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November 7, 2011 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, Oakfield, Alabama, bergen.

An Oakfield resident accused of multiple burglaries and other crimes in several Genesee County jurisdictions was ordered held in jail without bail by Judge Robert C. Noonan on Monday morning.

Benjamin W. Muntz appeared in county court to be arraigned on charges of burglary, 3rd, possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini asked that Muntz, who was already in jail, continue to be held without bail because he faces possible felony and misdemeanor charges out of Oakfield, Elba, Alabama and Bergen.

Thomas Burns, the attorney assigned Muntz, asked for a bail review once all of the other cases are brought before Noonan.

Muntz pled not guilty this morning.

In the current indictment, Muntz is accused of breaking into a garage on Judge Road, Alabama on Aug. 26 and stealing a Honda dirt bike.

November 6, 2011 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama.

UPDATED 7:25 p.m.

A 42-year-old Niagara County resident died while hunting today in Alabama off Sour Springs Road.

Charles E. Sossong, of Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, was not wearing a safety restraint while in a tree stand that was 35 feet off the ground, according to Sheriff's Office investigators.

Sossong was pronounced dead at 3:11 p.m. by Genesee County Coroner Christine Flanagan.

His body was first found by a friend at the base of the tree.

An investigation revealed the tree stand was still affixed to the tree.

Emergency dispatchers received a call from Niagara County dispatchers at about 1 p.m. today reporting that a caller had parked a blue truck somewhere on Sour Springs Road and gone to a location in the woods where he had found his friend fallen to the ground from a tree stand.

The caller was performing CPR and could not immediately be reached by phone to better determine his location.

Volunteers from the Alabama Fire Department as well as Shelby and Akron were called to the scene.

Mercy Flight was dispatched immediately and assisted in the search for the victim.  

It took rescuers 30 minutes to locate the hunter and his friend who had made the call.

Once the victim was located, Mercy Flight was put back in service and Sheriff's investigators and the coroner were summoned to the scene.

Alabama fire personnel were on scene for about three hours.

November 6, 2011 - 3:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A brush fire is reported in the woods behind a house at 7405 Reuben Road. Town of Alabama Fire Department is called to the scene. Oakfield Fire Department is called to standby in its quarters.

UPDATE 3:18 p.m.: Indian Falls and Pembroke are called in to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 3:36 p.m.: Corfu requested mutual aid. Corfu's engine with its "deluge gun" requested to the scene. Firefighters are having a hard time reaching the fire through the woods.  A chief says, "the only way we're going to get back there is with a deluge gun."

UPDATE 3:42 p.m.: Fire is out. Chief says, "we're just wetting things down."

UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: All units back in service.

November 6, 2011 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama.

A caller has reported finding his friend fallen from a tree stand in an area off Sour Springs Road, Alabama.

There is a truck parked beside the road. The caller is no longer on the phone and is reportedly performing CPR on his friend.

Alabama Fire Department and Mercy EMS dispatched. Mutual aid requested from Akron and Shelby.

Mercy Flight being dispatched.

UPDATE 1:06 p.m.: The caller called his mother in Lockport, who called 9-1-1. The information was relayed to Gensee County Emergency Dispatch by Niagara County dispatchers.

UPDATE 1:08 p.m.: Medina ambulance in route. Mercy Flight may be needed to help spot the location of the victim from the air.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: The truck has been located. It's in the area of Onondaga Nature Trail.

UPDATE 1:16 p.m.: Patient not located, but the caller has a visual on Mercy Flight 5 overhead. Chief states, "I believe we're in the right area." (At some point, dispatch got the original caller on the line and patched the caller through to a chief on scene.)

UPDATE 1:20 p.m.: The caller said they were more than a mile off the road. A chief is cutting a chain off a gate. Contact with the caller has been lost.

UPDATE 1:24 p.m.: Responders have reached the end of the trail. "We're going to have to backtrack. We're unable to locate anybody."

UPDATE 1:26 p.m.: The caller has been found and is walking responders back to the patient's location.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m.: Manpower needed to carry the patient out. The trail is not accessible by vehicle.  

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Medina put back in service. If Shelby has manpower on the south side of the bridge, they are requested to the scene.

UPDATE 1:35 p.m.: Patient located. 

