mark-on-the-wall kind of thing."

However many cases Brewster has cracked, it's surely not bad for a kid from Oakfield who was a math/science major with an eye on a career as a pharmacist when he got a job offer under the Comprehensive Employment Training Act program for an emergency dispatcher position.

He was 22 years old and had worked for Agway and Montgomery Ward.

"The economic situation being what it was, I was doing a balancing act in my mind," Brewster said. "You know, here's a job where the money and benefits are good or going into the unknown. I just had to go into the job at the Sheriff's Office. I didn't know if I was going to like it. It wasn't anything that I had thought about that much but it just kind of grew on me. And apparently, I must have had some skills or was somewhat adept at it so and it ended up being a good fit."

From dispatcher to deputy working in the jail, to road patrol, Brewster's early career moved on quickly.

Road patrol, that was something he liked. It wasn't long before he was promoted to sergeant. But it was also on road patrol where he discovered that he liked helping victims get answers but he also learned that the cases that took the most work -- usually felonies -- were often handed off to investigators.

Brewster was hooked both on helping victims and coaxing confessions when he helped an Oakfield resident, a person he knew, recover a stolen canoe.

"I only had a description of the canoe," Brewster said. "We didn't have serial numbers or anything like that. I happened upon a car over in Four Corners in Byron and here was a canoe that kind of looked like the one we were looking for, and I started talking to (the driver) about it and he had some answers that weren't quite adding up and eventually was I able to get a confession roadside from him."

That experience helped convince Brewster to accept a position -- even though it was a step down from sergeant -- as an investigator. Six years later, in 1994, Brewster was promoted to chief deputy in charge of investigations.

Patience, Brewster said, is the key to being a good investigator. You also need to be intelligent, educated, willing to listen.

"You have to be a good judge of character," Brewster said. "You have to be able to use the eyes in your head and your senses to try and figure out when somebody is not being truthful. Let's face it, in this position in this career that we have chosen, most people don't tell you the truth."

It's interesting, Brewster observed, that most parents teach their children to always be truthful, except when dealing with cops.

"You're in a backseat when dad gets pulled over for speeding and the first thing he says is, 'I wasn't speeding,' Brewster said. "So, it was OK to lie to the police and it kind of pervades today, which is OK. We understand. We're not angry about that. We just realize that most people, when we ask them the first time, they're not going to tell us the truth."

Early in Brewster's career as an investigator, he was called on to look into the death of a woman who was beaten to death inside her home on Route 77 in Indian Falls. After her death, her husband tried to take his own life. He didn't succeed and he was hospitalized. He was in critical condition at first and couldn't be interviewed. On Christmas Day, Brewster learned the man could finally talk so, taking time away from his family, he went to the hospital and interviewed the man for five hours.

He confessed to the murder.

"It was quite obvious that he was not being truthful because, on one hand, he would say he didn't remember and you'd ask him what was on television you could tell exactly what was on television," Brewster said. "So those sorts of things he seemed to remember OK. So we narrow this thing down. (Now it's) 'I remember everything that happened up until this moment' at which point it's a matter of working on that moment."

Much about investigating crime has changed since 1988. Back then, DNA evidence was new and uncommon. Now it's used in many cases. And of course, people didn't have cell phones that could be tracked, and certainly not phones that could easily take video. There was, in fact, very little video evidence. Now, Brewster said, it's hard to convince a jury a suspect did the crime without video evidence. Computers now also finding dots and connecting them much easier.

"Our capabilities are just tremendous," Brewster said. "In cars today, there are computers and they can tell us a lot of stuff about you and your car before an accident. We didn't have that before, or cell phones. They can tell us a lot of stuff.

"Of course, then you have the rights groups saying, 'well I don't want you to know where I go; I don't want you to know who I talk to or where I've been.' But if we need to, we get to work by valid search warrant, and we're doing a lot of search warrants these days, and we can get that information and we are using that sometimes to solve crimes or to exonerate people."

The key to solving any criminal case, Brewster said, is knowing who to look at as a person of interest. Once you determine that, you can figure out a possible motive and know what questions to ask.

