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December 28, 2017 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Stafford, Oakfield, notify.

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Investigators are unsure why a 2004 Acura TSX driven by Tracy B. Carpenter, 54, of Oakfield, crossed the center line on Route 33 in Stafford just before 12:30 p.m. today and struck a westbound semi-truck head on.

Carpenter was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Donald Coleman.

The weather was not a factor, according to the Sheriff's Office investigators. The road was dry and the sky was clear.

The accident closed Route 33 between Prole Road and Caswell Road for the entire afternoon. Stafford fire is just now clearing the scene. The Department of Environmental Conservation's spill management crew is still working to clean up a fuel spill. National Grid was on scene to replace a utility pole that was broken when the semi-truck struck it.

The 2007 Western Star was driven by Fay B. Warner, 67, of Geneseo. Warner was not injured in the accident.

The crash is being investigated by deputies Jenna Ferrando, Joseph Loftus, Chris Erion, and the Crash Reconstruction Unit. 

Stafford fire responded along with Byron fire, South Byron fire, and Bergen fire to assist at the scene and block roads. Mercy EMS also responded. State Police also assisted at the scene.

(Initial Report)

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December 28, 2017 - 12:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Stafford, notify.

A head-on collision between a semi-truck and a car is reported on Route 33 in Stafford. One person is reportedly "unresponsive." Mercy medics and Stafford fire are responding.

UPDATE 12:32 p.m.: The accident is in the area of 5882 Clinton Street Road (Route 33).

UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: There is a lot of debris in the roadway. The roadway is blocked. Bergen Fire Department is called. Extrication equipment will be needed.

UPDATE 12:38: Stafford command also requests Byron and South Byron fire departments to the scene, which is between Mill Road and Westbrook Morganville Road. Mercy Flight #7 is called in; a 15-minute ETA. "We need the extrication as soon as possible for this one patient," says a first responder.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m.: The extrication equipment is en route. Fire police are going to close the roadway near the scene.

UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: National Grid is called because the semi struck a utility pole, which is still standing but "it's damaged and it's making some noise."

UPDATE 12:56 p.m.: Stafford commands says "Just be aware this (roadway) is going to be shut down for awhile."

UPDATE 1:07 p.m.: National Grid is on scene.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: Genesee County Undersheriff Gregory Walker confirmed this was a fatal accident. The driver and sole occupant of an eastbound sedan was killed, Walker said, after the vehicle crossed the center line and collided head on with a westbound tractor-trailer hauling food products. The trucker was not injured. "He tried to avoid (the crash)," Walker said. "He saw it coming over the center line and tried to avoid it. He couldn't avoid it." The trucker swerved into a ditch yet there was still a head-on collision. The accident reconstruction/crash management team is taking measurements at the scene and investigating. National Grid also has to replace the broken utility pole before the roadway can be reopened. Next of kin notifications are being made and the victim's information will be released afterward. Walker said the roads are dry now and were at the time the accident occured, so icy road conditions were not a factor. "We're not sure of the reason," that the accident happened, Walker said.

December 28, 2017 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Lazeula D. Washington, 40, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Washington is accused of entering the Genesee Country Mall though previously barred from the property. He was jailed on $250 bail.

Jeffery Thomas Dutton, 26, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dutton was arrested after police responded to Walnut Street for a report of two men fighting.

Zachary J. Marrow, 26, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, was arrested after allegedly failing to appear on a subpoena related to a charge of criminal contempt, 2nd. 

Dexter L. Turner, 26, of Victor Lane, Hamlin, was arrested on two warrants out of City Court. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

David C. Wojkowski, 33, of Swan Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic ticket.

Daniel J. Horner, 37, no permanent address, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a prior appearance ticket.

Deina Chavez, 36, of Rochester, is charged with conspiracy and petit larceny. Deina was arrested by State Police in relation to an incident reported at 1:13 p.m. Oct. 28 at Kohl's Department Store. Chavez was jailed on an unspecified amount of bail. No further details released.

