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June 25, 2017 - 12:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, byron, Stamford, news.

Molly Ann Chatley, 20, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment 2nd. Chatley allegedly sent messages through Facebook to another person that were threatening in nature. 

Charlene Marie Poole, 46, of Donahue Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny.  Poole is accused of shoplifting from Walmart. 

Mary Winifred McGowan, 49, of Terry Street, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and driving left of the pavement markings. McGowan was stopped at 8:17 p.m., Wednesday, on Terry Street, Byron, by Deputy Ryan Delong. 

Qumane James Santiago, 18, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with criminal trespass. Santiago was allegedly trespassing at a residence on Main Road, Stafford, at 8:38 p.m., Friday.  

Adam W. Hildebrant, 26, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon 3rd. Hildebrant was allegedly found in possession of brass knuckles during a parole check. 

June 24, 2017 - 9:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dwyer stadium, batavia, weather, sports.

A reader sent in this picture from this afternoon suggesting the cloud looked pretty ominous with a ball game scheduled. 

The Muckdogs did get the game underway, but it was later suspended and will be resumed on Sunday. 

June 24, 2017 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, schools, education, news.

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The Class of 1967 led the Class of 2017 into the auditorium Thursday for Le Roy High School's Honors Night.

More than $65,000 in awards were handed out to graduating seniors  

"We are fortunate to have many individuals and organizations in this community that dedicate efforts to raise funds for our students," Principal Tim McArdle said. "A highlight of the night was hosting members of the Class of 1967."

Jerry Howe gave a special greeting and message to the Class of 2017.

"It was awesome to have them with us last night!" McArdle said. "I would like to congratulate our seniors who received an award and were recognized for their efforts!"

Photos and info submitted by Tim McArdle.

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June 24, 2017 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in healthcare, Medicaid, chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today hailed the inclusion of his amendment to the House passed American Health Care Act into the Senate version of the bill. The amendment, introduced with Congressman John Faso (NY-19), would require New York State to take over the county portion of Medicaid by 2020 and would provide the largest property tax reduction ever to Western New York.
 
“This was a long fought battle against the injustice in Albany and is a big victory for taxpayers,” Congressman Collins said.
 
Federal law now permits states to share some of their costs with local governments, but New York is the only state that has imposed this level of burden on property taxpayers. Counties currently have no say in how local revenues are spent on Medicaid; they’re simply required to foot part of Albany’s bill. Local state leaders agreed that the inclusion of the amendment is important and welcome news for Western New York residents.
 
"Mandate relief has been talked about in Albany for as long as anyone can remember - it certainly wasn't new when I was talking about it as mayor. It's not a headline-grabbing or attractive issue, so meaningful proposals on mandate relief are generally swept aside. But I can tell you that it's real. It's real for the local governments who deal with tight budgets and it's real for taxpayers who pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. I applaud Congressman Collins for bringing this issue to the forefront. Ideally, this would have been a serious discussion at the state level, but having failed that, I'm pleased that we could possibly address the crippling burden placed on our local governments as part of larger, federal health care discussions,” said State Senator Ortt.
 
“As a long-time supporter of curbing the costs of Medicaid, which would take a heavy burden off of local governments, I am proud to support Congressman Collins’ amendment. The impact on my assembly district and local taxpayers will be tremendous with estimated tax reductions of 49 percent in Orleans County and 35 percent in Genesee County. It is clear that New York’s outrageous Medicaid spending is one of the driving forces behind property and school tax increases and it is time for government to take that burden off our residents’ backs,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley.
 
"Western New Yorkers pay some of the highest property taxes in the state. Rep. Collins' amendment fixes this problem and protects upstate taxpayers from Albany’s unfunded mandates. Removing the unfunded county Medicaid mandate is key to reducing local property taxes and growing our economy,” said Assemblyman Ray Walter. 
 