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November 6, 2011 - 11:00am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A grass fire is reported at 510 Bloomingdale Road in Alabama. Alabama Fire Department is called to the scene.

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.: "We've got it knocked down pretty good. We're all set." The assignment is being held to Engine One.

UPDATE 11:48 p.m.: The fire is out. Alabama fire is back in service.

November 5, 2011 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, fire, Alabama.

There's a report of smoke on the first floor of Leisure Timers Apartments, 364 Bloomingdale Road, Basom.

Alabama Fire Department along with mutual aid from Indian Falls and Akron, is responding.

The residence has not yet been evacuated.

UPDATE 2:18 p.m.: Akron and Indian Falls put back in service. Alabama units still in route can respond non-emergency. Residence is evacuated.

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October 27, 2011 - 8:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, byron, Alabama.

An Oakfield man already accused of other thefts is facing new burglary and larceny charges following an investigation by Sheriff's investigators into a recent series of crimes in the Oakfield and Elba area.

Benjamin W. Muntz, 22, of 6966 Knowlesville Road, Basom, is being charged with burglary, 3rd, grand larceny, 3rd, and petit larceny.

Muntz is already being held in the Genesee County Jail on a third-degree burglary charge.

Investigators suspect Muntz of stealing an ATV, a dune buggy and a dirt bike from a residence in the Town of Oakfield between June 20 and June 26. The value of the three vehicles is reportedly more than $2,500.

He's also suspected of stealing a large quantity of tractor weights from a location in Elba between Aug. 1 and Sept. 7 with a total value of more than $8,000.

Muntz is also suspected of stealing tractor weights from outside a building in Alabama around Sept. 1 with a value of about $500.

The ATV, dune buggy and dirt bike have been recovered, officials report, but they believe the tractor weights were sold for scrap metal.

In early September, Muntz was arrested and accused of entering a barn in Alabama and stealing a small child's dirt bike. He's also been accused of trespassing and attempting to steal items from a property in Byron.

On the two new felony charges, Muntz was ordered held without bail.

October 24, 2011 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, Alabama.

There's been an increase in home burglaries and overnight vehicle break-ins in the Oakfield and Alabama area, according to Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster.

Some of the burglaries may be related and there is at least one person whom investigators suspect being involved in several -- but not all -- of the thefts.

Items ranging from jewelry and electronics to cars and motorcycles have been stolen during the spree.

"Business is kind of booming out that way," Brewster said.

In Alabama there's been a pair of daylight burglaries that investigators think are connected because of the type of items stolen, the similarity between the houses and the close proximity to each other.

Other burglaries include:

    -- a garage on Drake Street, where a pipe wrench was stolen;
    -- homes on Galloway Road and Fisher Road, both with televisions, cash and other items stolen;
    -- a pair of dirt bike thefts on Oak Street and Cary Street in the Village of Oakfield;
    -- a pick-up truck, also stolen in the village, on Mill Street;
    -- and copper stripped and stolen from a home across from Oakfield-Alabama Elementary School on Route 63.

It's likely, Brewster said, that local thieves -- in addition to the one person already a person of interest -- is involved in these larcenies.

A local resident whose car was broken into over night called The Batavian and wondered why the Sheriff's Office isn't increasing patrols in the area.

Brewster said that approach isn't really productive. Unless a deputy is super familiar with a neighborhood, he might not spot cars or people who are out of place.

"That's why it's so important that people call us if they see something suspicious," Brewster said.

Brewster said if a resident sees an unfamiliar car drive down a street and drop somebody off, or if a garage door has been left open, for example, it's a good idea to call the Sheriff's Office (343-5000).

WBTA's Geoff Redick contributed to this report.

October 24, 2011 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford, Alabama, corfu.

Joshua Ray Radley, 25, of Old Meadow Lane, Batavia, is charged with unlawfully growing cannabis, unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of fireworks. Radley was arrested following an investigation into a complaint filed on July 27.

Loralyn L. Bateman, 35, 874 Gabbey Road, Corfu, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol. Bateman turned herself in at Batavia PD on a warrant out of Batavia City Court.

Michael A. Witkop, 19, 249 Ross St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation and improper right turn. Witkop was stopped at 12:38 a.m., Sunday, on River Street, Batavia, by Officer Darryl Streeter.

