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November 17, 2018 - 8:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, sports, notify, football.




PHOTOS: from Jim Burns.

In big games, big-time players come up big and Ray Leach, for the second time in the postseason, scored eight touchdowns to, quite literally, carry his team, the Batavia Blue Devils, to a 54-49 win over defending state champion Skaneateles to propel Batavia to a state title shot Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

In three games, the Section V championship, the Far West Regional championship, and today's state finals playoff game, Leach has run for 1,223 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. 

"I'm speechless, really," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the game. "What he does every single week is impressive. You know, when he really turns it on, I don't know that anybody is stopping him in New York State. So hopefully you know we can put together a great week and hopefully, he can have a great game for us next week along with our offensive line."

Credit to the offensive line for opening holes but Leach was also impressive in his ability to step through small gaps, side-step diving linemen, create space on sweeps, break tackles, and if all else failed, drag one or two Skaneateles players along for a few extra yards.

For the second game in a row, Leach set a state record for rushing yards in a playoff game, hitting 472 tonight (on 52 carries), breaking last week's record of 427 yards.  His eight touchdowns tied last week's record eight touchdowns.

Josh Barber, who was once again a defense stalwart, said Leach helps lift the team's confidence.

"Ray Leach has played great since his freshman year," Barber said. "I knew he could get it done."

As is his habit in post-game interviews, Leach gave credit to his offensive line but he also acknowledged that Briggs expects him to be the man on the field and get the job done.

"I definitely got to come out hear him perform how I'm supposed to, and I just follow my line and things work out," Leach said.

Skaneateles came into the game 11-0, ranked #1, and behind quarterback Patrick Hackler one of the most potent offensives in the state. Hackler is a big kid and impressive when he heaves long passes downfield. With Nick Wamp as a frequent target and Areh Boni in the backfield, the Lakers kept the pressure on Batavia's defense all night.

Hackler was 17-30 passing for 260 yards and three TDs. He also ran for 149 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Wamp caught seven passes for 145 yards and two TDs. Boni ran for 64 yards and a TD.

Both teams came into the game with an unblemished streak of never trailing at any point in any game during the season. Batavia ruined the Laker's out-front run on its first drive, with Leach carrying the ball on all six plays, including the final 15-yard run to score.

Skaneateles would tie the game three times but with Batavia up 28-21 to start the second half, Andrew Francis intercepted Hackler on the first play from scrimmage setting up a Blue Devils drive that extended the lead but was only possible because Ethan Biscaro was able to scramble on a busted pass play, making his way to the far sideline, where he dodged Lakers down the line for a more than 20-yard gain, giving Batavia a first down on what had been a third-and-long play.

"Ethan's a fantastic athlete," Briggs said. He's got a great sense for the game. He knew exactly what he needed to do when he extended the play. He's a great football player."

From the Lakers' 47, Leach sprinted to the five-yard line and then scored on the next play.

Leach also led the team with 9 tackles and he had a key interception near the end of the third quarter.

Skaneateles still had a chance in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns, including one on a 54-second drive that pulled them within five points, but Batavia was, as Briggs preaches, relentless, and answer the Lakers score for score.

"You know he (Leach) is an unbelievable player but up front, they got a job and they got the job done all night defensively," Briggs said. "Obviously there were some holes in there but that's a very good football team. Our kids banded together. They bend but they don't break."

For more game pictures click HERE













November 17, 2018 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
malikayla2018.jpg teeseanayala2018.jpg
Malik Ayala TeeSean Ayala

A pair of brothers from Batavia are suspects in a string of burglaries in Batavia and Stafford, including one who was stopped Thursday night on Washington Avenue and allegedly found in possession of a stolen handgun. 

The handgun was allegedly taken in one of the burglaries and after the burglary, the serial number had been partially removed.

TeeSean T. Ayala, 19, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was reportedly driving the car stopped by Investigator Chris Parker on Thursday night on Washington Avenue. Parker recognized the vehicle as possibly linked to the string of burglaries.

The driver of the vehicle pulled into the driveway of a residence on Washington Avenue -- by coincidence, the home of County Manager Jay Gsell -- and somebody in the vehicle threw the handgun out the window.

The appearance of a gun prompted a multi-patrol response from local law enforcement.

Ayala, a former standout basketball player at Batavia High School, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, criminal possession a weapon, 3rd, unlawful possession of marijuana, and plate obstructed.

His brother, Malik Isiah Ayala, 27, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

Malik Ayala is accused of being in possession of stolen property at Pawn King on Oct. 24 valued in excess of $3,000.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said both arrests are the result of an investigation into burglaries that occurred in the City of Batavia, Town of Batavia, and Stafford. 

In all, at least five burglaries are believed to be connected to the same suspects, Brewster said.

TeeSean Ayala was ordered held on $15,000 bail. Malik Ayala's bail was set at $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond.

Brewster said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

November 16, 2018 - 1:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, Grand Jury, Darien, batavia, Stafford, crime.

Constantine D. Murrell is indicted for the crime of second-degree robbery, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 25 at the Kwik-Fill gas station/convenience store at the intersection of Ellicott and Jackson streets in the City of Batavia that Murrell forcibly stole a 2008 automobile. In count two, he is accused of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged in count two that during the commission or attempted commission of the aforementioned felony that he cause physical injury to a person. in count three, he is accused of reckless driving, a misdemeanor, for driving the 2008 vehicle in a manner that interfered with the free and proper use of the roadways and/or unreasonably endangered users of those roadways. In count four, Murrell is accused of unlawful lfeeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that he attempted to flee an officer, knowing that he had been directed to stop, and that his speeds equaled or exceeded 25 miles per hour above the speed limit or he engaged in reckless driving.

Dylan J. Perry is indicted for the crime of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. It is alleged that between Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 he knowingly entered and remained unlawfully in a building located on Broadway Road in the Town of Darien with intent to commit a crime. In count two, Perry is accused of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that Perry stole $300 in U.S. currency and a pair of work boots while inside the property on Broadway Road.

Antonio J. Goodson is indicted for the crime of criminal contempt in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 22 in the City of Batavia that he violated a duly served order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Goodson is accused of having been convicted of criminal contempt in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, on Jan. 19 in City of Rochester Court. That conviction was for a violation of a stay away family offense order of protection and was within five years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

Thomas J. Claffey is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by drugs, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 18 in the Town of Stafford that he drove a 2016 Chevrolet on Route 33 while his ability to do so was impaired by use of a drug. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney's Office, Claffey is accused of having been convicted for DWI, as a misdemeanor, on July 28, 2008, in Town of Irondequoit, and that conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

November 15, 2018 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, notify.