December 27, 2017 - 5:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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      Amber Holland
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     Jennifer Martino

Two women are in custody following an apparent confrontation inside another person's home in Alexander at 5:28 p.m., Tuesday.

Arrested were Jennifer Martino, 42, of Pearl Street, Batavia, and Amber Holland, 35, of Cambridge Square, Buffalo. They were charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, 3rd, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal mischief, 4th.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the duo forced their way into the home of an acquaintance. Once inside, investigators said, there was a physical confrontation. The duo also allegedly damaged property and stole property belonging to the resident.

Martino and Holland allegedly prevented the victim from calling 9-1-1 by taking the person's mobile phone. 

One of the occupants of the home was reportedly a 12-year-old child.

No significant injuries were reported.

Following the report, deputies located a vehicle with Holland and Martino inside and Holland driving. She was also charged with DWI, failure to submit to breath test, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

The pair were arraigned in Alexander Town Court and jailed on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond each. Holland was also arraigned in City Court and ordered held on the DWI charge on $2,500 bail.

The investigation was conducted by Deputy Micheal Lute, Deputy Kyle Krzemien, and Investigator Joseph Graff.

December 27, 2017 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

More people in Genesee County now have jobs or want jobs than the same period a year ago, and this has actually meant the county's unemployment rate grew from November 2016 to November 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Labor.

The November labor force is an estimated 29,600, up from 29,000 a year ago and while the number of people with jobs grew, the number did not grow as much as total labor force participation.

Labor force participation is the measure of how many people either have jobs or who report they are under-employed and looking for full-time work or are unemployed and looking for work.

The county's labor force participation rate has been at or below the previous year's number for more than a year.

While the pool of eligible workers grew, so did the total number of employed people. In all, 400 more people in the county are reported to have a job in November than the previous year. The total grew from 27,700 to 28,100.

Even with that growth, the bigger jump in total participation meant that county's unemployment rate grew from 4.5 percent to 5.1 percent year-over-year.

The GLOW-area unemployment rate rose at the same pace, hitting 5.3 percent, up from 4.7 percent a year ago. Buffalo's rate rose from 4.9 percent to 5.3 percent and Rochester, from 4.5 percent to 5.1 percent.

The state's rate was 4.5 percent.

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor reported 22,600 non-farm jobs in Genesee County, down from 22,500 a year earlier. There were 16,700 private sector jobs in Genesee County for November 2017, the same as 2016.

December 27, 2017 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

STORY UPDATED: 12:30 p.m.

Police are trying to locate the driver of a vehicle that struck a jogger on Richmond Avenue near the Blind School at 5:09 a.m., Friday.

Batavia PD is unable to provide a vehicle description or information on whether the vehicle was damaged. 

A Good Samaritan who stopped to assist the jogger, Rosemary Demske, did not see the vehicle that struck her. He thinks.

Glen Enouen, an employee of Scalia's Landscaping who was working that morning driving a snowplow truck, said he was heading back to his route after going to the company's shop on Bank Street Road to repair a plow controller. Heading back, he turned the corner on Richmond and found a car stopped in the middle of the road.

The driver told him a woman had just been struck by a car.

He said he and the other man helped Demske into his plow truck and Enouen proceeded to call 9-1-1.

Asked if the car driver might have been the driver who struck Demske, he said he didn't know. 

"Other than he said, 'don't bother with the phone' and he didn't stick around, I don't know," Enouen said. He said the driver disappeared as soon as he heard sirens.

"I didn't see him leave," Enouen said. "I heard the sirens, looked around and he was gone."

Enouen said he didn't take a good look at the car.

"I didn't have any reason at the time to look deeper than helping that lady out," Enouen said.

A family member said Demske and her husband, John, are avid joggers. 

"They both are very generous with their time volunteering in the community," said her sister-in-law, Michele Bettendorf. "Rosemary is a special education aide in the Batavia School District. She also volunteers at the Genesee Animal Shelter and is involved in their Pet Therapy Program. She is an active member of Resurrection Parish serving as Eucharistic Minister/RCIA Instructor."

