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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.

October 1, 2012 - 9:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Darien, Alabama.

Brandon M. Maldonado, 24, of 146 Summit St., Batavia, was arrested on warrants for alleged petit larceny and criminal mischief. Maldonado was located at the scene of the fire Sunday night at 140 Summit St.

Bethani M. Dibble, 20, of 146 Summit St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Dibble allegedly drove her vehicle into the porch and fence of her residence and then left the scene of the accident at 2:38 a.m., Saturday.

Daniel E. King, 36, of 2058 Phelps Road, Basom, is charged with petit larceny and harassment, 2nd. King is accused of stealing a can of Mike's Hard Lemonade from a convenience store on West Main Street and then hitting the store manager when confronted.

Daryl R. Hamler, 18, of 6786 Westcott Road, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Hamler was charged after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana while driving through a DWI checkpoint on Clinton Street.

Alicia M. Stanwick, 21, of 318 E. Main St., Apt. 2, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and inadequate stop lamps. Stanwick was stopped at 1:36 a.m., Sunday, on Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Katelyn Louise Hodgins, 24, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving left of pavement markings and open container. Hodgins was stopped at 1:17 a.m., Saturday, on Seven Springs Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Greg Walker.

Thomas Allen Pfalzer, 45, of Harper Road, Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving while on a mobile phone, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and unlawful stopping or parking in the roadway. Pfalzer was allegedly located at 2:04 a.m., Saturday, in his vehicle stopped on Sumner Road, Darien, talking on his mobile phone. Upon investigation by Deputy Jason Saile, Pfalzer was allegedly found to be intoxicated.

Darrell Jerrod Holloway, 44, of Crowydon Road, Rochester, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to pay a fine. Holloway was taken into custody following his release from the Elmira Correctional Facility, where he was held on an unrelated matter. Holloway was jailed pending a court appearance.

Tyanna Desiree Green, 17, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Green allegedly stole two CDs from Kmart.

September 28, 2012 - 8:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, sports, Oakfield, Alabama.

At half-time, the football game between between the Batavia Blue Devils and Hornell is tied 14 to 14.

Hornell came into the game with 43 straight consecutive wins.

Look for complete coverage Saturday.

UPDATE 8:54 p.m.: Complete coverage is currently available via WBTA radio.

UPDATE: At end of third, Hornell 20 to 14.

UPDATE: Final, 30-14.

September 24, 2012 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Le Roy, Alabama, bergen.

Laurie J. Lerkins, 35, of 8 Erie St., Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Lerkins was reportedly driving a vehicle stopped on Wolcott Street by Le Roy PD early Saturday morning for alleged broken tail lamp. Upon investigation, officers found Lerkins allegedly possessed multiple small bags of marijuana. During the stop, police identified Jose Del Carmen Hernandez-Zarate, 26, and with the assistance of the Border Patrol determined Hernandez-Zarate, who was reportedly working on a farm in East Bethany, was in the country illegally. Hernandez-Zarate was turned over to the Border Patrol for immigration proceedings.

Laszlo Szabo, 59, of 8687 Keeney Road Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and improper right turn. Szabo was observed Sunday night making an allegedly wide right turn of Mill Street onto Lake Street, crossing fully in to the oncoming traffic lane. Szabo was stopped by Le Roy PD and subsequently arrested.

Booker T. Ricks III, 41, of 7 Chestnut St., Apt. #1, Batavia, is  charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. Ricks was allegedly involved in a domestic incident and is accused of choking a victim.

John W. Williams III, 20, of 8170 Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, improper right turn, uninspected vehicle and unlicensed operator. Williams was stopped at 2:09 a.m., Sunday, on West Main Street, Batavia, by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Joseph Alan Home, 21, of West 5th Street, Erie, Pa., is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Home was stopped for allegedly speeding at 8:35 p.m., Sunday, on Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Greg Walker. Home was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Raymond Kyle Jonathan, 23, of Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, was arrested on bench warrants related to charges of DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation. Jonathan was arrested at his place of employment in Clarence and jailed on $250 cash bail or $1,000 bond.

Miguel Angel Valencia, 37, of Halfianen Street, Grand Junction, Colo., was arrested as a fugitive from justice. Valencia was an inmate at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia. Valencia is wanted in California on a child molestation charge. Valencia was arraigned and jailed without bail awaiting extradition.

Jerrell Jordan Travis Jones, 24, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Jones was arrested upon his release from the Genesee County Jail, where he was held on an unrelated matter. Jones was arraigned on the charge and released.

Robert L. Murray, 36, of Darien, is charged with felony DWI. Murray was stopped by troopers Sunday on Route 5 in Batavia. Murray's BAC was allegedly .15, according to State Police.

Dylan T. Rotella, 19, of Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. A trooper reportedly came upon an unoccupied vehicle with its doors open outside a Batavia business and upon locating and interviewing Rotella, it was determined he allegedly possessed marijuana.