"This amendment is a blessing for upstate families, small businesses, and farms that’ve been crushed by the high taxes and unfunded mandates coming from Albany. The inclusion of this amendment is a win for our towns and villages and I appreciate Rep. Collins efforts to stand up for our taxpayers,” said Assemblyman Joseph Errigo.   
 
"I'm pleased that the Senate has included Rep. Collins's amendment in the healthcare reform bill. This promises real relief for property taxpayers in communities like Niagara County, and holds state government accountable to fund their mandates instead of passing on costs to the local level. Americans deserve access to the best healthcare possible, but it shouldn't fall to just homeowners to fund the system,” said Niagara County Legislature Chairman Wm. Keith McNall.
 
"Congressman Collins' Medicaid proposal will provide historic “real” property tax relief for hardworking local taxpayers. Currently over 30 perfect of the Ontario County property tax levy currently goes towards paying for New York's unfunded Medicaid mandate. I look forward to working with Rep. Collins and the members of the Board of Supervisors as we continue our efforts to reduce the burden on hardworking taxpayers in our community," said Jack Marren, Chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. 
 
"This is an important step forward in our fight to reduce unfunded mandates and protect local taxpayers. This measure will reduce local property taxes and help ensure that our seniors can afford to stay in their homes," said Bob Green, Vice Chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.
 
“We as a board supported a resolution in support of this measure because protecting property taxpayers is one of our prime concerns. This legislation will reduce an unfunded state mandate and help us deliver real tax relief to local homeowners,” said Eric Gott, Chairman, Livingston County Board of Supervisors.  
 
“We appreciate Rep. Collins efforts to relieve the counties of this extraordinary unfunded mandate. This will be a tremendous relief to local county property taxpayers and will allow us to invest in our infrastructure and other county services,” said Raymond Cianfrini, Chairman, Genesee County Legislature.  
 
“For years counties in New York have decried the use of property taxes to fund New York State’s expansive Medicaid program. We are optimistic that changes at the federal level can result in real, substantive, positive changes to the bottom line for county property taxpayers,” said David B. Callard, Chairman, Orleans County Legislature.
 
The Senate is expected to vote next week on their version of the Obamacare repeal bill.
June 24, 2017 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in RTS, Regional Transit Service, business.

Press release:

RTS announced today that service improvements stemming from the Regional Service Efficiency Study conducted in 2016 will be implemented in Genesee and Wyoming counties on Monday, June 26.
 
“These improvements to our transit system are a direct result of the engagement and feedback from customers and stakeholders in these respective communities, and months of hard work from the RTS team,” said Bill Carpenter, CEO at RTS. “We encourage our customers to provide input on the new changes in the coming days and weeks to help us ensure the most efficient operation possible.”   
 
The improvements are as follows:
 
RTS Genesee
 
Routes 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be renamed 211, 212, 213 and 214. Aside from the renaming of the routes, the biggest changes include the addition of service on Saturdays, connections to Orleans and Wyoming counties, and the creation of a “Countywide Runner.” The details of these and other improvements are as follows:
 
·   We retained a good portion of current route system (routes 211 and 212);
·   Route 212 will begin earlier in the morning to continue service to the Middle/High School and create additional opportunity for rides to work;
·   We added transportation to Big Tree Glen 10 times a day, Monday – Friday;
·   We integrated the early morning Genesee Community College (GCC) run into current routes and added additional transportation for a total of six trips to GCC;
·   We added a midday service run to Le Roy;
·   We added Saturday service;
·   We now connect with Orleans and Wyoming counties at K-Mart on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8:55 a.m., 11:55 a.m. and 2:55 p.m., and;
·   We merged our Dial-A-Ride and Countywide service to create a “Countywide runner.” This countywide service is now available Monday – Friday to anywhere in the county not within ¾ miles of the route. This service will focus on countywide and medical appointments.
 
Following are the links to the new RTS Genesee route maps on our website:
·   RTS Genesee Routes 210 & 211
·   RTS Genesee Routes 212 & 213
·   RTS Genesee Route 214
June 24, 2017 - 2:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County park, Bethany, news.

