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December 21, 2018 - 11:03am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Pavilion, news, notify.

A fully working garage fire is reported at 10240 Pavilion Center Road. The structure is full of mechanical equipment, according to the caller to dispatch. The location is south of Junction Road. Pavilion, Stafford and Le Roy are called to the scene.

It's gone to a second alarm -- the city's Fast Team is now called along with Bethany, Alexander and York. A first responder says heavy black smoke is showing.

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: The city's first platoon is requested to stand by in its fire headquarters.

UPDATE 11:10 a.m.: "This is a two-story garage, fully involved," says a chief. Two additional tankers from Caledonia are called to the scene.

UPDATE 11:13 a.m.: Equipment from Perry Center and Wyoming are also going to respond. The tankers are to come in off Route 20. The railroad will be notified of the incident and its close proximity to the tracks; trains will not need to be stopped, but will need to slow down.

UPDATE 11:17 a.m.: Churchville is called to fill in at Le Roy's fire hall. Town of Batavia is called to fill in at Stafford Fire Hall.

UPDATE 11:21 a.m.: The power company is called to respond to the scene.

UPDATE 11:33 a.m.: Perry is filling in at Pavilion's fire hall. Churchville was unable to secure a crew to fill in for Le Roy.

UPDATE 11:37 p.m.: "Town of Batavia all additional available manpower to stand by in your quarters."

UPDATE 12:24 p.m.: Heavy smoke is still pouring from the site.

UPDATE 1:17 p.m.: All tankers have been released except Pavilion's.

December 20, 2018 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify.

walkerretire2018.jpgPress release:

Undersheriff Gregory H. Walker, a 31-year veteran of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, is retiring effective Dec. 29. Walker started his career on Oct. 22, 1987, as a Deputy Sheriff. On Oct. 25, 1993, he was promoted to Investigator and then promoted to Sergeant on Sept. 20, 1997.   

During his tenure, Walker earned several awards which include seven Meritorious Awards, three Commendations and Officer of the Year. Additionally, he is a Drug Recognition Expert and Instructor, was Sergeant of the Drug Task Force and is highly involved with the Badge of Honor Association.

Greg’s numerous years of employment are proof to the dedication and passion he has for the law enforcement profession. 

“I would like to thank Greg for his dedication to serving the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Genesee County,” said Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. “Everyone at the Sheriff’s Office wishes him all the best for his future.”

Photo: File photo, April 2018

December 20, 2018 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, Le Roy, pembroke, crime, news, notify.

Justin Daniel Petrovic, 38, of Oak Ridge Drive, Victor, is charged with aggravated DWI, per se, with a BAC of .18 percent or more and no prior convictions; DWI -- first offense; and having an unsafe tire. At 8:14 p.m. on Dec. 16 on Main Road in Stafford, Petrovic was arrested after deputies checked on his vehicle, which was roadside. It is alleged that the defendant drove his vehicle on Route 5 when it became inoperable due to a flat tire. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Stafford Court on Jan. 17. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Adam Richard Stone, 47, of Read Road, Pembroke, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; operating a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08 percent or more; moving from lane unsafely; and operating a motor vehicle without an inspection certificate. At 6:54 p.m. on Dec. 16, deputies responded to Slusser Road in the Town of Pembroke for a one-vehicle accident. Following an investigation, Stone was arrested. He was issued appearance tickets and is due in Pembroke Town Court on Jan. 22. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Kayne W. Probst, 24, of Lynn, Mass., is charged with one count of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Probst was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on Dec. 13 after they received a complaint of a larcent that had just occurred at a local store. It is alleged that the defendant took merchandise from the store without paying for it. Probst was taken into custody without incident and was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court. Probst was jailed in lieu of $500 bail and is due in Le Roy Town Court today (Dec. 20).

James O. Boughton, 18, of Chili Riga Center Road, Churchville, was arrested on Dec. 10 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and disobeying a traffic control device, both violation-level offenses. While on patrol, Le Roy police allegedly observed the vehicle operated by Boughton pass through a red signal. Patrols executed a lawful traffic stop on Boughton’s vehicle, identified Boughton as the operator, and after a brief investigation allegedly found Boughton to be in possession of marijuana. Boughton was issued tickets and is to appear in the Le Roy Town Court on Jan. 17 to answer to the charges.

December 20, 2018 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Le Roy PD, in cooperation with the county's STOP-DWI, conducted additional patrols this past weekend, which resulted in three arrests of people who are suspected of driving while impaired.

Late afternoon Saturday, Le Roy PD received a report of a woman who had driven to a local grocery store and appeared to be intoxicated.

Upon arrival, officers identified Linda B. Towner, 57, of Batavia, as the suspected driver. She was near a vehicle the officers believed she drove to the store. After further investigation, officers determined she allegedly drove the vehicle while intoxicated. She was taken into custody without incident and charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 percent or greater.

