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January 18, 2018 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in nursing home, genesee county, news, notify.

As the County wraps up expenses related to the sale of the Genesee County Nursing Home, officials expect to have about $17 million available for funds dedicated to infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

"That's what we said we would do with the money and that's what we're doing," said Marianne Clattenburg, chair of the Ways and Means Committee at yesterday's meeting.

It looks like the proceeds of the $15.2 million sale of the nursing home to Premier Healthcare Management LLC is $10,033,000.

The county is also collecting $7 million in unpaid intergovernmental transfers (federal reimbursement for medical expenses for nursing home patients). This money will also be set aside for infrastructure.

There is still some wrangling with insurance companies, said Treasure Scott German, over money the companies think they are owned and money the county think it is due. There may be additional minor expenses to close out, but those payments will be handled through the general fund.

In other words, the budget line for the nursing home in the county's expense ledger is now officially closed.

January 18, 2018 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, cold war veterans, news, notify.

Of the 25 taxing jurisdictions in Genesee County -- not counting the ones in other counties with some local overlap -- only nine have adopted a property tax exemption for Cold War veterans.

The tax exemption is one of the few available to veterans who served during the Cold War but not during Vietnam or some other armed conflict.

Veterans Services Officer William Joyce said he's working to get more jurisdictions to get it passed but it isn't easy.

One school district -- he didn't say which one -- flat turned him down.

"A vet is a vet," Joyce said. "It’s a benefit they earn. It’s not a privilege. It’s time served."

Veterans who served in armed conflicts or used military benefits to purchase their homes are eligible for benefits under other programs.

The initial Cold War exemption was capped at 10 years but the State Legislature last year approved an indefinite extension that each local jurisdiction must pass even if they have an exemption already in place.

Joyce is working on that now.

The county is adopting the extension.

Jurisdictions that provide the exemption, besides the county, are the Town of Alexander, The Village of Alexander, the Town of Bergen, the Town of Elba, the Town of Oakfield, the Town of Pavilion, and the Town of Stafford.

Batavia City Schools adopted the exemption just last week. City Schools is the only district in the county to adopt the exemption.

Some of the jurisdictions that chose not to adopt the exemption include the City of Batavia, the Village of Bergen, the Village of Elba, the Village of Le Roy, the Village of Oakfield, and the Village of Corfu.

Alexander, town and village, are the only jurisdictions that have adopted the higher tier exemption, which is a formula that calculates an exemption of 15 percent off of assessed value or a maximum exemption of $12,000.

All other jurisdictions with the exemption adopted the first tier, which is 10 percent off of the assessed value or a maximum of $6,000.

January 18, 2018 - 5:02pm

Press release:

Today recipients of the 46th annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce awards for 2017 were announced.

The event to honor them will be held Saturday, March 3, at the Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road in Batavia.

This is the county's premier event honoring businesses and individuals for their achievement in business, community service and volunteerism.

Tickets are $50 per person or a table of 10 for $450. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres, entree tables and a cash bar. (No formal sit-down dinner is served.)

The Award Program starts at 7 o'clock, at which time coffee and dessert will be served.

The 2017 honorees are:

  • Business of the Year -- Baltz Concrete Construction, Pavilion
  • Innovative Enterprise of the Year -- Firing Pin, Bergen
  • Agricultural Organization of the Year -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, Batavia
  • Special Service Recognition of the Year -- Batavia Cross Training, Batavia
  • Geneseeans of the Year -- The Family of William Kent Inc., Stafford

Call Kelly J. Bermingham at 343-7440, ext. 1026, to make your reservations.

January 18, 2018 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama, news, notify.

A 17-year-old Basom resident has lost his sentencing cap on his conviction of making a terrorist threat and reckless endangerment after allegedly testing positive for marijuana while out of jail awaiting sentencing.

Judge Charles Zambito told Isaac Abrams that he violated the terms of his release, which could mean his sentence on the two counts could run consecutively instead of concurrently. He faces up to seven years in prison on each count.

Abrams nor his attorney disputed the positive test.

Attorney Vanessa Guite characterized the marijuana use as a one-off incident.

"Someone handed him what they said was a 'black and mild' and he took a puff," she said. "He didn't understand what it was but he realizes he needs to change his behavior." 

The toxicology came back "mild positive," which indicates Guite said, that Abrams is not a habitual user.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini confirmed with Zambito that Abrams had lost his sentencing cap.

"I don't know if you can get a mild positive test from one puff on a blunt but he has violated the terms of his release under supervision," Cianfrini said.

A month ago, Abrams admitted to threatening to shoot troopers and deputies during an incident on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation on Sept. 30, and of trying to seriously hurt or kill a person with a motor vehicle in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28.

He pled guilty to making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, also a Class D felony.

