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February 11, 2012 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

An Orleans County woman was allegedly driving too fast on snow-covered roads this afternoon leading to a crash that sent her to the hospital.

Teresa Lynn Wilkins, 38, of West Avenue, Medina, was transported by Mercy EMS to Medina Community Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident was reported at 11:49 a.m. in the area of 1630 Lewiston Road, Alabama.

No other vehicles were involved.

Her 2008 Chevy pickup reportedly hit a tree.

She was issued citations for alleged speeding and failure to keep right.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.

February 6, 2012 - 10:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Alabama, STAMP.

Press release:

Information addressing the comments of the Western New York Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP) Final Generic Impact Statement (FGEIS) was discussed on January 26th at the Town of Alabama Fire Hall. Over 100 residents and interested constituents were on hand to receive an update on the progress of the WNY STAMP project.

A general overview of the project, the environmental review process, and responses to common topics from the Draft Generic Impact Statement (DGEIS) were presented by the GCEDC. Residents were given an opportunity to ask questions and provide additional feedback on the project.

On February 9, 2012 the GCEDC board, lead agency of the environmental review process, will consider a written findings statement for the WNY STAMP project. If the findings statement is approved, the environmental review process for the WNY STAMP project will be complete. At that point, the GCEDC will seek approval for the project from the Town of Alabama. The following steps will follow:

  • Negotiation and adoption by the GCEDC, and the Town of Alabama on an incentive zoning agreement that will provide relief from some of the Town’s zoning laws in exchange for amenities provided by the GCEDC to the Town.

  • Once the incentive zoning agreement is in place the Town of Alabama Planning Board and the Town of Alabama will begin consideration of the GCEDC’s application to rezone the STAMP site to a Technology Park and to amend the Town of Alabama Comprehensive Plan to address the STAMP project.

  • In conjunction with the Town’s rezoning process, the County Planning Board will hold a public meeting, review, and make recommendations to the Alabama Town Board on the rezoning application.

To further assist the Town with its decision-making process, a public opinion survey of the project will be distributed to the residents of the Town of Alabama. The survey will be conducted by a third party legal, and market research company that specializes in public opinion polling. The results of the survey will be presented to the Town for their consideration at the conclusion of the survey.

After the planning agencies return comments to the Town of Alabama, the board will hold a public hearing on the rezoning application. This public hearing will give the residents of Alabama another opportunity to comment, on the record, regarding the proposed rezoning of the WNY STAMP site.

Simultaneously, with the Town’s approval process the GCEDC, in conjunction with state and federal representatives, will continue to pursue funding sources that will be used in the event the STAMP project is approved by the Town of Alabama.

State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer and National Grid have, and continue to be of assistance to the GCEDC to obtain funding for this important project. Senator Ranzenhofer’s recognition of the regional impact of this project and his commitment to it are reflected in his recent state budget request for funding of the STAMP project.

This comprehensive environmental review process, as outlined in the State Environmental Conservation Law, is the same process that was conducted for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in the Town of Batavia.

If, after careful review and consideration the Town of Alabama approves the GCEDC application to rezone the STAMP property, the GCEDC can begin to work with engineers to develop infrastructure plans for the site and strategically engage in a sales and marketing process to attract the first tenant to the STAMP site.

January 31, 2012 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at the sharp curve in the area of 1013 Ledge Road in Alabama. There are injuries. The location is west of Route 77, on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m.: A responder on scene says there is one vehicle involved and it is off the roadway and in the woods.

UPDATE 1:38 p.m.: The vehicle is a 1994 green Ford Explorer. The driver and a passenger are from Rochester.

UPDATE 2:38 p.m.: Alabama Fire Department is back in service. Didn't hear an update on the occupants. Presumably they are OK.

January 31, 2012 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Alabama, Mike Ranzenhofer, STAMP.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has written to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, requesting his continued support in the form of a $9 million investment in the STAMP project for each of the next two years to bring the project to Shovel-Ready-Lite status.

“Support is now needed in the form of a funding commitment to complete the process needed to bring this site to Shovel-Ready-Lite status. Over the next several years, this is anticipated to require funding of $20 million. The 2011-12 SFY Budget has already committed $2 million to this project,” Senator Ranzenhofer said.

