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November 5, 2012 - 7:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield, Alabama.

A driver said he swerved to try and avoid a deer in the roadway, causing his car to strike a tree on Lewiston Road, in Oakfield, at 10:47 p.m., Sunday.

Rodney L. McKenzie, 48, of Lewston Road, Basom, was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy EMS with minor injuries.

McKenzie was westbound on Lewiston near Bliss Road, driving a 2010 Toyota sedan, when he said he spotted a deer in the roadway.

There were no passengers in his vehicle and no other cars were involved.

The accident was investigated by Deputy James Diehl, who issued McKenzie a citation for allegedly not wearing a seat belt.

November 4, 2012 - 8:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A car has reportedly hit a tree in the area of Ledge Road and Reuben Road, Alabama.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:16 p.m.: Minor, if any, injuries. Everybody is out of the car.

November 4, 2012 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Alabama.

A one-vehicle rollover accident with injuries is reported on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation at Meadville and Parker roads. The victim is out of the vehicle, but injured. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. A responder on scene says there was air-bag deployment and Mercy Flight is put on ground standby.

UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: Mercy Flight is asked to stand down. The driver has a leg injury. The car is on its side and the engine is still running.

November 2, 2012 - 5:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama.

Orleans County law enforcement is reportedly pursuing a white van that has entered Genesee County southbound on Route 63. The vehicle is refusing to stop.

Orleans County advises caution. The van almost ran a law enforcement car off the road.

The vehicle is now headed west on Ledge Road.

UPDATE 5:43 a.m.: The vehicle is registered to a female resident of Seven Springs Road.

UPDATE 5:46 a.m.: Vehicle now headed into Erie County.

UPDATE 5:56 a.m.: Orleans County called off the pursuit. The van was last seen passing Jan's Smoke Shop.

UPDATE 6:06 a.m.: White male driver. The vehicle had been loaned to a woman in Albion.

UPDATE 6:22 a.m.: There is now a pursuit in the city. It's unclear if it's the same vehicle. The vehicle is eastbound on North and just passing North Spruce after allegedly going through several stop signs.

UPDATE 6:23 a.m.: Vehicle is now eastbound on Clinton and passing Grand View Cemetery. It was allegedly going 50 mph through the residential neighbhoods.

UPDATE 6:25 a.m.: The vehicle avoided spikes laid down on Clinton. It's continuing eastbound past Seven Springs and past Horseshoe Lake Road. Now at 33 and Mill, eastbound.

UPDATE 6:27 a.m.: Vehicle is slowing down in the area of 5168 Clinton St. Road, down to 20 mph.

UPDATE 6:28 a.m.: Vehcile is stopped. Multiple law enforcement units arriving on scene.

UPDATE 6:28 a.m.: Subject in custody.

UPDATE 6:37 a.m.: Medina PD informs local law enforcement of a suspicion of a controlled substance in the vehicle, and as a possible reason for the pursuit.

November 1, 2012 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

The driver of a 2004 Olds sedan stopped on Ledge Road at 1:36 p.m. reportedly pulled out onto Route 77 as another car approached, causing a three-car accident in Alabama.

One person, Leah E. Ridder, 14, was injured and taken by ambulance to Medina Memorial Hospital.

Cited for alleged failure to yield the right of way was Donna M. Croft, 59, of Montclaire Avenue, Batavia.

Neither Croft nor her passenger, Dalton K. Tusing, were injured.

Leah Ridder was a passenger in a car driven by Christopher F. Ridder, 41, of South Main Street, Medina.

Ridder's 1999 Chevy sedan was northbound on Route 77 when it struck Croft's eastbound car.

A car driven by Judith M. Cummings, 68, of Martin Road, Akron, was sitting in the westbound lane of Ledge Road and was struck by Croft's vehicle after it was hit by Ridder's car.

Neither Cummings nor her passenger, James L. Cummings, 67, were injured.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.

(Initial Post)

November 1, 2012 - 1:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A three-car accident with one minor facial injury is reported at Route 77 and Ledge Road. It is partially blocking traffic. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. Law enforcement is on scene.

October 27, 2012 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A motorcyclist who was injured in a rollover accident at 1:41 p.m., Friday, said a rider on another bike unexpectedly put on a right-turn signal.

Michale P. Julicher, 61, of Millersport Highway, Amherst, was riding on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama. He said he tried to lay down his 2009 Honda because he didn't believe he had time to stop.

Julicher was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker. No citations were issued.

(Initial Report)

October 26, 2012 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Oakfield, Alabama.
Event Date and Time: 
October 30, 2012 -
6:30pm to 8:00pm

The Oakfield-Alabama High School Senior Class invites the public to a community forum where they will explain the political platforms of President Obama and Governor Romney.

Local, state and regional representatives will be on hand to explain the impact of these platforms on Western New York.

The forum begins at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the school auditorium, located at 7001 Lewiston Road, in Oakfield.

Representatives slated to attend are:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, Republican 61st District

October 26, 2012 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Alabama.

A rollover motorcycle accident is reported at the intersection of Bloomingdale and Martin roads.