While out of jail awaiting his sentencing, Abrams is on a curfew and can't leave his house between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Zambito didn't order him back to jail today but warned him not to violate the terms of his release again.

"If there is any violation, there will be no notice to appear," Zambito said. "I will issue an order for your arrest and hold you until your sentencing."

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 9.

January 18, 2018 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
seymoremugshot2018.jpg
      Jarvis Seymore

Jarvis D. "D" Seymore, 34, of Carthage Street, Rochester, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

On Wednesday evening, Seymore's vehicle was located in the parking lot of a business on Park Road, Batavia, by the Local Drug Task Force and Seymore was served with a search warrant that had already been obtained by agents of the task force.

During the search, agents allegedly found a quantity of cocaine, fentanyl, marijuana and cash.

Following arraignment in Town of Batavia Court, Seymore was jailed without bail.

The arrest was the result of an investigation into the sale of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl in and around Batavia.

Assisting in the investigation, State Police, uniformed deputies and the District Attorney's Office.

January 18, 2018 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, pembroke, batavia, Alabama, notify, bergen.

Thomas Allen Culver Jr., 39, of Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Culver is accused of stealing and selling scrap metal from a location on Alexander Road, Batavia.

Anthony M. Quinn, 28, of 67th Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and muffler exhaust system violation. Quinn's vehicle was stopped for alleged traffic violations at 6:29 p.m. Wednesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Alisa M. Schenk, 47, of Rochester, is charged with petit larceny. Schenk is accused of a theft at a location on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation at 10:42 a.m. Dec. 29. Schenk was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Justin J. Bily, 21, of Cheektowaga, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bily was stopped by State Police at 5:34 a.m. Tuesday on the I-490 in Bergen.

Keith M. Hennard, 34, of Fillmore, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, unsafe tires, moving from lane unsafely, and speeding. Hennard was charged by State Police following a motor vehicle accident at 5:26 p.m. Tuesday on Route 77, Pembroke. There were no injuries reported in the accident.

January 17, 2018 - 8:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
troopersmith2017.jpg
       Brianna Smith

A State Trooper has been arrested and charged with offering a false instrument for filing and falsely reporting an incident after allegedly claiming she was menaced by a person with a weapon while in Batavia.

Investigators say Brianna J. Smith, 25, was off duty at the time of the incident.

The location in Batavia of the report was not released nor were other details of the incident.

The State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. In a release, State Police say that investigators determined a weapon was never displayed nor used in the incident.

She was arrested and processed at the Batavia Barracks. Smith was attached to Troop T in Syracuse.

She was issued an appearance ticket in Town of Batavia Court for a date this month.

January 17, 2018 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, news, notify.

An inter-municipal agreement that allows Batavia PD and the Le Roy PD to work with the Sheriff's Office outside of city and village limits is being updated to include Corfu PD.

The impetus behind the update is the addition of a K-9 officer to the Corfu force.

Sheriff William Sheron told the Public Safety Committee yesterday that an additional K-9 officer is a good resource for the county.

Officer Anthony Bartucca joined the Corfu PD after his prior department in Lyons was disbanded when the village was dissolved. He came with two dogs; one who specializes in drugs and tracking and another who specializes in explosives. Because he was already trained and had two dogs there was no additional cost to the Village of Corfu to hire him as another part-time officer on the force.

"(The updated agreement) is more for them to respond out in our jurisdiction than for us to respond to Corfu, since we already have jurisdiction throughout the county," Sheron told the committee.

Genesee County has become well covered by K-9s in recent years. Besides Deputy Chris Erion and "Destro" with the Sheriff's Office, DEC and State Police K-9 officers are regularly in Genesee County.

That's a great capability to have locally, Sheron said.

"In today's day and age when you're dealing with narcotic detection, tracking, explosives, you know, explosives is a very unfortunate thing these days, so I think we’re not overly staffed with K-9s by any means," Sheron said.

The addition of Bartucca with "King" and "Rocco" will also help reduce response times when Erion isn't available.

"I don’t want to rely on just Monroe or Erie County to bring out a K-9," Sheron said. "If we can have one local when time is critical, that’s the best you can do."

January 17, 2018 - 7:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify, Pavilion, byron.

Pierre Mahon Humphrey, 27, of Michigan Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Humphrey was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and narcotics during a traffic stop on Park Road, Batavia, by Deputy Travis DeMuth at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Humphrey was jailed on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond.

Lucas T. Shafer, 20, of State Route 96A, Romulus, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Shafer was charged after Officer Arick Perkins located a vehicle parked behind the Harvester Center and stopped to investigate at 12:45 a.m., Tuesday. Also charged, Aaron C. Cuyler, 19, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia.