Multiple city police units are on scene and officers have guns drawn after a gun was thrown out of a car at 317 Washington Ave. No further information.

More T/K.

UPDATE 5:24 p.m.: According to Sheriff's Office Sgt. Andrew Hale, a suspect vehicle in a string of recent burglaries "all over" was spotted by a marked Sheriff's patrol car traveling on Washington Avenue with two occupants. Sheriff's Investigator Christopher Parker, working patrol, turned around and followed the vehicle, which turned into a driveway randomly in an attempt to elude the Sheriff's unit. (By coincidence, it happens to be the residence of County Manager Jay Gsell.) One of the occupants threw out a 22-caliber semi-automatic pistol in an attempt to ditch the weapon. It was never pointed at anyone and no threat was made. The occupants did not attempt to flee. Two brothers, one age 19 and the other age 14, were transported to the Sheriff's Office for questioning. If charges are brought, more information will be released by law enforcement, Hale said.

November 15, 2018 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news, corfu, notify.


A 24-year-old Oakfield resident involved in a serious injury accident in Corfu in April is facing up to six years in prison after pleading guilty this afternoon in County Court to aggravated vehicular assault.

Jacob J. Szumigala also agreed to plead guilty to DWI as a misdemeanor and aggravated unlicensed operation.

As part of the plea deal, Szumigala must also plead guilty in Town of Oakfield on a pending DWI case.

Szumigala is out of jail pending sentencing at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 15 and must abide by court instructions and the agreement or statutory enhancements could be added to his guilty plea, which would mandate a five- to 15-year prison term.

There is no minimum prison term and Szumigala could receive a probationary sentence if he abides by the terms of the plea agreement.

On April 18, Szumigala was driving a 2008 Hyundai Sonata with North Carolina plates on West Main Street Road through Corfu when his car rear-ended a Honda driven by James M. Hoskins, of Corfu. Hoskins' car then struck a westbound pickup truck. Hoskins was seriously injured in the accident.

In court today, Szumigala admitted that his BAC exceeded .18 percent at the time of the accident and that he was driving recklessly.

A month earlier, Szumigala was arrested by State Police for allegedly driving drunk on Lockport Road, Alabama. That case is still pending in the Town of Oakfield Court.

Photo: File photo of April 18 accident.

November 15, 2018 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Le Roy.

Heidi L. Harder, 43, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child less than 17. Harder was arrested following an investigation into the report of drug activity being conducted in the presence of a child and forcing that child to smoke marijuana. The incident allegedly occurred at 6 p.m. on Sept. 9 on Montclair Avenue. Harder was arraigned in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Robin L. Williams, 33, of Jackson Street, Batavia, and Michael L. Jackson Jr., 37, of Maple Street, Batavia, are both charged with endangering the welfare of a child. They allegedly allowed and encouraged their respective juvenile daughters to engage in a physical altercation. The incident allegedly occurred at noon on July 3 on Thorpe Street in Batavia. The adult defendants were issued appearance tickets and were due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13. The cases were handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Chiyannon J. Bundy, 31, of 98 Lake St., Le Roy, was arrested Nov. 11 following a reported disturbance call in the Village of Le Roy. Bundy was charged with one count each of burglary in the second degree, a Class C felony, and criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that during the disturbance, Bundy knowingly and unlawfully entered a residence with the intent of damaging property and damaged the property of another. Bundy was arraigned and released under the supervision of the Genesee Justice Program.

James E. Soggs III, 24, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal mischief. He was arrested at 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 11 on Thomas Avenue in Batavia after a domestic altercation at his girlfriend's residence. He was arraigned and jail on $2,500 cash or bond and was due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Christopher A. Ridgeway Jr., 26, of Bridgewood Road, Midlothian, Va., is charged with: unlawful possession of marijuana; aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree; unlicensed operation; and operation without headlights. He was arrested at 1:17 a.m. on Nov. 7 on West Main Street in Batavia following a traffic stop for driving without headlights. He posted bail and was issued an appearance ticket along with several traffic tickets. He was due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Andrew D. Vicary, 27, of East Main Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI, unsafe backing and following to closely. Vicary was arrested at 4:04 p.m. on Nov. 1 on East Main Street in Batavia following an investigation into a three-car accident at the intersection of East Main Street and Swan Street. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on his own recognizance. He was due back in city court on Nov. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kyle Krtanik, assisted by Officer Catherine Mucha.

Cynthia May Mack, 51, of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. She was arrested at 10:24 a.m. Nov. 14 on South Swan Street in Batavia following a probation house check. She was allegedly found to have a house guest whom she was restricted from having any contact with due to a complete stay away order of protection. She was jailed on $2,500 cash or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Jessica L. Holtz, 35, of Williams Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. It is alleged that she stole $3.48 worth of merchandise from Save-A-Lot. She was arrested at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 and processed at Genesee County Jail. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

November 15, 2018 - 12:39pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Alabama, news, notify, roundabout, Route 77 and Ledge Road.

(Officials from the State DOT at the Alabama Firemen’s Recreation Hall Wednesday night. From left are Jillian Button, real estate specialist with Region 4 Office of Right of Way; Paul Spitzer, regional traffic engineer; Frank Billittier, regional design engineer; Jordan Guerrein, public information officer with the DOT; and Wesley Alden, assistant regional design engineer.)

ALABAMA – The State Department of Transportation held a public information meeting Wednesday night at Alabama Firemen’s Recreation Hall to address residents’ concerns about plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of Route 77 and Ledge Road.

It was clear that 100 percent of those who spoke at the meeting are strongly opposed to the project, for a variety of reasons.

The DOT’s public information officer Jordan Guerrein said Alabama Town Supervisor Janet Sage requested the meeting to inform the public where the project stands and to take comments from local residents.

The project was initiated to address a high rate of severe accidents at the site, Guerrein said.

Between April 1, 2013 and May 31, 2018, there were 56 crashes in the area, 31 of them at the intersection. One involved a fatality. Another fatality occurred prior to 2013.

The DOT said they have considered alternative solutions and have implemented minor safety enhancements, such as upgraded signs and modified striping, but propose a modern roundabout as the best solution to the problem.

Residents were all vocal about their opposition to installing a roundabout in a 55-mile per hour speed zone at the bottom of a curve and hill. Instead there were suggestions of speed bumps on Ledge Road, a four-way stop, better lighting at the intersection, cameras, increased traffic enforcement and a signal light.

Several residents with homes at the intersection were very concerned about how close the roundabout would bring traffic to their house (one within 30 feet), the increased noise and exhaust fumes from vehicles having to slow for an extended distance and trucks accelerating to make it up the hill. 