"It makes my job a lot easier if I knew who to look at," Brewster said. "Sometimes I would have informants and I would tell them, 'look it, I don't want you to come forward and testify; I just want you to tell me who did it' and then I could start working and I might be able to find a witness who said they saw him there. If I don't know what to look at, it makes a lot harder. Fingerprints can do it. DNA is helping us. It's just like that guy pointing his finger back in the day. I needed to know who was most likely to have done it and then I could solve the case."

But the danger for any investigator, Brewster said, is to approach a crime with a preconceived notion. You can't put the pieces together if you don't see the whole picture. Tunnel vision can kill an investigation.

One of his roles as chief deputy, he said, was to listen to his investigators, let them paint a picture, and then tell them what they were missing.

"Maybe I have a little bit of a luxury as chief deputy because I have the investigators out there doing the digging and the interviews and they're coming back to me and telling you what's going on," Brewster said. "I'm already a little bit detached. Many times I haven't even been out to the scene so things will start clicking in my mind. I'm more of a visual person and if you describe what that scene looked like and then you start talking to me about it, even if I haven't been there, I can say, 'Yeah but what about that? Well, take a look at this. How do you explain what this guy said he saw?' And then they start questioning him. So that's one of the roles I see myself in here."

Brewster's other role, he said, is to stay on top of both changes in technology and in case law. That involves a lot of reading but he doesn't want to see a criminal case get crossed up because an appeals court has changed how evidence can be gathered and cases built.

If you're not current on case law, Brewster said, "you're fishing in the dark and you don't know what you might be doing wrong. What was OK six months ago isn't OK to do now. We need to know that because we might make that mistake."

Solving cases that don't run afoul of Constitutional protections for citizens is critical to good police work, Brewster said.

"If we can't do it legally there will always be another time," Brewster said. "If we don't have it, there will always be another time. For a police officer, time is always on our side. We just have to be patient. These guys that are screwing up will continue to screw up. If we don't get them somebody else will."

With that in mind, Brewster's advice to Joseph Graff, the next chief deputy in charge of investigations, is: read. Read a lot.

Also, be prepared for how demanding the job is. There is no downtime. When you go out with your family, your wife and kids need to be prepared to find their own way home because dad has to go to a crime scene. And the cases you get involved in can be draining emotionally.

"It's pretty hard to detach yourself emotionally from that we do," Brewster said. "That's the hardest part of the job."

That, and leaving the job at the door.

"You have a personal life, too, but when your job is chief deputy you're on the phone and you're working all the time," Brewster said. "There are things that need to be addressed around the clock, 24/7. I've been on call 24/7 since 1994 and it takes its toll on you. When I walk out that door at 4 o'clock, it's pretty hard to detach that. When you talk to the spouses and families of police officers they're all going to tell you the same thing. It's pretty hard for them to leave that at work."

What makes the job worthwhile, Brewster said, is helping people but sometimes even that isn't enough.

"I think that a lot of the things that we do, we have to put up a wall when we get there," Brewster said. "There may be all sorts of death and mayhem and all sorts of gruesomeness and we don't really see that. We're just there to do a job. But we do see how it impacts the people there and their families. We see that and it bothers us a little bit in the back of our mind and eventually, some of this does come back and, you know, it's like a profound sadness for all those people, all those things that you saw that you really couldn't help them with. Maybe you took care of the person that was responsible for causing all this death or mayhem but that doesn't really bring anyone back."

When you talk with Brewster long enough about criminal investigations, it's clear he's not all that ready to give up the work of solving crimes.

"I am going to miss it," Brewster said. "I'm going to miss getting up in the morning with a purpose in mind that I've got this interview, I've got this to do, we're going to get this general order in line for today, you know, those sorts of things. There's a feeling that I'm not useful anymore or valuable anymore but I'll get into it. I'll do fine."