That evening, patrols observed a vehicle moving at a high rate of speed in the Village of Le Roy. It also appeared that the driver’s view was obstructed. A traffic stop was initiated and the driver was identified as Scott M. Hoover, 46, of Bloomingdale, Ohio. After further investigation, Hoover was arrested and charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 percent or greater, speeding, and driver's view obstructed.

Sunday evening, patrols observed the erratic operation of a vehicle. The car was moving in and out of its lane of traffic. At one point, the vehicle struck a curb and it also occupied two lanes at one time. Following a traffic stop, Jeremy J. Trzecieski was identified as the driver. Trzecieski, 42, of Pavilion, was charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 percent or higher, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, failure to use designated lane, and improper left turn.

Towner, Hoover and Trzecieski were all issued appearance tickets as the result of their arrests. All are to appear in the Le Roy Town Court on Jan. 17.

December 19, 2018 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michele Case, crime, bergen, news, notify.

At the close of yet another hearing on making restitution to her former employer, former Bergen resident Michele Ann Case made it clear how unhappy she is with HomeCare & Hospice, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and The Batavian, accusing all of lying about her and defaming her good name.

Case called Friedman unethical. She said he had been duped by HomeCare & Hospice. Friedman, she also said, is just posturing for The Batavian, which she accused of libel.

"Then I want to go to jail and not pay any more restitution," Case told Judge Charles Zambito after Zambito warned her about her conduct. As she spoke, two deputies in the courtroom positioned themselves directly behind the chair she was sitting in.

She continued, "I don't want to see that man anymore," pointing at Friedman.

At the end of Case's rant, and before she could start again, Zambito adjourned the hearing.

Shortly after leaving the courtroom, Case emailed the following statement to The Batavian:

Please be advised that you have repeatedly printed lies about me on The Batavian and I hereby demand that you print an immediate retraction for your past 2 libelous posts. I also demand that you immediately cease & desist spreading falsehoods to the community I proudly served! Eventually, new evidence will exonerate me and implicate my former employer for falsely reporting a theft and insurance fraud and the DA will be brought up on ethics violations & prosecutor misconduct! 

Case has been in legal trouble in Genesee County since 2010 when she was accused of stealing more than $35,000 from an elderly patient. Those charges were eventually dismissed for reasons never officially disclosed by the court.

In 2011, she was accused of painting a mailbox that didn't belong to her, and later that year she was arrested and accused of bilking HomeCare & Hospice out of thousands of dollars by falsifying business records.

That case went to trial in 2012 and she was convicted by a jury but the conviction was overturned. An appeals court ruled that documents entered into evidence at trial were prejudicial and thereby denied Case her right to a fair trial.

Case was retried in 2014 and convicted again.

After the first conviction, a hearing was called to determine the amount of restitution Case owed HomeCare & Hospice and Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled that she would be required to pay $14,000.

Her attorney at the time tried to argue that restitution should be limited to the amount of money specified under the legal definition of third-degree grand larceny, which was $3,000.

Today, Case suggested that she has made restitution payments and that she owed no more than $2,500. It's not clear, but it appears Case believes The Batavian's prior reporting on the amount of restitution is libelous. Friedman said it was his impression that Case is claiming she's made sufficient payments to reduce the amount of restitution to $2,500. He said the court has been unable to confirm payments with officials in Niagara County, where Case now lives.

The issues currently in dispute about restitution, in this case, are whether Zambito has the authority to compel restitution and to set a payment schedule.

Since her second conviction, Case moved to Erie County and then Niagara County. Each time, her probation followed her into those counties. Public Defender Larry Ader, now representing Case -- though at the start of her rant in court this afternoon she told Zambito she was firing Ader -- said he believes that because Case was last on probation in Niagara County, and is no longer on probation. Ader maintains that only a Niagara County judge can issue a restitution order and that only the probation department in Niagara County can collect that restitution.

Zambito said he believes he has jurisdiction over restitution in this case and that he can order Genesee County Probation Department to collect the restitution.

Ader said it would be up to an appeals court to resolve the different views.

Prior to today, Case was supposed to supply a financial statement to help the court determine the amount of monthly payments, along with supporting documents. Friedman said the financial statement was delivered to his office late and that it only received any supporting documents 45 minutes prior to today's hearing. But with just a quick review of the documents, he said they appeared to be inadequate to support the financial statement.

According to Ader, Case hasn't been working while out on disability but should be cleared to work soon. In the meantime, her only source of income has been Social Security survivor benefits paid out on behalf of her 16-year-old child, who lives with her in Lockport. 

Friedman suggested a hearing might be needed so Case could be placed under oath to testify about her ability to make restitution payments. But after a conference with the Zambito and Ader at the bench, Zambito said he was going to order, for now, payments of $50 a month. That is the amount in the prior restitution order; they are to start at the beginning of the month.

Another hearing is scheduled 9:30 a.m., Jan. 7.