Richard Rudolph, of Akron, who was a former Pembroke highway superintendent, said he plowed that stretch of road for more than 20 years.

“When it was snowy and slippery, trucks had a hard time getting up the hill,” Rudolph said. “Now you’re going to put an obstruction in the road and expect an 80,000 pound truck to stop on ice.”

Several voiced objections to the $1.6 million price tag to taxpayers.

“Putting in a traffic light would be a whole lot cheaper and quicker,” one resident commented. 

There were several suggestions from the crowd to reduce speed limits from Indian Falls to Alabama.

Paul Spitzer, regional traffic engineer, replied that setting lower speed limits typically results in more accidents.

“Reducing speed limits does not reduce accidents,” he said. “Reducing speeds lowers accidents, and roundabouts lower speed.”

He said the maximum speed in the roundabout would be 20 miles per hour. 

(The State DOT shared this aerial photo at left of the intersection of Route 77 and Ledge Road in the Town of Alabama during Wednesday's public information meeting. It  shows the close proximity of homes on three of the corners. At right, this design drawing shows the proposed roundabout and where a temporary road would be built to reroute traffic west on Ledge Road during construction.)

The engineers explained the roundabout would be elliptical in shape. They would meet with each of the four affected homeowners, whose properties will be appraised. They will be paid the highest market value for the portions of their land that would needed to construct the roundabout. No structures would be razed. The roundabout would come closest to the home on the southeast corner -- within 30 feet of it.

Construction of the roundabout would close the intersection for four to six weeks, engineers said. Closure will be planned to minimize impact to the school districts and local farming community.

Traffic would be detoured down routes 5 and 63 and a temporary roadway at the intersection will be used to maintain access for businesses, residents and emergency services. 

Several asked if the project was a done deal or if there was still an opportunity to stop it. Annette Johnson, who lives in the Town of Alabama, is circulating petitions opposing the roundabout.

Each person who attended Wednesday’s hearing received a comment form which they can fill out and send to the DOT in Rochester.

Guerrein said the DOT will carefully read all the comments before moving forward. The next planned step would then be an environmental hearing in early 2019 to accept any further comments. The design phase would be completed in the summer of 2019, with construction scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020.  

Roundabouts are proven to substantially reduce the severity of accidents, Alden said. Typically, they provide an 80-percent reduction in serious accidents, he said.

The final decision on building the roundabout will be made by the chief engineer of the State DOT in Albany, said Frank Billittier, regional design engineer.

(Photo below: Wesley Alden, assistant regional design engineer with the State DOT, takes comments from residents opposed to the construction of a roundabout at Route 77 and Ledge Road in the Town of Alabama during a public information hearing Wednesday night.)

November 13, 2018 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, batavia, bergen, elba, Alabama.

Angela Marie Torcello, 35, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with: falsifying business records in the first degree; grand larceny, 4th -- using a credit card; and petit larceny. Following an investigation of an incident that occurred on May 8, Torcello was arrested on these charges. It is alleged that she used a credit card that she stole to purchase products from a traveling vendor. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on Nov. 26. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Rick Austin Drury, 21, of Judge Road, Alabama, is charged with DWI, DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and moving from lane unsafely. He was arrested following the investigation of a vehicle off the roadway on Ford Road in Elba at 3:55 a.m. on Nov. 10. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Elba Town Court on Dec. 19. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Craig Hobart Sleeman, 38, of Victor, is charged with: DWI; aggravated DWI with a BAC of .18 percent or more and no priors; unsafe turn/failure to signal; failure to keep right; and moving from lane unsafely. He was arrested at 1:48 a.m. on Nov. 11 following a traffic stop on Main Street Road in Batavia. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on Jan. 28. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein.

Susan Michelle Rea, 45, of Sheridan Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, refusal to take a breath test, and stopping/parking on a highway. Rea was arrested at 3:52 p.m. on Nov. 10 on Wortendyke Road near Route 33 in Batavia after she was allegedly found asleep behind the steering wheel of her vehicle. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance. She is due in Batavia Town Court on Dec. 17. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein.

November 12, 2018 - 8:40pm

Downtown Batavia's future is not the mall; it's the open areas south of Main Street, suggests Tim Tielman, a preservationist and urban planner with a track record of success in Buffalo.

Jackson Street, Jackson Square, the south side of Main Street, are where we can find what's left of Batavia's vitality, Tielman said, in a recent interview with The Batavian. The mall, he said, is the last place Batavia should invest tax dollars.

"It's a continuing drag on Batavians, their creativity, their dynamism, their energy," Tielman said. "It's this energy sucking death star in the middle of the city, and you shouldn't spend any money making it a better death star."

We interviewed Tielman in advance of his talk this Wednesday night at 7 o'clock at GO ART! for The Landmark Society of Genesee County's annual meeting.

The topic: How Batavia gets its mojo back. 

Tielman's basic thesis is that Batavia was at its apex just after the end of the 19th century when the village, soon to become a city, had a robust, densely populated urban center with hundreds of businesses.

If that downtown, which was destroyed by urban renewal, still existed Tielman said, people from Rochester and Buffalo as well as the rest of the GLOW region would flock to Batavia every week for the small city experience.

Niagara on the Lake still has it. Batavia lost it. But, with effort, Batavia can get it back, but it will literally be a ground-up process, not a top-down, consultant-driven, developer-driven effort. Batavians have to do it for themselves. But Batavians are already pointing the way if city leaders will listen.

"There's obviously an innate human need for want of a better term, congenial spaces, in towns, cities, and villages, and even in times where they've been destroyed in war or urban renewal, people find them or build them," Tielman said. "What we see in Batavia is people have happened upon Jackson Square because it's a leftover thing that no one thought about and wasn't destroyed.

"The qualities of the thing as a physical space make it a very interesting case. You enter through a narrow passageway, and suddenly, totally unexpectedly, you come to a larger space, and even though it obviously wasn't designed with gathering in mind it has everything people want as a place to gather."

Jackson Square, Jackson Street, combined with the local businesses that still populate the business district on the south side of Main Street are strengths to build on, Tielman said. Batavia can leverage the density already found there and add to it.

But Tielman isn't an advocate of trying to lure developers with tax dollars to build big projects. He believes, primarily, in a more grassroots approach. 

The "death star," he said, and continuing efforts to deal with it, are part of the "urban renewal industrial complex," as he put it, and that failed approach should be avoided.

"The solutions (of urban renewal) are all the same," Tielman said. "It's like, 'let's put out an RFP, let's get some state money instead of saying', 'well, what do the Batavians need? What are they thirsty for? What are they dying for?' What you'll find is that Batavians are like every other group of homo sapiens on the face of the Earth. If they had their druthers, they'd want something within walking distance.