Sath Paul Dhanda, 37, of Clapsaddle Road, Bethany, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Dhanda was arrested following a complaint of a person banging on the back door of a residence on Ellicott Street, Batavia, at 3:08 p.m. Monday. There was an order of protection in place that Dhanda allegedly violated. Dhanda was jailed on an unspecified amount of bail.

Alexander J. Schultz, 18, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. Schultz and a 17-year-old, who was also charged, were allegedly involved in a fight on Ross Street, Batavia, at 4:34 p.m. Jan. 11.

Ryan N. Bartholomew, 23, of Adams Street, Batavia, is charged with making terrorist threats and aggravated harassment, 2nd. Bartholomew allegedly made threats against police officers on social media. He was jailed without bail.

Desiree M. Sumeriski, 34, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Sumeriski allegedly failed to seek medical care for a child after observing injuries sustained by the child.

Camon T. Wyatt, of Pardee Street, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear as ordered in court. Wyatt was released on bail.

David L Andrews, 30, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal impersonation and conspiracy 6th. Andrews is accused of conspiring with another person not to pay a bill at a local person by pretending to be another person.

Preston Randall Herbst, 21, of Hamlin Drive, Canandaigua, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely. Herbst was stopped at 2:51 a.m. today on Telephone Road, Pavilion, by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Joseph Thomas Misiak Jr., 62, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with making terrorist threats. Misiak allegedly called a supervisor at the Sheriff's Office and threatened to damage the property of the subject as well as physical harm the subject. Misiak was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Anna Marie Howard, 32, of Ivison Road, Byron, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and registration display violation. Deputy Ryan DeLong and Deputy Andrew Mullen responded to a complaint of a person driving erratically in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven in Bergen at 4:05 p.m. Sunday. 

Jordan R. Mock, 23, of Pavilion, is charged with a false written statement and falsely reporting an incident. Jordan J. Schilling, 30, of Silver Springs, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, false written statement, and falsely reporting an incident. Mock and Schilling were arrested in relation to a burglary investigation by State Police reported at 4:10 p.m. Saturday on Perry Road, Pavilion. Schilling was also charged in Wyoming County with false written statement in relation to a fraud investigation. No further details were released.

Timothy A. Frenchy, 24, of Bronx, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Frenchy was charged while at College Village at 9:03 p.m. Monday by State Police.

January 16, 2018 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
mug_mar_holmes_nov20152.jpg
      Marlek Holmes

There will apparently be no contempt charge against Marlek Holmes after the convicted sexual predator used profanity and hurled insults at the District Attorney today in County Court.

Judge Charles Zambito apparently did not hear the most profane statement by Holmes, when he told District Attorney Lawrence Friedman he could go eff himself while the DA was using a copy machine near the defense table.

Defense Attorney Fred Rarick put his hand on his client's shoulder and advised him to be careful about what he said in court. 

Zambito did hear Holmes say, “I don’t understand anything that stupid ass says," after Zambito asked if he understood the plea offer presented by the district attorney.

Zambito pressed on without acknowledging the remark and clarified that Holmes was declining a plea offer that would have capped his potential prison sentence on his latest conviction and avoid a trial on a charge of failure to register a new address as a registered sex offender.

In May, Holmes, already a convicted sex offender, entered a guilty plea to guilty to a Class C violent felony, attempted criminal sexual act in the first degree. Later that month, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison while proclaiming his innocence. 

In October, Holmes was convicted following a jury trial on two counts of assault in the second degree and criminal mischief for assaulting a fellow inmate at the Genesee County Jail. 

On that conviction, he could be sentenced up to seven years each, for a total of 14 years, on top of the 15 years he's currently serving.

The plea offer from Friedman would have capped the sentence at five years, consecutive to his current 15 years, for a total of 25 years in prison, and satisfied the pending charges against Holmes related to his alleged failure to register a change of address as a sex offender (the oldest of the group of charges that has tied him up in County Court for more than a year).

As part of the deal, Holmes would be required to drop his current appeal on his sexual abuse conviction and not pursue appeals on his other cases.

The deal would have saved the people the expense of another trial.

Holmes refused the deal.

Earlier this month, Holmes sought to have his new trial delayed because he's being shuttled between prisons and doesn't have all of his paperwork and access to the prison law library. Friedman argued against a delay and Zambito agreed a delay was not necessary.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday with a hearing before the actual trial begins on Tuesday on whether Holmes qualifies as a persistent violent felony offender, which could mean an enhancement on his sentence on the jail assault conviction.

After court, Friedman said he wasn't sure what Zambito might have heard Holmes say, and he wasn't sure what was captured on the record.

"I decided at that point not to bother saying anything," Friedman said.

Alex Feig, from our news partner WBTA, contributed reporting to this story.

January 15, 2018 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Oakfield, alexander.