It's believed there are injuries.

Mercy Flight is on standby.

Alabama Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: The victim is alert and conscious, complaining of back pain.

UPDATE 1:55 p.m.: Mercy Flight 5 will be responding to the scene from Buffalo and will land on Martin Road.

UPDATE 2:13 p.m.: Mercy Flight landed a few minutes ago and is loading the patient, who is described as a man in his 50s. He had no loss of consciousness "but the motorcycle did go end over end."

UPDATE 2:19 p.m.: No more traffic is allowed on Martin Road.

UPDATE 2:26 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne and headed to Erie County Medical Center. Martin Road is reopened.

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.: Alabama is back in service.

October 21, 2012 - 10:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A tractor-trailer transporting fuel is off the road in the area of 1125 Ledge Road, Alabama.

It's unknown yet if the tanker is leaking.

Some utility poles were hit, but there doesn't appear to be any wires down.

No injuries are reported.

Alabama Fire Department is responding. Ledge Road is being closed while responders evaluate the scene.

UPDATE 10:19 p.m.: National Grid requested to the scene for a damaged pole. No lines are down.

UPDATE 10:21 p.m.: The tanker is upright and sustained only minor damage to the rear portion.

UPDATE 10:49 p.m.: Scene being turned over to Sheriff's Office. Alabama back in service.

October 19, 2012 - 2:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported in front of Jan's Smoke Shop, 383 Bloomingdale Road. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.: Mercy medics are back in service. Those involved in the accident are sign-offs and require no medical attention.

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Alabama is back in service.

October 19, 2012 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, crime, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Charges were dismissed in Federal Court in August against the one person arrested on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation as the result of a raid related to alleged synthetic drug sales at smoke shops.

Tiffany E. Greiner, 22, of Akron, was arrested in July on a single count of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analog intended for human consumption.

Joseph LaTona, her attorney, said this morning that the charges were dismissed because a witness was out of town and not available for a scheduled court appearance. The prosecution didn't want to adjourn the case, so LaTona moved to dismiss the charges and the judge granted the request.

Federal prosecutors still have the option to take the case to a grand jury and seek an indictment.

Barbara Burns, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Western New York, declined comment on the dismissal, but said authorities continue to investigate the case related to the Tonawanda raids. She said authorities continue to seek witnesses or other people with information and encouraged members of the public to come forward with any information they might have related to the alleged sale of synthetic drugs at the reservation.

October 12, 2012 - 2:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Alabama, outdoors, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, nature.


One thing I haven't spent enough time doing is exploring the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge -- what a great resource for Genesee County.

Prior to the public hearing in Alabama Thursday night, I headed out to the refuge a few hours ahead of time with the specific idea of going to a part of the park I'd seen previously and thought was quite scenic. It's actually in Orleans County, but hey, most of the refuge in in Genesee County. I believe the area is called Ridgeneck Ringneck Marsh. It's off Oak Orchard Ridge Road, which is in the northern part of the refuge.

Here are the pictures I took.

BTW: Not that any of these pictures are worthy of entry, but entries are being accepted now for the Friends of Iroquois NWR photo contest. The deadline is Sept. 1, 2013.


October 12, 2012 - 2:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Alabama, STAMP.

For Holly Nelson, the proposed 1,200-acre technology business park in the Town of Alabama is both something to dread and something that seems like a good opportunity.

She's not alone in her conflicted feelings. Nearly a dozen people spoke at a public hearing Thursday night in the town's fire hall and expressed both a wish that Alabama remain a small, rural community, and that it embrace jobs and growth.

"I moved back here so I could be in the country," Nelson said during a short statement where she fought back tears. "If we had known what would happen, that this would be proposed, when we started building our home, we never would have built it. My whole family is here and loves Alabama. I don't want to lose that, but I do want my kids to be able to stay here and have a place to work. I'm so torn."

After speaking another minute or so, she said, "I'm scared," and seemingly unable to hold back the tears any longer, she walked away from the mic.

The purpose of Thursday's meeting was to give interested members of the public -- especially Alabama residents -- a chance to raise any issues with a proposed compensation package from the Genesee County Economic Development Center and the necessary changes in zoning for the site.

In all, the total estimated benefit to the town is $8.5 million, including $5.2 million for a new public water system. The town will also receive a commission on the sale of the land in park -- to be known as the Science, Technology, Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) -- as manufacturers are signed to build facilities on the property.

The first speaker was an organized labor representative who encouraged Alabama residents to support STAMP because both in the construction and in the new factories, it could bring good-paying jobs to the region.

He was followed by Alabama resident Doug Crosen who encouraged the town board to not be swayed by outside voices.

"There's going to be huge pressure from the outside both for and against it, but the decision better be about our town," Crosen said.

Among Crosen's concerns is whether the money for public water will cover hook-ups for residents, and whether residents will have the option to say on well water.

Anita Goras said she had split feelings about the project.

"This is going to be in my back yard and that's where my cows are right now," Goras said. "I am open. I know I'm not going to live forever and I would like to see my grandchildren be able to come back here and work."