Previously:

December 19, 2018 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Ellicott Street, notify.

ellicottcasedec192018.jpg

Police have yet to locate a person who was reportedly stabbed during an incident Monday night at 337 Ellicott St., Batavia; there has, however, been an arrest related to the case.

Rashawn L. Gosier, 40, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with attempted assault, 3rd.

Chief Shawn Heubusch said Gosier is accused of attempting to assault another person at the same address during the same incident.

He said the police have only limited information on the stabbing victim, so have not been able to locate him.

Police responded to 337 Ellicott St. at 11:40 p.m. Monday to investigate a report of a fight. 

A subject, believed to be Gosier, fled the scene, where police located a stabbing victim and called for an ambulance. Officers then pursued the fleeing subject down Swan Street to the area of the railroad tracks.

While officers were busy trying to apprehend the person who fled, the stabbing victim left the scene.

Gosier, matching the description of the fleeing subject, was located a short time later in the basement of the incident location and he crawled out of a basement window (bottom photo).

He was taken into custody without further incident. After being taken to headquarters he was issued an appearance ticket on the attempted assault charge and ordered to appear in City Court at 1 p.m., Jan. 1.

If anybody has information that can assist in the investigation, they are asked to call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

ellicottcasedec192018-2.jpg

December 19, 2018 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

Jesse F. Markowski, 23, of East Road, Batavia, is charged with driving while intoxicated -- common law, and DWI with a BAC of .08 or more. Markowski was arrested at 1:44 a.m. Dec. 8 on Lehigh Ave. in Batavia after being involved in a single-vehicle accident on Lehigh Avenue. He was processed at the jail and was due in Batavia City Court this morning, Dec. 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Justin P. Avino, 25, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with speeding, driving while intoxicated -- common law, and DWI with a BAC of .08 or more. Avino was arrested at 1:18 a.m. Dec. 9 on West Main Street in Batavia. He was processed at the jail and was due in Batavia City Court this morning (Dec. 19). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

December 17, 2018 - 11:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

swanellicottarrestdec2018.jpg

An ambulance is requested to Swan and Ellicott for a subject with stab wounds.

Police are on scene.

A few minutes before there was a reported of an individual saying he was going to kill somebody and an officer was chasing a black male, bald, in a blue jacket.

Multiple police units are in the area.

UPDATE 12:04 a.m.: One person is in custody.

UPDATE 1 a.m.: The apparent stabbing victim left the scene with another individual while police chased a person they believe was the suspect in the stabbing. The possible suspect ran through the neighborhood but managed to return to the residence where the alleged stabbing took place and went into the basement. He was then spotted crawling out of a basement window (see second picture) and taken into custody. He has not yet been charged with a crime because the alleged victim was not available to interview by the time he was taken into custody. He was taken back to the station for questioning. The stabbing victim, as of 12:30 a.m., hadn't shown up at UMMC but he may be from Rochester and may have tried going to a Rochester-area hospital. There's no information available on how serious the wounds might be. There were no other suspects, no other people taken into custody, and no other injuries reported either to civilians or police.

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December 17, 2018 - 10:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, news, notify.
majgenjames_grazioplene.jpg
  James Grazioplene

A retired Army general who was born in Batavia, attended Notre Dame High School, and was nominated by the late Rep. Barber Conable to attend West Point, has been accused by his grown daughter of sexual abuse that started when she was a toddler and continued into her high school years.

The Army attempted to court-martial Maj. Gen. James J. Grazioplene, 69, who retired in 2005, last year. But a judge ruled the statute of limitations had run out under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, even though there was otherwise enough evidence to prosecute Grazioplene.

While Grazioplene avoided a court-martial, civilian authorities took up the investigation and Grazioplene was arrested Dec. 7 following an indictment by a grand jury in Prince William County, Va., on multiple counts of rape and incest.

Jennifer M. Elmore, 47, a Virginia resident, told the Washington Postwhich broke the story, her earliest memory of sexual abuse was when she was 3 years old and at her grandmother's house in Le Roy.

The military's investigation focused on events from 1983 to 1989. Virginia authorities concentrated on events in 1988 and 1989, when the family lived in Woodbridge, Va., where Elmore attended high school in her junior year.

According to the Post, Grazioplene has denied the charges, telling a reporter in September, “The charges are false and incorrect." Grazioplene and his attorney have declined to comment on the case otherwise.

Like many news organizations, the Post does not typically reveal the names of victims in sexual crimes but Elmore told the Post she wanted to go public.

According to the Post, reporters interviewed Elmore, other family members, including Grazioplene 's sister, coworkers, and reviewed letters, all of which corroborated some of Elmore's version of events.

Elmore said she's been estranged from her parents for years and her parents have tried to bridge the gap. She decided to tell the military about the alleged abuse in 2015 after a phone call where her parents apparently again tried to talk her into being part of the family again and her father said, according to Elmore, that “the only thing worse that I could have done to you is murder you.”

