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July 26, 2011 - 8:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, Alabama.

Bryan W. Phelps, 57, died suddenly on Monday.

Phelps was a former Town of Alabama Planning Board member and a leader in the local agricultural community.

Recently, Phelps had been active and outspoken on the issue of the STAMP project in Alabama.

(Full obituary)

July 26, 2011 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Alabama.

Jamie Scott Schlonski, 39, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny 4th, criminal mischief, 3rd, possession of burglar tools and trespass. Also charged, Joseph Allen Hogan, 42, of Bank Street, Batavia. Schlonski and Hogan are accused of breaking into a location on Clinton Street Road, Bergen, at 2:05 a.m., and stealing the windows of the residence. The pair was arrested at 2:40 a.m. Schlonski and Hogan were issued appearance tickets. The case was investigated by Deputy John Weis and Deputy Jason Saile.

Grant A. Sundown, 47, of Skye Road, Basom, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, reckless endangerment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. On July 3 at approximately 3:18 p.m., Sundown allegedly drove a vehicle into a set of stairs at a residence on Skye Road, Basom, while a person was standing on the stairs. There was allegedly an order of protection in place barring Sundown from having contact with that person. Sundown was jailed without bail.

July 22, 2011 - 7:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A high-tension power line has fallen down and is burning at 6888 Alleghany Road in Alabama. The location is north of the Judge Road intersection. Town of Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 7:35 p.m.: The high-tension wires are the responsibility of the New York Power Authority, which is being notified. About 300 yards of grass around the wires is on fire.

UPDATE 7:39 p.m.: The power authority has been informed and there's a representative en route. But he's coming from Lewiston so it will take time to get there. The Department of Environmental Conservation is being notified.

UPDATE 7:47 p.m.: Little can be done until the power is shut down. Firefighters on scene are ensuring the blaze does not spread to structures. No structures are threatened at this time. State forestry workers are available if needed since land under the power lines belongs to New York.

UPDATE 8 p.m.: A grass truck out of Akron and tankers from Pembroke and Indian Falls are requested as mutual aid to Alabama. The grass fire is described as large. It's behind the White Memorial State Game Farm.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: After researching the location, the state power authority says the power lines belong to National Grid. The state has contacted National Grid and a rep is being sent, but no ETA given.

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: Oakfield is to fill in at Alabama's hall. Another unit out of Niagara County is called in.

UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: The high-tension lines are fully powered. A National Grid rep is in the area and still needs to figure out how to shut down power there. A supervisor is en route. Once they figure it out, one of them will coordinate duties with the fire officials. The shifting wind is proving to be somewhat problematic.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: A fire truck out of Shelby is requested.

UPDATE 8:43 p.m.: A grass truck out of East Pembroke is called.

UPDATE 8:53 p.m.: A tanker from Oakfield is called and so are fire police from East Pembroke to help with traffic control.

UPDATE 9:03 p.m.: National Grid has a 30-minute ETA. Tankers are filling up at Parkers Pond at Gordon and Judge roads.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: The chief says the fire has been extinguished on the northwest side of the site. They are heading up on the hill to concentrate their efforts on the other side. Grass under the power lines continues to burn because the electrictity has yet to be shut down by National Grid.

UPDATE 9:31 p.m.: The chief reports the fire is contained and the remainder consists of a 50-foot swath of land underneath the power lines. National Grid has not yet arrived.

UPDATE 9:47 p.m.: National Grid is on scene. The fire is under control and the scene is being turned over to them to handle.

July 22, 2011 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A large cloud of black smoke is reported in the area of 13762 Sky Road in Alabama. It's off the road and in the woods. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 1:32 p.m.: Alabama reports it is a large controlled burn on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The firefighters are returning to service.

July 18, 2011 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, Alabama, wildlife.

A bear was spotted in the area of Ham and Knowlesville roads, Alabama, this afternoon.

The reader who saw it didn't have a camera at the moment, but is keeping an eye out in case a photo opportunity presents itself.

July 16, 2011 - 10:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Alabama.

A one-car accident with injuries is reported at 7586 Reuben Road in Alabama. The car crashed into a tree at the curve on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Alabama Fire Department is responding. Vehicle occupants are out and walking around.

July 15, 2011 - 8:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A fully involved car fire was reported at the Arrowhawk Gas Mart, located 852 Bloomingdale Road in Basom. Alabama Fire Department is on scene. The fire is now out. A person has suffered smoke inhalation and Mercy medics are en route.