“A commitment for an additional $9 million per year over the next two fiscal years to assure timely Shovel-Ready-Lite status will allow immediate marketing of the STAMP site to national and international tech companies to expedite the successful build out of this project.”

The STAMP project has the potential to create up to 10,000 high-paying jobs at full development, in addition to jobs created during construction and development of the site, and up to $2.5 billion in private investment. In the letter to Governor Cuomo, Senator Ranzenhofer also noted the possible economic benefits to residents beyond the Buffalo and Rochester regions.

“This project, with its offer of advanced manufacturing, is the only one of its kind in Western New York. In fact, we believe that it is the only remaining available Mega-site in New York State. It provides the legitimate promise of a significant private investment and thousands of desperately needed high-paying jobs for the residents of the Buffalo and Rochester areas as well as all the residents of the region including Erie, Monroe, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties.”

Senator Ranzenhofer forwarded copies of the letter to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, Genesee County Legislature Chair Mary Pat Hancock, Empire State Development Corporation President and CEO Kenneth Adams and Genesee County Economic Development Center President and CEO Steve Hyde.

The Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) is a 1,243 acre mega-site modeled after the Albany area’s Luther Forest development. Located in the Town of Alabama, the site is strategically ideal due to its access to three high-level electric transmission circuits, close proximity to the Empire pipeline – a 24-inch natural gas line– and only five miles distance from the New York State Thruway.

January 27, 2012 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

An unknown type of fire is reported in a field on Gorton Road, just north of Ledge Road. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m.: Firefighters on scene report this appears to be a controlled burn.

UPDATE 3:34 p.m.: Alabama fire crew is returning, in service.

January 27, 2012 - 1:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Alabama, STAMP.

The next phase in seeking approval for a 1,200-acre high-tech industrial complex in the Town of Alabama is to sell it to the town board.

And by sell, we mean, offer incentives attractive enough to please residents and for the board to approve a change in zoning for the land that Genesee Economic Devlopment Center officials hope to turn into a lucrative and bustling complex employing 9,300 people.

Mark Masse, VP of operations for GCEDC, said negotiations are starting on the incentive package with the town and they will include financial assistance with the needs of the town to accommodate the project as well as possible cash grants for a "community chest" (money that can be spent on whatever the town board decides to spend it on).

Information on the final Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement for the project known as STAMP (Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park) was presented Thursday night to about 100 area residents at the Alabama Fire Hall.

With the GEIS done, the town board will be given an opportunity wthin the next month or so to either green light the project or not.

Prior to the vote, GCEDC officials will try to come up with a package of incentives that might help sway town residents and the board to support the project.

Once the incentives are hammered out, there will be a public meeting where the package will be presented and the public will be given a chance to comment on the proposal.

Attorney Adam S. Walters (top inset photo), representing GCEDC, said if the town board doesn't approve the zoning change for STAMP, the project is dead.

One audience member pressed Walters on whether GCEDC or anybody else could sue the town if it doesn't change the zoning to GCEDC's liking. Walters said he knew of no legal grounds to support such a suit and the town's attorney, Mark Boylan, nodded in agreement.

The time is ripe, according to Masse for the town to approve the project. He indicated there is a company that is looking to build a million-square-foot high-tech manufacturing facility. The company will be ready to start its site selection process in 2014.

Asked if it was a foreign company, Masse said, "It's American."

No company, especially one looking at building a million-square-foot facility, will even consider a site that doesn't already have zoning approval, Masse said, since such approvals take so long to get. 

Earlier, town Planning Board Member Lorna Klotzbach (inset photo below) expressed concern that, the way the plan is written out, the entire 1,200 acres could just fill up with a lot of small companies.

"If this site is allowed to be gobbled up by a database company here, a retail store there, a warehouse over here -- what's the chance that a big anchor company is going to want to come in if all of these other uses take up all the space?" Klotzbach asked.

Walters said that, as a practical matter, that isn't going to happen.

The big anchor tenant is needed first so the infrastructure can be built to support all of the smaller tenants that will help fill out the park and provide support services to the large tenants.

"The concept is to form the park around high tech manufacturing," Walters said. "That's the goal of this project and to do it in a way that makes sense. What keeps a Tim Horton's or a couple of warehouses from coming in first is the dollars necessary for the infrastructure. The smaller projects can't afford it.