Brian M. Raphael, 23, of 4 Noonan Drive, Batavia, is charged with aggravated DWI, moving from lane unsafely and improper turn. Raphael was stopped at 1:09 a.m., Saturday, on Liberty Street, Batavia, by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Peter J. Kaiser, 50, of Jackson Road, Middleport, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol, failure to stop for stop sign and speed not reasonable and prudent. Kaiser was charged following an investigation into a traffic accident that occurred Sept. 16 on Lockport Road, Alabama.

Rusty Everett Vanson, 46, of Jefferson Street, Attica, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement markings in a no-passing zone. Vanson was stopped at 12:57 a.m., Sunday, on Attica Road in Alexander by Deputy Jason Saile.

Eric Michael Duda, 49, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Duda allegedly asked a third party to contact a person he is barred by court order from contacting. He has a previous conviction for criminal contempt, 2nd, within the last five years. Duda was jailed on $5,000 bail.

October 17, 2011 - 10:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Alabama, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

While driving through the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge yesterday, I came across this damp and dark wooded area and felt, well, compelled to make a picture.

October 17, 2011 - 9:38pm

It's taken more than 160 hours of his own time, and countless hours of help from volunteers, but Christopher Clarke, Indian Falls Boy Scout Troop 6066, has completed the key component of his Eagle Scout project -- a birder blind at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge that is handicapped accessible.

After getting assistance from an engineer to design the structure and help from fellow Boy Scouts and Boy Scout leaders during the construction of the modular blind, Chris supervised installation of the parts Sunday afternoon.

"A lot of people from all over come here, so this is something that is pretty much for everybody," Chris said when asked why he decided to tackle this project.

During waterfoul hunting season -- which opens Saturday -- only hunters with disabilities will be able to make reservations to use the blind, according to the park's assistant manager, Dawn Washington.

After the season ends Nov. 17, photographers -- both those with disabilities and those without -- will be able to reserve the blind.

Only birders with reservations will be allowed in the blind, Washington said, and visitors to the park who happen down Feeder Road are asked not to disturb anybody using the blind. A sign next to the entrance to the blind's walkway asks visitors to respect the solitude of people using the blind.

During the spring and summer, the gated entrance to the road is locked, but park officials will help people with reservations gain access to that portion of the park.

The blind is at the end of a long dock that was installed by Jonathan Hoste and members of Troop 40 from Wrights Corners. The dock was paid for with federal grant money.

Chris, who enjoys hunting and fishing and has taken a few scouting hikes in the park, said when he heard park officials wanted to get a handicapped accessible blind installed at the end of the dock, he decided he would like to help the park with the project.

"It all came along pretty smoothly," Chris said. "We only had a couple of minor changes."

To make reservations to use the blind, call (585) 948-5445.

October 14, 2011 - 12:09pm
posted by Melissa Haacke in Basom, Oakfield, Alabama, Christmas, holiday, trees, Santa.
Event Date and Time: 
November 27, 2011 -
5:00pm to 7:00pm

Town of Oakfield

Majestic Lights in the Park

Sunday November 27th at 5:00pm


The Elroy D. Parkins Park (Little League Park)


Majestic Lights in the Parkis a lighted Christmas Tree celebration representing area families, businesses, organizations and/or in the memory of a loved one who is no longer with us.

October 14, 2011 - 12:04pm
posted by Melissa Haacke in Basom, Oakfield, Alabama, Halloween, costume, trick or treat.
Event Date and Time: 
October 29, 2011 -
12:45pm to 3:00pm


Sponsored by the Town of Oakfield, Oakfield Betterment Committee & Oakfield Lion’s Club



FROM 1:00-3:00 PM



October 10, 2011 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, byron, Alabama.

Stephanie A. Wixson, 34, of 335 Bank St., Apt. A6, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Wixson was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine by Officer Dan Coffey during a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 8:53 p.m., Friday.

Eslie J. Worthington III, 21, of 6657 Cole Road, Byron, is charged with disorderly conduct. Worthington is accused of shouting obscenities while outside a residence on Dellinger Avenue, Batavia.

John W. Hackett, 32, of 5697 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, is charged with felony counts of DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation. Hacket was stopped at 2:03 a.m. Saturday on Cedar Street by Officer Eric Bolles.