"They'd want to meet friends. They'd want to do stuff close at hand and in a way that they're not killed by vehicles careening down streets at 30 or 40 miles an hour. They want their kids to be safe. They don't want to worry about them being struck by a tractor-trailer when they're riding their bikes to the candy store."

That means, of course, narrowing Ellicott Street through Downtown, perhaps adding diagonal parking to Main Street, moving auto parking from out of the center of the city, particularly in the triangle between Jackson, Main and Ellicott, which Tielman sees as the most promising area of downtown to increase density first.

Batavians will need to decide for themselves what to do, but what he suggests is that the city makes it possible for the parking lot between Jackson and Court become one big mini-city, filled with tents and temporary structures and no parking.

"The rents for a temporary store or a tent or a stand or a hotdog cart should be low enough to allow a huge segment of the population (of Batavia) to experiment," Tielman said.

Low rents remove one of the biggest impediments to people starting a business and open up the experimental possibilities so that Batavians decide for themselves what they want downtown. 

"This gives Batavia the best chance to see, whether for a very low investment on a provisional basis, (if) this will work," Tielman said. "It's not sitting back for 10 years trying to concoct a real estate investment scheme based on some RFP to lure developers and give them handouts at tremendous public risk. The idea is lower the risk and do things the way successful places have done it for millennia."

That's how it worked for Canalside, one of the projects, besides Larkin Square, Tielman has helped get started in Buffalo. With Canalside, development started with tents and temporary vendors. Now the area is revitalized, and permanent structures are being erected. It's a Buffalo success story.

The idea of starting new business and community centers with tents and temporary structures is something Tielman suggested for Batavia's future when he spoke to the Landmark Society in 2013. He suggested then the major obstacle standing in the way of Batavia's economic vitality wasn't the mall, it is massive amounts of asphalt for parking -- economically unproductive and mostly unused.

While he likes the Ellicott Street project, primarily because of the 55 apartments being added to Downtown's housing stock but also because of the involvement of Sam Savarino who has been part of successful restoration projects in Buffalo, Tielman thinks the project needs to have "connective tissue" with everything on the north side of Ellicott Street.

That means narrowing Ellicott, adding wider, more pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, and slowing down truck traffic flowing through Downtown.

Any such plan would involve the state Department of Transportation but that, he said, is just a matter of the city being willing to stand up to the DOT and paying for its own maintenance of that stretch of Route 63.

"If the Batavia's really serious about fixing (Route 63), it should do it on its own dime," Tielman said.

As part of Tielman's suggestion to concentrate growth strategies on the south side of Main Street, Tielman agrees that the farmer's market, currently at Alva and Bank, should be moved to Jackson Street.

The current location is too far from the existing local businesses, so the tendency is for people to drive to Alva, park, shop and leave. The traffic being drawn downtown isn't staying downtown.

Tielman talked about contiguity, the quality of commercial spaces adjoining each other, being necessary for convenience of users and survival of businesses.

"Connective tissue," a phrase used several times by Tielman, is critical to city centers.

"Contiguity is the lifeblood of settlements of towns and of cities," Tielman said. "If left to their own devices, places will develop like this -- and you'll see this up to World War II -- whether they were European cities, Asian cities or American cities.

"Look at a (1918) map of Batavia, contiguity was everything," Tielman added. "In a town of 18,000 people you had four-story buildings. It's crazy, you would think, but (it was built up that way)  because (of) the distance from the train station to Main Street to the courthouse. That's where you wanted to be. Everyone's walking around."

People are social animals -- Tielman made this point several times -- and Batavians, if given a chance, will support a city center with more density, Tielman said because that's human nature. What exactly that looks like, that's up to Batavians, but creating that environment will give residents a stronger sense of community, more personal connections, and shared life experience. That will foster the community's creativity and vitality, which is better than just accepting decline.

"I mean, if you look at the great John Gardner," his formative years are "when Batavia was still a place where a young John Gardner could walk up the street, buy comic books, get into trouble over there by the railroad tracks, buy something for his mother on the way home, blah, blah, blah. He could have quite a day in town and encounter characters of different stripes that can actually (be worked) into pretty rich novels of American life. You wonder whether Batavia could produce a John Gardner today."

Tim Tielman has a lot more to say about Batavia getting its mojo back (this is condensed from an hour-long conversation). Go to GO ART! at 7 p.m. Wednesday to hear more about it, ask questions, even challenge his ideas.


Top: Use the slider on the map to compare Batavia of 1938 with Batavia of 2016.

November 11, 2018 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Armistice Day, veterans, Veterans Day, news, Le Roy, notify.


George Botts, Cecelia Cochran, Errol Crittenden, Leo Fiorito, Thomas Illes, Edward Kaine, Percy Luttrell, Patrick Molyneaux, Edgar Murrell, George Ripton, Alvin Smith and John Wilder.

Twelve Le Royans who went to war in the Great War, the War to End All Wars, and who didn't return home.

Today they were honored on the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day. The day when a treaty calling for the end of hostilities in Europe on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour 1918 went into effect.

A new memorial to Le Roy's 12 who died as a result of the war was dedicated at Trigon Park with prayers, poems, a song, a reading the names of the 12 names, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of taps.













November 10, 2018 - 2:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, news, notify.


A man in his young 20s apparently accidentally fatally shot himself with his own gun this evening during a party in a barn at 6490 Byron Holley Road, Byron.

The name of the victim has not been released pending family notifications.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said right now investigators are leaning toward accidental as the cause of the firearm discharge.

It is possible the victim was playing with the weapon when it discharged.

He described the gun as a semi-automatic pistol that the victim owned and possessed legally.

There were five or six people in the room, a party room in the barn, as Brewster described it, when the gun went off.

The initial call at 11:45 p.m., Friday, was for a man accidentally shot in the face. Byron Ambulance was dispatched but the ambulance went back in service shortly after arriving on the scene.

The coroner arrived on scene at about 2:15 a.m.

Two people who were in the room at the time of the shooting were taken to the Sheriff's Office on Park Road for further questioning.

Brewster said a press release about the shooting will go out after family notifications and after investigators determine better exactly what happened.  

UPDATE 10 a.m.: The victim has been identified as John L. Carney, 23, of Le Roy.

November 9, 2018 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

A man who drunkenly broke into a home on Swan Street in Batavia and picked up a child in that residence said in County Court this morning that he knew he terrified the people living there and he felt horrible about it. He said he knew he deserved to go to jail.