Raymond EJ Smith Jr., 43, of Lockport Road, Oakfield, is charged with operating a snowmobile while impaired by alcohol, operating a snowmobile on a street or highway, operating a snowmobile without liability insurance, operating an unregistered snowmobile, and refusal to take a breath test. Smith and his snowmobile were found by a passerby overturned in a ditch at 10:19 p.m. Saturday on Lockport Road, Oakfield. He was not injured. The accident was investigated by Deputy Jeremy McClellan. (Initial Report)

Katherine Marie Wilkinson, 21, of Buffalo Street Road, Alexander, is charged with falsely reporting an incident. Wilkinson is accused of falsely reporting that a person hit her in the face. When deputies arrived to investigate the complaint, Wilkinson allegedly told the deputies the incident did not happen.

Jeffrey D. Freeman, 37, of South Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Freeman allegedly threw a plate at another person while at Denny's on West Main Street, Batavia.

Winston Ashton Lockhart Sr., 22, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and acting in a manner injurious to a child. Lockhart was charged following a report of a domestic incident on Holland Avenue at 11:55 a.m. Jan. 7.

Douglas A. Curry, 66, of Grand Avenue, Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Curry was arrested on a warrant for allegedly violating an order of protection.

Franciso Martinez, 44, of Bridgeman Street, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, harassment, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child, and robbery, 3rd. Martinez was allegedly in a fight with another person at a residence on Bank Street at 8:36 p.m. Thursday. During the domestic incident, he allegedly stole an item from the victim. He was jailed without bail.

Matthew J. Vickers, 38, of Court Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, speed not reasonable and prudent, and failure to keep right. Vickers was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 8:28 p.m Jan. 6 on West Main Street, Batavia.

January 12, 2018 - 7:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, alexander, news, notify.

Information provided by the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Florida:

A man who was shot -- twice in the head, once in the arm, and once in the shoulder -- at the home of a former Alexander resident who was murdered Jan. 3 in Florida died today.

Kenneth Maier, of 7462 Berkley Road, Polk City, Fla., succumbed to injuries around 1 p.m. (Jan. 12).

William Reiss, 68, formerly of Alexander, died at the scene after a man he had sold guns to previously, came to his home, was allowed in, and allegedly shot the two men before stealing guns and a pickup truck with the aid of two accomplices.

"We are heartbroken to hear that Kenneth passed away today. We are sending our thoughts and prayers to Kenneth's family and friends. This act of vicious murder should have never happened," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

"The three suspects from Mobile, Ala., will be pending additional murder charges in relation to Kenneth Maier's death. We will send another update when additional charges are placed. We appreciate the assistance of the Mobile Police Department in this investigation."

Some of the firearms were recovered, along with the victim’s stolen truck, which was torched. All three suspects will be extradited back to Polk County to face first-degree murder and other charges.

On Jan. 6, three suspects were arrested in the case: 22-year-old Kenley Campbell, 22-year-old Darril Lamar Rankin Jr., and 18-year-old Gerjuan Demarcus Jackson all of Mobile.

Thus far, they have all been charged with:

  • First-degree murder (FC)
  • Attempted first-degree murder (F1)
  • Armed burglary with assault/battery (F1)
  • 13 counts of grand theft of a firearm (F3)
  • Robbery with a firearm/deadly weapon (FL)
  • Conveyance burglary (F3)
  • Grand theft of a motor vehicle (F3)

For previous coverage click here and here.

January 12, 2018 - 5:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.

Press release:

On Friday Jan. 12, City of Batavia Manager Jason Molino delivered to the City Council a 2018/2019 Recommended City Budget. The budget supports quality City services; sustained investment in infrastructure; reasonable and reliable employee wages and benefits; and a budget that proposes a 3 percent tax rate decrease to $8.99 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The Proposed Budget supports total expenditures of $24.3 million (an increase of 1.9 percent). It meets the City Council’s budget goal of staying below the City’s tax cap. Due to a substantial 4.1 percent increase in the City’s tax base, half of which is due to the Genesee County nursing home becoming privately owned and taxable, the budget contains a property tax rate that will go down, to $8.99 per $1,000 -- a reduction of 3 percent.

This is the lowest City tax rate since 2006. Under the Proposed Budget, the City property tax bill for the owner of a home valued at $90,000 would decrease by $25.20.

“The Proposed Budget is a result of growth in our tax base,” said City Manager Molino. In his budget message to City Council he said, “We are committed to our focus to an unabashed “all in” approach to growth.”

Last year the City set a path to achieve $100 million of new investment through the efforts of four distinct priorities: FOCUS on growth, operational excellence, neighborhood investment and BIG Collaborative projects. While the City has made significant gains with all priorities, none are more noticeable than the City winning the Governor’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

“Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the City of Batavia will accelerate the redevelopment of existing buildings, and create additional business and residential opportunities downtown,” the manager states.