Press release:

Spots are still open for Environmental Science Career Exploration Camp, July 10th – 14th at Genesee County Park & Forest! Rising eighth- through 11th-graders will have a fun-filled week in the forest with hiking, identifying plant species, navigating, taking forest inventories, performing land bird surveys and more.

Discover and sample careers in Environmental Science through presentations and hands-on activities led by professionals in 10 different fields including Forestry, Conservation Law Enforcement, Wildlife Management, and Environmental Planning. Environmental Science Career Exploration Camp takes place Monday July 10th – Friday July 14th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Camp meets at the Interpretive Nature Center at Genesee County Park & Forest.

To register, download the registration form from our website at

http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/docs/Environmental_Science_Career_Exploratio... m.pdf. Return completed forms with payment to:

Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Attn: Paul Osborn
153 Cedar St.
Batavia, NY 14020

For more information contact Shannon Morley at [email protected]
or (585) 344-1122. Follow us on Facebook at Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry.

Environmental Science! Camp is $95/camper and includes a camp T-shirt, lunch, snacks and supplies.

Get outside and do “work” projects.

Explore the world of environmental conservation at New York State’s First County Forest.

Register by Tuesday, June 27.

June 24, 2017 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer is encouraging students to continue growing, learning and developing– even though school is out of session until September– by participating in his Summer Reading Program.

“As the school year comes to an end, students are turning their thoughts away from books to vacation. This program is a great way to promote literacy and keep children’s minds active when they are not in a classroom. I encourage students to indulge in the wonderful world of books by participating in the Summer Reading Program,” Ranzenhofer said.

The theme of this year’s program is "Build A Better World." For more information, students and parents can log on to ranzenhofer.nysenate.gov, create a profile, record reading progress, share books on Facebook and earn a certificate.

Evidence shows that children who stop reading over the summer break often fall behind when they return to class in September. More than 2.1 million students participated in summer reading at New York libraries last year.

June 23, 2017 - 10:37pm
posted by James Burns in news, Batavia Downs, concert, dennis deyoung.

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Batavia Downs gambled and beat the weather again for the second concert series featuring Dennis DeYoung. A very good sized crowd was on hand for the concert. There were a lot of people at the concert and the casino but somehow it did not feel crowded. Batavia Downs seems to know how to run a good party. The crowd seemed to love the concert and be having a very good time. 

Dennis DeYong sounded as good tonight as he did when he was topping the charts. The next concert is Eddie Money June 30th. Tickets are only $10.

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June 23, 2017 - 3:00pm

Super solid classic Batavia home in superb condition! This home has been lovingly taken care of for many years and recently went through major upgrades within last five years, which include siding, windows, tear-off roof, electrical and insulation, and hardwired smoke detectors! Literally all the major components!

Spacious room sizes which include nice kitchen with cute breakfast nook and formal dining room and large enclosed front porch -- plenty of entertaining space. The woodwork in this home is untouched and beautiful and bonus hardwood floors under carpeting thru out home! This is a lot of bang for the buck and should be seen -- call for easy viewing! Call Lynn Bezon at Reliant Real Estate today or click here to view the complete listing.

June 23, 2017 - 12:51pm
posted by James Burns in news, train.

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A train is stuck at the crossing on Seven Springs Road. It is expected to be there until 4 or 5 this evening. According to someone with knowledge of the incident, the train overheated going up the grade as it was traveling west. Both locomotives pulling the train are disabled.

June 23, 2017 - 10:05am
posted by James Burns in news, wildlife, Bald eagles, outdoors, Le Roy.

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For the second year in a row, a nesting pair of bald eagles has successfully raised a chick that has fledged. The bald eagle family featured in these pictures resides east of Le Roy along a creek.

There are an estimated five nesting pairs of bald eagles in Genesee County. Two nesting pairs make Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge their home. 