July 9, 2011 - 8:47am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A controlled burn that may have spread is reported at 1046 Bloomingdale Road in Alabama. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

A live wire that is arcing is also reported there. National Grid has been notified. No ETA given.

UPDATE 9 a.m.: The fire chief says the situation is under control. National Grid is expected any minute now.

July 2, 2011 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

Distracted driving was the cause of a one-car accident at 3:33 p.m. Friday on Lewiston Road, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

According to Deputy Chad Minuto, Christina Mae King, 19, of Chestnut Ridge Road, Gasport, said she reached for something in the car that had fallen when her 1996 Chevy SUV drifted onto the shoulder. King swerved to the left, overcorrecting and going into the oncoming lane. She then overcorrected again, which is when she lost control of the car.

King was westbound in the area of 395 Lewiston, near Salt Road, in Alabama, at the time of the accident.

Both King and her passenger, T.L. King, 20, were taken to Medina Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

King was cited for allegedly driving without a license and moving from lane unsafely.

July 1, 2011 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, pembroke, Alabama, indian falls.

I received a text message this morning from I'm not sure who that read: "Must. Have. More. Photos."

Fortunately, I had already been out yesterday evening on a photo expedition.

Above, the power lines going through the state reserve on Judge Road, Alabama. Below, tall grass off Short Street, Indian Falls, and a lily near the Slusser Road bridge over the Tonawanda Creek, Pembroke.

July 1, 2011 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported at the intersection of Lewiston and Salt Works roads in Alabama. A medic at the scene reports minor injuries.

Alabama Fire Department and medics responding.

June 26, 2011 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, accident, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

A car has reportedly struck a pole in the area of 7444 Reuben Road, Basom, the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

The driver is reportedly unconscious.

Pole and wires are down. Emergency responders advised to use caution upon approach.

UPDATE 5:12 p.m.: Mercy Flight not required. A second ambulance requested to the scene. Two people are injured.

UDPATE 5:14 p.m.: National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 5:26 p.m.: A Mercy medic requests Mercy Flight to the scene. A landing zone is being set up at Ledge and Reuben roads.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: Mercy Flight is on the ground.

UPDATE 5:48 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne, headed to Erie County Medical Center.

View Larger Map

June 4, 2011 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, photos, Alabama.

Sam Ferris of Judge Road in South Alabama called me this morning and said there were a pair of large butterflies hanging out in his yard and he thought it might make an interesting picture.

A butterfly with a six-inch wing span? Sounds pretty interesting and I had a little time this morning, so I drove out there.

After getting a picture, I drove out to the Interpretive Center at Genesee County Park to cover an event there. When talking with volunteers there, I mentioned the large butterfly and pulled the picture up on my camera.

A volunteer said, "That's not a butterfly. That's a moth."

It turns out it's a Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora Cecropia). I learned that the moth has no digestive system. Tonight, it will probably fly off, find a mate and then die. Typically, once they molt, they live about three days.

June 3, 2011 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, Announcements, elba, Oakfield, pembroke, Alabama.

This information is from the marketing department at Batavia Downs.

Elba and Pembroke high schools were chosen via a random drawing to participate in this year’s $7,500 college scholarship race to be held at Batavia Downs on Sept. 10.

They will be joining Batavia, Notre Dame and Oakfield-Alabama high schools in the competition.

Each school will be represented by one student who is a senior in the 2012-13 academic year. The schools are allowed to use any criteria they wish to pick their student.

During the summer, the students will attend at least five training sessions at the track with their driver to learn the safety and skills needed to drive a horse.

Then between the fourth and fifth live harness races on Sept. 10, they will line up behind the starting gate to compete in a one-mile dash for cash. Earning scholarships of $3,000, $2,000, $1,200, $800 and $500, depending on where they finish.

Last year, Kaley Falkowski of Batavia High School, with professional Jim Mulcahy sitting alongside, was victorious.

The 65th season of live harness racing at the Genesee County oval begins on July 25.

May 31, 2011 - 10:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Alabama.

A car fire has been reported in front of the residence at 379 Martin Road, Akron.

Alabama Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:22 p.m.: Akron Fire was dispatched mutual aid, but told they can now stand down. Fire is knocked down.

UPDATE 11 p.m.: Alabama Fire back in service.

View Larger Map

May 28, 2011 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Stafford, Alabama, corfu.