Brewster, who has three adult children from his first marriage and two stepchildren from his second marriage, is 66 now and figures he'll tinker. He's got a new barn at his home in Alexander. He has a boat. He's going to renovate an old pickup for his stepson. There's a neighbor across the way who has an old car that hasn't run in years that Brewster figures he can get running again. 

"I've got a lot of projects," Brewster said. "My wife is pretty good at giving me things to do, which I appreciate. I'm not going to be sitting around. Not at all. If I get bored I'll probably go find something to do."

One thing Brewster doesn't figure to do is sit around thinking about the cases he hasn't solved. You might think the unsolved murders would eat at him but he says that's not the case.

For one thing, many of them won't go unsolved much longer, he said.

Brewster listed off the open murder cases he expects will be closed soon: Bill Fickle, Kisha Sullivan, Anne Lee, Eddie Freson, and Deborah Maniace.

In some of these cases, DNA will play a role, perhaps, even, the use of family tree websites that match DNA among family members (used last year to arrest the suspected Golden State Killer in California). There is also new witness information in some cases. Perhaps there will even be a confession.

"As I'm going out of here there are some major developments coming in some of those cases already due solely to technology," Brewster said. "As I said, it's one of the things where you have to be patient. You are going to see something happening here. I think it will be everyone but one case we've got something, some poker's in the fire. Those cases aren't just sitting in a box rusting away and nobody is looking at them or thinking about them. If you go down the hall to each one of these guys, there are different cases that they're working beside a regular caseload.

"So, yeah, stay tuned."

Those cases, in fact, the whole investigative department, is being left in good hands, Brewster said, with Graff taking over.

"I'm walking out of here with a replacement for myself as the first guy that I've seen in the 20 some years that I've been doing this who I can say, 'Yeah he can take my place,' " Brewster said. "This place is not going to miss a beat with Joe Graff."

April 9, 2019 - 2:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia.

Jerry Riley III, 41, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: Driving while intoxicated; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more; aggravated unlicensed operator in the first degree; criminal possession of a controlled substance; and failure to keep right. Riley was arrested at 2:25 a.m. on April 6 on Pringle Avenue in Batavia. Following his arraignment in Batavia City Court, he was jailed without bail. He was due to return to city court on April 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Ronald Terrance Jackson, 53, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree harassment. Jackson was arrested at 4 p.m. April 8 on State Street. It is alleged that he pushed another person and applied pressure to their neck during a physical altercation. After his arraignment in Batavia City Court, he was jailed on $1,500 bail, cash or bond. He was due to return to court today (April 9). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Amanda M. Webb, 30, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree reckless endangerment. At 2:49 a.m. on April 8, Batavia polce responded to Maple Street for a domestic incident. Investigation revealed that Webb allegedly threw a knife at a male while he was walking away from the location. She was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and is due there on April 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Bobby L. Mobley, 34, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree. At 2:55 a.m. on April 8, Batavia police responded to Maple Street for a domestic incident. Mobley was allegedly found to possess about 1.8 ounces of marijuana. Mobley was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and he is due there on April 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Eric Bolles.

