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June 24, 2019 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Bellavia, Medal of Honor, batavia, news, notify.

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Colin Fitts, a retired sergeant first class, says he is alive because of David Bellavia, the Batavia resident who will receive the Medal of Honor tomorrow in a ceremony at the White House.

On Nov. 10, 2004, Fitts and Bellavia and their men walked into an ambush in a house in Fallujah. Five insurgents had barricaded themselves in the house and didn't reveal their positions until after the platoon had entered. The platoon couldn't exit the house without exposing themselves to hostile fire. Bellavia commenced suppression fire allowing the men to escape.

Later, Bellavia reentered the house to try and finish the job because his men were still exposed to hostile fire from the insurgents in the house while they were on the street and single-handedly killed all of the insurgents in the house.

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David Bellavia

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Col. Douglas R. Walter, who was a company commander in Iraq and nominated Bellavia for the Medal of Honor in 2005, along with Maj. Joaquin Meno, who was a lieutenant in Bellavia's unit in Iraq, and Bellavia.

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Michael Ware, a journalist embedded Bellavia's unit, discusses what he witnessed Nov. 10, 2004. Ware entered the house with Bellavia and attempted to film the ensuing battle. Because he didn't have night vision goggles, he lost contact with David and when the house fell silent, Ware exited and said he had lost contact with "Sgt. Bell." Men from Bellavia's unit entered the house and by the time they located Bellavia he had already killed all of the insurgents in the house.

We'll have video from the press conference, along with interviews wiht Walter, Meno, and Fitts later.

June 24, 2019 - 2:17pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, crime, news, notify.

Derek E. Wilcox, of Congress Avenue, Rochester, (inset photo right) pled not guilty in Genesee County Court today of drug charges against him.

At his arraignment, his attorney Marshall Kelly said his client pleads not to: criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony; and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, a Class B misdemeanor.

On March 27, law enforcement allegedly found 56 bags of crack cocaine at a house on Liberty Street, Batavia. Wilcox was one of five individuals arrested as a result a joint investigation a result of a joint investigation by the Probation Department, Child Protective Services, and the Local Drug Task Force.

Wilcox’s $20,000 bail bond was also continued by Judge Charles Zambito.

Oral arguments for Wilcox's case will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 26 at the Genesee County Courthouse.

June 23, 2019 - 12:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Stafford, Bethany.

Crystal Lynn Kiebzak, 37, of Main Street, Wyoming, is charged with second-degree reckless endangerment. On June 22 at a campground on Francis Road in Bethany, Kiebzak was arrested at 7:35 p.m. following the investigation of a child who was resuscitated after drowning in a pool. She was arraigned in Bethany Town Court and issued an appearance ticket for 7 p.m. July 16 in Bethany Town Court. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

David George Morgan, 65, of Roanoke Road, Stafford, is charged with second-degree menacing. He was arrested at 6:56  p.m. on June 20 on Roanoke Road in Stafford. It is alleged that he intentionally placed an individual in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a dangerous instrument -- a screwdriver. He was arraigned in Stafford Town Court and released under supervision. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

Duane Kenneth Miller, 54, of Linwood Avenue, Warsaw, is charged with illegal use of toxic vapors. Following an investigation into a subject allegedly huffing in the Walmart parking lot in Batavia, Miller was arrested at 12:45 p.m. on June 21. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on July 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

June 21, 2019 - 4:52pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, news, notify, motorcycle safety.

The sound of lawn mowers and the smell of freshly cut grass are signs of summertime in Genesee County.

However, those familiar noises and scents can far too often mean motorcycle accidents if homeowners do not properly remove road hazards like grass clippings, leaves and gravel.

“The people most to suffer from these things when it comes to motor vehicles is the motorcyclist, specifically, in a corner,” said Jon DelVecchio, riding coach at Street Skills LLC motorcycling school in Rochester and author of "Cornering Confidence: The Formula for 100% Control in Curves."

