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May 18, 2019 - 1:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.

One thing Rep. Chris Collins told The Batavian before the 2018 campaign season is that the one thing he appreciated about The Batavian is that we may ask him tough questions but we always reported his views accurately.

Then after he was indicted on insider trading charges he refused to talk to us. That was baffling given his previous praise of our reporting. On Friday, we asked him about his decision to avoid almost all media coverage in 2018. He said that was a campaign strategy but that things would be different if he runs in 2020.

We should trust him on that promise, he said.

"I am not hiding from anyone," Collins said. "I'm talking to you today. Am I not answering every question you're asking? For two months I was running a very difficult election with a strategy to win and my strategy was correct."

Once it was clear in 2018  that Collins was cutting off access to The BatavianThe Batavian publicly announced that it wouldn't run his campaign press releases unless and until he agreed to an interview.

The response?


"For those two months you weren't part of my strategy," Collins said. "And I won or I wouldn't be here talking with you today."

Now, we're supposed to trust Collins.

Collins was indicted by the Federal prosecutors on a bevy of charges related to an alleged insider trading conspiracy on Aug. 9 and refused that day to take any questions from The Batavian and refused subsequent requests for interviews. The charges stemmed from his alleged tip to his son Cameron that a critical drug trial by a company he had pumped, Innate Therapeutics, had failed.

The target of Collins' ire, he said, however, wasn't The Batavian. It was the Buffalo News.

"I am out and about talking to you today and I've said I always will," Collins said. "Last year was a unique year with the Buffalo News being my primary opponent with a lot of fake news, a lot of biased news; a lot of distorted news. So I did make a decision, I wanted to win the election and I won the election and now I'm talking to you today. I'll talk to you wherever I am."

Pressed for examples of "fake news" from the Buffalo News, Collins said almost everything the paper reported about his relationship with Innate Therapeutics was inaccurate; that his work on the 21st Centuries Cure Act was falsely reported; that his attempts to get drugs to market quicker were misrepresented, as well as his attempts to get more dollars diverted to cancer research.

"They reported that was all to benefit a company I was invested in," Collins said. "It was absurd. They reported that Tom Price and I got special pricing on a stock, which was also totally not true, and was so reported by the Office of Congressional Ethics. They reported these things time and again. I don't want to get into a litany but primarily if you read a Buffalo News story, the bias just pours out."

He said the Buffalo News has been reporting about him inaccurately for 12 years, going back to his stint as Erie County Chief Executive.

The one representative The Batavian knew to reach out to directly to seek comment from about Buffalo News reporting on Chris Collins was political reporter Jerry Zremski who said in an email, "We stand by our stories."

Collins supports Donald Trump. Donald Trump has admitted that he has redefined the phrase "fake news" to mean any news report he doesn't like, no matter if it is true. Collins said that is not how Trump uses the term. However, none of this was reassuring to The Batavian that in 2020 he will be any more accessible than he was in 2018.

So, this exchange:

The Batavian: "Can I get a promise that as long as I always report you accurately, I can get an interview with you in the future?"

Chris Collins: "Yes."

So, we'll see if that is "fake news."

See also: Chris Collins says that if he runs he will beat any primary or general election challenger

May 17, 2019 - 11:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.


It doesn't matter who runs against him, if Rep. Chris Collins is a candidate in the NY-27 race in 2020, he will win, he said today following a ribbon cutting at Fresenius Kidney Care on Veterans Memorial Drive.

He will win in a primary. He will win in a general election.

He will win, he said, because he has more money. He will win because the folks of the 27th District will believe he's done a good job for them. He will win because he supports President Donald Trump.

"My accomplishments and my effectiveness speak for themselves," Collins said. "And if somebody wants to pretend otherwise, he'll have to better explain that."

Collins is unperturbed by the close call he suffered in 2018 beating challenger Nate McMurray by less than 2,000 votes, nor is he ruffled about his criminal indictment on alleged insider trading charges, nor an ongoing Congressional ethics investigation. 

"If I do decide to run, I'm confident I will win a primary if there is a primary," Collins said. "I'm also confident in a presidential year with my past support of President Trump, which is well known, with my seven, then eight, years of service in the community, I'm confident I would be reelected.