This year we were able to find out some information on the male eagle of the pair outside Le Roy. "Ed," as he has come to be known, was born 45 miles away in Allegany County in April of 2010.

I was able to get a couple pictures of the bands on his ankles. The blue band is from NYS and was put on him when, now retired, Department of Environmental Conservation eagle biologist Pete Nye tagged him and a sibling in the nest. If you look carefully at the blue band you can see it is hand engraved with the code ED. That code is entered in Pete’s notes with the information about the nest he was found in.

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This year the pair settled into the nest in March. Eagles do mate for life and frequently use the same nest every year. 

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The male eagle usually never returns to the nest with out food or materials for the nest. The eaglet is about a week old in this picture.

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When Ed does return empty-handed, it appears to be frowned upon by his mate. Female bald eagles, as well as most female raptors, are bigger than the males. 

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Feeding an eaglet growing that quickly is a full-time job. Fish seem to be the staple with an occasional rabbit. This year they managed to get a fawn into the nest. Look closely and you can see the hoofs. This fawn may have been a stillborn. Eagles are well known for hunting live prey but do scavenge for food as well.

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This is the eaglet at about 8 weeks old waiting for breakfast.

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Video of eaglet beginning to learn to fly 

June 23, 2017 - 9:50am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Lisa Ann Scott, batavia, news, author, Back on the Map.

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Lisa Ann Scott always wanted to be a writer and decided to give it a shot when she was laid off from her job as a TV news anchor in 2008.

Her newest novel, “Back on the Map,” is about an 11-year-old orphan, Penny, who will do anything to keep her and her twin brother, Parker, together. They’ve been bounced from home to home and are running out of relatives to take them in. Penny believes that if she can get their town, New Hope in North Carolina, back on the map, they’ll finally stay in one place.

Scott first got her idea of the character Penny a couple years ago, before she began writing the story.

“For me, I walk around and the character sort of unfolds from me,” Scott said. “It just kinda spun into this story.”

The character feels real to Scott, who said she feels like she is going to meet Penny one day.

Scott lives in Batavia, but is originally from Marilla. Scott spends her time writing and voice acting, and has loved writing since her first creative writing assignment in second grade.

The first novel she wrote was “School of Charm,” which was published in 2014. Scott said she has lots of books in the works, with more ideas than time.

After Scott finished the novel, it took about half a year for revisions and about a year after that before it was published.

“I think it’s a better book thanks to my editor’s input,” Scott said.

From her book, Scott said she hopes people will see that everyone is deserving of love.

“It takes [Penny] a long time before she realizes that she can reach out and ask for help and ask for love,” Scott said.

This book would be good for parents and children to read together, Scott said.

“If you want your kids to read, you need to read in front of them,” Scott said.

There is nothing more satisfying than reading a book, Scott said.

“I hope that people who have maybe gotten away from [reading] take time and just pick up a book and remember how relaxing it is,” Scott said.  “Even though there’s access to all these amazing TV shows these days, a book is still a totally different experience.”

Scott will be doing a book signing and a wooden family tree workshop class at 6:30 p.m. on July 13 at Jade Pottery. Preregistration is required and can be done here. Any questions can be directed to 585-813-1836.

June 23, 2017 - 9:42am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Stafford, news, solar energy.

Sandra Swanson, a resident in the Town of Stafford, will be leading a citizens group to look into solar farms and solar power plants.

Swanson said she hopes to have a group of people to help her and brief the Stafford Town Board toward the end of July.

“We have until February,” Swanson said, “but we should be ending it in January. There is a huge amount of information to look at.”

Swanson attended a Genesee Finger Lakes Regional Council meeting in Pittsford in May, and went to three sessions about solar energy.

“There’s a huge amount of information about solar and people all over the country to talk to,” Swanson said. “I think it [helps] us to get as much information as possible.”

In May, the Stafford Town Board passed a nine-month moratorium on solar farms and solar-powered plants in the town. The moratorium prevents solar companies from submitting applications for a permit to construct a solar farm or power plant within the Town of Stafford.

