Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on January 16, 2008 · Page 9
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 9

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Page 9
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DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE Local&State B The County Legislature President has dissolved a screening committee for the public defender vacancy, Page 3B SECTION 2B DEATHS 3B LOCAL NEWS 5B STATE NEWS ROCHESTER, NEW YORK WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2008 NEWS BEAT Indian eatery OK to reopen India Palace Restaurant and Catering in the Tops Plaza in Brighton re- opened Monday after a six-day closure by the Monroe County Health Department for a cockroach infestation that was deemed a public health hazard, said department spokesman John Ricci. Health inspectors had visited the restaurant at 1900 S. Clinton Ave. several times before suspending its permit Jan. 8 when the problem had worsened. The restaurant has been treated by professional exterminators, as required, and has taken care of some small exterior holes that likely led to the problem. India Palace passed inspection Monday. Vinod and Neelam Bajaj, co-owners, said repairs and changes have been made. Troops heading for Afghanistan More than 200 members of the New York Army National Guard will leave western New York this week for training before they head abroad, according to the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs. Both National Guard units have planned send-off ceremonies for the soldiers and their families today. The units company A and company B of the 427th Brigade Support , Battalion will be on active duty on Thursday and are expected to depart for two months of training at Fort Bragg, N.C. Both units are then slated to serve in Afghanistan. Sex offender faces charges A registered sex offender from Rochester is expected to be arraigned on new charges this morning, according to State Police. JamesJ.Stolt,of297 Bremen St., was arrested Tuesday and charged with promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, promoting a sexual performance of a child, possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance of a child, all felonies, troopers said. The initial report was made by Photobucket, a photo-sharing Web site, troopers said. At least seven images of child pornography had been placed on the site. Troopers arrested Stolt after searching his home and finding child pornography and child erotica, troopers said. Stolt is a registered Level 2 sex offender, troopers said. He will be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. today in City Court. Walgreens hearing moved FAIRPORT A large crowd at Monday's Fair-port village board meeting prompted a public hearing on a Walgreens proposal for the village to be rescheduled for 7 p.m., Jan. 28, at Johanna Perrin Middle School, 85 Potter Place. McFarland Development wants to build a 9,894-square-foot Walgreens pharmacy at West Church and South Main streets. For more News beat, turn to Page 5B COMING UP Teaching in Ecuador The Pittsford Rotary will host a discussion about helping children in Ecuador get an education. In Thursday's Democrat and Chronicle Mas n Rochester General hopes to add 36 more in its expansion. JUSTINA WANG STAFF WRITER - Rochester General Hospital has asked the state for permission to add 36 medicalsurgical beds, health department officials confirmed Tuesday. The request comes on the heels of Strong Memorial and Unity hospitals' recent announcements of major expansion plans. Health department officials said Rochester Gen ' ml IP ' "' "?.A Ik ( !irl V. ' a JAY CAPERS staff photographer Nicholle La Vann of Rochester talks with director of photography Rehema Trimiew of Rochester as they set up for an interview with Betty Grayson, mother of Latasha Shaw, who was killed by a mob last year in Rochester. Lens focuses in on life and loss in Rochester Film crew making documentary on city slayings ALAN M0RRELL STAFF WRITER The film crew crowded around Betty Grayson's dining room table Tuesday and asked her to discuss the worst day of her life. That would be the day in September, when Grayson's daughter, Latasha Shaw, was killed by a mob at Dewey and Driving Park avenues. Capturing the words and emotions was a documentary film crew headed by Rochester resident Nicholle La Vann. The movie, titled Homicidez, will include interviews with families of crime victims, such Clerk accused of n Complaint says victimized her ex MICHAEL ZEIGLER STAFF WRITER In an apparent attempt to keep tabs on her ex-boyfriend, a postal employee allegedly stole his mail by forging his name on a change-of-address form. A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Rochester alleges that Lori A. DeFisher, who worked in the post office in Le Roy, Genesee County, illegally diverted the mail of Robert G. Deeson Jr., from Nov. 27, 2006, to June 18, 2007, after they split and he moved to Florida. She's charged in connec tion with diverting 139 pieces of mail, including some intended for recipients besides Deeson. DeFisher, 43, who also eral Hospital filed a certificate of need in December, but did not know Tuesday how much hospital officials intend to spend on construction. Rochester General Hospital officials declined to comment late Tuesday afternoon, but said they would publicize detailed expansion plans today. The hospital has 528 beds, according to the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency. as Shaw's family, along with public officials, such as Mayor Bob Duffy; pastors, such as the Rev. Marlowe Washington of Baber A.M.E. Church on Meigs Street; and others. La Vann said she was prompted to make the movie because of what she calls the nationwide epidemic of homicides. The Shaw case, in particular, spurred La Vann to action. "This is a story that's got to be seen, and it's got to be told," La Vann said Tuesday from Grayson's Frie-drich Park home. "As an artist and an activist, I can't postal worker - boyfriend. moved to Florida to work for the post office in West Palm Beach, has been absent from her job without permission since Aug. 15 and hasn't been located. DeFisher is charged with theft of mail by a postal employee, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. The Postal Service takes employee theft seriously, said Dan Mihalko of its Office of Inspector General. "I have to say it's somewhat of a rarity. Most postal employees are very hardworking and dedicated." A search of DeFisher's home found 139 pieces of mail not intended for her, the complaint said. Postal The 739-bed Strong Memorial unveiled plans in October to add 123 beds, while Unity Health System officials announced in November their plans to add 85 beds to its 256-bed hospital. Both projects would be each hospital's costliest expansion. The first part of Unity's $144 million project received state approval last month; the rest of its proposal and Strong's $250 million project are awaiting state approval The state considers hospitals' expansion