“By investing in the entrepreneurial climate and downtown environmental qualities, and by encouraging ethnic diversity and active lifestyles, Batavia hopes to foster a creative class of workers who will spur continued job growth.”

Currently, the City has made significant movement towards our goal of $100 million. As of Dec. 31, the City’s “I’m All In!” Scoreboard revealed over $8.8 million in completed investments, $15.8 million in-progress for completion in the next two years and another $58.8 million planned by 2022. In total, after just one year of commitment, we have over $83.5 million on our horizon for completion by 2022, and more still to come.

The Recommended Budget includes:

  Completion of Healthy Schools Corridor sidewalk project, a $1 million federal grant for the construction of over 12,000 linear feet of new sidewalk;

  Completion of Highway PM grant, $2.55 million federal grant for the resurfacing of six streets;

  $256,000 of additional annual street resurfacing;

  $285,720 of additional annual sidewalk replacement;

  Resurfacing of the East Parking Lot at the City Centre;

  Supporting the Town of Batavia in the construction of the Ellicott Trail;

Sales Tax: The budget projects that sales tax collections will increase slightly, .4 percent for next year, a somewhat improvement from the past two years of decline.

Water & Sewer Rates: The proposed rate adjustment for FY18/19 includes a water rate increase of $.18 or 3.5 percent. In addition, the plan includes a capital improvement fee increase for all meter sizes. The impact to a typical residential customer with a 5/8-inch meter will be $.54 per quarter. The proposed water rate for a typical residential user is $5.30 per 1,000 gallons and the capital fee per typical residential user is $5.99 per quarter. The total impact to a typical residential customer (approximately 95 percent of customers) from the proposed rate and fee adjustments is approximately $4.49/quarter. There is no rate increase proposed for the sewer rate this year.

“I wish to thank City Department Heads and Bureau Chiefs, and their staff, for their professional approach to the challenges that mark every budget,” Molino said. “They continue to serve the community with highest standards, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with them.”

The 2018/19 proposed Budget is posted on the City website at http://www.batavianewyork.com/office-of-the-city-manager/pages/city-budget.

Public copies of the Proposed Budget are available for review at the City Clerk’s office, One Batavia City Centre (1st Floor).

January 12, 2018 - 4:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, accidents, batavia, news, notify.

Press release from the Batavia Police Department:

The Batavia Police Department is investigating a car/pedestrian accident which occurred on West Main Street today.

The accident happened at approximately 2:10 p.m. on the area of Settler's.

The pedestrian was walking eastbound on the sidewalk on the north side of West Main Street. While crossing the street, a black Honda sedan struck the pedestrian and continued westbound on West Main Street.

The driver was described as a white female with curly hair.

The pedestrian is currently being treated at UMMC.

Anyone with information in reference to this case is asked to contact Officer Prusak or the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online here.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: A caller reports seeing a vehicle that matches the description with front-end damage driving on Willow Street. No information on when the car was seen.

(Initial report)

January 12, 2018 - 4:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

eddiemilesjrmug2018b.jpg

milesarrestfirejan82017b.jpgA Batavia man accused of threatening to shoot police officers and then of barricading himself inside of an apartment and setting it on fire has been charged with arson in the second degree and two counts of making terrorist threats.

Eddie "Pops" Miles Jr., is also charged with criminal contempt and aggravated criminal contempt.

The incident began Sunday morning just before 9 a.m. when police were dispatched to a report of a domestic at 207 Washington Ave., Batavia

When patrols arrived, Miles allegedly threatened to shoot police. That caused police to establish a perimeter, evacuate neighboring homes, and initiate a reverse 9-1-1 call to other residents with a shelter in place notice.

Then Miles allegedly started a fire inside the apartment where he was staying with his girlfriend.

His girlfriend managed to climb out on the roof of the front porch and escape with the assistance of police officers.

While the apartment burned, city firefighters could only shelter behind their trucks.

Eventually, Miles surrendered and climbed down a ladder at the back of the building.

There was also a warrant out for his arrest. 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 also still has charges pending from 2017. 

Miles was arrested in August for allegedly putting his arm around the neck of another person and injecting a dog with an unknown purple liquid.

In July, he allegedly took a car belonging to another person without permission.

He is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

January 12, 2018 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, notify, news.

Recent rain has washed away whatever salt remained on roadways and with temperatures dropping to below freezing this afternoon, the wet roadways are likely to ice over.

That's the warning of the National Weather Service and the same message from County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens when we happened to speak last night about the coming storm.

The storm tonight and tomorrow will bring heavy, wet snow, making driving conditions difficult and very different from the drier snow of recent storms. Drivers need to slow down, Hens warned.