“Motorcyclists and car drivers alike, we want nothing between our tire surface and the road surface," DelVecchio said. "That’s how we’re going to get the best traction really in any condition.”

Grass clippings in summer months are reportedly as slippery as winter ice on road surfaces. Yard waste that blows onto road pavement presents safety hazards to motorcyclists whose two-wheeled vehicles speed over the slick grass clippings.

Clearing grass clippings from roadways is not a choice; it is mandated by state and local law.

NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1219 prohibits any substance that is likely to cause injury from being placed on highways. If grass clippings from a lawn mower are either accidentally blown or intentionally deposited onto the pavement, homeowners are legally obligated to remove them immediately.

Also, City of Batavia Municipal Code 113-2 states “No person shall sweep, throw or deposit or cause to be swept, thrown or deposited any ashes, dirt, stone, brick, leaves, grass, weeds or any other debris … into any public place or upon any private property without the owner's permission within the city.” A violator of this law can be fined $250, face imprisonment up to 15 days or be sued civilly if their grass clippings cause a motorcycle accident.

Jesse Underwood is a motorcyclist from Holley who has been riding motorcycles for 40 years. He was shopping at Stan's Harley-Davidson dealership in Batavia on Thursday when asked about encounters with grass clippings while tooling around.

He said it is important enough to him that, if he sees a problem, he stops his motorcycle and informs homeowners of the dangers of grass clippings during his rides with other motorcyclists.

"Every time we go on a big ride, every time we see people blowing grass in the road, we stop and give them a brochure on the dangers of it," Underwood said.

When homeowners receive the information, they are often surprised.

"A lot of them didn't even realize what they were doing is wrong," Underwood said. "I explain to them that wet grass clippings in the road — it's like ice to a motorcycle.

"If you come up and you're on wet grass ... or you're coming into a blind curve, even if you're doing the speed limit and you hit the wet grass, you're going down."

Underwood said that there are already enough dangers, such as texting and driving, that threaten the safety of motorcyclists, so grass clippings just add to the road hazards.

To effectively dispose of yard waste, homeowners are encouraged to leave their grass clippings on their lawns. This solution benefits the environment because clippings act as a natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer and decrease the amount of store-bought fertilizer homeowners purchase. This option also saves time because grass clippings do not need to be bagged after each mowing.

“I would advise homeowners, as a person who rides a motorcycle, to just simply be aware that their grass clippings could cause real trouble for people who ride motorcycles,” DelVecchio said.

DelVecchio encourages homeowners to take preventative measures to clear the roads near their property. He also advises motorcyclists to receive both basic and advanced riding instruction through videos, books or training courses so they can navigate grass-covered roads.

Lost control of motorcycles can lead to injury and death among motorcyclists who cannot regain their traction on grass-covered streets. It only takes a few moments to clean up grass clippings if they blow into the road in order to keep motorcyclists safe.

June 21, 2019 - 4:30pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, crime, news, notify.

Brandon Fogg agreed to a plea deal this afternoon in Genesee County Court after being charged with placing an individual at risk of serious injury or death -- in this case a Batavia police officer -- by displaying a BB gun on June 5.

The 32-year-old Batavia resident entered a guilty plea to first-degree menacing and faces one-and-a-third to four years in prison.

Batavia police officers first encountered Fogg after he trespassed at a location on Ellicott Street. Due to an illegal tire on Fogg’s vehicle as he drove away from the location, officers initiated a traffic stop.

According to police, Fogg attempted to flee the vehicle, but he was taken to the ground by Officer Darryle Streeter. Fogg then removed from his pocket what appeared to be a handgun during the struggle between himself and Streeter.  

A local citizen then came to the aid of Streeter by stepping on Fogg’s wrist, which caused him to drop the BB gun from his grasp. Streeter took Fogg into custody shortly afterward.