Judge Charles Zambito sentenced Sath Paul Dhanda, 39, of Clapsaddle Road, Bethany, to eight months in jail on a conviction, based on a prior guilty plea, to charges of criminal trespass and endangering the welfare of a child.

"I don't know these people," Dhanda said. "I have never seen them. I wouldn't know them if I saw them. I feel awful about what I did. I do believe I deserve time in jail to make sure it doesn't happen again."

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini blamed Dhanda's conduct on his drinking. Dhanda's criminal history goes back to at least 2007, the year after he reportedly suffered a head injury, when he was charged with assault at a residence on Ellicott Street. He's been arrested numerous times since then.  

By his own account and the word of others, Dhanda once had a promising golf career, and after being released from prison on a 2011 conviction for criminal contempt, Dhanda worked as a pro at a golf course in the region.

Today's court appearance today echoed Dhanda's sentencing in 2011 when he told then Judge Robert C. Noonan, "Alcoholism has destroyed my once promising life."

Cianfrini said today, "Everytime Mr. Dhanda drinks, almost every time he drinks, it seems he winds up in legal difficulty. He needs to come to the realization that he's a person who can't consume even one drop of alcohol."

She said he was lucky he hadn't seriously injured himself or somebody else given his lack of self-control when he's drinking. For his own safety and the safety of others, she asked Zambito to give him the longest possible sentence allowed by his plea agreement."

"Ms. Cianfrini is right," Dhanda said. "Alcohol is my problem but it's not every time I drink that I get into trouble but every time I get into trouble it's because I've been drinking."

He said prior to his arrest in July he had trouble with his health insurance and had trouble getting prescription medication. He mentioned going to UMMC and getting his medication and then taking it with alcohol. He said a friend was supposed to pick him up but instead of waiting he decided to walk. He said he blacked out and didn't remember entering the residence on Swan Street.

Dhanda is a good-looking man. Tall with the athletic build of a golfer, he is the son of a once-prominent urologist in Batavia. He is also well spoken and well mannered in court.

Zambito said the probation officer who prepared his pre-sentencing report said Dhanda was his "own worst enemy."

"It's clear," Zambito said reading from the report, "the defendant could do great things with his life if he would stop drinking and doing drugs."

November 9, 2018 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
       Jaequele Tomlin

A trial date has been set for two men accused of running a scam on Craigslist, but there may also be a plea deal in the works for one or both of the suspects.

Jaequele M. Tomlin, 23, of Central Avenue, Batavia, and Quamane J. Santiago, 19, of Main Road, Stafford, appeared in County Court today on what was scheduled to be their plea cutoff date but with the agreement of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and Judge Charles Zambito the plea cutoff date was extended to Nov. 19.

Tomlin's attorney, Arthur A. Duncan, said he needed more time in light of a decision on a motion handed down by Zambito.

The nature of the motion or the content of Zambito's decision was not discussed in open court.

Tomlin and Santiago are charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree.

They are accused of posting car-for-sale ads on Craigslist with the intent of robbing anybody who showed up to buy the car.

At the time of their arrest, they were allegedly found in possession of fake guns.

Tomlin faces an additional charge of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, for allegedly possessing a blunt-force weapon with the intention to use it against a person.

Fred Rarick, attorney for Santiago, did not indicate whether his client is considering a plea offer but Rarick agreed to the extension of the plea-cutoff date.

If no plea agreement is reached in either case, jury selection for a trial is scheduled for March 25.

"The snow should have melted by then," Zambito joked.

November 9, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

One of the two men arrested in connection to thefts from local liquor stores, where one man would distract the store clerk and another would enter the back room to steal cash or credit cards, admitted to his crimes today in front of County Court Judge Charles Zambito.

Edward F. Perdue, 57, walked into court dressed in a tan state prison jumpsuit with his hands and feet shackled. He seemed confused and wandered in front of the defense table at which point a state prison guard, one of his escorts, pointed to a chair on the other side of the table and told him where to sit.

Perdue was soft-spoken throughout the hearing and when Zambito asked him how he was feeling, he said, "a little depressed and down."

When Zambito asked him if he understood the proceedings, Perdue fought back tears before saying he did.

Perdue, who said he was born in Rochester, is already being held at the Mohawk Correctional Facility since his conviction in April in Monroe County on counts of third-degree burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, grand larceny, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th. He was sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison.

With his guilty plea today to grand larceny, 4th, for the theft of a credit card, the maximum term is two to four years.  

A year ago, Perdue participated with another suspect in a burglary of Plaza Spirits and Mr. Wine and Liquor. A cash box was stolen from the backroom of Plaza Spirts and a credit card was stolen from a purse at Mr. Wine and Liquor.

At one point, when Zambito was questioning about him about his status as a second felony offender, Perdue got a little more animated and exclaimed that he didn't steal $500 cash from Mr. Wine and Liquor.

Perdue's accomplice, Willie Dozier, previously entered a guilty plea to grand larceny, 3rd, as a second felony offender. He was sentenced in September to two to four years in state prison, to run concurrent with his sentence in Monroe County on charges stemming from similar crimes. Dozier was also ordered to pay restitution of $672.

November 8, 2018 - 6:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
Jennifer K. Urvizu-Hanlon

Whether certain statements Jennifer K. Urvizu-Hanlon made while in custody May 18, during the police investigation into a homicide and shooting the day before on Central Avenue in the city, can be used against her in court will be decided by Judge Charles Zambito by Jan. 4.

Urvizu-Hanlon appeared in court today for a hearing on the admissibility of those statements, called a Huntley Hearing (or a suppression hearing), and her attorney tried to use his time in court to also press for statements and notes from police that he believes his client has been wrongfully denied as he prepares to take her case to trial.

Whether Hanlon's statements can be used may come down to how Zambito views, within the scope of prior case law, two things Hanlon said during her interview with Det. Thad Mart, Batavia PD, that may indicate she had doubts about talking with police.

During the interview, she apparently said, "If I'm guilty of something I should have somebody here, I guess," and "I guess I should have somebody here" followed by "I don't have a lawyer."

A short time later she specifically asked for an attorney, at which point Mart terminated the interview and, apparently with enough evidence at that point, placed her under arrest.

Urvizu-Hanlon, the former owner of La Mexicana store on East Main Street in Batavia, is charged with criminal liability for conduct of another/criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd. She is accused of giving a handgun, which she was permitted to carry, to Samuel R. Blackshear, a 17-year-old accused of shooting Nathaniel D. Wilson Jr., who murdered Terry J. Toote with a knife on Central Avenue on May 17.

In a discussion after the hearing, with a reporter present, between defense attorney Christian Kennedy and First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini, Kennedy said he doesn't dispute that the statements were equivocal.