Grazioplene was nominated to West Point by Conable in 1967. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the academy in 1971. His LinkedIn profile says he is currently CEO at Mission Readiness LLC. He's also worked for Total Life Cycle Support and DynCorp. International.

December 17, 2018 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal neglect, animal abuse, batavia, crime, news, notify.

There's yet another delay in the case of Becky L. Frens, former owner of "Maya," who is charged with "overdriving, torturing and injuring an animal; failure to provide proper sustenance."

Under the state Agriculture & Markets law, Article 26, Section 353, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor. If found guilty, a defendant faces jail time of more than 15 days but not greater than one year. In addition, a fine of up to $1,000 can be imposed.

Frens was in court this morning wearing eyeglasses, a bright purple jacket, black cargo pants, black boots, and when her name was called, she stood unsmiling before Batavia Town Court Judge Michael Cleveland. An associate from the law firm of Friedman & Ranzenhofer, attorney Samuel Alba, accompanied her to the bench.

The prosecution requested and was granted a postponement in the dog neglect case so they could interview an animal control officer. Thus, it's now on the Batavia Town Court calendar for 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28.

Previously, on Oct. 22, the matter was held over so Frens could provide more documentation, ostensibly of her efforts to aid the 3-year-old Labrador retriever mixed breed prior to her arrest by State Police on July 10.

Maya was found by Frens' neighbors across the street from her Pearl Street Road home on July 9. They called the law after discovering the canine standing feebly by the roadside. The neighbors said the dog was extremely dehydrated and malnourished; it drank four bottles of water and ate multiple bowls of food right away. They said the dog's paws were in such bad shape it could barely walk.

Frens, who is in her mid-50s, went to retrieve the animal from the shelter the following day but was arrested instead (mugshot, inset photo)

Maya was subsequently diagnosed with multiple skin infections, mange, double ear infections that left her only able to hear a dog whistle, and uncut nails so long they were cutting into the pads of her paws.

Maya's very poor physical condition was caused by neglect, according to Volunteers for Animals, citing veterinary reports.

Maya was adopted a couple of months ago after vets and the volunteers got her health back on track.

December 17, 2018 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, news, notify, Darien, batavia.

Antwan L. Odom is indicted for the crime of first-degree assault, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 4 in the area of Ross Street in the City of Batavia that Odom -- with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person -- caused such injury by means of a dangerous instrument -- a knife. In count two, Odom is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing a "dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol or other dangerous instrument with intent to use the same unlawfully against another."

Michael D. Kopyscianski 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 June 19 in the Town of Darien that Kopyscianski possessed lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD -- a hallucinogenic drug) with intent to sell it. In counts two and three, respectively, he is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing alprazolam (the generic of Xanax) and suboxone (treats opioid addiction). In Special Information filed by the District Attorney's Office, Kopyscianski is accused of having been convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, on Jan. 3, 2013, in the City of Saratoga Springs Court and also on May 6, 2005, in City of Newburgh Court.

Jeffrey A. Youngs is indicted for driving while in intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 27 Youngs drove a 2003 Toyota on Route 98/Oak Street in the Town and City of Batavia while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly driving at that time while having a BAC of .08 or more. In count three, he is accused of the offense of driving across official markings -- a vehicle and traffic violation. In count four, Youngs is accused of consumption or possession of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle on Oct. 27. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney's Office, Youngs is accused of having been convicted by DWI as a misdemeanor on June 12, 2017, in City of Batavia Court and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Josh J. Peterman is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 28 in the Town of Darien that Peterman drove a 1998 Honda on Park Road while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly driving at that time while having a BAC of .08 or more. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney's Office, Peterman is accused of having been convicted of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor on June 28, 2012, in City of Binghampton Court and that convicted was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

December 17, 2018 - 12:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.
mug_patrickhackett.jpg
      Patrick Hackett

A police officer did not violate the rights of a sex offender when he sent a text message to the suspect's mobile phone upon his arrest to confirm the defendant had used the phone to exchange messages with his victim, and unknowingly, with police, an NYS appeals court has ruled.

Patrick M. Hackett, 44 at the time of his arrest, was accused in May 2013 of having sexual intercourse with a teenage girl in Batavia. He was later indicted on a single count of rape, 3rd, for being more than 21 years old and having sexual intercourse with a partner who was less than 17 years of age.

Hacket was convicted by a jury Nov. 13, 2014, and later appealed the use of his text messages as evidence against him, which was instrumental in his conviction.

"Although there is a lack of medical, scientific, or other physical evidence of the crime, the jury saw incriminating text messages from (the) defendant to the victim in which he admitted that he engaged in sexual intercourse with her and professed his love to her," the justices of the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, wrote in their decision. "In addition, (the) defendant’s trial testimony in which he denied having sexual intercourse with the victim was not credible inasmuch as he provided the jury with improbable explanations for the incriminating text messages."