Judge Charles Zambito scheduled sentencing for 3:15 p.m. Aug. 1 at Genesee County Court.

June 20, 2019 - 7:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, Darien.

A Darien Center man today entered a guilty plea in Federal Court to one count of receipt of child pornography.

Alexander Seegar, 29, faces a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and up to a $250,000 fine following his guilty plea.

Seegar was accused of sexting -- sending or receiving sexual text messages -- to girls from 10 to 12 years old who were students in Niagara County while posing as a 16 or 17 year old boy.

According to prosecutor Stephanie Lamarque, Seegar used the Instagram profile “davidlissachi” to communicate with the girls and asked them for sexually explicit photos. Seegar also communicated with other minors between the ages of 10 and 15 and asked them to send him sexually explicit photos in exchange for pictures of male genitalia that he sent them.

The defendant was found in possession of numerous photos containing child pornography.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Buffalo Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the Lewiston Police Department, under the direction of Chief Frank Previte.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Frank Paul Geraci Jr.

June 20, 2019 - 5:49pm

A new proposal was brought before the Ways & Means Committee on Wednesday for an I Love New York selfie sign on the lawn outside the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at 8276 Park Road, Batavia.

It's one of the most recognizable logos of New York State. The iconic “I Love New York” letters and bright red heart are frequently seen on tourist souvenirs and apparel.

But its $47,000 price tag raised eyebrows at the meeting.

It would be paid for with bed tax reserves -- not by local taxpayers, according to Chamber President Tom Turnbull, who presented the preliminary design of the selfie sign to the Ways & Means Committee.

He sought the initial reactions of committee members as he spoke about the proposed I Love New York sign, which would showcase the logo with a semi-transparent background and backlighting.

The goal of the selfie sign is to attract visitors to Genesee County and draw tourists to the Visitor Center once they stop for a photo opportunity next to the sign. Similar selfie signs are currently featured at popular destinations like the Finger Lakes and the Adirondacks.

“We think this will be a big hit for people … People are into taking pictures at places like that. We hope it will attract people to come inside our visitor center,” Turnbull said.

The chamber worked with Batavia-based companies like smartDESIGN Architecture and John’s Studio in the engineering and design processes.

The price includes design, construction and installation costs.

The bed tax revenue that would pay for it comes from a 5-percent administrative fee that is added to the price of a hotel room in Genesee County and collected annually by the county Treasurer’s Office.

Each year, bed tax revenue is capped at $420,000, and surplus funds are placed in a reserve.

The expected surplus total for 2019 is approximately $100,000, and $47,000 for the proposed sign would come from this surplus.

“The money is there," Turnbull said. "It’s dedicated for tourism, and we think this is a good use of some of that money. We can spruce up our property a little bit more and attract even more tourism to Genesee County.”

Legislators Andrew Young and Shelly Stein opined that $47,000 is a high price for this potential investment. Stein questioned the life expectancy of both the selfie-sign trend and the durability of the design in winter weather.

Turnbull said he is confident that the sign and its popularity will last well into the future.

Legislator Marianne Clattenburg said that the sign would most likely see a good amount of traffic in that area due to hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and Batavia Downs casino.

“I think we’ve got the funds," Clattenburg said to Turnbull. "And if your board is saying that this is something that is advantageous and you’ll see results from it, then I would support it."

The Chamber of Commerce received tentative permission from NYS Empire State Development to use its trademark logo. Approval of the project can occur once a finalized design has been agreed upon by the chamber and the legislature.

Now the chamber has a better sense of the legislators' thoughts on the project before it drafts a resolution asking for a portion of bed tax money to pay for it.

June 20, 2019 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Stafford.

Angel Ivan Carrasquillo, 43, of Lake Avenue, Rochester is charged with: third-degree burglary; third-degree criminal mischief; attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree; and petit larceny. Following an investigation into a burglary that occurred on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Stafford at 2:27 a.m. on May 2, Carrasquillo was arrested and arraigned in Batavia Town Court. He is currently being held in Genesee County Jail on a separate matter. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen. Also assisting were Sgt. John Baiocco, investigators Chris Parker and Chad Minuto, and members of the NYS Police.

