Local Matters

Community Sponsors

notify

August 26, 2019 - 12:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, corfu, notify.

From the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office investigated a report of a motor vehicle struck by a train at 12:29 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25.

The incident occurred on the railroad tracks between Depot Street and Water Street in the Village of Corfu and was reported to the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center.

Upon arrival, patrols observed a CSX freight train stopped on the railroad tracks that appeared to be traveling west. A black 2015 GMC Sierra pickup truck was also observed on the railroad tracks with damage to the rear of the truck.

It appeared that the GMC attempted to cross over the tracks and bottomed out, coming to a rest on the north railroad track. That is when the CSX freight train struck the rear of the truck, pushing it off the tracks.

The GMC did not appear to be occupied; however the occupants were reported to have fled the scene by witnesses. No injuries were sustained or reported as a result of the incident.

After further investigation, Brendan M. Kotarski, 27, of Oak Street in Oakfield, and a female passenger were located and found to be the sole occupants of the 2015 GMC Sierra.

Kotarski was later identified as the operator and was administered standard field sobriety tests. Kotarski was allegedly found to be intoxicated and was charged with: driving while intoxicated; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more; reckless driving; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; and reckless endangerment in the second degree.

He was released and scheduled to appear in Corfu Village Court on Sept. 9.

The incident was investigated by Corfu Police Officer Kevin Koscielniak, Officer Peter Scanio and members of the CSX Railroad Police Department. Assistance at the scene was given by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Andrew Hale, Deputy Erik Andre, Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, and Deputy David Moore, along with members of the Corfu Fire Department.

August 26, 2019 - 12:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, Darien, news, notify.

Photo courtesy of Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

From the NYS Police, Troop A, Batavia:

DARIEN -- Shirley Bane, 68, of Lockport, was killed Saturday in the Town of Darien after she failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Harlow and Sumner roads.

On Aug. 24, at 3:11 p.m. troopers out of SP Batavia responded to a two-vehicle collision at that intersection.

Further investigation revealed that Bane's 2017 Buick was traveling northbound on Harlow Road and failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Sumner Road.

The 2015 Dodge pickup truck was traveling westbound on Sumner Road and struck the 2017 Buick on the passenger side.

Bane was pronounced at the scene by the Genesee County Coroner. Occupants of the Dodge pickup were transported to a hospital and treated for nonlife threatening injuries.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the NYSP Collision Reconstruction Unit assisted in this investigation.

For previous coverage of the accident, click here.

August 25, 2019 - 8:46am
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, news, crime, notify, batavia.

Susan L. Murray, of Medina, no age or address provided, is charged with: third-degree robbery; driving while ability impaired by drugs in the third degree – first offense; fourth-degree criminal mischief; four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle; and second-degree harassment. She was arrested Aug. 22 after Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about two people yelling at each other on Route 63 in the Town of Alabama, just south of the Genesee Orleans County Line. She was found to have an active bench warrant for her arrest out of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office. She was taken into custody and a search was conducted. It is alleged that Murray had four different kinds of controlled substances in her possession. A license check allegedly revealed she was driving with a suspended driver’s license. It is further alleged that a victim interviewed by deputies reported that Murray forcibly took property consisting of a cell phone and money by means of unwanted physical contact and then prevented the victim from calling emergency services. Field sobriety tests were done and she was taken to Genesee County Jail and processed. There she was evaluated by Batavia Police Detective M. Wojtaszek, a certified drug recognition expert, who found her to be impaired by drugs. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and put in jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending. The investigation was conducted by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy Brock Cummins, Deputy Ryan DeLong, Deputy Kevin Forsyth, and New York State Police.

Zachary Thomas Breissinger, 20, County Line Road, Darien, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested Aug. 23, arraigned in Darien Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. It is alleged that at 6:58 p.m. on Aug. 22 on County Line Road in Darien that Breissinger intentionally damaged property belong to another person in an amount exceeding $250. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Swimline, assisted by Deputy Travis DeMuth.

Stacey Lynn Eastman, 32, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. She was arrested on Aug. 23 following the investigation of a larceny that occurred at Walmart in Batavia at 4:09 p.m. She was issued appearance tickets and is due in Town of Batavia Court on Sept. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon.

August 24, 2019 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Darien, notify.

Photos courtesy of Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

A truck vs. SUV accident with injuries is reported at Sumner Road and Harlow Road. One person in a vehicle is reportedly unresponsive. Darien Fire Department and medics are responding with law enforcement.

UPDATE 3:19 p.m.: A first responder reports the accident is not blocking traffic.

UPDATE 3:23 p.m.: Corfu Fire Department is called to the scene.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Tow trucks are called.

UPDATE 4:24 p.m.: This is a confirmed fatality accident. State police are handling the scene. The roadway is going to be shut down for accident reconstruction by the Crash Management Team. According to Alecia Kaus/Video News Service at the scene, an SUV was northbound on Harlow Road when the female driver failed to stop at the stop sign at Sumner Road. The SUV driver, who was the sole occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her SUV was T-boned by a pickup truck headed west on Sumner. The three occupents of the pickup were transported to a hospital with minor injuries. Trooper O'Callaghan will have a press release later with additional information.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: Traffic control is requested to the scene.

UPDATE 5:11 p.m.: Scene commander say roads are shut down completely at Sumner and Harlow. They are also stopping traffic at Reynolds Road and Fargo, and at Route 20 (Broadway Road) and Harlow. Campers at Darien Lakes State Park are being told about the road closures.

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: NYS Police Troop A in Batavia confirms that notifications have been made to family members. So therefore, we are able to publish photos of the vehicles involved in the crash, courtesy of Alecia Kaus/Video New Service. As noted previously, Trooper O'Callaghan will have a press release later with additional information.

August 22, 2019 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Darien, bergen.

Jason H. Freeman, 37, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested at 2:53 a.m. on Aug. 14 after he allegedly punctured two tires on a motor vehicle parked on Osterhout Avenue in Batavia; the damage totals more than $250. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash or bond. He is due was return to city court on today (Aug. 22). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Jacqueline Colleen Shepherd, 50, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief in the fourth degree. She was arrested for allegedly damaging property belonging to another person during an argument at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 on North Spruce Street in Batavia. She was due in Batavia City Court Aug. 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Alexander E. Dills, 28, of Batavia, is charged with: criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree -- a loaded firearm; criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree -- prior conviction for a serious offense; criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree -- shotgun/serious offense; two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; and criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument. Dills and a Middlebury resident were arrested at 8:55 p.m. on Aug. 15 after Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at a residence on Vernal Road in the Town of Middlebury. Dills was arraigned in Town of Middlebury Court and put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash or $5,000 bond. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Sgt. Reagan.