When Demske was struck she was thrown to the other side of the street, Bettendorf said.

She suffered a broken tibia, her entire left side was bruised and she has two black eyes, Bettendorf said.

"Rosemary is very thankful that he (Enouen) was there to help her," Bettendorf said.  

Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation is asked to call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350 and ask to speak with a supervisor any time of day or night.

In a press release, police officials said, "As a reminder to residents please keep sidewalks shoveled for pedestrians. Pedestrians please use sidewalks and if you have to be on the roadway walk facing traffic with reflective outerwear."

December 27, 2017 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, Alabama, news, notify.

A Subaru Outlander is reportedly in a pond off of Feeder Road, near Klossen Road, or perhaps Meadville Road, in the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area.

The caller apparently reports being in the area of Meadville, but dispatchers say the phone signal is closer to Feeder Road and Klossen Road.

The callers say they are unable to exit the vehicle.

State Police, Alabama fire, Wolcottsville fire, Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:52 a.m.: There is water in the vehicle, but it is not sinking. There are two people in the vehicle. One is disabled.

UPDATE 11 a.m.: Alabama fire on location. One vehicle partially in the water, hanging over the bank.

UPDATE 11:02 a.m.: Confirmed, two people in the vehicle. No injuries. First responders stabilizing the vehicle until more help arrives.

December 26, 2017 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lawrence Friedman, news, notify, district attorney.

lawrence_friedmanb.jpgNext month, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman will begin his six and final term as Genesee County's top criminal prosecutor.

Friedman announced his intention to step down after this term in a press release today about a swearing-in ceremony Thursday afternoon for himself and his staff.

At the ceremony, Melissa Cianfrini will be sworn in as first assistant district attorney. The position didn't exist for a couple of years before the County Legislature agreed to fund the position for 2018.

Besides Friedman and Cianfrini, also taking the oath will be assistants Robert Zickl, Kevin Finnell, and Shirley Gorman.

Friedman was reelected to his sixth four-year term in November.

Administering the oath will be County Clerk Michael Cianfrini, husband of Melissa Cianfrini.

The ceremony is at 1:30 p.m. in the County Courtroom.

Photo: File photo.

December 26, 2017 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, corfu, bergen, Le Roy, notify.

Bruce Doug Seelau, 69, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving scene of property damage accident, moving from lane unsafely, and speed not reasonable and prudent. Deputy Ryan Young responded to a report of a single-vehicle accident at 2:34 a.m. Saturday on South Lake Road, Pembroke, and found a vehicle on its side. Seelau was identified as the driver. Neither Seelau nor a passenger were injured. 

Collin Ronald Wickings, 24, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, is charged with violation of a court order. Wickings allegedly had a third party contact two people he was ordered not to contact by court order.

David Joseph Michael Welninski, 23, of Ballard Road, Fillmore, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, and failure to keep right. Welninski was charged following an investigation by Deputy Ryan DeLong into a single-vehicle accident reported at 9:23 p.m. July 15 on Lake Street Road, Le Roy.

Lee Carl Zimmerman, 47, of South Lake Avenue, Bergen, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Zimmerman is accused of shoving another person during an incident reported at 12:25 a.m. Friday at a location on Lake Avenue, Bergen.

December 22, 2017 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Empire Access, news, batavia, Le Roy, notify, business.

While many Americans are worried about higher broadband costs or diminished service following the repeal by the FCC of "Net Neutrality" rules, customers of Empire Access can continue to count on unmetered, unthrottled, unlimited data, Bob VanDelinder, director of marketing for the company, told The Batavian today.

"The changes in net neutrality, we don't feel, will affect Empire Access because we still plan to keep the Internet open for our customers," VanDelinder said. "We will continue to offer unlimited data without content blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization. The customers on Empire Access should not see any changes."

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission overturned a 2014 rule known as Title II that prohibited Internet service providers from having tiered pricing plans, so-called "net neutrality."