Katherine Lynn Ogden, 28, of State Street, Medina, is charged with unlawful possession of a noxious matter. Ogden was charged after allegedly using pepper spray at a smoke shop on Bloomingdale Road, Basom. Ogden was reportedly involved in a verbal dispute over a mobile phone.

Victoria Hollie Gilbert, 39, of Shepard Road, Batavia, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Gilbert allegedly allowed her two children, ages 6 and 8, to return home from school and be at home unsupervised.

Vincente Antonio Torres, 20, of Willowen Drive, Rochester, was turned over to the Sheriff's Office by Irondequoit police on a bench warrant stemming from a DWI charge. Torres was jailed on $500 bail.

September 28, 2011 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, byron, Darien, Alabama.

Kayla M. Tyoe, 22, of Market Street, Attica, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, parking on pavement/roadway and no seat belt. Deputy Ron Meides was dispatched at 8:35 a.m., Monday, to a complaint of a car parked in the middle of Colby Road, Darien. Upon arrival, Meides reportedly found Tyoe sleeping in the driver's seat. A male was sleeping in the passenger seat, according to Meides. It was determined, Meides said, that Tyoe was "driving under the influence of some type of drug."

Benjamin Wiliam Muntz, 22, of Knowlesville Road, Alabama, is charged with attempted petit larceny and trespass. Muntz is accused of being on property in Byron without permission and attempting to steal items from the property.

Michael Abdullah Jamil, 27, of School Road, Byron, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Jamil is accused of violating an order of protection by allowing his girlfriend and son to stay at his residence. Jamil was jailed on $500 bail.

Randy K. Wilmet, 34, of 75 Franklin St., Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and obstructing governmental administration, 2nd. Wilmet is accused of damaging property inside the apartment of another person. Wilmet was arraigned in Batavia City Court, where he allegedly refused to comply with police officers' orders and had to be physically removed from the court and restrained. Wilmet was jailed on $3,000 bail.

Martin F. Jones, 40, no permanent address, is charged with four counts of petit larceny. Jones was arrested on a warrant. He is accused of stealing beer from an Ellicott Street business on four separate occasions. Each incident was reportedly recorded by surveillance cameras. Jones was jailed on $1,000 bail.

September 26, 2011 - 8:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A car has reportedly rolled over and struck a pole on Ledge Road near Alleghany Road in Alabama.

The driver has reportedly said he suffered minor injuries.

Alabama Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: A chief on scene reports, "driver out of the car, no apparent injury."

UPDATE 8:42 p.m.: Medic advised to continue to respond non-emergency.

September 25, 2011 - 2:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A two-car accident, believed to be with minor injuries, is reported at 409 Bloomingdale Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. There was air-bag deployment. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: One person was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital. All units back in service.

September 23, 2011 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A two-car accident is reported at Martin and Bloomingdale roads in Alabama. There is believed to be one minor injury. A person is complaining of hitting her head on the dashboard. Alabama fire is responding along with a medic.

September 21, 2011 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Alabama, Grand Jury.

Jody B. Gillett is indicted on two felony counts of menacing a police officer, one count of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and two counts of menacing, 2nd. Gillett is accused threatening, with a knife, two members of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office during an incident July 24 at 8 Pine Hollow Road. He is also accused threatening, with a knife, two other people in the same incident.

Grant A. Sundown Jr., is indicted on a count of DWI and aggravated DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and three counts of aggravated unlicensed operation. Sundown is accused of driving drunk on Lewiston Road, Oakfield, on April 7.

Paul Wapniewski is indicted on a count of burlgary, 3rd, criminal mischief, 2nd, and petit larceny. Wapniewski is accused of breaking into Delavan's Restaurant, 107 Evans St., Batavia, on May 6.

Jose A. Torres is indicted on two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Torres is accused of possessing cocaine on March 28 with the intent to sell it.

Charles L. Muntz is indicated on a felony count of DWI. Muntz is accused of driving drunk on Griffin Road, Alabama, on April 16.

September 19, 2011 - 7:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A car and bus have reportedly collided in the area of 1534 Lewiston Road, Alabama.

Three people in the car are reportedly injured, but there are no reported injuries on the bus.

Alabama Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 7:24 a.m.: Oakfield's ambulance on in-hall stand by for a possible response to the scene.

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