"The plan calls for a million-square-feet high-tech manufacturer in phase one," Walters added. "If you don't have that, you don't have the money to put in the infrastructure to make any of the other stuff happen."

Until then, Masse and Walters explained, the arable land within the park's proposed footprint will still be farmed and the people living in houses will still live in their houses.

In fact, soon-to-be-former Village of Oakfield resident Joseph Bradt (bottom inset photo) expressed a unique concern about what will happen to residents living within the STAMP area.

Bradt said he recently bought a home in Alabama in order to move his family out of the village.

Pointing at the site plan on the projector screen, Bradt said, "My house is off the map and I haven’t even moved in yet."

Masse said that until a portion of the park is needed for a new tenant, no offers to buy out residential homes will be made, and when they are made, the offers will be at fair market value or or just above assessed value.

Ask if eminent domain would be used to remove people from their homes if they didn't want to sell, Masse said, "no."

"If you don't want to sell you're property, we'll figure out how design around it or if we can move the project to another part of the park," Masse said.

As for Brandt, Masse said it could be up to 20 years before it's time to try and buy him out of his house.

The final GEIS addresses at least some of the concerns raised by residents over the past couple of years.

Regarding the John White Wildlife Management Area, that's been completely removed from the site plan and won't be developed.

Regarding lost agricultural land, the crop land that will displaced represents only .65 percent of the 148,584 acres of farmland in Genesee County and only .23 percent of the total prime farmland.

There are also at least 17 possible farm-protection strategies for the town board to consider to protect the remaining farmland. Some of them, according to Walters, are very expensive. Some, such as rezoning, cost nothing.

On wetlands mitigation, the footprint of the building space was reconfigured to protect more of the wetlands within the park. One of the early plans would have destroyed 69 of 106 acres of wetlands within the park area. The new plan protects all but 10 acres of the land.

The acres protected will be enhanced and restored.

"Many of those wetlands are not in great shape today, and without this project, they would be subject to further degradation," said Roger Person, the consultant heading up the environmental review process.

The report also deals with impacts on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation and traffic flow.

Officials are working with representatives of Tonawanda to minimize impacts and while traffic will increase in areas, some of the proposed improvements to roadways and intersections will bring relief to some traffic flow problems already present in Alabama, Person said.

When a member of the public expressed concern that if the zoning change were approved, what would stop developers from doing something different than what residents are being told now would happen?

Walters explained that the way the process works, the final GEIS acts as a box.  The box contains everything that is currently permissible within the STAMP project area.

"If a proposal comes along that doesn’t fit inside that box, it requires a supplemental analysis and perhaps a supplemental environmental impact study," Walters said. "Everything has to fit within the box."

January 24, 2012 - 9:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Alabama.

Jonathan Donnie Laverne, 47, of Council House Road, Alabama, is charged with assault, 3rd, unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Laverne is accused of biting the face of another person during a domestic incident Jan. 17. Laverne allegedly took the mobile phone of the person and prevented the person from leaving or calling for help. Laverne was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Gregory Seppe, 53, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with five counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Seppe was arrested following a report at 10:22 p.m., Monday, of a man causing a disturbance at the Arrow Mart store on Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

Andrea Linda Kempisty, 23, of Lovers Lane Road, Pembroke, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to stop at stop sign, failure to yield right of way at stop sign and moving from lane unsafely. Kempisty was stopped at 2:17 a.m. Monday on Route 5, Batavia, by Deputy James Diehl.

January 23, 2012 - 6:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama.

A tree entangled with primary power lines is reportedly down and blocking the roadway at 7444 Reuben Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Traffic is being shut down at Reuben and Ledge roads.

Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 6:24 p.m.: A Sheriff's deputy on scene says the power lines are intact but they are pinned underneath the tree. National Grid is being contacted so it can shut off power on the lines and thereby enable crews to remove the tree.

UPDATE 8:41 p.m.: Power is restored, the tree is removed, the road is open and Alabama fire units are back in service.

January 23, 2012 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Le Roy, Alabama, corfu.

Gary A. Goodwin, 51, of Hamlin, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08. Goodwin was reportedly involved in a motor vehicle accident at 11:12 p.m., Jan. 21, on Cockram Road, Town of Byron. The accident was investigated by Deputy Brad Mazur.