The change has caused customers of Empire Access to call the company and express concern that their service will be changed and VanDelinder said they're all assured that there will be no changes. Soon the company will embark on a social media campaign to help spread that message. Customers will also receive an assurance of the company's commitment to unmetered service with the bills that will be mailed Jan. 1.

Proponents of net neutrality say the repeal of the law will mean restricted, or slower, bandwidth for customers or content providers who don't pony up extra cash.

Opponents of net neutrality say that Title II inhibits innovation and is holding back companies from making the investments necessary to provide faster broadband to more customers.

The idea of ISPs trying to squeeze more money from content providers is not without precedent. Prior to the 2014 rules, Comcast sought fees from Netflix and tacked on an extra charge for customers who streamed more Netflix shows and movies.

Empire Access doesn't know what its competitors might do following the rule change, VanDelinder said, but as far as Empire Access is concerned, nothing has changed.

"It's somewhat early yet to know what is going to take place with our competitors but as far as our stance on the ruling, it's our feeling that our customers come first," VanDelinder said. "We will continue to provide open access to our customers."

Over the past several years, Empire Access has been expanding throughout the Southern Tier and Western New York. It's an expansion plan that started before Title II was enacted, continued through the Title II era, and will continue going forward, VanDelinder said. Whether there is net neutrality or not, it doesn't slow down Empire Access's plan for expansion and innovation.

"We're a family-owned company," VanDelinder said. "We're a local company. What is best for the customer is really what we're striving to achieve to provide the best services."

Being a family-owned business has its advantages over larger competitors, such as Comcast, VanDelinder noted. 

While Comcast sought more money to stream Netflix, it wasn't taking the same approach with Hulu, which is owned in part by Comcast.

"Our business is providing Internet, phone, television, and security services," VanDelinder said. "We don't necessarily have these conflicts like some of our competitors do."

Since Empire Access came to Batavia and Le Roy, local customers are in a unique position of having options. Nearly 60 percent of households in America have only one company to call for broadband service.  

"One of the great things about operating in the towns, villages, and cities where we provide service is that we create competition," VanDelinder said. "Competition is good for the consumers."

December 22, 2017 - 12:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.
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     Louis Mercado     Richard Barber   Derrick Washington

Three Batavia residents were taken into custody in Wyoming County for allegedly selling drugs in Warsaw and Attica following an investigation Drug Task Force as part of "Operation Frosty."

Richard Barber, 47, of Garfield Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. He is accused of selling methamphetamine in August in the Town of Warsaw. He was jailed on $25,000 bail.

Derrick Washington, 45, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell. Washington is accused of selling crack cocaine on two occasions in the Village of Attica. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Louis Mercado, 29, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. He is accused of selling crack cocaine on two occasions in the Village of Attica. Mercado was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Also arrested as part of "Operation Frosty" was Javier Alvarez, 38, of Hopkins Street, Mount Morris. He is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. He is accused of selling heroin and a heroin-fentanyl mix in the Village of Perry.

 Korin Leonard, 21, of Freedom Road, Freedom, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd and 5th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd and 5th. He is accused of selling methamphetamine and cocaine on two occasions in the Village of Arcade.

Ranen Houston, 24, of Lake Avenue, Rochester, is charged with 11 counts of perjury in the first degree for allegedly lying to the Wyoming County Grand Jury on a drug-related investigation in the Town of Warsaw. 

“These arrests were pursuant Wyoming County Court arrest warrants following Indictments and the involvement of District Attorney Donald O’Geen’s Office," said Wyoming County Sheriff Greg Rudolph.

"The Wyoming County Drug Task Force is committed to doing our part in the midst of this drug epidemic, which includes a strong stance on enforcement and honing our investigations on the dealers who gain off of others' addictions.

"The various locations of these crimes are indicative of the scope of the problem here in Wyoming County. The Wyoming County Drug Task Force is additionally wrapping up investigations on several other drug dealers and more arrests are expected in January."

December 22, 2017 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for today through 7 p.m., Saturday.

A wintry mix of precipitation is expected, with accumulations of two to four inches of snow and ice, making travel conditions difficult.