Jay W. Schafer, 26, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a firearm. He was arrested at 2:15 a.m. on June 19 after an incident at his residence. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $1,500 cash bail or $3,000 bond. He is due back in city court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Brandon L. Lucas, 35, of Manhatten Square, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree and unlawful possession of marijuana. Lucas was arrested at 6:58 p.m. June 18 on Main Street following a traffic stop. He was found to be driving while his driver's license was suspended. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or bond. He was due to return to city court on June 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer James DeFreze.

June 18, 2019 - 3:50pm

County officials can expect a state rebate for their energy-saving efforts that began last spring.

How much of a rebate remains to be seen, Deputy Highway Superintendent Paul Osborn told the Public Service Committee on Monday.

In the update, Osborn said his department is waiting to receive summary reports from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to show where savings have been made and where more savings can occur later on.

“NYSERDA still has to review all of it to make sure that the realization of the energy savings that they say that they were going to do initially is realized again as well,” Osborn said. “And then, if there is more realization in the savings, then they give us a rebate for that.

“We are not anticipating a significant rebate, but we are anticipating some rebate from them. So, we can take that rebate and put it into some of those facilities that they reviewed that may need some work.”

Some cost savings will be realized with the completion of smaller projects like switching lighting in county buildings to more energy-efficient systems. More extensive projects include electrical panels, boilers, HVAC systems and breakers or air handlers.

So far, heating at County Building #1, ventilation and insulation work at the animal shelter and HVAC improvements to the highway garage have been underway.

Osborn said that once the NYSERDA report is released in late July, it will paint a clearer picture of where the funding can be allocated.

“Our biggest thing is we want to see the report — see where our idealized savings can be furthered,” Osborn said.

County Manager Jay Gsell added, “The Highway Department has one of our older buildings. [It] is also one that had probably the least internal changes made to it as with anything with HVAC and lighting and other things. So, this is one of those times, finally, let’s really make some significant improvements.”

The energy-savings projects are being conducted by Johnson Controls, which entered into a $4 million contract with the county last spring after the company conducted an energy consumption audit of county facilities in 2017.

The projected energy savings are expected to be nearly $4.3 million, for a potential net savings to the county of about $300,000.

There was debate about whether to hire Johnson Controls, but a key selling point was the claim that energy-saving projects will pay for themselves in 20 years.

Initially, legislators Gary Maha and Andrew Young approached the agreement with skepticism, while legislators Shelly Stein, Marianne Clattenburg and John Hilchey expressed their approval.

The Johnson Controls contract allows the county to undertake projects that are already part of the county's capital investment plans and save money on existing utilities. The money saved from lower energy costs will flow back into the capital project budget to cover additional upgrades.

Legislators seemed satisfied with the information contained in the energy-saving projects update and raised no objections.

Stein requested that Osborn return to the Public Service Committee in September to present the next update on Johnson Controls.

June 18, 2019 - 2:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

Morgan Lee Cox Jr., 27, of Bates Road, Medina, is charged with aggravated harassment in the second degree. He was arrested on June 15 for allegedly threatening over the telephone at 2:20 a.m. on June 14 to burn another person's house down who lives on Pearl Street Road in Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on June 24. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

Nicole Jean Andrews, 37, of Boone Street, Buffalo, is charged with: third-degree burglary; possession of burglar tools; criminal tampering in the third degree; attempted petit larceny, and sixth-degree conspiracy. Jacquline M. Ross, no age or address provided, is charged with attempted petit larceny and sixth-degree conspiracy: At 3:04 p.m. on June 12, the GC Dispatch Center received a call of shoplifting in progress at a department store on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia. Following an investigation, the defendants were arrested. Andrews was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and jailed without bail. Ross was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court at a later date. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale and Investigator Chris Parker.

