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November 6, 2017 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, batavia, news, notify, Alabama.
hoffmanmug2017.jpg
      Paul Hoffman

Paul Robert Hoffman, 43, of South Knowlesville Road, Alabama, is charged with assault, 2nd, strangulation, 2nd, and unlawful imprisonment. Hoffman allegedly struck another person with a hammer during a fight at a location on Knowlesville Road, Alabama, at 8:30 p.m. Friday. He then reportedly choked the person to the point of unconsciousness and prevented the person from leaving. Following the incident, Hoffman allegedly called 9-1-1 requesting assistance for medical attention due to an unknown medical condition. An investigation led to the charges against Hoffman. He was jailed on $75,000 bail. The victim was treated at an area hospital for injuries sustained during the incident and released.

Frank H. McEwan, 18, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, failure to obey a police officer, unsafe turn, unlicensed operation, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, depositing refuse on a public highway, obstructing governmental administration, and criminal nuisance. Cramer J. D'Andre, 18, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and open container. McEwan was stopped at 1 a.m. Oct. 21 on Keeney Road, Warsaw, by State Police for an alleged traffic violation. Troopers alleged that McEwan did not have a driver's license and was violating conditions of his parole. D'Andre was a passenger in the vehicle.

Sarah Ann Malone, 35, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Malone is accused of driving on Verona Avenue, Batavia, at 6:04 a.m. Sunday while intoxicated. She was arrested by Arick Perkins.

Dwayne L. Sheffield, 24, of Thorpe Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Sheffield allegedly did more than $250 damage to property during a fight at 11:10 p.m. Tuesday. He was jailed without bail.

Randy G. Leach, 31, of Torrey Road, Stafford, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and unlicensed operation. Leach was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 9:13 p.m. Oct. 31 on East Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Jeffrey D. Anderson, 22, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Anderson is accused of failing to provide adequate supervision of a child.

John J. Caez-Gonzalez, 30, of Cunningham Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal trespass. Caez-Gonzalez allegedly entered a dwelling on State Street without permission and after being advised to stay away. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Minnie Marie Henry, 29, no permanent address, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. At 4:51 p.m., Oct. 29, police were flagged down to investigate a disturbance on State Street involving multiple individuals. During the course of the investigation, Henry was allegedly found in possession of narcotics. She was issued an appearance ticket and turned over to State Police on unrelated charges.

Jared M. Adamski, 21, of Krieger Road, Webster, is charged with criminal mischief. Adamski allegedly damaged the property of another person at a location on Bank Street, Batavia, at 6 p.m. Oct. 28. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Julia A. Calzaretta, of Eustis, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and illegal signal. Calzaretta was stopped by State Police at 7:57 p.m. Friday on West Main Street Road, Batavia.

Stephen J. Tomidy, 58, of Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and inadequate plate lamp. Tomidy was stopped at 11:49 p.m. Tuesday by State Police on Route 33, Stafford.

November 6, 2017 - 8:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news, notify.

The Tonawanda Creek crest at 9.5 feet this morning, causing flooding at Kibbe Park and along Walnut Street and Law Street, officials say.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the area and the City of Batavia has alerted residents.

As of 7 a.m., the creek level, measured behind the courthouse, is reported at 7.66 feet, having risen more than 3.5 feet in the previous 12 hours.

The moderate flood level is 10 feet.

The National Weather Service also warns of flooding along West Main Street Road and South Main Street Road, from Batavia to East Pembroke and extending into the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

The flooding will mainly impact roads, according to the weather service, with some residential and commercial flooding.

The City urges residents to remain vigilant and take precautions.

This morning the following roads are closed due to flooding: Route 20 between Route 98 and Brookville, Peaviner, Cookson, Dorman, Cole Road between Route 236 and Mud City, Clipnock between Route 5 and Sweetland.

The flood warning is in effect until 1 p.m., Tuesday.

UPDATE: Submit flooding pictures to [email protected] or use our mobile app for iOS.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: DOT reports Route 20 has reopened.

November 4, 2017 - 4:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fire that occurred at an area motel this morning.

At 8:57 a.m. today the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a report of a fire at the Sunset Motel, located at 4054 W. Main Street Road (Route 5) in the Town of Batavia. Crews from the Town of Batavia Fire Department arrived on scene and were able to extinguish the fire quickly, keeping the fire contained to one room.

The occupant of the room, Lance Dery -- age 66, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The preliminary investigation indicates that Dery was smoking in his bed, which ignited the blankets and mattress.

Coronor Karen Lang directed Dery be taken to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office for autopsy.

The investigation is continuing by the Town of Batavia Fire Department, Genesee County Emergency Management Office and the Sheriff's Office.

(For initial post, click here.)

November 4, 2017 - 9:08am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia, news, notify.

A working structure fire was reported at the Sunset Motel at 4054 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. It started in Room #6 Correction: It was not Room 6. A first responder on scene said the doorknob is hot to the touch.

Town of Batavia Fire Department responded. Fire was immediately knocked down. There is one occupant in the room.

UPDATED 9:09 a.m.: Mercy medics squad #1 is on scene.

UPDATE 9:13 a.m.: "An ambulance won't be needed per command."

UPDATE 10:12 a.m. (By Howard): One person was found deceased in the motel room when firefighters made entry. An investigation has yet to determine if the victim died before the fire started or as a result of the fire. It was a small fire said Town of Batavia Fire Deputy Chief Chad Higgins. "I pulled in on location," Higgins said, "went to the door, the door was hot, tried to make entry through the door, there was too much smoke. Our first engine company was right behind me. They made entry, found one victim, a small fire ...  the fire had pretty much already snuffed itself out. Once we opened the door, we gave it a little more oxygen but we were able to knock the fire down with an extinguisher, so it wasn't a very big fire." Information about the victim isn't being released pending family notification. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

November 3, 2017 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, notify, Le Roy, alexander, batavia, news.