"While the last election was closer than I might have wanted it to be, that was a terrible year for Republicans. It was not a presidential year and I had an opponent who did not fully disclose where he stood on the issues. Next year, any Democrat that's running is going to have to run with the Democrat platform and the Democrat platform will be socialism replacing a free market."

Today, news reports said that state Senator Chris Jacobs plans to run a primary campaign against Collins if he decides to run and Sen. Rob Ortt told The Batavian in an exclusive interview that if he runs, he will also mount a primary challenge to Collins if Collins runs.

Collins said today that he remains undecided on whether to seek reelection.

"I have not made up my mind," Collins said. "I've said it would be later this year when my legal situation is better known, so I'm not saying yes and I'm not saying no. We'll make that decision later this year."

On potential opponents, Collins concentrated his fire on the one seemingly for-certain candidate, Chris Jacobs.

"If there's anyone who doesn't fit the profile it would be Chris Jacobs," Collins said. "You know, he is, I think, the second most liberal Republican in the state Senate. He's a Never Trumper, he is pro-abortion, and I would say that his resume does not suit New York 27."

Besides Ortt, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Iraq War veteran David Bellavia both told The Batavian today that they are considering runs for the NY-27.

Collins said he isn't afraid of a primary fight, and the more the merrier.

"If you're gonna be in a primary you want it to be 10 people if you're the incumbent," Collins said. "So again, that's not going to make my decision for me. I'm confident I would win a primary if I decide to run and they decide to run against me in a primary, much like happened in 2012. I have confidence that my résumé, of what I've accomplished for this district."

In Jacobs' campaign announcement -- reportedly, since he didn't include all media in the NY-27 (apparently, Genesee County doesn't matter) -- Jacobs said Collins has been ineffective. Collins, of course, disagrees.

"Interesting that he brought that up the same day that Jane Corwin was confirmed as the new chairperson of the International Joint Water Commission," Collins said.

Collins also took credit for the appointments from Michigan and Nevada, the Army Corps of Engineers' approval of a project at Athol Springs, the appointment of a new U.S. Marshall, and he also mentioned his new legislation to help dairy farmers with immigration labor.

"That's all within the past week," Collins said.

In GOP circles, there is some speculation that Collins won't get the GOP endorsement in 2020 even if he decides to run. Again, Collins isn't worried.

"I would hope to get it," Collins said. "But if you recall in 2012 I didn't and I won the primary pretty handily."

Collins also suggested he will outspend any potential opponent. His latest fundraising reports have shown pretty dismal reports, however. He said that's by design. He didn't directly address whether he would self-fund his campaign, but he suggested he will do better at fundraising from this point forward.

"I have not attempted to raise funds the last four months," Collins said. "I know coming in, off of all the bad publicity that I faced, the Buffalo News and otherwise, we decided we'd sit tight for four months and see how things kind of played themselves out and it's been a very positive reaction in Washington, so we are now going to start doing fundraising."

In the last election, he barely beat challenger Nate McMurray. He is facing legal and ethics proceedings in federal court. Some Republicans think he should step aside to protect the district. The Collins retort: He barely beat McMurray because McMurray wasn't honest about who he really is. 

Collins suggested that McMurray is really a closet socialist because he's a Democrat.  

We pointed out the lengthy profile published by The Batavian on May 17, 2018:

Profile: Nate McMurray, Democratic capitalist, bucking the trend of his party

"He doesn't tell the truth," Collins said. "He can say anything he wants. Think back to Kathy Hochul and everything she stood for until she became lieutenant governor and then the true Kathy Hochul showed up."

The Democrats, he said, lie and distort about who they really are.

"You know they pander they lie they distort," Collins said. "But ultimately people realize I'm a conservative Republican. I am pro-life. I've served or eight years. With Trump, I'm the first member to support Trump. I was at the White House two days ago.

"I'm as effective as I've ever been or more so if you look at what we've accomplished the last week. So I'll run on my record and challenge anyone else to at least be honest with the public on where they stand."

See also: Chris Collins promises to speak to The Batavian if he runs for reelection

May 17, 2019 - 5:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, artists, John Hodgins, notify.

Photo of John Hodgins in February 2005 with an en plein air painting of his, courtesy of his daughter Joyce Dwyer.

Beloved local artist, Batavia businessman and former county legislator John Jay Hodgins died this morning. He was 87.