Herbert B. Gennis, 25, of Raymond Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. He is arrested at 12:58 p.m. on June 15 on Holland Avenue in Batavia, incident details not provided, and issued appearance tickets for June 25 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post.

Malik I. Ayala, 27, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested on June 14 for allegedly stealing items from a store on East Main Street in Batavia at 7:49 p.m. on April 9. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on June 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Alexandra R. Lasky, 29, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, was arrested on a Batavia City Court warrant for failure to appear after she was located during a traffic stop in Monroe County on June 16. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $500 cash bail or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider.

June 18, 2019 - 8:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
mug2019carolossamol.jpg
      Carlos Samol

A 54-year-old Batavia man has been accused of selling crack cocaine to agents of the Local Drug Task Force. 

Carlos "Sinbad" Samol, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Samol was picked up Sunday morning on a sealed Grand Jury indictment by Batavia PD while they were investigating an unrelated matter.

The suspect allegedly sold a quantity of crack cocaine an undercover agent on two separate occasions.  

He was arraigned in County Court and jailed on $15,000 bail or $30,000 bond.

June 17, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, Darien, batavia.

Edward James Leddick, 23, of Cheektowaga, is charged with second-degree harassement. At 12:39 a.m. on June 17 Leddick was arrested following an argument on Fargo Road in the Town of Darien. It is alleged that during the arugment, Leddick struck a female in the nose and pushed her to the ground. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Darien Court on July 7. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein.

Eric Duda, 46, of Prestige Crossing, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief. At 11:20 p.m. on June 14, deputies responded to Prestige Crossing in the Town of Batavia for a reported criminal mischief complaint. After an investigation Duda was arrested. He allegedly damaged property valued at $300 that belonged to another person. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on July 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eril Andre, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen

Daniel Jon Lewis, 23, of Meadow Farm South, North Chili, is charged with second-degree assault. He was arrested on June 11 for an assault that allegedly occurred at 10:09 p.m. on June 10 while he was incaracerated in the Genesee County Jail. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or bond. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Kelly James Rhim, 40, of Coven Street, Rochester, is charged with second-degree assault. He was arrested on June 11 for an assault that allegedly occurred at 9:49 p.m. on June 10 while he was incarcerated in the Genesee County Jail. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or bond. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

June 17, 2019 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
lorenzo_terrymug2019.jpg
       Lorenzo Terry

A 51-year-old Rochester resident has been arrested by members of the Local Drug Task Force, accused of selling crack cocaine in and around Genesee County.

Lorenzo A. "Tone" Terry, of Lang Street, Rochester, is accused of selling crack on three separate occasions to an agent of the task force over a six-month period.

Terry, the subject of an arrest warrant, was arrested on Batavia PD a week ago when he was spotted walking in the City of Batavia.  

The suspect has served four prior prison terms, going back to 1992, for drug possession and sales.

Judge Charles Zambito ordered Terry held in the Genesee County Jail on $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond.

June 15, 2019 - 4:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, news, notify, Le Roy, batavia, bergen.

Guillermo J. Torres-Acevedo is indicted for the crime of second-degree rape, a Class D violent felony. He is an adult accused of engaging is sexual intercourse with a person under 15 years old sometime during October at or near the County Meadows Manufactured Home Community in the Town of Batavia. In count two, he is accused of the same crime during September or October, on a different occasion. In count three, he is accused of the same crime in October while in the parking lot of a hotel in the Town of Batavia. In count four, he is accused of the same crime sometime between Nov. 25 and 26 in the Town of Batavia. In counts five, six and seven he is accused of criminal sexual act in the second degree, also a Class D violent felony, for allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct with a person under age 15 sometime during October or November in the Town of Batavia on three different occasions. In count eight, Torres-Acevedo is accused of another count of criminal sexual act in the second degree, for allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct with a person under age 15 sometime between Nov. 25 and 26 in the Town of Batavia. In count nine, the defendant is accused of second-degree kidnapping, a Class B violent felony, for allegedly abducting a person in the Town of Bergen on Nov. 29. In count 10, he is accused of second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor, for intentionally disobeying a court order of protection to stay away from the victim. In count 11, the defendant is indicted for endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of child less than 17. In count 12, Torres-Acevedo is indicted for the crime of first-degree custodial interference, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count 12 that on Nov. 29, the defendant unlawfully took a child from her lawful custodian and removed her from the state. In count 13, he is accused of unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly taking a 2012 Dodge Journey without the owner's consent.