Jeffrey L. Barr is indicted for the crime of attempted murder in the second degree, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 13 while at 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive in the Town of Batavia that Barr intended to commit the crime of second-degree murder. Specifically, he allegedly intended to cause the death of another person by stabbing the intended murder victim multiple times with a knife. In count two, Barr is accused of first-degree assault, another Class B violent felony. It is alleged in count two that Barr intended to cause serious physical injury to another person and caused such injury by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument -- a knife.

Daniel L. Green is indicted for the crime of unlawful surveillance in the second degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 25 in the Town of Le Roy that Green -- for his own sexual arousal or gratification -- did intentionally use or install an imaging device to surreptitiously view, broadcast or record a person dressing or undressing or the sexual or other intimate parts of a person at a time when she had a reasonable expectation of privacy. He allegedly did so without the person's knowlege or consent.

Kevin L. White is accused of the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on May 31 in the City of Batavia that White unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug with intent to sell it. In count two, he is accused of the crime of escape in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly escaping from custody on May 31 in the city.

Marcos Cacho-Velaz is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 23 in the Town of Alexander that Cacho-Velaz drove a 2006 Chrysler north on Route 98 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 23, the defendant knew or had reason to know that his driving privilege was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities and he was allegedly driving under the influence for alcohol or a drug at the time. In count three, he is accused of refusing to submit to a breath test requested by Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Saile. In count four, he is accused of failure to dim headlights. He allegedly failed to dim his headlights when a vehicle with headlamps was approaching ahead from within 500 feet, so that dazzling light interfered with the driver of the approaching vehicle when no exception to dim the lights was applicable. In count five, Cacho-Velaz is accused of consuming or possessing alcohol in a motor vehicle.

November 3, 2017 - 3:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, Grand Jury, notify.

Phillip R. Chin is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 5 in the City of Batavia that Chin knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug with intent to sell it.

In count two, he is accused of the same crime for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug and these had an aggregate weight of a half ounce or more.

In count three, the defendant is accused of criminally possessing drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count three that Chin knowingly possessed or sold gelatin capsules, glassine envelopes, vials, capsules or other material suitable for packaging individual quantities of narcotic drugs or stimulants. Furthermore, it was allegedly known that these were intended to be used for unlawfully manufacturing, packaging or dispensing a narcotic drug or stimulant.

In count four, the defendant is accused of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that Chin knowingly possessed scales or balances used or designed for the purpose of weighing or measuring controlled substances and these were intended to be used for unlawfully manufacturing, packaging or dispensing a narcotic drug or stimulant.

In count five, Chin is accused of second-degree forgery, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count five, that on Oct. 5 in the Town of Batavia, that Chin -- with the intent to defraud, deceive or injure another -- falsely made, completed or altered a written instrument. This instrument was purported to be a public record required or authorized by law: a two-page written statement given to an investigator with the New York State Police in the name of another person.

In count six, Chin is accused of second-degree forgery, also a Class D felony. It is alleged in count six that on Oct. 5 in the City of Batavia that Chin -- with the intent to defraud, deceive or injure another -- falsely made, completed or altered a written instrument. This instrument was purported to be a public record required or authorized by law: a Genesee County Jail booking card.

In counts seven through 17, Chin is accused of second-degree forgery, all Class D felonies, for his allegedly fraudulent completion of various Genesee County Jail paperwork.

In count 18, he is accused of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a Class E felony, for providing a two-page written statement to an investigator with the New York State Police which contained false information.

In counts 19 through 30, this man is accused of offering false instruments for filing in the first degree, more Class E felonies, for putting false information in all of the allegedly forged paperwork.

(If you're counting, that's two misdemeanors and 28 felonies.)

November 2, 2017 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, STAMP, Alabama, news, notify.

There continues to be one significant roadblock for 1366 Technologies to get around before breaking ground a new $700 million solar wafer manufacturing facility in Alabama -- getting the Department of Energy's final approval on a previously promised $150 million loan guarantee.

If that loan guarantee isn't finalized, 1366 Technologies, instead of creating 1,000 good-paying jobs in Genesee County, could turn to an overseas location for its manufacturing facility.

"We remain focused on the U.S. and U.S. job creation," said Laureen Sanderson, spokeswoman for 1366. "We continue to work closely with the State and GCEDC, who remain committed to the project, and we’re in active discussions with the Department of Energy. Those discussions have been positive, but we’ve yet to receive a final indication on the status of the loan."

The Boston Business Journal reported today that 1366 just secured another $9 million in funding from investors, bringing the total raised to $89 million. The article also raised the specter of 1366 locating its facility in another country.

The company identified a site in New York for that manufacturing facility, but is still working to officially secure the funding from the DOE. In the meantime, a company spokesperson said, 1366 is exploring the possibility of building its first factory abroad due to the commercial interest its technology has received internationally.

"We are exploring possibilities to build factories internationally, but that has always been part of our plan," Sanderson said, adding, "It is understood that building in the U.S. is only possible if the loan is accessible. If it’s not there, we need to pursue the other options available to us."

The factory would be about 130,000 square feet and located in the advanced manufacturing park under construction in Alabama known as STAMP. It's been a decade-long process by Steve Hyde and the GCEDC to bring STAMP to fruition and 1366 Technologies is the first, and so far, only significant tenant announced for the park.