Jarrod Keith Fotiathis, 24, Lexington Avenue, Rochester, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- first offense; improper right turn; moving from lane unsafely; no headlamps; unlicensed driver. At 5:21 a.m. on Aug. 17 on Hall Street in Batavia, Fotiathis was stopped by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins for multiple infractions while driving a 2015 black Mazda. He was arrested and released. He is due in Batavia City Court on Aug. 28. Perkins was assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Andrew Adeb Said, 50, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with promoting prison contraband in the first degree. On Aug. 21, Said was arrested and charged with this crime after allegedly illegally possessing a razor blade while confined to a correctional facility on Aug. 14. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court. No return court date provided. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Jason R. Skivington, 35, of Buffalo Street, Bergen, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; moving from lane unsafely; and failure to stop at a stop sign. Skivington was arrested at 3:07 a.m. Aug. 18 on Byron Holley Road in Byron after a one-vehicle accident. He was released on appearance tickets and is due in Town of Byron Court on Aug. 20. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jordan Stack, assisted by Deputy James Stack.

Michael Alan Tisdale, 30, of Rebaud Avenue, Silver Springs, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and a vehicle registration plate violation. At 12:21 p.m. on Aug. 20, Tisdale was stopped on Route 98 in the Town of Batavia following the observation of a vehicle and traffic violation. A roadside search of the vehicle was conducted and a small quantity of a prescription medication -- a controlled substance -- was allegedly found. He was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Town of Batavia Court on Sept. 10. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Sgt. Michael Lute.

Austin Daniel Nowakowski, 19, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with trespass. He was arrested at 7:14 p.m. on Aug. 21 on Bonnie Brae Drive in Darien after allegedly entering and remaining unlawfully on private property while operating an off-road motorbike. He was released on an appearance ticket. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Swimline, assisted by Deputy Travis DeMuth.

Dakota M. Smith-Neal, 27, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration in the second degree and fourth-degree criminal mischief. The defendant was arrested on Aug. 19 following an investigation into a complaint about a disorderly male in the street -- on Central Avenue in Batavia -- at 11:09 p.m. on Aug. 18. He is due in Batavia City Court on Sept. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Zhamiere J. Greene, 18, of Atkison Street, Rochester, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. Greene was arrested after a physical altercation on Maple Street in the City of Batavia at 8 p.m. on Aug. 13. The defendant is accused of striking numerous people under age 17. He was arrested, arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due in city court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Justin T. Gladney, 30, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested on Aug. 12 following an incident at 4:28 p.m. on North Spruce Street. He was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 13 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Fawn LM Kaczmarek, 31, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was after a quantity of cash and presecription medications were stolen from a residence on Ellicott Street in Batavia at 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 16. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Aug. 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissigner, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Fawn LM Kaczmarek, 31, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 10:28 a.m. on Aug. 19 for allegedly stealing three cans of Red Bull energy drink from the Dollar General store on East Main Street in Batavia. She is due in Batavia City Court on Aug. 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissigner, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Tammy Marie Caldwell, 49, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. It is alleged that on Aug. 15 at 9:42 a.m. that Caldwell stole property from a business on West Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 27 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jordan McGinnis, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Frank Lynn Morrison, 38, of South Creek Road, Palmyra, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested on Aug. 16 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court for failing to appear in court on June 4. He was held at jail then arraigned in Batavia City Court on a charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree at 11:37 a.m. on April 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

Laura A. Redenbach, 35, of Sheridan Drive, Clarence, is charged with failure to appear on Feb. 28 in Batavia City Court. She was located by NYS Police in Clarence and arrested on a Batavia City Court bench warrant. She was arraigned in city court and jailed on $500 cash or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia GeGroot.

Krystal Lee Frye, 29, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested at 9:05 p.m. on Aug. 19 on a bench warrant. Frye was released on an appearance ticket and was due in Batavia City Court on Aug. 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post.

August 21, 2019 - 4:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Le Roy, notify.

From the Le Roy Police Department:

The Le Roy Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in determining who was involved in a hit-and-run property damage auto accident, which occurred on Lake Street in the Village of Le Roy sometime between 10:30 last night and 9 o'clock this morning.   

From the evidence left at the scene, the suspect vehicle appears to be a 2015-2018 year Mitsubishi Lancer, probably in an off-white or eggshell color, and it possibly has passenger side damage with the passenger mirror torn off. There may also be black paint transfer on the passenger side of the suspect vehicle.

It was reported that the victim’s vehicle was parked unoccupied on the west side of the roadway, facing south, in front of 99 Lake St. when the suspect vehicle, apparently driving southbound, swerved too far the right, striking the victim’s vehicle and then left the scene. 

If you have any information as to the suspect vehicle, please contact Detective John Condidorio at the Le Roy Police Department 768-2527, ext. 2219.

August 21, 2019 - 1:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in TeeSean Ayala, crime, news, batavia, notify.

File photo. Story by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

TeeSean Ayala, 20, of Batavia, was sentenced this morning in Genesee County Court to five years in prison and five years post-release supervision.​ Ayala will also pay $9,987.98 in restitution to his victims.

Orders of Protection were issued for the families affected and Ayala is not allowed to possess any guns.​

In May, Ayala pled guilty to one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree, a plea which satisfies seven other residential burglary charges, one dating back to 2015.​

The weapons charge is a class C violent felony; Ayala faced three to 15 years in prison.​

Ayala's attorney, Richard Shaw, told the court that Ayala has been bounced around between his mom and dad and has had a tough upbringing. He has an older brother in prison and has a drug issue now after taking a year off after graduating from high school.

He once had a basketball scholarship to the University of Buffalo.​

"He wants to be a positive role model, he made poor decisions based on his older brother. He has no prior convictions," says Shaw.​

Before sentencing, Ayala thanked Judge Charles Zambito for the chance to see his baby being born and then apologized to the families that were affected in the burglaries.​

"I'm sorry and I apologize to the families I have hurt, I take responsibilty for my actions," Ayala said.​ "I know this looks bad, but I'm not a bad kid and I apologize for going through all this.

"Being in jail the last nine months, it has been hard for me, I just want to be with my son. Whatever you give me, you are not going to be dissappointed, I want to be a good member of the community."​

On Nov. 15, Ayala turned into a driveway on Washington Avenue, which coincidentally was the County Manager's residence, and according to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol was thrown from the vehicle.

Ayala was in possession of a stolen handgun that had a defaced serial number in the vehicle during the traffic stop. His 14-year-old brother was in the vehicle at the time.​

He was later charged in a series of burglaries that occurred in the towns of Batavia and Stafford last fall.

After reading the victim's statements they expressed concern, Zambito told Ayala that "they expressed concern for their sense of security, but the worst part is, it was you and they trusted you."​

"You had plenty of opportunities," Zambito reminded the young man. "You were placed on probation, people and schools have tried to help you, you had a great opportunity going to UB and playing basketball and getting an education, that didn't happen and I don't know why."

In an Aug. 1st court appearance, the judge allowed Ayala to go home to be around for the birth of his child in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

Ayala has been an inmate at the Genesee County Jail since his arrest last November.

After sentencing, Ayala kissed his fiancée and their newly born baby goodbye. After hugging his mom, he was taken into custody by court deputies.

Judge Zambito wished him luck as he exited the courtroom.​

August 20, 2019 - 5:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Grand Jury, notify, murder, batavia.

The Genesee County Grand Jury today indicated a former Rochester parolee for second-degree murder stemming from the June 1 death of Good Samaritan Michael R. Paladino, who was fatally stabbed after coming to the aid of a woman allegedly being beaten on Ross Street by Quinton J. Edmonds (photo above).