Born in Basom on Dec. 12, 1931 to Ora and Velma Hodgins, he grew up to become a printer, sign painter and entrepreneur who founded Batavia Press, Hodgins Printing, Hodgins Engraving, papersigns.com, and John’s Studio.

Hodgins also served his community -- eight years on the Batavia City Council and eight years on the Genesee County Legislature. He was a former member of the Oakfield Lions Club, a director at the Richmond Memorial Library, and a director of the Genesee County Baseball Club.

A longtime member of Batavia Society of Artists, he had been its treasurer and president, and had many shows of his work locally. He taught local students to paint and draw, and held art workshops in Maine and Florida. He authored and published four books, hiked most of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, ran four marathons, and was a big fan of the Batavia Muckdogs baseball team.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years Mary T. (Paul) Hodgins, six children, 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

As a young man, Hodgins supported his family by delivering milk and baked goods, then he went to work in the printing business, starting as a compositor.

He worked at the Orleans Republican-American, Medina Daily Journal and the Buffalo Evening News before launching his own small printing operation from his barn in Basom in 1957. An initial investment of $500 bought a hand-operated letterpress, a few cabinets of lead type and a manual paper cutter.

The nascent business was moved to Batavia in 1961 and husband and wife worked side by side to grow it. Batavia Press, located at 30 Seaver Place, thrived and in 1971 an offer was made to buy it and the Hodgins accepted the offer. They subsequently started Hodgins Printing and sold only by mail order to out-of-town customers.

But within a year, the new owners of the Batavia Press failed and Hodgins Printing returned to serving the business community in Genesee County. In 1983, son Robert Hodgins started Hodgins Engraving, a printing die-making service for printers nationwide.

To meet the need for a local commercial printer serving Western New York, Batavia Press was reestablished. The family's second and third generation now manages the operations of: Hodgins Printing Co. and John's Studio -- in the Harvester Center -- and Batavia Press and Hodgins Engraving on West Main Street. There is also an online company, papersigns.com

John Hodgins retired in 1985.

Beyond his success as an ambitious businessman, John was a lifelong lover of all things art. He produced a prodigious amount of distinctive, unique and colorful creations.

His interest in drawing was first piqued in elementary school when his fifth-grade teacher asked him to draw a knight on a horse.

When John moved to Batavia, he became acquainted with the masterful Roy Mason, a nature-loving watercolorist known for his sporting and wildlife landscapes. Years later, he spent three summers in Maine under the tutelage of famed watercolorist Edgar A. Whitney, best known for his coastline art.

In the mid-1980s, John and fellow Batavia artist Don Grieger started painting en plein air, French for outdoors painting. The practice was not widely popular as it is today. In a kind of spoof of a Canadian group of plein air painters in the early 20th century called "The Group of Seven," the duo called themselves "The Group of Two."

Inevitably, more artists came along and thus "The All Weather Gang" was born. They still get together some Saturday mornings for breakfast at a local diner before heading out to paint scenic vistas, usually in Genesee, Wyoming or Livingston counties, irrespective of the clime. Among their favorites places to paint are creeks: the Tonawanda, the Little Tonawanda, and Oatka.

"You get the feel of the place more when you're outdoors," Grieger said, "rather than painting from a photograph."

Just as he was mentored by quality artists, Hodgins was a mentor to young people.

Among those who learned a thing or two from him is Mark Fanara, who took drawing and painting lessons from Hodgins as a second-grader. Fanara won awards for his art in high school and while studying at SUNY Brockport, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He has been a tattooist since 2005 and opened High Voltage Tattoo in Batavia in 2006.

Another mentee is Batavia native Bill Mancuso, assistant professor of Art and chair of the Department of Art and Design at Ohio Northern University. He curated an exhibit last fall about the All Weather Gang at ONU's Elzay Gallery and wrote a book for the exhibit about the All Weather Gang and its members past and present.

Mancuso is working on a biography/retrospective about John Hodgins.

"I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today without John Hodgins and Don Grieger," Mancuso said. "John was generous. He lived a big, full life. ... John painted ordinary things and made them extraordinary -- Gardner's Barn, the Pok-A-Dot. He saw beauty in everyday things, the way they really are; not like scary museum Art with a capital A."

His appreciation for the unpretentiousness of small-town life was writ large.

Asked about his inspirations for artwork, Hodgins once said he tried to be original and do something different, regardless of the medium he chose. He could be inspired by something as mundane as sneakers, as common as milkweed, and as mythical as flying pigs. He put his special imprimatur on them all.