The company selected STAMP in part because of its location to low-cost, clean energy, specifically, hydropower from Niagara Falls. 

The proprietary method 1366 Technologies uses to manufacture solar wafers was developed at MIT and leads to solar wafers that are more efficient, produced at lower costs and with less waste than the way solar wafers are manufactured currently. The company's immediate goal is to manufacture wafers domestically for export to large solar installations overseas, such as the one completed earlier this year in Japan

Hyde said GCEDC remains committed to bringing 1366 to Genesee County.

He issued this statement:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), along with our U.S. Senate and Congressional delegates, continue to work with 1366 Technologies to help secure the US Department of Energy Loan Guarantee that will enable the company to build their first Direct Wafer manufacturing facility at the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP).

We believe that the Company has clarified their intentions that their strategy is a U.S. manufacturing first strategy and as such fully aligns with their previous commitments to establish their U.S. manufacturing hub at our 1,250-acre STAMP High Tech Mega-Campus here in Genesee County.

Rep. Chris Collins, through a statement issued by staff, said he is doing what he can to help secure the loan guarantee for 1366.

Congressman Collins has been actively working with partners at the Genesee County Economic Development Center to assist in opening a dialogue with 1366 Technologies and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Congressman is pleased that Secretary Rick Perry recently met with 1366 Technologies executives to discuss this project. These conversations are necessary to make sure that any significant taxpayer investment in the form of a government backed loan is made prudently.
We are hopeful that an understanding will be reached that protects taxpayers while creating economic opportunity in Genesee County. The Congressman will continue in his role in assisting this conversation and always remains committed to supporting efforts to create jobs in Genesee County.

The loan guarantee was promised to 1366 in 2011 but during the transition to the Trump Administration, there were delays related to the transition.

Sanderson said, "There was a transition with the change in administration and that was more challenging than we had expected. However, we’re now having the right discussions and those remain active."

The company is entering a highly competitive solar market that is booming (Solar Employs More People In U.S. Electricity Generation Than Oil, Coal And Gas Combined). Sanderson acknowledged the company, which currently has a small facility in Boston that employs 60 people, is keen to move forward with full production.

"We’re eager to bring the technology to mass production because we know what it can do for the industry and for consumers’ ability to access inexpensive solar power," Sanderson said. "But we’ve certainly taken advantage of the time in the run-up to scale to make additional technical gains. We’ve now surpassed the efficiency of the incumbent technology and have a cost advantage that no sawn wafer can beat. We’ll continue to make gains as the first step – but certainly not the last – in our scaling effort crystallizes."

UPDATE Friday, 10 a.m.: Statement from the office of Sen. Charles Schumer:

“Last month Senator Schumer spoke directly to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry and urged him to reach out to the 1366 Technologies CEO and meet with 1366. Almost immediately after the conversation, Secretary Perry reached out to the CEO and met that following week. Our office remains in very close contact with 1366 Technologies and the Department of Energy,” said Jason Kaplan, spokesman for Senator Schumer.

November 1, 2017 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, news, notify.

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Given the expense of buying and training police K9s, you wouldn't expect a small village like Corfu to have a K9 officer, let alone a handler with two dogs. In fact, just a couple of years ago, Corfu residents wondered if they would even keep their police force.

But a loss for one village is a gain for another.

Officer Anthony Bartucca, with 27 years experience in law enforcement and K9s "Rocco" and "King" by his side, became available to Corfu after the Village of Lyons dissolved and shut down its police department.

"We're very blessed that this situation came up," said Mayor Biggs Johnson. "It’s not a situation where we had to go out and purchase a K-9 or pay for the training. He’s already got certifications. We just have to maintain the training."

Rocco is an advanced drug-detection dog who can also perform tracking and trailing duties. King sniffs out explosives and weapons.

"Rocco will sniff out all drugs known to man, including pharmaceutical drugs, which you know is now more prevalent than street drugs," Bartucca said.

The K9 team joined the 14-officer police force five weeks ago; all are part time.

Rocco, 6 1/2 years old, is a Belgian Malinois and German shepard mix, and 2-year-old King is purebred German shepard.

Johnson thinks the team will have a region-wide impact, given Corfu's nexus at major traffic arteries -- Route 77 and Route 33. Johnson said he's concerned both about drugs and human trafficking passing through the area.

"I know we’re a small village, but because of where we are, where we’re located in close proximity to the Thruway, I think we can do quite a bit to help curb a lot of that activity," Johnson said.

Rocco was a big hit at Corfu's Halloween party last night. He was super friendly, eager to meet every person that came his way.

"He’s a big lovey until I tell him not to be," Bartucca said.

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The Village of Corfu PD has a new motto: "Serving with Honor, Integrity & Pride; Protecting with Courage." Officer Cameron Leight on the left.

October 31, 2017 - 9:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

A week ago, a man walking to his car in a parking lot off of East Main Street, was either splashed or sprayed with some sort of fluid by three youths riding BMX-style bicycles.

Police are investigating but have little information to share at this time.

Police were dispatched to the parking lot the night of Oct. 24 to investigate a report that a man had been sprayed with gasoline.

At Monday night's City Council meeting, during public comments, Bill Blackshear, while talking about the city's need to address some youthful misbehavior and find ways to bring the community together, referenced the incident and said the victim suffered second-degree burns.

Det. Eric Hill, Batavia PD, couldn't confirm whether the man was injured or what sort of fluid might have been involved.