The crime Edmonds is accused of is a Class A-1 felony. The indictment alleges that Edmonds intentionally caused Paladino's death.

Paladino, 43, was stabbed outside of his apartment after trying to come to the aid of the woman who was under attack.

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said after the incident that their investigation indicated that Edmonds was in a vehicle in the City when an argument began between Edmonds and at least one of the two women in the vehicle with him. The vehicle stopped on Ross Street and the argument continued outside the vehicle.

Emergency dispatchers received a call of the disturbance at 5/7 Ross St. at 12:44 a.m.

Paladino suffered multiple stab and cut wounds to his upper torso and head and collapsed in the entryway of his apartment. He was transported by Mercy EMS to UMMC. He was pronounced dead at 5:05 a.m. by Coroner Don Coleman.

The women in the vehicle fled the scene right away and a police officer saw a vehicle driving erratically and stopped it in the parking lot just east of St. Joseph School.

Edmonds was well known to Batavia police, according to previous statements by Heubusch. 

State records indicate Edmonds was convicted in 2015 in Monroe County of criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. His parole ended in April 2018.

For previous coverage about the Ross Street crime, click here.

August 20, 2019 - 7:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke, indian falls, notify.

fatal_pemb_still_1.jpg

Investigators do not know why Michael N. Block, 50, of Williamsville, apparently lost control of his motorcycle at sometime before 7 p.m. last night in the area of 1027 Sliker Road but the resulting crash cost Block his life.

Block was driving a 2000 Yamaha going west on Sliker Road in Pembroke. He failed to negotiate a left-hand curve in the roadway. Block and his bike exited the road on the north shoulder and traveled through a hedgerow. Block struck several trees and lost his helmet. It was found wedged in a tree. Block came to rest in an open field.

Emergency responders were originally dispatched at 7:02 p.m. for a report of a male lying in a field unconscious. While deputies were in route dispatchers were updated by a first responder that the male had no pulse and was not breathing and that he had been involved in a motorcycle crash.

Pembroke fire, Indian Falls fire, Alabama fire, and Mercy EMS were dispatched.

When deputies arrived, CPR was in progress.

Block was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The crash is being investigated by Chief Deputy Brian Frieday, Sgt. Michael Lute, Investigator Howard Carlson, Deputy Mathew Clor, and Deputy Andrew Mullen. Accident reconstruction was completed by Sgt. James Diehl and Deputy Kyle Krzemien. Dickinson's Towing assisted at the scene.

Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

fatal_pemb_still_2.jpg

August 19, 2019 - 10:35pm

img_5691yaeger2019.jpg

If you live outside the City of Batavia in Genesee County, the ability of volunteer fire companies to get enough able-bodied manpower to your house in a timely manner if it ever caught on fire is reaching a crisis stage, Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator, told members of the County Legislature today. 

"We're out of time," Yaeger said. "If anybody says that we've got time, we don't. We're out of time."

Volunteer fire companies throughout the county are running on a bare minimum of staffing. Many volunteers are past the age of retirement. And chiefs are getting burned out because there are few young firefighters with the training and experience to replace them.

Yaeger pulled no punches for the legislature and painted a pretty dire picture.

"You know you're out of time when the chair of the fire districts association is riding on an engine and he's well over 65 and he looks back and his crew is the average age of 72 years old and he thinks 'what do we do when we get there and it's actually an emergency?' The trucks go in. There are people on it. But can they do the job when they get there?"

The business model of volunteer firefighting is broken, Yaeger said, broken by changes in society -- people don't volunteer as much as they used to -- and changes in firefighting. The days of a young guy signing up, showing up the next day in his turnout gear to man a fire hose are over. Now a volunteer requires hours and hours of training, certification, and more training.

The state requires firefighters to be trained to national standards and firefighting has evolved to include multiple specialties, from haz-mat to rope teams, to extrication, to search and rescue, and medics.

"It's a dangerous job," Yaeger said. "It's a job that you have to be physically able to perform. And my concern is not only the numbers that have diminished but I think it's the personnel we're looking at. We don't have the personnel that we used to have to be able to do this job.

"We're seeing guys that are you, know, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, years old still trying to do the job because they still have it in their heart that this is what they need to do.

"My concern is some of those folks probably shouldn't still be doing this job. They need to retire. There are not many fire chiefs, volunteer fire chiefs, that want to go tell a 35 or 40-year member that it is time that you hang up the helmet."

Yaeger has spent years pushing for legal changes in Albany that would allow communities to compensate their volunteers. But there are folks in Albany, Yaeger indicated, who hang to the notion of volunteer fire companies as partly social clubs, which was fine in Ben Franklin's day and in subsequent decades, but doesn't work in the 21st century.

This is a crisis the state and the county have seen coming for decades. There was a 1987 study that warned of a shortage of volunteers and in 2000 the county produced a report outlining the challenges facing volunteer companies. But in neither case were solutions proposed.

"Society, economics, everything is against us," Yaeger said. "It's just a way different world than it was 20 years ago. I mean, we're seeing it now with the level of apathy in chiefs meetings. You've got chiefs that are into their second or third term and they're burned out. They don't want to do it anymore. But nobody else is stepping up to fill that position so they're fulfilling positions that they really don't want but they have to do it."

Yaeger said he doesn't have the answer but indicated he favors paying firefighters on a per-call basis, and also perhaps compensating them for training. 

The only thing stopping such reform is state law and there seems little willingness in Albany to make such a change.

A couple of years, the state gave volunteers a $250 annual tax credit. In Maryland, Yaeger noted, volunteers get a $3,500 a year tax credit.

"The fact that it costs them a significant amount of money to be a volunteer firefighter isn't right," Yaeger said. "And right now the best of the state and give us is $250. The tax credit isn't working."

Being a firefighter is a skilled job and firefighting, like all skilled jobs, there are fewer and fewer young people eager to pursue those kinds of skills. On top of that, rural schools are graduating half as many potential recruits as they were 20 years ago.

"My concern is, we're an aging population, we're definitely a declining population, and we're an overtaxed state," Yaeger said. "So, there are three things that I'm looking at and saying 'OK. How will we fix this?' Because as soon as we offer anything up it means it's going to cost money and everybody goes 'wait a minute we don't have any money.' "

Compensation, however, seems to be the key to fixing the problem.

"I mean, I'm sure nobody here is willing to sign up to give their life for free, go to all the training that they have to do and then say you're not going to get compensated, there's no health plan, there's no retirement, there is no benefit," Yaeger said. "As a matter of fact, it's going to cost you money."

Deputy coordinator Bill Schutt said being a volunteer firefighter is unlike just about any other kind of volunteer activity in a small community.

"As a volunteer firefighter, it's not on a schedule," Schutt said. "It's not going into a Kiwanis lunch. It's not volunteering once a month. It's some scheduled stuff but it's three o'clock in the morning when the alarm goes off, you got to get up and go even though you go to work in a couple of hours. That only appeals to an odd group of people and there's not many of them."

Some might think that the answer is a full-time paid staff for the entire county, but at $100,000 per firefighter, Genesee County just doesn't have the call volume to warrant the expense.  