Rene Peres Roblero, 46, of McGregor Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, moving from lane unsafely, operation by an unlicensed driver, operating without insurance. Roblero was arrested following the report of a one-vehicle accident at 11:24 p.m., Jan. 17, on Richley Road, Darien. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Debra G. Fields, 43, of 18 South St., Le Roy, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child, 1st. Field is accused of hosting an underage drinking party at her residence.

Uriah Ian-Charles Smoke, 27, of Bloomingdale Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is charged with reckless endangerment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Smoke was arrested on a warrant and jailed on $2,000 bail or $4,000 bond.

January 19, 2012 - 5:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A three-car accident with injuries is reported in the area of 1633 Lewiston Road, near Church Street. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:13 p.m: A county highway truck on scene says there are no injuries. But dispatch reports that a caller involved in the accident says she's hurt. Medics are continuing to the scene. A county employee advises responders to use caution: "As you get out on Lewiston Road, it gets nasty and you can't see." Now a person asks if the DOT has been informed that "the roads are nothing but a sheet of ice." Dispatch replies that the DOT is aware of the situation and has in fact been calling about it.

UPDATE 5:21 p.m.: Traffic is backing up near the scene. Alabama Fire Police are instructed to shut down Knowlesville Road.

UPDATE 5:24 p.m.: Traffic police are told to shut down eastbound traffic at Lewiston and Alleghany roads. Response times are going to be delayed because of severe white-out conditions.

UPDATE 5:48 p.m.: Two flatbed tow trucks are called to the scene. The roads are going to be reopened now.

January 13, 2012 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, Alabama.

A big traffic jam is reported at Reuben and Bloomingdale roads in Alabama.

January 13, 2012 - 1:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, Alabama, accidents.

A disabled tractor-trailer is blocking the roadway on Meadville Road in Alabama. The driver is not inside. Alabama fire is responding.

January 12, 2012 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Alabama, STAMP project.

Press release:

Information addressing the comments of the Western New York Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP) Draft Generic Impact Statement (DGEIS) will be discussed at 7 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the Town of Alabama Fire Hall. All property owners in the Town of Alabama will receive a postcard announcing the meeting and the public is welcomed to attend.

A general overview of the WNY STAMP project, the environmental review process and responses to common topics from the DGEIS will be presented. The major topics that were brought up in response to the DGEIS, and that will be covered at the informational meeting include: traffic, chemicals, water and wastewater.

The proposed action, examined by the DGEIS, is the construction and operation of approximately 6.1 million square feet of advanced technology manufacturing and ancillary facilities, along with on-site utility improvements, on 1,337.20 acres of land in the Town of Alabama.

The WNY STAMP site is located along New York State highways 77 and 63, approximately five miles north of the I-90 New York State Thruway. The proposed action will involve rezoning the property pursuant to the Town of Alabama Zoning Law.

According to the DGEIS, the buildable area of the WNY STAMP project is 46 percent of the entire site. The remainder of the land would remain as open space. The intent of the master plan design is to blend the manufacturing park into the existing fabric of the community. The Hamlet of Alabama is separated from the STAMP site by a subtle ridgeline and gracious landscape setbacks from existing uses.

As part of the open space system, only 9.5 acres of wetlands would be impacted by the current design, and the site will retain its rural nature. The park will be built to high-tech industry standards, in line with employee expectations, and will respect its surrounding context and environment.

The completed DGEIS, which was approved by the GCEDC board, can be found on the GCEDC’s website

January 10, 2012 - 8:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Alabama.

April Marie Ground, 22, of Meadville Road, Alabama, is charged with falsely reporting an incident, 3rd. Ground allegedly reported to Deputy Eric Seppala at 2 a.m. Nov. 30, that she was stabbed in the face about an hour earlier by a black female in the parking lot of a Batavia retailer. On Dec. 8, Ground allegedly admitted to Investigator William Ferrando that the stabbing did not occur.

Jason Andrew Barnhart, 24, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th (value more than $1,000), burglary, 3rd, grand larceny (more than $1,000) and falsifying business documents. Barnhart was arrested following an investigation into a burglary and grand larceny reported at 3 p.m. Jan. 4 at a location on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia. Barnhart was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Kevin Bruce Martin, 28, of Route 98, Attica, is charged with petit larceny. Martin is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

January 9, 2012 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Oakfield, Alabama, Bullying.