"We are having difficulties getting in touch with the victim," Hill said. "That is the information we are trying to find out also."

There is another video obtained by The Batavian related to the incident that shows the youths involved more clearly so its possible the police could have identified them, but Hill said he wouldn't discuss that aspect of the case since it is an ongoing investigation (the youths appear to be under 16 years of age, so since this case is likely to be referred to Family Court if there are charges, and since there have been no charges, The Batavian has chosen not to publish that video clip at this time).

Anybody with information that may assist in the investigation may call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350 or the Confidential Tip Line at (585) 345-6370.

October 31, 2017 - 6:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Alabama, pembroke, notify.

A 39-year-old former Alabama resident pled guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor this afternoon in Genesee County Court in connection with complaints about construction work paid for but not completed.

Dana Ryan, who used to live on Galloway Road but now lives on Pratt Road in Batavia, was originally charged with one count of fourth degree grand larceny in the Town of Batavia, and one in the Town of Pembroke; a misdemeanor charge of misappropriation of property is pending in Town of Batavia Court.

Under the terms agreed to today, he waived the specter of a grand jury indictment and pled guilty to a single count of grand larceny, 4th, and the pending misdemeanor property misappropriation charge.

The charges against Ryan, who completed the 11th grade, were brought in July after an investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office following a complaint in Batavia and another in Pembroke. The victims told Investigator J.M. Graff, who was assisted by Deputy K.M. McCarthy, that they made payments to Ryan pursuant to construction contracts for work agreed upon but not completed.

They claimed payments made to Ryan for home-improvement contracts were not allocated into a proper account and the funds were used by the defendant for purposes other than the agreed upon work.

The Batavia native with close-cropped blond hair and a thin build, wore a black hoodie advertising a tree service company and gray jeans to court. Judge Charles Zambito asked Ryan if between Sept. 18, 2016 and May 15 he stole property in excess of $1,000 and Ryan said "Yes."

He faces maximum jail time of one-and-a-third to four years and agreed to pay total restitution of just under an estimated $9,000 to two victims -- one male and one female, who are under temporary orders of protection from Ryan until Oct. 31, 2018.

Zambito told Ryan that if he does not follow the rules, or make court appearances, or is uncooperative with the Probation Department, then he will be in trouble. Ryan can't get arrested or violate any conditions he is required to abide by, otherwise the terms of sentencing under the plea agreement are null and void; although the guilty plea would remain, the judge could impose a harsher sentence.

Genesee Justice has already notified the judge of some violations, one on Oct. 17 and another one before that, plus three assessment appointments were missed at Horizon Health Services.

Public Defender Jerry Ader told Zambito that the issue with Horizon was they had the incorrect client phone number, but that has been corrected and Ryan has an appointment with them on Monday.

"If I get one more notice I will revoke your supervision (under Genesee Justice pending sentencing) and you will go to jail (now)."

Ryan said he understood.

Sentencing is set for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

October 31, 2017 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, news, notify.

A 33-year-old man from Hilton accused of illegally possessing a semiautomatic .223-caliber rifle and large capacity magazine in violation of New York State law while in Byron in March entered a guilty plea this morning to a single felony count of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd.

Under terms of the plea deal, if Charles S. Ganoung IV, avoids criminal legal trouble for the next year while on probation, his plea can be reduced to a misdemeanor, criminal possession of a weapon, 4th.

He would then serve two more years on probation.

Deputies arrested Ganoung March 25 while in the course of an unrelated investigation when Ganoung was found with rifle, which deputies said was unregistered and equipped with a telescoping stock, pistol grip, detachable high-capacity magazine, loaded with 28 live rounds, flash suppressor/muzzle break and a bayonet mount. 

The Army veteran admitted to the second count of the indictment, the one dealing with the large capacity magazine, in Genesee County Court this morning but made no other statements.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 24.

October 31, 2017 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

Deborah R. Blatt, 56, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal trespass, 3rd. After refusing medical treatment in the emergency room of UMMC, Blatt allegedly sat down in the waiting area and refused to leave after being told by hospital staff to leave. Blatt allegedly pushed a responding officer.

Brian L. Erickson, 52, of Cherry Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Erickson allegedly pushed another person during an incident reported at 5:32 p.m. Tuesday at a location on Ross Street.

Robin L. Walsh, 50, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Walsh allegedly concealed several items in her purse at Tops Market and walked out of the store without paying for them.

Trisha R. Santora, 35, Naramore Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, refusal to take breath test, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, driving a motor vehicle while on a mobile device. Santora was stopped at 9 p.m. Oct. 19 on Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

David L. Andrews, 29, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and suspended registration. Andrews was stopped at 3:17 p.m. Sunday on Jefferson Square, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

October 30, 2017 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke, elba, Le Roy, Alabama, notify.

Austin Lee Wester, 23, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Police responded to the area of 21 Ross St., Batavia, at 11:13 a.m. Wednesday after a postal carrier reported observing a person who "appeared to be on something and suspicious." It was also reported that Wester walked around to the back of a residence and appeared to be casing the residence. He was jailed on $20,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

Stacey Lynne Ives, 38, of Angling Road, Pembroke, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely, and unreasonable speed. Ives is accused of driving a vehicle that struck a parked semi-trailer in the area of 2200 Angling Road, Pembroke, at 3:06 a.m. Sunday. When deputies arrived on scene, Ives was reportedly out of the vehicle and walking around. She was treated at the scene by Mercy EMS and released with no reported injuries. The accident was investigated by Deputy Ryan Young.