Prior case law makes it clear, and Kennedy said he knew he would lose a motion on this point, because saying "I guess" or "maybe" is equivocal, whereas a statement like, "I want to speak to an attorney," or even, "I want to speak to my dad," or "I want to speak to my friend" is unequivocal and any statements made after that point to police might not be admissible at trial.

Kennedy said he will base his written motion, to be filed later, on other grounds but did not disclose what his argument will be.

Det. Kevin Czora testified today followed by Det. Mart.

Czora said police obtained a warrant to search Urvizu-Hanlon's car as part of their investigation into the crimes on Central Avenue and that her car was located and stopped in the parking lot of Valu Plaza at about 2:25 p.m., May 18. 

Urvizu-Hanlon was taken into custody for questioning and placed in the back of a police cruiser. At that point, she volunteered to an officer that there was a handgun in her car, as well as ammunition and that the gun was either on the passenger side next to the center console or in the trunk in a bag.

Czora then read her Miranda warnings (the right to an attorney, to remain silent, etc.) and she waived her rights. He then questioned her about the gun and its location.

At that point, Urvizu-Hanlon was transported to the police station where Mart questioned her.

The interview was videotaped and a DVD of that interview was placed into evidence.

Mart said Urvizu-Hanlon acknowledged that she had been read her rights and had waived those rights, agreeing to speak with him.

He said the interview started at 2:45 p.m. and terminated at 3:04 p.m. when she asked for an attorney.  

The substance of the interview, other than her two statements about maybe she should talk with somebody, was not discussed during today's hearing.

When Kennedy questioned both Czora and Mart, he tried to ask questions about their involvement in the investigation on May 17 but Cianfrini objected to that being outside the scope of a Huntley Hearing and Zambito sustained the objection.

Kennedy said he had been denied "Rosario material," which refers to material in possession of the prosecution that may have a bearing on the case.  

Zambito said Kennedy was entitled to Rosario material relevant to the Huntley Hearing (no such material was in dispute today) but statements, documents, and notes, won't become subject of a Rosario motion until trial, if there is a trial.

In 18 years of practicing law in other courts, Kennedy said, he had never been denied this material at this stage. This is a long-standing common complaint of defense attorneys in criminal cases in Genesee County Court.

The Batavian reported in September that Kennedy may be preparing a justification defense based on the idea that Blackshear and Hanlon had just witnessed Wilson murder Toote. Zambito has apparently issued a ruling limiting Kennedy's ability to use this defense. But based on today's discussion, Kennedy will present another motion and try to make the point that there is no case law that addresses this particular situation -- where the gun used was licensed and legally carried by the person who handed it over to a third party who used it.

As for the Huntley Hearing, there will be an additional written motion and argument filed by Kennedy and an opportunity for the people to answer. Zambito must also view the video of the interview. The case was put on the calendar for Jan. 4 with a written ruling from Zambito expected before that appearance.

November 8, 2018 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, Bethany, byron, batavia.

Julia A. Hawley, 41, of Coward Road, Byron, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while ability impaired by drugs, failure to keep right, and moving from lane unsafely. Shortly after midnight on Wednesday Nov. 8, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a call about a single-vehicle accident with injuries on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. Investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office determined Hawley was the sole occupent of the Chevrolet Silverado that left the roadway, striking a tree stump. Hawley was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight. She was allegedly impaired by drugs at the time of the accident and arrested. She was also issued citations. The accident was investigated by Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Jenna Ferrando. Elba Fire Department also Mercy EMS assisted at the scene. (For previous coverage, click here.)

Shante C. Johnson, 21, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree. A complaint of a wallet and credit card stolen in September was reported to the Le Roy Police Department and investigated. Johnson was arrested on Nov. 6 and issued an appearance ticket to be in Le Roy Town Court on Dec. 3. It is alleged that Johnson stole the wallet from a fellow employee while working in the Village of Le Roy and then attempted to use a credit card from the wallet in the City of Batavia.

Miguel Hernandez-Gonzalez, 35, of East Road, Bethany, is charged with driving while intoxicated, DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and unsafe backing. Hernandez-Gonzalez was arrested following a motor-vehicle accident on East Road in Bethany at 4:42 a.m. on Nov. 3. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Bethany Town Court on Dec. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

November 7, 2018 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in election, news, notify.


There are multiple storylines coming out of Tuesday's midterm election:

  • The Democrats take control of the House but not the 27th Congressional District, though that race isn't technically over;
  • Local Libertarians are celebrating the more than 90,000 votes garnered by Larry Sharpe, giving the Libertarian Party for the first time the same level of ballot access as Republicans and Democrats;
  • Voters approved staggered, four-year terms for county legislators;
  • National, state and local voter turnout, traditionally low in midterm elections, that match or exceed presidential year elections;
  • Democrats gain full control of state government after picking up enough seats in the State Senate to now hold the majority in the upper chamber.

The last point is perhaps the most troubling to Assemblyman Steve Hawley who has both seen firsthand what happens when Democrats control the Senate and the "crazy stuff" of Assembly Democrats that has been kept in check, as he put it, by a Republican majority in the State Senate.

"The last time that it flipped to Downstate, I referred to it, we saw what happened," Hawley said. "They were in control for two years. Many of them have already served jail time. Many have been convicted and are going to be serving jail time. It was complete free fall from any sense of reality (with the) programs and bills that were passed in the Assembly that were heretofore blocked by the Senate. I really shudder to think what will happen with some of the crazy stuff that comes out of the Assembly."

As we reported previously, former NYS Farm Bureau President and Elba resident Dean Norton warned local farmers what to expect if the Democrats gained control of the State Senate: A higher minimum wage, a farm labor bill, more regulations, cuts in rural government and school funding.

As the election approached, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who previously represented Genesee County in Congress before losing to Collins in 2012, held an opposite view, according to her personal account Twitter feed. Example:

Joined great Democratic candidates in #Rensselaer who are fired up to continue our progressive agenda.

We will take back the @NYSenate and have @AaronGladd join us in the majority! We must fight back against Trump and stand together to push New York forward. pic.twitter.com/ebmfjf7IJS

— Kathy Hochul (@KathyHochul) November 2, 2018

McMurray Concedes Race, Then Demands Recount

Expectations of Democratic gains in the State Senate or congressional House didn't do much to boost spirits at Center Street Smoke House last night, where local Democrats had gathered, once Nate McMurray appeared on TV for a concession speech when results weren't looking good for his effort to unseat indicted incumbent Chris Collins.

McMurray had energized WNY Democrats in a way that perhaps even Hochul didn't do in 2011. The disappointment at McMurray's apparent loss was palpable.