Temperatures will start dropping between 1 and 3 p.m. in Batavia, bringing freezing rain and sleet. Bridges and overpasses will likely freeze over first.

While plow trucks will be out spreading salt, drivers should use extra caution.

Areas of previous flooding could also freeze over.

The National Weather Services advises drivers to plan accordingly.

Between tonight and 4 p.m. tomorrow, from nine to 17 inches of snow is expected.

UPDATE 2:13 p.m.: Stegman Road in the Town of Batavia is closed due to high water.

January 12, 2018 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, Darien, Pavilion, batavia, notify, news.

Brian Thomas Resch, 30, of Buffalo Road, Bergen, is charged with promoting prison contraband. Resch is accused of possessing Suboxone while confined in the Genesee County Jail.

Stephen Everett Pike, 21, of Big Tree Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Pike is accused of grabbing another person by the arm and pushing that person during an argument, reported at 6:28 p.m. Wednesday at an address on Big Tree Road, Pavilion.

Jeffery S. Zymowski, 54, of Sandridge Road, Alden, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, no seat belt, and driver's view obstructed. Zymowski was stopped at 4:35 p.m. Tuesday on Broadway Road, Darien, by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Gregory S. Mitchell, 19, of Clarence Center, was arrested on an arrest warrant and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Mitchell was arrested in Pembroke by State Police. No further details released.

Michael E. Welles, 20, of Holley, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Welles was stopped by State Police at Bloomington Road and State Route 77, Alabama.

William D. Annis, 36, of Batavia, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, and petit larceny, and Jeanine D. Mercado, 31, of Batavia, is charged with conspiracy, 6th, possession of burglary instruments, and petit larceny. Annis and Mercado were arrested by State Police in relation to an incident reported at 10:27 a.m. Wednesday at Kohl's Department Store.

January 10, 2018 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, alexander, notify.
muggerjuanjacksonb.jpg mugkenleycampbell.jpg mugdarrilrankinjr.jpg
   Gerjuan Jackson    Kenley Campbell      Darril Rankin


Press release:

Polk County Sheriff's Office homicide detectives have arrested 22-year-old Kenley Campbell and 22-year-old Darril Lamar Rankin Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 6, and 18-year-old Gerjuan Demarcus Jackson all of Mobile, Ala., on Tuesday, Jan. 9. They have all been charged with:

  •  First-degree murder (FC)
  • Attempted first-degree murder (F1)
  • Armed burglary with assault/battery (F1)
  • 13 counts of grand theft of a firearm (F3)
  • Robbery with a firearm/deadly weapon (FL)
  • Conveyance burglary (F3)
  • Grand theft of a motor vehicle (F3)

The Polk County Sheriff's Office alleges that: on Jan. 3, Campbell, Rankin, and Jackson drove from Mobile to William Reiss’ residence in Polk City, Fla.; Jackson fired shots at William Reiss multiple times (who was found deceased in the home) and his roommate, Kenneth Maier, who is fighting for his life. Maier is still in critical/stable condition at a local hospital.

According to the investigation and admissions made by the suspects:

Jackson met William Reiss while conducting a hurricane damage estimate in 2017, and he purchased two handguns from Reiss. Detectives located an official FEMA contractor identification for Jackson during the investigation. Upon returning to Alabama, Jackson was arrested for possession of cannabis and carrying a firearm without a permit.

Campbell drove his vehicle, a Chevrolet Sonic, with Gerjuan Jackson and Darril Rankin to Florida and arrived at 7462 Berkley Road in Polk City at between 1:30 – 1:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3rd. Jackson went inside the home while they (Campbell and Rankin) stayed inside the Chevrolet Sonic.

Jackson admitted he fired several gunshots at Reiss and at Maier.

Jackson exited the residence, at which point Campbell and Rankin assisted with loading the victim’s firearm collection and flat-screen television into Campbell's trunk and the victim’s Dodge pickup truck.

When they arrived in Alabama, Jackson took the victim’s truck to a wooded area and set the pickup truck on fire.

During the investigation, detectives found six firearms, an extensive amount of ammunition, electronic devices, and clothing believed to be worn by the suspects during the incident in Campbell and Rankin’s home. Three of these firearms are from the victim’s stolen collection. Detectives also found a box of latex gloves and apparent trace amounts of blood in the Chevrolet Sonic.

Jackson said the stolen property firearms and television had been sold on “the streets,” except for the three firearms that were recovered from Campbell and Rankin’s home. Jackson estimated that a total of 20 to 25 firearms were stolen from the victim’s residence.

“Three killers traveled to Polk City all the way from Mobile, Alabama to steal firearms. William Reiss was shot and murdered, and Kenneth Maier was shot and left for dead. Maier is currently in the hospital fighting for his life. I can’t begin to say how disgusted we are at the depravity displayed by these men.” -- Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff 

All suspects were booked into the Mobile County Metro Jail without incident and will be extradited to Polk County at a later date. The investigation is ongoing and further charges may be filed.