James M. Rossiter, 35, of Clifton Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to signal, failure to use headlights, moving from lane unsafely. Rossiter was stopped at 1:04 a.m. Sunday on North Spruce Street, Batavia, by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Michael J. DiFalco, 29, no permanent address, is charged with petit larceny. DiFalco was arrested on a warrant for an alleged theft that occurred at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at 41 S. Main St., Batavia. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

Danielle Elizabeth Cummings, 39, of Batavia Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Cummings was taken into custody at Wayne County Jail by Batavia PD and returned to the City of Batavia for arraignment in City Court. She was jailed on $2,500 bail. No information released on the charges contained in the warrant.

Geoffrey M. Anderson Jr., 52, of Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and second-degree harassment. Anderson was allegedly in a building at Batavia Middle School without authorization at 10:14 p.m. on Friday. While being escorted from the building, Anderson allegedly pulled away forcefully from a security aide and made threatening statements.

Ryan N. Bartholomew, 23, of Adams Street, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Bartholomew is accused of directing obscene language at City of Batavia residents while in a vehicle in the area of 6 Orleans Ave., Batavia, at 3:44 a.m. Wednesday. 

Michael Charles Friedman, 60, of Quarry Hill Estates, Akron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or higher, and possession of an open container in a vehicle. Friedman was stopped at 1:45 a.m., today, on Macomber Road, Alabama, by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Daniel Edward King, 41, of Alleghany Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, disorderly conduct, and unlawful possession of marijuana. King allegedly returned to Batavia Downs at 5:37 p.m. Saturday after being told to leave, and using obscene language causing public alarm. He was jailed on $1,000 bail or $20,000 bond.

Cindy M. Auberger, 54, of Keitel Road, Albion, is charged with felony DWI, drinking alcohol in a vehicle on a public highway, refusal to take a breath test, and unlawful of possession of marijuana. Auberger was allegedly found in a vehicle parked roadside at 12:37 a.m. Sunday on Clinton Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Jenna Ferrando.

John A. Petronio, 35, of Long Bridge Road, Albion, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Petronio was allegedly found in possession of an electronic stun gun at 1:57 a.m. Friday at a location on Lake Street Road, Le Roy.

Matthew Scott Williams, 29, of Hundredmark Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny and auto stripping. Williams is accused of stealing catalytic converters from vehicles at a residence on Hundredmark Road, Elba. He is also charged with grand larceny, 4th, and falsifying business records, 1st. He is accused of selling a vehicle for scrap when he was not the owner of the vehicle had no night to sell the vehicle. He allegedly produced documents purporting to show he was the owner of the vehicle. The alleged theft was reported Sept. 28 on Clinton Street Road, Bergen.

Minnie M. Henry, 29, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Henry was arrested by State Police for an alleged theft reported at 3:33 p.m. Aug. 22 at a location in the Town of Batavia. No further details released.

October 29, 2017 - 2:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Thorpe Street, batavia, news, notify.

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Dan Eberly and his wife, Sarah, hosted a carnival in their backyard yesterday for the children living on and around Thorpe Street in Batavia.

"This is a busy neighborhood and there are lots of kids and we just wanted to get to know them," Dan Eberly said.

The carnival had various games that allowed the children to earn tickets that could be redeemed for prizes. There were also hotdogs, snacks and drinks.

It was all free.

Most of the year Eberly, who is originally from Baltimore, works overseas but with an extended stay at his home in Batavia, he thought it was a good time to do something for the neighborhood kids.

"I had carnivals in my neighborhood when I was growing up and they were the highlight of my fall," he said.

The Eberlys also host Nerf gun games every Wednesday evening in their backyard. If kids show up and don't have their own Nerf guns, the Eberlys supply them.

Eberly is also mindful that Thorpe has a reputation for being a troubled neighborhood.

"We had the shooting — it was literally out my front window -- a couple of weeks ago, and we just figure this would be a good way to start changing the community by getting to know everybody," Eberly said.

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October 26, 2017 - 7:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, genesee county, news, notify.

The 2018 budget County Manager Jay Gsell is filing contains a property tax rate increase of six cents, to $10.13 per thousand of assessed value.

The manager's budget only becomes law if the County Legislature fails to pass a budget before the end of December.

At a meeting of the whole yesterday, no member of the Legislature expressed outright support for the increase and several said they oppose it and want to hold the rate at $10.07.

To do that, legislators will need to appropriate another $186,000 from reserve funds or find an equal amount of spending to cut.

Gsell's budget already calls for spending down the reserves again by $1 million.

“We’ve got the money, we should use it," said Chairman Ray Cianfrini. "I don’t think we should be hitting the public with another tax increase. Right or wrong, I think they think perception-wise that the Nursing Home money is money we have to apply toward this. I’m just throwing that out as my recommendation.”

Legislator Marianne Clattenburg said, “You’ve got to remember, people’s assessments went up, so their taxes are already going up.”

Both John Deleo and Ed DeJaneiro expressed opposition.

"I don’t think I could vote for a budget unless we went to $10.07," DeJaneiro said.

Now that Gsell has submitted the manager's budget, legislators will have two weeks before a public hearing to make their suggestions for fine-tuning the revenue and spending plans.

The county's spending plan for 2018 calls for a total expenditure of $130,180,842, which will be paid for by a combination of state and federal reimbursements and local property and sales taxes along with miscellaneous fees and use taxes.

The property tax levy under Gsell's plan is $29,492,783. That's an increase in the levy of $268,120, which is within the state's two-percent tax cap mandate.