Darius L. Jones 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 Feb. 22 in the City of Batavia that Jones knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with the intent to sell it.

Marquise L. Lee and Derek E. Wilcox are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on March 27 in the City of Batavia that they knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with the intent to sell it.

Christopher L. Burns is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 16 in the Town of Le Roy that he drove a 2014 Fiat on Route 5 while intoxicated. In count two, burns is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Burns is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Sept. 24, 2012 in County of Monroe Court and that conviction is within 10 previous to the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Shah L. Zajic is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 27 in the Town of Le Roy that Zajic drove a 2012 Toyota on Route 19 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Zajic is accused of having been convicted of the crime of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Feb. 14, 2017, in City of Batavia Court and that conviction is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

June 15, 2019 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, video, notify.
Video Sponsor

The 2019 season for the Batavia Muckdogs got off to the right start with 1,700 fans in attendance and a 2-0 win over the Auburn Doubledays.

Ben Hayes, the president of the New York-Penn League, the current owners of the franchise, said he's pleased with the improvements made by General Manager Brendan Kelly, Groundskeeper Cooper Thomson, and the rest of the staff during the offseason.  

Over the offseason, the league signed a three-year lease agreement for Dwyer Stadium and Hayes isn't talking like a league leader who wants to leave Batavia.

"We've been here since 1939," Hayes said. "Batavia means a lot to the New York-Penn League and there's been a lot of rumors and all that kind of stuff generated by people who are scared that the club's going to leave. But it's still here."

To keep the team here, though, the team needs community support. 

"The facility is a good facility at this point in time to play professional baseball," Hayes said. "We do need people to come and we need businesses to support the operations so that we can pay our bills, pay the bus company to transport us around, hotels -- all the different things that come along with a professional baseball team."

The team itself looks good. Several college-age players, some top prospects, lots of talent.

In centerfield this year is one of the Miami Marlins' Top 50 prospects, Milton Smith Jr., who hit .361 last year in rookie ball. He went 1-3 on opening night.

Dalvy Rosario, another top prospect, his first two hits in the league. He also stole a base and was caught stealing.

Peyton Burdick, a third-round draft pick from Batavia -- Batavia, Ohio -- started in right field and got his first two professional hits.

Nic Ready, from Poway, Calif. (San Diego County), an Air Force Academy grad (see separate video), and son of former major leaguer Randy Ready (San Diego Padres, among other teams, and for the previous three seasons, he managed in the Marlins system), started at third base. His first professional hit was a double and he scored a run.

Starting pitcher Remey Reed, a 2016 sixth-round pick from Plano, Texas, who spent part of the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Batavia, gave up only one hit over five frames to pick up the win. Cason Sherrod notched the save.

June 14, 2019 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia.

About a dozen family members and friends of murder victim Raymond Morgan were in Genesee County Court this afternoon when the man accused of killing him rejected a plea offer, opting instead to take the case to trial and face up to 25 years to life in prison.

Richard D. Hanes (inset photo, right), head shaved, constrained by shackles and wearing orange jail clothes, swiftly entered the courtroom when the side door swung wide open, and was told by a deputy to take a seat next to his attorney, Frederick Rarick.