April 8, 2019 - 3:42pm

Paul Orrie Doctor Jr., 45. of Council House Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, was arrested at 5:45 p.m. on April 4 and charged with third-degree criminal tampering. It is alleged that he threw a bag of feces onto a vehicle belonging to another person, causing "a substantial inconvenience." The incident allegedly occurred on Bloomingdale Road. He was issued an appearance ticket for Alabama Town Court and is due there at 6 p.m. on April 24. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Tareq Fouad Saleh, 30, of Plymouth Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with: possessing more than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes; fourth-degree criminal tax fraud; speeding; and not wearing a seat belt -- a violation. He was arrested at 9:22 p.m. on April 3 on Alleghany Road in Pembroke following a traffic stop for speeding. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Krystal Lee Frye, 29, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny -- credit card. She was arrested and will be arraigned on April 9 on the charge following an investigation into a stolen wallet. The incident allegedly occurred at 7:40 a.m. on April 1 at an apartment on Maple Street in the city. Frye was released on an appearance ticket. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Andrea Marie Gray, 41, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. On April 4 at 3:19 p.m., Gray was arrested at the Genesee County Courts Facility for allegedly engaging in a physical altercation with a male. She was arraigned and released on her own recognizance and is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Heyward Clark Jr., 54, of Locust Street, Lockport, was arrested on April 6 on two Batavia City Court warrants after he was identified as a passenger in a vehicle during a traffic stop. He is charged with third-degree burglary -- entry with intent to commit a crime, petit larceny, and criminal mischief -- intent to damage property. The charges stem from an incident on School Street in Batavia at 10 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2016. Clark was jailed without bail and is due back in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Daniel S. Carpenter, 30, of Hickory Manor Drive, Rochester, is charged with: driving while intoxicated as a misdemeanor; moving from lane unsafely; and having alcohol in a motor vehicle. Carpenter was arrested at 10:27 a.m. on April 6 following a one-vehicle rollover crash on Route 19 in the Town of Le Roy. He suffered minor injuries and was released on appearance tickets for Le Roy Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Walter T. Snell, 31, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested at 5:45 p.m. on April 5 on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for failing to appear in court. He was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail and is to return to city court on April 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Dustin Wyatt Albrecht, 24, of Jay Street, Phelps, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and having no restraint system for a backseat passenger between the ages of 4 to 6. Albrecht was arrested at 4:25 p.m. on April 7 on Alleghany Road in Pembroke following a traffic checkpoint. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Pembroke Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth.

April 7, 2019 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news, notify.

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Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, received three awards in the annual Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the New York Press Association.

Owens won first place for spot news photography and education coverage and second place for elections/politics coverage.

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The five stories submitted for education coverage where:

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The five stories submitted for elections/politics coverage were:

Mark Gutman, photographer for the Batavia Daily News, was also honored with two awards, including second place for photographer of the year. He also received third place for sports feature photo.

Mallory Diefenbach, staff writer with the Batavia Daily News, won second place for health coverage. Jessica Dillon received first place for agriculture coverage. John Anderson and Zach Lyman won first place for best use of video. John Anderson placed second for best column. John Anderson, Scott DeSmit, and Matt Leader received first place for in-depth reporting. 

The Batavian was judged in Division I. The Batavia Daily News in Division II.

April 5, 2019 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, Le Roy, The Greens of Le Roy, senior housing, notify.

This week The Greens of Le Roy senior assisted living facility announced that it has been acquired by St. Ann's Community, a leading provider of senior housing and health services in Rochester with a 134-year history there.

New signage and papwerork will display its new name, St. Ann's Community at The Greens.

Day-to-day operations will continue as they have and Director Kim Pasquale will continue as the day-to-day point of contact person. The St. Ann's finance team will contact residents and their families soon and provide a new W-9 form.

A letter to stakeholders from officials says: "By bringing together The Greens of Le Roy with St. Ann's Community, we benefit from out collective histories, values and missions to provide residents with the best quality of life.

"It quickly became apparent after working together, that our organization becoming one will enhance our abiluty to serve seniors."

The announcement was made by Michael E. McRae, president and CEO of St. Ann's Community, and A. John Bartholomew, president of Bartholomew Healthcare Group.

St. Ann Community is headquartered at 1500 Portland Ave. in Rochester.

April 5, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, notify, batavia city school district.

Batavia City School District Superintendent Chris Dailey is moving up the career ladder to a larger school district. He will be formally appointed as the new superintendent of the Gates Chili Central School District on Tuesday, it was announced today.

Gates Chili Board of Education President Jeff Pettenski praised Dailey's leadership skills in an announcement by that district.

Dailey will be officially appointed at the Gates Chili Board of Education meeting April 9.

“We are impressed with his record of accomplishment and commitment to the community he serves," Pettenski said in an announcement. "We are confident he is committed to teaching and inspiring excellence for all learners.”

Dailey's administrative career started with the completion of an internship and being department chairperson at Twelve Corners Middle School in Brighton. He next served as an assistant principal at Churchville-Chili Senior High School before becoming Batavia High School principal. He was quickly promoted by the Batavia Board of Education to deputy superintendent before taking over as superintendent in January 2013.