That mandate is being made tougher by Albany. The Raise the Age law passed earlier this year -- which will bring more 16- and 17-year-olds accused of crimes into the Family Court system -- was written to withhold funds for reimbursements for additional expenses from the law to counties that fail to hold the line on the two-percent cap.

This is also the first year the county is not saddled with the expense of the Genesee County Nursing Home, with its 160 jobs (full-time equivalents) and $16 million budget, which was draining as much as $2 million from local taxpayers each year.

There remain 540 FTEs on the county's books. Personnel is the largest expenditure for the county, but the pressure of the expense has been mitigated the county's share of the state's pension program remaining flat for 2018, more employees falling under Tier IV of the pension program, and the cost-savings success of the county's health coverage program, which now has employees contributing 10 to 20 percent of the premiums.

Unfunded state-mandated expenses continue to eat up a good portion of the tax levy. The 8-9 programs cost local taxpayers $22,315,765, or 76 percent of the levy. Medicaid is $9.4 million of that expense.

In all, Department of Social Services provides health aid to 12,500 senior citizens, children and adults in need at a cost of $95 million (most of which is covered by State and Federal expenditures).  About 60 percent of the expenditure is for long-term nursing care.

Other unfunded mandates include indigent defense, pre-K/elementary handicapped education services, probation, mental health, the jail, Safety Net, family assistance, child welfare and youth detention, according to Gsell's budget message.

Another mandate Gsell knocks in his message is the requirement from Albany that counties give raises to district attorneys. On April 1, the DA's salary will go up to $193,000 and there's nothing local elected officials can do about it.

"This is merely a reflection of the unilateral and paternalistic attitude of Albany and the disregard for local county government fiscal constraints," Gsell said.

The most significant personnel change in the budget is the addition of a compliance officer, who will report the county manager and oversee compliance with state and federal regulation related to the more than $11 million in grants the county receives so that revenue isn't inadvertently jeopardized. 

"(The position) has been strongly recommended by our outside/consulting corporate compliance attorney and our independent auditors," Gsell said.

As for proceeds from the sale of the nursing home, DeJaneiro wanted to know if the state could mandate what the county does with the money. Gsell said that is one thing the state leaves entirely up to local discretion.

There are still accounts to settle related to the nursing home, so the final total of the proceeds (profits) from the $15 million sale is not yet available, but whatever the amount, it will likely be placed in the capital improvement fund.

DeJaneiro suggested it go to help pay for repairs to roads and bridges and Gsell said that is one possibility, but the county is looking at the state soon requiring the county to build a new jail with a potential price tag of $43 million.

As expenses continue to go up every year in a county budget that for years has held the line on tax increases and cut personnel and services year-after-year, one concern for legislators about the tax cap is if they don't raise the property tax by six cents, then the amount they can raise taxes in future years if dire circumstances require it is diminished.

To get around this Legislator Bob Bausch asked if the county could raise the rate by six cents and then on the tax bill immediately turn around and rebate property owners the six cents per thousand, thereby increasing the total amount of the levy without actually taking more from taxpayers.

"I think it’s sort of a gimmick," DeJaneiro said.

Bausch replied, "Of course it’s a gimmick. The whole thing is a gimmick," meaning the state's arbitrary tax cap.

"Fight gimmicks with gimmicks," Legislator Andrew Young observed.

No vote was taken on the budget. There will be another budget discussion next Wednesday.

October 26, 2017 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

(Police mug shot of Joshua Gurto.)

State trooopers and Sheriff's deputies, and a canine unit from each agency, are scouring the area around exit 48 on the Thruway for a man a caller described as looking somewhat like the suspect wanted in Ohio for raping and murdering a 13-month-old girl on Oct. 7.

They have been on scene around the Batavia exit for about an hour.

The man is said to be bearded and wearing a hoodie and he's on foot, having been spotted north of the exit 48 overpass, then crossing where there's a strip of concrete median and heading west.

It's unknown if he is actually the suspect, who is Joshua Gurto, a 37-year-old from Conneaut, Ohio.

UPDATE 2:48 p.m.: BOCES was put on lockdown during the manhunt, but that has now been lifted. The search is expected to terminate soon.

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: Gurto is described as a 5-foot-10, 145-pound male with a deformed right ear, misaligned jaw and tattoos on his right forearm. The person spotted earlier this afternoon in Batavia so far has not been located.

UPDATE 3:03 p.m.: Law enforcement is preparing to leave. The pedestrian was not found.

October 26, 2017 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Jimpce Jay Etienne, 41, of Warren Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Etienne allegedly repeatedly punched another person in the face during an incident reported at 12:30 a.m. Sunday at a location on Warren Street. He was jailed on $950 bail.

Giancarlo A. Miranda, 19, of Clipknock Road, Stafford, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd. Miranda was allegedly found in possession of a switchblade knife while at County Building #1 at 4:07 p.m. on Tuesday.

Michelle L. Misiak, 52, of Fisher Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Misiak is accused of stealing an alcoholic beverage from Southside Deli at 11:46 a.m. Saturday.

Carlton Lynn Beardsley, 22, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Beardsley was wanted on a warrant out of Batavia City Court.

William A. Andrews III, 38, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Andrews allegedly failed to comply with court-ordered programs. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

October 25, 2017 - 2:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke, Darien, notify.

Frank D. Fulton, 61, of Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, driving without insurance, unregistered motor vehicle, uninspected vehicle, driver's view obstructed and unlicensed driver. Fulton was stopped at 11 a.m. Tuesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Lonnie Nati. He was found to be driving despite an alleged 27 active suspensions on his license. He was jailed on $500 bail or $2,000 bond.​

Carlton Lynn Beardsley, 22, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with promoting prison contraband 1st, criminal possession of controlled substance, 7th, and controlled substance not in original container. Beardsley is accused of bringing a narcotic drug into a secure area of the Genesee County Jail at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. He is being held on bail.