Daniel Roger Sumeriski, 25, of State Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, harassment, 2nd, and criminal tampering, 3rd. The charges against Sumeriski stem from an alleged domestic incident on May 18 when Sumeriski allegedly took the victim's cell phone and urinated on the interior of her car. Sumeriski was put in the Genesee County Jail where he is being held on a parole warrant.

Robert David Cummings III, 24, of Akron Road, Corfu, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, unlawful possession of marijuana and no seatbelt. Cummings was stopped at 1:34 p.m. Thursday on Bloomingdale Road, Basom, for an alleged seat belt violation. Drug paraphernalia and marijuana were allegedly found in his car. He was jailed on $100 bail. The stop was made by Deputy Chris Parker, who was assisted by Deputy Lonnie Nati and Deputy Brian Thompson with K-9 Pharaoh.

Stephen Vance Recco, 20, of Hemlock Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with criminal impersonation, improper use of a mobile phone and unlicensed operation. Recco was stopped at 4:09 p.m. on Route 77, Alabama, by Deputy Chris Parker for allegedly driving while talking on a mobile phone. Recco allegedly gave a false name and date of birth during the traffic stop.

Jason Howard Freeman, 29, of Bush Gardens, Marilla, is accused of promoting prison contraband. Freeman was allegedly found in possession of a lighter and tobacco while housed as an inmate at the Genesee County Jail.

Thomas Jesse Mullen, 45, of Thorncliff Road, Spencerport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Mullen was stopped at 11:57 p.m. Friday on North Byron Road, Elba, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Kate Elizabeth Brozic, 28, of Trimmer Road, Spencerport, was arrested on a bench warrant related to a DWI charge. Brozic was picked up by Spencerport Police and turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office on a warrant out of Stafford Town Court. She was jailed on $500 bail.

May 26, 2011 - 8:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama.

The Swallow Hollow Nature Trail has suffered $15,000 in damage after vandals struck recently, according to WIVB.

Ten interpretive panels were removed. The vandals also overtuned a bench, toppled a port-a-john and removed other signs.

There's a $500 reward being offered by the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Inc., for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the people involved.

May 26, 2011 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, Alabama.

Wallace Eugene Urf, 33, Pavilion Center Road, Pavilion, is charged with a felony count of DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Urf was taken into custody at 6:05 p.m. Monday on Broadway, Darien, following a complaint of a domestic incident. Urf was allegedly found driving a car on a suspended license while intoxicated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy. Corfu Police assisted in the apprehension.

David Lawrence Popielinski, 22, of Schad Road, Alden, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. At 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office received a complaint of a car off the road on Harlow Road, Darien. Deputy Kevin McCarthy investigated and arrested Popielinski.

Grant Arnold Sundown, 46, of Skye Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Sundown is accused of having contact with a protected person.

May 23, 2011 - 7:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, accident, Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

A one-vehicle rollover accident with no injuries has been reported in the area of 986 Bloomingdale Road, Basom.

The driver is reportedly out of the vehicle and walking around.

Alabama Fire Department dispatched.

UPDATE 7:43 a.m.: An assistant chief on scene reports that "he didn't roll it, he just went off the side of the road." No injuries. Alabama equipment held in the hall.

View Larger Map

May 20, 2011 - 6:15pm
posted by Brittany Baker in Oakfield, Alabama, softball, Oakfield Alabama.

It might have been a rainy day and a ball field with more mud and puddles than grass and clay, but I can say with certainty that the first ever Oakfield Alabama Alumni Softball Game was a success -- I was there.

Yep, I proudly put on my blue and gold colors and --- although my cleats have been misplaced over the years -- my good old softball glove to play against the other 25 or so OA grads who bravely turned out for the rainy game.

While us “even graduation years” ended up beating the “odds,” everyone had fun stepping up to the plate one more time. I already can’t wait for next year!

Varsity baseball coach and organizer of the event, James Patric said he hopes for next year’s turnout to be better so a tournament can be arranged with more than two teams.

“We’re looking to improve from here, I’ve asked all the players what they’d like to see done differently and now that we have the first game to learn from, I’m hoping for a bigger crowd,” Patric said.

Retired OA athletic director Fred Francis agreed.

“What a great start we had, but you can tell everyone in the area that didn’t make it for some reason or other that I’d better see them on the field next year,” he said.

So as a personal challenge to all of those who couldn’t make it (especially the ones who still live in the area -- you know who you are) why not make next year the first of many alumni games to come? Hornet Pride Runs Deep… so prove it!


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