The charge against Hackett arose after his victim reported the sexual intercourse to police. She cooperated in the investigation and agreed to send Hackett a text message. Once he responded, a police officer used her phone to exchange a series of text messages with Hacket.

When the officer arrested Hackett, the officer used his mobile phone to send a text message to Hackett's phone. Hackett's phone either vibrated or made a noise and the officer could observe that his text message had arrived at the phone. At that time, the officer did not open the phone and view the text messages. A search warrant was later obtained.

In his appeal, Hackett said the text messages should not have been admissible at trial because the officer's actions at the time of arrest, he said, constituted an illegal search and seizure.

Hackett's appeal relied on a 2014 case, Riley v. California. Riley, a Supreme Court ruling, determined that a search warrant, based on probable cause, is required for police to search a suspect's mobile phone.

The appeals court ruled that the Riley case does not prohibit officers from sending text messages to the defendant and making observations of the defendant's phone and that the court in Riley found that officers can observe physical aspects of the phone.

Further, the text message sent by the officer was not part of the police officer's application later for a warrant to search the phone and there was sufficient probable cause to obtain the warrant.

The court also ruled that Hackett received competent representation from his defense attorney at trial, who was successful in suppressing some evidence the prosecution tried to enter into the record.

It also did not violate Hackett's right to a fair trial by allowing testimony about Hackett providing his victim with alcohol prior to their sexual contact, even though he was not indicted on that "bad act." The court ruled the incident helped complete the narrative of events leading up to the crime on the night in question. The court ruled the exclusion of this information would not have changed the outcome of the trial given the overwhelming evidence of Hackett's guilt. Testimony about the drinking, the court ruled, was "harmless."

At the time of his arrest, Hackett was already a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 1993 in Cattaraugus County of kidnapping and rape in the first degree.

On his local conviction, he was sentenced to three and a half year to four years in prison. He is scheduled to be released in November.

December 17, 2018 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, Oakfield, batavia, Bethany, pembroke.

Debra Lynn Mattoon, 39, of Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Oakfield, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, petit larceny and third-degree identity theft. On Dec. 15, following the investigation into a larceny that occured in the City of Batavia at 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 3, Mattoon was arrested on the charges. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. She is due back in city court on Dec. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin Forsyth.

Jacob Joseph Camerera, 27, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, after he was allegedly found in possession of a firearm at 8:45 a.m. on Nov. 19 which had previously been reported stolen. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Minuto.

Joseph A. Ciociola Jr., 20, of Pembroke, was arrested at 9:56 a.m. on Dec. 5 by troopers out of SP Batavia and charged with: criminal possession of a weapon, 4th; unlawful possession of marijuana; and possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle; he was also cited with vehicle and traffic violations. Troopers stopped Ciociola on Akron Road in the Town of Pembroke for speeding. While interviewing Ciociola the odor of marijuana was allegedly present. During a probable-cause search of his vehicle, Ciociola was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana, brass/metal knuckles, and two loaded and chambered firearms. Ciociola was issued appearance tickets and he is scheduled to appear before the Town of Pembroke Court later this month. 

Sath Paul Dhanda, 38, of Clapsaddle Road, Bethany, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt in the first degree. He was arrested on Ellicott Street in Batavia at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 for allegedly violating an order of protection on two different occasions. He was arraigned and jailed without bail and was due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 13. The case was handled by Batavia PoliceOfficer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Sgt. Eric Bolles.

John Albert Snook, 30, of Oak Orchard Road, Albion, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 2:20 a.m. on Dec. 15, Batavia police responded to a Jackson Street apartment for a 9-1-1 hangup call. While on scene, patrols discovered that Snook was on location in violation of a stay-away order of protection; he was also allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana. Snook was arraigned and jailed without bail and is due in Batavia City Court this afternoon (Dec. 17). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

December 14, 2018 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in USG, Oakfield, news, notify.

usgwarriorhouse2018.jpg

Warrior House has received a $5,000 donation from the USG Foundation through the employees of the USG plant in Oakfield.

Each year, the Foundation provides funds to USG units throughout the country for employees to donate to a local charity. The employees at the Oakfield plant, through a survey by management, selected the Warrior House.

"The Warrior House is a great organization," said Plant Manager Dwayne Van Duuren. "We have a lot of veterans who work at our location so this means a lot to us. We want to be part of the community, be a good neighbor where we can."

Ed Spencer accepted the check on behalf of Warrior House.

Spencer said he got involved with helping veterans after going through his own struggles adjusting to post-military life. In 2016 Pete Zeliff provided the funds to start Warrior House, providing a farmhouse on 360 acres in Orleans County.

"Pete’s a great guy," Spencer said. "I’ll call him up and say I’ve got a vet, he’s got a problem, I need $1,000. Pete will say, OK, no problem, let’s do it. Pete is a caring guy. He gives a lot. He cares a lot. His dream is an awesome thing for this community."