Brandi Marie Smith, 37, of North Bennett Heights, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Smith is accused of using two stolen checks at Walmart. The checks were reportedly stolen from a victim in the City of Batavia. (Previously: Woman facing 15 charges after allegedly breaking into car, stealing purse.)

A 15-year-old resident of Darien is charged with petit larceny. The youth was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 5:12 p.m. Tuesday in Pembroke. No further information released.

October 25, 2017 - 8:15am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia, Jason Molino, notify.

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With more than a decade as manager of the City of Batavia under his belt, 38-year-old Jason Molino says he cherishes the opportunity to move the community forward, ever mindful of the support he has received along the way.

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Sidebar: City Council president weighs in on Molino’s performance.
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“Every day is a new day, and the most fun is the (City of Batavia) staff,” he said. “We are fortunate to have dedicated people who go above and beyond – people who are committed to the community and seeing each other succeed -- and work in a community that is thankful for everything you do. That’s what makes it most enjoyable.”

Molino, a Saratoga Spring native, moved to Batavia in the winter of 2006 after accepting the assistant city manager position.

He admitted that local governmental administration is “a tough field, with a level of scrutiny,” but his motivation comes from understanding that “change happens” at the local level.

Molino started out as an environmental science major in college but switched to political science – a move he doesn’t regret.

“It was the second semester at Norwich (University in Northfield, Vt.) when I decided that environmental science – with all of those science courses – was not for me,” he said.

Also during this time, Molino joined the U.S. Coast Guard reserve as a Petty Officer 2nd Class and stayed on until 2007.

While political science can be a broad field, Molino focused on a degree in management, enrolling at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University of Albany. He overcame some initial doubts to earn a Master of Public Policy degree (the public sector version of an MBA).

“The program was one of the best in the country,” Molino said, noting that many international students – from the Eastern bloc and Asia -- were there “to learn public administration from the American values perspective.”

But Molino said he still wasn’t sure that he made the right move – “I wondered why I was here?” he said – until he took a local government seminar course taught by Bob McEvoy, a retired Schenectady County manager who became Molino’s mentor.

After graduate school and a one-year stint as a management assistant in Schenectady County, in 2004 Molino accepted the position of assistant to the village manager in Port Chester in Westchester County.

His responsibilities included developing budgets for the village’s geographic information system (GIS), leading a yearlong study of sanitation services, coordinating stormwater management, digitizing documents to improve workflow and negotiating labor contracts for 150 full-time employees.

“That was a different environment … a lot of the county’s villages and towns have managers,” Molino said. “When the Batavia assistant manager job was advertised, I applied, thinking that it was an opportunity to come back upstate. It was my journey back north, so to speak.”

It was his first experience with Western New York, however.

“I remember getting into town and stopping at the Chamber of Commerce office, which was downtown, and I grabbed some quarters to put in the parking meters,” he said. “I then realized that I didn’t have to pay for parking. Now that was something I didn’t live with. The next thing I did was check out Royal Rink (now Falleti Ice Arena).”

Molino’s interest in the ice rink stems from his years as a hockey player in Saratoga Springs, a passion that continues today as a goalie in the Batavia Men’s Hockey League.

At the time of his hiring as assistant city manager, Molino said he was unaware of the City’s financial difficulties. It didn’t take him long to see there were problems, however.

“It was around the summer of 2006 when I made Council aware that the City was late in disclosing financial statements,” he said. “There were six to seven years of operational deficits, and I was making a presentation a month to Council that this is what has been happening, and made immediate, short-term and long-term recommendations.”

Shortly thereafter, Molino replaced Matthew Coppler as city manager and embarked on a mission to erase a $2.2 million fund balance deficit. At the age of 26, he was the youngest city manager in the state.

“It was a difficult time,” he recalled. “We had no assistant, the deputy director of finance had left and the City Clerk was on maternity leave.”

Molino said his initial strategy was to draft a balanced budget and “stop the bleeding.”

“We took drastic measures, realizing a small surplus in operations, but the next budget (2007-08) was painful – reduction of services, retirement incentives, tax increases and staff cuts. ”We didn’t even have the proper equipment at that time as the City hadn’t purchased a piece of equipment in 10 years.”

Working together, Molino and City Council managed to stay out of the red every year since, unless there were planned expenditures, such as capital improvement plans and infrastructure projects.

Starting in 2009 and continuing to this day, Molino implemented best practices for budgeting, and the City has been honored by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the past three years for its budget presentation.

The year 2009 was an important year for Molino personally as he and Batavia native Anna Lesh were married following a two-year courtship. They reside on the city’s northwest side with children, Sophia Dinehart, a senior at Batavia High; Stella, 7; Charley, 5, and Jason Jr., 3.

Other important changes in the past eight years include consolidating police dispatch with Genesee County, abolishing the City’s ambulance service, developing a plan to revitalize the downtown Brownfield Opportunity Area (notably the Batavia Pathways to Prosperity funding arm), and participating in the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

“All of this has been driven by us trying to save money and improve operations,” Molino said. “We received pushback, for sure, because these were big decisions, tough decisions. Council made the decisions in light of severe financial challenges.”

Fairport Village Manager Bryan White, who at 37 is on a parallel career track with Molino since their time at Rockefeller College, gives Molino glowing reviews for restoring Batavia’s fiscal health.