It wasn't that long ago that volunteer fire companies were the center of a local community's activities -- Stafford had its carnival, Elba the Onion Festival, East Pembroke the mud races. Those have all disappeared and frequently now, multiple companies are being dispatched to calls that used to take only one fire company just so there will be enough manpower to handle even a minor emergency.

"I know the dispatcher has got to be sitting there with their fingers crossed inside the dispatch center hoping somebody is going to respond," Yaeger said.

August 19, 2019 - 10:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in connor lynskey, news, crime, darien lake, notify, jennifer serrano.

The 49-year-old mother of three who drove drunk a year ago and killed a Hinckley teenager, leaving him to die alone in ditch in a cornfield off Sumner Road, was given the maximum possible sentence today in Genesee County Court.

Jennifer Serrano was convicted by a jury on July 2 of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Connor Lynskey was killed sometime after midnight on Aug. 11 on Sumner Road while walking back to a campsite after attending a country music concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center with friends.

But before she was sentenced, Serrano had to listen to the tragedy she has wrought on Connor's family and hear firsthand of his mother's heartbreak.

Donna Lynskey read her remarks at the podium in a packed courtroom, with her husband, Michael, gently holding her right elbow, and Connor's brother, other relatives and their priest holding large portraits of Connor -- in his soccer uniform, suited in a senior high school photo, smiling in khaki shorts and a light-colored shirt.

A Mother Tells A Courtroom About Her Son

"I want you to know who Connor was," she said.

By last summer, the 18-year-old had completed his freshman year with honors at Siena College in Loudonville and he planned to become a rural doctor. At the time of his death, he had one week left of his summer vacation before he was scheduled to return Aug. 19 for his sophomore year and training as a resident assistant in the freshman dorms.

He had already been accepted into Upstate Medical University’s Medical Doctor Program during his senior year at Holland Patent High School, where he had a 95.35 GPA and was the president of his class.

Connor was also captain of his soccer team, named to the Center State Conference All-Star Team for soccer, and was the Division 1 Player of the Year in 2017 for the Center State Conference.

In his honor, Connor’s soccer coach now gives out the Connor Lynskey Award to a player on the Holland Patent Varsity Soccer Team at the end of the season. The award reads that it goes to “someone who always gives 100 percent at everything he does; doesn’t take shortcuts; always leads by example; is kind; a leader off and on the field; a good musician; does great in school; is an excellent runner; and always treats people with respect."

Connor also participated in track and field in high school, was a talented saxophone player, both in his high school wind ensemble and jazz band. His classmates voted Connor as the most likely to succeed in his graduating class.

"Not once was there ever a phone call home from school that Connor had misbehaved," Donna Lynskey said. "At all parent-teacher conferences and open houses, the comments that were made about Connor were glowing – respectful, kind, intelligent, and the list goes on."

He also enjoyed kayaking, skiing, swimming, pickup games of football and soccer, climbing the Adirondack Mountains, and February breaks in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

He was employed at his family's restaurant where he started as a landscaper and dish washer and then moved up to carver, cook and banquet server. He took pride in working with his father and helping out his family.

On several occasions Connor talked about wanting to be a foster parent when he got older. He wanted to help kids who were less fortunate. He always came home inspired whenever he volunteered at the soup kitchen in Utica, his mother said.

"He stated to our priest that he enjoyed being an altar server because that is when he felt closest to God," Lynskey said.

Connor’s favorite place to go was Ager Falls (in Lyons Falls) to swim, discover, explore and slide down the rocks.

"We are grateful that the Sunday before Connor was killed we went there as a family one last time and took some priceless photos of him," she said.

In fact, 2018 was the best summer of his life. He had grown into an impressive young man. He had spent a week on Montauk Point with his cousin, aunt and uncle. He ran the 15K Boilermaker Road Race in Utica with his cousins and uncle. And he traveled to Lima and Machu Picchu, Peru, where he spent close to three weeks learning the culture with newfound Peruvian friend, Manu, from Siena College. Connor had already made plans to travel to Peru again in 2019.

"Above all Connor was a kind and caring person," his mother said. "Connor was the one to find time to travel to his grandmother’s house just to check in on her and play a game of rummy or seeing what he could do to help her around the house.

"He was the one to take time out of his busy schedule to hand write his grandmother letters via snail mail (USPS) to let her know how he’s doing at college since she doesn’t email or text."

The aspiring doctor was also full of joy.

"When you were around him you couldn’t help but feel his happiness and his love for life," his mother said. "He wasn’t loud and boisterous. He was a listener, a thinker. He had his grandfather’s steel blue eyes and his father’s wonderful sense of humor. ... He was the mysterious light that others followed. We all relied on him."

His biology study group at college said they could count on Connor to liven things up when they were stressing out because he'd tell a silly joke like "Under what?" to try and get someone to say "Under where?" even though they'd heard the gag a hundred times.

"​He had a way about him that brought happiness, peace and inclusiveness," Lynskey said. "Connor seemed to have a deeper understanding about life than most people."

A Miracle Child

After their first child, Michael Jr., was born the doctor told the Lynskeys they would not have any more children. But nearly six years later Connor was born.

And his big brother Michael took great pride in teaching his little sibling things he needed to know.

"Connor was Michael’s protégé," she said. "They played sports, video games, fantasy football, and the game of life. They were best friends. When they were together, it was as if they had their own language that only they understood."

Connor's medical school ambitions were modeled after his brother's, who had blazed the trail to medical school before him. They planned to open their future medical practice together in Upstate New York.

Almost three years after Connor’s birth, his sister, Meghan, was born.

"Connor will always be her guardian angel," his mother said. "From the time Meghan was born, Connor took his role as big brother seriously and guided her every step of the way."

Their Lives Are Shattered

Connor was killed sometime after midnight on Aug. 11 last year. They received a phone call about 9 a.m. that morning that Connor was missing.

“Missing? What do you mean? He went camping with his friends. How could he possibly be missing?” she told the caller.

His parents quickly left on the three-hour trip to Darien Lake, praying the whole way there was some misunderstanding. It just didn’t make sense to them that their responsible, reliable son was missing. They called the area’s hospitals and they prayed. By 11 a.m. “we were at a loss. We knew something was terribly wrong.”

As they crossed Sumner Road, they noticed the road was closed and a police car had its lights flashing. As they came closer, they noticed several police cars at the side of the road with their lights on. “This couldn’t be.” Then an officer approached their vehicle and told them they could proceed no further.

I explained “My son is missing. Did you find my son?”

Lynskey paused at this point and swallowed hard, fighting back tears.

She told the officer her son’s name and the officer said yes, they had found her son. "Can we see him?" she asked. “He stated ‘no you cannot.’ “

“Is he dead?” she asked, “and he shook his head yes. 'Are you sure? Are you sure he is dead?' And the officer replied ‘I am sure.’ "

“That’s when our lives were shattered. Unless you have experienced the loss of one of your children, you cannot understand or even begin to imagine the anguish. Our world fell apart. The shock was overwhelming. To think that Connor had worked so hard for his short 18 years … and it was taken away so quickly. All of his hopes and dreams were extinguished. He would never be able to help the people of Upstate New York that he so wanted to."

They tried to fathom how someone could hit him and leave him in a ditch to die.