"He ran (his campaign) from the grassroots," said Michael Plitt, chairman of the County Democratic Party. "I mean, you know, the state party and national party didn't invest much in the race at the beginning. He just worked and worked and worked and he got a lot of people interested that weren't in mainstream politics before.

"You look here in Genesee County, we had 37 people canvassing last Saturday -- in Genesee County. They were all encouraged by the message he had -- positivity and just getting things done. I think there was a lot of energy."

McMurray didn't waver in his high energy and encouragement to his volunteers even during his concession speech.

"We did something great," McMurray said. "It never shameful when you fight a righteous fight and that's what you did. I said in the beginning that we're going to break the machine, right? We're going to break the machine. Sometimes when you take on those big tasks, trying to break the machine, it doesn't break. You put a dent in it but if you keep whacking, eventually it's going to break." (Audio for McMurray's quotes courtesy our news partner, 13WHAM.)

McMurray expressed disappointment that Collins -- facing federal charges and a House Ethics Committee investigation, who avoided the public and the press during his campaign, who attacked McMurray and his family with dishonest television ads -- could possibly win in Western New York but he vowed to fight on.

"Come on, we're going to be all right," McMurray said, adding, "Remember Rocky one? Rocky didn't win. He looked like I do right now, all beat up, his face looked like hamburger. He lost. Well, remember there was Rocky two?"

At that point in the post-election night wind down, nobody expected "Rocky two" to come so quickly. Within hours, McMurray realized the vote count was going to be a lot tighter than he anticipated and so he announced that he would demand a recount.

Collins' 'Winning Strategy' -- Avoid the Press and the Public

While Collins mostly avoided the press after jumping back into the race four weeks ago (at one point he announced his withdrawal following his arrest on Aug. 8), the Clarence resident was pursued by Erie County reporters on Tuesday night and did answer some questions, at one point admitting it was his strategy to avoid taking questions from reporters or the public in debates or open meetings.

"I set a strategy, I think you'll see tonight that my strategy worked perfectly, it's about winning," Collins said. "Clearly, the media is not part of our strategy."

Plitt called the strategy "atrocious."

"Candidates should be available," Plitt said. "You know, we're here at a Democratic event. Anyone can walk in and talk. Nate was in Genesee County several times at events open to the public. It's imperative at any level of office, from town boards to Congress, that (officials) are accountable to the press and communicate with the public."

Hawley was less ruffled by the strategy.

"We'll see what happens if Collins wins," Hawley said (we spoke before the results were certain). "We'll see whether he becomes more involved in the process, whether it's attending town hall meetings, whether it's attending events. I ran into him two or three times recently at different events, so it looked to me as though toward the end of this race that he was becoming more visible and I would certainly encourage him to do that."

Libertarian Sharpe Surpasses Critical Vote Threshold

Local Libertarians were far more focused on the governor's race than the congressional race, not because they thought their candidate Larry Sharpe had any chance of winning but because Sharpe surpassing the 50,000 vote threshold was critical to the party's gaining ballot access in state and local races that is on par with Democrats and Republicans.

"This has been a goal since 1971," said Mark Potwora, chairman of the Genesee County Libertarian Party. "Now when we run our candidates it'll take fewer signatures and hopefully we will attract more people who will want to run. We want to be able to get into the county legislative races and more local races. It's a big thing. It's just a big step for the Libertarian Party."

The recruitment effort for more local candidates has begun and there's enough interest, Potwora said, that people have been contacting the party about running in races. The goal is to have fewer one-candidate elections.

"We've already had a lot of discussion with people that are ready to go," Potwora said. "We have members now from Le Roy. We're hoping that we can reach into Le Roy. It's all about more candidates. Our next step is outreach and getting more candidates because these ballots should not go with unopposed races. There should be no unopposed races."

County Voters Pass Long-sought Term Reform

There was a high turnout in Genesee County and whether the high turnout helped county legislators finally get passed a reform they've sought for years -- creating staggered, four-year terms -- is impossible to say, but at Ken's Charcoal Pits & Bar-B-Q last night, where a few Republicans gathered to watch the results of the election come in, the legislators who where there were grateful it passed.

"On behalf of my fellow legislators, I would like to extend our appreciation to the voters of Genesee County for their support of the proposal to change the terms for county legislators," said Chairman Robert Bausch. "We believed that it was very much warranted considering the issues the county faces and are pleased that the county voters listened to that message and supported the proposal. We also want to extend our appreciation to all those who stepped forwarded and publicly supported this proposal."

In the run-up to the election, starting more than a year ago, there was a lot of talk about a "blue wave" sweeping the nation, a resistance against President Donald Trump, that would lead to Democratic victories across the land. After the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, where Democrats tried to derail his appointment to the Supreme Court, and after Trump's fearmongering about immigration, Republicans started talking about a "red wave," or a "red tide," or a "red wall" (Republicans never did seem to settle on a branding message).

Voters Showed Up

Among both Democrats and Republicans, across the nation, turnout was massive. What was true elsewhere was true in Genesee County.

"People are excited," Plitt said as we watched results come in. "From what I've heard turnout is high, almost at presidential levels, maybe better. People want to go express their opinion."

He didn't fully attribute the high turnout as a reaction to the Trump presidency.

"I think on both sides of the aisle he definitely fans the flame and maybe he brings out both side," Plitt said. "Yeah, I think that's a lot of it but there's a lot of interest in state issues as well."

Hawley thinks it's a good thing that people are getting out to vote, whatever the reason.

"Any time you can invoke people to become participants in our electoral process it's a good thing," Hawley said. "Whether we're divided or not, I'm not really sure that's the case. We'll have to watch the election results across the country to see whether it's divisive or not. Whether it's President Trump and his style, whether it's Governor Cuomo and his style, and whether it's challengers who are perhaps a little less verbal and vocal without regard to what they're saying, that gets people involved, as I say, it's a good thing."

Top Photo: Libertarians at T.F. Brown's.


Democrats at Center Street Smoke House.


Republicans at Ken's Charcoal Pits & Bar-B-Q.


Steve Hawley, Barb Eddy, and Gregg Torrey pose for a selfie.


Gloom and disappointment at Center Street as McMurray delivers a concession speech.

November 7, 2018 - 12:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in election, NY-27, batavia, news, notify, chris collins, Nate McMurray.


As Nate McMurray appeared on TV just after 11 o'clock tonight, a couple of local Democrats at Center Street Smoke House for election night noticed McMurray didn't look happy.

The room turned glum.

"Don't concede, Nate," one of them said.

That's was what McMurray was about to do.