Robert L. Knight, 44, of Rochester, is charged with petit larceny, criminal impersonation and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Troopers responded Saturday to a report of a subject trying to steal scrap metal from Bergen Auto Recycling. Employees of the business detained Knight briefly until troopers arrived. Upon arrival, troopers determined Knight allegedly hid scrap metal in the trunk of his vehicle. When interviewed, Knight allegedly provided troopers with a false name. He was jailed on $1,000 bail. Robert L. Knight Jr., 18, of Rochester, was determined to be the alleged driver of the vehicle and he was charged with unregistered motor vehicle, uninsured motor vehicle, switched plates, and operating without a driver’s license.

September 19, 2012 - 9:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford, Alabama, Grand Jury.

Robert P. Leiser Jr., is indicted on three counts of aggravated criminal contempt in the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the second degree and criminal contempt in the first degree. Leiser is accused of causing serious physical injury to a person under protection of a court order on July 24 in the Town of Alabama. He is accused of hitting the person with a flashlight causing serious physical injury. He is also accused of driving in a reckless manner, at a high rate of speed and without obeying traffic devices, with that person on a motorcycle while the protected person was not wearing a helmet. He is also accused of threatening that person with a flashlight.

Bradley J. Broadbent is indicted on three counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree, criminal trespass, burglary in the second degree and petit larceny. Broadbent is accused of damaging ceilings in three bathrooms and the sink in one bathroom at the Liberty Square office complex at between 3 and 3:30 p.m., July 6. On the same date, at 4:05 p.m., Broadbent is accused of damaging the door frame and door plate of an apartment on Hutchins Street. He is accused of entering that dwelling without permission. On the same date at 8:13 p.m., he is accused of damaging the exterior door of a residence on Tracy Avenue. He is accused of entering that residence with the intent of committing a crime once inside. He is accused of stealing a pair of shorts and a Buffalo Bills blanket from the residence.

Connie L. King is indicted on a misdemeanor charge of DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation. King is accused of driving drunk May 28 on Dodgeson Road, Alexander. She was previously convicted of driving while ability impaired in June 2009 in the Town of Batavia.

The grand jury also returned a "no bill" (meaning, the grand jury found insufficient evidence to sustain the charges) in the case of Leeann Marchese, who was accused of burglary in the second degree. The charge stemmed from an incident in the Town of Stafford on April 3.

September 18, 2012 - 7:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A pole fire and possible transformer fire are reported at 7323 Kenyon Ave. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 8:05 p.m.: The scene has been turned over to National Grid. Alabama is back in service.

September 5, 2012 - 6:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in animals, pets, Alabama.

An officer is responding to 1371 Lewiston Road, Alabama, for a complaint of dogs barking ceaselessly. The nearest crossroads are Alleghany Road and Church Street. There are reportedly three Siberian huskies on the property.

UPDATE 6:38 p.m.: "The owner has been advised. All FOUR dogs are licensed," the officer reports to dispatch, adding that now she's headed to Oakfield for the stray Great Dane.

September 4, 2012 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama.

An Alabama man indicted on 28 counts of sexual abuse with alleged acts going back 13 years entered a not guilty plea and had his bail reduced in county court this morning.

Earl Francis Sprague, 42, of Church Street, Alabama, can get of jail pending further court proceedings if he can come up with $25,000 cash or secure a $50,000 bond.

He was being held on $50,000 cash or $500,000 bond.

Under a review system developed by attorneys and judges that helps determine a defendant's suitability for release under supervision or some level of bail, Sprague scored 11 points out of 20 possible.

Normally, 11 points would make Sprague eligible for supervised release. But given the possible lengthy prison term for Sprague if convicted of more than one count of the lengthy indictment, and a prior offense when Sprague was a youth, Noonan said some level of bail was appropriate to help assure Sprague's appearance at future court dates.

Attorney William Harper argued that his client had no adult criminal convictions, though he did have a probation violation in 2009 (his last previous contact with law enforcement).

Harper also said Sprague had some "dim hope" of retaining his current job if he were able to make bail, though Harper acknowledged the current accusations against Sprague diminished his chances of keeping that job.

He said, however, Sprague was considered a good employee.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said that while the person who conducted the bail evaluation scored Sprague at 11 points, she wouldn't have had access to Sprague's youthful offender status records. As a youthful offender, Sprague was accused of what Friedman said was charged under the former sodomy statute at the time and convicted of sexual abuse. That was in 1986.

"That is a relevant factor," Friedman said. "He also expressed a use of alcohol and marijuana."

Friedman requested no modification in the bail status for Sprague.

Noonan noted that if Sprague is convicted of multiple counts of the indictment, he would face possible consecutive prison terms on each count.

Sprague is accused of sexually abusing a single child victim over a period of years starting in 1999.


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