"At first we thought it must have been a young driver – someone under age 25 whose brain hadn’t fully developed yet, somebody who did not realize the extent of their actions," she said.

But after they came to learn the killer was a then-48-year-old mother of three, with a passenger in the car – another mother, she said they "lost their faith in humanity."

Things Have Different Meanings Now

Everything in their lives has changed – "from the meaning of songs on the radio, to the patterns of the clouds in the sky, the actions of the birds around us, the meaning of the butterflies flying near us, to the pain of waking up in the morning and realizing it isn’t just a nightmare. This is our reality.

"Little by little, we are trying to rebuild our lives. It's a slow process. I'm told by others who’ve lost children that the pain never subsides. All you can do is learn to live with the pain and try to put the shattered pieces back together. We cannot get through it; but we are trying to live forward.”

The Way It Appears

"According to court testimony, it appears it wasn’t enough for the defendant to consume 22 to 29 alcoholic beverages on Aug. 10 into the early morning hours of Aug. 11," Connor's mother said. "She then decided to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, turning it into a deadly weapon. It appears that it wasn’t enough for her to decide to leave my son in the ditch on Sumner Road to die alone.

"It appears that if she had stopped and called 9-1-1 my son would have had a chance at survival. It appears that didn’t matter to her or the passenger in that vehicle. The only concern they had was for themselves.

"Even after nearly hitting a police vehicle and watching the body cam video of the field sobriety test, I was perplexed and disgusted. How could a person who just hit a human being and left him at the side of the road be laughing and smiling? And even after all that the defendant has shown no remorse and took these charges to trial."

Lynskey then quoted from a transcript of a phone call that Serrano had with someone named "Dennis" while in Niagara County Jail: “I know that I did the stupidest thing I could have possibly ever done. But I’ve done stupider and this is a horrible accident.”

Connor's mother finds it "absolutely despicable" that Serrano chose to drive drunk, killed her son, left him in a ditch to die, then took the case to trial and tried to blame Connor for his own death.

"She has no regard for human life except her own," she said.

She then asked Judge Charles Zambito for the maximum sentence allowable by law: four-and-two-thirds to 14 years in state prison.

Throughout the mother's statement, Serrano seemed to pay attention and she looked at Lynskey as she spoke. Serrano wore heavy bangs and had her hair in a topknot pinned unneatly on her head. She had on eyeglasses, wore dark slacks and an ivory blouse. She was flanked by her two attorneys. She did not cry -- at first.

No Plea Deal Ever Considered

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman spoke next and said this case is the first time in his nearly 38 years of working as a prosecutor that he made absolutely no plea offer.

The reason is because when he spoke to Connor's mother initially about the case and told her that the maximum this defendant was facing was four-and-two-thirds to 14 years, she couldn’t comprehend how that could be possible.

"I had to agree with her," Friedman said. "That sentence is woefully inadequate."

But it's possible because of the way the statute is written and by Serrano's decision, some say a calculated one, to refuse a Breathalyzer test, not report the accident and therefore not be subjected to BAC mandatory testing.

Based on testimony at trial, had her BAC been known, Friedman, Lynskey and subsequently Judge Zambito all said they had no doubt it would have been above .18 percent – which would make the crime a first-degree vehicular manslaughter charge – a Class C felony – with a sentence of five to 15 years. If you add the two-and-one-third to seven years for leaving the scene of an accident, she could have faced seven to 22 years.

"Concurrent sentencing would constitute a horrible failure to recognize what the defendant did by fleeing the scene," Friedman told Zambito.

The district attorney reminded the court that the defendant ignored pleas from her own passenger about striking something in the roadway and drove off. When she nearly struck a deputy's vehicle a short time later, she refused a BAC test.

"She knew what she had done," Friedman said. "She knew this was not just a minor DWI."

After she was arrested for DWI and her license was taken, she still got into her Jeep Wrangler and drove on the Thruway to her home in Chautauqua County, Friedman said. Ultimately it was her passenger's husband who reported the accident, the DA said, and the passenger contacted an attorney who then called Genesee County Sheriff's Office to check on a hit-and-run accident.

Friedman said he read the letters submitted to the court by Serrano's friends and family, but the person described is not a person capable of committing the acts in this court case.

"That person is not someone who simply engaged in an uncharacteristic lapse of judgment -- her decisions, her choices, her actions showed over and over a callous disregard for human life -- of others, not just Connor’s," Friedman said. "She continued to drive while intoxicated after striking Connor, causing his death, after her license was suspended, while she was still under the influence of alcohol."

This point prompted Serrano to twist uncomfortably in her chair, slump over the table and sob.

"Then she tried to convince a jury that Connor was responsible for his death, which a unanimous jury did not buy beyond a reasonable doubt," Friedman said.

He then read more quotes from transcripts of her jailhouse phone calls: "I feel so guilty, I feel so bad for that mother." In an effort to blame her passenger she says “the princess couldn’t walk two miles to the tent. …. I’m just pissed, you know, I take my blame in it. I shouldn’t have driven. But you know what Babs? We had a tent pitched at Brook’s house on 77, two miles up the road and the bitch didn’t want to walk. The princess didn’t want to walk.  … I am responsible for my own choices. ... I deserve everything I get."

"Truer words were never spoken, your honor, she deserves everything she gets," Friedman added.

'She Knows She Is Really Messed Up'

Her attorney Frank LoTempio said it's been "a tough road for everyone involved." He perfunctorily apologized to the Lynskey family for their loss.

Then he told Judge Zambito that the person who has been portrayed in the Genesee County courtroom is not the person Serrano really is. He characterized her as remorseful and said "she knows she is really messed up" -- a fact underscored by her attempted suicide a few days after the incident.

"She never had an issue with the law before," LoTempio said. "She's not a monster as Mr. Friedman portrayed her to be. ... This is a successful businesswoman who was strained by going through a difficult divorce. She will make a difference when she gets out. She's a very, very, very good person.

LoTempio said a consecutive sentence, versus a concurrent one, is “not at all” appropriate in his client's case. He even cited a case from January where Zambito sentenced someone involved in a serious injury accident while intoxicated to six months in prison and five years probation. This is the kind of balance Zambito should consider today, he added hopefully, and noted that his client has already been behind bars for a year to date.

But Zambito was unpersuaded after reviewing all of the case materials and the letters from family and friends on both sides. He acknowleged that he had wide latitude in sentencing.

"Connor Lynskey appeared to be an outstanding young man with a bright and luminous future," Zambito said. "His death amounts to an immeasurable loss to his family, his friends and the community. Who’s to say whose lives he might have touched had he been able to live."

Nonetheless it is "untenable" to weigh the value of someone’s life in reaching a sentence. All life is valuable. He acknowleged the defendant has no prior criminal history.

For the Judge, the Facts Speak for Themselves

"The most important factors are the facts of the case itself," the judge said.

He agrees with the prosecution that the defendant was highly, highly intoxicated. She was driving the vehicle that struck and killed Connor Lynskey.

"As to the question of Connor walking in the roadway, with all respect to the jury, it doesn’t matter," Zambito said.

Serrano drove with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. Her passenger said when they were stopped on Route 77, she either fell asleep or passed out.