With 94 percent of the precincts reporting in the New York 27th Congressional District, Rep. Chris Collins held at 2,697 vote lead, a 49.5 to 48.4 percent margin.

In Genesee County, Collins won with 2,837 more votes, 53.8 percent to 39.91 percent, or 10,986 votes to 8,149.

These are unofficial vote totals, not yet certified and do not include absentee ballots.

Reform Party candidate Larry Piegza picked up 598 votes locally, or 2.93 percent, which was fewer votes than the 651 ballot line for the 27th blank.

McMurray did beat Collins in the City of Batavia, 2,219 votes to 1,821.

The NY-27 is a 22-point Republican advantage and McMurray, a Democrat who is town supervisor in Grand Island, still managed to make it a close race, primarily because Collins has spent much of the past year under the cloud of an ethics investigation and was arrested Aug. 8 on federal charges related to alleged insider trading. 

Also in Genesee County, the controversial ballot measure to stagger and extend terms in office members of the County Legislature passed 9,508 votes to 8,981.

In contested races, Barbara Czworka won the Town of Bethany Highway Superintendent election over Michael T. Adams, 440 votes to 289 votes. For Town of Alexander Justice, Mark Anderson beat Nicholas Falcone 775 to 757. (CORRECTION: This was a vote-for-two election. Anderson and Falcone both ran unopposed, not against each other.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not fare well among Genesee County voters, getting only 4,982 votes to 13,397 for Marc Molinaro. Larry Sharpe received 1,201 votes locally. Howie Hawkins got 252 and Stephanie Minor, 188.

UPDATE 12:28 a.m.: McMurray issued the following statement:

"While tonight's results are disheartening, my fight for a better Western New York and a better United States will not end. This is my home, and I believe we deserve better than a Congressman under indictment and out on bail, but I also respect the will of the voters, and they have spoken. This campaign was a part of a movement to fight for the rights and leadership that we deserve as Americans. Tonight’s result is a setback, but we will never give up.”

UPDATE 12:53 a.m.: McMurray just issued a new statement demanding a recount:

"After examining the numbers, the margin is 1 percent and the will of the voters must be heard. We are demanding a recount. Mr. Collins is going to need another set of lawyers.”

We'll have more election coverage sometime tomorrow.

Top photo: Democrats watch Nate McMurray's concession speech at Center Street.

November 6, 2018 - 3:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, bergen, batavia, Le Roy, Oakfield.

Plush Dozier, 22, of Kelly Street, Rochester, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and attempted menacing of a police officer. He was arrested on Nov. 5 for an incident that occurred in August in which he allegedly damaged the door in the back of a GC Sheriff's vehicle while he was being transported for a court appearance. He also allegedly attempted to menace a police officer during the same incident. He was arraigned on the new charges in Batavia City Court and is due there again on Nov. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Justin Williams, 56, Post Avenue, Staten Island, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. Williams was arrested following an incident on Main Street in Oakfield at 2:58 a.m. on Nov. 5 in which he allegedly placed his hands around the neck of another person, causing them to be unable to breathe. He was arraigned in Oakfield Town Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. Williams is due back in Oakfield Town Court at 6 p.m. Nov. 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Lawrence W. Worsley, 38, of Ridge Road, Albion, is charged with third-degree assault. He was arrested after an investigation into a domestic incident which occurred at 1 a.m. on Nov. 2 on Vine Street in the City of Batavia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court then jailed on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is due to return to city court on Nov. 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Arick Perkins.

Teshawn Anthony Lang-Smith, 22, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment. He was arrested after a domestic incident that occurred at 3:20 p.m., Nov. 2, on Bank Street in Batavia. He allegedly damaged property belonging to another person. He was arraigned and jailed in lieu of $2,000 cash or bond and was due back in city court on Nov. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Tyanna D. Green, 23, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, identity theft in the third degree and petit larceny.  It is alleged that at 6:13 p.m. on Sept. 11 on Highland Park in Batavia that she used a stolen debit card to make multiple ATM withdrawals. She was arrested on Nov 1 and jailed with bail. She was due back in Batavia City Court on Nov. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Tyrone Lee Doward Jr., 28, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI -- first offense, and operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more. On Nov. 3, Doward was arrested on Lake Road in Le Roy following the investigation into a suspicious vehicle at the 490 Truck Stop in Le Roy. He was allegedly parked in the parking lot after hours when the business was closed. He was transported to GC Jail and processed, then issued appearance tickets. He is due in Town of Le Roy Court on Nov. 25. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Dennis S. Rogers Jr., 46, of Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 3 by Troopers out of SP Batavia as the result of a traffic stop on Route 5. Rogers was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, operating a vehicle without an interlock device, along with other traffic offenses after allegedly failing field sobriety tests. Rogers was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Pembroke later this month.

Riley Kristine Davis, 21, of Gilbert Road, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a muffler exhaust violation. She was arrested at 11:47 p.m. Nov. 3 on Clinton Street in Batavia after being pulled over for a muffler violation. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Joseph W. Morrow, 18, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested on Cedar Street in Batavia at 9:05 p.m. on Nov. 5 after he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop. He was issued an appearance ticket and released. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

November 6, 2018 - 3:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNYHeroes Inc., news, veterans, notify.


Genesee County, acting as a pass-through agency for a nonprofit that serves Western New York veterans, is to receive $80,000 in state aid for a program that provides fun group activities for combat veterans and their families.

WNYHeroes Inc. is based in Williamsville and provides several veterans programs, including service dogs for qualifying combat vets and financial aid for veterans in danger of losing their homes.

"We assist veterans if they're three or four months behind on their rent or mortgage," said Chris Kreiger, an Iraq War Vet and president and cofounder of WNYHeroes. "We pay the rent or mortgage, the security, utilities, food, whatever they need. If they fall three or four months behind, we provide the funds in grants, not loans."

Last year's Red, White and Blue Gala raised $300,000 for the assistance fund, he said, and $236,000 of that money went directly to veterans in need.

The ninth annual gala is tonight at Seneca Niagara Casino.

The $80,000 state grant is for the organizations for Operation B.O.O.T.S., which brings together veterans and their families in a casual, non-clinical, non-threatening, safe, fun environments to foster teamwork, networking and friendship. The program's motto is, "From defending our freedom to enjoying it."

WNYHeroes serves 12 of WNY's 17 counties and Kreiger said the goal is to expand to all 17 counties within the next two years.

The Human Services Committee yesterday unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the county to act as the pass-through agency for the state funds.

Photo: William Joyce, Genesee County veterans service officer, and Chris Kreiger and Lynn Magistrale of WNYHeroes.


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