For John Hodgins full obituary, click here

(Below is a file photo of John Hodgins' "News Stand" which The Batavian acquired in December of 2009.)

May 17, 2019 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rob Ortt, chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.


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If Rep. Chris Collins, dogged by ethics and criminal investigations, decides to run for reelection in 2020, he could face a primary challenge from fellow Republicans, including Sen. Rob Ortt, who visited Reyncrest Farms in Corfu this morning.

"I'm going to make my decision based on my own discussions with my wife, discussions with my family and friends and people I trust, and will do what I think is best for the district," Ortt said. "Obviously, I've got to make the decision that that's right for Rob Ortt, where I think I can serve best to be a voice on issues that matter to me whether it's in the State Senate or in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"So, you know, we'll make that determination on our own timeline. Obviously, probably sooner rather than later, but we're going to make that decision of on our own timeline apart from whatever other people may do."

Other people, of course, includes Collins, who told The Batavian three weeks ago that he has yet to decide whether he would run for reelection.

Collins is facing a Federal court trial on charges stemming from an alleged insider trading conspiracy. Collins, along with co-defendants Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky, is accused of securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements to FBI agents.

Besides the criminal case, a House of Representatives Ethics Committee is also looking into his conduct involving his holdings in Innate Therapeutics.

Other people mounting a primary challenge would also include State Sen. Chris Jacobs, who reportedly announced his intention this morning to run against Collins, and Batavia-resident Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Reached by text message this afternoon, Hawley said he is indeed considering challenging Collins, depending on the situation with Collins.

"I'm strongly considering it," Hawley said.

Another Batavia resident, combat veteran David Bellavia is also considered a potential candidate. Bellavia has yet to respond to a text message asking him about his intentions for 2020.

Ortt, himself also a combat veteran, said his decision will come entirely independent of what Collins decides to do.

"He's got to do what he thinks is right," Ortt said. "Again just like me, he will do what he thinks is right for himself, for his family and given his situation, but he also has a responsibility to do what's right for the district.

"If he does not think he can serve this district in an effective way, then I think the right thing would be at some point to make a determination to step aside and let someone else come in."

Collins narrowly beat Nate McMurray in the 2018 election and McMurray seems to be a likely Democratic contender in 2020. We asked Ortt, given a potentially strong Democratic candidate and the legal and ethical issues facing Collins, if Collins should step aside and Ortt said he would never suggest to Collins, or any other potential candidate, that he not run.

"This is America," Ortt said. "There will be a lot of people I imagine that might jump into this race. If (Collins) thinks he can make an effective argument of why he should be retained as the congressman, I would welcome that as much if I was in the race as anything.

"I'm not going to say one person should run or should not run because ultimately the people of the 27th District, particularly Republican voters in a primary, they're going to make that determination about who they think can effectively, not only defend the president's agenda or defend the agenda that's important to this district, but also represent them in a way that they think they'd be proud of."

UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: We heard back from David Bellavia. He is considering a run for Congress in the 27th. "Not afraid of primaries," Bellavia said in a text message. "Especially ones involving Rep. Collins and Senator Jacobs."

UPDATE 5:34 p.m.: Statement from Nate McMurray on the possibility of a primary challenge to Collins:

"It's understandable that some would see an opportunity in Collins' legal predicament, but let's not pretend that Collins was an effective leader prior to that. Our grassroots network has been fighting for the people of the 27th Congressional District well before his indictment last August and never stopped.

"I think it's unfortunate that anyone would evaluate running in this district based on personal political gain, or in order to keep it in Republican hands. Hyper-partisanship is the last thing the people of Western New York need right now and the voters here confirmed that last November by reelecting Collins by a mere .37%. The district went purple and people crossed party lines. It shows that business-as-usual will no longer fly. We will continue to prepare for whatever comes next, and look for opportunities to bring people together."

May 16, 2019 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Job Bureau, jobs, news, notify.


There is a skills mismatch between what local employers need and what the available workforce has to offer, said Teresa Van Son, director of the Job Development Bureau in Genesee County, yesterday following her department review with the Ways and Means Committee.

During the meeting, Van Son said a recent job fair was poorly attended by job seekers.