Testimony of the defense expert did not indicate she did not see Connor; she should have known she hit something. She should have seen him. The front right fender was torn off, flew over vehicle, the windshield smashed, the passenger side mirror was broken off.

Later, she tried to talk her way out of getting arrested by Deputy Henning, Zambito said, citing her ties to law enforcement. When that was not successful, she became verbally combative. She refused testing and did not report an accident, which allowed her to avoid mandatory testing, therefore her degree of intoxication is unknowable.

Then she still drove after her license was revoked that night following the near-accident with the deputy. She didn’t go to the police, she talked to an attorney. Her friend finally reported it.

"Her actions are so egregious, they outweigh mitigating factors," Zambito concluded.

He was singularly unimpressed with the letter she wrote on her own behalf to him.

"Your statements are so nuanced, to express regret without admitting guilt, maybe it was written by your attorney," Zambito said.

She mentions having "no intent" – none is required, he noted, and "to say you expected to be found not guilty, tells me you still don't feel guilty."

Indeed, she writes as if she's being wrongly persecuted  – that she’s been treated unfairly by the DA, law enforcement. The overall correspondence lacks sincerity, he told her.

"I do try to be balanced, I'm not what anybody would call a hanging judge, but I can’t find any reason not to give the maximum possible," Zambito said.

So he wrapped matters up by declaring she will serve two-and-one-third to seven years indeterminately on the conviction of second-degree vehicular manslaughter and the same amount of time consecutively for leaving the scene of an accident -- a total of four-and-two-thirds to 14 years, along with a $2,000 fine. 

Serrano studied her hands and picked at her nails as the minutae was read.

Upon release, her NYS driver's license will be revoked for one year for the manslaughter conviction. For the misdemeanor DWI, her prison sentence is one year to run concurrently, with a $500 fine and a license revocation of six months.

For aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree, she'll serve 180 days concurrently and pay a $500 fine.

Post-release conditional discharge was set for three years and she must have an interlock ignition device on her vehicle once she receives her driving privileges back.

She'll also pay: a $50 DNA fee; $75 surcharge on misdemeanor DWI conviction; a Crime Victim Assistance Fee of $25; $195 DWI and vehicle and traffic law surcharge.

All fines must begin being paid within 60 days of release at the rate of $100 a month.

Serrano did not look back at anyone in the gallery as she was led out of a courtroom side door to begin serving her sentence.

'Connor's Way' -- 'Something Good'

Also, Connor's mother announced the creation of "Connor's Way" -- "to help something good come out of this" -- established by her son's friends and family members. It will offer "scholarship opportunities to graduating high school seniors and to future medical students who want to work in underserved communities, and also help families in need."

Photos: Still frames taken from video by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

Story based on video and audio provided by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

August 19, 2019 - 9:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, indian falls, pembroke, notify.

69410470_2620373934682208_3164429305514033152_o.jpg

A motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene this evening an accident on Sliker Road, Pembroke.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating the accident and will release more information later.

The victim is described as a middle-aged male.

Pembroke fire and Indian Falls fire along with Mercy EMS responded to the scene.

Photo and information: Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

August 18, 2019 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rob Ortt, NY-27, news, batavia, notify.
Video Sponsor

Sen. Rob Ortt on Saturday, in announcing his run for the NY-27 congressional district, hung his star -- his Bronze Star -- on his military service and what he said are his conservative credentials as a "battle-tested warrior."

It's a phrase he is using on his campaign signs, he used in his speech and in his remarks to the media after his announcement.

Ortt came to Batavia, which he said is the heart of the district, and made his announcement in front of City Hall, where just a month ago, Medal of Honor winner David Bellavia received the Key to the City.

"This really is the heart of the district," Ortt said. "We wanted to make a point, we wanted to be here in Genesee County, in Batavia, because if you think about Genesee County, Orleans County, Livingston, Wyoming even parts of Ontario, it's rural New York. It's rural America.

"Those are the values that we talk about all the time that we're losing in places like Albany and Washington, D.C. These are values that our party talks about defending all the time. And I think it's important that you are actually where those folks live. This is the heart of the district in my opinion."

Ortt talked at length about his decision to serve in the military after 9-1-1 and take part in the War on Terror and what his service meant to him.

"I was lucky to return home to Meghan and my family but I wear a constant reminder on my wrist of four of my brothers in arms who were not so lucky," Ortt said. "That is what motivates me and inspires me to this day. These men and countless others died for an idea that we refer to as America. My commitment to that idea did not end when I took off my uniform."

Ortt said he is fully committed to defending President Donald Trump, that he wants to go to Washington to support the president's agenda. He said he supports tighter border security, accused Democrats of being for "open borders," and said he wants to build a wall along the Southern border.

"I deployed to the Southern border as part of Operation Jumpstart," Ortt said. "I know what our Border Patrol is up against. We need to build the wall. We need to increase funding for border security of all kinds. And we need to close the loopholes that are allowing people to cut the line and waltz in here consequence-free."

Ortt said Democrats in Washington are pushing a radical agenda and he wants to go there and fight it.

"Albany, and by extension New York State, is a stark warning to the rest of the country," Ortt said. "We already know here what the Democratic Socialist agenda is: Higher taxes. Open borders. Driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. Unionization of our farms. Abortion on demand, more rights for criminals, and more gun control for our law-abiding gun owners."

Ortt said he has been named through multiple years the most conservative member of the Senate and that he is experienced in standing up to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"I will do the same to the extreme radical Speaker of the House," Ortt said. "You all know who I'm talking about. She runs the Democratic policy agenda and she has never seen a camera she doesn't like. And she's a New Yorker.

"Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She has a couple of deputies, too: Nancy Pelosi and her America-hating squad members Ilhan Omar and  Rashida Tlaib. I look forward to meeting all of them."

Earlier in his speech, Ortt accused some Democrats of hating America and said, "If you don't love this country, you're free to leave. Our borders work both ways."

After these statements and statements about how well he believes the country is doing under Trump, Ortt said, "So if you hadn't guessed it, I support President Trump. And I'm not afraid to talk about his agenda and all the good that I believe he's doing for this country."

He concluded his speech with, "I am Robert Ortt. I'm a conservative warrior. I'm a battle-tested patriot and I will never back down from the fight. I'm not running for Congress to have a seat at the table. I'm running for Congress to flip the table over."

At no time during his speech did he mention the incumbent congressman, Chris Collins, who is facing a House ethics investigation and a federal trial on insider trading charges and has yet to announce whether he will seek reelection. Asked about Collins after his speech, Ortt said he is committed to the race and will run in a primary against Collins should Collins decide to try and retain his seat.

"This race is wide open and I think it's so important that we have a strong conservative veteran voice, a battle-tested leader, in this race," Ortt said. "I think it's important for the people of this district and I think it's important for our country for our president."

Also left out of Ortt's comments were the names Chris Jacobs, Beth Parlato, and David Bellavia. Neither Jacobs nor Parlato have yet to make a public appearance in Batavia, but both are running in the primary election on June 2020. And while there is a "Draft David Bellavia" movement among a group of Republicans in the district, Bellavia has remained neutral on political questions since receiving the Medal of Honor.  He is currently serving the Army in publicity and recruiting capacity and is prohibited from making statements about his political plans. It's unclear when his status will change and what his intentions might be toward the seat.