“I am excited and honored to have been chosen as the next superintendent," Dailey told Gates Chili school officials. "I look forward to working collaboratively with the Board of Education, staff, parents and community to provide a phenomenal education to our students.

"My mission is to celebrate the excellent programs, activities and services that contribute to the student success and outstanding pride that sets Gates Chili schools apart. I commit to modeling the character, integrity and fairness expected of the leader as we write the next great chapter in the tremendous story of the Gates Chili Central School District together.”

Dailey will begin in Gates Chili on July 1, pending contract negotiations.

The Gates Chili Central School District in Monroe County has about 4,000 students, more than 850 employees, and an operating budget of approximately $100 million annually ($24,503 per student).

April 5, 2019 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify.

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Dana Richardson said he's going to miss helping people, miss trying to make our community a little bit of a better place to live, which he said is how he saw his job during his 27 years with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

But it's time to do something else with his life, Richardson said during a retirement ceremony this afternoon.

"Deputy Richardson has served the citizens of Genesee County with professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm," said Sheriff Bill Sheron. "He's been a source of pride for the Genesee County Sheriff's Office."

Richardson started his law enforcement career as a corrections officer in the Genesee County Jail but soon transferred to road patrol and during his career, he received two Commendation awards, a Meritorious Service Award, and the Officer of the Year award from the Kiwanis Club of Batavia.

"It's been an enjoyable career," Richardson said. "It's always different, changing every day. I've enjoyed working with the citizens in this county, trying to help people. I just felt like it was time for a change, time to do something else."

He doesn't know what the something else will be yet, but he will do something because he will need to pay for health insurance, he said.

Richardson's wife, Deborah, is a daycare provider, as she was 30 years ago when the couple first met. They have three sons, Nicholas, also a police officer, Jacob, a loss prevention officer, Andrew, a pastor, and a daughter, Holly, a teller at the ESL Federal Credit Union.

Richardson said he understands that a lot of people see cops as people who just want to write tickets and arrest people but that isn't how he sees the job at all.

"Basically, police officers are social workers," Richardson said. "They're people who are there to help people find solutions to their problems. We get to talk to people about what's important to them in their struggles raising their family, their kids. I'm going to miss that interaction with people on a personal level because as police officers we want to try to help people.

"That's why we got into this. It isn't about the arrests. It isn't about the speeding ticket. That's what police are so much known for, but really it's the public interaction and trying to make our community a better place -- that's why we do what we do."

Those are the values about police work Richardson said he learned from his father, who spent 26 years with the Batavia Police Department. He said he was fortunate to work in a department that shared those values, where officers strive to maintain a professional demeanor and attitude.

"We hold ourselves to a higher standard," Richardson said. "We're supposed to be people of integrity. That includes when you're not in the public eye as well as when you are."

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Three Generations in law enforcement: Dana Richardson, his father Roger, who is a retired Batavia PD officer, and Nicholas, Dana's son, who is a detective with the Albermarle County Police Department in Virginia.

April 4, 2019 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, notify.

District officials have trimmed more than $1.1 million in proposed spending from February's draft budget for the Batavia City School District. Combined with an additional $500,000 in state aid, it means the proposed 2019-2020 tax levy will stay below that state-mandated tax cap amount and allow local homeowners to get their annual rebate checks.

That's a pretty good deal for Batavia homeowners, who have received an average of $500,000 more in rebates each of the past five years than whatever increase in taxes the school district has initiated for the year.

Voters will be asked to approve the $50.518 million spending plan, which anticipates a tax levy of $19.5 million.

Tax rates won't be set until assessments are done but Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said the early estimate is that local property owners will see a tax-rate increase of 27 cents on each $1,000 of assessed value.

In the search to cut proposed spending, Rozanski said the district will delay $300,000 in technology spending, reduce spending on new library books to the state-aid amount of $24,000, and delay additional equipment purchases for another $19,000 in savings. Some personnel's salaries can be covered by grants.