Snow will change to mixed percipitation this afternoon and evening and quickly change back to snow midday Saturday.

"The combination of freezing rain and snow will result in very slippery travel at times," the National Weather Service warns.

December 21, 2017 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, pembroke, news, notify.

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David K. Atkinson abuses women and the risk is great that he's beyond rehabilitation, Judge Charles Zambito decided in Genesee County Court this afternoon as he sent Atkinson to state prison for 15 years.

His victim, a former Pembroke resident, said only a sentence of 10 to 15 years could help her feel safe, though she fears her life will never be as good as it was before Atkinson attacked her, threatened her with a claw hammer and forced her to perform oral sex on him while he live-streamed it to another man in Darien.

She said her life is filled with fear and anxiety. She can't return to the house where she lived, even though she's still paying the mortgage, and she suffers from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome) and frequent nightmares.

"I can't stop imagining David breaking into my house despite the doors being locked," she said. "I can picture him chasing me down in my house and beating me. I picture him beating and killing my children. I picture him raping and killing me. I don't feel safe no matter how many counseling sessions I go to. I can't escape the nightmares."

The 39-year-old Atkinson was found guilty following a jury trial in August of criminal sexual act in the first degree.

He testified at his own trial and denied all of the woman's allegations. He didn't deny the sex act. He said it was consensual and described it as "make-up sex" after an argument because he found text messages on the woman's phone to another man -- the man in Darien.

By this time, the woman and Atkinson had long been out of a relationship and Atkinson supposedly had another girlfriend, but he said he and the victim continued to have a casual sexual relationship, which he said was proof that he didn't force her into a sex act.

During the trial, there was a woman who sat in the front row as a supporter of Atkinson.

After the trial, Atkinson was released on bond and he traveled to North Carolina with the woman. His sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 21 but he missed that court date.

On that date, he was in jail in North Carolina for allegedly strangling the woman who had been his ally during the trial.

A common thread between the North Carolina incident and the attack on the woman locally: An empty bottle of Evan Williams bourbon was found at both scenes, said Robert Zickl, assistant district attorney.

Atkinson also has a prior misdemeanor conviction, from 2013, for abusing his first wife in Erie County.

The victim, in this case, described Atkinson as charming and that he seemed like a dream come true when they first met.

She said she was feeling good about her life when they met. She was four years clean after overcoming an addiction and adjusting to life as a single mother. She had a good job, had bought a house and was making her mortgage payments.

She let Atkinson move in with her and soon the trouble started. First, he refused to work. He wasn't contributing at all financially to the household. Then, she said, he starting insulting her and the kids. 

When she tried to get him to move out, he threatened her and threatened to damage her house and her belongings.

"I felt trapped and didn't know what to do," she said.

Then Atkinson found a new girlfriend and the woman thought that would solve her problems. It didn't. Atkinson didn't leave.

One night he scrolled through the messages on a mobile phone and found a non-romantic conversation between the woman and the man in Darien. That started a fight and eventually the forced, live-streamed sex act over messaging.

"I miss the way my life was before that night," the woman told Zambito.

A 10- to 15-year sentence might not only help her find some peace of mind, she said, but it would also protect other women.

"You can save other women before another woman becomes another victim," she said. "Please help save another woman from becoming a victim of David Atkinson."

Zickl opened his statement to Zambito with, "I don't know when (the victim) wrote her statement, but it could be considered prophetic." 

He then described the alleged attack and arrest of Atkinson in North Carolina.

Zickl sought the maximum term for Atkinson of 20 to 25 years. He noted that a sentence, in this case, was neither for rehabilitation nor for deterrence. Clearly, he said, deterrence wouldn't work in this case because he already attacked another woman.

"He did that knowing you would hear about it and it would affect his sentence in this court," Zickl told Zambito.

Atkinson made no statement in court.

Zambito presided over the trial in August and remembered the defendant's denials.