The 36-year-old former Orleans County resident is accused of beating Morgan to death in his apartment at 111 Liberty St., Batavia, on July 24. He is charged with murder in the second degree, a Class A-1 felony, and has pled not guilty.

Under the plea offer, Hanes faced a minimum of 15 to 20 years in state prison.

Rarick told Judge Charles Zambito that he discussed the plea offer with his client and Hanes rejected it.

Zambito said today was the plea cut-off date and after today the offer would no longer be available and he asked Rarick if his client understood that. Rarick said he did.

Zambito also cited the "severe brutality" exhibited in this case and then set a trial date of Monday, July 22, with jury selection to begin the week before.

With the trial date set and the case dismissed, Morgan's loved ones abruptly stood and left the courtroom, causing a commotion as they did so. A couple of young women shouted out homophobic slurs and one said "Scumbag! Hope you get 25 years to life!"

A deputy quickly followed the group outside, telling them not to shout out.

One woman sobbed uncontrollably outside the courtroom as others tried to comfort her.

Investigators in the case have said the attack on Morgan was "exceptionally violent" and it happened "in an extremely short period of time." The motive, if there was one, was not clear, but detectives say they believe the attack was planned.

Hanes has been in custody since July 26, two days after the murder, on an alleged parole violation. He is being held at the Attica Correctional Facility.

In 2003, he was convicted in Orleans County of burglary, 3rd, attempted robbery, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. His parole on those charges expires Dec. 7.

In November, a Batavia police spokesman said Hanes was living at 5 Thorpe St., Batavia, a rooming house for clients of GCASA, at the time of Morgan's murder. (For previous story, click here.)

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman previously told The Batavian that there were witnesses in the area at the time of the murder who identified Hanes as the attacker. He said the people's case also includes scientific evidence, items of physical evidence, and surveillance video from various locations that follow Hane's path after the crime.

Morgan was a 47-year-old Batavia native with a large, tight-knit family that includes five grandchildren and many friends.

June 14, 2019 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adams Welding, oakfield-alabama, news, schools, education, notify.

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For Tim Adams, owner of Adams Welding and Manufacturing in Stafford, donating steel for a class project at Oakfield-Alabama High School is a chance to help students discover a possible career.

For the students, it's a chance to explore a trade and learn new skills.

For the Genesee County Fair, they'll receive new gate racks.

You might call it a win-win-win.

"Any chance kids have for an opportunity to learn a skill or an opportunity to if something is something they want to do in a future career, whether it be welding, electrical, plumbing, or carpentry, any kind of skilled trade, I don't see that as a bad thing," Adams said. "Perhaps they will fall in love with it and like it."

While not necessarily calling it a career just yet, Cierra Tiede said she went from being fearful of welding to really enjoying it.

"It was pretty cool," Tiede said. "I've done another welding projects before, but this was a bigger scale and it was cool to see it all come together in the end."

Instructor Todd Hofheins said it was a great project for the students to learn how to work together as a team, to divide up their labor, coordinate, and ensure all of the five racks are uniform in size and quality.

"The racks need to hold close to 2,000 pounds so they've got to be done properly," Hofheins said.

Without the donation of steel from Adams, the project wouldn't have been possible, Hofheins said.

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June 14, 2019 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, notify.

A 31-year-old Gates resident who police believed approached two girls near Wolcott School last Saturday appears to have done nothing that warrants criminal charges, Le Roy PD officers have determined following a detailed investigation.

The man was fully cooperative with police, authorities said.

He allowed investigators to examine all of the electronic devices along with his websites and other electronic data and no concerning photos or other data were found.

The FBI assisted in the investigation.

According to Le Roy PD, the man said he understood the concerns his actions raised and realized it was an error in judgment to approach the girls, whom he thought were older than they actually were.

The man is apparently developing a portfolio of piercing photos.

He was in Le Roy on Saturday primarily to photograph the replica of the Statue of Liberty and the Oatka Creek.