All suspects have previous criminal histories.

January 10, 2018 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Downtown Revitalization Initiative, downtown, batavia, news, notify.

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The 25 projects vying for a piece of the $10 million prize awarded by the state to Batavia as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative are full of ideas for dining, entertainment and downtown living and this just what the committee considering the proposals should concentrate on, Steve Hyde said near the end of last night's review of the projects.

Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, is co-chair of the Local Planning Committee for the DRI.

Quoting from a book he's reading on planning, he said, " 'If a place lacks attractive shopping, dining, and entertainment options, it may struggle to attract and retain workers and employers as a result.'

"Keep that in mind as another piece of this," he added. "It really is embodied in our goals and strategies. Shopping, dining and entertainment are very important considerations as we try to move from that millennials' complex of Blahtavia."

The projects range from $39,000 to expand downtown's art canvas to $5 million for the Ellicott Street Corridor or $5 million for proposed Healthy Living Center.

Altogether, the 25 projects total more than $24 million in requested DRI funding.

The committee will need to whittle down the requests to $15 million total and state officials will make the final decision on which projects get funded for how much, to a total of $10 million.

Here's a summary of the projects:

  • Theater 56:
    • Total project cost, $701,750. Funding request, $546,000. Location, in City Center at the former location of Dent Neurological. Proposed by Batavia Players. It would create a theater, offices and storage. 
  • BOA/BP2 Strategic Site Advancement
    • Total project cost $30 million. Funding request, $3 million. This project involves rehabilitation and new development at the mall, including extending Jackson Street.
  • BOA/BP2 Strategic Site Advancement
    • Total project costs, $15 million. Funding request, $1 million. This funding would assist construction of the Health Living Center proposed by the YMCA and UMMC.
  • BOA/BP2 Strategic Site Advancement
    • Total project costs, $15 million. Funding request, $1 million. This is for construction of new residential apartments off Evans Street and by the Tonawanda Creek. There is reportedly a developer with ties to Genesee County who has experience with large BOA projects in cities such as Corning who is interested in this project.
  • Batavia Innovation Zones
    • Project cost, $400,000. Funding request, $200,000. This is a request by the BDC to create more business incubator space similar to the current construction of freshLab in the former Newberry's building. The new incubators would be planned for the Carr's buidling, the public market, and GO Art!
  • Newberry Place Lofts
    • Project cost, $350,000. Funding request, $150,000. This is to assist with the existing project, which includes completion of three market-rate apartments in the building and the addition of a beer garden in Jackson Square.
  • Ellicott Place
    • Project cost, $2.5 million. Funding request, $1.15 million. This project would create retail spaces on the Ellicott Street side of the current Sav-A-Lot building (currently vacant space in the building), the addition of apartments on the second floor, and the creation of interior parking for new apartments.
  • Healthy Living Campus
    • Project cost, $22.5 million. Funding request, $5 million. This is a joint project of the YMCA and UMMC for new construction on the site of the current Y, the Cary Building and the vacant lot once occupied by the Elks Lodge. It would be an 85,000-square-foot building with more than 140 full-time equivilant employees. 
  • Downtown Public Market
    • Project cost, $2 million to $3 million. Funding request, $1 million. This would create a permanent structure for the public market at Bank Street and Alva Place.
  • 214 & 216 E. Main St.
    • Project cost, $150,000. Funding request, $90,000. This project would restore the facade to its vintage look of 216 E. Main, the former Montgomery Ward and upgrade the facade of 214 E. Main St.
  •  Jackson Square
    • Project cost, $750,000. Funding request, $500,000. This would complete the Jackson Square project started in 2004 by removing the concrete in Jackson Square and replacing it with brick, including the entryways off Jackson and Center streets.
  • GO Art! Arts & Cultural Center
    • Project cost, $2.2 million. Funding request, $1.98 million. This project would include upkeep and upgrades to Seymore Place at Main and Bank, including the addition of an elevator and performance space on the second floor.
  • Ellicott Station
    • Project cost, $23 million. Funding request, $425,000. The money is requested to cover an unexpected environmental remediation expense -- the removal of an old drainage canal under the property.
  • Ellicott Street Corridor
    • Project cost, $5 million. Funding request, $5 million. To help tie together two sections of the Ellicott Trail and to make Ellicott Street more attractive and safer for pedestrians and bike riders, this would add a median to the street and create a barrier between bike lanes and vehicle traffic.
  • Batavia City Art Canvas
    • Project cost, $39,000. Funding requests, $39,000. A project championed by local artist Brian Kemp that is already underway, the money would be used to buy supplies for artists to create more murals downtown and create material for a walking tour of Downtown Batavia's outdoor art.
  • Downtown Marketing/Branding
    • Project cost, $250,000. Funding request, $200,000. A request by the Business Improvement District for new marketing material and branding approach for Downtown.
  • Carr's Reborn
    • Project cost, $7.1 million. Funding request, $1.5 million. A request to complete restoration of the Carr's building and the former Genesee Bank. These would be mixed-use developments with retail, a cafe and apartments.
  • Batavia Showtime
    • Project cost, $250,000. Funding request, $250,000. The proposal is for a new marquee on the theater, lounge seating, and a 3D-movie system.
  • Historic Masonic Temple 
    • Project cost, $750,000. Funding request, $290,000. This project includes adding an elevator to make the third and fourth floors more accessible. The owner, Dave Howe, could then potentially convert those floors to apartments.
  • 206 E. Main St.
    • Project cost, $674,000. Funding request, $404,000. Rehabilitation of the second floor of the building, adding a banquet facility and bar for Main St. Pizza Company, and market-rate apartments.
  • 315 and 327 Ellicott St.
    • Project cost, $120,000. Funding request, $80,000. Improvements to commercial and residential units.
  • Waggoner Building
    • Project cost, $77,000. Funding request, $38,500. Renovations to second-floor office space. Location is School and Jackson streets.
  • Game On
    • Project cost, $150,000. Funding request, $150,000. Owner is requesting funding for new equipment, marketing and working capital.
  • Borrell's Gym
    • Project cost, $100,000. Funding request, $80,000. Improvements to the gym.
  • Vance Group
    • Project cost $70,000. Funding request, $40,000. Improvements to the facade and residential units at corner of Liberty and Ellicott streets.