“We would like to commend the town for entering a moratorium,” said Dan Compitello, the zoning and outreach manager for Cypress Creek Renewables. “It’s a very good, solid path to take."

Compitello attended the town board meeting, held on June 12, to offer his services, representing some of the landowners in Stafford. He said he provides workshops for towns that are in moratorium or in the process of updating codes.

He said he would be happy to assist the town board with through the process.

“The first thing to do would not be to have the business man tell us how to do it,” Swanson said.

June 22, 2017 - 5:09pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in batavia, Announcements, news, road repairs, infrastructure.

Press release:

Buxton Avenue in Batavia will have road closures between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on June 26.

Verona Avenue in Batavia will have road closures between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on June 27.

While work is being performed, the roadways will be closed to all through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence, but people should plan accordingly for delays.

All residents within the work areas are asked not to park on the roadway during the day.

This is weather-dependent work. If work is postponed it will progress the next workday.

Please, plan accordingly and contact the Bureau of Maintenance with any questions.

Thank you for your cooperation in advance.

June 22, 2017 - 2:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
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Denielle Mancuso

A 39-year-old West Main Street woman was arrested on a Grand Jury indictment for allegedly distributing cocaine. 

Denielle Mancuso faces two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and one count of criminal nuisance, 1st. 

She was jailed on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond. 

Mancuso's arrest stems from an investigation by the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. She is accused of supplying cocaine to an agent on two seperate occasions. 

June 22, 2017 - 12:38pm
posted by James Burns in news, elba, ems.

At 12:35 p.m. Byron Road was shut down in the 9300 block area. Mercy EMS responded to a medical call. There is a man with a head injury. Mercy Flight was requested and is in route. It is set to land in nearby alfalfa field.

June 22, 2017 - 11:30am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Old Genesee County Courthouse, Marshall film.

Last June, downtown Batavia was in the spotlight as an on-location site for the new movie, "Marshall," which stars Chadwick Boseman as a young Thurgood Marshall, an attorney for the NAACP who later became the first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

At that time, I wrote a story for The Buffalo News, and it started out as follows:

BATAVIA – If you happen to be in a movie theater late this year (or possibly in the fall of 2017, depending upon the release date), watching intently as Chadwick Boseman in his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall climbs the 17 steps to a 1940’s Oklahoma courthouse door, here’s some insight into that scene: It took place in Batavia, New York around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1.

The crew of Marshall Movie Inc., about 70 strong, shot a trial scene and an entrance scene for the feature film, “Marshall,” at the old Genesee County Courthouse at the intersection of Route 5 and 63 in downtown Batavia.

Fast forward to today, and we've learned that the film will open in theaters on Oct. 13. A trailer, which includes a quick shot of the old courthouse, as been released and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

The movie focuses on a pivotal case in the career of Marshall, who served on the nation's highest court from 1967-1991. He died in 1993.

In the first shooting at the Old County Courthouse, Boseman – who starred as Jackie Robinson in “42”, James Brown in “Get on Up” and T'Challa in the Marvel Studios film “Captain America: Civil War” – walked up to the courthouse door with a bounce in his step, showing that he was ready to defend his client in the Oklahoma County of Choctaw courtroom.

In the second, he had to walk past five “locals” who formed a wall in front of the steps.

Director Reginald Hudlin said he wasn’t sure which scene would be used, saying he shot the second one after something told him to try a different angle.

“I’m leaning on the first one,” said Hudlin, who said the crew’s two days in Batavia, as well as their time filming in Buffalo, has been a tremendous experience.

The scenes from the Oklahoma trial are a very small piece of this story -- about three to five minutes of a case Marshall defended while traveling across the country for the NAACP.

June 22, 2017 - 10:58am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Genesee County Airport, news, reconstruction, batavia.

The runway at the Genesee County Airport will be able to accommodate larger planes once the center portion is replaced.