Last year, the tax levy increased by $444,000 and local residents received rebates on school property taxes of $1.1 million. The three previous years, there was no increase in the levy and taxpayers received cumulative rebates of $424,000, $ $825,506, and $535,194.

The 2014-15 school year was the one year in which the tax levy increased more than rebates, with about a $150,000 difference.

Rebates for local residents are set based on an income formula so people with lower incomes receive bigger rebates proportionally.

Since the tax cap became law, the district has kept the tax levy below the allowable tax cap amount. For the 2019-2020 budget, it will be $331,886 below the potential levy amount.

Over the previous seven years, the district budgets, cumulatively, have been $3.8 million under what the tax levies could have been in those years.

Previously: No significant program cuts anticipated as City School District looks to trim spending by $750K

April 4, 2019 - 1:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rick Palermo, news, notify.

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There were 16 other people who received awards at the Rochester Radio-Press Club banquet last night at the Rochester Convention Center, but in many ways it was Ricky Palermo's night.

The Major Donald Holleder Award is the biggest award of the 70th Annual Day of Champions dinner but the love and appreciation for Palermo in the room was apparent, especially after a surprise presentation speech (via video) by college basketball, NBA, and basketball broadcasting legend Bill Walton.

"I stand in awe of you Rick Palermo, as fine a man as I’ve ever known," Walton said in his own baritone, effusive style. "In the game of life, Ricky, it’s not how big you are. It’s how big you play. You and Major Holleder are the truest of giants. We love you Ricky, more than words can ever tell. You’re my hero. Thank you, Ricky, for your life, which has given me mine."

Palermo was a three-sport team captain at Byron-Bergen High School. In 1981, he suffered a spinal cord injury in an automobile accident that reduced his mobility. In 1987, Palermo and his family decided to host a golf tournament to raise funds for spinal cord research. They raised more than $11,000 that first year and so decided to do it again, and again, and again. The tournament has now raised more than $1.4 million.

Emcee John Kucko said Ricky has "touched thousands of people, including some of the biggest names in sports," just before Walton, a graduate of Helix High School in East San Diego County, appeared on the four massive TV screens in the convention center.

"You are as great a champion as I’ve ever known," Walton said. "This spectacular award is a testament to your character, to your courage and to your achievements."

The Helix Highlanders won two championships with Walton as their star. UCLA won two NCAA titles with Walton at center. Walton was also on NBA championship teams in Portland and Boston.

"Ricky, your life is a shining beacon," Walton said. "It is a beacon on the horizon of life and it gives us a reason to believe that tomorrow is worth fighting for. You led this effort, Ricky, to make all aspects of our world a better place, inspiring me to try and become a tiny fraction of the person that you are. Our decades' long friendship, Ricky, has shown me the best of the human spirit and the unlimited possiblities of life."

There were other connections with Genesee County at Wednesday dinner. The dinner chairman is Batavia-native Mike Kauffman. John Grillo, a former Pavilion coach and father of Ashley John Grillo, who is the principal of Batavia Middle School, received the Charlie Wagner Award for his lifetime contributions to local sports.

Grillo retired from Holly-Kendall after 44 years of coaching. As a wrestling coach, he guided 795 dual-meet wins, 22 Genesee Region titles, and 12 sectional titles.

Kansas City Chief's quarterback Pat Mahomes was also honored at the dinner.

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John Grillo

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Nancy Palermo, Ricky's sister-in-law, getting video of Ricky's acceptance speech. Ricky said of his family, "If it wasn’t for them I know it would not have been the same thing. You don’t know what it’s like to be held on a pedestal, and it’s it not just for a couple of years. It’s been 38 years and I’m still spoiled. I’m very fortunate."

April 3, 2019 - 4:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy, elba.