“I don’t think Batavia understands the caliber of manager that Jason is,” said White, the current president of the NYS City/County Management Association (a position formerly held by Molino). “He is a true professional who is driven to succeed, who cares about the community and is well-rounded in regard to his thinking and processes.”

White said Molino’s status as a “credentialed manager” speaks volumes.

“You have to be in the program for over seven years just to apply, and you have to prove to your peers that you have achieved a level of competency in public sector management and local government,” he said.

Molino has been successful, White said, by “building an environment that fosters leadership, confidence, and accountability.”

Today, Batavia has emerged from the “recovery mode,” as Molino puts it, into a “growth mode that can propel the community to greater things.”

And last month’s announcement that the City won the $10 million DRI award for the Finger Lakes Region will make Molino’s campaign of $100 Million, I’m All In campaign much more reachable.

“We’re looking for $100 million in investment in the City by 2022,” he said. “With input from the staff, support from Council and the community, we can do it.”

In the meantime, the City has secured $2.5 million in funding for extensive street repair on Union, Clinton, Vine, Liberty and South Liberty streets, and East Avenue in 2018, work that will include resurfacing, sidewalks and water lines, Molino said.

All told, the City has made a remarkable recovery – tax increases, if any, have been minimal; state and federal money is coming in and it looks as though a solution to the ongoing dilemma known as the City Centre Mall is near.

Molino indicated that interviews for the assistant city manager position are concluding and that a final candidate will be introduced within a couple weeks. Batavia has been without an assistant to Molino since the departure of Gretchen DiFante in July.

 “There have been challenges and curveballs, but throughout all of this, City Council has made the decisions to allow these things to progress – a lot of important decisions,” said Molino, who manages a $25 million budget and a workforce of 140 (full-time equivalent).

He said that discussions are ongoing with the owner of property on Swan Street, a parcel targeted by a city task force for a potential site for a new police headquarters.

“We’re trying to get a contract for a sale in front of Council,” he said, adding that a facility with a $10 million to $15 million price tag would have a significant impact on taxes – and will trigger community input from those on both sides of the fence.

Molino said he understands that public criticism of those charged with making the decisions comes with the territory.

“Anybody that gets into this line of work must accept the fact that he or she will be criticized publicly,” he said. “Even with the best of intentions and ideas, it is the people’s right to criticize. While I don’t take it personally, sometimes people cross the line.

“But at the end of the day, I’m recommending what I believe to be the best possible solutions, giving Council the information to make its decision.”

October 24, 2017 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.

There are eight people who have active files with the Federal Elections Commission, making them eligible for a primary campaign in June 2018 for New York's 27th congressional district.

Rep. Chris Collins is the incumbent and is one of the eight who has filed.

Not all who have filed are running, but even among the announced candidates, an incumbent being targeted by both primary and general election challengers is unusual.

His campaign chief Chris Grant said he isn't worried.

"We live in very fluid political times, so people, especially on the Democratic side, whip themselves into a frenzy because they believe, wrongly, that the country agrees with their progressive, extremist positions and then they run into the reality of running against an incumbent congressman who is very popular in his district," Grant said. "I'm not surprised by any of it."

The seven people with FEC filings are:

  • Kevin Aleong, who has no party affiliation but does have a campaign website;
  • James Banks, a Republican, whom we wrote about yesterday;
  • David Bellavia, who ran against and lost to Collins in a primary in 2012, and has yet to express his intentions for 2018;
  • Sean Bunny, a Democrat, who has said he's running but has yet to make an appearance in Genesee County;
  • Erin Cole, a Democrat who has reportedly dropped out of the race;
  • Michael McHale, a Republican who ran in 2006 but has made no announcement about 2018; and,
  • Nicholas Stankevich, a Democrat who was in Batavia yesterday to announce his candidacy.

Frank Smierciak II, a 26-year-old Republican, has also announced his intention to challenge Collins in the primary and got a lot of attention from the media for running at such a young age, but he has yet to file with the FEC.

The fact there are Republican challengers also isn't a concern, Grant said.

"Every cycle now, people get into the fall of an off-year election and they think there is an opportunity and then the reality of qualifying for the ballot and running a real campaign rears its ugly head before they reach February, March, and April," Grant said.

Collins is popular in his district, even with an ethics investigation hanging around, and it hasn't hurt Collins at all that he was an early and vocal supporter for Donald Trump for president and continues to be loyal to Trump.

Trump is perhaps more popular in the NY-27 than any district in New York.

"It's not Trump," Grant said. "It's because of what Trump said, Trump's message."

Collins was out in front on the issues that drew people in the 27th to Trump, Grant said, such as "destructive trade agreements, and jobs being shipped overseas, and a Washington culture of elitism that ignores the people in districts like the New York 27."

Challengers to Collins are perhaps a bit out of touch with reality in the 27th District, Grant suggested.

"I think all of these candidates watch way too much cable news, pay too much to the Acela corridor press and whip themselves into a frenzy about a race they can’t win," Grant said. 

He added, "The progressive resistance movement is nonsense. It's so out of touch with what middle-class working families care about. It just shows they don't understand what people care about in the district."

As for Bellavia, the one candidate who might come into a race with some name recognition, Grant had no insight on whether he's actually running.

Last night, The Batavian emailed Bellavia, a resident of Batavia, about the FEC filing and his only response, "You noticed that?" He didn't respond to a follow-up message pressing for more clarity and confirmation.

"David's his own man and we respect him and we respect his service (Bellavia is an Iraq War vet), but we're going to fight hard for every vote in the New York 27," Grant said.

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