"I heard the testimony," Zambito said. "I also heard from the victim about your brutality and the significant affect it had on her. It doesn't need to be recited here again. You claimed it was consensual. You blamed it all on her. This happened, you said, because she was unfaithful to you. You portrayed yourself as the victim. That's perhaps the most disturbing thing here. You testified, and the jury didn't believe you and I don't believe you either. I believe her."

December 21, 2017 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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      Charles Williams

A convicted drug dealer failed to show up for his sentencing and has refused to turn himself in, according to Batavia PD.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 38-year-old Charles "Gusto" Williams, who was living on South Spruce Street, Batavia, at the time of his arrest in April.

Police are seeking the public's assistance in locating Williams.

He was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal contempt, 1st.

Williams allegedly violated an order of protection while out of jail awaiting sentencing.

Police say if you see Williams or know of his whereabouts, do not approach him; rather, call 9-1-1.

Anyone with questions may contact the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350 or the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

December 21, 2017 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, notify, schools, education.

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Using a detection device to identify students who might have been drinking at high school dances is nothing new, said Batavia City Schools Superintendent Chris Dailey, and previous uses have gotten no pushback from students or parents.

Yesterday, The Batavian published a picture of Batavia High School receiving two new wand-like devices that act as breathalyzers to help school officials identify students who may have been drinking prior to arrival at a school dance or other social function where they might be used. The publication of the picture raised a lot of questions among readers about the legality and ethics of such devices.

Dailey said the district's first priority is the safety of the students.

"Ninety-nine point nine percent of our kids don't generally show up under the influence, so it's rather a moot point to them," Dailey said. "They're not thinking we're trying to take away their rights and we're not trying to take away their rights. We're trying to provide a safe environment for all. It's all about safety for us."

All of the complaints that surfaced after yesterday's picture publication surfaced online, Dailey said. There have been no calls to the district office and he met with high school officials today and there was no mention of complaints at the high school.

The wands donated to the school by STOP-DWI and local law enforcement are not at all invasive, Dailey said, unlike the previous alcohol sensor used by the school, which was only used if a student was suspected of drinking. The wands, Dailey said, can detect a potential use of alcohol by a person in a group of people.

"Alcohol consumption by students is something that is illegal and is not tolerated," Dailey said. "We want to make sure we provide the safest possible environment for all of our students."

That's critical, Dailey said, when you have 200 to 300 students coming together for an event.

If a student is found under the influence of alcohol at a school event, the first step, Dailey said, is to make sure the student is safe. Next, school officials call the teenager's parents.

"We reach out to the parents," Dailey said. "(the student) is not allowed to leave if under impairment and we will work with the parent so the child will learn from the mistake."

There isn't necessarily disciplinary action taken against the student.

"(It) depends on the situation," Dailey said.

As for whether the sensors violate students' rights, Dailey said, any student or parent who might be concerned about it are free to not attend the school function.

"If people choose not to come to the dance because of it, that's their choice, absolutely," Dailey said.

December 21, 2017 - 9:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
randallmug2017.jpg
      Lamar Randall

Lamar I. "L-Boog" Randall, 32, of Walnut Place, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Randall is accused of selling a quantity of crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force on two occasions within the past four months.

Task Force members located Randall walking on Washington Avenue, Batavia, and took him into custody.

His arrest is the result of an investigation into the sale, transportation, and possession of crack cocaine in and around the City of Batavia.

Randall was jailed without bail.

The District Attorney's Office assisted in the investigation.

December 20, 2017 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, batavia, notify.

After more than a year of design and planning, construction on several capital improvement projects in the Batavia City School District is set to begin in less than a year.

Voters approved the $26.7 million improvements, which will be accomplished without a tax increase, last March.

Marco Marascio, a project manager with Campus Construction Management in Pittsford, and Tracy Conshiser-Uy, an architect with Wendel, in Buffalo, updated district trustees Tuesday night on the construction plans.

The biggest of the projects is the demolition and reconstruction of Van Detta Stadium.

Demolition will begin, Marascio said, in the fall of 2018. The area will be fenced off and also include storage of construction equipment. The new stadium will consist of pre-built grandstands and a press box and these will be wheeled in and assembled on site.