Kevin Sheehan, deputy mayor for Albion, told the board that if Alabama didn't want STAMP, Orleans County will take it. He encouraged the board to approve the project for the sake of all of Western New York.

Bruce Pritchett -- who grew up in Alabama, still lives on Maple Road, and teaches in Albion -- said he understands the desire to keep Alabama a small farming community, but young people, he said, need jobs, they need a reason to say in Genesee County.

"There are not a lot of jobs available," Pritchett said. "We send our jobs overseas. There's nothing here for people. This is a great opportunity. As a community, I hope we take advantage of this opportunity we have and make the best of it."

Tom Walsh, a Corfu resident, said he understands the resistance from some, but encouraged Alabama to move forward with the project.

"I know it scares a lot of people," Walsh said. "If it came to Corfu, I'd probably be a little scared for me at first, but I would know at least there would be some work for people."

Vance Wyder Jr., said he's a 40-year-old disabled military veteran who really only knows farming. He isn't sure he and other farming community members can really be trained for the kind of jobs STAMP will bring. He's worried about losing farming jobs, which are harder and harder to come by in Alabama, and then the new jobs not being filled by local residents. He said nobody has really assured him that local residents can and will be trained for the jobs.

"My message to the board is be cautious, be wary, make sure you are doing the right thing for our town and not for the almighty dollar, because in the end, the almighty dollar might kick us in the ass," he said.

Another speaker, a gentleman who has worked in IT for 20 years and is a resident of Alabama, said the board should be mindful of the potential for spinoff businesses from high-tech manufacturers.

He encouraged the board to ensure any businesses coming in reinvest in the local business community, such as by creating an incubator for start-up tech firms.

"We don't need some monolithic company with 1,800 jobs that never talks to the town after it's in place," he said.

Max Merten seemed the most strongly opposed to STAMP. He said he moved to Alabama 20 years ago to live in a rural community and he doesn't want it to change. He said he raised his kids to work, not push paper.

He's worried, he said, that the project is being pushed through the process too quickly.

"We don't need more jobs in a cornfield," Merten said.

Angela Kost concluded the round of speakers with the same ambiguity that set the tone for the meeting.

"I don't want to see it in my back yard, obviously," Kost said. "I don't think anybody in Alabama wants that, but it is a good opportunity."

The town board will meet within two weeks to take formal action on the proposals.

October 10, 2012 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A commercial truck fire is reported at Lamb Farms, 1705 Lewiston Road. Alabama Fire Department is responding. The vehicle is in a field on the south side of the road, west of the barns.

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.: Firefighters on scene report seeing no sign of fire.

UPDATE 2:36 p.m.: They have located the truck and found the fire is already out. They will be returning to service.

UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: All Alabama units back in service.

October 8, 2012 - 11:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Oakfield, Alabama, indian falls.

With the afternoon shaping up as a beautiful fall day and some time on my hands, I took a drive out toward Alabama with the intention to make some pictures. Here are six shots that I came across.

Above, cattle in pasture off Bliss Road, Oakfield.

Tree on Roberts Road.

White birch off Sour Springs Road.

Stand of Pine Trees, Sour Springs Road.

Hay field off Roberts Road.

Sunset off Route 77 near Indian Falls.

October 7, 2012 - 2:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

An SUV crashed into a tree at 1825 Lewiston Road in Alabama. It's near Knowlesville Road in the area of the hunt club. The driver is out and there is reportedly only a minor injury. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

October 4, 2012 - 11:39am
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

A property damage accident is reported on Sand Hill Road, on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The driver of the vehicle which reportedly struck the involved property fled northbound in a green Chevy Astro van. But the driver left his or her passenger at the scene.

October 2, 2012 - 2:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama.

A hunter is lost in the woods somewhere off the dead end of Judge Road in Alabama. Emergency dispatch is in phone contact with him and help is on the way to try and locate him.

UPDATE 2:18 p.m.: Just around the bend, on Feeder Road, he says he parked his green Subaru and went into the woods across the road from where it's parked. That's in the Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Area.

UPDATE 2:22 p.m.: The hunter is said to possibly be walking along where power lines are strung up. Law enforcement is going to sound their sirens at the junction of Feeder and Judge.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The hunter can hear the siren. They are going to turn their lights on to help guide him, but the area "is pretty dense" with trees.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Dispatch has lost phone contact with the hunter and hope he's able to call them back.

UPDATE 2:57 p.m.: About five minutes ago, an officer said "We have the subject and we're taking him to his vehicle and we'll be clear." It's not clear if this statement pertains to the hunter. If not, of course, we'll update further.

October 1, 2012 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Oakfield, Alabama, breast cancer.
Event Date and Time: 
October 5, 2012 -
5:30pm to 7:30pm

The Oakfield-Alabama Hornets Volleyball Team will be hosting a Dig Pink Volleyball game at 5:30 p.m.on Friday, Oct. 5. The varsity match starts at 6.

There will be a 50/50 raffle, serving contest, and refreshments. Admission to the game will be donation only. All proceeds will go to the Side Out Foundation to support breast cancer research.


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