proposals, in part, by deter be silent about this. I won't." Shaw was one of 50 homicide victims in Rochester last year. Shaw went to the corner to get answers after her teenage daughter was attacked there. A mob descended upon Shaw, fatally beating and stabbing her. Police have interviewed dozens of people about the case but made no arrests. La Vann said the story hit home because she, also a mother, would have done the same thing Shaw did. More publicity about the case, and other homicides, is a good thing, Grayson diverting mail authorities delivered all of it that was deliverable, Mihalko said. Postal inspectors began investigating in November 2006 when a woman complained that DeFisher had containers of mail in the basement of her home on West Main Street in Le Roy. Inspectors found the home boarded up and condemned by the town of Le Roy. But they saw opened and unopened mail in plain view through the windows. Deeson's current girlfriend told inspectors that DeFisher had sent her some of Deeson's bank statements to claim that Deeson was lying about his bank accounts, the complaint said. In an interview with inspectors in June 2007, DeFisher allegedly admitted forging Deeson's name to a mining whether a community need exists for additional beds. The approval process can take months or years, and officials also examine whether hospitals have enough funding for their plans and the stability of the institution that submitted the application. While local hospital officials have questioned whether the state would approve multiple expansion plans in one area in a short time, they said they don't doubt that Rochester needs many new beds. "It's well documented said and a good outlet for those who are grieving. "I haven't been talking about it too much," Grayson said. "I haven't made it to her grave yet." Shaw's sister, Charnette Grayson, said she participated in La Vann's production because "I want everybody to know what happened to my sister." The local film crew includes associate producer Elissa Krowe, director of photography Rehema Trimiew, and editor Alden Kendall. The movie is expected to be done by October. STORYCMATO DEM0CRATANDCHR0NICLE.COM How strong is your faith in the integrity of the U.S. Postal Service? Click on this story to comment or share your experiences. change-of-address form but said Deeson had given permission for her to file the form and to open his mail and claimed they were going to get back together. DeFisher, who had worked as a rural route carrier and later as a clerk in the Le Roy post office, allegedly said she "had no clue" how mail found in her home had gotten there. But she said she often threw undeliverable junk mail into the back of her vehicle at the end of her route and might have forgotten to return it. Inside First part of Unity Health System's expansion gets state approval, 3B that Rochester has a very acute need for beds," said Strong spokeswoman Teri D'Agostino. "I can't really speak for the state ... but there's clearly a need for more beds. That's why we put forward our application." The area's three construction proposals come years after St. Mary's and Genesee hospitals closed Spitzer is raking in the funds for 2010 ii Despite slide in polls, governor raises nearly $3M in six months. JOSEPH SPECT0R ALBANY BUREAU ALBANY His poll numbers may keep sinking, but that didn't stop Gov. Eliot Spitzer from raking in almost $3 million in six months for his 2010 reelection campaign, according to campaign-finance reports released Tuesday. The Democratic governor raised about $2.9 million between mid-July 2007 and mid-January and had about the same amount left in his warchest. He spent $1.8 million during the six months, largely on consultant and legal fees. He started the period with about $1.5 million in his coffers. For a governor who has seen his job-approval rating drop to 27 percent in a poll last month, the amount of money Spitzer was able to raise shows that he is still a formidable force, experts said. Last year, Spitzer spent millions out of his campaign account and some personal funds to battle ads by groups opposed to his cuts to health care. By replenishing his account over the last six months, Spitzer may be preparing for another bat- Rascal Flatts visit here has no stars n Country-pop band prepares its equipment at Blue Cross Arena. JEFF SPEVAK STAFF MUSIC CRITIC The big Rascal Flatts tour hit Rochester on Tuesday, for fans of roadies and guys with welding equipment. The hit country-pop band was using the Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial for a pretour run-through. The production was scheduled to leave town Tuesday night for the tour's opening date Thursday in Manches ter, N.H. "They needed a place to put it all together, test it, box it and crate it out," said Jeff Calkins, Blue Cross Arena general manager. The three main Rascals Gary LeVox, Jay DeMar-cus and Joe Don Rooney were not here. But members of the supporting band were, rehearsing the because of financial issues, leaving local emergency departments and medical centers packed with the overflow of patients. All three hospitals have reported operating over capacity. The state's decision will be influenced by an independent, community-wide report by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency on how many hospital beds are needed in the area. Agency officials said Tuesday they expect to finish the study by the end of January. STORYCHATCO DEM0CRATANDCHR0NICLE.COM Click on this story to discuss whether you think the state needs stronger campaign finance reform. tie while aiming to help Democrats try to take control of the state Senate, experts said. Republicans hold a slim two-seat majority. "Clearly the governor is aggressively fundraising, and that sends a signal that he's politically strong," said Russ Haven of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "He can use the money to cultivate friends and engage in policy battles if he wants to and ward off anyone thinking of challenging him." Aides said the governor adhered to his self-imposed limit of $10,000 for contributions from individuals, political-action committees and unions. The legal limit is $55,900. Large contributions included $10,000 from Citigroup Inc. PAC, $10,000 from the Green Worlds Coalition Fund of New York and $10,000 from the SPITZER, PAGE 4B sound and lights on songs such as "Stand." The tour's closest approach to Rochester is Jan. 25 at Buffalo's HSBC Arena. The partially assembled stage show filled the floor of the Blue Cross Arena. The main stage is huge, with plenty of ramps for the guys to run around on. Selected fans will be led into a pair of small areas between the ramps and the main stage just before the start of the show, a concept popularized by U2 several years ago. This is not the first time that the Blue Cross Arena has been host to a band for a pretour run-through. Most notably, Peter Gabriel booked the venue for a week in the early 1990s, but he also opened his tour here.

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