The county's unemployment rate is historically low -- that may not be a surprise but there are still at least 1,300 people listed as unemployed (using the most recent unemployment statistics). Von Son said she believes there are still people with the ability to work who are not looking for work because there aren't jobs available for them. Meanwhile, there are more than 1,000 job openings in Genesee County listed with the Job Bureau.

To address that, Von Son wants to promote more the job-training opportunities available through the bureau.

"One thing we would like to work on is providing people with additional opportunities for training so people in those early skill level jobs can move up and fill some higher level positions and then you've got more room for the emerging workforce," Van Son said.

County-level data for prime-age workers who aren't working or looking for work is hard to come by, but nationally the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the labor participation rate in that cohort has returned nearly to 2009 levels after hitting a nadir in 2014. The percentage of prime-age workers, people 25-54, in the labor force (they have jobs or are seeking jobs) was 82.2 percent in April compared to 82.8 percent in April 2009 and 80.8 percent in April 2014.

Recently, Von Son said, there has been an increase in agriculture job openings. There are also jobs available in manufacturing.

There are not many people using job bureau services who have recently been out of the workforce and are returning now, Von Son said. In fact, she can think of only two such clients recently.

"Some folks I think just need opportunities to get training," Von Son said.

May 15, 2019 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in red flag law, 2nd Amendment, news, notify, Genesee County SCOPE.


The best thing that can happen when police are dealing with a person who may be a threat to themselves or others is for a friend or family member to take possession of their firearms, Sheriff William Sheron told members of Genesee County SCOPE on Tuesday night at their monthly meeting at Calvary Baptist Church in Batavia.

If that isn't possible, the new "Red Flag Law" is a good tool for local law enforcement to help ensure people who are a threat don't have easy access to firearms.

Going into the meeting, Sheron said he knew that view wouldn't be popular with SCOPE members and some pushed back.

The new law goes into effect in August. It establishes a procedure for a person who believes a person who owns guns has become a threat to seek a court order requiring the person to surrender the guns to local law enforcement.

Sheron said the new law has ample due-process protections built into it and isn't really any different than police obtaining a warrant to search or seize property. The person seeking the order must provide clear and convincing evidence that the gun owner is a threat. The case goes before a supreme court judge -- in Genesee County, Charles Zambito -- who must agree the evidence is clear and convincing. The person who must give up their guns is entitled to a hearing within three to six days and can appeal any subsequent ruling to a higher court.

“Knowing Judge Zambito, he’s not just going to hand over a piece of paper and say 'we’ll take those guns,' " Sheron said, Zambia will want evidence.

The Sheriff's Office has been very successful over the years, Sheron said, in convincing gun owners who are going through a hard time to turn their guns over to a friend or family member for safekeeping until things cool down, or the person is under less stress, and that is still the default option for deputies, he said.

But that isn't always an option, or a person in distress doesn't want to cooperate, or if the deputy does take the guns, without a court order, the Sheriff's Office must give the owner the guns back upon request, even if there is no evidence the issues have been resolved for the gun owner.

In those cases, the ability of a family member, friend or a deputy to seek a court order to have the guns temporarily confiscated, and prohibit the person from legally acquiring guns, is a useful tool.

SCOPE members expressed concern about due process, about care being taken handling expensive guns, about family members who own their own guns getting those taken, and about the law not being applied as Sheron described it.

Sheron did his best to address each concern, reiterating the due process procedures, the courtesy and professionalism of his deputies, that the order only applies to the person named, and that he believes the court process will protect gun owners from overly zealous anti-gun types.

One SCOPE member suggested that the Sheriff's Office practice of letting a friend or family member take temporary possession of firearms violates the SAFE Act. Sheron said he would have to research it more but added, "we do it all the time."

The SAFE Act restricts the transfer of firearms to other people without going through licensed dealers, except for transfers to spouses or children.

Asked after the meeting if the word "transfer" in the act applied only to a change of ownership of the weapon and not giving it to somebody to hold for a period of time, while the original owner retained ownership, Sheron said that is correct.

(SCOPE is the acronym for Shooters Committee on Political Education.)

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


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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The accident is still under investigation.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The move is expected to be completed in August.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

May 11, 2019 - 3:06pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

That sounds like a challenge, he's told.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's a DOT press release about the auction:

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

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

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

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

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

Below: DOT supplied image of the parcel


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

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

     Wesley Thigpen

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

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

Christopher Sprague

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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