Interested parties, mark your calender:

Oakfield-Alabama Central School District is hosting a “town hall style” meeting on bullying beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26 in the middle/high school auditorium. The purpose of the meeting is to educate and engage parents and community about the serious issue of bullying.

The community is invited to learn more about bullying, what our district is doing about it, and what they can do to help. The format of the meeting will consist of a presentation on bullying, current legislation, school programming, various local agencies that can assist, and a Q & A period.

This is an informational meeting and not a forum to address specific incidences of bullying. Those should be addressed through the administration.

Refreshments and child care will be provided.

For more information contact Sara Wilkosz ([email protected]) 948-5211, ext. 3304,
or Mark Alexander ([email protected]) 948-5211, ext. 3203.

January 3, 2012 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

The driver of a vehicle making a U-turn Monday afternoon at the intersection of Bloomingdale and Akerson roads, Alabama, was injured after being struck by an eastbound car.

Hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries was S.R. Weissenbuger, 55, of Citation Drive, Henrietta.

Weissenbuger was cited for alleged failure to yield right of way.

The other driver, Lola A. Sharlow, 63, of Hopkins Street, Mt. Morris, and her 17-year-old passenger were not injured.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.

(Initial report)

January 2, 2012 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A T-bone accident with injuries is reported in the area of 1069 Bloomingdale Road, Alabama.

Alabama Fire Department is dispatched.

Two cars are blocking traffic.

View Larger Map

January 2, 2012 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Alabama.

Kathryn Hughes Whipple, 34, of North Main Street, Lyndonville, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, moving from lane unsafely, failure to keep right and unlawful use of a mobile phone. Whipple was stopped at 1:50 a.m., Saturday, on Lewiston Road in Oakfield by Deputy Jason Saile.

William C. Leyden, 30, of 23 Parkhurst Drive, Hudson, N.H., is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Leyden was allegedly found in possession of cocaine while at 3 Ross St., Batavia. NYS Parole assisted in the investigation. Leyden was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Jeremiah Thomas Altrogge, 28, of Cedar Street, Akron, was arrested on a bench warrant. The warrant was issued out of Alabama Town Court. Altrogge allegedly failed to pay a fine on an incident in August 2011. Altrogge was jailed on $1,000 bail.

James John Bachorski, 43, of Webber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bachorski was allegedly found to be in possession of a marijuana pipe during an investigation into an alleged domestic dispute on Batavia Oakfield Townline Road. Bachorski's vehicle was stopped on South Pearl Street, Oakfield.

Daihnath Grady Geiogamah, 36, of Route 438, Irving, is charged with disorderly conduct. Geiogamah is accused of being involved in a domestic incident at 11:10 p.m., Saturday, at a location on Route 63, Town of Batavia, in which she allegedly threatened to fight family members and Sheriff's deputies. Geiogamah was jailed on $500 bail.

December 28, 2011 - 8:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, crime, Alabama.

Dora L. Poodry, 18, of Shanks Road, Basom, is charged grand larceny, 3rd. Poodry is accused of stealing cash from a residence on Shanks Road over a period of four months totally more than $3,000. Poodry was jailed on $10,000 bail. The case was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy and Investigator Kris Kautz.

December 26, 2011 - 8:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Alabama.

Cynthia L. Clark, 41, of 115 Wolcott St., Le Roy, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 3rd. Clark is accused of taking a vehicle and driving it to Rochester without the owner's permission.

Corey James Hemmer, 25, of South Main Street, Elba, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Hemmer is accused of intentionally damaging a vehicle on Maple Avenue, Elba, on Dec. 12. Hemmer was jailed on $800 bail.

Kevin Michael Waleski, 23, of Church Street, Basom, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Waleski is accused of stealing a 2001 Dodge pickup truck valued at $10,000 from a location on Lewiston Road, Oakfield. The truck was located by a passerby in a ditch off Watson Road, Elba.

Ryan M. Palmer, 29, of 37 Tracy Ave., Batavia, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs and reckless driving. Palmer was stopped at 6:42 p.m., Saturday, in Batavia, by Sgt. John Peck.


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