Dorsie J. McGill Jr., 34, of Quaker Hill Road, Elba, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree criminal trespass. McGill was arrested at 4:14 p.m. on March 31 on North Spruce Street, Batavia, after allegedly arriving at the home of a family member and kicking the front door in and entering the residence without permission. After arraignment in Batavia City Court, he was jailed in lieu of $1,500 cash or bond. He was due back in court on April 1. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Ryan James Wetsell, 25, address unspecified, of Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. At 9:30 p.m. on March 28, he allegedly grabbed another person and struck them in the face while at a hotel on Federal Drive in Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on April 22. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Paula A. Cipro, 51, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree -- use of a stolen credit card, and petit larceny. Cipro was arrested following an investigation into the use of a stolen credit card at Northside Deli. The alleged incident occurred at 1:01 p.m. on March 21. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on April 9 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Christine A. Wark, 34, of School Street, Le Roy, was arrested April 1 at 4:32 p.m. on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court. She allegedly failed to appear in court on Nov. 28 on two misdemeanor traffic charges. She was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice and was due back in court today (April 3). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

April 2, 2019 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Le Roy, notify, crime, accidents.

Shawn W. Cross, 48, of Le Roy, is identified as the man who suffered a severe head injury following an incident late Saturday afternoon in which he exited a moving vehicle on Lake Street in the Village of Le Roy. He remains in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

The driver, Lorie A. Litolff, 57, of Craigie Street, Le Roy, is accused of leaving the scene of a serious injury accident, a felony.

She is also charged with DWI, failure to report an accident with injuries, driving without an ignition interlock device, and failure to submit to a breath test.

Litolff was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Several witnesses were interviewed and Le Roy police believe Litolff and the victim were engaged in a verbal argument prior to the man exiting the vehicle.

When he exited, according to witnesses, he lost his balance and fell, striking the pavement, which is the cause of at least some of Cross's injuries.

For previous coverage, click here.

For initial post, click here.

Our news partner WBTA contributed to this report.

April 2, 2019 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Oakfield, byron.

Richard White Jr., 37, of High Street, Brockport, is charged with: second-degree vehicular assault; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more; driving while intoxicated; operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs; driving while ability impaired by alcohol and drugs conbined; and following too closely. White was arrested April 1 at 6 p.m. and arraigned in Byron Town Court. His arrest follows an investigation into a crash that occured at 7:07 p.m. on Feb. 15 at 6385 N. Bergen Road, Byron. It is alleged that White drove while his license was suspended and got in a crash while he was intoxicated. His passenger sustained a serious physical injury. Following arraignment, he was released on his own recognizance and is due back in Byron Town Court at a later date. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

Ronnie J. Sumeriski, 37, of Batavia, was arrested on March 28 by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Chase on Route 98 in the Town of Orangeville following a traffic stop. He is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Sumeriski was stopped for allegedly having a tinted license plate cover and inadequate plate lamps, making the rear license plate barely visible. After a roadside investigation, Sumeriski was allegedly found in possession of a THC vape cartridge containing concentrated cannibis. Sumeriski is also charged with inadequate plate lamps and obstructed license plate. He was released with appearance tickets and is due in Town of Sheldon Court on May 6.

Vidal Chavez, 63, of Oakfield, was arrested on March 26 by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Chase on Route 20A in Sheldon following a traffic stop. Chavez was found to be operating a vehicle with a suspended registration due to insurance lapse, an unclassified misdemeanor. He was released with an appearance ticket returnable to Town of Sheldon Court on April 15.

April 1, 2019 - 4:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, notify, batavia.

After a meticulous investigation inside the burned-out home at 109 Evans St., Batavia, fire investigators have determined the fire that claimed the life of John Sherman, Sr., 41, has been ruled accidental.

In a press release, City Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano said investigators concluded the fire started on a stove top in the kitchen.

Joining city fire investigators in the investigation was a Batavia PD detective and two investigators from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

There were eight people in the residence Saturday morning when the fire broke out and spread quickly. Smoke detectors and closed doors helped save the lives of several occupants, Napolitano said, but Sherman was unable to escape from a room on the second floor.