The video contains Ortt's full remarks, including the discussion with reporters after the event.

After Ortt's announcement, Jacobs released the following statement:

“I want to welcome my friend Rob Ortt to the campaign for New York’s 27th district. As a conservative who has created jobs, I’m running for Congress because our community needs a fighter for small businesses who can help President Trump enact better trade deals and stop the illegal immigration crisis. I intend to run an issues-based campaign focused on my record protecting taxpayers, cutting fees and defending the 2nd amendment and I welcome Rob to that conversation.”

August 16, 2019 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, notify.

At 4:41 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement for Southwestern Genesee County and other portions of Western New York.

A strong thunderstorm was located a short time ago over Darien Lakes State Park, moving northeast at 25 mph. Winds in excess of 40 mph are possible with this storm.

Locations impacted include: Batavia, Darien Lakes State Park, Le Roy, Pembroke, Pavilion, Byron and Oakfield.

This includes the following highways: Interstate 390 near exit 10; Interstate 90 between exits 48A and 47.

If outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building. Torrential rainfall is also occurring with this storm, and may cause localized flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.

Frequent cloud-to-ground lightning is occurring with this storm. Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Seek a safe shelter inside a building or vehicle.

This storm may intensify, so be certain to monitor local radio stations and available television stations for additional information and possible warnings from the National Weather Service.

August 16, 2019 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, news, notify, corfu.

Robert James Barnes, 29, of West Main Street, Corfu, is due in Corfu Village Court at 1 p.m. on Sept. 10 on charges of: falsifying business records in the first degree, a Class E felony; and attempted criminal contempt in the second degree, a Class B misdemeanor. On Aug. 6, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office was notified by the FBI that the defendant allegedly tried to purchase a firearm on West Main Street in the Village of Corfu at 4:47 p.m. on Aug. 2 while there was an active order of protection against him. Further investigation revealed that the defendant allegedly put false information on the background form that was submitted to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Alan R. Price, 24, of Chili Avenue, Chili, is charged with: second-degree strangulation; first-degree criminal contempt; and endangering the welfare of a child. Price was arrested on the felony and misdemeanor charges and arraigned in Bergen Town Court on Aug. 14. The charges stem from a domestic dispute that occurred at 8 a.m. on April 11 on the eastbound Route 490 at mile marker 3.3 in Bergen. Price is accused of strangling the driver of the vehicle while it was being driven on Route 490. There was a 1-year-old in the back seat and the time and an active order of protection in place. Following arraignment, he was released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Office Investigator Howard Carlson, assisted by Batavia Police Detective Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Wesley Thigpen, 38, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested after a domestic incident at 7:18 p.m. Aug. 13 on Hall Street in Batavia when there was an order of protection against him. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in Genesee County Jail; bail status not provided. He is due back in city court on Aug. 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

August 16, 2019 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rob Ortt, NY-27, news, notify.

Sen. Rob Ortt, who represents Tonawanda and surrounding areas in Albany, has scheduled a press conference tomorrow to discuss the NY-27 congressional race.

The media advisory does not explicitly say he is planning to announce a primary challenge to Rep. Chris Collins.

Collins, facing a federal indictment on insider trading charges and a House ethics investigation, while maintaining his innocence, has been noncommittal about whether he will seek reelection.

That has kept many potential challenges, including Assemblyman Steve Hawley, on the sidelines.

Hawley reiterated today, "As I have always maintained, we have an incumbent congressman. I will make a decision once his status is known."

Assuming Ortt, a NY Army National Guard veteran who served in Afghanistan and earned a bronze star in combat, enters the race, he will join two other candidates in the primary field against Collins. The other candidates, who have yet to make a publicly announced visit to Batavia, are Chris Jacobs and Beth Parlato.

In the past few months, Ortt has paid a bit of attention to Genesee County, hosting a public forum in Batavia on the farm labor bill and visiting a farm in Corfu, where he first shared a possible interest in running for this congressional seat.

While there is an effort to convince Medal of Honor recipient and Batavia resident David Bellavia to enter the race, Bellavia has taken no public position on the race and is maintaining a busy schedule with the Army to promote service to community and country.

August 15, 2019 - 10:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Stafford, notify.

route33staffaccaug2019-7.jpg

A driver told investigators that he was singing to his 18-month-old daughter, and briefly looked at her at the back seat before his 2002 Acura sedan crossed the center line on Route 33 in Stafford at 9:23 a.m., last Friday, and struck an oncoming truck that was hauling garbage.

Alexander P. Ortiz, 22, of Canary Street, Rochester, was cited for driving without insurance, driving with an expired inspection, driving left of pavement markers, unlicensed operation, and driving on a suspended registration.

His baby daughter, Elle A. Ortiz, who was placed properly in a child safety seat in the backseat of the car, was uninjured but was transported to UMMC for evaluation.

The Acura clipped at 2019 Mack truck driving by R.W. Kellen II, 40, of North Road, Scottsville. The impact caused the driver-side front tire to be torn from the vehicle and Kellen lost control of the truck. It crossed the oncoming lane of traffic, the westbound lane, and left the roadway, flipping onto its side and dumping its load of garbage on the roadway and onto the field as it slid out of control.

A third vehicle, a 2010 Nissan sedan, driven by Alexander Boehlig, 17, struck some of the debris, causing damage to the front bumper and windshield.

Boehlig, from Bergen, was uninjured.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush.

Previously: No serious injuries reported, including to 18-month-old, in trash-truck vs. car accident in Stafford

Photos: Previously published photos.

route33staffaccaug2019.jpg

August 15, 2019 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Dan's tire, dickinson's auto service, batavia, news, notify.

cementtowcrewaug2919.jpg

You might say it takes a community to pull 80,000 pounds of cement truck and cement out of a ditch after it overturns.

That's what happened Wednesday when crews from Dan's Tire, Dickinson's Auto Service, and L&L Transmission, came together to figure out a way to recover a cement truck that had crashed on Route 98 in Batavia after blowing out a tire.

"They (the truck owner) requested that we go out there and remove their truck with the least damage possible without cutting up their truck because they want to keep the loss on it as minimal as possible," said Steve Grice, towing operations manager for Dan's Tire. "They were also concerned about the property owner and not any further damage to their property, which Tony Scalia is taking care of tomorrow, restoring their property."

The crew was Grice, T.J. DiLaura, Jesse Repass, and Matt Scott, from Dan's Tire, and Chad Dickinson, Bob Dickinson, Bobbie Dickinson, and Steve Dorf from Dickinson's Auto Service, Cameron Selapack from L&L Transmission.

Grice said between Dan's and Dickinson, he thinks they had the two largest wreckers in the county on the scene to deal with a truck and a full mix barrel weighing an estimated 80,000 pounds.

"I know it was a huge safety concern of the fire department and everybody," Grice said. "To our knowledge, everyone was happy that everything was done safely. The road was closed down for a short period of time. Once the truck was upright on the roadside, we had one lane opened up and within an hour that the road was open and clear for public traffic."