Construction will be completed by September 2019, Marascio said.

At the high school, restroom and auditorium renovations start in April 2019 during the spring break and work should be completed by August of that year. Roof work begins in June and will be finished by November.

At the middle school, auditorium renovations begin in October 2018 and will be finished by December. The fitness room is scheduled for February 2019 through April 2019. The music room in April 2019; the attendance office in June 2019; interior renovations from December 2018 through August 2019; exterior improvements begin in June 2019; asphalt shingle roof in May 2019; and HVAC modifications in May 2019, completed by August.

At Jackson School, flooring replacement, window replacement, boiler room work, and toilet room renovations in April 2019 and all completed by September 2019.

At John Kennedy School, classroom addition and toilet room renovations are from October 2018 through April 2019. Gymnasium improvements also begin in October 2018 but will take until November to complete. The auditorium demolition is in December 2018. Window replacements begin April 2019.

The work at Richmond Memorial Library includes restroom renovations, painting, floor replacement, reading room lighting, upgrade to the fire alarm system, and landscaping. All of that work is scheduled for December 2018 through May 2019.

Marascio said that where work is performed on campus during the school year, construction workers will either have a separate ingress and egress from the student entrance to the construction zone or they will be instructed to remain in the construction zone during any time students are out of classrooms.

December 19, 2017 - 2:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Darien, Le Roy, batavia.

Davon St. John is indicted for the crime of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that between Sept. 27 and 28, the defendant knowingly entered or remained unlawfully inside a dwelling on Ellicott Avenue in the City of Batavia with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, he is accused of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly stealing $180 in U.S. currency and other items. In count three, St. John is again accused of second-degree burglary for allegedly unlawfully entering the same dwelling on Ellicott Avenue between Nov. 18 and 19 with intent to commit a crime. In count four, he is accused of petit larceny for allegedly stealing an HP laptop, book bag, calculator, butcher knife and Samsung Electonic Tablet in the second break-in. In count five, the defendant is accused of a third instance of second-degree burglary at the same address between Nov. 20 and 21. In count six, he is accused of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony, for allegedly stealing a 2004 Jeep valued at more than one hundred dollars. In count seven, St. John is accused of petit larceny for allegedly stealing a 40-inch Vizio television in the City of Batavia between Nov. 20 and 21. In counts eight and nine, he is indicted for second-degree burglary for allegedly unlawfully entering a dwelling on Montclair Avenue in the city on Nov. 21 with the intent to commit a crime. In count 10, he is accused of third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony, for allegedly stealing property on Nov. 21 in the city that had a value of more than $3,000 -- in this case a MAC Book Air, Harman Kardon Wireless speakers, MAC Magic mouse, Apple Series 2 watch, Alexa Echo Show, $400 in U.S. currency, silver coins, Halloween candy, four gold chains, a gold dome ring and four blank (bank) checks. In counts 11 and 12, St. John is accused of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in counts 11 and 12 that he intentionally damaged the property of another person. In this case, a door and glasses, respectively. In count 13, he is accused of a sixth count of second-degree burglary for allegedly unlawfully breaking into a dwelling on Union Avenue with the intent to commit a crime. In counts 14 and 15, he is accused of criminal possession of a firearm, a Class E felony. In counts 14 and 15, it is alleged that on Nov. 21 in the City of Batavia that St. John illegally possessed, respectively, a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and a Glock firearm. In count 16, the defendant is accused of stealing property (unspecified) on Nov. 21 in the city and is therefore indicted on another count of petit larceny. In count 17, he is indicted on a third charge of fourth-degree criminal mischief for allegedly intentionally damaging another person's property (unspecified).

Jeremy L Siplin is indicted for the crime of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 17 in the Town of Batavia that Siplin stole property having a value in excess of $1,000 -- in this case, $2,292.84 worth of goods from Kohl's Department Store. In count two, he is accused of fifth-degree conspiracy, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that the defendant agreed with one or more persons to intentionally engage in, or cause the performance of, conduct that constituted a felony.