Currently there are 12 disabled veterans living at Warrior House, making it a full house, so recently when a local resident found a homeless vet walking down the road, rather than turn him away from Warrior House, the organization got him a hotel room where he stay for a week, until they found a bed for him in the home of another disabled vet.

Those two veterans are now helping each other heal, Spencer said.

"There’s a lot of different things we do," Spencer said. "It’s nonstop. Whenever the phone rings, we’ll do our best to take care of the problem. It doesn’t matter who calls where, when, what, why, we’ll find an answer for it one way or another."

He said the staff at Warrior House hold in their hearts a special place for disabled vets.

“They don’t ask for a lot and they’re often surprised how much is given back to them," Spencer said.

December 14, 2018 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, news, toy drive, Ken Barrett Chevrolet-Cadillac, batavia, notify.

toydrivedec142018.jpg

Clients of Arc of Genesee Orleans dropped off bags full of gifts today for annual WBTA toy drive at Ken Barrett's Chevrolet and Cadillac, which benefits local children through the Salvation Army.

Among the other large donations to come in this morning was seven bags of toys from the employees of Oatka Milk Products in Batavia.

WBTA co-owner Dan Fischer said that by 11 a.m. it looked like as many toys had come in so far as had been received by the end of the day last year.

The toy drive runs until 4 p.m., so plenty of time as of this posting (at 1 p.m.) for you to run down to Adam Miller and load up on toys to donate to the Salvation Army for local children who might otherwise receive little or nothing for Christmas.

Note about the videos below: The audio quality is not great. We have hardware coming by next week that will fix this for future videos.

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December 13, 2018 - 7:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, batavia, news, notify.

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The financially troubled YWCA in Batavia has reached an agreement to sell its building at 301 North St., Batavia, to Dr. Emily Fraser-Branche, a pediatrician in Batavia who will relocate her practice to the building and lease back space to the YWCA.

The sale of the property is contingent on Fraser-Branche obtaining a use variance from the City of Batavia for a medical office at the location.

When the YWCA opened in 1968 at 301 North, the neighborhood had not yet been declared R-1 (single-family residential) so while the YWCA's use of the property is grandfathered in, any other non-single-family use requires a variance.

The planned sale was announced to a group of YWCA supporters and area residents at a meeting Wednesday night.

Reid Whiting, a municipal attorney with an office in Le Roy, explained to the audience the basis of the variance application, which must be approved by the city's planning board and zoning board of appeals.

There are three criteria that must be met for the variance to be approved, Whiting said.

First, that the change is needed because the current building cannot make a reasonable rate of return; second, that the building is experiencing a unique hardship; and third, that the hardship was not created by the YWCA.

On the first point, the building is not suitable as a single-family residence and therefore couldn't be sold at a reasonable rate of return and further, the YWCA's financial difficulties demonstrate that its current use is not generating enough revenue to maintain a reasonable rate of return.

On the second, because of the building's size and location in an R-1 zone, it creates a hardship on other uses for the building.

And on the third, the financial difficulty of the why and the city's decision to change the zoning is what created the hardship that necessitates the need for a variance, Whiting said.

Fraser-Branche grew up in Batavia and obtained her medical degree from Univerity at Buffalo. She returned to Batavia to practice medicine in Batavia and a few years ago opened Three Little Birds Pediatrics at 314 Ellicott St.

At Wednesday's meeting, she explained that it was the death of her father who inspired her to open her own practice. He encouraged her to strike out on her own and follow her passion.

She's been able, she said, to avoid being swallowed up by a regional hospital group and remain independent. Her practice she said is focused on taking care of her patient's physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

When she realized she might be able to acquire the YWCA building and move her practice there, she said it was an opportunity beyond her dreams to give her practice room to grow. It was a big decision, she said, that led to a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of prayer but in the end, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

“This is my home community," Fraser-Branche said. "I want to remain here. I want to continue to practice here. I want to continue to watch families grow and thrive.”

In response to residents' questions at the meeting, she said her office will only be open during standard, daytime business hours. Her business doesn't require big dumpsters and what little medical waste is generated by the business, it is safely stored in regular-sized, but sealed, garbage bins and safely removed from the property.

Whiting, in answer to a question, said a variance for the YWCA will not make it possible for other properties in the community to open businesses.

Whiting also said that if, for whatever reason some time down the road, another business wants to use the building, that business would require its own variance unless it was also a medical practice.

If the variance is to be granted, Whiting suggested, community members who support the YWCA will need to speak up in support of the variance.

"We hope anybody here who feels strongly about the future of the YWCA, its place in this community, and the chance to foster a great pediatric practice within this community, we hope that some of you, if not all of you, would take some time out of your busy schedules, particularly around this time of year, to put in favorable word to the planning board and the zoning board," Whiting said. "It’s very important because frequently the only people who show up at variance application hearings are opponents of the variance."