The Le Roy Central School District has been thoroughly briefed on the investigation, Le Roy PD said in a statement.

"After consulting with the FBI, the District Attorney's Office and the parents of the student who allowed the photo to be taken, no charges will be placed at this time," the statement said.

NOTE: While Le Roy PD released the name of the subject of the investigation, since he is not being charged with a crime, The Batavian does not consider it appropriate to publish his name.

June 14, 2019 - 2:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, news, notify.

Multiple law enforcement units are in pursuit of multiple motorcycles in the area of Corfu and Darien.

The motorcycles broke up in multiple directions with at least one heading north, one south, and one heading west into Erie County.

The riders have been identified as members of a motorcycle club.

One rider sideswiped a truck and took off a mirror.

One rider entering the Village of Corfu was fleeing in excess of 100 mph. The bikes are passing on the right and on the center line.

One westbound rider is described as a black male on a red motorcycle.

UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: The northbound motorcycle turned off of Route 77 and is now west on Route 5 and entering Erie County. Erie County does not have a car close to the chase area.

UPDATE 2:05 p.m.: The deputy in pursuit of the motorcycle on Route 5 in Erie County is breaking off the pursuit. 

UPDATE 2:08 p.m.: A deputy is apparently with one rider who had been part of the group and is running his identification. There is reportedly a rider who is part of the club at the security office at Darien Lakes. One deputy reports, "I had a total of four take off on me." Another says there was a group of five he was behind, and one he stopped.

UPDATE 2:16 p.m.: At least one rider was seen stopping to change clothes and is now wearing a black jacket with an orange shirt. He is described as a black male in his mid-40s. At least one of the plates of the bikes involved is from Maryland.

UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: Another rider was spotted going into Erie County at a high rate of speed -- a black male, black helmet, red bike.

June 14, 2019 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Iroquois Trail Council, Oakfield, news, notify, Boy Scouts.

A search of more than four years is about to come to an end for Iroquois Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The local Boy Scouts organization has been looking for consolidated, easily accessible, visible office space since at least 2015 and now has a pending purchase offer for a commercial building at 102 S. Main St., Oakfield.

The purchase agreement is contingent, among other things, on the council receiving approval on a site plan to convert the retail space into office space.

The location was most recently the site of a secondhand store, All About Yous.

"The advantage is mainly to our customer base, which is access," said Director Jim McMullen. "And it gives us an opportunity to house each of our staff in a workable space. We're pretty crowded right now."

Currently, the council has a small space in Downtown Batavia and an office in Lockport.

The new location will combine those, giving staff more room, and giving the scouts space for leaders and parents to pick up materials. It will also provide the council with a place to hold meetings.

A couple of years ago the council thought it had found a new office on West Main Street Road in Batavia but that deal didn't come together.

"It's been tough to find, space that is appropriate to our needs and is also on an easily accessible route," McMullen said following a meeting of the Genesee County Planning Board, which recommended approval of the site plan.

Don Ames said the scouts have owned their own office space for decades.

The purchase is also contingent on the building passing an engineering inspection and the property getting confirmation for tax-exempt status for nonprofit ownership.

The property is a little more than a half acre. The building on the property was built in 1998 and is 2,400 square feet. It's assessed value is $117,000.

Also on Thursday, the planning board recommended approval of a special use permit for a five-megawatt solar farm at 5103 Ellicott Street Road, which is currently farmland owned by Donald Partridge. The location is 20 acres and the facility will be built and run by Trousdale Solar LLC and will provide sufficient solar power for 750 to 1,000 homes.

Under the Community Distributed Generation Program, the solar energy would be distributed to customers through National Grid and the customers would receive solar credits against National Grid bills and pay Cypress Creek (the company administering the program) separately for the solar power. The overall cost to customers who sign up for the program will be lower than what they're currently paying, according to documentation from Trousdale Solar.

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