Joseph H. Merkley Sr. is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 3 in the Town of Le Roy that Merkley drove a 1996 Ford on Perry Road and/or Route 19 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for knowing, or having reason to know, that at the time his dirver's licensed in New York was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. It is further alleged in count two that he was driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug at the time. Also, in Special Information filed by the District Attorney, the defendant is accused of having been convicted of DWI Per Se on June 18, 2014 in the Town of Murray in Orleans County. It is further alleged in the Special Information that Merkley knew that his driving privilege was revoked as a result and that revocation was still in effect when the crimes alleged in this indictment occurred.

Joshua M. Bradley is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 4 in the Town of Darien that Bradley drove a 2005 GMC on Colby Road and/or Route 20 while intoxicated. In count two, Bradley is accused of DWI, Per Se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that he had a BAC of .08 or more at the time. Also, in Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Bradley is accused of having been convicted by DWI as a misdemeanor on Jan. 15, 2015 in the Town of Clarence, Erie County, and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in this indictment.

December 19, 2017 - 1:29pm

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Before her deportation hearing this morning, immigrant-rights protestors rallied outside the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia in support of Dolores Bustamante, a single mother who has been living and working in Wayne County.

Bustamante was taken into custody in 2014 when a trooper stopped her for a traffic infraction. Her attorney and supporters say the trooper violated State Police policy and constitutional protections by running an immigration status check on her. The trooper found she was in the country without proper documentation.

Her hearing was delayed until May this morning because the translator scheduled to handle the case couldn't speak clearly because of illness and no other translator was available.

Her attorney, Jose Perez, did make a motion to dismiss the case because Bustamante's rights had been violated by the trooper.

The judge refused to hear the motion because Bustamante's first attorney previously made factual admissions that Bustamante is from Mexico, was in the country without documentation, and admitted Bustamente was subject to possible removal.

That, Perez said, was a mistake by that attorney and could lead to a complaint to the New York State Bar for negligence and malpractice. 

The admissions potentially deny Bustamante the ability to challenge her arrest and deportation on constitutional grounds.

Once the complaint is filed with the Bar, the immigration judge can agree to hear and consider the motions.

Immigration-rights advocates in Central and Western New York are using Bustamante's case to highlight what they see as a disturbing trend under the Trump Administration to increase deportations, which are up 40 percent. 

Supporters say under the previous administration, Bustamante would not have as readily faced deportation because of her community ties, regular employment, and dependent children.

Perez said in May he will make the case that Bustamante would be granted asylum because she had been a victim of domestic violence in Mexico. Also, he noted, her son, who was not involved in gang activity in Mexico, was recently killed by gang members there, which could make it unsafe for Bustamante to return to Mexico.

NOTE: Information about proceedings in court this morning come entirely from the defense attorney in the case because of convoluted rules at the detention facility. For some reason, defendants are allowed only 10 friends and family guests in the courtroom, and for some inexplicable reason, journalists are included in that count. I agreed to leave so another family member could get into court, in part because of another inexplicable rule -- I couldn't have my mobile phone with me, even while attorneys were allowed their phones.  

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December 19, 2017 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, charitable gaming act, news, steve hawley, notify.

Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“This is a tremendous victory and crucial first step toward reforming our gaming laws for the tens of thousands of non-profits, fire departments, churches, Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs and charitable organizations throughout the state," Hawley said.

“After a long uphill climb, and with much help from my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate, we have made important changes to New York’s gaming laws that open the conversation and serve as a catapult to tackle more changes this year.

“I would like to personally thank Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-Buffalo) for carrying this bill in our house and Senators Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma), Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Amherst) and Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) for championing this cause in the Senate. I would also like to thank all the constituents and local groups who contacted my office and the governor’s office expressing their support for this bill.

“The law will take effect in 180 days and the New York State Gaming Commission will make any necessary tweaks. I am so proud of the work we have done and I am hopeful that moving forward we continue to advocate for our charitable and nonprofit organizations and make more changes to the state’s gaming laws.”

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