Dickinson's used their 45-ton "King Kong," with its 90,000-pound capacity, and Dan's it's "Big Black" with 50- to 100,000-pound capacity. King Kong took control of the mix barrel and crews were able to lift it back onto the frame of the truck and safely chain it to the truck. Big Black was able to hook onto the front of the truck and then the two trucks "walked" it back and forth onto the shoulder of the roadway.

After repairing airlines and refilling the truck's suspension to be able to handle the load, Big Black held the truck stable while King Kong moved to the front end and lifted it so the broken axle could be removed. After repositioning the truck, Dickinson's was able to safely tow it to the owner's property on East Main Street.

Grice said Wreck Master's was on speed dial to help with any weight calculations during the operation.

"It was a combined effort and combined brains came up with the proper way to safely remove it without causing further damage," Grice said. "I know someone brought up one point they were concerned for safety because of the weight we were dealing with.

"At no point at any time was anybody's safety in jeopardy. Everyone knew the weight they were dealing with; what had to be done; and the safest way to do it."

Photo: Steve Grice, Chad Dickinson, and Bob Dickinson.

Below, video provided by Steve Grice showing a little of the operation to get the truck out of the ditch. Photos below courtesy Steve Grice.

Previously: Concrete truck rollover reported on Alexander Road, Batavia

img_5817tow.jpg

img_5815tow.jpg

img_5816tow.jpg

August 14, 2019 - 5:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Stafford, batavia, news, crime, notify.

Michael J. VanBuskirk Jr., 45, of Lake Street, Le Roy was arrested by Le Roy Police Department on Tuesday afternoon after a short standoff at a residence on Church Street in the Village. The parolee was allegedly wanted by New York State Parole as an Absconder and a Parole Warrant was issued for his arrest. At about 12:16 p.m. Aug. 13, VanBuskirk was seen entering a relative's house on Church Street in the Village. When officers attempted to take VanBuskirk into custody, he would not answer the door or come outside. The residence was surrounded and the roadway was briefly closed. During the standoff, the homeowner came home and allowed the officers inside where VanBuskirk was located and taken into custody without further incident. VanBuskirk was then jailed on the Parole Warrant. The Le Roy Police Department was assisted by members of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, the NYS Police, NYS Environmental Conservation K-9 and NYS Parole.

Tyson James Carpenter, 35, of Empire Boulevard, Irondequiot, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree; unlawful possession of marijuana; and having an obstructed driver's view. At 2:15 p.m. on Aug. 9, Carpenter was stopped on Route 33 in the Town of Stafford following the alleged observation of a vehicle and traffic violation. Upon checking his driving status, it was allegedly found that the defendant was driving with a non-driver identification card and that he had a suspended driver's license. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Stafford Court on Aug. 23. The casse was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Henry Kevin Michael, 41, of Granada Circle, Rochester, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more; and speeding. At 12:02 a.m. on Aug. 11 on Pearl Street Road in Batavia, Henry was stopped on Route 33 in the Town of Batavia for allegedly driving 70 mph in a 55-mph zone. He was arrested in the charges and issued appearance tickets for Aug. 29 in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by Sgt. Jason Saile.

August 14, 2019 - 4:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia, Le Roy, Alabama, pembroke.

Benjamin Santiago Jr. is indicted for the crime of first-degree robbery, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that on June 2 at an upper apartment on Ellicott Street in Batavia that Santiago forcibly stole property from another person, and in the course of the commission of the crime used or threatened the immediate use of a dangerous instrument -- a hammer. In count two, Santiago is accused of forcibly stealing property and in the commission of the crime, causing serious physical injury to a person. It is also a Class B violent felony. In count three the defendant is accused of first-degree assault, another Class B violent felony, for intentionally causing serious physical injury to another person by means of a dangerous instrument -- a hammer. In count four, Santiago is accused of grand larceny in the fourth degree, a Class E felony, for stealing a credit or debit card belonging to another person. In count five, he is accused of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, for stealing U.S. currency from the same victim. In count six, he is accused of petit larceny for stealing a Fuji bicycle from a different victim that day on Bank Street in the city, which is a misdemeanor. In count seven, Santiago is accused of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony, for entering a dwelling on Bank Street Road in the Town of Batavia with the intent to commit a crime. In count eight, the defendant is accused of third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony, for allegedly stealing property with a value of more than $3,000 -- a 2010 Ford F150 Lariat super cab truck -- belonging to a third victim.

Juaquin E. Davis is indicted for the crime of criminal contempt in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Jan. 16 in the City of Batavia that he violated an order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party. In count two his is accused of the same crime on March 18. In count three, Davis is accused of the same crime on March 18 for allegedly grabbing the protected party by the hair and pushing her up against a wall, then shoving her against a window. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Davis is accused of having been convicted of second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor, on Oct. 3 in City of Batavia Court. His conviction stems from violating an order of protection and that conviction was within five years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Cody M. Landin is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on March 20 in the Town of Stafford that Landin drove a 2008 Mazda on Route 237 while intoxicated and while a passenger age 15 or under was a passenger. In count two, he is accused DWI, also as a Class E felony, for driving that day while allegedly intoxicated. In count three, Landin is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a Class E felony, for allegedly driving while intoxicated, knowing that his NYS driver's license was suspended or revoked by authorities. In count four, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree, as a misdemeanor, for driving when his license was suspended by authorities on Nov. 14. In count five, the defendant is accused of refusing to submit to a breath test, a violation of vehicle and traffic law. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney's Office, Landin is accused of having been convicted of driving while ability impaired by alcohol and drugs, as a misdemeanor, on Jan. 14 in Town of Covington Court and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment. The conviction forms the basis of the driver's license revocation referred to in count three of the current indictment. The DA also accused Landin of failing to pay a fine imposed for a conviction in Town of Le Roy court for an offense committed on May 15, 2018; failure to pay that fine forms the basis for the driver's license suspension on Nov. 14.

Eric C. Cleary is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on March 31 in the Town of Alabama that Cleary drove a 2016 Ford van on Lewiston Road while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a Class E felony, for driving that day while intoxicated and while his driver's license was suspended or revoked by authorities. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Cleary is accused of having been convicted for DWI, as a felony, on Nov. 23, 2010 in County of Monroe Court and that conviction is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment. He is also accused by the DA of having been charged in Brighton Town Court of DWI, per se, on Nov. 18 of last year, and prosecution of that crime forms the suspension referred to in count two of the current indictment. Furthermore, as a result of the Nov. 18 crime, his driver's license was suspended or revoked on Dec. 19 pending the prosecution of it.

Eduardo Santiago is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 19 in the Town of Pembroke that Santiago drove a 2002 Fore Ranger westward on I-90 while having a BAC of .08 percent or more and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, he is accused of aggravated DWI, also as a Class E felony, for driving while intoxicated with a passenger age 15 or less. In count three, he is accused of speeding for driving over the maximum speed limit. In count four, he is accused of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle for driving the Ford Ranger without a driver's license.

Paula A. Cipro is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on March 21 that Cipro knowingly possessed stolen property while on Bank Street in the City of Batavia -- a debit card belonging to another person. In count two, she is accused of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, for using the victim's debit card to make purchases at a local deli.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button