After Sherman was rescued by firefighters, medics initiated CPR and he was transported by Mercy EMS to UMMC, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Sherman was born Aug. 8, 1977, to Jan Beach of Batavia. He was a graduate of Alfred State and Empire State College and worked at Pizza Hut in Batavia and was recognized locally for his culinary and sculpting skills. He was a member of City Church and volunteered at the Animal Shelter. For his full obituary, click here.

Multiple pets were rescued or managed to escape the fire but one dog did die inside the residence.

In City Fire's release, Napolitano reminded residents of the importance of working smoke detectors and sleeping with bedroom doors closed.

Saturday, Napolitano said, "A room that has a door closed is a safe haven," Napolitano said. "They were alerted by a smoke detector and they were able to safely exit the house. That is why it's so critical when you have young children or yourself in a home, you need to sleep with the door closed. It stops the fire from entering. It gives you a shelter so you can shelter in place, a safe haven, or whatever you want to call it. But it gives you an opportunity to escape."

April 1, 2019 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, byron.

Laura J. Reed, 27, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Reed was arrested at 10:22 p.m. on March 25 after a disturbance at 160 Bank St. She was processed and is due to be arraigned in Batavia City Court on April 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Valentin Brito III, 21, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with trespass. It is alleged that after being issued a written trespass warning, Brito returned to College Village at 4:05 p.m. on March 31, in violation of the written warning. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on April 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Andrew Michael Pridmore, 34, of Mechanic Street, Elba, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more; and speed not reasonable and prudent. On March 30, following a complaint of a property damage accident at 2:13 a.m. on Byron Road in the Town of Byron, Pridmore was arrested. He was issued appearance tickets for Town of Byron Court and is due there on April 15. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Tyler Michael Powers, 21, of Frederica Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with second-degree contempt. He was arrested after an investigation into an incident in the City of Batavia. He allegedly disobeyed a court mandate. Powers was arraigned in City of Batavia Court and jailed in lieu of $500 cash or $1,000 bond. He was due to return to court on March 29. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

Kevin Wayne Howard, 19, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with promoting prison contraband in the first degree. Howard was arrested while being processed at the GC Jail on March 21 after he was allegedly found in possession of a dangerous drug upon entering the facility. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court on March 28 then jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash or bond. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy  Matthew Burgett.

Joseph J. Kuzma, 39, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument. During a home visit at 10:32 a.m. on March 29 by GC Probation, Kuzma was allegedly found in possession of nine hypodermic instruments. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack.

Jacob J. Sponaugle, 20, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 10:40 a.m. on March 30, Sponaugle was arrested at his residence on Liberty Street in Batavia after a search by GC Probation. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on April 9 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

March 31, 2019 - 1:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, notify.
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       Lorie Litolff

Lorie A. Litolff, 57, of Craigie Street, Le Roy, has been accused of leaving the scene of a serious injury accident following an incident on Lake Street, Village of Le Roy, at 5:05 p.m. Saturday where a man exited a moving vehicle and suffered a head injury.

The charge of leaving the scene of a serious injury accident is a felony.

She is also charged with DWI, failure to report an accident with injuries, driving without an ignition interlock device, and failure to submit to a breath test.

Litolff was jailed on $10,000 bail.

The name of the victim has not been released and there's no current information available on his condition.

The investigation is being led by Sgt. Emily McNamara, who reports that police have yet to determine why the victim exited the vehicle while it was moving but believe he did so voluntarily. 

Several witnesses were interviewed and police believe Litolff and the victim were engaged in a verbal argument prior to the man exiting the vehicle.

When he exited, according to McNamara, he lost his balance and fell, striking the pavement, which is the cause of at least some of the victim's injuries.

After the victim exited the vehicle, witnesses said the dark-colored, small SUV continued northbound on Lake Street.

Witness descriptions helped police identify and locate the vehicle. Litolff is accused of driving the SUV at the time of the incident, which occurred in the area of 78 Lake St.

Multiple witnesses attempted to render first aid to the victim. He was transported to an area hospital by Mercy Flight.  

Le Roy ambulance and Le Roy fire assisted at the scene.

Previously: Man reported to fall out of vehicle on Lake Street, Le Roy

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