One argument in favor of the variance, Whiting said, is there is already medical uses in that part of Batavia, from UMMC to several medical offices. He said residents won't notice anything different with Three Little Birds Pediatrics than what they're used to from either those medical practices or the YWCA.

The medical practice will be in the back, roughly two-thirds of the building, while the YWCA will continue to operate in the front of the building, still offering its current programs and services, with My Sister's Closet moving to a room in the front of the building.

Millie Tomidy-Pepper, the current executive director, said the YWCA's office hours will remain the same, which are weekday, daytime hours.

The Batavia YWCA, founded in 1910, served the community from various locations, including its own downtown building for many years, until launching a building fund in the 1960s, raising more than $200,000, purchasing the property at 301 North, and finally opening the new building in 1968.

This spring, it looked briefly like the YWCA in Batavia was going to have to close up shop. It was out of money and Executive Director Jeanne Walton was replaced by Tomidy-Pepper, who took over an organization with debt and no reserves. The community rallied around the YW and between donations and the support of other YWCA's Tomidy-Pepper and the board, they were able to keep the doors open.

The sale of the building will help the YWCA continue to serve the community, Tomidy-Pepper said.

"I think it’s a good fit," Tomidy-Pepper said. "I can’t think of anybody else who could have put an offer in on the building who could have fit any better, honestly."

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Dr. Emily Fraser-Branche

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Millie Tomidy-Pepper

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Reid Whiting

December 11, 2018 - 5:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, batavia, Pavilion, Stafford.

Roberta Ann Goodman, 51, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs -- with a previous conviction, a Class E felony. On Dec. 9 at 10:09 a.m., the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received multiple calls of a motor vehicle being driven erratically westbound through the Town and Village of Le Roy. Le Roy Police Detective John Condidorio was able to catch up to the vehicle and initiate a traffic stop stop with the suspect vehicle on Main Road in Stafford. Sheriff's deputies arrived on scene and administered standardized field sobriety tests and Goodman was subsequently arrested. After being given a Drug Influence Evaluation at the jail by Deputy Matt Butler, a certified Drug Recognition Expert, Goodman was arraigned in Stafford Town Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. Additional charges are pending. In addition to Condidorio and Butler, the investigation by Deputy Ryan DeLong was assisted by Deputy Erik Andre and Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Dustin L. Stump, 48, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with illegal disposal of items. He was arrested at 1:09 p.m. on Dec. 10 after allegedly illegally disposing of garbage in a privately owned dumpster. He was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and is due there on Dec. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence.

Mark S. Bradley, 58, of Pavilion, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; unlawful possession of marijuana; consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle; and unauthorized stickers on windshield. He was arrested on Dec. 9 following a traffic stop on Warsaw Boulevard in the Village of Silver Springs. During the stop, he was allegedly found to be in possession of crystal meth, marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, and an open container of alcohol. His vehicle was towed from the scene. He was processed at the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office and released to relatives. He was issued appearance tickets and is due in Village of Silver Springs Court on Jan. 7 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Sgt. Colin Reagan, assisted by Deputy Bradley McGinnis.

Shannon M. LaPaglia, 37, of Le Roy, was arrested at 6:22 a.m. on Dec. 9 by troopers out of SP Batavia and charged with DWI, unlawful possession of marijuana and vehicle and traffic infractions. Her arrest came after troopers responded to a property damage accident on Byron Road in the Town of Stafford. She allegedly failed standardized field sobriety tests. Troopers also allegedly located marijuana in her vehicle. She was transported to SP Batavia for processing and allegedly found to have a BAC of .13 percent. LaPaglia was released on an appearance ticket returnable to Stafford Town Court later this month.

Jason Lawrence McKenzie, 40, of Covell Road, Pavilion, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested at 7:01 p.m. on Nov. 30 following a complaint at a retail store on Veterans Memorial Drive of shoplifting. He allegedly stole merchandise by passing all points of purchase without paying for the items. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on Jan. 7. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Matthew J. Reed, 34, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court on Dec. 9. Police responded to an address on State Street for the initial report of a possible domestic incident. While there, he was taken into custody on the bench warrant. He was jailed on $500 cash or bond and was due in city court on Dec. 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Peter Flanagan.

J'zon A. Richardson, 20, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. He was arrested on Dec. 10 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court for an unspecified incident which occurred on Nov. 15 on Ellicott Street in Batavia. He was arraigned and jailed in lieu of $500 cash or $1,000 bond and is to return to city court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider.

December 11, 2018 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Le Roy, crime, notify.

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The arrest of John Duyssen, a retired deputy and current town justice in Le Roy, is the product of intrusive government rules that mandate a reporting requirement on adults in various government agencies on even slight suspicion of abuse, according to his attorney Thomas Burns.