The runway hasn’t been resurfaced since 1978, according to Tim Hens, the highway superintendent.

“It’s basically original to when they built the airport,” Hens said. “It’s actually a limiting factor on the size of the airplanes that we can bring into the airport right now.”

After the reconstruction, Hens said a medium-sized business jet will be able to land on the runway.

The 3,000-foot stretch that will be reconstructed is in between the extension that occurred in 2005 and the restoration in 2007. The pavement depth varies from five to nine inches, Hens said.

The reconstruction will be covered under 95 percent federal and state aid.

“This is very similar to other airport projects we’ve done,” Hens said.

Northeast Paving, in Lancaster, was the lowest bidder for the project, at just over $3.1 million.

C&S engineers provided a construction inspection contract, at a little over than $305,000.

Both bids are contingent on receiving the grant, which will likely be given in August, Hens said.

“They usually expect us to turn it around in five days,” Hens said.

Hens said the construction will be phased so there will always be a portion of the runway open.

“We’ve limited the actual shutdown,” Hens said. “There will a one-week period of time where we have to shut down the entire runway, but that will be during the night only.”

There will still be 2,000 feet of the runway available for use when the construction is going on, Hens said.

“If they do it right, we’re hoping we can get another 40 years out of the pavement,” Hens said. “So we won’t have to do it again, at least not in my lifespan.”

June 22, 2017 - 9:51am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Village of Elba.

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An Elba husband and wife who have been keeping two young horses at their residence on South Main Street in the village for the past three months have until this Saturday to find new homes for the animals.

That was the ruling of Elba Town Justice E. Douglas King on Wednesday night in connection with the unauthorized stabling of the horses by Mark and Bunny Stoneham.

At proceedings at the Oakfield Community and Government Center on Drake Street, King asked Mark Stoneham if the horses were still on his property. Stoneham said yes, adding that the couple has been looking at two different places.

When Stoneham said he would have the horses moved by a week from Saturday (July 1), King countered by stating the animals needed to be removed by this Saturday.

“If not, I am going to impose a $50 fine per day for each day until they are removed,” King said. “And when they are (being moved), you must contact Mr. (Mark) Mikolajczyk for inspection.”

A phone call this morning to Mikolajczyk, the town’s code/zoning enforcement officer, had yet to be returned at the time of this posting.

King told Stoneham that he was “sorry” that he had to impose the deadline, but added “we have these codes for a reason and we have given you ample time to get these two colts to a proper place.”

Elba’s zoning laws state that there shall be no stabling of farm animals or storage of manure, fertilizer, etc., within the R (Residential) District, within 500 feet of an R District and within 100 feet of a lot line.

The Stoneham’s house is located a short distance north of Elba Central School, and the school’s athletic fields are situated behind the Stoneham’s property line to the east.

Following the proceedings, Bunny Stoneham said she and her husband rescue horses and these two horses “came to us in an emergency situation” and needed 24-hour care.

“We took them in – a little boy and a little girl -- because they need each other to rely on or else they would have died,” she said. “We were getting ready to move them but the purchase of a farm fell through.”

The Stonehams are affiliated with Clydesdale Breeders of the U.S.A. and said they own eight other horses at different locations. The two horses in question in Elba currently are being kept in the couple’s garage/converted office when not in a fenced-in yard behind the house.

Their next door neighbors, Crosby and Mari-Ellen Lamont, filed a complaint with village officials on March 28 “but the zoning officer didn’t believe it,” Mrs. Lamont said.

Eventually, law enforcement was notified and the matter went before Town Court on May 21. At that time the Stonehams were given a 30-day adjournment to remove the animals from their property.

Mrs. Lamont (who provided the photos above) said the situation has resulted in a bad smell coming from the yard and the presence of mice, rats and horseflies in the neighborhood.

Mrs. Stoneham disputed those claims, stating that her husband gets up early every morning to clean the area and transport manure from the property.

Needless to say, the situation has resulted in hard feelings and a heightened tension between the neighbors.

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