There were also requests for projects outside the DRI boundary, including upgrades to Faletti Ice Arena, two buildings on South Swan, and improvements to Austin Park. The committee seemed to not favor considering these projects.

Consultant Ed Flynn will need to work with some of the projects to get more details for the proposal and the committee will try to pick several of the most viable projects and perhaps ask the owners or project leaders to make a presentation to the committee.

Top photo: Consultant Ed Flynn.

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Eric Fix and Craig Yunker

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Tom Turnbull

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Marianne Clattenburg, Susie Ott, Tammy Hathaway

January 8, 2018 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kirtsen Gillibrand, batavia, news, notify.

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Though there was no announcement to the media that she was coming, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand spent about an hour in Batavia this morning meeting with constituents at the Richmond Memorial Library.

A camera crew from CBS's 60 Minutes accompanied her.

After the meeting, she agreed to a two-minute interview with The Batavian.

The meeting, she said, was arranged by her staff, who reached out to local agencies that provide assistance to area residents and those agencies selected attendees to the discussion.

"I wanted to hear directly from my constituents about their lives and what's going on and what challenges they have because I often find that people in Washington are so disconnected from reality and the people we represent," Gillibrand said. "I think Washington is pretty much broken so I like to come into my communities and listen to their stories directly and hear exactly what their challenges are."

She said the conversation was productive.

"What we heard was really interesting," she said "There is a lot of strain on costs of child care, access to affordable quality daycare, lots of strain on just putting food on the table and having health care they can afford. There is a real need for higher wages or more job opportunities and then lowering costs for both child care and health care."

While this was not a campaign stop, we asked about the 2018 campaign when she's up for reelection.

"I just want to make sure I'm fighting for the right things, and what these listening opportunities do for me is let me hear directly from people about what really is troubling them," she said.

We asked her about the potential for an infrastructure bill in 2018 and what it might mean for Genesee County.

"I want to be optimistic about that because the one thing we all agree on is we really need to rebuild our state and rebuild our country," Gillibrand said. "There's such an eagerness for better roads, bridges, sewers, electric grid, high-speed rail, better rail. I mean it's an unlimited need in our state. We have, I think, the last number I heard was $70 billion of unmet sewer needs. We had over 2,000 bridges that needed some kind of structural repair. I'm hoping that this can be the one really good bipartisan things we can work on."

There is often speculation that Gillibrand is thinking about a run for president in 2020.

She said, "I'm focused entirely on 2018 and I really want to serve in the Senate. I feel privileged and honored to serve."

All the talk in political circles this morning was about Oprah Winfrey speech last night at the Golden Globes and whether she might be thinking of a run for president in 2020. 

With the mention of Oprah's name, Gillibrand said, "She did a great speech, inspiring and important." Asked if Oprah should run, Gillibrand said, "Whatever she wants to do. She's awesome."

Photos: Before Gillibrand entered the library this morning, she noticed a mother and her two children watching her enter, so she went over and greeted them and asked if they wanted to pose for a picture. They left before I could get their names.

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