"As his attorney, it is my firm belief that as this case progresses it will become apparent that this arrest is the product of the ever-growing expansion of government in the personal matters of families and governmental intrusion upon the child-rearing rights and responsibilities of parents," Burns said in a statement issued this afternoon.

Duyssen was arrested by State Police on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd. He is accused of striking a child.

The statement from Burns suggests that Duyssen is accused of harming a member of his family but Burns is prohibited from discussing details of the case, so couldn't confirm who might be involved or how the case came to the attention of authorities.

Burns did note that under current regulations, a number of adults who might come into contact with a child, either at school or through social services or other agencies, have mandatory reporting requirements if they think a child has been harmed.

Burns said Duyssen told him that after news of his arrest broke this morning he has received an outpouring of support from people from throughout the community who know him.

"John has expressed to me his deep appreciation for the hundreds of contacts he has received from individuals who have reached out to him to express their support since articles concerning his arrest were published," Burns said. "I believe that such support speaks volumes about the character and integrity of John Duyssen and his impeccable reputation in the community as a retired law enforcement officer, community leader, businessman and father."

Duyssen retired from the Sheriff's Office in 2015 after 21 years of service to the county in which he won several awards, including the Carl Drexler Award, one of the highest honors in the state for a sheriff' deputy for exceptional career achievements and conscientious devotion to duty.

His boss for all those years on the force was Gary Maha, retired Sheriff and current member of the County Legislature. Maha said today he was shocked by news of Duyssen's arrest. 

"I always thought he had impeccable character," Maha said. "He was a great deputy and did a lot for the community. There was never any indication that he would be involved in any kind of child abuse case at all."

Duyssen's community involvement over the years has largely focused on working with kids in agriculture, including the 4-H Club, particularly the Swine Club, and helping to organize and run tractor pulls at the Genesee County Fair.

He and his wife, Jessica, have adopted five children and fostered many others and there has never been another complaint against Duyssen in more than two decades of raising and supervising children. The Duyssens have raised their children on a family farm on Bater Road in Le Roy and for years grew strawberries that they sold at the farm.

Burns said his client will fight the charges.

"John intends to vigorously defend himself in the court on the baseless allegations filed against him and has the utmost confidence in the criminal justice system and the judicial process," Burns said.

Before the arrest went public, Duyssen notified his supervisors in the Unified Court System of his arrest and Burns said he intends to comply fully with any restrictions imposed by his supervising judges with respect to his judicial role while this matter is pending.

It will be up to the supervising judge to determine whether he can continue to hear criminal cases while his own case is pending.

Burns said Duyssen has no intention to resign.

As with most towns, there are two justices in the Le Roy Town Court. The other justice in Le Roy is Darryl Sehm.

Duyssen is scheduled to appear before Sehm on the pending charges at 1 p.m., Dec. 20.

Because of Duyssen's court position, the Genesee County District Attorney's Office is not prosecuting the case. Greg McCaffrey, the Livingston County district attorney, has been appointed special prosecutor.

Photo: File photo from 2015.

December 11, 2018 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Tech Academy, schools, education, news, notify, byron, bergen.

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Keep moving forward, that is what Adam Thorman said he has done since graduating from Byron-Bergen High School more than 10 years ago and joining the Navy.

He's moved forward in his Navy career, from E-2 out of basic training to E-6 after 10 years of service. He's been recognized by his superiors for his hard work and dedication as a military security specialist. He's gotten married and become a father to a 17-month old daughter. And he has overcome tragedy in his family, the deaths in separate accidents of his twin sister and his younger sister.

He said he's moved forward with the help of friends and family but meeting his wife a couple of years after the deaths of his sisters in 2011 "kind of opened up my eyes that I could still move on while unfortunately still missing two of my family members," he said during a presentation Monday at the Western New York Tech Acadamy.

Thorman was one of four speakers for "Motivational Monday" at the academy. The other speakers were Gina Lathan from Lathan Construction, Jakob Terranova from Six Flags Darien Lake, and Kelley Yates from Sedgwick Business Interiors.

Thorman fielded a variety of questions from the three dozen students who attended the talks, including questions about his deployments overseas, his career plans, life in the military, and how he overcame obstacles (such as bringing his reading skills up to the necessary level to complete college) to advance his career.

"I really enjoy reading books now," he said.

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December 11, 2018 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy.
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      John Duyssen

A Town of Le Roy justice and a retired Genesee County Sheriff's deputy has been arrested by State Police and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd.

John R. Duyssen, also a former Town of Le Roy board member, is accused of striking a 9-year-old child. The child reportedly suffered an injury.

Child Protective Services notified the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, which opened an investigation. 

The timeframe of the alleged incident was not released, nor are State Police releasing details around the incident in order to try and avoid identifying the victim.

Duyssen was arraigned in Bergen Town Court and released on his own recognizance. An order of protection was issued. He's scheduled to appear in Le Roy Town Court later this month.

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